Vanilla-Infused Fresh Orange Juice Ice Pops Recipe

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

wet ones to clean popsicles

I was recently given this question to answer: What will you use Wet Ones® hand wipes for this summer?

Of course, almost every frozen treat is sticky, and you’re going to need to clean yourself and your kids after enjoying a delicious vanilla orange ice pop!

vanilla orange ice pops

Wet Ones® Hand Wipes are a convenient way to keep the kids, the ice pops AND the sticky fingers outside.

Just bring along the Wet Ones® Hand Wipes when the treats are served; kids can get cleaned up without touching doorknobs, faucets, tables, chairs or everything else they’d happen to put their fingers on!

I had picked up a canister of Wet Ones® Hand Wipes yesterday at Walmart, and I cracked it open today while Haiden and Piper were having their orange vanilla ice pops. I’m still a little surprised by how wet the wipes are!

vanilla orange ice pops

I’m a Minnesota mom, which means we need to take full advantage of every sunny and warm day that comes our way. Summer just doesn’t last that long in our neck of the woods!

In addition to pools, sprinklers, bubbles and other outdoor activities, popsicles are a key tradition in enjoying a Minnesota summer. Even when Haiden and Piper were toddlers, a sticky, sweet frozen popsicle was a near-daily treat when temperatures started rising.

vanilla fresh orange juice popsicles

I’m not going to lie: the frozen ice pops from the store are the ones that are enjoyed most frequently in our house. But sometimes I’m in the mood for a popsicle, too. The difference is that I want something with more complex flavors and less artificial colors 🙂

These vanilla-infused fresh orange ice pops are absolutely delicious. They taste quite a bit like an Orange Julius and I think they’re even more refreshing than the classic drink!

Vanilla-Infused Fresh Orange Ice Pops Recipe

vanilla infused orange ice pops Ingredients:

  • 6-8 medium oranges
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tablespoons white sugar

Directions:

  1. Juice the oranges to get between 1. 5 and 2 cups of juice. put it into a pitcher or batter bowl to make it easy to pour.
  2. Warm up a quarter cup of the juice in the microwave for 20 seconds. Dissolve the sugar in it.
  3. Stir the vanilla and juice/sugar mixture into the rest of the juice.
  4. Carefully pour the juice into popsicle molds and freeze for 3-5 hours until solid.

To serve: run your popsicle mold under hot water for 3-5 seconds. Slide the ice pop out of the mold and enjoy!

Vanilla-Infused Fresh Orange Juice Popsicles

10 minutes

3 hours

Vanilla-Infused Fresh Orange Juice Popsicles

Ingredients

  • 6-8 medium oranges
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tablespoons white sugar

Instructions

  1. Juice the oranges to get between 1. 5 and 2 cups of juice. Put it into a pitcher or batter bowl to make it easy to pour.
  2. Warm up a quarter cup of the juice in the microwave for 20 seconds. Dissolve the sugar in it.
  3. Stir the vanilla and juice/sugar mixture into the rest of the juice.
  4. Carefully pour the juice into popsicle molds and freeze for 3-5 hours until solid.
  5. To serve: run your popsicle mold under hot water for 3-5 seconds. Slide the ice pop out of the mold and enjoy!
http://www.babysavers.com/vanilla-fresh-orange-juice-popsicles-recipe/

Pin this Vanilla-Infused Fresh Orange Juice Popsicles recipe!

fresh orange juice popsicles recipe

wet ones wipes citrus

After treating the kids to a Popsicle, I let them clean their sticky hands with Wet Ones® Hand Wipes.

I guess I’m used to other types of wipes, because I thought the Wet Ones would be more of a temporary fix between a sticky treat and the sink. I didn’t expect a single hand wipe to eliminate the need for soap and water after Piper finished her ice pop!

In addition to controlling both expected and unexpected messes, all Wet Ones kill 99.99% of germs. With their cleaning power and antibacterial properties, these wipes work better and do much more than liquid hand sanitizers!

clean faces with wet ones

I usually have some sort of wipes with me to help clean up messes when we’re on the go, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be using to Wet Ones now given how well they work to get my kids back to the clean, germ-free condition that I prefer.

