Archive for the ‘Food & Recipes’ Category

Asian Turkey and Green Bean Sauté

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

Asian Turkey and Green Bean Sauté from MomAdvice.com This post was created in partnership with Honeysuckle White. Thank you for supporting the companies that support our site! 

One of my favorite dishes is a delicious green bean sauté spooned over a big platter of rice that I had discovered at my favorite Chinese restaurant. The crunchy green beans adds a fresh flavor and texture to contrast with the heartiness of the meat in this dish. You would think it would be bland, but the layers of salt and spice make it a flavorful dish that I crave often.

I can also admit that this highly addictive dish is usually ate in record time and I am always left wanting more.

Did anyone witness me slamming this dish in three seconds flat?

I hope not.

It has been on my cooking bucket list to create this dish at home to save some money and to indulge in it a little more regularly with wild abandon. What could be healthier than a big dose of veggies and protein to start your new year of cooking out right?

My partnership with Honeysuckle White seemed the perfect excuse to add this meal to our planner to share with you.

Riverhill Farms in Virginia Riverhill Farms in Virginia Riverhill Farms in Virginia

It has been a unique experience to now feel a deeper connection with our food this year, thanks to this fun partnership. I was invited out to Virginia to tour the River Hill Farms, one of the 700 independent family farmers that works with Honeysuckle White. Not only did we discover they are well-trained in animal handling practices, but they also happen to exceed the standards and they wanted to share that experience with us.

Glenn & Sheri Rhodes were so gracious to open up their farm to us and the pride they feel for the land and their animals was felt by all of us as we visited their gorgeous property.

I had absolutely no idea what to expect when I received the invitation and was so pleasantly surprised when we arrived at the beauty all around us. The farm was beautifully kept, the spaces were generous for the animals, and it is so good to know that the farm is committed to raising their turkeys without any growth-promoting antibiotics, hormones, or steroids.

As if that wasn’t lovely enough, Glenn made us all some good old-fashioned kettle corn that we shared over snacks and discussed his life’s work and the pride he has felt for his farm.

My great-grandfather was one of the hardest working farmers that I had ever known and I felt that same sense of warmth, family, and commitment to good work in both Glenn & Sheri. It felt a little like the summers that were spent on my grandparent’s porch after their long day of hard work and good food.

Asian Turkey and Green Bean Sauté from MomAdvice.com

As the new year begins, I know many are making resolutions like eating at home more and eating better food for your health. If you are trying to reach a weight-loss goal this year, it’s good to know that turkey has more protein, fewer calories, and less total fat and cholesterol than chicken. When mixed with this delicious combination of sauces and spices, you will also find that it increases the flavor and you may even forget that you are eating such a lean and smart protein.

This dish has A LOT of kick, thanks to the chili garlic sauce, but you can crank it down with less or add more for some FIRE in your tummy!

Asian Turkey and Green Bean Sauté from MomAdvice.com Asian Turkey and Green Bean Sauté from MomAdvice.com Asian Turkey and Green Bean Sauté from MomAdvice.com

I was looking forward to binging on these leftovers with a Netflix marathon, but once my kids dug into this, they seemed to be overcome by the same shovel-it-all-up-in-your-face-in-three-seconds struggle that I have.

No green bean was left behind which is an awesome rarity in our house.

How can I complain about that?

You must give this recipe a try and save your family loads of money on this delicious and healthy takeout dish made at home!  I have already added it to our menu planner again for this week and hope you enjoy this one half as much as we did! A huge thank you to Honeysuckle White for sharing a little behind-the-scenes on how their products are made and their commitment to delivering the best quality at the lowest price.

Asian Turkey and Green Bean Sauté
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Green beans and ground turkey are loaded up with delicious Asian flavors and served over rice for a healthy and delicious way to start your new year!
Ingredients
  • 2 cups medium-grain rice, uncooked
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
  • 1 pound Honeysuckle White ground turkey
  • ½ tablespoon chili garlic sauce (this is spicy for us, increase or decrease to your own personal taste)
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 teaspoon crushed ginger
  • 1 pound washed and trimmed green beans
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
Instructions
  1. Prepare rice as directed on packaging.
  2. Place a separate skillet over medium heat. Add sesame oil, and sauté garlic for one minute. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. Add ground turkey to the skillet and sauté 3-5 minutes, until meat is mostly cooked, breaking the meat up with your spoon.
  4. In a small bowl mix together chili garlic sauce, hoisin sauce, ginger, and soy sauce and stir to coat. Pour this sauce over the ground beef and add back in the green beans, stirring to coat everything fully.
  5. Continue cooking over high heat for 7-9 minutes longer, stirring frequently, until beans are slightly tender.
  6. Stir in rice vinegar, and cook one minute longer. Serve over cooked rice.

This post was created in partnership with Honeysuckle White. Thank you for supporting the companies that support our site! 

 

 

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3-Ingredient Instant Pot Ribs

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

3-Ingredient Instant Pot Ribs from MomAdvice.com

I have heard from so many of you that you are so excited about your new Instant Pot purchases for the holidays, but are also feeling a little perplexed about what to do with that gadget you just scored.  I remember feeling the same way when I got mine and now that I’ve been enjoying it for the last few months, I can honestly say that it has saved us a bundle on dining out thanks to its speedy cooking.

In fact, it has helped me feel more confident taking on dishes that I normally would never try, whether it is because of time constraints or complete intimidation, allowing for a lot more variety in our rather tired menu plan that had I had been executing month after month.

Of all the dishes that we have made in our pressure cooker, I must say that the biggest hit has been these easy 3-ingredient ribs that you can make in your Instant Pot. Ribs are something I have often thought of adding to our menu plan, but I just didn’t think they could ever taste as good as what we would get out in restaurants especially on a busy weeknight. I must say though,  these ribs are BETTER than many restaurants we have been to and are fall-off-the-bone tender every single time.

