Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Dip Recipe

Disclosure: I have been compensated for this sponsored post by MIRACLE WHIP, as part of the Mom It Forward Blogger Network

Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Dip

 Labor Day marks the end of summer and the start of the school year here in Minnesota. With Labor Day falling on the first day of September, it feels like summer has been cut a little short! My kids have their schedules and the back-to-school shopping is done. Now, we can relax and enjoy one, last weekend. There is a weekend long event at our church, so we will be spending a lot of our time there. In between our time at church, we will be with family and friends and whenever that happens, delicious food is involved! I recently tried a new recipe for MIRACLE WHIP Creamy Spinach & Artichoke Dip that I wanted to share with you because it is perfect for bringing to parties and family gatherings!

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Slow Cooker Pumpkin Pecan Bread Pudding

Pumpkin Pecan Bread Pudding

I am excited to report that it finally cooled off for a couple of days! Yesterday I had to grab a sweatshirt when I went to sit on the front porch to drink my morning coffee. It’s the perfect weather for baking. So, I put some bars in the oven and put a dessert in one Crock Pot and ribs in another Crock Pot! Vanessa had friends at our house and I overheard one of them exclaiming how good it smelled every time they walked into the house from outside. First, I’m going to share the pumpkin dessert recipe for slow cooker pumpkin pecan bread pudding that is perfect for fall.

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Sweet and Spicy Bacon Wrapped Meatballs

Game_Day_Recipe

Several years ago, while Brian was traveling for work, he had bacon wrapped chicken at a restaurant and has always remembered how good it was. So, last year I made Sweet and Spicy Sriracha Bacon Chicken Bites which we really enjoyed. But  I wanted to try another bacon wrapped appetizer and this time I decided to go with meatballs. Before baking the bacon wrapped meatballs, coat them with a mixture of brown sugar and chili powder. As they bake, the bacon gets crispy, the sugar caramelizes and this easy appetizer becomes irresistible!

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Mocha Mint Milkshake #IceCreamWeek

Mocha mint milkshake recipe

The humidity here in Minnesota the last few days has been oppressive! If you are outside, your skin is wet, periodand so is everything else. I’m trying to enjoy the weather though because I know that winter will be here before we know it. Whenever we get this kind of weather, it reminds me of beach vacations in North Carolina. When I did a weather comparison yesterday, it looked like it was hotter and more humid here….without the ocean to cool off in. So, instead we go to the lake, hang out in the air conditioned house and eat ice cream, of course! For my final recipe of ice cream week, I am sharing a recipe for Mocha Mint Milkshakes.

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Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream Recipe #IceCreamWeek

Pumpkin pie ice cream recipe

Yesterday I went to two parks with my kids, their friends and a friend of mine with her daughter. The kids had fun, but it is hard to realize that this might be our last summer bringing our kids to the park. All of the kids will be in middle school this year and they spent most of their time at the park strolling around or visiting on park benches. Part of that is because of their age and part of that is due to the high heat and humidity! Although it hasn’t cooled off yet, I am starting to look forward to the cooler temps of fall and recipes including pumpkin and apples. So, for the second day of ice cream week, I am sharing a recipe for Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream with Pie Crust Bowls!

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Peanut Butter Crunch Ice Cream Cake + a HUGE #IceCreamWeek Giveaway

Peanut butter crunch ice cream cake recipe

We are a family of peanut butter lovers! We go though more peanut butter in a week than most families use in a month. We have peanut butter in on sandwiches, in desserts, on pancakes and yes, it even gets eaten right by the spoonful at times. The ice cream shop in our town recently did a renovation and we found out that they took Zack’s favorite ice cream sundae with peanut butter topping off the menu! So, I decided to make a peanut butter ice cream. This week I am joining a group of lovely bloggers to celebrate Ice Cream Week! We are all sharing ice cream recipes and there is a HUGE giveaway at the bottom of the post that you don’t want to miss. I will be sharing three ice cream recipes with week, starting with this Peanut Butter Crunch Ice Cream Cake!

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Orange Chicken 30 Minute Skillet Recipe

Orange chicken over rice

My girls two favorite Chinese take-out dishes are orange chicken and sesame chicken. I recently made Honey Sesame Chicken and since it was such a huge success, I decided to try making Orange Chicken. My plan was to make the orange chicken in the Crockpot like I did the sesame chicken, but I made a 30 minute skillet recipe instead.

