Saturday, March 30, 2013

Why Celebrate National Food Holidays?

National Food Holidays are fun to celebrate! I love sharing recipes and featuring the holidays to spice up my menu plan and give ideas to other moms!
Food Holidays

Check out my National Food Holiday board on Pinterest. I have invited Foodimentary to share the board with me! Check out what we both pin. Do you have any favorite Food Holidays? If you have blogged about them feel free to leave the link below and I will pin it to my board. I would love for you to share your favorites, favorite Pinterest board and/or Pinterest ID so that I can follow you back! In the Pinterest party, you can link up whatever you want!
Pinterest
HOW TO JOIN THE LINKY Party (all optional)

1) Pin this Party Post to Pinterest- Please! 
2) Link up your most clicked on post, most followed Pinterest board, favorite pinterest pin, etc...anything goes.
3) Add your Pinterest name to the linky.
4) In turn pin a few things on the linky.
5) Please follow my boards on Pinterest- SusieQTpies Cafe and cohost Crystal and Company and 3 Boys and a Dog. We do follow back.

Here are a few of my favorite National Holiday Boards


National French Fry Day 
National Ice Cream Sandwich Day
National Lemon Meringue Pie Day 
National Lollipop Day
National Potato Lovers Month
National Sangria Day

Friday, March 29, 2013

Mocha Chip Scone Recipe

Scones remind me of sipping an English tea in a beautiful, flower filled garden. This scone recipe is made with Amish Friendship Bread Starter. Make a batch with this easy recipe and share with friends.
friendship Bread
When I made this scone recipe, my roses were in full bloom. Aren't they beautiful? My China pattern fit the perfect English Tea & Garden theme. I believe this pattern is called Midnight Rose. I bought a set of 4 way back when I was in college. I gave one set away and have 3 sets left, one for each of my daughters. 

The letter underneath the plate is a handwritten letter from one of our elderly friends in New Orleans. He is the only person who sends us hand written letters. When we lived in New Orleans, he brought me fresh coffee beans each week from a local roaster. His friendship inspired this friendship bread scone recipe.


Mocha Chip Scones

Ingredients

1 cup Amish Friendship Bread Starter
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons International Cafe Mocha Mix
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup chilled butter
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup natural applesauce
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions 


1. Preheat oven to 400° F (200° C).
2. In a mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, mocha mix, baking soda and salt.
3. With a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
4. Make a well in center of dry mixture; set aside.
5. In another bowl combine starter, applesauce and egg. Add egg mixture all at once to dry mixture. Using a fork, stir just until moistened. Knead in chocolate chips.
6. Turn out dough onto lightly floured surface. Shape into 4” x 12” rectangle. 
7. Cut rectangle into quarters (4” x 3”) and cut each piece on the diagonal to form 8 wedges.
8. Place wedges 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheet. Top with mocha mix if desired.
9. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until golden.
10. Once cooled, top with glaze. They are great without the glaze, too.

Kitchen Notes

I always thought scones were difficult to make. Once I gave it a try I found that they are super easy to make. My teen and I created it together. She loves baking with me!  Make 8-12 scones.

Mocha Vanilla Glaze

Ingredients

1 tablespoon butter, softened
1/4 cup of milk or water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons International Cafe Mocha Mix
4 cups of powdered sugar

Directions

Combine all of the ingredients and mix by hand or with a mixer. 

Tips-
This glaze will last for several weeks if you keep it covered in the fridge. If it has been in the fridge, gently warm the container in hot water until it is the consistency you desire. The Cafe Mocha mix is perfect for these scones. It can easily be left out of the recipe.

More Amish Friendship Bread Recipes



What are some of your favorite Messy Kid Moments?

What are some of your favorite messy kid moments? Would these memories include dirt? How about paint? Which age do you think is the messiest?

I've been a mom for almost 20 years so I can tell you that it is no secret, kids are messy at any age. The little ones learning to crawl and walk are always needing their hands washed so they do not put their germy hands into their mouth. Toddlers and preschool kids seem to get messy with food, crafts, pets, dirt, and more! School age kids are just as messy and are around more people which can only mean more germs. My teenagers are always picking up little kids and helping them wipe their nose, go to the bathroom, give them snacks or even play with their germy toys. So I've seen age 0 to 18 and they are all messy no matter what the age!

