Cooking With The Kids

A Sundae For Breakfast? Sure!


A breakfast sundae is simple and is fun for the kids, and you can feel good about serving it!

Breakfast Sundae from
Breakfast Sundae from

Breakfast Sundae


  • Whole wheat waffle, toasted (I used frozen Eggo Whole Wheat Waffles)
  • Favorite yogurt (I used Oikos strawberry greek yogurt for extra protein)
  • Selection of favorite fruit, sliced & diced


Place the toasted waffle on a plate. Top with yogurt and fruit. Serve to very hungry and excited children!


SSD Breakfast Sundae

Simple Mother’s Day Brunch Idea: Cinnamon Roll French Toast Casserole


2 cans (12.4 oz each) Pillsbury flaky cinnamon rolls
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup half & half
3 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans (optional)
Icing from cinnamon rolls
Powdered sugar, if desired


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×12 inch casserole dish.

Place butter in a large glass bowl and melt in microwave. Add sugar and mix well. Add in cream, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla.

Open canned cinnamon rolls, slice each  cinnamon roll into eighths. Add cinnamon roll pieces into the bowl with the egg mixture and toss to thoroughly coat.

Pour the mixture, into the casserole dish and spread out evenly. Pour any remaining egg mixture over the top.

Sprinkle with pecans (if adding). Bake for 35-40 minutes.

When done, remove from oven. Warm icing from cinnamon roll packages in microwave for 15 seconds; pour evenly over bake. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.

Enjoy and Happy Mother’s Day!

This simple recipe is from – a great site to find some wonderful recipes! Check them out!

Simple Recipe: Zucchini Parmesan Chips


This is a simple and tasty way to get veggies into your diet, and maybe even get the kids to like zucchini!


  • 2 zucchini squash, sliced in 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 italian-style bread crumbs (you can use less)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • A couple of grinds of fresh ground pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder, if desired
  • Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray. NOTE: If covering the sheet with tin foil for easy clean up, still use the cooking spray on the tin foil – keeps the chips from sticking!

Place sliced zucchini in a bowl and add olive oil. Mix until zucchini is well coated.

In a large plastic bag, combine the parmesan, bread crumbs, salt and pepper (and garlic, if using). Shake until well combined. Add the zucchini to the bag (in small batches), shaking to coat the zucchini well.

Lay the coated zucchini on the cookie sheet, in single layer. Sprinkle any leftover bread crumb mixture over the zucchini.Place in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Because all ovens are different, be sure to check the zucchini to make sure it does not burn to a crisp! It should be lightly browned and crispy.

Serve warm. You can serve this with ranch dip if you would like. Enjoy!

This recipe is adapted from Food Network. I always love looking at what they have to offer!


Simple Recipes: Meatless Monday Recipe Round-Up!

Meatless Mondays is a great concept – it’s a movement to get people to be conscious of their meat consumption and potentially reduce their risk for preventable health issues like high cholesterol.

I wanted to create some kid-friendly and simple recipes that will make Meatless Monday easy and stress-free! I hope you like them!

Spinach Lasagna Roll-Ups

Spinach Lasagna Roll-Ups from
Spinach Lasagna Roll-Ups from

These are not only the perfect, single serving size, kids will enjoy making them with you! Besides, who doesn’t like to play with their food?  You can assemble this on Sunday, put it in the fridge, and pull it out Monday to cook. Easy Peasy!


  • One 15 oz. container Ricotta Cheese, part skim (You can substitute cottage cheese)
  • One cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided – ½ cup for cheese mixture; ½ cup to sprinkle on top of baked dish
  • One egg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese (I used fresh grated, but you can use packaged to save time!)
  • 1 container of frozen, chopped spinach – thawed and squeezed of liquid.
  • One box of lasagna noodles, cooked and drained (Note: to keep them from sticking after cooking, toss the cooked noodles with a light drizzle of olive oil).
  • 2 cups marinara sauce – I used prepackaged sauce to make it easy.


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook noodles according to the package. Drain and toss with light drizzle of olive oil.

In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, ½ cup mozzarella, parmesan, egg, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Add the drained, chopped spinach and mix well.

