Category - Recipes & Cooking

Easy Holiday Cookies Recipes for Kids {Giveaway}

Smart Balance Kids Cookies MBKB

Cookies Kids MommyBKnowsBest

One of my favorite things to do during the holidays with my kiddos is to bake cookies. I get to spend time with my girls, teaching them how to cook, giggling, and getting to smell and eat yummy treats we made with our own hands.

As I’ve found out from previous years, some holiday cookie recipes have multiple steps and are definitely not conducive to making with kids. For me, when I’m baking with the girls, I’d rather focus on having fun and enjoying the experience than making award winning cookies {I’ll save those recipes for my annual cookie exchanges.}

 

Here are some awesome, kid-friendly holiday cookie recipes that I encourage you to make with your children:

Easy Holiday Cookie Recipes for Kids @MommyBKnowsBest

Oatmeal-Chocolate-Chip-Cookies-1

If your kids like to dunk their cookies in Smart Balance Kids Milk, these Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies from OhMy! SugarHigh will stand the durability AND taste test.

Holidays shout, “MINT”!! So if mint is your flavor these cracker-based cookies from DeepSouthDish.com are super simply mint-errific.

If your little ones are chocolate lovers, pair Smart Balance Kids Chocolate Milk with these Chocolate Meringue Kisses from MyRecipes.com

Do your kiddos love rolling out dough? This recipe is perfect for them: Palmiers from my pal Andria at QueenCityKitchen.com Adapted from Barefoot in Paris by Ina Garten

While a little messy, these Snowball Cookies from Recipe4Living.com are easy to make and delicious to eat. *Substitute Smart Balance Kids Reduced Fat Milk 1 for 1 for a lighter cookie.

When you’re eating a peanut and butter sandwich you’ve got to have a tall glass of milk to wash it down and when you’ve tried Martha Stewart’s Peanut Butter and Jelly Thumbprint cookies make sure you reach for Smart Balance Kids milk.

It’s hard to get any easier a cookie, but this S’mores Cookie Pizza recipe from Food.com may be the King of easy holiday cookie recipes for the kids.

Of course with any holiday cookie you make with your kiddos, it’s a must to have a glass of milk, and why not make it a nutritious, vitamin-packed, hormone-free glass of Smart Balance Kids Milk. I know my kiddos deserve the best, and I’m betting yours do too!

I’d love to hear what your favorite kid-friendly, holiday cookie recipes are! Leave a comment below.

Happy baking and Happier Holidays!!!

Smart Balance Kids Cookies MBKB

If you’d like to try some Smart Balance Kids milk for yourself here’s your chance to enter to win 2 free Smart Balance Milk Coupons. Enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is a compensated post, however all thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own honest opinions. I am excited to bring Smart Balance Kids into my own home and yours as well. As always your opinions may vary, but if you like me you’ll try it 😉

Introducing Smart Balance Kids Milk #spon {Giveaway}

MommyBKnowsBest Smart Balance Kids Milk

Moooove on over everyone…Smart Balance, the #1 healthy food brand in America, has just launched the first line of milk specially formulated for kids. Smart Balance Kids milk come in three delicious varieties: Smart Balance® Kids Transitions Whole Milk & Nutrient Blend, Smart Balance® Kids Reduced Fat Milk & Nutrient Blend, and Smart Balance® Kids Chocolate Low Fat Milk & Nutrient Blend. Each carton of milk is packed with nutrients like prebiotics, DHA & EPA Omega 3s, and vitamins to support healthy growth & development. Best of all, no artificial growth hormones!!

Having two growing girls, and with all the facts we know about hormones in milk, (among other food and drink) our family switched to organic milk about 8 months ago, so the fact that Smart Balance Kids has no growth hormones and is packed full of other “good stuff” really is a big deal for us and I hope that you feel the same way. Which is why I want to introduce you to the Smart Balance Kids “family”.

