Friday, April 30, 2010


Craisin Cinnamon Oatmeal (Lisa Esplin)

2 cups water
1 cup oatmeal (Regular or Instant)
1/2 cups dried sweetened cranberries (Craisins)
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar (Optional)
1-2 teaspoons of Peanut Butter (Optional-I know it sounds wierd but it's so yummy!)

Boil two cups of water. Stir in oatmeal and remaining ingredients. Reduce to medium heat and cook for 5 minutes. Cook for less time if using instant oatmeal. I usually add Stonyfield Organic Low Fat French Vanilla Yogurt to Claire and Afton's oatmeal to cool it down and give it flavor. I eat mine with Skim Milk.

Pumpkin Oatmeal (Jessica Seinfeld's Deceptively Delicious)

1 cup nonfat (skim milk)
1/4 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
1/4 cup canned pumpkin or sweet potato puree
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice (I used cinnamon and nutmeg)
1 cup old-fashioned oats
2 teaspoons natural peanut butter (optional, I’d say go with 1 teaspoon)
Dried fruit and nuts (optional)
Pure maple syrup, for serving

1. In a small saucepan, combine the milk, sugar, pumpkin, vanilla, and if using, and spice. Bring to a gentle boil and stir in the oatmeal. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, until the oatmeal is soft and creamy. Stir in peanut butter, if using.

2. Spoon the oatmeal into bowls, sprinkle with dried fruit and nuts, if you like, and serve warm with maple syrup.

*I usually omit the last step and cook with water instead of milk 2 cups water to 1 cup oatmeal. I usually add Stonyfield Organic Low Fat French Vanilla Yogurt to Claire and Afton's oatmeal to cool it down and give it flavor. I eat mine with Skim Milk.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Coconut Pinto Pie

1 c. mashed cooked pinto beans
1 c. evaporated milk
2 tbsp. water
1 c. sugar
2 Tbsp. dried whole egg, sifted or omit 2 tbsp water and egg powder and just add one whole egg
1/2 c. flaked coconut
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp. coconut extract
1 (8 -inch) unbaked pie shell

Combine beans and milk; blend until smooth. Beat in rest of the ingredients and pour into pie shell. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Cool. Enjoy. Great with whip topping.

Spicy Hungarian Lentil Stew

7 c. water
1 1/2 c lentils, sorted and rinsed
1/3 c. dried onion or 1 medium onion diced
7 tsp. chicken bouillon
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 tsp. cumin
1/2-3/4tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. dried minced garlic or 1 tbsp.freshly diced garlic
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 large bay leave
1 (12-oz) can evaporated milk
2 Tbsp. flour

Combine all ingredients except milk and flour in a pot and bring to boil. Simmer for 45 minutes. Whisk flour into milk until there are no lumps. Whisk into stew. Return to boil while stirring, simmer 1 min. Serves 5.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Tips for Getting Kids to Eat Healthy
and Try New Food

1. One Step at a Time - Offer just one new food at a time. Let the child know in advance if it is sweet, salty or sour...
2. A taste is just a taste - Let your child decide the amount to try.
A taste can be as small as 1/2 teaspoon.
3. What goes in may come out, and that's okay! - Recent studies indicate young children are more likely to try a new food if they have the option of not swallowing it. Show children how to carefully spit food into a napkin if they decide they don't want to swallow it.
4. If at first you don't succeed, try again. - Many young children must be offered a food 8 to 10 times before they will try it, according to recent research. Continue to offer a new food... don't give up. Eventually they are likely to give it a try.
5. Be a role model. - Imitation is a powerful force in learning. If you want children to drink milk, for example, make sure they see you drinking milk as well.
6. Capitalize on "food tasting peers". - To encourage a reluctant taster, have him or her sit with friends or siblings that are good tasters when you introduce a new food.
7. Serve an unfamiliar food with familiar ones. - It increases the likelihood that a child will taste the new food. For example, use pudding as a dip for trying pineapple spears of kiwi slices.
8. Color and texture make a difference. - Children prefer bright colors and interesting textures. Crunchy fruits and smooth pudding make a nice contrast. The bright color of red and yellow bell peppers may entice them to taste.
9. Involve children in the preparation. - Children are more likely to try a food they have helped to prepare.
Even young children can help stir, mash, pour and measure.
10. You can lead them to a new food, but you can't make them eat. - Never force a child to try a food. Offer it. If it is not eaten, simply take the food away and present it again at a different time.
11. Present the pyramid. - Offer new foods from all five groups of the Food Guide Pyramid. Include
1) Milk, cheese and yogurt,
2) meat, poultry, fish, beans and eggs,
3) Fruits,
4) Vegetables,
5) Bread, Cereal, and pasta.
All food groups are important for good health.
12. Lessons from literature. - Read stories about food to your children. They may be more likely to try a food that has been introduced in a story.

Make Food Fun
· Have a Theme Dinner- Eat only foods that start with the letter “P” (pineapple, pizza, peanuts…) or focus dinner on colors, shapes, textures.
· Use dips and Toothpicks- yogurt makes a great dip for fruit and a grape stuck on a toothpick dipped in yogurt equals FUN!

