Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy Playdate

A simple & tasty summer playdate your kids will love!

Summer’s finally here and to keep the kiddos having fun and not glued to the TV, it's time for some playdates! We call this our “Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy Playdate” because it takes minimal time and effort to host a super fun afternoon with friends. Mom Made Meatballs, lemonade and old fashioned games create an easy way to pass the time, feed hungry bellies and entertain the young and young at heart. 

Whether you pre-make the snacks and lemonade, or send the kids out to play while you and the other Moms tackle snack time together, it shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes to get everything ready.

We started making the lemonade then meatballs, and finished with playtime, but don’t be afraid to mix it up! Lemonade not your thing? Try some iced herbal tea or add some cucumbers to water for a spa like treat. Sliders not your thing? Sauté the meatballs and give the kiddos toothpicks and dipping sauces. The sky’s the limit with what you can create for your very own Mom Made “Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy” playdate!

Happy Summer!

Playdate Games:

T ball – create backyard memories with a good ole’ fashioned game of T ball
Pitch a tent – Fill with books, puzzles and coloring books
Yard games – grab some outdoor darts, corn hole or ring toss for a fun mini-carnival
Tag – tag you're it!

Mom Made Meatball Sliders

Ingredients:

1 package of Mom Made meatballs – we used Beef and Cheese for this, but any flavor will do!

1 package of 8 count slider buns

1 jar of marinara sauce (bonus points if it’s homemade!)

3 tablespoons of olive oil

3 tablespoons of Italian herbs (basil, oregano, thyme, chives – fresh or dried)

1 – 2 cups of Mozzarella / Italian cheese

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a pan large enough to fit all 8 buns (we used a round 9x9 cake pan). Layer bottom of buns around the pan, and drizzle 1 cup of sauce across buns. Add 3 meatballs to each bun and top with mozzarella cheese, remaining sauce and bun caps. Brush sliders with olive oil, and sprinkle with herbs. Cover with foil and put in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove foil and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes for before serving.  

Mom Made Meatball Kabobs

Ingredients:

1 package of cooked MMF meatballs – your favorite flavor!

3 cups of your kids' favorite veggies cubed

1 cup of cubed cheese

½ cup of your favorite dipping sauces – BBQ sauce, Ranch, etc

10 Skewers

Gather the family around and make your own Meatball Kabobs! Bonus points for using extra veggies or creating your own recipe!

 

Organic Blueberry Lemonade

Lemonade:

½ pint of blueberries

8 lemons – juiced to 1 cup

8 cups of cold water

1 cup of blueberry simple syrup (recipe below)

1 large pitcher

Blueberry Simple Syrup:

Ingredients:

¾ cup of sugar

1 cup of water

½ pint of blueberries

Directions:

Bring water and sugar to a boil until sugar is fully dissolved. Add blueberries and cook for an additional 5 minutes until berries break down. Strain through a sieve and let cool. In pitcher, mix together cold water, lemon juice and simple syrup. Stir till well combined. Serve chilled and garnish with blueberries if desired!

Wondering where to find Mom Made near you? Click here.

Sous Chef Junior

If you love quality food as much as we do here at Mom Made, it only makes sense to get the kiddos involved in the kitchen! We believe in startin' 'em young. It's genuine quality time while being productive in the kitchen. Two of our favorite things!

We encourage you to challenge your children to help with more than dessert. The more involved they are from a young age, the more they will learn to appreciate the joy of cooking and the link to healthy eating. 

Keep in mind - you know your kids way better than we do! Feel free to follow these age guidelines as you feel necessary. 

3-4 Years Old

  • Use cookie cutters
  • Rinse produce
  • Juice citrus fruit
  • Tear lettuce
  • Chop herbs (with much supervision if ready)
  • Cup soft fruits and vegetables (with much supervision if ready)

5-7 Years Old

  • Crack eggs
  • Form patties and meatballs
  • De-seed peppers (be sure to use gloves for hot peppers!)
  • Chop vegetables
  • Grease pans
  • Garnish dishes
  • Pour sauce
  • Use measuring spoons and cups
  • Shuck corn
  • Use microwave
  • Peel vegetables

8-10 Years Old

  • Use stove (to prepare eggs and other simple meals)
  • Use pizza cutter
  • Open can with can opener
  • Beat eggs
  • Pound chicken
  • Skewer food
  • Slice bread

10-12 Years Old

  • Boil pasta
  • Search for and follow simple recipes
  • Use oven
  • Use chef's knife
  • Simmer ingredients on stove-top
  • Make dressings
  • Cook a full meal!

