>U Mom Knows Best: 2020

Thursday, May 28, 2020

60 Minute Homemade White Bread

Love baking bread but short on time?


This page may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

 There is something special about fresh-baked homemade bread. From the kneading of the bread dough to the smell of the bread rising. Then the magic of seeing the bread dough double in size. Maybe its the aroma of the loaf of bread baking in the oven or the anticipation for a slice of warm bread fresh from the oven. The best part of DIY baking bread at home is eating the chewy slice of tender bread that is slathered with butter. Making homemade bread is something that most people have come to enjoy over the past couple of months as they have been sheltering in place at home while the world was trying to flatten the curve of a respiratory lung virus.


Homemade bread is comfort food 



 For most people, a loaf of homemade bread is comfort food. The C virus made us feel unsafe and comfort food was a good thing. Maybe it was the act of providing for your family or that the stores were out of bread. Whatever the reason that you discovered the joy of baking bread, it is probably an activity that most will have to give up as they head back to work as baking homemade bread is time-consuming. From start to finish, baking bread can take 3 hours or more. Even if you have a bread machine, baking bread still takes time. The bread machine can help eliminate the process of kneading the dough and you can bake the bread in the bread machine. My favorite way to use my bread machine is to make homemade pizza dough or pretzel bread.

11 Homemade Bread Recipes You Need To Bake 

60 minutes from start to end for homemade bread


 Sure you could buy freshly baked bread at the store but it is not the same as a hot loaf of homemade bread baking in the oven. Bread from the store does not have that bread aroma that smells so good. So if you still want homemade bread, this 60 Minute Homemade White Bread recipe is perfect for busy days or for a weekend when you have an hour of time to bake. Baking bread is a perfect way to unwind from a busy day at work. If you have kids baking bread is a great family quality time activity. Did you know that baking is also a great way to teach kids math and science? So you can call baking bread with kids a homeschool lesson. For a super easy homeschool baking activity, check out my recipe for homemade croutons in a bag.


Ingredients for better bread baking


 If you want to bake the best bread, then these bread baking tips will help you bake delicious bread. The most important ingredient for baking bread is the flour. Using all-purpose flour is ok for baking bread but if you want a chewier texture and better rise, then I recommend bread flour. Bread flour has more protein and more protein produces more gluten. Gluten is the ingredient that gives the bread dough its stretch and elasticity which gives your baked bread recipe its chewy texture. White flour is always preferred over wheat flour as baking bread with wheat flour can lead to bread that does not rise that well. If you need tips to help your bread rise check out these six ingredients to help your bread rise higher. These ingredients are useful when baking with whole wheat flour.

 The next ingredient that is important for baking a perfect loaf of bread is yeast. There are many types of yeast for bread baking. The types of yeast that I prefer for baking are active dry yeast and instant yeast. Both of these types of yeast can be purchased in single packs and in multi-use packages. The major difference between instant yeast and active dry yeast is that instant yeast does not need to be proofed in water. So when making 60-minute homemade bread, you will get the best results with instant yeast. If you do not have any yeast in the house and still want to bake bread, check out how to bake bread without yeast. My favorite bread to bake without yeast is a Quick Caramelized Onion Bread that is so delicious.

How to tell if my yeast is fresh

 Since yeast is such an important ingredient, you want to make sure it's fresh and active. To test if your yeast is active, dissolve 1/2 teaspoon sugar in 1/2 cup warm water-110F. Then add 2 teaspoons of yeast. Let this sit for ten minutes. After 10 minutes, the yeast has should start to bubble and expand. After another 10 minutes, it should be frothy. If your water has no bubbles it is time to replace your yeast. To keep yeast fresh, store it in the fridge. For long term storage, yeast can be stored in the freezer for up to a year.

The best pan for baking bread


 There are several ways that you can bake your bread dough. If you prefer your bread to be in a loaf shape, then I recommend using a bread pan. To get the best texture and rise, I like using Aluminized Steel Loaf Pans. These bread pans are also better quality so they will last a long time. If you want to make your loaf of bread in different shapes like artisan bread that is round or oval, then simply shape the bread dough and bake it on a baking sheet or a pizza stone. I have several pizza stones so I can bake two homemade pizzas at the same time. I like baking bread on pizza stones as it gives the bread a nice appearance and a crisper crust.


