Sunday, September 14, 2014

White Chocolate Fudge & M&M’s® Captain America Superheroes Shield Recipe

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



Superheroes have fully taken over my house! My son is all about the superheroes in movies we watch. He has toys, towels, clothing, shoes, the list goes on of all the hero themed items we own. I must admit that I love every moment of it! I am a super hero fan Mom. My favorite is to sit down and watch a movie with him while eating movie snacks.  I have let him watch a few of the older marvel movies and now all the cool ones coming out those as well. We love Captain America with his cool outfit and save the day hero attitude. We are looking forward to watching on DVD Captain America: The Winter Soldier while we eat one of our top favorite movie snack M&M’s®.



My son has been asking for a Captain America shield to go with his other Captain America toys so we decided to head to Walmart to check out the toys while we shopped for dessert. I have been waiting all summer for September to arrive so I can make my favorite dessert ever, fudge! I am making a "winter" theme fudge to celebrate Captain America 2 The Winter Soldier available now on Blu-ray and DVD. To keep in theme with my son getting a shield toy to complete his hero look I plan to make the white chocolate fudge shaped into mini shields and decorated with M&M’s® to look like the Captain America pattern. Of course the Mom in me wanted to add a bit of a healthy kick to a sweet treat so I bought dried blueberries and dried cranberries to add to the red and blue theme of our dessert. We found so many M&M’s®  it was hard to decide which ones to get. There are so many varieties they have their own shelf!



I had to get myself a Captain America shirt to match my son of course!

I am excited to be making the first official batch of fudge for the season. I enjoy making themed fudge to celebrate fun things in life. Fudge is a tradition in my family that my Mom started. Anytime I make fudge I always try to make it just like hers in the flavors and texture. Good fudge is amazingly delicious and you only need a small amount to enjoy it. The perfect indulgence for a movie night at home.

Add dried blueberries and dried cranberries to white chocolate fudge recipe

White Chocolate Fudge & M&M’s® Captain America Shields

1 Party Size bag of M&M’s®
3 cups sugar
3/4 cup  butter or margarine
5 oz. can evaporated milk (about 2/3 cup)
12 oz bag of white chocolate chips
1 jar  (7 oz.) Marshmallow Creme
1/2 cup dried blueberries
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 tsp.  vanilla

Line rectangular pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides. Bring sugar, butter and evaporated milk to full rolling boil in 3-qt. saucepan on medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook 4 min. stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

Add white chocolate chips and marshmallow creme, stir until melted. Add dried cranberries, dried blueberries  and vanilla; mix well. Pour mixture into pan evenly coating the bottom of pan. Let fudge cool completely before cutting into circles with cookie cutter. Organize the party size M&M’s® to separate the red and blue M&M’s®  from the other colors. Arrange red and blue M&M’s®  in circle pattern. Cut red M&M’s®  in half to make star shape in middle of shield.



You can use a coupon to save $5 when you buy Captain America: The Winter Soldier on DVD and 2 bags of M&M’s®  Candies.

Check out what other families are creating with M&M’s®  and Captain America: The Winter Soldier at the Heroes Eat M&M's site. Take the Quiz there to see which M&M’s®  you are. I was Yellow, what are you?
#HeroesEatMMs #CollectiveBias




Laura

Friday, September 12, 2014

Making Some Of My Fall Favorites, Spiced Apple Pie Smoothies and Applesauce Spice Cake

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


Living in Washington State pretty much feels like living in the heart of apple country, and gives me lots of inspiration to create delicious apple recipes, especially when the weather starts cooling down.

Fall is my favorite season of the year, and I'm ready to pull out my cozy sweaters, make sure we have plenty of firewood, and of course, start making some yummy apple treats in the kitchen.

My Spiced Apple Pie Smoothie is made with Mott's Apple Juice, milk, banana, and yogurt. I love it's creamy apple flavor, and it's super easy to make as a quick breakfast drink, or anytime you feel like having a refreshing beverage.


I went shopping at Walmart and picked up some of my fall favorites for the kitchen. Mott's Apple Juice, Mott's Applesauce, and the new Candy Apple flavored M&M's, made exclusive for Walmart.

When I opened the package of M&M's, they smelled just like a candy apple. So good, and of course, I had to pop a few in my mouth right away. Yes, really good!!


Nothing says fall better than an apple cake. Mott's Applesauce is the key ingredient to making my Applesauce Spice Cake moist and delicious.