What do your kids get into which require a trip to get their hands washed? Have you tried the new LYSOL No-Touch Hand Soap Dispenser? The LYSOL No-Touch Hand Soap dispenser is meant to stop the spread of germs at the sink because there is never a need for your messy kids to actually touch the soap! The no-touch action allows soap to automatically dispense a quarter size amount of soap onto the hands of your kiddos.

Besides the kids, I am in total L-O-V-E with my no-touch hand soap kitchen dispenser. It is a little shorter than the bathroom dispenser but just as powerful. The LYSOL No-Touch Hand Soap makes cleaning up germy, food prep hands a breeze in the kitchen. 

Do you have a kid who touches everything? What are some of the messiest moments you have seen your kids get into? Have you snapped any pictures of these messy moments? If so I hope you entered The Kid Who Touches Everything Contest.

LYSOL launched The Kid Who Touches Everything Contest last month. The grand prize is a trip to Disney! Woot! The contest is no purchase necessary and runs 2/25/13-5/25/13. It is open to US residents ages 18+. Void where prohibited and click here for official contest rules.

I participated in a campaign on behalf of MomCentral Consulting for LYSOL®. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Top 12 Hoppin' Easter Bunny Favorites

Easter is just a few days away. Here are my top 12 Easter recipes and Easter Crafts. If you need more ideas, check the Easter Hop for never ending goodies from my blog friends!

1- Easter Bunny Ears- Adorable tutorial.

2. Easy Easter Egg Wreath- under 30 minutes to make.

3- Leftover Easter Ham & Swiss Cheese Sliders

4-Leftover Easter Ham & Potato Cheese Soup

5-Sweet & Savory Easter Breakfast Bread

6-Family Favorite Cinnamon Rolls

7-Irish Soda Bread

8-Paid on the Cross Easter Craft

9- Easter Bunny Cupcakes

10-Easter Egg Pops

11- Easter Goodies in a Jar

12-Skinny Easter Cupcakes



Wednesday, March 27, 2013

{Amish Friendship Bread} Irish Soda Bread for Easter

Irish Soda Bread is so easy to make. This is one of my favorite savory Amish Friendship Bread recipes. Create this Easter recipe for your family and friends. Before you run away thinking you don't want to make an Amish Friendship Bread starter (recipe is below in the link) you can make this without the starter. I've tried it both ways and they both work. It is a tad sweeter with the starter which we love. It is a savory bread though, overall!

amish friendship bread recipes

Ingredients

1 cup Amish Friendship Bread Starter (click to get starter recipe)
4 cups of flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup of butter, room temperature

***IF you do not want to use the Starter, then increase the buttermilk to 1 1/2 cups. That easy ******

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Whisk together all dry ingredients.
3. Add in wet ingredients and mix quickly.
4. Turn out onto a floured surface, cover with 1/4 cup of flour and kneed for 30 seconds.
5. Shape into a round or oval loaf.
6. Flour a round or oval pan and add bread.
7. Use a sharp knife and score or carve a large X on top of the bread.
8. Bake 50-60 min until the top is dark golden brown.

Kitchen Notes
If you have any left the next day, it makes great toast. Most likely you won't have leftovers so just plan on making two loaves the first time. This dough resembles biscuit dough and I have used it to make drop biscuits. To make the biscuits, drop a heaping tablespoon onto a baking sheet. Bake at same temp until golden on top.

More Amish Friendship Bread Recipes

 Ice Cream Sandwiches
Bacon & Butterscotch Breakfast Muffins/Bread
Coconut Amish Friendship Bread
Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookie Amish Friendship Bread
Oreo and Cream Amish Friendship Bread/Muffins 


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Savory and Sweet Easter Bread

Here are yummy Easter Recipes to make for Easter breakfast. Each bite of this breakfast bread is slightly sweet and slightly savory which makes it the perfect breakfast recipe.
Breakfast Recipe
Savory and Sweet Easter Breakfast Bread
(This Breakfast Recipe is from one of the sweet ladies at my church)

Ingredients

1 cup of raisins
1 lb. bulk hot sausage (can use turkey sausage)
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
1 cup pecans, chopped
3 cups flour
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup cold coffee
1 tsp. baking soda

Directions

1. Simmer rasins in water to cover for 5 minutes. Drain.
2. Mix sausage, brown sugar, white sugar and eggs.
3. Stir in nuts and raisins.
4. In a separate bowl combine flour, spices and baking powder.
5. Stir in baking soda and coffee. 
6. Blend coffee and flour mixture into sausage mixture.
7. Pour into a greased and floured 9" Bundt pan.
8. Bake at 350 degrees F for 1 1/2 hours.
9. Makes 12-16 servings.

