Chocolate Lover's Gift Guide with GODIVA

I am sure we all have that special friend or family member who loves chocolate and deserves a little treat this holiday season1 Everyone who has had the pleasure of trying these new #GodiaGCubes has absolutely LOVED them and cannot wait to have more. I am so honored to have had the chance to help promote these delicious G Cubes for GODIVA! Here are a few of the cutest and most incredible gift ideas for the Chocolate Lover in your life!

Welcome Home Gift Basket with Hallmark Signature Cards

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


I love the holidays. It's my favorite time of year because it’s the time to spread cheer to those we love and appreciate! I have always loved Hallmark Cards and they have been a part of every holiday since I was born. My grandmother would send Hallmark Cards to me for every single holiday (Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Easter, and more!), and I have a box of cards and photos that are a memento to my grandma, Pat.


This year's collection of Hallmark Greeting Cards at Walmart is extremely special to me, and I am so happy to be able to think of her as I look back through the cards she sent me. This gets me thinking about how important of a role greeting cards play in our lives. They help us spread a smile, words of kindness, words of consideration, and sometimes words of sympathy. It seems like there is really a card for every occasion now.

I also love how these greeting cards can be almost a gift in themselves, or accompany an amazing gift and put that final special touch on something like a Welcome Home Gift Basket. Above, I absolutely adore the woodland scene that is set! This gift basket I have created would be the perfect welcome home gift for family and friends who are visiting you during the holidays. I actually used the Hallmark Signature Cards as my color inspiration, which helped me tie a few really beautiful items together into one awesome gift. I found nearly everything at Walmart, including a Hallmark Signature Card, a pair of slippers, a fuzzy blanket, a winter candle, gloves, and more!

Perhaps you could create a set of his and hers gift baskets – Hallmark had TONS of cards for men, too, which I just loved. I would probably use colors like reds and blacks, plaids, and a rustic wooden basket for the container. Oh the possibilities!!!

Perhaps a plate of cookies would be inviting to someone who is visiting! I applied white frosting and some gingerbread decorations to traditional sugar cookies.

Hallmark Greeting Cards are incredibly enchanting and sophisticated, and they have such intricate designs. I could tell the designers and artists paid so much attention to every last detail. When I say little detail, I mean itty bitty, teeny tiny little details!

Speaking of gingerbread, this 3D Pop Up Card actually folds up into a little gingerbread house and is also an ornament! It’s really cute and folds up super easily. No glue was required at all!

DEAL ALERT!!!

I saw in-aisle coupons in the store, for buy 2 Hallmark cards, get one free. The other offer is a cute plush Holiday bear for only $3.97 when you purchase 3 Hallmark Cards priced at $1.97 or higher (offers available through 12/25/18 while supplies last). 

There’s also an Ibotta offer:  Earn $1 off a card purchase of $2.97 or more (offer available through 12/25/18 while supplies last)!
Hallmark has a couple of beautiful display at Walmart right now. It’s enchanting browsing all of their beautiful cards in the Holiday aisle, or the greeting card aisle... In this post, I featured two of the cards from Hallmark Signature Cards, and I also found that I loved a lot of the Hallmark Paper Wonder Cards as well. I was drawn more towards their whimsical greeting cards, the ones that made me want to be a kid again, and that had a lot of dimension to them. And, I thought it was fun to add a candle to the gift basket as well. It went so well with all of my colors.

I just love the enchanted woodland scene on this card, and my mom is going to LOVE it! I was so impressed by all of those little details that the layers of paper and glitter make. I actually used this card for some holiday decor inspiration around my home too! 

Hallmark’s latest designs are incredibly inspiring and will make the holidays and other occasions even more special. They are sure to help you continue to share thoughtful and meaningful moments and memories that will last a very long time.

Spinach and Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms Recipe

These delicious stuffed mushrooms are not only delicious, they are very easy to make, and really make an impressive dish. Bring a platter of these stuffed mushrooms to your next party or potluck, or make them for dinner.

Spinach and Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms Recipe

I was surprised by how easy these stuffed mushrooms were to make! Sure, I have enjoyed stuffed mushrooms in the past, but I have always been under the impression that they were hard to make because they looked so fancy and upscale. While there are several steps to this recipe, the finished product is well worth the time spent making a deliciously creamy spinach and sausage filling, which tasted incredible baked inside of these organic mushrooms.

Spinach and Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms Recipe

INGREDIENTS (MAKES ABOUT 20 mushrooms)

1 lb. ground sausage or chorizo

2 (8-10 oz.) packages of button mushrooms (organic when possible)

1.5 - 2 cups chopped fresh spinach (chopped into very small pieces with scissors or a knife)

6-8 oz. cream cheese

1.5 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1/4 cup parmesan cheese (to sprinkle on top of mushrooms)

1/3 - 1/2 cup breadcrumbs

1/2 - 1 cup red pepper - chopped into small pieces

Salt

Italian Seasoning

1/2 - 1 cup onion - chopped into small pieces

Baking sheet

Parchment paper - optional

Spinach and Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms Recipe

INSTRUCTIONS:

1.) In a skillet, sauté onions and 2 tsp Italian seasoning 4-5 minutes. Add entire package of ground sausage, and then cook until brown (10-12 minutes). Use strainer in sink to remove as much grease as possible. Return to skillet, and add red pepper. Cook about 4 minutes, see mine above.

2.) Next, add cream cheese and shredded cheese and heat over medium low heat until everything has melted and is well combined. Add in your spinach and cover to steam for about 2 minutes. Lastly, stir in breadcrumbs and mix until combined. Remove from heat and grab a kitchen teaspoon.

3.) Begin to fill mushrooms with filling. I found that for these smaller button mushrooms, it doesn’t even take much to fill them, but you get a great 2-3 bite treat.

