Peekaboo Press

Bean beans good for the heart..

Hello friends!

Two children later I am excited to be back to the blog. So excited to share new tips, tricks, and ideas with you.

Right now, one child out with my hubby while the other child is napping and this means it is that time. That ever precious, me time. Since having two kids it happens very very rarely.

Let’s talk about bean salad shall we. So last night a Friday night dinner was whipped together making a yummy and quick delicious lasagna. What would I put on the side of this delicious dish?

what is in the pantry?

Red kidney beans, canned corn, ok let’s do this.

open. Drain. Rinse. Mix

red kidney beans and corn just ain’t gonna cut it…

Squeeze 1/2 lemon added good yumm..

3 turns of pepper shaker

1/2 tsp salt….

now we are getting somewhere.

this salad needs something green in it.

Kale: Grab. Tear a handful. Wash. Finely chop it up. Keep chopping needs to be smaller.

Toss and stir kale pieces in there.

1 good tablespoon of hemp seeds

and 1/4 cup of raisins.

drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

I’m sorry, but this was way better than the lasagna. Lasagna who?!

your family will not care that they are eating canned corn (who needs to know anyways) cause there is fresh delicious kale in there.. Hemp seeds, olive oil, beans. Delicious! Seriously good, healthy, and so so yummy!

try it tonight and let me know how it goes.

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Easy-licious Veggie Tofu Lasagna

What’s for dinner?

Easy Healthy and Delicious Veggie Tofu Lasagna

With a vegetarian husband and a toddler at home it’s not always so easy to create healthy and delicious dinners that will please each of our palates. Luckily, my son loves broccoli, amazingly it’s just about his favorite food.  Strange? I have no idea.. maybe because we sort of assumed he wouldn’t like it, we made such a big deal at first about how amazing and delicious broccoli was.. so he’s like… this is the best stuff ever!  We are like… we know!

He definitely loves foods with lots of flavor. Like soups or dishes that are cooked with onions.  I can definitely see the difference as he says “more!” Such a young man he is. Eating like the rest of us.

This lasagna is full of flavor and the easy part is you can adapt it anyway that best suits the taste buds of your family members. You can add meat sauce, replace tofu for ricotta cheese. Do whatever works for you. Spinach is a yummy addition as well. I usually make this recipe with whatever I have on hand, be it carrots, corn, red kidney beans.

Another amazing idea, which we actually do often is replace the pasta with large slices of sweet potato.  It is surprisingly the best thing ever. Our son is somewhat obsessed with baked sweet potato. Just nice to change it up a bit. Now that I think of it, long slices of eggplant should work very well too. So many ways to sneak in those veggies for non veggie loving children.

For this recipe I like to use a glass pan.  Today I used 2 9×9 square shaped pans. Planning to freeze one lasagna for later date. You could make one larger size if you have a larger rectangular glass pan.

This is also a perfect and great way to get the little ones helping in the kitchen.  Hand them a large wooden spoon and have them spread the sauce, veggies, place down pasta… help that mini chef gain confidence in the kitchen. Such a fun afternoon activity and look dinner is made!

Here is the recipe

Ingredients:

1. container of firm tofu

1/2 tsp. salt

1. can tomato sauce

2. heads of broccoli (chopped)

1 cup frozen peas (or any other frozen veggies you have on hand)

1 cup grated cheese (mozzarella or cheddar work well)

1 box whole wheat lasagna pasta. (You prob won’t need the whole box)

any herbs or flavoring you like… (ie. parsley, basil)

Directions:

1. preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. in food processor puree package of tofu adding salt along with any herbs or spices you choose to add flavor. (This step is in place of ricotta, ricotta would be perfect here too)

3. chop up broccoli into small chunks.

4. grate the cheese and set aside.

5. spread 1/2 cup of tomato sauce over bottom of the pan

6. place pasta on top of sauce covering surface of pan.

7. add layer of tofu and smooth over pasta to cover surface.

8. add a layer of broccoli and frozen peas or other veggies.

9. add layer of shredded cheese.

10. add layer of pasta sauce

11. add another layer of pasta to cover surface

12. add layer of tofu

13. another layer of veggies

14. layer of shredded cheese.

15. another layer of pasta!

16. cover with remainder of tomato sauce

17. top with shredded cheese

18. cover with tin foil

19 bake 350 for 1 hour. After 45 minutes remove tin foil.

serve and enjoy!