More Easter Recipes




Monday, March 25, 2013

Menu Monday Plan with Recipes

Welcome back to Menu Planning Monday! Thanks to all for stopping in and even linking up your tasty recipes and menu plans
crockpot cola chicken
Monday- Recipe of the Week Crockpot Cola Chicken Recipe by Semi Homemade Mom


menu plan
Tuesday- Thai Basil Fried Rice and will toss in the leftover chicken and use any leftover rice from yesterday


menu plan
Wednesday-Pork Roast with Cranberry Dressing and Aunt Salad (Freeze leftover pork for Pork Nachos)


menu plan

salad recipes
Thursday-Honolulu Burgers and Skinny Spinach Strawberry Salad
Menu planning
Friday- Asian Chicken Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing (teen requested this!)
cupcake recipes

Weekend- Crazy weekend planned! Check out my Recipe Box for Easter Dessert Recipes ideas or Easter Recipe ideas.
six sisters stuff cookbook

Featured Cookbook of the Week- Check out the Six Sister's STUFF cookbook and giveaway! Don't miss out on this HOT cookbook! Ends this week!
menu plan
Featured Menu of the Week- Sara Howe linked up her tasty menu plan! Check out her Creamy Skillet Potatoes. 
monday menu plan
I've linked up at OrgJunkie's Menu Plan Monday 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Healthier Lifestyle with Fitness Rock Star Jibby

This week on 52 Weeks of Inspiration, I'm featuring fitness rock star Jibby Bond,Professional Trainer and founder of Abs For Days. Her interview is full of health and fitness inspiration with tips on living a healthier lifestyle.
Enjoy this interview from Fitness Rock Star, Jibby! I met Jibby on LifeKraze (Let me know if you want an invite to LifeKraze) and have joined her two April Fitness Challenges- Abs and #300,000Steps.
Have you gone through a weight loss? If so, what is up with your weight loss? How much have you "released" lol? What inspired you to do this?
I have always had an issue with my eating habits. Getting into health and fitness has really helped me understand the importance of eating healthy balanced meals every day. Whether you are trying to lose or gain weight, most of the changes will come from the kitchen! 
Please share some tips for those who are struggling with weight loss.

If you are struggling with weight loss, there are a few things that you can try to see some changes. 
  • Change your diet, really use the Food Pyramid to plan your meals. 
  • Make a WEEKLY MEAL PLAN, shop once a week for it, and stick to it! 
  • Add exercise to your mornings (take the dog for a walk, walk around the block, walk to go get coffee, walk the kids to school, bike to work, etc). 
  • Change your daily routine to INCLUDE exercise. PLAN IT! 
  • Snack on HEALTHY things. 
  • Cook new foods. 
  • Find new fun recipes. 
  • Keep a food diary. 
  • Turn the tv off! 
  • DONT BE HARD ON YOURSELF. Sometimes the answers are right in front of us! 
  • Enjoy the had work, it pays off. 
  • If you are not dedicated to this journey, you wont succeed. It's hard, but worth it. And you will inspire so many people along the way, over half that you won't even know! 
  • NEVER GIVE UP!
When did you start this healthier lifestyle journey?

I started this lifestyle journey when I was 18. I became a gogo dancer, and I knew I had to have an amazing body since I would be dancing in front of people. This helped me change my diet, exercise more, and really understand the importance of loving your body and being healthy for the future. Once I started teaching my friends and co-workers my exercises, they started to see changes in their life and thanked me for sharing. That was when I knew this was a passion of mine and I could really help others!

What is your favorite part?

My favorite part of being a personal trainer is seeing my clients overcome challenges and fears and doubts. Seeing their confidence BURST after a matter of weeks makes it all worth it. I feel blessed and honored to be a part of that change in their life!

How do you encourage others to take on a healthier lifestyle?

I am always giving advice about how to eat healthier. I am a snacker, all day every day. But I make sure I snack on a variety of healthy foods. Sharing these tips with co-workers and friends helps them see how imprtant food is for healthy living. Yes I love to exercise, but healthy eating is just as important. Having fun while you see your body change is crucial too. Challenge your family and friends to do things with you too. Living healthy is not a chore, it's a decision to live longer and enjoy each day!

Can you share a few tips on what exercise people should start with?

