Annabel Karmel Favorite Family Meals

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Yes, my new favorite cookbook. Anyone with a toddler can probably understand how hard it can be to feed one. Avery has "her own ideas" of what meals should be. She can mand for what she wants and will often get it herself. So helpful . . . Avery has always been a healthy eater and even though she is rather picky right now with dinner time we are continuing to make family meals in the hopes that she will at least try it but ultimately get used to having what's for dinner in our house; fruit and milk are always offered non-contingently. It's important we continue to eat low sodium so I always need to pick meals that are rarely pre-packaged. I would say our main packaged foods right now are pasta, rice, waffle mix, cereal and pizza crust. Though pizza crust and waffle mix I could probably make from scratch - it's just the time factor with them. I The only packaged items we buy frozen are vegetables. It takes a lot more pre-planning and organization on my part, but we are doing pretty well. And we have a few hits!! The summer months make it real easy. I have 11 herbs growing including a sugar plant {who knew ?}. We are also doing peppers, tomatoes & strawberries as well. And ofcourse the local fruits and vegetables help as well. I have a recipe for cucumber-lemonade that I want to try.

Enter in Annabel Karmel's Favorite Family Meals. Honestly - they are really good and super kid friendly! Lots of great ideas for breakfast and lunchboxes. I especially liked this banana bread: I had all the ingredients on hand so when we had a few overripe bananas I dug in. Loved that it needed no buttermilk. It's always a pain and a waste to buy it. Book found at local B&N.

Recipe: 1 stick butter 1 cup brown sugar 1 egg 1 lb bananas, mashed 3 tbl plain yogurt 1 tsp pure vanilla extract 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour 1 tsp baking soda 1 tsp ground cinnamon 1/4 tsp salt 3/4 tsp raisins (optional) 2 tbl chopped nuts (optional) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F; grease and line an 8 1/2 x 4 1/4x 2 1/2 inch loaf pan. Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy, then add the egg and continue to beat until smooth. Add the mashed bananas, yogurt, and vanilla. Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon & salt and beat this gradually into the banana mixture. Finally, stir the raisins and nuts if using. Bake for about 1 hr or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.