Friday, December 24, 2010

Can’t Forget the Reindeer!!!

Magic Reindeer Food
  • 1/2 cup dry oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup red and green food crystals
*Do not use glitter as it is harmful to birds
“Be sue to take this magic food and sprinkle on the lawn, on Christmas Eve, Santa’s reindeer travel miles before the dawn. The smell  of oats and crystal path will guide them on their way and you’ll wake up to Santa’s gifts next morning on Christmas Day.”
    IMG_1750IMG_1752 copy

    Thursday, December 23, 2010

    Cookies for Santa

    Ready or not Christmas is here and the last thing on our to-do list is cookies for Santa!
    Santa works hard all year round so why not spoil him with the best cookies on the planet! My mom gave me this recipe years ago and I have been making them ever since! They are crispy and full of chocolate chips and chunks of chocolate bar! As my girls would say, ooey and gooey!! The only thing that would make these cookies better would be some nuts, but just in case Santa has a nut allergy we will leave them out.
    Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies                      
    • 2 1/2 cups oatmeal
    • 1 cup butter
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 cup brown sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 tsp. vanilla
    • 2 cups flour
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1 tsp. baking powder
    • 1 tsp. baking soda
    • 12 oz. chocolate chips
    • 4 oz. Hershey bar
    Blend the oatmeal into a fine powder and put aside. *This is a perfect addition for Santa to keep his belly full for his journey around the world!
    Next cream the butter and both sugars then add the eggs and vanilla.
    Combine the flour, salt,  baking soda and baking powder and slowly combine with the creamed mixture.
    Finally chop the Hershey bar into little pieces and add it to the dough along with the chocolate chips. Scoop out dough about the size of a tablespoon and place 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet.
    Bake in a 375 degree oven for approx. 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden brown.  Makes 4 dozen large cookies
    According to Jordyn they are best right out of the oven, even if its only 8am! 
    Santa’s cookies are ready and waiting, now for his reindeer….

    Tuesday, December 21, 2010

    Snow and Clusters

    The snow has arrived here in MA and it’s FINALLY looking and feeling like Christmas!!
    It’s also sounding a lot like Christmas around here, too! Are your children begging you to open just ONE gift early and they swear they won’t ask again and be on their best behavior till the “big man” arrives?!  Well, lucky enough for my girls and more so lucky for me because we celebrate Christmas early with my hubby’s side of the family. It works out so well because it really cuts down on the traveling we have to do on Christmas Day. And wouldn’t you know the girls got to open up some presents and I am officially off the hook!!
    I though I’d share one of the quick and easy desserts I brought! Last year when I met Ellie Krieger, from the Food Network, she made these Cherry Almond Chocolate Clusters and handed them out. They were delicious!! I love the combo of cherry and chocolate! 
    This recipe only has three ingredients and you probably already have them on hand!  Almonds, chocolate and dried cherries.
    Melt the chocolate over simmering water then add the almonds and cherries.
    Spoon out the mixture into clusters on a wax paper lined baking sheet.
    Put in the fridge until they are set and serve at room temperature.
    It’s that fast and easy! Give them a try, you won’t be disappointed!!

    Sunday, December 12, 2010

    Barefoot Books Review and Giveaway!

    I recently had the pleasure of visiting the Barefoot Books store and if you read this post you will remember how I described it as walking into a box of crayons, not only the store but also the beautiful books that are throughout.

    Just as fabulous as the store, they have a great online shop where you can view and step inside their books. They also have free digital content which includes Podcast Story Time , Videos and Arts N’ Crafts. If you’d like to subscribe to the videos,  you can find them on YouTube and iTunes.

    I had the pleasure of reviewing Kids Kitchen which is a set of forty recipe deck cards that are fun and healthy,  come in a thick sturdy box and are coated so they can be easily wiped off. These forty recipes are broken down into five food groups; Eggs & Beans, Fantastic Fruit, Milk & Dairy, Spuds & Grains and Vital Vegetables. Along with these cards comes a folded card that contains information about each food group, vitamins and minerals

    kids kitchen

    This is a great way to introduce your children to cooking and making healthy choices in the kitchen. Your children will be having a blast as  they will be learning many things such as, useful skills, how to be safe in the kitchen and learning all about  foods from around the world.

    These recipes are easy to follow and fun to make, here are some pictures of my girls making the Breakfast Friends and Apple Volcanoes. They did a great job and the food was delicious! And best of all they were so proud of themselves!








    Let me tell you, I have one of the pickiest girls in the world (the one on the left) and she devoured her food! Kids Kitchen is a great way to get kids excited about food and to teach them how to make healthy choices. I give this a two thumbs up!!

    “We have to eat to live;  by learning to cook, we also learn to live well.”   ~Barefoot Books 

    Keep in mind that all these recipes are vegetarian and can be an accompaniment to any meat, fish or poultry. Speaking of vegetarian, don’t forget to check out this book while your browsing the store online! It’s about Herb, a peace-loving vegetarian dragon who lives in a forest with carnivorous dragons! He is captured by the knights…will he eat meat in order to save his own life??  You’ll have to wait and see for yourself!

    Herb the Veg

         Barefoot Books also has an Ambassador program which was featured on Good Morning America, you can see the video here.  This program is a great way to make some extra money for your family or fundraise for your child’s school by selling their fabulous books! Go here for information on how you can become an Ambassador.

    Now for the part you’ve been waiting for, the give-a-way!!!

    Barefoot Books has been gracious enough to send one lucky reader their very own Kids Kitchen! In order qualify for this give-a-way you have to live in North America and please keep in mind that they can’t ship to PO boxes.

