Archive | LITTLE BITES

LITTLE BITES: HEALTHY PEANUT BUTTER ENERGY BALLS (NO BAKE!)

If I had a personal chef or the discipline/organizational abilities to meal prep once a week, these energy bites would for sure be on the menu every time. They’re homemade (read: guilt-free), easy to grab and go, loaded with healthy stuff, tasty enough to satisfy a sweet tooth, and loved by (almost — because there’s always that one…) everyone in the fam bam. They’re also really fun to package up and share with friends. Even better when we’ve just made a fresh batch and the kids have buddies over!

I’ve always wanted to be the house with the best snack food for all the kids, without feeding them too much junk, and even though I fall short often, mixing these up makes me feel like I’m winning just a little :)

Peep the recipe below!

NO BAKE PEANUT BUTTER & CHOCOLATE CHIP ENERGY BITES, makes approx. 2 dozen

You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup old fashioned oats (like quaker), uncooked
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup favorite nut butter (I like to use almond butter but usually use adam’s peanut butter)
  • 1/2 cup ground flax seed
  • 1/2 cup favorite chocolate chips (I like to use the mini kind!)
  • 1/4 cup honey (agave works too)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chia seeds, optional

Here’s How:

  1. Using a hand or stand mixer, combine and mix ingredients until thoroughly combined.
  2. Using your hands (and cookie scooper if you have one!), roll into 1 to 2 inch balls. Eat right away or chill first.
  3. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week…. But I promise they won’t last that long, LOL.

Happy Tuesday Loves!

xo, Rae

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

0

MINI MAKERS: 3 EASY VALENTINE PROJECTS FOR KIDS

The Seattle weather this time of year just about does us all in, so we’re trying to stay busy and distracted over here. A homemade treat, kitchen experiments (slime anyone?), and simple crafts always seem to do the trick tho. If you’re feeling the same way, here are a few Valentines-ey projects that have been giving us life right now and make hunkering down at home feel extra special.

WHITE CHOCOLATE VALENTINE POPCORN

Shared the recipe on my Insta Stories yesterday and added to the “eat” highlight reel for safe keeping too, but it deserves to be documented here too… it’s that good! I cut way back on the chocolate compared to other recipes and will normally add the hearts after the kids dish their bowls so they don’t get too much :)

YOU’LL NEED:

  • 5 oz. bag popcorn or 15 cups homemade, lightly salted
  • 6 oz. white chocolate, melted
  • sprinkles + conversation hearts

HERE’S HOW:

  1. Pour popcorn into a large baking sheet/pan.
  2. Drizzle with white chocolate and sprinkles and then toss until incorporated. Sprinkle hearts over the top. Cover and let sit until chocolate hardens.
  3. Dish up for your little (and big) valentines!

CONVERSATION HEART ACTIVITIES

That don’t involve eating them although we know it’s inevitable. A few ideas…

  1. Pour a bunch in a jar and have the kids guess how many, then count together.
  2. Drop a few in a glass of sparkling water or clear soda and watch them dance around. Kinda fun and science-y!
  3. Play around with making and matching patterns, or sorting.
  4. Give everyone a box of hearts, set the timer for a minute (or 5, lol!) and see who can stack them the highest! When you’re done, grab a few snack items from the pantry and use the candies to make individual trail mixes.
  5. Practice fine motor skills with little ones by scooping, and tweezing  hearts from one bowl to another. Challenge older kids to use chopsticks. Here’s a few more montessori inspired activities!
  6. Take it one step further with these fun family night games. Would be fun for sleepovers too!

HEART GUYS FTW!

Can’t beat this classic! I found colored cardboard hearts and googly eyes at target and then cut up strips of text weight paper into strips. Set all the materials out on the table and let the kids get creative. Most of the finished hearts got taped to their bedroom doors which I love!

