The 2019 MomAdvice Summer Reads Guide

June 1st, 2019

For many years, I have wanted to do a reading guide for you all, but each year the days would slip away and I would think, “Maybe next year!”

Well, not today, Satan!

I am thrilled to share my first Summer Reading Guide with you! This has been a true labor of love and I’m incredibly proud how this turned out.

Within this 15 page guide you will find:

  • A huge list of great books to read over the summer. I have included some new (and upcoming) novels, but I also weaved in some older favorites that might be easier to snag at your local library.
  • Tips for reading more this summer including a few of my own tried-and-true formulas for reading.
  • A bookworm gift guide filled with fun finds from Etsy sellers.
  • 10 of my all-time favorite books
  • 5 summer selections curated by the Currently Reading Podcast.

All you need to do to access the free guide is be an email subscriber! Upon signing up for our mailing list, you will receive a link to the reading guide.

If you decide to read any of these selections, I’d be honored if you used the #momadvicesummerreading hashtag and tag me on Instagram!

Happy reading, bookworms! xo

Sign up for the MomAdvice Newsletter and receive your FREE Summer Reading Guide!

MomAdvice 2019 Book Club Selections

November 26th, 2018

Check out the 2019 MomAdvice Book Club Selections and join our FREE book club today!

Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter for more great reads for your stack!

Can you believe that I am picking our 2019 MomAdvice Book Club selections this week? This year has flown by and I have SO enjoyed sharing books and discussions with you.

If one of your goals this year is to join a book club or read more, I’d love to introduce you to our FREE book club you can join. This is  an AMAZING Virtual Book Club group filled with almost 2,000 (!!!) readers where we all share in a monthly discussion together.

The best part?

There is no commitment to participate in chats (although I love it when you do!). This is a place to get opinions about books, find out what everyone is reading, and start chats of your own about books you would just love to talk about.

I wanted to get this list up a little early so you have loads of time to make requests to your local library or read ahead on any of these selections.

How Does the MomAdvice Facebook Book Club Work?

Scroll through the book list below to see what we have in store for you in 2019.  The discussion is held on the last Friday and an Event invite is sent out at the beginning of the month to join a virtual chat. Once you RSVP, Facebook does its thing and sends out reminders to you.

Discussion questions are posted throughout the event and you are able to hop on at anytime during the day (or when you finish that book) to answer the questions at a time that is convenient for you.

How fun is that?

Feel free to join us and let your friends know about the group too.

The more the merrier!

How Much Does it Cost?

Nada.

Well, What Do YOU Get Out Of It?

I want this to be fun and free for you. I post the daily Kindle book deals and I share our book club picks though through something called an affiliate link. Basically, this link gives me a few pennies on each of your purchases that help pay for the web hosting on our website.

The web hosting currently costs me about $200 monthly and your purchases from this group basically help to offset that cost for our family at no cost to you.

I promise that I try to only share the good stuff and good books.

I know I can’t appeal to everyone’s taste, but I am really trying!! 

I also would like to think I made a lot of great bookworm friends too in this group. It’s been fun to have a place to obsess about books, to share what we are reading each week, and just hang out with other people who just get you.

I have tried to cultivate a positive environment and the group is filled with those kinds of drama-free people that you want to have filling your Facebook feed.

Escape the political nastiness and join a feel good kind of space.

I’m thrilled to share these 12 selections with you from a pool of talented writers. As always, I try to keep a good mix of fiction, nonfiction, YA, memoirs, and mysteries.

MomAdvice 2019 Book Club Selections

January- A Ladder to the Sky

February- My Sister the Serial Killer

March- The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

April- Little

May- The Friend

June- The Editor

July- In Sight of Stars

August- There Will Be No Miracles Here

September- No One Can Pronounce My Name

October- The Lying Woods

November- The Library Book

December- Virgil Wander

Join in on the MomAdvice Book Club HERE! Looking for book ideas? Check out our entire Book section of the site! Don’t forget to friend me on GoodReads! xo

*this post may contain affiliate links- I only recommend what I love though.

MomAdvice 2018 Book Club Selections

January 1st, 2018

"MomAdvice

Is one of your goals to join a book club this year? I’m thrilled to share that we have an AMAZING Virtual Book Club group that I’d love for you to join. I’m so excited to share with you our MomAdvice 2018 Book Club selections.

Our book club now has over 1,200 bookworms (!!!) and we would love to have you join in on the fun discussions this year. I loved last year’s selections so much that they even found their way on my Best Books of 2017 list.

How Does the MomAdvice Facebook Book Club Work?

I will be your book club hostess this year and have selected the entire year of books for 2018 to round out your book stacks.  The discussion is held on the last week of the month and posted in the group with a thread for each question.

To make finding these discussions easier (and so you can hop in at anytime!!) we have moved our discussions into the Events tab. You will receive an invitation to each discussion and can find the entire discussion in the Events, instead of searching through our VERY active page.

You can jump in to answer questions at any time throughout that week, interacting with loads of other fellow bookworms.

How fun is that?

Feel free to join us and let your friends know about the group too.

The more the merrier!

How Much Does it Cost?

Nada.

Well, What Do You Get Out Of It?

I want this to be fun and free for you. I post the daily Kindle book deals and I share our book club picks though through something called an affiliate link. Basically, this link gives me a few pennies on each of your purchases that help pay for the web hosting on our website. The web hosting currently costs me about $200 monthly and your purchases from this group basically help to offset that cost for our family at no cost to you.

I try to only share the good stuff and good books.

In fact, I have been reading our book club picks before we get to them to make sure that not a moment of your time or penny is wasted.

I know I can’t appeal to everyone’s taste, but I am really trying!! 

I also would like to think I made a lot of great bookworm friends too in this group. It’s been fun to have a place to obsess about books, to share what we are reading each week, and just hang out with other people who just get you.

I have tried to cultivate a positive environment and the group is filled with those kinds of drama-free people that you want to have filling your Facebook feed. Escape the political nastiness and join a feel good kind of space.

Here are the books we will be talking about this year!

MomAdvice 2018 Book Club

MomAdvice 2018 Book Club Selections

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood January- Alias Grace

Lucky Boy February- Lucky Boy

American Fire March- American Fire

Lilli De Jong April- Lilli De Jong

The Music Shop May- The Music Shop

Everything Here is Beautiful June- Everything Here is Beautiful

Salt Houses July- Salt Houses

Little Broken Things August- Little Broken Things

Far From the Tree September- Far From the Tree

The Hunger by Alma Katsu October- The Hunger

Steal the Stars by Nat Cassidy November- Steal the Stars

Girls Burn Brighter December-Girls Burn Brighter

MomAdvice 2018 Book Club

Join in on the MomAdvice Book Club HERE! Looking for book ideas? Check out our entire Book section of the site! Don’t forget to friend me on GoodReads! xo

*this post may contain affiliate links- I only recommend what I love though.

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The Best Instant Pot Risotto (Step By Step)

October 16th, 2019

Instant Pot Risotto Step By Step from MomAdvice.com

Risotto can be a very labor-intensive dish, but it doesn’t have to be with a pressure cooker. Today I’m sharing my step-by-step tutorial for creamy gluten-free risotto, made in your Instant Pot. Ditch the boxed mac and cheese for this easy weeknight dish.

Have you ever made risotto before? After our trip to Italy, I was so inspired to replicate this dish when we got home. Of course, I had no idea what a gift of love a bowl of risotto is.

Stovetop risotto (you can see my recipe over here) requires constant stirring to achieve that creamy consistency.

One pot holds your warmed broth and the other is where you stand and stir until your arm falls off.

