Monday, November 18, 2013

Cranberry {Vanilla Bean} Jam

There is nothing like the taste of homemade jam, somehow it's simply better and fresher tasting.  In fact, I may be slightly obsessed with this jam of late.  I have literally been putting it on everything from breakfast toast to turkey sandwiches.  Sweetened by maple syrup and full of antioxidant loaded cranberries this recipe isn't just jam, it's super jam.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Cranberry Pecan Pumpkin Muffins {Gluten-Free}

This is my first fall and incidentally my first holiday season that I am unable to eat gluten*.  But instead of feeling sorry for myself (okay I felt a little sorry for myself) I decided to crack the code on gluten-free baking.  I have had a few many failures.  I know there are many recipes online already that may be very good but I do not like overly complicated recipes.  My criteria is easy with simple ingredients.  This doesn't exactly jive well with gluten-free baking, especially if the product needs to emulate a product made with regular (wheat based) flour.  But the lesson for today is if you fail enough times eventually you succeed.  This pumpkin muffin was loved by myself AND non gluten-free people, to me that's success.  

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Almond Pinecones

This is fun recipe that is almost too pretty to eat.  I said almost because one bite and you'll gobble them up.   A perfect recipe to make with kids! 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Pumpkin Granola Bars {No-Bake}

We have been creating new twists on our No Bake Granola Bars recipe posted last month and I love this autumn flavor combo of pumpkin and cranberry.  This is a great recipe to make with kids, we made them recently in my Petite Chefs class and they were a lot of fun!  The kids got sticky and had huge smiles on their faces..success!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Vanilla Bean Applesauce

Between trips to the apple orchards and Bebe B's quest to find the "biggest" apple ever we have had a house loaded with apples this fall (I mean LOADED). We have had a great time creating new recipes for them. Warning: this recipe will make your house smell AMAZING!!  It makes a wonderful accompaniment to fall dinners or a warm breakfast!  

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Autumn Popcorn Balls

When I was little my grandmother made popcorn balls at the holidays. Sticky, sweet deliciousness! I set out to create a “healthy” version of the recipe that could be a festive autumn treat. The girls and I made ours to look like pumpkins and used dried blueberries for jack-o-lantern faces. The result was a cute and tasty snack. Be prepared for your kids to get a little messy with this recipe, but it’s worth it I promise. The girls had so much fun making these that I couldn’t even snap any pictures of them making the pumpkins (we were all too sticky). Yet, sometimes living in the moment is better than photos.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Sweet Potato Squash Cakes

This is a great savory pancake made of...veggies!  These are one of our favorite ways to have breakfast for dinner (or brinner as we call it in our house).  Both girls devoured them the first time I made them and do so every time I make them. 

Sweet Potato Squash Cakes- 12 Months+
1 medium Sweet Potato (peeled)
1 medium Yellow Squash 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Mini Caramel Apple Pops

This recipe is the perfect size for little ones. I proudly showed my girls how to eat them in one bite, which they loved. The caramel in this recipe never gets too hard or sticky so it’s easy on little teeth...

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Playdate Snack Mix

I recently had the fun opportunity to provide snacks for the first Madison Mom's Blog playdate.  We made our Purple Moon Milk and I created this recipe just for the event. Something easy, yummy, healthy and safe for little ones.  

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Easy Homemade Caramel Sauce

This is an easy, vegan way to make caramel sauce.  Some caramel recipes are complicated and easy to mess up but this one almost impossible to not get perfect. Works great for caramel apples, drizzled on ice cream.  Ps. a small drizzle in your morning oatmeal is divine...

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Summer Camp Lunches 11-19

Here are Bebe B's summer camp lunches 11-19 and what was in them (that's the last of summer packed lunches).  Each one took about 5-10 minutes to make and Bebe B helped me with many of them or at least told me what to pack.  Also I ALWAYS pack the night before:

Friday, September 6, 2013

Poppy Seed Pea Sliders

This is a fun recipe I created a few years back but never got around to sharing till now.  It's a great little vegetarian burger that can turn even the strongest of little pea haters into pea lovers.  This recipe is perfect for packing in a lunchbox or taking to a kid's event.  Kids and grown-ups alike gobble them up because they are delicious. 

