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Five Super Easy Dishes for Busy Summer Nights!

July 2, 2017 at 7:23 AM • Posted in FoodComments Off on 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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Eat Your Way Though Independence Day: Quick and Easy Recipes!

June 24, 2017 at 7:11 AM • Posted in Creative Fun, Food, HolidayComments Off on 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

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

March 11, 2017 at 4:06 PM • Posted in Food, HolidayComments Off on 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,

 

 

 

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

February 20, 2017 at 8:29 AM • Posted in FoodComments Off on 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,

 

 

 

 

5 Crowd Pleasing Main Course Recipes for Thanksgiving

November 10, 2016 at 10:00 AM • Posted in HolidayComments Off on 5 Crowd Pleasing Main Course Recipes for Thanksgiving

It’s time to start prepping those grocery lists for a good ol’ fashioned Thanksgiving dinner. If you’re in the market to try something new or want to expand your already fantastic meal, check out these sure to please main course recipes from our Mom Squad Ambassador, Brigette.

5 Crowd Pleasing Main Course Recipes for Thanksgiving

 

 

5 Crowd Pleasing Main Course Recipes for Thanksgiving

 

OMG can you believe it is already November and Thanksgiving is a few weeks away?! Where has the time gone? Seriously! And you know what Thanksgiving means.. Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, no school, family and FOOD! If your family is like the millions of other families in the US, then you may need an arsenal of recipes up your sleeve to not only feed the masses but also satisfy the family’s cravings. Plus awesome leftovers are like mana from heaven for us busy moms and dads! I know I don’t want to cook the day after Thanksgiving ;)!

There are so many dishes that can be served for your family’s Thanksgiving dinner. Whether you are a red meat kinda family, kosher or vegan, there is plenty of options for you and your family.

So to kind of get the Thanksgiving meal wheel kind of rolling, I wanted to share with you 5 easy, delicious and oh so crowd pleasing recipes for your main course.

 

Good old fashioned turkey!

We totally love turkey in our home for Thanksgiving! One simple recipe that I follow for our turkey has kind of been a combination of my grandmother’s tradition and Rachael Ray lol. First, I coat the bird with Extra Virgin Olive Oil making sure that it is completely coated. Second I season with my family favorites.. salt, pepper, garlic, thyme, tarragon and a little paprika.

Once it is fully coated I place it in a Turkey roasting bag which you can get at any mass retailer. ** (Tip the bag gives the outside that crispy skin but juicy inside)** On the back of the box of roasting bags there is a cooking time chart, just follow that and you will have the perfect bird!

Classic Pot Roast

We love the occasional pot roast in our family. Especially if they are on sale! You can make it into so many things, another perfect reason to have roast as a main course! Like most of these recipes you can let them cook all day or all night. For our roast, I season and brown all the sides on the stove in a little oil. Once it is nice and browned, I place it in our slow cooker, add between a cup and a cup and a half of water and let that baby go! It fills the house with warmth and deliciousness!

 

Chef Michael Symon’s Pan roasted chicken

I’m not sure if you have ever seen the Chew or any of his other cooking shows… but Chef Michael Symon is KNOWN for being a meat connoisseur. When I learned how to make his Pan roasted chicken, I seriously made it EVERYDAY for a week! I could not cannot get over how great and easy it is! If my kids didn’t tell me they were tired of chicken, I would have still made it. Not only is this recipe a crowd pleaser but it will make your Thanksgiving table look so beautiful! How can chicken make my table beautiful you ask? Slice it horizontally and thank me later lol! Check out the Chefs recipe here! http://abc.go.com/shows/the-chew/recipes/pan-roasted-chicken-michael-symon

 

Mustard and Brown sugar ham

So I never was a ham person and my husband wasn’t either, he would only eat it on occasion (Thanksgiving lol) but our whole marriage he would talk about his grandmother’s ham! He would go on and on about this brown sugar and mustard ham and I have never tasted it! Finally after 10 years I was able to taste this brown sugar and mustard concoction and it was divine! Even though we still do not eat pork in my family, I can honestly say that this mixture is perfect for not only ham but chicken and turkey as well. It is definitely the easiest mixture I have ever made as too. Simply start with a little brown sugar and add mustard until it turns into a smooth barbeque like consistency. As you add the mustard to the brown sugar, taste to make sure that there is a balance between the mustard and brown sugar. Once balanced you will get a sweet golden brown paste. Simply coat your ham and cook as you normally would!

 

Pasta

So as I’m writing this piece it hit me, not everyone eats meat! Veggies and Vegans observe Thanksgiving too! So I felt it was only right to include an option for our veggie and vegan readers! Now I will be honest, my family tries to eat as healthy as possible but we do have our short comings (we could up the veggie intake). So as I was going through my recipe rolodex in my brain, I could not come up with very many recipes except one. Pasta! Who doesn’t love pasta? There are many vegan and veggie options when it comes to pasta noodles and sauce. Simply pick your noodles and sauce and add in some fresh onions, peppers and spinach! Or if you have the time, grab a spaghetti squash instead!

 

There are so many options when it comes to food and who said that you have to have one or the other for Thanksgiving? At the end of the day, all that matters is that you are with the ones you love with good food and great memories!

