School Lunch Ideas #LUNCHBOXLOVE

School Lunch Idea

We have been in back-to-school mode – planning for school shopping and getting lunch ideas together. To help us out, we have been inspired by some ideas from Foodie.com with their delicious collections featuring fun and healthy options for our kids’ brown bags. This includes favorites like Kid-Friendly Apple SandwichesCucumber And Cream Cheese Sandwiches and Edmame And Garlic Scape Hummus . We are also sharing some of our own recipes that we tried and tested in the Momtrends’ kitchen over the years with some of our favorites being Squash Soup,Turkey Soup, an Updated Grilled Cheese Sandwich and a Baby PB & J Bagel Sandwich that we know your kids will love. Check out our recent lunch box collection, and let us know what some of your favorite lunch box ideas are in the comments section.

Check out Lunch Box Ideas #LUNCHBOXLOVE

by Serena Norr at Foodie.com

 

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Easy Chocolate Banana Cheesecake Pops

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If there are two flavors that I think are natural partners, it’s chocolate and banana. They complement each other in such a delightful way and any time that combination is in effect, I’m a happy girl. That goes double when we’re talking about dark chocolate. So, I thought it would be fun to create a sweet, chocolate banana treat with Silky Smooth DOVE® Dark Chocolate. 

We’ve spent the past week at my family’s vacation home in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains and while I don’t mind cooking on vacation, easy is definitely the name of the game, which is why I set out to make a super easy treat that everyone in my family from my mama to my kiddos would love.

I’ve always found a nice frozen dessert to be especially refreshing in the summertime, so I decided to make some easy, frozen chocolate banana cheesecake pops. I’ve seen cheesecake pops all over Pinterest and thought they would taste extra delicious frozen.

Did you know that when you add fruit to batter it loosens it up? Hence, these pops have a decidedly more rustic look than the typical, round cake pops. You don’t have to worry about making uniform little balls, which makes it a perfect recipe for the kids to help with!

Ingredients:

1 8 oz. package of cream cheese
1/3 cup of sugar
1 banana
6 pieces of Silky Smooth DOVE® Dark Chocolate
1/4 cup of roughly chopped walnuts
lollipop or craft sticks

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1. Mash the banana with a fork.

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2. Mix the cream cheese, sugar and mashed banana with an electric mixer.

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3. Place the batter in the freezer for 20 minutes to firm it up a bit.

4. Place spoonfuls of the batter on a cookie sheet and insert a lollipop or craft stick into each one.

5. Melt the Silky Smooth DOVE® Dark Chocolates in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval.

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6. Drizzle the melted chocolate over each cheesecake pop.

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7. Sprinkle the chopped walnuts on top.

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8. Freeze for at least 3 hours until firm and enjoy.

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Cooking Made Easy with Blue Apron

While I do love to cook, but it can be grueling when I realize that I make the same thing every week. While I do love our rotation of taco nights, pasta and chicken, and I am also always looking for new recipes that both my kids and I will love.

Blue Apron

Enter Blue Apron, a meal kit delivery service providing at-home chefs with all the fresh, pre-portioned ingredients needed to cook incredible meals. This includes a service that features tasty and healthy meal options that take around 35 minutes to prepare (on average) with easy to follow recipe cards and seasonal ingredients.

Blue Apron

How it works is that you can opt for a meal plan. They offer meals every week or based on your needs, with no commitment. Starting at $9.99 per person per meal, this includes a menu of delicious and interchangeable food options with current offerings being Oven-Fried Chicken, Shrimp Summer Rolls, Lamb, Mint & Pea Orecchiette and much more.

Blue Apron

To test out this service, I made Trofie Pasta, Roasted Poblano and Quinoa Sopes and a delicious Three Pea Salad. To start a collection of pre-portioned ingredients arrived at my door, along with three recipe cards. This included a description of the recipe and easy-to-understand cooking instructions. Since everything was portioned for me the meal was ready in about 40 minutes that we all devoured and loved. Complete with fresh and delicious ingredients, this was a such a fun way to try something new while also having everything I needed right at my fingertips – it really doesn’t get any easier than this!

As for the food, it simple was delicious and something that I am excited to add to our rotation, which hopefully will continue to grow thanks to Blue Apron.

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12 Recipes with Summer Fruits and Vegetables

Check out 12 Recipes with Summer Fruits and Vegetables

by Serena Norr at Foodie.com

While we love summer for the travel and warmer weather, we also love it for the incredible access to fresh fruits and vegetables. With parties and summer entertaining in full swing, we have been scouring Foodie.com in search of some ways to prepare of our favorite summer fruits and vegetables. From fresh fruit pies to summer salads, here are just a few of our favorites.

