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Burlingame Farmers Market adds baby food from Little City Kitchen Co.

I want to take out a gigantic billboard that says “YES!”  It’s (nearly) official: Little City Kitchen Co. will be joining the vendors at the Burlingame Farmers Market on Sunday mornings beginning April 3, 2011.

Every step of the process has been so much harder (and taken so much longer) than I ever expected.  It’s a little surreal…because getting into this market was so easy that it’s kinda freaking me out!

I called the Burlingame market on Monday, met with them on Wednesday, talked to the San Mateo Health Department on Thursday and – after I write a $450 check – am pretty much good to go.

For those who aren’t familiar with Burlingame, it’s an adorable town near the SFO airport, lots of families and a great community atmosphere. The farmers market is pretty big with 50+ vendors, and it’s located smack-dab in the middle of downtown surrounded by the super-cute (and somewhat high-end) shops.  A great market for me!

What happens next?  Well, all those things I’ve been putting off until I start selling just came crashing down on me!  There’s so much to do now including…

  • Buy farmers market equipment (tables, chair, tent, cooler, etc…),
  • Design and print a baby food banner for the tent
  • Finalize my labels, a constant thorn in my side
  • Start cooking – Yay!
  • Figure out how all this is going to fit into my 4-door Audi

But hey – I’m finally in business and am thrilled.  And really people, it will also be nice to actually be depositing money into my business account instead of always withdrawing it!

Other Selling Locations

I am still trying to get into the Noe Valley market on Saturdays, so if you would consider buying baby food from LCKC at that market (whether you live in Noe Valley or not), then please sign the petition to help get me in there.  I have about 50 signatures, so half way there!  Help a sistah out and spread the word among your friends and colleagues.

As for other farmers markets, I’ve submitted my applications and am waiting to hear back from several of them. Never a dull moment…now my greatest concern is what if the Walnut Creek or San Rafael markets (both on Sundays) are interested?  It’s like not having any clothes that fit after losing weight…it’s a nice problem to have.

That’s been the biggest piece of news so far this week!  So all you mommies and daddies down in Burlingame, get those palates warmed up.  More details sure to come.

Have a great weekend everyone.

15 Markets in 15 Days – My Journey to Find the Perfect Farmers Market

I can say with certainty that I’m now am East Bay farmers market expert.  My pilgrimage started in Alameda on Saturday, February 12 and ended on Sunday, February 27 in Noe Valley.  I browsed and sampled my way through some of the best farmers markets in the area and got a “crash course” on becoming a vendor in the process.

I started in the East Bay with my target markets: Pleasanton, Walnut Creek, Danville, Berkeley, etc…  This is when I learned what most large farmers markets have in common: they’re FULL. Peak growing season is May-Nov, so they can’t take additional vendors now without leaving enough room for their regular vendors to sell starting in May.  Hmmmm…  We’ll come back to that.

But off I went.  The folks who know me well can easily picture this scenario: here’s me, with my little cooler bag filled with samples, a laminated “fact sheet” with contact info and baby food flavors, and a picture collage filled with great pics of me and the food.  I even had fresh baby food and sample cups so that I could offer tastes, although I must admit that didn’t go over too well, so I left that at home after the first weekend.

The reaction: they went crazy once they saw what the cubes look like!  Every market manager said the same thing…”I’ve never seen baby food like that”. Score!!

So which were my favorite markets?  In the East Bay, I fell in love with the Walnut Creek market.  And in the city, it’s Noe Valley all the way for me.  Both markets are medium-sized, but bustling with strollers and families, even in the cool weather.  Not surprisingly, both markets are “full” (I’m calling it the new f-word because I’ve heard it so much).

Where to go from here….well, I’ve never been one to simply take “no” for an answer, so I’m trying to make a case why these markets should consider making an exception in my case.  I have a unique product, which helps my case greatly, but more importantly, I have to show that there is demand for LCKC baby food in their area.

So how can you help?

I’ve started a petition of sorts!

If you would consider buying baby food in the future from Little City Kitchen Co. at the Noe Valley Farmers market (whether you live in Noe Valley OR the surrounding areas), please sign your name to this very brief form.  I have a goal of collecting 100 signatures which will hopefully make a strong case to the Noe Valley board.

Please also forward to your San Francisco friends that may be interested in purchasing baby food in the future.  As of this morning I have almost 40 signatures, so still have a long way to go!

A big shout out to all the peeps that have already signed…  I’m excited to see so many new names and look forward to meeting you guys in person!

Baby Food Cooking Demo – Join me this Sunday

There are still a few spots left for Sunday’s baby food cooking demo at Tot Tank in Alameda. Sunday, March 6, from 1-2pm.  Learn how easy it is to make your own baby food, and take home all the food we make in class.  Click here for more details, and RSVP to me by Friday, March 4.

Next week I hope to have some preliminary conversations with retail stores in the area, so let’s hope their reaction is as positive as the farmers markets once they see the baby food.  Hope everyone has a great Friday and weekend.



Keeping Kids Healthy in a Toxic World – Tips from Dr. Julia Getzelman

For the last several months, I have been looking to partner with a pediatrician that shares my (somewhat untraditional) philosophies around baby food, infant nutrition, and introducing solids.  As soon as I read about GetzWell Pediatrics, I knew that Dr. Julia Getzelman was the one for me!  She’s the only board certified, primary care, integrative pediatrician based in San Francisco, and she’s agreed to be an occasional guest blogger to share some great tips with all of us.

For more information on GetzWell Pediatrics, check out their website here.  And stay tuned for a workshop on infant nutrition and making your own baby food hosted by GetzWell and Little City Kitchen Co. in early April.

Feel free to ask questions or post comments below, and Dr. Getzelman will be happy to respond.

Keeping Kids Healthy in a Toxic World
By: Dr. Julia Getzelman, MD

Jill Epner, founder of Little City Kitchen Co., and I met last November at the San Francisco Birth and Baby Fair.  I became enamored with Jill’s baby food not only when I understood that it was an organic, locally produced alternative for busy mothers who want to feed their babies healthy, tasty, whole foods but also as soon as I tasted her delicious creations (though I don’t routinely eat baby food)!

I believe and teach my families that baby food should taste good and feeding your baby (once she is ready to eat) can be a fun experience.  I feel really good about Jill’s food in terms of its nutritional content and yummy flavors and also its contribution to lowering “toxic load,” the amount of unnatural (and often poisonous) substances we are exposed to in today’s world.

