Crock Pot Peanut Clusters With Chocolate and Butterscotch

Crock Pot Chocolate Butterscotch Nut Clusters

In the spirit of holiday giving, I offered to do some baking for my husband to deliver to some of his favorite clients, his team and his co-workers. Since I am a food blogger, it was a great idea…the only problem is that I forgot that my husband started his Christmas vacation on Friday, so I only had one day to make all of the goodies. After doing a little brainstorming of what holiday cookies to make, I decided to do some multitasking by making a slow cooker dessert. These crock pot peanut clusters with chocolate and butterscotch were cooking, I was able to work on other treats. I also made Peanut Butter Blossoms, Hot Chocolate Cookie Cups, Peppermint Patties, Crispy Peanut Butter Bites and Hershey’s Pretzel Bites.

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Crispy Peanut Butter Bites

Crispy Peanut Butter Bites

Sometimes I don’t have time to sit and dip truffles or cake pops or cookies. Or maybe it is more that I don’t feel like making the time to dip them, especially when there are 60 treats to dip. So, instead of making crispy peanut butter balls, I made these Crispy Peanut Butter Bites with the dough sandwiched between pretzels and only dipped one half. This saved me so much time since I could hold onto one side of the cookies while dipping the other side…no chocolate forks involved!

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Turtle Cookies – Caramel Filled Ritz Sandwiches

Turtle Ritz Sandwich Cookies

For some reason, it seems that when the holidays roll around and I start to have recipe failures. I thought these Turtle Cookies were going to be a quick and easy recipe success. The first time I made them, I used dulce de leche from a can. They were easy to make, they tasted delicious and the pictures turned out great. But the next morning when I saw the cookies, the chocolate coating had cracked on all of them! So, I tried again and again until I thought about moving on from this recipe idea, but decided I was going to find a way to make it work…no.matter.what. And I succeeded, so today I am finally sharing my recipe for Turtle Sandwich Cookies using Ritz crackers.

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Pumpkin Gingerbread

Disclosure: I received Nutiva products to facilitate this Gluten Free Pumpkin Gingerbread Recipe post.

Grain free pumpkin bread

I’m hearing more and more about people who eat a gluten free diet. Although my family doesn’t have any gluten intolerances, I have friends and relatives that do and a couple even have celiac disease. My cousin, who is now an adult, was diagnosed when he was a baby. Boy, have things come a long way since then. Whether you eat a grain free diet due to allergies or due to lifestyle choices, I have a delicious recipe for grain free, gluten free Pumpkin Gingerbread that I am sharing today.

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Christmas Ooey Gooey Bars

Christmas Ooey Gooey Bars are the BEST holiday version of Rice Krispies Treats.

This recipe has three delicious layers and is perfect for parties!

Christmas Ooey Gooey Bars

Last night I got together with a bunch of my girlfriends for a Christmas sing-along. We shared fabulous holiday appetizers and desserts, sang Christmas carols and enjoyed visiting with each other. My cold is still hanging on so my singing was more like croaking, but they didn’t make me leave so that’s good! It’s always nice to take a few hours out of the busy week to reconnect with old friends. Today I’m sharing a recipe for Christmas Ooey Gooey Bars that people of all ages love, so it is a perfect recipe to bring to holiday parties!

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Three Ingredient Peppermint Oreo Fudge

Three ingredient Peppermint Oreo Fudge has white chocolate chips, peppermint frosting and peppermint Oreos. This Christmas dessert recipe is easy to make.

Three ingredient peppermint Oreo fudge

We lost our son in downtown Minneapolis this past weekend! It was a first for us and I sincerely hope it is our last. We took the light rail downtown with a large group of friends and we all went into Macy’s to visit the 8th floor auditorium Christmas display. It was busy, but not insanely crowded like it would’ve been later in the day. The little kids thought everything was super neat.

We stopped in the gift shop and then split up to head back down to the main floor. Some of the group went on the elevator with a baby stroller and some of the group went down the escalator. We made sure we knew where all of the little kids were but I didn’t even think about keeping track of the middle school and high school kids.

