Ingredient: salt

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Pancakes

Do you have a favorite kids’ movie? There are plenty of kids shows and movies I can’t stand. Mickey Mouse Clubhouse ranks #1 on that list. Lily was probably 18 months old when she started watching this incessantly. I considered Little Einsteins, with its plot lines and dash of cultural exposure in the form of classical music and sometimes discordant art choices, a refreshing change from MMC’s vapid characters and gender stereotypes. Also, you can’t even spell “Mickey Mouse” instead of saying it in front of your kids because it’s in the theme song.

Before Sunday morning there were only three children’s movies/shows I actually enjoyed watching: The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo’s Child, and Room on the Broom. I’ve even let Lily watch all three in sequence because I wanted to watch all three. Anyway, Sunday morning Lily woke up at 5:45am. Usually she’ll just stay in her room reading or go back there after using the bathroom until I say she can get up. This morning she was complaining her stomach hurt and she didn’t eat either snack I brought her in bed so I knew it was real. We went downstairs and I asked if she wanted to finish watching The Snowy Day which we’d started last night. I’d sort of tricked her into watching a show of my choosing by coercing her with a new app because I couldn’t deal with 15 minutes of Paw Patrol. Anyway, I set her up with the iPad and covered my head with a blanket in an attempt to fall back asleep. It wasn’t long before I discovered it was another Gruffalo’s Child and I couldn’t stop sneaking peeks. It was a snowy day out here in WNY and those snowman pancakes looked so darn cute so…this happened:

Snowman pancake
Snowman pancake

I enjoyed making these pancakes way more than Lily enjoyed eating them. Pretty sure she didn’t appreciate the connection to the movie. This is the second time in my life I’ve made something cute out of food, and the second time Lily didn’t quite get it. Last time it was flag toast on the 4th of July. She doesn’t even know what a flag is.

I love Sally’s Baking Addiction for everything baked-goods. When I Pinterested “whole wheat oatmeal pancakes” and saw this recipe pinned, I knew it would be good. I never think twice about baking something from her site because it always comes out well. Thanks Sally’s Baking Addiction!

I always try to have pancakes in the freezer because they are so easy to pop in the microwave and serve up. This recipe is packed with whole grains, and the Greek yogurt provides some protein. I actually cut the sugar down so I wouldn’t feel so bad about feeding them to Maggie, and no one noticed the difference. You could cut it out completely, but just make sure to replace it with a little bit of something dry like ground flax.

PS: Do you have an electric griddle? You can get a good one for under $30 and it is so worth being able to quickly cook pancakes and French toast in big batches. Also, if you’re like me and burn everything, it’s well worth the investment.

Print Recipe
Whole Wheat Oatmeal Muffins
Course Breakfast
Servings
Pancakes
Ingredients
Course Breakfast
Servings
Pancakes
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Toss flour, oats, salt, baking powder, and spices together. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs and milk together. Add sugar and yogurt and whisk until no lumps remain, then add vanilla and mix until well combined.
  2. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Don't overmix or beat! Fold in add-ins until just combined.
  3. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Generously coat with cooking spray. Add batter and flip after bubbles start to appear. Make sure to re-coat pan before adding more batter, or if you're like me and burn everything, use an electric griddle.
  4. Serve with powdered sugar, maple syrup, or your preferred toppings. These freeze great!
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Banana Pumpkin Oat Muffins

Sometimes I’m taken aback by the extent to which Lily and I are on the same wavelength. It’s rarely anything existential, and is usually more along the lines of both wanting to go get ice cream. I say rarely existential because we had this one car ride a few months ago where Lily said something like, “Mom, do you feel like the moon?” and then proceeded to go through things like “a star,” “an owl,” “a bear,” and it turned into this whole experience where we talked about what it would feel like to be each of those things. Anywho…

Last Thursday I gave up all hope of waking up early to run, and let Lily come in my bed after Ryan left for work at 6am. I couldn’t remember the last time I didn’t wake up to an alarm on a weekday morning, and it was just so relaxing and warm in bed. Lily was semi-asleep, and the thought of getting up and making banana muffins crossed my mind. Of course this was a Thursday and already an hour later than my normal wake up and I was on my own with both kids, but I had a feeling the morning was going to go more smoothly than most. That’s when Lily looked at me and said, “I want a muffin.” I swear we share brain waves.

I’ve been using the same basic banana oatmeal muffin recipe for a few years. I look at recipes more as suggestions, and also never seem to have the right ingredients on hand or have others I want to use up, so I’ve adapted this recipe many times. This version was by far the best, so I actually wrote down what I ended up using because I might even make the exact same recipe again.

I know I mentioned in my lactation cookie recipe that I always double baked good recipes, because if a recipe doesn’t make enough to freeze, I don’t have time for it. But did I mention that to do this, I have to use a massive salad bowl? It’s kind of ridiculous.

I happened to only have 2 really ripe bananas, but I had a can of pumpkin I had been wanting to use up. So glad I decided to try this. I was also out of regular sugar and didn’t have quite enough brown sugar, so I added some maple syrup. The batter was a little wet at the end, but a healthy heap of ground flax brought it to just the right consistency.

Have you discovered how much you can get done in 10 minutes yet? I went upstairs to take a shower while the first batch was in the oven, with just over 10 minutes until the timer would go off. I figured they’d be a little overlooked, but when I ran back downstairs there were still 3 minutes left on the clock. I had this weird Twilight Zone experience and had to check that yes, Lily was still alive in the living room, and yes, I had managed to wash my hair and put lotion on in 7 minutes.