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Plan Your Perfect Summer Picnic

Perfect Summer Picnic

Warm evenings, no school, and farmer’s markets overflowing with in-seasons fruits and veggies makes summer the perfect time for a picnic. Throw together a simple salad, some leftover chicken and an ice-cold rosé to go with some of our favorite picnic accessories. Cheers!

I love how this Malvern Bamboo Cheese Board Set is both practical and pretty and seriously ups your picnic game. But it’s also easy to stash in a basket or tote. Genius.

 

Huntsman Basket for 4 w_ AccessoriesThis Huntsman Basket for 4 w/ Accessories has everything you could need for a civilized meal outdoors. Each basket includes four 8” ceramic plates, four wine glasses, stainless steel flatware, napkins, a food cooler, an insulated wine pouch, a hardwood cutting board, spill-proof salt and pepper shakers, a wood-handled cheese knife, and a stainless steel waiter’s corkscrew. Not to mention it’s packaged in an adorable, easy-to-carry basket.

2 Bottle Wine and Cheese Cooler

Or keep your picnic simple with the Wine and Cheese Cooler which has an insulated interior to keep your Brie and bubbly chilled as well as acrylic glasses, napkins, a corkscrew, bottle stopper, cheese knife, and a hardwood cutting board.

Striped Picnic Blanket

I like to picnic on the ground where I can lay back and savor my wine or even grab a mid-afternoon nap if the mood strikes me which is why this Stripe Picnic Blanket is a perfect fit. With a waterproof underside, this blanket is large enough for the whole family (58″ x 53″) but folds up, Velcros closed and has a shoulder strap and carry handle for easy transport.

Portable Picnic Table

If you’re a little squeamish about your prosciutto being so close to nature, you may prefer this Portable Picnic Table. Pull the suitcase-looking contraption out of its carry case and  – voila! – a tabletop and four seats to keep your summer dress off the grass and the ants out of your antipasto.

Portable GrillChicken kebabs. A shrimp appetizer. Goat-cheese stuffed baby bell peppers. (Is your mouth watering yet?) This modern, foldable, Portable Grill make all your hot food dreams come true – at the park under the evening sun. It even comes with a convenient carry bag.

Happy picnicking!

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Summer Entertaining with POM

Entertaining with POM

Summer is all about simple and delicious recipes. For entertaining we love cooking with POM Wonderful Pomegrantes, a variety of pomegranate known for their sweet taste, powerful antioxidants such as polyphenols and nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin K and fiber. They also offer POM 100% Juice, a delicious and powerful source of antioxidants made exclusively from the Wonderful variety of pomegranates grown in POM Wonderful’s California orchards and POM Wonderful’s 100% Juice Blends where you can get the benefits of POM’s 100% premium pomegranate juice with refreshing fruit juice blends such as pineapple, mango and coconut. With its sweet and tart, here are some of our favorite summer recipes with POM Wonderful Pomegranates:

Grilled Carrots with POM-Curry Barbecue Sauce, Yogurt and Avocado

Grilled Carrots with POM-Curry Barbecue Sauce, Yogurt and Avocado
by LUDO LEFEBVRE

Ingredients

POM-Curry Barbecue Sauce
9 cups juice from POM Wonderful Pomegranates (or 9 cups POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice)
3 cups champagne vinegar
4 tablespoons curry powder
9 tablespoons sugar

Yogurt Foam (optional)
2 cups yogurt
2.7 fl. oz. water

Grilled Carrots
3⁄4 cup arils from POM Wonderful Pomegranates (or 3⁄4 cup POM POMS Fresh Arils)
16–20 whole baby carrots (3–5 per serving)
1 whole avocado
1 whole lemon
Piment d’Espelette
1 bunch of watercress
olive oil
kosher salt
Preparation
POM-Curry Barbecue Sauce:

Prepare fresh pomegranate juice, if necessary.*
Place all ingredients in a medium saucepot.
Over medium heat, simmer and cook to slowly reduce by half.
Cool down in an ice bath and store until ready to serve.
*For 9 cups of juice, cut 18–27 large POM Wonderful Pomegranates in half and juice them with a citrus reamer or juicer. Pour the mixture through a cheesecloth-lined strainer or sieve. Set the juice aside.

