Parenting 2.0

Archive for the ‘Eat It’ Category

Aside

Posted on: April 28, 2012


9 weeks in and my little guy’s interest in baking may be waning… (but my enthusiasm is still full tilt!). After only a few short moments in the kitchen, Niko spotted the Play-Doh containers and it was off to the table for a different kind of fun. Ah well, I can always count on the beaters, and mixing spoon to reel him back in.

Today I gave Niko a choice of two recipes. The debate was between Lemon-Poppy Seed Tea Bread and Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies. After showing him both pics I asked him which he preferred and his response was an enthusiastic “Cookies Mama!”. Like, duh! As if there could be any other option…

Lately we’ve been on a peanut butter kick, solely for the reason that my hubbie proclaimed his love for peanut butter cookies (who knew?). So good wifey that I am, I’ve been experimenting for him! (And truth be told, me…)

After last week’s peanut butter cookie debacle, I was ever so closely monitoring those “golden brown edges” that the recipe called for. And voila, peanut butter cookies to perfection!

My mods for my too hot oven: heat to 325 and bake for 10 minutes! Golden edges! Golden bottoms! Sweet delicousness! We even piped on the PB frosting as suggested in the recipe.




Note:

52 WEEKS IN THE KITCHEN

Week 1: Strawberry Cake

Week 2: Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Week 3: Carrot Applesauce Cookies

Week 4: Lemon Yogurt Anything Cake

Week 5: Chocolate Chickpea Cookies

Week 6: Protein Packed Smoothies

Week 7: Berry-Almond Quick Bread

Week 8: Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

Week 9: Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies


Remember the days when you used to take a whole spoonful of peanut butter and just eat it? Maybe not. But when I was a kid this was a treat for me and my cousin and one that lasted quite some time with all that ooey gooey sticky goodness. Niko got a little taste of such delicacies when he got the leftovers on a spoon we used to scoop the peanut butter with, into this recipe. Not quite a full spoon for him, but still, took him quite a while to polish it off!

This week we tried these Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies. Unfortunately my oven runs a little hot and I burned them. Ah well, one burned batch and already into my 8th week of 52 in the Kitchen. I would say that’s not that bad. Borys (my hubbie) had the idea of scraping the burned bottoms off on a cheese grater, using the lemon zester side. Getting rid of the carcinogens and all. He said it worked (and that’s after Niko and I had already had three a piece) and I saw the little black crumbly remnants in the sink this morning, so maybe he’s on to something.

Note to self: Would I make this recipe again? Not sure.

I modified the cooking temp from 350 to 340 and only baked them for 10 minutes, so if I do do it again, I’d have to really monitor those golden edges. Ah baking… At times it’s a fine line between sweet deliciousness and crumbly black bits…

Note 2:

52 WEEKS IN THE KITCHEN

Week 1: Strawberry Cake

Week 2: Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Week 3: Carrot Applesauce Cookies

Week 4: Lemon Yogurt Anything Cake

Week 5: Chocolate Chickpea Cookies

Week 6: Protein Packed Smoothies

Week 7: Berry-Almond Quick Bread


So many delectables to be had when experimenting in the kitchen. While perusing the Food Network site this week I read that,

“A recipe is merely words on paper; a guideline, a starting point from which to improvise. It cannot pretend to replace the practiced hand and telling glance of a watchful cook. When you cook it once, it becomes yours, so personalize it a bit. Remember words have no flavour, you have to add your own!”

Anyway, not sure how practiced my hand is (at least when it comes to cooking), or how telling my glance is (unless you’re talking about the teacher “stink-eye” because I like to think I have that honed to perfection…), but nonetheless all this kitchen experimentation is proving to be a good way to try lots of new flavours, as well as a good strategy for stocking my freezer (and my family’s tummies!). If it was up to Niko I think he would have liked to add half a cup of Cars to the recipe (see third pic below), but again, I’m not quite sure this is what it means to personalize a recipe.

This week on the menu: Berry-Almond Quick Bread (So good!) Niko, Stella and I doubled the recipe and cooked it at 360 for an hour – my oven runs a little hot!

