Baking & Cooking With Mama (Pumpkin Spice Applesauce Muffins)

Sunny is turning 30 months on the 21st.  What is it about this age that is so adorable, yet so moody and fiesty at the same time. Does anyone relate?

Sunny is still in her stormy period. It's been over a week. I won't care to publicly go into too much detail about the challenges we've endured this week, but to sum it up: this week has been rough.

 Sunny who was always so bright and cheerful with the sunniest of disposition, has suddenly turned angry at her world.  We have a doctor appt scheduled today to make sure everything is okay, health wise. My gut tells ne it's another urinary tract infection.

With Sunny waking up at around 6 am every morning, we decided to get going on some fall baking.

Pumpkin Spice, oats, applesauce,  hints of brown sugar, pecans...

Sunny loves her a muffin.  The applesauce oat muffins from this week were a huge hit, so I knew today, a muffin for breakfast would hopefully brighten her day.

I let her fill each muffin tin and she loved it.
                        Getting her involved makes
                        all the difference.
She thought they were ready to eat, so I had to explain how patience works. While the muffins baked, I decided to try getting her involved with eggs. She has always rejected eggs, so my hope was her stirring them would encourage her to eat them. Did it work??
Yes it did!!! Hooray. I called them Mickey Mouse eggs to get her even more excited.  (She LOVES Mickey).
Foods high in protein are so important,  and Sunny has never been one to eat much protein, hence the irritability she goes through.
When the muffins were done, I added a touch of butter and she was on cloud nine. She calls them "hot cakes" and kept asking for more. I think she ate three.
                          Stuffing her face

Pumpkin Spice Applesauce Pecan Muffins

Preheat oven 375
*note* don't over mix muffin batter. Just a few light whisk is all you need for moisture muffins.

2 eggs
1/2 c. Pumpkin puree
1/2 c. Applesauce
1/4 c. Canola oil or butter
1 tsp. Vanilla
1/4 c. Agave or maple syrup
1/4 c brown sugar
1/4 c. Milk or almond milk

Whisk and mix well
1 C. Whole wheat flour
1 c. Oats
1 tsp. Baking powder
1/2 tsp. Baking soda
2 tsp. Pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/4 c. Chopped pecans
1/4 c. Raisins,  optional
Mix with wet ingredients.  Fill muffin liners 3/4 full and bake 15-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Store in airtight container. 


Cold, Slow & Dreary Day

                       I love these pictures showing examples of how to groom yourself.  The picture she is holding is of a girl brushing her hair and she has others illustrating how to brush your teeth.
Also, check out my grandmother's handbag from the 60s.  I cleaned it up and decided to not hide it away, but rather put it on display.

I have heard a lot about this Wonder Weeks App you can download on your device. I need to learn more, but it tells you what to expect with your baby/toddler each day and when they will come out of a "stormy period"

Sunny is still in this stormy period and if I had the app, I would know exactly when she is supposed to come out of it. So many moms have highly recommended this Wonder Weeks App and can't say enough about it. It is supposed to help parents with their sanity because it tells them all is normal, nothing is wrong, and it is a phase that will eventually end.  I definately need to read up more on how this works.

I use this blog as mostly a place to store my recipes and journal Sunny's milestones, concerns, and other tidbits. I don't publish every post I write about Sunny (due to protecting her privacy) but today, I accidently published one and then immediately realized that later and stored it as a draft.  It mainly discussed Sunny during this stormy period and what she is going through at the moment.

My public posts are intended to be helpful, uplifting, positive and educational (such as posting healthy recipes).

I am full swing on accepting any kind of constructive criticism on how to raise kids.  It is not anything I take offense of, but rather is a huge help to me.  There is a French book I am starting to read called, "Bringing Up Bebe"  it talks about how children are raised in France and parts of Europe and how opposite it is in the United States.  In France, they don't serve kid approved meals like we serve here in the US. Toddlers eat exactly what adults eat, when adults eat,  and don't have tons of snacks throughout the day. They have full course meals that are filling, and always serve a veggie first before anything else. The french believe that when a toddler is most hungry, they will eat just about anything, that is why the veggie comes first. I like that. Also, the obesity rate of youth is only 14% in France, compared to 1/3 of what is in the US, according to the author. Also, the french always wear heels. I like that as well.

Anyway, Today we stayed home all day long. It was cold and dreary and all I wanted to do is stay warm and snuggle Sunny. I love her snuggles and wish they would last forever (without her trying to nurse).

After 3 cups of hot cocoa and a few Hallmark Christmas movies, Sunny was starting to come around. Maybe she is out of this so called, stormy period. For lunch,  I served her a veggie first (as the french do) which was peas, and she ate them all. Then I made her half a box of mac n cheese (this works better as leftover mac n cheese taste bland and dry).  I then gave her another muffin from yesterday and she asked for another. Too bad they are gone. I am thinking of doing whole wheat pumpkin pecan next.

I hope everyone had a great day. If you have a toddler going through a "stormy period" try checking out this Wonder Weeks App. Know that the stormy period is often a phase and is due to growth spurts and other changes in a toddler's body, all normal occurances. Sometimes it is worth taking a toddler to the doctor, in case he/she does have a bug or infection, but if toddler eats and plays well, but just seems more irritable then usual, it most likely is a stormy period.


Baking With Sunny

I always have heard that when kids are involved in the kitchen,  they are more likely to eat what is made.
There is truth to this. Sunny being the worlds pickiest eater, ate two muffins today.

She is so dang irritable still and I knew I needed to get her mind off whatever is bugging her. Dr. Appt soon.

While everyone knows the saying that kids in the kitchen can be a blessing and a curse, there are some things I only allow her to observe and maybe touch. Until she's older, that is.
                She looks more then amused

We didn't actually use the rolling pin, but for a picture sake, it was adorable.