Yogurt Foam (optional):

Place yogurt and water in blender and mix.
Place mixed liquid into a whipping siphon.
Charge with 1 cartridge, shake and keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Grilled Carrots:
3⁄4 cup arils from POM Wonderful Pomegranates (or 3⁄4 cup POM POMS Fresh Arils)
16–20 whole baby carrots (3–5 per serving)
1 whole avocado
1 whole lemon
Piment d’Espelette
1 bunch of watercress
olive oil

Prepare fresh pomegranate arils, if necessary.**
Season carrots with oil and salt, and char very well on the grill until tender on the inside. Make sure to turn carrots periodically to keep an even color all around.
While the carrots are cooking, place POM-Curry Barbecue Sauce into a pot and slowly warm up.
Remove pit and skin from avocado and cut into quarters. Season pieces with salt and fresh squeezed lemon juice, to taste. Put to the side for plating.
When carrots are cooked, you’re ready to plate.

POM-Glazed Kabocha Squash

POM-Glazed Kabocha Squash
by JOSIAH CITRIN

Ingredients

POM-Rosemary Reduction
1 cup juice from POM Wonderful Pomegranates (or 1 cup POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1 sprig rosemary

Kabocha Squash with Mushrooms
1 kabocha squash, seeds removed and cut into 12 wedges
2 tablespoons coconut oil
18 large white mushrooms, stems removed
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Kale
2 bunches black kale, washed, stems removed and cut into large pieces
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 clove garlic, crushed
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup water
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Garnish
toasted hazelnuts
chopped chives
hazelnut oil
Preparation
POM-Rosemary Reduction

Prepare fresh pomegranate juice, if necessary.*
Combine all ingredients in a heavy-duty saucepot.
Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.
Let simmer, skimming off any impurities that may rise to the top, until . cup remains and the reduction is thick and syrupy but not burned and sticky. Keep warm.
*For 1 cup of juice, cut 2–3 large POM Wonderful Pomegranates in half and juice them with a citrus reamer or juicer. Pour the mixture through a cheesecloth-lined strainer or sieve. Set the juice aside.

Kabocha Squash with Mushrooms

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Toss the squash with the coconut oil and season with salt and pepper.
Lay the squash in a single layer on a sheet pan lined with wax paper.
Toss the mushrooms with the lemon juice, olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Put the squash in the oven and roast for 15 minutes.
Turn the squash and add the seasoned mushrooms to the tray. Roast for an additional 12 minutes.
Remove from oven and brush with POM-Rosemary Reduction. Return squash to oven for 2 to 3 minutes to get a nice glaze.

Kale Salad with Candied Pecans, Pickled Kumquat, Pomegranate Arils and Macerated Golden Grapes

Kale Salad with Candied Pecans, Pickled Kumquat, Pomegranate Arils and Macerated Golden Grapes
by MICHAEL MINA

Ingredients

Kale Salad
3/4 cup arils from POM Wonderful Pomegranates (or 3/4 cup POM POMS Fresh Arils)
5 oz. kale leaves, ribs removed 1 cup blue cheese, crumbled

Macerated Golden Grapes
1/2 lb. golden grapes
1 cup sweet Riesling wine

Pickled Kumquat
10 kumquats, seeded and sliced 1⁄2 cup water
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
Candied Pecans
2 cups pecan halves
4 tablespoons butter, salted 4 tablespoons brown sugar

Riesling Honey Vinaigrette
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1⁄4 cup macerated golden grapes

Fingerling Potato Chips, for garnish
1/2 lb. fingerling potatoes 1 teaspoon salt
Preparation

Macerated Golden Grapes:

(can be made ahead of time)

Put grapes in an appropriate size saucepot.
In a different saucepot, bring Riesling to 165°F.
Remove Riesling from heat and pour over grapes. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate in liquid for 4 hours.
Strain and reserve.
Note: the macerated grapes can be made up to 36 hours in advance and stored in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator.
Pickled Kumquats:

Combine the water, red wine vinegar and sugar in a saucepot, place over high flame and whisk vigorously until the sugar is dissolved. Heat to a boil.
Pour hot pickling liquid over the sliced kumquats and let them cool in the liquid.

Candied Pecans:

In a saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat, add pecans and toss to coat.
Add sugar and stir frequently until caramelized.
Spread on a wax paper-covered sheet pan to let cool.
Riesling Honey Vinaigrette:

In a blender, combine sherry vinegar, Dijon mustard and honey.
Slowly add in oil in steady streams to emulsify. the mixture should be thick enough to coat a spoon when it is dipped into the mixture.

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Healthy Snacking with OneBar #easyfruit

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of OneBar.

