Dallas Mom Blog and Fort Worth Mom Blogger: Trendy Mom Reviews
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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Recipe: Easy Falafel Waffles

Recipe: Easy Falafel Waffles

Ingredients

  • 1 15 ounce can of chickpeas, drained
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 2 tsp. cilantro
  • 2 tbsp. chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

1. Add all of the ingredients a food processor and pulse until the ingredients are thoroughly mixed and an even dough forms.

2. Refrigerate the mixture until you are ready to make the falafel waffles.

3. Spray the waffle maker with cooking spray.

4. Waffle maker sizes will vary, but you'll want to add approximately 1/3 cup of batter for each falafel waffle.

5. Cook until golden brown and thoroughly cooked.


6. Allow to cool and enjoy.  We love filling pitas with falafel waffles, tzatziki sauce, tomatoes, lettuce, and cucumbers!



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Recipe: Easy Bread in a Dutch Oven

Recipe: Easy Bread in a Dutch Oven

Ingredients

  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt or coarse sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil


Directions

1. Dissolve the active dry yeast in the warm water for 1 to 2 minutes.

2. Add the warm water, yeast, flour, and salt to you stand mixer. Use a dough hook on medium speed for approximately 10 minutes.

3. Remove the bowl and cover it with a warm damp cloth to allow it to rise.  It will take about 3 to 4 hours to rise.

4. Spray the bottom and sides of your large Dutch oven with cooking spray or line it with parchment paper.  (We use a 6 qt. Dutch oven from Marquette Castings.)

5. Remove the dough and knead to redistribute the yeast.  Shape it into a ball and then add it to your large Ditch oven and cover it with a clean and damp warm towel.

6. Allow the dough to rise again. The amount of time is up to you, but we typically allow it to rise for 2 hours.

7. Coat the surface of the dough with the olive oil. You may also want to optionally sprinkle coarse sea salt and/or herbs on the top.  Score the top of the  bread with a knife by creating an X or hash marks.

8. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

9. Bake for 30 minutes with the lid on the dutch oven.  Please note that our Marquette Castings Dutch oven lid and handle are oven safe for the temperature in this recipe, but if you use a different brand, you'll need to check on that issue.

10. Reduce the temperature to 375 degrees and bake with the lid removed until the bread is browned and thoroughly cooked. A way to check this is to use a baking thermometer and check if the inside is 200 F.

11. Allow to cool on a baking rack for 45 minutes.  As tempting as it is, you'll want to allow the bread to cool because this allows the interior to finish cooking.

12. Enjoy within a couple of days or freeze extra bread. Remember that this bread is not packed with the same preservatives that you find in many shelf stable breads at the grocery store, so you'll want to freeze extra bread from this recipe.

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Monday, January 24, 2022

Recipe: Crepes with Maple Chicken, Apple, and Brie

Recipe: Crepes with Maple Chicken, Apple, and Brie

Ingredients:
  •  1 pound of chicken
  • 2 Tablespoons of maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • 6 to 8 Crepes
  • 1 apple, sliced into thin pieces
  • 12 to 16 thin slices of brie that are each approximately 1.5" long
Directions:
1. Add the chicken, syrup, olive oil, salt, and pepper to a plastic freezer bag. Shake well so that the olive oil and seasonings coat the chicken well. Allow to marinate for a minimum of 1 hour.

2. Grill the chicken over medium heat until thoroughly cooked and then chop into thin slices.


3. Prepare your crepes.  If you need a recipe for crepes, click here.


4. Layer the slices of chicken, brie, and apple on each crepe.


5. Roll each crepe and optionally drizzle with Balsamic glaze.



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Recipe: DIY Mild Taco Seasoning for Kids (without onion)


Recipe: DIY Taco Seasoning for Kids (without onion)
This DIY Taco Seasoning is relatively mild and does not have onions in it. My children love it!  

Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Directions
1. Simply mix the ingredients together.  It's so easy to make your own taco seasoning!
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Recipe: Crumbled Feta and Tomato Pasta

 

Recipe: Crumbled Feta and Tomato Pasta

Ingredients

  • 12 Campari tomatoes (or substitute your favorite type of tomatoes)
  • 1 4-ounce container of crumbled feta (we use reduced fat crumbled feta)
  • 1 Tablespoons of truffle olive oil (or use plain, if you prefer)
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon of garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon of dried basil (if you use fresh, add double the basil)
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano 
  • 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 box of chickpea Cavatappi or your favorite pasta.
Directions
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray an 8"x8" glass baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Wash and chop the tomatoes into small pieces and add to the glass baking dish.