MommyBKnowsBest Smart Balance Kids Milk

 

Smart Balance® Kids Transitions Whole Milk & Nutrient Blend is featured in the red carton and is best for kiddos age 12-24 months.  Many pediatricians recommend whole milk as children transition from formula or breast milk to regular milk. Smart Balance Transitions delivers all the goodness of whole milk, and select nutrients for a strong nutritional foundation during this critical period of development.

Two glasses a day deliver:

  • DHA & EPA Omega-3s: to support brain & heart health
  • Calcium & Vitamin D: to support strong bones
  • Prebiotics: to support normal digestion
  • Iron: for healthy growth & development

Next you’ll find, Smart Balance® Kids Reduced Fat Milk & Nutrient Blend in the blue carton, which is best for children ages 2 years and up. This milk is great for active growing kids. As you may know, many pediatricians recommend that children switch from whole milk to reduced fat milk after 2 years of age.

And for a treat, or the kiddos who prefer a little chocolate, Smart Balance® Kids Chocolate Low Fat Milk & Nutrient Blend appropriately in the brown carton.
This milk delivers all the goodness of regular 1% milk, and select nutrients for active, growing kids…..in a taste kids love, chocolate!!

The two milk choices above offer:

  • DHA & EPA Omega-3s: to support brain & heart health
  • 30% Calcium & 50% Vitamin D: to support strong bones
  • Antioxidant Vitamins C & E: for a strong immune system

I’m super excited to share that Smart Balance Kids milk is being introduced in Harris Teeter grocery stores in North Carolina FIRST, but will hopefully be coming to a location near each and every one of you soon! {You can check out their website and social sites for locations near you.}

Here are my girls shopping in Harris Teeter for their first taste of Smart Balance Kids milk:

Shopper girls

Check out Smart Balance® Kids fun website smartbalancekids.com with your kiddos here: and make sure you get your coupons and find a nearby location that sells Smart Balance® Kids!! Also be sure to “like” Smart Balance® Kids on Facebook page for informative and cute updates too.

I can’t wait to tell you more about our struggle with Lil C drinking milk and how we are using Smart Balance Kids in our home too! Stay tuned for upcoming posts and make sure you subscribe to my email if you want to know right away when a new post is up by entering your email in my sidebar.

If you’d like to try some Smart Balance Kids milk for yourself here’s your chance to enter to win 2 free Smart Balance Milk Coupons. Enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is a compensated post, however all thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own honest opinions. I am excited to bring Smart Balance Kids into my own home and yours as well. As always your opinions may vary, but if you like me you’ll try it 😉

Food Lion’s Frugal Cook-Off {Giveaway}

Food Lion Frugal Cook-Off

Recently I was invited to a local Food Lion event, the Food Lion Frugal Cook-Off Challenge, yes, me, the blogger who has a “Fecipe” section, meaning fake recipes. I am obviously not a foodie blogger, but I am a real mom, who cooks at home. My meals may not always be fancy, but I try to give my girls a well-balanced, home-cooked meal often.

Before this event I had shopped at my local Food Lion a few times, so I was excited to learn more about the brand, and also see some bloggers I knew and meet some new ones too.

I learned a ton about Food Lion, including the fact that they’ve recently done a lot to improve their stores, product, and prices. In fact, Food Lion has lowered over 6,000 prices in stores. They’ve also focused their efforts on selling fresher produce, and providing a better shopping experience. Have you noticed??

Interesting facts that I learned that may surprise you too {or not}:

Food Lion’s home state is North Carolina. They offer 4 exclusive food brands including; their namesake Food Lion brand, My Essentials, Nature’s Place, and Taste of Inspiration. Food Lion also gives back to the community with their Operation Grocery Drop, allowing their Facebook fans to nominate their neighborhood to win Food Lion products and donating food to several charities. {Learn anything new?}

Operation Grocery Drop Food Lion

Here are some pictures from the event:

Food Lion Frugal Cook-Off

I had the awesome opportunity to cook with some two amazing bloggers, Andria of Queen City Kitchen, and Julie of Willow Bird Baking. God decided that I might need a little help, so he put me with a team that I could assist on, rather than lead. We made a delicious chicken parmisan, {everyone loves chicken parm right?!?} The judges loved Andria’s sauce, and so did I. We made an amazing team and even though we didn’t win we had a blast figuring out how to stay within our budget, and use a good mix of Food Lion brand foods, both dry and fresh produce.

