Apr 162017
 

cocoa-pebbles-donuts

What’s your favorite cereal?  Hands down mine is Cocoa Pebbles and you can be guaranteed that no matter when you walk into my house, there is a box of Cocoa Pebbles handy.  I would literally live on them if I could.

Anyhow, one of my sister’s in law inspired me to get a little creative with my Cocoa Pebbles.  She makes these ah-mazing Fruity Pebbles bars (like Rice Krispie treats, but with Fruity Pebbles instead).  They are seriously awesome, but after a little thought, I decided that I could make something pretty awesome out of my Cocoa Pebbles.  So I did.  I made these awesome Cocoa Pebbles donuts and to say they’re a hit in my house is a complete understatement. As soon as I make them, they’re gone.  Seriously – within 30 minutes.

donuts9

You’re intrigued, right?  Here’s the recipe:

Cocoa Pebbles Donuts

Here’s what you need:

  • 6 Cups cocoa pebbles cereal
  • 4 cups mini marshmallows
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • White Wilton chocolate melts
  • Sprinkles
  • 1/2 tablespoons butter or non stick cooking spray

Continue reading »

Apr 102017
 

I’ve hosted several Easter dinners at my house over the years, but this year I am happy to say I’m just a guest. My parents are hosting this year, but of course I can’t show up to their house empty handed.  Since my parents are making the meal (and they are feeding 12 people, so I know it’s a lot of work), I offered to bring a dessert – actually, I had told them I would bring a couple of Easter desserts because I want to make sure there’s enough for everyone.

That left me with the big decision of what to make.  I spent some time searching the internet for festive Easter desserts and treats the other day and came up with more than I could ever possibly make – but they were sure fun to look at. Here are some of the yummy recipes I found:

Easter Blossom Cookies
http://mykitchencraze.com/easter-blossom-sugar-cookies/

Italian Easter Bread
http://bakewithchristina.com/italian-easter-bread/#comment-5976

Carrot Cupcakes
http://www.justataste.com/carrot-cupcakes-with-cream-cheese-frosting-recipe/

Bunny Cupcakes
http://www.pillsburybaking.com/recipes/bold-tie-dyed-layer-cake-8660 Continue reading »

Apr 052017
 

Freezer meals are a quick way to meal plan healthy dishes. The main idea is to freeze some of your meals for use at a later day. You can cook the meals ahead of time, freeze them, and heat it up at dinner time in an oven, on the stove, or even in a slow cooker. It saves you a lot of time and energy throughout the week, and it helps you stay on track with your healthy eating goals.

Here are a few ideas for easy freezer meals for your family. It is important to note that there are two different ways of “freezer meals.” The first is by adding ingredients to a freezer bag and freezing. The second way is preparing the actual meal first (in the oven or on the stove) and freezing it. Both ways have their benefits, but the second way provides a way to slash prep time. You just simple defrost, heat up, and serve.

Easy Freezer Meal Ideas

Baked Macaroni and Cheese. Create a comfort meal for everyone with mac and cheese! It is a classic dish that is much tastier when made from scratch. Skip the powdered cheese and make your own with whole wheat noodles (or even vegetable pasta if you dare!), cheddar and low-fat cottage cheese, some vegetables like spinach and broccoli, and cream. Bake, cool, and freeze the entire container. What a time saver! Continue reading »

Apr 032017
 

Disclosure: Post sponsored by Mirum Shopper, but as always, all opinions are my own!

I am so happy that spring has finally sprung up here in Boston.  In all honesty, winter wasn’t too bad this year (coming from a girl who is still traumatized from the 4 feet of snow we had on the ground at once a few winters ago). I am so happy we made it through this winter with only a blizzard or two and I am ready for spring like you would not believe.

With the change in seasons, I like to not only spring clean my house, but spring clean my menu, too. I have a picky eater in the house and we all definitely have our favorites around here, but change can be good – and  with the nice weather, I was inspired to try something new. Especially with the great deals going on at Shaw’s! Starting 4/24 you can save $10 instantly when you spend $30 on participating Unilever products like Hellmann’s, Knorr and Lipton.

Score!

Online they have tons of delicious sounding recipes, and it has been so warm this week, the four of us decided to have dinner outside on the deck. But what’s dinner outside without an amazing beverage to wash it down. I ran over to Shaw’s the other day and picked up the ingredients I needed to make this amazing recipe for Lipton Mega Mint Iced Tea that I found. Continue reading »

Apr 022017
 

If you’re hosting Easter dinner this year, you can totally wow your guests with this delicious Cadbury Creme Egg Dip! Seriously, I have seen many jaws drop over the years when people walk into my house and see the dip sitting there in all its glory on my kitchen island.  The best part is that it’s insanely easy to make, so if you’re in a hurry, you can make this dip in just a few minutes. If you love Cadbury Creme Eggs, you are going to want to try this dip recipe. I promise, you will thank me – it’s divine. Like eyes rolling back in your head divine. Really.

