Weeknight Pasta and Meatballs

Who doesn’t love pasta and meatballs?! This recipe will show you how to spice up a store bought pasta sauce, and easily put together a delicious nutritious meal!

To make the meatballs combine beef, onions, parsley, garlic, thyme, rosemary, basil, eggs, almond flour, salt, and pepper. I like to let it sit in the fridge for a while so the flavors can meld, but it’s not necessary. I then used a 1″ cookie scoop to get even sized meatballs, and gently rolled them in my hands.

Now to spice up the store bought sauce. I bought a really basic Classico tomato basil sauce. Which of course is perfectly fine on it’s own, but I like to jazz it up a bit. I cut up 1/4 onion, 2 garlic cloves, and 3 stalks of celery. I sautéed them in a little olive oil for a couple of minutes, then added the sauce. I then added a 1/2 cup of broth to the sauce jar, shook it up to get the excess out and dumped that into the pot. Bring it to a boil and then lower temperature and let simmer.

Next to cook the meatballs. Heat olive oil in a large pan, I used a large cast iron pan, and sear the meatballs. Let sit for a couple minutes and turn when there is a nice brown crust. Sear on the other side and then place them in the simmering sauce to finish cooking. This will infuse the flavors of the sauce and meatballs, and keep the meatballs from drying out. Let simmer for 25-30 minutes. In the last 10-15 minutes bring water to a boil and cook your pasta according to package instructions.

Gonna share this picture again to feature the pasta I used. I love this veggie pasta by Cybeles. It’s ingredients are green lentil, kale, broccoli & spinach. You get a serving of protein and a full serving of veggies! Who doesn’t love that! I like the green variety, but they have other flavors. There are also other brands of pasta like this if your store doesn’t carry this specific brand. This is a great way to cut back on carbs, and still have a pasta meal. I will say it doesn’t make great leftovers, so I prefer to cook what we need for the night and cook more for leftovers.

Time to dish it up! I put pasta on the bottom, sauce and meatballs on top. Asher and Kyle had parmesan on theirs. Enjoy!

Asher approved!


Weeknight Pasta and Meatballs

Meatball Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lb ground beef
  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 2 TBSP fresh parsley/ 1 TBSP dried parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2-3 TBSP olive oil for frying

Sauce and Pasta Ingredients:

  • Store bought pasta sauce of choice
  • 1/4 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 celery stocks, diced
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • Veggie pasta/ or pasta of choice
  • Parmesan (optional)

  1. Combine all meatball ingredients except olive oil. Cover and let sit in the fridge for 30-60 minutes if you want. Use a 1″ cookie scoop if you have one, to create equal sized meatballs. Gently roll each meatball in your hands to creat a nice tight ball.
  2. Next heat 2 TBSP olive oil in a large pot. Add the onions, garlic, and celery. Sautée for a few minutes until onions have softened. Pour in the sauce and the stock. Bring sauce to a boil and then lower to a simmer.
  3. Next heat 2-3 TBSP olive oil in a large pan. Add meatballs being careful not to crowd the pan, work in batches if you need to. Sear the meatballs for several minutes until a nice brown crust has formed then flip them. Once they have seared on each side, place the meatballs into the simmering sauce. Allow to simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until the meatballs reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
  4. Lastly, cook pasta according to package instructions. Assemble your bowl with pasta, sauce, meatballs, and garnish with parmesan if you wish, then enjoy!!

Recipe adapted from https://www.thatskinnychickcanbake.com/easy-italian-meatball-subs/


I hope you enjoy this delicious pasta and meatball recipe! I’d love to hear from you if you try it out. Please like, share and enjoy!

4/4 Meal Plan

This weeks meal plan has a good selection of light but satisfying meals. Asher has gotten over his dinner drama from last week, and happily gobbled up every bite this week! This week has been complete madness so these simple healthy meals were just the thing!

