Taste Testing Tuesday – #16 – Pumpkin

Sorry I’m slow in getting today’s taste test posted! It’s been a cooking day here! Are you getting ready for Thanksgiving at your house? We are, but this year I’m sad to say it will just be my hubby and I for Thanksgiving due to Covid restrictions. We will miss our family but we are trying to make the best of it. Back to our taste test – what is one ingredient that is often used around Thanksgiving time and can be eaten many different ways? Pumpkin! (Yes, turkey would have also been a great answer!) Maybe you are having something for Thanksgiving that has pumpkin in it. Today I made 3 different recipes that use pumpkin.

#1.) Pumpkin pie

I actually don’t care for pumpkin pie, but my hubby loves it so I made one for him to enjoy. Some whip cream on top adds the finishing touch.

#2.) Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin bread is something my mom used to make for us when I was a kid. In fact, the recipe I used today came from her. It’s baked in a loaf pan and then sliced to enjoy.

#3.) Pumpkin Bars

Pumpkin Bars are made in a cookie sheet. They can be eaten with or without frosting on top. I frosted half of the pan and then other half I froze for a later time.

What other kinds of dishes can you think of that use pumpkin in them? There’s pumpkin soup, pumpkin rolls, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin butter, pumpkin waffles…and the list goes on! Pumpkin is considered a super food and really healthy so I hope you will try some soon! 🙂

Taste Testing Tuesday – #15

It’s that day of the week again! Welcome to another round of Taste Testing Tuesday! This week’s tasting is a pretty simple one, but these suggestions are for a little bit older kids, not for the really young. We’re testing out different kinds of nuts, so please be cautious of your children’s ages before you try this one. And, of course, if your kids have a peanut or tree nut allergy, please bypass this week’s test. Today we have 5 nuts on hand to try, but the list of nuts you can experiment with is a long one. Hint: to do the same test we’re doing here, just buy a can of mixed nuts and separate the different kinds of nuts out into cupcake papers or into little sections on a plate.

The nuts we are taste testing this week are…

#1.) Cashews

#2.) Hazelnuts or Filberts

#3.) Peanuts

#4.) Almonds

#5.) Pecans

I hope you grabbed a piece of paper and a pencil and made yourself a quick chart to record your taste preferences for each kind of nut. Did you like all of the nuts you tried? Which one is your favorite? It would be a close call for me to pick a favorite, but I think I would go with cashews. Do certain nuts make you think of certain foods they are made in? For instance, when I think of peanuts, I think of peanut butter…or Mr. Goodbar candy bars. When I think of pecans, I think of eating them on a salad or in a pecan pie or a sweet pecan roll. Mmmm!

If this taste test seems a little too tame for you, you can find lots of variations of nuts in the store. There are spicy nuts and sweet nuts…honey roasted cashews or peanuts…chocolate almonds…spiced pecans…maple walnuts…and this list could be a very long one! Whichever kinds of nuts you decide to try, I hope you find a new nut or flavor that you really like. Happy tasting! 🙂

Taste Testing Tuesday – #14

Hey, there! We’re back for another Taste Testing Tuesday! Today’s yummy food is…..waffles! Ooo, are you drooling along with me? We’ll look at 5 suggestions of tasty ways to eat a waffle.

Waffles come in different shapes and sizes. You can buy them frozen from the grocery store or if you have a waffle iron, you can make your own. For today’s test, I made waffles “from scratch” and cooked them in our waffle iron. In case you’ve never seen a waffle iron, here’s what they look like.

You can mix up your favorite waffle batter…I used the recipe in my Betty Crocker cookbook.

A handy-dandy tip is to pour the waffle batter into a container that has a lip for pouring.

Once your waffle iron is hot, pour some batter in and close the lid. 4-5 minutes is how long it took my waffle iron to cook 1 waffle but be sure to check the instructions that came with your waffle iron. Our first suggestion today uses a plain waffle with nothing cooked into it. But there are so many tasty things you can put on TOP of your waffle! Like butter, maple syrup, molasses, honey, jelly, fruit syrups, etc, etc. I love them with butter and maple syrup. Mmmm!

Suggestion #2…sprinkle a few blueberries on top of the batter in the waffle iron before you close it to cook your waffle.

Here’s a picture of the cooked version.

Suggestion #3…sprinkle some roasted pecans on top of the batter before cooking.

It might be hard to see the pecans, but they are there and taste sooo good!

