Jul 312015
 

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #DipYourWay #CollectiveBias

Minecraft Creeper Veggie Tray

Are you one of those parents that faces a major challenge in getting their kids to eat their veggies?  I am.  My oldest son is the exception when it comes to veggies – he can’t get enough.  On the other hand, my little guy will almost never put a vegetable in to his mouth willingly. Talk about complete opposites.  So with my youngest, sometimes I have to get a little fun and creative when it comes to getting him to eat his veggies.  I have tried lots of different things ranging from sneaking them into other foods (my pasta sauce for example) to buying delicious Kraft Dips to help encourage my son to eat his veggies!

Here are some of the things I’ve tried over the years to get him to eat his veggies. These ideas are so convincing that you might even start eating your veggies, too.

Bake Amazing Meals

Okay, so looking at veggies, it’s pretty clear as to why kids don’t want to eat them – they look boring. So why not take those veggies to the next level?  Try making dishes like stuffed peppers or bright and colorful salads to help convince your children to eat their veggies.

Sneak Them Into Other Foods

I have been known to mix some cauliflower into my mashed potatoes or chop up some veggies really finely to put into my pasta sauce. I love that the kids don’t even realize they’re eating veggies and as long as you tell them at some point when they’re are older, like when they’re 50, it’s not considered lying!

Make Sure They’re Hungry

One of my favorite ways to get my kids to eat their veggies is to make sure they’re hungry. It’s one of the first things I feed my kids when it’s time for a snack. They are more likely to eat their veggies if they are hungry and trust me on this one, I know from experience. Continue reading »

Jul 142015
 

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #EffortlessMeals #CollectiveBias

Easy Barbecue Chicken Pizza #EffortlessMeals #CollectiveBias #ad

If your family is anything like mine, you are always on the go in the summer time.  Here in the Boston area, we only get about three months of really nice weather, so we are always outside enjoying it as much as possible.  Whether we’re at the beach, the town pool, having a picnic with friends or going on a day trip, our days are always filled with fun and adventure. Since we’re out out doing something pretty much every single day in the summer, it leaves me very little time to plan meals let alone actually cook them.  But I have the perfect solution for that!  An easy homemade barbecue chicken pizza – on the grill! And hey, I am all for an effortless summer meal that the whole family enjoys.

I headed over to Walmart to get what I needed to make our pizza:

Quick Meals at Walmart

I grabbed a fully cooked Marketside rotisserie chicken and a Marketside ready to cook pizza along with the rest of my ingredients while I was at Walmart.  The rotisserie chicken and ready to cook pizza make it easy to create a meal quickly.  It’s a bonus is you don’t have to heat up your house in the summertime by not having to turn on the oven to cook the chicken.

All you need to make your pizza in addition to the fully cooked Marketside rotisserie chicken and Marketside ready to cook pizza is some of your favorite BBQ sauce, an onion and some fresh cilantro. Continue reading »

Jul 132015
 

**This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HouseofBBQ #CollectiveBias This content is intended for readers who are 21 and over.

Easy Peasy Beer Cheese Dip

My husband Chris and I love to entertain at our house all year round, but we especially like having friends and/or family over in the summer time.  There is just something about sitting outside by the fire with some good company and some even better food to munch on that makes summer nights absolute perfection.

I think by now that many of you know that our living situation is a little different. In case you didn’t already know this, Chris is my boy’s step-dad.  My boys have an amazing relationship with their real dad (yay) and they spend several nights every week over their dad’s house – giving Chris & I some much needed “adult” time every single week.

Since we entertain fairly often when the kids aren’t around, I like to make this amazing beer cheese dip for my guests.  It’s the perfect dip to serve when there are no kids around and trust me, it’s always a hit. Always.

This past Saturday just so happened to be one of those kid free days, and since the weather was gorgeous, we decided to have a few friends over.  The first thing I said to Chris was “I need to make my beer cheese dip for everyone”.  I stopped by my local Price Chopper to pick up some of our favorite beers: Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy & Grapefruit Shandy. My dip only calls for one beer, but hey – I wanted to make sure I had lots of beer for my guests.

Price Chopper Beer

Ingredients: Continue reading »

Jul 062015
 

Pretzel Crusted Chicken Strips

This recipe is a tasty dinner that both the kids and grown-ups will love! Not only is it delicious, it’s not fried making it a healthier meal option for your family. The kids love helping with this meal, too – crushing pretzels and dipping chicken is just plain fun and it teaches them some basic kitchen skills (make sure they wash their hands well before and after, of course). Add these Pretzel crusted chicken strips to your dinner rotation this week for a quick, yummy meal!

