Over The Top Mommy

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(Almost) Better Than Christmas M&M’s® White Peppermint Cookies and DIY Snowman Glasses

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

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I think my most favorite time of the year is when the holidays arrive. I’ll admit, it’s a little ridiculous that signs of the holidays seem to show up earlier and earlier each year in the stores, but I’m 100% Ok with it! The Christmas season would be year-round thing if I were in charge! It’s such a wonderful time of the year to enjoy doing special things with my daughter like watching our favorite Christmas movies, working on festive crafts, and baking up some favorite holiday cookies in the kitchen!  I am so lucky to have a daughter who enjoys doing these things as much as I do! peppermint-is-my-kryptoniteI get excited to see which special variety of M&M’s® I’m going to find in the holiday candy section at Walmart each year. The other day, I literally stopped in my tracks when I saw bags of M&M’s® White Peppermint and M&M’s® Hot Chocolate chocolate candies on the shelf on the holiday candy aisle.bake-in-the-fun-productsI did a fist pump before tossing both bags into my shopping cart, along with a bag of M&M’s® Holiday Milk Chocolate candies, which I also found on that aisle. I couldn’t resist adding a Pillsbury™ Funfetti® Holiday Cake Mix and Pillsbury™ Funfetti® Holiday Vanilla Flavored Frosting to my cart either, which I found on a holiday display in the center aisle. Last, but not least, I grabbed a gallon of Great Value Milk. In our home, you can’t have cookies without milk! Now I was ready to bake up some holiday fun at home!

ready-to-bake-up-some-holiday-fun-at-homeAnything peppermint is my Kryptonite, especially these candies! I love all things peppermint and it was time to kick of the holiday baking season with a batch of (Almost) Better Than Christmas M&M’s® White Peppermint Cookies! They are delicious and don’t take too long to prepare.

prepHey, as long as we’re talking about the holidays, go enter the #BakeintheFun Sweepstakes for a chance to win a KitchenAid® Mixer!

Holiday #BakeInTheFun

So…while I was busy baking in the kitchen, my daughter decided to make some easy (yet adorable) Snowman Milk Glasses for us to use later on for our cookies & milk. She had seen a similar idea on Pinterest, using clear glass coffee mugs. So, when I was out shopping, I picked up some glass drinking glasses, perfect for her project. All you need to make your own holiday glasses are: whatever type of drinking glass you prefer (wine glasses would be cute too) and permanent markers. You may also want to keep a pack of baby wipes handy, for mistakes.

sketchingShe first sketched out a couple of snowman faces on paper. She then drew a different one on each of our glasses, deciding to make one a snowman and the other a snow woman.  nose

so-quick-and-easy-to-do

I poured some of the milk I’d purchased at Walmart into each glass, creating a complete snowman look and they were ready to use. (It’s important to note that the marker will wash off when you wash the glasses.)

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Milk, cookies, and a holiday movie! What a fun way to spend the afternoon together!

Great-American-Milk-DriveDid you know that each year, food banks in our country provide for hungry children and families in need? In numbers that translates to more than 46. 5 Americans and about one in every six children who rely on Feeding America food banks each year.  One of the most requested food items is milk, but on average, food banks are only able to provide the equivalent of less than one gallon of milk per person per year. That’s because while Americans are generous with canned and dry goods, many don’t think to donate milk because it’s perishable.

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This year, The Great American Milk Drive will deliver a gallon of milk to a family in need in YOUR local community for each small donation received at pourmilklove.com.  Also, with every purchase of 2 bags of M&M’s® at Walmart (9.4 oz bags or larger), up to a gallon of milk will be donated to the drive. Click here for a coupon good for towards the purchase of ANY TWO (2) M&M’s® Chocolate Candies, (8 oz or larger).

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(Almost) Better Than Christmas M&M’s® White Peppermint Cookies Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 container Pillsbury™ Funfetti® Holiday Vanilla Flavored Frosting (you’ll be using the sprinkles that are on the top portion of the container)
  • 1 9,9 oz bag of M&M’s® White Peppermint chocolate candies

Cookie Preparation: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper. (This is my best kept baking secret.)
  3. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, beat the butter, granulated and brown sugars, and vanilla extract until creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating them in after each one is added. butter
  5. Beat in the flour mixture gradually.
  6. Mix in the chocolate chips and M&M’s® White Peppermint with a spoon.
  7. Add in the sprinkles from the Pillsbury™ Funfetti® Holiday Vanilla Flavored Frosting. (set some extra aside)add-ins
  8. *This is an extra step. I like to wrap my cookie dough in plastic and stick it in the refrigerator for about 10-20 minutes. (You can skip this step if you’d like to).  wrap-in-plastic
  9. Spoon generous portions of the cookie dough onto the parchment paper-covered baking sheet. (They’re supposed to be pretty giant.) I-love-baking-on-parchment-paper
  10. Bake 10 minutes.
  11. Remove from the oven and add a few more pieces of each candy plus some more sprinkles on the top of each cookie. This will help them to bake while staying visible in the cookie.
  12. Bake 3-5 more minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before serving. bake-in-the-fun-cooling

