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Back To School Crockpot Meals

Ready, set, here we go!  Back to school means back to alarm clocks, homework and after school practices!  Some nights it’s hard to find time to fit in a home cooked meal for your hard working family.  Crockpot meals can be a real lifesaver!  Bridgette, from our iFamily Mom Squad, is here to share some of her favorites.  Take a look…

Back To School Crockpot Meals

Back to School Crockpot Meals

Yes, you read that correctly, everyone is getting ready to head back to school already!  I don’t know about you, but when we were in traditional school, that first week was so chaotic! Between getting up on time, making last minute triple checks and remembering what time the bus comes…. Dinner would be the absolute last thing on my mind. I couldn’t think about spending hours cooking subpar food that we had already had two days ago. Which is why I fell in love with crockpot meals, slow cooker meals, dump meals or whatever you want to call them. They truly make dinner time much easier and less of a hassle.

For those first two weeks back to school, consider dinner made! These 10 crockpot meals are delicious, easy and can feed a crowd or be packed for lunch!  Get out your notepad and start making your list!

Cheesesteak sandwiches

This easy recipe from Lauren Greutman is one of my favorites! I also substitute the beef for chicken at times. All the gooey cheese and veggies are seasoned to perfection and definitely make. Simply toss everything in before you head out to grab the kids and it will be ready right in time for dinner!

Ingredients:
2 green peppers, sliced
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 – 2 1/2 lbs. thinly sliced steak (I used top round)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 envelope dry Italian dressing mix
1 cup water
1 beef bouillon cube
6 slices of provolone cheese
6 hoagie rolls

Classic Pot Roast

The pot roast can be used in so many ways with so many different sides. You can make it into tacos, burrito bowls, roast sandwiches and more! This recipe from Don’t Waste The Crumbs is one of the best! I personally brown my roast before placing it into the crock pot. Place your roast in the pot in the morning… cook it on low for a meal that is sure to please everyone!

Ingredients:
1 chuck roast (3-4 lbs)
1 lb baby carrots (or carrots, cut to about 1″ pieces)
1½ lbs potatoes (any variety, cut into about 1″ pieces if necessary)
4 Tbsp homemade dry onion soup mix
1 batch homemade cream of mushroom soup

Chicken Fajitas

Tacos, fajitas and any TexMex really, are pretty much staples in my house lol. Chicken fajitas are one of the quickest to make in my opinion. These fajitas from Cooking Classy are great! ( I don’t use the honey in her receipe)

Ingredients:
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 red , orange and green bell pepper, julienned
1 large yellow onion , halved and sliced
4 cloves garlic , minced
2 1/2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
3/4 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp honey

Slow Cooker Tikka Masala

Over the past few years, my family and I have fallen in love with more dishes from India, the Middle East and Mediterranean. One our favorites is chicken tikka masala! It is cheap, can feed our whole family for practically two days lol! This recipe from Table For Two definitely takes the cake!

Ingredients:

8 boneless skinless chicken tenderloins, or about 5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3 lbs.) – cut into 1.5″ cubes
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1: 29- oz can of tomato puree
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp Garam masala
1 tsp tumeric powder
1 tbsp cumin
1/2 tbsp paprika
2 tsp salt, or to taste
3/4 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1-3 tsp cayenne pepper, depending on your heat preference
2 leaves bay
1 cup heavy cream
3 tbsp cornstarch
Lemon juice from half a small lemon
Chopped parsley or cilantro, for topping

BBQ Chicken

Chicken is a go to meat in our house. It is can be used in just about anything! BBQ chicken is perfect for nights that you just want to chill out and not worry about who is getting messy when heading out to do family things. This recipe from Family Fresh Meals was one of the first BBQ chicken recipes I tried. Even my husband approved of it!

Ingredients:
2 lbs boneless, skinless  chicken breasts
1 cup  BBQ sauce
1/4 cup Zesty Italian dressing
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
salt to taste

Cheesy Chicken Penne

Two words, cheese and noodles! Do I need to say more? This recipe from The Slow Magical Cooker is the perfect dish for kiddos and cheese lovers!

