Tag Archives: kid friendly

Breakfast Burrito Cups

Today, I baked these Breakfast Burrito Cups because I like the idea to keep them in the fridge or freezer and pop them in the microwave for a quick, healthy, hot breakfast.  Sweet Stackers layer foods using a stackable food storage system in a variety of containers.  This prevents foods from sticking together or getting soggy.

Breakfast Burrito Cups

Happy New Year!  Personally, I have never been into making resolutions.  This year is different and I am setting a goal that is taking one more step to eating better for the whole family.  Drumroll please…..I am not buying cereal!

Overall, I believe that we do well eating well rounded meals.  But breakfast is the one area where I think we can do better!  The mornings are hectic.  First, I am NOT a morning person.  My kids know that Mom needs to have a few sips of coffee before we can start discussing any aspect of the morning routine.  Three young kids bring the typical morning rush trying to get them out of the door on time.  Cereal is the perfect quick breakfast.  But even the cereal that we have considered to be the “less-sugar” cereals are still packed with sugar and limited nutrition.  I myself quit eating cereal for about 2 years because I realized I was starving by 9 or 10 A.M.  Unfortunately, my kids LOVE cereal and will even eat it as an afternoon snack since they can make it themselves.  So if I don’t have cereal in the house, no one will eat it.

I have been doing some research as how to make quick heathy breakfasts!  This is one of the make ahead recipes to keep in the freezer.  A variety of fillings can be used, so get creative!

Breakfast Burrito Cups

yields 12 individual cups

3 – 10 inch flour tortilla

variety of diced veggies/cooked meat [green pepper, mushrooms & ham]

5 eggs

2 TB milk

shredded Cheddar cheese – optional

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray 12 count muffin tin with oil.

Cut the tortilla into quarters.  Press gently into the muffin tin to form cups.  Sprinkle the diced veggies and meat into the cups.  In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and milk together.  Poor even amounts of egg mixture into each cup.  Sprinkle a pinch of shredded cheese on top of each cup.  Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.  Uncover and bake for an additional 5 minutes until the egg is cooked through and lightly browned.

 

 

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Muffin Tin French Toast and Raspberry Syrup

Good morning!  Wouldn’t you like to wake up to this homemade breakfast?

I love muffin tin recipes because they bake quickly and make cute individual portions….especially for kids!  This is a delicious recipe for the weekend, but next time I am going to make an extra batch of muffin tin French toast and refrigerate it.  Then zap it in the microwave to heat through for a quick homemade breakfast before the kids head off to school!  (Plus the syrup made enough for another batch of French toast.)

Muffin Tin Frech Toast Raspberry Syrup

Muffin Tin French Toast

adapted from the book Muffin Tin Chef by Matt Kadey

  • 6 sliced whole-grain bread
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Raspberry Syrup

  • 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries (or any choice of berry)
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch

Cut the bread into 1 inch cubes.  In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla and salt together.  Stir in the bread cubes and let sit for 5 minutes to absorb.

Preheat the oven for 350°.  In a small sauce pan, combine the berries, maple syrup and cinnamon over medium heat.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.  Stir in the cornstarch and simmer for 1 minute.  The syrup should start to thicken.

Divide the bread cubes in a 12-count muffin tin.  Bake for approximately 22 minutes, until they are golden on top and the egg has set.

Serve warm with the berry syrup on top.

Refrigerate the leftover syrup.

 

 

Homemade Pasta Bolognese

This is one my “go to” recipes for a weekly meal.  My version of Pasta Bolognese has a bunch of veggies too!  There is one unusual ingredient that gives it a ton of flavor – balsamic vinegar.  The balsamic vinegar gets caramelized a bit on the bottom of the pan.  Then you can scrape all of the goodness stuck to the pan and incorporate it into the sauce.  Plus the smell is amazing as this is simmering away!

Homemade Bolognese Sauce

Homemade Pasta Bolognese

  • 1.5 lbs. ground beef (or turkey)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 1/2 cup green pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 – 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 – 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 2 teaspoons dried Italian herbs or fresh herbs to taste

Brown the meat over medium heat in a large sauce pan.  When almost cooked through, add the onion and carrots.  Continue cooking until the veggies are soft.  Add green pepper and garlic.  Once the meat is browned and the veggies have been cooked, add the balsamic vinegar.  Let the balsamic vinegar cook down a bit and it will start to caramelize.  Scrape the bottom of the pan to remove any browned bits.  Add the tomatoes and sauce.  Bring to a boil, then lower heat and let simmer down for at least 10 minutes….or longer.

I usually add cooked pasta right into the sauce and toss with the sauce.

Enjoy!

Hearty Homemade Chili

Snow Again!?  That seems to be a common theme this ENTIRE winter.  The perfect dish to warm ya up is a hearty bowl of hot chili!

Chili is so versatile and most of the staples should be stocked in your pantry.  This time I even added a couple of ingredients and the brown sugar sweetened it up to entice my children.  If you don’t need to worry about young palates, then feel free to add some heat with hot peppers.  So get creative and fill up a big cup of chili to warm up this winter!

