Weird Things My Toddler Does: Part 14

Mila and I cook a lot.

Like seriously, it’s about five times a week. She’s super comfortable around heat sources, tools, and utensils. Plus, she loves trying new foods and dishes. I think when she has a hand in cooking, she’s more into trying whatever we cook.

Her favorite part is mixing and stirring our food. At first, it went normal. Lately, though, I’ve noticed she’s been doing something a little weird while I cook.

It doesn’t matter how many pots we use, she stirs with every single bamboo utensil. Weirder than that, she only uses the utensil for one stir and then discards it.

Not only is it a strange practice, it calls for a ton of clean up.

I guess toddlers like making a mess too. Maybe it’s about time she starts helping with all the dishes.

Let’s hope that she always loves cooking with me and wants to experiment with her food, but maybe gets a little less messy as time goes by. Even just practicing using one utensil instead of them all.

Toddlers are just weird.

Does anyone else’s toddler have to use every single one of an object? Mila does this with paint brushes too!

Red Velvet Cookie Recipe

If you need a last minute Valentine’s Day treat/present or are really craving something delicious, you’ll love these cookies.

They take about twenty minutes to make and everyone will want more. It’s easy too!

This recipe also reminds me of Jensen. I craved these throughout my pregnancy. They’re always fun to make and honor him too.

The best part of this recipe is there’s only FOUR ingredients:

  • Red Velvet Cake Box
  • Two Eggs
  • 1/3 Cup of Vegetable Oil
  • Powdered Sugar

First, preheat your over to 375.

Then mix the red velvet cake box, eggs, and oil together. It’ll get to a cookie dough consistency. When it does stop mixing.

Next, make the dough into little balls. I did one at a time and then coated them into powdered sugar. Without the powdered sugar, they’ll stick to a baking sheet. That makes it hard to pick them back up again.

Put them in the oven for ten minutes.

After you pull them out, you’ll notice they’ll fall. Don’t worry, they’re not supposed to stay risen. They still taste fluffy!

One little word of caution with the doughs stickiness… throw some flour or something on your hands.

Mila tried to help before I could cover her hands and…

She had fun helping roll little cookie balls, but it got messy quick!

This would definitely be a great and quick way to surprise your kids, partner, or whoever your celebrating Valentine’s Day with!

Let me know what you think of this recipe in the comments.

Grilled Caprese Chicken Recipe

This is going to sound silly, but I’m so intimidated by cooking chicken.

I have this fear it’s going to be REALLY raw and it gives me the creeps. So, when I do make it, I usually bake it for a few more minutes than what a recipe calls. Any recipe that says to put it on the grill or pan, I just skip it.

Until I came across this one.

This grilled caprese chicken made me feel like I was back in Italy.

Not only was I able to grill it on the stove top, it was so good and not raw. I think this is a culinary win on my part! You should try it too.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh mozzarella
  • Tomatoes (I used roma, but you could use other kinds too)
  • Basil
  • Balsamic glaze
  • Parchment paper
  • Grill or griddle
  • Rolling pin

That list seems huge, but it all comes together and you probably already have a lot of the ingredients. This recipe is also a little more in depth than what I usually share, but it’s pretty easy to follow along.

First, turn on your grill or griddle to a medium heat. This way it’s warmed up after you’ve prepped.

The, beat your chicken. No really. Wrap your chicken in parchment paper and hit it with a rolling pin. You’re trying to make your chicken have an even thickness.

After it’s evened out, brush on olive oil.

Next, it’s time to season. You can either mix your seasonings together in a separate bowl (what I did) or put it on top of the chicken. I always add extra salt and pepper too. Place on the grill or griddle and let it cook for five minutes. Then flip it over for five more minutes.

Pro tip… I used a griddle. To get the grill effect, I placed a baking sheet over my chicken to keep the heat in.

While your chicken is cooking. Slice your tomatoes and mozzarella if it isn’t pre-sliced. This is also a great time to chop your basil too.

Once your chicken is finished cooking on the second side, flip it over again. Place two pieces of mozzarella on top of each chicken. Cover them back up and let the cheese melt for about two to three minutes.

After it’s melted, plate them and put the tomatoes, basil, and balsamic glaze over top.

Then enjoy!

For sides, I made broccoli and garlic-butter noodles. It tasted great and Mila even enjoyed a few bites of the chicken too. She was way more into the noodles though.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and if you give it a try, let me know in the comments!

Zucchini and Chicken Casserole Recipe

The first recipe of the new year was a crowd favorite for my family. Mila even stole bites from my plate!

It’s a tasty, low prep meal that will become one of your family’s favorites.

Here’s the ingredients:

  • Rotisserie chicken
  • 2 large zucchinis
  • 1 can of cream of chicken soup
  • 1 box of chicken stuffing mix
  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream
  • Cheese

First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease a basking dish.

While it’s preheating, melt the butter and then, in a bowl, mix it with the chicken stuffing mix. I added a little more butter to this, but do what you think works best. Set aside half of this combination for the topping.