Won’t you consider joining Feeding America in The Great American Milk Drive, the first-ever national program to help deliver highly desired and nutrient-rich gallons of milk to hungry families who need it most. Log onto milklife.com/give to learn about the need for more nutritious foods in America’s food banks and see how your small donation can make a big impact.

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Be sure to check out more delicious holiday baking recipes, including these M&M’s® Holiday Snowflake Cookies which includes Pillsbury™ Funfetti® Holiday Cake Mix in the recipe. I’d love to hear what your favorite holiday recipe is? Leave a comment below!

“Mommy Time in a Mason Jar” Parfait! My New Favorite Indulgence With DOVE® Fruit!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are 100% my own. #LoveDoveFruits #CollectiveBias

indulge-in-a-mommy-time-in-a-mason-jar-parfaitI’m a mom, a very busy mom. I’d say that I spend most of my time doing everything but worrying about myself. Yep, I fully admit that I’m guilty of not doing much for myself on most days! I sometimes feel like I wear about 100 different hats…all of them invisible, of course! The running around usually starts around 5 am and doesn’t stop until I fall into bed, well after 10 pm!  Honestly, I’m OK with this though, or I should say I’ve always been OK with this until now. I feel like it’s just what most moms do, but and I’m ready to put a stop to it!

a-mom-wears-100-different-hatsI can’t say that I’ll stop doing all of what I do, because I know I wont, but I am learning to take a little time for me now! I’m learning the importance of “me time”. It’s just a small window each day. It doesn’t even happen every day, but I’m trying to make it happen for myself on most days. One of my challenges is that I get so wrapped up in what I’m doing, I forget to eat throughout the day. This usually results with me shoving not-so-great food choices into my face because I’ve gone too long without eating,  I’m now trying to make a conscious effort to change my eating habits though and incorporate better-for-me snacks into my day.

dove-fruits-blueberryI NEED to share one of my new snacking favorites with you! Have you tried DOVE® Fruit yet?  This delicious combination of real fruit (cherries, blueberries, and cranberries) dipped in silky smooth DOVE® Dark Chocolate, combines the wellness benefits of dark chocolate with fruit.

dove-fruits-in-your-handThe first time I found these in the grocery section of Walmart, I ripped open the bag as soon as I got to my car because I was dying to try them! I also ate the entire bag! Do you see why I needed to share with you? Oh my goodness, they are soooo yummy! My daughter loves them too! I now carry around a couple of bags in my purse, just in case I need to grab a quick snack.

dove-fruits-boxesI recently started incorporating DOVE® Fruit into one of my snacks at home that I like to call “Mommy Time in a Mason Jar“! I just mix vanilla Greek yogurt with granola because the smooth and crunchy textures mixed together are delicious. Adding some of the DOVE® Fruit, makes it all taste even better! They are great to have pre-made in your fridge so you can just grab one when you get home from work and school!

mommy-time-in-a-mason-jarLook at how simple the recipe is:

Ingredients:

  • 1 32 oz. container Vanilla Greek Yogurt
  • 1 12 oz. bag of your favorite granola (I prefer the kind with almonds in it)
  • 1 bag of DOVE® Fruit (I used blueberry for this recipe)

3-simple-ingredients

 

3-simple-ingredientsPreparation instructions:

  1. In a mason jar, spoon a bottom layer of yogurt in the bottom, about an inch thick.
  2. Top layer of yogurt, with a layer of your favorite granola.
  3. Drop a couple of DOVE® Fruit on top of granola layer. spoon-in-layers
  4. Repeat all 3 steps until your Mason jar is filled to right below the lip.
  5. Enjoy immediately or refrigerate for later.

layered-in-a-jarHow delicious does that all look? After I’ve made my “Mommy Time in a Mason Jar Parfait”, I like to take it out on our back patio and enjoy the sunset. Isn’t this a beautiful view? It truly is relaxing…even if it just lasts a couple of minutes before I hear “MOOOOOMMMMMYYYYY!” again!

sunsetWalmart carries all 3 varieties of DOVE® Fruit. (cherries, blueberries, and cranberries). As I mentioned before, I found mine on the end of an aisle in the grocery section.

walmart-end-aisleDo you take time for yourself each day? Comment below with something that you do for YOU!

