Dec 082016
 

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

easy-jalapeno-cheese-fries

I don’t know about you, but my family is heading into our busiest month of the year. Between holiday parties, extra school events, December birthdays and life in general, we’re pretty much non-stop from now until the first of the year. I don’t mind because I love spending extra time with the people I love and since my husband is from a huge family (he’s one of seven), there are plenty of chances to visit our loved ones. Of course, I can’t show up empty handed, right? These easy Jalapeno Cheese Fries are one of my favorite go-to dishes to bring to family gatherings. Unfortunately for me, and lots of others, the jalapenos = heartburn. Thankfully Nexium® 24HR Capsules come to the rescue (stay tuned for more info on that).

jalapeno-cheese-friess

My Jalapeno Cheese Fries are easy to make and they always go over really well. Continue reading »

Nov 272016
 

santa-hat-cupcakes

If you are a regular around here you already know that my youngest son was finally diagnosed with ADD earlier this year. It was a very long process and it truly felt like an uphill battle for a long time, but once we got confirmation of what we already knew – his dad and I fought hard to make sure he got all the help he needed.

We worked with the school and were happy that he qualified for an IEP (Individual Education Plan). Part of the plan was placing him in an inclusion classroom for this current school year. His teacher is ah-mazing and he’s got a wonderful teacher’s aide in the classroom for half of his day. He’s been working really, really hard and is making some huge progress this year thanks to the help of his teachers.  Obviously this makes my heart very happy.

Back in September at the school open house night, I met his teacher for the first time (although we had already emailed back and forth several times by then) and I asked her if she used parent volunteers in her classroom.  Surprisingly not all teachers do, but she was thrilled that I asked and I started volunteering a few mornings a week in her 3rd grade classroom the following week. I can’t even tell you how happy it makes me to be involved like this.  I am loving getting to know all the kids in the class and seeing what my son is up to during his school day, too.

The kids in my son’s classroom are awesome. They are seriously an awesome bunch of kids, so I want to bring them (and the two teachers) a treat.  These Santa Hat Cupcakes are perfect, right? I used a cake mix to make the cupcakes, so they were easy to whip up and come on – they are adorable, right?

Here’s what you need: Continue reading »

Nov 212016
 

easy-one-pan-meals-to-feed-the-family

Sometimes, making a home-cooked meal from scratch with a main course and sides just isn’t possible because of time constraints. It doesn’t need to take hours of time and leave you with a sink full of dirty dishes to clean when the cooking process is complete. There are plenty of satisfying meals that you can create with just one pot or pan. Just toss the ingredients together and you’ll have a home-cooked meal that everyone in your family will love in no time!

Meal planning is much easier when you use the right tools to help you prep ahead of time. For these ideas, all you need is a cutting board, a few favorite spices, and your family’s favorite cuts of meat. We like to alternate between chicken, pork, beef, and simple pasta nights. One pot meals can be a staple of your meal plan, and they require little to no time freezing, defrosting, or other time-consuming tasks in the kitchen. Check out these simple ideas for one-pan or slow cooker meals.

Easy One Pot Meals For Your Family

Classic Chicken Dinner. Chicken and vegetables are a staple in just about every household. Usually it requires multiple pots and pans to prepare everything, but there is also an option for cooking everything in just one pan. Cook chicken breasts first, then wash out pan. Put the chicken back in with your other ingredients to cook the rest of the way.

For a classic one-pan chicken dinner, you can season the chicken, potatoes, and any veggies, such as carrots, you like in the pan with a packet of ranch seasoning mix. It’s a simple swap instead of mixing and matching spices from your pantry. Continue reading »

Nov 202016
 

6-healthy-and-easy-thanksgiving-leftover-ideas

Thanksgiving dinner leftovers are as much of a tradition during the holiday, as, well, Thanksgiving dinner itself. You are no doubt going to be leaving the get-together, or loading up your own refrigerator if you happened to be the host, with containers full of food. You could just reheat those leftovers and recreate the initial meal experience but where is the fun in that? Get creative and turn that leftover bird into something entirely new for your post-Thanksgiving meal planning.

Turkey, especially when it comes pre-cooked for you, is versatile enough that it can be used in a number of quick, easy and healthy ways. Here are just a few ways you can turn those Thanksgiving leftovers into something new and tasty:

1. Taco Salad: Thanksgiving tacos? Of course, don’t be such a Puritan. A taco salad is a fun way to mix it up a little during the holidays. The turkey naturally has less fat than beef, so you are already cutting back on calories.

