The Mommyhood Life


Why I Cook with My Kids and the Importance of the 4-H Food Smart Families Program

This post was sponsored by the National 4-H Council as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.


One of my favorite ways to spend an afternoon is in the kitchen cooking with my children.  I grew up making countless memories and learning to cook in my Nana’s kitchen and now I enjoy passing on what I learned to my children.

One of our favorite recipes is one I made countless afternoons with my Nana, Vegetable Soup.  The kids get loaded with healthy veggies in every serving, plus it lets them get hands on with picking, chopping, and cooking lots of different vegetables.


I love being able to instill a love of healthy cooking in my children.  However, I also know that I am lucky to be able to have the resources to do this for my family, with Nearly 16 million children living in households that don’t have consistent access to food throughout the year.

However, 4-H Food Smart Families is helping create more food secure homes by teaching families how to plan, shop and prepare healthy meals on a budget.  Knowledge is power, and this is gives families who are struggling to make ends meet, the knowledge they need to be able to feed their families well.

Since 2011, UnitedHealthcare and 4-H have partnered together to deliver healthy living programs to more than 340,000 youth and their families in 14 states!

FoodSmartFamiliesInfographic (1)

Teens at Teachers

The Food Smart Families program incorporates an effective 4-H “Teens as Teachers” model that uses the influence of young people by engaging teens to empower their peers and families today and to help establish life-long healthy habits.

More than 400 youth have been trained in the Teens as Teachers model and serve as mentors, teaching younger children and empowering their families to shop better and cook smarter.

There have been positive changes in youth behavior as a result of 4‑H Food Smart families, check out these amazing statistics:

  • 90% of youth participants now think being active is fun and good for fitness
  • 89% now encourage their families to eat meals together
  • 87% said their families have purchased healthier foods
  • 86% now eat fruit for a snack over unhealthier options

Isn’t this an amazing program?


Learn more about 4-H Food Smart Families and how you can help here, plus connect with them on Facebook and Twitter



My Families 5 Favorite Foods this Winter with Fresh from Florida!

This post was sponsored by Fresh From Florida as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central, however all opinions expressed are my own


Winter is upon us down here in Florida and I think it might have dipped into the 60’s for a day or two.  With this being my families first winter after moving down from Boston, we were ready for the beach even on those 60 degree days.  

In New England that temperature is a cool summer night.  As you can guess, all the new northerners stand out from the true Floridians when “winter” strikes.  While my kids are at the bus stop in shorts and sandals, they’re in a sea of kids wearing fur lined hoodies.  

While it did dip into the “frigid” 60’s on a couple occasions, the rest of the winter has been incredible.  I didn’t really know what to expect weather wise in our first year, but I can honestly say Florida during the winter has my absolute favorite weather.  High 70’s and sunny pretty much 90% of the time, what’s not to love! Beyond the weather my favorite advantage of living in a region with such an amazing climate is the ability to get fresh locally grown fruits and vegetables all year round!

  I have fallen in love with being able to stroll the Tampa area farmers’ markets each weekend and pick up juicy fruits and crisp vegetables from local farmers all year long. 

With so many of my family’s favorite produce being in season this winter, my family has eaten healthier than ever before.

Curious when each fruit and vegetable is in season?  Find out here.

My Families 5 Favorite Fresh from Florida Recipes this Winter 


Florida Grape Tomato and Orzo Pasta Salad
Tomatoes are in season all winter long in Florida and my kids would eat them by the dozen, so by putting them in a pasta salad they turn into a great afternoon lunch on a breezy sunny day.


Cheddar-Bacon Florida Sweet Corn
Corn is another veggie the kids love that is in season all winter long, and Lilly has asked for corn-on-the-cob for breakfast on numerous mornings, so this recipe is a favorite in our house.


Florida Strawberry Parfait
This is our go to dessert or afternoon snack.  Each member of my family says strawberries are one of their favorites and this recipe is beyond simple!


Florida Avocado Smoothie
With 5 of us getting up and out the door during the week, mornings are crazy.  This Avocado Smoothie is an easy and quick breakfast that I can take with me and avocados are in season through January in Florida.


Florida Beef and Sweet Pepper Skewers
My husband is Brazilian, he LOVES to barbeque and in Florida he does it constantly!  My favorite vegetable is Bell Peppers, I eat them raw, sautéed, grilled, any-way I love them.  So, this is a recipe he often grills us up and it’s delicious.

Want to check out some more yummy recipes?  Head over to Fresh from Florida!  

Whether I’m stocking up on produce at my local grocery store or at one of the cities farmers’ markets, I always look for the “Fresh from Florida” label.  That way not only am I getting fresh locally grown fruits and vegetables, I am also helping the local farmers in my community profit and be able to continue a sustainable farm and keep growing quality food for all of our families.


Looking for a local Farmers’ Market?
Fresh from Florida has a Directory!

Get connected with Fresh from Florida to learn about new recipes and watch some great videos!