Ingredients:
1.5 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 (10.5-oz) cans cream of chicken soup (don’t add water)
½ cup chicken broth
¼ tsp. pepper
½ tsp. dried leaf tarragon (can substitute oregano or thyme here)
1.5 cups sliced mushrooms
1 small sweet yellow onion, diced
Add at the end
1 cup sour cream
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 lb. penne pasta (cooked according to package directions on the stove-top)

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Nothing is better than getting a bowl of hot soup during the cold months! Chicken tortilla soup has been my favorite soup for years and I don’t see anything changing that lol. This recipe from Cooking Classy is definitely what you will see me eating once that frost kicks in! Don’t forget the sour cream and extra cilantro!

Ingredients:
2 1/2 (14.5 oz) cans low-sodium chicken broth (4 1/2 cups)
1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes
1 1/4 cups finely chopped yellow onion
3 cloves garlic , minced
1 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground coriander
Salt and freshly ground black pepper , to taste
1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 (14.5 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups frozen corn
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Chicken Teriyaki

This is definitely my oldest favorite! Anytime I ask the kids what we should have for dinner, Phoenix is pretty much guaranteed to say Teriyaki chicken! This recipe from Rachel Cooks is probably the reason she loves it so much! I make this about once every 10 days… she can’t get enough! I love that it doesn’t require a ton of ingredients!

Ingredients:
1 1/2 pounds, or about 3 large, boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons cornstarch + 1/4 cup water
rice or quinoa, for serving
sesame seeds, for garnish
sliced green onions, for garnish

Beef and Potatoes Au Gratin

This is definitely a man’s meal lol. Meat and potatoes are a classic combo.  Add in cheese… well I mean it’s cheese! This recipe from The Magical Slow Cooker is actually on our menu for tomorrow!

Ingredients:
1 lb. ground beef (plus a touch of salt and pepper to season)
3 lbs. peeled russet potatoes, sliced a ¼ inch thick (about 7 cups total after being sliced)
1 cup thinly sliced white onion
1 tsp. paprika
½ tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. parsley
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp. pepper
3 cups shredded sharp cheese
½ cup chicken broth (or beef broth

Chicken Cacciatore

Coming across this recipe, I was hesitant at first.  I’m not a huge pasta fan and my husband doesn’t always trust my Pinterest recipes ( I have failed a lot of them).  I was pleasantly surprised when I enjoyed this one!  Once again, it’s noodles so the kids will love it. For mine, I make sure the veggies are chopped really small so my picky eaters won’t object. This recipe from Heather at Passion For Savings has my husband’s favorite pasta dish! Plus it doesn’t require a lot.

The best thing about these meals is that not only can you dump it and go, you can even make them in advance and freeze them! Whenever I am on my P’s & Q’s, I have a freezer stocked full of meals that I can dump in the crock pot and go on with my day.

As you get ready to head back to school, take a load off with these easy meals that will help you get into the swing of things!

 

From iFamily to Yours,



Foodie Favorites: 7 Simple Steps for a Delicious Treat

Thinking back to your own childhood, what were some of your favorite foods that you always looked forward to when your mom made a delicious treat? Foods can bring back incredible memories that would otherwise be long forgotten. Today, we invite you to try out a classic recipe that has been enjoyed by generations. Gabrielle, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team, shares her recipe for simple banana pudding that your kids are going to be begging you to make time and time again. Take a look…

Foodie Favorites: 7 Simple Steps for a Delicious Treat

Summer time and the living is easy-  At least it should be.  I do absolutely everything I can to avoid turning on the oven when the temperature is above 90 degrees.  So when I was asked to bring a dessert to a family gathering a few weeks ago, I immediately thought of no-bake options.  This one is inexpensive and quick.  It also has the benefit of being a real crowd-pleaser.

Ingredients

  • Two packages of instant vanilla pudding
  • 4 Bananas (less can be used depending on how much your audience loves bananas)
  • Milk (or milk substitues)
  • Vanilla wafers or shortbread cookies ( I love using Girl Scout cookies or Voortman Chessmen)
  • Whipped topping
  • Cream cheese (softened)
  • Trifle bowl (if you’re feeling fancy)

Directions:

Step One:

Mix pudding according to package directions.  Most use a couple of cups of milk with pudding mix for a couple of minutes.  This can be done with whole milk or milk substitutes.

Pro-Tip: For an extra hint of sweetness, you can use condensed milk.   Blend in cream cheese until smooth.

Step Two:

Place a layer of cookies in the trifle dish, or serving bowl.

Step Three:

Cover with about 1/3 of the pudding.

Step Four:

Slice and layer bananas.