Somehow Maggie, Lily, and I all managed to eat breakfast together. Did I just admit giving a muffin with added sugar to my 9 month old? I considered using honey but chose maple syrup because botulism, so it cancels out.

Lily warming up with a muffin after a smoothie “freeze attack.”

BTW, Lily asked, “Do these muffins have wheat?” So considerate of her gluten-intolerant relatives.

Of course, less than a week after making this double batch of muffins there is only one left so we’ll be making some more this weekend.

I know this is a weird pic of Mags, but look at her mouth: she chews her food with her teeny tiny front teeth!

Print Recipe
Banana Pumpkin Oat Muffins
This super hearty muffin recipe is already doubled, so you can toss some in the freezer for an on-the-go breakfast.
Course Baked Goods
Servings
muffins
Ingredients
Course Baked Goods
Servings
muffins
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Combine flour, oats, flax, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg and cinnamon to taste. Set aside.
  2. In a very large bowl. beat the eggs lightly. Stir in the milk, oil, vanilla, and maple syrup. Add the mashed banana and pumpkin, and combine thoroughly. Stir in the dry mixture until just combined.
  3. Coat muffin tins with cooking spray, and fill 3/4.
  4. Bake at 400 degrees F for 18-20 minutes.
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Lactation Cookies

  1. Ladies, it has been an exhausting few weeks.

While I’ve been sticking to a 42.5 hour work week, Ryan has been putting in some really long hours. He’s been getting home after 8 three days a week and then working from home in the evening, and has also been working several hours every Saturday, and sometimes a few hours on Sunday. I’m an exempt employee, so working more hours doesn’t translate to more pay. Ryan, on the other hand, is self-employed and technically a business owner, so the more he works, the more he makes. When you have 2 kids, student loans (all mine), a mortgage, a garage door and hot water heater that need to be replaced, and five weddings coming up, that ends up translating to a lot more hours worked.

Maggie is still waking up to nurse three times a night. I fell asleep in the rocker while feeding her twice the other night. We’ve sort of tried to sleep train her, but she also keeps getting sick, and when she’s not sick she’s teething, so it’s been a nightmare. She also doesn’t respond well to us going in at increased time intervals–she doesn’t calm down at all in between, and we’re too exhausted to listen to her crying for an hour. Last night, I slept in the basement after 2:58am because I can’t sleep through her crying.

Maggie of course isn’t the only one who’s been sick. Ryan has been since Christmas, and ended up with strep. He can’t seem to kick whatever he has. I used to stay late at work sometimes and put in a few hours on the weekend, but I’ve gotten to a point where 1) I want to spend that time with my kids and 2) I don’t have time because laundry/grocery shopping/cleaning/meal prep/etc.

Lily has been battling cold after cold and a nasty cough since before her birthday that also have her up at night, and I ended up in urgent care with her last Friday night. She officially has “reactive airways” (asthma, but they don’t call it that until age 4), so is now on treatments for that which make her super wound up and aggressive. I’ll do a post on RSV and her respiratory issues at another time, but let me just say she is a trooper. With her and Maggie waking up through the night though, and both of them only wanting me, I. am. EXHAUSTED.

I was craving cookies last week, and decided I needed to do some baking before I went broke buying one every other day, or Lily started wondering where all her animal crackers were going. Turned out I was getting my period, which meant not only cravings, but a plummet in my milk supply. I see a direct correlation between my sleep and my milk supply, and at this point I was only producing 7 or 8 oz. while I was at work.

I had tried making lactation cookies when Maggie was a month or two old, but they didn’t do anything for me. They were SO delicious though (read: my husband wouldn’t stop eating them until I told him how expensive the ingredients were), and I had all these lactogenic ingredients lying around, so I figured if I was going to make cookies I may as well make them with a purpose.

The boob-juice inducing ingredients.

And guess what? They worked! For the first time in weeks I was able to pump enough milk that I didn’t have to supplement with formula. We finished them in just a few days, so I’m going to make some more this week (and hide them so no one else can eat them).

I used the same recipe that didn’t originally work for me, which I had originally chosen for its trifecta of lactogenic ingredients (maybe quadfecta? oats, brewers yeast, fenugreek, and flax seed). I don’t know about you, but when I make cookies I always double the recipe because who has time for 18 cookies. This recipe is already doubled! Extra bonus: the dough smells and tastes pretty unappetizing, so no little hands trying to sneak a taste while you’re whipping them up.

The only dough you’ll never be tempted to eat.

These are pretty hearty and they freeze really well, so I just microwave them for 30 seconds when I want one. So tasty all warmed up. I hope they work as well for you as they did for me!

I’m not the only one who makes giant cookies so I don’t have to feel bad about eating three, right?

Print Recipe
Lactation Cookies
Servings
Ingredients
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Mix flaxseed meal and water; set aside.
  3. Stir together flour, brewers yeast, salt, baking soda, and fenugreek. Set aside. (this is the stinky stuff)
  4. In a standing mixer or bowl, beat butter, coconut oil, and sugars until well-combined. Blend in eggs. Add flaxseed mixture and vanilla and mix until incorporated.
  5. Add dry mixture. Mix until just combined. Stir in oats and chocolate chips.
  6. Scoop 2 Tbsp dough (eh, mine were 1/4 cup) onto baking sheet, an inch apart.
  7. Bake for 10-13 minutes (if they're big like mine), or until matte on top.
  8. After they're cooled, store in a freezer bag in the freezer. Microwave 30 seconds before enjoying!
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