60-minute bread baking tips

 This quicker method of baking bread is different than baking regular bread. The bread dough will be sticky and you might feel tempted to add more flour but don't as that will affect the texture of the bread. If you have a stand mixer, then use that to mix up the bread dough. If you don't have a stand mixer than a large bowl and spoon will be just fine to use.

This quick homemade white bread recipe also has a different way to knead the dough. Instead of kneading the bread dough on a floured surface, your surface will be sprayed with cooking spray. Then the dough will only need a couple turns to be kneaded.

 To make you baked bread look fancy, you can take a sharp knife and spray it with cooking spray. Then make 1/4 inch slashes on the top of the bread before baking.

Looking for a fun baking project to do with the kids? Check out this Frog Bread recipe!


Check out these useful items for bread baking



60 Minute Homemade White Bread

60 Minute Homemade White Bread

Yield: 1 loaf
Author:
Chewy homemade bread that takes only one hour to make from start to finish

Ingredients:

  • 2 3/4 cups bread flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package (2 1/2 teaspoons) instant dry yeast
  • 1 cups very warm water (about 110°)
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl or stand mixer, mix all dry ingredients. Then add oil and water. Mix for one minute. The dough should be very sticky. If it is too dry add more water
  2. Mix the dough for an additional 5 minutes, do not add more flour.
  3. Spray a clean surface like a cutting board, baking sheet, or silicone mat with cooking spray. Place the dough on the surface and knead until smooth. This only takes a couple turns of the dough.
  4. If baking bread in a bread pan, lightly grease the bread pan and shape the dough into the pan.
  5. If baking on a cookie sheet, lightly grease the baking pan. Then form the bread dough into the desired shape and place it on baking sheet. You can also use a pizza stone.
  6. Cover the bread with a clean towel or plastic wrap and let it rise for 25 minutes in a warm place.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 F.  When the dough is done rising bake take off the towel or plastic wrap and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. 

Notes:

This recipe can be doubled to make two loaves of bread, just divide the dough in half. If baking the bread on a baking sheet, you can make the bread look fancy by using a sharp knife to make 3 slashes down the middle right before baking. Make each cut about 1/4 deep
Created using The Recipes Generator

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

How To Make Whole Wheat Frog Bread

The kids decide to bake bread in the shape of a frog

This page may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases 

 Now that school is out for the summer and the kids are stuck at home all-day, this mom has to be creative with keeping them busy. So I decided to let the boys do some bread baking. Baking bread teaches science, math, and art so they are being homeschooled. That is a win-win during this time of sheltering in place during the C lung virus pandemic. I get delicious bread and the boys have a fun school lesson!


Frog bread it is



Since the boys have been spending extra time online during the Covid crisis, they discovered frog bread. I have no clue how they stumbled upon a bread that is shaped like a frog. I am sure my boys were not on Pinterest looking for bread recipes or Googling bread recipes looking for a pretzel bread recipe. Maybe I should have asked them how they saw a loaf of bread that is formed into the shape of a frog. However, they found the frog bread recipe does not matter, the boys just asked me if they could make frog bread. So I decided that this froggy bread would be great to write about on my website so you too can make bread that looks like a frog with your kids.

Short on time but love freshly baked bread? Check out this recipe for 60-minute homemade bread!

Making them learn

 I am all about self-learning or independent learning while the boys are home. So I printed my honey whole wheat bread recipe and handed it to my younger son. I was not going to have him search for a bread recipe when I know that my bread recipe is the best. The kitchen was opened for my boys to have fun baking. I gave my son some bread baking tips and gave both boys permission to look up how to make a frog bread but then I stayed out of the kitchen. I like that my boys are old enough to bake without my help and they are excited to learn new recipes beyond baking cookies. My youngest son loves to bake cookies and his favorite cookie to bake is one bowl vegan peanut butter cookies. The next oldest son doesn't like cooking but he loves art projects. So shaping bread dough into a frog was the perfect art project for my son.