Step Five:

Cover with another layer of pudding.

Step Six:

Spread a thin layer of whipped topping.

Step Seven:

Repeat layers until trifle dish or serving bowl is almost full, finishing with a layer of whipped topping.  Top can be garnished with crushed cookies for extra flair.

Chill for at least 30 minutes.  Then the dish is ready to serve.

 

From iFamily to yours,

Gabrielle


Five Super Easy Dishes for Busy Summer Nights!

The kids have barely been out of school and I’m already running out of fun ideas for family meals in our house. Surely I’m not alone in that, and neither are you! We’ve got five super easy dishes you can try at home!

super easy dishes

Five Super Easy Dishes for Busy Summer Nights!

It’s summer! Time to take it easy and relax!  Well, if you’re like my family, not every night is going to be relaxing and carefree.  We might even be slightly busier in the summertime because I’m trying to fit in all the fun we can before school starts back up!  I’ve put together a few really simple dishes that are pretty easy to prepare and get in the family’s belly before sports, camps, water parks, swimming and whatever else you might be running to and from.  Check these out!

  • Tater Tot Casserole – Brown 1-2 lbs of ground beef or turkey. Add onion and garlic powder and let it simmer a few minutes. Mix together milk and 2 cans of cream of mushroom soup. Layer the ground beef with the mushroom soup mix poured on top. Then layer the tots in rows and top it all cubed Velveeta cheese, enough to cover the tater tots. Bake at 350 until brown.

 

  • Shepherd’s Pie- First, brown 1 pound of hamburger and drain it. You can add a packet of ranch or any seasoning you like to the hamburger. Layer a can of corn and a can of green beans on the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Next layer the hamburger and then a layer of mashed potatoes (shortcut: Idaho instant mashed potatoes are yummy). Sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese and add green onion or parsley flakes on top and bake at 350 until the cheese is melted on top.

 

  • Layered Taco Salad Casserole – Brown 1-2 lbs of ground beef or 3 chicken breasts (shortcut: Tyson sells precooked grilled diced chicken). Add taco seasoning to the meat after draining it.  Layer with refried beans and Mexican or fiesta style shredded cheese.  Bake at 350 until the cheese is melted.  Top with lettuce, tomatoes, olives, sour cream, jalapeños, and tortilla chips or any other toppings of choice!

 

  • Pizza Waffles – Bring out your waffle maker for this one! No, we aren’t making breakfast! (Stay tuned – I might share my other fun waffle maker foods later on!) These are so much fun because the kids can make their own mini pizzas and they are ready in a matter of minutes! Spray your waffle maker down with cooking spray. I        recommend precooking the dough and then putting the sauce, cheese and toppings on it and let it sit while the lid is open to prevent the cheese from sticking to the top.  It is so good and the kids will love it!

 

  • Taco Soup – I must love tacos from the number of taco recipes I have! Why, yes I do! And here is another delicious way to eat tacos – in soup! This can be prepared the night before and thrown in the crock-pot before work or chaotic summer days! Brown 1 onion and ground beef together and drain.  In a big pot, add can of Rotel, can of red beans, black beans, and navy beans.  Stir in a can of corn, tomato paste, a package of Hidden Valley ranch and a package of taco seasoning.  Simmer an hour on the stove or put it in the crock pot on low for 8 hours. Dish up in bowls and top with cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips.

Do you have some favorite summer recipes to share?  Feel free to add yours below!  If you get a chance to try some of the recipes above, let me know what you and your kids think!

From iFamily to Yours,

 

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Throwing a Fabulous DIY Summer: A How To Guide

Despite unseasonably cooler temperatures this week, summertime is in full swing here in the metro area and we’re excited for all the DIY Summer fun in store for your family this season. Brigette, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team is sharing her ideas for fabulous summer parties today on the blog. Take a look…

diy summer fun

Throwing a Fabulous DIY Summer: A How To Guide

Summer time can mean a lot of things. Swimming pools, drive ins, picnics and more. One of my favorite things to do is throw and attend parties. Just fun, let’s celebrate summer and have a great time party! So why not hit up your local dollar store or Target and put on a great party.

Here are a few ideas you can easily throw together AND entertain a large crowd for the low!