My grandchildren Liam and Ashley, couldn't wait to taste this cake. They were my little helpers when we put the Candy Apple M&M's on top of the cake. I also used my favorite cream cheese frosting recipe for this cake. Cream cheese frosting is really very easy to make, just three ingredients, and makes a rich, delicious all-purpose frosting.


This cake will fill your kitchen with the best apple and cinnamon aroma ever while it's baking. My family and I had this for dessert, and we loved it. I've tried different applesauce cake recipes through the years, but this really is my favorite. And it's easy, too.

I'm happy to share my recipe with you, so that you can make this easy and delicious apple cake. I do recommend using Mott's Applesauce for this cake, it's the brand I have always bought for decades, and I can always depend on it's great taste and quality.



Recipe for Applesauce Spice Cake

Ingredients:

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
1-1/2 cups Mott's Applesauce
2 eggs
package of Candy Apple M&M's

For Frosting:

2 packages cream cheese (8 ounces each) at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 8-9 inch round cake pans. Put all ingredients into a large bowl and beat with electric mixer until well combined. Pour into prepared pans and bake for 25 minutes or until done. Let cake cool out of pans before frosting.
To make frosting, combine ingredients in a medium bowl and beat until light and fluffy.
Frost and assemble cake layers, top with Candy Apple M&M's


 

You can find the new M&M's Candy Apple flavor and other fall flavors at Walmart. I found them in the seasonal aisle, but you can also check the candy aisle at your local store.


You can also find Mott's products at your local Walmart. I like buying a few bottles of applesauce to keep in the pantry for eating and fall baking.


I have some great money saving coupons to share with you. $1.00 off any two (2) Mott's sauces or Mott's juice drink and $1.50 off any two (2) M&M's brand candies.

It's great to save money on great products that I use all the time. It's so handy and convenient to just print the coupons out and take them to the store.

Here's my recipe for my Spiced Apple Pie Smoothie. I made some for my grandchildren for breakfast this morning and they loved it. And it has some healthy ingredients in it, so it makes me feel good giving it to them. And it's yummy.


Recipe for Spiced Apple Pie Smoothie

Ingredients:

1-1/2 cups Mott's Apple Juice
1/2 banana
1/4 cup milk
1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Just put all the ingredients into a blender, and blend until combined. Pour in to a glass and sprinkle with a dash of cinnamon.


So have you started your fall baking yet? Do you have a favorite apple recipe? I'd really love to know. Happy Baking!!




Patricia

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Melt In Your Mouth Chocolate Chip Scones


When I say these scones are melt in your mouth delicious, I'm not kidding. I've never made scones before because they seemed like a lot of trouble, and some of the ones I have eaten in bakeries have tended to be dry.

But my family and I love baked goods in the mornings, especially on the weekends when we have more time to enjoy them. So I decided to give these Chocolate Chip Scones a try, and I'm so glad I did.

I don't know if it made any difference, but I made the dough and then let it set overnight in the refrigerator, instead of just an hour. It's simple to roll it out into a narrow rectangle, and then cut it free-hand into triangles. The dough could also be used to make other kinds of scones, and I'm thinking that cranberries and walnuts would be delicious together, too.

I can see myself bringing these to a friends' house to enjoy with coffee soon. And wouldn't it be nice to bring them to your child's teacher as a thank you for all their hard work? These are just so yummy, and so worth the time it takes to make them. They are also wonderful when they are reheated in the microwave the next day, with a little butter.

Recipe for Chocolate Chip Scones

Ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3 eggs
1/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt
3/4 cup

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Whisk together flour and baking powder in a medium sized bowl.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter until creamy. Add sugar and beat 3 minutes on high until pale and fluffy.
Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Slowly add the flour and baking powder mixture into the egg mixture, blending well.
Then add yogurt, again mixing until blended. Fold in chocolate chips until blended throughout the dough.
Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (This recipe may be made in advance and refrigerated overnight.)
When ready to bake, on a floured surface, roll dough out in a rectangle shape, 1/2 inch thick and 4 inches wide. With a knife, cut the dough into triangles. Bake for 18-20 minutes.
 
 
 
Patricia

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Join me for the #IAmProtective Twitter Party 9/19

RSVP for the #IAmProtective Twitter Party

CB-Twitter-Party-Post-Disclosure-June2014-TM
 

Join the #IamProtective Twitter party 9-19 at 11am ET. $550 in prizes! #shop
 
Do you love a good Twitter Party?  You know we do and we’re excited to host a party about how we protect the things we cherish!  On FRIDAY, September 19th at 11:00 am ET, please join us for the #IAmProtective Twitter Party where we’ll be sharing tips and resources to help you protect the things that are important to you, and giving you a chance to win prizes! We’ll also be sharing information about a great contest and opportunity to help others during the party.