Just add lots of vegetables, such as lettuce, tomato, onions, and red peppers. Don’t go overboard with the cheese and substitute avocado instead of sour cream for a more nutritious alternative.

2. Turkey and Veggie Casserole: Want to reinvent your Thanksgiving leftover into something familiarly unique? Try making all those leftovers into a casserole. Mix those leftover vegetable like carrots, Brussels sprouts, and green beans with shredded turkey into a casserole dish with some mashed cauliflower or cauliflower rice, and just a little bit of cheese on top. Continue reading »

Nov 092016
 

slow-cooker-comfort-foods

A slow cooker is godsend to any busy family’s food preparation plans. You can cook an entire meal while you doing other things during the day. This is perfect for when you have to work or chores to do, but you have desire for a nice home-cooked meal. When it comes to home-cooked meals, nothing is better than a big plate of comfort food and a slow cooker is a perfect tool to prepare it with little effort and less clean up.

Here are some of the top comfort foods you can cook in your slow cooker.

Slow Cooker Comfort Foods

Pot Roast. Everyone loves a delicious pot roast, but not everyone loves the hassle involved with preparing one. Don’t worry, you don’t need to turn on a hot stove and make your kitchen a sauna by having the oven on all day. You can easily let the roast cook in the slow cooker. By the time dinner rolls around, your roast is will be tender and practically falling apart. For best results, use a chuck roast and add in some potatoes, carrots, beef or vegetable stock, water, seasonings, garlic powder, and onion powder. Let it cook all day on low or for a few hours on high. Continue reading »

Nov 052016
 

how-to-make-applesauce-and-apple-butter

Now that it is autumn and apple season is at its peak, you might be tempted to buy apples by the bushel from your local grocery store. While this may be a great way to save some money by buying in bulk, you may end up with more apples than you and your family can eat before they go bad.

What are you to do then when you have an overabundance of apples that are fast approaching their end of freshness? Try making your own applesauce and apple butter, of course!

Both are easy to make at can be stored to use later throughout the year.

Applesauce and apple butter are easy to can and preserve which allows you to store them for up to year without taking up precious space in your fridge or freezer. As an added bonus, your homemade versions will be healthier and tastier than the mass-produced and processed versions you often find at the grocery store.

You can customize your apple preserves to your personal taste and you always know exactly what ingredients go into every jar.

Ready to give it a try? Here are quick, tasty recipes for making your own applesauce or apple butter at home. Continue reading »

Oct 232016
 

spooky-scarecrow-fingers

Do you remember how I was telling you that I Like to get creative with my Halloween snacks? Last week I showed you guys the Creepy Witch Finger Cookies that I made for my kids and today I want to tell you about another fun Halloween treat that I made for the kids. Spooky Scarecrow Fingers. We like to have fun with our food around here and what says fun like a spooky scarecrow finger cookie?

Guys, these seriously could not be easier to make and how cute are they? A few of my boys friends have peanut allergies, so I have to be careful about who I give these to – but the ones that come by after school that don’t have any food allergies love it when I make these. If you want to impress your kids and their friends, too, give these cookies a try.  They are easy to make and don’t take long at all to make – so you could make them often like I do.

Spooky Scarecrow Fingers

Here’s what you need:

  • Nutter Butter cookies
  • Yellow candy melts
  • Candy corn
  • Yellow icing

spooky-scarecrow-fingers1 Continue reading »

Oct 212016
 

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #Healthy4School #CollectiveBias

easy-honey-pecan-overnight-oats-recipe

I can hardly believe it, but back to school is in full swing.  This past summer seemed to have flown by and before I knew it, the kids were hopping on the bus for their first day of school. If you’re anything like me, back to school means all sorts of new things.  New after-school activities to get the kids back & forth to, lots of homework (especially for my middle schooler) and a new routine in general. My boys are each in different schools this year, which means different start times for each of them.  It’s definitely been an adjustment, but so far we’re rockin’ it.

With all the changes in our lives, I try to be proactive when it comes to getting sick. Let’s be real, all of our kids get exposed to all kinds of germs while they’re at school. For the first few years my oldest was in school, we were all sick by the middle of October. It was definitely a learning experience and I am determined to help keep the germs away….or at least make sure I am stocked up on some products to make us feel better if we do get sick.

