Graduation Oreo Truffles

Time for this mommy to grab the Kleenex. My baby is graduating Kindergarten! I know that when my oldest graduates high school, I will need an entire box. Time is just flying by much too fast. Of course, I say that all the time (but it’s true!). I was also emotional last year when my baby graduated preschool but I think it has a lot to do with the fact that he is the baby and this will be the last of the “firsts”, if that makes sense. Thankfully/joyfully, I have a niece coming into the world in a few months and I just can’t wait *insert big cheesy grin*.

Not only is my son graduating Kindergarten, but my middle child is ‘graduating’ to middle school. So, in honor of their accomplishments, I wanted a special dessert. Because I like to celebrate every special occasion with dessert. (Which is why I have to spend a lot of time at the gym.)

Last year I made these Brownie Graduation Hats

I was planning on making them again, but I got attacked by the Oreo bug. You know the one…the one that attacks your brain with constant ‘EAT OREOS, YOU WANT OREOS’…and the only cure is to eat the damn Oreos. It’s a nasty little bug.

So…I decided to make Oreo Truffles, with the same concept of the brownie graduation hats, with the chocolate covered graham cookies as the top of the ‘hat’. I decided to use melted white chocolate for the tassels.

(This nifty chocolate filled squeeze bottle made it SO easy!)
You can also personalize them with names, year, etc.

I thought they turned out pretty delicious. I mean cute. You can serve them on a stick, like cake pops…great for little hands –

Or you can serve them on a platter –

If you can find candy in the graduate’s school colors, it makes a cute presentation I think. You could also place them on top of cupcakes!

¬†The best part, these are very easy to make. The truffle itself is only 2 ingredients, and I throw everything into a food processor and blend it up, then dip in chocolate. Now that I’ve discovered Chocoley Chocolate, it’s so much easier to make chocolate covered treats, making things like this much more fun for the kids and I.

Graduation Oreo Truffles

1 package Oreos (I used regular, but could use different flavors to change it up)
4 oz. (1/2 package) cream cheese

8 oz chocolate, melted (I used Chocoley Milk Chocolate)
1/2 package of chocolate covered graham cookies
white chocolate for decorating (optional) I used Chocoley Drizzle and Design White Chocolate

Add package of Oreos to bowl of food processor. Pulse a few times to chop into pieces.
Add cream cheese to processor. Blend Oreos and cream cheese until well blended.
Mixture will be thick (like a cookie dough).
Roll into 1 to 1 1/2 inch balls and place on waxed paper lined cookie sheet.
Chill in freezer while preparing chocolate.
Melt chocolate per directions (microwave or double broiler method).
Dip chilled oreo truffles into melted chocolate. Place on wax paper. Top with chocolate covered graham cookie. Allow chocolate to set.
Decorate tops with white chocolate drizzle or as desired.

Having these little gems will make Kindergarten graduation a little easier ūüôā

Chocoley Chocolate sent me samples to try. No other compensation was received. All opinions are my own. 

I may be linking up at any of the following – (Monday)¬†The Tumbleweed Contessa,¬†The Dedicated House,¬†Skip to my Lou,¬†Making the World Cuter,¬†I Should Be Mopping the Floor,¬†This Gal Cooks,¬†Huckleberry Love¬†(Tuesday)¬†Tickle My Tastebuds Tuesday,¬†Sowdering About in Seattle,¬†Naptime Creations,¬†Mandy’s Recipe Box,¬†Love in the Kitchen,¬†Memories By the Mile,Inside BruCrew Life,¬†VMG206,¬†Anyonita Nibbles,Tasty Tuesdays¬†(Wednesday)¬†The Newlyweds Pilgrimage,¬†Fluster Buster,¬†Mostly Homemade Mom,¬†Adorned from Above,¬†Lady Behind the Curtain,Ginger Snap Crafts,¬†Naptime is My Time,¬†Tessa the Domestic Diva¬†(Thursday)¬†Project Inspire,Joyful Homemaking,¬†Designed Decor,¬†Miz Helen’s Country Cottage,¬†Lamberts Lately¬†(Friday)¬†Foodtastic Fridays,¬†Simple Living and Eating,¬†Just Us Four,¬†Bacon Time with the Hungry Hungry Hypo,¬†Diana Rambles,¬†The Better Baker,Craftionary,¬†The Best Blog Recipes,Close to Home,¬†30 Handmade Days,¬†A Peek Into My Paradise,The Jenny Evolution¬†,¬†Walking on Sunshine,¬†Vintage Chic¬†(Saturday)¬†Six Sisters’ Stuff,¬†Made from Pinterest

