Friday, July 30, 2010

Don't forget to Enter! Curious Chef Giveaway!

Our Curious Chef Pizza Kit Giveaway is in full swing. We are having so much fun seeing new fans and making new friends. If you do not want to share with your friends for fear they will win, please remember to invite them to join us after the giveaway is over!


Sneaky Chef Granola Bars

Our search for a great granola bar recipe is over! We really like the one in The Sneaky Chef cookbook. Next time I will reduce the oil by 1 tbsp but other than that it is perfect. We added chocolate chips AND raisins to make it super good. I had two. So did Audrey. And that was just lunch.

Preheat oven to 300°F. Line a 9-inch square or 9 x 13 baking pan with aluminum foil and butter foil. In a medium bowl, combine oats, almonds, wheat germ, cereal, dry milk, cinnamon, salt. Mix in the canola oil, honey, vanilla extract, chocolate chips, and raisins. Mix well, then pour into the prepared pan. Press down with the palm of your hand (or spatula), evenly distributing the mixture into the corners of the dish and bake for 15 to 18 minutes. Check occasionally to prevent burning. Remove from oven and using the foil to help you, lift the giant bar out of the pan. Place on a flat surface and while still warm, cut into small bars. Store in an airtight container for a week or in the freezer.

Audrey's Tasks:
  1. Help measure and add ingredients
  2. Operate the food processor (I can do it myself, momma!)
  3. Mix
  4. Add mix to pan and press
Mom's Tasks:
  1. Gather ingredients
  2. Help measure and add ingredients
  3. Place in oven
I love that the oats are ground. It makes the bar much easier to eat than usual homemade recipes with whole oats. Audrey's little sister, Maurene loved this recipe as well. She is one. This is a great toddler recipe.

Food processor action

Baking naked again

Peanutty Apple Spread

Wow! Who knew we could find a new twist on the boring sandwich? Audrey and I made Peanutty Apple Italian Delight and it was great! I found the recipe in a book I picked up at the used bookstore last weekend (Dusty Bookshelf for you locals) along with several other sandwich and lunch ideas. Look for more! Oh, the book is called, The Junior Chef. Remember to enter Audrey's first giveaway, a Curious Chef Pizza Kit.
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Apple
  • Peanut butter
  • Cinnamon
  • Rice cakes

Mix ingredients in a medium bowl and spread on rice cakes. I had enough left over for 2 more cakes. I put some on bread for the baby and she loved it to!

Audrey's Tasks:
  1. Help grate apple
  2. Measure and add ingredients
  3. Mix
Mom's Tasks:
  1. Gather ingredients
  2. Help grate apple
  3. Help measure, add, and mix
  4. Spread on rice cakes
Yum! This recipe is not just for toddlers, I ate some as well. This is a lovely taste and very different from a regular PB&J.

Stirring like mad

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Her first days

I just found a video I created when I first started cooking with Audrey. She was helping me make bread. I love it.


Be sure to enter our giveaway. It is a great Curious Chef Pizza Kit with the knife that Audrey loves and uses often.

Japanese Cabbage Pizza

Continuing with the pizza theme Audrey helped me make Japanese Cabbage Pizza. We had some vegetables about to go bad and a lot of cabbage from our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), Mellowfield Farm. Audrey did not get to help as much as she usually does but that was alright with her. She got to crack the eggs, all by herself. Do not forget to enter our Curious Chef Pizza Kit giveaway!
Japanese Pizza

  • 2 cups cabbage, finely shredded
  • 1 cup chopped vegetables
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
Mix vegetables with flour until coated. Add eggs and mix well. Press into small patties and cook in oil. OR make one large pizza and cook in a pan over medium heat. 

Audrey's Tasks:
  1. Mix vegetables with flour
  2. Crack eggs
  3. Mix
Mom's Tasks:
  1. Chop vegetables
  2. Gather ingredients
  3. Fry pizzas
I am learning that sometimes Audrey just wants to do the fun part and then go back to annoying playing with her sister. This was one of those times. Try to find small ways to include your children. Even if it is just cracking the eggs. 