3-Ingredient Instant Pot Ribs from MomAdvice.com 3-Ingredient Instant Pot Ribs from MomAdvice.com

I have done a rack of Baby Back Ribs in my 6-quart Instant Pot and I have even been able to fit up to two racks in this size cooker without any trouble, although it is a much tighter squeeze than a single rack. Cut your ribs into thirds so you can fit them in comfortably.  Add a cup of beef broth in your cooker and put your steaming rack inside (that little rack that came with your cooker!). Season your ribs generously with salt and pepper and place these on top of the steaming rack.

Lock that baby up, press the meat button on the front, and adjust the timer to 30 minutes.

3-Ingredient Instant Pot Ribs from MomAdvice.com

While the ribs are cooking, line a cookie sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. In a small bowl, pour in your favorite barbecue sauce for brushing.  This one is always a Clark favorite from the supermarket, but I’d love to hear if you think there are any others we should try!

After the Instant Pot beeps, do a quick release on that valve on the top.

Don’t know what a quick release is?

No problem!

This just means that you are going to move your valve from Sealed to Venting and allow all that steam to come out quickly instead of letting it release pressure on its own. It is going to REALLY steam so make sure you are prepared for that and keep it away from your cabinets, face, and hands. Also don’t scream because you will want to the first time. It’s terrifying.

Ain't Nobody Got Time For That

 

Almost all the recipes I do usually say to do this Quick Release method, rather than a Natural Pressure Release, where you sit around just waiting and letting that pressure to come down on its own which can take on up to 30 minutes.

Ain’t nobody got time for that. We already had to wait for the pressure to build, people, we can’t sit around waiting for the pressure in this gadget to subside. We are BUSY!

After the pressure has released, remove the lid and carefully take out those ribs with a pair of tongs and place them on your lined cookie sheet. Starting with the back of the rib, brush them each generously with sauce.

Turn on your broiler on your oven and slide the ribs in for 3-4 minutes, watching them carefully so they don’t burn.

Flip them over, and repeat with the other side of the ribs.

Finish by cutting them into sections and serving with additional barbecue sauce.

3-Ingredient Instant Pot Ribs from MomAdvice.com

HELLO, HEAVEN! These are SUCH A HIT at our house and I’m guessing they will be a hit at yours too. Keep in mind, if you are new to the Instant Pot cult (totally a thing!), that it takes awhile for these to come to pressure so give yourself a 20-25 minute allowance before that stated 30-minute cooking time I’m sharing.

We have loved these so much that they have become the new birthday request and we even took a couple of racks of these and my Instant Pot on vacation so we could enjoy this yummy treat while we were renting our beach house on break. I now make it a regular habit to keep my eyes peeled in our grocery flier for any sales on racks of ribs to keep stocked in our freezer.

I hope to share many more recipes in the upcoming weeks with you! If you are on the hunt for great cookbooks to make the most of your Instant Pot this one, this one, and this one are all excellent books for a newbie Instant Pot cult member (totally a thing- I’m serious!).

I can’t wait to hear what you think of these 3-ingredient Instant Pot Ribs!

3-Ingredient Instant Pot Ribs from MomAdvice.com

3-Ingredient Instant Pot Ribs
Recipe type: Instant Pot
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6 servings
 
These ribs are fall-off-the-bone tender and can be prepared with your favorite barbecue sauce. These are just one (of many) reasons to get an Instant Pot.
Ingredients
  • 1 or 2 racks of pork baby back ribs
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • Barbecue Sauce
Instructions
  1. Cut the racks of ribs into thirds and season generously with salt and pepper. (Note- if you prefer to add a rub on your ribs, this is where you would do that!)
  2. Pour beef broth in the bottom of the pot, place the steaming rack inside, and put the seasoned ribs on top.
  3. Lock the lid, select the Meat function, and set timer for 30 minutes.
  4. Quick release your valve after the timer beeps and remove the ribs from the cooker. Place on a foil-lined cookie sheet (prepared with cooking spray) and brush on your barbecue sauce on the back side of the ribs.
  5. Broil the ribs for 3-4 minutes (watching carefully to prevent charring), flip the ribs over and brush the other side with barbecue sauce. Broil that side again for 3-4 minutes. Place on platter and serve with additional barbecue sauce on the side.

 

Don’t forget to check out my first recipe Instant Pot Korean Street Tacos for another fun weeknight meal! What is your favorite thing to create in your Instant Pot?

*this post may contain affiliate links- I only recommend what I love though.

 

 

Spinach and Turkey Bacon Skillet Dish

Monday, November 21st, 2016

Spinach and Turkey Bacon Skillet Dish from MomAdvice.com This post is sponsored by Honeysuckle White. All thoughts and opinions are my own! 

“I could eat breakfast for every meal,” is a common phrase spoken in our house. For us, breakfast is a feast that should be enjoyed anytime of the day and a sweet luxury when indulged in at our favorite restaurants. Simple ingredients like eggs, potatoes, and bacon all feel elevated though when combined into an elegant skillet dish and these are dishes I choose most often when we go out for a family brunch.

Why do I feel I have to go out to eat to enjoy a skillet dish?

Well, I don’t feel that way anymore!

There is no need to spend a fortune dining out when you can enjoy this breakfast treat at home! Today’s recipe is created in partnership with with Honeysuckle White as we put their delicious Smoked Turkey Bacon to work in this beautiful Spinach & Turkey Bacon Skillet Dish. Thanks to their commitment to keep their products affordable for their consumers, all while retaining the highest quality meats, this entire skillet dish will cost you less than one meal out.

