Feb 102016
 

Homemade Cake Pops Recipe

Whenever I get invited to go over someone’s house for a party or even just dinner, I can’t show up empty handed.  I just can’t. When I was growing up my mom always said that it was rude not to bring something with you when you were invited somewhere & that is something that has always stuck with me.  I determine what I will bring with me depending on the event, the people that will be there and the season (or if there are any upcoming holidays, etc).  Sometimes I bring a bottle of wine, sometimes I make a dip and other times I look for specific recipes.  These homemade cake pops are good for any occasion, though. They’re easy to make and always go over real big!  Plus you can decorate them with sprinkles, etc to make them festive if you want to.

Here’s what you need to make your cake pops:

  • Box cake mix – Yellow cake in this case
  • Container of frosting that compliments the cake – Vanilla
  • *Ingredients on back of box to prepare the cake as instructed*
  • Food processor (or you could crumble the cake by hand)
  • Lollipop sticks
  • Almond bark
  • Sprinkles
  • Shoe box with holes poked in it

Continue reading »

Feb 072016
 

cherry chocolate face mask with watermark

It’s that time of year again. Ladies you know, that time of year when our summer tans are completely faded and our poor skin is all dried out from the cold.  It’s not pretty, but you can rejuvenate your skin easily with this Homemade Cherry Chocolate Face Mask. The beauty of it is that you only need 3 ingredients and chances are you already have them in your cupboard.

Here’s what you need to make your Cherry Chocolate Face Mask:

  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons 100% cocoa (cacao)
  • 10 Maraschino cherries

Continue reading »

Feb 032016
 

Quick and Easy Shepherd's Pie

If you are looking for an easy to make, hardy dinner, you will love this easy Shepherd’s Pie recipe. Using just a few basic ingredients, you can prepare this dish ahead of time and just pop it on the oven when ready. In less than an hour, you will have a one dish meal that the whole family is sure to love. Take a look!

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 pounds of ground beef
  • ¼ cup of Worcester sauce
  • 1 packet of brown gravy mix
  • 1 cup each of frozen or canned peas, carrots, and corn
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 cans of croissant dough
  • 2 cups of mashed potatoes (prepared, these can be homemade, boxed, or instant varieties) Continue reading »
Jan 202016
 

Mint Oreo Cheesecake Dip Recipe

Football is a big deal in our house.  When the Patriots play, forget about being able to reach anyone in my household.  We completely shut down when the game is on & that includes checking any social media or answering texts.  So obviously since we love football so much, the Superbowl is a major event in our house and if the Patriots make it into the game, forget about it – the excitement is almost too much.

Since the Superbowl is such a big event in our house, we have people over to watch the big game every year.  It’s always more fun to watch the game with friends and having people over means one thing: lots of food.  Chris and I love to entertain and always put out a good spread when we have people over.  I generally put out a good variety of appetizers and desserts.  This year when we have people over for the big game, one of the things I will be serving is a Mint Oreo Cheesecake Dip.   It’s super easy to make and lucky for me, I was able to find everything I needed to make it right at Save-A-Lot.

savealot store pics

Here’s what you need: Continue reading »

Jan 192016
 

Easy Focaccia Bread Recipe

This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/P&G

In our house Sundays mean one thing and one thing only – game day! For most of the season, our New England team has been doing some serious damage across the NFL. While we haven’t had a perfect record this season, we’ve done pretty darn well.  Whenever our beloved team plays, my family is glued to the television to watch.  Even though we only live about 20 minutes from the stadium where they play, we prefer to watch the games from the comfort of our own couch on game day!

Since we like to watch from home, we usually end up having some people over to watch the game with us.  The more the merrier when it comes to watching our team kick some butt! From prepping before my guests arrive, to the clean up after they leave, I can count on Proctor & Gamble to have me covered and the best part is, I can get everything I need for our game day traditions right at Walmart. Continue reading »

Jan 102016
 

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

Snickers Dip Snack Stadium Recipe

To say that we are major football fanatics in our house is a complete understatement.  Whenever our team plays, life stops so that we can huddle up on the couch and watch the game – unless we happen to be at the game. This year, our team is doing pretty well and might even make it to the big game next month (fingers crossed).  Even if my team isn’t in the big game, my family is still having some friends and family over to watch it regardless of which teams are playing.

And what’s a party without some great snacks?

When it comes to hosting, I really do try to impress my guests by getting creative with some of the food.  And this year, they are all sure to be impressed. I headed to Walmart to stock up on snacks and got everything I needed.

Walmart

See?  I got something for everyone: Continue reading »

Jan 042016
 

10 Delicious & Creative Pizza Recipe Ideas

Homemade pizza is one of my family’s favorite dinners.  For so many years all we ever made was cheese pizza because my boys were pretty picky & when I say my boys, I really just mean my youngest son. Now that both of my boys are getting a little bit older, they’re both definitely more open to trying new foods.  We love experimenting with different toppings on our pizza or even making breakfast pizzas on occasion.  Here are 10 of the most creative homemade pizza recipes I’ve found:

1. Stuffed Crust Pizza

Stuffed Crust Pizza

http://ashleemarie.com/stuffed-crust-pizza/ Continue reading »

Dec 272015
 

Cilantro-Lime-Baked-Chicken-Wings-recipe

Are you in need of an easy appetizer for a party you’re heading to?   Maybe a New Year’s Eve party perhaps?  Well today, I have just the thing –  Cilantro Lime Baked Chicken Wings!  They are really simple to make and trust me, they always go over really big!

