Easy 10 Minute Strawberry S’mores

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser.  All opinions in this easy 10 minute strawberry s'mores recipe post are mine. #LetsMakeSmores #CollectiveBias #sponsored

Easy 10 Minute Strawberry S'mores

Some of my fondest memories are being surrounded by friends and sometimes family, around a campfire, laughing at making s'mores together.  It is always a good time when you try to brown marshmallows over a fire because it's so hard to get them well…not black!  

A few years ago, when we were house parents at a children's home, I started making oven s'mores because they are a quick, easy solution for snacktime.  They were, of course, always a huge hit!  I occassionally make them for my own kids now and they truly do enjoy them.  It is the perfect summertime snack, especially lately since it has been dreary and rainy outdoors.  We whip up these strawberry s'mores and dream of being able to go outdoors.  This recipe goes to show that you absolutely do not need a campfire to make delicious s'mores.

The other day I stocked up on s'mores supplies at Walmart, along with some fresh strawberries.  It was very convenient to find the perfect s'mores making supplies, all in one place:

Easy 10 Minute Strawberry S'moresAs the recipe title suggest, it's super simple to make these Easy 10 Minute Strawberry S'mores, which is handy when you have a lot of hungry mouths to feed!

Ingredients:

  • Kraft Jet-Puffed S'moreMallows
  • Hershey's milk chocolate bars
  • Honey Maid Graham Cracker Squares (exclusively at Walmart and so convenient for S'mores making!)
  • strawberries, sliced thin

s'mores ingredients

Directions:

1.  Place graham cracker squares on a pan.  (I use parchment paper because these can get messy.)

2.  Break apart Hershey's chocolate bar and place 2-3 rectangles on each graham crackers.  (Three rectangles are messier, but of course more delicious.)

Easy 10 Minute Strawberry S'mores

3.  Put one S'moreMallow on top of chocolate.  Then, place in the oven or toaster oven on broil.  

4.  Watch CAREFULLY because the marshmallows brown quickly.

5.  When marshmallows are browned to perfection, take them out of the oven.

6.  Place 2-3 slices of strawberries on each marshmallow.

7.  Top with another graham square, serve on a plate, and enjoy!

Easy 10 Minute Strawberry S'moresEasy 10 Minute Strawberry S'mores

These 10 Minute Strawberry S'mores are great for an after dinner dessert, too!  Perhaps you have guests who stop by at the last minute and you don't know what to prepare?  You can fix these in less than 10 minutes and make just the right amount, too.  Make them for summer BBQs, parties, and more!

Easy 10 Minute Strawberry S'mores

Now that I've shared our favorite way to make s'mores…I'd love to hear yours!  How do you like your s'mores?

The Men of Frozen Cupcakes: Kristoff and Sven

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Men of Frozen: Kristoff and SvenFrozen is very much alive and well in our house.  It's Baby Brother's absolute favorite thing to watch, the songs are still fun to sing, and whenever it is on, we all have to watch.  The Captain has reached a point where he thinks he's "too cool" for Frozen, probably because the two main characters are female, of course.  But what about the men of Frozen?  You have the evil Hans, cute little Olaf, and the manly Kristoff and his sidekick Sven the reindeer.  Frozen is very much a movie to be enjoyed by boys and girls, men and women of all ages!  These Frozen cupcakes would be a great addition to a Frozen themed birthday party or celebration.  And they are more "boyish" than the frilly pink Elsa and Anna cupcakes.  Don't get me wrong, I love Anna and Elsa and all things pink, but that doesn't really fly around here with three blue loving manly men.  And who can resist these yummy chocolate cupcakes with blue icing and "snow"?

Kristoff Cupcakes

Cupcake Recipe:

  • 2 2/3 C flour
  • 1 1/2 C cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 C sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 TBSP stick butter, softened
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 C whole milk

Cupcake Directions:

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
-Line cupcake tins with paper liners.
-Cream butter and sugar until light and creamy.
-Mix in one egg at a time.
-Mix in vanilla.
-Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cocoa in another bowl.
-Add the sifted dry ingredients to the creamed butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla.
-Mix well until are ingredients are thoroughly blended.
-Add the whole milk.
-Beat until well combined.
-Scoop the batter into the lined cupcake tins.
-Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
-Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes.

