Friday, January 28, 2011

A Little More Deception

Here's our second attempt at baking with veggie puree this week.  These are the yummy peanut butter and jelly muffins from the Deceptively Delicious cookbook.  They're made with whole wheat flour, natural peanut butter, carrot puree, and just a smidge of brown sugar.  That's 'Polaner All Fruit with added Fiber' on the tops.  That's what we generally use as jelly in our house.  The kids love it.

They actually turned out great, but I made one mistake.  I bought a jar of crunchy, natural peanut butter by mistake.  Nobody in our house will eat crunchy peanut butter so I decided to use it for baking, thinking they wouldn't notice.  Unfortunately, the kids were picking nuts out of the muffins saying "what's this?", and spitting them out.  The muffins would have been a huge hit if it weren't for those darn nuts!

This was afternoon snack for the girls

Both girls ate a muffin and said they were really tasty, but asked that next time I use creamy peanut butter.  I can understand that.  I just wish that I didn't have 10 left over muffins.  More stuff in the freezer! 
At least they both got a carrot in their systems today.  I consider that a victory.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Trying a Little Deception

Everyone who knows us, knows I struggle daily with Tia's food issues.  It started when she turned 3, and continues now that she is 5.  I had all but given up on the issue, and stopped trying to get her to try new foods.  Then I started noticing all the bruises on her body.  She bruises easily, and A LOT.  A sure sign of iron deficiency.  That makes sense since she has never eaten meat (seriously, NEVER) and the only veg she'll eat is plain Romaine lettuce.  Where would she get iron?
When I brought up my concerns at her physical, the doctor suggested getting her actively involved in cooking, which should spark her interest in trying new things.  Um, sorry to break it to you doc but we've been doing that since she was old enough to stand on a stool.  She loves to cook.  She doesn't love to eat.
Remember a couple of years ago when I got to go see the Oprah show?  Jessica Seinfeld was the guest that day and she was promoting her new book "Deceptively Delicious; simple secrets to get your kids eating good food". 

The audience didn't even get the book that day, but, I digress.  My hubby later bought the book for me and I have used a few recipes here and there.  Not a lot of success in that department either.  Tia is not fond of trying new or different things, so no matter how much you mask that pureed cauliflower, she's likely not going to try it.
In my moment of desperation, and my need to be a great mommy, I decided to give the book another try.  I picked out a coffee cake recipe because it called for chopped walnuts, which happen to be pretty high in iron.  The picture in the book looked wonderful.  I got the kids excited about the recipe by going to the store and picking up some of the ingredients, like mini marshmallows!  We made it together, except for the part where I had to add pureed butternut squash.  I had to send them out of the room and add the squash when they weren't around.  If they saw it go in, that would be the end of the experiment.  Here's what our finished product looked like.

Hello!  We're trying to deceive our kids, so what's up with that orange squash in the middle!  My husband asked why I didn't mix it all in the batter and my answer was "I followed the instructions of the recipe!".  I guess I figured it would all melt together and you wouldn't be able to see it.  I thought for sure there was no way the kids would even try it.  Well, that's until I remembered what a good liar I am.  They asked what the orange stuff was and my very straight faced answer was...
"That's the mini marshmallows.  Don't you know they turn orange when you bake them?".  They bought that hook, line and sinker!  Tia didn't eat her whole piece, but she did eat the crumbly top which was loaded with walnuts (which I put through a food processor so she wouldn't know there was a nut in there!).  She even ate most of the squash because of course she thought it was melted marshmallow.  She hasn't been interested in having another piece though, and I guess that's OK.  At least she tried it which is a great improvement.  Gia has had 3 pieces.  No complaints from her.  The rest sits in my freezer, probably to be lost forever.

Later today we will try the recipe for "Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins".  I already mixed the carrot puree with the peanut butter after they went to bed last night, so they wouldn't be able to see it.  They can do the rest of the mixing and baking.  I'm hoping for the best and will post pics tomorrow.

Good god this responsible parenting thing is a lot of work!

Friday, January 21, 2011


The kids always get a few books for Christmas.  Well, they get books for every holiday now that I think of it.  Since Tia will be starting kindergarten in the fall, we thought it would be a good idea to get her some phonics/learn to read books.  Here's what I picked.