DIY Summer

Build a Hot Dog Bar

Who doesn’t love a good weenie roast?! Hot dogs are a great way to feed a crowd without spending too much. A simple hot dog bar doesn’t require much, grab some ketchup, mustard and all your favorite fixin’s and you are good go to go.

diy summer

Ice Cream Sundae Bar

Take your love of ice cream to the next level with insane toppings! Gather all your favorite candies, nuts and sauces and let everyone build their own sundae. Don’t forget the root beer to make sundae floats too!

DIY SUmmer

Movie Party

This is probably the easiest way to entertain a crowd. Pick a cult classic of fave family movie, pop some popcorn, add a variety of pops and salty snacks and you are ready for an evening under the stars or your living room full of people in their pjs!

DIY Summer

Taco Party

Another fun way to feed a crowd is a taco party. Much like the hot dog bar or sundae bar, you and your guests can grab a bag of chips or shells and then add all their favorite toppings. Tacos are always a favorite among most people so this would definitely be a great way to celebrate Taco Tuesday!

DIY Summer

Carnival Party

A friend of mine through a summer carnival party two years ago and it was AMAZING! Popcorn, cotton candy, hot dogs and of course carnival games! She even had a face painter or strong man there to entertain! A circus or carnival party can be done in so many ways that everyone will have a great time.

DIY Summer

Camping Party

Camping is one of my favorite past times. Fires at night, s’mores and ghost stories. The summer is the perfect time to have a camping party. Grab some stuff for s’mores and a sleeping bag for a late night.

DIY Summer

Luau Party

Luau parties are always fun too. Bright colors, grass skirts and pineapples! Grab some bright table cloths, throw some Hawaiian dogs on the grill (wrapped with bacon and pineapple) and get ready to dance the night away. You could also throw in some great games like a hula hoop competition or limbo.

DIY Summer

Southern Belle Tea Party

Want a more chic party? Throw a Southern Belle party. Have your guests dress in their Sunday bests, throw on some lace gloves and get ready for a variety of teas. Have your guests bring their favorite tea (preferably already brewed) and sip while eating bonbons or pecan pie.

DIY Summer

Beach Party

What better way to celebrate summer than a beach themed party? Head to the dollar store and grab some floaties, noodles and beach balls. Have everyone pot luck style their favorite food or make a spread of your favorite picnic foods. Don’t forget the pools! Get a blowup pool or have some bring theirs!

I hope these ideas were enough to spark your summer party planning adventures!

From iFamily to yours,

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Eat Your Way Though Independence Day: Quick and Easy Recipes!

Looking for some quick and easy recipes for your fourth of July cookout? Brigette, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team, has compiled a list of her favorite mouth watering summer favorites that your family can make today. Take a look… quick and easy recipes

Eat Your Way Though Independence Day: Quick and Easy Recipes!

Nothing says summer like the 4th of July! Fireworks, swimming pools and everything red, white and blue. When I was younger, I always loved a few things about the 4th of July and that’s the picnics and fireworks. Getting together and spending a day eating summer favorites, popping fireworks and fighting your exhaustion from the day just to see the big ones go off at night made it all worth it.

Now that I am older, and have a family and an obsession with Pinterest, I get more excited to host the picnics and get togethers more than anything. Once the fireworks go off at night, I feel like it is the “ta-da” moment of the day lol.

The 4th of July is such an awesome holiday and it can be the highlight of any summer. But I also know that it can become complicated, overwhelming and just downright tiresome. So this year, have no fear! Here are some of my favorite quick and easy 4th of July recipes!

#1 Red, White, and Blue Salad

When it’s hot, you don’t really want a whole lot of piping hot food. This red, white and blue salad is so easy, light and perfect for summer!

#2 Patriotic Popcorn

I love sweet popcorn and this one is perfect for the 4th of July! Check out this easy recipe for some of the best sweet and salty popcorn yet!

#3 American Pride Ice Cream Sandwiches

I am definitely doing these this year! So quick and easy plus very patriotic! Who knew that 2 simple store bought items could become something so creative! Check out the how to here

#4 Red, White and Blue Strawberries

CHOCOLATE COVERED STRAWBERRIES… need I say more lol?? Who doesn’t love chocolate covered strawberries!? Give them a patriotic twist by using a few ingredients! Check out these super cute ones from

#5 Jello Snacks

Jello is one of the easiest snacks to dress up. By adding a few items to it, you can use it for just about every holiday. Try doing this with your kiddos for a quick 4th of July treat!

