Friday, August 8, 2014

More from the #TestKitchen: Broccoli Cheese Bites

It's been a while since I've gotten a new post up and I'm duly ashamed. It's been a crazy summer and we're getting ready to move at the end of the month. But today the urge struck to try out a new kitchen adventure, and it turned out SO delicious that I couldn't help but set aside some time to come and share it with you!

The recipe is super simple and the result is just too good.

Broccoli Cheese Bites 


Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of broccoli, steamed and drained
  • 1/2 cup of shredded cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 TSP Montreal Steak Spice
  • 1 cup Stove Top Stuffing Mix

Directions:


1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl.
3. Scoop out 1/4 cup of the mixture, and with your hands, form small patties and lay on a parchment lined baking sheet.
4. Bake for 25 minutes, flipping them after the 15 minute mark. 
5. Let cool and enjoy.


These are super amazing dipped in Ranch salad dressing, but are also quite good on their own too. They're also perfectly sized for little fingers, and your toddler will love feeding themselves these veggie packed bites. You could even get creative and add some bacon bits into the mixture to make it more of a complete meal.


Another #TestKitchen success story!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Cauliflower Pizza Crust: Test Kitchen

I'm all about trying new foods, especially when it comes to new ways to sneak some veggies into your meals, but when my brother-in-law mentioned his interested in trying out cauliflower pizza crust I was pretty skeptical. I hate cauliflower. There is no way I enjoy eating it--not raw with dip, not cooked in cheese sauce, not in any way! But he peaked my curiosity, so as a spur of the moment thing we decided to have a family cooking adventure and try making some cauliflower pizza crust! And I am amazed to say that is was actually quite good!! So my gluten free friends, take heart!




Gluten Free Cauliflower Pizza Crust


Ingredients:


- 1 small sized head of cauliflower - should yield approx. 3 cups once processed
- 1/4 TSP salt
- 1/2 TSP dried basil
- 1/2 TSP dried oregano
- 1/2 TSP garlic powder
- 1/4 TSP chili flakes
- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
- 1 egg

Directions:

1. Place a pizza stone or baking sheet into the oven at 450 degrees to pre-heat it.

2. Wash and dry a head of cauliflower. Using mostly florets (you don't need much stem), pulse in blender or food processor until you have what looks like cauliflower snow. You will need between 2 and 3 cups, and the closer to three cups the better.


3.  Place the cauliflower snow in a microwave safe bowl and cover. Microwave for 4 minutes. Dump cooked cauliflower out onto a clean tea towel and allow to cool for a bit. Once cooled, wring out as much water as possible from the cauliflower. This takes some time and effort, so keep wringing! Getting as much water out as possible will help prevent your crust from crumbling apart on you when you go to eat it. 

4. Once wrung out, add cauliflower snow, both cheeses, herbs, salt, chili flakes and egg into a large bowl and mix well. Using your hands works best at this step. Mix "dough" well and form into a loose ball with your hands.

5. Place dough onto greased parchment paper and press down and out into a thin circular shape that will form your crust.


6. Now you're going to bake your crust! Remove your pre-heated pan from the oven and place your greased parchment paper on top. Put crust into the oven and bake at 450 for 8-11 minutes or until golden brown. 


7. Once your crust is done, you can top as you would a regular pizza! We added some sauce, pepperoni, bacon bits, onion, green pepper, and of course more cheese! Return pizza to the oven and bake till cheese is melted and bubbling.

8. Allow your pizza to cool for a few minutes, cut into slices and serve!


Friday, June 27, 2014

Rhubarb Oatmeal Muffins

Rhubarb is overflowing in my parents' garden right now and one of my fondest memories as a kid is walking around eating stalks of raw rhubarb with a little bowl of sugar to dip it in! It's pretty tough to beat fresh produce straight from the garden. My parents gave me a bunch last weekend when we were there visiting and I decided to make it into some muffins to see if the boy-o would like the tangy tartness or not. They were definitely a success! Hubby likes them a lot too.

Note: These also freeze really well, and make a delicious breakfast muffin! And your little toddler will loving being able to feed themselves, and you know you can feel good about what they're eating!


Rhubarb Oatmeal Muffins:


Ingredients:

- 1 1/4 cups quick-cooking oatmeal
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup strawberry greek yoghurt
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups rhubarb, chopped


Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Mix the oatmeal, flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg well in a large bowl.
3. Mix the brown sugar, greek yoghurt, egg, applesauce, and vanilla well in a medium bowl.
4. Pour the wet into the dry and fold until about halfway mixed.
5. Add the rhubarb and fold until just combined.
6. Portion into a greased muffin tin and bake for about 22 minutes.
7. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack. This is important!! As the rhubarb cooks it will make extra moisture, and allowing it to sit in the hot pan for a while helps to remove some of that extra moisture.



Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Fireworks Craft: Canada Day Art

With Canada Day coming up this weekend I decided to make some festive art today with the kiddos. We made did some "Firework" paintings! These were super easy to make and they don't require very many materials. All you need is some black paper; some paint: red, orange and yellow; 3 pipe cleaners per child; and some sparkles and glue which are optional.

