Saturday, October 31, 2020

UPDATED: Salmon Cakes

The original Salmon Cakes can be found HERE, but I edited this recipe so it's easier and so much easier. 

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

½ onion diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced (optional)

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. Then add spinach, cooking until wilted. Add to a food processor.

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

  4. Spoon mixture into little circles, about 1-2 tablespoons each. Bake for 20 minutes, flip them, and bake another 10-15 minutes, making sure they reach 145 degrees. Serve immediately, or let cool and freeze for later.



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 .

Zucchini Cakes

 

Ingredients:

¾ cup grated zucchini squeezed dry

½ cup cheddar cheese grated

2 eggs

4 tablespoons oat flour

½ teaspoon Italian seasoning (optional)


Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Place the zucchini on a clean cloth and squeeze out the liquid. You need to get the zucchini quite dry.

  3. Place the zucchini back in the bowl and mix with remaining ingredients.

  4. Prepare a baking tray with parchment paper or use a silicon baking sheet.

  5. Form ½ tablespoon balls and flatten into rounds onto the baking sheet.

  6. Bake for approximately 15 minutes, until crispy on the sides.



Notes:

When doubling the recipe, you will need one LARGE zucchini.

Spinach and Sweet Potato Tots

 

Ingredients:

2 cups mashed sweet potato (1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes)

1 tablespoon ground flaxseed

3 tablespoons coconut flour

½ cup drained frozen spinach, or any finely chopped greens

¼ cup almond milk

2 teaspoons cinnamon




Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees

  2. Thoroughly wash sweet potato, peel, and cut into 1 inch pieces.

  3. Boil water in a pot with a steamer insert, and steam sweet potato until soft.

  4. Mash sweet potato with a fork.

  5. Add ground flaxseed, coconut flour, spinach, milk, and cinnamon. Mix well until a thick “dough” forms.

  6. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop a heaping mixture of the sweet potato dough (about 1-2 tablespoons) and gently roll into an oval to make the traditional “tot” shape.

  7. Once all the dough is formed into tots, place into oven for 25-30 minutes.

  8. Let cool and serve immediately. Or refrigerate. You can also freeze these for later.



Notes:

Skip step 3 and cook in Evla for 15 minutes. Don't blend in Evla, since it will make it gluey.

Sweet and Sour Tofu Sticks

 

Ingredients:

1 lb extra firm tofu, drained

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

2 tablespoons sesame oil


Instructions:

  1. Line a plate with paper towel and place tofu on top and line with additional paper towels.

  2. Place a plate on top and weigh down with any canned food you have. You want to drain as much liquid from the tofu as possible.

  3. Let it set for at least 20 minutes.

  4. Once drained, cut the tofu into about 12 sticks and lay flat on a baking dish.

  5. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients and pour over the tofu.

  6. Marinate for an hour.

  7. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

  8. Place tofu sticks on a parchment lined baking tray. Bake for 30 minutes.

  9. Let cool and serve.



Notes:

DO NOT use a baking sheet! Make sure the moisture can't run off the tray. 

So here's my story about how I learned this the hard way: Nanny Fail: How I Almost Burned Down My Employers' House

Mexican Style Lentil Cakes

 

Ingredients:

1 cup cooked brown lentils

1 cup black beans rinsed and drained

1 teaspoon olive oil

½ cup finely chopped onion

1 cup finely chopped vegetables, like red bell pepper and/or carrots

½ cup frozen peas, thawed

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon cumin

½ teaspoon coriander

2 eggs

½ cup shredded cheese


Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease or line a 12-cup muffin pan

  2. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a skillet. Add the vegetables and cook 3-5 minutes, until softened. Add the spices and tomato paste. Lower heat and cook for 1-2 minutes until well combined.

  3. In a large bowl, combine vegetables with beans and lentils.

  4. Transfer about ½ of the mixture and place in a blender or food processor. Add eggs and pulse until smooth.

  5. Pour back into the large bowl with remaining mixture. Combine well.

  6. Transfer mixture to prepared muffin pan. Using the back of the spoon, push mixture down a bit to make sure it's nicely packed together. Top with additional cheese, if you wish.

  7. Bake in the oven 25-30 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.


Notes:

If using mini muffin pan, bake for 20-25 minutes instead.

Toddler-Approved Meatloaf

 We recently tried to give the boys the leftover meatloaf from the freezer. It was pretty dry, so I probably wouldn't recommend freezing it for later. But it's a yummy meatloaf if you want to make it for the whole family one night!

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion chopped (about 1 cup)

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 eggs

2 pounds ground beef

2 slices of sandwich bread torn into very small pieces

¼ cup Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage

Zest of 1 lemon

1 ½ teaspoons salt (optional)

Freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon ketchup



Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, reduce heat to low, and cook until the onion is soft, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.

  3. Crack the eggs into a large bowl and beat with a fork. Add ground beef, bread, Parmesan, sage, lemon zest, salt (if using), and pepper to taste. Add the onion mixture. Mix with a fork or your hands.

  4. Tip the meat mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. With your clean hands, shape meat into a rough oval, about 2 inches high. Smear meat loaf with the ketchup, covering the top and sides with a thin glaze.

  5. Bake 55 to 60 minutes, or until internal temperature registers 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Let sit for at least 5 minutes before slicing and serving. Cut or break slices into small bites for baby.



Lentil Nuggets

 

Ingredients:

1 cup split red lentils soaked in boiling water for 30 minutes

1 medium zucchini, grated

1 large carrot grated

2 slices of whole grain sliced bread

¼ cup frozen peas

¼ cup frozen corn

½ tsp sea salt

¼ tsp garlic powder

¼ tsp oregano

½ tsp paprika




Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 and line a baking tray with parchment paper

  2. Add your bread slices to a food processor and process until a breadcrumb consistency is achieved. Then transfer breadcrumbs into a large bowl, add frozen corn and peas and set aside.