{keep scrolling for frosting recipe and directions}

Sven Cupcakes

 

Frosting Recipe:

  • 1 C unsalted butter, softened
  • 4+ C powder sugar
  • 4 TBSP heavy whipping cream
  • Sky Blue and Dark Blue gel food coloring

Frosting Directions:

-Cream the butter.
-Add the powdered sugar, continue to mix.
-If not able to cream, add the heavy whipping cream.  (Be patient, this can take several minutes.)
-If not able to form and keep a stiff peak, add more powder sugar.  Continue to mix the butter and powdered sugar.
-Once the frosting can form and keep a stiff peak, divide the frosting equally into 2 bowls.
-In the first bowl add several drops of sky blue gel food coloring.  
-Stir the food coloring and frosting until the color is thoroughly blended.
-In the second bowl add several drops of dark blue gel food coloring.
-Stir the food coloring and frosting until the color in thoroughly blended.
-Scoop the sky blue frosting into a pastry bag with a large frosting tip.
-Use the back of a large spoon  mash the sky blue frosting in the pastry bag.
-Turn the pastry bag.
-Scoop the  dark blue frosting into the pastry bag mashing it by using the back of a large spoon.
-Twist the open end of the filled pastry bag forcing the frosting out of the tip.
-Test the filled pastry bag on a paper towel to make sure the frosting is blended the way you want it.
-Frost the cupcakes.

Cupcake Decorations:

-Locate the images/pictures that you want from Google 
-Print the pictures that you want in color . (This is VERY quick and easy to do wirelessly from your phone with the HP Envy 5660.)
-Use wooden craft circles (purchased from Amazon or a craft store) to trace and cut out pictures.  Lay them on top of the printed pictures, position the wooden circles and trace around them making sure that the parts of the pictures that you want are in that circle.
-Cut out the picture.
-Using non-toxic glue, apply the picture to the wooden circle.
-Once the picture is completely dry on the wooden circle place it in the center of the frosted cupcake.

Men of Frozen: Kristoff and Sven

 

Bring Tuscany to Your Table With A Grilled Chicken Alfredo Sandwich

Compensation was provided by Bertolli® via Mode Media.  All opinions in this grilled chicken alfredo sandwich post are mine.

Bertolli

Spring is here, which means it's time for grilling!  We love grilled chicken and are always looking for ways to jazz it up a bit.  Lucky for us, we all can agree on Italian food.  We all love the robust flavor of alfredo sauce, but I have found that it can be very time consuming and difficult to get it just right.  

When I had the idea to drizzle creamy alfredo sauce on a grilled chicken sandwich, I looked no further than Bertolli®.  The jarred sauces are made with high quality ingredients and taste delicious.  I knew that the sandwich would taste exceptional, and I was right!  This meal was a huge hit in our house!

Ingredients for four sandwiches:

  • one jar of Bertolli® Alfredo Sauce
  • four small chicken breasts, or two large chicken breasts cut in half
  • olive oil for drizzling on chicken prior to grilling
  • salt, to taste
  • garlic powder, to taste
  • one loaf of Ciabatta bread
  • four thin slices of Provolone cheese

Grilled Chicken Alfredo Sandwich

Directions: 

  1. Drizzle olive oil over the chicken breasts.
  2. Sprinkle salt and garlic powder, to taste.
  3. Grill chicken breasts on high heat until the internal temperature reaches 165° F.  (approx 15 mins, flipping once midway through cooking)
  4. Warm Bertolli® Alfredo Sauce in a pan on the stove until hot.
  5. Slice Ciabatta bread in half and in four pieces, to make four sandwiches.
  6. Place hot chicken breast on the bread.
  7. Add a slice of thin Provolone cheese to each sandwich.
  8. Pour about a 1/4 cup of Bertolli® Alfredo Sauce on top of each of the chicken breasts.
  9. Close the sandwiches
  10. Add a side of sweet potato fries, sauteed bell peppers, or any other side and enjoy your meal!

Bertolli3

The perfectly toasted Ciabatta bread is the perfect bread for this sandwich.  It was a bit thick for the boys, but they did enjoy their bread on the side.  The key is the Bertolli® Alfredo Sauce.  It really pulls the sandwich together and brings it to another level!  

Bertolli4

As Bertolli celebrates its 150th anniversary, they want to help you commemorate your special moments this year.  Visit their Facebook page to see how you can win a dinner celebration and other prizes, too!

