Mummy On A Stick

I love making little holiday themed treats for the sons for snack, and today they came home from school to mummies on a stick. They enjoyed the sugar rush, and they couldn’t have been any easier to make. I love how they turned out!

Aren’t these just adorable?! I can’t help but enjoy it even more when the cute treats are made with everyday products. These are made with frosted twinkes. Who doesn’t love a twinkie?! Put it on a stick, add a frosting coating and a few embellishments and BAM … a super cute Halloween treat!

Mummy on a Stick

I can’t get over it. I mean, how fun are these?

Halloween. TWINKIE. MUMMY. POPS?!

mummy on a stick 2

Son # 4 was thrilled. He got even more excited when he found out he’d be making his own.

It’s not too late to whip up a few for your own little monster(s).

mummy on a stick 3

Twinkies
plain frosting
marshmallows
edible eyes
cake pop, or lollipop, sticks

Directions

1. Place the snack cakes in the freezer for 30 minutes or as long as needed so the snack cake is firm.
2. Stick the wooden craft stick in the the snack cake at the bottom. So the snack cake will be vertical on the stick.
3. Frost the Twinkie by covering the front and sides of the snack cake in icing. If you are doing this for a class activity, give each child a paper plate and plastic knife. Have them cover their own snack cake in frosting. No need to cover the back. Just a light coat of frosting is needed
4. We used a rolling pin to flatten the stackermallows. If need be, use powdered sugar to prevent sticking. Using kitchen scissors cut the flattened marshmallow into strips (three strips per marshmallow). If kids will be making these, cut the strips for them. The marshmallow strips will be used as the “rags” of the mummy.
5. Overlap the marshmallow strips on the frosted snack cake at different angles for a wrapped look. If need be, use the icing to “glue” the marshmallows that overlap each other onto the snack cakes. Place the eyes directly on with the icing. Cover the eyes slightly with the marshmallow strips.

 

Sous Chef Sunday: Candy Corn Fruit Parfaits

I know, I know, there’s nothing at all healthy about the typical little candy corns I love to over indulge int, but here I can offset all the sugar — a little bit, anyway — with this inspired parfait. The sons have been asking for this all week, for dessert! And any day I can pass off fruit as a delicious dessert, that they actually RE-request, is a great day. And I know there’s those crazies (kidding!) out there who don’t particularly care for candy or sugary sweets. Well, this is a perfect sweet treat for them while still being able to be festive. In all honesty though, candy corn just might be our favorite Halloween treat (well, aside from those fun-size Butterfinger bars) so it makes sense that we’d be all about a candy corn-inspired confection. I mean it’s a fruit parfait that’s every bit as sweet and colorful as the real thing. The best part: they’re super easy to scare up!

Note to self: Monitor the sons when there’s a ratio involved between the fruit portion and the sugary one! They went a little cool-whip happy 😉

Candy Corn Fruit Parfaits

Candy Corn Fruit Parfait

1 cup pineapple chunks in 100% juice (I used 1 Dole fruit cup)
1 cup Mandarin oranges in 100% juice (I used 1 Dole fruit cup)
1 small container of non-fat Cool Whip
2 small bowls or cups to assemble parfaits

Directions

1. Strain the pineapples and Mandarin oranges. Spoon half of the pineapple chunks into the bottom of the dish, creating a solid layer.
2. Spoon half of the Mandarin oranges on top of the pineapples.
3. Top with a dollop (obviously the sons and I need to re-visit that definition), or two, of Cool Whip

Sous Chef Sunday: Waffle Iron Pepperoni Pizza Pockets

Do you have a waffle iron? Doesn’t it make delicious, fluffy, just perfect waffles? Did you know you can use your waffle iron to make some other, more surprising, dishes? For years I assumed (see that’s what I get bc we all know what they say when you assume something) that mine was only for making waffles. DOH! In my defense, the box wasn’t really helpful either since it only had pictures of gourmet waffles and no helpful hints or recipe tips for anything else. And I was a newly out-in-the-world newly wed anyway, what did I know? Well fast forward to now, and our waffle iron gets it’s own prime-time counter-top space. We use it to make cookies, we use it to make cinnamon roll waffles, and we’ve even used it to make cornbread waffles to serve with our chili (recipe coming soon). But this, THIS is the sons’ favorite waffle iron recipe. Golden brown biscuit outside, melted mozzarella inside. It’s waffle pizza perfection. They make a great lunch, an easy afternoon snack, and they make an even better quick, no fuss dinner on fend -for-yourself nights, aka Fridays. Sorry, but come the end of the week this Momma needs a break and I’m not ashamed to admit it, or to take it. #sorrynotsorry The sons WILL survive, even though they don’t believe me.

