Pumpkin Ricotta Muffins with Spinach & Kale-toddler approved!

Hey there!

In my never-ending quest to feed my 15-month-old variety, I decided to make some pumpkin muffins for her mixed with ricotta cheese and then realized I could get away with adding some greens in there too! These are pretty easy and really healthy! Sugar is not an ingredient in these muffins. So here is how I made them:

Dry ingredients:

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp black pepper

 

Wet ingredients:

1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese

1 cup pure pumpkin puree

3 eggs

1/4 cup olive oil

Blend all of the wet ingredients together in a blender then add them to the mixed dry ingredients in a large bowl. Pre-heat oven to 360 degrees

Chop up 1 to 2 cups of fresh spinach and or kale leaves and fold that in at the end

Pour mixture into to baking tin (they will rise a bit)

Bake for 20 min or a few more if needed once you check them with the clean toothpick test

I have been topping them split in half with plain Greek yogurt and sharing them with Charlotte for breakfast or snack time. She is into them! Freeze some or keep in an airtight container for 2 to 3 days at room temp.

Enjoy!

xo-Adrienne

 

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I’m in love with my Peloton bike!

Man oh man does this bike and app motivate me! I have done more activity in the past 8 or so weeks than I did maybe in all of last year! It’s right there in my living room whenever I have the time. For me, now being a Full-Time stay at home mom, this has been a lifesaver! I don’t make or schedule a time to leave the house to workout and for four-plus years a while back I worked out a lot outside of the home. I slowly got out of that routine and then became pregnant with C and now like magic, it is almost a year and a half later! Plus the winter weather in Pittsburgh is cold and wet and it makes you want to curl up in a ball on the couch and watch movies or hibernate in a cave like a bear for four months. Four months out of twelve spent indoors can drive a girl crazy. Not to mention her 15-month-old daughter! SO I have to do it at home when I can. I haven’t done the same workout twice although I would because I love them all!

The instructors are all really motivating in each and every workout. You feel like a champion when you get off this thing mentally and physically. The tracking display that keeps all of your workouts and stats is amazing and also super motivating! It makes you want to beat yourself each time! It makes you not want to see a week go by with no workouts complete. You can pick a 45 min workout or a 15 and with either one, you feel accomplished and you sweat buckets. That is what I like the most. Each time I get on there and spend the time it is always worth it. I always get my heart rate soaring and the sweat always pours. I always stretch after just for a few minutes and I always feel great! The miles, the output, the calories burned, the achievements earned visually are all so motivating! You cannot help but feel proud of yourself on this thing no matter who you are or what level you are at!

This new motivation has also helped me to eat better and just be more aware of how my body is feeling and how nutrition and physical activity is a direct reflection of that. It helps my mood a lot as well and who doesn’t need a mental boost every once in a while? I love my Peloton and I recommend it wholeheartedly! I have yet to do the yoga, meditation or strength training on it because I am still not in the habit of using it daily. Hoping I will get there but from a place of not doing much physically beside momin’ it all day every day I think an average 3 times a week is great progress! It is not going anywhere. It is mine and like I said before it is always there for me. I have noticed changes in my body and most importantly it is helping build up those good habits I had before I had Charlotte. Even though I know there is nothing wrong with the current Adrienne I know for sure the old Adrienne felt better and that is what I am striving for. I know my Peloton will help me get there and I plan on enjoying the journey!

This bike is the best present I have ever received from my husband. He seems to know just what I need when I need it. I can’t wait to keep riding and see how far I can push myself mentally & physically!

xo-Adrienne

pelotion 1st ride<January 15, 2019-one of the best days ever! >

My username is ACarey19 if you want to follow me!

Toddler-friendly Tuna & Rice muffins

Ingredients: 

1 1/2 cups cooked rice

2 five oz. cans tuna

1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs

2 TBSP mayo

2 TBSP soy sauce

1 TBSP ginger

1 TBSP honey

1 egg

2 chopped scallions

1 huge handful spinach chopped

salt and pepper to taste

garlic powder and sesame seeds to taste

a drizzle of olive oil

To Do: 

Mix with a spoon or fork all ingredients together and fill evenly into the mini muffin pan like I did here:

toddler friendly tuna

 

Or roll into balls and bake for 18 min in a 350-degree oven

 

Let them cool for 5 to 10 min before popping them out to cool on a rack or at this point eat immediately because you will want to because they smell so good~yay! They taste like and give you the feeling you are eating sushi!

This recipe made 24 mini muffins and 2 regular size muffins. I plan on enjoying these with Charlotte for lunch and freezing some to pull out weekly. All the good stuff (carbs, protein & veg) in them so I will serve with applesauce or fruit for her most likely today. She is such a good little eater and I hope and pray it never ends!

