Waiting can be hard and having self control while smelling delicious food all day can almost be impossible. However, you can do it! We believe in you. This month pick a day to make a meal in the crock pot that takes all day to make. It will be hard waiting, you will defiantly want to sneak a bite, but at dinner time it will be worth it the wait.
1 lb lean ground beef
1/2 medium onion diced
1 bell pepper diced (optional)
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 cup finely chopped fresh spinach
1 1/2 cup milk
1 cup beef broth
1 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes or pasta sauce
3 cups dry uncooked macaroni
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese
In a medium skillet, cook ground beef and onion until beef is browned and onion is translucent. Add to a 4-6 quart slow cooker. Add in bell pepper, red pepper flakes, garlic, salt, Italian seasoning, spinach, milk, beef broth and tomato sauce and stir. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
10-15 minutes before serving, stir in pasta. Cover and let cook for 10-15 minutes, until desired tenderness is reached. Stir in cheese (covering for 2-3 minutes if necessary to melt the cheese) and serve.
Fill your home with the smell of chocolate this month with this recipe for Crock Pot Candy. This would be a great thing to make a double batch of, one to eat yourself and another batch to give away during your 12 Days of Compassion!
2 lbs white almond bark (might be labeled as white candy coating) , broken or chopped into smaller squares
12 oz bag semisweet chocolate chips
4 oz bar German sweet chocolate, broken or chopped into smaller squares
32 oz dry roasted or cocktail peanuts
holiday sprinkles (optional)
If desired, spray slow cooker insert lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Add chopped almond bark, chocolate chips and German chocolate.
Place a clean, dry kitchen towel over the top of the slow cooker, then place lid on top of that. Cook on HIGH for 1 hour. Reduce heat to LOW, and cook 1 more hour (or until fully melted), stirring every 15-20 minutes.
Remove lid and towel (be careful not to let any condensation drip into melted chocolate), and add peanuts, stirring well to combine.
Line several baking sheets with wax paper. Drop candy mixture by spoonfuls onto wax paper (or use small cookie scoop). If using sprinkles, sprinkle onto clusters before they harden.
Refrigerate (if possible) 30 minutes to 1 hour, until set. If unable to refrigerate, let stand on counter at room temperature until set. Store in a cool place in an airtight container.
Work together to make this simple no cook snack! Make sure everyone is gathered in the kitchen and assign different jobs to each family member. You’ll be surprised how much you can accomplish when you work together. Plus you get to enjoy a healthy yummy snack.
Apple Snacks Sandwiches (Makes 3 snack sandwiches)
1 tablespoon rolled oats
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons unsweetened peanut butter
3/4 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon raisins or crasins
1 medium apple
Combine the oats and cinnamon in a dry skillet over medium heat and toast, stirring occasionally, until the oats are golden. Cool before using. Mix together the peanut butter and honey.
Core and slice the apple into 6 rounds. (If you don’t have an apple corer, you can slice the apple first and then cut out the centers with a small cookie cutter or knife.)
Spread 1 tablespoon of peanut butter on 3 of the apple slices and sprinkle with raisins and oats. Top with the remaining apple slices to form sandwiches.
Clean out the fridge Pasta!
You probably have all you need; Any style of pasta, a protein (can be left over), veggies and seasonings. That’s all you’ll need. Enjoy making dinner together with what you already have.
Get a pot of water heated up, once at a boil pour pasta in and add salt. While the pasta boils to package instructions, heat up a large skillet add olive oil, butter or vegetable oil. Then add chopped vegetables and cook until tender, add in your protein of choice cut into bite size pieces. Once pasta is cooked, before straining pasta water reserve two cups of pasta water. Drain pasta. Toss pasta in skillet with veggies and protein. Pour half of the reserved pasta water over pasta and add seasonings. Depending on how you like your pasta add more water to make it more saucy or less if you want it more dry.
Sit down as a family and enjoy a meal made from food you already had, you may be surprised by your delectable creation. Talk about how you can do this more in your lives. Think of more ways you can take what you already have and enjoy it.
This easy snack can be made completely from start to finish by kids, no parent help needed. Everyone will think they are having dessert, but they will be enjoying a healthy snack.
Freeze dried fruit of choice
nuts/chocolate chips/granola (optional)
Line a flat pan with sides with parchment paper and spread evenly with yogurt, make sure it’s not too thin so that it breaks easily. I would say about 3/8 of an inch thick is good.
Sprinkle with your mix-in (fruit, nuts, etc)
Freeze for a few hours until completely frozen. Ours took about 4 hours for an 8″ square pan, but of course it will depend on the size of your pan. Remove from frozen yogurt from the pan and peel off the parchment paper. Break into pieces. Keep frozen when you’re not eating it.
