Happy National Ice Cream Day!  We can have a dairy-free frozen treat using Yonanas!

  

Today is National Ice Cream Day!  Not that we needed an excuse to have ice cream!!!  We keep several dairy-free frozen treats in the freezer at all times, but there’s something special about making your own!  Plus making ice cream was on Our Summer Bucket List!  In the spirit of such a fun holiday we would like to share with you our recent ice cream making adventure!

MiniThor loves making his very own ice cream!  We use our handy-dandy Yonanas Frozen Healthy Dessert Maker  (⬅️affiliate link) because we pick the ingredients and it creates delicious (and healthy) dessert without any dairy!  There are tons of recipes on the Yonanas website but we like to keep it simple.  We use..

  • One frozen banana, halved
  • One bag of pre-sliced frozen fruit
  • Yonanas dessert maker
  • Ice cream cones and toppings (optional)

  I love Dole Ready-Cut Fruit to use with our Yonanas!  I always keep a couple of bags in the freezer so that we can make ice cream on a whim.

We made our Strawberry Peach Banana treat based on the instructed included with the appliance.  

We pushed through one half of the frozen banana, then the frozen ready-cut fruit, and then the other half of he banana.  Stir, scoop, serve, smile!

  
We hope you have a sweet day!

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Allergy Kid Lunch Packing Plan (to prevent panicking) Including a Printable!

  If you’ve read our previous posts, you know that MiniThor has multiple food allergies and sensitives.  Soooo obviously school provided lunches are not an option for him.  This was one of the major deciding factors in keeping him in his daycare preschool instead of public “Head Start” preschool.  His daycare provided him with meals he could eat, even if they had to cook something different for him than the other kids.  But alas, it is now time for kindergarten (tear~tear) and that means there is no choice but to pack his lunch everyday.  I will admit I find this a but terrifying just to think about, let alone the actual packing.  Thankfully, the wonderful world of Pinterest exist and I have been able to take a peek at what other mommas pack their kiddos (some people are insanely over-the-top detailed and creative making bento boxes that would make Walt Disney jealous, but seriously “ain’t nobody got time for that!”).

As with all things in life, planning ahead gives you an advantage.  I know that I would only increase (my already high) stress level if I waiting until the morning of every morning to pack a lunch.  We are already a very busy Super Duo.  In order to stay organized and plan ahead I created a printable weekly school lunch planner!  

 Print our PDF by clinking >>> School lunch planner, we hope this will be a stress reducer for the busy moms out there!

A practice lunch plan

MiniThor picked out the color scheme for the printable and sat next to me offering his “helpful” input and we chit-chatted about lunch ideas.  

Our printable includes a notes section and a grocery list section.  This allows you to write out any items you need to buy or prepare ahead of time.

I plan to prep as much of the lunches as possible on Sunday evenings so that minimal packing is needed to get the lunchbox ready to go each day.  I’m sure there will be some trial and error as we venture on this new adventure.  I’ll share tips as I can.  Keep an eye out for a future posts with some of our packed lunches throughout the school year.

(Dairy-Free) Double Dark Chocolate Fudge Cookies

I’ve yet to meet a cookie I didn’t like.  I have a soft spot for sweet stuff!  ..and so does MiniThor.. who happens to be allergic to dairy.  Basically every bakery item you encounter is made with butter, thus creating a challenge in satisfying that sweet tooth!  Through many kitchen adventures MiniThor and I have discovered many glorious goodies that can be made sans dairy!  Cookies regularly roll out of our oven using this standard recipe…

  
You can use any box cake mix for this, making this recipe very versatile!  Many cake mixes DO NOT contain dairy!!!  Just check the label to be sure and you’re good to go.

For today’s cookie creation we used Duncan Hines Classic Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix. It worked wonderfully to create fluffy, chewy, chocolate cookies!  Finding chocolate chips that are allergy friendly is a bit tricky, luckily we discovered Enjoy Life Semi Sweet Chocolate Mini Chips!  There is only one store that carries them in our area, if these amazing choco chips are are to  find in your area you can find them on Amazon, here is our affiliate link… Enjoy Life Semi Sweet Chocolate Mini Chips – 10 oz – 2 

These cookies are easy, here’s the how-to…

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  
  • Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray or line it with parchment paper.  
  • Mix together everything except the chocolate chips until well combined.  
  • When you have a smooth batter, fold in your desired amount of chocolate chips.  
  • Spoon your batter out onto your prepared cookie sheet(s).  
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes.
  • Let cool.
  • EAT COOKIES!

