Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Banana, A Baby | A Little Story About Baby Food

This is a little story about one sad lonely ripe banana, a very hungry baby and a mommy who likes the idea of giving her baby the very best she can. 

Take said lonely banana

try to calm hungry baby down by telling her you are about to make her the yummiest yummy mushy gooshy wooshy.  (babies like it when you talk baby talk, so now is a good time to talk it up)

 Break that little lonely banana and put it in a magic bullet or in a bowl to mush on your own with a forky-fork. 

 Press down and watch the magic begin!
I love my little baby making food thingy. I've used it with all my kids, it's so easy to use and clean up is a breeze. Plus it's kinda fun. (did I just lose all my credibility saying it was fun?!)

Instant yummy baby food, no fillers, no added whatevers, no preservatives. 
Just plain ol' perfect fruit for your perfect little bean. 
(the bean is the baby, for some reason i like to call my baby"bean". go on hate me for it!)

Grab a spoon


Feed that hungry little bean to get a happy baby! A taste for the babe, a taste for you!

 "Thank you Mommy!!!"
 "Thank you lady!"
Wanna know the best part? It seriously took under 1 min for me to make this and I bought a whole bunch of very ripe lonely bananas for $1.29. Wanna know the cost of ONE jar of baby food? 50 cents, for an itty-bitty jar, 50 cents for ONE itty-bitty serving! My one banana gave me at least 2 servings. So let's bust out those brains and figure this math puzzle out...

Banana Bunch $1.29
2 servings per banana, 6 bananas = 12 servings total
One small jar baby food $0.50
$0.50 x 12 servings = $6.00
Overall savings? $4.71

Freeze extra servings in ice trays for later.
Now go get your baby food making groove on!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Side Dish | Quinoa Pilaf with Cranberries and Almonds

I made this yummy savory sweet dish to take as a side for family Sunday dinner. Everyone who tried it absolutely loved it! I came home with an empty bowl and a new recipe to put in the "keep" folder. I know you'll love this dish too! Quinoa is a super food and is great as a main dish too. Try adding this recipe to a beautiful bed of lettuce for a main course, and if you wish, top with grilled chicken and you are set! I certainly didn't make enough of this and I'm planning on making more tonight to keep in the fridge for lunches this week. Could be served warm or cold. I see summer picnic afternoons with this pilaf! ENJOY!

Quinoa Pilaf with Cranberries & Almonds 

Recipe from Whole Foods

Serves 6

Quinoa is naturally wheat and gluten free and is a good source of complete protein for vegans and vegetarians. Try it in this quick and flavorful pilaf.


1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 small red onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup dried cranberries
2/3 cup sliced almonds 


Heat oil in a medium pot over medium high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring often, until just softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add quinoa and toast, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Stir in broth and salt and bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in cranberries, cover again and continue to cook until liquid is completely absorbed and quinoa is tender, 8 to 10 minutes more. Toss with almonds and serve.

Sides| Broiled Caprese Tomato Sliders

There are three ingredients that can never go wrong when put together; basil, fresh mozzarella and tomato.  It's like music to my ears... er tongue. So sweet, so delicious so simple and scrumptious. When I think of summer, I think of these three amigos and everything is lollypops and gumdrops. 

This recipe is great alone or try drizzling extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegrette on top. If you really want to go crazy and take this from side dish to main dish, put it on a fresh baguette and you've made yourself a summer sandy (short for sandwich ya know). Enjoy!

Broiled Caprese Tomato Sliders
tomato, sliced
sliced fresh mozzarella
fresh pesto
salad greens, chopped

1.  Turn on your broiler.
2. Slice tomato and mozzarella. 
3. Lay sliced tomatoes onto a cookie sheet, top with mozzarella and put into broiler. Broil until cheese is nice and bubbly. Take out of oven. 
4. Top cheesy tomatoes with desired amount of pesto, then top off with chopped salad greens. Add salt and pepper as needed. 

