Snowflake Yogurt

December 16, 2014

snowflake yogurt breakfast

Here’s a nice little reminder that leftovers can be lovely. The other day, we had berry-kale smoothies (I follow Simply Green Smoothies on Instagram — SO many great recipes) and there was that last bit left that no one wanted. Instead of dumping it out, I poured it into a silicone ice cube tray I snagged on clearance last year at Target. Instant yogurt topper, or a great way to cool down a piping hot bowl of oatmeal.

This works best with shapes that don’t have a lot of detail, and the first couple snowflakes I took out were a mess. TIP: run warm water on the bottom of the tray so they’ll come out cleanly. Here’s an older post I did with a bunch of cute and quirky ice cube tray suggestions.

If your little ones don’t love green smoothies, this is a great way to pack in those vitamins without any power struggles. Trust me–I’ve been there, and it’s not pretty. Frozen smoothies in fun shapes FTW.

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Christmas Tree Food Art for Land of Nod

December 11, 2014

land of nod christmas tree

land of nod christmas tree with toy blog

 

Anyone else just want to move right into a Land of Nod store? I mean, they’ve got sleeping arrangements set up already…

I love that place. It strikes the right balance of playful and modern–gorgeous design without being pretentious, super fun stuff with nary a garish, noisy plastic toy in sight.

I had a lot of fun doing this Christmas feature for them on their blog, Honest to Nod (even their blog name is so clever and cute). Click over for the full tutorial, and the plush toy is on sale here.

O Christmas Tree O Christmas Tree

December 9, 2014

kiwi christmas tree how about cookie

 

The holidays are always magical with kids. More so with a three-year-old parroting back everything she hears, in her adorable three-year-old way. You know, like Dasher and Dancer and Pants On and Fixin’, Comma and Q-Tip and Donald and Bits-in. I die. Every Time.

My favorite is when she’s absorbed in something these days, like rolling playdough or picking peas out of their shells. She’ll quietly sing to herself, “Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree,” hum the rest of the line, then repeat. Over and over. She must have heard it on the radio, and, I’m sure in her mind, a song about something that she helped chop down and decorate and is twinkling in her living room right now is pretty awesome.

The minute she wakes up in the morning, she points to the living room and solemnly says, “Mom. Turn on Christmas tree.” She’ll pause during playtime to wander over and adjust an ornament or two. It’s become a part of our daily routine, a glowing source of comfort, a constant. The boys come home from school now and ask what ornament craft they’re making that day. Even Hubbie remarks every so often, “It really is a gorgeous tree, isn’t it?”

I don’t know how we’ll break the news after Christmas that it’ll have to come down. Let’s just think about that later. For now, we’re enjoying how lovely its branches are.

Asian Pear Crisp with Rolled Oats

December 8, 2014

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and Quaker. All opinions are mine alone. #QuakerUp #MyOatsCreation #CollectiveBias

Chilly weather and warm oatmeal recipes: they’re made for each other. Baked, overnight, in cookies, in pastries, using quick oats, rolled oats–however you serve it, I’ll be there, plate in hand.

I’ve always loved the warm nostalgia of the holidays. Every Saturday after Thanksgiving, we pile the kids into the car on a quest for the perfect Christmas tree, and pretty much every day after that, our tiny apartment is one big explosion of glitter, ribbon, paper snowflakes, and Nat King Cole on repeat.

The funny thing, though, is that my childhood was nothing like that. My parents were Korean immigrants, so we spent a ton of time at church for the holidays. Church wasn’t just a Sunday morning stop: it was our social hub. Parents could speak and laugh freely without bothering with broken English, and we kids shared that unspoken bond of awkward “I’m American, but not really, and I’m Korean, but not really” existence.

The holidays culminated on Christmas Eve, performing in the grand Christmas play–written entirely in Korean–in front of hot spotlights and grownups roaring with laughter at the lines we painstakingly recited but didn’t really understand. At the end of the night, Santa Harahbuhjee (grandpa) would show up and reward us with presents, and parents would exchange traditional gifts: hefty, pricey boxes of Asian pears.

We’d feast on those things for days. And now my kids gobble them up too. So this year, I figured it would be nice to pay homage to my, and now my children’s, fully American, fully Korean heritage. Asian pears work beautifully in crisps; they mellow a bit but still have some bite to them that contrasts nicely with the crumbly topping.

Old-fashioned oats is the way to go, and you can never go wrong with Quaker Oats. So off to my favorite store I went:

Target Quaker Oats hot cereal

This adorable limited edition winter packaging is exclusively at Target. Look how cozy! There’s also a coupon for $1.50 off a canister that expires next month — perfect for your holiday baking.

quaker oats asian pears

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 Asian pears, peeled and diced (best if purchased at an Asian market)
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

for the topping:

  • 1 1/2 c rolled oats
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, diced

asian pear crisp blog

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350. Combine the diced Asian pears with lemon juice, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Transfer to an 8×8 (2-quart) baking dish.
  2. Mix all the topping ingredients together, using a fork or your fingers to mash the butter until you get a crumbly texture. Sprinkle evenly over the Asian pear mixture.
  3. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the topping is golden brown.

asian pear crisp baked

*4. Shoo your hungry kids out of the kitchen to give the crisp time to cool.
*5. Sneak a bite when they’re not looking.

I LOVE how this turned out. The fruit-to-topping ratio is perfect, and sweet enough to stand on its own — though a scoop of ice cream couldn’t hurt! I opted to leave it out and enjoy it as is.

asian pear crisp plated

asian pear crisp with red tray

Do you have a go-to holiday recipe for the family? Feel free to share, or let me know if you try this one!

Snowman Yogurt Food Art

December 5, 2014

Do you wanna build a snowgurt man?

C’mon, there’s snow better way to get some probiotics in.

easy snowman yogurt snack

 

(Let me know if you come up with any other puns.)

My three kids used to love yogurt. Couldn’t get enough of it. Then they decided they were sick of it. I understand. As a grown-up, I have the delicious privilege of giving myself choices or permission to just not eat something I don’t like anymore. Kids have it rough; they have to eat whatever we decide to give them, and if they think it tastes bad, they get Mean Mommy face.

So, this is why kids get fun food art and grown-ups eat cake for breakfast. It all evens out.

This idea would be perfect for a busy school morning; takes five minutes, gets your kids in a good mood early in the day, and fills them up with protein and probiotics. What’s not to love? T

Use blueberries for the buttons, chocolate chips (or blueberries) for the eyes and mouth, and a triangle shaped from mango, apple, or any red or orange-colored fruit. Set aside some toppings for a DIY yogurt bar and have your kids go to town. Some topping ideas:

FRUIT

  • berries
  • bananas
  • kiwi
  • fig
  • pomegranate
  • cut melon
  • frozen mangoes
  • any fruit you want, really

NUTS/SEEDS

  • slivered almonds
  • pistachios
  • walnuts
  • pumpkin seeds
  • sunflower seeds

DRIED FRUIT

  • goji berries
  • dried mulberries
  • dates
  • dried figs
  • cranberries
  • dried  cherries

NUT BUTTER

  • peanut butter
  • almond butter
  • cashew butter

SUPERFOODS

  • hemp hearts
  • chia seeds
  • cacao nibs
  • cacao powder
  • matcha powder

Let me know if I missed your favorite!