Homemade Squeezy Pouch Food

So, as you know by now, little L is extremely picky. So much so that it drives me nuts. If I give him delicious vegetables for dinner, he’ll either pretend they aren’t there, or he’ll throw them onto the floor. 

Recently, he’s been trying to live off of Puffs and Cheeze It’s. Yes I give them to my child, tough noogies.

Anyway, because of this, I, being in a hurry and loving convenience, I purchased the Organic Gerber Pouches. I bought the ones that had zucchini and spinach included in the recipes, assuming it would be healthy and worth it. 

So after I gave him one, I being the genius that I am, read the back label of ingredients. 2/5 of an apple, okay, 2tbsp blueberries, okay…1 HALF of 1 leaf of spinach! 

SERIOUSLY??! It has THAT little spinach in it and you claim that it’s really in there and good for the child. Wow. 

I was so peeved. I felt lied to and cheated but it was my own fault. I used to buy other brands, like Earths Best, that really were packed with veggies, but I went for the Gerber brand because they were cheaper. You really do get what you pay for. Oh well.

I then decided that I was going to make my own. This way I controlled what and how much was going in them.

I purchased these pouches by Kiinde. They’re called the Twist Pouches and I bought them here. It comes with 80 pouches.

I had been given their feeding gift set as a baby shower gift, and it came with the feeding nozzle, but you can buy it here

Now, I used what fruits and veggies I had, and you can certainly use what you have as well. 

For the first batch, I blended some organic plain greek yogurt, organic blueberries, organic Pineapple chunks, organic spinach, and organic baby oats. 

For my next batch, I blended bananas, pineapple chunks, blueberries, spinach, and greek yogurt. All organic. 

And my final batch was probably my favorite. Yes I taste them haha. But it was mixes berry. I added organic frozen mixed berries, greek yogurt, spinach, and baby oats. 

Once I blended all my batches, I used a funnel to fill my pouches. After they were filled, I wrote the date and ingredients on the bag, and threw them in the freezer. 

It took me about 30 minutes from start to finish, so it honestly wasn’t very time consuming, and I have the peace of mind of knowing what my child is consuming. 

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Homemade Chocolate Nut Butter Cups, with Homemade Chocolate

So, 2 or 3 days turned into 2 or 3 weeks. I apologize. As soon as we kicked one cold, we caught another! But we’re finally better and have been better for a few days. Let’s hope we stay that way!

While I was sick, I learned how to make chocolate from scratch. That’s right, CHOCOLATE from SCRATCH! And it’s all the fabulous deliciousness you’d think it would be. 

So. Chocolate. There’s two ways (that I know of) to go about making it. And today, I’ll be sharing the easier quicker way, and how to make Nut Butter Cups. I personally love to use Almond Butter, but you can use peanut. 

*~* I apologize in advance for the quality of the photos. It was very late when I made these, so lighting wasn’t the best.*~* 

What you’ll need

Unsweetened cocoa powder

Powdered sugar

Food grade cocoa butter

Vanilla extract

Nut butter, you can use Almond or peanut 

Unsalted butter, softened 

Coconut oil (to keep chocolate semi soft, if you want a firm chocolate, forget this ingredient)

Cupcake liners

Cupcake pan

First, you’ll need to melt your cocoa butter down to a liquid. I use about 3 tablespoons of melted cocoa butter. Next start adding your cocoa powder. Add 1 tablespoon at a time, until you reach a thick creamy consistency (think creamy peanut butter consistency) then, add your powdered sugar. This one is really just by taste. Some like really sweet dark chocolate, some like semi sweet, some like unsweetened. I personally add about 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar. Stir it together then add about half of 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Next, add 1 half teaspoon of melted coconut oil at a time until you reach a consistency that looks like melted chocolate lol, but really, a consistency that’s similar to syrup. Runny, and loose.

Now you have chocolate!!

Now, insert your cupcake liners into your cupcake pan, I used 6 liners.

Carefully spoon a thin layer of chocolate into the cupcake liners, and spread the chocolate half way up the sides of the liner with your spoon. Then place into the freezer.

Now start on your nut butter mixture. 