As an integrative pediatrician with hundreds of babies and young children as my patients, I’m concerned about the increasingly toxic world in which we live.  In particular, young children are at the greatest risk due to exposure to toxins because their brains and other organs are rapidly developing.  Pound for pound young kids eat more food, breathe more air, drink more fluids and spend more time on the floor/ground (where there is an accumulation of dust, chemicals, metals and other environmental toxins) compared to older children and adults.

There are many things as individuals we cannot control about our environment, but we can and must take important actions to significantly reduce unhealthy and toxic exposures.  Here are a few ways to make a big difference for you and your family:


Personal Care Products

Household Cleaners

Use green cleaning solutions: investigate less toxic alternatives like using vinegar in place of bleach, baking soda to scrub your tiles and hydrogen peroxide to remove stains


  • Eliminate Teflon pans
  • Don’t microwave in plastic and store foods/left-overs in glass (e.g., Pyrex) whenever possible
  • Use wax paper instead of plastic wrap whenever possible

Special thanks to Dr. Getzelman for sharing her tips on reducing toxins.  Stay tuned next week for an update on what I’m coming to call my “Great California Farmers Market Tour”…  Happy week everyone!

Permit me…to Sell-abrate!

At the time when I made the switch from personal chef/caterer to baby food producer, I had no idea what would be involved.  I didn’t know about the permits, or what to look for in a kitchen, or that it would eventually take me six months to sell…and it’s probably good that I didn’t know these things, because in my case, ignorance was bliss!

So on that note, it’s with great excitement that I share my recent news with you all: I got my final permit to sell at farmers markets! Had you asked me six months ago if this would be such a milestone, I would have told you that it was just another step in the process…but that was before I knew it would take me three months to navigate the system and get the darn thing.

Next step: picking the right farmers markets…

Location, location, location

My intention is to start selling weekly at 2 farmers markets:  one during the week and one on the weekends.  I’ve received some great information about the surrounding markets in Alameda County, and plan to spend the next two weeks talking to the market managers in the area.  I’m hopeful that I can generate enough interest at several farmers market and be able to choose which ones best attracts the “ideal” Little City Kitchen Co. customer: with kids age 5-12 months, prioritizes healthy eating, values organic, etc…

I’m sticking to Alameda Co. markets at this stage in the game (sorry San Francisco people – you’re gonna need to make the trek across the Bay Bridge to start!).  However, once I’m up and running, I will look into at least one market in the city.

Spring Cooking Class Schedule

I just posted the spring cooking class schedule…I expect to be pretty busy with the farmers markets initially and have therefore decided to only offer 1-2 classes a month.

Interested in making your own organic baby food? The next class is scheduled for Sunday, February 27 from 2:30-4:30pm and will be focused on starting solids.  It’s hands-on and you get to take home everything you make.  All the details are here.

If a hands-on class isn’t your thing, then join me for a baby food cooking demo at Tot Tank in Alameda on Sunday, March 6, from 1-2pm.  Click here for more details.

Private Orders

Although private orders of baby food are not my long-term strategy, several people have contacted me about food deliveries before the baby food is available at the farmers market.  If you (and/or a group of your friends) are interested, just contact me for more information.

Introducing Kindercycle

Attn: Bay Area parents!  A new friend of mine just launched a company called Kindercycle which allows you to buy/swap kids clothing, toys, books, etc…  They have an upcoming Swap on Saturday, March 5, from 10:30am – 1:30pm at the Rockridge Branch of the Oakland Public Library.  Check out the details on their website, or click “Like” on their Facebook page.

So overall…a pretty big week for me!  Stay tuned next week for a recap of my farmers market conversations.  I hope they’ll be excited at the prospect of adding a LCKC booth to their existing markets!

Cooking Class Schedule – Spring 2011

Here is the Spring cooking class schedule that you’ve been asking for!

Organic Baby Food Classes:
Cost $65.00

Apples to Beets: Baby Foods for 6+ months
Sunday, February 27, 2:30 – 4:30pm
International Baby Foods
for 9+ months
Sunday, April 30, 2:30 – 4:30pm

See below for menu and class description


Adult Cooking Classes:
Cost is $65.00

Cooking with Whole Grains: the New Superfood
Saturday, March 19, 2:30 – 4:30pm
Easy Entertaining: the Perfect Party Appetizers
Saturday, April 9, 4:30 – 6:30pm

See below for menu and class description


Class Location: My Commerical Kitchen in Emeryville

1555 Park Avenue, Suite A
Emeryville, CA  94608
located right behind IKEA

Click here for Google Directions

Email me to reserve your spot today!


Class Descriptions

From Apples to Beets: Organic Baby Food for 6+ months

This hands-on class will explore the various types of whole grains, vegetables, and fruit your little one can enjoy as they begin eating solid foods, and the different methods that any home cook can use to make baby food in their own kitchen.

Participants will make several wholesome baby foods such as brown rice cereal, roasted sweet potatoes, homemade pear sauce, roasted golden beets and more.   You get to take home all the recipes and food you make, which can be enjoyed right away or frozen for up to several months until your baby is ready to eat.

Sample Menu (may change based on seasons):
Homemade brown rice cereal
Roasted sweet potato puree with coconut milk
Homemade pear or applesauce
Roasted golden beet puree with butter and dill

International Baby Foods: for 9+ months

Who says baby food has to be bland?  After your little one has gotten the hang of eating, you can begin introducing them to an array of herbs and spices from around the world.  In this class we explore different textures of baby food and several recipes inspired by International cuisines.

Participants will make several savory baby foods inspired by Cuban, Jewish, Indian, and Asian flavors.  You get to take home all the recipes and food you make, which can be enjoyed right away or frozen for up to several months until your baby is ready to eat.

Sample Menu (may change based on seasons):
Cuban black beans with roasted plantains, mango and coconut milk
Jewish potato latkes with caramelized onions, apples and parsley
Indian Dal with red lentils and spices

Easy Entertaining: The Perfect Party Appetizers

Impress your guests with these delicious, yet simple small bites.  Learn how to blend, layer, and assemble beautiful appetizers that will have your guests begging for the recipe.  Appetizers have many advantages; while they can be a little more labor-intensive, many of the ingredients can be prepared in advance and quickly assembled before your guests arrive.

Participants will be guided through making various appetizers using foolproof methods and seasonal ingredients.  Leave with all the wonderful food you made, and with tips on easy entertaining from choosing the perfect appetizers to beautiful plating options.

