Banana Splits with Yogurt – yum!

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So. I’ve been excited about doing this campaign for Mountain High Yoghurt, because I always dig working with Colorado companies. I’m one of several other bloggers called Yogurt Ambassadors, which I think is just fabulous. I AM A YOGURT AMBASSADOR, HONORED TO REPRESENT MY PEOPLE. I’d like to be referred to as Supreme Yogurt Overlord, but since they chose the term, ambassador it is.
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F’Real.

Okay, what’s the first thing you think of when you see, “F’real”…? If you’re an internet junkie like me, you immediately flashed to Antoine Dodson.

Well, guess what? There’s a company called F’Real that supplies my local gas station/convenience store with these crazy, pre-made milkshakes you mix up yourself with a fancy machine. It’s so fun, for real. Kayley and I stop for fifty-nine cent coffee all the time and keep passing by the milkshake machine. Yesterday, we decided it would be a PERFECT day to have a milkshake, since it was five degrees below zero outside. I mean, why not, right? Here’s Kayley, whipping us up a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup milkshake. It was pretty good, and would probably be even better on a day when we weren’t at risk for frostbite and hypothermia.

Yay for Pizza.

I know I’ve told you guys in the past about how fun it is to make your own pizza with the kids – I use the recipe for Simple Pizza Crust from Mandajuice. You can’t go wrong with such basic ingredients – it’s SO easy even for the kids, and the pizza is bomb.

Here are my monkeys, getting ready to make their own mini pies:

Making pizza is fun!

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My kids made theirs with turkey pepperoni.

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I made ours with thinly sliced tomatoes, spinach, and mushrooms.

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Everybody was happy!

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I think we’re going to make it again this week, except I’m just going to make one big pizza for the family instead of a bunch of little baby mini pizzas. Keep it simple, sistah. This truly is SO MUCH BETTER than anything we’ve had delivered. My dad and I were talking over Easter dinner about how they can’t find any pizzeria pizza worth a damn in their neighborhood. I promised him I’d share this recipe, so here it is! (Well. Linked above, anyway!) Try it out. Seven sets of thumbs in the air, from our kitchen!

Buffalo Chicken Dip

I know I just said the other day that I don’t share many recipes. But this one is a keeper, for sure! I made it for my friend Suzanne’s Iron Chef party this weekend, and it WON! Whee! Paul and I dug it so much, he insisted I make another batch today, for the girls’ birthday party. Everyone looooved it. And you will, too. Here’s the recipe.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • 1 package cream cheese
  • 1 cup ranch dressing
  • 1 cup Frank’s Original Red Hot sauce
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

    Spray a rectangular baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Cut the cream cheese into cubes and place into dish. Cover with dressing, hot sauce, and cheese.

    Place in a 350 degree oven for a few minutes to melt everything together. Remove from oven, stir in chicken.

    Garnish with green onions if you wish. Serve with chips, celery, or crackers. Yum!

  • I don’t share a lot of recipes, y’know.

    There are so many amazing food bloggers out there, I figure you don’t need my handful of recipes. There was a time in my life when I adored cooking, and really loved to tackle a complicated, challenging recipe. I’ve come to accept the fact that those days are long gone. Having such a limited amount of time to get dinner on the table really sucks the joy out of cooking for me, especially when I’m cooking for such a variety of tastes and preferences.

    My husband hates onions and anything “too crunchy” that reminds him of celery. My oldest hates grilled chicken and most vegetables. The little kids are surprisingly the least picky out of everyone at the table. Pablo does have a few texture issues, mostly related to kids with autism, but he’s still a great eater. Mallory tries almost everything I put in front of her. At Hooters the other day, she actually attacked a plate of chicken wings! The little girls are a parents’ dream. There are very few things they won’t eat, and it’s not at all unusual to see them stealing my sushi when we hit Tokyo Joes.

    It’s extremely rare for me to find a recipe that everyone digs into and enjoys, so when that happens, I feel like it’s necessary to share it with the world! Here’s something that was SO EASY to make that I could have put Kayley in charge of it. Everyone liked it so much, I’ll probably have to make triple the recipe next time. (I doubled it for our 7-person family.)

