Spooky Mac N’ Cheese and Other Finger Food Treats

What shall I attempt to get in my little man’s belly this week?! I’m thinking something yummy and festive in the spirit of upcoming Halloween. I’ve also been thinking about carrots and what can I do to get my son to eat them again. He used to love carrots. Now he will eat them pureed but no other way. So here’s what I came up with.

Spooky Mac N’ Cheese:

Ingredients: 12 oz. Wacky Mac (or any dry pasta), 1/4 cup butter, 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, 2 cups milk, salt & pepper to taste, 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, 1 bunch of carrots, tofu

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1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook macaroni in the boiling water, stirring occasionally until cooked through but firm to the bite, 8 minutes. Drain.

2.Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat; stir in flour until smooth.  Add salt and pepper to taste. 

3.Slowly pour milk into butter-flour mixture, stir continuously until mixture is smooth and bubbling.

4. Add Cheddar cheese to milk mixture and stir until cheese is melted. I like to go heavy on the cheese (I used 3 cups) for extra cheesy goodness.

5.Fold macaroni into cheese sauce until coated.

6.Cut carrots into penny size and steam using food processor to soften.

7.Gently fold carrots into mac n’ cheese.

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8.Cut tofu into bat shapes as pictured below. I use flavored tofu that I buy from Trader Joe’s. Cook tofu in frying pan on medium heat until brown on both sides (about 8 mins). Flip half way through cooking. When finished, gently toss tofu bats into mac n’ cheese.

9. Bon appe’tit baby! This yields a lot of mac n’ cheese so share with the whole family. Refrigerate or freeze to store.

Verdict: I call this spooky mac n’ cheese because the carrots look like pumpkins and obviously the tofu bats. Makes it fun for littles. Making tofu bats takes a little extra time and patience but my mom would have done the same for me. Unfortunately, the carrot pumpkins were left behind however the macaroni and tofu bats were a hit. I served this with tomatoes and blueberries.

Determined to make carrots work, I started thinking. Pumpkin Carrot Dots are where my mind led. So I gave them ago.

Pumpkin Carrot Dots:

1.Pennied and steamed carrots

2.When steaming is complete, drain water, add 1/2 cup milk and puree

3. Puree until smooth, scoop into pint size Ziploc bag, cut a small corner piece of the Ziploc bag off and squeeze dots (I like dime size dots) with a stem for the pumpkin look onto wax paper.

4. Freeze. Serve frozen. Carrot dots thaw and soften quickly, recommend serving just a few at a time. Store in freezer.

Verdict: Pumpkin carrot dots were a no go for my baby, but if your little likes carrots you may want to give these a try! I’m aware they don’t look much like pumpkins, I tried!

With pumpkin carrot dots thrown all over my dining room, I stared at the left over carrot puree in my fridge. Then I looked at the over ripe bananas and banana moons with pumpkins and bats came to fruition.

Halloween Banana Moons:

1.Puree bananas only in food processor.

2. Scoop into Ziploc bag, cut off a small corner and make silver dollar size banana dots on wax paper. (Need to make your dots on a sturdy base that can be placed in the freezer).

3.Freeze banana until hard then use carrot puree to make designs and refreeze .

4. Serve Frozen. These melt fast so just serve a few at a time. Store in freezer.

Verdict: SCORE! Just the pumpkin carrot dots were left. These were gobbled up and left my baby saying “nana (banana), bat, moon and more.” Win-win. My son loves bananas so I was hoping this would do the trick. I think the cold feels good to his teething gums. I will be making these again.

For more fun fall finger food recipes see Pumpkin Yogurt Dots,  Indian Corn and Pumpkin Muffins.

Cheers to fall cooking!

Molly

Respect, kindness and love begin with babies…we must show them the way!

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