A recap on what my meal plan includes. 1 adult meal prepped lunch for the week, 3 planned dinners with the intention of having leftovers every other night. On the 7th night we either have family dinner, extra leftovers, or get take out. One dinner a week will be vegetarian, this is our small effort to help save the planet. Check out the menu bellow!


The Menu…

  • Moroccan farro grain bowl (lunch)
  • Healthy orange chicken
  • Kale topped lentil shepherd’s pie
  • Sausage, squash and leek bake

Grocery List….

The shopping list bellow includes every thing you need to make all these meals. Many items are pantry staples so you likely won’t need everything on the list. I also categorized the ingredients by meal, so there are some duplicate ingredients. Let me know what you think of this. Would you prefer it was only categorized by produce, grocery and meat? Please leave a comment bellow with your thoughts.


Moroccan Farro Grain Bowl

https://mealpreponfleek.com/moroccan-farro-grain-bowl/

I have never had farro before but I will 100% be making this again. The farro has a really nice chew and is very filling. This grain bowl has a delicious herby dressing, and a salty crunch from the pistachios. The store was out of dried apricots, so I substituted with dried mango. Those sweet chewy bites are such a treat! The recipe above only makes 4 lunches, this could easily be doubled to make 8.

Healthy Orange Chicken

https://britneybreaksbread.com/healthy-orange-sesame-chicken/

This is the second time I’ve made this orange chicken recipe. It comes together so quickly and the sauce packs a real punch! I love how the sauce thickens up and gives you that sweet sticky coating you hope for. I also add steamed broccoli and rice to this dish. Yum!

Kale Topped Lentil Shepherds Pie

https://purplesproutingkitchen.com/kale-topped-lentil-shepherds-pie/

This dish may be vegetarian, but it is not lacking in flavor! It also is full of veggies, and I love the kale in the mash. The first time I made this I was shocked when Asher ate a;; the kale, but he loves it! I made this dish vegan by using vegan butter and canned coconut milk instead of the milk. The recipe says it serves 6, but that doesn’t seem right to me. Maybe we had large portions but this made 4 adult dinners, and 2 toddler meals for us. They do have a button on the recipe to scale it up to feed a larger family.

Sausage, Squash, and Leek Bake

https://thefamilyfoodkitchen.com/sausage-squash-leek-bake/#wprm-recipe-container-2515

This meal was so simple, so tasty, and so easy to put together. It took about an hour, but hands on time was only 15-20 minutes. For Asher’s plate I decided to separate the different components so he wasn’t put off by the leeks and tomatoes. We are not mustard fans so I made a Sriracha aioli, you’ll find the recipe bellow. I included the ingredients for both in the shopping list.

Sriracha Aioli

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2-3 TBSP Sriracha
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together and enjoy!


There you have it! A weeks worth of delicious and nutritious family friendly meals. I hope you try these out and let me know what you think. Please like, share, and enjoy!

Color Matching Game


I am always looking for ways to talk about colors with Asher. I created this color board a couple months ago without the shapes traced onto it, but Asher wasn’t picking up the concept of matching the colors. Recently Asher has become really interested in puzzles, so I thought making this a puzzle activity might spark his interest. It was easy to put together with pieces of other puzzles we had, big lego’s, and Easter eggs. You could use whatever you have lying around the house to make this! Asher loved it and I hope you do too!

Supplies:

  • Colored paper
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • 2-3 objects per color
  • Marker

Instructions:

  • Cut paper into equal sizes
  • Tape down on a mat like I have, the table, or floor
  • Trace objects onto their matching colors
  • Play!

I hope you enjoyed this activity, if you tried it out I’d love to hear how it went! Please like, share and enjoy!

