Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Crepes


Crepes with Skippy Chocolate Peanut Butter and Bananas





1 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter, melted



In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and the eggs. Gradually add in the milk and water, stirring to combine. Add the salt and butter; beat until smooth.


Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each crepe. Tilt the pan with a circular motion so that the batter coats the surface evenly.


Cook the crepe for about 2 minutes, until the bottom is light brown. Loosen with a spatula, turn and cook the other side. Serve hot.


One thing that helps if your crepes are getting too thick (especially if you don't want to buy one more thing to take up room in your kitchen that is made to cook 1 thing like a crepe pan) then buy a crepe spreader. You just spin this in the middle of the crepe and it spreads it even and it keeps the crepes in a nice circle. 






 
After the crepes are done than you add a generous amount of Skippy Chocolate Peanut Butter and  sliced bananas inside the crepe, and roll them up. This is actually one of my favorite kind of crepes. If there are extra crepes left over then sometimes when the kids aren't looking I can heat one up for myself and do this really quick.My son likes to make one with Skippy peanut butter, chocolate chips and powdered sugar.  

Sunday, September 28, 2014

How to Make Taco Night That Much Better!


Taco night is one of our favorites. Since I'm Hispanic I grew up eating and learning to cook a lot of Hispanic dishes. When we first got married the only thing I really knew how to cook was Mexican food. Then when we went out to eat my husband would ask, "What are you craving?" I would innocently respond, "Umm, Mexican food?!" So here are a few tips that can help make your taco dinner a little yummier.


First off don't skimp on the taco seasoning! I don't buy taco seasoning packets; I buy my taco seasoning in bulk from Costco. This way I am not limited to the amount in a packet and can add plenty of seasoning. 

 Another little thing that can add some flavor is cilantro. I like to cut up cilantro with some green onions and mix them up. This adds a little freshness to your taco. Cilantro is kind of my food cowbell so to speak, EVERYTHING could use a little more cilantro.


 Next use corn tortillas. I never buy those hard shell, pre-made taco shells, that is nada bueno en mi casa ;) My roomate and I use to fry ours in oil when we made them. I did that until I started having kids, now it is faster and healthier just to heat them up on my griddle.

Don't forget yummy fresh produce! I have so many tomatoes from my garden I have been thinking of as many meals as possible to add tomato too. Then I suggest a good salsa. Store bought or from scratch I like chunky and flavorful salsa. I was nervous when Hormel sent me some salsa to review because I am kind of picky about my salsas, but we loved it! You can even see the onions and cilantro chunks in it. And no cilantro in your salsa and fresh on top is not too much cilantro!!! Next time you can't decide what salsa to try give Herdez Salsa Casera a try.

 Last but not least a good taco needs avocado or guacamole. Where I live avocados aren't always cheap. I prefer fresh avocados, but when they aren't a good price or ripe then try Wholly Guacamole. My blogging friend Utah Moms Life says one of her kids only eats his tacos with cheese and Wholly Guacamole. She taught me that you can freeze them. So last time they were on sale I bought several and froze them. It was a nice addition one time when I was low on groceries and literally only had tortillas, meat and cheese on hand. I was so grateful to have those in my freezer to make dinner  that much better. Now Wholly Guacamole has these mini 100 calorie cups you buy as well. They are great for on the go or when just needed to add a little to your meal and not wanting a whole lot. I put 2 in the freezer I will let you know how those hold up in the freezer in the future.

So next time you make tacos for dinner try one of this little tweaks to enhance your taco's flavor. Enjoy!



In the spirit of full-disclosure, I’ve partnered with Hormel Foods as part of the Hormel Foods Extended Family Blogger Program. Throughout the year I’ll be receiving product, coupons, giveaways and promotions. However, no payment was given or expected for posting about the program, and as always, all opinions given here are fully my own 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Make Your Own Bread Crumbs

Ever wonder what to do with the ends of the bread. Or have your kids left the bag wide open and the bread started getting hard? You should make your own bread crumbs with it. I love how expensive bread crumbs are. Really? It crumbs! From bread!

Its really pretty easy. I leave the bread out on a plate to dry out for a day or 2. Then I crunch it up to fit in my magic bullet and I pulse it. Then I add some Italian seasoning, shake it up and store it in a mason jar. Done, see not hard at all!



Next I need to make some of my own meatballs and freeze them. Tweet me your favorite meatball recipes.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Year of Firsts- Vaseline Head


I was having a rough "mom" day recently when I decided I needed a nap so I could wake up refreshed and a happier mommy. Although while I was resting this little girl decided she needed to bathe in the Vaseline. I mean the entire Costco size tub all over her! Her Legs were coated (and drawn on), her entire dress was coated as if made of Vaseline, her arms, neck, face and last but not least her entire head of hair. Now I have had kids get some Vaseline in their hair before but not like this. Not an entire mask of it. So I called my hair dresser mom friend, asked Facebook for advice and googled it. Here is what I found based on top ideas and suggestions.
 
