Adventures in Toddler Food: It's in the Pudding

So a few girls on a message board I frequent brought up the recipe book Deceptively Delicious and I was inspired to try and find a recipe to test out on my 18 month old tonight. I've had the book for quite some time and haven't opened it in a few months. But I figured it was time. I mean, hey, I am trying to get some toddler-friendly food on this blog anyway...

I had an almost over-ripe avocado on the counter so I decided to try the chocolate pudding. At first I was pretty skeptical. I mean... avocado... in pudding? But I followed through. And I'm glad I did. While this wasn't my favorite pudding it sure was tasty. And my toddler had no idea that there was a difference (partially because he's never had pudding). I also felt a bit better giving him some dessert when it had a healthy ingredient in the mix.

Maybe there's more to this book than a nice decoration on the cookbook shelf... next week I'm going to try the tofu nuggets :) For my son, of course!

Source: Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld

Chocolate Pudding
  • 1/4 cup soft margarine (I used spreadable butter w/ canola oil)
  • 1 cup pureed/mashed avocado
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
In a medium saucepan melt margarine on low. Add avocado, sugar, cocoa, and vanilla and stir well to incorporate. Use a spatula to mash avocado more so that everything is smooth. Cook for 3-4 minutes until thickened.

Take pudding off the heat and add corn starch. Stir well. Serve pudding warm and enjoy!

What is this, Mom?

Oh, it's pretty good!

Adventures in Toddler Food: Fruit/Veggie Muffins

As you're probably aware from the previous posts about toddler food I'm always trying to figure out new ways of getting vegetables into my child without him realizing it (and than spitting it out or throwing it on the ground). A great way to get these veggies in is by putting them in muffins & pancakes. I love muffins. What's not to love? The fluffiness, the flavor, the versatility. And the convenience.

I also love using natural sweeteners in place of pure sugar. In this recipe we do use a bit of brown sugar but only 1/2 a cup (for 15 muffins!). To sweeten it a bit more we add applesauce. The bananas also add their sweetness as well. You can also replace all of the oil with applesauce as well but I don't mind a little oil if my child is going to eat the whole muffin. Sometimes calories are needed on picky food days.

This muffin isn't super sweet but gives just enough flavor to entice little ones. It was good enough for this little man to devour almost a whole one! And he's only (almost) 8 months old! Mommas like them too so it's a win-win.

Source: Edible Ventures

Banana Zucchini Muffins
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 medium zucchini, shredded & moisture squeezed out
  • 2 ripe medium bananas, mashed
Preheat oven to 375. Line a muffin tin with reusable (or not) muffin cups or grease and flour the pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, applesauce, eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices. Make a well in the center and add the wet ingredients. Stir until just blended. Then stir in the grated zucchini and mashed banana.

Divide the batter among the 12 muffin cups (an ice cream scoop works well). Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in a muffin comes out clean. Let cool about 5-10 minutes, then remove from pan and eat!

Simple Suppers

I've been guilty of easy meals lately. I've been exhausted after either a full day with my toddler or a full day of work. And the last thing I want to do is make an elaborate meal. I used to love doing this but keeping it simple is the way to go if I don't want to end up with take out.

I had some chicken in the fridge and was trying to think of a good/different way to prepare it for our dinner. So I searched around and found that I was really wanting to either do a casserole or a one dish meal. I took a look in my pantry and saw that we had some cream of mushroom soup so I started to look specifically for cream of mushroom and chicken meals. This is one I found.

And I'm glad I found it. Super easy. And I can modify it as I go if I want something different. I'm thinking of adding broccoli or spinach in with the rice and maybe coating the whole thing with a sprinkle of cheese next time!

Source: Cambell's Kitchen

One Dish Chicken & Rice Bake
  • 1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup uncooked regular long-grain white rice
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 1 pound)
Stir the soup, water, rice, paprika and black pepper in a 2-quart shallow baking dish. Top with the chicken. Season with additional paprika and black pepper. Cover the baking dish.

Bake at 375°F. for 45 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the rice is tender.

Caramel Decadence

On one of the mommy message boards I frequent there is this recipe floating around that EVERYONE is talking about. So I set out to make it. And failed. Miserably :) I mistook 1 box of cake mix to mean one box of cake mix prepared using the instructions on the box.

But never fear... I continued with my mishap and ended up with a fabulously rich and decadent dessert. My 18 month old gives it two thumbs way up! Just make sure you have a huge glass of milk to go with it.

And if you're interested in the original recipe... I'll post that next week in my second attempt to make the brownies :)

Source: Lata's Grandma's Famous Chocolate Caramel Brownies

Chocolate Caramel Brownie Cake

  • 1 box German chocolate cake mix (prepared w/ ingredients on box*)
  • 2/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 3/4 cup butter softened
  • 12oz caramels
  • 6oz chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix prepared cake mix, 1/3 cup evaporated milk, and butter. Spread 1/2 of batter on greased 13 X 9 pan and bake for 8-9 minutes.

Meanwhile melt caramels and remaining 1/3 cup evaporated milk. Top the baked layer with 6oz chocolate chips and pour the caramel mixture on top. Take the remaining 1/2 of batter and pour it on top of the caramel, lightly spread around so it's even.

Bake another 25 minutes. Let cool and enjoy!


You have to let them cook completely before you cut them, they are a HUGE ooey gooey mess until they firm back up, when you take them out they will look like they aren't done but they are, just let them cool.

