Mom Knows Best : 2018

Friday, February 23, 2018

FREE Clif Nut Butter Filled Single Bar


Get FREE Clif Nut Butter Filled Single Bar OR Luna Rica Single Bar Receive ONE (1) Clif Nut Butter Filled Single Bar OR Luna Rica Single Bar. Available in most stores.

Exp 03/11/2018



This Friday, February 23rd, 2018– ONLY, you can load a coupon to your Kroger (or Affiliate) Plus Card for FREE Clif Nut Butter Filled Single Bar OR Luna Rica Single Bar,
Although 02/23/2018is the only day that you can load the coupon, the coupon offer is redeemable through 03/11/2018

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Thursday, February 22, 2018

Elderberry Cold & Flu Fighting Gummies

    I love this easy delicious and fun way to get immune-boosting elderberry into kids!



 This cold season has been brutal. The news keeps talking about how many flu cases have been reported and it has been a high number. It also seems that a bad cold virus is going around too. My boys thankfully have not come down with the flu but they did battle that nasty cold that came with a lingering cough. When my boys are sick I like to give them homemade natural remedies to help them heal quickly. One of their favorite immune boosting remedy that my boys love is these delicious gummies that are made with elderberry syrup. These yummy gummies are loaded with immune boosting ingredients that have helped my boys get well faster. My boys only had a sore throat one day!

Elderberry: A Natural Remedy for Mild Colds and Flu?

 Elderberries naturally contain A, B, and C and stimulate the immune system. These dried berries are naturally high in immune-boosting compounds that are specifically shown to help beat the cold and flu more quickly.


My boys and I also enjoy these elderberry gummies when we are not sick as they also give us extra immune support.


Elderberry Cold & Flu Fighting Gummies
Ingredients
1 cup elderberry syrup (Check out my homemade recipe)
1/2 cup very hot water (almost boiling)
1/4 cup Gelatin powder (I use this one)
1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil for greasing pan
Glass pan

Instructions
Grease the glass pan with coconut oil to prevent sticking.
Place 1/4 cup of cooled elderberry syrup in a 2 cup measuring cup and add gelatin powder.
Quickly whisk together to temper the gelatin powder.
Add the ½ cup of hot (not boiling) water and stir quickly until smooth.
Add the rest of the elderberry syrup and stir or whisk until completely smooth.
Pour into the pan and put in the fridge for 2 hours or until completely firm.
Cut the gummies into small squares and store in airtight container with parchment paper between layers.
Take daily as needed to avoid flu or take every few hours to help beat the flu faster.
Will last up to a week in the fridge in an airtight container.


Homemade Elderberry Syrup In The Pressure Cooker

    This homemade elderberry syrup is great for cold & flu season!


 This has been a tough season for colds and flu. Thankfully my family has escaped the flu but we did suffer through a nasty cold virus. My youngest has had some sort of bug three times while the other boys only had one cold. Even this mom who never gets sick had a one day of feeling sick with a sore throat. I am glad that the boys recovered quickly from this bug. My sickness only lasted a day. I credit my family quickly getting well from the use of elderberry syrup, vitamin C, and my honey lemon ginger tea. I ingest all these natural remedies, several times a day, at the first sign of a cold and I always feel better the next day. My boys have not learned the signs of a cold coming on yet so there colds usually last a couple of days compared to my one day. I ran out of the elderberry sample that I received from a conference last year so I decided to make my own elderberry syrup. I was surprised at how easy it was to make and so much cheaper than store-bought.


Elderberry: A Natural Remedy for Mild Colds and Flu?
 Elderberries naturally contain A, B, and C and stimulate the immune system. These dried berries are naturally high in immune-boosting compounds that are specifically shown to help beat the cold and flu more quickly.


Elderberry Syrup: An Easy/Delicious Way to Get the Benefits Of Elderberry
  I like to use natural remedies for colds as traditional medicines only relieve the symptoms. A natural remedy like elderberry instead helps boost the immune system so your body can fight the germs. Elderberry syrup provides the concentrated immune-supporting benefits of black elderberries in a great-tasting way. My homemade recipe uses homemade elderberry concentrate with herbs like cinnamon and ginger, plus raw honey for not only taste but for an extra immune boost. I got my dried elderberries online but you can find them also at health food stores. Since you only need 2/3 of a cup to make a batch, the dried berries make several bottles of elderberry syrup.


