Cooking with Kids, Recipes and a bit more….

Last Friday I had opened up a copy of a new (and very cute!) cookbook, TIME for Kids Kids in the Kitchen Cookbook: Fun recipes for kids to make!:


And planned on an evening of fun with Walker (The Toddler) in the kitchen. Well…I got a bit more than I bargained for. Oh, Walker and I still had lots of fun and made tasty food. We just ended up with an ER visit for Alistaire (The Baby) for an allergic reaction. Walker and I had made “Nutty Putty”, an edible play dough, Alistaire ate some and within minutes had facial swelling. It was either the peanuts or honey, both of which he hadn’t had before.

Ouch. Sometimes it is easy to not worry by the 3rd child if none of the others have shown any signs of allergies. Although I am glad that it happened at home, 3 miles from an emergency room, and not in the mountains, while hiking! What is he allergic to? We don’t know yet. We are waiting on blood work to come back, on if it is a peanut allergy, and for now I am carrying medication and an Epi-Pen Jr. with me . I should know by next week hopefully ..and well, we will go from there. If that comes back negative, then we will see an allergist for more.

Baby and me, relaxing after everything calmed down –



But back to that Mommy n’ Walker cooking time. Someone was very excited and scooted his chair over and got ready. When I was little my Mom and I made a similar dough, which I loved eating. It was neat to see the recipe again. The book is full of recipes kids will have a blast making/helping with and more so, eating after! Lots of color photos, cute drawings and fun facts for them as well. A keeper of a book.



He had a lot of fun rolling out the dough and cutting out “cookies”, that he and Daddy nibbled on.



The Incredible Edible Nutty Putty (Page 78)


  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 1 cup instant nonfat dry milk
  • Decorations: Raisins, colored sugar, candy sprinkles, etc (optional)




Stir together peanut butter and honey in a big bowl. Add dry milk, stirring until blended.

Spoon a small amount onto a plate, or in Walker’s case, on a cutting board. Shape and decorate it by hand, anyway you wish, before gobbling it up.

Store remaining putty in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

 Walker’s notes:

A set of IKEA kitchen tools for kids is perfect for fun time with Mom! We rolled out and cut cookies and then scarfed them! Yum! Mom says Nordic Ware brand also makes mini-me tools…..check Target for those in the kitchen section.



For breakfast after everything settled down, we tried the oatmeal recipe on page 38. It was very tasty and the oats were a neat texture – they didn’t get mushy. Yum! This was a winner of a recipe.




Fun and Fruity De-lish Oatmeal (Page 38-39)


  • ¾ cup water
  • ¾ cup apple cider (or apple juice)
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats (rolled oats)
  • ½ tsp salt (we used ¼ tsp)
  • ½ cup diced pear
  • ¼ cup dried sweetened cranberries
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup toasted pecans, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup milk (used unsweetened almond milk)


Combine water and apple cider; bring to a boil in a large saucepan.

Stir in oats and salt; reduce heat to low, and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add pear, cranberries, cinnamon, and vanilla, stirring gently to combine.

Cook 3 minutes or until oats are tender. Stir in pecans and milk.

Mom’s notes:

I used canned pears for the oats, I found small cans at our local Grocery Outlet store that have 6 mini pear halves. So for the recipe I used 2 cans. One can I chopped up, the second I used to decorate the top of the oats. Dad wanted a pinch of brown sugar on top as well 😉


FTC Disclaimer: We received a review copy of this book.


Strawberry & Coconut Oats

I thought about doing a 5th cookbook review this week….but then realized: It’s spring and I am strawberry obsessed…


Strawberries are one of my favorite berries…yum! Walker (The Toddler) and I have planted so many new strawberry plants this year, somewhere around 60 of them! In the coming years the squirrels and us will be eating well 😉 They joined the already existing ones in the gardens:



A bowl of oats & berries is a wonderful breakfast. Quick, tasty and filling:


Strawberry & Coconut Oats



Add the milk, oats, brown sugar, almond butter, cinnamon and half the berries to a heavy medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high, lower to medium-low, cook for 5 minutes, stirring often.

Serve topped with remaining berries.

Serves 2.


If your strawberries are of the “Plastic California” variety (big, large and not so sweet), you may want to sprinkle the berries with a bit of sugar and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes for best taste.


