Monday, September 30, 2013

Easiest Ever Apple Dumplings

Apple season is another one of my favorite times of year. I have my standard recipes that we make every year but I also love trying new ones. This particular dish just might be a new favorite, but if you're familiar with the famous Ree Drummond aka Pioneer Woman, you just might agree everyone of her recipes always seems to be a keeper.

That's exactly where this recipe came from. It's definitely one of the easiest and tastiest apple dumpling recipes I've ever tried. Some of the ingredients might surprise you and aren't ones that I bake with very often. In fact, the husband gave me a weird look when I walked in the door with Mountain Dew. I'm not much of a pop drinker and that is one pop that you won't see me with.

The addition of pop or soda if that's what you call it; helps to make this most amazing, sweet sauce. The crescent rolls (another thing I don't normally buy) bake up beautifully with a nice, crusty top. These really should have been topped with a big scoop of ice cream but we didn't have any on hand. Shame on me. It won't happen again.

Easiest Ever Apple Dumplings

1 large apple {Granny Smith works well or any other tart, baking variety}
8 oz. pkg. crescent rolls
1 stick butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
6 oz. Mountain Dew {half of regular sized can}

Lightly grease a medium sized baking dish. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel and core apple, cut into 8 slices. Unroll crescent rolls, wrap each slice of apple in one roll, place in baking dish seam side down.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan melt stick of butter. Once melted add in sugar and vanilla, let cook for maybe one minute total. You don't want sugar to dissolve. Pour over dumplings. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Pour Mountain Dew over top of dumplings. Bake for 40 minutes. Serve warm with ice cream if desired. Makes 8 dumplings.

Source: Pioneer Woman

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Slow Cooker Refried Beans

As I sit here typing this post, it's barely 8:00 at night and the kiddos are already in bed, well the little ones at least. The oldest is at a friend's house. I've got a nice drink by me, and I'm excited to keep reading this book. It's the little things I tell ya.

You know what else makes me happy? These homemade refried beans that I made in the crock pot the other day. I've had them on my to-make list forever and kept putting them off. Then after seeing them on a couple of my favorite blogs I really became anxious to try it out.

I dumped everything into the crock pot early one morning then covered with water and let the beans cook throughout the day. At first the onion smell was strong along with some of the spices, I was afraid I might have seasoned them a little too much. But as the morning went on, the smell mellowed and my house had this wonderful aroma of Mexican cuisine.

I didn't make a whole lot just because not everyone in our family likes refried beans. I did however get enough to use in our burritos for dinner that night along with two small containers for the freezer. For a one pound bag of beans that cost me around $1, that's quite a bit of beans for my money.

These were delicious in our burritos that night! My mom used to make these for us growing up, she'd even make extras for the freezer so we could heat one up in the microwave or oven for lunches. I simply mixed one pound of cooked ground beef with 1 cup of the beans and 1/2 cup of salsa. Just heat that together over the stove, add more beans or salsa if needed. Then scoop mixture onto tortilla shells, top with cheddar cheese and roll up. Heat on a skillet or even in the oven just until warmed. Pretty easy meal right there folks.

Slow Cooker Refried Beans

1 pound bag dried pinto beans
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
4 cups water

Dump beans into a large bowl, fill with water and let soak overnight. In the morning remove any beans that have floated to the top. Rinse beans and remove any ones that are broken.

Add beans to slow cooker along with onion and spices. Cover with 4 cups of water and stir to combine everything. Cover with lid and let cook on low for 8 hours. Make sure to check on beans periodically to make sure there's enough water, add a little more if needed. I never did have a problem with mine though.

After 8 hours beans should be done and will mash easily if pressed with the back of a spoon. Use a potato masher to mash beans to your desired consistency. Taste and season with additional salt if needed.  You may then use them right away or let then cool completely to freeze. Either store in freezer bags or small containers, make sure to label!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Pumpkin Cinnamon Raisin Yeast Bread

I love making my own breads, I just don't do it often enough. Yes it takes time but I think the taste is so much better that it makes up for the time you put into those two loaves. I also love knowing exactly what's in the bread I'm eating.

