Recipe: Frozen 100% Fruit Pops

By Jess on July 13th, 2014

Recipe Fruit Pops

Kids love eat popsicles during these hot summer days. So many of the frozen treats are filled with sugar and have nothing healthy in them. This recipe for Fruit Pops from Doodlecraft uses 100% fruit – even down to pureeing fruit with a food processor, not using juice, so it’s even more healthy. The kids will think it’s a treat, but you’ll know it’s super healthy.

What You’ll Need:

  • Plastic popsicle molds
  • About 3 cups of sliced watermelon (be sure there are no seeds)
  • Sliced strawberries
  • Sliced kiwi
  • Large handful of blueberries

Note: Any kind of melon will work instead of watermelon, and juice will work if you want to make this process easier.

Directions:

  1. Puree the watermelon fully to make it as watery as possible.
  2. Put 2-4 blueberries at the bottom of the plastic mold, a slice or two of kiwi (so they show on the side of the mold), 2-4 slices of strawberry, then a couple more blueberries as the last of the fruit.
  3. Fill the molds to the edge with the watermelon juice.
  4. Press the popsicle mold lids on securely, then freeze overnight.
  5. When fully frozen, the popsicle should slide right out of the mold, but if it sticks, run the plastic under a little warm water.

Recipe: Copycat P.F. Chang’s Mongolian Beef

By Jess on July 12th, 2014

Copycat P.F. Chang's Mongolian Beef Recipe

P.F. Chang’s is known for their delicious take on Chinese food, and their Mongolian Beef is one of their most popular dishes. Serve the Mongolian Beef with steamed broccoli and rice for a complete meal! Note: If you use a gluten-free soy sauce in this recipe, then the beef, served with broccoli and rice will be all gluten-free!

Ingredients (Serves 2):

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • vegetable oil for frying (about 1 cup)
  • 1 lb flank steak
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 large green onions, sliced on the diagonal into one-inch lengths

Directions:

  1. Make the sauce by heating 2 tsp of vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over med/low heat. Don’t let the oil get too hot.
  2. Add ginger and garlic to the pan and quickly add the soy sauce and water before the garlic scorches.
  3. Dissolve the brown sugar in the sauce, then raise the heat to about medium and boil the sauce for 2-3 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Once thickened, remove sauce from heat.
  4. Slice the flank steak against the grain into 1/4″ thick bite-size slices (Note:Tilt the blade of your knife at about a forty five degree angle to the top of the steak so that you get wider cuts).
  5. Dip the steak pieces into the cornstarch to apply a very thin dusting to both sides of each piece of beef, then place on a plate. Let the beef sit for about 10 minutes so that the cornstarch sticks.
  6. As the beef sits, heat up 1 cup of oil in a wok (Using a skillet is fine as long as the beef will be mostly covered with oil).
  7. Heat the oil over medium heat until it’s hot, but not smoking.
  8. Add the beef to the oil and sauté for just two minutes, or until the beef just begins to darken on the edges. (Note: The meat will be heated once again after this step, so it doesn’t need to be cooked thoroughly.)
  9. Stir the meat around a little so that it cooks evenly.
  10. After a couple minutes, use a large slotted spoon to take the meat out and onto paper towels, then pour the oil out of the wok or skillet.
  11. Put the pan back over the heat, dump the meat back into it and simmer for one minute.
  12. Add the sauce, cook for one minute while stirring, then add all the green onions.
  13. Cook for one more minute, then remove the beef and onions with tongs or a slotted spoon to a serving plate or bowl and eave the excess sauce behind in the pan.

