Homemade Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Chips

 These simple cinnamon sugar tortilla chips are a perfect afternoon snack to make with the kids My children love "tortilla toast chips" as we call them. You can even drizzle them with chocolate sauce for a not-too-heavy after dinner treat.
You need only a few ingredients:
  • Flour Tortillas (aprox.1 tortilla per person)
  • Melted Butter (1/2-1 stick)
  • Cinnamon and Sugar (mix equal parts to taste)
  • Rotary Pizza Cutter
  • Basting Brush
  • Parchment Paper (or you can try Aluminum Foil)
  • Cookie Sheet (low and flat preferable)
  • Conventional Oven

Here's How:
  • Prep your work area: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.Line the cookie sheet with parchment paper. Mix cinnamon and sugar together to form a mixture. Set aside. 
  • Stack tortillas together. Using the rotary pizza cutter, slice them like you would a pizza or a piece of pie. Lay them out alternately on the cookie sheet.
  • Melt half a stick of butter in the microwave, stir. Using the basting brush, brush each tortilla triangle with butter on one side. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture.
  • Bake in the oven for 10 minutes at 350 degrees
  • Remove from oven, flip the chips over, baste again with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. 
  • Put them back in the oven for 5-7 minutes.
  • Remove and let cool.
The kids helped with the basting and the sprinkling of the sugar. Can you guess which side they did? They became a little impatient with the basting, so I finished up the top of the tray. Word to the wise, light coats of butter and cinnamon sugar work the best. Less is more.

*This recipe comes courtesy of my good friend Alicia. She owns a cupcake business in Orange County, CA and I am proud to call her my friend.

Muffin Tin Meal Stars and Hearts

It doesn't have to be Monday to enjoy a Muffin Tin Meal. Today, I pulled out our shaped silicone muffin tins (I know here in the US they are often called pans, but I am so used to saying muffin tin, that it just rolls right off the tongue).

What's in tin #1: Cheese and turkey triangle sandwiches, celery and peanut butter, yogurt with sprinkles, honey dew melon, tangerines

What's in tin #2: Star-shaped turkey and cheese sandwich, tangerines, yogurt sans sprinkles, honey dew melon stars with "ring" picks, celery sans peanut butter, banana slices

Both of the tins are made by Wilton, aside from all of the wonderful cake decorating supplies they make, Wilton features a variety of quality 6-cup shaped muffin pans that are perfect for themed muffin tin meals (and of course baking too!). The bright colors appeal to my kids and they enjoy choosing their own tins for lunch.

Here are all the tools I used for today's muffin tin meal. Cookie, vegetable, and sandwich cutters.

I'll be mentioning a little bit more about the tins, tools and accessories I have been using in the coming days and weeks. This way, when you go to make your own MTM, you'll have a more comprehensive idea of all the options available to you. I will also be adding more tutorials and how-to's for muffin tin meals. I hope you will join me!

Cupcake Coma

I must. stop. making. cupcakes.

I blame it all on Smart and Final. If their cupcake mix wasn't so good, I wouldn't be forced (yes, forced) to make (and eat) them.

Muffin Tin Monday

Welcome to  Muffin Tin Monday. The weekly blog link up where moms and caregivers share the muffin tin meals they make for the kids in their life (or shhh....themselves).  Muffin Tin Mom is the official home of Muffin Tin Monday and the Muffin Tin Meal-. If you are new or are wondering what this is all about, be sure to read the Muffin Tin Monday FAQ page and check out past Muffin Tin Monday posts.  Lunch time ideas abound. 

We are still enjoying our goodies we received from the Muffin Tin Swap (thanks again Faith!). Princess and Wall-E cupcake liners. The kids enjoyed getting to choose the liners.

A little trick I do with my cupcake liners...In a tin, I turn them inside out, so the printed side faces up. This way, when the kids are eating, they get to enjoy it more.

In both tins: Pasta salad, star shaped bread, heart shaped hard boiled egg, salami slices on a food pick, carrot slices, ranch dip, celery slices, heart shaped hard boiled egg, mozzarella cheese circles, tangerine slices, banana slices, red licorice pieces.

Each of my littles got their own 12 cup muffin tin. It was too much this time around, so I saved it and they had it later for a snack. The pasta salad was new for them. Muffin Tin Girl enjoyed it quite a bit. :)

So what did you make for Muffin Tin Monday? Won't you share it? Be sure to add the URL to your blog post/phot by clicking the "add your link" button below.