YOU’LL NEED:

  • Hearts cutout of card stock or construction paper (found our hearts at Target, but couldn’t find online)
  • Googly eyes
  • Text weight paper, in various colors
  • Tape or glue stick
  • OPTIONAL: smaller hearts cutout for hands and feet, black marker for making a mouth + nose, stickers, pop-pops or other items to embellish with

HERE’S HOW:

  1. Cutout hearts and strips of paper for the arms and legs — ours were about 1-1/2 inch wide and 8-1/2 inch long for the legs and 5 inches for the arms.
  2. Fold the strips of paper like an accordion and tape onto the backside of your hearts.
  3. Embelish with eyes, etc. and you’re done!

Aren’t they cute!? And fun for everyone!

How are you guys having fun and staying sane at home on winter days!? This past Saturday we filled the stairway with mattresses so the kids could slide down, LOL. Anything to get some of their energy out these days!

Hope your week is off to a good start!!! Don’t forget to check classroom valentines off your to-do list!

XO, Rae

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

1

UNICORN HOT COCOA + A KID CHARCUTERIE PLATTER

With the majority of winter and lots of time cooped up at home still ahead of us, we’re staying cozy and having fun while whipping up some unicorn and narwhal hot cocoa. Watch the video below to see how we make it!

Did you watch long enough to see the “cutie” platter at the end? It’s my favorite way to feed a crowd without actually having to cook or clean!

Most of the fixings got eaten before I could snap a picture for this post, so I thought I would try and put one together today and share on Instagram Stories. Come say “HI!” if you get a chance! I’ll also add it to an “eat” collection below my bio for safe keeping. For now, here’s the hot cocoa recipe…

UNICORN or NARWHAL HOT COCOA

You’ll Need:

  • whole milk (or milk of your choice)
  • powdered white mocha  powder and/or white mocha syrup (you can use both or just one)
  • 1/4 teaspoon all natural powdered food coloring (I like this kind!), or a drop of liquid food coloring
  • toppings of choice: whip cream, sprinkles, marshmallows, paper straws, etc.

Here’s How:

Over the stove or in the microwave, heat your milk. Stir in powder mix and/or syrup. Add food coloring. Once the milk has cooled enough for little ones to drink, add your toppings and enjoy!

*If you’re having the kids help you, make sure the milk isn’t scolding… spills tend to happen when kids are involved and I would hate for someone to get a burn!

Don’t forget the marshmallows and whip… Even if just for entertainment value ;)

Extra props to Johan for figuring out how to piece together the video… it was not an easy one!

Are there any videos you’d like to see in the future?

XO, Rae

PS — See you over on Instagram later today!

PPS — More unicorn fun –> HERE and HERE.

SaveSave

SaveSave

8

LUNCHBOX BITES: CHOCOLATE CHIP PUMPKIN PANCAKES FOR 2ND BREAKFAST

“Don’t forget your lunch!” season is in full swing around here. On top of that it seems the further we get into the school year the more rushed our mornings are. To make things easier I’ve been trying to whip up simple lunches that the kids are too excited about to not grab on their way out the door.

Leftovers are the first thing to pop in my head when I think about easy lunches, but they’re often not my kids’ favorite. However, last week I layered our pumpkin chocolate chip pancakes from breakfast (recipe below if you missed it on Instagram stories!) with cream cheese to make little sandwiches and they loved it… 2nd breakfast for lunch? Yes please!

Peep the pumpkin pancake recipe below and another little morning tip for you at the bottom of this post!

CHOCOLATE CHIP PUMPKIN PANCAKES

You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup whole or other milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup pure pumpkin
  • cinnamon, all spice and/or pumpkin pie spice (whatever you have on hand!), to taste!
  • chocolate chips as desired
  • whip cream, syrup, or cream cheese to top!

Here’s How:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine and mix all ingredients. (Side note: sometimes I’ll save the chocolate chips on the side  and sprinkle over the top of each pancake as I pour the batter)
  2. Spray or grease griddle and heat to med-low. Using a 1/4 measuring cup, pour batter and cook until sides of pancakes start to look cooked (the middle will still look gooey) and then flip. Cook other side until browned and middle is cooked through. If pancakes start to burn but the middle is still gooey, lower the heat on your griddle.
  3. Serve warm. Save leftovers for lunch or snack!

