Mama’s 5 Must Haves for Toddler Plane Travel

Plane travel with a toddler. If the thought sends you into an anxiety attack, I can’t say I blame you!

I actually overheard a mom in the family boarding line say ‘Everyone is scared to travel with a baby… but a toddler is way harder! They’re wiggly!’ Truer words have never been spoken!

I flew with Hunter when he was 6 months old, by myself, and actually had a pretty easy time of it. (Please DON’T hate me if you have a horrible baby travel story!) When your little munchkin can’t walk, and is still being bottle or breastfed, there’s just less to worry about from a logistics point of view.

So, when the time came to plan for a family trip this summer… I was a little nervous.  How do you pack for a successful plane trip with a tiny, wiggly ball of energy? Well, let me tell you, I’ve done the leg work and I’m here to share!

White Chocolate Macadamia Protein Bites

My husband has been bugging me for MONTHS to make some protein bites for him to have as healthy grab and go snacks. I finally got around to it… you’re gonna love these White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Protein Bites!  At 5g of protein per serving, they’re a filling, easy snack!

The recipe is super easy, and you most likely already have the ingredients on hand.  I put together this little 30 second video for you to show you just how easy they are!

The best part?  You can sub different mix-ins to create a flavor combo that you love!  I added dried cranberries to a few, I’m going to try them without nuts next time… I might even do some dark chocolate chips! Just make sure that you don’t go too crazy with the number of mix ins or the bites won’t roll up nicely.

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White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Protein Bites

Course Snack
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 15
Author huntersmama

Ingredients

  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder
  • 1/3 cup chopped macadamia nuts
  • 1/4 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl.

  2. Roll into bite size balls (about 1.5 inches) and place on a cookie sheet.

  3. Refrigerate on cookie sheet for 1 hour before transferring to an airtight container.

  4. Store in fridge.

Hope you enjoy!

Love,

Hunter and Mama

 

Roasted Bell Pepper Salad

This roasted bell pepper salad with southwestern ranch dressing is my new favorite way to eat bell peppers… seriously! Although this recipe is meatless, but you could easily add your favorite grilled protein to make it a heartier meal.  We added smoked pork, it was a winning combo!

5 Blackberry Drinks for Summer

It might still be Spring where you live, but we’ve already crossed over into Summer territory here in AZ. That’s got us feeling ready for some refreshing, fun drinks! These 5 blackberry drinks all start with the same delicious blackberry syrup recipe, which you can use to do some pretty incredible things!

Bare Bellies and Blackberries

Bare baby bellies and blackberries… what’s more summer-y than that?!

Truthfully, I never used to use blackberries that often.  Just not one of my go-to items in the produce section. But last year, we tried some blackberry lemonade while on a family road trip. My husband and I both loved the combo and it got me thinking about recreating it at home! So, let’s get cooking!

Blackberry Syrup

The blackberry syrup is fairly straightforward. You need blackberries, sugar, and some lemon juice. All of that goes on the stove in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir it occasionally and wait for the blackberries to start to break down.

making blackberry syrup

Once it looks more liquid than solid, I start to break up some of the remaining berries with my wooden spoon.  Keep stirring occasionally as you let the mixture reduce down to a syrup consistency (it should coat your spoon nicely) and is no longer foam-y.

making blackberry syrup

Let it cool and transfer the syrup into a jar to keep in the fridge. I like to keep the berry pieces in the syrup, but if you want it to be smooth, you could run it through a mesh strainer before you put it into your storage jar. Either way, you will use it for all kinds of yummy drinks!

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Blackberry Syrup

A yummy addition for your summer beverages!

Cook Time 10 minutes
Author huntersmama

Ingredients

  • 1 pint fresh blackberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat.

  2. Stir occasionally and bring to a boil.

  3. Continue to stir, allowing the mixture to reduce to syrup consistency.  It should coat the back of a spoon.

  4. Allow to cool and transfer to a glass jar to keep in the fridge. Use to add a blackberry punch to your favorite beverages.

First up… Blackberry Lemonade!  This one is kid-friendly and a big hit at our house.

Fill a glass with ice, and spoon 1-2 tablespoons of your blackberry syrup over the ice. Fill the glass with your favorite lemonade, stir and enjoy!

 

Print

Blackberry Lemonade

Course Drinks
Servings 1
Author huntersmama

Ingredients

  • ice
  • 1 tbsp blackberry syrup
  • 8 oz lemonade

Instructions

  1. Fill a glass with ice. Add blackberry syrup and lemonade.

  2. Stir to combine and enjoy!

Then, a quick adjustment makes this an equally amazing grown-up beverage… Blackberry Whiskey Lemonade. Make your Blackberry Lemonade and add in 1.5 oz of your favorite whiskey. A perfect backyard barbecue drink!

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Blackberry Whiskey Lemonade


Course Drinks
Servings 1
Author huntersmama

Ingredients

  • ice
  • 1 1/2 oz whiskey
  • 1 tbsp blackberry syrup
  • 6 oz lemonade

Instructions

  1. Fill a glass with ice. Add remaining ingredients.

  2. Stir to combine and enjoy!

We love iced tea at our house, and one of our favorite twists is using this blackberry syrup as a sweetener for our regular iced tea.  I also have these K-cups my husband bought for me that are Tazo Iced Passion Tea. if you’re thinking that Iced Blackberry Passion Tea sounds delicious, you’re absolutely right. It is. I’ll make this one for a little treat to take with me to run errands or back to work as an afternoon pick-me-up.

