toddlers

Teething and Crunchy Cravings

My baby is  teething something awful. 

She just got three of her four first molars (the ones next to the eye teeth) in the last three weeks and the fourth is now making an entrance. Plus, at least one of the eye teeth is on the way. The worst part is, she seems to be such a slooooow teether. My two older kids used to get two teeth at a time, there would be two days of distress and then bam! it was over. This seems to be lasting forever. Pile on a 24 hour stomach bug (for her AND for me!) and it's been less than pleasant at my house lately. 

In the process, my little gal seems to only want either crunchy foods or super soft stuff like applesauce and avocado. I'm taking matters into my own hands. We are well stocked on avocados. The applesauce is easy enough - I make this one fairly regularly. Applesauce is also great for tender tummies, so it's doing double duty. Bread crust is beloved right now but she keeps begging for "cah-cahs" (crackers) so I decided to make croutons - bread crust, taken to the next crunchy level. 

Here's how: 
I used the remaining half of a loaf of seeded sourdough bread that I bought from my local bakery three days ago. I sliced it into chunks that seemed a good fit for her little hands (she likes to have something in each hand these days) and drizzled with olive oil. I spread them onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and popped them into an oven preheated to 375. They baked for 15 minutes and came out perfectly crispy, crunchy and delightful. 

These are also great for dipping and have been used as a hummus delivery vehicle by my little gal too. These croutons would keep for several days but most likely, they'll be devoured within 48 hours!

Strummin' on the Old Banjo

Life is good.

I came across something on Twitter the other day that basically boiled down to 'slow down to recognize all of the wonderful things you already have around you.' Always a good reminder. 
As an aside, my infant is teething. I've been up every hour for two nights and have reached a new level of exhaustion. Or delirium. Or new normal - I'm not sure.  It's hard to notice the wonderful things around you, let alone celebrate them when you're in these kinds of trenches but today I was spending the morning with my son and at some point realized that I was giggling! Loved.That.  

Cooking Banjo Muffins with My Toddler

Cooking Banjo Muffins with My Toddler

My son is regularly this smiley; it makes him a delightful companion. And when it comes to cooking, he scoops and measures with gusto; he pours in cinnamon like there's a present at the bottom of the container; he acts like he's the luckiest guy on earth when he gets to sample the goods along the way. And the best part? He'll often jump off of his "helper chair" in the kitchen and run into the playroom to get a prop and pretend to be the Entertainment Committee, playing his guitar, belting out a song at the top of his lungs. Lately, he's all about being in the kitchen with Dinah, strummin' on the old banjo. And there we were, singing it loud and proud - working on the railroad, fee-fi-fiddly-eye-oh-ing. I felt happy deep in my cells. 

Pretty much everything that I bake, I bake with him. It's all toddler-friendly measuring-pouring-scooping stuff around here. If there are any more complicated steps, I can get those done while he's in the midst of his musical interlude. Anyway, so today he wanted to bake muffins and use our Dora the Explorer cupcake liners. We devised this recipe together, tossing in some beet and apple for color and sweetness. Once cooled, he gobbled one down and declared it "dah-lisheey-ohso!"

Ol' Banjo Muffins
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup grated sweet potato (basically one medium sweet potato, peeled and grated)
1/4 cup grated apple (one medium apple, peeled and grated) 
1/4 cup grated beet (one medium beet, peeled and grated) 
1/3 cup coconut sugar (* you can substitute brown sugar) 
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 Tablespoons flax meal
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 cup oat milk (* you can use whatever milk you'd like... we made this dairy free) 
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil

Method
Preheat oven to 350. Line a muffin pan with liners (this recipe makes 12). In a bowl, mix together all of the dry goods. Add grated veggies and fruit and mix well to combine. In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, oat milk, oils and vanilla. The coconut oil may be clumpy so using a whisk is probably best. Combine dry ingredients with wet ingredients. Scoop into muffin tins and bake for approximately 20 minutes.
Let cool for 5-10 minutes and enjoy.