How to keep berries fresh longer

At nearly $5 dollars per small container, berries are an expensive staple at our house. On occasion when I find it by bulk, I do buy them. Problem is, when I do, they spoil so quickly. There’s always one moldy strawberry in the container that ruins the entire batch. So.. how do you keep berries fresh longer? Do a little prep work before you place them in the refrigerator!

The big bonus is you don’t have to wash them every time you take it out of the refrigerator. It’s also great for toddlers who regularly search the refrigerator looking for a snack. I won’t name any names, but I have said toddler living in my home. ¬†This quick procedure will naturally kill the mold spores and won’t spoil as quickly.

I hope this helps ūüėČ

How to keep berries fresh longer

Ingredients

  • 1 c. vinegar
  • 3 c. water
  • Berries

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, mix vinegar and water
  2. Add berries
  3. Gently rinse and clean the berries in the vinegar solution
  4. Rinse the berries in clean water.
  5. Drain the berries into a clean container
  6. Lay out a paper towel, or kitchen towel and place clean berries
  7. Pat dry
  8. Store in a clean container lined with paper towel
http://easytoddlermeals.com/2016/12/keep-berries-fresh-longer/

 

Festive Fruit Flag

Hope everyone is having a great Fourth of July weekend!

Here’s a simple festive fruit flag to do with or for the kids. ¬†Fruit FlagAll you need is fruit and some measuring spoons.

Picky Food Eater Tip: Try out these affordable picks for fussy eaters. Makes eating fun and every kid I know loves to poke there food because it makes them feel like they’re doing it themselves.

Festive Fruit Flag

Ingredients

  • Watermelon
  • Pears or Bananas
  • Blueberries

Instructions

  1. Using a measuring spoon, make balls from watermelon and pears
  2. Form a flag (see video)
  3. Enjoy!
http://easytoddlermeals.com/2016/07/festive-fruit-flag/

**I received this product to try. If you decide to make a purchase through the  affiliate link, Amazon will pay me a very small commission for it. This does not cost you anything additional. These commissions help to keep the rest of my content free. Thank you!

How to Pit a Cherry

I pass by bags of cherries at the grocery store every time I go. I never buy them because frankly I don’t have time to ¬†pit them for my toddler. This past week however, I wanted cherries for myself. I mean how could i resist, its cherry season after all. Here’s what I came up with!

My little man helped me too in with it and he had fun! He then helped me cut it with his knife. It’s sharp enough to cut fruit and some veggies but won’t cut skin.

$8.95 for THREE on Amazon –> Kids Knives

**If you decide to make a purchase through the ¬†affiliate link, Amazon will pay me a very small commission for it. This does not cost you anything additional. These commissions help to keep the rest of my content free and pay for my coffee to keep me awake so I can write these posts ūüėČ Thank you!

 

Frozen Food Recall

Hello Everyone:

I wanted to let you know about a huge recall. As a former tv reporter, I feel it is my duty to tell you.

Frozen food sold at Trader Joes, Costco and other nationwide stores may be contaminated with listeria.

A company called CRF Frozen Foods announced that its expanding its
recall of frozen vegetables and fruit with best by dates between April 26, 2016 and April 26, 2018. This includes organic and non organic several products sold.

For photos of some of the recalled products click here –> Recalled Product Photos¬†

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Baby Peas

The Washington based company issued the recall because the products might be contaminated with listeria. The CDC says listeria can cause serious, sometimes fatal infections in older adults, pregnant women, newborns and individuals with weakened immune systems.

Symptoms include high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, stomach pain and diarrhea.

People from three states have become ill and were hospitalized due to listeria. Some of these illnesses have been linked to consuming CRF-manufactured or processed products.

The recall includes about 358 consumer products sold under 42 brands.

Products include organic and non-organic broccoli, butternut squash, carrots, cauliflower, corn, edamame, green beans, Italian beans, kale, leeks, lima beans, onions, peas, pepper strips, potatoes, potato medley, root medley, spinach, sweet potatoes, various vegetable medleys, blends and stir fry packages, blueberries, cherries, cranberries, peaches, raspberries and strawberries.

For a complete list of affected products and for the UPC codes visit the FDA Website.

 

Easy Peach and Cottage Cheese

We’re very busy in the morning these days trying to get out the door for swim lessons. ¬†I’m always looking for a fast meal. By the way, I’ll try to compile a few fast breakfasts into one post as soon as I can. ¬†For now, here’s a super easy one that packs a great punch in protein. Peach and CottageRemember if you’re not a fan of cottage cheese, you never know if your child will like it. So it’s worth a try.

Also below I’ve explained the easiest way to peel a peach. No bruises or nicks, no knife or peeler. ¬†Our bowl shown here is an EZPZ snack bowl. It doesn’t move and is so easy to clean! That means no flying bowls on the floor. For the win!

Ingredients:

  • Cottage Cheese
  • Peaches

Method:

1. Add water to a small pot and bring to a boil

2. Add washed peaches into the water and allow to simmer for 1 minute or so

Peach Simmer

3. In another bowl, add cold water and ice cubes

4. Add the heated peach into the cold water

Peach Ice

5. Peel and enjoy

Peach Peeled

 

6. Add cottage cheese in a bowl and pair with sliced peaches. Top with honey if desired.

Note: No honey before one years of age.

*If you decide to make a purchase through the  affiliate link, Amazon will pay me a very small commission for it. This does not cost you anything additional. These commissions help to keep the rest of my content free. Thank you!

 

Apple Snack To-Go

If you’re¬†like me you pack your house in your purse. Apple Hack IG 2I’ve tried getting a bigger bag, but I end up adding more “necessities” in there. Let’s just say I”m ready for an apocalypse. I always try to think of ways to cut the amount I lug around.