Pour about ½ cup of marinara into the bottom of a baking dish.

On a clean, flat work surface, lay out the noodles. Spread about ¼ cup of cheese mixture onto a noodle, spreading to the edges. You do not want it too thick. Starting at one end, roll the noodle up and place on it’s end in the baking dish. Repeat until you have used all the noodles.

Pour remaining marinara sauce over the top of the lasagna rolls. Cover with tin foil and bake for approximately 40 minutes. Just before it is done, sprinkle remaining mozzarella over top and cook until bubbly.


Stuffed Peppers

Meatless Monday Stuffed Peppers from
Meatless Monday Stuffed Peppers from

My mom used to make these filled with rice and ground beef. I decided to replace the beef with Great Northern Beans – a great way to still get your protein and a very flavorful meal!


  • 4 peppers (I used a combination of yellow, red and green peppers)
  • 1 15 oz. can Bush’s Great Northern Beans, Reduced Sodium
  • 1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes (I like to use the basil oregano flavored)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup onions, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon cumin (feel free to add more to taste)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups brown or white rice (I used Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice to make it easier)
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • Shredded cheddar cheese – as much or as little as you like.


Wash and then cut the tops off the peppers. Deseed the peppers. Take the tops of the peppers and chop them up (without the stem).

Pour the can of tomato sauce into the bottom of the baking dish.

In a large pan, sauté the onions, chopped pepper tops and garlic. Add the cumin, tomatoes, salt and pepper, beans, and rice – mix thoroughly. Feel free to add more or as little spices as you want!

Stuff the peppers with the rice mixture. Place the stuffed peppers upright in the baking dish. Place in oven for approximately 40 minutes. Sprinkle the cheese on top of the peppers in the last 5 minutes of cooking.

Serve warm!


Upgraded Grilled Cheese

UpGraded Grilled Cheese from
UpGraded Grilled Cheese from

This is like having mozzarella sticks in sandwich form!


  • 4 slices crusty bread
  • 4 thick slices mozzarella
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup half & half or milk
  • salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • butter
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • Marinara sauce for dipping


Make a sandwich with two slices of bread with two large slices of mozzarella; Repeat with second sandwich.

In a bowl, beat the egg, milk/cream, & salt.

In a fry pan, heat olive oil and garlic over medium high heat. Add butter.

Dip the sandwiches in the egg mixture and then place in fry pan. Cook until golden brown on one side (approx. 2 mins.), then flip.

Serve with warm marinara as dipping sauce.


Avocado Tacos

Avocado Tacos from
Avocado Tacos from

This is so easy and very tasty! Top these tacos with your favorite taco toppings: sour cream, lettuce, etc.


  • Corn tortillas
  • 2 Avocados, mashed
  • Bean, Corn and Red Pepper Salsa (Click here for recipe)
  • Favorite taco toppings


Heat corn tortillas in a fry pan. Add a couple of teaspoons of the mashed avocado, the bean salsa. Add favorite toppings! Enjoy – Yum!


If you would like to see more Meatless Monday recipes, visit my Pinterest Board or visit Thank you to WTLV-TV’s First Coast Living for inviting me on to share these recipes!



Back To School/After School Treats: A Recipe Round-Up!

The kids are heading off to school early in the morning, and coming home STARVING! How do we give them treats that are filling, are good for them, and will not ruin their dinner? Simple Solutions Diva has gathered a few recipes from friends and her social media circles that are sure to be easy, fun, and great snacks!

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Screen Shot 2013-08-19 at 2.18.40 PMWarm muffins fresh out of the oven just melt my heart every time!  Make them in mini muffin tins (or in heart shaped muffin tins, as illustrated in the photo!) for a perfect child-sized treat.


3-4 ripe bananas, mushed
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°.  Mix together bananas, peanut butter, sugar, and milk.  Add in flour, powder, and soda.  Stir in chips.  Prepare pans with cooking spray or oil.  Pour into prepared pan(s).

Bake mini muffins or heart-shaped muffins for approximately 15 minutes.  Bake loaf for 45-50 minutes and regular muffins for 15-18 minutes.

