Mealtime Mama: Great food ideas for a “nautical” baby shower or birthday party

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By Shannon Magsam, nwaMotherlode

I had so much fun recently hosting a “nautical” baby shower for my neighbor, Jenn.

Jenn and Brian are decorating the baby’s room in a sea-worthy theme, so it was only fitting.

I thought you might enjoy seeing a few pics in case you want to throw a party this summer with the ocean as your inspiration. It would make a fun birthday party as well, with a few modifications.

First, we start with our beautiful mama-to-be, Jenn, and the adorable wooden sign I bought from Riffraff for the baby’s room (it was on the food table surrounded by sea shells):

baby shower, jenny

The biggest hit on the food table was the fruited chicken salad in croissants. These weren’t just any croissants, though. These were special “crabby” croissants:

baby shower, crabs

Cute, huh?

Click here to see the fruited chicken salad recipe. I cut down on the raisins, added pear, and left out the onions and celery.

How-to: To make the crab’s eyes, I just used mini marshmallows and sliced black olives. The juice from the olives was sufficient to make them stick to the sugary marshmallows, so I didn’t have to use anything to “glue” them together. I then just inserted a toothpick for the final touch.

Following the nautical theme, I was also PINspired to add an octopus to the spinach dip. Like him?

baby shower, dip

Click here to read more about how to make your own bell pepper octopus.

I also served some delicious treats that our other awesome neighbors brought (thanks Sandra, Christie and Carolyn!) plus multi-colored goldfish crackers, blue cupcakes covered with cream cheese icing and “sand” sprinkles and brownies (not nautical-related. Moms and mamas-to-be just need chocolate).

My Aunt Joyce’s special occasion punch was served to wash it all down. This punch has been served as all the baby showers, wedding showers and birthday parties in our family forever. Click here to see the fruit punch recipe.

Hope you enjoyed seeing a few shots from the shower. Good luck hosting your own By the Sea Party!

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Mealtime Mama: Snowman pancakes!

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During our snowcation last week we made some fun snowman pancakes.

Isn’t this guy cute?

snowman pancakes in frame

We got a little carried away with the whipped cream, but he turned out pretty OK — and delicious, too!

Snowman Pancakes

Pancake mix (or your favorite homemade recipe like this one)

Whipped cream in a can

Dots candy

Mini marshmallows

Mini Oreos

Bacon strips

Directions: Choose your favorite pancake recipe and make three round pancakes of differing sizes. Stack the snowman and get creative! Sprinkle powdered sugar or mini marshmallows at the bottom of the snowman.

You see what we did here, but you could also:

  • Use Hershey’s syrup for hat, face and arms.
  • Or use candies like licorice.
  • How about chocolate chips or blueberries for the face and buttons?
  • And this would be super cute: use two strips of bacon for the scarf!

We’d love to see your snowman pancakes! Comment below or email them to mamas{at}nwaMotherlode{dot}com

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Mealtime Mama: Recipes from nwaMotherlode readers!

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When we ran the Big Chill giveaway, we asked nwaMotherlode readers to share their favorite recipes for an extra chance to win the refrigerator from Metro Appliances & More.

We got lots of delicious sounding recipes and we wanted to share some of them with you over the next few months.

This broccoli salad recipe is from Northwest Arkansas mama Denise Richards. It would make a great side dish for the holidays:

Broccoli Salad

broc2 – 4 bunches broccoli, cut into small pieces

1 purple onion, chopped (I usually leave this out unless I know the onion is sweet)

1 or 2 cups Kraft sharp cheddar cheese

1 or 2 bags Oscar Mayer real bacon bits

1 bag dried cranberries

1 package slivered almonds

Mix together in a large bowl.  Set aside.

Dressing:

16 oz jar light mayonnaise

¼ cup red wine vinegar

½ cup sugar

(Or take the easy way out and just use a bottle of Kraft coleslaw dressing.) 

Denise says: Wait to pour dressing over salad until right before serving.  Or, leave the salad dry (as leftovers will keep much longer) and let each person add dressing to suit. 

Ozark-Logo1-300x214If you need ideas for additional sides or the whole ONF’s new deli, A la Carte, offers lots of options (and catering!). Just FYI, Ozark Natural Foods has a full service coffee bar and offers custom coffees blended by Onyx Coffee Lab. They have all sorts of muffins and scones that go great with the coffee. In addition to the delicious breakfast options, A la Carte has a hot bar and a salad bar. They also offer plated salads and made-to-order sandwiches. Normal A la Carte hours are Monday through Saturday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Mealtime Mama: Ozark Natural Foods catering for Thanksgiving

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ONF’s new deli, A la Carte, is offering Thanksgiving catering this year. Hurray!

The menu looks absolutely delicious (see full listing below) and you can call Rachel at 479-521-7558 with questions or email her at rachel@onf.coop. Just FYI, Ozark Natural Foods has a full service coffee bar and offers custom coffees blended by Onyx Coffee Lab. They have all sorts of muffins and scones that go great with the coffee :)

In addition to the delicious breakfast options, A la Carte has a hot bar and a salad bar. They also offer plated salads and made-to-order sandwiches. Normal A la Carte hours are Monday through Saturday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Here’s the Thanksgiving menu! Our mouth is watering …

onf menu

Mealtime Mama: Pancake-battered honey crisp apples with caramel sauce

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Our awesome friend Heidi Clark (who works for the awesome company Great Day Farms) was inspired on a recent Saturday to make a recipe she called Pancake Battered Honey Crisp Apples with Caramel Sauce.

Don’t they look delicious?

Heidi's recipe

We asked Heidi how she came up with the recipe:

“I’d have to say inspiration was that I love fall and I look for the honey crisp apples like others look for the Pumpkin Spice Latte. I’ve been thinking of all the fun ways that I could use them and then one morning for breakfast it came to me. I make oatmeal with them so why not thin sliced pancakes? My picky eater Sawyer loves both apples and pancakes and I thought the match up, especially with the caramel sauce, was great.”

Here’s how to make them:

Step 1: Slice Apples on the thickest setting or use a knife to cut 1/4 inch thick.

Step 2: Mix your choice of pancake batter using Great Day Farms eggs, heat skillet to a little less than medium.

Step 3: Batter apple slices and cook in a non-stick pan (we used coconut oil to give them a crispness).

Step 4: Flip and evenly cook both sides. Serve immediately dusted with white sugar or drizzled with caramel sauce (1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 stick butter, melted).

Enjoy!

Find Heidi Clark at her blog, The Busy Nothings.

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