Dec 232016
 
 December 23, 2016  Christmas, Geography, raising world citizens, recipes Comments Off on Kid-Friendly Holiday Drink: Haitian Pineapple Nog

This month we’ve been learning about Haiti, and in particular Christmas treats from this beautiful but beleaguered country. We really loved the sweet potato pudding, so we were looking forward to trying pineapple nog, a wonderful kid-friendly holiday drink. The flavors are quite different than eggnog, but it has a similarly creamy consistency. It is traditionally served at Christmas time, but these tropical flavors would also be well suited for summertime.

Kid-Friendly Holiday Drink: Pineapple Nog | Alldonemonkey.com

Christmas in Haiti

But first we took a step back to learn about Haiti and how they celebrate Christmas there. For our character-building classes at home we’ve been focusing on courage, so we talked about how the people of Haiti have incredible courage. First, because they successfully waged one of the first revolutions in the Western Hemisphere, which was also the largest successful slave rebellion in modern times. Haitians today also demonstrate incredible courage in the face of widespread poverty and repeated natural disasters. (For information on charities that operate in Haiti, see the end of this post). For those that want to delve deeper, you can read about how in many ways Haiti’s current suffering stems from its incredible victory more than two centuries ago and the fear it invoked in Western powers.

But back to Christmas! Here is a wonderful first hand account of how Nwèl (Christmas) is joyfully celebrated in Haiti despite the lack of material wealth. One beloved tradition mentioned there are the Christmas fanals, paper lanterns made in the shape of houses, churches, or animals and lit with candles or Christmas lights. Celebrating with family and friends is at the heart of the festivities, and most families attend midnight mass together on Christmas Eve.

Afterwards it is back home for all night dinner parties called reveyonsChildren often play woslèwhich is similar to jacks. Before going to sleep, they make sure to leave out their shoes, filled with straw, which Tonton Nwèl (Santa Claus) will fill with presents.

Kid-Friendly Holiday Drink: Haitian Pineapple Nog

Adapted from Taste the Islands

While the cocktail kremas is very popular at Christmastime, a kid-friendly holiday drink is pineapple nog. It is light and creamy, with a blend of tropical flavors that all ages will enjoy. Plus, it literally takes 2 minutes to make! It honestly took me longer to write the recipe here than it did to actually make it.

The original recipe does not call for any sweetener, but for my crowd I knew I needed to sweeten it up a bit. (It is actually really refreshing just as it is, so try it before you add any sugar!) To keep it relatively healthy, I used a banana for much of the sweetener, which was great because it’s in keeping with the tropical flavors.

I also wanted to make it dairy free for my son, so instead of the traditional mix of coconut milk and regular milk, I used all coconut milk. If you prefer you can make the traditional version.

Kid-Friendly Holiday Drink: Pineapple Nog | Alldonemonkey.com

Ingredients

1 can of coconut milk

20 oz can of crushed pineapple

1 ripe banana

2 T sugar (optional)

sprinkle of nutmeg

Put all ingredients in blender and mix thoroughly. Delicious as is but even better chilled!

Makes 3 large servings or 4-5 small servings

What is your favorite kid=friendly holiday drink?

Kid-Friendly Holiday Drink: Pineapple Nog | Alldonemonkey.com

He is a little suspicious of those brown flecks. It’s just nutmeg!

Organizations to Support in Haiti

There are many charities operating in Haiti. Here are two of my favorites:

Lidè: An educational initiative in rural Haiti that uses the arts and literacy to empower at-risk adolescent girls and help them transition into school or vocational training.  Established by Author Holiday Reinhorn, Actor Rainn Wilson and Executive Director Dr. Kathryn Adams in response to the devastating earthquake of 2010, the Lidè program seeks to uplift women and girls who have been denied equal access to education.

New Horizon School, Mona FoundationRecognized as one of the best in Haiti, New Horizon School is educating the next generation of graduates trained as agents of change in the sustainable development of Haiti through its focus on academic excellence, personal transformation through building moral capabilities and commitment to community service.

