5 Cheese Stovetop Mac ‘n’ Cheese

5 Cheese Stovetop Mac and Cheese | Crumbs and Chaos

I am a collector of a few different things – kitchen gadgets, mason jars and vintage Pyrex. I also have quite the collection of cookbooks (what food blogger doesn’t?!). But seriously, I read them like novels and love soaking up extra tidbits of info and drooling over gorgeous food photos.

I recently enjoyed the chance to peruse and cook from Back Around the Table: An “In the Kitchen with David” Cookbook from QVC’s Resident Foodie. You guys, it’s one gorgeous book. Full of approachable and family friendly recipes, this book by David Venable is packed with dishes I can’t wait to make. From appetizers to sweets and an entire chapters dedicated to pressure cooking and slow cooking, Back Around The Table has something for everyone…. 

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Turtles & Tiaras — A Combination Birthday Celebration

 

Last October, we were blessed with our baby girl!  She was born 1 day before her older brother’s 3rd birthday.  We knew their birthdays would be close, we just didn’t know how close.  Of course it was exciting for all of us and fun knowing that they will forever have a birthday buddy.  But it also meant that we would have to be a little more creative with birthday parties.  Not only two ages, but also the gender difference.  The first thing that came to mind was to do a Pirates & Princesses.  But he wasn’t really that interested in pirates.  So when he all but insisted on having a Ninja Turtles party, my brain got to work.  The final result was TURLTES & TIARAS! Of course finding an invite that incorporated both of these things was near impossible.  So I created my own with a turtle mask on one side (in orange, because Mikey is our FAVORITE!) and a tiara with jewels on the other side.

Turtles & Tiaras | crumbsandchaos.net | #ninjaturtles #tiaras #birthday #party #invitations

 

 

A couple things that both themes shared were the sugar cookies that were from a local bakery.  Half of them were decorated with the Ninja Turtles and the other half had a pink tiara on them. I also bought a Ninja Turtle coloring book and a Princess coloring book at the dollar store.  Set out with crayons, the kids LOVED coloring. But the other details we split between the two themes.

Turtles & Tiaras | crumbsandchaos.net | #ninjaturtles #tiara #princess #birthday #kids

TURTLES

  • For dinner we went with a must have Ninja Turtle entree, PIZZA of course!  It’s easy and quick and loved by all!
  • I made Ninja Turtle Jello Cups by pouring green jello 3/4 of the way full in 8 clear plastic cups.  Once set, I made orange, purple, blue, and red jello and poured about 1/2″ on top of the green to represent their masks.  Making 2 of each character.
  • I put together 4 candy bowls, filled with green candy.  Then wrapped each with a piece of colored fabric to represent each turtle.  It was kind of a difficult task to find green candy that is sold independently without other colors.  Of course there are places you can order it from but that gets very pricey!  I ended up using Mint M&M’s, Spearmint Leaves (which are kind of like gumdrops), Sour Punch Straw Bites, and Caramel Apple Twizzlers.

Turtles & Tiaras | crumbsandchaos.net | #ninjaturtles #tiara #princess #birthday #kids

TIARAS

  • You can’t have a birthday party without some sort of cake (IN MY OPINION)!  So, I made Neapolitan Cupcakes.  I used a mini cupcake pan.  Layered chocolate cake, vanilla cake, and topped it with THE BEST Strawberry Buttercream Frosting I’ve ever had.  They were adorable and an absolutely perfect fit for the princess theme.
  • For all of our princess guests we had rings, necklaces, and bracelets.  They were bought at the dollar store and perfect for picking out, trading, dressing up, and even gettting a little cake on.
  • My favorite thing was the tiaras! I knew I wanted a tiara for Addison, and looked around town and online without much luck.  When it dawned on me that I could make it, I dove right in!  With a few trial and errors, I finally came up with one that I loved.  Then decided to make them for all the girls at the party.  Each one was different and they loved them.  I expected them to wear them but was pleasantly surprised when they didn’t take them off.  They were a huge hit and much cuter (and more comfortable) then the hard plastic ones you can get at the store! *

megan

*To get your own handmade tiara, visit my etsy shop, Circa86

 

Some of our other favorite birthday party ideas:

ELMO BIRTHDAY PARTY

TRAIN BIRTHDAY PARTY

RUBBER DUCKY BIRTHDAY PARTY

SPIDERMAN BIRTHDAY PARTY

SNOWFLAKE BIRTHDAY

DUPLO BIRTHDAY PARTY

 

 

White Chocolate Pumpkin Rice Krispies Treats

White Chocolate Pumpkin Rice Krispies Treats | recipe on www.crumbsandchaos.net

Festive and delicious, today’s recipe is brought to you as part of an ongoing partnership with Kraft.

