Gingerbread Applesauce + @OXOTot Product Review #Sponsored

I don't know about you, but once the weather hits freezing I'm ready to hibernate. Even my son, who is usually a little ball of energy sleeps in later and wants to spend more time cuddled in bed where it's warm. Today he got up at 8, realized how chilly the tile floor was, then came straight back to my room toting his handmade blanket from grandma and three of his most favorite stuffed animals—we didn't get up again until after 11.

Saturday is the day I normally dedicate to getting things done, be it house cleaning or blogging, but today I shoved it all aside to spend a few precious hours cuddling with my son. He's 4 now, in a very short while he'll decide he's too old to spend his days cuddled up in bed giving me big hugs and sloppy puppy kisses, so I try to drop whatever I'm doing and take advantage of this time while I can.

I think it's important for all parents to remember that these precious moments are the ones we can never get back. From time-to-time we need to slow down, forget about the laundry list of things we "need" to do and focus on what's truly important—creating lasting memories with our children. Take a minute to read a book, draw in the condensation on the windows, make snow angels, decorate cookies, or make some applesauce. Memories like these will last a lifetime and five-ten-twenty or more years from now you won't remember that the house looked like a tornado went through it because you took the day off from cleaning.

Today's post was sponsored by OXO as part of the OXO Tot Big Kids, Big Appetites blogger outreach campaign. They have provided me with a set of tools from their OXO Tot line, but no other compensation was given for this post. 

Today's post was sponsored by OXO as part of the OXO Tot Big Kids, Big Appetites blogger outreach campaign. They have provided me with a set of tools from their OXO Tot line, but no other compensation was given for this post. 

Gingerbread Applesauce
makes 2 - 3 pints

Ingredients

3lbs apples, any variety (I used Aurora Golden Gala)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon ground all spice
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsulfured molasses 

Directions

  • Peel and slice apples, add spices, vanilla extract, and molasses, then cook on high in a crock-pot for 3 - 4 hours. The applesauce is done when it can easily be mashed with a fork or potato masher.

Notes

I prefer to serve my applesauce chunky, but you can puree it with a food mill, immersion blender, or food processor for a finer sauce. You'll want to let it cool down a little first to avoid any chance of burns.

I include canning instructions with most of my applesauce recipes, but because this recipe contains molasses I'm not positive that it's safe for water bath canning. That doesn't mean you can't can this recipe, but you'll want to leave out the molasses until you're ready to serve it. For water bath canning instructions check out our previous applesauce posts: Easy Crock-Pot ApplesauceStrawberry ApplesauceSpiced Blueberry Applesauce and Peach Applesauce.
 

Make sure to keep reading for our OXO Tot product review!

No shirt, no shoes, no service is clearly not a rule in our house! 

No shirt, no shoes, no service is clearly not a rule in our house! 

We've gone through quite a few plates in the past four years, but the divided plate from OXO is one of my favorites. The smaller size makes it easy for a child to grip while eating and the divided sections keep food mostly separated. I especially love the center dipping section, it's the perfect size for ketchup, syrup, or a dab of sour cream. The only thing this plate is missing is a lid, I'd love to have one so I can easily store leftovers.

Where to Purchase: Amazon or OXO

If you like this design, but prefer something with a lid there is a similar plate in the OXO Tot line, although it only has two sections. You can find it on Amazon.

Fork and Spoon Set

OXO sent me this set once before when my son was much smaller and it was all we used until he graduated to "big people" silverware. The large handles make the utensils easier for small hands to grip and the fork is slightly rounded to make scooping like a spoon possible as well. Now that my little man is older the blunt tines of the fork frustrate him, it makes stabbing larger pieces of meat difficult, but they're much safer for small ones just starting out with silverware.

Where to Purchase: Amazon or OXO

Perch Booster Seat

Because I travel so much I decided to purchase a booster seat for my son instead of a high chair, it made life so much easier when eating out at restaurants or while visiting homes not accustomed to hosting small children. The Perch Booster Seat wasn't available back then, so I ended up with one from Fisher-Price instead.

