Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #LoveLunchIn #CollectiveBias There’s never enough time. I think that’s the mom’s and teacher’s credo. Often, I try to cram so much into a day and multi-task every step of the way. I fold laundry while singing “Old McDonald” to entertain my one-year old. I check email next to my daughter as she does her homework. I prepare for an afternoon lesson when I’m eating my lunch. I’m not the type to wolf down a cold turkey sandwich in the name of convenience. I need to anticipate and enjoy every meal to keep myself a happy person. When I’m substitute teaching, I have approximately “40” minutes to get lunch. I use quotations because that’s not entirely true. I usually have some kids stay in to finish homework, I have to run to the office to check up on a student, I have to use the bathroom and then make sure I’m prepared to teach the afternoon lesson. That leaves about 15 minutes for lunch. I always pack my lunch which helps me keep my sanity. The same is true of when I’m an at-home mom. I get five or ten minutes alone. After that, my son Dude will cling onto my legs and cry at me to pick him up. My lunches have to be fast wherever I am. Last week, we picked up Campbell’s Slow Kettle Soup at Walmart. Dude, the always enthusiastic eater, was eager to try some before we left the store. These soups are such an easy solution to my problem of wanting to eat good food but not having much time. I packed the Tuscan Style Chicken and White Bean for a substitute teaching assignment that I had last week along with a Tomato, Mozzarella and Basil Sandwich. For the sandwich, I bought a whole wheat panini roll from the bakery case and layered on fresh tomato, mozzarella, basil as well as a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and olive oil. The soup has a restaurant style taste and the whole meal was reminiscent of eating in my favorite cafe in Gilbert. Campbell’s Slow Kettle soup is best heated on a stove, however it can also be heated in a microwave which is what I did. The Tuscan Style Chicken and White Bean Soup had large and tender chunks of chicken along with robust pieces of carrot and white beans. The entire meal was incredibly filling and allowed me to eat and prepare for the afternoon lesson at the same time. The following day, I played my stay-at-home mom role and prepared a quick lunch for my son and myself. We had the Portobello Mushroom and Madeira Bisque with a whole wheat sandwich topped with herbed goat cheese, spinach and tomatoes. For the herbed goat cheese, I simply chopped up a little fresh oregano and combined it with plain goat cheese. Dude was a big fan of the soup more […]
Easy family meals, decadent sweets, crock pot meals, holiday sides - everything to make the kitchen a fun and easy place.
Every Christmas, my Grandma would make a tin of cookies for every single family in her brood. These tins would be stuffed with chocolate chip cookies, butterscotch cookies and lemon bars. I loved all of the cookies, but those lemon bars stand out the most. Tart and sweet, dusted with powdered sugar. Every bit was delicious and a little messy. I could never sneak lemon bars from the cookie tin because the tell-tale signs of powdered sugar would always be on my shirt.My Grandma passed away in 2005. The picture below was taken 3 years prior during a vacation we took in Alaska. In memory of her, my aunt made a scrapbook for all of us kids of pictures of my Grandma Ann and few of her recipes. Thankfully, this lemon bar recipe was on there! I’ve made these once before, but they didn’t taste right. So this time, I enlisted the help of my mom who guided me through some of the steps.The secret is the butter in the bottom layer. I could not figure out how to incorporate the butter with the dry ingredients in my previous attempt… so, I melted it in the microwave. The resulting crust was heavy. This time, my mom brought the butter to room temperature and cut it into squares. I added these squares, a couple at a time, to the flour mixture. Using a dough blender, I cut the butter in. The resulting mixture was grainy but compacted nicely when pressed into the pan.These lemon bars are buttery and perfect for a Christmas cookie gift. I now share my Grandma’s recipe for Deluxe Lemon Bars with you! [yumprint-recipe id=’2′]This post is Day 1 of our Countdown to Christmas. Click below to see more amazing holiday recipes, family tradition, crafts and more.