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Bacon Cheeseburger Soup Recipe

I made this Bacon Cheeseburger Soup with a salad using Campbell’s® Sauces as part of a sponsored post for Socialstars. #CampbellsSauces

Bacon cheeseburger soup #CampbellsSauces

Is there anything better than a warm bowl of hearty soup on a cold winter day? After having a couple of warmer days, the temperature dropped again and it is freezing cold. So cold that our neighbor’s pipes froze and we’ve had guys with jackhammers and heavy equipment, working between our houses, from dawn to dusk the last couple of days. They got a little overzealous in their drilling and cut through our phone and internet cable, so we are without service until someone can come repair it. In addition to all of that craziness, we’ve had some minor virus going around and we are getting ready for out-of-town guests this weekend. Whew! I needed an easy dinner recipe to make for my family, so I made delicious Bacon Cheeseburger Soup!

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Snow Globe Christmas Treats

I made these Snow Globe Christmas Treats as part of a sponsored post for Hostess #HostessHoliday. All opinions are 100% mine.

Snow globe Christmas cookie

Winter and the holiday season are in full swing! Here in Minnesota there are days when we look outside and it looks like we are living in a snow globe. Large, fluffy snowflakes are gently falling and the ground is covered with a blanket of white. If we are lucky and the temperature outside is above zero, we love to head outside for a walk in the winter wonderland. So, with that in mind, I made a holiday dessert that embraces the fun and the beauty of winter. These Snow Globe Christmas Treats that are almost too cute to eat! They are easy to make and will be the centerpiece of any holiday gathering.

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Eggnog Cookie Cups

Eggnog Cookie Cups

Welcome back from Thanksgiving weekend! I hope you all had a wonderful time. We spent Thanksgiving with Brian’s family and it was such a nice day. We stuffed ourselves with delicious food and had fun visiting with everyone. On Black Friday, we stayed home all day and didn’t buy a single thingvery “unAmerican” but wow was it ever relaxing!

Last year, we had so much fun making and EATING our Hot Chocolate Cookie Cups that we decided to try an eggnog version this year. The guys in the family are huge eggnog fans, while the girls are definitely in the chocolate camp. Brian and Zack love it when they can order eggnog shakes around the holidays. Zack quickly drinks the eggnog every time I’ve put a carton in the fridge and he said that they eggnog cookie cups are the best cookies ever!

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Easy Chicken Enchiladas Recipe

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Campbell Soup Company. All opinions are 100% mine.

Easy Chicken Enchiladas Recipe

Just because the holidays are here and things are super busy, doesn’t mean that parents get a break from preparing meals for their families. The best thing to do is to choose a few easy to make meals and plan ahead by keeping the right ingredients in the house. Today I’m sharing a delicious recipe for Easy Chicken Enchiladas that can be made in 30 minutes!

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Five Weeknight Meal Ideas

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Alexia Foods. The opinions and text are all mine.

Who else has a hard time getting dinner on the table on weekdays? I would love to hear what your biggest issues are. One of my issues is that I don’t prepare ahead of time. My kids come home from school, we get busy and suddenly it is 5:30 and I have no idea what to make for dinner. So, today I am sharing five easy weeknight meal ideas that you can make in 30 minutes or less! Each one of these meals features a protein, a vegetable and an Alexia Foods product. The steak dinner was the favorite of the females in my family and Zack’s favorite meal was the Italian Sloppy Joes.

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Spinach Artichoke Dip Bites and $75 Crisp Cooking Tools Giveaway

Disclosure: I received Crisp Cooking Tools to facilitate this recipe post for Spinach Artichoke Dip Bites.

Spinach Artichoke Dip Bites

Spinach Artichoke Dip is another one of my favorite appetizers. Once when I was pregnant and on bed rest, my friends came over for the evening to visit me. They asked if there was anything they would pick up for me and all I wanted was spinach and artichoke dip. I’ve got to admit that I ate the whole thing and it didn’t even make me sick! Spinach artichoke dip is a popular appetizer for parties. Today I am sharing a recipe for Spinach artichoke dip bites that is perfect for the holidays. They are a delicious, bite size snack with red and green accents.

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Sautéed Green Beans With Bacon & Farberware Cookware Giveaway

Disclosure: This Sautéed Green Beans with Bacon recipe was developed for Farberware Cookware as part of sponsored post.

Bacon Green Beans

We finally have our Thanksgiving plans figured outunless they change again. This year we will be spending Thanksgiving with my in-laws but we still need to decide who is bringing what. So far, I know that my in-laws will make the turkey, mashed potatoes and corn casserole. We will be bringing a ham, pecan pie and these green beans with bacon!