3/28 Meal Plan

This weeks meal plan was so delicious I can barely stand it! I hope you enjoy the meals I’ve pick out and try them for yourself. This week Asher decided he was not all that interested in eating dinner. He is nearing two years old and toddlerhood is in full effect! It is totally normal for a toddler to love a food one day and reject it the next. As a parent this can be extremely frustrating, but the most important thing to remember is to stay calm. Your child will read your energy and throw it back at you ten fold. If you can make dinner fun you are more likely to have success on those tough days. I will share some of the techniques I used to try to encourage him to eat dinner, but if you are struggling on a regular basis with meals I encourage you to follow Feeding Littles on Instagram. They share so much great advice around feeding kids, you will find the link bellow!

https://www.instagram.com/feedinglittles/

Just a quick recap of what the meal plan includes…. 1 grown up meal prepped lunch, 3 dinners, intended to have leftovers every other night, and the last night of the week we either have extra leftovers, takeout, or a family dinner. Also important to note, I am only cooking for a family of 3 so you may need to make more for a larger family. I hope you enjoy!


Whats on the menu….

  • Mediterranean lunch prep
  • Sheet pan chicken gnocchi
  • Mediterranean black bean burger
  • Fish taco bowl
  • Fudge brownies for 2

Grocery list…..

Here is this weeks grocery list. I formatted it a little different this week, separating the groceries by meal and department. You likely won’t need everything on these lists as many of the items are pantry staples. Let me know what you think of this different format!


Mediterranean Lunch Prep

https://www.theflexitarianrunner.com/mediterranean-lunch-prep/#wprm-recipe-container-1957

10 Lunches

This recipe is so yummy I looked forward to lunch every day! It has a lot of elements but all totally worth it. It called for couscous but they did not have any at the store so I used quinoa. The recipe above makes 5 lunches, I only doubled the quinoa and the dressing to stretch it to 10. The quantity of the other ingredients was more than enough for 10 lunches. I will list the quantities of the doubled ingredients bellow. This recipe also called for za’atar seasoning which can sometimes be hard to find. I’ll list a substitute bellow as well.

  • 2 cups quinoa/couscous – cooked according to package instructions using water or broth
  • 2 bunches mint
  • 2 bunches parsley
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 4 lemons
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Za’atar Substitute

Mix together equal quantities of:

  1. Thyme
  2. Oregano
  3. Lemon Zest

Sheet Pan Chicken and Gnocchi

https://homesweettable.com/sheet-pan-chicken-and-gnocchi/

4 Adult dinners, 2 toddler dinners

This dinner was my personal favorite of the week! It was PACKED with veggies and took maybe 15 minutes to put together. I was super skeptical because you put the uncooked gnocchi onto the sheet pan and they cook in the oven with everything else! It was like magic I was so impressed.

This was the first meal Asher had trouble with this week. It had a bunch of unfamiliar looking foods in it and he was not having it! The first night he only ate the gnocchi and tossed everything else. The second night I decided to add peas to his. Peas are a “safe” food for Asher. If he can see them in there he is more likely to try it. I also put the gnocchi on the top of his bowl and cut back a bit on the unfamiliar ingredients, like the tomatoes, zucchini, and asparagus. Ultimately this worked and he ate his whole bowl! Zucchini and all.

Mediterranean Black Bean Burgers

https://www.ourhappymess.com/mediterranean-black-bean-burgers/

4 adult meals, 2 toddler meals

These were hands down the best black bean burgers I have EVER made! 100% will be making them again. We served them with some sweet potato fries and a pre-packaged salad. We usually don’t eat burgers with a bun to cut back on carbs, but they would be yummy inside one! Also If you wanted to skip roasting the peppers and onions, you can buy a jar of roasted red peppers. Cooking the sweet potatoes fries is super easy. Just cut them up and coat them in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Either throw them in your air fryer, or roast them in the oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Give a stir half way through.

This picture is from the second night we had this dinner. The first night we plated his dinner in a plate that has 3 sections, he threw all of the burger and only ate his sweet potatoes. The second night I decided to make his a “burger bowl”, you’ll see those “safe” peas on the bottom. Ultimately this trick didn’t work, after a handful of peas went flying across the room. I shifted strategies and started placing different elements of his dinner around his placemat, which has different shapes and things on it. Asked him to put his peas on the circle, the sweet potatoes in the triangle etc. Taking the pressure off and letting him play with the food led to him eventually eating it.