Christmas in Different Lands 2015 | Multicultural Kid Blogs

Welcome to our fourth annual Christmas in Different Lands series! This year each participating blogger will focus on a different country, sharing a traditional dish and more about Christmas in that country. For even more glimpses of global Christmas celebrations, see our series from previous years (2013, 2014, and 2015), plus follow our Christmas board on Pinterest!

Follow Multicultural Kid Blogs’s board Christmas Around the World on Pinterest.

December 2
Multicultural Baby on Multicultural Kid Blogs: Japan – Strawberry Christmas Cake

December 5
Crafty Moms Share: Nigeria – Jollof Rice

December 7
English Wife Indian Life: India – Christmas Plum Cake

December 8
Living Ideas: Indonesia – Tumpeng nasi kuning

December 9
Creative World of Varya: Lebanon

December 12
Hanna Cheda on Multicultural Kid Blogs: Poland – How to Make Polish Gingerbread Cookies

December 13
the piri-piri lexicon: Portugal – Sonhos

December 14
Raising a Trilingual Child: Italy – Diverse Traditions

December 15
Let the Journey Begin: Latvia – Pīrāgi
Spanglish Monkey: Spain – Polvorones

December 16
Pack-n-Go Girls: Austria – Vanillekipferl

December 19
Mom Hats and More: USA – Apple Streudel

December 20
Multicultural Baby: Paraguay – Sopa Paraguaya

December 21
La Clase de Sra. DuFault: Chile – Pan de Pascua

December 22
Uno Zwei Tutu on Multicultural Kid Blogs: Colombia – Hojuelas
Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes: Roast Pork

December 23
All Done Monkey: Haiti

Celebrate Christmas Around the World Printable Pack from Multicultural Kid Blogs

Don’t miss our other posts about Christmas in different lands, plus our printable pack Celebrate Christmas Around the World, on sale now!

Dec 012016
 

The holidays are fast approaching, and this year I decided to try a new treat: a Christmas pudding from Haiti. It is heaven, a sweet combination of flavors we typically associate with the Caribbean, like coconut and banana, with those we associate with the winter holidays, like cinnamon and sweet potatoes.

Haiti Christmas Treat: Sweet Potato Pudding | Alldonemonkey.com

Pain patate is a traditional treat in Haiti, served throughout the year but particularly at Christmas. It is sometimes translated as sweet potato cake or bread, but in other places as sweet potato pudding, which is more how ours turned out.

The recipe is very easy, but it does require quite a lot of cooking time, since the sweet potato are not cooked ahead of time but instead grated and cooked in the batter itself. If you decide to use orange yams like I did instead of the white sweet potatoes traditionally use, be warned that your pudding will take much longer to set, as the white sweet potatoes are much drier and so hold up better in the batter.

Either way, though, the results are delicious!

Haiti Christmas Treat: Sweet Potato Pudding | Alldonemonkey.com

 

 

 

Sweet Potato Pudding (Haiti)

Based on this recipe from Manmie et Tatie

Ingredients

2.5 cups of sweet potatoes (I used one large sweet potato)
½ cup raisins
1 cup evaporated milk
1 ¼ cup coconut milk
1 cup brown sugar, packed
¼ cup butter
½ tsp of salt
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1 ripe banana
1 lime (zest only)
1 T ground ginger
2 T vanilla

Haiti Christmas Treat: Sweet Potato Pudding | Alldonemonkey.com

To Make:

    1. Soak the raisins in boiling water. Wash and peel the sweet potatoes. Grate them with a box grater or (much faster!) cut into pieces and grind in a food processor.
    2. Put the grated sweet potatoes in a pan, along with the evaporated milk, coconut milk, brown sugar, butter, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
    3. Cook on medium heat for 45-50 minutes, stirring frequently. As it cooks, mash the banana and add to the pan, along with the raisins, lime zest, and ginger. Continue to stir frequently.
    4. Add the vanilla then stir and cover. Simmer for 5-10 minutes, until the batter begins to thicken.
    5. Pour into a greased 8 x 11 baking pan and cook at 350 degrees for 1 to 1 ½ hours. The dish is done once the pudding has set and turned a golden color.
    6. For a more cake like consistency, refrigerate for 24 hours.