For my family, eating a fresh, healthy breakfast helps us fuel up for the day so that we’re not running on empty. A good breakfast helps us all concentrate and focus all day long. This Easy Honey Pecan Overnight Oats Recipe is a great way to start the morning off right. It’s easy to make and it keeps our tummies full and helps us power through our day.

easy-honey-pecan-overnight-oats-recipe1

Easy Honey Pecan Overnight Oats Recipe

Continue reading »

Oct 112016
 

Super Simple Halloween Treats1

If you’ve been around here for a while, you know that I am a major Halloween lover. I am always scouring the interwebs for fun & festive snack ideas for my kids around this time of year. I love seeing their faces when I surprise them with a fun Halloween treat. Sometimes I have the treats ready when they get off the bus from school and other times I like to whip up something for family movie night.

We try to sit down as a family every Friday night and stream a movie on Netflix, so this past Friday my family munched on these spooky Halloween treats while we watched our movie. These treats are beyond simple to make, especially if you opt for pre-made rice crispy treats.

What you need:

  • 12 Rice Crispy Treats
  • Edible Eyes
  • 12 oz White Chocolate or White Candy Melts
  • Sandwich bag
  • Parchment paper

Continue reading »

Oct 102016
 

creepy-witch-finger-cookies

Halloween is my favorite holiday. As soon as the weather starts to turn chilly, all I can think about is October 31st. For me, the month of October is a month long Halloween celebration. My family does every Halloween activity there is and we go all out when we decorate the house – I’m talking more than any other holiday (including Christmas). One of the best parts of Halloween for me is all the creative ways I can “creep out” snacks for the kids. There are a million and one ways to make festive Halloween snacks and treats and I am on a mission to make as many as possible. One of the festive treats I made this year were these Creepy Witch Fingers. They are crazy easy to make and they are pretty darn cool if I do say so myself.

Creepy Witch Finger Cookies

Here’s what you need:

  • Nutter Butter cookies
  • Green candy melts
  • Black licorice
  • Black gel icing

creepy-witch-finger-cookies6 Continue reading »

Oct 052016
 

Pumpkin Waffles

Halloween falls on a Monday this year (le sigh), but if you want to surprise your kids when they wake up on Halloween morning, how about these Jack O’Lantern Waffles? I know, I know – getting up early on a Monday doesn’t sound like much fun, but it is a holiday after all, right? I love to watch my boys faces light up when I make them something fun like these fun waffles. The waffles themselves are pretty easy to make and my favorite part is that you can get as creative with them as you want.  As you can see, I put little Jack O’Lantern faces on mine, but you don’t have to if you want to serve yours as plain pumpkins.  Or you can even use different colored M&M’s. Even better, let the kids decorate their own – just have fun with them.

Jack O’Lantern Waffles

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 Cups all purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 Cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • Orange gel food coloring
  • 3/4 Cup milk
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • Mega M&M’s to decorate your waffles with

Continue reading »

Sep 252016
 

pretzel-spider-webs

So your kids just got invited to a Halloween party and now you’re scrambling for something fun and unique to send with them.  These Pretzel Spider Webs are absolutely what you’re looking for.  Even if you’re not going to a party and just want to make something fun for your kids, these definitely fit the bill. To make these pretzel spider webs you only need 4 ingredients and they are really easy to make. Plus they don’t take a long time, so you can totally make them last minute.

Please note: This recipe will make 3 spider webs, but of course you can double or triple (or more) as needed.

Pretzel Spider Webs

Here’s what you need:

  • Pretzel dipping sticks
  • 1 cup white chocolate
  • Brown Reese’s Pieces or brown M&M’s
  • Black gel icing

spider-web-pretzels6

Here’s what you do: Continue reading »

Sep 182016
 

easy-pork-taquitos-recipe

In our house we try to have a family movie night at least once a week. We all love spending quality time together every week, but seriously – what’s a movie night without a snack? These Easy Pork Taquitos are perfect for family movie night because they are budget-friendly, easy to make and most importantly, they are kid approved! Not only that, they are a great way to use up that leftover pork you have sitting in your fridge! Score.

Easy Pork Taquitos

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 ½ cups of roasted pork, shredded
  • 6 to 8oz of Monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • 10 small flour tortillas
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Cooking spray (optional)

Continue reading »

Sep 112016
 

hawaiian-style-pineapple-pizzas-recipe

The thing about being an all boy mom is that they are literally always hungry. When someone told me that growing boys would eat me out of house and home, they weren’t kidding.  My boys eat big lunches at school, but both of them come off the bus starving just a few hours later.  Every single day. I usually have snacks ready for them when they get off the bus, but sometimes I like to get a little creative with their snacks.  These Hawaiian Style Pineapple Pizzas are easy to make, delicious and definitely qualify as being creative. This recipe is a huge hit with my boys whenever I make them and the best part of this recipe, besides the flavors, is how cost effective it is to prepare. It cost me less than $10 for all of the ingredients.  How can you beat that?

hawaiian-style-pineapple-pizzas4

Hawaiian Style Pineapple Pizzas

Ingredients:

  • 1- 20 ounce can of Pineapple slices.
  • 1- 10 to15 oz can of pizza or marinara sauce.
  • 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese.
  • 1 package of 8-12 Canadian bacon slices.

