Thursday, July 25, 2013

Baby Banana Custard {{Sugar Free}}

I try and make my babes his food whenever possible. It's not that I'm against jarred or packaged baby food, but really have you ever tasted it??? And those little meat sticks in a jar...oh yuck! With all the time I spend making other things in the kitchen, I have discovered with little to no effort I can make my own food for the babes at home.

And he likes it way more than jarred food.

This was a piggy back post of of my Spinach Egg White Salad post I wrote. In that post for the recipe you only use the egg white which leave a few yolks left over. I thought I would try making something with them, since I felt **guilty** throwing them away. And that is from years of conditioning on my Mother's part about some poor kid starving somewhere.

Thanks Mom :)

Anyway I call this Baby Banana Custard, but I'm not even sure it can really be considered a custard since it is not prepared traditionally the way a custard is prepared. But since this is my blog and I'm calling it that...so I'm going with it.

It is seriously easy to make and my little guy LOVES it. Egg yolks are full of cholesterol, which like many cholesterol rich foods are FULL of wonderful and important nutrients, like the many fat-soluble vitamins like A,D,E and K to name a few and essential fatty acids. Yes, I am an egg advocate, especially for little growing babies that require optimum nutrition to develop.

It takes but a few ingredients and a few minutes to make this little treat and to boot taste good for big people too, especially those like me that eat a grain free, sugar free life style!! (The irony of this has not escaped me)

This is what you will need....

  • 4-5 egg yolks
  • 1 large RIPE banana
  • 1 Tbsp plain Greek yogurt or heavy cream (optional)
  • (For babies, make sure they tolerate any and all of these ingredients before serving.)

Mash the yolks in bowl, they should get all sorts of crumbly. If you would like them smoother add in some Greek yogurt or heavy cream and mix it well.  My little guy has no problems with any of these additions, so I add them sometimes and other times just skip them, either way it still tastes great. They will look all crumbly, but don't worry it will come together in a few steps, so put them aside for a quick second!

Mash your banana in a separate bowl, remember the riper it is the sweeter it is! I have one of those hand held emulsifier blenders which is one of my most favorite tools of the kitchen, because it's great for making stuff like this for the babes and for my older girls who love homemade banana yogurt shakes. Add the banana mixture to the mashed egg yolks.

 Mix it until the banana and the yolks come together to form a creamy mixture, serve immediately!

My little guy like to steal the spoon and try feeding himself!!!

You an store this in the fridge, but keep in mind the top layer will get a bit discolored if it sits, just mix it up as it is still fine to eat.

Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Spinach, Egg White Salad

As I have mentioned in a few posts I'm borderline diabetic, I gained too much weight in the past four years popping out three kids and my whole body has gone crazy on me. I have had to change around quite a few things in my lifestyle in order to not develop full blown diabetes. Because really who wants to deal with the complications of that??

I still find it ridiculously ironic that I love baking and decorating and playing in the kitchen; yet the love I have for things of the sweeter persuasion have essentially become somewhat poisonous to me. For the most part I just try to look at ingredients as art supplies, I find with that mentality I won't be eating any of it, because really when was the last time you ate any of your paint from a tube of paint? Or your colored pencils..see where I am going with this :)

Moving on-wards and upwards though, because I have been carefully reading food labels and really just embracing the healing nature of whole foods I am happy to say that my morning fasting sugars are getting lower. I have started adding a bit of organic apple cider vinegar (Braggs) to my water (you get used to the taste) in the hopes that it will help reduce my morning sugars to an even lower number.

I'm pretty sure it's a hormonal glitch in my endocrine system because I am eating nothing that should effect my fasting sugars the way they do. I am hoping that the Apple Cider Vinegar and the vitamin supplements I am taking will work some natural magic in helping to  restore my body's ability to function normally.

Which brings me to lunch! Yes, I am totally aware of how I just jumped from one subject to the next, but that is how I function on a daily basis, so I figured I would drag you for a ride through the wackadoodle thought process of mine. Most likely a result of my many years of drug abuse.( No worries, I'm clean now 7 years + and super nice and I  promise I won't rob you!!)

Back to lunch (see how I wander!!!) I eat eggs, a lot of eggs. Eggs, for breakfast, eggs for lunch, eggs for snacks...eggs, eggs, eggs. They are so good for you and packed with so much nutrition that it's hard not to eat them when I can.

But, yes there is a but...I get bored of them. So I mix them up as much as I can, which brings me to today's recipe for Spinach Egg White Salad. This is something that I first tried when I worked in a bagel cafe many, many moons ago. I never knew the exact recipe they used, so I've allowed myself to take a bit of creative license when I made this.

Oh and if I haven't mentioned it yet.....it's awesome.

The ingredients are simple, easy, wholesome and clean!

This is what you will need...

  • 7 Hard Boiled eggs
  • A Handful of Spinach
  • 1 Clove of Garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. Mayo
  • 1 Tbsp. Oil of choice

First off if you don't know how to make hard boil eggs, which some of you may not, this is how I make mine.I place my eggs in a pot of water and bring to a boil. Once the water starts boiling I set the timer for 8 minutes. At the 8 minute mark I drain the hot water and rinse them with cool water so they stop cooking. 

