Category Archives: Munching with Maddie

Cocoa Banana Bran Muffins


Let’s just say that I’m a bit Type A.  You might even use the word perfectionist. I’ll take it as a compliment.

That’s all fine and great… And, when it comes to developing recipes, it can be a good thing.

Enter the toddler.

Too tired to walk all the way over to the couch? Why not just lie down in the middle of the floor! Don’t want that last bite of your snack? Just put it on the counter. Partially chewed. Messy hands? No problem. Wipe them on the clean kitchen towel. Or on the cabinets. Or on your shirt. Hey, you have options!

Toddlers are not Type A.

(I can say this with assurance because I have plenty of first-hand experience. Sticky hands all over my countertops… and clothes… and walls… You get the idea.) Continue Reading

Maddie’s Dog Biscuits with Peanut Butter and Pumpkin


A few weeks ago, we had a birthday in the family… A doggy birthday! My furry nephew (an adorable chocolate lab named Chester) turned one year old.

Of course, Maddie and I had to whip up something for the birthday boy. She is becoming a great helper in the kitchen, so I put her to work. She helped to mix up the dough, rolled out treats, and helped to cut out bone shapes with the cookie cutter. Continue Reading

Roasted Applesauce


I’m convinced that toddler’s are bottomless pits.

When the kiddo finds something that she likes to eat, she can just eat and eat and eat and… Well, you get the idea. One day last week, she ate 5 clementines with breakfast. Yes, five. She also had a pancake. She’s been known to devour pretzels like she hasn’t eaten in days.

Her favorite, though, happens to be those squeeze packets of flavored applesauce. It started as baby food.  We didn’t do a lot of pureed baby food, but there was a time when she wasn’t such a voracious eater. Squeeze packets of baby food (i.e. flavored applesauce) got us through. The thing is, she never dropped the habit. Continue Reading

Spiced Banana Muffins (Munching with Maddie)


I may still be writing 2013 whenever I write (or type) the date, but the new year is here… I can never decide if I love or hate this time of year.

I love the holidays, and I am always slightly sad that the holiday season is over.  But, in many ways, I really love the “slow stretch” that starts in January.  Taking down the Christmas decorations is bittersweet. While I do love the twinkling lights, I also love the fresh, clean, de-cluttered house that is left once the decorations are packed away.

I feel the same way about resolutions. Part of me can relate to the desire for a fresh start.  The coming of a new year is a great time to reflect on the past year and set goals for the coming year. At the same time, it can become a time for great extremes and unreasonable expectations.

I tend not to set resolutions each year.  Instead, I try to approach each month, week, and day with the same fresh start that comes with the new year. Instead of a December full of nothing but fudge, cakes, and cookies followed up with a January of smoothies and salads, I try to approach the entire year with an attitude of moderation. There is no reason to wait for a particular date on the calendar to start over or make a change. Sure, there are some days (and probably more of them in December than other months) where I may overindulge in sweets and treats. I’m not perfect. But, I try to balance those days out with days where I enjoy lighter foods.

I don’t really keep score, and I’m certainly not scientific about it. Perhaps the numbers on the scale would be a bit lower if I was. But, it just doesn’t fit my personality or lifestyle these days.  The honest truth is that I’m a mom with a toddler who does her best, regardless of what month it is. Sure, I could probably stand to lose a few more of those “baby pounds” but it’s not my daily focus. Continue Reading

Molasses Banana Biscuits (Munching with Maddie… And Yellowdog!)


It’s been such a busy few weeks… I am feeling the crunch of a late Thanksgiving and fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Even though we’ve pulled back on gift giving and spending over the past few years, I feel as though the hype of the Christmas season continually makes it all crazier and more stressful every year.

I have to say that all of the TV ads and barrage of emails for the “best sale of the season” every *single* day have made me want to spend less, not more.  I haven’t been to the mall yet, and I’m not sure I will even go this year at all.  Instead, I’ve been focused on making a lot more homemade gifts.

If you have furry babies (or friends and family who are doggy lovers), I’d definitely recommend making some homemade doggy treats to stuff their stockings.  After all, Santa Paws can’t do all the work, right?


Maddie and I (which really means just me) made these yummy molasses banana doggy treats for Yellowdog’s birthday a few weeks ago.  After much research into homemade teething biscuits and a few years experience making homemade dog treats, I realized that they are pretty much the same thing. So, I had the brilliant idea that we would have a tea party for Yellowdog’s birthday and Maddie and Yellowdog could both snack on some of the treats.  It seemed like a great idea.

The only problem with making treats for both Maddie and Yellowdog to snack on is that Yellowdog doesn’t share well with Maddie.  Their relationship is built on the fact that Maddie loves to share with Yellowdog (she has figured out that affection can be bought with snacks).  Yellowdog mostly just likes to steal stuff from Maddie.


I dressed the girls up for the tea party – Maddie in her cute red hat, and Yellowdog in a red scarf. I got them both in the playroom and we set up Maddie’s tea set and got ready to settle in for some treats. I had tasted one before hand, and they were yummy. Maddie started chomping away happily on a treat when Yellowdog snatched it right out of her hand… Maddie screamed. And, then the crazy dog proceeded to eat about a dozen more treats before I could get a hand on the situation.

So, while I can’t recommend trying to sit your energetic yellow lab down with your toddler for a tea party to share some biscuits, I can highly recommend these dog treats.  I had a quick nibble of them to make sure the texture was right for Maddie.  And, well, we all know Yellowdog approved.



Molasses Banana Biscuits (for dogs or teething babies!)
Makes 16 cookies (approx. 2 1/2 inches long)

  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
    (Note – Other molasses, including “dark” molasses should not be given to dogs… But, according to my research, blackstrap molasses is OK)
  • 1 very ripe banana, mashed
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (plus additional for sprinkling work surface)
  • 1/2 cup quick cooking oats


Preheat the oven to 300°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone liner and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the egg, olive oil, and molasses.  Stir in the banana, mixing until smooth.  Add the whole wheat flour and oats, and stir to form a soft dough.  Turn the dough out onto a floured surface.  Roll out to approximately 1/2-inch thickness.

Use a cookie cutter to cut shapes, or simply use a knife to cut into squares or rectangles.  Place the cookies/biscuits on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for about 45 – 50 minutes.  For extra hard cookies (perfect for teething babies), turn off the oven and leave the biscuits in the oven for an additional hour or so.