If you like spicy, you will LOVE these Jalapeno Poppers! Halved jalapeños stuffed with cream cheese, bacon and garlic, topped with crispy breadcrumbs.
Like most delicious foods, classic stuffed jalapeño poppers are deep fried, but for the ease of at-home preparation (and to save room for my other guilty pleasures), I decided to try baking the bacon stuffed jalapeños instead. The results were blue-ribbon worthy.
Not only are these Bacon Jalapeño Poppers just as addictive as the original recipe that inspired them, they are incredibly simple to prepare. Beat the cream cheese filling, half and stuff the jalapeños, then bake. No messy fryer or oily clean up required.
Jeff has already requested these Jalapeño Poppers for every football game watch from season kick off through the Super Bowl, so I’m definitely glad they are a) easy, b) baked (my jeans agree), and c) EASY. You can even stuff the jalapeños a day in advance, then bake them just before serving.
What you need:
4 strips bacon — cooked
12 jalapeno peppers — small/medium-sized, split in half length-wise with seeds and membranes removed
6 ounces light cream cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated pepper jack cheese
2 small green onions — finely sliced
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
Nonstick cooking spray
What you do:
If necessary, cook the bacon according to these easy steps. Once cool, dice the bacon into small pieces.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a baking sheet with nonstick spray or line with parchment paper or a silpat mat. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, beat together the cream cheese, grated cheese, three-quarters of the bacon, green onion, garlic powder, and salt. Spoon the filling into each jalapeño cavity. Arrange the peppers on prepared baking sheet, filling-side up.
Sprinkle a small amount of panko on top of each jalapeno, then lightly coat the top of the jalapenos with nonstick spray. Bake until the jalapenos are tender and the breadcrumbs are golden, about 15 to 18 minutes. If the panko isn’t browned to your liking when the peppers are soft, switch the oven to broil and broil for 1 minute or so watching VERY CAREFULLY to make sure the breadcrumbs do not burn (don’t walk away!).
Remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining bacon. Serve hot.
Confessions: DIY Light Saber
Celebrate Star Wars Day on a budget
The countdown to May the Fourth (be with you) is over. This nerd holiday is finally here. I can honestly say that before Dom was born I didn’t give May the fourth much thought. I was always a bigger fan of Cinco de Mayo to be honest (I mean how could you not be?). Now that I have both Jeff and my future Star Wars nerd we have to celebrate Star Wars Day, plus mama loves a theme. It makes a random day more fun, plus Dom loves a weapon.
There are so many different things you can do but I decided to make lightsabers from Dollar Tree noodles (FYI they are only 94 cents at Walmart), duct tape and electrical tape also from Dollar Tree. I mean what else could you possibly want right?
There are several ways to make these but I wanted them to be somewhat true to the real-life sabers. I’m sharing three different techniques on how to make them but feel free to make them any way you want.
What you need:
Pool Noodle (one noodle makes 2 light sabers)
What you do:
Measure the length of pool noodle and mark center with the marker.
Using the bread knife cut pool noodle in half (It’s easiest to use a bread knife because it has the longest blade and makes a smooth, easy cut).
Darth Vader: (red pool noodle)
On one end of the pool noodle wrap duct tape around once.
Trying to overlap only a little bit wrap duct tape around 3 more times.
Wrap two rows of electrical tape right above the top of the fourth duct tape wrap.
About 1″ under the first row of electrical tape wrap two more rows
Cut seven 3″ pieces of electrical tape and tape them vertically under the second row of duct tape about an inch apart from each other.
Luke and Anakin Skywalker: (blue and green pool noodles)
On one end of the pool noodle wrap duct tape around once.
Trying to overlap only a little bit wrap duct tape around 2 more times.
Wrap two rows of electrical tape right above the top of the third duct tape wrap.
Wrap 3 more rows of electrical tape under the first row of electrical tape spacing each row about 1/2″.
Darth Maul: (red pool noodle)
Measure length of pool noodle and mark center.
Wrap two rows of duct tape around center.
Wrap three rows of electrical tape, one on each end and one through the middle.
Hold the duct tape tight as your wrap around the pool noodle to keep out any wrinkles (if you do get wrinkles just lift duct tape up and smooth out then lay back down).
Start every row from the same spot so you only have overlaps in one place.
Dollar store duct tape works best. It’s not as sticky as name brand so it’s easier to lift and move around if you do get wrinkles.