Maybe I’m being dramatic?

It’s not the first time.

This dish really does need a lot of babysitting so that’s why I was thrilled to discover that risotto could be made in your pressure cooker with very little effort and all the reward.

Honestly, I have made this dish almost weekly since we got our pressure cooker. If I am stumped for a good dinner this dish always comes in for the dinner save.

Risotto recipes are a great way to use up produce items, put shellfish to work, add any leftover chicken, or just load it up with parmesan cheese.

After making this for YEARS at our house, it’s time to share my electric pressure cooker secrets.

No more standing over a stove top, friends!

You can present this dish with all the love and almost none of the stirring.

As Ina would say, “How bad could that be?”

Let’s start with a few frequently asked questions on pressure cooking risotto!


Arborio Rice
The Best Instant Pot Risotto Step-by-Step from MomAdvice.com

What Type of Rice Is Risotto Rice?

Risotto is made from Arborio rice and can be found, typically, in the same section as the other rice varieties or in the international foods section of your grocery store.

The appearance of arborio is different because it has a shorter, fatter, and more oval-shaped appearance.

Long-grained rice has to go through a lot of milling, but arborio rice isn’t as processed and that’s how it is able to retain its natural starch content.

When this starchy rice is agitated with stirring, it releases those starches and adds to the creamy consistency.

It also draws in liquid, like a sponge, and a pound of this can soak in as much as eight cups of liquid as it is cooking.

Can This Pressure Cooker Risotto Recipe Be Made Without Meat?

Today’s tutorial does have chicken in it, but it is definitely not required.

Personally, I love to roast medium shrimp in my oven (just toss them with a little olive oil, salt, pepper, and Old Bay) and roast them on a baking sheet at 450 for 6-8 minutes. Once they are done, they are perfect for risotto topping.

If you want to keep this dish vegetarian, substitute the chicken stock with vegetable broth and omit the meat.

Can I Leave the Wine Out of This Risotto Recipe?

I am loving that they now carry mini bottle or mini boxes of white wine, if you want to save money (and not have to throw out wine).

This has been a great cooking option for a lot of people in my life.

Don’t feel like you have to add this step in, although I do think it makes the flavors more rich and complex.

Personally, if you skip the wine,  I would balance it with a little acidity. Hit the broth with a squeeze of lemon or a little red wine vinegar from the pantry.

I also love to add an additional acidic component, to my risotto, with a diced tomato finish.

What Kind of Wine Should I Use for My Instant Pot Risotto?

I am not snobby about wine so I usually rely on a very fine box of Black Box Chardonnay. I love a sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio, or chardonnay in my risotto.

Just steer of any wines that are super sweet. You are looking for one with a dry finish.

How Can I Save Money on Wine for My Dishes?

I’m a huge ALDI wine fan so I *do* recommend you check that out. I can usually find some pretty incredible wine for under $10.

Recently, we placed an order with Wine Insider and used the wine from one of their white wine packages. Here’s a $25 off of a $50 wine order coupon if you want to shop there. I found the price to be more than fair for the value.

What if I Don’t Like Onions?

I hate, hate, hate onions so I completely understand. I am showing you how to prepare this dish with shallots, a very mild onion. 

Personally, I skip the onions. I just add the rice to the olive oil and move right on to the next step, once the rice is translucent.

The Best Instant Pot Risotto Step-by-Step from MomAdvice.com

The Best Instant Pot Risotto Tutorial Step-by-Step

Chop your chicken into bite sized pieces.

Toss with a little olive oil, salt, pepper, and any of your favorite seasonings.

I swear by this Mrs. Dash Tomato Basil Garlic Seasoning, if you on the hunt for perfect spice blend.

Finely chop your shallots (I rely heavily on this tool for finely chopping) and set these aside.

The Best Instant Pot Risotto Step By Step from MomAdvice.com

Turn on your pressure cooker and select the SAUTE setting and adjust it to HIGH.

Add your olive oil and brown your chicken on each side (you are not cooking this through). Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and set it aside.

Add a little more oil and saute your onions for a few minutes. Be careful to not let them burn.

The Best Instant Pot Risotto Step By Step from MomAdvice.com

Now, add your rice and stir constantly to help agitate out the starches. It will go from a bright white to a translucent shade. When you see it is starting to look translucent, you can add your wine.

The Best Instant Pot Risotto Step By Step from MomAdvice.com

Add the wine and keep stirring like a crazy lady to get it to absorb all of the wine into the rice. Once all of the liquid has been absorbed, turn OFF the pressure cooker.

The Best Instant Pot Risotto Step By Step from MomAdvice.com

The Best Instant Pot Risotto Step By Step from MomAdvice.com

The Best Instant Pot Risotto Step By Step from MomAdvice.com

Add four cups of chicken stock, a 1/2 cup of water, salt, and pepper, to the Instant Pot.

Finish by adding the chicken and stir.

The Best Instant Pot Risotto Step By Step from MomAdvice.com

Cover with your lid and lock it into position.

Have I mentioned the importance of replacing your seal?

If you have issues with your pressure cooker coming to pressure, this is a must replace item. Also, be sure to check that your vent is in the sealed position before setting it.

Press the MANUAL button and set it to 7 minutes high pressure.

The Best Instant Pot Risotto Step By Step from MomAdvice.com

The Best Instant Pot Risotto Step By Step from MomAdvice.com

The Best Instant Pot Risotto Step-by-Step

Once it is finished, do a QUICK RELEASE and open the lid. You should see that this is not fully absorbed and will look soupy.

This is good.

I promise.

You will just stir in your parmesan cheese and give it a few minutes to set up.

After a few minutes, you should have just the consistency you are after. 

Some people love to put a pat of butter in with the cheese.

I haven’t found it to be that necessary after the pressure cooker has done its work.

The Best Instant Pot Risotto Step By Step from MomAdvice.com

I would also highly recommend having one of these lids for easy serving out of your pot. I love, love, love this lid for the refrigerator so I don’t have to find a storage container to put this away in.

I hope you love this recipe as much as our family.

Remember, this is just the start of a beautiful risotto relationship.

You can make this your own by switching out the protein, add mushrooms or peas, and try different cheeses.

The Best Instant Pot Risotto Step-by-Step

The Best Instant Pot Risotto Step-by-Step from MomAdvice.com

The Best Instant Pot Risotto (Step By Step)

The Best Instant Pot Risotto (Step By Step)

Risotto can be a very labor-intensive dish, but it doesn't have to be with a pressure cooker. Today I'm sharing my step-by-step tutorial for creamy risotto, made in your Instant Pot. Ditch the boxed mac and cheese for this easy gluten-free weeknight dish.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped shallots (I omit)
  • 1 pound chicken breast (diced and seasoned)
  • 2 cups risotto rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Parsley & Diced Tomatoes (optional- for topping)

Instructions

    1. Finely chop your shallots.

    2. Dice and season your chicken.

    3. Turn on your Instant Pot to the SAUTE function. Adjust to high.

    4. Add two tablespoons of olive oil to the pot (once it is hot) and brown your chicken (do not cook through). Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon.

    5. Add two more tablespoons olive oil to the pot. Toss in your shallots and let them cook for a couple of minutes.

    6. Add your rice, stirring frequently and letting it cook until it is translucent.

    7. Once the rice is translucent, add your white wine and stir vigorously to agitate the rice. Once the wine is fully absorbed, turn off your pressure cooker.

    8. Add 4 cups chicken broth, 1/2 cup water, salt and pepper to taste (don't get too aggressive with the salt since we are adding cheese).