My girls and I all love cinnamon raisin bread. We love it toasted in the morning with some butter or jam. I just don't particularly love all the ingredients in one loaf, and it still will cost me about $3 to purchase a store bought loaf. Ones made in a bakery are going to run around $5-$7.  I don't know about you but that's not always in my budget each week.

I'm just estimating here but I would figure I made two loaves of this bread for about $3. I even added some pumpkin in because well it's fall and I love baking with pumpkin but I think it also pairs well with cinnamon and raisin flavors. This is something I can feel good serving to my family and it's so good too!

We have been quickly devouring this bread, I really should have made extras to freeze. It's good warm out of the oven, cooled, toasted, you get the point. I bet it would even make for awesome french toast! Our oldest and I enjoyed a slice with biscoff cookie spread. Yum was that ever delicious! Not healthy of course, but a great little treat.

Please, please take some time this fall to make this bread. It's so good and very easy. Don't be intimidated by baking with yeast, it's really not complicated. I use my kitchen aid stand mixer and let that do all the work for me.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Raisin Yeast Bread

1/3 cup warm water
2-1/4 tsp yeast
1/2 cup milk (room temp)
1/2 cup pumpkin
1 egg
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp butter, softened
1/3 cup raisins
4-1/2 to 5 cups flour
1 tbsp milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
melted butter, for brushing

In a bowl add warm water and yeast, let stand for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile in the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, add in milk, pumpkin,egg and butter. Mix to combine. Add in yeast/water mixture and combine. Add in raisins. Next sprinkle in sugar and cinnamon. Gradually add in flour, start with 4-1/2 cups of flour and add in up to 1/2 cup more if needed.  Mix just until combined and then switch to the dough hook. Let the dough knead for a good five minutes or so. You want the dough to be all in one ball, not clinging to the sides of the bowl. If that's the case, add in more flour in small amounts.

After dough has been kneaded, remove from mixer and place in a large bowl that's been lightly greased with oil. Cover and let rise in a warm spot for 1-1/2 hours.

Remove dough from bowl and lay out on a floured surface. Using a rolling pin roll out into a large rectangle, about 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle 1 tbsp of milk all over dough, using your hands rub it into dough. Use more milk if needed. Mix 1/3 cup sugar and 1 tbsp cinnamon together in a bowl and sprinkle over dough. Roll dough up the long way. Cut in half to form your two loaves.

Place each loaf into a greased 9x5-inch loaf pan. Cover and let rise for one more hour.  Bake loaves at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until browned and loaves sound hallow inside. Brush each loaf with melted butter and let cool. After about 10-15 minutes remove from pans and let cool on wire racks completely.

*If you'd like to freeze, you can freeze the whole loaf or by the slice. To freeze whole: wrap in plastic wrap or foil and then put into a large freezer bag. Make sure to label. To freeze by the slice: slice bread, lay slices on a cookie sheet and flash freeze for about an hour or until frozen solid. Then add slices to a freezer bag and label. These should stay fresh for 3 months in the freezer.

Yields: 2 loaves

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Chicken-Bacon-Ranch Roll ups

I wish I had some great story behind this recipe, but really I don't. I needed something quick to set on the table last night and this is what sort of came to mind. I don't think anyone was complaining though.

I'm going to state right off the bat, these are not exactly healthy. They're also not something I would normally serve my family on a daily basis, but they're really good and once in a while it's okay to indulge. I figure we serve plenty of veggies and fruit on the side to round out the meal anyways.

Baked chicken, crumbled bacon, cheese, ranch and bell pepper all rolled into a tortilla shell; really what's not to love about this? While they did make for a quick, light dinner, I would also serve these for lunch or even a hearty after school snack for the kids. Salsa was the perfect dipping sauce but additional ranch would also be great.

Chicken-Bacon-Ranch Roll Ups

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded/diced
4 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
1/2 cup ranch dressing
diced bell pepper
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
8 tortilla shells

In a bowl add shredded or diced chicken, crumbled bacon, ranch dressing, diced bell pepper and cheese. Stir to combine. Divide chicken mixture among tortilla shells evenly, spread down the middle and roll each shell up. Place seam side down onto a baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.