4.) Place mushrooms on a baking sheet, optionally lined with parchment paper and bake 12-18 minutes, until mushrooms are tender and you see some liquid leaking out. That means they’re ready!

Spinach and Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms Recipe

My boyfriend said this was one of the best dishes I have ever made, and that really meant a lot to me! I hope you all enjoy these stuffed mushrooms as much as we did. Enjoy!!

Spinach and Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms Recipe

New Godiva G Cubes

Make it a GODIVA Holiday! Indulge and savor each bite of these @Godiva G Cubes, which are

available in flavors like Dark Chocolate Mint, Milk Chocolate Salted Caramel Ganache, White

Chocolate Coffee and MORE! These individually wrapped, gourmet chocolates make an

amazing gift or the perfect offering for a holiday party. Get yours today! #GodivaGCubes

Hassle-Free Holiday Meal Ideas + Veggie Foil Packets with Del Monte

This post has been sponsored by Del Monte Foods, Inc. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Holiday Meals

Each year, I seem to love the holidays more and more. To me, I love any excuse to

make delicious food and have friends and family over. So I thought it would be

fun to share an easy meal idea and show you just how easy this meal was. I

thought it turned out very elegant, and everything was literally devoured

pretty quickly.

These Veggie Foil Packets are a great vegetarian dinner alternative or side dish. These foil packets are so familiar to most people (think campfire dinners) but by adding more unique and colorful ingredients, these veggie packets can be taken to the next level and even enjoyed at a holiday dinner as a side dish! Simply put, these foil packets contain an array of ingredients like potatoes, carrots, garlic, onions, fresh herbs like parsley and oregano, and of course the Del Monte mixed veggies and green beans. Also, if you are put in the position when you need to offer a few vegetarian side dishes during the holidays, the veggie packets and the cornbread would be amazing.

Easy Holiday Meal
Easy Holiday Meal

Del Monte is my number one brand for everything canned during the holidays and during every month of the year. You can find them at your nearest retailer using this store locator. This could be a cute meal for Friendsgiving, for a fall or holiday date night, or something special for a smaller crowd during the holidays.

Visit Del Monte’s website to check out TONS more holiday recipes, here!

Ingredients: (Serves 3-4)

 VEGGIE FOIL PACKETS:

1-2 Cans Del Monte® Vegetable & Bean Blends Country Style

1-2 Cans Del Monte® Blue Lake® Cut Green Beans

4-6 pieces of foil (8”-10” squares) – 2 pieces per packet 

CREAMED CORN CORNBREAD CAKE + MUFFINS:

1 package cornbread muffin or cake mix (I used one 15 oz. box but you can also use two 8 oz boxes as well!)

1 egg

1/3 c. oil

1 Cup Del Monte® Cream Style Golden Sweet Corn

½ - 1 c. milk

Muffin tin

Cupcake liners 

WHOLE YOUNG CHICKEN:

1 whole chicken (organic when possible)

2 Tbsp olive oil

1-2 tsp salt

1-2 Tbsp seasoning (I used Greek seasoning, but use anything you would like)

Brush to apply olive oil (optional)

Parsley for garnish 

Instructions:

1.) Preheat oven to 375 degrees and prepare chicken. Place chicken onto a rimmed baking sheet and begin to brush olive oil over chicken. I basically drizzled the oil onto the chicken and then brushed it over. Next, I simply sprinkled seasoning all over the chicken. Cover with foil and bake for at least 1.5 hours. At a little over an hour, I carefully uncovered the chicken, then placed it back into the oven to finish baking. Make sure the breast is not pink anymore. A note on the chicken: there was a lot of juice in the cake pan from the chicken cooking. Be careful not to spill this juice or it may hurt you. Be very careful when handling this pan.

2.) Mid way through cooking chicken, prep for the veggie packets. Strain both cans of Del Monte veggies and divide them equally between 2 or 3 foil packets, To make the packets, simply place two sheets of foil on a baking tray, place veggies in the middle, then season with 1-2 tsp of your favorite seasoning mix and salt if needed. Fold two side of the foil inward, then twist the ends to keep everything inside. Place onto sheet pan and bake for 12-15 minutes or until steaming. Carefully open the packets as the steam can hurt you.

Veggie Foil Packets
Veggie Foil Packets
Veggie Foil Packets

3.) Mix up cornbread ingredients and prepare pan. For my spring form pan, I sprayed it with cooking spray then lightly coated the pan in flour. Fill the springform pan about halfway full then pour the rest of the batter, cover with foil, and bake for approximately 20-25 minutes with foil covering until the last 10-15 mins. Pour the batter into the cupcake cups and bake muffins at 375F for about 15-18 minutes. The springform pan is not necessary, it just made for a wonderful presentation! Feel free to use any size or shape of square or round dish you have.

The Best Cornbread For The Holidays
The Best Cornbread Recipe
The Best Cornbread Recipe

4.) To serve, place chicken into shallow serving bowl or platter and garnish with parsley. Also, feel free to place cornbread cake onto a cake stand or on a cute dish with a spatula for serving. Lastly, either have guests grab veggies from a serving bowl or straight from the packets!

Delicious Holiday Chicken Recipe

Cleanup was super easy with this whole process. If you do not want to cook a whole chicken, you can use chicken drumsticks, thighs, or even chicken breasts. I say this because it can take up to 2 hours for the chicken to be fully cooked if the bird is 4 pounds like mine was.

I absolutely LOVED the green beans and the other vegetables in the new Mixed Veggies collection. I actually liked the vegetables more than any other part of this meal, and my friends also raved about each and every part. I had so much fun treating a few of my favorite people to an exceptionally thoughtful dinner during the holidays, which can be a super hectic time when people may forget to eat a “real meal”.

What are your favorite vegetarian side dishes to serve during the holidays?

