Deliciously Tempting Candy Apple Bars with M&M’s

 These deliciously tempting candy apple bars with M&M’s are the perfect sweet treat to use up all of those apples you picked this season!  

Candy Apple Bars with M&M's - the perfect way to welcome fall and enjoy a delicious dessert

Oh my gosh you guys. I’m seriously melting right now and wondering where the heck fall is. Over 100 degrees today and the forecast does not look good over the next week. Oh, how I yearn for the cool crisp 75-degree air of fall.

With pregnancy cravings that have me wanting apple pie, hearty stews, and other fall recipes I can’t help but give into temptation and bake up a delicious treat for the family even when it’s a sauna inside and outside of the house. Did I mention we have no a/c in the new house? Yeah…

After finding some delicious Candy Apple M&M’s on our most recent trip to Walmart I was inspired to make these delicious candy apple bars that are part apple pie, part candy apple. 

Candy Apple Bars with M&M's ingredients

I made sure to gather most of the ingredients we needed and have it all pre-measured because another crazy girl in the house wanted to help mama out even in this heat.

I’ve found that when cooking or baking with kids a little prep work goes a long way. And makes things go a little smoother. And this recipe couldn’t be easier to make with kids. No mixer needed, no special measuring or ingredients. Easy peasy!

Candy Apple Bars with M&M's mixing

We mixed together the oat mixture and reserved a bit for the topping. The rest we mixed with some delicious applesauce 

Once the applesauce oat mixture was ready I let my daughter spread it on the bottom of our 9×13 pan while I tossed the apples in some flour.

Candy Apple Bars with M&M's spreading applesauce oat mixture

Next was my daughter’s favorite part. After I put a layer of apples down she was in charge of adding the Candy Apple M&M’s on top of the apples. Now normally I use a layer of caramel here for caramel apple bars but we wanted some chocolatey candy goodness.

Candy Apple Bars with M&M's adding apples and M&M's

Once she was done I spread the reserved oat mixture over everything and had her help push it down gently. Then we baked up this scrumptious dessert and enjoyed a little kiddy pool fun to cool down.

By dinnertime, these were perfectly cooled and ready to enjoy for our dessert. Boy, was this a good treat to end our hot day. Now let’s bring on some cooler temperatures!

Candy Apple Bars with M&M's ready to bake

5 from 2 votes
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Candy Apple Bars with M&M's

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 15

Ingredients

For the candy apple bars

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 3 peeled fuji apples finely diced
  • 1 granny smith apple grated
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cup Candy Apple M&M's

For the drizzle

  • 1 cup powdered sugar sifted
  • 3 tablespoons apple juice

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 400ºF. Mix brown sugar, butter and shortening in large bowl. Stir in 1 3/4 cups flour, the oats, salt and baking soda. Reserve 2 cups oat mixture. Mix remaining oat mixture with applesauce and spread on the bottom of an un-greased 13x9 pan.
  2. Toss apples and 3 tablespoons flour; spread over mixture in pan. Spread Candy Apple M&M's evenly over apples. Sprinkle with reserved oat mixture; press lightly.
  3. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown and apples are tender.
  4. While bars are baking, mix together powdered sugar and apple juice and set aside. Once bars are done, let cool before drizzling with icing and enjoy!


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Candy Apple Bars with M&M's

What’s your favorite fall-inspired dish?

*This post was originally featured on September 14t, 2014. 

Fall Favorites: Pot Pie + Brussel Sprouts with Bacon

This shop featuring our fall favorites including Pot Pies and this delicious brussel sprouts with bacon recipe has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PotPiePlease #CollectiveBias

Fall Favorites Pot Pie + Brussell Sprouts with Bacon

I have a confession to make. I never had brussel sprouts until two years ago when I had them at a restaurant event. One of their specialty sides was their fried brussel sprouts with pancetta. And oh my word were they good! That’s when I started making brussel sprouts at home. And I’ve finally perfected the recipe. I don’t know why but eating them just feels comforting. Savory, tasty, good.

The best part? They pair perfectly with all of our favorite fall meals. Including our favorite pot pies from Marie Callendar’s. They go with just about every variety too. So when my husband wants to enjoy a delicious turkey pot pie but I want chicken, we can still enjoy the same side dish with our meal. I always keep a bag of brussel sprouts in the fridge and pot pies in the freezer for that last minute comfort food meal.

