Eggplant “Meat”balls

Eggplant “Meat”balls

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Ingredients:

1 T olive oil

2 small eggplants, unpeeled, finely chopped into tiny pieces

1/4 C water

1/4 t salt

1/4 t pepper

1 T garlic powder

2 T chopped basil

1 T parsley

1 1/2 C Italian seasoned breadcrumbs

1 large egg

1 C mozzarella cheese, shredded

1 jar (about 2 cups) of your favorite tomato sauce

 

Directions:

  1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Heat olive oil in skillet on medium heat.
  3. Once oil is hot, add eggplant and water.
  4. Season eggplant with salt, pepper, garlic, basil, and parsley.
  5. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until well mixed and tender.

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6. In a medium mixing bowl, mix breadcrumbs, egg, and mozzarella cheese.

7.  Add eggplant mixture to breadcrumb mixture and stir until breadcrumbs become moist.

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8.  Use a spoon (or your hands!) to form 2 inch balls.  Place on greased baking sheet.

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9.  Bake in oven for 15 minutes, or until golden.

10.  Mix in with your favorite tomato sauce.  I used my own homemade sauce.

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11.  Serve with pasta and enjoy!  Don’t forget a little parmesan cheese to top it off.

*Note:  The eggplant meatballs soaked up a lot of the sauce.  You may wish to add more sauce if you prefer.

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I used a Chop Wizard to slice up my eggplant.

3 Ingredient Pancakes

3 Ingredient Pancakes

My 6 month old son seems to be having issues with wheat or gluten.  I’ve been doing an elimination diet with him by cutting out his oatmeal and baby puffs for the last week.  It has made a huge difference!  Now, I need to go gluten/wheat free as well since I am breastfeeding so his little tummy feels completely better.

In my search for things that I can eat, I came across a recipe for 3-ingredient pancakes.  They’re very simple to make!  My only complaint is that I took a bite expecting them to taste like pancakes and they did not.  They tasted more like banana french toast.  My 2-year-old loved them!!

Here’s how to make them:

1.  Mash 1 ripe banana with a fork.

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2.  Add 2 eggs.

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3.  Add cinnamon.

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4.  Fry in a pan like a pancake!

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Make sure you grease your pan…but, seriously, I am the WORST pancake maker ever!  Even my regular pancakes come out in a giant glob.  At least they taste good 🙂

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We added a little syrup.  Like I said before, my toddler told me they were yummy, but I’m not sold because I was really craving something that actually tasted like pancake.  Give them a try and let me know what you think!!

Garlicky Baked Shrimp

Garlicky Baked Shrimp

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This was our dinner tonight!  It is much tastier than it looks in my pictures.  I found the recipe on Pinterest.  We’ve had the garlicky baked shrimp once before and it is delicious!!  Usually I just steam my shrimp in some Old Bay or let Red Lobster take care of prepping it…but this is so good I think Red Lobster should add it to their menu 🙂

Check out the recipe from Gimme Some Oven.

I served this with brown rice and peas.

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Spinach Ricotta Stuffed Shells

Spinach Ricotta Stuffed Shells

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Ingredients:

1 box jumbo shells (you’ll need 20-25 shells)

1 cup spinach, steamed and chopped

2 cups ricotta cheese

1 large egg

pepper, to taste

garlic powder, to taste

1 jar spaghetti sauce

mozzarella cheese

 

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350.

2.  Cook jumbo shells according to package directions.

3.  In mixing bowl, combine spinach, ricotta cheese, egg, pepper, and garlic powder.

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4.  Once jumbo shells are cooked, rinse with cool water so you are able to touch them to fill them.

5.  Spoon a enough spaghetti sauce into a 9×13 casserole dish to coat the bottom.

6.  Stuff each shell with a spoonful of the spinach and ricotta mixture and place in casserole dish.

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7.  Coat each shell with a spoonful of spaghetti sauce and then top with mozzarella cheese.

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8.  Bake for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

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Cloud Dough

Cloud Dough

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If you have an account on Pinterest you’ve probably seen cloud dough.  I see it every time I get on so I thought I’d give it a try.  Some recipes have flour and baby oil but there are recipes out there that are taste safe and made with flour and vegetable oil.  The recipe I used comes from Kids Activities Blog.  I only made 1/4 of the recipe and I did not color it.

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This stuff is so much fun!  You can squish it and mold it but then crumble it up again.  It is so different than play dough and a great sensory activity.  Also, it washes right off of your hands with water!

Cauliflower Zucchini Bites

Cauliflower Zucchini Bites

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I’m always looking for ways to make vegetables fun for my toddler (and my husband) to eat.  These cauliflower and zucchini bites are delicious!  They’re yummy with hot dogs and hamburgers and are a great alternative to french fries or tater tots.  Of course, my 2-year-old liked them dipped in ketchup and then they tasted just like a tater tot!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup grated zucchini

1/2 cup steamed cauliflower

1 large egg

1/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs

salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2.  Mix all ingredients together in mixing bowl.

3.  Drop spoonfuls of mixture onto greased cookie sheet.

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4.  Bake for 16-18 minutes until golden brown.

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This recipe makes about 16 bites.  I’ll definitely double the recipe next time.  Enjoy!

