Spring cookies

It is always fun to make seasonal cookies.  It is even more fun to include children in this tradition.  Baking is a great way to get kids involved in the kitchen.  Measuring, pouring, cracking and mixing are all things that kids can do.  I was very excited to make some Easter cookies and include the pastel M & Ms inside the batter.  I have made this recipe many times and shared it with you earlier in the blog.  This sugar cookie recipe from @averiesunshine is simply the best!  Follow exactly what the recipe says, and do not skip placing the dough in the fridge.  Remove cookies from oven when they are just slightly golden around the edges.  From the top they don’t even look cooked, but I promise they are soft and chewy.  I added some pink, purple, green, yellow, blue jimmies and sprinkles to the batter.  I love the crunch that it gives this soft buttery cookie.

Happy baking,
Sara

Snacks on the plane

With many families leaving for warmer destinations in the next three weeks I decided to tackle the plane snack dilemma.  I am not sure if it is just my son, but when we travel his stomach is a never-ending empty pit!  It does not matter if we are on a plane or road tripping he is continuously hungry when we travel.  We all know the key to a successful trip is to keep children occupied and happy, and this can be accomplished with some good snacks, new colouring book and a movie.  Here are some easy and portable ideas for travel with kids.

  • Granola bars, we especially like Lara bars or you could make your own.
  • Granola bites, these small one bite balls are great for kids.  I buy Made Good as they are lunchbox friendly.
  • Snack or trail mix, purchased or homemade both work very well.  For an easy homemade mix add: Cheerios, Chex, cheddar fish or bunnies, raisins or dried cranberries, pretzels and chocolate chips or m&m’s.
  • Applesauce, the easiest travel kinds are the ones in the squeeze pouch.
  • Mini muffins, if you have a stash in your freezer these are great for taking on trips.
  • Sliced apples or other sliced fruit.
  • Cheese string or Babybel cheese.
  • Wraps, I usually pack a peanut butter and jam wrap for my son, it keeps well and easy to eat on the-go.
  • Gum and a small bag of gummy candies.  This always makes their eyes light up when they get the have two treats during travel, and may have the ability to calm an upset child!

Happy travel,
Sara

Leprechaun bait

The recipe that I used for the Leprechaun bait is another tried and tested recipe from my grandma Illa.  She made these every Christmas, rolled them in red and green sprinkles and kept them in a Christmas box.  I changed a few things with this recipe, but it is mainly the same one she used for many years.  Instead of making large popcorn balls, I made them kid size, and rolled them in all things green.

Marshmallow Popcorn Balls
1/4 cup of butter

32 large marshmallows
8 cups of popcorn (you can use an air popper or stove)
1/2 tsp salt
Sprinkles of any kind (I used shamrocks and green jimmies)

In the top of a double boiler heat butter and marshmallows till melted.  Place popcorn in a large mixing bowl.  When marshmallow mixture is melted add it to the popcorn.  Stir to combine.  Leave this mixture to cool for a few minutes as it is too difficult to form into balls when it is hot.  To make smaller popcorn balls I used a spoon slightly larger than a tablespoon(for ease of rolling cover your hands in butter).  The recipe made between 30-35 small balls.  Once formed roll in desired sprinkles.  Store in an airtight container, but really just eat them!

Happy baking,
Sara

Family time

During day-to-day life you can lose sight of the importance of spending quality time with the ones that you love.  Today my son said, “Mom we are getting low on protein balls, we’d better find a recipe and make some more.”  And just like that I was reminded to pause and spend some one-on-one time with my growing-up too fast little boy.  We sat together and looked for a picture that appealed to him, and then together we gathered ingredients, measured, mixed and rolled.  When we were finished he looked at me and said, “That was really fun!”  In our busy lives don’t forget to take time and spend time with those that you love.  Our newest protein ball recipe can be found here.

Enjoy your weekend,
Sara

Banana pancakes

It seems that at least twice a month we have pancakes on the weekend.  Although we do purchase a buckwheat pancake mix, our most favourite is banana pancakes.  I have tried many different recipes for banana pancakes, but found one by Nigella Lawson that is amazing!  The addition of buttermilk make them light and fluffy with just a hint of banana.  In our house my son and husband top their pancakes with butter and maple syrup.  For me, I enjoy them with fresh fruit and some greek yogurt.  You can find the recipe for Nigella’s pancakes here

Happy flipping,
Sara

Little helpers

I spend a significant amount of time in the kitchen, so much so that my husband refers to the kitchen as “my room”.  As a working mom it is challenging to find the balance between family time and preparing nutritious and delicious nightly meals.  The key to this balance is to include your children in the meal preparation process.  Not only are you spending quality time together, but you are setting your kids up for a healthier future.  They are learning skills that are not taught in school and will have a better understanding of where their food comes from.  When children are involved in cooking their dinner they will be more apt to eat their dinner!  You do not have to wait till your children are older to get them involved.  Below is a list of ways that you can include your children in the kitchen.

  • Pour ingredients into a bowl
  • Mix dry ingredients
  • Mix batter
  • Wash fruits and vegetables
  • Peel fruits and vegetables
  • Mash
  • Roll out dough
  • Crack an egg
  • Cut soft foods with a dull knife
  • Form balls for cookies or meatballs
  • Wash dishes
  • Set the table
  • Fill and empty the dishwasher

For an amazing example of someone who includes their children in the nightly cooking process, have a look at mylovelylittlelunchbox.com or follow Kayla on Instagram @mylovelylittlelunchbox

Happy cooking,

Sara