Saturday, November 23, 2013


Mr A has this series of Chinese books.  One of them is full of pictures of foods people eat.  One photo is of kabobs.  For some reason, Mr A is fascinated with kabobs.  This seems odd to me because he's not a big meat eater and the few times C & I have had them, Mr. A has wanted no part of them.

But being the indulgent mom that I am, or at least seizing the moment on making food fun, I suggested that we make fruit kabobs.  I cut up an apple, some pineapple, hulled strawberries, and washed some grapes - basically, all the fruits we had in the fridge.  I showed Mr A how to thread the fruits on the bamboo skewer.  He made 3 all by himself and ate a bunch of the fruit before it got on the stick.  Why I didn't take a pic before they were devoured?  I don't know.  Silly me! 

Keeping the theme, I decided to make a pasta on a stick version with roasted tomatoes, zucchini, meatballs, and whole wheat pasta.  Score for creativity and score for a balanced meal!  Mr A ate all 3 kabob sticks!

Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Mini Fritatas

 It's been a while since I've made eggs at home, but I had a dozen eggs needing to be used. These turned out to be the perfect size for Miss J.  She can eat 2 of them, maybe more - but it packs in protein and other good stuff.
1. Butter mini muffin tray.

2. Beat eggs with milk, season with salt, pepper, & garlic powder.
3. Fill mini muffins with egg mixture and other add-ins.

Mini Frittatas

Inspired by Giada de Laurentiis

4 eggs
1/4 c milk
1 c frozen shredded hash browns
Black pepper
Herbs (optional)
Garlic powder
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Butter or grease mini muffin tray with cooking spray.
  3. Fill each mold about 30% full of desired filling.*
  4. Beat eggs, milk, and seasonings until well combined.  Pour into tray.  Top with cheese if desire
  5. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
 * I used frozen shredded hashbrowns that I nuked in the microwave for a minute so they weren't quite frozen any more.
* Other tasty fillings: broccoli, green onions, sausage, ham, mushrooms, the world is your oyster!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Chicken Chili soup

What's the difference between chicken chili and chicken tortilla soup?  My intention was to make a chicken tortilla soup but since I don't have tortillas, maybe it's not chicken tortilla soup?  Whatever it is, it was hearty and yummy.  Sorry, no pic.

Chicken Tortilla Soup
8-10 chicken drumsticks
1 large carrot, diced
1 can black beans
1 can green chilies
1 can tomatoes, diced
2 zucchinis, diced
3/4 c corn kernels, frozen
1-2 c water or chicken broth

Seasonings to taste
Garlic powder
Poultry seasoning
Red pepper flake, pinch
Oregano, pinch
Chili powder

1. Dice 1 carrot.  (Onion would be good too, but I didn't have any.)  Put into crockpot.
2. Arrange about 8-10 drumsticks on top of carrots.
3. Pour in 1 cup of water.
4. Generously season chicken with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and poultry seasoning.  Also add a pinch of red pepper flake, oregano, some sugar, chili powder and cumin.  Pour 1 can of green chilies and 1 can of diced tomatoes over the chicken.
5. Cook on high for 3-4 hours, or until chicken is done.
6. Remove chicken.  Remove bones and dice.  Return chicken to soup and stir in 1 can black beans (drained), 2 zucchinis (diced), and 3/4 cup corn kernels.
7. Add more water or chicken broth for more soup, if desired.  Adjust seasonings as necessary.
8. Cook on high until simmering and zucchinis are to desired tenderness.
9. Serve warm.  Optional toppings include sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, and green onions.

Strawberry Sorbet

This is a 3 ingredient recipe.  Strawberries, water, and honey.

Actually, I don't even know what a sorbet is.  Maybe this is just an icee or a smoothie.  Anyway, I stuck it in the ice cream maker and the results were delightful.  However, after a night in the freezer, it was like a brick of strawberry ice, thus the picture.  Within a few minutes, it melted just enough so it was lovely, but then I ate it and there is no after picture.  Sorry, but here's the recipe!

Strawberry Sorbet
1 lb frozen strawberries
Honey, to taste

1. Soak bag of frozen strawberries in cool water for approximately 15 minutes, or until half way thawed.
2. In blender, add strawberries and about a 1/4 cup of water.  Pulse.  Add more water to loosen up mixture.
3. Blend until strawberries are puréed.
4. Add honey to taste.  Blend well.
5. At this point, strawberry mixture can be enjoyed just the way it is, churned in an ice cream maker, or frozen in the freezer.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Pumpkin Waffles w/ more protein

A few weeks ago, we started reading the If You Give A... series by Laura Numeroff.  Mr A really took a liking to them and so I began telling him If You Give Mr A a Waffle stories.  So of course, Mr A wanted waffles, and being the sucker mom that I am, I made him regular 'ole buttermilk waffles.  Just regular AP flour, no carrots or pumpkin.  In addition, I served them to Mr A with a little bit of maple syrup on top, just like the book. But then lo' and behold, I start reading about preschoolers and breakfast and how a regular waffle with maple syrup ends up being just like spoonfuls of sugar in their bodies after a couple hours.  All the carbs are quickly broken down into glucose and kids burn and crash quickly.

That's when I realized I needed to add some protein into Mr A's breakfast.  Unfortunately, the recommendation is to just add an egg or peanut butter into your child's breakfast.  Well, we can't do that because Mr A is allergic to egg and peanut butter!  He's not a big meat eater either so I didn't see sausage or ham as a true possibility.

This got me thinking about a waffle recipe that was contributed to my class recipe book last year.  The mom said she played around with the recipe to get a freezer stable, high protein waffle to feed her family in the mornings.  When I saw she put in tofu, I was kind of appalled.  I've had a lot of tofu in my life.  I'm a big fan but using it in baking - that just seemed wrong.  However, I've seen tofu as an egg substitute and a yogurt / dairy substitute.  So it did make some sense that you could toss in half a brick of tofu into waffle batter and it wouldn't be too noticeable.  The taste reminds me a little of unsweetened soy milk.  There's a subtle soy taste, but it's not over powering.  I was pleasantly surprised.

Since my first experiment with waffles using tofu, I've tried adding a half brick of tofu to a few of my favorite breakfast recipes-- carrot-spiced waffles and pumpkin muffins.  Add a half brick of smashed or pureed silken tofu and it works.  The waffles and muffins are a little denser but the tofu almost melts in when you bake the batter.  There aren't any chunks in the waffles or muffins when you bite into them.  I keep the whole wheat to AP ratio about 1:1 and I don't serve the with honey or maple syrup, unless it's the weekend and there's no school.