Easy Chicken Nuggets

Easy Chicken Nuggets

By Catherine McCord

Weelicious

 

 

How often do you pull a box of frozen chicken nuggets from the freezer for lunch or dinner? Once a week? Twice? If your kid really loves them, I’d wager it might be even more than that. I get it. Chicken nuggets are convenient and kids will eat them. But what ingredients make up your favorite brand? Are they made from things you want your little ones eating?

These chicken nuggets are unbelievably easy to make, absolutely delicious and made from ingredients you can pronounce. The best part is that you can make a huge batch and keep them in the freezer for future meals, so not only do they save on the expense of boxed nuggets but also the time it takes to go to the grocery to buy them. What could be more simple, economical, nutritious and yummy than that?

 

Chicken Nuggets (Makes 24 Nuggets)

1 Pound Chicken Breasts, boneless & skinless cut into chunks

1/4 Cup Old Fashioned Oats (also known as 5 minute oats)

1/4 Tsp Dried Parsley

1/2 Tsp Garlic Powder

1/4 Tsp Onion Powder

1/2 Tsp Kosher Salt

3/4 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs

1 Tbsp Parmesan Cheese, grated

 

1. Preheat oven to 375° F.

2. Place the first 6 ingredients in a food processor until chicken is finely chopped and ingredients are combined.

3. Place the bread crumbs and parmesan cheese in a shallow bowl or on a plate and stir to combine.

4. With moistened hands, roll 1 tablespoon of chicken mixture between your palms and flatten it into a “nugget” shape.

5. Gently press nuggets into bread crumbs to evenly coat them.*

6. Place nuggets on a cooling rack. Place cooling rack over a foil-lined baking sheet.

7. Lightly spray nuggets with cooking spray.

8. Bake for 15 minutes and serve.**

* To freeze, place nuggets on a sheet tray after this step and freeze for one hour. Place nuggets in labeled freezer bags for up to 3 months. When ready to cook, follow the directions starting with step #6.

** If you want your nuggets to be golden brown, place under the broiler for 2 minutes after cooking.

 

 

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How to make lemonade fruit popsicles

How to make lemonade fruit popsicles

Watch Catherine make Lemonade popsicles HERE!

by Catherine McCord

Weelicious

Is there anything better than a homemade popsicle?

Lemonade Fruit Popsicles  (makes 8 ice pops)

3/4 cup water 1/2 cup lemon juice 1/4 cup agave or honey 8 kiwi slices 16 blueberries

1. In a bowl, mix together the water, lemon juice and agave.

2. Place 3-5 blueberries and 1 or 2 kiwi slices in each ice pop mold.

3. Gently pour the liquid mixture into each mold. You can reposition the fruit after you’ve poured in the liquid.

4. Freeze 6 hours or until frozen through.

5. Serve.

10 indisputable rights of pregnant women

10 indisputable rights of pregnant women

I read  this article on babycenter, and I found it to be completely hilarious and totally relatable, all at the same time. I had to share it…

I am 32 weeks pregnant and in the thick of pregnancy. In the past 5 days, I’ve washed an iPhone (literally washed it in the washing machine), had an emotional breakdown, got cankles (noo!!!!!) and craved ice.The July 2012 Birth Club members are listing their pregnancy rights. I thought I’d pull out some of the most important.

So pregnant ladies, let’s all band together and declare the 10 rights of pregnant women! Embrace and defend your rights and do not feel guilty.

10 indisputable rights of pregnant women:

1. She shall have the right to drop something and look around pitifully until someone feels bad enough to come along and pick it up.

2. She has the right to messy toenail polish. This includes the right to get a pedicure to avoid having messy toenail polish. Whether a pregnant woman decides to embrace her right to messy toes or a pedicure is her choice and she shall not be judged.

3. She has the right to spill food on her belly without being mocked.

4. She has the right to lay claim to any food in the house. All others shall assume the last piece of pie or the last serving of cereal has been claimed by this right unless told otherwise.

5. She has the right to waddle. Anyone in the presence of her waddling is restricted from laughing or gawking at said waddling.

