Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tip of the Day June 23

The Peanut Butter Bread we made a few months back has been calling my name. The entire family loves peanut butter so this was a big hit. The recipe is simple and there are only 5 ingredients so you are likely to have everything on hand. I would love to hear if anyone else tried it and see what they think.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Breakfast Burritos

We had breakfast for dinner so we could include Audrey's daddy. Because I had not planned this I had to go with the ingredients on hand which were eggs, tortillas, meat, and cheese. You guessed it, we had breakfast burritos (thanks Larissa!) They were a huge hit. I only wish I had more eggs on hand at the time because then I could have made a few extras to freeze. Next time.

  • tortillas
  • cheese, shredded
  • eggs
  • milk
  • meat
  • cottage cheese
Beat the eggs with a little milk and scramble in a skillet until done. Lay the tortillas on a baking sheet and place a few tablespoons of egg on each tortilla. top with meat, cheese, and cottage cheese. Roll up and bake in a 350°F oven until warm, about 15 minutes.

Audrey's Tasks:
  1. Crack eggs
  2. Stir in milk
  3. Add cheese and meat to burritos
Mom's Tasks:
  1. Gather ingredients
  2. Cook eggs and place on tortillas
  3. Add cottage cheese
  4. Place in oven
I had to do a few more steps than usual but Audrey did not seem to mind. She talked to me the entire time the eggs were cooking instead of wandering off like she usually does.

Playing with the ingredients.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Hawaiian Breakfast Pizzas

Big helper.
We have had a lot of fun with breakfasts this month. Once I broke my mind free of the idea that breakfast meals contain eggs or cereal I was able to come up with a lot of great foods for us to enjoy. Like breakfast pizzas, Hawaiian ones.
  • Bagels, English muffins, or rolls
  • Canadian bacon or ham
  • pineapple, chunks or rings
  • cheese, shredded
Place choice of bread on a baking sheet and add meat and cheese. Broil for 3 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Audrey's Tasks:
  1. Help shred cheese
  2. Place ingredients on bagel
Mom's Tasks:
  1. Gather ingredients
  2. Help shred cheese
  3. Place pizzas in oven
Audrey has reached a real, "I can do it myself," stage so I have had to find ways to make it so. These fit the bill. We ate them in the car as we drove to the Farmers Market. Audrey was kind enough to give her sister a little of the bagel after she ate her toppings off.  It was a great on the go meal.

Muffin Tin Monday June 21

Finally we are back! It has been a little while since we participated and we have missed it. I got adventurous today and made a meal for the baby as well. She is really doing well with finger food so I thought it fun to include her. It did not exactly work out as she did not know to look in each tin for food. I ended up having to dig a few favorite items out for her. Here are the meals:

Here are the girls eating (Audrey is wet from playing in the rain so she took her clothing off):

Tip of the Day June 20

Monkey Bread is a fun way to include your toddler in cooking a fun meal that all will enjoy. Audrey loves this breakfast and asks for it often. It might be because of the name as she is fascinated with monkeys. When my friend George came to visit she asked if the Man in the Yellow Hat was coming as well.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Tip of the Day June 19

Apples are a fruit we almost always keep in the house which makes it easy to whip up some Apple Oven Pancakes.We first made this for my family on a visit to our house and they loved it. I was happy to show how much Audrey likes to cook and it was nice that they appreciated the meal. We have not made this in a while but I believe it is time. Now I just need apples as they were used up yesterday in the Apple Oat Bars!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Apple Oat Bars

We are on the lookout for a really good fruit bar recipe. Along the lines of a granola bar but with a little fruit. Something that would pack well in a lunch box for Audrey to take with her when she goes to the park. We tried one out today and like it but it in not THE one. It is a little too crumbly and the apples overwhelm the oat bar portion. We found this recipe in our new Chop Chop Magazine.

Apple-icious Oat Bars
  • 3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup lightly toasted almonds or pecans
  • 1/2 cup light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch baking powder
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • 4 Granny Smith apples, washed, unpeeled and diced
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries or raisins
  • 2 tbsp honey, maple syrup, or light-brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
Turn the oven to 350°F. Put the oats, flours, nuts, sugar, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder in a small bowl and mix well. Add the butter and oil and mix again, until the topping is crumbly. Put half the mix down in an 8 x 8 baking dish. Put the apples, cranberries, honey, and flour in a small bowl and mix well. Pour the apple mixture on top of the crust in the baking pan. Using the back of a spatula, press the mixture down until the top is flat and even. Top the apple mixture with the topping left from the bowl and pat it down. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the crust is slightly brown and the apples are soft. Pat the mixture down again. Let cool and cut into squares.

