Sweet Apple Treat

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sweet apple treatTonight I made a sweet apple treat for my kiddos.  I’ve shared with y’all my sweet bananas and honey treat that my kids love.  Tonight, I did a variation of that.  Since my daughter gave up chocolate for Lent (God bless her sweet heart – I don’t have that kind of will power!), I had to get a bit creative. Let’s just call this another episode of #pantrysurprise.

I sliced an apple, warmed it in the microwave for one minute, then added a crumbled graham cracker. (Yes, one single graham cracker – it was all we had left…). I sprinkled a little cinnamon, drizzled a little honey, and warmed it up for another minute.

For my son’s, I added a few craisins to it.  My daughter long ago declared her distaste for all things “-aisin”, so I kindly left them off hers.

Honestly, I think it took me longer to make this (less than four minutes), than it did for them to devour it – which I guess means this episode of Pantry Surprise was a success. 😉

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Kid-Friendly Southwest Dip

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Kroger. The opinions and text are all mine.

My kids love to eat.  Anything in “dip form” will get demolished in a matter of mere seconds with this crew.   Moreover, I love to find ways to create things with them.  ….and if I happen to sneak in some extra little nutritional boosts, well, then that’s even better.kid-friendly southwest dip

So this week, we headed over to Kroger, and created a fun, delicious southwest dip.  We even got creative and made it into a cat-faced southwest dip.  ….unfortunately, I first created another installment of “How Not to Cook”.  (Remember my infamous meatball debacle?  Or the overly-cinnamon’ed Vitamix applesauce?)

When I was asked to create a kid-friendly activity using things I got at Kroger, it seemed like a no-brainer.  I decided to go with a southwest-style dip and home made baked tortilla chips, which is an easy recipe for the kids to get involved with, AND which I could get everything I need at my neighborhood Kroger store.  Y’all already know I love Kroger, not only because they have competitive prices, but because Kroger helps me to find healthy options for me and my family.

kid-friendly-southwest-dip_baked-tortilla_banner

Making our own tortilla chips was a snap. It was basically what we did when we made tortilla strips for our chicken tortilla soups. Using Halloween-themed cookie cutters just added to the fun, too!

But first I had to “pull a Barbara”, and take too many liberties in what I created.  I found a handful of taco dip recipes, calling for cream cheese and refried beans, along with salsa, and other garnishing.  But I decided I wanted to make a healthier version, and replaced the refried beans with black beans and added corn, as well.  It didn’t turn out too well, but it made for a great conversation about how we dust ourself off and try again when things don’t go as planned.  This was actually perfect timing, since I’m trying to work with my 4 yo son on tackling the monkey bars at school.  He’s been reluctant to try them because he’s afraid of falling.  I’ve been encouraging him to try them, and that the worst that would happen is he drops to the ground and gets up and tries it again.  (His feet dangle about a foot from the ground on the monkey bars at his school, fwiw.)  So when my initial crack at this recipe was less than stellar, I made a big stink about getting right back in there and trying the recipe again, figuring out what I did wrong, and how I could make it better the next time.

I digress.

kid-friendly-southwest-dip_makingseasoning

We made our own taco seasoning for this recipe, thanks to a super-simple recipe I first heard about from Krystyn of Really Are You Serious. It was an easy and delightful task for my son!

Here’s what how we did it.  There are plenty of opportunities along the way to get the kids involved with each step, depending on their age, your comfort level, and their abilities – and perhaps your threshold for messes.

Kid-friendly Southwest Dip

  • 8-oz sour cream
  • 1 tbs. chia seeds
  • 1 tbs. flax seed
  • 2 tsp. taco seasoning mix (Did you know how easy it is to make your own??)
  • 1/2 c. salsa
  • 1/4 c. sliced ripe olives (+4-5 individual olives on reserve)
  • 1 c. shredded Cheddar cheese (4 oz)
  • 1/2 c. black beans
  • 1/2 c. sweet corn
  • 1 c. chopped lettuce or spinach (or let the kids use scissors to snip it in to strips)
  • 2 cherry tomatoes
  • tortilla chips  (It’s super easy to bake your own tortilla chips!)

Mix the sour cream and taco seasoning until well-blended.  Spread as bottom layer of dip in your deep dish.  Next evenly spread salsa over cream cheese mix, then sprinkle chia and flax seed over the salsa.   Layer the beans, then the corn.  Top with shredded cheese.  ….now for the fun part.  Have kids create a face: use the tomatoes (cut in half) to create eyes, then place olive slice over tomato.  Cut olive slices in half to create a mouth.

kid-friendly-southwest-dip_pin

Pin me!