I’m already thinking that I need to get one canister for my car, one for my husband’s car and some of the individual packets for my purse.

I have no doubt that they’ll come in handy while we’re on the go with the kids, and I’m also pretty positive that I’ll be using them even when Haiden and Piper aren’t around!

Now that you know my story,what will you use Wet Ones® hand wipes for this summer?

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

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Cherry Banana Berry Green Smoothie Recipe: A Green Smoothie that Kids Love!

green smoothie kids will love

I tend to overthink things. Especially parenting. I constantly remind myself that my own behavior has a direct influence on the people my own children will become.

I’m not just talking about the big stuff, like the examples I set in my marriage and how I talk to people. I also think about it in the day-to-day stuff, like eating habits and housekeeping.

I’m definitely not perfect, but sometimes it hits me that improvements I make in my own life could result in better lives for my children.

One thing that seems to be on both my mind and my husband’s mind lately is our diet. Neither of us have stellar eating habits, and it’s not lost on me that the serving of fruits or vegetables (mostly fruits) that Haiden and Piper have at every meal would also be good for me.

So James and I decided that while the two of us should add more produce to our diets, all of us should be eating more veggies.

green smoothie kids love

But I have this problem: I don’t like preparing vegetables. I feel like most of them take time to taste good, and I rarely allow myself time in the kitchen for that. I also worry that valuable nutrition is lost in so many different cooking methods, and that adds to my reluctance.

Then I listened to a podcast discussing green smoothies. I’ve had them in the past and I liked them, but I had forgotten all about them.

Related: See the perfect Vanilla Pumpkin Smoothie recipe!

It struck me that green smoothies would be an easy way to add a lot of vegetables to our diet. If I could find a kid-friendly green smoothie recipe, a green smoothie my kids loved, I wouldn’t have to worry about lengthy preparation or losing nutrients.

green smoothie kids love

Armed with my Simple Green Smoothies book and my new Ninja Blender with Auto iQ (more on that later) I set out to make an array of smoothies. I was determined to find one thing:

A green smoothie kids love!

I found more than one, but one I came up with on my own is my kids’ favorite green smoothie. The Cherry Banana Berry Green Smoothie recipe has strawberries, blackberries, banana and two handfuls of fresh spinach!

Green Smoothie Preparation notes:

First, Measuring fresh spinach is weird. It needs to be packed into a measuring cup. One cup of fresh spinach is roughly one handful, so I skip the measuring cups.

green smoothie kids love

Second, green smoothie ingredients need to be layered in your blender container, and the order matters!

I love the Ninja blender system I’m using because it comes with single-serving/two-serving smoothie cups as well as a full-size pitcher. The cups make smoothies a breeze, and the biggest cup lets me make two full 16-ounce green smoothies at once!

Here’s how you layer ingredients if you’re using a single-serve blender cup. Remember that you’ll turn the cup upside down onto the blender, so put your green smoothie ingredients into the cup in this order:

  1. Spinach leaves
  2. liquid
  3. fresh fruits
  4. frozen fruits

Then you can put the lid on the cup and invert it onto the blender.

Cherry Banana Berry Green Smoothie Recipe

Ingredients:

2 cups fresh spinach
2 cups cold water
3/4 cup chopped strawberries
1/2 cup blackberries, blueberries, raspberries or more strawberries
3/4 cup pitted cherries
1 banana

Directions:

  1. Layer ingredients in your blender. If you’re using a single-serving blender use the order listed above. If you’re using a traditional blender just reverse the order so the most solid ingredients are on the bottom.
  2. Blend until smooth. Watch the video below to see how easy it is to blend with the Ninja’s Auto iQ feature.
  3. If you’re doubtful you’ll get a smooth consistency with your blender, start by blending only the spinach and water. Once that’s liquified, add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth.

Share this kid-friendly green smoothie recipe by repinning it on Pinterest or click on the red SAVE button under the top image to pin it yourself!

