Apr 092015
 

Strawberry Banana Mason Jar Mix

I am a major snacker.  I love to eat in general, but sometimes I would much rather sit down with a snack than have a meal.  That’s especially true when I am watching a movie or even blogging.  Some days I feel like I snack all day long and since I try to keep track of my calorie intake, healthier choices have been where it’s at for me lately.  This strawberry banana mason jar mix is literally the easiest snack you will ever make.

Here’s What You Need:
  • Plain popcorn
  • Dried cranberries or dried cherries

Strawberry Banana Mason Jar Mix5

  • Freeze dried strawberries and bananas

Continue reading »

Mar 262015
 

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FinalFourPack #CollectiveBias Coca-Cola is a corporate champion of the NCAA.

Easy Slam Dunk Cherry & Vanilla Coke Brownies #FinalFourPack #CollectiveBias

As I’m sure you’re fully aware of, NCAA® March Madness is in full swing.  Does your family get all into it like mine does?  Come the beginning of March, we carefully work on filling in our brackets and then watch all the games to see if our teams come out on top.

But seriously, what is game day without good snacks to keep our tummies full? In our house, snacks are synonymous with sitting down to watch the game.  We usually have an array of different foods whenever the game is on, but a sweet treat is a must-have in our family. These Slam Dunk Cherry & Vanilla Coke Brownies are insanely easy to make and they’re  guaranteed to satisfy hungry fans.

Rich chocolate and delicious cherries are a wonderful combination.  Mix in a can of Vanilla Coke and you have yourself an amazing pan of brownies that will disappear in minutes! Even better, the recipe only calls for three ingredients!

Since my recipe called for Vanilla Coke, I headed over to pick up some Coca Cola NCAA® Final Four Packs available at Walmart. I was so excited to find the Coca-Cola NCAA® Final Four Pack in Vanilla coke, but it’s also available in Cherry Coke and Coke Zero!  They’re perfect to share with friends and family during March Madness.

As you can see, the Coca Cola NCAA® Final Four Packs available at Walmart are 4 (16 cans) for $5!  What a great deal! Continue reading »

Mar 232015
 

White Chocolate Dipped Pretzel Rods

For a good part of the last decade, I have been hosting Easter dinner at my house.  While I like the convenience of not having to drag the kids out of the house sometimes, frankly all the years of cooking (and even worse, cleaning) have taken their toll.  So this year, I told my family that I no longer wanted to play host.  They took it better than I thought and my parents stepped up to host right away. About a week ago, we were all asked to sign up to bring a dish to their house that day and I snagged one of the dessert spots because I’ve had this recipe that I have been wanting to try out for chocolate dipped pretzels.  They’re super easy to make and I think they will make the perfect addition to any Easter dinner (or any dinner for that matter) this year.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 package white Almond Bark
  • Pretzel Rods
  • Sprinkles

Directions: Continue reading »

Mar 122015
 

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes The Perfect St. Patrick's Day Treat1

Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Duit! That’s “Happy Saint Patrick’s Day” in Irish. If you really want to impress your pals, make sure you alter the grammar of it to Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Daoibh when addressing two or more people. However, nothing will astound your friends like these amazing Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes, the perfect St. Patrick’s Day treat!

These cupcakes are rich, moist, and the perfect balance of fluffy and thick decadence. An entire bottle of Guinness goes into these party-friendly delights. The flavor sings through dessert, adding a unique taste that compliments the chocolate. You can frost them with a fluffy white or vanilla frosting to fully encompass the tang of a bottle of Guinness. Using a chocolate ganache topping is also a delicious option.

You Will Need:

  • 1 bottle of Guinness (11.2 oz if you are lucky enough to have it on tap)
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 3/4 cup of quality cocoa
  • 2 cups of brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup of sour cream (plain Greek yogurt is an excellent substitute)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Continue reading »

Mar 092015
 

**This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CrispyComeback #CollectiveBias**

M&M's Crispy Monster Cookies Recipe

You asked for it and you got it.  Oh yeah, I’m talking about M&M’s® Crispy!  They’re back! Customers asked for them and M&M’s brought them back due to the high demand. I was totally hooked on them when they were out before and when I heard that they were making a comeback, I couldn’t get to CVS fast enough to get some.