Sample Menu:
Smoked Salmon and Herbed Cream Cheese Tea Sandwiches
Seasonal Vegetable Crudités with Homemade Green Goddess Dip
Endive and Goat Cheese Spears with Honey Port Reduction

Cooking with Whole Grains: The New Superfood

Give the white rice, pasta, and white flour a rest!  Learn about various whole grains including quinoa, farro, wheatberries, and more.  Whole grains have tremendous health benefits, and once you learn a few basic cooking techniques, are very easy to substitute in your everyday recipes.

Whole grains have a higher fiber and nutritional content than their white counterparts, and therefore take longer for your body to break down.  This leads to feeling fuller and satisfied longer, unlike white starches, which spike blood sugar and are processed quickly by the body.  Learn what to look for in a whole grain, how to prepare them, and where to find the best selection of whole grains in the Bay Area.

This hands-on class will focus on using whole grains in a variety of ways.  We will make chilled whole grain salads with seasonal vegetables and a healthy side-dish perfect for a family dinner.  Leave with all the foods you’ve made to share with your friends and family…or just to enjoy yourself!

Sample Menu:
Herbed Red Quinoa Pilaf
Whole Wheat Couscous Taboleh with Parsley and Lemon
Farro Salad with Seasonal Vegetables and Feta Cheese

The Ebb and Flow of Progress…

I’m finding that progress comes in waves.  There are weeks (in my case, the last three) where I feel like I don’t make any forward movement and am constantly fighting the current.  You guys know what I mean…  You work and work but can’t seem to get any traction, and nothing really seems to get done.  As you can imagine, it’s a little hard to stay motivated after a few weeks of that!

Then all of a sudden, you have one killer week and – whamo – everything comes together beautifully. And you celebrate!  This has been one of those weeks…

Permit me…to sell!

I’m INCHES away from getting my final approval from the health department that will allow me to sell the baby food at farmers markets.  Hopefully by noon next Monday it will be official.  What a process…  I’ve spoken with three different people, received three different answers on how to get my permit, and each had their own forms to fill out.  The good news is that I’m nearly there.  Woo-hoo!

Getting down with GetzWell

This week I sat down with Dr. Julia Getzelman, the founder of GetzWell Pediatrics to talk baby food and nutrition.  GetzWell takes a holistic approach to healing by combining western medicine with alternative modalities, a concept she’s dubbed “Whole Kid Care”.  Not surprisingly, we shared many of the same philosophies on what kiddos should be eating…

We have a few things in the works, including an April joint workshop on nutrition and making your own baby food.  I may have even convinced her to be a guest blogger (Julia – consider this your first official “nudge”).  Stay tuned for more on that…and a special shout out to her great team members, Emily, Nicole, and the rest of the gang.

The tide keeps coming in

I had a great meeting this week with my business coach where we tweaked my baby food production strategy.  <thanks Anni!  Feeling much better after our talk>.  I’m chatting later today with an online retailer about testing online sales of the baby food…Little City Kitchen Co. may be coming to the East coast sooner than I had expected! Opportunities seem to be popping up everywhere.

A few other cool things have happened.  I’ve reconnected with an adorable eco-friendly children’s store and we’re trying to figure out how best to work together.  She’s remaining nameless for now, but stay tuned for the scoop later.  I’ve been on the phone with packaging people, label companies, crunching my numbers, and much more.

Whew!  As I said…much progress.

So next on my agenda is to secure my spot at farmers markets and start selling.  I’ve had some great recommendations from you guys about which markets to start, but the best one just came from the gentleman helping me at the health department – selling at the Oakland Children’s Hospital farmers market on Tuesdays.

All I can say is…duh, Jill!  Sometimes even I overlook the obvious. Happy weekend everyone.

Throw out the Rule Book

This may be the first blog topic that has come to me more out of frustration than inspiration.  You guys know by now that aside from the occasional “I’ve had a crappy week” posting, typically I write about all the wonderful experiences and the progress I’ve made.  This week I’m going to share with you one of the greatest lessons I’ve learned in my short time as an entrepreneur:

Throw out the rule book.

A classic “rookie” mistake

My awareness of this concept began seven years ago when worked for Hilton Hotels and managed a team that sold for seven of their hotels in Boston.  I was on the phone with a member of the management staff of one of my hotels…and truth be told, we were driving each other crazy arguing about how to handle something.  I made a somewhat rookie mistake and said “but this is how all the other hotels are doing it”.

You can imagine what happened next… My colleague went through the roof.

And rightfully so.  I unknowingly fell into a common trap in today’s world; assuming that the way that it’s been done in the past is the best way to do things in the future.  I realized immediately that she was correct and (after a heartfelt apology) forever changed my approach problem solving.

This happened again when I was on the phone with a vendor from the Fancy Food Show yesterday.  I was explaining my idea for packaging, or trying to anyways, and he kept steering me back to a traditional solution.  Blah blah boring!  After several minutes of listening to his very predictable suggestions, I finally snapped and said “yes, I know it’s never been done before…that’s the whole point!”

My way or the highway

There is no rule book or roadmap when you’re starting any new business.  I guess that’s part of the challenge…umm…I mean appeal.  People can tell you what may have worked (or not worked) for them, but at the end of the day, nobody knows Little City Kitchen Co. like I do, and it’s empowering to be able to make what I think are the best business decisions.

With that being said, I use every available resource!  So many elements of this business are brand new to me, so  I reach out to the industry experts, my business coach, other food entrepreneurs, etc…  But I always consider their advice and ask myself “how can I make this work for me?”  Sometimes I can’t, but almost always there is some nugget that is helpful to me.

So along those lines, I’ve decided to throw the ole rule book out the window and just keep doing my thing.  And you know what…it feels pretty kick ass!

Upcoming events

For those interested in a baby food cooking demonstration, join me on Sunday, March 6 from 1pm – 2pm at Tot Tank in Alameda, and I’ll show you how easy it is to make organic baby food in any home kitchen.  Cost is only $20.00 and all participants get to take home the food we prepare during the demo.  Click here for more information and to register.

The Spring cooking class schedule will be released next week, so stay tuned.  Have fun until then!

From the Floor of the Fancy Food Show

The Winter Fancy Food Show descended upon San Francisco this week, so I channeled my inner-foodie, warmed up my tastebuds, and joined the over 18,000 attendees in search of new and innovative foods.  After seven hours of talking & tasting, even I was wiped!