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” Oprah Winfrey

Hope your family enjoys it as much as mine did.

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first birthday

It happened…

HE TURNED ONE!

I have a ONE year old son!!  I have a one year old son??? What?..!

I love that boy MORE than he will ever know. We feel very blessed to have a happy and healthy one year old boy who fills us with so much love.. it’s overflowing.. blah blah mushy mushy- I know. But I would have never known the feeling until I got to experience it. It’s pure love.

We made it through the first year! What a great feeling. What an accomplishment! very hard to believe.

Ok- so his birthday was on Friday and we started the celebrations first thing in the morning. Got him dressed, tried to tame his sleepy hair, all while getting myself showered and ready for the day too. Do you know how to juggle? I never knew I could juggle so well. I have the best husband. and parents.

We took baby L downstairs to see a ‘special birthday’ decorated house just for him! Lots of fun dollar store party decorations, silly sound makers, lots of gift bags, balloons. He was like “Guys, what happened to the house?.. it’s pretty cool.. I like what you’ve done with the place”

Since he has recently dropped his first nap, we got his coat and boots on and headed out for a yummy yummy birthday breakfast with daddy, before he had to go to work. So much fun. Baby L knew something was different today.

He got the royal treatment starting with a pancake and eggs, banana and the coolest origami cut apple we have ever seen. Who knew Cora’s knew how to make animals out of apples.  That was really really fun for him. Maybe more fun for us… oy. cheap thrills.

We headed home, opened some presents, and then my mom came over to play with L before nap time.

I love nap time.

Anyways, the night before his birthday, my amazingly talented baker cousin came over to make Elmo cupcakes with me.

We weren’t having so many people over for his actual birthday, but thought this would be so exciting and fun for him.

I love to bake, but know nothing about decorating. She taught me a lot.  She also made an amazing Thomas cake for some other family that came to see him on Monday. I already hired her for his real birthday party next week.

Here are a few of the awesome Elmo cupcakes! They were SOO delish!

 

Elmo getting fur!

Elmo getting eyes!

Elmo looking so cute all dressed up to celebrate L’s 1st Birthday!

and yet we still have one more party – the real birthday party next week.

Let the fun and last minute planning begin…

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Food Glorious Food!

Hi Friends!

Now this is a great use of my son’s nap time. Back to the blog!  I know that I’ve been away a little while.    Well anyways, I’m here and that’s all that matters  🙂

1st Birthday planning continues…..

As I decide the menu for my boys big day… I’m excited about all of the ideas that come to my head, but then I realize all the work and time it will take to make each recipe.

This party is one month away!

The date and time are set, invites are out, guests have RSVP. We are having a gathering of about 25 close family and friends at our home. The menu will be brunch food, but the theme of the party is still to be determined.

Last week I went to check out a great party store in our area and they had tons of themes to choose from. The ones that stood out to me were “Thomas”, “Winnie the Pooh”, or just a generic “1st Birthday”. I am leaning towards Thomas because my son loves this large colorful “Thomas and Friends” book that he spends quite a bit of time reading and pointing to the pictures saying, “that” and identifying the birds and the water and even the banana in the picture- hehe, it’s such a pleasure to watch him as he keeps growing and learning. He is such a blessing to us. Is he really a year old in just a few short weeks?  Wow. How life has changed.  Amazing how precious each moment is. Life is such a gift.

Thomas is one of the books that holds his interest the longest and he LOVES books… that’s gotta say something!

WHAT SHALL WE EAT?

Now for the menu- I’m thinking lots of mini personal portions. Easy to grab, mingle, laugh, play, and eat.

Some ideas are :

  • Mini chocolate chip pancakes
  • Cookie cutter grilled cheese
  • Carrot and zucchini muffins with cream cheese icing.
  • Fruit skewers
  • Sweet potato fries
  • Veggies and dip

I am so excited about this yummy yummy looking recipe from the fabulous Bakerella website!

Mini Maple Pancake Muffins

Here is a pic just so you get the idea of how delectable and CUTE these are!

Here is one more Yum Yum Yummy looking and healthy I might add, recipe from the great Weelicious website.

Weelicious has wonderful kid friendly recipes that are healthy and very appealing to the whole family.

Zucchini Muffins

Looks something like this..~!  Let’s get those veggies into the kids- when the kids are happy, the parents are happy, and when the parents are happy- everyone is happY!

Have any more suggestions for me??  Please let me know!  Can’t wait to hear.