 

If you like this recipe, be sure to check out my Broccoli Cracker recipe!

Broccoli Crackers

Broccoli Crackers

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I know, I know… broccoli crackers?  Well, my 2-year-old only wants to eat crackers, bread, and fruit.  He refuses to eat his vegetables.  So, I thought I’d try to transform his vegetables into something that he would eat.  Guess what…he loves them!!

This only took 30 minutes to make.  From prep time to cooling, it took less time than his afternoon nap!

 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup steamed broccoli florets

1/4 cup canola oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 Tablespoon water

1 cup all-purpose flour

 

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

2.  Puree steamed broccoli, canola oil, salt, baking powder, and water in blender.  *Tip: Warm broccoli is easier to puree.  I used a bullet blender to blend my ingredients.

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3.  Pour blended broccoli into mixing bowl and add flour.

4.  Mix until a dough forms.

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5.  Roll dough out with rolling pin.  It should be as thin as you can get it.

6.  Cut dough with cookie cutter or pizza cutter.  *Tip:  Using the pizza cutter to cut dough into squares only takes a few seconds!

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7.  Place cutouts on parchment paper and poke 2-3 times with fork.

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8.  Bake for 15-20 minutes.  Thinner crackers will bake faster so be sure to check on them every few minutes.

9.  Pull out of oven when edges start to brown.  Slide parchment paper and crackers off of the hot cookie sheet to stop the cooking process.

10.  Let cool and enjoy!

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These crackers taste exactly like broccoli but give it a different shape and texture.  My son ate one and asked for more!  These crackers might not be as nutritious as a fresh piece of broccoli – but they’re definitely better than nothing.  Plus, I know exactly what’s in these crackers and I can pronounce all of the ingredients.

Next time I’ll try carrot or spinach crackers and maybe use some whole wheat flour.

 

Enjoy!

 

Mini Banana Muffins

Mini Banana Muffins

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My toddler is going through a picky eating stage.  He currently wants to only eat bread and drink milk.  So, I made him these fun mini banana muffins.  Check it out!

 

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Ingredients:

1 cup bananas mashed (about 2 bananas)

2 eggs

2/3 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup shortening

1 3/4 cup flour

1/2 cup extras (optional walnuts, raisins, or chocolate chips)

 

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Mash banana in a medium mixing bowl with a fork.

3.  Add eggs and sugar to banana and mix.

4.  Mix in baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

5.  Blend in shortening with mixer.

6.  Slowly add flour and mix with blender.

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7.  Fold in any extras you wish to add to your muffins.  These would be great with raisins, walnuts, or chocolate chips.  I chose to not add anything to my muffins this time.

8.  Scoop into well-greased mini muffin pans.  Recipe will make 36 mini muffins.

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9.  Bake for 12 minutes (may take a little longer, my oven bakes quickly).

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You can also bake in a loaf pan for about 45 minutes.

Easy Pizza Dough

Easy Pizza Dough

 

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Homemade Pizza Dough

On this mid-week, rainy, dreary day we needed something fun for dinner.  Here’s a recipe for very easy homemade pizza dough!

Ingredients:

 3/4 Cup warm water

1 teaspoon active dry yeast

2 Cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

2 teaspoons corn oil

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2.  Mix the water and active dry yeast in a medium mixing bowl.  Let sit for about a minute until it starts to look foamy.  If you’re using a packet of yeast you’ll only need about half of the packet but you can store the unused portion in the refrigerator for the next time or just double the recipe!

3.  Add the flour, sugar, salt, and corn oil.  Mix well with spoon.

4.  Once the dough becomes thick and you can no longer mix with a spoon, knead with your hands.

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5.  Let the dough sit in a warm spot for 5 minutes to rest.  I like to cover my mixing bowl with a dish towel and sit it on top of my pre-heating stove.

6.  Roll out your dough to your desired thickness.  I made a 12 inch pizza (probably the most un-circular pizza pictured on the internet!)

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7.  Add your favorite pizza toppings.  Our house is half cheese half pepperoni lovers!

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8.  Bake at 400 for 12-15 minutes.  My oven tends to bake quickly so your pizza might need a little longer until it gets to the exact golden brown deliciousness that you’d like.

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Enjoy your yummy pizza!!

6 Ways to Use Bread Crust

6 Ways to Use Bread Crust

My husband makes 2 sandwiches for lunch for work every day.  We go through a lot of bread!  He never eats the ends or heels of the loaves.  Usually the ends get thrown out, but instead of wasting them, here are some great ways to use them:

1. Cinnamon Sugar Bread Crust Treats

Find the recipe at Recipe Tin Eats.

 

2. Asiago and Thyme Breadsticks

This recipe is from The Chew.  You can find the recipe and an instructional video here.

 

3.  Bread Crust Bread Pudding

Jen’s Concoctions has the simple recipe!

 

4.  French Toast Casserole

Find the simple, savory recipe at Yummly.

 

5.  Homemade Croutons

Croutons Recipe

Only 3 ingredients in this easy recipe from All Recipes.

 

6.  Basic Bread Stuffing

Basic Bread Dressing or Stuffing - Maren Caruso/ Taxi/Getty Images

An easy bread stuffing to accompany your next turkey or chicken dinner from About Food.