Thursday, September 18, 2014

Rhodes Curly Dogs & Kid's Baking Prize Pack Giveaway!

My kid's are in their 4 week of school, so it's safe to say that everyone is finally easing back into their regular routines. The beginning of the school year can be crazy, but so can summer break. Everyone is kind of in limbo doing and eating whatever they want.

One of our biggest challenges during the school year is getting back on track and eating breakfast before the sun rises. Both my kids are used to eating breakfast after sleeping in all summer long. It's a battle, but I don't want them going off to school hungry. 
By the time lunch rolls around they're pretty hungry, and down right starving when they return home. 

When my son gets off the bus, and heads through the door he immediately drops his back pack, removes his shoes and heads straight for the kitchen. There isn't too much time between my sons arrival and when were headed off to pick up my daughter, so having something ready to snack on has been a lifesaver.

In order to avoid consuming junk food I've been making a few fun snacks for the kids while they're still at school. These fun Curly Dogs pictured above are one of my sons favorites. I found them in the Kid's Ideas with Frozen Dough Cookbook. It's packed full of fun and easy bread dough recipes that your kids can make. 

All of the recipes are easy to read with lots of "how to" photos. The Silly Face Pizza's above is on my list next, because my son loves mini pizzas. I also want to try a breakfast pizza version as well. Stop by and check out the Rhodes New Kid's Baking Site for more kid friendly snacks, recipes, and treats.  They even have a holiday section with some pretty neat ideas.  

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Baked Brown Sugar & Honey Acorn Squash

Acorn Squash is a winter squash, but baking it with brown sugar, honey and butter reminds me of the flavors of Fall!!! Squash isn't a vegetable that my family prefers, but they are getting better. It's the same thing with yellow and zucchini squash unless I disguise it.

Me, I love just about any vegetable imaginable. I grew up eating a variety of squash, so it's hard for me to try and come up with recipes to convince my family just how delicious squash can be. 
When my kids were babies I could bake acorn squash with salt and pepper, mash it up, and they would eat it by the spoonfuls. Now that they're older they just don't seem to care for it.  

Baked Acorn Squash is the perfect Fall side dish!!! Roasting or baking acorn or butternut squash with a little, butter, brown sugar, honey, salt & pepper is the easiest way to prepare this squash. I like to score the inside of the squash with a knife so all the yummy juices really get down into the squash as it bakes.

When the squash is done it will have a nice caramelized color and be fork tender. To eat you can scoop the squash out into a serving bowl, or just mush around in their shells and eat with a fork. Baked acorn squash also makes a beautiful side dish for Thanksgiving.  

Friday, September 5, 2014

DIY Homemade Rotel (Tomatoes & Green Chilies)

One of my favorite things about summer is our vegetable garden. This year wasn't too unbearably hot, so we were blessed with a variety of fresh peppers, onions, tomatoes, cantaloupes, watermelon and a variety of squash. 

August and September is the time of year when we start getting overloaded with tomatoes, squash and peppers. This year our squash plants did very well, so we have tons of squash to deal with. I've made squash casserole a few times, canned zucchini pickles and grilled zucchini. 

Our tomato plants seemed to take off a bit late, so now we have tomatoes coming from everywhere. It's funny how we spend all summer tending to our gardens trying to get everything to grow, and then before we know it we are in garden overload.

To help conquer the abundance of all the tomatoes and peppers in our garden I searched around online for a few tomato recipes. I came across this recipe for Homemade Rotel from Canning Granny. We use Rotel a lot, so I thought this was the perfect idea. 

I did adapted the recipe slightly by using a variety of peppers (bell pepper, anaheims, and jalapenos). I also decreased the amount of sugar in the recipe, because I thought my first batch was a bit sweet. Also original Rotel doesn't contain onions, but I thought it was a nice touch. 

I have used a couple jars in a Queso dip, and in chili and both were very good. I will definitely be making this again with next years tomato crops. I hope you will give this recipe a try.