Fall Favorites Pot Pie + Brussell Sprouts with Bacon dinner

The best part about keeping a well stocked freezer – with plenty of Marie Callendar’s pot pies – around this time of year are the guests we have stopped by unexpectedly around the holidays. I already know that both my mom and my brother are making their way out here in a two months so instead of planning then when everything will be crazy, I plan now and grab a few extra when we’re at Walmart.

Marie Callendar's Pot Pies at Walmart

You can find Marie Callendar’s pot pies in the Dinner aisle of the freezer section. They’re super easy to spot next to the other Marie Callendar’s meals in the freezer.

Oh, and a little bonus tip: you can use pre-cooked bacon in this recipe OR regular bacon. Whatever floats your boat. Also? Pancetta is a welcomed substitution as well. Yum! This meal takes a total of 20 minutes to take and that’s more than welcomed around the holidays so we can spend more time with our family instead of in the kitchen.

Fall Favorites Pot Pie + Brussell Sprouts with Bacon side dish

Brussel Sprouts with Bacon

  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4-6 pieces bacon, diced
  • 1 pound brussel sprouts, sliced
  • drizzle of olive oil

Grab a large skillet and heat on medium high. Add butter and cook until it is browned and smells nutty.

Add onions and garlic. Cook until translucent. Add bacon. Reduce heat to medium and toss in brussel sprouts. Drizzle with olive oil. Let saute for about 15 minutes or until brussel sprouts become golden brown.

Serve and enjoy!

Fall Favorites- Pot Pie + Brussell Sprouts with Bacon 30 minute meal

What’s your go-to comfort meal to have on hand in case guests come over during the holidays?

 

85 Ways to Use Yogurt

Are you a yogurt fan? We’re sharing 85 ways to use yogurt in your everyday recipes!

85 Ways to Use Yogurt

There’s one thing I can always count on to make me happy. Whether it’s morning, noon, or night. And that’s a delicious bowl of yogurt. It’s the one thing I reach for in the fridge when I need a snack or when I’m cooking up a meal or dessert.

I started turning to yogurt more and more as a staple in my home after going through Weight Watchers after having my oldest child. It is such a great substitute for other ingredients in recipes and is full of flavor. Plus… less calories!

And in it’s simplest form, with a sprinkle of granola and some sliced berries, it can make any day better. Plus, when you’re done eating the yogurt inside, you can make something fun out of the container!

Have some yogurt in the fridge like I do? Here are 101 ways to use yogurt!

85 Ways to Use Yogurt

Breakfast

1. In strawberry muffins

2. Sprinkled with homemade granola

3. In a breakfast cereal parfait

4. In brown sugar maple muffins

5. To make a strawberry shortcake parfait a little healthier

6. In banana blueberry muffins

7. Spruced up as pumpkin pie yogurt

8. In greek yogurt blueberry muffins

9. In apple carrot walnut muffins

10. In chocolate chip donuts

Weight Watchers Simple Start anytime snack

11. In a healthy blueberry parfait

12. In overnight oats

13. In a Pomegranate Parfait with Blueberries

14. In cinnamon streussel yogurt muffins

15. In baby bran muffins

16. In banana chocolate chip whole wheat pancakes

17. In these flavorful Pomegranate Pancakes

18. In a blackberry shortcake parfait

19. In these Red Currant and Rosemary Olive Oil Scones

20. In these Whole Wheat Cranberry Sauce Scones

21. Or these Whole Wheat Mango & Ginger Scones

22. And these Whole Wheat Orange Scones with Chia Seeds

23. Or change it up with these Whole Wheat Pomegranate Scones

24. And around Halloween, bake up these Whole Wheat Pumpkin Scones

Strawberry Muffins with Greek Yogurt and coffee

 

Lunch

25. To spruce up tropical chicken sliders

26. In a greek chicken wrap

27. In greek style gourmet burgers

 

Dinner

28. To lighten up Pomegranate and Lamb Moussaka with Cardamon

29. In a marinade for Chicken Skewers with Dipping Sauce

30. In a chicken tikka masala recipe

31. In the slow cooker with this butter chicken recipe

32. In a Boneless Chicken Breast Kabob (Joojeh Kabob)

33. With these Filet Mignon Kabobs (Kabob-eh Barg)

34. In this Yogurt Marinated Leg of Lamb

 

