Last night was the first night in a long time that I cooked dinner for my family. I love to cook and I normally cook quite often, but Michael had been out of town for a bit and then my Mother-in-Law had a heart attack (more about that in another post) and as a result we have been back and forth to Little Rock (to visit the hospital) and Michael has been staying at the hospital a lot too.
Michael was home last night and I wanted to cook, but I had forgotten to set anything out to defrost. I was left to ponder what I could fix for dinner fairly easily and with what I had on hand and ready to cook.
I decided on Breakfast for dinner – a fairly regular meal at our house. I thought about what I would include and decided on gluten-free biscuits, scrambled eggs, and sausage links. Now generally Michael prefers bacon or at least sausage patties, but all I had was sausage links, so he was just going to have to make do with them.
The kitchen quickly becomes a disaster area when I am cooking!
Genevieve saw me in the kitchen and wanted to help. She climbed up in her learning tower (we found this at a Rhea Lana’s sale for so cheap!), and asked to help me. She first pointed to the sausages and told me that she wanted to eat the “hot dog,” which was so cute! I told her that they were sausages and she then told me that she wanted to eat the sausages, but I told her they had to cook first (much to her disappointment). She then helped me cute the biscuits. When I started breaking the eggs to scramble them, she asked if she could crack the eggs. I wouldn’t let her crack the eggs because I didnt want to fish all the shells out. She got so made at me that she ran out of the kitchen saying that she was going to go “tell daddy that you are doing it wrong!”
When dinner was finished cooking, we all sat down to the table to eat. It was such a treat for us all to eat dinner together, since it had been so long.
I ate my biscuits with honey…yum!
Want to know how to make these amazing gluten-free biscuits? I use this recipe from Maebell’s blog. It is the best gluten-free biscuit recipe I have found. I generally tweak it by adding 1/2 teaspoon of xanthan gum, cooking in a glass 9×13 casserole dish coated with melted butter, and I cook them a bit longer – 15 to 20 minutes (finishing with the broil setting to get a golden color on top).
- 1 pkg Betty Crocker Gluten Free Yellow Cake mix
- 1 pkg chocolate fudge jello pudding mix
- 4 large eggs
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 stick butter (melted)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup milk (add a couple extra tablespoons if the mix is too dry).
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
Mix all ingredients together and spoon into a oiled bunt pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.
The batter is VERY thick and will not pour. This batter will need to be spooned into the pan.
Notes: This cake is one of the best cakes I have ever made, regarding texture. The cake was very moist and held together very well. It was fluffy. I was afraid it would be dense because the batter was so heavy, but this cake is very light and springy. I even cut it while it was hot and it didnt crumble at all! I will say that it did not taste overly chocolaty. I think next time I make it, I will add more cocoa powder.
In my effort to purchase minimal groceries this month (and try to use up what we already have), tonight’s dinner was an experiment. However, it turned out to be a very tasty experiment.
1 lb of ground turkey
3 Cups minute rice (We use Minute Brown Rice)
1 1/2 Cup Chicken broth
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp chopped garlic
1 Yellow Bell pepper, chopped
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Cup sour cream
1 pkg Cream Cheese
1 Can diced tomatoes in juice
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1 1/2 to 2 cups shredded cheese
1/2 8oz can of tomato paste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Saute onion, bell pepper and garlic in the olive oil for a couple of minutes and then add the ground meat and Italian seasoning. Keep cooking until meat is browned.
- Add sugar, salt, , garlic powder, diced tomatoes, and tomato paste and keep cooking for a few more minutes (you want the flavors to blend together).
- Then add the cream cheese and sour cream and cook until melted into the sauce.
- Put the dry rice into a 9×13 casserole dish and pour the chicken broth over the top.
- Pour meat/sauce mixture on top of rice. The sauce does not have to completely cover the rice.
- Top with the shredded cheese of your choice.
- Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes.
- If there is too much liquid in the casserole then remove the foil and cook another 10 to 15 minutes.
Grilled smoked sausage, sautéed purple cabbage, and brown beans. #familydinner #toddlermeals #blog #dinnertime
3 cups rice chex
3 cups corn chex
3 cups cherios
1 cup party peanuts
2 cups pretzel sticks (we use Gluteno’s)
2 cups cheese crackers (we use Van’s)
3 tablespoons worchestershire sauce
1 stick butter + 2TBSP, melted
1 tablespoon onion powder
3 tablespoons Mike’s seasoning
Optional: 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
Mix dry seasonings into the melted butter.
Mix dry ingredients together and then drizzle 1/2 the seasoning mix over it. Stir well. Add the remaining seasoning slowly while continuing to stir.
Once evenly coated put in a sheet pan or large tossable aluminum pan. Spread out as thinly and evenly as possible.
Bake at 250 for 1 1/2 hours, stirring every 20 minutes.
Cool well before storing.
When your toddler request cheese and hotdogs for dinner and you comply. Nathan’s all beef hot dogs, strawberries, and Cubed cheese. #glutenfree #toddlermeals #2yearsold #24monthsold #momlife #blog
Homemade Yogurt Popcicles
This recipe is super simple. It’s a great alternative to ice cream. I like to give these to my toddler because I can control the ingredients and the sugar.
