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Recipes

Hershey Kiss Pancakes

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The battle at mealtime continues…

As most of you probably already know, I have a picky eater on my hands. I have tried doing everything. I have tried doing absolutely nothing as well. For those of you out there that also have a finicky child, you know how frustrating it can be. Luckily, there are a few mealtime gems that always win my daughter over.

Just like a typical woman, my little girl loves chocolate. For Christmas she got a plastic cane cane filled with Hershey Kisses, so we made some pancakes with them. They were a home run. This weekend my husband requested them & again they were a huge hit with the family. Mai of course helped make them. She ate all of hers & even stole some of daddy’s.

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Hershey Kiss Pancakes

Ingredients:

1 cup of flour

1 tbsp brown sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp of salt

1 cup of milk

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 tsp vanilla

2 ripened bananas

1/8 cup peanut butter (this offers a subtle taste, if you are a peanut butter lover you may opt for more)

1 egg white

Hershey kisses (one kiss per pancake.)

Directions:

In a medium mixing bowl combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, vegetable oil  & vanilla. In a separate bowl, mash the ripened banana using a fork. (If you have an eager little helper, a potato masher works well for them to lend a hand.) Stir in the peanut butter until smooth. Add to the flour mixture & stir until evenly distributed. Stir in the milk & egg white. Heat a griddle or frying pan at medium – high heat. (Test with a few drops of water, the water should dance across the cooking surface for best results) Add 1/8 cup at a time. When the edges of the pancakes start to bubble and firm, flip them. Lightly press a Hershey kiss into the center of your pancake. Cook until the bottom is golden brown. We ate these plain, but of course top with butter & syrup if that is your preference. Enjoy.

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Gingerbread Christmas Tree

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Gingerbread Christmas tree - a great baking and cooking project to do with the kids for the holidays. Preschoolers and food

I realize that it is not even Thanksgiving yet.  It’s not that I have anything against Thanksgiving because I have a lot to be thankful for, but I am overjoyed for this upcoming Christmas season. I understand that most do not like how early the holidays seem to come more & more each year, but for me I can’t wait, especially after having our daughter. Christmas is magical. The Christmas carols, the twinkling lights & the smells are all divine.

I am one of those people that have gotten into the spirit a little bit early, but I don’t care. My daughter doesn’t know any different. To her it is Christmas time already. This weekend we put on some Christmas carols & filled our house with the delicious smell of gingerbread. My daughter loves baking with mommy & she loves eating it too. One of the great things about gingerbread is it has the same consistency as Play-Doh. This of course made my Play-Doh obsessed daughter happy.

Gingerbread Christmas Trees

Bake your gingerbread. Here is the recipe that we used. Gingerbread Recipe

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You will need star cookie cutters. Using different sized cookie cutters, cut out about 10 cookies. If you do not have 10 different cutters, you can improvise.
I had 5 cutters in various sizes. I cut two of each size, cutting one a little thicker than the other. I worked the thicker star out carefully using my fingers to make it a little bit larger than the first star.

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On the smallest star I added a small point for the top of the tree.

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Bake your cookies according to the recipe.

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Make your icing while the cookies bake.

Icing:

1 cup of confectioners sugar

2 Tbsp of milk

1/2 Tsp vanilla

Stir your ingredients together until smooth.

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Stack the cookies from biggest to smallest. Use the icing to hold the pieces together. Stagger the star points so that they lined up every other cookie.

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Drizzle icing over the top of the tree & add M&M minis or another candy of your choice.

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Gingerbread Christmas tree - a great baking and cooking project to do with the kids for the holidays. Preschoolers and food

As I said already the gingerbread dough has a similar consistency to Play-Doh. I let my daughter use the leftover dough to craft her own cookies.

She crafted these as birthday cakes for me & her. The birthday cakes looked a bit like a pile of something else that I don’t want to say, but otherwise they still tasted delicious. Mai iced up her cookies and they passed her taste test. The only problem was trying to wrestle away all of her cookie creations from her so that she didn’t eat them all.