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Viva Bertolli® and join me in celebrating 150 years of delicious Italian food, friends and family. Felice Anniversario and Buono Appetito! Visit Bertolli on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter for more inspirations and ideas to bring Tuscany to your table.

Start Your Morning Right With a Refreshing Orange Mango Drink

Orange Mango DrinkMornings are sometimes rough around here.  They usually involve me walking into the kitchen, still half asleep, searching for something for my rumbling belly.  I like breakfasts that can be whipped up quickly and also…eaten quickly.  That's why I love this morning orange mango drink.  It's simple to make and has lots of vitamins, too!  And the citrusy flavor is sure to wake you up like a cup of coffee would!  (Okay, maybe not, but maybe!)

Ingredients:

  • The juice of three oranges (or about one cup of pre-packaged orange juice)
  • two ripe mangoes (or two cups of frozen, cubed mangoes – perfect for busy mornings!)

Directions:

  1. Juice three oranges or measure out 1 cup of orange juice.
  2. Cube fresh, ripe mangoes or measure out 2 cups of frozen, cubed mangoes
  3. Blend well until smooth and free of lumps in blender.
  4. Pour and enjoy. 
  5. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.

This drink is also great for little ones, too.  It's very kid friendly and if your child likes citrus fruits, then they will love this drink.  Enjoy!

Banana Mini Muffins – Make Plenty, Eat Some, and Freeze The Rest For Later!

This banana mini muffins post was brought to you by Glad®.   All opinions are mine.  #SAVEITSUNDAY #FoodFairyTale

Banana Mini MuffinsOne of the boys' all time favorite snacks is banana mini muffins.  We make them quite often and while they usually disappear quickly, sometimes I make an extra batch to keep in the freezer.  That way, we can pull out a few at a time, let them thaw or put them in the toaster oven for a few minutes for a warm, delicious treat.

Banana Mini Muffins

Ingredients:

  • one cup of sugar (or applesauce)
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 medium, mashed, very ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup kefir or milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • optional:  1 cup of chopped nuts (we don't, because we have allergies)

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350°F.  
  2. Grease bottoms of two mini muffin pans or use mini cupcake liners.
  3. In a large bowl, stir sugar and butter until mixed well.
  4. Stir in eggs.
  5. Stir in mashed bananas, kefir OR milk, and vanilla, mix until smooth.
  6. Stir in flour, baking soda, and salt until mixed well, careful not to overmix, or muffins will be tough.
  7. Bake mini muffins for 13-18 minutes.  Keep an eye on them to make sure they do not burn.  Insert a toothpick in the center of one muffin and check that it comes out clean to ensure that muffins are done.
  8. Cool 5 minutes on wire rack or plate.
  9. Refrigerate up to 10 days in GladWare® or a month in Glad® FreezerWare.

Banana Mini MuffinsOver the past few months, I have really worked on keeping my fridge organized with Glad® Food Protection.  I have talked about storing New Year's Eve snacks, keeping leftovers fresh, and even cleaning up my hubby's work fridge and wrapping cloth diapers in Glad® Press‘n Seal® to make them waterproof.  Something I have avoided, however, is my freezer.  I don't know why, but I do not like organizing my freezer.  I like having it organized, and protecting my food from freezer burn, but somehow it is just easier to open the door, throw something in, and forget about it.  But when I actually want something that I know is in the freezer, I have to dig and dig and fight with the toddler as he wants to pull everything out.  Well, I gave my freezer a Glad® FreezerWare mini makeover and I feel good about knowing that my food is safer.  I still have a way to go, but it's a start.  And yes, my pizza crust is wrapped in Glad® Press'n Seal®!  Find out more Glad® Protection Pointers on the website!

freezer makeover

 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Glad Food Protection. The opinions and text are all mine.

Chocolate Oatmeal Cookie Fruit and Nut Bars

Oatmeal Cookie Fruit and Nut Bars

We are all cookie lovers in this house.  Sometimes, I'll admit, I just make cookies to eat the yummy dough (shhh!) but this recipe is great because you can use store bought chocolate oatmeal cookie dough to make delicious, hearty, nutritious oatmeal cookie bars.  The add-ins deliver flavor and something sweet and special in your warm cookie bar.  Pair with a glass of cold milk, coffee, or iced tea, and it's a great afternoon snack!  (Easily substitute other nuts or leave them out to make this recipe allergy friendly.)

