Healthier 2 bite "brownies"

Adapted from Jessica's brownie recipe

You've probably heard enough about the 2-bite brownies but I'm currently obsessed with the recipe. I wanted to make it healthier since I pounded the first 2 batches. Instead of making brownies, I made banana-blueberry cookies. The adapted recipe that I used is below.  I cut out some whole wheat flour and added oat flour. I cut out the milk and used water, and I took out some of the coconut oil. They are a lighter cookie.  You can make them chocolate, maybe try peanut butter or banana and fruit. I really like this recipe, great job to Jessica!

2 cups oatmeal
2/3 cup oat flour (ground oatmeal)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 c maple syrup
2 T ground flax
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
2/3 cup warm water
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1 ½ tsp vanilla
1 to 2 bananas depending on size - helps bind the mixture - mashed
handful of blueberries to your liking
chocolate chips (optional)

Mix together dry ingredients. In the meantime, mix the warm water with flax and let sit until it gels up (about 5 minutes). Add mashed bananas, water + flax, coconut oil, vanilla, and maple syrup to dry ingredients. Fold in blueberries. Form into balls and bake at 375 for 10 minutes.

 I swam this morning and when I saw who was in my normal lane I headed to the speedy lane and it was a good workout. Lots of chatting but I'm getting used to it and getting to know people, so it's fine.
Nick was sick last week, and now Kara is sick. Poor thing! I don't like seeing a sick baby - runny nose, cough and congested.  She's in pretty good spirits.


Earned the day off

At the beginning of the week, my goal was to get back into everything. Success! I was able to actually get in all of my workouts this week and took today off. Here's how it went:

Monday - swim around 3200
Tuesday - treadmill run - 8 miles total
Wednesday - swim around 3200
Thursday - met with speedy group - 7 miles
Friday- swim around 3200
Saturday - long run - part with a friend and part alone - 12 miles. Ya!

I was happy to get in that long run. My friend stopped at 7.5 miles and that was where a faster pace ended too. I was kind of bummed to feel myself majorly slowing down. I know I can run faster, but when I'm alone, I am not good at pacing. I basically run the pace of whoever I am running with. For 7.5 miles we ran 8:35 average pace. In the end, I ended up right around 9:00 pace. My goal for my race in 1 month is the 8:35 pace so it makes me nervous I can't run faster on my own. I am just getting back in the game so hopefully in the next few weeks I'll feel faster.

Did you meet your goals for the week?


savings, the bike, and treats

I've been thinking about milk lately and cutting out cow's milk. I have been drinking almond milk for awhile and using it in my recipes. What are your thoughts on the nutritional benefits of cow's milk? If you don't drink cow's milk, what do you drink?  Almond milk is cheaper than organic cow's milk and I can find coupons for it too. Here is a great list of organic coupons.

I've been really good about looking for coupons and being a wise shopper - inspired by some great money saving blogs and RunBlondie!
Best new blogs and websites I've found for savings thank you for letting me know about these, readers!

Money Saving Mom
Organic Deals
Saving Naturally
Health E Savers
For the Mommas

Coupon Mom

Today I was able to get out on my own and go to the bike store. I was educated on the components but I couldn't tell you much about them.  The bike man let me know that I should look for a 50/51 cm bike and the cheapest one that they sold there was pretty cool looking but $500. Can I find one for about $200? I actually have zero space for one and would really like to borrow one. I don't know what to do. I have the two triathlons lined up - one April 17 and one June 26.  I'm not sure if I'll get into this or not, so I'm stuck. I'm really not in a spot to spend $500 on it.

I learned about hemp 'fudge' from the Non Dairy Queen. The only thing I started adding to it was chocolate superfood. 

I use 2 T hemp protein powder from Trader Joe's (*side note*: I just ordered Nutiva's Hemp protein powder from Amazon for $8.50 on subscribe and save - anyone tried it?TJ's is $10)
1 scoop of Amazing Grass Chocolate Superfood
1 to 1.5 T water

This isn't very sweet but then I add some TJ's creamy peanut butter and some whipped cream.
I like to eat it right out of the bowl

but you could make it into nice balls too!

back in the bowl with some whipped cream. What a great treat!

one bowl treat
 Tonight's dinner - eat clean pizza with non clean cheese on top (and humnut sauce underneath) : )

a variation of 2 bite brownies
I mixed these ingredients:
2 cups oatmeal
1 2/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 c maple syrup
2 T ground flax
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
2/3 cup milk
2/3 cup coconut oil
1 ½ tsp vanilla

Then, I split the dough in half. To one half, I added 1/4 c cocoa, 1 scoop amazing grass (I'm obsessed) 1/2 square baker's chocolate, 2 T chocolate chips and 1/4 c coconut oil. I melted the coconut oil and chocolate, then added in the cocoa. This was one batch. The other batch - I added a mashed banana and 1/4 c coconut and then a handful of chocolate chips to half and blueberries to the other half. Fruity cookies  = healthy, right??  Wink wink.