Learning about kneading dough



 My younger son used the KitchenAid mixer to make the bread dough. This stand mixer was the best small appliance purchase ever! The stand mixer makes it easier for my son to bake and he makes less mess in the kitchen. The Kitchenaid stand mixer is great for mixing bread dough and more. I love my stand mixer for creaming the butter for homemade cookies as it saves me time. Once the dough was mixed, I did show my son how to knead bread dough so the dough would be the perfect texture. I used this time to teach my son about wheat gluten and how kneading bread dough improves the elasticity and texture of the dough. Gluten is the reason gluten-free bread is not soft and chewy. To get more tips for bread baking check out this bread baking post that includes 11 amazing bread recipes.

 

Shaping the bread into a frog and turtle



 My boys decided to also make a turtle-shaped bread in addition to the frog-shaped bread. So make sure to double the bread dough recipe so each kid gets their own piece of bread dough to shape into a frog or other animal. The below recipe has instructions on how to shape the bread dough so it looks like a frog. The bread dough is like play dough so have fun rolling the dough and shaping it. If you want to have more fun with bread dough you need to make Focaccia Bread Flowers.





How to Make Focaccia Bread Flowers


The smell of bread baking is the best

 I was working upstairs while the boys were being creative in the kitchen but once I started smelling bread baking in the oven, I knew that the bread was done. So I headed downstairs to take the bread out of the oven for photos. My boys were surprised that I knew the bread had finished baking. I have a good sense of smell and I can tell when bread and cookies are done. The smell of bread baking in the oven is the best smell, especially on a cold winter day. Winter is the best time to bake bread as it warms up the house. I was thankful that it was not a hot day as using the oven in the summer can make your house seem miserable.  So in the summer, I make homemade bagels in the air fryer.



11 Homemade Bread Recipes You Need To Bake


The best part of baking bread

 The best part of baking bread is eating a warm slice of bread fresh from the oven. It was fun to dissect a frog, more science learning for a homeschool win. I ate a frog leg piece of bread and it was so delicious. It was the best frog leg that I have ever tasted. The boys were so proud that they learned how to bake bread and asked if they can bake something else. I can't wait to see what other unique recipes that the boys discover when they have their daily computer time. Maybe I should teach the boys about searching for recipes on Pinterest and how to Pin recipes on Pinterest. That way they can help me with my Pinterest page. Make sure to check my MomKnowsBest's Pinterest page and follow me so you can discover more amazing recipes. I need 300 more Pinterest followers to be able to attend a conference next year and would really appreciate the follow.

Make sure to Pin this recipe on Pinterest so you can bake a frog


Whole Wheat Frog Bread

Whole Wheat Frog Bread

Yield: 1 frog shaped loaf
Author:
A creative way to shape a loaf of bread

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 raisins or dried cranberries for eyes
  • 1 egg, whisked together for brushing on the dough

Instructions:

  1. Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl, or in the bowl of a stand mixer.
  2. Knead the dough until it's smooth and just slightly tacky, about 8 to 10 minutes. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a clean towel or plastic wrap, and let it rise until doubled in volume in a warm spot, about 1 hour.
  3. Once your bread is done rising, gently deflate the dough. Then lightly grease a baking sheet with cooking spray or oil.
  4. Cut the dough into three even pieces.
  5. Take 2 of the pieces of the dough and form into an oval shape-this is the frog's body. Place this on the baking sheet.
  6. Cut the remaining dough into 8 pieces with two of the pieces being slightly bigger for the frogs hind legs. Take the two larger pieces and shape those into a sausage shape. Then place those near the back of the frog's body.
  7. To form the frog's eyes, take two dough pieces, and form them into two balls. Place the eyes on the front of the body. Then place a raisin or dried cranberry in the middle of each eye.
  8. Then take 2 more pieces of the bread dough and form those into feet for the hind legs and place them in the front of the hind legs.
  9. With the remaining 2 dough pieces form them into a sausage shape and cut three toes on the front of those. Tuck those two pieces under the front of the frog.
  10. Lightly cover the dough with plastic wrap and place it in a warm place for an hour to rise. When the dough has risen, take a pastry brush and brush the egg all over the top of the frog before baking.
  11. Bake the bread in a preheated 350°F oven for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.  Remove the bread from the oven and let it cool before slicing.

