March 21, 2014

Beet and Bean Burgers

While perusing Pinterest for "the best" veggie burger I found this fantastic Beet and Bean Burger recipe from the Kitchn that is based on the popular veggie burgers from the Northstar Cafe in Columbus, Ohio. These were so good Scott even liked them!

GNG tip: I cheated a little and used Love Beets and Uncle Ben's Ready Rice to cut down on the production time.

March 3, 2014

Stew Leonard's Award Winning Clam Chowder

A hot steamy bowl of New England clam chowder is the perfect remedy for a cold and windy snow day. Scott and I have different preferences when it comes to the consistency our clam chowder. Coming from Maine I prefer a thin chowder while Scott, coming from Connecticut, prefers an ultra creamy and thick version.

I believe both options deserve their own blog post so I'll start with Scott's absolute favorite recipe from Stew Leonard's in Danbury, CT. Even if you have never heard of Stew Leonard's this is definitely a chowder worth making. A big thanks to Stew's for sharing your recipes!

Shopping at Stew Leonard's isn't just your average day at the grocery store, it is truly a one of a kind experience. Taking kids to the grocery store can often feel like a daunting task but you'll definitely want to bring them here. Filled with various animatronic animals, costumed characters, scheduled performances, and there's even an outdoor petting zoo.  The New York times referred to Stew's as the "Disneyland of Dairy Stores."

We have an upcoming trip to Ridgefield, CT this April and I can't wait to visit Stew Leonard's and pick up some of their oatmeal-raisin cookies!

February 24, 2014

Nuthin But Good Times Indoor Play Area

Ok, I owe this golden nugget to my cousin Meredith. While Morgan and I were staying at my parents in Lowell, MA over the Christmas holiday (actually the entire month of December) she suggested that we should meet up for a playdate at NUThin But Good Times, a family owned and operated indoor playground in Merrimack, NH.  Anyone who has kids within an hour radius needs to know about this place. Also for those flying in or out of the Manchester Airport with kids that need to blow off a little steam, this place is literally around the corner (2.59 miles to be exact).

At Nuthin But Good Times you can find tall climbing structures and slides that will keep toddlers, preschoolers, and even young adolescents entertained for hours. Morgan and I stayed almost 4 hours during our first visit! There is also a designated play area for crawlers and early walkers so everyone has a safe place to play and explore. The environment felt spacious, bright, and extremely clean. While I loved climbing and sliding with him, I also believe in supporting his independence and appreciated that I could sit in a comfy chair, have a cup of coffee, and watch him play with his cousins and independently conquer this kiddie challenge course on his own. 

FYI: It's better to go during weekday morning and early afternoon hours as after-school and weekend hours can be quite busy. Click here to read about birthday rental options.

They have a great little cafe that focuses on healthy food choices offered at very reasonable prices. Lisa, the owner, ensures that the environment is nut free (for those with allergies) and also offers gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan options.  FYI - that means no outside food allowed.

 We are headed back to the area for Spring Break and I can't wait for our next family playdate!

February 19, 2014

Chicken Tenders

One of Morgan's favorite toddler foods is chicken nuggets (and Mommy's too). This chicken tender recipe (via Saveur) from Mitzi's in Winnipeg, Canada will be a hit for all ages. I love the flavor of these tenders and found that these will turn out fantastic whether fried or baked. Scott enjoyed using the leftovers for a quick and easy buffalo chicken wrap the next day. I did not try their honey mustard recipe but instead used World Harbors Maui Mountain Sweet-n-Sour Sauce.

GNG Tips: Not into frying? You can bake them at 475 degrees on a baking rack (in the lower third of your oven) for approximately 15 minutes. If you don't have a baking rack use a cookie sheet and flip tenders over half way through cooking time.

I have found that there are enough breadcrumbs for several batches of chicken fingers so only pour a portion of the mix in a bowl, add as needed, and store the unused breadcrumb in a Ziploc bag for future use. This morning I was able to whip up fresh chicken tenders for Morgan and Scott's lunch because I had the leftover crumbs ready to go. Seriously, I woke up at 7 a.m. and their lunch was ready by 7:20 a.m.!

February 14, 2014

Lentil Tacos

One of my absolute favorite things to eat is hamburger tacos. Just ask my high school BFF Nancy aka Nancy Brew. She loves to tell the story about the first time she was over for dinner and I asked her how many tacos she wanted... she was thinking one maybe two... I was thinking more like five or six because that's how many I usually started out with.

Not going to lie, I really had my doubts about a meatless taco but I have come to love this lentil taco recipe from MK on allrecipes. I love Old El Paso seasonings and salsa (as well as Chi-Chi's salsa) for this recipe but if you want cleaner options this homemade blender salsa and taco seasoning are also great choices.

What is your favorite meatless recipe?

February 13, 2014

Avocado Fudgicles

We are definitely going through a stage where Morgan isn't that interested in eating his vegetables. This little Terp Toddler (now preschooler) used to eat Thai, Cuban, Japanese cuisines (to name a few) and now he really isn't interested in anything that doesn't have peanut butter smeared all over it. This culinary pickiness must be coming from his Dad because I ate everything as a kid :) Can anyone else out there relate? 

I have been testing out different recipes that incorporate vegetables into our diets but kinda hides the fact they are there.  The first recipe I'm going to share is an Avocado Fudgsicle recipe from Eliot's Eats. Morgie looks a little skeptical doesn't he? Maybe he's mirroring the thoughts that are popping into your head as you ponder the idea of what an avocado fudgsicle tastes like? But the proof is in the pudding kids.

He can't get enough of them. It's a win-win (without a power-struggle). I'm pretty sure we are on to something :)

What is your favorite "veggie-hiding" recipe?