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 »

Jun 252016
 

Red White & Blue Freeze Pops Recipe

The Fourth of July is such a fun holiday.  The cookouts, swimming, fireworks, spending time out in the sun with friends & family – what better way to celebrate Independence Day could there be?  I look forward to the 4th every year and this year will be no different. We usually host a cookout at our house and in addition to the mountain of burgers, hot dogs, steaks and chicken we’ll be having – there will be an additional mountain of desserts.  These red white and blue freeze pops are festive and the kids always love them.  They’ll be running around playing in the back yard for hours that day, so these are the perfect way for them to cool off. Plus, they are tasty and wicked easy to make.

Here’s What You Need

  • Red, white, and blue Gatorade
  • 3oz paper cups
  • Craft sticks

Red White & Blue Freeze Pops6

Here’s What You Do

Continue reading »

Jun 122016
 

Easy Kids Snack Red White and Blue Sour Skewers

Every year we host a huge cookout on July 4th.  Ok, maybe huge is a bit of an exaggeration, but each year we normally have between 20-30 people at our house for some great food, even better company and maybe a sparkler or two.  As the years have passed, families have grown and what used to be 4 or 5 kids at the cookout every year is now fifteen plus.  The more the merrier and being the people pleaser that I am, I tend to go a little overboard with the food.  Being the mom of a picky eater has really opened my eyes when it comes to feeding the kiddos, and the way I figure is if the kids are happy (and their tummies are full) – everyone is happy!  Am I right?

The best part of any cookout is the desserts. Fact.  Dessert is my favorite part of any meal and I make sure to make a few extra special things just for the kids.   Every kid that I have ever met loves these Red White and Blue Sour Skewers – and guess what?  They couldn’t be easier to make, which makes them a perfect kid-friendly dessert to serve at your July 4th cookout, too!

sour skewers1

Here’s what you need:

  • Blue Sour Patch Kids
  • Watermelon
  • Regular Size Marshmallows
  • Food Picks (we got ours from the dollar store)

Continue reading »

Jun 072016
 

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

Cheddar Stuffed Burger Bombs

We just love race day in our house.  It’s something that we’ve done as a family since the boys were little and plus it’s an awesome way to get the whole family together for something we all enjoy.  But let’s face it, what’s game day without a great snack?

My family is excessively carnivorous –  they want meat in great quantities.  Maybe it’s because they are all males – who knows? Meatloaf is often on our menu rotation, but we wanted to try something a little different.  In our house, we try to eat healthier most of the time, but some nights I like to treat them with what they really want – generous portions of red meat! The other thing my family can’t get enough of? Cheese! We put it in nearly everything so it was only natural that I pair these two for an awesome race day snack.

Here’s What You Need

  • 1 ½ lbs. ground beef
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp. dried onion flakes
  • ½ cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1- ½ cups grated cheddar cheese

Continue reading »

May 302016
 

Watermelon Ice Pops Recipe

Today is Memorial Day here in the states and we all know that means it’s the unofficial first day of summer!  If you are like me, you’ve been waiting for this day since last summer. Since we only have about three months of warm weather here in New England, I make it my mission to get outside as much as possible while the warm weather is here.  The majority of my time is spent at the beach over the summer, but when I am not there you will find me outside on my deck or back yard.

What’s more refreshing on a hot summer day than an ice pop?  I dare say nothing.  These Watermelon Ice Pops are sure to cool you off on the hottest of days this summer – oh and they taste GREAT.

Here’s what you need to make your Watermelon Ice Pops:

  • 3 Pink and 2 green Fla-Vor-Ice pops
  • 1/4 Cup chocolate chips
  • Wooden craft sticks
  • Popsicle mold

watermelon ice pops6

Here’s what you do:

Continue reading »

May 162016
 

Make Your Own Strawberry Go-Gurts

My youngest son is a picky eater.  I mean seriously picky.  He’s the kind of kid that will eat something 1000 times and then on the 1001st time, suddenly he hates it. I swear to god. He’s done it with hot dogs, pizza and countless other foods.  It drives me batty, but he’s super cute so I let things like that slide.  There are a few food things that are a constant with him, though. Yogurt is one of them. He has loved yogurt since he was a baby and that makes me happy because I know he’s getting something good for him when he eats it.  He will eat yogurt in pretty much any form (smoothies, frozen, etc), but go-gurts are by far his favorite way to eat them….there’s something about slurping it as opposed to eating it with a spoon apparently.  Anyways, I don’t care how he eats it as long as he continues to like it.

He loves go-gurts so much that we were constantly running out and frankly, it was costing me a small fortune to keep buying box after box of them.  I decided that it would be just as easy to make my own go-gurts and save myself some money in the process.

If your kids love yogurt on the go as much as mine do, why not try making your own like I did?

Here’s what you need to make your go-gurts:

  • 1 Cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 Cup fresh washed, sliced strawberries
  • 3 Zipsicle bags
  • 1 Food funnel
  • Blender

*Note: This recipe makes 3 go-gurts, but it’s easily doubled/tripled etc. Continue reading »

May 082016
 

Strawberry Banana Dixie Cup Frozen Ice Pops

Growing up I loved it when I was outside playing with friends in the backyard and my mom would bring out a try of Dixie cup ice pops outside for us to snack on.  Back then hers were a bit more simple (she made hers from whatever juice was in the fridge), but they were still awesome and definitely refreshing on those super hot days.

