What a week: If there is a sickness to be had, it has come to our home! Seriously, I don’t know how people in the medical field aren’t ill ALL THE TIME.
My sister has been sick the last couple of days (as in, lost about 10 lbs…b*t#h!), so the little guy and I whipped up this delicious ‘Get Well’ Soup and dropped it off to her (we may or may not have been wearing haz-mat suits…this mama isn’t taking any more chances!), and then came home to gobble some up ourselves. I can’t believe how much the little guy loved this. I can’t say it’s the healthiest soup recipe- but after a stomach bug, sometimes you just need a hearty meal that sticks to your bones As Rachael Ray would say: this soup is YUMM-O….and as my son would say: “Want more soup Mommy!”
You can find the original recipe here on Chef Mommy. I just made a couple of minor tweaks/additions (as to sneak in as many veggies as possible).
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 package Rice-a-Roni Long Grain & Wild Rice
- 1 cup grated carrots
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1/2 tsp salt (plus more to taste)
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2 cups half & half (you can use fat free)
My additions (totally optional, but totally delicious):
- small can of mushrooms
- 1 cup frozen peas (or about half a 16 oz. package)
- Combine broth, water, uncooked rice (and contents of seasoning package), carrots, celery and mushrooms in slow cooker and mix to combine. Add uncooked chicken breasts, making sure they are entirely coated. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4 hours. (I cooked mine on high for 4 hours, and it was perfect-o.) About midway through cooking (I did this about 2.5 hours in), take out chicken, shred, and add back to crock pot.
- (Optional) About 40 minutes before serving, throw in the frozen peas. You could also add some frozen corn! C’mon get rid of that leftover stuff in the freezer
- About 20 minutes before you wish to serve, make a roux to add to the soup in the crock pot: Combine flour, salt and pepper in a small bowl and set aside. In a medium saucepan, over medium low heat, melt the butter. Add in the flour mixture, a little bit at a time, and stir thoroughly to combine, thus forming the roux. Slowly whisk in the cream, a little bit at a time, until the mixture is fully incorporated and smooth as a baby’s bottom
- Add this creamy mixture to the contents of the crock pot and gently whisk or stir all together until nicely combined. Allow to cook for another 15 minutes.
- Serve with bread (and in the case of my sister, Gatorade or ginger ale) and ENJOY!
To all the ‘rents taking care of sick kiddos out there: best wishes to all for speedy recoveries!!
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I found this recipe on Sally’s Baking Addiction and decided to make them, really more for myself than for the little guy. As it turns out, after nearly 2 years of turning his nose up at strawberries, he is suddenly addicted. As in, screams for more when I put the container away. If your child (or you, for that matter) isn’t a strawberry fan, you could always sub another berry or fruit-as long as it pairs well with chocolate
Although these muffins are called “skinny” they are still very tasty and definitely satisfying. I don’t typically feed Ben “diet” food (nothing with fake sweeteners or anything like that), but really, the “skinniness” in these bad boys comes from the absence of butter or oil. Instead, you use unsweetened applesauce, which I do quite a bit anyway! (Another great substitution we do quite a bit: plain yogurt in lieu of mayo.) If you prepare these as the recipe calls for (yielding 10 standard size muffins) they are just 140 calories each…less than one of those 2-bite cereal bars that leaves your stomach growling an hour later!
You can view the original recipe here (and all of Sally’s gorgeous muffin pics, which do the muffins far better justice than my Iphone camera):
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 granulated sugar
- 1/4 light brown sugar, packed (*I used dark brown, as that was all I had on hand, and they came out delish*)
- 1/2 cup & 2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce (*I used homemade applesauce that I had frozen a while ago. It was seasoned with cinnamon already.*)
- 1 egg white, beaten
- 2/3 cup diced strawberries
- 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray 10 muffin tins with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
- In a large bowl, gently toss the first three ingredients, and set aside. In a separate bowl, mix the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and applesauce until fully mixed until no brown sugar lumps remain. (Use a fork if necessary to break up the lumps of brown sugar.) Add the beaten egg white until fully incorporated. Add the wet ingredients to the dry until just combined – do not overmix. Fold in the strawberries and chocolate chips.
- Divide the batter evenly amongst your 10 muffin tins. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Muffins will be golden in color and a toothpick inserted in the middle will come out clean when they are done. Allow muffins to sit for about 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
*I made 6 larger muffins, rather than 10 muffins and mine took about 23 minutes. These can be stored in an airtight container for up to 7 days (not that they would ever last that long in this pregos house!), or be frozen for a later date
Happy Valentine’s Day…and be sure to check back later for when we announce the winner of our May Book Giveaway!