3. Move the tomatoes to the sides do that you have a clear space and pour the crumbled feta.


4.  Drizzle the tomatoes and feta with the truffle olive oil.

5. Sprinkle the salt, garlic salt, dried basil, dried oregano, and freshly ground black pepper on top.


6. Bake for approximately 40 minutes or until the top of the feta is golden brown and the tomatoes look cooked.


7.  While the feta and tomatoes are baking, prepare the pasta according to the instructions on the box.

8. Stir the tomatoes and feta.


9. Toss the feta and tomato sauce with the pasta.


10. Optionally serve with garlic bread.



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Sunday, January 16, 2022

We are Counting Down for our Valentine's Day Gift Guide!

 

If you follow regularly, you know that we love Valentine's Day!  We are currently working on our Valentine's Day Gift Guide!  We plan to complete and share the post within the next couple of of weeks!  If you have a product that you want us to feature, please let us know!  

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Friday, January 14, 2022

Here is the 2022 Girl Scout Cookie List!

  

The 2022 Girl Scout Cookies are here! We share the Girl Scout Cookie lineup every year and it's one of our most popular posts. The timing couldn't be better since it's the start of a new year and we have the opportunity to support the entrepreneurial spirit of young girls, especially here in north Texas! In today's post, I'll share the 2022 Girl Scout Cookie lineup and point you here to search for a Girl Scout Cookie Booth near you! 


We feature the Girl Scout Cookie lineup every year because we know that this program provides financial support and entrepreneurial experiences for local girls. You may not know this, but 
Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas serves more than 10,000 girls in our region each year. The region covers 23,000 square miles, beginning north of Waco and extending to the Oklahoma and Louisiana state lines. 100% of the net revenue from cookies remains with Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas to help our local girls. When you buy cookies, you help to support their activities which may include a variety of things such as STEM activities, leadership activities, or other skill-based activities with their local troops. In some cases the funds even support sending the girls to camps!  


Girls view themselves as leaders and entrepreneurs. They may think about their business strategy and put many hours into their cookie sales which may provide confidence and foster their interests in business pursuits. They see outcomes!  Hard work translates to success which is a real motivator for many girls.  Many small acts of kindness to support the girls add up quickly! I read that over half (53 percent) of female entrepreneurs and business owners are Girl Scout alums – like local business owners Andrea Meyer of Bisous Bisous P√Ętisserie and Nina Vaca of Pinnacle Group. Supporting Girl Scouts as they make sales and learn essential business skills is imperative to ensuring our country has a strong workforce and economy.   

The 2022 Girl Scout cookies lineup for the Dallas and Fort Worth metro includes:
  • Trefoils
  • Tagalongs
  • Do-si-dos
  • Samoas
  • Thin Mints
  • S'mores
  • Lemon Ups
  • Adventurefuls (*New for 2022!)
If you live in the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas (GSNETX) region, the photo below shows the fantastic variety of cookies available in our region. The cookies are $5/box for general and $6/box for specialty cookies.


The timing of Girl Scout season is perfect for Valentine's Day. For instance, my family loves the Thin Mints and Tagalongs, so I use a stencil and dust powdered sugar hearts onto the cookies every year. This was a popular feature last year, so let me share this easy DIY project again!

DIY Girl Scout Cookies Dusted with Powdered Sugar Hearts
Supplies
  • 1 box of Thin Mints
  • 1 box of Tagalongs
  • 2 Tablespoons of powdered sugar
  • 1 piece of parchment paper
Directions
  1. Fold a piece of parchment paper in half and cut out the shape of a heart.  
  2. Place the stencil tightly over a cookie.
  3. Sift powdered sugar onto a cookie. 
  4. Carefully remove the stencil to reveal the heart. 
  5. Optionally dust extra powdered sugar onto the cookies after you finish the hearts!

Not only are the cookies delicious, but you'll also make a difference in the lives of young girls who are building their leadership abilities. It's a win-win opportunity to share love with hopeful Girl Scouts and your family! 

If you would like to support Girl Scouts in Texas,  find a local cookie booth near you by 

  • Find a cookie booth. Locate a Girl Scout Cookie sale in your community by entering your zip code in the “Find Cookies!” tool.
  • Download the app. Looking for cookies on the go? Download the Girl Scout Cookie Finder app for your iOS and Android devices. 
  • Order cookies online. Do you know a Girl Scout? Ask her if you can buy your cookies from her online site using the Digital Cookie® platform!


We hope that you will consider supporting local Girl Scouts with their entrepreneurial dreams!
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Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Family Movie Night: Hotel Transylvania: Transformania Premieres on Prime Video January 14th!

If you follow regularly, you know that we love a good family movie night!  Now that the cold weather is here, this is the best time of year for cozy family movie nights.  In today's post, I'll tell you about one of our favorite movies that will be available on Prime Video on January 14th - Hotel Transylvania: Transformania!

