Friday, August 31, 2012

Beef Stroganoff

I don't have a crockpot here in the Netherlands so I just made this on the stove, it turned out great and was a big hit with everyone in our family!!! The only way to make it better is to have good ole Iowa beef :)

Recipe from:

  • 1 lb. beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cup fresh mushrooms, halved
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp. flour
  • 1/2 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard
  • 8 ounces egg noodles, uncooked
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
  1. Place meat, mushrooms, onions and garlic in slow cooker. Add broth, paprika and salt. Cover with lid. Cook on low 7 to 8 hours or on High for 5 hours.
  2. Mix yogurt, flour and mustard. Stir into ingredients in slow cooker until well blended. Cook, covered, on low 15 min. Meanwhile, cook noodles as directed on package.
  3. Drain noodles; place in large serving bowl. Add meat mixture; mix lightly. Sprinkle with parsley. 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Spidey Snacks

  • 4 mini Babybel cheese rounds
  • 16 small pretzel sticks
  • 8 raisins
  1. Unwrap a mini cheese round and take the wax off.
  2. Break 4 small pretzel sticks ("spider legs") in half and insert at an angle into the underside of the cheese, arranging 4 on each side.
  3. Add 2 raisins for eyes. You can use a pretzel to poke a hole first and then stick the raisin in.
I thought the were really fun!  Jackson thought they were fun to look at, he only ate the pretzels though!
Recipe from:

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Peach French Toast Bake

Post oven
Like I was just saying, breakfast is just so tough for me to make, well this was great.  You get to make it ahead of time and just pop it in the oven.  Key is: get up earlier than Jackson to have it ready for when he wakes up! We will see how that goes!!!

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 whole-wheat baguette
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 cups sliced peaches
  • 2 Tbsp firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1-1/2 cups plain yogurt
  • 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
  1. Coat a 9x13-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Cut the baguette into 1/2-inch-thick slices and arrange them in a single layer in the pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the whole eggs, egg whites, milk, and vanilla. Pour the egg mixture over the bread in the pan. Scatter the peach slices evenly over the bread. Sprinkle with the brown sugar and cinnamon. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Uncover and bake until it is slightly puffed and the bread is golden brown, about 40 minutes. Top with yogurt and drizzle with maple syrup, if desired.
Calories: 254; Fat: 6g; Carbs: 40g; Fiber: 5g; Protein: 12.5g

Well I got up SOOO early to make this and I thought Josh would get to eat it before work but I was about 5 minutes too late :( Jackson got to eat it though when he woke up.  It seemed like he liked it for a few bites and then was done and it was going on the floor to the dog.  I thought it was really good, loved that I could make it the night before and just pop it in the oven.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Sweet Potato Tots

Well I had lots of mixed emotions on this one, I thought I was going to hate and and Jackson would love it, turned out Jackson hated it and I loved it!  The meal plan says to have this with a dipping sauce, I chose ranch dressing and that made it great (but really doesn't ranch make everything great).  The recipe was a little time consuming for me but I was also making it with a toddler helping :) or trying to help. 

Jackson never really had sweet potatoes when he was starting baby food and that could have been our problem. I'm sure if you're kids had sweet potatoes they will love this!!! The meal plan said to serve with watermelon for lunch.

I used just cracker crumbs for my breadcrumbs because, well, we're in the Netherlands and I haven't seen any sort of breadcrumbs yet!

  • 2 large sweet potatoes (about 1 lb), cut into 2 inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • Cooking Spray
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Peel the potatoes and then boil in salted water in a pot for 12-15 minutes or until fork tender.
  3. Drain off all the water and cool the potatoes.
  4. Using the side of a box grater, grate all of the potatoes into a bowl.
  5. Place the flour, whisked egg and breadcrumbs in THREE separate bowls.
  6. Take about 1 tbsp of the potato mixture and shape into “tots”.
  7. Roll the tots into the flour, followed by the egg, then the panko bread crumbs, coating lightly.
  8. Place onto a sprayed baking sheet and coat evenly with cooking spray.
  9. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden.
  10. Cool and serve.
Calories: 199; Fat: 2g; Carbs: 38g; Fiber: 3g; Protein: 6g

Recipe from:

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Rainbow Fruit Tray

So I have seen this on Pinterest a million times and always thought I should make it but haven't really had that many people to feed here. I decided with the toddler group coming over, today was the day!  It was really simple to do and fun to look at. I did cut up everything the night before which I was a little nervous about but everything seemed fine! No real recipe here just different colored fruits for the different colors of the rainbow.  I used this fruit dip recipe as my "cloud" under the rainbow!

