Archive for the ‘Food & Recipes’ Category

Roasted Tomato Bisque

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Roasted Tomato Bisque

There is nothing like a big pot of soup and today I wanted to share with you an easy recipe for Roasted Tomato Bisque. This roasted tomato bisque recipe is so easy and can be made from those garden tomatoes that you might need to put to work in your kitchen or created with whole canned tomatoes that you can keep in your pantry.

Walmart challenged me this month to share an easy weeknight meal strategy with you. I admit that my best weeknight meal strategy is making a big pot of soup on the weekends that we can enjoy all week long. I have gotten so good at making soup that I told my husband that if this blogging gig falls through that I would open my very own little soup kitchen.

True story.

Roasted Tomato Bisque

Have you ever roasted vegetables for a soup? It adds another layer of flavor to your soup that will surprise you. This soup is packed with roasted carrots, tomatoes, and shallots. The soups depth of flavor comes from a few interesting additions that add a beautiful layering when you eat it. First, the veggies are coated in olive oil, salt, pepper, and brown sugar that adds a little sweetness and saltiness to the soup. The second addition that makes this soup so special is a little sherry that adds a real depth of flavor. The third is the finishing of just the tiniest bit of cream. If you have a dairy allergy or are looking for a vegan alternative, you could leave the soup without it or add rice milk to finish the soup.

Weeknight Meal Strategies

I wanted to dive in a little bit more about my weeknight meal strategy. You see, it rarely changes although as my kids get older it does get more challenging in the evenings with our homework and extracurricular activities. On Sunday afternoons I do all my shopping and planning for the week. I purchase a week’s worth of food and I try to plan our dishes around that week’s activities.

Here are the themes I use for menu planning although I never assign a day to them unless it is our weekly pizza night and Sunday brunch. Everything else falls into place depending on the week’s activities.

Weeknight Meal Ideas

Soup Supper

If you are looking for a little soup inspiration, here are six easy soup recipes to try, a delicious white chicken chili, and a Stuffed Green Pepper Soup that is always a slow cooker winner. Serve these with a loaf of crusty bread or find out how to make an easy big batch of toasted cheese sandwiches when cooking for a crowd.

Meat-Free Night

Here are 30 of our absolute favorite meat-free dishes that we try to create in our kitchen once a week. For a new spin on tacos, try this recipe for easy 10 minute tacos for your family.

Slow Cooker Night

I am a HUGE fan of my slow cooker and use it at least once a week. Here are a month of ideas to bookmark for slow cooker creations in your house.

Waffles/Pancake Brunch

Sundays are for brunching in our house. I love to make a variety of waffles and pancake recipes on Sunday to be frozen and eaten for weekday morning breakfasts. Now that it is Fall, our pumpkin pancakes will be in constant rotation.

Pizza Night

Have you tried making pizza dough in your bread machine? I have been making pizza dough in my bread machine for almost a decade now and our Fridays just wouldn’t be the same without our fun pizza night.

Sandwich/Burger Night

Easy dishes like sloppy joes, pulled pork sandwiches, chicken pesto burgers, and Italian beef sandwiches are just a few examples of easy sandwiches/burgers that can be easily doubled for easy lunches and dinners.

Seek And Ye Shall Find Night

It is Biblical. Sunday night you need to seek and ye shall find in the refrigerator.

 

As you plan out your week, I hope you enjoy this soup for your own weekly soup night. Of course, the best part about soup is that it is the perfect dish to share with others. Be sure to share this one with those you love because I know they will love you for it.

big_batch_toasted_cheese_sandwiches_2

Roasted Tomato Bisque
Author: 
Recipe type: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
A delicious roasted tomato bisque recipe packed with delicious roasted vegetable flavor and a hint of cream.
Ingredients
  • Two 28-ounce cans whole tomatoes, drained of their juices. If using fresh tomatoes 20-24 fresh tomatoes, washed, cored, & cut in half.
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 4 carrots, peeled, cut in half, and chopped into sections
  • 2 shallots, quartered
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper (can increase to ½ teaspoon if more spice is desired)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 to 2 cups chicken stock or vegetable broth
  • ¼ cup heavy cream (or favorite milk substitute)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the drained whole tomatoes (or fresh tomatoes), olive oil, light brown sugar, carrots and shallots, and toss to coat. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper.
  3. Place the vegetables on a silicone or parchment-lined baking sheet and roast until caramelized, about 30-35 minutes.
  4. Heat a soup pot over medium heat. Add the butter and cook until foaming. Add the crushed red pepper and garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Then add the sherry. Cook until all the liquid has evaporated and the alcohol has cooked off, 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Add the roasted vegetables, crushed tomatoes and 1 cup chicken stock. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Let simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Add the heavy cream and, using an immersion blender, puree the soup until uniform in texture.
  7. Add more chicken stock to adjust the consistency to how you like it.