No Need For The Sunday Paper

found via One Pretty ThingLittle Food Junction: Elmo Fruitoon

We are getting a late start this morning, I have had some urgent family business. My hope this morning is that you all are able to find a bit of respite this morning/day/evening.

Little Food Junction: adorable watermelon elmo face (photo credit above)! So sweet and great for muffin tin meals and bento-making.

Moments of Mommyhood: Love Sandy's post on Pasta Dyeing "how to". Perfect for stringing yarn and making necklaces! (found via tumblr)

The Tom Kat Studio: features a darling vintage cowgirl party....if my daughter had been into it at all, we would have done this!

Someday Crafts: Will someone please make me this adult summer-y pillowcase dress? I will love you forever.

So there you have it!

Scripture For Sunday
The book of Joshua from the Bible

This month we are reading in the book of Joshua at church. How God delivered the Israelites and pulled back the waters of the Jordan river so they could cross.... Sarah at Real Life Blog posted an amazing photo that I think deserves a look. Take time out today, to reflect on a time when God has provided for you, delivered you, or protected you. It's good to remember.

Get Moving Family Fitness Giveaway WINNER

The winner of the Get Moving Family Fitness from Jumpstart is

 # 34 LISA... 

I still have yet to figure out screen shots, otherwise I would be showing that you right now.

SO congratulations to you Lisa! And thank you to everyone who entered. I wish I could give you all a copy

I have another very-super-extra-awesome-giveaway coming up next week, so stay tuned!

also up in a few minutes will be the NNFSP links post.

Saturday Snapshot: Cucpakes

Been making cupcakes. Just because. Here's the latest batch



How To Use An Egg Mold

Many of you that have participated in the recent swap have received egg molds as part of your swap packages, so I thought I would do a little photo tutorial on how to use an egg mold. Egg Molds are often used in Japanese bento box meals and they are pretty hard to find here in the U.S., unless you have access to a japanese market ( which I do :), but you can also find egg molds easily online).

While still warm, peel off the shell
Place egg in one half of the mold
place the other half of the mold on top and snap it closed

Place in the fridge for 15 minutes (or a bowl of ice water, if you want to speed up the cooling process). You can also add food coloring in the bowl of water as it cools, just like dying easter eggs, to give in a special pop!

Ta-da! You will notice that it doesn't come out exactly like it's shape.

I cut mine while still in the mold, so I am sure of where the half point is.

You can use food markers ( I like Wilton brand) to draw on a happy face.

Although, he kind of looks like he's crying (or has a really bad eye infection).

Happy Molding!

*Disclosure, I have not been able to verify whether or not these egg molds contain  bpa, pvc or pthalates...

Preschool Science: Pepper and Dish Soap Experiment

Magic Moving Pepper:
A preschool science lesson in water tension.

Watch as pepper magically floats away from your soap covered finger tip as you dip it in the water.
Lesson: The dish soap breaks the water tension that is created by the pepper resting on the water's surface, thus, forcing the pepper to float away from the water.

You'll need:
  • Pepper
  • A bowl
  • water
  • a teensy amount of dishsoap

Here's how:
  • Fill a bowl with water
  • Add lots of pepper, the more pepper the more dramatic the effect.
  • Dab your finger in some dish soap, you don't need a lot.
  • Dip your finger lightly in the water
  • Watch as the pepper magically floats away!

*Develop your child's critical thinking skills by asking them what they think will happen before they add their finger to the water or have them try dipping their finger in with out the soap. Have them right down their ideas.
Here's a little video of our experiment. I think my favorite part is when my daughter dip the shaker in the water. That's real life, I guess.

Get Moving Family Fitness for the Wii Giveaway

the box The folks at Jumpstart and Knowledge Adventure are at it again, with the brand new Wii game entitled Get Moving Family Fitness: Sports Edition starring Brooke Burke. While the Jumpstart brand is renowned for their devotion to making educational games for kids, they decided to tackle another important topic: staying fit, active, and healthy.

The game is a fantastic way for families who love the Wii to spend time together and get active, all while having fun. With an emphasis on sports, the first installment of Get Moving, will have you and your family enjoying everything from baseball to ice skating.

Here are some quick facts about the game to know before you buy.
  • The price point is $29.99
  • It has an ESRB rating of "E" for Everyone.
  • It hit shelves on June 15th and can be found anywhere Wii games are sold.
Here are some points of interest:
  • You can design your own character (known as a "Jumpee") to race and play
  • You can build customized routines for extra challenge and set each game to easy, medium or difficult
  • There is a single or multi-player option
  • You can choose your game location -play underwater, on a farm, in Egypt or 8 other fun locations
  • features important tips on staying healthy
Thanks to the folks at Jumpstart/Knowledge Adventure, our family recently had an opportunity to sit down stand up and play a rousing session of Get Moving Family Fitness. We had a blast!

