Friday, September 30, 2011

20 Minute Biscuits

I borrowed a book from the library called Faster! I'm Starving! by Kevin Mills & Nancy Mills. It contains 100 dishes that are said to be ready in 25 minutes or less. I have yet to flip through all of it but I did notice the 20 Minute Biscuit recipe at the end and was intrigued.

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp mayo
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Mix all ingredients together and place on a baking sheet. Bake in a 425 degree oven for 15 minutes. The book recommends placing a sheet of aluminum foil on the baking sheet to ease in cleanup. 

Mamma's little helper.

Ready to bake.

Maurene helped with the ingredients and then let mom place the batter on the baking sheet. We found the finished product pretty good but the biscuits were a little flat. The recipe warned that the batter would be runny but I think next time we will add a little more flour. Or we might just end up using our drop biscuit recipe from Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What's For Lunch Wednesday, Bagels

The girls got up and decided they wanted bagels. I immediately pulled out supplies and had them make this meal, even while still in PJs. You can tell they have yet to even brush their hair!

Wild hair!

They got a jar of Nutella from their grandma and wanted to enjoy some on their bagels. Audrey also asked for some homemade jam (which we were out of) so we planned a time to go find some apples and make apple butter. Look for a post about that in the next few weeks.

They have a pineapple slice along with their bagel as well as some dried fruit. Dried plums have been a big hit recently. I love them as well so we have had to stock up. It is times like this when I wish we still had our Costco membership!

Audrey's neat lunch.

Mo's crazy lunch.

Check out all of the other fabulous lunches at What's For Lunch Wednesday.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hobo Packets, Cookout

This wonderful fall weather has us all interested in getting out to enjoy the city. We live mere minutes from a lake with great trails, campfire sites, and a playground. In order to best enjoy the weather the girls and I planned a dinner at the lake this week. I found a fun recipe for hobo packets on that I modified slightly. We used instant brown rice instead of potatoes so that the packets would cook quicker.

Adding meat

A little seasoning helps.

Roll them up tight!

Happy with her results.

When we arrived at our camp site I realized that I was without lighter fluid. I tried work without it but could not get the fire to light. Fortunately for us we picked a site next to a troop of Boy Scouts. They shared their lighter fluid so we could get our fire going. It really is true, they are always prepared! 

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Monday, September 26, 2011

Muffin Tin Monday, Eggs again?

The girls, mainly Maurene, love to crack eggs. Any opportunity to crack an egg and they will drop everything and jump up on a chair to help. This in a time where they will drop cooking with mom in the kitchen to help dad move dirt in the front yard. So, of course, I will offer to let them have eggs for dinner if it means they will help me cook. 


Another great way to get my beautiful little girls in the kitchen is to offer to let them use the microwave. We pulled out the muffin cups and the girls cracked eggs into the cups. Maurene may have missed the first time. I helped her get the rest of her egg into the cup. Then Audrey learned which buttons to push in order to cook the eggs for 1 minute. 

She is learning what her numbers look like.

Audrey loved the meal so much she asked for seconds of everything. The yogurt is homemade but the hot dogs are not. They are nitrate free turkey dogs so I feel a little better letting them have this favorite treat.

Eggs, yogurt, hot dogs.

This is our Muffin Tin Monday meal. Visit the website to see all of the other wonderful meals.

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Friday, September 23, 2011

Yummy Yucky

Maurene and I like to visit the library while Audrey is in ballet class. This week we found the cutest book called Yummy Yucky. It is a board book with few words and adorable pictures on each page. Some of the pages contain opposites of yummy foods and yucky things. Other pages are not opposites but rather funny, similar sounding words.

Audrey got a big kick out of just looking at the pictures and laughing at the pictures. Then she recommended we make sandwiches (instead of sand!) so we could enjoy something yummy.


Sandwiches are yummy, sand is yucky!

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

While Audrey was at ballet class this week Maurene and I headed to the library to pick up a few cookbooks. Borrowing them is much cheaper than buying and I save on shelf space. When we left we saw the RV for Having read a story about them in the paper I wanted to say hello. I stopped and introduced myself while they were having a meal. They were really friendly and positive. I shared some of my thoughts on nutrition and they recommended a local naturopathic doctor. It was a positive conversation and I felt good about having stopped to chat. It was another reminder that there are others working for positive change. 

Around here we have been doing our best to focus on good nutrition and positive eating habits. There are times when we slip and eat processed or fast foods. Those days I try to remember how far we have come and what steps we have made in a good direction. My girls are like many others, they like hot dogs, sweets, dairy, and fruit. Maurene stops there but Audrey will also eat pasta, pizza, and fish sticks. Vegetables enter their bodies less often, even with repeated exposure. With all I have been reading and seeing I am starting to think that our best option, for now anyway, is to focus on the Green Monster. It is a tasty, healthy way to get good food in their bodies. 