This is a great recipe and versatile.  I love making vegan things - I ate alot of the dough before it was baked!


Oatmeal Oatmeal Oatmeal

My latest oatmeal adventures

Two bite Brownies - Jessica's recipe
Microwave Cakes ala Avery  - thank you to Miranda for the tip
I used:
about 1/2 c butternut squash puree (try a banana)
1 T flaxseed
1/2 cup oats
maybe around 1/4 c almond milk
a splash of maple syrup
handful of blueberries

and then I topped this with peanut butter and chocolate chips (not pictured). It kind of melted and got runny. Mmmmmm.
Baby's first muffins (Jessica)
So I made these but they didn't stay together well. Regardless they were absolutely delicious! I need to try again.

What is your favorite thing to make with oatmeal?
Yesterday I did this:

Dear Natalie
Thank you for registering for the 36th Marine Corps Marathon held on October 30, 2011.

I'm pretty excited about this and did it without much analyzing and thinking(at all). I know I said I wouldn't sign up for another marathon until I decided I was 100% into it. Well, my sister lives in DC and we've never run a marathon together (we attempted Broad Street -10 miles- a few years ago and at mile 2 she puked in a trashcan and then ended up in the ER in shady area of Philly with an allergic reaction going on.  At the time though, she hadn't really trained for it and was up late the night before and drank red bull I think before running.) I think she'll be in better shape for this after doing her 2nd marathon in May and a handful of races and triathlons before October. I'm really excited to run with her! I think that I can garner up the motivation and my goal is 3:xx:xx right now.


And this morning I finally made it to the Thursday group run with a different group with whom I've never ran. They are a FAST group so besides being sick, other weeks I have wimped out. I showed up today! There were 6 of us.  It felt slower than I thought the first mile, but it was 8:16.  The next two miles were 8:06 and 8:03 and then me and another guy ended up slowing and the others going ahead.
Around 4-5 miles I got a horrible stitch/cramp and wanted to end. I felt bad for the other guy but he didn't seem to mind. It turned out that I used to work with his wife 5 years ago and they have a 21 month old so we had alot to talk about. We ended up doing about 6.3 miles in 52 minutes and then I added on to make 7 miles in just over an hour. It was a good pace and I am so glad that I went!


2 bite brownies

 I recently found this blog that I am digging of a mom who is raising her toddler as a vegan. I like some of the recipes and ideas and tried her 2 bite brownies for dessert when my family came over.

Ok, I'm horrible at sharing vegan recipes because I just start adding things in if I don't think it is sticking together correctly. I probably added a little bit of extra milk and coconut oil. They turned out great! They are not sweet. You might want to add more sugar.

My dad did not think it was sweet enough - it really wasn't that sweet. Maybe add some agave next time. My mom, sister and Bill thought they were decent

2 Bite Brownies adapted from Jessica's recipe

 2 cups oatmeal
1 2/3 cup whole wheat flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 c maple syrup
2 T ground flax
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
2/3 cup milk
2/3 cup coconut oil
1 ½ tsp vanilla
½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
½ cup dark (chopped unsweetened bakers chocolate) & white chocolate chips

Directions from Jessica's blog:
1) Preheat oven to 350F
2) In a medium bowl sift dry ingredients together (oats, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt), set aside.
3) In a large bowl whisk together maple syrup, ground flax, non dairy milk, oil and vanilla, fold into dry ingredients, once mixed stir in dry ingredients add coconut and dark chocolate.
4) Use a tablespoon amount of batter roll into a ball and flatten w a fork place onto non-stick cookie sheet, cook for 10-12 min, then transfer onto wire rack for cooling.

So far, hanging in there for this week. Had a good swim on Monday and skipped the hills today because Nick is sick and I could not get out of bed (he was coughing a few times in the night and I went to bed late) but did hit the treadmill for 8 miles.  Hopefully I can keep it up for the week - I can't believe Nick is sick now. We are getting hit HARD this winter.  How are you doing with your weekly goals?

 Here is a fun website where I received a badge as a good resource. Check it out.