Suggestion #4…sprinkle some grated cheddar cheese on top before cooking.

Again, it might be hard to see the cheese after the waffle has been cooked but it tastes pretty yummy!

Suggestion #5…cooked up apples spread on top. I put some butter in a skillet and peeled and sliced an apple. After the apple slices started to get soft, I sprinkled in some cinnamon and brown sugar. Then cooked it just a little longer till the brown sugar melted and everything was mixed together. OH YUM! This was delicious!!

I’m sure you can think of many more ways to eat a waffle. Maybe 2 pieces of waffle with some scrambled eggs and cheese inside? How about some peanut butter? Are you hungry now? 😉 Did you make a chart so you can remember your favorite way to eat a waffle? I hope you have fun with your Waffle Taste Testing Tuesday! 🙂

Taste Testing Tuesday – #12

It’s Tuesday again and you know what that means – it’s time for another Taste Testing Tuesday! This week we’re looking at some ideas for eating sweet potatoes. Let’s talk about ways to use baked sweet potatoes. I usually wash the potato and wrap it in foil, then bake it for 1 hour at 350 degrees. The sweet potato is ready to eat when it feels soft when squeezed gently. (Use a hot pad or pot holder when squeezing!)

Although there are many ways to eat sweet potatoes, we’ll look at 5 suggestions today. You can eat the peel of a sweet potato but if you are trying to convince someone that sweet potatoes really DO taste good, I suggest taking the peel off. Some people like the peel and some don’t…I’m in the “don’t like the peel” camp. 😉 For our taste test I took 1 baked sweet potato and made 5 small servings on one plate. I put butter on all the servings because I think it adds a great flavor but also helps the potato be less sticky when trying to eat it.

Suggestion #1: Butter and salt. (Isn’t that a cute salt shaker?)

Suggestion #2: Butter and molasses. This is the way my husband like to eat them. I got a little too much molasses on this small serving…oops! My molasses didn’t want to “turn off”. 😉

Suggestion #3: Butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. (Mmmm!)

Suggestion #4: Honey and cinnamon. (Very yummy!)

Suggestion #5: Butter and miniature marshmallows. (Oooo!) Heating the marshmallows on top of the sweet potato until they are nice and soft or even browned a little, makes it even tastier!

A reminder to make your chart so the kids can have fun drawing in the faces to show what they think of each variation of the sweet potato samples. A smiling face for “Yummy!”, a straight face for “It’s ok.” and a frowning face for “Umm, no thanks!”

If your sweet potatoes seem particularly sticky, adding some milk can help with that and make them more palatable. One more tip for you…after I tasted each sample of sweet potato, I put the leftovers in one bowl, added a little milk and some vanilla and sprinkled a few pecans on top. Delicious!!

Thanksgiving is next month and sweet potatoes are often on the menu. Maybe this year, more of the people in your family will enjoy eating them. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and good luck with your Tuesday Taste Test!

Taste Testing Tuesday – #4

It’s Tuesday again! Time for another fun adventure of letting our taste buds try something new! What shall we try today? It’s a light green color and comes in long thin stalks. Can you guess what it is? It’s celery! Wait, wait, wait! Don’t turn up your nose at celery until you’ve tried these 6 ways of eating it. You might just find that you like it! Ok, first we start with some cleaned stalks of celery. I cut each stalk into 3 pieces. You can try it plain first, if you like.

Remember to make a chart of what you think of each flavor. The first way we’ll try is with peanut butter. Yum! If you can’t have peanut butter, maybe you can have cashew butter or almond butter. Be sure to ask mom or dad if you have any food allergies. (I am actually allergic to celery which is kinda sad.)

Just fill the convenient little trough on the celery piece with peanut butter goodness.

Is your mouth watering yet? Eat the celery with peanut butter and mark on your chart what you think about it. Really yummy? Just ok? Not so great, no thanks?

For our second taste test, let’s try adding cream cheese to the celery.

Use a table knife to scoop some cream cheese into the celery.

The white cream cheese looks so pretty on the green celery. What do you think of this combination?

For our next test, let’s use some cheese. We tried a can of Easy Cheese. This one is rather fun because you get to make the cheese squirt out of the can into your celery. Try and keep it IN the celery, if you can! It’s a really warm day here so our Easy Cheese wanted to melt and run all over everything, so watch out for that!

So that’s 3 ways to taste test celery.

