Nibbles & Noshes

Changing your family’s eating habits in a world filled with processed food is not easy. Where do you even begin? I say start small and take one step at a time. Trying to completely overhaul your family’s diet at once is near impossible. Why not just start with the snacks?

We here at the House of Bedlam spend the majority of our waking hours at ice skating rinks. Which means we encounter lots of vending machines and snack bars with wonderful assortments of decadent treats. Did you know vending machines speak in high pitch voices that only children can hear? The voices are saying “drive your parents crazy until they give you some change!” This has not been scientifically proven – YET…

That vending machine full of colorful chips and candy is hard to compete with. To be honest, I have a hard time walking by without gazing into the glass to see what the choices are. If I gave in every time they asked, my kids would gladly live on vending machine fare. I try and stick to the 80/20 plan and have healthy snack alternatives for the times I don’t cave in.

One of my go to snacks is granola and I’ve come up with a recipe that satisfies their sweet tooth and need for something crunchy. Our secret is to add in steel cut oats for an extra crunch.

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This recipe can be tailored with your family’s favorite nuts or dried fruits. Make a huge batch and have some on hand when that vending machine starts talking to your kids!

The Crunchiest Granola Ever

Ingredients

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

2 Tbsp. honey

¼ cup maple syrup

1 tsp cinnamon

Pinch of salt

1 ¼ cups Old-fashioned oats (not instant)

¾ cup steel cut oats

1 egg white (optional)

¼ cup dried cranberries (optional)

¼ cup raisins (optional)

– Recipe by Elaine Studdert

Method

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, honey, maple syrup, cinnamon and salt. Add both oats and stir until coated.

IMG_2061Add the egg white and stir until well combined. The egg binds the granola in large clusters which is great for snacking. Just omit if you want the granola to be more like cereal.

Spread the oat mixture on the baking sheet in a single layer, spreading it with a fork to leave clusters. Do not press down.

IMG_2064Bake for 40-45 minutes until browned. The granola will be soft when you remove it from the oven but will crisp as it cools. After granola is cooled break into chunks and mix in the cranberries and raisins.

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Store in airtight container for up to two weeks. If it lasts that long…

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And the VERDICT is:

Matthew (age 7): “I like the flavor”

Liam (age 5): “Tastes like cereal”

Dylan (age 5): “Too crunchy”

 

For my local readers:

Upcoming talks w/Jen Dorf, Integrative Holistic Health Coach

Tues 3/3 Central School 7:30pm

Thurs. 3/12 Athleta in Scarsdale 6:30pm

How To Make Meal Time Connections With Your Family:

Do you feel overwhelmed by the thought of getting a meal on the table while juggling numerous activities with the kids?  Have you fantasized about enjoying a meal together as a family around the dining room table rather than at the counter or in the car?  Imagine the entire family sharing the mealtime duties so you can all enjoy one another with no distractions. Kids yearn for the family meal and studies show that there is a lower incidence of eating disorders and alcohol/drug abuse when families dine together on a regular basis.  Many of us have never learned how to make this happen! Join Jen Dorf as she shares simple and fun tips to connect with your kids at meal time.  Quick and easy recipes to satisfy the pickiest of eaters, and age appropriate duties will have the entire family engaged at mealtime happy to participate in the process.  You and your family will enjoy each other around the table more regularly.

To learn more visit: Jen Dorf Wellness

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Bottom Of The Barrel

Wondering what to do with those last few apples at the bottom of the barrel? I had about six bruised and battered apples left from our trip to the orchard. I hated to throw these forgotten few on the compost pile so I decided to make a batch of apple pie topping. This was so easy and it can be used on everything from ice cream to pancakes, to granola.

Apple Pie Topping

Ingredients

1 1/2 Tbsp butter

6 apples, peeled and diced

1 Tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

Pinch of salt

Method

Melt butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the apples to the melted butter and stir to coat. Stir in the brown sugar, cinnamon and a pinch of salt.