If you were in the challenge what would you have made?? Here’s your chance to win some Food Lion bucks so you can create whatever food masterpieces  you want! MommyBKnowsBest is giving one lucky reader a chance to win a $100 Food Lion Gift Card. Enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Breakfast for Dinner – A Twist on the Classic Hashbrown Casserole

Hashbrown Casserole


I always love challenges when it comes to cooking. Recently, I was even in a fun cooking challenge/blogger event. This time, I thought it would be fun to try to make a meal out of only the things I already had in my fridge before going to the grocery store. Now for some of you foodies this may not sound like a challenge, but for me, someone who goes grocery shopping about every other day to fill in missing items, and the person who keeps random foods that sound good at the store, {but may not as much when I get home} in my fridge, this definitely was a challenge.

Hashbrown Casserole

I love hashbrowns and enjoy ordering the hashbrown casserole whenever we go out to eat breakfast style, so I thought why not take a swing at making my own Ore-ida hashbrown casserole. Remember, I said I was only going to use what I already had in my fridge and pantry.

Here are my wacky-ish ingredients:

  • 1 Package of Frozen Ore-ida Hashbrowns
  • 1 Small Can of Condensed Mushroom soup
  • 1/4 Cup Minced Medium Red Onion
  • 4 Patties Pre-Cooked Turkey Sausage (you could also use links)
  • 4 Slices of Provolone Cheese
  • 1 Cup of Panko Breadcrumbs
  • 1 Small Container of Cream Cheese
  • 1/4 Cup of Butter
  • Salt and Pepper

Thaw Ore-ida Hashbrowns. Pre-heat oven at 350 degrees. Mix ingredients together. Place in a greased 13×9 casserole dish. Spread panko breadcrumbs over top of the finished casserole. Cook for 45-50 minutes or until top layer golden brown. Cool and enjoy!!

Oreida Dinner

It’s a great dish if you want breakfast for dinner, or breakfast for lunch, and especially breakfast for breakfast.

Compensation was provided by Ore-Ida® via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Ore-Ida.

Perfect Healthy Kid’s Snack – Mango Pops #letsmango

My family and I LOVE fruit, especially in the hot summer months, but one fruit that we, shockingly enough, have not tried is mango. We’ve seen them in the stores, in fact they’re available all year ’round, but growing up, never having eaten one myself, I suppose kept me away from buying one for my own children.

When I was asked if my family might be interested in trying mango and making something yummy from it, I figured why not and am extremely glad that I did, as you’ll be able to see from my recipe video my girls didn’t just like mango, they fell in love with it. Now I can add mango to our long list of fruits and all the amazing recipes that come with this delicious, tropical fruit too!

 

 

MommyB’s Mango Pops

Ingredients:

2 ripe mangos, 2 strawberries for garnish (optional)

Tools:

Sharp cutting knife, cutting board, blender or food processor, freezer pop molds or ice cube trays and toothpicks. 

Instructions:

After washing your hands, cut the mango as shown in the video making sure to cut around the mango pit/seed. (You may cut the mango any way you would like, we prefer “porcupine” style, just so long as it fits in your blender.)

Place the pieces of mango, including any juices into the blender, and blend till you have a nice mango puree. This mixture should be pretty free of lumps. 

Pour the mango puree into the freezer pop molds or ice cube tray. If using an ice cube tray place the toothpicks into the ice cube sections using some plastic wrap to secure them in place.

If you would like add a slice of mango, strawberry or leave plain and freeze for 1-2 hours, depending on your own freezer. 