You can find tons more strategies for meal-time planning in my first book, “The Good Life For Less!”  Grab our free weekly calendar printable for your menu planning needs!  What is your strategy for meal planning?

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Big Batch Toasted Cheese Sandwiches

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Big Batch Toasted Cheese SandwichesDid you know that it is possible to make big batches of toasted cheese sandwiches in no time flat? Today I want to share with you my secret for making a big batch of toasted cheese sandwiches in your oven which is one of my best little hostess party trick for entertaining a crowd.  You can also refer to it as your lunch lady trick. I am a little bit of both of those around here.

One of our favorite ways to entertain in the Fall months is with a big pot of soup or chili and a loaf of crusty bread or grilled cheese sandwiches. If you are entertaining a crowd, manning the griddle for a big group can take you away from really enjoying your guests and honoring a million different types of cheese or sandwich filler requests can also be overwhelming. Instead of doing that, try this strategy for toasting up your sandwiches

It is so easy that it is embarrassing to provide a recipe for you. Simply butter both slices of bread, stick your favorite cheese or add-in’s into the sandwich, cook at 450 for 6-8 minutes, flip and then cook for 6-8 more minutes. The end.

What you will get it is super HOT toasted cheese sandwiches, evenly toasted bread on the outside, and the gooey cheese inside you are after.

I hope you can give this trick a try in your kitchen!

Big Batch Toasted Cheese Sandwiches

5.0 from 2 reviews

Big Batch Toasted Cheese Sandwiches
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
An easy way to make toasted cheese sandwiches for a crowd
Ingredients
  • 12 slices of bread
  • 6 slices cheese (choose your favorite)
  • 8 tablespoons butter
Instructions
  1. Butter each side of the bread slices with butter and place on a baking sheet.
  2. Place cheese on each slice of bread.
  3. Top with remaining bread.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 6 to 8 minutes at 450.
  5. Flip the sandwiches, and bake an additional 6 to 8 minutes, or until golden brown.
  6. Side Note- You can double this recipe if needed!

 

 

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Fabulous Fall Drinks Round-Up

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

I am SO excited for one of my favorite times of the year, fall! While I enjoy every season and the special things we like to do in each, there’s something about the falling leaves and the cooling temperatures – and the fun holidays we get to celebrate – that makes the autumn months some of my absolute favorites.

Fabulous Fall Drinks  MomAdvice.com

And I’m here to admit that one of the reasons I look forward to the fall is all the fabulous flavored hot drinks I can enjoy again during the cold weather! You know I’m a coffee girl, and adding flavor to coffee is probably one of the greatest inventions ever in my book! I’ve rounded up some of my favorite hot drinks I’ve created as well as a few others I’ve found that I can’t wait to try.

The only thing I have to decide: which one first?

Mom Advice Classics:

Homemade_Pumpkin_Spice_Latte

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte

homemade_salted_caramel_mocha

Homemade Salted Caramel Mocha

DIY_Starbucks_Peppermint_Mocha

Homemade Peppermint Mocha

Homemade_Vanilla_Chai

Homemade Vanilla Chai Mix or Cocoa Mix

(these make great gifts for anyone who needs a warm weather pick-me-up!)

DIY_Gingerbread_Latte

Homemade Gingerbread Latte

Homemade_Mint_Truffle_Creamer

DIY Flavored Coffee Creamers

Here are more fabulous drinks I found for you to try – including a couple for adults-only!

peanut-butter-caramel-mocha

Peanut Butter Cup Caramel Latte @ Lunch Box Bunch

crockpot-coconut-hot-chocolate

Crockpot Coconut Hot Chocolate @ How Sweet It Is

SprinkleBakes Whiteout Cocoa

Whiteout Cocoa @ Sprinkle Bakes

Irish Coffee

Irish Coffe @ iVillage

tiramisu tippers

Tiramisu Tippers @ Better Homes & Gardens

And here’s a fun bonus – one of my favorite ways to keep warm on-the-go drinks from being uncomfortable to hold: easy handmade knitted coffee cozies!