Pimento Cheese “Caviar of the South”

First, let me clear up a dilemma…the pimento vs pimiento dilemma. Why different spellings? Is it like doughnuts vs donuts?! These are question I ponder. Well, worry no more. You can spell it either way, it means the same thing, the variation in spelling has to do with the country of origin (and, you know, if you really want to know more…Google is your friend). Pimento/pimiento is a cherry pepper that can be mild or spicy depending on the variety. The ones I buy in the jar from the grocery store are pretty mild.

If you are from the South, you probably are very familiar with pimento cheese. It’s kind of a Southern staple found at picnics, potlucks, baby showers…you name it. Little pimento cheese sandwiches on white bread cut into little triangles or shapes…a tradition ūüôā They are also delicious. However, my favorite way to eat pimiento cheese?

On crackers, topped with pickled jalapenos! Yummm! It’s also good, as I’ve mentioned before, on top of a burger…

Or, you can make a grilled cheese with it. Now, there are a couple of different ways to make pimiento/pimento cheese. The easiest method…

Pimiento Cheese

  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (or you can mix sharp and mild)
  • 1 jar of pimientos (I use the large jar, but if you are not a huge fan, you may want to use the small jar)
  • light mayo – enough to bind it all together. I never measure this, and the quantity will vary based on which jar of pimientos you use, if you use the juice of the pimientos (I do) and personal preference.

Add cheese to a medium size mixing bowl. Dump in the entire jar of pimientos (juice and all). Mix well. Add enough mayo to bind it all together. Add salt and pepper to taste. I like lots of pepper!

This is how I have made mine for years…until recently. I recently made Bobby’s version. If you are thinking Bobby who? Well, Bobby DEEN of course! Paula’s beloved son. Regardless of your feelings towards Paula and her ‘I said a bad word 20 years ago that used to be socially acceptable, however ugly it is, and now it’s not for a certain segment of the population but okay for others’¬†drama; the woman can cook. Albeit not the healthiest of meals, but she has a lot of recipes that are pretty awesome. Her son Bobby has come along and often times will ‘healthify’ some of his mama’s recipes, or make his own. Anyway, this is my version of¬†Bobby’s Pimento Cheese which I originally found through Madison and Mayberry.

Bobby’s Pimento Cheese

6-ounces cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups grated sharp cheddar
2 cups grated Monterey Jack
1/4 cup light mayonnaise (or too taste)
1 large jar pimentos, undrained
Salt, Cracked black pepper, Onion Powder – too taste

  • Mix cream cheese with a mixer until smooth and creamy.
  • Stir in both cheeses, and entire jar of pimentos (juice and all).
  • Mix well (I do this by hand, but you can use a mixer if you want a smoother/creamier spread).
  • Stir in enough mayo to reach desired consistency – you may want a little more or less than I use. Cheese mixture will thicken up a little the next day.
  • Add a little salt, plenty of pepper and a little onion powder to reach desired taste.
Serve with crackers, veggie sticks or as a sandwich filling.
 Are you a pimento cheese fan?
Mini Van Dreams