 
I made 20 big cookies with this mix.  20 delicious dark chocolate cookies of awesomeness!

 
MiniThor approves!!! 

Try out your own variations and enjoy this simple sweet treat!
Keep making memories,

Kate

Cute Crustless Sammies

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Mini Thor was recently diagnosed with a diary allergy so we have made a few adjustments in the way we eat. We have lots of recipes to share and we are going to get the party started with this fun dairy free idea we just love..Cute Crustless Sammies! It’s a tasty and fuss-free kid favorite whether you have allergies to worry about or not. Kids love fun shaped foods!

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Here’s what you need…
– Whole Wheat Tortillas
– Peanut Butter (or your kiddos favorite nut-butter, like almond butter)
– Cute Cookie Cutters. We used a shark and a fish this time.

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The How-To:
These are quick and easy! Just use the cookie cutter to cut 2 of each shape you are using.

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Spread a thin layer of peanut butter (or other nut butter) on one tortilla and then add the other as the top and you’ve got the cutest little sandwich ever!

Pair with fruits and veggies and you have a tasty dairy-free meal for your little one!

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Mini Thor made quick work of these sammies!

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These sammies are simple to make and will surely bring smiles! Using a wheat tortilla means no crust and no crumbs, plus you’re sneaking in some whole grain, and that means happy kids and happy moms! We hope you try them and love them as much as we do!

Keep making memories,
-Kate

Cranberry Almond {No Bake!} Granola Bars!

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So I was cruising through Pinterest the other day and I kept seeing different recipes for chewy granola bars. I thought “hey awesome I can make granola bars with pronounceable ingredients!” It’s amazing (and I don’t mean in a good way) what nonsensical things are in prepackaged food! Ok ok, getting off my soapbox now. Back to the granola bars… I pulled the best parts of a few different recipes and did some ingredient swapping and I ended up with yummy yummy in my tummy easy to make granola bars! So I give you.. Cranberry Almond {no bake} Granola Bars!

What you need…
The Basics:
1/4 cup almond butter
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup butter (4tbsp)
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 1/4 cup quick cook oats (get Gluten-Free Oats, like Bob’s Mill, if you are on a GF diet)
The Fix’ins to Mix in:
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup shredded or flake coconut
1/4 broken up pretzel sticks + a few more to press on top of the bars (we used Glutino pretzel sticks, which are super tasty and Gluten-Free!

Add the sugar, butter, almond butter, and honey to a medium pan and heat over medium heat.

Tip: for measuring things like almond butter and honey, this Pampered Chef measuring cup is my hero!
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Bring the sugar mixture to a low boil and continue to boil for 2-3 minutes, then remove from heat.

Add your oats and stir to coat. Once it’s all evenly coated let it cool for five minutes.

Now it’s time to add in your fix’ins!
Doesn’t that look like a tasty pot of heavenly goodness!!!
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Mini Thor helped me mix in the goodness
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Line a casserole dish with parchment paper and then spread your granola in the dish. Top with some extra pretzel pieces and use the bottom of a cup or bowl to press everything down really well.
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Let that goodness chill in the fridge for 2 hours and then you can cut them. You end up with about 12-14 bars depending on what size you want them to be.

What emerges are delicious, nutritious sweet, salty, chewy (insert more adjectives as needed haha) granola bars!!!

I took half the batch to Granmomma and received this text two days later…
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The great thing about this recipe is the flexibility. Use “The Basics” and you can add what ever “Fix’ins” you and your family would like. You can even substitute the almond butter with peanut butter if that’s what you have handy. These bars can be made a number of ways….although I must say they are pretty darn tasty my way 😉. I hope you whip up a tasty batch of your own to be enjoyed by the little super heroes in your life.

-Kate

Wreck-it-Ralph “Drive-in Movie” Night

Summer is coming to an end. Boooo! With my fall semester starting I wanted to get some fun in with little man before the busy-ness starts. I took a few days off from work and we hung out and played! We played outside, made stuff, had lunch with Granmomma downtown, visited our favorite coffee shop for some bubble tea, went shopping, and I just soaked up the memories! I love spending time with my little sidekick!
One of the fun things we did was make an empty box into a car for a drive-in movie in the living room! Mini Thor got to pick out the movie and I planned a supper to go along with it. He was so excited all day as we assembled and decorated the car!
Markers and a cardboard box can be extensively entertaining to a small child haha! I just set him loose decorating it however he pleased.

