Monday, June 20, 2016

Fruit Cups

I'm sure I'm like most of you out there, when you ask yourself, how can I add fruit or veggies to my lunch or dinner? It gets hard to always have fresh fruit and veggies for every meal. So I am happy to say, I have found a simple solution!

 I recently came upon small glass bowls at a local dollar store. I saw them and thought, "Those are the perfect bowl for fruit and veggie cups! Not to big, not too small, just the right size (as Goldilocks would say)." So...I got them. 
(I have to admit, I also thought they would be a great little dessert cup!)

We've been using these about 3 times a week for dinner, and random lunches. They're so fun. You cut up what fruit you have on hand and serve! No cooking or prepping before hand (other than chopping). My kids call them "rainbow fruit cups." I try, (notice the word TRY) to get as many colors as I can into the cup. Some day's I also try to just get all fruit the same color. It gets pretty fun! I love knowing I'm providing my family healthy natural fruit, that goes with ANY meal! Fast, easy and DELISH! 

Fruit Cups

Some of our favorite combinations:

-Apples, Oranges, Kiwi (as shown above)

-Apples, Bananas, Oranges

-Kiwi, Blueberries, Strawberries

-Raspberries, Bananas, Mango

-Watermelon, Raspberries, Strawberries (Red cup)

-Oranges - Mango - Cantaloupe (Orange cup)

-Kiwi - Honey dew - Green Apples (Green cup)

You get the idea! Have fun with it, enjoy fresh fruit cups with your family and friends! DELISH!

*** Sometimes our favorite fruits are very expensive, sometimes it's cheaper to buy them frozen. I take out some frozen blueberries (for example) and rinse them in a colander under warm water to thaw them out. They taste AWESOME! We do this with a lot of berries!

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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Lemon Cake Cookies

These decadent drops of heaven are seriously amazing. Lemon Cake Cookies, you wouldn't believe they're made from a cake mix! Only 4 ingredients make these lovely ladies.

My mom and I were taste testing half of these cookies and she had mentioned that these would be perfect to serve for a shower. Baby showers, bridal showers etc. They're light and have the perfect flavor. I couldn't have agreed with her more! 

I don't know if I've ever said on this blog or not, but I have an obsession with cookies. I would rather have a soft cookie than a piece cake any day. And what flavor of cookie is my favorite you ask? I honestly would have to say it depends on my mood. Some days I need a sweet chocolate to satisfy that craving, and others I need a sweet/tart like these lemon cookies. 

Everyone has different moods and emotions, it's the same way with food. 
What is your mood food today?
The day I made these, mine was LEMON! DELISH!

Lemon Cake Cookies

1 Lemon Cake Mix
2 Eggs
1/3 c. Oil
2 T. Lemon Juice

1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. 

2. Place by rounds on a greased cookie sheet.

3. Bake at 350' for 8 minutes

Need more delicious Cookie Ideas?
I've got you covered!

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Friday, June 10, 2016

M&M Cake Mix Cookies

Easiest cookies EVER!
My kids LOVE anything with M&M's. I mean who doesn't!? They're bright, colorful, and delicious!

I made these for our church's youth group on Wednesday. I cranked 40 of these puppies out using only 2 cake mixes! SCORE! They were a big hit. These would also be a fun birthday party cookie.

 These confectionary trinkets are also made in less than 20 minutes. SWEET! 
And... they're made with a cake mix so it's even easier/faster prep! Check it out!

M&M Cake Mix Cookies

1 Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix
2 Eggs
1/3 c. Oil
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 c. Plain M&M's

1. In a bowl combine cake mix, eggs, oil, and vanilla until well blended. 

2. Fold in M&M's. 

3. Place by rounds on a greased cookie sheet. 

4. Bake at 350 for 8 minutes.

Serve with cold milk! DELISH!

Need more scrumptious cookie recipes?
I've got you covered! Click HERE!

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Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Homemade Summer School

My little girl is going into Kindergarten this fall and she is totally pumped! I'm super nervous and also really excited to have her start on her education journey. Well, she just graduated preschool and the day after graduation she asked, "Is preschool today?!" I had a very distinct impression I need to do more for her this summer to help her keep the education she has gained, fresh. I also know how much she loves to learn and make projects so I decided to make her a "Homemade Summer School." This is definitely also for my active 3 year old boy who wants nothing to do with writing. He will greatly benefit from a little bit of pre-learning before he goes into preschool. 

I pooled together what I already had on hand and I am BEAMING with how it all turned out! I was shocked when I saw that I had everything to put our school wall together. 
We will be doing 3 days a week so WE don't get burned out. This will take a bit of planning and creativity, but thanks to the dollar store and their alphabet work books, and crafts this will be a cinch! 

Contents of the wall

1 capital/lowercase alphabet printed out on brown paper, cut with a circle punch then glued to a long strip of thick green wrapping paper! Use what you have! This took me 20 minutes to make!

1 green chalkboard - given to me by my sister a few weeks ago. (Thanks Candace)

2 bulletin boards with large black clips to post letter of the day, shapes, or artwork.

1 "Number Board" aka: scrap piece of wood with large black number stickers on it! 

1 magnetic dry erase board to use for circle time.

Desks or kids table. My little girl sits in her desk and my boy loves his kids table! 
It works great for my 2 kiddos. Seat according to the number of "students" you have!