I may be linking up at any of the following – (Monday)¬†The Tumbleweed Contessa,¬†The Dedicated House,¬†Skip to my Lou,¬†Making the World Cuter,¬†I Should Be Mopping the Floor,¬†This Gal Cooks,¬†Huckleberry Love¬†(Tuesday)¬†Tickle My Tastebuds Tuesday,¬†Sowdering About in Seattle,¬†Naptime Creations,¬†Mandy’s Recipe Box,¬†Love in the Kitchen,¬†Memories By the Mile,Inside BruCrew Life,¬†VMG206,¬†Anyonita Nibbles,Tasty Tuesdays¬†(Wednesday)¬†The Newlyweds Pilgrimage,¬†Fluster Buster,¬†Mostly Homemade Mom,¬†Adorned from Above,¬†Lady Behind the Curtain,Ginger Snap Crafts,¬†Naptime is My Time,¬†Tessa the Domestic Diva¬†(Thursday)¬†Project Inspire,Joyful Homemaking,¬†Designed Decor,¬†Miz Helen’s Country Cottage,¬†Lamberts Lately¬†(Friday)¬†Foodtastic Fridays,¬†Simple Living and Eating,¬†Just Us Four,¬†Bacon Time with the Hungry Hungry Hypo,¬†Diana Rambles,¬†The Better Baker,Craftionary,¬†The Best Blog Recipes,Close to Home,¬†30 Handmade Days,¬†A Peek Into My Paradise,The Jenny Evolution¬†,¬†Walking on Sunshine,¬†Vintage Chic¬†(Saturday)¬†Six Sisters’ Stuff,¬†Made from Pinterest

Copycat Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs {Recipe Repeat}

Even though Easter is coming later this year, it is still coming too fast for me! I think the weather is partly to blame for my lack of Easter prep…it hasn’t felt like Spring! But with the Easter Bunny arriving this weekend, I better get myself in gear. One thing that is a ‘must have’ around here, as far as Easter candy goes, are peanut butter eggs. Chocolate covered, peanut butter filled, shaped like eggs….yes, please.

Lucky for us, (lucky being a relative term here), I discovered how to easily whip these up at home with just a few ingredients, and no BUTTER. Don’t get me wrong, butter is awesome. However, I don’t want to eat it when it’s not necessary…you know, the whole ‘moment on the lips, lifetime on the hips’ thing. I’m not saying these peanut butter eggs are healthy, but there are no weird ingredients, no added butter, and they taste awesome.
 
The filling is only 3 ingredients and then it’s dipped in chocolate. In my experience, regular peanut butter works better than natural peanut butter, but natural peanut butter can be used if you chill the dough well (the filling get’s soft and hard to dip otherwise.) I also recommend doubling the posted recipe, because they are that good! HERE is the link to the original post. Enjoy!

Super Bowl Round-Up

If some of you are like me and just now digging out from the snow, you may be heading to the grocery store to stock up on supplies for the game¬†tomorrow. I may not know who’s playing, but I have my Super Bowl menu pretty much figured out – priorities.

(Pictured, left to right)
and if you like any of those, you may also like:
Chicken BBQ in the Crockpot
-OR-
“Cheater” Chili (super quick and easy, 3 ingredients!)
and just a suggestion, but the best chips ever (IMO)
Let’s not forget the dessert!
Chicago Mix (for the sweet and salty lover – just sub out the candy corn for your favorite candy!)
Looking for something simple and low fat? The 2-Ingredient Angel Food Cake is the ticket.
Or, need something low carb?
These Cinnamon Crunchies will satisfy the low-carber’s sweet tooth!
You can also turn almost anything you have on hand into a delicious flatbread or pizza…just stock up on some Stonefire Flatbreads. They are delicious!
{Disclosure} I was sent samples to try, and there will definitely be more of these in my future. Expect some recipe posts soon!
You can also keep things neat and tidy by having Stonefire Pita Bread ready for filling at your Super Bowl gathering. That way, when people jump up and down, the contents won’t go flying everywhere ūüôā Yep, always thinking over here. ha!
Have a great weekend!

Creamy Sausage Dip {with skinny option}

Sausage is like crack. It rivals the beloved bacon. They each have their own special place in my meat-loving, nitrate infused world. In other words, I love sausage. I don’t eat it often, because let’s face it, it’s not a health food…BUT, let’s make an exception for this dip. It’s a great appie¬†and should make any sausage loving person very happy. Oh, and it has cream cheese in it. And we know cream cheese makes errything¬†a little mo’betta.

This dip goes by many names: sausage dip, cream cheese sausage dip, Rotel Sausage Dip, etc. Since I was out of Rotel when I made this, I’m just calling it Creamy Sausage Dip! I used salsa in the place of the Rotel, and it wasn’t as spicy as I like, but still delicious. I’ve been making this for years, and originally got the recipe from my cousin. There are variations all over the net, but this is my verison.

