Chocolate Coconut Banana Pops

Monday, April 14, 2014

Since it has literally been scorching here in Los Angeles I've started making frozen pops again. I bought myself these frozen pop molds from Crate & Barrel last year and have fallen in love with creating various frozen treats. I like to get creative, but usually all my frozen pops include bananas because I always buy way to many at one time.
Two weeks ago I made these pops for a play date Ryan and I were hosting and they were a total hit! Anything chocolate and banana is a hit really, but I always feel like a rock star when my son and his friends devour what I make them.

Here is how I made my most recent frozen treat...

What You Need
(makes 3-4 pops)
-popsicle molds
-6-8 ripe bananas
-1 cup coconut milk
-2 tablespoons cocoa powder
-You can add 1 tablespoon of raw sugar...but the coconut milk adds enough sweetness for us. That is the beauty of making your own sweet treats! You can control the amount of sugar.

What You Do
-peel, cut and freeze bananas (Freeze over night if you can)
-once bananas are frozen, use a blender and blend with cocoa powder until smooth. The texture should look like ice cream.
-Put banana/cocoa "ice cream" mixture in a bowl and slowly mix in coconut milk.
-Start pouring your banana/cocoa coconut milk mixture into the molds.
-I also added layers of sliced bananas to the molds for a little texture.
-It is best to freeze these puppies over night. If you don't freeze over night, the pops might come out of the molds a little wonky.

The best part is that there really is no rhyme or reason to making frozen pops. You can basically freeze any combination and come out delicious.

Also, the boys were painting with chalk paint hence the body paint look. If you are interested in the chalk paint, it is extremely easy and extremely fun. Just mix corn starch, water and a couple drops of food coloring. Mix until it resembles paint. I used muffin tins as a paint pallet.

Have Fun! 

Spinach Smoothies Fun For Toddlers

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Recently, I have been trying new ways to bring veggies into our daily diet and have come up with 3 really delicious smoothie combinations.We usually have one or two a day and currently my toddler thinks these "moooovies" are the I'll pump him full of spinach so long as he lets me!

Below I have shown you our 3 favorite smoothie ideas. Each one has spinach and yogurt, but we vary the fruit for different flavors.

Smoothie Tips & Tricks
`Always freeze your  fruit! I like to cut it up and store it in plastic containers. You can toss the fruit with lemon juice to keep them from turning brown. Using frozen fruit will give you the smoothie texture and keep it cold.
`We use a Magic Bullet....But I'm sure any blender would work fine. If you have a Vita-Mixer you are lucky!
`Mangos, apples and bananas hide the spinach taste really well.
`We like to add extra sweetness with vanilla yogurt. However, plain or Greek works awesome!
`When using spinach, be sure to pull the ends off.
`Make drinking the smoothies fun! Add a fun straw, use a fun cup.
`Let your toddler toss the fruit into the blender.

Have fun and enjoy drinking your veggies`

Make Your Own Jell-O

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Jell-O has always been one of my favorite things to eat. I read somewhere that it is healthy for you, like full of certain amino acids that aid in nail and hair growth. It also soothes your digestive tract. I guess that's why they serve it up in hospitals? I'm no doctor, but I if something tasty and sweet is apparently healthy for you...I'm all over it!
In college I used to buy the box Jell-O all the time (because I was dirt poor and it was so cheap). Those are great, but they do have a lot of sugar and other stuff in it. I decided to try my hand at making my own Jell-O and it surprisingly turned out awesome!

What You Need
`2 cups fruit juice (Choose a juice that your kids will love. This is wear you can control the sweetest and sugar content.)
`honey (If needed)
`3 tablespoons of gelatin (You can buy gelatin packages in the cake isle at your supermarket)
`Food Coloring (Optional)
`Glass pan/bowl or any mold you like.

What You Do
`In a saucepan heat your juice. Once hot add the gelatin. Stir continuously until the gelatin is completely dissolved.
`I add food coloring at this point. Keep stirring so it wont clump.
`Lower the heat.
`At this point you can taste your mixture. If you want it sweeter add some honey.
(Be sure to work fast, because the gelatin will start to firm.)
`Once your happy with the taste, pour the mixture into your mold or glass bowl. Let it firm up in the fridge for 4-5 hours.

**To make Jell-O Jigglers**
`Let Jell-O mixture firm up in a large glass dish.
`Once it is firm, take it out the fridge and let it sit for a minute.
`Then use a knife or cookie cutter to create fun shapes to eat!

If you are a Jell-O fan...Enjoy!

Organic 'Nutter Butters'

Thursday, January 24, 2013

You guys I am really excited to share these cookies with you today! They have fast become my favorite and if your a peanut butter junkie  like me....then you are about to jump out of your pants!

Ready. Set. Jump.

Nutter Butter cookies are my absolute favorite. I love eating them, but honestly they are one of the worst cookies you could possibly eat. I never really thought you could re-create such an iconic Nabisco cookie, but on a recent trip to the California Academy of Sciences I bought a peanut butter sandwich cookie and it tasted just like a dang 'Nutter Butter'! Badda Bing Badda Boom. Naturally, I spent the rest of the day trying to enjoy the science museum...but really trying to think of how I could bake these cookies on my own. Honestly, I just used my peanut butter cookie recipe and jazzed up some peanut butter with powdered sugar and heavy cream. I did use all organic and natural ingredients, which makes me feel better when I eat more than one! The real trick was trying to make them look like real 'Nutter Butters'. Don't worry! The whole process is very simple and I am excited for you guys to try them out.

