Category Archives: Yummy and Easy Recipes

Christmas Cheese Cake Bites: Low Calorie & Gluten Free

 

Aren’t you always on the look out for a healthier version of a favorite dessert.  These cheesecake bites are amazingly yummy, low in calories (especially compared to the less healthier version) and to top it off they are GLUTEN free!  Super easy to make and take to your Christmas party, family get together, or for work.

Hi Y’All,

Glad you stopped in today.  We are so excited about these healthier cheesecake bites….hmmm….is cheesecake one or two words?  If you guessed one or two – you are correct. . . it can be spelled either way.  Anyway, we experimented with our recipes and we think we hit on one that is absolutely yummy, healthier and gluten free!!  Grab your drink and a seat and lets get started.Tea for two

Cheesecake Lover(s)

Wiebke and I both LOVE cheese cake, but I think our former video editor,

Cheesecake Lover #1
Cheesecake Lover #1

Tyler, is the biggest fan!! And loving cheesecake made this endeavor especially hard as we wanted a recipe that didn’t leave us feeling cheated.

Dictionary.com defines a Cheesecake as a cake having a firm custard like texture, made with cream cheese,cottage cheese, or both, and sometimes topped with a jam like fruit mixture. So we worked to keep the integrity of the cheesecake a cheesecake.

Cheesecake.com has some interesting facts about the origin of the cheesecake if your interested in more check out their site: The first “cheese cake” may have been created on the Greek island of Samos. Physical anthropologists excavated cheese molds there which were dated circa 2,000 B.C. Cheese and cheese products had most likely been around for thousands of years before this, but earlier than this goes into prehistory (that period in human history before the invention of writing) so we will never really know. In Greece, cheesecake was considered to be a good source of energy, and there is evidence that it was served to athletes during the first Olympic games in 776 B.C. Greek brides and grooms were also known to use cheesecake as a wedding cake. The simple ingredients of flour, wheat, honey and cheese were formed into a cake and baked – a far cry from the more complicated recipes available today!

Arriving At The Best Cheesecake RecipeCheesecake Recipe

The first thing we did was compile a list of ingredients that we were willing to experiment with.  We had to figure out a custard-like base, which we comprised of our homemade Greek yogurt and 1/3 less fat cream cheese.  Then came the sweetener.  We knew we didn’t want artificial sweeteners because we wanted a full natural flavor that would blend well with the other ingredients.  We decided that honey was a sweet alternative to it’s fattening counterpart.  And we kept the egg as an egg.  Next came the flavoring.  Vanilla is the most commonly used one in a regular high calories version and that was still a good flavor, but we soon realized that in this area we could experiment some trying out different flavors.  There are soooo many out there, but for our purposes we tried lemon, extra honey, banana, mint, and chocolate.  Our family’s had fun rating them for us. Everyone had a different favorite.

This left us with finding a base that would not leave us feeling cheated.  The standard that we both were used to was comprised of graham cracker crumbs (wheat), butter and sugar.  While experimenting we discovered that the one we chose was actually gluten free which made us smile even bigger.  We chose gluten free Cheerios, honey, and coconut oil.  However, for the video (above) we used extra light olive oil and suggest that you can use other light flavored oils with the same success.

Good Luck & Happy Eating!!

THHB Cheesecake Bites

Part 1: The Crust

Ingredients needed: Gluten free cereal, honey, and oil.

Ingredients for the crust

Mix 1 cup crushed cereal (approximately 2 cups uncrushed), 3 tbs oil, 2 tbs honey, and spoon 1 tbsp into lined cupcake pan. For the bite size we used the very small cupcake tin.

Press down with a spoon.

Bake for 10 minutes at 350F.  Allow to cool completely before adding the cream cheese mixture.

Part 2: The Filling

Ingredients needed: Greek yogurt, 1/3 fat free cream cheese, egg, and vanilla

Mix together 4oz fat free cream cheese, 1 cup Greek yogurt, ¼ cup honey.

In another bowl mix 1 egg, until fluffy.

Add egg mixture to the Greek Yogurt mixture. Stir together well.

Add 1 tsp of flavoring or additive of your choice. In some instances we found out that we liked more lemon juice added.   Use your imagination! Stir well.

Divide filling mixture into crust filled cupcake liners.

Place into oven heated to 350F for 25 minutes or until centers are set. I used a toothpick in the center of one to make sure it came out clean.  If there is batter attached to the toothpick then turn off oven and leave in an additional 5-10 minutes depending on your oven.

Cool off completely, before placing in refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hrs before serving.  I couldn’t wait and tasted one warm…not a good idea.

We got so excited and ate all our cheesecake bites before taking pictures.  We’ll post when we make some for the holidays.  We topped ours with a variety of items depending on what flavor we used.  Some of our toppings were bananas, blueberries, canned pie filling, chocolate shavings, sprinkled cocoa, grated lime and lemon.

Note:  We recommend serving the same day made as the crusts tend to hold moisture – they are better crunchy. If you do plan on making them ahead, we recommend that you remove them from their cupcake liner for a crispier crust.  In the original recipe we comprised we used chopped walnuts which help add more flavor and crunch to the crust.

Disclosure

Want More of Us?

To watch more of our fun DIY videos check out our YouTube channel “TheHard Hat Belles” or click  The Hard Hat Belles to go directly there.  Once there like and subscribe to receive notifications of the latest video releases. Or simply subscribe below to see each of our videos within our blog stories. . . .  You’ll be getting two for the time of one?

May Your Days Be Spent

Inspiring Hope

Love & Hugs,

Denine & Wiebke

THHB Logo

What Type Of Apple Personality Are You?

Are you a tart, sweet, juicy, tough, green, red, yellow, mixed (list goes on) apple?  Take the quiz below to see which apple personality you are.

While you’re at it learn more about apples from the experts at Brookwood Fruit Farms located in Almont, Michigan.

Hi Y’All!

We have had so much fun at Brookwood Fruit Farms.  The helpful folks there answered all our questions and allowed us to play in their orchards!  What a crew!  Grab your apple spiced cider and donuts and follow us on an interesting tour into APPLE LAND.Tea for two

What Type Of Apple Personality Are You?

