The Mommyhood Life

Breakfast

3 Tips to Get Your Family to the Breakfast Table + A Great Deal on Big G Cereal #BigGBreakfast

This post is written by me on behalf of General Mills. All opinions are entirely my own. This shop has been compensated by Acorn Influence, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.
Breakfast2
My favorite times with my family is around the kitchen table.  As the kids have gotten older, I’ve realized this is one of the few times that they are all able to get along and focus on sharing what is going on in their lives.  However, by the time all three children reached school age, getting everyone to the breakfast table became my most dreaded time of the day.  With three children to get dressed, homework to find, lunches to pack, and of course that one missing shoe to find as the bus pulls down the road, food just wasn’t on my mind.
Big-G-Cereal
Yet I still missed that special time in the morning when I could look around the table and love on my family before the day starts and life gets messy.  After a few weeks of chaos and my mommy intuition nagging at me, I took a few steps to make sure we all got to the breakfast table every morning.
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1.  Lay out everything the kids will need the next day before bed.  I used to do this as a kid, but with my oldest son being incredibly picky about clothes and my daughter wanting to wear every accessorie she owns, I tried to just let them have a free for all to avoid a mommy melt down.  Big mistake!  Now they have 30 minutes before bed to decide exactly what they want to wear down to their socks and undies.
Also backpacks are fully packed.  If homework is not finished by bedtime, they have to explain it to their teacher because gone are the days of rushed homework before school.  Lastly shoes are left by the door and ready to go, no more missing pairs.  Plus I may or may not have threatened to make them wear their snowboots to school the next time they loose their shoes (we moved to Florida this year, snowboots arn’t in fashion).  Having absolutly everything ready to go has helped smooth out our mornings the most.

2. Wake up 15 minutes before I have to wake up the kids.  I used to roll out of bed, stumble to drag each child out of bed, before pushing the start button on the coffee maker.  I am now a morning person at all, so waking up even just 15 minutes early was a transition for me, but it has been a huge help.  In that 15 minutes, I am able to drink some coffee and take a minute to enjoy the calm before the storm.  In turn the kids feed off of my more relaxed energy and have a much more pleasant morning.

Breakfast-cereal
3.  Get easy and quick breakfast options everyone likes, like Big G Cereal!  Big G Cereal keeps my kids smiling with cereals such as Lucky Charms, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Trix, and Cookie Crisp.  Plus they have mommy’s favorite Honey Nut Cheerios, so everytime I’m at Publix I make sure to stock up on all my families favorites.  By putting the kid’s favorite Big G Cereals on the table, everyone comes to the breakfast table happy and ready to enjoy some family time.

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Gooey Halloween Cereal Bars ~ The Perfect Sweet Treat! #SpooktacularSnacks

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SpooktacularSnacks #CollectiveBias #Ad
It’s almost Halloween and that means everyone’s favorite Halloween cereal is back!  General Mills Count Chocula®, Boo Berry® and Franken Berry® is back in stores with a fun twist, Target’s exclusive packaging has a cool build-able castle on the back of the boxes.  This had my kids jumping with excitement over the perfect combination of a yummy treat and a fun activity.
Once we got home from our shopping trip, the kids were ansy to start building their castle.  This meant I needed to pull out the cereal bags from the three boxes.  So there was no better time to whip up some Gooey Halloween Cereal Treats!
These are incredible simple to make and the perfect sweet treat to celebrate the Halloween season.  Here is my recipe:

Gooey Cereal Treats
prep time: 30 minutes + a couple hours of letting treats set
makes 12 large bars

Ingredients:
6 cups of cereal
4 tbs Butter
10oz bag of mini marshmellows
Melting chocolate or chocolate chips in choice of color
Holiday sprinkles
Melt butter in a large sauce pan on low heat.  Add marshmellows and stir continuously so that the marshmallow doesn’t get stuck to the pan.
Once the marshmallows are fully melted, stir in the 6 cups of cereal and mix everything together.  Mix until all the cereal is coated with gooey marshmallow.
Remove from heat and spread the mixture over a tray or pan.
Add sprinkles as desired over top of mixture, then set aside for a couple hours while marshmallow hardens.
Once the treats are set, cut them into bars.  You can make them any size you’d like.
Next dip the bottoms in chocolate.  For Halloween I chose orange melting chocolate.  Once they are all dipped, place them in the fridge for a couple minutes to harden the chocolate.
Once the bottom chocolate layer is hardened, turn them over and drizzle chocolate over the tops of the treats.  You can also add more sprinkles to make them extra festive.
Place the treats back in the fridge for a couple more minutes so that all the chocolate is hardened.
That’s it, your Halloween sweet treats are ready to be devoured!
Before we sat down to enjoy these yummy treats, we had fun making our Halloween castle.
On the back of each of the Count Chocula, Boo Berry, and Franken Berry cereal boxes from Target have the pieces to the castle.
Once you’ve collected all three boxes, cut out all the pieces of the castle.
Next fold both sides of the Count Chocula piece along the solid lines, and cut the marked slits at the bottom and top of the castle piece.
Once the Count Chocula piece is set up, next take the Franken Berry castle side pieces and cut the marked slits.  Then attach them to each side of the Count Chocula center piece.  Tape the top of the pieces together for added strength.
The last piece of the castle is on the Boo-Berry box.  Insert the castle’s tower into the slits on the top of the center piece.
After the castle is build, you can put together the characters and accessories to add to the fun.
You can also pull out your craft supplies and add your own personal touch to the castle.  We sprayed ours down with glitter spray because Lilly says “every castle needs some sparkle”!  Not sure Dracula would agree, but Lilly loves our new spooky castle.

