Category - Fecipes

Princess Party Food Ideas

Lil’ C turned 3 last month and knew a few months before that she wanted a princess party. As you’ve seen in previous years {Miss A’s Rainbow Birthday Bash, Lil C’s Bee Party} I like to get crafty and creative when I throw my little girls birthday parties, whether they are at our home or at a party location. One of the aspects of a party where you can get really creative are with food!! Princess Party Food Ideas from MommyBKnowsBest

Since it was a princess themed birthday party I checked out all things girly on Pinterest, Etsy, and of course googled, “Princess Party” to see what I could come up with. I found some great recommendations all over the web and a lot of recurring ideas from several websites. I can’t attribute them to just one website, but here are a couple that gave me inspiration: disney princess inspired, and cute ruffle hombre cake.

Here are the princess inspired food choices:

Princess Party Food MommyB

1. Trader Joe’s Yogurt Star cookies (nut-free) – these were great because the party colors were white, pink, and purple.

2. Chocolate covered Marshmallows – we used pink dipping chocolate that contained nuts, I also used some pink sprinkles to give them a little sparkle.

3. Princessy Fruit Wands – instead of using lots of different fruits like I had seen online I chose to stick with grapes for the handle of the wand and made cantaloup stars using a play-doh cutter we had around the house.

4. Pretty Meringue cookies (processed with nuts) – someone online mentioned Trader Joe’s had colored versions of meringues including pink, I didn’t find the pink ones but this white version was perfect and pretty.

5. Mini Ruffle Cupcakes – I knew I wanted to make ruffles but wasn’t sure about making an entire cake. (I made my own cake because we had an attendee who has a nut allergy). I found a great tutorial of the mini ruffle cupcakes, and scaled mine down from 2 cupcakes they used to just one, I figured that was plenty for each child. I used a strawberry box mix and made my own buttercream frosting. I topped them off with a princess themed Wilton topper and they were relatively easy to make not having much icing experience. I’ll admit it was a lot of icing to cake ratio, but I don’t think the kids minded *LOL*

6. Blue Bunny Ice Cream Castles – Using an ice cream cone, sprinkles, princess decorations, the same dipping chocolate I used on the covered marshmallows, and any flavor Blue Bunny Ice Cream or Frozen YogurtI made these cute “ice cream castles”. I came up with the idea on my own, but I’m sure other people have probably done something similar in the past. Growing up I always had ice cream with my cake so I tried to figure out how I could incorporate it into our princess theme. It was pretty easy to do.

I dipped the cone into our melting chocolate, covered in sprinkles and sugar pearls, let it dry, filled the cones with Blue Bunny All Natural Frozen Yogurt, and topped with a sparkly metallic flag that I found while shopping at Super Target.

Ice Cream Castle Supplies MommyB Ice Cream Castle MommyB

Are you throwing a Princess themed birthday party??? What was your favorite snack idea? {you don’t need to pick just one}. If you do use any of my ideas, especially the ice cream castle idea, feel free to link back here or share by pinning, on Facebook or Twitter!!

 

Blue Bunny Ice Cream with Cake MommyB

(For the party we cut Blue Bunny Birthday Party Ice Cream Sandwiches in half and each child enjoyed them with their cupcakes, they were easy and one of the best flavors for a birthday party (or anytime)).

 

I received Blue Bunny ice cream products for this party, that in no way reflects the integrity of my post or any opinions I have shared. My family enjoys the products and Lil’ C said, “Best Birthday Ever” so I think that speaks for itself. 

Lean Cuisine Salad Additions {Guest Review}

Whether you’re a stay-at-home parent or one who works outside the home, lunch time can often be hectic and in a rush, you could find yourself grabbing unhealthy food.

Frozen “light” meals are convenient option for a quick meal.

Lean Cuisine, a brand most of us are familiar with, recently added a new line to their frozen meals – Salad Additions.

Lean Cuisine Salad Additions

Thanks to Mommy B, I had the chance to try two flavors of Lean Cuisine’s Salad Additions – cranberry and chicken and Asian chicken.

Before you read any further, I must confess that I don’t eat salads often. I wish I loved them, but they are not something I find myself desiring frequently.

After trying two flavors, here’s my overall impression of Lean Cuisine’s Salad Additions.