Ahhhh, fall is in the air!  My absolute favorite season – I love everything about it…the weather, the leaves, the wardrobe, the food and the holidays.  We love heading out each fall to the local pumpkin patch to enjoy the festivities there – the hay rack rides, kid’s play area and apple cider slushies.  Every year we also host a pumpkin carving party complete with food and activities for the kids.  My kids look forward to this party each year…. 

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Bacon Cheeseburger Flatbread

Bacon Cheeseburger Flatbread | recipe on www.crumbsandchaos.net

A quick and delicious appetizer or light dinner dish, Bacon Cheeseburger Flatbread is a total crowd pleaser!

You guys, we are in the middle of packing our house to move…that means I’m writing this post at my dining room table while sitting next to a juicer, other randomness that came off of the top of the fridge and 3 frothing pitchers, among other things.  I’m doing my best to focus on the prize at the end of the challenge called moving – a new home sweet home for this sweet family of mine.  We’ll get there, heck, I’m optimistic after  yesterday – we actually already cleaned the fridge out completely {that’s never happened in all of our 10 moves – #notmyfavoritetask}.

So about this Bacon Cheeseburger Flatbread…it’s the right combination of all of the good stuff – bacon, cheddar cheese and dill pickles all on a thin flatbread crust.  So many things that I love, putting them all together in small amounts on a flatbread is the way to go.  All the goodness of that huge bacon cheeseburger in a smaller dose.  Add a side salad and dinner is served ;)

I’m joining Rachel and the Fabulous Flatbread challenge and so can you!  You can get all of the challenge details on Rachel Cooks, get the deets on prizes and link up your own fabulous flatbread recipe!

Bacon Cheeseburger Flatbread | recipe on www.crumbsandchaos.net

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Bacon Cheeseburger Flatbread
 
Serves: 4 flatbreads
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. PIZZA DOUGH
  • OLIVE OIL
  • ½ lb. GROUND BEEF
  • ½ Tablespoon KETCHUP
  • ½ Tablespoon YELLOW MUSTARD
  • ½ teaspoon SEASONED SALT
  • ¼ teaspoon PEPPER
  • ¼ teaspoon GRANULATED GARLIC (or garlic powder)
  • 4 pieces CRISP COOKED BACON, chopped
  • 4 oz. SHARP CHEDDAR CHEESE, shredded
  • DILL PICKLES, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons MAYONNAISE
  • 2 Tablespoons SOUR CREAM
  • 2 teaspoons HOT SAUCE (I used Frank's Red Hot)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Brown ground beef and drain any grease.
  3. Add ketchup, mustard, seasoned salt, pepper and garlic. Stir to combine and set aside.
  4. Divide pizza dough into 4 pieces. Roll out one piece into a oval/rectangle. Place on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough. Drizzle dough with about a teaspoon of olive oil and brush to the edges. Bake for 5-7 minutes. Remove from oven.
  5. Divide meat mixture and distribute evenly over each flatbread. Top with chopped bacon and cheddar cheese. Return to the oven for 4-5 minutes until cheese is melted.
  6. Cut into pieces. Top with chopped pickles and drizzle with sauce.
To make sauce:
  1. Combine mayo, sour cream and hot sauce.


 

  Bacon Cheeseburger Flatbread | recipe on www.crumbsandchaos.net

 

 

10 Snack Time Favorites

10 Snack Time Favorites on www.crumbsandchaos.net

Growing up, I remember my dad taking my sisters and me to Sam’s Club pretty much weekly.  We rode on the flat bed cart and sampled to our heart’s content.  One of the snacks my dad bought often was a warehouse club-sized box of Bagel Bites.  We all loved popping them in the toaster oven for a quick afternoon snack.

Some things remain the same from generation to generation… the need to snack is definitely one of those things. Especially for my four homeschooled kids, who claim they are hungry every other hour throughout the day.  Having a balanced snack arsenal is an important part of our day-to-day routine because it’s hard to learn and have a good attitude when you’re hungry.