Note:

52 WEEKS IN THE KITCHEN

Week 1: Strawberry Cake

Week 2: Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Week 3: Carrot Applesauce Cookies

Week 4: Lemon Yogurt Anything Cake

Week 5: Chocolate Chickpea Cookies

Week 6: Protein Packed Smoothies


This week’s kitchen adventures with my trusty toddler in tow, involved making smoothies! We’ve been doing this for the past few weeks and Niko loves to press the buttons on the blender. (Too bad I broke it yesterday as I was putting it away. Yes, smashed the glass and everything. I guess smoothies will be on hold for a while until we get a replacement. But this brings me to wonder: blender vs food processor? What’s the best way to go? Thoughts? But I digress.)

Yesterday our ingredients included:

  • a banana
  • frozen berries
  • some grapefruit juice
  • and Greek yogurt (as per my friend Traci’s suggestion, Greek yogurt is packed with protein: 11 or 12 grams per serving!)

The end results?

YUM-MEEEEEEEEEEEE! 🙂

Note 1: What would smoothie making be without the watchful eyes of some Thomas trains…

Note 2:

52 WEEKS IN THE KITCHEN

Week 1: Strawberry Cake

Week 2: Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Week 3: Carrot Applesauce Cookies

Week 4: Lemon Yogurt Anything Cake

Week 5: Chocolate Chickpea Cookies


You know those ninja moments in life, where you catch the falling water bottle before it hits the floor? We’ve all had them. It feels great. Today Niko had his first. As my trusty sous chef he can be counted on to bring the ingredients from the cupboard to the counter. But today as he attempted to lift the chick peas he lost his balance, but saved the day by catching them on his shoulder before they hit the floor, or even worse his toes. Or even worse again, his sister, who was literally sleeping underfoot!

The look on his face was priceless. Shock. Pride. Terror. Happiness.

It all happened so quickly.

This week’s installment of 52 Weeks in the Kitchen boasts a “healthy” treat: Chocolate Chickpea Cookies. But they’re not really that healthy. There’s still lots of sugar, butter and flour in them. But I guess the health kick comes in as the recipe contains a whole can of chickpeas. And guess what? They’re tasty! Another hit for our tiny kitchen.

Stella was a bit zonked this morning as we went about our cheffing. But Niko was ready to bake! He likes to help dump the ingredients into the bowl, at times onto the counter, and sometimes into his mouth. And let’s face it, once it’s beater-licking time, his work is pretty much done. Nonetheless we had a great time and have added a new tasty treat to our repertoire – and our freezer collection.

Note: A recipe for “healthy” cookies does not mean we are on a health kick. I just came across the recipe, thought it looked interesting and presto, we’ve got them in our house.

Note 2: Thank you to Very Culinary (via Pinterest) for the recipe!

CHICKPEAS

NIKO SAVES THE DAY

BREAK TIME

OUR RECIPE

CHICKPEAS ON THE SIDE

INGREDIENTS IN THE BOWL

AND ELSEWHERE…

BEATERS!

…THE BEST PART!

Note 3:

Week 1: Strawberry Cake

Week 2: Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Week 3: Carrot Applesauce Cookies

Week 4 – Lemon Yogurt Anything Cake


As of today, my tiny entourage and I have a month of recipes under our belt. Just 11 more to go!

Today’s treat?

Lemon Yogurt Anything Cake!

Thanks to Smitten Kitchen (via Pinterest) for the recipe.

YUM!

Note 1: We doubled the recipe and added a tbsp of poppy seeds. But like the title says…anything goes! Dee-lish!

Note 2: I was actually envisioning/hoping for a lemon loaf of sorts, but I now realize that baking in a loaf pan, does not necessarily a loaf make. Ha well. Still dee-lish (for a cake…)

Note 3: Weeks 1, 2 and 3

Note 4: See bottom pic – Niko is eating outside in a t-shirt and it’s March! We are having some record breaking temps this month!


Has Pinterest changed my life? Well, if this latest endeavour goes through I will have to say yes!

I have committed myself to 52 Weeks in the Kitchen – with my toddler and baby as my willing sous chefs. In the coming weeks, we will work our way up to a year in new recipes. Baking our way through the year, until 52 new recipes have passed. I have to agree with Tidy Mom that baking with your toddler or just kids in general, despite their age is a great way to spend time together. Not to mention providing an opportunity to reap the benefits of the delectable rewards awaiting us at the end of our labour!