Side Dishes

35. Grilled Baby Artichokes with Balsamic Yogurt

36. In carrot raisin salad

37. Mixed with mint on top of a beet salad

 

Snacks

38. In vanilla chai banana bread

39. In an apple blossom parfait

40. In apple cobbler yogurt bites

41. In cranberry orange muffins

42. With a cup of coffee and this Nut Crusted Whole Wheat Pumpkin Bread

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Smoothie ingredients

Drinks

43. With a straw in a PB Banana Oatmeal Smoothie

44. In an orange creamsicle smoothie

45. Spiced up in a pumpkin pie smoothie

46. In a strawberry smoothie

47. In this Mango-Rum Smoothie

48. With avocados in a blueberry smoothie

49. In a cookies n cream smoothie

50. With papayas in a papaya smoothie

51. In Doogh (Persian Yogurt and Mint Drink)

52. In an Orange Cream Smoothie

53. After a workout in this Mango Protein Shake

54. In a Pomegranate Smoothie

 

Dessert

55. In mandarin orange cream pops

56. For a delicious addition to a Banana Smash Cake

57. In chocolate chip muffins perfect for dessert

58. In a Plum Yogurt Cake

59. To cool down in frozen greek yogurt pops

60. In an Orange Upside Down Cake

61. In churro cupcakes

62. In these root beer float pops

63. In chocolate covered strawberry frozen yogurt

64. In pumpkin spice yogurt

65. In a berry triffle

Mandarin Orange Cream Pops aerial

66. In strawberry frozen yogurt

67. In these Strawberry-Rhubarb Creamsicles

68. In a pomegranate sundae yogurt parfait

69. Frozen in pina colada popsicles

70. In berry cake with coconut rum

71. To moisten Carrot Cake with Walnuts & Raisins

72. With a glass of wine and this Grape Upside Down Cake

73. In a vibrant Lemon Basil Cake

74. In this Red, White & Blue Jello

75. In these mini Saffron & Raisin Pound Cakes

76. In this White Rose Cake

 

Dips and Appetizers

77. In a herbed yogurt cheese dip

78. In a refreshing homemade tzatziki dip

79. In Borani-e Esfenaj (Yogurt and Spinach)

80. In this Hatch Chile Dip

81. In Borani-e Bademjoon (Persian Yogurt and Eggplant)

82. With this Mast-o Khiar (Persian Yogurt with Cucumbers)

83. In chocolate caramel apple dip

84. With apples in this PB Yogurt Dip

85. In peanut butter cinnamon yogurt dip

Mountain High Yoghurt

What’s your favorite way to incorporate yogurt into your day?

An Easy Dinner For The Whole Family: Bacon Wrapped Chicken Stuffed With Artichoke Dip

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This post featuring a delicious Bacon Wrapped Chicken Stuffed With Artichoke Dip recipe is sponsored by Foster Farms®, the opinions expressed are my own.

An Easy Dinner For The Whole Family Bacon Wrapped Chicken Stuffed With Artichoke Dip

When making dinner for the family I hate having to think of preparing two seperate meals. For the most part I choose at least one thing – whether it be the main course or one of the side dishes – that I know each kid likes and then prepare the rest depending on what we have on hand.

However sometimes with a few tweaks I can turn one meal into two: a grown up meal and something more kid-friendly. How awesome is that? Same amount of time with two delicious main courses. With three kids I need 30 minute meals or less and these recipes make that happen.

The bacon wrapped chicken stuffed with artichoke dip takes a few of my favorite things – bacon, artichoke dip, and chicken – and marries them ingredients together to form an amazingly delicious meal. Plus artichokes are in season right now so you can find them everywhere. And the homemade chicken nuggets… need I say more?

Homemade Chicken Nuggets for the kids

We try to stock up on produce when its in season or grow it in our garden. Not only does it taste better but it can also be cheaper. Another thing we do that keeps costs low is purchase our chicken at Costco.

Foster Farms® Organic chicken is in Costco now and in grocery stores in the fall. This means we can purchase USDA Certified Organic chicken in bulk to save money and stock our freezer. Free range, organic vegetarian fed AND locally grown in California!

Since my daughter has requested that we not eat our chickens once they stop laying I need to go somewhere for chicken!

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Stuffed With Artichoke Dip

The bacon wrapped chicken stuffed with artichoke dip is so simple! And if you just hosted a party where you made artichoke dip and have leftovers then its super easy to throw together. But don’t worry, you can purchase artichoke dip at your local grocery store if you don’t want to make it.