I found them right on candy aisle and may or may not have bought five bags of them when I was there.  Ok, I did, but come on, they’re awesome. M&M’s are my all time favorite candy and the crispy ones are SO good.  If you missed them when they were out before, get out there and get yourself some.  You will thank me.

M&M's Crispy CVS

In case you haven’t figured this out for yourself already, M&M’s are great to bake with.  You can do so much with them, but since I am a cookie addict, I went with M&M’s® Crispy Monster Cookies! Continue reading »

Mar 042015
 

Big Hero 6 Cupcakes Baymax Recipe

**Disclosure:  My family received a copy of Big Hero 6 on Blu-ray & DVD at no charge.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

Have you ever wanted to make your favorite character from Big Hero 6, but weren’t sure where to start? We recently got a copy of Disney’s Big Hero 6 on Blu-ray & DVD and I wanted to bring Baymax to life for my kids while we watched the movie, so I put my baking skills to the test. You can make these Baymax from Big Hero 6 cupcakes too! Just follow along.

Supplies:

  • 1 or 2 cupcake pans
  • 1 box of chocolate cake mix
  • 1 tube of black icing
  • 1 tube of vanilla frosting
  • Cupcake liners

Big Hero 6 Cupcakes1

Here’s what you do:

1.  Mix the cake mix together as instructed on the box. Continue reading »

Feb 282015
 

Mint M&M Bark Image

I don’t know how it is in your family, but in my house, each of us have a major sweet tooth.  Sure, a bag of M&M’s can satisfy that craving on most days, but every now then isn’t it fun to go all out and make something a little bit fancier with your candy?  That is why I love this mint M&M bark.  It’s super easy to make and even more importantly, it will not only cure your need for something sweet, but it will totally take care of your craving for something savory, too.

Here’s what you need:

1 cup mint M&M’s
1 1/2 C. broken pretzel pieces
1 12 oz package of Wilton dark chocolate candy melts
St. Patty’s sprinkles (green & white)

Directions:

1. Line a 9×13 baking sheet with wax paper or foil. Spread 3/4 cup of the mini M&M’s and all of the broken pretzel pieces onto the lined cookie sheet. Continue reading »

Feb 212015
 

Homemade Snow Ice Cream Recipe

To say that we have had a lot of snow here in the Boston area is an understatement.  I am just south of the city and we currently have about 4 feet of snow on the ground here.  I wish I were exaggerating about the snow total, but sadly it’s not joke.  Since we’ve been trapped in the house a lot this winter, one thing we like to do is make homemade ice cream out of snow.  Yes, snow.  It’s super easy to make and the kids love it.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cups sugar
  • CLEAN Snow
  • Optional:  Food coloring and/or sprinkles

Continue reading »

Jan 272015
 

Monster Burger Fun Kids Meal

When it comes to eating, we are a fairly simple family.  Some of us are fussy, so there are only a handful of meals that everyone in the house agrees on that they like.  Burgers happen to be one of those meals. We all love a nice juicy burger in our family, but sometimes Chris and I like to have a little fun in the kitchen.  We recently made these monster burgers and the kids absolutely loved them.

The thing is, if you’re making a burger anyways, you don’t need anything extra to make these (well, unless you don’t normally have a jar of olives on hand).

All you have to do is cut “teeth” into your cheese slices before you melt them onto the burger in the pan. Continue reading »

Jan 242015
 

Exploding Sprinkle Surprise Valentine's Day Cookies

It’s said that you eat with your eyes before you even take a bite. These Exploding Sprinkle Surprise Valentine’s Day Cookies will have your party guests or a special someone doing a double-take when they bite into these sweet, buttery cookies packing a surprise.

To create these heart-shaped cookies perfect for class treats, Valentine’s Day dessert, or an easy homemade gift, you will need a simple sugar cookie dough. You can use your favorite recipe or use those handy pre-cut cookies you can find in grocery stores. (I promise I won’t snitch.)