Take about 3 tablespoons of your nut butter. I used almond. Add 2 tablespoons of soft unsalted butter, and powdered sugar to taste. Mix until a fluffy consistency. Then, microwave for 15 seconds until runny.

Remove chocolate from freezer, and spoon thin layer of nut butter on top. Then top with another thin layer of chocolate. Freeze for 20 minutes, then enjoy! 

Christmas Quiche

Quiche is one of my favorite foods ever. Especially when it’s cold outside. 

When I was a child, instead of leaving out cookies and milk for Santa Clause, my mother and I laid out mini quiches and milk because unbeknown to me, “Santa” was a diabetic, and didn’t need those cookies ­čśŐ

So today when lunch time started rolling around, I decided to whip up a quiche for my son and I to enjoy. 

I’m calling it my Christmas Quiche, because of the beautiful red and green colors, and because of the memory of my childhood at Christmas time. 

This recipe is super easy. It has red bell pepper, feta cheese, fresh baby spinach, bacon, sharp cheddar cheese, and obviously, eggs. 

It has a smokey taste from the bacon, sweet from the bell pepper, and a saltiness from the feta cheese. It’s now a favorite of mine.

Here’s what you’ll need. 

1 pie crust 

1 Diced red bell pepper

3 strips of cooked bacon, diced

5 eggs

1 1/2 tablespoons of crumbled Feta cheese

1/3 cup of chopped fresh baby spinach 

1/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Salt and Pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 400┬░ 

Mix all ingredients together and pour into pie crust. Bake quiche until golden and bubbly. It took me about 30 minutes.

Let it cool slightly and serve. It’s a great breakfast, lunch or supper idea. It’s not too heavy, not too light, but just right. 

Momma’s Sweet Potato Casserole┬á

So the weather around here is FINALLY cooling down. We’ve been in the 80’s every day this Fall until this last week, we got a bit of a cold front and today’s high was 66! 

Now that the weather has cooled, cooking all the traditional Fall foods feels more festive. Today The Hubs requested Sweet Potato Casserole to go with our dinner. I’ve ever made it before, but my Momma Sylvia over at Christian Homekeeper makes the best, so I messaged her and got her recipe! 

You’ll want 1 large sweet potato per person, brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, an egg, orange juice, vanilla extract, and a topping of your choice, I used some large marshmallows. 

First you want to cook our sweet potatoes. you can cook them now the oven, but I used my microwave and just used the baked potato setting and it worked like a charm. 

Next, once your potatoes are cooked through, you want to cut them in half and scoop out the good stuff. I recommend waiting until they’ve cooled to do this, I did not, I just held them with a thick rag and it still burned my hand. 

Once you’ve scooped out your potatoes, add your butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, egg, orange juice and vanilla. I didn’t have any orange juice in a carton, but I did have one Navel Oranges, so I just juiced one of them. 

Begin mixing, you can definitely use a stand mixer but I did it by and because my mixer broke, sad day, I know.

I mixed at first with a spoon, and then once I saw clumps, I used a whisk to smooth most of them out. 

After its mixed, spread it in a baking dish. I used a Cast Iron Skillet but you can use any dish that’s oven safe.

Next, add your toppings. I don’t  really like marshmallows, but The Hubs and L do so I added a few large ones with a few pieces of butter.

I then baked it at 350┬░ until the marshmallows were brown and bubbly. 

It tastes great! And the best part is that L will actually eat it! We’re just waiting on the Hubs to get home and try it out. 
Recipe

1 large sweet potato per person, I used 2

Brown sugar to taste, I used 1 half cup

Cinnamon to taste, I used 1/4 teaspoon

1 egg

3 teaspoons of butter

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract 

1 tablespoon of orange juice 

Preheat oven to 350┬░

Cook sweet potatoes, scoop out insides, blend potatoes and other ingredients. Spread in greased baking dish, top with favorite toppings such as marshmallows or pecans. Bake until topping is golden and bubbly. 

