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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

April Fool's Fun Recipes

April Fool's Day, April 1, is a great day to create food fun with your kids. Here are two April Fool's Fun Ideas from our readers. See more ideas like meatloaf cake, secret ingredient recipes like Tomato Soup Cake and more ideas for breakfast, dinner and dessert on our April Fool's Page.

April Fool's Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

by Kelly
(Reno, NV)
 
2 slices Sara Lee pound cake, toasted
Make (or buy) vanilla frosting, tinted orange for cheese

Directions: lightly toast slices of pound cake and spread with colored frosting. Cut in half and serve.

My kids love these special "grilled cheese" sandwiches on April Fool's Day. We serve it with meatloaf cupcakes frosted with tinted mashed potatoes for lots of giggles when daddy comes to the table for dinner.

Hot Dogs and Fries

by Kianna Marie
(Konoha) 

Twinkies
Giant Tootsie Roll
Pound Cake
Sugar
Strawberry Jam
Red and yellow tinted frosting.


Cut up the pound cake into strips that look like fries. place them onto a cookie sheet and broil them in the oven on all sides until they have the color of French Fries. Sprinkle them with sugar.

Make a slit in the Twinkies and place a piece of Tootsie Roll inside the slit.

Use a cake decorating bag, pipe on a line of red frosting on one side of the Tootsie Roll for ketchup and a line of yellow on the other side for mustard. Serve the "hot dogs" with the "fries" and a side of "ketchup" (strawberry jam or left over frosting)

Don't Forget to check out more ideas on our April Fool's Page.


April Fool's Mandala coloring page

Celebrate with this free Mandala April Fool's Coloring Page


~This post may contain affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them. There is no extra cost to you. This is how we help support our family and continue to bring you amazing content. To learn more see the affiliates disclosure here.~

Monday, March 28, 2016

25 meatless meal recipes

Meatless meals are a good way to save you a little money as well as cut back on calories. Here are some yummy recipes that won't have you missing meat.

Meatless Pasta Dishes

Vegetable Lasagna
Fettuccine Alfredo
Broccoli and Rice Casserole- leave out the chicken
Pasta Salad - make sure to leave out any meat
Macaroni Salad
Macaroni and Cheese
Tortellini Pasta Salad

Tortellini with Peas

Ingredients
2 tbsp. butter
1 package (10-ounce) frozen peas or peas and  carrots blend
1 1/2 pounds frozen cheese tortellini
1 clove garlic, smashed
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, and extra for serving

Directions
Follow the package instructions to cook tortellini for about 2 minutes less than what the package instructions recommend. Add peas to the cooked tortellini for about 2 minutes or until peas are tender and pasta is al dente. Drain, reserving about one cup of water. Set peas and pasta aside.
In pasta pot, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add garlic in the melted butter and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant. Discard garlic.
Add peas and pasta, 3/4 cup reserved water, Parmesan, salt and pepper to the pasta pot. Toss the mixture to toss well.

Meatless Soups

Borscht -leave the meat out and add beans if you'd like
Black Bean Soup
Cauliflower Soup
Spinach Alfredo Soup
Cream of Squash Soup
Pasta Vegetable Soup
Tomato Soup

Gazpacho with Avocado

Total time: 25 Minutes
Prep time: 5 Minutes
Cooking time: 20 Minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. chopped tomatoes
½ cup vinegar (red wine)
1 chopped bell pepper, green
1 chopped seedless cucumber
Sea salt
1 ripe California avocado, fresh, peeled cut into cubes
2 ground garlic cloves
14.5-oz canned tomatoes and diced
1 cup/ 237ml water

Directions

In a food processor, combine together tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, cucumber, green pepper, vinegar, and water; puree until very smooth. Add salt and refrigerate overnight.  Garnish with avocado cubes and serve.

Meatless Main Dishes

Asparagus Risotto
Baked Potato Bar
Quiche
Stir Fry- just use vegetables without the meat
Stuffed Zucchini 
Spaghetti Squash- baked, shredded into "spaghetti" and topped with tomato sauce and cheese
Quesadillas
Spring Rolls- use bean sprouts and julienne vegetables

Gluten Free Pizza

Ingredients:
1 1/2 Cups Gluten Free All Purpose Flour *
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Xanthan Gum
1 Packet Dry Yeast
1 Cup Warm Water
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

Directions:
Using a stand mixer with a dough hook, mix all the dry ingredients together until fully blended. In a separate bowl add the oil, warm water, sugar, and yeast, allow to bubble a bit.

Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and beat with the dough hook. Beat until all the way mixed, and then cover the bowl with saran wrap for 30 minutes.
Spread dough with greased hands on prepared pizza pan. Let sit for 15 minutes and then bake at 475 for 8 to 10 minutes. Top with whatever ingredients you want, then bake again until bubbly another 8 to 10 minutes.

*Don't want to go gluten free in this recipe? Just substitute all purpose flour or whole wheat flour for the gluten free flour. Replace Xanthan Gum with 1 teaspoon sugar or sugar substitute.