Serve warm with salsa or additional ranch dressing. Feel free to add in your favorite veggies to the mixture!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Pumpkin Oatmeal Scotchies

It seems like it's been so long since I've baked any cookies. Actually I realized I haven't been doing much for baking at all lately. I had eggs in my fridge near their expiration date, that never happens. Since our weather here in Iowa seems to be cooling off and definitely more fall like, I've been itching to start baking with pumpkin. Apples too, pumpkin and apples are the perfect fall baking ingredients!

I took advantage of an activity-free evening in the week and baked these babies up. Sometimes I'm not always sure how the kids will respond to new creations, but they went over very well I must say. The daycare kiddos even got a sampling the next day and approved them.

Oatmeal butterscotch cookies are always a favorite and I really do think butterscotch pairs quite well with pumpkin. The pumpkin helps makes these incredibly soft and moist. They are awesome right out of the oven, when the butterscotch chips are still warm and melted. The recipe yields about four dozen, plenty to share with neighbors or store extras in your freezer for another day. Trust me, they won't last long though!

Pumpkin Oatmeal Scotchies

2 sticks butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2-1/4 cups old-fashioned oats
1-1/2 cups butterscotch chips

In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. Add in pumpkin, eggs and vanilla and mix together well. Sprinkle in baking soda, salt and cinnamon; continue mixing. Gradually add in flour and mix until combined. Fold in oats and butterscotch chips. Chill in fridge for about one hour.

Drop dough onto prepared cookie sheets using a medium sized cookie scoop. Bake at 350 degrees for about 12-14 minutes, or just until cookies are set and lightly brown. Let cool on pan for a few minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes 4 dozen.


In other news:

Here's a peek at what was in our produce box for this week. We're getting close to the end, we should be able to go through October I believe. Makes me a little sad, I love receiving fresh, organic produce each week. But I think I've also done a great job preserving as much as I can throughout the summer, I think we'll be eating pretty well this winter!

I spent much of my day building towers with this little cutie yesterday! I enjoy my Fridays with her and our one-on-one time when the other girls are in school. Although in the back of my mind I knew I had cakes to be baked, buttercream to be made and dishes to be washed; I didn't let that get to me. They won't be little for long and I'll be missing these days far too soon! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Maple-Bacon Muffins

It's not too often I purchase bacon, we love it and it never lasts long but I just don't buy it often. So you know how surprised I was to find a few pieces leftover from the weekend sitting in our fridge. The little ones would have easily gobbled it up if I had let them, but what's the fun in that?

It only seemed right I crumble it up and add to muffin batter, maple muffin batter at that! These were sooo good and sure didn't last long. A sweetened cinnamon butter would have been a great addition but believe me, these are just as good on their own. Plenty sweet with pure maple syrup baked in but not too sweet. The bacon sure balances that out.

They also bake up beautifully, so light and fluffy. I think for someone who doesn't typically like muffins and tends to gravitate towards savory breakfast choices; these would be perfect for you. My only regret is, I didn't make more. But that might not be such a bad thing after all!

Maple-Bacon Muffins

2 eggs
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 cups flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 slices cooked bacon, crumbled

In a large bowl, combine eggs, maple syrup, oil and yogurt together. Add in sugar, baking powder and salt. Gradually stir in flour. Add in crumbled bacon and stir just until combined.

Spoon batter into a prepared muffin pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 18 minutes.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Sweet and Sour Short Ribs

Tis' the season for crock pots! Well technically it's one appliance we use year round, but fall seems to be one season we look forward to serving up that first cozy bowl of soup or maybe even these ribs. We're back to busy nights and my crock pot gets a little more use during that time.

I tried out this recipe last week, not knowing how it might turn out, just crossing my fingers it'd be really tasty. It was, the kids ate really well that night and I was one happy mama! I've learned it's the little things. Agree?

We all love meals that you can literally just dump into the crock pot and go off to work or about your day. This is another one of those. You'll taste just enough sweetness from the cola and brown sugar but it's not overwhelming. I loved adding my baked beans to the pot, that takes care of one side dish right there. Oh and the meat itself is so tender and falls right off the bone. I love that!  I used short ribs but I'm sure boneless beef or pork ribs would work just as well. The whole family is sure to love these.

