Who are the Tiny Tarts?

The Tiny Tarts are the Country Tart's two young daughters who help out so much in the kitchen, in the creation of this blog and in the production of the SERVING up a SMILE weekly column, that it only seems fitting that they get their own space to share what it is they do.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

We MADE Marshmallows!

It snowed and we didn't have any marshmallows. We made homemade marshmallows. My favorite part was when they stuck together like a big pizza dough on a plate. My mom let us eat that part. She toasted some and some we just ate plain and in hot cocoa.


Marshmallow recipe courtesy of Alton Brown of the Food Network.

Click here to find out how to make your own batch of Sippin' Chocolate to go along with these marshmallows. And then click here to find out why sipping chocolate is the key to being healthy and happy in 2011!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My Mom Served Candy for Dinner

December 20, 2010

My mom gave us candy for dinner last night.  She put sugar in a pan with the seeds from a squash and made caramel.  It was really good.  I even ate the squash.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

After School Snacking

When I was a child my mother would make peanut butter popcorn by mixing equal parts butter and peanut butter, microwaving unitl soft, and tossing into air popped corn for a deliciously messy after school snack.  Whe our oldest Tart asked me if I could make her some peanut butter popcorn this afternoon, I thought this was the perfect opportunity to test it with olive oil in place of butter.  My youngest Tart asked if we could put honey in it (she asks if we can put honey in just about everything) and their creation was a pretty satisfying snack that looks pretty good nutritionally as well. 

Be warned, the water content in the honey means this won't last long and it gets "soggy" about as fast as cereal does in a bowl of milk.  No worries, however, if your kids enjoy this as much as mine, it won't last long anyway.

Perhaps the best part is that because it's on the messy side, it encourages eating a piece at a time instead of stuffing it in by the handful.


6 cups air popped corn
1 ½ tablespoons natural unsalted, creamy or crunchy, peanut butter 
1 teaspoon raw honey
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
pinch kosher salt

1 - Place peanut butter and honey in microwave safe dish and warm for just about ten seconds, watching closely to make sure it doesn't burn or bubble over.

2 - Stir warmed mixture until smooth and add in olive oil and salt. 

3 - Stir again until smooth and drizzle half of the mixture over half of the popped corn in a large bowl.

4 - Using fingers, toss it quickly and thoroughly to coat. 

5 - Repeat with remaining popcorn and sauce; serve immediately.

Makes 6 cups. Nutritional Info per cup:

Monday, August 30, 2010

What's for Lunch

Leftovers were never a welcome meal in my own childhood but as an adult I have learned that making ends meet is far more than a notion.  If I sliced up leftover meat (in this instance: venison loin) and placed it on a sandwich, I am certain it would have been met with an "awww, mom!"  By diciing it fine and mixing it with corn, shredded cheese, beans and salsa and then stuffing into miniature wheat pitas, suddenly, this meal has a new life.  Most importantly, it is a life that the tiny tarts do not suspect to be leftovers.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Picnic with a Couple of Very Tiny Tarts!

Perhaps the best argument for introducing kids to fruits and veggies early: they are just that much more adorable when playing with their food!  An added bonus is that they grow naturally learning to love the foods that love them back.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Making New Friends

This is Maya and we met some friends that my mom met on NM.  They were Karyn and Robin and were sisters.  Greg came too. 

We had lunch and got to put lipstick and blush on Karyn.  Annabel pretended to serve cake to Greg.  They were nice and also they brought me dress up shoes.  We had pancakes with them on Sunday.


Sunday, June 27, 2010

What's Ice Cream?

The tarts forget all about the creamy stuff when fresh, local watermelons arrive at the market!  For what it's worth, even young children recognize that some of life's best treats arrive only during the summer and for a very short period of time. 

As parents, we can use our own excitement for summer's bounty in teaching children to eat their veggies (and grains, as seen above).

If they grow it, they're more inclined to eat it. Get them involved in the garden!

The same goes for foods that they've harvested themselves. Not only are children learning an important lesson on the work it takes to get food on their table, but they will probably be more willing to try foods that they've collected with their own hands.

And climbing a tree is involved, the fruit will surely taste much sweeter. ~

Pudding for Breakfast

I woke up Sunday morning and I told my mom that I wanted oatmeal for breakfast. Then she made me something more special. Here is a picture of my breakfast and my mom has put the recipe here.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Camping and Company

Making ice cream in a coffee can.

Hi this is Maya

Me and my family we went camping on
5/16/10. We went without our father because he had to work on our water. Anyway the first day was fun But the second night was buggy. We made homemade mint chocolate chip ice cream with a jar some salt and ice and a coffee can.

STILL making ice cream in a coffee can.

Eating ice cream!

Then 5/17/10 We had company his name is Andy we ate pizza and fruit salad. Andy sold all his things now he travels around the world he has seen many places.  My mom Met him on NM and we wish him safe travels.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Kids Can Write Healthy, Too!

It seems I have been blog negligent as of late and my Tiny Tarts are not terribly happy about having to be cast aside for my many other ventures.  Here we have our six year old  as she began writing in her journal to create her own entry.  Way to go, kid!

It didn't take long for her to decide she needed to type it directly into the computer.   One more person in this house vying for use of the laptop.  Sigh.   I am one proud mama, nonetheless, so please find her first ever self written Tiny Tarts blog, below:

My Blog, Kid's Can Eat Healthy Too:

Kids can Eat healthy too. Lots of kids think they do not like Healthy foods, but guess what I found out when I eat junk food the taste gets stuck in my taste buds. One day my mother served yogurt. And I asked if I was able to have some. And I liked it. and That day I found out that I only like home made Greek yogurt.

