Category Archives: toddler friendly recipe

Fruit Skewers (Fruit on a Stick) with Yogurt-Coconut Dip

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Fruit Skewers (Fruit on a Stick) with Yogurt-Coconut Dip

Everything is more fun on a stick – it’s true, you know it.  This makes a great after-school snack, or even breakfast.  The dip is killer, who would have thought something as simple as combining yogurt and a little coconut could make fruit even more magical?

Fruit skewer fruit on a stick

The Recipe (I’m listing the original suggestions from the book, use whatever you have on hand to create your skewers!  I ended up using my kid’s favorites – strawberries, watermelon, pineapple and banana):

2 apples

1 banana

10 grapes

10 strawberries

2 tangerines

1 cup flavored yogurt of your choice

1/4 cup shredded coconut

The Process:

1.  Rinse, peel (if necessary), and dry all fruit.

2.  Cut all fruit into medium sized chunks.

3.  Push cut fruit pieces onto wooded skewers.

4.  Pour the yogurt into a small bowl and add coconut.  Stir until incorporated.  Serve alongside fruit skewers or pour a little over each skewer before serving.

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(Not quite) Teddy Bear Chocolate Chip Cookies

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(Not quite) Teddy Bear Chocolate Chip Cookies

I take pride in my chocolate chip cookies.  I have a tried and true recipe I’ve been using for years and have “perfected”.  But, I’m allowing this blogging experience to take me out of my culinary box, so I gave this recipe a go.  Plus, I thought my kid would get a kick out of teddy bear shaped cookies, and I figured, how hard could that be?  Man was I wrong… the day will go down in history as the “Amorphous Blob Cookie Disaster of 2013”.  I dried my chocolate stained tears and sheepishly reached for my cookie dough scoop.

The flavor of the cookie is actually really good.  Definitely a more crisp, versus chewy cookie.  Worth a try in my opinion – and maybe you’ll have better luck with attempting a shape (and if you do have success and would like to rub salt into my wound and post it here, I’ll understand…)  Good news is, a chocolate chip cookie is never a bad thing to have around, no matter what it looks like!

chocolate chip cookie

The Recipe:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature

1/4 cup vegetable shortening

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

The Process:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 F.

2.  Place the flour and baking soda in a bowl and mix.

3.  Place the butter, shortening, and sugars in a separate mixing bowl and beat for 2 minutes until combined.  Scrape the sides of the bowl and continue to mix for another 2 minutes until light and fluffy.

4.  Break the egg into the bowl and add the vanilla.  Mix at medium speed for about 1 minute.

5.  Add about half the flour mixture and blend at low speed until incorporated.  Add the remaining flour mixture and mix until well blended.

6.  Add the chocolate chips and walnuts and mix at lowest speed until evenly distributed in the batter.

7.  Attempt to make teddy bear shapes… or give up and spoon tablespoons of dough onto a cookie sheet.

8.  Bake at 350 F for about 10-12 minutes or until edges begin to turn golden brown.

9.  Remove and let cool slightly before transferring to a cooling rack.

Strawberry Milk

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My daughter has been obsessed with the new Lalaloopsy (Lala-oopsie actually for those in the know) movie that came out recently.  Come to find out it’s a magical place where odd little leggy, button-eyed ballerinas meet odd little button-eyed mermaids that live in the strawberry milk that surrounds their homes.  So of course, my kid needed strawberry milk stat.

My first thought was, does Nesquik even make their strawberry powder anymore?  And my second thought was, how the hell does one possible get a hold of some Franken Berries in April?  With both questions left unanswered, I started scoping out the interwebs for some home-made recipes.  And found one here.

Totally worth the effort to make home-made.  It’s not as tooth-achingly sweet as I remember (not a bad thing), but still totally packed a strawberry punch.  Kid was happy, Mom was happy, and even the mermaids got to take a dive.  Viva Lala-oopsie land!

