Monthly Archives: September 2012

Sugar-Free / Dairy-Free / Flour-Free Breakfast Cookies

This morning Miss G and I decided to try making something new for breakfast…  Cookies!  Not the traditional kind, of course.  Healthy, hearty ones that fill you up and start your day off right.  And I’m glad to say that despite my nonchalant ‘Ah, sure we’ll throw that in too’ attitude, they turned out pretty well.

IMG 0051Here’s our line up of ingredients… Old-fashioned oats, pumpkin seeds, raisins, ‘just apples’ applesauce (we just used the store bought stuff this time around, but homemade would of course be better), ripe bananas, cinnamon, and organic coconut oil and vanilla (which somehow didn’t make it into the photo…)

IMG 0053To start, my mini sous chef peeled our bananas and popped them into the food processor.

IMG 0054Then she added a capful of pure vanilla…

IMG 0056A generous amount of applesauce…

IMG 0058Some cinnamon…

IMG 0059And a dollop of coconut oil.

IMG 0060Then we blended everything up until it was mostly smooth, with just a few little chunks.

IMG 0064With our wet mixture transferred into a large mixing bowl, Grae added some organic old-fashioned oats…

IMG 0066Some raw pumpkin seeds…

IMG 0067And some raisins…

IMG 0071And gave everything a good stir.

IMG 0072The result was oats that were completely coated in the banana/applesauce mixture, but not ‘wet’ or batter-y (if that makes any sense).

IMG 0073We then dropped large spoonfuls of the mixture onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, using the back of the spoon to shape them into little mounds, and popped them into the oven.

IMG 0076Fifteen minutes later, out came these soft, moist little oatmeal mounds.  Now… Do they taste like a real cookie?  No.  Do they taste like a healthy bowl of cinnamon oatmeal compacted into a portable little serving? Yes!  And the best part is that they’re not at all crumbly. To the point where I let Grae snack on these while in the Ergo on our recent house hunting adventures because I knew they wouldn’t crumble all over our potential landlords’ floors… Win!

Sugar-free, Dairy-free, Flour-free Cinnamon Raisin Breakfast Cookies

(recipe loosely based on this one from irocksowhat)

  • 3 small ripe bananas
  • 3/4 cup of ‘just apples’ applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon of organic coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 capful of pure vanilla
  • 2 cups of organic old-fashioned oats
  • 1/3 cup of raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/3 cup of organic raisins

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Add the wet ingredients (plus cinnamon) to a food processor (or good blender) and mix well. Pour the contents into a large mixing bowl and add dry ingredients.  Mix until everything is evenly coated.  

Drop spoonfuls of the mixture onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, using the back of a spoon to form them into mounds.  Bake for 15 minutes and allow a couple of minutes to cool.  Store in an airtight container on the counter for a few days, or pop them in the freezer and defrost as needed.

Enjoy!

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“Girls ‘Tainer Song”

Miss G is currently in love with this song she affectionately refers to as “Girls ‘Tainer (container) Song”.  She loves it so much in fact, that nobody is allowed to sing along.  If I absent mindedly find myself quietly humming along with the tune, I’m promptly reminded “No Mama sing. Just girls sing.”  Well okay then…

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Egg Carton Button Sorting

Egg Carton Button SortingMatching is HUGE in our house right now.  Coordinating is simply not good enough for Miss G anymore.  Everything. must. match.  To the point where she will pick a treat (organic fruit leather) with a blue package while grocery shopping because she is wearing blue pants, cutting her carrots requires an orange knife, and wearing white socks isn’t happening if there is no other white in the outfit.  So when I came across an empty egg carton during my usual nap time house cleaning, I decided to use it to put together a little matching game rather than recycling it.

IMG 0032I had everything else I needed on hand…  Acrylic paints in primary colours, plus white and black, a paintbrush, an old rag, and some water.

IMG 0033IMG 0035I simply painted each egg spot by swirling the paint up from the base to the top edge.

IMG 0037I made sure to include the basic rainbow colours, plus black, white, and grey, and of course aqua because, well… it’s the best colour ever.

IMG 0039Afterwards, I gave the inside of the lid a quick coat of white paint.

IMG 0043Now if I’m being honest, Gracen awoke from her nap before the paint was fully dry and she was so excited to play her new game that we took it to the bathroom and used the blowdryer on it.  

When it was fully dry, I poured a bunch of buttons in the lid, removed the clear ones, and asked, “Do you want to play?”

IMG 0048With a prompt “Yes!” and zero direction, she got busy matching the buttons to the colours painted in the cups.

