Easter 2019 Gift Guide

Kids

Am I the only one who gets tired of giving their kids a mountain of candy on Easter? I can’t be right? I mean, they get candy in their eggs… why also in a basket!? It’s madness. SO I am putting together an Easter gift guide that’s budget friendly and items that my kids have loved over the years. It ain’t nothing special, but maybe it will give you a few ideas!

Boys and Girls:

41uMEkq+s2L._SL250_

Chalk  is always, always a good idea in my book. It provides hours of fun outside and away from a screen. Stretch those little imaginations!

41cXrSO4ELL._SL250_

A kite  has always been a wonderous thing to me. Like I’m flying this thing in the sky and can bring it back down at any time. My kids LOVE getting a kite every year in their basket!

51RYWP4X04L._SL250_

Movies  might be a little outdated with all of the streaming we have any more. But I still think getting a classic Disney movie never gets old. Bonus, this one is under $5!!

51cUO1ZTZbL._SL250_.jpg

Sand box kits  always go a long ways with little kids, whether they have an actual sand box or rocks or dirt or mud to play in is fine by me. It’s SO good for littles to be able to touch and feel the world around them. So what if you need to pressure wash them when they are done. It’s always worth it. A dirty kid is a happy kid.

61-NnQpmPfL._SL250_

You might cringe and hate me for suggesting play doh  , I know I would have. My kids got play doh on a whim a few Christmas’s ago and it really is a life saver. It doesn’t come out often, but when mamma needs to get some work done and the kids need to be quit, it will make an appearance. They know that there are rules and it can only be played with when they are at the table. But watching them come up with all sorts of different play doh concoctions is so fun! It might save your bacon one day.

61iCWCTrc-L._SL250_

Coloring books really are so much fun. Even I love sitting down and coloring with the kids once in a while. This back is big enough that you could purchase it and break it up between several of your kids! Which is a great money saver in my book!

Of course you could always add on crayons, markers, sticker books, quiet books, hard board books, journals, pictures of the Savior, inexpensive watches, chapstick, play make up, hot wheels, gardening gloves, gardening tools… I mean really. There is SO many things that you can put in a basket! These are my favorite items!!! What are yours? Of course my kids always get a new church outfit for Easter Sunday.

 

 

 

This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase through them I will earn a commission at no extra cost and I always appreciate it!

Homemade Mac and Cheese

Recipes

This mac and cheese will make you the hero of your family!!! I promise!!! It’s SO good and SO easy!! Here’s the run down of what you will need. Keep in mind I doubled this recipe so that we had plenty of leftovers for lunch and snacks.

Ingredients:

1lbs of dry macaroni

1 egg, beaten

4TBS butter

2 1/2 cups of whole milk

2 heaping teaspoons of dry mustard, more to your taste

1 lbs of grated cheese

1/2 teaspoon salt, more to your taste

1/2 teaspoon of season salt, more to your taste

1/2 teaspoon of black pepper, more to your taste

Step 1:

First step is to get your oven preheated to 350°. Next you are going to start cooking your macaroni, I like mine to be still slightly firm, too firm to eat straight out of the pot, but not crunchy like straight out of the box. Clear as mud?

56242752_280889939466510_8895696968819408896_n

Next drain those bad boys and let them sit, you can at this point reach for your sauce pan, or if you are like me want to cut down on dishes and will use the same pot you cooked the macaroni in. Whichever you prefer.

55448504_2362839653936064_2040042910786781184_n

Step 2: The sauce

Plop your butter into the bottom of your pot and start melting it. Smell that wonderful smell!

56236181_1188282547997537_53029102210252800_n

Make sure it doesn’t burn, next add your flour. This is where it starts getting fun, combine your flour and butter to make a rue. But keep stirring it, you do not want this to burn or you will have to start over.

55752413_2106918446051232_8962915367370358784_n

Stirring constantly you are going to cook this for 5 minutes over medium/low heat.

Next you’re going to want to pour in your milk.

55467887_1067761480099125_3900357318730055680_n

Then add your mustard, more to your taste if needed. Then whisk it together until it’s smooth.

56281576_876306276035075_4445726635274010624_n

Reduce your heat to low and stirring occasionally cook this until it becomes very thick like a gravy.

Remember that cute beaten egg?

55495925_591736541309470_6324169262655078400_n

Add a 1/4 cup of your thick sauce to the eggs.

55441225_346561039307772_634231717451792384_n

Beat the mixture for a couple minutes.

55534095_444601442947352_7708799670151020544_n

This will temper your eggs so that when you add them to your very hot, thick sauce, your eggs won’t scramble. No one wants scramble eggs in the middle of their mac and cheese.

Pour your egg mixture into your sauce base.

55901969_414908155942290_1793577058614378496_n

Mix that bad boy on up until it’s nice and smooth! Now this is where all the magic starts happening.

54402652_2091021217618744_9066705601425309696_n

Take your grated cheese and start adding it to your sauce base. Leave a little on the plate so you have enough to top the mac and cheese before it heads into the oven.

55467886_556388568187073_1959944540970287104_n

Stir that deliciousness up until your cheese is completely melted. Yummo!

Finally you are going to add your salts and pepper. Make sure you taste as you go. There is salt in cheese and over salting your sauce at this point would be detrimental. Trust me, I’ve done it.
54730705_635354486904917_5835776441093980160_n

The reason you add your spices last is so that you can taste the sauce as a whole, after everything has been added. Since there is usually salt in butter and cheese, things can get out of hand quickly, so make sure you wait until the end to do this part.

55869086_548870775522193_8230713865348841472_n

Finally you are going to pour your cooked mac into a 9×13 pyrex and pour your sauce all over the top. Make sure you mix it up so even the bottom noodles get coated.

55508111_2148948911858587_6710077786507182080_n

Cover the top with your remaining cheese.

55523399_391109448108069_3502054760507244544_n

Bake that heaven in the oven for about 15 minutes until it is golden on the edges and bubbly all over!!! You’re welcome.

Pairs well with Homemade Chicken Strips

Recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman.

Homemade Chicken Strips

Recipes

My kids tend to be a little on the picky side. Especially Dillon. Must be the 6 year old in him. But this meal he eats up quicker than anything. Accept pancakes or spaghetti. So here is my tried and true chicken strip recipe that I have used for years now!

Step 1: Cut up your chicken

I don’t typically buy chicken strips, just chicken breasts since they are the most versatile. I use 2 chicken breasts to feed my family of 6 and cut each breast into strips, trimming any fat off in the process.

55620988_322855415060508_1795769145497747456_n

Salt and pepper both sides well.

Step 2: Bread your chicken

I dredge just about anything I fry in this same batter recipe. Which is why I love it. It’s so versatile!

Combine 2 cups of flour with whatever seasoning you like. I usually use Cajun for chicken strips and season salt for chicken fried steak. Mix them well together. Set that aside and in a separate bowl combine 1 cup of milk and 1 egg. This makes the perfect batter. Promise.

First take your chicken strip and dredge it in flour, making sure it is completely covered.

53745119_1935465823230956_1655284553406742528_n

Next dip it into the milk and egg mixture, making sure it gets completely coated.

55560634_2335493473394389_1606443022835253248_n

Finally take it back to the flour and cover it with flour once more.

55533135_627765534349367_7528400692847837184_n

Next add that puppy to your hot oil. I just use veggie oil since it’s cheap and it works well to fry with. But feel free to substitute it for another oil you prefer!

55627760_2083271581971611_6270341562815741952_n

Cook them in batches so you don’t crowd your pan. This makes it easier to have more even coloring over your strips.

54798808_777291385977461_4331237732174004224_n

Make sure you flip them over so both sides get nice and golden. These bad boys are sure to please your crowd. I know they do mine.

Ingredients:

2 cups of veggie oil

2 Cups of flour

2 TBS of Cajun seasoning

1 cup of milk

1 egg

Salt and Pepper

Pairs well with Homemade Mac and Cheese.