Sunday, January 29, 2017

What the Girls Ate: January 23-27, 2017

Only two snacks this week because Wednesday was a Pro-D-Day for Lauren. She joined Olivia at art class and there was no need for snack since we finished our morning ealry.

Monday, January 23, 2017
Lauren made her own snack today! Not very colorful, but she liked it!

Lauren's Snack:
  • Apple Heart Rings (again!)
  • Vanilla Yogurt
  • Laughing Cow Cheese

Friday, January 27, 2017

Lauren's Snack:
  • Heart Strawberries & Kiwi Skewers
  • Ham & Cheese Pinwheels

Check out my 'What the Girls Ate' page for more kids snack ideas.

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Sunday, January 22, 2017

What the Girls Ate: January 16-20, 2017

Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Due to the girls being sick, Lauren missed a couple days of preschool.
When they were both feeling better, because it wasn't a preschool day, we decided that it was time to get out of the house and go to the aquarium!
I like to pack lunches when we go to places like the aquarium or the zoo because not only is the food there crazy expensive, it's pretty unhealthy.
I'm all for a having a 'treat' lunch of hot dogs or chicken strips and fries once in awhile, because come on, fries!!! But lunches like that make you feel heavy and gross. And when my girls are exploring/running around like feral little animals, they need something healthy and something to keep them going!

Lauren and Olivia's Snack & Lunch:
  • Carrots
  • Cucumber Flowers
  • Banana
  • Yogurt with Blueberries
  • Ham & Cheese Sandwich on Dave's Killer Bread (Lauren)
  • Wowbutter & Honey Sandwich on Dave's Killer Bread (Olivia)

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Lauren's Snack:

Friday, January 20, 2017

Lauren's Snack:
  • Apple Heart Rings - with a little bit of lemon juice to prevent them from browning.
  • Plus, Lauren likes them sour!
  • Homemade Banana Oatmeal Muffins

Banana Oatmeal Muffins:
Another recipe adapted from my most used cookbook - Company's Coming, Muffins & More!

1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

2 eggs
1/4 cup cooking oil
1/4 cup milk
3 medium bananas, mashed (1 cup)

In a large bowl combine the first 6 ingredients and stir to mix.
Make a well in the centre.

In a small bowl, beat eggs until frothy. 
Mix in the oil, milk and bananas. 
Pour into the well. Stir just to moisten. 
Batter will be lumpy. 
Fill greased muffin cups 3/4 full. 
Bake for 20-25 minutes

Makes 12-18

Check out my 'What the Girls Ate' page for more kids snack ideas.

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Olivia's Superhero Third Birthday!

Last week Olivia turned THREE!! 

This is the first year we had her party outside of the house.
Her 1st and 2nd birthdays ended up being adult parties because nobody was ever able to
make it due to kids being sick or the party times interfering with naps.
But this year she had a pretty good turnout! 

We had it at a Gymnastics/Cheer Gym, which was super fun for the kids! 
We didn't go crazy with decor, because we only had 30 minutes in the party room and the thought of decorating for such a short seemed a little crazy. 
Not decorating turned out to be a good thing, because the party "room" was actually just the lobby/waiting area...apparently the party room was under construction/there is no party room, yet.
They neglected to tell us that. But overall it was a great party. 

Anyways, here's her party! And keep in mind, I only have pictures taken with my iPhone because I broke our camera (it fell off the table) in December. 


Both girls are crazy about the DC Superhero Girls. 
Olivia loves Batgirl, so we wanted to do a Batgirl, Superhero Girls theme. 
When we went to the party store, they had no Superhero Girls party supplies...they were only available online and unfortunately we didn't have time to order them because I left her party planning to the last minute. Ya...I admit it.
We ended up getting Batman party supplies with a few Superhero Girls items thrown in. 

The Batman water bottle labels were from
Creative Party Studio on Etsy. 


Like the decor, we kept the food simple. The party was from 1:30 - 3:30 so we just had snacks like, fruit, veggies and dip, goldfish crackers, munchie mix and Olivia's favourite, ketchup chips.

For Dessert we had cupcakes, of course!
I made chocolate cupcakes with cherry buttercream!
The big one in the middle was chocolate with caramel buttercream. Olivia requested the caramel buttercream, but didn't want to eat it because she wanted a little cupcake. I was fine with that!

And the superhero lollipops!

The cupcake toppers and lollipop capes were
from Kawaii Kids Design on Etsy.