Fruit Salsa

We have more fruit than two toddlers and a mom can eat. I can't help but purchase it as it is all so inexpensive and good looking right now. So fruit salsa it is! When we have eaten all we can, I will have Audrey help me cut the fruit up and place it in the blender or food processor. We can eat it with chips or tortillas or even hard cookies. This is not one of those posts that requires a recipe as we simply pulsed the fruit briefly and ate. It is better made with firm flesh fruit but any fruit will do. Here is Audrey's snack:

Love that face!

I have no idea what the look was for. But that is the only picture I have. She insisted that we add more whole blueberries to the mix and I complied. She had been playing in the rain before I called her in to make the salsa so that is why she looks like a wet puppy dog. Please remember to enter Audrey's first giveaway of a Curious Chef Pizza Kit.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Hawaiian Pizza Muffins

Pizza, Pizza! Audrey and I made Pizza Muffins. I know, it does sounds weird. We got the idea from the Sneaky Chef and her Grilled Cheese Muffins. To that we added Canadian bacon and pineapple to make Hawaiian Pizza Muffins. I really like them. Audrey thinks they are alright, Maurene would not even try them. Toddlers can be so finicky.

Remember, Audrey's first giveaway is going on now. She is giving away a Pizza Kit from Curious Chef which contains the knife we use and get asked about so much. Don't forget to enter before August 15th!

Hawaiian Pizza Muffins

  • 1 cup flour blend (equal parts whole and white flour and wheat germ)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup grated low-fat cheddar cheese (save 1/4 cup for tops)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup Orange Puree (sweet potato and carrot, or baby food)
Preheat oven to 350°F and line a muffin tin with paper liners. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the Parmesan and 3/4 cup cheddar cheese and set aside. In another large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until well combined, then whisk in the oil and the Orange Puree. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until flour is just moistened (don't over-mix or the muffins will be dense.) Scoop the batter into muffin tins, filling just over the top. Sprinkle the tops evenly with remaining cheese and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Audrey's Tasks:
  1. Measure and add ingredients
  2. Help stir
  3. Put batter in muffin tin
  4. Sprinkle cheese on top
Mom's Tasks:
  1. Gather ingredients
  2. Help stir
  3. Place in the oven
I embellished this last part as I had to run and the babysitter helped Audrey bake these. They are a little on the healthy side; like eating a bran muffin. I believe next time we make them I am going to use less wheat germ. It is not healthy eating if they only consume half the muffin. Also, they are  much better fresh out of the oven than they are cold. I recommend butter or cream cheese to top with. 

And yes, she is baking naked. I have mentioned before but it bears repeating: it is hot this summer.

Filling the tins

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Curious Chef Giveaway!

Audrey and I have many virtues. Patience is not one of them. For either of us. I suppose she gets that from me and I from my mother. I had planned a Curious Chef Pizza Kit giveaway and was contacted by the company for a free kit to do so. It has not arrived and we want to start the giveaway now; mostly because it is our first and we have wanted to do it for so long. While shopping at our local Dillons (on 6th and Wakarusa for you locals) I noticed that there were a few pizza kits shoved in the back behind a cookie kit. We snagged one and here we go! They are still on sale half price and there was at least one left on Saturday.

To gear up for our giveaway we have been working on pizza recipes like crazy. We even went back to our pizza kit and made the one from the box. I have several more to post and several to make. Pizza Muffins were a big hit and bread sticks are still on the menu. I also found a fabulous recipe for Japanese cabbage pizza and we have cabbage from our CSA, Mellowfield Farms!

I tagged a few photos on Picasa with Curious Chef so you can see Audrey in action. She really does love her Curious Chef products. We keep them in a special place so she can always reach them. On to the giveaway...

Five chances to win!

  1. Follow this blog (link down on the left side)
Optional additional chances!
  1. Follow us on Twitter
  2. Follow us on Facebook
  3. Blog about us on your website (include link in comment)
  4. Tweet about us
For each action leave a separate comment to let me know. Because I am busy the next two weeks I am going to have the giveaway ending at midnight August 15th! That will give me time to get the word out and hopefully let enough people know. If you would like to comment about this post but are not interested in the giveaway please mention that and I will leave your name off the list. Here is a picture of the kit from the Curious Chef website.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tip of the Day July 18

Lunch kabobs is an idea I rely on often when there is little in the house. We take everything out of the fridge and assemble it on toothpicks. Audrey loves to help cut and assemble and I get to clean out the fruit drawer and meat and cheese drawer. This is great for when you have one hot dog, one piece of cheese, and two strawberries for two children. I thought we were going to start a "Hungry Caterpillar" story there for a minute...maybe that is what we can have next time. Do you think I can get Audrey to eat one nice green leaf?

