Cooking with Kids!

My girls love blueberries and I had gone to Costco to get a five pound tray but we weren’t going through them fast enough….found this recipe. It is delicious! We had to make them into muffins because my daughter is obsessed with the princess liners :)

Blueberry Zucchini Bread – Courtesy of Parents Magazine (May ’11)

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour (I used 2 cups all purpose)
¼ cup packed light-brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. coarse sea salt
½ tsp. baking powder
3 eggs
¾ cup canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 cups shredded zucchini
1 cup blueberries

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly coat the bottom of 4 mini 5-inch loaf pans or 1 9-inch pan with cooking spray; set aside. (I used muffin tins that were lined with princess muffin foils)

In a large bowl combine flours, sugars, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and baking powder; set aside. In another bowl, mix eggs, oil and vanilla extract. Add to flour mixture and stir until combined. Gently stir in zucchini and then blueberries.

Spoon batter into prepared pans. Bake about 40 minutes for mini pans or about 1 hour for 9-inch pan or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of each comes out clean. (I baked the muffins for about 20 minutes). Allow to cool in pan 10 minutes before removing. Serve warm or let cool completely before slicing. Each mini loaf makes 8 pieces, while the large loaf has 12. Freeze extra mini loaves for up to 3 months.

Nutrition per 2 mini slices 185 calories; 3g protein; 11g fat (1g sat. fat); 19g carbs; 1g fiber; 30mg calcium; 1mg iron; 154mg sodium

Mama Monday – Pedicures Anyone?

If you are anything like me, you take care of everyone in the house first and then if, you have time and more like energy left over you do something for yourself….sound familiar?

I know and everyone tells you that you are a better mom/wife/partner/everything if you do take time for yourself, so I did just that this weekend and took a couple of delicious hours just for myself!

Ok, so I did get the car washed – but I sat in the sun by myself for 30 minutes WITH MY EYES CLOSED – can’t do that with a 13 month & 3 1/2 year old with you. I then treated myself to a juice smoothie and headed over to the nail salon for a pedicure and mini-massage. Maybe the best three hours I have had in a couple of months!

You don’t have to make a big production out of taking time for yourself – just do simple things that give you a chance to just be.

Kick your feet up everyone once in awhile….I promise, you deserve it!

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

I brought some homemade-from-scratch chocolate chip cookies in to share with the office today. When I set them out this morning, I assured everyone that with 2 cups of oatmeal these definitely fall into the breakfast category 😉 Just a few short hours and many enthusiastic thank you’s later, this was all that was left at noon!

By popular demand, here’s the recipe. I’ve also included a few fun variations!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup shortening (I use these handy pre-measured Crisco shortening packs)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups Quaker Rolled Oats
  • 2 BAGS semisweet chocolate chips (I’ve also been known to use 1 bag of semisweet + 1 bag white chocolate chip cookies!)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
  2. Combine flour, salt and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat shortening, sugars and vanilla until creamy. Add eggs and beat until light and fluffy.
  4. Gradually stir in flour mixture.
  5. Stir in rolled oats and chocolate chips.
  6. Lightly spritz cookie sheets with non-stick cooking spray
  7. Teaspoon onto baking sheets
  8. Bake for approximately 10 minutes or until golden. I let cookies cool on sheets for 2 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Yields approximately 64 cookies (16 cookies per cookie sheet).

With this many cookies, I like sharing! But they also keep well stored in the freezer and are surprisingly good, just a little bit crumbly, frozen.

Another way I like my cookies when I’m feeling extra indulgent?

Enjoy!

 

 

 

‘An Afternoon In Italy’ Baby Shower

How sweet is this?

Last Saturday, I attended “An Afternoon in Italy” Baby Shower in celebration of a close friend, pictured above, who is expecting her first child — a little girl! — at the end of December.

The setting was completely charming! My friends who hosted did a stunning job transforming one of their backyards into a beautiful space reminiscent of an Italian trattoria.

The afternoon was complete with Italian music, delectable homemade and catered Italian bites…

 

Bellinis, vino, champagne, and Pelligrino…

{On a side note: How cute is that watermelon-baby buggy?! And how about that homemade chalkboard? I made it out of an Ikea picture frame and a can of chalkboard spray paint :) }

And gifts and games! My favorite game was trying to guess the name of the famous baby mama stuck on your back. It’s a great ice breaker if not everyone knows each other. I FINALLY guessed mine after deducing that my celeb was blonde, around 30, married, not an actress, not a model, not a singer, that she is seen in magazines like Us Weekly and People, and not on reality TV but her dad is — Can you guess who?!

We played two other games throughout the afternoon. In keeping with the Italian theme, the winners each won a bottle of wine. One game was to estimate the number of taffy pieces in a glass jar, and the other was to determine who carried around everything but their kitchen sink/the most useful stuff in their handbag. To determine the winner for the latter, a pen was handed to each guest along with a piece of paper listing 50 items. Anything from a toothbrush to a calculator, rubber band, and safety pin. If you had it in your bag, you got a point. I had a teeny tiny handbag with me that day so I got two points since my smart phone counted as a calculator and a camera. Someone (with a big bag) got 38/50! I didn’t walk away empty-handed, though. All guests received a cute little jar of cocoa butter with the event name and date engraved on the top!

Finally, I just have to share that as gifts were being opened, one of the gals sitting directly next to me whom I had never met before pulled out a Marmont Nursing Cover and started nursing her baby! …Of course I had to say something and she was kind enough to allow me to take photos even after I warned that they might end up here or on our Bebe au Lait Facebook page :)

Have you attended a baby shower recently? What’s your favorite baby shower game?