Now as you eggs are cooling a bit you can get your spinach ready. First chop up your clove of garlic roughly.

Add it to a small pan on medium heat with your oil of choice. I use coconut oil, for the health benefits, but you could use olive oil, butter or whatever you prefer. Let it cook for a few minutes to start to soften and begin to brown it.

While the garlic is cooking, chop your spinach up into small pieces.

Add it to the pan with the garlic.

And let it all reduce and cook down.

Take it off the heat and put aside to cool a bit. Start peeling your eggs

And de-yolk them, which literally just means take the yolk out. (But don't throw those yolks away, you can use the to make {{THIS}} easy treat, which is great for babies or anyone looking for a healthier dessert.

Roughly chop the egg whites and put them in a small bowl. Add in 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise, garlic and spinach. 

Mix it up.

You can let it set up an bit in the fridge or eat it immediately. Because I don't eat grain, I serve mine on a bed of greens with some strawberries, although I'm sure it would taste just as good with some sweet little cherry tomato's, in a wrap or layered between two pieces of bread!

Anyway you choose to eat it is fine, just eat it because it's good AND good for you. 

Your welcome ;)

Hope you enjoy!!

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Monday, July 22, 2013

Rapunzel Princess Party

We had my daughters third birthday this past weekend. I kid you not when I tell you she has been waiting for her birthday since she began to understand what birthday parties actually were, shortly after turning two. She wanted a Rapunzel party and has talked about it incessantly up until the moment when the party began tis past weekend.

I happen to be one of those Mom's that wants her kiddos to have magical memories of events in their life whenever possible. I know that I am so very grateful for my own Mother providing me with such memories. And Birthday happens to be one of those things that I have the ability and talent to add a little of my own magic to, so I do my best to make myself completely crazy in order to bring their expectations (or my own really) to fruition :)

I had HUGE plans for this party, but realized with three kids underfoot, it's difficult if not impossible to do as much as I planned to do. I also forget to consider that outside parties also have variables that I sometimes don't consider...like WIND. Which completely thwarted my intentions of creating the food table and dessert tables the way that I had planned. It was so annoying that I gave up on table clothes because all they did was blow around and make me mad, hot and sweaty!

Because have I failed to inform you how incredibly HOT it was this weekend???? Good thing we were in the middle of an insane heat wave! Think "hell" and then times that by infinity, coupled that with the humidity, when you walked out of the cool, climate controlled environment of the house you were immediately greeted in what felt like a thick, hot wet blanket wrapping every part of you, so let me include it was not a nice hair day...at all!  Thank goodness we had a pool for everyone to cool down in!

I started out by creating her this invitation, that the rest of the party would be based on. Creating printables is one of my favorite things to do, so I was thrilled to make one for my daughter's party! The invite measured 4x6 and was made extra special with the tower and the end portion of her hair extended from the edge of the invitation, in order to give it a bit more depth and add a little fun to it.

I based the cupcake wrappers and toppers off of the invitation as well. The wrappers with the Rapunzel face on it also have the dimensional effect with the top portion of her head being cut out from the top of the wrapper.

I also made the water bottle labels to match, more for fun then anything else. They are more of a prop type of decor and just look nice with all the other decorations.

Next was a banner type of printable, which were simply 3 inch round circles I punched out and placed with yellow circles on strings to hang about. I used plain string, instead of ribbon to hang them because I was "trying" to achieve a certain look. But they would look nice hanging from any type of ribbon or string. These were actually made to adorn the edge of the dessert table, but remember that "wind" I mentioned earlier??? It caused these to just flap in the wind. So I settled on hanging them where I could,  I was determined to display them since I had put the work in to make them!

Last for the printables I designed for the party were the paper lanterns or "floating lights." My daughter always asks to see them, so I thought this a good opportunity to include them in the party. I printed mine on normal paper, but I would suggest a thicker sturdier card stock if you plan to use them outside. Between the wind and the wet blanket like humidity, they did not keep there shape as much I would have liked. We placed them in random spots through out the yard to give an illusion of paper lanterns. These would also look awesome for a night based party using those LED flickering light candles. You could just place these over them like a sleeve and create a lantern effect instantly. (The link to download these are at the bottom of the post.)

Now I has seen quite a few awesome ideas on Pinterest and blogs as well for Rapunzel themed parties, but the one idea I wanted to do so badly was one that just did not make it to fruition. It was the long braid made of yellow yard that I had seen on Paging Supermom. I wanted to hang it through out the party and along the food tables, but realized that trying to make it 20 minutes before the party was not the time to make an enormous, long braid. 

Add in two kids and a baby continually wrapping themselves in the strands of yard because it was "fun", made me almost give up! About halfway through I realized that I could still make Rapunzel's hair but in a simpler way. My Mother helped me string together strands of yarn that we tied off in sections with a bit of purple ribbon. 

As I mentioned this was also supposed to hang on the edge of the food table, but due to the wind we hung it around the yard. I would suggest using a larger ribbon, for more impact in the sections of hair, but this was made literally minutes before guests started arriving, so we used what we had on hand and it worked out wonderfully.

