Make Your Own Easy Reindeer Cookies From Gingerbread Men

Would you believe me if I told you that The Secret to Christmas Joy is Found in Cookies?  Well, keep reading to find out what I mean.

reindeer-cookies

One of our family Christmas traditions is our Christmas ADVENTures and each day we have scripture reading, a Christmas carol and an optional activity. Throughout our advent days there are lots cultivating compassion activities to do as a family.

Christmas lights are not only beautifully adorned around homes and Christmas trees around this time of the year but they also serve as symbolic reminder that He is the light and we can also be light. One way we can shine light into peoples darkness is with acts of kindness.

family-baking

One of activities we enjoy doing together as a family during this time of the year  is making Christmas treats to give to our neighbors, community helpers and teachers. One year we kept a basket in our car with homemade cookie treats and we gave them out to the street kids as we drove around running errands. You don’t even have to make them homemade. I love adding icing to store bought cookies and bars to personalize them.

christmas-cookie-book

I recently came across this book called The Legend of the Christmas Cookie by Dandy Daley Mackall when looking for a new Christmas book to add to our Christmas collection.  The Legend of the Christmas Cookie tells the story of a young boy named Jack who learns from his generous mother the story behind the Christmas cookie. The family who began the tradition of baking the special cookies gave them to the needy and shared the story of the very first Christmas. This sweet holiday book offers inspiration for readers to become cheerful givers themselves and encourages them to share the true tale of Jesus’ birth. A delicious recipe is included on the jacket flap so readers can make their own Christmas sugar cookies.

“You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.” —Kahlil Gibran

10-days-of-christ-focused-kids-activities

10 days of Christ focused Christmas Activities Inspired by Books Blog hop starts today! We have all sorts of fun activities, recipes and family fun that are inspired by a Children’s Christmas book that share the real meaning of Christmas! Make sure to follow along on Facebook, you can take a look at the schedule over at Inspired by Familia blog. Here are our fabulous bloggers: Inspired by Family, Meaningful Mama, Teaching Mama, Beautiful Messy Motherhood, Happy Home Fairy, Simple home Blessings, The Chaos and the Clutter, Creative Family Fun, True Aim Education and Sunshine Whispers!

gingerbread-men-cookies

Make Your Own Easy Reindeer Cookies From Gingerbread Men

First, you’ll turn your gingerbread man upside down and that’s how you get antlers from the feet of the gingerbread man.

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Then use your icing to decorate the face. Make sure your eyes are around the mid section of the body b/c the gingerbreads actual head will be where you place the nose and mouth.

Pack them up in cute little baggies and pass them out to your neighbors, community helpers like mailman, garbage collectors. Place a basket in your car and pass them out to the homeless with a milk or juice.  Once year our family hosted a Christmas Cookie Exchange with a Twist and instead of taking the cookies for ourselves that were exchanged we each took them to pass them out the homeless.

Follow along this week to see the fabulous ideas from our super star bloggers! 10 bloggers, 10 books and 10 days of Christmas Activities inspired by children books that are faith based.

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December 5th
Day 1 Inspired by Family-The Legend of the Christmas Cookie book & Easy Reindeer Cookies
December 6th
Day 2 Teaching Mama  The Legend of the Candy Cane book & Easy & Cute Candy Cane ornament 
December 7th
Day 3 Beautiful Messy Motherhood A Carol for Christmas book & Write Your Own Christmas Carol Idea
Day 4 Meaningful Mama The Crippled Lamb book & Handprint Nativity Craft
December 8th
Day 5 Happy Home Fairy -M is for Manger book & another lovely and different (from the one above) Nativity Handprint Craft
Day 6 Simple home Blessings Who is Coming to Our House book & Christmas Garland craft
December 9th
Day 7 The Chaos and the Clutter I Spy Christmas book & I Spy Christmas Sensory Bag
Day 8 Creative Family Fun   The Birds of Bethlehem Book & Felt Birds Craft for Kids
December 10th
Day 9 True Aim Education The book of Character & Neighbor Kindness Activity
Day 10 Sunshine Whispers The Sparkle Box book & Sparkle Box Gift Jar Activity

Looking for more favorite Christ-focused Children’s Christmas books?

Easy Manger Craft for Kids with free printable inspired by Mortimer’s Christmas Manger book

Easy Santa Christmas Ornament inspired by Santa’s Favorite Story book

Nativity Craft from Toilet Paper Tubes inspired by Itsy Bitsy Christmas book

Brilliant Breakfast Casserole Made with Leftover Stuffing

I don’t know about your Thanksgiving meals but we always stuffing leftover. So I came up with this brilliant breakfast casserole made with leftover stuffing!

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Usually stuffing is the hardest dish to reheat because it’s not as tasty.  Most often then not it’s gets left in the fridge for days and then we finally throw it out. So I figured out a way to reuse it into a delicious dish! I should have called it the Brilliantly Easy Breakfast Casserole because it’s so simple to make.