I had two goals for the show: 1) search for new and innovative packaging for my baby food, and 2) check out all the hot new food products for some future recipe inspiration.

From the Tradeshow Floor

First impressions…holy food batman!  Albeit not in the food industry, I’ve been to tradeshows for 10 years and thought I knew what to expect.  I was not prepared however for the endless rows of cheese samples and mass chaos as the exhibit floor opened at 10am.

The first hour was a blur. The product I sampled with the biggest “cool factor” was a finger lime (think about something that looks like caviar but tastes like lemon/lime).  I tasted bacon jam, raw coconut energy bars, chocolate flavored tea, goats milk caramels, seaweed snacks, tea-seed oil, lentil chips, among other cool products…

In general, there seemed to be a lot of mid-sized food companies and distributors that sell hundreds of products.  Surprisingly, very few “small” producers has presence there…which is what I looked forward to the most.  After speaking with several of the vendors about this, they said that it’s extremely expensive to exhibit which can be pretty cost-prohibitive for small start-up companies.  Hmmm…  Noted.

Convergence of Foodcrafter peeps

Couple of really cool things happened though…  First, many of you remember reading my Dream a Little Dream blog where I went on record that Little City Kitchen Co. would be featured on the TV show Foodcrafters within two years.  Since I made that statement, I seem to be attracting other small businesses that have been featured on the show!

My new friend Donna @ Love & Hummus was just on in January, and at the Fancy Food Show I met with Josh Henderson from Skillet Bacon Jam and Justin Gold from Justin’s nut butters, both of whom are official Foodcrafters alumni.  Hoping some of their good ju-ju rubs off on me!!

The quest for the perfect package

Which brings me to packaging.  I’m going to have a unique design element that will really differentiate my baby food from other frozen baby food products, so I was on the hunt for an uber-cool way to show it off.  Had some great discussions with different packagers at the show…hopefully they’ll be able to take my vision and come up with a sample that will work.

The original plan was to start selling at the Farmers Markets in January, but it looks like it will more likely be February or early March before it happens.  Truth be told I’m a little annoyed (because those who know me know that when I make a plan I like to stick to it!!), but I’m trying to relax and go with the flow a little more.  Lots of steps involved, and it’s a slow (but steady) uphill climb!!

That’s it for this week!  I expect to release the next cooking class schedule in the next week or so, so stay tuned for farmers market selling locations as well as the Spring cooking class schedule coming soon.

Make Way for the Potato Masher…

I switched gears this week and looked at making baby food in a whole new, and much simpler, light…  My food processor got a rest as I went back to basics with the goal of developing easy, healthy, and inexpensive baby foods with minimal equipment.

Why this new quest?  A new friend of mine, who is a parenting coach and teaches parenting classes at Crossroads High School in Concord, invited me to speak to her classroom.  On Thursday, I led a baby food cooking demonstration for a group of 15 awesome high-school women who have kids between 4 and 12 months old.

The Core Requirements

As I was designing the class outline, I decided on a few core requirements…

  1. My definition of “minimal equipment” is a microwave & a potato masher, so I threw out any baby food recipe idea that needed more than those two items.
  2. Most babies don’t get enough vegetables these days (and you all know that I’m a die-hard veggie-aholic anyway), so the recipes were primarily focused on fresh vegetables.
  3. I wanted to keep the prep time to a minimal, under an hour a week, so I stuck to single items that could be prepared quickly.

After a brief discussion about introducing solids and common food allergies, we got to cooking.  There were several class volunteers that mashed their way to becoming really good baby food makers!

Our recipes included:

Steamed sweet potato puree
Butternut squash puree with coconut milk
Baby hummus (chickpeas with olive oil and water)
Zucchini steamed with butter
Avocado and banana mash with coconut milk

And the best part: The total cost for all those recipes was only $12.75.

I had a lot of helpers in the classroom, so a special shout out to the girls at Crossroads High School…and their adorable little ones.  Thanks to everyone for your participation during the class, and good luck making some of your own baby food!  Click here to see the pictures from the day.

Larissa & Cecelia, 1 yr
Griselda & Francisco, 4 mo.
Jazmin & Adrian, 4 mo.
Lauren & Dominic, 5 mo.
Jessica & Mireya, 5 mo.
Sara & Amy, 1 yr.
Veronica & Kyle, 6 mo.
Lucero & Israel, 11 mo.
Teresita & Lillie, 6 mo.
Crystal & Adianna, 5 mo.
Jasmine & Giovanni, 7 mo.
Felisa & Desire, 8 months

*Special thanks to Torie Henderson, life & parenting coach, who lent me her class for the hour!

Bring on the Samples…

Next week is going to be a little crazy.  The Winter Fancy Food Show is in town, so I plan to spend Sunday – Tuesday wandering the tradeshow floor in search of packaging, ingredient, and marketing ideas.  Heck, it’s a three-day show featuring some of the best specialty foods from around the world…do you think I would miss that???

I’ll be updating my Little City Kitchen Co. Facebook page throughout the Fancy Food Show, so make sure you click “Like” on my page for the most recent news.  I’m on a plane next Thursday for a family event, so the next blog will probably be coming out Friday, January 28.  Hope everyone has a great week until then!

A Fresh Start to the New Year…

As you could probably tell, it’s been pretty quiet at Little City Kitchen Co. as I took a break for most of December to enjoy the holidays with friends and family. My travels took me from sailing in the Virgin Islands (yup, that’s me on the left), to shoveling two feet of snow in Lake Tahoe. It was a good month, and I tried to enjoy every minute of it.

And yet, I was really eager to get back to work.

I think back to what I’ve accomplished with Little City Kitchen Co. in six short months: Decided on making baby food, rented a commercial kitchen, launched the cooking classes, created my recipes, organized the Baby Tasters, sampled and demoed my way through the Birth & Baby Fair, launched a new website, and the list goes on.

And yet, there is still SO much to do! In fact, I’m finding out that when you start a company, the to-do list is positively endless. It’s like being in perpetual “catch-up” mode. With that being said, I got back to my desk Monday morning with a renewed motivation and was excited to get moving…

And get moving I did…this has been a busy week so far.

New & Exciting

If you haven’t done so already, check out the new Little City Kitchen Co. website that launched in late November. I probably should have promoted this a bit more (oops!), but better late than never. It still has a few tweaks, but overall it’s a great start and I’m thrilled with the result.