Recipe: Oreo and Peanut Butter Brownie Cakes

By Jess on July 11th, 2014

These VERY yummy little brownie cupcakes are so easy to make, you may never go back to regular brownies or cupcakes again. Make them for your next party or potluck! Big thanks to FoodSnots on Instructables for the recipe! Ingredients:

  • 1 box brownie mix, 8×8 inch size
  • 24 Oreo Cookies
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a 12 muffin cup baker with paper liners and spray generously with cooking spray.
  2. Prepare brownie mix according to package directions, then spoon just enough brownie batter to cover the bottom of the liners completely.
  3. Spread a teaspoon of peanut butter over 2 Oreo cookies, stack them, then place them in the lined cups. Repeat.
  4. Spoon 2 tablespoons of brownie batter over each of the stacked Oreos and let it run down the sides of the cookies.
  5. Bake cookies and brownies for about 14 minutes or until brownies are cooked through (don’t be fooled by the “shiny” top, they may already be baked fully).
  6. Let cool completely then serve or store in an airtight container with a slice of bread to keep them moist for up to a week.

DIY Body Wash

By Michelle on July 10th, 2014

DIY.Body.Wash

Do you have a favorite type of soap but you can only find it in the bar form? You have often wondered why they haven’t yet made it into a body wash? Well, look no further. Follow the simple steps below and you can turn your favorite bar soap into body wash. Best part is…it’s extremely cost effective and you truly get the biggest bang for your buck. On average, those who make this only spend about $1.50/ gallon. How can you beat that?

What you will need:

  • 8 oz of bar soap (Any bar.  Read the label to make sure your are using 8 oz.  For some soaps, that’s one bar, for others it is 2 or 3)
  • 2 Tablespoons of Glycerin (You can find this product by the bandaid section. It will not be by the soaps. It’s well worth the $3/bottle. A small amount goes a long way
  • 1 gallon (or 16 cups) of water
  • Stock Pot
  • Container for soap (Milk jugs work great)

Directions:

1. Grate the bar of soap using a cheese grater. Don’t have a cheese grater, chunk the bar soap into tiny pieces.

2. Put it in the stock pot with the water and Glycerin

3. Heat over medium heat until the soap is completely dissolved. The smaller the chunks the faster it will go.

4. When the soap is completely dissolved it will look like a big pot of soapy water. Don’t worry, this is what is supposed to happen.

5. Let the mixture sit & cool for 10-12 hours. It will begin to coagulate together.

6. After the 10-12 hour period it will be a mucous like consistency.

7. Using a hand mixer, beat until you have reached your desired consistency. If it is to thick for your liking, then use water to slowly but gradually water it down.

8.  Using a funnel, pour the mixture into your container and Voila! You have successfully made your own body wash.

Let us know how yours turned out. Leave a comment to let us know if you enjoyed this awesome DIY Tip.

DIY Head Scarf

By Jess on July 9th, 2014

DIY Hair Scarf Tie

Head scarfs are super stylish right now, but to buy them already made into a headband or head scarf is pretty expensive (I’ve seen them for $20 or more just for ONE), and it limits the designs to what the creators choose. Make them yourself in literally seconds and you can make them out of your grandmother’s hand-me-downs, the cute one you saw at the thrift store, or the expensive ones. Up to you which scarf you wear, but here’s how to wear it as told by Lucky Pony.

Wrap the scarf around your head with the middle of the scarf at the nape of your neck. Twist the two ends around each other once 3. Wrap the scarf back down to the bottom of your head and knot with a bow. You can choose if you want to reverse it and have the bow at the top of your head instead – versatile head scarf instructions! Enjoy!

Recipe: Turtle Cheesecake Dip

By Jess on July 8th, 2014

Turtle-Cheesecake-Dip

I had another idea for today’s blog, then I found THIS recipe. I am going to hurry and share it and hopefully forget about it or else I can see this being my “hiding in a corner so my kids can’t see me eating it” meal tonight. This delicious dip is from Bubbly Nature Creations. She has a ton of yummy recipes over there. Just a fair warning in case you are trying to watch what you eat. :)

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese softened
  • ⅓ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 box of cheesecake pudding mix
  • 2 cups whipped cream
  • ¼ cup and 1 Tbsp. chopped and toasted pecans
  • ¼ cup of Hershey’s™ Spreads in Chocolate
  • ¼ cup caramel sauce

Directions:

  1. Place cream cheese, powdered sugar, pudding, and whipped cream in a mixing bowl and mix on high until light and fluffy.
  2. Add ¼ cup of the toasted pecans and mix on low speed until evenly incorporated.
  3. Place the mixture into your serving bowl and drizzle the Hershey’s Spreads and caramel sauce on top.
  4. Sprinkle on the remainder of the toasted pecans on top and serve immediately or place in refrigerator up to 2 days.