Fish Taco Bowls

https://40aprons.com/whole30-fish-taco-bowls-paleo/

4 Adult dinners, 2 toddler dinners

This recipe has a lot of elements, but none are complicated and it is easy to put together. Also lets talk about a flavor punch! This meal is crave-able it is so delicious. The recipe on the website is for 2 servings but it has one of those buttons to scale up the recipe 2X or 3X. I made everything except the guacamole. I also prefer to use salmon rather than cod or tilapia. Asher had gotten over his dinner aversion by the time we hit this meal, and shoveled it into his mouth as quickly as possible.

Fudge Brownies for 2

https://www.budgetbytes.com/fudge-brownie-pots-for-two/?utm_content=buffer1df9e&utm_medium=social&utm_source=pinterest.com&utm_campaign=budgetbytesbuffer

Time for a super indulgent treat! I don’t make sweets very often, but this week I just had a craving for brownies! If you craving something sweet but don’t want to have a tray full of brownies tempting you for the next week this is the way to go! This recipe makes 2 brownies! Thats right only 2! The perfect treat to make after the kids have gone to bed and there will be no evidence of treats in the morning. I added a 1/4 cup of chocolate chips, and it was worth it! When treating yourself why not really go for it.


I hope you enjoy this weeks meals, I would love to hear about it if you try them out! Please eat, share, and love!

5 Easy Toddler Busy Bags

What is a busy bag? A busy bag is pre-assembled kids activity, that is easy to set up on the fly. I have found that these are great distractions when we are in the middle of a tantrum, or just gotten an ouchie that is hard to get over. Busy bags are also intended to be somewhat portable, easy to throw into the diaper bag for quick entertainment on the run. Like when going out to eat (if we ever get to do that again😛). I also think it is important that you child know’s about the busy bags, but they aren’t quite in reach. So when they are brought down it is a real treat to get to play with them. As you can see I just keep mine in ziplock bags that we reuse over and over, but you could keep these in whatever containers you want.


This is the only potentially messy activity in the bunch. It is a “sensory bag” filled with rice, dried beans, and oat meal. You could make this out of whatever you want, the idea is edible but not delicious. It is useful for lots of other activities too! Simply dumb it into a bowl with some scoopers, a few cups, perhaps a funnel. Instant entertainment!

If you are looking at this and thinking….that is a bunch of sponges… you are right. I picked these sponges up from the dollar store and cut them in half. They are super easy to stack! They make great towers to knock over. I have also seen this done where they are cut into more of a log shape.

Magnets are a hit for kids of all ages! This bag includes a magnetic fishing game that I made, and some letter fridge magnets. Soon I will put up a post about the fishy magnets.

I bought these cute Easter eggs at the dollar store. Asher thinks they are so fun to open and talk about the animals inside. Plastic Easter eggs are good for all kinds of activities, I highly recommend picking some up.

A classic but always fun. You can never go wrong with play-dough. Weather it’s homemade or store bought, put together an easy little kit to break out in a moments notice. You can find my go to recipe for play-dough here…https://turtlelion.com/2021/03/18/worlds-best-homemade-play-dough-seriously/


I hope you enjoy these busy bag idea’s, please play, like, and share! I’d love to hear what you think of these idea’s, leave me a comment below!

3/21 Meal Plan

I am so excited to share my first meal plan! I unfortunately have to start this off by admitting that I am an imperfect human. I completely forgot to photograph one of the meals! My mom brain completely spaced it, but even though I will not have a photograph of what I made, I promise it was delicious! Also I am working on my food photography, so bare with me while I try to figure out how to make the photo’s look as delicious as they taste😝

Just for a little recap of how I do this…. I try to only cook 3 nights a week, leftovers are KING. If you don’t like leftover I think you are crazy! It is a homemade meal, made with love, that is already cooked! I plan 3 dinners, 1 adult lunch prepped for the whole week, and breakfast is a wild card. I want to note that I’m only cooking for a family of 3 so you may need to adjust proportions for your family. Part of how I plan the sides for my dinners is that I buy a weekly produce basket. The photo bellow is what we got this week. It is always a mystery what we are going to get, but it keeps us from always having the same thing. If you can find something like this where you live I highly recommend it! Also I try to incorporate a vegetarian/vegan meal into our week, it is one small way we are trying to improve our environmental impact.