I watched a movie called Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead about a juice fast as a way to jump start a healthy turn around. The idea struck me but the more I thought about it the more I thought keeping the fiber in the produce would work better for me. I have been working my poor food processor almost daily chopping up greens and fruit. The girls rush up to get a small serving every time. I am loving the energy I am gaining from drinking these alien looking smoothies and it is an easy way to consume more vegetables.

We won't stop learning about good food, local food, unprocessed food, natural food, homegrown food, and tasty food. The girls and I just need a little help along the way. I would love to play Sneaky Chef but since the girls help cook, that works less. Besides, they do not eat many of the recipes listed.

No one said parenting was easy. But it can be very educational. And then we get to teach the children.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wordless Wednesday, Mop!

They really volunteer for this.

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What's For Lunch Wednesday, More Butterflies

We took advantage of the beautiful Kansas weather and took lunch to the park. Audrey has ballet class Tuesday mornings next to a large park downtown so it was easy for the girls to talk me into just staying there for some exercise and sunshine. They picked butterfly cutouts again but it turned out to be very appropriate as the monarchs were everywhere in the park. I had no idea the pretty flowers at South Park were a butterfly garden. The monarchs definitely knew because there were dozens of them. 

The girls packed a Cereal Oatmeal Chip Cookie that we made this week, a ham and baby swiss cheese sandwich, and a clementine. Beverages were the girls new favorite, O.N.E. Flavored Coconut Water. The cookie and clementine went quick and the sandwiches lingered. Mo finally peeled the meat and cheese out and ate them. Audrey was too busy introducing herself to all of her new friends at the park. She said that, she needed to meet her new friends. How am I going to teach her about strangers?

Audrey told Mo EXACTLY how to make a sandwich.
Doesn't look like much but they enjoyed it.

And I must tell you about the amazing doctor and his family I met while Audrey was at her ballet class. It might take a bit for me to explain why I was so thrilled to met him so I will save it for another post. But you can learn a little about what they were doing in our fair city at

As always, check out some great meals at What's For Lunch Wednesday.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Cereal Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Audrey wanted to make cookies. I was cleaning out the pantry and found a stash of cereal bag leftovers. These are the remnants of the cereal box that Audrey's daddy leaves behind because he does not like the crumbs. There were a number of bags and almost as many bad cereal choices. Audrey's daddy eats unhealthy and sometimes unnaturally colored cereals. At times he even manages to feed some to the girls. I try not to let it happen often. 

I took those cereal ends and zapped them in the food processor until they were crumbs. Then we used a recipe from for Oatmeal Chip Cookies. The end result was a little different using cereal crumbs instead of flour, but they still tasted good. And they had an occasional unnatural colored cereal piece showing. The girls loved them.

Cooking with boots on.

Don't blink.

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Monday, September 19, 2011

Muffin Tin Monday, More Veggies

I am trying to offer the girls enough good choices so that they have the opportunity to learn to enjoy good foods. Lunches used to be not much more than some fruit and a bread or pretzels. Today I pulled out several options and let them help me put together a yummy, healthy lunch.

Opening the dried plums.

Maurene helped too.

Dried plums, carrots, yellow pepper, pretzels, celery, mandarin oranges, dip.

Easy snack options.

I am trying to eat healthier myself so I came home after shopping and immediately cut up the vegetables purchased for snacking. The dip in the girl's lunch is a mix of veggie cream cheese and homemade yogurt. Mixing it makes it easier to dip and lower fat. It has been really nice to have tasty snacks at the ready.

For more great meal ideas, head over to the Muffin Tin Monday site to see what others have put together. I always get hungry when I am browsing.

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Friday, September 16, 2011

Ten Fun Recipes for Children

With the cooler weather here in Kansas we are starting to get back in the kitchen. I dug out some of our favorite recipes and made a list of the ones that the girls can help with and thought I would share. Using the oven and slow cooker are two ways young children can easily help prepare a meal or snack.

  1. Apple Soup
  2. Popcorn Soup
  3. Oven Fried Chicken
  4. Black Bean Brownies
  5. Strawberry Salad
  6. Slow Cooker Mac 'n Cheese
  7. Baked Oatmeal
  8. ABC Fritatta
  9. Breakfast Banana Ice Cream (no cooking but loads of fun)
  10. Zucchini Cupcakes
We are going to make many of these recipes and more in the coming weeks. I would love to hear what your plans are for getting back in the kitchen.

Trying to help.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

What's For Lunch Wednesday, Butterflies

The girls went to see the butterflies at Monarch Watch this weekend. I don't know who had more fun, them or me. Audrey just wanted to make a seed bomb and Mo loved wandering the gardens. There were butterflies emerging from cocoons and an entire greenhouse-type enclosure full of different butterflies. Audrey even got to hold a Very Hungry Caterpillar (Mo thought them too creepy).

