Tag Archives: Pinterest inspired

Breakfast Wreath

4 Mar

I was first introduced to wreaths at a Pampered Chef Party, a Turkey Cranberry Wreath (I will share the recipe soon!).  I’ve also made a Taco Wreath.  So, when I saw a Breakfast Wreath on Pinterest, I knew I wanted to give it a try!  It’s really easy, and I added in some of the Roasted Corn Salsa I had in the fridge.  It was delicious, and I will be making this again!  There are many possibilities with this one, I used eggs, bacon, cheese, and the salsa, but you could do any combination of eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns, vegetables, and cheese, based on your breakfast favorites.  Also, there are 2 ways to make wreaths, this one I used 1 can of 8 crescent rolls, and when I share the Turkey Cranberry Wreath, it uses 2 cans of 8 crescent rolls.  You could make this Breakfast Wreath using the 2 can method instead, the 2 can method covers the filling more, but with 1 can, you still get good coverage too.

Breakfast Wreath

What you need:

1 can refrigerated crescent rolls
8 slices bacon, cooked, but not too crispy (I used turkey bacon)
5 eggs
Any other veggies you want to add to the eggs
1 cup shredded cheese, I used Mexican blend, but you could use cheddar, colby jack, pepper jack, etc.

How to make it:

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Scramble the eggs and add in any other veggies you want to use.

Unroll crescent dough; separate into 8 triangles. With wide ends of triangles toward the center, arrange the 8 triangles in a circle on large round baking stone or on a greased baking sheet.  The corners of wide ends should overlap and points will extend 1 inch beyond baking stone.  Lay a piece of cooked bacon on each triangle.

Spread 1/3 cup of the shredded cheese around the inner circle of the wreath.  Scoop egg filling onto the dough on top of the cheese.  Top the filling with another 1/3 cup of cheese.

Lift the ends of the crescent rolls over the filling and tuck under the middle of the ring.

Brush the dough with a beaten egg or olive oil.  Sprinkle the remaining 1/3 cup cheese over the dough.

Bake in the preheated oven for 15 – 17 minutes, or until crescent rolls are golden brown.  Cut into 8 pieces and serve.

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken

5 Feb

A while back, I saw a pin on Pinterest of a shredded buffalo chicken sandwich, and the chicken had been cooked in the slow cooker.  A friend had recently made it too, so I know it was something to try out.  It also reminded me of a Buffalo Chicken Pizza that I haven’t made in a while.  I also had a loaf of ciabatta bread in my freezer still, so it was a tough choice to make pizza or to make sandwiches.  So, I made both!

 

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken
Based on recipe here

What you need:

4 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts (about 1 – 1.5 lbs)
1 small onion, diced
1/2 cup hot sauce (I used Frank’s Red Hot Sauce)
2 Tbsp butter

How to make it:

Place chicken and onions in slow cooker.  Pour in hot sauce.  Cook on low for 6-7 hours.

Remove chicken and shred.  Return shredded chicken to the slow cooker.  Stir in 2 Tbsp butter.  Cook on low for another 30 minutes to 1 hour.    Serve on pizza or sandwiches (see below).

 

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

What you need:

1 12-16″ pizza crust, either pre-made, a pouch mix, or your favorite recipe for pizza crust
1/2 cup ranch or blue cheese dressing
1 cup shredded buffalo chicken (either as made above or 1 cup cooked chicken mixed with 1/4 cup hot sauce)
1 Tbsp greens from top of green onion
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

How to make it:

Spread ranch dressing on pizza crust.  Next, spread chicken, then green onion tops, then cheese.  Bake according to the directions for your pizza crust, in general, 425 F for 10-15 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted.

Buffalo Chicken Sandwich

What you need:

Shredded buffalo chicken (from recipe at top)
Bread of your choice (I used ciabatta bread from Bountiful Baskets)
Cheese of your choice (I used swiss)
Ranch or blue cheese dressing
Other sandwich toppings, like lettuce, tomato, pickles, red onion, green peppers (I used just lettuce)

How to make it:

Lightly toast the bread.  On the bottom half, place the amount of chicken that you want.  Add ranch or blue cheese dressing, cheese, and sandwich toppings.

