Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What We're Eating Wednesday: Lunch

Today we had our ECFE class again, and instead of separating out of the room for parent education time, I spent the afternoon with all the babies and infant teachers in the room helping out. It was great fun to watch B&H play with other babies. Luckily, B&H continued their cry-free streak from separating - but not all other babies were so happy with their mommies or daddies gone. In fact, I spent much of my time comforting some criers. It's a bit anxiety-ridden when you don't know a baby who is crying and crying and you don't know what to do!

But, let me tell you what I learned from my day: B&H are HUGE! The 3 other babies I had to hold to comfort were light as a feather. I kept asking them where the rest of their bodies were! Granted, they were all younger than B&H, but still. I am pretty sure even at 9 months my kids were bigger than the babies today.

Perhaps..... just perhaps..... they are so big because their appetites are big. Just look at what they ate today:

Trader Joe's mini ravioli, diced chicken, mandarin oranges & yogurt

Friday, November 18, 2011

It's The Great Pumpkin Muffin, Charlie Brown

Here's a Thanksgiving confession: I really, really, really dislike (almost to the point of hate) pumpkin pie. It's oh so very gross to me. I don't often tell people why I don't like it, because the reason is also gross, so let's just leave it at the fact that I don't like it. The taste, the texture, the smell. YUCK.

BUT - in recent years I have discovered that I like other pumpkin baked goods. Pumpkin bread: good. Pumpkin pancakes: good (here I go raving about those pumpkin pancakes again....). Heck, even a pumpkin spice latte now and then is good. But the best of all is pumpkin muffins. YUM YUM. I have an old trusty recipe that I've used for a few years now, but there's not much healthy in there (aside from the pumpkin). While that is probably why it is so good, I was looking for something with a bit more nourishment for the babes.

So, after a brief Pinterest search, I found this great web site I hadn't been to before called Carrots N Cake. It's written by an author of one of my favorite magazines, Health. After reading about her on her blog, I found that Tina is an avid runner who has maintained a weight loss for 6+ years. What motivation! I plan to read a lot of her recipes, tips, blog posts, etc. Starting with this recipe for Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/4 cup canned pumpkin pie mix
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • Preheat oven to 375*F
  • Coat muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray or line muffins cups.
  • Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl; blend well.
  • Pour batter evenly into muffin tins.
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes.
  • Allow to cool, and enjoy!
I made a few changes to this recipe. First, I doubled it. Nine muffins would not last long in this house, especially since I planned to take some to my friend Kat for letting me store my Thanksgiving turkey in her freezer. :) When doubling, I used 1 c. all-purpose flour and 1 c. whole wheat flour. I used just plain canned pumpkin, not the pie kind with all the spices mixed in already, and I used 1 whole can. As I was mixing, the batter seemed really thick, so I added 1/2 c. of natural applesauce and it came together nicely. They're DELICIOUS!

With chocolate chips, they are 5 Points Plus per muffin; without chocolate they are 4 Points. Worth it!

And only a little but ugly, right? Much better than this pumpkin creation.  

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The First Pancake Phenomenon

To my husband's dismay, I am a fan of Gilmore Girls. Wholeheartedly a fan, in fact. In the pre-babies lazy days of summer vacation, I watched entire seasons of the show. It's so addicting. Don't you just always want Luke & Lorelai to end up together? And even though you know what happens at at the end, you get so nervous when she marries Chris! Oh, the drama.

Since the babies came along, I've not indulged much in GG. But lately on the weekends I've vowed to take a break, do no chores, and relax. It just so happens this occurs during afternoon nap, which also occurs during Gilmore Girls. Yay!

What does Gilmore Girls have to do with babies and baked goods, you ask? Well, last weekend there was an episode about Rory throwing a baby shower for Lane and something comes up where Rory explains the First Pancake Phenomenon:
Rory: Yes but Mr. Nash, you are forgetting about the first pancake phenomenon.
Lorelai: Eh?
Rory: Yes the first pancake you know? You always throw it out...
Lorelai: Why do you throw out the first pancake?
Rory: Cause the griddles too hot it gets burned.
Lorelai: Oh my God. Next year no excuses. We are make you that audition tape for Top Chef.

So, I'm evoking the "First Pancake Phenomenon" on these sweet potato pancakes I made yesterday. They don't need to be thrown out, but there was something just not right about them...... I tried to tweak this recipe a bit, and the results are just not what I had in mind. Granted, I'm still hooked on those Pumpkin Pancakes, so maybe that's why I am not in love with these. Anyway, I'm keeping these in mind, and trying again. Isn't the unspoken rule of the First Pancake Phenomenon that you try again with a Second one?

Sweet Potato Pancakes

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoons cinnamon
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 2 cups milk
  • 4 teaspoons melted butter, plus more for greasing skillet
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 sweet potato, cooked until tender, peeled and pureed


In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix together and whisk until smooth. Cook batches in buttered skillet on medium high temperature until bubbles form on the surface, then turn over and cook until dark golden brown. Serve with pecan butter and maple syrup.

In my old age, I can't remember what I did to change the recipe, but I know I halved the it. And I think I added some vanilla and guessed about the amount of sweet potato since I had a tupperware full of mashed taters that I made earlier this week for the babies. Maybe that was my problem.... too much or not enough sweet taters? I used my cookie scoop to make these silver dollar pancakes - perfect size for babies.