6 Ways to Save on Beef this Holiday Season!

This post is funded by The Beef Checkoff and brought to you by The Motherhood. All opinions in this blog are my own.

The holidays are here and as the only one with kids in my family, holiday parties are usually at my house.  The kids don’t like to leave their new toys on Christmas and I like them home in their own beds when the ball drops on New Year’s Eve.  While I love all the planning, decorating, and cooking, I don’t always like the impact these huge dinners have on my budget.

Luckily this season, beef retail prices are down nearly 10 percent from the highest prices in late 2014, making it easier on your wallet. This is great news as we plan for holiday meals!  

You can expect to be seeing lower prices at the meat case in your grocery retailer. Take advantage of these prices as you shop for roasts, steaks and ground beef this season.  I sure will be, my husband loves steak, and my taco dip with layers of ground beef is a holiday staple in my house.
This 10% savings will definitely help, especially during a time of the year when so much money is already going out.  However, I am always looking for ways to save on my grocery shopping and The Beef Checkoff has some awesome advice.

The Beef Checkoff, the leading authority on all things beef, shares expert tips on how to get the best deals on beef this holiday season and every day.

Now that you know that it’s an option within your budget, are you thinking about Beef for your holiday dinner but not sure where to start?  Beef It’s What’s For Dinner has you covered.

Where to Start
Add roasts to your grocery list this holiday season, an excellent cut of beef to serve friends and family! Here are the resources you need for preparing a perfect roast to wow your guests:
This oven roasting guide will help take the guess work out of this simple preparation method.


Follow this guide to find out exactly how much beef to buy for your guests, no more, no less.

Confused about which roast to buy? Visit the Interactive Butcher Counter for a variety of options – you pick which beef cut fits your needs!

For additional holiday entertaining ideas, browse this recipe collection at

Not sure what to make this holiday? some incredible recipe ideas!  Here are some favorites;

Citrus-Marinated Beef and Fruit Kabobs


Braised Short Ribs with Red Wine Sauce


Beef Stuffing with Apples and Cranberries


Adding beef to your holiday menu offers endless possibilities and is sure to impress.

Stay connected with Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner for more tips and yummy recipes!
Social media: Twitter |  Facebook |  Instagram |  PinterestYouTube.

Have a wonderful holiday dinner!

All Images above credited to The Beef Checkoff.


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.

New Barber Foods Chicken Cordon Bleu with Vinaigrette Over Rice #SimplySpecialMeals

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SimplySpecialMeals #CollectiveBias
Weeknights are crazy in my house!  The kids get off the bus at different times, they all have extra curricular activities going on, homework, baths, and unwinding from long school days.  The last thing I want to do is worry about what is for dinner.  Luckily Barber Foods new recipe for stuffed chicken breasts keeps my family happy and me stress free.

These individually wrapped chicken breasts are perfect for a weeknight, or any night, dinner in my house.  With them being individually wrapped, I am able to grab which ever combination my kids want.  The boys love the Cordon Blue, while my husband and I prefer the Broccoli and Cheese.  
We all are enjoying the new recipe, the breading is crispy and the chicken is tasty with the perfect amount of stuffing.  This makes them a staple in my freezer now!
Barber Foods Stuffed Chicken Breasts gives me the perfect main course for dinner and cooks in just 30 minutes.  This isn’t a precooked dinner either, this is a home cooked yummy meal packaged as raw chicken, so we always make sure to cook the stuffed breasts to an internal temperature of 165 degrees.  
While our choice of stuffed breast is cooking I have the perfect amount of time to make a tasty side dish to pair them with.
Our go too side dish is usually vinaigrette over rice.  My husband loves rice and eats it almost everyday, so I make a large pan of it on Sunday and reheat it through out the week.  The vinaigrette is a simple side that gets my kids to eat their veggies.
Vinaigrette Recipe

1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt to flavor
1 Green Pepper
1 Red Pepper
1 Cucumber
3 Tomatoes 
1 Onion
1/4 of a head of Cabbage

Chop up all the vegetables.
Mix them in a bowl and add the extra virgin olive oil.  Mix everything to make sure the vegetables are coated well.
Next sprinkle salt over the bowl and mix.  The amount of salt depends on the flavor you desire.  I use about 1 teaspoon.
Pour over rice and pair with your choice of stuffed chicken breast, and you have yourself a delicious dinner that the whole family can enjoy.
Want to save $1.00 off Original Stuffed Chicken Breast? Click here for a coupon! Then head over to the freezer section of your grocery store and pick up Barber Foods Stuffed Chicken Breast for dinner this week!
Now that I’ve shared how Barber Foods Stuffed Chicken Breasts make a great meal, share how you would enjoy them!

Make Lunch Boxes Fun ~ Nutella Kabobs and Caramel Apples! #WishIHadAWetOnes

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Wet Ones®. The opinions and text are all mine.
It’s that time of year again!  Time to think up fun and delicious lunch box ideas for our little students.  Nutella Kabobs are one of my kids absolute favorite things to see in their lunchbox.
Grab a three sectioned lunch container and get ready to make something yummy!

