Friday, April 26, 2013

The Oklahoma City Festival of the Arts 2013

Every spring the Arts Council of Oklahoma City hosts the Festival of the Arts in downtown OKC. The festival is a free event that showcases over 100 local artists. We make it a point to go every year- the kids love it, the art is beautiful, there is always some sort of performance going on and of course the cherry on top for me-
    Street food like crazy.

I ate so much I was in pain for the rest of the night. But it was worth it!



It was so hard to pick what we would eat for lunch, but it quickly became clear that it would be Waffle Awesome.

















My sister and I went for the Chicken N' Waffle and I ordered Little Mr. a Nutella and Fruit Waffle.

Tender fried chicken strips, a maple sauce, all wrapped up in a soft a flavorful waffle.

  I was so carb drunk after this and a beer that I could have fallen asleep!



















What a shame Little Mr. couldn't finish all of his huge lunch, so we had to help him out!

Nutella, strawberries, banana, whip cream and a little sprinkle of brown sugar.


YES I am aware that I picked the dessert for my son's lunch. But Really, it wasn't all that bad, and he ate it up!










After a curbside lunch we went for another walk around the festival. I love this spot downtown, which is beautiful with or without and event. OKC you are on fine lookin' lady!

Our favorite artwork was this crazy wire work done by Josh Brooke Cote. Freaky mermaid lady was pretty cool and the Little Mr. had a strange attraction to all the bunnies.


How cool is this Faux grow couch? And yes it was very soft!

The star of our little group was the kiddo's balloon. So many people pulled us aside to inquire about this balloon and one girl even asked for a picture of it! It also whacked about 20 people in the head because it was huge and it was windy. If you were whacked by my son's balloon I deeply apologize. :)


After all that walking we decided it was time for dessert!
Strawberries Newport are just an OKC Arts Festival staple. Lightly sweetened puff pastry, a creamy rich custard, a mound of whipped cream, and fresh strawberries all pile into a pretty rockin' dessert.

On my way out I HAD to get the hubby some of our favorite German Roasted Nuts. We get the cashews, but they also have pecans and almonds. The are warm, sweet and cinnamony. Yum yum yum. I only ate about 10 before I made myself stash the rest away for C.W.

When we got home this guy had passed out. Notice the balloon still attached to the wrist.











It was a great day, we had a lot of fun, got some sun ate our fill and took some time out to appreciate talented artists. For more info visit the Arts Council of Oklahoma City's website Here.

As for today, I have to make up for all that eating yesterday so this will be my thing for the day-

Veggies and Hummus YUM!



Monday, April 22, 2013

Earth Day Bento

Happy Earth Day! 

Ok... I didn't even realize it was Earth Day until after I had taken E-man to school today. Sorry Earth, I've been really busy.

 So even though now I'm kicking myself for not making a super cool Earth themed lunch- I think this one can kind of count. It is definitely nature inspired. Nature, Earth, those things all go hand in hand. I bet E-man will think it was all part of the plan......


This bento was really simple and came together nicely. I cut a turkey and cheddar sandwich into two flowers, and topped them each with a flower punch out of colby jack cheese.I finished it off with a couple baran sheets of grass (My husband kept asking me if they were edible...But I think E knows not to eat them!) and some white cheddar Pirate's Booty that I think looked just like clouds! (BTW...still searching for a small cloud shaped cookie cutter if anyone has seen one).

On the side he got a clementine arranged like flower petals with a little strawberry and blueberry center.
 I put a little ranch in the bottom of a cup liner and popped in some baby carrots. I stuck a little bunny pick in for fun.
 
  He also has a GoGo Squeeze Apple Berry Sauce and water packed in his lunch bag.

Not too shabby for a Monday Morning!






   

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Muffin Tin Meals

 The first time I saw this idea of using a muffin tin to serve a toddler lunch I was instantly intrigued. A few months down the road, and I can tell you that this is one of the best ways to serve up an easy lunch to your kids. Let me tell you a few reasons why I think everyone should give this try:
  
  First of all, for a picky eater, you can arrange a mini buffet of all their favorites and in the corner they will hardly notice you snuck in something new. My boys always just seem excited to get to pick and choose- and then, they eat it all up.

 Secondly, my Little Mister is at that super fun stage where he wants to eat all the time- snack snack snack, until meal time. And then he snubs his sandwiches or grilled chicken and veggies. Even if I don't give in to his constant grazing he still leaves the dinner table way too early. This is another one of those ways to think about feeding your kids based on their perspective. They just want snacks- well you just gave them a snack platter! Little do they know that this is truly a meal in disguise.

 Also, the one I made here for Little Mister is a six cup muffin tin, but when I have a little group of kids who need an easy lunch or good snack I bust out the 16 cupper and fill it up with all kinds of stuff. Sooo much faster for me than making multiple plates of lunches.

A quick run down of this one- Cucumbers, mini sweet peppers, cantaloupe(cubed with FUNbites), green grapes, turkey roll ups w/ colby cheese slices, and wheat thins with spinach hummus. 

   The best thing about this really is how versatile it is- I just throw whatever I have in the fridge in there, sometimes I do tiny Funbites sandwiches, or put in a little dessert cup too. 

  Give it a try sometime and let me know how it goes for you! 



