Friday, May 31, 2013

Greek Salad - Perfect for Summer! by Mommy Melissa

If you need a quick salad idea that is great to go with pretty much anything! Here is one for you! 

What you will need for the salad:
1 large English cucumber, cubed with peel on
2 medium tomatoes, cubed
1 red onion, chopped
feta cheese, crumbled into bits

What you will need for the dressing:
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
1/3 cup red wine vinegar

Mix all the dressing ingredients together then mix together with the chopped veggies. Chill for a few minutes then serve! 
You could also use this dressing in your favourite salads as well. Its very versatile! 

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Review on Infant Spoons by Mommy Melissa

There are so many different options out there when choosing products for your baby, it can be overwhelming! With spoons alone, how can there be so many? Its a spoon! But having tried a few different kinds I have found that, yes, they do have differences! These two spoons, in my opinion are my favourites.

The Basics
The green spoon is  The First Years - Take & Toss Spoons. They come in an array of colours in packages of different multiples, mine was for 8 but I have also seen some up to as many as 20! They are very affordable at the price of around $4.00. Take & Toss may sound that they are good for only one use but they are made very well and can be used over and over again. They are cheap enough that if you do lose one or throw it away by accident, not a big deal!

The red spoon is Gerber Graduates - Rest Easy Spoons. They come in packages of 5 in mixed colours. I paid around $3.00 for them at the grocery store, Maxi & Cie. They are a wonderful spoon with a few features you will not find on many spoons. Such as the spoon rest bump on the back, the soft spatula like tip of the spoon and a larger handle. The spatula tip works well for wiping food off of babies face when she makes a mess! These have to be my favourite for a few reasons that will be covered in this post. Being a little more expensive, if one gets lost, its a little sad but still not a huge deal! Its not like its made of silver!

The Take & Toss spoons lay flat on the table when set down leaving a mess of puree all over the place. The Rest Easy spoons have a small bump on the bottom letting the scoop of the spoon stay off the table, leaving the mess off the table. 

As you can see by the picture, the Rest Easy spoons bend a whole lot more than the stiffer Take & Toss. It is not a very important trait but it does come in handy getting to the bottom of the little food jars. Amelia loves to chew on the rubber part of the Rest Easy spoons like a teether so the softer flexibility is a plus.

Use in Baby Food Jars and Bowls

For the next few pictures I will be using Peas and Peas and Carrot purees.

The Take & Toss does not get very much off the sides of the jar but it does a good job getting the purees from the rounded bottom sides. The Rest Easy spoon with the spatula tip presses right against the jar scooping more off the glass as well as getting in all the rounded edges at the top and bottom.

When the baby food is put into a bowl and scraped off the sides, you can see that once again the spatula tip of the Rest Easy spoon leaves less behind. The Take & Toss still does a fair job.

 When your child starts to eat foods from the larger jars the Take & Toss spoons make a real mess on your fingers trying to get to the bottom. With these bottles, I rarely use Take & Toss spoons. The Rest Easy spoons, are no effort or mess to get to the bottom of these taller bottles.

Extra Bits
With the longer handle on the Rest Easy spoon, you have a better grip to get the food into babies mouth without them grabbing your hand. 
Some of the Take & Toss spoons change to a lighter colour when they get warm to know when food is too hot for baby but that is something I would test myself, not check a spoons colour to see if its too hot! 

Over all, these are both wonderful spoons. The price is right for them both as well. The Take & Toss are great to bring out with you and leave at the grandparents house without worrying if you will lose them or forget them. The Rest Easy are great spoon to get the most out of jars and bowl as well as off your little ones face. 

Have you used either of these spoons and whats your opinion on them? What are some of your favourite baby utensils to use? Let us know :)

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Grandma's Bruschetta Recipe

There's nothing better than Grandma's recipe, and this one I will remember forever! Loved by every single person who has ever taken a bite! AND! So easy to make!

What you will need:
- 1 whole wheat pita
- 1tbsp olive oil
- 1 clove garlic (minced) (or 1 tsp of garlic powder)
- 1 tsp of basil (fresh or dried)
- 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 4 slices of tomato
- Parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350. In a small bowl mix oil, garlic, basil, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Lay pita on a baking sheet, take a brush and brush on the olive oil mixture. Lay the slices tomato all over, then brush the tomatoes with the olive oil mixture. Top with a generous portion of Parmesan cheese. Bake about 7 mins or until crispy.

Hope you enjoy my grandmas recipe!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Product Review: Diapers

Are you a new mom? Wondering what is the best diaper brand for you? Well here is our findings (this is just experience with our children, obviously every child and parent is different).

Between the 2 hottest brands, Huggies and Pampers personally for a 1 and a half year old I prefer Pampers. I find huggies bunches up to much and makes the baby uncomfortable. However, Huggies diapers fit slighty bigger than pampers do- which allows more room for our chunk choos! When Noah was first born I preferred Huggies over pampers because they seem to fit him better, but as he got older they became frustrating to work with and felt like he was wearing 2 diapers at once! Way to bulky. Although, I must say I've never had a problem with leaks with either of them.