Summer School Lesson Plan

Pledge of Allegiance 
(I bought a small flag to hang on the wall not it the picture)

Circle Time
1. Weather of the day
2. Letter of the day
3. Shape of the day
4. Color of the day
5. Number of the day

Workbook  Time
 Letter of the day page, and number of the day page
(Dollar Store Alphabet Workbooks)

Finger painting, chalk board drawing, color page, etc.

Story Time
Books with the letter of the day, color of the day, etc.

End of learning hour
Play time outside, inside, park, run errands to the grocery store. ANYTHING! Go get moving! IT'S SUMMER!

Check out a few fun kids crafts you could make for craft time! 

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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Thai Chicken Basil Soup

My husband and I recently went on a date to a Thai Restaurant. It was DELICIOUS! It was very authentic and unique for the rural place we live in. I wanted to recreate a soup I had there, but before I do....

I have a confession. I love to go to different restaurants, try something I know is different but bound to be good, and savor every bite as 
I examine every flavor/ seasoning I taste. "Hmm.... this has some basil and garlic in it." or "Hmm... I taste some cumin and paprika." Etc. My husband and I love to sit there and talk about the food. It's the closest thing to being a food critique on 'Chopped' as we can get. If the food is good I will attempt to recreate it, if it's worth recreating of course. Yes... some foods honestly aren't worth recreating. And yes, everyone has good and bad times ordering different foods, but look at the bright side; it's always an adventure! ;)

This Thai Chicken Basil Soup is an attempt at a recreation from the Thai Restaurant. And YES, it was worth recreating and I think I nailed it! Both stove style and in the Crock Pot! SWEET! 
And by the way, my little boy who isn't the biggest fan of soups over rice, LOVED IT! So, if he liked it, just about anyone will! Check it out!

Thai Chicken Basil Soup

3-4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
2 T. Olive Oil
1 T. Dried Basil Flakes
1 tsp. Powdered Ginger
1 Sweet Potato (peeled, cut and boiled in a small pot until just tender)
1 Orange Bell Pepper
1 Small Onion
1 can Coconut Milk
1 tsp. Salt

In a large soup pot, sauté chicken in the olive oil. Add the basil and ginger with a couple dashes of salt. 

When chicken is cooked through add the tender sweet potato. 

In a blender, place the onion, bell pepper and coconut milk; blend until smooth. 

Pour the liquid into the pot and Simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Add the teaspoon of salt.

Serve over rice. 

*To add more fiber and protein, add a drained can of garbanzo beans into your blender. It makes it thicker, but seriously SOO good!


Crock Pot Thai Chicken Basil Soup

3-4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts - trimmed and cubed
1 T. Dried Basil Flakes
1 tsp. Powdered Ginger
1 Sweet Potato - peeled and cut
1 Orange Bell Pepper
1 Small Onion
1 can Coconut Milk
1 tsp. Salt

In a greased crock pot place cubed chicken, basil, ginger and cut sweet potato.

In a blender combine coconut milk, bell pepper, onion and salt. Blend until smooth.

Pour the mixture over the chicken and potato. Give it a stir to coat the chicken. 

Cook on High for 4 hours or Low for 6.

Serve over rice. DELISH!

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Monday, May 9, 2016

Pot Sticker Soup

Need an easy soup? I DO! I love simple soups, and this one is VERY simple. 
I threw this together and it was gone in a matter of minutes. DELISH!

We love Chinese food and they always seem to have a yummy broth soup to start with at restaurants. When I made this our 3 year old son said, "Mom, this is Kung Fu Panda's Dumpling soup!" So, from now on, we will be calling this Kung Fu Dumpling Soup! You can call it what you like, Pot Sticker Soup, or
Kung Fu Dumpling Soup, both names are awesome!

Pot Sticker Soup

5 c. Water
1 T. Beef Base (I love Better than Bouillon)
1 T. Apple Cider Vinegar
1 T. Soy Sauce
1/4 c. Chopped Green Onion
8-10 Frozen Pot Stickers

In a medium sized pot, combine water, beef base, vinegar and soy sauce. 

Bring to a boil. 

Add green onion and pot stickers. 

Cook for 5 minutes or until dumplings are tender. 

Serve immediately. DELISH!

Need more soup ideas? I've got you covered!

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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Chicken Nugget Salad

Did you ever think that something so "gourmet" could come from something so simple?!
Lunch is one of my least favorite meals; I'm hungry but never know what to eat! I don't want to cook a full meal because dinner will be in a couple hours, oh the struggles...sigh....

Let's be honest, as busy mom's with a million things going on, who has time to grill up chicken for lunch? Honestly?! Someday's I am so tired of cooking! I need something fast and easy! 
This salad is PERFECT! 
Make a fabulous salad with fresh and frozen ingredients. Done in 5 minutes! YES!

Chicken Nugget Salad

5-6 Frozen Chicken Nuggets cooked according to package directions (2-3 minutes in the microwave)
1/2 c. Frozen Blueberries (thawed in a bowl of warm water then drained)
2 c. Spring mixed greens (Or whatever salad you have on hand)

Top with your favorite salad dressing and dive in!

*Add some almonds, pecans, or walnuts to add an extra source of protein and delicious crunch.

Need more salad ideas? Click HERE!

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