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Category: LARGE Family

Parenting is not for the faint hearted. It requires planning, diligence and mindful interactions with the lives entrusted to us.

Dinner Prep-A Task For The Whole Family

I enjoy getting the whole family busy in the kitchen.  Conversation flows like water and I am able to see my kids from so many angles.

Determined, silly, competitive, enthusiastic, learning.

More than that, when we all pitch in, dinner is on the table with the ease that only teamwork can bring.

Giving kids tasks to help get dinner ready gives them a sense of accomplishment and they become part of the team rather than a bystander.

Giving kids tasks to help get dinner ready gives them a sense of accomplishment and they become… Click To Tweet

With a tribe of kids from ages 4 to 15, we cover a wide range of activities available.

Ages 3-4 (My triplets are 4 and they love helping out in the kitchen.)

  • Help measure ingredients for salad dressing, meat rubs or marinades.
  • Help remove stems from fresh herbs.
  • Rinse dry beans before prep
  • Wash vegetables before prep
  • Tear salad for salad prep
  • Throwing away wrappers or dumping bowl full of scraps
  • Add silverware to table

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Ages 5-10 (My 7-year-old loves helping me measure out ingredients and makes a mean garlic bread)

  • Read easy recipes and help prepare marinades or salad dressing
  • Learn to do a rough chop on vegetables for soups or kebabs.
  • Shred cheese for various dishes
  • Add plates to the table

Ages 10 and up (My 10 & 12-year-old love baking and have claimed “their” signature dish)

  • Help prepare pasta or rice
  • Make guacamole
  • Prep vegetables for stir fry
  • Bring family style dishes to the table

How do you get your kids involved in everyday cooking duties? There are many benefits that come with empowering kids in the kitchen.  The biggest benefit our family has experienced is the desire to eat at home instead of eating out. Cooking with your children will reap many rewards. For more research on these benefits click here

Carrot Banana Muffins

 In my attempt to make my kids lunches less routine and boring I have been experimenting with different ways to incorporate a good balance of fruit and veggies.

I wanted to make a muffin that was easy to put together, freezes well and hearty enough to handle my kids lunchtime hunger.

If you have followed my blog you know my favorite juice is carrot juice and being a person that hates to waste I freeze the pulp so I can use it in pancakes, muffins, and other dishes.  I decided to try a combination of banana bread and carrot bread.  The end result was a hearty muffin that is perfectly sweetened with banana, carrot and a bit of brown sugar.


Carrots make the muffins a rich source of beta-carotene which is perfect for supporting strong vision.

Carrots make the muffins a rich source of beta-carotene which is perfect for supporting strong… Click To Tweet

The combination of the banana and carrots gives the muffins a natural sweetness so I used a fraction of the sugar normally used in quick bread.

The combination of the banana and carrots gives the muffins a natural sweetness so I used a… Click To Tweet

 I used wheat germ to give the muffins an added boost of fiber, but the wheat germ also offers folate, healthy fatty acids, vitamin E as well as minerals such as iron, zinc, magnesium, calcium, selenium, and manganese.

They turned out perfectly and we have all enjoyed them for breakfast and lunch. This is a big batch recipe.  This recipe makes 48 muffins.  They freeze and thaw well.  So make a batch for now and later.

 Ingredients

1 cup packed brown sugar

3/4 cup coconut oil

6 eggs

2 1/2 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 5-6)

2 cups shredded carrot

1 cup coconut milk

4 cups whole wheat flour

2 cups wheat germ

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

 Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

Prep muffin tins with oil or liners

Combine brown sugar, coconut oil, and  eggs. Mix well with blender.

Add in banana, carrots, and milk. Mix well and set aside.

In a large bowl combine flour, wheat germ, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Whisk together.

Add flour mixture to sugar mixture and mix till moist.

Use a 1/4 cup cookie scoop to fill muffin pans.

Bake for 22 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.

To freeze, let muffins completely cool and place in freezer safe container.

 

5.0 from 3 reviews
Carrot Banana Muffins
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 48
 
A hearty muffin that is perfect for breakfast and lunch
Ingredients
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • ¾ cup coconut oil
  • 6 eggs
  • 2½ cup mashed ripe bananas (about 5-6)
  • 2 cups shredded carrot
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups wheat germ
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Prep muffin tins with oil or liners
  3. Combine brown sugar, coconut oil, and eggs. Mix well with blender.
  4. Add in banana, carrots, and milk. Mix well and set aside.
  5. In a large bowl combine flour, wheat germ, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk together.

Mini Dutch Apple Pie


We are trying out a new dinner routine this year.  You see, the moment the kids walk through the door after school they want to devour everything in the kitchen.

Am I alone on this.  I have no clue what they are doing at school to get such ravenous appetites when they get home.

My husband normally does not get home until 7-7:30.


So I have devised a new dinner plan, and so far it seems to be working.