Holiday Treat & Cookie Swap Around the World

You’ve heard of the holiday cookie swap – here is a virtual swap, hosted by Crafty Moms Share, with recipes from around the world! Visit the linky below to find new multicultural recipes to try this holiday season, and link up your own!

Link up your own holiday recipes!


Nov 302016
 
 November 30, 2016  Christmas, recipes 3 Responses »

Looking for a fun, healthier treat to enjoy with your kids as you gear up for the holidays? Try these crunchy chocolate peanut butter balls for an energy boost that everyone will enjoy!

Crunchy Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls | Alldonemonkey.com

Before you start cooking, use this coupon to get your ingredients! And don’t miss your chance to enter the Sing Sweepstakes: see below for details!

This is a time of year I savor spending with my family. There are so many special traditions we’ve built up over the years. One of my favorites is making gingerbread houses with my kids. I love to vary the ingredients each year, such as by making a healthier version of this holiday classic. One year we even did a pizza bread house!

I always buy some special ingredients for decorations, like candy or dried fruit. This year we used one of our new favorite cereals, which we picked up at Target (Save when you use this coupon)!

Crunchy Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls | Alldonemonkey.com

Choices, choices…

Honey Bunch of Oats® (Honey Roasted and Strawberry) were the perfect addition: the flakes make great leaves for leaves and tiles for roofs, while the granola clusters can…oh, let’s be real! We may never know because they always get eaten before they can be used!

Crunchy Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls | Alldonemonkey.com

In his mind, a gingerbread house is anything you can put sprinkles on!

I love how creative the boys are with this project, which always goes differently than I imagine it will! This year my oldest built a skyscraper, while my youngest built a factory (which looked suspiciously like a big mound of ingredients, since he didn’t have the patience to fool with any actual engineering).

Crunchy Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls | Alldonemonkey.com

The trees, unfortunately, were eaten before I could snap a picture!

To fuel my little architects, I made these absolutely scrumptious crunchy chocolate peanut butter balls. I’ve made peanut butter balls for years, but this year I wanted to do something a little different and, well, fancier. I also know that my kids get bored with eating the same old snacks all the time, and these crunchy, chocolate peanut butter balls were just the ticket to shake things up a bit.

Crunchy Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

Ingredients

One cup peanut butter (or other nut butter)

1.5 T unsweetened cocoa powder

Honey to taste

1 cup crushed Honey Bunches of Oats ® cereal (we used Honey Roasted): Use this coupon to save!

To Make:

  1. Mix peanut butter, cocoa powder, and honey. If you would rather skip the chocolate (really??), add coconut flour to help absorb the liquid and give it a milder flavor. If, on the other hand, you want more chocolate, you can also add mini chocolate chips once the first three ingredients are blended together.
  2. Form the mixture into balls (any size will do, but larger balls will hold up better in the next step).
  3. Roll the balls in the crushed cereal. Enjoy as is or stick in the refrigerator for a (slightly) neater treat!

Crunchy Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls | Alldonemonkey.com

These are a great, healthier treat for kids and moms! They are a balanced, bite-sized source of energy, plus they make a great midnight snack, moms! (Although be careful, because they are so crunchy you might wake up the kids!)

Sing Sweepstakes

This year we are also planning to go see the Sing© movie, opening soon! It looks so cute and funny! But the fun starts now, even before the movie is out, since you can get coupons for participating Post Cereal Brands, play Fun-Trivia to find the SING© character you are most like, and enter the Sing Sweepstakes for a chance to win a $100,000 grand prize plus the chance to instantly win lots of prizes including movie tickets, speakers and more! What would you do with $100,000??