Now that I am the mom, it makes my heart happy that my boys love playing outside in the summer as much as I did when I was a kid. Experimenting with different flavor combinations for their ice pops makes this mom happy and the fun flavors we’ve been experimenting with definitely make my boys happy.  They get just as excited to see me coming with an ice pop in each hand as I did back when I was young.

These ice pops that I made from strawberry, orange and banana are fruity, easy to make, healthy and boy do they taste delicious!

Here’s what you need:

  • 1/2 Cup diced strawberries
  • 2 small bananas
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 Cup orange juice
  • 2 Tablespoons honey (optional)
  • 3oz Dixie style cups
  • Popsicle sticks

Strawberry Banana Dixie Cup Frozen Ice Pops8
Continue reading »

May 012016
 

Pink Lemonade Brownies recipe

I am so happy that the warm weather has finally reached us here in New England (well, for the most part).  In my family the summer is filled with birthday celebrations, cookouts, graduations and spending nights out by the fire pit.  And let’s face it, what’s a celebration without a delicious sweet treat?  What I love about these Pink Lemonade Brownies is that they are not only delish, but they are a perfect dessert for any occasion.

Pink Lemonade Brownies1

Here’s what you need to make your Pink Lemonade Brownies:

  • 1 box Pink Lemonade cake mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons milk

Continue reading »

Apr 262016
 

raspberry yogurt muffins #recipe

On the mornings that I workout, I need to make sure that I eat something for breakfast that will fill me up and get me through the entire workout. Few things are worse than when your stomach starts grumbling half way through your spin class, right?  Oy vey! Muffins are my breakfast of choice because I find that after all the morning chaos in my house (and by chaos I mean getting the kids off to school) I need something that I can just grab and take with me on the go. These muffins fit the bill. They fill my tummy and they are perfect on the go!  What’s better is that they are simple to make, which is a major score if you ask me.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup quick cooking oats
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • ¾ cup vanilla yogurt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 ½ tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ small ripe banana, smashed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups fresh raspberries
  • Turbino sugar for top of muffins

Continue reading »

Apr 242016
 

Homemade Cinnamon Play Dough

I’m sure you’ve heard by now that play dough is great for kids with sensory issues.  I happen to be the mom of a child with sensory issues and he absolutely loves to play with play dough.  As much as I love the smell of the store bought kind (and I really, really do), I tend to make my own.  The thing is when you make your own, you can get really creative with it. I have made dough in all sorts of colors, added sprinkles and my latest creation: Cinnamon Play Dough.  This recipe will yield 1 cup of all natural, edible cinnamon play dough and since May 5th is quickly approaching, it is a perfect Cinco de Mayo craft!

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 Tablespoon cream of tartar
  • 2 Tablespoons cinnamon
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 cup boiling hot water

Continue reading »

Apr 212016
 

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars Recipe

I pack both of my boys a healthy lunch, but they are growing boys.  Growing tween boys to be exact.  In addition to eating me out of house and home, they both come off the bus hungry every single day.  Actually, scratch that. They come off the bus hangry every single day – especially my youngest!  When he’s hangry, he gives Oscar the Grouch a good run for his money.  Seriously.

Since they come running (literally) off the bus looking for food, I always have a snack ready for them.  Since peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are one of their favorites, they love it when they come home and I have peanut butter and jelly bars ready for them as a snack. They are easy to make and they are perfect for anyone who loves PB&J!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars4

Here’s what you need:

  • 1/2 Cup softened butter
  • 1 Cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 Cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 Cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 1/2 Cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Continue reading »

Mar 272016
 

bubblegum cupcakes Recipe

In our circle it seems that the majority of our friends and family have summer birthdays, which means that come April birthday party season is in full swing.  Whether it’s for a party we’re hosting (for the boys) or a party that we get invited to – cupcakes are always my go-to recipe.  They are easy to make (for the most part) and travel well when it’s a party that we’re going to at someone else’s house. These Bubblegum Cupcakes are always a crowd pleaser and I make them as often as possible.  This recipe makes 14 cupcakes and takes 50 minutes start to finish, so you can whip them up in a jiffy.

Here’s what you need to make your Bubblegum Cupcakes:

  • 1 1/2 Cups all purpose flour
  • 2/3 Cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 stick softened salted butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tablespoons vanilla
  • 1/2 Cup (any %) milk
  • 1 tablespoon Lorann bubblegum flavoring
  • Blue food coloring

Continue reading »

Mar 152016
 

Homemade Pancake Mix

My kids are kind of fussy about food.  Actually let me rephrase – my eight year old is very fussy.  I can’t even begin to tell you how many times he’s missed dinner because he flat out refused to eat what I made.  And we’re not taking about anything out of the ordinary, either. It happened not too long ago when I make English muffin pizzas.  English muffin pizzas you guys!  Who doesn’t like those?  Anyways, I absolutely will not make a separate meal for him, so if he doesn’t like what I make – he doesn’t eat.  I will always leave him a plate and many times he’s come back later that night to have a few bites, but sometimes he hasn’t.

Anyhow, there are two meals I know for a fact he will eat anytime I make them. The first is tacos in a bag.  For a picky eater, that one baffles me.  The kid won’t eat a cheeseburger, but he’ll eat a taco in a bag complete with sour cream and seasoned beef.

But I digress. Continue reading »