Seriously, who doesn’t love to take fun quizzes.  You know the ones that make you smile or sometimes laugh right out loud.  I know we do at The Hard Hat Belles just for kicks and giggles.  So take a quick moment and pop on over to the link below to find out your apple personality type.  Remember to come back though. . . to find out how to make those awesome apple chips.  We’ve added our own twist to making them as crisp as possible short of burning them:o)

Your Apple Personality Quiz

Now that you have found out your Apple Personality let’s get on with the baking of Apple Chips!

Apple Chips

Apple Chips

Supplies needed: Apples, spices, mandolin slicer (or knife), cookie sheet, parchment paper and an ovenmandolin slicer

Slice the apples.

Place a sheet of parchment paper onto a cookie sheet (psst…waxpaper did not work), and place a single layer of apple slices onto the parchment.  If desired sprinkle spices on the apple slices.  We like pumpkin spice or cinnamon sugar.

Apples on a cookie sheet

Place cookie sheet into preheated oven of 200 degrees for 2 hours.  Prop open the oven door about two inches.  This will allow the apples to get crisper.  Drying the apples out in humid climates is difficult to get them crisp, but propping the door open helps them to become crispier.

Crisp apple slices

To view the details of how to make these awesome Apple Chips view our video here.

Disclaimer

Want More THHB?

To watch more of our fun DIY videos check out our YouTube channel “TheHard Hat Belles” or click here to go directly there.  Once there like and subscribe to receive notifications of the latest video releases.  Or simply subscribe below to see each of our videons within our blog stories. . . . You’ll be getting two for the time of one!

[wysija_form id=”4″]

May Your Day Be Spent

Inspiring Hope

Proverbs 25:11

Love & Hugs,

Denine & Wiebke

THHB Logo

Easy Work Snacks and Containers

Do you have trouble leaving the house for work on time?  Well, I certainly do!  I always plan ahead of time when I need to leave the house to get to work . . . .  but then an unexpected chore needs doing before I can leave.  AND thinking of snacks for work is just one more thing to add to my list before I can leave.

Hi Y’All,

Grab that pumpkin Cappuccino (my favorite in the fall) and a seat and let’s find out how we can save time getting ready for work by making snacks ahead for the week.

Tea for two

Getting To Work On Time

Can be a real challenge for me.  It doesn’t really matter when my job starts…7am…..10am…..3pm……6pm….  It really doesn’t matter  – I will still have a hundred things to do before I can walk out the door.

It’s not like I don’t plan my time or get things ready ahead of time – seriously, for me it just is tough.to.get. out.the.door.

I start getting ready for work 1 1/2 hours before I need to leave. I feed and water the dogs, pack my lunch/dinner,  grab a few snacks, put on my make-up, get dressed, grab my to-go bag and head out the door. . . You’d think it would work.   Then I might remember I didn’t check that the doors were locked, or did I turn off the coffee pot?  For instance yesterday at the last minute the new puppy let me know she needed one last potty call. . . all would have went fine except I stepped in one of her previous little gifts which required me cleaning my shoe before I left.  And so goes my life trying to get out the door on time.  Please tell me that I am not the only one these things happen to.  Does anyone else run into problems like this?

Snacks Ahead Help Save Time

Easy Work Snacks

One of the time savers I have found to work for me is to get my snacks ready ahead of time.  I get a plan together and figure out what I am going to have for the week.  That way it is a no brainer time saver for me.

We have put together 4 snack ideas for you to follow leaving the 5th one up to your own imagination.  Making these ahead will save time throughout the week.  We recommend keeping a container in the pantry and in the fridge specifically for your weeks worth of snacks.  This way you will have them handy and always know the go-to spot to gather your snacks up.

Supplies To Start With

We matched up some containers, plastic and glass to put our snacks into.  In the canning world a large or small mouth jar is a consistent size to some plastic containers as well such as Miracle Whip or peanut butter jars.  We have found that the Active yogurt and the Dole fruit containers match perfectly for sitting atop the plastic and glass jars before sealing.  The yogurt containers did need to be slightly trimmed (you find out how in the video above).

So treat yourself to some delish ideas for snacks while at work!

Gourmet Work Snack Ideas

Four Gourmet snacks

Grape & Cheese Kabobs w/ Sweet Greek Yogurt Dip

Supplies needed:  Grapes, cheese squares, long toothpicks, THHB Slow Cooker Greek Yogurt, honey, lemon, container.

Prepare grapes of your choice.  Prepare cheese squares (you can buy them already square or cut up a block of cheese into squares).  Slide the grapes and cheese squares onto the toothpick alternating them.  Prepare the Sweet Greek Yogurt dip by placing a 1/4 cup of the Greek Yogurt into the small top container.  Mix in 1/2 tsp each of honey and lemon.  Place the grape and cheese kabobs into your jar/container and place the dip on top and seal.  This snack must be refrigerated.

Grape and Cheese Kabobs

7 Layer Dip with Tostitos on the Bottom

Supplies needed:  Salsa (of your choice), shredded cheese, THHB Slow Cooker Greek Yogurt, cut up tomatoes, mashed avocado, cooked ground burger, green onions (optional), and container.

Prepare mashed avocado and ground burger.   Prepare the Greek Yogurt. You can prepare a few of these dips in advance.  place a Tablespoon of ground burger on the bottom and spoon some salsas on top to cover. Layer the rest according to your tastes. Place the Tostitos into your jar/container and place the dip on top and seal.  This snack must be refrigerated.

**Note: Tostitos can be stored in the pantry and added to the jar/container at the last minute to help keep them fresh.

3 Layer Dip with Tostitas

Strawberry Salad w/ Salad Dressing

Supplies needed:  Lettuces of your choice, shredded sharp cheddar cheese (optional), fresh strawberries, salad dressing of your choice.  We used a balsamic vinaigrette (you can make your own simply at KitchenTreaty.com.