You don't need to go run and get a gym membership to lose weight or gain muscle. Start with walking/jogging/running, jumping jacks, sit-ups, push-up's, and planks. These basic moves will really help with getting in the rountine of exercise. Watch home-workout videos on YouTube. Ask friends for tips. Join fitness challenges.

What do you like to do for FUN? 

I LOVE to have fun! Museums, concerts, clubs, road trips, sightseeing, and hanging out with friends are my favorite. Having fun and enjoying life is VERY important! Let loose, laugh, and enjoy every single day of life!

Who inspires YOU?

The people who inspire me the most are the people that are DEDICATED and DETERMINED. No matter what the circumstance is, I really get inspired by those who committ 100% to what they want. My clients that really want to see changes make me work harder, and strengthen my passion for what I do! Dedicated athletes really inspire me.


Feel free to share anything else.

I am the founder of Abs For Days; a personal training company. I specialize in pre-made workout calendars. I currently have a "April Ab Challenge" coming up in April to focus on toning and strengthening abs. This is a WORLDWIDE challenge with prizes and great results. I have over 250+ participants from all over the globe (Sweden, Australia, England, Africa, USA, etc.). Clients print out the calendar and do each daily workout at their home on their own time. 
I've been doing this for less than a year and have seen amazing results from my clients. I created this by myself and plan to have the entire world doing the same daily workout!!! Fitness is my passion and as I am currently working on gaining my Personal Training Certification, I know my dedication and passion will help the world better understand the importance of daily health and exercise!
pedometer challenge

Jibby also has an APRIL PEDOMETER CHALLENGE posted on her Facebook page. The challenge is to walk 300,000 steps in April, think you can do it? Send her an email at absfordays@gmail.com to do the challenge! I'm doing it and the Abs Challenge. #300000Steps
I challenge you to connect with Jibby and join us in the April Challenges!

Facebook: Facebook - Abs
Website: Abs For Days
Twitter: @AbsForDays
Instagram: Jibbography
LifeKraze - Jibby Bond
KiK - AbsForDays2013


Saturday, March 23, 2013

40 Family Friendly Asian Recipes

Asian recipes are some of my favorite to make my family. Here is a collection of 40 Asian recipes which include Thai, Chinese and Japanese recipes on my Pinterest Board.
chinese recipes
japanese recipes

Do you have any favorite Asian recipes on your blog? I would love for you to share your favorites, favorite Pinterest board and/or Pinterest ID in the comments below so that I can follow you back! 

Besides my Asian Pinterest Board, I'm also featuring my Craft for AdultsCraft for Teens and Kid Craft ideas in honor of the last week of National Craft Month. 

Pinterest

Please follow my boards on Pinterest- SusieQTpies Scraps of Life 

Here are a few of my favorite Asian Recipes



Friday, March 22, 2013

Kid Friendly Passover Activities

Passover is a weeklong holiday that celebrates the freedom of the Jewish people from
slavery. The Seder, the ceremony and feast that launch the holiday, asks us to retell the
story of what happened to our ancestors. Here are kid-friendly Passover activities to do as a family.
Kid Friendly

The range of ingenuity that you can bring to a Seder is endless. You can be traditional,
reading from a Haggadah (a printed book that includes the order of the Seder). Or
you can plan a fully costumed reenactment of the exodus from Egypt. Or you can go
somewhere in between, adding customs from around the world. A Seder is the ultimate
opportunity to build powerful, positive memories.

If you have children, there is an equal opportunity for creativity – and for learning –
before the Seder.
Passover Activities
Searching for Chametz

Many families clean their entire homes to get rid of all “chametz” – foods like bread,
cakes, cereal, and crackers that contain leavening (i.e., that have risen).

Matzah, or unleavened bread, is a reminder of the food that was hastily prepared by the
Jews leaving Egypt. They didn’t have time to let dough rise. So they mixed flour and
water, creating flat, yeast-free crackers to nourish them on their journey.

It is in this spirit that Jews refrain from eating leavened products during Passover.

There is, in fact, a specific custom surrounding this, called “bedikat chametz,” searching
for chametz.

To make it fun, parents often hide one or more big crumbs – like popcorn, corners of old
bread, or cereal bits – in every room that you plan to check.
Ideally, you start this after dark.

You’ll need a candle (or a flashlight), as well as a large feather and a wooden spoon to
catch the crumbs.

Then, by the light of the candle or flashlight, you search for crumbs.