Last but not least I made big tissue paper pom poms that hung on the edge of the house, color coordinating with the party colors of purple and yellow.  These are so easy to make and create such a great decoration that adds to any party.

On to the desserts, my favorite part of any party!! I wanted to make so much more then I was able, but realized that there is only o much I can do in a limited amount of time, while also taking care of the kids.
Naturally I made cupcakes, and used the wrappers I created to display them. Some were wrappers with my version of Rapunzel's character on them and others were of a purple pattern with 2 inch circle toppers placed on top.

Cake pops are a given for any and all events my hubby and I host. I made them a little different then usual. 

Since it was so incredibly hot this past weekend, I cheated in making theses a bit and did a quick dip in the chocolate and placed them upside down in miniature wrappers. I then covered them in sprinkles. I also used color coordinating paper straws  in purple and yellow to pretty them up a bit!!

I also made brownies, which I simply drizzled purple chocolate candy melts on top and scattered purple sprinkles on top. Always a super easy, fast and effective way to coordinate with any party color theme (yummy too!))

I had the most fun creating this last treat. Vanilla Sugar cookies decorated with royal icing. I LOVE making and decorating cookies, I just never really have the time to do it as much as I would like.

 I also based it on the character I designed for the party, but changed it up a bit to fit on the cookie. They were far from perfect, but I adored them and when I asked my daughter's who it was they immediately replied "Rapunzel" so that in itself made me happy!!

Lastly but certainly not least was her cake. She wanted a Rapunzel cake and has told me this Every. Single. Day over the past several months, so I did my best to make her a version she would be happy with.

This was also based off the invitation I made for her. The topper is made from tinted  fondant and the cake is frosted with butter cream using my Fantabulous Vanilla Frosting

The Birthday girl loved it and was thrilled to finally be able to blow the candle out on HER birthday cake!

I also made a fruit salad for those not so interested in the super sweet stuff and I had assorted jars of purple and yellow candy, for some reason I neglected to take pictures of this! All in all the party was a hit and thankfully the Thunderstorms and rain waited until most of the guests had left to wash away the day!!

You can print out the Paper Lanterns from {{HERE}}Hope you enjoyed reading along! And I hope you will find some ideas that will help you with your own Rapunzel themed party! 

For other great princess themed invitations you can check out Birthday Invitations from Zazzle

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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Creamy Summer Squash with Sauteed Onions

I was the kid that ate all her veggies growing up. I was lucky enough to have my Mom's garden available to me all summer long, so there was never a shortage of delicious home grown veggies. I have and always will love vegetables prepared in a variety of ways, but unfortunately my love of veggies have not been passed onto my two older kids, although I'm doing my best to try and get them on board. I even started a garden this summer in the hopes that if I let them "help" me and they see where food comes from they will be more inclined to at least "try" them instead of wrinkling up their little noses in defiant protest at the mere thought of them.

I'm at a point where I am either going to develop diabetes or not. I am doing my part to change the outcome by actively participating in my diet and consciously choosing what foods I put into my body, because at this point in the game I have a full and complete knowledge of how foods effect my blood sugar and I take full responsibility that the outcome lies within my choices.

I've been doing a good job at maintaining my blood sugars during the day, but for whatever reason I can't get my fasting sugars below 120 in the morning. I am trying to discover if I can in fact change the outcome by changing my food choices all across the boards. Because in all honesty I can't accept medication as the solution for an internal problem...ever. When I was pregnant I submitted to the use of insulin to lower my fasting sugars, in order to not harm the baby with elevated blood sugars...but now I'm looking for a more natural solution through a lot of vegetables and lean proteins and lifestyle changes.

But onto better more delicious topics of conversation than my sad state of fating blood sugar....like summer squash, yes again! I know I posted about Summer Squash last week, but there is so much that can be done with it, like this recipe of my Mother's that is seriously beyond delish.

Creamy Summertime Squash with Sauteed Onions...

What makes this dish so fabulous beside the obvious yumminess of the actual squash and sauteed onions is the addition of cheese. But not just any cheese-White American Cheese. So many people don't even know of this option of cheese, but it is what I grew up on and the one thing friends would raid my fridge for. It is much creamier than typical american cheese and I prefer it because it has less coloring in it and I like the taste.

This is what you will need to make it....

  • Yellow squash
  • Zucchini (Optional)
  • Onions
  • American Cheese
  • Cooking oil of choice ( I used coconut oil, but you can use, olive oil or butter)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Wash and dry your squash. Peel the outer skins and half then quarter the squash. Chop your onions and add to a heated pan with oil of choice. Cook your onions at a medium heat until they start to soften and get clear. Add your squash and if you choose add the zucchini as well.

Cover and let it all cook down until the squash is soft...10 min or so. You can add a bit of salt and pepper to season nit all a bit as well.

Add a few slices of  White American cheese to top and cover so it melts, turn down heat to low. Let it sit for a few minutes then.

Stir well and serve.

Hope you enjoy this post!!!

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