Poppy Seed Pea Sliders- 12 Months+
3 cups Green Peas (fresh or frozen)

Monday, September 2, 2013

No-Bake Granola Bars

A granola bar is quite possibly one of the most perfect creations ever created.  It works for breakfast, snack, packed in a lunch and more.  They sell some wonderful and healthy granola bars these days (and some not so healthy ones with an ingredient list 11 miles long)...BUT the cost can really add up.  We love to buy them from time to time but it's also fun (and super easy) to make them.  This recipe has only 7 ingredients and takes only 10 minutes to make.  My girls have been snarfing this new creation down almost as fast as I have. 

Toasted Coconut Orange Granola Bars - 12 Months+

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Purple Moon Milk

I love being able to give my girls special treats.  It can be a struggle when it seems everywhere we go there are items loaded with refined sugar and artificial colors.  I'm always happy when I find boxes of organic milk and the strawberry or chocolate make a very special treat.  But even though they are safe and made with organic cane sugar, they do have a lot of that sugar.  Bebe B and I set out to create a healthy, fun version we could have a home anytime we wanted.  This recipe was the result...mission accomplished.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Cracker Stackers

This is a great sandwich alternative for kid's lunches.  My girls love spreading the cream cheese on their crackers (and plates, table, chairs, clothes).  Perfect to make with kids although a little messy, they will adore stacking their crackers and gobbling them up.  Change them up a bit and substitute peanut butter and bananas!  The possibilities are endless. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Carrot Candy

Originally I had planned to call this recipe carrot granola bites but once Bebe B got a taste she dubbed it carrot candy and that was that.  It's perfect for a quick breakfast or snack on the go and works great packed in a lunch.  It's so yummy it tastes like a treat but is packed full of healthy things.  The girls loved helping me make these.  They enjoyed rolling them into little bite size bits almost as much as eating them.  Two words people - no bake!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Groovy Green Smoothies

Green smoothies are all the rage these days, and for good reason.  Full of awesome veggies and not many kiddos (or grown ups) will turn down a smoothie.  This is our new favorite green smoothie.  In fact the girls and I are about to make some to take to the park.  If you have been hesitant about trying a green smoothie this is the one to try, it's so delicious (and healthy).  

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Fish Tacos

This recipe is a perfect go-to family meal.  Easy and made from simple ingredients.  For "Bebe I" it makes a wonderful quesadilla if you fill cooked fish, avocado and cheese in a tortilla and toast for a few minutes.  "Bebe B" no longer wants a quesadilla on taco night.  She must eat a taco like mommy and daddy.  The girl does pretty well with it too, usually no crumb is left behind.  This is another great way to serve fish that is full of flavor and balances the "fishiness" of fish that my kiddos are less than fond of.  In fact I'm not even sure they realized it was fish.  

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Summer Camp Lunches 6 -10

Here are Bebe B's summer camp lunches 6 -10 and what was in them.  Each one took about 5-10 minutes to make and Bebe B helped me.  Also I ALWAYS pack the night before:

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Deepak's Avocado Milkshakes

My husband created this recipe to emulate a treat he was fond of growing up in Southern Africa.  His mom would make it by adding sugar, a lot of sugar according to him.  He was quite happy with the results adding honey instead.  This recipe creates a thick, creamy, rich milkshake that both our girls loved and couldn't get enough of.  Plus it packs a nutritional punch, avocados are full of fiber, antioxidants and healthy fats!  It's pretty fantastic having a husband who can get creative in the kitchen!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Bloom Bake Shop: Restaurant Review

Bloom Bake Shop in Middleton, WI is wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!  When the weather finally started to warm up the girls and I made a little stop after preschool.  Sometimes it's okay to have cupcakes, for no special reason.  And it's easy not to feel guilty with the healthy ingredients they use at Bloom.  I was able to have a gluten and dairy-free cupcake and the bake shop uses local and organic ingredients in their cupcakes!  And the taste...SO GOOD!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Pudding Pops

These "pudding pops" are a healthy and delicious treat that will cool you down and make your taste buds do a happy dance.  Both of my girls loved them, in fact Bebe I ate two within a half hour.  These are the kind of treats that your kiddos will love and you don't have to feel guilty about.  

