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Celebrating National Strawberry Shortcake Day with a Party @driscollsberry #StrawShortcake

10 Jun

National Strawberry Shortcake Day is June 14th.  Did you know that the first ever shortcake recipe was printed in an english cookbook in 1588?  In the 1850’s Strawberries were added to the delicious shortcake.  Since then, there have been several variations of one of America’s favorite desserts with whipped cream added to the sweet treat in 1910.  

Images from Driscolls

Images from Driscoll’s

 

Our refrigerator is always stocked with Driscoll’s Strawberries.  It was hard pass up the opportunity to celebrate National Strawberry Shortcake Day with Driscoll’s.  When I asked my 5-year-old daughter how we could celebrate, naturally she said “with a party”.   We started the planning process and decided to keep it simple and invite a few neighbors. We looked through recipes and looked at the history to find out which variation we wanted to make.  Growing up in the 1980’s, angel food cake with whipped cream and strawberries was very popular and the only version I remember having as a child.  I told her it was my favorite summer dessert and my brother had it at everyone of her birthdays.  She decided we should try my childhood favorite.

A few days before the party, we went to a friends bake sale.  My daughter saw ice cream cone cupcakes there.  She decided she wanted her strawberry shortcake in a cone. I suggested making cupcakes to in case some of the adults or kids didn’t want a cone. On the day of the party, we were about to fill our the cones and cupcake liners with angel food cake when she decided to add strawberries to the batter to “surprise” her friends.  Together we came up our own variation called Strawberry Shortcake Surprise, Any Way You Like (recipe below) in which guests could choose how they wanted their cake and what would go on it.

StrawberryShortcake

What you will need:

Ingredients:

  • Boxed Angel Food Cake or try this recipe on Driscoll’s
  • Package of Ice Cream Cones
  • 1 container Driscoll’s  Strawberries (available at Whole Foods)
  • 1 can Whipped Cream (We used Whole Foods 365)
  • Strawberry Ice Cream
  • “Surprise” Toppings: My girls favorites are strawberries, rainbow sprinkles, and Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips

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Directions:

  1. Lay aluminum foil over half of the cupcake pan.  Cut slits in the aluminum to place ice cream cone.  Line the remaining cupcake spots.
  2. Let your child(ren) help by slicing or chopping the strawberries using a Curious Chef Knife or mixing the Angel Food Cake ingredients together.
  3. Fill cupcakes and cones with cake batter and strawberries.  Bake for 12-15, times will vary so make sure to check occasionally.
  4. Clean up and set the table for the party.
  5. Place Ice Cream, Whipped Cream, Cupcakes, Ice Cream Cones, “Surprise” Toppings, Aladdin Mason cup(s) or bowels on the tables.
  6. Let your little guests get creative and create their very own Strawberry Shortcake Surprise. Strawberry ice cream was added too the cones, topped by whipped cream and delicious toppings while cupcakes were eaten with whipped cream and fresh strawberries or were placed in a mason and layered with with the ice cream, whipped cream, and other toppings.

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A party wouldn’t be complete without decorations and activities.  To let our neighbors know where the party was, my daughter made a sign on her boogie board and stuck it on the door.  When my girls hear Strawberry Short Cake, they think of their favorite show and the adorable characters.  We used our Strawberry Short Cake Berry Bitty Clubhouse on the table for decoration which the kids had fun playing with after.  The next activity was, pin the strawberry on the shortcake.  I printed a blank cake my daughter colored in.  Each child picked a Peaceable Kingdom Scratch and Sniff Strawberry Sticker and took their turn to get it on the cake.  It was a blast.

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The next variation of Strawberry Shortcake we make will be  Dorrie Greenspans Strawberry Mouse Shortcake (below).  Check out her story and connection to Strawberry Shortcake on Driscoll’s.

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Image from Driscoll’s

For more great recipes visit http://www.driscolls.com/recipes.  Follow the celebration with @driscollsberry on twitter and instagram using #StrawShortcake!

Click the Image to ENTER for a chance to win a KitchenAid Stand Mixer & a year of berries

Click the Image to ENTER for a chance to win a KitchenAid Stand Mixer & a year of berries

Happy National Strawberry Shortcake Day 2014!

Happy National Strawberry Shortcake Day 2014!

Disclaimer:  I received coupons and a gift card to Whole Foods to use towards our celebration with Driscoll’s  All ideas and opinions expressed are my own.  Information in italics are from Driscoll’s.

