Roasted Blueberries & Bananas – A Family Favourite

Transitioning my babies to solids, and introducing them to new foods was, and is, one of my fave experiences.  I enjoyed it with my first, and therefore couldn’t wait to start with my second little guy. It’s so exciting and fun to watch them try new foods, flavours and textures for the first time. One of Roman’s original favourites was the blueberries and banana combo. So messy, but oh so delicious!

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Roman @ 6 months old (now 5 years old) enjoying his blueberries & bananas

In my search for new combos of flavours for Nico, I stumbled on Tyler Florence’s roasting recipes, and his cookbook Start Fresh. This particular cookbook of his is filled with recipes, for infants, babies, toddlers and well…adults too. Tyler loves to roast. He says in his cookbook that it’s “your best tool for winning your children over to what they may still consider the dark side of eating; fresh vegetables. The roasting process brings out food’s natural sugars and deeply develops its flavour in a way that boiling and even steaming simply can’t”

He’s right!!!! The proof is in the difference between a roasted sweet potato on the bbq vs steamed.

Using fresh blueberries from the market (#summerbucketlist), I ventured to try roasting the blueberries and bananas instead. Wow! So sweet and delicious! It was a big hit, not just with Nico but the whole family! While Nico eats his as a puree, the rest of us mix it in our oatmeal, yogurt, and just this past weekend, we put it on top of our homemade banana ice cream (#summerbucketlist).

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For Tyler’s original recipe, click here.

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Throw about 4 Bananas & a bunch of Blueberries (about a pint) on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper

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After about 20-25 minutes in the oven. Usually gauged by when the banana starts to split

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Peeled bananas and blueberries in the Nutribullet

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Pureed and put ice cube trays, ready to be frozen and packaged in a ziploc bags.

Tip: Check out Fresh Baby Ice Cube Trays. They are great for freezing, and so easy to pop out the purees once frozen.

These messy smiles say it all!

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Checking off another item from our bucket list – SPLASH PAD! We had a great time this morning at the splash pad, followed by a picnic lunch on the grass. Hot summer days don’t get any better than this!DSC_0831

Top things to bring to the splash pad: bathing suit, swim diapers, hats, towels, buckets/toys, sunscreen, change of clothes and of course snacks!

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Splash Pads in the Halton Region:

OAKVILLE has 15 splash pads to enjoy this summer. Click here for a map of locations and hours (courtesy of the Town of Oakville)

BURLINGTON splash pads, including 2 new splash pads this summer. Click here for locations and hours (courtesy of the City of Burlington)

MILTON splash pads are open from 9:00am – 9:00pm till September 6th. Click here for locations (courtesy of the Town of Milton)

Our Summer Bucket List…

Strawberry picking
Vegetable picking
Make homemade popsicles and/or ice cream
Have a picnic in the park
Lemonade stand
See a movie at the Drive-in
Go to Ripleys aquarium
Go to Zoo
Fly a kite
Go to the beach
Spend the day at Bronte creek
Make a bird feeder
Paint outside
Take the Ferry to Toronto Island
Nature scavenger hunt
Go to a concert or storytime in the park
Yoga in the park
Go to a Ribfest
Visit Canada’s Wonderland
Watch fireworks
Family road trip
Go to a local festival
Visit a splash pad
Stand up paddle boarding
Biking with the kids in the Chariot
Attend a workshop at Home Depot or Michaels
Go fishing
Visit a farmers market

Make a pie

Join us this summer as we tackle our Summer Bucket List. Check back for updates on our journey and experiences, recommendations and tips.  Share your own stories, comments and pictures on your experiences with your bucket list. Oh and please let us know if you think there is anything we should add to the list!

One of the great things about the summer is being able to attend a Ribfest almost every. A summer tradition for many families, cities across the GTA will host a Ribfest at some point during the summer. We attended the Toronto Ribfest at Centennial park a few weeks ago and it did not disappoint.

Right here in our neighborhood, Canada’s Largest Ribfest will be at Spencer Smith Park August 29 to September 1.  Enjoy first class ribbers, first class entertainment, and hot sunny weather!

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A Few Tips for Enjoying  Ribfest:

1 – Pack lots of napkins and wipes. While there will be plenty available, it’s best to have enough on hand and closeby for those sticky fingers and messy cheeks.

2 –  Share. As there will be many food vendors,  you will want to try as much as you can. Consider sharing with friends and family. Get a few racks of ribs from a number of ribbers, so that you can try different ones. Each rib vendor specializes in their sauces and how they prepare and grill the ribs.

3 –   Bring Cash. Food Vendors don’t generally take visa or debit, and a bank machine will be hard to find while on the grounds.

4 – Go Hungry.  With so much food to choose from, you’ll want to make sure your stomach is empty and ready. If Ribs aren’t your thing, don’t worry, there is so much more to enjoy; Pulled Pork, Kettle Corn (Auntie Jo’s Kettle Corn), Corn on the Cob (Ontario Corn Roasters),  Fries & Poutine (The Fry’s The Limit), Ice Cream & Snow Cones (Mr. Frostee Treats) and much more.  You won’t leave hungry!