You can add other veggiesto your breakfast casserole like shredded zucchini or mushrooms. I just used spinach because we always have spinach on hand.

stuffing-breakfast-casserole

Brilliant Breakfast Casserole Made with Leftover Stuffing

ingredients:

  • 3-4 cups of leftover stuffing
  • 6 eggs
  • 3/4 cups of milk (or heavy cream)
  • 4 slices of cooked bacon (in pieces)
  • 1 cup of shredded cheese
  • spinach a handful

Grease a 9×9 casserole dish then spread stuffing evenly over the whole dish.

Place all of the above ingredients in a large bowl leaving out the stuffing. Mix well.  Pour into baking dish over stuffing and bake until puffed and set for about 30 minutes at 350.

Told you it was brilliantly simple!

leftovers-casserole

How to Throw a Fun Family Friendly Halloween Party

 

family-friendly-halloween-party

Y’all it’s that time of the year-fall fun!!!  Just the other day my son came home and said his friends were talking about our Halloween party and I looked at him puzzled because I’ve yet to send invites to anyone about a party but apparently everyone is enjoys it and expects it!

For those of you who are against celebrating Halloween I really like this perspective from another blogger Carolyn Henderson:

Yes, Halloween has pagan roots. All holidays do, ultimately. But as imaginative human beings, we reshape and reform the celebration and tradition to conform with our beliefs, and we wind up with highly personalized forms of observing Christmas, and Easter, and Valentine’s Day, and Halloween. What is most important — and more and more vital in a society that grasps for more and more control — is that the traditions we create strengthen, empower, and fortify families.

For the past 9 years our family has hosted a family friendly Halloween party in our community and this year we are going to take it up a notch and try a Trunk or Treat party in our cul-de-sac street. Actually, I think it’s going to be easier!

So here are some fun ideas and tips on how to throw a family friendly Halloween party.

How to Throw a Fun Family Friendly Halloween Party

Costumes–Decide if you want to allow scary costumes. We’ve always had friends with children of all ages so we ask our guest to stay away from ghoulish, scary costumes.

Venue–Decide your venue? In your house or outdoors. For us this makes a big difference in the amount of guest we can invite. Once we “rented” a place and though it gave us more room to have guest it ended up being a lot more work for me because I had only a few hours to decorate and set up. When it’s in my home I can slowly start setting up as the week leads up to our event.

Food or ??? –Decide if it’s going to be potluck style or appetizers you provide.  As a Mexican it was hard for me to fully buy into the concept of potluck parties but three years ago I had my first potluck party and since then I haven’t turned back.  It’s such a huge pressure off when you know you’re only providing one or two dishes. Usually people love to bring appetizers or desserts to this type of event because they want to try that fun Halloween treat they saw on Pinterest.

Halloween Party Kid’s Activities, Fun Food ideas and Decor

Fun food ideas:

halloween-punch

Eyeball Punch!

healthy popcorn balls

Healthy & Delicious Popcorn Balls – go here for the recipe.

halloween treat

Healthy Frankenjuice – my kids begged for more and I giggled as I served them a cup full of veggies and fruits! You can go here for the recipe.

boo nanas

Healthy Boo-nanas! Another family favorite!  You can get the full recipe here!

silly pumpkin snack

Silly Pumpkins! We love to decorate these as a family and then we fill a huge jar and have them out on the table at our party. You can see here how we do it.

mummy lunch

Mummy Pizza- This was so easy to put together and so fun! Get the details here.

fast and fun halloween snacks

I have a whole list of fun ideas just go here.

Halloween Activities and Games

These pumpkin jars are adorable and make perfect party favors or prizes.

Pumpkin Play dough -Halloween treats

Pumpkin play dough recipe here.

ghost stomp

Ghostbuster stomp– We used this as an educational activity but this can totally be a fun game.

pumpkin-punch-game

Pumpkin Punch– This was a favorite at our party last year.  I simply covered plastic cups with tissue paper and then duct tape them to the wooden board.

halloween-bingo

Halloween Bingo – Was also a big hit because it meant the kids got prizes!

Halloween Decor

halloween-decor

Use lots of festive garland! Our decor is always simple but festive. Here I placed strands of garland at different heights in different areas. All of the garland was homemade using crepe paper, poster board paper and mini pumpkins.

h-ween-party-decor

Check out the dollar store! This was our goodie table. I bought the bowls. lantern and hat at the dollar store. The table runner is just fabric that I keep around for parties.

Use fabric! I highly recommend you buy polka dot fabric in lots of colors and just have around for parties. We have used our red, black, blue and orange polka dot fabric in so many of our events for either table cloths, back drops, table runners…

 

Use balloons! You can use white balloons for ghost or orange balloons for pumpkins. Or just colors that match your decor.

