Tag Archives: kid friendly

Applesauce Muffins

Applesauce Muffins

Can you believe it’s the first day of Autumn?! What happened to September?! It’s not like I didn’t see the warning signs; apples at the market, the arrival of pumpkin spice lattes and the need to wear a cozy sweater in the morning, it’s just that I kept telling myself that it was still summer. I was convinced that everything was just early this year. Apparently I was just late :/

Since it is Autumn, though, and since I found myself with an abundance of fresh picked Honeycrisp apples from the market, I felt a strong urge to make something with them. Applesauce seemed like the best place to start. It’s hard to imagine anything more comforting than the smell of applesauce stewing on the stove. It’s basically Autumn in a pot. Once the sauce was made, I started dreaming of all the ways I could use it. I have a few ideas in mind, but because muffins are a weekly staple at our house, they’re the first thing that the applesauce was added to. They’re easy to make and a deliciously healthy option to quickly throw into my kids lunch bags. I hope you enjoy these Autumn inspired applesauce muffins 🙂

Applesauce:

1 1/2 Cups  sweet apples, peeled, cored and diced (I prefer Honeycrisp or galas)

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 Cup water

Simmer over low – medium heat until softened. Remove from the heat and mash with a potato masher until desired consistency. I like to leave a few chunks in it, but if you prefer a smoother sauce, then go for it. Set aside to cool.

Muffins:

2 Cups whole wheat flour

1/2 Cup sugar

1 tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1 egg

1 Cup milk

1 Cup applesauce

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Farenheit.

Combine the first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well.

In a small bowl, whisk the egg until frothy. Add the milk and applesauce and stir until well combined.

Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture. Pour in the applesauce mixture and stir gently until just combined.

Evenly divide the batter between 12 greased muffin cups. Bake for 20 -25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

 

 

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Bacon corn chowder

Bacon corn chowder

Bacon corn chowder

 

“Mom, how much longer until the corn is ready” asks my 7 year old as we drive by the corn fields. This was back in March, and again in April, and again in May, etc, etc….you get the idea. For all the fun summer brings, it’s the taste of fresh, locally grown corn on the cob that my 7 year old longs for the most. Well, maybe not the most, but certainly the longest. Once corn season arrives, he can’t seem to get enough. We all love fresh corn on the cob, but it’s his, apparently endless, appetite for it that rarely leaves me with any leftovers to work with.

Last week something strange happened…I ended up with 3 beautiful leftover cobs to play with. There was also something else strange happening. After several months of hot, dry, near drought like conditions the skies opened up and the rain started to fall. With cooler, autumn”y” (made up word, but I’m sticking with it) weather appearing out of nowhere and a few cobs of corn in my fridge, it only seemed right to make a chowder. Or chowdah, if you’re like my husband and like to pretend you’re from Boston. Seriously. Every time :/

This bacon corn chowder was the perfect way to warm up on a cold, rainy night. I you enjoy it!

Oh, and one last note: If you’re not a fan of bacon (I promise I won’t judge you), or you wanted to make this a vegetarian friendly chowder, you can easily leave it out. You can also substitute frozen corn if you can’t get your hands on any fresh cobs.

375g package of bacon, sliced into 1/2″ pieces

1 Cup onion, diced

1/2 Cup shallot, diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 Cup potato, diced

3 Cups chicken broth

2 Cups heavy cream

3 Cups corn (about 3 cobs)

1/4 Cup chives

salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot over medium heat, fry the bacon until crisp. Leaving the drippings in the pot, remove the bacon and set aside.

Add the onions, shallots and garlic to the pot. Saute for a few minutes until just starting to sweat. Stir in the potatoes, scraping up any bits from the bottom of the pan. Next, stir in the chicken broth, immediately followed by the cream. It’s important to add the cream immediately, before the broth gets too hot, to avoid separation and curdling.

After the broth and cream have been added,  stir in the corn and the reserved bacon. Bring the chowder to a simmer over low-medium heat, stirring occasionally. Continue cooking for 10 – 15 minutes until everything is heated through. Garnish with the chives. Serves 4 – 6.

 

 

 

 

Grilled Chicken Lettuce Wraps

 

Grilled chicken wraps

Grilled chicken lettuce wraps

I don’t know about you guys, but this summer has gone by in a flash for me. We’ve been keeping pretty busy and have had a bit more time away than usual, which was wonderful, but I always find that, no matter how fun a vacation is, it’s always really great to be back home. With school starting in just less than two short weeks, it’s great to be able to settle back in and start getting prepared for the chaos that comes with getting two little kids ready for school each day. After being away in Portland last week and eating out for every (delicious) meal, it’s also great to get back in my kitchen.