Just beautiful.

Very cute caterpillar.

I decided a butterfly lunch would be fun after all of the excitement. Maurene helped me spread homemade peach preserves and peanut butter on sandwiches and cute them into cute butterflies. Audrey has recently fallen in love with the sunflower seeds I picked up for granola and asks for them with every meal. She also wants to feed them to the birds so I think we need to pick up a feeder and some bird feed. 

Maurene rounded out the meal with pretzels and strawberries.

Don't ya love that wild hair!

Fly, butterfly!

Check out the other fabulous meals at What's For Lunch Wednesday. Shannon always has the cutest snacks and meals.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Yummy Potato Soup

We had some potatoes in our CSA. I purchased sweet potatoes at the Farmers Market from a local vendor. Audrey's daddy grilled for us and we had twice baked potatoes. I made a batch of Fauxfredo the other day. 

Why am I sharing all of this?

We had an abundance of cooked root vegetables (plus cauliflower) in our fridge that I needed to find something to do with. The girls are not huge potato fans and I knew I could not eat it all. The next best thing is to make soup. I tossed everything plus a few carrots that had seen better days into a slow cooker added chicken broth and went to work. 

When I returned home Maurene helped me blend the lovely mess into a fun soup. I love that I was able to use up leftovers for a yummy soup and Maurene loved operating the food processor. Should have taken a video. She was so funny playing with the safety catch to make it start and stop.

Soup, it's what's for dinner!

Do you have any fabulous tips to use up leftovers? Or a an ingredient you make too much of to use in several recipes?

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Monday, September 12, 2011

Muffin Tin Monday, Yogurt Buffet

The girls could not decide on breakfast so I let them put a little of everything in their Muffin Tin Monday meal. Truth be told, I let them add the dry ingredients and I added the wet. It is too early in the morning for a cleanup on aisle 1.

They have homemade yogurt, Multi Grain Cheerios, sunflower seeds, homemade granola, applesauce, strawberry yogurt, and dried blueberries.

A breakfast sampler.

As always, visit Muffin Tin Monday for more ideas and great meals to get your picky eater to reconsider a great meal.

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Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Omnivore's Dilemma

After my stumble into Food, Inc I downloaded a copy of one of the books the movie is based on, The Omnivore's Dilemma. Reading the book has me thinking about food. Our food. The food I am feeding to my children every day. It is taking me twice as long to shop because I am reading more food labels. The salt I have on my shelf has dextrose in it! I am starting to notice how much of what we eat contains some type of corn product. 

I have nothing against corn, just the volume at which we appear to be consuming it. The biggest culprit, cereal. We like General Mills cereals. How do I switch a two-year-old from wanting Cheerios to asking for, or at least eating whole grains such as rolled oats? I served her some with milk, brown sugar and raisins and she pushed it away. She wants Honey Nut Cheerios.

We made homemade granola the other day with, what I believe, was a little too much sweetener. Maurene had a blast helping add ingredients and stir. The finished product was amazing. She would still rather have Fruity Cheerios. 

I am not giving up the fight, just thinking about changing the method of battle. Talking about something as loving as food in terms of war makes me sad. My children should love the food we eat. Instead they would like to know when we can have hot dogs for lunch again. I think we need to go back to the basics. Bread would be a good start. I have a bag of local wheat flour picked up at the Farmers Market. 

Audrey shaking a bag of flour, Summer 2010.

If anyone has read the book or seen the movie I would love to hear your thoughts. We could start a chat on Facebook in the discussion tab.

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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Fall Plants

Audrey has decided that she wants to grow lettuce and open a grocery store to sell it. I shared this information with our CSA and they invited her to come help them in a few years. Then we will see how enamored she is with growing food for others. It is hard work. For now I encourage her by helping her plant seeds so that she can watch the plants grow and see the process. It is finally cooling off in Kansas so we purchased some small containers so that we can do more patio gardening this fall. We received a free packet of heirloom lettuce seeds and decided to give them a try. I have never grown lettuce from seed. We were advised to give them plenty of water (thanks Jessi!) and now we will wait. 

Dropping in the seeds.

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Friday, September 9, 2011

Local Edition, Weekend Fun

Local Edition has moved to Friday this week because I wanted to share all of the fun activities happening around town this weekend. At least the fun activities for those of Audrey's size. I know there is a football game but, frankly, we don't care.
We are most excited by the Monarch Watch. The butterflies are migrating on their way to Mexico and we will get a chance to learn about their travels and how they live. Audrey and Maurene have been blessed with a second batch of parsley loving caterpillars. Half have already spun a chrysalis and the other half are busy eating the rest of our parsley. Last time we were out of town when the butterfly emerged so the girls are excited to get the chance to see them when they are finished.

Parsley loving caterpillars.

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