Archive for the ‘Kid Friendly’ Category


I’m finally in Salt Lake City!  The flights over were fine, but as I waited at baggage claim for my bag I suddenly realized I was one of the last people standing….and waiting, and waiting! Then no more bags were coming up from the little tunnel.  You know the one where your eyes fixate until your little ol’ bag makes its grand appearance.  I waited for that moment and I was still waiting…. and hoping and hoping some more.  Then the belt stopped and my heart sank!  My bag is lost!  Oh no!!  I walked over to the Delta counter and the lady behind the desk gave me a little sign of hope.  My bag was in the air and should arrive in an hour and half.  She said they would deliver it to my hotel room tonight.  Ok, that made me feel better but it is now 11 o’clock at night at home which means my body also thinks its 11pm and my bag is still not here.  I’m hoping it will arrive soon as I’m a tired little kitten.  Kitten?  I never used that term which obviously tells me I’m not only tired but going a little cuckoo!  The good news is my hotel is absolutely spectacular!  I told “S” I would take pictures so I’ll share them with all of you too.  If you are ever in Salt Lake I would definitely recommend The Grand America Hotel….simply beautiful!!

Ok, for the recipe!  Before leaving I needed to make sure the girls were set for their meals for the next few days.  They were running low on breakfast “stuff” so I decided to make these delicious pancakes as options for the mornings ahead.  These are really great for the little ones in the house because they have whole grains, carrots, and really are super delicious.  You could also put chopped walnuts in them if you wanted but I leave those out because the girls don’t like them.  I found this great recipe in this month’s Cooking Light magazine, but I used white whole wheat flour instead of their suggested all-purpose.  If you have time one morning make these!  They are super yummy and I’m sure the whole family will love them!

Ok, keep your fingers crossed my bags arrive sometime soon so I can rest my very tired and sleepy head.  Stay tune to pictures of Salt Lake.  It was too dark tonight when I arrived to see the mountains but I’m really looking forward to seeing them in the morning.  Till next time….     

Carrot Cake Pancakes

Print Recipe

1 ¼ cup white whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups finely grated carrot (about 1 pound)
Cooking spray

Combine flour and next 6 ingredients (through ginger) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Combine 1/4 cup brown sugar and next 4 ingredients (through eggs); add sugar mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Fold in 2 cups carrot.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Spoon 4 (1/4 cup) batter mounds onto pan, spreading with a spatula. Cook for 2 minutes or until tops are covered with bubbles and edges look cooked. Carefully turn pancakes over; cook 1 minute or until bottoms are lightly browned. Repeat procedure twice with remaining batter. Combine butter and honey in a small bowl; serve with pancakes.

Number of Servings: 6


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Ok, number 3….here we go!  I thought today’s Newman’s Own Family Bites recipe would be another favorite of my 2 year old twins.  I often wonder why kids love chicken nuggets so much?  I remember growing up I had one friend who ate them all the time.  I would go over to her house and it was 100% chance her mom would either make us chicken nuggets or go out and get them at the nearest fast food.  In college, I played soccer and one of my teammate was the same way.  Every time we were on a road traveling to our next game she ordered chicken nuggets and nothing else.  Weird I often thought?  Then I had the girls and I now have two little ones that love chicken nuggets.  It’s almost comical!  Since they have a strong love for those little nuggets I often find myself thinking of ways to change up the recipe.   I also have a strong feeling about fast food so I do not feed the girls fast food.  Even those nights when I’m so tired after a long days of work, no fast food!  This means the recipes are usually made up in my kitchen, which is great because then I know what they are eating. 

When I was sent the box of goodies from Newman’s Own and Foodbuzz and saw the Light Honey Mustard dressing I knew this was the one that would be a perfect option for a chicken nugget recipe. 

I have to say it was really a test and see recipe and it turned out great.  What was even better is the honey mustard dressing is light, but don’t be scared away because it doesn’t take away from the flavor!  Then you add the honey flakes and it all comes together to make a crispy and sweet chicken tender.  I recently saw at my local Whole Foods that Newman’s Own has a Honey Flakes with Flax Cereal which I didn’t see in time to use for this recipe, but I’m sure it would be a great option.  So here we go….Honey Mustard Chicken Tenders.  I hope your family finds them as tasty as we do.

Honey Mustard Chicken Tenders

Print Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Servings:  4 to 6


10 to 12 chicken tenders

1 ½ cups Newman’s Own Light Honey Mustard Dressing

2 cups Honey Toasted Cereal Flakes, ground

Natural Non-stick cooking spray


1.)    Preheat oven to 425.  Line baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.

2.)    In a small bowl, place chicken tenders and Honey Mustard Dressing and let sit about 10 minutes.

