YOU KNEW THEY WERE COMING. And with my mouth stuffed full of sweet cranberry muffin right at this very moment I can say, “Ymfff. Themmmfff gmffff.” Ahem, I mean, yep, they’re good! The perfect Thanksgiving breakfast has arrived just in time. Just ask these guys, my trusty helpers.
THESE MUFFINS STARTED IT ALL. The first time I made our pumpkin spice mini-muffins in Rome, I knew we were on to something because the kids liked them, but I loved them. Finally a decadent tasting baked good that I didn’t have mixed feelings about. So we made spin-offs: carrot cake muffins, sweet potato muffins and more. But the original pumpkin muffins have been such a hit with so many kids in so many countries, I decided to give them a new makeover for fall. With less sugar, more honey and the addition of both flax and chia seeds, they might be our healthiest muffins yet. They’re definitely some of the tastiest.
IF YOU WANT TO SCORE POINTS WITH THE RASCALS, serve them dessert for breakfast. Make it this dessert and you won’t even have to feel weird about it. It’s basically fresh fruit, oats, nuts, a little honey and yep, wheat germ.
I DON’T KNOW WHO ATE MORE OF THIS, ME OR BABY GEORGE (or what that says about either of us). But what I do know is that we packed this apple spice loaf with as many good-for-you ingredients as we could, and it was still so delicious the older kids were asking about it long after the whole thing was gone. [Read more...]
UGH. THAT’S THE SOUND OF MOST PARENTS MAKING SCHOOL LUNCHES. But not Katie Morford. Katie heads up the popular blog, Mom’s Kitchen Handbook: Raising Fresh-Food Kids in a French-Fried World and just wrote a new book with a promising title, “Best Lunch Box Ever“. Brimming with fresh, creative ideas that look just as tasty as they do nutritious, the book will be a huge help to any parent who’s ever felt stumped for on-the-go inspiration. (Just check out this video about the book to see what I mean!)
That’s why we asked her to spill her secrets. How does she put together healthy meals that her kids are happy to eat — and do it day after day? You’ll find out right here.
JUST IN TIME FOR BLUEBERRIES! I love summer food. All those berries, sweet peaches and juicy cherries are so easy to serve as snacks (minus the juicy cleanup) but there’s an even better side effect: When I see my three rascals lined up on the counter stools, eating all that fresh goodness I feel like I’m doing something right. If you want to split hairs, this bounty is really Mother Nature’s amazing idea but I’ll totally take credit today. (Hey, when Mother Nature shows up with a broom after lunch, that’s when I’ll really start deferring the high praises.)
So as both of my readers know, we’ve made a lot of muffins–chocolate zucchini muffins, banana oat mini muffins, carrot cake muffins, strawberry muffins, even orange pound cake muffins–but never the old classic, blueberry muffins. And like alllll those muffin recipes before it, this one is full of the good stuff, like oat bran and applesauce but there’s even more something special going on here: not a single crystal of sugar. And these blueberry muffins are still delicious. Here’s how we did it. [Read more...]
THEY’RE HERE! Remember when one of you wonderful people who actually read this blog asked me about doing a makeover of a recipe you found on your very expensive bag of chia seeds? I was all, sure, I’ll do that! Then we started moving, packing, unpacking, trying to find the grocery store, hunting down preschools…and all thoughts of chia seeds went right out the rental house window. But that’s all behind us now. We have moved into the new house and I won’t bore you with those details now (I’ll bore you with that later!)
Right now I have a yummy little recipe to share.
IT ALL STARTED IN ITALY. When my husband and I moved to Rome four and a half years ago, I didn’t speak a word of Italian (yet) and found the grocery stores mystifying. A bit more produce, infinitely more cheese and much less in the way of processed foods, almost none that I recognized anyway. Wandering up and down those aisles, I started to wonder what the heck we were going to eat. Because I was linguistically and culturally challenged, I needed to keep it simple. My foray into eating “whole foods” was more about necessity than taking up a cause. I could find the pasta, understand the ground beef and certainly get my hands on a bunch of juicy tomatoes. Done. [Read more...]
MUFFINS, YOU MAY HAVE MET YOUR MATCH. My mother-in-law sent us home from a recent Florida visit with a bread making machine, and boy have we been baking. I know it’s very 1996 to say it but, I love making bread in this thing! All you do is dump in ingredients, then wait. Um, I can do that! (And my favorite is watching Phoebe climb up on the counter to peek into the tiny window of the thing, “watching” it all happen.) We’ve experimented a lot and come up with a favorite: whole wheat apple bread. Toasted with butter? Heavenly. [Read more...]
