Kids in the Kitchen: Sweet Potato Banana Muffins

Today, I’m kicking off a series of kid-friendly recipes – ones they’ll be able to help make and like to eat. I generally get a lot of questions about how I incorporate Jake into the cooking process. There’s nothing really earth-shattering about my approach: I just let him jump in wherever he can. Yes, it’s sometimes a mess. Yes, we have plenty of over-mixed muffins. But, he’s learning – and that’s important.

These mini muffins are a great place to start if you want to get your kids involved in the kitchen. They’re super simple and come together quickly. These definitely ebb on the healthier side of muffins – if your little one has a big sweet tooth, try mixing in 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips.

Kids can:

  • Mash the sweet potato & banana
  • Help measure ingredients
  • Mix
  • Help spoon the batter into muffin wells

Adults will need to:

  • Crack eggs
  • Put the muffins into the oven and take them out

SweetPotatoBananaMuffins

Sweet Potato Banana Muffins
(from The Lean Green Bean)
Makes 1 dozen mini muffins

1/2 cup cooked, mashed sweet potatoes
1/2 cup mashed bananas
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 eggs
1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a mini-muffin pan with non-stick spray and set aside.

Mix all ingredients together until well combined. Divide evenly between muffin wells.

Bake for 18 minutes.

 

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Everything Bagel Casserole

I have been on a total de-cluttering binge lately. Cook all the things forgotten in the freezer! Clean out the cedar closet! Get rid of all the sippy cups that don’t get used! Purge old purses!

The other night I was watching TV and playing on the laptop and decided to start deleting old, unneeded blog photos from the computer. Buried in the blog folder where the shots of this casserole – and I realized I never actually blogged it! I’m sorry. I was holding out on your guys.

This is amazing – hands down my favorite breakfast casserole. I made this for a Mother’s Day brunch and it was so amazingly well received. It’s easy to see why, though – everything bagels, bacon, melty cream cheese – what’s not to love? And the fact that you can prep it ahead is an added bonus.

If you’re looking for a great, filling brunch dish, this is it. I promise you won’t be disappointed!

EverythingBagelCasserole

Everything Bagel Casserole
(adapted from Well Plated)
Serves 8

6 everything bagels, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
8 eggs
2 1/2 cups milk
1 tsp. ground mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup fresh chives, chopped, divided
8 oz. cream cheese

Spray a 9×11″ casserole dish with non-stick spray.  Spread the bagel pieces evenly in the bottom of the dish and top evenly with bacon crumbles, 1/4 cup cheddar cheese, and Monterey Jack cheese.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, mustard, salt, and pepper until well combined and pour over the bagel pieces. Press down lightly on the bagel pieces to make sure they all absorb some of the liquid. Top evenly with half of the fresh chives and the remaining cheddar. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least two hours – overnight is perfect!

Preheat the oven to 350 when ready to bake – let the casserole stand at room temperature during preheating. Cover lightly with foil sprayed with non-stick spray and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 15-20 minutes, until the center is set. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

 

Cranberry Honey Banana Bread #RecipeMakeover

Disclosure: I received products from Barlean’s free as part of #RecipeMakeover week. All opinions are my own.

While I’m pretty decent at whipping up a healthy dinner when need be, my baking projects are decidedly different.  Tackling a makeover of one of my most-frequently-baked items – banana bread – seemed like the perfect challenge.

CranberryHoneyBananaBread1

As I was working on this recipe, I turned to products from #RecipeMakeover sponsor, Barlean’s. Their Butter Flavored Coconut Oil can be subbed 1:1 for butter – so that was a great place to start. Roasting the bananas brought out some more natural sugars, and using Barlean’s Digestive Blend punched up the flavor while adding some good-for-you stuff to the bread (it’s a mix of ground flaxseed, chia seed, quinoa, unsweetened shredded coconut, and a pumpkin blend that is remeniscint of pumpkin spice!) My added sweetener here was a local cranberry honey (fun fact: New Jersey is the 3rd biggest cranberry producing state in the US!) – I Iiked the flavor it added, but if you don’t have this available any honey would be great in this recipe.

The result? A banana bread that was really good – and much better for you than my usual go-to loaf.

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Cranberry Honey Banana Bread
(a Kate’s Recipe Box original)
Makes 1 loaf

4 medium bananas
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup Barlean’s Digestive Blend
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Pinch of ginger
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup melted Barlean’s Butter Flavored Coconut Oil
1/2 cup Cranberry Honey (or regular honey)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Line  a baking sheet with foil. Prick the banana peels with a fork, place them on the baking sheet, and roast for 15 minutes. Remove to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, Barlean’s Digestive Blend, baking soda, cinnamon, and ginger.

In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, Barlean’s Butter Flavored Coconut Oil, and honey until well combined. Mash bananas and add to the wet ingredients – stir until well combined.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until the everything is just moistened.

Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

Strawberry Basil Pancakes #RecipeMakeover

I love pancakes. And my toddler has inherited that love. They used to be something I only made occasionally – on a lazy weekend morning or special occasion – but with Jake requesting them they’ve been in the rotation much more frequently. And, of course, my favorite recipe includes a heavy dose of sugar – and then I slather them in syrup.

Perfect candidate for a recipe makeover!

Instead of sugar, this version is packed with protein – eggs and Greek yogurt make these a great, filling option for the morning. Instead of being slathered with syrup, they’re topped with a compote of fresh strawberries and basil – and just a little honey.

The result is a fresh, filling breakfast that satisfies the pancake cravings in a much healthier fashion.

StrawberryBasilPancakes

Strawberry Basil Pancakes
(adapted from Better Homes and Gardens)
Serves 4

3 cups sliced strawberries
1 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
Pinch of salt
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup plain Greek yogurt

In a bowl, combine strawberries and honey. Let sit for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the strawberries start to give up their juice. Stir in the basil just before serving.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, combine the eggs and yogurt. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry until all moistened.

Drop batter by 2 Tbsp. heaps into a lightly-greased frying pan and spread out a bit. Cook until the edges are dry and flip, cooking an additional minute or so.

Serve pancakes warm, topped with the strawberry basil compote.

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(If You Give a Moose) Blueberry Muffins #FoodBloggerLove

Today we’re celebrating #FoodBloggerLove, which is sort of like blind dating, food blog style. I was assigned a random blogger to get acquainted with and I’m so excited to introduce you to the lovely Chef Sarah Elizabeth today. I think you guys will love her. I know I do!

Sarah is a new mom and – get this – her Henry was born the same day as my Julie! Fun, right? What really hooked me, though, is her monthly blog series – Family Dinner Book Club.

Each month, there’s a featured kids’ book. Sarah posts a meal to go with the book, and then two other bloggers she work with post a craft and discussion questions. As a voracious reader raising two little book worms, I think this is pretty much the best idea ever.

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With her family dinner book club in mind, I gathered up Jake for our own mini book day. We picked If You Give a Moose a Muffin and made – of course – muffins.

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Jake is at a fun age where he’s really into books. He loves discussing the pictures and is starting to make connections between the things he reads in books and the rest of the world. Of course, he was totally smitten by the idea of making muffins like the book.

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I stuck with a simple, one-bowl blueberry muffin – because toddler attention spans can only handle so much! And, to be fair, ours were a tad over-mixed, thanks to my excited assistant – but we all still thought they were delicious!

I’m so excited to follow along with the Family Dinner Book Club and the other cooking adventures Sarah (and Henry!) will have. Aside from her blog, you can also find Chef Sarah Elizabeth on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

Want to check out the rest of the #FoodBloggerLove posts? Click the frog below!

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One-Bowl Blueberry Muffins
(from A Sparkle of Genius)
Makes 12

1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar + 1 Tbsp.
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1/3-1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup frozen blueberries

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees an line a muffin pan with cupcake papers or spray with nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. In a 1 cup measuring cup, add the oil, egg and then fill to the 1 cup line with milk. Add vanilla and whisk until well combined.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir gently until just combined. Fold in blueberries.

Divide batter evenly between muffin wells. Sprinkle tops with a little sugar. Bake for about 20 minutes, until golden brown.

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Pancakes #Choctoberfest

The last two weeks have been quite busy around here. Yesterday, I was celebrating being done and having some room to breathe. I got up and made these pancakes as a hooray-we-made-it-to-Friday celebration.

And then realized as I was setting the table it was Thursday. Only Thursday.

On the up side, these pancakes were a delicious consolation – and you guys get one more #Choctoberfest recipe than I was planning on blogging!

ChocolatePancakes

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Pancakes
(adapted from Give Recipe)
Serves 3

1 egg
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/3 cups flour
4 Tbsp. cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tsp. butter
Whipped cream, optional
Fresh raspberries, optional

In a bowl, whisk together the egg and sugar until creamy. Whisk in milk and vegetable oil until well combined and set aside.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet until well combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.

In a frying pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Cook the pancakes in batches. Serve with whipped cream and fresh raspberries.

Peanut Butter Apple Baked Oatmeal

I love apple season! We did a family trip to the orchard for some apple picking a few weeks ago and since then I’ve been making apple everything – applesauce, buttermilk custard apple pie, and this oatmeal were the first few kitchen projects post-trip.

This oatmeal was great – and just screams fall to me!

BakedPBAppleOatmeal

 

Peanut Butter Apple Baked Oatmeal
(from Two Peas and Their Pod)
Serves 6

2 cups old fashioned oats
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 3/4 cups milk
1 egg
3 Tbsp. unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 apples, diced

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8×8 baking dish.