Prepare lettuces of your choice.  Toss the lettuces and shredded sharp cheddar cheese together and place in the bottom of the jar/conatiner. Prepare the strawberries (you can buy them already cut up if desired).  Let the strawberries dry after washing then place on top of the salad.  This will keep them from getting soggy in the salad before you are ready to eat it. Place a 1/4 cup of your salad dressing choice into the small container and place it on top and seal.  This snack must be refrigerated.

Strawberry Salad

Gourmet Tuna Salad and Crackers

Supplies needed: Small can of Tuna Fish, finely chopped onion and dill pickles (to taste), mayonnaise, splash of lemon, crackers of your choice (I like Triscuits myself) and container.

Prepare Tuna salad by adding draining liquid.  Add finely chopped onions, pickles and mayonnaise and mix well.  Place tuna mixture into the small top container.  Place the crackers into your jar/container and place the tuna mixture on top and seal.  This snack must be refrigerated.

**Note: Crackers can be stored in the pantry and added to the jar/container at the last minute to help keep them fresh.

Tuna Fish and Crackers

Disclaimer

Want More THHB??

To watch more of our fun DIY videos check out our YouTube channel “TheHard Hat Belles” or click  The Hard Hat Belles to go directly there.  Once there like and subscribe to receive notifications of the latest video releases. Or simply subscribe below to see each of our videos within our blog stories. . . .  You’ll be getting two for the time of one!

[wysija_form id=”4″]

MAY YOUR DAY BE SPENT

INSPIRING HOPE

Bible Verse Psalm 63:5

Love & Hugs,

Denine & Wiebke

THHB Logo

 

School Snacks & Storage: Make ahead for a week

Do you hate coming up with new snack ideas or figuring out how to store them?  Do you need some ideas to make school snacks for one week? Check out this video & website to find how we did it!

Hi Y’All,

We are so happy to see you here with us today.  Please grab a seat and your fav beverage (mine of course is decaf coffee with French vanilla creamer-Yum).  What will you have?  We are going to explore the world of snack making for younger kids.

Tea for two

To Quiz or not to Quiz

Are you seriously ready to start making those snacks a week ahead?  Do you have ideas of what to start with?  How to package them so they stay fresh for a week?  Check out this quiz link below to see how ready you are.

Morning School Rushes

Don’t you just hate it when you are running late in the mornings and you have to pack up lunches and think or grab some snacks?  Sometimes you’ll strike gold and others will be a total flop because you forgot to go shopping?  snacks

For a sure fire way to be prepared we have compiled a few snack ideas below to help you on your way to becoming a snack pro.

NOTE: Remember you want your children to eat the snacks.  Healthy would be great, but you also know what they will and will not eat and it is important to keep that in mind when you work on creating snacks for a week.

School Snack Ideas

We found that the small condiment containers work best for children.  They are inexpensive, kids don’t have to worry about returning them home and best of all – they fit the little hands perfectly.  They can be found at most grocery stores in a variety of sizes. We used sandwich size zip locked baggies with the small condiment containers.  We also found that designating one spot in your refrigerator and pantry for school snacks using a container (shoe box, Rubbermaid, etc) helped cut time searching for the snacks when you need them.

**Note: Why do we only show you 4 snack ideas?  Because now it is time for you to create the 5th one to finish out your week.  We are confident that after reading this blog and viewing our video that you will be ready to start creating your own weeks worth of school snacks!

Apple Slices and Peanut Butter/Nutella etc

apple slices

To keep apple slices fresh for a week soak the apple slices in a strong lemon water and place them in the baggie along with the dip.  My granddaughter loves Nutella, but peanut butter is a big fan also. You can mix up the snacks with different types of apples (Gala, Fuji, Yellow Delicious, Macintosh) and the same goes for the dip (nut butter comes in many flavors, Nutella, Greek Yogurt).

Carrots and Ranch Dressing

Carrots

Carrots also come in different shapes already pre-cut (shredded, chunks, tiny baby or regular baby cuts) if you want to provide variety and save yourself some time. We used ranch dressing, but any dressing will work that are not too liquidy.  You can also use yogurt, humus, peanut butter, flavored cream cheeses.

Salad Cucumbers and Greek Yogurt Dill Dip

Salad Cucumbers

Salad cucumbers are nice as they can be held in the hand to dip.  A perfect size for a small fist.  But hey, don’t rule out regular cucumbers either.  They can be cut up into a variety of sizes and shapes to entice your child to eat them.  We paired these salad cucumbers with our very own Greek yogurt made in a crock pot. The dip is our very own recipe of adding some dill and lemon juice to taste (yum).  These salad cukes can also be paired with a variety of dips as well – previously listed above.

Pretzels and Humus

pretzels & humus

Our final suggestion here is pretzels and humus.  Pretzels come in many different sizes, shapes and flavors and paired with the perfect humus – even your little one will eat it.  Humus comes in a variety of flavors that can be found at your grocers.

Disclaimer

Perfection

No matter how you rated on the Quiz, perfection in the snack area comes with knowing your child, what they will and will not eat and yet challenging them to try different flavors, shapes and sizes.

We found that designation one container on the shelf in your pantry and one in your refrigerator will keep your snacks organized for the week.

So whether you have one child or several all you need to have your snacks ready for a whole week is  sandwich zip baggies, small condiment containers, dips and the main snack. For more ideas check out our School Snack Before & After School Pinterest board.

We’d love to hear your suggestions – what snacks do you find work best with your children?  Store bought? or Homemade?

Want More THHB??

To watch more of our fun DIY videos check out our YouTube channel “TheHard Hat Belles” or click  The Hard Hat Belles to go directly there.  Once there like and subscribe to receive notifications of the latest video releases. Or simply subscribe below to see each of our videos within our blog stories. . . .  You’ll be getting two for the time of one!

[wysija_form id=”4″]

MAY YOUR DAY BE SPENT

INSPIRING HOPE

Psalm 18:32

 

Love & Hugs,

Denine & Wiebke

THHB Logo

Watermelons – Wacky Uses and New Recipes

Did you know that National Watermelon Day is celebrated on August 3rd?  We found some Wacky ways to use watermelon that are just too good to keep to ourselves.  From healthy recipes to beauty treatments – Come see for yourself!