So, we’ve got an easy, 5 minute meal, but that’s not all. Like so many of our other favorite recipes, these are easily customizable. Don’t like pepperoni or have other favorite toppings too? Throw some crumbled bacon or cooked sausage in the middle. Is a supreme your thing? Throw some veggies in there and enjoy. You can even spice em up a little by adding a dash of Italian seasoning. You get the idea.

Waffle Iron Pepperoni Pizza Pockets

Pizza Pocket Waffles

(HELLO, crispy savory waffles fortified with pepperoni and mozzarella. I see that warm marinara topping. Look at you, you saucy little thang!)

1 can (16.3 oz) Flaky Layers refrigerated biscuits
8 slices (1 oz each) mozzarella cheese
1/3 pepperoni slices
2 cups pizza or marinara

Directions

1. Spray waffle maker with cooking spray; heat waffle maker.
2. Separate dough into 8 biscuits. Cut slit on 1 side of each biscuit, forming a deep pocket. Place 1 slice of cheese into each pocket. Top cheese with 2-3 pepperoni slices. Press dough around edge to seal each biscuit.
3. Place 1 biscuit on center of waffle maker. Close lid; cook 3 minutes or until waffle is golden brown. Repeat with remaining filled biscuits. Serve with pizza sauce.

Fiesta Tuna Salad Sliders

Tired of eating the same old thing for lunch every day? Look forward to lunch again with these quick & easy, relatively healthy Fiesta Tuna Salad Sliders. Chock full of fresh veggies, with a little kick from some fresh jalapeno peppers, they’re the perfect way to add a little ‘ole’ to your day!

Fiesta Tuna Salad Sliders

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Sweet & Salty Banana Chips

We don’t usually have any problem going through a Costco sized bundle of bananas before they start turning all spotty, but occasionally there’s that rouge that hides or a son is gone and not eating his rations, and I find myself stuck with a couple spotted bananas that no one will even contemplate eating. Usually I will peel them and freeze them for baking, but this one time I went to put them in the freezer and realized I’d been doing that for oh, you know, a little bit and there were pleeeeeeeeeenty of the frozen fruits all ready in stock. What to do, what to do. I was in a pickle (or maybe stuck in a banana?). The hubs suggested banana chips. A sweet snack that’s easy on the hips, AND that all the sons love? We were in business.

These do bake  for a while, but the long baking time is necessary, because at this temperature the oven will act more as a dehydrator than an oven. Plus, you will love the sweet banana and cinnamon aroma that will fill your house! Baking times will vary some depending on how thick you slice your bananas and how crispy you prefer your banana chips to be. Some people don’t like the additions of salt. I don’t like cinnamon. And all that’s ok. Even plain, with no toppings whatsoever they’re still great. Also they’re diet and diabetic friendly 🙂

Sweet & Salty Banana Chips

 4 Sons 'R' Us: Banana Chips

bananas
lemon juice
water
cinnamon
kosher salt

Directions

1. Slice bananas thinly (1/8″), and then brush with the lemon juice mixed with just a little water. Sprinkle with cinnamon and kosher salt.
2. Bake at 250 degrees for about 90 minutes, then turn the slices, and continuing to bake another 30 minutes.
3. Let cool (the longer they cool the crispier they become) before eating.

Sous Chef Sunday: Snickerdoodle Crescent Rolls

While I could go on and on about these perfect little pastries, I’ll get straight to the point for you guys. Today the sons and I are bringing you peanut butter, cinnamon, and sugar wrapped up in crescent rolls for an easy breakfast, snack, or even dessert. Be sure to sit down with a glass of milk, then pile up a gorgeous Snickerdoodle mountain of them. Eat your way to the top one crescent at a time!