This was OK, but not the best. Baby oil helped but wasn't thorough enough for my liking.


This (and Peanut Butter) is what I have used for gum in the hair issues. It also helped some, but wasn't a winner of all what I tried.


Corn starch was my #1 favorite. I went through a whole box. I sprinkled it throughout her hair let it soak some up then squeezed tons out. I did that 2-3 times. Then washed it with dish soap. Dish soap is meant to help cut and fight grease. I did that twice before washing it.

.
My hairstylist mom friend recommended a clarifying shampoo as well. This also helped out when I was washing in between all the different household products I found.

In the end I must have washed her hair a dozen times, because she laid there for almost an hour. Even then her hair was still pretty greasy over the next 2-3 days till after a few mores wear and washed it finally came clean.



Queen of Chaos Year of Firsts

Friday, August 22, 2014

Guest Blog Post on Some Fun Road Trips

I am in denial that summer is over. There is still some fun weekends and Labor day weekend to squeeze in some fun adventures. If you want to plan something fun for your family, then today's guest blog post is perfect. Whitney has some fun places to visit all within a 6 hour drive of Salt Lake City.

3 Fun Summer Road Trips You Most Likely Haven’t Enjoyed Yet
Author: Whitney Hollingshead

Utah is home to some pretty incredible natural and manmade attractions. If Utah is also home to your family, you don’t have to venture far to find adventure. This year, however, you may want to consider venturing out into some of the nearby states to explore some unchartered territory. Here are three great family friendly destinations that may be new to your family. All three locations are within a six hour car drive from Salt Lake City.




Destination: Bruneau Dunes State Park, Idaho
Hours from Salt Lake City: 5
What to Do:
Sandboard on the Dunes - bring along your snowsled or rent a sandboard from the visitor’s center at the park. You can also hike on and around the dunes and play in the sand. Keep in mind that the sand will most likely be hot on a hot summer day so plan accordingly. Everyone will be covered in sand afterward, so have a plan to deal with the sand.
Star Gaze at the Observatory - special events at the public observatory in the park offer some great star gazing opportunities. Check out the park events schedule and check the weather forecast.
Camp in the State Park - plan to stay the night and pitch your tent. Your family can enjoy fishing, swimming, hiking, and bird watching. Bring along some kites and make the most of the Idaho wind!
Road Trip Tip: The drive through northern Utah and southern Idaho has little to hold the attention of children. Pack some extra car games, activities, fun music, and even audio books to keep the whole family relaxed and entertained.



Destination: Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Hours from Salt Lake City: 6
What to Visit:
Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park - ride up the mountain on the gondola tram. Get your heart racing on one of the thrill rides like the Cliffhanger roller coaster. Take in a 4D movie experience with moving seats and challenge the family to a game of laser tag. You should also check out the cave tours included in some of the ticket packages.
Hanging Lake - take the short, steep, hike beginning in Glenwood Canyon. Hanging Lake was formed by glaciers suspended at the edge of the canyon. This lake boasts stunning waterfalls, a lake full of trout, and crystal clear water.
Glenwood Hot Springs Pool - visit the world’s largest hot springs pool. You can swim in the warm mineral water pool the length of a football field. The kids can enjoy the kiddie pool and two waterslides.
Road Trip Tip: Pack a separate bag to stay in the car at all times. Keep an extra simple change of clothes for each family member, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, sunscreen, and a first aid kit. This will help you be ready for the unexpected while you are out having fun. You should also consider stocking up on simple snacks to eat in the car. Doing so will save you time and money when you need to stop for gasoline.



Destination: Thermopolis, Wyoming
Hours from Salt Lake City: 6
What to Visit:
Wyoming Dinosaur Center - visit the dinosaur museum showcasing over 30 mounted dinosaurs, hundreds of displays and dioramas, and a modern preparation laboratory. You can also tour nearby dig sites and see actual excavation of real dinosaur bones from the ground. Special programs are also offered that allow you and your kids to participate in real fossil digs! These special programs do require signing up in advance.
Star Plunge Pool Complex - Thermopolis is home to the Hot Springs State Park. These hot springs are used to heat the local swimming pools. Take the plunge into one of the indoor or outdoor pools. Test out your tricks on the diving board or head down one of the three fast-paced water slides. The adults can relax in an adults-only sauna and there is also a separate kiddie pool.
Legend Rock Petroglyph Site - Hike to one of the most impressive petroglyph areas in the world. In order to visit the site, you must first obtain a key form the Thermopolis-Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce in Thermopolis.
Road Trip Tip: Make sure your car is in great condition for your trip. Take care of any needed tune ups or repairs. You may want to consider having your tires checked and rotated before you head out as well. If you have been planning to buy a new car for your family, buying one before your big trip might be the perfect time to make the purchase. Be sure to check out online specials from local dealers to see if you can find what you are looking for and stay on budget.
Summer is the perfect time for exploring. Plenty of time is still available to enjoy a short trip to one of these fun destinations. So clear your calendar, pack the car, and take your family on a summer trip they’ll remember forever.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Easy Dinner Bowtie Pasta Using Leftovers