Knitted_Coffee_Cozies

You can find even more great drink ideas on our Drinks Pinterest board and if you’d like a few more cooler-weather ideas, be sure to check out our Pinterest boards: Soups & Stews, Slow Cooker Dishes, and my favorite, Knitting!

Well, are you ready for the cooler fall weather now? I know I am!

 

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Slow Cooker Honey Bourbon Chicken Wings

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

Slow Cooker Honey Bourbon Chicken Wings from MomAdvice.com.With the Fall comes all of the game time festivities and today I wanted to share a slow cooker chicken wing recipe that you can enjoy at your next game day festivity. These Slow Cooker Honey Bourbon Chicken Wings are the perfect balance of sweet and spicy and are one of my favorite game time recipes I love to share with my family.

Walmart asked me to share a fun game time recipe with you and also would love to remind you that they are a one-stop-shop for all of your game time needs. The best part, of course, is that the will price match those competitor ads for you so you can get everything you need and the best deal on it while you are there. While you are there, I wanted to showcase one of my favorite game day recipes that I love to make for our family!

Slow Cooker Honey Bourbon Chicken Wings from MomAdvice.com.Making wings taste delicious in a slow cooker can be a challenge, but my trick is to season and broil my wings for ten minutes on each side to give it that beautiful color on the skin and to make sure that the wings start out well-seasoned before being slid into your slow cooker. I love that a lot of the fat renders out of the wings too while being broiled so it is a much healthier option than frying them.

Slow Cooker Honey Bourbon Chicken Wings from MomAdvice.com.The secret is, of course, in the sauce that they are glazed in. My sauce has a mixture of soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, honey, garlic, and that bold and spicy Bourbon flavor comes from a new Sweet Baby Ray’s Kickin’ Bourbon Chicken Wing Glaze that you can find over in the condiment aisle of your store. The more of this you add to your sauce, the spicier it will be. This glaze will be thin, but will coat your wings beautifully.

Slow Cooker Honey Bourbon Chicken Wings from MomAdvice.com.The slow cooker gets a little crowded with this many wings in there so I do the ultimate slow cooker no-no and open that lid up and shift them periodically. Thanks to broiling them beforehand though, these wings will be done in two hours on high or four hours on low!

Slow Cooker Honey Bourbon Chicken Wings from MomAdvice.com.

Slow Cooker Honey Bourbon Chicken Wings
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
These wings are the perfect balance of sweet and spicy. The best part though, is that they can be created right in your slow cooker for game day entertaining!
Ingredients
  • 4 pounds chicken wings
  • 1 cup honey
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup Teriyaki sauce
  • ¼ cup Sweet Baby Ray’s Kickin’ Bourbon Wing Glaze
  • ⅛ cup olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
Instructions
  1. Season wings with salt & pepper. Place wings on a cookie sheet and broil for 10 minutes on each side.
  2. Transfer wings to the slow cooker.
  3. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl or mason jar and mix well.
  4. Pour the sauce wings.
  5. Cook on high two hours or low for four hours.

Looking for more game day recipes? Check out this list of 12 Great Tailgating Delights! Looking for more slow cooker recipes? Don’t miss this One Month of Slow Cooking article with 30 recipe ideas for your family!

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Greek Quinoa Salad

Monday, August 26th, 2013

Greek Quinoa Salad from MomAdvice.com.

Labor Day festivities are just around the corner and with that comes the fun with grilling out and sharing dishes with friends. Today I wanted to share a delicious Greek Quinoa Salad that can be made with many of the veggies lurking in that backyard garden and that easily pairs with a few items you just might have in your pantry.

Walmart challenged me to create a unique dish for Labor Day and I couldn’t wait to share this one. You see, I have been going through a bit of an identity crisis since my visit with my allergist. I was advised to limit my pasta intake and it has been a hard sacrifice for me because I happen to love my pasta…and, sadly, my pasta salads are my claim to fame in the cookout world.

I’m thankful that I discovered quinoa last year because it has helped me so much with my pasta hurdle. I hope you caught my Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers I made last week and that handy tutorial for preparing your quinoa in the rice cooker! I have been continuing to experiment with this delicious and protein-packed ingredient for my summer cooking and couldn’t wait to pair it with some of my favorite Greek flavors. This quinoa salad proves that there are certainly some fun ways around that pasta hurdle and I doubt you will even miss your pasta after you try this!

Greek Quinoa Salad from MomAdvice.com.

