Sunday, October 25, 2020

Super Easy Sweet Scones

  Ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/3 cup sugar

8 tablespoons butter

1 cup of chips, nuts, raisins, whatever you choose (I like to do 1/2 cup chocolate chips and 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts)

1/2 cup sour cream

1 large egg


Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Either grease a cookie sheet, or cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a medium bowl, mix sugar, flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix in butter with your hands, rubbing the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in chips/nuts.

3. In a small bowl, whisk the egg and sour cream.

4. Using a fork, stir the sour cream mix into the flour mix until large clumps form. Use your hands to form into a ball. 

5. You can either take the ball of dough and slice into 8 triangles, or I like to shape it into 8 small balls. Place the scones on the cookie sheet and sprinkle a tiny bit of sugar on top. Bake until golden, about 15-17 minutes.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Salmon Cakes

 Quick note: this recipe is pretty involved. If you're looking for an easier fish recipe, I'd recommend the Cod Cakes. My twins loved these Salmon Cakes, but they were kind of annoying to make. 

Ingredients:

¾ lb salmon, skin and bones removed and roughly chopped

1 medium sweet potato, cooked, without skin

1 large egg

1 tbsp olive oil (and more for cooking)

½ onion diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced

1 ¼ cups oats

2 cups baby spinach, minced




Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking pan with parchment paper.

  2. In a large skillet, heat up 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add onion, garlic, and ginger. Saute for 2-3 minutes until soft. Add to a food processor.

  3. Return the pan to the heat and add in the spinach. Cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Set aside.

  4. Add salmon, egg, cooked sweet potato, and oats to the food processor with the onion, garlic, and ginger. Pulse until the mixture comes together. Add spinach, and pulse just until you see it mixed through.

  5. Oil your hands and add another coating of oil to the pan. Roll the mixture into finger-like fritters and pan-fry until golden brown. Transfer to the baking pan. Continue with the remaining fritters, then bake until the internal temperature is 145 degrees, about 10 minutes.


Saturday, October 10, 2020

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Muffins

 

Ingredients:

3 eggs beaten

¾ cup smooth peanut butter (or almond butter)

¼ cup maple syrup

½ cup of pumpkin puree

3 tablespoons neutral oil (like canola)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ cup flour (gluten-free flour blend or whole wheat)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda



Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a mini muffin tin with nonstick spray.

  2. Add all ingredients to a medium bowl and stir 30-60 seconds to thoroughly combine, or use a blender and blend well.

  3. Spoon the batter into muffin tins. It should be about 1 ½ tablespoons of batter in each one.

  4. Bake 14 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool in muffin tin. Remove and serve, or freeze for future consumption.

Blueberry Banana Oat Muffins

 

Ingredients:

2 cups rolled oats

½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut

¼ cup ground flaxseed

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

3 large eggs

2 cups sliced very ripe (with brown spots) bananas – about 2 medium/large bananas

¼ cup coconut oil melted

1 teaspoon vanilla

¼ cup maple syrup

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries



Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and coat a mini muffin tray with nonstick spray.

  2. Place the oats, coconut, and flaxseed into a food processor and process for about 30 seconds or until the oats resemble a coarse flour. Add the rest of the ingredients except the blueberries and process to combine well. Remove the blade and stir in the blueberries. Spoon into the prepared muffin cups to the brim.

  3. Bake 28 minutes or until the edges are just starting to turn golden brown. Let cool in the pan. Run a paring knife around the edges of the muffins and gently remove from the pan. Serve warm or chilled, stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.


Notes: Everyone loved these! My boss even ended up eating some of them for breakfast!

Nanny Fail: Who GRATES a Stupid Onion?!

 So this isn't really a nanny fail per se, I guess I'm just sensitive to onions. I always have been. When I was little I hated onions, and now if I'm cooking something in my own apartment, I make my husband chop the onion for me. If I try to chop an onion in a poorly ventilated kitchen (like my tiny galley kitchen) my eyes get red, sting, and tear up almost immediately.

One of my first recipes I made for my twin NKs (nanny kids) involved a chopped onion, but I had no problem in my boss's home since they have much larger kitchen. So I didn't tell my employers about my eye sensitivity. I mean, everyone tears up cutting onions, right? I didn't want to seem like a complainer. Plus they had a nice big window in the kitchen I could open if I needed it.

A while later, my MB (mom boss) suggested I make these meatballs for the boys. The original recipe required a grated onion. Not chopped, GRATED. I thought, no problem, I had grated other vegetables for their recipes before, like zucchini, which was easy enough although a bit messy and time consuming. I started with the grated sweet potato, which wasn't an issue, but needed a bit of elbow grease. 

