Mini Turkey Trifle

My kids LOVE to help make things for holiday gatherings.  This mini turkey trifle is great for kids to make and decorate- and then enjoy later as a healthy snack!  Great for Thanksgiving Day pre-dinner snacks!

Mini Turkey Trifle


mini-turkey-trifle

Ingredients

1 each – red, yellow and green pepper

ranch or veggie dip for dipping your peppers

brown paper bag

scissors

orange, red and black marker (I used the kid’s Crayola markers)

Scotch tape

 mini-turkey-trifle-vertical

Directions –

#1. First, make your turkey. I free cut the shape pictured out of the brown paper bag and then drew on the eyes, nose and turkey gizzard.

#2. I then used some tape to adhere it to the mini trifle dish. Easy.

#3. Slice the top off off each pepper and then remove the seeds. Cut them each into slices and arrange in the trifle dish to look like turkey feathers.

#4. Serve with ranch of veggie dip.

*Makes 1 serving but you will probably have enough veggies to make 2 mini trifles if you wish.

3 ways to enjoy Cheerios Protein #CheeriosProtein

There’s really two things I eat for breakfast regularly. I’m pretty boring and pretty basic. It’s almost always eggs or cereal with milk. Eggs are broken yolk, over hard- basically, cook ’em until they are rubbery and then I’m happy.  With cereal, plain is where it’s always been for me.  One of my favorite cereals since childhood and even today is Cheerios.  I eat them for breakfast and I eat them for snacks on the go.  I love them.  My family loves them too.  Some of them like Honey Nut Cheerios more than the classic version, but me? Original.  The classic. That ever familiar yellow box. When Cheerios reached out and asked if I’d like to try their new Cheerios Protein, I was willing, although the 5 year old deep inside my head was all “I’m not going to like it as much as my yellow box variety!”

Cheerios Protein. There are clusters of Oats & Honey, and Cinnamon Almond. Clusters of crunch.  Clusters of yum.

Move over, regular Cheerios. You’ve been replaced.

cheerios-protein

Who doesn’t want more protein for breakfast (ok maybe kids don’t, but adults, we have to pay attention to things like this!) ? We have a really busy schedule in the summer, with swim team practice, tennis lessons for the kids and then swim and dive lessons.  All daily.  We need a GREAT start to our day even in the summer to keep our energy up! During the school year, my kids are early risers, and they are done with breakfast by 6:30 am.  Their lunch waves aren’t until 11:40 and later at our school, so I really try to make sure they have a great breakfast every day.

 

Three ways to enjoy Cheerios Protein

3-ways-to-enjoy-cheerios-protein

In a bowl with milk (Note: Tastes amazing with Silk Almond Milk!)

On top of a bowl of yogurt (Yogurt is all of our mid morning snack in this family, and the kids will be happy to have some of these to sprinkle on top for their snack at school.  We are all about the crunch in this house, and Cheerios Protein delivers on that).

Plain as a snack (My favorite. The kids and I have been packing these in our snack bags for the pool almost daily. So good).

cheerios-protein-infographic

So why am I so excited about the new Cheerios Protein? Well, getting this family going in the morning means that I need to get going. I need the protein and energy as much as the kids.  We ALL need it.  More protein gives us the energy to do what we need to do and keep our bellies full! So many parents (even me, at times) don’t feel that their familygets enough protein in the morning. 2 out of every 5 see the time it takes to make a protein-rich breakfast as a barrier, making way for Cheerios Protein as the time-saving solution. Sure, a big spread would be nice, but it’s rare for anyone to have the time to make that kind of breakfast let alone sit down to eat it these days.

While 9 out of ten (89%) parents see the importance of starting the day with a protein-rich breakfast, half (51%) admit there isn’t time to prepare it. We all have places to be and things to do.  It’s how our society is.  Having cereal that’s giving me- and the family- an extra boost of protein in our cereal means we’re heading off to those places prepared for the day (at least, our bellies are) with enough fuel to last the morning.

Have you tried the new Cheerios Protein? Which is your favorite?

 

 

This post is brought to you by our friends at Cheerios.  Opinions are my own.

GLUTEN FREE PUPPY CHOW SNACK MIX

When snack time arrives it is often discouraging for those of us with Gluten allergies because our options are limited.  Holidays approaching mean there are parties and events to attend where snacks may not always be gluten friendly.  This Gluten Free Puppy Chow Snack Mix is the perfect treat to create for yourself to snack on daily or to take along to your next party.