When someone finds a crumb, use the feather to brush it into the wooden spoon or onto a
dustpan.
Kid Friendly Passover Activities
Celebrating Spring

Passover is also a festival that celebrates spring with its echoes of birth and rebirth.

So you and your child can create a beautiful centerpiece in a bowl, basket, or platter with
any combination of spring-inspired symbols. Choose daffodils, tall sprigs of fresh curly
parsley, or batches of bright red radishes. Mix them with ingredients from charoset, the
symbolic food designed to look like the mortar that Jews were required to use to build
bricks. This could include red apples, walnuts in their shells, and sticks of cinnamon. You
could also slip in a few Passover toys, like cute green plastic frogs.

You could also take a trip to a park or forest, looking for signs of spring. Search for fuzzy
new tree buds, robins, wiggly worms, and nests with baby birds. Or you might get lucky
and see small clumps of crocuses or whole fields of waving daffodils. .
Kid friendly art
 Encouraging Your Artists

Young artists can be tapped to make place cards for everyone attending the Seder. Give
them construction paper and markers, to keep it simple, or magazines, stickers, glitter,
glue sticks, and hole punches, so that they can really have a blast.

Want to create a make-believe Red Sea for participants to pass through? Give the kids
red crepe paper and have them cut strips that hang from a doorway near your dining room
table.

You can also look online for guides to making origami frogs to decorate your Seder table.
Kid Friendly Passover Activities
A Simple Reenactment

For our Passover play this year – designed with the youngest among us in mind – we’re
planning to use shoeboxes as bricks to build pyramids; a pretend rock to bake our matzah
on before we flee from Egypt; and huge red construction paper pre-cut in a wavy pattern
to pull apart, so that everyone at the table can get up and cross the Red Sea. Then, once
we’re in the pretend desert, we’ll play Debbie Friedman’s melody, Miriam’s Song, which
tells the story of the prophetess Miriam dancing with her timbrels (think tambourines).
Whoever feels like it can cavort around the living room, playing our kid-friendly
tambourines!

We encourage any of you planning a Seder to have fun. Learn. Sing. Eat. Make memories
with family and friends.
Jewish Holidays in a Box

Guest post provided by Ellen Zimmerman, president of JewishHolidaysInABox.com. She created “Celebrate Passover: How to Plan a Fun, Simple Seder,” a 36-page downloadable guide to help
busy parents prepare faster, involve kids more, reduce stress, and ramp up joy. The guide
comes with two audio files – a Seder preparation overview and a Passover tutorial that
teaches how to pronounce many key Seder passages.



Thursday, March 21, 2013

Easter Bunny Ears Craft

Let's do the Easter Bunny Hop together with these adorable Easter bunny ears. This is an easy Easter craft sure to please any little Easter bunny! I made these last year for my friend's baby! Ok so if you look at the pictures below they were a tad too big but I'm sure this year the bunny has grown into them. What fun crafts do you make at Easter time? Share your ideas!


This is a super easy project which I used the Mini Bowdabra to create the perfect bows. If you haven't used this tool, think about getting one! If you like to make bows for any occasion this does it in a breeze. I use to be the worse bow maker in the USA until I got my Bowdabra and Mini Bowdabra! No joke! It is that easy.


To use the Mini Bowdabra to make bows, you just do one step at a time and it take all about a minute to make one.


To make a Bow using the Mini Bowdabra:

  1. Cut a 24" piece of Bowdabra Wire and fold it in half. Then place it in the Bowdabra and wrap the extra wire under each side.
  2. Take your ribbon and add 3-4 inches to the left side, scrunch the ribbon in the center. This will be the tail end of the bow. The right side make the same length, loop it over and stick it back into the center of the Bowdabra. 
  3. Make the loop on the left side, scrunch back into the center and cut the tail to be equal to the left. That easy. Now if you want more to your bow, keep adding more loops instead of cutting off. You can also add strips like I did with the white and pink/blue ribbon. If you add in pieces of ribbon also scrunch it in the middle and make it equal on both sides. 
  4. I finished my bow with one more looped using the light blue.
  5. When done, scrunch the bow down with the Bowdabra wand, bring up the Bowdabra Wire, and loop it together so you can pull it out of the Bowdabra.
  6. Turn the bow upside down to knot off. Use the extra wire to wrap on the bunny ears or whatever you want to do with the bow. I then trim the wire when I'm done.
Honestly this is easy to do! The Bowdabra site is full of step by step tutorial.





More Easter ideas

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