All Posts by Alison Bickel

1 Cookie Dough Yogurt Parfait Recipe

Are you looking for a healthy sweet treat to send in your child’s school lunch? Boy, do we have a treat for you!
Cookie Dough Yogurt Parfaits -

Why not  send a high protein snack like Greek yogurt in their lunch? While chocolate chip cookies are the most requested treat around our house, the mere mention of anything cookie dough related is always a hit.

While there isn’t always time to whip up a batch of cookies for a lunch box treat, this cookie dough yogurt comes together quickly and is a dessert you can feel good about sending off with the kids.

Related: Top 5 Lunchboxes We’ve Tested

This easy recipe comes from one of our MOMables menus, just a sample of our kid-friendly recipes and what you can expect to find each week.

If you don’t own a thermos, you should consider purchasing one. For around $10-$16, you will be able to put dinner leftovers to use, send cold treats to school… oh the possibilities!

Check out this video to see how to send a parfait to school in a thermos.

Cookie Dough Greek Yogurt

  • Author: MOMables
  • Cuisine: Lunch


  • 6 ounces Greek Yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon almond or peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate chips


  1. In a small bowl, mix yogurt, peanut/almond butter, maple syrup and chocolate chips.
  2. Place inside a chilled thermos container and pack in lunch box with your child’s favorite sandwich, fruit and veggies.


7 Homemade Ketchup Recipe

Did you know making ketchup is really easy?

Homemade Ketchup -

Last week, we asked our Facebook friends for suggestions of items they would like to see a recipe for a homemade version. Looking through the list, homemade ketchup caught my eye.

I’ve been wanting to try a homemade version for awhile, and your requests were just the incentive I needed.

So, I set about doing a little research on ketchup (which really has quite an interesting history).  Did you know it used to be made and sold by farmers as a way to use up their less than perfect tomatoes?  Farmers come up with some of the best ideas, don’t they?

After a few tries and failures (some in our house preferred a sweeter ketchup, others tangy), we had a version of ketchup we were all happy with.  This ketchup can be enjoyed right away, but the flavors will develop even more over time.

Homemade Ketchup Recipe

Yields 1 1/2 – 2 cups of ketchup

  • Author: MOMables
  • Cuisine: Condiments


  • 12 ounces tomato paste
  • 24 tablespoons sugar (depending on how sweet you like your ketchup)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon all spice
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/22/3 cup water


  1. Place all ingredients, except water, in a medium bowl.
  2. Add water in increments until you have your desired consistency (thicker or thinner).
  3. You can enjoy immediately, or store in an airtight container overnight to enjoy the next day. The flavors develop the longer it sits.
  4. Good for 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator.


53 How to Make Oat Flour

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Did you know you can make your own oat flour for pennies on the dollar vs store bought? So many recipes now call for flours much different than the All-Purpose or Whole Wheat that we are used to.

how to make oat flour

Almond flour, rice flour and oat flour have become common among ingredient lists.  If these flours are not something you regularly use,  it can be pricey to buy a bag that you may only need for a small amount.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money because you already have everything you need in your pantry to make your own oat flour, simply and inexpensively.

While oats are naturally gluten free, they can be cross contained depending on where they were processed. If you are looking for certified gluten free oat flour, all you need to do is make sure the oats you purchase say “certified gluten free” and then you can make your own gluten-free oat flour at a fraction of the cost.

Need a delicious way to put this oat flour to use? Check out the Chief Mom’s Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Dough Bites. They are simple to make (no bake!) and perfect for a treat in the lunch box.

How to Make Oat Flour

  • Author: MOMables
  • Cuisine: How-To


  • 1 cup rolled or old fashion oats
  • Food Processor or high rpm blender


  1. Place the oats into the bowl of your food processor.
  2. Pulse the oats until they are ground into a powder-like consistency.
  3. Depending on the speed and power of your food processor, this process should take 60 seconds or less.
  4. Stop and stir to ensure that all the oats have been finely ground.
  5. One cup of rolled oats will yield approximately 1 cup of oat flour.
  6. Store unused portion in air tight container.



How to Substitute White Sugar in Baking

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Are you overwhelmed by all the different sweeteners out there? Do you want to substitute white sugar for something else “natural” but don’ t know where to begin?

natural white sugar substitutes -

As a mom, making food choices for your family can be an overwhelming mission, especially when it comes to sugar. There are so many choices…turbinado, honey, muscavado.  What’s the right choice for your recipes, when you want to make a natural substitution for processed white sugar?

To make the task a little easier, we’ve put together a simple, short and sweet guide to a few of the more common natural sweeteners found in recipes and on your grocery store shelves.  We haven’t included all the natural sweeteners available out there, but it’s a good start.