** pro tip, pre made jello snack cups if you are short on time or simply can’t make jello like me lol**

#6 Firecracker Dogs

Possibly the cutest hot dog you will ever see! These firecracker dogs are sure to please everyone! Check out these simple dogs perfect for the 4th!

#7 Grilled Chicken Berry Salad

One of my FAVORITE salads! I love everything about this salad, the sweetness, the crunch and the fact that it is healthy. Plus it is easy to whip up for a crowd. Check out how easy this amazing and easy this salad is!

#8 Veggie Flag Tray

When it’s summer time and especially when it is a holiday, you can be surrounded by nothing but sweets and treats. So to make sure you get those veggies in check out this super cute and delicious veggie tray idea!

#9 Red, White and Sangria

This is the perfect adult beverage for the 4th of July! Check out how simple and crowd pleasing this is.

#10 Patriotic Punch

And in case you haven’t had enough sugar or cool treats for the 4th, check out this awesome kid friendly patriotic punch! Not only does it look cool, but it screams HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!

All of these recipes are super easy and can definitely be modified to your own liking. Enjoy your 4th of July!

From iFamily to Yours,

emailsignupforblog3


22 Simple Summer Snack Ideas Your Kids Will Love!

Happy Tuesday, Kansas City!

Summer break is in full swing here in the metro area and,  if you’re like me, you’re already dealing with the constant battle of feeding (always) hungry kids at home and on he go. Brigette, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team, is here to help. She’s come up with a list of 22 simple summer snack ideas your kids will love this season. Whether you’re heading off to camp, venturing out to the park, or relaxing at home – we’ve got you covered right here on the blog. Take a look…

22 Simple Summer Snack Ideas

22 Simple Summer Snack Ideas Your Kids Will Love!

The kids are out of school and, unless they are in summer camp, chances are they are like mine…and will be snacking! Kids seems to want more snacks than anything else, especially on days when they are very active and hitting those growth spurts.

Snacking during summer can be tricky at times, especially if you’re not prepared. It always seems to be easier to just stop somewhere to grab some fruit snacks or another sugary “snack”- And we all know what happens when they get that sugar overload! There are kids bouncing all over the place, attitudes change, and, of course, they are not receiving any nutritional value. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with what I like to call “fun snacks” (such as fruit snacks or the occasional sour patch kids) every once in a while. Of course, only you know what is best for your child.

But if snacking is something that just seems to be hassle getting together of too time consuming, here is a list 22 of my favorite go to snacks! Especially during the upcoming summer time heat!

Fresh Fruits

1. Apples

2. Mandarins/ Cuties

3. Bananas

4. Grapes

5. Berries

6. Pears

These are some of the best fruits to pack! They don’t need to be kept cool and you can throw a few in your snack back or purse! Plus they don’t have much waste (wrappers, bottles) o you don’t have to worry about a huge mess. For those really hot days, I freeze our grapes and let the kiddos eat them on the road. They taste like grape popsicles! If you have a smaller kiddo and need to cut the apples beforehand, soak them in a little lemon juice water to prevent the browning.

Veggies

7. Carrots

8. Celery

9. Cherry tomatoes

10. Edamame

11. Broccoli

These veggies are also great to just grab and go! A little wash off when you get home, chop them if not already in “baby form” i.e. baby carrots and you are set! My littlest loves tomatoes so these always get packed!

Grains &  Nuts

12. Granola Bars

13. Energy Cookies

14. Almonds

15. Trail Mix

16. Gold Fish

17. Dry Cereal

These are items we keep in our home all the time! Our oldest doesn’t like granola and the boy doesn’t like almonds so we get the Ziploc snack size baggies and fill them with a variety of these snacks. This way they can choose their own, not overdo it and still be a happy camper. Our energy bites are the only thing that really takes time to prep. For our kids we use about 2-3 mashed ripe bananas, about 1 cup and a half oatmeal and a few table spoons of chocolate chips. I mix them all together and bake for until they are firm. My kids love these especially with ice cold milk!

Drinks

18. Water

19. Fruit Water

20. Lemonade

21. V8 Juice

22. Juice Box

These should be every parents go to drink arsenal! One thing that my kids love to do is freeze their drinks (I guess they get their love of ice from me!). They will freeze their cups of whatever and when they are ready for some, they grab a spoon and dig in! I also fill their water bottles half way and freeze them. When we are ready to go out in the heat, I fill the rest with water and they have instant ice water that will last much longer than a few cubes.