Notes:

You can shape this bread in other fun animal shapes like a turtle. Just play around with the dough and form it
Created using The Recipes Generator

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

The Revolutionary Rule-Breaking Diet That Lets You Eat After 7PM~Post 1

Tracking Pixel              Follow me as I follow a rule-breaking diet

This post is brought to you by our sponsor, “Always Eat After 7 PM”. The opinions expressed below are my own. This is my first post with 3 follow-up posts to come later.


  Last year I decided to challenge myself and I recommitted myself with my fitness routine to gain some strength in my body. It was a fitness conference that made me realize that my muscles in my arms and core were weak. It was also a body assessment test, that I had at the conference, which made me aware that my visceral fat level was not healthy.  So I decided last July to start incorporating weights into my fitness routine as I wanted to develop stronger muscles. I realized that I needed better muscle strength to keep my body strong as I aged. I was not going to let my age be an excuse for a weak body. So this 54-year-old lady got serious in the gym with the weights. After 6 months, I was amazed at the muscle strength that I had and I was more amazed at the changes I saw in my stomach muscles. You can see my before and after stomach photos Here. I was finally starting to lose some of that stubborn weight in my belly, from giving birth to five kids but it was not that much. I was seeing some changes in my "muffin top" and that was a good thing but I want to lose all the fat that could be putting me at risk for heart problems.



Visceral fat is the type that collects around our organs and raises the risk of hypertension, heart disease, and diabetes. Subcutaneous fat is just under the skin and is responsible for “spare tires” and “muffin tops.”

Now, don't get me wrong but I am proud of this body that grew babies but my middle section was putting me at risk for heart disease. I simply had too much visceral fat in my stomach and along with a family history of high cholesterol, I had to do something so I could avoid a heart attack. While my fitness routine was helping me lose some inches in my gut, I decided to step up my nutritional plan so I could gain control and lose the "spare tire" fat in my stomach so I would not be at risk for heart problems. I decided to follow a food plan that lets me enjoy food as I like eating. I do not like diets that have food restrictions, calorie counting, or ones that tell me what time I can eat. So I decided to follow a meal plan that allowed me to eat after 7PM and enjoy huge dinners, desserts, and snacks. I have been wanting to get serious about shedding that fat in my belly, so I jumped at the chance to receive an advance copy of Always Eat After 7 PM” by Joel Marion. Over the next month, I’ll be sharing my experience of the book and diet (and hopefully some awesome benefits!)

Conventional diet wisdom tells us we should avoid carbs, and have an early dinner, and never eat before bed. But the fact is, the latest scientific research just doesn’t bear this out.

After reading Jole Marion's book Always Eat After 7 PM, I felt confident that I could follow this three-phrase plan. This diet did not feel like a diet to me. The food plan had a very similar style to my current food plan as the book suggested types of foods that I already enjoy. The meal recipes were ones that I would enjoy like ORANGE SHRIMP AND NOODLES EN PAPILLOTE. I was actually excited to make the meal recipes. The book even had dessert recipes that were similar to some of the recipes I already make, like my recipe for Chocolate Dipped Salted Almond Butter Cookies. I did like the healthier ingredients in Joel's SALTED DARK CHOCOLATE–DIPPED PB COOKIES recipe and I will be making these cookies. I loved that I did not have to restrict my carbs or eliminate dessert. I could even have a bedtime snack on this diet. 

While Burning Fat Overnight, fitness expert, nutritionist, and bestselling author Joel Marion debunks the myths underlying traditional dieting and offers a simple, highly effective weight loss program.