Look out for these mixed veggies from the brand:

Del Monte® Vegetable & Bean Blends California Style

Del Monte® Vegetable & Bean Blends Classic Style

Del Monte® Vegetable & Bean Blends Country Style

Del Monte® Vegetable & Bean Blends Mexican Style

Connect with Del Monte on social and show off your recipes, too!

Canned Veggies Recipes

LEARN ABOUT MORE BLOGGERS’ RECIPES HERE!

Happy Halloween! Check out this Bloody Glass Cupcake recipe!

Halloween was pretty fun this year! We made all sorts of deliciously spooky food and drinks! Here is one of the recipes which turned out even better than expected! This homemade honey blood made a big impact while the broken pieces of sugar glass looks incredibly realistic is was just incredible!

Bloody Glass Cupcakes Recipe

I used a bow of red velvet cake mix to make the cupcakes then had SO much fun decorating these cupcakes. The black cupcake liners were also so perfect for that dark and mysterious / murderous look I was going for, LOL!

Broken Glass Cupcakes for Halloween

In this post, I will teach you some very exciting techniques!

HOW TO MAKE SUGAR GLASS:

HOW TO MAKE FAKE EDIBLE BLOOD WITH HONEY:

HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING:

Stay tuned! Tips will be published tomorrow. Enjoy!

Top 10 Halloween Cakes

While many of us celebrated Halloween this weekend, I am still in the Halloween spirit! Here are some outstanding examples of Halloween Cakes that I found incredibly inspiring. I hope you do too!

 A  Halloween Bat Cake  that takes the cake for the most elegant and 3-Dimensional cake.

A Halloween Bat Cake that takes the cake for the most elegant and 3-Dimensional cake.

 This amazing  Brushstroke Halloween Ghost Cake  is out of this world spooky and artistic!

This amazing Brushstroke Halloween Ghost Cake is out of this world spooky and artistic!

 Another adorable and festive  Halloween cake  that is decorated just right.

Another adorable and festive Halloween cake that is decorated just right.

 This  “eye-catching” cake  sure does look amazing!

This “eye-catching” cake sure does look amazing!

 This  zombie cake  looks so realistic and those graveyard cupcakes pair so well with the theme!

This zombie cake looks so realistic and those graveyard cupcakes pair so well with the theme!

 A perfectly decorated two tier cake to inspire your Halloween!

A perfectly decorated two tier cake to inspire your Halloween!

 The  undead would definitely feel welcome  at THIS Halloween party!

The undead would definitely feel welcome at THIS Halloween party!

 This zombie face wedding cake would definitely win an award for one of the creepiest cakes!

This zombie face wedding cake would definitely win an award for one of the creepiest cakes!

 Love this cake, especially the eyeballs and hand sticking out from the top!

Love this cake, especially the eyeballs and hand sticking out from the top!

 This bleeding brain Halloween cake is just too gross!

This bleeding brain Halloween cake is just too gross!

Vegetarian Pot Pies Recipe with Amy’s Kitchen

Thank you Amy’s for sponsoring this post. #StartWithAmys this Soup Season.

With cooler weather on the horizon, it’s time to incorporate comfort food that will make you happy about what you are serving and eating. For over 30 years, Amy’s Kitchen has been cooking up vegetarian meals made with high-quality ingredients. As fall quickly approaches, it’s time to get your soup on!

Vegetarian Pot Pie Recipe #StartWithAmys
Vegetarian Pot Pie Recipe

I found a unique way to incorporate three varieties of Amy’s Kitchen soups into a Vegetarian Pot Pie, and I hope you love it! Since Amy’s Soups already taste delicious on their own, I was able to allow those flavors to shine, while simply complimenting them with a few more veggies and a flaky, puff pastry woven lattice crust. This dish can be made as individual pot pies, or as one large casserole – it’s completely up to you! And, feel free to use this lattice technique, or simply use a full sheet of puff pastry crust right across the top.

Vegetarian Pot Pie Recipe

This homemade, vegetarian dish is waiting to be served at your next weeknight dinner, holiday meal, or even as a make-ahead meal that can be frozen and baked in just a short time, making dinner exceptionally easy AND delicious!

The phrase “comfort food” definitely comes to mind with this dish. It’s filled with an array of veggies, plus Amy’s Organic Cream of Mushroom Soup, Organic Chunky Vegetable Soup, and their Organic Vegetable Barley Soup. This dish is literally brimming with vegetables, you are going to love it. Even super picky eaters will enjoy this food. It’s a great idea to stock up for the cooler months with Amy’s soups! Keep a few soup cans stashed in your pantry (or desk!) for those times when you want something tasty that will warm you up as well. I always feel better after a warm meal, and these soups make an exceptional meal all on their own!

I love this cream of mushroom soup - it could surely be enjoyed on its own, warmed up with a handful of oyster crackers in the bowl for some crunch. I have never found a cream of anything soup that I am happy with. I have found that most canned cream soups are all way too thick and just full of unnecessary ingredients, and I have found too some have a sort of strange aroma. This has always turned me away from using condensed cream soups, but now I have a newfound hope thanks to Amy’s Kitchen! The Cream of Mushroom Semi-Condensed Soup worked super well for the base of this recipe, and would even be super delicious heated and enjoyed on its own, or with a handful of soup crackers.

I have fond memories of my mom making chicken pot pie many, many times as a child. She would use a traditional recipe that incorporated chicken and a small portion of veggies. It was always amazing, but as I grew older, and realized the importance of eating plant-based, I knew I needed to adapt a few of my most treasured family recipes into vegetarian versions.

Luckily, all of Amy’s products contain high-quality ingredients. That is extremely important for me, and I am so happy I have made a small lifestyle switch to considering each and every ingredient in the foods I eat and prepare for those I love. At Amy’s, they choose the best ingredients for each recipe. They cook with ingredients that people use in their own kitchens and trust, like carrots, beans, flour and spices! They don’t use a lot of starches and thickeners (which I do notice when I open their soups and other foods. They rely instead on slow simmering and cooking to develop soups and creamy sauces. This is very apparent as I was using the Amy’s Cream of Mushroom soup, it’s a really smooth texture without being overly thick, like other cream canned soups.

