Candy Filled Maracas

Cookie maracas are perfect for holidays and parties! These candy filled maracas and fun to shake and eat.

Candy Filled Maracas

Who doesn’t love having fun with food? I was recently asked by eHow to make some edible maracas. After doing a lot of brainstorming and asking friends for ideas, I decided to make the maracas using fruity rice cereal. They turned out great and yes, you can actually shake them and the mini M&M’s will rattle inside! Since I tested the recipe a couple of times, my kids got to sample the maracas. Vanessa brought a couple to school and her counselor saw them and wanted to make them. She asked Vanessa how to make them, but of course she didn’t know how I did it. So, here is a link to the recipe for Vanessa’s counselor and for everyone else who wants to make these fun Candy Filled Maracas:

Cookie Maracas Recipe to Shake Up Cinco de Mayo

One Pot Pasta: Triple Meat Pizza Casserole

This one pot pasta recipe is for Meat Lovers Pizza Casserole. The easy dinner recipe can be made in under 30 minutes! Disclosure: This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of GE Appliances. The opinions and text are all mine.

With two working parents and three kids in school, things are busy! Throw in a couple holidays, birthdays, weddings and graduation and you’ve got craziness. One of the things that brings our family together is weeknight meals. We aren’t all together for dinner every night, but we try to eat together as often as we can. This Pizza Casserole recipe is perfect for busy weeknights because it takes less than 30 minutes to make and only uses one pan!

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Barbecue Pot Roast Recipe + A Farberware Giveaway

This Barbecue Pot Roast recipe is a delicious twist on the traditional pot roast and is perfect for spring and summer! Disclosure: Farberware Cookware is the sponsor of this post and all opinions are 100% my own. You can enter to win your own Farbeware New Traditions Cookware set below!

Barbecue Pot Roast

I love making pot roast for my family and I typically make it in the slow cooker like I did for these French dip sandwiches. Recently, I was visiting with one of my friends and she said that when she makes a pot roast for her family, it doesn’t taste like the pot roasts that her mom used to make. She found out that her mom used to make pot roast by searing the meat on the stove and then cooking the roast in the oven. So, when I received a gorgeous Farberware New Traditions Scalloped Cookware set to try out, I decided to try my friend’s mom’s method. I wanted to give my traditional pot roast dinner a flavor that would be perfect for spring or even summer, so I made it a Barbecue Pot Roast and served it with roasted asparagus and rosemary garlic potatoes.
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30 Amazing Easter Treats

30 Easter Treats

Easter has finally arrived! The kids are on break and the snow meltedagain (fingers crossed that we don’t get more snow). We’ve got a busy weekend ahead of us with church, family dinners and even a bridal shower. But I wanted to leave you with some Easter dessert inspiration. Here are 30 fabulous Easter treats that you can look through and find the perfect one to make for your family this year!

Happy Easter!
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Spicy Deviled Eggs for Easter

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

Deviled Eggs

With Easter just around the corner, everyone is making eggs. We’ve already gone through a couple dozen eggs and will be making more this week. My kids have brainstormed several ideas for decorating the eggs and are looking forward to it. So, what do you do with all of those eggs? We added MIRACLE WHIP Dressing and made some Spicy Deviled Eggs. We shared the eggs with my nieces and nephews and they loved themeven the 2 year old!

I am also excited to tell you that I am a MIRACLE WHIP Ambassador and #ProudOfIt! I grew up with MIRACLE WHIP on sandwiches and salads. It provides a unique, one-of-a-kind creamy blend of sweet and tangy. I will be posting several MIRACLE WHIP recipes during 2014, so be sure to watch for them!

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Brunch Recipes: Fruit Salsa Crepes

Spring is the perfect time for brunch recipes like these delicious fruit salsa crepes. They are light, airy crepes filled with fruit salsa and topped with whipped cream and salted caramel.

Fruit Salsa Crepes RecipeWe had the most beautiful, spring weather last week! We spent our evenings going for walks and meeting friends at the park. When we get warmer weather after a long, cold winter, everyone takes advantage of it. Spring is also the ideal time for a casual brunch with family and friends. I made some Fruit Salsa Crepes, inspired by the colorful flavors of the season, that we all agree were fabulous.

The combination of flavors and textures from the light, airy crepes to the sweet, cinnamon fruit salsa was perfect. The fruit salsa is made with Musselman’s Apple Butter. We loved the fruit salsa in these crepes, but it can be eaten alone, as a fruit salad or enjoyed with homemade cinnamon chips.
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Easy Pepperoni Calzone Recipe

We made Easy Pepperoni Calzones for dinner using frozen bread dough. This kid friendly meal is sure to please your entire family!

