Teacher Gift Idea

Yes, this is another teacher gift idea involving cookies!  My kids gave these out during Teacher Appreciation Week, but I forgot to post them and they would be good for the end of the year too.

We had extra Girl Scout cookies, but you could use any cookies you like.
The {free} printable is available from Home is Where They Love You.  I heart free printables.
Need a homemade cookie recipe? These are pretty simple, yet tasty….
Special Diet? Try one of these…
Homemade ‘Thin Mints’ (low carb & gluten free)
LAST WEEK OF SCHOOL HERE!!! Wooo hooo! (let’s see if I’m cheering when the kids have been out about a week!)

Strawberry Shortcake on Chocolate Chip Biscuits

mmmmm, fresh strawberries!
Once upon a time, I was a weird kid who didn’t really like strawberries.  They have grown on me over the years, and this year, I can’t seem to get enough!
I thought I would make the kids and I a special treat –
Strawberries, Sugar Free Cool Whip, Chocolate Chip Biscuits, topped with a little sugar free chocolate syrup.  Chocolate. Chip. Biscuits. Oh yes.
Chocolate Chip Biscuits adapted from Cooking During Stolen Moments
  • 3 c. flour (can use a mix of all-purpose & white whole wheat)
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 1 1/2 T. baking powder
  • 3/4 t. salt
  • 1/2 c. butter 
  • 1-2 c. chocolate chips (I used a combo of dark and semi sweet – 1 cup)
  • 1/2-1 c. milk (I only needed about a 1/2 cup, skim milk)
1. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut butter into the flour mixture until crumbly. Stir in chocolate chips.
2. Add the milk, a little at a time, just until dough comes together. If you add too much milk and the dough becomes too sticky, add a little more flour.
3. Roll out dough and cut, or just drop 1/4 c. portions onto a baking sheet.
4. Bake at 425 degrees for 10-15 minutes, until fully cooked and lightly browned on top. I made these a little larger than usual since I wanted to make big mack daddy strawberry shortcakes 🙂
I love this pic. Check out the top left corner….little hands that couldn’t wait to get into the strawberries too.  He likes his with powdered sugar.

‘Lightened Up’ Apple & Snicker Bar Salad

This is one of those dishes that isn’t really ‘pretty’, but taste oh soooo yummy! I was wondering if anyone would notice the apples in yesterday’s What was it Wednesday! I saw versions of this all over the web, and first spotted it somewhere on Pinterest.  Since I sorta winged this when I made it, I don’t have any particular person to give credit to.
 For Mother’s Day, I decided I wanted needed a lighter dessert, but it still had to have chocolate. (duhhh!)  This fit the bill, and would be great all during the summer.  Speaking of, today is supposed to be 90 degrees with 93% humidity.  Yep, bring on the hot sticky NC weather!
Lightened Up Apple & Snicker Bar Salad (it seems odd to call this a salad)
4 Apples of choice (I used Granny Smith and Pink Lady)
4 regular size Snicker Bars*
1 tub of Sugar Free Cool Whip (regular size, not large)
1 small box of Vanilla Sugar Free/Fat Free pudding**
1 cup skim milk (optional – see notes)
*I used Almond Snicker Bars b/c I can’t eat peanuts
Chop apples into bite size pieces.  You can dip them in lemon juice to prevent browning, but they are going to be covered in cool whip so it doesn’t really matter.  If you are going to pre-cut your apples like I did, you may want to do this just so they don’t look all yucky (technical cooking term).  Chop your candy bars into small bite size pieces.  This is easier if you have them nice and chilled.
In a large bowl, add your container of Cool Whip and your pudding (see notes). Fold in your apples, and candy bar pieces (reserving a few to sprinkle on top if desired.)  Chill for about an hour (not really necessary if you are in a time crunch).
**NOTES:  Learn from my experience….if you buy the SF/FF INSTANT pudding – you need to add 1 cup milk to your pudding mix first.  Mix it together and then add to your Cool Whip.  If you buy the SF/FF Cook and Serve pudding, you can just add that to your Cool Whip.
Oh yeah, and I chopped up a few Hershey’s Miniatures too, b/c it didn’t seem like enough chocolate. But it’s rare that I feel like I have enough chocolate. and it was Mother’s Day and all.
You can play around with the recipe and use whatever flavor pudding and fruits you like.
I also made an apple/strawberry version with chocolate pudding! I skipped the candy bars to reduce the calories, but it would be awesome with them! My girls love this.

I’m going to link this recipe up with these fab linky parties – The Newlyweds, It’s a Keeper, Miz Helen’s Country Cottage, A Little Nosh, Talking Dollars and Cents, Eat at Home

Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes

My daughter wanted to make breakfast one Saturday morning.  Not one to stifle their creative interests (and loving the idea of someone making me breakfast), I told her to check out things I have pinned and see what she wanted to make.  She decided on these (healthier) Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes by Finding Joy in My Kitchen.  And yes, this is the picture from yesterday’s What Is It Wednesday!  Everyone guessed it was some type of pancake. I’ll have to make it harder next week.

Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes

slightly adapted from Finding Joy in My Kitchen
  • 1 1/2 C white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 C old fashioned oats
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 1 egg (we used Ener-G egg replacer)
  • 2 1/2 C skim milk w/2 T. vinegar – (let sit for 5-10 minutes to make) buttermilk
  • 1 T maple syrup
  • 4 T applesauce
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 C dark chocolate chips
Directions
Mix 1 1/2 C white whole wheat flour, 1/2 C oats, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 T brown sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, 3/4 tsp cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg.  Stir well. 
 
In a second bowl, combine the egg or egg replacer,  2 C buttermilk (skim milk/vinegar), 1 T maple syrup  4 T applesauce and 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract. Stir well.
 
Stir together the wet and dry ingredients until just moist; the batter will be slightly lumpy.  Allow the batter to sit for 5-7 minutes. 
 
Pre-heat your griddle (to around 350 degrees), and spray with cooking spray.  Scoop pancakes onto the hot griddle. (about a 1/2 cup)
Drop chocolate chips onto the pancakes.  Cook until bubbles form around the edges and a few in the center.  Then flip. Cook until lightly browned.
Someone was quite proud of herself.  And she did a GREAT job.
Someone else was quite a fan!
 He insisted that I not cut them up, so he was two fisting those pancakes in as hard as he could!
 
Linking up this recipe at Eat at Home, Gooseberry Patch

Banana Ice Cream with Oreos

Yesterday I posted this pic –

and asked if anyone could guess what it is.
On Facebook I had a guess of “maybe a smoothie of some sort? With blueberries and chocolate??”
 
Excellent guess, but it was actually
Yes, once again, I have taken something perfectly healthy and uhh….de-healthified it?
oops. my bad.
My kids wanted a treat, and I had frozen bananas on the brain since having an email conversation with another blogger who is preggars, and ‘enjoying’ all the crazy food obsessions and repulsions that come along with pregnancy. And yes, that conversation included the healthy banana.
For whatever reason, I had Oreos in my house.  Which is such a NO.NO.  Since I have absolutely zero will power.  Anyways, I decided I would take the bananas we had in the freezer, blend them up and toss in a few Oreos.
My kids thought it was a delicious, decadent treat!

Oreo Banana Ice Cream

 I used 3 frozen bananas
4 or 6 Oreos (sorry, can’t remember!)
1/2 T. cocoa (mainly for color – my kids eat anything chocolate)
and had enough to fill 3 ice cream cones, plus some leftover!
**Don’t throw away those over ripe bananas, just peel and stick in the freezer in a freezer bag.  Then you can enjoy ‘ice cream’ whenever the mood strikes.  Leave out the Oreos, and it can be completely guilt free!

Speedy Sausage Muffins

I came across this recipe for Speedy Sausage Muffins at Susie QTpies Scraps of Life.  It is a recipe from one of the Gooseberry Patch cookbooks.  It seemed simple enough, and more importantly, it seemed like something at least 2 out of my 3 kids would eat.
I took the recipe, and made a few healthier substitutions…..my changes are in italics.

(Healthified) Speedy Sausage Muffins

1 lb. ground turkey sausage, browned and drained
3 c. Bisquick Heart Healthy biscuit baking mix
1 1/2 c. shredded Cheddar cheese
10-3/4 oz. can Cheddar cheese soup
3/4 c. water

11 ounces skim milk

Directions
Combine sausage, baking mix and cheese in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture.  Stir together soup and water; add milk to sausage mixture, stirring just until combined.  Spoon into lightly greased muffin cups, filling to top of cups.  Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until lightly golden.  Serve warm.  Makes 16 12 muffins. (I filled my muffin tins very full!)

We had these for dinner with fruit salad and grits. (We do love our breakfast for dinner!) The verdict…..AWESOME.  My girls loved them, as did I.  They tasted like a sausage biscuit or a huge sausage ball.  They also freeze and reheat well!

Bubble Up Pizza



If you are popping over from Pinterest, Welcome to Makin’ it Mo’Betta! This is a popular recipe for good reason…it’s so easy to make, and kids love it! (At least mine do) Feel free to look around, and consider following me on any of my social media outlets for more easy recipes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You’ve probably seen these casseroles floating around for a while – Bubble Up Pizza, Bubble Up Enchiladas, etc.  I decided to give it a try since it was so simple to throw together, and totally kid-friendly!  With the girls involved in so many activities in the evenings, I need meals that are quick and easy to get on the table.  This is one we had when the hubs wasn’t home, since this is definitely not a low carb meal. (for a low carb pizza casserole, you could try this one)

(my original picture, I’ve added some newer ones!)

Bubble Up Pizza

  • 2 cans (12oz) golden layer buttermilk biscuits (Pillsbury Grands! Jr)
  • 1 jar (15oz) pizza sauce  *I used this easy homemade sauce
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • your favorite pizza toppings – cooked sausage, turkey pepperoni, peppers, mushrooms *we had mini turkey pepperoni and Canadian bacon
  • cooking spray
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Cut biscuits into quarters and place in medium bowl.  Toss biscuits with pizza sauce.  Add pizza topping and half of the cheese.  Toss until well blended.  Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray.  Pour biscuit mixture into pan and top with remaining cheese.  Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes, or until biscuits are done.
Recipe Source: Plain Chicken

Verdict?  The kids loved this! I thought it was pretty good too, just not very calorie friendly.  I think I’m going to try it with rolls (like frozen Rhodes rolls) next time and see how that goes.  It would be less fat than the biscuits.  I’ll let ya know!  I mixed everything up before basketball practice, then baked it when we got home, so I had a hot meal on the table in about 30 minutes!  We had a salad to go with it.  Quick and easy!