So 3 ingredients and you have a grown up chicken dish that’ll make you feel all awesome about yourself for making. And?? It works great or parties too! So do the nuggets.

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Stuffed With Artichoke Dip

Ingredients

  • chicken tenderloins (or breasts cut into 3 1″ thick strips)
  • artichoke dip
  • pre-cooked bacon

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the chicken tenderloins on a piece of plastic wrap. Cover with a second piece of plastic wrap and, using a rolling pin or meat tenderizer, hit until flat.

Remove the plastic wrap and place a spoonful of dip on and spread over the whole piece of chicken. Taking the thicker/wider side of the tenderloin, roll the chicken up.

Take a piece of bacon and wrap that around the rolled chicken. Keep in place with a toothpick.

Cook for 20 minutes and serve.

Homemade chicken nuggets ingredients

And now for the nuggets… so easy but SO good! And I’ve skipped a few steps that I used to include for simplicity.

Homemade Chicken Nuggets

Ingredients

  • chicken tenderloins
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 1/2 cup panko or regular breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat oven to 375. Place whisked egg into a shallow dish. Cut tenderloins into 1 inch pieces.

Place chicken pieces in egg and coat well.

Add bread crumbs and seasoning into a zip top bag. Then add egg coated chicken and close the bag. Shake, shake, shake until chicken is thoroughly coated.

Spread the nuggets out onto a foil-lined sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes. Enjoy!

Homemade Chicken Nuggets with BBQ Sauce

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Foster Farms®, the opinions expressed are my own.

Coffee Gift Ideas plus a Berry Scones Recipe

review affiliate link disclaimerCoffee Gift Ideas with Keurig 2.0 - invite some friends over and share some laughs over a delicious cup of coffee

Every year I get together with my girlfriends and we do an ornament gift exchange. It’s the perfect time to sit back, relax, and enjoy each other’s company.

This year I opted to host and had the girls over for a delicious cup of coffee and some berry scones and biscotti. I also had a surprise for them…

Thanks to Keurig I would also be able to gift a brand new Keurig 2.0 to one lucky friend. How awesome is that? Plus, I put together some cute mug gifts for each friend to take home.

Coffee Gift Ideas with Keurig 2.0 and K-Cup packs

The new Keurig 2.0 features Keurig 2.0 Brewing Technology™, which reads each lid to deliver a perfect beverage every time. See – what did I tell you? Perfection!
Keurig 2.0 brewer and Cafe Mocha K-Cup packs

Not only will they be able to enjoy the perfect cup of coffee every morning but with the new K-carafe packs they can also entertain guests and brew a 4-cup pot of coffee to share!

And when one has coffee to share, you need something to pair it with. I whipped up some of my favorite berry scones and grabbed a few boxes of biscotti from the store to serve alongside our delicious coffee choices.

Coffee Gift Ideas for friends

Coffee Gift Ideas plus a Berry Scones recipe

5 from 2 votes
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Berry Scones Recipe

This recipe makes about 12-15 mini scones or 6 large scones.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 6 tablespoons regular butter
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup dried blueberries
  • 1/2 cup 1% milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt and pulse 2-3 times to mix. Add the butter and pulse 7-8 times just until the mixture forms large, coarse crumbs the size of peas. Scatter the cranberries into the dough and pulse until just moist.
  3. Turn dough onto a lightly floured countertop or work space and press it together gently until the dough forms a ball. Using a spoon, grab a heaping scoop of dough and drop onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing scones about 1 inch apart.
  4. Bake until golden brown, 13-17 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly and serve warm.

 

Coffee Gift Ideas with Keurig 2.0 for friends

At each table setting I included a mug, two different kinds of biscotti, and k-cup packs for each guest to take home and enjoy. I also included a little candy cane (perfect for stirring) with a cute poem about the legend of the candy cane.

You can download a printable version of this poem here

Coffee Gift Ideas with Keurig 2.0 cafe escapes cafe mocha k-cup packs

Coffee Gift Ideas with Keurig 2.0 brewing

Coffee Gift Ideas with Keurig K-Cup packs and Biscotti

Once we enjoyed the coffee, scones, and some extra biscotti it was time to exchange gifts. When we were finished opening up the ornaments it was time to draw a name for the Keurig 2.0 I was gifting away.

