cookies! cookies! cookies!

we love cookies around here and the boys love to bake them! recently we made these family faves, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, with colourful chocolate sprinkles thrown in for good measure. this recipe is not really any different from most cookie recipes except, it is egg free!

INGREDIENTS:
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp egg substitute
3/4 – 1 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup colourful large sprinkles

*optional:
3/4 cup sun flower seeds or chopped nuts 

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. preheat over at 350F and line two cookie sheets.
2. add dry ingredients and mix in a bowl.
3. blend and mix wet ingredients in a bowl.then add dry ingredients and chocolate chips.
4. shape dough in to balls and place about 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets, then flatten. bake one cookie sheet at a time until cookies are lightly browned all over. approx 12-15 minutes. place on rack to cool.
5. enjoy with a glass of milk!

YUM! YUM! YUM!
what kind of cookies do you like to dunk into your cuppa tea or coffee?

xo, mama lola

butternut squash soup recipe!

i have shared several soup recipes already, but we really are a soup kinda family! my kids adore soup and it’s such an easy dinner to make. here’s another family favourite of ours, butternut squash soup and this time i added some kale to it for an extra kick of health!

INGREDIENTS:

1 butternut squash
1 medium yellow onion
4-6 kale leaves
2-3 cloves garlic
1-3 tsp fresh ginger
4 tblsp olive oil
1 tsp coarse sea salt
1 generous sprinkling of fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp cumin
4 cups water

* i’m pretty relaxed about measurements and tend to just throw however much in. during cold season i tend to be more generous with the garlic and ginger.
INSTRUCTIONS:

1. preheat your oven to 400F. then take your squash and stab it a few times with a fork, randomly. place the squash in an oven safe dish with about an inch of water. bake until soft.

2. once the squash is thoroughly baked (it will be soft to a fork poke) cut the squash in half and spoon out the seeds and guts. then cut or peel the squash out of it’s skin.

3. in a soup pot heat olive oil and add chopped onion. once onion is slightly browned add the squash. stir regularly, adding the rest of the ingredients and the water last. keep stirring until everything has heated through well and the flavours are wafting a mouth watering smell.

4. once the soup is cooked, take your immersion blender and blend the soup until it is nice and smooth. serve with sour cream or feta cheese on top! yum!

we made some yummy brie cheese and avocado sami’s to go with the soup! yum!

let me know if you try the recipe!
maybe you have your own version, would love to hear what you like to put in!

xo, mama lola

make your own sushi!

many people are very surprised when i tell them that sushi is my families favourite food. bear, in fact, hates cooked fish and refuses to eat it, but will happily gobble up raw salmon in a flash. strange? perhaps, but i don’t mind. it’s healthy and the benefits of salmon on his wee body are so amazing. i’m always encouraging the boys to eat more as i list the parts of their bodies that will reap the rewards… their brain, skin, muscles, hair and eyes. 


we’ve fed the kids sushi since they started solids. it’s healthy, served in perfect bite sized portions and has all the foods kids generally enjoy like, avocado, fish, and mango.  these are all super soft, flavourful and great foods for early eaters.
anyhow so, here’s how we did it and what we made. we kept it pretty simple.

INGREDIENTS:
1 avocado
1 carrot
1 mango
1/2 english cucumber
1 package dried seaweed sheets 
2-3 cups sticky rice
2 cups 

* as desired
pickled ginger
wasabi paste
soy sauce or tamari sauce
edamame

** you will also need a sushi rolling mat or something like it to roll up the ingredients in.


INSTRUCTIONS:
1. cut and slice all ingredients first.
2. take your rolling mat, place one sheet of seaweed, then a layer of rice and finally choose which flavours you want inside. the guys chose salmon and avocado, carrot and mango, shrimp and carrot, and so on. it really doesn’t matter, just make what you like!
3. carefully roll up the ingredients. it may be useful to push down a little as you are rolling. use a little water to make the seaweed sticky and once the roll is ready, cut up into bite sized pieces.
4. serve with edamame, pickled ginger, wasabi and a sauce for dipping. we prefer tamari sauce to soy sauce.


the danger with sushi is eating too much, and we made way too much for dinner. but, these bites sized delights are perfect for school lunches or for afternoon snack. 

xo, mama lola

holy moly, guacamole!

is there such a thing as too much guacamole? i don’t think so. today for a family dinner, we were asked to contribute some guacamole, which i was happy to make.

is this not the most perfect avocado you have ever seen?


