Monday, December 27, 2010

Baked Oatmeal with Blueberries

With all the cookies, cakes, and pies we have been eating the last few weeks the triplets have all developed quite the sweet tooth. Yesterday baby B threw all his food off his tray at breakfast, put his hands on his hips and said CAKE! I am not kidding, he was demanding CAKE for breakfast. So, now that the holidays are over its time to try some healthy baking.
So, this is my version of baked oatmeal. I typically make it the night before. The triplets are very demanding in the morning and would never wait 20 minutes for this to bake. So, I simply rewarm it in the microwave in the morning. It is pretty healthy. I used applesauce instead of oil, just a touch of butter, oats and fruit. I used blueberries. The triplets love blueberries. Sadly, since they are out of season they are a rare treat. I did go ahead and buy a small container. They were overpriced and sadly had to be shipped from Chili (okay now I feel bad about buying them, will freeze local blueberries next year, I swear). Frozen berries or even dried cranberries would work in this recipe too.

Baked Oatmeal
  • 2 cups uncooked quick-cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375°.

Combine the first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl.

Combine the milk, applesauce, butter, and egg.

Add milk mixture to oat mixture; stir well

Pour oat mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Bake at 375° for 20 minutes. Serve warm

I like to cut myself a little square and poor milk over it, yum.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Cookie Dough Truffles A.K.A. Diet Bombs

Okay, I have been eying this recipe as it has been floating around the food blog circuit. So, needing to bring a desert to dinner tomorrow I thought I would finally give it a whirl. I love cookie dough! Seriously, half the reason I bake anything is to eat the dough, and not just cookie dough. I have not got salmonella yet, I just like to live on the edge that way :)
But, I am way more careful about what the triplets eat, so this recipe is a great way for them to try cookie dough without the danger.

It think Annie Eat has the best photos of it, so you can find the recipe HERE.

These are pretty easy to make. But making all the the dough balls was rather time consuming. This recipe made a ton of truffles!

I ended up dipping half of them in wilton chocolate melts and half of them in melted chocolate chips. The lighter truffles are coated with the wilton melts, and turned out much smoother. Also, I was WAY more tired when I did the chocolate chips ones and that might have had an impact.

These did turned out really yummy, but almost a little too sweet. I might use less condensed milk if I make them again. These are really good but a bit too time consuming to make. Might wait until the kids are in college to take the time to make these again.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Making Marshmellows - from scratch

When I told my Mom I was going to make marshmallows from scratch she said "you know you can get marshmallows at the store for like a dollar". Ha, very true. But I have this odd fascination in making things from scratch that we usually buy at the store. Their is just something neat about making your own bread, ice cream, or butter. Plus, this way I know what actually goes into my food. I always wondered how marshmallows where made. So I did a little research-found a recipe that sounded good. Turns out it is basically the same recipe that Alton Brown has, which can be found here.
I was a bit nervous to work with the hot- BOILING sugar. This is not a recipe to make with the little ones around.. So, with the triplets snug in their cribs, I got started..... I made sure to be extra careful because I am pretty sure this stuff would have similar to properties to napalm if gotten on skin. Also, I did not take any pics of this stage. I figured boiling sugar + iPhone = disasters.

So here is the mixture safe and sound in the kitchen-aide mixer about 5 minutes into mixing.

They whipped up really nicely. I actually made these twice. The 1st time I added way too much vanilla. Also, the picture below is from the 1st try. I had a difficult time cutting these into even pieces.

So, for the 2nd try I had this brilliant idea to use my mini-muffin pan as a mold. I filled up the mini pans using a piping bag and then piped the extra onto a baking sheet to make mini marshmallows per Alton Browns suggestion.

I coated the muffin tins with a touch of cooking spray and then sprinkled with powdered sugar. I lightly greased the cookie sheet for the mini marshmallows. See, how easy they came off.
Next, I took my kitchen scissors and snipped them into mini marshmallow size, making sure to coat them with powdered sugar as I went.