Hi Y’All,

Welcome to National Watermelon Day celebrated The Hard Hat Belles way!  Grab your drink and a seat and we will show you some unusual ways to use watermelon that will amaze you!

Tea for two

Watermelon Fun & FactsWatermelon & THHB Hat

It’s kind of crazy but we didn’t find out about National Watermelon Day until a week ago.  You see we filmed our video in May in anticipation of summer recipes; but once we did we had lots more fun finding out about the history of the watermelon. For instance – did you know that the watermelon originated in Africa?  Or that the first recorded harvest was 5,000 years ago in Egypt?  Check out more fun facts and info at the International Business Times website.

Seriously, Watermelon Music??

We also found some fun and cool watermelon MUSIC – oh yeah!  Share this with your family and friends it will get them up and dancing for watermelon!

Sound Off Issues

We are so excited to share our new finds with you! But first I want to let you know that we had a crisis on set when filming.  The original plan was to film us lounging at the beach sharing all these wonderful ideas with you, but God had other plans and our sound completely crashed.  However, we didn’t crawl in a hole and scream (okay, just a little), so we pulled up our boot straps and came up with a  “voice/film over” as if reminiscing about our spa day.  We hope you enjoy our fix to our sound off issue!

Watermelon, Beauty Treatments and Healthy Recipes Oh-MyCutting a Watermelon

We love watermelon, but what we love more is finding new ways to use ordinary items or food.  After much research and testing in The Hard Hat Belles kitchen we came up with some recipes for a facial mask, hand & body scrub, watermelon steaks, watermelon pizza, watermelon smoothie and freezer letter cubes.  We hope you have as much fun making and using them as we did!

Note: We used one watermelon to make all of these yummy ideas! And all the recipes are edible and safe – YES including the facial mask and hand & body scrub (very yummy indeed).

Watermelon SteakGrilled steak ingredients

 

Ingredients  you will need: Seedless watermelon , 1/2 cup of your favorite balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice.

Mix vinegar, oil, lemon juice. Place watermelon steaks in a glass dish.Watermelon Cut Steaks

Add the marinade mixture. Refrigerate 20 minutes, turning watermelon halfway through marinating time.Watermelon steak marinate

Grill watermelon steaks over high heat 2 to 4 minutes per side or until grill marks appear, brush on leftover marinade. You can use an outdoor or  indoor grill.

To serve, cut watermelon steaks in half. Drizzle with reserved 2 tablespoons marinade.

Watermelon Body & Hand ScrubWatermelon Hand Scrub Ingredients

Ingredients you will need: 1 1/2 cups white sugar, 2 tsp poppy seed, 1 tsp lime juice, 1/4 cup watermelon juice (blender works wonders), 1 tsp  lime zest, 1 tbsp olive oil.

Combine all ingredients until thoroughly mixed. The zest and olive oil are optional. Store in refrigerator in an airtight container for up to one week. Shake or mix before each use.

To exfoliate your hands or when you shower, take a handful of scrub and gently rub on the skin, rinse thoroughly and pat dry.

Watermelon Facial MaskWatermelon Mask

Ingredients you will need (not the actual mask as displayed in the picture above:o):  2 tsp watermelon mush, 1 tsp honey, 2 tsp of our Greek yogurt recipe.Watermelon Face Mask Ingredients

To get The Hard Hat Belle recipe on How To Easily Make Greek Yogurt In A Crock Pot click here.

Combine all ingredients until thoroughly mixed.  Store in refrigerator in an airtight container for up to one week. Shake or mix before each use.

Gently apply onto the face (avoiding the eyes).  Let rest on face until dry,  rinse thoroughly and pat dry. Fresh and shiny!

 Watermelon PizzaWatermelon pizza ingredients

Ingredients you will need: Watermelon, cottage cheese, blueberries, coconut, chocolate sauce, mint leaves – make sure to add your own favorites!

Cut your watermelon slices at least 1″ thick.  Cut into triangular pieces.

Using the tip of the knife carefully cut a slit into the side of the watermelon slice in the same direction as the length of the rind.

Insert Popsicle stick into the slit.

Mash the cottage cheese slightly.  This will allow the other ingredients to adhere to the watermelon pizza better.  An alternative to the cottage cheese mash is to use our Greek Yogurt recipe.  To get The Hard Hat Belle recipe on How To Easily Make Greek Yogurt In A Crock Pot click here.

Top with blueberries and coconut.  Drizzle chocolate over the top and sprinkle chopped mint leaves on top.  This healthy dessert is best served immediately. Unbelievably yummy!

Watermelon Smoothie

Ingredients you will need: Watermelon, our Greek yogurt recipe, orange juice, cranberry juice, banana(s), blueberries and of course a blender.

Note: There is no exact measurements here, just measure according to your tastes.

Add the liquids first i.e. cranberry and orange juice.

Add our Greek Yogurt and blend briefly.  To get The Hard Hat Belle recipe on How To Easily Make Greek Yogurt In A Crock Pot click here.

Add blueberries and banana and blend well.

Add the watermelon last and blend to your desired consistency.

For more of a slushy beverage add ice cubes.  Add a straw and enjoy!

Frozen Watermelon Shapes

Ingredients & supplies you will need: Watermelon (scraps work very well), and desired metal cookie cutters.

Place the cookie cutters in the disired position. Press firmly and evenly on the cookie cutter.

Place in freezer for roughly 30 minutes or until frozen.

Note: We used them on our smoothie glasses to tell whose was whose glass, however when we went to put the “D” on mine we neglected to cut a small portion out of the bottom to allow it to slide onto the glass and it split.

Disclaimer

Want More?

To watch more of our fun DIY videos check out our YouTube channel “TheHard Hat Belles” or click  The Hard Hat Belles to go directly there.  Once there like and subscribe to receive notifications of the latest video releases. Or simply subscribe below to see each of our videos within our blog stories. . . .  You’ll be getting two for the price of one!

[wysija_form id=”4″]

MAY YOUR DAY BE SPENT

INSPIRING HOPE

Love & Hugs,

Denine & Wiebke

Fruit Infused Ice Cubes: An Upbeat Motivational Tool

Do you need motivation to drink more water?  Or do you just like the way decorative ice cubes look in your glass?  Either way, we have the recipe for you – Fruit Infused Ice Cubes!  You won’t believe the health benefits packed into each one!