I’m loving everything pumpkin right now. Pumpkin Spice Lattes from Starbucks. Salted Caramel Pumpkin Concrete Mixers at Culvers. Pumpkin brownies from our local FairyTale Brownies. All the pumpkin is delicious and tastes like Fall. However, these pumpkin choices are all pretty sweet and not in the least bit healthy. Problem solved. Here is a yummy and nutritious pumpkin pie smoothie recipe with all the pumpkin taste that you can feel good about having for breakfast. My daughter, Llama was my professional kid taste tester for this smoothie.She approves.My one-year-old son loved it as well. He slurped down his cup without taking a break for air. Pin this recipe for a healthy breakfast alternative and kid pleaser! [yumprint-recipe id=’1′]
1. Watermelon Brain 2. Spooky Veggies N Dip 3. Roasted Red Pepper Deviled Eggs 4. Saucy Spider with Hairy Legs Sticks 5. Graveyard Taco Dip 6. Pumpkin Patch Dippers 7. Monster Mouths 8. Bag of Bones Snack Mix 9. Candy Corn Cake Wedges 10. Bloodshot Peanut Butter Eyeballs 11. Spooky Witches’ Fingers 12. Halloween Bark 13. Witch Cupcakes 14. Caramel Apple Party 15. Gooey Monster Eye Cookies 16. Caramel Apple Pops 17. Bat Oreo Truffles 18. Glow In the Dark Cupcakes 19. Gross Gummy Worm Ice Cubes 20. Kitty Litter Cake 21. Vanilla Pumpkin Dip 22. Haunted Ghost Cake 23. Frankenstein Marshmallow Pops 24. Pumpkin Cake-O-Lantern What is your favorite Halloween treat? Share your link with us!
Truth be told. I’ve never enjoyed chocolate cake. Maybe I’ve never had great ones. They are always too dry and not fudgy enough for my liking. When I stumbled on this recipe years ago, I felt like I discovered gold. Enter the most delicious, moist, cupcakes ever imagined. And then gasp when you discover the secret ingredient: beer!Yes, this recipe calls for an entire bottle of beer. You can always vary what kind of beer you use, however I found that a nice dark stout works the best. You simply stir together all of the ingredients and then pour the beer over it. If you are worried about the alcohol content in these, indulge me with a little math. If you want to skip the math, skip the italicized section. The beer I used was 6% alcohol by volume. The bottle contained 12 ounces which means that (.06 x 12) 0.72 ounces is alcohol. This recipe makes 30 cupcakes so that is approximately (0.72 / 30) 0.024 oz in each cupcake unbaked. However, a recent study done by the US Department of Agriculture says only 40% of the alcohol remains in this recipe after baking. That means there is only (0.4 x 0.024) 0.0096 oz of alcohol remaining in each cupcake after baking. But that’s actually incorrect, because I use vanilla extract in my cream cheese frosting. Pure vanilla extract is always 35% alcohol. I use 1 tablespoon in the cream cheese frosting. 1 tablespoon is equal to 1/2 ounce. So I know there is (0.35 x 0.5) 0.175 ounces of alcohol in the frosting. Divided between 30 cupcakes means there is 0.0058 oz of alcohol in just the frosting – about the same amount in the cake. If you are not worried about the frosting and using vanilla extract, I wouldn’t worry about the beer in the cake. Back to the beer. Once you pour in the beer, mix to make sure all the dry ingredients are thoroughly incorporated The resulting batter will seem a little runny. But, that means you have it right.I then use a ladle to fill the cupcake liners 2/3 of the way through. Pop these in the oven for the recommended time and test with a toothpick for done-ness. If you stick in your toothpick and any cake appears on it, put the cupcakes back in the oven for another minute or so and then test again until the toothpick comes out clean.Once baked, slather with homemade cream cheese frosting. And enjoy! [yumprint-recipe id=’4′]
I’ve been looking for ways to simplify our morning routine while eating healthy. I’ve heard of other families making waffles in big batches and freezing them. However, I am horrible at making waffles. This is how they usually turn out. I am usually barely able to remove them from the waffle iron. And while they are still tasty in that state, they don’t look the prettiest nor do they freeze easily for no-fuss weekday breakfasts. No worries, now I have it figured out! My kids and I enjoyed beautifully intact homemade whole wheat waffles all week. I realized three tips make the difference. Grease the iron between waffles. Turn the iron on it’s hottest setting. Cook the waffle until it achieves a nice golden brown. So, I present my new fool proof method for freezer waffles: First mix the ingredients in the recipe below to make your batter. Once your batter is mixed, gently mix in 1/4 – 1/2 cup of fresh blueberries. You can use any fruit you want here, but I’m a personal fan of blueberries because they keep their shape and don’t discolor the batter.I use a belgian waffle press. I heat this on its hottest setting. Once it is preheated, I take a stick of butter and rub it over the entire hot surface of the iron. I then use a 1/2 cup