IMG 0049Grae loves playing and the nice thing about this little game is that when she’s finished, she just closes it up and everything is contained and ready for next time.

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Small Style {7}

Whew!  I’m on a roll… First Toddler Food post and first Small Style post in a loooong while, and all in the same week!  Here’s some of what Miss G wore late this summer…

IMG 7068Striped coral romper: Old Navy / Gold braided belt: H&M (stolen from Mama’s closet) / Multi-coloured sandals: Joe / Recycled milk pouch book bag: www.workofyourhand.com

IMG 7363Felt flower headband: Handmade by mama / Striped dress: Baby Gap / Multi-coloured sandals: Joe

IMG 7640Ruffled tank: Carter’s / Polka dotted skirt: Handmade by Auntie Judy

IMG 7731Red blossom clip: Handmade by Mama / Navy tee: Joe / Red tutu: Baby Gap / Glittered flats: Payless / Scowl face: All Grae ☺

IMG 7743Embroidered Tunic: A gift from Mexico / Black leggings: H&M / Glittered flats: Payless

IMG 7810Floral ruffled vest: Baby Gap / Babydoll tank: Old Navy / Pink shorts: Baby Gap / Gladiator sandals: Joe

IMG 8116Floral blouse: Joe / Stretchy denim skinnies: Levi’s / Glittered flats: Payless

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iPhoneography // Water Baby

IMG 6142We’ve been back in swim classes now for a few weeks and Miss G is just loving it.  The classes are upbeat, fun, and filled with songs and play, but teach beginning swimming skills at the same time.  So far, we’ve been practicing most of the same skills we learned last session… Front starfish floats, back starfish floats, wall push offs (front and back), jumping into the water from sitting and standing positions, blowing bubbles, and dipping different parts of our faces in the water.  Last time I wrote about swimming lessons, I mentioned that I was feeling pretty unsure about the upcoming ‘submersion lesson’.  Luckily, when it happened, I felt comfortable with the way it was introduced and Gracen was fine about quickly being dunked under when it was done as part of a fun song.  Ever since, we’ve made sure to practice at least once or twice each time we visit the pool, just so she stays okay with it.  

Today, the first submersion day of this set of classes, Grae opted to go to the teacher (which is huge in itself because Gracen is quite shy and sensitive and our instructor is quite loud and direct) and be passed under the water to me.  Not only did she try it, but she came up smiling, did another really long underwater pass, and then continued to ask to do it again and again long after the instructor had exited the pool.  

I’m so proud of our little fishy and I’m thrilled that she loves being in the water.

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iPhoneography // Snipets of Our Day

IMG 6150IMG 6151IMG 6156

.scarf thief.
.shopping buddies.
.found on the potty with a good book.
 
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Toddler Food: What Miss G Eats {20}

Wow… It’s been a while… A very loooong while since I put together a Toddler Food post, but here’s hoping they’ll be posted on a weekly basis again. Here’s some of what Miss G has been eating in {semi} recent days…

Toddler Food

IMG 7967Breakfast // All-natural cream cheese on a 4 seed wholewheat bagel thin. Cantaloupe sticks.

IMG 7085Breakfast // Bear toast (multigrain flax bread, all-natural peanut butter, bananas, and raisins).

IMG 7738Breakfast // Plain organic whole milk yogurt with fresh strawberries, blueberries, and sliced almonds.

IMG 7730Breakfast // Baked blueberry banana currant oatmeal with whole organic milk.

IMG 7260Breakfast // Eggs ole. Country-style potatoes. Toasted squirrelly bread.

IMG 7878Breakfast // Shredded organic wheat with walnuts, almonds, strawberries, and blueberries.

IMG 7739Breakfast // Toasted omega seed bread with all-natural cream cheese and strawberry slices.  Raw almonds.

IMG 8149Breakfast // Low-sugar organic cereal with walnuts and frozen blueberries.

IMG 7236Snack // Apple chunks. Wholewheat pita crisps broiled with havarti.

IMG 7330Snack // Nectarine apricot apple sauce.

IMG 7079Lunch // Turkey, rice, spinach tomato soup.

IMG 7120Lunch // Wholewheat pasta with spinach asiago pesto and baby peas.

IMG 7483Lunch // Roasted salmon and mozzarella sandwich.  Veggies and dilly yogurt dip.

IMG 7968Lunch // Greek wholewheat couscous salad with avocado.  Orange slices and grapes.

IMG 7734Lunch // Curried apple tuna on omega seedy bread.  Red peppers and blueberries.

IMG 7124Lunch // Spicy Asian noodle salad with grilled breaded chicken.  Sugar snaps and avocado spears.