Sweet and Sour Short Ribs

3 lbs. short ribs
12 oz. can Pepsi (coke or dr. pepper would work too)
28 oz. can baked beans
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika

Place ribs in crock pot. In a bowl, combine baked beans with cola, brown sugar and spices. Pour over ribs, cover and cook on low for 7 hours. When ready to serve drain liquid and serve ribs with beans.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Pear Sauce

Anybody else relieved it's Friday? It's been a particularly long week here and I'm ready for some relaxation. We had something going on almost every single day this week so I'm feeling a little more tired than usual. I also finally got the last of the pears used up yesterday. I've been making batch after batch of this delicious pear sauce.

I make it just the same as my applesauce, but with pears. I literally throw chunks of peeled, diced pears in a crock pot with a tiny bit of water, a little sugar and heaping amount of cinnamon and let it do it's thing all day long.

About 6 hours or so. Then mash it all up with my potato masher, we like it chunky still. Let it cool and divide among small containers to stash in the freezer. It will keep all winter long and will be one tasty treat come January and February.

I think I've got a total of nine 2-cup containers of this stuff in the freezer now, plenty for our family. I even made a batch without any cinnamon or sugar, just plain pears for the hubby as he doesn't like cinnamon much. I forgot to try it though, but it will be easy to sweeten up if needed or I can even use it to bake with. Maybe some muffins or bread.

If you can get your hands on some good local pears or even grab some on sale from the store; make a batch of this! It's a great fall treat!

Pear Sauce

20-30 pears, peeled and diced
1/2 cup water
1/2-1 cup sugar
2 heaping tbsp cinnamon

Add peeled and diced pears to a large crock pot. Pour in water, sprinkle sugar and cinnamon over top. Stir to combine everything. Cover and let cook on low for the day, about 6 hours. When pears are down, take a potato masher and mash until you've reached desired consistency. Let cool completely and then ladle into small containers. Cover, label and stash in freezer.

Makes about 6 cups

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Lawnmower Tacos

Lawnmower tacos, funny name isn't it? I can't take credit for the name but it sure is a fun change up from the standard taco meal. And everyone loves tacos, right?

It's no secret that I love freezer cooking. Another one of my favorite bloggers, Jessica from Life as Mom happens to be a big freezer cooking advocate. In fact she even came out with her own cookbook last fall devoted to the topic; Not Your Mother's Make-Ahead and Freeze Cookbook. While this is the first actual recipe I've tried from the book, it's become one of my favorites to read through. I've got tons of recipes flagged so I can try them when I need new inspiration.

It's not your ordinary cookbook, you'll find a great how-to guide in the first pages, along with quite a few different plans for your own freezer cooking session. You can think of it as a freezer cooking bible if you will.

If you've read from Jessica's blog during any given time, you've probably heard of these lawnmower tacos. The casserole looks as if your taco has been stuck through a lawnmower. With layers of crushed tortilla chips, taco flavored meat and lots of cheese; it's a fun meal that everyone will love. You can top with your favorite toppings, just like a taco salad.

What's even better, you can make this ahead of time and stash in the freezer. Then when you don't feel like cooking one night, just thaw and re-heat in the oven. Now I haven't tried this as a freezer meal yet, but it's on my list! I modified the original recipe just a tad and it didn't last long in our house. I should have made a double batch so we had leftovers. Lesson learned!

Lawnmower Tacos

1 lb. ground beef
1 pkg. taco seasoning or 2 tbsp homemade
1/4 cup flour
14.5 oz. can beef broth
Crushed tortilla chips
2 cups grated/shredded cheddar cheese

In a skillet brown ground beef until no longer pink and crumbled. Drain and return to skillet. Add in taco seasoning and flour, stir well to combine. Stir in broth and bring to a simmer, let simmer for about 15 minutes so that sauce thickens.

Lightly grease an 8x8-inch baking dish. Spread crushed tortilla chips over bottom of pan. Sprinkle in meat over chips, top with half of cheese. Repeat layers. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes, just until cheese is melted and bake is hot and bubbly.

If freezing, let pan cool once you have assembled the casserole. Cover with foil, label and place in freezer. When ready to bake, thaw in fridge and bake for about 20-25 minutes, until heated through.