The most labor-intensive part of this recipe (no pun intended!) is the chopping. It is an awful lot of chopping, but the flavors are so worth it. This Greek Quinoa Salad is filled with fresh vegetables like cucumbers, tomatoes, red peppers, and fresh parsley. The salty bites come from the Greek olives and the bites of feta cheese (optional, should you be dairy-free). The whole salad is tied together with a delicious red wine vinaigrette made even more flavorful the longer that it sits.

Greek Quinoa Salad from MomAdvice.com.This is one of those recipes that you can customize depending on what you have growing in your garden or what is on sale that week in your store. If you are shopping Walmart, be sure to bring the competing store fliers in and have them price match those produce prices for you!

I hope you enjoy this recipe and I hope it can be your very own, “claim to fame,” at your next cookout! Happy Labor Day, friends! Greek Quinoa Salad from MomAdvice.com.

 

Greek Quinoa Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: Side
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
This Greek Quinoa Salad has all the right flavors, colors, and textures with a light vinaigrette dressing to round it all out.
Ingredients
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed and finely chopped to a paste
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 2 cups red and yellow grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup pitted Greek olives
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ cucumber, diced and seeds removed
  • Feta for sprinkling on salad (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a bowl whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, oregano, garlic, salt, pepper, and zest from one lemon. Slowly whisk in the oil until emulsified. Let sit at room temperature while you prepare the salad to allow the flavors to meld.
  2. Rinse the quinoa in a strainer until the water runs clear.
  3. Prepare quinoa as directed above in a rice cooker or according to package directions.
  4. Transfer the cooked quinoa into a bowl, fluff with a fork and let sit for 5 minutes to cool slightly.
  5. Add the tomatoes, olives, chopped red bell pepper, chopped cucumbers and dressing and toss to coat.
  6. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 8 hours before serving. The longer it sits the better the flavor.
  7. Just before serving, transfer to a platter and sprinkle feta on top.
Adapted from Bobby Flay Fit

Looking for more fun cookout dishes? Be sure to check out the Best Steak Marinade in Existence, my Corn Grilled in the Husks, my Three Cheese Grilled Potatoes, and my delicious Grilled Portobello Burgers to tempt your tummy!

 

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21 Back To School Organizing Ideas

Monday, August 19th, 2013

Can you believe that school has started for many already, and will be starting for everyone else within the next couple of weeks? It’s crazy how fast the summer goes, yet I always look forward to a brand new school year and that great fresh feeling of fall!  Dealing with all the busy schedules, paperwork, homework, and meals during the school week is part of the fun, but also can lead to feeling overwhelmed if not tackled in the beginning.

Now that my kids are a bit older, I’ve found that if I start out on the right track with simple, doable organizing strategies, then the rest of the year goes much better than when I put off setting up simple systems or decide to just wing it.

21 School Organizing Ideas

With this in mind, I’ve put together 21 Back To School Organizing ideas to inspire you and help you get the year off to a good start for you and your kids. I’ve picked some classic tried-and-true Mom Advice systems that work for us and gathered a few other amazing ideas in three main categories:

  • Making School Memories/Showing Love
  • Life Organization Tips for The School Year
  • Organizing Dinners, Lunches, and Snacks

Teacher School Supplies Cake :: MomAdvice.com

Making School Memories/Showing Love

 

Teacher’s School Supplies Cake (use the sales!)

Creating Back to School Traditions

First Day of School Pin/Barrette

19 Teacher Appreciation Ideas

Mason Jar With Chalkboard Printable Tags @ The Crafted Sparrow

First Day of School Journal @ Happy Clippings

School Year Time Capsule @ Family Volley

DIY Command Center :: MomAdvice.com

Life Organization Tips for The School Year

 

DIY Command Center

DIY Homework Station

The Top 7 Apps to Organize Your Life

Simplifying Your To-Do List

Organizing School Papers @ One Creative Housewife

Simplifying the Morning Routine @ Homey Home Design

After School Routine with Free Printable @ Living Locurto

Clothing Organization @ The Idea Room

DIY Lunchbox Creation Station :: MomAdvice.com

Organizing Dinners, Lunches, and Snacks

 

DIY Lunchbox Creation Station

Dorm Mini-Fridge Healthy Makeover

Free Weekly Menu Planner Sheet

15 Back to School Treats @ Rainbows & Honeysuckle

Quick Tips for Packing Lunches @ House of Hepworths

Pantry Organization for Easy Weeknight Meals @ BHG

I hope this helps you all get off to a successful school year start. And I hope you share with us some of your favorite back-to-school organizing tips!