Hi Y’All,

Have you found that summer brings it’s own joys and struggles?  Wiebke loves summer, but since her little guy has been out of school she says she is suffering from SAD (summer adjustment disorder).  I am sure some of you can relate.  At The Hard Hat Belles we hope to make your day a little bit brighter and the adjustment a little easier     with these fruit infused ice cubes.  Grab your cup-o-stuff and a seat and lets get to it!

Tea for two

Why We Need A Little Color In Our Day

We all need some inspiration and hope when we have those days – you know the ones – the “I should have stayed in bed” days. Wiebke has actually assigned an acronym to those days ( SHSIB ).

Or sometimes we just need something colorful to brighten our days. A kind of celebration that each day is a new beginning and thank you Jesus for that!

Our moods can be reflected by the colors that we wear, how we design it into our homes, or surround ourselves with.  My fav color is yellow!  Nice, bright, sunny yellow – Variety of colorswhich I guess reflects my optimistic nature.  What is your color?  Does it reflect your personality?   For kicks-n-giggles check out empower-yourself-with-color-psychology.com  to see what your fav color tells about you.  Maybe that is why fruit is so colorful..hmm…it’s good for us and can make us feel better.

Fruit Health Properties

Today we are showing you how to make your very own Fruit Infused Ice Cubes.  Normally, I look at fruit as a tasty booster to weight loss, but with the Fruit Infused Ice Cubes it is also a great motivational tool, especially when I add it to my new water jug (get the instructions on how to make your very own Motivational Water Jug here).  Not only are they colorful and pretty to look at, but they are packed with “good”and “healthy” stuff as well!limes, lemon, oranges

Raspberries have antioxidants, detoxifying, and laxative properties.

Oranges have high levels of antioxidants.

Lemons are body cleansing, cancer fighting, immunity boosting, and antibacterial.

Mint  is full of strong antioxidants, a decongestant, and can help with indigestion.

Blueberries have high levels of vitamin C, manganese, and are a good source of dietary fiber.

Limes  are antibiotic, anti-carcinogenic and have detoxifying properties.

Strawberries are rich in vitamin C, potassium, folic acid and fiber.

Now that you know how beneficial the FRUIT INFUSED ICE CUBES are – let’s get to the nitty gritty and make some!

Fruit Infused Ice Cubes

Supplies needed: Various fruits and herbs, ice cube tray, and water.Variety of fruit for ice cube trayPrepare your fruit and herbs by cutting and chopping them to the size of your ice cube tray.Fresh fruit and herbsAdd water to the ice cube tray covering the fruit and herbs fully (this will prevent freezer burn of uncovered fruit and herbs if left in freezer for an extended length of time).Water filled ice cube trayPut into freezer until frozen through.  Enjoy!frozen fruit ice cube trayDisclaimer

To watch more of our fun DIY videos check out our YouTube channel “TheHard Hat Belles” or click  The Hard Hat Belles to go directly there.  Once there like and subscribe to receive notifications of the latest video releases. Or simply subscribe here to see each of our videos within our blog stories. . . .  You’ll be getting two for the price of one!

[wysija_form id=”4″]

MAY YOUR DAY BE SPENT

INSPIRING HOPEProverbs 18:21 verse

Love & Hugs,

Denine & WiebkeTHHB Logo

 

How to Make Kale and Quinoa Salads – Fruit vs Greek

The Hard Hat Belles will show you how to prepare two delicious salads with Quinoa and Kale as base. Quinoa contains about 15% of protein and Kale is known for its detox properties. Combining these two turns them into the dream food for any vegetarian (and even if your not!). You are sure to enjoy these salads this summer!

Hi Y’All!

With summer coming on we decided it would be very refreshing to show you how to make some unique salads using kale and quinoa.  I have to say that KALE is my new go to salad leaf.  So, grab your drink and a seat and let’s make some salads.

Tea for two

TROUBLE IN KALE LAND

When Wiebke and I started looking for a different type of salad to create for you – I had a very reluctant reaction to the thought of using the kale.  Why you ask?  Well, it all started a few years ago when my husband was diagnosed with cancer and we were trying to do all things healthy.  We got a special juicer and did research on the best produce for the best juices.  Kale was at the top of the list.

Unbeknownst to us was that the stomach flu was making it’s vicious way through our family.

You guessed it!  The day we decided to start off with a very healthy  CLEANSING kale juice (and of course it had to be a large 20 oz), and the flu decided to collide.  Let’s just say it wasn’t very pretty around our house for about a week and everything reeked of kale….ugh.

So, when Wiebke found some kale and quinoa recipes and we discussed them – I was very hesitant.   But she was very interested to experiment with kale and combine it with quinoa.  I have to say these two salads really changed the way I think about kale and quinoa now.  Kale really is the new lettuce in my household and I am besotted with quinoa.  I am completely converted .  Still not sure I’d try another kale juice though. . .

Hail The Kale

Once we learned the magic of making kale more tender and beautiful to boot it was up hill from there.  You’ll have to read the recipes to discover the magic yourself.  To me, kale has a flavor  similar to fresh spinach, however, it is much milder.  The other bonus that I love – is that it lasts so much longer than ice berg, Romaine, or Leaf lettuce in your refrigerator.

I have had it on homemade pizza, tacos, nachos, sandwiches. . .  anything and anywhere I might use lettuce.  I am totally sold and we hope you will be too.

Why Kale?

The potential health benefits of kale are amazing and really worth the effort to investigate.  The US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health’s scientific article on . . . Green Vegetable Juices suggests that kale may even be beneficial in the role of preventing degenerative diseases, including cancer and cardiovascular diseases.  For additional  information and a different perspective on kale, check out the Kale: Health Benefits, Uses and Risks  article written by dietitian Megan Ware, RDN,LD.  Even if you are not looking for health benefits the evidence has shown that kale can help with weight loss as well.  I am anticipating my own weight loss eating more kale and drinking more water with our Motivational Water Jug! Let’s go get our KALE fix!

