Sunday, February 26, 2017

What the Girls Ate: February 20-24, 2017

This week snack was all about pumpkin...It wasn't a planned thing, it just kind of happened! Good thing Lauren and Olivia like pumpkin!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Lauren's Snack:
  • Heart Shaped Strawberries
  • Bunny and Carrot Shaped Pumpkin Loaf
  • Cheesestring

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Lauren's Snack:
  • Cherry Yogurt 
  • Maple Pumpkin Spice Granola

Wednesday, February 24, 2017

Lauren's Snack:
  • Watermelon, Kiwi, Mango Skewer 
  • Star Pumpkin Loaf

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, and remove to rack to finish cooling.

Maple Pumpkin Spice Granola
Recipe adapted from Annie's Noms
I make this recipe a lot! And I make 2 versions of it...One with Watkins Pumpkin Spice Extract and the other is with Watkins Maple Extract.

3 cups large flaked oats
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1-1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1-2 tsp Watkins Maple Extract *see not below
1/4 cup vegetable/sunflower oil
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 cup pumpkin pureé, not pie filling
1/2 - 3/4 cup add ins (optional): pumpkin seeds, cranberries etc.

*When using Maple extract I use 2 teaspoons and only 1 teaspoon of Pumpkin Spice Extract. But feel free to experiment!


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Line a baking tray with parchment paper.

Place oats, sugar, pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin spice extract into a large bowl and stir until the oats are coated.

Add in oil, maple syrup and pumpkin purée and mix until well combined and the pumpkin and oil has coated everything.

Place onto prepared baking tray and spread out evenly. It's not necessary to flatten the granola into one layer as you want some clumps of oats. Loosely spread it out to fill the baking tray.

Place in the oven for 35-45 minutes, taking out every 15 minutes to stir and make sure the oats toast evenly.

When the granola has darkened and is crisp to the touch, remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

If using add ins, mix in once cooled.

Can be stored in an airtight container, at room temperature for up to one week. If it lasts that long...

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

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Sunday, February 19, 2017

What the Girls Ate: February 13-17, 2017

On February 13th we celebrated Family Day here in BC, which meant no school!
So only two snacks this week!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Lauren and Olivia's Snack:
  • Homemade Baked Mini Banana Oatmeal Bites with Chocolate Chips 
  • Flower Shaped Cantaloupe 
  • Flower Shaped Cucumbers (not pictured) for Olivia, because I wasn't sure if she'd liked cantaloupe that day...She did!

Friday, February 17, 2017
When it comes to snacks, Lauren and I like a lot of the same (sometimes odd) things.
One of my favorites is plain Greek yogurt with Fibre 1 cereal. It's soft and crunchy at the same time, delicious and so filling. Lauren tried it once and she was hooked!
I pack the yogurt and cereal separately and she mixes it together snack time to prevent it from being soggy.
She also likes to make 'parfaits' with yogurt and my homemade Pumpkin Spice Granola.

Lauren's Snack:
  • Fibre 1 cereal 
  • Vanilla yogurt and blueberries

Baked Mini Banana Oatmeal Bites:
Recipe adapted from The Merchant Baker

3 cups old fashioned oats
2  tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup mashed ripe banana
2 tbsp olive oil
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups milk
Chocolate chips - the recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of mini chocolate chips, but I only had regular sized ones. I put 4-5 chocolate chips on the top of each banana bite.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray two 24 mini muffin tins with cooking spray.
In a large bowl combine oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and baking powder.
In a separate bowl whisk together mashed bananas, oil,eggs and vanilla until well combined. Whisk in milk.
Pour milk mixture over oat mixture and stir well to combine. The batter is going to be very liquidy and appear like it's not holding together. It's not supposed to; just stir until everything is well combined. It's going to look very soupy.
Fill the prepared muffin cups all the way to the top. Be sure that each cup is filled pretty evenly with oats and liquid. You don't want to end up with a cup that is mostly liquid without a good amount of oats.
Sprinkle the tops with chocolate chips and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until set and just lightly brown on the edges. 
Allow the cups to cool completely for easiest removal.

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

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Sunday, February 12, 2017

What the Girls Ate: February 6-10, 2017

Monday, February 6, 2017

Lauren's Snack:
  • Peaches 
  • Homemade Mini Banana Bread

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Lauren and Olivia's Snack:
  • Heart Shaped Strawberries
  • Homemade Lemon Blueberry Muffins - made by Lauren!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Today was Lauren's Preschool Valentine's Day Party!

For the class party:
  • Heart Shaped Cheese
  • Heart Shaped Cucumbers
  • Mini Bretons
For the kids to take home:
  • Pink Cherry Flavored Rice Krispie Treats Dipped in Chocolate

Mini Banana Loaves (or Muffins):
Yet another recipe from my Company's Coming Muffins & More book!
 In the book the recipe is Banana Bread, but this my go-to muffin recipe. 