    9. Cover with lid and lock into position. Press the MANUAL button and do this high pressure cook for seven minutes.

    10. Once it beeps, do a QUICK RELEASE. Give the rice a stir and add in your cheese. Let the rice set for a few minutes to absorb the liquid. Serve in bowls and enjoy every dang week.

Notes

When reheating, just add to a pot with more chicken broth and stir to warm.

Looking for more great pressure cooker recipes? Here are a few of our most popular recipes on the site!

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken from MomAdvice.com meal prep shredded chicken in in your pressure cooker

Best Instant Pot Wings Recipe from MomAdvice.com make pressure cooked chicken wings with just three ingredients

3 Ingredient Instant Pot Ribs from MomAdvice.com the most loved recipe on our site are these 3-ingredient ribs

Pressure Cooker Italian Beef Roast from MomAdvice.com pressure cooked italian beef roast is my favorite dish to entertain with

3-Ingredient Instant Pot Pulled Pork from MomAdvice.com if you haven’t tried pulled pork in the pressure cooker, you are in for a treat

this instant pot indian vegetable rice is the perfect meat-free pressure cooker dish to prepare

I hope this gives you loads of ideas for new ways to use your Instant Pot. Be sure to sign up for my newsletter for great ideas!

 

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Gluten-Free Cranberry Orange Morning Buns

October 15th, 2019

Gluten-Free Cranberry Orange Rolls

 

 

Gluten-Free Cranberry Orange Rolls Recipe MomAdvice.com

A recipe for homemade gluten-free breakfast rolls with cranberries and an orange-infused sugar swirl with icing that drips between the cracks and glazes deep into the seams.

From our food contributor, Shaina Olmanson.

Last winter my mother-in-law was diagnosed with celiac disease.

As she faced uncertainty in feeding herself after a lifetime of from-scratch baking with wheat flour, I wanted to show her how this wheat-free life could taste delicious, too.

My very first step was to hand off a bucket and dough whisk and a collection of gluten-free recipes.

I talked to my friend, Zoe, who was up to her eyeballs in recipe testing for her new gluten-free cookbook, and I tried as much as I could to encourage my mother-in-law, Kathleen, to get back into the habit of baking with new flours and textures.

When visiting for the holidays, Kathleen always had breakfast breads waiting for us as we tumbled out of bed to the table.

These rolls, filled with a citrus-filled sugar and a bit of spice, are for her this holiday season.

A gluten-free breakfast bread that will warm the house and make your tongue sing.

Gluten-Free Cranberry Orange Rolls Recipe MomAdvice.com

The recipe uses the brioche dough from the recently released Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, the book Zoe was working on so many months ago.

I purchased a copy for my mother-in-law and went about sampling everything I could before gifting it to her.

Our family is especially fond of the brioche doughnuts.

You can check out an apple cider version of the recipe on their website.

The book makes a wonderful gift this season for any gluten-free family member or friend looking to reclaim a comforting breakfast bread or just to have a baguette to dip into their soup.

 

Yield: 6 servings

Gluten-Free Cranberry Orange Morning Buns

Gluten-Free Cranberry Orange Morning Buns

Gluten-free breakfast rolls with cranberries and an orange-infused sugar swirl with icing

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Additional Time 5 hours
Total Time 5 hours 55 minutes

Ingredients

For the Dough

  • 2 cups Gluten-Free All-purpose Flour Mix
  • 4½ cups cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons xantham gum or psyllium husk
  • 1 tablespoon granulated yeast
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2¼ cups warm milk (100ºF)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1½ cups unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the Sugar Swirl and Glaze (triple to use all the dough at once):

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 orange, juiced and zested
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom
  • ⅓ cup dried cranberries
  • ⅓ cup confectioners' sugar

Instructions

  1. In a stand mixer, whisk together the flour, cornstach, xantham gum, yeast, and salt. Add in the milk, eggs, honey, melted butter, and the vanilla with the paddle attachment. Allow the dough to rise, lightly covered, for two hours.
  2. Place the risen dough in the refrigerator to chill for at least two hours and up to five days.
  3. When ready to make the rolls, remove the dough from the refrigerator and dust with rice flour. Split into thirds. Take one-third of the dough to make rolls. The remaining dough can be held in the refrigerator or frozen for up to 3 weeks until ready to use (or you could make it all into rolls for a party).
  4. Lightly flour your work surface with rice flour. Press the dough into a ¼" thick rectangle. Mix together the ½ cup granulated sugar, orange zest, and the cardamom. Sprinkle evenly over the dough, sprinkle the cranberries on top of the sugar. Roll the dough into a log, pinching the seam closed.
  5. Cut the log into 2" pieces and arrange in a greased baking dish. (I used a 4-quart baking dish.) Loosely cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 1 hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until rolls are golden brown.
  7. To glaze, mix together the confectioners' sugar and 1-2 tablespoons of orange juice until a smooth consistency is reached. Drizzle over the warm buns.

Notes

Brioche dough and flour from Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg, M.D., and Zoe Francois.

gluten-free all-purpose flour mix

 

Yield: 13.5 cups

Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix

Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 6 cups white rice flour
  • 3¼ cups sorghum flour
  • 1¾ cups tapioca flour or starch
  • 1¼ cups potato starch
  • ¼ cup xantham gum or psyllium husk powder

Instructions

    Whisk together all the ingredients until thoroughly combined

 

 

 

Don’t miss these other great ideas from MomAdvice.com:

 

Fresh Baked French Breakfast Donuts from MomAdvice.com

Fresh Baked French Breakfast Donuts

 

 

 

Meal Prep: Breakfast Sandwiches Recipe from MomAdvice.com

Make-Ahead Freezer Breakfast Sandwiches

 

How to Make a Breakfast Bar from MomAdvice.com

How to Make a Breakfast Bar

 

//www.momadvice.com/post/quinoa-berry-breakfast-bowls

Quinoa-Berry Breakfast Bowls

 

Sign up for the MomAdvice.com Newsletter!

Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour MIx from MomAdvice.com

Gluten-Free Cranberry Orange Rolls

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Doughnut Hole Ghost Cake

October 14th, 2019

This fun and spooky DIY Halloween cake is so easy that your kids can make it! Using simple and easy to find store-bought ingredients, you can have a Halloween treat ready in minutes. This doughnut hole ghost cake is sure to be a hit at the party or just for a quick October dessert!

If you are anything like me, you are already on the hunt for easy Halloween ideas!

Today’s easy food craft is for a festive Halloween cake that you can whip up quickly to celebrate with your kids, fellow trick-or-treaters or to add to your Halloween party spread.

This can be made for under $20 and NO COOKING is required!

Can I get an AMEN?

If you are anything like me, you are already on the hunt for easy Halloween ideas!

Today’s easy food craft is for a festive Halloween cake that you can whip up quickly to celebrate with your kids, fellow trick-or-treaters or to add to your Halloween party spread.

This can be made for under $20 and NO COOKING is required!

Can I get an AMEN?

What if I Don’t Want to Spend $20 on Halloween Cake?

As you know, I’m pretty darn frugal, so I want to share a tip that might help you at your store.

Be sure to check the rear of your store (over by the dairy section usually) to see if there are any reduced to sell bakery items on a rolling cart.

It is there where I often spy prepared cakes and doughnuts that are perfect for sharing with guests or for rounding out a meal together with friends.

If you check there first, it is possible you might be able to score these treats for a fraction of the price that I paid.

I promise to not be jealous.

How Can I Make This Treat Gluten-free?

Welp, you know that gluten-free cake isn’t going to be an affordable treat.

Oh, the price ding on removing wheat!

Ouch.

