Mother’s Day is around the corner (May 12th!)–have you done your shopping yet? Here’s a chance to win a whole host of prizes–enough to pass some along to your mom and still have some leftover for yourself.
I’ve joined in with several of my blogging friends to participate in The Great Mother’s Day Giveaway (thanks, Brette Sember for organizing this giveaway).
And now for the part you’ve all been waiting for–the prizes. Keep reading for a complete list and for details about how to enter.
From PuttingItAllontheTable (The Organizer of This Great Giveaway):
One signed copy of The Muffin Tin Cookbook: 200 Fast, Delicious Mini-Pies, Pasta Cups, Gourmet Pockets, Veggie Cakes, and More! by Brette Sember. Moms love muffin tin cooking because one cup equals one portion (no fooling yourself that you’ll have “just another bite”) and because kids automatically think anything made in a muffin cup is delicious and are willing to try new foods made this way.
One copy of Cookie: A Love Story: Fun Facts, Delicious Stories, Fascinating History, Tasty Recipes, and More by Brette Sember, a glorious celebration of America’s favorite treat, a gleeful look at its history, impact, meaning, and deliciousness, filled with mouth-watering anecdotes and stories that will satisfy in a way no other book can. Special recipes, anecdotes, and everything you ever wanted to know about cookies are in its pages.
One copy of Project: Happily Ever After, by Alisa Bowman, a memoir of how the author saved her marriage. Partly tragic and partly humorous, the book will help you feel normal, give you helpful tools to try at home, and leave you with a pervading sense that you are not alone.
From Christine Gross-Loh:
One signed copy of Parenting without Borders: Surprising Lessons Parents Around the World Can Teach Us, hitting shelves just in time for Mother’s Day. Parenting expert Christine Gross-Loh, a mother of four, takes readers on a multicultural tour of the world’s best parenting practices — from Finland, Sweden, and Germany to France, Japan, China, Italy, and beyond to examine how international parents successfully foster creativity, discipline, independence, resilience and academic excellence in their children.
Revealing the surprising ways in which culture shapes accepted practices, Gross-Loh offers objective, science-based insight into what strategies are best for children–and why–in a book that is sure to spark new conversations among parents. Ultimately, Parenting Without Borders is both a call to action and an international handbook on how to build our own global village–one that will raise all of our children well.
From Belle Jewelry Designs:
One Bead Kit and Pattern to Make Dainty Daisies Bracelet by Claudine Jalajas. Every year my children give me flowers for the garden for Mother’s Day. It’s one of my favorite gifts. This bracelet reminds me of Mother’s Day for that reason.
This pattern and bead kit will provide you with everything you need to create this lovely bracelet. The design is created using a cross-weave technique which is great for anyone from never-touched-a-needle-and-thread-before to advanced weaver.
I’ve taught this design at several libraries in Suffolk County (on Long Island). Most people can create the bracelet in an hour. It is woven using 4mm and 6mm genuine Swarovski crystallized pearls for the flowers, TOHO seed beads for vines, and potato pearls to simulate leaves. The clasp is a lobster clasp. This design also makes a gorgeous anklet–just increase the size. Jalajas’s bracelet design book, Wearable Art, featuring more than 25 bracelet designs, will be released Fall 2014 by Running Press.
From Attainable Sustainable:
One copy of Off the Shelf: Homemade alternatives to the condiments, toppings, and snacks you love from Kris Bordessa, who shares a collection of recipes that take your favorite condiments and pantry staples off the grocery store shelves and puts them right in your (very capable) hands.
Make hummus, pesto, fresh salsa, and a Caesar ranch dressing that will knock your socks off. Whip up a batch of hot fudge sauce or chocolate pudding to indulge your sweet tooth. If you can chop, dice, and stir, you (or your kids, mom!) can make any of these recipes and more right at home.
One $25 Gift Certificate for King Arthur Flour, from My KidsEatSquid.com, which offers cooking tips, tricks, and recipes to tempt your family’s taste buds.
Founded in 1790 (yes, you read that right), King Arthur Flour is a really cool business where baking and social responsibility go hand in hand.
From The Friendship Blog:
One copy of Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup With Your Best Friend by psychologist Irene S. Levine. On a recent appearance on “CBS Sunday Morning,” Rita Braver called Irene the “Dear Abby of Friendship.”
Close friendships, which are essential to our well-being, can be challenged by motherhood. Having children often drains time and emotion from other relationships, and can create distance between mothers and child-free friends. Give yourself the gift of focusing on your female friendships this Mother’s Day.
One copy of 65 Things to Do When You Retire: TRAVEL. A total of 10,000 people turn 65 each day–and many of them who retire want to make the most of travel opportunities. 65 Things to Do When You Retire: Travel offers practical, inspiring advice about how to have the time of your life, whether traveling with a group, with a spouse or partner, or on your own.
More than 65 intrepid writers and travel experts reveal their own personal adventures and describe glorious getaways for retirees, including such exciting travel opportunities as international house-sitting, going to Italy for a writing workshop, volunteering to help communities in developing countries, doing archaeological digs, taking a retirement “gap year,” and chucking it all to see the world.
An autographed hard cover copy of The Business of Baby, by Jennifer Margulis, an explosive new book uncovering how corporations and for-profit medicine harm new moms and their babies.
Award-winning midwife Ina May Gaskin calls the book, “a must-read for expectant mothers,” and Library Journal has said it’s “not just for parents to ponder.”
6 DVDs. Every mom needs a distraction from life, whether it’s Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts on a scooter, Edie Falco as a wayward nurse, Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman as old friends who might be parents, the classic boy from Neverland, Anna Wintour’s glitzy life, or America’s bully crisis.
That’s why Reel Life With Jane’s entry in The Great Mother’s Day Giveaway is a DVD/blu-ray six-pack extravaganza: “Larry Crowne,” “Nurse Jackie Season 4,” “The Switch,” “Peter Pan Diamond Edition,” “The September Issue,” and “Bully.” For more great giveaways, entertainment news, celebrity interviews and reviews, visit Reel Life With Jane and follow them on Twitter.
- One winner will win the ENTIRE package of prizes!
- Enter by leaving a comment on this post.
- For more chances to win, enter once at each blog listed in the giveaway below. One entry per person per blog.
- You must enter by midnight ET on Sunday, May 12, 2013 (Mother’s Day).
- Each blog participating in the giveaway will randomly select one semifinalist from those who have entered on that blog. One winner will then be randomly selected from those names and will win ALL the prizes.
- Offer limited to U.S. addresses only; entrants age 18 and up.
- Winner will be notified by the email given when entering; not responsible for email transmission problems or postal delivery problems or failures.
- You are responsible for notifying us of your correct mailing address if you are selected as a winner.
- Contest closes at midnight Eastern Time on May 12, 2013. Prize is nontransferable and may not be redeemed for cash.
- We reserve the right to announce the name of the winner on the blogs.
Each participating blog will be responsible for sending its own prize
It’s that time of year–my kids (and I) are getting bored with their sack lunches. So I try to come up with fun ways to reinvent the same old ingredients.
For veggies, I squirt a little bit of ranch dressing into the bottom of a small plastic glass and then fill it with baby carrots and pea pods. I’ve found that shot glasses from the party store make the perfect fit. I wrap these up in aluminum foil so they don’t spill in their lunches.
This snack has quickly become one of my youngest daughter’s favorites. You could also put peanut butter in the bottom or cream cheese.
My kids know that I like to “fancify” meals. I’m sure there’s some sort of French word for our made up one. The idea: to present your food in a fun way. Make it a little fancy. Our fancifying comes from different places: sometimes we try making something we ate at restaurant, sometimes it’s a creative way to get my kids to try something new. But this time, it was all about using up an ingredient I didn’t want to go bad in the fridge.
I made Asian Mex avocado egg rolls earlier this week so I still have a few wrappers on hand. So when I was making a stir fry the other day, I wanted a cool way to put the rice on the plate–enter the egg roll bowl. I found a recipe for mini morning quiches from Nasoya, which I still want to try, but I thought I could use the same technique. These bowls were so simple and fun to make my kids kept brainstorming during dinner other ways we could fill them. I’m thinking a dessert egg roll bowl would be good–wouldn’t it? Maybe a bananas foster egg roll bowl…
Servings: As many as you want!
Prep time: 10 minutes + baking for 10
Large egg roll wrappers (Nasoya wonton wrappers work well)
Fillings–let your kids decide
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Spray the underside of your muffin pan with cooking oil.