Guacamole In A Bag

Fresh guacamole is a great addition to lunch. It has healthy fats and is ever so tasty. Audrey made some recently from a Sneaky Chef recipe. If you have not picked up a copy and you have picky children, I recommend you buy one. You can find recipes to please any picky toddler.

No Doc Guac

Halve avocado lengthwise, remove pit, and scoop out the flesh. In a small bowl, combine the avocado with the lime juice, salt, and Green Puree and blend well with a fork.

Audrey's Tasks:
  1. Help measure and add ingredients
  2. Mix well
Mom's Tasks:
  1. Gather ingredients
  2. Remove avocado flesh
  3. Help measure and add ingredients
Audrey mixed this in a plastic, zip-top bag. She had a lot of fun squishing the mixture. We had ours on hamburgers but it would go with many sandwiches. I believe the leftovers will work well on California Clubs for the next day.

Squishy!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Mini Fruit Pizzas

Since we have been on a pizza theme lately I came up with lunch fruit pizzas for Audrey to make. It was really another excuse to get her to cut fruit while I fixed dinner for the family. Any activities that keep toddlers busy are good to foster.

Mini Fruit Pizzas

  • 2 English muffins, split
  • 1 tbsp cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp yogurt
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • Cut fruit
Cut fruit to bit sized pieces. Toast English muffins. Mix cream cheese, yogurt, and vanilla in a small bowl. Spread on English muffins. Top muffins with fruit.

Audrey's Tasks:
  1. Cut fruit
  2. Measure and mix pizza "sauce"
  3. Place muffins in toaster
  4. Spread "sauce on muffins
  5. Place fruit on muffins
Mom's Tasks:
  1. Gather ingredients
  2. Help mix
  3. Get muffins from toaster
Audrey loved cutting the fruit and showing each piece to me. This was a fun activity and it kept her busy.

Finished product

Curious Chef Update

*Lawrence Residents*
While shopping for lunch supplies today at our local Dillons (Kroger) Supermarket I noticed that the display of Curious Chef products was significantly thinned out. They no longer have Pizza Sets and are short on Prep Sets. They still have a few Cookie Sets which contains the adorable butterfly cookie cutter Audrey uses to make fun toast.
If you are interested in these products please check them out before they are all gone. This is the first time I have seen them carried locally (we bought ours at Nebraska Furniture Mart) and there is no way to know if they will continue to carry them.
*Everyone*
We are expecting our Pizza Kit for giveaway soon. Please check back with us and enter to win this wonderful set. Audrey uses her knife almost every day and many of the other items often. She has such pride in going to get her utensils and is always asking if we need a spatula.

Turkey Melts

Audrey's daddy came up with a great lunch for the girls while he was with them this week. Our regular babysitter was away and I am still in class four days a week so dad stepped in to help. It is good to have special time with dad! Besides, he comes up with fun food.

Turkey Melts
  • 2 Slices turkey
  • 2 slices cheese
  • favorite dip
Place turkey (or your favorite lunch meat) on a baking sheet or microwave safe plate. Put cheese on top and roll up. Broil or microwave until cheese is melted. Slice into pinwheels. Serve with ranch or your favorite dip and veggies or fruit on the side.

Audrey's Tasks:
  1. Place meat on baking sheet
  2. Put cheese on top
  3. Help roll up
Mom's Tasks:
  1. Gather ingredients
  2. Help roll up
  3. Heat in microwave
These are a great way to get the cheese and the meat to stick so they can be eaten together. If you have toddlers who pull sandwiches apart, try this trick. Audrey loved to dip hers while Maurene is a purist.

Setting up the rolls

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Mini Hawaiian Pizzas

Mini Pizzas are great for any meal. Audrey made some for her and sister as a quick lunch. With easy ingredients you can have this meal on the table, hot and yummy, in 20 minutes.

Mini Pizzas
  • 2 English muffins
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheese
  • your favorite pizza toppings
Split English muffins in half and spread 2 tbsp sauce on each half. Top with your favorite ingredients and sprinkle cheese. Audrey likes ham and pineapple. Place pizzas on a baking sheet and put in a 350°F oven for 10  minutes. 