I ended up sticking ours in the oven with the baked tortilla chips for about 5 minutes to melt the cheese.  This is completely optional.

Giveaway opportunity:
I want to give one of y’all a chance to create something with your own kiddos, so I’m offering you a chance to win a $50 Kroger giftcard.  Simply comment below with your favorite Halloween activity or recipe to do with your kids.  Then fill out the form below.  See?  Simple!

Remember, you can earn extra entries daily, so make sure to stop back in and update your form to increase your chance of winning.  Good luck, y’all!  🙂


Kroger $50 Giftcard

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Veggie Enriched Waffles

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



Veggie-Enriched Waffles

Disclaimer: this is NOT a sponsored post, even though you’ll see me name drop a time or two.  I just have some great products to share with y’all that I think are worth sharing about.  That is all.

I was recently twice-blessed: first, with a sweet Hamilton Beach waffle maker my husband won.  Second, with a nice haul of Happy Family brand pouches from the recent Type-A Parent conference I was also blessed to attend.  (Ok, so thrice blessed, y’all!)

Since I got the waffle maker, I’ve tried to make waffles every Sunday morning for the kiddos.  I’m loving it: waffles are WAY easier to make than a batch of pancakes, even spinach pancakes!

So this Sunday, I set out to do it all over again, but wanted to add a little extra something to the mix.  Literally.

Here’s what I did to make veggie enriched waffles: [Read more…]

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Maple-Blueberry Smoothie

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Maple Blueberry Smoothie

Maple.  Blueberry.  Smoothie.  An unlikely combination?  Perhaps.  But give it a try, and I promise not only won’t you be disappointed, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised how the addition of veggies bulks up the nutrition without compromising the taste.  My picky tots gulp it up as fast as I can make these!  Our pediatrician, quite aware of how particular my kiddos are about (not) eating their veggies, has long advocated adding them to smoothies – so my version of this maple-blueberry smoothie fits the nutritional bill quite well.

I saw the original recipe in the paper at my in-laws house in Florida, and it was tagged by the associate press.  So, I’m not quite certain of its origins, but it sure does sound tasty.  In any case, I had to make my own tweeks, substituting ice cream for greek yogurt, and adding the veggies for an extra nutritional punch.  Although I use the Vitamix, you can certainly recreate with a regular blender.

 

Maple-Blueberry Smoothie

[Read more…]

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Toddler Nutrition with Enfagrow #ad

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Enfagrow_banner

Y’all may know by now, I’m dealing with two super-finicky eaters, which is why I was delighted to try out Enfagrow as a part of this sponsored post program.  Y’all may further know by now of my efforts to thwart those picky habits with a variety of picky-tot pleasers.

One thing that has emerged greatly since my children were born was the vast benefits of DHA, something that I cannot provide for my kids in things like regular cow’s milk – which they would chug all. day. long, if I let them!  That’s why I was super-pleased to learn Enfagrow has DHA in their toddler products! [Read more…]

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Spinach pancakes {Picky Tot Pleasers}

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This post originally appeared as a guest post on another site about two years ago, but that site is no longer around. :/ SO, I’m re-claiming it and adding it to my Picky-Tot Pleasers series.  Lemme know what’cha think!

Spinach pancakes

 

Call me Popeye.  What can I say?  I love to cook with spinach.  Up until recently, it’s been in just about any dish I made with chicken or ground turkey.  However, I crossed the line the other morning when I (deliberately) baked spinach in to my pancakes.  That’s right, my daughter and I made spinach pancakes.  On purpose. [Read more…]

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Vitamix Applesauce with a Twist

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



Vitamix Applesauce

So I’m really loving my Vitamix these days.  Juicing for breakfast, and sharing with my son.  (Say goodbye to his multivitamin!)  Warm Vitamix Chicken Tortilla soup on a cool evening.  And now, Vitamix Applesauce, with a twist.

As you may recall, my goofy kids enjoy applesauce and frozen peas.  I don’t know why, they just do.  I’m not complaining, since they don’t normally volunteer to eat anything green.  So, when I set out to make Vitamix appleasauce, I was determined to fuse other healthy foods in to the mix as well.

Here’s what I did:

I found a bunch of pre-sliced apples on clearance at Kroger, so that’s what I used.  You can use whatever kind of apples you have on hand, but I recommend you stick with the sweeter, rather than tart apples.  Also, I use all organic ingredients whenever possible.