 

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Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

Looking for an easy recipe that is gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan? Look no further than these Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers for a fun weeknight meal. You will love these bell peppers for a meatless dish that is packed with protein and very filling with just the right balance of sweetness, from the peppers, and spice from the enchilada sauce,  in this recipe.

Walmart challenged me to come up with a gluten-free dish made from their grocery aisles of ingredients. Quinoa may sound like an ingredient that you can’t find at your store, but Walmart not only sells quinoa, but they now sell a couple of varieties of quinoa on their store shelves. No need to run to a specialty market to find this ingredient anymore!

Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

If you haven’t bought or prepared quinoa before, then be sure to check out my tutorial on preparing quinoa in an inexpensive rice cooker or on your stove-top. If you decide you love it as much as I do, a rice cooker makes making batches of quinoa for recipes simple.

You will find quinoa over in the rice aisle right at the top. I took a picture in our aisle to help you locate it.

Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

To make these extra special, I mixed up a batch of my favorite homemade enchilda sauce for these to swim in. I love to make my own sauce because it gives me control over the amount of salt and spice in my dish. You can certainly use a jarred gluten-free enchilda sauce though If you are wanting to keep this gluten-free, be sure to read the back of the tomato sauce label or enchilada sauce label’s ingredients thoroughly before purchasing or eating. 

Unfortunately, Walmart doesn’t offer a lot of dairy-free cheese options (yet!), but you could definitely make these without cheese or head to a specialty market to pick up my favorite dairy-free shreds, Daiya Pepperjack Shreds, for an extra kick. I have been dairy-free for a year now and those happen to be my personal favorite. These peppers really don’t need the cheese though, thanks to the flavorful sauce on the bottom!

Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

These peppers get a double protein punch thanks to the quinoa and the black beans in this recipe.  Roma tomatoes add a little tomato flavor and the green chilies add a little kick to to the dish. Sprinkled with a little fresh cilantro and a saucy bottom, I promise you won’t miss the meat or cheese or gluten at all!

I prepared mine with red peppers because I love their sweetness, but you can do this same preparation with any variety of pepper you love!

I hope you love these as much as me and I hope you won’t judge that I made a 9×13″ dish just for myself.

Because it is HARD being dairy-free so I have to treat myself all the time…and I do all.the.time.

You know, to get through it.

5.0 from 1 reviews

Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 5
 
A gluten-free, dairy-free, & vegan Mexican-inspired quinoa stuffed pepper that is delicious, filling, and protein-packed.
Ingredients
  • 5 bell peppers (any color), sliced in half stem-to-tip, seeds removed
  • 1c quinoa, uncooked
  • 2 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 1 (15oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1 (4oz) can diced green chiles, undrained
  • Handful of chopped cilantro
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Pepper, to taste
  • ½-1 cup dairy-free shreds (optional)
  • 28-ounce jar of enchilada sauce (or a double batch of my homemade version, linked above)
Instructions
  1. Prepare quinoa as instructed on the box or using the method linked above for cooking in your choice of vegetable broth or water.
  2. Prepare enchilada sauce recipe (linked to above) or omit this step if using prepared enchilada sauce.
  3. Slice the peppers in half and remove the seeds. Microwave pepper halves 3-4 minutes to soften slightly.
  4. Once quinoa is cooked, add it to a mixing bowl. Stir in the rinsed black beans, tomato, green chiles and their juices, cilantro, salt and pepper (to taste).
  5. Pour enchilada sauce into a 9×13″ baking dish.
  6. Fill the peppers with the filling and then rest them in the enchilada sauce. Sprinkle with cheese if desired.
  7. Cover the pan with foil and bake at 375 degrees 30 minutes.. Remove foil and cook about 5 minutes longer. If cheese isn’t melted still, turn broiler on high and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  8. Serve peppers drizzled with enchilada sauce.
Recipe Adapted from One Lovely Life.

 

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Lunchbox Fun for Back-To-School

Monday, August 12th, 2013

Back-to-school means it’s time to start thinking about packing your kids lunchbox. Every day. I don’t know about you, but it’s easy to get in a rut of sandwich-fruit-chip/pretzels, but with a little bit of planning and thinking – dare I say it? – outside the box, we can get out of the rut and create a bit of lunchbox fun!

Fun Lunchbox Ideas.MomAdvice.com

With that in mind, I’ve searched the Mom Advice archives for some of my kids favorite lunchbox foods, visited our lunchbox Pinterest Board (lots more ideas there, by the way!) for ideas, and then searched for even more creative and healthy ways to bring a little lunchbox fun to the school year!