(bento lunch container, lunch bag, bento eye picks and alphabet picks)

Yesterday morning as we waited in the drop-off line at school I asked the kids, “What’s one or more things we were awesome at this morning and whats one thing we can be better about tomorrow?”

Their responses were so great and instead of feeling like, ugh, moms not happy with us this morning as they hopped out of the car they were laughing and happy and I think we were all excited to be able to try again the next morning. We’ll see if any of it sticks but I’m hopeful!

Do you guys have any tips for slowing down in the morning?

I’ll be sharing a couple more lunch ideas, that my kids love, that use leftovers over the next few weeks so stay tuned!

xo, Rae

TILLY | lunchbox by state, backpack from Rockets of Awesome, jacket from Peek Kids, tee is old from Peek Kids, leather (ochre color) hair clip from Ryan and Wren, converse from Nordstrom

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

1

WE MADE IT + CREAMY PEANUT BUTTER APPLE DIP RECIPE

Cheeeyeck!

We made it though the first full week of back to school and I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited for FRI-YAYAYAYAYAY!

A quick recap of how things have been going… The kids love their teachers and I love hearing all about their day when they get home. The whole concept of having to go to school 5 days in a row has Griffin a bit confused, but every morning he gets up and is such a trooper and every night he falls asleep super fast. Tilly’s anxiety levels are at an all time high (or after a long beautiful summer, I just forgot how bad it gets) and no one but Ozzie and Espen seem to be able to stay asleep and in their own beds at night. Clearly we have some work to do, but I am feeling extra lucky these days to be doing life with them, their big brudder and their daddy too!!

With the weather getting colder and rain in the forecast next week, we decided to take advantage of the sunshine so packed up our after school snack and headed to a wooded trail area just a few minutes from our home.

Are you guys ready for a mind blowing apple dip? Make it this weekend and I promise you’ll have your family and guests singing your praises. Here’s a few other apple dip options.

PEANUT BUTTER APPLE DIP

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 8 oz cream cheese (pull from fridge 30 minutes or so before making so it’s warmed up a bit)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  1. In a medium bowl, combine ingredients and then use a hand or stand mixer to whip together.
  2. Serve with sliced apples! Cover leftovers and store in the fridge.

I read somewhere this week that the outdoors makes the best playroom and I couldn’t agree more.

Griffey sandwich :) So fun to have all three of them at the same school this year.

Hope you all had the best week. Cheers to a fun weekend!

xo, Rae

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

2

LITTLE BITES: UNICORN CRACKERS

If you have kids, chances are they’ve asked you for a snack all day everyday during the summer. It get’s a little tricky staying inspired while constantly feeding people for those couple months, but with school starting for my kids tomorrow, snack time is about to feel extra special. Having something fun to eat always seems to help get their attention while I ask a million questions about their day. ;)

A couple weeks ago I posted a quick snack tutorial on Instagram Stories (@raeannkelly) for making Unicorn Crackers and you guys loved the idea! Since stories are only available for 24 hours tho, I’ve been getting some DMs asking for the details again so thought I would share the how-to here. It also seems fitting with it being Back to School season — I mean, who doesn’t want to come home to Unicorn Crackers!?

UNICORN CRACKERS

You’ll Need:

Here’s How:

  1. Divide cream cheese into 4 bowls. Set 1 aside so you have white. Add food coloring to 3 other bowls according to package directions (I added 1/2 tsp of ours). Mix colors, but leave some streaks of darker and lighter shades.
  2. Using separate knives for each color, spread cream cheese onto crackers. Play around until you like how they look.
  3. Add sprinkles if you feel like it ;) + serve!

Don’t they look cute and delicious!? Be sure to share with friends and pin for safe keeping!

We’re headed to get haricuts this morning and then finish up some shopping for BTS. Can’t believe tomorrow is the big day and keep getting choked up over the smallest things. Gosh I’m going to miss my babies and probably even their request for a snack every 10 minutes, LOL.