Friday, April 12, 2013

Clementine and Chocolate Cookies

 Clementines are a variety of mandarin oranges that have recently become a kid staple. Easy as can be to peel (my 3 year can bust one out in just a couple of minutes) seedless, and always sweet. When I try to give my snobby boys navel oranges they look at me like I'm nuts- "Mom where are the clementines?".
   My only beef with these little citrus treats would be that the places I shop only sell them by 5-10lb bags. And these guys are tiny so that means I'm buying a ton of them all at once. Even with us eating 4-5 a day we can't eat them all up in time. I've been trying to come up with new uses for them lately. I don't like to waste, it hurts my cheap little heart to watch money thunk into the trash can. So on a whim, I started brainstorming clementine recipes (so probably more to come soon!) and came up with these soft, subtle Clementine and Chocolate Cookies.

   These aren't a sugar loaded super sweet cookie, which is good I think. It makes them seem lighter and the hint of fresh orange gets a chance to show off more without having to contend with all that sweetness. 


It all started with my little citrus reamer. I'm pretty much in love with this guy. First of all the color is right up my alley, it is glass, and the cherry on top- I found it on clearance for under $1.50! Thank You Target End Caps! Anyways, I even bought one for work- so I guess it was love at first sight.
 
After zesting a few clementines I juiced them with my reamer, you could hand squeeze them as well they are pretty juicy. For the amount needed it took about 5 clementines.

I creamed the butter and sugar, then added in the juice, zest, and eggs. I mixed in my dry ingredients on low speed, and then stirred the chocolate chips in by hand. I liked the color of the dough- it had an orangey hue to it.

I plopped rounded tablespoons onto a parchment lined baking sheet (they don't spread much so you can get quite a few done in one round) and then popped them into my preheated oven. 


After about 12 minutes they were still soft, but golden and ready to be eaten!



Clementine and Chocolate Cookies
An L.A. Walter Original Recipe
  •  Yields approx. 30 cookies

Ingredients 
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (room temp)
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed clementine juice
  • 1 tablespoon clementine zest 
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips

Directions
 Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F
Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the clementine juice and zest, followed by the eggs. Mix well, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Meanwhile stir together the flour, salt, and baking powder in a small bowl. Reduce mixing speed to low and add the dry ingredients in two batches. Once combined, stir in the chocolate chips.
  
 Place by the rounded tablespoon full onto parchment lined baking sheets and bake in the oven for 11-13 minutes. Cookies will stay soft, but should be slightly golden. 
  Allow to cool on the sheet for a couple minutes before finishing up on a wire rack.


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Breakfast Quesadillas

 My oldest son loves Breakfast for Dinner. If you ask him what he wants- more than likely that will be his response. 
   How can I blame him. Breakfast for Dinner has been a long time favorite of mine for years. And for a while now it has been kind of an unofficial tradition that we have some kind of breakfast every Tuesday night. 
  All the favorites have come around- French Toast- Cinnamon Roll Waffles- Biscuits- Eggs- Bacon- Yum....
  
     Tonight I wanted Breakfast Burritos- a not so favorite of the boys.Their reaction was a little over dramatic, and E-man even told his dad I was going to make "an ugly dinner". The compromise however, went over pretty well. Remember I'm a mean Mom who likes to trick her kids sometimes! 

  Breakfast Quesadillas! 

These turned out more than tasty enough to share! And the kids ate most of them. And ALL of their sauteed mushrooms I served up on the side. 
I also made sweeter versions of these with a little bit of peanut butter, honey, and sliced bananas. I popped them in the oven for 5 minutes after I took these out. They tasted great and the boys loved them! 





Breakfast Quesadillas
yields 5 Quesadillas

Ingredients
  •  1/2 lb pork sausage
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • salt and pepper
  • 5 medium sized flour tortillas
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (I used colby jack)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F.
In a small skillet brown the sausage over medium heat. Add in the cream cheese and Worcestershire sauce. Stir ingredients together as the cream cheese melts. Meanwhile, mix eggs with water, salt, and pepper. Scramble eggs in a small skillet until just set and fluffy.
  
 Line a baking sheet with foil and fill the tortillas with a scoop each of the eggs, sausage mixture, and a couple tablespoons of shredded cheese. Don't stuff them too full, but you can adjust this based on your tortilla size. 

 Fold the tortillas over into half moon shapes and bake for 5 minutes.
  Serve with salsa, or sour cream on the side! 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Berry Cheesecake Trifle

I just can't help it- I have a thing for desserts that revolve heavily around whipped cream. I could (and have) just eat straight up whipped cream. And this easy Trifle totally satisfies my cream-cravings.
I made this baby for our family's Easter get together, but I feel like it may have to make a come back for Fourth of July just based on the awesome red, white, and blue layers.
     
 

Berry Cheesecake Trifle

An L.A. Walter Original Recipe
Ingredients
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 1 pint strawberries
  • 1 small package instant cheesecake pudding
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 tubs thawed cool whip
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup good quality fruit spread (Crofter's Just Fruit Spread is the BEST!)
  • 16 oz Pound cake(I use frozen Sara Lee Pound Cake)
Directions

   Mix the berries and sugar in a medium bowl and set aside. Slice the pound cake into about 12 slices, and then slice those into thirds. Mix pudding mix with 2 cups milk according to package directions. Once pudding is set gently fold it into the thawed whipped topping. Put the fruit spread into a small bowl and stir it up, to make it a little easier to spread. 
 In a large trifle dish, or clear bowl begin to layer the trifle. Start with the pound cake in one layer covering the bottom, next cover with an even layer of the fruit spread, top with a third of the berries, and then a third of the cheesecake whipped cream. Repeat layers until you use all the pound cake. On the last layer reverse the order of the whipped cream and berries. Just to make it a little prettier.
Pop in the fridge for at least one hour or overnight.