16 Fun Ideas for Changing up the Lunchbox Routine

 

From Mom Advice:
Fruit Infused Water :: MomAdvice.com

Fruit-Infused Water {in place of juice boxes!}

Lunchbox Asian Noodles :: MomAdvice.com

Asian Lunchbox Noodles

Granola Bars on MomAdvice.com

Easy Homemade Granola Bars

Chocolate chip cookie bars from MomAdvice.com

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

More fun ideas from others {please be sure to pin from the original source – thanks!}:

Mini blt wraps

Mini BLT Wraps @ The Girl Who Ate Everything

ham & cheese pinwheels

Ham & Cheese Pinwheels @ Jamie Cooks It Up

Mac-n-cheese muffins

Mac & Cheese ‘Muffins’ @ The Daily Meal

Grilled cheese Lunchbox

Grilled Cheese & Vegetable Lunchbox @ Biting The Hand That Feeds You

Salads-in-a-Jar

Salads in a Jar @ Simple Bites

PB&J Dippers

Peanut Butter & Jelly Dippers @ Momables

30 days of lunches

30 Days of No-Repeat Lunches @ Peanut Blossom

pizza pockets

Homemade Pizza Pockets @ Another Lunch

Healthy Gummy Bears

Healthy Fruit Gummy Bears @ Undressed Skeleton

Soft Whole Grain PB Cookie

Soft & Chewy Whole Grain Peanut Butter Cookie @ An Oregon Cottage

And here’s a couple ideas that are sure to gain a smile:

Lunchbox jokes printables

180 Lunchbox Jokes Printable @ 320 Sycamore

Lunch sack printables

Lunch Sack Printable @ Kensie Kate

What are some ways you like to create lunchbox fun? And don’t forget to check out our Lunchbox Love Pinterest Board if you need even more ideas!

 

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Dorm Mini-Fridge Healthy Makeover

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

Dorm Mini-Fridge Healthy Makeover

When I attended college, I lived on junk & convenience food and I had the inevitable, “Freshman 15,” to prove from my bad eating habits throughout the year. I only wish I knew how great I would have felt and how much better I would have performed if I had stocked my dorm fridge with healthy options.

Today I wanted to share with you some healthy ideas for stocking your dorm mini-fridge for the school year along with an easy no-bake energy bite that you can mix up in a bowl for easy snacks on-the-go when heading to your classes.

Dorm Mini-Fridge Healthy MakeoverHead on over to the Kenmore Blog today to read my ideas for smart back-to-school snacking and grab  my easy no-bake recipe for smart snacking on-the-go!

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Homemade Blueberry Pancake Syrup

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

Homemade Blueberry Pancake Syrup from MomAdvice.com.With blueberry season in full swing, I am always looking for fun ways to use my blueberries. This blueberry pancake syrup couldn’t be easier to whip up or to eat and is a fun way to put those blueberries to work in your kitchen.

It is amazing how sugar, water, a little vanilla, and fresh berries make such an incredible difference on a plain old waffle, but this blueberry pancake syrup proves that simple ingredients can create something outstanding.

The burst of flavor, the happy dance in my mouth, and the smacking of lips at the table make me so incredibly joyful when we eat this syrup over our waffles. The berries coat the waffle perfectly and add a little sweetness to my waffles without a sugary overkill.

This is really and truly a fantastic indulgence that takes about the same amount of time to cook as it does to make up a batch of waffles. Fast and delicious!

blueberry_picking Each year we make an annual trip out to the Blueberry Ranch to pick our berries. This year was extra special because my best friend of 25 years came in town to pick with us. I am the luckiest girl in the world to still have her in my life. It was such a special day doing that with our kids!

8_Recipes_For_Blueberry_Season_1

If you have been picking like me, you might be hunting for some ideas for what to do with those berries! Be sure to check out this post for 8 easy recipe for the blueberry season, including a new way to freeze those berries!

blueberry_pancake_syrup_1

Homemade Blueberry Pancake Syrup
Author: 
Recipe type: Condiment
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
An easy blueberry pancake syrup for topping your favorite pancakes or waffles!
Ingredients
  • 1 pint (or two cups) fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ cup water
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a saucepan.
  2. Cook over medium heat and stir to dissolve the sugar.
  3. Allow it to cook for 12-15 minutes and give the berries a little smash with your wooden spoon to break them up into the syrup.
  4. This syrup can be served warm or you can serve the syrup cooled.
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