Audrey's Tasks:
  1. Cut apples
  2. Add ingredients
  3. Mix and add to pan
Mom's Tasks:
  1. Gather ingredients
  2. Help with apple cutting (they were firm)
  3. Put bars into oven
The taste is really good, like a light apple crisp but it does not hold together. We will keep trying recipes until we find a good one. It may be that we end up making a type of muffin instead. And yes, Audrey has been cooking naked recently. She has a pull-up on just no top. I believe I have mentioned it is hot in Kansas.

The real naked chef.

Canned Jam

I never claimed Audrey and I were good cooks. Or that we had a lot of experience in the kitchen. However, we are always up for new ideas. This time we decided to do something with the very inexpensive berries at the local store. 

We were supposed to go berry picking but that is a different story. Maybe next year. Instead we just invited friends over to make berry preserves. Once the mothers and I read the recipe we decided on a spread approach that uses less sugar. 

All in all it was fun. We all cut berries and then canned them. This spread is good for those wonderful butterfly toasts Audrey likes in the morning. I think I am going to mix a little with some softened cream cheese and make a spread for bagels. This post does not include a recipe because I doubt everyone will run out to purchase canning supplies. That said, I recommend looking in the canning section for something called freezer jam pectin. Then you too can have your own homemade jam on your butterfly toast.

Hard at work.

Tip of the Day June 16

Bread is a favorite chez Audrey. That is why we tried Green Tea Bread. Everyone loves it and we rarely have leftovers. If it looks like a loaf will not be consumed I throw it in the freezer for another time when we want fresh bread. This recipe is a two parter because you soak the fruit overnight but it is worth it. Experiment with your favorite tea just  make sure it is caffeine-free. 

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Mini Banana Muffins

Learning to stir.
Another use for those frozen bananas, Mini Banana Muffins. I found this recipe in The Toddler Cookbook. I have known such a book existed for a little while now I was just not convinced we needed a copy. I still am not. Don't get me wrong, it is a good book. It is full of pictures and ideas, however, I think we are past this now. Audrey and I have learned to adapt most any recipe from any book. If you are new at cooking with your little one this could be a great book for you. I may share it with my mommy group to get everyone cooking!

Mini Banana Muffins
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large, ripe banana
  • 1/4 cup sunflower or vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
Line muffin pans or spray with oil and heat oven to 350°F. Mix egg, sugar and vanilla and whisk. Mash the banana and add to egg mixture. Sift in the rest of the ingredients and stir until just combined. Fill the muffin cups 2/3 full and bake for 12-14 minutes.

Audrey's Tasks:
  1. Crack egg
  2. Mash banana (she asked for help)
  3. Add ingredients
  4. Mix
Mom's Tasks:
  1. Gather ingredients
  2. Help mash banana and mix
  3. Put tin in oven
We need to find something fun to do as Audrey has mastered cracking the egg and mixing. She is getting bored. She pulled out her knife today and wanted to help. I think we will need to graduate to different tasks. Any ideas for breakfast meals that need to be chopped?

Tip of the Day June 14

Eggs in a Basket is another family favorite chez Audrey. Her father likes to make it with her so it has become very special. This recipe is from a set of healthy cooking cards we got very early in our cook adventures and I love them. Please check it out.

Wordless Wednesday June 16

Monday, June 14, 2010

Oat Bars

Cracking the egg.
Homemade oat bars are so good sometimes you have to hide them. At least that is what Audrey found out when her friend George came to visit. We are still working on this recipe as it is a little crumbly. I think we might add peanut butter. Or maybe use less butter. George recommended molasses instead of honey. Next time!

Oat Bars
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
Stir butter, sugar, and honey in pan over medium heat. Take pan off heat and stir in oats, egg, and salt. Tip mixture into 9 x 13 pan and press firmly. Bake for 20 - 30 minutes at 350°F. Let cool slightly, cut and let cool completely.

Audrey's Tasks:
  1. Crack egg
  2. Add ingredients to pan
  3. Stir (she still does not have patience for much of this)
  4. Press mixture into pan
Mom's Tasks:
  1. Gather ingredients
  2. Heat items over stove
  3. Place bars in oven
We combined two recipes as the first one we made did not stay together. We are still working on this one and welcome feedback. Do you have a loved oat bar recipe you would like to share? We would love to have it.Oh yeah, what this one as it burns easily. Set the timer for 20 minutes and check to see if it is done. Cook for 5 more minutes and check again.