What is on the menu…..

  • (Lunch)Quinoa salad, with garbanzo beans, corn, and Mexican seasonings
  • Italian sausage and white bean soup
  • Thai butternut squash curry
  • Grilled chicken teriyaki

The shopping list …..

Bellow you’ll find a full shopping list for the recipes bellow. Many of the items are pantry staples so you likely wont need everything on the list.


Quinoa Salad

8 lunches

Lets start with lunch! This quinoa salad had a surprisingly punchy flavor with minimal ingredients. I got the recipe from Shelly Food Spot and you can find the Original recipe here….https://www.shellyfoodspot.com/quinoa-salad-recipe-with-corns-and-chickpea/#mv-creation-35-jtr

I altered the recipe a bit to make it work for our meal prep. I also substituted the tomatoes with red bell peppers because Kyle hates tomatoes, and added pumpkin seeds for a little extra crunch. A trick for making your quinoa or rice taste special is to cook it with chicken stock instead of water! So yummy! Bellow I will list the altered proportions for this recipe.


  • 1.5 cups of quinoa (follow package instructions for cooking, but substitute broth for water if you want)
  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro/coriander
  • 1/2 onion finely chopped
  • 1 can sweet corn
  • 1 bell pepper/ 1/2 cup tomatoes
  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • 1 full lemon
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (optional)

Italian Sausage and White Bean Soup

https://www.saltandlavender.com/italian-sausage-white-bean-soup/

This made 4 adult meals 2 toddler meals

This soup has quickly become one of our favorites. It is so simple to make and super tasty. It takes 45 minutes to cook, but the hands on time is about 20 minutes. There are a couple differences for Asher’s bowl, the first being that I did not give him any bacon. It can be a choking hazard for young children so watch out for that. You’ll also notice that Asher’s portion also has peas. Frozen peas have become a hack for Asher’s meals. He is very sensitive to the temperature of his food, adding frozen peas is a really quick way to cool his dinner down, and he loves them! For this dinner I also made the unbelievably easy bread. Which is not necessary but is definitely delicious. You can find the recipe here…. https://turtlelion.com/2021/03/20/unbelievably-easy-homemade-bread/

Thai Butternut Squash Curry

https://www.chiselandfork.com/thai-butternut-squash-curry/#wprm-recipe-container-4092

This made 6 adult meals 3 toddler meals

Now it’s time for a imperfect human moment. When making my shopping list I misread the recipe. It calls for red curry paste and yellow curry powder. Well I bought both as paste. Good news is that it turned out delicious so either will work! This curry had a mild spice which did not bother Asher. If your child is super sensitive to spice you could mix in a spoonful of greek yogurt to cool it down. The store was also out of butternut squash so I substituted it for sweet potatoes. Mine is garnished with cashews, lime, and some roasted asparagus (a produce basked add on). Asher isn’t a big fan of asparagus but I did give him a few pieces to try out of my bowl to try to broaden his taste buds.

Grilled Chicken Teriyaki

https://dashofhoney.ca/en/the-best-grilled-teriyaki-chicken/#wpzoom-recipe-card

This made 4 adult meals 2 toddler meals
Here is the meal I forgot to photograph!😢This recipe was simple to put together, and super delicious! The recipe calls for chicken thighs, but we had breasts so that is what we used. The chicken needs to be marinated for at least 30 minutes, but you could easily do this the night before. The best part… the marinade becomes the sauce! I initially wasn’t going to make the cucumber salad, but we got a cucumber in our produce basket. I am so glad I did! It really made the flavor more “grown up”. We served the chicken with steamed broccoli, and a roasted cauliflower rice. The recipe has a really yummy sounding coconut rice, but since we had rice with the curry I opted for a lower carb option.

