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.

 

 

Microwave Scrambled Eggs #Unprocessed

Most of my days start off the same way—with a strong cup of something highly caffeinated and Icelandic-style yogurt topped with homemade granola. I rely on the jolt of caffeine and sugar to get me going and chase off the black cloud that hangs over my head early in the day. I am not a morning person, a fact I've mentioned numerous times, and just to be safe you're best off not talking to me before noon.

You have been warned.

I realize this isn't the healthiest way to start my day, so one of my goals this month has been to diversify my breakfast choices. My goal is to eat less sugar, more protein, and perhaps toss the occasional veggie in there for good measure. I was wracking my brain for easy ideas when I realized I was overthinking the matter. All I needed to do is go back to the beginning, one of the first things my mother taught me how to cook was microwave scrambled eggs. It's the perfect meal for anyone unable to start the day off gracefully (or in my case, isn't inclined to start the day at all.)

Does my mother know me well or what?

This recipe is so simple I never thought to share it with you before, but a few recent conversations made me change my mind. I was operating under the assumption that most people relied on microwave scrambled eggs to eat a cheap and healthy meal when they were pressed for time. It's been a staple in my household for years, but after talking to my house guests over Labor Day I realized that most of my friends likely survived their late nights of "studying" by skipping breakfast or chowing down on cereal as they ran out the door. They didn't know you could make perfectly fluffy scrambled eggs in the microwave in under 2 minutes.

I guess they didn't grow up with a Microwave Mama like I did (hi mom!) 

We've teased my mom endlessly over the years about her love of the microwave, but her cooking methods only reinforced that it was possible to have a nutritious meal on the table without having to resort to a heat and eat box. This is a lesson I took to heart, even if I did spend many a morning eating cold pizza as I scrambled out the door (don't judge, it was college after all, and I do love pizza.) 

This recipe may be simple, but it's proof that eating a healthy, unprocessed breakfast doesn't need to be time consuming. It's also a great recipe to use with children of all ages. I've never met a kid that didn't love to crack eggs or take over the tedious task of stirring. These days my pre-schooler wakes up wanting to make his mama breakfast, which brings a smile to my face every single time.

Microwave Scrambled Eggs | Not Starving Yet

Microwave Scrambled Eggs
makes 1 serving

Ingredients

2-3 large eggs
2 tablespoons smoked gouda, shredded
top with fresh chives, salt, and pepper, to taste

variations to try

Florentine: Spinach, green onion, and fire roasted tomatoes
Southwest: black beans, bell pepper, sweet corn, and pepper jack
Italian: Italian sausage, fire roasted tomatoes, and mozzarella
Farmer's: Ham, bacon, sausage, and cheddar
Irish: Hash browns, corned beef, and swiss cheese
Lazy: Skip the chives and use Penzey's Fox Point Seasoning instead

Directions

  • In a microwave safe mug or bowl, add all of the ingredients, then give everything a good stir. Be careful not to overfill the mug, the eggs will double in size and can run over the top.
  • Microwave uncovered for 30 seconds. Stir ingredients, then continue to cook in 30 second increments until eggs are fully cooked. Keep in mind that cooking time can vary widely from mug to mug. It's best to keep a close eye on these the first few times you make them.
  • Top with chives, salt, and pepper before serving. Enjoy!

Notes

If you decide to try out some of the variations, keep in mind that you'll want to pre-cook ingredients like bacon or sausage before adding it to the eggs as it may not cook fully in the microwave. 

Instead of using a coffee mug or bowl I prefer to use This Soup Dish from Good Cook. The handle doesn't heat up even after two minutes in the microwave. You can pick up the red dish on Amazon, or check your local grocery store where you'll likely find them in a variety of colors (I have them in black, blue, and purple.)

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.