Audrey's Tasks:
  1. Spread sauce
  2. Place ingredients on top
  3. Sprinkle cheese
Mom's Tasks:
  1. Gather ingredients
  2. Place pizzas in the oven
We found this recipe on the box for Audrey's Curious Chef Pizza Kit. Toddlers and parents alike enjoy a mini pizza. I may have had two.

Spreading sauce

Cutting ham

Placing on muffins

Adding pineapple and cheese

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tip of the Day July 13

Pizza Wraps make a frequent showing on the menu in our house. Mainly because I can get the family to eat them and they are easy to  make. I am sometimes able to place a few healthy items inside such as green peppers, corn, and black beans. These are also great for using up leftover meat. Audrey likes to help put the toppings on and is getting to the stage of wanting to do the rolling of the tortilla as well. It does not matter because they taste just as good properly rolled as they do a little loose. Pair these with carrot sticks and watermelon and you have an easy summer meal.

High Notes Sandwich

Audrey has an electronic keyboard that was a hand-me-down from her uncle Jacob. She loves to play with it and any piano she sees. For her, I found a recipe to make lunch look like piano keys. It is adapted from a great book called Bean Appetit.

 High Note Nibbles
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 apple, cored and diced
  • 1 tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsps lemon juice
  • pinch cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded, cooked chicken
  • 4 slices whole wheat bread
  • 2 slices dark rye bread
Combine yogurt, apple, brown sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon in a bowl. Add chicken and mix well. Make 2 sandwiches on whole wheat and one on rye. Cut the crusts off all the sandwiches, then cut the whole wheat sandwiches into 1  by 2 1/2 inch slices. Cut the rye sandwich into 1/3 by 1 1/4 inch slices. Arrange the white keys side by side on a platter and the black keys on top and in between the white keys.

Audrey's Tasks:
  1. Measure and add all ingredients to bowl
  2. Mix
  3. Help spread mix on bread
  4. "Help" cut the sandwiches (I let her put her hand on the knife and mine on top)
Mom's Tasks:
  1. Cook chicken and shred
  2. Gather ingredients
  3. Help spread
  4. Cut and arrange sandwiches
Audrey thought this was the coolest project and was fascinated with the dark bread. She had not wanted to help until I showed her the picture of the finished product. We made a smaller version for a lunch box. I also cut the crusts off before adding ingredients so I could use them to make bread crumbs.

Reading the recipe

Finished product

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Wordless Wednesdays July 14

Tip of the Day July 11

Quesadillas combine nutritious and delicious to make a wonderful meal. Audrey likes to help shred the cheese and add it, slowly, to the tortilla. I also offer a variety of complimentary vegetables and sometimes she will add corn, black beans, or green peppers in small amounts. Our main focus in preparing meals is to find foods Audrey likes that are also healthy. Some days the girls end up eating boxed mac 'n cheese. With this recipe you can feel better about a feeding them food they like.

Homemade Peanut Butter

Have you ever wondered how to make the prepared items you buy at the store? We did and decided to learn how to make a few. Peanut butter sounded like a fun and easy way to start so we bough peanuts during our last shopping trip. I tried to tell Audrey what we were doing while she made it but she was more interested in pushing the button on the food processor. Maybe when she is over her toddler years.

Peanut Butter
  • 1 cup peanuts
  • 2 tbsp oil
Place peanuts in food processor. Add 1 tbsp oil and process until nuts are mostly chopped. Add additional oil a little at a time until your peanut butter is to your liking. You may need to scrape down the sides of the processor a few times. 

Audrey's Tasks:
  1. Add ingredients
  2. Turn processor on and off
Mom's Tasks:
  1. Gather ingredients
  2. Scrape down sides of processor
This was fun and so easy. The finished product is a little bland but it is much healthier than the sugary kind from the store. If you must, add a small amount of sweetener to the processor to taste. We had PB&J with homemade peanut butter and homemade fruit spread. If we had planned better we could have made bread as well. Some day soon.