I’m linking up today with Everything Under the Moon, Homemaker on a Dime, Delightfully Dowling, A Southern Fairytale, Skip to my Lou, The Girl Creative, Making the World Cuter, Mom’s Crazy Cooking, Eat at Home – ingredient spotlight, canned biscuits/rolls/etc, Gooseberry Patch

Harvest Blessing Mix

I mentioned this mix last year, but I think it’s so cute!  It makes great little gifts – put in a baggie with the meaning of the ingredients attached! My son brought it home from pre-school a few years ago & we have made it ever since.

Harvest Blessing Mix

Bugles – represents a cornucopia…horn of plenty
Pretzels – represents arms folded in thanks and prayer
Candy Corn – During the first winter, the pilgrims were each allowed 5 kernels of corn per day b/c food was so scarce.
Raisins – Thanksgiving is the celebration of the harvest
Sunflower seeds – Seeds represent the potential of a bountiful harvest for the next season, if they are planted and well tended.
Chocolate chips – What’s a mix without chocolate?

{egg free} Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

So, I have bananas left AND I have zucchini….what can I make?  (Egg-free) Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread of course!!  It just came out of the oven (and I immediately ate some) and it is so good I had to begin blogging about it immediately.  I sort of combined two recipes, one from For the Love of Cooking (Chocolate Chip and Walnut Zucchini Bread) and one from Madhuram’s Eggless Cooking (Eggless Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread).  I guess I made enough changes to warrant typing out the recipe – it’s going to seem strange, but it is ooooh soooo good!

{egg free} Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

  • 2 very ripe medium sized bananas
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 cups raw, grated zucchini
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 4 oz. jar of baby food carrots or 1/2 cup cooked and pureed carrots
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup of mini chocolate chips – I used a very well rounded 3/4 cup 🙂

I then followed the directions from For the Love of Cooking recipe – My loaf pan was larger than 8×4, so I made one loaf and 6 muffins.

The muffins cooked in about 30 minutes I think.  They are so moist and delicious and the kids didn’t even complain about the flecks of green!!  (and they have no clue I added the carrots.)  They were moist enough with the bananas that I think I could use all whole wheat flour next time, and I love that I was able to cut the sugar in half!!
This really was the best I’ve made, so I will definitely be making this again.  I also LOVE sneaking veggies into my kids!!  I have some other zucchini recipes to try, but only have a couple of zucchini left, because unfortunately, my zucchini plants died 🙁   (Can I say zucchini one more time?)  I think they suffered dehydration and heat stroke.
I’m linking this recipe up at i should be mopping the floor Iron Chef Mom: Battle-Carrots

Going bananas

 After a visit to Sam’s Club, I have about 100 lbs. of bananas.  I knew when I bought them, they would not all get eaten b/c only one of my children even likes bananas.  (including me)  However, subconsciously I was probably thinking about the awesome recipes I have that call for bananas.  Somehow, when you mix bananas, sugar and chocolate, they go from blah, too AWESOME!  Imagine that.  So last night I decided that we (read “I”) would make Chocolate Banana Muffins this morning.  I did really good and gathered all the ingredients I would need (and utensils) and put everything on the counter last night so I wouldn’t wimp out and not fix them this morning.  This really made things easier since I’m so NOT a morning person.  Made the muffins, and all I can say is….THANK YOU PAM!!  I don’t personally know Pam, who does the For the love of cooking blog, but, I heart her.  Some of my favorite recipes are from her site.  Check it.
Don’t they look yummy and delicious and chocolaty?
  I love that the recipe calls for whole wheat flour, and only a 1/3 cup canola oil.  The only changes I made were:  instead of 1/2 cup white sugar, I cut it back to 1/4 cup – b/c I figured bananas are pretty sweet.  We did not miss that extra 1/4 cup.  Next time I might cut the white sugar all together!  Of course, since I cut back on the sugar I thought, hmmmm, why don’t we add some powdered sugar on top?!  It looks so pretty on chocolate.
Also, I had to make it “eggless” for my little allergy boy, so I used my standard baking substitution – 1 T. milk, 1 T. white vinegar, and 1 t. baking powder in place of the egg.  The only difference I can tell is that the muffin is a tiny bit crumbly, but not bad – and a little butter on the hot muffin takes care of that 😉   I use Smart Balance Light w/ EVOO.  Adding mini chocolate chips would make it even mo’betta, and I would definitely cut the sugar then.  Also, this would be a good recipe to add in zucchini or some pureed carrots/squash whatever.  I didn’t do this today b/c I am making zucchini bread later….lots of carbs today.
My little runny nose man after eating TWO muffins – he “stole” the second one!