Cooking with My Kid: Teaching My Kid and myself the art of cooking in 365 days

Archive for the ‘Snack’ Category

Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Last week our local Whole Foods had the BIGGEST sweet potatoes I’d ever seen. My kid noticed too and asked to buy some. They sat in the fridge for a week because I wasn’t sure what I’d do with such enormous potatoes. Yesterday afternoon I asked if he’d like to try a new sweet potato fries recipe and he said yes. We had a great time making these and an even better time eating them. The key to good sweet potato fries is cooking them long enough – make sure they are brown before taking them out of the oven!

Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries Recipe

Prep Time: 10 mins  Cooking Time: 20 to 30 mins

2 very large sweet potatoes (peeled and sliced into fry shape)
2 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt
fresh pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Spread sweet potatoes in single layer on the parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil and toss a to coat making sure that the fries aren’t overlapping when they go in the oven. Season with salt and pepper. Bake until sweet potatoes are tender and golden brown, turning occasionally, about 20 to 30 minutes. Let cool slightly before using spatula to transfer to dish. Serves 4.

posted by Rebecca & Gus // May 17th, 2010 // Dinner, Recipes, Snack, Veggie Friendly

Homemade Fruit Strips

My kid and I both like a perfectly ripened pear, but sometimes we wait too long and we wind up biting into an overly ripe, grainy mess. That’s when it’s time to whip up a batch of fruit strips. We often throw in overly ripe berries, apples, peaches or whatever fruit is lying around. We put it in the oven before bed and wake up to this delicious treat.

Homemade Fruit Strip Recipe

Prep Time: 20 mins  Cooking Time: 8 to 10 hours (largely unattended)

2 cups ripe fruit
1/2 cup water
juice of 1/2 large lemon
1/4 cup sugar

Wash, peel and core fruit. Chop them into small chunks. Place the fruit in a saucepan and add water. Bring to a simmer and continue to cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add sugar and lemon and continue to cook for a few more minutes until the sugar is dissolved and liquid begins to thicken in the pot. Pour into a blender and let cool for 15 minutes. When cool enough, blend on high for a few minutes until it becomes a smooth puree.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with microwave safe plastic wrap. Pour out the purée into the lined baking sheet. Be sure to keep plastic wrap from touching the top of the puree. Place the baking sheet in the oven being careful not to let the plastic wrap it touch the oven racks.  Heat the oven to a low 175 degrees.  Let dry in the oven like this for as long as it takes for the purée to dry out and form fruit leather. Leaving it in overnight for 8 to 10 hours generally works well.  The fruit strip is ready when it is no longer sticky, but has a smooth surface.  It peels off ithe plastic n one giant sheet and then we use kitchen scissors to make strips.

posted by Rebecca & Gus // May 13th, 2010 // Recipes, Snack

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

Smoothies are a great way to use up fruit before it goes bad. We save all of our brown bananas in the freezer and also toss in berries before they turn. It’s a great substitute for juice because my kid gets all the benefits of fruit plus I’m able to sneak some milk into his body. (He will not drink milk!) If you follow the blog you’ve already seen our Sunshine Smoothie recipe and our Very Berry Smoothie recipe. This Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie recipe is so easy because all you need is a banana and some of the peanut butter and milk you already have on hand.

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie Recipe

Prep Time: 2 mins  Blending Time: 3 to 4 mins

2 very ripe bananas
2 heaping tablespoons smooth peanut butter
2 cups lowfat milk
10 to 12 ice cubes

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth. Pour into a glass and enjoy!

posted by Rebecca & Gus // May 6th, 2010 // Breakfast, Picky Busters, Recipes, Snack
1 Comment »

Multigrain Blueberry Muffins

If you’ve been following the blog, you already know that my kid is the Muffin Man. He wants to bake muffins every single morning. We’ve tested various recipes and although I’m all for making things from scratch, I swear by the Trader Joe’s Multigrain Pancake Mix as a base for the best multigrain blueberry muffin recipe. These little goodies came out so perfectly moist and delicious. After devouring a few, we put the remainder in a pretty tin purchased at Cost Plus (only $4) and brought them to a friend’s house for a play date. It was the perfect little healthy snack.

