Get Ready for the Holiday Season with the Ozeri Touch II Digital Kitchen Scale

We love the holidays in my household and start preparing for them early!  With Thanksgiving and Christmas fast approaching and menus being discussed all across the land, one thing I know is a  good digital kitchen scale is invaluable.  They are easy to use, inexpensive, small, accurate and can convert different types of measurements for you.  If you are going to do any kind of cooking for the holiday season, it really is a must have kitchen appliance.

That’s why we were excited when we were asked to review and given a complementary Ozeri Touch II Digital Kitchen Scale to review for you.  All opinions are 100% our own and MAK strives to only bring you high quality products to review and endorse.

Review of Ozeri Touch II Digital Kitchen Scale

If you need a great little digital scale for the kitchen, The Ozeri Touch II is a great choice!  It is light-weight, runs by battery and has a large LCD display light to make it easy to read from a distance.  I especially like the sleek design and the color options you can choose from- teal, white or red.  I am a teal girl so I love the color of mine as it matches my kitchen.

This little scale can hold and weigh up to 18 lbs!  My sausage above is no match!  Can’t wait to try a turkey!  I love that it has Microban antimicrobial technology that helps prevent the growth of stain and odor-causing bacteria because I do use a lot of meat!

I have seen these priced anywhere from $19.95 on Amazon to $29.95 on other sites and feel this is a fair price point for a nice quality product.  It is sturdy and does not feel cheap and flimsy like some other scales I have had in the past.  Only con, you gotta keep buying batteries!

MAK approves the  Ozeri Touch II Digital Kitchen Scale and will be using it this holiday season for sure!

P.S.  My kids left it on but the sensor automatically will turn off after a few minutes of inactivity- Bonus! : )

 

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24 Easy Weeknight and Dessert Recipes for Busy Mom- Free eCookbooks

As a mom, I am busy!  I don’t have time to do it all (I wish I did!)  Many things fall to the wayside. There is so much to do!  Some days, the last thing I want to do is worry about dinner, that’s for sure but that’s where 12 Easy Weeknight Dinners: Dinner Ideas for Any Night comes in handy!  This post contains affiliate links from our partners.  Clicking on them costs you nothing and helps support our blog.

12 Easy Weeknight Dinner eCookbook
easy recipe cookbook

This eCookbook offers you a wide selection of dinner recipes that are perfect for any night of
the week. The collection of easy recipes for dinner includes dinner ideas with meat, seafood
dinner recipes, and vegetarian meals. There’s no need to stress over what to make when you
can whip all of these recipes up in under an hour! They’re sure to be a hit with the whole
family.  There are even recipes for the kiddos!

Don’t forget dessert! There’s no better way to end a long and stressful day than with something sweet. The recipes found in this collection of  12 Easy Dessert Recipes: Dessert Ideas for Parties and More! are just what your sweet tooth has wanted all along.

12 Easy Dessert Recipes Cookbook

free ecookbook desserts

From chocolate cake to fruit salad, and from apple pie to carrot cupcakes, they’ve provided a variety of dessert recipes to satisfy any and all sugar cravings. These dessert recipes are perfect to bring to a party or family gathering, or make them for your family as a special weeknight treat. Each of them is perfectly easy to make by following the step-by-step instructions, so there’s no need to worry about learning any complicated techniques. Wow-worthy desserts are just a few ingredients away!

Both of these eCookbooks are free!  Just download yours today and bam, right away, 24 new recipes are yours!

Let us know what you made and how easy it was!  We are going to try the QUADRUPLE CHOCOLATE CHUNK COOKIES and the SLOW COOKER ITALIAN STYLE POT ROAST this week!

Blessings!

 

Roasted Applewood Smoked Bacon Pork Loin Filet & Cheesy Vegetable Rice Recipe

30 MINUTE SUMMER MEAL WITH SMITHFIELD MARINATED FRESH PORK

Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Smithfield® Marinated Fresh Pork. The opinions and text are all mine. @SmithfieldFoods

Summer is in full swing here in Texas so as you can probably imagine it is hot but we love it!  My kids are busy at camps and other activities to occupy their time, and I am busy taking care of them and everything else mom related.  It gets hard sometimes, especially since I am a working Mom but hey, we push through don’t we!

