Thursday, March 20, 2014

Veggie Mac & Cheese

I think I've made over a dozen different kinds of veggie mac and cheese in the past couple of years.  It's a favorite of my family and I like having those hidden veggies in there!


Adapted from Around the Plate
Ingredients:
• 10 oz. package frozen spinach, thawed
• 1 3/4 cup skim milk
• 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
• 10 oz. package of frozen squash, thawed
• 2 cups pasta (the kind with veggies mixed in works great too!)
• 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
• 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
• salt & pepper

• 1/4 cup breadcrumbs

1. Boil your water for the pasta. While waiting for the water to boil, preheat the oven to 450 and spray a 9" x 13" baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.

2.  Squeeze the excess water out of the thawed spinach.  I usually take it in handfuls and squeeze it in the sink.


3.  Heat the milk and squash in a small pot until warm. Stir occasionally until the sauce starts to thicken.


4. Remove the sauce from the heat and add in the cheddar cheese. After the cheese melts, add in the Greek yogurt and a little salt & pepper.


5.  When the pasta water is boiling, add the pasta and cook for only about  4 minutes.  The rest will get cooked in the oven.

6. Drain the water from the pasta and combine with the cheese sauce and spinach.  


7. Spread the mixture into the baking dish and top with breadcrumbs.

8. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and crispy.


9. Remove from the oven and top with Parmesan cheese.




 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Toddler Straw Valentines

Nothing like a last minute craft project!  I'm not a procrastinator at all, but when daycare told us on Monday night that Connor's class was having a Valentine's Day party, I only had a few days to prepare.  Connor had tubes surgery on Tuesday morning (second set) so we had some extra time in the afternoon to do some crafting.  

I decided on a simple Valentine's note with a non-food gift for each child since daycare is nut-free and it's hard to find snacks that all the kids can eat.  I printed out sheets of Valentines and then had Connor color on them with pink, red and purple crayons.

 Each circle is 2.5 inches and I used a hole punch to make hole on the top and bottom of each one.  It looked really complicated to get the paper on the straw without ripping it, but it ended up being pretty easy to do.




I ended up grabbing a little box of sticker for each child, so I just tied those on with a ribbon.


Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Sweet Sugar Cookies

I can't decide if it's a bad thing or a good thing that I try to keep all the common baking ingredients in the house at all times. It definitely comes in handy when I have a random craving for something baked. Over the weekend, Hubby and I really wanted some cookies, so I was able to come up with something using stuff we had in the house. The verdict: 2 thumbs up from Hubby and all the cookies were gone by the next day!

Adapted from here
Ingredients:
• 2 3/4 cups flour
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/4 cup brown sugar
• 1/2 cup butter
• 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
• 1 1/4 cups sugar
• 1 egg
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and baking powder.


In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, and brown sugar. Add in egg and vanilla.

Add the dry ingredients and mix well.

Using your hands, make small balls of dough and place them onto a cookie sheet.


Bake 7-10 minutes or until the bottoms are golden brown.

Dip in milk & pig out!


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Baked Healthy Cauliflower Cheddar Muffins

Another successful hidden veggie recipe!  I may or may not have eaten these as my dinner for a couple nights because I love them so much!

Adapted from Cupcakes & Kale Chips
Ingredients:
• 1 head cauliflower (about 4-5 cups)
• 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (I used low fat)
• 1 egg
• 1/4 cup cornmeal
• pinch of salt & pepper
• 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard

1. Preheat the over to 400 degrees.
2. Chop cauliflower into small pieces and puree in the food processor.
3. Combine cauliflower puree and other ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
4. Lightly grease muffin tins or muffin liners and spoon mixture into cups.
5. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown on top.

They came out amazing and my son thought they were cupcakes!



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