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Dinner | Chicken in Tomato Basil Cream

{Just so you know, I added a package of mushrooms to this recipe 
in case you were wondering what those brown thingys were in the photo}

Chicken in Tomato Basil Cream
by More Favorites pg 150

1 1/2 lbs chicken tenders
3 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
dash red pepper flakes
2 (15 oz) cans tomatoes, undrained 
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. In batches brown chicken on both sides, cooking until no longer pink. Remove from skillet and place in a 9x13" dish. 

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter to the same skillet and cook onion, garlic and red pepper flakes until onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Add undrained tomatoes and simmer an additional 5 minutes. (I used fresh vine tomatoes. We had a huge costco size bunch that need to be used up, so I threw them in the blender and until I got 1 cup of blended tomatoes and then also used one can of stewed tomatoes) Stir in cream and cook until slightly thickened. Remove from heat. Add basil, salt and pepper. (I also threw in a package of fresh sliced mushrooms)

Pour tomato sauce over the chicken in baking dish. Bake uncovered at 450 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until bubbly. 

SO creamy and yummy and warm and comforting! Serve this delicious dish over your favorite hot pasta or with some rice. We coupled ours with fresh asparagus and parmesan. YUM! A new family favorite!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Breakfast or Snack | Citrus Blast Smoothie

I've been hit hard this month with a bad case of strep throat. In fact I've had the virus two times in the last three weeks! Two different times going to the Dr's and two different prescriptions. NO FUN if you ask me! So I've decided to up my vitamin C intake with a yummy Citrus Smoothie. My four most favorite foods in the whole wide world are: Sweet Potatoes, Avocado, Grapefruit and frozen Jr. Mints (yes you read that right, frozen Jr. Mints... best treat in the world! Try it, I know you'll like it!)

Whole Living says, "As you might have guessed, grapefruits are full of vitamin C, a major antioxidant that helps fight infection, may shorten the duration of colds, and protects against free radicals."

Read more at Power Foods: Grapefruit 

So with that tid bit of knowledge I knew it was time to indulge in one of my top favorites. And nothing feels better on a sore throat than a nice cool slushy drink! I hope you try it and like it! 

Juice from one orange (or you can throw the whole thing in, it's up to you!)
1 whole Grapefruit peeled
2 handfuls of Spinach
5 ice cubes

Blend all ingredients but ice cubes in blender until smooth. Add ice cubs and blend to desired slushy. Pull out a straw and sip away to citrus heaven!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sides | Slow Roasted Tomatoes

Cherry, grape or small Roma tomatoes
Whole gloves of garlic, unpeeled
Olive oil
Herbs such as thyme or rosemary (optional)

Preheat oven to 225°F. Halve each cherry or grape tomato crosswise, or Roma tomato lengthwise and arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet along with the cloves of garlic. Drizzle with olive oil, just enough to make the tomatoes glisten. Sprinkle herbs on, if you are using them, and salt and pepper, though go easily on these because the finished product will be so flavorful you’ll need very little to help it along.
Bake the tomatoes in the oven for about three hours. You want the tomatoes to be shriveled and dry, but with a little juice left inside–this could take more or less time depending on the size of your tomatoes.

Either use them right away or let them cool, cover them with some extra olive oil and keep them in the fridge for the best summer condiment, ever. And for snacking.

*We roasted these tomatoes to put in our panini. It was sooo yummy! Our panini went like this: Country bread, a spread of pesto, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil leaves and roasted tomatoes. DIVINE! 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Breakfast | Whole Grain Buttermilk Pancakes

We do breakfast for dinner at our house at least once a week. 
Buttermilk pancakes are the BEST pancakes hands down. 
(well they come in a close tie next to my pumpkin griddle cakes)
To spice things up a bit for the kiddos we use pancake molds. 
Trust me, when pancakes look this cute - kids can't resist them!
One plate of ABC's - One plate of 123's
And just like that they are all gobbled up!