Then, pull and shred your rotisserie chicken. Make sure to get out all of the bones. You could also use chicken breast or thighs too.

Next, dice your zucchini in bite sized pieces.

After everything is cut, combine the chicken, zucchini, cream of chicken soup, and sour cream to one of the stuffing halves.

Mix it up and then spread this to your baking dish. Add the other half of the stuffing mixture and cheese on top.

Put it in the oven, uncovered, and bake for 40 minutes or until it’s warm through and the top is golden brown.

One of the best part of this recipe, besides it being easy and tasty, is Mila was able to easily help me make it! Cooking with her most nights creates memories I know I’ll never forget.

I love finding meals she enjoys making and eating to keep her interested in cooking.

If you try today’s recipe, let me know what you think in the comments!

Mom Fail: Cooking Edition

I’d like to start off saying, this is not switching into a cooking blog. Every post lately has been revolved around food and I’m planning on a recipe post for Monday… oops. It just so happened this one directly linked to food too.

When I woke up this morning, I thought, what a great day for blueberry pancakes. We slept in a little bit and already did our morning routine. Mila and Max has played while I did some things on the computer; the morning was just relaxing. It just like a perfect brunch type of day. I mean, look how peaceful Mila looks in that picture.

Since you’ve most likely read the title of the post, you know there’s something bound to happen…

Mila is the best helper. She loves mixing batters and handing my ingredients when I cook. While I’m cooking, she likes to stir the food and cheers. It’s cute and surprisingly, there’s only been minor messes lately.

For our pancakes, she held the cup while I poured in the dry ingredients, kissed the egg, and already had the work ready to mix it all up. After everything was in there, I beat the egg and had it pretty well mixed and let her continue while I cleaned up.

As I turned to my kitchen counter, I heard a quick ‘uh oh’ and then a clang. All while this was happening, I turned to Mila to make sure she was okay. Then it literally hit me.

She had accidentally dropped the bowl and as I so happened to turn, the bowl hit the ground sending batter all over me and the surrounding area. Mila miraculously was pancake batter free.

Fortunately, there was some batter still in the bowl. It was just enough to make us a few pancakes. So not a completely fail, right?

Meatless Monday: Spanish Rice

This is a tiny bit of false advertisement. I’m going to give you two recipes because when I made my Spanish Rice, I also added some chicken thighs with it too. It tasted amazing! Mila loved it as well.

So Mila and I LOVE different types of food. Last week, with Cinco de Mayo, we made different Mexican food and this Spanish Rice dish. I will admit, we did order out for Cinco de Mayo, which was…. interesting to say the least. Turns out, you should call waaaaay beforehand when ordering Mexican on Cinco de Mayo, during a worldwide pandemic. Who would’ve known?

Anyways, so this recipe was given to me a couple weeks ago and I figured I’d try it. I love recipes that are easy to make and that are tasty. It’s something I could throw together and walk away from while attending Mila’s daily dinner crisis. This recipe would have worked great without the chicken thighs I added, they needed cooked, so don’t blame me. I also added black beans, which could have just been the protein for the meal. Without going on forever, here’s the recipes.

Without me chatting too much, here’s the good stuff…

Spanish Rice Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes and chilies
  • 2 tapblespoons of taco seasoning mix
  • Shredded cheese (optional)
  • 1 avocados (optional)
  • 1 can of black beans (optional

Combine rice, water, tomatoes, and taco seasoning in a large saucepan or pot (like I did). Bring it to a boil. Then reduce the heat to low and cover, simmering for 45 minutes. Remove from heat and let it stand for 5 minutes. If you’re adding beans to your rice, I’d do it before the 5 minute warning so they can get nice and heated up. Fluff the rice up with a fork and add in your extras if you choose so. If not, enjoy as is!

Taco Chicken Thighs:

  • 3 chicken thighs, skinless and boneless (use as many as you need and adjust accordingly, this is what I had left)
  • Olive oil (I didn’t measure. I’ve never claimed to be a top chef, guys!)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Taco Seasoning Packet (what you didn’t use with the Spanish Rice)

Preheat your oven to 400. While it’s preheating, rinse your chicken thighs and pat them dry. Once they’re dried throw them in a bowl with the olive oil, salt and pepper, and the taco seasoning. Make sure there’s seasoning covering the thighs and place them on a baking sheet. Once the oven is preheated, cook them for about 20-25 minutes. Once they’re done, you could shred them or cut them in strips. I did the latter, which was amazing for us.

This really is a quick and simple recipe you can make if you’re busy. Just set timers for everything and it’ll cook itself, really. Mila really enjoyed the chicken thighs (it’s not fun to convince her to eat chicken breasts) and rice is one of her favorite meals. Yes, rice is considered a meal for Mila. Some days are just a win when she’ll eat anything. It’s a toddler world and I’m just living in it.

So, although I didn’t completely go meatless for this meatless Monday recipe, there’s a lot of options to take the core of this meal and make it a meatless one.