In our family, since we are so busy, we love easy.  Easy outfits picks, easy home décor, easy meals, the list goes on and on!  I don’t have time for anything else, especially with two small children.  Creating easy, quick meals for my family used to be challenging but not on the nights I pick up Smithfield® Marinated Fresh Pork at United.  You’ve gotta try the Applewood Smoked Bacon Pork Loin Filet because it is ready in 30 minutes or less and perfect for any night of the week.  If you want real flavor, real fast, try this flavor.  The bacon tastes like you just made it yourself and marinated but nope, you didn’t have to do anything, it’s already done!

smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork

I decided to go easy and prepare a fabulous meal and invite my parents over to enjoy the summer night.  No special occasion needed, I just like when they are amazed by something I prepare that looks hard but is really super easy.  Like I said, since the meat is already marinated, it provides #RealFlavorRealFast, which made my job in the kitchen a lot easier! It’s made from 100% fresh pork and has no artificial ingredients, so I feel good serving it to my family.  You just pop it in the oven for 30 minutes at 375 and it’s done.

My husband loves bacon like he loves the weekend so tonight I am preparing a recipe with the Applewood Smoked Bacon Pork Loin Filet but they also have other varieties of delicious cuts and flavors like Roasted Garlic & Herb Pork Sirloin, Sweet Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin and Roasted Garlic & Herb Pork Loin Filet, just to name a few.

Marinated Fresh Pork

 

Here’s the recipe I decided to make for our family dinner night!

Again, super easy and yummy!

Ingredients for Applewood Smoked Bacon Pork Loin Filet and Cheesy Vegetable Rice Recipe

1 Package of Smithfield Applewood Smoked Bacon Pork Loin Filet (1 lbs.)

2-3 Large Broccoli Crowns

1 tablespoon oil

1 cup long-grain white rice

½ Cup of Grape or Cherry Tomato’s cut in halves

2 cups chicken broth

2 tablespoons butter

1 1/2 cups Cheddar cheese (or Parm)

1 teaspoon garlic powder

Salt, pepper, lime to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375. Place Smithfield Applewood Smoked Bacon Pork Loin Filet in oven for 30 min.
  2. Meanwhile, Put the oil in a sauce pan over medium to low heat.
  3. Add the rice to the pan, cook and stir, until the rice starts to turn golden brown.
  4. Add the chicken broth to the pan, heat till it starts to boil. Cover.
  5. Cook, covered, for 15 – 20 minutes or until most of the chicken broth is absorbed.
  6. Meanwhile pour 2 tsp of olive oil into sauté pan, mix in broccoli, tomatoes and garlic. Toss and Sauté to your liking until tender.
  7. Remove rice from the heat and add the butter, chopped broccoli, tomatoes, cheese, and garlic powder. Stir until well incorporated. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes.
  8. Stir again and add salt, Lime, pepper to taste
  9. Once the pork is cooked, cool, slice and serve with rice as pictured.
  10. Plate, serve and enjoy

pork recipe with veges

 

Tip:  If you want an extra tangy taste, add lemon and lime to taste.  It is so good over the rice and pork loin.

pork with bacon

Like what you see?  Smithfield is also challenging you to see what you can do with Smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork to get a flavorful meal ready in about 30 minutes with their “What Can You Do with 30?” meal and tip contest.  For more 30-minute meal prep ideas and to submit your original recipe for a chance to win great prizes, head on over to www.smithfieldrealflavorrealfast.com

 

 

 

Easy Yummy Peperoncini Cheese Dip Recipe plus Giveaway

 

Need something easy and quick to make for your next outing or “just because” occasion? Want to be the talk of the party and not bring the same old boring cheese dip?  Well we have just the recipe for you!

Why not try our Peperoncini Cheese Dip using Mezzetta Peperoncini’s  and awake your friends and families senses, literally! : )

Peperoncini jar

For all you Peperoncini lovers out there, do you ever buy a jar of Peperoncini’s and you use a few but the jar goes to waste in the fridge?  Well you will be happy to hear that this recipe utilizing the whole jar, even some of the juice!  No waste! : )  For all you cheese lovers, there is also plenty of cheese, which I love!    Mezetta is even hosting a  giveaway that starts 8/1/17 so don’t forget to check it out and enter to win!

So without further ado, let’s get to this crave-worthy recipe!

Peperoncini cheese dip

Peperoncini Cheese Dip

– 1/2 cup cottage cheese

– 1 fresh squeezed lemon

-1 fresh squeezed lime

– 1 cup sour cream

– 8 oz. cream cheese

– 2 teaspoons fresh parsley

– 3 garlic cloves (minced)

-2 tablespoons of ranch

– 1/2 cup finely shredded Mexican style four cheese

– 2 tablespoons of the Peperoncini juice from the jar

– 1 cup parmesan (grated)

– 1 – 2 cups Peperoncinis (chopped)

– Salt and pepper to taste

-Optional- 1 Tablespoon of Chives

-Optional- Left over peperoncinis from jar- layer in dish as garnish

Directions:

Mix cream cheese, sour cheese, cottage cheese, lemon and lime juice, garlic, ranch and peperoncini juice. Put in food processor and blend. Take out and set aside.