*You may want to rinse your freezer pop mold (being careful not to get water on your mango pop itself) to ensure easy removal of your mango pop from the mold.

Want to create your own mango inspired recipe or just learn more about this awesome fruit?? Check out http://mango.org for more information, videos, and fun facts. My girls and I learned a ton including the fact that the paisley pattern that we now know and love was developed in India and is based on the shape of a mango, a pretty fashion forward fruit!

Now that you’ve seen and read our easy, Mango Pop recipe, tell me, what’s your family’s favorite way to enjoy fresh fruits and veggies??

The National Mango Board challenged me to spend a week creating healthier eating and snacking habits for my family. Join the conversation and one of my readers will receive a cookbook and a chance to win a shipment of mangos and $200 gift card to Williams-Sonoma. 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of National Mango Board. The opinions and text are all mine. Official Sweepstakes Rules

Easy Red White and Blue Dessert the Kids Will Love

Red and White Striped Jello

I made the cutest, and yummiest jello cups for Miss A’s Dr. Seuss’ Cat in the Hat birthday party and as I was making them I realized how great of a Memorial Day and 4th of July treat they would be too. Here’s the recipe for Red and White Striped jello cups:

Ingredients:
4 (3 ounce) boxes red jello (I used strawberry)
8 envelopes Knox unflavored gelatin (Usually 4 come in a box)
2 (14 ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
Water
Clear plastic cups (don’t have to worry about the little ones breaking them)

Makes 12 cups (or more depending on the size of your cup)

Directions:
– In a medium bowl, mix two boxes (6 ounces) of red jello with 1 envelope of Knox. Add 1 cup of boiling water and stir to dissolve. Cool to room temperature and pour 1/2 inch layer in each of your cups. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

– While you’re waiting for the red jello layer to set up start preparing the white layer. In a medium bowl, mix 1 can of sweetened condensed milk with 1 cup of boiling water.

– In a separate smaller bowl, mix 2 envelopes of unflavored gelatin with 1/2 cup of cold water. Let the mixture stand a few minutes and then add 1/2 cup of boiling water to dissolve the gelatin.

– Next, add gelatin mixture to the milk mixture and stir. Cool to room temperature. Pour 1/2 inch of white jello over the first layer of red jello. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

– Repeat the process refrigerating each layer for 15 minutes until you have about 1/2 to 1 inch left from the top of your cup. (Making another batch of the red/white jellos as needed. If jello begins to set, place in microwave for increments of 10 seconds to warm)

When done your jello should look something like this:

Red and White Striped Jello

To make this dessert even more festive consider topping with fresh blueberries or blue colored whipped cream. Break out your spoon and enjoy!!

(If I could go back and change anything I would have used smaller cups for easier and more edible portions.)

What are your Memorial Day Weekend plans??

früsh Gets Bloggy in Charlotte

früshEvery time I get together with local bloggers we always say we need to do it more often and include more people. I knew I wanted to host a get together, and when früsh contacted me, I thought how great it would be to have a blogger party sponsored by them. Since my mansion is being renovated, I had to throw the party at my smaller house in the suburbs, thus limiting the invitee list. We had a fun turn out of awesome women bloggers in the area, most of whom had never met. The attendees included {in no particular order}:

Lindsay from DesignerWife.com, Brittany from AHealthySliceOfLife.com, Jessica from The Beginning of Crafting, Tricia at TheSouthernSpark.com, and Jamie of MamaMommyMom.com

It was so great to get together, I realized a bunch of the ladies had known each other online but had not yet met in person and our kids had a blast too!! I decided to give the party a spring theme since früsh reminds me of freshness and spring envelopes that fresh feeling. The colors were fun and bright and the food was brunch style and kid friendly. All of the fruits we noshed on are featured in früsh’s drinks. The muffins and other nibbles complimented the drink and kept our little ones full while the mommas chatted.