Friday, July 12, 2013

Light & Easy Home Fries

This recipe is a winner in our house and crazy easy to make.  Not to mention cheaper than store bought french fries and healthier than restaurant french fries.  I used to think you needed a touch of olive oil to get crispy fries but often it actually equalled soggy fries- gross!  This method turns out perfect...every time.  Another great combination to try is sweet potatoes and rosemary....DE-licious!  The girls love to dip these fries in Ketch-Yo.  Which is simply organic ketchup mixed with plain greek yogurt.  

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Summer Camp Lunches: 1-5

Bebe B attends a day summer camp twice a week and brings her lunch.  Here are her first five lunches of the Summer and what was in them.  Each one took about 5-10 minutes to make and Bebe B helped me.  Also I ALWAYS pack the night before:

Monday, July 1, 2013

Super Summer Smoothies

This refreshing drink will cool you down on a hot summer day faster than you can say super summer smoothie!  I like to grate cucumbers with my food processor and save some in the fridge for salads and freeze some in cubes for smoothies.  Both girls adored this one.  For me it's the perfect drink to have after a long run in the summer sun.  

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Grape Slushy Pops

It's popsicle season people!  Whatever name you have for them (ice pops, freeze pops, popsicles, frozen treats, you get the idea) there isn't much better on a hot summer day.  Guess What??  It's easy, healthy and affordable to make your own.  We use reusable molds, I highly recommend getting some (we found ours at our local Whole Foods Market and on Amazon).  You can also use disposable cups and popsicle sticks but be sure to add the sticks after about 45 min to an hour of freezing so they don't tip to the side.  The girls and I made these the other day and they were wonderful, refreshing and have a great slushy texture. I cannot wait to share more of our creations this summer.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Sweet & Salty Kale Chips

If you haven't tried making Kale Chips before, now is the perfect time.  You can pick up tons of kale cheap at your local Farmer's Market right now.  This recipe is so easy and so tasty.  The kind of chips your kiddos will ask for seconds of and you will have no problem saying yes to.  Both my girls love them and they make a great addition to a lunchbox (Yours or your kiddos)!

Sweet & Salty Kale Chips - 10 Months+
1 large bunch Kale (I like using curly for chips)
1/2 tbsp Coconut Oil (melted)or Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
Salt & Pepper 

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.  Wash the kale and be sure it has time to dry well.  Chop or tear kale into medium to large pieces (it will shrink down to chip size in the oven), removing any large thick stems.  In a large bowl toss kale pieces with the remaining ingredients.  I find using salad tongs works great (but your hands work great too).  Spread the kale out evenly on parchment paper lined baking sheets.  Bake the kale chips for about 12 minutes.  Gently stir/ flip them around the baking sheet and return to the oven for another 5 minutes until crispy.  The spice combination and natural sweetness in the kale makes a sweet and salty chip without even needing any sweeteners.  I'm not sure how long these chips last since my husband, daughters and I finish them up in a few days. Every time.  

This recipe is Vegan, Gluten-Free and AWESOME:)

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Chocolate Banana Shake (healthy I promise)

This is without a doubt my favorite recipe creation!  It honestly tasted too good to be healthy, but I promise it is.  Bebe B and I made these as a special treat the other day.  We saved some for Bebe I too, who couldn't get enough.  Two words people: guilt free!

Chocolate Banana Shake - 10 Months+
2 RIPE Bananas (peeled sliced and frozen for at least a few hours)
1/2 cup-1 cup Ice Cubes
1 tsp pure Maple Syrup
1 TBSP Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/2 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk (I like unsweetened vanilla almond milk)

Blend all the ingredients together until you have a frothy, creamy shake consistency!  We enjoyed ours with dye-free sprinkles and bendy straws (made from corn, cool huh?)  For a yummy frozen treat pour the shake in into popsicle molds and freeze for 24 hrs!  Feel free to substitute with your favorite unsweetened milk but I love the nutty taste of almond milk in this recipe.

About to be blended


Mama & Kid Shakes

Bebe B in "milk" shake heaven

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Tropical Chia Pudding

Here is another Chia pudding recipe, my Cinnamon Chia Pudding is still very popular in this house but both girls had no problem licking their little bowls clean and asking for seconds of this recipe.  I liked it too (despite the fact I have had an aversion to mangoes since an untimely mango smoothy collided with my severe morning sickness when I was pregnant with Bebe I, it wasn't pretty) and it was just the right amount of sweet for us but a little more honey would sweeten it up even more if desired.