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Peach Napoleon with Maple Whipped Cream

I made these Peach Napoleons as part of a sponsored post for Socialstars. All opinions are my own. #WalmartProduce

Peach Napoleon Recipe #WalmartProduct

I am excited that peaches are in season! All sorts of peach recipes have been running through my mind from peach pies to peach ice cream and peach cobbler. I finally decided that I wanted to keep the fresh peach flavor and texture in my dessert, instead of making something baked or frozen. I settled on a peaches and cream dessert called Peach Napoleon. It is super easy to make using frozen puff pastry, homemade maple whipped cream and fresh peaches! Not only do the salted caramel drizzle and candied pecans on top make the Peach Napoleons look fabulous, they also add to the delicious flavor of the dessert!

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Cinnamon Halfway Bars

Cinnamon Halfway Bars

Like most food bloggers, I love cookbooks. But my love of cookbooks started long before I started blogging. I used to check out cookbooks from the library and read them like other people read magazines. Even though I rarely made recipes from the cookbooks, reading them was relaxing to me. I like different cookbooks for different reasons. Some of them are all about the photos for me. Others have the best cooking tips. My favorite cookbooks to get recipes from aren’t the gourmet, technical ones, but rather the ones filled with tried and true recipes.

As I was looking through one such cookbook recently, I saw a recipe for halfway bars that intrigued me. I had never heard of halfway bars, but I loved the idea of  bars with a meringue top layer. So, I decided to give them a try.

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DIY Iced Coffee Carafes

A couple of weeks ago, one of my best friends and her kids came to Minnesota for a visit. She usually tries to make it here at least once each summer and we do all kinds of fun things. As her kids get older, one of the things they look forward to the most is going to the Mall of America. We also went to a man-made swimming beach and to a park with a splash pad. Everyone came to our house one evening after the day’s activities and we decorated iced coffee carafes!

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Strawberry Spinach Poppy Seed Bites

I’m not sure who introduced me to strawberry spinach poppy seed salad, but it has been one of my favorites for years. I typically enjoy it at summer barbecues and celebrations, but forget to make it for myself at home. I love having fruit with greens and the combination of sweet and tangy. The addition of candied pecans just brings the flavor over the top. I’ve also had the salad with the addition of Mandarin oranges. When I joined the Tricuit Summer Snackoff challenge, I found out that my recipe had to include Triscuit crackers and summer greens. I decided to use strawberry spinach poppy seed salad as my inspiration with baby spinach for my summer greens.

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Root Beer Float Lollipops

Root Beer Float Lollipops

Tomorrow is National Root Beer Float Day! I wanted to make something to celebrate the day besides root beer float which don’t require a recipe. Vanessa made Jolly Rancher lollipops this summer and that gave me the great idea of making root beer float lollipops! Except it wasn’t so great after all. I did my first test run and they looked like blobs. So, I made another batch and this time I tried making a handle. Then, I sent a picture of the lollipop to a couple of my friends. The first one said she really had no idea what it was. The second friend said “Santa?” Ahhhback to the drawing board.

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Four Ingredient Nutella Pudding Cookies

Nutella Pudding Cookies

My two youngest kids have gotten into baking and cooking this summer. I have taught them how to make a few meals. They love to play what they call “The Food Game” with friends where they take turns whipping up concoctions in the kitchen and feeding them to their friends who have their eyes closed. To make it more enjoyable, they try to make the most delicious things. One of their favorite ingredients is Nutella. Although the game can make a rather big mess in my kitchen, it keeps them entertained and they are actually learning by experimenting!

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S’mores Cheesecake Recipe

No Bake Smores Cheesecake

Today is National Cheesecake Day and all of your favorite food bloggers are sharing cheesecake recipes today! When I was trying to decide what kind of cheesecake to make I decided to do a no bake cheesecake. And I had so much fun with s’mores week that I continued the fun by making a No Bake S’mores Cheesecake. This cheesecake has so many things I love. First of all, even though there is a lot of steps it is a recipe anyone can make. Then, there’s all of the chocolate. It’s creamy with a delicious graham cracker crust and the toasted marshmallows really top it all off!

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Bacon Stuffed Cinnamon Waffle Sticks

Bacon Stuffed Cinnamon Waffle Sticks are an easy to make breakfast or brunch recipe that kids will love! They can be eaten plain or dipped in Nutella, maple syrup or even peanut butter.

Bacon Stuffed Cinnamon Waffle Sticks

One of my earliest memories of getting hurt was when I touched a hot waffle iron. My mom was making waffles and I climbed up on my baby sister’s high chair to watch. I think I was about 5 years old. The waffle iron was stainless steel and had a red light on the top. While my mom was mixing up the batter and the waffle iron was heating up, I was wondering what the red light meant. I wasn’t sure if it meant that the waffle iron was still heating or if it meant that it was hot. So, I decided to touch it to find outit was hot! And it hurt my finger. Luckily it was a minor injury, but I learned an important lesson that day about not touching things to see if they are hot!