Cauliflower rice

Step 1-Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Roughly chop the cauliflower then quickly pulse the cauliflower in the blender until it reaches a “rice” like texture. Pour the cauliflower onto a baking sheet and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper

Step 2- Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes, toss at around the 10 minute mark. You’ll know it’s ready when it is slightly golden.


There you have it, a weeks worth of healthy family friendly meals! I hope you give this a try, if you do please leave a comment bellow. I’d love to hear what you thought of these recipes, and if there are any suggestions to make this easier to follow. Happy eating 🙂

Unbelievably Easy Homemade Bread

When the pandemic hit I, like everyone else, started baking everything I could think of. At that time of course bread was all the rage, and I wanted to give it a try. That being said, I like baking that has immediate pay off. So the idea of working on a bread for like 24 hours was not really up my alley. Then I stumbled upon this no-knead french bread recipe from Inquiring Chef. It is so easy I believe ANYONE could pull it off. It is only 5 ingredients, only takes 2 hours, and has about 15 minutes hands on time! You are definitely going to want to try it!

I will post the recipe below but be sure to check out all the recipes the Inquiring Chef has to offer! They have more than bread, but that is what I have focused on so far. I have also tried their focaccia and dinner rolls, delicious!

https://inquiringchef.com/no-knead-french-bread/


The ingredients:

  • Flour- The recipe calls for all-purpose flour, but I had bread flour so that is what I used. I have also used AP and it works great.
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Yeast
  • Water

Combine flour, yeast, sugar, and salt into a bowl. If you have a scale it can speed up your flour measurement, but it is not necessary.

Add the water, heated to whatever temperature your brand of yeast recommends. Mine suggest between 120-130 degrees. Then you simply mix until the ingredients are fully combined. I usually use a flexible spatula and then my hands at the very end. This dough is VERY sticky!

Scrape down the sides, and cover with a dish towel and let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes. I read on one of the Inquiring Chef’s recipes to place it in the oven with just the light on. It gives off a tiny amount of heat which works great!

After 45 minutes it will have doubled in size! At this point you need to decide if you are making 1 or 2 loafs. I usually just make 1, but the original recipe makes 2. If making 2 use a knife to split the dough in half.

Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured baking sheet, the parchment paper is optional. Now it is time shape it the best you can into a loaf. The dough is still VERY sticky! Mine never end up super tall. Then you cover it again and let it rise for another 45 minutes. You’ll also now pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees.

After 45 minutes it will likely have doubled in size again. If it has spread out but not up, this is normal.

At this point you will take a sharp knife or scissors to slice the loaf across the top. I also like to sprinkle it with everything bagel seasoning, but this is optional! Pop it in the oven for 25 minutes.

Ta-da! You just made an unbelievably delicious homemade bread! We love to have this bread with homemade soups, I use it for avocado toast, and it’s also delicious just with some butter and jam! YUM!


No-Knead French Bread

By the Inquiring Chef- https://inquiringchef.com/no-knead-french-bread/


Ingredients:

  • 4 cups/ 500g all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 TBSP sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp fast acting yeast AKA “instant yeast”
  • 2 cups water
  • Optional: everything bagel seasoning

Equipment:

  • Large mixing bowl
  • Sheet pan
  • Optional: food thermometer
  • Optional: parchment paper

Step 1- Combine flour, salt, sugar, and yeast.

Step 2- Add water, heated to the temperature your brand of yeast recommends. Mix until just combined. Cover with a dish towel and let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes.

Step 3- Dough should have doubled in size. If making 2 loafs split the dough in half here. Dump the dough onto a lightly floured baking sheet, and shape the loaf. The dough will be VERY sticky, so do the best you can. Cover and let rise for 45 minutes. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees

Step 4- Dough will have about doubled again. Likely it will have spread out and not up. Take a knife or scissors and slice a few times across the top of the dough. If using, sprinkle the everything bagel seasoning across the top. Bake for 25 minutes.