Here’s what you need:

  • 3 lbs. Chicken Wings, partially thawed so there is no ice
  • 2 Tbsp. Butter, melted
  • 1 Tbsp. Oil
  • 4 Tbsp. Lime Juice
  • ½ teas. Garlic Powder
  • ¼ teas. Black Pepper
  • 1/8 teas. Cayenne
  • 6 Sprigs of Cilantro Leaves, minced
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper

Cilantro Lime Baked Chicken Wings ingerdients

Here’s what you do: Continue reading »

Dec 192015
 

10 Delicious Christmas Morning Breakfast Recipe Ideas

Are you one of those people who usually cooks a big breakfast on Christmas morning?  I love a big holiday breakfast, but we actually do it on Christmas Eve morning.  It started many years ago (about 10) when my sister was living with a roommate from out of state.  Her roommate’s family always came in to spend Christmas here in Massachusetts, so my sister came to stay at my house the nights of the 23rd and 24th to give her roommate and her family some space.

That first year we made her a big old breakfast and it just became tradition – even though my sister hasn’t spent the night of the 23rd at my house in many years.  I am always on the hunt for awesome new recipes to make for my family when we have our traditional Christmas Eve morning breakfast.  If you do a big breakfast for your family on Christmas morning, you will love these 10 Delicious Christmas Morning Breakfast Recipe Ideas:

1. Breakfast Enchiladas: Festive Make­ Ahead Christmas Brunch Continue reading »

Dec 152015
 

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

Minions Muddy Buddies

One thing we do every single summer is head to the drive-in.  We only do it once a year because it ends up being such a late night, but it’s such a treat for the kids when we go. Since we only go once, we choose the movie we want to watch there very carefully.  We make sure it’s something that we really want to see.  You guessed it, this past summer we chose the Minions movie!

We are super excited that our favorite summer movie just came out on Blu-Ray/DVD on December 8th!  I ran out to get it that day and we have been watching it a lot over the past week.  We just love the Minions © 2015 Universal Studios. All rights reserved.

The day I got it, we had a family movie night to watch it – but what’s a movie night without a snack? Of course Illumination Entertainment’s Minions movie was the inspiration for my recipe.  It is the perfect recipe to include in our Minions Movie night!

Here’s what you need: Continue reading »

Dec 072015
 

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

M&M® and Pillsbury™ Funfetti® Cake Mix Cookies

Every year my mommy friends and I do something fun – a Christmas cookie exchange.  It was something that we all participated in when we were all in the moms club in town together and even once our kids aged out of the club, many of us carried on the tradition. Every December we pick a morning and get together to exchange cookies, have some tea, coffee or hot chocolate and share some laughs together.  It’s something that I look forward to all year long.

Here are the cookies my mom friends are going to be getting this year at the annual cookie exchange:

Here’s what you need: Continue reading »

Dec 022015
 

Festive Homemade Dog Treats

This post is sponsored post by Lunchbox, but as always all opinions expressed here are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way.

It seems like from the moment it  December 1st comes around, our lives literally turn into chaos.  Between cutting down & decorating our Christmas tree, more parties than I can keep track of, seasonal events/outings and just regular old daily life – sometimes it’s easy to get wrapped up and let some things go. This time of year my poor dog Milo is one of them.  He’s a member of the family, of course, but since we’re out of the house so much, he doesn’t get as much attention during the holidays as he usually does simply because we are so busy.

When I manage to sneak a little free time, I always like to do something a little extra special for Milo – especially this time of the year.  I want him to know how much he means to us and that even though we may not be around quite as much, we still love him to the moon and back.  I decided to make him some of his favorite treats recently so that he knows how much he’s loved.  They’re super easy to make and they were a huge hit with Milo. Continue reading »

Nov 242015
 

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

Easy White Chocolate Peppermint Fudge

There are certain times of the year when I like to do something special for my boys teachers and bus drivers.  Each year for teacher appreciation week I get their teachers a gift card to go out to eat.  I mean, if anyone deserves a night off without having to cook, it’s a teacher.  Then at the end of the school year, I also get nice gifts for the teachers as a way to thank them for such a great year with my kids.  Of course, I always like to get something for the bus drivers, too.  After all, they are responsible for getting my boys back and forth to school safely every day.