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We also made these cute little trees imparting the same concept of stacking the stars as with the cookie tree.

Foam Christmas tree craft for kids

We cut out 10 different sized stars using foam sheets & cut out a hole in the middle of each big enough to fit around a toilet paper roll. Cut only a small hole in your top star & loop a pipe cleaner through it to for the peak of the tree. Attach 2 small foam stars to either end of the pipe cleaner. Paint a toilet paper roll & a Dixie cup (The Dixie cup will be used for your base. Let dry. Glue the toilet paper roll into the cup. Stack the stars from biggest to smallest over the toilet paper tube & glue the top star over the top of the toilet paper roll. Let dry & let your child decorate the tree with craft pom poms, yarn, cotton snow etc.

 

 

Cinnamon Sugar Crescent Pretzels

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Cookie monster is to cookies as my daughter is to Play-doh. She just can’t get enough of it. Her favorite of all Play-Doh creations is crafting baked goods. She makes cakes & cookies and asks mommy to join in as well. I got creative the other day and made Play-Doh pretzels. This got a giggle out of my daughter & also inspired her tummy with a pretzel craving. I thought it might be fun to make some soft pretzels with her & combine the fun of playing with dough and the deliciousness of getting to eat our creations after.

Once I suggested it though, my laziness kicked in & I looked for an easy way out. Hurray for crescent rolls. These are not exactly your classic soft pretzel, but they were a quick, easy and yummy treat.

Ingredients:

1 tube of low fat crescent rolls

1 Tbsp sugar

1/2 Tbsp cinnamon

1/2 Tbsp vegetable oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375. Unroll your tube of crescent rolls. Pinch the perforated seams together & roll out into a rectangular sheet. With a rubber spatula spread out the oil evenly over the sheet. Stir the cinnamon & sugar in a small bowl. Sprinkle the entire mixture evenly over the crescent sheet. Mai did the sprinkling for us, so it was not entirely even. Cut a 1/2″ wide strip lengthwise. Roll the strip just enough to form a rope like strip. Fold & twist into a pretzel. Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 8-9 minutes. Serve while warm.

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Mai loved these. I gave her one pretzel, but our sneaky little girl smuggled a few extra when I wasn’t looking.

Pancake Battered Banana Bites

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For those of you that have been following me for a while, you know that I have had a long hard battle with my daughter over eating. She has been known to be a picky one. Not only is she picky, she doesn’t like to eat. She has much more important things to be doing & she will tell you. “Mama I don’t want to eat. I am so busy.” This is coming from my 2 year old. I am not sure what it is that could have my toddler so busy, but whatever it is, it has kept her from the dinner table on many occasions.

We have come a long way over the last few months and have seen great improvements. Her appetite has increased which is wonderful, but her variety of foods remains the same. Breakfast is one of her better meals. Thank goodness. And as luck would have it, it is my favorite meal to make. I love making bite-sized foods & if it is something that she can dip, it is usually a home run.

Pancake Battered Banana Bites

Ingredients:

6 ripe bananas

1 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour

1 tbsp of brown sugar

3 tsp of baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 large egg

1 tsp honey

1 cup of milk

2 tbsp vegetable oil

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl add the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, milk & vegetable oil and stir well. In a mixing bowl, beat the egg & add to the rest of the batter. Mix in the honey. Slice bananas into 1/2″ slices. Dip the banana in the pancake batter. Place on a hot griddle or frying pan set to medium heat. (Test with water, water drops should dance across the surface when added.) Cook until the edges are cooked & firm up. Flip & cook on the other side. Cook until the batter on the sides is firm & cooked.

We served ours with a peanut honey sauce, but you can also use maple syrup or eat as is.

Peanut Sauce:

2 tbsp peanut butter

2 tbsp water

1 tbsp honey

Heat the peanut butter & water for 20 seconds in a microwave safe dish. Stir well until smooth. Add the honey & stir well. Serve warm

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These were a big hit with both my daughter & my husband. Mai loves to dip, so she had hers with peanut sauce & syrup.