Baseball Batting

Here's what we loved:
  • It's similar to Wii Fit and Wii Sports, in that it has game content that focuses on a wide range of sports, fitness and balance games. However, it has all of Jumpstart's unique style and yet has kids in mind.
  • The baseball, volleyball and pinball balance game were our favorites.
  • We loved that you can "practice" separate skills within a sport (i.e. -both catching and hitting in baseball and serving and spotting in volleyball)
  • As a parent, I love that it promotes an active healthy lifestyle and engages the players on an interactive level (instead of passive consumption).

Here's what we think needs a little work:
  • The Wii remote seemed to be very sensitive to player use. This might prove difficult for the younger aged children below six years. (We experienced a little cry fest during our first time playing).
  • As a parent, I'd love to see more positive affirmation when you hit the ball, score a point etc. Sometimes, the baseball game felt a little quiet, or when the kids would miss, Brooke's voice would come on saying "too far". 
In a nutshell: Out of the 3 the Wii Jumpstart titles I have reviewed, I think this one is our favorite and all the quirks aside, my kids love it. Here's a little video of them playing.

*This Giveaway is now closed*

YOU can win a copy of Get Moving Family Fitness right here

Simply leave a comment telling me one way you and your family stay (or would like to stay) active both indoors and out. That's it. Yep, That's it. No extra entries this time. :) Good luck, and I hope you win!

Contest closes at 9am PST, Friday July 23rd ,2010
*This giveaway is now closed*

*Disclosure: I received 1 copy of the game to review  and one to give away on this blog, all opinions are my own and unbiased. All images are property of Knowledge Adventure.

Muffin Tin Monday

Welcome to the weekly blog link up Muffin Tin Monday. Muffin Tin Mom is the official home of Muffin Tin Monday and the Muffin Tin Meal-where we answer the inevitable question: "What's for lunch, Mommy?" Welcome to all the new MTM participants and readers, it is so great to have you join us this week. If you are new or are wondering what this is all about, be sure to read the Muffin Tin Monday FAQ page and check out past Muffin Tin Monday posts. There are lots of lunch time ideas lurking there. :)

This past weekend, I posted the Muffin Tin Swap Link Up, I hope you will hop over and add your link (if you participated in the swap and have received your package) or browse through all the posts to ahem, live vicariously, I mean look at all the wonderful accessories, tools, and supplies the particpants were mailed. There has been much discussion via Facebook about the possibility of another (fall) swap (sometime around mid November).

Here's what we did this week:

I can't tell you how excited I was to get this silicone flower shaped muffin tin from my swap partner, Faith.

  • Miniature Flower Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches
  • Flower-shaped apple slices (flower stem picks from a wonderful reader and MTM'er )
  • Fruit Snacks 
  • Tangerine (with flower shaped stamped on top)
  • Snap peas with dip
  • Carrot and Mozzarella cheese skewers 
I have a feeling I will be pulling from my swap package for many weeks to come. woo-hoo!

What did you make for Muffin Tin Monday!? Share with us! Click the blue "add your link" button below and enter URL to your blog post or photo shared online.

No Need For The Sunday Paper

Hello lovely readers! This week's links are short and sweet. I hope you enjoy!

Serving Pink Lemonade: Make a pretend play reusable grocery bag for your child. Perfect accessory to the play food stash.

Party Like a Kid: I am still a little mesmerized how this pair of converse shoes is actually a cake....The texturing is fantastic!

Cake Spy: What's better than a cupcake? A cupcake with chocolate chip cookie dough baked inside, Oh my heavens!

Let's Explore: Love this grocery store games for kids post. My kids get a case of the sillies every time we step into a grocery store, I am sure these idea would be a great diversion.

Just realized all the links have to do with food....hmmmm....I must be hungry.....

Scripture for Sunday

Give thanks to the God, for he is good.
       His love endures forever.

Saturday Snapshot

We found a bird's nest today as my Father-in-law was trimming the palm tree back. The feather was found separately. So neat!

Muffin Tin Swap 2010 - The Link Up!

It's time for the fabulous round up of muffin tin goodies from all of the swap participants from around the world! If you are participating in the swap and have not received your package yet, give it a few more days and then email me. For those of you that have received your swap package and want to blog about it and share, this is where you come to link up!