- Whole milk yogurt – plain (Stonyfield Organic is our choice)
- Pureed fruit or fruit/veggie blend
- Honey (optional)
- Popcicle molds
1. Prepare a fruit puree (see my previous posts for suggestions) or use a preprepared baby food pouch.
2. Spoon 1/2 Cup of plain yogurt into a bowl.
3. Add fruit puree to yogurt. Add as much as you like -to taste. I normally use 1/4 cup, but have used as much as 1/2 Cup.
4. Add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of honey, depending on the sweetness of your fruit.
5. Spoon into popcicle molds and freeze.
I normally use whatever fruit I have that is getting close to the end of its life.
- Strawberry, blueberry, and blackberry
- Peach and banana
- Cherry and strawberry
- Peach and mango
Favorite popcicle molds:
These are fun shaped silicone molds. Silicone molds make them very easy to come out (even without running under water). I really like these molds for toddlers and small children because they are much smaller than standard sized popcicles.
Zoku individual popcicle molds (Amazon)
Koji popcicle molds (Target)
Tonight I tried out a new muffin recipe that was recommended to me in one of my mommy groups. I was looking for a healthy full size muffin, because Genevieve has started preferring full sized foods. She has been refusing my mini muffins, but at a recent family reunion, she ate half of a full sized one.
Tonight I tried the “Straw-nana Muffins” posted here. While I used the base of this recipe, I did make a few modifications, which I will share below.
When looking for a “full sized” muffin recipe tonight, I had a few requirements. I wanted to use up an over-ripe banana that was sitting in my fruit bowl, I wanted to use oats, and I preferred the recipe to be gluten free (I eat gluten free, but my daughter does not).
The original recipe called for 1 cup of mashed strawberries, which I did not have. I substituted a mix of apple, peach, blackberry, and cherry and used my Ninja food processor to “mash” and mix them. The original recipe also called for 1 cup of chopped strawberries to be folded in the dough just prior to baking. I substituted blackberries for strawberries and only used about 1/4 cup. Also, the original recipe allows the choice of coconut sugar or maple syrup – I chose to use coconut sugar. I did add 1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil to my finished mix- just because.
Once I had my batter deposited in my silicone liners, I topped them with a dried fruit and seed mix to make the tops pretty.
2 cups oats – processed into “flour”
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup fruit – mashed
1 1/2 over-ripe banana
2 eggs – beaten
1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
Mix wet and dry ingredients separately and then together. Spoon into a silicone lined muffin pan. Top with dried fruit and seeds. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes (mine were closer to 20) or until they can pass the toothpick test.
I found a recipe for no sugar added pancakes that use yogurt on Pinterest, and I thought they would be a perfect recipe for Genevieve. I am always looking for great food ideas for Genevieve, because I dont want her to have any added sugars and I really watch her sodium intake. I try to avoid processed foods for her as much as possible. We live in a very rural town, so non-processed foods are really hard to find and healthy pre-packaged toddler foods are just not available very often. It amazes me that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no added sugar or salt under the age of 2, yet almost all the baby food products are full of it!
The original Oatmeal Blueberry Yogurt Pancake recipe I founds was from Ambitious Kitchen.
I did make a few tweaks to the recipe.
- 1 over-ripe banana
- 1 cup Stoneyfield Organic Whole Fat Plain Yogurt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 3/4 cups Organic Old Fashioned Oats
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 large egg
- Raspberries, broken into pieces (optional)
- Coconut Oil for frying
Add all ingredients to the blender, except the coconut oil and berries. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes so that it will thicken. Cook in a medium temperature skillet or on a griddle with the coconut oil. If desired, add a few bits of berries to the tops of your pancakes when the batter is still soft. Cook until golden on each side.
Notes: This made aprox. 9 small pancakes for me. It is important to let the batter sit and thicken. The first 2 pancakes I made were still gummy in the middle, even though the exteriors were cooked perfectly. This stopped happening after I let the batter sit and thicken. Initially the batter had the thickness of a watery milkshake, but thickened to a pretty dense batter. The thickness of this can be adjusted by adding more oats or thinned with a tiny bit of milk, if needed.
These are gluten free.
PS. My husband normally hates the food I fix for Genevieve because it is too bland or the texture is off-putting to him. He said these were yummy!
Genevieve’s lunch today is probably one of the fanciest meals I have ever given her. Nothing I sent was expensive or unusual foods, but it’s definitely not your average toddler meal.
The “lunches” featured in this series are normally what I am sending to daycare for the day, so the contents are actually lunch and snack. She eats breakfast before she leaves the house for the day.
Triscuit crackers and organic cheddar cheese, spinach and cheese ravioli with pesto and steamed zucchini, raspberries and blackberries, plantain chips, and a raw vegetable salad with humus/yogurt dip (1:1 ratio of whole milk organic yogurt and hummus).
The vegetable salad includes: snow peas, radish, zucchini, and bell pepper with the skin removed.
I also sent two 5oz servings of Hipp toddler formula.