I think this post will end up being an ode to avocado fries. They are: 1) easy to make; 2) impressive looking; 3) delicious. And any excuse to dip something into ranch dressing is always a win in my book. The most complicated part about this recipe is that, like all breading recipes, you want to have the various stations set up so that it’s easy to move from one dish to another.
I start like this: a plate with 1/2 a cup of whole wheat flour, a bowl with two eggs quickly whisked, and a plate with 1/2 a cup of panko bread crumbs. That way, the ingredients are all in front of you, and it goes quickly in an assembly line fashion. I serve this with ranch dressing, and Lucas gets a kick out of dipping his food. As you can tell from the video, he was requesting seconds before even finishing up the first portion.
I was at a nice cafe a few weeks ago, and I saw chia pudding, for $4. I read the ingredients, and, considering there were only a handful, it got me thinking, how hard can this possibly be to make at home? The answer is… super super easy. Chia pudding is basically the easiest thing to make. The best thing about it is that chia is really healthy, and there isn’t any added sugar. All of the sweetness is derived from the banana.
I’ve tried this recipe with a bunch of substitutions – adding different fruits, adding unsweetened cocoa to make it “chocolate pudding”, and various types of milk. The recipe holds pretty well.
As for the recipe below, Lucas scarfed this down (all three times we served it), and demanded more. And, I can’t stress this enough: it is the easiest to make.
When I was about 24 months pregnant with Lucas, I took, like most women, a test for gestational diabetes. And I failed it. I had to come back for a second three-hour long test. The nurse taking my blood took a look at me, and said, “there is no way you have gestational diabetes.” But she was wrong, I did. She took my blood over the course of 3 hours, to the point where my body refused to give her blood during the third test. But no matter, I had failed so spectacularly that they didn’t need that third data point. I learned later that half of the women who have gestational diabetes don’t have any risk factors.
Oh blondie oat bars, how I love you so. These are one of the easiest bars to make. And, I have to be honest, I make these in the toaster oven too. I know that you are starting to wonder if I even have a regular oven, given that I make everything using a refrigerator or toaster oven. And I do! But the preheating time really just makes me love my cheap(ish) toaster oven more.
It’s so easy to make turkey meatballs. We generally make this as a whole family dinner, and then I pack leftovers for Lucas to take to school.
I would say this recipe takes about 20 minutes to prep, and then another 10 minutes to bake. The hardest part is sautéing the onion. And, while it’s optional, I recommend keeping this step in so that the meatballs have a richer flavor. The parsley, on the other hand, is even more optional. I think it adds a little something, but I’ve excluded it as many times as I’ve included.
One of the first recipes that I learned to make for Lucas was ricotta pancakes. I love them, because they’re healthy. He loves them because they’re full of berries and he just loves berries.
The basic recipe structure is the same with different types of flour. I’ve tried these with white flour, oat flour, and whole wheat flour, and various mixtures of the above. My personal preference on this is that whole wheat tastes too dense, and oat doesn’t get the right consistently. I like to feed Lucas complex carbs when I can, so this mixture of oat and whole wheat flour is the easiest. As for the honey, just a quick reminder that honey isn’t safe for children under 1, so you can substitute equal parts sugar if needed. I also sub in maple syrup if I am out of honey.
And welcome to my new site, Ketchup with Lucas! I started a YouTube channel featuring my son a few weeks ago, and this seems like a natural extension of that.
When I was first starting to cook for a toddler, I was so clueless. I would look up recipes on Pinterest, other blogs, cookbooks. I wouldn’t say I’m a bad cook – I can generally make whatever you ask of me, but without any crazy sauces. But cooking for Lucas is different. He is starting to develop his toddler tastebuds, and it’s not always clear what will work. Tonight he demanded to eat one of my husband’s mussels. Earlier this morning he refused to even try the broccoli. Why did a weird bug-like food look more appetizing than a food that looks similar to things he is fond of? Unclear.
Lucas likes a lot of what I cook, but there’s always something that I expect will be a huge hit, and then it flops hopelessly.
On his YouTube channel, I post videos of the recipes that I try, and his reaction. Hopefully he will end up liking more than he spits out. I’d love for you to subscribe, using the link above.
I’d also love to get all of your thoughts, and suggestions for what you’d like to see more of. I’m making this up as I go along, and any opinions would be very greatly appreciated.