Midwest Family Food and Fun

Midwest Family Food and Fun
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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Life Lessons from the Rolling Stones


My children have been introduced to The Rolling Stones at an early age. Not because of my love of classic rock. I'm more of a country and coffee house music type of girl. Rather for their great contribution to life lessons. Scratching your head trying to figure out what I mean.

"You Can't Always Get What You Want"

In 1969 The Rolling Stones released "You Can't Always Get What You Want" written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. It has become a classic and was named to the top 100 songs of all time by Rolling Stone Magazine. But as much as I appreciate it as a great musical accomplishment, I am much more impressed by the great life lesson the title teaches.

In this day and age we all want more. I am no exception to this. I catch myself all the time saying "I want that." With all the "I wants" it is hard to stay focused on the "what you need" or the actual necessities of life, which in fact are minimal.

In preschool my kids were taught the saying "you get what you get and don't pitch a fit." I appreciate the sentiment of this statement and it is quite catchy and easily understood by young children. However, it's not exactly the message I want my children learning. I don't want them settling for what someone gives them in life, but rather I want them working to achieve what they need.

"But If You Try Sometime, You Might Just Find, You Get What You Need"

My family is very blessed. We have all and so much more than we need. That is not to say that we are wealthy, far from that, but we have the basic necessities and more. I strive to teach my children gratitude and gratefulness for all the things that we have. But I make sure they are also aware how hard we have worked to get these things and that they were not just given to us.

This past Christmas my boys wanted a WiiU from Santa. I explained to them that Santa could make a WiiU but what were they going to do when they wanted another game to play with on it? I explained that games cost money and that they were not a necessity but rather a privilege. I told them that I understood how important they felt the WiiU was to them, but that Mommy and Daddy would not be able to buy them every game they wanted. They would have to prove to Santa that they were responsible and able to save up for what was important to them. They each did chores around the house and saved up $50 a piece. They wrote a little letter to Santa including the money showing that they were responsible and would take ownership of getting their own games. Some may think this is harsh and takes the joy out of Christmas. I think it teaches children to value money and the hard work it takes to earn it.

Life Lesson Learned

As the song says, "You Can't Always Get What You Want...But If You Try Sometime, You Just Might Find, You Get What You Need." Life is a balance. We all want more than the bare necessities in life. Whether it is the kids wanting a WiiU, Mommy wanting her new Kate Spade Bag or maybe Daddy wanting to take his March Madness trip to Vegas. Does this make us bad? Well no. What it does is make us human. It's what we do with these wants that matters. Do we cave to every want and desire or do we strive for balance while giving thanks for all that we have?

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Monday, March 2, 2015

Say! I Like Green Eggs and Ham!


Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!!

March 2nd marks a special day in children's literary history. It is the birthday of Dr. Seuss! There are many activities associated with this great day such as Read Across America.

We love Dr. Seuss in our house. We each have our favorite wacky story! Jude loves "The Cat in the Hat Comes Back". My favorite is "Horton Hatches the Egg". Joel has really been into "Green Eggs and Ham". It's kind of ironic since he is my picky eater. So when we have been trying new foods we have been incorporating this inspirational story. We remind him of Sam-I-am and we say "Try them! Try them! And you may." Then when I like something I say "I would eat them in a boat. I would eat them with a goat!" This always make Joel laugh. He usually responds "I would eat them anywhere!"

So in honor of Joel's favorite Dr. Seuss book we created this recipe for green eggs and ham. They are really baked ham cups filled with cheesy pesto eggs. They are super easy. This is what you will need.

Gather your ingredients: 6 slices of thin cut deli ham, 4 eggs, 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, 1/3 cup prepared basil pesto and nonstick cooking spray. You will also need a medium size bowl, some paper towels, a whisk and a muffin tin pan. Then preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

The take each slice of ham and pat dry with a paper towel. This will remove the excess moisture and help the ham cups get extra crispy.

Then spray your muffin tin pan with nonstick cooking spray and place one piece of ham in each of six muffin cups. I like to alternate cups to allow space so the edges of the ham do not touch each other. This makes them easier to remove after they are baked. Then set the pan aside and begin work on your egg mixture.

Crack four large eggs into a medium size bowl and beat until scrambled.

Add your pesto and cheese to the scrambled eggs and mix until fully incorporated.

Fill your prepared ham cups with the egg mixture an evenly pouring the mixture between the 6 cups. Then place filled muffin tin pan in preheated 400 degree oven and bake for 10-15 minutes depending on how you like your eggs cooked. When done, remove pan from the oven and allow ham cups to cool slightly before removing from the pan.

This recipe is great for breakfast, lunch or dinner served with fresh fruit and toast. It is so yummy they will have you:

          I like green eggs and ham!
          I do! I like them, Sam-I-am!
          And I would eat them in a boat.
          And I would eat them with a goat.
          And I would eat them in the rain.
          And in the dark. And on a train.
          And in a car. And in a tree.
          They are are so good, so good, you see!
                                                       (Excerpt from Dr. Seuss' "Green Eggs and Ham")

Green Eggs and Ham (Baked Ham Cups with Cheesy Pesto Eggs)

Prep Time: 5-10 minutes
Bake Time: 10-15 minutes
Total Time: 15-25 minutes
Yields: 6


  • 6 slices thin cut deli ham
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/3 cup prepared basil pesto
  • nonstick cooking spray


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Take each slice of ham and pat dry with a paper towel.
  • Spray muffin tin pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Place one slice of ham into each of 6 individual muffin cups. Set muffin tin pan aside.
  • In a medium size bowl crack 4 large eggs. Beat the eggs until scrambled.
  • Add the pesto and cheese to the eggs and mix until well incorporated.
  • Pour egg mixture evenly into the 6 prepared ham cups.
  • Place filled muffin tin in preheated 400 degree oven and bake for 10-15 minutes depending on how you like your eggs cooked.
  • When done, remove muffin tin from oven and allow ham cups to cool slightly before removing from the pan.
  • These are great served warm or can also be served at room temperature. Yummy with a fresh fruit or green salad and a piece for toast!

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Friday, February 27, 2015

How to Choose and Take Care of a Cutting Board


Image courtesy of CustomMade blog
I am often forwarded posts from others asking me to share with my readers. I am careful and particular with what I choose to share. I was recently forwarded the post A Cut Above the Rest. It is a really informative post about how to choose a great and eco-friendly cutting board. With so many choices from sustainable and reclaimed woods, cork, recycled paper and even plastic how do you choose? This article provides great information to help you choose the best option for your kitchen. 

Then it takes it a step further. Below is a fabulous infographic included in the post that teaches you how to take care of your cutting board. A quality cutting board can cost a pretty penny, but it is well worth it. It will save your countertops, help with clean-up and add an aesthetically pleasing surface to your kitchen. Take care of your investment and it will wear better and last longer! 

So check out A Cut Above the Rest and you'll be ready to invest in a new eco-friendly cutting board.

A Cut Above the Rest: Healthy and Eco-Friendly Cutting Boards

A Cut Above the Rest: Healthy and Eco-Friendly Cutting Boards
Infographic by CustomMade

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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Do You Want to Build a Snow? Yes It's Out of Marshmallows!


The kids and I had a great time yesterday afternoon making snowmen indoors. Yes I said indoors. How is this possible you ask? Marshmallows! These soft, sweet and chewy treats aren't only for s'mores. They make great building tools for snowmen.

All you need are some different size marshmallows, various candies, frosting, pretzel sticks, a pair of scissors and your imagination. The kids had a blast. I think they ate more than they built, but that's part of the fun. So take a peek at our video and try it yourself!

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