DIY Finger Paint Recipe

paint

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I had a thought. Maybe I should start introducing art into Aidan’s routine. So, I looked up how to make finger paint, and let me tell you, it was easy! I had such a good time, and was able to finally re-purpose some of those old glass baby-food jars that I hung onto for over […]

Bountiful Baskets Review – Week 1

I have been looking into participating in a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) where you basically buy “shares” of a farm and share in the risk/reward of that. If they have a great season, you are provided with a bounty of produce; if the grow season is lacking then you get less of a substantial […]

Toddler Apple Slice Pancakes

Another great idea from Pinterest, though I changed up the recipe because I didn’t want to bother with making the syrup or going to the store for pumpkin spice. I do love finding new things for Aidan to try though, because (poor kid) I am pretty stuck in my ways on some of his freezer meals. These were yummy though, and he had a great time! After a few bites, he set his breakfast down just to clap with delight. I would call that a success. I’m going to try to freeze a few of these too and I’ll let you know how it goes; I figure we could use a few more quick breakfast foods.

The only downfall to the whole breakfast routine is that 1) I let him have syrup to dip his pancakes in, which wouldn’t be a problem except that 2) we are having trouble with him occasionally rubbing food in his hair. Needless to say, he ended up with syrup on the side of his head. Ugh. And so the day begins.

I’m excited to incorporate all of my bountiful basket items into various dishes this week, and post on the progress. This is recipe #1. I’ll ultimately post a complete review of the bountiful baskets and the meals that I made from them each time I order. I’ve decided to give them a full try for 5-6 times before I completely decide if it is a good/bad deal for our family. Hurray for something new and fun!

Disneyland in Review

So, we went to Disneyland this spring. Funny, it was a completely unplanned venture over there on a lazy Tuesday during our vacation in Long Beach. We thought, ‘Hey, why don’t we go walk around at Downtown Disney and then grab some lunch?’

We walked around downtown Disney for awhile and were completely flabbergasted by the amazing Lego displays at the Lego store. I mean, look at this!!

The dragon, knight, and horse are all made from LEGOS. Do you see Derrick down there in front of the horse? Yup, it's massive.

After strolling around downtown, we started discussing what to do with the rest of the day. “Why don’t we just go to Disneyland?” asked Derrick. I immediately denied how amazing that sounded because, gosh, it was already midday and they don’t offer half-day passes, and we have a little 10 month old that isn’t going to remember it anyway, and we could do something else… And the list went on and on. It only took this from Derrick to convince me though, “Well, what are we going to do that would be more fun than Disneyland? I mean, it’s Disneyland and we won’t regret it.

So, we went to Disneyland! We had a blast and Aidan was beside himself. LOOK at this picture of pure joy on his little face!

He pretty much looked like this the whole time.

We strolled around, caught a few rides, met characters and got dinner. It really was one of the best afternoons that I can remember! We also had some pretty incredible service at the New Orleans restaurant where they sent out the chef prior to us sitting down to discuss Low Sodium options. Then he came out and took Derrick’s order specifically, cooked the meal, and then returned to the table to make sure Derrick liked the food. REALLY?!? That is the best service that we have EVER received or could have even imagined. They made a custom dish for him which he thoroughly enjoyed.

My favorite part was the fireworks display at the end of the day. I’ve been to Disneyland a few times, but never saw this. They had Tinkerbell flying around the castle, and a fireworks display that would put our city Fourth of July to shame. Here is a pick of Aidan watching the fireworks to finish up the night.

I can see the smile behind the binky LOL!

All in all, I’m very happy that Derrick talked me into it last minute. Aidan had a great time, and we are looking forward to taking him again when he is a little older.

Low Sodium Baked Caesar Chicken

This is one of those recipes that when you read it you think to yourself, “Oh no; I don’t THINK so!” We honestly thought that this would turn into a soggy mess, and that the chicken would dry out, and that all other possible catastrophes would occur and rightly so! But, to our surprise, the reviews were astonishing… people were loving it! The original recipe had this general idea for pork chops, which is what we did the first time we made it. We aren’t big fans of pork, except for BACON, but we thought we could give it a try.

Surprisingly good! And a very quick fix. I turned my attention to tailoring the recipe to a low sodium chicken dish, and came up with this. It has turned into a family favorite, and even Aidan loves to eat this chicken. He begged for some even after he had finished his dinner (he eats earlier than us) and polished off about half a chicken breast! Apparently, it is working for us!

Low Sodium Baked Caesar Chicken – approx. 158mg each

  • 1/4 c flour
  • 1 tbsp Salt Free Garlic & Herb (McCormick Salt Free or Mrs. Dash)
  • 4 chicken breasts trim, wash, and pat dry – 75mg each
  • 1/2 c Lighthouse Chunky Garlic Caesar Dressing – 220mg total
  • 4 tbsp Parmesan cheese – 110mg total

Mix the flour and seasoning together on a plate and place the dressing in a shallow bowl. Coat each chicken breast in the flour, and then submerge in the dressing; remove so the chicken breast is coated completely. Place in a greased glass dish and top with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes at 375.

Optionally, serve with Caesar salad and corn. Enjoy!

Very Low Sodium 30 Minute Dinner Rolls – 5mg each

I totally messed up a recipe. It was a quick fix burger bun recipe that I’ve been dying to try; but true to my character, I got impatient and didn’t totally read all of the directions. I’m more of a skimmer. But do you want to know the really funny thing though? I always read it back to myself after it is TOO LATE to fix anything. Seriously.

In this scenario I was attempting to make some burger buns that I had seen on pinterest; claiming only 40 minutes from start to finish! That is my type of bread recipe! However, I forgot one of the more critical parts of the bread-making processes and I didn’t allow any time for rising (they had allotted 10 minutes) which I didn’t follow, but read after they were half way through baking. Whoops.

Guess what though? They were AWESOME! And they were super cute dinner rolls which we turned into slider buns. I was as shocked as I imagine you are. I’m going to remake them later with the allotted rest time to see if it makes them better/worse (likely bigger!) but for now, I honestly think this is a keeper. And 30 minutes start to finish? That is AMAZING.

Very Low Sodium 30 Minute Dinner Rolls – Approx. 5mg each

  • 2 tbsp bread machine active dry yeast
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour

Add warm water (about 110 degrees), yeast and sugar into a bowl. Let sit and dissolve for 5 minutes. Then, add the oil, egg and flour to the bowl and mix, making a soft dough; this should NOT be sticky. Turn onto floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 3 minutes.

Divide into 12 palm-sized rolls and place on baking sheet. Bake immediately at 425 for 10 minutes or until golden and cooked throughout. Cute!