Cotton Candy Popsicles

Cotton Candy Popsicles

Summertime means sun, lots of outdoor fun and a time when you can buy the most delicious fruit! One in particular – Cotton Candy grapes! If you haven’t heard of them, ask your local grocer if they are getting any in and make sure to grab a bag before they are gone. I know when they hit the shelves in our hometown they don’t last long!  They are super sweet and taste just like cotton candy.

We grabbed a bag and decided to make popsicles with them!  And these couldn’t be easier!

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The cub started by chopping the grapes in half. We wanted to keep some of the grapes in bigger chunks.

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The rest of the grapes she dumped into the blender.

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For liquid we added one squeeze apple juice box to the blender.

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A quick stir and then it was time to blend up the ingredients.

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Time to get the Koji popsicle mold ready for the mixture.

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In goes the apple grape mixture… oh, and a little friend joined in on the fun.

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Grandma DiDi, the cub and her friend all helped put the grape halves in the popsicle mold. The bigger chunks give the popsicle more texture.

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Last step before they go in the freezer is to put the sticks and caps on.  Notice that Grandma DiDi is getting a little help from a Santa sticker strategically placed on her arm by the cub earlier that morning.

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Finally! The sweetest popsicle on a hot summer day!

 

Cotton Candy Popsicles

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups of cotton candy grapes; save about 1/8 cup just chopped
  • 1 7oz apple juice box

Directions

  1. Wash and prepare grapes
  2. Chop all grapes (reserve approximately 1/8 cup)
  3. Place grapes (except reserved) in blender
  4. Add 1 box of apple juice
  5. Blend for about 1 minute or pulse about 10 times
  6. Pour into popsicle mold
  7. Add reserved chopped grapes to each popsicle mold
  8. Freeze and enjoy. It should take 1 – 3 hours to fully freeze depending on the molds you use

Plantain Crusted Chicken Strips

Plantain Crusted Chicken Strips

A new restaurant recently opened up by our house and they make these amazingly crunchy and slightly sweet plantain chicken strips. The cub loves them so we decided to try and recreate them. Not quite the same, but close!

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The cub started off the preparations by scooping some coconut oil into a bowl. This will serve as a coating for the chicken.

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We ran to our nearest Trader Joes and grabbed their Sweet Plantain Chips. Sooo good!

We placed the chips in an old coffee grinder to bring them to a fine ground.

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The cub enjoyed pushing the button!

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Grandma DiDi scooped the plantain grinds into a bowl while the cub watched.

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The cub seasoned the plantains with salt and pepper. Now they are ready to dip the chicken!

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The cub helps Grandma DiDi coat the chicken in plantain grinds.

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The chicken strips are placed on a baking sheet ready to go in the oven.

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Time to dig in!

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Try our healthier version of a chicken strip! Enjoy!

Plantain Crusted Chicken Strips

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lbs. chicken breast strips
  • 1/2 bag Sweet Plantain Chips from Trader Joes, crushed to either a crunchy or fine grind
  • Approximately 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted or 2 eggs whipped
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 350°F
  2. Grind plantain chips to a fine ground (or courser if you choose)
  3. Season plantain grounds with salt and pepper
  4. Dip chicken strips in coconut oil (egg would work also here)
  5. Dredge chicken in plantain grounds
  6. Place chicken on parchment covered baking sheets
  7. Bake chicken for 15 – 20 min or until cooked through

 

Kale Popcorn

Kale Popcorn

Need an easy snack that your kids will love that also has some nutritional value to it? Look no further – an easy recipe that will satisfy that salty craving all while eating your greens! It’s a win-win situation!

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The cub began by helping strip the kale from the stems.

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Grandma says, “Way to go”!

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Once all the kale had been stripped, the cub stopped for a snack. Raw kale for the win!

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Next up, the cub oils the baking sheets.

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And tosses the kale in the oil and adds some salt for flavor.

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While the kale bakes in the oven, the cub gets to work prepping the toppings. Popcorn wouldn’t be complete without a little cheese!  Yes, this task necessitated a princess and some help from Grandma!

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After the kale was cooled, the cub crushed the chips into small pieces.

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But she needs to taste them first to make sure they are just right! Delicious!

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Once all the kale has been crushed, Grandma DiDi adds the popcorn to the mixture. We used pre popped popcorn from the store, but you can make your own if you prefer.

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The cub stirs it up so that all the popped kernels are covered.

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Grandma DiDi does the final toss!

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The finished product. It didn’t last long!

