Friday, January 30, 2015

Homemade Whole Wheat Cheese Crackers.

My child loves crackers. She would live on them if we allowed her to. Any why not? They are perfect toddler sized, you can put anything on them and usually quite delicious! But, everything in moderation, and I am hoping to get her into a little healthier habits. This recipe came up on my Facebook feed by a group that shares healthy recipes for kids, their link led HERE.

I added way to much butter (and used Becel) so my dough was very wet. I ended up adding more flour, including some all purpose when I ran out of whole wheat. 

 Eventually it rolled and I used a mini shortbread cutter to make two trays of decent sized crackers.

They turned out quite nice, but I could really taste the Becel, so I wasn't crazy about them. I also found them quite dry, but that is most likely from adding the extra flour.

Little Miss seemed to like them the first day when they were warm, but after the first serving she rejected them or just enjoyed crushing them into powder, an easy task since they were so dry. 

All in all, I'd say it might be a recipe I would try again, but I would have to take care with measuring the butter (and not just eyeball it). They were definitely better warm, so they would have to be made bigger or for a party, to get eaten up. Maybe we are just not cut out for homemade crackers.

Hope everyone is having a great week! We are getting a crazy amount of snow here!!


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Toy Rotation

Since we moved here last September, I have done toy rotation. We have so many toys, it is insane! I had a dozen mesh boxes that I had all the toys divided up into, and every Sunday night I pulled four new ones out, along with some new stuffed animals, books and puzzles. The remaining stuff, I stored in the nursery. Of course, with Salean's birthday right on the heels of Christmas, we got another influx of toys. Every night, the house was a mess and even though the toys were divided, Salean was still overwhelmed and had to much to play with. So, the day before her birthday, I decided I had to do something about it. I started by dumping everything in a pile in center of the floor. 

When I had the toys divided in the bins, I tried to have them evenly distributed. Each one had an equal amount of cars, animals, balls etc. into each bin. This time, instead of dividing equally, I divided toys by type. I have a bin of balls, one of cars, bath toys, Little People, toy food & dishes, building toys, toys from meals out, and a diaper box overflowing with stuffed animals. There are a few other ones not pictured here, and I also put all the random toys that didn't seem to go with anything else into one bin.

I got these small baskets at the dollar store, and I put out 12 at a time. I meant to switch them every Monday-Wednesday-Friday, but it has turned into about once a week. She has a basket of food & dishes and one of instruments that stay out all the time. Rotating, I have one for puzzles (2 at a time), Little People (or Weebles), 2 play sets (in this case her purse and the Fridge Phonics set), cars, meal toys, random toys, a building set (legos etc, not pictured) and balls. I also have out a basket of stuffed animals and a stacker toy along with about a dozen books, plus up to 3 library books, on her shelf.

And here is my work, with her birthday gifts from us. The microwave is where it is sitting and the three smaller appliances are on the shelves of her kitchen. The food and dishes are stored in the oven of the kitchen, all the others on the shelf. The boots are an old pair of Daddy's that she loves to play with. Of course, it has not looked this neat and tidy since about 10 minutes after she got up the next morning.

So for now I have tamed the toy masses. With the smaller baskets, she is getting really good at putting one away before taking another out, so it isn't as chaotic as it once was. Since they are still in the nursery, I have been swapping toys in the morning and Salean loves to help. She brings the baskets down the hall to me to empty and fill with new toys before taking them back to their spot on the shelf.

This formula works for now, and come November before both girl's birthday and Christmas,  I will be able to go start going through them all and getting rid of stuff they have outgrown or no longer play with. I haven't done this yet because the Newbie can still grow into Little Miss's toys.

Have a good week, everyone!


Thursday, January 8, 2015

Homemade Chocolate Cupcakes

It has taken me almost two and a half years to get to 100 posts, so this one is a special one! Little Miss Salean has turned 2 years old, and what a birthday!

She woke up at 3:30 AM on the 30th of December puking, poor kid! She was sick a few more times over the next few hours, but after that alright, although tired. That night, it happened again! And Mr Man and I spent that night sitting up with her while she played and slept for a few hours on his chair. Every time the newbie woke up for a feeding, we switched. Little Miss spent her birthday dozing on Daddy's chair, so we cancelled her birthday parties. We planned on having cake at his parents on her birthday, and at mine the next day; now the plan was to push cake off to Saturday at his parents, and whenever we could get out to mine. Saturday rolled around and we found out the rest of the family was sick! So, the party was pushed off once again. Finally on Sunday, January 4th, we had cake! I made cupcakes using THIS recipe that I got from a random internet search.

I decorated them with store bought icing and a few mini M&Ms that I had bought with a plan to make cookies.

I will definitely be using this recipe again, the batter was so thick and creamy; very fluffy so it scooped into the cups without much mess.

The cupcakes themselves were a little dry, but that could be fixed with a few minutes less in the oven. Otherwise, they were delicious, very chocolately.

And since I only needed a dozen, I had some extra batter to try out a new machine I got for Christmas, cake balls!

And a few pictures of the Birthday Girl, on her party night and on her actual birthday, poor kid.

Here's to the next 2 years, and the next 100 posts! Happy New Year from Savana and Salean, who is not getting to close to the newbie if she can help it :-) 


Friday, January 2, 2015

Baked Sweet Potato Tots

Poor little Miss spent her 2nd birthday sick, and unfortunately had a visit to the hospital. The visit proved knowledgeable for us, though, and the Doctor asked us to try her on a 'no white' diet. This means no white bread, crackers, bananas, white rice, refined sugars, etc. A hard task for a little one who will only eat crackers, toast and some fruit. Looking for new recipes, I tried a Pintrest search for 'Real Food for Toddlers' and came up with THIS, homemade tater tots. Tater Tots are something Salean will eat sometimes, but my fussy eater is not crazy about them all the time.

While we were out getting groceries this morning, I picked up the ingredients. Both were on sale, yay! I broke in the steamer from my new pot set to make this, and I was quite surprised at how fast the sweet potatoes steamed compared to boiling time!

I used some mozza-cheddar blend in the tots as per comments below the post. I also ran out of Parmesan after rolling one pan, so the rest I just left plain. The coated ones I froze and the plain I baked off for her dinner, since she refused the pizza we were having.

Unfortunately, my toddler took one bite, made a finny gagging noise and spit it out. To her credit, she tried it a second time but with the same results. I liked them, though. I have plenty, so I will bake some more up and try them on her again, you never know she could be just having an off day!

So we now officially have a two year old and the terrible twos have begun! Her favorite word is No! and she refuses to nap, she has been taking them in Daddy's chair. I think maybe she senses that he will be going away again. He finally found a job that starts early next week, and Little Miss has become quite attached to Daddy in the last few months. But, we will stay busy, she starts speech this Thursday and I am hoping to start up Tot School again while the Newbie naps.

Have a good weekend!!