Creamy Sausage Dip

1 lb. sausage, cooked and crumbled (and drained if needed) *hot or mild
1 can Rotel Tomatoes or 1 1/2 cups salsa, drained
2 (8 oz.) packages of cream cheese (1 also works, will just be thicker, as pictured)
Mix cooked sausage and cream cheese in a pot over medium heat. Stir often until cream cheese has mostly melted. Add Rotel or salsa. Stir to combine and continue to heat until cream cheese is completely melted and mixture is warm throughout. Dip can be placed (or prepared) in a crock pot to keep warm while being served.
Serve with chips, crackers, pita crisps, etc.
Want your Creamy Sausage Dip to be a little more waistline friendly?

Skinny Creamy Sausage Dip

1 lb. turkey sausage, cooked and crumbled (buy it or make it)
1 can Rotel Tomatoes or 1 1/2 cups salsa, drained
1 or 2 (8 oz) package(s) fat free cream cheese
Prepare as above.
Serve with homemade tortilla chips, or store bought baked tortilla chips. It’s still not a health food, but a little more figure friendly! ‘Cuz everyone wants to eat party food…dieting or not!
I may be linking up at any of the following –¬†(Monday)¬†The Tumbleweed Contessa,¬†The Dedicated House,¬†Skip to my Lou,¬†Making the World Cuter,¬†I Should Be Mopping the Floor,¬†This Gal Cooks,¬†Huckleberry Love¬†(Tuesday)¬†Designed Decor,¬†Sowdering About in Seattle¬†¬†Naptime Creations,¬†Mandy’s Recipe Box,¬†Love in the Kitchen,¬†Memories By the Mile,Inside BruCrew Life,¬†VMG206,¬†Anyonita Nibbles¬†(Wednesday)¬†The Newlyweds Pilgrimage,¬†Fluster Buster,¬†Mostly Homemade Mom,¬†Adorned from Above,¬†Lady Behind the Curtain,¬†Ginger Snap Crafts,¬†Naptime is My Time,¬†Tessa the Domestic Diva¬†¬†(Thursday)¬†Project Inspire¬†,Joyful Homemaking,¬†Miz Helen’s Country Cottage,¬†The Mandatory Mooch, ¬†¬†Lamberts Lately,¬†Craftionary¬†(Friday)¬†Not Your Ordinary Recipes, ¬†Simple Living and Eating,¬†Just Us Four,¬†Bacon Time with the Hungry Hungry Hypo,¬†Diana Rambles,¬†The Better Baker,¬†The Best Blog Recipes,¬†One Creative Mommy,¬†Michelle’s Tasty Creations,¬†Close to Home,¬†30 Handmade Days,¬†A Peek Into My Paradise,The Jenny Evolution¬†,¬†Walking on Sunshine,¬†Vintage Chic¬†(Saturday)¬†¬†Or So She Says…,¬†Six Sisters’ Stuff,¬†It’s Overflowing,¬†Made from Pinterest

Reese’s Peanut Butter ‘Better than Football’ Cake

Okay, it’s not really called ‘Better than Football’ Cake. It’s really called Better than S-e-x Cake. Why? I’m not sure. Is it good? Oh yeah. Is it better than you-know-what? We won’t go there.

There is lots of talk about football food right now in preparation for the “big game”. However, as yummy as Buffalo Chicken Dip is….you gotta have dessert. Let me repeat – You GOTTA have dessert!¬†And this one is a winner.
If you are a fan of peanut butter and chocolate, then you should love this cake. My daughter chose this as her birthday cake this year. We knew it would be hard to top last year’s Kit Kat cake, but she really wanted to give it a shot! (Which, by the way, the Kit Kat cake would be a fun treat for the Super Bowl as well…especially made with team colors.)

Reese’s Peanut Butter Better Than Sex Cake

  • Prepared chocolate cake (baked in a 9×13 pan)
  • 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk (regular, low fat or fat free)
  • 1 jar hot fudge sauce (11-14 oz, depending on brand used)
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter + 3 Tablespoons (divided)
  • 1 container of TruWhip or 8 oz Cool Whip
  • 8 oz bag Reese’s Minis, chopped
  • 10 oz bag Reese’s Pieces Candy

*After preparing your favorite chocolate cake, cool completely.

