Category Archives: Meal Time

“Mug’o’cocoa” brownies

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Here is a fun spin on a yummy Christmas treat.

To make this I used boxed brownie mix, but instead of water I added a little bit of peppermint cream (you can make this by throwing heavy cream and peppermint extract or finely chopped candy cane bits into your blender and mixing until smooth). The frosting i just a plain butter cream I made with a little bit of the peppermint cream for flavor. The handle of the mug is simply the top of a candy cane broken off and stuck in the side. I threw a peppermint kiss, two marshmallows, and some mint cocoa mix on top for decoration – but you can get very creative 🙂

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Fabulous French Toast

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French toast is one of my absolute favorite breakfasts.  I am a die-hard Alton Brown fan, and have used his french toast recipe to make what I find is the best french toast (See video at bottom of post for the exact recipe).  For the best results, you should pick thick slices of bread (I use whole wheat honey bread from a local baker), and let it sit out over night so that it’s got a nice staleness to it come morning.  French toast can be accented differently depending on your breakfast guest.  For my kids I do maple syrup and powdered sugar with bananas and strawberries cut-up on top.  For my adult guests I usually mix a little Baily’s Irish creme in with vanilla yogurt and top with strawberries.  If you want to keep it low fat, consider using almond or soy milk in place of regular milk, and using only egg-whites for the egg mixture.  If you’d like a caramelized glaze on the outside of your french toast, consider mixing some brown sugar and butter in a separate bowl.  After your french toast is cooked, quickly brush over one side and face down in the pan for a few seconds, repeat on other side.  Don’t let it cook too long as you don’t want it to burn.  This will give it a nice caramelized glaze which pairs nice with powdered sugar.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4frrEw_AL8

Vegetables and your kids

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The title probably already has you taking deep breathes and fighting off heart burn.  I’ll admit, my kids for the most part like vegetables which makes me one of the lucky few.  However, getting them to want to put them on their plate is a continued battle, especially around Halloween time when all they want is candy.  I bet if I told you I’ve found ways to get them to eat vegetables when they don’t want to more often than not, you’d think, “please, that would take serious magic” …. well call me a … Vegician! and give some of these tricks a try:

Encourage them to play with their food!

Make ants on a log with celery, peanut butter, and raisins!

Use a potato peeler to slice strings of carrots/celery and make braided veggie bracelets or all kinds of designs by tying the veggie strands together.  Add string cheese for a dairy boost and added flavor variety!

Bring on the Flavor!

Honey does wonders for things like sweet potatoes, asparagus, yams, beans, etc …  It’s a natural sweetner.   Just add it in while you’re cooking, and let it put a sweet spin on “ucky”.

‘Raisin’ the will of your youngster to finish those green beans may be hard, but try throwing some raisins in with them.  The sweet treat goes great with green beans (and peas!), and will please your kiddo more.

Don’t be afraid to put some cheese on top!  We aren’t talking nacho cheese of course, but sprinkle on some sharp cheddar, heat briefly, and let them enjoy the flavor while you enjoy the fact you are getting two healthy food groups in one bite.

Other helpful things to try if you really have a fussy eater, are juices like V8 fruit medleys.  They taste like fruit juice, but have a full serving of vegetables.  Also Carnation breakfast mix – yummy chocolate milk for them, and vitamins/nutrients with a piece of mind for you!

A final note – I don’t always try and disguise vegetables or enhance there flavor so my kids will eat them.  I don’t want to hide the fact 100% of the time that it’s healthy and important to eat veggies.  Instead, I try to incorporate vegetables into fun activities so they have more of an affinity for them when we sit down to dinner.  A book for example is a great way to illustrate the importance of eating your veggies, I personally like using “The Hungry Caterpillar”.  It’s a super fun book, and the caterpillar eats lots of vegetables before he gets to turn into a beautiful butterfly.  J interprets this as eating vegetables will make her fly.  I just laugh along and say “do you think so?  let’s eat them then and try!”  When it doesn’t work, we just both agree that maybe we just need to eat more next time and try again.