The Good [crosslist]

  • Readily available in the freezer section at the grocery
  • Several flavors to choose from
  • Easy and quick to prepare – simply place salad dressing packet in hot water to thaw, microwave the protein/veggie packets for 2 ½ minutes, let it cool for a minute, then add them to fresh lettuce along with the dressing and additional items (such as sesame sticks for the cranberry chicken flavor)
  • Relatively low in fat and calories – there’s 9 g of fat and 280 calories (7 Weight Watchers points) in the cranberry chicken and 8 g of fat and 280 calories (7 Weight Watchers points) in the Asian chicken
  • Taste – salad dressings and toppings (like sesame sticks and crispy noodles) add flavor and great texture to the veggies/protein and the lettuce.

[/crosslist]

The Not-So-Good[badlist]

  • Sodium is high (as are most frozen meals). These two flavors had 21% and 26% of the recommended daily value 
  • Need fresh lettuce – not really that big of a deal, but if you prefer to have one box/item to take for lunch to work, this meal won’t work for you. If you forgot the lettuce, you could still eat the contents of the Salad Additions, but it wouldn’t be as filling (or tasty)
  • Taste – The chicken was a bit chewy. The overall flavor isn’t anything spectacular, but I haven’t found a frozen “light” meal yet that is (and I’ve tried various brands and MANY flavors).
  • Texture – if you put the protein/veggie pouch on while it’s too hot, the lettuce gets soft and a bit mushy. I waited for about 1 ½ minutes (the box suggests 1 minute) and it was still too warm. I personally am not a fan of warm lettuce, so if you’re not either, wait until the pouch is lukewarm to add it to the lettuce.

[/badlist]
If you need a quick and relatively healthy meal and want something a little different than the typical frozen “diet” meals, Lean Cuisine Salad Additions is a good choice.

What are your favorite things to add to salads?

 

This post is a review that represents honest opinons of the above mentioned product by me. I was not paid and all thoughts expressed in this post are my own. 

 

Jamie BioAfter a 13 year PR/communications career, Jamie K. took on her most challenging (but rewarding) job – fulltime CFO (chief family officer). She currently lives in Northern Virginia, her 4th “home” state in 5 years thanks to her officer husband’s Air Force career.

Thanksgiving Recipe for Love #CardstoreThanks

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. Whether we’re celebrating with my husband’s family or mine, we are always surrounded by people who we are thankful for. This year, as Miss A and Lil’ C get older we are continuing to instill in them a sense of gratitude. Each day we talk about what and who we are thankful for and even make crafts and notes based around the spirit of thankfulness.

When Miss A talks about being thankful, often it involves people. She has a huge heart for people and especially her teacher and classmates in Kindergarten this year. While we can’t invite all of her classmates and beloved teacher to travel all the way {a 10+ hour drive} to New York with us, nor would they all fit at the dinner table, we want to bring them with us in spirit.

I myself will be carrying thoughts of you, my precious readers with me as we travel and celebrate and so I wanted to share something special with you all.

My favorite Thanksgiving dish is stuffing. I feel like it’s one of those dishes that can really, “warm the soul”, and it’s such a comfort food. I have a few favorite stuffing recipes so it was hard to pick just one to share with you, but luckily stuffing is a dish that you can get creative with, so if you want to add something different like meats or fruit or even nuts, go right ahead!!

This holiday season, Cardstore is helping each of us extend our Thanksgiving celebration and promote the spirit of giving by allowing me to send each of you my special recipe and a Cardstore coupon code good for one free card! I just need you to complete these two simple steps:

Step 1: Leave a comment below sharing one Thanksgiving memory that makes you smile

Step 2: When the registration box appears, complete the form

Step 3: That’s it! My recipe and a coupon code from Cardstore will be sent to you by mail

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Cardstore. The opinions and text are all mine.

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

Back to School Ice Cream Social Tips {CLOSED}

Ice Cream Party

For those of you with school-aged children, some of your kiddos have already had their first day back to school, and some of you have another few weeks before your child starts classes. Miss A starts her first day of Kindergarten next Monday {wowzers!} and so we thought what better way to get excited about heading to school than a party!

It’s been pretty warm here in Charlotte, North Carolina this summer and we love Blue Bunny products, so we figured what better way to celebrate with our friends than a Back to School Ice Cream Social!

Ice Cream Party

Here are some tips to make your Back to School {or anytime} Ice Cream Social a success:

1. Purchase a few different flavors of ice cream. This allows variety for your guests to choose from. I recommend sticking with classics, or adding a little twist. {We enjoyed Blue Bunny’s Homemade Vanilla & Chocolate Swirl, Double Strawberry, and their Sweet & Salty Pretzel.}

2. Mix between processed and fresh toppings. When it comes to what my girls are eating I try to be mindful of giving them a good mix between healthy foods and treats.  I traded strawberry spread topping for fresh strawberries, and also cut up some banana slices, but of course kept the rainbow sprinkles and chocolate/carmel sauces as well {for mommy’s sweet tooth, er good measure}

3. Wait to set the ice cream out until the very last moment. Wait as long as you can to put the ice cream out onto the tables to keep them as cool as possible. On extremely hot days consider putting them in a bucket of ice and displaying them while keeping them chilled.

