Thursday, October 20, 2011

Candy Corn Cookies

My kids have been interested in candy corn this October. I can't blame them. Candy corn just looks like a fun fall treat! After a bit of internet searching, I concluded that no one makes a natural, organic candy corn. Bummer! But then yesterday I saw a recipe for Candy Corn Sugar cookies at Our Best Bites blog, and my hope was renewed that I could make something similar for my kids.

I didn't know how the natural food coloring would hold up, but it did the job. We had three distinct colors of dough to work with -- white, orange and yellow, and the final product was completely satisfying to my kids!

I followed the sugar cookie recipe from Our Best Bites. My only substitutions were:

  • unbleached flour instead of regular flour (cup for cup)
  • xylitol instead of sugar (cup for cup)
  • natural food coloring instead of artificial food coloring

The xylitol caused my cookies to have a pocked appearance, but my kids didn't seem to notice or care. They just wanted to know how many of these little cookies they were allowed to eat in one sitting!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Healthy Wheat-free Pumpkin Cakes

These super-moist, healthy pumpkin cakes will be sure to please your kids! They are wheat-free, refined sugar-free, and yet they still manage to fill the kitchen with the delightful scent of autumn baking, and to satisfy tummies with the pleasant pumpkin taste that goes with the season. My kids enjoy turning their cakes into jack-o-lanterns by adding chocolate chips.

Healthy Wheat-free Pumpkin Cakes

4 eggs
1/3 c. agave nectar
1/4 tsp. stevia powder

1 c. extra virgin coconut oil
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree
2 cups barley flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
** grain-sweetened chocolate chips (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, mix the eggs, agave, stevia, oil and pumpkin with a mixer until well-blended. Slowly add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt, stirring until thoroughly combined.

Spread the batter evenly into a large ungreased baking pan (I use a
15-inch x 10-inch x 2-inch Pyrex baking dish, but two smaller dishes could also be used).

Bake for 25 minutes. Cool, then use pumpkin-shaped cookie cutter to cut pumpkin cakes. Add grain-sweetened chocolate chips for jack-o-lantern faces.

Note: These can also be cut into bars and/or topped with a cream cheese frosting (try tinting yours with some natural orange food coloring).

Friday, September 18, 2009

Get a new replacement SIGG bottle for free

In August 2009, SIGG's CEO Steve Wasik wrote a letter announcing that all SIGG bottles produced prior to August 2008 were lined with a water-based epoxy liner that was found to contain trace amounts of BPA. He stressed that the bottles were tested and did not leach BPA, but regardless of this, many SIGG customers are upset. BPA was one of the main reasons many people switched to reusable water bottles.

Mr. Wasik has since apologized for his lack of transparency from the begin about the issue. The company says it never claimed to have BPA-free bottles, rather, they always stressed that their bottles did not leach anything. But in hindsight, Mr. Wasik wishes he'd been straightforward from the beginning about BPA in the liners.

In August 2008, SIGG began to line its bottles with a new "EcoCare" liner that is certified to be 100% free of BPA, phthalates, BADGE, BFDGE, and NOGE.

SIGG has established an exchange program for any customer that is concerned about the old liner and wants a new bottle with the new EcoCare liner.

As soon as I heard about the exchange program I contacted SIGG. They e-mailed me a return label and an RMA code to expedite my request. I had to pay for shipping to send my old bottles to SIGG (it was inexpensive... the bottles are very lightweight). Once they received my package, they sent me another e-mail with a gift code to be used on to choose replacement bottles. They also covered shipping for the new bottles. It was very easy to place my order and we received our new EcoCare bottles today.

I'm sad that SIGG didn't have BPA-free liners from the beginning, but I'm happy they made this exchange so easy.

If you plan to take advantage of this exchange program, act quickly. It ends on October 31, 2009. And if you want to avoid paying shipping to send your old bottles back, many SIGG retailers are participating in the exchange program. See the exchange program page for details.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Turtle Salmon Salads

This was a really fun lunch for my kids. As they ate, we read about turtles in our animal encyclopedia. We learned some cool facts. Did you know that the outer segments on a turtle's shell are called "plates?" Did you know turtles don't have teeth? We also found out that they eat fish, birds, worms, insects, and the soft part of plants.

Here's what I used:

Body - wild caught salmon mixed with Trader Joe's regular mayonnaise, shaped into a roundish mound
Plates - organic baby spinach leaves
Head - baby carrot
Eyes - grain-sweetened chocolate chips, cut small
Mouth - tiny piece of raw beet
Feet - cucumbers, cut to shape
Tail - baby carrot, cut into a little triangle shape

I served them with Sweet Mustard Dressing on the side, and organic tortilla chips (which represented desert sand - my boys used them to scoop up the salmon mixture).

Here is a picture of the body without the plates. As you can see, he's already had a few scoops taken out of him at this point, but at least you get the idea of how the base was formed.

Guest submission: Cat Chicken Salad

Kid Feed reader "CB" shared this cute kitty she made for her kids recently. We love her creative use of healthy ingredients!

Here's what she used:

Head - chicken salad
Ears - corn chips
Eyes - carrot slices
Pupils - chocolate chips (cut smaller)
Snout - cucumber slice
Nose - carrot slice
Tongue - tomato slice
Whiskers - sliced beef

CB noted that it took some convincing to get her 2 1/2 year old to finally eat his cat. He loved looking at it so much that he didn't want to eat it at first!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Emperor Tamarin Shredded Chicken Salads

This was my husband's attempt to make Emperor Tamarin faces (complete with mustaches). He was going from memory as he put these together, and he thinks the final versions ended up more like orangutans. But our boys were quiet pleased with the end result and talked the rest of the day about their Emperor Tamarin lunches.

Here's what he used:

- homemade shredded barbecue chicken (see below for recipe)
Hair - raw, grated beets
Ears - thin slices of organic apple
- sliced apples
Mustache - thin raw beet shreds
Eyes - apple and grain-sweetened chocolate chips
Jungle - organic baby lettuce mix

*Each child got a small container of Sweet Mustard dressing for dipping.

Kid Feed Mommy's Shredded Barbecue Chicken

1 bag frozen boneless, skinless chicken thighs (2 lbs., 8 oz.)

2 bay leaves
sea salt

organic, refined sugar-free bbq sauce (we like Organicville Original BBQ sauce)

Place chicken thighs in a large stock pot and cover with water. Add bay leaves. Bring to boil, then keep on a high simmer for 40-60 minutes, or until the meat is easily falling apart when you stick a fork in it.

Remove from pot and set aside to cool (you can reserve the broth for use in other recipes, if desired, or discard). Allow chicken to cool until you can comfortably handle it (approx. 15-20 minutes).

With clean hands, shred the chicken and place in a large mixing bowl, removing all fat as you go. Once chicken has been shredded, shake on sea salt and pepper, to taste. Stir with wooden spoon to mix. Then pour on the bbq sauce, to taste and mix with wooden spoon. I do about 1/2 c., but some may like it to be more sauce-heavy. (Because it's expensive, I like to do as little as possible while still acheiving a nice consistency and good flavor.)

Store in covered container in refrigerator. Keeps for several days and is great on salads, sandwiches, or even by itself!