6. She has the right to claim “pregnancy brain” at any time.

7. She has the right to moan, groan or grunt when getting out of a chair, rolling over in bed, putting on her shoes or doing any activity that requires shifting her weight.

8. She has the right to claim flip-flops as appropriate footwear under any circumstance.

9. She has the sole rights to the house’s thermostat. Do not question when she has the AC on and it’s 60 degrees outside or if she has the windows open while it’s snowing. Wear extra layers in the house without complaint.

10. She has the right to talk about being “large” or “huge”, but no one else can claim that right. She is the only person allowed to talk about her size.

Ten rights sounded good, but I could continue with this all day. What would you add to the list of the rights of pregnant women?

 

By Katherine Martin (www.babycenter.com contributor)

12 questions I’d love to ask my one year old…

12 questions I’d love to ask my one year old…

 

In my mind, I know that babyE understands most of what I say, except when she is being naughty, because she seems to ignore me at that point. Nonetheless I am convinced that she can understand most of what I tell or ask her. It would be fun and quite interesting if she could respond to some burning questions that I have. Some time this week I was reading a BabyCenter blog and a mom wrote questions that she’d like to ask her little one. I found it so hilarious because I could totally relate. There are a few questions I would love to ask my DD, especially because some things seem so incredibly puzzling to me.

Of course I won’t ask her if she knows that mommy and daddy loves; she hears this so much, I think she already tire of us being all up in her grill all the time, and by us I mean ME. Daddy pretends like he isn’t under her spell but when I’m not looking or I’m not around, she gift wraps him around her tiny little adorable fingers. It really is amazing and fascinating to watch her grow up, but here are my questions….

  1. What does hair taste like? I know it cannot taste good at all, based of the faces you make after you’ve taken a huge bite out of my hair, but yet you seem to keep coming back for more.
  2. Do you not like your poopy diaper to be changed? I imagine you would want to get out of it as soon as possible, yet you squirm about as if you don’t want to be changed.
  3. When you hear NO, does it sound like the word YES?
  4. Why do you have to taste test every molecule or crumb that you find on the ground? You should just take mommy’s word that it can’t possibly be edible.
  5. Why do you always bite mommy and NOT Daddy? Is it because you enjoy mommy’s screams of agony?
  6. Why is your hand ALWAYS in my plate, yet you never seem interested in your own lunch, which is the exact same thing in most cases?
  7. Why do you detest hygiene? Is this a sign of things to come? I cannot fathom why you hate your face being washed or your teeth being cleaned so much.
  8. Do you hate mommy’s taste in music? I think you secretly wish you could throw my CDs out. I only ask this because every day, sometimes twice a day you rip them from the shelf and throw them to the ground with such force I can only imagine that you detest my music choices.
  9. Why do you pat your head all of the time?
  10. Why do you hate sleep so much? What has it ever done to you?
  11. Do you know Chinese? I suspect that you secretly do!
  12. Why do you insist on pulling the dog’s ears? I can assure you that they’re real.
How to Plan Baby’s First-Birthday Party

How to Plan Baby’s First-Birthday Party

Baby will only have one first birthday — and that’s a lot of pressure to do up the party right. But you’ve never done this before! When do you have it? Who do you invite? How do you make it fun for a kid who doesn’t even know what a birthday is yet? We’ve got your step-by-step planning guide right here.

Photo: Getty / The Bump 

When to throw it

Of course, you’ll want your friends and family to be able to make it, so the weekend before or after baby’s birthday is a good bet. That said, be careful of letting their crazy schedules dictate your plan. “I always tell people that the best time to throw a party is the time that works for them and not everyone else’s,” says Marla Mase, founder of Party Poopers, a New York City event planning company that specializes in producing children’s birthday parties. So don’t send around an email to 50 people asking them when the best day is to throw it — they’ll never all agree. If baby has a nap schedule, Mase recommends planning the party for after baby’s naptime so she’s well-rested (and slightly less likely to be in a bad mood).