Ingredients:

Oatmeal Cookie Fruit and Nut Bars

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚.
  2. In a small bowl, soak the raisins and cranberries in 2 cups warm water for 5 minutes, drain.
  3. In another bowl, break the oatmeal cookies apart and add the oats, raisins, cranberries, pecans, coconut and chocolate chips – mix to combine.
  4. Place the mixture into an 8×8 inch pan lined with lightly greased parchment paper with a little excess paper hanging over the edges to use as handles to remove from the pan for cutting.
  5. Optiona -, place whole pecans or additional chopped pecans on top.
  6. Bake at 350˚ until deep golden brown, 30-35 minutes.
  7. Let cool before cutting into bars.  
  8. Store in airtight container unrefrigerated up to one week.  Refrigerate for up to two weeks.

 

Oatmeal Cookie Fruit and Nut BarsOatmeal Cookie Fruit and Nut Bars

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12 Delicious Date Night Dinners

This date night post has been brought to you by Foodie.  All opinions are mine.

date night

Valentine's Day is just a few days away!  While going out to a restaurant with your love is great, the good places are always so crowded on V Day.  Two years ago, we went to a popular restaurant before 5 and there was already a 2 hour wait.  And people were actually waiting!  I couldn't believe it.  Right then I decided that going out to eat was not going to happen on Valentine's Day for a long, long time.  I'd rather maximize my baby-sitting time and having someone watch my kids while I sat and waited to be able to *enter* a restaurant for TWO hours is just insane.  Maybe for dating couples who can sit and stare in each other's eyes and not have any other care int he world, but definitely not for me!  

It's nice just to stay in and enjoy a meal, just the two of us.  Sure there is cooking involved, but cooking is a labor of love for me.  I absolutely love being able to cook something that I know Hubby will enjoy!  I have collected 12 delicious date night dinners, all perfect for a romantic meal on Valentine's Day, or any date night.  

Check out Delicious Date Night Dinners

by Gena at Foodie.com

What is your favorite meal for date night?

 

Nineteen Hearty Casseroles for Cold Winter Nights

This casseroles post was brought to you by Foodie.  All opinions are mine.

winter casseroles

Check out Nineteen Hearty Casseroles for Cold Winter Nights

by Gena at Foodie.com

Casseroles are not just for church potlucks anymore!  I love casseroles because they can be a great side dish or a whole meal rolled into one.  Casseroles are also great for hiding vegetables in a delicious dish, using leftovers, or for busy week night dinners.  They usually can be prepared ahead of time and sometimes frozen for future meals.  There is no limit to what you can make a casserole out of!  I try to use real food ingredients so the casserole is not just a big dish of junk.  For instance, I try to use homemade cream of mushroom soup if the recipe calls for it, which is pretty simple to make and keep on hand.  Any of these casseroles would look elegant served in a beautiful casserole dish.

I have collected nineteen delicious, hearty casseroles that are great for serving on cold winter nights!  Pick one or pick them all and enjoy!  Add them to a Foodie recipe collection of your own and get a head start on the week's meal planning.

 

12 Festive Family Beverages – Yummy Non-Alcoholic Drinks For Christmas!

This non-alcoholic drinks post was brought to you by Foodie.  All opinions are mine.12 Festive Family Beverages

 

Check out 12 Festive Family Beverages

by Gena at Foodie.com

The holiday season is a time for delicious food and family time.  My guys all love the delicious drinks of the season, from hot chocolate to cranberry drinks.  I have made a Foodie collection of 12 tasty drinks to satisfy and intrigue all of your family members this season.  They're all non-alcoholic so even the littles can enjoy them (but it would be easy to add alcohol if that's your wish!)  I have collected these recipes because they're all a bit different, but yet festive and traditional.  Some are served warm, some cold, but all are full of the flavors of the season.  Enjoy!

Save Money by Making Mini Layered Chocolates for Christmas Gifts!