Here is a tried and true recipe that results in a thinner, crunchy cookie, perfect for creating these stacked cookies.

You Will Need:

  • 2 heart-shaped cookie cutters – one needs to be smaller than the other
  • Sprinkles of any size or color
  • Frosting

For the Dough:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 pinch of salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla (you can also use almond extract for a unique flavor)

Continue reading »

Jan 172015
 

Stained Glass Valentine’s Day Cookies

These cookies are amazing and can be adjusted to be a year round, crowd-pleasing treat. Great for Valentine’s Day or any other holiday, including Christmas, stained glass cookies are a fantastic treat.

They are unbelievably easy and you probably have everything you need sitting in your pantry or lingering in your kids’ holiday candy baskets. Lifesavers, Jolly Ranchers, or any other hard candy will turn your sugar cookies into a show-stopping dessert that you can snack on or hand out to lucky party patrons.

The key is in an amazing sugar cookies base. The flaky, delicate crunch of a well-made cookie is all you need, but the gorgeous glassy insert of a bright red heart will be the perfect touch. Read the directions for tips on how to make the best sugar cookies and stained glass insert… Continue reading »

Jan 142015
 

Coconut Pecan “Twix” Cookies

Growing up, Twix was one of my favorite candy bars.  At any given time during my childhood, I could go to the cupboard at my parent’s house and be guaranteed that there would be a Twix bar in there.  Actually make that bars.  Plural.  My mom always bought the big boxes of Twix that you find in the cookie aisle.  You know, the ones that came 12 bars to the box.

Actually, I could probably get in the car, drive to my parent’s house right now, open the cupboard and still find a 12 pack of Twix in there.  It is just a staple in their house.

Today I have a fun twist on Twix (say that ten times fast); Coconut Pecan “Twix” Cookies.  You can thank me later.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 Pkg. Lorna Doone Cookies
  • 1 Pkg. Caramel Bits, 11 oz.
  • 2 Tbsp. Milk
  • 1 Cup Shredded Coconut
  • 1 Pkg. Milk Chocolate Chips, 11 oz.
  • Pecan Halves

Continue reading »

Jan 062015
 

20 Slow Cooker Recipes #recipes

Running short on recipes or time? I know I am, so I hit Pinterest up for slow cooker recipes! Lets face it, what is better then throwing everything in your slow cooker, turning it on, and a few hours later having a meal ready to go! This round up has it all, from Chicken and Dumplings to Lava Cake. I am thinking some Beef Stew sounds pretty good tonight!  Continue reading »

Dec 032014
 

Snowman Donuts NOM

The holidays are filled with gift shopping, whipping up feasts that will please a crowd, putting up decorations, planning festive gatherings, cleaning up after the festive gatherings, making lists, and checking them twice. It can all be overwhelming, but the fun in the season is worth every moment of making magic.

These Snowman Donuts are incredibly easy and quick, so you can get back to making three different kinds of mashed potatoes to suit your guests’ desire. They require no baking, but just a little imagination that will have your family wanting to join in.

You Will Need:

*Powdered sugar donuts – You can make your own by frying up some pre-made biscuit dough. Just use a small circular cookie cutter to create the shape. Double-dip them in powdered sugar and let them cool. Or, you can buy a bag. I won’t tell.

*One small piping bag of white-hued frosting

*Candy orange slices

*Chocolate chips (Regular M&M candies work well, too.) Continue reading »

Nov 232014
 

Homemade Pumpkin Cake with Chocolate Sauce Recipe

I love this time of year.  The air is getting cooler, the leaves are changing and pumpkin flavored foods are everywhere as far as the eye can see.  Today, I am sharing a recipe for one of the most decadent pumpkin desserts I know: Homemade Pumpkin Cake with Chocolate Sauce.  It’s super easy to make and it’s sure to go over big if you love pumpkin as much as I do.

Ingredients:

15 oz. can of Pumpkin Puree
1 ½ C Dark Brown Sugar
1 C Melted Butter
3 Eggs
2 C Flour
2 tsp Baking Soda
2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 ½ tsp Kosher Salt Continue reading »

Nov 162014
 

Game Day Buffalo Chicken Dip

If you ask me, one of the best parts of watching football on Sundays is the snacks.  Game day just isn’t the same around here without lots of things to munch on.  Buffalo chicken dip always goes over really well and today I wanted to share the recipe with you.