Add the cheeses and chopped up peperoncinis in next, do a quick blend as you will want to keep the cheese and peperoncinis chunky.  If you want more creamy, then blend more.

If you love peperoncinis use 2 cups, if not use 1 cup.  Mix everything together.  Salt & Pepper to taste.

Feel free to play around with the types of cheese you use as well.

spicy cheese dip

Serve this Easy Yummy Mezzetta Peperoncini Cheese Dip Recipe with some tortilla chips, bread, potato chips or anything you like.  The best part is it is great hot or cold, what ever your preference!

best cheesy dip

Mezzetta is also giving one lucky fan 52 gourmet meal kits from the Chef’d marketplace and 10 runner up’s a $50 gift card!  Enter daily to win delicious dinners for two, delivered right to your door HERE!

good dips for party

Giveaway starts 8/1/17!  You don’t want to miss it!  Now get to the bottom of that jar!

mezzetta peperoncini

 

Teach your Kids to Cook Easy and Healthy Recipes with Cook By Colours Cookbook

Disclosure: Thanks to  Cook By Colours  for sponsoring this post.  The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

As a Mom, I am always thinking of all the things that I will need to teach my girls and that I really don’t have that many years to do it!  Ever feel like time goes too fast and is so precious? Just think about it for a minute, think about all the many lessons and skills and responsibilities that you are responsible for teaching to your child.  Whoa!  Before you get too overwhelmed, relax,we have found a way to help you teach your kids a very important and life long skill, to cook!Cook By Colours

Yes, to cook!  My kids need to know how to cook, especially since they are girls.

What child doesn’t love spending time in the kitchen with you when you are preparing meals or baking something yummy?  I know my girls sure do!  This is why we were so excited when we were asked to review the cookbook, Cook by Colours.  Yes, I spelled it right!  The company started in Canada in 2015 and is just now launching in the USA so they are keeping it true to their Alma Mater so to say.

Cook By Colors cookbook

The Cookbook arrived in a nice colorful box packaged safe and sound.  The cookbook itself is a large, easy to read hardback so its safe for those tiny little grimy hands.  The color-coded cups and spoons are strong, vibrant and dishwasher safe.  The company also provides a 5 year warranty on them if you register them!  Wow!  That’s a great deal.  Does Walmart even do that for their measuring cups??

best cookbook for kidscolor coded measuring cups

The book is over 135 pages and hosts 25 recipes that fall under either breakfast, drink, sides & starters, entrees, and snacks & desserts. Something for every little mess maker ages 2- 8 for sure.  I absolutely love that the book starts out with talking about the importance of teaching kids the basics of nutrition and how the skills they learn in this cookbook are skills they will use for a lifetime.  The recipes are all healthy and there is a letter from a registered dietitian endorsing the book and its recipes!safe cooking for kids

Another thing the cook book talks about is the importance of hygiene and safety rules where the kitchen is involved.  My girls and I talked about washing our hands and how dangerous things can be in the kitchen if not used properly.  It was a great learning experience for them.  Of course, repeat, repeat repeat.  I know a knife is sharp because I have a lifetime of knowledge and I know how things work, but they don’t.  That is my job to teach them, show them, mold them!  Hey, if we have fun doing it, all the better!

teaching kids to cook

I want to instill healthy values and habits in my girls and this cookbook offered many ways right off the bat for us to have fun conversations around the table while we had fun!  We decided to make the Peanut Butter Cookies, one of our favorites, so we were happy that it was in there!  I love how animated the cartoon illustrations are, truly attention grabbing!

cookie recipe for kids

There are no words, just pictures, so with the help of an adult; the child can make the recipe themselves!  How great is this for their self-esteem! Kids of all ages can benefit from measuring, identifying colors, learning their way around the kitchen and spending some good ole quality family time together!

teach child to cook

Daddy loves chocolate chips so we did add them to the recipe at the very end but hey, let those little learners use their creativity, right!  The girls worked their way down the pages, line by line, working each step.  It was so fun working with them in the kitchen and they were so happy that they were actually able to understand the book and make something.

help kids learn to cook

Tip- The recipe made so many cookies so next time I would make a half batch of this recipe if it was just for us but it would of been great if we needed cookies for a class or church function.

cook with my kids

Viola, the finished product!  We put several in little baggies and shared with our neighbors!  They turned out delicious!  The best part was the fun I had in the kitchen with my kids.  I can’t wait to try another recipe next week!  Should it be the Monster Meat Muffins or the Panda Rice Pudding?  Let me know below what y’all think!