Tropical Oats

Kirk and I have oatmeal most mornings, although in typical Sarah-fashion our oats are rarely boring. I grew up eating lumpy oats cooked in water with a  pinch of salt. A few years back when I figured out the secret to good tasting oatmeal, my breakfasts changed. These are an example of how oats can shine and not taste like “old-people health food”. The secondary secret is using high quality oats! Be it old-fashioned or 1 minute oats, buy a good brand. We only use Bob’s Red Mill. When compared to Quaker Oats or store brands, the color and taste is so much better. The oats are fresher as well, in my experience. We buy ours in 25 pound bags (I can source them locally at Cash and Carry stores in the West), and seal them up. If  We go through a lot of oats though. (Have I mentioned my current writing project? It is all on oats…more to come soon!)


Quick-cooking oats are just as good for you as old-fashioned. They are simply rolled thinner and sometimes chopped up, so they quick faster. They have the same nutritional makeup – same calories, fat, protein and fiber! So use what you like personally. And if you have just old-fashioned on hand, use 2 cups milk and cook for 5 minutes over medium-low, after bringing to a boil.


Tropical Oats




Add the milk, sugar, cardamom and salt to a medium saucepan. Bring to boil, add in oats and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly (lowering heat as needed). Take off heat, stir in almond butter.

Divide between two bowls, top with coconut,  and fruit. If desired, sprinkle a little more coconut over the fruit.

Serves 2.


Chocolate PB Dip and A Bowl of Oats

I had played with a recipe for a lower fat chocolate chip peanut butter dip – to be used with apple wedges . Well the dip turned out but was a bit gritty, even after sitting overnight in the refrigerator. I decided to try it in oats for breakfast, it worked wonderfully. The gritty was due to the peanut flour, lesson learned. On the other hand we will be having great breakfasts for a couple of days!

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter and Raisin Oats


  • 1 batch Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Dip
  • 2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon


Add the oats, milk, raisins, maple syrup and cinnamon to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high, turn to medium-low and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Take off the heat and stir in ¼ cup dip till melted. Divide between bowls and top with a bit more, as desired.

Serves 2 large bowls (with plenty of dip left for more breakfasts!)

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Dip


  • 1 cup peanut flour (unsweetened with nothing added)
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • ¼ cup natural peanut butter, smooth or chunky
  • 3 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips


Whisk the flour, milk, peanut butter and maple syrup till smooth, add in the chocolate chips. Cover and let sit overnight in the refrigerator, stir well before using.


Yogurt & Blueberry Baked Oats

Feeling inspired by my recent oatmeal baking I tried my hand at a blueberry dish. Tip: if you have a big container of berries, fill your sink with cold water and 1 cup apple cider vinegar, add the berries and let rest for 10 minutes. Remove the berries and rinse, dry on paper towels and store in a paper towel lined bowl, in the crisper. This works for almost every berry and stops your berries from spoiling!

Yogurt & Blueberry Baked Oats


  • 1½ cups old-fashioned oats
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ tsp fine sea salt
  • 6 ounce container blueberry yogurt
  • 1½ cups unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • Organic Raw Coconut Butter for topping, if desired


Preheat the oven to 375°. Lightly oil or spray four oven-safe ramekins, place on a small baking sheet.

In a large mixing bowl stir the oats, sugar and salt together. In a medium mixing bowl whisk the yogurt through vanilla together, add to the dry and stir, gently fold in the berries. Divide between the bowls and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until set and turning golden.

Serve topped with coconut butter, letting it melt on top. And delicious served with strawberries!

Serves 4.


Two Mini Baked Oatmeals

I was inspired by two recipes I saw on Nom Eat Nom’s blog for baked oatmeal.

Hers were for single serving, I doubled the recipes, adapted for lower cholesterol and baked them in small oven-safe dishes. Of the two, the Cinnamon Bun was my favorite. Perfect breakfasts for Kirk and I!

Cinnamon Raisin Bun Baked Oatmeal



Preheat oven to 375°, lightly oil or spray two personal ramekins that are oven-safe.

Mix the oats, raisins, cinnamon and sea salt in a mixing bowl. Whisk the egg whites through honey together, add to the dry, mix. Divide between the two ramekins, bake for about 20 minutes, until set on top and golden.

Serve warm, topped with the coconut butter melting or refrigerate for later eating. Warm in the microwave for a 1 minute to 1 minute 30 seconds, top with coconut butter.