Now there may or may not have been a little friendly competition from my friends but I assure you that no biscotti or scones were harmed when choosing a winner.

Coffee Gift Ideas with Keurig 2.0 gift

The Keurig 2.0 brewer makes a great holiday gift for anyone on your list. You can purchase a Keurig 2.0 K300 like the one I gifted for one of your friends at Walmart. I highly suggest grabbing a box or two of k-cup packs or k-carafe packs to go along with your gift.

Who would you gift a Keurig 2.0 to?

Goldfish Crusted Chicken Tenders

This post featuring Goldfish Crusted Chicken Tenders has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GoldfishMix #CollectiveBias

Goldfish Crusted Chicken Tenders - a fun meal for kids or adults

As the kids get older they are more and more interested in helping me with the daily chores. But the one thing the are always bugging to help me with is dinner. While it sounds like it’d be something that would take forever with kids, having them help in the kitchen is actually … well… a help!

These Goldfish Crusted Chicken Tenders are not only absolutely delicious but the kids have a blast helping cook them. The only thing I have to do is supervise and do the actual cooking!  [Read more…]

Pepperoni Recipe Ideas: Pepperoni Lasagna Roll Ups

This shop featuring Pepperoni Lasagna Roll Ups has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PepItUp

Pepperoni Recipe Ideas Pepperoni Lasagna Roll Ups

The one thing I love about the holidays are the meals I prepare with my family. Since we’ve hosted Christmas dinner the past few years we’ve started to change up what we serve.

A few years back I made these delicious lasagna roll ups with pancetta and spinach that were a huge hit.So for this year I wanted to try something a little different for an easy to prepare meal that was full of flavor. My change? adding Hormel Pepperoni[Read more…]

The Perfect Coffee Gift Basket plus a Cinnamon Marshmallow Recipe

This shop featuring the perfect coffee gift basket and a cinnamon marshmallow recipe has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ChooseSmart

The Perfect Coffee Gift Basket plus a Cinnamon Marshmallow Recipe

As I’ve mentioned before, my good friend Nadia will be leaving soon and off to her next adventure as her husband gets new orders. So I’ve been wracking my brain with what I could give her that was easy to pack and would remind her of our friendship.

Since most of our time together is spent watching the kids and drinking coffee I thought that a coffee gift basket with her favorite treats would be the perfect gift! And adding a homemade element (with a recipe card, of course) just added that perfect personal touch.

What would be better than enjoying a delicious caramel coffee drink topped with homemade cinnamon marshmallows before gifting her the gift basket?  [Read more…]

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie Drink Recipe

This pumpkin pie smoothie drink recipe was created as part of a sponsored post for Socialstars #SweetNLowStars

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie - a healthy, delicious way to drink pie #SweetNLowStars

Fall was in the air. For about a week. And then the high temperatures hit yet again. So in an effort to enjoy Fall without sweating to death I tested out a few pumpkin pie smoothie recipes to cool me down and still give me the pumpkin fix I was looking for.

Plus this smoothie is perfect as a quick breakfast for the kids. I threw it all together and blended up in less than 5 minutes! Much faster than pancakes or waffles.

With the natural sweetness of the banana and added guilt-free sweetness of Sweet’N Low I think I’ve found a winner with this one!

[Read more…]

Bigelow Vanilla Chai Banana Bread: The Perfect Mommy Time Out Snack

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This #AmericasTeas shop featuring a vanilla chai banana bread recipe has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for #CollectiveBias and its advertiser.

Bigelow Vanilla Chai Banana Bread The Perfect Mommy Time Out Snack

When the kids are asleep and the house is all quiet I feel like I finally have a little mommy time-out to relax, reset, and take a little time for myself after working and caring for the kids all day. Whether that time is spent sipping a cup of Bigelow vanilla chai tea or (if my husband is home) a walk around the neighborhood, I find essential to take advantage of this downtime.

Naptime has become my time over the past few years and I take full advantage of it. I take this time to prep dinner, get some laundry in, catch up on work, or make some goodies to enjoy after naptime. And sometimes? I even get to read. Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve actually finished a book? It’s been a while.

As I recognize this opportunity for my own mommy time-out during naptime, I’ve been leaning more towards spending this time for myself instead of the endless list of chores and work that’ll be there after naptime.

[Read more…]



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