3.)    Place the cereal flakes in a food processor and process until finely ground.  Place the cereal in a small shallow bowl.

4.)    Take chicken tender out of dressing and dredge in the honey toasted cereal.  Once all chicken tenders are coated with the cereal place on prepared baking sheet.

5.)    Bake 10 minutes or until bottom is golden.  Gently, flip chicken tender over and bake another 10 minutes until chicken is golden and cooked through. 

Special Notes:

Great served with apple slices and honey mustard dressing.

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I have to admit; in college I had a secret crush on Paul Newman.  I went to art school and for one of my film classes I had to write a report on an actor of my choice and I chose Paul Newman.  I watched movie after movie and read as much information as I could about Mr. Newman.  In the end I discovered that Paul Newman was many things.  He was an actor, producer, director, race car driver and humanitarian, husband, and father.  He was a fascinating human being.  He was talented, analytical, grounded, private, compassionate, and involved. Though his stunning, blue-eyed looks set him apart, it was, in fact, his humility, intelligence and humanity that ultimately made him the class act so many people knew and loved.  All of these things also made the decision to enter the Newman’s Own Family Bites challenge unquestionable.

For my 2nd post of the Newman’s Own Family Bites challenge we have a Chicken Apple Quesadilla.  This is a favorite in my household.  This recipe is great for the little ones in the house and is perfect for lunch or dinner.  In this recipe I used Newman’s Own Medium Chunky Salsa.  It adds a lot of depth to the recipe and it’s also great served on the side for dipping.  Enjoy and join me tomorrow for another Newman’s Own Family Bites recipe.


Chicken Apple Quesadilla

Print Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 5-10 minutes

Servings: Makes 12 quesadilla triangles



1 cup shredded cooked chicken

1 cup shredded Colby and Monterey Jack Cheese

1 apple, thinly sliced

1 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

¼ cup Newman’s Own Medium Chunky Salsa, plus more for topping or dipping

4 – 7 to 8 inch whole wheat tortillas

Natural Non-stick cooking spray


1.)    Preheat oven to 400.  Line baking sheet with foil.  Spray one side of a tortilla with non-stick cooking spray and place that side down on baking sheet.  Sprinkle about ¼ cup cheese on tortilla, then place ½ cup cooked chicken, ½ tbsp cilantro, 3 to 4 slices of apple, 2 to 3 tbsp salsa, and remaining ¼ cup shredded cheese.  Spray another side of a tortilla with cooking spray and place that side up onto of the already prepared side.  Press down slight.  Continue process with remaining two tortillas.

2.)    Place in oven and bake about 5 minutes.  Remove from oven and press down slightly again.  Carefully flip the tortilla over and cook another 5 minutes until golden and cheese on the interior is melted.

3.)    Transfer the quesadillas from baking sheet to a cutting board.  Cut into triangles as if you were cutting a pie. 

Great served with additional salsa and toppings of choice.

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It’s a New Year, a new decade and time for resolutions. I usually try to refrain from making resolutions.  Especially those that I am likely to fail at…I like to feel some success. This year, I decided to make a couple resolutions or I like to say “goals” and join the 10 in 10 Healthy Challenge. This challenge was put together by Lori at the blog Recipe Girl.  If you have never stopped by her blog please go now.  I promise you will enjoy her site!

The 10 in 10 Challenge is open to everyone and is essentially a 10 week commitment to a healthier you! As of today, the 10 in 10 Challenge has over 250 awesome people from 38 states and 10 countries committed to a healthier lifestyle in 2010! The goals indicated by the participants include: losing weight, exercising more, lowering their cholesterol, increasing their strength, eating more veggies and many more! You can find out who is participating and what their specific goals are by clicking here.

My goal list is pretty short….again I want to feel some success in the end!

1.)    Get back to eating clean.  I did this for about two months back in the summer and it was amazing how much better I felt.  I will go into more details on “clean eating” in future posts.

2.)   Get back into a regular workout routine.  I used to be hopelessly devoted to working out before the girls came along.  I even competed in a triathlon the day before I found out I was pregnant!  I haven’t been as devoted as I was and I know I won’t because there is no time in my busy life but I would like to get back to a somewhat “normal” routine.  When my alarm clock went off at 5:15am to head to the gym this morning I had mixed feelings about that statement.  It didn’t help that it was 40 degrees outside…I know not as cold as some places but that’s pretty darn cold for us here in South Florida.  I did it though, I got up and started my way towards my goal. 

3.)   Continue with my running in hopes that maybe I can do a half marathon in 2010.  Ok, this may be a big goal, but I have been running a lot and it’s “my time”.  My time to think and to work things out in my head.  Majority of the times the girls come with me as I push the jog stroller so it’s not completely “my time” but it’s pretty close. 