Quinoa – The Ancient Protein Wonder

Quinoa has been around for thousands of years and is gluten-free, packed with protein and according to the Ancient Harvest website a nutritional powerhouse.  To me it is a healthy alternative to calorie packed pasta and rice.  I like the nutty type flavor quinoa has and it adds a wonderful texture to salads.  I can’t wait to try it in place of pasta and rice in some of my recipes. To learn more watch the video below.

Take a tour of the Ancient Harvest website to get tons more information on quinoa – from the history on quinoa to recipes and where to buy it.  You can also hop on over to the  Authority Nutrition website to read an article – 11 Proven Health Benefits of Quinoa (No. 1 is Best) May 2016, by Kris Gunnars, BSc (Bachelor’s degree in medicine).  He talks about 11 reasons why we should embrace quinoa into our diets from health benefits to losing weight.

Another good source of information is Jen’s Reviews post on quinoa.  You will find some more facts and delish recipes to try out.

To learn more about powerfoods that are easy to use with awesome benefits visit the cookingdetective.com and read their article on 23 Superfoods To Add To Your Diet For A Healthy Life.

Psst. . . I didn’t realize it until Wiebke showed me how, but quinoa is so easy to cook and much quicker than rice! Just look at the pictures below to tell when it is cooked.

Raw uncooked quinoa on the left. The germ has popped on the right, which means the quinoa is cooked.
Raw uncooked quinoa on the left. The germ has popped on the left which means the quinoa is cooked.

Kale & Quinoa Salads

Do you want to know how to get more kale and quinoa into your everyday meal menu?  We have a start for you!  It is with these two awesome salads!

Fruit-Nut Salad:Kale & Quinoa Salad

Ingredients: Kale, quinoa, apples, mandarins, dried cranberries, blueberries, honey, lime juice, olive oil

  • Rinse 1 cup Quinoa under running tap water, place in pan, add 2 cups water and boil for 15 minutes. You’ll know the quinoa is done when the germ pops out and the quinoa has a translucent color. Cool off the quinoa.
  • In a small bowl mix lime juice, honey and olive oil. Add this to the chopped and de-stemmed kale.  Massage the dressing into the kale (see video).  **See magic note below.
  • Add cranberries, mandarins, apple, blueberries and almonds (or anything that suits your fancy).
  • Finally, add the cooled off quinoa and toss all ingredients together.  Absolutely delish!

Greek Salad:Quinoa and Kale Greek Salad

Ingredients: 2 cups water,1 cup quinoa, 1 cup baby kale (or regular), stems removed, ½ cup cherry tomatoes, quartered, ½ cup cucumber, diced, ¼ cup red onion, minced, 2 tablespoons kalamata olives, 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped, 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, ⅛ teaspoon salt , ⅛ teaspoon pepper, feta cheese for topping

  • Rinse 1 cup Quinoa under running tap water, place in pan, add 2 cups water and boil for 15 minutes. You’ll know the quinoa is done when the germ pops out and the quinoa has a translucent color. Cool off the quinoa.
  • In a small bowl mix lemon juice, and olive oil. Add this to the chopped and de-stemmed kale.  Massage the dressing into the kale (see video). **See magic note below.
  • Add chopped cucumbers, diced tomato, chopped parsley, sliced olives, diced red onion.
  • Add the cooled off quinoa and toss all ingredients together.
  • Finally, top with crumbled Feta Cheese. And the Greek Quinoa Kale Salad is ready to enjoy!

**Magic Note: This is how the kale is transformed from a cabbage texture to a softer one.  When I am using kale in other recipes or with other food, such as sandwiches, I simply use a small portion of extra virgin olive oil and massage away.

Note: Disclaimer

And there you have it! Two delish kale and quinoa salads to chose from.  For more delish THHB recipes click here. Let us know which one you preferred in the comments below.

To watch more of our crazy videos check out our YouTube channel “TheHard Hat Belles” or click  The Hard Hat Belles to go directly there.  Once there like and subscribe to receive notifications of the latest video releases. Or simply subscribe here to see each of our videos within our blog stories. . . .  You’ll be getting two for the price of one!

Please subscribe to our blog here or above.

May Your Day Be Spent

Inspiring Hope

Bible Verse Proverbs 15:17

Love & Hugs,

Denine & Wiebke

THHB Logo

DIY Motivational Water Container – The All Day Pitcher

Do you need that extra motivational tool to help you stay hydrated this summer? We have the perfect solution for you! Learn how to make you very own Motivational Water Jug or as I like to call it “Chug Jug” here! This will help you get those recommended 8 glasses of water in each day.

Hi Y’All,

Come on in and have a seat.  Did you bring your beverage with you?  If not, might I suggest that you checkout our DIY Motivational Water Container directions below.  In the meantime, grab a glass of cool hydrating water and let’s get to it!

Tea for two

Why Staying Hydrated Is Important

According to FamilyDoctor.org, your body depends on water to survive. Every cell, tissue, and organ in your body needs water to work correctly. For example, your body uses water to maintain its temperature, remove waste, and lubricate joints. Water is needed for good health.

I like the info graphic below from StayingHealthy.org that draws your attention to how water helps keep your body healthy, but it also shares the possible problems you could be suffering if you are dehydrated or becoming dehydrated.  Seriously people, who knew?  Not me, that’s for sure.

Hydrating Body effects

Why It’s Important To Me

After doing much research on the health aspects of continually being hydrated and appreciating them – I also discovered  and more importantly (to me at least) staying hydrated with water keeps your skin looking healthier . . psst. . .  which means looking younger (woohoo).  In addition, water also helps with weight loss (double woohoo for me), by keeping your metabolism in working order. I think between this Motivational Water Jug and The Hard Hat Belles Kale and Quinoa Salads I will be looking at some weight loss (triple woohoo for me) and we hope for you as well!!

I have struggled with my weight just about all my life and you would think that something as simple as drinking water would be enough motivation to get me drinking those 6-8 glasses a day.  Although I like water well enough I still struggle with drinking enough water – how about you?Dddenine and VeeBee drinking infused water

Wiebke on the other hand is great at getting her needed water intake and still she admits that it can be difficult to remember exactly how much she has drank or still needs to drink throughout the day.

