the ultimate little miss blog

December 12th

Ready, Set, Weekend with the Garden of Eatin

Did you get invited to a holiday dinner and the host asked you to bring dessert? Well check this one out…easy, delish and so gorgeous it will knock her socks off…
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 3/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated low-fat milk
2 large egg whites
1 large egg
1 (15-ounce) can unsweetened pumpkin

GOE foolproof pie crust:
2 1/4 cups pastry flour
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup crisco (the solid shortening)
Pinch of salt
Use a pastry blender and by hand work the ingredients above into a ball. Add 1/3 cup ice cold orange juice and continue forming a dough ball. Use some extra flour on a wooden board and roll out dough to desired size.

Use excess dough to make your leaves with pie cutters. Brush with egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tsp milk). Bake on silicone sheet or parchment at 350F for 10 – 12 minutes.
Kick up the oven temp to 425°.
To prepare filling, combine first 8 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add pumpkin, and stir with a whisk until smooth.
Prepare crust, roll dough into an 11-inch circle; fit into a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. Fold edges under and flute.
Pour pumpkin mixture into the crust. Place pie plate on a baking sheet. Place baking sheet on lowest oven rack. Bake at 425° for 10 minutes. Cover edges of crust with foil to prevent burning. Reduce oven temperature to 350° & bake an additional 50 minutes or until almost set. Cool completely on wire rack. Garnish with pie crust leaves & sugar coated fresh cranberries.

categories: Baking, Dessert, Dinner Party, Holidays, Little Miss Foodie, Sweets, The Garden of Eatin'

December 9th

Whipping up Winter Smoothies with Luke

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Just as smoothies are often left behind as temperatures drop, fruits who reach their peak in the wintertime are frequently overlooked. So when Seri asked me to come up with a winter smoothie for the boys, I immediately looked to some underutilized winter fruits as inspiration. And what better timing given that we heard from our friends over at Williams-Sonoma it’s Smoothie Week!
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I enlisted the help of sous chef Luke, and together we brainstormed winter flavors. Luke wanted to use cranberries, which I thought, combined with Greek yogurt and honey, would make an excellent base to build the rest of the recipe around. You know what else came to mind while putting these recipes together? GIFTS! How fun would it be to give a Williams-Sonoma blender to someone for Christmas?! I would put it together with a couple pretty glasses, my smoothie recipes and some stripe paper straws. FUN!
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Winter Smoothie3
Here’s how we whipped up this light, festive and wintry smoothie:
1 cup cranberry juice (we used cranberry raspberry)
½ cup unsweetened coconut milk
½ cup greek yogurt, plain
1 tbsp. of honey
5 cranberries
5 ice cubes
Pinch of sugar to taste
Combine all ingredients in a blender.
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Now for the fun part: candy garnishes. The healthy winter smoothie can easily be transformed into a winter dessert by adding a few marshmallows on top. Stick a Jolly Rancher candy cane in there and your little ones will devour the whole glass.
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We also came up with a citrus smoothie inspired by of all the runny noses in school these days and in hopes of strengthening our immune systems to stay healthy as the weather turns chilly.
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Mulling wine was fresh on my mind from Thanksgiving, so I knew that oranges would be a great compliment to cinnamon. Citrus tends to be at its ripest during the colder months, so the wintertime is a great time to take advantage of their juicy goodness.
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Winter Smoothie15
To thicken this smoothie we added a banana and we toyed with a persimmon which also made for a bright and festive colored garnish on our cups.
Here’s how we whipped up this orange smoothie:
I cup orange juice
1 banana
1/2 cup coconut water
1 tsp of cinnamon
1 thick slice of persimmon, cut into chunks (peel removed)
A few ice cubes
Combine all of the ingredients above and top with a splash of sparkling tangerine juice.
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Enjoy, stay warm and CHEERS!
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categories: Breakfast, Cocktails, Dessert, Guest Post, Holidays, Kids eats, Little Miss Foodie, Little Miss Mommy, Sweets

November 28th

Ready, Set, Weekend with The Garden of Eatin’