Cadbury Creme Egg Dip

Here’s what you need:

  • 8 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
  • ¾ cup Powdered Sugar
  • ¼ cup Light Brown Sugar
  • ¼ cup Butter, softened
  • 7 Cadbury Creme Eggs

Continue reading »

Mar 272017
 

April Fools Day is coming up quick guys and I am already planning out some awesome April Fools Food Pranks to play on my boys.  Growing up, there was absolutely no pranking in parent’s house.  They didn’t go for that sort of thing, so my sister, brother and I behaved. Then I met my husband, Christian, and he happens to come from a family full of pranksters. Christian knows I am not a fan, so they rarely get played on me, but my boys are a whole other story.

The boys think pranks are the best thing ever and pretty much live for April Fools Day because that’s the only real day that they can get away with them without consequences. But what kind of a mom would I be if I didn’t play a few pranks back?  I have experimented over the years and have found that food pranks are the best way to go with my two. It gets them every time. If you want to try some food pranks of your own, take a peek at some of these links.  There is lots of good stuff in there. Continue reading »

Mar 272017
 

News flash – cookout season is coming! With the warm weather heading our way, most of us will be coming out of hibernation and that means cookouts, cookouts and more cookouts. We host plenty of them at our house and will get invited to equally as many over the course of the summer. Whenever I get invited to one, I always volunteer to bring my quick and easy Italian Pasta Salad.  It’s so easy to make and it’s always a hit.

Italian Pasta Salad

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 (12 ounce) box of pasta I used the Tri Color Rotini
  • 1 package of Pepperoni Minis (0r buy full size and cut into fours)
  • 1 8-ounce mozzarella
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 can of sliced black olives
  • 2-3 tomatoes (or buy the grape tomatoes and cut in half)
  • 1 bottle of Italian dressing (we like Wishbone brand)

Continue reading »

Mar 192017
 

I end up volunteering to bring desserts a lot when we have family dinners because I know that I can whip up a bark recipe and everyone will be really happy to see me walk in the door with it. Actually, a lot of people request it and when there is a holiday coming up, I try to get as festive as possible. This Jellybean Bark that I came up with for Easter dinner fits the festive bill and if your family is anything like mine, it will go like hot cakes. Plus it’s super easy to make and the best part is that you only need a few ingredients to make it.

If you signed up to bring dessert to Easter dinner this year, why not make this Jellybean Bark?

Jellybean Bark

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 1/2 cups white candy melts
  • Jellybeans
  • Easter sprinkles
  • Edible Easter grass

You will also need:
Continue reading »

Mar 142017
 

When I was a kid, as soon as I got home from school there was always a snack there waiting for me.  My mom loved to bake and nine times out of ten, my after-school snack was a delicious homemade treat.  Now that I am the mom, I like to do the same for my boys and I get especially giddy when there’s a holiday coming up because that means I can make fun themed treats for them.

There’s no shortage of St. Patrick’s Day treat recipes out there, but I found quite a few good ones and have a nice collection of them for you here today. I am going to make it my mission to make everything on this list for my boys. And for the record, I’m making all of the ones that use Lucky Charms as one of the ingredients first because that is just plain awesome.

St. Patrick’s Day Desserts and Treats:

Gold Coins
http://www.lovethispic.com/image/242751/use-edible-gold-to-spray-on-oreos-to-make-gold-coins-on-st-patricks-day

St Patrick’s Day Oreos
http://happybrownhouse.com/st-patricks-day-oreos/#_a5y_p=5071250

Lucky Charm Munch
http://deliciouslysprinkled.com/lucky-charms-munch/

Cake Batter Brownies
http://www.bostongirlbakes.com/2015/03/04/cake-batter-blondies-2/

Shamrock Parfait
http://merlotmommy.com/st-patricks-day-parfaits/?utm_content=bufferfaf10&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer Continue reading »

Mar 052017
 

Truth be told, I am not big on eating breakfast. Food doesn’t sit well with me until at least two hours after I wake up, so it’s hard for me to eat before 9 am.  I know it’s important to eat in the morning and that is where I developed my love of smoothies. Being a busy mom on the go, I can’t leave for the day without putting something in my tummy and smoothies are perfect because they are not overly heavy. One of my favorites is this healthy Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie.  It’s satisfying, filling and I love that it sticks with me all morning long so that my tummy isn’t rumbling around 11 am! How embarrassing. Plus smoothies are super easy to make, so you can whip one up in a jiffy and be out the door in no time.