Homemade Pumpkin pie from Scratch

A few years ago, I learned that Pumpkin Pie filling in the can wasn’t made with ACTUAL pumpkin. It’s made with Butternut squash. I’ll never forget the first time I had a REAL pumpkin pie, it was stringy, sweet, and ok tasting, but it wasn’t my favorite. My favorite is the typical pumpkin pie, or as my uncle calls it, Mud pie, because of its texture. 

I recently found some butternut squash on sale and I figured I would try to make my own “Pumpkin” pie from one of them. The end result was so delicious! I was really impressed and I don’t think I’ll be buying the canned stuff ever again. 

First, I started with a whole butternut squash. I chopped off the stem, and then I microwaved it for 2 minutes. I had read somewhere that it helps with cutting the hard squash.  

After the 2 minutes, I sliced it in half and scooped out the seeds, then I steamed it until it was soft.

Once it was soft and cooled, I began to scoop out the delicious squash. I added sugar, salt, milk, eggs, vanilla, and my homemade pumpkin pie spice, and beat it with a whisk until combined. I then noticed that the squash had a but of texture to it and I knew my son wouldn’t touch it, so I ran it through the blender to smooth it up. Then, I added it to my pie crust! I baked the pie at 425┬░ for 15 minutes, then I lowered the temperature to 350┬░ until the pie was set and firm.

And there’s the end result! It was so creamy and delicious and I swear it tastes better because it’s homemade. 

Recipe

1 large butternut squash

1/2 cup of sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 large eggs

1 cup of whole milk 

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon allspice 

1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 425┬░

Remove stem from squash and cut in half, vertically. Remove seeds from squash, and you can either roast your squash at 400┬░ until soft, or steam. I chose to steam mine until it was soft. Once the squash is softened, remove it and place into bowl with eggs, milk, vanilla, salt and spices. Beat with a whisk until combined. If you’re pleased with the texture you may pour the filling into your pie shell, if you’d like a creamier filling, blend the squash mixture. I blended mine until it had a “mud” like consistency. 

Once blended, pour your filling into your pie shell and bake at 425┬░ for 15. Then, lower the temperature to 350┬░ and bake until the pie is set and firm. I encourage you to use a pie crust guard. It will keep your crust from burning, and as you can see in the last image, I didn’t use mine. But it still turned out delicious.

Blended Coconut and Chai drink

So today I was browsing Facebook when I came across a drink that a store from my hometown was now serving. Being that I’m over 50 miles from this store, I decided to whip up my own drink, and let me tell you, I’m glad I did. It’s delicious, satisfying, and not full of syrups or unknown ingredients. It was also very refreshing on this hot summers day. 

So, what you’ll need is coconut milk, chai tea (not the mix but the bags) ice, and a blender. 

I went ahead and made my chai tea in the microwave (I know I know, but I really don’t care.) I added two tea bags to 1 and a half cups of water because I wanted a strong chai taste. While that was going, I started on my coconut milk. I used powdered coconut milk mixed with water, but you can use regular coconut milk. I made about a cup of milk. And added it to my blender. Once the tea was done, I let it cool for 5 minutes and added it to the blender too. I then added 3 tablespoons of sugar to it but I’m sure you can use xylitol, stevia, or agave. 

Then I added about 3 cups of ice, and set my blender high enough to where the ice would be fully blended. 

The end result is so delicious! 

It’s frothy, cold, and a great drink for a 92 degree day like today. 

Hope you enjoy! 

Recipe below

Ingredients

1 chai tea bags in 1 and a half cups of water

1 cup coconut milk

3 tablespoons sugar or other sweetener

3 cups of ice

Blend until smooth and frothy.

Semi healthy breakfast muffins and living with a picky eater

So my son has recently decided that anything in the vegetable category just isn’t for him. I’ve cooked and seasoned them in every way I know how and he’s always been able to pick them out or avoid his food all together. It’s become pretty frustrating and worrisome, since veggies are a great source of nutrients, I worried that he was malnourished. I mean, mac and cheese (which, that and nuggets are all he would eat) is great, but I’m not sure you can live off of it for long. This child wouldnt even eat protein unless it was in the form of a fried chicken nugget. And out of desperation thats what I gave him. Do I feel bad? Not really, we do what we can to get our kids to eat. And at least he wasn’t hungry. I was just worried he wasn’t getting enough vitamins or minerals in his diet. But here recently I found a recipe on pinterest that gave me an idea. Breakfast muffins with hidden veggies! 

