Archive for the ‘Kids corner’ Category

For the past several months I have seen these vegan cupcakes all over the blogging world!  They look so good but for some reason I never got around to making them.  Then the lovely  Jenna reminded me just how droolworthy these little babies looked!! So I just had to try them kicks and giggles.  Luckily we have weekend guests coming, so they won’t all be consumed by moi!
Vegan Cookies and Cream Cupcakes
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract, chocolate extract, or more vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder, Dutch-processed or regular
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Vegan Fluffy Buttercream Frosting
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a muffin pan with paper or foil liners.
  2. Whisk together the soy milk and vinegar in a large bowl, and set aside for a few minutes to curdle. Add the sugar, oil, vanilla extract, and other extract, if using, to the soy milk mixture and beat until foamy. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add in two batches to wet ingredients and beat until no large lumps remain (a few tiny lumps are OK).
  3. Pour into liners, filling 3/4 of the way. Bake 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.
Vegan Butter Cream Frosting.
  • 1/2 cup nonhydrogenated shortening
  • 1/2 cup nonhydrogenated margarine, we use Earth Balance
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted if clumpy
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup plain soy milk or soy creamer
1. Beat the shortening and margarine together until well combined and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat for about 3 more minutes.

2. Add the vanilla and soy milk, and beat for another 5 to 7 minutes until fluffy.

Variation:Cookies ‘n’ Cream Frosting (pictured): Stir into frosting 1/2 cup (about 5 cookies; mash first, then measure) of finely mashed vegan chocolate cream-filled sandwich cookies, like Newman-O’s. Frost cupcakes generously, and top each cupcake with half of a sandwich cookie.


The very best part? You are free to consume as much of the batter as your little heart desires (NO RAW EGG WOO!HOO!)……for the record I only had a few tiny licks of the spoon..honest!! 


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Buttermilk Pancakes

On Saturday morning Ava woke up and insisted that we have pancakes for breakfast!!?! Where that came from I have no idea!  We don’t have pancakes at our house very often.  So I decided to make some and I found the perfect recipe at Smitten Kitchen.  We really did not need as many pancakes as this recipe calls for so I halved the recipe.  The batter turned out sooooo soupy!!  So I just started adding a handful of flour at a time, my hand being pretty small was about 1/4 cup.  After 3 handfuls of extra flour the batter had the most perfect consistency!  These pancakes turned out so fluffy and beautiful!! To top it off they were out of this world good!! They would have been even more blissful if we had some homemade blackberry jam to top them off with!! MMMMM…..


Buttermilk Pancakes

Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Original Classics Cookbook

Yield: Martha says this makes 9 6-inch pancakes; I got about 16 4-inch ones, which are more the size I like

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or slightly less table salt
3 tablespoons sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups buttermilk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus 1 tablespoon extra for brushing griddle (I’ve made these pancakes with and without the butter mixed in, and can say with confidence they work either way. They’re just richer with it, of course.)

1. Preheat an electric griddle to 375°F, or place a griddle pan or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar in a medium bowl. Add the eggs, buttermilk, and 4 tablespoons melted butter, and whisk to combine. The batter should have small to medium lumps.

2. Test the griddle by sprinkling a few drops of water on it. If the water bounces and spatters, the griddle is hot enough. Using a pastry brush, brush the remaining 1/2 teaspoon butter onto the griddle. Wipe off the excess with a folded paper towel.

3. Using a 4-oz. ladle, about 1/2 cup (for a 6-inch pancake), pour the batter in pools 2 inches apart. If you wish to make blueberry pancakes, arrange a handful over the cooking pancake, pressing them in slightly. When the pancakes have bubbles on top and are slightly dry around the edges, about 2 1/2 minutes, flip over. If any batter oozes or blueberries roll out, push them back under with your spatula. Cook until golden on bottom, about 1 minute.

4. Repeat with the remaining batter. You can keep the finished pancakes on a heat-proof plate in the oven at 175°F. Serve warm.


*Note: I omitted Blueberries, Halved this recipe and added an extra 3/4 Cup of flour.

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We made these yummy cookies in honor of Valentines day coming up!! My little helper was so excited to put Craisins in her cookies 🙂 She loves Craisins!!!  These cookies are soo good and at about 98 calories per cookies they are easy to enjoy 🙂 You could make several modifications to this recipe as well to make them even healthier.  You could use Whole Wheat flour and skip the butter all together and add apple sauce instead!!  I know you all will enjoy these as much as we did 🙂

cran oat cookies


Adapted from My recipes

* 3/4  cup  all-purpose flour (about 3 1/3 ounces)

* 1  cup  regular oats

* 1/4  teaspoon  baking soda

1/4 Teaspoon baking powder

* 1/4  teaspoon  salt

* 3/4  cup  packed brown sugar

* 1/4  cup  butter, softened

* 1  teaspoon  vanilla extract

* 1  large egg

* 1/2 cup Craisins

1/4 cup sweetened coconut

* Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 350°.

