Tag Archives: kids

Strawberries and Chocolate

My sweet boy made me these for a special dessert.  He stabbed strawberries onto the skewers, put some chocolate in a little ziploc baggie, melted it for a few seconds in the microwave, cut a small edge of the corner of the baggie off, and then used the baggie to drizzle the chocolate onto the berries.  (The smaller the cut the corner, the more delicate the drizzle line will be.  His was not so delicate.)

How can you go wrong with strawberries and chocolate?  Especially when you see the smile on your baby’s proud face for his culinary masterpiece!

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Fish Sticks

Gone are the days of frozen boxed fish sticks and chicken nuggets, but here’s a recipe that will still allow you to indulge with just a little more work.

My kids raved about these!  They were crispy and flaky with great flavor.  Hope you enjoy!

Gluten-free Fish Sticks:

2 pounds fresh or frozen fish filets (1/2 to 1 inch think)  (I used frozen cod)

2 eggs, beaten

1/3 C. milk

3/4 C. corn meal

1/3 C. potato starch

1 1/4 t. Lawry’s seasoned salt

1/4-1/2 t. pepper

dash of cayenne pepper (optional)

oil for the frying pan

Thaw fish and pat dry.

Combine eggs and milk in a shallow dish.

In another shallow dish, mix dry ingredients.

Heat oil to 375 or medium high.

Dip fish into egg mixture, then into dry coating mixture.

Fry 4-5 minutes on each side until golden brown and fish flakes easily with a fork.

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Green Smoothies

Today my kids and I had a snack where we each ate 2 cups collard greens, a cup of mixed greens, 1/3 of a banana, a cup of strawberries, a tablespoon of flax oil, and 1/4 cup blueberries, sweetened with a little Stevia.

Can you imagine eating that many servings of fruits and veggies in one sitting, much less in one day, and getting your kids to love it too?

My kids beg me for this snack every day now.

My secret?

I throw it all in a high-powered blender with some ice, and make it into a Green Smoothie.

This is my new revolution of health – GREEN SMOOTHIES.

I know it sounds and looks weird, but they really are delicious.  And, I can’t think of a better way to incorporate raw greens into our diet.  The nutrition in one glass packs a powerful punch, and the taste is a treat.

First, you really do need a powerful blender, like the Blentec or Vitamix.  The price is worth the investment.  I’ve used mine over 200 times since February 14th to make smoothies, gluten-free flatbread from soaked whole seeds and grains (recipe coming soon), whole grain banana muffins, soups, salsas, dips, ice creams, …the list goes on.  And, the ingredients are all whole foods that are so good for you and so yummy.

This is my Blentec, my new kitchen best friend, filled with collard greens and mixed greens.

When you first introduce the idea of green smoothies, it’s best to start small.  Use mild greens, like spinach, and do half fruit and half veggies.  Add in grapes and blueberries to make purple smoothies at first, use lots of ice, and serve it in a fun glass with a straw.  Don’t let your kids know at first what you put in there.  Slowly shift your ratios to more greens, and begin adding different greens- collard, swiss chard, mustard, romaine, etc..  We like greens, strawberries, blueberries, and a banana as our favorite smoothie.

If you’re interested in learning more, please go to greensmoothiegirl.com She’s the expert, and she has great ideas and recipes on her website.

I love making this treat for my kids!  Nutrition feels so good!

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Chocolate Cake

Doesn’t this look amazing?!

In all my years of gluten-free eating, I have never been brave enough to serve a gluten-free cake to all my “normal” guests.  I just couldn’t make them eat my gluten-free, slightly dry and crumbly version, when I could have treated them to a good old-fashioned Chocolate Sheet Cake, or “Mama Cake” as we call it in our family.

With this recipe though, I can make one cake, and have everyone ooh and ahh about how moist and delicious it is.  Though I’ve posted it before, it begs repeating, because this time I added icing and made it into a layered cake.

It works as a beautiful birthday cake with chocolate frosting.

It also works with colored icing for a kids’ cake.  This one was a Star Wars battle scene created my son.

If you have any leftovers, remember that you can freeze individual servings.  Chocolate cake on demand is a very good thing.

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Tuna Noodle Casserole

This recipe is a throwback to my childhood.  My Mom made very simple meals for our family growing up.  Gourmet meals never graced our table.  Instead we ate simple fare.  Mac and cheese, chicken nuggets, sour cream enchiladas, tortilla soup, chicken fried steak, porcupine meatballs, and Hamburger Helper were among my favorites.