Step 5- Remove from oven, let cool and enjoy!


I hope you try this recipe out, it has become a staple in our house! Don’t forget to visit the Inquiring Chef, and If you enjoyed this post please bake, like, share, and enjoy!

Worlds Best Homemade Play-dough….Seriously!

In my many years as a nanny, I have tested out so many different types of homemade play-dough I could not count them! They are usually fine, but are dry, don’t have the right consistency, or after a couple days end up moldy! Recently a friend of mine sent me a link from Mother Could with tons of kid recipes including this play-dough! It feels like play-dough, they claim it will last up to 6 months, and after letting it sit for a few weeks I swear it even smells like play-dough! The blue batch pictured above is about 1.5 months old and is still in great shape! I will say that it leaves your hands with a slight floury feeling, but it easily washes off. So far every recipe I have tried from this list has been amazing! I will post the recipe bellow but I also recommend you check out all the recipes they have to offer. I am certain I will be sharing more of them in the future. https://mcusercontent.com/39d416d85bf7961fbbb56da88/files/8362431a-3bf8-4593-9568-dd71d5ba7505/SENSORY_RECIPES_2020_SMALL_FILE_SIZE_PDF.pdf


Play-dough Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour + more for kneading
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 TBSP cream of tartar
  • 1 TBSP oil
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • food coloring

Equipment

  1. Large bowl, possibly a few if making different colors( each batch is quite large you may consider reducing the recipe by half if making many colors)
  2. A pot to boil water

Step 1- Add flour, salt, and cream of tartar to bowl and mix.

Step 2- Add oil, and mix the best you can.

Step 3- Add food coloring to the boiling water. This will ensure your color is evenly distributed. Add it to the bowl

Step 4- Mix until a dough forms and begin to knead until no longer sticky. At this point I dumped mine out onto the counter with small amounts of flour at a time and kneaded until the consistency was right. Let it cool down a bit before you play with it.

Step 5- Store in an airtight container for up to 6 months! (I’ll report back if this claim is true once we get there!)


I hope you try out this play-dough recipe! If you enjoy it please share and comment bellow, I’d love to hear what you thought of it!

Bubble Bubble Toddler Trouble

This bubbly activity is sure to excite your little one! So simple to put together, and would be fun for kids of all ages! We originally tried this activity for Asher’s 1st birthday. We were all locked down in quarantine, but still wanted to make it special. This was just the thing! We also tried it just a couple weeks ago, added some trucks which blended the colors in the most amazing way! I could also see this used for older kids making potions or even a foam fight. I followed the recipe I found at Hello Wonderful, you can follow the link or find the recipe bellow.

https://www.hellowonderful.co/post/rainbow-soap-foam-sensory-play/


Soap Foam Recipe


Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup tear free baby soap/ bubble bath
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 TBSP flour*
  • Food coloring

Equipment

  1. large mixing bowl
  2. hand mixer/ kitchen aid with whisk attachment

Step 1- Add all ingredients

Step 2- Mix until super foamy, and dump into where ever you are going to play!

Step 3- Repeat for other colors


Notes:

  1. The flour is optional. If you are worried about it clogging your drains you can totally leave it our but the bubbles won’t hold as long. I avoided this worry by playing in these bubbles in a large storage tub and dumping in the trash after.
  2. If you use large amounts of food coloring it might dye your child’s skin. Obviously not harmful, but something to keep in mind.
  3. If you have a kid who eats everything, you can also make the foam from the liquid in a can of garbanzo beans! The bubbles are not as stable though. You can find a recipe here https://kidactivitieswithalexa.com/en/taste-safe-foam/#zrdn-recipe-container

I hope you try this activity out, it is seriously fun! If you do please share and leave a comment below. I’d love to hear how it went!

