pre-school activities, fall muffins & Crab cakes

And now after a little diversion of repeating myself for the 100th time which happens once a month despite vitamins, I bring you some fall muffins, pre-school activities and crab cakes. I ultimately decided to send Nick to pre-school for 2 days a week/3 hours a day this fall coming up. I'm excited for it, although it was a really hard decision for me and I will probably throw up the entire week before I have to drop him off, and also cry the day I drop him off. I think he will do GREAT though!!  Here are there I find some fantastic ideas and try to do them with Nick. Here are 2 I think are worth sharing.

I call this one MONEY MAKER:
You can find it on this activity tray post - tons of great ideas. You trace all a bunch of coins on a piece of paper and color in the ones that are the same (quarters, dimes, etc). Then you give your pre-schooler a bowl of all the coins or just pile them up and have him/her match the coins to the right circle. It was fun and I was also teaching him all the names of the coins. I love doing stuff like this!

The second one that I found is matching up lowercase and uppercase letters.  This is fun because you can make it seasonal if you want. I used orange and if I have time I'll draw pumpkins around them. The blog writer used hearts for Valentines which was cute. Nick wasn't totally ready for this and I think putting all 26 letters out at once was probably overwhelming. I think I'll start with the easier ones - o, c, s, u, etc -and just 5-7 at a time.

PUMPKIN MUFFINS! Fall is just around the corner, my favorite time of the year, I can't wait!  With fall brings everything pumpkin. I took Baby's First Muffins and turned them into Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins adapted from Simply Pure Vegan + Baby
1/2c  oatmeal
2/3 cup oatmeal flour or quinoa flour

2-3 T whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1T ground flax or chia + 3T water
2T coconut oil
2 T maple syrup 

1/4 cup pumpkin
1/4 cup/ 1 handful chocolate chip muffins (no need to measure here!)

Mix the pumpkin, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, flax and water in a small bowl and microwave 20 seconds. Let sit. Meanwhile mix dry ingredients except chocolate chips.  After the wet ingredients gel up (about 5 minutes) add wet to dry. Stir to mix, add in chocolate chips.  I used mini muffin tins - bake at 350 for about 10-12 min or till set.

Crab-free cakes??  Check out Atlanta Running Mom's Post with this recipe which is where I saw it. I followed her recipe except I don't do mayo and I skipped the sauce because I got lazy didn't have some of the ingredients.

I bought Veganaise to make this recipe and I couldn't open it. I was afraid so I brought it back. Mayo really grosses me out! Has anyone tried the veganaise??

• 8 oz tempeh
1 C water
• 1 T soy sauce
• 1 T extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp crushed Bay Leaf
• 3 T sour cream
• 1 T spicy brown mustard
• 1 tsp garlic, minced
• 1 T red wine vinegar ( I used white)
1 large mild jalapeno- finely chopped - I didn't have this
• 1/4 C finely chopped onion
• 2 Tbsp finely chopped celery - didn't have
• 2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 2 tsp fresh ginger
• 3/4 tsp nutmeg
• 1/2 tsp allspice
• 1/2 tsp dried oregano
• 1/2 tsp celery salt
• fresh black pepper
• 2/3 C whole wheat bread crumbs
• 1/4 C olive oil (for pan frying)

Break up the tempeh into a small pot. Add the water, soy sauce, oil and crushed bay leaf. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, let boil for 10-12 mins, stirring once, until most of the water evaporates.

Place steamed tempeh into a large mixing bowl. Using a fork, mask until about 50% smooth. Let cool for about 15 mins, until tempeh is lukewarm. Mix dry spices in a separate, small bowl to evenly combine. Add the s. cream, mustard, chili sauce, vinegar, bell pepper, lemon, and ginger and stir together. Add the spices and mix well. If you are making ahead, cover and place in refrigerator.

Before frying, add half of the panko to the tempeh mixture. Stir until just combined.

Preheat a thin layer of oil in a heavy bottomed non-stick skillet over medium heat (I tried just using non-stick cooking spray at really need a little oil!)

Pour a remaining 1/3 C of panko onto a plate. Scoop a heaping 2 T of the tempeh batter into your hands and form into a ball. Gently flatten balls between your palms and then dip them into the panko to lightly coat – just a bit for some crunch.

Fry cakes for 4 mins on one side, flipping when dark golden brown. Fry for ~2 mins on the other side and transfer to a crumpled paper towel to drain (crumpling the towel better allows the oil to drain).

Makes 8 cakes (~3-4 servings). Serve cakes in a warm pita pocket with fresh arugula and remoulade sauce.


• 4 T Light Mayo
• 1 T whole grain mustard
• 1 T chili garlic sauce
• 4 tsp capers
• pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix to combine. Can be made ahead.


  1. I think you made a great decision having Nick go to preschool....both for you and him! He is going to love it and have a great time. You may feel guilty at first but then DISMISS it! You can have some you and Kara time or even you time! I know it will be hard but you can do it!!

    Love the preschool activities!

  2. Well done on making your decision. Try not to feel bad - he WILL love it. I was sick at the thought of leaving M, but he loves nursery and points at the red teddy on the door in excitement as we arrive although he did cry on Thurs which killed me, but that's because he's still getting over that bug. You'll all benefit - of that I'm sure. Feel free to stress away about it though. I've come to the conclusion that mummy hood = guilt!
    I refuse to believe Autumn is here! booooooo! I do like the rare crisp Autumn days we get, but basically in Scotland, we swap long wet summer days for v short (dark at 4) wet days as winter approaches! Ughhhhh! The Muffins might help to lesson the blow though! Yummer!

  3. I bet Nick will love preschool and soon you will find that you love it for him too. They learn so much and really have a good time. Sometimes I feel guilty when I pick Zach up because he is running around and having so much fun with his friends.

    And I am excited for pumpkins too! I just bought a few cans of pumpkin and can't wait to start making pumpkin bread constantly.

  4. I am seriously excited for fall baking! pumpkin muffins are my FAVE but I am forcing myself to wait til it feels like fall. :)

  5. He'll enjoy it and I'm sure you'll love the break!

  6. Nick's going to love preschool and when you see how great it is for him and how much he enjoys it, you will feel good about this decision! Trust me. I was torn up about sending Eva to daycare, but she loves it, she loves her teachers, and she has a great time and because of that I feel alright about sending her there.

  7. Oh that's great you decided to send Nick to pre-school. Those few hours a week will really help you out. Plus, they learn so much being around other kids and car takers. It's really the perfect amount of time.

    I loathe straight mayo. Fake mayo scares me even more. I didn't mind it in this recipe since it was covered by other flavors, but I know the rest of the jar will go to waste. Hope your cakes turned out good too. Yay for the returnof pumpkin!