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Promotion starts 11/1/16 at 12:00 PM (noon) ET and ends 3/31/2017 at 11:59:59 PM ET. Open only to legal residents of the 50 US/DC, 18 years of age or older. See Official Rules for instructions on how to enter, how to obtain codes without purchase, prize details, restrictions, odds of winning, etc. Void where prohibited by law. Sponsor:  Post Consumer Brands, LLC.

Sep 162016
 
 September 16, 2016  recipes, Rosh Hashanah Comments Off on Gluten Free Rosh Hashanah Recipes

Looking for some great Rosh Hashanah recipes but worried about sticking to a gluten free diet? I’ve done the research for you to find Rosh Hashanah recipes that are also gluten free!

Gluten free Rosh Hashanah recipes

Today I’m guest posting on Multicultural Kid Blogs to share some wonderful gluten free Rosh Hashanah recipes I’ve found. If you are like me and have a loved one that follows a gluten free diet, you know how challenging it can be to keep to it during holidays and celebrations, when we tend to turn to traditional foods. Luckily, there are so many resources available these days. I’ve found some really wonderful dishes for you – some of them recreate traditional dishes with creative substitutions, while others put a modern spin on classic recipes to make them easier for those on special diets. So be sure to visit Multicultural Kid Blogs to read the full list!

May 112016
 

Easy coconut curd recipe to explore Singapore cooking with kids

The island nation of Singapore is known as a melting pot that is a heaven for foodies young and old.  So to sample some of the amazing Singapore cooking, we decided to try kaya, or coconut curd.  My kids have major sweet tooths (okay, and so do I!) so I thought this would be a fun recipe to try, and manageable during Baby’s nap time.

Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link.  If you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission.

Singapore Cooking: Coconut Curd

As in the past, I turned to Global Table Adventure, which has a beautifully done recipe plus background information.  Kaya shows some of the British influence in Singapore, as it is reminiscent of British lemon curd and is often served on toast at tea time.

The ingredients are simple and easy to find in any grocery store.  The only change we made was to substitute coconut sugar, which adds a deeper note as well as that nice rich brown color.  Both of these led my kids to decide it tasted more like chocolate sauce than coconuts!

This coconut curd recipe is an easy way to sample some Singapore cooking with your kids.

Ours didn’t thicken up quite as much as it should have – next time I’ll cook it for longer and/or increase the heat – but it was still delicious.  And while we did enjoy it the traditional way, served on toast, I’m also curious to try it in other ways.  I bet it would taste wonderful mixed in with oatmeal or yogurt!

This easy coconut curd recipe is a delicious way to sample Singapore cooking with your kids

As you enjoy your treat, you can read Singapore Children’s Favorite Stories together – one of the only collections I’ve seen available in the US! (Read a full review).

Another fun pairing is Nuts for Coconuts. Though it doesn’t mention Singapore, it does talk about the many uses of coconuts in countries around the world, including nearby Malaysia and Indonesia. (Read my full review).

How are you exploring with your kids these days?

Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month Blog Hop 2016 | Alldonemonkey.com

Welcome to our third annual Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month Blog Series and Giveaway! Follow along all month for ideas about sharing with kids the rich cultures of this vast and varied region. Also, be sure to enter the giveaway below and link up your posts on our main page.

For even more ideas, visit our blog hops from last year and 2014. This post is also part of the Global Learning series from Multicultural Kid Blogs.

May 2
Pint Size Gourmets on Multicultural Kid Blogs: Mixed Ethnicity – The Children to Asian Pacific Islanders

May 3
The Art Curator for Kids: Otagi Nenbutsu-ji Temple

May 5
Crafty Moms Share: Katie Chin’s Everyday Chinese Cookbook

May 6
Creative World of Varya

May 9
Crafty Moms Share: Malaysian and Singapore Children’s Favourite Stories

May 12
All Done Monkey

May 13
Colours of Us

May 16
Bicultural Mama

May 17
Wise Owl Factory

May 23
Miss Panda Chinese

May 27
Pack-n-Go Girls on Multicultural Kid Blogs

May 30
Crafty Moms Share

Enter Our Giveaway!