Crash Hot Potatoes and Grilled Asparagus

3 Feb

 

This dinner was definitely not in the Weekly Meal Plan, but it certainly came together perfectly to use some of the potatoes and asparagus I had gotten from Bountiful Baskets this week.  I had seen these potatoes on Pinterest a while back, but apparently hadn’t pinned it, so I had to search again and luckily found it.  I luckily had fresh rosemary from the Italian veggie themed pack still to use for the potatoes.  I then decided I should make either steak or chicken on the grill since I am trying to get good use out of my new grill.  I decided it would be a good idea to grill the asparagus too, just to avoid another dirty pan and again, utilize the grill.  It all turned out delicious and got rave reviews from the whole family.

 

Crash Hot Potatoes
Based on recipes here and here

What you need:

12 small potatoes, mine were red
Olive oil
Salt
Pepper
Fresh rosemary, finely chopped
Malt vinegar

How to make it:

Wash potatoes thoroughly.  Add to a large pot and add enough water to just cover potatoes.  Bring water to a boil and cook potatoes until just tender, about 20 minutes.  Drain.

Preheat oven to 450 F.

Grease a baking sheet thoroughly with oil.  Lay out the 12 potatoes.  Slightly mash each potato with a potato masher, turn potato masher 90 degrees and slightly mash each potato again.  Brush each potato with olive oil, then sprinkle on salt, pepper, and fresh rosemary.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.  Remove from oven and splash each potato with malt vinegar.

 

Grilled Asparagus
Based on recipe here

What you need:

1 lb asparagus, trimmed
Olive oil
Salt
Pepper
Balsamic vinegar

How to make it:

Place asparagus on skewers.  Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Grill on high heat for a few minutes, or until desired tenderness.

Remove from grill and splash with balsamic vinegar.

 

Butterfly Snack Bags

27 Oct

My oldest daughter is turning 5 soon, so she wanted to take in treats to share with her friends at school.  I came across a cute idea on Pinterest that was snack bags that looked like butterflies.  I had snack sized zipper bags, clothespins leftover from some other activities I made, and plenty of pipe cleaners.   Don’t have googly eyes, but decided to use a marker to draw a face.  Then, we needed to pick a snack, so we picked frosted animal cookies to give them a little color.

Here is how I went about making them.  I cut the pipe cleaners into 3 pieces to get the right size for the antenna of the butterfly.  I kept the snack bag sealed and clipped the middle with the clothespin.  Then, I opened each side, put in the cookies, and re-sealed the sides.  Then, I drew eyes and a smile on the clothespin.  I folded a pipe cleaner in half, rolled up each end a little, and cinched it in the clothespin in the hole at the top.  Here is the finished product.

 

You could decorate the clothespins with paint or markers to spruce it up a little.  But, my almost  year old was pretty impressed with this, especially when I let her help draw the smiley faces.

Toddler School – Week 5

23 Oct

This week we did a letter E worksheet.  Let me tell you, it was a little tough to come up with E words that they would recognize or that they wouldn’t things was something else.  In the end, I think it turned out good.

I searched for a while for some new activities to do.  I came across these number printables and figured since we had worked on number recognition somewhat last week, that it would be fitting to work on numbers again this week.  I ended up printing out all the printables available and laminated them, then cut them apart.  This week we only used the numbers with the colored dots on them.  Then, I got colored pom poms at the dollar store, and we used those to put on the colored dots to practice counting.

Then, we did something more crafty, we made butterflies like I had found on Pinterest.  You flatten a coffee filter, then paint it with watercolors.  Once it is dry, you fold it accordion style.  You cut a pipe cleaner in half, then fold that half around the folded coffee filter and twist a couple times.  Bend the ends for the antenna.

This week I decided to start keeping the activity materials together in gallon size zipper bags, much like busy bags.  I will have a post coming up talking about busy bags, the ones I have made, and some ideas for new ones.

Toddler School – Week 4

16 Oct

Last week we weren’t able to meet because my friend’s kids were sick.  So, even though this week is Fall Break for the older kids, we got together and had the older kids do some of their own activities and do some activities with the younger kids.

I needed to do some prep work still for the activities, so first the kids all colored the D worksheet I made.  Again, this is to introduce the letter for recognition and simple words that start with that letter.  For the older kids, we had them also write their names and write uppercase and lowercase Ds.  Next, I had gotten some foam pumpkins and various Halloween foam stickers in the dollar section at Target a few weeks back, so I got those out for them all to decorate.