Kale Popcorn

(Adapted from Smitten Kitchen Kale Dusted Popcorn recipe)

Ingredients

Kale Dust:

  • A bundle of Lacinato kale (aka dinosaur or Tuscan) although, we used red curly kale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Sea salt

To finish:

  • 4 to 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup popcorn kernels or bag of popped popcorn(we used  1 bag of Trader Joe’s olive oil popcorn)
  • 2/3 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 300°F. Rinse and dry the kale. Remove and discard the tough stems.
  2. Lightly brush two large baking sheets with olive oil. Arrange the leaves in one layer on the prepared baking sheets, sprinkle lightly with salt, and bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until the leaves are crisp. Let cool completely. In a food processor, with a mortar and pestle, or even with a muddler in a bowl, grind the kale chips down into a coarse powder.
  3. Make the popcorn (Directions from Smitten Kitchen): Place 3 tablespoons olive oil and 2 or 3 kernels of popcorn in a 3-quart or larger pot. Turn the heat to medium-high, and cover with a lid. When you hear these first kernels pop, add the remaining kernels and replace the lid. Using pot holders, shimmy the pot around to keep the kernels moving as they pop. When several seconds pass between pops, remove from the heat. (Or use your preferred brand bag of popcorn heated in oven on tray for just a couple minutes.)
  4. Transfer to a bowl, and immediately toss with the remaining 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil, kale dust, Pecorino, salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Toss until evenly coated. Taste, and adjust the seasonings if needed.

 

Brekki/Legit Gluten-Free Pancakes

Brekki/Legit Gluten-Free Pancakes

Here’s a mash-up that we are very excited about! These two products are a staple in our home, and the idea to mix them together came one morning when prepping breakfast. We love paleo Legit pancake mix, but I am always looking for a way to add more nutritious ingredients to them. Enter Brekki overnight oats. One container is packed with protein, fiber and fruit.

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Legit Pancake Mix – uses many allergen friendly ingredients with the base consisting of cassava flour. It’s gluten-free and kosher facilities, are nut-free (therefore school safe), and certified paleo.

Brekki Overnight Oats – Brekki is a line of convenient, nutritionally balanced dairy-free overnight oats with the added flavor and crunch of amaranth, buckwheat, flax seeds, and chia seeds all mixed together with almond milk, fruit, and a touch of coconut nectar for sweetness.

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The cub began by following the instructions on the back of the pancake mix. First she cracked the eggs with the help of Grandma DiDi.

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In go the eggs!

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The cub continued adding the rest of the ingredients to make the pancakes, including apple cider vinegar and oil.

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Time to mix it all up! “I’m going to stir Grandma,” explains The Cub.

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In goes the Legit pancake mix. The cub pours and Grandma DiDi stirs. Great team work.

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Once the batter is mixed thoroughly, Grandma Didi adds the Brekki overnight oats. The cub is very amused at the creation we are making.

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Smile! The batter is on the skillet! Grandma Didi does this part while the cub patiently waits for them to be finished.

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Our official taste tester approves! They are nutritious and delicious.

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Dress them how you wish – we topped ours with blueberries and a touch of maple syrup.

 

Brekki/Legit Gluten-Free Pancakes

Ingredients

  • Legit pancake mix (Legit)
  • 6 Eggs
  • 4 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 4 tsp of apple cider vinegar
  • 11/2 cups dairy-free milk
  • 1 container of Brekki overnight oats

Directions

  1. Mix all wet ingredients together well with whisk
  2. Beat in eggs until well blended
  3. Add Legit pancake mix and stir until incorporated.
  4. Add entire container of Brekki overnight oats (any flavor you want). At this point if you feel the batter is too thick, you may add a tablespoons of milk at a time until it reaches the right consistency. It should be slightly thick.
  5. Heat griddle to medium and brush lightly with oil. Cook according to Legit package directions or to your liking.
  6. Serve with your choice of toppings! Endless possibilities!

 

 

Banana Pops

Banana Pops

It’s getting to be that time again… popsicle season!   We decided to make it simple and use one of the cubs favorite ingredients – Bananas!

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First, we prepared all the toppings.  The Cub peeled the bananas and cut them in half.   This step uses her fine motor skills.

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Grandma DiDi demonstrated inserting the popsicle sticks after the Cub was finished cutting the bananas.

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The Cub gave it a go although it was hard to not push the stick all the way through the banana. Patience and practice make perfect.

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Next up the cub needed to choose her toppings, but first, of course, she needed to taste them all!!

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Grandma DiDi rolled some of the bananas in peanut butter and others in greek yogurt; making sure to cover them well.

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After laying the bananas on a flat parchment lined surface, the Cub got busy decorating them with our toppings – coconut, granola and hemp seeds.

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After sitting in the freezer for an hour they are ready to eat! We let her decorate one with fancy sprinkles. Guess which one she ate first?!

Banana Pops

Ingredients

  • Bananas, cut in half
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Nut butter of your choice
  • Yogurt
  • Shredded coconut
  • Granola
  • Sprinkles
  • Hemp seeds
  • Or any topping of your choice (chocolate would be great, too)

Directions

  1. Peel and cut bananas in half
  2. Push popsicle sticks into banana (at least an inch and a half)
  3. Roll and completely cover banana in either yogurt or nut butter
  4. Lay flat on parchment paper
  5. Sprinkle or roll on topping of choice
  6. Freeze for at least 1 hour
  7. Enjoy!