Adventures in Toddler Food: Veggie Bites

My son has been pretty bad at eating his veggies lately. With the vast fluctuation day by day of his appetite we have had very little luck getting the greens in him. He's much more interested in the colorful fruit we've been bringing home this summer. A little too interested...

So I went out in search of a good veggie bite recipe and found a lot online. I got bits and pieces from a lot of different recipes and kinda pieced them together to form this one. And I am quite happy to say that it was a recipe my child loved.

He ate 2 veggie bites for lunch today! I froze the rest of the bites for a quick re-heat later as needed. This will make lunch time a lot easier on those days I don't have time to cook/bake for him.

Source: My Head

Veggie Bites
  • 1 bag frozen broccoli & cauliflower, steamed & chopped
  • 1/3 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2/3 cup shredded cheddar
  • 2 eggs
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix chopped veggies, bread crumbs, cheese & eggs together until moist and able to form. Using either a small cookie scoop, a spoon or your hands form about 20 small balls the shape of a chicken nugget. Place on a foil lined cookie tray and bake at 20-25 minutes. Turn over after 15 minutes and press down with a spatula to evenly brown.

Cool a bit and enjoy! If your toddler needs their bites cut up (like mine did) just cut into 4s before serving.

Veggie bites prepared into balls and placed on the tray to bake

All cut up and ready for lunch

I don't know about this, Mom...

Ok, maybe they're kinda good...

Mmmm... better than the chicken nuggets

After 2 minutes of eating he had eaten 1.5 veggie bites, 1 cut up piece of chicken nugget & 2 sweet potato fries. He polished off the rest of the veggie bite pieces and called it a day for lunch. Oh, the finicky toddler. One day he'd polish off a plate full of food and the next just bits and pieces.

Simplicity in Chocolate

We were craving something chocolaty. Something simple and good. We were craving cake.

So I went out in search of a simple chocolate cake recipe in hopes that I could find something where I didn't have to a. melt chocolate or b. deal with multiple bowls and multiple steps. Simple was the word. And than I remembered a post I had starred in my Google Reader. I quickly searched through the recently starred items and came upon this recipe.

Simple, check. One bowl, check. Have all the ingredients, double check! And I was on my way. The first time I tried to make it I left the butter on the counter to soften. Than we went to run errands and I forgot about it. And we forgot to put the dogs outside. So, yup, the dogs (I think it was Scout) got a stick of butter wrapper and all!

Than the second time I did the same thing... you'd think I'd learn. Or at least put the butter in the microwave or oven for storage.

Third time was a charm. I made sure the dogs were outside, let the butter soften and I was on my way. I even made the recipe simpler by putting all of the dry ingredients right into the sifter instead of mixing separately and than putting them into the sifter. Easy peasy! And the results were pretty good. I mean... it wasn't amazingly fluffy and light but it wasn't a mug cake either. This is something I'd whip up for friends coming over for dinner. I could probably even add chocolate chips, peanut butter or bananas to the mix to spice things up...

Source: Smitten Kitchen

Everyday Chocolate Cake

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (6 7/8 ounces) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (2 5/8 ounces) Dutch cocoa powder* (see below for a natural cocoa adjustment)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Butter and lightly flour a 9×5x3-inch loaf pan, or spray it with a butter-flour spray. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugars and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and beat well, then the buttermilk and vanilla. Don’t worry if the batter looks a little uneven. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt together right into your wet ingredients. Stir together with a spoon until well-blended but do not over mix. Scrape down the batter in the bowl, making sure the ingredients are well blended.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool in pan on a rack for about 10 to 15 minutes, at which point you can cool it the rest of the way out of the pan. Serve with whipped cream and fresh berries, if you’re feeling fancy.

*If you only have a natural or non-Dutched cocoa, you can still use it, but you’ll want to use 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and no baking powder.

Fabulous Fettuccine

After a long hiatus I think I'm back! This pregnancy has definitely been different than my last. I am still getting nauseous and sometimes I just don't have the energy to cook. When I do cook, it's tried and true recipes from this blog.

Last night we had taco salad and on Sunday we had meatloaf (with beef instead of turkey) and both dishes were fantastic but I don't want to repeat meals I've already made on the blog. So I've finally gotten some creative juices going (at 23 weeks pregnant... about time!) and came up with this fabulous yet simple creamy sauce for the basil oregano fettuccine I bought at Harry & David (on clearance).

This dish was a great summer pasta dish. Not too heavy and definitely bowl licking good :)

Source: My Head

White Cheese Sauce with Basil Oregano Fettuccine

  • 1 package Harry & David Basil Oregano Fettuccine (or your favorite pasta)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 cups parmesan, grated
  • 1 1/2 cups fontina, grated
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • pinch of nutmeg

Bring 6 cups of water to a boil for the pasta. Once boiling add salt, olive oil and pasta and cook as directed on pasta package.

Pour milk into a small pan and heat on low just to get it slightly above room temperature (so it doesn't curdle when added to the roux).

Melt butter in a sauce pan. Once melted and a little toasty (browned) add the flour. Cook until the flour doesn't have a raw flour taste (about 3-4 minutes). Add garlic and cook another minute stirring continuously. Put a little of this mixture in the milk and stir. Remove butter/flour mixture from the heat and add milk. Stir like crazy so lumps don't form.

Put sauce back on low heat until almost boiling. You'll know it's done when you put the back of a spoon in the sauce, run your finger through it and the sauce doesn't fill in the gap you just made. Take the pan off heat again and add cheeses while stirring. Add in the salt, pepper & nutmeg to taste.

Drain pasta and add to sauce. Toss in sauce thoroughly and serve. Enjoy!


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