How to Make Pumpkin Seeds

It’s a delicious and nutritious seasonal snack and it’s easy enough for kids to make almost entirely on their own! My daughter who is a HUGE fan of pumpkin seeds (especially if she made them…) teaches us how kids can whip up a batch in the kitchen. Recipe included in VIDEO (2:31).

Do your kids have a go-to recipe that they love for Halloween or Thanksgiving? Share it with us in the comments below. And give Reilly some props! She’s a natural!

How to Make Nut-free Granola

As part of The Great Purge of 2010, we’re on a Real Food regimen for the next few days. This means vegetarian, no wheat and minimally processed food. Diann, a Master Cleanse veteran has offered some advice:  have everything you need ready in advance. #wise

I’ve made a double batch of granola. It’s a no excuse simple recipe, really. And nut-free since I have a severe peanut and tree nut kid.

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup honey (I used local organic)

4 cups oats

2 cup raw sunflower seeds

2 cups raw pumpkin seeds

1 cup diced apricots

1 cup golden raisins

1 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix oats and seeds and oil and honey thoroughly in a big bowl.

Pour into baking sheets. Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown, stirring every 5 minutes.

Cool for 5-10 minutes. Add fruit.

Store in airtight container.

I’ll be sharing any more ingenious quick and healthy recipes we come up with… but we could always use more so if you have any, leave a comment, will ya?

Practical Mommy is Ria Sharon, co-creator of the Yoga Parenting course. Are you ready for parenting to be easier, more fun and less stressful?

How to Make a Tex-Mex Dinner (Accidentally)

This recipe was a total mishap but it turns out to be one of my husband’s favorites!!  A couple of weeks ago we strayed from the menu because we were so wanting Chicken and Noodles.  So I put a split chicken in the crock pot in 2.5 cups of water and cooked it all night on low!!  It smelled so good!!  The next morning I was up shredding and picking the bones out of the chicken!  That is when the phone rang and we received a dinner invitation we could not refuse!  So I put a Ziploc bag of shredded chicken in the frig!!  The next day, I wanted to make sure I used the chicken…

Shel’s Accidental Tex Mex Dinner was born and it is so so EASY!!!

You need:
Spilt Chicken Breast
2 cans of RoTel Tomatoes with Green Chilies
1 can Green Enchilada sauce
2 cans refried beans
1 bag of Kraft Mexi Cheese
Sour Cream
Hidden Valley Spicy Ranch
1 Santa Fe Rice

[Read more…]

How to Make Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

My neighbor thinks I’m crazy for making chicken noodle soup from scratch! Why, she says? You could buy it in a can.

I know. But my kids ordered it at Noodles & Co. last week and said how much they liked it. I tasted it and thought it tasted easy to make. I asked them, “You would eat that if I made it?” Yeah!!!!

My mom would be proud of me for my newfound ability to “wing it” in the kitchen. This is what I did:

I poached a couple of chicken breasts. For those of you who don’t know what that means… that’s okay, I didn’t either until my friend Sharon taught me how to make the now famous Chicken Pot Pie. You put the chicken in a pot of water with a stick of celery, an onion, salt and pepper, a cup of chicken broth (optional), and a couple of dashes of ginger powder (my addition) and bring to a boil. Then simmer on low for awhile (30-45 min).
When the chicken was done, I put them aside and once it cooled, sliced them into thin strips.
I strained out the broth to get all the gunk out.
I cooked the egg noodles.
I put the noodles, chicken, and carrots into a pot and added some of the broth. And added water until it tasted right. Cooked in on medium/low heat covered until the carrots were soft. Voila! [Read more…]

How to Make Quick Fried Rice

I really detest cooking in the summer. Did I mention it’s 100 degrees in the shade these days? And frankly, my kids and I have more fun things to do that take too much time in front of the stove. Like last night, we were on a mission to squeeze in a few more episodes of Avatar: The Last Airbender. But the mom in me said chips and twizzlers just was not going to cut it for dinner. So while the girl was in the bath, the boy and I whipped this up in 10 minutes!

And the best part was they loooooved it. Both my 8 yo and 6 yo asked for seconds. We finished the whole thing, which meant I didn’t even have leftovers to put away!

So here’s the recipe, which Rachael Ray-style, is not very exact. My 6 yo sous chef and I kinda made it up as we went along.

• aidell’s cooked chicken and apple sausage,chopped

• 1/2 zucchini, chopped

• handful of button mushrooms, chopped

• 2 eggs

• pre-cooked white/brown rice. It’s better if it is made at least 1 day prior. Ours happened to be a week old.

• salt to taste

• 1 tbs of vegetable oil

Heat vegetable oil on medium high in frying pan or wok. Add EVERYTHING, one by one in order of how long it takes to cook. I added the chicken sausage first until brown. Then, the mushrooms. Then, the zucchinis. Then cleared a spot in the middle. Dropped in the two eggs. Mixed it all together.

We added the salt in each serving bowl to taste.

By the way, this recipe so in the spirit of traditional fried rice. Really, put anything in there you want. Leftover steak is especially good.

