l’m almost embarrassed to write this post because I’m on my 2nd child and I just learned the easiest thing ever how to make baby food. I often see posts on Facebook of people wanting advice and that they’ve read up on it. Well, it’s.so.dang.easy.
What you need to make baby food
Here’s what you need:
Magic Bullet – okay, I’m super partial to my bullet because it’s such an inexpensive small blender (I should be the lady in the pink dress in the crazy infomercial below… and yes you need to watch it for comic relief) Seriously though, it’s everything that they say it lives up to. OR you can use any blender or food processor. They also have a baby bullet, for me it’s not necessary when I can use the regular bullet for many things.
Ice Cube Tray(s)
Large Ziploc Freezer Bags
Frozen Veggies to Steam
Water to create the thickness
Steam your veggies according to package
Throw as many veggies in your blender that you can
Add a bit water (remember you can always add more)
Mix it up
Add more water if it’s too thick and mix again
Mixed Veggies in the Bullet, looks perfect, huh?!
Pour into your ice tray, but make sure you don’t go over the dividers (we did that before and it’s so hard to get them out once they are frozen).
So simple! Throw this in the freezer!
Freeze the veggies
Dump them into a labeled freezer bag
Pull out as many as you need at the time
I do put mine in the microwave before I feed it to Anna, but I make sure I mix is really well so there aren’t any hot spots.
AND you’re done! So easy, so cheap and for me, I feel like I accomplished something healthy for my little one.
It’s WAY cheaper
I figured out the cost too. The bag of veggies is 99¢ and you get at least one full ice cube tray out of them. Approximately two cubes = one container of baby food. There are two containers (of Gerber, which I found is the cheapest) together for approximately $1 (at a well-priced grocery store). Therefore, you are cutting the price by at least 67%.
As the warm weather has drifted away I have had to come to terms with the fact that camping season has also come and gone. I love camping season though, and am not ready to give up all its fun completely.
So what is the best part of camping? The S’mores of course!
I found this genius s’more cookie recipe on a food blog I just started following. They turned out so great! The kids couldn’t get enough of them. The neighbor kids came over and had some too. The kids sat outside on the deck eating them with their friends talking about different camping trips we took this past summer. Love it! Camping lives on!
Here you can see I averaged between 1 and 2 Tablespoons per scoop
Almost done... just need the hershey piece to melt into the cookie a little more
11 Tb. unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed
½ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. sea salt
2 ½ cups flour
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup mini marshmallows
3 regular sized Hershey’s bars (I ended up needing 4)
1-2 package graham crackers, broken into squares (I ended up using 1 entire box, I also used the cinnamon graham crackers to give it an extra cinnamon taste)
Preheat over to 375 degrees and line 2 backing sheets with parchment paper.
Put graham crackers side by side so they are touching across pan. How many graham crackers you use really depends on how much cookie dough you use on each cracker.
Whisk flour, baking soda, sea salt, and cinnamon together in a medium bowl; set aside
Beat butter and both sugars together until fluffy
Add eggs and vanilla until combined
Using low speed, combine the flour mixture with butter mixture
Gently stir in chocolate chips and marshmallows
Place 1 to 2 Tb of dough on each graham cracker square and press down lightly with fingertips
Bake for 5 minutes, then remove from oven and press Hershey’s bar piece in each cookie
Bake for 5 to 7 minutes more then cool on wire rack
Cut cookies with a sharp knife to separate after cookies are completely cool
I stored my cookies in an airtight container and the stayed perfectly soft and were delicious even days later. Loved this recipe and would definitely make these again.
I just love planning for my girls birthday parties far in advance! I have SO much fun finding ideas! Although, let me just tell you that I’m not a theme type of person. My house and my clothes are all boring neutral. So, when it comes to planning my kids birthday parties, it’s hard. Like many soon to be two year olds, Ella had her favorite character. At that time, it was Elmo.
I can’t say that I find it cute. I’m not one of those women that like cartoon characters at an older age (in fact, I’m total opposite). Because of this, I had to find something that incorporated simplicity along with her Elmo.
I knew I had to give a little. Nevermind the fact that I (and mostly all moms) would do anything for my kids. She sang all of Elmo’s songs and watched him on the iPad every chance we allowed her. How could I not give her an Elmo themed party? So, I did. I gave her a zebra print party with Elmo accent. I got the idea when I found the shirt below on etsy.
This shirt gave me the idea for Ella's party
Now, you’re probably reading this post so you can learn how to make the cupcake cake. So here you go!
