Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Lunches for the minis

This morning I was simultaneously making breakfast, packing lunches, and planning dinner in my head.  I looked at my minis and I realized, "good Lord, you people have to be fed every.single.day."  And lately, I haven't been getting a lot of love over these lunches I so dedicatedly pack every.single.day.  (As a side-note, I am pretty certain dedicatedly isn't a word.  Either that or I have butchered the spelling so badly that spell-check doesn't recognize it.  Either way, you get my point.  I am really freaking dedicated to packing these lunches).  So I realized I have two choices, I can either deal with the complaining about their lunches or I can up my game and pack something different.  And of course, being a loving mother that works so dedicatedly to keep my minis happy, I spent all day in the kitchen working on things for tomorrow's lunch.

I remembered a recipe from Runner's World that I have been wanting to try out.  My minis love my pumpkin muffins, but I am getting really bored with making them.  And since I love Runner's World magazine, I figured I would love Runner's World recipes.

I am going to tell you something that I wish Runner's World had told me before I started making these muffins....don't make these muffins.  They are horrible.  Eat celery instead.  There's more flavor in celery and you will save an hour of your life that you can never get back.  

But, for those of you that are curious....here's the recipe.

  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup flaxseed meal (process flaxseeds in a coffee grinder)
  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup egg substitute (or two eggs)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 2/3 cup raisins (I used dried cranberries)
  • 2/3 cup dark chocolate chips (my modification)
Directions: Mix all dry ingredients (except the raisins) in a large bowl. Combine liquid ingredients in a separate bowl. Stir liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients all at once. Add raisins. Stir until thoroughly moistened but lumpy. Fill muffin tins, lined with paper or foil cups, to about 2/3 full. Bake at 400°F for 20 to 25 minutes.
Serve with jam.  

Did you notice on the Runner's World website that they call these dessert?  I swear, if you ever serve these to me and call it dessert, I will punch you in the face.  OK, probably not.  But I may envision myself punching you in the face and then talk to the voices in my head the following day about, "OMG, can you believe she served me those muffins?!?!?"

Cute, aren't they?  They looked even cuter in the trash can.  

Clearly, I am bitter.  I hate wasting time on bad recipes and I hate throwing food away.  But, the determined mom that I am, I forged forward and tried homemade cereal bars.  I have been on the hunt for an alternative to these guys for months now, so I was very excited to try this recipe.

Homemade Cereal Bar Cookies


Tricia @ Onceamonthmom.com


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1. 5 cups oats, ground (or oat flour)
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (I used fresh milled hard red wheat)
  • 1 cup white flour (I used fresh milled hard white wheat)
  • 1 cup sucanat (brown sugar if whole foods isn’t your gig)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1.125 cups (9 ounces) organic jam (I used blueberry and apple)


1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
2.  Mix all the ingredients, except the jam, together in a large bowl. It is easiest to do this with your hands. 
3.  Once it is mixed well together (there should be no dry ingredients dust, but well incorporated) add half of the mixture to each of 18 muffin tins. Press the mixture into the muffin tins creating a bit of a lip as you would for a pie. 
4.  Add in 1 Tablespoon of jam on top of each “crust”. 
5.  Next, with the remaining mixture create 18 equal size balls. Smash each of the balls into a circle large enough to cover the top of each “cookie”. Add the disc to the top of the “cookie” and press the edges to meet the sides of the bottom dough. 
5.  Bake for 20-25 minutes until slightly browned. Remove from the oven, allow to cool for 5-10 minutes and then gently remove to a cooling rack. (I inverted a cookie sheet on top of the muffin tin, flipped the muffin tin and then turned the cookies over to cool a bit longer. Be warned, they are very soft when warm).
I filled the muffin pan with the dough....

And then pressed the dough into the pan.....

Filled with jam.....

Made a dough ball.....

...which crumbled apart.....

I had troubles with this dough.  When I tried to make the tops, they just crumbled.  So I did the best I can to get them to look "pie-like".  

Here they are baked.

Like I said, these were tricky for me.  To be honest, I was cranky and swearing while trying to get these put together.  I know that's hard to believe, because I am not a swearer, but lately I am becoming one?!?!  Maybe it's my subconscious trying to come up with a New Years Resolution for next year.  Anyway, I had little hope for these cereal bars, and guess what?!?!?!?!?  Oh. My. Delish.  Seriously tasty!!!  I can't wait to give them to the minis, I think they're going to love them!

And since I bombed on the first muffin recipe, I decided to make a batch of my stand-by pumpkin muffins.

Pumpkin Muffins (based on this recipe with some changes)
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2.5 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1.5-2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil (melted slightly)
  • 1 cup honey
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  
2.  In a bowl mix flours, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  
3.  In a separate bowl, mix eggs, sugar, pumpkin, oil, applesauce, coconut oil, and honey.
4.  Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour wet ingredients into well.  Mix just until the dry ingredients are absorbed.  DO NOT OVERMIX.  
5.  Bake until a toothpick comes out clean. 

And these babies never fail to disappoint.

Finally, I thought I'd get all crazy and try something I have seen floating around on Pinterest.  

Frozen Yogurt Dots

  • yogurt (I used plain greek)
  • defrosted frozen fruit
1.  Fill a baggie with yogurt and fruit.  
2.  Mix well.
3.  Cut the tip off the baggie.
4.  Fill a dish with little drops of yogurt.
5.  Stick in a freezer.
6.  Once frozen, enjoy!

You could easily do this with any kind of yogurt.  We only eat plain greek yogurt, but if you eat flavored yogurt, you could easily use that and not add any fruit.  

That's it for the day!  I am hoping to dazzle my minis tomorrow with the cereal bars and their favorite muffins.  I am sure they will trump the kids bringing poptarts and oreos in their lunches!