low-sugar lemon chia seed cakes

Lemon chia seed cakes on Foodlets.com

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… 

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flourless black bean chocolate cake. yep.

black bean cake

I HAVE A LIST OF TOP 5 FOODS. In fact, on one of our first dates, I asked Paul about his. With a sort of deer-in-the-headlights look, he shrugged and explained that he didn’t have such a list (he politely left out saying anything like “because I’m not 9″). No matter. Mine, I announced, were:… 

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carrot cake pancakes

carrot cake pancakes for kids, foodlets

LAST NIGHT I PANICKED. It was nearly time to pick up the girls from nursery school, George was set on nursing until the cows came home (almost literally in this case) and no dinner was made. The 90 something degree heat didn’t help. But Pinterest did. I’d become obsessed with seen a recipe for Carrot… 

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Easy apple & carrot mini muffins

Apple and carrot mini muffins

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.

Fresh strawberry muffins

Fresh strawberry muffins

“YAY, THESE ARE GIANT MUFFINS!” That’s the refrain from the breakfast table in Rome these days. This weekend Phoebe and I remade a recipe from the Oprah magazine, for baked strawberry-buttermilk doughnuts. Our version is also baked, also full of strawberries but served in the shape of flowers.

low-sugar chocolate covered banana cake pops for estelle’s first birthday

banana chocolate cake pop

SHE’S ALREADY ONE! And to celebrate Estelle’s first big day with friends, we made cake pops. But not just any cake pops. These started with a healthier version of David Lebovitz’s amazing banana cake, in honor of Estelle’s favorite fruit, then we dip, dip, dipped our way to chocolate covered bliss.

Low-sugar banana cake, a David Lebovitz recipe makeover

Banana cake, david lebovitz

THE ORIGINAL VERSION, Banana Cake with Mocha Frosting and Salted Candy Peanuts, looks so amazing that I was tempted to bake the whole thing twice. And I still might. But for now, behold the oatmealy goodness that is the kiddy version of David Lebovitz’s prize-winning banana cake. (And you’d better do it quick because it’s… 

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Better-for-you Valentine’s Day cupcakes from a mix (chickpea variation)

IMG_6117

YOU DON’T EAT THEM EVERY DAY so why mess with a good thing? Because in our house we’re dealing with babies. And toddlers. And neither one is a pretty sight in the company of too much sugar. Actually, Estelle hasn’t really had sugar yet and Phoebe talks a good game but after a few bites… 

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orange pound cake muffins, a david lebovitz recipe makeover

orange pound cake muffins, foodlets

THESE TASTE LIKE EXTRA delicious Twinkies. That’s the first thing I have to say about this recipe. The second is, I’m sorry Mr. Lebovitz. (But I do hope you understand the method to my mini foodie madness.) Inspired by pastry chef David Lebovitz’s gorgeous book, “Ready for Dessert: My Best Recipes“, we’ve started a new… 

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Cookie Recipe Makeover: Martha Stewart’s Chocolate-Espresso Snowcaps

Chocolate snowcaps on Foodlets.com

GETTING INTO THE SPIRIT OF both Christmas and New Year’s (and least where resolutions are concerned) me and my team of mini-bakers set out to makeover a cookie recipe from the master, Martha Stewart. As you may or may not know, I used to work at MSLO. Not as a cookie expert, but rather a… 

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better for you sugar cookies

Christmas cookies Foodlets

THEY’RE NOT CALLED SUGAR COOKIES for nothing. Most recipes involve at least a cup of sugar, sometimes more, and up to three sticks of butter. Those are no doubt delicious but for this pregnant lady and mother of two, they just won’t do. Let me be clear. I love sugar. And butter. As Julia Roberts… 

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Barefoot Contessa Makeover: Peanut butter & jelly bars (PB & J Bars)

peanut butter and jelly bars, foodlets

WE’RE BACK TO TOAST around here. Every morning it starts around 6am. I hear murmurs from the next room, Phoebe’s ready to get out of bed and can I please make her some bekfist? On the plus side, she’s nearly two and a half and stays in her toddler bed until someone comes to help… 

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Chocolate scones with peanut butter

Chocolate scones

TOAST. TOAST WITH JAM. TOAST with peanut butter.  This is how most mornings begin at our house, with a request for the same thing. Every day. Toast. In the past it’s been oatmeal which I admit is a gooier task to prepare and certainly to clean up. But really, how much can a piece of… 

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Zucchini mini-muffins with dried cranberries

fresh zucchini

LET IT BE SAID THAT COOKING WITH FOUR KIDS under three is crazy ill advised. A fact, now burned clearly into my brain, was somehow unknown when I went into this project last week. A fellow ex-pat brought her toddler and baby over for some pint-sized baking at my suggestion. Along with my own toddler… 

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Barefoot Contessa Makeover: Plum-blackberry crisp

plum blackberry crisp, foodlets

WE WERE HEADED FOR THE BEACH and needed to bring a dessert for lunch afterward. The requirements were simple enough: must be baked ahead of time and also hold up for an hour in the car. (And if it could not involve a 30-pound Le Creuset baking pan, even better.) There would be six adults,… 

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Barefoot Contessa Makeover: Corn muffins with jam filling

Corn  muffins

ANOTHER WEEK, ANOTHER PLAYGROUP, ANOTHER BAKED GOOD. This time we tried something even more healthy…but it didn’t start that way. Barefoot’s corn muffins promise to be moist and delicious, which is easy to believe when you consider the half pound of butter called for in the original recipe. That won’t work for us so we… 

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Barefoot Contessa Makeover: Oatmeal raisin scones

Oatmeal raisin scones plate, foodlets.com

WE’RE ON AN OATMEAL KICK HERE IN ROME. The temperatures are cooling off and Phoebe has recently discovered dried cranberries which means oatmeal every morning, naturally. We’re just doing the quick oats which cook in one minute…except they don’t. It takes several minutes to boil the water, then another couple to cook the oats. I’m… 

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