10 Snack Time Favorites on www.crumbsandchaos.net

I like to keep a variety of snacks on hand.  Fresh fruit or veggies are nice because they don’t take any prep at all.  But on days when I have more time, it’s nice to change things up and make Bagel Bites in the oven or microwave.  My kids enjoy their hot, cheesy pizza goodness.  Having quality snacks in the pantry and fridge makes it easier to offer tasty, good for you snacks on a regular basis.  I encourage you to keep a list like the one below to make life easy when you’re planning your weekly grocery run.

10 Snack Time Favorites on www.crumbsandchaos.net

 Bagel Bites – a baked snack that’s easy to prepare and ready in just minutes!  Made using real cheese, made-from-scratch tomato sauce, and bagel dough freshly prepared every day on site, Bagel Bites are a fun, convenient snack.

Fresh fruit – Apples, grapes, bananas, whatever is in season

Pretzels or crackers

Popcorn – we love to drizzle air popped popcorn with equal parts melted butter and coconut oil and then lightly salt it

Carrot chips/sliced bell peppers with hummus – store bought or make your own (try this spinach artichoke version from Shugary Sweets)

10 Snack Time Favorites on www.crumbsandchaos.net

Strawberry Lime Smoothies – delicious and refreshing

Muffins – we’re a little partial to Mini Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins, especially this time of year!

Basic Granola – so good on its own or with yogurt

Cookies – sometimes you need a little sweet treat and you can whip Caramel Blossoms up while you’re waiting for the bus

Granola Bars – are ideal for taking on the go, No Bake Peanut Butter Pretzel Granola Bars are kid pleasing!

Grab yourself a coupon for Bagel Bites here!

Leave a comment telling me your favorite snack to be entered to win a $100 Visa Gift Card provided by Bagel Bites!

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This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 72 hours to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.

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Be sure to visit the Bagel Bites brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ posts!

Peanut Butter Apple Dip

In case you were unaware, kindergarten really makes a kid hungry!  Even with a morning snack and a full lunch, he still comes home looking for food.  Lots of learning and multiple recesses must really work up an appetite.  So in my journey to figuring out this ‘having a kid in school’ thing,  I have been looking for and experimenting with all sorts of meal and snack ideas.  Since he is a peanut butter LOVER and has recently discovered the joys of marshmallow creme, I knew this would be something he would enjoy.  I was able to mix it together real fast before I picked him up and then upon returning home I sliced an apple and we got to dipping!  He loved it and there was plenty so we stored it in an airtight container and enjoyed it for a few days.  With only 3 ingredients it is simple and easy and great on apples or even on graham crackers!

Peanut Butter Apple Dip | crumbsandchaos.net | #apple #peanutbutter #dip #afterschool #snack … 

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Glazed Apple-Oat Cookies

Glazed Apple-Oat Cookies | recipe on www.crumbsandchaos.net
Glazed Apple-Oat Cookies are a super way to enjoy fall’s fresh apples!
Glazed Apple-Oat Cookies | recipe on www.crumbsandchaos.net

According to the calendar, fall is still a week away…but according to the cool, gentle breeze outside, fall has arrived.  I was absolutely ecstatic to put on jeans, socks and slippers the other day while cooking up some good ol’ comfort food.    And after my monthly stack of magazines arrived last week (I’m always excited for fresh reading material!), I was flipping through Food Network Magazine and spied their list of an entire month of apple recipes.  Then my Friday afternoon turned into a loaf of applesauce granola bread and a batch of these little beauties.

If you’re a fan of soft, cake-like cookies, these are for you.  Full of spice and grated apple, these cookies are just begging to be made on a cool, fall afternoon.  Don’t skip the glaze, it’s the icing on the, errr, cookie ;)

Glazed Apple-Oat Cookies | recipe on www.crumbsandchaos.net
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5.0 from 1 reviews
Glazed Apple-Oat Cookies
 
Ingredients
  • 2¼ cups FLOUR
  • 1 cup OLD-FASHIONED OATS
  • 1 teaspoon GROUND CINNAMON
  • ¾ teaspoon BAKING POWDER
  • ½ teaspoon BAKING SODA
  • ½ teaspoon SALT
  • ¼ teaspoon GROUND ALLSPICE
  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) BUTTER, melted and cooled slightly
  • ½ cup BROWN SUGAR
  • ½ cup WHITE SUGAR
  • 2 EGGS
  • 1 GALA or FUJI APPLE, coarsely grated
  • 2 teaspoons VANILLA
  • 1 cup POWDERED SUGAR
  • 2 Tablespoons MILK
  • ½ teaspoon GROUND CINNAMON
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, line baking sheets with Silpat mats or parchment paper.
  2. Combine flour, oats, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt and allspice in a bowl.
  3. Stir together butter, sugars and eggs in a large bowl. Add grated apple and vanilla, stir well. Add flour mixture and stir until just combined.
  4. Use a cookie scoop (mine was 1½ Tablespoons) to scoop dough onto baking sheets. The cookies can be fairly close together because they don't spread out too much.
  5. Bake 10 to 12 minutes until set around the edges. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes before removing to cooling rack.
  6. Stir together powdered sugar, milk and ½ teaspoon cinnamon. Spoon onto cooled cookies.