Hearty Homemade Chili

Hearty Homemade Chili

(double for a crowd)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup green pepper, diced
  • 1 large clove of garlic, minced
  • 5 slices of turkey bacon, diced
  • 1 lb. of ground beef
  • 1 – 15 ounce can dark red kidney beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 – 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 – 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 – 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

garnish with shredded cheddar cheese, chopped green onions, diced onion, etc.

In a dutch oven, heat the olive oil.  Sautee the onion, green pepper and garlic until softened.  Add the bacon until it becomes crispy.  Add the ground beef until browned and cooked through.

Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for at least 15 minutes.

Garnish with suggested toppings and serve piping hot in a bowl or cup.

What are you favorite toppings on chili?

Cranberry Banana Bread with Fresh Cranberry Glaze

Love the combination of tart and sweet, moist and crunchy?  This recipe is just for you.  The perfect addition to a cup of coffee for Mom and my kids are devouring them!  The bread itself is absolutely delicious – banana bread with a hint of tartness from fresh cranberries and the crunch of walnuts.  Plus, the fresh cranberry glaze on top enhances the complex flavors.

Cranberry Banana Bread with Fresh Cranberry Glaze     Cranberry Banana Mini Muffins with Fresh Cranberry Glaze

Cranberry Banana Bread with Fresh Cranberry Glaze

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon. baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup (2 medium) mashed bananas
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries (measured; then chopped or pulsated through food processor)
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350°.  Grease muffin tins or loaf pan.

Cream butter with an electric mixer.  Gradually add sugar and bananas.  Reduce speed of mixer and add flour, baking soda, salt, milk cranberries and walnuts.  Evenly fill muffin cups or loaf pan.

Bake until toothpick comes out clean.

  • Mini-muffins for 25 minutes
  • 12-count muffin tin for 35 minutes
  • 3-count small loaf pans for 40 minutes
  • Large 9x5x3 inch loaf pan for 60 minutes

Fresh Cranberry Glaze

  • 2 or 3 tablespoons of Fresh Cranberries; chopped or pulsated through food processor
  • 1/4 cup of confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Combine all ingredients and spread over the top of loaf or muffins.

SweetStackers Cranberry Banana Mini Muffins

Store in an air-tight container.  Sweet Stackers will separate moist mini muffins to prevent them from sticking together or ruin the glaze topping.  The stackable trays also work great in the freezer!  Visit sweetstackers.com for more information.

Mac n Cheese Muffins

What a fun sized portion of Mac n Cheese!  Perfect for kids and adults alike.  Great for lunch or a side dish to compliment dinner.  Shhhh….I am even adding some veggies in too!

Wouldn’t this recipe be fun way to get your kids in the kitchen cooking?  Basically, have all of the ingredients cooked and ready for them to mix, then give them a few choices of veggies to add.  They can even fill the muffin tin and sprinkle the bread crumbs on top.  This recipe is versatile because I have tried many different veggies in the Mac n Cheese Muffins…be creative!

Mac n Cheese Muffins

8 oz box of macaroni or elbow pasta; cooked and drained

1 1/2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 cup plus 2 TB grated parmesan cheese

2 large eggs

3/4 cup milk

1/3 cup plain yogurt

2 carrots, shredded

1/4 cup frozen peas, thawed

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 TB Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons butter

3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs

Cook the macaroni pasta according to the instructions on the package.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Spray muffin pan with cooking spray.  Drain the pasta, return to the pot and mix in the cheddar cheese and 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese.  In a large bowl, beat the eggs and stir in the milk and yogurt until combined.  Add the egg mixture to the pasta mixture, mix with the selected veggies, nutmeg, mustard, salt and pepper.  Divide the mixture among 12 count medium muffin pan.  Heat butter in a small skillet.  Once melted, add bread crumbs and stir until browned.  Add in the remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese.  Sprinkle over the pasta mixture and bake until set about 15 minutes.  Let cool for 5 minutes before removing from the pan.

Other suggestions for pre-cooked veggies:

small broccoli florets, diced zucchini or summer squash, diced asparagus, sliced grape tomatoes

Wild Salmon En Croute

“En Croute” indicates food that is wrapped in pastry dough.   You can make a visually beautiful dinner even on a week night!

Today, I was inspired by a recipe in Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Cookbook, but I added a slightly different twist.  Best thing was that I had all of the ingredients on hand in my fridge, freezer and pantry.  I try to keep a package of frozen puff pastry on hand because I never know when I might need it…and I am stocked up on a filets of salmon.  My family and I are doing good at eating a fish dinner at least once a week because of the health benefits and my kids LOVE it!  I personally prefer wild salmon because of the taste and texture.  I topped the salmon with basil pesto, slices of fresh campari tomatoes, and slices of mozzarella.  This was a very eye appealing, fast, fun and easy dinner – yummo!

Wild Salmon En Croute

Wild Salmon En Croute

2 sheets of puff pastry

large filet of salmon

2 or 3 TB basil pesto

slices of 2 large tomatoes or 4 small tomatoes

2-3 ounces of mozzarella cheese, sliced

1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 400°.