There are pros and cons to both models, but I like that the OXO Tot Perch Booster Seat weighs a mere 3lbs and has a slim profile—it makes traveling with it much more convenient. The Fisher-Price booster weighs a full pound more, which is a lot if you're already loaded down with a diaper bag and other odds and ends. Both models clean up easily, but you can actually remove the seat from the Perch Booster to get at any nooks and crannies food may have slipped into.

My son outgrew his last booster seat around age 2, so this is a great choice for older kids who are still too small to comfortably sit at the table. It's considered safe for children up to 70lbs, so should fit your needs though early elementary school.

Where to Purchase: Amazon or OXO

Disclosure

OXO sent me their Perch Booster Seat, Fork and Spoon Set, and Divided Plate with Removable Training Ring as part of this campaign. As always all opinions are my own.

This post contains my Amazon affiliate links. I try to keep advertising unobtrusive and to a minimum in order to provide you with the best experience possible. Purchases made through these links provide me with a small income and ensure I can continue providing you with quality content.

 

 

Pumpkin Bread with Pumpkin Pie Spiced Pepitas

Last year after the holidays I came across a great clearance deal—organic pumpkin was only $1 per can. I didn't know what I would do with it all, but I snapped up as much as possible since it didn't expire until sometime in 2017. Surely I could find a way to use 40 cans of pumpkin by then. It wasn't until a few weeks later I discovered that only half of my cans were actually pumpkin, the other half were pumpkin pie mix.

Talk about a major doh! moment.

I only make 1 pumpkin pie a year, what in the world was I going to do with 20 cans of pumpkin pie mix? I was pretty sure I couldn't be the only person on Earth to make this mistake, the cans for pumpkin and pumpkin pie mix look almost identical, so I turned to my trusty friend Google for answers. It turns out that there really aren't that many recipes out there that call for pumpkin pie mix.

I'm sure that comes as a total shock to you, doesn't it?

Not to be deterred I decided to follow someone's suggestion to make pumpkin bread out of it and it turned out fabulous. So, if you ever find yourself with a random can of pumpkin pie mix you now know what to do with it. Then again you could run out and buy one just to make this recipe—it's pretty tasty with a cup of chai or coffee.

Pumpkin Bread with Pumpkin Pie Spiced Pepitas

Pumpkin Bread with Pumpkin Pie Spiced Pepitas
makes 3 mini loaves
 

Ingredients


for the bread

½ cups white sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
15 ounce can pumpkin pie mix (not canned pumpkin)
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda

optional

pumpkin pie spiced pepitas
 

Directions

 

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. In a bowl combine sugar, unsalted butter, eggs, and pumpkin pie mix. Mix until well-combined, then add all-purpose flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Stir until the dry ingredients are throughly incorporated, pour into loaf pan, and top with pumpkin pie spiced pepitas.
  • Bake for 35 - 40 minutes in a preheated oven. Loaves are done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes away clean.

Notes

 

Mini loaf pan sizes vary quite a bit, which means baking time will vary as well. I used 7"x2.5"x1.8" paper loaf pans for this recipe. If you use a different size pan or one made of metal you may need to adjust your baking time. 

Can't find paper loaf pans? You can purchase them on Amazon, but I found mine at Home Goods for a little bit less.

Disclosure


This post contains my Amazon affiliate links. I try to keep advertising unobtrusive and to a minimum in order to provide you with the best experience possible. Purchases made through these links provide me with a small income and ensure I can continue providing you with quality content.

 

Honey Walnut Granola Breakfast Bowl

I'm always looking for easy breakfast ideas, which is why I love these granola breakfast bowls. I'm not a morning person, more often than not I skip breakfast in favor of a few extra minutes of sleep, but since these only take a few moments to toss together I can have breakfast ready in only a few minutes—no stove required. It's such a simple breakfast idea, it's a wonder I didn't think to start my morning this way years ago.

Honey Walnut Breakfast Bowl

Honey Walnut Granola Breakfast Bowl
makes 2 servings

Ingredients

1 cup vanilla bean yogurt
1 cup Honey Walnut Granola
1 ripe banana

optional

1 tablespoon real maple syrup

Directions

  • Scoop yogurt into a bowl, top with granola, add banana slices, then drizzle with maple syrup. Enjoy!