Archive for the ‘snacks’ Category

I’ve never been much for eggs, and when it comes to pancakes – generally speaking – give me waffles. I MUCH prefer waffles. But when my husband brought home Practical Paleo a few years ago, we discovered a tremendous pancake recipe that we all love.


Pumpkin pancakes make a great dinner or breakfast.

(If you aren’t familiar with a paleo diet, you’ve probably had your head stuck in a hole of the diet world for the last few years. My husband is a big proponent, while I tend to be a bit of an “all-things-in-moderation” sort of gal when it comes to nutrition.)

Anyway, I’ve tried very hard to reduce carbs in order to reach balance on our table so we ALL feel like we’re eating healthy while not making any foods taboo. These egg pancakes are fun, fast, and flavorful. I usually make a HUGE batch for dinner, and then freeze a bunch on cookie sheets to pull out one at a time and reheat for the kids’ breakfasts or an easy snack.


My big new electric griddle helps me make LOTS of pumpkin pancakes at once!

Pumpkin Pancakes from Practical Paleo

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (optional – I rarely use this.)
  • 1 medium ripe banana (optional – I ALWAYS do this.)
  • 2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons butter or coconut oil (plus extra for frying. I use butter.)
  1. My method: With an electric mixer, beat the banana and pumpkin together. Add in spices and baking powder, beating until well combined. Add eggs and vanilla, beating until combined. 
    Original Method: 
    Whisk eggs, pumpkin, vanilla, and syrup together. Sift the pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and baking soda into the wet ingredients. (I had issues with the spices floating on top instead of mixing in well with this method, hence the change.)
  2. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Mix into the batter.
  3. Grease a skillet, griddle or electric griddle, and heat over medium heat; when hot spoon/pour batter into desired size to make pancakes. (I’ve found that smaller pancakes are much easier with this batter than large ones. About 4-inch pancakes work best.)  Cook until pancake is mostly set, and then flip over.
  4. Serve with butter, sliced bananas, jam, and/or maple syrup. Experiment with toppings. Which is your favorite?

Read Full Post »

I’ve never done a “round-up” before, but when my seven-year-old daughter asked me yesterday, “What can we make for the Fourth of July?” I decided it might be appropriate. This girl LOVES to celebrate the holidays with fun food and decorations. Now, I’m a low-key mama, and tend to just forget about those things, but she helps me remember them.

I don’t believe you have to go all-out and have a Pinterest-worthy party to celebrate. Sometimes, it really is about just the little things and making memories. But when you need a little inspiration, we all turn to the internet.

Red, White & Blue Cookies


These look just like my mom’s Monster Cookies, but with red, white and blue candy pieces. From Southern Living.

Fun Fourth Fruit Kebabs


Take a look at these super-simple fruit kebabs that celebrate the fruits of summer with patriotic style, from The Peaceful Mom.

Patriotic Parfaits

Of course, what could be easier than layering blueberries, strawberries or raspberries, and vanilla yogurt or whipped cream for parfaits?

Food Flags

There are so many different ways to make flags out of your food. Last year, I made one that looked a lot like this one, but I apparently did not photograph it.

This year, I wasn’t in the mood for a big to-do when the girl asked, so I opted for easy. I bought a tube of ready-made sugar cookie dough, and made “paint” out of egg mixed with food coloring. Together we patted out the dough into a rectangle, drew on a rough flag, and then I let her go to town with a paintbrush. The results may not be perfect, but she was thrilled have done something special for the holiday. We may add some frosting and fruit before all is said and done, and turn it into fruit pizza.

food flag

Happy Independence Day, everyone!



Read Full Post »

These little balls of breakfast bliss are a favorite in my family. My girls like them for breakfast, while I favor them as a snack. I love that they are packed with protein, whole-grain, and omega-3s. We love them so much, in fact, that I spent quite a bit of time perfecting it to our tastes, and the recipe below is DOUBLE what the original was.

peanut butter bites

Peanut Butter Bites

The original recipe called for twice the amount of honey, a bit less peanut butter, and no raisins. I found them to be far too sweet, but the honey was needed to help the balls stick together. I tried reducing the honey and increasing the peanut butter. That worked okay. I tried molasses in place of part of the honey. The first time, they were alright; the next time the molasses was overpowering and my girls disliked them.

peanut butter bites ingredients


A friend with a degree in family and consumer science suggested that, since we added raisins to ours anyway, that we process raisins in the food processor to make a sticky paste. It works great! One caveat: the easiest way to mix it is with your hands, NOT a spoon, as the raisin paste is a big, thick clump that needs to be really worked through the rest. Prepare to get messy!

Peanut Butter Bites

  • 2 cups oats
  • 1 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup raisins, processed in a food processor
  • 2 Tbsps. vanilla extract

Mix together oats, flaxseed, peanut butter, and honey. Add the raisin paste and vanilla, and mix thoroughly with hands. (A dough hook might work.) Form into bite-sized balls and store in the refrigerator.

Read Full Post »

This blog has been on hiatus for a while, but I’ve recently found a new focus. The mom of a family close to my heart recently told me how hard menu planning is for her. While Menu Planning Day happens to be one of my least favorite days, I find it vital to the workings of my household, helping me avoid a zillion trips to the grocery store AND responding with a blank stare when someone asks, “What’s for dinner?” After saying as much to Planning-Impaired Mom, she says to me, “You should just send me your menu plan – and recipes, of course.”

Wish granted. But rather than do it all at once, I’ll be posting a bunch of our favorite recipes on a daily basis for a while so the next time I make a plan, it will be easy to link up. I’ll also try to incorporate tips and tricks in preparation.

Food is vital for my family, and cooking (mostly) healthy meals is important to me.

What does this have to do with Stories, Not Stuff? Probably not much. But since this blog is supposed to be about creating and cherishing memories, I will argue that there is no better place to do this than with your family, sometimes around the dinner table, and sometimes in the kitchen making a mess together. Or perhaps an Apple Racer. 🙂

apple racer

Apple Racer Snacks

(adapted from a recipe originally found in Family Fun magazine)

  • 1 apple
  • uncooked spaghetti noodles*
  • a bunch of grapes or grape halves (4 per racer you plan to make)

Slice apple into 8ths, 12ths, or 16ths with a knife or apple corer/slicer, removing seeds. Break spaghetti noodles into 2-3 inch pieces. Carefully push two noodle pieces through each end of an apple slice. Push grapes onto each noodle “axle.” Enjoy!

*You can certainly use toothpicks instead of spaghetti for a sturdier axle, but I prefer spaghetti because it is edible and less likely to hurt little mouths or fingers.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: