Swimmom’s Weblog

Diary of a Stay-at-home Mom, motherhood and beyond

New Year, New Recipes! January 15, 2008

If you remember, one of the things I wanted to try for the New Year was making new recipes for my kids.

I wanted to get my 34 month old and my 11 month old to try new things without tricking them into eating it.

I ordered this recipe book at Barnes and Noble called The Big Book of Recipes for Babies, Toddlers, and Children: 365 Quick, Easy and Healthy Dishes.

So far it has been a big hit.

Our favorite breakfast recipe so far, for both kids, is the

Oaty Breakfast Pancakes.

1 1/4 c. all purpose flour

2 tbsp baking powder

1 c. oats ( I use Quaker Old Fashioned Oatmeal)

2 eggs, beaten

2 c. milk

4 tbsp vegetable oil

Place the flour, oats, and baking powder in a bowl. Add the eggs, milk, and oil and mix well. Heat up a large skillet/ griddle, adding oil if needed. Drop spoonfuls of the batter into the skillet/griddle, allowing room for the pancake to spread. Cook on medium heat until the bubbles appear and the undersides are golden brown. Turn and cook the other sides. Serve immediately or keep warm until rest are cooked. Top with berries or maple syrup. Makes 16-20 pancakes.

These are very quick and easy to make. For George, I top with a little Smart Balance and lite maple syrup. For Sophia, the 11 month old, cut into tiny pieces and top with a little applesauce. This makes them easier for her to eat. But these pancakes have been a big hit with both of them. My husband even enjoyed a batch.

One thing I made for my son which I didn’t think he was going to like, although he loves couscous, was the Warm Couscous Salad, he asked for seconds.

1/2 c. couscous

3/4 c. boiling water or vegetable stock

1 tbsp olive oil

1 small leek, sliced

1 green bell pepper, cored and diced

1 red bell pepper, cored and diced

1/2 zucchini, diced

2 stick celery, sliced

Place the couscous in a large bowl, pour on the boiling water or stock, and set aside to stand for 10-15 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a skillet and add the vegetables. Stir-fry them for 10 minutes until softened. Add the couscous to the skillet and gently stir as it warms through. Serve warm. Marks 4-6 servings

I absolutely love this cookbook. It has recipes from age 6 months and up. The sides can be cooked for the entire family, so it’s not like you are cooking one thing for the kids and another for you and your husband. They have recipes for purees for the babies, simple sandwiches such as Peanut Butter and Banana, tons of sides, main dishes and even deserts, I can’t wait to try.

I hadn’t heard of this book until I found it on Barnes and Noble, I don’t know how it has flown under the radar.

This is a definite must buy!

Tip:It’s out of stock right now on Barnes and Noble, but I believe you can buy a new copy Amazon for less than $13.


Mom’s Apple Cranberry Crisp January 3, 2008

Filed under: cooking,recipes — swimmom @ 9:24 pm
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My mom doesn’t do much cooking now. My dad does most the cooking, and who can complain, he’s pretty good at it. But my mom can cook a mean Apple Crisp, which is a perfect desert for the fall and winter seasons. The last time we were over she added Cranberries, which I wasn’t to sure about, but the combination of the sweet and sour makes for a nice bite.

Mom’s Apple Cranberry Crisp

8 apples, peeled, cored and chopped

1 c. cranberries

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon of nutmeg

lemon juice

1 c. flour

1 c. brown sugar

1 c. oatmeal

1 stick butter plus 3 tablespoons

1/2 c (or more) or chopped nuts (optional)

ice cream or cool whip

After peeling, coring and chopping the apples add the to a large bowl, mix with a couple dashes of lemon juice and the cinnamon, nutmeg, and cranberries. Set aside. To make the topping:In another bowl add the flour, brown sugar, oatmeal and 1 stick of butter. Combine with a fork until resembles coarse meal. Add a dash of cinnamon, and 1/2 c. of chopped walnuts, if you prefer.

Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish with butter. Add the apple mixture to the dish. Cut up 2 remaining tablespoons of butter dot over the apple mixture, top with your streuseled topping. Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 or until top is browned.

Top with ice cream or cool whip (the French vanilla goes great).


Why not? January 1, 2008

Filed under: cooking,motherhood,parenting — swimmom @ 1:15 pm
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I don’t know about you, but I can only cook chicken, cheese mac, hot dogs and my son’s favorite meals so many times.

I need some new recipes to get George interested, so he doesn’t refuse to eat and requests Cars soup (spaghettis o’s) every day. I would also love some new recipes to get my 11 month old off those boring jars of food, which she is clearly ready for, and make meals that will interest her to try new things.

Start of the year with new lease on your kids meals with The Big Book of Recipes for babies, toddlers, and children: 365 quick, easy and healthy dishes.

It can’t hurt, right?

I hope not I just ordered it off Barnes and Noble.