If a winner is drawn who is outside of the shipping area of a particular prize, that prize will revert to the next lower prize package or a new winner will be drawn. See our full giveaway rules.

Grand Prize Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Giveaway | Multicultural Kid Blogs

Grand Prize

From Tuttle Publishing:
Origami Zoo Kit: includes Book, 40 Papers, 95 Stickers, Zoo Map
Beyond the Tiger Mom: East-West Parenting for the Global Age

Lucky Bamboo Book of Crafts: Over 100 projects & ideas celebrating Chinese culture

From Miss Panda Chinese: Set of three learning units (75 page Chinese Number Unit 0 – 100, 30 page Days of the Week Unit, and 18 page Moon Festival Unit)

From Daria, World Music for Children: Set of pu’ili (Hawaiian rhythm sticks) plus a Make Your Own Pu’ili craft PDF. US Shipping Only

1st Prize Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Giveaway | Multicultural Kid Blogs

1st Prize

From Tuttle Publishing:
All about Korea: Stories, songs, crafts, and more
Malaysian Children’s Favourite Stories

From Whole Wide World Toys: World Village Playset China, includes playmat, book, wooden puzzle figures, and story cards. US Shipping Only

Give good luck wishes with a Dumpling Mama lucky envelope. Envelopes have a card inside to write a personal message. Pack of 5 LUCK envelopes are for birthdays, graduations, and baby showers. Pack of 5 HAPPY envelopes are for weddings, engagement, and bridal showers. US/Canada Shipping Only

From Mikaya Press: Tah Majal, a story of love and empire. US Shipping Only

2nd Prize Asian Pacific American Heritage Month Giveaway | Multicultural Kid Blogs

2nd Prize

From Gestalten Publishing: The Honey Hunter, a modern day South Asian fable that teaches children to respect and appreciate nature.

From Quarto Group:
Journey Around the World, discover with Playmobil the most marvelous places on earth with this fully illustrated travel journal. US Shipping Only
C is for China, stunning photographic book capturing the rhythms of everyday life in China. US Shipping Only
I is for India, From Bollywood to Peacock, from Namaskar to Tea, this photographic alphabet is a celebration of India in all its vast and colourful diversity. US Shipping Only

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Mar 282016
 
 March 28, 2016  Passover, recipes 4 Responses »

Sephardic Charoset Recipe | Alldonemonkey.com

Whether you are looking for a new twist on a staple of your Passover Seder or wanting to explore the traditions of Passover with your kids for the first time, you will love this Sephardic charoset recipe.  Its sweetness is balanced out by the spices and nuts, making it kid-friendly and delicious!

When the opportunity came to participate in a blog hop about Passover for kids from Multicultural Kid Blogs, I rather innocently said that I would do a traditional recipe for Passover from Spain.  Our Global Learning series is focusing on Spain this month, so it seemed like a great way to combine the two projects.

So what’s the problem?  As it turns out, establishing what exactly is a Spanish tradition for Passover – or any other Jewish holiday – is a bit tricky.  Even though Jews have been in Spain since ancient times and during medieval times it had one of the largest Jewish communities in the world, today their numbers are relatively small.  Remember the Spanish Inquisition?

Jews had thrived under Muslim rule in Southern Spain, yet everything changed when Ferdinand and Isabella (yes, the same ones that sponsored Columbus’s voyages) were finally able to conquer the remaining Muslim strongholds in the peninsula.  As part of their “Reconquest” for the Catholic Church, they also expelled all the Jews.  (England had expelled Jews 200 years earlier, and there were similar expulsions in many European countries).  The expelled Jews – who today are scattered around the globe – became known as Sephardic Jews, from the Hebrew word for Spain.