Working in PJs

Muffin Tin Monday July 12

Even though I am a day late posting the girls did get a muffin tin lunch yesterday. I only got a picture of Maurene eating because the camera was elsewhere when I made lunch. Not very nutritious but it has been a busy month.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Tip of the Day July 9

One thing I have learned while cooking with Audrey is that presentation is everything. She likes her cheese cut into flowers and her sandwiches one of the many shapes we have in the cabinet. I have been able to get her to eat an otherwise plain meat or cheese sandwich by simply cutting it into a dinosaur. Some days I find this tactic preferable to worrying about how much protein she is getting or whether she has had any dairy that day. Here is a healthy meal we fixed a while back that showcases my thoughts on this matter. What do you think? Have you made changes to a meal to make it more palatable to a young child? I would love to hear some other tips.

Tip of the Day July 8

I reviewed a book a few months back that I have since removed from our shelves. There were few recipes I thought we could enjoy fixing and consuming. However, I did find one decent one, Nachos! It is a versatile food allowing the child to add foods in any combination to suit her taste. Parents can also add spicy or other ingredients to an adult half and make everyone happy. Audrey loves to help shred cheese so that is something we make now instead of purchasing pre-made. They cook up fast and will not heat up the house too much on warm days.

Tip of the Day July 7

Audrey loves to cook with her daddy and one of their favorite items to make is Grilled Cheese Sandwiches. They like to eat it with strawberry jam on top. To show her love Audrey made her daddy his favorite lunch.
Grilled Cheese with jam

  • 2 slices bread
  • 1 tbsp butter, room temperature
  • 1 slice cheese
  • favorite jam
Butter one side of each piece of bread and then turn it over. Place cheese on one slice and place unbuttered side of other piece down on top. Cook in a preheated skillet over medium heat until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook the other side until golden brown, another 2-3 minutes. Remove from pan and place on plate. Spread jam on top and eat.

Audrey's Tasks:
  1. Butter bread
  2. Place cheese on bread
  3. Put sandwich together
  4. Spread jam on cooked sandwich
Mom's Tasks:
  1. Gather ingredients
  2. Help spread butter
  3. Cook sandwich
These are good heated up the next day as well. Wrap them in foil and store in the fridge. Heat oven to 350°F and cook until heated, 10-15 minutes.


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Tip of the Day July 6

With the inexpensive prices of fruit lately we have been eating a lot of it. Mostly we have consumed it in its natural state but when fruit gets close to spoiling I have to figure out how to make it taste good. One easy way is to make fruit soup. I used the recipe for our Mango Soup. This is similar to a smoothie but is not so cold. For children who can feed themselves this is great with a sandwich. I have a baby who is still partially spoon fed and I mixed hers with a little baby cereal to thicken it. The soup also freezes very well and can be consumed in months with less abundant fruit supplies. Audrey loves to help so I let her cut any fruit that does not need to be a specific size.

Tip of the Day July 5

Audrey is doing some recipe testing for a new Children's Cookbook to be released next spring. I have not mentioned it because we are not allowed to share the recipes. With this recent test I was able to take pictures that would not spoil the surprise any and still share some great lunch tips. Before I go any further I must promote the author of the book, Michelle Stern. I found her online and have learned so much from her site, What's Cooking. If you are interested in good nutrition and good food I suggest you become a fan on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.
A recent test involved a hot sandwich and got me thinking about so many things to make for lunch

  • Turkey and Cheese with avocado
  • Grilled Cheese with jam
  • Tuna Melts
  • Barbecued chicken with cheese
  • Chicken and Pineapple with provolone 
Look for some of these sandwiches in the coming weeks. Here is a picture of Audrey doing her recipe testing. She is enjoying the fruits of her labor.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Wordless Wednesday July 7

Tip of the Day July 4

Take a tortilla and add fillings, roll it up and you have a meal. No wonder Mexican families use the versatile food so much, tortillas really are great with every meal. Audrey likes to eat hers with lunch meat and cheese but I am going to mix things up a bit this month to try chicken salad and maybe hummus. What do you eat in your tortilla? Have you ever made your own? I have been offered a recipe and wondered it is was worth the effort. Please share your thoughts.