Blueberry Muffins

We had a baby play group at our house with over 30 people.  This is a brunch/ light lunch so for breakfast I made muffins since I wasn't sure what else to make to feed that many people and not spending days in the kitchen.  This recipe turned out great!!

1/2 cup butter or 1/2 cup margarine, at room temp
1 cup granulated sugar 
2 large eggs 
1 teaspoon vanilla 
2 teaspoons baking powder 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
2 cups all-purpose flour 
1/2 cup milk 
2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries or 2 1/2 cups frozen blueberries
For Topping
1 tablespoon granulated sugar, mixed with 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 

1.Heat oven to 375°.
2. Grease 18 regular-size muffin cups (or 12 large size muffins).
3. In bowl, mix butter until creamy. Add sugar and beat until pale and fluffy. 
 4. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each. 
5. Beat in vanilla, baking powder and salt. 
6. With spoon, fold in half of flour then half of milk into batter; repeat. 
7. Fold in blueberries. 
8. Spoon into muffin cups and sprinkle topping onto each muffin.
9. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown and springy to touch.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

No Bake Power Oat Cookies

This is an amazing snack that tastes like it is terrible for you!! Not too bad though.  I don't know what flaxseed is in Dutch or where to find it, so I left that out, and also we're not feeding Jackson nuts yet so I left out the dried fruit/nuts. I only make half a batch but I really could have made the full batch! Yum, it tastes like cookie dough. I love it!!!

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup any combination of nuts and soft dried fruit
  1. In a stand mixer or by hand, combine peanut butter and honey until smooth. Gradually add oats and ground flaxseed.
  2. Add chocolate chips and desired nut and fruit combination and mix gently in.
  3. Roll dough into golf ball size cookies. You can serve immediately, but they are less sticky if refrigerated for a bit.
Calories: 138; Fat: 7g; Carbs: 18g; Fiber: 2g; Protein: 4g

Watermelon Popsicles

My popsicle boys :)
This recipe is exactly the same at the watermelon smoothies, you just freeze any extra you have and enjoy on a warm afternoon!!  I know we all did!

Muffin Tin Eggs

Breakfast is always the hardest meal for me to make!  Jackson wakes up HUNGRY and is not at all patient enough for me to make him breakfast!  He wants me to hold him until he is fed, which makes it even more difficult to get him fed.  I wish he would understand this, maybe some day!!

These eggs were really easy to make! I could almost do it one handed!!!

 The recipe once again came from
  • 4 each eggs
  • 1/2 cup baby spinach leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese
  • Cooking Spray
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray.
  3. Crack an egg into each spray muffin cup.
  4. Sprinkle with spinach and cheese.
  5. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until egg is done to desired consistency.
Calories: 132; Fat: 10g; Carbs: 1g; Fiber: trace; Protein: 10g

Friday, August 17, 2012

Peach Mango smoothie

I have yet to be disappointed with a smoothie recipe I have made from It has been really warm lately and these are great for breakfast or an afternoon snack!

  • 2 peaches, sliced
  • 2 mangoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • Big handful of ice
  1. Place the peaches, mangoes, milk, orange juice and ice into a blender.
  2. Puree until smooth.
Calories: 105; Fat: 1g; Carbs: 22g; Fiber: 2g; Protein: 2.5g

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Toad in a Hole

I know it sounds kind of odd, but I think fun names are great for kids or things that looks fun and different!  They are curious and want to try it!!! I thought this would be kind of difficult to make or that the egg wouldn't stay in the bread, but it worked perfectly!  I don't like over easy eggs so I cooked it all the way through.  I imagine if you like over easy eggs this would be even better for dipping your bread!

Here is the recipe from

  • 1 slice whole wheat bread
  • 1 egg
  • Circle cutter (or drinking glass)
  • Spray butter or butter spread
  1. Spray (or spread butter lightly) on both sides of bread.
  2. Cut a hole in the middle with circle cookie cutter, or top of a glass.
  3. Heat a pan on medium-high on the stove.
  4. Place bread with hole and the circle piece of the bread in the pan.
  5. Crack egg in the hole. When the egg is set, flip the entire thing over.
  6. Cook to desired doneness of egg. Dip circle bread into the egg
Serving size: 1 each Calories: 143 Fat: 6g Carbohydrates: 13gr Fiber: 2g Protein: 9g

Summer pasta salad

I wasn't too sure I was going to like this pasta salad recipe with the uncooked zucchini in it, but I was happily surprised.  No one in my family is a feta cheese fan so I substituted that for a shredded Parmesan.  I think feta would have been great, just the right flavor, I just can't convince anyone to eat it! The recipe was super easy and actually really quick. I didn't have time for refrigerating it, I just ran the pasta under cold water for a few minutes and then we ate it right up.  I did add chicken to it that we had eaten the night before and that was yummy!