Gluten Free Puppy Chow Snack Mix

GLUTEN FREE PUPPY CHOW SNACK MIX

 

Ingredients:

  • 20oz Box Gluten Free Rice Chex Cereal
  • ¼ Cup Peanut Butter
  • 1 Cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • ½ Tablespoon Margarine
  • 1 ½ Cup Powdered Sugar

 Puppy Chow Ingredients

Directions:

  • In a medium microwave safe bowl melt chocolate chips on high in 30 second increments until mostly melted.
  • Add in peanut butter and margarine and heat for an additional 15 seconds
  • Mix until smooth.
  • Pour cereal into large bowl.
  • Pour chocolate mixture over cereal and stir until well coated.
  • Pour powdered sugar over cereal mixture and stir until well coated.
  • Store in an air tight container

Gluten Free Puppy Chow

 

Beware that once you try this, you will be addicted.  It is so yummy and a perfect on the go snack.  Grab a few decorative holiday tins and some pretty ribbons and fill them with this great treat to take to friends, neighbors and family for a special holiday gift made just for them.  This gluten free Puppy Chow Snack Mix is sure to be one of your go-to treats year round!

GLUTEN FREE PUPPY CHOW SNACK MIX
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Gluten free version of Puppy Chow Snack Mix
Author:
Recipe type: Snack
Cuisine: American
Serves: 24
Ingredients
  • 20oz Box Gluten Free Rice Chex Cereal
  • ¼ Cup Peanut Butter
  • 1 Cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • ½ Tablespoon Margarine
  • 1 ½ Cup Powdered Sugar
Instructions
  1. In a medium microwave safe bowl melt chocolate chips on high in 30 second increments until mostly melted.
  2. Add in peanut butter and margarine and heat for an additional 15 seconds
  3. Mix until smooth.
  4. Pour cereal into large bowl.
  5. Pour chocolate mixture over cereal and stir until well coated.
  6. Pour powdered sugar over cereal mixture and stir until well coated.
  7. Store in an air tight container

 Check out our other Gluten Free recipes!

Food Should Taste Good Chips

We buy Food Should Taste Good chips as a treat.  We don’t eat a lot of chips so when we do we want them to be great.  Food Should Taste Good sent me a sampling of their chips made with real ingredients.  The chips did not last long in this house.  The multigrain chips are my favorite and the Olive chips surprised me, they are really good.  Both sweet potato varieties got devoured by my husband and son.

Food Should Taste Good Chips

About FSTG

Founder Pete Lescoe created Food Should Taste Good, Inc in 2006 with the goal of making a unique new snack with great taste, real ingredients, and sophisticated flavor – the qualities he is most passionate about in food.

With a name that speaks for itself, Food Should Taste Good® chips are made from high quality ingredients. All chip varieties are gluten free, cholesterol free, have zero grams trans fats. They are also certified Kosher.  Plus, many varieties are certified vegan.

Food Should Taste Good® chips are available nationally at conventional grocers and natural food markets you can also buy them online at http://foodshouldtastegood.elsstore.com/.

Food Should Taste Good Sweet Potato ChipsFood Should Taste Good has 16 varieties of Tortilla chips including; Blue Chip, Chocolate, Jalapeno, Kimchi and Lime.  The tortilla chips are crisp and hold up very well to dips and salsas.  They also carry four varieties of kettle chips; Barbeque Sweet Potato, Original Sweet Potato, Salt & Pepper Sweet Potato, and Salt & Vinegar Sweet Potato.

Food Should Taste Good Chips

So, head on out and grab a few bags of Food Should Taste Good chips.

What flavor are you going to try?

Food Should Taste Good sent me product to facilitate this review.  All opinions are my own.

Granola Bars with Honey Bunches of Oats Greek Honey Crunch #HoneyBunchesGreek

Today’s featured recipe for Granola Bars made with Honey Bunches of Oats with Greek Yogurt is brought to you by our friends at Honey Bunches of Oats.  We’ve been doing a lot of granola bars lately and I decided to take a recipe a friend shared with me and change it up to include this cereal.  The result?  An empty plate and a lot of “mom can you make these tomorrow please?” from the kids.  I call that a win!  Of course, we do like to just enjoy this cereal in the traditional sense, with a bowl, milk and spoon, but it’s fun to create new recipes and I thought I’d share this one.

easy granola bar recipe

 

Ingredients:

4T butter

1/4 c honey (we use local honey- good for allergies, and far better for you than most of what you can get at the grocery!)