See more great DOVE® Fruit recipe ideas on the DOVE® Fruit social hub. You can also download a coupon to save on your DOVE® purchase, here

 

Celebrate This Valentine’s Day With M&M’s® Red Velvet and Chocolate Pie Pops!

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

pie-popsValentine’s Day is my absolute favorite holiday of the year! It always seems like everyone is happy and you can feel the love and friendship in the air! I loved it as a little girl, I love it as a 1st grade teacher and I love it as a mom, especially as a “girl mom”.  My daughter embraces my need to be “that mom”! You know, the one who always sends something cute for the class on just about every holiday? (OK maybe I don’t on Groundhog Day)

valentines-paintingThis year, my daughter will be bringing the cutest & yummiest treats to school for her classmates at their Valentine’s celebration.  I’m sending M&M’s® Red Velvet and chocolate pie pops! Yep, you read that correctly! M&M’s® Red Velvet exist!

red-velvetIf you’re as excited to try them as I was when I first saw them, then you should make a quick trip out to Walmart today to grab a bag of your own!

FullSizeRender (74)The M&M’s® Red Velvet are so delicious in this recipe. These pie pops definitely have a cute factor about them! They are honestly so easy to make! I like that it’s a kid-friendly recipe too because my daughter loves to spend time with me in the kitchen.

pie-pops-recipeHere’s what you’ll need to make this recipe:

  • 1 box of store-bought pie crust (they usually come 2 in a box)
  • 1 jar of chocolate spread of your choice
  • 1 bag  M&M’s® Red Velvet
  • 1 egg, just the egg white
  • flour (to spread out on the counter)

Instructions:

  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees
  • Lightly flour countertop and roll out pie crust. Use  a large biscuit cutter to cut out pairs of circles.
  • Use small heart cookie cutter to cut out one heart for each pop that you’re making. pie-circles pie-hearts
  • Cover cookie sheet with parchment paper. Set bottom circle pieces on cookie sheet, leaving ample space between each one. pie-circles
  • Gently push a lollipop stick into the center of each pie circle.
  • Spoon in some of the chocolate spread into the center of each pop. Don’t use too much to avoid it squeezing out. chocolate-inside
  • Place 3 M&M’s® Red Velvet candies on top of the chocolate spread. place-candies
  • Set top circle of dough on top and lightly push edges together with your fingers.
  • Use the end of a lollipop stick to seal edges of entire pie pop. sealing-the-edges
  • Brush each pie pop lightly with egg white. Place hearts on each pop and brush egg white on them as well. FullSizeRender (67)brush with egg white
  • Place into oven and bake for 9-12 minutes, keeping a close eye on them so they don’t burn.
  • When they’re golden brown, remove them from the oven and allow to cool. brush-with-egg-white

You will most likely be overwhelmed by how amazing they smell to the point where you’ll want to bite right into one as it’s coming out of the oven! Allow them to cool down for at least 5 minutes.

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For Valentine’s Day, I’m going to wrap each pie pop in a plastic bag, add some M&M’s® Milk Chocolate candies inside the bag, and tie it up with colorful tulle. The M&M’s® almost look like confetti inside the bag, don’t you think?

favorsI found everything I needed to make this recipe at Walmart, which makes it so easy for a busy mom like me!

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Do YOU love Valentine’s Day as much as I do? What’s YOUR favorite way to celebrate friendship and love on Valentine’s Day?

For more M&M’s® Red Velvet inspiration, be sure to visit the Red Velvet Love Recipes page. Join the #RedVelvetLove Pinterest Party taking place at http://www.pinterest.com/SoFabChats/ on Saturday, January 31 at 12:00pm ET for your chance at winning a $1000 Walmart gift card!
See more great M&M’s® Red Velvet recipe and party ideas at myconfectioncorner.com/valentines-day where you can also download a coupon to save on your M&M’s® purchase.

Celebrating Whole Foods Market Cherry Fest: Summertime Salad with Fresh Cherries Recipe & a Giveaway!

Cherries are one of those fruits that I could sit and eat for hours! Having a bowl full of cherries in my lap, literally makes me happy! I’d never considered doing much more with cherries than just eating them as is.  Whole Foods Market, is currently celebrating their 5th Annual Cherry Fest and I was invited to create a recipe for an in-store event they were having.

cherry fest sign Shopping in Whole Foods makes me feel like a kid in a candy store! I literally walk around with my mouth gaping open in awe! I LOVE that Whole Foods Market supports and promotes local farms and I feel content knowing that my produce is fresh from the farm to my table. They had such beautiful cherries in the produce section that I couldn’t wait to get them home and use them in my Summertime Salad with fresh Cherries recipe!