First off, grating an onion basically turns it to liquid. It's also super difficult and my hand nearly slipped a few times. Then my eyes started to go. I mean BAD. It felt like someone was stabbing me, and my eyes were streaming. I had to close my eyes, but as I said, the onion was turning to liquid. I didn't want to cut my hand, so I quickly rinsed my hands and walked into the living room, just to get away. I blinked a million times, and felt a bit better, and tried to continue. I made it maybe 30 seconds before I was a mess again.

Then my DB (dad boss) walked inside and saw me. He looked shocked. I thought my eyes probably looked like I was about to cry, so I told him I was totally fine, the onions were getting to me. I told him that grating the onion was just a bit tough for me. He told me don't worry about it, and to just chop the onion. He offered to do it for me, but I told him I just needed to splash some water on my face. When I looked at myself in the bathroom mirror, I was red faced, puffy, and I could barely open my eyes.

When I came out of the bathroom, DB had opened all the windows and turned on the fan. Then my MB (mom boss) came out to the kitchen, trying to look casual, but I assumed DB told her I looked a mess. I told her I swear, I was fine, but the onions got to me. They probably thought my husband had left me or something!

After that, my bosses started buying pre-chopped onions, which I found truly kind of them. I can handle chopping them, but I'm pretty sure they started doing that for me. I know it's a tiny thing, and doesn't cost a ton, but it's the gesture. They're so thoughtful.

Anyway, grating onions is stupid! Any recipe I find that asks for a grated onion, I just finely chop it (or my bosses buy it already chopped). My NKs don't seem to mind, they gobbled up those meatballs!

Nanny Fail: How I Almost Burned Down My Employers' House

 I don't want to sound full of myself, but I'm a pretty great nanny. I create all kinds of fun activities for my nanny kids, I take my job very seriously, and I adore all my past and present nanny kids. But I'm definitely a novice when it comes to cooking, baking and meal planning. When potential employers interview me and ask about my cooking skills, I always say I can read a recipe, but I'm no Betty Crocker. 

I've been trying to rectify this recently, by finding recipes for my twin charges. I keep making more food, but somehow we're always running low. I swear, these boys' tummies are bottomless pits! My MB (mom boss) found this recipe for Sweet and Sour Tofu Sticks which the boys liked. She made them the first time, but the second time, she made the marinade but asked me to bake them. No big deal, so I followed the recipe verbatim. 

I put the boys down for their naps, and preheated the oven. MB told me that instead of marinating the tofu for an hour, she did it overnight, but that probably shouldn't change anything. So I got a cookie sheet (which is what the recipe called for), lined it with parchment paper, and placed the tofu on it. Once the oven was preheated, I put the tofu in, and cleaned up the dishes. 

I then stepped outside to the backyard to prep an activity for the boys once they woke up. Seconds later, I heard a blaring alarm. I ran back into the kitchen (I had been gone about 30 seconds) and there was smoke coming from the oven! I immediately turned it off, pulled the tofu out, and a giant cloud of smoke came out. 

The smoke alarm was still going, and in EVERY ROOM, including the boys' rooms! Of course they woke up, super startled, because not only a blaring alarm was going off, but a mechanical voice was loudly saying something like "THERE IS SMOKE IN THE KITCHEN. EVACUATE NOW. EVACUATE NOW." My MB came running in, and we each grabbed a baby, and ran out of the house. My DB (dad boss) and the housekeeper went into the kitchen and opened all the windows and doors. Of course, we were all freaking out, but I tried to stay calm, in hopes that my slowed heart rate would help relax the baby I was holding. 

I kept apologizing to MB, saying I didn't know what happened. She told me I did nothing wrong, that there must be faulty wiring or something wrong with the oven. She said all that matters is that everyone is safe. The housekeeper and DB finally got the alarm to stop by opening every door and window, and turning on every fan they could find. 

Here's the amazing part: after all that drama, I actually got both boys to sleep again! One went down with zero problems, the other needed to be rocked to sleep, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

Later that day, the housekeeper (the true hero in this story) cleaned the oven and solved the mystery. The marinade had maple syrup in it, which is essentially sugar, and it dripped off the cookie sheet into the oven. The sugar burned, and turned into a smoky mess. So yes, it was my fault. 

I told my MB what the housekeeper said, and apologized again. She said it was an accident, and didn't blame me at all (thank goodness). 

So the moral of the story is read every recipe carefully, but also use caution and common sense. If you're baking something that's juicy or has a bit of liquid in it, DO NOT bake it on a cookie sheet. Use a baking tray with a lip on it, so the juices don't drip into oven. Even if it doesn't fill your house with smoke, it could make a total mess in your oven.

Hey, we all make mistakes, right?

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Dinosaurs and Crochet Patterns!

Welcome to Tomboy Nanny! Lately I have been participating in many craft fairs and farmers markets. Please check the calendar to the right for my next fair.

My crochet patterns can also be found on Ravelry .