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup mashed banana (3 medium)

2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare muffins tins or mini loaf pans with cooking spray.

Cream butter and sugar.
Add eggs one at a time, beating until smooth. 
Blend in mashed bananas.

In second bowl, stir flour with baking soda, baking powder, and salt. 
Add to banana mixture stirring only to moisten. 
Transfer to muffin tins or loaf pans. 
Bake muffins for about 21 minutes and mini loaves for 25 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes. 
Remove from pans and place on cake rack to cool.

Lemon Blueberry Muffins:
Recipe from Cook, by Deborah Anzinger
I got this cookbook awhile ago (for $10) at Chapters. The main reason I got it was because I liked the cover and there were a couple interesting recipes when I glanced through. Once I ended up looking at the whole book, I discovered lots of good recipes and I was glad that I got it!
Lauren pretty much made these muffins herself. And as an added bonus Olivia actually liked them too! Next time I think I'll cut the sugar a bit, (like I do with most recipes) as I found them to be pretty sweet.

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp lemon zest
3/4 cup sugar

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

2 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and prepare muffins tins.
Whisk flours, baking powder, salt, lemon zest and sugar together in a small bowl.
Gently fold in blueberries.
In a large bowl, beat eggs, milk, melted butter and lemon juice.
Fold blueberry mixture into egg mixture, just until combined.
Spoon batter evenly into muffin tins and bake for 20-25 minutes or until done.
Cool 10 minutes, remove from pan and finish cooling on a wire rack.

Chocolate Dipped Cherry 
Rice Krispie Hearts: 
(Adapted from

To make the Rice Krisipie Treats:
I doubled the recipe (below) and was able to make around 25-30 Hearts

6 tbsp butter
80 large marshmallows or 8 cups miniature marshmallows
12 cups Rice Krispies/Rice cereal
1-2 tsp Watkins Cherry Extract
Wilton Pink Icing Gel
Heart Shaped Cookie Cutter

Prepare two cookie sheets with parchment paper or coated with cooking spray.
In a large saucepan melt butter over low heat.
Add marshmallows, icing gel and Watkins Cherry Extract.
Stir until completely melted.
Remove from heat.
Add rice cereal and stir until well coated.
Using a buttered spatula evenly press mixture onto cookie sheets.
Let cool and cut into heart shapes

To make the chocolate coating:
1 bag White chocolate chips
1 bag each Semi Sweet and Milk Chocolate Chips
1-2 tbsp Butter - Optional

*Mix the Semi Sweet and Milk Chocolate together and melt white by itself. 

Cover 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
To melt the chocolate, bring about an inch of water to a simmer in a saucepan.
Place a heatproof bowl in the mouth of the pot, making sure the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl.
Add chocolate and butter (1/2 - 1 tbsp), if using.
Stir chocolate occasionally as it softens.
When chocolate is melted, remove bowl from heat.
Dip half of each heart into the chocolate and immediately add sprinkles. 
Place on parchment paper covered cookie sheets. 
I put them in the fridge and let the harden overnight before bagging them.

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

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Sunday, February 5, 2017

What the Girls Ate: January 30 - February 3, 2017

Monday, January 30, 2017

Lauren's Snack:
Two things she loves - dogs and dragonfruit
  • Ham & Cheese Dog Shaped Sandwich on Dave's Killer Bread
  • Dragonfruit Sticks

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Lauren's Snack:
  • Heart Cucumbers
  • Heart Dragonfruit 
  • ABC Pasta with a Beefy Tomato Sauce

Friday, February 3, 2017

Lauren's Snack (top):
  • Turkey and Cheese Pinwheels
  • Heart Apples

Olivia's Snack (bottom):
  • Wowbutter and Honey Heart Sandwiches on Dave's Killer Bread
  • Yogurt and Blueberries 
  • Mozzarella (or Monsterella, as Olivia calls it) Cheesestring

ABC Pasta with Beefy Tomato Sauce:
I found this recipe on the back of a Catelli Alphabets Pasta box. I adapted the recipe slightly and Lauren loved it!
I portioned the leftovers into lunch/snack size servings and froze them. 

1 pkg Catelli Alphabets
1 tsp olive oil
1/2  lb extra lean ground beef
1 finely chopped onion
2 minced garlic cloves
1 tbsp dried Italian seasoning or 1/2 tbsp oregano and 1/2 tbsp basil 
1 can (28 oz/796 mL) crushed tomatoes
2 tbsp ketchup
1/3- 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese - the recipe called for 3/4 cup, but I started with less and added more to taste

Cook alphabets according to package directions. 
Meanwhile, heat oil in a large, deep skillet set over medium heat. 
Add beef, onion, garlic and Italian seasoning; cook, crumbling up the beef with a spoon until browned. 
Add tomatoes and ketchup; simmer for 5 minutes. 
Stir in alphabets and Parmesan cheese. 
Season with salt and pepper to taste.

*Freeze 1 cup portions to have on hand for a speedy heat-and-serve lunch.

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

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