We have a waffle iron, but I always forget we have it. When my kids want waffles we usually make the frozen, toaster waffles. My kids really like the Cinnamon Waffle Pops that I made so I decided to make some cinnamon waffle sticks. But then, I came across some delicious looking Pancake Dippers by Sheryl from The Lady Behind The Curtain. I got to meet Sheryl and her husband (whom they jokingly refer to as The Guy Behind The Curtain) at the Pillsbury Test Kitchens last winter. They were both super friendly and we had fun chatting about blogging, Minnesota weather and kids! Anyway, I had to try stuffing my cinnamon waffle sticks with bacon and we love how they turned out.

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S’mores Rice Krispies Recipe

Smores Rice Krispies

As s’mores week comes to an end, I wanted to share a Rice Krispie Treats recipe. Isn’t it crazy how many different kinds of Rice Krispie bars you can make? Before you even add extra ingredients, you can make the bars more hard and crunchy or soft and gooey. Then, you can pretty much add and of your favorites ingredients or flavors. I wanted to get the flavor of campfire s’mores, so I used toasted marshmallows instead of plain ones. Rather than use graham crackers, which would probably get soggy, I used mini Tedd Grahams. And of course, a s’more isn’t complete without Hershey’s bars!

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S’mores Milkshake Recipe

Smores Milkshake Recipe

While most of you have been sweltering this summer, we’ve actually had some cooler days here in Minnesota and I am loving it! I love being able to have my windows open and to be able to exercise outside. When it gets too hot, my kids don’t even want to go play outside, unless they are swimming. And Monday was a hot one with excessive heat warnings. It was the perfect weather for ice cream. I didn’t feel like cooking, baking or even grilling so we went out to eat for dinner. Where did we end upSnuffy’s Malt Shop for cheeseburgers and malts! I noticed that they have a S’mores Malt available for a limited time. Today, as S’mores Week continues, I am sharing my own version of a S’mores Milkshake which is like a s’more in liquid form!

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S’mores Bars Recipe

Smores Bars Recipe

S’mores are one of those things that just scream summer! You know that they can be eaten any time of the year, but who makes s’mores in the middle of February, right? I guess if we weren’t buried in several feet of snow and could build a bonfire, maybe we would have s’mores in the winter. Actually, I do remember toasting marshmallows over a gas store, with my grandma in her apartment, so you really don’t need a bonfire at all. And you don’t need a bonfire to make these S’mores Bars that I am sharing with you today! They have a graham cracker cookie bar crust with chocolate and toasted marshmallows on top… and they can definitely be made year round!

I am super excited to be joining some of blogging friends for S’mores Week! We will all be sharing mouth watering s’mores desserts this week. There are links to the other recipes at the end of my post so be sure to check them out!

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The Best Ham And Cheese Croissants

Ham and Cheese Croissant

Today I wanted to share the best ham and cheese croissants! I’ve been eating these my whole life. It stared at my grandpa and grandma’s house. This was one of my grandma’s favorite things to make us and we loved it. Once time she spent hours making homemade chicken noodle soup and we wouldn’t eat it. When I say homemade, I mean that she even made the noodles. Now, as an adult, I would love it if someone made it for me, but as a kidno wayI wanted my chicken noodle soup from the classic red can. Anyway, the ham and cheese croissants were a much better option for us kids. They were flaky, warm and covered with melted cheese.

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Blueberry Melon Protein Smoothie Recipe

A blueberry melon protein smoothie is an easy breakfast recipe that is perfect for back to school. It also works as an after school snack or a quick, on-the-go meal.

Blueberry Melon Protein Smoothie

When I was a fourteen, I made my first airplane trip, without my parents to visit our relatives in Washington state. Two of my cousins from Minnesota flew with me on the “red-eye” flight. We were so nervous and excited. When we landed at the airport in Portland, Oregon, we got off of the planeand no one was there to pick us up. (This was back before 9/11 when anyone could go to the gate to wait for people or to see them off.) We didn’t know what to do. This was before cell phones and I’m not even sure we had any of my aunt’s phone numbers with us. So, we decided to just start walking away from the gate and before long we saw our aunts coming toward us. We found out that the airline had changed our gate at the last minute to the opposite side of the airport so it took them a while to walk to the new gate to pick us up.

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