Sunday, December 21, 2008

Nestle Tollhouse Cookies

Nestle Tollhouse chocolate chip cookies... Boy do I love them. In fact, I simply cannot control myself when they are around. For this reason, I have never baked them with my children. So you can imagine my horror when my husband decided that he just HAD to bake them with the kids today. At first I protested. But then I thought about it. It is okay to bake cookies every once in a while. But how could I do that without going crazy? And without my kids binging on cookies for the next few days.

Doug came home with the cookie dough. I have never seen such a big roll of cookie dough. He saw me look at it and said, "I had the choice of the one that made 17 cookies or this one that made 32 cookies. And this one was only a dollar or so more expensive!" Hmmm... my husband fell into the 'super size me' trap. Yes, it may make more sense from an economic standpoint. But we do not need to eat 32 cookies- regardless of the price.

But then Doug said something that made a lot of sense. "I just figured we would make a few cookies for today and freeze the rest of the cookie dough until we decide to bake them again."

What a great idea! We didn't have to make all the cookies at one time. Instead, we made a small tray of cookies with just enough for each of us to have three or four (not at one sitting but over the next day or so). And we just stuck the rest in the freezer. We were all happy, indulging in the most delicious cookies. But we were not overdoing it. And I know that if we had made all the cookies, they would be gone in a few days (or until I got sick of the kids eating them and just threw them out in the trash). And that really would not have made economic sense!

Ha! As I sit here typing this, I realize that I should divide the rest into three or four small bags before it freezes so I can just take out another small portion when we want to bake again- without having to defrost the whole thing. I think I will go do that right now!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Healthy Fettuccine Alfredo

My family has discovered a healthy way to eat Fettuccine Alfredo. We found a packet of Alfredo Sauce mix from Knorr's at our local supermarket. There are 180 calories and 4.5 grams of fat in the entire package (which served our entire family). The directions call for butter/margarine and milk but we didn't follow them. Instead, we mixed the packet with skim milk and omitted the buter/margarine completely. I will admit that the sauce was slightly thin- but it was delicious. We served the sauce over whole wheat fettuccine. My children went crazy for it. My daughter said, "Mommy, I love this!" My son proclaimed, "This is my new favorite dinner!" I was thrilled- although I did warn them that we would NEVER order the dish in a restaurant because the restaurant version is so unhealthy. Try it and let me know what you think!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Let's go nuts!

Nuts are an extremely healthy snack for kids because they contain the healthy type of fat: monounsaturated fat. Monounsaturated fats actually don't raise 'bad' cholesterol but do raise 'good' cholesterol. The fiber in nuts helps to keep you full and the high fat level helps to keep you satisfied. Nuts have been shown to be part of a healthy diet. They can even decrease your risk of heart disease! Of course, you want to watch your portion size because nuts do contain calories. But if you keep your intake at a moderate level, they are a great snack.

Great nuts to snack on include:

peanuts (which are actually legumes but have similar a nutrient profile to nuts)
pistacio nuts
macadamia nuts

One other caution about nuts: they should not be given to children under the age of two years. If you have a strong family history of nut/peanut allergy, wait until your children are three years before you introduce them. You also want to watch your children as they eat nuts as they can be a choking hazard. Children should be sitting down while eating nuts.