If you're super confident in your new sous chef, give them the responsibility to plan and cook a full meal! You can relax in the living room, and enjoy having dinner made for you for a change. Regardless how involved your child was in their cooking responsibilities, they will come to the table proud of their participation and ready to try their creation.

Bon appetit!

 

mom's MORNING MUFFINS

Fuel your kids with a healthy, quick breakfast

A tasty spin on the traditional egg and meat breakfast, Mom's Morning Muffins are packed with protein and plenty of flavor.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Yields: 12 Muffins

Ingredients:

3/4 cup shredded hash brown potatoes

6 eggs

1/4 cup milk

3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 cup green onion, finely chopped

16 Mom Made Foods Beef & Cheese Meatball Bites

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin pan well. Microwave Mom Made Foods Beef & Cheese Meatball Bites according to package instructions, allow meatballs to cool, cut into quarters and set aside. Beat eggs in mixing bowl, add milk, shredded hash browns, meatballs, green onions and shredded cheese. Stir well. Scoop egg mixture into muffin pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until “muffins” are set. Serve immediately, or, let cool and freeze for quick breakfasts all week!

To reheat frozen muffins, microwave on high for one minute. 

Head out to get some Mom Made today!  Here's where we are!

Red, White, & Blue Berry Sticks

What's more fun than celebrating the Fourth with red, white, and blue tasty treats? These scrumptious treats will surely be a hit among kiddos and adults, alike. And, the best part is the kids can make these themselves.  

Total Time: ~15 Minutes

Yields: 20 Skewers

Ingredients:

10 fresh strawberries, halved
1 Cup fresh blueberries
3 bananas, sliced

Directions:

It's simple! Just spear the strawberry halves, banana slices, and blueberries. We started with strawberry, then added a banana slice, and finished with two blueberries.

Happy Fourth!

For more fun recipes on a stick, click here.

Festive Stars on Your Lawn

Easy and fun way to make your house festive for the 4th of July and a fun project for the kids!

What you will need:

  • A large piece of cardboard -The top of a pizza box works well!
  • Scissors
  • Spray bottle with water
  • Flour
  • Sifter

Step 1: Find a piece of cardboard and cut a big star to make your stencil.

Step 2: Fill your spray bottle with water. Then squirt the grass star with water thru your stencil.

Step 3: Once the grass is wet (with some extra help from the older kids :)), use a flour sifter and sift flour thru the stencil onto the grass. And carefully lift the stencil from the grass once you have covered it in flour.

And, there you go! Your lawn covered with festive stars will stop traffic. Don't forget to fly your flag too.

Happy 4th of July from our family to yours!

Mom Made Caprese Meatball Skewers

Serves: 4

Prep Time:  Max 10 minutes

Cook Time: 2 minutes

These mini meatball skewers are perfect for summer. Made with fresh basil, mozzarella, olive oil and cherry tomatoes making it an easy dinner, fabulous addition to the picnic basket, party appetizer or potluck barbeque staple.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (8 ounce) package of Mom Made Italian Style Beef Meatball Bites
  • 15 ripe red tomatoes
  • 15 ripe yellow tomatoes
  • 15 small fresh mozzarella balls
  • 15 basil leaves
  • 15 small wooden skewers
  • 3 tablespoon Olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
  • Dash of kosher salt
  1. In a large microwavable bowl, heat the Mom Made Meatballs according to directions on the box.
  2. Assemble tomatoes, basil, mozzarella bites and Meatball Bites on a skewer.
  3. Drizzle them with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Add a pinch of kosher salt
  4. Serve warm, cold or room temperature.

simple SLIDERS

Tiny & Tasty- our 'simple' Sliders are easy and delicious!

Everyone loves sliders - and everyone loves Mom Made.  Now you can enjoy both with this super simple slider recipe.  Great for home, parties, meals, and snacks!  

Total Time: 20 Mins

Yields: 4 Servings

Ingredients:

8 Mini Buns

1 Box Mom Made Meatballs

1-2 cups Marinara Sauce

Mozzarella Cheese, shredded or fresh

Basil (as desired)

Instructions:

Place Mom Made Turkey Meatballs on a small bun and top with marinara sauce. Sprinkle mozzarella on the meatball. Place in over or toaster oven for 5 minutes, or until cheese us melted. Dress them up by adding a sprig of fresh basil.

Enjoy!

Looking for Mom Made in a freezer aisle near you?  We've got you covered.

