All Posts by Alison Bickel

1 Power Breakfast: Easy Strawberry Smoothie

Easy Strawberry Smoothie Recipe

Want to get your kids involved in the kitchen? Here is an easy way to help them learn how to wash fruit, measure and enjoy the taste of real food!

Power Breakfast: Easy Strawberry SmoothieThere is something so great about bringing your kids into the kitchen.  Not only is it a perfect opportunity to spend time catching up on the day’s events, but also to take advantage of those small teachable moments that so often present themselves.

Moments to teach them about cooking and food, to share with them how and why you make the choices to feed them the food that you do.

Getting your kids interested in cooking doesn’t have to mean making an elaborate or time consuming recipe.  It can be as simple as a smoothie.

In our house, it’s a strawberry smoothie that my oldest son makes for us several mornings a week.  He was inspired by a cooking class at school and brought the recipe home to make it his own using ingredients we have always have on hand.

This will be a great addition to your breakfast menu and leftovers can be frozen as popsicles or packed in a thermos for lunch.

Strawberry Smoothie
 
Author:
Cuisine: Snacks
Ingredients
  • Makes four, 1 cup servings
  • 8 hulled strawberries, frozen or fresh
  • ½ cup milk, dairy or nondairy
  • ½ cup plain greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 6 ice cubes
Instructions
  1. In a blender, combine strawberries, milk, yogurt, sugar and vanilla.
  2. Blend for several seconds on low setting to combine.
  3. Add ice cubes.
  4. Blend on high setting of blender for several seconds or until smooth and creamy.
  5. Pour equal amounts into glasses and enjoy!
 

4 Graham Cracker Toffee

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graham-cracker-toffeeIt never fails that just when I think I’m completely organized and have everything in hand for the holidays….I forget just one thing.  

It might be a special treat for a school program, neighborhood party or that some mischievous children got into my holiday goodies and ate one too many.  Sound familiar?

I make this toffee recipe at least three times (often more) in the month of December.  It is a FAVORITE at our house, and I often have to hide it away just to keep it from being devoured.

The recipe is very simple and includes ingredients you probably already have in your pantry.  Perfect for those times when you need a tray of goodies in a pinch.  If nuts are an issue for you family, just leave them off, it will taste just as delicious!

 

Graham Cracker Toffee
 
Author:
Cuisine: Treats
Ingredients
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 box of graham crackers
  • 1 bag milk chocolate or semi sweet chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place a single layer of graham crackers in baking sheet, edge to edge. Set aside.
  3. In a medium saucepan combine the butter, brown sugar and pecans.
  4. Bring to a boil, over medium high heat, stirring occasionally.
  5. Allow it to continue to boil for 3 minutes (I'll often set a timer so I don't go too long or short). Evenly pour the hot mixture over the graham crackers.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.
  7. Remove from oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips.
  8. Allow to sit for a few minutes so chocolate chips can begin to melt.
  9. Using a spatula or frosting knife, spread melted chocolate chips evenly over graham crackers. When completely cooled break into pieces.
  10. Refrigerate in an airtight container.
 

10

How to Make Homemade Granola

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Have you ever wondered how something so simple could be so expensive?

It’s crazy how expensive granola can be at the grocery yet it’s so inexpensive and easy to make at home!

We all know that everything homemade tastes better.  Somethings of course, are better than others.  Homemade granola is one that falls into the better category.

Once you’ve made your own, you’ll never go back.  With a variety add-in options, including dried fruit and nuts, you could make a new version every week!

Use this granola for breakfast, to top off a yogurt parfait in your child’s lunch box or just grab a handful to snack on while heading out the door to after school activities.  Simple, delicious and it makes a great gift!

 

MOMables Homemade Granola
Yields: about 8 cups

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups old fashion oats
  • 1 1/2 cups nuts (slivered almonds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts…)
  • 1 cup shredded sweet coconut
  • 1/2 cup flax seed (golden or toasted)
  • 1/2 cup plus sucanat (or brown sugar)
  • 1/2 cup plus 2TB maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (melted), butter or vegetable oil
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups raisins, cranberries or dried fruit

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 250°F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine maple syrup, sucanat (or brown sugar) oil, and salt.
  4. Combine both mixtures in larger bowl and mix well (yes, sometimes you have to use your hands here) until all is evenly coated.
  5. Pour onto 2 sheet pans. Cook for 50 minutes stirring every 15-20min to achieve an even color.

13

White Chocolate Popcorn Recipe

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Need a sweet treat but don’t have time to bake?

As much as I love the baking of cookies and candy around the holidays, sometimes it’s nice to have a simple recipe up your sleeve when you need something in a pinch.

This white chocolate popcorn is just that. Pop the popcorn yourself, drizzle with some melted white chocolate chips and top them off with some festive red and green sprinkles.

Don’t have any sprinkles?  I think crushed candy canes would be a delicious way to finish them off too.

Bag this treat up as a gift for teachers, or surprise your kids with a fun, festive lunch box dessert.

White Chocolate Popcorn
 
Author:
Cuisine: Treats
Ingredients
  • 1-2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup popcorn kernels (yields 16 cups popcorn)
  • 1 bag white chocolate chips
  • Christmas colored sprinkles
  • Parchment paper
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, over medium-high heat, melt 1-2 tablespoons butter.
  2. Once butter is melted, pour in popcorn kernels.
  3. Cover with lid.
  4. As popcorn begins to pop, give pot a shake every now and then to toss kernels and prevent burning.
  5. When popping slows, remove from heat and spread popcorn in a single layer on parchment paper.
  6. While popcorn cools, melt bag of white chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl at 30 second increments until completely melted.
  7. Using a fork, drizzle melted white chocolate over popped corn.
  8. Immediately follow by decorating with Christmas sprinkles.
  9. Allow 1 hour for chocolate to harden.
  10. Break into pieces and store in an air tight container.
 

 

95

How to Make Homemade Hot Cocoa

It seems that as soon as the temperature begins to fall my children start requesting hot cocoa. This recipe never disappoints.

How to Make Homemade Hot Cocoa MOMables.com

For years, I kept my pantry stocked with a variety of store bought hot cocoa mixes, until one, snowed bound day, I found myself without.  It was then I discovered how easy it is to make hot cocoa on my own.

The ingredient list could not be more simple, many you probably already have in your pantry.

To spice up your hot cocoa add in a cinnamon stick or pinch of cinnamon at step #2, or maybe a drop of peppermint extract to mimic the delicious peppermint hot cocoa from Starbucks.

I sometimes pack hot cocoa in a thermos and send it to school with my boys. Their favorite way to enjoy a cup of hot cocoa is next to a bowl of homemade popcorn as an after school snack during the winter months.

4.9 from 42 reviews
How to Make Homemade Hot Cocoa
 
yields 5 cups
Author:
Cuisine: Snacks
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Combine the cocoa, sugar, water, and salt in a medium saucepan.
  2. Over medium heat, stir constantly until the mixture boils. Cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute.
  3. Stir in the milk and heat, but do not boil.
  4. Remove from the heat and add vanilla; stir well. Serve immediately.
Notes
**I've used both vanilla soymilk as well as almond milk to make this and both are delicious!**
 

adapted from The Joy of Vegan Baking

 

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