Halloween is a fun time to put a festive twist on everyday recipes.  What’s your favorite Spooktacular treat?
 Find other great recipes and snacks here!

Hood Cream e-CookBook is now Available! #CookWithHood

“I participated in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Influence Central for Hood Cream. I received product samples as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.”
Do you remember my Hood Cream Immersion Dinner post?  Remember all those delicious entrees I had the opportunity to try?  It was amazing to see how perfectly Hood Cream makes a meal taste light and creamy.  However those meals were cooked by a top chef, Chris Coombs, so how could we come up with recipes that make our taste buds sing like those at the immersion dinner?  With a cook book created by Hood Cream and Chris Coombs, that’s how!
The free eCookbook was launched on September 28th and features more than 25 recipes created by Chris Coombs himself!  The eCookbook is currently available on Hood Creams website and will be available soon on platforms like Barnes and Noble and iTunes.
Best of all this cook book is packed with tips directly from Chris Coombs on cooking with cream.
I am so excited to step up my game in the kitchen this fall while trying out all these delicious recipes on my own.  One of the dinners I can’t wait to create are Spring Carbonara, This is a great pasta dish that will help get a good amount of veggies into my kids, although I may skip the yolk on their portion.

I also can’t wait to try my hand at the Pan-Roasted Cod Loin.  I haven’t attempted to cooked seafood more than a dozen times in my life because there is something about it that intimidates me.  However after tasting this dish at the immersion dinner, I have to try to recreate this!  It was delicious!
I also can’t wait to make the Tomato Gazpacho and introduce my family to a cold soup.
I have high hopes of impressing my husband with all these delicious meals.  However this breakfast will surely bring smiles to the kids faces!
They all love french toast, so I can’t wait to serve up Brioche French Toast!  I never included Hood Cream in my french toast before, so this will be a fun twist.
Another recipe I never thought to include Hood Cream in, is Creme Caramel.  In our house it is called Pudgim, which is from Brazil.  I can’t wait to see how it tastes when I add Hood Cream to it!
With winter coming to fast, my family will be sipping Hot Chocolate as our nightly treat.  However I have never heard of it made with Hood Cream!  
There are so many delicious recipes in this eCookbook!  I can not wait to get busy creating amazing meals.  Hood Cream is a key ingredient that is used by top chef’s in some of the best restaurants across the nation and its an ingredient that is available at all our local grocery stores!  That makes me feel awesome knowing I’m cooking with some of the best ingredients available.

My Favorite Back to School Quick Breakfast Items + Easy DIY Box Tops Holder! #BTFE

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of General Mills®. The opinions and text are all mine.
Back to school is here, that can mean chaos filled mornings if we don’t plan ahead and prepare!  I know that if I try to wing a morning it ends up starting with hitting the snooze button one to many times and ends with three kids missing the bus because we couldn’t find a shoe.  So I try to plan out as much as I can for the week on Sunday afternoons and make sure everything is ready to go for the morning on school nights.

One morning chore that could easily take up too much time is our breakfast routine.  However I keep a few tried and true items well stocked in the cupboard so that we can have breakfast go smoothly every morning.
Cereal is an obvious must, I try to keep a good selection of cereals in the cabinets at all times.  They are an easy weekday breakfast go too, plus my kids and I love it for an afternoon or late night snack!
Cinnamon Buns are the perfect mid week treat when we need a break from cereal.  Oh my yummyness, the kids smell these in the oven and I don’t have to worry about getting them moving and down to the table.  Plus they are a cinch to make, open them up and throw them in the oven for 10 minutes, wa la a perfect hot breakfast.
Cereal and Cinnamon Buns are my two typical morning breakfasts, plus I always keep Go-gurt well stocked in the fridge to pair with the staples, or to grab as they are running out the door.  My kids love Go-gurt and could eat an entire box in ten minutes if I let them.  I also add some fresh fruit to keep some balance in there meal.  Bananas and clementines are our go-to’s because there easy but we also love strawberries and watermelon with our cinnamon buns.
Another great perk of these staples is that I’m earning money for my kids school while we eat our normal breakfast!  I always make sure I choose Box Tops branded cereal, cinnamon bun dough, yogurt, and other groceries.
Box Tops are worth $0.10 a piece for your child’s school, that seems pretty awesome to me considering these are all products that are in my grocery cart anyways.  Plus its one of the largest school earnings loyalty programs in America with over 80,000 k-8 schools participating,  So I feel as though I am putting my money into a trusted program.  Best of all the schools get to use Box Tops cash to buy whatever they need, this is imperative considering each school has its own individual needs and budget! 
So how do I organize all these little pieces of cardboard between school collections?  With a cute little carrier made out of an index card holder and washi tape.
Supplies:
2 rolls of washi tape
Index card holder
Remove any separators from inside the holder.  Then begin wrapping the plastic holder with washi tape.
Add as much or as little as you want.  I like to cover the bottom and then leave most of the top empty because I love the bright coral color of this case.
That’s it! So simple and easy to toss in Lilly’s backpack on Box Tops collection day.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of General Mills®. The opinions and text are all mine.