Healthy Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie

Serves: 1
Prep Time: 10 minutes Continue reading »

Feb 262017
 

If you’re looking for an easy, fun snack idea for St. Patrick’s Day, this recipe for Leprechaun Bark aught to do it.  It’s colorful and has a great mix of flavors in every bite. My kids love when I make this for them and yours will, too. Leprechaun bark makes a great after-school snack or pack it up and save it for dessert after your boiled dinner on St. Patrick’s Day.  Either way, it’s sure to be a big hit.

Leprechaun Bark

Continue reading »

Feb 192017
 

When I was a kid, I feel like I barely heard about St. Patrick’s Day. Sure there is a big parade in Boston (that my parents never took me to see despite my incessant begging) and in school we’d all wear green – but that was about it. It seems like as the years have passed, this “holiday” has picked up steam and nowadays, people go all out. So I am jumping on the bandwagon, too! I decided to make some Minty M&M Cookies, which are perfect for St. Patrick’s Day because of the colors of the M&M’s! And c’mon, who doesn’t love a warm M&M cookie right out of the oven? Yummers.

Anyhow, they are super easy to make and will make for a nice surprise for the kiddos one day when they get off the bus.

Here’s what you need: Continue reading »

Feb 042017
 

I got a request the other day to make some Snickerdoodle cookies, so like a good mom – I obliged. Apparently my son had gotten some as a “snack” in the lunchroom the other day and needed more immediately.  I can’t blame him at all!  I whipped up these soft and chewy snickerdoodle cookies the other day because that’s how we like our cookies in our house: soft and chewy.

Soft and Chewy Snickerdoodle Cookies:

Continue reading »

Feb 012017
 

Are you all ready for the big game on Sunday? As you probably guessed, we’re BIG Pats fans here in our house, but no matter who you are routing for – game day just isn’t complete without an array of delicious foods. My family is going all out this year because we’re anticipating a big win, so that means we need to have more celebratory snacks on hand than we would if the Patriots weren’t playing. But who am I kidding, when it comes to food, we always go all out.

I will be spending the day cooking and baking in preparation of the game on Sunday, so I have been busy scouring the internet for awesome recipes. There are lots of great recipes to choose from out there and here are some of the ones that caught my eye:

Mozzarella Stick Onion Rings
https://www.buzzfeed.com/melissaharrison/mozzarella-stick-onion-rings?utm_term=.yl3D1ABZZ#.qlxyNqkxx

Football Puppy Chow
http://thefirstyearblog.stfi.re/football-puppy-chow/?sf=rgrvwna

Mashed Potato Bacon Bombs
http://www.ohbiteit.com/2015/11/mashed-potato-bacon-bombs.html

Parmesan Potato Wedges
http://www.lecremedelacrumb.com/baked-garlic-parmesan-potato-wedges/ Continue reading »

Jan 292017
 

Even though I prepare for mornings the night before, I always seem to feel like I’m scrambling to get myself and the kids out the door to school in the mornings. I often wonder why that is, but whatever the case may be – it happens. A lot. Sometimes I have things in the house that I can just grab and eat on the go, but sometimes I don’t. During those times when I don’t have anything that I can grab for myself real quick, I make myself an easy & delicious Broccoli and Cheese Omelette in a Mug.  That’s right – you make the omelette right in a mug. They are wicked easy to make and only take a few minutes from start to finish. And since you make them in the microwave, you don’t have to worry about dirtying a pan – your mug is the only thing you’ll have to clean. Score.

I use broccoli and cheese in my omelettes because that is what I like, but you can add any filling you like in your omelettes to yours. Continue reading »

Jan 162017
 

Trying to get your kids to eat enough fruits and vegetables is about as tricky as, well, trying to get a young kid to eat their fruits and vegetables. That’s why smoothies can be the ideal way to conceal the food that’s nutritious for them while giving them their daily intake of fruits and vegetables in a form that almost feels like a desert.

In broad terms, smoothies can run the gamut of flavors and ingredients so it is best to begin with something simple. Try starting your kids off with a pure fruits and yogurt yogurt mixture and work your way to more complicated recipes from there. Green smoothies can be filled with essential nutrients and can be extremely tasty, they may not be the best option for kids who still make dramatic faces overtime they look at broccoli.