Tip of the Day July 3

Audrey and I made pizza pockets for her lunches this week. We used the Food Processor Pizza Dough recipe and some leftover ingredients from the past week. I had to try one to see if they were any good and I admit to eating more than one. We made a few with a heart shaped pie mold but the rest were free form hand pies. The only real tip I will pass on is to vent them. I did not and ours leaked out the sides. This recipe is too easy not to try. Please let me know how yours turns out.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Tip of the Day July 2

Fruit Salads are a staple with Audrey. She may not eat much in the way of veggies but she has her father's love of fruit. Most of the time I mix a little cottage cheese in a bowl with fruit on hand but this time I let Audrey make a pretty salad which she then devoured. We usually have these in the winter to dress up canned fruit but they would be great with fresh peaches. I saw those on sale at the store today!

Tip of the Day July 1

July will be a month of lunches. This is appropriate because I am taking a class four days a week and Audrey will have to help me make lunch for her before I leave. To get ready for this we started looking for new lunch ideas. I found one in a low fat cookbook and adapted it for the girls:
Peanut Butter and Jelly Toasted

  • 4 slices bread
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp yogurt
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 tbsp sugar
Mix peanut butter and yogurt in a small bowl, set aside. Place berries and sugar in a small sauce pan and heat on medium, stirring occasionally for 15 - 20 minutes or until the berries pop. Toast bread. Spread peanut butter on two slices and jam on two, put together. Enjoy!

Audrey's Tasks:
  1. Add berries and sugar to pan
  2. Stir
  3. Measure and mix peanut butter and yogurt
  4. Stir
  5. Spread
Mom's Tasks:
  1. Gather ingredients
  2. Help with berries
  3. Toast bread (don't burn it)
  4. Help stir and spread
This was yummy! It is meant to cut down on the fat in the peanut butter by adding fat-free yogurt but I used whole-fat for the girls. The berries mixture could make 2  more sandwiches so you might want to cut it in half. I used that much because that is what we had on hand. It is best to make the jam a little early and let it cool or pop it in the freezer for a few minutes. Those berries get hot. Audrey and Maurene both loved this. I have to admit to having one as well. It was worth all of the fat.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Curious Chef

This post is for my fellow Lawrencians. I just returned from the 6th and Wakarusa Dillons and I found they are carrying a few items of the Curious Chef product line. That I can remember they had the pizza set, whisks, and spatulas. I spoke with one of the managers about also carrying Audrey's favorite knives. Currently you can purchase them as part of the pizza set, along with a cutting board and a few other items. These are wonderful knives. I recommend them to any parent wanting to teach a young child knife skills.



I have been thinking about having a giveaway for some time but have not had time to drive the 45 minutes to the store we bought Audrey's knives from. If I think about it this week I will pick up a Pizza Set and have our first giveaway!

July is Here

As you can tell I have been a little behind on my posts. Audrey and I are still cooking but I have had little time for posting. I will try to remedy that but July might be more of the same. Things promise to slow down slightly in August so I am hoping to end the summer on a high note. For the month of July we are focusing on lunches. Since I will be away from home several days a week during lunch time Audrey and I have started making foods to pack in her lunch box for when the babysitter is here. I may just show you pictures of what Audrey packs and add recipes to the items we make ourselves. Lunch is not a meal that most people like to do  much cooking for so I do not want to throw in a lot of recipes. Audrey's favorite lunch is still a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with a few slices of cheese and some fruit. I am sure will be featuring several of that lunch combination this month.

Tip of the Day June 30

Here is a recap of June:
  1. Sunny Side Up Waffles
  2. S'mores Hot Cereal
  3. Baked Ham & Eggs
  4. Audrey's Fluffy Eggs
  5. Healthy French Toast
  6. Breakfast Pudding
  7. Breakfast Ice Cream
  8. Breakfast Banana Split
  9. Tiny Grape Upside-Down Cakes
  10. Custardy Popovers
  11. Pink Pancakes
  12. Breakfast Parfait
  13. Homemade Oat Bars
  14. Eggs in a Basket
  15. Mini Banana Muffins
  16. Green Tea Bread
  17. Homemade Jelly/Spread/Freezer Jam
  18. Apple-icious Oat Bars
  19. Apple Oven Pancakes
  20. Monkey Bread
  21. Breakfast Pizza
  22. Breakfast Burritos
  23. Peanut Butter Bread
  24. Carrot Applesauce Muffins
  25. Crockpot Yogurt
  26. Breakfast Chocolate Shakes
  27. Papa Jim's French Toast
  28. Bread in a Bag
  29. Oven Baked Omelet

Tip of the Day June 29

An Oven Baked Omelet is good for any meal. We typically have it for dinner but have been known to make one for a late breakfast. As anyone who follows us knows, Audrey loves to crack eggs so I have her help me cook any time eggs are involved. She is also developing a love for the egg beater. If you have a little one with little kitchen experience, I recommend an egg beater. It mixes so much easier than a whisk and is fun to play with. It is also easy to demonstrate. Just be sure to stand by to keep the whisk in the bowl. I speak from experience.