Week one, two and three have already come and gone. And only Pinterest holds the secret to what will come in week four and beyond. Yes, all the recipes have come and will come from Pinterest. I LOVE THAT SITE – some may say slightly addicted…

Week 1: Strawberry Cake (So easy! So good!)

Week 2: Chocolate Chip Banana Bread (We didn’t have enough bananas, so I subbed some strawberries and blueberries. The result? YUM! – although a slightly longer cooking time was required.)

Week 3: Carrot Applesauce Cookies (No whole wheat flour, so we subbed the regular kind and again, YUM! and SO MOIST!)



Niko has an interesting way of telling us he’s done his supper.

Step 1) Push chair away from table as far as possible, using the fullest reach of hands and feet against the table to propel to the furthest distance.

Step 2) Grab sock and rip it off.

Step 3) Repeat on other side.

Step 4) Scatter socks on the floor below, while delighting in newfound foot freedom.

With such a show of respect, Niko can only be demonstrating me how much he likes my cooking, right?

And so it is that this habit has developed. As soon as I see that first table push-off with his hands, I pretty much know it’s game over. Unless of course, I tempt him with cookies or ice cream, but that’s not a daily occurrence. And over time this habit has evolved. He used to struggle with his socks, until he discovered that biting the toes really provided that extra torque needed to successfully de-sock himself independently. But that strategy wasn’t sitting too well with Mommy and Daddy, so after a few nights of encouragement he finally figured out how to get the pull he needed by using his hands alone, sans teeth! Phewf.

Anyway, for now it’s socks off to signal the end of dinner time. And we’re left with a barefoot toddler for the remainder of the evening while the spoils of his labour remain scattered on the floor, usually until the next morning.

Pull ‘Em

Typical: Post Supper


Twas the month before Christmas, and all through the house,

ideas were stirring of how to make Christmas the most.

With Ma in the kitchen and Pa on the roof,

visions of baking with toddler danced through our heads…

Ok, so not a complete rendition of the original but you get the idea. As part of building the Christmas spirit with little Niko, I had visions of baking with him: making “special” cookies in honour of the approaching holidays. “Special” because whenever that word is thrown into the mix, his interest is automatically piqued. And what better recipe to try than a simple no-fail one I had picked up in my Grade 7 Home Ec. class. Yes, I’ve kept the recipe all these years and have come to use it as one of my regulars. Which when it comes to baking, is only about once a year. But it’s tried and true and EASY! These little chocolate delights always turn out and are a real crowd pleaser.

So Chocolate Drop Cookies were on the agenda and Niko’s tiny hands were going to be thrown into the labour. And as always he was delighted to help. But something went askew and my vision didn’t quite turn out as planned. Did we have a good time? Yes. Did Niko get his fair share of spoon-licking in? Yes. But when I went to ball up the cookies the mix proved too dry and the best I could get was tiny cookies surrounded by a multitude of crumbs. Ah well…they still tasted good. But next time around, I might try it sans toddler hands. Sorry Niko! But don’t worry, you’ll reap the rewards of my labour once the cookies are done.

Note: The photo of the cookies below, is NOT an image of our cookies, but rather the way they are supposed to look when they actually turn out, and the way they have looked every other time I’ve made them in the past.


It’s November. And despite the fact that the days are getting shorter and the temperature in general is dropping, we’ve had a few nice days. Last week, Niko and I played out front for quite some time. It was sort-of mitten weather, but seeing as Niko was running around a lot, he soon ripped off the extra layer. And even though the sun was shining and he was warm, I was more of an encourager of his actions and kept my mittens on. What better way to drain a toddler’s endless supply of energy than racing back and forth across the front lawn? Anyway, while he was running as full blast as his little toddler legs would take him, I took a more leisurely approach and let him win (most of) the races.

And what better way to reward ourselves for enjoying the somewhat brisk temperatures of a November afternoon than to go inside and celebrate with hot chocolate and marshmallows. Niko didn’t know what sort of treat he was in for, seeing as he’d never had the stuff before, but when I asked him if we wanted any, his enthusiasm gave me a clear answer.

Niko gets so genuinely excited about the little things – even if he doesn’t know exactly what he’s getting excited about! I love it! Although, I suppose anything with the word chocolate in it, is enough to pique his interest.


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