The Best Popsicle Recipes For This Summer

I have been once again roaming around the Internet and one thing keeps popping up… popsicles… So many different ideas and recipes and low and behold guess what is sitting up in my cabinets. Yep popsicles molds. I guess it is time to expand beyond mixing up some Kool-aid and pouring it in. Here I thought that made me all awesome and stuff and yes Little Miss still thinks that I rock at making popsicles. However, my boys I am sure will be impressed even more so at my ever growing culinary skills.

Make your own popsicles www.simplymoms.net

Before I share what I found all over the internet I am going to share the most basic ideas that are my own. So if you do not want to go all freezer pop gourmet these are simple, tasty, and the kids are sure to love them. Simply pour into the molds and freeze.

The Easy Freezy List

  • Yogurt
  • Koolaid
  • Juice
  • Pudding
  • Flat Soda (Otherwise there will be spillage and weird holes)
  • Pureed fruits with a bit of sweetener

What moms around the internet are freezing up

Over at The First Year Blog, she is making  Rainbow Popsicles

Oh, my gosh these popsicles are soooo pretty! They contain ingredients like strawberries, Greek yogurt, beets, banana, pineapple, spinach and so on. So they also seem pretty healthy as far as popsicles go! I will say the ingredient list is pretty long but that will not stop me from trying them out!

[Click here to check out her Rainbow Popsicles]


As we hop on over to the Super Healthy Kids blog we find

Fresh Raspberry Yogurt Cheesecake Pops for Kids

Raspberry cheese cake popsicles

Greek yogurt lends to a smooth creamy constancy for these beautiful raspberry popsicles.

[Click here to check out Fresh Raspberry Yogurt Cheesecake Pops for Kids]


PBS Blog shares Strawberries and Cream Pops (Submitted to PBS by  Adrianna Adarme of the Fresh Tastes blog)

Okay first off I can not wait to try these. When I saw these they just screamed summer to me. Secondly, PBS has a blog? Hmm very cool.  Are they not yummy looking? Heavy cream, fresh strawberries sorry to my hips but get in my belly! These are at the top of my popsicle making list.

Strawberries and Cream Pops from PBS blog

[Click here for the Strawberries and Cream Pops Recipe]


Whoa! Hold your hats! I found the mother of all coffee lovers popsicles!

Could it be? YES head on over to the Salty Canary Java lovers!

She has those not for your littles caffeinated popsicles! Oh, summer heaven here I come!

Simply  Named…

COFFEE POPSICLES

Coffee Popsicles by Salty Canary

[Jump on over and make some Coffee Popsicles]


Chill out with home made popsicles

What is your favorite frozen treat flavor?  Share your ideas below!

Love Jennifer

 

 

 

 

Meal Planner Weekly Free Printable

Free printable weekly meal planner page.

Simply print this free meal planner out and fill in each day with what you will be making for meals.

Free Meal planner printable

 

Week_Meal_Plan_Printable

Click the sample photo above or the link below it to print your free meal planner.

My Kitchen Banana Blunder & Banana Bread Recipe Share

So get ready for some kitchen humor and a recipe.

I do not consider myself a great cook. I am hardly a good cook depending on what I am making and if I am in the mood to be making anything period. If I am enjoying cooking things come out better. If it is drudgery It’s generally not going be a good meal.  I do love to bake but, again when the mood strikes.

So me not being a pro in the kitchen lends itself to this story.

One night my husband came home with these huge very green bananas. A friend had given them to him and they were terribly hard and clearly not at all ripe.

So I told my daughter to just set them on the counter to ripen.

Two days later still green and hard as a rock? What on earth? Maybe they were picked too soon? Maybe somehow we could speed up the ripening process?

 

So Google to the rescue. Place them in a paper bag… Hmmm to long speedier than that I mean we want to make banana bread today not next month at this rate.

 

Wait? The oven? Yes!!!

300 degrees for 30 – 40 minutes and they will ripen. A method great if you plan to bake with them. BINGO! So in the oven, they go unpeeled as it stated on the website on a cookie sheet. Easy peasy. 30 minutes go buy,..still green well, they were VERY under-ripe 40, 50, 1 hour still pretty much green! So, maybe longer? Two hours… They are black! YES!!!!