What You Need

*I used organic ingredients...but you can use whatever you have or feel comfortable buying*

`3 cups organic flour
`1 tsp organic baking powder
`1 tsp organic baking soda
`pinch of organic salt
`2 sticks organic un-salted butter
`1 cup all natural organic peanut butter
`1 cup organic sugar
`1 cup organic brown sugar
`2 large organic eggs
`1 tbs all natural pure vanilla extract

`1 cup all natural organic peanut butter
`1 stick un-salted organic butter
`3 cups organic powdered sugar
`2 tsp all natural pure vanilla extract
`1/4 cup heavy cream

What You Do
`Bake the cookies!
`Make sure all your wet ingredients are at room temperature. This will help your dough be smooth and result in a soft and chewy cookie.
`Cream together the butter, sugars and peanut butter.
`Mix in the eggs and vanilla.
`Slowly mix in the dry ingredients.

`Once your dough is formed, store in the fridge for at least 2-3 hours. The dough must be cold when you roll it and bake it. If you do not chill the dough, your cookies will end up huge! Keeping the dough cold will hold up their shape while baking.
`With your cold dough roll little dough balls. Roll the dough pieces in sugar, press with a fork to make the peanut butter cookie markings and pinch the center to make them look like peanuts! Don't forget to roll them in sugar prior to baking. The sugar will give the cookies really nice texture.

`Bake your peanut cookies for no more than 8 minutes....they bake fast!
`Make sure your cookies are completely cool before filling them.

`Whip up the filling.
`Mix the peanut butter, butter, sugar, vanilla and heavy cream until smooth and silky.
`Use a piping bag and fill the cookies. Use two cookies to make a sandwich!

`Store in a plastic container and enjoy for up to a week!

Pizza Night Is Our Favorite Night

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Every week there is always that moment when Dan and I look at each other like "I'd rather sleep then do anything right now..." Most days we have our system down and dinner makes its way to the table with my lasting shreds of energy. Now don't get me wrong! I do love being in the kitchen, but I do like being lazy too. Oh man do I love being lazy (that is a major flaw of mine, however if 'Lazy' was a sport I'd have 18 gold medals) Anyways, our lazy nights are gracefully served with pizza and a side order of garlic knots. Let me tell you...Pizza Night is our favorite night!

Plus, Dan lucks out because nothing gets me more in the mood that "Jac, let's just order pizza tonight!"

It is no secret how much we like to eat around here. When we first moved to our new place, Dan and I spent a weekend looking for new food to enjoy. It was kinda like our very own 'Diners, Drive-In's and Dives' minus the red convertible and loud host with a sunglasses tan. During our tour we found Mamma's Brick Oven Pizza & Pasta and haven't looked back since. I've ordered so often they started sending us free pizza coupons in the mail....I mean that deserves a garlic scented french kiss right there!

Every family needs a Pizza Night! Am I right? Or did I just write about pizza for nothing?....

Learning Shapes With Sidewalk Chalk

Monday, January 21, 2013

One of my son's favorite activities is getting crazy with sidewalk chalk. Almost everyday we head out and draw with chalk until covered with colored powder. I'm not going to can get repetitive at times. Thus inspired some games I've thought of to keep the chalk excitement at an all time high! Below are some ideas, plus our very favorite game we refer to as "Shapes".

How to play "Shapes"
`Draw 3-4 different shapes on the ground. You can draw just one of each or multiples like we do.
`Describe each shape and the name to your toddler.
`Then just ask your toddler to jump on said shapes.
`It turns into a fun little learning game...and my toddler picked it up pretty fast, which is exciting.

Some Other Fun Chalk Ideas
`Trace each other while you lay down on the ground. Then color in your bodies with clothes etc.
`Go old school with hopscotch and four-square.
`Ask your toddler what they see around them and draw the items together. If they see a tree help them draw a tree. If they see a flying shark like my them draw a flying shark.
`Create a family portrait.
`Ask your toddler to draw what they had for breakfast/lunch.
`Spend time drawing a little obstacle course or a finish line for them to cross with their Plasma car/bike/scooter.
`Lastly, don't forget to take pictures of your child's chalk creations!

Have Fun!

Re-Pin Round-Up

Friday, January 18, 2013

I'm sure we are all in the same boat when I shout "I'M ADDICTED TO PINTEREST!" It is disgusting really, the massive high I get when exposed to an overwhelming amount of images. I'm like a nut, I feel like a nut and OH LOOK! Now I have a pin board devoted to nuts! (Not really, but soon enough I'm sure)

Pinterest is weird sometimes and I really am notorious for just re-pinning. Oh like that...I like that...and that! I have some good pin boards though, and I look forward to sifting through some and actually trying some ideas out. I'll keep you posted on how that goes. Until then....
Here are my favorite four re-pins from this week....and if we aren't friends on Pinterest then let's make that happen!

I'm trying to look more like this on my days when I actually get dressed....

Any one else have summer on the brain? This is pretty much all I do when I go to the beach...and I can't wait for it.

I'm dying to bring in fresh flowers to put on our dining room table. Maybe this weekend will be the weekend I finally do it?!

I pinned this for obvious reason. I mean let's be real. French Fries. End of story.

Enjoy the weekend everyone!

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