*You can store in the freezer in a air-tight container.

Strawberry Spinach Wrap

Strawberry Spinach Wrap

Staying creative with meals can be a challenge, allowing us to easily fall into the same routine – I’m very guilty of this! This wrap is easy and uses items you probably already have in your refrigerator.

The cub loves sour foods, i.e., lemon, vinegar, etc. So when thinking of something that would fit her palate, we decided to make a sweet and sour tasting wrap! The perfect balance in flavor and nutrition.

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The cub began by helping Grandma DiDi cut up the strawberries.

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Next up, Grandma DiDi made the ricotta spread. She used regular ricotta cheese and added honey .

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The cub loves lemon, so we zested a lemon and added it to the ricotta spread to create a light balance that was slightly sweet with the zesty brightness of the citrus.

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The cub must try it to make sure it’s just right! She approves!

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Grandma DiDi grabs a lavash wrap and spreads the ricotta on one side.

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Next, the cub layers spinach leaves on the ricotta.

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On go the strawberries!

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Strawberries go really well with a balsamic dressing so we added that to give it a bit more flavor. The cub helps drip it on the strawberries. It’s almost time to eat!

 

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Such fun watching it roll up. Some of the ingredients fell out the side and the cub helped push them back in as Grandma DiDi rolled it up.

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Dig in! A perfectly balanced snack or lunch that is sure to satisfy your sweet and sour cravings!

 

Spinach Strawberry Wrap

Ingredients for 2 wraps

  • 1 12 x 9  whole wheat Lavash cut in half
  • Handful of spinach/or arugula
  • 1/2 cup strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 tsp lemon zest or to taste
  • 1 tsp honey or to taste
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Cut the lavash in half, crosswise.
  2. Mix the ricotta cheese with honey and lemon zest and set aside. Wash the strawberries and slice.
  3. Make dressing by mixing vinegar, oil and salt and pepper.
  4. To assemble, spread half of the ricotta on top half of the lavash as well as the one inch portion on other end to create a glue when you roll it into a wrap.
  5. Cover the ricotta with a thin layer of spinach.
  6. Cover the spinach with a thin layer of strawberries.
  7. Drizzle with as much balsamic dressing as you would like and roll up.
  8. Cut in half at an angle or into two inch rings.
  9. Remaining dressing can be used for dipping on the side.

 

Deviled Egg Bunnies

Deviled Egg Bunnies

Easter is upon us, and before you run out to the store to grab everything you need for the celebrations, consider jazzing up your deviled egg recipe by adding some bunny faces to them.

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After the eggs had been hard-boiled and cooled, the cub got right into rolling and peeling them. It took a few tries until she understood how to roll them under her palm. On this particular day she woke up feeling like a princess, so, of course, she needed to dress the part.

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Grandma DiDi then demonstrated how to cut them in half. With a little bit of help, the cub did an excellent job.

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Grandma DiDi showed the cub how to pop the yolk out of the egg white. The cub watched intently.

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She did it! Yay!

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Now it’s the cubs turn. This took patience and practice.

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One for you, one for me. The cub is always tasting the food we make.

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Now for the additions to the deviled egg mix. The Cub and her knife skills went to work. Chopping the celery to add to the mix was easy.

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This Cinderella princess is right at ease stirring up a batch of deviled eggs.

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Pausing to smell the ingredients is a MUST. The cub helps us chop some dill for the deviled egg mix and I think we will also use some for whiskers.

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Next up the cub chopped up some olives for the deviled egg bunny decorations. We think we will use them for eyes and maybe a nose!

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We let the cub design her own, but for our finished product, Grandma DiDi took over the assembly of the bunnies.

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HOPPY EASTER!

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We hope you enjoy the day with friends and family!

Deviled Egg Bunnies

Ingredients

  • Dozen hard-boiled eggs
  • 1 -2 Tbsp Chopped celery (to taste)
  • 1-2 Tbsp mayonaise
  • 2-3 Tbsp greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp dill, chopped
  • Toppings: radish, carrots, chives, olives, dill, and capers

Directions

    1. Bring eggs to a gentle boil for about 10 minutes then let them sit in the hot water for about another 5, covered. Cool them completely in an ice bath for 10 minutes.
    2. Peel eggs and slice them lengthwise in half.
    3. Remove yolks and place in a medium size bowl. Smash well with a fork.
    4. Add yogurt, mayonnaise and mustard  to the egg yolks and blend well. Add more or less depending on the consistency you prefer.
    5. Add chopped celery, salt, pepper, and dill to the egg yolks (we kept the eggs pretty simple. Feel free to add other ingredients like onions, pickles etc.)
    6. Fill the egg white halves with prepared yolk mixture using a small spoon or pastry bag.
    7. Decorate the eggs with eyes, nose, whiskers and a smile using  your choice of toppings.
    8. Eat and enjoy!