 

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American Fried Rice

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It is dinnertime & I don’t have anything planned. Let’s play a little game. What is in my fridge? We have thawed out ground turkey, leftover rice, 2 aging potatoes & a half of an onion that is getting ready to be trashed. Mmm mmm, sounds great doesn’t it? Nobody likes wasting food. My husband & I positively hate it. Some of our favorite meal creations come from simply cleaning out our fridge. The hubby asked me last week if I could make a batch of fried rice, so this seemed as good of a time as any since it requires day old rice & as luck would have it… This would not be our traditional fried rice though. This is our fried rice American style.

Ingredients:

1/2 pound of ground turkey or any ground meat

2 cups of day old cooked rice

2 cups of cooked diced potatoes (2 small potatoes)

1/2 cup of chopped onion

Half a can of corn

3 eggs

2 1/2 tbsp soy sauce (as always I recommend Green Mountain or Maggi)

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp garlic salt

Pepper to taste

Directions:

Brown your ground meat until no longer pink, drain & place aside. Peel & cube the potatoes, throw in the microwave for about 3-4 minutes until cooked in the center and set aside. In a large skillet set to 350 or high heat, add the oil & onion. Cook the onion until tender & toss in rice & potatoes. Add 1 1/2 tbsp of soy sauce over the top & stir until rice & potatoes are browned. Pour in half the can of corn & stir for a couple of more minutes. Add the ground meat, the seasonings & the last tbsp of soy sauce. Stir for a few minutes more & then transfer to a serving dish. Keep the skillet on. In a small bowl beat the eggs. Add to the hot skillet & toss around quickly until the egg is just barely firm & cooked . Remove from heat & throw in the the rice mixture.

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Stay tuned for more fun with leftovers.

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Mashed Potato Puffs

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A couple of weeks ago there was a sale on 10 pound bags of potatoes at the grocery store. I typically only buy half of that, but since the 10 pounder was cheaper than the 5, it was a no-brainer.

10 pounds of potatoes is a lot, even for a potato lover like me.  There are only so many days a person can eat mashed potatoes in a row. As you know, I love making recipes out of leftovers & anything that I am trying to get rid of in my fridge. Here is a delicious way to get rid of leftover mashed potatoes.

Ingredients:

1 cup of left over mashed potatoes

1 tube of crescent rolls or crescent sheet

5-6 bacon strips cooked to desired crispiness

1/4 cup sour cream

1/2 cheddar cheese

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375. Put 1 cup of mashed potatoes in a medium sized mixing bowl. Add the sour cream. If the potatoes are lumpy, mash or whip them until they are smooth. Crumble or chop your cooked bacon & add to the potato mixture. Stir in the cheese. Unroll the crescent dough. If using crescent rolls, press seam together to form a sheet & then roll out with a rolling pin. With a knife, slice crescent into 1 1/2 inch squares. (If the dough is too soft to work with refrigerate for 10-15 minutes to firm up.) Scoop a heaping spoonful of mixture & place in crescent square. Pull each corner into the center. Roll the bottom & sides with your palm to seal the seams. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

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These were a huge hit. I have admit that I was pretty proud of these. My husband even asked me to make more.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Pancakes

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Breakfast is definitely my favorite meal of the day. I love eggs, french toast, hash, home fries & pancakes. I am getting hungry just thinking about it. The best thing about breakfast is our daughter also loves it. It is the one meal that I can usually count on her eating. I will admit that we have made breakfast for lunch & dinner on occasion just to ensure that the kiddo would eat.

Pancakes are one of our daughter’s favorite foods & they are one of my favorite things to make. They are delicious, easy to make & a lot of fun to experiment with. Today we made PB & J pancakes.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Pancakes

Ingredients:

1 cup of all purpose flour

3 tbsp peanut butter

3 tbsp jelly

1 tbsp of brown sugar

2 tsp of baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 large egg

1 1/4 cup of milk

1 tbsp vegetable oil

Directions:

In a small mixing bowl, beat the egg & set aside. In a medium bowl combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt & oil. Add the peanut butter & break up the clumps with a fork while mixing. Stir in the milk & stir well until smooth & peanut butter is broken up. Stir in the egg & jelly. Break up the jelly with a fork as well. It is ok if it is a little clumpy with the jelly. Pour 1/8 cup of batter per pancake onto a hot skillet set at medium-high heat. When pancake bubbles and edges start to firm flip & cook on the other side.