I love taking ideas from Pinterest and bringing them to life. To get more Pinterest inspiration check out these projects from some of my blogging buddies. And don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest to see what’s inspiring me and what I’m sharing here on Confessions.
May the Fourth be with you! Have fun kiddies and as always let me know how this worked for you.
Confessions Egg Roll in a Bowl
An Easy One Skillet Meal
Happy Friday y’all! If you’re anything like me by Friday you are over cooking dinner. If you’re anything like me you’re also bored as f with the takeout options in your area of the suburb. Whelp ladies and gents have no fear….Confessions has come up with an easy alternative to ordering out for tonight’s dinner. The Confessions: Egg Roll in a Bowl…boom! The simple, fresh flavors of this Egg Roll in a Bowl skillet meal creates a tasty dinner anyone would love in less than 30 minutes. That’s less time than it would take to wait for a pizza. This also means that there is only one pan to clean. I mean…what’s not to love about that?! This is seriously family-friendly meal perfection.
Let’s jump right in shall we?
What you need:
1 lb Ground turkey
3 cloves Garlic
1 tbsp Ginger, fresh
1/4 cup Green onions
1 Yellow onion, small
1 tbsp Soy sauce
Pasta & Grains
1 Serve with duck sauce and cauliflower rice
Baking & Spices
1 (16 ounces) bag Coleslaw mix
1 Salt and pepper
Oils & Vinegars
2 tbsp Mazola corn oil
** Fun Fact: This meal is also gluten free **What you do:
Heat oil in large skillet. Add half of the ginger, half of the garlic, and diced onions to skillet. Saute until onions are softened, about 4 minutes.
Add turkey to skillet. Break turkey into small pieces using a spoon and stir until cooked completely.
Toss in coleslaw mix, remaining ginger and garlic, and soy sauce with ground turkey in skillet. Allow to cook, mixing frequently until cabbage is tender.
Add in a little more soy sauce in needed and top with green onions.
Serve over cauliflower rice with duck sauce.
Seriously easy, quick, and delicious. As always let me know how it works out for you.
Confessions: Easter Sensory Bin
Bright, colorful, and on theme
This Easter sensory bin is made with colored rice, plastic eggs, little chicks and fine motor tools. Bright and colorful, this rice bin is fun for all ages.
One of our favorite ways to celebrate the holidays is by making a themed sensory bin. This Easter sensory bin is such a fun one, with colored rice, easter grass, plastic eggs, little bunnies and chicks and a silicone egg mold, my kids are keeping very busy!
Tip: I like to stock up on items after the holidays so I can get them at a discount
The colored rice is a favorite of my kiddo. It last forever and they get a ton of use out of it. My bubs tends to enjoy any activity involving food coloring and color mixing.
There are many variations for how to make this rice, we simply put the rice in a ziplock bag, add a drop or two of food coloring or washable kids paint, along with a squirt of hand sanitizer and give it a good shake! It smells so fresh too ?
I keep a bin of various scoopers, spoons etc for our sensory bin play. I think all toddlers love anything having to do with dumping and scooping. Add you contents to the bin and let children explore! Tweezers are great tools for pre-handwriting practice! They strengthen little fingers, getting them ready to hold pencils and pens in the future.
After a while the rice will all be mixed together, creating a beautiful rainbow mixture!
Children (and adults) learn best when all senses are engaged, and these sensory bins are the perfect tool for exactly that. We hope you get a chance to make an Easter sensory bin too!
Confessions: Rice Shake Easter Eggs
in Ziploc Bags
Looking for a little less mess this year? Try rice shake Easter eggs! Easy clean cup and more controlled ha! Grab a bag of rice for a buck at the dollar store and have fun! After the rice is dry, pour it into a tub to make a sensory bin for the kids. Or you can also keep adding food coloring to dye more eggs!
This is a super simple, super clean way to let your toddler dye their own Easter eggs. You need 5 things, which you probably already have in the house.
Confessions: Easter Outfits
Our Matching Easter Outfits- because of course
As you’re busy with egg hunts and bunny photos, don’t forget about matching Easter outfits. They’re an opportunity for some serious family cuteness this spring.
Options for mommy-and-me dresses abound, however if you have a boy the Easter options are a bit…well sad. If you know me you know that I basically live for dressing my family for the holidays. Easter can prove a bit tricky because of the weather being a touch uncooperative. The weather in April may tend to be dreary but these options will brighten up your day.