In a large bowl, stir together the oats, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, applesauce and vanilla. Pour the liquid ingredients into the oats and stir to combine.

Add in the peanut butter and mix until well combined. Fold in apples.

Bake for 35 minutes, or until set and golden. Let cool for a few minutes before serving.

Apple Cinnamon Dutch Baby

Hey guys, I’m pregnant! I realized after the last post I never actually said it here – but it sure does explain the lack of posts recently, right?

One thing I’ve been loving this pregnancy is breakfast. Anything breakfast-y. Pancakes for dinner? Bagel sandwiches? Brunch whenever I can? Yes, yes and yes.

I found some really nice apples in the store a few weeks ago and whipped this up one weekend morning. It was delicious. I can’t wait to make this again in the fall with some fresh-from-the-farm apples!

AppleCinnamonDutchBaby

Apple Cinnamon Dutch Baby
(from Your Home Based Mom)
Serves 4

4 Tbsp. butter
3 medium size Gala apples, thinly sliced
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. sugar
4 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 400F degrees. Place the butter in an oven-proof skillet and put in the oven until melted.

Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, baking powder, 1 Tbsp. sugar, salt, milk and eggs in a medium bowl. In another bowl, mix together the 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon.

Once the butter is melted, arrange the apples in the pan. Pour the batter over the apples. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture evenly over the batter.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown and nicely puffed up.

What’s Baking: Ham and Cheese Quiche

whatsbaking

This What’s Baking? round was all about quiche – which was pretty perfect since it overlapped with Easter. I’m just getting this up now (because, life) but this was our Easter breakfast, along with fruit salad and Easter bread. It’s a great breakfast or brunch dish because it can be made ahead and reheated easily. It’s also a great way to use up some extra ham!

The host for this round is Liz from Books ‘n Cooks. Be sure to check out her blog later this month for a full roundup of all the delicious quiches bloggers made!

HamandCheeseQuiche

Ham and Cheese Quiche
(a Kate’s Recipe Box original)
Makes 1 quiche

1 refrigerated sheet of pie dough
1 cup ham, diced
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
4 eggs
1 cup 1/2 and 1/2
Salt and pepper
3 Tbsp. chopped green onions

Preheat the oven to 450F degrees. Grease a pie dish and press the pie dough into the pan, pinching the edge as needed. Prick the bottom several times with a fork and bake for about 8 minutes, until slightly golden. Remove from oven and turn the temperature down to 350F degrees.

Spread the ham evenly on the bottom of the pie shell. Top with cheese. Whisk together the eggs and 1/2 and 1/2 and season with salt and pepper.  Pour evenly over the top. Sprinkle with chopped green onions. Bake for an additional 45-minutes, until slightly wiggly, but set. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Here’s a look at what the other bloggers made:

Spring Veggie Quiche – The Redhead Baker

Crustless Spinach & Mushroom Quiche – Eva Bakes

Crustless Kielbasa, Red Pepper, and Asparagus Quiche – Hezzi D’s Books and Cooks

Crustless Zesty Italian (Vension) Sausage, Spinach, and Red Bell Pepper Quiche – Sweet Beginnings

Crustless Caprese Quiche – Cookaholic Wife

Mini Zucchini Quiche – Books and Cooks

Ham and Cheese Quiche – Kate’s Recipe Box

Pepperoni Pizza Quiche – Cookies on Friday

What’s Baking: Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts

whatsbaking

Another round of What’s Baking is wrapping up, and I was lucky enough to host this time! I picked doughnuts as the theme because, well, doughnuts are awesome.

Usually, it takes me a bit to get things from the kitchen to the blog, but these lovely things came out of my oven this morning. They were delicious. I felt like I’d walked into a doughnut shop – the smell, the warm goodies. Every Friday should start out like this!

Be sure to stop back Monday and see the roundup of all the lovely doughnuts my fellow bloggers made!

CinnamonSugarDoughnuts

Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts
(from Sally’s Baking Addiction)
Makes 8

1 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 large egg
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 350°F and spray a doughnut pan with non-stick spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together the first six ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together the next four ingredients. Whisk the 2 Tbsp. melted butter and vanilla extract into the wet ingredients. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry, until thoroughly combined.

Transfer the batter to a large zipper-top bag and snip the corner to make a piping bag. Pipe into the doughnut pan to make them 3/4 of the way full. You can spoon it in, too – but piping is neater!

Bake for about 10 minutes, until the edges are lightly brown. Remove to a cooling rack.

Melt the 1/2 cup butter in a small bowl. In another small bowl, whisk together the 1 cup sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon. When the doughnuts are cool enough to handle, dip in melted butter and then cinnamon-sugar mixture.

Serve immediately. Store leftovers in an airtight container.