fettucine with seared tomatoes, spinach and mozzarella

i love love love dinners like this one. not only is it really simple to throw together, all the flavors balance really well, and it's something that should a baby or toddler beckon for your attention, another person can jump right into and not need much explanation to know where you are in the recipe. bonus that it's easily ready in 30 minutes - the longest step for me is waiting for the pasta water to boil - and the classic flavors are loved by toddlers and adults alike. this one easily makes it into my weeknight rotation and will taste especially good in the dead of winter, when we're longing for some kind of taste of summer.



i've had my eyes on a couple recipes for carmelitas - an oatmeal bar cookie stuffed with creamy, salty caramel and chocolate chips - for years. one saturday afternoon, about six months ago when i was eight months pregnant, they soared to the top of my "must make now" list. i took advantage of nap time and was digging into these a couple hours later. making them is the easy part, it's waiting for them to cool completely before eating that takes restraint!


sweet & sour pork stir fry

we first made this stir fry in the spring, back before baby #2 was born. it quickly jumped to the top of jason's favorites list as well as mine - it's quick; combines a starch, veg, and protein in one bowl; and our toddler gobbled it up. most importantly, it's easy, so jason and i can hand off cooking - if the baby suddenly decides he's starving while i'm cooking dinner & we need to trade off so i can nurse him - without the other getting lost. leftovers reheat really well. this one makes it onto our table at least once a month.


secret recipe club: mini cinnamon roll cakes

we are spending the holiday weekend camping with both boys - a two year old and four month old - for the first time. the intent was to make this cinnamon bread from sweet as sugar cookies to snack on or appease a grumpy two year old. after a disastrous first try - scroll down for the result - i turned the bread into mini bundt cakes and topped them with a cream cheese frosting. they taste like cinnamon rolls with about a quarter of the work. needless to say, all six were long gone before we left for our camping trip.

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