Tag Archives: kid friendly

Easter Nests with Almond Bark

nests

The best part of any holiday is family gathering in the kitchen.  I’ve always loved cooking and baking. Growing up, I couldn’t wait to share traditions with my future child. I would help both my grandmother and mother in the kitchen.

My grandma lived on a farm and I’d help her clean green beans, collect eggs, and bake German Chocolate Cake. I cherish those memories. My mother is an amazing baker and she would create elaborate cakes for our birthdays – remember the Barbie cakes? I had several of those.

And I also teach my 6-year-old how to cook and bake. But I am a modern woman and so we focus on fun and easy recipes.

Many families make Easter nests, which are candy nests made with chow mein noodles (although there are other variations).  Most people I know use chocolate in their recipe, but I like to work with almond bark  because it is more forgiving. It also sets faster which means we can eat these sooner.

I use both vanilla and chocolate almond bark for variety. I add coconut to the chocolate, and pretzels to the vanilla because the vanilla is sweeter and it adds a salty crunch. I love sweet and salty combinations. I hope you make these with your children!

Almond bark nests

 

Almond Bark Nests

Makes 20 nests

5 squares chocolate almond bark

5 squares vanilla almond bark

3 cups chow mein noodles

½ cup shredded coconut

½ cup broken pretzel pieces

Wax paper

Jellybeans or chocolate eggs

This makes 10 chocolate nests and 10 vanilla.

Spread wax paper out over two cookie sheets. Set aside.

Place chocolate almond bark in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 60 seconds. Stir and then microwave at 20 second intervals until the chocolate has melted. Stir in 1 ½ cups of chow mein noodles and ½ cup shredded coconut. Stir to coat.

Use two spoons to grab a mound of mix and place it on wax paper, try to make an indentation in the center so you can place a jellybean there later. Allow to cool for 40 minutes.

Place vanilla almond bark in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 60 seconds. Stir and then microwave at 20 second intervals until the bark has melted. Stir in 1 ½ cups of chow mein noodles and ½ cup crushed pretzels. I used mini rods.  Stir to coat and when the mixture is coated in bark, spoon onto wax paper. Try to leave an indentation in the center. Cool. Once mixture has hardened, place one or two jellybeans in the center.

 

 

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Creamy, Chicken and Dumpling Soup (SUPER EASY)

I wish I could take credit for this brilliant, delicious Creamy, Chicken and Dumpling Soup, but I can’t. My husband’s cousin’s wife made a version of this a few years ago. I don’t remember the original recipe. but she used flour tortillas to make the dumplings, which I thought was brilliant. That soup served as the inspiration for this one/

I normally hate Chicken and Dumpling Soup, but this is creamy and absolutely delicious. Plus, it’s SUPER EASY.  It’s perfect for a cold winter day. Your family will love it.

Creamy, Chicken and Dumpling Soup

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 medium onion

2 stalks celery

2 bay leaves

1 (15 ounce) can chicken broth

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 soup can filled with water

1 1/ 3 cups mixed frozen peas and carrot

2 cups chopped rotisserie chicken

3 (6-inch) flour tortillas

Chop onion and celery. Set aside.

Place tortillas on top of each other and use a knife or pizza cutter to cut into ½ inch rectangles or squares. Set aside.

Heat oil in a medium-large pot over medium heat. When hot, add onions, celery, bay leaves and cook 5-7 minutes, until tender. Add chicken stock, soup and then fill the soup can with water and add to pot. Toss in frozen peas and carrots and bring to a boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Reduce to strong simmer and add chicken and tortillas. The tortillas serve as dumplings. Cook 5  minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and then serve. Serve with a roll because you will want to sop up all the deliciousness that is this soup.

This easy version of Chicken and Dumpling Soup is pure comfort food

This easy version of Chicken and Dumpling Soup is pure comfort food

Vegetable, Barley, Chicken Soup

It’s bleak outside, which puts me in the mood for soup. And I’ve shared a couple of decadent dishes lately, so I thought I’d post a delicious, healthy soup today:  Vegetable, Barley, Chicken Soup.

I love this soup because it’s packed with vegetables and feels nourishing.

There are a couple ways you can shave a little prep time off. Buy a bag of cole slaw mix instead of chopping your cabbage; buy pre-cut mushrooms; precut carrots; and use dehydrated garlic instead of fresh.

This soup has a lot of ingredients, but don’t let that deter you from trying it. It’s a simple soup that on the table in 30 minutes and it’s healthy so you can feel good about feeding it to your family.  It’s packed with vegetables and we know we all need more vegetables. The barley adds bulk and fiber and helps thicken the soup.  It’s important to use quick cooking variety of barley because it only cook 15 minutes before you serve it.

The Italian seasoning and rosemary season this beautifully.

The chicken goes in at the very end, so again to save yourself prep time, chop the chicken while the soup is boiling. The same apples to the zucchini. While the first four ingredients cook down, then you can chop the zucchini.  Ok,let’s get started.

Vegetable, Barley, Chicken Soup

1 large yellow onion

2 carrots

1 ½ cups chopped white cabbage

2 stalks celery

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

¼ teaspoon dried rosemary

1 pint sliced baby portobella mushrooms

1 zucchini

2 bay leaves

1 garlic clove, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

7 cups chicken stock

2/3 cup quick cooking barley

2 ½ cups chopped, skinless rotisserie chicken

Directions:

Chop saute onion, cabbage, carrots and celery and set aside. Cut zucchini into fourths horizontally, and then slice those pieces. Slice mushrooms and set aside.

In a large stock pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add onion, cabbage, carrots and celery and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add Italian seasoning and rosemary, mushrooms, zucchini, salt and pepper and cook another 3 minutes. Add bay leaves, garlic, stock and barley and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium and cook 12-15 minutes. While the soup cooks, chop your chicken.

Drop in chopped chicken and heat through. Serve.