Here are some things that will get kids to eat healthy foods. Brownies with black beans. Vegetable dip with Greek yogurt. Banana and blue berry and baby spinach smoothie.
Almond chocolate milk. If you like lots of not good for you things Try these things.

Rock on, little Matava!    Expect additional kid-inspired entries to follow~

Food Journalist in the Making: In this house, it seems it's expected that someone will come to the dinner table with a camera in hand!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Just a Quick Note...

The cookie pics are from last year but we were feeling the need to add something new while we figure out our next project.

Finally, the weather's getting warmer...

New Tiny Tarts in the kitchen coming later this week!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

VeeeeJaaaay's Slippery Sesame Nooooooodles!

It's a TINY COUSIN TART!   Anna and Maya's cousin VJ likes to help his momma in the kitchen, too.  He has an impressive little palate and a great sense of humor. From pesto to pomegranates, there's not a lot I haven't seen him try.  We love and miss you Veej!  Thanks for dropping in on the Tiny Tart.

VJ's momma shares: "This sauce tastes good on quinoa, too!" Gosh I love her! And I've tried it...it's darn good. Especially enjoyable with some BBQ chicken (or ribs) and steamed broccoli in a happy, flavorful, bowl of ancient grain, modern-method yum!


1 pound fresh thin whole wheat, whole grain noodles (or 1 cup of quinoa, cooked to make 3 cups)
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup sunflower seed butter
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
1 small clove garlic, crushed
2 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
6 springs fresh cilantro, stems trimmed, leaves chopped


1 - Cook pasta or quinoa according to package directions.

2 - While pasta is cooking, whisk together in large bowl: vinegar, sunflower seed butter, soy sauce, honey, sesame oil and garlic. 

3 - Drain pasta (no draining necessary with fully-cooked quinoa) and, while still hot, toss with sauce until pasta is thoroughly coated.  Toss in scallions and cilantro and serve warm or cool and serve as a cold salad. 

Nutritional info for 1/4 of recipe when made with quinoa, (approximatey 3/4 Cup serving):

~ Nutritional info carefully calculated using recipe/ nutrient compilation and is deemed close but not accurate. ~

Tart Sized Tacos!

Children, especially small children, have small stomachs and are not necessarily able to get their nutritional needs met at meal time. Hearty, healthy snacks are a great way to get those nutrients in. Kids of all ages like miniature versions of their favorite foods.

Bean Taco Snackers

corn tortillas
shredded cheese


1 - Turn broiler on in oven.

2 - Using a biscuit cutter or circle cookie cutter, stack and cut tortillas.  You should be able to get three tacos out of each tortilla.  We save the scraps to crisp up for Chilaquiles de Frijole.

3 - Line the tacos up on a baking sheet.  You will notice from the pictures that we don't use our good baking sheets for this!

4 - With rack placed in middle of oven, place sheet under broiler and leave until toasted (1-2 minutes).  Watch carefully so that they do not burn.

5 - Place containers of cheese, salsa and beans on work surface.  Remove tortillas from oven and flip each one over.

6 - Allow children to top each with a teaspoon of beans, about a 1/4 teaspoon of salsa and a pinch of shredded cheese (we used a mexican blend). 

7 - Place under broiler for 1-2 minutes or until cheese has melted.  Place on a serving plate and allow kids the opportunity to serve themselves some appetizer-style snacks.

Nutritional Info:

Nutritional data is calculated using ingredient compilation tool and is deemed close but not accturate.

Monday, March 8, 2010


What kid doesn't like strawberry milk?  When I was a child, I remember one of my favorite things about a trip to grandma's was the noxious-pink colored powder in a can that we stirred into our milk.  For a healthy makeover using real food, try making this with your kids. 

The Tiny Tarts give this a two thumbs up seal of approval.  It's healtly, quick, and the kind of snack that they can make themselves with a bit of supervision.  Don't forget the garnish!  Kids really like it when they feel like their food has received the special treatment. 

Strawberry Moo


8 ounces 1 % milk
4 strawberries, plus 2 for garnish (3 ounces total), rinsed and tops removed
1 1/2 teaspoons raw honey*

Reserving two strawberries for garnish, add all remaining ingredients to a blender.  Whip up until frothy.  Divide into two glasses, garnish each with an additional strawberry. 

*Honey is not considered safe for children under the age of two.

Recipe makes two servings:

Nutritional info calculated by ingredients and is deemed close but not accurate. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Healthy Hands in the Kitchen

While working on this week's SERVING up a SMILE: Shall We Shop? I took two kids grocery shopping (no school due to snow). We used the label-scrutinizing piece as a sort of home schooling and the girls were instructed to look for snacks that had five ingredients or less.

Our oldest daughter asked how many ingredients went into homemade applesauce and a bag of apples was promptly put into the cart. While explaining that it could be made with apples alone, we did put a pinch of turbinado sugar and some cinnamon in these. At the end we threw in some orange zest for good measure (orange zest goes in, well, everything!).

"What should I do with the skins?"  Not a point to ponder with a little sister on the cleanup committee.  Later we may live to question whether or not the three year old digestive system can handle the skins from four apples.

Snack preparation also promotes teamwork because the faster we get it done, the faster we can eat!

Ready for the stovetop.  We did add about 1/4 cup of water to this as the apples were a little dry. 

How is it girls?   I think they liked it :-)