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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Healthy Easter Baskets

Healthy Easter Baskets

Easter is another one of those holidays that has turned into a super chocolate, candy, laden heaven! Here are 20 Healthy Easter ideas that you can fill up Easter baskets with instead of chocolate eggs, large chocolate bunnies and jelly beans.

  1. Homemade trail mix in a new fun water bottle

  2. Chalk and a mini chalkboard

  3. A new reading book. This is something I always have included in our Easter baskets

  4. Coloring books and new markers or crayons

  5. Fun pencil and eraser

  6. Bottle of bubbles

  7. Mini notebooks

  8. Fruit snacks

  9. A new hat

  10. Bouncy balls

  11. Jacks or marbles

  12. Stickers

  13. Bead set to make their own bracelets or necklaces

  14. Play dough and play dough tools. You can make homemade play dough if you'd like and buy simple tools to play with from $1 store or gather some odds and ends around the house.

  15. Silly Putty eggs

  16. Mini puzzles

  17. Homemade coupon good for_________. Fill in the blank for something you'd like to offer such as trip to the park, a special outing of your choice, etc.

  18. Lip gloss, combs, brushes, barrettes

  19. Fun new toothbrush

  20. Card games
  21.  

More Easter Fun Ideas

Kids Easter Recipes











Sugar Eggs Recipe








Resurrection Cookies Recipe













Russian Easter Bread Recipe



 

Italian Easter Bread











Edible Nests


~This post may contain affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them. There is no extra cost to you. This is how we help support our family and continue to bring you amazing content. To learn more see the affiliates disclosure here.~

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Edible Potato Nests

Potato Nests with Boiled Eggs

20 oz. bag of hash browns, shredded
4 Tablespoons oil
salt and pepper
1 egg
In a bowl, stir together hash browns, egg, oil and salt and pepper.

Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray. Press hash brown mixture up along edges and create a nest shape.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20 -25 minutes.
Then fill it with boiled eggs.

Or for a fun lunch idea, add egg salad, tuna salad or chicken salad inside the nest.

Here is another potato nest recipe here.

Or try a Noodle Nest

More Easter Fun Ideas

Kids Easter Recipes











Sugar Eggs Recipe








Resurrection Cookies Recipe













Russian Easter Bread Recipe



 

Italian Easter Bread



~This post may contain affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them. There is no extra cost to you. This is how we help support our family and continue to bring you amazing content. To learn more see the affiliates disclosure here.~

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

St. Patrick's Day Green Recipe Ideas

Green Recipe Ideas for Celebrating St. Patrick's Day

  1. Go for fruit. There is a lot of green fruits that you can cut up into small pieces or make into a green fruit salad. Green grapes, green apples, kiwifruit, avocado. Try our green fruit salad below.
  2. Spreads. Tint cream cheese or white frosting with a small amount of green food coloring and have kids spread on crackers or oatmeal cookies.

  3. Vegetables. The great thing about green is there are a lot of healthy green things to eat! Lettuce, cucumbers, celery, broccoli, green peppers, spinach and green beans. Snack on these individually or have kids make their own salad.


  4. Green Jell-O. An  easy project for the kids to put together.


  5. Add green food coloring to bread dough, biscuits or soft pretzel dough. Shape and bake.


  6. Make a green dip for your green vegetables. Try adding dill or parsley to a homemade ranch dressing.  Or make a cucumber yogurt dip and place dip inside a hollowed out cucumber.




  7. Make a green colored milkshake or green smoothie.


  8. Pickles and cheese platter- Make a platter of sliced pickles, green olives and cheese cubes.


  9. Make pistachio pudding and place in small plastic cups.



  10. Add a few drops of green coloring to a cup of milk. Or add a little bit of pistachio pudding and stir.



  11. Pesto pasta! Make a homemade version of pesto and add to cooked noodles.
  12. Pesto Recipe

  13. Green pancakes. Just add, yep you guessed it, green food coloring to your pancake batter. Try pouring your pancake batter into a clover shape.

  14. Green eggs and ham. Read the book and create the recipe


  15. Make homemade guacamole. 
    Try this simple guacamole recipe.
  16. What better time to have your kids try something new like Kale Chips. Wash and dry kale and cut off stems. Lay on a cookie sheet and drizzle with oil and a sprinkle of salt. Bake at 400 degrees until crispy.
     

  17. Apple Frogs - using green apples and green grapes can make this a fun green recipe for St. Patrick's Day.
Apple Frog Recipe

Green Food Recipes

Green Apple Snack 

Green apple wedges
Cream cheese
Green food coloring
Tint the cream cheese with a few drops of green food coloring. Have the kids spread cream cheese on top of apple wedges. Enjoy a simple green snack.

Green Fruit Salad

Kiwi slices
Green grapes cut in half
Green apple
Cut kiwi into slices or small cubes. Cut green grapes in half. Wash green apple and leave the peel on. Cut apple in cubes. Mix ingredients together.


~This post may contain affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them. There is no extra cost to you. This is how we help support our family and continue to bring you amazing content. To learn more see the affiliates disclosure here.~

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

No Bake Recipes For Kids

No Bake Recipes are perfect for younger kids learning how to cook, teachers who don't have full kitchen resources and even after-school snacks.