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Blackberry Iced Tea

Course Drinks
Servings 1
Author huntersmama

Ingredients

  • ice
  • 1-2 tbsp blackberry syrup
  • 8 oz black or passion tea

Instructions

  1. Brew tea and allow to cool.

  2. Fill a glass with ice and add cooled tea and blackberry syrup.

  3. Stir to combine and enjoy!

Okay, now we’re going to get a little crazy. You already know we have a killer frozen margarita recipe, but NOW we’re going to add our blackberry syrup and have Frozen Blackberry Margaritas. Once you add in all the ingredients from the original recipe HERE, you can add in 1/4 cup of blackberry syrup. Blend and enjoy! I recommend sipping these poolside!

My last blackberry recipe is one that you’re going to make all summer long… I know I will be.  I wanted to make a Single Serve Blackberry Sangria. The problem with sangria is that most recipes make a big batch. That’s totally fine if I’m having a party, but what if I want just a couple?! The other sangria let-down is the waiting. Again, totally fine to make your big batch ahead of time for a party or something, but it’s a lot of time for just a glass or two. Happy to report that I have a recipe for us! Single serve, no wait sangria. You’re welcome!

Start with 1 1/2 tablespoons of our blackberry syrup. Then pour in 4 oz of your favorite red wine and 2 oz of club soda. Easy-peasy! Wine snobs, cover your ears… I serve this over ice. I live in Phoenix and it’s a million degrees outside, if you don’t have ice in your summer drink it’s just not refreshing! Another little trick, if you like an even sweeter sangria, use 7Up or Sprite instead of club soda.  as a little garnish/stir stick, I use a mini skewer of sugared blackberries. Just skewer your berries and run them under cool water. Shake off so that they’re just the tiniest bit wet, and then roll them in a little bit of granulated sugar. I hope you enjoy this one, I had [too much] fun testing out my different batches to get the right recipe!

Print

Single-Serve Blackberry Sangria

Course Drinks
Servings 1
Author huntersmama

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp blackberry syrup
  • 4 oz red wine
  • 2 oz club soda use lemon-lime soda for a sweeter sangria
  • ice optional
  • sugared blackberry garnish optional

Instructions

  1. Combine blackberry syrup, wine and soda in a glass. Best served chilled, serve over ice if desired.

To make the sugared blackberry garnish:

  1. Skewer 3-4 fresh blackberries on a mini skewer.

  2. Wet slightly so that the sugar will stick.

  3. Roll skewer in a small amount of granulated sugar.

Happy Summer! We hope you enjoy our refreshing treats… come back soon for more fun ideas!

Enjoy!

Love,

Hunter and Mama

 

 

Better Than The Bar Frozen Margaritas

Let’s talk about cocktails, shall we?  Everyone that knows me will confirm that I am a wine-lover.  If we’re out to dinner or in a social setting, wine is normally my drink of choice.  That being said, I love a good margarita.

I think that if I’m going to have a real cocktail, it should be fun. And frozen margaritas are basically grown-up slushies. Does it get more fun than that?!

Sheet Pan Sausage and Veggies

We’ve been focusing on healthier eating for the last few weeks at our house.  From the results of our little Facebook poll last week, it sounds like many of you have, too!  Our Quick and Healthy option- Sheet Pan Sausage and Veggies, was the recipe you wanted to try most.  So here we are!

 

Garlic and Bacon Mashed Cauliflower

Today we’re going to talk about mashed cauliflower.  It’s delicious.  In fact, it has surpassed mashed potatoes as a favorite side in our house… which is no easy feat!

In looking for ways to eat a little bit lighter, I came across the idea of mashed cauliflower. I was skeptical… carb-lover that I am.  We tried it anyway, and we’ve been in love ever since!

It was one of Hunter’s favorite first foods, and a regular request from Cale, too! Look! That’s a clean bowl from a one year old!

I like big flavor from my veggies, so I add garlic and bacon crumbles to our cauli mash.  You can leave these out if you want (but I don’t know why you would!!)

Hunter and Mama Spread Some Love

Valentine’s Day is almost here!  Whether the holiday gives you the warm fuzzies or sends you into a rant about ‘hallmark holidays,’ it’s a good reminder to love one another. I think we can all agree that our world could use a little more love right now!

So we’re taking the next 7 days to #SpreadSomeLove all around us in the spirit of Valentine’s Day! Random acts of kindness, encouragement to friends, extra special Valentine’s thoughts for your loved ones… it all counts! I hope you’ll join us! We’ll be sharing our #SpreadSomeLove moments every day leading up to Valentine’s on our Hunter and Mama Instagram @HunterandMamaMakeIt and on our Facebook page.

Follow our lead and share your own #SpreadSomeLove moments with us! Don’t forget to tag us in your posts! We’d love to see a week full of kindness, joy and love!