Serve with desired toppings such as: lettuce, tomato, bell peppers, avocado, sour cream and salsa.

Adapted from: Not Your Mother's Make-Ahead and Freeze Cookbook

Monday, September 9, 2013

Weekend Recap

We had a very busy weekend, mostly spent preparing for our 6-year olds birthday party. I decided to only do a friend's party this year, which would be her first, also thinking if it wasn't in my house it might take some of the work load off of me. I was wrong. It's still a lot of work, especially when you make the cake, etc yourself. But it's so worth it, it always is!

She's never been a fan of cake, well more the frosting than anything. As a cake decorator in my spare time, this somewhat saddens me. I spend all that time making her a beautiful cake and she doesn't want to eat it. But she loves fruit, all my girls do! I've seen a few of these fruit "cakes" on other sites, I knew this was the route to go with her.

It was a huge success! The whole thing went over very well with her friends, I only brought home a tiny bit of watermelon leftover. I felt good about feeding them something healthy and I bet their parents didn't mind either. Don't worry though, I didn't deprive them of all sugar. I sent home an adorable flower shaped cookie on a stick I decorated. Of course I forgot to take a picture of them though. So disappointed!

Friday night I let the girls decorate their own cookie with leftover buttercream. They had fun, got a little silly and went overboard with the frosting a bit!

Sunday after church we headed back to the in-law's to pick even more pears. This batch I'm sending home with one of my daycare moms, I know she'll be able to put them to use. I've been busy working on pear sauce when I can but I've still got a bunch. I need to think of some other ways to use them up. Feel free to send any ideas my way!

In the afternoon our oldest participated in her first ever Color Dash 5K. She had so much fun, and wanted me to let her stay that way the remainder of the day ha ha!

Silly girl! After a couple showers I think she was about all cleaned up.

Well it's back to the grind today. It's been a relaxing few weeks at night but now we're getting back into our normal fall routine. Cross country meets, bowling league and dance classes. Busy busy, but I love it! Have a great Monday everyone!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Tomato-Basil Chicken

So we got home last night after picking up the oldest from cross country practice and then grabbing our weekly produce box. I had chicken thawed out for dinner but didn't exactly know what I wanted to make. That's when this vision popped in my head: panko-crumbed chicken breasts with a little mozzarella cheese then topped with a nice tomato and basil mixture. Screams summer right? Can you tell I'm trying to hang onto it for as long as I can :)

Speaking of veggies, here's a peek at what we brought home yesterday. Carrots, cucumbers, garlic, tomatoes, sweet peppers, summer squash, basil, broccoli, green beans, lettuce and purple cabbage. Another week with a great selection. The basil and tomato immediately were incorporated into our meal. The girls also literally begged to have carrots and broccoli with dinner. They've always been such great fruit eaters but I've noticed how much more they ask for veggies for snacks, this makes me so happy!

Okay back to the chicken. To put it simply, it's really good. Actually I think you should even make it this weekend. Put some of those garden fresh tomatoes and basil to use.  And we all know every thing's a little better with cheese on it right?

Tomato-Basil Chicken

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tbsp olive oil
1-1/2 cups panko crumbs
1/4 cup flour
2 eggs
salt and pepper, to taste
fresh mozzarella slices
1 medium tomato
3-4 fresh basil leaves, chopped

Place chicken breasts in between two pieces of parchment/wax paper and flatten them out a bit using a meat tenderizer or even a rolling pin works fine. Set up your dredging station using three small bowls. Place panko crumbs in one, flour seasoned with salt and pepper in another and two beaten eggs in the last.

Take each chicken breast and dip into flour first, then eggs and finally in the panko crumbs. Make sure to cover well with crumbs. Heat olive oil in a medium (oven-proof if you have it) skillet, add chicken breasts when oil is hot. Let cook on first side for about 5 minutes and then flip to the other. Let cook for another 5 minutes, until browned and cooked through.  Place a fresh slice of mozzarella on each piece of chicken and stick skillet in the oven for about 5-6 minutes at 350 degrees, just until cheese is melted.

Meanwhile, chop tomato and basil up and place together in a small bowl. Mix well and season with salt and pepper. When cheese is melted, remove chicken from oven. Transfer to plates and top with tomato-basil mixture.