   This program does not feel like a diet to me and that makes me happy. I am not a fan of diets as I am never able to stick with them for more than a day. Like most people, I enjoy food and willpower is not one of my strengths when it comes to food. I am glad that the Always Eat After 7PM program makes dieting easy and eliminates 90% of my excuses. I think the toughest part of this plan may be the 14-day Acceleration Phase that is the start of the program but I will try hard to stick with the program so I can see the rapid results. 



The Always Eat After 7 PM plan consists of three phases:
 1. The 14-day Acceleration Phase to kick-start the program and see rapid results
 2. The Main Phase where you’ll learn exactly which foods to eat when in order to achieve your 
 3. The Lifestyle Phase to keep the weight off for good

 Over the next month, I’ll be sharing my experience of the book and diet (and hopefully some awesome benefits!) In the meantime, check out this video on Joel’s top tips for success.

 Always Eat After 7 PM: The Revolutionary Rule-Breaking Diet That Lets You Enjoy Huge Dinners, Desserts, and Indulgent Snacks—While Burning Fat Overnight by Joel Marion is now available to purchase so you too can follow the program with me. 

This post is brought to you by our sponsor, “Always Eat After 7 PM”. The opinions expressed below are my own.


Friday, May 15, 2020

Healthy Products That I Discovered While Sheltering In Place


It has been about ten weeks since I have been stuck at home, sheltering in place. At first, it was my own choice to quarantine myself at home. I have only left the home to go running, pick up meals at the kid's school, and the one time I picked up groceries at grocery drive-up. It is weird to think that I have not stepped foot inside any stores or other places besides my own home. I am avoiding places not only because of the C-Virus lung outbreak but mostly of my asthma. It is not the respiratory lung thing that I am concerned about affecting my asthma but it is all the massive amounts of hand sanitizer and cleaning products that the stores are using.


 Hand sanitizer, disinfectants, and chemical cleaning products trigger my asthma and make it hard for me to breathe. I remember the last time I stepped foot into a store 10 weeks ago and how I had a coughing fit. It took 3 days for my body to clear the mucus from my lungs. In the past, I have avoided the cleaning aisles in stores as the chemical products cause me to have an asthmatic coughing fit. I even have problems at hospitals. I remember 2 years ago when my daughter had a baby and I stayed the night in her hospital room. I was coughing all night. This was about the time that I discovered my dairy allergy through a blood test.

Hand sanitizer, disinfectants, and chemical cleaning products trigger my asthma and make it hard for me to breathe.

 I am missing grocery shopping as I love browsing the aisles for new food. I am looking forward to the time that I can step inside a store again so I can discover new products. I know that it might be a while until I can go inside a grocery store and when I do I will be wearing a face mask and gloves. The face mask will help me not breathe the cleaning chemicals in and the gloves will prevent my eczema from flaring up as the sanitizers make my hands itch and break out. One would never guess that I have asthma as I can run fast but I have learned how to exercise with asthma. I have also learned how to manage asthma naturally without prescription medications.


Discovering new healthy products at home 

 For now, I am discovering new healthy products at home. I am so thankful for online shopping. I am glad that I can order what I need from the safety of my own home. Last month some of the unique items that I ordered online were hearts of palm for my vegan crab cakes and dried chickpeas for my vegan tuna salad. I also ordered cherry blossom castile soap and jackfruit for my plant-based pulled "pork" recipe. I also discovered an amazing gluten-free bread and pizza crust as well as some other healthy products that companies sent me.


Grain-Free bread products

I am always looking for healthier options for my favorite foods. I love pizza and bread so I was excited to try this grain-free pizza crust and plant-based buns. Unbun is made with simple alternative ingredients that are low-carb and gluten-free. I was surprised at how chewy the plant-based buns were and they were perfect for my veggie burgers that are made with beans and rice. If the package did not say grain-free, I would have never guessed that they were low carb as they had the texture and taste like traditional bread.  These plant-based buns tasted great with butter and they are perfect for paleo diets.