This yummy recipe (and photo) is courtesy of Annette at  She always has wonderful recipes, homemaking tips, craft ideas, and so much more on her website.  If you have a chance, please visit her!

Simple, Small-Sized Pizza

SImple Pizza Using Stonefire NaanWhat kid does not like pizza? And decorating your own mini pizza to bake can be a healthy treat for the kids, because YOU control the ingredients!

Provide the kids with sauce, your favorite mozzarella or other cheese, fresh cut veggies, turkey pepperoni (Hormel has a mini-sized turkey pepperoni that is terrific-70% less fat than regular pepperoni!), and they have their own pizza pie shop!

Now, because I’m the SIMPLE Solutions Diva, I love to use pre-baked breads for the base of my small pizza – you can use 1/2 an english muffin (PERFECT small size!), small pitas, or one of my favorites, StoneFire Naan Flatbreads (See photo above).

Once assembled, these little pizzas cook up quickly in the oven or toaster oven – Cook at 400 degrees, for 5-10 minutes. Not much of a recipe, but you get the idea! And in my book, the simpler, the better!

Trail Mix Sprinkle Cracker Snack

Trail Mis Sprinkle Cracker Snack from
Trail Mix Sprinkle Cracker Snack from

Another great recipe where the kids can take a break from studying to make a tasty snack.  And it is Vegan, so you can feel good about giving it to your kids!


8 extra large ‘entertaining’ size crackers, multi or whole grain
4 Tbsp vegan cream cheese or nut butter (you can use regular cream cheese instead of vegan if you prefer)
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 1/2 cups of “trail mix” sprinkle – Basically a mixture of your favorite combo of dried fruits/nuts/seeds. A few ideas: dried apricots, dried blueberries, salted sunflower seeds, almonds, cashews, poppy seeds, pumpkin seeds, dried cherries, dried figs, sesame seeds, goji berries, shredded coconut, dried cranberries, walnuts, pecans, Brazil nuts, pistachios and hazelnuts.  For large items like dried apricots and large nuts-be sure to chop them into pea sized bits.


1. Assemble your trail mix sprinkle of choice in a bowl, making sure you chop extra large pieces into smaller pieces.

2. “Whip” your maple syrup into your cream cheese or nut butter into a smooth “frosting”.

3. Line a cookie sheet or other flat surface with wax paper (this will catch any wayward sprinkles so they can be used again!.)

4. Assemble the crackers (pack them tightly together) on the covered flat surface. Spread one teaspoon of “frosting” onto each cracker.

5. Sprinkle the trail mix mixture over the crackers and frosting. Press mixture lightly and then remove crackers to individual plates and enjoy!!

This recipe (and the photo!) is from; it is a site full of tasty and terrific Vegan recipes. 

Choco-Banana-Almond Chiller

Choco-Banana-Almond Chiller from
Choco-Banana-Almond Chiller from

My nephew loves chocolate (What can I say? He takes after his favorite Auntie!), and since he discovered Chocolate Almond Milk, he’s hooked! I haven’t introduced this smoothie recipe to him yet, but I know he will LOVE it!


8 oz. Silk Pure Almond Milk, Dark Chocolate Flavor

1 small, frozen banana

1 heaping teaspoon almond butter (I love the crunchy kind)

A handful of ice

(Optional: For an extra kick of calcium, you can get creative and add flavored yogurt, like coconut flavored for an “Almond Joy” type of flavor, or just plain vanilla yogurt.)


Blend all ingredients in a blend until the drink is smooth. Serve icy cold!


For more great ideas for snacks and Back-To-School snack ideas, visit Simple Solutions Diva’s Simple Snacks For Back To School Pinterest Board, where I’ve collected way too many ideas to feature here in this post!  May your kids enjoy their new school year (and may YOU enjoy a little quiet time!). 


Cooking With The Kids: Taco Cupcakes

Taco Cupcakes from
Taco Cupcakes from


1 lb. extra lean ground beef
1 packet taco seasoning
2/3 cup water
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
36 wonton wrappers
your favorite taco toppings – salsa, cheese, sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes, etc.
cooking spray


Preheat oven to 375.