5 – And most importantly. Have Fun! Enjoy the sunny weather, great entertainment, and good company! The summer is finally here!

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Check that off The Summer Bucket List.

Strawberry picking
Vegetable picking
Make homemade popsicles and/or ice cream
Have a picnic in the park
Lemonade stand
See a movie at the Drive-in
Go to Ripleys aquarium
Go to Zoo
Fly a kite
Go to the beach
Spend the day at Bronte creek
Make a bird feeder
Paint outside
Take the Ferry to Toronto Island
Nature scavenger hunt
Go to a concert or storytime in the park
Yoga in the park
Go to a Ribfest
Visit Canada’s Wonderland
Watch fireworks
Family road trip
Go to a local festival
Visit a splash pad
Stand up paddle boarding
Biking with the kids in the Chariot
Attend a workshop at Home Depot or Michaels
Go fishing
Visit a farmers market

We were chatting the other day about all the things we want to do this summer. It was a long and cold winter, and we want to make sure we take full advantage and enjoy every moment of the summer weather. For both of us, this is a special summer as we are home from work with our kids; Megan has two girls (ages 3 and 1) and Nicole has two boys (ages 5 and 6 months).  So we decided to make a Summer Bucket List. It’s filled with everything we hope to do, from big family excursions, to crafts, fun in the backyard and day trips.

While we hope to do a lot of the things on the list together, it likely won’t happen if we intend to complete it before the end of the summer. Some of it may be accomplished with our individual families, with other friends, with grandparents and maybe even without the kids. We have to admit, the thought of taking the kids to a Drive in movie does seem ambitious.

Here it is…

Strawberry picking
Vegetable picking
Make homemade popsicles and/or ice cream
Have a picnic in the park
Lemonade stand
See a movie at the Drive-in
Go to Ripleys aquarium
Go to Zoo
Fly a kite
Go to the beach
Spend the day at Bronte creek
Make a bird feeder
Paint outside
Take the Ferry to Toronto Island
Nature scavenger hunt
Go to a concert or storytime in the park
Yoga in the park
Go to a Ribfest
Visit Canada’s Wonderland
Watch fireworks
Family road trip
Go to a local festival
Visit a splash pad
Stand up paddle boarding
Biking with the kids in the Chariot
Attend a workshop at Home Depot or Michaels
Go fishing
Visit a farmers market

Make a pie

Join us this summer as we tackle our Summer Bucket List. Check back for updates on our journey and experiences, recommendations and tips.  Share your own stories, comments and pictures on your experiences with your bucket list. Oh and please let us know if you think there is anything we should add to the list!

1. ROAD TRIP TO CAPE HATTERAS, NORTH CAROLINA

Starting off with an ambitious one – first item to check off . . . is family road trip! We rented a house for a week in North Carolina with 3 other families, that’s 7 kids under the age of 5!

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2 days of driving. Destination Cape Hatteras, North Carolina

From Toronto down to Cape Hatteras, NC it is 16 hours of driving, but I like to say that is 16 hours without kids! On the Thursday night, we had the car and roof top carrier all packed and alarm was set for 3:30am. We decided to leave at 4am and capitalize on the girls sleeping for a few hours in the morning. We arranged to convoy down with friends and arrived at the U.S. boarder at the same time and stopped for a quick breakfast soon after.

Grace reading the map and giving directions, soon after they proceeded to rip of the map into tiny pieces. It did keep them busy for a long time though!

Grace reading the map and giving directions – soon after they proceeded to rip up the map into tiny pieces. It did keep them busy for a long time though!

Friday was a long driving day. We stopped every couple of hours so the kids could have a little break. Traveling with a 1 and 3 year old has its challenges. I packed a LOT of things to try and keep them busy. Most popular were matching small tupperware containers filled with exactly the same things  . . . stickers, markers, paper and books. And of course so many snacks! It’s a long two days of driving, but so worth it!

Our home for a week!

Our home for a week!

We arrived Saturday afternoon. We had rented a huge seashore house with its own swimming pool. A great vacation with small children. It was pretty easy to take them swimming, play in the sand & ocean, and go for walks along the beach and collect sea shells since everything was right around the house. It was like staying at a mini resort. We were able to cook all our meals at the house. Then we could put the kids to bed and make the adult dinner, my favourite evening was cooking a huge pot of fresh local seafood!

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Grace

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Teagan

 

They both loved playing in the sand!

 

 

 

Cape Hatteras is know for it’s kite boarding, but there are lots of outdoor activities to keep everyone busy including wind surfing, kayaking, and stand up paddle boarding. It’s really winding a great place to learn water sports as the water is really shallow. Easy to take lessons and rent equipment.

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It is so beautiful seeing the sky filled with kites.

We stayed for a week and made the drive home over two days. It was a great family road trip and we plan to go back every year!

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