MAK Approved!  Happy cooking! : )

The price point is a real value for $35 plus free shipping!  You can get your own Cook by Colours set here on Amazon here!

 

**MAK did receive a free cookbook and compensation in exchange for this review but all opinions are 100% our own.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Amazingly Delicious Gluten-Free Dessert Recipes by Blends by Orly

Looking for something sweet and delicious for 4th of July or a summer picnic?  Have an eater who suffers from celiac disease or a sensitivity to gluten?  Just want a yummy recipe to make?  You have come to the right place!

Gluten-Free Dessert Recipes

I am ALWAYS looking for something sweet to satisfy my sweet tooth! MAK has found 2 amazing gluten-free recipes for you to try from Blends by Orly!  Not only are they gluten-free but they can both be made dairy-free if need be!  Let us know if you loved it!  Make sure to check out their page for more Gluten-free recipes and products!

raspberry tart recipe

Gluten Free Summer Raspberry Tart

This beautiful fresh raspberry tart made with Sydney Blend is easy to make and only requires a few ingredients.  The simplicity of this buttery crust filled with fresh sweet raspberries makes for a perfect dessert for Dad’s special day.  This recipe can also be made non-dairy by replacing the butter with shortening or margarine.  CLICK HERE TO SEE THE FULL RECIPE and make sure to share photos of what you baked with us on Instagram and Facebook for a chance to be featured on our page!

dairy free recipes

Gluten Free Strawberry Lemonade Shortcake

I love this summery spin on strawberry shortcake.  Citrusy lemon shortcake sandwiched between layers of sweet strawberry buttercream frosting and freshly sliced strawberries. This cake can be made with Blends by Orly Sydney Blend, and is the perfect summer dessert for dad’s Father’s Day bbq!  Top the cake with strawberries for decoration.  This cake can also be made dairy free.  Click Here for the recipe and make sure to share photos of what you baked with us on Instagram and Facebook for a chance to be featured on our page!

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Want more?  Check out 24 awesome recipes HERE! in 2 FREE eCookbooks!

Gluten-Free Hamburger Bun Recipe

Having a BBQ this summer or 4th of July?

Your family needs these gluten free BBQ essentials!  Our friends at Blends by Orly have the perfect solution for you!

Gluten Free Hamburger Buns

 

hamburger bun recipe
Does someone in your family suffer from celiac disease or a sensitivity to gluten? Now you can whip up gluten-free burger buns with ease using Blends by Orly Tuscany Blend! Store bought gluten free hamburger buns can be dry and gritty, as most are made with primarily rice flour. The burger buns  created using Tuscany Blend have a soft and slightly crusty outside and a fluffy and airy inside. They are a perfect bun for beef and veggie burgers, pulled chicken bbq sandwiches, Sloppy Joe’s and more!

 

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE FULL RECIPE and make sure to share photos of what you baked with us on Instagram and Facebook for a chance to be featured on our page!  They are MAK approved for sure!  Enjoy!  Make sure you comment below also and let us know if you like them!

Avon Wear & Share

Looking for awesome giveaways??  Check out our current giveaways HERE!

The Momma Chef Interview-Amazing Recipes with 6 Ingredients in 6 minutes Prep time! Plus Free Recipe Printable

Have you guys heard of The Momma Chef yet?

If you haven’t, it is only a matter of time!  With over 25k followers on her blog, she is doing something right!  Who doesn’t love Lamb Chops that take 4 minutes to prep and 6 minutes to cook?  These are so easy that you can have your kids start cooking for YOU! : )

easy recipes fast

 

I know for me as a busy Mom, nothing is better then providing a tasty and healthy meal for my family in minutes, under 6 minutes to be exact.  The MAK team strongly suggests that you check The Momma Chef (aka Karen Nochimowski) out.  Her website is friendly and easy to navigate packed with recipes and tips for all occasions, even a free recipe E-book if you sign up as a subscriber on her site.

I was so excited and thankful to catch up with Karen and learn more about the woman behind The Momma Chef.  We hope you enjoy!


The Interview:  Questions for The Momma Chef

When did you start cooking?

I have been cooking for as long as I can remember. My mother often cooked at home and I picked it up from her. From my early college “gourmet” specialty of caramelized French toast (Step one: drench French toast in sugar; Step two: add more sugar) to today’s healthier options, I have discovered a way to make dishes that all of my family members love by developing easy, quick recipes.