Terrible, of course, but that was more than 500 years ago.  What does that have to do with today?  Turns out that Jews were only allowed back to Spain in the late 19th century and then only in small numbers.  In fact, it was just last year that Spain passed a law welcoming the descendants of the expelled Jews back.

Which brings us back to the charoset recipe.  This fruit and nut paste eaten during the Passover Seder is meant to symbolize the suffering of the Jews in Egypt because of its resemblance to the mortar the Jewish slaves used in constructing the great monuments of that empire.  And so it is fitting that we remember that the sufferings of the Jewish people were not just limited to slavery in Egypt or the Holocaust.  They encompass numerous outrages throughout history, including the expulsion (or forced conversion) of the Jews in Spain.

The charoset recipe below, adapted from this version, captures the pungent flavors of Sephardic cooking today, influenced not only from the recent centuries outside of Spain but also from the generations of living under Moorish rule.  I increased the proportion of nuts and skipped the spicier spices out of deference to my kids’ tastes.  Feel free to tinker to discover your family’s own favorite mix.  That is part of the fun!

Sephardic Charoset Recipe | Alldonemonkey.com

Sephardic Charoset Recipe

Adapted from Mother Would Know

Ingredients

Scant 1/4 cup each of dried apricots, dates, dark raisins, golden raisins, dried figs, almonds, pistachios, and walnuts

1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

About 1/4 cup of apple juice or grape juice

Sephardic Charoset Recipe | Alldonemonkey.com

Put all ingredients except juice in the food processor and mix to desired consistency.  (Some like a smooth paste, while others prefer it chunkier).  Heat the juice and add it gradually to the fruit and nut mixture.  Let it sit for a few minutes so the mixture absorbs the liquid and then mix again.  Drain off excess liquid or add more if needed.

 

Passover for Kids | Multicultural Kid Blogs

This post is part of the Passover for Kids Blog Hop from Multicultural Kid Blogs. Visit the co-hosts below for more about how to celebrate this special holiday with kids:

Participating Blogs

The Book of Life on Multicultural Kid Blogs

Crafty Moms Share

All Done Monkey

Kelly’s Classroom

Moms & Crafters

Mar 152016
 

Easter Dessert from Brazil: Paçoca de Amendoim | Alldonemonkey.com

Add a little exotic flavor to your Easter menu this year with this super easy Easter dessert from Brazil!  Paçoca de amendoim is a peanut candy common to the rural areas of the southeastern parts of Brazil, around the states of Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais.  Since so many kids have peanut allergies, I’ve made a peanut-free version using almonds instead – still delicious!

Last year we really enjoyed making an Easter bread from Ethiopia, but with a newborn I knew that this year we’d need something much simpler.  There are many different recipes out for paçoca de amendoim, all slightly different, but most use peanuts, sugar, condensed milk, and manioc (cassava) flour.  Traditionally the peanuts were pounded in a mortar, but most cooks today use a food processor. Basically you just throw everything in and mix: I love any recipe that only requires that I push a button!

The toughest thing is getting the consistency right, which is always difficult if, like me, you’ve never tried the real thing.  It should be dry but not too crumbly – just wet enough to come together without turning into a paste.  If yours turns out too wet, try mixing in extra flour or putting it in the refrigerator over night – if you can wait that long!  The best thing, though, is to start too dry and add the condensed milk only a very little bit at a time.

Either way, it will be delicious!  Happy Easter and enjoy!

Easter Dessert from Brazil: Paçoca de Amendoim | Alldonemonkey.com

Easter Dessert from Brazil: Paçoca de Amendoim

Inspired by these two versions: from Cyber Cook and About.com (the latter was one of only English versions I found).

Ingredients:

1 cup of peanuts or almonds

1/2 cup manioc (cassava) flour or coconut flour*

2 T brown sugar (I used coconut sugar)

1 can of sweetened condensed milk (you will not need the entire can)

pinch of salt

*look for manioc flour or manioc starch in international grocery stores.  Ours unfortunately did not have it, so I substituted coconut flour instead.