1/4 c packed brown sugar

2 c quick oats

1 c Honey Bunches of Oats Greek Honey Crunch (you can also use a rice cereal as well- just do a crispy cereal!)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 c mini chocolate chips (I use the regular chips- because that’s what I usually have in the house)

Directions:

I use a small jelly roll pan- around 9×13 or 9×11 works.  The original instructions I found were to spray the pan with cooking spray- I just used parchment paper.

Mix oats and cereal together in a large mixing bowl, set aside.  In small sauce pan, bring the butter, honey and brown sugar to a good simmer (little bubbles) and cook for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and add vanilla.  Pour over cereal mix and stir to coat (my 7 year old loved to help with this part).  Once all of the cereal is coated, place the mixture atop the parchment in the pan.

Here’s the important part: press the mixture very very firmly into place.  I have a smaller-sized Pampered Chef roller I am going to use next time (mine still weren’t “tight” enough to stay together superbly) to really get the mixture packed down.  Once you have the mixture in place, sprinkle chocolate chips on top, and set aside to cool for about 2 hours.

Be warned that your house will smell really, really good and you’ll be wanting to break into the granola bars before they are ready.  Plan ahead.  Use a wooden spoon to stir with and you can just lick the spoon while waiting on the bars to cool!  YUMMY!

These bars are so simple, and take about 20 minutes of time.  How’s that for an easy granola bar recipe? Store for a few days in an airtight container.  If you do have a batch that’s super crumbly, I’d suggest using it as an ice cream topping or just a snack mix.  It’s just delicious! (If you want to find the original recipe that inspired this one please visit Mel’s Kitchen Cafe for her Chewy Granola Bar recipe.  Hers also look much prettier!)

honey bunches of oats greek

 

New Honey Bunches of Oats Greek is made with two granolas, Greek yogurt, crispy whole grain flakes and a touch of honey. One bowl of this cereal provides over two-thirds of your day’s Whole Grains with 33 grams of whole grains!  Nutritionists recommend at least 48 grams of whole grains per day.

Nutritional Information:

33g of Whole Grain per serving – over 2/3 your day’s whole grain
Serving Size: 1 Cup
230 Calories
Provides 12 essential vitamins and minerals
5g protein per serving
 
This cereal was enjoyed by all 5 of us.  My family is big on “crunch” so we were all very happy with that.  The kids love having a new cereal to try for breakfast, although they’ve all been very clear that the granola bars I made are a lot more fun than plain old cereal.

Stay up to date with Honey Bunches of Oats on Facebook and @HBOats!

What do you do to make breakfast fun and different?  

 

Disclaimer: I am part of the Mom It Forward blogger network. Mom It Forward and Honey Bunches of Oats partnered in support of this campaign. Honey Bunches of Oats compensated me for participation in this campaign. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Beanitos Bean Chips

Recently Beanitos sent us a case of their amazing bean chips to review.  As a family of self proclaimed chip-aholics, we got super excited.  Beanitos Bean Chips come in six varieties made with black beans, white beans or pinto beans.  Our case had a mix of the White Bean Restaurant style and Nacho Cheese along with the Original Black Bean and Chipotle BBQ.

Beanitos The Original Bean chips

The Beanitos White Bean Resturant Style chips with sea salt quickly became my favorite and YES, I did hide a couple of bags from everyone else.  My 8 year old really liked the Original Black Bean and the Nacho Cheese White Bean chips.  The Hubs did not pick a favorite, he liked them all.  They all had great flavor and amazing texture and crunch.  They held up nicely when dipping in hummus, salsa and sour cream.  Just writing this post makes me want some!

beanitos nutrition facts

Another things I really love about Beanitos Bean Chips is that they are clearly labeled.  The ingredient list is short and it shows

that they don’t use corn as a filler and they  clearly label if their are gluten free or vegan.  That is very important to us because sometimes foods that we would think are vegan have sneaky animal products in them.  The packaging is easy to read and fun too.

What’s your favorite snack food? Have you tried Beanitos?

The product was provided to facilitate this review.  All opinions are my own.

Apples and Waffle Sticks with Honey Yogurt Dip Recipe #EggoWaffleOff

This is it- the final recipe for the Week of Waffles I’m sharing as a Chief Waffle Officer.  It’s been a fun (and filling!) week- and I’m ending mine on a sweet and simple note.  This recipe is for apples and Eggo waffle sticks with honey yogurt dip.

waffle sticks and fruit slices with yogurt dip

I make this honey yogurt dip using local honey (we have seasonal allergies in my house, and local honey is great for that) but you can use any honey.  I just take any chance I can to include local honey in our diets.