I’ve (finally) made some progress on permits to sell at the Farmers Markets. One final kitchen inspection and a few more checks to Alameda Co. and I should be good to go. I had hoped to be selling at the Farmers Markets by January, but because of some other projects, selling will more than likely start in early February instead.

Why the delay? I’ve decided to apply for a small business loan! Had a great meeting yesterday morning with a lender to discuss what is needed to secure some extra funding. So for the next week or two, I’m putting the finishing touches on my business plan and financial statements so I can begin the application process. Decided that I’m going to hire some part-time help with the cooking so that I can stay focused on the sales & marketing part of the business.

In store for this year?

As you know, I’m still getting clear on my vision for this company…the path changes frequently as new opportunities surface.  On the list for now is: start selling at Farmers Markets, hire part-time help, better marketing the cooking classes, launch online sales & shipping, and (potentially) look at selling in retail stores like Whole Foods. Just to name a few.

It’s a busy and exciting time for me, and I’m so glad that you get to be part of the journey. A big thanks to everyone for their tremendous support in the past year! Looking forward to what this year brings…

Tales from the Birth & Baby Fair – Part 2

Welcome back for the second installment of the Birth & Baby Fair highlights.  Last week, I told you all about setup and how much everyone loved the baby food we sampled.  We pick up where we left off with last week’s blog, about the one part of the show that didn’t go according to plan…at all.

As most of you knew, I volunteered to lead a cooking workshop at the show and was SO excited about it.  Doing an off-site cooking demo was something that I hadn’t done before, so I planned it all out several days before the event (those who know me aren’t shocked by this fact…I’m a bit of a planner).

I had lists for the equipment I’d need to bring with me, the food I’d have to prepare ahead of time, recipe cards to print, etc…  I got my “Martha Stewart” on and came up with these cute recipe booklets that I was going to hand out at the close of the workshop.  You get the idea…I spent some time, maybe even too much time, planning the details.

I’m sorry, how many people did you say?

What you probably don’t know is that the organizer and I agreed on having a maximum of 12 people; three demo-stations with four participants at each…a totally manageable size.  You can imagine my surprise when I was told at 1:30pm, 90 minutes before my workshop, that 26 people were pre-registered!  Crap!!

I am a pretty cool customer in stressful situations, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t pretty freaked out.  I mean really guys, THIS was my big debut!!  I needed to regroup…

If I had the foresight to bring alcohol, I probably would have stolen a big gulp at that point.  But instead, I left the show, sat in my car for 5 minutes, and proceeded to re-write my entire presentation.

The workshop started at 3pm and from what I could tell, was a big success.  Minus a few electrical issues with my induction burners, the group was filled with rockstars that asked a lot of questions and actively participated in the demo.  And after the hour, everyone agreed they had so much more confidence around make their own baby food…mission accomplished.

I’ve posted some photos of the cooking demo on our Facebook page, so check them out here.

A Special Thanks…

So a special shout out and thanks to all the workshop participants (especially Rick A. who came to my rescue during my power issues!).  You guys were awesome!  I hope you found the workshop to be helpful and inspiring.   Send me some pictures and/or recipes of the baby food you make at home.  I’d love for you to share any of your comments or feedback from the workshop below too.

So aside from a few surprises, the Birth & Baby Fair was an overwhelming success.  Stay tuned for more information on where you can purchase Little City Kitchen Co. baby food in January.

First Taste Face

The results are in for our First Taste Face” contest. We had eight adorable finalists that competed, and what an exciting race it was!   I felt like it was the Kentucky Derby…Jade had a strong start in the beginning, and then out of nowhere comes Samantha Love.  In the end, the votes were so close (both had nearly 60 votes), I decided to make them co-winners!  So congratulations Jade Koch and Samantha Love Abellana.  Check out these cuties!

Jade, 8.5 months

Samantha Love, 8 mos.

First Taste Face Finalists…Vote here!

Congratulations to the eight finalist of the First Taste Face contest held by Little City Kitchen Co. at the Birth & Baby Fair.  We captured the best faces as these little ones tasted our baby food for the first time….what a bunch of cuties!!

Here’s how it works:

To vote for your favorite face, either leave a comment below, or visit our Facebook page and leave a comment there.  Friends & family are also eligible to vote, so feel free to forward to them.

The winner receives their choice of:
Complimentary cooking class of their choice
A two-week supply of frozen baby food

The winning face will be announced this Friday, December 10th, so don’t wait to vote!

I’ve done my best to match the correct baby info to the pictures, so if there are any mistakes, just let me know and I can fix ASAP.

Vote now…winner will be announced this Friday!

And our finalists are…

(Click on each picture for a larger image!)

Star, 7 months

Kai, 8.5 months

Nicholas, 8.5 mos.

Jade, 8.5 months

Samantha Love, 8 mos.

Delilah, 9 mos.

Sean, 7 months

Devon, 9 months

Tales from the Birth & Baby Fair – Part 1

The Birth & Baby Fair has come and gone.  It was a whirlwind of a show, exciting from beginning to end.  There’s so much to say about the event, so much in fact, that I’ve decided to break it down into two separate posts.

First, a big shout out to all my new friends from the fair.  There were over 100 people that signed up to stay in touch with Little City Kitchen Co (and with no raffle prize to bribe them either!).  I enjoyed meeting all you guys at the booth and/or during the cooking demonstration.

Behind the scenes

For those of you that are new to the LCKC blog, welcome and let me tell you a little about it.  The blog started as my way of sharing the ups and downs of starting this company.  It’s brutally honest – if I have a bad week, I write about it.  If I have an exhilarating week, I write about it too, usually at 2:30 in the morning when I can’t sleep.  I always welcome your thoughts, so feel free to leave a comment on any of the blog posts.

Okay, back to the show…

Where do I even begin??  Car was loaded (sans the food) the night before…with not an inch to spare by the way.  Alarm went off Sunday morning at 6am and I got up without even hitting snooze once!  Totally excited.  Booth setup went smoothly.  I had a huge surge in pride as I unrolled the Little City Kitchen Co. tablecloth for the first time…  That’s it on the right – doesn’t it look great?

As you read in my last blog, the Big Debut, I had some questions about how much food to bring for samples…among many other concerns!  Turned out I made plenty of food <insert sigh of relief here>.  We started with the three most popular dishes: Cuban black beans, coconut brown rice and sweet potatoes, and Jewish potato latkes.  They looked every bit as beautiful as I had hoped!  Little baby hors d’oeuvres on a platter.