Did you know that you can purchase gluten-free donut holes in the freezer section of many supermarkets.

Is it just me or are you scared to pay a million dollars for gluten-free snacks because you got burned on a past purchase?

I am learning that the best move is to check the reviews before making anymore snack purchases. Here’s the page on gluten-free doughnut reviews to help you make your best decision.

Halloween Doughnut Hole Ghost Cake Dessert

How Can I Save Money at My Local Gluten-free Bakery?

If you aren’t using Groupons, you are missing out on some free money. Anytime that we eat or do anything local, we check to see if there are any deals on things like this. You just never know when the new up and coming bakery might be looking for a fresh way to promote their business.

What Can I Substitute for Cake if I’m Gluten-Free?

I found this useful gluten-free directory to help you find a gluten-free bakery near you.

Gluten-free cakes can be expensive though so I recommend you bake a cake yourself. I have some super easy gluten-free cake recipes to share with you that might just make the most perfect cakes.

I promise, these gluten-free cakes are as easy to put together as any other cake because I rely upon cake mixes for their creation.

Here are a few that our family has loved!

gluten-free snickerdoodle cake

Gluten-free snickerdoodle cake (this is our family favorite- the frosting too die for!!!)

//momadvice.com/post/gluten-free-snickerdoodle-cake

Gluten-free cookies and cream cake (rich, fudgy, and cookie cream frosting- how bad could that be?)

Gluten-Free Lemon Chiffon Cake

Gluten-Free Lemon Chiffon Cake (this would be such an unexpected flavor for fall that it might bring back all those summer feels)

Halloween Doughnut Hole Ghost Cake Tutorial

Doughnut Hole Ghost Cake from MomAdvice.com

 

Supplies Needed

Pro Crafter Tip: Don’t forget to download the Rakuten app to save some money through their links to retailer sites!

1 prepared cake

1 container of powdered sugar doughnut holes (I had enough in an assortment pack)

Roll of white tulle (over by the party/wedding favor supplies)

Black Decorating Icing small pieces cut off a stripe of candy corn, candy eyes, or small Halloween candy (like Mini M&M’s) for your eyes.

1 prepared cake

1 container of powdered sugar donut holes (I had enough in an assortment pack)

Roll of white tulle (over by the party/wedding favor supplies)

Black Decorating Icing (over by the cake decorating supplies/crafts), small pieces cut off a stripe of candy corn, candy eyes, or small Halloween candy (like Mini M&M’s) for your eyes.

Cookie Sticks(over by the cake decorating supplies/crafts)

White Twine

Scissors

 

 

Doughnut Hole Ghost Cake from MomAdvice.com

 

Directions

1. On a rimmed cookie sheet, insert the cookie stick into your doughnut hole.

2. Cut out two squares of tulle, approximately the same size, and angle them slightly. Fold them over your doughnut hole. Secure with a little white twine, making sure to bring the tulle down snugly over the top of the doughnut hole to make a level surface for your piping.

3. Pipe two eyes and a mouth on your doughnut hole. I found that getting the icing a little warm helped make the piping easier so keep that in mind!

4. Stick your ghosts on top of your cake.

Done.

How easy is that?

Doughnut Hole Ghost Cake from MomAdvice.com

Doughnut Hole Ghost Cake from MomAdvice.com

Doughnut Hole Ghost Cake from MomAdvice.com

This cake was such a hit and I loved that it adds a homemade touch to a store-bought treat!

As you know, I’m pretty darn frugal, so I want to share a tip that might help you at your store.

Be sure to check the rear of your store (over by the dairy section usually) to see if there are any reduced to sell bakery items on a rolling cart.

It is there where I often spy prepared cakes and doughnuts that are perfect for sharing with guests or for rounding out a meal together with friends.

If you check there first, it is possible you might be able to score these treats for a fraction of the price that I paid.

I promise to not be jealous.

I look forward to sharing more fun Halloween ideas with you in the upcoming month and hope you love this festive (and easy) treat idea!

Doughnut Hole Ghost Cake from MomAdvice.com

Don’t miss these other great ideas from MomAdvice.com:

DIY Thumbtack Pumpkins from MomAdvice.com

DIY Thumbtack Pumpkins

How to Make Pumpkin Hand Pies

How to Paint Pumpkins With Acrylic Paints from MomAdvice.com

Painting Pumpkin with Acrylic Paints

//www.momadvice.com/post/easy-burlap-wreath-tutorial

Autumn Burlap Wreath

Easy Homemade Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread

 

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How to Make a DIY No-Sew Blanket Scarf (Plus How to Wear a Blanket Scarf)

October 12th, 2019

Blanket scarves are so trendy and an easy no-sew DIY to make for cold weather. Check out this diy blanket scarf tutorial and how to style your plaid blanket scarf with this easy tutorial. One trip to the fabric store for flannel plaid fabric and you will have everything you need to make a blanket scarf of your own…no sewing machine required!

I am madly in love with blanket scarves.

My obsession started as all good obsessions do.

It began on Pinterest, of course.

All of these fabulously fashionable women were rocking these gorgeous oversized scarves, but they were out of my price range or lacked the fullness & beauty that was captured online.

I mean, who couldn’t get behind the idea of wearing a blanket and calling it an oversized scarf?

Count Me In!

I decided I wanted to make some for my minimalist wardrobe because it would add so much. Did you know you can make a blanket scarf with no sewing skills required?

Let’s begin by taking a peek at the coveted $44 Zara scarf (that sells out in minutes, not kidding).

I want to zoom on in it so we can take a closer look.

Zara Blanket Scarf

Source: Style for the Seasons

The thing I want you to see is that the edges are frayed on their version too.

Guess what?

You can achieve that with a little flannel and pulling.

The best part is that this version will cost you quite a bit less than $44. I am going to make a big stack of them to show you and then I am going to show you some fun ways to tie them.

How to Make a Blanket Scarf from MomAdvice.com

The first thing you will need to do is shop for your fabric which is so much fun. I went to a few shops to check out fabric and ended up finding it at Jo-Ann Fabrics.  

Head over here to grab a coupon for your flannel fabric.

Want to know a pro-crafter shopping tip? Check out this app that I’m using to get a percentage back on my craft purchases.

If not, that same link will provide you a 40% off coupon. You will DEFINITELY want to use this because it makes these scarves budget-friendly. Don’t forget your coupons.

Head over the Fashion Flannel…at least that’s what they call it in Mishawaka (oh-la-la!).

Select your favorite patterns, tell them the amount you need, have them tell you they don’t have that much on a bolt, go grab another one, try again… Be annoyed.

Decide to do two sizes because you want you what you want, that’s why you brought it up there.

Got it?

I am going to show you what a 2 yard scarf looks like and then I am going to show you what a 2.5 yard scarf looks like below.

I love them both for different reasons and what you can do with them. The price (with no sales or coupons) is $8.99 per yard. That’s why it is great to see the two version (for cost-savings) and also really great to bring a coupon to save a bit on the fabric.

I wouldn’t recommend anything more than that or your scarf will choke you and you will die from scarf blanket suffocation.

It will be all over the headlines.

They will be laughing at you in those ridiculous segments on the radio where they try to shock you at the stupidity of Americans.  Your family will miss you. It would all be very tragic.


If you would prefer to shop online, I love to check over here for flannel by the yard. SO MANY great choices!! 

 

How to Make a Blanket Scarf from MomAdvice.com

How to Make a Blanket Scarf

1. Purchase 2-2.5 yards of flannel fabric (make sure the flannel printing is on both sides).

2. Using the patterned flannel edge as a guide (on the edges of the fabric), trim the edges of each side of your scarf with a pair of sewing scissors (these are what I have)  to expose the cut edges.