They look good. They made a lot (21), but I bet the Second Pancake batch will be better.

 The best news about these pancakes - I plugged the recipe in to Weight Watchers and if you make silver dollar pancakes (about 1.5 T. of batter per pancake), they are only ONE POINT per pancake. Awesome. I hope the second batch turns out better so I can enjoy lots of pancakes. :)


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What We're Eating Wednesday: Lunch

So, imagine this. You are a baby. You just woke up from nap. You're hungry. Momma gives you food .... and then your sister grabs for it. The nerve!

Lunch was pretty basic, yet plentiful today. They had cottage cheese, Trader Joe's cheese tortellini (a FAVORITE around here), and mashed sweet potatoes, as well as cooked peas and Trader Joe's turkey meatballs (not pictured with B above). It was very messy, but they loved it.

And guess what? We made it to ECFE on time today! Bonus!

What are you eating today?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

What We're Eating Wednesday: Dinner

Wednesdays are so busy for us! We have our Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) at 12 noon, and it throws off our whole day! When I registered, it was the best time for the babies' nap schedule - and it still is since they are pretty set on a 9:30 nap and a 2:30 nap. But, I just wasn't thinking in Twin Time when I registered. Sure, they are up by 11/11:30 most mornings, BUT - I have to get them changed, dressed, fed, jackets on and out the door by 11:40 to make it to ECFE on time. Impossible. Today we were 15 minutes late. I take comfort in the fact that a singleton mother was even later than we were. But Twin Time + Ust Time is a disaster!

The point of this story being I didn't have time to document breakfast (cottage cheese pancakes. YUM!) or lunch (jarred babyfood - see above as to why we were running out of time). So, finally. Here's What We're Eating this Wednesday evening:

Cannellini beans, Trader Joe's turkey meatball, Fall Flavors Bread/Cake (more on that tomorrow) and mixed veges.

I did have time to play around with my camera (not new, not fancy) and discover some fun settings. Why I chose to focus on the beans, I don't know, but the photo is a bit more interesting than any photo that comes from my iPhone. Though, I still don't hold a candle to any of the wonderful food photogs out there!

Friday, November 4, 2011

I shan't ever make regular pancakes again

I'm not going to lie. I'm a big pancake fan. Always have been. We frequently ate them for supper when I was growing up, which was always fine by me. But I've never been that great at making pancakes. Probably because my recipe is the box of Bisquick. So, when I go out to eat for brunch, I do often get pancakes. My favorite ones (especially in 2010 when I was pregnant with the babies) were some delicious buttermilk oatmeal pancakes from The Highland Grill, our favorite neighborhood eatery. I used to say the babies would love pancakes when they were born because I ate so many of them. haha.

Fast forward 11 months (on a side note, I'm in awe that they are 11 months! Where did the past year go?!) and indeed, I have babies who LOVE pancakes. You'll recall the hit that was the cottage cheese pancakes. And the corncakes. Don't forget the corncakes.

We all loved those pancakes. But these. These are beyond. Ben ate 4 of them in one day. That's how good they are. (I also ate 4....). I never thought I liked pumpkin stuff - I loathe pumpkin pie - but when you make it up in the form of a pancake, it turns to heaven on a plate! The recipe is from my friend (and fellow twin mom) Kat. I have no idea where she got it.

Kat's Pumpkin Pancakes

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 to 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves or allspice
  • 1 cup milk*
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • Oil or oil spray, for frying
  1. Stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, salt, nutmeg and cloves in a medium bowl.
  2. Whisk together the milk, pumpkin, butter and egg in a separate bowl. Fold this mixture into the dry ingredients.
  3. Heat oil or spray oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  4. Pour 1/4 cup batter for each pancake and cook approximately 2-3 minutes per side.
  5. Serve with butter and maple syrup, brown sugar, or honey apple butter.
*If you like big, fluffy pancakes; reduce milk to 3/4 cup.  1 cup milk makes flatter cakes.
In my batch, I used brown sugar instead of white sugar, buttermilk instead of regular milk, and skipped the ginger since I didn't have any on hand. They were DELICIOUS and nice and thick (I didn't have a full cup of buttermilk).
I am never making regular pancakes again. They were moist and fluffy and just the right amount of spice. YUM YUM. In fact, they were so good I didn't even snap a picture of them before we gobbled them up. And I would make another batch, but I'm out of flour! Too much bakin'!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What We're Eating Wednesday: Brunch

What constitutes brunch? Does it need to replace both breakfast and lunch? Or does it just need to be breakfast-y foods served for lunch? Hmmm.... At any rate, these babies (and this momma) love breakfast foods, so that's what was served up for lunch today. Thus, I'm deeming it "brunch."

On their plate: Pumpkin Pancakes (more on those tomorrow), scrambled egg, cottage cheese, and a banana. I ate the same thing, but my pancakes had 100% pure maple syrup on them. Oh YUM.

It was a delicious brunch, but we didn't get the time to savor it like we should have. Naturally, I started cooking the pancakes at 11:15 - and we have Babies and Me class (ECFE) on Wednesdays at noon. It was a "shovel-it-int-we-gotta-go" sort of lunch. But of course, I stopped to take a photo. :)