Thursday, October 29, 2015

Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Dip



I am a sucker for dips. If I am at a party or going to a party the first thing that I do is head straight for the dips. I fill my plate with dip and chips and then hit up everything else after that. This dip is also a slow cooker recipe which makes it even better in my opinion. My family and I enjoyed this on Sunday while my husband and boys watched football. But with upcoming holidays this would be the perfect unique dip recipe for any family gathering or holiday party. It is more unique then other dips. So next time you are needing a dip give this recipe a try and you won't be disappointed!



Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Dip
4 ounces cream cheese,softened
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup green enchilada sauce
4 ounces diced green chilies
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups rotisserie chicken, shredded
3/4 cup mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup monterey jack cheese

In a medium crock pot add cream cheese, sour cream, enchilada sauce,green chilies and spices. Whisk together. Fold in shredded chicken and 1/2 cup mozzarella and 1/4 cup Monterey jack cheese. Cook on low for 2 hours. Pour in over safe dish or cast iron skillet and place the remaining 1/4 cup mozzarella and 1/2 cup Monterey jack cheese and broil in the oven for a few minutes until cheese is melted and begins to lightly brown. Serve with chips!


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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Halloween Donut Spiders




Since I have done graveyards, bats, and ghosts already this year I figured I needed to throw in some spiders! These spiders are easy and super cute. They would be perfect for a morning Halloween party or really anytime. There is only 3 ingredients. Chocolate doughnuts, pretzels, and reeses pieces (or M&M's if you want to eat the other colors) all ingredients are cheap and simple.



Halloween Donut Spiders
Chocolate mini Donuts
Pretzels (broken into pieces)
Reese's pieces

Take the pretzels and break them into pieces to make the legs. Then take them and pair them up with (8) pretzel pieces that are similar sizes. Take the donut and attach the legs and then using frosting or karo syrup attach the eyes.


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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

What are the benefits to setting aside a time each day to eat dinner as a family

Anyone that knows me knows how important it is for my family and I to sit down together each night and eat a meal together. We are a very "Leave it to Beaver" family. If someone asked me to list the most important things that are to my husband it would be just this. He told me when we were first married how he felt that sitting down together as a family around the dinner table each night would help our family be more successful and help us to have strong family relationships.

So let me just walk through a night in the Bendixen home. Dinner is on the table at 6:00. (this time has changed from 5:30 to 6:00 when my husbands work relocated) but lets just say that we have a set dinner time. So when my husband walks through the door at 6:05 he knows that we are sitting at the table waiting for him. We eat dinner as a family, discuss how our children's day at school was, activities they have going on, and funny things that happened to our family each day.

I will admit that with my boys getting older and having soccer, football, and baseball practice each week dinner time has become more difficult. I have found that if you are not organized this special family time can be taken away from you and those days and weeks that it does I can tell a difference in my family. So we have learned to adjust the meal time and have my husband home from work 15 minutes early so that we can still have this time together or have something quick and easy to grab and then have a late dinner together.

One way that I stay organized is by having a meal plan. I make a 2 week or a weekly meal plan and plan meals that either can be made in the crockpot or that can be thrown together in 15 minutes right when we get home from practice. I have all the prep work done beforehand so that it is not pure chaos when I get home. We rarely grab fast food or take out for dinner on week days. Having a meal plan and organization helps my children know that they have dinner coming at a certain time and what we are eating so that they do not just snack after school all night until bedtime.

On the weekends this meal changes to breakfast on Saturday and lunch on Sunday. (We eat Sunday dinner at my parents house every week with my siblings and their children) Even though these meals are not always considered healthy meals they always have fruit, vegetables, protein, and dairy involved. Having a plan helps me maintain balanced diets for my children. I am able to look on my meal plan and see what they are missing in their diets and what needs to be added. I also ask my children what they would like to me cook each week and add that to the menu! Here is a look at my 2 week menu for the end of this month.

2 Week Menu-

Monday 19th
Chef salad




Tuesday 20th
Fried Rice
Edamame
Chocolate Doughnut Spiders




Wednesday 21st
Wild Rice



Thursday 22nd
BBQ Pulled Pork
Baked Potatoes
Sweet potatoes
Fruit Salad



Friday 23rd
Chicken Marsala
Roasted Veggies
Pumpkin Bars



Saturday 24th
Date Night

Sunday 25th
Salsa Verde Chicken Tacos
Green Chicken Chile Dip with Chips

Monday 26th
Stuffed Shells
Mint Brownies



Tuesday 27th
Taco Soup with toppings
Fritos
Bread Bowl


Wednesday 28th
Homemade Salsa and Chips


Thursday 29th
Trunk or Treat- bring cookies

Friday 30th
Halloween Party

Saturday 31
Halloween- Chili and Cornbread






Here is a look at what I do to stay organized so that my family can sit down around the table and enjoy dinner together. I know this may seem over whelming to a lot of you but just take small simple steps and you will realize the importance of teaching you children healthy habits while bonding together as a family!

