Jack-o’-Pot Pie

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Kids will go crazy for this pot pie designed to look like a jack o’ lantern. Serve it up with some history of why we carve pumpkins at Halloween, including how the Irish brought the tradition over, and how the original jack o’ lanterns were made from turnips and beets. Then dig in! This was a great follow-up to the Boo-Nana Bread Travis and I recently cooked up from Raddish Kids’ Spooky Kitchen crate.

To start, Travis helped dice one onion, and to peel and slice carrots into rounds. It’s the first time I let him do the peeling without any assistance, what a milestone!

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Melt 4 tablespoons Earth Balance butter in a pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, and 1 teaspoon salt; cook for 8 minutes, until soft.

Add 1 (8-ounce) package sliced mushrooms; cook for 5 minutes.

Stir in 1/4 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon sage. Cook for 1 minute.

Add 1 and 1/2 cups vegetable broth, 1/4 cup plain non-dairy creamer, and 1/2 cup frozen peas. Bring to a boil; continue to cook for 2 minutes, then remove form heat and set aside.

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Meanwhile, we needed to make our jack o’ lantern face! Roll out pre-made pie dough (check out Immaculate Bakery for a vegan option) and cover with a 9-inch pie plate. Trace around the circle and trim the excess dough.

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Travis loved selecting which pumpkin face we should “carve”.

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I carefully cut out the features with a knife. Older kids can tackle this step themselves!

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Place the pie pan on a baking sheet and spoon in the hot filling. Carefully place the dough on top. Bake at 400 degrees F for 17 to 18 minutes, until browned.

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Obviously the effect won’t last once you spoon in for servings… but the pumpkin sure looks spooky this way!

Roasted Potato Rounds

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Way healthier than potato chips, but fantastically yummy, this recipe is a great way to get babies to eat potatoes if they don’t like them mashed.

Ingredients:

  • 3 red potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Sprinkle of salt
  1. Peel the potatoes and cut into thin slices. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  2. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt. Bake at 475 degrees F for 13 minutes.

Veronika loves that she can hold these by hand for delicious nibbling!

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Personalize Your Baby’s Space

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On the eve of Veronika’s first birthday, I wanted to give her room a personal touch. I’m limited because we don’t own our home, otherwise might have considered more permanent decoration like a painted border of her favorite things (school buses, musical instruments, etc.).

Instead, I found easy-to-mount cork boards and simply tacked up pictures. Cats are a clear favorite of hers, so I found a few pictures and included other animals she likes (she says “ca ca” for a duck’s quack and a little “ffff” for a dog’s woof).

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Now she can smile up at these decorations while she plays in her room. I also tacked up recent photos and handprints to add a personal touch to the space.

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She makes her likes and dislikes and personality more known each day! What does your baby love at one year old? Please share in the comments!

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Feely Bags

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It’s been a while since I focused on a texture game with Veronika. To keep a one-year-old intrigued, you need more than just objects¬†with texture: Make them a surprise with a reach-inside feely bag.

Fill a small child’s backpack with a few items, choosing ones that vary considerably in texture. First up, a crumpled piece of newspaper. This was crinkly and soft, I told her as she kneaded it in her hands.

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Next up: a knobby sensory ball. We talked about how it was squishy and bumpy.

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And best of all bouncy!

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Then she pulled out a soft and fluffy stuffed hedgehog.

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This was followed by a jingly set of toy keys.

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Finally, I included a wooden block, using words like “hard” and “smooth” to describe it.

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Meanwhile she had lots of fun simply filling the bag up with items, taking them out again, and repeating… A soon-to-be-toddler favorite activity, as I recall.