IT STARTED WITH A DINNER FAIL. I tried to spice up what was a delicious quinoa dish full of sweet potatoes and roasted chicken–except this new version was terrible. Instead of chicken and sweet potatoes, I used pork and apples (you know, pork chops and applesauce?) and tried to combine everything into a handy one-pot dish. The kids sort of picked at it, like they often do. Then the comedy started: I asked Paul whether he’d rather have regular pork chops and apple sauce, or this creatively re-invented version before him…and he picked the first one. And you know what, I did too! That’s when I turned to Facebook for help.
TODAY’S POST IS A TWO-FER. As promised, we’ve got a delicious recipe from “More Peas, Thank You” by Sarah Matheny and as usual, I did a little revamp of my own. I just couldn’t help myself. Below you’ll find the original recipe for Lemon Chia Seed Pancakes plus our own muffin top version shown here.
THIS REQUEST CAME IN FROM ALASKA. Tricia, who is a mom to three boys living waaay up north, sent me a link via Facebook to these decadent treats with a healthy sounding name, Golden Yam Brownies on Allrecipes. She asked if I could do a healthier makeover. “My family LOVES it but it’s loaded with butter and sugars! Can you help me?” ‘Kay! But here’s the problem. People love these things; They’ve got an average rating of four and a half stars, and 357 of them so far. I was a little worried. But with applesauce in hand and hope in our hearts, Phoebe and I hit the kitchen. We transformed these into kid-sized portions hearty enough to serve as breakfast muffins and did it in several shapes and sizes. Don’t worry though, you could still serve them for dessert — and they’re still better for you than the original. [Read more...]
STOP EVERYTHING. THESE ARE THE BEST MUFFINS you’ll ever make. And don’t tell Ina Garten because I’ve strayed again and updated another Paula Deen recipe for this one. Right now Paula’s zucchini bread is the most popular thing on the Food Network website; and my remake of her pumpkin cake (now pumpkin spice mini-muffins) is the most popular thing on Foodlets. That’s why I decided to give this makeover a try. And if I weren’t so busy eating as many of these muffins as I can, I’d tell you how happy I am that I did! [Read more...]
I HAVE A MUFFIN PHILOSOPHY. (And when I say things like this, it amazes me that I found someone to marry me, let alone read this blog. So to you Paul and to you wonderful readers, thank you and bless you–and don’t hesitate to laugh at the ramblings of this
crazy tired lady in the kitchen. Anyway…) To me, the point of muffins is to make an all-in-one it baked good that can easily (and happily) be eaten as a meal. Probably breakfast, but muffins should work well for snacks too. That’s why I load them up with hearty ingredients like wheat germ, eggs and Greek yogurt then go light on sugar. But the best part, and we all know this, is where the fruit comes in. At this time of year, it’s got to be peaches and that’s why we made two different kinds.
THERE’S SOMETHING FANCY GOING ON HERE and it’s not brownies. We’ve got a couple of new features on Foodlets and one of them is the “Your Favorite Posts Right Now” list, which now appears on the right side of every page. This measures the most clicked on posts of the last 30 days, and vying for the top spot all week have been A Sweet Shop Birthday Party and How to Make a Boxed Brownie Mix Healthier in Seconds. These seem like hot topics so I say let’s do more of both, starting with brownies. Here are my favorite ways to make even a box mix healthier.
I love them, deeply I do, but these ladies’ recipes are just too rich. And I mean this in both senses of the word. There’s Paula Deen, whose battle with diabetes has become very public and at least a little controversial when paired with an estimated net worth of $14 million. And also my beloved Ina Garten, another wealthy woman of the kitchen with seven cookbooks, a line of signature products and numerous TV shows boosting her bottom line. But despite their successes, adding buckets of butter to every recipe isn’t exactly a straight shot to healthy living for anyone, celebs included. [Read more...]
WE CAN’T GET ENOUGH fresh strawberries! Hoping to soak up the best of the season, we’re experimenting with new recipes all the time. This one was quite tasty–and thanks to the magical combo of a freezer and a zip-top bag, we’re still enjoying them a week later. Well, those of us who aren’t cutting FIVE teeth right now certainly are…
MANY MORNINGS BEGIN with one question: Mommy do we have muffins? Sometimes we do, sometimes we don’t, and there are plenty of alternatives but our girls love to start the day with a baked good. And when I can slide a few good-for-them ingredients in there too, I’m all for it.