Serves 2.

Double Chocolate Baked Oatmeal


  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbsp dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Dash (1/8 tsp) fine sea salt (Pinch Dash Smidgen Measuring Spoons)
  • 3 egg whites, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup mashed ripe banana (2 small or 1 large)
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp Raw Coconut Butter
  • 2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder


Preheat oven to 375°, lightly oil or spray two oven-safe personal ramekins.

Mix the oats, cocoa powder, chocolate chips and sea salt in a mixing bowl. Whisk the bananas, eggs and vanilla together, pour over the dry and stir. Divide between the ramekins. Bake for 20 minutes. Serve warm or refrigerate and reheat in the microwave for 1 minute to 1 minute 30 seconds.

Before serving – melt the coconut butter, doing so carefully as you can toast the coconut fiber, stir in the cocoa powder till smooth. Drizzle over the baked oatmeal before serving.

Serves 2.


Chai Spiced Oatmeal

I am always looking for new ideas for oatmeal, considering Kirk, Walker and I eat it 6 to 7 days a week for breakfast. No one in this house wants boring oats! I adapted a recipe out of Whole Grains for Busy People: Fast, Flavor-Packed Meals and More for Everyone, page 162.

I cooked it the way I prefer, where I bring everything a boil, rather than adding the oats in after boiling. Either way works, just what I like.

Chai Spiced Oatmeal


  • 2 cups milk (I used unsweetened coconut milk)
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • ¼ cup golden raisins
  • 2 Tbsp honey, plus more for topping
  • ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/8 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Diced macadamia nuts for topping (or other preferred nut)


Add through salt to a medium saucepan, bring to a boil. Turn to medium-low and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Take off teh heat and add in teh vanilla.

Serve sprinkled with nuts and a drizzle more honey.

Serves 2.


Apple and Banana Baked Oatmeal + Morning Adventures

This morning the new Fred Meyer store opened in Maple Valley. And while it might seem dumb to get excited about a big box store, Maple Valley isn’t the greatest place to live for shopping. In the 8 years we have lived here it has changed considerably, mostly in the form of housing. Outside of simple grocery shopping I have to drive everywhere to get what I need, often a 30 mile round trip or more. We have no clothing, no sporting goods, etc. And even the next town is a 6 to 8 mile drive round trip. That would be the downside of living on the edge of rural and suburbia. Fred Meyer sells a bit of everything with way more class than say Walmart. The store they built is different as well, a new design. I like it! And it is a straight line of walking for me as well, so I can go car less (bonus is they built a huge bike area in the front for locking to!). I braved the insane crowds this morning and checked it out, I wasn’t about to pass up on a “Save 40% off your first 10 lbs of dried beans, rice and pasta” coupon in the bulk section when they stock Lundberg Farms. It was worth the crowds to get sticky brown rice for 59¢ a lb 😉 Most of all it will be nice to be able to not have to plan for trips when I need bulk natural foods, herbs, spices and I can actually enjoy going baby clothing shopping! Although I know we are losing more of the rural to this, I can take it.

So knowing I wanted to not be in the house all morning I made breakfast last night. It is easy to mix up a baked oatmeal while I cook dinner and slide it in as dinner comes out. Then we have 2 mornings of breakfast ready to eat. This was a new take on baked oatmeal. The fruit part is great but it was a bit crumbly after reheating, though it doesn’t crumble when cold and slicing it.

Apple and Banana Baked Oatmeal


  • 2½ cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt (use 1 tsp if you like saltier)
  • 3 crisp apples
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 2 cups milk (I used unsweetened coconut)
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 Tbsp virgin coconut oil, melted


Preheat the oven to 375°, lightly oil or spray a 9×13″ glass baking dish.

Stir the oats through salt together, set aside. Slice the bananas into thin discs, line the bottom of the dish with them, sprinkle half of the oat mixture on top.

Peel and core two of the apples, chop them finely. Sprinkle half over the top of the oats, add the remaining oat mixture on top and then the other half of the apples.

Whisk the liquid ingredients together, gently pour over the oats.

Peel the remaining apple and core, thinly slice. Top the oats with the apple in a decorative patter.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until light golden brown on the edges and the center is set.

Serve warm or cool and refrigerate. To reheat microwave for a minute on high.

Serves 4 to 8, depending on appetite.


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