Present Foods in Different Ways
· baby carrots or whole “bunny rabbit” carrot
· slice of bread or bread ball
· Cut Food in Different Ways- strips, chunks, circles, squares, triangles, hexagons…or use a cookie cutter
o Bologna Faces!!!!
· Veggies raw, cooked or frozen (frozen peas are great!)
· Tons of fun shaped pastas, don’t just stick to plain spaghetti or macaroni noodles

Offer Choices
· Do you want carrots or peas for lunch?
· Do you want me to cut it, tear it, or leave it whole?
· Do you want to dip it in ketchup, ranch, bbq sauce?

“Try It Tuesday’s”
Offer new foods or foods that child wouldn’t try in the past. After they take two bites the children get to vote (thumbs up or thumbs down) if they like it or not. They cannot vote if they don’t try it. But it is okay if child does not want to try it. Serve same vegetable in different ways (raw, cooked, frozen). Serve plain cooked pastas in different shapes and colors to see if they taste the same.

Meatloaf Cupcakes

Meatloaf Cupcakes

2 lb. ground beef
1- 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 TB. Worcestershire sauce or lemon juice
1/2 c. chopped onions
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. quick oats
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. pepper

Mix all together and bake at 350 degrees for 45 min in loaf pan or 15-20 min. in muffin tin.
About 10 min. before done cover meatloaf with glaze. Then finish baking.

Glaze: 1 cup ketchup mixed with 3 TB. brown sugar

When meatloaf is done, top with mashed potatoes (I use instant potatoes to use up food storage!). Spread potatoes on top to look smooth like frosting. Then sprinkle with bacon bits or chopped veggies to look like sprinkles.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Potato Bacon Soup

Potato-Bacon Soup

3 slices bacon (real pork bacon, not fake stuff)
1 cup chopped onion
3 medium potatoes (about 1 lb), diced to make about 2 1/4 cups
1 can (or 1 3/4 cup) chicken broth (or 2 boullion cubes in 1 3/4 cup water)
1/2 cup water
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp curry powder (optional, but highly recommended)
about 1/2 cup frozen peas (optional)
1 can (14 oz) evaporated milk
2 Tbsp parsley (optional)

Cook bacon until crisp and crumble it. Reserve 2 Tblsp of the bacon drippings, and cook the onion in the fat until tender. Add potatoes, chicken broth, water, salt, and curry. Add peas if desired (amount is just an estimate). Cover and cook 10 mins or until potatoes are tender. Mash potatoes slightly with fork if desired. Stir in evap. milk, parsley, and crumbled bacon. Heat through. Serves about six.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Granola Bars and Chicken Nuggets

These are my kid friendly recipes:

I brought these granola bars that Kristin originally posted to this blog. They have become a favorite at our house. We like using pretzels and chocolate chips.

My oldest likes this next recipe. He won't eat chicken nuggets from fast food, restaurant, or the freezer section (and I don't blame him.)

Chicken Nuggets
1 C. cornflakes, crushed
1/2 C. Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 C. ranch dressing, prepared
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast cut in 1 inch cubes
additional ranch dressing

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
-In a shallow bowl combine first 5 ingredients.
-Place 1/4 C. ranch dressing in another bowl.
-Toss chicken in dressing, and then roll in cornflake mixture.
-Place in a greased 11x7x2 inch baking pan.
-Bake, uncovered, for 12-15 minutes or until juices run clear.
-Can serve with additional dressing for dipping.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Whole Wheat Cucumber Wraps


1 package of 1/3 reduced fat cream cheese
1/2 lb. Maple Honey or Black Forest Ham
1 Large English Cucumber
1 pack small multi-grain or wheat tortillas
1 tablespoon of light mayo


Soften cream cheese and whip with 1 tablespoon mayo until light and fluffy. Set aside. Cut cucumber in half and remove seeds with a spoon. Dice and set aside. Chop Ham and set aside. Spread 2 tablespoons of cream cheese mixture on each tortilla, working one tortilla at a time. Sprinkle ham and cucumber. Add salt to taste. Roll tortilla tight into a pinwheel. I use a little cream cheese to seal shut. Slice into thirds.

White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies with Coconut

Prep: 15 minutes, Bake: 10 minutes.

Yield: Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups uncooked regular oats
1 (11.5-ounce) package white chocolate chips
1 cup chopped macadamia nuts
1 cup coconut
1. Preheat oven to 350°. (I baked them at 335 because my oven bakes crazy fast.)**

2. Beat butter and sugars at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla, beating well.

3. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl, stirring well. Add oats; stir well. Add to butter mixture; stir until well blended. Gently stir in chocolate chips, macadamia nuts and coconut. Drop by rounded tablespoons 2 inches apart onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until brown around edges. Cool on pan 2 to 3 minutes or until firm. Remove cookies from pan; cool on wire racks.

Baker's Notes :)

**I baked these at 335 degrees for 10-12 minutes or longer and instead of parchment I used my silpat. This was the first time I tried this recipe but I did add an extra 1/2 cup of flour. Also, the original recipe uses pecans and big semi-sweet chocolate chunks-no coconut which I'm sure would be good. I'm a bit sloppy with the vanilla and always add extra.