Let's start with the details to add to your calendar:

  • What: Hotel Transylvania: Transformania Premiere on Prime Video!
  • When: January 14, 2022
  • Where: Amazon Prime Video

 Here is a quick overview:

"Drac and the Pack are back, like you’ve never seen them before in Hotel Transylvania: Transformania. Reunite with your favorite monsters for an all-new adventure that presents Drac (Brian Hull) with his most terrifying task yet. When Van Helsing’s (Jim Gaffigan) mysterious invention, the 'Monsterification Ray,’ goes haywire, Drac and his monster pals are all transformed into humans, and Johnny (Andy Samberg) becomes a monster! In their new mismatched bodies, Drac, stripped of his powers, and an exuberant Johnny, loving life as a monster, must team up and race across the globe to find a cure before it’s too late, and before they drive each other crazy. With help from Mavis (Selena Gomez) and the hilariously human Drac Pack, the heat is on to find a way to switch themselves back before their transformations become permanent. The film also features the voices of Kathryn Hahn (Ericka), Steve Buscemi (Wayne), Molly Shannon (Wanda), David Spade (Griffin the Invisible Man), Keegan-Michael Key (Murray), Fran Drescher (Eunice), Brad Abrell (Frank), and Asher Blinkoff (Dennis)."

As described above, this magical movie is filled with loveable characters that both parents and children will enjoy. My husband and I also enjoyed that the movie is packed with celebrity voices. It's fun to try to recognize the actors and actresses behind the different characters! 

Here is the trailer:


My family members are big fans of Hotel Transylvania.  Since I knew that I was going to work on this post, I wanted to be thorough by watching the previous Hotel Transylvania movies before we saw the latest release.  We watched the first three over the weekend had a blast. My preschooler was especially excited about Hotel Transylvania.  


We were also lucky to have a few Hotel Transylvania themed items for our family movie night. My preschooler was the lucky one to wear the monster slippers! If you have any Halloween or monster themed items packed away, you may want to pull them out for this fun movie night!


My preschooler loves the colorful characters and the movie feels magical to him. I won't spoil any surprises in the movie, but I will tell you that everyone in our family loved it -- a preschooler, middle schooler, and adults! It's the ultimate movie for a family movie night because we all enjoyed the movie!


We hope that you have the opportunity to enjoy a family movie night with Hotel Transylvania: Transformania on =Prime Video on January 14th!

Learn More
Visit Hotel Transylvania: Transformania on social media here: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter
Follow #HotelTransylvania
Watch it on Prime Video here.















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Tuesday, January 4, 2022

We have a coupon for FREE socks with any purchase at Allbirds! #allbirdsaffiliate, #weareallbirds, @allbirds

 

This post includes affiliate links. All opinions are honest and our own.

If you follow regularly, you know that we love natural and sustainable products.  In today's post, I'll tell you about an eco-friendly brand that is easy to fall in love with -- Allbirds -- and share a coupon for a free pair of Allbirds socks with any online order!

Let's start with the coupon:

  • What: FREE Allbirds socks with any online purchase!
  • Where: Visit through my Allbirds affiliate link here, add a pair of socks to your order, and the socks will be deducted from your total at checkout (before you enter payment information) as long as you purchase at least one other item.

Have you heard about Allbirds? This trendy brand has a large following. I learned about Allbirds from a news show - Mad Money. This is one of my favorite shows that I watch 4 to 5 nights/week while I run on my treadmill. It is fun to listen to business successes, failures, challenges, and predictions.  I love business and marketing topics, so it's a fun show for me. I was watching this show when I learned about Allbirds! After my workout, I went to my computer and learned that Allbirds is an awesome New Zealand-American brand that uses natural sources for their products and tries to be as eco-friendly as possible. While I was browsing the website, I recognized some of their products and realized that I have seen others wearing Allbirds apparel and shoes.

The Allbirds website is really nice because it's easy to quickly fall in love with their apparel and shoes that use natural materials. It's nice to know a brand that sources natural materials to create super soft fashions that feel good on my skin.  Their designers pay meticulous attention to detail when they design apparel and shoes.  Personally, I was lucky to find the Allbirds Women's Tree Dasher shoes that are perfect for runners like me. These highly rated shoes currently have a 4.9 out of 5.0 rating on the Allbirds website. After trying them out, I understand why people love them! I would personally give them a 5.0 out of 5.0 rating. Let me tell you more about these shoes.