Lastly, I felt the ones from the muffin tins need a little extra dressing up for Christmas. So, I dipped them in chocolate and sprinkled them with peppermint bits. YUM

The second batch of these came out wonderful. They would make great gifts. I plan on enjoy them with a cup of dark hot chocolate, perfect for a snowy December night.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Handmade Dr. Suess Shirts for $4

I cannot believe the triplets are going to be 2 in a few short weeks. Since their birthday is so close to the holidays I thought I better get started on some of the stuff for the birthday party. I am going with a Cat in The Hat theme this year. Last year I had someone on etsy make them birthday shirts. I looked around online for the Thing 1 and Thing 2 shirts. First problem was that no-one had a thing 3 shirt. Second, I was not going to pay $20 for each shirt.
So here is what I came up with....... and they only cost me $4 each.

So, I went to hobby lobby with my 40% off coupon. I got the red shirts for $2.99 each and used the coupon for the iron on transfer sheets. I ended-up getting the iron-on for about a dollar a sheet. This time I bought the dark transfer sheets. These were slightly harder to use becasue it waws a bit tricky to seperate the 2 sheets. But, a plus is the images do not have to be mirror images.

So, I simply used Microsoft paint to make the white circles with the black outline and add the text. The little "Thing 1 & 2" at the bottom of the tee shirt was some clip art I found online. Printed this all on my ink jet and cut them out.

Peel off backing and iron on.

That was easy.

I am so happy with how these turned out. In fact, I am think of making other themed tee shirts for the triplets.... rock, paper, scissors or how about peanut, butter, and jelly??? Anyone have any other ideas?
I cannot wait to post a pic of them wearing them and post the rest of my budget friendly birthday ideas.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Easy Yummy Dinner for about $10 for family of 5

I forgot to take a picture of this wonderful meal. So, I will start the way the meal prep did, with triplets out in the snow.

Okay, wait, let me take you back further. How about me at the grocery store the day before trying to come up with something new for dinner that the kids might actually eat. We have been in such a recipe rut around here. So, when saw the Recipe Inspiration cards by McCormick on sale I thought I would try it.

It contains Paprika, Rosemary, Black Pepper, and Garlic. I paid $1.69. Most people probably already have these spices and would not have to buy the pack. A tablespoon of each spice should do. I went with the pack because since the triplets have gotten into the spice drawer, many spices have gone missing. In fact, we probably had everything but the Rosemary. I am sure the paprika has to be around somewhere. The kids like to hide the spices, arg. But, I am planning to buy some rosemary and mix a tablespoon of each of these spices and store in little plastic bags. I will do the math but, it probably would be less in the long run to make my own McAbby spice mix..... hum...I...hear... project.

Anyhow, I bought a family size bone in package of 5 chicken breast with skin at Meijer and red potatoes.


Spices = $1.69

Chicken = $6.09

Red Potatoes = $1.35

Brussels Sprouts =$1.00 (frozen with coupon) (Triplets refused these :)

Just toss the spice packet with cut potatoes, chicken, and a touch of olive oil and bake at 425 for 45 minutes. Go out and play in the snow. When we came in dinner was ready and even the pickiest of triplets ate it! Okay, with ketsup but I'll still take it as a win when dealing with 3 fussy toddlers.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Happy Holidays!

I am so excited to share our holiday card. I have also included last years card for fun. I am amazed at how far we have come in a year....although, getting a decent picture of all 3 of them has not gotten easier . At least when they where babies I could get them to laugh easily by sneezing. They are not amused quite as easily anymore. But, a big thanks to Jennifer Driscoll for taking our picture and actually getting all 3 kids in one photo. Please excuse Brandon's jazz hands, we think he may have a future in show choir.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Shhhh, Don't tell Mr. Clean Magic Eraser but The Shark and I are in love.