 The Unbun pizza crust was also delicious. It had a great texture and did not fall apart like other grain-free crusts that I have tried. I enjoyed my keto-friendly pizza crust with tomatoes as I had an abundance of tomatoes that I was oven roasting. If your garden produces a lot of tomatoes this year, you need to make oven-roasted sun-dried tomatoes.


       I got all my tomatoes from my church as they were left-over from their drive-up food pantry. So if my tomato plants don't do well this year, it is ok as I have plenty of sun-dried tomatoes in my freezer. I am surprised that my indoor tomato plant from Back To The Roots is doing quite well after 2 months from seed. My tomato plant even has some tiny green tomatoes. I am hoping that my outdoor tomato plants do as well.


BioTactical Drinks


    I discovered some drinks that are made with lots of superfoods and can enhance the body.  YUNO’s line of “BioTactical Drinks” are designed to mix and match to promote increased energy, focus, memory retention, relaxation, or even a better night’s sleep. These drink shots are made from all-natural superfood ingredients and I liked the benefits. The shots can be consumed straight from the pouch but I found the superfood spices in them to bitter for my liking. Other ways to enjoy the functional blends is in a latte with milk or in your daily smoothie. 


Check out the functional blends

YUNO Dream - Go to sleep easier and wake up feeling refreshed. This blend balances the body’s internal clock, modulates your temperature, regulates digestion, and promotes relaxation for the perfect night’s sleep.   

YUNO Zen - Relax in those stressful moments with a boost of serotonin to the gut! Get that zen, happy feeling, and even improve your satiety and digestion all with this unique formula.  

YUNO Focus - Reduce brain-fog and aid analytical and strategic thinking with superfoods that encourage a healthy oxygen level in your bloodstream. 

YUNO Uplift - This blend promotes calmness during fight-flight-freeze situations while still keeping you energized. Great for immediate benefits, but also to protect you from emotional and daily stress.  

YUNO Memory - Combat brain fog with this special formula that improves circulation, supports energy synthesis and helps you remember information more effectively. 

YUNO Energy - Get more active and say goodbye to tiredness and fatigue. By upping your Oxygen production your stamina, endurance, and vitality increase - even avoiding that mid-day slump! 

Organic apple products


  I also received a box of organic apple products that made my kids happy. This box of healthy food was a surprise as the company never reached out to me. The box from North Coast Organic contained Organic Fruit +Veggie Apple Sauce pouches that my three boys gobbled up quickly. My boys love those squeeze pouches and I love that they were eating veggies.


The apple box also contained 100% organic fresh-pressed apple juice and raw apple cider vinegar. My boys have been enjoying the apple juice over crushed ice as it is there new summer snack. I know that apple cider vinegar has some amazing health benefits and North Coast Organic has a list of different recommendations on their website. I will be using this organic apple cider vinegar in my many recipes like my spicy carrot hummus.

Frozen Wellness Smoothie Shots 


The boys and I got to taste some delicious wellness pops. I was lucky to taste two of the different flavors of the reBLEND smoothie pops as my boys grabbed the other two after I took pictures. The packages were so inviting that my boys tried the pouches that were loaded with fruits and veggies before reading the ingredients. My boys said the frozen treats were yummy and then I told then to read the ingredients. The boys were surprised that the functional pops had veggies in them like cauliflower. I think if they knew that they would not have slurped them down.


These shelf-stable treats are packed with superfoods, fruits, and veggies. They are made to be enjoyed frozen and quickly freeze in the freezer. 

Check out the four delicious reBlend flavors  

Very Berry Glow: Antioxidant-rich strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries + goji berries and rosehip powder
Frosé All Day Chill: Antioxidant-rich cauliflower, raspberries, strawberries + flax seed, Moroccan rose water, and banana
Your Daily Detox: enzyme-rich pineapple, green apple, spinach, mango + detox superstars - spirulina, baobab, chia seeds, and lemon
Tropical Bliss: Electrolyte-rich coconut water, immunity-boosting Camu Camu, anti-inflammatory turmeric + a kick of cauliflower

Trying new recipes while sheltering in place

  So those are just some of the new products that I have been trying while staying home. I am glad that I can get healthy food shipped to my house and I am thankful for my stockpile of food like dried beans. I enjoy eating beans and already had plenty of dried beans in the house. So the beans came in handy for these 12 Meatless Recipes That Use Beans. I have also been baking more while staying home. These 11 bread recipes have been so delicious to bake. If you enjoy baking you should check out this Focaccia Bread Flowers recipe that makes bread a work of art.