- Working with one wrapper at a time, drape the egg roll over the inverted muffin cup to form a cup. For folds, I brushed a little water on the wrapper to help them stick together when baking.
- Bake for 5-8 minutes. Watch carefully! These bowls will burn easily.
- Gently pop the bowls off of the muffin pan.
My tween has been on a pistachio kick lately. And I’ve been encouraging it. She shuns peanuts and peanut butter–a childhood staple for me. So if pistachios are the closest thing I can get her to like besides peanuts, I’ll take it. With all the extra pistachios around, I’ve been putting them in just about everything, spinach pesto last week and salsa now.
Servings: 2- 2 1/2 cups
Prep time: 20 minutes
7 guajillo chiles (dried)
1 small onion, cut into wedges
1/2 serrano pepper
1/2 clove garlic (or throw in the whole thing if you’re a garlic lover)
1/4 cup pistachios (roasted, shelled)
1 26-oz can whole tomatillos, drained (or 6-8 fresh tomatillos)
1 tbsp. fresh lime juice or white vinegar
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
Salt to taste
- Cut the ends off of the guajillo chiles and remove as many of the seeds as possible.
- Bring a non-stick or cast-iron pan to medium-high heat. Place the chiles and onion wedges on the pan just until fragrant, about 2 minutes. You’ll notice that the chile skin becomes softer as it’s toasted. Watch the chiles carefully; they burn easily.
- Fill a large mixing bowl with hot water. Put the chiles and onion into the water while preparing the other ingredients (about 5 minutes).
- Cut the top off of the serrano chile and then cut it lengthwise. Carefully remove the seeds and ribs (you might want to wear gloves).
- In a blender, process the tomatillos, chiles, onion, cumin, lime juice, serrano, garlic, pistachios, and salt until smooth.
Plenty of uses beyond chip dipping:
- Saute chicken with the salsa
- Mix salsa and ranch dressing for salad
- Make quesadillas with cheese and salsa tucked inside the flour tortillas
In February, we went to New Year’s celebration at our favorite Chinese restaurant and I’ve had avocado egg rolls on the brain ever since. I wasn’t expecting to like warm avocado–let alone the green, creamy vegetable smeared into an egg roll wrapper, then fried. But hey, it was the special so we had to try them out. Avocado egg rolls rock!
For my version, I wanted to add in a dash of Mexican flavor–and spice. These egg rolls were easy to make and fried up beautifully.
Servings: 12 egg rolls
Prep time: 30 minutes
3 ripe avocados
1/2 white onion, diced small
1/3 cup red bell pepper, diced small (opt.)
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 serrano pepper, diced (opt.)
Salt to taste
12 egg roll wrappers
Oil for frying
Juice from 1 orange
1 tablespoon vinegar (I used orange vinegar, you could use any light vinegar, like white)
1 tsp. agave syrup
1/2 serrano pepper sliced in rings
2 green onions, white and green parts sliced into rings
Pinch of salt
- Mix together avocado, onion, serrano pepper, red pepper, cumin, garlic powder, and salt.
- Place about 1 1/2 tbsps. avocado mixture diagonally in the middle of one egg roll wrapper.
- Fold one corner of the egg roll toward the middle of the avocado mixture. Then fold the sides of the wrapper in toward the avocado mixture.
- Starting the place of your first corner fold, roll the egg roll toward the last end (dab that corner with water so the end sticks). You can follow the egg roll instructions here, too.
- Roll the remaining egg rolls.
- Fill a wok with about 1 1/2″ frying oil. Bring the oil to medium-high heat.
- Fry the egg rolls three at a time about 2-3 minutes a piece until golden.
- Drain on paper towels.
- To make the sauce: Whisk all of the sauce ingredients together.
- Serve hot.
Kids’ reactions: Big favorite with the teen. My youngest who has declared she “doesn’t like avocados” tried this recipe and liked it. She didn’t ask for seconds, but it’s a start. My tween tried a bit of her avocado egg roll and politely left the rest there.
Traditional gyros require hours of time and special equipment. Anyone have a vertical broiler handy? Yeah, me neither. Instead, I fake it with chicken marinated in Greek dressing. The better the dressing you can find, the better your gyros–Matsos is my favorite. If I have time, I’ll also grill the chicken breasts whole. But if I need dinner in a hurry, I’ll cut them into thin strips for fast cooking on the stove top.