As soon as the kids get home they begin their Acts of Service while if finish up dinner.

We then sit down to dinner and catch up on what happened during the day.  I love this because they are still so amped up from school the conversation is animated and hilarious.  Even my 15-year-old chimes in happily. :0

After dinner, the kids start homework and prepare for the next day of school.

When my husband gets home, he usually eats dinner alone or while everyone is getting ready for bed.  Now we sit at the table with him while he has dinner and play what we call “Dinner Games.”

We have a different game for every day.  Tonight we had to create a sentence using the same letter of the alphabet throughout.  My sentence was “Busy Bees Bite Big Booties.”

We then enjoy a simple dessert as a family.

I love the portions of this dessert because the triplets like asking for seconds and thirds.  This allows me to say, “You already had your piece.”

These provided the perfect ending to the day.  Simple and delicious.


Ingredients

Filling:

2 (9 inch) pie shells (I use immaculate baking when I am in a bind, or you can use this recipe (my favorite 😉

5 apples – peeled, cored and diced

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons whole wheat flour

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

2 tablespoons butter

 

Crumble:

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup butter

 


Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Cut pie crust to fit bottom of 6 ramekins

Lightly oil ramekins and place pie crust in the bottom, set ramekins in the refrigerator.

In a large bowl add apples, 2 tablespoons of flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice and zest.

Mix apples until evenly coated.

Place 1 cup of apple mixture into individual ramekins.

Place ramekins on a cookie sheet and place in oven for 10 minutes.

 

While pies are baking, prepare the crumble topping

In a medium bowl combine 3/4 cup flour, cinnamon, brown sugar and oats.  Mix well and then cut in butter until mixture well combined.

Remove filling from oven and sprinkle the crumble on top.

Turn down oven temperature to 375 degrees F and bake for an additional 30-35 minutes.  Crumble should be brown and apple tender.

Enjoy

 

 

 

5.0 from 2 reviews
Mini Dutch Apple Pie
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 6
 
Simple Mini Dutch Apple Pie that will have the whole family happy.
Ingredients
  • Filling:
  • 2 (9 inch) pie shells (I use immaculate baking when I am in a bind or you can use this recipe. http://simmerandboil.cookinglight.com/2015/12/22/homemade-pie-crust/
  • 5 apples - peeled, cored and diced
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Crumble:
  • ¾ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¾ cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup butter
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Cut pie crust to fit bottom of 6 ramekins
  3. Lightly oil ramekins and place pie crust in the bottom, set ramekins in the refrigerator
  4. In a large bowl add apples, 2 tablespoons of flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice and zest.
  5. Mix apples until evenly coated.
  6. Place 1 cup of apple mixture into individual ramekins.
  7. Place ramekins on a cookie sheet and place in oven for 10 minutes.
  8. While pies are baking, prepare the crumble topping
  9. In a medium bowl combine ¾ cup flour, cinnamon, brown sugar and oats. Mix well and then cut in butter until mixture well combined.
  10. Remove filling from oven and sprinkle the crumble on top.
  11. Turn down oven temperature to 375 degrees F and bake for an additional 30-35 minutes. Crumble should be brown and apple tender.

First Love,Teens and Boys

Can I just tell you how much I love this young woman.  She is just the bomb!!!

 

LOVE IT!!!!!


I have a 15-year-old freshman who is entering  a world of “new”.  If you have read some of my posts from past years or follow on Facebook or Instagram, you know that I love morning drop of time with my older girls.  It is when we have some of our most candid unguarded conversations.

Lately, we have had several conversations about hook-ups and dating. Today I shared with them a time in my life that I hold dear to this day.  It was during my senior year; I was active in my youth choir, church and single.

I remember attending church one Sunday and the sermon being about Christ as our first love.  The pastor spoke directly to the young people and said, “this is the time for you to honor Christ as your would a spouse.  Spend time with him, get to know him in a personal and intimate way.  When the time for marriage comes you will know how to love because your first love taught you.”

Oh, how that message spoke to me.  After that message, I would get my favorite praise and worship music, light some candles and just be, in the presence of my first love.  It was wonderful, and I was full.  There was no need or desire to have a boyfriend.  I was captivated by the lover of my soul.

I shared this with my 15 and 12-year-old today and told them it was in those years that the Lord taught me how to love their dad.  I also told them my story because I want them to understand the having a boyfriend just to be able to say you have a boyfriend is pointless.  Unless they feel they are ready to be married (which they both adamantly said they were not :)) then there is no need for a boyfriend.  As a youth, a had a good share of guy friends but that is what it was– friends.

Looking back on that story is so sweet and refreshing.

The other thing I am grateful for is a role model like Jamie Grace.  Her music is beautiful, and it speaks to my heart but also the hearts of my girls.  Her love of Christ is beautiful and contagious.

 

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