Healthy Snacking with OneBar

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As moms-on-the-go we often don’t have a set place where we have our meals. We always make sure to have snacks to be fueled and focused for our meetings, events and writing. One of our latest favorite snack bars is the fruity and chewy varieties from OneBar.This includes flavors like Apple, Cherry and Mango where you can get one full serving of fruit!

OneBar

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During our recent visit to Mom 2.0 in Atlanta, we really enjoyed snacking on these healthy and low-calorie bars that we found were bursting with flavor that wasn’t crumbly or dry. We loved how they were sweet to the taste like real dried fruit that is enriched with baobab, a super-fruit new to the US that is packed with antioxidants and added chicory for fiber. Baobab is one also of the few sources of dietary calcium found in plants – perfect for vegans and vegetarians. Baobab has nearly six times the amount of potassium found in bananas, lots of vitamin C and is a great source of fiber and magnesium. This also makes the bars free sugar, gluten and wheat – making them great for kids with any of those allergies.

OneBar Snacks

We also have a fantastic giveaway with OneBar where you can win three boxes of OneBar, including Apple, Cherry and Mango, ARV $36.00. The giveaway ends on Thursday, June 19 at noon PST so be sure to enter today!

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We also have a fantastic promo code where you can save 25% off your total order placed by August 31. Simply enter the code EasyFruit at checkout on OneBar.com.

Enjoy the sweeter and healthier things in life with the chewy goodness from OneBar – at home, at work or wherever your summer travels take you.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of OneBar.

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JD’s Salsa Giveaway

With Memorial Day having kicked off the unofficial beginning of summer, we’ve cleaned up the BBQ and have already hosted two outdoor parties. To say salsa is a staple in our house is quite the understatement, and now that we’ve tried, and fallen in love with the delicious JD’s Salsa, I’m excited about the countless ways I can integrate their yummy seasoning mixes into my summer cooking.

salsa.jpg Simply add-in diced tomatoes to the JD’s salsa seasoning mix and you in instantly have the fresh, delicious salsa in minutes. I typically stay away from marinades, and prepared seasoning mixes due to the additives and high sodium content, but not anymore. JD’s Salsa mixes are chock full of flavor without any of the preservatives, sugar, MSG and JD’s Salsa and seasoning mixes are lower in sodium than other store-bought brands. Salsa32.jpg With it’s great southwest flavor, you can add it to all your favorite dishes and recipes such as spice rubs for beef, pork & poultry, soups, chili, hot dishes, seafood, pastas and much more. Bringing flavor and fun back into food without all the gluten, sugar, msg, cholesterol, fat , and excessive salt found in other brands.

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Full Disclosure: Winner must be 18 years or older and a US Resident. No purchase necessary. Winners will be notified via email with the specifics on how to claim their prize. Contest ends July 2, 2014 at Midnight EST. Winners will be picked by random.org. By entering this contest, you will automatically be signing up for the Momtrends newsletter.   This is a sponsored post.

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12 Father’s Day Menu Ideas

Check out Father's Day Food Ideas

by Serena Norr at Foodie.com

Looking for something extra special for the man in your life for Father’s Day? Sure, presents are nice but we also love the idea of making something delicious for brunch or dinner for Dad. This is also a great way to get the kids involved in the kitchen as you great your culinary masterpiece together. For some culinary inspiration, we complied a list of our favorite Father’s Day recipes from Foodie.com. Featuring Father’s Day cupcakes to root bear ribs and bacon tater tots, check out list of 12 Father’s Day Menu Ideas for some delicious way to celebrate Dad this year.

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Get Cooking with the Gorgeous Linea Line from Bella Housewares

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Kitchen appliances have come a long way. No longer are they drab and boring, but they can have life as an extension of your kitchen personality. One of our favorite new brands is Bella Housewares and their gorgeous Linea Collection. This includes everyday appliances like toasters, coffee makers, blenders, and slow cookers. Not only your typical blenders, they come in a variety of fun colors like red, purple, gray, green and blue for a modern look that will give any kitchen a beautiful and personal look.

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Personally, I love the red that makes my kitchen pop thanks to this vibrant and lively colors.  They are also great hostess gifts and fun presents for housewarming parties that are sure to bring a smile to anyone’s face that sees these fun appliances.

They are also hosting the fun “Turn It On” sweepstakes where you can have the chance to win a once in a lifetime experience for themselves, or the mother in their life in honor of Mother’s Day. Simply visit http://www.bellahousewares.com/turniton and pin an activity you want to share with the mother in your life for big prizes including a $3,000 eight hour experience & Linea Slow Cooker and the Linea Collection.

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