Homemade Elderberry Syrup
Ingredients
2/3 cup dried black elderberries (about 3 ounces)
3 1/2 cups of water
2 Tablespoons fresh or dried ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder

3/4 cup raw honey

Put all ingredients, except honey in the pressure cooker pot, seal lid, and set manually for 9 minutes on high pressure. Vent pressure and mash the berries carefully using a spoon or other flat utensil. Pour through a strainer into a glass jar or bowl, discard the elderberries. I like to strain my syrup through a wire mesh strainer and I also press on the berries with a spoon to get all the liquid out. When the syrup has cooled stir in the honey. Store the syrup in the fridge.



You can also make the elderberry syrup on the stovetop if you don't have a pressure cooker.

 Pour water into medium saucepan and add elderberries, ginger, and cinnamon.(do not add honey!)
 Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce to a simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour until the liquid has reduced by almost half. At that point, remove from heat and let cool enough to be handled. Mash the berries carefully using a spoon or other flat utensil. Pour through a strainer into a glass jar or bowl.

Discard the elderberries and let the liquid cool to lukewarm. When it is no longer hot, add 1 cup of honey and stir well.

Elderberry syrup is also great for a daily immune booster!
The standard dose is ½ tsp to 1 tsp for kids and ½ Tbsp to 1 Tbsp for adults. If the flu does strike, take the normal dose every 2-3 hours instead of once a day until symptoms disappear. You can also make delicious gummies with the elderberry syrup.

Make sure to check out my recipe for these delicious Elderberry Cold & Flu Fighting Gummies!


http://www.momknowsbest.net/2018/02/elderberry-cold-flu-fighting-gummies.html

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Vegan Bacon

Craving bacon but don't eat meat?


  I have not consumed meat for a long time but once in a while, I get a craving for bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich. The combination of a toasted slice of bread with tomatoes and lettuce just calls my name. I have tried this sandwich without bacon and it is just not the same and I just will eat another type of sandwich rather than eat a dead pig. So when I discovered that people were making vegan bacon out of eggplant, I just had to try it. I do enjoy eggplant when it is marinated in soy sauce so being that vegan bacon is made with similar ingredients, I just had to make me some bacon. I found this recipe through many searches and omitted/changed ingredients. The one ingredient that I omitted was liquid smoke as that one just sounded weird to me and I did not want to spend a lot of money for a bottle of smoke. Now if you are a meat eater, this vegan bacon will not be the same as the real stuff but if you want to follow a meatless diet than this is a great substitute for when you are craving a BLT sandwich.


 I sliced the eggplant in different sizes to see which ones worked best. The thin slices made crispy bacon while the thicker ones made chewy bacon. I suggest trying out different sizes to see which texture you prefer.


Vegan Bacon
Makes 8-10 slices

Ingredients:

1 medium eggplant
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon maple syrup
¼ teaspoon cayenne powder
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 300°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking sheets.
Cut eggplant in quarters, lengthwise. Slice each quarter into long, thin strips.
In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, soy sauce, garlic powder, nutritional yeast, maple syrup, and cayenne powder.
Place eggplant slices the bowl of sauce and brush both sides with sauce. Season with pepper. If you don't have enough sauce, just make more.
Bake until eggplant is cooked through and beginning to get crisp, 45-50 minutes.


Monday, February 19, 2018

My Favorite Winter Olympic Inspired Products

                  "I received samples of  products to facilitate this post."

 My family has been enjoying the Winter Olympics this week!
                                       

     This week has been a cold and dreary week here. While I am happy that we received some much-needed rain, the dreary days are not fun. I don't know about you but it is hard to get work done on dreary days, I just want to stay in bed. I don't even feel like working out, so I force myself to the gym, thankfully my husband wants to go to the gym. So I meet him at the gym when he gets off work and this encourages him to workout. The kids are all healthy and that lingering cough that they all had is gone. I think we went through two whole bottles of honey while they were sick for their coughs and using it in my Cold & Flu Honey Lemon Ginger Tea. Since the busyness has slowed down, we have been watching the Winter Olympics. The opening ceremony is always my favorite part to watch while the boys love watching snowboarding and cross-country skiing.   


The Olympics Cross Country Skiing reminds us a lot of Rice’s Honey, the American raw, unprocessed natural honey since 1924. Every beehive, located on specific farms across the U.S., is lovingly cared for and results in the most glorious American honey. And, the difference between the specific locations of this honey can actually be tasted – since every honey bee pollinates their crops in a different location, and in doing so, creates unique floral notes! When you purchase a bottle of Rice’s Honey, you can choose which location to purchase and for the first time, every bottle purchased gives back to PACE, a non-profit organization that helps protect all pollinators. Rice’s Honey has a mission to help promote pollination and sustainable bee farms across the country.  The Rice’s Honey partnership with PACE, the Butterfly Pavilion’s global initiative to increase awareness of pollinators through public engagement, education and restoration/conservation programs will help inform consumers about the importance of pollination. One of every three bites of food eaten worldwide depends on pollinators.  Without them, there would be no fruits, nuts, vegetables, oils or most flowers and they contribute more than $24 billion to the United States economy.