Next, we divided up the older kids and the younger kids.  For the older kids, I picked out pipe cleaners in colors the corresponded to the bead colors that I have.   Then, I put a piece of tape at the top of each pipe cleaner and put a number.  Then, I had them sit and put beads on the pipe cleaners, they had to match the color and put as many beads as the number on the tape.  They both did really well with this.

While the older kids did this, the younger kids got to play with a sensory tub.  I had purchased some foam puzzles at the dollar store, 2 with numbers 0 – 9, 2 with the uppercase alphabet, and 2 with the lowercase alphabet.  I took the numbers out of the puzzle and put them in a plastic bin, then put egg noodles in to bury the numbers.  So, they had to dig through the noodles to find the numbers and put them in the puzzle.  They had a lot of fun playing with the noodles and finding the numbers.  We did work on recognizing the numbers as well.

The younger kids were pretty much done at that point, it was enough activities for them for one day.  The older kids wanted to try out the noodles in the tub, so I got out the uppercase and lowercase letter puzzles and hid those letters for them.

Next week, we’ll do the letter E, and I’m on the hunt for some new activities!

Fennel Carrot Soup & 7-Up Biscuits

12 Oct

When I picked up my Bountiful Basket from my friend’s house last weekend, she gave me her fennel.  I’ve seen it before, and I think even had gotten in a basket before, but didn’t get a chance to figure out what to do with it until it had gone bad.  I went in search of a recipe and found this Fennel Carrot Soup, plus I had carrots, sweet potatoes, and apples already on hand to make this.  The recipe only calls for fennel seeds, but I added in the fennel bulb I had as well as the seeds.  If you have never used a fennel bulb, there is an informative video here on different ways to cut the bulb.  I chose to dice mine.

Then, I had found an interesting biscuit recipe on Pinterest called 7-Up biscuits.  I had attempted to make them a couple of nights ago, but didn’t pay attention to the amount of 7-Up to add and put in too much.  Tonight went much better.

Overall, the soup was ok and the biscuits were excellent.  I’m not sure what it was about the soup, it was good, but not fantastic.  I think it was too much carrot or maybe too bland.  I chose not to use curry as called for in the original recipe, putting in garlic instead.   Or maybe I was tasting more fennel and didn’t like it.  I also think I might have added too much lemon juice.  I don’t know.  The biscuits were very good, very light and fluffy.  Mine didn’t turn out as pretty as the Pinterest picture, but the taste was great.

So, here is how I made the soup and the biscuits.

Fennel Carrot Soup

What you need:

1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
1/2 teaspoon garlic
1 tablespoon butter
1 fennel bulb, diced
1 pound carrots, sliced
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 medium apple, peeled and cubed
5 1/2 cups water
5 chicken bouillon cubes
2 tablespoons uncooked long grain rice
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

How to make it:

In a large saucepan, saute fennel seed and garlic in butter for 2-3 minutes or until lightly toasted. Add the fennel bulb, carrots, sweet potato and apple; saute for 5 minutes. Stir in the water, bouillon cubes, rice, and bay leaf; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until rice and vegetables are very tender.

Remove from the heat and cool slightly. Discard bay leaf. In a blender or food processor, process soup in batches until pureed. Return to saucepan. Stir in the lemon juice, salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes or until heated through.

7-Up Biscuits

What you need:

2 cups Bisquick
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup 7-up
1/4 cup melted butter

How to make it:

Preheat oven to 450 F.

Cut sour cream into biscuit mix.  If you have never cut dough, there is a handy tool called a pastry cutter or dough blender.  I do not have one of these, so I did the best I could with a fork.

Add 7-Up and mix in well.  You may find the dough to be sticky, if so, add more Bisquick or flour (about 1 tablespoon) until you can better work with it.  Don’t worry, even if the dough is sticky, they still bake fine.

Sprinkle flour on board or table and pat dough out to the shape of an 8×8 pan.  Cut dough into 9 squares.  Pour all but 1 Tbsp of the melted butter in an 8×8 pan.  Place cut biscuits in pan.

7-Up Biscuits in pan before baking

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.  Brush the remaining 1 Tbsp of butter over hot biscuits.

Finished 7-Up biscuits

Toddler School – Week 3

30 Sep

For this week, we started with coloring a Letter C worksheet I had created.  I didn’t have time to get items together that started with the letter C this week, so we just talked about the things on the worksheet.