Hydrating Solution

For those of you who have a hard time getting those glasses of water  in due to remembering or not liking water. . . We have a solution for YOU! We are going to show you how to create your very own motivational water jug (pitcher, container, bottle etc.).  This project is super easy and has endless possibilities on how you can make it your own.

And because you are so special to us –  as an extra bonus we have included directions on how to quickly and easily make fruit infused ice cubes!  Wiebke and I were both amazed at the flavor that was immediately incorporated into our water glass and it looks so pretty, who wouldn’t want to drink that.Denine and Wiebke Water Pitcher

MOTIVATIONAL WATER CONTAINER INSTRUCTIONS

SUPPLIES NEEDED: Water jug, container or bottle, permanent or wipe-off markers, and your inspirational or motivational sayings to encourage you (you can check out our Pinterest Board to see some of the different choices available).Water Pitcher Supplies

  • Once you have decided on the type of container you are using you will then mark with your markers of choice the levels of each glass of water on the outside of the container. We (THHB) poured glasses of water into the containers and marked them at each level on the container. Wiebke marked hers with times of the day and I marked mine with a countdown of glasses drank.Marking the measured water levels
  • Next, we researched for motivational sayings to inspire us to drink our water. Once we found them we emptied the water out of our containers and proceeded to write our motivational sayings onto our containers.
  • Once the container’s are completed you are ready to start using them.  Note: Wiebke used permanent markers and I used the dry erase (I think the wet erase would have worked much better).

    THHB Bonus: Infused Fruit Ice Cube Recipe

    Supplies needed: Various fruits and herbs, ice cube tray, and water.Variety of fruit for ice cube trayPrepare your fruit and herbs by cutting and chopping them to the size of your ice cube tray.Fresh fruit and herbsAdd water to the ice cube tray covering the fruit and herbs fully (this will prevent freezer burn of uncovered fruit and herbs if left in freezer for an extended length of time).Water filled ice cube trayPut into freezer until frozen through.  Enjoy!frozen fruit ice cube trayDisclaimer

    To watch more of our fun DIY videos check out our YouTube channel “TheHard Hat Belles” or click  The Hard Hat Belles to go directly there.  Once there like and subscribe to receive notifications of the latest video releases. Or simply subscribe here to see each of our videos within our blog stories. . . .  You’ll be getting two for the price of one!

    Please subscribe to our blog here or above.

    [wysija_form id=”4″]

MAY YOUR DAY BE SPENT

INSPIRING HOPE

Bible Verse Proverbs 15:2

Love & Hugs,

Denine & Wiebke

THHB Logo

Easy Party Food – Chicken Wing Dings Quick Prep Style

CHICKEN WING DING COOK OFF

Hi Y’All!

We are so happy to see you here.  I have to tell you that we were busy with our own competition – A Wing Ding Cook Off.  Grab that coffee and your seat and find out what happened and who won the famous THHB Chicken Wing Ding Cook Off!

Tea for two

How It All Started. . .

It was a Wednesday and on each Wednesday The Hard Hat Belles have a Summit meeting. This is where we do the “not always so fun” business work of our venture into the world of YouTube and blogging.  Wiebke and I were brainstorming ideas for future episodes back in February of this year. We actually like to keep the filming schedule at least two months in advance. This allows us to schedule around any family or personal events or needs that we have coming up.

We needed a recipe. . .

We usually try to work the recipes around events, holidays or the time of year.  For this particular episode we needed a recipe for the upcoming Memorial Day Holiday and graduation parties.  We did all our research and finally settled on chicken wings as the recipe.  Fairly easy, can be made in quantity for parties, and a crowd favorite.  At this point we had no idea what we were going to do with them (other than cooking them).Raw Chicken Wing

Wiebke had some recipe suggestions and I also had some as well.  She wanted something quick as she felt our viewers would be interested in quick. However, I felt that our viewers would be more interested in easy.  Both recipes were great, but we were divided on what to do!  Hence, we came up with The Hard Hat Belles Chicken Wing Ding Cook Off!

 

Finally. . .

Yes, we decided that we could pull off a competition between Wiebke’s recipe and my own.  Wiebke’s recipe is actually a two for one deal.  She uses the same recipe up until the end where she takes one single ingredient and comes up with two totally different flavored wing dings.  And her recipe is done within 25 minutes – beginning to end.

Now my recipe was one that my husband Bill and I sort of came up with together.  Before he passed away he use to prepare his own BBQ sauce once a year.  He tweaked a recipe from one he found in a Missouri newspaper several years ago and made it his own.  Once a year for a whole day, he would gather the ingredients for the sauce and work on it.  He even canned it himself.  I was always so impressed with him. . . and the sauce was yummylicious. . .seriously GOOD!  I have to say it was my very favorite.

What we would do is take the leftover sauce that didn’t fit in a pint canning jar and put it in a crock pot along with some chicken wings (or wing drums or any part of the chicken).  That’s it. . . two ingredients and 4-6 hours later – very tender, delicious BBQ Wing Dings.  The last jar of Bill’s BBQ sauce has been gone for a while.  Now I just use whatever BBQ sauce I have on hand – my family usually prefers Sweet Baby Rays.

You Decide . . .

I have to tell you that all the recipes were very good.  They each had merits of their own. We want you to tell us which recipe you tried and what you thought in the comments below.  Wiebke and I are very competitive and although all the recipes were very good – we couldn’t decide on a favorite.  We kept eating and tasting them all and still could not decide. . . So cast your vote!!

Wing Dings

VEEBEE’S SPICY CURRY & TROPICAL GINGER WING DINGS

 

Prep time 5 mins – Cook time 20 mins – Total time 25 mins

Serves 4-6

IngredientsVeeBee Wing Dings

Cooking spray (Wiebke uses“Pam” Olive oil)

3lbs chicken wings (with the tips detached)

1½ Tablespoons baking powder (check out the The Food Lab Website for information on why baking powder makes chicken crispy)

½ teaspoon salt

3 Tablespoons brown sugar

2 Tablespoons curry powder

For the Spicy Curry wings add 1 teaspoon red pepper

For the Tropical Ginger flavor add 2 teaspoons ground ginger

NOTE:  Wiebke adds the final ingredients to the wings except for the red pepper and ginger.  She then splits the batch and adds the last two ingredients separately.  She enjoys the tropical flavor while her guys enjoys the flavor on the spicy side.