Here's how:
  • snap a photo of all the goodies you got
  • include the photo in a blog post
  • click on the "add your link" button to add the URL of the blog post (not your whole blog)

For those of you not participating in the swap, this is a great opportunity to get a look and all of the accessories, muffin tins, cups, food picks, etc. that are out there.

We received our package today!!! Muffin Tin Girl was so excited. I almost didn't get a photo of her opening it. Our partner was Faith and her family. Faith is new to MTM, it has been so nice to connect with and treat her to some goodies.

Look! The flower silicone muffin tin has been a long desired item. So excited to use it on monday!

In our swap package:
  • Wilton Silicone Muffin Tin (although it's not made out of tin :) )
  • Princess paper muffin cups with crown picks
  • All star paper cups with penant picks
  • mini flower shaped ice cube mold
  • Sesame Street Zoe paper cups
  • Wall-E paper cups (not pictured, because Muffin Tin Boy tore into them right away-see below)

What did you get? Share, share, share!

Wat-aah! Bottled Water Review

Our family was given the opportunity try Wat-aah!

Wat-aah! is the first bottled water for kids, by kids. Wat-aah was founded my a mom who was searching for way to combat the effects of what she describes as "drinkable sugar" (that's you soda). She teamed up with some pint-sized researchers (including her kids) who have upped water's coolness factor, infused it with simple minerals to boost energy and brain power, and gave it a clean pure taste.

It comes in four varieties:

Orange: Bones (with electrolytes)
Blue: Brain (with magnesium)
Pink: Body ( pure spring water)
Green: Energy (ultra pure water with infused with oxygen- this one was my favorite)

We took the Wat-aah! Challenge and here's what we decided:

Here's what we love about Wat-aah!:

Mom: "It is the cleanest, purest water I have ever tasted. It promotes kids (and families) making healthy choices about what they drink, and gives them a fun option. And it doesn't need artificial coloring or taste "enhancers" to make it better. It just is better." The best part? Absolutely no sugar!

Kids: "It's sooo good. I like Wat-aah! a lot. The bottle is so cool. When can we have I it again? Mommy, you should buy this all the time. That way I can grow big and strong."

What we think needs a little work:

Mom: I'd like to see a "short stack" version for school lunches. My kids are still young, and would love that.

Kids: They don't sell it on the West coast in stores in very many places, so the kids ask for it all the time and I can't deliver. Although, I hear they are coming to more stores here in California. They do sell Wat-aah! online via Amazon for only $1.00 per bottle for a 12 pack.

Bottom line: We love it and we'd like to see it in more stores.

To see what other moms are saying about Wat-aah!, visit drinkwataah.com

Muffin Tin Monday

Good Morning and Happy Monday to you. Around here we celebrate Monday's with a Muffin Tin Meal. It's a meal served in a muffin tin (some also call it a cupcake pan, muffin pan and even a patty pan). We have been enjoying the summer, how about you?

Here's our Muffin Tin Meal for this week:

Star shaped peanut and banana sandwich, strawberry yogurt with sprinkles, tangerine, heart shaped water melon, star shaped canteloupe, carrot sticks.

The sandwich was a little flimsy, so I also used food picks to hold it together. What do you think? I hope those of you that have been on the fence about joining in or haven't participated in awhile will consider doing so! Just click the blue "add your link" button and add the web address of your muffin tin monday blog post or photo uploaded to a photo sharing site.

**For those of you joining in on the swap, tomorrow is the deadline for mailing out your package. I have already mailed mine and she should be getting her package today!

No Need For The Sunday Paper

I'll get right to the fun. Here are the links I love this week:

Lil Blue Boo: Make your own adorable little dolly ID tag. Hmmm, I know one or two or five little dollies here at our house who would enjoy this. Found via One Pretty Thing.

Childhood Magic (photo credit above): Turn a cardboard box into a shadowbox theater with this delightfully inspiring post.

Cupcakes Take The Cake: These scrumptious pink lemonade cupcakes with flipflop toppers sound and looks delish.

The Goat and The Kid: I love these fabric lollies made for a pretend sleepover birthday party. Perfect for the preschooler in your life!

For even more links, you can visit the muffin tin mom tumblr page.

*don't forget, tomorrow is Muffin Tin Monday and Tuesday is the deadline for shipping your package, if you are participating in the swap this year.

