This past weekend we welcomed the first day of Fall! Fall is one of my favourite seasons, I love pulling out the boots, the scarves, all the jeans and cozy sweaters. I also love those crisp, cold, rainy days, where you are snuggled up indoors with family spending time together – perhaps doing some cooking with the kids, or playing a board game.
My son lives in a different city than I do with his dad right now, so Michael, Marlow, and I see him every other weekend at this time, but our schedule is a work in progress. This past weekend we took the ferry over on Friday night, and I just couldn’t wait to pick him up Saturday morning.
The Weekend Starts Here!
Putting Marlow to sleep in somewhere that isn’t our home is always a gamble. Actually, putting Marlow to sleep anytime, anywhere is a gamble. Will she sleep well, or will she be up all night, keeping everyone else up as well?
Friday night she slept like a dream, waking only once at 4:00am for a little snack and then right back down until 7:30am. I was shocked. That was the first sleep of more than one or two broken hours at a time we had gotten in a couple of weeks. The zombie mom mode has been fierce, I think the term is “mombie”.
We were all in good spirits and well rested when we went to pick up Layton from his dads. The weather didn’t really cooperate on Saturday, it was a rainy sloppy mess, but hey it was the first official day of Fall so what could we really expect? I knew we were going to have an inside day anyways, so I wasn’t really bothered.
Picking up Layton is always my favourite, those jumping in to your arms squeezes he gives me are pure love.
Creative Cooking With Kids
I have always loved to create in the kitchen. It has been a passion of mine since I was little, so much that I debated becoming a chef and going to culinary school at one point in my life.
I think teaching healthy food habits to our kids is extremely important, and the best way to do that is to get our babies involved in the cooking process! And make it fun!
Here are some other healthy eating habits for children:
- Have healthy snacks readily available. Skip the packaged junk.
- Remove electronic devices from mealtimes.
- Don’t force a child to eat something they don’t like. Encourage them to try new things and keep it positive.
- Don’t bribe them to eat certain things.
- Don’t punish them for not eating everything on their plate. This is normal. Try offering smaller portions, and giving seconds if they ask.
- Be a role model. If you make healthy food choices, your child is more likely to follow suit.
- Eat together as a family.
- Colours! Kids love colours, see how many colorful fruits and veggies you can fit in to mealtimes. Rainbow veggie tray anyone?
I had planned for us to make homemade pizzas for lunch. It is fun, easy, and everybody gets what they like! So no complaints. Read on for our recipe.
Pizza is a pretty simple one. Crust, toppings, bake. However, there are so many different choices for crusts! Pre-made crusts, pre-made dough, naan bread (a fav of mine), flatbread, bagels, or you could make your own!
Best Gluten Free Pizza Dough
Makes one 12 inch pizza crust
- 1 3/4 to 2 1/4 cup gluten free multi-purpose flour
- 1 packet quick pizza yeast
- 1 1/2 tsp sugar
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 2/3 cup very warm water
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- Combine 1 cup flour, yeast packet, sugar and salt in bowl.
- Add warm water, and oil. Mix until well blended
- Add remaining flour gradually until soft, slightly sticky dough forms
- Let rest for 10 minutes
- Flatten dough on to pizza tray or baking sheet
- Parbake at 425F for 8-10 minutes
- Add toppings
- Bake until cheese is bubbling
Offer different toppings and make it fun! Some of our favourites include:
- Pizza pepperoni
- Red pepper
- Green pepper
Quick Tip: Add more cheese around the outside than in the center, it will bake more evenly and you won’t have a sloppy mess of cheese in the middle!
Tell Me More…
Sunday we knew that Layton had a BMX race in the morning. We would need snacks for our time there, in case anyone got hungry. The two men in my life have a habit of getting a wee bit cranky when their bellies are empty, so packing a lunch for on the go days are an absolute must.
I recently have gotten in to the habit of using EVERYTHING in the fridge. I hate when food goes bad and it has to be thrown out, it is such a waste and really gets expensive after a while. Plus, so many people are struggling to eat every day and I find we take advantage of certain things in life without even thinking twice about it. Food being one of them.
We had some bananas, and a zucchini on hand that needed to be used so we created an Easy Banana Zucchini Bread Recipe that I would love to share with you.
Easy Banana Zucchihi Bread Recipe
- 1 cup shredded zucchini
- 1 cup mashed ripe banana (3-4)
- 1 cup sugar (half white, half brown)
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp real vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups flour (all-purpose or gluten free)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Beat together oil and sugar
- Add banana, vanilla and egg
- Whisk together dry ingredients
- Add slowly to wet ingredients mix until combined (careful not to over mix or will turn bread gummy)
- Stir in zucchihi
- Pour in to greased loaf pan
- Bake for 40-45 minutes
Sunshine On A Sunday
What an awesome end to the weekend. We took Layton to his BMX race in Nanaimo, and although it was chilly, the sun was out and we couldn’t have asked for better weather.
The rest of our day consisted of a fairly competitive game of Monopoly. This brought out a new side of Michael I have never seen, and lets just say he ended up losing badly after ripping the rest of us off.
I always find myself with an aching heart after we drop Layton off and board the ferry to return home, and tears are most definitely shed. They say time flies when you are having fun, and boy does it ever.
The weekends when the four of us are together my heart is so full. I watch my son with his new baby sister and they already have such a strong bond. He is so comfortable helping out with her, and knows how to get a smile out of her when she is upset.
Layton was also the first one to see Marlow crawl. They were playing together and she got up and started chasing him across the living room and all I hear is “MOMMY SHE’S CRAWLING” it was such a great site to see – one of those moments you wish you got on video.
Counting Down The Days
The second we drop him off I am always counting down the days until we are back as a foursome. The next time will be Thanksgiving weekend.
I am sure it will be food and family filled again, with more recipes to share!
Bring on the season on Pumpkin!