Tropical Chia Pudding - 12 Months+
1 cup fresh or frozen (defrosted) Mango
1/2 cup Coconut Milk
1 tsp raw Honey
1 1/2 tbsp Chia Seeds
1/2 tsp Cardamon
1/2 tsp Nutmeg

Puree the mango, coconut milk, honey and spices until well combined. Combine the puree with the chia seeds in a small bowl.  Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes (this gives the chia seed time to absorb the liquid and give it a pudding consistency).  Enjoy!  A healthy treat that just might make you feel like you're relaxing in the Caribbean, well at least for a few minutes until reality sets in again.  It also packs great in a lunch.

This recipe is vegan, nut-free and gluten-free.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Pesto Party Hummus

As promised, the second hummus recipe we made for Family Fun Night at Bebe B's preschool.  The first recipe Sunshine Hummus was a huge hit at my Petite Chefs class this past weekend and I can't wait to hear what other kiddos think of this one. (Bebe B and Bebe I have yet to meet a hummus they didn't love).

Pesto Party Hummus - 11 Months +

1 (15 oz) can Navy Beans (no salt added)
1/3 cup fresh Basil
1/3 cup fresh Spinach
2 tbsp fresh Goat Cheese
clove Garlic
tsp Sea Salt
Juice from ½ a small Lemon
2-3 tbsp Olive Oil

Add all of the ingredients (except Olive Oil) to a food processor and begin to blend, stream in the oil till a creamy consistency is reached and the hummus is well mixed.  This recipe will keep in the refrigerator for 3 days and for 3 months in the freezer.  A creamy and fresh dip for veggies or pretzels!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sunshine Hummus

We love hummus, in all shapes and sizes.  Recently we signed up to bring a dish to share for Family Fun Night at Bebe B's preschool.  We were assigned the nut-free protein group so hummus was the perfect solution!  I created Sunshine Hummus and Pesto Party Hummus (a recipe I'll be sharing this week).  Bebe B named both of these recipes and I think she did an awesome job.  We served them with celery sticks, eight grain pretzels and broccoli pops (broccoli florets stuck on paper straws).  I love this recipe because its bright and warm and the taste is light and fresh.

Sunshine Hummus - 11 Months +

1 (15 oz) cans Chickpeas
1 small Yellow Pepper (mild)
1/4 cup Olive Oil
½ tsp Turmeric
¼ tsp ground Cardamom
1 clove Garlic
1 tsp Sea Salt
Juice from ½ a small Lemon
Juice from ½ a small Orange

Roast the pepper in a 350 oven or toaster oven for about 5 minutes, allow to cool for 10 minutes.  Warm in a small sauce pan olive oil, turmeric and cardamom for a few minutes on low heat. Add the cooled yellow pepper and the rest of the ingredients and begin to blend, stream in the spiced oil till a creamy consistency is reached and the hummus is well mixed.  This recipe will keep in the refrigerator for 3 days and for 3 months in the freezer.  A bright and creamy dip for veggies or pretzels!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Puree Monday - Sweet Potato Spinach Stew

This recipe is a wonderful baby food recipe incorporating raw fruit and veggies into a puree.  I also like how it can be as smooth or as chunky as you like, depending on what's right for your little one.  Bebe I loved this puree last summer, Her and her older sister could both live on sweet potatoes if I let them.  This is also a great mix in for pasta for toddlers and older babies! 

Sweet Potato Spinach Stew - 8 Months+
1 large sweet potato
1 large apple, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup raw spinach, washed & chopped
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 tsp nutmeg
water, breast milk or formula for thinning

Roast a large sweet potato on a lightly oiled (to prevent sticking) pan in a 350F degree oven for about 50-65 minutes.  Make sure you poke a few holes in the potato with a fork before roasting.  Cut into the potato to ensure it is soft inside.  Allow it to cool for about 15 minutes then scoop the insides out of the skin and puree with the remaining ingredients in a food processor or in the Beaba babycook until desired consistency is reached. This recipe will keep up to 3 days in the fridge or 3 months in the freezer. This recipe will fill about 2 ice cube trays (10-20 servings).