See, I was not really intending to cheat on my Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. But that is how these things usually start. See, I was up in the middle of the night, with a certain triplet who shall remain nameless, and since neither of us were asleep, I thought it best to watch a little TV. I should've known this was dangerous. But, there he was in all his purple glory The Shark. His promises of chemical-free cleaning and portability lured me in. And, unlike my old standby Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, he was not going to crumble into pieces on me after a few uses. I resisted the temptation, but The Shark was still on my mind.
A few weeks later I was in Bed, Bath and Beyond with my handy stack of 20% off coupons and there he was! But, even at 20% this Shark was still too much for me. So, again I tried to put him out of my mind. I keep telling myself that this shiny new toy was probably not all it is cracked up to be. I mean, I was sleep deprived and it was an infomerical with all that TV advertising magic.
So, during my black Friday shopping (yeah, I did it -- and with the triplets), I saw Kohl's had him -- with 15% off, then another 15% off and then Kohl's cash on top of that! So, we plunked down about $70 and drove off happy shoppers.
Well, let me tell you, The Shark has lived up to expectations. It actually got the crusted Cream of Wheat off all 3 high-chairs (something Magic Eraser failed at), the dried up yogurt off my walls and the crayon off the walls. And, all without spraying any toxic or nasty chemicals into the air. Just using water, awesome. So, that is it. The Shark and I are in love.
Oh, I do believe this will be a thrifty deal in the end. All the Shark needs is water to run, and that's almost free. So, hopefully this will cut down on some cleaning products and my magic eraser habit (hum, at $2 a pop). So, this thing should pay for itself in, like, a few months, right :)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Awesome DIY face mask for less than $1 per application

About once a week, after the triplets are snug in their cribs and the kitchen is at least partially clean, I try to sneak up to my bathroom for a little me spa time. Now, of course being thrifty and trying to use natural products when possible, I am not one for fancy beauty products. So, a few years ago I started making this aspirin mask. It is less than $1 per application and will leave your skin glowing. So, bring out your inner mad scientist and let’s get started.
Why aspirin? Aspirin’s base is acetasalicylic acid, which is chemically like salicylic acid. If you take a look at acne products in the drug store you will notice many list salicylic acid as an ingredient. Cool, right?

***FIRST OFF, my disclaimers: if you are allergic or sensitive to aspirin DO NOT USE THIS. Remember aspirin is a drug.

What you need-

Aspirin – You want to buy the cheapest generic aspirin you can find. You want the kind that is non-coated or enteric-coated is okay too. I have had this same bottle for like 2 years.

Honey- Really any kind of honey is fine. I have been using some local organic honey that I bought at a craft fair.

1) Take four aspirin tablets and place them into a small bowl.

2) Sprinkle water onto the aspirin. Make sure not to use too much water, just sprinkle a few drops on top of each tablet. Wait about 2 minutes. Use your fingers break up the now soft tablets apart.

3) Add about 1 tablespoon of honey to your mixture. Mix it all together (I just use my fingers, no need for more utensils for me to wash)

4) Apply the mixture to your face making sure to avoid getting any into your eyes. Once you have your face entirely covered with the aspirin mask, leave it on for about five minutes or until one of your kids cry.

5) Rinse the formula from your face with cool water. You will find that rubbing the grains of aspirin all over your face seem to have an exfoliating effect.
-Have fun.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Holiday gifts for under $3

We made this apron for the triplet's Great Grandmother. It says "Gigi's Taste Testers"

I wanted to get the triplets involved in a craft project that I could personalize and give to the grandparents and great grandparents for holiday gifts. Well, I had been eyeing this inkjet paper iron transfer stuff. I was actually impressed on how well it work. A few different companies make this stuff, I was able to get it for less than $1 a sheet. Follow direction enclosed. I was able to print a picture and title on each sheet. There is also some free software that has additional graphics available.Next came the hard part. Getting the triplets hand prints. I bought 3 different color fabric paints less that $1 each. Also, I bought various tote bag ands aprons. The tote bags came to about a dollar each and the aprons $2. I know Joann carries these as well. So each day I choose a different child and got their hand print. Each night letting the paint dry between toddlers. If your kids are more cooperative you could just go ahead and get all the hand prints on the same day :)

Lastly, iron on the picture of your cuties, peel of the back and you are good to go.

The New Blog

Hi and welcome to my new blog. I have keep a blog since discovering I was pregnant with triplets. This blog is dedicated to parenting, crafting, baking and trying not to go broke while rasing triplets.
P.S. Chck out my etsy store