Saturday, March 31, 2012

Applesauce Muffins

Applesauce Muffins

These were so simple to make but you may need to double the recipe.  I followed it and only got 10 muffins. 

2 oz (1/4 cup) softened butter
2 oz (1/4 cup) sugar
1 egg
3 oz (3/8 cup) applesauce
4 oz (1 cup) flour
2 tsp baking powder
pinch cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 200 deg C, 390 deg F.
Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl until light.
Beat in the egg until fluffy.
Beat in the applesauce.
Stir the dry ingredients together and add them to the bowl, blending just enough to moisten the dry ingredients.
Spoon into greased muffin tins and bake for around 15 mins, until golden.
I found the recipe on the website:

I plan on making a lot more from this website!

Cheesy Zucchini Muffins

These are really delicious and fairly easy to make.  It is a little more work than just adding water and oil to a box mix but I think they are well worth it!
Here is the recipe... I will tell you the things I did differently at the end.

2 eggs
6 fl oz (3/4 cup) milk - use whole milk, formula or breast milk
5 fl oz oz (2/3 cup) olive oil
4 oz (1 cup) all purpose flour
4 oz (1 cup) whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 medium zucchini (courgette), grated
1 to 2 tsp dried oregano (adjust according to your baby's taste)
3 tbsp grated Cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 450 deg F, 230 deg C..
Beat the eggs and milk together in a bowl, then stir in the oil.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking powder.
Mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients until the flour is moistened (the batter should look lumpy - don't try to make it smooth).
Carefully stir in the zucchini and oregano.
Spoon into greased muffin tins (you should get 12 muffins) and top with the cheese.
Bake for around 20 to 25 mins, then cool and serve!

I only changed a couple of things.  I only had wheat flour so I used 2 cups of wheat flour instead of 1 all purpose and 1 wheat. I used 1 tsp of oregano not knowing if Jackson would like it or not and finally, I grated up about 3/4 of a cup cheddar cheese and then just added it to the mixture before putting them into the muffin tins. I think it was a nice variation but we love cheese here and it still doesn't seem to be that cheesy.  One side note: I did use muffin liners and they seem to be sticking to it. Maybe just stick to the greased pan without liners.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Taco Skillet

This is one of our favorites that we just haven't had in a while.  A little twist to a favorite Tacos!   I love it because it is really easy, you use 1 pan and doesn't take more than 20-25 minutes!!!

1lb ground beef
1 package taco seasoning
2 1/4 cups water
2 cups wagon wheel pasta
1 1/2 cup frozen corn
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded cheddar
1 tbsp chives

In a 12 inch skillet cook hamburger, drain.  Stir in seasoning mix, water, uncooked pasta, corn and tomato into the beef.  Heat to boiling; stir.  Reduce to medium-low heat. Cover  and simmer 10-15 min, stirring occasionally, until pasta is fully cooked and most liquid is absorbed.

Stir in sour cream.  Remove from heat. Sprinkle with cheese and chives.  Cover let stand 2-3 minutes until the cheese is melted.

My husband loves to use tortilla chips to scoop up the pasta instead of a fork.  It gives it a more of a mexican feel. 

I believe this recipe came from a Betty Crocker cookbook. Something like Quick and Easy Recipes.  My cookbook is about 10,000 miles away in my pantry so we will have to go with my gut on that one!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Planning Ahead

Here may be my biggest problem.  I continue to say I'm going to plan out my meals for the week and stock up on everything I need during the weekend.  I'm great at it for a week or 2 then it's back to my same old habits and back to the same old food.

I really wish I could be one of those moms that make a bunch of meals, then throw them in the freezer, pull it out the day of and voila! Dinner is served. As it turns out while we live in the Netherlands our freezer is the size of a small dorm fridge so unless I want to be running to the store everyday I have to use it for meat and Jackson's veggie purees (hoping to be done with those soon).  It generally turns out I still have to run to the store every day but hey we try!

So back to planning the meals each week.  I'm going to do it!  I'm pretty sure with you all watching it will make me more accountable. So here it goes week 1.  Some of these are our "staple" foods but we have visitors coming that we would like to share with them our new found Dutch cuisine.  So this week seems to be a freeby.  I know I can't have a new meal each and everyday. That would be exhausting but I'm going to try for at least 2 new meals a week for a while! (Wish me luck!)