I had originally planned to make a Batgirl Doll Cake for her party, but then decided that cupcakes are so much easier than cake at a party.
So on her actual birthday, I made her the cake!

It's not my best work, but it's been a year (Olivia's 2nd Birthday) since I've done a cake like this!
Even though we were all sick on her birthday, she loved her cake and had a fun day!

Buttercream Icing:

1 cup softened, salted butter
1 tsp Watkins Cherry * See note below 
1 tsp Watkins Caramel Extract  *See note below
4 cups sifted icing sugar
2 tbsp cream
pinch of salt

Dissolve the salt in the cream and stir.
Beat butter until slightly fluffy.
*Add extract. Start with one teaspoon and add more slowly, to taste.
Add icing sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed.
Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often.
When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry.
Gradually add cream until light and fluffy. If icing is too thick, add more cream 1 teaspoon at a time.

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Sunday, January 15, 2017

What the Girls Ate: January 9-13, 2017

Monday, January 9, 2017

Lauren's Snack:
  • Peaches
  • Homemade Mini Carrot, Apple Loaf 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Lauren's Snack:
  • Strawberries
  • Mozzarella Cheesestring
  • Homemade Pumpkin Loaf (aka, The Great Pumpkin Loaf)

Carrot, Apple Loaf:
When I asked the girls if they wanted carrot or apple muffins they each said something different, so off to Pinterest I went.
The recipe below, by Averie Cooks, is the first one I found. Luckily it was a great choice and both girls loved it!

1 large egg
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup liquid coconut oil (canola or vegetable may be used)
1/4 granulated sugar
1/4 cup cup sour cream (light sour cream or Greek yogurt may be used)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt, optional
3/4 cup grated carrots (about 1 large peeled and trimmed carrot)
3/4 cup grated apples (I used 1 medium, unpeeled Gala)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Spray one 9x5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, add the the first eight ingredients, through nutmeg, and whisk to combine.
Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and fold with spatula or stir gently with a spoon until just combined; don't overmix.
Add the carrots, apples, and fold gently to combine.
Turn batter (it's very thick, this is what you want) out into the prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula.
Bake for about 45 to 55 minutes (I baked for about 50 minutes) or until the top is golden, the center is set, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter. 

Tip - Tent the pan with a sheet of foil draped loosely over it at the 35 minute-mark if you feel the tops and sides will become too browned before center cooks through. 

Allow bread to cool in pan for about 15 minutes before turning out on a wire rack to cool completely before slicing and serving. 
Bread will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

The Great Pumpkin:
Recipe adapted from Company's Coming Muffins & More.
I have made this loaf so many times over the past few months I've lost count, 
It's flavorful, moist and the cream cheese and pumpkin taste so good together! 

4 oz. cream cheese
1/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin (without spice)

1 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9x5 inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
Combine cream cheese, butter an sugar in mixing bowl. Cream together well. 
Beat in eggs one at a time until blended. 
Mix in pumpkin.

In another bowl combine all 5 remaining ingredients. Stir until thoroughly mixed. 
Pour all at once over batter. 
Stir just enough to moisten. 
Turn into loaf pan.  
Bake for 60-70 minutes until inserted toothpick comes out clean. 
Cool 10 minutes in pan. 
Remove to rack to finish cooling.

Check out my 'What the Girls Ate' page for more kids snack ideas.

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Sunday, January 8, 2017

What the Girls Ate: January 4 - 6, 2017

I am the only parent that was sad when the two week Christmas Vacation was over?
I wasn't quite ready to send Lauren back to preschool, but I had to. So here's what she had for snack for her first (short!) week back to school. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

  • Flower Shaped Cucumbers
  • A Cheesestring
  • Banana Bread
Friday, January 6, 2017

  • Mini Flower Shaped Pepperoni Pizza
  • Teedy Bear Shaped Cucumbers
  • Carrot Sticks

Banana Bread:
This is one of my favorite banana bread recipes! I've made it so many times. Each time I make it, I modify it slightly. Here's my most current version!

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/8 - 1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs

3 large mashed bananas (just over 1 cup)
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup milk

1 1/3 cups + 3 tbsp Cake flour (or 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour)
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
*Optional - chocolate chips, walnuts etc.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a  9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan.
Cream together butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Add eggs and mix.
Stir in bananas, vanilla and milk.
Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir into mixture.
Add chocolate chips or walnuts if desired.
Pour  loaf pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Lower heat to 300 degrees and bake for 40  minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

**Sometimes I make mini loaves for the girls. With the mini ones, I usually bake them for 17-21 minutes.