 

Recipe Source: Food Network Magazine October 2014


  Glazed Apple-Oat Cookies | recipe on www.crumbsandchaos.net

Fresh apple faves…

Apple Pie Salsa

Danish Pastry Apple Bars

Caramel Apple Cinna-minis


 

Basic Granola

Family Size Batch Basic Granola | recipe on www.crumbsandchaos.net

This Family Size Batch of Basic Granola makes enough to feed a crowd and is a super breakfast or snack!

I have spent all of last weekend down and out on the couch with lower back pain…absolutely no work or play for me.  Thankfully, yesterday I made it into the chiropractor and I’m on the mend.  Hopefully I’ll be like new by the end of the week, at least my house is sure hoping so.  My people helped hold things together while I could barely move, but there’s just no way like mama’s way to do things ;)

Family Size Batch Basic Granola | recipe on www.crumbsandchaos.net

Today I bring you…the most basic granola ever.  My kids have been scarfing this stuff right and left.  They would eat it all day long if I let them.  They love it with milk or yogurt or dry as a snack.  You see the need for a family size batch, otherwise it would be gone before I blinked!  You can easily add dried fruit or nuts if you like, but we like to stick to the basics in regards to granola.

It’s so simple to make and have on hand for the before-school-rush-to-get-out-the-door.  You could also package it up in small portions to go in a lunchbox and it makes a great fruit and yogurt parfait too.  It’s super versatile, which is one of the reasons we’ve been making it since way back when.  I’ve tweaked it a bit and it’s completely irresistible…seriously, just try letting it cool on the counter without walking by 17 times to taste just a little bit.

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Best Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Best Slow Cooker Pulled Pork | recipe on www.crumbsandchaos.net

That’s right, THE Best Slow Cooker Pulled Pork, you only need 3 ingredients to make this mouthwatering meat for sandwiches, tacos and more!

I cook pork shoulder at least once a month.  It’s super versatile and a main dish that our family loves.  I own a smoker, which I love, but I don’t always have time to babysit the meat while it cooks.  But I have finally found a pulled pork recipe that is made in the slow cooker that tastes like it was made in the oven or maybe even the smoker.  My husband is partial to the smoked meat – who wouldn’t be?!  So the first time I made this, I didn’t tell him it I made it in the crock pot because I didn’t want him to judge the taste based on that.  He really liked it and gave it a thumbs up.  I think I’ve made it twice since then.

Best Slow Cooker Pulled Pork | recipe on www.crumbsandchaos.net

There’s a tiny bit of science behind the prep to this recipe.  When I smoke meat in the smoker, I brine it in a salt water brine to add flavor and make the meat more tender.  Since we’re cooking this in the crock pot, we don’t have to worry about losing moisture, but we want to enhance the flavor.  To do that, we’re going to salt the entire piece of meat and wrap it up for several hours before we cook it.  I know, I know – it takes a little bit of planning ahead, but nothing is difficult about the actual process.  After it’s been salted and sits awhile, throw it in the slow cooker with a little more salt and liquid smoke and your work is done.  8 to 10 hours later, you’re ready to pull the pork and serve it with BBQ sauce on buns, in a taco or however you like…. 

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Mini Ice Cream Sandwiches

Mini Ice Cream Sandwiches | Crumbs and Chaos

This recipe for Mini Ice Cream Sandwiches is brought to you by International Delight.

Lately I honestly find myself wanting to be far, far away from the kitchen.  I guess it’s just the summer itch to be outside soaking up the sun and making memories with my kids.  But summer also brings the desire for all things cold and frozen.  So this is my solution to heading out of the kitchen, but still having a cool treat ready to enjoy at any time.  Feel free to personalize them by using your favorite store bought cookies.

Mini Ice Cream Sandwiches | Crumbs and Chaos

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