Monday, April 30, 2012

Oatmeal Banana Breakfast Cookies

     On an online forum, a Mom recommended a recipe for Oatmeal Banana Breakfast Cookies that she uses with her family.  The recipe was alluring and I decided to give it a try.  As you can imagine, with four babies, it is not always easy to get to the store when I am sparked with inspiration.  So, I substituted using what I had on hand.  You can read the original recipe, by following the link above.

Oatmeal Banana Breakfast Cookies:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 mashed ripe bananas (I softened our bananas in the microwave for 30 seconds as bananas do not have time to ripen in our house)

1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup cheerios, crushed into a powder which makes about 1/4 to 1/3 cup

2 cups rolled oats (I was out so I used baby oatmeal)
1 cup dried cherries or raisins (I used raisins because they are smaller, to avoid a choke hazard)

In a large mixing bowl, beat the peanut butter and butter with an electric mixer for 30 seconds.

Add the brown sugar and beat until combined. Beat in the egg and vanilla until mixed. Then, beat in the bananas, baking soda and salt. I decided to spare you a picture of this step as it was not very pretty.
I crushed the cheerios inside a plastic bag using the flat side of a tenderizer.

     Other methods of crushing cheerios could be a food processor or a mortar and pestle.  The cheerios were my substitute for toasted wheat germ.  Next, mix in the flours and the crushed cheerios.  Stir in the oats and raisins. Drop by 1/4 cup measures onto ungreased cookie sheets. Form dough into circles using your hands.

     I used silpat liners under the cookies for easy clean-up. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-16 minutes or until the edges are brown. After one minute, transfer to wire racks to cool.  Serve within 24 hours or freeze. 

These cookies did not last 24 hours, so there was no need to freeze.

     The babies had never been given a whole cookie.  Food is usually broken into bite sized bits.  Since these cookies were very soft, I decided to see what they would do with them.  The boys all tried putting the cookies in their mouths, but did not know how to bite off a piece.  So, I broke them up.  Capri figured out how to take bites.  All were delighted to have the chance to hold an entire cookie.

Xayden tried to tackle the whole cookie

but conceded to devour a small bite.

Capri held her cookie like a sandwich

and ate it bite by bite.

Ryder poked at his cookie

and then put the edge in his mouth, unsure of how to proceed.

Grayson was thrilled just to have a cookie on his plate

and picked off a raisin before it was broken into pieces for easy eating.

     Oatmeal banana breakfast cookies will be a tradition in our house.  Some day, I may sneak in some butterscotch chips to make them reminiscent of oatmeal scotchies.  Do you have favorite family recipes?  I would love to hear your stories and ideas.  As always, comments are welcome.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Aquarium Adventure

     We took the babies to the aquarium and saw the fish and animals through their excited eyes.  They reminded us that we were witnessing extraordinary beauty.

Pretty fish

fascinated the babies.

A beautiful eagle posed for photos.

Brightly colored jellyfish lit up the room.

Capri was astonished

to see a seal swim by.

    A friendly pig greeted them outside.

      We cherish these magical moments with the babies.  What adventures have you had lately?  I would love to hear from you. As always, comments are welcome.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Water Play

     We decided to take advantage of some amazing weather by having the babies play in the water.  We put out pails, boxes and a bathtub filled with water.  Bath toys added to the fun. Daddy gave them showers with a hose attachment.  All piled together, they thoroughly enjoyed the water. 

Ryder, Xayden and Grayson played with bath toys.

Capri dipped her foot in the water

and decided it was fun to get all the way in.

Grayson agreed and joined her in the box of water.

Ryder put a box on his head

and played peekaboo.

They enjoyed the sheer togetherness of water play.

     Afterwards, they put toys away and had another water party together in the bath.  They always have each other to count on for an animated play group.  What water activities does your family enjoy?  I would love to hear from you.  As always, comments are welcome.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Peanut Butter Playdough

     I searched for playdough recipes online and found this recipe for peanut butter playdough in several places.  I had all the ingredients already in the house.  Other recipes required nonfat milk powder which would have required a trip to the store.

Peanut Butter Playdough Recipe:
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 cup of honey

       I heated up the container of honey in the microwave for ten seconds to make it easier to squeeze out.  The dough came out smooth and easy to manipulate.  I opted not to add food coloring as the dough had a nice pale brown color and smelled like sweet peanut butter.  I made sure the babies had a big breakfast before this activity so that it would not be about eating the dough.  This worked well and all of the babies had fun exploring the dough.  Only Ryder was interested in eating it at the end.  They loved the cookie cutters as much as the dough.

No rolling pin was necessary.  The dough only needed to be hand pressed for the cutters.

Grayson loved the feeling of the dough on his hands

and was amazed by the impressions he made.

Xayden tasted a small piece

and then played with the cookie cutters.

Capri marveled that she could break the dough worm in two

and fill up the flower.

Ryder explored the dough with his hands

and then with his mouth.

     There was plenty of dough to save for future play.  When I took the dough out of the refrigerator the next morning, it was cold and difficult to work. I put it in the microwave on high for ten seconds which solved the problem.  Do you have play dough recipes that you like?  What activities have you done lately?  As always, comments are welcome.
Melting Moments
It's a Blog Party

Monday, April 16, 2012

Rays of Sunshine

     The spring rain cleared to reveal rays of sunshine.  We decided to get out with the babies and enjoy the gorgeous weather.  We headed to the coast and were surprised to find it warm enough to enjoy the day without coats.

Capri and Grayson looked around

as Xayden rested and Ryder observed

a large ivy covered dinosaur spitting a stream of water.

We were amazed by the colorful kites

and paused to watch parasailors

until they disappeared behind the rides.

     We took the babies out for lunch.  They sat in highchairs and we ate as a family.  When we asked for our bill, our server told us that someone who wished to remain anonymous had paid our check. She said that many people told her how impressed they were that the babies were so well behaved.   I was so touched by the kind gesture that my eyes glassed over along with our server's.  A couple of tears escaped and I discreetly wiped them away.   I am grateful to whoever showed us this act of kindness.  When the babies get older, we will do acts of kindness together as a family.  I want them to know how important it is to make the world a little brighter. 

     Has anyone showed your family acts of kindness?  Have you done kind gestures for others?  I would love to hear your stories and ideas.  As always, comments are welcome. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Spaghetti Sandwiches


     The chill of winter lingers as spring begins to unfold.  Chilly days beckon me to have a hot cup of
tea and make comfort food for my family.      

Beautiful snow capped mountains

inspired me to make spaghetti sandwiches on whole grain bread

as fun comfort food for the babies.

Ryder gave it his saucy faced approval

while Xayden munched contentedly.

Capri played enjoyed bits of spaghetti

as Grayson celebrated the party in his mouth.

     It is amazing what you can turn into a sandwich.  Have you made unusual sandwiches?  What comfort foods does your family enjoy?  I would love to hear your stories and ideas.  As always, comments are welcome.

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