Here’s what you need:

2 medium size chicken breasts, baked and shredded or you could also use (2) 10 oz. cans of canned chicken to save time.

8 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature

½ C. ranch dressing, any brand

½ C. Franks Red Hot Sauce Continue reading »

Nov 102014
 

redpack-tomatoes-review

**Disclosure: Product was received at no charge in order to facilitate this review.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

Do you love all things tomato? So do I, which is why I was excited to try some of the staples of the Redpack Tomato Sauce line. Redpack has been making quality tomato sauce and tomato products since 1942, and they offer a great line of canned tomato products perfect for your kitchen recipes. I was able to test out the crushed tomatoes recently, and was quite pleased with the pasta sauce I was able to create right in my own kitchen. Here’s how I did it:

Ingredients:

2 large cans of Redpack Crushed Tomatoes
1 medium sized white onion
5-7 fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes Continue reading »

Nov 042014
 

Cooking With Prince Spaghetti4

**Disclosure: Product was received at no charge in order to facilitate this review.  All opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

Considering we are a family that enjoys a fast yet hearty meal, we were excited to recently give Prince Pasta a try. Prince Pasta has been in the business of crafting quality pastas since 1912, so it should come as no surprise that it is a pasta we truly enjoyed.

Prince Pasta makes a variety of pastas such as spaghetti, rotini, bow ties, and so much more. Most recently they started creating pastas for the more health conscious consumer, including whole grain, fiber added, and even gluten free varieties. This is quite exciting news since pasta has traditionally been thought of as unhealthy. Prince is taking pasta in a new direction and creating products that even the health conscious or restricted dieter can enjoy! For this review, we sampled the spaghetti noodles they were sent to us, along with some ready made sauce and organic dried basil. Continue reading »

Nov 032014
 

Salted Caramel Pumpkin Trifle

It’s that time of years again.  You know what I’m talking about.  It’s time to pumpkinize!  If  you’re like me and love all things pumpkin and you happen to be looking for a fantastic pumpkin dessert, look no further. This one is a doosey!  I’m talking about a Salted Caramel Pumpkin Trifle!  Doesn’t that sound amazing?

To make the pumpkin bites you will need:

15 oz. can of Pumpkin Puree
1 ½ C Dark Brown Sugar
¾ C Melted Butter
4 Eggs
2 C Flour
2 tsp Baking Soda
2 tsp Cinnamon
Dash Allspice
1 ½ tsp Kosher Salt

Caramel Sauce:

1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Cup Heavy Cream or Half and Half
1 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp Kosher Salt Continue reading »

Oct 222014
 

Original Boston Baked Beans

Have you ever wondered why Boston Baked Beans are called Boston Baked Beans?  It’s because of the molasses.

Families have been eating slow cooked beans since colonial times. Did you know that the pilgrims earned how to slow cook beans with maple syrup from the Native Americans? Eventually people started making their beans with molasses instead of maple syrup because it was a little bit thicker & sweeter.  Add in some salt pork and voila – you’ve got yourself baked beans. In fact, in the 1700’s, baked beans were prepared on Saturday nights and left in brick ovens overnight. Because Sabbath rules forbid cooking, on Sunday, people could eat the warm beans, served with brown bread.

By the early 1900’s, Boston was a center of production of molasses and in case you didn’t know, Molasses is used as an ingredient in the distillation of rum – and baked beans.  As a matter of fact, Boston was where The Great Molasses Flood of 1919 took place.  A huge tank filled with 2.5 million gallons of molasses exploded and sea of of it flooded the streets of the North End. The disaster ended up killing 21 and injured 150.  I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.

Boston Baked Beans continue to be one of New England’s most-loved traditional dishes, and today I am going to share my take on Boston Baked Beans, which I make every week for game day! They’re easy to make, delicious and by grabbing my ingredients at Save-A-Lot, I save money on the stuff I need. Continue reading »