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IF you are as OLD as I am you may remember this catchy tune about a miner’s daughter whose name was Clementine. Since I started writing this blog it seems that I can’t get that song outta my head so I’m going to share it with you as well to drive you crazy. Just click on this short video to sing along. And while you’re singing here’s a brief bio on a Clementine Orange: A clementine is a hybrid between a mandarin and a sweet orange. The exterior is a deep orange colour with a smooth, glossy appearance. Clementines can be separated into 7 to 14 segments. They tend to be very easy to peel, like a tangerine, but are almost always seedless with the exception of the odd one that I get with a pit.TheGardenofEatin 11.26 7

My youngest child loves clementines. The picture below is titled “elephant face” and as you can see his artistic talent for peeling them into odd shapes are clearly stellar. Back to the clementines….you will notice them showing up at your local supermarket from mid-November through January. It’s the only time of year you can truly get a good clementine. Let’s just call it a Winter season bonus.
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I’ve also given you a two versions of this orange cranberry cake to try – including a dairy free and gluten free one if you need that option for allergies. Oooooooo and I decided to take it to the next level and create a garnish for the cake with candied clementines. Stunning no?
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Here’s how ya do it:
Version #1 –  Clementine Cranberry Cake:
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup white sugar
1/3 cup orange juice
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
2 tablespoons grated clementine orange zest
1 cup orange juice
3/4 cup white sugar
Grease and flour an 8 inch bundt or tube pan. Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together 1 cup of white sugar, 1/3 cup of orange juice, eggs, buttermilk and vegetable oil using an electric mixer or your stand mixer. Add the dry ingredients and mix just until moistened. Fold in cranberries and orange zest. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly.TheGardenofEatin 11.26 20
Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick is inserted into the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan set over a wire rack for 15 to 20 minutes. Invert cake onto serving dish and cool completely before glazing and garnishing.
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Version #2 – Dairy and Gluten Free Candied Clementine & Cranberry Cake
¼ cup + 1 tbls Milk or any non-dairy substitute such as almond or soy
1 tsp lemon juice
2 cups packed almond flour
¾ cup starch (potato or arrowroot is fine)
½ cup organic sugar
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1/3 cup melted coconut oil (or melted butter or other oil is fine too)
2 large eggs
1 ¼ cup frozen or fresh cranberries
Zest of 2 clementines
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a small cake pan ( I used a 6 inch)  with coconut oil or line with parchment paper. In a small bowl combine “milk” with lemon juice. Set aside for 5 minutes (you are creating your own mock buttermilk at this stage)…cool eh?
In a large bowl combine almond flour, starch, sugar, baking powder, salt and stir well. Add in the melted coconut oil, eggs and your mock buttermilk. Stir in cranberries and clementine zest. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth out surface. Bake for 40 minutes or until toothpick is inserted and comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes in pan and release onto plate to continue to cool completely.
Candied Clementines:
Slice 6 clementines thinly. Bring one cup of water and 1 ¾ cups of sugar to a slow boil. Add in the clementines and simmer for 25 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon onto cooling rack and place in fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight.TheGardenofEatin 11.26 2
Clementine Glaze:
1 ½ cups powdered icing sugar
Juice from 2 clementines
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Sift sugar into bowl. Add 2 tbls of clementine juice and mix. Keep adding juice until you arrive at the consistency for a nice drippy glaze. You don’t want it too thick otherwise it will not pour over the edge of the cake. Spread on top to the edges and watch it roll!
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Garnish with your candies clementines……..OH MY DARLING !!!TheGardenofEatin 11.26 17TheGardenofEatin 11.26 19
Debi @thegardenofeatin

categories: Baking, Brunch, Dessert, Food, Guest Post, Little Miss Foodie, Sweets, The Garden of Eatin'