Instructions

  1. Preheat the broiler of your oven to high. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and apply cooking spray generously.
  2. Place the wings in a large mixing bowl. Add the baking powder and salt to the wings and mix together. Evenly spread the wings on to the baking sheet.chicken wings coated
  3. Place wings under the broiler for 10 minutes, turn them over and then broil them for another 10 minutes.Wing Ding Chicken
  4. Blend the broiled chicken wings in a mixing bowl with the brown sugar and spices until coated. Enjoy!

DD’S EASY BBQ WING DINGS

BBQ Chicken Wings INgredients

2 lb. chicken wings

1 cup Your Favorite Barbecue Sauce (Baby Ray’s, Hunt’s, Kraft, etc)

1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg (my secret ingredient)

Chopped green onion (for garnish)

1 cup Ranch Dressing or honey (dipping option-I like them plain)

Instructions

  1. Combine first 3 ingredients in the crock pot (slow cooker); cover with lid. Cook on LOW 4 to 6 hours or on HIGH 3 to 5 hours, depending on how fast you need them.  NOTE: Do not add any other liquids to the crock pot.  There will be plenty of juices from the chicken.Crock Pot BBQ Chicken Wings
  2. Use slotted spoon to transfer wings to a platter. Drizzle small about of sauce over the wings. Discard sauce remaining in slow cooker.
  3. Sprinkle wings with chopped green onions. Serve with dressing for dipping (optional). I like to take Wiebke’s Greek yogurt(in place of sour cream) and add spices to it.

Note: Disclaimer

And there you have it! It is now time for you to cast your vote.

To watch more of our crazy videos check out our YouTube channel “TheHard Hat Belles” or click  The Hard Hat Belles to go directly there.  Once there like and subscribe to receive notifications of the latest video releases. Or simply subscribe here to see each of our videos within our blog stories. . . .  You’ll be getting two for the price of one!

Please subscribe to our blog here or above.

[wysija_form id=”4″]

May Your Day Be Spent

Inspiring Hope

Bible Verse Psalm 91:4

Love & Hugs,

Denine & Wiebke

The Hard Hat Belles Logo

Healthy Grilled Avocado & Cheese Panini

WITHOUT BUYING  A NEW GRILL

Hi Y’All!

We have been so busy at The Hard Hat Belles cooking up some yummy sandwiches.  Grab your drink and a seat and we’ll get down to the nitty gritty details on how to make a healthy Panini sandwich by using your waffle iron, George Foreman (or similar), or sandwich maker.Tea for two

My Introduction to the Panini

I was introduced to the home made Panini when I started hanging out with Wiebke.  I have had a Panini at the Panera Bread restaurant before, but since Wiebke has been making a very healthy Panini during most of our shoots I have to say hers are just AWESOME!!  I am totally  hooked and I am never going to look back.

Equipment Needed for the Perfect Panini

Griddles and Grills

When I started paying attention to the way Wiebke makes her grilled Panini I was amazed at how simple it was.  The little grill she uses was purchased by her husband as a gag gift from the Salvation Army.  Her family has a Christmas tradition that involves a trip to the Salvation Army every year.  Their tradition involves a set amount of dollars spent and contingencies on the item purchased.  I know one of the years revolved around the gifts being a certain color (I think red).  Another year they had five minutes to find the gift;  I believe that is the year she received the grill. 

Needless to say, you don’t have to purchase a special Panini Sandwich maker like the ones Kohl’s sells to make these delish Panini.  You can just use your existing George Forman or similar (which is what I use) or some waffle griddles you have around the house. 

More Panini Ideas & Suggestions

Grilled Avocado and Cheese PaniniAbove is the picture of our Avocado & Cheese Panini, but your imagination is the limit.  Wiebke often times make a Panini out of cheese, tomato, healthy lunch meat and onion.  I have even made a few myself , yes me! My personal favorite recipe is Tuna fish mixed with cheddar cheese sauce – yummylisous! The point is that you can use your imagination and add or remove ingredients that appeal to you. 

Make sure to check out our Pinterest site for our recommended Panini ideas and below are a few more suggestions (Although these sandwich recipes below are cooked on top of the stove  try using Wiebke’s Panini method and add a few twists yourselves).  Be prepared to be blown away with texture and flavor!

  • Pepperoni, mozzarella, pizza sauce, Parmesan, whole-grain bread by Rachel Gurk
  • Smoked Salmon, dill, goat cheese, ciabatta by Deanna Samaan
  • Goat cheese, prosciutto, Dijon mustard, whole grain bread, goat cheese, Anjou pear by Lia Huber
  • Cooked peeled sweet potato, Havarti, kale, granny smith apple, whole-grain bread by Maria and Josh Lichty
  • Brie, dark chocolate, raspberry jam, raspberries, sourdough by Monique Volz

The Grilled Avocado & Cheese Panini Recipe

Panini Recipe

  • No need to use any kind of oils, butter or margarine on the Panini bread on non stick grills as this is the healthy aspect of Wiebke’s Panini
  • Preheat your grill
  • Lay out the bread slices on the cutting board (we used 9 grain)
  • Place a slice of cheese onto each slice of bread
  • Remove pit and slice the avocado
  • Slice tomatoes
  • Add sliced avocado, sliced tomatoes and salt & pepper to one half of the bread and cheese slices.
  • Top with remaining slices of cheese and bread.
  • Set the timer for approximately 3 minutes
  • Allow to cool for about a minute then slice
  • Disclaimer

Please subscribe to our blog  (you will get both the video and blog update) or above so we can keep you up to date on what crazy stuff we have been doing.

[wysija_form id=”4″]

For words of encouragement (just because we know life can be tough) check out our Inspiring Hope page.

Bible Verse

Love & Hugs,

Denine & Wiebke

THHB Logo