Spinach and Turkey Bacon Skillet Dish from MomAdvice.com

One of the reasons I really love these skillet dishes is that this can be a great way to put leftover ingredients to work in your kitchen. Thanksgiving season, as we have discovered, is when our fridge is loaded with odds and ends that need to be used. Last night’s roasted potatoes, for example, can be used as the base in your skillet. Odds and ends from your produce drawer, like mushrooms or spinach, can be woven into your potato base. Goat, parmesan, cheddar, or blue cheese can also be added for a creamy element.

One thing that I bet you not to sacrifice  though is the salty addition of the bacon for a perfect finishing touch on your dish.

Turkey bacon is a great way to get that salty addition, but with 50% less fat in your dish, giving you all the flavor without all the guilt.

If you are gluten-free, you’ll be happy to know that this bacon is a gluten-free product. It also contains no added hormones or steroids and no growth-promoting hormones. They even let you virtually meet the farmers on their products so you can get to know exactly where your meat is coming from.

Spinach and Turkey Bacon Skillet Dish from MomAdvice.com

One of my favorite food combos is spinach and sun-dried tomatoes and I thought the addition of these would compliment this dish perfectly. To save time, look for bags of already julienned sun-dried tomatoes to save you some chopping time in the kitchen.

To save even more time on this dish, I’ve discovered that my Instant Pot is an incredible gift for making quick work of cooking potatoes for the week. Simply add a cup of water to the bottom of the pot, pierce your potatoes (I put in as many as I can fit!), lock the lid, and cook on manual pressure for 10 minutes. I then quick release the pressure and dice up the potatoes for our dishes or  make delicious baked potatoes out of them by finishing them in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 450 degrees, slathered in olive oil and rolled in kosher salt!

If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can still make quicker work by starting those potatoes in the microwave, a technique that we have used often in our house. Once again, just prick the potatoes and then microwave on high for five minutes. Give them a few minutes to cool, and then you can start chopping them into cubes for your skillet.

I hope this dish inspires you to create your own skillet dish in the kitchen and, perhaps, put a few of those delicious Thanksgiving leftovers to work in a skillet of your own.

For more great turkey inspiration, be sure to check out my Slow Cooker Thanksgiving Turkey that I also created this month!

 

Spinach and Turkey Bacon Skillet Dish from MomAdvice.com

Spinach and Turkey Bacon Skillet Dish
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Serve this healthy skillet dish packed with veggies and protein for your next brunch with any combination of odds and ends in your refrigerator. This recipe is a gluten-free crowd pleaser!
Ingredients
  • 2 russet potatoes, scrubbed (skin left on)
  • 3 slices Honeysuckle White Smoked Turkey Bacon
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, julienned
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • Freshly ground pepper
Instructions
  1. Prick potato in several spots in a fork; microwave on High for 4 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes, then chop into ½-inch cubes.
  2. Meanwhile, cook bacon over medium-high heat in a skillet until crisp (following directions on packaging for timing). Remove the bacon from the skillet, but leave the bacon drippings in the pan. Add oil, diced potatoes, and sun-dried tomatoes and cook, stirring frequently, until the potatoes are browned, about 5 minutes. Add spinach; stir to combine and just wilt, about 1 minute. Season with salt.
  3. Make 4 wells in the center of the hash and crack one egg into each well. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the eggs are partially set, 2 to 3 minutes. Cover with a lid and cook until the eggs whites are completely set, 1 to 2 minutes. Chop the bacon and sprinkle on top. Garnish with a generous grinding of pepper.

This post is sponsored by Honeysuckle White. All thoughts and opinions are my own!

 

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Slow Cooker Thanksgiving Turkey

Monday, November 7th, 2016

Slow Cooker Thanksgiving Turkey from MomAdvice.com This post is sponsored by Honeysuckle White. All thoughts and opinions are my own! 

For many years I have been dreaming about creating a Thanksgiving turkey that could be prepared in the slow cooker. I have a small kitchen and my oven doesn’t offer a lot of room for multiple dishes so my frustrations often mount when it is time to figure out timing of the bird and all the sides. If you are struggling too, I have come up with a slow cooker Thanksgiving turkey that looks beautiful AND saves you some space in the oven.

I’m partnering this year with Honeysuckle White and, believe me, it isn’t a stretch at all. Our bird every year has been from their company because it always cooks up beautifully. I was so excited to give my dream of slow cooking a bird a spin and wanted to share with you how I did that.

Slow Cooker Thanksgiving Turkey from MomAdvice.com Slow Cooker Thanksgiving Turkey from MomAdvice.com

As you can see from these early morning shots, I got this started first thing in the morning so that it would be ready for our dinner hour. You are going to want to aim for an eight to nine pound bird to make sure that it can fit into your slow cooker. The slow cooker that I have is called the Ninja Cooker. Since we are finishing the bird in the oven to give it a golden skin, I love that I can just pop this insert right into the oven without transferring the bird.

One year I did a beautiful turkey using Ina Garten’s herb roasted turkey breast recipe and our family absolutely loved it. I wanted to recreate that delicious flavoring, packed with fresh herbs while swimming in wine, and make it using the slow cooker method.

Slow Cooker Thanksgiving Turkey from MomAdvice.com   Slow Cooker Thanksgiving Turkey from MomAdvice.com   Slow Cooker Thanksgiving Turkey from MomAdvice.com

I am not flashy with my turkey and usually have it already sliced before our guests arrive, but I know that many love to have a beautiful golden bird to carve right by the table. Maybe I saw National Lampoon’s turkey scene too many times and that may be why I am so scared.

Anyone else?

Rest assured, a slow cooker bird can still be beautifully displayed and you can even achieve a golden skin. As I’ve gotten more familiar with pressure cooking, it has opened my eyes that it is possible to start something in your gadgets and finish it somewhere else. The slow cooker turkey can be started in the slow cooker and finished under your broiler, but WATCH CAREFULLY. I found that it needed to be moved around quite a bit as it broiled to achieve an even color and to avoid burning the skin.