4. Water play equals clean kids. On a hot day it’s always a good idea to have something besides ice cream to cool the kids down, plus the water acts as an added cleaning agent after you’ve washed hands and faces. We chose a water table, kiddie pool and water slide and the kids were loving it!

Back to School Ice Cream Social Water Play

5. Don’t forget to ask about food allergies. Some ice creams and toppings are processed in a plant with nuts, contain egg, wheat, soy, etc that some of your guests may be allergic to. It’s always nice to check before you buy the supplies.

6. Have fun!!! Enjoy the last few days of summer with great people in your life and celebrate!!

Back to School Ice Cream Social

Fun right?!?!?! Head over to Blue Bunny’s website and check out some of their awesome new flavors, or pick out your favorites for an upcoming party at http://www.bluebunny.com/

Also enter for a chance to win some ice cream for your very own Ice Cream Social, whatever the occasion may be. One lucky MommyBKnowsBest.com reader will win 5 Blue Bunny Bucks, to spend on whichever (5) Blue Bunny Treats your heart desires. 

Enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you Blue Bunny for the treats in order to host this soiree. I am not an official spokesperson for Blue Bunny, however if I could wear a bunny suit I would sign up immediately. I write about Blue Bunny because I like their products, and hopefully my posts reflect that sentiment. Please know that the above words and images are my own honest thoughts, yours may vary, but it’s doubtful.

HERSHEY’S CAMP BONDFIRE – Fun with Friends

Bo

Wow, only 10 days before Miss A starts her official first day of Kindergarten {not including orientation}. I cannot believe it. Although I bought school supplies weeks ago, have all of her uniform tops hung in her closet, and have started putting her to bed at an earlier time, I still just don’t feel like the summer is over.

In an effort to say, “goodbye” to Summer and, “hello” to school in a fun way, we decided to get a bunch of our friends together and have our very own Back-to-School party with a HERSHEY’S CAMP BONDFIRE twist. It’s been hot, hot, hot out lately, and because there were a few little ones running around we figured to keep our s’mores cold. We used our s’mores for ice cream toppings and created our own fake bonfire, that wouldn’t burn little hands. It was a total success!!

Here are some pictures from our Ice Cream Social:

HERSHEYS CAMP BONDFIRE MOMMYBKNOWSBEST

Everyone had a blast and the s’mores toppings were a hit! The kids especially loved the bite-size pieces of Hershey’s chocolate bars in their ice cream and us moms snagged some too!

No matter if you’re roasting s’mores the traditional way, or making it fit your family celebrations HERSHEY’S CAMP BONDFIRE is about being around people you love and making great memories. Check out Hershey’s Facebook page to learn more about CAMP BONDFIRE, become a “camper”, get some awesome Hershey’s coupons, and win great prizes too!! http://www.facebook.com/HERSHEYS/

Today is National S’mores Day are you doing anything fun to celebrate?? 

This post is part of my participation in the HERSHEY’S CAMP BONDFIRE campaign. All opinions expressed are mine.

#vlogmom MommyBKnowsBest on: A Chilly Tour – What’s in MY Fridge??

#vlogmom

#vlogmomHey guys! How was your 4th of July?!?! We had a great mini vacation with my in-laws and enjoyed some fireworks in our own backyard.

I hope the summer is treating you well and I want to thank you for stopping by even though I know these hot months are filled with fun and activities! I appreciate you!!

Here’s a little something to cool you off {vicariously of course}: A tour of my fridge.

Dresden from CreatingMotherhood.com  asks this week’s vlogmom question: What’s in your fridge????

Mine was actually mostly empty because of above mentioned vacation, so yes I did stock up, but only on things we normally eat {except the cherries, I thought they would be nice to try}. Here’s my video and I’ll list some of the products I pointed out after the video, not because I’m getting paid, but because they’re yummy and you should try them too!!

Trop50 – Made by Tropicana, Blueberries – Made by God, Stonewall Kitchen Cilantro Lime Dressing – EarthFare, Kalamata Olives + Artichokes = Deliciousness, Chobani Yogurt – any  kind really, here’s a link to my Chobani Fecipe, Butter – See next to Paula Deen in the Dictionary, Kansas Style BBQ sauce – Made by Wholesome Goodness, and feel free to ask if I missed anything too!!

Make sure you check out these other fridges and freezers:

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??