Next, we worked on shapes.  I had come up with idea to create a sheet with shapes, then have cut out shapes to match them, maybe using double sided tape.  But, then I ordered a lamniator over the weekend, I decided to use it for the sheets and cut out shapes, then put velcro circles on the back so that they could be re-used.  So, I printed 2 copies of the shape worksheet and colored one of them with crayons.  Then, I laminated both of them.

Next, I cut out the colored shapes, and added the velcro circles.

It went over very well with the kids!

Next, they wanted to do the color match activity again.  I laminated a piece of paper in each color this time so they would be re-usable too.  I also added the color name to each one.  I know they aren’t anywhere near reading, but at least it’s exposure to the words.  We also got out the water beads again.

That was about all the attention we got out of them for the afternoon, so we went for a walk.

Pipe Cleaners and Bead Counting

19 Sep

This morning, my oldest was pushing all my buttons, so I remembered that I finally got beads last week at Target (400 count package).  So, I put those in a bowl, got out the pipe cleaners and had her start on an activity.  We picked out a pipe cleaner to match each color bead.  For the first 3, I had her put 5 matching color beads on the pipe cleaner.  For the other 4, I had her put 10 matching color beads on each pipe cleaner.  She finished it pretty quick, but it had the effect of calming her down and keeping her busy for about 15 minutes.

For the next time we do this activity, I will be adding some number tags to each pipe cleaner so she has to recognize that number and then add that number of beads to the pipe cleaner.  Then, once she gets the beads on, we can use them to do math activities, like addition and subtraction.

Toddler School – Week 1

16 Sep

A friend of mine has 3 kids, 2 of which are around the same age as my 2 kids.  Our older kids go to pre-K in the afternoons now, so we decided we wanted to do something with our 2 year olds while the older kids are in school.  We both felt like we had plenty of time to work on things with our older kids while they were the only kids for a while, but our second kids haven’t gotten the same attention from us with learning.  After seeing some fun activities on different websites, I have been making trips to the dollar store to get supplies.  I’ve already done some fun learning activities with my older daughter, so now it was time to try out some activities for my younger daughter.

Neither of us has a background in early childhood education and we aren’t following any type of curriculum.  Our kids are just 2, so we don’t want to push them too hard and we want to have a lot of fun while we learn.  We decided we will meet once a week to do some activities together.  Today’s focus was on color recognition matching, matching pictures, and the letter A.

The first activity was on color recognition and matching, which was also a sensory activity.  For this, I used 2 bags of colored foam shapes from Target dollar section, 2 containers of water bead decorative accents from the dollar store (found in the floral section), a plastic shoe box from the dollar store, and 5 pieces of construction paper.  If you aren’t familiar with water beads, according to the container, they are a type of water absorbent polymer that absorbs, stores, and releases water.  They are usually used in plant or floral arrangements.  It also says they are non-toxic, but we kept a close eye on the kids while they played with these to make sure they didn’t put any in their mouths or left any out on the floor.  I put the foam shapes in the plastic shoe box, then poured both containers of water beads in the box.

Then, I laid out construction paper in colors that corresponded with the colors of the foam shapes.  The kids then had to dig through the water beads to get the shapes, identify the color, and match it to the paper of the same color.

This activity was a big hit.  They loved playing with the water beads, and I have to admit, I thought they were pretty cool too.  Of course, for a while, every color was blue but we kept working on it.  I think we will do this next week as well, but pick something different to fill the box with instead of water bead.  I think we might try bird seed to dig through.

Next, I brought our Curious George Matching game.  The night before, I went through and divided the cards by the color of the frames, the red, the yellow, and the blue.  That way there weren’t so many cards all at once.  So, we took one of the three sets and laid them out picture side up.   We tried to take turns, but for the most part, it was just whichever kid found the match first.  At first, they weren’t really sure what to do, this isn’t a game either of us has done much with the kids, but after a couple matches, they caught on.

We took a little time out to play outside.  Both kids were a little sleepy because they didn’t get much of a nap, so it was hard to get them to  focus after playing outside, so the last activity we didn’t push too much.  It was to learn about the letter A.  I created a coloring sheet with an uppercase and lowercase A, along with pictures of things that start with the letter A.  I also brought some items from around the house with the letter A.

I think the first week went really well.  We now know about how long we can keep their attention, so I think next week we’ll just do 2 activities, maybe have a 3rd thing planned if we find we have time or they seem like they want to do something else.

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