 

 

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Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2

27 Sep
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Image from IMDb

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 was released in theaters today.  My daughters and I had the opportunity to see it at the MOMS Cloudy 2 Mamarazzi Event Wednesday!  Initially, my oldest was fighting to go into the Theater but a little popcorn and Subway Kids meal Packs helped her make it into the theater. Once Bill Hader, voice of Flint Lockwod, started a Q & A with the guests she wanted to leave because she knew the movie was starting soon.   She was scared because she didn’t know what to make of the “Foodimals” from the movie poster.   We only saw bits and pieces of the first movie so were unfamiliar with the story line.  We were ready to leave when someone else told her it wasn’t scary.  She thought about it for a bit and decided to go back in and give it a chance.  Half way through the movie, she leaned over to me and whispered “thank you for making me stay mom, I love it”.  From this experience, she has learned she needs to give things a chance before she decides she doesn’t like something, (more below images).

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Both of my girls sat through the entire movie and absolutely loved it.  They laughed and occasionally grasped my hand anticipating a scary part.  They fell in love with the Foodimals.  Since seeing the movie, they talk about them all of the time.  My youngest loves Barry the strawberry, my oldest loved the Flamangos, and my personal favorite was the Cheespider!  My oldest packs her school snacks in the Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 Subway  lunch bag she received at the movie preview.  Because they love the Foodimals, I have tried to incorporate them in their lunch and have them come up with their own creations!  Check back next week for meal ideas inspired by the Foodimals.

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Image from IMDb

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An entertaining and adorable  film for the entire family.  Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 is rated PG and is 95 minutes long!   Watch the trailer for a preview or search for a theater and show time near you!

Disclaimer: I did not receive compensation for this post.  Ideas and opinions expressed are my own.  I was invited to the screening and my girls received a small gift for attending.

Fun Friday: A Pancake Party

13 Sep

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Over the summer, the girls had a blast having Pancake Parties with their friends-morning, day, or night.  My oldest had so much fun she requested one for her 5th birthday, which happened to be last Friday.

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Pancake Parties are easy!  All you need:

  • Aunt Jemima Complete Pancake Mix (make a head of time)
  • Small bowls for you favorite “mix-in” ingredients.  Our favorites include; strawberries, blueberries, bananas, sprinkles, and chocolate chips.

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  • Tea cups for the pancake batter, one for each child.
  • Spoons for each child to stir ingredients and one for each “mix-in” bowl (to prevent pancake batter from getting into the fruit, sprinkles, etc.
  • Plates (if you use paper you can write names on them with permanent marker, if you use a regular plate use Wilton icing gel or writers for names

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  • Skillet or non-stick pan

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Some tips and suggestions for a successful Pancake Party:

  • Prepare a head of time.  Cut fruit, make batter, and put everything into bowls before children arrive.
  • Include a variety of “mix-in” ingredients.  My girls like very different ingredients in their pancakes and we want to make sure there is something for everyone.
  • Watch and make sure the kids aren’t putting too much in their batter because some kids like EVERYTHING in their pancake and it makes it hard to cook if there it too much in there.
  • Place teacups on the plate with their name so their batter doesn’t get mixed up.DSC_0650
  • Include activities for the kids to do while you clean up and cook the pancakes.  Putting on a cartoon for the kids to watch is always a good one or they play dress-up in their room.
  • Read a story about Pancakes while they are eating.

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Whether you are looking for something for a Fun Friday Night or something to do over the weekend, Pancake Parties are always a hit.  Happy Friday!

Fun Food Friday: Flower Power

14 Jun

My girls are all about flowers. When we walk by the neighborhood garden, my oldest stops to see if any new flowers have bloomed. She is currently doing a gardening unit at school and is going to be a flower girl in a wedding this weekend so her interest has peaked even more recently. Every time we go to Whole Foods, both of my girls want to pick out fresh flowers for our apartment, which I don’t mind because fresh flowers always brighten up the place. We were home one rainy day when I decided we needed “flowers” for lunch to make the dull day a little brighter. We also talked about what my oldest was learning at school and her upcoming role as a flower girl.
I made due with what we had in our refrigerator and freezer but there ate many ways to alter the meal. How I made it:
Flower Pedals: round spinach and cheese ravioli
“Stigma”: halved cherry tomatoes, could also use halved meatballs
Stem and Leaves: sliced cucumber
For the leaves you can also use fresh basil.
You can also add Blueberries at the bottom of the “stem” to make it look like “dirt”.