5 Reasons Mom Made Foods Is Found in the Freezer Aisle

Happy #FrozenFoodMonth! Did you know there was such a thing? Here at Mom Made, we think the process of freezing is pretty cool. No pun intended. Freezing is our preservative. Here are the top 5 reasons why Mom Made is frozen:

1. Frozen food is convenient, fast and still provides nutritious value.

2.  Occasionally leftovers just end up in the trash. Frozen food eliminates food waste. Did you know that 2/3 of the population ditch up to 20 items a month?

3.  Compared to home freezing, manufacturers, like Mom Made Foods, freeze food within minutes to keep the nutritional value, as well as locking in texture and taste. 

4.  Freezing food is a natural process and the use of any preservatives is NOT required. Instead, it seals in freshness, locks the vitamins and minerals.

5. Thanks to freezing, Mom Made Foods is available year around, allowing busy families the option to help their home freezers stocked with easy, healthy meal options for those really busy days. 

Find a store near you.

When to buy organic

The Environmental Working Group 2017 Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce™ is very handy guide as a reference when buying produce. We use it as a guide to prioritize which fruits and veggies to buy organic -- at least until the day when we can buy 100% organic, 100% of the time!

The Dirty 12

  • Strawberries
  • Spinach
  • Nectarines
  • Apples
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Cherries
  • Grapes
  • Celery
  • Tomatoes
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Potatoes

The Clean 15

  • Sweet Corn
  • Avocados
  • Pineapples
  • Cabbage
  • Onions
  • Sweet Peas
  • Papayas
  • Asparagus
  • Mangoes
  • Eggplant
  • Honeydew
  • Kiwi
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cauliflower
  • Grapefruit

Visit EWG's site for more info on the Dirty 12 and Clean 15, and to download the 2017 guide.

Mom Made on Cooking Channel's "Unwrapped 2.0"

Unwrapped 2.0

Unwrapped 2.0

Watch Mom Made production on the big screen! If you love everything cheesy, you'll love Cooking Channel's Unwrapped 2.0. Watch how we make the pasta fresh and the the secrets behind our 100% organic Mom Made Cheesy Mac that make it nutritious and delicious!

If your mouth is watering after watching and you're wondering where you can find this product, then it's time to head to the freezer aisle! Find a store near you.  You can also order Mom Made's Cheesy Mac online with free shipping on healthygoodness.com

Yummy!

Does your child move like a slug in the morning?

If your house is at all like ours, you have some kids who have no problem getting out of bed in the morning and getting themselves ready. They pop out of bed then get that morning routine done - no questions asked. While there are other kids who make this slug meme a reality and they make all of us parents miserable in the morning.

I have one of each and recently I'd reached the end of my patience with my "slug child." We've tried everything from earlier bedtimes to nagging, to offering to help, to offering rewards. Nothing worked. I researched on the internet and came across an app called The Happy Kids Timer for Morning Routines. Done. Anything was worth a try to improve our mornings.

The first morning we tried it, immediate success! Not only did it add time to my morning routine that I used to be spending checking in on my "slug" but it add happiness and smiles to all of our faces. This app has literally worked a miracle! My "slug" child went from taking over 40 minutes to get ready in the morning with constant reminders to now she's ready in 17 minutes and has time to play before school. There's no yelling, no reminders, no whining. Instead, there's pride, happiness, confidence and PEACE.

Best $0.99 ever spent! I've since referred this app to several friends who have slugs in their house. They too found that it works! 

What's your trick to peaceful, happy mornings?

Happy Kids Tmer

Pop'em Meatball Party Appetizer

A bite-size, super easy appetizer that all ages are sure to love!  Everyone will think they're homemade...shhhhhh!

Prep Time : No more than 10 minutes

Yield : Approx 12 (2 Meatballs per person)

Ingredients:

1 (8oz) box of Mom Made Beef & Cheddar Meatball Bites

Low sodium chicken broth or water

2 Tbsp olive oil

Your favorite sauce(s) for dipping (bbq, tomato sauce, teriyaki, mustard, ketchup, etc)

Toothpicks

Instructions:

Prep dipping sauces and serving platter. 10 minutes before you are ready to serve, heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in sauce pan over medium heat. Add meatballs to olive oil and heat for two minutes while turning meatballs until lightly brown. Add 1 C of water or chicken broth to pan and continue heating over medium heat for 5 minutes or until hot. With a slotted spoon, remove meatballs from pan and place on a plate with dipping sauce. Place a toothpick in each.

Enjoy!