Now that school  is back in session its time to get on some better schedules and routines. It also means busier days. That's why I like recipes that everyone in my family likes that are quick to make, filling and use things I almost always have on hand. This is one of my favorites because I often throw in whatever left over proteins I have left over from prior meals. My favorite is chicken and Hormel pepperoni. Sometimes we eat it just plain, or sprinkle it with real bacon crumbles. Today I tried it with Hormels cubed boneless ham, and it was so good. My husband said he likes it better than when I do pepperoni. This ham is great to have around because I can throw it on a salad real quick, or my girls will snack on it, sometimes they even dip it in ketchup and eat it for part of their lunch. 



Here is my pasta recipe. Please remember I don't usually measure and sometimes just add random things depending on my mood or what I have. So I tried really hard to pay attention to how I actually made it.

Bowtie Pasta Dinner
Bouillon cubes
Bowtie Pasta
Heavy Cream (or half and half)
Italian seasoning
Corn Starch
Shredded Italian Cheese or Parmesan and mozzarella cheese.
Optional: ham, chicken cooked and cut, cut up pepperoni, etc


First I boil a pot off water with 1-2 chicken bullion cubes.  Then when its boiling I add bowtie pasta. Obviously you could use any pasta, but this one seems to be a family favorite.

Then when the pasta is about 75% cooked I drain most of the liquid and add a pint (or so) of heavy cream. I have used half and half before, but heavy cream seems to be best. At this point I lower the stove to medium and stir it often so the milk doesn't coddle. Also add 1-2 T of Italian seasoning.


Then I take 2 Tablespoons of corn starch and mix it in a separate bowl of water. This makes it smooth, versus pouring it straight in and getting all lumpy. Then I add this and my choice protein to the mixture. This time I did Hormels cubed ham.  Stir frequently till the pasta has absorbed most of the liquid and has thickened. 



Once you remove it from the heat add a bag of Italian shredded cheese, or a mixture of parmesan and mozzarella cheese. This is one of the few meals all 6 people in my family enjoy, so we make it often. Enjoy!




In the spirit of full-disclosure, I’ve partnered with Hormel Foods as part of the Hormel Foods Extended Family Blogger Program. Throughout the year I’ll be receiving product, coupons, giveaways and promotions. However, no payment was given or expected for posting about the program, and as always, all opinions given here are fully my own 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Easy Ideas for Pioneer Day or Just 'Cause it's Yummy

Only in Utah is the 24th of July a holiday. It's pioneer day. On July 24, 1847 Brigham Young entered the Salt Lake Valley after traveling with many pioneers from Nauvoo, IL. In Utah it's a holiday. They have the Days of 47 parade, rodeo, fireworks at all different locations and plenty of fun things to do. Here are some fun easy idea's to make your day a little easier.

Are you entertaining friends at your house for a bbq and some fireworks? There are several ways you can go. Easy, fast and yummy or you can take your time and make something delicious to impress. When I want something stress free but still can be enjoyed by all I like to get Lloyds bbg shredded beef. It's so easy to cook, serve and eat. Plus it tastes as if I spent hours cooking it.



One of Hormels recipes that I found on their Facebook page was this bacon wrapped cheesy avocado. It has my 3 favorite things, avocado, cheese and bacon. If your are bringing a dish to share at someones house why not impress with this yummy dish?

Click picture for recipe

Last but not least are for those that are going to need to pack some hearty snacks to keep kids full while going to and from parades, ball games, or other fun events. I think our family favorite is apples with with Skippy's new dark chocolate peanut butter spread and celery with Skippy peanut butter. This also is my mom after bedtime treat. 


Hope everyone has a happy and safe Pioneer Day!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Making Your Own Crayons

One of my easy go to gifts for holidays or kids birthdays is a coloring book or printed coloring pages with homemade crayons. It's a great way to get rid of some of those nasty, old, broken and sad looking crayons you have laying around.


Step 1: Break up pieces of crayons into muffin cups. If you have bakeware in cool shapes you could do it straight in them, but I don't so this is how I do it.



Step 2:Put them in the oven on the lowest setting.

Step 3: When they are liquidey then pull them out.


Step 4: Then I pour the muffin cup carefully into the shaped container. These are ice cube trays I picked up at Ikea for a dollar. I have used jello jigglier molds as well, but they don't pop out as easy, but are great for seasonal gifts.


Step 5: Let them cool down.


 Step 6: Then just pop them out and voila! cool crayons!