Whole Grain Buttermilk Pancakes
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup oats (what ever kind you have on hand)
1/3 cup fine ground yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups buttermilk
2 eggs
2 tablespoons real butter, melted
2 tablespoons molasses

Mix first 7 ingredients in a medium bowl, set aside. In a large bowl whisk buttermilk, eggs, melted butter and molasses. Add dry ingredients; mix just until blended. Heat griddle and brush with butter. Drop 1/4 cup batter onto griddle for each pancake. Cook until brown. Serve with pure maple syrup, almond butter, fruit... what ever your little heart desires. ENJOY!

Did you know you could substitute buttermilk with greek yogurt? I didn't until tonight when I realized we didn't have 2 cups of buttermilk in the fridge. My best friend google told me about the substitute. We swapped a cup of buttermilk for a cup of yogurt. The pancakes turned out fabulous! 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Dessert | Sweet Chia Squares

In the mood for a yummy crunchy peanut buttery cookie type thingy? 
If your mouth said yes, look no further. 
I used crispy brown rice cereal that I purchased at Whole Foods, the box was in the cereal department, it was the 365 brand. My son thought I poured this bowl for him to eat... luckily he didn't eat it all before I could take a picture of it! He sure thought it was funny I was taking a picture of his breakfast.
Brown Rice Syrup reminds me of honey, but the taste is a bit different, almost has a light carmel taste.

Cha cha cha chia!
Who knew chia was more fun to eat than watch grow on a clay head?!
You can read all about the amazing-ness of chia right here go check it out. 
All that chia info will blow your mind and make you want to sink your teeth into the healthy seed.

Sweet Chia Squares
1 cup peanut butter (no added oils or sugar)
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup brown rice syrup
2-3 tablespoons chia seed
4 cups brown rice cereal
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Mix peanut butter, honey and syrup together. Add in chia seed and rice cereal. 
Press down into a square pan. Top with shredded coconut. Once mixture has set, cut into squares. 
These bars remind me of rice crispy treats. In my opinion this recipe has too much honey, so I substituted half of the honey with maple syrup and I thought it was much better. It's up to you! Try them out and let me know what you think!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Dessert | Robyn's Peanut Butter Cookies

Robyn's Peanut Butter Cookies
1 1/2 C whole wheat flour (white-wheat is best for baking)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup butter or coconut oil
1/2 cup peanut butter (organic, peanuts only - no rapeseed or sugar corn syrup)
1 cup Sucanat
*1 egg (organic free range) 
1/2 tsp vanilla

1. In a bowl, beat the butter or coconut oil, then add the peanut butter and Sucanat and continue beating. Add the egg and vanilla to the mixture and beat. Add the dry ingredients and mix well. Shape in 1" balls, place 2" apart and flatten with fork. Bake at 375* for 8 minutes.

*We didnt have any eggs on hand so I used a little trick that my Vegan friend Katrina taught me. In place of an egg use 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed with 3 tablespoons water. Let rest in a bowl for 3 min then add to your recipe. We couldnt taste a difference! Using flaxseeds in place of eggs is a great vegan trick for baking, but you don’t have to be vegan to benefit from this great substitution. Flaxseeds are a nutritional powerhouse and sneaking some into baked goods is an easy way to get some of their wonderful nutrients into your diet.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Breakfast | Cashew Craisin Quinoa

Here's the deal. I usually have a green or pink smoothie for breakfast, but when its 20 degrees outside, sometimes that icy drink doesn't sound too hot - literally. SO what's a cold sleepy girl gotta do? Make a yummy pot of creamy Cinnamon Quinoa! 

For todays breakfast I made Cinnamon Quinoa and topped it off with : sprouts, raw cashews and craisins. One word, YUM. I'm a HUGE fan of raw cashews and craisins it's the perfect duo in my opinion. So try it, because you'll like it!

Cinnamon Quinoa
i love me a yummy cinnamony-mapley warm breakfast and this always hits the spot. 
the quinoa seed usually doubles if not triples in size. 
i store leftovers in the fridge for a quick breakfast or snack. 

2 cups water
1 cup quinoa
2-3 tsp ground cinnamon
1-2 tablespoons maple syrup (can also use honey or agave)
dash of real salt

add all ingredients together except quinoa. when water/cinnamon mixture is boiling add quinoa. cover and let simmer for 15 minutes.