Strawberry Milk

Here’s the recipe:

Strawberry Milk serves 2

1 cup strawberries, chopped (I used organic frozen with great results)
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 1/2 cup whole milk

In a small pot, heat strawberries, sugar and water until boiling (it’s a bit like making jam). Let boil for about 10 minutes; mixture will reduce and thicken slightly. Using a fine sieve or mesh strainer, strain the mixture into a small bowl. You can save the cooked strawberries to add to yogurt or put on pancakes. Set the strawberry syrup aside.

Chill two small glasses in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Add 3/4 cup milk to each glass. Swirl in 3 tablespoons of the strawberry syrup into each glass of milk (more or less, depending on desired sweetness). You will have a little strawberry syrup left over, perfect for pancakes or adding to soda water.

Apple Pizza

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This cookbook is pretty brilliant in my opinion.  This recipe is apple pie, meets turnover, meets yum.  Great option if you don’t feel like making an entire apple pie, but are still craving some home baked goodness.  It disappeared super fast in our house!

apple pizza

The Recipe (makes four 6-inch pizzas):

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

10 tablespoons (1 1/4 stick) butter, at room temperature

3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup cold water

3 medium sized apples (recommend Gala or Fuji)

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

The Process:

1.  Preheat oven to 400 F

2.  Place the flour and the butter in a large mixing bowl.  Using your fingers (yay!) rub the butter into the flour until it almost disappears and the flour becomes a little yellow.

3.  Add 3 tablespoons of sugar and the salt to the flour.  Blend with your hands.  Pour in the cold water and blend with your hands until the dough holds together in one clump (add a little water at a time if you need until the dough comes together).  Sprinkle a clean work surface with a little flour.

4.  Knead the dough for around 5 minutes until soft and smooth.

5.  Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces.  Using a rolling pin, roll 1 piece about 1/4″ thick and about 6″ in diameter.  Place the pizzas on a cookie sheet.

6.  Core the apple and peel (I actually left the peel on my apples for a little more “rustic” texture).  Slice apple in half, and then slice the halves into thin slices.

7.  Place the apple slices in a bowl and sprinkle with the 1 teaspoon of sugar and cinnamon.  Toss to coat evenly.  Arrange the apple slices on each circle of dough on the cookie sheet.

8.  Place the cookie sheet in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.  The edges should be slightly golden.

9.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar and consume!

Easter Bunny Bread

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Easter Bunny Bread

Next up from the Holiday section of the cookbook was Easter Bunny Bread.  Just so you know up front, this is not an edible item, purely for show.  Lots of fun to make with your kids though – and he’s kinda cute.  Although mine turned out a little smaller since I had to give up some of my dough so my child could “make her own bunny”.  Happy Easter everyone!

Easter Bunny Bread

The Recipe:

5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (plus 1/2 cup for flouring the work surface)

2 tablespoons salt

4 1/2 teaspoons sugar

1 tablespoon vegetable shortening

2 cups plus 1 tablespoon water

2 whole cloves (I didn’t have any spare cloves lying around, so I used a couple decorative flower sprinkles)

1 egg

The Process:

1.  Place the 5 1/2 cups of flour, salt, sugar, shortening, and 2 cups of water in a mixing bowl.  Using an electric mixer, mix until incorporated.  I ended up attaching my dough hook to my stand mixer and let it knead it a bit.

2.  Sprinkle your clean work surface with some flour and place the dough on it.  Gently knead the dough until it’s soft and smooth.  Sprinkle with additional flour if it gets too sticky.

3.  Preheat the oven to 400 F.

4.  Cut or pull the dough into 2 equal parts.  Shape 1 of the pieces into a smooth ball and place on a cookie sheet (you can line it with foil if you wish).

5.  Cut or pull the remaining piece of dough into 3 equal parts.  Shape 1 piece into a smooth ball to use as the bunny’s head. Pinch them together to connect the 2 pieces.

6.  Pull off equal pieces of the remaining dough and create a small ball (about the size of a ping pong ball) to use for the bunny’s tail. Pinch to the body to connect.