IMG 7879Lunch // Organic veggie shells and cheese with tuna, steamed broccoli, and carrots.

IMG 7947Lunch // Greek rice. Steamed broccoli.  Avocado. Chicken souvlaki. Lemon roasted potatoes.

IMG 7809Snacks & Lunch {on the go} // All-natural peanut butter and granny smith sandwich. Fresh strawberries and blueberries.  Sugar snaps. Raw almonds and walnuts. Old cheddar cubes. Red pepper slices.

IMG 8000Lunch // Veggie sandwich on multigrain (cream cheese, cucumber, red onion, red pepper, and avocado).  Watermelon sticks. Gouda cubes.

IMG 7070Dinner // Spicy black bean and chicken rice bowl with avocado and sour cream.

IMG 7360Dinner // Steamed broccoli, beets, and carrots.  Lemon and herb salmon.  Fresh spinach pasta.

IMG 7970Dinner // Chicken souvalki. Pita. Greek salad. Lemon roasted potatoes. Greek rice.

IMG 7862Dinner // Roasted Carrots, onions, and garlic. Wholewheat couscous.  Lemon and herb roasted chicken.

IMG 7451Dinner // All-natural turkey kolbassa.  Cottage cheese perogy with sour cream. Roasted brussel sprouts. Steamed spinach with balsamic and feta.

IMG 8063Dinner // Tempeh and veggie stir fry on brown rice.

IMG 7966Dinner // Wholewheat couscous.  Barbecued chicken and veggie skewer.  Fresh avocado with cilantro dressing.

IMG 7083Dessert// Two ingredient ice cream with a strawberry on top.

IMG 7119Dessert // Two ingredient strawberry creamsicle.

IMG 8103Dessert // Vanilla, peanut butter, and jam ice cream.

 ♥

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Our Favourite Homemade Pizza {Two Ways}

Today Miss G and I made one of our favourite weekend dinners… Homemade pizza.  Though I do find it takes a little advanced planning to make pizza from scratch, making the dough just after breakfast and letting it sit on the counter all day until we’re ready to make dinner in the evening is easy enough for us.  Plus, this recipe makes two BIG thin-crust pizzas, which allows for a few (or at least a couple) of good meals {even when your husband scarfs down 12 pieces in one sitting… hi babe! ☺}

IMG 9925Here are the ingredients for our go to dough, adapted from the lovely Pioneer Woman’s recipe…  Wholewheat flour, dry active yeast, table salt, olive oil, and warm water.

IMG 9926First, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and set it aside.

IMG 9928Next, add the flour…

IMG 9929And the salt to the bowl of your electric mixer. (This could be done by hand too, of course.)

IMG 9930Put the paddle attachment on your machine…

IMG 9931And give the dry ingredients a quick mix.

IMG 9933Next, measure out the olive oil…

IMG 9934And slowly pour it into the bowl while mixing.

IMG 9938Next, give the yeast and water a quick stir…

IMG 9939And with the mixer on, slowly add the yeast water to the flour/salt/oil mixture.  Mix on low until the dough starts to come together in a sticky mass.

IMG 9945Prepare a separate large mixing bowl by drizzling it with olive oil.

IMG 9946Use your hands to pull the edges of the dough downwards and shape it into a ball.  Place your dough in the bowl and gently toss it to coat it in olive oil.

IMG 9947Now cover your bowl tightly with plastic wrap.  It can be put in the fridge and stored for 3 or 4 days, or it can be used later on in the day. If we’re making pizza the same night, we just leave ours on the counter. 

IMG 9949Now, for my favourite… A very simple roasted veggie pizza.  Chop up a bunch of vegetables of your choice (these are my favourites), drizzle them with a little bit of olive oil, and put them in a 400 oven for about 10 minutes.

Pizza PrepWhile they roast, grate some cheese (we use fresh mozzarella or, like tonight, an all-natural extra sharp cheddar) and slice some fresh mushrooms.

IMG 9950Take your veggies out of the oven when they’re slightly soft and just beginning to turn golden in some spots.

IMG 9955With your toppings ready, it’s time to retrieve the dough you made earlier in the day.  By now, it should be well over double its original size and soft and spongy to the touch.

IMG 9957Prepare a baking pan by lining it with parchment paper and sprinkling on little cornmeal (this is completely optional, but it does add a nice texture).

IMG 9958Using 1/2 of the dough, press it down into a thin rectangular shape.  Don’t worry too much about holes – just patch them up as you go along.

IMG 9963For this pizza, we often use a fresh pesto sauce, which is really yummy.  Equally delicious, however, is just a drizzle of olive oil and a tiny sprinkle of sea salt.