And as for how long you should make the bash, it depends on your baby. XO Group creative services director and party design expert Lori Richmond says, “There’s no ideal length for a first-birthday party, and only you know how much your baby can take. Err on the side of just a couple of hours, rather than an all-day affair — parties can be overwhelming for small babies, especially if you have a lot of guests!” Richmond recommends having the party in a venue that has a private quiet space, so if baby gets fussy or needs a breather, you can take her there to nap.

How many people to invite

It can be tough to figure out how intimate or huge the party is going to be. If it’s going to be intimate, the guest list might include grandparents, aunts and uncles, and a few baby friends from mommy and me classes. If you want to go all out and have a huge bash, you can invite your whole extended family, your friends, coworkers who have kids and so on. It ultimately depends on your own preferences. “Either way, it’s a day to commemorate,” says Mase. “Your little one has grown so much in this first year, passed many developmental milestones, and you have made it through the first year of being a mom or dad, and that’s definitely an achievement to celebrate.” Your budget also plays a role in the size of your party — obviously the more people you have, the more food, beverages and space you’re going to need.

Start with your must-invite list — the people you wouldn’t dream of celebrating without. Then, if you can stand to add to your head count, keep going.

Where to have it

If you have a big enough home and want to save some cash, throwing the party at your house could be a good option. If you host the event at home, your guests could hang out longer, baby has a place to nap if she gets tired (her room!), and baby might be more comfortable in familiar surroundings. Having it at a restaurant or even a children’s play space could get costly, but the big advantage there is that you won’t get stuck having to clean up. There’s also no prep or mess to deal with, and you won’t have to work hard to entertain guests. If you live in an apartment or a small house, that setting would be ideal. If you don’t want to have it at your house or a play space, why not head to your local park? You can set up food and decorations at a picnic table (some parks even have grills for barbecuing!). And there’s already a play structure there to occupy the kids — just make sure that there are enough adults to keep an eye on them. Check with your local parks department to see if you need a permit or have to make a reservation for the space.

How to choose a theme

Baby probably doesn’t know whether she likes fairies or birdies better right now, so it’s up to you to decide the theme. “Take inspiration from the family’s general preferences to choose the perfect theme,” suggests Richmond. “Does your baby have a favorite giraffe toy that she sleeps with every night? Then giraffes or zoo animals as a theme could be perfect. Or are your family members huge baseball fans? Maybe a little-slugger sports theme would work for you.” Also, think about the season and take into consideration if you’re having an indoor or outdoor party. Some fun theme ideas could be Sesame Street, teddy bears, carnival, Hollywood or Candyland.

Make a budget and DIY

If you don’t have a lot of cash to spend on baby’s birthday party, DIY is your best bet. “Bake your own cake, have your party at home and go to a closeout-type store because they often have great toys and stuffed animals for low prices,” suggests Mase. “If you want balloons, I’d say Party City is the least expensive place to get them — there’s no need to rent a helium tank.” If you’re making your own cupcakes or treats, you can turn decorating them into an activity for your guests. “Not spending a lot on a professional cake will also make you feel less guilty about your baby digging in face-first for the classic cake smash photo [LINK TO THE BIRTHDAY SLIDESHOW],” says Richmond.

For invites, it’s totally okay to save money on stamps and go paperless. Pingg.com allows you to upload your own designs, but Evite and Paperless Post have ready-made templates to choose from. “My favorite benefit of these services is the RSVP tracking and automatic follow-up,” says Richmond. “You can set up specific reminders to go out to guests who have or have not RSVPed by a certain date, as many times as you want.”

Food to serve

When planning the menu, take into consideration whether the party is going to be mostly adults or if there are going to be kids of all ages present. If baby has a favorite food, serve it. “If you have little guests and adults at your party, then you should accommodate everyone with appropriate food options,” says Richmond. “First-birthday parties are active events. Foods and snacks that are healthy and can be eaten on the go are good choices.” For your kid guests, serve things like pizza, mini grilled-cheese sandwiches, chicken fingers, little cups with puff cereal or single-serve boxes of raisins. It also depends on the time of day. If the party’s at noon, you should serve lunch. If it’s 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., you can probably get away with juice and dessert only (also a great way to save money). Be sure to note on the invitation whether you’ll be serving a full meal or just snacks and cake, so guests know whether to eat before they get there. For older guests, many parents will probably be running after their kids. That’s where casual, on-the-go foods come in handy. Try sandwiches and wraps, veggies and dip, and finger-food appetizers like pigs in a blanket (a classic crowd-pleaser everyone loves to love).