Jackson even took a few minutes out of his busy schedule of running around outside to eat a bunch!

Here is the recipe that came from

  • 6 ounces Bowtie Pasta
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 small Zucchini, diced
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1/4 cup Minced Fresh Parsley
  • 1/2 cup Feta cheese, crumbled
  1. Cook pasta until done. Drain and rinse in cold water until completely cool.
  2. Add olive oil and lemon juice, then add salt and pepper to taste. Toss to combine.
  3. Add zucchini, tomatoes, parsley, and feta, and toss to combine.
  4. If it seems to dry, Squeeze in a little more lemon juice/drizzle more olive oil.
  5. Cover in plastic wrap for at least a couple of hours. If you don't have time to do this before you eat, it isn't a big deal. It will still taste delicious - the flavors just marinate together the longer it sits in the fridge.
Calories: 181; Fat: 6g; Carbs: 27g; Fiber: 2g; Protein: 7g

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Strawberry Applesauce

I am a huge fan of applesauce, I guess it takes me back to the days of being a little kid where I would dump half a pound of cinnamon and sugar on top of it. mmmmm yummy!!! Now that I'm an adult, I don't put any thing extra on my applesauce because I don't want Jackson to either!!

I loved this applesauce but it was maybe a little too tart for Jackson's taste buds. He did his famous stick out his tongue, wrinkle his nose and did a quick shiver!  Funny!

I had it when it was still warm and I thought I could have eaten the whole thing!

Here is the recipe from:

  • 4 cups apples, peeled, seeded and sliced, any variety
  • 1-½ to 2 cups strawberries, hulled
  1. Place fruit in a saucepan with a couple of tablespoons of water to keep it from sticking.
  2. Let it cook over medium heat until the apples soften and the berries start to break apart, about 15 minutes.
  3. Use an immersion blender or regular blender to puree the fruit.
  4. If you like your applesauce a little more chunky, don't blend very long.
  5. Let cool and enjoy!
Calories: 82; Fat: 1g; Carbs: 21g; Fiber: 3g; Protein: 1g;

Monday, August 13, 2012

Blueberry Scones

About 3 weeks ago, I never made ANYTHING for breakfast, unless it was toast, a bowl of cereal, or the occasional eggs.  Now pretty much every day I make something and I love it!  Everything I have made has been so simple!  I never thought I would be making scones, ever, but here I am making them and they turned out great!!  Some of my other favorites have been the watermelon smoothie and pb, granola, banana, and strawberry in a tortilla shell! Delicious!

Here is the recipe from

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 3 Tbsp Sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 5 Tbsp cold unsalted butter
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 cup plain low fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup low fat milk
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Combine flours, baking powder, sugar and salt in a bowl and whisk together.
  3. Slice butter and drop into dry ingredients. If you have a pastry cutter, use it to cut the butter into the flour. If you don’t have a pastry cutter, use a fork to cut the butter into tiny pieces and mix it into the flour.
  4. Add blueberries and lemon zest and gently stir. You can use frozen blueberries, no thawing necessary.
  5. Gently mix in milk and yogurt. Eventually you’ll need to use your hands to knead the last of the flour into the dough.
  6. Form dough into a circle about that’s about an inch deep all around. Cut the circle into 8 slices.
  7. Separate slices and place on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper or foil.
  8. Sprinkle the tops of the scones with a bit of sugar.
  9. Bake for 15 minutes or until light brown.
Calories: 211; Fat: 7g; Carbs: 32g; Fiber: 3g; Protein: 4g

Makes 8 scones

Friday, August 10, 2012

Watermelon Smoothies

I guess I am a little new to smoothies.  I have always liked them when other people have made them, but I have never been one to make them myself.  Let me tell you this was my very favorite smoothie I have ever had!!! Nothing but fruit and ice in this one!  So simple and we all loved it.  My only complaint is, if it is just the only thing I am eating for breakfast then I need about 4 of them!  I was hungry after about an hour. I think it would make a great snack though!