IMG_3960 Let me take a minute to talk about the dressing I used for the salad. It’s a recipe that’s been passed down among girlfriends for about 9 years now. Originally, one of my good friends served this dressing on a salad at my baby shower (my baby is currently 9 years old). I swear EVERYONE at that shower was asking her for the recipe! (including me) I cannot even count how many times I’ve made this dressing. I honestly think I serve it on almost every occasion possible AND everyone always loves it and asks for the recipe. My girlfriends and I call it “the dressing” and everyone in our circle of friends knows exactly what someone is talking about if you use those words! It’s just the kind of dressing you can use on most salads, so I’m using it on this one today. I think it’s going to become your new “secret weapon” too! Ok, here comes the recipe….

Ingredients for the Secret Weapon dressing:

  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • ½ cup good quality olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped

Ingredients for the Salad:

  • 5 oz. of Baby Arugula
  • 1 lb. cherries, pitted and sliced
  • 4 ears of corn, cooked and cut off the cob (after it’s cooled)
  • 2 avocados, chopped
  • 1 cup of crumbled feta cheese

Directions:

For the dressing, finely chop the parsley and add to a dressing container of your choice, mixing in all of the other ingredients to the container. Dressing can be made a day ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator but will need to return to room temp prior to serving. Shake dressing well prior to serving. I usually double the recipe for the dressing when I make it, just so I have extra, in case I make more salad at the party. (Everyone will want more, trust me!)

For the salad, place baby arugula, corn, avocado, feta cheese crumbles, and fresh cherries in a bowl and toss with dressing. If desired, sprinkle some extra feta cheese crumbles on top. (I promise, no one will object to this)

summer salad

So…tell me what you think? Are you ready to go and make my Summertime Salad now or what?

Did I mention their cherries are going to be on sale tomorrow for $1.99 a pound?!!!

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You NEED to go buy some and make something yummy too! 

I just have ONE MORE thing to share…a giveaway! Everyone loves giveaways, right? In honor of Whole Foods Market and their Cherry Fest, they’ve given me one $50 Whole Foods gift card to give away to one of my lucky readers! Enter below on the Rafflecopter! Good Luck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I was provided with a Whole Foods gift card as compensation for creating my recipe. All opinions are my own. Some images provided to me by Whole Foods.

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

I have always loved to read.  I even used to carry a book around with me everywhere I went, when I was a kid. I’m fortunate enough to teach 1st grade and have the opportunity to read so many fun books as read alouds, on a daily basis. One of my favorite authors to read is Dr. Seuss! His books are filled with so many fun adventures. His eclectic illustrations also allow your imagination take over. when you’re reading his stories. My 1st grade students love when I read one of his books, like “The Cat in the Hat” or “Green Eggs and Ham” because of the repetition and the rhyming
We are big readers in our home and absolutely LOVE Dr. Seuss books! We also love having an occasion to tie in food with! So, in honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday, we decided to make a special snack to munch on while reading some favorite books by Dr. Seuss! Emi isn’t a big fan of scrambled eggs or even of ham, so we put a twist on “Green Eggs and Ham” and made “Green Eggs and Popcorn!” It’s so easy to make and hard to resist grabbing handful after handful! We use this basic recipe and adapt it for any occasion and/or holiday. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
*1 bag of Wilton white candy melts
*2 bags of microwave popcorn
*green sprinkles
*green M&Ms
*vegetable oil
Directions to make “green eggs”
1)Place a piece of parchment paper on the counter
2)Get a small bowl of green M&Ms ready
3)Pour half a bag of white candy melts into a bowl, microwave 30 seconds, remove, stir and place back in for 25 seconds. Remove the bowl from the microwave again, stirring and add a little bit of vegetable oil and stir again. Allow them to sit and cool for about a minute.
4)Using a teaspoon, make piles of the candy melts on the parchment paper and place one green M&M in the center of each one. Allow to dry.
Directions for popcorn
1)Microwave popcorn according to directions on the bag. After bag is popped and cooled, pour popcorn into a big bowl, separating unpopped kernels and throwing them into the trash.
2)Prepare other half of the bag of white candy melts.
3)Pour melted candy melts into bowl of popcorn and mix together with spoons or your hands.
4)Shake in some green sprinkles.
5)Place “green eggs” in bowl with the popcorn and eat!

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