 

xo, Adrienne

 

 

Zucchini & Apple Oat Muffins

zucch-and-app-muff-e1544653022326.jpg

 

I made these today on a whim after looking for zucchini muffin recipes at the beginning of the week. I came up with my own based on what I had on hand and wanted to use. These are quite delicious and really very easy to make. Preheat oven to 350 and get your mini muffin pan out and ready. Spray so they don’t stick if not using silicone.

In a large bowl combine:

1/3 cup whole fat yogurt (good for babies and toddlers)

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup flour

3/4 cup oats

1 egg

1 small to medium sized grated zucchini (I left some skin on and took some off)

1 small to medium apple grated of your choice (I left some skin on and took some off)

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp baking soda

3 tbsp mini or full-size chocolate chips optional but recommended by me because I have a sweet tooth that can’t be tamed & I bet you do too!

Gently mix all ingredients together with a spoon and then fill muffin tin mostly all the way full as they will grow a bit in the oven but not overly.

Bake 18 min for mini style and I am guessing based on past baking of such muffins that a full size will take about 22 min so just check with a toothpick and make sure it comes out clean. Cool completely and then store in the fridge or freezer.  (This amount made 20 minis)

 

I like this combo because they were super moist and full of mostly the good stuff! I know you and your little ones will like them too!

 

My Charlotte had two for a snack with her milk today and she liked them very much!

zucc and apple muffin

 

xo-Adrienne

 

Charlotte’s UNICORN 1st Birthday Party

Wow, what a fast year that was! Charlotte turned one and I think I am just now recovering two weeks later! I promised some friends I would share how I made the gummies for her party that I then used to put on the tables as well as gave to the kids who attended in goodie bags. The kid’s ages ranged from 2 to 9 so they were good for them, not for Charlotte. The thing about these gummies though is that they are hit or miss taste-wise as the younger kids loved the gummies and the older kids preferred the chocolates. My son, Max, wanted nothing to do with them-lol, go figure. I made a lot and tried to pawn them off on everyone everywhere we went for a week leading up to her party because I had so many. I even made some in a Lego shape because I had that mold too and the amount of Jell-O and gelatin I used was more than enough to fill my two whimsical molds with the rainbows, shooting stars and unicorns! Her shirt was ordered off of Etsy and her headband from Posh Peanuts.

Here are some unicorn pictures that my good friend took of her on her actual birthday. This was completely DIY and I brought the fake wrapped presents and balloons and then we just went for it, crossed our fingers and got these gems!

 

Here is a slideshow of her cakes and cookies from a fabulous local bakery here in Bakerstown, called Sweet b’s Sweet Shop…also some rainbow fruit kabobs and decorations as well as my colorful gummies & chocolates! I bought the molds at JoAnn Fabrics. I used a few extra invites that I had to make her unicorn highchair decoration as well as some leftover tule that we bought that my mom used to make her perfectly cute tutu! Giant Eagle for the balloons and all other decorations from Target. Of course, I did the monthly pics for the first year and bought cardstock or scrapbooking paper from JoAnn’s as well. I then took samples of those colors to the bakery and they matched the cakes as close as they could to that for me. They did an amazing job all around!

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unicorn g and c sunday fundayI spent a few Sundays leading up to her party making these in five different colors. I also did a few batches of chocolates too in four different colors! It was fun and they were SUPER cute but man was I over it by the time I did nine batches! Here is what you need and how you do it:

For every color that you want to make you need one box of that flavor/color Jell-O and 6 packets of unflavored gelatin. That is one and a half boxes or 6 oz of the unflavored and 1 package or 3 oz of the flavored which is a standard Jello-O packet. I did strawberry, lime, lemon, blue raspberry and orange. The orange and strawberry were an off-brand from Aldi actually. I also used a squeezable condiment bottle to make it easier to get the mixture into the molds.

unicorn gummies and chocolates

Make sure your molds are clean and dry and spray with a bit of cooking non-stick spray then place them on a cookie sheet to be placed in the fridge to form later

Take one packet of Jell-O and 6 small packets of the unflavored gelatin and 1/2 cup water and stir it together well in a small pot or saucepan

Then over medium heat on the stove whisk it all together continuously until it turns into a pourable liquid

Once it is all liquid (after a few minutes) pour it into a measuring cup with a spout or a squeezable bottle like the one pictured above

Fill each mold carefully and quickly because it will start to solidify rather fast

Once they are filled chill them in the fridge for about an hour or so then pop each out and in my case repeat a million more times….ha ha

Be sure to wash out the pot and container quickly after too! This stuff really does turn into a gummy mold in whatever it sticks too