PRINTABLE RECIPE BELOW - RIGHT CLICK TO SAVE OR PRINT

Veg Pot Pie Recipe

INGREDIENTS:

1 can Amy’s Organic Cream of Mushroom Soup

1 can Amy’s Organic Chunky Vegetable Soup

1 can Amy’s Organic Vegetable Barley Soup (any of their other vegetable soups will work well too)

1 sheet of puff pastry

½ red onion - chopped

1-2 cloves garlic – minced

1-2 TBSP olive oil

½ of a red potato – chopped into very small pieces

1 c. broccoli – chopped into small pieces

½ c. corn (frozen or canned)

½ c. frozen peas

2-4 TBSP seasoning (I use a mixture of low sodium seasoned salt and a Greek spice blend)

1 TBSP butter or butter alternative

3 TBSP flour

salt

Optional 1 egg for egg wash (simply use which to stir up one egg in a small bowl)

INSTRUCTIONS:

1.)   Sautee olive oil, onions, and garlic, and 1-2 TBSP seasoning for 2-3 minutes. Once onions are soft, add potatoes and cook at medium heat for about 3 minutes with the pan’s lid on. Carefully stir the potatoes once during cooking, and replace lid.

2.)   Add 1 cup broccoli, corn, and frozen peas, and simmer another 3 minutes. Add up to 2 tsp more seasoning at this point, and stir to coat all veggies.

3.)   Turn off heat, and transfer all veggies from skillet to another heat safe bowl and set aside. Do not clean or wipe out skillet yet.

4.)   In this same skillet, melt 1 TBSP butter. Once melted, stir in 3 TBSP flour, and stir until combined. This helps to thicken the sauce. It will look “chunky”, but that’s ok!

5.)   Add 1 can of Amy’s Organic Cream of Mushroom soup, and stir to combine. Turn heat back onto medium, and add the bowl of veggies back into the skillet. Stir to combine, and heat for 2-3 minutes while stirring, to combine and thicken everything.

6.)   Preheat oven to 400 degrees for Transfer into prepared baking dish(es) – make sure to spray them with non-stick spray first!

7.)   Time to do the crust! Either place one sheet of puff pastry across the top of the baking dish and trim the sides and cut vents at top, OR use the lattice technique I have shown in this post!

8.)   To lattice: cut ½” or 1” strips out of your puff pastry sheet and weave them across the top of the pie. I start by placing three strips vertically, then working on weaving in the three horizontal strips. From there, I can then place the remaining strips of puff pastry into the top of the pie. Cut excess dough hanging over sides of baking dish, and if you want, use your fingers to gently press the dough strips down onto the baking dish so it does not move while baking.

Vegetarian Pot Pie Recipe

9.)   Brush top of pie with an optional egg wash, and bake small pies for 17-22 minutes or one pie for 25-35 minutes. The puff pastry need to be pretty crunchy on top to ensure that the dough touching the filling is not doughy.

Vegetarian Pot Pie Recipe

What a fun and comforting vegetarian meal to make for your favorite people! Perhaps you could even surprise a busy family with a frozen version of this pie, and they can enjoy a vegetarian meal in a less than a half hour of baking time! Enjoy!

Vegetarian Pot Pie Recipe #StartWithAmys

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Rustic Apple Pie Pizza Recipe + Why I love Fall Baking

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Oregon Chai®. The opinions and text are all mine. #OregonChaiMeTime 

Wow! Have I got an incredible recipe for you today. It embodies the fall spirit, and includes a dessert “pizza!” This delicious and unique recipe is rustic, sweet, and crunchy; an amazing pairing with a nice, warm Oregon Chai® Tea Latte! Make this amazing dessert for your next gathering, dinner with friends and family, or even for a potluck. This dessert will vanish before you know it.

Rustic Apple Pie Pizza

To me, baking is one of the best ways to spend “me time.” I tend to find myself baking the most once the weather cools down, when I have a bit of free time, or even when too many days have passed since I created something delicious.  Any day that includes chai tea and some me time is a GOOD DAY!

5DB_3381.jpg

I wasn’t always able to bake freely though. Before we got our new furnace this summer, the house would get WAY too hot (83 degrees +) when I turned on the oven, and so it was nearly impossible to justify baking when the house would not cool down from it. I made so many no-bake meals, or even used our awesome toaster oven to try to make complete meals, small casseroles, and even side dishes – baking cookies, pies, or brownies really doesn’t go well in the toaster oven.

I didn’t even realize how strong of a connection I had to baking, until I had limited use of the oven, and realized how sad I was when I looked through Pinterest and saw all of those recipes that I could not even attempt. I now bake every few days (or more) and I am so happy about how cool our house stays finally. Thank goodness for good air conditioning, LOL!

I also tend to LOVE sweet desserts and dishes, so this one is just perfect for me. If you like desserts that are on the more savory or less sweet side of life, then you can majorly reduce the amount of sugar I have suggested. Either way, you’re going to love this apple pie pizza.

Pizza is such a familiar comfort food, and when I had a slice of this Apple Pie Pizza, it took me back to eating some of the best thin crust pizza ever, combined with one of my favorite fall desserts ever.

Since we are surrounded by apple orchards here in southern Illinois, using apples in my recipe came as a very natural solution to eating more local ingredients!

This rustic recipe is crunchy around the edges from this crispy crunchy dough, sweet, tart from the apples, buttery from the dough, and the egg wash and cinnamon sugar topping makes the most excellent crunch when you bite into it.