Multigrain Blueberry Muffin Recipe

2 cups TJ Multigrain Pancake Mix
2 eggs lightly beaten
1 cup applesauce
3 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup frozen blueberries barely thawed

Preheat oven at 400 degrees. In a large bowl combine dry ingredients: pancake mix, cinnamon, sugar and nutmeg. Set aside. In a smaller bowl whisk together eggs, apple sauce and vegetable oil. Pour egg mixture into dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Add blueberries. Mix together but do not over stir. Scoop batter into well greased mini muffin pans. Cups should be almost full. Bake for 10 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. For a moist muffin, be careful not overcook! Makes 24 – 30 mini muffins.

posted by Rebecca & Gus // Apr 30th, 2010 // Breakfast, Easy Cheats, Healthy, Snack

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Our good friends, Lev and Sandy, announced they were pregnant with their first kid (a boy) when I was very close to giving birth to our son. We were thrilled that the two boys would be the same age. Just a few days ago, Lev and Sandy announced they’ve got a new bun in the oven… just in time for our #2 kids to be BFF. We are beyond thrilled for them and excited that Sandy enlisted her kid to do a guest spot on the blog today. Isn’t the mess of curls on this kid adorable? Here’s what Sandy had to say:

My son was so excited when he heard that he would be doing a guest spot on the “Cooking with My Kid” blog.  It was perfect timing because our neighbors just had a baby and we wanted to bake something for them.  They requested something sweet with chocolate.  We decided on banana chocolate chip bread (one of my son’s favorites).  We figured the banana, almond meal and whole wheat flour added some healthfulness and everyone needs a little chocolate, right?

Simple Banana Chocolate Chip Bread Recipe

Prep Time: 15 mins  Cooking Time: 50-55 mins

4 large very ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup almond meal (trader joe’s has a great one)
½ cup canola oil
2 eggs
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Grease a loaf pan with oil or butter and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix ingredients in order listed and put in pan. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until edges are golden brown and toothpick comes out clean. Super easy and super yummy!

Sandy says “*We’ve also made this recipe with pureed pumpkin and pureed sweet potato instead of the banana with great results.”

posted by Rebecca & Gus // Apr 10th, 2010 // Breakfast, Dessert, Recipes, Snack

Banana Nut Muffins

What can I say? My kid is the muffin man! He asks to make them every single morning. So, I offer you yet another (healthier) recipe for mini muffins. He (and his two little buddies) ate the entire batch in one day.

Prep Time: 10 mins  Cooking Time: 8 to 10 mins

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large mashed ripe bananas
1 large egg
1/4 canola oil
1/2 cup applesauce
1/4 cup milk
3/4 cup finely chopped pecans and/or semisweet mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray mini muffin tins with cooking spray. Mix flours, sugar, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Stir in mashed bananas, egg, oil, applesauce and milk until just blended. Stir in nuts and/or chocolate chips.  Spoon batter into muffin tins. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Transfer muffins to rack to cool.  Makes 30 to 35 mini muffins.

posted by Rebecca & Gus // Mar 23rd, 2010 // Breakfast, Healthy, Snack, Veggie Friendly

Crunchy Vegetarian Nachos

Nachos get such a bad rap!  Everyone thinks they are too fattening and greasy… not to mention soggy and messy.  Not any more! After much experimentation, my kid and I have created crunchy vegetarian nachos that really aren’t so bad for you. With only 8 chips per person, they are so perfectly satisfying that we have them as our dinner.

Prep Time: 15 mins  Cooking Time: 5 mins

1/2 bag large tortilla chips
1 can black beans
1 teaspoon olive oil
salt and pepper
2 to 3 tablespoons salsa
3/4 to 1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
holy guacamole!
1 can sliced olives

Drain black beans reserving about a tablespoon or two of liquid. Place beans, liquid, olive oil and salt and pepper (to taste) in food processor and blend until smooth. Place in a bowl and mix in salsa. Set aside. Place a single layer of tortilla chips on a large cookie sheet. Be sure to pick out whole chips from the bag and try not to have them overlap. Spoon the black bean spread onto each individual chip and spread it around so it forms a thin layer on the chip. Sprinkle cheese on each individual chip and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for approximately 5 to 8 minutes or until cheese is melted. Spoon holy guacamole onto each chip and garnish with an olive slice. Arrange just 8 chips on a plate for dinner. You will be full… trust us!  Serves 4.