Polenta cakes and goals for the week

To make up for the lack of cooking the entire week last week, I cooked a bit on Saturday. I made Kate's polenta cakes and added a spinach sauce, and served them with lentil burgers and chick peas. 
 My spinach sauce was 1 T butter + 1/2 c almond milk + 1/4 c grated Parmesan. I melted the butter, added the milk and cheese, then put them in the vitamix with 1.5 cups fresh spinach. The "sauce" was tasty - to me!

the lentils

polenta cakes with the sun coming in!

mushrooms and pan fried chick peas

spinach sauce

lentil burgers and polenta

 I thought this was yummy. I served this with apricot chicken and had my parents and sister over tonight.

My sister was home for the weekend. I love it when she comes home and wish she lived nearby.  We swam on Saturday and I always feel like I'm doing well swimming until I swim with her! Then I feel slow. It was a good workout - she's super speedy and I was tired the rest of the day.  Today we did a 10 mile hilly run around my parent's house. It was a great run - good pace (9:23) and I felt like I could run for at least 5 more miles.  I need to get a few 12+ runs in during the next few weekends, and also, HELLO! I need to get in more than 18 miles a week (my last 3 weeks!)  It's been rough being sick or run down and not getting my mileage up there. I have a half marathon (or 10 miler, leaning towards the half - signed up for 2 things on the same day) in about a month, so I need to get myself together here!  I am going to try to get back in the game this week without overdoing it. 

What are your goals for this week?


Double Jogger, Best of Times, Dinners

Sometimes I wonder if the double jogger was worth it. Nick rarely wants to sit in it. It gives me the option at least if I want to jog with both of them but I go so slowly that I'm not really sure that it was a necessary item. Nick's tolerance level is about 15 minutes. It is nice for places like the mall until I take Nick out or he wants out - again, 15 minutes. Maybe in the future he'll sit longer? Or maybe if I have another girl, girls seem more low key. Kara and the baby girl could sit in there?  Regardless, we made it out yesterday afternoon and I was able to "run" for 15 minutes. It was nice, felt nice, great weather.

Today I was able to run for 15 minutes at the gym while both kids played in daycare there and then 45 at home while both then just Nick was napping and Kara hung out and played.  While the run felt good, and I NEEDED it - a) it was rough because the weather outside is gorgeous and I would have really liked to be out there running and b) I felt tired. My knees hurt. I feel tired tonight. I rested 5 straight days. Tomorrow I'm going swimming.

Dinners this week were sucky. Nothing good to post - last week was probably the best week of dinner ever so I'm making up for it this week by not feeling like making anything.  What are your throw together in a few minutes dinners? Here - Dr Praegers and a veggie, pepper and eggs

Lately I've been wondering - is this the best of times? Is this as easy as it will ever be? I'm at home and not working with 2 adorable children that I'm absolutely love.  I get to choose what we do everyday and while I'm a prisoner to their schedules which stinks at times, I have the time to workout and make healthy things. And at times, to scrapbook - a hobby.  I am savoring every minute but at times I do complain (of course).  If you are a mom, what was the easiest time for you (how old were your kids)? What was the hardest?  Any lessons learned?


Resting is hard! 7 months

Resting is slowly killing me! Each day I'm just DYING to go to swim practice or meet up for a group run. I was really close to going swimming this morning but still have gunk in my throat/nose and ears so decided to be smart and not swim. It's been a week since I've been in the POOL!  I feel like I should be cleared up before I go in the water. I've been getting extra rest at night but when I wake up and just start the day instead of waking up, running or swimming and then starting the day - big difference! I feel like such a bum this week. I can't wait to get back into it. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't considering going to the group long run at a pace that is challenging for me (8min/mile) right now - tomorrow morning. Want to talk me out of it? I'm being pretty smart but dying, dying to get out there. I'm really hoping by Friday I'll get back in the pool and do a longish run on Saturday.

Kara turned 7 months yesterday. Wow. The second time around it is just flying. It is sad and I want it to slow down, while at the same time I know by 1 year I feel like things get much easier.   I'm all in on making the baby food and now that she hit 7 months there are a bunch of new things that she can try, so that makes it more fun. Here is her schedule as a second child with a short morning nap and long afternoon one (as a result of being #2)!