After going over the recipe, I tweaked it to how I wanted it and made a dozen of some of the best darn muffins I’ve had in a while
These muffins have zucchini, carrots, apples, greek yogurt, and apple sauce in them, and when I was reading it, I was afraid that he might be able to detect the texture of the veggies, so I used a super fine grater and grated the veggies to a soft mush. I wouldn’t say puree since it still had a little texture, just not enough to detect in a muffin. 

Don’t they look great? I was super glad that L decided he wanted not one, but TWO muffins. And here’s what was left! 

Yeah, pretty awesome. 

So here’s the recipe
2 cups of flour 

1/2 cup of sugar ( I used organic cane sugar)

2 large eggs

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

4 tbsp unsalted softened butter

1/4 cup plain greek yogurt

1/8 cup apple juice 

1 finely grated medium zucchini

1 finely grated medium carrot

1 finely grated apple (I used Honecrisp for added sweetness)

1/2 medium banana, mashed

1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce 

1/4 cup of semi sweet mini dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350┬░ and line a cupcake/muffin tin with liners.
Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl, and add two large spoonfuls of batter to the liners. 

Bake the muffins for 20 minutes or until golden and firm.

They’re really delicious, and I’m planning on freezing them to save for later. And I’m just over the moon excited that I got L to consume some vegetables! Yes they’re cooked, and there’s also sugar, but still, they’re VEGETABLES! YAY!

Southern Peach Cobbler

While I’m trying to lose weight, and I AM succeeding, I’m also Southern, and we love our peach cobbler. Today, I decided to make one from scratch, including using fresh peaches.
And it was so incredibly delicious. Not too greasy, not too fluffy, just perfect. And here’s how I made it!

First, I boiled my peaches whole. Doing this, allows the peels to soften so they can be peeled off easily.

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Once they boil for roughly 5 minutes, you want to place the peaches in a bowl of ice water so they’re easy to handle.

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Once they’re cooled, you can begin peeling them. What I did, was I took a knife, cut a line down the side of the peach, and then used my fingers to peel the peel away.

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Once the peel comes off, you can slice the peach however you like and place them in a bowl.

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After this is done, preheat your oven to 425┬░ grab yourself your iron skillet (a 9×13 dish can be used as well) and slice half a stick of butter up and place in the skillet. Add your peach slices on top of the butter. Place the skillet in the oven for 10 minutes until the butter is melted and the peaches sizzle.

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Next, mix together your batter and pour it over the peaches. And add the other half stick of butter, sliced up, to the top of the batter.

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Reduce the heat of the oven to 375┬░ and place the cobbler in for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

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Once it’s finished, let it rest for about 10 minutes before you serve it. It let’s all the juices settle. Then you can serve it up plain, or with a bit of ice cream! But since I’m trying to lose weight, I won’t be adding any ice cream to mine.

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Check out the recipe below!

1 cup of flour
3/4 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 and 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1 cup of milk
1 stick of butter
5  fresh peaches

Put a pot of water on to boil, and add your peaches whole. Boil them for 5 minutes. Then place peaches in a bowl of ice water.
Once peaches are cool enough to handle, begin peeling. The peel should just tear right off, of not, they weren’t boiled long enough.
Once the peaches are peeled, slice them up, and place in a bowl.
Preheat oven to 425┬░
Then cut up half a stick of butter and place the pieces in a size 8 cast iron skillet. Add the peaches, and place the skillet in the oven for 10 minutes until the butter is melted and the peaches sizzle. While this is happening, make your batter.
Mix your flour, sugar, vanilla, baking powder, and milk together. You can even add a dash of nutmeg if you like.
Remove the skillet from the oven and pour the batter over the top of the peaches. Slice the other half stick of butter and place on top of the batter. Reduce ovens heat to 375┬░, place cobbler in the oven and bake until golden brown. Once it’s baked, let it rest for 10 minutes or so, so the juices settle. Then serve it up with ice cream or plain!