A simple recipe to start them off would include frozen strawberries, a banana, and vanilla or plain yogurt. Once they get accustomed to the the basic flavor and texture of those smoothies, you could slowly start reducing the sugar and use a healthier vanilla yogurt instead of the plain yogurt. At this point, you can also start adding additional ingredients, such as blueberries or mangos, a little at a time without drastically altering the overall taste. Continue reading »

Jan 152017
 

My kids and husband are my entire world, but food will always be my first love.  I grew up in a big Italian family and boy did we eat. On Sundays it was course after course after course – we literally would spend the whole day eating. And it was awesome. Now that I’m the mom, I am a little more sensible about the way I eat, but I still love to eat and I especially love dessert. I have a major sweet tooth and red velvet is one of my all times favorites.

If you know me in real life, you know that I don’t participate in Valentine’s Day, but there is no reason that I can’t make an exception for some of these red velvet treats. I would make any one of these red velvet desserts my valentine any day. Have a look at what I’m drooling over:

Red Velvet Cool Whip Cookies from Tammilee Tips

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies from Tales of a Ranting Ginger

Red Velvet Cookies from Viva Veltoro

Red Velvet Cookie Recipe from Not Quite Susie Homemaker

Red Velvet Sandwich Cookies from Diary of a Working Mom

Easy Red Velvet Cookies Recipe from A Magical Mess Continue reading »

Jan 082017
 

My boys are basically obsessed with anything emoji related. They both got a bunch of emoji paraphernalia for Christmas and I think for both of them, the emoji gifts that they received rank highest among their favorites. Especially those poop emoji slippers that my little man got….

The emoji obsession in my house got me thinking. I wanted to make a fun snack for my boys that was emoji related and then it hit me – Valentine’s Day is coming up and the heart eyes emoji would be PERFECT to put on Rice Krispie Treats. If you are looking for a fun Valentine’s Day treat, you seriously don’t have to look any further than these Emoji Rice Krispie Treats. They are really easy to make and trust me, they will be a huge hit with your kids like they were with mine.

Here’s what you need:

  • 5 cups Rice Krispies cereal
  • 4.5 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 2 tablespoons softened butter
  • Yellow food coloring
  • 1 cup red Wilton candy melts
  • Black sparkle gel icing

Continue reading »

Dec 262016
 

ham-casseroles-with-leftovers

You have probably reached your fill with turkey and all the associated leftover meals. You can probably go a full year before seeing turkey on your plate. You are going to have plenty of leftovers from another staple of holiday meals as well. The roasted ham is an essential meat for many traditional holiday dinners especially Christmas. While it isn’t quite as versatile as turkey when it comes to reinventing the leftovers into a new meal, ham does lend itself well to a variety of casseroles!

Here are some easy and delicious casserole recipes that create brand new meals from that leftover holiday ham:

Ham Casserole Recipe Ideas

Breakfast Casserole With Ham
Ham lends itself easily to a breakfast meal. You can use the leftover ham for a fun and yummy breakfast casserole that can be eaten for any meal of the day. To make this, scramble eggs with diced ham and then mix with potatoes that have been shredded hash brown style with butter. Top with grated cheese (we like using pepper jack) and bake in your favorite casserole dish. You can even experiment a little with with some cream of chicken soup or sour cream if you want a creamier dish.

Ham Baked Potato Casserole
If you are a fan of twice-baked potatoes, you are going to love this easy potato casserole recipe. For this casserole, you’ll need potatoes and ingredients like butter, sour cream, salt, and chives. Cut the potatoes into thin slices, au gratin style, and place them into the casserole dish with your other ingredients, along with a can of cream of potato soup. Top the dish with cubed pieces of ham and a cheese and bake for a hearty dish. Continue reading »

Dec 142016
 

The holidays are in full swing and whether we want to admit it or not, Christmas will be here SOON. The holidays bring all kinds of family gatherings and I like to be prepared for all of them. My husband is one of seven and all of the out of town siblings (and their families) came back home recently, so that equated to many get-togethers while everyone was in town. It’s been a few years since everyone was in one place, so it was pretty special. There were quite a few parties/gatherings over the time they were all home plus a few on my side (and two more coming up before Christmas) and of course there is no way that I could show up empty handed to any of them. It’s been a busy December for us to say the least so I headed over to Stop & Shop because I knew they would have everything I needed.

The first thing I did when I got to Stop & Shop was to grab all the ingredients I needed to make a couple of green bean casseroles. If I show up to any family event without one, I think it’s safe to say that they won’t even let me in the door. Luckily they are super easy to make and the recipe is right on the back of the French’s French fried onions.

If you don’t have the recipe, here is it: Continue reading »