The pancakes were a hit. Next week we will try them Fluffernutter style.

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Our Sunday Menu – Toddler Victories & Failures

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There are some things in parenthood that do not make sense to me. The most recent in a long line of things that puzzle me is this, you have all heard me cry & whine over what a difficult eater our daughter is, then how do you explain this…

Mai's daily reports from daycare. As you can see the daycare provider has no problem getting our picky girl to eat.
Mai’s daily reports from daycare… As you can see the daycare provider has no problem getting our picky girl to eat.

If the daily battle with my daughter at mealtime wasn’t frustrating enough, I now find out that she is capable of eating at each meal, just not for us. Siiiiggh! There are a few foods that I can count on that she will eat, pancakes, French toast & spaghetti. As you can see she likes her carbs. When possible we try to sneak in meat and our fruits & veggies, but it does not always work. Today’s menu had a couple of wins and a definite loss.

Breakfast: Banana & Nutella Pancakes

I had a couple of over-ripened bananas that needed to be used, so pancakes were a great place to use them.

Smash the bananas with a fork in a small mixing bowl. Add the egg & beat together & set aside. In a medium sized mixing bowl add 1 cup of all purpose flour, 1 tbsp of brown sugar, 2 tsp of baking powder, 1 tsp of cinnamon, 1/4 tsp salt, 3/4 cup of milk & 2 tbsp vegetable oil & stir. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture & stir well. Stir in 1/3 cup of Nutella. Pour about 1/8 of a cup of batter into a griddle or in a frying pan set on medium heat. Cook until the pancake is bubbly & the edges are cooked. Flip the pancake & cook on the other side until cooked all the way through.

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Breakfast was a success. She ate 4 pancakes of her own & a few bites of mine too. Score one for mommy.

Lunch: Monte Cristo Roll Ups:

Preheat the oven to 375. Cut the crusts off of 6 slices of bread. With a rolling pin, roll out each slice off bread. Beat an egg in a medium sized bowl. Brush one side of each slice with the egg. Cut a slice of ham so that it fits inside the slice. Cut a slice of Swiss cheese so that it only covers half of the slice. Roll the bread started at the cheese end. Dip the whole roll into the egg mixture covering the entire roll-up. Place on a greased cookie sheet & dust with confectioner’s sugar. Bake for about 7-8 minutes until golden brown.

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While this was a big hit with mommy & daddy, Mai refused to try it. I tried bribery & pleading. “Just take one little bite.” Negative. This was a lunch time fail. The score now is 1-1.

Mexican Chicken Rice Bake

Ingredients:

1 cup of uncooked white rice

1 pound of chicken cut into strips

1 cup of water

1 cup of milk

1 can of regular tomato soup (10.75 oz)

1 can of corn drained (8.75 oz)

1/4 cup of diced red peppers

1/4 cup of diced orange peppers

1/4 cup of diced yellow peppers

1 packet of taco seasoning

1 cup of shredded Mexican cheese

Ingredients:

Preheat oven to 375. Dice your vegetables & cut your chicken into strips & set aside in a casserole dish (I used a 9×12) add the rice, water & taco seasoning, stir well until seasoning is broken up & evenly distributed. Stir in the tomato soup & milk. Pour the corn & peppers over the top. Place the chicken strips over the top. Cover with foil & bake for about 45 minutes (cook times may vary). Remove foil, add the cheese & bake for 5 more minutes. Remove & let sit for a few minutes to cool. The top may appear slightly watery. The sauce will thicken upon standing. Scoop & serve.

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After a little coaxing and bribery, I finally got her to take a bite & guess what she liked it.