Lightly spoon flour into a measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, oats, baking soda, and salt; stir with a whisk. Place sugar and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer; beat at medium speed until well blended (about 3 minutes). Add vanilla and egg; beat well. Gradually add flour mixture, beating until blended. Add strawberries and chips; beat at low speed just until blended.

Drop dough by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 7-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven; cool on pan 1 minute. Remove cookies from pan; cool completely on wire racks.

cran oat cookies 2

You can see the chunks of craisins and yummy coconut!! This combination is out of this world good!! I’m sure they would be to die for with the added white chocolate the original recipe calls for.

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Chocolate Snowballs

Tonight Ava, my daughter, and I baked some great chocolate cookies for her to take to her preschool class tomorrow! She is so excited to share the cookies she helped make with all of her friends.  These cookies are super sweet and chocolaty, of course Ava and her dad LOVED THEM!! I’m actually quite surprised we have any left for her to take to school tomorrow! 🙂

choc snowballs

Chocolate Snowballs

Adapted from Everyday Food

Makes 18

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for coating


1. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. With an electric mixer, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg until well combined; mix in cooled chocolate. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture; beat in milk until just combined. Flatten dough into a disk; wrap in plastic. Freeze until firm, about 45 minutes.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Pour confectioners’ sugar (about 1/2 cup) into a medium bowl; working in batches, roll balls in sugar two times, letting them sit in sugar between coatings.

3. Place on prepared baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake until cookies have spread and coating is cracked, 12 to 14 minutes; cookies will still be soft to the touch. Cool cookies on a wire rack.

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Wish list

I found these in the decemeber issue of HEALTH magazine and I’m dying to try them!! How absolutely festive and HEALTHY!! They look so fun and good….too bad the nearest Whole foods is 30-40 minutes away 😦 BOOO



If any of you have tried them let me know how you like them!!

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More holiday baking

For the past two years my three-year-old daughter and I have baked a batch of Christmas sugar cookies around the holiday season.  We take one night and make the cookies and decorate them.  It is such a blast!  These are memories I will cherish forever…..they don’t turn out super pretty but they were made with extra love and laughter! 


This year we made these sugar cookies:

Fabulous Sugar Cookies
Found at goodthingscatered by Ashlee
1 1/2 c. butter
1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. powdered sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 Tbsp lemon zest
5 c. flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
Powdered sugar, for rolling
-Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
-Cream butter and sugars in a mixer for 5 minutes.
-Add eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly.
-Add vanilla, almond, and lemon zest.
-Sift in flour, baking powder, and salt a little at a time.
-Do not over mix, this process should take about one minute.
-Chill dough for up to a week in the fridge, or roll out and cut right away. You will need plenty of powdered sugar for this. 
-Great cookie sheet well or line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and bake cookies for 7-8 minutes.
-Wait until cookies are cooled before icing.

Then we decorated our cookies with this icing (In the past we have always used a cream cheese frosting which is GREAT…but this year I came across this recipe at goodthings catered and had to use it because I adore honey!!!


Honey Cinnamon Frosting
Everyday Food
1 1/4 c. confectioners’ sugar (I had to use an extra 1/4-1/2Cup)
1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 Tbsp honey
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
-In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat confectioners’ sugar, unsalted butter, honey, and ground cinnamon until smooth, 4 to 5 minutes.  Be sure to beat the frosting for the full 4-5min to get all of the ingredients incorporated well.   Add more confectioners’ sugar if needed.

*This is a wonderful frosting recipe and I will definitely be keeping it in my recipe binder but it was a bit too much with the sugar cookie.  I think in the future we will stick to using a cream cheese frosting. 

Only down side to annual Christmas cookie night……..WE HAVE SPRINKLES EVERYWHERE!!


I’m off to enjoy a cup of tea and an extra sweet sugar cookie.

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Oatmeal eater

I have the pickiest child when it comes eating.  She only wants snacks and candy.  So I devised a plan to make sure she gets a nourishing breakfast….I added what else? candy to her oatmeal!!! Now she never passes up a bowl of oatmeal. 

Making cute faces and getting her to laugh at her food is a great way to get good healthy food in her growing body.  She loves to eat her oatmeal’s eye or mouth. 

Picky Eater Oatmeal:

1/3 Cup Oatmeal

1/3 Cup Water

1/3 Cup Milk

Pinch of Salt

A drop of vanilla

½ Teaspoon cinnamon

½ Teaspoon brown sugar

Dried fruit, nuts, m&m’s


Add oatmeal, water, milk, salt and vanilla to a small pan bring to a boil.  Once boiling, lower heat to low/medium.  Make sure to stir consistently. Once oats are cooked and you have achieved your desired consistency place in a kid friendly bowl, sprinkle cinnamon and brown sugar on top and add toppings of choice.  Get creative.  You can make all sorts of fun designs with your toppings.  Suns, moons, stars, faces, fruit, trees.  Happy Breakfast.

*Note:  Letting your child help add the toppings is a great way to get them involved and eating well!

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