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On Treehouse: Rice cooker apple oatmeal

On Treehouse: Rice cooker apple oatmeal

rice cooker apple oatmeal titled

I love oatmeal from the rice cooker. It is so easy, and doesn’t involve soaking the pot where I burnt a third of the porridge either. The other week I had the brainwave to dump apple chunks in with the oats and the water while it’s cooking. Even more brilliant!

The full instructions are over on Treehouse Parents.

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On Treehouse: Handprint holiday wreath

On Treehouse: Handprint holiday wreath

handprintwreath

You know I’m not one for complicated children’s crafts. For one thing, my son is only likely to be interested in making something for about 20 minutes, so if it takes longer than that to set up I’m likely to get very irritated. We made this wreath, and then I pulled out another sheet of paper for him to go crazy on. When his wreath dried, we tacked it up on his bedroom door and he was thrilled.

Pop on over to Treehouse Parents to get the instructions.

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On Treehouse: Kale-studded meatballs

On Treehouse: Kale-studded meatballs

kale meatballs

I know, I know, I can hear you from here. Really Erin, kale in MEATBALLS? What’s wrong with you?

Like most people, we don’t eat enough vegetables, which means I put extra veg in everything. It’s my goal this year to eat more vegetables, so whenever I’m making something there’s always a moment when I say: ‘Can I put kale in this?’

Use your food processor to chop the kale very, very fine. By the time it’s mixed in with everything else, you can’t even taste it. I would say use pretty much any combination of beef, pork, buffalo, venison, moose – but I don’t think this would hold together with turkey or chicken. I find it quite hard to get poultry meatballs to stick together without adding loads more fat, which defeats the purpose really.

These are great in lunchboxes with a little container of ketchup for dipping, in a tomato sauce with pasta, in the fridge as a quick protein snack. For some reason, my son loves meatballs, so it’s my go-to when he’s been refusing other protein. I don’t know what it is with kids and round foods, but it seems to go over well.

 

Read the recipe for my kale meatballs over on Treehouse Parents.

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On Treehouse: Lemon oat blueberry muffins

On Treehouse: Lemon oat blueberry muffins

lemon oat blueberry muffins

 

Elliot loves blueberry muffins. Whenever Mummy needs a coffee, Elliot needs a blueberry muffin. Even if I try and sneak through a place he calls ‘banana loaf drive-through’ when he’s sleeping in the car, there’s a more than 60% chance he’ll wake briefly to tell me he wants a blueberry muffin.

Blueberry muffins from pretty much anywhere means cake. It’s too bad, because blueberries are actually quite good for you. I set about making a blueberry muffin I didn’t mind giving to Elliot often, and I came up with this one. It has whole grains and oats for staying power, and maple syrup instead of refined white sugar. I bake them in a mini muffin pan to make it easier to pack into bento boxes, but also because I toss most of them in the freezer and the small size means they defrost quickly. Enjoy!

My recipe for Lemon Oat Blueberry Muffins is over on Treehouse TV Parents.

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On Treehouse: Nature Hunt!

On Treehouse: Nature Hunt!

On Treehouse: Nature Hunt

I’m happy to say I’ve started contributing articles to the new Treehouse Parents site. Yes, it’s the same Treehouse as the TV channel, Canadian home of one of my son’s favourites shows ever, the Octonauts. I’ll give you a nudge when I’ve got something new to share over there.

You can check out my first piece for them, an outdoor nature hunt. I came up with this idea because most of the other nature scavenger hunts I had seen around involved picking things. I don’t encourage picking plants unless we’re harvesting to eat or helping it grow. Besides, then I have to find a place for more rocks and sticks in house! I have enough trouble with rock collections without inviting more.

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