Mexican Coke and a Sweet Idea

Last weekend we stopped into a Mexican restaurant for lunch that had this big sign displayed next to the counter.Untitled

I was totally confused by this until another customer asked what it meant and was told Mexican Coke is Coca-Cola made with sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup.   Let me just say this was much better than the mental image I had of “Mexican Coke” – which really had nothing to do with beverages!  But, it also surprised me that this difference was so important to people that the restaurant would have a big sign about it.  Do people steer clear of drinking Coke, but make an exception when they learn it’s loaded with sugar instead of hfcs? I live my life consciously avoiding anything with high fructose corn syrup because if it’s on an ingredient label it’s a red flag that the product is highly processed.  But, what happens when the manufacturers switch out the hfcs for sugar?  Does it make it better, or less processed?  Not really, it’s just another ingredient label trick to be aware of. Continue reading

Shark Birthday Party!

The twins’ much anticipated shark themed birthday party finally happened this weekend! … Anticipated mostly by them, while I was  mostly apprehensive about pulling it all together. I’ve been worrying for weeks about how to create a birthday party that didn’t include the usual party “crashers”  like soda, processed pizza, candy, artificial colors, preservatives, and loads of sugar.  Now that they’re in kindergarten and on the “party circuit” there’s a certain level of expectation to be met, and I could tell they were a little worried about whether their friends would end up with carrot sticks in their goody bags. mask Continue reading

The Mac n’ Cheese Challenge

Did you know that 3 out of 4 kids prefer homemade mac n’cheese instead of Kraft?  Well, at least 3 out of 4 of my kids do! I recently decided to do a little investigating and taste testing on one of the food staples of every kid’s life: macaroni and cheese.  Here’s what I turned up in my investigation – Kraft macaroni and cheese is chock full of some crazy ingredients!  sodium tripolyphosphate, yellow #5, yellow #6, and many others!  How can such a simple dish contain so many items that I don’t recognize?

But here’s the good news, making your own mac n’cheese only requires a few ingredients and takes about the same amount of time as the boxed version.  The most time consuming part?  shredding the cheese.  If you can spare two minutes to do that, then there is really no reason to ever grab that blue box again.  Just look at the comparison:

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Fresh Strawberry Vanilla Pancakes

These are so incredibly delicious they shouldn’t even be called pancakes. They deserve a fancy French dessert name that makes it sound like they took 8 hours to make.  Fortunately, you can whip them up in only a few minutes and their vanilla- cinnamon-berry perfection will make even an ordinary Monday taste like a special occasion.  Your kids will love them! Continue reading

M’organic Chicken Pot Pie

When I had my 4th child some friends arranged to bring dinners over to our house every Thursday.  It was so great while it lasted (almost enough to make me want to have another child — just kidding, honey!)  and, in addition to some yummy meals, I got a bunch of amazing recipes.  My friend Sarah brought this chicken pot pie and I loved it for 3 reasons:  it was delicious, she cut the top crust into an “L” for Liam’s name, and she brought 2 pies – one to eat, one to freeze.

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