Add all ingredients except condensed milk to your food processor and grind to desired consistency.  (I did ours into a fine powder, but some prefer to leave slightly larger bits of nuts).  Add the condensed milk just a little bit at a time until the mixture starts to come together.  Press into an 8 x 8 pan or other mold then cut into pieces.

 

Series on Easter around the world

Explore the diverse traditions of Easter around the world with us, and don’t miss our series from last year and this wonderful overview of global Easter traditions. You can also find these posts and more on our Easter Around the World Pinterest board:

Follow Multicultural Kid Blogs’s board Easter Around the World on Pinterest.

March 7
Femme au foyer on Multicultural Kid Blogs: Priecīgas Lieldienas: A Latvian Easter

March 8
Crafty Moms Share: Exploring Easter in Australia

March 11
La Cité des Vents: La Procession de la Sanch

March 14
Living Ideas: DIY Indonesian Easter Basket from Recycled Can

March 15
All Done Monkey

March 17
Kids Travel Books

March 21
Kori at Home

March 23
Let the Journey Begin

March 24
Hispanic Mama

Jan 202016
 
 January 20, 2016  natural parenting, recipes 6 Responses »

A collection of our favorite healthy desserts that my kids love

Cooking with kids is such a fun family activity, plus it’s a great way to teach healthy eating habits!  We love sweets in our house, so when possible I try to choose healthy desserts and have my kids to help me make them.  They are always surprised to see how healthy ingredients can make such sweet treats!

Disclosure: I received a Personalized Creations cookie jar for review purposes; however, all opinions are my own.

When we finish, into the cookie jar they go (at least what we haven’t eaten already!)  And what fun when that cookie jar is personalized with their names!  I love our Heart Full of Love cookie jar from Personalized Creations.  The design is gorgeous, and the jar itself is high quality: beautiful and very durable, a winning combination for a mom with three kids!

Heart Full of Love Cookie Jar

Heart Full of Love Cookie Jar from PersonalCreations.com

Looking to fill your cookie jar?  Here are some wonderful recipes for healthy desserts that you and your kids will love!

Healthy Desserts for Kids

Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies from Mama Smiles

Healthy Mixed Berry Cookies from Artsy Craftsy Mom

Chicka Coconut Banana Booms from Growing Book by Book

Grapefruit, Chia, and Poppyseed Cookies from Kidgredients

Banana Raisin Cookies from Craftulate

Chocolate Chip Craisin Oatmeal Cookies from Kitchen Floor Crafts

Anzac Biscuits from Go Science Girls

Chocolate Bread from Danya Banya

Chocolate Cranberry Cheerio Bars from Makeovers and Motherhood

Apple and Coconut Macaroons from Snotty Noses

Healthy AND Decadent Chocolate Chip Cookies from The Soccer Mom

Chocolate Avocado Pumpkin Cookies with Salted Caramel Chips from The Soccer Mom

Cowboy Cookies from Little Sprouts Learning

Banana Oat Cookies from Snotty Noses

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars from Everyday Savvy

Winnie the Pooh Honey Snacks from Kelly’s Classroom

Biscotti from Snotty Noses

Groovy Granola Bars from Little Sprouts Learning

Dec 152015
 

Las Posadas: Creamy Avocado Salsa Recipe | Alldonemonkey.com

With the arrival of our newest bundle of joy last month, we are keeping things simple in our house, especially when it comes to cooking.  At the same time, however, we don’t want to sacrifice taste or comfort, which is why I love this creamy avocado salsa recipe.  So easy, but a real treat for all of us!

This recipe is special because it also celebrates Las Posadas, the wonderful Christmas tradition from Latin America that recreates Joseph and Mary’s search for shelter before the birth of Baby Jesus.  This festive time is one of joyous gatherings of family and friends, filled with laughter, song, and – of course – great food!

