Adding vegetables

I bought Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld well over a year ago.  The BFF and I saw it on Oprah and ran out to buy it that night (after The Husband was home and willing and able to do babysitting duty).  The BFF and I love cookbooks and love spending our time looking at cookbooks together.  And this one would be helpful with Tornado E’s eating issues.  But we were skeptical.

I tried the pita pizzas first, and to up the anti, I tried them with broccoli puree.  If you could hide the strong tasting broccoli puree, you could hide everything.  And it worked!  We weren’t big on her Mac and Cheese, but I have since learned you need to bake it with a cheese sauce, so I need to try it again.  The boys and I love the Frozen Yogurt Pops and Chocolate Chip Cupcakes.  Tornado E just adores the Applesauce Muffins, but I had to add more spices to give it a more flavorful taste The Husband and I love.  Everyone loves the Aloha Chicken Kebabs, but I don’t fry them; I bake them.  I combined her Spaghetti and Meatballs recipe with one I got from Weight Watchers with delicious results.  The only Epic Fail so far is the Mozzarella Sticks, but I want to try them again to see if I missed something.  And I can never bring myself to destroy Mash Potatoes that way.  Never.

The best part of this book is that it caused me to think about food differently.  But with the duh factor of my mom and grandma, who told me that they always hid vegetables in whatever they could.  It wasn’t a new concept.  But I did make leaps they never did.

I started adding carrot or cauliflower puree to enchiladas and enchilada casserole (the only casserole that Faemom endorses).  When I make muffins or coffee cake or cinnamon rolls, I drop in apple or pear puree, which made them so much more moist than before.  I’m always looking for another food to drop in more vegetables.  My baby brother has become so suspicious that he asks me what I hid in dinner.  (Don’t worry; he’s as bad as Tornado E when it comes to vegetables so I don’t say a thing.)

I did find better tips on how to handle purees than Seinfeld.  She wrote about how she would puree every Sunday for the week.  Who has time for that?  When a vegetable or fruit is on sale, I just buy a bunch, puree it, and stick it in the freezer in ½ cup sizes in zip lock bags.  Much like I did when I was making baby food.  And that’s another thing, sometimes it was cheaper to buy baby food and use that.  A regular serving size of baby food is just about ½ cup.

If you’re thinking “Good Lord, how is Tornado E ever going to eat vegetables if she hides them all,” let me answer.  I still serve him fruits and vegetables with his meal in hopes to get him to try it.  I also like the purees for myself because they make the meal more fulfilling.  Not only do I know I’m getting in more fruits and vegetables, but the servings fill me up faster because of all the ingredients.

I say give this book or technique a try.  I’ll keep working on other foods to use purees in because Tornado E has to get more vegetables in some how.

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Everything Tastes Better on a Stick

So yesterday I decided to make a special treat with the boys and add it to the blog.  I have been trying for days to get the boys interested in craft time without any luck.  (And I threatened them that there are two girls out there whose mother keeps promising to send them over and THOSE girls would LOVE to do crafts.)  I brainstormed and came up with a scheme to make something sweet and tasty that would intrigue the boys.

 

Back in October my mom and I tried to make mini-caramel apples.  Taking a melon baller, we scooped little balls of apple with the peel on the top.  We stuck sticks in the top and dipped them into the caramel.  Well, the caramel had too much water, and then the crispy, juicy part of the apple just made the caramel slide down into a clump around the apple piece instead of looking like a miniature caramel apple with sprinkles.  (I still maintained they were tasty, even if they didn’t look like it.)  My dad insisted my mom didn’t read the directions that called for butterscotch chips and not caramel.

 

Yesterday I pulled out the butterscotch chips to find only a dozen or so left in the bag.  Who would – oh, wait, that was me.  I have a terrible habit of sneaking butterscotch chips or chocolate chips, which Evan learned, which is why I now keep the chips in the freezer.  Well, never mind, I’ll add some white chocolate chips to the mix.  I set up a double boiler and began balling the apple, adding sticks. 

 

The boys dragged their little blue chairs over to watch me and beg for some chocolate.  They kept trying to get to the apple pieces.  With Sean’s “Peeease” in my ear, I kept giving him unused pieces off the apple.  It didn’t take long for me to realize that the butterscotch and the white chocolate chips were not melting well together.  Plan B was to melt them in the microwave, which meant I burnt them.  My belief is that the white chocolate chips were a cheap generic brand, and I promise to use the Wilton’s chips from now on.

 

Consigned to defeat, I didn’t know what to do with the apple pieces.  Then Evan perked up.

 

Evan: Mommy!  Can I have an apple sucker?

 

Um, sure.

 

Evan: Thank you, Mommy!  Seanny wants an apple sucker too!

 

Ok.  Here, Sean.

 

Evan: Can I take one to Daddy?  He would like one too!

 

Ok.

 

Evan: Mommy!  Can I have another apple sucker?

 

Why not?

 

Evan: Mommy, this apple sucker is yummy!  Can I have another?  They’re tasty and healthy and good for me!

 

Have them all.

 

I watched my non-fruit eating boy (with the exception of bananas, grapes, and watermelon) eat half of an apple, and I wondered how quickly I could get more sticks.  I wondered what other fruit he would eat on a stick.  I wondered if I could put vegetables on a stick.  I wondered if Evan would eat kabobs.  Because everything tastes better on a stick. 

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