 Cut up the apples so that they are a good dipping stick size. and fill one section of your lunch container with apples.
Fill the other side with your favorite caramel dipping sauce.  Caramel dipping sauce doesn’t need to be heated or refrigerated so its a perfect sweet treat for lunch boxes.
Next you’ll want to chop up the fruit you want to go on the Nutella Kabobs.  I chose strawberries because my kids love dipping their strawberries in Nutella at home.  Bananas or grapes would also work great.
Make a couple Nutella sandwiches.  Then cut the crust off and cut the sandwiches into little squares.
Finally the fun part, building the kabobs.  I used cocktail straws because I don’t like the idea of sending my little ones to school with toothpicks or actual kabob sticks.  I have images in my head of a phone call from the principle saying “Aidan poked so and so’s eye out”  I know its unlikely, but its my mommy issue.  The cocktail straws are the perfect length anyways.
Just layer a couple pieces of fruit, then a Nutella sandwich square, and repeat.
Now you have yourself a fun and yummy lunch that will bring a smile to your child’s face.  However you know what keeps a smile on my face?  Getting through school germ free.  So I always turn to America’s #1 hand wipe.
With the kids eating this lunch with their little germ filled hands, I like to pack a Wet Ones Singles in their lunch box.  They are the perfect solution when packing school lunches.  Small and easy to pack, cleans hands, plus is highly effective killing 99.9% of germs.
Best of all their Aloe formula doesn’t dry or irritate my kids sensitive skin.  This is really important in the winter time, when my kids skin is extra dry.  

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

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Garlic Parmesan Bacon Potatoes Recipe

Garlic Parmesan Bacon Potatoes
3 lb Yukon Potatoes
12 oz Bacon
2 tbsp Butter
2 tbsp minced Garlic
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh Parsley
1/4 cup sliced Green Onion
Salt & Pepper to taste

Slice potatoes in half lengthwise and place in water and boil for 12 minutes.
Drain potatoes and set aside.
Slice bacon into 1″ pieces and fry until cooked but not crispy. Allow to drain. Reserve bacon grease.
Preheat oven to 400.
In a large pan, add 2 tablespoons bacon grease and butter and heat over medium heat.
Add garlic, parsley, salt and perpper and mix well.
Add potatoes and toss to coat well.
Transfer potatoes to baking sheet cut side down.
Sprinkle bacon over potatoes.
Heat 30 minutes or until cut side begins to brown.
Flip and bake another 15 minutes.
Garnish with sliced onions.

Nana’s Vegetable Soup Recipe ~ Italian Kitchen #deisskitchenware

 My Nana used to make a huge pot of this vegetable soup all the time and it is so delicious that it never went to waste!  Now I try to make it a regular in my house too, its healthy, easy, and yummy, making it the perfect winter time meal that doesn’t pack on pounds!

Red Pepper
Green Pepper
Summer Squash
Can of Tomato Paste
4-6 Cans of Water
Can of Peeled Diced Tomatoes
Salt, Pepper, and Italian Seasoning for Taste
 I like to make my soup in a crockpot so that I can leave it on all day and let everyone grab bowls as they get hungry, but it can also be made the same way in a large pot.
Peel and chop the potatoes, I use the Deiss Julienne Vegetable Peeler, Its my favorite.  Simple to use and quickly peels anything I need.
Chop the rest of the vegetables until your pot is full. 
Add the can of Tomatoes and Tomato Paste. 
Fill the rest of the pan with water and season with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning.
 Cook on Medium for one hour or until veggies are tender.

Benefits of the Deiss Julienne Vegetable Peeler

✓ Razor-sharp blades cut through any vegetables
✓ Makes it easy to prepare more fruits and veggies for a healthier lifestyle
✓ Simple to clean and store
✓ Creates delicious-looking dishes for discerning eaters
*Disclosure:  We received a press sample of the Deiss Julienne Peeler: all opinions are 100% my own*

Cranberry Apple Walnut Dressing Recipe

Cranberry Apple Walnut Dressing
1 lb Bread (I used part Sweet Hawaiian and part Multigrain)
1 cup fresh Cranberries
1 cup dice Apples
1 cup diced Onion
1 cup chopped Celery
2 tsp Poultry Seasoning
2 tsp minced Garlic
1/2 cup Walnut pieces
1/2 cup Butter melted
1 cup Apple Juice

Preheat oven to 350.
Cut bread into cubes anf place in 300 oven until lightly brown.
Place celery, apples, cranberries, onions and minced garlic in a bowl and microwave for 4 minutes.
Grease 13×9″ pan with butter.
Mix all ingredients except apple juice together and transfer to pan.
Pour apple juice evenly over dressing.
Bake 30-45 minutes

15 Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey Recipes

Are you trying to figure out what to do with all your Thanksgiving leftovers?  Here are 15 great recipes to try!


Turkey Noodle Soup by Pressure Cooking Today


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