Monthly Archives: March 2012

Dieter’s Palate

I am no longer measuring the success of my dinners by Dieter’s reaction. Dieter would be thrilled with a peanut butter and honey sandwich and disgusted with pretty much anything else. That is not a discerning palate in my opinion.

I knew I was taking a shot in the dark with dinner last night and if I were to measure it’s success with Dieter’s reaction it would have been this:

You know it’s no good when he picks his tossed away, baby paci over the food.  Sometimes he’ll even start chewing on the high chair strap which is a sure sign he would rather eat anything besides what’s on his tray.

But I am proud to say that this dinner was delicious!  And kid friendly (as long as your name isn’t Dieter).

Quinoa “mac and cheese” and broccoli bites.

Quinoa Mac and Cheese


1 1/2 cups quinoa (cooked according to package directions)

1 egg

1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1 cup milk

1 tsp. garlic salt (adjust according to taste)

Seasoned bread crumbs


Mix all of the ingredients except the quinoa and bread crumbs in a large bowl.  Add the quinoa to the cheese mixture and combine well.  Pour into a greased, 9×13 inch pan.  Sprinkle bread crumbs on top and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until top begins to brown.

This recipe was slightly adapted from here.

Note: Quinoa usually needs to be rinsed really well before cooking or else you’ll have bitter-tasting food.  You can buy pre-rinsed quinoa, which I used for this recipe.  It is definitely a time-saver.

Broccoli Bites thanks to Stacey Snacks


16 oz. bag of frozen broccoli, thawed (I used a 12 oz. bag and they turned out a little “breadier” as a result)

1 1/2 shredded cheddar cheese

3 eggs

1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs


Squeeze out the excess liquid from the broccoli and cut into small pieces.  Combine all the ingredients and shape into small patties. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet (I didn’t have parchment paper so I just sprayed the baking sheet and it worked okay).  Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes, flipping the bites over halfway through.

Note: Because of timing I had to bake the quinoa and broccoli bites at the same time.  I put the quinoa in about 10 minutes before the broccoli bites (at 375 degrees) and it all worked out just fine.  I did keep a closer eye on everything since I wasn’t sure what the warmer temp and fuller oven would do.

There you have it!

Little Balls of Protein

I know that is a weird title and sure it doesn’t make this treat sound inviting at all but trust me, these little guys are yummy! I’ve seen recipes for no-bake cookies or protein bites…whatever you’d like to call them and I figured they would be a quick and easy snack. And if I want a happy hubby I have to have a bunch of easily accessible snacks lying around on the weekends.

My inspiration was here. And I was originally going to follow the recipe exactly but then I realized that I didn’t have coconut and I just strayed farther and farther away. I’m hoping my amounts are accurate since I didn’t do a ton of measuring but really as long as your mixture sticks together it’s pretty foolproof and VERY adaptable.

1 1/2 cups oatmeal
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup flaxseed (I used whole but you could certainly use ground)
2 tbsp. cocoa powder
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1 tsp. vanilla
Handful of slivered almonds

Mix all the ingredients together (this is best done with your hands so be ready to get a little messy!) and then put in the refrigerator for half an hour or so. Roll into little balls and enjoy!  Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

These are so crunchy and chewy and yummy! Next time I’m going to add some shredded carrots to the mix because I am certain that would get Dieter to eat some veggies!

Play dough

When I was younger I remember the joy of opening up a brand new container of play-doh and creating all sorts of fun creatures, shapes and “food”  I figured Dieter is at the age where he will play with the dough more than trying to eat it so I decided to whip up a batch for him. I found a recipe via Pinterest that seemed really foolproof.  The colors she was able to get for her dough are fantastic but you won’t get them with the regular food coloring, she notes what type she used in her post. Here it the recipe (with a little variation).


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1/3 cup salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (I used canola and it worked just fine)
  • food coloring

How to do it:

  1. Put all the dry ingredients in a saucepan and mix to combine.
  2. Add the water and vegetable oil.
  3. Turn the stove to medium/low and start stirring.
  4. Add the food coloring.
  5. As the mixture heats up it will start getting lumpy.  Keep stirring until the dough starts to form a big clump and takes on the texture of “play-doh.”  If you’re starting from a cold stove it could take a couple minutes.
  6. Let the dough cool down on a plate.

Variation: I wanted to see what it would look like to add a packet of Kool-aid to the dough instead of food coloring.  Well the color didn’t change much but all of a sudden I had playdough that smelled faintly of cherry (which I thought was kind of cool).  So for scented playdough add a packet of Kool-aid along with the dry ingredients.

Dieter loved playing with it!

Organized Scarves…FINALLY!

Ugh, I am in such a rut.  I feel like February has sucked all the creativity and blog ideas out of me.  Hopefully March will be better.  Until then here’s an idea I had for all of my scarves (I loooove scarves).  Until this point they’ve just been hanging out in a basket with  the hats and mittens and it drove me crazy.  My mom used to work at a natural foods store and somehow got a hold of  two pretty cool boxes.  One of them displayed fruit strips.  She didn’t need them anymore so I snagged them and they hung out in the basement until I had this idea:

Do you see the border?  The previous owner of our house was OBSESSED with borders!