Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Bird Nest Spaghetti

Happy Spring!

In Arizona it has been Springtime weather since mid October. Though, we did have one fairly chilly day when we needed a sweater. That was a tough day for us! But for most everywhere else the entire winter was brutal. After awhile it was just funny to see the rest of the country digging themselves out of another polar vortex. My Connecticut born husband was especially happy that he didn't have to shovel a driveway!  How do you people with children do it? I have to give you mad props for that!

By the end of May we will welcome an entire summer of over 100 degree days (who will be laughing then?!) When it is that hot outside there is nothing much you can do. There is the play area at the mall, play dates at Target, or watching 'Frozen' for the 800th time in the air conditioned house.  In this kind of heat, the littlest ones will literally melt; the older toddlers will lay in a puddle of their own sweat unable to move while speaking some form of jibberish; and bigger kids will live submerged in a swimming pool for 3 months equipped with their own SCUBA gear and a feeder tube with smoothies running all day. 

But on this day the weather is AMAZING, again. Let us welcome springtime with a fun bird's nest dinner. My kids actually thought this was a real nest with a real egg and a real bird. I was pretending the bird was chirping and at one time even chirped loudly while thrusting the nest towards their nose. The little one screamed and ran away pretty darn fast (but don't worry she ran back laughing!) They were scared to touch it and, in the end, scared to eat it. I suggest bringing the theatrical part of it down a notch with the younger, more sensitive kiddos.


  • 1 EGG


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cook pasta based on directions on the box. Drain pasta and place back in pot.
Mix together the egg and parmesan cheese then pour it over the pasta and mix it in well.

[You could also add in cooked spinach to the pasta to get some extras veggies into your bird lovers.]

Generously grease a muffin tin with olive oil. Divide pasta evenly between the tins (it is about 1/2 cup.) Then twirl the pasta round a fork to get it in a nest like shape. Remove fork and using fingers make an indentation in the middle of the pasta. Drizzle the pasta with some olive oil.

Place in the oven for 10-12 minutes. Remove pasta and allow it to cool for 10 minutes; this helps the nests to hold together when you remove them from the muffin tin.

Once cooled, gently scoop out the nests and fill them with marinara sauce and a mozzarella ball.

Tweet! Tweet!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

"Brobee" Chips or the Vegetable Formally Known as Kale

Since my oldest was only a few months old I started her on TV. Some may call me a bad parent but others will call me brilliant. Whichever way your beliefs go TV has given me hours of time to sit back, relax, and read a magazine. Yeah right! Rather it has provided me chances to cook dinner, clean, type this blog, take a shower.

We dove head first into Nick Jr. For a long time the only music I heard was from The Fresh Beat Band or Yo Gabba Gabba. I would (and still do) sing these songs all the time and even got excited when certain episodes came on (I still have my favorites. "Baby" from YGG for one.) We even dressed up as the Gabba gang for Halloween a few years ago. Isn't baby Muno adorable?!
Baby Muno
Sometimes it doesn't matter what you give your child to eat as long as you give it the right spin. And nothing needs a spin more than leafy greens! Telling your kid to try some tasty kale might not get you very far. But asking them if they want "Brobee" chips to go to the 'party in their tummy' might get positive results.

If you have no idea what I am talking about then:

1) you do not have a toddler;
2) you are a super parent and don't let your wee one watch tv;
3) you have an older child and have spent years trying to forget about the Yo Gabba Gabba gang.

In the cases of #1 and #2 I highly suggest getting online right now and watching some Yo Gabba Gabba videos. The first few episodes will seem pretty trippy to you but the music is fun and the characters will give you lots of fodder to discuss at your next play/real date. In the case of #3 just turn away now and run!

In honor of the little green man on 'Yo Gabba Gabba' I have renamed the infamous kale chip as 'Brobee' chips. My kids eat these by the handful.

(For us 'Brobee' chips make sense. You might need to think up your own name for this tasty (and very healthy) snack. Maybe "Mermaid' Kelp, Tinkerbell's Pixie Chips, Peter Pan Treats, or Tic Toc Croc-o-Bites.)

What you Need:
Kale Leaves (if you are foreign to kale it can be found in most supermarkets. It is green and not that scary.)
Olive Oil


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

After washing your kale leaves take a sharp knife and cut out the thick vein down the middle.

Cut the kale leaves in half (I used to cut them up in little pieces but they are easier to bake when they are big.) Toss them with a little bit of olive oil. Don't use so much oil that they are dripping and covered; just enough to lightly coat them. Spread them out in a single layer on a baking dish and sprinkle with salt.

Bake for 10 minutes. If the pieces are big enough flip them over after 5-6 minutes. You want them nice and crispy. If after 10 minutes they are still limp bake them for 1 minute increments. But be careful, if they turn brown they are burnt and will taste very bitter.

There have been a handful of times when I wasn't paying attention (ie crying kiddo, complete brain fart, too wrapped up in my role as Jake while playing pirates, etc...) and ruined my Brobee chips.



In the spirit of St. Patricks' Day why not make some 4 leaf clovers and have fun with another green veggie (technically it is a fruit but who cares?!) 

All you need is a green bell pepper, green paint and some paper.

Cut the bell pepper in half and take out the seeds. Dip the halved peeper in some paint and get your shamrock groove on.

 It makes the perfect clover! Hope it brings you good luck!