  • 4 cups watermelon, cubed
  • 2 kiwi, peeled
  • 2 oranges, peeled
  • 2 bananas, frozen and slightly thawed
  • 12 ice cubes
  1. Blend all ingredients together until smooth.
recipe from:

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Chicken and Vegetables

The prep work for this meal is really simple.  I would say it is a good weekend meal when you have plenty of time in the afternoon to throw it in the oven.  The chicken turned out perfectly, however the vegetables seemed to have needed a little more time in the oven and could have used a little more flavor. Or maybe we don't love cooked carrots and celery...blame the recipe right? Jackon ate up the potatoes and some of the carrots and devoured the chicken!! So a great kid friendly recipe!! We have plenty leftovers too, always a bonus.

recipe from:

  • 1 whole chicken (~ 3 pounds)
  • 6 medium carrots
  • 4 medium stalks celery
  • 3 large baking potatoes (russet or Idaho), about 8 oz each
  • 3 medium onions
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh Thyme
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Fold the wings of the chicken across the back so tips are touching. There may be a little resistance, but once they are in this position, they will stay. Tie the legs to the tail with string or use skewers; if the tail is missing, tie the legs together.
  2. In a shallow roasting pan, place the chicken with the breast side up. Roast chicken uncovered for 45 minutes.
  3. While the chicken is roasting, peel the carrots and potatoes and cut them and the celery into 1-inch pieces. Peel the onions, and cut into wedges.
  4. Remove the chicken from the oven. Spread the carrots, celery, potatoes and onions around the chicken. In a 1-quart saucepan, heat the butter over low heat just until melted. Stir the thyme into the butter, then drizzle over the chicken and vegetables.
  5. Cover the chicken and vegetables with foil; roast 45 to 60 minutes longer until the vegetables are tender when pierced with a fork.
  6. Carve chicken and serve with the vegetables.
Calories: 340; Fat: 6g; Carbs: 24g; Fiber: 5g; Protein: 45g
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours, 20 minutes

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Pesto Tortellini Soup

Soup in the summer?!?! Why not!
Recipe from:
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 5 cups vegetable broth (you can use chicken if you want)
  • 1- 9 oz package tortellini
  • 2 cups frozen mixed veggies (I like the baby California blend)
  • 1/4 cup prepared pesto (or make your own)
  1. In a large soup pan, heat olive oil and saute onion and garlic until soft and clear.
  2. Add the broth and the tortellini to the pan.
  3. Boil until tortellini is done.
  4. Add the frozen veggies.
  5. Simmer until veggies are heated through.
  6. Add the pesto, and stir until combined.
  7. Garnish with Parmesan cheese if desired.

This an ok meal, we all ate it and had no issues with it, we just weren't blown away by it. The soup may be better in the winter when we are all cold and needing a little pick me up! 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Cinnamon Peach Muffins

Until now I have always been a just add water kind of baker, but it really is pretty simple and so much better for you to just make things from scratch!!! Tomorrow's breakfast is cinnamon peach muffins so I decided to make them ahead of time and we could have them for our snack today too if we wanted!

I tried to follow the recipe but I forgot to add the vanilla! Whoops!! The 1 1/2 cups of peaches took pretty much exactly 2 peaches for us.  I have to say even without the vanilla these are good!!! Lets hope the rest of my family think so too!

This recipe came from:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup vanilla greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped, peaches (fresh, canned or frozen)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place muffin cups in muffin tins.
  2. Mix sugar, applesauce, yogurt and egg until creamy. Add vanilla.
  3. Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Stir until completely smooth. Fold in peaches. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins. Top with course sugar (optional)
  4. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until toothpick poked in center muffin comes out clean.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Chocolate Banana Smoothie

Anything that tastes like dessert but is considered to be breakfast is a winner in this house!!! Jackson of course loved it because it tastes like ice cream!!! I didn't follow the recipe exactly because I didn't have cocoa powder so instead I used a tablespoon of Nutella and left out the honey.  Really this tasted like ice cream and was delicious!!

Here is the recipe from

Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 2 mins
Total time: 7 mins
Serves: 4
  • 8 ounces soy milk, or low fat milk.
  • 1 TBL honey
  • 2 bananas (frozen)
  • 1 TBL cocoa powder.
  1. Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.
Serving size: 1/2 cup Calories: 92 Fat: 2 Carbohydrates: 20gr Fiber: 3 Protein: 2

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Raspberry Oatmeal

Well I'm not typically an oatmeal person, generally I am gagging on the texture by the end but I thought I make Jackson eat it all the time I can try it too. So I was quite surprised when I actually liked it!!!

Here is the recipe:
  • 2 1/3 cups water
  • 1 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup raspberries, rinsed
  • 2/3 cup almonds, chopped or sliced
  • 2 Tbsp Honey
  1. Place water, and oats into a pot. Turn on medium heat until water begins to boil.
  2. When water boils, simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Fold in raspberries, almonds, and honey.
Calories: 290; Fat: 15g; Carbs: 34g; Fiber: 5g; Protein: 10g

I didn't add any almonds because we're still not giving Jackson nuts, but I think it would have made it even better added a little crunch to the mush! :) Jackson is not a huge raspberry fan, too tart I think, so he thought this was pretty tart as well. I think I would add a little more honey for him next time!