Monday: Homemade chicken nuggets and egg fried rice, strawberries
Tuesday: Mini chicken bagel burgers, broccoli and fruit
Wednesday: Schnitzel, mashed potatoes and fruit
Thursday: Pannenkoken with bacon and apple syrup
Friday: Moussaka and noodles with cheese for Jackson

If you don't know schnitzel is basically a pork tenderloin that you fry up so nothing to report recipe wise.  It's delicious and we love it. 

Pannenkoken are Dutch pancakes and I know there are tons of recipes out there but I buy the box (I know shame on me) that says just add milk :)


Moussaka- this is now a house favorite. If you ever have leftover potatoes it is a great way to use them up!

1 lb pack lean ground beef

1 large egg plant

1 1/2cup Greek yogurt

1 egg , beaten

3 tbsp parmesean, finely grated

400g can chopped tomatoes with garlic and herbs

4 tbsp tomato paste

400g leftover boiled potatoes

<><><><> <><><> <><><><> <><><><><> <> <><> <><> <>

Brown the beef in a frying pan over a high heat until brown. Meanwhile, prick the eggplant with a fork, then microwave on High for 3-5 mins until soft. Mix the yogurt, egg and parmesan together, then add a little seasoning.

Stir the tomatoes, paste and potatoes in with the beef with some seasoning and heat through. Place into a oven safe baking dish.  I usually use a 9 X 13 glass dish. Smooth the surface of the beef mixture with the back of a spoon, then slice the cooked eggplant and arrange on top. Pour the yogurt mixture over the eggplant, smooth out evenly, then broil until the topping has set and turned golden.

This recipe can be really easy if you have leftover potatoes.  I never seem to have them so I have to cut up and boil some potatoes before I make this so then it actually takes quite a while.  It would be easy otherwise!! Just brown some meat stir it up and throw it in the oven!!! It is always a hit and we have even shared it with our guests who really enjoyed it as well!!!

Sorry no picture this time, next time :)

Mini Chicken Bagel Burgers

This is another recipe I found on BBC Good Food
Prep 15 mins
Cook 10 mins
400g can chickpea , drained
1 small onion , finely chopped
1 garlic clove ,crushed
500g chicken or turkey mince
1 small sweet potato (about 100g/4oz), grated
olive oil , for brushing

TO SERVE 12 mini bagels
2 tbsp low-fat mayonnaise 
iceberg lettuce , shredded
2 tomatoes , sliced 
1/4 cucumber , sliced

    Mini chicken bagel burgers
  1. Heat grill to medium. Whizz the chickpeas in a food processor or mash until well broken up. Put into a bowl with the onion, garlic, mince and sweet potato. Mix well and season. Can be frozen for up to 1 month.
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil. Divide the mixture into 12 and shape into mini burgers. Put onto the baking sheet, brush with oil and grill for 10 mins, turning once. Can be chilled and reheated in the microwave on High for 2 mins.
  3. Split the bagels and toast under the grill, if you like. Spread the bases with mayonnaise, top with a chicken burger, some shredded lettuce, tomato, cucumber and the bagel tops.

Again this is how it is supposed to look and I will post what it ended up looking like when we had it!
Our version of this is going to be with mini buns because after looking in 3 grocery stores I didn't see 1 bagel so buns is what we get!

I will just steam some broccoli to go along with it.

I decided to make sweet potato fries instead of broccoli since I already had sweet potatoes going for the burgers.  This was a first for me and actually really easy.  Just cut them up and coat with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and a tiny bit of sugar. Bake at 400 for about 30 min. 

The burgers were a hit!  We loved them.  We have a lot left over since it makes 12 and we only ate 2 each but now we have leftovers :)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Homemade Chicken Nuggets & Egg Fried Rice

Here is the recipe I found on

CHICKEN STICKSMaking spicy chicken breasts for dinner and your toddler won't touch it? Try chicken sticks!