Let’s be wise with the things we have and make a yummy treat with ingredients we already have in the pantry! This easy recipe can be made quickly from stuff you already have, so you can get to the best part… the eating of course.
Three Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies (can be easily doubled)
1 cup of peanut butter
1 cup white sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Combine the peanut butter, white sugar and egg. Mix until smooth.
Drop spoonfuls of dough onto the prepared baking sheet. Using a fork make a criss cross pattern on each cookie.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 6 to 8 minutes. Do not over-bake! These cookies are best when they are still soft and just barely brown on the bottoms.
Let’s make cookies that remind us to have confidence! You’ll need a big bag of M&M’s for this cookie recipe. Each color of M&M’s will represent a key component to confidence, as you are making cookies together as a family talk about what each color represents and how we can live that in our lives. Then enjoy devouring these delicious cookies!
Blue: self-esteem, Red: strength, Yellow: joy, Green: kindness, Orange: positivity and Brown: giving.
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
½ cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups unbleached or all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
10.8 ounces (1 bag) M&M’S mini milk chocolate candies, reserve 1/4 cup
Preheat an oven to 360 degrees F. I found this temperature to be perfect for my gourmet cookies.
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, sugars, and salt. Mix on low speed for about a minute, then on medium speed for another minute. Add the eggs & vanilla extract. Mix on low until the eggs are blended in, then at medium speed for a minute and then on high speed for an additional minute. The mixture should be a pale yellow color and very fluffy. Add the first cup of flour, along with the baking powder and baking soda. Then add the remainder of the flour a cup at a time. Mix in the M&M’S® mini milk chocolate candies on low speed, reserving 1/4 cup for the tops. Using a 2-ounce cookie scooper, place dough on an un-greased baking sheets about 2” apart. Place a few M&M’S mini milk chocolate candies on the tops where needed.
Bake in a preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, or until the tops start to crackle and the cookies are light golden brown.
Cool on baking sheets for 10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.
Kids love being in the kitchen and of course taste testing all the food. Now it’s time for them to be in charge and confidently serve YOU a meal. This easy recipe doesn’t even involve turning on the stove. If your kiddos can make a sandwich, they can make this fun spin on one!
Make some honestly yummy popcorn for your movie night in!
6 cups of Popcorn, popped
3 cups checks cereal
1-1/2 cups small twist pretzels
1/2 cup butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups Peanut M&M’s
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with heavy duty foil and spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray.
Pour popped popcorn out onto foil lined baking sheet. Pick out any kernels. Add Crispix and pretzels and spread out evenly with popcorn.
Melt butter in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and then allow to boil for two minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and use a spoon to drizzle the mixture over the popcorn mixture in an even stream. Toss the popcorn mixture lightly to distribute and then spread it back out in an even layer.
Bake for 10 minutes. Use a spatula to stir the mixture and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from oven and stir once more. Spread the mixture back out in an even layer and allow to cool for 10 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Break apart and allow to cool completely. Add peanut M&M’s and toss to combine.
Store in an airtight container or zippered plastic storage bags.
Waiting is hard, you’ll be great at waiting after stirring this candy. This is a great family activity; make sure everyone gets a turn stirring!
4 cups granulated sugar
1 cup milk
2 cups chopped nuts
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
In a heavy saucepan or skillet, heat about one fourth of the sugar until melted and light brown (caramelized).
In another saucepan, combine remaining sugar and milk; cook over medium-low heat, stirring until dissolved. Slowly add caramelized sugar, stirring constantly. Continue cooking until mixture reaches the soft ball stage; it will form a ball when dropped in cold water (234° to 236°F). Remove from heat; add nuts, butter and salt; beat until creamy.
Pour into well-greased 9x9x2-inch pan; cool before cutting into 1-inch squares, or as desired. Makes 81 (1-inch) squares.
Is there someone you need to make peace with or someone you’d just like to have a piece of pie with? This easy no bake pie is the perfect remedy for any situation.
No Bake Oreo Pie
1 chocolate cookie crust (store bought is easiest)
1 8 ounce package cream cheese (softened)
¼ cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 8 ounce container of whipped topping
12 Oreos (crush 10 into pieces, keep 2 aside to break up into larger pieces for garnish)
1. Beat cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla with a hand mixer in a large bowl.
2. Add the ten crushed Oreo’s to mixing bowl and mix in with the mixer until combined. This will break up some of the chunks into smaller pieces. Fold in the Cool Whip.
3. Spread filling into prepared pie crust. Chill at least 2 hours before serving.
4. Before serving, use the remaining 2 Oreos to top with more whipped topping and the crushed Oreos.
5. Enjoy a piece of pie with someone you care about.
Enjoy this simple and easy snack that is still kind to your body.