Easy Pepperoni CalzonesWhen I don’t know what to make for dinner, I turn to my kids for ideas. They each suggest a couple of meals they would like me to make and I add the ingredients to the shopping list. Last week, Zack suggested that we try to make calzones. He has eaten them at restaurants and although we’ve made pizza balls, grilled pizza, pizza sticks and even stromboli, we’ve never made calzones. We were very happy with how our Easy Pepperoni Calzones turned out and I can’t wait to try making them on the grill this summer!
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Mini Meatball Sliders

Mini Meatball Sliders on garlic breadsticks with spaghetti sauce and melted cheese are perfect for parties!

Meatball Sliders RecipeToday we are going for a high of 74 degrees, which is a temperature that we haven’t seen in Minnesota since October 11, 2013! What a winter it has been… that is 6 months of below 74 degree weather. With the warmer weather comes thoughts of summer entertaining. It is so much easier to have people over when the weather is nice. The kids can play outside and the windows can be open letting in the fresh air. I recently tried making a mini version of one of our favorite meals: meatball subs. These mini meatball sliders are the perfect sized finger food for parties!
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Cadbury Mini Eggs Layer Cake

Make a beautiful layer cake for spring and decorate it with Cadbury Mini Eggs.

Cadbury Mini Eggs Layer CakeWhat is it about Easter candy? I think it might be my favorite holiday candy. I love all of the chocolates and bright spring colors from the Cadbury eggs to the jelly beans. But who am I kidding? I love candy from all of the holidays and when there isn’t a holiday, I love the regular candy. So, it is only logical that I should make a Cadbury Mini Eggs Layer Cake!
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Lil’ Chick Cookie Cups

These adorable Lil’ Chick Cookie Cups are a fun spring dessert. They could be used for a kid’s farm or barnyard party!

Easter Chick Cookie CupDon’t these Lil’ Chick Cookie Cups make you think of spring? It’s kind of hard to get spring off the mind! We had a beautiful weekend with warm weather. We went with some friends to walk around Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis. It was funny to see people dressed for every kind of weather. Some people had on winter boots and other were walking through the slushy snow in flip flops!
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Macaroni and Cheese Pot Pie

This macaroni and cheese recipe is for ramekins filled with macaroni and cheese, topped with a garlic butter crescent roll making a Macaroni and Cheese Pot Pie!

Mac n Cheese Pot Pie RecipeOh, mac n’ cheese, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee when homemade and oozing with cheesy goodness or even when made from a box. I love thee on Macaroni and Cheese Pizza, in Mac and Cheese Balls and now I love thee in Macaroni and Cheese Pot Pie.
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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Scotcharoos

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Scotcharoos are an amazing cookie dough bar with layers of cake mix cookies and scotcharoos with eggless cookie dough in the middle!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Scotcharoos

I wasn’t sure what to make for my second cookie dough recipe. I did some brainstorming and then looked online and found that all of the great ideas I came up with have already been made. That is totally fine and I could’ve come up with my own version, but instead I did some more thinking. I decided that I wanted to combine chocolate chip cookie dough with another one of my favorite bars: scotcharoos. Scotcharoos are one of those easy to make recipes that are so good. I love the combination of chocolate, butterscotch and peanut butter. But still needed a third or layer for the bars and it had to be something thin but more sturdy. I settled on a cake mix cookie crust. The combination of all three layers of these Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Scotcharoos is delicious!
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Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Stuffed Nutter Butters

This easy no-bake recipe for Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Stuffed Nutter Butters is made with eggless cookie dough.

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Nutter Butters Recipe

What’s not to love about cookie dough? I’m not talking about cookie dough that is used for baking! I mean the cookie dough that is for eating. Growing up, we always wanted the cookie dough when my mom was baking. I remember the first time I realized that eggless cookie dough could be made specifically for eating. I was about 12 and my aunt and uncle had some college girls living with them while they were going to school. The girls made cookie dough and stored it in my aunt and uncle’s fridge to snack on. I was so impressed and I couldn’t wait until I was that age so I could do the same thing. Well, that day has arrived (although I am above college age) and I love cookie dough and so does my family. Most recently, I made Oatmeal M&M’s Cookie Dough balls that were stored in the freezer for my family to snack on.
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Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake Frappe Recipe + $350 Dunkin’ Donuts Giveaway


This delicious iced coffee recipe for Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake Frappe has a streusel topping, homemade caramel coffee creamer and Dunkin’ Donuts Cinnamon Coffee Cake coffee.

Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake FrappeCoffee is one of life’s little pleasures. It is something that makes me! I like my coffee plain or flavored, hot or cold, with half-n-half or with cream. I enjoy a cup alone in the morning, at coffee shops on the go and while sitting on the front porch chatting with my besties. Love coffee as much as I do? I’m excited to tell you about the Dunkin’ Donuts Bakery Series coffee that I used to make my Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake Frappe and to share the giveaway I am hosting for a “Bakery Flavor Dunked In” kit, plus a Mr. Coffee Pot (ARV: $350)
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Funfetti Cake Batter Puffcorn

Looking for party food ideas? This easy recipe combines funfetti cake batter and puffcorn to make a treat that would be fun to serve!