Because food allergies are so common in kids today, you might also want to double-check if anyone has eating restrictions (having to use an EpiPen isn’t the kind of story you want parents telling about your party). “You can use a fun marker similar to a cupcake topper as a way to note which foods are safe for those with allergies,” says Richmond.

Party favors

At the end of the day, it’s customary to send kids home with favors. You can have some fancy swag bags or keep it small. “I haven’t been to a party that doesn’t give out goodie bags,” says Richmond. “I prefer to do one larger-ticket item as the giveaway. For my son’s birthday, we gave away harmonicas. It was much better-received than the bag of little plastic toys and candies that might annoy some parents. For one-year-olds, a bath toy is a good favor.”

It’s okay to just give favors to the kids, but it’s nice to also put together something small for the adults. Or have one that the whole family can take home like a photo frame with a Polaroid snapped at the party. When you hand out the favors to the kids, give the goodies to their parents first just in case they want to take a few items or candies out before giving it to their child.

 

www.thebump.com

 

I do not serve my baby juice!

I do not serve my baby juice!

Let’s face it; she will have a sweet tooth at some point, that is a fact! I just don’t want to harness it at this critical stage of her nutritional development. I’ve done the research and I’ve learnt that  juice adds no nutritional value that she can’t have in whole fruits. So I serve her fresh fruit, twice a day in fact. I don’t mean to brag but I do make a great apple sauce, well at least my little one seems to think so because she gobbles it up. I know what’s in the fruit I serve, all the nutrition is retained because it’s fresh and it has all the natural sugar that she needs instead of the artificially added ones they have in some juices.

I try to give her a variety of fruits or fruit purees, such as watermelon, mango, bananas, pear, apples, pineapple, peach and kiwi and she seems to enjoy them all. Well, except for watermelon, for some reason she isn’t fond of it. I try to disguise it in popsicles but she always knows it’s there.

We’ve decided not to serve babyE juice for at least the first 2 years of her life, because we want her to fall in love with water and also as mentioned before, delay that inevitable sweet tooth. She is her mother’s child after all, so I have no doubt that at some point in the future I will be one of those mommies in the supermarket holding my head in shame while my DD rolls around on the floor for some bon bons or M & Ms. I have a certifiable sweet tooth myself, I have never met any dessert table that I didn’t fall in love with, it always beckoned to me and I was powerless to resist.

Now babyE loves water, she drinks a lot of it, which is especially refreshing during these pending hot summer weeks. She is oblivious to the world of juices, and I like it that way. Because I know in a year she will fall madly in love with apple juice as so many babies do.

How to DIY Your Own Frozen Fruit Pops

How to DIY Your Own Frozen Fruit Pops

Photo: SkinnyTaste.com / The Bump
Photo: SkinnyTaste.com / The Bump

I recently came across this DIY frozen fruit pop recipe  from the blog SkinnyTaste.com. These pops are a healthy and simple summer treat for your little ones (and you!). BabyE will definately have fun with these!

To make the pops…

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup diced kiwi
  • 1/3 cup diced watermelon
  • 1/3 cup diced strawberries
  • 1/3 cup diced pineapple
  • 1/4 cup fresh pineapple juice or apple juice

 

“Combine diced fruit in a bowl and fill each 5 ounce cup with fruit. Add 1 tbsp of juice and insert craft sticks into each cup (they easily stay in place because of all the fruit). Place in the freezer a few hours until firm. To remove the pops from the cups, run under warm water a few seconds. Enjoy!”

Get the full recipe at www.SkinnyTaste.com

Tell me, what are your favorite summer snacks?