At Christmas time, I like to get festive when it comes to gift giving.  I love to make sweet treats for the teachers and bus drivers and based on the feedback I have gotten from them in the past, my baked goods are always a hit.  This year, the bus drivers and teachers are getting some delicious white chocolate peppermint fudge.  It’s easy to make and I know it’s going to be a big hit. Continue reading »

Nov 192015
 

Copycat Olive Garden Pasta Fagioli Recipe

I don’t know about you, but the Olive Garden is one of my favorite places to go out to eat. Sometimes, I just don’t feel like packing up the family and traipsing out. Do you remember all the rotten snow we had here in Massachusetts last winter? I am hoping we don’t have a repeat this year, but I am prepared in case we get snowed in a lot this year, too. Luckily, there are some really good copy cat recipes out there, so you can have your Olive Garden favorites right at home. I happen to love their Pasta e Fagioli Soup and it’s so easy to make at home, which means I can  have it any time I like.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 large Carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery Stalks, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 14oz/400g can of chopped tomatoes or pureed tomatoes
  • 1 quart/400ml chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 Cans Cannellini Beans
  • 1 (3-inch) piece Parmesan rind (optional, but if you
  • can get a hold of it, it adds a lot of flavor).
  • 1¼ cups/125g Small Pasta (ie – Small shells or ditalini)
  • A couple of good handfuls of Flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • Salt & Pepper

Continue reading »

Nov 162015
 

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

No Bake Peppermint Bark Recipe

Christmas will be here before we know it and I could not be happier about it.  I love this time of the year. The food, the family, the presents, the decorations – I love all of it. One tradition that I look forward to every year is cutting down our Christmas tree and spending the afternoon decorating it.  While decorating the tree itself is fun, I always like to make something special for my family to munch on while we trim the tree.  One of my family’s favorites is my famous No Bake Peppermint Bark and I hope you like it as much as my family does.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 cup of dark chocolate chips
  • 2 cups of white chocolate chips or Baker cubes (2 boxes)
  • Candy canes

Continue reading »

Nov 122015
 

10 Amazing Gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwich Recipes

Now that the cold weather has arrived, what’s  better than some good old comfort food.  I don’t know about you, but a grilled cheese sandwich is one of my go-to’s when it comes to comfort food.  Sometimes I like my grilled cheese with a twist and these 10 Amazing Gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwich Recipes have some of the best twists I’ve ever seen.

1. Broccoli Pesto Mushroom Grilled Cheese

Broccoli Pesto Mushroom Grilled Cheese

http://www.dizzybusyandhungry.com/broccoli­pesto­mushroom­grilled­cheese/ Continue reading »

Nov 082015
 

Pumpkin Sugar Scrub

I love, love, love homemade sugar scrubs!  The options are endless when you make your own, but since it’s fall, this Pumpkin Sugar Scrub is sure to be a crowd pleaser – or an awesome hostess gift at the very least.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 Cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 Cup coconut oil
  • 1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice ( liquid)
  • 1 drop red food coloring (optional)
  • 1 drop yellow food coloring (optional)

Continue reading »

Oct 212015
 

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #Treats4All #CollectiveBias

No Bake NESTLÉ® BUTTERFINGER® Bark Recipe

Every year starting around the middle of September, my kids start counting down to Halloween.  They love dressing up and going out trick or treating.  My house is on a main road and sadly, there are no sidewalks on my street.  I don’t feel safe trick or treating in my neighborhood, so every year we head over to my parents house to trick or treat.  Their neighborhood is well lit, has sidewalks and is set up on a grid system. That makes it the perfect set up to make a killing when it comes to collecting candy – and that’s exactly what they do year after year.

trick or treating

This year Halloween falls on a Saturday, so we won’t be as rushed as we normally are as when it falls on a week day.  Yay for that. Trick or treating hours are generally between 6-8, so we need to get on the road by 5pm at the latest to get to my parents house, which is 30 minutes away.  That gives my kids a few minutes to visit with Nana & Papa as well as get into their costumes.  Since this all falls right at dinner time, I need something to help me save some time when it comes to feeding my kids. Continue reading »

Oct 202015
 

dip

Summer has finally come to a close and the Fall chilly weather is here in Canada. The only thing that makes me sad about this whole idea is all the wonderful fruit we get to enjoy during those warm summer months really isn’t available to us up here (at least not at a reasonable price)

However, before they go bad, or are out of my price range I thought what a better way to use them up than with a delicious fruit dip! My kids love dipping just about everything so it was not hard to get them on board with a fruit dip!

You don’t have to dip fruits in it though – you can dip bread sticks and even shortbread, or sugar cookies! We’ve made cookies into “cookie sticks” before and dipping those is pretty amazing! But, I personally love dipping strawberries in this dip! Continue reading »

Oct 082015
 

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

Philly Cheese Steak Loaded Nachos

Now, that it’s October, our back to school routine is in full swing. With my oldest going off to middle school this year, each of my boys are in different schools complete with different start and end times. Combine that with the fact my oldest has been training for his black belt test, lots of homework and my little man’s multiple soccer practices and games every week, it seems like we are literally always busy.

Since my husband, Chris, and I spend so much time focusing on the kids, it’s easy to forget to take time for each other. That’s why we try to have an at-home date night at least once a month, if not more often.  When we do manage to carve out some time for a date night at home, we love to make a snack together, watch some movies and afterwards, ahem, head upstairs to the bedroom.

Inspired by our recent trip to Philadelphia, for our most recent date night at home Chris and I made some Philly Cheese Steak Loaded Nachos to munch on while we watched a couple of our favorite 80’s movies. Continue reading »