Saturday, March 31, 2012

April Fools

I know I'm so late on this post!! I've shared a couple of fun April Fools food ideas HERE if you are looking for "FOOLISH" sushi & cupcakes. This year I decided to do something different...

Here's a picture of the 'Kool-Aid' - it's actually JELL-O. You'll laugh your head off when your kids try to drink this yummy trick. We've had these fancy wine glasses in our house forever. We use them for every special dinner - birthday's, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, etc. They are usually filled with sparkling grape juice or sparkling apple cider but tomorrow - they'll be filled with JELL-O!! I laugh everytime one of the kids tries to 'drink' this every year.I am also making "HAMBURGERS and FRENCH FRIES" for dinner. It's SO easy to pull this off. Here's what you'll need:

1 box vanilla cake mix (plus the called for ingredients on the box)
Chocolate frosting
Red, green, yellow frosting (there is a little box with those 3 colors of pre-made frosting at your local grocery)
Bake your cupcakes per directions. Let cool. Seperate the top part of the cupcake from the bottom part of the cupcake. Frost one side of the seperated cupcake with chocolate frosting (the meat). Decorate with the other color frosting colors to represent the tomato, lettuce and mustard you'd have on your hamburger.

For the "FRIES" I buy canned cinnamon rolls. Lay them out as one big piece and then cut them (scissors are so quick) into french fry sized pieces. Bake as directed on the package. Package them in an envelope you've cut with a semi-circle at the top. Serve with icing and/or strawberry jam (as ketchup)

*I promise to post pictures of all this fun food tomorrow!! Happy April Fools!!

Here's my little kid enjoying his 'juice' I wish I would've gotten a picture of him when he actually tried to drink this Jell-O for the first time - he totally fell for it!! I can't believe he didn't remember that little trick from the past couple of years...
Here's a pic of the burgers, fries and ketchup...
Such a fun, fun dinner!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

No Thank You Bite

Mmmmm.... home made pico de gallo....

I thought I'd write about a little trick I use around my house to get my kids to try anything and everything. I call it the "No thank you bite."

The kids are expected to take one bite of everything on their plate. After trying something, if they don't like it, they just say "no thank you" and they don't have to finish the rest. This eliminates all the fussing, crying, whining, bargaining, arguing, etc. on their end - and opens a door for them to expand their pallets and find things they end up liking - and sometimes even loving - without all the fussing, crying, whining, bargaining, arguing on my end - haha...

I am an avid fan of "The Chew" a talk show on at noon that revolves around food - and last week Gwenyth Paltrow was a guest on that show. She mentioned that she does something called "the no thank you bite" with her kids and I about fell over in my chair. As far as I knew, the "No Thank You Bite" was an invention of mine that I started using about 7 years ago. Turns out this little trick has caught on... go ahead and try it!!

*Remember that I don't serve the same things continually - so there is always something new to try. If you serve something like green beans or mashed potatoes frequently, I would ask them to have a "No thank you bite" every 6 months or so - OR whenever they are prepared differently and leave it at that.

Good luck!! Let me know if this works for you!!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Chinese Chicken Salad

I was inspired to make this salad from a little salad kit I buy at Costco. It's so easy - if you buy the pre packaged grilled chicken like I did this time - you can throw this together in under 5 minutes!

I found all the ingredients I needed at my local grocery store in the Asian aisle - you shouldn't have aproblem doing the same.

Chinese Chicken Salad
Grilled chicken (great to use for leftover chicken too!)
won ton chips
Chow mein noodles
sliced almonds
romaine lettuce
Asian sesame dressing (your fav)
mandarin oranges

This is how I 'serve' it to the family - so everyone can get exactly what they want. This is one of the best ways to get my kids to eat salads and to try new things!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Updated Hawaiian Haystacks

Ever heard of these?? I guess they were big in the 80's so it's possible you know about these. I first had this dish 9 years ago at the baby shower my husbands Auntie's had for me when I was pregnant with my first.

Just having had a baby (she's 2 months already!) I was going through all the baby books and remembered that they served these at the shower - AND I remembered that I liked them. I found the recipe and then updated it a bit.

These were a BIT hit with all the kids - and wouldn't you know it? Hubby and I liked them too. *Don't be afraid of the 'chicken gravy' in this - I couldn't imagine liking how it tasted - but I really did. Really. I. Did.

Hawaiian Haystacks
Sweet Jasmine Rice
2 12oz cans canned chicken, drained (or your own shredded chicken)
2 cans cream of chicken soup (or whatever 'cream of...' you have - I used mushroom)
2 cups chicken stock (or broth)
cheddar cheese, shredded
green onion
sliced almonds
mandarin oranges
pineapple bits
chow mein noodles
tomatoes, diced

Add soup, broth and chicken to a medium stock pot. Heat until warmed through.

To serve: Layer rice, chicken, tomatoes, cheddar cheese, mandarin oranges, pineapple bits, chow mein noodles and sliced almonds - ENJOY!

*The picture doesn't show mandarin oranges or pineapple bits b/c I wasn't willing to go THAT far - but all my kids added those to their plates and gobbled them up.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

"Protein" Ranch

I saw this posted on Pinterest and was very intrigued. I had to try it. I wasn't disappointed... def not my favorite salad dressing/dip but really pretty good.

I set out a bowl of it with some cucumbers and carrots for the kids to snack on and they ate it up just like they normally would. I didn't tell them that it wasn't the ranch I usually make - just to see if they would say anything.

My 7 year old (a true foodie at heart) asked me what I did different about half way through her snack. I asked her if she liked it and she said yes - but that it tasted a little different and she thought that it needed some salt (which is her go to fix for any recipe). My husband tasted it and had no complaints. He was impressed that it is so high in protein and low in fat...
Protein Ranch
24 oz low fat cottage cheese
2 packets Hidden Valley Ranch Buttermilk Dry Mix
1/2 c milk (you can use skim milk or water - I used 2% b/c it's what we have)

Put all ingredients in your blender and blend until smooth. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. Makes 32 oz.


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