 My little one actually ended up making her own little Eggo version of ants on a log (waffle stick) using the yogurt for the “glue” and pieces of fruit including mandarin oranges for ants!!  Do you think the kids would do this when mommy has her camera out or is in the house? No. I was in the shower, and no one got a picture.  Definitely something we’ll be doing in the future.

To make Eggo Waffle Sticks with Honey Yogurt Dip:

Eggo waffles- toasted, cut into strips (1 per person serving-wise)

Fruit sliced/cut into sticks (if applicable.  berries on a toothpick would be fun for dipping too!)

Honey Yogurt Dip: 1/4 cup yogurt (we usually do plain or strawberry), 2 TBSP (local)honey.  Stir with a spoon and voila!  Honey yogurt dip.

This is a great snack for the kids at the park or school- the yogurt has lots of protein to keep that energy up and dip is always well received! You can really have some fun with the fruits and waffles and cut them into fancy shapes- we just do “plain” old slices.

This post is sponsored by our friends at Eggo.  Opinions are my own.

Cupid’s Crunch Recipe – Valentine’s Day Treats! (Easy to be allergy friendly)


A friend gave us a package of this delightful treat just before Christmas, and everyone in my house loved it.  Christmas is over, and I did mean to share this before the holiday because it is so delicious, but we got sick and…I didn’t.  So I changed things up a little bit and came up with what I call Cupid’s Crunch (and you’ll find many variations on Pinterest or via Google search, I have) which is so easy to do and SO yummy!

cupids crunch recipe

Cupid’s Crunch Recipe
What you need:

2 bags microwave popcorn or 1/2- 2/3 cup popcorn kernels, popped

12 oz bag Wilton candy melts (I did the pink for this recipe)

2 cups pretzels- broken into pieces

1 – 11/2 cups M&Ms

Sprinkles, Nonpareils, Holiday shaped candies for decoration

cupids crunch recipe ingredients

How to make it– pop popcorn, set aside.  Be sure to pick any unpopped kernels out- they aren’t fun to bite into when you don’t expect them!

Melt the candy melts at 30 second intervals in the microwave if you want this done quickly.  Otherwise, you can always do a double boiler method (it’ll take longer), stirring frequently.

Toss broken pretzels and M&Ms into the bowl with popcorn.  Then pour 1/2 the melted candy over the top and combine with a rubber spatula.  (I actually found that using 2 rubber spatulas worked a lot better for me and I didn’t get covered in Cupid’s Crunch mess!)

Spread mixture out on a sheet of wax paper- drizzle remaining melted candy over the top.

Sprinkle the nonpareils, candy bits or sprinkles (I call them shots)

After the chocolate dries/firms up again, break into bits and either store in an airtight container (for about a week) or package it up into treat bags to share with friends, classmates and neighbors!  If you try to do it before the chocolate is ready, you’re going to have a big mess on your hands.  Of course, you can always lick your fingers. But really, it’s better to wait. I promise.

The fun part of this recipe?  Thanks to the candy makers all finding holidays fun for products, you can make this mix for every holiday and for no reason at all!  Next Christmas we may get those holiday shaped pretzels and leave them whole, for a fully themed crunch.

Want to make this a NUT FREE recipe?  Use the Vermont Nut-Free Chocolate’s “Skippers” as an M&M alternative.  Be sure your pretzels are nut-free as well, and voila! Nut free treat!

I have spent hours online trying to find the original source for this recipe.  I can’t find it.  I’ve modified it, and I’m sure you will too!

Libby’s Single-Serve Fruit Cups and Tips for Healthy Kids #LibbysSnackDuty

libbys single serve fruit cupsI’m pretty lucky that my kids are not really picky eaters (like me).  They will sing and shout with joy when I bring home a new fruit just as loudly as when I bring home a beloved dessert treat.  It makes my life a lot easier, knowing they’ll be happy with what I stick into their lunchboxes for snack and lunch.  One thing they all three love to have in their lunchbox is fruit cups- and lately, they have been loving their Libby’s Single-Serve Fruit Cups for snack.  They are getting a sweet treat, and I know they are getting a full serving of fruit and 100% of their daily Vitamin C.

These cups are made a little differently than most we’ve tried, and I really, really can’t tell you enough how much I love the metal rim that seems to have stopped our fruit cups from smashing (ours always seem to break at the rim).  My older 2 can open them without help.

libbys loving his fruit cup

While we prefer fresh fruit when possible, these single-serve fruit cups are an awesome convenience food to have around.  I’m always partial to pears, but my kids love them all.  We do send them for snacks for lunch, but they are great to bring with us on picnics, when traveling, etc.  No need for refrigeration and the cups can easily be tucked into a bag to bring home for recycling (yes, I do this).