  3. Drain the lentils and add them to the food processor with grated carrot and zucchini and all seasonings. Process until broken down and well combined. Transfer to bowl and mix to combine.

  4. Form 1-1.5 inch balls using your hands, and place them on your baking tray. Then press each one down gently, without breaking them to form nuggets.

  5. Bake for 30 minutes, carefully flipping them at the 15 minute mark. Let your nuggets cool for at least 5 minutes to help them firm up.


Ground Beef and Sweet Potato Meatballs

 

Ingredients:

8 ounces of ground beef

¼ onion, diced very finely

1 egg, beaten

½ cup grated sweet potato

¼ teaspoon dried thyme

¼ teaspoon mustard powder

¼ teaspoon garlic powder



Instructions:

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

  2. In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix until well combined. Form mixture into ½ inch balls and place them in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.

  3. Baked until cooked through, about 20 minutes. Store any unoffered meatballs in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.


Cod and Zucchini Cakes

 

Ingredients:

8 ounces of cod, cut into ½ inch cubes

½ small zucchini, grated

½ teaspoon chopped fresh dill

¼ teaspoon lemon zest

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ cup almond flour or whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon coconut flour (use only if using almond flour)

1 egg beaten

¼ onion, grated


¼ cup plain full-fat yogurt

Juice of ½ lemon

¼ teaspoon chopped fresh dill


Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment

  2. In a small saucepan with a steamer insert, bring 1 inch of water to a boil. Add the cod. Cover and steam until the cod is opaque, 5 to 10 minutes.

  3. Chop the cod into small pieces (or flake it with a fork) and put it in a small bowl. Gently fold in the remaining ingredients.

  4. Form the mixture into ½ inch balls and place on the prepared baking sheet. Gently flatten the balls with the back of a spoon.

  5. Bake until the cakes are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Store any unoffered cakes in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

  6. In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, lemon juice and dill


Notes:

Cooking the cod in the Evla worked well, for 15 minutes.



Cauliflower Tots

 

Ingredients:

1 cup cauliflower florets, chopped

1 cup quinoa, fully cooked and cooled

1/3 cup shredded mozzarella

2 tablespoons Panko breadcrumbs

2 tablespoons all purpose flour (or gluten-free flour)

1 tablespoon shredded Parmesan

1 egg

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pizza seasoning or cumin (optional)


Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Bring a kettle or pot of water to a boil. Place cauliflower into a heat-safe bowl and pour water over top. Let sit for 5 minutes. Drain and spread onto a clean kitchen towel. Pat dry well.

  3. Place cauliflower, quinoa, cheeses, egg, breadcrumbs, flour salt and spices into the bowl of a food processor. Grind into a uniform batter.

  4. Form into 1 tablespoon balls, form into a tot shape, and place onto the prepared baking sheet. If you'd like to have the outsides crispy, coat each ball in the remaining breadcrumbs before placing on the baking sheet.

  5. Bake for 22-24 minutes. Serve warm with ketchup if desired.



Notes:

Cook the cauliflower in the Evla for 7 minutes instead of step 2. 



Broccoli and Ham Egg Bites

 

Ingredients:

Nonstick cooking spray

1 cup very finely chopped broccoli

1 slice ham, very finely chopped, about ¼ cup

4 eggs



Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Spray 12 mini-muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray

  2. Stir together the broccoli and ham. Divide evenly among the muffin cups.

  3. In a medium measuring cup, whisk together the eggs. Pour the eggs over the broccoli mixture in the muffin cups, dividing them evenly.

  4. Bake for 25 minutes, or until set. Cool in the muffin cups for 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temp.



Notes:

Broccoli can be swapped for spinach, mushroom or other veggie. Turkey or salmon can be swapped in for ham.

Black Bean Cakes with Yogurt Dipping Sauce

 

Ingredients:

1 cup canned black beans, drained

½ cup grated sweet potato

½ teaspoon onion powder

¼ teaspoon ground cumin

¼ cup almond flour

1 egg beaten


¼ cup plain full-fat yogurt

¼ teaspoon grated lime zest

1 teaspoon lime juice

1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro



Instructions:

  1. Preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with parchment

  2. In a small bowl, mash the black beans. Add sweet potato, onion powder, cumin, almond flour, and egg. Mix well with a spoon to combine.

  3. Form the mixture into ½ inch balls. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheet and gently flatten them with the back of a spoon.

  4. Broil until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Flip and broil until browned on the other side, another 2 to 3 minutes. Store any unoffered cakes in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

  5. In a small bowl, mix yogurt, zest, juice and cilantro.



Notes:

Double or triple the recipe. Cilantro and lime zest aren't needed.

Baked Falafel

 

Ingredients:

1 cup canned chickpeas, drained

½ onion, finely chopped

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ cup whole wheat flour or oat flour

1 tablespoon olive oil


¼ cup plain full-fat yogurt

1tablespoon tahini

¼ teaspoon grated lemon zest

¼ teaspoon garlic powder


Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

  2. In a blender or food processor, combine the chickpeas, onion, parsley, cumin, garlic powder, oil, and flour and process until smooth.

  3. Form the mixture into ½ inch balls. Place them on prepared baking sheet and gently flatten them with the back of spoon.

  4. Bake until browned, about 10 minutes per side. Store any unoffered falafel in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

  5. In a small bowl mix the yogurt, tahini, lemon zest and garlic powder for dip. You can also omit the zest and powder.