Perfect for enjoying on a chilly fall day or evening! I was extremely happy with how this recipe turned out, and I know you will be too. I used an organic pie crust from the store, and it held the shape of the lattice just perfectly.

By cutting the lattice into smaller, ½” strips, I was able to make a very intricate pattern on top of this Apple Pie Pizza. Feel free to also cut the strips into 1” pieces to make life much easier! The ½” strips were not incredibly hard to work with, just a little more time consuming. But, patience always pays off when you’re baking.

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS:

1 package refrigerated pie crust (2 per package)

2 apples, I used green apples

4-5 Tbsp.  sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/8 tsp. nutmeg

1 egg, whisked for egg wash

4-6 Tbsp. water in a small bowl to use to attach pie dough together

Round or Rectangular baking sheet

Parchment paper

Oregon Chai Tea Latte Concentrate to enjoy while baking!

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

1.) Chop 2 apples into tiny pieces and coat with 1 ½ - 2 Tbsp. sugar, ½ tsp. cinnamon, and 1/8 tsp. nutmeg.

2.) Unroll both pie crusts onto a work surface covered in parchment paper. Optional: use a rolling pin to smooth out any creases.

3.) Use a ruler to mark every ½” or 1” on one pie crust. Also, use the ruler and a sharp knife to impress even lines and cut strips from the pie crust. Set aside.

Apple Pie Pizza

4.) Spread an even layer of apples onto the other pie crust.

Apple Pie Pizza

5.) Weave dough strips over apples, first laying half of the strips vertically, then weaving the horizontal pieces in next. Feel free to use a little bit of water in each place where the dough strips overlap. Brush top crust with egg wash.

Apple Pie Pizza

6.) Once done weaving, sprinkle on a mixture of 2 Tbsp. sugar + ½ tsp cinnamon, and bake for 15-20 minutes at 375 degrees F. Slice like a pizza and enjoy! We cut the finished Apple Pie Pizza with a sharp knife, but you could also use a pizza cutter!

Apple Pie Pizza
Apple Pie Pizza
Apple Pie Pizza

Make sure to also grab your Ibotta offer here for 75 cents off any 1 Oregon Chai product at Walmart (9/26/18 – 11/30/18, or until supplies last).

Stock up now! This tea is so delicious you will want to incorporate it into your every day routines and serve it to anyone who visits you.

I was able to easily order the Oregon Chai Tea Latte Concentrate (32 oz.) on Walmart.com using their super easy Online Grocery Pickup service!

Below, you will see how easy it was to search for all of the available Oregon Chai products at Walmart. I spent around $12 to create this entire recipe, and since the Chai Tea was under $4.00 I saved SO much compared to going to a coffee shop for an overpriced drink.

After I went to the checkout page, I simply chose “Pickup” for FREE (see below)! No shipping charges at all, which saved me around $6.00. YAY!! I love a good deal.

The taste of this Oregon Chai Tea was rich, smooth, and has those amazing chai spices that I can’t get enough of. I like to add macadamia milk to my chai tea, instead of traditional dairy milk, and my body loves me for it! What a delicious way to get a little pick-me-up during baking or during any other time of the day.

Once my order was ready, I was able to run by my local Walmart and easily grab the tea in the pickup area. Super easy since I had so many errands to run that day.

Has your local Walmart installed an Online Grocery Pickup station yet? Ours JUST remodeled, and I had an extremely easy experience, let me walk you through it/ 

1.) Visit the Walmart Online Grocery Pickup station and scan the barcode given in your email.

You can also just wait outside and call the phone number on the pickup area. They will bring everything right out to you!

Like I said, baking helps me de-stress and helps me continue to be creative, so after getting a ton of things checked off the to-do list, I relaxed for a bit, then got to baking.

I hope you have an absolutely splendid fall, and please comment below to let me know if you tried making this recipe! This would be so fun with kids, and would be a fun holiday baking activity. Enjoy!

Casual Cookout with Tyson, Ball Park, and Lipton Tea!

This post is sponsored by Lipton, Tyson, and Bimbo but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

Casual Cookouts are in season!! Bring weeknight (or weekend) dinners outside by making good use of your grill! You can enjoy the long summer nights as you picnic in the yard with your family. From cooking your own Ball Park® Hot Dogs to Tyson® Chicken sandwiches, let everyone join in on the fun and make it a festive family night. Excited to host lots of fun cookouts this year, and here is one to get me started.

BBQ CHICKEN SANDWICHES

Above, the Tyson Frozen Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts. I used them for chicken sandwiches!

INSTRUCTIONS: Using a grill set to 450-550 degrees, spray non-stick cooking spray and place frozen chicken breasts onto hot grill. Cook for 10 minutes on fist side, season, then flip and grill for another 10-15 minutes, until chicken’s internal temperature is at least 165 degrees F.

Below, the classic Lipton Iced Tea brewed and lightly sweetened.

Condiments can easily be placed in vintage or glass jars or bowls to serve them in a more elegant way – don’t forget to add a spoon into each condiment J

Below, the white chopped onions, pickles, and potato salad, and a cute sign that reads, “Welcome Friends and Family”.

As you might notice, I placed these ingredients onto metal trays at varying heights so they were easier for everyone to reach.

CURBSIDE PICKUP:

 Since summer gets very busy, and I always have a million errands to run at once, I loved being able to use the Walmart Curbside Pickup! I logged in and just placed my order on http://grocery.walmart.com and then stopped by my local store to grab everything!

DÉCOR IDEAS:

For the BBQ party setup, I used a plastic folding table to hold everything, then covered it with a twin white sheet that I ironed. I used a piece of on trend gingham printed cotton in white and grey. I used 1.5 yards and I think that the double layer table covering idea really looked so elegant.

 

I also really love offering food to guests at different heights, bringing the food and refreshments to eye level. I stuck with more metallic accents like galvanized metal boxes, plus small metal buckets to hold utensils and festive paper napkins. I love the mixture of navy blue and red together, which worked perfectly for this theme.