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When I saw these little buggers on Pinterest, dubbed “the healthy alternative to tater tots” I immediately pinned the recipe. Fast forward four months later, and I finally got around to making them
You can find the original recipe right here, on The Curious County Cook.
- 1 cup of grated zucchini
- 1 egg
- 1/4 yellow onion, diced
- 1/4 cup of cheese (cheddar or parmesan are recommended)
- 1/4 cup of bread crumbs
- salt & pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a mini-muffin pan and set aside
- Grate the zucchini and then place between paper towels or a dish towel to squeeze out all the excess water. VERY IMPORTANT! Soggy zucchini tots are no fun
- In a bowl, combine the zucchini, egg, onion, cheese, bread crumbs, and S&P. I used cheddar cheese, but then became paranoid that I hadn’t squeezed enough water out of the succhini, so I added a bit of parm.
- Using a spoon, divide the mixture evenly amongst 12 mini muffin cups, filling to the top. Bake in the oven for 15-18 minutes, or until the tops are lightly browned and set. Let cool slightly before serving.
If you have a food allergy or are trying to sub some of the ingredients, make sure to check out The Curious Country Cook’s recommendations, as these can be modified all sorts of different ways.
The little guys took all of 10 minutes to prep and were delish. Although we didn’t freeze them, others that have tried them claim that they freeze nicely.
Anyone else have a good veggie side recipe? This mama is always looking for ways to sneak more veggies in!
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Morning Mamateurs! I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and gained at least 5 pounds…I know I did! Just in case you didn’t manage to put on your extra winter insulation, I have a hot chocolate recipe that will surely help add a little cushion (Hence the title, Special Occasion Hot Chocolate…savor this one sparingly!)
I made this on Friday evening for apres Tree Lighting Ceremony, and it was absolutely decadent- the best hot chocolate I’ve ever had! The only thing that could have made this better would have been a little Jameson or Kahlua in my cup This would be perfect to come home to after getting your Christmas tree, a day of sledding, during holiday party, or even on Christmas Eve. I wish I had caught a pic of my nephew’s hot chocolate smile, well, hot chocolate beard would be more accurate.
I found the recipe on Pinterest, here is the original source.
Ingredients (easily serves 10- next time I will halve this):
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 2 cups (1 bag) chocolate chips (the original recipe call for bittersweet chocolate chips, but I used semi-sweet and it was still delish)
- 6 cups of milk
- 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Simply combine all the ingredients in a large pot and stir, over low heat, consistently for 30-40 minutes, or until smooth and all ingredients are well blended. You could also do this in a crock pot- just be sure to stir regularly until all the ingredients are blended.
- Serve with marshmallows, fresh whip cream, crushed candy canes, gingerbread cookies… or whatever your little heart desires
…and thanks to Honey & Fitz for sharing this most amazing recipe!! (Originally dubbed “Polar Express Hot Chocolate”)
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Admittedly, I’m not the hugest fan of oatmeal. I think this is partially due to the fact that I ate it every.single.day. while I was nursing, in an effort to try and increase my milk supply…sort of turned me off a bit. But, this cold and dreary weather had me craving something warm and hearty in the morning, so on Sunday morning I gave recipe a whirl.
Verdict: DELICIOUS!! This is way better than ordinary oatmeal- and a big hit with the whole fam
I found the recipe here. Of course, there are tons of tweaks you make to this recipe (raspberries, blueberries, chopped apples, peaches, raisins, chocolate chips?!).
Here’s what you’ll need (recipe yields 6 servings):
- 1 1/4 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional…but added a delicious texture!)
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup maple syrup (the author of the recipe I found used sugar-free and said it turned out great)
- 1 cup of milk
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2-3 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced
- 1 cup blueberries (or fruit of choice)
- brown sugar (optional- but just because it was Sunday Funday, I liberally sprinkled the top of mine with it )
Here’s how you do it:
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Lightly grease a 2-qt baking dish
- In a medium bowl, mix the oats, half of the walnuts, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Stir to combine.
- In a separate bowl, combine the syrup, milk, egg, butter, and vanilla.
- Spread the sliced bananas in a single layer over the bottom of the baking dish. Top with half of the berries. Sprinkle the dry oat mixture over the fruit in an even layer. Pour the liquid mixture evenly over the oats.