As I mentioned, früsh is a delicious and healthy yogurt fruit shake perfect for moms-on-the-go like us bloggers, and good for our kids too!! Everyone was able to sample ice-cold früsh, with the adorable tasting cups I found. früsh currently comes in four flavors; Blueberry, Strawberry, Peach, and Strawberry Banana. There wasn’t really a “fan-favorite” but I did keep hearing a lot about the Blueberry and Peach especially, and one little guy really loved his:

früsh Boy

Here are a few more pictures from a great time together:

frush Collage

I had an amazing time hanging out with these bloggers, talking about früsh, upcoming conferences, and being moms {or getting ready to be one.} I think the one thing we all have in common {other than blogging, and living in charlotte, and being moms} is wanting to give ourselves and our families healthy options, especially when we’re trying to grab something quickly. früsh gives us another alternative by giving us more calcium and protein than some of the leading smoothies out there great which is great for our bodies and the growing bodies we take care of.

What’s really cool to me is that the makers of früsh, Origin Food Group, is based in Statesville, N.C. and can also be found locally in your area Lowe’s Food store, Ingles Markets, and Bi-Lo. The other day I was talking about supporting local and while früsh hopefully will be available world wide it’s pretty cool that it’s starting here in the Carolinas.

If you’re not in the Carolinas, keep checking the früsh website to find a store near you: http://www.gofrush.com/where-to-buy also check out früsh’s website for more information and facts: http://gofrush.com/, and like them on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/gofrush

I was compensated for this post and to host the party for früsh, however the opinions expressed in this post are my own, except for the fact that some of the bloggers paid me to say good things about them, just kidding!!

Wholesome Goodness All-Natural Foods Review {Giveaway- CLOSED}

Wholesome Goodness Goodies

Wholesome Goodness Logo

 

My family and I have recently been introduced to Wholesome Goodness Foods and we are really impressed. Why? Because Wholesome Goodness products are not only all-natural, but they’re tasty too!

Their products tout that they are free from the following:

[badlist]

  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Artificial Sweeteners
  • Modified Starches
  • Artificial Colors & Flavors
  • Preservatives
  • MSG

[/badlist]

That’s a pretty long list of things they make sure they do not include in their products.

We were able to try these awesome goodies:

Wholesome Goodness Goodies

Out of the above goodies we loved everything but each family member had a favorite, here’s what The B Family liked:

MommyB – I love the Snack Mix Tubes. Being a busy mom sometimes I am the last to eat or just plain don’t have time to sit down for a snack especially. Wholesome Goodness’ Tuxedo Mix and Mountain Mix were delicious!! I love that they were portion size and not too big {otherwise I may have over indulged}, and that they are easy to throw in my diaper bag.

DaddyB – Usually DaddyB goes for the plain oatmeal and really enjoyed the Quick Cook Steel Oats we were sent, but he fell in love with the Multigrain Maple Brown Sugar & Pecans Hot Cereal. Usually we don’t talk about him liking or not liking food because he’s not too picky, {even though he plugs his nose to eat veggies ;)}, but with this, he expressly told me, “I really like that oatmeal.” And that’s saying a lot.

Miss A – She can sometimes be picky, but will always take at least one bite of what we offer her. Let me tell you, she could not get enough of the Whole Grain Sea Salt Crisps. It didn’t surprise me too much though because she normally loves DaddyB’s Sunchips. I did some label reading though and found out that Wholesome Goodness’ version offers lower saturated fat, and lower sodium to name a few unfortunately it has a tad less protein as well, but overall a good alternative to the norm. As they say the “better-for-you” version.

Baby C – As some of you know BabyC is not a milk drinker, and has never been. We have tried several different types, almond, rice, coconut, soy etc, but every time we get a couple of sips and no more. While I can’t say she loved the Chocolate Almond Drink from Wholesome Goodness, she did take more sips than usual. That’s a start right? Even though she didn’t “gobble” the drink up, she really enjoyed the Rice & Wheat Flakes with Strawberries.