Trust me ladies winning isn’t just for moms and their girls. Fathers and sons can get in on the matching action, too, with options like ties and T-shirts.
Confessions: Toddler Easter Basket
With Easter rapidly approaching I’ve had several people ask about Easter baskets…
Now don’t get me wrong….chocolate, Peeps, jelly beans, and other candy goodness will fill his future baskets, but for night now, I’m wanting to include some more healthy treats as well as things that he’ll need or use anyways, but will still be fun additions….I mean, he’s a tot so he’s not going to be bummed when finding a pair of socks or toothbrush like a teenager would.
Here are some ideas of fun little goodies that would work well in Easter baskets for toddlers (and most for babies, too!). They’re all small enough to fit in a basket, inexpensive, age-appropriate, and most of all, FUN!
I’ve included over 100 ideas to put into your child’s basket. Hope this helps!
Confessions: Carrot Cake
GREAT RESOURCES FOR EASTER GOODIES
Here are some of my favorite places to shop for holiday fun:
Amazon: HUGE selection of course and great deals, especially with Prime membership‘s free two-day shipping, or free shipping when you spend $35!
Target: Obviously, right? They always have a cute selection of seasonal goodies in One Spot and their mini-seasonal department, and sweet digs in the infant/toddler department too.
Zulily: I love snagging cute seasonal finds here (that’s where I got all of our super cute personalized basket), as well as kids’ clothing, shoes, and baby food….I just love good deals and often find great ones here.
Ebates: Before I do any shopping online, especially with the three stores listed above, I always click through Ebates first. I just love getting rebate checks in the mail….it’s the easiest free money I’ve ever earned!
Dollar Tree: Lots of cute little stuffers as well as great value on all those plastic eggs!
Confessions: Cardboard painting
Because if you’re anything like me you have some boxes laying around
It actually feels like Spring!!!!
With the nice weather we’ve been having I’ve really enjoyed with coming up with some ways to do crafty things outside. We had actually been using a cardboard box opened out to lean on when we did a previous painting activity and I thought it would be a great idea to pop it out in the yard and do foot prints and just get messy. I kept Dom in a diaper because… who wants to clean paint off of clothing? #notthismom
To begin with Dom wasn’t sure about it, the boy hates a mess much like his mama, but then got the hang of it and had his paint filled hands and feet stomping across the cardboard. I even joined in and forgot how nice it feels to have paint between your toes! As Dominic just loves to get as much paint on as possible it did get a little slippy so had to grab his arm a few times but no one is bleeding so I consider it a win.
Cardboard Painting After
Seriously this was a ton of fun and we had everything we needed right here at home, which is a double win.
Seriously that’s it. Embrace the mess and steer into the chaos for the afternoon. Every time their paint filled hands grab you just inhale that Spring air and remind yourself that the paint is washable but the memories of today are permanent (sentimental garbage but true nonetheless)
Confessions: Watch It Grow
Spring Science Experiment
Watching seeds grow is an amazing science lesson for kids. Our watch it grow experiment gives kids the opportunity to see up close how a seed grows what would actually be happening under the ground! Our awesome seed growing activity turned out amazingly well, and we loved checking on the progress each day.
HOW A SEED GROWS
This simple to set up seed jar was one of our favorite spring science projects that you can do inside. We had an awesome time examining and observing the growth of our seed germination experiment.
Beginner science can be a wonderful experience that introduces young kids to the world around them. Spring is full of new beginnings in nature that can be explored.
Share an inside look at how seeds grow below the ground with our seed jar. Plus, you can even get it started when there’s is still snow on the ground. Especially if you are itching for spring to come early like I am.
It all starts with a single seed.
It’s truly amazing to watch how a seed grows and using a mason jar gives you a front row seat for observing it all. Sprouting seeds is perfect for a SPRING STEM Activity.
I first saw this awesome seed germination activity done by How Wee Learn. Looking around my kitchen, I had everything I needed to set it up immediately! It looked like an awesome way to see how a seed grows, so we got it started right away.
What you need:
Seeds (Pea and bean seeds grow quickly)
We also enjoyed the book, How A Seed Grows by Helene Jordan which inspired another seed activity with eggshells (coming soon)
What you do:
Our mason jar includes sunflowers, peas, and green beans
STEP 1: Fill the jar with paper towels. Kids can fold them and push them down into the jar. This is also great work for little hands.