 

Brigette blogs at bybrigettedanielle.com 

 

From iFamily to Yours,
ifam_brigette

 

 

 

 

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11 Simple & Fun Halloween Snack Recipes!

October 31, 2016 at 12:59 PM • Posted in Creative Fun, Food, HolidayComments Off on 11 Simple & Fun Halloween Snack Recipes!

Happy Halloween, Kansas City!

It’s a beautiful (albeit, warm) day here in the metro area and I have a feeling your kiddos are getting ridiculously excited for tonight’s tick or treat festivities. If you’re like me, you’re probably wondering what you should feed the kids before and after your stroll around the neighborhood. Leah, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad Ambassador team, is here to help with some ideas on snacks and food options that work in easily with your busy schedule. Take a look…

Halloween Snack Ideas, Halloween Dinner, Halloween Food, 11 Simple & Fun Halloween Snack Recipes!

11 Simple & Fun Halloween Snack Recipes!

Halloween is here which means that children will have an abundance of candy at their disposal. It also means rushing the kids to get all dressed up…. and more than likely having only a few minutes to make dinner. There is a likelihood that you will be asked to bring a dessert to an activity or work pot luck. I have complied some of my favorite recipes of Halloween snacks or treats. Please click on the links provided for the full recipes. Have an amazing Halloween!

Jack-o’-Lantern Fruit Cups

Add color and fun to your Halloween with these smiling jack-o’-lantern faces carved into navel oranges. Slice off the tops of the oranges, scoop out the pulp, use a paring knife to cut out jack-o’-lantern faces, and fill with grapes and/or mixed berries

Slithering Snake Dip

Eek! What is lurking in your hummus? A slithering snake made from black olives! Cute Food for Kids carved beady eyes from string cheese and added a carrot tongue. Even those who hate serpents will love this little guy.

Spooky Spider Eggs

Deviled eggs (like these) get extra creepy-crawly when they’re topped with spiders. To make eight scary spider eggs, cut 12 black olives in half vertically. Place one half in the center of each egg to form the body, then slice each remaining olive half into four sections to create legs.

Cheesy Monsters

A sharp knife (a filleting knife is perfect), a few googly eyes in different sizes, some non-toxic kids PVA glue, a tiny bit of wool for hair and a couple of packets of mini Babybel cheeses all come together to make a plate of monsterlicious treats.

Oreo Eyeball Cookies

These Oreo Eyeballs are an incredibly easy Halloween party treat.  No baking, just use Oreos (or gluten free version, if you prefer), and dress them up inside out.  The only heating involved is melt the red candy melts, but even this could be skipped by using one of the many red decorative icing gels available this time of year

Baked Eyeballs Casserole

The “eyeballs” that top our spooky casserole are made from mozzarella cheese and sliced olives.  But the cheesy, baked pasta that lies below is a real treat that everyone will enjoy.

Flying Bat Pizzas Recipe

Pizza is always a surefire way to lure kids to the dinner table because they can help add toppings and decorate the pizzas before they go into the oven. They’re tasty, quick and totally spooky!

Pizza Snake Recipe

“Once your snake is filled, rolled and shaped, let the kids paint it. The bread will bake up colorful, yummy and just creepy enough to satisfy the boys and ghouls.”

Eyeball Taco Salad Recipe

In Queen Creek, Arizona, all eyes are on Jolene Young’s tasty main-dish salad when she brings it in. Topped with creepy peepers, it’s packed with beef, cheese, tomato and satisfying taco flavor to satisfy a crowd.

Frankenguac Recipe

Play the mad scientist this year and bring a monster to life. He’s frightfully fun and delicious! 

Popcorn Owls Recipe

Sweet and chewy popcorn balls are a “hoot” when they’re formed into wide-eyed owls perfect for a Halloween party. They take a little bit of assembly but draw a lot of compliments.

From iFamily to Yours,

Leah

iFamLeahV2

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Make a Unique Breakfast with Ice Cream Cinnamon Rolls

August 3, 2016 at 8:00 AM • Posted in FoodComments Off on Make a Unique Breakfast with Ice Cream Cinnamon Rolls

Hello, Kansas City! Some of my favorite posts are food posts. And I am always looking for new and different recipes, especially when it comes to breakfast. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Erin serves up a super yummy recipe below with Ice Cream Cinnamon Rolls. As the school year approaches, and summer comes to an end, treat yourself to this unique and fun breakfast! Check it out…

Make a Unique Breakfast With Ice Cream Cinnamon Rolls

Make a Unique Breakfast with Ice Cream Cinnamon Rolls

One of my co-workers brought these to work one day about 10 years ago and since then they have always been a huge hit! So easy and yummy, the kids (and the husband/wife) will be begging for more. Disclaimer: If you’re counting calories or watching your waistline, you may want to save these for a cheat day.

 

Ingredients

Make a Unique Breakfast With Ice Cream Cinnamon Rolls

  • 1 package of Rhodes Cinnamon Rolls
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of vanilla ice cream (or 1 cup makes it even better!)

 

Melt butter, brown sugar and ice cream in the microwave. Pour into 9×12 baking pan. Place frozen cinnamon rolls in pan. Place in a cool oven and let rise overnight. Bake in the morning at 350 for 18 minutes. Makes 8-12 rolls.

From iFamily to Yours,

ErinB_iFamilyKC_MomSquad


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