Chocolate Raspberry Snack
1 box of fresh raspberries
¼ cup semi sweet/dark chocolate chips
¼ cup walnuts pieces
Place one chocolate chip or walnut piece into the inside of a raspberry, repeat. So easy the kids can completely handle making this snack!
Using a simple cookie base recipe, create your own family cookie! Making a plan of what your family likes most, pick add ins like: candies, oatmeal, raisins, dried cranberries, crushed left over candy canes, pretzel pieces, potato chips or even something crazy like candied BACON! You can even break into teams and come up with different cookies and taste test to pick your favorite combination.
2-1/2 cups butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
7-1/2 to 8 cups (30 to 32 oz.) all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
This yummy bread is the gift that keeps on giving. You’ll keep on coming back for more! You can make this delicious pull apart bread for a friend, but you may want to make two so you can keep one for yourself.
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
4 cans refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
10 tablespoons butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
Heat oven to 350°F. Grease or spray 12-cup fluted tube pan.
Mix granulated sugar and cinnamon in 1-gallon bag. Separate dough into biscuits; cut each in quarters (a pizza wheel works really well for this). Shake biscuit quarters in bag to coat; place in pan. Sprinkle any extra sugar mixture over biscuits. In 1-quart saucepan, bring butter and brown sugar to boiling over medium-high heat; boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Pour over biscuit quarters.
Bake 30 to 45 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 5 minutes. Turn upside down; pull apart to serve.
Enjoy celebrating fall with these yummy leaf cookies.
1 cup sugar
½ cup butter softened
½ cup shortening
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups of all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
yellow, red, green food colorful
Heat oven to 400ºF. Stir together sugar, butter and shortening in large bowl. Stir in vanilla and eggs. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt.
Divide dough into 3 equal parts. Stir 8 drops yellow food color into 1 part dough to make yellow dough. Stir 8 drops yellow and 3 drops red food color into another part dough to make orange dough. Stir 10 drops red, 8 drops green and 3 drops yellow food color into remaining dough to make brown dough.
Drop small portions of each of the 3 colors of dough close together in random pattern onto lightly floured cloth-covered surface. Roll doughs together into marbled pattern to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut with 2 1/2- to 3-inch leaf-shaped cookie cutter. Place about 2 inches apart on un-greased cookie sheet.
Bake 6 to 7 minutes or until no indentation remains when touched in center. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
(photo above isn’t representative of cookie recipe)
Let’s have some fun and get creative with what we already have in our kitchen, instead of going out for dinner or shopping for a specific recipe. As a family choose to make dinner from ingredients you already have in the refrigerator and pantry. You’ll be amazed at what you can make! If you’re stumped there are lots of websites that you can plug in what you have and they will give you recipe ideas:
Invite several friends over for dinner, the more the merrier! Ask them to each bring over something to add to your Friendship Soup. You will start out with a pot of chicken stock/vegetable stock and have everyone else bring other ingredients. Bring stock to a boil and cook until all veggies are tender and meats are cooked through. Gather around the table pass some bread around and enjoy the melting pot that is your friends.
Ideas for ingredients for friends to bring:
We are all different and that’s beautiful. We need to respect everyone’s differences and value them. Bake cookies and then allow everyone to create their own master pieces by decorating the cookies. Use frosting, sprinkles, colored gels, candies and anything else edible that inspires you. After decorating go around and talk about what you like about everyone’s creations. Remember that we are all works of art and we need to treat everyone with respect because they are valuable too. Then enjoy eating your delicious works of art!
Soft Sugar Cookie Recipe
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Place the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat on medium-high speed until very pale and fluffy (about 3 to 5 minutes). Add the egg, and beat on medium-high speed until incorporated. Stir in the egg yolk and vanilla extract until combined. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula, then add the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt. Stir together until incorporated.
Use a 1.5-tablespoon cookie scoop to drop balls of cookie dough on the prepared baking sheets, allowing two inches in between for spreading. Flatten the balls slightly with the palm of your hand. Bake the cookies (one sheet at a time) in the center rack of the oven for 8 to 12 minutes, or until the edges are set and just barely beginning to turn golden. (Take care not to over-bake, or the cookies will not be as soft.) Cool on the baking sheet and transfer to an airtight container for storage.
Discover how unique each of your family members are by building your own nachos. Head to the store and get everything you need for nachos. Set up all your nacho toppings and let each family member create their own unique nacho bowl. Compare bowls, who’s are similar and who’s are different. Talk about how each person’s bowl reflects that family member’s personality.
Taco meat, Shredded rotisserie chicken, Nacho cheese, Shredded cheese, Green chilies, Green onions, Chopped onions, Cilantro, Sliced olives, Tomatoes, Bell peppers, Jalapeños, Salsa (sweet, mild, hot), black beans, Shredded lettuce, Sour Cream. Different types of chips: blue corn, corn, Fritos, Ruffles, Doritos
What if you could combine two delicious cookies into one incredible cookie?! These easy, no mess cookies are fun for any age to make.
