Holiday Favorites, School Safe List, Snacking

The Week of Love

Happy Valentine’s Week! Many people think you should show love all the time, not just on a Hallmark Holiday, so they decide NOT to celebrate 2/14.  I have to agree 100% about showing love all the time; but expressing love & gratitiude on Valentine’s Day is equally as important. This goes for friends, co-workers, family, teachers; really anyone that makes your life lovelier! And this does NOT have to be a grand gesture. It could be as simple as an extra hug to say “happy valentine’s day,” a note on a car door/lunch box, free lunch, a free latte, anything to let that person know you have love/gratitude for them.

heart shaped pink and purple flower garden
Photo by shahbaz Akram on Pexels.com

Love is so important, and showing it can sometimes be hard if you have food allergies. I’ve had a lot of questions this week about Valentine’s Day and safe snacking. Here are some quick ideas incase you are still out and about – although by gaguing social media, many of us celebrated Valentine’s this past weekend already 🙂 Hope these tips help you have some fun this week.

Tonight we’re working on Valentine classroom cards and mailboxes 🙂 HOW FUN!

Target has some great finds:

  1. Valentine Oreos
  2. Mini Fruit Roll-Up (these were in the entry way at all targets i have been to)
  3. Welch’s Fruit Snacks
  4. Annies Fruit Snacks
  5. Fruit By the Foot
  6. Goldfish Valentine’s Packs
  7. YumEarth Fruitsnacks and Suckers
  8. Mini Bubbles (non-candy)
  9. Pencils (non-candy
  10. Hershey Kiss – Classic Bag
  11. Heart-shaped York Peppermint Patties

For the Chocolate lovers in your life, we ALWAYS recommend Vermont Nutfree. Watch our IG Live Stories this week, we’ll be unwrapping our first truffle box from them 🙂 If you’re baking in a nut-free kitchen, keep in mind the Enjoy Life chocolate!

With love and light,

Nutfreemom

Snacking

Sweet Banana Bars

Two great things that go great together, banana bread and frosting. Typically I do not frost items that we eat for breakfast; however, I was in a pinch and needed a quick dessert. Frosting a banana bread that I had already made was the perfect, time-saving idea. And here is the recipe.

selective focus photo of bunch of bananas on black surface
Photo by Kio on Pexels.com

Ingredients

 

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened (unsalted)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (King Arthur)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt

Frosting

  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened (Kraft)
  •  1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (Penzeys)

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, bananas and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; stir into creamed mixture just until blended.
  2. Transfer to a greased 15x10x1-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack.
  3. For frosting, in a small bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add confectioners’ sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth. Frost bars.

You can also use a 13 x 9 pan or a loaf pan. If using a loaf pan, your frosting will be very thick, you’ll need to bake for 55 minutes and then slice it like bread. This will make significantly less compared to the 13 x 9 bars. If you’re going to an event, consider taking a recyclable, aluminum baking pan to make these in. This way, you dont have to worry about getting your dish back at the end of the event.  Also, label it NUT FREE if you’re making it in a nut free kitchen and available to those with allergies.

Enjoy!

 

Brunch, Snacking, Travel

Blueberry Scones

Tomorrow morning marks the official start of 2019 “work” for us – school and activities start! Back to the routine. Our morning commute will be increasing by 5 minutes next month and we are going to be working on getting out the door a little earlier with the help of “car breakfast.”

I know.

Food in the car.

UGGG. The kids have these car trays that we use for snacking and activities and they do an amazzing job of catching crumbs. Typically, I just shake them out when we get to our destination. We’ll be using these for the days we eat in the car.

This week we have grapes, bananas, banana bread and blueberry scones as our “grab and go” items. The scones are amazing and you definately need to add them to your quick breakfast routine. Easy to make ahead and store in an air-tight container. I like these from Ikea.

Blueberry Scones

Ingredients

 

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 4-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons cold butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk, divided
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

Directions

  1. In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt; cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a bowl, whisk eggs and 3/4 cup milk; add to dry ingredients just until moistened. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; gently knead in the blueberries.
  2. Divide the dough in half. Pat each portion into an 8-in. circle; cut each into eight wedges. Place on greased baking sheets. Brush with remaining milk. Bake at 375° for 15-20 minutes or until tops are golden brown. Serve warm.

 

Snacking, Travel

Pumpkin Spice Latte Bread

If you’re really looking to spice it up this Thanksgiving, this bread is the answer. We love breads because they travel well – no worrying if your pie plate is safe in the trunk, or on so-and-so’s lap, or if your crust is done perfect and not gooey in the middle.

Lets be honest, we don’t even like the crust! So really, just make something that is super flavorful for Thanksgiving dessert. A homemade bread pulls double duty, too. It’s flexible. Well, I guess pie is too. But bread can be served with coffee or milk any time of day. You can warm it, or eat it ala mode, or pack it in lunches or eat it for breakfast. Bread is probably our go-to every time we bake.

As we prepare for Thanksgiving week, I’m counting all my blessings and finding the true meaning of the season. I found this quote today that really resonated with me:

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”– Oprah Winfrey

You can always trust Oprah! Anyway, from our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 and 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp coffee

Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp cooled coffee
  • 1 tsp milk

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350*. Spray a loaf pan with non-stick spray, set aside.
  2. Mix all of the ingredients above in a large bowl and pour into loaf pan.
  3. Bake at 350 for 1 hour.
  4. Let cool and mix up the glaze.
  5. Pour glaze over the top and enjoy!
Brunch, Snacking

Cranberry Oat Breakfast Bars

Recently I attended a yoga retreat with my friend Misty who brought these amazing bars along as a snack.  Misty is an incredible woman who helps at our school a LOT (she’s my work wife, we joke), so I knew her treats would be as amazing. And they were! The Cranberry Oat Breakfast Bars are the perfect treat – not too sweet and super healthy. And since Craisins (dried cranberries) are a safe, PN/TN free food, I thought this would be a perfect recipe to add to our mix of healthy snacking. Also, kids approved today when we made this recipe for breakfast – crumbles well over yogurt if you’re into parfaits! Apologize for the photos – not my best work lately. But you get the idea.

20181104_092239338907910946082606.jpg

Ingredients

  • 2 cups oats – Quaker Oats are safe
  • 1/2 cup flour – King Arthur
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries – Craisins ONLY, there are a lot of dried fruits made in shared facilities with nuts, so be extra extra careful with this one!

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees & lightly grease a 9×6 or 8×8 baking dish.
  2. In small bowl, stir flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. Cream together butter and sugars until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla and beat well.
  4. Add flour mixture to the wet mixture, just until incorporated. Add the oats and dried cranberries and stir to combine evenly.
  5. Pat batter into prepared pan and press it until mostly even. Bake 25 minutes, until the edges are golden and the middle looks dry and appears set when you jiggle the pan.