(To find a store near you that carries Mom Made's Meatballs, click here.)

cropped_meatball_photo.jpg

Asian Meatball Appetizer

Craving something a little sophisticated? 

Five ingredients, a few toothpicks, and 1 dish later, you've served up an instant favorite.

asian meatball appetizer

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Ingredients:

1 Box of your favorite Mom Made Meatballs

1 cup Teriyaki Sauce

1/2 cup Green Onions, chopped

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

Sesame Seeds

Instructions:

Chop green onions. 10 minutes before you are ready to serve, heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add meatballs to olive oil and heat for two minutes while turning meatballs until lightly brown. Add 1 C of water and continue heating over medium heat for 5 minutes or until hot. With a slotted spoon, remove meatballs from pan and place on a plate with teriyaki sauce. Roll meatballs in teriyaki sauce. Place meatballs on serving plate. Sprinkle green onion and sesame seeds atop meatballs - serve with toothpicks. Or for dinner, serve with sides of rice and salad. 

Find Mom Made in a freezer aisle near you!

Top Ten “Rules” for Successful and Positive Mealtimes with Your Kids

Mealtime can be hard. From getting the meal on the table to getting your kids to eating it, it's definitely stressful. Here are some tips on how to have successful and positive mealtimes with your kids.

  • Keep meals and snack times consistent and regular.
  • Eat as a family. Model good food habits and table manners. The kids will follow.
  • Sit down to eat and drink – don’t take meals on the run!
  • Keep a distraction-free eating area - no T.V., toys, or other distractions such as cell phones, laptops, or newspapers. That includes adults not jumping when they get a text during mealtime.
  • Provide a balance and variety of foods to keep kids interested satisfied.
  • Empower your child to make healthy choices about what to eat and how much. They will feel empowered, for example, if you offer them the option of healthy choice #1 or healthy choice #2, such as peas or carrots.
  • Don’t pressure your child to eat – this will backfire!
  • Respect your child’s choices and trust their natural ability to self regulate their food intake.
  • Set limits on age appropriate behavior at the table and stick to your boundaries.
  • Have fun! The less you stress at mealtimes, the more fun all of you will have!

Do you have other tips that work for you and your family?  Share them with us on Facebook and Twitter!

top10

Small Resolutions Can Change Lives

Motivation for your New Years Resolutions

Here it is January 6 and I am already questioning myself on where I am with my resolutions for this year. I am reminded of a true story and how one resolution can change lives forever…

Eighteen years ago, there was a great-looking, smart, single 20-something young man who made a New Years resolution that he needed to be more outgoing. On January 4, four days after he made the resolution, it was Saturday night and he went out with his buddies. He challenged himself to go introduce himself to some cute gals at the bar where they were. So he approached a group of three gorgeous women who were chatting away in the middle of a packed dance floor. His initial words to them were, “You gals need to stop talking and start dancing. What are you doing out here if you’re not going to dance?” The end. Well, not really…

That group of women was me and two of my best friends from college and that young man turned out to be the man I married. What’s so ironic in all of this is that I was always one who never liked meeting anyone in bars and that he is not the type for “hitting on girls” in bars.  But, bottom line, we’ve been happily married for 17+ years (and hopefully a lifetime to come!) and we have two beautiful children, all thanks to the New Years resolution he made in 1998.

My resolutions for 2017, and ways I hope make them happen, include:

1. Spending more time playing with my kids during the week and make sure to have one-on-one time. This means I need to somehow make more out of my already limited home time. When I cook, it eats into my playtime with the kids. So I aim to make larger portions and freeze meals, which will take me out of the kitchen and enable me to make more forts and build more towers. 

2. Trimming those few final pounds. For me, this means cutting back in a few areas, such as less lunches out during the work week, higher portion of veggies in every meal, less carbs, having healthy snacks always on hand at the office, etc. I have some exercise goals to go along with this - spin classes 1-2x/week and yoga 1-2x/week.

3. Having a night out with my girlfriends at least once a month. No more excuses. 

4. Planning ahead for date nights this year whether at home or going out with that handsome husband of mine.

What are your 2017 resolutions, and how do you plan to make them stick?  All of us need the support, regardless of where we are on the ‘healthy scale.’  Small choices and slight changes can have huge impacts! One day at a time. 

The Easiest Holiday Breakfast

Leave it to Mom Made so that you can put the "Merry" before "Christmas" the morning of 12/25. 

Christmas morning, the kids are engulfed in present mania but need something nutritious in their bellies to counteract the candy canes. This dish, Mom Made Chicken Apple Meatballs served with maple syrup for dipping, is the perfect protein you can prepare in a couple minutes and they can eat while unwrapping.