INGREDIENTS:

2 ripe avocado’s
1 tomato
1/4 of a lemon’s juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp paprika
generous sprinkling of black pepper

this serves 4-6 people

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. dice up tomato and cut up avocado. place into a mixing bowl. 
2. mash avocado and tomato with a fork. add salt, paprika, lemon juice and black pepper. mix ingredients well.
3. chill before serving.



my kids love guacamole. we eat it not just with tortilla chips, but often on crackers, toast or we dip various veggies into it. so healthy, so good for you skin, hair and your brain!

after dinner there was some serious trouble gaming going on! remember that silly board game from the 80’s? well, bear received it as a gift at christmas time and he is what some may call, addicted! 



xo, mama lola

carrot bread :: nom, nom

this recipe is a big hit at our house! 
the kids love it, dear hubby slathers mountains of butter on it and i like to nibble on a chunk while sipping fresh coffee. yum!

(the original recipe is from the joy of cooking, but after years of baking it, food allergies popping up in our family and after adding just my own preferences this is the recipe that i’ve settled upon.)

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 as desired sprinkling of ground cloves
3/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs/ or preferred egg substitute
1/2 vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups grated carrots (you could substitute zucchini)
1/2 sunflower seeds
1/2 chocolate chips (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. preheat your oven to 350F, and grease your bread pan.
2. mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and cloves together.
3. in another larger bowl mix, sugar, eggs, oil, vanilla and salt. add dry ingredients. then add carrots and chocolate chips
4. scrape batter into your pan. bake for about 45 minutes or until bread pulls away from the sides of the pan. let cool before serving.

baking can be demanding, exhausting work, especially when you’re two and it’s right before lunch and one’s afternoon nap. this pouty lip appears quickly, but disappears just as fast, if lion is distracted by something else.

it’s so nice to have a helper around!

and, voila carrot bread. because i don’t bake with eggs my breads and loafs don’t rise quite as well, as yours will if you use them. we discovered a year ago bear’s terrible eczema was caused by eggs, so we stopped eating them just like that, all four of us.

xo, mama lola

cod chowder soup recipe

i’ve always loved a good fish soup. i grew up in finland where fish is a huge staple in the diet and is cooked in a large variety of ways.


INGREDIENTS:

approx. 1 lb fresh cod (frozen is ok, fresh tastes better)
2tbsp butter
4-6 yukon potatoes
1 yellow onion
1 small red pepper
2 stalks of celery
2 carrots
2-3 tbsp fresh dill
3 tbsp flour
4 cups (whole)* milk
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
(1 cup cream)*

* i use whole milk, so i skip the cream. if you’re using skim, you may want to add the cream.



INSTRUCTIONS:
1. bring 4 cups of water to boil in a skillet. cube, cut cod into bite size pieces. place into skillet, cover and simmer for approx. 5-7 minutes or until cod is flaky. remove from water with a slotted spoon or spatula, place on plate and set aside.

2. melt butter in a large pot; add diced potatoes, onion, bell pepper, carrot and celery. stir often. stir in flour and slowly add the milk. add, salt, black pepper and mustard. reduce heat to ensure the milk will not burn, simmer for about 20 minutes or until the veggies are tender. watch the milk carefully!

3. add cod, dill and cream. stir in gently. heat thoroughly.


this soup is well worth all of the chopping and prep work. i get all the dicing done during lion’s nap and then once it’s time to make dinner it’s all ready to go. i try to do prep stuff often before hand, because i never know what kind of a mood bear will be in after school. and, sometimes it’s nice to be able to linger at the playground or park after school.


my kids love soup and cod chowder is not any different. 
on this night we had a side of fresh veggies, swiss cheese or brie cheese, which is bear’s favourite on some finnish rye crackers. delicious!



xo, mama lola

lemon yellow.

with spring looming on the horizon, but at a distance still, i am craving light, air, open windows and sips of lemonade. well, maybe not quite like that, but you get the idea. i am yearning warmth and bright and sun, and i figure the best way to include those in my life is through food.

so, i pinned my way through pinterest and found a handful of delectable lemon flavoured foods. there’s even a pizza included in the mix! 