 My younger boys have been loving chocolate muffins for their after-school snack and the teen has discovered that he likes gourmet cheese. So my cheese stash has been raided by him. This mom is happy that her boys are eating healthy foods. I really like that the teen is focusing on good nutrition for sports performance. The other day he was asking for a plain protein powder to add to his oatmeal. I think that child number 4, the short picky eater, must be having a growth spurt as he ate four slices of pizza and his legs have been hurting.


What better way to enjoy the thrills of the Winter Olympics Ice Hockey than with some delicious, gluten-free veggies-first Garden Lites chocolate muffins? Found in the freezer aisle in your local grocery or club store, Garden Lites will wow you with their decadently rich taste matched with wholesome nutritional assets! With every bite filled with nutritious vegetables – though you’ll never know it – this is one guilt-free yummy snack you can enjoy all day, every day! Garden Lites Chocolate Muffin’s first two ingredients are zucchini and carrots and are 33% veggies.


Norseland Celebrates the Winter Olympics with the perfect wholesome, natural snacks to keep you satisfied while you watch the competition this year. The entire line of cheese snacks are delicious, a source of protein and always portable, so you too can be part of the winning team! Just like the athletes who participate in Nordic Combined, where athletes compete in cross-country skiing and ski jumping, Norseland will make you want to put a medal on it – with their array of cheese snacks that are Norway inspired delights!

    I discovered this delicious pasta that cooks in two minutes in the microwave so they are great for a quick lunch. I just add sauteed veggies and jar pasta sauce to the pasta for a delicious meal. Now I have no excuse for not eating lunch on busy days.


Skinny Pasta is poised to win this year’s Olympics “Freestyle”, with their WW endorsed pasta! Just like the Winter Olympics “Freestyle” skiing competition, which combines speed, showmanship and the ability to perform aerial maneuvers while skiing, Skinny Pasta can juggle all of your wellness needs including being gluten-free, all natural, free of sugar, wheat, lactose, soy, salt, cholesterol, fat, and preservatives; Skinny Pasta® is also low in calories, with only nine calories per serving. Its main ingredient, the Konjac plant, is native to Southeast Asia and contains Glucomannan, a dietary fiber.  Now, with new WW Freestyle program, Skinny Pasta will earn a gold medal in your kitchen!



Friday, February 16, 2018

What To Wear To A Blogger Conference

 I received a pair of Slimsation pants to facilitate this post.

WHAT SHOULD YOU WEAR TO A BLOGGING CONFERENCE?

               

  Packing for a blogging conference can be stressful for some. You want to make a great first impression with the brands that you meet. You also want to look good for meeting other bloggers. So what do you wear to a blogging conference? This is always a hot topic on the conference discussion boards. A lot of people say dress in clothes that are your style. Well for most of us bloggers we live in our yoga clothes or PJs as we work from home. So that does not work for me as most days you will find me in my comfy bathrobe. So when I attend conferences, I like to dress up and I get excited about choosing my clothes. When I say dress up, that means business casual clothes that make you look good but are also comfortable. Got to remember that you will be on your feet all day, so dress comfortably.  Skip the tight clothes and instead wear comfortable pants with cute tops! Make sure you also wear comfortable shoes!


Bring pants that be worn twice
 When I attend conferences, I light to pack light as I want room for my swag! So I bring pants that can be worn more than once and easily match all the tops that I bring. Tops take up less space than pants do. I like wearing my skinny jeans with cute tops! My new Slimsation ankle pants look so awesome but are so comfortable. The best part is you don't have to be skinny to wear them! These are pants that are made for us moms! They have a flexible tummy control panel that hides my tummy bulge that I earned from having five kids. When I wear these fabulous and comfortable pants I look ten pounds lighter! These pants come in so many different styles, patterns, and colors! The pair that I like to bring to my conferences is reversible so I get two different looks from them. One side is a cute animal print and the other is a solid color.

                   
Dress in Layers
 Since most conferences are inside, I like to wear an outfit that has a cute jacket that I can remove if I get warm. The jacket is also good for those cold air-conditioned conference rooms. Layers are also great if the conference is in February like Shiftcon is this year, and it is in a warmer place like Califonia. The days might be warm and the nights will be cold.