Fruit Parfait

Adding the fruit.
Audrey made a parfait. With fresh fruit, yummy granola, and crock pot yogurt. She loves all of these items so I thought it would be fun to have a healthy breakfast made with them. There is not much of a recipe, just add the ingredients you have in the amounts you like. And if you have a little sister I would suggest you make one for her as well. Audrey had to.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Tip of the Day June 11

Pink Pancakes are a big hit with Audrey. Anything pink gets a taste at least. We found this in our Deceptively Delicious Cookbook and have made several batches. We eat what we want the first morning and freeze the rest for those mornings when Audrey demands pink food. That actually happens. Frequently.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Tip of the Day June 10

Custardy Popovers are so much fun to make and so much fun to eat. Audrey and I ate the the entire pan the first time we made them. Ok, maybe I ate most of the pan with Audrey's father finishing off the buttery creations. The only trouble I have had is venting them quick enough to allow the steam to escape. I hope you have as much fun making these as we do.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Tip of The Day June 9

Who likes grapes? Audrey certainly does. With this wonderful recipe from Everyday With Rachel Ray she can have a wonderful breakfast meal with grapes. Tiny Grape Upside-Down Cakes have been a huge hit every time we make them. We try to keep grapes around for when we want them. And everyone knows how much Audrey likes to use her muffin tins.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Wordless Wednesdays June 9

Banana Split Breakfast

Working on her chopping skills.
Another ice cream themed breakfast (it's hot in Kansas, folks!) this morning. Audrey made a "Banana Split." I got the idea from a new magazine we received in the mail called Chop Chop which is for cooking with your children. We got an annual subscription for $9 and are pretty excited at the first issue.
  • 1 banana
  • fruit for toppings, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • nuts, chopped
Cut your banana in half length-wise or chop into bite-sized pieces and place in a bowl. Put yogurt on top. Place fruit on top and sprinkle with nuts.

Audrey's Tasks:
  1. Chop banana and fruit
  2. Place in bowl
  3. Put yogurt on top
  4. Sprinkle nuts
Mom's Tasks:
  1. Gather ingredients
I had nothing to do. She made this herself. She did insist that we use the rest of her ice cream from yesterday instead of yogurt. Two-year-olds can be demanding. I am just happy she is eating. Breakfast is the most important meal.
Yummy breakfast!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Chocolate Banana Breakfast Ice Cream

This is Audrey saying cheese, only she says, "Gouda!" It's a family joke. 
Ok, who wants ice cream for breakfast? Audrey does. She LOVED making this meal and asked me to put the leftovers (makes enough for two) in the freezer for another time. I got the recipe from The Sneaky Chef and before you say anything I want to ask a few questions. How many of you have added something to a smoothie to make it healthier? How many of you have put fruit on your cereal to make it a more complete meal? How many of you have eaten frozen yogurt instead of ice cream to reduce your fat intake? All of these are ways to make what you are eating healthier. That is what the same as adding spinach to a cake to add nutrients. Audrey cooks, she sees what we add. Enough soap box.

Chocolate Banana Breakfast Ice Cream
  • 1 frozen banana, cut in pieces (about 1 cup)
  • 2 tbsp plain yogurt
  • 1 tbsp honey or sugar
  • 1/2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
Put all ingredients in food processor and puree on high - hold on tight, the first few seconds are a bit rough until the mixture smooths out.

Audrey's Tasks:
  1. Place ingredients in food processor
  2. Puree
Mom's Tasks:
  1. Gather ingredients
  2. Place in cup
Nothing to this and she loved it. Notice the use of the frozen banana. We have several of these. Now we have one less. 

Eating her breakfast ice cream.

Tip of the Day June 6

Breakfast Pudding is a great combination of yumminess in a baking dish. Audrey loved tearing the bread and selecting the ingredients to go in her dish. It is a wonderful way to use up leftover meats and vegetables in a warm, cheesy way. And who doesn't like cheese? On a side note: Audrey did not get a chance to consume this meal as we had something planned for that morning and when we returned her father had eaten it. This is a good sign as he is almost more picky than she.

Tip of the Day June 5

How can you go wrong with French Toast? It is a staple in Audrey's family because her Papa Jim makes it for every family gathering. We tried a healthy spin on the classic and really enjoyed it. We used one of those bananas that live in the freezer because I just could not stand to throw it away. Many of our breakfasts have called for those bananas recently. If you live in the Lawrence area I recommend stocking up at Checkers on Tuesday so you can make these wonderful breakfasts.