Continue reading »

Sep 042016
 

Low Carb, Flourless Chocolate Mug Cake Recipe

If there is one thing I will never, ever, EVER cut out of my life it’s carbs.  Hey, I am an Italian girl and carbs are in my blood.  While pasta and bread will always be staples of my diet, if I can cut my carbs down a little, I will. This Low Carb, Flourless Chocolate Mug Cake recipe has 5 net carbs per serving and tastes absolutely delicious. Not only that, it’s really easy to make and when you’re craving a sweet treat, this is what you’re looking for – trust me on this.

Low Carb, Flourless Chocolate Mug Cake

Ingredients:

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons Splenda
  • smallest pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp heavy cream/almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder

Continue reading »

Aug 302016
 

Superfood Quinoa Power Bowl with Turmeric-Tahini Dressing Recipe

After a weekend of too many chips and margaritas, this is a fantastic way to begin the week with a fresh start. Rich with high quality nutrition and loaded with antioxidants, these bowls are delicious served warm or right from the refrigerator. They would be ideal to layer in a takeout container to pack a perfectly balanced power lunch.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup vegetable stock (water can be substituted)
1 large sweet potato
1 cup kale
1/2 cup red cabbage
1/2 cup baby spinach
1 cucumber
1 avocado
1/2 cup grape tomatoes
1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
1 lemon
1 can chickpeas
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon paprika
3 teaspoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons tahini
1 teaspoon Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (soy sauce can be substituted)
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
Salt and pepper Continue reading »

Aug 292016
 

Easy Italian Popcorn Recipe

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Weight Watchers, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #WWMarket  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

Do you know what my favorite part of the day is? My daily snack break. As a work at home mom, it’s one thing after another at my house and my snack time is something I look forward to every day.  It’s my time to step away from the chaos and just enjoy a treat. Sometimes I feel like a sweet treat and other days, something savory is what I’m craving, but like a lot of us, I am trying to watch what I eat. Weight Watchers products are a delicious and healthier option when it comes to snack time.

IMG_9860

Since my boys are still home on summer vacation, I recently decided to make us all a healthy snack recipe with a few things I picked up from Stop and Shop. It’s something  that my mom made for me when I was a kid and I knew that my kids would love it.  It’s called Italian Popcorn and it’s super easy to make. Continue reading »

Aug 182016
 

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

Homemade Slime #recipe #craft 1

Have you guys seen the new Ghostbusters movie yet?  I took my twelve year old and two of his friends to see it the weekend it came out and we loved it – not that I had any doubt that I would.  The original Ghostbusters (from the 80’s) is my ALL-TIME favorite movie, so there was no chance I was missing the new, updated version.  It has an awesome, and I do mean awesome, cast and definitely lived up to the hype – oh and I’ve seen it three times already.

Since we’re such big fans of Ghostbusters, I decided that I need to make some homemade ectoplasm (slime) for the kids to play with. Slime, goo, gunk, glop, ooze or whatever you’d like to call it, this creation will please boys (and girls) of all ages. It’s incredibly easy to make and only requires 3 ingredients!

The combination will create chemical reaction that can be fun for a hands-on educational experiment. Chemical bonds form as you mix the ingredients. The molecules stick together and become polymers which create the slimy texture. The formula is also non-toxic and, when kept in an air-tight container, it can last years. It’s not recommended for consumption, but it won’t harm those little ones who just can’t help but try and taste it.

You Will Need: Continue reading »

Aug 142016
 

Orange Crush Cupcakes Recipe

We do a lot of family movie nights in our house.  Since the kids are out on summer vacation, we tend to do a couple of movie nights per week as opposed to our traditional Friday night movie nights during the school year.  We love snuggling up on the sofa with a yummy treat and spending time together watching movies & eating.  I recently made these Orange Crush cupcakes and knew they were perfect for the family movie night we had planned later that evening.

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 Crush Soda

Orange Crush Cupcakes4

Directions for cupcakes: Continue reading »