Vegan Graham Crackers

I am So excited to share my adaptation of Served From Scratch’s graham crackers. I started making the original recipe for Asher a few months back and they are DELICIOUS, but I don’t eat any dairy. They were so hard to resist so I decided to try making them vegan. These graham crackers are sweet with a little hint of salt, way more flavorful than store bought. I hope you bake, love, and share!

Be sure to check out the original recipe here! https://www.servedfromscratch.com/homemade-graham-crackers/


The ingredients Equipment

  • Graham Flour/ Whole Wheat Flour – I have been unable to locate any graham flour. It is basically a special whole wheat flour, so I substituted it for a plain whole wheat and it works great.
  • All Purpose Flour
  • Brown Sugar
  • Baking Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Salt
  • Cinnamon
  • Coconut Oil
  • Mollasses
  • Full Fat Coconut Milk
  • Vanilla Extract
  • A Large Bowl
  • A Pastry Cutter/ Fork
  • Rolling Pin
  • Baking Sheet
  • Parchment Paper

First you add all the dry ingredients, and gently mix. I used a fork to do this.

Next add the room temperature coconut oil. Using a fork/ pastry cutter press the coconut oil into the dry ingredients until you achieve a sandy texture.

Once the sandy texture is achieved add the remaining ingredients. I usually start with 3 TBSP of coconut milk. As I mix the the dough I decide if it needs 1 more TBSP. The dough will be a little crumbly but you want it to hold together when pressed.

Once the dough is holding together, pour it out onto a lined baking sheet. I like to put a second piece of parchment paper on top while I roll it out. Begin rolling it out trying to make it as square as possible.

Roll until it is 3/8″. If there is lots of cracking around the edges, simply break pieces off and roll them back in to fill the large cracks. When baking the edges get super crisp, so I try to make them as smooth as possible. At this point you are going to cover and let chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Preheat your oven to 350

After cooling, remove from the fridge and cut. I use a pizza cutter and ruler to do this. This could definitely also be accomplished with a knife. The ruler is totally unnecessary but it does make them all uniform and pretty. Then using a fork poke those signature holes into the crackers. Now it’s time to bake for 20-25 minutes.

You’ll know they are done when they are browned around the edges. Place on a cooling rack and let cool until you can easily handle them. I find they are easiest to break apart when they are slightly warm. Break apart and enjoy! When they are fresh they are slightly chewy and crisp up over the next few days. Store them in an airtight container on your counter.


Vegan Graham Cracker Recipe


Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups graham flour/ whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour 
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar 
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 6 TBSP room temperature coconut oil
  • 4 TBSP molasses
  • 3-4 TBSP full fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Equipment

  • A Large Bowl
  • A Pastry Cutter/ Fork
  • Rolling Pin
  • Baking Sheet
  • Parchment Paper

Step 1.-Combine all dry ingredients into a large bowl, and gently mix together.

Step 2- Add the 6 TBSP room temperature coconut oil. Either with a fork or pastry cutter, press the coconut oil into the dry ingredients until a sandy texture is achieved.

Step 3- Add the molasses, 3 TBSP coconut milk, and the vanilla extract. Begin to combine the dough. I mix with a fork and eventually finish with my hands. Mixing with a kind of pinching motion. You want the dough to be crumbly, but still hold together when pressed. If it feels like it needs a little more moisture, add 1 TBSP of coconut milk.

Step 4- Dump dough out onto a lined baking sheet, cover with a second piece of parchment paper and roll out into a square about 3/8″ thick. If you have large cracks around the edges, I would break pieces off and fill in those cracks. Cover and chill in the fridge for 30 min.

Step 5. Pre-heat oven to 350

Step 6- Remove from fridge and cut into squares. I use a pizza cutter and a ruler to cut into 2″ squares, but this is not necessary. They can be cut into any size. Then poke those signature holes into each cracker using a fork.

Step 7- Bake for 20-25 minutes until they are brown around the edges.

Step 8- Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack. Once cooled enough to handle, break apart the squares and enjoy! Store in an air tight container.