Thursday, February 25, 2016

Broccoli Chicken Chowder Gluten and Dairy Free

Broccoli Chicken Chowder

This is a great and simple alternative to a creamy broccoli soup when you can't have gluten or dairy, or if you just want something a little lighter.

You can easily make this soup with regular flour and milk if you don't have food allergies.

I cut up some leftover stale bread, drizzled with olive oil, garlic powder and salt, and baked to make croutons to top the soup.

I also added some shredded cheese (use non-dairy if need be) and diced avocado. So good!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Cheeseburger Pie & The Best Gluten Free Rolls!

Today's recipe is something I put together that turned out SO GOOD, I couldn't stop eating it. It was supposed to start out as Skinny Girl's Cheeseburger Wraps...But I changed it to Not-So-Skinny Girl's Cheeseburger Pie. So good. I used individual ramekins, making it easier to prepare some with regular cheese and others with non-dairy cheese. You could make this recipe in a 9x13 pan. Make the cheeseburger filling and place the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Top with sliced cheese and drop biscuit/bread dough on top. Slightly spread dough with wet fingers before baking according to package directions or until the top starts to turn golden.

The hamburger filling recipe can be found here. The only thing I changed is that I a little honey mustard in place of yellow mustard because my family doesn't like it.

Gluten-free cooks - I use this bread recipe for everything now! It's SO GOOD, and the ingredients are inexpensive. Most of us who eat gluten free have these on hand (rice flour, tapioca and potato starch) or can find them easily. I also sub in canola oil (even though it says not to) and it still tastes delicious, and not heavy like other gluten free breads. If you halve this recipe you can just put the bread dough on the top of the dish instead of pressing into the bottom as well. I made the whole recipe and had enough dough leftover to make some plain rolls.

If you are NOT cooking gluten free, simply follow the biscuit recipe on the back of your standard baking/pancake mix.

Press a little of your bread dough into the bottom of your ramekinsthat have been sprayed with cooking spray, add hamburger filling, top with a slice of your favorite cheese and add a little more of the baking mix to the top, smoothing bread dough out with wet fingers to keep it from sticking. Bake according to the package temperature and just watch for the top to start to brown before removing.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Easy Valentine's Day School Party Ideas

Happy Valentine's Day!

This week, I'll be helping with parties for my 5th grader and my preschooler for Valentine's Day. The age gap between my girls, means very different party activities, but I'm up for the challenge.

Here are some of the activities we'll be doing!

I've found that the older kids REALLY enjoy playing Minute To Win It games. I've done one at each party, and they've all been fun! For this game, multiple students will see how many conversation hearts they can stack on tap of each other in one minute. Highest stack wins. If they want to keep playing, the winner of each group can play each other.

You can find a million of these on Pinterest or Google, or make up your own. This is just a fun activity to get kids out of their seats. Find a Valentines Day version of the game appropriate for kids, like this one, and have kids pick a side.


I found this activity here. I thought it was cute, simple, and edible! It's also free of most food allergens for those who need to worry.


For a preschool activity, I'm hoping to split kids into smaller groups and play memory with candy kisses! There are stickers on the bottom. When the kids find a match, they get to keep the loot.

Do you have any simple fun Valentine's Day activities that have worked for you?

TIPS: Pre-pack crafts, games, and valentines in labeled, clear, zip top bags. One set of craft supplies in a bag per person works well. It makes things go so much smoother and more quickly when passing our supplies. Then, kids can store their finished craft in the bag.

Always bring extra Valentines and craft/game supplies in case you have miscounted or something gets lost or damaged

And, though not eco-friendly, cleanup involves tossing empty bags in the trash!

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