The authors promises this is “more than a cookbook, this indispensable kitchen companion not only offers delicious recipes for every day of the year but also contains a wealth of information on child nutrition, from weaning and introducing solids to packed lunches and party foods for older children.”

I always stress about what I feed my kids, is it healthy? are they getting enough choices? I seem to make the same old reliable recipes.

I would love to reduce that stress and liven up their meals in the new year.

Check back! I’ll try the recipes and keep you posted!


A little sprinkles there, A little sprinkles here December 22, 2007

Filed under: cooking,motherhood,parenting,toddlers — swimmom @ 9:06 pm
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I was ready to make cookies with George.

This was the first Christmas he was showing interest.

Making the dough and baking the cookies went way better than expected. He helped mix the ingredients and stir the batter.

He knew the dough had to be rolled out before I told him.


He helped roll the dough and press the cookie cutter into the dough.

Great, we were ready to decorate.

I had the icing mixed into colors, and the sprinkles poured into little bowls so he could sprinkle them onto the cookies himself.

We made gingerbread men, stars, and trees. I tried painting them myself at first and them he wanted to paint them, mixing the colors so they turned black and then dumping loads of rainbow sprinkles (his favorite) on the cookies.

“Too much George”.

“Don’t eat that, wait til we’re done please”.

“George, don’t eat the sprinkles, they go on the cookies

“George, don’t eat the icing, you’ll get a tummy ache”.

George, too many sprinkles, just use a little.”

What’s the use?

He’s laughing, smiling and having a great time.

This is how our “Christmas” cookies turned out.


He had a blast, and so did I.

Today I learned a big lesson as a parent, that I should have caught onto before: In some situations, it’s okay to relinguish control and go with the flow.


Tis the season for preschool Holiday parties. December 19, 2007

Filed under: cooking,parenting,toddlers — swimmom @ 1:41 pm
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My son’s nursery school is having their holiday party tomorrow and I signed up to make mini muffins (I figured I would try a slightly healthier alternative to cupcakes and cookies).

I found a good Banana Muffin recipe online at Martha Stewart. I changed it a little bit. The original recipe called for 1 c. of light brown sugar which I changed to 1/2 c. light brown sugar and 1/2 c. white sugar. Instead of adding 1/2 c. of sour cream, I added 1/2 c. of sour cream plus a big dollop. And I added to the recipe, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.

The original recipe also called for adding a 1/8″ slice of banana to the top of the muffin before cooking, but after it was cooked it looked like a piece of rotten banana on top of the muffin (not to appetizing) , so I changed it to a crumble topping instead.

Cooked in mini muffin tins/cups, this makes a great Banana Muffin recipe for kids.

My son loved it.

Hopefully the kids at his school will too.

Here it goes:


Banana Muffins

4 ripe bananas

1/2 c. light brown sugar

1/2 c. white sugar

1/2 c. canola oil

1 large egg

1 c. flour

1 c. whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 c. plus dollop of sour cream

1 tbsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mash bananas in large bowl. Add brown sugar, oil and egg. Beat until smooth. Add flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, beat until smooth. Add sour cream and vanilla, beat until combined.

To make crumble topping in a small bowl combine 1 c. flour, 1 c. light brown sugar, and 1/4 cup chilled butter, cut into pieces. Mix with fork until topping is crumbly.

Fill min muffin tins 3/4 full (about 2 teaspoons of mix). Add a generous amount of crumble topping to each muffin. Bake 20 minutes. Using mini muffins, this recipe makes about 4 dozen.


Holiday cookies with a twist… November 30, 2007

Filed under: cooking,gift ideas — swimmom @ 10:23 pm
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I thought this was funny, only because I am the culprit of the ABC cookie. Yes, I hate to admit (having a lot of those today),I usually don’t fully eat a cookie at one sitting (with kids, who can?), I’ll eat the cookie in sections.

Anyway, on Perpetual kid. I found a cookies cutter that (takes the fun of it for some of us) makes an ABC cookie, an Already Been Chewed Cookie. ABC Cookie Cutters

At least my cookie is left untouched, and Perpetual Kid would have to agree, explaining, “Watch as your friends leave them behind on the tray. The Gingerbread set includes 3 designs-one missing a head, one missing a leg and one missing an arm(ouch!). Their loss is your gain.”

Gotta love it!


Choo Choo Muffins November 27, 2007

Filed under: cooking,gift ideas,parenting — swimmom @ 2:58 pm
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I don’t know how my mom finds this stuff, but check them out, Cast Iron Train Muffin Pans.

Now your little Thomas the Train lover can have pancakes and muffins shaped like his favorite blue engine. (My son will absolutely love these and be disappointed every food does not go in them.)

At just $5.95, how can you resist these muffin pans form Terry’s Village. (They also come in Gingerbread and Snowmen shapes, perfect for the holidays.)

As the catalog states, and I sure will show true, ” it turns out cute little locomotives and train cars that your little ones will gobble up”.

Now, if I could just get them to eat their veggies!!