Betty Crocker’s FREE email delivers the best of Betty’s 15,000 kitchen-tested recipes, how-tos and more — straight to your inbox! PLUS, get up to $250 per year in coupons savings and access to FREE samples (quantities limited, one per member).

You really seem to have a passion for it, where does that come from?

It boils down to loving it and guilt J. I do love to cook and enjoy when my children and guests love my meals. But, even when I am tired of cooking (even happens to the best of us) I have this guilt of not feeding my kids warm healthy meals. So, when I am tired and feel like bringing in food (I do occasionally bring in food) my guilt kicks in of knowing how much healthier my meals are for my kids, so I start cooking.

What made you start your website/business?

I have been sharing recipes with family and friends for years, but I now made them available to anyone who wants them. I started sharing them so I wouldn’t have to email them to my friends. I figure they’d be able to find them easier if I just put them all online.

Tell us a little about yourself- kids? Family? Anything you want readers to know.

I am a mom of three active boys (ages 12, 7 and 4.)  Although I often feel like I’m struggling with some aspect of parenting, my one sanctuary is the kitchen. My children liked different foods and were constantly requesting a variety of things for dinner. I used to tell them, “I am not an octopus with eight arms who can make eight different meals.” Over time, I figured out a way to make food they all love by developing easy, quick recipes. That led to the creation of my blog, Momma Chef, for parents like me. 

 

What makes your recipes/cooking unique from all the others out there?

ALL of my recipes are easy..like super easy! My “6 Under 6” recipes are simple and delicious, using no more than 6 ingredients and under 6 minutes of prep time. They give parents the tools to start cooking.

What is the best tip you can offer a struggling Mom in the kitchen?

Start with my “Honey Mustard Chicken” it takes about 5 minutes to get in the oven and as long as you follow my very easy instructions, you will have made a delicious meal. That is the recipe that made me start my blog, my friends who never cooked started making it and the emails and calls I received thanking me for giving them the tools to cook were overwhelming. 

OH-SO-SIMPLE HONEY MUSTARD CHICKEN Recipe

What is the best Mom hack for the kitchen?

Disposable pans from Costco! They are cheap and means NO major clean up! 


See more info here- WANT TO SAVE TIME WITH CLEAN-UP…

Free Free Free OH-SO SIMPLE BEER-CAN CHICKEN Recipe Printable here!   In case you were wondering about the chicken in the beer can! : )

 

 

SUPER EASY AND KID-APPROVED YUMMY BANANA MUFFINS

The Momma Chef is doing something right with almost 29K likes on Facebook! : )  Here again with us to share a special Mother’s Day (or any day) easy muffin recipe!  Looks wonderful!  Please comment and let us know how it was if you try it and for more delicious recipes all using under 6 ingredients and 6 minutes prep time, check out The Momma Chef here!

SUPER EASY AND KID-APPROVED YUMMY BANANA MUFFINS

 

When it comes to baking and cooking, parents know there are times that we just want to get the meal prepared without the helping hands of our sweet children — because we know that just doubles our prep time! But a recipe my kids love making with me — and I love having their helping hands — is my Yummy Banana Muffins. I usually add chocolate chips, and they become the kids’ dessert. And best of all, the muffins are a one-bowl and six-ingredient recipe. Enjoy!

SUPER EASY AND KID-APPROVED YUMMY BANANA MUFFINS
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author: Momma Chef
Serves: 12-14 muffins
INGREDIENTS
  • 1 ½ c. whole wheat flour
  • 3 overripe bananas
  • ½ c. honey
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 large eggs
  • ⅓ c. avocado oil or melted coconut oil
 
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. In a large mixing bowl, add all six ingredients above and blend with a hand mixer for three minutes.
  2. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups half full.
  3. Bake at 375° for 17-19 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
Tips and Tricks:
  1. You can add ½ cup chocolate chips (my kids prefer semi-sweet).
  2. The muffins will stay fresh in an airtight container or Ziplock bag for two days. After that, put them in the refrigerator.
  3. If refrigerated, put the muffins in the microwave for 20 seconds to warm before serving.
  4. I use muffin cups, which makes it more fun for the kids. If you use them, spray them with Pam before filling.
 

Easter Dinner Feature Recipe– EASTER & PASSOVER MENU SOLVED: OH-SO EASY POMEGRANATE BRAISED LAMB SHANKS

I love easy so for this week I wanted to feature something easy and delicious!  No one is better than Momma Chef!  Cruise on over to her website and check out all her creations, all using 6 ingredients and under 6 minutes of prep time!  I know as a BUSY MOM, I can sure appreciate that!

Let us know how it turns out please!