Doors opened at 10:00, and within 15 minutes we were nearly 3 deep at the booth.  There was huge excitement over the samples, especially the International flavors.  Throughout the show, the parent fav was the coconut brown rice, but the kiddos loved the Cuban black beans the best.  It took a little coaxing for some parents to try (gasp) baby food, but once they did, their eyes lit up, and they were sold.

Click here to view out all the pictures from the show, and hey while you’re there, you can select “Like” on our Facebook page to stay in touch too.

We had some great entries for the First Taste Face contest.  What a bunch of cuties.  Putting a few finishing touches on the pictures and will be publishing those soon.  Winner gets their choice of a complimentary cooking class or a two-week supply of baby food, so get your voting fingers ready!

The only unexpected twist at the show came around 1:30pm and had to do with my workshop scheduled for 3pm…  But you have to wait until Part 2 next week to read about that!

A special shout out to my two dear friends that helped me at the show: Lenard Dobrowolski and Kirsten Zazo.  There’s no way I could have done it without you both – I love ya!

Stay tuned next week for Part 2.

Welcome Birth & Baby Fair Friends!

Hello new friends!  Thanks for stopping by the Little City Kitchen Co. booth at the Birth & Baby Fair.  As you know, we’re launching a frozen organic baby food line in late January, and we teach hands-on baby food cooking classes out of our commercial kitchen in Emeryville.

The B&B Fair was a big success for us…  It was the first time I shared some of the new baby food flavors with such a large audience, and let me tell you, people went crazy for them!  The fav among the parents was the coconut brown rice and sweet potato, but the kiddos loved the Cuban black beans with plantains and mango.  All in all, a great day!

Cooking Classes:

We have two upcoming baby food cooking classes scheduled in December. Hurry if you’re interested, space is filling up quickly!  Special class price of $55 for anyone who attended the Birth & Baby Fair.

Apples to Beets: Organic baby food for 6+ months:
Sunday, Dec 5, 12:30pm – 2:30pm

International Baby: Organic baby food for 9+ months:
Wednesday, Dec 8, at 7pm – 9pm

***** To register, please email me and I will confirm your spot  *****

A Peek Behind the Scenes

I write a weekly blog about running Little City Kitchen Co.  It’s sort of a behind the scenes look at the starting this company; the good, the bad, and the ugly…brutal honesty as you’ll see.

Here are some of my favorites: LCKC is Born talks about how I came to start the company, A Surprising New Direction tells you about the week I decided to focus exclusively on baby food, and A Fish Out of Water is one of my most honest blogs where I talk about my first really crappy and discouraging week.

Feel free to add any comments to the blogs.  They usually come out Friday mornings.  Hope you enjoy the inside scoop…I have a lot of fun writing about all my adventures.

Give the Gift of Cooking (A Great Holiday Idea!)

Interested in a “not-so-subtle way” of telling your significant other what you want for the holidays? Sign THEM up to receive information from me about gift certificates and packages offered at Little City Kitchen Co.  Just click here to fill in their email address, and they’ll get an email from me in early December with the details.

Here’s a look at our gift baskets that include: a gift certificate for a cooking class of your choice, a black LCKC embroidered apron, & some other fun baby items.  Cost is only $75, plus $7.95 shipping.

Note – We never share contact information without your permission.  If you fill out their information, I will only send them emails pertaining to holiday gift ideas – promise!

Again, welcome to Little City Kitchen Co, and I look forward to getting to know many of you.  The baby food should be available for sale beginning in late January at select farmers markets, so stay tuned for more information on where and when.

To stay in touch, check our our website, or select the “Like” button on our Facebook page.  And have a Happy Holidays!

The Big Debut…

It’s here folks…Little City Kitchen Co’s big debut at the Birth & Baby Fair this Sunday.  This week has been filled with the last minute cooking and tons of prep-work leading up to the show.  Ever since Little City Kitchen Co. was born, I’ve been sharing my ups and downs with you guys each week.  Told you all this was going to be the most honest blog you’ve read, and this week is certainly no different.

The return of the “what if”…

Most of you know how excited I’ve been about exhibiting at this show.  I’ve been up late brainstorming ideas, designing recipe cards, making holiday gift baskets, among other things.  I had a very interesting (and somewhat unexpected thing) happen to me this week: all my fears about starting this company came rushing back at once, and I had a moment of sheer panic!

This happened after I started researching other baby food vendors exhibiting at this show.  These guys are well-established, global, successful brands…  And here I am, feeling like a rookie just getting started.  What if my workshop is a flop?  What if nobody buys a single gift certificate?  What if, what if, etc…

But then I realized something; my baby food is completely different then theirs!  I like the fact that I’m starting small.  I like the fact that my food has an International spin.  And I think most parents will love the fact that my baby food was made only a few days ago…exactly like they’d make it if they had the time.  So once I realized that I’m supposed to be different, the confidence started to come back.

I try to lead a pretty positive life, but so often those pesky “what if” voices in our heads tend to be negative (I’m sure you guys can relate).  I have a particularly inspiring friend, so instead I chose to hear her voice in my head saying; “But Jill, what if you’re a raving success?” That thought feels SO much better!

Samples, samples, samples…

After I got over myself, I turned my focus back to planning for the show.  Even though I’m not selling baby food on Sunday, I’m still handing out samples to generate some excitement leading up to my launch at farmers markets.

In classic “Jill-fashion”, I tried to figure out how many total samples I wanted, and then break it down by how many of each flavor so I knew how much of each recipe to make…and about 30 minutes later I was pulling my hair out!  In this situation, my sister Wendy would look at me and say “take a chill pill.”  So I did.  I decided to cook as much as possible, bring what I have, and hand food out until I run out.

First Taste Face

I’ve decided to do a contest during the show…calling it the “First Taste Face.” We’ll snap a picture of the little ones trying the baby food for the first time and capture their initial reaction.  I’ll be posting pictures of the finalists on the blog so stay tuned for those..

I’m taking some time off for Thanksgiving, so no blog next week.  A wrap up of the Birth & Baby Fair will be coming out Friday, December 3, so happy Thanksgiving until then!!

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back…

I’m starting to see a pattern emerge…  My weeks can be broken down into one of two categories: 1) two steps forward, one step back, or 2) one step forward, two steps back. As you can imagine, it’s a little hard to make significant progress if you combine the two!  Luckily I seem to have more of the former weeks than the latter.

This week was filled with somewhat un-fun details like more research on permits, entity forming, and writing a whole lota checks.  That being said…I’m feeling like I got a lot accomplished which keeps me motivated.