How about the off-brand names? Well, the Walmart brand is definately inexpensive- but you get what you pay for! Don't even think about leaving your little one over night in one of these- unless you love cleaning wet sheets and clothes. They are good for the day time- a few hours at most.

I personally have never used this brand but my friends have high recommendations, the Fisher Price diapers are the best inexpensive you can buy! They don't leak and the pricing is just right- it's hard to find these diapers though so when you see them stock up!

A Money Saving Tip: The lower the size the more diapers you get, so really follow the weight go until the maximum weight it reached that way you get more for your money!

We'd love to hear your results with the diaper theories, or any brands that are a bargain!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Healthy Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies

These cookies are so delicious and less than 100 calories per cookie. No flour, no eggs, and only 1 tbsp of sugar for the whole batch! Crazy isn't it? Guilt-Free cookies :)

What you will need:
- 2 ripe bananas
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup peanut butter
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cups Quick Oats
- 1/2 cup coconut
 - 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a bowl, mix together bananas, peanut butter, vanilla and spices until evenly combined. Add in all other ingredients and mix thoroughly.  scoop 1 tbsp of the mixture for each cookie and slightly flatten on the baking sheet. Cook for 20 mins. Let cool and enjoy :)

I made half the batch without coconut for Noah, Toddler Safe! (except if they have allergies to peanuts) Noah gobbled his cookie down!

Don't want to use sugar? Try applesauce instead.
Don't have ripened bananas? Easy, peel the banana cut up, place in microwave safe bowl and pop it in the microwave for 2 mins. The natural sugars will release making your banana extra sweet.
Don't like dark chocolate? Try semi-sweet

I'd love to hear your different variations!

Individual Lasagna's

What you will need:
- 12 wont ton wrappers
- 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese
- 2 cups of meat sauce (my recipe below)

Heat oven to 375. Spray muffin-tin with Pam. Place 1 won ton in each hole. Add a tbsp of meat sauce with a tsp of mozzarella cheese, then repeat. Cook for 18-20 mins.

You can try adding ricotta cheese, or any of your favorite lasagna toppings! Hope you enjoy- Noah sure did :)

Meat sauce

I make this sauce all the time for my picky 1 year old who will only eat pasta... so what do I do? Hide the veggies!

What you will need:
- 1 large carrot
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 can of herb diced tomatoes
- palm-full of oregano
- 1 tsp of salt and pepper
- 1 handful of fresh spinach
- 1tbsp fresh basil

Throw everything in a medium pot except the spinach and basil, let it come to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour (or until the carrot is cooked). Once sauce is done and slightly cooled transfer everything to a food processor add in spinach and fresh basil, puree. Cook the ground chicken in the pot then add your sauce back to the pot- let the flavors marry for about 10 mins on medium heat. Then, Presto! delicious!

Chicken Burgers and Tzatziki

Chicken Burger Recipe

What you will need:
- 1pkg of extra lean ground chicken
- 3 tbsp fresh chopped basil
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- salt and pepper

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl then form into patties. Heat pan on medium-high with some olive oil or Pam. Cook for about 5 mins each side (make sure they are no longer pink in the middle!)


 You can also add 1 egg and breadcrumbs to give your burgers extra moisture. Don't be afraid to mix in other spices or hot sauce. You can also try onion soup mix or even chopping up a real onion.

Tzatziki Sauce

What you will need:
- 4-5 garlic cloves (peeled)
- 1 cup of non-fat Greek Yogurt
- half a large cucumber

Throw everything in a blender until smooth. cover and put in refrigerator for half hour (or longer) to let the flavors combine.


If your no a garlic lover start off with only 3 garlic cloves- remembers the flavors will get stronger once they sit. Great for pitas or just dipping veggies!

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Sunday, May 12, 2013

To all the moms out there!

Wishing all the moms, step-moms, grandmas, nanas and those by any other name out there a very 
Happy Mothers Day full of love, joy and relaxation! 
Also a Happy Mothers Day to all the single fathers pulling a double shift!

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Sunday, May 5, 2013

Monthly Feature for April. Chicken and Dumpling Soup

Chicken and Dumpling Soup

This was my first attempt and first time hearing of chicken and dumpling soup so forgive me any error to all the authentic recipes out there!

Boil chicken bones until the meat falls off the bones then strain the liquid. You can remove any meat from the bones and put it into the soup.
Chop onions, carrots, celery and garlic. Add them to the boiling broth.
Add extra chicken broth or stalk if needed as well as a pinch of basil, salt and pepper.
Boil until all vegetables are tender.

2 1/2 cups of flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoon melted butter
2/3 cup milk

You will need about 30 minutes before you are ready to serve the soup to make the dumplings.
Mix all the ingredients together, then drop by teaspoon into the boiling soup. Cover and let it cook for 25 minutes.
Do not open the lid while they cook!

A big Thank You to Jennifer for sharing this recipe! It looks really great!

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