Bring comfortable shoes
 You will be walking a lot at conferences so comfy shoes are a must. I like to bring comfortable boots in the winter and sandals in the summer. These cute Oofos were recommended to me by another blogger several years ago and they are ultra comfortable! Fashional ankle boots are also great as they are easy to take off for airport screening.


Bring a dress or two
There are always parties at blogging conferences so make sure to bring a cute dress. This is a time to dress up and have fun as the kids will not be there. This is my me time!


Bring jewelry
 Wearing jewelry with your outfits always makes them look great. I always bring several necklaces and bracelets. My favorite piece of jewelry is my aroma bracelet! This cute piece not only looks great but it allows me to travel with my essential oils. The cute beads on it absorb my favorite essential oil so I can smell it when I need a recharge of energy or a stress reliever.


Bring a swimsuit
If your hotel has a pool, bring a swimsuit. I like to unwind in the hot tub after a long day at the conference. Again, I am without kids for the weekend so I get to relax!

Bring a tote purse or a cute backpack
You will need to carry items and stash some swag so a cute large tote purse is great. I sometimes bring my backpack with me, especially if the conference is not in the hotel that I am staying at. That way I can bring my smaller laptop with me to take notes on. This bag is also great for holding a bottle of water, snacks, phone, and your business cards along with other items you might need. Make sure the bag is comfortable to carry, over the shoulder is best. Leave the small purse at home or the hotel as you might set it down somewhere and misplace it.

                                           This is my conference backpack!

 I just recently attended Shiftcon in California and I was rocking those cute animal print ankle pants that I received from Slimsation. They looked so cute with the new boots that I just had to have for this conference. I love using a conference as an excuse for new clothes! I am glad my husband agrees with me. These pants were so comfortable and they did a great job of hiding my tummy. They felt like leggings but looked like a cute pair of jeans. I think I need a couple more pairs! The hard part is deciding which cute print.


                             

                                               https://slimsation.com/collections/ankle




                            I love how these pants hide my tummy bulge! No spare tire for me!



 While I was in California, I also went to the beach and I wore my cute Slimsation pants. I loved how easy they were to roll up so I could dip my feet into the ocean.


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This Friday, February 16th, 2018– ONLY, you can load a coupon to your Kroger (or Affiliate) Plus Card for Free Hershey Gold Peanut & Pretzel Standard Bar,
Although 02/16/2018bis the only day that you can load the coupon, the coupon offer is redeemable through 03/04/2018



Thursday, February 15, 2018

Coconut Protein Chocolate Chip Cookies

I received several products from Carrington, T-fal, and Krups to facilitate this post.

My whole family enjoyed these delicious chocolate chip cookies.


  I found this recipe on the Carrington Farms website and I love all the healthy ingredients in it. The added protein powder from the coconut protein blend is a plus. These cookies have a wonderfully soft texture and plenty of flavor. The use of wheat flour adds some nutrition and the milled flax is loaded with omegas. I accidentally used kosher salt instead of regular salt and this made the cookies taste like salted chocolate. I think from now on I will use kosher salt in my chocolate recipes as I love salted chocolate.

              I received several products from Carrington, T-fal, and Krups to facilitate this post.

This recipe gave me a chance to try out the new mixer that I just got! This KRUPS' 10 Speed Hand Mixer helped me mix up my ingredients so quickly.  I just love that all the attachments store in a container that attaches to the mixer! No more having to find the beaters when I want to use my mixer!


Love baking on this T-fal AirBake Cookie Sheet! I get better browning, decreased bake times, and practically NO BURNING.



Coconut Protein Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recipe Credit: Carrington Farms

INGREDIENTS
  • ½ cup Cane Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoon Water
  • 2 teaspoons Molasses
  • 1¼ cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • ¾ teaspoon Baking Soda
  • ¼ teaspoon Salt
  • ½ cup Chocolate Chips

DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 370 degrees.
  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together ghee and sugar until creamy, about 2 minutes.
  1. In a small bowl, mix together ground flax seeds and water. Let sit for 1-2 minutes. Add to butter-sugar mixture and mix. Add molasses and stir.
  1. Stir in protein powder, whole wheat pastry flour, baking soda, salt. Mix until just combined, avoid overmixing. Stir in chocolate chips.
  1. Using parchment paper or Silpat silicone baking sheets, cover the baking sheet. Divide dough into balls. Press down on dough to flatten. Make sure that each cookie has enough room to spread.
  1. Bake at 9-11 minutes or until golden brown on edges but still soft.
  1. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before eating.                                         





Creative K Kids

Quinoa & Bean Veggie Burger

        I received several products from Carrington, T-fal, and Spice Islands to facilitate this post.

These veggie burgers have awesome flavor!