Permit me…to Vent

Ok folks, let’s talk about this permit thing…  When I first started Little City Kitchen Co., my plan was to do some small event catering and personal cheffing.  As most of you know, that changed pretty quickly when I realized I didn’t really love either of those things (and the whole reason I left the corporate world was to pursue something I love).  Had I stuck with either of those, getting my business permits would have been a fairly easy process because I’d be providing a “service”.  You pay a couple of fees, and bam you’re in business.

Everything changed the moment I decided to make baby food.  Of course, I didn’t know this at the time, which is probably not a bad thing because it would have been even more daunting.  Once you decide to “manufacture a product” it’s a whole new ballgame.  I’ve spent the last several months speaking with the state health inspectors, the county health department, and everyone in between trying to navigate the permit process so that I may sell at farmers markets…and let me tell you folks, it aint easy.

I wish I could say that I finally had answers, but alas I still do not.  My target launch date at farmers markets was January 2011.  I’m still hoping to make that happen, but it largely depends on how a few things fall into place.   It’s in my nature to follow the rules anyway…and since there’s a heightened sensitivity around anything “baby”, I’m being extra-careful to do things the right way.  Which means the farmers market waits.  Which kinda sucks.

Baby Taster Corner

Ask and you shall receive!  Many of you have been asking for some pictures of the baby tasters enjoying the Little City Kitchen Co. baby food.  Here you go!

Here’s a gorgeous picture of Eve with her baby blue eyes.  Mom, Chandra Alexandre, fed her the sweet potatoes and roasted parsnips which she was really digging.

Meet Rex, who as you can tell loves his pickles.  When he’s not chomping those, mom, Jody Kohner, feeds him the Thai curry root vegetables with millet.  Looks like I need to create a recipe around pickles.  Any ideas Rex?

These pics were so cute that I had to include a “before” and “after”.  In the first shot, Parker is eagerly opening up for his favorite dish, the Cuban black beans with plantains, mango & coconut.  Mom, Connelly Murphy, is going to have her hands full with clean up!

The Birth & Baby Fair is only 1 week away, so next week’s blog will have all the final details.  Happy Friday Everyone!

Pounding the Pavement…

There’s a phrase in the sales & marketing world that I heard and used repeatedly in my past professional life: “pounding the pavement.” You can do all the research and planning in the world, but often you need to get out from behind the desk and just start talking to people.  In the hotel world, we call this a “blitz”.  I decided to take my own advice and hit the streets to talk about Little City Kitchen Co. this week.

Step 1: Strategize and Prepare.  I decided that I was going to focus on promoting the upcoming baby food cooking classes, so I designed flyers and postcards that were easy to leave in stores.  Got my crafty on.  I put together a little “blitz” bag with pushpins for corkboards, tape, business cards, etc…  Proper materials – check.

Step 2:  Legwork.  Instead of just showing up at stores unannounced, I’ve always found it more effective to call in advance and at least get the name of who you should see.  So I did my Google searches of baby stores in 2 different towns, got 6-8 store names and started calling.

It surprised me that I was a tad bit nervous for the first phone call.  Ironic since I used to train sales managers on doing exactly that!  But, I scripted out my 10 second schpiel and gave myself pep talk that included the words “get over it, Jill”.   Mission accomplished, and contact information received.

Step 3: Start Pounding. The first few stores were a little rocky.  One (who shall remain nameless) wouldn’t even stop what she was doing to acknowledge my existence.  But, I kept going and the visits got immediately better.  One store in particular, Monkey Bars in Alameda, was adorable and carried some of the coolest, eco-friendly kids items I’ve seen.  The shop owner & I brainstormed some really fun and creative opportunities that I hope to be able to share with you soon.

Step 4: Follow Up.  Emails, thank you cards, ongoing dialogue…this is probably the most important step and the one most commonly overlooked.  So that’s what I’m doing now.

Why Baby Food?

Let me tell you, I do get some funny looks when people realize that I’m not a mommie.  They ask me why I’ve chosen to launch a baby food company when I don’t have kids of my own yet.  The best answer I’ve come up with is that I love food, I love kids, and I love the idea of growing healthy eaters. It’s kinda that simple for me.

Tis the Season…Really?

Everyone’s looking for the great holiday gift ideas (let’s face it, the dudes always need a little help in this department), so I thought I’d make it a little easier this year.  If you’re interested taking any of our cooking classes, sign THEM up to receive an email from me about gift certificates and packages offered at Little City Kitchen Co.  Just click here to fill in their email address, and they’ll get an email from me in early December with the details.

Easy Holiday Appetizers

I’ve decided to add one final “adult” cooking class of the year at a special price of $55.  Join me on Sunday, November 14th at 3:30pm for a cooking class on making Easy Holiday Appetizers.  Email me if you are interested in attending.

That’s it for this week.  Happy Cooking until next week!

Raindrops on Roses…

We’re going to take a break from my normal baby-food inspired blog and do something a little different this week.  I was watching TV and saw a preview for Oprah’s program for the 45th Anniversary of The Sound of Music.  I immediately started singing in my head “raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens,” so today I thought I share with you a “few of my favorite things.”  My favorite kitchen things, that is…

1)    Microplane – my all time favorite cooking gadget.  I use it several times a day.  It’s what is called a rasp-style grater.  Perfect for taking the zest off any citrus, but also wonderful for shaving paper-thin Parmesan cheese over spaghetti, whole nutmeg & cinnamon in oatmeal, or dark chocolate shavings over whip cream.  Cost is around $15.00, and you can buy it most any kitchen store.

2)    Hand-held citrus squeezer – I cook a lot with citrus.  Fresh lemon juice goes in my homemade hummus and plenty of lime juice goes in my Thai curries.  This gadget is easy: you cut the lemon in half, put it cut-side down facing the holes, and squeeze.  Tons of juice comes out and the seeds stay in the holder.  Note – most people make the mistake of putting the lemon in cut-side up to mirror the shape of the gadget, but you’ll find cut-side down yields even more juice.  Cost is around $13.00, but you can sometimes find these at Ross or TJMaxx for $7.00.

3)    Tramontina Tri-Ply Cookware – I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t an All-Clad girl, because I am, through and through.  However, thanks to a Cook’s Illustrated recommendation, I found a fantastic alternative to All-Clad that costs ¼ of the price.  Tramontina is a common value brand in stores, so look specifically for their “Tri-Ply” line.  It has an identical composition to All-Clad: stainless steel on the cooking surface, aluminum core (for heat conduction), and magnetized stainless steel on the outside.