ladle and pour the waffle batter slowly into the middle, making sure that it evenly disperses. My main goal is that batter doesn’t run off and congregate in one direction. I close the waffle lid and wait. This is the hardest part because I don’t want to burn the waffle and yet I need it cooked enough to maintain its form. Here’s the secret. I check the color. If I open the lid and that waffle is not yet golden brown, I simply close it again. Sounds so simple, but I wasn’t doing this before. I simply relied on the clock instead. Do you notice how different this waffle looks compared to my first crumby picture? Completely different color. Then I remove the waffle and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Lastly, I repeat the process making sure that I grease the waffle iron before I pour on the batter. Dude and I amused ourselves during this time by feeding bits of my broken waffle to each other. Once the baking sheet is full, I pop it into the freezer for 30 minutes. After that, I break the waffles apart into fourths, store them in a freezer ziploc bag and place them in my freezer. These waffles make for very simple meals during the school week. I simply take one out of the bag and pop it into the toaster. So much tastier than the waffles you get in the freezer section. No preservatives either. Both kids loved them! They make a pretty tasty adult breakfast as well. Ready to try them? [yumprint-recipe id=’5′]
In my house, weekday dinners are insane. If I don’t have something cooking by 5:30pm, my sanity starts to disappear on account of my son’s “witching hour.” It’s handy to have a list of easy crock pot meals I can use for the crazy days. My definition of easy is: minimal chopping throw everything in the pot and turn it on Here are my list of go-to meals, followed by some Whimsicle readers’ favorites.
In my quest to be a better wife, I decided to boil eggs for my husbands lunches. The only problem… all the egg was peeling away with the shell. Thus began my experiments to make the PERFECT hard boiled egg.
I LOVE cooking in the crock pot, especially this Chicken Noodle Soup. With three little ones, this saves me the chaos of cooking and watching the kids during the witching hour of the evening. This soup is one of my favorite go-to meals and offers plenty of leftovers.
My 1-year old son is my little minion. He laughs hysterically at the tiniest jokes, babbles incoherently and makes spitting noises through his baby lips. For his one-year-old birthday, I planned a Minion themed party. Read on for the Minion Party food ideas that I used! Before Dude’s birthday, I scoured the internet for Minion party food ideas. I couldn’t find a single site with a Minion themed menu that didn’t consist entirely of different forms of sugar. So with a little creativity and the help of my favorite photo editing program, I revised some Pinterest recipes and gave them “Despicable Me” -like names. Our menu consisted of: Minion Meatballs The alliteration here was too good to pass up. I used a Sweet and Sour Meatball recipe from Pinterest. I served these with toothpicks on the side. No utensils required. Vector’s Pizza Ring This is a Pillsbury Pizza Bubble Ring recipe served with pizza sauce (from a jar) on the side. The pizza ring is comprised of pull apart rolls stuffed with pepperoni and mozzarella. So delicious! My husband suggested adding it to our weekly dinner rotation. El Macho’s Chips & Salsa Easy one. Buy a bag of Tostitos, a jar of Pace Salsa and BAM! I also served queso with the chips as well. Cuke-y Robots This was my “pat myself on the back” moment because I figured out how to make the idea of “cookie robots” healthy. I used this Cucumber and Tomato bite appetizer recipe and then affixed bell pepper strips to a few. It was easy, yummy and they looked enough like robots for me! Shrunken Moons Powdered donut holes! This idea is all over the internet and was too cute for me to not include. We finished off our Minion meal with a cake made by local bakery, Mind Over Batter. I requested this be a Red Velvet cake with cream cheese butter cream frosting because I love that combination and I know most of my family loves it as well. What I didn’t take into consideration was that the cake is in the shape of a Minion head. When my hubby sliced through the cake, a thin red line appeared down the length of the cranium. We basically served everyone Minion brains. They were delicious Minion brains though. &amp;lt;A HREF=”http://ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&amp;amp;MarketPlace=US&amp;amp;ID=V20070822%2FUS%2Fwhimsicle03-20%2F8010%2F34cae21b-5119-4e9b-b234-1f704585fcad&amp;amp;Operation=NoScript”&amp;gt;Amazon.com Widgets&amp;lt;/A&amp;gt; We also set the Minion’s head on fire and this was the reaction. Other than that, my little minion thoroughly enjoyed his minion party food and there was enough variety to keep all the grown-ups happy. Shared with: Be Different. Act Normal, Reasons to Skip the Housework