Taste Testing Tuesday #74 – Chocolate Dipped Oranges

Sorry to be posting this so late on our Taste Testing Tuesday, but it’s been a long day! Today we tried dipping orange pieces into melted chocolate or melted candy melts and sprinkling on some extra goodies. Don’t they look delicious?

You will need an orange, chocolate chips and/or candy melts and a few things to sprinkle onto the chocolate. Oh, and a piece of wax paper or foil or parchment paper.

You can use lots of things for the yummies you sprinkle on the chocolate. I used candy sprinkles, chopped nuts (cashews), mini M&M’s and mini chocolate chips. You could use coconut flakes, crushed graham crackers, crushed cereal, chopped peanuts, small pieces of freeze-dried fruit, etc.

Peel the orange and separate it into the sections.

Melt some chocolate chips in a microwave safe cup. Microwave for 30 seconds and try to stir the chocolate chips. Microwave for additional 15 second periods until the chocolate is all melted and smooth. Depending on what type of chocolate chips you use, you may also need to add a small amount of coconut oil or Crisco to get the chocolate melted and thin enough for dipping the oranges in.

Dip an orange section about halfway into the chocolate. You may want to use a spoon to help spread the chocolate all around the orange section.

Before the chocolate hardens, sprinkle some of the extra goodies onto the chocolate dipped part of the orange.

Lay each finished orange section on the wax paper and let the chocolate harden. Continue dipping and sprinkling each orange section.

I used white candy melts for half of my orange sections and that is very tasty too!

All that’s left to do is to eat and enjoy! πŸ™‚ It probably works best to eat these right away. I had to leave home as soon as I finished making these, so I put my dipped orange pieces into the refrigerator. They tasted delicious when I returned home, but the white candy melt broke into pieces and fell off the orange section when I bit into it. It tasted the same, but it made more of a mess. πŸ˜‰ For me, the mini M&M’s and mini chocolate chips were a bit too much sweetness at one time. I preferred the sprinkles and chopped nuts. I hope you will give these a try and see which kind you like best! πŸ™‚

Keeping Your Sanity With Kids in the Car

Summer is almost here and school is almost done for this year! Are you planning to take a vacation with your family this summer? Do you dread the long rides in the car with a bunch of kiddos? If so, I saw something at a Dollar Tree store today that might make your ride a bit easier! Bingo Games! There were 3 styles available that I saw.

#1.) Vehicle Bingo

#2.) Roadside Bingo

#3.) Road Sign Bingo

Each set includes 2 dry erase Bingo boards and 2 markers with an eraser on the end. My guess is you cross off each item as you see it while you are traveling. First one to get all items in a row marked off is the winner! Could be a great way to get the kids looking out the windows instead of at which sibling might have β€œtouched” them or breathed on them or done some equally annoying thing. πŸ˜‰ I think it’s easily worth the $1.25 for a little more sanity on your trips in the car!

Hide & Seek With a Twist

Do kids still play Hide & Seek? You know, where some kids go hide and one person tries to find them? Well, what happens when there aren’t enough kids around to play? Or maybe the “big kids” have gone off to school and only the youngest is left at home? You can try this new twist on the Hide & Seek game! You don’t need anything but a few toys that are already in your house. All you do is collect up a few favorite toys and hide them for your child to find. I know…too simple? But it can be lots of fun!

Here’s Clifford the Big Red Dog hiding under the covers.

Here’s a little shoulder buddy hiding among the boxes of cereal.

Depending on the age of the kids playing how hard you make the hiding places. If younger kids are playing, make sure to leave a little of the toy visible.

Matchbox Jeeps love to drive on books!

Sock monkeys go bananas for bananas!

You can give little hints if the hunt goes on for too long. Maybe Tommy Turtle got too hot and decided to find a place to cool down. (Yes, he’s in the refrigerator.) πŸ˜‰

This gorilla must be wanting to help make supper!

The older the kids are that are playing, the smaller the toys might be.

Or just for fun, ask your child to set the table for supper and hide a fun toy in the silverware drawer.

You can make a whole game out of this idea or just randomly make things disappear to places the kids will come across them and be surprised. Or start with a new toy that you hide and whoever finds it, tells everyone where they found it and they get to be the next person to hide it. This can be an ongoing game that keeps everyone grinning. Hope you’ll have fun playing Hide & Seek a new way! πŸ™‚

Taste Testing Tuesday #73 – Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Are you looking for a healthier way to make pizza? Maybe someone in your family needs to be gluten-free? Here’s a tasty way to make a delicious pizza while using cauliflower for the crust. If you haven’t tried cauliflower pizza crust yet, this may sound rather weird to you. But I think it’s really quite tasty so I hope you’ll give it a try!