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Have a Happy Friday!

Peas Of Mind

25 Feb

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Getting my girls to eat vegetables with their meals can be challenging.  I recently learned about Peas of Mind, all natural products made with real vegetables.  Peas of Mind sprouted from the idea that as kids begin eating solid foods, the tastes and textures they experience will shape their eating habits for a lifetime.  Their products are great for health-conscious parents who want to feed their growing kids delicious meals with organic ingredients, but don’t have the time to make them from scratch.  Peas of Mind products are found in the frozen food section of Whole Foods, other retailers can be found here.   

Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Fat Free, Egg Free, Soy Free, Vegan

Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Fat Free, Egg Free, Soy Free, Vegan

Images by Tastefully Childish.

Images by Tastefully Childish.

My family received the opportunity to try a Peas of Mind product.  My youngest daughter tried the cauliflower veggie wedgies. Veggie Wedgies, which look like french fries, come in three other flavors: broccoli, carrot, cauliflower, and apple. They come frozen and are very east to make.  Place them on a baking tray and coat with non-stick spay then bake them for 10 minutes or until they are your desired crispness.  I sprinkled them with a little salt and garlic salt  Each serving has more than half a serving of your  child’s recommended fruit and vegetable intake for a day.   My daughter usually doesn’t like cauliflower but she had no problem scarfing these veggie fries down.  They make a great “veggie side” for any meal.  My oldest didn’t try them because I noticed they are made in a facility that produces nuts and she has food allergies.  I left a few to the side for myself and really enjoyed them. I am looking forward to trying other Peas of Mind products with her.

Other products include:

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Pull-a-parts are made with pieces of our signature veggie dough with broccoli and carrots kneaded into it. 

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Peas of Mind kneads real broccoli and carrots right into the pizza crust.  They use pepperoni with no nitrates and nitrites.  One pizza contains 1½ servings of veggies.  

Puffets are available in 5 flavors: Nana's Banana, Carrot Risotto, Black Bean Polenta, Eat Your Greens and Mama's Pasta.

Puffets are available in 5 flavors: Nana’s Banana, Carrot Risotto, Black Bean Polenta, Eat Your Greens and Mama’s Pasta.

Disclaimer:  All opinions expressed are my own.  Information in italics came from the Peas of Mind website. All images unless stated are from Peas of Mind.  I received a coupon for a free product for the purpose of this review.

Yummy Valentine’s Lunch

13 Feb
Image from Nuovo Pasta

Image from Nuovo Pasta

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Image from Nuovo

You probably know Nuovo Pasta from the cute Mac and Cheezy Fish Ravioli they sell at Whole Foods.  Any time my kids pass the adorable shaped ravioli they want it.  The all-natural pasta also comes in a variety of shapes and delicious flavors. When I was at the Manhattan Costco the other day I came across Nuovo  Ricotta, Mozzarella and Asiago Heart-Shaped Pasta.  Delicious for grown-ups and lots of fun for your little Valentine’s.  For the kids I served it with a little olive oil, salt and garlic.  My husband and I enjoyed it with vodka sauce on top (my girls didn’t want to “mess up” their hearts with sauce).  Choose a vegetable and cut heart-shaped strawberries on the side for a yummy lunch or dinner on Valentine’s day!  For a little extra fun let the little Valentine’s dress up and set the table with flowers and have a “fancy restaurant“.

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National Blueberry Pancake Day!

28 Jan

Today is National Blueberry Pancake Day!  Cooking activities are an excellent way to keep kids busy on cold, rainy or snowy days like today.  Whip up some blueberry pancake (a few recipes below) with your child and eat them for lunch, snack, dinner, dessert or save them for breakfast tomorrow.

Blueberry Pancake Fun!

Blueberry Pancake Fun!

A few recipes:

1. Keep it Simple Blueberry Pancakes:  Perfect for when you are in a rush or need a simple activity for young children.  For 5 pancakes: Use  1 cup Aunt Jemima’s Original Complete Mix, 3/4 cup water, 1/4- 1/2 a teaspoon of vanilla extract.  Mix together in a bowl or we mixed in a measuring cup to make pouring the batter on the pan easier.  While pancakes are cooking, place blueberries in batter. Use as many or as little as your child would like.  My older daughter added chocolate chips for an extra sweet treat!

