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Coconut Krispie Baked Tofu

This will be a short sweet and to the point blog. I'm sure you've all had a night swallowed up by the unexpected! I put my adorable naked 10 month old into her playpen (where she sleeps) to grab a Snappi for her diaper. A minute later on my return I realized she had peed while standing up through the mesh and was both sitting in it and licking the mesh. Ughh. This resulted in a bath, her going to bed in the crib, and the toddler in our bed.

A trip to Costco this weekend yielded a multipack of tofu. Price-wise it was a great deal on three to four meals worth of protein. Inspired by a recipe on Cara's Cravings, I jumped off from that point and created a twist that fit my pantry.

Coconut Krispie Baked Tofu
Serves 4

1 lb firm tofu
2 egg whites
3/4 cup Rice Krispies
1/3 cup coconut
cooking spray

1/4 cup soy sauce
3 TBS maple syrup for sauce

1. Preheat oven to 425. Set up a cookie rack on top of a cookie sheet and spray it with cooking spray. Pour Rice Krispies and coconut into the food processor and pulse until the size of breadcrumbs. Pour onto a plate.

2. Remove tofu from liquid and pat dry on a paper towel. Mine came in four squares which I halved horizontally and then cut diagonally to create 4 triangles per square. (16 total).

3. Crack the egg whites onto a plate and dip the tofu into it. Make sure to egg both sides. It is easiest to egg a few at a time, drop them onto the coconut Krispie plate and then use your fingers to cover them completely with coconut. Then rinse your fingers and start again. Put the tofu onto the cookie rack.

4. Bake for 5 minutes, turn down the heat to 400 and bake for an additional 10.

5. Serve with dipping sauce (mix together soy sauce and maple) if desired. I also love to saute fresh spinach and serve it on the side.


Tortillas & Taco Casserole

I love tortillas. I bake my own bread and am trying to eliminate any packaged foods I do buy and tortillas are one of them. So, for Christmas this year I asked for a tortilla press. Thus far it has been heavily used! Homemade tortillas tend to come out a little thicker and smaller than store bought ones so I've turned to taco casserole as a topping. By baking everything together with cheese it is easier to fill the tortillas with and less messy.

Making tortillas is actually really easy and not as intimidating as it sounds. I highly recommend a tortilla press! Rolling them out is not easy because the dough is very elastic. Next, you'll need to buy some lard. Some grocers keep it in the freezer near the butter and some put it on the shelves near the Crisco. I'm a fan of the Snowcap brand. Lard may sound extremely unhealthy but you're only using a tablespoon and it eliminates the need for any oil to cook them in.

(Makes 12-16)

2 cups flour
3/4 cups water
1 tbsp lard
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder

Taco Casserole
(Serves 4)

1 pound ground beef
1 can light kidney beans (15.5 oz)
1/2 cup shredded cheese of your choice
1 avocado
a little bit of chopped lettuce if desired
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp onion powder
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp cayenne

I make the taco casserole first. In a pan brown the ground beef.  Once browned add the cumin, onion powder, salt, oregano, bay leaf, and cayenne. Stir to incorporate everything evenly. Pour the ground beef (pull the bay leaf out) into a casserole dish and spread to cover the bottom. Next, drain the can of beans and toss them into the same pan. I like to heat them up and squash the beans a little. Once the beans are warm, dump them into the casserole on top of the beef. Top with the cheese. Dice the avocado and toss that on top. Chop some lettuce and set aside. Put the casserole into the oven at 350 for 10 minutes to melt all the cheese and keep it warm.

And now tortillas:

In a mixer, blend the flour, salt, baking powder and lard. The lard will crumble into the dough. Slowly add the water and mix until the dough is smooth.

Roll the dough into small balls the size of a large marshmallow (or a Barbie head). It's easiest to roll them in flour. I use a $1 serving plate from the Dollar Store so that I don't have to clean the counter after.

I have the toddler help me put the ready to go tortillas on another serving plate.

Put a pan on the stove with the heat on low-medium. Next, put a piece of plastic wrap on both sides of the tortilla press. Place on of the dough balls on the bottom and press!

You want to peel the plastic gently off of the tortilla. Put it in the waiting pan. It takes less than 2 minutes per side to cook the tortillas.

Take out the taco casserole and assemble your tortillas. Top with the chopped lettuce and sour cream if desired. Enjoy! (We also spread leftover tortillas with Nutella & chopped bananas for a great toddler breakfast.)


Sanitizing Toys after Sickness

The dog wasn't sick, he was just extremely sympathetic.

The plague has finally left our household. I was a casualty, struck down eating popsicles and drinking gingerale for days. Once my cement-filled head could process complex thoughts and my hands were no longer permanently needed to hold a snot filled tissue my first deep thought was: this cannot happen again. It wasn't "cleaning" that needed to take place in our house it was sanitizing. Hard core sanitizing. If those germs thought they were going to hang out on a piece of plastic bacon and hitch a ride into the babies mouth the next time she felt like gnawing on something - they were wrong. We were not going on this roller coaster ride of fun again.

One roll of Dollar Store shelf liner does the trick.

I separated the toys between two laundry baskets. Those that could be washed went in one and those that couldn't went in another. I've learned over the years that soaking toys in bleach solution sanitizes them but also can penetrate tiny little holes you didn't know existed in play food and leave bits of water behind. I want to sanitize the toys not leave small stores of bleach water for the kids to find so I devised a solution that works for us and I hope for you too!

I take some plastic mesh cabinet/drawer liner from the dollar store and cut it to fit my dishwasher. Press it down over the tiny little sticky up-y things in the dishwasher. The holes will help hold it into place. Pour all the little toys that would have fallen through onto it. Add bleach where you would have put soap in the dishwasher and splash a little extra in the bottom. Run the dishwasher. Make sure you adjust the heat setting if you have "meltables" in the mix. While the dishwasher runs wipe down all of the other toys with bleach wipes. I also wipe down the outside of books (which the baby likes to "eat") and our sofas (hooray for leather). When the dishwasher is done running I dump all of the toys from it into a freshly bleach-wiped laundry basket. They usually don't dry completely during the cycle so I can shake them around in the laundry basket near our woodstove to finish them off.

And hopefully we won't see the plague again until next year.