Gluten-Free School Lunch Ideas

Gluten Free School Lunch Ideas | simplykierste.com

This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions are 100% mine. ----- One of my girls was diagnosed with celiac disease a couple of years ago, and one of the hardest parts of eating gluten-free is figuring out eating at school and in social situations.  We really are so fortunate now, because there are so many GF options in grocery stores, and even restaurants. Thirty years ago, my brother was diagnosed at  only 18 months old after nearly dying (Celiac Disease was not well known at that time). Back then there were extremely limited options, and the very few gluten-free products that did exist were horrible tasting.  So, when I'm feeling frustrated about a certain situation, I just … [Read more...]

15 Fun & Fabulous Popcorn Recipes

15 Fun & Fabulous Popcorn Recipes | simplykierste.com

It's no secret that our family loves popcorn.  Really, it's more of an obsession.  It's almost a daily occurrence at our house, and it's been a long time since I haven't heard "can we have popcorn?". My oldest son might actually totally survive on popcorn alone, he eats so much of it! We add butter and salt most often, but I also love to create and try new popcorn recipes too.  Popcorn is really the perfect snack and even dessert! It's wonderful for parties, at home with family, serving to company, as an after school snack, taking to the classroom, dressing up for holidays, packaging up as gifts, and...what movie night is complete without popcorn? So, I gathered some of the ones I love the … [Read more...]

Picking Berries, Making Jam, and Summer Family Fun!

picking berries, making jam, summer family fun | simplykierste.com

Our summer days always include reading.  I don't think a day passes that we haven't sat down and read together, and I love that we aren't feeling the hustle and bustle of a typical school day afternoon.  We also love to have adventures together, and sometimes the two go hand-in-hand.  A couple of weeks ago I posted on Paging Supermom (as part of their Books Alive series) about how the two are combined!  Reading + Adventures (outdoors and in the kitchen) = Summer Family Fun!  They are simple ideas, but those are the best kind!  ☺ Our family is in LOVE with the Frances books by Russell Hoban. That Frances is such a character, and we laugh so hard at all of her adventures...or misadventures.  … [Read more...]

Easy Crockpot Salsa Chicken Tacos

Easy Crockpot Salsa Chicken Tacos | simplykierste.com

Have a busy day? You simply cannot beat a yummy crockpot meal.  I'm all about fast, easy, and forget about it.  :)  I have been making these Easy Crockpot Salsa Chicken Tacos for a long time, and they have always been a family favorite.  It's one of the meals that every single one of my kids love, and every last bite is eaten! Get this...there are only three ingredients that go in the crockpot! That's it! This literally takes 3 minutes to put together (I timed myself, lol) and it's perfect for those busy days when you really only have a few minutes. It starts with chicken breasts or chicken tenders (it doesn't matter, because you're going to shred it)--whatever you have is fine.  In … [Read more...]

Glazed Lime Bars

Glazed Lime Bars | simplykierste.com

Citrus is the epitome of summer, and I love it in all forms.  These Glazed Lime Bars are thick and rich and buttery, with a slightly tart lime glaze that is out of this world.  When I make these, they disappear very quickly!  They stack up perfectly in clear treat bags if you want to drop them by for a friend or neighbor.  They're perfect for taking with you to a party or BBQ.  If you're looking for a dessert for a wedding or baby shower, look no more! They taste as good as they look! These are the kind of bars that I can only make if I'm going to take them somewhere, because otherwise, I'm tempted to eat the whole pan.  ☺ Even better, they're a cinch to put together. Honestly!  I can … [Read more...]

Raspberry Pretzel Bars

Raspberry Pretzel Bars | simplykierste.com

Raspberry Pretzel Bars are one of my favorite things on earth.  How can you beat a buttery, pretzel-y crust, smothered in a scrumptious cream cheese center, and topped with raspberries and raspberry Jell-O?  You really can't.  Plus, it's red and white, which makes it very appropriate for 4th of July and patriotic festivities! I'm really sentimental about this recipe.  One of my closest friends gave me this recipe, and it's one that she often brought over (that I begged her to make) to our BBQs and picnics. I miss her like crazy, and I love thinking of her every time I make this. These are REALLY easy to make, but it's a process.  Each layer needs to be refrigerated before adding the next … [Read more...]

Stars & Stripes Oreos

Stars & Stripes Oreos | simplykierste.com

 A couple of years ago I made these super cute Stars & Stripes Oreos for the 4th of July, and they are now a family (and friends) favorite! They're so easy to make, and perfect for any patriotic party, BBQ or get together!!! These are also really fun for kids to help with--mine loved the chocolate dipping and then drawing on the stars and stripes. It makes a great afternoon activity! {SUPPLIES} -candy melts:  red, white, blue -Oreos {DIRECTIONS} 1.  Melt the white candy melts according to the package directions.  You can use white chocolate chips too--just melt them in a glass bowl in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until they're melted enough to stir … [Read more...]

Fast & Easy Individual Pizzas

Fast & Easy Individual Pizzas | simplykierste.com

I'm going to tell you a secret.  Don't tell ANYONE. I don't like making dinner. It might have to do with the fact that it falls at the worst possible time of day,  Kids are tired, I'm tired, everyone's hungry, and as Murphy's Law states, as soon as I get in the kitchen, everyone needs something at that very moment. If school is in session, kids are doing homework, practicing music, and odds are one of the kids (or more) will have a lesson or practice.  In the summer, we're out and about during the day, and somehow, we are just as busy. So...I'm a big fan of fast, easy, and yummy meals that require minimal time in the kitchen but have maximum flavor.  These fast & easy individual pizzas … [Read more...]

Lemon Meltaways

Lemon Meltaways | simplykierste.com

I'm pretty much obsessed with anything lemon.  All I have to do is see the word "lemon", and I totally want to try the recipe.  That's what happened a week ago, when a friend shared a recipe via e-mail.  AND it was for Lemon Meltaways, which, come on now, how can that be resisted?  Not very well.  ☺  I made them, LOVED them, my kids loved them, and they now have a permanent place in my recipe book.  I'm sharing them with you today!!  I don't think you'll be able to resist them either! This isn't a typical cookie recipe, which makes me love it that much more.  No beaters are required--just mix up the ingredients, which takes all of about 5 minutes.  Tops.  After rolling the dough into two … [Read more...]

Easy German Pancakes

Easy German Pancakes | simplykierste.com

Ahhhh...the freedom of summer! We are all loving the lazy days spent at the pool, and I have a tendency to want to do super easy and fast dinners. Breakfast for Dinner is always popular, and one of my favorite, go-to meals is Easy German Pancakes.  They totally remind of me my childhood, and I grew up having them on Christmas Day, smothered in freshly whipped cream and berries. We couldn't WAIT to have them the next year!  Since then, I decided to have them a little more often (sans the whipping cream if we're having them for a regular dinner).  My kids LOVE them, and there are always huge cheers when they know they're on the menu! Whether you have these for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, … [Read more...]