7 months old schedule (with an older toddler sibling)
bedtime routine starts at 6:30 pm - asleep between 6:30 & 7:30
pump at 5am
Wake up between 6:30 and 7:30  - nurse around 7/7:30
Breakfast 2 T cereal + 1-2 fruit cubes around 7:30/8
Naptime is around 8:30/9 for 30 minutes to 1 hour usually (longer if we stay home)
most days when out, second nap in the car on our way home for 30 minutes 11:30-12

nurse around noon, solids to follow (2 veggie/fruit cubes and/or yogurt)
Naptime between 12:45 and 2 usually for 2 to 3 hours
nurse at 4pm
Dinner at 5pm 2 T cereal + 1-2 veggie cube
6:30 bath-time, bottle around 6:45 and to bed by 7:30 latest
pump before bed


Doctor visit & weight

Whoaaa - not the best weekend ever! After that 10 mile run, I was basically sitting around the rest of the day wiped out. Then I woke up on Sunday morning and felt nauseous and had no appetite. I think yesterday that I ate a smoothie, tea and 2 pieces of toast and that was it. Today I am feeling a little bit better and have been able to eat little things here and there, but still, not much. I finally went to the doctor. I hadn't been there since.... 2006. 5 years ago when I was stressed out with my job at the time and got bronchitis. I don't do well under stress.  I got an antiobiotic and prescription to do bloodwork. Hopefully I'm seriously on the road to recovery. I haven't been very good about taking alot of days in a row off and I'm sure that hasn't helped. I took off last Thursday and Friday then ran hard on Saturday. Then I took off Sunday and today. I might take off tomorrow in hopes this will all go away - but it is killer doing this. I know that I don't need a hard hill workout though. I plan to get back in the pool on Wednesday. It will be a week by then.  I just can't wait to get back into my routine and train hard!

My doctor told me I look run down and tired (basically look like crap) and my weight right now is the same as when I was a junior in college. It's actually my ideal weight - 128 - on any of the things that I type in for my height.  I don't go on the scale much anymore.  I can tell by how my clothes fit and how I feel if I am in the right place.  I feel pretty good now -I don't feel too skinny but I can tell that losing any more than a few more pounds might make my face look sunken in.  I'm not actively counting calories or anything like that, and I think being sick has really contributed to losing weight.  My lowest weight in college was 121. It was after coming home from Italy and eating a vegan diet. It was not a healthy time for me mind/body.  I can't decide if I looked too skinny - I was definitely not eating enough and walking alot (being in Italy) but I felt pretty good about my weight/look at the time.  Now I feel like I am eating healthy foods, not depriving myself, and training moderate to hard.  I'm not really sure what my best racing weight would be.   I did like RunBlondie's post on weight. Check that out. What is your healthiest weight? How do you determine it? 

 Nick woke up and said he wanted cookies for breakfast... so I made him oatmeal protein "cookies" aka pancakes that looked somewhat like cookies because I baked them in the toaster oven.  I put 3 together to make a heart shape.  Did you eat anything special for Valentines Day? Bill and I aren't big on it and refuse to go out to dinner Valentines weekend but may take a date night next weekend.

possibly the most mean big brother?
won't sit with Kara, takes her toys and hits her in the head : (

Nick and I did a few Valentines last week but any ideas for Valentine themed crafts for this afternoon or later in the week?


Savings, Recovering and Dinners

Last year around this time, I started tallying my grocery bills and trying to be aware of the budget.  Then, it tapered off and I realized that lately I have been making way too many little trips and spending too much money. Hence the spreadsheet is back out, as well as dinner planning, making a big list, coupon cutting and making one big trip per week.  Last week I did very well with dinners and using what we had in the house.

To recap:
Monday was Goat Cheese & Zucchini Frittata
Tuesday was Apricot Chicken
Wednesday was grilled veggies and tofu
Thursday was pepper and eggs atop Naan bread (I think Nick and I had a Dr Praegers and veggies)
Friday night was Kashi pizza 

It was a good week of dinners and last night I went grocery shopping just with Kara (took 1/2 the time, I swear) and did well with my coupons (searching online via google).   What money saving tips do you have for saving money at the grocery store? I feel that since the organic items are so costly and rarely on sale, it is hard to stay under $400 in a month. We'll see where we end up this month.  How much do you spend on groceries in a month? Maybe I can make a conscious effort to continue being on top of this! I hope so. It's funny that it was a year ago right at the same time that I got into this.  Also check out The Savvy Budget Mama blog on budgetting.