Since we liked those products the most we’re giving them to your family too!! Enter to win Wholesome Goodness Snack Mix Tubes, Multigrain Maple Brown Sugar & Pecans Hot Cereal, Whole Grain Sea Salt Crisps, and Rice & Wheat Flakes with Strawberries.

How to Win

Head over to the Wholesome Goodness website here: http://wholesome-goodness.com/ and tell me what product you would like to try.

1. Leave a comment on another post on my website. (1 comment per post, no limit otherwise.)

2. Follow Wholesome Goodness on Twitter

2. Follow MommyBKnowsBest on Twitter

3. Tweet– using @mommybknowsbest and @eatwholesome linking back to this giveaway. (up to 5 tweets a day)

Not an entry because MommyB Knows Best follows Facebook TOS, but we’d love it if you’d go check out Wholesome Goodness. here: on Facebook and if you want to follow MommyB Knows Best (again not an entry but I’d love you forever if you did) click here: MommyB Knows Best Facebook

RulesGiveaway ends April 2nd @12:00 am. The winner will be chosen at random, verified, emailed, and announced in a Winner’s post. The winner has 48 hours to respond to the email from MommyB to claim the prize, if the prize is not claimed within 48 hours a new winner will be chosen at random. You must be a US resident and 18 years or older to enter.

Wholesome Goodness sent some products for me to try out. All opinions expressed in this post are my own honest opinions, however yours may vary.

How do you Celebrate Black History Month?

Carter G. Woodson Black History Month

Today marks the beginning of Black History Month. For those you who you don’t know, here’s a little background info:

In 1926 historian, Carter G. Woodson and some other influentials created, “Negro History Week”, however the beginnings of what is now, “Black History Month,” began years before. His goal was to educate people about African-American history, their cultural backgrounds and reputable achievements. In 1976, February was proclaimed “Black History Month” and continues to be observed each calendar year.

Carter G. Woodson Black History Month

As you know DaddyB and I have two beautiful girls, who are almost 2 and 5. He is African American and a smidge Native American and I am Caucasian (Anglo-Saxon) and that makes our girls AMAZING!! Oh yeah, and they’re multi-racial. We are very blessed to be living in the world today, as opposed to several years ago, and while we’ve seen our share of racism displayed in many ways, we are thankful to those who paved the path for where we now stand.

Miss A RACE exhibitThis time of year last year I got to visit an amazing exhibit called, “RACE: Are We So Different,” and it was amazing, I learned so much and really enjoyed it, definitely wish I could have bottled all of that information to show the girls as they grow since some of the material was way over their heads. Miss A did get to play with some puppets from different races and check out some other aspects and Baby C was thrilled to sit in her stroller and people watch.

We may be naïve, but we see each person as they are and love our family just how we are too. Because I do not know as much as I would like about Black Culture both in the states and around the world, I have spend some hours online educating myself and trying to figure out how to best celebrate this month, Black History Month with my family. Since my girls are still quite young we want to make sure we engage in activities and practices that are age appropriate and family appropriate.

I have always said, and will always say that as a parent or caregiver, you have to do what you think is best for your own family, so while we may not choose to celebrate how another family celebrates that’s what makes us unique and our very own family of four. We don’t want race to be the only determining factor in their life, however we do want them to embrace and celebrate their background. I know many African-American people who do not celebrate and also some who are very diligent about it, would love help figuring out the best fits for our family to introduce our daughters to this side of their heritage.

We want our girls to have a balanced life and most of all to love and honor God, each other and others.

If you have any tips, blog posts or ideas on how you and your family celebrate, I would love to hear them. Thanks in advance for the support.

Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons: User dbking

Chocoley Chocolates

Chocoley Logo Just in time for me to start losing this baby weight comes Chocoley Chocolates. All kidding aside Chocoley is amazing.

For candy making this is the best tasting stuff out there, trust me, Little Miss A agrees, and I’d know because I’m a HUGE choco-holic. In fact, Miss A and I had some fun using the Kids Chocolate Candy Dipping Kit recently to create our own concoctions. Take a look: Read More