- Spread the remaining nuts and berries over the top. Sprinkle brown sugar over everything. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the top is browned and the oats have set. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.
Anyone else have a similar recipe or have any tweaks?
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Who doesn’t love a nice hearty chicken soup every now and again? I found the following recipe a few months ago on Centsational Girl, and after making a few tweaks, have been obsessed with it ever since. Seriously, I make this once every couple months- it is healthy, delicious, and freezes well. Ben LOVES it too- last week he was slurping the remnants of it from his bowl. So well-mannered, that little guy;) Definitely gets the Benjamin Button stamp of approval!
“Delightful flavor profile!”
This one is for adults and kids alike- so make sure to prepare enough! I generally make the entire batch of soup, and then throw about 1/3 of it in the food processor for just a few seconds- just to make the texture a bit more consistent for Ben (and more conducive to slurping, of course!).
Also, I should mention that the recipe is named ‘Southwest White Bean and Chicken Chili”, but it is more of a hybrid between a chicken soup and a chili (read: it doesn’t feel as heavy as a traditional chili- even in comparison to other white bean chilies I have made).
Okay, enough rambling, here is the recipe- adapted from Centsational Girl (make sure to click through to her post if you want lots more pics!):
photo credit: CentsationalGirl.com
Southwest White Bean + Chicken Chili:
- 2 tbsps olive oil
- 1/2 med. yellow onion, diced
- 3/4 cup thinly sliced leeks
- 1 yellow pepper, diced
- 32 oz. chicken broth (I use fat free, low sodium)
- 2 (15 oz) cans of white beans- navy or cannellini
- 2 cooked chicken breasts, diced
- 2 tbsp cumin
- black pepper
- optional: salt, to taste
- 10 oz. bag frozen corn
- cilantro for garnishing
- optional: shredded cheese and diced avocado for garnishing (though in my opinion, this is not optional!)
- In large pot, sauté diced onion in olive oil over medium low heat. After about a minute, add sliced leeks, continue stirring 1 to 2 minutes, then add diced yellow pepper and continue to stir 2 more minutes until entire medley is soft.
- Add chicken broth, rinsed white beans, cumin, pepper, salt (if desired) and diced chicken to pot, then simmer on low for approximately 20 minutes to allow flavors to infuse.
- At this point, I usually transfer to a crock pot on low until we are ready to eat- put not necessary! About half an hour before serving, I stir in the frozen corn.
- Serve hot with shredded cheese, avocado, and LOTS of cilantro as a garnish
I don’t think this recipe can have too much/many leeks, cumin or cilantro- and I never measure…so I am sure I (at least) triple the amount suggested This recipe is awesome for using up leftover chicken!
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A couple of weeks ago, as I was searching for healthy lunchbox options, I came across these “toddler muffins” on Allrecipes.com:
photo credit: AllRecipes.com
Benny is pretty good about eating his veggies, but if I can squeeze in a few extra bites of carrots and squash, I figured it was worth a shot, if only to change up the meal regiment a bit. So, last weekend I whipped up a batch of these badboys, and let me tell you- the little guy LOVES them. They definitely earned a stamp of approval from the munchkin…and the hubs Another bonus: most of the ingredients for these you probably already have in your kitchen.
Again, I found the recipe on Allrecipes.com (right here), but if you are not one for clicking over, I’ll reiterate it for you:
- 1/2 cup of butter, softened
- 1/2 cup of brown sugar, or to taste
- 2 large bananas, mashed (I used 2.5, and mine we deliciously moist)
- 1 (4.5) oz. jar of squash baby food
- 2 carrots, grated (I used 3)
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup of oat bran (I didn’t have this on hand, so I used oatmeal)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease muffin pan- 12 standard, or 24 mini-muffin
- In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar until smooth
- Mix in the mashed ‘nanas, squash, carrots, and eggs
- Stir in the flour, oat bran/oatmeal, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt until just combined
- Pour evenly until muffin pan
- Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean
- Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack
These little love muffins can be stored at room temp for a couple days, or frozen for a hectic-scrambling-to-get-out-the-door day
For anyone who tries this out; let us know if your kiddos love ‘em too! Could they tell they are eating veggies?
**UPDATE: I made these again recently and substituted the squash for applesauce (didn’t have any squash on hand ) and threw in a hearty handful of raisins….they were DE-LI-CIOUS!!**
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