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I cut a paper plate to look like a steering wheel and let him decorate it. If you attach it with a prong then the steering wheel will be able to turn! Mini Thor loved turning the steering wheel and “driving” his car!

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We added another cardboard piece as a roof and black paper plates as wheels! The Mini Thor Mobile was complete with windows and all!

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Mini Thor selected the movie “Wreck-it Ralph” for our Drive-in Movie Night! If you haven’t seen it yet, we highly recommend it!

Of course we had to have some fun snacks and supper to go along with the movie!

For our appetizer we had “Sour-bil Grapes” (these are like the monster snacks from our Monsters Inc movie night)

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These are so simple, just washed grapes + jello mix! He mixed them up all by himself and then enjoyed them in his car!

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For our meal I got creative and Mini Thor was so excited when I told him what I was making! Here’s a look at the menu…

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I got my inspiration by checking out a list of what video games were in the film ,and there were a lot! Mini Thor had requested Dino Nuggets so I was thankful the the game “Primal Rage” was in the movie. So the Dino nuggets became Sauron nuggets! The Mac&cheese and the fruit salad dishes are both PAC-Man references, as you probably guessed! Mini Thor now request that I make Mac&cheese like that every time haha!

For our movie night activity we made Sugar Rush race cars! We used graham crackers, marshmallow cream, peanut butter, marshmallows, candies, and sprinkles to build a pretty sweet car!

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Mini Thor got to wreck-it when we were done (of course) an he ate the marshmallow wheels haha!

For dessert we had “Tapper’s” Root Beer Floats!

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We had so much fun planning this night together! We hope you take this inspiration and have a movie night of your own!

Keep making memories,
-Kate

Pitas to Personal Pizzas!

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We all have those nights when we need supper to be something quick an easy. Top that with a side of picky kids and you have a recipe for difficulty. Never Fear, this momma has a solution. Simple, easy, and everyone gets to have it their way…Pita Personal Pizzas!
With just three ingredients + toppings these pizzas are so simple a toddler could make them.
You just need pita bread, pizza sauce, cheese, and your fav pizza toppings. We kept it simple with plain ol’ pepperoni.

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Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and start creating.

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Bake for 10 minutes and ta-da everyone has their own customized pizza!

Mini Thor approves!

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He loves making his own pizza. We usually have a picnic in the living room floor when we have these. He loves having picnics. 🙂

These pizzas are a great way for the whole family to make dinner together!

Added bonus, these are low cal pizzas! You can eat your whole pita pizza for under 300 calories if you leave off the pepperonis and add some veggies instead. With pepperonis you’re still only at about 350 calories!

Enjoy 🙂
-Kate

Monsterrific Jellotastic Movie Night

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Mini Thor loooooves the Disney Pixar Movie “Monsters, Inc.” With the new Monster University movie coming out this month there is Monsters stuff all over Walmart. He spotted a Jell-O juggler mold with the faces of a few characters right next to “berry scary” flavored jell-o, so of course we just couldn’t pass it up! There were a couple other jell-o uses that I’d been wanting to try as well, so I thought we’d just make a night of it. A Monsterrific Jellotastic Movie Night!

First we made Jello-Jigglers so they could sit for three hours in the fridge and be ready for dessert after supper.
This is the end result…

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They turned out awesome and Mini Thor loved them!

Next I fixed “Monster Snacks” for us to eat while we watch the movie. I made Jello Grapes and they were a hit! (There are many many posts out there with this idea so I’m not sure who actually came up with this genius snack.)
Here’s the how to..

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Mini Thor and Aunt PeyPey both loved them! They were gobbled up quickly and I had to make a second batch!

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(You may want to use a lighter colored jello if you are worried about messy fingers)

Next we made some “Jel-doh,” homemade play-do using jello mix! I’m kind of weird (which you may have guessed already) and I just can’t stand the smell that store bought play-doh leaves on your hands, yuck! so when I found a recipes for making this scented dough I just had to try it! If you have a little one who may be tempted to taste play-doh this dough might be a good trial before using other modeling clays with them.  If they eat this it won’t do any harm, although I can’t imagine it tasting very well. 

Here’s the how-to…

In a small saucepan combine the following:

– 1 cup flour
– 1/2 cup salt
– 1 Tbsp cooking oil
– 2 tsp cream of tartar
– 1 cup water
– 1 (3oz) package of Jello

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Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the dough becomes the consistency of mash potatoes.

Remove from pot and cool on a lightly flour surface.

