Monday, March 23, 2009


I think it is so hard coming up with 3 meals a day and 2 snacks a day for kiddos. But there are a few fun things I've done lately that the kids have really enjoyed. These are not necessary "recipes," but rather just some ideas.

My kids love these. I buy cheap crackers from Walmart (wheat or veggie ones) and then give the kids 4 crackers, 4 slices of meat, and 4 slices of cheese. They then "make" their own little stackers and eat every bite of them. I love these, too, and often have them for my lunch - adding yummy tomatoes for me.

For this I just scoop out a serving of yogurt into a bowl (whatever flavor your kids like - or you for that matter). Then I take an instant oatmeal packet (I buy Walmart's brand that is something like "Fruit and Cream."). I sprinkle a little of this onto the yogurt - I use one packet for my 3 kids. The kids then get to stir it all up and enjoy the added sweetness from the oatmeal packet, as well as the bits of fruit. It's pretty yummy.

Fruit Dip
Anything is more fun to eat if it can be dipped. I like to make this dip up for my kids to dip their apples and bananas. What I do is simple: 1/2 part yogurt (any flavor) and 1/2 part non-fat cool whip. That simple. And totally yummy. The other day I did a concotion of yogurt, cool-whip, sour cream and some brown sugar. That was very, very good too.

Anyways, I would love more ideas on good and fun food for the kiddos if you have any to share.

Friday, March 13, 2009


These taste amazing in homemade chicken soup. Sure you could mix up some Bisquick, but these are more substantial and have a richer taste.

4 T softened butter
2 eggs
1/2 c flour
1/4 c parsley
1/4 c minced onion
salt and pepper to taste

Cream butter with a fork, then beat in the eggs. Stir in remaining ingredients. Add a tablespoon or two of the heated soup stock. Drop the batter into the simmering soup in desired sizes. I prefer mine about the size of tennis balls. Cook until set and cooked through, about ten minutes. Serve immediately.

This recipe is from the go-to cookbook in our home: Mark Bittman’s “How to Cook Everything.”

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Whole Roasted Chicken

whole chicken (4-5 pounds)
4 t. salt
2 t. sugar
1/4 t. ground cloves
1/4 t. ground allspice
1/4 t. ground nutmeg
1/4 t. cinnamon
10 cloves garlic, crushed

In a bowl, mix the salt, sugar, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Rub the chicken with the mixture. (If you don't want to eat skin, then make sure you rub under the chicken's skin.)  Cover chicken, and place in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

Stuff the chicken cavity with the garlic. Place the chicken, breast side down, on a rack in a roasting pan.

Roast 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Reduce heat to 450 degrees, and continue roasting 15 minutes. Baste chicken with pan drippings, reduce heat to 425 degrees F, and continue roasting 30 minutes, to an internal temperature of 180 degrees F. Let stand 20 minutes before serving.

Notes: As I was given this chicken and having never before cooked a whole chicken, I turned to and found this recipe. The spices may seem weird on meat, but it was sooooo tasty. We served it with asparagus (thanks for all these cooking hints!) and had, what was probably, our first carb-free meal.  I didn't realize there was a 24-hour marinating period, so it got only eight.  But I can imagine it would have been that much better given the full 24 hours.

Because our chicken was slightly larger than 4 pounds, it took longer to get to the 180-degree internal temperature, by about 10 minutes.  And I have no roasting pan so used a cooling rack on a cooking sheet which worked fine.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Yes, it's enchiladas prepared in classic lasagna style. :) Our kids love this, so we thought we'd share.

12 corn tortillas, quartered
1 lb ground beef
1 small onion, diced
1/2 c salsa (optional)
2 c red enchilada sauce
2 c shredded cheese
1/2 pound black beans, cooked

Cook beef and onions in a large skillet over medium heat until beef is browned and onions are translucent. Drain off drippings. Stir in salsa or 1/2 c enchilada sauce.
Coat bottom of 9 x 13 pan with a layer of enchilada sauce, reserving about a cup for the top layer. Beginning with a layer of tortilla quarters in the pan, create layers of meat mixture, beans, cheese, and tortillas as you see fit. I like to create 8 individual stacks of layered ingredients to ease serving, and usually end up with 6 layers in each stack. Pour reserved sauce over all, then sprinkle on the last of the cheese. Cover tightly with foil that has been coated with cooking spray. You can make it in advance and store in fridge until it is time to cook. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes until heated through.

You can buy enchilada sauce in a can or buy a seasoning packet to add to tomato sauce. OR you could make your own, with this recipe from

If you don't use dried beans, you can substitute two cans of beans, rinsed and drained.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Red Enchilada Sauce

1/4 c oil
2 T flour
1/8 c chili powder
8 oz tomato sauce
1 1/4 c water
1/4 t cumin
1/4 t garlic
1/4 c minced onion

Place first three ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir constantly till slightly browned. Add remaining ingredients. Cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until thickened.

This yields about 2 cups of tasty sauce that is healthier than sauce from a can, and more cost-effective than the seasoning packets you can buy.