Blessings, MAK team


EASTER AND PASSOVER MENU SOLVED: OH-SO EASY POMEGRANATE BRAISED LAMB SHANKS

Momma Chef’s Oh-So Easy Pomegranate Braised Lamb Shanks

Our family, like most, have tried-and-true holiday traditions that we follow and cherish each year. But I also try to come up with something new for many holidays that I hope will turn into time-honored traditions. This year, I created a perfect dish for both Easter and Passover — braised lamb shanks. The pomegranate juice adds a bit of sweetness that brings out the delectable flavor of the lamb. And with this beautiful presentation, no one will believe that it took just five minutes to create. Your family and holiday guests will be impressed with this easy and delicious recipe!

EASTER AND PASSOVER MENU SOLVED: MOMMA CHEF’S OH-SO EASY POMEGRANATE BRAISED LAMB SHANKS

Author: Momma Chef
Serves: 4
INGREDIENTS
  • 3 lamb shanks (about 4 pounds)
  • 2 cups pomegranate juice
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 chopped garlic cloves
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Mix pomegranate juice, honey, salt, chopped rosemary and garlic in a large Ziploc bag. Add the lamb shanks to bag and, if possible, let it marinate several hours in the refrigerator.
  3. This recipe can be made in a slow cooker or Dutch oven.
  4. If making in the oven, pour all ingredients in a Dutch oven add ½ cup water and bake for 3 hours at 300 degrees.
  5. If making in a slow cooker, pour all ingredients in the slow cooker add ½ cup water and cook on high for 6 hours. Serves 4.
Tips:
  1. Lamb shanks are wrapped in many layers of plastic, make sure to remove all layers before cooking.
  2. This dish is best served over a bed of mashed potatoes and sautéed spinach.
  3. Before serving, drizzle with fresh or frozen pomegranate seeds.

ST. PATRICK’S DAY GREEN CAKE POPS (GLUTEN FREE FRIENDLY)

You had me at Cake Pops!  Gluten free too?  No way!!!  MAK (Mom Always Knows) is always looking for yummy, easy and fun things to do with the kiddos and this recipe from Lauren at Delicious Little Bites is all of the above!  I hope your littles enjoy making these as much as we did!  Let us know how yours turned out in the comments below!




THESE GREEN CAKE POPS ARE THE PERFECT TREAT FOR ST. PATRICK’S DAY CELEBRATIONS!

Growing up we always celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with our extended family.  I’m not even a teeny tiny bit Irish, but I still rocked the “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” pin every single year! Have you heard the expression that we are all a little bit Irish on St. Patrick’s Day?  I am definitely a believer!

It was a fun tradition to have as a kid, so I thought it would be fun to start new traditions with my own kids.  Nothing fancy, or big, just a little fun decor and a special treat – Green Cake Pops!

St. Patrick's Day inspired Green Cake Pops

Since making cake pops for the first time on Valentine’s Day, my oldest son has been asking me to make them again!  I thought it would be fun to make green cake pops, cover them in white chocolate, and then add fun St. Patrick’s Day designs on them.

Making the cake balls is actually pretty easy.  For this recipe, I use a gluten-free box of cake mix.  I had no problems getting the cake to stick together to roll into balls with the brand of cake mix and icing that I bought.  You can use a homemade recipe or regular box cake mix as well.  There is no difference in the directions.

Dipping them in the white chocolate can be a little tricky.  I recommend using a small silicone brush to help spread the chocolate around.  I use coffee mugs to keep the cake pops upright and not touch each other while the white chocolate is hardening back up.

Close Up of Decoration

Decorating these Green Cake Pops gave me a bit of an unexpected challenge.  The packet of green candy melts I bought to decorate them with turned out to not be the color green I was going for at all.  I was worried I was going to have to scrap the entire recipe because of a lack of decoration!

I finally decided to use green gel food coloring and a toothpick to create the designs.  It was super easy and the shade of green is perfect!  I’m really happy with the way the cake pops look and taste!

Since the gel food coloring won’t harden, if you will be transporting them, I would recommend using extra vanilla icing dyed green and piping the decorations on instead.

Lucky Cake Pop

I like the look of the shamrocks and dots to fill in the white space, but you can add swirls and fun St. Patrick’s Day sayings as well!

This St. Patrick’s Day inspired Green Cake Pops recipe is proof that sometimes you have to improvise – and it might just be better than the original plan!  I guess you can say the luck of the Irish was on my side!

