Cooking with Carter: Blueberry Muffins

Some days are just exceptionally wonderful.  They begin with your child sleeping until 10:00 then waking up and proclaiming, “I want to make blueberry muffins for breakfast.”  So, we printed our recipe, tossed out some ingredients and dove right in.  I’m sure you don’t want need me to say how easy and healthful it is to make your own muffins and how many bad, bad things are in box muffin mix.  I mean, you may as well have a candy bar for breakfast.  Moving on.

Here’s the original recipe.  Here’s our fun with it:

We started with the part where Carter hides in his room with the door closed while I process the oatmeal into a fine meal.  He can’t. stand. the sound of the food processor.  Once the unpleasantness is over, he pops right back in.

Carter helps measure out and mix together the dry ingredients: oats, 2 flours, salt, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and brown sugar.

Then the wet ingredients are mixed in a seperate bowl: buttermilk, canola oil, eggs and lemon zest.  Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and then stir, stir, stir the wet stuff in.

Last comes the much anticipated blueberries.  This recipe came with a great little trick: toss the frozen blueberries with some flour to keep them from coloring the batter all blue.  It worked like a charm.

Pour them in your own Lightning McQueen baking cups and sprinkle a little sugar over the top.  Wait 20 minutes and then you get to do this:

Yu-um-y.  They are pretty fantastic.  Because of the ultra-hearty ingredients, 2 of these will do you for about 4 hours.  Seriously.

Enjoy and thanks for your comments!


Cooking with Carter: Cheese Crackers

I am a self-proclaimed crazy person when it comes to what I put into my and my family’s bodies.  I enjoy reading about the good and not-so-good in the food world right now.  As a total side note, I do not like the things that I’m reading about artificial colorings, high fructose corn syrup and certain preservatives.  Though I’ve been in different places on the healthy eating spectrum, I do my best to keep us in the “Good For You” corner.  To me, food should resemble what it looked like when it was harvested and not have been messed around with too much before I eat it.  I prefer to be able to pronounce and understand the ingredients on the side of a box or bag.  That’s just me.  *stepping down from soap box now*

I really enjoy finding something that I love and trying to duplicate it at home in a less-processed way.  And, Carter is always a great help in the kitchen.

|Some of my favorites:  Homemade Waffles, NY Style Bagels with flavored cream cheeses and Pumpkin Cupcakes.  The bagels are a bit of a challenge, but SO worth it.  The other two are so easy and delicious, WHY would you buy a mix?!?!|

Last night my husband decided to go a little crazy making home fries, and I needed something special to pull out of my hat to keep Carter away from the mandolin slicer and the hot oil.  My solution: Homemade Goldfish Crackers, shaped like flowers for Spring.  Let me just say that I should have tripled the batch because I wanted to eat them all myself as soon as they cooled.

They were super easy: only a few ingredients:

The Ingredients

There were plenty of opportunities for a three-year old to get right in there and help.  He helped measure and add ingredients.  I offered to let him push the button on the food processor, but it was so loud, he opted to leave the room.  And, he cut the shapes and placed them on the parchment paper.

Adding ingredients

Cutting out the crackers

His anticipation was so cute!  I think he may have watched them cook for the entire 12 minutes.

C'mon, bake!

They were oh so yummy!  I’ve got to find one of those mini goldfish cutters for the next time…and there will be a next time.

Enjoy and thanks for your comments!

Cutting with Scissors

Cutting with Scissors

Carter is 3 years, 3 months old.

You will need:

Pair of scissors
8 ½ X 11 sheet of stiff paper
Container for the clippings


BEFORE YOU BEGIN: Cut the paper into 5 strips, widthwise. Mark a straight line down the center of each strip. Put them in the container with the scissors.

1.         Pick up the scissors and show your child how to hold them. Demonstrate the open and closing action of the scissors.

2.         Show your child how to cut slowly, following the line.

3.         Move the paper along while you are cutting to show how this helps with the cutting process.  Exaggerate the open and closing process.

4.         Put the scissors back into the container and invite your child to try.

Conclusion:  Carter is not an experienced cutter.  When he was younger, I taught him how to tear paper to make collages.  Since then he’s had no interest in scissors.  This has been FINE with me.  I credit it to his not having chopped off any locks of hair to this point.  But, I know that it’s important and must be learned.  The photos above do no justice for just how LONG it took him to cut one single piece.  I took a short video of the end of the process just so you can see.

At what age did you teach your child to start using scissors?  Did you have any scissor disasters?

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