3. Pulling out the vertical threads, on the cut side of the fabric, begin fraying the edges of the scarf.

You will discover that pulling out threads really creates a beautiful finished edge

If you are struggling to grab a thread, don’t be afraid to use a seam ripper.

Keep doing this until there are no loose threads and you have a beautifully frayed edge. Repeat on each side of the scarf. DONE!

How to Make a Blanket Scarf from MomAdvice.com

This is what TWO YARDS of fabric looks like.

You can see that it has a lot of fullness, but is not as long or as much to tie or knot around.

Do you want to see how to tie it to look like this?

Okay then.

How to Wear a Blanket Scarf

How to Style a Blanket Scarf

How to Tie a Blanket Scarf from MomAdvice.com

How to Tie Your Two Yard Blanket Scarf

1. Fold the scarf in half, lining the edges up evenly. This creates more of a square blanket scarf versus doing it on an angle.

2. Make sure one end is shorter than the other and tuck it up over your shoulder.

3. Loop around once with the long end (or possibly twice depending on your neck size!).

4. Fluff and puff. Fluff and puff.

how-to-make-a-blanket-scarf-9

How to Make a Blanket Scarf from MomAdvice.com

Here is the same size, just not puffed up so much. Seriously, cute stuff!

How to Make a Blanket Scarf from MomAdvice.com

How to Tie Your 2.5 Yard Blanket Scarf

No need to reinvent the wheel…I just headed online to figure out a couple of fun ways to tie these longer blanket scarves.

I tried this braided technique on Classy Sassy and really loved it.

It is a little more complex than the one above, but it adds a beautiful detail to the styling.

How to Make a Blanket Scarf from MomAdvice.com

This half-tied technique couldn’t be easier and was a cinch to pull together and added just the right amount of fullness to the neckline.

How to Make a Blanket Scarf from MomAdvice.com

Here are a few other blanket scarf tying techniques I am looking forward to trying!

This one is similar to the half-tied technique, but no tying, just tucking. I can do that!

This chunky scarf technique would work really well with a 2-yard scarf so you could let the ends hang.

The 2.5-yard one would look great as a poncho or even pulled together with a belt.

This poncho style leaves the scarf folded making a smaller poncho version.

Regardless of the way you tie it, I love pairing these scarves with puffy vests, long sleeve shirts, and my favorite fall boots. Flannel blanket scarves are the perfect addition to your fall wardrobe. 

How to Make a Blanket Scarf from MomAdvice.com

I’m Petite & Want to Make a Smaller Version- What Can I Do?

I’m pretty petite, but I know big scarves aren’t for everyone!

Shave 6-7 inches off the width on a 2 yard version to make a more petite version of this scarf with a little less bulk or experiment with your own sizing by creating your own custom version.

Just cut, try on, adjust.

There are no wrong or right lengths- it is what fits YOU or your recipient best!

Wear it a scarf or wear it as a blanket. The possibilities for this cozy project are endless.

Love this scarf tutorial? Here are a few other DIY projects I’m proud of!

No-Sew Scarf With Hidden Pocket no sew scarf with hidden pocket

Fall Burlap Wreath fall burlap wreath

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Spice Candles slow cooker pumpkin spice candles

How to make a Yarn Pom Pom Wreath yarn pom-pom wreath

DIY Roll-up Puzzle Mat roll-up jigsaw puzzle mat

DIY No-Sew Hand Warmers no-sew hand warmers

Yarn Pom Pom Trees yarn pom pom trees

How to Make a Succulent Terrarium succulent terrariums

I hope you have a blast making these quick scarves for yourself or for holiday gift-giving. Check out this list of 54 handmade gifts you can make for the holiday season to inspire you even more! Happy crafting!

This post contains affiliate links. 

How to Make a No Sew Blanket Scarf from MomAdvice.com

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Amy’s Notebook 10.11.19

October 11th, 2019


source

This red pepper and tomato meatball soup looks like comfort food in a bowl.

7 fun fall things to do on a weekend– love these creative ideas.

6 new pumpkin-flavored items to love at ALDI. YASSSS!

This is one of the personal finance tasks I’ve been working on this month. Excited to share more with you!

10 things you need to know about this year’s most controversial film.

Rainbow Pumpkin Arch source

Holy heck! This pumpkin arch is AH-MAZING.

Here is what I’m reading this week. It has more layers than I was expecting, honestly.

This new character has made me cringe through the last couple of episodes. I see why they are weaving this in right now though!

A few good tips for getting stuff done.

This was your favorite purchase this week. Honestly, I can’t start my day without it now.

source

I bought yarn to try to tackle this knitting project. I can’t believe how pretty that is!

This mindful habit will put a stop to overspending.

OMG. This is NOT Tom Cruise. I am so confused.

5 ways to bring hygge to your home.

Speaking of hygge, I hope you didn’t miss this!

How to hit unfollow on anxiety.

I love this piece on the 5AM club. I’m a big participant in this too!

I hope you enjoyed our notebook, a collection of gathered links to DIY crafts, food projects, thrifty ways to spruce up your home, and thoughtful reads. Nothing brings me more joy than to highlight other fabulous bloggers. Follow me on Pinterest for daily inspiration!

Please note, there are affiliate links in this post- thank you! xoxo

Small-Budget Crushes 10.11.19

October 11th, 2019

Small Budget Crushes from MomAdvice.com

Don’t forget to download the Rakuten app before making any purchases on today’s list. You can find all the current coupons AND get cash back on all your purchases! Learn more about it over here!


french terry sweatshirt wrap french terry sweatshirt wrap

layering sweater with side slit layering sweater with side slits

low heel booties- so many great colors and such a steal!

vintage halloween lantern sets vintage halloween lantern sets

leopard print slip on shoes

star patch lace-up sneakers star patch lace-up sneakers

closed my book to be here tee

silicone baking mat sets (so affordable!)

cheerleader pet costume cheerleader pet costume (I can’t stop laughing)

homeschooled tee

faux leather high waist leggings faux leather high waist leggings (soooo much cheaper than the spanx version!)

last name sign

pullover poncho (several gorgeous colors)

Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker cold brew iced coffee maker

printed drop shoulder sweatshirt printed drop shoulder sweatshirt (so many fun prints!)

the giving plate the giving plate

bookshelf bullet journal

brown thumb plant markers

portable usb blender (would make such a great holiday gift!)

personalized bookend personalized bookend

leopard print bag

ostrich men's costume ostrich men’s costume

Keep on window shopping by visiting all of my Small-Budget Crushes. This post contains affiliate links!! 

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken (meal prep)

October 10th, 2019

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken from MomAdvice.com

 

Did you know that you can make enough shredded chicken for a week of recipes with your pressure cooker? This Instant Pot Shredded Chicken recipe can be meal prepped for your week or frozen for future meals. Don’t miss this post filled with ideas for ways to put pressure cooked chicken to work in your kitchen!

I hope you all are as in love with your Instant Pot as much as me. Our pressure cooker continues to be my favorite gadget and I’m excited to share more family recipes with you.

Today I wanted to show you how to meal prep shredded chicken in your Instant Pot.

This technique is super simple and straightforward.

In your pressure cooker, you will add one cup of chicken stock to the bottom of your pressure cooker. Add your chicken breasts and season well with salt and pepper.

Cook your chicken on High Pressure for 10 minutes (for small chicken breasts) or 12 minutes (for large chicken breasts).

These chicken breasts, for example, required fifteen minutes to fully cook.