When it has cooled enough, kneed the dough thoroughly.

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(Store in an air tight container when not in use.)

We put our Jel-do to use as soon as it was cool! We made it into MONSTERS!

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We used googly eyes (I love googly eyes!!!), pipe cleaners, and pompoms to make silly monsters!

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Mini Thor was occupied by this for like half and hour, which is a very long time for a two year old!

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I loved making jel-doh monsters with my little monster! We made many monster friends!

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We ended up watching Monsters, Inc. a couple times and we had lots of monster fun!!!
-Kate

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Fried Chicken…nuggets!

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Since its summer break my (very picky) teenage little sister has spent the night with me a few nights recently. Finding something to cook for supper that both her and Mini Thor will eat is a serious task! They are both picky little monsters, I tell you what! For two nights in a row they requested my homemade chicken nuggets. I must be doing something right then, eh? It must be my secret ingredient (well it wont be secret now, oops) that sets these tasty nuggets apart from the rest! So what is this secret ingredient you say? Pickle Juice! Yes, I’m serious, 2 tablespoons of pickle juice for a jar of sweet pickles!

Here’s what you’ll need..
– 1lb chicken breast cut into nugget sized pieces
– 2 quart size zippy bags
– 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (I use White Lilly since it is one of the few flour brands that doesn’t have barley in it (which Mini Thor is allergic to))
– 1 tsp each salt and pepper
– two dashes each garlic power and chipotle chili powder
– 1 1/2 cups milk
– 1 egg
– 2 tbsp sweet pickle juice
– and a couple dashes of pepper for the milk/egg mixture
– Oil for frying

In one zippy bag combine the egg, milk, pickle juice, and a couple dashes of pepper. Mix it mix it and Shake shake shake it up and then add the chicken. Let that sit for now.

Mix the flour and seasonings in the other zippy bag.

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Heat oil in a skillet to medium heat. I use my handy dandy cast iron skillet!

Add a couple pieces of chicken to the flour bag and…shake it like a Polaroid pict-cha! (Sorry could resist that!).

Use a fork (or whatever utensil you prefer, I suppose) to get the pieces of chicken out of the flour and drop them into the heated oil.

Fry until browned and chicken is fully cooked.

Repeat until you’ve cooked all your nuggets.

Ta-da yummy yummy chicken nuggets!

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I didn’t get many pictures because they all got gobbled up so quickly!

Serve them with some veggies and you’ve got a southern style meal hun!

-Kate

Comic Books, Dinos, and Wookie Cookies!

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Yesterday was a seriously fun day!!!

We started off with Free Comic Book Day!

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Mini Thor, dressed in his Thor gear of course, and mommy with a Marvel shirt on. Even though we arrived at the comic shop just half an hour after they opened they were already buzzing with adults and kids (mostly adults teehee) checking out the latest comics and picking out their free comic book! Mini Thor’s cuteness brought many smiles and “awww”s. He picked out a few comics and got two free comics! Once he had picked out what he wanted he was ready to go read them!

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After comic book day we met Granmomma and PeyPey for brunch 🙂

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Then it was off to “Discover the Dinosaurs!”

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Mini Thor loved looking at all the dinosaurs and he really enjoyed digging for dinosaur bones. Now he has decided he wants to be a paleontologist like Dino Dan when he grows up (and also a rock star and an astronaut).
My little sister’s dinosaur impressions kept us laughing through the exhibit!

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After all this fun a nap was in order!

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Then it was off to Granmomma’s house to celebrate Star Wars Day, with lightsabers made out if pool noodles and the ingredients to make wookie cookies!

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We used my grandmother’s recipe for oatmeal macaroons to make our Wookie Cookies!

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I substituted 2 sticks of butter in place of the Crisco and I used walnuts instead of pecans because that is what I had on hand.

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You cream the butter, sugars, vanilla, and baking soda, then add the eggs until its all mixed. Next add flour.

Now put that mixer away and get out a big ol spoon. Mix in the oats, coconut, nuts, and mini chocolate chips.

Now make them into little balls and use regular size chocolate chips to make your wookie face!

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Some of the faces turned out cute when they baked and some of them not so much but they were all taaaaasty!

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Not the wookiest if cookies but Mini Thor loved making them..and eating them!

We absolutely loved our Saturday of celebrating and exploring! Comic book shopping, Dino observing, Lightsaber battles, and Star Wars cookie making! I love doing fun stuff with my Mini Thor!

-Kate