Mini Pumpkin Pies - Do the Little Monster Mash with @OXOTot #Sponsored

The past few months have been busy, so it's no huge surprise that the holidays have snuck up on me. I'm not sure where the time went, but there's only a week until Thanksgiving and I haven't even planned our menu yet. I'll admit I'm a little out of practice at menu planning, it's been years since we've stayed home for a holiday, which is why I've spent the past few days trying to get a handle on what I want to serve so I can write up the mile-long shopping list that generally accompanies one of my fabulous feasts.

Rather than save the best for last I decided to tackle our dessert spread first. We'll likely have a handful of children around the table so I've decided make a healthier version of our holiday favorites, starting with these mini pumpkin pies. OXO has once again sent us some tools from their OXO Tot line, so make sure to keep reading after the recipe for our full review of the products we used during the development of this recipe.

Today's post was sponsored by OXO as part of the Little Monster Mash OXO Tot 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 Little Monster Mash OXO Tot 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. 

Mini Pumpkin Pies for Tots

makes 6 servings


 


The great thing about this recipe is that it's flexible, you can easily adjust the ingredients as your little one grows. For younger children feel free to remove the butter (but not the milk) and scale back on the spices. The cooking time will be the same, but it will change the final texture. Older children love a little sugar mixed in, extra pumpkin pie spice, and a fun topping. To get them involved make sure to let them decorate their own mini "pie".

Ingredients


15 ounces canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
2 tablespoons salted butter, melted
1/4 cup milk
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or more to taste)

optional toppings

whipped cream
crushed graham crackers
maple syrup
leftover pie crust scraps (dipped in cinnamon sugar then baked)

 

Directions
 

 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. In a bowl combine pumpkin, melted butter, milk, eggs, and pumpkin pie spice, then blend until smooth. Spoon mixture into OXO's glass baby blocks or another 4 ounce oven-safe container and bake for 20 - 25 minutes, or until the top is a light golden brown. Make sure not to fill past the 3 ounce marker-line so you have room for expansion as the eggs bake.

Don't forget, you'll need to adjust the baking time if your containers are larger than 4 ounces.

  • Serve immediately with one of the optional toppings listed above or allow to cool on a wire rack for an hour, cover, and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Notes

 

This recipe makes slightly more than will fit in the OXO Tot glass blocks. Rather than scale the recipe down to fit in 4 containers I like to put the extra in a small oven-safe dish, add a bit of sugar (either white, brown, or both) and bake it along side the kid-friendly "pies". This way I have a small treat to eat during nap-time or later in the day when I need a sweet pick-me-up that won't leave me feeling guilty. 

A note on freezing:

Because this is technically a custard pie it will likely start to separate in the freezer, so while you can freeze it the texture will change and may not be appealing to a picky little one. I would do a test freeze and thaw of a single container to make sure your little one won't balk at the change in texture.

Want more great ideas to help you feed your tot? Check out our recipes for Easy Crockpot Applesauce, Gingerbread Applesauce, and Homemade Spaghetti O's.

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

Today we'll be looking at the Glass Baby Blocks, Food Masher, and Feeding Spoons from the OXO Tot line.

Product Review: OXO Tot Glass Baby Blocks, Food Masher, and Feeding Spoons

Review


Glass Baby Blocks

When my son was first starting on solids I tore the internet apart looking for small glass containers like this, but there really wasn't anything remotely similar on the market at the time. I eventually settled for a plastic set which has served me well over the past few years, but not all of the containers have held up to the abuses I've put them through (they eventually developed cracks in the bottom from being smashed in my diaper bag, which is why I was interested in a glass set in the first place.)

The bottoms of these blocks are made from borosilicate glass, which unlike plastic will never break down and can be taken straight from the fridge or freezer to the microwave or oven to be reheated as needed. You don't even need to defrost the food first, which is a huge plus when you're in a hurry (and let's be honest, when you have a screaming, hungry child you are always going to be in a hurry!)