Out they come black as midnight and hard as rocks!!! I am baffled and my kids are legit in hysterics with laughter t this point. No one even cares anymore they wanted banana bread because these bananas are giving Mom a time and they think it is the funniest thing.

So I tell them “I am done toss those things in the trash there is clearly something wrong with them.”

After the last blackened hard as a rock banana slips into the trash something dawns on me.

Plantains

Do you know what these are?

If you said Plantains you are correct!!!!!

If you said big green bananas (Well some do call them that but they are not the same thing) … “Mostly”  wrong LOL and they will never turn yellow or ripen to eat not because they need to be cooked! (According to Wiki some do eat them raw but…. ) LOL They are a starchy food people often fry, broil, boil, roast or bake them. They certainly are not what I thought they were.

So I did go out and buy over ripe bananas the next day and make banana bread. However, the best thing is when we are all sitting around and one of my kids start to tell the story for the hundredth time because it just never gets old.

 

And now if you want banana bread here is a recipe I have used a bunch of times.

Classic Banana Bread from ( MyRecipes)

You need:

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
  • 1/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Cooking spray

For the rest of the directions please [Read more at MyRecipes]

Do you have a favorite banana recipe? We would love for you to share it with us!

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Mama’s Losin’ It

Pretty Much Fool Proof Lasagna Simple Version

If you are looking for fancy, complicated superbly homemade lasagna you may want to continue searching.

This is how I have made Lasagna for 24 years for my large family. It is simple and we all can agree that we like it. Finding something that a family of ten all liked was a challenge so I stuck with it and changed very little over the years. It does not include onions we do not care for them but they could be added along with anything else you like.

One major change I did make over the years was that I switched ricotta out for cottage cheese. I have a son that hates ricotta but likes the cottage cheese and the rest of us like it as well.

Lasagna simple recipe www.simplymoms.net

What you will need:

2 pounds ground beef

Green pepper chopped

Onion chopped (Optional)

Salt and paper to taste

2 Jars of your favorite spaghetti sauce

1 box Lasagna noodles

2 cups mozzarella cheese

Large container cottage cheese

Lasagna ingredients

Brown the ground beef, chopped onions ( If you are using them ) and chopped green peppers together in a large frying pan until the ground beef is cooked through. Once cooked drain the ground beef well. We skipped the onions because no one here likes them.

Chopped Green Pepper

 

Chopped green pepper and Ground Beef

Return to the pan once the ground beef is drained well and stir in the sauce. Heat until how though out and set aside. ** I noticed my sauce was slightly watery. So I added a small amount of parmesan and mozzarella to thicken it up a bit. Boil water in a large stock pot for the lasagna noodles. I add a couple tablespoon of oil and salt to my pasta water.

Adding in sauce

 

Once the pasta is cooked. Drain it and cool it off with cold tap water.Just so they are easier to handle. Now you can start layering your lasagna. As you will see Little Miss Toddler joined me. She loves to help.  I really don’t mind. Though I did have to keep telling her to keep those little feet away from the dinner we were making.

I lightly oil my lasagna pan. Some people do not. I do.

The first layer is pasta. I am not fussy in the way I lay them down. If you want to be fancy have at it .

pasta

The second layer is the meat sauce. I put mine on pretty heavy.

and then…. You guessed it another layer of pasta. Sometimes I will do a thin layer of mozzarella over the meat sauce this night I didn’t. The cheese holds the lasagna together better for slicing.

Layering lasagna

Over this layer, you will layer on the cottage cheese and then a thick layer of mozzarella cheese.

Adding cheese to the lasagna

As you can see my little helper has arrived.  Over the cheeses, you will add yet another layer of pasta, over that meat sauce and again a layer of pasta.

Toddler adding pasta to lasagna

last but not least you will be adding mozzarella cheese to the top. We like lots of it.

Toddler adding cheese to lasagna

Place your lasagna in a 350-degree oven until the cheese is melted and bubbly. I like to serve mine with fresh bread and a green salad.

Lasagna and a green salad

 

I love the fact that cooking brings my children and Granddaughter into the kitchen. Skills like cooking are very important for children to learn. Even the youngest toddler can help out with simple tasks. My children have always enjoyed eating what they cooked.

Teen son helping brown the ground beef for lasagna

Is there anything different you do with your lasagna? I would love to hear about it in the comments below.

Love Jennifer

7 Ways To Creatively Use Up Those Hard Boiled Eggs From Easter

I do not know about your children but my kids love to dye hard boiled eggs for Easter. What they do not like is eating the bazillion eggs they colored. So over the years, I have used them in a bunch of different and creative ways so they get eaten up!

Easter Eggs hard eoiled eggs and what to do with them after Easter

  1. Add them to a salad.

    We love adding hard-boiled eggs to salads. Either a green salad or some sort of pasta salad. Very simple and healthy. Simply slice them up and add them.

  2. Meatloaf Surprise!

    I do this with my normal recipe. (Though the recipe in the video looks yummy as well.)  It makes it a tad different with the eggs running through the center. When my kids were little they thought it was magic.

  3.  Deviled Eggs my personal favorite!

    Head on over to WikiHow to get four fantastic deviled egg recipes from classic to something a bit more flair.  http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Deviled-Eggs

  4. Of course, there is the old standby of Eggs Salad Sandwiches

    Very simple and I am sure hands down my children’s favorite.

  5. Slice them and add them to any sandwich.

    Add boiled egg to your sandwich www.simplymoms.net

  6. Add them to your potato salad.

    Many families in our parenting group are in warm enough weather to BBQ. What better way to use up those eggs than to bring a huge potato salad with lots of hard boiled eggs added in?

  7. Don’t overlook your dog.

    Eggs are a great source of very digestible protein, riboflavin, and selenium. So an egg will be a welcome and healthy treat for them as well. (Source moderndogmagazine.com)

What to do with hard boiled eggs left over from easter www.simplymoms.net

 

Be sure to follow us for more articles like this one.

Love Jennifer

We are linking up with week with Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop.

 

Mama’s Losin’ It

Moose Burger Homemade Pizza with Fresh Mozzarella

Pizza on a Saturday night? Why sure!

About a week ago we were gifted some frozen moose burger. I have been kind of looking at it wondering what exactly to do with it. I am not against trying new things but I have been under the weather and didn’t want to create a meal that would end up in the trash. So I decided I would take my fresh mozzarella (Way better than the shredded stuff in the bags by the way) and make two pizzas. One moose burger and the other ham that I knew my two pickier boys would eat.

I didn’t get too many good photos because Little Miss Toddler decided that she would like to help by flooding my kitchen washing dishes.  I was afraid she would drown my camera so I had to work quick.

Making Homemade Pizza Crust. Simple Recipe www.simplymoms.net

I made homemade crust.

You could too it is simple but this is a kitchen aid recipe so I used my big stand mixer.

You need:

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 packet yeast
  • 2 TBSP oil I use olive oil when I have it but vegetable oil works fine too.
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2-3 cups of flour

In the bowl dump the warm water and yeast together; stir to dissolve the yeast. Add the oil, salt and two cups of flour. Start the mixer on low speed and watch for it to become a ball of dough as it mixes. If it is too wet add in a fourth of a cup of flour at a time until the dough comes together. Pour a bit of oil over the dough and rub it over the dough ball and set it back in the bowl to rise until doubled. Once doubled punch it down and spread on and oiled pizza pan using your hands to spread it out evenly. Poke it with a fork to prevent it from bubbling while it bakes. Place in a 450-degree oven for 5 minutes and then add toppings.

Homemade pizza dough recipe

For toppings, we used pizza sauce, browned moose burger, fresh sliced up mozzarella, and ham.

Then I simply put it back in the oven for  5- 10 minutes until the cheese was melted and bubbly.

Pizza with moose burger and fresh mozzarella and homemade crust www.simplymoms.net

I will tell you I tripled the crust recipe. I assume it makes one 14-inch pizza depending on how thin you spread it out. I made more because we wanted leftovers and we are still feeding a pretty big family. (Six people) Tripled it made two large baking sheets of pizza with a thick filling crust.

Baking homemade pizza

Do you make pizza at home? What toppings do you choose?