To make this craft you need to fold the group of three pipe cleaners over in half and about two inches from the bottom twist them all together and then fan out the ends into a star shape. You can open up the loop at the other end a little bit to make a nice handle. This will be your paint brush!


Once you have your pipe cleaner brush made you're all set! Simply pour out some paint on a tray and dip the fanned out end of the pipe cleaner into the paint. Press it down on the paper, turn a little bit sideways and press again, and if you want a fuller look you can turn and press a third time. Do this with each of the colours! I just used the same brush for all of them. Behold your fireworks!


For a little bit of added flair if you'd like, you can also add some sparkles to the fireworks. Simply spread a small amount of glue in the center of each firework with a few lines out into the edges of the fireworks and shake on your sparkles. 


Although we made these firework pictures to celebrate Canada Day, you can make them for any holiday or festival where you live. This craft is especially fun for little ones who might be afraid of real fireworks but who don't want to miss out on the party.

BOOM!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Banana Oat Muffins

The Zucchini Applesauce Muffins that I've shared with you before are still a huge hit in our household, but I wanted to make up a second kind of muffin so that we can have a bit of a rotation with them. Following the same principle as the zucchini ones, I wanted to make a muffin that was both healthy for the boy-o AND delicious! These Banana Oat Muffins meet both of those criteria and they also freeze really well, which is certainly an additional perk.

Note: These muffins call for a little bit of honey, which is high on the allergen list for infants. So if you haven't tested out honey previously, you may want to leave it out of this recipe!


Banana Oat Muffins


Ingredients: 

  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, not packed
  • 1/2 cup Greek Yoghurt
  • 1/3 cup  milk
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 TBSP honey 
  • 1 1/2 TSP vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mashed bananas
  • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 TSP baking soda
  • 2 TSP baking powder
  • 1/2 TSP salt
  • 1 TSP cinnamon
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats


Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. 
  2. In a large bowl, beat the egg and brown sugar. Add in the yogurt, milk, applesauce, honey, and vanilla. Beat until combined.
  3. Mash the bananas until there are no chunks left and stir in the mashed bananas with the yogurt and milk mixture.
  4. In another medium-sized bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and oats.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Do not over-mix or the muffins become more dense.
  6. Pour the mixture into the muffin cups and fill almost to the top.
  7. Bake at 400 degrees for about 5 minutes and then reduce the heat to 350 degrees and cook for another 13-15 minutes.



These muffins turn out nice and fluffy and they make an excellent breakfast choice with the oats, banana, applesauce, and greek youghurt for a bit of protein. These muffins freeze great and are totally boy-o approved!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Father's Day Craft Idea #3 : I Love You THIS Much!

The third and last Father's Day craft idea that I'd like to share with you is for those who don't like to get dirty, but would still like to include their little one's hand print somehow to make it a little more personalized.

All you need is some construction paper, a pencil, some scissors and a marker!

Simply trace your little ones hands on the construction paper and cut them out. On the front hand write "I Love You." Then cut out a long strip and fold it back and forth like an accordion. Then, on each little square of the accordion write a single letter from the phrase, "This Much," and trim off any excess. Glue your phrase onto each of the hands and you're done!


You can make this one as colourful as you'd like and the handprints will make a nice keepsake! Show Dad how much you love him with a personalized card.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Father's Day Craft #2

Yesterday we looked at a fun footprint craft for Dad in the shape of a Bee and Butterfly. Here's another cute and simple idea for making a Father's Day Craft that your little one can get involved with. This one works especially well for the littler little ones who aren't going to be able to make a solid handprint very well since the point is to intentionally make a "muddled up" handprint!

One you've printed your three handprints you can glue on some googly eyes, draw on extra facial features, and write on your message for Dad! Older kids can write their own names on too for an added personal touch.




Stay tuned tomorrow for another simple and fun craft idea for Dad's Father's Day gift!


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Father's Day Craft Ideas #1

If you're like me, you have no real idea what to give your husband/partner for Father's Day. Last year I had a little photo shoot done with our then 7 week old son, and this year I'd like him to be a little more actively involved in the gift making process.

One of the best ways to have young kids participate in artwork making is to do hand/footprints with paint! So we hosted a craft making party for all of the boy-o's little friends and made some awesome artwork for Dad.

The first example of what we came up with is the Bee/Butterfly combo.


To start with I drew a long skinny oval for each of the bodies, which helped to line up where to print the footprint onto the paper. We did the footprints so that the smaller edge of the foot was against the bug's body (big toe on the outside) to make the wings as big as we could. For the bee we just stamped in yellow and I painted on the stripes afterwards. For the butterfly I applied all three colours to the boy-o's foot at once. 

Once the paint was dried we added a bit of glue and stuck on some googly eyes, and presto--footprint bugs are complete! It was a lot of fun to make, and they turned out super cute. You could add a sweet message to the page or personalize however you'd like. Just make sure you remember to add the date so if you keep it you can remember what year it's from.

More examples to come of Father's Day craft ideas in the next few days...so stay tuned!