It was a pretty good eating day other than lunch, but you win some & you lose some.

Fruity Pebbles Pancakes

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FruityPebblesPancakes.jpgMost mornings I have a hard time leaving the house to go to work. I love the mornings in our home, our daughter will wake up & I will hear her sweet little voice calling out to us. “Mama, Dada, I awake.” I will go into her room and see that sweet smiling face & my heart will just turn to putty. She will jump up & wrap her arms around my neck & if I have time we will spend a few minutes together before I have to run off to work. On the weekends, I am excited that I do not have to leave this lovely scene, I get to stay home & enjoy my time with my family. Today was a little different. I was hoping that it was still Friday & that it was time to go to work. No such luck. It was indeed Saturday & my daughter really was having an epic meltdown. We are not going to get into details that is for another day, but it was brutal. Things just did not seem to be going our little girl’s way & she did not quite know how to handle it. It took a bit to calm her down, but she finally started to slowly snap out of it. A meltdown like that required a little extra cheering up, so mommy made a special treat for Mai for breakfast in hopes that we would get to see our smiley girl again.

Fruity Pebbles Pancakes

Ingredients:

1 cup of all purpose flour

1 cup of crushed Fruity Pebbles

1 tbsp of brown sugar

2 tsp of baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 large egg

1 cup of milk

2 tbsp vegetable oil

Directions: Pour the Fruity Pebbles on a plate or a bowl & smash with a potato masher or spoon to make crumbs. Put aside. In a large mixing bowl add the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, milk & vegetable oil and stir well. In a mixing bowl, beat the egg & add to the rest of the batter. Stir in your Fruity Pebbles crumbs until evenly distributed. In a frying pan or griddle set to medium heat, (Test with water, water drops should dance across the surface when added. Lower or higher temp if needed) pour about 1/8 of cup for small pancakes or 1/4 cup for regular sized. When pancakes bubble, flip and cook the other side until golden brown.

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It got Mai’s and Daddy’s stamp of approval & even put a smile back on my sad girl’s face. Two thumbs up, mama!

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Crescent Roll Breakfast Muffins

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The battle at mealtime continues… Here are few funny things about my daughter and food. She will not eat a plate of macaroni because she says it is disgusting but she will dip Frosted Flakes in ranch dressing and tell me “Mmmm Mmmmm, it is so delicious.”  She boycotts certain foods because she says they are “Too cheesy, but will ask for a slice of cheese each and every time we go the deli department at the grocery store.” and then a food that was her favorite last week, she will push a way from her this week with the claim “I do not like this.” Siiiiiiigh! 

Mealtimes are tough. Our daughter rather be doing anything else in the world than eating. We entertain her during meals with books and talking about our day, but most of the time she just wants to jump down and play. I also have noticed the larger variety of foods given to her on one plate the more she scoffs at it. We try to keep it simple. Bite sized foods work best & of course whenever I can throw something into a muffin tin or roll it into a ball, I do it.

When Mai first started her path into pickiness, there was one thing that usually never failed, wrapping her food in a crescent. I made crescent stuffed everything for a little one. I had almost forgotten about this. We had a can of crescent rolls in our fridge & I thought we could re-visit our old trick & see if it could still work it’s magic.

Ingredients:

On can of crescent rolls or crescent dough

4 eggs

1/2 cup of ham finely diced 

1/2 cup of finely chopped broccoli

1 tbsp of parmesan

1 tsp of water

Pepper to taste

Cheddar cheese optional

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375. In a medium mixing bowl beat the eggs & water. Add the parmesan, ham, broccoli & pepper. Stir well. Roll out the crescent dough (If using crescent rolls, pinch the seams together & join into one sheet. Slice into 24 squares about 1 1/2 on each side. Push each square into a mini muffin tin opening working it around to form a cup. Pour the egg mixture into each cup filling almost to the top. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese if you desire. Bake for about 10-15. Cooking times will vary.

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Mai made mommy very happy by gobbling up my muffins & daddy liked them so much he started a list of different varieties we could use to make for football parties.

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