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

Mini Layered Chocolates #TasteTheSeason #CollectiveBias #ad

Every Christmas, I like to give homemade gifts to neighbors, teachers, and friends.  I do not like to give the traditional gifts like fruit cake and dipped pretzels, although they are delicious.  I just don't want to risk giving something that they have already received.  I personally love bite sized mini foods, so I thought about making these yummy mini layered chocolates for gifts this year.  I really had a blast making them, as you can individualize each piece and make them all different.  Plus, it is a great way to save money when you need to buy gifts for a lot of people and homemade gifts are always enjoyed!

I was able to pick up all the ingredients that I needed at Walmart on a quick shopping trip.  Everything that I needed was in the baking aisle or on the special holiday endcap.

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The ingredients I needed for the chocolate candy were Baker's semi-sweet and German's baking chocolate, Baker's angel flake sweetened coconut, Kraft caramel bits, pretzel sticks, sugar, and I already had the silicon baking mold with the gingerbread men at home.
#TasteTheSeason #CollectiveBias

I wanted to make the coconut more of a "butter" so I put it in the food processor for about five minutes until it had a smoother consistency.  

#TasteTheSeason #CollectiveBias

Then, I followed the directions on the Baker's baking chocolate for melting it in the microwave.  I melted 1 1/2 bars (not squares, but entire bars) of semi-sweet baking chocolate and stirred, then added 1/3 cup of the coconut that I had pureed in the food processor, along with 1/4 cup of sugar and mixed well.  This mix was brownie-ish and oh so yummy!  I spooned about 1/2 – 1 tsp of the mix in each mold and pressed it down.  To harden it a bit, I popped it in the fridge for about 20 minutes.

Mini Layered Chocolates

After that, I melted some Baker's German's sweet chocolate bar and also the caramel bits and just played around with making different layers in the gingerbread boy molds.  I even made some that were just sweet chocolate and caramel, which were definitely the smoothest mini layered chocolates and the Captain's favorites.

#TasteTheSeason #CollectiveBias

I love the variety of the little gingerbread men layered chocolates.  The Captain has a tree nut allergy, or else I would have put some nuts in there, too.  I did make a few with pretzel sticks and those were my absolute favorites.

It was very simple to pop about 5-6 mini layered chocolates in a small Mason jar for a gift!

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Ingredients and Supplies needed:

  • Baker's semi-sweet baking chocolate, 2 bars
  • Baker's German's sweet baking chocolate, 1 bar
  • Baker's angel flake sweetened coconut
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • pretzels, nuts, cranberries, and any other add-ins you would like! (optional)
  • silicone molds of choice
  • small mason jars and/or treat boxes for packaging gifts

Directions:

  1. Pour a half of a bag of Baker's angel flake sweetened coconut into the food processor and run for 5-10 minutes, stopping and stirring every minute or so, until a smoother texture is achieved.
  2. Melt 1 1/2 whole bars of Baker's semi-sweet chocolate in a microwave safe bowl according to package directions.  (Check and stir every 30 seconds until melted.)
  3. Mix coconut "butter" and melted chocolate in a bowl, along with 1/4 cup of sugar until well combined.
  4. When cooled, press 1/2 – 1 tsp of mixture into bottom of silicon molds.
  5. Place molds in refrigerator for about 20 minutes to harden and set. 
  6. Then, add in a layer of crushed pretzels, nuts, cranberries, etc to various molds for variety.
  7. Melt Baker's German's chocolate bar in the microwave, checking and stirring every 30 seconds.
  8. Pour chocolate into various molds.
  9. Melt Kraft caramel bits (watch closely!) and pour in various molds, as well.
  10. If you want to make a layer of German's sweet chocolate on top of the caramel, make sure to refrigerate for 10-20 minutes to firm up before adding in the last layer.
  11. When all molds are filled, refrigerate for an additional 30 minutes and then pop them out and into your mason jars or treat boxes.
  12. Deliver to your recipients and watch their smiles erupt!

Note:  You probably need to advice your recipients to keep the chocolates cool so they won't melt.  You shouldn't need to keep them in the fridge, but that may not be a bad idea.  Also, make sure to note any allergies (dairy, coconut, nuts, etc).

 

Mini Layered Chocolates #ad #TasteTheSeason #CollectiveBias

What is your go to holiday treat that you enjoy making for gifts?  

If you need more inspiration, visit the Cooking Up Good website. It has recipes, sweepstakes, loyalty programs, coupons and more! What's not to love? If you're looking for a new dinner idea or a chance to win some awesome prizes, be sure to check it out!

Mini layered chocolates