First I made  a batch that was JUST apples, lemon juice, and cinnamon.  I used too much cinnamon, and my daughter was not a fan.  So I made another batch, using other ingredients to blend with the cinnamon-y batch, to tone it down.

Vitamix Applesauce and the cinnamon debacle

Remember my meatball debacle from a while back? Yeah, ^^^ this brings back fond memories.

Vitamix Applesauce with a Twist
 

You’ll need:

  • 2-3 sweet apples
  • a splash of lemon juice
  • a small handful of baby carrots (I have small hands, sooo, I’d approximate about 1/2 cup.)
  • ~ 2/3 c frozen strawberries
  • 1 spoonful of sugar or sweetener (optional)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Blend all ingredients, starting with slowest speed, working your way up.  If you have a tamper*, use it to help push ingredients down.   If mixture seems too chunky or not “smooth” enough, add small doses of water, as needed.  I believe I ended up adding about 1/4 c water all together.  Blend to desire smoothness and enjoy!Vitamix applesauce with a twist!

One thing I want to try with my next batch is to freeze it in small containers, or fill an ice cube tray and freeze that way – then I’ll have applesauce handy, and can toss in kids’ lunch bag in the morning, and it’ll thaw by lunch time.  Also, I’m going to try adding a bit of spinach with this recipe.  I’d also like to try a batch with dates, or other nuts, as inspired by The Blender LadyWhat other ingredients would YOU add to Vitamix applesauce?

* I don’t have a tamper so I had to improvise.  (What can I say?  When you get a $9 Vitamix, you don’t always get all the cool accessories!)  When ingredients looked “stuck”, I’d turn off and open the top and push down with long plastic spoon.  Yeah, a tamper would be SOO much easier!

You may also like:

Vitamix for $299!

Vitamix for $299

Vitamix Chicken Tortilla Soup

Vitamix Chicken Tortilla Soup Recipe

Peas and Sauce

Peas_Sauce

Sweet Bananas & Honey

bananas and honey

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Sweet Bananas and Honey Dessert

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



bananas and honey

As you may know by now, my goofy kids are quite picky eaters.  (Okay, fine, so are their parents.  After all, apples don’t make peaches, right??)  I’ve already shared how the enjoy applesauce spiked with frozen peas.  But a secret favorite treat of theirs is one that’s actually quite healthy for them:  bananas and honey.  (or as my otherwise quite articulate 2-year-old son calls them “gananas”.)  It’s a simple, kid-friendly recipe that they gobble up every.  single.  time. [Read more…]

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Alpha-Bits Snack Mix

**This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**



Disclosure: This is a sponsored post from Post Alpha-Bits cereal and the Little Free Library.  I was given a form of compensation in exchange for this post.

Ever have one of those moments when you realize YOU are in charge of snack for your child’s class, and you only have an hour to throw something together?  Yeah, I’ve been there more times than I care to admit.  And the idea of plying my child and her classmates with junk food just because it was easier simply doesn’t sit well with me.

So when I found myself in this quandary about a week ago, I was lucky to have a good supply of pantry items I could mix together to make a snack mix.  Thanks to the good folks at Alpha-Bits, it was something the kids seemed to really enjoy, too!  Bonus: it’s so easy, even my five year old can make it, but not without sampling it as she goes.

This really is simple.  Like not even really recipe-worthy.  But I’m going to recipe it up for y’all anyway. 

Alpha-Bits Snack Mix

  • 1-2 part raisins
  • 2 parts pretzels of choice
  • 1-2 parts marshmallows (I used the very same ones I used for Peppermint Chocolate Popcorn)
  • 2 parts Alpha-Bits cereal

Alpha-Bits Snack Mix ingredients [Read more…]

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Peas and the Sauce – An Unlikely Combination

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So my kids are a little weird.  First, my son -who just turned two- didn’t initially seem to be a fan of sweet peas.  He would literally rather shove them up his nose than eat them.  Yeah….

But a friend mentioned a trick to me, and my kids have been eating it up ever since.  Frozen peas.  Yep.  Frozen.  Peas.  I serve them in fancy little ramekins, and they gobble them up like candy.

One day, I happened to serve frozen peas at the same meal with applesauce, and -wouldn’t you know it!- a new, weird marriage was formed.  My 4 year old daughter got the genius idea to dunk her peas in her applesauce.  It’s been a strange hit ever since.

Peas and the Sauce [Read more…]

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

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