STEP 2: Gently water your seed jar to wet the paper towels. DO NOT FLOOD IT!
STEP 3: Carefully push seeds down into the paper towels around the edge of the jar so they can still be seen. Make sure they are firmly held in place.
BEAN SEED GERMINATION
This type of activity makes a great plant science fair project for multiple ages. Get your magnifying glass out and check out all the angles of the seeds. Can you find the different parts of the seed growth listed below?
WHAT DO YOU SEE IN YOUR SEED JAR?
You are looking for a root to pop out of the side.
Next, you are looking for root to push down into the soil.
Then, you are looking for root hairs.
Next, you are looking for the seed to push up while the root hairs push down.
Lastly, you are looking for the shoots to come up
The mason jar gives a stunning view of this seed experiment! My son loved being able to see the changes so easily. Do you know you can also grow crystals in mason jars for a fun science activity… BOOM SCIENED
Setting this up as a science experiment is a great way to share the activity with multiple ages or developmental levels. Older kids can use a science experiment worksheet to journal about how the seeds are growing while younger kids can draw or simply observe the changes.
SEED EXPERIMENT VARIATIONS
You can also explore how fast different seeds germinate by comparing different kinds of seeds under the same conditions. We tried sunflower seeds, peas, and beans in our seed jar.
Or keep the type of seed the same and set up two mason jars to explore whether seeds need light to germinate. Place one jar where it will get natural light and one in a dark cupboard.
Another idea to investigate is whether seeds need water to germinate and how much. Set up three jars, and measure out how much water goes into each so that one is fully wet, half wet and one has no water.
HOW TO GERMINATE SEEDS FASTER
One easy way to get your seeds to germinate faster is to presoak them in a shallow container of warm water for up to 24 hours. That will soften the hard outer shell of the seed. Don’t soak for longer as they may go moldy.
We started this experiment on March 15th and within a few days started to see some exciting things. It was also interesting to talk about what was happening with the different seeds and how they changed over the duration of the experiment.
Sunflower seeds were the fastest to pop a root but never made it out of the jar.
Bean seeds took the longest to pop a root but finally did and made it out of the jar.
Pea seeds grew rapidly once the root popped out and grew the tallest.
Simple beginnings with the sunflower seeds. Then the pea and lastly the bean. It took about three days to see some action with the seeds.
Amazing to see the pea take off in the seed jar once the root popped out!
My son enjoyed telling me about the root hairs he could see every day. It was really fun to see it flourish and to check out the results. It’s a perfect spring science activity at home or even in the classroom.
Confessions: Spring Sensory Bin
The perfect mix of theme and sensory
The sun is out and I have the itch. Unfortunately it’s still a little too cold to be outside so today we’re bringing the outside inside…sort of. I think we all know by now that I love a theme, what you may not know is that I live for Spring… so be prepared for a TON of stuff coming your way.
Sensory play is crazy important and a lot of fun for little guys. Believe me it’s worth the mess. This spring sensory bin with carrots is great for a range of ages. Sensory bins are seriously wonderful for children to play with. They offer opportunities to explore sights, sounds, smells and textures, and promote lots of imaginary play and language development.
Here’s how to set it up, with a few extra ideas for your kids.
There are three basic ingredients you need for a sensory bin:
:: the tub itself.
You’ll want something large enough to hold your materials, but shallow enough so your child can easily reach inside. I usually use this under-the-bed storage box, which is just right.
:: a base material.
We’re using rice today, but you could use shredded brown paper, dyed pasta, or real compost for your tub. To dye the rice I placed it in a plastic bag and added green and purple food coloring gel. Give it a good shake, until all the rice is coated in the colouring.Then spread it out to dry.
I set mine out on a tablecloth and left it overnight – and in the morning discovered Dom had already started playing with it, drawing shapes and letters in the rice.
:: Added extras.
Try to include a variety of open-ended materials, in different colours, shapes, sizes or textures.
These extra materials can give the children a spark of an idea, and they can use them to explore the tub or start some imaginary play. Today we have some little spades, rakes, and plant pots. These are great for scooping, pouring and filling. Or perhaps for some pretend gardening.
We also have some real carrots, looking fantastic with their feathery leaves still on. These bring another, natural texture to the sensory tub, and are fun to plant and pull out of the ground. Lastly, a few little characters are always popular with my children, and very often are a spark for storytelling and pretend play.