I hope these easy snack ideas will make your kiddos summer snacking a lot easier! Let us know what simple snack ideas YOU have to help other moms on the go!

From iFamily to Yours,

Brigette

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A Simple & Sweet Pi Day Recipe: Mini Cherry Pies

Happy Pi Day, Kansas City! To celebrate this mathematical holiday, we’re bringing you some more pie recipes. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Becky, has a simple and sweet recipe for MINI cherry pies. They’ll be sure to satisfy that sweet tooth (and hopefully warm you up a bit too!) Take a look..

A Pi Day Recipe: Mini Cherry Pies

 

A Simple & Sweet Pi Day Recipe: Mini Cherry Pies

 

Celebrating the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter (did I get that right?) is easy as pie.

 

Mini Cherry Pies (makes 4)

What you’ll need:

• 1 refrigerated pie crust
• 1 large can of cherry pie filling
• 4 ramekins
• Cookie sheet
• Cutting boards for work surfaces
• Pizza cutter

A Pi Day Recipe: Mini Cherry Pies

 

What to do:

• Preheat oven to 375.

• Cut both the crusts in ¼ pieces.

• Have your kids roll each ¼ piece into a ball.

• Help them roll out each ball until round and flat.

• Take a rolled out piece of dough and place it in the bottom of the ramekin. Pinching the dough around the top edge. Repeat x3.

• Have the kids scoop the cherry pie filling into each ramekin until it is full.

• Using the pizza cutter, cut the remaining round and flat pieces into thick strips (about 6).

• Criss cross the strips of dough over the cherry pie filing in the ramekins. Pinch dough around the sides so all the dough is sticking together.

• Place all the ramekins on a cookie sheet (the pies may bubble over, so you can thank me later) and bake at 375 for 40-50 minutes on the center rack. If the top crust begins to get too dark, cover pieces with tinfoil.

• Cool about 1 hour before serving (especially to little ones). They also taste great cold!

 

Becky Ervin is a creative director, mother of three and blogs at PartyBoxKC.com/blog.

 

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 


A Fun St. Patrick’s Day Recipe: Shamrock Shakes

Top o’ the morning to ya, Kansas City! One of my favorite spring time treats are milkshakes/smoothies. Truthfully, I can drink them any time of year! With St. Patrick’s Day around the corner, our Mom Squad Ambassador, Erin, has a simple recipe to make Shamrock Shakes at home. Yum! Take a look…

 A Fun St. Patrick's Day Recipe: Shamrock Shakes

A Fun St. Patrick’s Day Recipe: Shamrock Shakes

 

I love Shamrock Shakes from McDonald’s! Since they are only offered during early spring, I decided to concoct a recipe so myself and my family could enjoy them all year round! They were super easy, yummy, and were a big hit in my house!

A Fun St. Patrick's Day Recipe: Shamrock Shakes

Ingredients

 

3 scoops mint chocolate chip ice cream

1/4 c. heavy cream

1/2 tsp. peppermint extract

4-6 drops green food coloring

Whipped cream, for topping

 

Toppings

Maraschino cherries, sprinkles, chocolate chips

or any other fun green things you can come up with!

 

Decorations

Decorate with plastic rings, fun straws and serve up in a fancy wine or martini glass

 

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 


10 Great Recipes to Celebrate Pi Day!

Hey, Kansas City! For pi(e) enthusiasts everywhere, March 14th (3.14) is a special day. A day dedicated to the mathematical number – 3.14, which many of us use as an excuse to bake up some tasty pies to celebrate! Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Brigette, has a 10 fabulous recipes rounded-up to help celebrate this yummy holiday. Take a look…

10 Great Recipes to Celebrate Pi Day!

 

10 Great Recipes to Celebrate Pi Day!

 

Math lovers rejoice! Pi(e) day will be here before you know it! For those of you that may not know what I am referring too, March 14th is an unofficial holiday. The reasoning why is clear by the definition of Pi “The number π is a mathematical constant, the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, commonly approximated as 3.14159.” So in honor of Pi(e) day, I am going to share with y’all some awesome pie recipes to help celebrate this unofficial day!