Cook until the apples soften but are not mushy, about 5-7 minutes. Serve warm over some pancakes. Or let cool and top your favorite ice cream. Your kids will probably prefer the ice cream option…

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And the VERDICT is:

Matthew (age 7): “Put mine on the side!”

Liam (age 5): “Thumbs middle”

Dylan (age 5): “Just ice cream!”

Who cares about the verdict – I used up all the apples!!!

Any other ideas for cooking those last few apples? Please share!

Sideshow

It’s time to start planning the big meal!

Need a little inspiration for some kid-friendly Thanksgiving side dishes?

See our latest post on Kidville: Voices from the Ville:

Thanksgiving Sideshow

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Appetizers

In the past few years we have rung in the New Year at 6pm and then put the kids to bed. Now that Matthew can tell time he is wise to us and we might have to let the boys stay up till 9 or 10 (yikes!) Ignorance is bliss – why on earth did we have to show him how to read his Spiderman watch????

As long as we have to be up and the kids want a party I thought I should put them to work making some appetizers. Here are three great ideas we came up with for the toddler party set:

–       Mini roasted veggie pizzas

–       Mini garlic knots

–       Sweet cinnamon sticks

3 great apps from plain old pizza dough – easy, cheap, fun to make – and I am pretty confident the little angels will eat them….

MINI ROASTED VEGGIE PIZZAS

Ingredients

1 medium onion

1 red pepper

2 1/2 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for brushing

Salt & Pepper

1 pkg. fresh pizza dough

Flour for dusting

1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated

2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated

2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped, optional

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut onion and pepper in large chunks and toss with 2 tbsp of olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast vegetables on baking sheet until carmelized, about 25 minutes. Puree with 1/2 tbsp of olive oil, set aside. Wipe baking sheet and add lightly oil.

Roll out pizza dough – use flour as needed so dough does not stick to rolling pin. Cut out 3” rounds with cookie cutter or upside down glass or bowl.

Top with vegetable puree first, then the mozzarella and lastly sprinkle with grated parmesan and fresh basil.

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Bake at 500 degrees for approximately 12 minutes until crust is golden brown.

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And the VERDICT is:

Matthew: I guess I like it Mommy

Liam: I want big pizza, not little! I’m not eating this. The sauce made me stop eating it, not my fault!

Dylan: Hey, there is no cheese on this, where is the cheese!?

 

MINI GARLIC KNOTS

Ingredients

1/2 cup unsalted butter, plus more for brushing

1 package fresh pizza dough

Flour for dusting

3 Tbsp minced garlic

1 1/2 Tbsp dried oregano

Sea Salt

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Lightly oil a baking sheet.

Roll out pizza dough – use flour as needed so dough does not stick to rolling pin. Cut into 4 “ strips and tie into tiny knots. Bake for approximately 12-15 minutes until golden.

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In a small saucepan, combine butter and garlic. Heat until butter melts and garlic is fragrant, about 5 minutes. Do not boil. Transfer to a large bowl and mix in oregano.

Toss warm knots in bowl with butter mixture. Sprinkle with salt.

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And the VERDICT is:

Matthew: Just like the pizza place!

Liam: Too hot – but I am eating it anyway….

Dylan: I want 5 or 10

 

SWEET CINAMMON STICKS

Ingredients

1 package fresh pizza dough

Flour for dusting

2 Tbsp butter, melted

1 Tbsp honey

2 Tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Roll out pizza dough – use flour as needed so dough does not stick to rolling pin. Cut into 6“ strips (about 1/2 inch wide) and lay out on baking sheet.

In a small bowl mix butter and honey. In a separate bowl, mix sugar and cinnamon. Brush dough with butter mixture and generously sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

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Bake until sticks are browned, approximately 15 minutes. Serve alone or with vanilla ice cream.

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And the VERDICT is:

Matthew: It’s better dipped in the ice cream!

Liam: It makes me cough and get sick (funny, he ate 2!)

Dylan: Tastes like a frozen ice pop, gimme another stick!

And the clear winner – GARLIC KNOTS!