So those are my three goals.  I think I can, I think I can….I can do it!  When I say this I think of Dora the Explorer when her and Boots complete their goal they sing….”we did it, we did it, we did it!”  As you can tell I have two little ones that love Dora!  Regardless, I hope to be saying “we did it” in the end too.  Wish me luck!

I will post how I’m doing with my goals on Saturdays for the next 10 weeks if you want to follow along.  I’ll let you know how I’m doing and what I have been up to.  I will still continue to post recipes, healthy and not so healthy.  And as I mentioned to you recently some other changes will be taking over at my blog soon.  I’m so excited about them!  Stay tune.

Now for the recipe….

To start off a healthier eating here is a recipe for Banana Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bread that uses all whole grains, fruit, and organic sugars.  I threw in the chocolate chips but you can leave them out.  The bread is moist and delicious and I promise will be eaten up very quickly.  Enjoy!


Banana Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bread

2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup organic cane sugar
1/2 light brown sugar, packed
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup ripe bananas, mashed (about 3 medium)
3/4 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray two 9×5 inch pan with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, oats, both sugars, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
In a medium bowl, mix together buttermilk, eggs, butter, and bananas.  Pour into dry ingredients and mix until well combine.  Stir in chocolate chips.
Pour batter into prepared pans and bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Note: You can also use the batter to make muffins.  I usually make one loaf and use the remaining batter for muffins.  The muffins will need to bake about 20 to 25 minutes.

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Our Christmas vacation has started!!  We had the car packed, the dog in the back, the girls in their car seats, and we were off.  As we pulled out of the driveway I thought to myself many things….did I forget anything?…did we set the alarm?…did we grab the dog food?….did we throw out the garbage in the kitchen….and my very last thought was….are we crazy!!??  Then I knew it was too late to turn back we were off for the big adventure and off to colder weather!  The morning had already been filled with adventures as we rushed around the house packing those last minute things and making sure the car was all ready to go.  We also managed to squeeze in a little outdoor playtime for the girls in hopes it would tire them out!  I of course, couldn’t help but to squeeze in some time in the kitchen to make these muffins for our trip.  We had to have snacks right?!  I also had very ripe bananas that had to be used before we headed out the door.  We managed to get everything done and get out the door only 30 minutes behind schedule.  I was only hoping that the girls would take a nap once we were on the road!  When we are home the girls usually take a great afternoon nap of about 2 hours and if we are lucky 2 ½ hours!  Well, today in the car we barely got 1 hour in.  To entertain them, I popped open my laptop and placed their favorite Dora the Explorer DVD in to help pass time.  We made it to our half way point where we planned to stop and stay the night.  Everything was going really well up to this point.  We get to the hotel check in and start to unload everyone.  This is when Parker (our golden retriever) goes crazy.  I don’t know if it was excitement, anxiousness, nerves or what!  Once we get to our room, the girls turn into two little energizer bunnies!  You name it they are into.  The next three hours were quite interesting to say the least.   I won’t go into the details because it was so crazy I care not to remember every detail of it.  Needless to say I’m happy to say our first night of our Christmas vacation has come to an end and we are half way through to our final destination.  I’m only hoping tomorrow’s road trip goes ok.  I know one thing… I will be happy to get there and get settled in.

Banana Pumpkin Muffins

Print Recipe

1 ¼ cups white whole wheat flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

½ tsp cinnamon

½ tsp salt

½ cup unsweetened applesauce

¼ canola oil

1 ½ cups sugar

3 eggs, lightly beaten

1 ½ tsp vanilla extract

1 ½ tsp baking soda

½ cup buttermilk

1 ½ cups ripe banana, mashed

½ cup pumpkin puree

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a mini muffin tin or two regular muffin tins with nonstick cooking spray. 

In a medium bowl, whisk together both flours, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.

In a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment mix together the sugar, applesauce and oil on low speed until incorporated.  Mix in eggs and vanilla.

In a small bowl, mix the buttermilk and baking soda together and let sit for a minute. 

Add 1/3 of the dry ingredient into the mixing bowl, on low speed.  You will be beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Add half of the buttermilk mixture followed by another 1/3 of dry.  Finish with mixing in the remaining buttermilk mixture and the remaining dry ingredients.  Mix until incorporated.

Stir in mashed banana and pumpkin. Do not over mix.

Evenly distribute the batter into the muffin tins.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Update: We made it to Charleston!!  We are here and settled.  Sorry for the delay but I had to run and get a wireless card no service at in-laws!!