*Once cool, poke holes evenly over the cake. The end of a wooden spoon is good for this. I space mine about 2 inches apart.
*Pour the can of sweetened condensed milk evenly over top of the cake.
*Mix the hot fudge sauce and 1/4 cup peanut butter in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir until well blended then evenly spread over the cake.
*Mix together the remaining 3 Tablespoons of peanut butter with the TruWhip/Cool Whip. This can be done with a mixer or by hand. Spread over the hot fudge sauce.
*Chill cake for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
*When ready to serve, cover¬†with the chopped Reese’s Mini Peanut Butter Cups and the Reese’s Pieces.

Recipe Source: Something Swanky
Enjoy! Because it’s fabulous. I was going to say something cheesy like it’s orgasmic. You know, since it’s BTS cake and all. But that would just be silly. Only fresh baked chocolate chip cookies can do that. lol
I may be linking up at any of the following –¬†(Monday)¬†The Tumbleweed Contessa,¬†The Dedicated House,¬†Skip to my Lou,¬†Making the World Cuter,¬†I Should Be Mopping the Floor,¬†This Gal Cooks,¬†Huckleberry Love¬†(Tuesday)¬†Designed Decor,¬†Sowdering About in Seattle¬†¬†Naptime Creations,¬†Mandy’s Recipe Box,¬†Love in the Kitchen,¬†Memories By the Mile,Inside BruCrew Life,¬†VMG206,¬†Anyonita Nibbles¬†(Wednesday)¬†The Newlyweds Pilgrimage,¬†Fluster Buster,¬†Mostly Homemade Mom,¬†Adorned from Above,¬†Lady Behind the Curtain,¬†Ginger Snap Crafts,¬†Naptime is My Time,¬†Tessa the Domestic Diva¬†¬†(Thursday)¬†Project Inspire¬†,Joyful Homemaking,¬†Miz Helen’s Country Cottage,¬†The Mandatory Mooch, ¬†¬†Lamberts Lately,¬†Craftionary¬†(Friday)¬†Not Your Ordinary Recipes, ¬†Simple Living and Eating,¬†Just Us Four,¬†Bacon Time with the Hungry Hungry Hypo,¬†Diana Rambles,¬†The Better Baker,¬†The Best Blog Recipes,¬†One Creative Mommy,¬†Michelle’s Tasty Creations,¬†Close to Home,¬†30 Handmade Days,¬†A Peek Into My Paradise,The Jenny Evolution¬†,¬†Walking on Sunshine,¬†Vintage Chic¬†(Saturday)¬†¬†Or So She Says…,¬†Six Sisters’ Stuff,¬†It’s Overflowing,¬†Made from Pinterest

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Are you ready for some football?! Yeah, whatever. Any excuse to make party food is reason enough for me to get excited! I like the Super Bowl for the commercials, half time performances, and as I said…the food. Buffalo Chicken Dip is probably going to make an appearance on many a table on game day. Because it’s AWESOME. It’s creamy, spicy, cheesy and I could (and sometimes do) make a meal of it!

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Okay, so it’s not the prettiest thing in the world. Especially with my non-photography skillzzzz. But it’s super yummy all the same. Here, take a bite.
Buffalo Dip and Chip

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup ranch dressing (Can use regular or light)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce (depending on how hot you like it.)
  • 2 cups chicken, cooked and shredded (leftover turkey works well too!)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles (regular or reduced fat) *optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese, ranch dressing, and wing sauce.
  3. Add chicken to cream cheese mixture and mix until incorporated.
  4. Pour dip into a greased 8 or 9 inch dish and bake for 20 minutes.
  5. Top with blue cheese crumbles, and bake an additional 10 minutes.
  6. Serve with chips, crackers, celery sticks, etc.
Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://makinitmobetta.com/buffalo-chicken-dip/

Recipe source: Just Us Four
If you are a buffalo chicken fan, you might also want to check out:
What will you be eating on Super Bowl Sunday? 