Cherry Banana Berry Green Smoothie Recipe

Cherry Banana Berry Green Smoothie Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 3/4 cup chopped strawberries
  • 1/2 cup blackberries, blueberries, raspberries or more strawberries
  • 3/4 cup pitted cherries
  • 1 banana

Instructions

  1. Layer ingredients in your blender. If you’re using a single-serving blender use the order noted above. If you’re using a traditional blender just reverse the order so the most solid ingredients are on the bottom.
  2. Blend until smooth. Watch the video below to see how easy it is to blend with the Ninja’s Auto iQ feature.
  3. If you’re doubtful you’ll get a smooth consistency with your blender, start by blending only the spinach and water. Once that’s liquified, add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth.
http://www.babysavers.com/green-smoothie-kids-love-cherry-banana-berry-smoothie-recipe/

Be sure to check out my video to see how the Ninja BL682 Nutri Ninja Blender System with Auto-iQ works! See it below or at this link: Nutri Ninja BL682 review.

This Ninja blender’s single-serving cup and the Auto-iQ function is how I made the Cherry Banana Berry green smoothie recipe in one step with just one touch.

I love that I don’t have to dirty any other dishes and I can take my smoothie to go as soon as the blending stops!

Since I made that smoothie with the Nutri Ninja Blend button in the above video I’ve learned that the Ultra Blend button makes an even more liquified smoothie. I don’t like chunks at all, so I’ve pretty much only been using the Ultra Blend button for all my smoothies.

green smoothie kids will love

The Nutri Ninja Blender System is worth it for the smoothies alone, but it does so much more than make green smoothies. It can crush ice into snow cone consistency and it even has a food processor bowl and blades. That means it combines the functions of two appliances into one!

ninja blender bl682 review

Click here to learn more about the BL682 Nutri Ninja Blender System today!

Do you have a recipe for a green smoothie kids love? Please share it in the comments! 

Disclosure: Ninja provided the blender to facilitate this post. All opinions are my own. 

How to Make Homemade Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup from Scratch

homemade hershey's chocolate syrup recipeYum
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Have you seen the price of Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup lately? At my two favorite grocery stores, the price was nearly $5 for a 24-ounce bottle! Time to learn how to make homemade Hershey’s chocolate syrup!
Homemade Hershey's chocolate syrup recipeWhile I was trying to decide if I really needed to add the Hershey’s Syrup to my cart, I took a minute to flip over the bottle and read the ingredients: high fructose corn syrup, salt,  monoglycerides, diglycerides, polysorbate 60, artificial flavors… Yes, cocoa and water were also included, but I decided I wasn’t going to spend $5 to buy all those chemicals.

Haiden and Piper like to have chocolate milk with their vitamins at breakfast, and I wanted an easy way to keep giving it to them. Plus my husband enjoys a little chocolate syrup on his ice cream, and it’s an easy way to dress up a dessert.

If you like this article please check out how to make homemade Pedialyte

So, I wanted to share my new recipe for how to make homemade Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup. You’re not going to believe how easy and delicious it is!

Homemade Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup Recipe

Makes about 16 ounces (2 cups)

Ingredients:

Directions:

  • Use a big saucepan – at least 2 quarts. This will expand when boiling, and overflows will make a big mess on your stovetop! (I use this 3-quart saucepan that was part of a bigger set I received as a gift. It’s my favorite for making anything sweet because the heavy bottom keeps it from heating up too fast.)
  • Combine the cocoa powder, water, sugar and salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Mix with a whisk until smooth.
  • Stir constantly with a whisk or a wooden spoon until it boils.
  • Allow it to boil for 1-2 minutes.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Add vanilla.
  • Syrup will be very thin/watery. Allow to cool completely and it will thicken to about the same consistency as Hershey’s syrup.

Store the syrup in a mason jar or any other container. It will keep for several weeks in the fridge. If you want to be really sneaky, pour the cooled syrup into an empty or almost-empty Hershey’s syrup container and see if anyone notices the difference!

homemade chocolate syrup

Note: I only use about 1/2 – 1 teaspoon of the homemade chocolate syrup in a cup of milk to make chocolate milk for Haiden and Piper (Their milk just has to have a hint of brown for them to consider it “chocolate milk”).  My husband likes to add closer to a tablespoon per cup of milk to make himself chocolate milk. As with the brand-name chocolate syrup, you can experiment with the proportions to get the taste you’re looking for.