DIY Bouncing Bubbles

By Jess on July 7th, 2014

DIY Bouncing Bubbles

Kids love bubbles, and they are a huge part of summer play. Try something new with the kids and make them amazing bouncing bubbles! Skip the “Deluxe Bouncing Bubbles Kit” that costs $35 or more. You can make it at home with just a few ingredients with the tutorial from Play at Home Mom.

  • 1 C distilled drinking water
  • 1 Tablespoon dish soap
  • 1 Teaspoon of glycerin (you can buy at craft stores or in the first aid aisle)
  • something to blow bubbles with (straw, yarn, bubble blower wands, etc.)
  • 1 clean glove (or sock to keep the bubbles from popping)

Mix ingredients together and let stand for at least 24 hours. Have fun!

DIY Dry Shampoo For Both Light & Dark Hair

By Jess on July 6th, 2014

DIY Dry Shampoo Both Hair Colors

From Blossom Everyday, find this and many other tutorials and hints for style and beauty! This recipe for dry shampoo will save you A LOT of money on dry shampoo (that stuff can cost $5 for a tiny bottle!). Just store this mixture in an old plastic container or some prefer spice containers to place directly onto your head.

To make it more “your hair shade” add as little or as much cocoa powder as you need. Medium brunettes may not need as much as someone with dark hair. Experiment and enjoy!

DIY Dry Shampoo

DIY Sidewalk Chalk Paint

By Jess on July 5th, 2014

DIY Sidewalk Chalk Paint

We all love using sidewalk chalk, but have you heard of using sidewalk paint? It’s easy to make, and just like its chalk counterpart, you can jut rinse it off with water once you’re finished. Here’s the recipe from About.com. Thanks to One Perfect Day Blog for the cute pic!

What You’ll Need:

  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 1/2 Cup Cornstarch
  • Approximately 12 Drops of Food Coloring (Adjusted until you get your desired color)
  • Jar With Lid
  • Paint brushes, Foam Brushes, and/or sponges

Instructions:

  1. Measure the water, cornstarch, and food coloring and pour into a jar. Place the lid on the jar tightly, then shake jar until the paint is completely mixed.
  2. Repeat #1 for every color you want to use and paint with.
  3. The paint is now ready to use!
  4. Use paint brushes and foam brushes to make roads, games, and even huge murals on your sidewalk. You can also make fun shapes using sponges.
  5. If the paint gets a little too dry, simply add a little bit of water.
  6. When you’re done playing, rinse off with water or wait until it rains again. It will wash off skin and clothes, too!

Recipe: Apple Pie “French Fries”

By Jess on July 4th, 2014

Apple Pie French Fies

Okay, so maybe these Apple Pie “French Fries” aren’t the healthiest snack, but how cute are they? They look like real French fries with salt and shape. These would be really fun to have at a birthday party. The recipe below from Oh Bite It! serves 25-30 “fries”, so you may need more than that for parties.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pkg of Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts (2 ct., but brand doesn’t matter)
  • 1.5 cups of Apple Pie Filling
  • 1 Egg
  • Sparkle sugar for sprinkling “salt” onto the fries
  • Caramel sauce and/or ice cream for dipping
  • Optional: Food processor, Decorative edge roll-cutter

Directions:

  1. Chop up apple pie filling as best as you can, or use food processor and save tons of time.
  2. Unroll the 2 pie crusts. On 1 of the crusts, spread the apple filling around leaving 1/8″ at edge, then lightly press the other crust onto the top of it to secure it.
  3. Make egg wash by combining an egg with a splash of water.
  4. Brush egg wash across the entire top of the crust and sprinkle with the sparkle sugar.
  5. Cut the crust into  1/2″ strips then again into “fries” shape and size. Place very carefully onto parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  6. Bake at 350-degrees for 12 minutes or until slightly golden and firm.
  7. Serve with caramel and/or ice cream for dipping.