Dust counter surface and rolling pin with flour.  Place two sheets of puff pastry, one on top of the other, roll dough until same size of a cookie sheet.  Lay dough on top of a cookie sheet dusted with flour.  Lightly drizzle olive oil on salmon filet to coat the surface  and place the filet in the center of the dough.  Generously spread the basil pesto over the top of the filet.  Layer the tomato slices down the center of the filet and fill in with the mozzarella cheese.  Roll the dough around the edges of salmon filet.  Brush the egg on the edges of the pastry dough.

Place salmon on the lowest rack of your oven with an empty cookie on the rack above to sheild the heat.  Bake for 35 minutes until the salmon is done and the pastry is puffed and golden brown.

Homemade Granola Bars

Always looking for healthy snacks that you can take on the go?  Of course you can purchase granola bars at the grocery store, but the ones my kids like are not really a healthy snack and they make me more hungry after eating just one.  Some of the healthier versions are difficult to bite and chew, plus pretty pricey.  So I thought I would try to make my own.  I had all of the ingredients in my pantry, they were easy and my 3-year-old had a lot of fun measuring and mixing the ingredients.  This recipe turned out perfectly delicious for both kids and adults alike!

Mmmmm!  Chewy, with lots of flavor and texture and I know I was fully satisfied with eating only one bar.

Kid-friendly Granola Bar Snack

Homemade Granola Bars (yields 18 bars)

2 cups old-fashioned oats

3/4 cup wheat germ

3/4 cup walnuts (chopped)

1/2  cup dried cranberries (substitute any dried fruit)

1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 egg whites

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup real maple syrup (or substitute with another 1/4 cup of honey to make a 1/2 cup)

1/2 cup canola oil

Preheat oven at 350°.

Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Combine egg whites, honey, maple syrup and oil in a medium size bowl.  Fold the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients.

Line a 9×13 inch pan with foil or parchment paper.  Lightly oil the pan so the bars will not stick and can be removed easily.  Press the mixture evenly into the pan.

Bake for 30-35 minutes until lightly browned.

Cool in pan for 1 to 2 hours.  Remove from pan and cut into bars.  I divided by cutting down the center lengthwise and then cut approximately 1 inch bars from the two halves.

Leftover Ham Hock and Pea Soup

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and Happy New Year!  This was one of the first recipes that I tried with my Christmas gift – a food processor.  I had a mini prep machine and used it all of the time to chop smaller items.  But, I figured with all that I am cooking, I could really benefit from a food processor.  I am loving it!!

For the holidays I picked up a spiral ham at my local grocery store for our Christmas Eve dinner.  I am glad it dawned on me to save the bone once I cut the meat off of the Ham.  What a tasty soup it made….Ham and Pea Soup!  Even the kids liked it…though they needed a little coaxing to try it, probably because it is not one of the prettiest soups they have seen.  But my, was it yummy and quick to make!!

Ham and Pea Soup

Ham and Pea Soup

5 carrots, sliced

2 stalks of celery

2 leeks (remove greens and root base, slice down the middle, rinse to remove sand, then finely chop)

1 onion, chopped

2 TB olive oil

7 cups of water

1 teaspoon chicken soup base (optional)

1 -16 ounce bag of split peas, rinsed

left over ham bone with some meat attached

2 cups ham, diced

salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in a large pot and add the carrots, celery, leeks and onion.  Sautee until softened, about 8 minutes.  Add water, chicken soup base, split peas and ham bone.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 35 minutes.  Remove the ham bone and trim meat off and reserve.

Puree about half of the soup in a blender or use an immersion blender to puree to your liking.  (I prefer some chunky vegetable left in the soup).

Stir in diced ham.  Salt and Pepper to taste, if needed.

Leftover Ham Hock and Pea Soup

Why not freeze some ham and pea soup for a cold snowy day!?

Mini Turkey Meatballs

Here’s another great way to get your kids in the kitchen making a quick and healthy dinner.  My 5 and 3-year-old helped me mix the ingredients and roll them into little balls.  We used a melon baller to get equal amount of mixture to each meatball.  They are cute, kid friendly because of their size and texture and quick to bake.  Of course I added a veggie ingredient for added nutrition.  By using the melon baller, I was able to make 63 mini meatballs out of 1 pound of ground turkey!

Mini Meatballs

Mini Turkey Meatballs

1 lb. ground turkey

1/4 C bread crumbs

1 small onion, diced

1/4 C bell pepper

1 egg, beaten

2 TB fresh flat leaf parsley

Preheat oven 350°.  Mix all ingredients until well combined.  Scoop up using a melon baller and roll in between your hand until a round uniform shape is achieved.  Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes, flip the meatballs half way through.  Once baked, add the meatballs to pasta sauce and serve over pasta.

Why not make another batch and freeze them?  Layer the meatball on Sweet Stackers – stackable trays which fit many popular brands of plastic food storage containers.  Helps to save space in a packed freezer!  The trays will separate the meatballs to prevent them from sticking together.  Once frozen solid they can be removed and placed in a plastic freezer bag.  Visit sweetstackers.com!

Frozen meatballs can be thawed directly in a pot of pasta sauce on the stove top for a quick dinner.