Seeing as we are all still stuck at home with extra time on our hands, here is a recipe that is not only delicious but also nutritious and low fat with no added sugar. Homemade low fat granola is a great way to start your day and perfect for a mid day munch. With the kids learning from home, I tend to deliver mid-morning snacks to keep their attention focused on the virtual learning. (Sometimes I make it with some dark chocolate chunks to brighten the day – of course…) You can add goji berries, dried fruit, chia seeds or coconut. Whatever you have in the cupboard that can add some interest to your pandemic cooking!
Kids adore chicken fingers and nuggets, but the deep-fried versions are terribly unhealthy. The pre-made options that you grab in the grocery store may be easy, but the expense and lack of nutrition in most brands makes this quick dinner a poor choice. Why not make a huge, heart-healthy batch yourself and freeze half, ensuring that you always have a quick and healthy option available?
One of the most glorious childhood memories has to be sitting in front of the oven, watching cookies bake. And who can forget that smell? It smells like love. The warm, gooey taste that follows is decadent. I love breaking out my trusty stand mixer and making batches of cookies with my sweet boys. Working the dough to form the cookies is such a fun sensory experience; letting them feel the squishy sensations between their fingers is so fun. It’s like play dough with culinary potential. Who says you can’t play with your food? As long as it’s not at the table, it’s fine with me. This one is Hudson’s favourite.
I’m starting to share with you some of the recipes from my self-published cookbook which was really a labour of love. I assembled our family recipes for my mother and I’m making them available on Urbanmommies moving forward. I made the banana bread from my cookbook on the first instalment of my new Facebook Live feature “Let’s Be Honest” which will be running on Mondays at 12 p.m. Pacific time. It won’t always be me cooking, it’s just a chance to chat about what’s been going on while I do things in my mom life.
Raise your hand if you’ve watched a weather report and gone back to bed. Or abandoned plans to leave the house when snow began to fall. Canadian winters can be brutal and many of us fall into the trap of staying inside to avoid the elements. Unfortunately, this can result in more screen time and less memory-making family moments.
As a little girl I used to have hot chocolate in a china cocoa set from 1860. The ritual and care required so as not to chip the cups etched the experience on my memory. The hot chocolate was the powder kind and on special occasions, it would contain dehydrated mini marshmallows. You could watch the sugar crystals in the powder as they dissolved. Back then a product was a product and nutritional ‘truths’ were a given. Soup, salad and milk were good for you. Candy was bad, and unless potatoes accompanied your meat, it wasn’t a proper dinner. Eating from the four food groups detailed in Canada’s Food Guide and doing some school ‘particip-action’ would keep you fit.
You’re going to think this is silly, but I have a recurring fantasy about snacking with a cow. I know, this is a seriously cheesy confession, but I have to be honest. For a while now I have been fixated on The Laughing Cow Cheese Dippers.
It all started in the last few days of summer. I innocently packed up a cooler full of snacks to take to our local park. Knowing all the kids would be running through the sprinklers, I skipped sandwiches and chips, loading up instead on fruits, veggies, hummus, and various snack-type cheeses.
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Summer should be laissez-faire, easy and fun. Unfortunately, work, kids and life still must go on so finding ease where we can is crucial. My kids have been yelling at me daily for enrolling them in summer school (I told them it was ‘education camp’ but they saw through the ruse quickly). We have had visitors, raced in weekend sailing regattas, gardened, camped and canned blueberries. Canadian summers seem so very short when there is so much to enjoy! The ‘easy’ and ‘fun’ bits need to be strengthened when there are so many activities going on. My motto, despite the packed calendar, has been to make snacks as easy as possible. As well, desserts need to be delicious and easy to prepare for when friends drop by for an impromptu BBQ.
Attention padawan learners and Rey fans everywhere! Fancy seeing more Star Wars on Netflix? Members in Canada are now able to stream Star Wars: The Force Awakens along with the last days of the Galactic Republic with the entire Clone Wars series and feature film. Because it is summer vacation, after all, and there are many, many lessons in Star Wars. (You may want to watch it a few times…).
The International Baccelaureate program encourages kids to think independently, drive their own learning, become more culturally aware, and engage with people in an increasingly globalized, rapidly changing world. Our family is very lucky that we live in an area with public IB schools that begin at the kindergarten level.