The last 3 days I have slept about 9 hours at night and napped for 1-2 hours a day. I'm hoping that this is going to help me recover from whatever my body is fighting. I will tell you that I am totally frustrated and can't stand having to take a nap and having to skip workouts. After spending the day with a toddler and baby, I have ZERO patience without a workout on the day.  Gosh I hope this passes!  I got out for a mid morning run with a swimming friend this morning who is fast! We ran 10 miles at 8:35 pace. By the end I wanted to die, but wow it felt great to be breathing the fresh air and moving my legs.

A hello from Kara and my old carebear (watching Nick)

and Nick jumping in his crib with one of the Thomas engines.
Do you know which Thomas engine it is ?  : )


Dinner #3 and congestion

First of all, I can't kick whatever is going on - I am all congested and very run down. I went to bed at 9 last night and didn't get up until after 7, not even to pump (or workout) like I do every day!  I might have to finally go see a doctor. It seemed like it was going away and then hit me like a ton of bricks yesterday and I just felt very exhausted most of the day. Once 6pm hit I really wanted to go to sleep.  I've been taking mucinex but tried sudafed today. Along with that, having my smoothie w/ spinach, blueberries, echinacea, banana and orange. What gives?? I was even getting to bed earlier since last week. I can't take it anymore!! Missed the run this morning - where I was considering doing a hard workout with a faster group (didn't happen!) and I don't think I'm going to be getting in any running today based on how I feel. Ahhhhhhh.

Regardless, the dinner streak continues and last night's dinner was worth sharing.

Tofu with peanut coconut curry with grilled veggies & brown rice on the side.

First prepare the rice or grain according to package directions. We had brown jasmine rice on the side.

Slice the tofu and sprinkle with salt, pepper and curry powder. Pan fry with coconut or olive oil over medium heat - about 8-10 minutes per side. The longer you keep it on, the more brown and crispy it gets.   Set aside.

For the veggies - (mine were leftovers from veggies and dip tray - carrots, cauliflower, peppers, broccoli) cut up a bunch of vegetables and place in a big roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil and minced garlic. Cook at 450 for about 30 minutes until tender.

For the sauce - combine 1 T coconut oil with 2 T peanut butter (runny, Trader Joe's works best) and about 1 tsp curry powder.  Melt the coconut oil and mix all together. Drizzle over veggies and tofu.

And swimmers - check out my sister's blog.  She is pretty hilarious and acquired my mom's love of sweets.


the milk switch & great starts

Now that Nick is two, the doctor said to give him whatever we are drinking. I am so used to giving him 2 sippy cups of milk that I still feel like I should give him this daily. What do you give your kids to drink? I have made the switch to 2% but we drink skim milk and mostly water.

A great start to today: First, swimming was awesome. I worked really hard and decided to hop in the medium fast lane with my buddies instead of the faster lane that I've been swimming in. There is a speedy guy that likes to take extra rest in the medium fast lane but lately he has been coming more and getting back in shape so that he needs less rest. I would guess he's in his mid 40s so he is in good shape for leading the lane. We did a nice workout and seriously my arms hurt by the time I was out of the shower after the workout.  3600 yards in an hour and 10.

For breakfast, I was inspired by Heather's avocado week. Last week Bill bought 4 ripe avocados and I really haven't been feeling them. I made 2 batches of Heather's hot chocolate soup to use up an avocado. Nick LOVED it and it was a great dip for PB oatmeal protein pancakes.

peanut butter protein pancakes:
1/2 c ground oats
1 tsp maple syrup
1 T almond butter
1/4 - 1/2 c almond milk/milk
1-2 T hemp protein powder
1 T flax or chia seeds
+/or apple sauce for apple pie pancakes

hot chocolate soup

pancakes, dip and a green smoothie

This is my kitchen mid breakfast. Yikes

What is your favorite "great start" (breakfast, workout, whatever you like to do) to the morning?


Apricot Chicken & Getting serious

I'm proud of myself this week because I've made 2 new and delicious dinners :)  That is probably it for the week, haha.  Last night was Goat Cheese and Zucchini Frittata - no picture because we devoured it. Tonight was apricot chicken.

Goat Cheese & Zucchini Frittata
4 egg whites and 2 eggs
1 zucchini, sauteed and fully cooked
1-2 oz goat cheese
Salt and pepper

Combine all in a pie plate and bake at 350 for 35 minutes or until brown.

Chari inspired me and after making Kara apricot baby food, I made this apricot chicken for dinner. Nick and Bill loved it!  I only made it using 2 pieces of chicken - see my measurements below.