What are some ways that you bond as a family? Need more inspiration? Head over to Milklife for more ideas and recipes!

*Disclosure: This is a sponsored post by Milklife.com, however all thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Monday, October 26, 2015

Chocolate Halloween Bats




The other night my family had our annual pumpkin carving night. Our 3 children get to pick out their own pumpkin and then they pick out the design that they want to go on the pumpkin. I will be the first to admit that I am not the best pumpkin carver. I don't think I am patient enough haha. So I like to stick to the treat making! This year I made 4 different treats and this one was my kids favorite by far. They were gone first. I am not sure if it is because all the ingredients are some of their favorite treats or if its because they are super tiny and cute. Either way they were a favorite! And I hope they are a favorite of your families too!




Chocolate Halloween Bats
inspired from: Chelsea's Messy Apron

Mini Reese Cups
Thin Oreo Cookies
Karo syrup or icing
Edible Eyes

For the directions head on over to Chelsea's Messy Apron! I used Karo syrup when she used icing and it worked great so know that that is also an option!



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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

White Chocolate Strawberry Ghosts


Some people consider chocolate covered strawberry only something you have on special occasions. I beg to defer. Chocolate covered strawberries should be apart of every week. They are super easy to make and even better to eat! There is only a few simple ingredients and you can transform this delicacy to a fun spooky ghosts that are perfect for halloween party or dinner.

My family and I made these and had them at our annual pumpkin carving night. Then delivered some to some neighbors! My kids each get to pick 1 person to delivery their "treat plate" to and it has become a weekly tradition that our family does. I hope this teaches my children the love of serving others through food. Because lets be honest who doesn't love to be served through a delicious plate of food!


White Chocolate Strawberry Ghosts
Strawberries, whole
Bag of White Chocolate melts
1 cup of Milk Chocolate melts

Melt white chocolate melts in a double broiler or a microwave safe bowl by following the directions on the back of the package. In a small bowl do the same thing with the milk chocolate.

Wash and dry the strawberries and then dip them. Place them on a sheet of parchment paper. Before you place them make a little tail before you place the dipped strawberry down to create the ghost. Continue with all the strawberries and let them dry.

Put the milk chocolate in a pipping bag with a small circle tip. (or you can place in a ziplock bag and cut a tiny slit in the corner of the bag)

Pipe 2 circle eyes and an oval mouth on each strawberry to create the white chocolate strawberry ghost.


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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Kid Friendly 30 minute Chicken Noodle Soup



Chicken noodle soup is a fall and winter time staple. It is comfort food for the soul and makes me feel like a little kid again when I eat it. This is one of those soups that is a guarantee that everyone will eat it and will enjoy it. It is also one of those soups that NEEDS to be homemade from scratch. There are some pretty easy homemade versions out there.  This recipe has been made for me through out my whole life by my mother so of course this is my favorite. It has now become my kids favorite and families favorite.


Kid Friendly 30 Minute Chicken Noodle Soup 

3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup carrots, peeled and thinly slice (about 2 carrots)
1 cup celery, thinly sliced (about 2 stalks)
1 medium yellow onion, diced 
2 Tablespoons minced garlic
64 ounces chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon pepper
12 ounces wide egg noodles
2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
2 Tablespoons fresh parsley finely chopped
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons salt

In a large stock pot over medium heat add the olive oil. Then the carrots, celery, and onion. Cook for about 5 minutes until they start to soften. Add the minced garlic and saute for a minute or two. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add the spices and boil for 5 minutes. Then add the egg noodles and boil for 10 minutes. If you like your soup to have more liquid you can add some water. Then add the chicken, parsley, lemon juice, and salt and boil for 2 minutes. Serve immediately with a buttery roll! 



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Monday, October 19, 2015

Halloween Graveyard


My middle children Remington loves chocolate pudding so much. It is one of his favorite snacks to bring to school or to snack on after school. I rarely make it because well...I am not the biggest fan. haha but I guess I should be glad that my son likes such an easy snack to make after school.

So I decided to jazz up his after school snack by making it a halloween graveyard. There are only a few ingredients. And just by putting them together you can make your kid smile! So here it is!



Halloween Graveyard
Large box of Chocolate pudding (calls for 3 cups of milk)
12 oreo cookies
Milano Cookies
Melted Milk Chocolate
Mini gummy worms

Make chocolate pudding as directed on the back of the box by mixing the pudding and 3 cups of milk together with a whisk for 2 minutes. Then grab a couple plastic cups (small ones are best) then pour the pudding evenly in the cups. 