My children are all adults now, but when they were young, we had plenty of Protective Insurance in case of unforeseen circumstances. I felt comfortable knowing they would be financially provided for if that need ever happened. Now I'm concerned about my own financial future as I am older now, and trying to plan for my later years. Join me for the #IAmProtective Twitter Party and share what you are protective of.

Join me and RSVP for the #IAmProtective Twitter Party on SoFabChats!

RSVP for the #IAmProtective Twitter Party on September 19 at 11 am ET

DATE: Friday, September 19th

TIME:  11:00 am – 12:00 pm ET

PRIZES: 5 - $100 Visa Gift Cards

EARLY BIRD PRIZE: 1 – $50 Visa Gift Card

HOSTS: @AleaMilham, @DentistMel, @Mammamoiselle, @FrugalFamTree@tsue1136

SPECIAL GUEST: @ProtectiveLife

RULES: #IAmProtective Twitter Party Official Rules

RSVP PARTY GRID: #IAmProtective Twitter Party Page






How To Participate In A Twitter Party on SoFabChats!

TIP:  How to join a Twitter Party – sign in! Before party starts, click on the green “Sign In On Twitter” bar at the top of the page!

TIP: Who to follow at a Twitter Party? Follow the Party Team by clicking on the Twitter handle links on the RSVP page!

TIP: Want to win Twitter Party prizes? RSVP by clicking on RSVP button before you join the party, follow everyone on the Party Team, and tweet with the party hashtag during the party to be eligible!

TIP: How to win the Early Bird prize? Watch for chance to share a tweet when you RSVP for a chance to win!

TIP: Special deals and brand coupons? Keep that options checked when you RSVP for the party!
TIP: New to Twitter parties? Watch your column and Party Team tweet columns – they are slower paced and easier to follow!

TIP: Where to find Twitter Parties? Check out the SoFabChats Twitter Party Calendar to find more fun parties to attend!

Find more helpful Twitter Party Tips on SoFabChats!


Patricia

Monday, September 8, 2014

Easy Glazed Cinnamon Streusel Muffins




Cinnamon is one of my favorite flavors, and it reminds me of fall, and all the coziness that comes along with that season.

These great tasting muffins are topped with a cinnamon streusel and powdered sugar glaze that will make your morning start off on a happy note.

Besides tasting so yummy, they are super easy to make. They are made with Bisquick Mix, that old favorite from so long ago, and one my mother always had in her cupboard. I grew up with pancakes, muffins, waffles, and more made from it, and I am actually a bit nostalgic about it.

I do enjoy baking from scratch, but sometimes I pull out the Bisquick for an easy recipe like these muffins. And if you have any left over, a quick 15 seconds in the microwave makes them totally fresh allover again.


Recipe for Easy Glazed Cinnamon Streusel Muffins

Ingredients:

Topping:
1/3 cup Bisquick Mix
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons firm butter or margarine

Muffins:
2 cups Bisquick Mix
2/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg

Glaze:
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons milk

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners.
In a small bowl, mix together streusel topping ingredients until crumbly. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix muffin ingredients until well blended. Spoon into paper liners, about 2/3 full.
Sprinkle with topping. Bake 18-22 minutes or until golden brown. Let muffins cool before glazing.
To make the glaze, mix the tablespoons of milk and powdered sugar together in a small bowl until smooth. Drizzle glaze over muffins and let set before eating.

Makes 12 muffins.

Patricia

Friday, September 5, 2014

Smarter Sims & Weirder Stories: Living a "Sims" Life

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



Finally The Sims™ 4 has arrived! My husband and I made a whole day of having fun playing the game and eating snacks on my day off. The first thing we did was Create A Sim to make our family on the game and build mode for a house. Funny enough just like in reality we had to compromise on the way the house looked and which neighborhood it would go in (but then I did realize he can make his own game too!).



Cute to see the child it made from my character and my husband's. 

Since the game first came out and my husband and I played in college we always giggled that we would be playing "real" The Sims™  once we were out of college. We are grown up now but still there is a kid inside that loves to play video games. The best part of The Sims™ 4 is the way the personalities are way more in depth with big personalities. I was cracking up at the way the characters were acting from picking traits that myself and my husband do have. 