My Mom sometimes comments on her “lack of cooking talents”.  What she doesn’t realize though, is that her cooking represented her.  Simple, easy crowd pleasers were her goal.  We loved her cooking.  We still do.  And, as I think about the family culture that I am representing to my kids, I realize that I am pleased to follow in my Mom’s footsteps and philosophy.  I love to cook, but it’s always simple.  I’m all about great taste, but I’m also about efficiency, shortcuts, and nutrition.  If I set a meal from a magazine and a meal from my Mom’s way of cooking on my table, my kids would pick my Mom’s food every time.  Simple,  Easy,  Familiar,  Balanced,  Quick Meals are Crowd Pleasers around here, and I’d like to thank my Mom being my example of a Mom who provides great food in such a balanced way.  🙂

Here is an example:

Tuna Noodle Casserole

2 small cans tuna, drained

1 16 oz.pkg. Tinkyada pasta, any shape

1 can Health Valley Cream of Mushroom Soup

a little sour cream if needed for sauce

1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Cook pasta until al dente and drain.  Add soup, tuna, salt, pepper.  Add some sour cream if you need more sauce.  Add in half the cheese.  Put in a casserole dish.  Top with remaining cheese.  Bake at 350 for about 20-30 minutes until bubbly and cheese is melted.

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Chocolate Milkshake

It’s been freezing here lately.  I don’t remember a time when we’ve had temperatures in the teens for almost a week.  We do not know how to handle this weather here in the South!

For some reason, I thought it would help to make “milkshakes” for a snack one day.  Mostly, I was trying to figure out a way to sneak in extra yogurt into my kids bellies to give them some good immune boosting healthy flora to offset the round of antibiotics they had to take.  We had a great science discussion on bacteria as a bonus.  Then we had to sit by the fire for 3 days to warm up again.

My kids have had “real” milkshakes, so I’m not sure why they let me serve my version using the same name.  I don’t use ice cream or sugar.  I use vanilla yogurt, protein powder, and a little chocolate syrup, all blended with ice.  They think it’s a special occasion when they get one, and I think it should be.  It’s fun to make an ordinary day special.  I just tell them we’re celebrating my joy in loving them more today than yesterday.

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Holiday Sugar Cookies

Making Christmas Cookies is one of our favorite traditions, and we always share the creativity with my Mom.  The boys love each part of it:  rolling out the dough, pressing the cookie cutters into it, and of course, adding icing and sprinkles.

We used the recipe from Jules Gluten Free and had great results.  I doubled it, making all the cookies but only icing a few.  The rest I’ll put into the freezer to pull out a little at a time so we can have fresh cookies throughout the month.  I put the  icing in individual baggies with about 1/2 C. in each baggie to pull out of the freezer at the same time.  You can find Jules’ recipe below for the cookies.  For the icing, I just use the recipe on the powdered sugar box.

This Cookies Cutter set will give you any shape you’ll need to make cut-out cookies any time of year.  They’re fun to make for any occasion – even if the occasion is just a happy day.  🙂

Holiday Cut-Out Cookies

Ingredients:

14 cup shortening (e.g. Earth Balance® or Spectrum® Palm Oil Shortening)

14 cup canola oil

23 cup granulated cane sugar

2 egg yolks

2 tsp. gluten-free vanilla extract

1 34 cup Jules Gluten Free™ All Purpose Flour (recipe for mix below)

12 tsp. salt

3 Tbs. water (as needed)

food coloring (optional)

colored sugar or frosting (optional – see below)

Directions:

Cream shortening, sugar and oil several minutes with an electric mixer, until very fluffy. Add egg yolks, vanilla extract and food coloring. Mix in the dry ingredients, adding in tablespoons of water only as needed to keep the dough together and avoid dryness (err on the side of this dough being wetter so that after refrigeration, it’s not too dry). Pat the dough into a disc shape, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough until very cold, at least 3-5 hours (overnight is best).

Preheat oven to 350 F (static) or 325 F (convection).

Lightly flour a clean rolling surface with Jules Gluten Free™ All Purpose Flour. Roll the dough to approximately 1/8 inch thickness and dust cookie cutters with flour before using to cut out shapes. You may also roll thin coils of dough of different colors and braid into candy cane or other fun shapes.

Place cookies onto parchment-lined cookie sheets and decorate with colored sugar, if desired. Bake approximately 8-10 minutes, or until they begin to lightly brown at the edges. Cool on a cooling rack and frost with gluten-free frosting, if desired.

Jules Nearly Normal Flour Mixture:

1 C. rice flour

1 C. potato starch

1 C. cornstarch

1/2 C. corn flour

1/2 C. tapioca flour

4t. xanthan gum

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