Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Homemade bubbles!

We ran out of bubbles and my awesome friend Stephanie just gave us the BEST bubble wand (Target's dollar section - check it out!) that we wanted to try out.

I used this recipe for homemade bubbles and they turned out great! HUGE bubbles! TONS of bubbles! Jude was in bubble heaven! We even made GREEEEEEEN bubbles. I stored the rest in a yogurt tub. We store EVERYTHING in those Stonyfield Farms tubs - they are great!

I found the recipe from this site.

Recipe #1
1/2 cup of dishwashing liquid (Dawn or Joy your choice!)
2 cups of water
2 teaspoons of sugar
a dab of food coloring (for a colorful batch of BIGGER bubbles)
Mix and place in a shallow pan (or refill your old bubble containers).

Teeny tiny frittata

Frittatas are the best and so easy to make!

I had 4 eggs that had to be used pronto, so I made a little tiny frittata. I usually make one with half a dozen (or more) eggs so we can eat it through the week, but I decided to make a little one.
Here's what you need: 4 eggs
1 potato, cubed and boiled (I cubed mine, sprinkled with a bit of water and microwaved for 5 min)
Splash of milk
A handful of shredded cheese
Veggies of your choice (I used asparagus and spinach)
Salt and peppper to taste
Any herb/seasoning you desire

Easy as can be! Whisk the eggs and milk and throw all the ingredients in a bowl. Mix well and transfer to a greased small pan. I used an oven-safe tiny frying pan. Bake for roughly 30 minutes at 350. It'll depend on your oven and the ingredients you use for the cooking time. Just check it often - when a fork comes out clean, it's done. After it cools, cover it up and refrigerate.. it'll stay good in the fridge for a few days and voila - breakfast for a couple of days!

Friday, May 15, 2009

3 ingredient peanut butter sandwich cookies with banana cream filling!

So, some people hold off on introducing peanut butter to their little ones until 2+, but we gave it to Jude right after he turned one with no reactions, thankfully! Anyway, if you want to subsitute soy butter or any of the multitude of other "nut" butters that are made, those will be yummy, too!

I got the cookie recipe from Parents or Parenting magazine. It's sooo easy and delicious.

1 c sugar
1 c peanut butter
1 egg
(you can cut this recipe in half, too!)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Roll into balls in the size of your choice - I prefer tiny ones, about 2 inches in diameter when they get smushed a bit with a fork. Criss-cross with a fork and bake at 350 for about 10 minutes. Keep an eye on these guys because they burn QUICKLY!

While your cookies are baking, smoosh together about half a block of cream cheese and about half a banana together and voila - your filling is made! When your cookies cool, spread some of the banana cream on a cookie and top with another. My cookies are actually baking away at the moment, so I'm not sure this will cover the whole batch. I like to make a few with Paul's favorite jelly sandwiched inside and leave a few plain for me to eat!

I know, I know - not the healthiest cookie, but fun to make and eat every now and again.

The finished product!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Ugly cookies!

These cookies are a great snack and much cheaper than buying animal crackers, honey sticks, etc CONSTANTLY! I call them "Ugly cookies" because when I make them, I really don't try too terribly hard to make them look attractive, so they sometimes come out looking a bit... ugly! :)

1 1/3 c flour
1/4 c sugar
1/4 c brown sugar
1/2 c butter (1 stick) - room temp. I usually soften in the micro for about 20 seconds
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
Pinch nutmeg (if you have it)
Pinch salt

A squeeze of lemon juice, if you want! I was trying to make something like Trader Joe's Organic Animal Crackers (aren't they good?!), hence the bit of lemon

In a large bowl, cream together butter and both sugars. Add egg and vanilla and beat until fluffy. Sift (or whisk) together flour, spices, salt, and baking powder in a small bowl. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture into the butter mixture until a thick dough forms. Cover and chill for an hour.

(After an hour or so passes...)
Preheat oven to 350. Here is what I do: Take a sheet of parchment and lay it on the surface you are going to roll the dough. Sprinkle lightly with flour. Put another piece of parchment or wax paper on top (I use wax paper on top because it's cheaper than parchment and you can NOT bake cookies on wax paper. I learned this the hard way!) and roll dough to about 1/2 inch thick. At this point, you can either cut out the cookies with cookie cutters, but if you choose to do that, you'll have to keep rolling the dough out again and again with the scraps, just like with sugar cookies. That's a pain! I take a pizza cutter and cut the dough into little strips across and then again down, so they are little rectangles, much like those Earth's Best Honey Stix. I try to seperate the dough a bit, but if it's sticking to the parchment, don't fret! They break apart pretty easily if you cut them well! Bake 10 - 12 minutes. They won't be pretty, but they will be delicious! Enjoy!