 

St. Patrick's Day inspired Green Cake Pops

St. Patrick’s Day Green Cake Pops (Gluten Free Friendly)

Servings
20-25 cake balls
Ingredients
Servings: cake balls
Instructions
  1.  Make your cake as you usually would but color the batter green before baking. After the cake has cooled, crumble it into fine crumbs in a large bowl. Add the vanilla cake icing a little at a time until the cake is just moist enough to be rolled into balls. The amount of cake balls will vary depending on how large you make them. I had 20. Place the cake balls in the freezer for at least an hour or two (they can be left in longer if needed).
  2. Once the cake balls are firm, place your white chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl and cook on 50% power for a minute. Stir until smooth. If they are not melted enough, cook for another 15-30 seconds, then stir.
  3. Dip the end of the cake pop stick into the melted white chocolate and then insert it into the cake ball about halfway. Dip the cake ball into the white chocolate and turn to coat. I like to use a silicone brush to help spread the white chocolate around better. Let the cake balls cool, upright (I put them in coffee mugs) not touching each other until set.
  4. Decorate as desired using the remaining icing dyed green or green gel food coloring and a toothpick as I did.



 

SPRING INSPIRED VANILLA CANDY CUPCAKES

If anyone knows us here at MAK, (Mom Always Knows)  we love love love us some cupcakes!  It doesn’t matter what flavor batter or what flavor icing or what the occasion is; we just love cupcakes!  In my pursuit for AWESOME Easter and spring inspired recipes, I came across these yummy pretties from Lauren at Delicious Little Bites and I had to share.  Makes your mouth water, doesn’t it!  Enjoy and you’re welcome!




TRY THESE SPRING INSPIRED VANILLA CANDY CUPCAKES FOR A DELICIOUS TREAT THAT IS PERFECT FOR ALL THIS SEASON’S PARTIES AND HOLIDAY CELEBRATIONS!

AD These Spring Inspired Vanilla Candy Cupcakes are the perfect recipe for Spring AND Easter gatherings! They are not only really pretty and fun, but also really delicious! #SpringMoments

Who doesn’t love a vanilla cupcake?  Cupcakes are my go-to dessert for just about any season or holiday throughout the year, but these Spring Inspired Vanilla Candy Cupcakes are the prettiest – almost too pretty to eat!

When I developed this recipe, I knew I wanted them to have both a Spring and Easter feel to them.  There is no better way to do that than to make them pretty pastel colors and add a little candy touch!

Spring Inspired Vanilla Candy Cupcakes

We have a few smaller family gatherings this Spring that I’ll be making these cupcakes for.  The recipe in this post is for 12 cupcakes.  It is the perfect amount for all the mini moments we will have this season!

 

I found these MARS® Mixed Mini’s bags at Sam’s Club to use on top of the cupcakes.  There is 165 pieces of candy in each bag!  You get a great variety too!  Sam’s Club is the perfect place to shop early to stock up on all of your Easter needs!  All of my holiday shopping is already done now!

 

VANILLA CANDY CUPCAKES

Spring Cupcakes

This vanilla candy cupcake recipe is rich and full of vanilla flavor!  I use heavy cream in place of some of the butter and reduce the amount of sugar as well. This results in a really moist cupcake that’s just sweet enough.  The icing on top is the perfect compliment!

Spring Inspired Vanilla Candy Cupcakes

To color the cupcakes and icing, I use yellow, pink, purple, and blue gel food coloring and add just a little bit at a time to get the perfect pastel shades!  I use the leftover icing to decorate the candy from the MARS® Mixed Mini’s bag. Then, I place the candy on top of the cupcakes by using a little bit of icing on the bottom as “glue!”  On the square candies (SNICKERS®, MILKY WAY®, and 3 MUSKETEERS ®), I draw flowers, Easter bunnies, and eggs using a very small circle piping tip and extra cupcake icing.  On the longer TWIX® candy I write the words “Spring!” and “Easter” to make things even more fun.

Easter Surprise Cupcakes

Alternatively, you can hollow out the middle of the cupcakes and place about 4 of the Peanut Butter M&M’S® inside for a little surprise!  Then, pipe on the icing in pretty Spring colors and designs.

NEED MORE INSPIRATION?

Need more ideas for the upcoming Easter holiday and Spring season?  Head over to Sam’s Club to pick up a bag of MARS® Mixed Mini’s and then check out this website where you will find more yummy recipes and fun, creative tutorials!

 Ready to make your own Spring Inspired Vanilla Candy Cupcakes?  Head over to Delicious Little Bites now to check out the recipe!
 

2 EASY EASTER BAKING RECIPES FOR KIDS

So this month at MAK, (Mom Always Knows) I am looking for all things Green for St. Patty’s Day and Bunny for Easter!  I came across this yummy and Easy (and did I say easy) post from Digital Motherhood with a couple of fun baking ideas to do with the kids!  My girls love to bake and all things easy are appreciated for sure!  Try them and let us know what you think.