I hope back to school season has been going smoothly for you guys!

xo, Rae

SaveSave

SaveSave

1

LITTLE BITES: CHUNKY MONKEY PROTEIN SHAKE

I think the anticipation of summer with kids is a lot like the beginning of pregnancy… you get so excited about all the fun parts that you forget about how much work it is! One of hardest parts about summer for me is actually keeping everyone fed. Especially on days we’re home. Because our schedule stays pretty loose, there is a ton of snacking going on between breakfast and dinner (lots of fruit, popcorn, edamame, hummus and guac happening) which makes it hard to tell who is eating what and if anyone is actually full.

Anytime I need a break from hearing the words, “I’m hungry” (which I hear more than, “I’m bored”), or from tidying up the kitchen that is honestly never clean during the summer, I have two options 1) I can make an actual lunch meal and make everyone sit together and eat or I can 2) make a protein shake I know they’ll love that also fills them up and that’s portable.

Most of the time it’s a no-brainer and I go for the shake. I’ll share our go-to combo below! Oh, and I got a lot of questions about what blender and protein (that isn’t chalky) we use in my last smoothie post so will add those links below too.

CHUNKY MONKEY PROTEIN SHAKE

serves 2 adults or 4 kids

  • 2 scoops of chocolate protein powder (if you have vanilla, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder)
  • 16 ounces milk of your choice (we usually use almond milk)
  • 1/2 banana (frozen or room temp)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of peanut butter
  • ice cubes to taste (we start with 10 cubes and then add as needed)
  • sprinkles and chocolate chips to garnish, optional

Place first 4 ingredients in blender and blend until combined, but not frothy. Add ice to taste and desired thickness and blend. Pour in cups and garnish with sprinkles and chocolate chips! Serve to your monkeys or enjoy yourself!

Favorite protein mix is THIS. It’s spendy, but if you break it down per serving and the fact that it’s almost a meal replacement for the little ones, it makes it feel more reasonable. The flavor pictured is extreme milk chocolate and it’s a hit in our home. As far as blenders go, we’ve used a ninja for years. It worked great at first but the blades dulled quickly and we’ve just been putting up with it. Johan’s been wanting to buy a vitamix and there is a great deal on one at Costco right now ($350!) but with all of our summer expenses (camps, swimming, Birthdays, etc.) I talked him into THIS kitchen aid blender and it works great so far!

Everyone’s reaction to the blender turning on, HA! Growing up my mom would always put her hand on the blender lid while it was on. If I remember correctly, the stopper part was loose and would fly off if she didn’t, but

Sprinkles makes everything more appetizing and fun to eat… not that these yummy shakes need any help. It’s really so good.

Happy Friday loves!

xo, Rae

8

WATERMELON PIZZA, LEMON SPRITZER + A MEAL PLAN

Happy Monday after Mother’s Day! I hope everyone was able to celebrate the beautiful women in their lives either in person, over FaceTime, or in memory and that all you mamas felt extra loved.  Johan was at the fire station all weekend so Sunday looked a little different for us this year, but the kids stepped up their game and made me feel like a million bucks with handmade gifts (aren’t fill-in the blank “all about my mom” worksheets not the best thing ever!?), maple bars for breakfast, and slightly better behavior than usual for at least the first part of the day :)

As a belated Mama’s Day gift, I’m sharing a simple meal plan (full of classic crowd-pleasers) and the recipes for watermelon pizza and a lemon and thyme spritzer for Friday night happy hours!

WATERMELON PIZZA – Slice watermelon into rounds, spread a layer of honey or vanilla yogurt (I like to use greek because it has a thicker texture) over the top, then let the kids ‘decorate’ with favorite berries and fruits. Garnish with mint for fun!

LEMON, THYME + TEQUILA SPRITZER, (makes 4 cocktails) – For the simple syrup, add zest from 1 lemon, 3 sprigs of thyme, 1-1/2 cups sugar, and 1-1/2 cups water to a saucepan. Stir often while bringing to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes, then strain into a pitcher or large jar. Stir in juice from 4 lemons, 1/2 cup silver tequila, 3 cups seltzer water (lemon le crouix is my fave!), and let chill in refrigerator. Pour over ice and garnish with sprigs of thyme and lemon.