How are you spending your time at home?



Thursday, May 14, 2020

Summer Fun With Marshmallows


This page may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases 

Summer is almost here and the kids will be out of school. Correction the kids are already out of school but their online school will be ending soon. So that means they will be even more bored since the start of this Covid-19and beyond virus outbreak. So like most parents, I am trying to keep them entertained. Wow, I never thought that I would be looking for ways to keep my boys entertained in the summer. This summer is going to be a long one as my boys will not be able to play with friends or head to the park for the school's free lunch program. The lunch at the park was something that the boys looked forward to every summer as it was a time to eat and play with their friends. It will feel strange not being able to visit the zoo or museums but we will make the best of it in our little safe bubble.

Creating fun in the backyard



 We are in the process of putting a hot tub in the backyard and even that is frustrating as we still have no delivery date for the hot tub that we ordered a month ago. The gazebo and floor pieces have been delivered and assembled. So I will start ordering lights and plants. I am thankful for online shopping. While we are waiting for the hot tub we will finish clearing the weeds naturally with non-toxic methods. I have had great success with an all-natural homemade weed spray that works quickly. That way the yard will look amazing when the hot tub arrives and it will be our staycation place. The yard will be the place where all the fun happens this summer. It will be a place to enjoy marshmallows.

Summer fun with marshmallows



 The boys will be having a blast with marshmallows beyond eating those sweet soft puffs of goodness. This will be the summer that I will let them play with their food. I will let the boys shoot marshmallows at each other. Instead of shooting foam darts from transformative dart blasters, the boys will be loading up their Marshmallow Classic Double Barrel Blaster and having a blast shooting mini marshmallows at each other and at targets. This is going to be some great outdoor fun. I better order some more marshmallows.





The Marshmallow Blaster Double Barrel Blaster from Zing holds double the marshmallows and can launch those sweet white treats up to 40 feet! This cool shooter has two magazines that hold up to 25 mini marshmallows and the shooter can go into the dishwasher. Moms don't have to worry about anyone getting hurt as marshmallows are soft upon impact after they are released from the Blaster. For added fun dip marshmallows into cornstarch and watch a cool puff of white dust form as you launch them from the barrels. So let the kids play with their food and pass the marshmallows.


Create sweet treats with chocolate-on-chocolate marshmallows


 After the boys finish tossing marshmallows all over the yard, they can then relax in the yard with a sweet treat made from chocolate-on-chocolate marshmallows and some homemade vegan peanut butter cookies. Stuffed Puffs® is taking marshmallows to a whole new level just in time for summer. Their latest addition to Stuffed Puffs® will make chocolate lovers rejoice with its decadently cocoa marshmallow filled with real milk chocolate. So now you can make smores even when you have no chocolate. Just grab some cookies and squeeze a melted double chocolate marshmallow in between for the ultimate campfire or backyard grill snack.

 Stuffed Puffs® ingeniously solves the problem of messy melted chocolate by putting the chocolate inside the marshmallow so the chocolate melts while the marshmallow toasts, giving you the perfect smores every time. No more worries about the sun melting your chocolate bars. No more worries about dad eating up the chocolate bars before you grill the marshmallows as the chocolate is included with the sweet marshmallows.






 So grab the bags of marshmallows and head outside for a day of fun. You could even set up a tent in the backyard and campout. Dad can fire up the grill or light the fire pit. Then the kids can have some awesome fun shooting marshmallows and eating marshmallows. After the fun is over, the kids can spend the night outside in the tents. Summer fun is not canceled, it has been relocated to the backyard.



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Mom knows best