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ lbs. skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 ½ cups pretzels
  • ½ cup white flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. garlic salt
  • salt and pepper to taste

Continue reading »

Jun 152015
 

Star Spangled Cake Mix Cookies Recipe

Like most Americans, I will be attending a big cookout on July 4th this year.  Hey, it’s tradition, right?  Usually when I get invited to cookouts, I volunteer to bring a dessert.  I definitely prefer baking, but in the summer time I don’t like to have the oven on for too long because it heats up the whole house.  That is why these Star Spangled Cake Mix Cookies are perfect.  They are not only easy to make, they are festive and what’s even more, they only need a few minutes in the oven.  Check ’em out.

Star Spangled Cake Mix Cookie Ingredients:

1 box of white cake mix, any brand
2 tbs. flour
1/2 C. vegetable oil
2 egg whites
1/2 C. red, white and blue sprinkles
Continue reading »

Jun 012015
 

Peanut Butter & Banana Bites

I am not exaggerating when I say that my boys are always hungry.  Some days they completely eat me out of house and home.  I swear that they would just sit there and eat all day if I would let them – but I don’t.  So when I do feed them snacks, I look for ones that are not only going to fill their tummies, but are healthy as well.  Enter Peanut Butter & Banana Bites!  They fit both bills and the best part is that you only need two ingredients!  Plus you can whip these up in just a few minutes, so it’s a win-win in the snack category if you ask me.

Ingredients:

• Banana, sliced

• Peanut Butter

pb&b bites

Directions:

1. Peel your banana and slice into round pieces. Continue reading »

May 112015
 

Easy Root Beer Float Cupcakes Recipe

It’s been a busy year for us as far as celebrations and milestones go. My husband celebrated the big 4-0 in January, my little guy just got his First Communion and my step-son will be graduating high school next month.  It seems like it has been one party after another and there are still a few events worth celebrating coming up this summer.  And what’s a celebration without cupcakes?  These Root Beer Float cupcakes will blow your guests minds at your next party!

Here’s What you Need:

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 C all-purpose flour
1 T baking powder
1/2 t fine salt
1 1/2 C granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 C whole milk
1/2 Cup Mug Root Beer Continue reading »

Apr 092015
 

Strawberry Banana Mason Jar Mix

I am a major snacker.  I love to eat in general, but sometimes I would much rather sit down with a snack than have a meal.  That’s especially true when I am watching a movie or even blogging.  Some days I feel like I snack all day long and since I try to keep track of my calorie intake, healthier choices have been where it’s at for me lately.  This strawberry banana mason jar mix is literally the easiest snack you will ever make.

Here’s What You Need:
  • Plain popcorn
  • Dried cranberries or dried cherries

Strawberry Banana Mason Jar Mix5

  • Freeze dried strawberries and bananas

Continue reading »

Mar 262015
 

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FinalFourPack #CollectiveBias Coca-Cola is a corporate champion of the NCAA.

Easy Slam Dunk Cherry & Vanilla Coke Brownies #FinalFourPack #CollectiveBias

As I’m sure you’re fully aware of, NCAA® March Madness is in full swing.  Does your family get all into it like mine does?  Come the beginning of March, we carefully work on filling in our brackets and then watch all the games to see if our teams come out on top.

But seriously, what is game day without good snacks to keep our tummies full? In our house, snacks are synonymous with sitting down to watch the game.  We usually have an array of different foods whenever the game is on, but a sweet treat is a must-have in our family. These Slam Dunk Cherry & Vanilla Coke Brownies are insanely easy to make and they’re  guaranteed to satisfy hungry fans.

Rich chocolate and delicious cherries are a wonderful combination.  Mix in a can of Vanilla Coke and you have yourself an amazing pan of brownies that will disappear in minutes! Even better, the recipe only calls for three ingredients!

Since my recipe called for Vanilla Coke, I headed over to pick up some Coca Cola NCAA® Final Four Packs available at Walmart. I was so excited to find the Coca-Cola NCAA® Final Four Pack in Vanilla coke, but it’s also available in Cherry Coke and Coke Zero!  They’re perfect to share with friends and family during March Madness.