Sip while snacking on watermelon pizza, chips and guacamole for a yummy happy hour that just might be filling enough (with the help of a few quesadillas) to bail on dinner plans!

 

Here’s what we’re eating this week:

MONDAY | bbq chicken cobb salad

TUESDAY | burrito bowls

WEDNESDAY | favorite spaghetti recipe + broccoli

THURSDAY | takeout, please.

FRIDAY | breakfast for dinner (french toast maybe!?)

SATURDAY | slow cooker french dip sandwiches, fries or chips, raw veggie plate

SUNDAY | eat-out or takeout.

BREAKKIE | egg tacos, smoothies, cereal, and lots of fruit!

LUNCH | leftovers, PB&J

SNACK | watermelon pizza, veggies + dip, no-bake energy bites or zbars

After last week (which was crazy with work, baseball, appointments, and family stuff), I’m ready for some downtime, routine, and a return to basics. Which is the inspiration for the meal plan… how about you guys? What’s on your classic dinner menu?

xo, Rae

4

LITTLE BITES: OUR 5 FAVORITE SMOOTHIE RECIPES

Smoothies might just be the best culinary creation ever to happen to motherhood. (Either that or baby food pouches, amiright?) The refreshing, slushy, delicious and lightly sweetened concoction is the best way I know to stuff my kids (even the pickiest one!) full of whole foods, healthy fats, protein, vitamins, and fiber. They also take away the mom-guilt that comes from letting them consume one too many donuts, cake pops, or french fries.

If only they had the same effect for me, LOL!

Even though smoothie season is a year round thing, our blender game is stronger in the spring and summer months. Lately we’ve been trying new combinations so I thought I would share some of our favorites along with a few pics from snack time last night at Ozzie’s baseball game!

When it comes to mixing up smoothies I do a lot of eyeing and tossing ingredients into the blender, but tried to break things down into measurements. You may need to adjust the amount of ice, liquids, and sweeteners (yogurt, honey, + banana) to desired taste and thickness.

Makes approx. 32 oz. which Serve 2-4 people

POPPY’S PINK BERRY SMOOTHIE – 1 cup Orange Juice, 1/2 cup frozen raspberries, 1/2 cup frozen strawberries (or sub for mixed berries), 1 or 1/2 of a banana, 1/4 cup of vanilla greek yogurt, 8 ice cubes

ESPEN + GRIFFIN’S PEANUT BUTTER + COCOA LOCO PROTEIN SHAKE – 2 cups almond (or other) milk, 2 scoops favorite chocolate protein powder (or vanilla protein powder and add tablespoon of cocoa powder), 2 tablespoons peanut butter, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional), 8 ice cubes

JOHAN’S GREEN GOD(ESS) SMOOTHIE – 1 cup coconut or almond milk, 1 cup kale or spinach, 1 cup frozen pineapple, 1 cup frozen mango, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, drizzle of honey to taste (optional), 1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)

RAE’S COCO-NUT – 2 cups almond milk, 1 to 2 tablespoons almond butter, 2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut, 2 scoops favorite vanilla protein powder, 2 tablespoons flaxseeds (optional), 1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional), 8 ice cubes

OZZIE + TILLY’S MANGO TANGO SMOOTHIE – 1 cup coconut (or other) milk, 1 cup frozen mango, 1 cup frozen pineapple, 1/2 banana, 1/2 cup vanilla greek yogurt, drizzle of honey to taste (optional)

*Often times we’ll make the fruitier drinks ‘dirty’ (especially in the morning) by throwing in a handful of spinach, rolled oats, and a couple tablespoons of flax or chia seeds… but the kids prefer them ‘clean’. :) 

(top-knot envy!)

    

If you watched any of my Instagram stories since last night, you may have caught Tilly’s (strong) reaction to my coconut shake… She’s not a fan and the video is pretty entertaining if you want to go check it out. Also, I promise the recipe tastes nothing like “rotten eggs”. Ha!