I also found lots of cute Grilling and BBQ themed signs that were so cute! I am sure that you could simply print some fun quotes off the Internet and frame them if you already have all the supplies on hand.

CONNECT WITH THESE BRANDS ON SOCIAL:

Tyson®

Facebook: @TysonBrand

Twitter: @TysonBrand

Instagram: @TysonBrand

Pinterest: @TysonFoods

Lipton®

Facebook: @LiptonUS

Twitter: @Lipton

Instagram: @Lipton

Ball Park®

Facebook: @BallParkBrand

Instagram: @BallParkBrand

I really hope you’ve enjoyed this post, and I am eager to hear all about what you have planned for summer!

PIN IT FOR LATER...

Unicorn Cookie Bouquet from Cookies by Design

Look at this adorable Unicorn Cookie Pop Bouquet from Cookies By Design. I can think of so many people who would love this!

I received a well designed cookie bouquet, which contained 4 unicorn cookies, 2 over the rainbow cookies, and one star shaped cookie that read, Have A Magical Birthday!

This Unicorn Sugar Cookie Bouquet is an absolute show stopper. 

If you bring this bouquet to an event, or have it shipped to someone for their special day, you will be remembered forever! Think of how many photos will be posted of this awesome, edible gift. 

It's also pretty east to find other Unicorn themed party supplies at most stores, or make your own from scrapbooking paper, sequins, and tinsel. 

Unicorn Sugar Cookie Bouquet

Cookies By Design is one of my awesome affiliate partners. If you purchase any cookie bouquet or other fun items from Cookies By Design, I make a small commission. Thank you so much for supporting the brands that help make my blog an inspiring space!

Mother's Day Gift - Flower Sugar Cookie Bouquet

Check out this Mother's Day Sugar Cookie Bouquet. It's really lovely and Mom or Grandma would LOVE to receive such a delightful, thoughtful gift! 

Unicorn Sugar Cookies

Peeps Milkshakes

Easter is this Sunday, April 1, and I thought it would be adorable to create a beautiful set of treats for the occasion! Hope you enjoy! 

cute jars with sprinkles on rim

First, find some cute jars and dip the rims into melted white chocolate. Holding the glass over the sink or a large bowl (to catch the sprinkles), apply sprinkles in festive colors to the chocolate. Cover as much as possible.

Peeps Milkshake

RECIPE:

2 cups all natural vanilla ice cream (I prefer Breyer's extra creamy vanilla)

2 cups frozen blueberries

2 cups milk

1 tbsp honey

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth and creamy.
  2. Pour into decorated glasses and add your garnish - carefully poke a skewer stick through the bunny Peeps, and use a jelly bean to make the end look more finshed off.
  3. Enjoy!
Peeps Bunny Milkshake

Honey Butter Pecan Swirl Cookies Recipe

#FlavorYourSpring with Nestlé® Coffee-mate® Creamers, and you'll be so happy with your Springtime creations! Imagine the all natural flavors of vanilla and pecan, with a touch of sweetness is added with honey.

These cookies taste like real pecans, and they're so light, crunchy, and delicious. They're in fact, very addictive too! You're going to love them! I loved how easy it was to infuse these cookies with pecan flavor thanks to the Coffee-mate® natural bliss® creamer without having to add pecan flour or chopped pecans. 

INGREDIENTS (COOKIES):

·       2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature (1 cup/8 ounces)

·        1 cup confectioner's sugar (4 ounces by weight)

·        1 teaspoon vanilla extract

·        2 cups all-purpose flour (10 ounces by weight)

·        1/4 teaspoon salt

·        2 tbsp Coffee-mate® natural bliss® Creamer in Pecan

INGREDIENTS (ICING):

·       1 cup confectioners sugar

·       2 tbsp + 2 tsp Coffee-mate® natural bliss®  Coffee Creamer in Pecan

·       sprinkles + large star shaped icing tip

INSTRUCTIONS:

1.     Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2.     Place the butter, confectioner’s sugar and vanilla in a large bowl, and beat with an electric mixer until it looks combined, light, and fluffy. Add the flour and salt, and mix until it’s crumbly and looks like it can’t be mixed more. Add the creamer, then keep mixing, and the dough should clump together after about 1 minute of mixing.

3.     Place the dough into a pastry bag fitted with a very large star tip, and pipe onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Depending upon the size of your star shaped pastry tip, this will determine whether you can have 12 or 18 cookies per sheet. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden.

4.    Let the cookies cool completely, and feel free to make yourself some icing with the confectioners sugar and creamer. I preferred to make my icing more of a glaze, so it's pretty thin, to allow the beauty of the shape of the cookie show through. 

Use Spring or Easter colored sprinkles and candies to decorate your cookies if you like, and enjoy!

Learn more about all the Nestlé® Spring Lineup of Easter candies, new coffee creamers, and more, here!

Giant Valentine's Day Rice Krispy Treat - a Great Gift Idea

Impress your friends and loved ones with this Giant Heart Shaped Rice Krispy treat! It's super adorable and is an awesome last minute gift idea. This gift takes less than an hour to make, and just a few ingredients and supplies! You could gift this treat atop an adorable pink plate, too!

Giant Heart Shaped Rice Krispy Treat

INGREDIENTS / MATERIALS

6 Cups Rice Krispy Cereal

4 Cups Mini Marshmallows

3 Tbsp Butter (real butter works best)

Heart Shaped Cake Pan (Similar Here from Target

White Writing Icing (I love the Betty Crocker Cookie Icing in White, 7 oz. pouch) - found at grocery stores, not generally found at Walmart or Target

Red Food Coloring

Colorful Sprinkles

Parchment Paper and Scissors

Non Stick Spray

Giant Heart Shaped Rice Krispy Treat

INSTRUCTIONS

1.) Trace heart shape onto parchment paper, using pan as your guide. Cut out the heart out. Spray the pan with lots of non stick spray, then place heart paper cutout into bottom of pan.