Thinly sliced strips of chicken breast
yogurt - plain
crushed cereal - shredded wheat, cheerios, corn flakes, honey oat cereal

Roll chicken strips in yogurt then coat with crushed cereal of your choice. Bake on lightly greased baking sheet at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until done. Serve with a dippin sauce and the family veggies.
hintHere's an idea, push a popsicle stick through the chicken prior to baking and have chicken really on a stick; little kids love this!

The above recipe I found on

Here is what our version will be, I found pre-cut chicken cubes at the store on sale (perfect since I hate cutting and trimming meat), we will be using greek yogurt (since I need to use it up) and cheerios... we have a cupboard full of them!!!   I love the idea of the chicken on a shick put I think Jackson is a little to young for that!

I found this version of Eggy Fried Rice on while searching for cooking with kids.

Eggy Fried Rice

  • 200g basmati rice (or use cooked rice)
  • 85g carrots , diced
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 25g butter
  • 2 large spring onions , finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 85g frozen peas
  1. Wash the rice and cook according to pack instructions in lightly salted water with the diced carrots. About 5 minutes before it's ready, tip in the frozen peas.
  2. While the rice is cooking, heat the oil in as mall frying pan (about 20cm) and lightly beat the eggs with a little salt. Pour the eggs into the pan to coat the base, and cook until almost set as a thin omelette - this should take about 2-3 minutes. Flip the omelette and cook for a few seconds more, then slide it out of the pan and roll it up into a sausage shape. Keep warm.
  3. Melt the butter in a wok or large frying pan and sauté the spring onions for 1 minute. Fluff up the rice mixture with a fork (there should be no cooking liquid left). Tip into the wok with the soy sauce and a little salt and freshly ground black pepper, then stir fry for 2 minutes.
  4. Divide half the rice between two bowls, cut the omelette crossways into strips and scatter over the top. (Keep the remaining rice in a cool place for later.)
This pictured above it what it is supposed to look like.  I will take a picture tonight showing what it actually looked like and report back on what we thought of our first day of new food. 

These recipes both aren't completely new to us but they are easy and use up alot of the food I have left in the refrigerator...maybe I didn't mention I'm getting sick of throwing away food just because I didn't use it up!

Well the verdict is in and we will give this recipe 2 1/2 out of 3.  Jackson is still to be decided on the rice and for whatever reason wasn't into chicken tonight but we won't rule it out for him!  Josh and I both liked it!

Our current food list :/

Right now my little guy's menu is consisting of mostly the same thing day in and day out... He is small for his age so I feel the need to keep the food coming in any way possible in order to get him to keep eating and gain a few pounds. These are not all on the same day but just examples of our menu so far.
Breakfast: pancakes, oatmeal, banana, pears, eggs with cheese
Snack: apple sauce, teething cookie, any leftover breakfast
Lunch: I haven't mentioned that we're in the Netherlands so we generally do the cold lunch of a sandwich of some sort. Bread with cheese, or cheese spread, sliced chicken or ham. Grilled cheese or homemade mac n' cheese.  Sometimes we will throw in the veggie of the day buy mostly this is saved for dinner
Snack: yogurt, cookie
Dinner: spaghetti, some sort of chicken, hamburger, potatoes, green beans, peas, zuchini, brocolli, and my husband and I have fruit which is now being shared with Jackson. Strawberries, mandarines, grapes. 

I'm sure there is more but this feels like what we have every week repeated. 

I'm searching for new recipes and won't even pretend I have come up with them on my own... I will try and always post where I have found the recipes as much as I can!!

I'm determined to try and start this week but we have visitors coming and a 1st birthday to celebrate :) so I will try and do my best to get things going! Until next time!

Why are we here?

The main reason I'm starting this blog is because I'm tired of making the same recipes over and over. You know the recipes you don't even need recipes for.  So I am on the hunt all the time to try new meals that are kid friendly.  I see all kinds of cool websites for making baby food that will email you meals to try each week but I can't find to see anything past the purees!! We've been there done that and are about ready to completely move on. My plan is to find new recipes (not from a box or jar) each week and try them to see if my husband and I like them AND my 1 year old like them.  I know it is going to be a challenge to get creative and step outside the box for a bit. But I think we're up to it and we're ready to get started.  Maybe we can help you along the way too!  If you have ideas you want to share I would love to hear them!!