A few items we keep stocked to make smoothie mixing easy: lots of frozen fruit, almond and/or coconut milk, greek yogurt, bananas, orange juice, flax seed, chia seeds, Baobab superfruit powder (from costco), and these plastic cups with lids for when we are on the go!

What are your favorite smoothie combos and ingredients?!!!

xo, Rae

3

LITTLE BITES: COPYCAT STARBUCKS BISTRO BOXES

Baseball season is in full swing for my oldest two boys and husband (who coaches). I’ve always had mixed feeling about this time of year. Johan is already gone several nights a week so when you add practices and games into the mix it feels like we’re never all together. Throw in the unpredictable spring weather and all the dirt (oh the dirt!) and you get one hot mess of an evening routine. But there is always a bright side! 1. I love watching my athletes play ball and interact with their teammates while the other kids run around with their friends. There is something so sweet about the baseball vibe and I really enjoy being around it. And 2. all the picnic style dinners we get to eat. Keeping our dinner mess confined to a tote bag and blanket is a total win. It also helps with picky eaters — This is what we have so if you are hungry, this is what you can eat — nothing to negotiate with. At least until they find a nicer team mom who brought a container of goldfish… :) HA!

Anyways, some game nights we’ll pickup our favorite sandwiches at Jersey Mikes, other nights I’ll go the crockpot route and we’ll eat a little before and then after the game but more often than not I’ll pack something from home. Problem is, it’s not long before I run completely out of ideas and by that point, slightly out of steam too. So, I’ve been looking for inspiration anywhere I can find it. One of those places has been Starbucks and their cooler of yummy and mostly healthy on the go foods. I love all of their salads and warm sandwiches, but the kids usually pick their bistro boxes so I put together a few copycat versions for Ozzie’s game last night and they went over really well with the kids!

(favorite meal containers, condiment cups, silicone muffin cups, candy eyes or these)

one | sandwich wrap (store-bought or homemade) with carrots, grapes, hummus (for the sandwich or chips if I threw them in the bag), and ranch.

two | protein pack with hardboiled egg, brie cheese (or whatever we have), cinnamon raisin bread (by mike’s killer bread), almond butter, pretzels, apples, and grapes.

three | pb&j with apples, cucumber, carrots, ranch, and dark chocolate raisins.

Of course all of the fruits and veggies can be switched out with whatever we have in the fridge and I’m sure the kids will want to customize some parts, but it’s appetizing enough for the adults and a great base to start with!

What do you guys make for dinner on busy nights and where do you find inspiration!? 

Pinterest is always a good place to troll for ideas but asking friends (you included) what they have been feeding their fam bams is always helpful and inspiring!

Happy almost Friday!

xo, Rae

15

LITTLE BITES: TRAIL MIX + MATCH

Trail mix is full of healthy fats and good energy and is one of my go-to snacks for grabbing on the go or adding to school lunches. The only problem with store-bought versions is that certain little someones are always sneaking into the panty to pick out their favorite parts until there isn’t much mixed about it. Ha! Maybe you can relate? So lately we’ve been making individual, made to order batches so everyone can have a mix that is full of their favorites. The process is pretty painless and actually really fun… raid your pantry (and the store) for dried fruit, nuts, seeds, bite-sized sweets, and other snacks, set out in bowls and let everyone fill a container with their own combination.

Some ingredient ideas..

  • NUTS: raw almonds, peanuts, walnuts, macadamia, pistachios, cashews, and pine nuts
  • SEEDS: sunflower or pumpkin… sesame, flax and hemp seeds are also a good addition, but a little messy.
  • FRUITS: dried apricots, cranberries, bananas, mangos, goji, pineapple, blueberries, apples, coconut, and raisins
  • SWEETS: mini m&m’s, chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, carob chips, peanut butter chips, cacao nibs, mini marshmallows, yogurt covered raisins, and chocolate covered almonds
  • SNACKS: pretzels, popcorn, cheerios or other cereal, and granola

What’s your default grab-and-go snack?

xo, Rae

1