Slow Cooker Thanksgiving Turkey from MomAdvice.com

Although I have always loved the flavor of the Honeysuckle White Bird, I am ashamed to say that I did not know very much about their company until I had the opportunity to work with them.  I know that knowing where our food comes from is such an important thing and that’s why it’s good to know some of their business practices better. Honeysuckle White turkeys are raised on 700 independent family farms by farmers trained on animal handling practices that meet or exceed industry standards.  They even have a spot on their site where you can virtually meet the farmers- how cool is that?

They also realize that good quality food shouldn’t cost a fortune and believe everyone should be able to access it. They try to offer their products at a price point that would be comparable to other products, but with higher quality standards.

I hope this post inspires you to give slow cooking your Thanksgiving turkey a try this year and to look for a Honeysuckle White turkey (available in most states) or for the Shady Brook Farms turkeys, Honeysuckle White’s sister brand, available over on the East coast.

Don’t forget to visit this post to find out how to make ALL your side dishes ahead for your Thanksgiving feast

Slow Cooker Thanksgiving Turkey from MomAdvice.com

Slow Cooker Thanksgiving Turkey from MomAdvice.com

Slow Cooker Thanksgiving Turkey
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Honeysuckle White whole bone-in turkey, 8-9 pounds
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic (5 cloves)
  • 4 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, combine the garlic, mustard, herbs, salt, pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice to make a paste. Loosen the skin from the meat gently with your fingers and smear half of the paste directly on the meat. Spread the remaining paste evenly on the skin. Pour the wine into the bottom of your slow cooker.
  2. Place the turkey carefully over the wine and cook on LOW for 5-7 hours. The turkey has a pop-up timer on it that you can watch for gauging when the turkey is done. Turkey is done when breast meat is 165˚ F and dark meat is 175˚ F.
  3. Once the turkey is done, remove and put in an oven-safe dish (unless your slow cooker insert is oven-safe). Broil under your broiler for 3-5 minutes, watching the turkey carefully to make sure not to burn the skin.
  4. When the turkey is done, cover with foil and allow it to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. Slice and serve with the pan juices spooned over the turkey.

This post is sponsored by Honeysuckle White. All thoughts and opinions are my own!

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Gluten-Free Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Brownies

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

Gluten-Free Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Brownies from MomAdvice.com Thank you, Dunkin’ At Home, for sponsoring today’s post! 

When I lived in Massachusetts, I had a daily run over to my local Dunkin’ Donuts® to grab my morning cup of coffee. I became such a regular at it, the guy behind the corner would look up and say, “Skim Milk, two sugars?”

 

You know me so well, Sir.

Oh, those were THE DAYS when I sipped a cup of coffee on my walk from the shop to work and where I felt important because someone remembered my coffee just like I liked it.

Mornings look a heck of a lot different now and are often spent in a frantic state of panic over making sure everyone gets out the door on time with lunches packed and backpacks stuffed with everything they need. Someone making me coffee now is a rarity so I thoughtfully program a pot the night before for myself.

You deserve the best, Madam.

And since I deserve the best and still love that quiet cup, I wait until the house is empty and indulge fully in those first morning sips.

Gluten-Free Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Brownies from MomAdvice.com

Each morning I treat myself to an hour of reading with my hot coffee and then I repeat this same little treat in the afternoon the hour before they come back.  I consider it my two favorite indulgences during the day and gives me a chance to get in some really great books.

Gluten-Free Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Brownies from MomAdvice.com

I, honestly, rarely go out for coffee anymore and instead I invested in a great coffeemaker and make it at home. Since I drink my coffee black, I love flavored coffees and Dunkin’ (TRULY) makes some of my absolute favorites. If you haven’t tried their Bakery Series ® Coffee, you are in for a delicious treat. A couple of my favorites are Cinnamon Coffee Roll and Caramel Coffeecake that I was able to find at my local grocery store. If you happen to be a K-Cup user, you can also score a delicious Chocolate Glazed Donut flavor. You can find all of these delicious options where you buy your groceries! Check out their website for the scoop!

Gluten-Free Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Brownies from MomAdvice.com Gluten-Free Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Brownies from MomAdvice.com

For my afternoon indulgence, I wanted to recreate one of my favorite treats, Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Brownies, into a gluten-free version that our whole family could enjoy. My biggest concern with modifying this recipe was that I would have a dense and dry cake when replacing the flour. I remembered though that coffee has the ability to enhance and really bring out chocolate flavoring without adding a noticeable coffee taste. To keep these brownies fudgy, I added four tablespoons of coffee to my standard recipe and replaced the regular flour with this gluten-free version.

Dare I say that these brownies are actually LIGHTER than the originals? In fact, my husband kept saying, “Are you SURE these are gluten-free? I mean, are you REALLY sure?” Yes, after our fair share of terrible gluten-free baking experiences, I couldn’t believe how much the coffee added to the flavoring and the lightness of this recipe. It is so fluffy, in fact, that you might mistake it for cake!

Gluten-Free Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Brownies from MomAdvice.com

The other struggle I have with gluten-free brownies is getting them to hold their shape, but the coffee really made a difference in how these held together. These were a breeze to cut into squares, especially when using my favorite brownie cutting trick…a plastic knife! I always keep one in our utensil drawer to get clean (not crumbly) brownies. Lining the brownie pan with parchment paper also helps the brownies to hold their shape and cuts down on clean-up.

Gluten-Free Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Brownies from MomAdvice.com

I hope you can give the Dunkin’ Donuts® coffee a try at home and I hope you can mix up a quick batch of these Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Brownies for the perfect treat to accompany it. I have found that if there is leftover coffee (does this even happen?), that adding it to my brownies always enhances their flavoring.

Treat yo’self!