My children are still at the age where sports are on the weekends, and not necessarily right after school. But they do play sports like soccer, and t-ball…and I know they are H-U-N-G-R-Y after a good soccer practice and game.  We’ve found that more times than not, we’re on the go after my son’s soccer, and I’m finding the need to bring some portable snacks with me to keep his energy up.  Tomorrow, for instance, we’re leaving his soccer game and heading to East Hartford, CT, to meet the ultimate soccer mom- the amazing Brandi Chastain, to watch her present a donation to a local youth soccer organization and to chat with her.  He’ll need a snack on the way.  He’s requested a Libby’s Single-Serve Fruit Cup for the road. Hard to say no to that!

Check out some of Brandi Chastain’s tips for healthy kids: 


Hydrate to perform great. Kids should drink water before, during AND after exercise. While exercise generates heat and increases the body’s core temperature, water works to bring body temperature back to the normal 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Let your child pick out a colorful water bottle to make drinking water fun!

Always make time for healthy meals. The USDA says that half our plates should be filled with colorful fruits and veggies, but when your children are constantly running from school to practice and back, it can be tough to get them to eat that perfect meal. Add Libby’s® Single Fruit Cups, which contain one complete serving of fruit, to your children’s bags for an easy and nutritious snack.

Sleep is important! Children should receive an average of eight hours of sleep each night. Without enough sleep children get cranky and lazy, and will not perform to their full potential during school, practice or games. Help your children stick to a regular sleep schedule by making bedtime fun – read them a story or sing a song while they fall asleep.

Turn exercise into a family affair. When exercising is a solo act, it can sometimes feel like a chore. Bring the whole family on-board and make exercising fun, family time! Join your kids in a game of soccer, Double Dutch or kickball.

Lead by example. When you set a good example, your kids are more likely to follow. Although it’s easy to stop at the drive-thru on the way home from practice, make an effort to eat well and live a healthy lifestyle. Become a role model by exercising regularly and eating healthy foods, like Libby’s Canned Fruits and Vegetables, with your children. It’s easier when you make it a team effort!

 

This is a sponsored conversation with Libby’s Single Serve Fruit Cups and The Motherhood. Opinions are my own.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Popsicles (Recipe)

Want to try a fun, new frozen treat? How about Peanut Butter and Jelly Popsicles?

peanut butter and jelly popsicles

  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 tbsp honey, divided
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups raspberries
  • 2 cups raspberry juice
  • 4 tbsp sesame seeds (we omitted this)
Peanut Butter & Jelly Popsicles
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Peanut butter and jelly pair once again but in frozen form!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 tbsp honey, divided
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups raspberries
  • 2 cups raspberry juice
  • 4 tbsp sesame seeds (we omitted this)
Instructions
  1. Combine the peanut butter, yogurt, milk, 2 tablespoons of the honey, and the vanilla extract in a food processor or blender; process until smooth.
  2. In a spouted cup, combine the raspberries and raspberry juice.
  3. Partially fill small paper cups with the peanut butter mixture. Freeze for at least 1 hour.
  4. Partially fill small paper cups with the raspberry mixture. Insert the sticks. Freeze for at least 1 hour.
  5. Fill the paper cups with the remaining peanut butter mixture. Freeze for at least 8 hours.
  6. Remove from the freezer; let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes before removing the pops from the paper cups.
  7. Spoon some of the remaining honey around the rim of each pop.
  8. Sprinkle sesame seeds on the honey to coat.
  9. Enjoy peanut butter and jelly flavors in a whole new package!
  • Combine the peanut butter, yogurt, milk, 2 tablespoons of the honey, and the vanilla extract in a food processor or blender; process until smooth.
  • In a spouted cup, combine the raspberries and raspberry juice.
  • Partially fill small paper cups  with the peanut butter mixture. Freeze for at least 1 hour.
  • Partially fill small paper cups with the raspberry mixture. Insert the sticks. Freeze for at least 1 hour.
  • Fill the paper cups with the remaining peanut butter mixture. Freeze for at least 8 hours.
  • Remove from the freezer; let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes before removing the pops from the paper cups.
  • Spoon some of the remaining honey around the rim of each pop. Sprinkle sesame seeds on the honey to coat. Enjoy peanut butter and jelly flavors in a whole new package!

    This recipe was originally created by Krystina Castella and can be found in POPS! .