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You’re Invited

So you’ve got your guest list together.  Bravo, we are making progress!

I made mine (I think) and I hope I can fit all those guests in my house!  My husband asked, where will we put all the shoes?  I said.. if that’s our only prob we are doing ok!

Making a guest list is not so easy. We want to have our son’s little friends and their parents, which is about 30 people.  We will have our close families as well. We need to consider if we have enough room to comfortably have our other good friends and their spouses who don’t have kids, which would add about another 10 people! Our son’s birthday falls on the Canadian Family Day long weekend.  Yes, we have a holiday called ‘Family Day’.. A day off work, sounds good to us! So we decided to make the party the following weekend in case people decide to go out-of-town. So we still debate about the guest list and numbers.. can we fit close to 50 guests in our home… so we are finalizing this decision…

So venue is chosen. Home is free and comfortable and perfect for a 1st birthday party. He’s turning one, as if he’s going to remember much later anyways.

guests are narrowed down (or almost..)

Now onto some FUN! Let’s pick some invitations shall we.

I LOVE choosing invitations. Ya know, it says a lot about the type of party you’re gonna have.  It announces the party, it reveals the theme of the party (if you choose to have one) gives your guest all the deets about the special event.  Cross your fingers they don’t already have a commitment!

Which leads us to, “When do I send the invitation?”

I didn’t quite know the best answer… I looked online and asked around and the responses ranged from 2 weeks (which I think is too close) to 6 weeks (which may be ok or a bit too far away from the event) I would say 4-6 weeks would be a safe bet for a birthday party (Weddings or larger affairs are a different story). If you have a better response to when to send invites, please let me know! This gives your guests a chance to organize their weekend, review their schedules, reply to the invite with their yea or nay response.

Did I mention that I LOVE choosing invitations? It can be a very creative and fun experience.  Doesn’t have to be stressful and overwhelming!  Personally, I love all things crafty, but who has the time to make like Martha S. and gather all the materials from a craft store, to sit and cut, stamp, ribbon, print, design to create the most  aDoRaBlE & sTuNnInG invitation I have ever seen!  Likely many of you don’t have time for that.  Though it is tempting and exciting and absolutely doable.  If you are planning on a budget and have the time, totally a great idea!! Check out your local craft store or even online craft supply stores for ideas and product info.

INVITATIONS

all online:

  1. EVITE – Receiving an invitation online is always great too. Evite is simple, cute, easy and lets guests comment on online discussion if necessary too. For instance, if you are arranging a potluck and guests are discussing what to bring, it’s an easy tool to allow for chit-chat and notifies you when guests reply.  Keeps responses organized, no worry about being lost in the mail or finding stamps, no addresses to gather etc.  So it does the trick. They have a huge assortment of designs for all occasions too. Check online at their site, it might inspire you to throw a party of some sort, for instance a ‘tailgating’ party.. yes it’s there! check to see if I’m lying  😉

Not often do we receive invitations by mail anymore, so this could be a nice touch. Receiving something in the mail that is not a bill is always EXCITING. Here is a list of some wonderful places to order invitations of various beautiful designs and price ranges.

Check out these great online sites with a huge selection of designs to choose from.

Simplytoimpress.com – Wide variety of invitations for all occasions. Check now there is a shipping promo code for the holidays. Always a help, and take advantage of this while it lasts.  See, it pays to be organized!

Here are a couple of examples of the no-photo kids invitations.  All the sites are amazing with super selection at various price ranges.

Sweet and Simple Cupcake Invite from Simply to Impress

Make a splash with this adorable firetruck invite from Simply to Impress. Many more great designs to choose from.

minted.com – Very cool designs that are stylish and adorable. Many can be personalized with a photo of your sweetie-pie. Also check out their baby keepsake journals. Such a lovely idea to have a personalized notebook to record all your baby’s milestones.

Check out these cute minted invites.  Way more options to see online.

Minted boys birthday invitation

Bring out the artist in every child with this great invite from Minted

The Paper Boutique – Toronto based company with a beautiful selection of awesome designs for all occasions. They do most of their printing right on site and it sounds like they can really customize and work one on one with you to design the perfect invitation for you.

Look at this adorable monkey design from The Paper Boutique. I really like this one!

Your guests will definitely want to come 'hang out' with your little one on his or her special day. Too cute.

Here are some other great links that will have lots of wonderful selections with gorgeous designs to suit everyone’s taste and needs.