This is the cookware I use in the commercial kitchen to make the baby food and it’s fantastic. There’s one catch.  It’s only (and I mean only) available at Wal-Mart.  There are two sets: an 8 piece for $149 and a 10 piece for $249.  Comparable All-Clad would be $800+ for the same pieces.

I could go on an on (because I have many more favorite kitchen gadgets), but these are my top three to start.  What are your favorite cooking items? Feel free to leave a comment on this blog, or visit the Little City Kitchen Co. Facebook page.

I know many of you have been asking about the Fall/Winter cooking class schedule, so here it is.  I have mostly Baby Food classes scheduled for the rest of this year since the Birth & Baby Fair is around the corner.  Shout out to my new subscribers that found me through the B&B Fair workshops.  I hope you’ll be able to join me for the hands-on cooking class at 3pm at the show.

And for all you adults, I did schedule a Holiday Appetizer class on Sunday, November 14th for those who are interested, and there more set for January as you’ll see.  Happy Cooking!

Sleep is Overrated…Right?

Sleep is overrated.  At least that’s what I keep telling myself after another few 2:30am nights.  Another roller coaster of a week filled with creative energy and more midnight brainstorming.

As you read about last week, I’m thrilled to have been selected to host a hands-on cooking class at the Birth & Baby Fair at Fort Mason on November 21st.  Instead of the two workshops I agreed to hold originally, I’ve decided to only do one.    With 1500-2000 attendees expected, I want to make sure I have ample time to interact (read: impress) all the people who come by the booth.

Which got me thinking…  What’s the best way to showcase my baby food at this venue?  The wheels in my head started turning that night and didn’t stop well until after 2:30am.

Came up with some really cool ideas (hint: think baby hors d’oeuvres on a platter, complete with a little spoon and a garnish).  Add to the mix a great brainstorming session with a friend – thanks Alex! – where I decided to create a Baby Food of the Month Club” among other things to sell at the show .  Black tradeshow tablecloth with my logo is on its way, my embroidered aprons arrived, things are moving right along…

Coming soon to a market near you

When can we buy the baby food?  That’s a common question for me these days.  I’ve decided to launch two baby food lines (one seasonal and one International) at farmers markets in January 2011.   Originally I was going to start off at the local Emeryville farmers market located ½ mile from my kitchen.  You know…start small, work out all the kinks, move up to a larger market after that…those who know me know that’s kinda my M.O.

And then I realized – that’s stupid!!  If someone asked me for advice in this situation, I’d tell them to find the best damn farmers market they could get into and just learn fast.  So that’s what I’ve decided to do.  I’m not really a “throw caution to the wind” sorta gal, but I think in this case I’d be foolish not to aim as high as I can.

So I’m “shopping” for the best farmers markets now…and if you’re in the Bay area, I’m open to your ideas.  Which farmers market do you think is the best one for me??

The Baby Taster Corner

I cannot believe that this is my fourth and final week of the Baby Taster meetings!  The Jewish-inspired potato latkes and the Cuban black beans with plantains were winners last week.  Score!  (I must confess, the black bean dish with some sour cream and lime in a tortilla was my dinner for two nights in a row).

These guys were such troopers…they took an hour every week to meet as a group and to discuss everything from my recipes, consistency, packaging, pricing, you name it.  I will forever be grateful for the time and support they have given me.   Thanks guys!

Next week: health permits and lots of marketing.  And definitely some sleep.

Hello Birth & Baby Fair…

It’s been such a crazy couple of weeks.  So busy in fact, that I even missed sending out last Friday’s blog.  Well, I assure you, I’ve been as busy as can be and have some exciting news to share..

I’m going to be hosting two hands-on cooking demos at the San Francisco Birth & Baby Fair on Sunday, November 21st.  This is one of the largest “baby” events in the city and draws nearly 2000 attendees.  This is a great event for any new or expectant parents out there, so help spread the word…about the event and my workshops.  The demo area is in the middle of the floor, so we’ll be the group proudly sporting the Little City Kitchen Co. black aprons.

I’ll be exhibiting there as well.  Hey, it looks like all those tradeshows I attended with Hilton are finally going to pay off!!  Those who know me well know that I am super-picky about my tabletops (my former hotel peeps may say borderline obsessive), so you better believe I’m going to have the coolest and most fun booth in the whole show.

Hello Home Office

I’ve been inspired to create an actual home office for myself (versus what I’ve come to call the “living room chair” office that I’ve been working with for four months now).  Why the sudden change you ask?  Well, that leads me to my second exciting piece of news…

My life coach and very dear friend, Alexis Robin of Nourish Life & Business Coaching, has been selected as 1 of only 10 life coaches to be featured in O Magazine! (Yup, that’s Oprah’s magazine).  IKEA and O Magazine are doing a joint project focused on improving your life by improving your living space.  Alexis will be speaking all about it at IKEA in Emeryville, CA on Sunday, November 7th from 2-3pm – come join if you can.

Alexis’s excitement for this project has spilled over and inspired me to (finally) create my own home office.  It’s taken a few trips to Office Depot and IKEA, but it’s looking good so far.  And honestly, I’m so much more motivated to work now that I’m surrounded by a nice space.  I guess that’s the point.

The Baby Taster Corner

The Baby Taster meetings have been everything I’ve hoped for; wonderful moms and kids giving very honest feedback!  The overwhelming favorite so far: Roasted sweet potatoes with coconut brown rice. I also made a Cuban-inspired black beans with roasted plantain, mango and cumin which seems to be a hit too.   Just finished a green pea and celery root puree for next week that was so yummy, I wish it were my dinner.  But alas, it’s not about me, I know…

I was watching my fav Cooking Channel show Foodcrafters yesterday and was reminded of a famous bakery quote which made me laugh:  In order to learn how to bake bread, you have to bake bread.

Well, that’s what I’m doing I guess…learning how to make killer baby food by making a BUNCH of baby food. I’m getting a much better handle on food quantity though, which is making the cooking much easier.   For instance, I now know that 2 lbs of dried red lentils = 6 baby cube trays + dinner for Jill.  I also know that even a pinch of cayenne pepper for 6 quarts of red lentils is too much spice!  Which means I’m eating a lot of lentils for dinner.

Errands and computer work by day, cooking by night.  What a crazy life?!?!