Vivi loves snacks. I mean she REALLY loves snacks, especially if they belong to other people. When we arrived at a birthday party for Vivi's friend Will last week, she was a bit timid about going inside. When Will's mom Karen said, "Vivi, we have snacks!" we were up those porch steps faster than you can say "cupcake."

The thing is that Vivi will eat, eat, and eat. A bowl of salad, she'll try it. Oh, you happen to have a corndog, can she have a bite? Moussaka? Bring it on. It is not uncommon for her to have a banana, some Goldfish crackers, toast with peanut butter, and a strawberry smoothie in one sitting. When she grabs her purse and heads to the door, she tells me that she is going to "Ho Foods. Gonna buy rice and beans."

Now don't get me wrong, I am so relieved that she has a healthy appetite and is an active, happy child. Sometimes, however, I feel like the parent who never quite has it together. I don't know how many times we've been to the park with an arsenal of snacks and she still ends up eating hers and everyone else's. So, as a way to give back to all of you parents out there who have shared so generously with us, here are recipes for a couple of Vivi's favorite snacks:


1 19 oz. can cannellini beans (rinsed and drained)
1 14 oz. can of artichoke hearts (drained)
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp. lemon juice
3 cloves of garlic
1/4 t. coarse sea salt
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp. fresh basil or a 1/2 Tbsp. dried
1/2 cup roasted red peppers
Black pepper or other herbs to taste

Throw it all into a food processor and process until smooth. This dip tastes better when it's been able to sit for a few hours in the refrigerator. I serve it with cut up veggies or whole wheat pita chips. Vivi is really into sandwiches these days so I also use it as a spread for bread.

(To which I often hear, "Mama dees cakes delightful!")
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup oat flour (put some steel cut oats in a food processor until they are finely ground)
3 Tbsp. ground flax seed (optional)
1 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
dash of cloves
1/4 c. canola oil (you can substitute olive oil, butter, or flax seed oil.)
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups finely shredded carrots (app. 2 carrots)

Optional ingredients: 1/4 cup walnuts or raisins or coconut (sometimes I throw them all in)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 muffin cups or a tray of mini muffins with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, sift together flours, flax seed, baking soda, salt, and spices. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, brown sugar, and eggs until well combined. Whisk in the applesauce, vanilla, and carrots. Add the dry ingredients until just combined. Stir in your add-ins (walnuts, etc.) if you are using them.

Fill muffin cups. Bake until toothpick inserted in muffin comes out clean, about 20 minutes for big muffins, 10 or so for mini muffins.

Let me know what you think! If you like these, I can post more recipes on a regular basis.


  1. Hey there--

    Got your e-mail and was excited to come check out your blog. Please keep posting recipes--I'm always looking for new things to give M&R to get us out of our ruts.

    I've got you bookmarked and will definitely keep reading. Perhaps someday we'll see each other and have a playdate.



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