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2.  Driscoll’s Lemon Ricotta Blueberry Pancakes

Image from Driscoll's

Image from Driscoll’s

3. Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes: Add blueberries to this Whole Wheat Pancake recipe from Skinnytaste

Image from Skinnytaste

Image from Skinnytaste

4. Blueberry Pancake Cupcakes by Your Cup of Cake

Image from Your Cup Of Cake

Image from Your Cup Of Cake

The Naked Pancake

11 Jan

DSC_0295The mornings can be chaotic.  My daughter has to be at school at 8:45 and most days the girls aren’t up until 8 which makes getting them dressed and fed rushed.  I usually have to make something quick.  My girls love pancakes but with the rushed mornings it’s impossible for me to get all the ingredients together for homemade ones. I always have a box of  Aunt Jemima Original Complete on hand so all I have to add is water.  It’s easy to whip together and my girls love getting creative with what they add to it.  One day it’s all the fresh berries we have, the next day it’s chocolate chips, bananas and sprinkles.  Sometimes I even blend up zucchini or spinach to add with a fruit.  We have tried  mixing in their favorite fruit/ veggie pouches too.  The other day my daughter thought it would be fun to make “Naked Pancakes”.  She got a kick out of the name and couldn’t stop laughing every time she said it.  I didn’t know what she was talking about.  I thought she wanted a plain pancake until she said “no mom, a smoothie pancake”.  My girls LOVE the Naked Juice Smoothies.  They tried a sample once and were hooked.  Instead of adding water to the pancake mix, I added the Berry Naked juice.  It was a little thick so I added a little water to make it the consistency I wanted.  I served the pancakes with blueberries and a little side of  strawberry fig syrup for dipping.

To Make Naked Pancakes you need:

1 cup Aunt Jemima Original Complete Mix

3/4 cup your favorite Naked Juice Smoothie

Mix and add a few sprinkles for fun while they are cooking.

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Hope you enjoy them as much as my girls did!

Fun Food Friday: Turkey Time

16 Nov

My youngest and I read 10 Fat Turkey’s before lunch yesterday.  It is one of our favorites to read around Thanksgiving.  After, I decided I would try to come up with a “Turkey” for lunch.  This is what I came up with:

To make this “turkey” you need:

  • 1/2 a bagel
  • cream cheese
  • 2 slices Turkey Salami
  • 1 Mom Made Turkey Meatball
  • piece of cheese cut for the beak
  • grape tomatoes, halved for feathers and gobbler
  • 1 pickle  for a feather(we used a sandwich sliced pickle)
  • Blueberries for feather
  • clementine, peeled and in pieces for feather

Spread cream cheese on the bagel.  Place turkey salami on top of cream cheese.  Cook one Mom Made Turkey Meatball for the head of the turkey and place on the salami.  Use a knife to spread a little cream cheese on the meatball for the eyes.  Place half a grape tomato by the meatball for the gobbler. Cut a piece of cheese for the beak and place on top of the tomato and meatball.  Next, place the rest of the grape tomato halves, the pickle, blueberries, and the clementines to make them look like the “feathers”.

Happy Eating!

A Spooky Meal

25 Oct

Halloween is a week away!  My girls are so excited they have asked for “spooky” snacks and meals. Here are a few ideas to “spook” up your meal!

Naked Franken’ Halloween Drink

  • 10 oz Naked Green Machine Drink
  • 2 google eyes
  • Glue
  • Black permanent marker
  • Red permanent marker
  • 1 straw (green preferably) cut into two small pieces
  • 1 straw (green) for drinking

Tear the wrapping off the Naked Bottle. Dry bottle with paper if it has condensation on it. Draw hair and mouth with black permanent marker. Draw blood or “cut” just below hair. Glue on eyes using a tacky glue or glue gun.

Jack-O-Lantern Pizza

  • 1 slice of pizza
  • 1 slice american cheese
  • Pumpkin shaped cookie cutter
  • Knife to cut eyes and face on pumpkin

Use cookie cutter to cut slice of american cheese into pumpkin shape.  Cut out a jack-o-lantern face on pumpkin shaped cheese.  Place on slice of pizza.

The Spooky Eyed Forest

Steam broccoli, heat Turkey Meatballs and place on plate.  Use a butter knife to spread ketchup so that it looks like the eyes are blood-shot.  Tear off a small piece of white american cheese to make pupil.

I served these all at different times.  Serve them all together and you have one “Spooky Meal”.