 

 

Healthy Peanut Butter Chocolate Muffins

chocolate-peanut-butter-muffins

My boys are in baseball this fall, so this morning I debated about buying something or making some muffins. I was going to buy hostess cupcakes but I was afraid a parent might get upset with all that sugar. I’m in charge of organizing snack so I figured I probably shouldn’t start the season off with such an unhealthy choice. Though at this point I’m the only parent who signed up for snacks so it may have not mattered. Well, we were also tight on time so going to the store wasn’t going to happen, so I decided to get my butt out of bed and start baking. These were actually really simple to make so it didn’t take long to whip them up.

These Healthy Peanut Butter Chocolate Muffins are gluten free, and can be dairy free if you choose a non-dairy milk product when making it. They can also be Trim Healthy Mama friendly if you tweak it some and go with the non-dairy milk option.

I have been playing with recipes to come up with something that I can give my kids for breakfast but can also serve as a snack or dessert. Eureka! I think I found it. These muffins rise up nicely and taste yummy! Just top with your favorite healthy glaze or frosting and you’re all set for dessert.

chocolate-muffins

Does any one else have muffin pans that look like this?  Well if it’s just me then no judging allowed.

Oh and I just thought this can definitely be a great treat to make for a play date or party (just add some chocolate glaze).

Healthy Peanut Butter Chocolate Muffins

  • 2 cups of oat flour (place gf rolled oats in blender)
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons Cacoa powder unsweetened
  • 3-4 tablespoons of your favorite sweetener (the amount varies depending on what type you use)
  • 1 cup of milk (pick your favorite dairy or non-dairy choice)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons of natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup of apple sauce (preferably unsweetened) our is homemade here’s the recipe.

In a large bowl add all of dry ingredients and then mix in the other ingredients. Mix well and place in your greased muffin tins.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until knife comes out clear.

Note: if you don’t have apple sauce you can use 2-3 ripe bananas but it will give it a banana flavor. I chose apple sauce because it’s mild in flavor and I can enjoy the Healthy Peanut Butter Chocolate Muffins without a banana taste. Though sometimes I am looking for that flavor combination just not this morning.

No Fail Gluten Free Crepes

gluten-free-crepes

So I’ve been on a mission for a year now trying to find the perfectly thin gluten free crepe recipe. I took a break after many failed attempts and disgusting results which I ate. Or I should say forced myself to eat because I can’t bear the thought of being wasteful with food.

hotel-view-italy

Well, in our travels this summer in Italy we stayed at a quaint family owned hotel up on the lush green mountain and every day they served us fresh warm crepes with a  container of nutella on the side.  Every morning we had a fresh, hot breakfast buffet and we’d sit out on the veranda overlooking the Mediterranean sea (pictured above). And I wondered why I had gained 5 pounds this summer. On the bright side, I did leave this beautiful country inspired to continue with my gluten free crepes experiment when I got back.

I think I finally found “the recipe” after mixing and playing with different ingredients countless times. This recipe is light, thin and delicious. Now mind you these are not going to turn out exactly like the ones in Italy because they weren’t gluten free and I’m not a European trained chef, but they sure are good!

Without further ado, here is my favorite no fail gluten free crepes.

gluten-free-crepes-1

No Fail Gluten Free Crepes THM friendly recipe

ingredients: Makes 10-12 crepes

  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup of heavy cream (I’ve also used almond milk and it worked fine)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon of whey protein powder
  • 1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil or butter
  • optional if you’re making these sweet–add a sprinkle of cinnamon and 1 tbl Pyure sweetener
  1. Mix all of the above ingredients in a bowl. Mix well, making sure the lumps are out.
  2. In a hot medium sized pan with nonstick spray on it, add 1/4 cup of the crepe mix. What I usually do is pick up my pan and roll the mix around the pan so it evenly covers the pan and I don’t end up with fat crepes that look like pancakes.
  3. Watch the mixture on your pan start to bubble and the ends firm up that’s when you should turn them over.  Don’t worry you’ll mess up a few times but then you’ll get the hangout of it by your second or third crepe.

The best thing for me is to pick a pan the size of the crepe that way I end up with a perfect circle crepe. My favorite way to enjoy these crepes with is my healthy chocolate sauce, greek lemon yogurt yumminess stuffed inside with berries! No guilt here!!

crepes-1

I usually store them in a ziplock bag in the fridge and enjoy them through out the week for breakfast or as a quick snack.  The toppings and combinations are endless!  That’s what I love about crepes they are so versatile, you can have them for breakfast, lunch, dinner and even serve them at parties.
Oh, if you’re on THM plan you need to watch your toppings if you want to stay at an S meal.

Here’s my Facebook Live video showing you how to roll the mixture in the pan and some other tips!