Recipe: Homemade Baby Puffs

Confetti Size vs. Hand-rolled Size

Confetti Size vs. Hand-rolled Size

Frances started daycare this week and she will be there for lunchtime. The kids have to feed themselves, so I’ve been trying out different finger foods for the last month. It is not going well. Aside from fruit and cheese, everything else gets handed back to me: chicken, pork, tofu, vegetables. Basically, anything good for her that isn’t sweet.

I’d like to send her with something more substantial than just fruit, and more exciting than puffed grains (which she starts to throw like confetti when she’s bored of it). I’m not a big fan of store-bought baby-puffs, even the good kind. They are made using a process called extrusion that destroys most of the nutrients, and contain preservatives and fillers like white rice.  Plus, they’re more of a snack than a meal and I wanted something that would fill her up, if necessary.
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Recipe: Green Tea and Ginger Broth

Green Tea and Ginger Broth with Scallions

Green Tea and Ginger Broth with Scallions

We all know the wisdom of consuming ginger to relieve morning sickness, but did you know that it has to be taken for a few days for the best results? If you’re concerned about the sugar content of ginger ale or ginger snaps, or if you’re just not into ginger chews or ginger tea, here is a great broth recipe that is also tasty for the non-pregnant members of your household!

Not only is this broth good on it’s own, it’s also delicious as a base for wonton soup, noodle soup or a miso-less miso. If you want to make it a light meal, try it in Buzzfeed’s Spring Greens + Beans Soup.
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Recipe: Sweet Potato and Zucchini Fritters

Sweet Potato and Zucchini Fritters

Sweet Potato and Zucchini Fritters

I have quite a few baby food books that I never open because Franci is still content to eat my super-purees.  Most of the finger food I put in front of her gets handed back to me, or she just holds it in her hand while opening her mouth for another bite off the fork.

Last weekend I decided to pick out a couple recipes to try and with a few modifications, this one I liked. Frances was ambivalent and preferred to feed her bites to me rather than to herself, but I think she’ll like them in the future.
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Recipe: Raw Brownies

Raw Brownie

Raw Brownie

After all those healthy salad recipes, I was ready for some dessert! These raw brownies fit the bill without being too unhealthy.

They are gluten-free and paleo, but not too sweet. My husband was not a big fan, but I think they are great! You might not want to tell your kids/spouse what is in them until after they’ve had a bite.

If you’re like me, and find your Costco bag of avocados all ripe at the exact same time, this is a great way to use them fast!

 

Raw Brownies Adapted from Oprah Magazine

Brownie Layer:

  • 2 C raw pecans
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
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A Series of Salad Recipes: Spanish Salad

Spanish Salad

Spanish Salad

I became a big fan of the Spanish Salad when I was studying in Spain. It’s quick and easy to make, with lots of “optional” ingredients, depending on how much you want to put into it. My room mates would make this salad with just iceberg lettuce and dressing. It might be a little sad, but it is surprisingly good!

It’s a refreshing salad that can be filling if you add in tuna and hard boiled eggs, and it’s a nice option if you are serving Spanish, Mexican, or Cuban food. For some reason a vinaigrette or kale salad just doesn’t pair with latino food flavors for me.
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A Series of Salad Recipe: House Salad

House Salad

House Salad

I call this our “house salad” because if you come to dinner, you will more than likely be served this salad. It’s our go-to salad, and I make all the ingredients ahead so I can throw a salad together each night. I’ve discovered that if I always have shredded carrots and cabbage, washed lettuce and prepared dressing on hand, we eat a lot more salad.

We always eat salad at the end of the meal, and Franci has started anticipating the “salad course”. She loves Gorgonzola so much, she gets very pushy about demanding her fair share. I’ve had to start adding extra to the salad, just so there’s some left for me!
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A Series of Salad Recipes: Provencal Tuna Salad

Provençal Tuna Salad

Provençal Tuna Salad

In continuing my search for new salad recipes, I offer another good one in exchange for one of your favorites.

This recipe is not of my own design, but is adapted from The Splendid Table’s How to Eat Supper: Recipes, Stories, and Opinions from Public Radio’s Award-Winning Food Show (which has a bunch of great recipes, if you’re looking for a cookbook). Whatever you do, don’t skip on the dill!

Salad:

  • 1 6-ounce can water-packed albacore tuna, thoroughly drained and broken into chunks with a fork
  • 1 C chopped tomato
  • 1/2 c pitted kalamata olives, roughly chopped
  • 3 tbs capers, drained
  • 1/4-1/2 C fresh dill, chopped
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A Series of Salad Recipes: Kale Salad with Currants and Pine Nuts

Kale Salad with Currants and Pine Nuts

Kale Salad with Currants and Pine Nuts

Earlier this month I decided to do a series of posts on salads, in hopes of finding some good new salad recipes.

Now that you can easily find washed and shredded kale, this recipe is a breeze.  As long as you remember to soak the currants over night, that is.  I’m not a huge fan of kale, but this recipe has made me like it more than ever before.  Maybe now I’ll branch out into other kale salads.

Unlike most other “green” salads, this one is even better the next day. It’s a good choice if you are having company or want to make a big batch ahead and have a little each day.  The original recipe includes parmesan shavings, but I prefer the recipe without.  I’d rather add in shredded carrot or red cabbage for a little color.
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A Series of Salad Recipes: Greek Salad

Greek Salad

Greek Salad

Some people may think of salad as being more of a summer dish, but I prepare them more in winter. I’m not a huge fan of winter vegetables and can only stomach about one butter nut squash a year. I’m also not willing to spend a ton of money on out-of-season veggies from far-off lands. With the exception of tomatoes, which are (obviously) more delicious in summer, my favorite salad ingredients are equally accessible and tasty year-round.

I find myself eating about 10 salads a week in winter and after a few years of this, I need some new recipes! If I get sick of salads, my winter diet will be over-run with cheese and my family won’t be getting the vitamins and minerals we need to stay healthy. I’m hoping that if I share my favorite salad recipes with you, you’ll share some good ones with me!
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Recipe: Rolo Pretzel Bites

Rolo Pretzel Bites

Rolo Pretzel Bites

If you want to bring a homemade treat as a hostess gift or to a party but don’t have time to make anything, try this recipe! By the time the oven was preheated they were assembled and ready to bake.
Rolo Pretzel Bites

  • Small pretzels (the square ones would work well too)
  • Rolos
  • Pecan halves, and/or red and green M&M’s
  1. Heat oven to 350F.
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment. Unwrap rolos. Place unbroken pretzels on baking sheet.  You can crowd them in real close. Place a rolo on each pretzel in the center.
  3. Bake for 3 minutes until rolos are soft but not melted.  Meanwhile, pick out a few intact pecan halves from the bag.
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