Whatever Wednesday: Dinner Edition 

 This past weekend I thought I would get ahead of myself and cook some extra chicken to have on hand for easy meals this week . 

Of course I only thought as far as making the chicken and not what meals I’d make with it . 

Standing in my kitchen this morning staring at diced chicken breast for a few minutes ( thankfully my only audience speaks babble mostly or has four legs ) resulted in a comforting , cheesy warm pasta bake .

Alter to suit the contents of your fridge . Diced ham and smoked Gouda would be an amazing variation . 

Definitely perfect for the cold days ahead or great as a make ahead dinner . 

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Chicken Macaroni & Cheese 

1 cup shredded Gouda 

1 cup shredded Cheddar ( I used montarary Jack )

1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs 

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese 

1 1/2 – 2 cups of milk ( depends how thick or thin you like the sauce )

3-4 tbsp butter

3-4 tbsp flour 

1 tsp garlic , pinch of salt and pepper 

About 3 cups cooked macaroni ( I didn’t really measure the noodles ) 

2 large chicken breasts cooked , cooled and diced 

Melt butter in sauce pan . Stir in flour to form a roux . Allow to cook a minute or two . Stir in milk and add garlic /salt and pepper . When it has thickened and resembles a sauce ( be careful it doesn’t burn on the bottom) add 1/2 cup Gouda and remove from heat 

Combine sauce with noodles . Stir in chicken and remaining Gouda cheese 

In large but not too deep oven safe dish , spread noodle mixture . Flatten with spoon and sprinkle top with bread crumbs and parm . Finally top with other cup of cheese . 

Bake at 350 centre rack until cheese is melted and edges are browning. 

Tuesday Trio – 3 Easy Toddler Recipes

Popeye Muffins

 

Popeye muffins seem to be everywhere in the mama groups and kid recipe facebook pages. I’ve seen various variations of the recipes. Some resulting in a very bright green Hulk-ish muffin , while others use banana in an attempt to cover the “green” taste that can happen with lower sugar , lower fat muffins.

This is my take on the muffin . I didn’t use pureed spinach like many of the recipes call for as I didn’t want the green color.  I am ok with a little bit of sugar and good quality butter so I used them , but you could swap for honey , maple syrup or apple sauce.

I used most of what was left of a tub of fresh baby spinach because that was what i had on hand. I chopped finally and basically wilted in a pan.  I used a mini muffin pan and was really pleased with how they turned out.

They are full of spinach but you can’t taste it at all.  A nice alternative without  banana like a lot of the recipes have.

muffins

Veggie Cheese Bites

These look like ugly lumps of veggies shoved in a muffin and I guess they are but they are delicious ugly lumps !

I am sure you could make them prettier with finer dicing or more even chopping but I wasn’t too concerned. I use whatever veggies need using when it comes to these. In this case I had half a bag of California mix : Cauliflower/broccoli/carrots so I used those.

I’ve also made these on the stove top and on a cookie sheet.  Always yummy !

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Broccoli Bites

These are pretty close to the ones above , but don’t have flour and are more  of a veggie patty than muffin texture.

Again, use what you have with these . For more moist veggies, use more breadcrumbs.

Even adults  love these little guys !

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Whats your favorite recipe to make for your toddler? Any Fails ?

 

Tuesday Things : Zucchini Muffins & Sunday Dinner

I wasn’t sure whether to title this entry Tuesday Things or That Time I Disappeared Over Christmas.  Regardless, here I am .

Christmas was awesome. Everyone says it , but it’s true. Christmas is so much better when you have a little guy to experience it with.  Mr D is still very little but he loved eating mashed potatoes, being held a lot by family and crinkling wrapping paper.

He was spoiled of course and got loads of toys and clothes.

With the season winding down and the New Year having began , healthier choices are always welcome.  I am always trying to eliminate sugar and get more veggies in . Even more so , now that I have Mr D to cook for.

These muffins came together in minutes. The shredding of the zucchini taking the longest but if you used your food processor to mix the whole recipe, it wouldn’t be an issue.  I also used very very ripe bananas as I knew there wouldn’t be any sweetness coming from sugar or honey ( not safe for babies) in this recipe . I ended tossing a couple milk chocolate chips into a couple of the muffins to avoid complaints regarding greenery in baked goods from DH .


Zuchinni muffins

Zucchini & Banana Muffins 

1 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

3/4 cup plain  3 % yogurt ( you could use any yogurt, I used what Mr D eats because he will be eating them)

2 large eggs beaten

tsp of pure vanilla

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp baking powder

2 large very ripe bananas

1 cup shredded zucchini

Mix together banana, zucchini , eggs , vanilla and yogurt. Incorporate dry ingredients together and stir into wet.

Bake at 350 until golden and set in the middle.

* These muffins will take  a bit. I cooked mine at 350 for 20 minutes, turned the pan around and cooked for another 15 .*
zuchinni muffins2


Sunday dinner this weekend was just so good .  The house was cozy and warm . The fire lit downstairs and food cooking away in the oven upstairs.

I ended up making a smaller version of what we had this year for the Christmas dinner we hosted at our house . To be honest , I liked this version better. It was less rushed , since I didn’t have a house full of people eagerly awaiting the food.

The prime rib was cooked just how I liked it and I took the time this time to roast a bulb of garlic for the mashed potatoes.
sunday dinnerA brief return , but  I leave you with Mr D who  had his own version of the “Sunday Dinner’  via leftovers for his lunch on Monday . Little piggie , could not get enough!

sunday dinner drake