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Peppermint Candy Cane Crunch Donuts

Peppermint crunch donuts recipe

Although I enjoy mint desserts and candy year round, peppermint desserts always remind me of the holidays. It’s been a long time since I’ve made doughnuts so I had to try making a peppermint version. First, I made some homemade, baked doughnuts, but they were so bland that even my kids didn’t want them. Instead of trying another batch, I changed the game plan and made canned biscuit dough donuts instead.

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Cheesy Chicken Sausage Potato Skins

I made the Cheesy Chicken Sausage Potato Skins as part of a sponsored post for Gold’n Plump.

Cheesy sausage potato skins

Potato Skins are another appetizer that my family loves. We order them at restaurants and purchase the frozen version to cook at home. Zack has been talking about my bloomin‘ baked potatoes and asking me when I am going to make them again. Instead, I decided to make cheesy chicken sausage potato skins and he helped me. While adding the cheese, he told me that his mouth was literally watering because they looked and smelled so good!

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One Pot Pasta: Turkey Alfredo Ziti

This One Pot Pasta Turkey Alfredo Ziti recipe is the ultimate Ragú® #NewTraDish mash up and is part of a sponsored post for Socialstars.

One pot pasta turkey alfredo ziti

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away? I love that Thanksgiving is a time for giving thanks. Much of the year is spent rushing from here to there. We need a holiday to remind us to slow down and be thankful. Thanksgiving is also a time to reconnect with family and friends. For my family, it is a relaxing day even though we have a large number of people and all of the little cousins are full of energy. But we all know the real star of the show on Thanksgiving is the foodoh the FOODfrom the moist turkey and the fluffy mashed potatoes to the gorgeous pies and desserts! Plus, there are always leftovers which are fabulous. With that in mind, I made this delicious One Pot Pasta Turkey Alfredo Ziti recipe for leftover Thanksgiving turkey.

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Blooming Sweet Potato & O Olive Oil Giveaway

Disclosure: I received an O Olive Oil Collection to facilitate this post. All opinions are 100% my own.

Bloomin' Sweet Potato

We went to a restaurant recently that had delicious sweet potato fries. My friend ordered them as an appetizer and we were delighted to discover that the dip they served with the fries was sweet rather than savory. It was a combination of marshmallow cream and cinnamon that I had to try making at home. Instead of making sweet potato fries, I had to try a Blooming Sweet Potato.

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Eggnog Macarons Recipe

Eggnog Macarons

Last year, I completely missed out on making eggnog recipes during the holiday season. So, I’ve got a few different ones planned for this year, if I can squeeze them in. The first is eggnog macarons with eggnog buttercream frosting! I tried making French macarons for the first time last May. Then, I made a bunch of them for my sister-in-law’s wedding reception but haven’t made them since. Every time I made macarons, I get mixed resultssome of them turn out and some don’tbut that is fine with me. We still eat the ones that aren’t perfect and they still taste great!

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Blooming Apples On The Rachael Ray Show


 You guysI have some really exciting news to share with you today! My Bloomin’ Baked Apples were featured on the Rachael Ray Show today! Last week, I received an email from the Rachael Ray Show asking me to give them a call. To my surprise and delight, I found out that they noticed my blooming apple recipe online and wanted to have one of the chefs make it on the show. Of course I agreed and the show aired today!

I just had to share the news with all of you because I’m not sure if you are aware of this but…


are the reason my recipe was noticed and then featured on the show! All of you, the readers, fans and followers of The Gunny Sack took time to share my recipe with your family and friends via word-of-mouth, email and social media. I want you to know just how much of an impact your support has. You made my blog post go viral. As of right now, my Bloomin’ Baked Apple’s blog post has had

over 3.5 million pageviews

over 1 million “Likes” on Facebook

over 440,000 pins on Pinterest

and now a Rachael Ray Show feature

With a grateful heart, I want to saythank you!

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Meatball Pretzel Bites

Disclosure: This easy appetizer recipe for Meatball Pretzel Bites was created as part of a sponsored post for Casa Di Bertacchi.

Meatball Pretzel Bites Recipe

Soft pretzels are one of the snacks my kids love. When we are at the mall, they always ask if they can get pretzels. They must not be the only ones joining the pretzel craze, because pretzels seem to be everywhere lately. We’ve seen everything from pretzel buns to pretzel pizza crusts! A few years ago, I started making homemade soft pretzel nuggets and we all love them. Since then, I’ve found an even easier way to make homemade pretzel nuggets using refrigerated dough. By using refrigerated biscuits and fully cooked Casa Di Bertacchi beef meatballs you can easily make Meatball Pretzel Bites for a holiday party appetizer.

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