 

#1 Pecan Pie- My personal Favorite

Pie Crust
2 and 1/2 cups (250g) coarsely chopped Diamond of California pecans
3 large eggs
1 cup (240ml) dark corn syrup1
1/2 cup (100g) packed dark brown sugar
1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For instructions visit here.

 

#2  Pumpkin Pie

2 Large Eggs, Beaten
1 (16 Ounce) Canned Solid Packed Pumpkin
2 Tablespoons Molasses
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar, Firmly Packed
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Dried Ground Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon Dried Ground Ginger
1/4 Teaspoon Dried Ground Cloves
1/4 Teaspoon Dried Ground Nutmeg
1 Tablespoon All Purpose Flour
1 (12 Ounce) Canned Evaporated Milk
1 9 Inch Deep Dish Pie Crust-Unbaked
You can get the rest of this recipe off any can of pumpkin at your local grocery store.

 

#3 Apple Pie

6 cups thinly sliced, peeled apples (6 medium)
¾ cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon lemon juice
This apple pie is such a classic! You can get the rest of the directions over from Pillsbury.com!

 

#4 Shoofly Pie- Another FAVE!

(This is a family tradition pie from back east – Pennsylvania)
Pie Crust:
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
¾ c. shortening
5 tbsp. water
Filling:
½ c. dark corn syrup
¼ c. light brown sugar
1 large Egg
½ tsp. baking soda
½ c. hot water
Crumb Topping:
1 c. all-purpose flour
3 tbsp. shortening
.67 c. light brown sugar
1 pinch salt
1 pinch ground cinnamon
This is no everyday pie! This is something SPECIAL! Get the rest of the recipe at Countryliving.com.

 

#5 Peanut Butter Pie- This pie is a perfect pair!

1 (14.3 oz) package whole Oreos (about 36 Oreos)
1 cup (16 tablespoons) butter, divided
1 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter, divided
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
This is one of the easiest pies to make! Head over here to get the full recipe!

 

#6 Brown Sugar Pie- Simple ingredients, amazing taste!

1 pound light brown sugar
1 stick butter, melted
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 pie crust
For this quick pie head over here to see the rest!

 

#7 Coffee Pie-This recipe had me at COFFEE!

1 (3.4 oz) box INSTANT vanilla pudding mix
¾ cup cold brew coffee
½ cup milk or cream
1 Tbsp pure coffee extract
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 prepared Oreo cookie crust
Whipped cream, for garnish
Dark chocolate-covered espresso beans, for garnish
To get this afternoon pick me up pie, head over here!

 

#8 Banana Cream Pie- This pie is so creamy you will want seconds!

Crust:
11/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 sticks (1/2 cup) unsalted butter diced and chilled
2-4 tablespoons ice water
Filling:
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups milk
4 egg yolks- beaten
3 tablespoons butter
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-3 bananas-sliced
Topping:
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 banana-sliced
This is pie is perfect for a spring afternoon! To get the rest of the recipe, head over here!

 

#9 Martha Stewart’s Boston Cream Pie

I mean it’s Martha lol! Need I say more?..
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for pan
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk(whole)
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 recipe cooled Vanilla or Chocolate Pudding
1/4 cup heavy cream
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
To get the rest of Martha’s incredible recipe, head over to marthastewart .com!

 

#10  Whoopie Pie- Another family favorite!

This technically isn’t a “pie.” It is more like a hand held piece of heaven!
4 cups flour
1 cup cocoa

2 cups of sugar
1 cup of shortening
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 pinch of salt
2 teaspoons of vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup of milk
1 cup of warm water
To get the step by step recipe, head over here!

I hope you will enjoy these pie recipes as much as my family and I do! Happy PI(e) day!

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

 

 

 


Super Foods: 7 Different Avocado and Banana Recipes for your Family

Hello, Kansas City! Did you know February is Avocado AND Banana month? My family and I love both of those foods a ton, and we’re so excited to try these 7 awesome recipes from our Mom Squad Ambassador, Darcy, to give a little umph to your banana and avocado tastes! Take a look…

Super Foods: 7 Different Avocado and Banana Recipes for your Family

 

Super Foods: 7 Different Avocado and Banana Recipes

for your Family

Although Valentine’s Day gets all the attention, February has a lot going on. National Nutella Day is February 6, National Pizza Day is February 9, National Margarita Day is February 22 and the entire month is dedicated to Avocados and Bananas. Can you handle all the deliciousness?
Bananas and Avocados are staples in our house, and I’m sure they are in many of your homes as well. Delicious and nutritious to eat as they are, I thought you all may appreciate a few recipes to perhaps shake up your menu options when it comes to this month’s favorite produce.