You will need 2 Cups of riced cauliflower (can be fresh or you can use the frozen riced cauliflower), 2 Cups of grated mozzarella cheese and 2 eggs…plus your sauce and pizza toppings. I started out following Dr. Eric Berg’s recipe but I have made a couple of changes. Dr. Berg uses fresh riced cauliflower, but I mostly use the Green Giant frozen Riced Cauliflower because its a big time saver.

One of these bags is enough to make 1 pizza. If you use this kind of cauliflower, let it thaw and place it on paper towels to absorb any extra fluid that shows up in the thawing process.

Next, place the cauliflower, 2 Cups of cheese and 2 eggs into a large bowl. (We have used 1 Cup of mozzarella and 1 cup of parmesan cheese and that works fine too.)

I like to add in some Italian seasoning to give the crust a little extra flavor.

Mix together.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and put the dough mixture onto the baking sheet.

Spread the pizza dough into a thin layer.

Bake the pizza crust in a 450 degree oven for approximately 15 minutes. Do this step BEFORE adding your sauce and toppings. Bake until the crust has turned slightly brown. I’m sorry, but I forgot to take a picture at this step. Remove the pizza crust from the oven and add your favorite pizza sauce, toppings and a little more cheese if desired. Return to the oven and bake again until the cheese on top melts and the pizza is golden. The pizza in the following picture was topped with pizza sauce, mushrooms, cooked bacon and mozzarella cheese. It was delicious!

I hope you will give this cauliflower crust pizza a try! If you would like to watch a video by Dr. Berg, go to YouTube and look up “Healthy Pizza Recipe – How to Make a Keto-Friendly Pizza (Part 2) – Dr. Berg”. Happy eating!! πŸ™‚

Crafting an Easy Octopus

Let’s talk about octopus today and then I’ll show you how to make one with a few craft supplies. I bet you know quite a bit about an octopus already. Like do you know how many “arms” an octopus has? Yes, eight! Wow, do you think it would be cool to have 8 arms?! Is the body of an octopus soft or hard? It’s soft, so soft in fact that they can alter their shape so that they can squeeze through small spaces. How many eyes does an octopus have? It has 2 just like we do and they have excellent eyesight! Octopus are actually quite intelligent too. How do octopus protect themselves from predators? One way is to camouflage themselves into their surroundings so its hard for their enemy to see them. Another way is by expelling “ink” which is a dark colored substance and that gives them some time to swim quickly away. Did you know that when an octopus swims, it’s “arms” extend behind them? So, what do you think? Are octopus pretty cool? I think so too! Now let’s craft an octopus! πŸ™‚

You will need 2 pipe cleaners (or chenille stems), 1 pom-pom, 2 wiggly eyes, a pair of wire cutters or strong scissors and some glue.

To begin, use the wire cutters to cut the 2 pipe cleaners in half so you have 4 pieces.

Arrange the pipe cleaners into a star pattern like in the picture below.

Wrap 1 of the pipe cleaners once around the group to hold them all together.

Curl each end of the pipe cleaners up a little bit for the octopus’s arms.

Put some glue in the center of the pipe cleaners…

…and place the pom-pom in the center. Push it firmly down into the glue and hold it in place for a few seconds.

Glue the 2 wiggly eyes to the pom-pom and your octopus is complete!

Find a fun place to display your octopus. Hmm, do you suppose an octopus would be good at playing the piano since it has so many arms? Haha! Yes, we are just being silly now but it’s fun to think about an octopus playing a piano! πŸ˜‰

I hope you had fun learning a few facts about octopus and that you will have fun making your own! πŸ™‚

Wacky Wednesday Riddles

It’s time for some more giggles! They say laughter is the best medicine so let’s give everyone a boost today with some silliness! πŸ™‚

#1.) What is a monster’s favorite game?

Answer: Swallow the leader!

#2.) Why do giraffes have long necks?

Answer: So they don’t smell their stinky feet!

#3.) What does toast wear to bed?

Answer: Pa-JAM-as!

#4.) What makes 2 people out of 1?

Answer: A mirror!

#5.) What do you always overlook?

Answer: Your nose!

#6.) Why was the strawberry sad?

Answer: It was in a jam!

#7.) What did the pear say to the celery?

Answer: “Stop stalking me!”

#8.) Why are frogs so happy?

Answer: They eat what bugs them!