Please note - This recipe is a work in progress. I've made it a handful of times and keep tweaking it a bit here and there, so I will revisit it and update here and there!

A new take on banana pancakes

Prepare your favorite pancake recipe (I'll post mine down a bit). Cut a banana or two into about 1 inch discs. Coat banana in pancake batter and place in a greased frying pan. Prepare as you would with a regular pancake. The result will be tiny, quarter-sized banana pancakes - perfect for toddler hands AND you sneak in some fruit! I generally use this recipe.

Yogurt melts and yogurt pops

So here are two uber simple "recipes" (I call them "recipes" because they are easy as can be and really require little to no work!) that your toddler will LOVE!

For yogurt melts:
Line a sheet pan with parchment or wax paper. Drop yogurt into nickel-sized circles onto the paper and freeze. They'll be frozen in no time and they melt as soon as your little one puts them in his or her mouth! Great for little ones starting finger food or toddlers who refuse to let you feed them!

For yogurt pops:
I mixed some banana into Jude's yogurt and poured the yogurt into ice cube trays. I have the silicone IKEA trays in fun shapes, which made it a bit more "festive!" I cut down bamboo skewers and put them in the center of each "popsicle" and froze. I got a suggestion from a fellow Nestie to use pretzel sticks, as well! A guaranteed hit on a warm day!

Broccoli bites!

Steam your broccoli (I usually use an entire bag of frozen broccoli), drain well, mix with 1 beaten egg, cheese of your choice (I use... ~1/4 - 1/2 c of cheddar, usually) and breadcrumbs (again, I estimate... ~1/2 c?) and then throw in the food processor. Pulse until the mixture can be rolled into little balls. If it falls apart, add more cheese and/or breadcrumbs. Roll into balls and coat with more breadcrumbs. Bake on an olive oil-coated cookie sheet on 350 for about 15 min, turning over once half-way. Voila!

You can add in other veggies and even leftover chicken, too! They are a hit with my husband AND little toddler. It's a bit messy to make but sooo delicious. Sorry for the estimates on the amounts.. I make up recipes as I go along! :)

Also - you can substitute the bread crumbs for almond meal (I buy it at Trader Joe's), ground up/smashed crackers, or maybe even ground up oats (do it in the food processor). I'll try out the oats and let you know how it goes!

Black bean veggie burgers

As an intro to my first recipe, please note that I'm not much for exact amounts, so just go with it! Most of my recipes are very versatile and won't cause any natural disasters if you stray from my guidelines, so be creative!

Jude gives it 2 baby-sized thumbs up! I love this recipe because it's sooo versatile and SIMPLE. You can adjust it to whateveryou have at home. Sorry for the lack of exact ingredients, as I am an eye-baller.

Here's what I did:

~1/4 c ground oats (do this in the food processor FIRST)

1 can black beans - do not drain completely - save some liquid

Frozen spinach (maybe 1/4 c or so?)

Frozen corn (or fresh, whatever! I used ~1/8 c?)

~1/4 c grated cheese

~1/3 c bread crumbs/ground up crackers I had leftover

~1 tsp garlic powder (you can use fresh, too)

Pinch salt

Pepper to taste

Throw everything in the food processor with the oats and grind up! It'll be a thick paste that you can form into patties. As with my broccoli bites, add some more bread crumbs if it doesn't form into patties. You can chill it for a bit to make it easier to work with. Line a cookie sheet with olive oil and bake for about 15 min on 350, turning once, or pan-fry on the stove with some olive oil (I did this b/c I was baking some banana bread). It gets a nice crispy crust and even resembles a real burger! I topped them with some more cheese, too. I made Jude a tiny one and a regular "burger-size" one for myself and Jude ate both his and half of mine!! You can put it on a bun or whatever with condiments. I was thinking how fun it would be to use diff types of beans, maybe couscous or recipe in place of bread crumbs, other veggies and spices (maybe some Mexican burgers would be fun!), etc. If you try them and use other items, please let me know what you did!