 

zesty sources:
1. cream cheese lemon squares, from notions & notations of a novice cook
2. lemon triffe, from epicurean mom
3. lemon blueberry scones, from riches to rags by dori
4. meyer lemon pizza, from how sweet it is
5. fresh lemons in a pot, from pinterest
6.lemon cheesecake from the blender by: william sonoma
 

happy monday!
xo, mama lola

bear’s 5th birthday :: the chirp cake



my son is very particular about his birthday cakes. he chooses and plans what he wants and then DH and i are in charge of making these wishes come into fruition. luckily for us, bear’s wishes are not outrageous or complicated. in fact, they’re adorably simple. for his third birthday he wanted a car cake. for his fourth birthday, he wanted a triangle cake.

and, this year for his 5th birthday he wanted a chirp cake, as in chirp the wee yellow bird from chirp magazine.

this recipe is directly from the joy of cooking. any modifications we made are marked with an asterisk.
INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp salt

2/3 vegetable oil
3 large eggs *we used boxed egg substitute
1 1/2 cups shredded carrot
1 cup chopped walnuts *DH has a srious walnut allergy, so we use sunflower seeds instead
1 cup golden raisins
(1/2 cup canned crushed pineapple)this is optional and we never include the pineapple


INSTRUCTIONS:

1. preheat oven to 350F, grease and flour you pan.
2. whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
3. whisk together the wet ingredients in a bowl, then with a rubber spatula, stir into the flour mixture until just combined.
4. stir in the rest of the ingredients.
5. scrape batter into your pan, ensuring it has spread evenly. 
6. baking time depends on your pan size/ dimensions. we used a 9 inch round cake pan and the cake baked for about 35 minutes.
7. let cool before applying icing, if so desired.


each month the magazine is complied together with a theme. one month it was BIRTHDAYS and there was a recipe for a chirp cake. bear saw it and immediately came running to me excitedly saying that that was the cake he wanted. we tweaked it a little; instead of donuts for eyes we used a puddle of icing and plopped blueberries for the pupils. we used dried pear slices for the beak. and the inside was yummy, egg free carrot cake. delish!!!


the kid was so happy, delighted and proud. he and lion actually worked hard with dear hubby with the mixing of all of those ingredients. i love that the kids are so eager to be involved!

xo, mama lola

bear’s 5th birthday :: the loot bags.

BIRTHDAY WEEK!

truth be told, i kinda loath the whole loot bag idea, but it is what it is and i have to work with the system. in years passed, we have made some kind of non-edible gift for our friends to take home. we’ve sent our friends and family home with magnets, bow ties, pinwheels and one year the kids just got a balloon!

this year, since bear is in school and the kids have learned to expect a certain amount of candy and junk, i just caved and gave them what they wanted. i got each kid a helium balloon, a few dollar store items like foam animal masks and funny monkey buttons and glow sticks. 
then we made a yummy sweet n’ salty treat bag for the kids to take home. 


the treat bags included :
pop corn
unsalted pretzels 
valentine’s M&M’s 
other various heart shaped candies

we took normal lunch paper bags and bear decorated one bag per guest. he worked so hard writing everyone’s names on them and decorating them with party themed drawings. i attached the paper treat bags to the plastic loot bags and the kids were thrilled! unfortunately i didn’t get a pictures of all the final bags, but you get the idea. so simple, quick and easy, and a fantastic way to get the kids involved!


what do you about loot bags? do you nix them or hand them out?
tomorrow i will post about bear’s fantastic cake!

xo, mama lola

almond butter & apple snacks!

we are not a peanut butter family, instead we are an almond butter family. growing up in finland, we never had peanut butter. it’s just not a part of the diet there, the way it is here in canada. my kids don’t really like peanut butter, even though i’ve purchased different kinds to try and encourage them to like it. but, they prefer almond butter or cashew butter! so be it!



i like to make almond butter with apple wraps for the kids! they love them! it’s the perfect lunch or snack. i love mine too! yum. 


what do you like to snack on?

xo, mama lola
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