posted by Rebecca & Gus // Mar 18th, 2010 // Appetizer, Dinner, Recipes, Snack
1 Comment »

Homemade Granola Bars

Everyone in my house loves granola bars.  While we like to pretend that they are a healthy snack, most of the store bought kinds are filled with junk. In hopes of creating a healthy alternative, my kid and I set out to make some granola bars from scratch.  Our first attempted was a no-bake recipe. My kid liked the taste but I had to feed them to him because they were way too sticky.  (He didn’t want to keep washing his hands!)  The next attempt was baked in a 9×13 pan, but once they cooled we practically needed a saw to cut them and they fell apart anyway.  Then one morning while we were baking muffins it hit me that muffin tins could very well be the solution to our quest for the perfect granola bars. Although “bars” aren’t usually round, we decided to go for it.  We created our own new recipe and tried it out in the muffin tins… and voila!  Not too sticky, not too hard, these granola bars were just right!  We think these make the perfect play date snack, hostess gift or simply breakfast on-the-go.

Prep Time: 15 mins  Cooking Time: 30 mins

3 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup sliced or chopped raw nuts
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
2/3 cup honey
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 to 3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 egg white
1 1/2 cup chopped dried fruit (cherries, almonds, apricots, raisins)

Preheat the oven at 350 degrees. Prepare muffin pan with paper liners.

On a sheet pan, spread the oatmeal and nuts and bake in the oven for 10 minutes.  Stir a few times while cooking and remove from oven when lightly browned.  Reduce the oven temp to 300 degrees.

Pour warm oats into a large bowl and stir in wheat germ, honey, vanilla, salt, brown sugar, vegetable oil and cinnamon. Combine very well. Check to make sure the mixture has cooled down and add egg. Mix to distribute evenly and add dried fruit. Spoon the mixture into prepared muffin pan. Using a second muffin pan, press the granola down very firmly! It’s important that the mixture is as packed down as possible.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool completely before carefully removing  liners. Makes 12 round granola bars.

posted by Rebecca & Gus // Mar 10th, 2010 // Recipes, Snack, Veggie Friendly

Blueberry Muffins

These super moist and deelish muffins disappear in an instant in our house. (We even found the dog paws up on the counter eating some this morning. Yikes!) My kid likes using the mixer and then uses two spoons to scoop the thick batter into the mini muffin tins.

Prep Time: 15 mins  Cooking Time: 10 to 12 mins.

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cup wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick of unsalted butter (at room temp)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 cups blueberries (washed and patted very dry)
1/4 cup brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Using the paddle attachment on an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs and beat until combined. Add vanilla and continue to beat. Beat in about 1/2 of the flour mixture (do this on a low setting to avoid getting flour everywhere). Add 1/2 the yogurt and the rest of the flour mixture. Beat in remaining yogurt until just combined. Do not beat too much! Pour in blueberries and fold into mixture. Batter should be very thick. Scoop batter into mini muffin tins sprayed with baking spray. (You can also use muffin liners if you prefer.) Sprinkle a generous pinch brown sugar atop of each muffin. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until just beginning to turn light brown and toothpick comes out clean.  Makes approximately 48 mini muffins.

posted by Rebecca & Gus // Mar 9th, 2010 // Breakfast, Recipes, Snack

Mom’s Banana Bread

Sometimes you have to throw super-healthy out the window and go with what tastes good. In honor of that we made my mom’s famous banana bread and it was as good as I remembered. Then again, how could it be bad with a whole stick of butter plus buttermilk? Mom, you are the best!

Prep Time: 10 mins  Cooking Time: 45 mins to 1 hour

2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter (room temp)
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup sugar
2 ripe bananas (very well mashed)
1/2 to 1 cup pecans pieces and/or mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In the bowl of mixer, cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs, mashed bananas and milk. Add flour mixture a little at a time and continue to mix. Fold in nuts / chocolate chips and stir together. Pour into a well creased loaf pan and bake for 45 mins to an hour or until toothpick comes out clean.

My kid wanted this for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Now he wants to make it every morning. I’ve created a banana monster.

posted by Rebecca & Gus // Mar 4th, 2010 // Breakfast, Recipes, Snack, Veggie Friendly

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