Prep time: 30 minutes + marinating time
4 chicken breasts
1/2 cup Greek salad dressing
4-6 good pitas
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 fresh lemon
1 tomato, sliced in wedges
1/2 white onion, in slices
2 Tbsps. olive oil
Thinly sliced cucumbers (opt.)
- Cut the chicken breasts into thin strips and marinate in the Greek dressing at least 30 minutes. (I usually put the chicken strips in the marinade in the morning so there’s one less step come dinner time.)
- In a large saute pan, bring the olive oil to medium-high heat. Add the chicken strips and cook through. Squeeze the juice from 1/2 a lemon at the end of cooking along with salt and pepper.
- In a small bowl stir together the Greek yogurt and garlic cloves. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. I also like to add in some cayenne pepper. Mr. Squid adds a little bit of extra Greek dressing too–I like to keep mine with just a garlic zing.
- Warm up the pita bread in the microwave or on a heated nonstick pan.
- Prepare each pita by slathering it with Greek yogurt dressing, then add chicken strips, 2 tomato wedges, a few onion slices, and a bit of feta cheese (and cucumbers if you’re using them).
This Easter my kids are going to be taking care of breakfast. And yours can too with these easy ideas and recipes:
Yeasted waffles: Let your kiddos mix up the batter and use the waffle iron.
Mini quiches: Encourage your kids to make their own mixins’ like broccoli, cheese, tomatoes, and more.
Mini bread: Yeah, I’m on a mini-streak, but kids love to make things that are their size.
Break out the cookie cutters: Deck out your brunch with cheese, thinly sliced veggies, bread, and other little goodies your kids create.
Appoint a fruit salad crew: My youngest loves to make fruit salads. It doesn’t need to be exotic fruits–apples, bananas, and oranges do just fine.
I’m excited about a new project going on at MKES: Kids’ book reviews. I’ve asked my kiddos to weigh in on their favorite books–with this twist–we’re making recipes inspired by the characters.
One of our favorite series is about a clever girl who discovers she has a hidden talent or two (no wonder my daughter is eager to read each new installment!). But I’ll let my 4th grader explain the rest.
Book Review: Molly Moon
Hi I’m the youngest in our family and I finished the book Molly Moon’s Incredible Book of Hypnotism. It is about an orphan named Molly Moon who has a tough time fitting in. She is picked on by the other kids at the orphanage and the staff there. But all of that changes when she finds a book about real Hypnotism! She then learns how to hypnotize people by studying and studying. Her friend Rockie helps too. Along the way she picks up a loyal companion, a cute dog called Petulia! An a interesting little detail about her is her absolutely favorite food is the weirdest food of all, ketchup sandwiches. She loves them so much she hypnotizes people to give them to her! This book is an amazing book. If you are a person who likes realistic fiction/action/comity/thrilling books this is the book for you. I had a lot of fun reading this book. I would recommend this book to children of all ages. So if you haven’t read this book or any of the thrilling sequels I’d go and get them. If you have read it I’d suggest reading the other books in the series or write back and tell me how it was. I hope you read this amazing book!
The youngest squid eater
Recipe: Ketchup pinwheel sandwiches
*I should mention this was more of an experiment than a culinary delight.
Prep time: 5 minutes (or less)
Servings: As many as you can eat
1 slice bread
1 tbsp. ketchup
- Let your child thwap a piece of bread until it becomes paper thin.
- Slather ketchup onto the bread.
- Starting on one end, roll up the bread (yes, you’ll get ketchup on your fingers).
- Cut the ketchup roll into circles.
- Take a deep breath and try a ketchup roll.
Our verdict on Molly Moon’s favorite food: We decided after sampling ketchup sandwiches (even “fancified” ones as my daughter put it) you’d have to be hypnotized to really enjoy these. Sure, Molly likes the ketchup/bread combo and my daughter said she was glad she gave it a try. But as for becoming a ketchup sandwich fan like Molly, she says she’d rather read about it!
Lately, I’m adding a few swigs of white balsamic vinegar into most of my savory sauces and homemade vinaigrettes. Maybe it’s that I’m anxious for spring to be here but the sweet yet acidic flavor of white balsamic brightens up just about anything.
I usually get my vinegars at Trader Joe’s where they’re reasonably priced and good quality.