Brown the meat in a skillet and drain off fat. Return the meat to the skillet; add the taco seasoning, water and black beans.  Mix and simmer for 5-10 minutes, until water is absorbed.

Spray 18 regular muffin pan cups with cooking spray.  Place one wonton wrapper in each muffin cup.  Divide half of the taco meat between muffin cups.  Sprinkle half of the cheese over the cupcakes.  Repeat layers – wonton, taco meat and cheese.  Bake at 375 for 20 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly.  Top with your favorite taco toppings.


Simple Recipe: “Get Your Greens” Smoothie

The “Get Your Greens” Smoothie is the perfect way to incorporate stealth nutrition into your diet (and your kids’!).  Kale and spinach are “hidden” in plain sight, and are masked by the flavors of mango, pineapple, and banana.  You can name this smoothie whatever you want to call it to get your kids to eat it!

Suggestion: Using baby spinach and baby kale greens adds a little sweeter flavor to the smoothie.


  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 cup pineapple
  • 1 whole, fresh mango peeled and cubed  (or 1 cup frozen)
  • 1 handful of fresh washed spinach
  • 1 handful fresh washed kale
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • splash or two of almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar (optional)

Feel free to add flax seed or other ingredients to add your own take on this smoothie!


Add all ingredients into blender (add ice first).  Blend until smoothie is the consistency you want. Enjoy!


If you are looking for the OXO Mango Splitter, Click Here: OXO Good Grips Mango Splitter

Simple Recipe: Quick Margherita Pizza

Quick Pizza Margherita (Photo Credit: Randy Mayor; Katie Stoddard on
Photo Credit: Randy Mayor; Katie Stoddard

My absolute favorite pizza is Margherita Pizza – it is just the pure basics: Thin crust, slices of ripe plum tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, balsamic vinegar.  So when I saw this recipe for Meatless Monday on, I knew I had to share it!  This recipe is so simple, it is perfect to put your kids in charge, with an assist from you!


  • 1 (10-ounce) can refrigerated pizza crust dough
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 garlic clove, halved
  • 5 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced (about 3/4 pound)
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Unroll crust onto a baking sheet coated with cooking spray; pat into a 13×11-inch rectangle.

Bake at 400 degrees for 8 minutes.

Remove crust from oven, and brush with 1/2 teaspoon oil. Rub crust with cut sides of garlic.

Arrange tomato slices on crust, leaving a 1/2-inch border; sprinkle evenly with cheese. Bake at 400° for 12 minutes or until cheese melts and crust is golden.

Combine 1/2 teaspoon oil and vinegar, stirring with a whisk.

Sprinkle pizza evenly with sliced basil, salt, and pepper. Drizzle the vinegar mixture evenly over the pizza. Cut pizza into 8 pieces. Enjoy!

(Originated from Cooking Light, December 2002)

Simple Recipe: Easy Brie/Apple/Caramelized Onion Stuffed Crescent Rolls

Crescent Rolls Stuffed with Brie/Apple/Caramelized Onions


I am always looking for simple recipes for foods I know I love.  In my book, there is nothing better than apples and brie together. So when I found this recipe on the website, Kasey’s Kitchen, I knew I had to include it!  I know it will make’s  Simple Holiday Survival Video Series in November 2013!  It also would be a great little appetizer for kids to make and serve for a Mother’s Day Brunch (with help from an adult, of course!)!


  • 1 Green Apple (I love Granny Smith), thinly sliced
  • 1 small brie round, sliced into thin wedges
  • 1 roll of crescent rolls
  • 1/2 sweet vidalia onion, thinly sliced
  • brown sugar
  • cooking spray


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Saute onions in cooking spray until translucent.  Add a sprinkle of brown sugar and set aside.

Roll out crescent dough, separate into pieces (it is usually perforated for you).

Lay 2 slices of apple, 1 slice/wedge of brie and small spoonful of onion mixture onto dough and roll it up.

Place onto lightly greased cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown.

Serve on their own, or try it with a dab of cranberry relish! Enjoy!


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