Any big plans for the weekend? Our 6-year old is celebrating her birthday tomorrow with some friends. I'll be busy tonight decorating cookie pops for gift bags and then working on her cake tomorrow before the party. It's going to be very unique, she's not a fan of cake so we're making a "fruit" cake if you will. I'll be sure to share pics! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Summer Vegetable Tian

Summer seems to be coming to an end, Labor Day has since gone now and the weather seems to be cooling off just a bit. I'm a little sad, I sure hope we can enjoy some nice 80 and 70 degree weather for awhile. Although I am anxious to get baking with pumpkin and apples, I will miss the abundance of fresh summer vegetables and fruits.

We're only halfway through our weekly produce box, we got a late start due to all the rain in the spring time so that makes me happy. We can continue to enjoy these delicious veggies just a little while longer!

I always seem to have at least a few zucchini and yellow summer squash in my fridge at all times. While we have loved grilling them this summer, I thought it would be fun to try them a new way. Roasting the veggies in the oven with spices and a little cheese was a great change of pace and I loved how the veggies were still a little on the crunchy side. You can bake them longer for a softer texture.  The tomato flavor really came through, they were awesome.

My hubby, whom I've never thought to like any vegetables has really enjoyed eating zucchini and summer squash this summer. I'm so glad we signed up for this farm share, it's been such a great way for us to try new things and enjoy good, local produce.

Summer Vegetable Tian

1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 med-large zucchini
2 med yellow summer squash
1-2 tomatoes
Salt and pepper
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried basil (or fresh, chopped if you have it)
3/4 cup mozzarella cheese

In a medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add in onion and garlic, let cook for a good five minutes to let onion tender. Transfer to a lightly greased 8x8-inch baking dish and spread over bottom. Set aside. Meanwhile, slice vegetables. Place sliced veggies in pan, vertically, alternating. Season with salt, pepper, thyme and basil.

Cover and bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees. Uncover and sprinkle with cheese and let bake an additional 15 minutes.

Adapted from: Budget Bytes

Monday, September 2, 2013

Monster Cookie Dough Popcorn

A couple weeks ago I finally splurged on a jar of Biscoff spread. Let's just say, I now understand why people eat this stuff by the spoonful! It's honestly that good, but also almost $4 a jar. Not something I will be purchasing on a regular basis.

My good friend Angie had recently made up a batch of this popcorn and brought over a container to share with us. Actually she was returning my container, she told me how her neighbor said to never return an empty container, it should always be full of something else. I've never heard that saying before. But I like it!

This popcorn is utterly addicting, I'm not kidding. Good thing I sent home a bag with my in-law's the other night. You've got all kinds of good stuff going on in here, everyone is bound to fall in love with this popcorn treat!

Monster Cookie Dough Popcorn

7 cups popped popcorn
1-1/4 cups white chocolate chips
1-1/2 tbsp shortening
1/3 cup biscoff spread
1/3 cup quick oats
3/4 cup miniature marshmallows
4 oz. pkg cookie dough bites candy (found these at Wal-Mart)
3.4 oz. pkg M&M candy (again at Wal-Mart, theater candy boxes)

In a microwave safe bowl, melt white chocolate chips and shortening together. Heat in 30 second intervals, stirring each time until smooth. When completely melted add in biscoff and stir until melted through. Add in quick oats, stir and let cool for a few minutes. Add popcorn and marshmallows to a large bowl, pour melted chocolate mixture over popcorn and toss together well until all popcorn is coated.

Sprinkle in both chocolate candies and toss with a spatula to combine. Lay wax paper out on the counter top and pour popcorn onto lined counter to let cool. Let set out for awhile and then transfer to air tight containers.

Adapted from: Inside BruCrew Life

In other news, check out all the pears we picked from my in-law's tree yesterday after church! We haven't even put a dent into it. Last year with the drought the tree just didn't produce so I've been anxious to get over there and get some this year. I've been checking each week to see how they're doing and afraid all the older ladies in the neighborhood would snatch them all up before I got a chance :)

We made up some pear sauce last year and it was so good! I can't wait to make a bunch and stash it away in the freezer for winter.

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