Allow your pressure to release naturally (instead of quick releasing the valve). A good amount of time is ten minutes!

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken from MomAdvice.com

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken from MomAdvice.com

Once the chicken is cooked, you can shred it with two forks. If you are feeling fancy, break out your hand mixer to make quick work of this task.

Reserve half the liquid in the pot for storage and to reduce the chances of your chicken drying out.

I looked up some frequently asked questions, on pressure cooked chicken, and thought I would share more about my technique here.

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken from MomAdvice.com

Do I need to add more chicken broth (or stock) if I decide to cook more than four chicken breasts?

If I’m meal prepping for my family, I always double our recipes. I have doubled this successfully by doubling the chicken stock and keeping everything else, like cooking time, the same. It will take a bit longer to come to pressure, but the duration you set will remain the same.

Can I use this pressure cooker shredded chicken technique with frozen chicken breasts?

Cooking frozen chicken in the Instant Pot can be a real budget-saver and help you avoid ordering takeout.

Once again, cooking time on frozen chicken varies, based on the size of the breast. If the chicken breasts are small, 12 minutes of high pressure works great. Average size chicken breasts will take about 14 minutes. Large pieces are best at 16 minutes.

Can I Use this Shredded Chicken Recipe for Chicken Thighs Instead of Chicken Breasts?

Personally, I prefer thigh meat over chicken breasts because they don’t easily dry out and get overcooked.

I’ve had great success with cooking chicken thighs for 15 minutes on high pressure.

I love to toss my thigh meat with salsa and a little chicken broth for taco night or burrito bowls.

My Shredded Chicken Didn’t Fully Cook, Can I Restart My Instant Pot?

Do you find that your dishes seem inconsistent with cooking times? I discovered a really important solution…getting a new Instant Pot seal. If the seal is stretched out, it will take much longer to come to pressure.

For chicken to be fully cooked, you want to make sure it has come to 165 degrees. Since the size of the breasts is so different, it is hard to always nail the length of time.

If you find that your chicken is not fully cooked, simply cook it for 2 more minutes of High Pressure.

Since the liquid is already hot, it won’t take that long to come to pressure again.

What Other Seasoning Can I Use on My Shredded Chicken?

I try to really map out what I’m making with it before deciding on seasoning. This basic idea of just salt & pepper is always appealing to me though because it can be used in any recipe.

Free Spice Label Printables

That said, you can always make your own flavor combo! This Mrs. Dash seasoning, for example, is a family favorite. I also love to season my chicken with oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, or dried rosemary.

Feeling inspired to get your pantry organized? Here are some free printable pantry labels to get you started.

I Don’t Have a Pressure Cooker. How Do I Make This Shredded Chicken In My Slow Cooker Instead?

For many years, I just did the shredded chicken in my slow cooker. You will follow the exact same recipe, but you will cook the chicken in your slow cooker for six hours instead.

I hate dry chicken though so I usually do the six hours of cooking time with frozen breasts instead.

I find today’s slow cookers are so much faster than they used to be.

For me, six hours is as long as I’m willing to let my chicken cook in one of those.

If you are on the hunt for a new slow cooker, I can’t recommend this model enough. I use it weekly and love that I can brown our meat before slow cooking it.

Are There Any Other Ways to Prepare Chicken For My Week?

I can’t recommend this roasted chicken technique enough.

In fact, I got stopped three times at a family cookout to ask how I prepared my meat.

It is perfectly seasoned, tastes like it has been grilled, and is perfectly tender.

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Meal Prep From MomAdvice.com

What Recipes Can I Make With Shredded Chicken?

Shredded chicken can be stuffed into wraps with spinach, tomatoes, and ranch.

Shredded chicken can be tossed with salsa, and reserved liquid, to make chicken tacos.

Shredded chicken can be added to a delicious frittata, like this one.

Shredded chicken can be made into chicken salad. I love to skip the mayo and toss it with pesto and a little creamy Greek Yogurt.

Shredded chicken makes the perfect pizza topper with a pesto base, spinach, and tomatoes.

Shredded chicken is a great addition to any salad (here is one of my faves!).

Shredded chicken can be tossed with barbecue sauce and stuffed in sweet potatoes or in buns.

Shredded chicken can be added to soup or chili.

Shredded chicken be made into delicious enchiladas (this is our family’s favorite recipe).

Shredded chicken is great in homemade lo mein, fried rice, or stir fry.

You get the idea.

There is SO much you can do with this. Just think of how you can use shredded chicken in your favorite casseroles, pasta dishes, or rice bowls.

What if I Can’t Eat All This Shredded Chicken?

One of the best things about having this prepared is that you can freeze it. Freeze your pressure cooked chicken in freezer bags, with a little of the reserved broth. Make sure to take out as much air as possible and label. This should keep for 3-6 months in your freezer.

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken (meal prep)

 

Yield: 4-6 servings

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken (meal prep)

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken (meal prep)

Did you know that you can make enough shredded chicken for a week of recipes with your pressure cooker? This Instant Pot Shredded Chicken recipe can be meal prepped for your week or frozen for future meals. Don’t miss this post filled with ideas for ways to put pressure cooked chicken to work in your kitchen!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 Chicken Breasts
  • 1 cup chicken broth or stock
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Pour one cup of chicken broth or stock in the bottom of your Instant Pot.
  2. Add fresh chicken breasts to Instant Pot, seasoned with salt and pepper.
  3. Put the lid on your Instant Pot and cook your chicken on High Pressure for 10 minutes (for small chicken breasts) or 12 minutes (for large chicken breasts).  
  4. Once the Instant Pot beeps, make sure your instant pot turns off (and doesn't start the, "keep warm," setting. Allow it to naturally release for ten minutes.
  5. Remove the chicken from the pressure cooker and shred with two forks or a hand mixer.
  6. Add half the liquid from the pot to your shredded chicken and toss to make sure it is fully incorporated.
  7. Use the chicken right away for your recipes (see post for fun ways to put this to work in your kitchen) or freeze for 3-6 months in an airtight freezer bag with a little additional liquid.Instant Pot Shredded Chicken from MomAdvice.com

Notes

Doubling the chicken? I have doubled this successfully by doubling the chicken stock and keeping everything else, like cooking time, the same. It will take a bit longer to come to pressure, but the duration you set will remain the same. 

Using frozen chicken breasts? Cooking time on frozen chicken varies, based on the size of the breast. If the chicken breasts are small, 12 minutes of high pressure works great. Average size chicken breasts will take about 14 minutes. Large pieces are best at 16 minutes. Still follow the steps above for natural releasing the pressure. 

This post contains affiliate links


Love this recipe? Here are three other great pressure cooker recipes to check out!

3 Ingredient Instant Pot Ribs from MomAdvice.com 3 ingredient instant pot ribs

3-Ingredient Instant Pot Pulled Pork from MomAdvice.com 3-ingredient instant pot pulled pork

Best Instant Pot Wings Recipe from MomAdvice.com 3 ingredient instant pot wings

Let us know what you think about today’s recipe in the comments below!

Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

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8 Series to Get Your Middle Grade Child Excited about Reading

October 9th, 2019

8 Middle School Series Books to Get Your Child Excited About Reading from MomAdvice.com

Are you looking for the next great middle school book series? Check out these incredible middle school reading series recommendations from a teacher. These great books will get your middle grade child reading again. I can’t wait to check out these books for my own daughter from this teacher-approved book list for young readers.

One of the things I love about reading is getting to know a character and then following along with their lives. In my years of teaching I have noticed that kids are exactly the same! Once kids connect with a character, or group of characters, they want to keep on reading all about their favorite new fictional friend. After talking with many of my students I have put together a list of eight high interest series that will help your middle grade child get excited about reading. 

