I have always loved to cook, but having birthed three children in 3 1/2 years, my vision of homemade baby food and organic everything went out the window with the onset of nausea. Not to mention, I learned I was pregnant with my second child when my first was only five months old. I quickly became master of convenience and survival.
Now, seven years later and many trials and errors on feeding my children healthy nutritious meals and snacks that they want to eat, I seem to have regained the power of the kitchen and the dinner table. I focus on fresh foods, local if possible, and avoid additives and preservatives. Sugar substitutes are a big no-no in our house and Trader Joe’s has become a Mecca of resources for me.
Involving my children in kitchen tasks also gives them a sense of ownership with their meal. Any two-year-old loves to work the lettuce spinner, my three-year-old is adept with the carrot peeler, my six- and seven-year-olds can measure and all three love to stir. The following muffin recipe is a great example of something a child of any age can help with. My friend Amy J gave the original recipe to me; I have changed it just a tiny bit. For an extra special treat, you can add a cup of chocolate chips! I like to skip the paper liners and use cooking spray to eliminate the mess of taking off the paper liners. No more crumbs!
Preheat oven to 350 and line or grease muffin tins.
One can puree pumpkin
1 2/3 cups flour
1-teaspoon baking soda
1/4-teaspoon baking powder
1/2-teaspoon ground nutmeg
1-Tablespoon ground cinnamon
Mix first four ingredients together in medium-sized bowl. Mix the next 6 ingredients together in a separate bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix well. Using a small ice cream scoop, fill muffin tins halfway full. Bake muffins for 12-15 minutes or until toothpick comes clean. Serve as a quick breakfast, a snack, or in a lunch box. Makes 2 1/2 dozen mini muffins and 1 1/2 regular muffins.
Please share any fun recipes that you have in the comments below – they can be either kid-friendly or just wonderful Thanksgiving tradition recipes!