1 box of Oreo cookies
1 tube of chocolate chip cookie dough
Pre Heat oven to 350 degrees. Slice cookie dough about a half an inch thick slices, using your fingers flatten dough then wrap dough around one Oreo cookie. Be sure to completely seal the dough around the cookie. Repeat until you have 24 wrapped cookies. Bake for 11 to 15 minutes and until golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes and enjoy your Creative Cookies.
It’s time to celebrate someone who’s accomplished a big task. Maybe you have a friend or family member who is graduating soon, won an award, got that promotion, learned to ride a bike, learned to swim, bought their first home ect. So why not make them some delicious brownies to celebrate their hard work and determination!?
1 cup butter, melted
3 cups white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish.
1. Combine the melted butter, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each, until throughly blended.
2. Sift the flour , cocoa powder, and salt in a bowl. Gradually stir flour mixture into the egg mixture until blended. Stir in the chocolate morsels. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared baking dish.
3. Bake in a preheated oven until an inserted toothpick comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove, and cool pan on wire rack before cutting.
There’s nothing humble about the ingredients — delicious peaches and berries — but the simple shaping method for the crust keeps this pie from taking on airs!
1 2/3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon dried buttermilk powder (optional)
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter
1 large egg
1 to 2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen berries (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, etc.)
2 to 3 peaches, peeled and sliced (12 ounces before peeling)
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/4 cup white sugar for garnish
1. To make the crust: Whisk together the dry ingredients, and cut in the vegetable shortening and butter.
2. Whisk the egg and water together, then sprinkle over the flour mixture.
3. Knead together, adding a bit of extra water to make the dough cohesive, if necessary.
4. Form the dough into a disk, wrap it well, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
5. To make the filling: Toss the berries and peaches with the sugar and enhancer or flour. If the berries are frozen, don’t thaw them. If they’re dry (like blueberries), run them under water first; this makes easier to combine them thoroughly with the sugar/thickener mixture.
6. To assemble the pie: Roll the crust into a 13” to 14” round, and transfer it to a pizza pan or baking sheet.
7. Mound the sugared fruit in the center of the crust, leaving about a 3 1/2” margin of bare crust all the way around.
8. Fold the crust up over the fruit, pinching or pleating as you go, leaving 5” or so of fruit exposed in the center.
9. Spritz the crust with water and sprinkle with sparkling white sugar, if desired.
10. Bake the pie in a preheated 425°F oven for about 35 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling and the edges of the crust are brown.
11. Remove it from the oven, and cool for 15 to 30 minutes before cutting into wedges.
Is there a recipe or food that your family may not have enjoyed at one time? It’s time to give that food a second chance! Pull out those cook books or search the internet for a recipe with that food item or a new version of an old recipe.
If you have trouble finding a recipe/food to “forgive” and give a second chance to, try brussels sprouts. Brussels sprouts get the short end of the
stick, however they are yummy and nutritious. Try this delicious recipe and give them a second chance.
Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Bacon
12+ Brussels sprouts
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 slices thick cut bacon, cut into pieces
1 block Parmigiano-Reggiano
Preheat the oven to 400
Cut the Brussels sprouts in half lengthwise, from top to bottom. Toss the sprouts with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast in the oven until tender, about
20 minutes. While the sprouts are roasting, put the bacon in a small sauté pan with a splash of olive oil and bring the pan to a medium heat. Cook the bacon until it is crispy, 7 to 8 minutes. Remove the bacon from the pan. Toss the roasted Brussels with the crispy bacon and about a tablespoon of bacon grease. Using a peeler, shave a few slices of Parmigiano on top. Enjoy this second chance food!
Anyone can buy a box of chocolates, surprise someone your family loves by making them chocolates! As a family work together on this easy recipe for delicious chocolate truffles.
1 (8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 cups of semisweet chocolate chips, melted
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
options for outer coating:
chopped candy bars
In an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar until well blended. Stir in melted chocolate and vanilla until no streaks remain. Refrigerate for about 1 hour. Shape into 1 inch balls, kids will love this silly messy step. Roll truffle in chosen outer coating.
As a family try something new! Here’s a list of foods that are good for your brain, pick one or ten to try! Look in cookbooks or online for recipes that will incorporate your brain food picks. Spend time together thinking of new ways to add these foods to your daily meals and see if your knowledge grows with theses new brain foods.
Avocados, Beets, Blueberries, Broth, Broccoli, Celery, Coconut Oil, Dark Chocolate, Eggs Yolks, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Leafy Greens, Rosemary, Salmon, Turmeric, and Walnuts.