From our monthly contributor, Julie!

8 Series for Your Middle Grade Child

Realistic Fiction

Hank Zipzer

Hank Zipzer– Written by Henry Winkler, this hilarious series is inspired by his experiences growing up with dyslexia. Since Hank has learning differences, this series can be a great one for students who struggle in school. As a bonus, if your younger kids want to join in on Hank’s adventures, they can start with the Here’s Hank< prequel series.

My Life Series

My Life– Encourage kids to put down their devices and pick up a book that lets kids experience the chance of a lifetime to be a stunt double, gamer, ninja, meme and more. Derek, the main character, has been labeled a “reluctant reader” so this is another great series for struggling readers.

Graphic Novels

HiLo Series

HiLo– Fun series about friendship and adventure with a few wacky robot-fighting escapades. This series will hook kids from book one!

The Last Kids on Earth– There’s zombies. And monsters. And epic adventures. Need I say more?!?

Historical Fiction

Ranger in Time Series

Ranger in Time– For kids that love animals, this series is perfect. Ranger is a time-traveling golden retriever who travels to the Oregon Trail, Ancient Rome, the South Pole, the beaches of Normandy, and many more important places in history. 

I Survived Series

I Survived– Another series that takes kids to important events in history to let them vividly experience these events. With books dedicated to the sinking of the Titanic, Pearl Harbor, Gettysburg, Pompeii and more, this series brings terrifying historical events to life.

Fiction

Mysterious Benedict Society

Mysterious Benedict Society– Join four children on a secret, undercover mission at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened. Filled with lots of puzzles and mysteries this is the perfect series for a higher-level middle-grade reader.

Treehouse Series

Treehouse– Who wouldn’t want to live in a 13-storey, or 26-storey, or even 117-storey treehouse?!? Follow along with Andy and Terry as they write stories and live in a treehouse with a bowling alley, secret rooms, swinging vines and more.

About Julie

Having taught in both California and Pennsylvania and everything from 3rd to 8th grade, this year Julie is teaching 3rd grade at an elementary school in Southern California. She enjoys helping her students fall in love with reading and reading during the school day is a big priority. Julie loves traveling in her free time and always makes time to pop into local bookshops when she travels. When she’s not reading or teaching, she loves running, cupcakes and Christmas.  You can find her blogging too over on her blog, Girl On the Move.

Note from Amy:

Isn’t this middle school series list amazing? My kids have loved so many of these along with their favorite Harry Potter novels and the oh-so-reliable James Patterson series books. 

Recently, my daughter was lucky enough to hear Kwame Alexander speak and she was SO inspired by his visit that she couldn’t stop talking about him (or his writing). 

In many ways, middle school is the worst, but there are also still those amazing little glimmers that I love to catch, especially when we are talking about middle schoolers reading books. I hope you can check out these middle grade books for your child and I’m really grateful to have Julie guiding us through her real life experience with teaching and teaching kids to love reading. Now I will have to patiently wait for her high school recommendation list! 

This post contains affiliate links

Looking for more great parenting reads? Here are three others that I think you will love!

Book Series for Kids Who Love Harry Potter book series for kids who love harry potter

The Best Back to School Books for Kids the best back to school books for kids (from kindergarten to middle school)

How to Homeschool Child with Special Needs from MomAdvice.com homeschooling a child with special needs

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Hazelnut Soup Recipe

October 8th, 2019

It's Hazelnut Soup | momadvice.com

This is a rustic hazelnut soup made with parsnips and roasted hazelnuts. It is a quick weeknight soup and the recipe can easily be made vegetarian. Make a batch today and have a taste of Autumn in a bowl for dinner!

From our food contributor, Diana Bauman.

Rapunzel, It’s Hazelnut Soup! 

Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.

Whenever I think of hazelnut soup, I’m reminded of one of my favorite Disney movies about a beautiful princess and her long silky hair.

Along with a dreamy guy, a cast iron skillet, and parsnips… what’s not to love?

Honestly, the first time I saw this movie I was more intrigued with the mention of hazelnut soup than the rest of the movie.

Rapunzel’s fake mother brought home parsnips after a trip to town in order to make her hazelnut soup. 

I happen to love parsnips and hazelnuts so I knew this was a soup I had to recreate… animated or not.

Parsnips are carrot-like root vegetables that contain vitamins, minerals and nutrients, most notably fiber, folate, potassium and vitamin C. 

They’re in season during the late fall and winter.

They’re sweet, yet can have a bit of bite to them.

Large parsnips can have a bitter center which is best removed before cooking.

They taste great mixed into stews, soups, and any other way you would normally use a potato or other root vegetable.

I tell you what, when I saw one of my favorite vendors at my farmers market selling freshly harvested parsnips in the fall, I stocked up and purchased about 15lbs of them to carry me through the winter.

They keep wonderfully in the crisper and actually get sweeter over time.

When I purchased them, I knew right away that I was going to be using some of them to make a comforting batch of hazelnut soup.

I usually make this rustic hazelnut soup once or twice during the winter season – thick and silky, just the way I like it.

In order to create complexity, I start by sautéing onions in a cast iron dutch oven until they’re caramelized, deep and sweet.

While the onions are caramelized, I roast the hazelnuts to deepen their flavor.

Once the onions are caramelized, I deglaze the pot by adding a bit of homemade beef broth.

To the pot, I then add the parsnips, carrots, a potato, some of the roasted hazelnuts, seasonings, and a fair share of more broth.

If you decide to use store bought organic broth, be aware that it won’t have as much depth and character as one made over a stovetop and simmered for 24 hours.

If something like this intimidates you, I promise, you’ll be surprised at how simple it is to make and the nutrients inside will be unlike anything that can be purchased at a store.

Once the additional broth has been added, the vegetables are covered and simmered until tender.

Once tender, a bit of milk or cream is added to the soup and is then ready to be served with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkled with roasted hazelnuts.

This soup serves beautifully with a green salad and a hunk of crusty bread (or not… if you’re gluten free).

Hazelnut Soup Recipe

Hazelnut Soup Recipe
Author: 
Recipe type: Vegetarian Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6 servings
 
This is a rustic hazelnut soup made with parsnips and roasted hazelnuts. It is a quick weeknight soup and the recipe can easily be made vegetarian. Make a batch today and have a taste of Autumn in a bowl for dinner!
Ingredients
  • 2 large yellow onions, sliced
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 parsnips, roughly chopped
  • 1 potato, roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup hazelnuts, roasted, divided
  • 4¼ cups beef broth, divided (sub vegetable broth for vegetarian option)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • dash of fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 cup milk
  • chopped hazelnuts to garnish
  • sour cream to garnish
Instructions
  1. In a large pot or dutch oven, over medium heat, melt the 3 tbls butter and add the onions. Stir the onions into the butter and allow to gently cook for 20-25 minutes or until the onions caramelize to a deep golden brown, stirring them along the way.
  2. Once Caramelized add ¼ cup beef broth to deglaze the pan.
  3. Once deglazed, mix in the parsnips, potato, carrots, ¾ cup hazelnuts, the rest of the broth, salt, pepper, and thyme leaves. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and then cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
  4. Once tender, with an immersion blender or working in batches using a blender, puree the contents of the pot. If using a blender, return the puree to the pot over medium heat.
  5. Add 1 cup milk and stir through. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
  6. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkled with roasted hazelnuts

 

Love this recipe? Don’t miss these other great posts from MomAdvice.com:

 

28 Instant Pot Soup & Stew Recipes 28 Instant Pot Soup & Stew Recipes

 

Gluten-Free Chicken Noodle Soup Gluten-Free Chicken Noodle Soup

 

Pizza Quinoa Mushrooms Pizza Quinoa Mushrooms

 

Homemade Chai Tea Latte Homemade Vanilla Chai Tea Mix

 

//www.momadvice.com/post/easy-homemade-gluten-free-pumpkin-bread-recipe Easy Homemade Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread

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Do you enjoy soups? Share with us, what’s your favorite comforting soup during this season?