What I really love about these containers is that they have a million and one uses beyond baby food. I use mine to store small amounts of chicken stock, fresh herbs in olive oil, leftover bits & bobs, and even salad dressing—the containers are leak-proof so they're great for tossing in lunch boxes. They're definitely not a one use product, which isn't something you can often say about a product designed for kids.

If you like the design, but aren't keen on using glass around your little one OXO does make a plastic version that comes in a variety of sizes.

Food Masher

At first I wasn't sure how much use I'd get out of the food masher, but I'm perfectly willing to admit when I'm wrong, there are some well-thought-out features included in the design that make this much more efficient than using a fork. First of all, the masher handle comes apart, so you can store everything inside the bowl allowing you to toss it in the diaper bag and go, without having to worry about bits of leftover food getting everywhere. This feature alone makes it worth the purchase price, I can't count the number of times I've tossed my mashing utensils in my diaper bag, leaving behind stray bits of food on my diapers and other whatnots. But the feature I really like are the teeth on the side of the masher, they make short work of stringy foods like sweet potato and I was able to have a nice smooth consistency in no time at all, which isn't always possible with a fork. This ended up being a real winner and as an added bonus it's really great at making small amounts of guacamole, so even after the baby is done with mashed food it's still useful in the kitchen.

Feeding Spoon Set with Soft Silicone

The soft silicone tip of this spoon is perfect for little ones just starting out with solid food and the material is gentle on the skin should you need to scrape stray bites off their face, neck, or belly (my kid can't possibly be the only one who has managed to get food stuck in his belly button, right?)


Where to Purchase


OXO Tot Glass Baby Blocks — OXO.COM or Amazon

OXO Tot Food Masher — OXO.COM (not yet available on Amazon)

OXO Tot Feeding Spoon Set with Soft Silicone — OXO.COM or Amazon

 

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.

Today's post was sponsored by OXO as part of the Little Monster Mash OXO Tot 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. 

Monster Mash with OXO Tot

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.

 

 

Spicy Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are a staple in this house for any holiday meal and in the past I've often spent hours in the kitchen preparing huge batches of fluffy potatoes loaded up with sour cream and butter. Several years ago I was looking to add a bit of variety to our holiday menu so I started making mashed sweet potatoes for our Thanksgiving dinner. They quickly became one of my favorite side dishes to prepare, if only because they are much less time consuming to make than regular mashed potatoes. There is no peeling or boiling involved and very little mashing, so it is a huge time saver during an already jam packed week. I need every extra minute I can get during the holidays, don't you? They also make an excellent side dish to chicken or pork and I make them often when sweet potatoes are in season. This year I decided to dress them up a little bit with some cayenne pepper, cumin, ginger and white pepper just to give them a little kick. If you're looking for something just a little bit different this year give these a try, I'm positive they'll become a staple in your home too.
Spicy Mashed Sweet Potatoes
makes 6-8 servings

Ingredients

3lbs sweet potatoes (this ended up being 4-5 medium potatoes)
4 Tablespoons salted butter, melted
2 Tablespoons maple syrup (I used Grade A Golden Amber)
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon white pepper
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon ginger 

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Scrub potatoes, place on a foil lined baking sheet, and puncture each potato with a knife or fork (to allow steam to escape.)
  • Bake for 1 hour if using medium sized potatoes, or longer if using large sized potatoes. Large potatoes can take up to 2 hours to bake. If you're in a hurry, or the oven is in use, you can also cook the sweet potatoes in the microwave on high for 10 - 15 minutes.
  • Remove potatoes from the oven or microwave and let them cool before removing skins.
  • Scrape the potatoes into a mixing bowl, then add melted butter, maple syrup, cayenne pepper, white pepper, cumin and ginger.
  • Use a mixer or potato masher to combine ingredients. Serve the potatoes immediately, or make this dish ahead of time and reheat the day of your event. Enjoy!