Snickerdoodle Crescent Rolls

 4 Sons 'R' Us: Snickerdoodle Crescent Rolls 2

1 tube Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
4 teaspoons peanut butter (crunchy or creamy)
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon

4 Sons 'R' Us: Snickerdoodle Crescents

1. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
2. In a small bowl combine the cinnamon and sugar.
3. Unroll the crescent dough and carefully seperate into individual triangles along the perforated lines. Spread 1/2 teaspoon of peanut butter onto the top side of the crescents, starting at the wide end and leaving a little space along the edges. Sprinkle each with a pinch of cinnamon sugar. Roll into crescents.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes, until golden brown. While still hot carefully roll them in the cinnamon and sugar.  Roll again after they’ve cooled.
5. These can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Can also be frozen for up to one month. Then you’ve got a quick, on-the-go breakfast or snack for busy days!

Easy Kettle Corn

Most people I know who love kettle corn, loves it from a bag. Then, there’s the others who associate it with fond memories of fairs gone by. Until a few weeks ago, I’d never heard of a homemade version of the tasty treat. I don’t know  how the word’s never gotten out about how easy it is to make your own actual ‘kettle corn’ with only four ingredients. (It’s like the best kept secret. ever.) That’s right…easy, at home, in a snap. It literally is ‘in a snap’, so you’ll want to have your ingredients prepped as things do move rather quickly from start to finish. Serve these crispy, sweet & salty kernels warm from the pan (although they’re delicious at room temperature too).

Easy, Homemade Kettle Corn

4 Sons 'R' Us: Homemade Kettle Corn

1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
salt, to taste

Directions

1. In a large soup pot, heat the oil on medium high heat until shimmering.
2. Sprinkle the sugar evenly over the oil and give it a quick stir. add the popcorn and cover with a lid. slide the pot back and forth over the burner while you hear the kernels popping. this will take a few minutes and you are going to want to use hot pads so you don’t burn your hands.
3. Once you hear the kernels slowing down remove the pot from the heat and sprinkle in a little salt. toss well, taste and add more salt if needed.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Shake

Gah, kids grow so fast! I look at the sons at least ten different times on any given day and find myself taken aback. They look so… grown. When did that happen? Wasn’t it just yesterday even son # 1 still need his tears wiped away and boo boos kissed by Mom? I’m always surprised by how fast they grow. I’m thinking that won’t ever change, no matter how old they get or how much they eventually tower over their Dad & I. That being said, feeding said growing boys has proved quite the challenge over the past few years. When they enter the ‘hungry phase’ (although it’s really not a stage since the hubs hasn’t left it behind yet) it strike immediately. One day they will have been eating a nice normal portion of food, and the next, next, next, and so on after that…they’ve become walking, talking garbage disposals eating us out of house and home and peppering the rest of my days with hungry pleas for more. The only feasible solution that we’ve found is protein. Protein, protein, protein. The fuel my 5 hungry guys need to stay full and, incidentally, focused. I’ve gotten pretty creative at finding affordable ways to incorporate more of it into their meals snacks, and even desserts, to help keep their bellies and my bank account as full as possible.

Knowing the struggle, as I’m sure every other parent has juggled before, I knew this little ditty was going to be taking a test run. Packed with a whopping 28 grams of protein (yes, you read that right) I was fairly confident they’d guzzle it down without a second thought since all that protein was hidden under layers of chocolate and peanut butter. Two things the sons never turn down. And why would they when they combine so beautifully here. An easy, healthy peanut butter chocolate smoothie tasting just like a peanut butter cup. What’s a Mom, or anyone really, not to love about that?!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Shake

chocolate peanut butter protein shake 2

recipe adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

1 large banana, peeled, sliced, and frozen
3 Tablespoons sweetened cocoa powder
6 oz Chobani 0% Greek Yogurt (or 2%, flavored or unflavored)
3/4 cup skim milk (or your favorite kind of nondairy or dairy milk)
1-2 tbsp honey, maple syrup, or agave
1 tbsp creamy peanut butter

4 Sons 'R' Us: chocolate peanut butter protein shake

Directions

1. Put all of the ingredients into the blender, in the order listed, and blend on high until thick and smooth. I would start with only 2 tbsp of cocoa powder, blend, and then add 1 more for a stronger chocolate taste.
2. You may need to stop and stir/scrape down the sides of the blender a few times. Drizzle glass with 1 tsp of chocolate syrup (optional), hold the glass up and let it swirl around inside for a bit, pour your shake in, and enjoy!
3. If you prefer a less sweet smoothie, you may leave out the honey. Add more peanut butter for a stronger peanut butter taste. Add more milk to make the smoothie thinner, if desired. Add 1 cup of your favorite greens for added nutrition.