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My husband loves Oreo’s so when I was looking through Martha’s Holiday Sweets magazine and knew I had to try this recipe.  I changed her recipe a little for the filling because the filling was too sweet and took away from the chocolate cookie. The dough is really sticky so please be patient with it as your rolling it out.  Trust me, I was really arguing with my dough and in the end we worked it out.  I also tried two different fillings, the traditional vanilla and a peanut butter filling.  I really liked the peanut butter version…..yummy!  I think everyone in the house liked those too because those were quick to go.  Another great thing about having my parents here to visit is they help in eating the sweets.  These were delicious cookies and if you get to try them, which I highly recommend, enjoy!

I hope everyone is getting ready for the holidays.  As my last post mentioned I was pretty stressed with my to-do list.  The stress was knocked up a few levels when my husband and I decided to head to Charleston to visit his family for the holidays.  Not only that but we are driving with two 2 year olds, a dog, and luggage.  Wish us luck as we make our adventure!  We are looking forward to seeing everyone though.  That’s another thing, I may be missing from action for a little bit but I promise I’ll be back with more treats for everyone.

Happy Holidays everyone!!


Chocolate Cookie Sandwiches

Adapted from Martha Stewart 2009 Holiday Sweets Magazine
For Cookies:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/3 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/8 tsp salt
6 Tbsp (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Line baking sheets with parchment paper; lightly coat with cooking spray.  Whisk together flour, cocoa, and salt.  With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and confectioners’ sugar until pale and fluffy.  Beat in egg and vanilla.  With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture, beat until combine.  Divide dough in half; form into disks, and wrap in plastic.  The dough will be very sticky.  Chill until firm, at least 2 hours, or up to 2 days.  Dough can also be frozen up to 2 months; thaw in refrigerator before using.
Working with one disk at a time; roll out dough to a 1/8-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface.  Using a 1-inch round biscuit or cookie cutter, cut out shapes, transferring to prepared sheets (1 inch apart) as you work.  Chill in freezer until firm, about 15 minutes.  Brush off excess flour.  Gather togther scraps; roll, chill, and cut out more shapes.
Preheat oven to 325.  Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until edges are firm, about 12 to 14 minutes.  Transfer cookies, on parchment, to a wire rack to cool completely.
Spread a pipe a small amount of filling on half the cookies.  Top with remaining cookies; gently press down to spread filling to edges.  Assembled cookies can be refrigerated up to 2 days in an airtight container.
For Vanilla Filling:
6 Tbsp (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter until smooth.  Add confectioners’ sugar, and beat until light and fluffy.  Use immediately.
For Peanut Butter Filling:
Mix as above, but omit the vanilla extract.  Beat in 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter and 1 Tbsp milk into filling.

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Muffins, muffins, muffins!!  That’s the 4th holiday gift idea!  What a great thing to have in your pantry when you’re in the mood for muffins or like the pancakes need a quick breakfast idea.  The mix is easy to make and again I have combined whole wheat with regular all-purpose to get the whole grains in there.  I have also made this mix with using white whole wheat flour and whole wheat.  You do what you prefer.  For the girls I like knowing they are getting some of those whole grains in their diet.  Along with the recipe for the muffin mix I’ve included a recipe for Lemon Blueberry Muffins and Espresso Chocolate Chip Muffins.  There are so many other ideas you can do with this muffin mix which makes it so great.

For the packaging, I used the same white bag as I used for the pancake mix from My Own Labels.  The label is also the same one I used for the Cinnamon Sugar Pecans.  The labels are again so easy to use because Paper Source includes the template so all you have to do is choose the font you want and test it out.  Easy!

Happy Holidays everyone and I hope you have found some of these gift ideas inspirational.  There is one more to go so stay tune!


Homemade Muffin Mix

Print Recipe

3 cups whole wheat flour
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
Whisk together all ingredients and store in an airtight container.
Lemon Blueberry Muffins
2 2/3 cups muffin mix
1/4 canola oil
1/4 unsweetened applesauce
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk or soy milk
Zest of one lemon
3/4 cup frozen blueberries
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray a mini or regular muffin pan with non-stick spray.
Whisk together in a medium bowl the oil, applesauce, eggs, vanilla, and milk.  Mix the muffin mix into the wet ingredient and mix until well combined.  Fold in lemon zest and blueberries.
Fill muffin tins 2/3 full and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in muffin comes out clean.
Espresso Chocolate Chip Muffins
2 2/3 cups muffin mix
1/4 canola oil
1/4 unsweetened applesauce
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk or soy milk
1/2 – 3/4 tsp espresso powder
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray a mini or regular muffin pan with non-stick spray.
Whisk together in a medium bowl the oil, applesauce, eggs, vanilla, and milk.  Mix the muffin mix into the wet ingredient and mix until well combined.  Fold in mini chocolate chips and espresso powder.
Fill muffin tins 2/3 full and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in muffin comes out clean.

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