I may be linking up at any of the following –¬†(Monday)¬†The Tumbleweed Contessa,¬†The Dedicated House,¬†Skip to my Lou,¬†Making the World Cuter,¬†I Should Be Mopping the Floor,¬†This Gal Cooks,¬†Watch Out, Martha!,¬†Huckleberry Love,¬†The Newlyweds Pilgrimage,¬†Sowdering About in Seattle,¬†Craft and Repeat¬†(Tuesday)¬†Naptime Creations,¬†Mandy’s Recipe Box,¬†Love in the Kitchen,¬†Memories By the Mile,Inside BruCrew Life,¬†Sarah Lynn’s Sweets,¬†BeBetsy¬†and¬†VMG206,¬†Twinkling Trees¬†,¬†Anyonita Nibbles¬†(Wednesday)¬†Fluster Buster,¬†Mostly Homemade Mom,¬†Adorned from Above,¬†Lady Behind the Curtain,¬†Ginger Snap Crafts,¬†Naptime is My Time,¬†The Real Thing with The Coake Family,¬†Tessa the Domestic Diva¬†¬†(Thursday)¬†Project Inspire¬†,Joyful Homemaking,¬†Designed Decor,¬†Miz Helen’s Country Cottage,¬†The Mandatory Mooch, ¬†¬†Lamberts Lately¬†(Friday)¬†Not Your Ordinary Recipes, ¬†Simple Living and Eating,¬†Just Us Four,¬†Bacon Time with the Hungry Hungry Hypo,¬†Diana Rambles,¬†The Better Baker,Craftionary,¬†One Artsy Mama,¬†The Best Blog Recipes,¬†One Creative Mommy,¬†Michelle’s Tasty Creations,¬†Close to Home,¬†30 Handmade Days,¬†A Peek Into My Paradise,The Jenny Evolution¬†,¬†Walking on Sunshine,¬†Vintage Chic¬†(Saturday)¬†¬†Or So She Says…,¬†Six Sisters’ Stuff,¬†It’s Overflowing,¬†Made from Pinterest

Baked-not-Fried Pickles {and a few other snack ideas}

Don’t cha just love fried food? Don’t cha just hate that it’s so bad for you?! I’m always looking for healthier alternatives to my favorite “bad” foods. That’s why when I saw this recipe for baked “fried” pickles in Prevention RD’s cookbook, I knew I had to give them a try.

The bad news is that I ate almost all of them by myself. The good news is they were not too bad for me, so it’s okay ūüôā I think I shared a few with my girls. My 5 y/o wasn’t interested in a breaded, hot pickle…he thought I was nuts! He didn’t appreciate me messing with his beloved dill pickles.

Oven-Fried Pickles from Prevention RD

20 oz jar Claussen Kosher dill burger slice pickles (about 16 slices) *I used the regular dill pickles slices by Mt. Olive
2 eggs
1/3 cup flour
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp hot sauce
1 tsp garlic powder *I reduced this to about 1/2 tsp
1 tsp Cajun seasoning
1 tsp pepper
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • Preheat oven to 450 F.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk eggs and flour together.¬†
  • Add¬†Worcestershire, hot sauce, garlic powder,¬†Cajun¬†seasoning, and pepper to egg mixture. Blend well.
  • In a shallow dish or plate, add panko crumbs.¬†
  • Dip each pickle slice into the egg mixture, than coat with the panko bread crumbs until both sides are well coated.
  • Place coated pickles on a sprayed baking sheet. Bake for a few minutes on each side (2-3) or until lightly browned on each side.¬†
Serve warm with choice of dressing for dipping. We used ranch! These would make a great addition to your New Year’s Eve party tray, along with these….
What are your plans for New Year’s Eve? {Insert song burst here *what are you doingggg, New Year’s. ¬†New Year’s Eveeeee*} I’ll be fixing a few appies and try to stay awake to watch the ball drop. My kids might invite a couple of friends over and that’s about as exciting as I am planning on things getting around here. I’m getting so old.