IMG_20160324_180418

You won’t find many baking posts on my blog (in fact this is the first one) because to say I’m not very good at making cakes is an understatement.

Last week Little H said she wanted to make Easter cakes so I decided on 2 really easy Easter baking ideas that even I couldn’t get wrong. I say ‘baking’, but there’s actually no cooking involved.

I thought I’d blog these treats in case anyone out there is as useless as I am! These are good fun for kids to make either for Easter or to use up the mountain of Easter eggs you’ll no doubt be left with afterward.

First up—- ‘Easter Nests’…

Yep, good old chocolate cornflake cakes! Everyone remembers making these when they were little. I feel a bit stupid writing instructions for making these as it’s so simple, but here they are anyway…

  1. Boil some water and rest a bowl over the top of the saucepan without the bottom touching the water.
  2. Put the chocolate into the bowl and stir in some Golden Syrup (approx 2 tbsps).
  3. Take the bowl off the heat and keep stirring until all of the chocolate has melted.
  4. Pour the cornflakes into the chocolate and stir until they’re all coated.
  5. Put some cake cases onto a baking tray and spoon the mixture in.
  6. Decorate with mini eggs and put the tray into the fridge to set for about 2 hours.

Like I said, incredibly easy.

Easy Easter Baking | www.digitalmotherhood.com

Then we made—- ‘Chocolate Bark’…

You’ve probably seen the “Pinterest mums” making some very professional versions of this and putting photos all over Facebook. Again it’s very, very easy and you don’t have to get all fancy and add rose petals or pumpkin seeds!

  1. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
  2. Melt some chocolate (as above)
  3. Pour the chocolate into the tray – If you’re feeling creative melt both milk and white chocolate in separate bowls, then pour into the tray and swirl with a fork to make a marbled effect.
  4. Decorate – we used mini eggs and sprinkles for ours but you could use any topping you like.
  5. Put the tray into the fridge to set for approx 2 hours.
  6. Once set- break into ‘bark’.

Easy Easter Baking | www.digitalmotherhood.com

Happy Easter – enjoy your chocolate!

Sarah

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Healthy Yummy Banana “Ice Cream” Recipe Just for Moms and Kids

 

Super simple….here’s what you need:

Organic bananas, really ripe, cut in chunks & frozen

Vanilla Almond or Soy milk

Optional add-ins for different flavors:

Cocoa powder, unsweet

Peanut or almond butter

Chocolate chips

Nuts

Shredded coconut

Berries

Instant coffee powder

Marshmallow

 

Next time you or the kiddo’s are craving ice cream- try this instead!  Blend one cup of the frozen banana chunks until it looks like little pebbles, then add a few tablespoons of your choice of milk and blend til creamy!  Tastes just like banana ice cream!  Experiment with different flavors and mixing with other frozen fruit.  My favorite is chocolate peanut butter with sliced almonds!  My husband loves just straight banana!  Each family member can make their own flavor.

 

Also great for special diets….gluten free, dairy free, vegan!

Take pics and share the flavors you and your family made!

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Easy Yummy Crock Pot Recipe for Busy Moms—Chicken Parmesan Pasta

 

Does anyone else have picky eaters like me?  My husband is a meat and potato guys and my kids only like sweets and carbs! LOL  I am constantly looking for easy, yummy and healthy meals to make that everyone can eat so I am not preparing multiple meals for my family for one sitting.  I love love love throwing a meal in the crock pot and smelling it throughout the day, oh the anticipation!  This pasta dish also freezes nicely and is great for left-overs as well the next day!

This recipe is one of my favorites and a must try for anyone who likes easy…dont’ we all?!!  Comment below and let us know how you liked it!  You can also substitute Cheddar cheese for the mozzarella to change it up if this becomes a regular in your household!


Crock Pot Chicken Parm Pasta

 
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (We prefer cage-free)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil- optional
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano-optional
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley- optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1 pound penne or pasta of your choice
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper, to taste. Place chicken into a 6-qt slow cooker.
  2. In a large bowl, combine crushed tomatoes, onion, basil, oregano, parsley and red pepper flakes, if using. Stir into the slow cooker and gently toss to combine. Cover and cook on low heat for 4 hours.
  3. Remove chicken from the slow cooker and shred, using two forks.
  4. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions; drain well.
  5. Stir pasta and chicken into the slow cooker; top with cheeses. Cover and cook on low heat for an additional 10-20 minutes, or until the cheeses have melted.
  6. Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired.