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

 

 

 

 

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

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

 

Toys Toddlers Will Really Play With

Recently I stood in the center of Little Miss Toddlers room shaking my head. She had just dumped a bunch of toys everywhere and ran for the hills. It was a new game she named on her very own called “Make a Mess” What I could not figure out was with so many toys why would she just keep dumping everything and taking off. Then a light came on.

There were just too many toys.

Like way too many. Some really useless, noise making, no imagination needed toys. It was time to sort, declutter and put away some of these things. So Little Miss Toddler and I worked on that over last weekend. The list I am giving you is essentially what she is left with now in her room.

Toys your toddler will really play with and love that foster learning

Then after things were gone and what was left was put away Little Miss Toddler did something she had not done in a long time.

She sat at her table and colored, then she put a puzzle together…She played with her toys.

Less IS more.

This is our Most LOVED by Little Miss Toddler Toy List

  • Cars and trucks
  • Blocks (Wooden and plastic interlocking types)
  • Baby dolls
  • Something to push around such as a doll stroller or a shopping cart
  • Kitchen set, dishes and pretend food
  • Wooden puzzles
  • Books
  • Crayons, coloring book and a scribble pad
  • Dress up clothes simple things to put on such as funny hats, sunglasses and the like.
  • A play set such as a doll house, garage, or castle that includes people, cars, and animals
  • Stacking cups
  • A shape sorting toy
  • A ride on toy or trike
  • A child size table and chairs
  • Ball
  • Bubbles
  • Play dough
  • Non-toxic or homemade paints
  • A bin for playing with water, rice, beans or other sensory items
  • Barbies just because our little REALLY loves them

Toddler plays with a bin of water out on the deck

Often times the most simple things provide hours of fun for a young child. Water play is an excellent example of this.

Open-ended toys that allow imagination to take over are most often the best choices.

If you enjoyed this post please be sure to subscribe below and share this post with your friends. Oh, and we love your comments and ideas!

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Love Jennifer

 

 

 

 

 

Moon Sand Flour and Oil Version Taste Safe and Homemade

Homemade Moon Sand this is messy play at its finest.

I chose the flour and vegetable oil combination because Little Miss Toddler will not keep things like this out of her mouth. We did it on the kitchen floor.Clean up involved sweeping up and mopping really well (Think oil residue). Next time I would put an old sheep or newspaper down for easier cleanup or simply do it outside.

This homemade Moon Sand or as some call it Cloud Dough is soft, molds together well and it is wonderful sensory play for even a pretty young child. Little Miss Toddler enjoyed it.

Homemade Moon Sand finding the magic in the mess -www.simplymoms.net

What you need is simple and most everyone has it on hand. 

  • 8 Cups of Flour (All-Purpose)
  • 1 Cup of Vegetable Oil
  • A few drops food coloring if you like but not needed. (We skipped this)

In a large bin just mix it all together really well. Done and done.

We tossed in some kitchen scoops, spoons and the like. She had a blast.

 

Maybe Moon Sand is not what you intended to find or wish to make today? How about some play dough recipes?

 

Homemade Cloud Dough

Toddler Playing With Home made Moon Sand

Toddler sensory Play

Sensory Bin Flour and Oil

Messy Play

Toddler playing with cloud dough and scoops

If you enjoyed this blog post with me and Little Miss Toddler Please be sure to subscribe below.  Thanks for reading! 🙂

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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.

 

 

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.

 

Homemade Finger Paints

Little Miss Toddler loves anything messy. She loves anything artsy.  What I do not love is anything that is toxic or that I have no clue what it may contain. Yes, she is two and yes, she puts things in her mouth.  So I try to make sure her stuff is very safe. Lot’s of people add dish soap into the recipe. I just do not think that is wise and as long as you do not go over the top adding food coloring clean up should be a breeze. Just use the soap after to clean up if you like.

Homemade Finger PaintsHere is what you will need to make your finger paints

4 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup corn starch

2 cups of cold water

Food colorings

Small containers

In a nonstick sauce pan add sugar and corn starch whisk together. Add cold water and stir. Turn the heat to medium and stir constantly until mixture thickens. Divide into containers add colors and stir then in well and be sure to cool them well.

Fingerpainting with homemade finger paintsAs you can see we have an easel . It is older and we were unconcerned about damage so we allowed her to paint directly on the white board. They do make finger paint paper and I am told you can use wax paper. I have even used white construction paper. As for the easel the finger paint just wiped right off and left no makes. However that was our experience it may not be yours.

Toddler finger paintingShe had so much fun. It was really nice because it was simple, cheap, safe and I had everything to make it on hand.

We work on mixing colors to make new ones, making shapes and pictures. It was a wonderful messy time, after all those are the best times.

Homemade Laundry Stain Remover – Look at This Moms!

Homemade Stain Remover

I have this big thing about putting my grandbaby in cute little dresses. She has a big thing for chocolate ice-cream and other wonderful foods that stain. I also am the mom to a wonderful stain making fourteen year old boy. Grass and ground in dirt are his favorite stains to make. As a Mom and Grandma my go to stain remover was just to simply put a bit of my laundry soap on the stain rub it a bit and wash. It resulted in a lot of clothes with stains.

If you look online there are lots of ideas for removing stains and making stain remover sprays. I like simple because as mom my life is complex enough at times. I also like using what I have on hand. So this caught my eye all over the internet.

 

You need:

1/2 cup of BLUE DAWN

1 cup peroxide

A dark spray bottle or prepare to keep the clear spray bottle in a dark cabinet because the light will break down the peroxide. Also I did not test this with any other dish soap than the blue dawn. I would use the Dawn called for or your results may be less than awesome.

Simply pour the Dawn and Peroxide into the spray bottle, cover and shake gently to mix.

To use spray on stain and wash as normal.

***Hey Moms I personally have used this on colors, whites, and darks with no issues… How ever I would spot test if you are worried about damage to any particular article of clothing****

Homemade Play Dough Recipes

Make your own homemade play dough!

Edible Playdough

1/2 C peanut butter
1/2 C honey
1 C powdered milk

Just throw it all together and mush it up with your hands until it’s fairly smooth. The oils from the peanut butter will keep it from sticking to the table and the kids’ hands.

Green play dough

Play Dough

1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup water
Mix well until it forms a ball. Knead add food coloring if desired. If sticky add some flour and if too dry add a small amount of water.

Play dough 2

1 cup flour
1 cup warm water
2 teaspoons cream of tarter
1 teaspoon oil
1/4 cup salt
food coloring

Mix all ingredients (add food coloring last). Stir over medium heat until smooth. Remove from pan, let cool slightly, and knead until blended and smooth. Store in a plastic bag or airtight container when cooled.

Pink Glittery Play Dough

Kool-Aid Dough

Flour 3 cups
Salt 1 1/2 cups
Water 3 cups
Vegetable Oil 2 TB.
Cream of tartar 1 TB.
unsweetened “Kool-Aid” 1 pkg.

Mix ALL of the ingredients in a large saucepan.
Cook over medium-low heat, until the dough, comes away
from the edges of the pan and it becomes difficult to move the spoon. Remove from heat. Cool until it can be handled.
Place on counter or wax paper knead 3-4 times.
Store in an airtight container.

Fairy Play-Doh (glitter)

You Need
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup water
1/2 cup salt
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
Food coloring gel (this will make the colors more vibrant)
Glitter

Mix all ingredients with the exception of the glitter in a sauce pan well heat stirring the mix constantly until it forms a ball remove at once. Add the glitter and knead until smooth and uniform. Store in a tight sealing container. This mix stores at room temperature.

Rubber Dough

A silly fun texture

You will need
2 cups baking soda
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup cornstarch

Mix everything into a sauce pan. Boil over medium heat until the mix is thick. Plop onto a plate cool and play.

 

Keep it, Clay

This mixture dries VERY hard great for making jewelry like beads etc..

1 (1-pound) box baking soda
1 cup cornstarch
1 1/4 cups cold water
Food coloring (Gel is best or leave it plain and paint later)

Mix baking soda and cornstarch together then add water. Cook and stir over low heat until the consistency of mashed potatoes. Remove the dough from the heat and cover with damp towel until it is cool enough to handle. Use for play dough or jewelry shaping or roll it out and cut with a cookie cutter to make decorations.

Store in an airtight container
———————
Other types of dough and putty

Cinnamon Dough

1 Cup Applesauce
1 Cup Cinnamon
Mix well if sticky add more cinnamon if too dry add more applesauce …knead well. Cut with cookie cutters to make ornaments let air dry. These may be painted.

Flubber Fun

You will need two bowls
In bowl 1 mix
3/4 cup warm water
1 cup white glue
Food coloring

In bowl 2 mix
2 tsp borax
1/2 a cup warm water

Mix bowl 1 well, Mix bowl two well…Now let the magic begin! pour bowl 1 into bowl two…No need to mix just reach on in and grab your flubber..work it for 3 minutes.

Sawdust Clay

Great for making things and drying to paint

You will need.
Fine grit sand paper
A breezy warm spot
1 cup fine sawdust
1/2 cup flour
water

Mix sawdust and flour well then begin to add water a small amount at a time until the mix is of clay consistency. If it becomes too wet add more flour and if it becomes too crumbly add more water and a small amount of flour.
Shape into whatever you desire, dry for 24-48 hours sand and paint with acrylic or tempera paints (Tempera is best for young children but acrylic will cover the best)


Play Dough Ideas

-We use Christmas cookie cutters to cut shapes and then we use a straw to make a hole at the top. Let dry then string a ribbon through it and “voila” a Christmas tree ornament. For those of you with a sense of “pizzazz” glue on glitter beads or little fancy ribbons to add flair to your decorations. Have fun! Submitted by: Candace

-Roll into ropes and make the letters of the alphabet together, numbers too!

-Roll into a flat circle and let the child use cookie cutters to cut shapes.

-Make beads, string them on floss and let dry into a necklace.

-Make a collection of toy dishes.

-Make sculptures of your family.

-Make Noah’s ark and his animals

-Press your child’s hand into the dough and let dry forever to capture their small hand print.

-Have a play dough birthday party…set out tables with play dough and different play dough activities, hold contests such as the best play dough birthday cake ect…it is sure to keep the kids busy for a long time! This is great for a party with rainbow colors for a theme.

What do you do with your play dough? Send your ideas to gove1974@outlook.com

 

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