We don’t snack much, but some days when I know we’ll be out for a long period I bring a few treats.This time I had hardly anything to bring back home. Try this!

Apple Hack 5

Ingredients:

  • 1 apple
  • 1 tbs peanut butter (or any butter)
  • Toppings: almond slithers, coconut, raisins, granola
  • Rubberband
  1. Cut the apple in half
  2. Core out the seeds with a spoon
  3. Fill with peanut butter and toppings
  4. Put apple halves back together and cut one more time (refer to video)
  5. Hold the apple together using a rubber band

Tip: Don’t overfill the core with too much toppings. It will be very messy and ooze out if you do.

 

 

Homemade Spinach Pasta

I never thought I’d ever make my own pasta. Spinach Pasta 1¬†I mean some days I can’t find the time to do laundry! But when I saw how easy it was to make and that it was only four ingredients, ¬†tried it. My son also decided to give me an extra hour of sleep, so that helped. Yes, of course store-bought is much more convenient, but at least I know exactly what’s going in this pasta. ¬†Fresh is best in my book if possible.

I can “wok” in my sleep, but I may have to make a lot more pasta and practice. My cutting skills need a little work.

I made this in my Blendtec, but you can probably use a food processor (I’ve never tried) or do it by hand if you want an arm workout (where’s my emoticon when I need one, insert muscle arm here.. lol). If you don’t know my site offers free shipping and discounted rates (click the link).

TIP: ROLL IT VERY THIN, I made the mistake the first time around.

I’ve only ever tried this in my Blendtec, please email me if it works in a food processor. If you decide to do it by hand, you’ll have to knead the dough.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¬† large egg
  • 1 ¬† tbsp water
  • 3 ¬† c.¬†spinach
  • 11‚ĀĄ2 ¬† c.¬†white whole wheat flour

1. Combine egg, water and spinach to Twister jar, and place Twister lid on jar. Hold lid with one hand, and with other hand press “Pulse” 6‚Äď8 times or until spinach is pureed.

2. Add flour and replace lid. Hold lid with one hand, and with other hand pulse 10‚Äď14 times to incorporate flour. Turn Twister lid counterclockwise during blending.

3. Dump dough on work surface, and form dough ball. Roll out dough, cut to desired noodle size with pizza cutter or knife, and let dry for 20 minutes. Boil in salted water for 6-8 minutes or until tender.

4. Serve as desired

This recipe is from Blendtec

*Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.If you decide to make a purchase through the  affiliate link, Blendtec will pay me a very small commission for it. This does not cost you anything additional. These commissions help to keep the rest of my content free. Thank you!

Baked Chicken Parmesan & “Pasta”

Chicken parmesan with a twist! Chicken Parmesan 1
After eating all the lovely carbs lately, I’ve been feeling a little guilty. I don’t however want to deprive my son of a food group, so I created this happy medium This dish is a marriage between two worlds, pasta and veggie. It includes a ¬†spiralized zucchini mixed in with spaghetti, and also chopped spinach on top.

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken breasts (cut in half to make 8)
  • 1 C. breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 C. grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp paprika (reduce if you like)
  • 1/4 tsp italian seasoning
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1/2 pound spaghetti
  • 1 C. marinara sauce (home made or store bought)
  • 1/2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • Olive oil spray

1. Preheat oven to 450F

2. In a bowl mix breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, paprika, and italian seasoning

3. Cut chicken breasts in half to make thinner slices

4. Brush olive oil on each chicken breast on both sides

5. Dip chicken breast in bread crumbs mixture until fully coated

6. Spray cooking oil on a baking sheet and add coated chicken breast on sheet. Spray a little oil on top.

7. Bake for about 15- 20 minutes, then flip over for another 5 minutes

8. Top with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese and bake again for 1 minute until cheese melts.

9. Spiralize zucchini (I use this one –> Spiralizer) and cook spaghetti per box directions

10. Combine zucchini and spaghetti (You can also saute the zucchini in a little butter if desired for a few minutes).

10. Serve chicken on top of combination zoodles and spaghetti. Mix in marinara sauce in pasta and add chopped spinach (optional)

*If you decide to make a purchase through the  affiliate link, Amazon will pay me a very small commission for it. This does not cost you anything additional. These commissions help to keep the rest of my content free. Thank you!

 

Baked Zucchini Fries

Ingredients:Zucchini Fries

  • 1 Large Zucchini
  • 1 cup panko crumbs (if you want less crunch you can use regular bread crumbs)
  • 2 eggs
  • Dash of salt and pepper
  • Italian seasoning or garlic to taste

1. Preheat oven to 425f

2. Cut zucchini like fries or medallions shapes

3.  Scramble egg in a bowl

4. Combine panko and seasonings in another bowl

5. Line a baking sheet with foil and place a baking rack on top.

5. Dip zucchini in egg, then in panko seasoning mixture

6. Place each dipped zucchini stick on baking rack and bake at 425f for about 10-15 minutes (just check on it, because depending on the thickness of your zucchini some can cook faster)

Clingy Baby = Great Ideas

I’m not sure if there is a “clingy buzzer” that goes off when a toddler turns 18 months, but it sure feels like it. It’s been a lot¬†harder to cook for him these days. I have to carry¬†him more than usual. ¬†That means I can’t use sharp knives and can only do minimal cooking. Egg¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†.

There are days I have to improvise. Dinner is sometimes simple consisting of a boiled egg, a kiwi, and an avocado. I would say that satisfies all the major food groups right? lol.

I would say he certainly brings out the best of me. ¬†Here’s how we get by. Hopefully it will help you if you find yourself in the same situation.