 

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DIY Chunky Knit Blanket

October 6th, 2019

Big Fat Hygge Blanket Free Pattern

 

Are you ready for your next quick project? This knit throw is made with chunky yarn, big knitting needles, and a little faux fur to finish. This warm and cozy project is affordable and happens to make beautiful Christmas gifts. Follow this step-by-step tutorial to make a big fat hygge blanket of your own.

It has been a long time since I’ve shared a knitting project with you. I’ve had difficulty with hand pain, for the past couple of years, so I had to take a break. I’m so thrilled to be feeling better though and am SO excited to share with you a super easy hand knit blanket.

Blankets can be labor intensive, but this one can be finished in just a few evenings, thanks to this super bulky yarn!

These chunky knit blankets have been catching my eye A LOT on Etsy. Most of these are made with a chunky , merino wool roving yarn that create big beautiful stitches. They also cost a pretty penny to purchase or even to diy yourself.

I stumbled upon the Bernat Blanket Big yarn, on a recent trip to the craft store, and absolutely loved the feel of it. This is, honestly, the coziest yarn and I knew it would make the perfect blanket.

Originally, I had planned to cable knit this blanket, but I quickly realized that working with these big needles and yarn made it difficult to work with and the thickness felt unnecessary.

I inspected a few of the patterns, sold online, and noticed that most offered a 2 x 2 ribbing or they were knitted in a simple stockinette stitch (knitting one row, purling the next, knitting one row, purling the next, etc..)

I settled on the 2 x 2 rib, mostly because I find it slightly more impressive and I like the variation in the stiching.

I’m nicknaming this blanket, “the big fat hygge blanket,” because I’m ALL ABOUT THE HYGGE in the winter time.

Not familiar with hygge?

In Danish culture, hygge refers to coziness , comfort, and a general feeling of contentment. When I think of hygge, I think of warm drinks, cozy slippers, a big stack of books, tea, and a big blanket.

Even as I knitted this blanket, I was feeling all the hygge feelings because this yarn is so darn cozy.

I have never arm knitted a blanket, but I do know that many people use this strategy to knit blankets like these. 

Instead, I bought some big needles (here is my exact pair) and knitted the blanket that way.

DIY Chunky Knit Blanket from MomAdvice.com

My kids thought that these needles were a decoration for our home and got a big laugh out of seeing me use these.

Seriously, they are so big that they could be hung as decorative art, like people do with oars or surfboards.

No one was laughing though when the blanket was finished and they all wanted one for themselves.

Who is laughing now, kids? 

I even got my first birthday request from my girl and have a big stack of pink yarn to knit through next.

DIY Chunky Knit Blanket from MomAdvice.com

How to Knit a DIY Chunky Blanket

Here are a few tips for knitting a super chunky blanket of your own!

Master All the Basic Techniques

If you are a brand new knitter, WELCOME TO THE CLUB! Bulky projects are super satisfying because of how quickly you can make them. I love this super simple illustrated guide to explain basic knitting techniques. You can also learn a lot through YouTube, Bluprint, or Skillshare.

Personally, I’m addicted to Skillshare because of its affordability and the variety of classes offered. It is how I have been learning about loom knitting AND about digital marketing. 

I’m a girl with many hats.

I find this yarn is hard to see the stitches, but still wanted to show you a few of the basic techniques with your Bernat Blanket Big Yarn!

DIY Chunky Knit Blanket from MomAdvice.com

here is a picture tutorial on how to cast on your yarn for your diy chunky blanket

DIY Chunky Knit Blanket from MomAdvice.com

here is a picture tutorial on how to do the knit stitch

DIY Chunky Knit Blanket from MomAdvice.com

DIY Chunky Knit Blanket from MomAdvice.com

here is a picture tutorial on how to do the purl stitch

DIY Chunky Knit Blanket from MomAdvice.com Do you see how differently these two stitches look? Two have humps and two don’t. Not only does this help you with your counting, but it also gives you an indication of what row you are working on. After you do your first row, flip your work, and take a peek at the back. This will help you if you lose track of your even and odd numbered rows.

Learn the 2×2 Ribbing Pattern Before You Start

If you have never done a 2×2 pattern, try practicing this with a smooth thin yarn and smaller knitting needles. Since this yarn is super bulky, it can be difficult to see what you are doing on the back of your work and this practice project will help you figure out what this will look like.

Normally, a 2 x 2 ribbing is set in multiples of 4 (K2, P2). Since we want this blanket to begin and end on our two knitted stitches, the blanket pattern has added 2 additional stitches (written separately like this- K2, *P2, K2*) so we end and start our rows with 2 knit stitches.

Make Sure You Understand the Pattern Fully- This is a fun beginner project, but you might be confused what certain abbreviations mean. I know that I was when I first started knitting and had to look a lot of terms up.

For this pattern, you will need to know these abbreviations:

CO- Cast on

K- Knit

K2- Knit two stitches

P- Purl

P2- Purl two stitches

*blah, blah, blah*- This means that the pattern will be repeating. In our pattern, for example, it is a *P2, K2* so we will want to repeat what is between those asterisks until the next direction in our pattern. In the case of this pattern, you will just be doing the *P2, K2* or *K2, P2* all the way to the end. How easy is that?

Keep Your Stitches Loose

You do not want to cast your stitches on tightly or knit them tightly because it makes it very hard to slip your needles in and out. Try to maintain consistency so your stitches look similar throughout the project.

Are you ready to get knitting? Follow the directions below or scroll all the way to the end for a free printable pattern.

DIY Chunky Knit Blanket from MomAdvice.com

DIY Chunky Knit Blanket

Supplies Needed (super saver tip- make sure you are signed up with Rakuten to get cash back on your craft purchases)

4 skeins of Bernat Blanket Big Yarn

U.S. 50 Knitting Needles

Big Eye Wooden Needle for threading yarn

Faux Fur Pom-Pom Balls (optional)

Directions

Cast on 18 stitches

Row 1- K2, *P2, K2* to end

Row 2- P2 *K2, P2* to end

Repeat Row 1 on all odd-numbered rows.

Repeat Row 2 on all even-numbered rows.

Repeat until you come close to the end of your fourth skein.

Cast off LOOSELY and finish with fur accents, homemade tassels, or even four yarn pom-poms. I have the ultimate yarn pom pom tutorial, if you haven’t tried making these before! These would be beautiful in an accent color. I love the Lion Brand chunky yarn, in particular, for a fat pom-pom.

Good luck tackling this fun project! 

Want a printable version of this? Well, here you go!

DIY Chunky Blanket FREE Pattern from MomAdvice.com

If you have caught the knitting, bug I have loads more knitting and yarn projects to check out!

how to knit a chunky cowl

how to knit a chunky cowl

Knitted Baby Viking Hat Pattern knitted baby viking hat pattern

knitted wine hats and scarves

Knitted Sweater Coffee Cozies knitted sweater coffee cozies

How to Make a Yarn Pom Pom Wreath how to make a yarn pom pom wreath

Happy crafting friends! 

*this post contains affiliate links*

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