This is one of those rare recipes that I consistently make almost exactly as written. I usually halve the olive oil and make it in a glass baking dish.
Okay, so I freely admit this recipe is kind of a pain and dirties every pan in the kitchen. It seems like it should be possible to achieve the same result with fewer steps and half the fat. To control cost and calories, I use 2% milk instead of cream, low fat sour cream, normal tomatoes, whole grain pasta, and I skip the breadcrumb topping. It is still kind of a pain to make, but it is absolutely delicious and slightly healthier than the original. One of these days I will get around to simplifying it and reducing the quantity.
For some reason, whenever I follow recipes for fish I end up with raw fish. I know I like fish more well done than most, but I usually like the fish I receive at restaurants. I bake this recipe at 350 F for 20 minutes and then I cover it with a plate for 10 minutes so the fish can finish cooking.
My daughter and I had oatmeal for lunch today. Oatmeal was one of her first solid foods and continues to be a favorite. Of course, the oatmeal I serve her now is very different than what I served her as a baby.
Baby Oatmeal (6 months+)
My daughter took one look at baby rice cereal and turned up her nose. I could hardly blame her. Fortunately, a neighbor told me I could make my own baby cereal using any whole grain. I also used this basic recipe with brown rice, but oatmeal was infinitely more popular.
- 1/4 cup oatmeal ground to powder in food processor or blender
- 3/4 cup water
Boil water in a small sauce pan.
Add oatmeal powder, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Cool to room temperature before serving.
This basic recipe can be mixed with any fruit or vegetable puree for variety.
As my daughter grew, I started adding all kinds of random things to oatmeal. No fruit or vegetable was safe.
Young Toddler Oatmeal (8 months+)
This recipe is unlikely to appeal to most adults, but my daughter enjoyed it while she was getting used to different textures in food. It also sticks to a spoon, making it a great choice to practice self feeding.
- 1/4 cup old fashioned oatmeal
- 1/2 cup water can use half water and half milk
- 1/4 cup bite size vegetables I used a frozen vegi mix containing corn, peas, and carrots
Combine first two ingredients in a large bowl and microwave for 4 minutes. Steam vegetables until soft (about 4-6 minutes). Stir vegetables into the oatmeal. Serve at room temperature
I love oatmeal too. After much experimentation I found a optimal recipe for us to enjoy together.
Applesauce oatmeal (18 months+)
I started making this recipe for my daughter and I to share. After several months, I found that I was getting hungrier and hungrier after lunch. Someone was eating an ever increasing proportion of our oatmeal. Now, my daughter gets her own bowl.
- 1/2 cup old fashioned oatmeal
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- cinnamon to taste
Combine first three ingredients in a large bowl Microwave for 5 minutes. Stir in applesauce and cinnamon.
There are some days where cooking is hard, my daughter is fussy, and I forgot to go to the grocery store. This is a recipe for one of those days. If I cover the broiler pan in aluminum foil, it doesn’t even generate any dishes. I shamelessly copied this recipe from a friend who makes it frequently as a filling and slightly nostalgic lunch.
Basic recipe for busy days.
- 1 5 oz can tuna fish packed in water
- 4 slices cheddar cheese
- 2 english muffins, split (I usually use whole grain)
Drain the tuna and divide between the english muffins
Cover tuna with a slice of cheese and sprinkle with paprika
Put sandwiches on a cookie sheet covered in foil
Broil until cheese is very bubbly and tuna is hot (about 8 minutes)
This is the only dessert I ever remember my father making. Why mess with perfection? The ingredients are easy to remember and the 1:1 proportions can be scaled to any size. I have made everything from a 1 apple crisp in a ramekin to a 9×13 inch pan full for a potluck. It always turns out well. This is my go to semi-healthy dessert.
It can also be prepared ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before baking. The leftovers are delicious for breakfast.
Simple and delicious dessert packed with whole grains.
- 1/4 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup wheat germ
- 1/4 cup butter
- ~4 large apples
- 1 tbsp lemon juice optional
- 1 tbsp honey optional
Preheat the oven to 350 F
Combine the first six ingredients together in a large bowl and cut together with a pastry cutter
Peel and thinly slice enough apples to mostly fill a 9x9 baking dish
If apples are crisp or you are making ahead drizzle with a tablespoons of lemon juice over the apples
If desired, drizzle apples with honey to add sweetness
Pour topping over apples to form an even coating and press down lightly
Bake until apples are soft or about 45 minutes
I get my creative cooking from my mother. She has a meticulously organized recipe box full of hand printed recipes which bear little relation to what she actually cooks. Many of the recipes contain ingredients, but no instructions. The rest are more misleading then helpful because Mom has optimized the recipes for our family’s taste, but has not written down any of the alternations.
I have many wonderful memories of my Mom handing me a recipe card and listing off at least six ways that the card was inaccurate. This recipe contains most of the same ingredients as a recipe that appeared in my Grandmother’s temple cookbook. The proportions are made up, but it tastes almost as good as Moms.
Easy savory kuggle using ingredients available in the grocery store.
- 12 oz egg noodles
- 4 eggs
- 8 oz cottage cheese one small container
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 1/2 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 300 F
Cook noodles according to package instructions
Mix everything together in a large bowl
Pour into greased 13x9 inch baking pan
Bake for 1 hour
This recipe is a compromise between two undeniable facts:
1. Some days require chocolate
2. If I bake a pan of brownies, I end up eating most of a pan of brownies.
This recipe is a scaled down and simplified version of microwaved mug brownies as found here.
Single Serving Microwave Brownies
Delicious single serving brownie ready in minutes 🙂
- 1/4 cup brownie mix
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp milk
Mix all ingredients in a mug or ramekinMicrowave on high for 50 secondsIf still wet in the center microwave for an additional 10 seconds or untill done (cake should still be moist)
Sweet potato fries are becoming ubiquitous as a healthier and tastier alternative to standard potato fries, but I have never figured out the trick of making them at home. It probably has something to do with my refusal to deep fat fry them. However, I found that using baby carrots makes a quick and easy vegetable side dish that is popular with both my husband and toddler.
Kid friendly vegetable side dish
- 2 cups baby carrots or pealed carrot strips
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 F
Place carrots on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil
Sprinkle with salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Toss to coat
Bake for 20 minutes or until brown. Shake the pan every 10 minutes.