Thursday, April 28, 2011

Easter Nest Cookies

This is another one I got from Prudent Baby. They're super easy and turned out quite well and is a great way to use up those 1/4-full bags of chocolate chips (or am I the only one with like 8 opened bags of various flavored chips in her pantry?)

In this batch, there is butterscotch (I WISH I had more than a quarter-bag of the butterscotch chips!), dark chocolate mint, peanut butter & chocolate, and regular semi-sweet chocolate that I added some shredded coconut to.

Shopping cart cover

Isn't it a wonder how babies find it necessary to explore their world with their mouths at exactly the same time as they become old enough to ride in the big girl seat of a nasty, dirty shopping cart? Well, as soon as I realized that Macy would soon be ready to ride in (an consequently sucking on) the shopping cart, I started looking at shopping cart covers. Then I said, "shoot, I got skillz--I'll just make her one!" Here's what I came up with. It works for restaurant high chairs, too. It's elastic all the way around, has a padded seat for her precious little bottom, little  round leg holes, and slits on the back to either fit the cart's buckle through (which is still kinda yucky), or in my case, clip the buckle I made (see that orange thing around her waste?) to the metal slats on the cart's back rest. I used 2 of those key ring clips that look like rock climbing carabiners, and they work really well!

And now that I've perfected the design, here is her official Ducks cover. It's kinda hard to see in this picture how it would go in a cart, but trust me, it works! (I haven't made the slits in the back for the buckle yet)


  • We don't have lasagna very often, so I was surprised that this turned out as well as it did :) I wrote down the ingredients as I went so that I could actually replicate it. What a concept! 

  • 10 lasagna noodles
  • 1/2 pound pork sausage
  • 1/2 pound extra lean ground beef
    • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
    2 cups part-skim ricotta
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups spinach, coursely chopped
  • about 3 cups pasta sauce, separated (I used a simple Ragu w/veggies)
  • 2+ cups grated mozzerella
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, oregano, basil


  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add lasagna noodles and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  3. To make sauce: In a skillet, brown the ground beef & sausage until cooked through; drain grease. Add 2 cups (saving about a cup for the top and bottom of lasagna) of the pasta sauce to the meat in the skillet; stir, then set aside. 
  4. To make filling: Combine ricotta, cottage cheese, parmesan, spinach and eggs.
  5. Cover bottom of a 9x13 inch pan with 1/2 cup of Ragu (from the jar, not the skillet), then place 4 noodles over sauce. Layer 1/2 of the cheese/spinach mixture, then 1/2 of the meat sauce, then 1 cup of mozzerella, then 3 more noodles. Do it again. End with about a half cup of Ragu and a sprinkle of mozzerella. Top w/the salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, oregano, and basil.
  6. Cover w/tin foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 25 or so. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.

Black Bean Burgers

  • We've had these black bean veggie burgers a couple times now, and I think next time I'm going to make a double or triple recipe and freeze them, because that's just what I do. Oh, and here's the best part: Macy loved them too! Though I did find a pile of corn stuffed into the corner of her high chair seat. I thought they might be too spicy for her, but she didn't seem to mind at all. I haven't changed very much from the original recipe, so check out the link to get the nutritional info. I've also included a simple lime dressing that goes really well with it.

  • 1 (16 ounce) can black beans, drained, rinsed, and patted dry
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, coursely chopped
  • 1/2 onion, cut into wedges
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Thai chili sauce or hot sauce
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1/2-3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C), and lightly Pam-spray a baking sheet.
  2. In a medium bowl, mash black beans with a fork until thick and pasty.
  3. In a food processor, finely chop bell pepper, onion, and garlic. Strain out excess liquid, then stir into mashed beans. Add frozen corn.
  4. In a small bowl, stir together egg, chili powder, cumin, and chili sauce.
  5. Stir the egg mixture into the bean mixture. Mix in bread crumbs until the mixture is sticky and holds together. Divide mixture into six patties.
  6. Place patties on baking sheet, and bake about 10-12 minutes on each side.

  • Lime Dressing:
  • 1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 small fresh jalapeno pepper, minced
  • salt to taste

We ate ours on a multi-grain bun with lettuce, tomato, avacado, the above dressing, and a little salsa. (If you want to go really wild, try it with this mango salsa!) Yummers.