7.  With the 2 remaining dough pieces, roll them into thick ropes and flatten them slightly so they begin to look like bunny ears.  Place the ears, evenly spaces, on the bunny’s head  and pinch together to attach.  Push a clove (or what ever you have laying around that resembles an eye and can be baked) into each side of the head to make the eyes.

8.  Break the egg into the bowl and add the 1 tablespoon of water.  Beat the egg and water until blended.  Brush the entire bunny with the egg mixture to make him all nice and golden and shiny.

Pro Tip: Mr. Bunny can be sprayed with lacquer to make him last longer.

Teddy Bear Pancakes

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My little girl is home sick today, so we were flipping through the cookbook, and her little eyes widened as we turned to the teddy bear pancakes.  How could I say no to that sweet face?  Plus, pancakes on a weekday, so bonus 🙂  All in all, I have to say this is a great recipe to have in my back pocket.  Very little sugar, whole wheat flour (which is immensely surprising for a cookbook written in the ’80’s…)  Hope your kids (big and small) enjoy as much as mind did!

Teddy Bear pancakes

The Recipe (made about 8 good size bears):

4 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (my addition)

1 egg

1 cup milk

Honey (optional)

Banana slices (optional)

 

The Process:

1.  Heat griddle (or frying pan) to medium heat.

2.  Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter and set aside.

3.  Place the all-purpose flour, wheat flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a bowl.  Stir to combine.

4.  Break the egg into the bowl.  Add the melted butter and milk and whisk until incorporated (shouldn’t be any lumps).

5.  Brush the griddle or frying pan with butter to coat evenly.

6.  To make the Teddy shapes, spoon about 1 tablespoon of batter into the center of the pan for the body and then 1 teaspoon above for the head.  With another teaspoon, make the 2 ears, 2 hands, and 2 feet.

7.  Cook over medium heat until small bubbles begin to form on the top.  When golden brown on the one side, flip over and allow the other side to cook, about 2 more minutes.

8.  Repeat till all the batter is gone!

Pro Tip:  Heat the oven to low heat (200 F) and place the finished pancakes on a cookie sheet with a foil cover to keep warm until you’re ready to serve.

Serving Suggestion:  I’m typically pretty boring when it comes to pancakes – maple syrup is enough for me.  However, they recommended honey as a topping, and I thought – what the heck?  So I sliced some bananas, drizzled a little honey over, finished with a dusting of powdered sugar – and holy pancake!  My kid could not eat them fast enough.  Mommy mission “Feel Better” accomplished.

 

Cheater Chili

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Cheater Chili

We’re not huge chili eaters around here.  So I wasn’t super excited when I came across the recipe in the book.  But then, I had a moment of inspiration…what if I used the left over Mini-Meatloafs as the base?  That would save me some cooking time, and use left overs that always get forgotten in the depths of the fridge.  Genius? Maybe, maybe not.  But hey, we ate chili, and it was pretty darn tasty 🙂

Chili

The Recipe (makes 6 servings):

1 medium bell pepper (any color will do)

1 small onion

1 pound lean ground beef (or left over Mini-Meatloafs!)

1 can (14 1/2 oz.) crushed tomatoes

1 can (19 oz.) kidney beans (I actually left these out of my chili)

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon ground cumin (Cumin and I do not get along, I can’t stand the smell, so omitted this too!) 🙂

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 cup tomato puree

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 oz. Sharp Cheddar, grated

1 container sour cream

Green onions for garnish, optional

 

The Process:

1.  Chop the bell peppers and onions.  Saute in a sauce pan until tender.

2.  Add the ground beef (or Mini Meatloafs!) to the pan and cook over medium heat until no pink remains.

3.  Empty the can of crushed tomatoes into the pan and stir.

4.  Strain and rinse the kidney beans and add to pan.

5.  Add the chili powder, cumin (yuck), garlic powder, tomato puree and salt to the meat mixture.  Simmer over low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

6.  While the chili is cooking, shred the cheddar (don’t scrape your knuckles!).

7.  When the chili is ready, ladle into bowls and top with grated cheddar, a dollop of sour cream, and green onions if you choose.

It may be cheating, but cheating can be yummy 🙂