The recipe I’m sharing today was well received by everyone in my house, including my 4 year old. When she’s the first one done dinner, you know it’s gotta be great. It’s not that she’s picky exactly, she just doesn’t do dinner. At least not while sitting still, nor in a reasonable amount of time. She’s more of grazer and could happily snack all day long. I can’t really complain though, she gladly eats almost any fruit or vegetable I give her, which makes my world a little easier than most parents. Setting the meal up as I’ve pictured above allowed the kids to choose which vegetables they wanted to include and, for my daughter, made her feel like she was at a snack buffet. Maybe that’s why she ate so well.

I hope you enjoy these grilled chicken lettuce wraps as much as we all did 🙂

 

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2″ piece of ginger, minced

1/4 Cup rice wine vinegar

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/4 Cup tamari (or other soy sauce)

1/4 Cup brown sugar, plus 1 tbsp reserved

2 tsp fish sauce

1/4 – 1/2 tsp chili flakes

1 lbs chicken breast

1/2 Cup carrots, julienned

1/2 Cup red peppers, julienned

1/2 Cup cucumbers, julienned

1 head of butter lettuce, cleaned and separated

Whisk together the first 8 ingredients. Set aside.

Cut the chicken into bite size pieces and place in a shallow bowl or casserole dish. Pour the soy sauce mixture over the chicken and toss, ensuring that the chicken is evenly coated. Set in the refrigerator to marinate for 2-4 hours.

After the chicken has been allowed to marinate remove it from the fridge and begin preheating the bbq. Thread the chicken onto skewers, reserving the marinade, and place it on the grill for 15 – 20 minutes until it’s been cooked through.

While the chicken is cooking, pour the remaining marinade into a small sauce pan. Whisk in the reserved 1 tbsp of brown sugar and bring to a simmer over low-medium heat. Cook for about 5 minutes until slightly thickened.

Serve the chicken alongside the julienned vegetables, lettuce and sauce.

 

Spaghetti and (Healthier) Meatballs

 Spaghetti and Meatballs

Who doesn’t love spaghetti and meatballs? It’s delicious, kid-friendly and it’s the ultimate comfort food. It’s definitely a favourite at our house. The recipe I usually make is one that I got from my mom, who got it from her friend, who got it from her grandmother many, many, many years ago. It’s one of the best spaghetti and meatball dishes I’ve ever had, so I’ve never really played around with the recipe. Why mess with a great thing, right? Last week, however, I felt like playing around with it just a little. I wanted to see if I could make a healthier, yet equally delicious meatball to throw in the sauce. Usually I use a combination of ground pork and ground beef, but to lighten it up, I chose to use ground turkey. I also added some chopped spinach to sneak some extra veggies into the kids. The experiment was a success. The kids ate the meatballs, spinach and all, and my husband actually said he preferred this verion to the original. So here it is, my updated, slightly healthier version of spaghetti and meatballs. I hope you’ll enjoy it, too!

Meatballs:

1 Lbs ground turkey

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/2 Cup grated parmesan cheese

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 Cup fresh spinach, finely chopped

1/4 Cup fresh Italian flat leaf parsley

1/4 Cup bread crumbs

salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients. Mix well and form into 1″ meatballs. Set aside.

Sauce:

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 lbs Italian sausage

1 Cup onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1/4 Cup red wine

2 tbsp brown sugar

28 oz crushed tomatoes

1 tsp oregano

1 tbsp basil

3 bay leaves

2 tbsp fresh italian flat leaf parsley

salt and pepper to taste

1 box of your favourite spaghetti

Cut the Italian sausage into 1″ pieces. Heat the oil in a large pot. Add the sausage, onions and garlic and saute until the sausage is browned. Add the red wine. Then stir in the brown sugar, tomatoes, oregano, basil and bay leaves. Bring to a simmer. Add the meatballs to the sauce and continue simmering over low heat for 1 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the meatballs are cooked through.

Prepare spaghetti according to the package. Serve the meatballs and sauce over the spaghetti and top with fresh parsley. Serves 6.

 

 

 

 

 

Easy Homemade Chocolate Granola Bars

If you’re like me and hate sending your kids to school with store bought granola bars, here’s a way healthier alternative. These can be mixed together in less than 5 minutes and are completely nut free. They’re also incredibly yummy and dangerously addictive. Enjoy!

#Easy #Homemade #Chocolate Granola Bars: Nut-free for the kiddies.

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