The Sims™ has always been a fun little escape from reality. I like it since its a design game too. I am not a fan of app type of games as much as PC games so for me this is an epic game. It has depth of characters, good story lines and tons of replay value. 



We had a blast playing the game over the last few days and have been having several "SIMS" moments at home.


The funny thing about The Sims™ is how it really is like real life. Our personalities dictate what we like, what we need and what will bring us joy. It is to learn a little about humanity to play The Sims™ 4. How will your dream home look, what will your dream career be, find out when you play! #Sims4 


After we grab some snacks I will be heading back to my job as a writer, my beautiful home and my adoring son. (Thankfully my SIMS character has the same life on the game as I do in reality, well sorta lol) #CollectiveBias


I shopped at Walmart for my copy of The Sims™ 4. I grabbed some Sour Patch Kids Gum, soda, chips and candy for a day of enjoying the Latest PC Game. I encourage you to shop for the game soon since my store shelves were sold out!! 

Be sure to enter the SIMify yourself Facebook Contest here: https://www.facebook.com/simifyyourself. There are $8000 in prizes to be won including the grand prize where you could win a trip to Maxis studio in California! See the official rules here: https://collectivebias.box.com/shared/static/bgg20pn7ujnmkha77b6p.pdf





Laura

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Spicy Beef and Potato Soup


September has always been the start of the new year for me. Going back to school is a very big deal, I think. It was for me when I was a child, it was for my own children, and now it is the same for my grandchildren.

I'm so happy to tell you that my grandson Jayden, who started second grade on Wednesday, loves his teacher and new classroom. I know I'm not responsible for him the way his parents are, but believe me when I say I was pretty anxious to know how that first day went.

September is also the time I start thinking about cooler weather, and the hearty soups and stews that my family enjoys. I love making soup in my big pot, and there are so many easy soups that can be made with very simple ingredients.

This Spicy Beef and Potato Soup is made with ground beef, potatoes, and corn, items that many of us already have on hand. This recipe makes a nice big pot of soup, with a delicious tomato flavor, and even the kids will love it.

Recipe for Spicy Beef and Potato Soup

Ingredients:

1 pound lean ground beef
4 cups peeled and cubed potatoes
1 small onion, chopped
1-1/2 cups frozen corn
4 cans (8 ounce each) tomato sauce
2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoons black pepper
1 tablespoon hot sauce

Directions:

In a large heavy bottomed pot or Dutch oven, over medium heat, cook beef until browned, drain off fat.
Add potatoes, onion, corn, and tomato sauce. Stir in 4 cups water, salt, pepper, and hot sauce.
Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, 1 hour or until potatoes are tender and soup has thickened.

Makes 6 generous servings.



Patricia

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Share Sam's Club with a Friend & Plan a Party

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and Sam’s Club. All opinions are mine alone.



When my friend Bree and I see each other work always seems to be the reason, but the times we all get together and have some fun are the best. We try to make time outside our busy lives of working full time, me being a Mom and Bree a full time student to just hang out.

Bree and I know many people all with birthdays right around one another and were thinking of planning one big party. Being the money savvy gals we are we decided to see what the cost would be like for a big party. I live down the street from Sam's Club so we grabbed some coffee and made a list. Sam's Club is one of those stores you can shop and get everything you might need all in one stop. It is my go to when we are planning a big party.

The first thing Bree said to me when we walked into Sam's Club was "I have never been in a Sam's Club but I have been in other big warehouse stores". I knew this was going to be a great trip to show her the prices and quality of the products for a party. Bree is known for the great parties she throws and the goodies she bakes. My son even knows the Bree makes all the goodies I bring home from work. He asks me if I have a "special treat" for him and I know he means did Bree make me anything lol.

Being the baker she is and her busy life I wanted her to see how convenient Sam's Club can be for parties and baking. The first thing we had on our list was disposable plates, cups and utensils. The only not so fun part of a party is the clean up, so I figured if we bought all disposable items it would keep clean up simple.

We started with Disposable party supplies and quickly the cart became full

We wanted to have healthy options for our party so we shopped for fresh food like fruit and a veggie party platter. Beverages are essential to a party as well. At Sam's Club they have a huge assortment of beverages to select from. We picked the basics of apple juice, water, soda and juice boxes.