Tip of the Day June 28

Bread in a bag is a great way to let your little one get involved with baking. If you follow a few simple tips and test the recipe ahead of time you could easily enjoy this baking experience together. The first time we made it Audrey's sister was in a bad mood and we did not know what we were doing. It turned out fine but only because Audrey's dad was home to help. I recommend the following tips:
  1. Test the recipe one time while the children are away or asleep. That way you know what to expect and where to have your little one help.
  2. Use the best quality bags you can find. Trust me on this one, don't use dollar store bags.
  3. Makes sure everyone is in a good mood and ready to bake. This recipe takes a little longer than some so it is for a nice morning while all the children are still in a good mood.
We also make homemade butter to eat with this. Audrey does not have the patience yet to shake the container long enough but I do have her help.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Papa Jim's Famous French Toast

Audrey learned to make her Papa Jim's famous French Toast this weekend. Mostly she just ran in to crack the eggs and add the milk and then went back to playing with her cousins. She was in the kitchen for such a short time I was not able to get a picture. But I did get a little better idea of Papa Jim's recipe. He is a purist, who knew?

Papa Jim's French Toast
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 8 slices white bread
Crack eggs into medium bowl and add milk. Whisk until blended. Coat bread in egg mixture and place on an electric skillet at medium for approximately 2-3 minutes and then flip. Cook for another 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with warm syrup and bacon.

I have had this meal for breakfasts at my dad's house for many years. This is the first time I have ever wondered about the recipe. We will try this again at our house to see if we get the same results.

Chocolate Shakes

Another ice cream related meal chez Audrey. We made chocolate shakes for breakfast. Before you start shaking your head read the ingredients. And then try one. They are good and fairly healthy.

Chocolate Shakes
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp sugar
Place in the blender and  mix until smooth.

Audrey's Tasks:
  1. Help measure and add ingredients
  2. Turn on the blender
Mom's Tasks:
  1. Gather ingredients
  2. Help measure and add ingredients

Yum! You can use low-fat dairy products to make this even healthier. I used whole-fat for the babies but then ended up drinking a little myself. Boy was it good.

Playing with the blender.

Tip of the Day June 25

The one thing we always keep in the house in yogurt. It goes great on fruit in the summer or with oatmeal in the winter. The girls like it with cereal or on top of pancakes. Audrey has used it in parfaits, ice cream, and smoothies. We consume a lot of yogurt. For that reason I like for us to make it. Whole milk yogurt is hard to find and when I do locate it I usually spend twice as much as the low-fat version. Audrey is at a point right now where she loves to count. I have her help me count the cups of milk we pour into the crockpot. It is a simple task but it lets her be a part of the process. If you have never made yogurt this is the recipe to try. If you have made it in the past and found it too time consuming then this is the recipe to try. We love it.

Carrot Applesauce Muffins

We are still here and still cooking. It has been a busy few weeks for us with trips and activities for the girls and school for me. I am on a brief break and hope to get us caught up and back on track. Here is a great recipe for Carrot Applesauce Muffins:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup grated carrot
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
Mix dry ingredients in medium bowl. Mix wet ingredients in medium bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until just combined. Pour into lined or greased muffin tin and bake at 400°F for 15-20 minutes. 

Audrey's Tasks:
  1. Help measure and add ingredients
  2. Crack the egg
  3. Stir
  4. Pour batter into muffin tin
Mom's Tasks:
  1. Gather ingredients
  2. Help Audrey measure and add ingredients
  3. Place muffins in oven
These were a big hit. Audrey ate 5 mini muffins as soon as they cooled enough to consume. I was happy to find a healthy food she enjoyed. We will continue to work with this basic recipe to find other combination of healthy ingredients for good snacks.

Mixing the batter.