Browsing Tag

snacks

Family, Food & Recipes

Building Your Mommy Tribe

April 4, 2016

This is a sponsored post written on behalf of The Women Bloggers in association with @KendalKingGroup and #SoapboxInfluence; however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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When we moved back to Iowa last year I was a little nervous about finding new mom friends. Sure, I grew up in this small town, but I had no idea what to expect living here as an adult. Thankfully, we got plugged in fairly quickly and I’ve been working on building relationships with other women and mommas in the area. I’ve learned that new mom play groups are a necessity for both my sanity (especially during the cold winter months!), Ainsley’s enjoyment, and for building community. Since my new schedule is fairly flexible, I have Tuesday mornings with Ainsley. Two Tuesdays each month we head to mommy-toddler play group at our Church where the kiddos play and the moms sip on coffee and chat.

Last week instead of hosting the gathering at the Church nursery, we took the party to my house where the moms sipped on homemade lattes and the kiddos played in the ball pit and ate snacks. Opening up your home to others can feel so vulnerable, can’t it? Like you’re saying, “Come on in and see what I’m really about!” But over the years I’ve grown increasingly comfortable with doing so, finding a nice rhythm and routine to entertaining that doesn’t stress me out but feels a little special at the same time.

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Despite my best efforts to make healthy food for Ainsley’s lunches each day, she has been going through a fussy phase and has a mind of her own about what she will and will not eat. For our little mom and toddler gathering I kept the food easy and kid-friendly by serving snacks, which are always a hit even if lunch and dinner are hit or miss!

One thing we certainly do not have to beg her to eat is the Gerber Lil Beanies that we had at our party. These bean-based snacks contain protein + fiber and no artificial colors, which is super important to this momma. Plus, they taste pretty darn good, too! (I may have snacked on a handful or two…) Oh, and did I mention that the first ingredient is actually beans? I appreciate that the product is true to its name. I snagged a few cans for our party at our local Walmart while shopping for groceries a few weeks back.

Here’s what we served at the party, in case you want to recreate something like this with your momma friends!

For the Moms //
Homemade Latte Bar (with an assortment of milks and flavorings)
Homemade Blueberry Muffins
Fresh Cut Fruit (for the moms + kids)

For the Kiddos //
Gerber Lil Beanies
Gerber Yogurt Melts
Gerber Lil Whoos Baked Snack Crackers
Gerber Graduates Animal Crackers

Madison

Uncategorized

Everyday Brownies

June 19, 2013

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Do you grocery shop with your husband or significant other? Here’s the deal: I love to spend time with Joe and we do a lot of activities together, but lately I’ve been trying to make a habit of going to the grocery store without him. Why, you ask? Because I find it incredibly difficult to stay on budget when I have a hungry hubby along with me. Somehow, we always end up with more snack food and unhealthy treats when Joe is along to drop things in the cart. I’m looking at kale. He’s browsing the chocolate covered peanut butter pretzels.

Don’t worry, I usually add some snack food into the cart when I shop solo (typically almonds, healthy tortilla chips and salsa, etc.) but last week I took it too far! I was informed by Joe that we had absolutely ZERO snack food in the house.

So, what’s a girl to do? Make brownies, of course! These brownies are easy to make since they don’t require you to have a ton of chocolate on hand (just a few ounces of unsweetened or semi-sweet) and are really easy to pull together. I like to call them “everyday” brownies because they aren’t super sweet (I cut the sugar in the recipe down to 1/3 cup from 1/2 cup and they turned out great) and since they have nuts as an option, it totally makes them everyday food, right?

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Get the recipe for Better Homes and Gardens‘ Ultimate Brownies HERE

Madison

Garlic Kale Chips

January 19, 2012

Truth be told, I’ve always been more of a ‘quantity over quality’ girl when it comes to snacks and mealtime. I would rather find a way to stretch my morning protein pancake with a little canned pumpkin, even if it means sacrificing texture, just so I can have more to eat in the morning. And I will gladly eat an entire head of steamed broccoli over a small portion of broccoli with cheese 90% of the time. Can anyone relate?

Joey and I rarely have chips or other junk food on hand except for those few boxes of Girl Scout cookies right now. So when I get a craving for something crunchy and salty, I typically have to improvise with what we have on hand.  And while I may be a little late to the game with these crispy baked Garlic Kale Chips, if you are late to the game like me, I would highly recommend you making them asap. Not only are they crunchy, salty and entirely addictive, they also deliver all the vitamin-packed goodness of kale.

My first attempt at Kale chips was anything but a success. I made the mistake of leaving the tough stems in the center of the kale intact. If you’re into that sort of stringy texture, then feel free to leave the stems going through the center of the leaves. But if you’re anything like me, I would recommend cutting the ruffled leaves of the kale off the stem and discarding the rest.

I ate the entire batch in one serving. But if you’re slightly less greedy than I am with your kale, it could easily be a side dish for two or three people.

Garlic Kale Chips
Ingredients
*3 to 4 cups kale leaves, cut into pieces with stems removed and discarded
*1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
*2 tsp. Garlic Gold or 1 clove of fresh garlic, minced
*2 tsp. grated Parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast
*Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
*Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil; set aside.
*In a small bowl, combine the olive oil and Garlic Gold. Spread kale in an even layer on prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil mixture and toss to coat. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and the salt and pepper.
*Bake for 11 to 15 minutes, or until kale is crunchy and has a slightly charred appearance, tossing once halfway through baking. Remove from oven and enjoy!

Happy Cooking!
Madison

Lisa’s Amazing Snack Mix

October 13, 2011
Today’s recipe comes to us courtesy of my mother-in-law, Lisa! This fall we have traveled to a couple of my brother-in-law Jason’s football games and every weekend Joey’s mom comes armed with multiple bags of snack mix, half of the bags savory and half of them sweet. Although her sweet mix is delicious, I much prefer all things salty. And boy does this hit the spot. 
I had to chuckle a little, because when I asked for the recipe from Lisa, she sent the recipe to me in an e-mail and ended it with, “you may change your mind about posting it when you see the ingredients.” 
Okay, I’ll admit that I was a little horrified when I saw that the recipe calls for an entire bottle of Orville Redenbacher’s Popcorn Oil, but then I reminded myself that this makes a whole lot of snack mix. Enough to feed a huge crowd for a tailgating party or a big group of friends and family. And yes, it really is made in a plastic trash bag, seeing as that its the only thing I can think of that is big enough to hold all of the ingredients. 
Lisa’s Amazing Snack Mix aka ‘Garbage Bag Trail Mix’
Ingredients
*1 family size box of Crispix corn cereal
*1 bag pretzels 
*1 (12-ounce) can cocktail peanuts 
*2 standard-sized bags of Combos or other cheese-filled cracker
*1 (12-ounce) box Cheez-It
*1 (20-ounce) box Honey Nut Cheerios
*1 (16-ounce) box Quaker Oat Squares
*1 (16-ounce) bottle Orville Redenbacker Popcorn Oil
*1 teaspoon onion salt
*1 tablespoon garlic powder
Instructions
*Add the onion salt and the garlic powder to the popcorn oil bottle. It will keep separating so you have to shake it up again right before adding it to the mix. 
*Put all the other ingredients together in a big plastic garbage bag. Gently roll the bag from side to side to mix the ingredients together.
*Add the oil mixture a little at a time while gently rolling the bag to mix together. Continue to roll a bit after all the oil is added. 
*When all the oil has been added, the mixture will be pretty oily. Do not fear! Transfer the mixture to gallon-sized zip top bags and allow to sit overnight. Mixture will store for up to two weeks in the zip top bags. 
Happy Cooking!
Madison