Here is the quick description from the Allbirds website:

"Our most technical shoe yet, the Tree Dasher reimagines the traditional running shoe with natural materials engineered for serious performance. Made in Shenzhen, China + Hai Phong, Vietnam.
    • Heel Drop: 7mm (Forefoot: 15.5mm, Heel: 22.5mm)
    • Type: Neutral, Cushioned, Light Stability Running Shoe"

Tree Dasher Highlights include:

  • Durable and breathable Tree material
  • Supportive dual-density sugarcane midsole
  • Designed for maximum energy return

Core features include:

  • Renewable Materials
  • Machine Washable
  • Minimizes Odor
  • Flexibly Conforms To Your Movements

Care instructions include:

  • Pull out the insoles and laces. Slip your shoes into a delicates bag and toss them in the washing machine—gentle cycle with cold water with your favorite mild detergent. When they’re done, shake off any excess water and let them air dry.
  • Handy tips: Don’t put them in the dryer. And don’t worry, they’ll go back to their original shape in no time. You can hand wash your laces and insoles on their own.

In my personal experience, these shoes are incredibly comfortable!  I tested them out by (a) walking in them while I ran errands, (b) going on a walk with my husband,  and (c) running on my treadmill.  They have great support and are extremely comfortable!



It's nice to know that when they get dirty, they are machine washable. I've had machine washable shoes for my kids, but not myself.  It's a cool concept that I will appreciate as time goes on! I also love knowing that these shoes are made from natural sources and come from a brand that is dedicated to sustainability.  

Now that I've shared how much I love my Allbirds Tree Dashers, let me share my affiliate coupon again:
  • What: FREE Allbirds socks with any online purchase!
  • Where: Visit through my Allbirds affiliate link here, add a pair of socks to your order, and the socks will be deducted from your total at checkout (before you enter payment information) as long as you purchase at least one other item.
I hope that you have the chance to enjoy Allbirds as well!



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Monday, January 3, 2022

Monster Family 2 Movie Release + Recipe for Chocolate Crinkle Mummy Cookies!

 

Monster Family 2 is now available for you to watch at home! In today's post, I'll share an overview of this wonderful movie, a fun dessert idea that is inspired by our favorite Monster Family, and activity sheets for your next family movie night!

Let's start with a quick summary:
  • What: Monster Family 2 available Everywhere On Digital and On Demand 
  • When: January 4, 2022 and onward
  • Details: Enjoy a Family Movie Night +  Try our Chocolate Crinkle Mummy Cookies! 

Here is an overview of the movie:
The Wishbones are a happy family – but not all is perfect. Max and Fay are struggling with the pressures of growing up, while Mom and Dad have the demands of work and parenting; but their hum-drum life is about to change. Mila Starr, a monster hunter, has made it her mission to capture all spooky creatures including the Wishbone’s friends King Conga, The Loch Ness Monster, and The Yeti. In order to save their friends, the Wishbone’s must transform into monsters themselves. Together as a Vampire, Mummy, Werewolf, and Frankenstein, the family take off on the most monst-umental adventure of their lives. 
 

Here is the trailer:


Monster Family 2 movie hit theaters in October. It's now Available Everywhere On Digital and On Demand January 4, 2022! Personally, my family loved this movie! I won't spoil surprises, but I will share that the whimsical features of this movie such as the family members transforming into monsters and working together in fun ways makes this movie feel magical.

As a mom, I love that this movie has a theme of how no one is perfect.  There is so much pressure on kids today that I really appreciated the positive messaging in this movie and that they did it in a way that connected with my children. I think that every family should enjoy this movie on a Family Movie Night!

Now that I've told you about the movie, let me share an easy Monster Family-themed dessert idea -- Chocolate Crinkle Mummy Cookies!

Recipe: Chocolate Crinkle Mummy Cookies

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs 
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2cup vegetable oil 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tube of white frosting
  • 1 container of candy eyes (commonly available in the frosting section of grocery stores)

Directions
1. Beat the 4 eggs.

2. Beat in the cocoa, white sugar, vegetable oil, and vanilla.

3. Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Add this to the wet mixture.

4. Cover and refrigerate the dough for 3+ hours.

5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

6. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

7. Roll scoops of the dough into approximately 3/4" balls.  Roll in the confectioner sugar to thoroughly coat each cookie dough ball.

8. Place on cookie sheets approximately 1.5" apart.

9. Baker for approximately 10 to 12 minutes. 


10. Cool for a few minutes and then transfer to wire racks for approximately 10 minutes or longer.


11. Drizzle the frosting onto each cookie to create a mummy wrap pattern.


12. Add two candy eyes to each mummy cookie!


In addition to the recipe above, let me share a couple of fun activities for kids!  In the first activity, your kids will want to figure out the missing vowels.


The next is a fun coloring sheet!


We hope that you enjoy a memorable family movie night with the family friendly Monster Family 2 movie, yummy mummy cookies, and activity sheets!


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