Haha! Did those make you laugh? Try some of these out on your family and friends and have a great Wacky Wednesday! πŸ™‚

Taste Testing Tuesday #72 – Cheerios

Wow! Have you ever stopped to consider how many flavors of Cheerios cereal there are?! There are a LOT of them!! I’ll show you all the flavors I was able to discover and maybe you’ve even seen others. It could be a fun activity to buy a new flavor of Cheerios each time you buy groceries and do a taste test on all the flavors! Draw a chart and keep track of which kind each family member likes, or dislikes. πŸ™‚ These are all the flavors I saw in our grocery store and in my search online.

#1.) Just plain Cheerios. I loved eating these when I was a kid and adding a little sugar to the top or some fresh strawberries or banana.

#2.) Multi Grain Cheerios

#3.) Strawberry Banana Cheerios

#4.) Honey Nut Cheerios Medley Crunch

#5.) Cheerios Oat Crunch Oats ‘N Honey

#6.) Cheerios Oat Crunch Cinnamon

#7.) Cheerios Oat Crunch Almond

#8.) Apple Cinnamon Cheerios

#9.) Very Berry Cheerios

#10.) Honey Nut Cheerios

#11.) Frosted Cheerios

#12.) Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheerios

#13.) Chocolate Cheerios

#14.) Blueberry Cheerios

#15.) Cinnamon Cheerios

#16.) Multi Grain Cheerios with Real Strawberries

#17.) Maple Cheerios

#18.) Chocolate Strawberry Cheerios

#19.) Team Cheerios Frosted Berry

#20.) Fruity Cheerios

#21.) Pumpkin Spice Cheerios

Whew!! So there are at least 21 flavors of Cheerios!! Do you know of any other flavor that I didn’t list here? How many of these flavors have you tried? There are quite a few we haven’t tried so we have some fun ahead of us! πŸ™‚ Which one is your favorite flavor? If you buy 1 box of a different flavor every other week, you could take almost a year taste testing Cheerios! LOL Have fun! πŸ™‚

Calling All Dads! Quick & Easy Chicken & Noodles You Can Make For Mother’s Day!

Yep, it’s almost Mother’s Day again! Moms love to have a day off with no cooking! Are you a dad that tries to cook lunch for your wife or even for your mom? Kudos to you and a pat on the back for being awesome! This chicken and noodles recipe is super easy and you can impress your wife with your cooking abilities! (If you are a mom reading this, maybe casually send your husband a link to this blog page!) πŸ˜‰

Here are all the ingredients you’ll need: 1 – 32 oz. carton of chicken broth, 1 – 28 oz. can of cooked chicken, 1 – 12.5 oz. can of cooked chicken (only needed if you like lots of chicken in your chicken and noodles), 1 – 16 oz. bag of medium noodles (they can be whatever thickness you prefer), and 1 – 10.5 oz can of Cream of Chicken soup. I suggest checking the noodles bag for the time needed to cook them…this brand only needs cooked for 10 minutes.

Using a large nonstick cooking pan (mine is a 5 quart pan), pour in the broth and both cans of chicken. Include the broth that’s in the cans of chicken. Break the chicken into bite-sized pieces.

Bring to a boil over a high heat but keep a close eye on it so it doesn’t boil over. (You will lose brownie points if you make a big mess on the stove.) πŸ˜‰

When the broth and chicken mixture is boiling, add the noodles and stir so they are all down in the broth.

Reduce the heat to medium and cook for the time printed on the noodle bag. Set a timer…don’t try to remember what time you started the noodles cooking. πŸ˜‰ You may need to add some water as the noodles cook. You should always see some liquid in the pan. Stir occasionally to keep the noodles from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

After the noodles have cooked for the time on the bag, carefully remove one noodle with a fork and see if the noodle is soft enough. Eat it and see what you think. (See? There are benefits to being the chef!) Some people like noodles a little chewy while others want them softer. You can cook it a little longer if you like them softer. When the noodles have reached the desired tenderness, add the Cream of Chicken soup.

Stir the soup in and allow the mixture to cook for just a couple minutes more so the soup is heated completely. The soup helps the noodles to be creamy and adds more flavor.

That’s all there is to it! You did it!! You can serve the chicken and noodles with a heated veggie, bread and butter, fruit, salad, applesauce, etc. Some people like mashed potatoes with chicken and noodles. HINT: Bob Evans sells already made mashed potatoes that you simply heat in the microwave. They are available in most grocery stores. πŸ™‚ Heat them in a bowl and she’ll never know you didn’t make them from scratch! LOL

This recipe of chicken and noodles is, of course, good for a quick meal anytime! Hope you enjoy making them! πŸ™‚