Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sunday Morning Pumpkin Pancakes

Fall is definitely here in Northwest Ohio. The weather has cooled, the foliage is changing colors, and it is pumpkin season. Every restaurant in the area is offering pumpkin bread, muffins, pancakes, and pie this time of year. But to me, there is nothing better than making these delicious baked goods at home with my family. Sunday is usually our slow to get around day, and pancakes are often on the breakfast menu. This morning I surprised everyone with my pumpkin pancakes and vanilla cream cheese glaze. They were more than satisfied! The pancakes were so light, fluffy, and moist with the perfect hint of pumpkin and spice. The glaze complimented the pumpkin favor and added just enough sweetness. I have a feeling these will be requested often ;)
Want to make these easy pumpkin pancakes? Here is my semi-homemade recipe:

ChaCha's Pumpkin Pancakes

3 cups store bought pancake mix (I use the "Just add water" buttermilk mix)
1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice (This is a mix of spices available in spice section)
*use more or less to adjust your spice preference
2 cups of water
3/4 cup of canned pumpkin (not pie filling)

Vanilla cream cheese glaze *recipe below

Heat your griddle pan or large skillet on medium high. Mix dry pancake mix, spice, and water until blended. Add more water if necessary for desired consistency. You do not want a thin batter, but easy to pour. Add pumpkin to batter and mix together.
Lightly spray bottom of griddle pan and pour batter to make about 4 inch pancakes. Flip when bubbles form and pop on top of the pancake. Remove when bottoms are golden. Top with the vanilla cream cheese glaze or warm maple syrup. ENJOY!!

Vanilla Cream Cheese Glaze
2 Tablespoons room temperature cream cheese
1 cup of powdered sugar
4 -5 tablespoons of warm milk (to get desired glaze consistency)
1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Wisk all ingredients together, use more or less milk to achieve a thin glaze.

What is your favorite fall recipe that you like to make for your family? Please share in the comments below, I would love to know!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Ooey Gooey Cereal Bars

I am a huge lover of the marshmallow cereal treats, which are traditionally made with rice cereal, but I changed it up a bit and used the oat cereal and added crunchy peanut butter. The family's vote was unanimous > WINNER!!! These were very delicious and a bit heartier than their rice counter parts.

Make Them>
*6 cups toasted oat cereal
*10oz bag of marshmallows
*2T of butter or margarine
*1/2 cup of crunchy peanut butter

In large pan melt butter and peanut butter together on medium heat. Add marshmallows and stir until melted down. Turn off heat and mix in cereal. Turn to coat. Pour onto wax paper or lightly sprayed 13x9 pan and flatten out. Cool and cut into bars. ENJOY!

What is your favorite go to treat for your family? Please share!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Tips To Protect Your Family From Cold & Flu

We went from hot blustering weather to cool and damp fall. It is a breeding ground for the cold and flu season. What makes it worse, is the kids also pick up viruses from school and play dates. I don't know about you, but the snotty noses of little ones, especially when they sneeze it on you, makes my stomach weak! I try to prevent these common viruses in my family whenever possible. I came up with a list of tips that I would like to share with you.

Here are my top tips for protecting your family from the cold and flu bug:

*Stock up on tissue and keep the travel packs on you at all times. Get the travel packs or small boxes to keep in your purse, car, diaper bag, etc. so it can be used to cover those sneezes, coughs, and to catch those runny noses. It helps minimize the spread of virus among each other and far more sanitary then a sleeve or worse yet, a bare hand.

*Regularly sanitize household items that get touched frequently such as doorknobs, light switches, keyboards, and phones. I like to do this a few times a week, Lysol carries a good variety of products to use such as sprays or cleaners, and it is very effective at killing the common flu virus. You can use whatever preferred disinfectant you like.

*Wash bedding and towels in hot water. I will also use the recommended amount of bleach for load size to disinfect non-color items. Dry all towels completely to avoid a damp environment.

*Teach your family to wash their hands before eating and after playing outside. Our hands are the transporters of germs and virus. If you are unable to wash hands traditionally (sink and water) then keep hand sanitizer with you. There are many types that are easy to use and kid friendly. I like the individual hand wipes.

*Don't allow your kids to share drinks or eat with the same utensils. This goes for adults too. We may not show signs of a cold or flu but we may be a carrier of germs and could pass it on to the next person.

*Get adequate nutrition and sleep. A healthy immune system is needed to fight off those pesky germs so get a good nights rest and eat a well balanced diet that includes fresh fruits and vegetables.

*Teach your kids to cough in the crook of their elbow. You are less likely to spread germs than if you cough in your hands (and wipe on your shirt or pants).

*We love to kiss and love on our family, but if you have been around a sick person or your kids have recently been sick - it may be best to leave kisses on the forehead and cheeks temporarily.

I try to avoid sick people all together, but it isn't always possible. The kids still have to go to school and some of us still have to go to work. Practicing healthy habits like covering our coughs, using tissues, and washing hands can go a long way in protecting your family and yourself from the cold and flu. Take time to make your living and work environment healthy also. Find out more about Lysol's Mission For Health program and learn more about Lysol's family of products here.

** Pleas note: “I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Lysol blogging program, for a gift card worth $40. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Wordless Wednesday 10/5 Fall is Here

Fall in Northwest Ohio

Monday, October 3, 2011

Free Sample Barista Prima Coffeehouse K-Cups

Go here to request a free sample of Barista Prima Coffeehouse K-Cups. This is a sample pack of 4 varieties and should arrive in 2 to 4 weeks. Enjoy your coffee!!

*Note, these are K-Cups for the Keurig brand coffee brewer.