2.) On the stove top in a large sauce pan, melt butter then add marshmallows and melt/stir until smooth. Once completely smooth, add 4-6 drops of red food coloring, until desired color has been reached.

3.) Add in cereal and stir to fully combine. Add optional 1/3 Cup Sprinkles and stir again. 

4.) Using a large spoon or your hands, transfer treats into heart shaped pan. Press as hard as you can, so the cereal treats get packed into the pan. This is to ensure the heart shape is a good shape.

5.) Once cooled, use a butter knife around the sides of the heart pan to loosen the treats. Flip the Heart Shaped Treat over onto a cutting board or similar surface, and tap the pan to help loosen the treat. Peel off the parchment paper and discard.

6.) To decorate, I used the white decorator icing to first outline the heart shape. I applied even pressure to the icing tube as I went around the edges, beginning at the bottom of the heart, working around the edges. Next, I free handed the word "Love" with icing, in cursive, but feel free to write any message you want! I thought of some pretty funny messages but stuck with something more traditional. 

7.) To gift, I found a plate at Target in the kids plates and dishes section for about 80 cents. You could use a cute paper or plastic plate too. I believe it would be adorable to wrap Saran wrap around the treat and secure it in back with tape, so you can see the design. Hope you enjoy!

Giant Heart Shaped Rice Krispy Treat

Valentine's Day - Adorable Heart Shaped Rice Krispy Treats

If you're looking for a stunning yet easy way to create theseAdorable Heart Shaped Rice Krispy Treats, you have come to the right place! I've been envisioning making these for a few weeks now, ever since I started seeing the Valentine's Day baking supplies at stores for the season. They only contain around 6 ingredients/materials, and prep work is also pretty minimal! 

Adorable Heart Shaped Rice Krispy Treats

INGREDIENTS/MATERIALS:

Pink colored Wilton or other candy melts (similar here)

Lollipop Sticks (found here)

6 Cups Rice Krispies Cereal

4 Cups mini marshmallows

Red Food Coloring

Colorful Sprinkles

Silicone Heart Shaped Candy mold from Walmart (similar here)

Adorable Heart Shaped Rice Krispy Treats

INSTRUCTIONS (MAKES 6):

1.) Begin making Rice Krispy treats. In a no-stick pot or pan, melt butter and marshmallows until smooth. Add 4-5 drops of red food coloring until the marshmallow mixture is desired color (a darker pink). Now add 1/4 -1/2 C. sprinkles and stir again. Lastly, add Rice Krispies and stir until combined!

2.) During the rice krispy treat making process, melt half the bag of pink candy melts in a microwave safe bowl until smooth. 

3.) Using a large tablespoon, spoon equal amounts of melted candy melts into the heart shaped molds, filling them 1/4 full.

4.) Once candy melts have set for 1-2 minutes but before they are completely hardened, fill the rest of the heart molds with ooey gooey Rice Krispy treats. Press down into mold so they are flat on top.

5.) Once everything has hardened, remove from molds. If the pink candy toppings have separated from the Krispies, simply melt 4-5 more candy melts and attach them back together with a spoon full of melted candy.

6.) Lastly, optionally insert lollipop sticks into the heart krispies (they go in VERY easily). Enjoy!

Adorable Heart Shaped Rice Krispy Treats

Think of how cute these would be to gift in a big "bouquet" for Valentine's Day! You could wrap them in small celophane treat bags and tie them up with festive ribbons too. 

Adorable Heart Shaped Rice Krispy Treats

How To Make A Simple Yet Spooky No-Bake Halloween Ghost Cake

I created the cutest Halloween Cake ever and I am so happy to share it with you. I designed two versions, one in a more black and white color scheme, and also one with a bit more color. You can use the design as inspiration for whatever sort of Halloween decor you may enjoy best.

The most important part of sourcing the Ghost Shaped Peeps. I found mine at Walgreens (not my local grocery store though). I used the Ghost Peeps packs containing 9 pieces each, and two packages fit around the cake with a few to spare. 

Well, let's get spooky and decorate this cake!!! And, please comment below if you're making any special treats inspired by Halloween. I'd love to hear all about them!

Spooky Halloween Cake - it's so easy!
recipe

No baking is required for this awesome cake! 

- 2 Sour Cream Bundt Cakes in Chocolate or Vanilla

Raspberry Jelly

Dark Chocolate Icing (1-2 containers)

Ghost Peeps

Candy Corn + sour Gummy Worms (Optional, only for more colorful cake design)

Silicone Spatula for icing cake

Halloween Cake
instructions

1.) Remove the plastic top of the first bundt cake's container. Using a serrated bread knife, CAREFULLY slice the top off of the bundt cake to make it as flat on top as possible.

2.) Invert the cut cake onto a plate or cake stand and make sure it's level.

3.) Add a thin layer of raspberry jelly to the top of the first bundt cake.

4.) Carefully slice the top off of the second bundt cake, and invert that to sit it on top of the first layer of cake. 

Halloween Cake

5.) Add dark chocolate icing to the entire outside of the 2 layer cake. Make it as smooth as you can! The bottom half of the chocolate icing will be covered with Ghost Peeps, so don;t worry too much about how smooth it is, mainly making sure it's not too messy. Wipe off any excess chocolate icing around the bottom of the cake and the plate as possible, with a wet paper towel.

Halloween Cake

6.) Time to decorate! Open up two packages of Peeps, and keep the Peeps in their sets of three. Support the cake with one hand, and gently apply each set of three ghosts around the bottom edge. I used 12 or 15 Peeps around the bottom plus one extra Peep to fill in the small gap I had. Make sure to keep supporting the cake as you add Peeps or it may fall over! I just LOVE how chic and elegant this cake looks!