Prep Time – 3 min

Cook Time – 2 min…no kidding!

You will need:

  • Mom Made’s frozen, antibiotic-free Chicken & Apple Meatballs (8oz)
  • 1/4 Cup low sodium chicken broth
  • Organic maple syrup
  • Skewers or toothpicks (for serving)

Instructions:

  • Heat the meatballs in low sodium chicken broth according to directions on the box.
  • Place on a plate and add some maple syrup for dipping!

Can't wait to hear what you think. Happy (peace-filled) holidays from the Mom Made family to yours!

Sunrise Sammie

Searching for a savory way to start your day? Yeah, we thought so.

Who doesn't love a protein-packed breakfast in the morning?  We thought so.  We've put together the perfect combination of eggs, cheese and meat and crafted a delectable dish just for you and the kiddos.

Total Time: 10-15 Minutes

Yields: 4 Servings

Ingredients:

4 English Muffins

4 Eggs or Frozen Egg Patties

1 Box Mom Made Beef & Cheddar Meatballs, cut in half

1 cup Cheddar Cheese, shredded

Instructions:

Cook Mom Made meatballs as instructed on box. Scramble, or heat frozen eggs patties. Toast English muffins then top with cooked scrambled egg or egg patty. Place halved meatballs on eggs. Top with cheddar cheese. Heat in oven or toaster oven for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Looking for more Mom Made?  Click here.

10 years, 10 things we’re thankful for at Mom Made Foods

Ten years of gratitude

We’ve been reflecting a lot this year over how far we’ve come the last decade and the special something about this journey…

1.     Active and adventurous kids

It all started with the kiddos and our desire to bring them up eating the freshest and healthiest meals possible. They bring vibrancy into our lives every day, and every meal is a chance for them to grow and be nourished and strengthened for the big world in front of them.

2.     Motivated and inspired parents

Getting those smiling and happy kids on the right path doesn’t happen by itself.  We’re grateful for the moms and dads out there that share in our vision for helping kids of all sizes to eat better and healthier.

3.     Freezing

The good ol’ freezing process has been Mom Made Foods’ close ally since the beginning. Freezing is the preservative that makes it possible to deliver healthy snacks and meals to kids without sacrificing time or quality ingredients.

4.     The Healthy Eating Movement

The desire to have our kids eat better is shared by far more than just Mom Made Foods. We’re grateful for the community of businesses and enterprises who share in the belief that healthy eating and healthy kids is a cause that we all should support.

5.     Healthy ingredients

From the early morning aromas that encircle you during a stroll through a weekend farmer’s market to the smells that emanate from the stovetop and oven on a cool fall evening, we’re grateful for fresh fruits, vegetables and meats and the suppliers who bring them our way.

6.     Recipes that inspire

We’re inspired by the recipes we grew up loving, and we hope to impart similar lasting memories with our kiddos.

7.     The Mom Made team

Just like healthy eating is a movement on a grand scale, Mom Made Foods is the product of endless effort by amazing individuals with a spectrum of talents that have helped propel us forward.

8.     Our retail partners

We’re proud of the grocery chains and stores that are committed to providing healthy and convenient options for kids in the frozen aisle. Albertsons, Central Market, Fry’s, HEB, Hy-Vee, King Soopers, Kroger, Safeway, Smith’s, Wegmans, Whole Foods Market and more are helping change the way our children eat for the better. 

9.     Dedicated partners

We are indebted to more than just those who wear the Mom Made emblem on their shirts for getting our products on the shelves. We are thankful for the expertise our sales brokers, suppliers and other partners who are helping spread the word and making it possible to reach a wider audience every day.

10.  Growth

From a cooler at a farmer’s market to thousands of stores across the country, we are grateful for how Mom Made Foods has grown. The more kids eat healthy and the more parents that have nutritious and convenient options at their fingertips, the better. Let’s keep it going!

dipping meatball APPETIZER

Meatballs, dipping sauces & some toothpicks ... what could be simpler?

Whether you're fixing a feast for youngsters or grandparents, this delicious dish is sure to delight!

Total Time: 5-8 Minutes

This one's super simple!  Just cook your favorite Mom Made Meatballs as directed on the box, pour some sauces in dipping bowls, set out some toothpicks, and you're good to go! This also works well for the kids who don't care for turkey as a no fuss protein. What sauce, you ask? We recommend cranberry, barbecue, and/or apple sauce to dip.

Enjoy!

Find Mom Made Meatballs here.