 One of my favorite meals is a veggie burger. I like my veggie burger to have great texture and it has to have flavor. One thing that I don't care for in a veggie burger is one that resembles/tastes like ground beef. It just has to have a great mouth appeal and texture. This recipe has not only a great texture but it also has great flavor from the spices and nutritional yeast. This veggie burger is awesome on a toasted bun with your favorite toppings. This veggie burger is a great meatless option that is also vegan.

             

Love baking on this T-fal AirBake Cookie Sheet! I get better browning, decreased bake times, and practically NO BURNING.


                                             I love that these ingredients add extra nutrition!


                       
                                    The spices add great flavor to these veggie burgers!



                        I added tomato, cheese, avocado, and lettuce to my veggie burger.


Quinoa & Bean Veggie Burger

Ingredients (makes 4 patties)

1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup water
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3 teaspoons thyme
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 can white beans, 15-ounce, drained and rinsed
1 small onion, diced
1/3 cup Coconut Protein Blend
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons soy sauce
 1 flax egg (1 Tbs flaxseed meal + 3 Tbs water)
2-3 tablespoons water if needed
 salt & cracked pepper, to taste
Ghee or coconut oil for frying

Make your flaxseed egg by combining the flaxseed meal and water in a small bowl, set aside.

In a medium pot, bring water, quinoa, garlic powder, thyme, and rosemary to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Once done, remove the cover and let it rest for 10 minutes.

While quinoa is cooking, saute the diced onion in a frypan until lightly brown.

Mash the white beans in a large bowl. Then add the cooked quinoa and sauteed onion, mix well. Add the Coconut Protein, nutritional yeast, soy sauce, and the flax egg along with salt and pepper to your taste, mix well. If the mixture seems too dry, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time. The mixture should be moist like clay.

Divide the mixture to form four patties. Form the patties by taking each section and packing it tightly into a ball. Then flatten with your hands to make the patties.

Cook one of two ways:

1. In the oven at 375 degrees on a greased or parchment lined cookie sheet for 30 minutes, turning once after 15 minutes.

OR

2. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon Ghee or coconut oil over medium to medium-high heat. Cook patties about 4 – 5 minutes on each side.

Enjoy the veggie burgers on a toasted bun with your favorite fixings.


Make sure to check out this recipe for Coconut Protein Chocolate Chip Cookies that I discovered on the Carrington Farms website. Click on the below link for the recipe.


http://www.momknowsbest.net/2018/02/coconut-protein-chocolate-chip-cookies.html


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Chocolate Mint Mousse Brownies


These brownies are so rich and creamy but so easy to make!


This is what I made my sweetheart for Valentine's Day. This is so easy to make and you probably have most of the ingredients in your pantry. The main ingredients are a brownie mix, chocolate chips, and frosting. I love that you can make a different taste by using different flavors of chocolate chips and frosting.


                     Chocolate Mint Mousse Brownies

Ingredients

1 box (1 lb 2.4 oz)  brownie mix
Water, vegetable oil, and egg called for on brownie mix box

1 cup Nestle dark chocolate and mint chips

3/4 cup whipping cream

1 cup chocolate frosting (from 16 oz container)

1 1/2 teaspoons whipping cream

2 tablespoons mint chocolate chips for the drizzle on top

Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Grease bottom only of 8-inch or 9-inch square pan with cooking spray or shortening. (For easier cutting, line pan with foil, then grease foil on bottom only of pan). Make brownies as directed on box. Cool completely, about 1 1/2 hours.

 In a medium microwavable bowl, place chocolate chips and 3/4 cup whipping cream Microwave uncovered on High 2 to 3 minutes, stirring once every minute, until chocolate is melted. Stir until mixture is smooth. Refrigerate about 30 minutes or until slightly thickened.

Add frosting to chocolate mixture. Beat with electric mixer on high speed 1 to 2 minutes or until well blended and fluffy. Spread over cooled brownies, smoothing top.

In a small microwavable bowl, microwave the 2 tablespoons chocolate chips and 1 1/2 teaspoons whipping cream uncovered on High 30 to 45 seconds, stirring once, until mixture can be stirred smooth. Stir in a few additional drops of whipping cream to thin chocolate, if necessary. Drizzle over frosting mixture. Refrigerate 1 to 2 hours or until set.
Cut into 9 squares; cut each square diagonally in half to make triangles

The original recipe was for Raspberry Mousse Brownies that I found at Bettycrocker.com but I made a few changes as I had mint chocolate chips. To make a different flavor you can use different flavor chocolate chips. Use cream cheese frosting with white chocolate chips for a white chocolate mousse or how about milk chocolate chips and milk chocolate frosting.



Mom knows best