This tradition is especially poignant for our family this year, as it celebrates community and family, two things that are of particular importance when a child is born.  We live far away from our families: mine is scattered throughout the US, while my husband’s is in Costa Rica, distances that seemed even greater as our due date drew near.  And while our families did their best to support us (last minute plane trips, Skype, packages of presents), we knew we would be leaning heavily on friends when our little girl arrived.

And so it was.  Friends and neighbors babysat as we went to the birth center: one dear friend responded to a desperate text at 5 am, while another cheerfully spent all day with our boys.  In the days that followed, women from my moms’ group – some of whom I had never even met before – dropped off hot meals, while other friends offered to take our older children out for play dates.  Blogger friends sent guest posts and gave my articles extra love.  My personal inbox and Facebook page were flooded with well wishes and offers of help.

In short, our family – including our new little one – was surrounded with love and support, at a time when we sorely needed it.  And that is what Las Posadas represents to me: a celebration of community, as people come together to provide shelter and support to those in need.

HERDEZ® is encouraging this wonderful tradition by sharing favorite recipes and traditions, plus a contest! (See details below).  Here is an easy holiday recipe made with HERDEZ® Salsa Verde, perfect for Las Posadas or other holiday celebration.  Even for busy families like ours, it is easy to put together!

Las Posadas: Creamy Avocado Salsa Recipe | Alldonemonkey.com

Avocado Salsa Recipe

2 ripe avocados

1 & 1/4 to 1 & 1/2 cup, HERDEZ® Salsa Verde

Dash of lemon juice

Mix all ingredients well in a blender.  Adjust proportions as needed.  Enjoy as a dip or as a topping for tacos.  I’ve even seen it used as a sauce for pasta!

Las Posadas: Creamy Avocado Salsa Recipe | Alldonemonkey.com

How are you celebrating with your loved ones this holiday season?

Las Posadas Instagram Contest

As this holiday brings family and friends coming together enjoying food and celebrations, HERDEZ® brand is holding a photo contest on Instagram. The Share in the Magic of #MisPosadas contest lasts from December 7th – January 6th.

Each week, a fill in the blank question relevant to the holiday will be posted for fans to answer with a photo. Three top winners will be selected as well as honorable mentions. Prizes are as follows:

– Grand Prize: Dinner prepared by a personal chef for up to 4 people in your very own home!
– 2nd Place: $250 Gift Basket
– 3rd Place: $200 Gift Basket
– Honorable Mention: Custom T-shirts

To enter, submit a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #MisPosadas to answer the weekly fill in the blank question.  Visit  HERDEZ® on Instagram to play along!

Nov 232015
 
 November 23, 2015  Fall, recipes 2 Responses »

Coconut Pumpkin Bread | Alldonemonkey.com

Pumpkin bread is a fall staple in our household.  I grew up eating my mother’s version and now that I’m a mom I make it often for my family.  The main change is substituting coconut oil for vegetable oil and using some non-traditional flours and flaxseed.  Also, I leave out the ground cloves because to me it competes too much with the coconut flavor.

Ingredients

4 eggs, beaten

2 cups sugar

2 cups cooked pumpkin or sweet potato (1 can pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling)*

1 cup coconut oil, melted

1/2 cup water plus 2 tablespoons

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1-1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup coconut flour

1/3 cup almond flour

1/4 cup ground flaxseed

*If you have time, roasting the pumpkin or sweet potato and pureeing in the food processor gives a much richer flavor than the canned pumpkin

Coconut Pumpkin Bread | Alldonemonkey.com

1. Oil two small loaf pans.  Combine eggs and sugar; mix well.

2. Add pumpkin, coconut oil, and water.  Blend thoroughly.

3. Add all dry ingredients and mix until combined. Note: The batter will be much denser than with traditional pumpkin bread.

4. Pour into prepared loaf pans and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour, until an inserted knife comes out clean.

What are your favorite holiday recipe makeovers?

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