Scripture For Sunday
Hebrews 11:1-3

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible

The Easiest Slow Cooker Chicken Ever

I am not a gourmet cook by any means. Really, a recipe needs to easy peasy for me not only love it, but make it. That doesn't mean I need to sacrifice on taste. This slow cooker (aka crock pot) chicken recipe is perfect for family gatherings or even the everyday family meal. And depending on your family size, you might even have yummy left overs! Recently, I shared this recipe with my friend Sugar and she let me know that it is excellent with lemon pepper!

Slow Cooker Chicken

Serves 4-6


(The Essentials)
  • 1 whole chicken (they come usually 4-6 lbs.)
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth (water works fine if you don't have chicken broth)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup melted butter
(The Variables)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Seasonings (like garlic salt, lipton onion soup mix, lemon pepper seasoning, oregano, or rosemary)
  • Wash your chicken, and remove the innards (blech!) Make sure you always use safe food handling practices
  • Add the 1/2 cup chicken broth to the bottom of slow cooker
  • Turn the slow cooker on low
  • Place the chicken in the crockpot
  • Baste with melted butter (Olive oil also works nice)
  • Add desired seasonings to taste. I cover the chicken with salt and pepper, seasoned salt, garlic salt, and sometimes I will quarter a lemon and stuff the inside of the chicken with the pieces. But, it's really all about preference. And as I said earlier, Sugar says lemon pepper seasoning rocks.
Cover and allow to cook in slow cooker on low for 8-10 hrs

(photo by stevendepolo)

Want to make this tonight or tomorrow? Here's a little money saving tip, smart and final has whole chickens on sale for .79/lb. And you no longer need a card to get the great deals!

Friday Find

Found this ca-ute sanwich cutter at the dollar store today (our favorite is the "dollar tree"). Can't wait to serve up some hapiness-on-a-plate with this. Not sure it fits in a muffin tin, but I hear it fits snugly in a bento box.

Guest Post For The Beautiful Project

San Diego Sunset

I am over at The Bobby Pin today sharing my definition of beautiful for The Beautiful Project. Natalie has put together so many wonderful women, I encourage you to hop over, grab a cup of coffee, and sit and read some of these entries. They are heart warming, inspiring, and thought provoking.

Natalie is a wonderful blogger whom I often read and one of my favorite posts of hers is entitled "you don't have a uterus, you don't understand." It's an intriguing piece and a great read.

What's your definition of Beautiful?

Polymer Clay Fruit Necklace

A few weeks ago, when I made the polymer clay fruit food picks, I made this simple necklace. I have a thing for making my own necklaces.

You can follow the same tutorial for the fruit picks, but instead of adding a toothpick, add a pendant baile to the inside top, just behind the leaf and stem and bake as directed.

Muffin Tin Monday

Happy Monday! I'll keep it short and simple this week. Muffin Tin Mom is the official Home of Muffin Tin Monday. To learn more visit the MTM FAQ page.

Here's what we did:

Blueberries and cheese on flag picks (thanks Jamie!), strawberries, blueberries, and white chocolate covered Oreos. Yum! Ironically, we had almost the same thing last year for MTM. Go figure.

The star plate is from Target (you may be able to still find them on clearance), and muffin cups and picks from Wilton *and my friend Jamie. :)

What did you make? Please share it with us! Be sure to click on the blue "inlinkz" below.

No Need For The Sunday Paper

Today's link love is a US Independence Day/4th of July theme. Nothing like a few last minute ideas!

Celebrations.com: Add a little zing to your patriotic drinks this year with these super simple star shaped straw add-ons

Muffin Tin Mom (that's me!): Pack a blanket, a bottle of water (or thermos of coffee) and a snack box for the fireworks show tonight. Or, make the super simple strawberry star cupcakes I made yesterday (photo above)...

Make and Takes: make using yarn and chenille pipe cleaners, make easy pom pom fireworks

Crafts By Amanda: inviting guests over to fireworks at home? then create an inviting front step with these wonderful 4th of July mason jar luminaries. (found via Ramblings of A Crazy Woman)


Strawberry Star Cupcakes Fourth Of July

I had a whole post on how to whip up these simple and delicious strawberry star cupcakes for Fourth of July, and then it was accidentally erased! 

Did not do whipped-cream frosting, no reason, except I'm not a fan of it on cupcakes and it doesn't hold up well in the heat.

Just the basics: Store-bought cake mix, store-bought canned vanilla frosting, strawberries and blueberries and red cupcake liners....that's about it. :)

Happy 4th of July!!