Gluten-Free Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Brownies
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Get ready for fame because these brownies will make you FAMOUS with your friends. This is a perfect treat to indulge in or to share with someone you love! You won't believe these are gluten-free!
Ingredients
  • 1½ sticks unsalted butter
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened dark cocoa
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons coffee (I used Dunkin' Donuts Caramel Coffeecake)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup gluten-free flour (see above for recommended suggestion)
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a 9-inch square metal cake pan with parchment paper, draping the parchment paper over the edges.
  2. In a saucepan, melt the butter with the unsweetened chocolate over very low heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat.
  3. In a mixing bowl begin whisking together the dry ingredients. In this bowl you will mix your dark cocoa, flour, and sugar. Once your dry ingredients are mixed together, we can begin incorporating the wet ingredients. Add your eggs, cooled coffee, and vanilla extract to the dry ingredients and mix them in with a spatula or use your stand mixer to mix these. Once these are incorporated, you can slowly add in your cooled chocolate and then incorporate that into your batter.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface.
  5. Sprinkle the salt evenly over the batter. Using a butter knife, swirl the salt into the batter.
  6. Bake the brownies in the center of the oven for about 33-35 minutes, until the edge is set but the center is still a bit soft and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out coated with a little of the batter.
  7. Let the brownies cool to room temperature. Lift the brownies from the pan and peel back the parchment paper. Cut the brownies into bite-sized squares.
  8. Serve at room temperature.
  9. Side note: The salted fudge brownies can be refrigerated for up to 3 days, and frozen for up to 1 month.

Thank you, Dunkin’ At Home, for sponsoring today’s post! 

 

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Brain Food: Trail Mix Energy Bites

Monday, October 3rd, 2016

Trail Mix Energy Bites from MomAdvice.com

I’m partnering today with Workman Publishing to chat a little more about our family’s genuine love for the new Big Fat Notebooks series, perfect for your middle school child, and to share a fun brain food snack to pair with these fun books!

Trail Mix Energy Bites from MomAdvice.com

Last month I shared with you my car organizing strategies (I can’t believe it still looks REALLY good, you guys!! Miracles DO happen!) and how we have incorporated these books into our car time as a great activity to make the most of those moments. Just like I love to take in a good audiobook or a podcast while I am driving, I love that this pocket of time is perfect for some fun learning on the way for my kids. Why not make the most of all those wasted minutes?

Trail Mix Energy Bites from MomAdvice.com Trail Mix Energy Bites from MomAdvice.com Trail Mix Energy Bites from MomAdvice.com

I know I have said it before, but these books are F-U-N. I am actually going to include these in our holiday gift guide because I think they make an incredible gift for any kid. As you can see, they are adorably illustrated and even the font choice makes it not feel like a textbook, but more like a Diary of a Wimpy Kid escape.

Do you remember that show, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? Since my daughter has been asking me questions about the things she has been learning from this book and reciting trivia on different subjects, I can tell you that I am, indeed, NOT.

Hey, I can’t be good at everything!

There are five books in this fun series and each is the only book you need for each main subject taught in middle school: Math, Science, American History, English Language Arts, and World History. Did I mention that they meet  Common Core State Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, and state history standards?

Yup, pretty awesome stuff.

You can find these fantastic books at AmazonBarnes & NobleIndiebound, or Workman.

Here are 4 fun free Big Fat Notebooks worksheets to get you started! 

Thinking Like a Scientist

How to Take Great Notes

Displaying Data

Ancient Egypt Timeline

Trail Mix Energy Bites from MomAdvice.com Trail Mix Energy Bites from MomAdvice.com

In honor of fueling our brains, I wanted to create a brain food treat that the whole family will enjoy and requires ZERO baking. Holla!  I am a big fan of energy bites and this little bite is filled with a protein-rich trail mix that is bound together with peanut butter, oatmeal, and quinoa.

I loved these plain, but I thought they could benefit from a little crunch so I toasted up quinoa in a skillet (watch out, it pops!!) and rolled these trail mix bites into the toasty quinoa for a crunchy coating that reminds me of sesame seeds or even rice cereal.

What Makes These Trail Mix Bites Good Fuel for Your Brain?

Nuts and seeds contain omega-3 essential fatty acids, a major building block of brain cells that are critical for a good memory and stable mood (AKA, they fight the HANGRY!). They are also rich in B complex vitamins, vitamin E, iron, zinc, and magnesium. It takes all these important nutrients to help keep your brain functioning well.

Quinoa is our binding agent and our crispy coating and it also contains vital nutrients for your noggin. Quinoa is so easy to prepare in a rice cooker (this tutorial should help!) and happens to be one of my favorite gluten-free indulgences. Quinoa, pronounced (KEEN-wah) is a very nutritious gluten-free seed that originates from the Andean region of South America. It also is a fantastic source of protein, contains all eight amino acids, is a good source of dietary fiber, contains B Vitamins, and iron. All such good stuff to help your brain!

I hope you can share this delicious brain food (both the treat AND the incredible Big Fat Notebooks with your kids. They truly make learning fun and I’m so happy our family got to share about these with you!

Trail Mix Energy Bites from MomAdvice.com

Trail Mix Energy Bites
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24
 
Fuel your brain with these delicious energy bites that provide vital nutrients and vitamins. Packed with quinoa, these gluten-free treats are satisfying and filling!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • ½ cup honey
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (check the post above for cooking directions or follow packaging)
  • 1-1/2 cups quick cooking oats
  • ½ cup almonds
  • ½ cup pistachios
  • ½ cup dry roasted peanuts
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ¾ cup uncooked quinoa
Instructions
  1. In a dry skillet, heat it to medium heat and toast the uncooked quinoa for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want the energy bite to look golden. Be careful, quinoa does pop!
  2. In a large bowl mix together all the other ingredients until they are incorporated well.
  3. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and then begin scooping & rolling the balls (I like a cookie dough scooper for this).
  4. Roll each ball into the toasted quinoa, coating all sides evenly. Place on the parchment lined cookie sheet and repeat until all of the batter has been used.
  5. Place the cookie sheet in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Remove and then place them in an airtight container for snacking.