Love Jennifer

 

Wild Maine Blueberry Sauce for National Pancake Day

 

 

Happy National Pancake day lets smother them in some homemade blueberry sauce! Yummy!

The pancakes we will be pouring our blueberry sauce over is Krusteaz brand we have used this product for years. They are simple just add water pancakes and they work for us. Homemade is way better but I choose the easy way out because my time is limited most days. These still have a nice taste and texture.  I’m not getting paid to tell you this Krusteaze could care less I’m telling you this LOL. I’m just telling you because in my real daily life this is what I use.

I’m not going to waste your time telling you how to make pancakes. I am going to skip right to my most favorite topper for those yummy pancakes.

Wild Maine Blueberry Sauce

Wild Maine, blueberries they are what I had on hand frozen. You can use blueberries from where ever they grow. You can use fresh. Or you can indeed use frozen it makes no difference at all.

This right here is my little pancake making partner who insisted she taste test these very blue blueberries.

Pancakes

 

Toddler Eating Wild Maine Blue Berries

Affiliate Link

$0.50 off Bisquick Pancake and Baking Mix

 

Child Eating Wild Maine Blueberries

Seems harmless enough right? I mean they are just blueberries. Yup Blue stains everywhere. My floors enjoyed them more so than her and her mouth and hands were blue for much of the day regardless of scrubbing.

So onto the recipe. Your needs are pretty basic.

3 cups of fresh or frozen blueberries

1 cup of cold water

1/2 a cup of white granulated sugar

1 1/2 TBS of corn starch dissolved in 2 TBSP cold water

1 teaspoon Vanilla

In a heavy sauce pan add your blueberries, water, and sugar over medium-high heat bring the mixture to a boil stirring occasionally. Once boiling add the dissolved cornstarch and vanilla. Then continue to boil and stir until thickened about two or three minutes. If the mixture thickens too much add 1 TBSP of water at a time until it is thinner. On the other hand, if you wish for a thicker sauce a teaspoon more cornstarch would help. It is simply preference. I thought it was perfect as it was.

Serve warm or cold over pancakes.

Better yet, if it’s not National Pancake Day serve it over a nice cold scoop of vanilla ice-cream. Either way, it tastes like heaven on earth.

Blueberry sauce on a stack of pancakes

 

How do you top your pancakes? Let us know in the comments below and if you liked this post be sure to subscribe to our blog.

 

 

Free weekly Meal Planner to Print

Meal planning is something this Mama seriously needs to work on. I printed mine you print yours and in the coming week watch for my meal plan and please give me some fresh new dinner ideas! We are all so tired of eating the same old meals. Simply click the free meal planner of your choice image and print.

Free Weekly Meal Planner printable with Shamrocks

Weekly Meal Planner Spring

Free weekly Meal Planner Winter Theme

Cake Mix Cookies Simple and Yummy

I have been having this huge craving today for cookies. Yet my baking supplies are pretty diminished at this point. What I do have is a cake mix.

Cake Mix Cookies

So, I will do what I use to do for my kids when they were little. I will make Cake Mix Cookies!

What you need is pretty simple.
  • A cake mix of any flavor mine happens to be chocolate today
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil

So you preheat that oven to 375 degrees. Then toss all the ingredients in a bowl together and mix.

All mixed? Good! Now drop the cookie dough by the heaping teaspoon full onto a cookie sheet.(Make one inch balls)

Toss them into that preheated oven and bake 7-9 minutes or until the edges start to brown.

Remove the baked cookies from the oven and cool for one minute then move them to a cooling rack to finish cooling.

 

Extras:

Chopped nuts

Chocolate chips

Frosting

Sprinkles

M & Ms

Powdered sugar

The only thing left to do is pour a tall cold glass of milk and eat those freshly baked cookies.

 

Free Printable Menu Planner

In effort to hopefully save some money the hubby and I have been talking about a menu plan. So I quickly tossed this Free 30 Day Menu Planner  together so I can fill it in with nightly dinners and tape to  the fridge each month. Because menu planning by the seat of my pants is really not working. I figured I would share it with you as well simply click the link and print away.

menu_planner  <–Click to open printable menu planner

Below is a screen shot of how the menu planner looks. Enjoy <3