Here are some of our favorite No Bake Recipes. 

No Bake Snacks 

Snack Balls  

See our post on 10 Healthy Snack Balls.

Apple Quesadilla

1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar

2 flour tortillas (whole or regular-wheat)

several thin slices of a Granny Smith apple

Evenly sprinkle a layer of cheddar cheese over one tortilla.
Arrange the apple slices on the cheese layer and cover with the remaining tortilla.
Microwave the tortillas until the cheese melts, for about ½ minutes.
Cut the tortillas into six to eight wedges. Enjoy!

No Bake Desserts & Treats

 Truffles- Dessert recipes for truffles that are no bake.



No Bake Cookies

No Bake Breakfast

Breakfast Bruschetta

1 cup strawberries, sliced
1/2 cup ricotta
1/4 of a baguette, sliced in half lengthwise
1 Tbsp. honey

Mix honey with ricotta.
Spread the honey mixture evenly over the baguette slices.
Top with strawberry slices.
You can use low-fat cream cheese in place of ricotta, if desired.


Smoothies and Waffles work great for no bake recipes too!

Find more recipes on our No Bake Recipes Page




 
~This post may contain affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them. There is no extra cost to you. This is how we help support our family and continue to bring you amazing content. To learn more see the affiliates disclosure here.~

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

20 non-sandwich lunch ideas

We are more than halfway through the school year, at least at our house, and it always seems like it is time for some new lunch ideas. Preferably something non-sandwich like. Here is what we have come up with for some easy non sandwich ideas!


Kabobs- whether they are leftover from last night's dinner or a simple deli meat, cheese, pineapple or  tomato on a toothpick these are always fun for kids.
Ham and Cheese Kabob

Chicken salad with crackers- use leftover chicken from dinner or use rotisserie chicken meat and stir in light mayonnaise. If your kids will eat it, add in finely chopped celery, grapes or pickles!
Chicken Salad Recipe


Hot dog muffins- Using a simple corn muffin recipe, add in small chopped hot dogs or one inch hot dog in the middle of each muffin before baking.


Homemade Lunchables- All you need are mini cookie cutters and a plastic container to create your own lunchables.


Pizza Scrolls- Make a twist literally on a pizza kids can take in their lunch. Create these with bread dough. Roll dough out into a rectangle. Spread with pizza toppings. Roll up jelly roll style and slice. Add to a greased 13x9 pan and let rise 15 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown.

Biscuit sticks- I love this recipe so much and it could be made into a simple lunch with chopped deli meat and cheese.
Biscuit Stick Recipe

Pasta Salad- Use fun shaped pasta, cook and add chopped vegetables, meat and cheese. Drizzle with an Italian dressing or Ranch whichever the kids like better and you have a simple pasta salad.
Pasta Salad Recipe

Tortilla roll ups and sliced- I have a kid that loves a jelly roll up once in awhile but you can be much more creative and add different fillings to a tortilla. Cut into slices and wrap in plastic wrap or in a plastic container.
Roll Ups and Wrap Ideas

Pita pizza cut in slices- Create a quick pita pizza, then toast in a toaster oven or bake for 5 minutes until cheese is melted. Cut into small wedges, let cool and place in lunch.


Silver dollar pancakes with nut butter - Nobody said breakfast was only for morning! Bake small silver dollar size pancakes, allow to cool and include a side of nut butter or applesauce for kids to put together at school.
Pancake Recipe and Spreads Ideas

Sliders- Sliders are simple mini size hamburgers. Mini size is always great for lunchboxes!
Making Hamburger Sliders

Meatballs- Whether you add a sauce or leave meatballs plan add a few in a bento box with a vegetable and fruit and it will be a fun change to lunch.
Making Homemade Meatballs


Rice ball- If your kids are a fan of rice, they'll love these little balls filled with vegetables or chopped meat.
Rice Balls Recipe

Spring rolls- A simple wrap kids love because they can see through it!
How to Make Spring Rolls

Granola and yogurt- Short on time or ideas? Add a side of granola with a package of yogurt. Include blueberries or raspberries as well if you have some on hand.


Salad to order- have children make their own side salad including whatever ingredients they like. I have one child one likes his with chopped lettuce, cooked bacon and chopped onion. A weird combination to me but he'll eat it so we're happy!


Cubes of ham and cheese- small cubes are always more fun!


Snack balls- Here are some recipes for snack balls to include in your lunchbox.
Snack Ball Recipes

Deviled eggs- Press the two halves together and wrap up for less mess.
Deviled Egg Recipe

Ready made packet of tuna- add in a vegetable, fruit and crackers if they like to go with their tuna.

More Packing Lunch Resources:

Kids lunches
Packing school lunches
Finger Foods for Kids
Sandwich ideas series

What are your favorite go to lunch ideas?


~This post may contain affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them. There is no extra cost to you. This is how we help support our family and continue to bring you amazing content. To learn more see the affiliates disclosure here.~