Sunday, August 10, 2014

What's Cooking?

I have decided to switch gears a little since my last "Cooking with Pinterest" post. I am still going to review recipes I find on Pinterest, but also share stuff I am cooking that might not have recipes. Each thing I try will include what I changed (if anything) as well as whether or not it was toddler approved. Also, I will include the flops – for some reason these always tend to involve rice when it comes to my cooking...

Grilled Chicken Kabobs, of the Hawaiian kind
Mushrooms, Peppers and Pineapple combined with chicken on the grill is a win in this household. I made this variation with a Hoisin, soy sauce blend. Jack loves mushrooms and pineapple, but still isn't a fan of bell peppers.

Parent Score 5/5 | Toddler Score 4/5

Tacos with a side salad

We like to enjoy a good taco night every once in a while. Especially when we are short on time. If we have tacos, we prefer the Stand and Stuff kind since you can fit more in them and they don't fall over. Jack likes his toppings wrapped in a soft shell. I tried to sneak some fresh baby spinach into Jack's and he called me out and said it was yucky. Minus the spinach for Jack, tacos are always a hit at our table.
Parent Score 5/5 | Toddler Score 4/5

Grilled Chicken with an Alabama White Barbeque Sauce via Buns in My Oven 
with a side of Grilled Mushrooms and Zucchini

Oh my, this was a great recipe! From the homemade rub to the homemade white barbeque sauce, this was delicious. I loved the flavors and it really wasn't that hard to make. 

Parent Score 5/5 | Toddler Score 5/5

Oven Roasted Sausage and Potatoes via Recipes from the Big Blue Binder

For a twist, and to make this dish a bit healthier, I used half sweet potatoes and half russet potatoes. Daniel didn't care for the sweet potatoes, but I actually liked them better. Especially with the sausage. I thought this dish was quite tasty, Daniel and Jack were less partial to it.

Parent Score 4/5 | Toddler Score 4/5

Double Chocolate Banana Bread via Smitten Kitchen

We had some bananas that were very ripe (mushy as Jack likes to point out) so we made a batch of Double Chocolate Banana Bread. I don't think you can go wrong when you add dark chocolate to things. In this case I added dark chocolate cocoa powder and dark chocolate chips. We all loved it. And Jack is a happy camper any time I let him lick the beaters.
Parent Score 5/5 | Toddler Score 5/5

Shrimp Boil Kabobs via Cook au Vin

This recipe was very similar to one I tried last month. This time I left out the chicken and marinated the kabobs as they cooked instead of just dumping the butter sauce on them afterward. Overall I love this dish. Daniel is a bit more ambivalent – mostly he just doesn't like that the sausage has such a high fat content. Jack and I enjoyed the sausage :)

Parent Score 4/5 | Toddler Score 5/5

Hoisin Chicken with Rice and Roasted Brussel Sprouts made up on the spot, by yours truly.

I literally just sautéed chicken in olive oil, added some Hoisin and soy sauce and a little brown sugar. Brussel sprouts went in oven at 425 for about 20 minutes. I covered them with olive oil, garlic powder and 3 garlic cloves that were in big chunks. Very yummy and quick! Jack and Daniel did not care for the brussel sprouts but enjoyed the chicken and rice.

Parent Score 4/5 | Toddler Score 4/5

Dark Chocolate, Zucchini, Oatmeal Cookies via

Jack requested cookies so I decided to make some that were semi healthy. To be fair, I did add dark chocolate chips to them. Daniel walked by and asked why there was green stuff in the cookies, but didn't complain once he actually ate them. Overall a win. We will be sharing these cookies with friends.

Parent Score 5/5 | Toddler Score 5/5

Lazy Stuffed Peppers via Cheryl Style
Flop. Flop. Flop. I think this would have been a really yummy dish but it was a flop because 1) I let the rice simmer at too high of a setting (my stove top is finicky and hard to get rice to absorb the water correctly) and 2) I used half white rice and half brown rice. The brown rice never got soft and the entire bottom of the pot burned. I don't toss out many dishes, this was a toss. I will have to try it again when I have enough white rice. Also, next time I will just cook the rice separately and mix it in at the end. The dish started out looking and smelling so good. I hate having to throw out food!

Not going to score this since we didn't eat it. Photo is pre-burning. 


  1. I love grilled skewers and grilled veggies of any kind! Yum!

    I see you're reading And the Mountains Echoed. How do you like it?

    1. We have been addicted to grilled skewers this summer! They are so easy and it's a great way to add in veggies.

      I started reading "And the Mountains Echoed" earlier this summer and really enjoyed it. But I have gotten busy and need to pick it up again. The writing is beautiful.

  2. The kebabs look fantastic! Thanks for linking up!

    1. Thank you Laura! Thanks for dropping by.

  3. You are making me want to go buy some skewers and make kabobs! Yum! I also like that you scored your recipes on the adult and toddler levels. :) It is sometimes a challenge to find meals like this in my own house. Our toddler eats what we eat most of the time.

    Thanks so much for participating in the Monday Meal Plan link-up! I hope that you have a great week!

    1. I bought metal skewers several years ago and they have been great whenever we grill – and I don't have to worry about them burning/catching fire.

      Our toddler eats fairly well, I am continuing to introduce him to stuff he doesn't like – like bell peppers. Hopefully one of these days he will like them :)

      Thanks for dropping by!


Family Hike at Fiery Gizzard

On Saturday we had originally planned to go on a group hike on the Fiery Gizzard Trail , but it was cancelled at the last minutes. So...