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 »

Jul 312016
 

TMNT Treat Bars Recipe

My boys are big time snackers. Now that they are home for the summer I’m constantly hearing things like “Mom, I’m hungry” or “I need something to eat”. They are very dramatic about it, too.  I often hear them telling me that if they don’t get a snack right away, they will pass out and die. No kidding.

Obviously I prefer healthier options like fruits and veggies when it comes to their seemingly constant snacking, sometimes I like to surprise them with a fun treat. The Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles are pretty popular around our house, so when I saw a box of TMNT cereal at the store the other day – I knew exactly what I was going to do with it: make some tasty TMNT treat bars for them. They’re incredibly easy to make and trust me on this, they will be a huge hit with the kiddos.

Here’s What You Need

  • 6 Cups TMNT cereal
  • 8 Cups mini marshmallows
  • 1/8 Cup Wilton jumbo dot confetti sprinkles
  • 1/8 Cup lime green jimmies (yup – they are called jimmies up here in Boston)
  • 3 Tablespoons softened butter

Continue reading »

Jul 242016
 

Brown Rice Spaghetti and Spicy Tomato Sauce with Chickpea Meatballs recipe

I am always looking for ways to incorporate healthier options into meals. These chickpea “meatballs” are a great way to do just that. The fresh, bold flavors of this spicy tomato sauce pair perfectly with a rustic, Italian red and deliver a healthy and thoroughly nourishing meal in under 30 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 bundle fresh basil
  • 6 oz. brown rice spaghetti (about 1/2 a box)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Continue reading »

Jul 102016
 

Elote (Mexican Street Corn) recipe

With summer upon us and farm stands and markets offering fresh, sweet corn, this plant-based recipe is an easy way to bring a tangy treat to your picnics and backyard barbecues. It’s easy to make and will likely be the highlight of your meal. The chipotle in adobe sauce can typically be found in your local market in the ethnic foods aisle.

Ingredients:

  • 8 ears of corn
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup vegan mayo (for taste and consistency, I prefer Just Mayo brand)
  • 1-3 chipotles coated with adobo sauce (depending on desired heat)
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped cilantro

Continue reading »

Jul 042016
 

Easy Frozen Dog Treats Recipe

Are the dog days of summer getting you down?  I personally love the heat, but I know that some people feel the exact opposite.  If you are that hot, imagine how your pro dog must feel underneath all that fur.  We keep our dog, Milo, inside in the air conditioning as much as possible, but of course we have to take him outside multiple times a day to do his business. I always feel so bad for him when he comes in from being outside on a super hot day. He comes in panting really bad and instantly runs to the coolest spot in the house to cool off quickly.  On days like that, I like to give him a homemade frozen treat to help him cool off.

These frozen dog treats will not only help them get cool fast on those super hot days, but they will love the combination of chicken and blueberries in them.

Here’s What You Need

  • 1/4 Cup homemade unsalted chicken broth or canned unsalted chicken broth
  • 1/4 Cup water
  • 1/4 Cup blueberries

You Will Also Need:

  • A silicone rectangle ice cube mold
  • Measuring cup

Continue reading »