You can keep them in an airtight container in the fridge or on the counter for about 3 weeks so you can definitely do some ahead of time like I did

I hope this inspires you to make something fun or just to do something out of your comfort zone for your loved ones. That is the main reason I did this for her party. I wanted to follow through and do something special for that day. I didn’t want to take the easy way out and let my anxiety take over and tell me I couldn’t, that I couldn’t handle or didn’t deserve to give Charlotte a cute Pinterest worthy but still budget friendly (if you ask my husband he will say we spent $1,000 but we didn’t)  birthday party. For the first time, I set my mind to it and just did everything that I wanted. I just made it happen and that probably doesn’t make much sense to most of you but for me and others with anxiety, it is sometimes debilitating and stops you from just doing the things you really want to do-like make little rediculous gummies and chocolates in the shapes of unicorns and rainbows. I’ll leave it at that and hope this helps those that think similar to me or how I used to, I suppose.

 

xo, Adrienne

 

Broccoli & cheese pasta muffins for the whole family

broc cheese pasta muffin 4

In the world of green veggies, broccoli is my #1 enemy. Not so fond memories of childhood dinners where I would cry and sit at the table until 9 at night because I absolutely was afraid to death of it. I tried to feed it to the dog or put it back in the bowl when no one was looking. Fast forward 30 years and I have come to my senses somewhat. I can still gag at the smell of it. 😦 Anyway, I don’t want to pass along my fear and hatred towards this unique green veg to my kids so I introduced it to Charlotte this week who just turned 10 months old. I am obsessed with my new silicone mini and full-size muffin trays that I just got so I knew the fresh beautiful broccoli I made myself buy from the market on Monday had to take a turn in them. I also knew that Max, my 9 yr. old, might like these as well because surprising the kid loves broccoli in a weird way that I don’t really understand.

So, I thought what better way to have it than to mix in small orzo noodles which are the perfect size for the baby and Max happens to like this particular noodle as well. I am accommodating if nothing else. I added some shredded cheddar cheese, which Charlotte is also familiar with, as well as Greek yogurt, panko breadcrumbs and eggs. Nutritionally packed mini “muffins” for sure!

Here is what I did:

Roasted about 3 stalks of broccoli in some coconut oil for 20 min on 375. Looking back I don’t think I even needed to do this but thought it would make it more enjoyable tasting.

Then I chopped it up and looking back again for Charlotte’s sake I wish I would have chopped it up just a bit finer and took off more of the trunk or stalk and just kept more of the flowery floret part. Trust me I have no idea what I’m talking about when it comes to broccoli so I had to google “broccoli parts” to even tell you this which was weird.

Boil 1/2 cup orzo noodles while the broccoli is roasting or while it cools before you cut it up.

Here it is roasted and chopped which I estimated was about 2 cups

broc cheese pasta muffins 1

Mix the following into the chopped broccoli:

2 eggs

1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

1/2 cup of the cooked orzo noodles

broc cheese pasta muff 2

(note-I didn’t really season them with anything since they are mostly for Charlotte and her taste buds don’t know any better but feel free to jazz them up a bit)

Then scoop out and press into mini or full muffin tray like this:

broc cheese pasta muffin 3

Bake at 350 for 15 minutes for mini size or 20 minutes for full size.

This recipe made 24 mini’s and 2 full size. They won’t rise so go ahead and fill them up all the way. I can’t say enough about the silicone baking trays. No spray needed and they pop right out once cool. It is really easy and not messy to clean.

 

I originally had these in mind for Charlotte but I actually ate quite a few that day and liked them! I froze some and have some in the fridge for this week’s meals for both of us and Max too!

 

Enjoy friends!

xo, Adrienne

Baby Blender Mini Muffins

 

 

I am so excited to share these with you! I was searching for a really easy muffin recipe for Charlotte and none of them were appealing to me. She (and I) love spinach and banana so I knew I wanted those to be two of the ingredients. I also wanted to be able to put all of the ingredients quickly into my Ninja Blender that I make my smoothies in. So I have been experimenting and came up with this super-duper easy mini muffin baby recipe that is perfect for baby led weaning/table foods because the texture is spongy so not dry and crumbly. She can hold onto it easily. It sticks to her little fingers and it has big flavors that she is already used to like spinach & banana. 