Do you have any go-to quick dinners? I’m always looking for more ideas!

Practical Mommy is Ria Sharon, co-creator of the Yoga Parenting course. Are you ready for parenting to be easier, more fun and less stressful?

How to Make a Pomodoro Sauce: Easy, Versatile, Practical

Ever since a trip to Italy years ago, I’ve been in search of the perfect Pomodoro. It’s a fabulous summer recipe, light and healthy. After many years, I’m proud and happy to say, I just made it up myself! Thus, it is super easy!

8 roma tomatoes
2 tbs. of olive oil
basil (fresh or freeze dried)
olive oil spray
1/2 cup of fresh grated parmesan cheese
mozarella (optional)
salt to taste

First, place the tomatoes in the broiler, sprayed with olive oil, and sprinkled with a bit of salt and basil. Broil until tender (10-15 minutes).

Add parmesan cheese.
Add 2 tbs. of olive oil

That’s it! Pour on pasta and top with fresh mozarella!

I’ve already made it twice this week and my 6 year old loved it. Here’s another tip: make a whole pot of it and keep adding stuff. Great options: roasted vegetables like zucchinis and mushrooms, meat, eggplant, bacon. The possibilities are endless.

I also used it to make bruschettas for lunch one day. How’s that for practical.
The secret was the cheese — which I didn’t realize until I re-created my grandmother’s famous bolognese sauce.

Practical Mommy is Ria Sharon, co-creator of the Yoga Parenting course. Are you ready for parenting to be easier, more fun and less stressful?

How to Make Spinach Lasagna

Spinach Lasagna

Whether you are making the only spinach version or the spinach with meat version, homeamade lasagna is quite easy. I usually try to make an extra pan as it actully tastes better the second day!

Spinach Filling

2 lbs small curd cottage cheese (may substitute Ricotta cheese if desired)

2 – 10 oz packages frozen chopped spinach – thawed

1 tsp garlic powder

salt to taste

Tomato Sauce

3 jars spaghetti sauce – your choice of spices

**For a meat version – Brown 1 lb ground beef (or more if desired) and add to spaghetti sauce before beginning to assemble.

**may use tomato sauce and add Italian spice (basil, oregano, garlic) to taste

Lasagna Noodles

1 box, I prefer the no-cook variety. Simply assemble dry noodles in the following instructions and bake as directed.


In a 13 x 9 pan prepared with nonstick cooking spray, assemble in layers:

  • lasagna noodles
  • spinach filling – use a spoon to spread a thin layer evenly over noodles
  • mozzarella cheese

End layers with mozzarella cheese.

Bake at 350F for 1 hour. Lasagna should be golden and bubbly.

Serve hot and enjoy!

by Expert Mommy, Dina-Marie Oswald

How to Make Chocolate Cake from Scratch

choc cake mommy manual#23 c flour                                          1 Tbsp vanilla
2 c sugar                                         2 Tbsp vinegar
5 Tbsp cocoa (1/3 c)                       2/3 c oil
1 tsp salt                                         2 c water
2 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease pans (2- 8″ round or 1- 13″ x 9″)

Measure dry ingredients into bowl. Pour vanilla, vinegar, oil and water into dry mix. Mix until smooth batter forms. I use a whisk.

Bake at 350F for 34 – 40 min. until fork inserted comes out clean. Cool completely. Remove from pans.

Dina-Marie Oswald, RN is one of our Expert Mommies. She contributes tips on frugal living, homeschooling and food.

How to Make Frog Spit

smoothieMy kids love giving deliciously disgusting names to our relatively healthy summer smoothies! Half the fun is making it. My kiddos love helping.

In this case, we used:
– 3 kiwis
– 1 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
– 2 lime popsicles
– 1 banana

But really, use your imagination! Throw anything sweet and green in a blender!

Practical Mommy is Ria Sharon. Click the links for Practical Mommy’s recommendations for travel car seats, affordable and fun diaper bags (skip hop bag), and the best-selling crib brand, Da Vinci Crib.

How to Get Gourmet with Leftovers

(a recession-friendly recipe from @gourmeted)

gourmeted_crustless_quicheFancy, Yet Easy, Leftover-Saver Recipe

These days everyone is trying to save money where they can and I think we are all becoming smarter consumers because of it. When it comes to food, not only are we more conscious of the way we shop for groceries, but also finally taking a closer look into our own refrigerators and pantries. Who knew there’s a lot in there that we never noticed before? I was going through our pantry the other day and discovered all the canned goods that we thought we’ve run out of. Duh! We are all making the most of our meals and leftovers, and getting more creative in the kitchen. It sure is the sign of the times, but definitely a good change.

Here’s where this easy quiche recipe comes in: it’s a great way to use leftovers to give them a fancy twist, without the fancy cost and too much work. All you need are milk, cream, cheese, butter, and bread crumbs–which are usually readily available in your kitchen–and your choice of (leftover) ‘filling’ (any meat and/or vegetable, I like them sauteed and seasoned first). Put it together, leave it in the oven to bake for 25 minutes and serve it. Now that’s my kind of weekday meal! [Read more…]