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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Easy Stove Top Dinner

I LOVE Simple!!  This is a delicious dinner that my whole family enjoyed.  I was a bit nervous about it at first, considering that my children and I are not big onion fans and the kids don't touch anything with tomatoes in it but I tried it anyways and they gobbled it up!  With a simple ingredient list and a quick and easy preparation, this meal will be going in my recipe box!! Enjoy!!

Pork Chop and Rice Skillet Dinner


4 Pork Chops
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/4 cup water
2/3 cup uncooked long grain rice
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp salt, divided
1 can (11oz) whole kernel corn; drained
1 can (14 1/2oz) diced tomatoes; undrained
1/4 tsp pepper


Step One: Season Pork Chops to your liking. In a large skillet, brown the pork chops in oil; remove chops and drain.

Step Two: Combine water, rice, onion, garlic and 1/2 tsp salt in skillet.

Step Three: Place pork chops on top of rice mixture.

Step Four: Top with corn and tomatoes.  Sprinkle with remaining salt and pepper if desire.

Step Five: Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover.  Simmer 20-25 min or until pork is cooked and rice is soft.  (Stir rice half way through) Let stand 5 min.

Simple and Delicious!! 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Candy Exchange!!

It seems that since my daughter has started kindergarten, she is constantly coming home with candy!  In her class they give out smarties for being a "smarty pants".  On the bus her driver likes to give the kids candy when they behave well.  While I love the fact that my child is being rewarded for her behavior, I feel that candy is not the best reward.  Whatever happened to sticker charts?  If they behave or make a smart observation they get a sticker and when they get to a certain number then they get a piece of candy or small reward.  I do not like that they are rewarded with candy daily.  

Now my son is not in school, but he does go to grandma's!  His grandma lives in a retirement community and all the ladies up there just LOVE my son, but it seems that the way they like to show him how much they love him is by loading him up with candy and cookies. Drives me nuts!! 

Candy Exchange Jar
What I came up with is the...
"Candy Exchange Jar".  I went to the dollar store and spent $6.00 on little things that I know my kids will love.  I got tattoos (I cut them all apart), 4 braceletes and 6 necklaces, balloons, shirt shapped post-its (4 pack) and 8 buttons.  (All for $6.00!!  I LOVE the dollar store!!)  I put all these rewards into a jar and called the kids into the room.  When they saw all the fun stuff I had stuffed in that jar they instantly wanted to know how to get it.  I told my daughter that when she earns candy at school, if she brings it home and gives it to me, than she can pick one thing out of the Candy Exchange Jar.  I told my son that when he gets candy from Grandma's and he brings it home to me, he gets to pick something out of the jar.  They both eagerly agreed!  Each week I like to spend a dollar or two and add something new to the jar, just to keep it fun for them.

Halloween Candy Overload!

With Halloween just around the corner, I am going to try an idea that we learned from a Healthy Edge Coach.  She lets her kids go trick-or-treating and get as much candy as they want.  Then, when they get home she lets them pick out a few candies that they can keep to have over the next couple weeks.  The rest is left outside of the porch for the candy fairy.  When the kids wake up the next morning, they will discover the candy is gone and has been replaced by a toy or money.  

This is such a great idea! I am going to leave my kids $2.00 each and then take them to the Dollar Tree (where everything is a $1.00) and let them wander around the store and pick out whatever they want. Mom's happy and kids are happy!  Win Win Situation!!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Healthy Halloween! Top Snack Picks!

While I love Halloween, I am not crazy about the bags full of candy my kids seem to accumulate between school and trick-or-treating.  Dressing my kiddies up in cute costumes (they are still little so we can still do cute) is so much fun.  Even the going out trick-or-treating, seeing all the other kids costumes and letting them see who's bag can get the fullest is fun.  But the aftermath...NOT FUN! The having to say no, you can pick one piece and the rest gets put away, is almost not worth it.  That is why we try to make there treats at home more fun than the ones that fill there bags.  

*For the extra Halloween candy your kids accumulate: check to see if your local dentist office has a program for the extra candy.  There are a couple in my area that give prizes to kids who turn in there candy to them.  Or let your kids pick out there top 10 favorites and save them for Special Occasions and get rid of or donate the remaining.

Here are our top picks for healthy halloween treats to have waiting for your little ones at home.  Or great ideas for Halloween parties (at home and school).

1.) Apple Bites: Cut your apples into slices.  Use peanut butter (or any nut butter) to stick them together, and then use almond slivers to look like crazy teeth.  Your kids will have as much fun making them as they will eating them!

2.)  Hummus and Fingers!  Take Carrot pieces and make slivers in them to look like knuckles.  Take your favorite Hummus or Avocado dip and use it to stick almond slivers or green pepper pieces to the tops for finger nails.  Then have them sticking out of your dip bowl so it looks like a hand.  Cute idea for a Halloween party!

3.)  Cheese Fingers!  With the same idea as above, use string cheese in place of carrots, and use green peppers for the finger nails.  Cute treat for school parties!

4.) Deviled Egg Spiders!  Make deviled eggs and use black olives to put spiders on top.  Another spooky party idea!

5.) Melon Brains!  Take a small seedless watermelon and use a vegetable peeler to remove the entire green rind leaving only the white rind. Slice off the bottom to create a flat base.  Using a toothpick, outline squiggly furrows that resemble the surface of the brain.  Then carve narrow channels along the tracings with a sharp paring knife to expose the fruit beneath the rind. 

6.)  Orange Pumpkins Delights! Using a Navel Orange and a small knife, slice the top off and cut around its interior to hollow it out.  Scoop out the orange segments and save for filling.  Carve a small face into one side of the orange.  Cut a slit int he lid to accommodate the handle of a green plastic spoon.  Fill the orange with mixed fruit of your choice.  Insert the spoon and set the lid on top with spoon poking out of the already made slit.

7.) Pumpkin Platter! Put your Hummus (or other healthy vegetable dip) into small dishes, using the shapes you prefer for your eyes and nose.  For the mouth, use half slices of cucumbers and for the stem use broccoli.  Use Carrot pieces to make your round pumpkin.  Then set it out for your little monsters to enjoy!

8.) Banana Ghosts!  Cut your banana into the size ghosts you want then slice in half.  Spread peanut butter on the flat side, use a toothpick to clear a hole for the mouth and raisins for the eyes.  You can also insert a popsicle stick into the bottom of a half banana and use a nut butter to stick raisin eyes on them for another ghostly treat!  One more idea for bananas is to cut one into slices, put circle of peanut butter in middle of flat side and a raisin in the middle for banana eyeballs! This would be a cute craft for your kids Halloween party!

Hope you enjoy these Healthy Halloween treats!!  For delicious hummus and avocado recipes check out The Healthy Edge Cookbook!  You can also find delicious vegetable dips when you sign up for the Healthy Edge 14 day FREE trial!

We would love to hear your Healthy Halloween treat ideas!!
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