Easy Gifts in Jars {No Baking Required!}

OHMIGAHHH y’allllll…..it’s Christmas time! I mean, like, it’s HERE. As I say every year, I’m not ready/It’s come too fast/I still have so much to do/I want to do more baking…yada yada yada. Well, I can freak out but it’s not going to change anything. Things have been really crazy these last couple of months (or ‘totes cray‘ if you will…) I haven’t talked about it on the blog because…well, I don’t know why. I just haven’t. I go through phases of wanting the blog to be more anonymous to wanting to share everything. It’s kinda weird putting all your business on the internet, but on the other hand, I’ve gotten a lot of inspiration and encouragement from other people’s business on the internet!

**Skip the following paragraph if you don’t want to hear my life story**
The short version is that my oldest child was diagnosed with spondylolysis, and has been in a back brace for the last month. Being that she is only 12, I was freaked out, as any mother would be. Plus seeing your children in severe pain is horrible. Thankfully the pain was short term (so far). I advise anyone with very active children to look this injury up and be aware of the symptoms b/c I was not at all aware that she was at risk. I’ve had my own share of health issues as well, and finally took my procrastinating self to the doctor. I am a nurse, and I knew something wasn’t right, but I guess it’s human nature to put bad news off as long as possible! Thankfully, it wasn’t that bad and there is an easy fix. My thyroid is out of whack, hypothyroidism, and it is amazing how many body systems your thyroid affects. So, all my life drama in a paragraph. Don’t get me wrong, I feel blessed beyond measure because I KNOW how much worse things could be and I feel so very fortunate. However, these little hiccups in life will derail your “normal” routine. Hence, very slack in the blogging department!
**pick up here for Easy Gifts in Jars**  

As much as I love to bake, especially during the holidays, sometimes (most of the time) TIME is an issue. That is probably one of the reasons I like mixes so much! Plus the fact I love the sweet and crunchy combo.
This one is super easy, and loaded with chocolate. My favorite combo of all! Just mix everything you see in a large bowl (add anything you like!)
Once it’s mixed, you can either sit it out for a party or for everyone to grab a handful as they walk by (which my kids did frequently!) or you can package it up in some little jars to give away.
Some of you may recognize those jars…yep, recycled Biscoff jars!! My local stores have only just recently started carrying Biscoff in plastic jars, so I have many glass jars that I’ve saved and use for storage. Or gift giving! Just slap a label on top and you are good to go.

Chocolate Lover’s Chex Mix

2 Bags Chex Mix (Dark or desired flavor)
1 cup Vanilla Chex Cereal
1 cup Chocolate Chex Cereal
1 small bag of Kit Kat miniatures (chopped in half)
1 cup semi sweet M and M’s
1 cup Gingerbread M and M’s
Mix everything in a bowl. Done!
I think a nice touch would be to spread the mix out on cookie sheets and drizzle with white chocolate. Once it cools, then add to jars. I plan on doing that with the 2 jars I have left. 
 
The great thing about this is that it is easily tailored to whatever you have on hand, or what you or the person getting the gift likes. I am thinking a good variation would be to add pretzel M&M’s and pretzels to the mix for some sweet and salty action. Or mini peanut butter cups and peanuts would be delish. The options are pretty much endless.
Last year, I made these-
Little jars from the dollar store, and I painted the tops with chalkboard paint. I added some ‘Christmas Crunch’ aka White Trash Mix to the jars. (Another easy, no bake mix!)
This year, for my son’s teacher gifts, I found these cute jars at Wal-Mart. They have a snowman and a snowflake on them. I filled them with peppermint sticks, marshmallows and homemade hot chocolate mix, along with some Hershey’s Hugs and Kisses. I can’t believe this is the only picture I took! I’ll try to get the hot chocolate mix posted soon b/c it was very good.
Just a few last minute, quick and easy gift ideas!

Huggable Christmas Cupcakes

My middle child needed a treat to take to cheerleading the other evening, so we decided to make mini cupcakes. We used this ‘souped up’ cake mix recipe, and wanted them to look festive. This is what I we came up with! I thought they turned out really cute, and they were so simple, so I thought I would share in case anyone needs something quick and easy this week. Since I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one running around like a crazy person…

The Hershey’s Hugs were the perfect size for the mini cupcakes, and we added Christmas sprinkles. Done and done! Miss Two got lots of compliments!