You will need:
cake flavor of your choice
two white icings (I wouldn’t use a creamy or whipped)
pink cake coloring for icing (you can get this from any craft store in the cake aisle)
cook cake according to the box and cupcake cake pan directions (the cupcake pan will tell you cooking instructions)
Let cake completely cool
Put white icing all over cake bottom and top so that it looks smooth
Put the top piece on the bottom piece
Mix the pink icing coloring with the icing with a mixer to make it really pink (remember: a little of this goes a long way and you can always add more)
Put the pink icing in the ziplock bags and do stars all over the top of the cake
Use the black sparkly gel to make lines all over the bottom of the cake (just random zebra lines)
You’re done 🙂 You can also do a little extra by decorating the plate!
I even had a friend design her invitations according to her shirt.
*** Side note. I just love cupcake cakes. I also used the pan for her 1st birthday party smash cake. It was really cute and a big hit! So, I will probably let the tradition continue each year for Ella.
If I look at sugar, it goes straight to my butt. The End.
So, I’ve gotten pretty good at modifying recipes so they are South Beach friendly. This definitely fulfills my sweet tooth, it is such a great alternative to Paula Dean’s regular recipe. You have to think that it’s all mental and that you have to modify food choices to get/stay slim.
Looks Delicious, huh?! Goes great with a glass of skim milk!
I’ve italicized and bolded my changes
1 cup peanut butter, creamy or crunchy 1 cup all natural peanut butter (only ingredients are peanuts and oil), creamy or crunchy
Vanilla extract, two eggs, all natural peanut butter and granulated splenda (I doubled my recipe, that's why there are two eggs in the picture)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a large baking sheet.
In a mixing bowl, combine the peanut butter (make sure you stir the natural peanut butter first), 1 cup sugar replacement, the egg, and vanilla, and stir well with a spoon. Roll the dough into balls the size of walnuts. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheet. With a fork, dipped in sugar replacement to prevent sticking, press a crisscross design on each cookie. Bake for 12 minutes I baked for 11, it is SO important to not overbake cookies (they will become hard), remove from the oven, and sprinkle the cookies with some of the remaining sugar replacement. Cool slightly before removing from pan.
Bammmmm…. that wasn’t too hard to modify and you have a great sweet treat that won’t go to your butt!
So last night my husband and I were really having a sweet tooth craving and were trying to decide what we wanted. I decided to browse my pinterest food board to see if I had anything good saved on there. I came across these chocolate chip snicker cookies I have been dying to try for a while. They are chocolate chip cookies with a mini snickers wrapped in the middle! What’s not to love! These cookies were relatively easy to make, but did have an unusual step in it I wasn’t expecting. You actually brown the butter in a pan over the stove instead of just using softened butter. Interesting! It gave the cookies a really flavorful toffee taste. And just a warning… the toffee taste made the cookie dough IRRESISTIBLE.
I adapted the recipe slightly because I felt like the cookies were too doughy and I couldn’t mold the cookie around the snickers very well.
CHOCOLATE CHIP SNICKER COOKIES
Adapted from bakersroyale.com | Makes 24 large cookies
2 ¼ Cups flour
½ Teaspoon baking soda
16 Tablespoons butter
¾ Cup brown sugar
½ Cup granulated sugar
¾ Teaspoon Salt
2 Teaspoons Vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 Cup chocolate chips
I bag of mini or fun size snickers
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray baking sheet or line with parchment paper.
Whisk together flour and baking soda in separate bowl
Put 10 of the 16 TB of butter in a skillet pan and heat over medium until completely melted. Then continue to brown the butter until it is a dark golden brown color. Make sure to stir continually or swirl the pan so the butter doesn’t burn. This only takes a couple minutes. Put the butter in a large bowl and stir in the remaining 6 TB of butter until it is completely melted.
Add the sugars, salt, and vanilla. Then come the eggs. Add the eggs and whisk for 30 seconds. Then let it sit for 3 minutes. Repeat this 30 second whisk-3 minute rest two more times. The dough should now be thick and smooth.
Add the flour. Mix very briefly… this is the key to good cookies! The more you mix the more cake-like your cookies are… the less mixing you can get away with, the more chewy your cookies will be. I love my cookies chewy so I mix until the flour is just barely combined.
Stir in chocolate chips
Scoop cookies leaving at least 2 inches between cookies… I used an ice cream scooper to scoop. Place the snickers slice on top of each cookie and fold the edges over to completely hide the snickers. Dice up the remaining cookie and press them into the top of the cookies.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. The cookies should still be puffy and the center will have just begun to set. Cool on a wire rack.