November 25th

3 Ways to keep your Little Turkeys busy on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is days away. There are groceries to buy, ingredients to get prepped, wine to chill. All to do while tending to our little ones.  It’s one of my favorite holidays but seriously, since having kids, it’s a doozy. There is so much that you put into this one day!
Who am I to complain though?  Great food, family and friends?  I’ll take it! I just need my kids to keep busy so I can enjoy it all!
Here are a few ideas on how you can get the kids table set up with activities to enjoy throughout your gathering…and don’t worry…these are EASY ideas…you can handle it!
1.)   Turkey Apples:  Does it get cuter then this??  No seriously folks. Does it? Here’s what you need for the set up:
*An apple for each child
*Edible Items to create your turkey – check your pantry before you buy anything! Examples are: Mini marshmallows, Cranberries, baby tomatoes, candy corn…
*Googly eyes and craft glue
Now your kids can STICK it to the apple! That’s the name of the game. Let the kids stick the items onto toothpicks and poke ‘em into the apples to create turkey. Glue the googly eyes on (and any other crafty items you may have on hand…like pom poms). So fun!
2.)   The Giving Tree: Do you own this book?  If you don’t, get it!  Makes for a GREAT holiday gift. What a fabulous book. Well the Giving Tree and my Aunt Marissa who is the craftiest gal around were the inspiration for this next holiday activity. Here’s how you do it –
*Tree branch – check the street or your backyard for a clean branch. Take it home and set into a block of clay or a small pumpkin..
*Grab some construction paper or card stock and trace + cut a leaf out for each child. Is your child old enough to use scissors?  Then let them do this step instead!
*Have a hole puncher and string or twine on hand…
*Set out markers and ask your children to write on their leaf – what are you thankful for.
*Hang the leaves on the tree and what do you have?  A giving tree!
3.)   SNACKS: We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. SNACKS SNACKS SNACKS are the key to keeping kids quiet and happy.  Here’s what I’ve noticed from all of the entertaining that I have done since having children…when other children are around – my kids want nothing to do with me or eating. They turn into wild lunatics and won’t sit still for one second. SO…I set out tons of snacks to give them something to grab and run with as they go nuts. Here’s what we suggest serving to the little ones this Thanksgiving…so at least they eat something!
*Festive crudités: My kids happen to love veggies. If yours don’t – please don’t stop reading. Just trust me when I tell you…if you make it look a little prettier then normal…they may be willing to try it. For Thanksgiving we used orange and yellow veggies (set out fruit too!) and hollowed out a pumpkin for some ranch to dip. Crunchy, delicious and EASY!
*Pumpkin pie muffins. We did a quick search and found the easiest recipe possible. Add some powdered sugar on top and be careful…these will go FAST! They are delicious.  And if you overbought on ingredients…use them on your platters! How pretty do these muffins look on a bed of cranberries?!
Have any great craft ideas or recipes to share with us for Thanksgiving? Leave us a note in the comments. We’d love to hear what you’re cookin’ up this Thanksgiving!
We are so excited to spend time with our families this week…and dare I say, relax a little bit?!
However you’re spending it…Happy Turkey Day!
Gobble Gobble.

*All photos above were taken by the lovely Karilyn Sanders.

categories: Appetizers, Decorating, Food, Holidays, Kids eats, Little Miss Foodie, Little Miss Mommy, Photography, Sweets, Toddler activities

November 24th

Mandy’s Meals & Mores

Thanksgiving is almost here! Dust off your china and pull out the silver…just kidding, Thanksgiving can be easy and casual. Here’s a couple tips and tricks using items that are accessible and inexpensive.
Delicious olives in a mini pumpkin? Yes please! Simply cut off the top of any “gourd” and scoop out the seeds and “brains”. The seeds would be fabulous later roasted with a little garlic powder and rosemary. YUM!
We’ve got munchies covered, what about the table? People stress too much about the details, we need room for food after all. Here is a super cute option for napkins, even the most novice of host can master this trick!
Lay out the square napkin, can be paper or cloth either works, and begin to fold the full length of the napkin back and forth in opposite directions like a fan. Keep the folds about an inch thick. Once you have finished the whole napkin fold in half and grab the “handle”.
Now it’s time to get creative: slip on a napkin ring, tie a ribbon, or wrap some twine. Go nuts.
What about the kids? Getting them involved in set up can be fun!
Have them choose from different colored napkins to stuff their glasses with. Cover the tables with craft paper for crayon play before or after dinner.
Use fresh herbs on their table and ask them to smell and taste them…

If you’ve got time to make pie, kids often love helping in the kitchen. No time? No Problem! Buy a premade pie from the baker and make some homemade whip cream. Like what you see below? Copper Moscow Mule mugs and Thanksgiving plates both from Crate and Barrel.
Wishing all of our favorite Americans a fabulous thanksgiving filled with delicious food, family and friends.

Photos above were taken by Karilyn Sanders.

categories: Appetizers, Baking, Chicken & Turkey, Cocktails, Dinner Party, Guest Post, Holidays, Little Miss Foodie, Sweets



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