Are they still looking a little boring to you? Well, then let’s jazz them up a bit! Let’s go with the peanut butter ones first…we’ll add a few raisins. Looking better already and raisins will add some sweetness!

Let’s see…how can we jazz up the celery with the Easy Cheese? Let’s add some grated cheese on top. Yep, that looks better too!

And for the ones with the cream cheese…you’re going to like this idea…let’s add a few chocolate chips! Now that looks like dessert!

Yum! Now that’s a pretty appetizing looking plate of snacks!

Which one turned out to be your favorite? Leave a comment and tell me what you think of our celery snacks. Hope you and your taste buds had a good time today! 🙂

Taste Testing Tuesday – #2

It’s time for another Taste Testing Tuesday! Today we will be trying ways to eat bell peppers or sweet peppers. In doing a little research on bell peppers, I found out that they are high in Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin E. They have lots of iron and anti-inflammatory properties. So not only do their vibrant colors of green, yellow, orange and red make them appealing to the eye, they are also healthy to eat.

Bell peppers are easy to prepare. Simply cut out the stem area at the top and discard. Cut the pepper in half and throw away the seeds that are inside. Rinse and just that easy, you are ready to try a yummy way of eating them!

One suggestion is to cut the pepper in quarters and then each quarter in half to make little “boats”. Fill each one with your favorite egg salad or a cheese mixture.

You can cut the peppers in slices and use your favorite dip for dipping. Try using sour cream and adding some spices like cilantro, parsley or dill. For some reason, kids love dipping their food in something…lol.

Another idea I came across was for bell pepper nachos. Slice the peppers in thin strips and sprinkle some grated cheese on top. Heat in the oven or microwave just until the cheese melts.

If your kiddos just don’t go for peppers but you’d really like to sneak some healthy goodness into their diet, try hiding finely chopped pieces of pepper in things like meatloaf or meatballs. Or run the peppers through the blender and add them to pasta or spaghetti sauce. However you try them, I hope you can use these ideas to get some awesome bell peppers into your kids’ bellies! 😉 Be sure to stop back next week for another Taste Testing Tuesday! (And for fun crafting ideas in between!)

Taste Testing Tuesdays – #1

Happy Tuesday, everyone! We are starting something new today that I hope to continue at least through the month of August and maybe longer. It is often hard to get kids (and adults) to try new foods thus my idea was born for Taste Testing Tuesdays. We will try some different foods with different dips, for example, in the hopes of finding some ways kids (and adults) will enjoy eating foods they might ordinarily avoid. We will make it a little more fun by letting the kids record what they think of each item which will also make it nice for mom and dad to have a way to remember who likes or doesn’t like what! So let’s start our first Taste Testing Tuesday!

Today we’ll try raw carrots with 4 different items to dip them in. And we’ll try them plain, just by themselves. Feel free to change out what items you use for your kids. For our taste test we used Ranch dressing, French dressing, Sour Cream and Honey Mustard.

Put 5 carrots (at least, more is great!) on each person’s plate and add a little bit of each dipping item too.

The first carrot should be eaten plain (if you can get away with that) to see if maybe that will be their favorite way to eat raw carrots.

Try each type of dip with a new carrot so the flavors don’t get mixed together. (Unless, of course, they LIKE mixing the dips together and they will eat the carrots that way! Then have at it! Lol) As they taste each item, have them record on a piece of paper what they think of that combination. A smiley face for “Yes, I like it!”, a face with a straight mouth for “It’s ok.” and a frowning face for “No thank you!” Here is one idea for how you can set up your chart:

I used an 8 1/2 x 11″ piece of printer paper. The squares are 1″ in size. Then I added “Carrots” at the top so you remember which item this chart is about. I put names down the left side and the name of each dip across the top.

This is what it looks like with the faces filled in.

Maybe the kids will think of more food that might be good for dipping carrots in and this chart has room for recording 3 more. My hope is you will find some combinations that will make your kids ask for more raw carrots! (Though there may be those that only like to lick the dips off the carrot and not actually eat the carrot. Ha!)

Rusty thought it looked like fun and that he should be involved too. Since raw carrots are actually good for dogs, I gave him one to try.

While he thought it was great fun to toss the carrot around and chase after it, he didn’t really like the idea of eating it. 😉 I enjoyed our first taste test and found some combinations that I might want to try again. Good luck and have fun! Tune in next Tuesday for more Taste Testing Tuesday fun!