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My New Sweet Tooth Fix ~ Dannon® Light & Fit® Tiramisu Flavored Greek nonfat yogurt! #IHeartTiramisu

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Dannon. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation. All views and opinions are my own, and do not necessarily represent those of Dannon
My all time favorite dessert is tiramisu!  I could literally eat it everyday, in fact I did for months during my pregnancies.  Which is probably why I’m still struggling to get back into my pre preggo jeans.  Now that the “little ones” are 6, its really hard to blame my extra pounds on pregnancy.  So I recently started getting serious about developing healthier eating habits and an overall healthier lifestyle, because of this I thought tiramisu was no longer an option in my diet.  However when I start to diet, the first thing I think about is all the food I can no longer eat.  The second thing that happens is my brain immediately starts craving what I cant have more than ever.  So I had spent weeks walking slowly past the bakery section of the grocery store as my mouth watered seeing the yummy cake selections.

That was until Dannon sent me some of their limited edition Tiramisu Light & Fit geek yogurt!  I am now hooked.  This yogurt is so rich and creamy, has 12 grams of protein per a container with just 80 calories and is nonfat, plus best of all tastes like a delicious slice of tiramisu.  I am now able to sit down and enjoy my favorite treat everyday without feeling an ounce of guilt about my waistline.
Another great perk is that I can fulfill my favorite craving at any time of the day!  Dannon nonfat Greek yogurt is perfect for breakfast, a snack, or a sweet treat.  So whenever my sweet tooth gets me wanting something yummy I pull out my spoon while keeping my new healthy diet and lifestyle on track.
There is something so freeing about finding healthy food options that I can incorporate into my daily eating that will keep me feeling satisfied and like I am eating normally and not what my brain registers as diet food.



Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk Recipe

My husband loves sweetened condensed milk!  He puts it on everything from bread to fruit, and eats spoonful’s of it out of the can.  However at our local grocery store a tiny can of condensed milk cost $3+, and when he eats a full can in one sitting it can get pricey. 
Making it at home has been the perfect solution.  I make a couple batches a week for him and the kids and they are always thrilled!

 
Homemade Sweetened Condensed Milk
Ingredients:
1 cup Instant Non Fat Dry Milk
2/3 cup Sugar
1/2 cup boiling Water
1/4 cup melted Butter
Combine all ingredients in a blender and run until mixed, Scraping down sides as needed.
Can be stored in sealed jar in refrigerator for a week.


Salted Caramel Apple Spread Recipe

Salted Caramel Apple Spread
 
Ingredients:
8 oz Cream Cheese
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
1/4 cup Butter
3/4 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Water
1/4 tsp Coarse Sea Salt
2 tbsp chopped Walnuts (optional)

Place cream cheese in freezer for 30 minutes.

Slice frozen cream cheese to make two layers and return to freezer.

Line bottom of a loaf pan with parchment paper and spray the paper with non-stick spray.

Cut up butter into slices and combine with cream and microwave 1-2 minutes until butter is melted.

 

In the medium to large saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, and water.

Stir just until the sugar is moistened and uniform, being careful not to splash sugar on sides.

Heat over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil.

Cover with a lid for 1 minute (this helps wash any sugar on sides back in).

Remove lid and do not stir the after this point.

Place the pot with the sugar mixture over medium to medium-high heat.

Let the sugar syrup come to a boil without stirring.
Cook until mixture reaches 320, the syrup will begin to darken slightly.
Turn off the heat and slowly add the warm cream and butter mixture a little at a time while gently whisking (will bubble violently).
Turn burner back on to medium-high.
Let the caramel come to a boil and reach 240 without stirring.

Remove from heat add sea salt and whisk until mixture cools to 150.
Place one layer of frozen cream cheese in center of pan.
Pour caramel to completely coat layer.
Place secaon layer on top of first and poor caramel to coat top layer.
 
Sprinkle with chopped walnuts, if desired.
Place in freezer for 10 minutes to quickly cool caramel then transfer to refrigerator for 2 hours.
Transfer to platter before serving.