Funfetti Cake Batter Puffcorn

What is it about sprinkles that make people happy? Maybe it is the memory of childhood parties and sweet treats. Or maybe the mix of bright, cheerful colors is enough to bring on the smiles. Whatever the reason, sprinkles are just plain fun. So, I combined puffcorn and funfetti cake mix to make this treat using the same idea as making puppy chow or muddy buddies. [Read more...]

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Pie Recipe

A Chocolate Covered Stawberry Pie is the perfect way to celebrate Pi Day! This recipe includes strawberry silk, chocolate ganache and chocolate covered strawberries.

Chocolate Covered Strawberry PieToday, March 14 or (3/14), is Pi Day! Pi as in π  or 3.14. Zack has been learning how to find the area of a circle this week. His assignment last night was to memorize as many digits of Pi as he could. The student who memorizes the most digits will win a prize. When he went to bed last night he was up to 28 digits, which are: 3.141592653589793238462643383! Impressive!

To celebrate Pi Day, rather than memorize digits, I made a Chocolate Covered Strawberry Piewhich is also impressive! It has 2 forms of chocolate covered strawberries. The first is that the bottom layer is strawberry silk covered with chocolate ganache. The pie could be left like that and it would be delicious but I added another layer. The  pie is topped with chocolate covered strawberries!

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Flower Pot Cookies

These Flower Pot Cookies are perfect for spring! The bright colors pop and the easy recipe makes them a fun party idea.

Flower Pot CookiesWe finallyFINALLYhave had some nicer weather here in Minnesota and although the snowbanks are still epic, it feels like there is an end in sight! I’ve gone for a couple of walks outside and lots of Minnesotans are walking around without coats. The first day of spring is next week, on March 20 and today is plant a flower day. To celebrate all of these wonderful things, I made some adorable Flower Pot Cookies.
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Peanut Butter Cup Eclair Cake

Peanut Butter Cup Eclair Cake is an easy dessert recipe with a pastry crust topped with creamy peanut butter pudding, whipped cream and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups!

Peanut Butter Cup Eclair CakeOne of my friends makes a delicious dessert called Moon Bars and it is like an eclair in a pan form. Last Saturday was Peanut Butter Lover’s Day, so I decided to make a peanut butter version of my friend’s moon bar. The recipe starts with an eclair crust. It is made the same way the dough for cream puffs is made. When I was in elementary school, my older brother and I used to ask my mom to make cream puffs for us. We loved them so much that she has a little note in the margin of her cookbook about how it was one of our favorite desserts. Sometimes she would fill them with chocolate cream and other times with vanilla. This Peanut Butter Cup Eclair Cake reminds me of the cream puffs from my childhood.
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Chicken and Ham Wild Rice Soup

This Chicken Wild Rice Soup recipe contains ham for added flavor. It is perfect for cold winter days!

Chicken and Ham Wild Rice SoupIt’s still cold here in Minnesota. So cold that we paid to go ice skating indoors this weekend, rather than using one of the free outdoor rinks. Everyone is sick of the cold weather and the snowbanks that are so high you can’t see over them in some places. What do you do when it is so cold out (besides rack up a huge heating bill)? You make comfort food like warm soup for dinner.

Wild rice is very prevalent here in Minnesota. We have wild rice soup, wild rice salad and eat wild rice, often mixed with white rice, as a side dish. For much of my life, I never even gave wild rice a thought and just figured that everyone else ate wild rice like we did. Then, one time when I had out of state company and served them wild rice soup, they made a comment about all of the wild rice in Minnesota and how we must really like it. It made me realize that not everyone else has it as much as we do. I found out that wild rice is the Minnesota state grain. It is native to North America and grows predominantly in the Great Lakes region. For many years, nearly all the wild rice produced in the world came from Minnesota, and most still does.
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Toffee Scones Recipe

This Toffee Scones recipe is the perfect thing to enjoy with a cup of steaming coffee. The sweet, crunchy toffee is delicious in the soft scones.

Toffee SconesI’ve always had a thing for toffee. Growing up, Skor bars were one of my favorite candy bars. My mom used to make Almond Rocca (something I’ve got to try making one of these days) and I loved it. You know how women get cravings when they are pregnant? Well, I remember craving Skor bars during one of my pregnancies. One day, we stopped to get gas and when Brian ran into pay (this was back in the “old days” when pay-at-the-pump wasn’t always available) he asked me if I wanted anything. I asked for a Skor bar and he came out with a Heath bar since the gas station didn’t sell Skor bars. And if you know anything about the cravings of a pregnant woman, you will understand why that didn’t work for me. So, my wonderful husband found me a Skor bar from another gas station. I can’t remember if it was that same day or soon afterward, but I know the whole ordeal was a little mind-boggling for him. I’m not sure what the difference is between Skor bars and Heath bars. They are both owned by Hershey’s and they are both toffee covered with chocolate. Do you prefer one over the other?
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