Maple Syrup–is a natural sweetener that can be used as a substitute for refined sugar and is high in minerals like zinc and manganese.  The only drawback may be it’s high glycemic index, meaning it can cause a spike in blood sugar.  It’s familiar flavor becomes less pronounced when used in baking.  There are two common grades of maple syrup that you will likely see on your grocery shelf; Grade A has a mild flavor and light color, Grade B is darker in color with a stronger maple flavor.

To use pure maple syrup in place of sugar in a baked recipe, use 3/4 cup pure maple syrup for 1 cup of granulated sugar and reduce the dominant liquid in the recipe by 3 tablespoons for each cup of maple syrup used. Using maple syrup in baked goods may cause them to brown more quickly, due to the high sugar content.

Honey–There are two types of honey that you are likely to see most often, pasteurized (clear, golden in color, thinner consistency) and raw (thick, cloudy, granular consistency).  Raw honey has not been processed/heated, leaving more of the antioxidants, vitamins and minerals intact. It is actually sweeter than white sugar, but very versatile and great for baking.  Honey should not be given to children younger than two to protect against infant botulism.

To substitute honey for white sugar in baked goods use 3/4 cup honey for every 1 cup of sugar.  Honey adds a lot of moisture to a recipe, so reduce other liquids in the recipe by ½ cup for every 1 cup of honey added.  Also, decrease oven temperature by 25 degrees to ensure your baked goods don’t brown too much.

Brown Rice Syrup— is made with brown rice that’s cooked with cultures and enzymes to break down the starches.  The resulting liquid is then drained off and cooked further to it’s desired, syrupy consistency. Half as sweet as white sugar, it has a mild flavor. It’s very good for cooking and baking. Be sure to read labels because some brands include barley malt and corn syrup.  Brown rice syrup can be substituted on a 1:1 ratio for other liquid sweeteners in baking.

Muscavado–different from the brown sugar (white sugar processed with molasses) that we are used to, is an unrefined brown sugar that is available in both light and dark varieties.  It’s flavor is similar to brown sugar, due to retaining it’s dark sugarcane juice.  Just like brown sugar, it is moist and can be used as a substitute for brown sugar in recipes.

Sucanat, Turbinado and Demara sugars–are very similiar and made by heating sugar cane juice, then spinning it in a centrifuge to extract moisture and molasses for large, golden crystals. It’s closer to refined sugar than raw sugar.  You may see them labeled as ‘organic cane sugar’, ‘natural cane sugar’ or ‘evaporated cane juice’.  They will retain their golden color as they are less processed than white sugar.  It can be substituted on a 1:1 ratio for white sugar in recipes.

Less common, but just as delicious, are maple sugar and more recently, coconut sugar.  These sweeteners can be substituted on a 1:1 ratio in recipes calling for granulated sugar.  They are more expensive, but deals can be found on Amazon and bulk food sites.


23 Real Chocolate Syrup -

Homemade Chocolate Syrup

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Do you have kids who love chocolate milk? I do. My boys jump at the chance to drink a hot cocoa  on a cold winter afternoon or the occasional treat of chocolate milk.

Real Chocolate Syrup -

At the grocery, while walking the coffee isle (a mom necessity) I hear: “Mom, can we get this??”  “Mom, that looks good, can we get it?” -referring to the squeezable bottle of thick chocolate syrup.

One of the things my youngest’s favorite treats is chocolate milk.  It never fails that if we go past the dairy section, he’ll ask for it.

Then one day, it dawned on me, that it might be fun to try to make a chocolate syrup of our own.  Sure, it might be full of sugar, but at least I know what exactly is in the syrup

So here is our version of homemade chocolate syrup.  It’s adapted from one of our favorite ice cream toppings by just leaving out the butter.  It’s delicious!  Be sure to give Laura’s strawberry milk a try too.

Homemade Chocolate Syrup

  • Author: MOMables
  • Cuisine: Condiments


  • 1/2 cup sugar or sucanat
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. In a small saucepan, combine sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and water.
  2. Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil, then reduce heat.
  3. Stir continuously until thickened to a sauce consistency.
  4. Remove from heat. Add in vanilla and stir.
  5. Pour into a separate container and allow to cool before using.
  6. To make chocolate milk use 1-2 tablespoons of chocolate syrup per 1 cup of milk.

Chief Mom’s note:

I’m not saying that this syrup is “healthy” but please compare the ingredients in our recipe vs the ones found in a bottle of the store-bought syrup. HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP; CORN SYRUP; WATER; COCOA; SUGAR; CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: POTASSIUM SORBATE (PRESERVATIVE); SALT; MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES; XANTHAN GUM; POLYSORBATE 60; VANILLIN, ARTIFICIAL FLA VOR *source.