Fluffy Eggs, for Jamie Oliver

In response to Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution Audrey made a scramble. We went to the farmer's market to purchase fresh, local eggs; picked up some milk from the local dairy; and made some butter with local cream. With these items Audrey was able to make her favorite breakfast food: Fluffy Eggs!
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • butter for pan
Heat skillet over medium heat, add butter. In a medium bowl add eggs and milk and whisk until combined. Pour egg mixture into pan and cook until starting to set. If you would like this to be an omelet, continue to cook without stirring. For scrambled eggs stir a few times until cooked through and opaque. Serve with your favorite toppings and toast on the side. See the original post for Audrey's beautiful toast.

Audrey's Tasks:
  1. Crack eggs
  2. Whisk!
  3. Add eggs to pan
Mom's Tasks:
  1. Gather ingredients
  2. Cook eggs
Always a winner chez Audrey.

Muffin Tin Monday June 7

Audrey had a friend over for lunch so I made muffin tin meals for them
both. They had strawberries, blackberries, cheese, edemame, goldfish
(chocolate & cheese), and yogurt.

Unable to Post

Blogger is down and I am unable to post at this time. As soon as the
backend comes online I should have some wonderful posts for the last few
days. Thank you for your patience!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Baked Ham & Eggs

Baked Ham & Eggs is a great make-ahead dish. You make it up the night before and cook in the morning. It does have a long bake time so it is better for the weekend.
  • 2 tbsp butter plus more for the pan
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped broccoli
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • loaf sliced bread
  • 2 cups cooked ham, cut in 1/2 inch cubes
  • 3 cups grated cheddar cheese
Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, broccoli, and mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and put the mixture in a prep bowl. Mix in the cubed ham. Whisk the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper together until blended. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9 x 13 pan with butter. Place a layer of bread slices in the pan. Cover the bread with half the vegetable and ham mixture. Sprinkle 1 cup of cheese evenly over the top. Repeat and then top with another layer of bread. Pour the egg mixture evenly over everything. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate it overnight. In the morning, preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove the plastic wrap from the pan and sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of cheese over the top of the bread. Bake for 1 hour, or until the mixture is bubbling and the top is golden brown.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

S'more Hot Cereal

Making it just right.
S'more Hot Cereal is a great winter morning treat. We like to mix up the hot cereal options and the toppings. Use the hot cereal your family likes and change the toppings to suit what you have in the house. I always like to make sure to put a few pieces of chocolate in there the make it seem decadent.
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tbsp dry hot wheat cereal
  • 2 tbsp mini marshmallows
  • 2 tbsp semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup Golden Grahams cereal
Add milk, water, and cereal to a small microwavable bowl. Follow the directions to cook the cereal in the microwave. As soon as the cereal is done add the marshmallows, chocolate chips, and Golden Grahams cereal on top.

Audrey's Tasks:
  1. Measure ingredients for hot cereal
  2. Add to bowl
  3. Place toppings on top
Mom's Tasks:
  1. Gather ingredients
  2. Microwave cereal

This is fun to mix up the toppings. Audrey loves marshmallows right now so I make sure to add a few of those. We also like to keep a few nuts and some dried fruit to add for healthy ingredients.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Wordless Wednesdays June 2

Sunny Side-Up Waffles

Such a cute meal!
Another month and another type of meal. We will show fun breakfasts this month as I am finishing up school this summer and have classes in the middle of the day. Lunches will be easy and dinners are stocked up in the freezer (thanks to my mommies group!) On our vacation we found a few cookbooks at the local library with some fun breakfast ideas. Here is the first one:

Sunny-Side Up Waffles
  • 4 waffles (we used frozen this time but you could make them)
  • 12-oz vanilla yogurt (thick is better and we used plain and added vanilla)
  • 4 canned apricot halves (or peach but I could not find halves, only sliced)
Cook the waffles, place on plates, and spoon a 1/4 of the yogurt on each one. Smooth the yogurt around until it covers almost the entire waffle. Put one apricot half on each waffle on top of the yogurt. It then looks like a fried egg on your waffle.

Audrey's Tasks:
  1. Place waffle on plate
  2. Spoon yogurt on waffle
  3. Put apricot on yogurt
Mom's Tasks:
  1. Gather ingredients
  2. Assist as needed
This was fun. Audrey's sister ate the rest of the apricots for dinner.

Putting the yogurt on.