 Recipe Adapted from The Baker Mama

 This post was sponsored by Workman Publishing and Big Fat Notebooks. All thoughts and opinions are my own! Be sure to follow the Workman Blog for more great ideas!

How To Make Smoothie Bowls (GIVEAWAY with Mamma Chia!!)

Monday, September 19th, 2016

How to Make Smoothie Bowls Tutorial This post is sponsored by Mamma Chia.  Thank you for supporting the companies that make this site possible! 

I am always on the hunt for great post-workout snacks that can keep me fueled throughout the day.  Today I wanted to share with you how to make two delicious smoothie bowls and I am pairing them with a fun new drink from Mamma Chia, called Chia Energy Beverages,  that you can now find on Walmart shelves.  Doesn’t that sound like a delicious pairing?

Mamma Chia at Walmart

I always struggle with finding new things at the store so, in case you are on the hunt, I wanted to show you where you can find them at Walmart. These drinks can be found in the produce section at the front of the store.  Our drinks were on full display on the top shelves and come in 4 flavors: Grape Power, Cherry Charge, Blackberry Blast, & Raspberry Razz. These drinks are the first beverage that combine chia with the energy of guayusa.

For those of us with a coffee addiction (ahem!), these are a great way to get energy for the day without that caffeine crash.

Caffeine crashes are THE WORST.

Chocolate Cherry Smoothie Bowl from MomAdvice.com As you know, I have been struggling with my health and I am really committed to eating better so that I can improve how I feel. The founder of Mamma Chia, Janie Hoffman, was also struggling with many debilitating autoimmune disorders and found a great deal of relief from adding chia into her diet. Her mission was to share that gift with others so that they can experience the health benefits too. I also love that the company donates a portion of their proceeds to support farmers, community groups, & organizations that build healthy, local food systems. 

It makes you feel doubly good about your purchase!

Today I thought I would incorporate the power of chia, not only in our drink, but as a topping in a healthy smoothie bowl. Chia is actually considered a superfood because chia seeds are rich in omega-3’s, fiber, protein, and essential vitamins and minerals. They also help you to sustain energy levels naturally while helping you stay fuller longer.

Today we are topping our smoothie bowls with chia. If you haven’t had a smoothie bowl before, you are in for a treat.  I understand that many fancy-schmancy breakfast joints serve these now.

How lucky are you that you can save some money and make these at home for a fraction of the cost?

Let me share two recipes for smoothie bowsl with you and don’t forget to stick around to the bottom of this post for our giveaway with Mamma Chia- yay! 

Chocolate Cherry Smoothie Bowl from MomAdvice.com Chocolate Cherry Smoothie Bowl from MomAdvice.com

The idea is to make the smoothie thicker (make sure you have a powerful blender for this one) by using less liquid to create a thicker consistency. The fun part is the layering of delicious additions on top.

On this Chocolate Cherry Bowl, I have topped it with fresh raspberries, toasted coconut, & more chia. Try any combination of flavors you like though!

Chocolate Cherry Smoothie Bowl from MomAdvice.com

Chocolate Cherry Smoothie Bowl
Author: 
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1-2 bowls
 
Smoothie bowls make the perfect snack or breakfast. Top with your favorite oatmeal toppings or try our suggestions for a healthy start to your day.
Ingredients
  • ½ cup frozen banana
  • 1 cup frozen cherries
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • ¼ cup avocado
  • ¼ plain greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Toppings: toasted coconut, berries, chia
Instructions
  1. Combine all smoothie bowl ingredients in your blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour into a bowl and top with your favorite toppings

Raspberry Smoothie Bowl from MomAdvice.com Raspberry Smoothie Bowl from MomAdvice.com Raspberry Smoothie Bowl from MomAdvice.com

I love berry anything and I loved pairing a Raspberry Smoothie Bowl with the delicious flavor of the Chia Energy Blackberry Blast drink. I still wanted some of the chocolate flavor in this one so I topped it with a chocolate granola, and chia.  The vibrant hue from the raspberries in this one make such a pretty bowl, don’t they?

This is certainly a powerful motivator to get my workout done so I can enjoy this snack when I get home.

Raspberry Smoothie Bowl from MomAdvice.com

Raspberry Smoothie Bowl
Author: 
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1-2 bowls
 
Give me all the berries! This Raspberry Smoothie Bowl is packed with berries and can be topped with crunchy granola, chia, and more berries for a fun post-workout treat.
Ingredients
  • ½ cup frozen raspberries
  • 1 frozen banana
  • ¼ of an avocado
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • Toppings: granola, raspberries, blueberries, and chia
Instructions
  1. Place all smoothie ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour into a bowl and top with your favorite toppings.

Mamma Chia Energy Beverages

Today I’m giving away to one lucky winner a $50 prize pack from Mamma Chia that will include one each of the Mamma Chia’s new organic Chia Energy Beverages and some of their other delicious products. Please enter the giveaway in the widget below and I hope this post inspires you to give these new drinks a try!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Raspberry Smoothie Bowl from MomAdvice.com This post was sponsored by Mamma Chia.  Thank you for supporting the companies that make this site possible! 

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Pressure Cooker Korean Street Tacos

Monday, August 29th, 2016

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I have heard the praises sung from so many about their Instant Pots that I finally decided to take the plunge and get one for our family. We have had the best time cranking out meals, breakfasts, and snacks with it and I am so excited to share those recipes with you on the site. The first recipe we made were Korean Tacos for a fun Friday night feast together. The best part is that this meat is fall apart tender in 45 minutes and so easy to shred, it is just a matter of pulling it apart a bit with two forks.