Baked Bacon Cheeseburger Eggrolls

You guys are probably looking at these thinking, how did she dream up the combination of putting bacon cheeseburgers and egg rolls together? Well, its simple really. Egg rolls are good. Bacon cheeseburgers are good. Together they’d have to be double good, right!? Even better? Because these are baked, not fried, in moderation you can enjoy them without all the guilt one may, or may not, associate with enjoying one or more of their fried friends. While these egg rolls may seem more like a snack, they are so hearty they make a wonderful dinner as well. They were so incredibly good, they tasted just like the real thing, without all the traditional fat and calories. They are so simple to prepare as well, let the kids help and earn their keep. I mean…spend valuable time bonding with you in the kitchen!

The American version of the classic Chinese eggroll is a perfect quick & easy recipe for a busy weeknight, or an awesome party or game day appetizer.

Baked Bacon Cheeseburger Eggrolls

4 Sons 'R' Us: Baked Bacon Cheeseburger Eggrolls

recipe adapted from Spend With Pennies

1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 onion, finely chopped
4 slices of bacon, chopped
1 tablespoon ketchup
2 tablespoons barbecue sauce
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
1 1 /2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
20 egg roll wrappers (mine were 5″x5″)
cooking spray or olive oil

Directions

1. In a large pan, brown ground beef, bacon and onion until cooked. Drain any grease.
2. Add ketchup, barbecue sauce, mustard and Worcestershire sauce.
3. Lay each egg roll wrapper out with a corner pointing towards you. Place 1 1/2 tablespoons of cheese and 1 1/2 tablespoons beef filling in the center of each wrapper. Fold in the sides and roll the wrapper tightly. Use a dab of water to secure the tip of the wrapper. (If you don’t know how to roll an egg roll it usually shows on the package).m Place the wrapped eggrolls on a baking sheet.
4. Lightly spray the outsides of the egg rolls with cooking spray OR brush on a light coating of olive oil.
5. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.
6. Serve hot with ketchup & mustard.

*Healthy* Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge

Chocolate is a central part of my husband’s diet, a cornerstone to his livelihood. If there is chocolate nearby, he must have it. And it is one of the few things he finds really difficult to share (along with french fries and deodorant). But really. I always worry because he has no fuel gauge when it comes to the sugary sweet stuff. He would happily (and unknowingly) chocolate his way into a diabetic coma. This little recipe has become a staple. All the same great flavors he’s craving without all the calories and guilt?! Ok, well, it’s healthyish! It’s not an apple or a head of broccoli or anything, but the ingredients in this fudge are healthy. You shouldn’t eat a whole batch of it if you’re counting calories, but you’re better off eating a serving size of this fudge than a serving size of traditional fudge. Then again, what’s a serving size when it comes to chocolate? Your guess is as good as mine.

*Healthy* Chocolate Peanut ButterFudge

4 Sons 'R' Us: Healthy Chocolate Fudge

recipe originally from Creating Naturally

1/2 cup coconut oil (slightly melted, but not hot)
1/2 cup good quality cocoa powder
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1/4 cup mild raw honey
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Directions

1. Prepare a muffin pan with 10 muffin liners.
2. Put all ingredients in the bowl of your food processor.  Pulse a few times until everything is smooth and nicely combined.  (It will be very liquid-y.)  Don’t over-mix.
3. Pour the liquid fudge into the prepared muffin liners dividing evenly between the ten of them.  There will be about a half inch of fudge in each muffin liner.
4. Place the muffin pan in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or until the fudge has hardened. (Sometimes I use the freezer and it only takes about 10 minutes)
Remove the muffin liners from the pan and enjoy your delicious, healthy fudge!  Store in the refrigerator.