What you need:

1 egg

2 handfuls of fresh spinach

1/2 cup oats

1 ripe banana

4 oz unsweetened applesauce or another fruit puree of your choice

1/2 tsp  baking powder

That’s it-I repeat-That’s it. Just 6 simple things to throw in

  • place all ingredients into the blender or Ninja and pulse until smooth

This will look like a smoothie when you are done blending

cc mini g m raw

  • pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  • pour batter into mini muffin baking pan pretty much all the way up as these are not going to rise (I sprayed with coconut oil spray first) 
  • set timer for 18 min 
  • Check them with a toothpick for it to come out clean
  • Let them cool for a half hour and then store in the fridge or freeze-I warmed Charlotte’s once refrigerated for 5 sec in the microwave before she ate some the next day 

cc mini green muffin

 

 

Try this version also by just swapping the spinach for 1/2 cup of roasted butternut squash. It is delightful!

rbns mini blender muffins
Roasted butternut squash version on blender mini muffins

Enjoy! xo-Adrienne & Charlotte

Charlotte’s favorite veggie rice & fruity oatmeal

 

Charlotte has loved rice and oats from the beginning so I ground up brown rice and oats for her and began adding different fruits to the oats and veggies to the rice. I usually add a bit of butter and sometimes cinnamon too when making the oatmeal.

veggie rice
Charlotte’s fav veggie rice-this one is with cauliflower

I have mixed black beans, cauliflower, corn, peas, green beans, zucchini (to name a few) and spinach in with her rice and it’s a great way to add new flavors and texture to it.

 

oats with blueberries
Charlotte’s favorite oatmeal with fruit

I have added peaches, bananas, cherries (especially loves that one) and blueberries and strawberries to her oats to name a few.

rice with spinach
Rice with butter & spinach

 

The basic recipe for the fruity oatmeal or the veggie rice goes like this:

Boil 1 cup of water

Add the fruit or veggie and boil for 3 min (about a 1/2 cup of fresh or frozen)-honestly this doesn’t matter that much, just a little will do, for example when I added the zucchini I just grated some in so I have no idea how much

Turn the water down to a simmer and add in 3 TBSP of oats or rice cereal or ones that you ground up yourself. I did mine in the Ninja-easy peasy

Whisk continuously for 5 min taking an occasional break-smash the fruit or veggie to the acceptable thickness your baby can handle if need be but it will naturally get smaller and break apart during the heating and whisking process

Add a touch of butter or cinnamon and stir once the baby is getting used to more complex flavors

 

I usually serve whatever it is right away (after it cools a bit) and then store the rest to use over the next 3 days.

***This is a thicker recipe and probably best once your babe has mastered purees and ready for more texture.

 

xo-Adrienne & Charlotte

charlotte eating
yum!

Charlotte’s favorite baby hummus

Today we went to the market and bought some fresh ingredients to make a mild baby hummus that Charlotte tried for the 1st time. Her 9 month old birthday occurred yesterday and we are in full swing with new foods and especially working on finger foods and spoon feeding herself. I made a simple yet delicious hummus for her that I enjoyed as well. All I needed was a can of chick peas or garbanzo beans and a little bit of help from garlic, basil and a sweet pepper.

 

I used my Ninja that I make my smoothies and her baby purees in for this too.

1 can chick peas or garbanzo beans (rinsed and drained)

1 basil leaf

1 small sweet pepper (I used yellow)

1/4 tsp minced garlic (mine was in olive oil)

1/2 c water

Blend until smooth

Jar and enjoy!

 

Baby feeding tips:

Let her do it herself whether that is with her hand, spoon or dipping a carrot or celery in to lick and suck on.

Life is messy and feeding your baby is especially messy…embrace, let go and enjoy!

 

xo-Adrienne

 

…a few of my faves from her 9 month photos40100586_10217438815100101_4134586847730860032_n(1)

 

Banana, spinach & kiwi for baby

Let’s talk healthy first foods for baby. I started Charlotte on purees at 6 months and she has now tasted about 28 different foods in the past almost 3 months. Everything from mango to avocado and basics like oats, rice and berries. She is so far a really good eater. She likes it and is eager to try new things and play with her food. Here is a simple puree that she loves that has a banana as a base.

 

Spinach + kiwi + banana:

2 kiwis peeled

1 ripe banana

1 handful of fresh or frozen spinach

Makes approx five 2 oz. servings

Blend until smooth {you will see the black specs of the kiwi and the little bits of the spinach and that’s ok} Also, I didn’t add any water to this one as it has no problem creating its own with the juice from the kiwi. Kiwi is so power packed and good for you and that’s why I love this particular blend! Freeze some and have some now and the next day…

I also made her another banana combo with strawberries +cantaloupe (pictured below) that she adored as well! For this combo I used:

1 ripe banana

2 TBSP water

3/4 c strawberries

3/4 c cantaloupe

Makes approx nine 2 oz servings

 

 

Remember, this phase is about having them try different foods and textures to set them up with good eating habits in the future as well as wean them off of breastmilk or formula eventually. So 1 bite or 10 consider your effort worth it! Have fun with it and they will too!

 

xo, Adrienne