APRICOT CHICKEN adapted from Rachel Ray
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 pieces of chicken
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup apricot puree
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat orzo


Heat a large skillet with a lid over medium high heat. Add oil and chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Lightly brown the chicken a few minutes on each side and add onions. Cook 5 minutes. Add vinegar to the pan and let it evaporate. Add apricot, stock and orzos.  Cover pan, reduce heat to low and slow cook for about 30 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed.

Um... I have to get on the bike. First I need to get a road bike.. and then I need to get on the trainer and get moving. In talking about the Philly tri this weekend and thinking that I'll be on a bike for 2 hours, I think I need to not downplay it and start training by the beginning of March, or at the very least, April. Step one: get to the bike store and get fitted. Step 2: decide what to do about a bike!

As far as running, it has been disappointing. Today for the hill workout  I just felt run down and congested ( I can't kick this thing!) I couldn't go all out and was at the end of the group. I HATE that! I hope that I can get it together for this spring as I had planned.  I have to decide whether or not to run with a fast group on Thursday morning. While I'm not at 100%, I feel like I need to get out there and HURT.

Swimming is going well. Besides dealing with a few douche bags in the faster lanes (pulling my foot to make me stop warming up, taking too much rest and BS'ing, etc), I'm getting faster.  My sister wrote an article about swimming drills for anyone who is looking for some ideas. She was a collegiate swimmer now turned triathlete. Check it out here.


CSN review coming up!

Thank you for all of your feedback and nice words on Nick's party. It was a great time! : ) 

It is time to review some products from CSN stores. They carry everything from modern office furniture to children's bedding and toys.  One of the items that they carry is little mini train toys that I used as favors for the kid's buckets for Nick's party.  

I have been keeping my eye out for sale bedding and furniture for Nick and Kara. Right now, Kara's room is a modified office and all of her clothes are in a closet with shelves and a hanging part. When we move (someday), she'll need some furniture and bedding. Nick needs big boy bedding but he's still in his crib and probably will be for as long as possible or at least until we move. His crib is a convertible one that turns into a bed and I keep forgetting that - has anyone else used one of those?

Speaking of Nick, he had his 2-year old appointment today and the doctor asked him what his favorite food is. He thought about it and said "spinach." Hahaha! Totally out of nowhere. He never eats straight up spinach so I was cracking up!


Birthday party time!

The party was so much fun! Here are some eats and decor from the big day. Nick is two today! Happy Birthday to my lil guy!

happy birthday baby boy!

party spread

close up of the cars and "2" graham crackers. I used tahini in place of PB

vegan chocolate cake
This turned out really well
cake before decorating

white bean hummus
chicken breaded w/ carrot, butternut squash, flax and breadcrumbs

To make this, I had my mom cut up chicken cubes and then we dipped them in one egg, about 1/2 cup milk and 2 veggie cubes of butternut squash puree (Kara eats this now) all mixed together and 1 veggie cube of carrot. Then we dipped that in equal amounts (say 1/2 c each) of a mixture of whole wheat breadcrumbs and flax seed and pan fried it.

each box car decor
macaroons and brownies

made into 2s
Nick was pumped about this cake!
Nick eating
close up of the engine
cake centerpiece
blowing out the candle
lots of fun toys!

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Everything turned out great. At the last minute I was thinking everything was maybe too healthy but that is how I wanted it to be. The cake was the trial #3 complete with full fat/sugar icing (just never had the time to try out a better recipe). Then I made a chocolate cake for some of the cars because I started feeling like the cake was not going to be that good for people that don't want/like healthy cake. The chocolate cake was vegan and I cut out alot of sugar since the icing was so sweet. It was very easy too.  The cars had tons of icing and sweets on top - pirouline cookies, pretzels, m & m's, reeses, licorice. It was fun to decorate the train.  My mom and mother in law helped with the engine which became Thomas at the last minute. The face was not all that great but Nick didn't mind!

For food we had child friendly finger foods:
veggies and dip
pita chips and white bean hummus
chicken and honey mustard
tomato pie - store bought
cheese and crackers
graham crackers

German Chocolate Cake - vegan adapted from Raising Vegetarian Children
1 c sugar
1 1/2 c white flour
1 1/4 c whole wheat flour
3/4 c cocoa
2 tsp baking soda
2 c water
1/4 c agave nectar
6 T coconut oil
2 T apple cider vinegar
2 tsp vanilla

Heat oven to 350. Mix all dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix well. Let it sit about 15-20 minutes. Spray an 8 x 8 pan. Bake for 30 minutes.

**thank you Kate and Angela for the great child friendly healthy recipes!
I recently found Kate's blog and LOVE it!!  Check it out!

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