IMG 9965Next, arrange the veggies on the dough {stuffing as many of the red peppers into your mouth as possible, if you’re like Gracen}.

IMG 9967Top with cheese (adding some feta into the mix is really good too!} and pop it into the oven.

IMG 9971Remove when the cheese is bubbly and the crust is golden brown and let cool for a few minutes.

IMG 9953Now onto the one Brad prefers… A BBQ chicken pizza. Tonight we used roasted chicken breasts cut into small chunks, raw diced orange pepper and sweet onion, and some white kernel corn (adding jalapeños is really tasty too).

IMG 9968Prepare your pan and dough the same way as before, then spread a thin layer of BBQ sauce onto the  uncooked crust (this is one of Miss G’s favourite jobs).

IMG 9969Add the toppings…

IMG 9970Cover with cheese…

IMG 9972And bake ’til golden.

Voila!  Dinner is done.  Serve on its own, or with a fresh salad.
 
Wholewheat Pizza 
  • 1 teaspoon of active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups of warm water (not hot, but not lukewarm)
  • 4 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil
Sprinkle yeast over warm water.
 
Mix flour and salt together.  Add olive oil while mixing.   Give the yeast/water mixture a quick stir and add it to the mixture while stirring also.  The mixture will be sticky and wet, which is perfect.  
 
Prepare a separate mixing bowl by drizzling it with olive oil. Using your hands, shape the dough into a ball by gently working the edges downwards and underneath. Gently toss the dough in the bowl to coat in olive oil, then cover tightly with plastic wrap.  Store dough in fridge for up to 4 days, or leave on counter if using later in the day.  
 
When ready, prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper and sprinkling it with cornmeal.  Flatten the dough on the pan, top with sauce and toppings, and bake for 10 – 15 minutes in a 450 degree oven. Remove from oven when the cheese is bubbly and the crust is golden.  Cut into squares and serve.
 
Enjoy!
 
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Mama & Her Girl

IMG 9921Photos of me and my girl are so rare that having just one is noteworthy… (But that’s all about to change very soon because we’re having our first EVER professional family photos taken in just a few weeks – yay!)  This one was taken just before leaving the lovely Granville Island this morning.  It was cool and dreary and quiet… Which was perfectly fine with us.

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Play Dough Frozen Yogurt Shop

Play Dough Frozen Yogurt ShopI’ve had this little idea in mind ever since Gracen received her ice cream sand toys back at the beginning of summer, and today was a perfect day to make it happen… With it being cool and dreary here in Vancouver, spending the afternoon on a wet beach making sand cones didn’t sound overly appealing…  Making yummy-smelling play dough ones in the warmth of our house, however, certainly did.  Not to mention the fact that Grae fell in love with playing ‘the ice cream game’ at our community centre’s playground recently, so opening an ice cream shop (which Grae quickly decided should be a frozen yogurt shop instead) it was.

IMG 9845With our best ever no cook scented play dough made and a few things collected from around the house, our shop was ready for business.

IMG 9848Our play dough went into some empty yogurt containers we had on hand…

IMG 9849We made candy sprinkles by chopping up some colourful plastic straws we had leftover from Miss G’s birthday party… 

IMG 9850Colourful buttons became Smarties…

IMG 9852And some silicone baking cups and the plastic cones from Grae’s Melissa & Doug set became our cups and cones.

IMG 9853We also collected  some scoops and spoons for eating and serving our frozen treats, some coins and a money jar, and fabric bunting {also from the birthday party} to spruce up the shop. ☺

IMG 9855Together, we wrote made a quick sign for our shop.  I asked Grae how much one of her frozen yogurt treats cost, and without skipping a beat, she said “Two!”  So two dollars it was…

Cone MakingIMG 9860IMG 9862With her shop set up and ready to go, it was down to business welcoming her customers (me!), making delicious-looking play dough treats, and collecting money in exchange.

IMG 9878Not a fan of cones?  Not a problem – a bowl for you!

IMG 9883Cheers to rainy days and frozen treats!

Ice Cream MakingIMG 9896The frozen yogurt fun went on all afternoon…

IMG 9913And after what felt my 53rd order, Papa eventually came home and relieved me of my customer duties (thank goodness – I don’t know if my belly could have handled another candy-covered cone).  

Here’s a little video of our frozen yogurt shop owner in action…
 We finally closed the shop tonight just before bedtime (despite pleas from the very reluctant shop keeper) and you can bet I’ll have a play dough cone in hand long before I have a chance to make a proper breakfast tomorrow morning…  
 
And I’m okay with that.
 
 
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