Instant Pot

If you haven’t joined the cult of Instant Pot,  I would like to share why the church of the Instant Pot is the best. In this one gadget you are able to saute your dishes, slow cook your dishes, pressure cook your dishes, and even use it as a rice cooker. It has, basically, eliminated the need for multiple kitchen gadgets in my house. I bought the 6-quart that is minus the yogurt making setting and I am really happy with it. You can certainly splurge a little more for all the bells and whistles and tell me all about it!

Instant Pot

Pressure cooking the first time was SCARY! I read my booklet three times and about lost my crap when I had to release the steam out of the top of the venting thingamabob. When I say I lost my crap, I basically started screaming and ran in the other corner of the kitchen.

Then I realized that this really was not a big deal.

It’s steam.

I will not die from it.

right?? right??

There is a learning curve with this one. One day I was venting it when it was supposed to be shut, another day I had it closed when it should be venting, and the biggest issue I have had is figuring out timing.

If a dish says it is ready in JUST seven minutes, please know that they are not counting the preheating time which can be agonizingly long when you wait until the last minute for that “JUST seven minute” meal.

Several nights my kids were clutching their bellies and moaning around the house.

“How many more minutes? I’m so hungry.”

“LOOK, I AM DOING THE BEST I CAN. IT SAID SEVEN MINUTES AND EVERYONE IS A LIAR. IT’S ONLY 9 AT NIGHT. YOU ARE ALL BEING VERY DRAMATIC.” (runs under table to shield oneself from the evils of the steam monster).

Once I started to understand when to vent/when not to and gave myself an extra half hour start time before meals, I fell in love with this. I have used it every single day since we got it from slow cooked oatmeal to quick risottos to these delicious Korean tacos today. It is my new best friend!

Pressure cooking is amazing for its ability to make quicker work of things that normally take a long time or that can be very labor intensive. Steel cut oatmeal in four minutes, risotto in seven (with no pot hovering), shredded beef in forty-five minutes. It’s a dream come true!

I am sure I will have more to say about this gadget as I progress my way through new recipes! For now, let’s make some tacos!

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These Korean tacos take about 45 minutes to make (after the preheat time- ahem!) and is made with items you most likely already have in your kitchen. A squeeze of fresh orange juice, soy sauce, beef broth, and a diced apple make an incredibly flavorful beef. I love that this is created from a bottom roast so it makes this an affordable dish to create and a wonderful one to entertain with.

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To balance the saltiness of these, I topped these with a sweet Asian slaw made from cabbage, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, and honey (to taste). It adds that irresistible crunch and balances the flavor in these.

Don’t have a pressure cooker? No worries! Just put this meat in a slow cooker for eight hours on LOW instead.

Don’t forget that this can also be transformed into taco bowls for your week too! Prepare the rice in the Instant Pot (some recommend getting an extra insert to make quick work in the kitchen!) and enjoy this delicious meal all week long.

These were a huge hit with my whole family and we made quick work eating through this batch on busy weeknights! I can’t recommend this one enough!

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Pressure Cooker Korean Street Tacos
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 servings
 
Put your Instant Pot to work to create this flavorful Korean Street Taco for your week. This is a great one for busy weeknights & can be made into delicious rice bowls for your lunches!
Ingredients
  • 4 pounds bottom roast, cut into 2" cubes
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1 Granny Smith apple peeled and chopped
  • juice or one large orange or 2 small
  • Corn tortillas (warmed)
  • 1 cup red cabbage (shredded)
  • 2 cups cabbage mix (shredded)
  • ¼ cup cilantro (chopped)- cilantro haters OMIT.
  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp sriracha, optional for added heat
Instructions
  1. Season your bottom roast meat cubes generously with salt and pepper.
  2. Turn on your Instant Pot and select the Saute setting. Once the pan is hot coat the pan with the olive oil and in batches brown the meat on all the sides. Transfer meat to a plate while you’re working.
  3. Once all the meat is browned, using a whisk, deglaze the bottom of the pot with the beef broth, scraping up all the browned bits.
  4. Pour in the soy sauce and stir to combine.
  5. Return all the meat back to the pan and then place the garlic, ginger and appl on top of the meat, stirring lightly to slightly combine.
  6. Finish by adding a squeeze of orange juice.
  7. Place the lid on your Instant Pot and using the manual button on normal pressure set to 45 minutes. IMPORTANT: Make sure the valve is CLOSED.
  8. While the meat is cooking, begin preparing your slaw. Add the red cabbage and regular cabbage mix to a medium sized bowl.
  9. In a small bowl, whisk the rice wine vinegar, sriracha (optional), soy sauce, honey and sesame oil together.
  10. Pour the dressing the cabbage mixture and toss to combine.
  11. Once the pot is done, release the steam and shred meat using a fork. On a warmed tortilla, scoop meat and then slaw to finish.

Adapted from Cookies & Cups

Tell me, what’s your favorite thing to prepare in your pressure cooker? Do you have any great tips/tricks for a newbie?

This post contains affiliate links. I only recommend what I love!

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Slow Cooker Creamy Coconut Oatmeal (& Tips for Perfect Slow-Cooked Oats)

Thursday, August 25th, 2016

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It’s become an embarrassing pattern of mine to make a resolution every year to be better about eating breakfast. Each time, I start on the path towards healthy eating. However, as life becomes fuller and mornings more hectic, I find that eating a good breakfast often gets pushed to the side.

This year, I discovered how invaluable my slow cooker was in creating a beautiful, hot breakfast for my entire family that I could serve in the morning and enjoy for mornings to come. I could also serve it as a midday pick-me-up or as a healthy late- night snack. The discovery might seem a bit old-fashioned, but a batch of oatmeal is a great way to start the day. This isn’t just any old oatmeal though—this oatmeal is made from delicious steel cut oats.