 

AVOCADOS

Avocados are a great source of healthy fats. One of our daughters had a low birth weight and still struggles to gain weight as she’s growing, so avocados are a great food for her. Our favorite use for avocados is on toast. Here’s some of our favorite spins on it.

#1 Avocado Toast, 4 Ways

P’s favorite:
White toast, buttered with mashed avocado on top. Place two slices of bacon on top of that.
E’s favorite:
White toast, almond butter, with mashed avocado on top
Dad’s favorite:
Wheat toast, mashed avocado, salt, pepper and a fried egg on top
Mom’s favorite:
Rye toast, mashed avocado with salt and pepper topped with tomato and bacon slices

We also love Cucumber, Tomato and Avocado Salad, which is similar to guacamole, but no chips needed.

#2 Cucumber, Tomato and Avocado Salad

1 English cucumber
4 Roma Tomatoes
3 Ripe Avocados
½ Red Onion
¼ cup Cilantro, chopped
Juice of 1 Lemon
2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
Chop up all the vegetables into bite-sized pieces and toss into bowl. Toss with olive oil, juice, salt and pepper. There’s a video of this recipe on Tasty.

My final recipe comes from my lovely sister. She made these for us once, and I crave these about once a month.

#3 Chicken and Avocado Quesadillas (makes 4 quesadillas)

8 Tortillas
1 cup Mexican blend shredded cheese
2 Cooked chicken breasts, shredded
1 Avocado, cut into bite-sized chunks
2 Green onions, sliced
2 tbsp. Cilantro, chopped
1 Tbsp. Butter
Heat skillet over medium high heat. Assemble Quesadillas by dividing the toppings (except butter) among 4 tortillas. Top with another tortilla. When skillet is hot, melt butter and then place 1 quesadilla onto skillet. Heat for a couple minutes, until cheese starts to melt. Flip and cook for a minute more, until tortilla is browned on both sides. Continue, one quesadilla at a time until all are cooked. Cut into slices and serve with salsa and sour cream, if desired.

BANANAS

Now for some fun banana recipes! Bananas work themselves easily into things like smoothies, Nutella on bread, crepes and on top of waffles. We make banana, flax seed bread often too. Here are just a few of our most used and beloved recipes.

 

#4 Mama’s Breakfast Smoothie

1 cup water
1 cup fresh spinach
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 banana
Add all ingredients in blender and mix until smooth.

 

#5 Frozen Honey Banana Pops

4 just ripe bananas, peeled
8 craft sticks
½ cup honey
About 1 cup of finely chopped nuts, coconut flakes, mini chocolate chips, dried fruit or graham cracker crumbs
Cut bananas in half cross-wise. Insert a craft stick into each cut end. Freeze for at least 30 minutes on wax paper lined tray. Spread desired toppings onto separate plates. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of honey over each banana. Roll banana in toppings. Press with fingers if necessary to adhere. Place back into freezer for about 10 minutes. Enjoy! (Parents- these are nice to eat outside. They can get messy and sticky quickly with little ones.)

We seem to always buy more bananas than we can reasonably eat before they start to brown. Here are two recipes that are perfect to use on those last couple bananas that are too ripe to eat on their own.

#6 Banana Pancakes

2 ripe Bananas, mashed
1 cup flour
1 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. In separate bowl, mix together egg, milk, oil and bananas. Stir flour mixture into banana mixture; batter will be slightly lumpy. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium-high heat. Pour 1/3 cup of batter onto griddle or pan. Cook until pancakes begin to bubble and bottom is golden-brown. Flip and cook until golden-brown on both sides.

 

#7 Banana Ice Cream

Also, the healthiest and easiest ice cream known to man. Whenever you get to the point when you realize those bananas aren’t going to get eaten soon enough, peel them, slice them and toss into a freezer-friendly Ziploc bag. Just keep adding bananas until you get at least a cup’s worth. This was also great when the kids were young and didn’t always finish the banana. The leftovers can get tossed in the bag so you don’t just throw food out. Blend in your food processor until smooth. Scoop into bowls and top as you’d like to.

 

How do you like your avocados and/or bananas? Share in the comments

From iFamily to Yours,