I know my recipes are not the most exciting,  but with limited dairy in our diets,  I try to make tasty, yet satisfying meals, even Rodney and Sunny will like.

Today, I decided to make somewhat healthy muffins using applesauce, agave in place of sugar,  oats, whole wheat flour, a touch of flaxseed powder and lots of fall spices,  such as warm cinnamon,  ginger, nutmeg, and cloves.

I do substitute ingredients due to limited dairy in our diets, so applesauce works great in place of butter, as well as canola oil.
               Sunny really loved her muffin,                        even asking for another.

      Sometimes she wants to sit at the big table. And then there are times when she absolutely has to sit in her high chair due to getting up and walking around with her food.

Applesauce and Oat Muffins


preheat to 375

1 egg
4 T. Coconut or canola oil
1 c. Applesauce,
1/4 c. Agave sweetener
1/2 c. Milk or coconut milk
1 c. Oats
3/4 c. Whole wheat flour
1 tsp. Baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 c. Crushed pecans or walnuts
1/4 c. Dried cranberries
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
1/8 tsp. Ginger
1/4 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Vanilla

About 1 T. Flax if you choose

Combine egg, oil, agave, applesauce, milk and whisk.

Add everything else and mix well. Spoon out into muffin liners about 3/4 full.

Bake 17-20 minutes.

Recipe adapted from Melskitchencafe. Com


Quinoa Southwest Bake

Today was such a great day despite Sunny being extremely irritable. She is on the mend from the throwing up, but I think she may have something else going on such as an ear infection maybe?
 Her appetite is poor and all she wants to do is nurse. She hasn't forgotten,  I'm afraid. For the past month, this is what I've said on repeat:

"I'm sorry Sunny, but you're a big girl and big girls don't nurse."

She hates that line. I guess I sound like an acrimonious robot to her.  She still ends up throwing a huge tantrum for up to 10 minutes.

My mom stepped in and offered to drive Sunny over to her house this afternoon.  It's been a long time since I had alone time at home, with just myself.

I decided to watch some Christmas movie and maybe sleep. This was a treat.

A few hours later,  Sunny was back. But that was incredible to be able to relax.

Is my toddler the only one who doesn't nap?

Anyhow, this was a great day. Tonight, I decided to make one of my favorites, quinoa. I have made a lot of recipes from quinoa, but anything mexican is going to top it for me. Add some crushed corn chips cilantro, avocado and all the fixins'

Sauntering the veggies is really the only work besides chopping up avocado and cilantro.

I like to create easy meals, and this was super quick since I had shredded chicken reserved already. It's a matter of dumping everything in a pot and walking away. Just set a timer, so you don't forget about it. 

I highly recommend using a good enchilada red sauce, it will make all the difference in how this taste. My favorite brand is Hatch. Ingredients:

Reserved shredded chicken breast from about 1/2 pound chicken

2 T. Olive oil
1 T. Jalepeno pepper *optional*
1/2 c. Onion
1 tsp. Minced garlic
1 Red, orange, or yellow pepper, chopped

Sautee above until tender

In a large deep pot add the following:

1 10 oz can red enchilada sauce
1 14 oz can black beans
1 can corn or about 1/2 c. Frozen corn
2 cans 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1 c. Chicken stock
1 1/2 c. Uncooked quinoa
Bring to boil then cover and reduce heat to simmer, about 10 minutes or until quinoa is cooked thoroughly and tender/fluffy.

Add 1/2 c. Stock if more liquid is needed to cook quinoa. 

Once done, add sauteed veggies and shredded chicken.

Add 2 c. Shredded cheese blend on top to liking.

Transfer pot (if it's oven safe) into oven for 10 minutes at 375 or until cheese melts

Top with avocado,  corn chips, shredded cheese, sour cream, lime wedges.

**Today the lighting wasn't great for me to capture this meal.

Thanks to pickledplum.com for excellent photos, photography and recipe.


Crockpot Chicken Red Chili & Ginger Tamari Sauce Over Jasmine Rice

                       Crockpot at its best

What a dingbat I was today. I woke up and got ready quickly so I could make it to church on time.  I always think of My Fair Lady when I can't get there when I'm supposed to.

It was 8:58 and I would be late again, or so I thought. As I was leaving, Rodney asked if I forgot to set my watch an hour behind.  I suppose this was meant to happen so I could make it to our ward choir practice.
Wow! What took me so long to get to practice. The Christmas music, the spirit.  I am hooked. All things happen for a reason.

Sunny and Rodney are both on the mend.

I came home from my mom's house later today and the house smelt soooo good. What was Rodney creating? I feel I should of been cooking for him, he's the one sick.  I love that guy! 

I sampled it and almost died.  Okay maybe I am a tad melodramatic when it comes to good food, but this is worth a try, whether you like asian inspired food or not.


1 1/2  c. Cooked Jasmine rice ( I recommend you cook it in  chicken stock for optimal flavor. 

1/4 c. Tamari Sauce
1 Tbs Rice Vinager
1 Tbs Red Chili Sauce
1 Tbs Sugar
1 T sesame oil
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 onion diced
1 tsp ginger
1 large carrot, shredded or matchstick
1 large red or yellow pepper, diced

3 chicken tenderloins

Add everything to crockpot,  including raw chicken. Cook on high for 2 hours approximately. 

After it is cooked, add 1 T. Cornstarch to additional 1/4 c. Of chicken broth and mix in. Add to sauce and allow to simmer for about 10 more minutes. Chop chicken up or leave whole.

Pour over rice. Garnish with fresh cilantro or basil leaves.


Mango Salsa (see January archive on right for recipe)