What’s the difference between rolled oats and steel cut oats? Well, a part of it is their structure and the other part is the way that our body digests them. While both contain whole grain oats, they are processed differently. Rolled oats are steamed, rolled, steamed again and toasted, ending up as thin flakes. Steel cut oats are made from oat kernels that have been chopped into thick pieces.

The reason steel cut oats are so awesome is because they digest more slowly than rolled ones, leaving you fuller longer. Like all other grains in whole or cracked form, steel cut oats rank lower on the glycemic index than rolled oats. This just means that it takes longer for digestive enzymes to reach the starch inside the thicker pieces, slowing down its conversion to sugar. For me, those highs and lows are some rough stuff, and I’ve found that a bowl of steel cut oats keeps my blood sugar much steadier.

I make a variety of different oatmeal recipes in my slow cooker and have found one thing to be consistent no matter what kind I make. Can I let you in on my little secret? I absolutely hate cleaning the slow cooker after making oatmeal. I also hate that the oats can get crusty pretty quickly on the edges, yielding a less than creamy bowl even when I have the perfect liquid ratios.

How to make slow cooker oatmeal

Let me share my secret that yields the most perfect and creamy bowl you can imagine and it is probably something you already have in your kitchen:

1. Find an oven-safe dish that fits inside of your slow cooker and fill that dish with all of your ingredients for your oatmeal.

2. Fill a measuring cup with water and pour the water around your dish, just to about the halfway point. This creates a warm water bath (a lot like those candles we made this summer) and helps your oatmeal to cook more evenly yet remain delightfully creamy.

3. Put a lid on the slow cooker (no need to double lid) and set it to cook for eight hours. It’s okay if your slow cooker switches to “warm” in the night. Thanks to your water bath, your oats will not get overcooked, but stay hot until you wake up!

slow-cooker-creamy-coconut-oatmeal

Once you have that perfect bowl of oatmeal, you can add your favorite toppings to it or create a quick toppings bar of ingredients for the week. For this Creamy Coconut Oatmeal recipe, I found the taste of rich blackberries and toasty almonds to be a delightful way to top it!

Slow Cooker Creamy Coconut Oatmeal (& Tips for Perfect Slow-Cooked Oats)
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups steel cut oatmeal (no substitutions)
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons organic cane sugar (can omit if topping with brown sugar)
  • 1 pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in your Kenmore slow cooker as I have shown you above.
  2. Cook on low for eight hours.
  3. Serve with your favorite oatmeal toppings like berries, dried fruits, nuts, granola, nut butters, coconut, brown sugar, cinnamon, or additional milk for topping.

 I can’t wait to hear what you think about this technique for perfectly cooked oatmeal and hope you can get the year started out right with this easy breakfast option!

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DIY Snack Station

Monday, August 15th, 2016

diy-snack-station

This post has been sponsored by Jack Link’s in partnership with Ahalogy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

When I became a mom, I began to realize the beauty in one-handed snacks. When my babies were small, I had a hard time holding a baby and feeding myself so I created a basket of one-handed snacks that would keep me fueled throughout the day.

Now that my kids are older, you would think that I would have loads more time to care for myself.  I have found though that although my children aren’t necessarily as demanding as they were, their activity schedule certainly is. I am still struggling to keep myself fueled as we run from activity to activity.

If you struggle with keeping yourself AND your kids fueled, I wanted to share with you a fun snack station we created to encourage ALL of us to grab healthy snacks more regularly. This diy snack station was made with a basic small bar cart and is fully stocked for our whole family.

DIY Snack Station Tutorial

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I headed to my local superstore to gather up four metal pails that had chalkboard labels on front for our little diy snack station and found this sweet little bar cart on summer clearance for 75% off. This is the perfect time to stock up on this summer entertaining accessory and keep it on budget for your family.

We then headed on over to Kroger  (check out the store locator to find one near you!) to grab some healthy options for our snack cart. The beauty in the chalkboard labeling is that you can switch snacks based on what’s in season, what’s on sale, or what you are craving that week. Have your kids be in charge of the labeling to work on mastering their spelling!

Our four pails had bananas (separated for easy grabbing), raisins/nut mixes, Jack Link’s in a few varieties, and crackers with peanut butter. On the bottom tier, I added apples and oranges, a variety of flavored waters, and some fun straws for sipping.

diy-snack-station (2)

Snacks with lots of protein are my favorite because they stop the HANGRY from coming on.

Tell me that you know a little about hangry moments too please! I need to know I’m not alone in this!

As someone who fights low blood sugar (as do my children), I have found that protein keeps me from fighting those sugar highs and lows.

Beef jerky can be a great protein-filled option and Jack Link’s is protein-packed with a whopping 12 grams of protein.  I like that you don’t have to be limited to just one flavor because it comes in tons of varieties. From the soy and ginger combo in Teriyaki, to a layer of coarse pepper in their Peppered option, to the smoky mesquite flavoring of their Original turkey, to the bold and savory offerings of their Jack Link’s Original. We are big fans of these options for keeping the hangry at bay.

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For a sweet and savory combo, pair your jerky with fresh fruit for a balanced snack. Bananas always offer a good bang for your buck, apples can be sliced for eating on-the-go, and easy-to-peel clementine’s are always a big favorite in our house. Be sure to look for fruit that is on season for the most affordable (and freshest) options.

We are also really big fans of flavored waters in our house. It makes drinking water a little bit more fun.

A pretty papered straw doesn’t hurt either. What can I say? I am a blogger and paper straws are kind of a requirement over here.

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We hope this post inspires you to create a snack station for your own family! We are thankful to have one at our house as we head back to the grind of school and activities. It is so nice to know that one-handed snacks are on hand for life’s busy moments!

This post has been sponsored by Jack Link’s in partnership with Ahalogy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.