You flip the cards over to make different words, then sound them out.  Here's an example.

Pretty neat, right?  Well, I thought it was great too until I came upon this...

Really?  So maybe the book editor was out sick that day.  Or maybe you're just not supposed to combine certain cards or colors (there was no instruction manual).  However, this is a book for preschoolers, what on earth were they thinking!?  Thankfully Tia isn't fully into sounding things out on her own and asked me what the word said.  I quickly said "Oh, nothing, that's not a real word".  Let's move along, nothing to see here people!

Monday, January 17, 2011

We Came, We Saw...We Tasted

While out driving one day, Gia spotted a sign and wanted to know what it was.  It was Dunkin' Donuts.  She wanted to know what that place was, so I explained that it's sort of like a restaurant but they sell coffee and donuts.  She thought that was hilarious!  Ever since then she has been fascinated with the place and wanted to check it out.  I got some coupons in the mail so I broke down and we went.  I talked them into a bagel instead of a donut since we were going straight to swimming lessons.  They thought the bagel twist looked pretty cool.

Is that really for one person?

Well, it was 3:00 in the afternoon and I figured out pretty quickly that the bagels weren't exactly fresh.  They were pretty hard and I had to ask the guy to warm them up a bit so they would hopefully soften up.  We were all wishing we had chosen the donuts!
Overall the girls were impressed by the counters with tall stools, the door knob that's in the shape of a bright pink 'D', and the really cool pink and orange straws.  No mention at all of being impressed by the food.
So now we can say "we've been there", and move on with our lives.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

What Girl Doesn't Love New Shoes?

I was with Gia in Target the other day just scoping out the clearance racks.  This is my favorite time of year to shop since most stores are trying to get rid of all their Christmas stock as well as make way for the spring line.  I happened to walk by the shoe department and saw a 75% off rack.  I told Gia she could pick out a pair of shoes for herself, and one for her sister.  Um, this child who claims to be a girl told me she didn't want any new shoes.  What?!  I told her I honestly had never heard of a girl who didn't want new shoes.  Oh well, her loss.  I saw these Mary Jane's, which I had noticed many times before and thought were adorable.  I knew Tia would love them (they're so 'fancy').

So many times I had walked by these shoes and wanted to buy them but refused to pay the full price of $16.99.  I know, go ahead and call me cheap, I've heard it before.
But, take a look at this and maybe you'll understand my madness...

Yup, that's right.  I got BOTH pair of shoes for half of what I would have paid for one pair at full price!
I was right, Tia loved them, especially the pink ones of course.  They're a tiny bit big so she'll be ready to wear them in early spring, and I thnk that's just perfect.
I love a good bargain!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy New Year...Our Way

Suddenly this year the kids knew about New Year's Eve, and brought up the idea of having a party.  I'm not sure where they learned about this, since we've never talked about it and haven't ever taken them to a New Year's party.  So, after an 11 hour road trip back from NY, we decided to give them their wish.  I made up a party tray of healthy snacks...

They thought this was SO cool.  Even cooler was the fact that we allowed them to eat in the family room.  Whoa, the rebellion!

We got in our pajamas, snacked, watched a movie, snacked some more, and danced around a bit.

The Kiddos wanted to get out the sleeping bags and have a camp out in the family room.  After being away from home for a week, we REALLY wanted to sleep in our own bed, but we gave in and let them have their fun.  We didn't exactly ring in the new year though.  The kids and D.R. were all snoring by 8:00 and I followed around 9:00!
I hope this is the first year of many that we celebrate the New Year together, in our own special way.  My kids sure know how to have a good time!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

We have had a whirlwind of activity this holiday season.  We did so much that I can't even write about it, I'll just show you some of what the holidays mean to me, in pictures.

Our annual trip to Winter Wonder Fest; Chicago

D.R. being a good sport, and a great Daddy

The birthday cake for Baby Jesus
Twas the night before Christmas
Christmas Day pictures

my sister and brother (3 of the 4 of us)
making memories with amazing women

My 2 best friends. I think we've actually  known each other FOREVER! 

My precious angels
Honestly, what more could I want for?  We are truly blessed.  Our holidays were wonderful, and I hope yours were too.
Happy New Year.