Halloween Ghost Cake
Halloween Ghost Cake

But, I had to go a little further with the design. If you're looking for a more colorful version of this cake, here you go.

Cute Halloween Cake

By carefully adding sour gummy worms one at a time, I was able to make a neat pattern out of them, leaving attractive negative space in between each worm. I kind of shaped them as I stuck each one on. I also added candy corn to the top of the cake, and LOVE how it turned out! What do you think?

Halloween Cake

PIN IT FOR LATER:

Check out this awesome Halloween Cake!

An Elegant Fall Bake Sale {Raise Love for Ronald McDonald House Charities}

Who's ready for Fall? I know I am! The weather has finally cooled down a bit at night here, which means it's time to mix up a few ingredients, get out the decorating materials, and perhaps it's time to get ready to give back by hosting a Fall Bake Sale! If you're here looking for ways to make your baked goods look gorgeous, you're in the right place. 

I'm here today with Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) to share some Creative and Elegant Bake Sale Tips. Selling food is all about the presentation - we eat with our eyes first! In order to make the maximum amount of money from anything you're selling, make it cute and make it approachable! 

CUPCAKE INSTRUCTIONS:

Above, I baked a box of chocolate cake mix into 24 cupcakes, using metal liners.

I then grabbed a quart freezer Ziploc bag and a rosette icing tip. I placed the tip into the corner of the bag, cut a tiny bit of the bag corner off, then taped the icing tip into the hole with electrical tape. This worked pretty well, or feel free to use a pre made piping bag and metal icing tip. 

I then applied a swirl of icing to each cupcake and placed Fall Leaves sprinkles carefully onto each one. I thin they look like a little swirl of leaves on a windy, Fall day!  

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE BARS

Also, shown above, I made a batch of chocolate chip cookie dough, spread it into a baking sheet, and followed the instructions on the packaging for best results. I then cut the cookie bars into squares, and set them on top of a slice of decorative wood and set them on a mint cake stand I got from Target. I love how this display turned out!

Did you know that in 2016, RMHC provided 2.4 million overnight stays to families? And in doing so gave the ability to spend more time with their sick children, to interact with their doctors, and to make important decisions about their children’s care?

Below, you will see the juggling balls that Ronald McDonals House Charities sent me! 

Below, you can see a cute way to offer customers a cute gift bag with a Fall leave glued onto the bag, perfect for gifting that special treat!

Through the Ronald McDonald House and Ronald McDonald Family Room programs, RMHC provides places for families with sick children to stay just steps from the hospitals where they are receiving critical medical care.

Starting a fundraiser is simple and gives the fundraiser the freedom to do whatever it is they love to do to in order to help RMHC reach our goal of providing 12,500 more overnight stays to families of sick children this year.


1.) Always keep gloves and several pairs of tongs on the bake sale table, so you can serve customers their food without touching it. Also, make sure to keep plenty of to-go bags and containers for customers to bring their treats home in. 

2.) Always use rubber gloves while baking the items too.

3.) Presentation! Presentation! Presentation! I loved the use of this light pink crushed velvet tablecloth material! I headed to my local craft store and spent around $8-10 for 1.5 yards of it. I was so happy to incorporate one of the year's trendiest fabrics into my bake sale display! 

4.) Find a unique location like a popular, locally owned clothing boutique to have your bake sale in front of. Make sure people know to enjoy their treats before they head into shop, and food may not be allowed in the store. Office buildings, malls, and even breweries are also amazing location ideas because there is a larger amount of foot traffic.

5.) Spruce up desserts by adding bakery-style details like icing piped with icing tips, and seasonally adorable sprinkles! I also loved adding cupcake toppers, which can be made with toothpicks and scrapbooking paper or even pom poms! They can also be purchased for around $2.00.

6.) Place hand painted price signs at eye level, and make items affordable. Feel free to have a range of prices on the table too. For instance, I thought that .50 cents per mini cupcake, $2.00 per large cupcake, and $1.00 per chocolate chip cookie bar would be appropriate. I really, really wanted to make some caramel apples for this bake sale, and I believe you could get around $4.00 for them! 

7.) Display the charity name for which you are fundraising! I made a hand painted sign for FREE with black paper and white paint to showcase the "Raise Love #forRMHC" campaign info. Shoppers may also want to tag your cause on social media, so that is also what inspired me to create that sign.  

Learn more about starting a fundraiser here, and also get the details on Ronald McDonald House Charities here!

Inspiring Bloggers Who Will Get You Ready For Fall

Happy First Day of School for the college students at SIU and more! I love this time of year, when I am starting to see all the Fall clothing out in stores and seeing a small glimpse of cooler nights. I am hoping to se that inspiration of the arrival of Fall for some upcoming posts. I cannot wait to start creating Fall posts, and I am sure a few of you are as well. 

I am constantly inspired by other bloggers, and I wanted to share a few top-notch bloggers who I think you will love! These bloggers create some of the most creative and awe-inspiring posts, and I rounded up a few of my faves for Fall!

Celebrations At Home

If you are excited for Fall, you're probably also excited for Tailgate Season. Check out this creative post, shown above and below, sharing ideas on how to enjoy a day with the girls - because why not?!

For an Earthy and approachable look, grab some Fall treats and apple cider, and utilize brown elements like burlap, paper straws, cute plates and napkins, and more. 

Jenny Cookies

I love the color scheme used in this amazing Fall Ladies Lunch post that Jenny Cookies hosted. She used her famous collection of Cake Plates, 

Below, Jenny Cookies put together a more rustic look for a multi-level dessert table. I also just love the simple wooden boxes, brown and white foods, and simplistic leaf buntings. 

Are you excited for Fall, or are you holding onto the last warm month or so of Summer?