Breakfast for Dinner and Tales of a Helpful Toddler

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.

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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.

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I ate my biscuits with honey…yum!

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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).

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Fruit and Oat Muffins

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.

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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.

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Dry Ingredients:

2 cups oats – processed into “flour”

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup coconut sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Wet Ingredients:

1 cup fruit – mashed

1 1/2 over-ripe banana

2 eggs – beaten

1/2 teaspoon coconut oil

2 teaspoons vanilla

Instructions

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.

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Toddler Meals: 3/18/2016

In this post, I am going to share Genevieve’s daycare breakfast and lunch. We normally give her breakfast at home, but she generally just take a bite or two, if she eats at all. As a result, most days we send her to daycare with breakfast, in addition to the lunch I generally post about.

Breakfast:

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Kashi Cinnamon Harvest cereal (dry) and organic blueberries

Lunch:

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Pineapple, organic kiwi, twice baked potato, pesto grilled chicken, and mushroom/spinach sautee.

Snack:

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Organic cheddar cheese, sliced unsalted almonds, and Spinach/Kale pasta chips

Practicing our fine motor skills before we eat our breakfast of eggs and grits.

Practicing our fine motor skills before we eat our breakfast of eggs and grits. #blog | February 28, 2016 at 12:16PM
Practicing our fine motor skills before we eat our breakfast of eggs, bacon, and grits. The Cracker Barrel peg game is a great tool for a toddler to practice fine motor skills by inserting the pegs into the holes. You can also take the time to practice color recognition using the different color pegs.

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Finally No Crying!

In the past, Genevieve has always cried when we dropped her off for daycare. She would cling to whichever parent drop her off and cry anytime we tried to sit her down, passed her to a teacher, or leave the room.

Last week, Michael said that she had been letting him sit her at the table in her classroom while he put her breakfast in front of her, and then she would eat and, we watch as he walked out the door.

Yesterday was the first day I have dropped her off at daycare since he had told me this it started happening. It’s so refreshing and so much less stressful to leave her knowing she is content and happy. Yay for no crying!

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Breakfast: banana, apple, and Blueberry pumpkin seeds breakfast cookie.

Oatmeal Blueberry Yogurt Pancakes

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.

My version:

  • 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.

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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!

Avocado/Banana/Apple/Oat Toddler Muffin

Trying a new muffin recipe for Genevieve. For more details check out my Avocado/Banana/Apple/Oat Toddler Muffin post at www.ashleykparker.us #toddlermeals #newrecipe #healthytoddler #homemadebabyfood #blog | January 17, 2016 at 10:09PM
Trying a new muffin recipe for Genevieve. This one is an Avocado/Banana/Apple/Oat Toddler Muffin. I used the Baby Food Muffin recipe posted on The Gold Medal “Our Baker Blog” written by The Baker Mama.

Ingredients:
3/4 Cup All Purpose Gluten-Free Flour
2 Tablespoons Coconut Flour
1 Cup Old Fashioned Oats (pulsed 3 times in a food processor)
1 teaspoon Baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons Baking powder
1 1/4 Cup Organic Applesauce
1 Avacado (mashed)
1 Over Ripe Banana (mashed)
1 teaspoon Cinnamon

Directions:

Stir together all dry ingredients.

Add wet ingredients and mix well.

Fill 10 muffin cups lined with silicone liners (I used 3 cookie scoops each). Bake at 350 degrees for 28 to 30 minutes.

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I don’t care for Oatmeal, Avacado, or banana, so trying these out myself wouldn’t do much good. Michael offered to try them and he said they tasted under cooked, but I think it was just the texture. These muffins have a ton of fruit in them and the recipe was designed for babies, so I’m sure it’s meant to be on the moister side. I will serve them to Genevieve for breakfast in the morning and see what her opinion is.

Finished product info will be added to this post later tonight (or maybe tomorrow ).

Toddler Meals: 12/13/2015

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Today’s breakfast doesn’t look like much, but we had a late night in the grown-ups around here tired while the baby is ready to go!

Today’s breakfast includes watermelon, shaved parmesan cheese, peanut butter on an English muffin, bacon, and some of my homemade snack mix ( puffed rice, pumpkin seeds, coconut, and freeze dried fruit).

Toddler Meals 12/10/2015

Scrambled eggs are a common breakfast for Genevieve.  This morning I scrambled them with chunky salsa.  Scrambled eggs are great because she likes them, they aren’t messy, and if she doesn’t finish her meal at home, they can be easily put in a snack cup (we use Munchkin Snack Catchers). Whenever possible, I prefer to feed her organic foods, especially when they are something she eats regularly.
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Today’s lunch includes: mashed potatoes, sauteed squash, and Plum Organics Meatballs, that I cut into small pieces.

I normally don’t feed her pre-cooked/pre-packaged foods, but I didn’t cook last night and I didn’t have any protein leftovers to send. These meatballs are great because they are pretty healthy, include vegetables, and are organic.

For lunch add-ons and snacks I also sent Triscut Low Sodium crackers, shaved Parmesan cheese, celery, cucumbers, watermelon, and dried vegetable chips.

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Recently Genevieve has refused to eat yogurt, so I thought I would send some to daycare and see what happens.  I used a Kiinde reusable food pouch and put it in a zip lock (with a note) to make sure it gets returned.  The pouch itself is trash, but the nipple is reusable and I was afraid just asking for the nipple to be returned was asking for confusion on their part.  I will just toss the pouch when she gets home.

I prefer to purchase plain yogurt and add flavoring by mixing in my homemade purees.

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Pancakes are normally not in my job description

This morning I decided to try something new for Genevieve’s breakfast. She normally has scrambled eggs or peanut butter toast (side note: she said “peanut butter”, yesterday!).

I wanted something that wasn’t messy and was easy, healthy, and would allow me to incorporate a vegetable or fruit. I was also hoping to find something that would either make a small quantity or make a moderate quantity and be something I could freeze for later.

It was also important, for this meal anyway, that I have all the ingredients already in my kitchen.

I decided to try this recipe for coconut flour banana pancakes by Dr. Frank Lipman. I found the recipe on Pintrest and it can be found here.

I cut off the recipe in half using the conversions (found here) shown in the Taste of Home article, “How to Cut Fown Recipes,” that I also found on Pintrest.

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I bought my coconut flour from Home goods. I like to shop there for new specialty foods because it gives me a chance to try new things without spending as much or wasting the time hunting them down online since there isn’t much available here.

Ingredients (halved recipe):
1 banana – mashed
2 eggs
2 Tablespoons coconut flour
2 teaspoons coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (use the real stuff – its just better)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Coconut oil (for cooking)

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Directions:
Beat eggs until frothy. Whip in mashed banana. Add in other ingredients until incoperated. Cook in non stick skillet or on griddle with coconut oil until done. Yields approx. 6 small pancakes.

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I’m terrible at making breakfast. I love to cook, but for some reason my breakfast foods never turn out as well as I would like. I almost always over cook or under cook pancakes. In this instance, I don’t know how much was me and how much was the ingredients. It seamed like they went from raw to really dark with no in between.

Genevieve didn’t notice that they were ugly though, she really seemed to like them. She ate one here at the house and Michael took a couple with them for the car and daycare. I refrigerated the last two for breakfast tomorrow.