Our favorite section in Sam's Club is the bakery area. I showed Bree how all the items can be used for semi-homemade treats. I know she loves to bake from scratch but I wanted her to see how she can save time while planning a party with pre-made items. We decided we would make bite size cake treats instead of a traditional birthday cake.



We purchased vanilla pound cake, chocolate chips, heavy cream and fresh blue berries & raspberries to make our chocolate covered cake topped with fruit.

Fresh Fruit Chocolate Covered Cake:

3 pk of Vanilla Loaf Cake
18 oz pack of fresh blueberries
18 oz pack of fresh raspberries
36 oz bag of chocolate chips or white chocolate chips
1 quart heavy cream

Pour 4 cups of chocolate chips into bowl, set aside. Boil 1 1/2 cup of heavy cream, pour over chocolate chips, stir slowly until blended. Cut vanilla cake loaf into even slices, cut in half. Drizzle chocolate glaze over cakes, top with fresh fruit, place in fridge 30 min to set.



Now that I have shared Sam's Club with a friend and planned a party we will spend the rest of the afternoon eating all the delicious food we bought and made. I am sure Bree will be shopping Sam's Club for her next party.



If you would like to #TrySamsClub for you or a friend you can read more on facebook and twitter. #CollectiveBias

Laura

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Kicking off Back to School with a 21 Day Fix Challenge!


Hi everyone! Things have been going so great with my coaching that I am starting a Beachbody Challenge™ group. It starts on September 12th and would love for anyone and everyone to join! It's a 21 Day Fix Challenge and it's the easiest way to achieve your goals ever. 

As part of my group, you'll be one of four to six like-minded people. We'll track our progress along the way, hold each other accountable, and motivate, inspire, and encourage each other to achieve amazing results. It's easy! 

The best part is that the 21 Day Fix program is on sale right now for the month of September. I have heard so many great thing about this program and I know several people personally that have lost 10+ lbs. doing this! I am so excited to start it myself, I can’t wait! If you are interested in another Challenge Pack program there are lots to choose from, you can still join the group with any program.

But the spots will fill quickly—and you don't want to wait 'til the next group! When you're ready, just visit my Web site at http://www.beachbodycoach.com/esuite/home/Samantha0916 and follow the link, click on the Challenge Pack picture located to the right and select the 21 Day Fix to sign up. Or call or email me and I'll walk you through the process. Just an FYI it takes about a week to get your shipment so make sure you plan accordingly.
 
If you have been looking to start a program or to be a part of a great group then this is for you. I don't know about you but accountability and a positive attitude is what I need to succeed! Join me on this adventure and you won't be disappointed!

 

Samantha

Monday, September 1, 2014

Toasted Coconut Donuts


I think I've mentioned before that ever since I bought a donut pan, I can make donuts whenever the mood strikes me. And it actually strikes me quite a lot.

When I lived in California, there was a donut shop practically everywhere you looked. Sort of like the equivalent of Seattle having a Starbucks on every corner. Well, I live across the water from Seattle now, and there are no donut shops around here. Or at least none I have found.


So of course that's the perfect reason to start making my own donuts, and my family loves them.

They are super easy to whip up on a lazy weekend morning, whenever we have a craving for them.

These Toasted Coconut Donuts are pretty fabulous, and if you are a coconut lover like I am, you will especially adore them.

This recipe makes a dozen donuts. You can make them without toasting the coconut if you are short on time, but they aren't quite the same. That extra five minutes or so that it takes is well worth it.


Recipe for Toasted Coconut Donuts

Ingredients:

For donuts:

Baking spray
2 cup all purpose flour
12 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons buttermilk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon coconut extract
2 tablespoons butter, melted

1 cup toasted coconut

For glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract

Directions:

In a medium frying pan, place 1 cup of coconut. On low-medium heat, toss coconut frequently with a spatula. Cook until toasted, about 5 minutes, and do not let coconut burn. Place in a small bowl when done, and set aside.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease a donut pan with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
Add buttermilk, eggs, coconut extract, and melted butter. Stir to combine. Carefully spoon batter into prepared donut pan, filling 2/3 full.
Bake 8-10 minutes, or until donuts are baked through. Allow to cool 5 minutes and remove from pan.

To make the glaze, in a small bowl, combine powdered sugar, coconut extract, and milk.
Stir until smooth, adding more tablespoons of milk as needed. Dip cooled donut in to glaze, and set on rack. Sprinkle heavily with toasted coconut. Repeat with remaining donuts.


Patricia