    Speedy Chicken Stir-Fry – by Kraft Foods

  • 1/2 lb. angel hair pasta (capellini), uncooked
  • 2 cups small broccoli florets
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 cup KRAFT Asian Toasted Sesame Dressing
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. each: ground ginger, garlic powder, crushed red pepper
  • 1/3 cup chopped PLANTERS Dry Roasted Peanuts
  • Cook pasta in large saucepan as directed on package, adding broccoli to the boiling water for the last 3 min.

    Meanwhile, spray large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; heat on medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 6 to 8 min. or until done, stirring occasionally. Stir in dressing, soy sauce, ginger, garlic and pepper; cook 1 min., stirring occasionally.

    Drain pasta mixture; place in large bowl. Add chicken mixture; mix lightly. Spoon evenly into 4 serving bowls; sprinkle with peanuts.

    I make stir fry ALL THE TIME, but this dish was gobbled up much more quickly than usual. I think it was because of the noodles – the kids REALLY liked it that way! And I seriously had it on the table in about 20 minutes – that angel hair cooks super fast! Try it; you’ll like it!

    P.S. Check out the Savvy Quiz in the widget over there –> (scroll down a bit.) It’s about language development and oral language skills for kids ages 2 to 6. This is always interesting to me as a parent of speech delayed kids!

    Crockpot Lasagna

    Crockpot Lasagna

    This is what we’re having for dinner tonight. I’m wary of crockpot recipes, because to me, they almost always taste like ass – mushy chicken, gloppy vegetables – gross. I pretty much only use my crockpot for this recipe, and for making the occasional pot roast. This is a good one. (But you have to start it right after lunch – if you cook it all day, it’ll burn and be nasty.) Try it; you’ll like it!

    Crockpot Lasagna

    • 1 lb. lean ground beef
    • 1 (26 to 28 oz.) jar tomato pasta sauce
    • 1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
    • 1/2 (9 oz.) pkg. (about eight) no-boil lasagna noodles
    • 1 (1-lb.) jar Alfredo pasta sauce
    • 12 oz. (3 cups) shredded mozzarella cheese
    • 1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese

    Brown ground beef and drain.

    Spray a 4 to 5-quart crockpot with nonstick cooking spray. Spread 3/4 c. of the tomato pasta sauce in the bottom of the sprayed crockpot.
    Stir the remaining tomato pasta sauce and the can of tomato sauce into the ground beef.

    Layer 3 lasagna noodles over the sauce in the crockpot, breaking noodles as necessary. Top with 1/3 of the Alfredo pasta sauce, spreading evenly. Sprinkle with 1 c. of the mozzarella cheese. Top with 1/3 of the ground beef mixture, spreading evenly.

    Repeat the layers twice, using 2 noodles in the last layer. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over top.

    Cover and cook on low for 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours.

    Marvel at how you just walked in the door from Girl Scouts and dinner is already READY, and you just need to throw the bread in the oven. Yippee!

    Eating Right Kids at Safeway

    We recently sampled some goodies from a brand new line of kid-friendly healthier foods, thanks to Safeway and Team Mom. Warner Bros. Consumer Products teamed up with Safeway to create the new healthier food and beverage line, which features Looney Tunes characters. The Eating Right Kids line is available exclusively from Safeway, and features items such as bread, cereal, chewy snack bars, frozen entrees, waffles, fruit cups, fruits and vegetables, juice, pudding, and Vitamin Water.

    Interestingly enough, Warner Bros. has stated that they will no longer use any of the Looney Tunes characters on any less-than-healthy food packaging, with the exception of special occasion foods, such as certain ice cream treats and birthday cakes.

    “We’ve cleared the market of anything that might be considered unhealthy,” said Brad Globe, prexy of Warner Bros. Worldwide Consumer Products. “Our Looney Tunes characters are our crown jewels. We said, ‘Hey, we need to figure out how we can be part of some kind of solution and use our characters in a positive way that will improve the issues related to childhood obesity.'”

    That’s awesome! And the foods are great. As much as I’d love my children to eat a plateful of whatever healthy dinner I lovingly prepare, the reality is that sometimes we need to rely on convenience foods. It’s nice to be able to reach for a healthier option when I’m out shopping!

    P.S. The chewy bars are the bomb-diggity. I didn’t even share them with my kids. Mean mommy!

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