Sixapple.com

Vistaprint

Tiny Prints

Mixbook

As I mentioned… too many options, but it’s fun to search, see what you like and gather some good ideas.  EnjoY!

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Sweets for your Sweet

mmmmm!!! as my son would say.

You say Chocolate and I say WHERE?!

Take a look at this place!

Double Chocolate Fountain

fun foods. So so fun!

amazingly delicious sweet ideas: hot chocolate, chocolate bar maker, candy apples, cotton candy, smores, pancakes, an amazing double chocolate fountain!!! and MORE. This company serves the GTA, but check if your city has something like this.

ok maybe this is a bit larger scale like wedding or sweet sixteen, but you can definitely get inspired by the sweets on this site for your sweet little one and his or her sweet little friends, cousins and grownups at the party.  wow. this might be another ‘go big idea’ but why not?  If you are having a larger size group gathering, why not have a station that all the guests can visit. Think about it, you won’t have to worry about buying all the ingredients or sweating over the stove worrying about burning the goods.

Check out these amazing looking pancakes!

Woahh... impressive much!?

 

Candy Apples… so much FuN for everyone!

Yum.... there is an apple under all that candy, I'm sure of it.

 

 

While your guests are around playing and chatting, be present, so the party doesn’t just pass by like a blur.

Enjoy it, play with your child and relax with your family and friends.

The goal is to make it as stress free as possible!

The first birthday is a special one, yes the second birthday might have some high expectations, but just tell them you are out-of-town or something, who will care?

Splurge on your little one!! 

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Go BIG !

Well well well… what have I stumbled across here.

Ok I was kidding about the Bar Mitzvah blog post, though I wouldn’t be so surprised if I found one of these very awesome bouncy castles at a Bar Mitzvah somewhere around town this weekend! Not such a bad idea, eh?

Ok.. so back to planning a kiddy party.

Thinking of having a party at home? Maybe in the backyard?  Unfortunately my babes birthday is in ice-cold February, so this won’t be the best option for us.  If you are planning ahead for spring or summer… you are organized, on the ball, and probably shouldn’t rub in how late I am starting to plan this party.

With all that being said… If you are looking to go really BIG for this party, you might be interested to check out this place.

They specialize in renting out bouncy castles and other inflatable large structures that the older kids will love at your party.  If you are not local to the GTA I’m sure your area has a similar rental service.

 

Adventure Mania Inflatable Rentals

As I mentioned this is a BIG idea, not necessarily needed for a wonderful and memorable small-scale party, but from the looks of the pics, how could your party not be a complete success? You will likely be giving the kids a new amazing experience, which will grant them with a very warm and lasting memory from that special day.

So, go BIG..or stay home.. or go BIG at home!

very cool idea that the kids will LOVE!!

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Planning 1st Birthday Party

We are halfway through December and my almost 10 month old will be a 1 year old before I can say, “OMG, my newborn is a toddler now!!” or “OMG, I have a one year old son?!”

It’s almost February, my little boys birthday month, and the most I have planned for his very special first birthday party is….. um… can you hear the crickets chirping…. nothing.  oy!

So I search online and  I see SOOO many fabulous ideas… the perfect cupcake, the perfect theme, the perfect venue, even the perfect lootbag.  My problem is there are too many ideas!

Here is my first mission: to help myself and help you plan a birthday party with as little stress and as much fun, giggles and smiles as possible.

Let’s get started.

The list..

  1.  List of guests  (number, ages)
  2.  Location (directions, contact info)
  3.  Invitations (online,mail)
  4.  Food/Drinks /Cake/ other yummy desserts (adult food, kiddy food, baby food)
  5.  Entertainment ( professional kids singer ,crazy clown, DJ, old school Raffi jammin on your at home CD player)
  6.  Theme ( Teddy Bear Picnic, Spiderman, Thomas, Cars, Micky Mouse)
  7.  Plates/Napkins/Cutlery /cups (Colours, Sizes)

In the end, I know that my baby boy will be happy even if it is just mommy and daddy there smiling and making goofy faces at him.  If the party is a total fail, oh well, he likely won’t remember… he might have sweet dreams about all of the exciting boxes and torn wrapping paper he gets to play with. If he is lucky I might let him tear apart his birthday cake and take pictures of him doing it to embarrass him at his Bar Mitzvah.

OMG, that’s only 12 years away!

next blog.. planning your sons Bar Mitzvah… see above list.. hasn’t changed much

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