Homemade Hershey's Chocolate Syrup

Homemade Hershey's Chocolate Syrup

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 Dash salt

Instructions

  1. Use a big saucepan - at least 2 quarts. This will expand when boiling, and overflows will make a big mess on your stovetop! (I use this 3-quart saucepan that was part of a bigger set I received as a gift. It's my favorite for making anything sweet because the heavy bottom keeps it from heating up too fast.)
  2. Combine the cocoa powder, water, sugar and salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Mix with a whisk until smooth.
  3. Stir constantly with a whisk or a wooden spoon until it boils.
  4. Allow it to boil for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat.
  6. Add vanilla.
  7. Syrup will be very thin/watery. Allow to cool completely and it will thicken to about the same consistency as Hershey's syrup.
http://www.babysavers.com/how-to-make-homemade-hersheys-chocolate-syrup-from-scratch/

Homemade Hersheys Syrup Recipe

homemade microwave popcornDon’t miss the absolute easiest way to make homemade microwave popcorn!

Image Credit: JMackinnell

The Asian Chicken Burger Recipe That Will Change Your Summer Cookout

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Stop & Shop for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

Asian chicken burgers recipe

When I entertain I like to serve food that will blow my company away. My menu doesn’t have to be fancy or complicated, but it must be one thing: delicious.

Serving good food makes my guests happy, which makes me happy. But I give myself an extra pat on the back if I can also make my party food affordable and easy to prepare.

Delicious, easy to prepare and affordable are all things that make this  Asian Chicken Burger a life-changing meal. I made one last night to try out the recipe and I had a hard time finding just the right words to describe how amazing it was to my husband.

Did you read that? I made one burger. The recipe below serves four, but I was on my own for supper last night and it was so easy to make just a quarter recipe.

I’ve never made just one single burger before and it turns out that making a solo burger is easy if you have all fresh ingredients!

Asian Chicken Burger Recipe

asian chicken burgers recipe

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Asian Chicken Burger Ingredients:

6 sprigs fresh mint leaves (about 1/4 oz.)
3 green onions
1/2 head iceberg lettuce
1 cucumber
6 radishes
2 Tbsp sesame seeds
1 lime
8 sprigs fresh cilantro (about 1/2 oz.)
1 lb ground chicken, ground turkey, or a combination
1 Tbsp cornstarch
3 Tbsp mayonnaise
4 crusty sandwich rolls

Asian Chicken Burger Instructions

  1. Remove the leaves from the mint.
  2. Slice the green onions into rings and the tear the lettuce into strips.
  3. Slice the the cucumber and radishes.
  4. Toast the sesame seeds in a dry frying pan for 3 minutes until golden. Let cool on a plate.
  5. Zest and juice the lime.
  6. Chop half the cilantro and half the mint. Set aside the rest for garnish. M
  7. ix the ground meat with the sesame seeds, mint, cilantro, cornstarch, lime zest and half the green onions. Add salt and pepper.
  8. Form the ground meat mixture into 4 patties with wet hands.
  9. Mix the mayonnaise with the remaining green onions. Add lime juice, salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Heat a grill pan over medium heat.
  11. Halve the buns and place cut side down in the pan for 30 seconds.
  12. Grill the chicken burgers for 6 to 8 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  13. Pile chopped lettuce on bottom half of bun. Top with a burger, cucumber, radish, lime mayonnaise and remaining herbs.

Even though I made a single Asian Chicken Burger yesterday, I can guarantee that I’ll be at least doubling this recipe and making these burgers for a crowd sometime soon.

I love that the Stop & Shop Savory Recipe Center gives me all the recipes I need to make planning any summer gathering easy. In addition to burgers and other entree recipes, you can also find easy and affordable ideas for salads, sides and desserts!