As you can see, the Coca Cola NCAA® Final Four Packs available at Walmart are 4 (16 cans) for $5!  What a great deal! Continue reading »

Mar 232015
 

White Chocolate Dipped Pretzel Rods

For a good part of the last decade, I have been hosting Easter dinner at my house.  While I like the convenience of not having to drag the kids out of the house sometimes, frankly all the years of cooking (and even worse, cleaning) have taken their toll.  So this year, I told my family that I no longer wanted to play host.  They took it better than I thought and my parents stepped up to host right away. About a week ago, we were all asked to sign up to bring a dish to their house that day and I snagged one of the dessert spots because I’ve had this recipe that I have been wanting to try out for chocolate dipped pretzels.  They’re super easy to make and I think they will make the perfect addition to any Easter dinner (or any dinner for that matter) this year.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 package white Almond Bark
  • Pretzel Rods
  • Sprinkles

Directions: Continue reading »

Mar 122015
 

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes The Perfect St. Patrick's Day Treat1

Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Duit! That’s “Happy Saint Patrick’s Day” in Irish. If you really want to impress your pals, make sure you alter the grammar of it to Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Daoibh when addressing two or more people. However, nothing will astound your friends like these amazing Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes, the perfect St. Patrick’s Day treat!

These cupcakes are rich, moist, and the perfect balance of fluffy and thick decadence. An entire bottle of Guinness goes into these party-friendly delights. The flavor sings through dessert, adding a unique taste that compliments the chocolate. You can frost them with a fluffy white or vanilla frosting to fully encompass the tang of a bottle of Guinness. Using a chocolate ganache topping is also a delicious option.

You Will Need:

  • 1 bottle of Guinness (11.2 oz if you are lucky enough to have it on tap)
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 3/4 cup of quality cocoa
  • 2 cups of brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup of sour cream (plain Greek yogurt is an excellent substitute)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Continue reading »

Mar 092015
 

**This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CrispyComeback #CollectiveBias**

M&M's Crispy Monster Cookies Recipe

You asked for it and you got it.  Oh yeah, I’m talking about M&M’s® Crispy!  They’re back! Customers asked for them and M&M’s brought them back due to the high demand. I was totally hooked on them when they were out before and when I heard that they were making a comeback, I couldn’t get to CVS fast enough to get some.

I found them right on candy aisle and may or may not have bought five bags of them when I was there.  Ok, I did, but come on, they’re awesome. M&M’s are my all time favorite candy and the crispy ones are SO good.  If you missed them when they were out before, get out there and get yourself some.  You will thank me.

M&M's Crispy CVS

In case you haven’t figured this out for yourself already, M&M’s are great to bake with.  You can do so much with them, but since I am a cookie addict, I went with M&M’s® Crispy Monster Cookies! Continue reading »

Mar 042015
 

Big Hero 6 Cupcakes Baymax Recipe

**Disclosure:  My family received a copy of Big Hero 6 on Blu-ray & DVD at no charge.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

Have you ever wanted to make your favorite character from Big Hero 6, but weren’t sure where to start? We recently got a copy of Disney’s Big Hero 6 on Blu-ray & DVD and I wanted to bring Baymax to life for my kids while we watched the movie, so I put my baking skills to the test. You can make these Baymax from Big Hero 6 cupcakes too! Just follow along.

Supplies:

  • 1 or 2 cupcake pans
  • 1 box of chocolate cake mix
  • 1 tube of black icing
  • 1 tube of vanilla frosting
  • Cupcake liners

Big Hero 6 Cupcakes1

Here’s what you do:

1.  Mix the cake mix together as instructed on the box. Continue reading »

Feb 282015
 

Mint M&M Bark Image

I don’t know how it is in your family, but in my house, each of us have a major sweet tooth.  Sure, a bag of M&M’s can satisfy that craving on most days, but every now then isn’t it fun to go all out and make something a little bit fancier with your candy?  That is why I love this mint M&M bark.  It’s super easy to make and even more importantly, it will not only cure your need for something sweet, but it will totally take care of your craving for something savory, too.