    Mandatory Entry

    1. Visit Barefoot Books and leave a comment about your favorite title!
    2. Follow my blog 

    Additional Entries (Leave a separate comment for each entry)

  • Follow Barefoot Books on Twitter and Facebook
  • Follow me on Twitter
  • Tweet about this giveaway
  • Subscribe to my feed
  • Add me to your blog roll

    This giveaway will end on January 2, 2011 at 9pm EST. The winner will be notified by mail and has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

    Good Luck!

    **Kids Kitchen and Herb the Vegetarian Dragon were given to me for review, the opinions and comments are all mine.


  • Saturday, December 11, 2010

    Hawaiian Friday

    We have been so busy lately that our Pizza Fridays have been few and far between but last night we actually didn’t have any plans, no playdates or sleepovers for the girls so we celebrated with one of our favs, Hawaiian Pizza!
    Nothing special or different about this pizza, just amazingly delish and so much cheaper than takeout!
    I took some store bought whole wheat pizza dough, rolled it out and topped it with some tomato sauce.
    Next, I sprinkled a little bit on mozzarella cheese on top and layered the pineapple chunks and black forest ham and a little more mozzarella cheese. 
    Baked it in a 450 degree oven for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is melted is starting to brown.
    It’s even easier and faster than takeout, too!
    Have you ever sliced up black forest ham into thin ribbons and browned them in a pan on the stove until they were crispy? Tastes as good as bacon, I love topping my salads or baked potatoes with it!
    Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend!!

    Sunday, December 5, 2010

    Old El Paso Giveaway Winner!!

    Hi everyone, how was your weekend? Getting your holiday shopping done? I am slowing crossing things off my list, I can’t wait to be done so all I have to think about is cooking!

    Just wanted to thank everyone who entered  the Old El Paso Giveaway! The lucky winner is….

    Keli from Feeding Four!

    She said: “I’d like to try Southwestern Chicken Taco Salad! That just sounds wonderful!”

    Congrats Keli!

    Since I hate doing posts with no pictures and I haven’t been baking or cooking lately I thought I’d share a picture  Kailey took of her breakfast that she made over the weekend.


    She couldn’t decide if she wanted cereal or nut butter on toast so she had both! Love how she is thinking outside the box!

    Winking smile


    Wednesday, December 1, 2010

    Welcome, December!

    Happy December 1st, the official countdown to Santa’s arrival has begun in our household!! The house is decorated inside and out, the stockings are hung and the baking has continued.

    Last week was the annual holiday fair at school so Jordyn’s class was assigned to make some cookies and Kailey’s class, sweet bread. It will come to no surprise that Jordyn picked her favorite cookie, Peanut Butter Blossoms. In fact, rumor has it that these are Santa’s favorites also!     Winking smile


    For the sweet bread I knew just where I was going to look for a new recipe. I’ve always had great success with Tina’s from Carrots N’ Cake sweet breads and I’ve been meaning to try the Chocolate Pumpkin Loaf . Can I just tell you how easy and delicious it was! I love recipes where you just measure out the ingredients, mix and pour! I divided the wet and dry ingredients up for the sake of taking some pictures but you can just put everything in one bowl, simple cleanup!

    OK!  I know, I swore to myself I was not going to open up another can of pumpkin but I just couldn’t resist! This WILL be my last pumpkin recipe post…fingers crossed! lol



    I love the hint of nutmeg in this bread!


    I poured mine into two mini tins, I think they are the perfect size.


    Packaged up and ready for the holiday bake sale!



    Thursday, November 25, 2010

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Hope everyone had a wonderful day with family, friends and good food! I just wanted to share a quick recipe that is a must at our Thanksgiving table, Apple Squares. It’s one of the things that everyone in the family looks forward to!
    I can remember making these when I was a little girl with my great aunt, we would clear the kitchen table, roll up our sleeves and dive into a world of sweet, sweet apples and the flakiest dough you could ever dream of!
    Apple Squares
    • 5 cups all purpose flour
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • 2 cups shortening
    • 4 eggs, separated
    • 1 cup milk
    • 2 cups crushed cornflakes
    Combine the flour and salt in bowl and cut in shortening.
    In bowl beat egg yolks and milk, reserve the egg whites for later.
    Add egg mixture to the flour mixure
    Mix dough until combined and form into a ball and cut in half. Refrigerate for an hour or so.
    In the meantime, crush your cornflakes into very fine pieces. Perfect job for the little ones!

    Roll out the dough and place it on a 15 x10 sheet pan. If you’re terrible at rolling out dough like I am than this is the perfect dough for you! It’s great for piecing together and once it’s baked, it’s so flaky that no one will ever know!
    • 6 apples
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    Slice up the apples, we always used granny smith apples, why I have no idea but you can use your favorite kind. Toss them with the sugar and cinnamon.
    Place the apple in a flat layer on top of cornflakes.
    Roll out the remaining dough, place on top of the apples layer, cut some slits to let the steam escape and seal the edges. Beat the egg whites until foamy and spread on top of the crust.
    Bake at 350 for 1 hour, until the crust is golden. Cool slightly.
    If that doesn’t look delicious on it’s own there’s one more step!
    • 1 1/4 cups confectioners sugar
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla
    • 3 tbl water
    Combine the above ingredients and drizzle till your hearts content! I usually make these a day ahead so the next day I will cut them into 24 squares.
    These squares will put any apple pie to shame!! A little bit of advice, if you decide to make these for a holiday party, make sure you keep a few squares at home for yourself! They will be gone as soon as you unwrap them! Winking smile
    Could I make these square more healthy, substituting the shortening for a better option? Absolutely. But, some things should just be left alone and this is one of them.
    It’s Thanksgiving, to me that means family traditions,  our day just wouldn’t be the same without them…