Now that I know how fast and delicious the Asian Chicken Burger recipe is, I’m sure I won’t be disappointed by the West Coast Burger, the New York Pizza Burger, the Grilled Corn Salad and the Summer Berry Tiramisu!

Be sure to find the best recipes at the Stop & Shop Savory Recipe Center and shop at Stop & Shop for all your summer cookout needs!

Visit Sponsors Site

How to Make Super Strong Bubbles

How to make super strong bubbles

Learning how to make super strong bubbles has been on our list of summer things to do for way too long! I love this post showing how to make bubbles and this one for how to make bubble solution for huge bubbles.

We’ve made all sorts of different kinds of bubbles while taking advantage of Minnesota’s warm summers, but somehow we’ve missed super strong bubbles!

[Read more…]

4th of July Snack Mix Recipe – A Great Red, White and Blue Party Food

4th of July snack mix recipe
Yum

My family celebrates any and every holiday with food. Of course we get together to talk and have fun. We let the kids play, we drink sodas and coffee and drink boxes. But the party gets started when the food is served!

Related: The Best Fourth of July recipes and party food!

We always have a picnic on the 4th of July, and this 4th of July snack mix recipe is the perfect food for an indoor or outdoor party.

Related: The Asian chicken Burger recipe that will change your summer cookout!

If you like your M&Ms to get a little melty, the snack mix can even sit in the sun. If you’d prefer to keep everything in the mix in solid form, make sure you keep it in the shade!

Note: the recipe calls for red white and blue Peanut M&Ms. If it’s not June or July, these are hard to find! I recommend getting a big bag of standard Peanut M&Ms and only using the red and blue ones.

4th of July snack mix

Also, you can use any candy you want here, so feel free to be creative with your color combinations and flavors!

4th of July Snack Mix

Ingredients for the 4th of July Snack Mix

captain america snack mix recipe

1 cup milk chocolate chips
4 cups Rice Chex cereal
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
Peanut M&M’s in red, white, and blue
1 cup Whoppers malted milk candy

Directions for the 4th of July snack mix

1. Line a large baking sheet (I like this one) with wax paper or parchment. Put your 4 cups of cereal in a large mixing bowl. Set both aside.

2. Put the milk chocolate chips into a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir. Repeat in 30 second intervals until the chocolate is fully melted.

captain america snack mix muddy buddies

3. Use a large spoon to drizzle the melted chocolate over the cereal. Gently mix as you drizzle, making sure to coat the cereal evenly.

4. Place the powdered sugar in a 1 gallon zip-top bag.

5. Carefully scoop the chocolate-coated cereal into the bag with the powdered sugar. Seal the bag and shake it to cover the cereal with the powdered sugar.

captain america snack mix recipe

6. Let sit for 1-2 minutes, then spread it out onto the prepared baking sheet. let dry for 1 hour.

7. Put your cereal back in the large bowl and gently mix in the Whoppers and M&Ms.

Find and print the 4th of July Snack Mix recipe below.

4th of July Snack Mix

4th of July Snack Mix

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 4 cups Rice Chex cereal
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • Peanut M&M’s in red, white, and blue
  • Whoppers Candy

Instructions

  1. Line a large baking sheet with wax paper or parchment. Put your 4 cups of cereal in a large mixing bowl. Set both aside.
  2. Put the milk chocolate chips into a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir. Repeat in 30 second intervals until the chocolate is fully melted.
  3. Use a large spoon to drizzle the melted chocolate over the cereal. Gently mix as you drizzle, making sure to coat the cereal evenly.
  4. Place the powdered sugar in a 1 gallon zip-top bag.
  5. Carefully scoop the chocolate-coated cereal into the bag with the powdered sugar. Seal the bag and shake it to cover the cereal with the powdered sugar.
  6. Let sit for 1-2 minutes, then spread it out onto the prepared baking sheet. let dry for 1 hour.
  7. Put your cereal back in the large bowl and gently mix in the Whoppers and M&Ms.
http://www.babysavers.com/4th-of-july-snack-mix-recipe/