Take the oreos and place in a ziplock bag and crush up. Sprinkle the crushed oreos on top of the chocolate pudding.

Take the melted milk chocolate and place in a pipping bag and pipe RIP on the milano cookies. Let the cookies dry for a minute or two and then place in the pudding towards the back with the RIP on top making a "head stone" for the graveyard. Then place a few mini gummy worms around the cup in the oreo topping. 



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Friday, October 16, 2015

Mini Oatmeal Pumpkin Cream Pies




This recipes has been in the works for a while and was the first pumpkin recipe that I created this fall. It was for one of my favorite clients Krusteaz. Normally I post recipes for them on their site. But since their site is going through major AMAZING renovation I am here today to share it all with you! But first you need to head over to Krusteaz to check out how amazing their site is turning out so far! It will continue to evolve! So just you wait!

And while you are checking that site out start making these yummy Mini Oatmeal Pumpkin Cream Pies. They are made to be sure easy with their Oatmeal Scotchie Cookie Mix (which I must say is probably my favorite) and with a jazzed up frosting! And who doesn't love anything mini, pumpkin, and in sandwich form! 



Mini Oatmeal Pumpkin Cream Pies
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes
Effort: Easy
Servings: 20 mini cookies sandwiches

Oatmeal Cookies:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 egg

Frosting:
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup pumpkin, canned or cooked and mashed
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar


For Oatmeal Cookies:
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. 
  • In a large bowl, stir together Krusteaz Oatmeal Scotchie Cookie Mix, softened butter, and egg.
  • Scoop dough 1-2 teaspoons and place 2-inches apart on cookie sheet. Place on baking sheet.
  • Bake 7 minutes or until slightly brown.
  • Let cookies cool on cookie sheet 2 minutes; transfer to cooling rack. Frost.

For Frosting:
  • In a medium size bowl, combine all ingredients and mix with an electric hand held mixer until combined. 
  • Once cookies are cooled, spread generous amount of frosting on one side of the cookie and sandwich with another of similar size.



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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Halloween Boo Kit Ideas and Candy Bar Cookies!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BOOitforward #CollectiveBias


When I was a little girl I remember getting Boo'd by neighbors and then my family picking a few homes in our neighborhood and making them a treat and doing the same thing that others did to us! It was a very fond memory as a child. So when I realized that their was a website featuring just this I knew that I wanted to be a part of it so that my children could experience the same thing that I did! 

And let me tell you..it was even better then I remember. My kids loved it just as much as I knew they would! And luckily here is the website that helps you with the printable along with Walmart having the perfect serving containers, candy, and mini Halloween drinks to put in your container. All the behind the scenes work has been done for you! All you have to do is print this printable
Then....
  1. Cut out this "We've been BOO'd sign.
  2. Fold the "You've been BOO'd" greeting card (page 2) and tape openings together.
  3. Include the card and sign when gifting BOO bundles.




Now here are the steps that I did to make my bundle! I headed to Walmart and found the candy and drinks that I used here


Got home and layed everything out 


Then we opened up a bag of candy and made these Mini Candy Bar Cookies. Our favorite candy to use is SNICKERS® 

I drizzled most of them but then added candy eyes to a few of them by dipping the back of the eyes in Karo syrup and placing them on the cookies.


Mini Candy Bar Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
Chocolate Mini Candy (ex. SNICKERS® SNICKERS®3 MUSKETEERS®) unwrapped

Cream butter, sugar, brown sugar, and peanut butter; add the vanilla and eggs. In a separate bowl mix together dry ingredients. Add dry to wet. Take 1 heaping tablespoon of dough, flatten, and put mini chocolate candy inside, fold over and form into a ball, completely covering mini candy bar. 
Bake at 350 degrees F on a ungreased cookie sheet for 10-12 minutes. Don't over bake! Mix together glaze ingredients and drizzle glaze over baked cookies.

Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons peanut butter
2 Tablespoons milk (slowly add a Tablespoon at a time)


We then assembled out kits. By picking out our containers. Placing the folded "We've Been BOO'd" sign in the back and then stuffed them full of cookies (in halloween bags), candy, and fun mini halloween 7UP® and A&W 8 ounce cans. 

Here are the 3 different ones that we did!







And then we were off to deliver! I let each child pick out their favorite basket and pick a neighbor that they think would love it!





For the chance to win the Ultimate Boo It Forward Sweepstakes head here!!! 

#booitforwardsweepstakes
What do you do with your family or loved ones to make each holiday special!?



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