Here’s what you need:

1 cup mint M&M’s
1 1/2 C. broken pretzel pieces
1 12 oz package of Wilton dark chocolate candy melts
St. Patty’s sprinkles (green & white)

Directions:

1. Line a 9×13 baking sheet with wax paper or foil. Spread 3/4 cup of the mini M&M’s and all of the broken pretzel pieces onto the lined cookie sheet. Continue reading »

Feb 212015
 

Homemade Snow Ice Cream Recipe

To say that we have had a lot of snow here in the Boston area is an understatement.  I am just south of the city and we currently have about 4 feet of snow on the ground here.  I wish I were exaggerating about the snow total, but sadly it’s not joke.  Since we’ve been trapped in the house a lot this winter, one thing we like to do is make homemade ice cream out of snow.  Yes, snow.  It’s super easy to make and the kids love it.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cups sugar
  • CLEAN Snow
  • Optional:  Food coloring and/or sprinkles

Continue reading »

Jan 272015
 

Monster Burger Fun Kids Meal

When it comes to eating, we are a fairly simple family.  Some of us are fussy, so there are only a handful of meals that everyone in the house agrees on that they like.  Burgers happen to be one of those meals. We all love a nice juicy burger in our family, but sometimes Chris and I like to have a little fun in the kitchen.  We recently made these monster burgers and the kids absolutely loved them.

The thing is, if you’re making a burger anyways, you don’t need anything extra to make these (well, unless you don’t normally have a jar of olives on hand).

All you have to do is cut “teeth” into your cheese slices before you melt them onto the burger in the pan. Continue reading »

Jan 242015
 

Exploding Sprinkle Surprise Valentine's Day Cookies

It’s said that you eat with your eyes before you even take a bite. These Exploding Sprinkle Surprise Valentine’s Day Cookies will have your party guests or a special someone doing a double-take when they bite into these sweet, buttery cookies packing a surprise.

To create these heart-shaped cookies perfect for class treats, Valentine’s Day dessert, or an easy homemade gift, you will need a simple sugar cookie dough. You can use your favorite recipe or use those handy pre-cut cookies you can find in grocery stores. (I promise I won’t snitch.)

Here is a tried and true recipe that results in a thinner, crunchy cookie, perfect for creating these stacked cookies.

You Will Need:

  • 2 heart-shaped cookie cutters – one needs to be smaller than the other
  • Sprinkles of any size or color
  • Frosting

For the Dough:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 pinch of salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla (you can also use almond extract for a unique flavor)

Continue reading »

Jan 172015
 

Stained Glass Valentine’s Day Cookies

These cookies are amazing and can be adjusted to be a year round, crowd-pleasing treat. Great for Valentine’s Day or any other holiday, including Christmas, stained glass cookies are a fantastic treat.

They are unbelievably easy and you probably have everything you need sitting in your pantry or lingering in your kids’ holiday candy baskets. Lifesavers, Jolly Ranchers, or any other hard candy will turn your sugar cookies into a show-stopping dessert that you can snack on or hand out to lucky party patrons.

The key is in an amazing sugar cookies base. The flaky, delicate crunch of a well-made cookie is all you need, but the gorgeous glassy insert of a bright red heart will be the perfect touch. Read the directions for tips on how to make the best sugar cookies and stained glass insert… Continue reading »

Jan 142015
 

Coconut Pecan “Twix” Cookies

Growing up, Twix was one of my favorite candy bars.  At any given time during my childhood, I could go to the cupboard at my parent’s house and be guaranteed that there would be a Twix bar in there.  Actually make that bars.  Plural.  My mom always bought the big boxes of Twix that you find in the cookie aisle.  You know, the ones that came 12 bars to the box.

Actually, I could probably get in the car, drive to my parent’s house right now, open the cupboard and still find a 12 pack of Twix in there.  It is just a staple in their house.

Today I have a fun twist on Twix (say that ten times fast); Coconut Pecan “Twix” Cookies.  You can thank me later.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 Pkg. Lorna Doone Cookies
  • 1 Pkg. Caramel Bits, 11 oz.
  • 2 Tbsp. Milk
  • 1 Cup Shredded Coconut
  • 1 Pkg. Milk Chocolate Chips, 11 oz.
  • Pecan Halves

Continue reading »

Jan 062015
 

20 Slow Cooker Recipes #recipes

Running short on recipes or time? I know I am, so I hit Pinterest up for slow cooker recipes! Lets face it, what is better then throwing everything in your slow cooker, turning it on, and a few hours later having a meal ready to go! This round up has it all, from Chicken and Dumplings to Lava Cake. I am thinking some Beef Stew sounds pretty good tonight!  Continue reading »