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Thursday, October 8, 2015

Caramel Apple Parfait

If you don't have the time to make a pie but you still need a quick dessert fix, this single-serve Caramel Apple Parfait is for you!  Layers of cinnamon and pecan-infused crushed graham cracker, diced green apples, gooey caramel, and Yoplait Apple Crisp Yogurt provide the ultimate fall refreshment that can be thrown together in minutes!
It's ok to drool.  You have my permission.  :)

I just love the flavors of fall, and the in-season fruits are absolutely delectable!

I have fond memories of autumn time. As a teenager, I worked at a place called "The Red Barn" to put myself through college.  It was literally a big red barn constructed in my hometown as a cute country store that sold old-fashioned ice cream, fudge and other handmade treats.  

My favorite part about working there, other than the fact that I got to sample lots of yummy goodies, was apple season!  Adjacent to the store was a huge apple orchard that also belonged to the store owners.  They'd harvest the gorgeous, fresh fruit, box it and make it available for purchase. 
Customers flocked from all around to get their hands and mouths on those delectable things in bulk.  Often, we couldn't keep a large enough stock to meet demand.

And rightly so.  Those fresh apples tasted like candy!  Oh how I yearn for another bite of the crisp, Utah Fuji apple.  I'd almost consider going back to work there to re-live that mouthwatering experience.  :)
So in honor of my memories at "the big red barn", I put together an incredible and gorgeous fall dessert with my favorite fall-time fruit.  A dessert that you won't be able to resist grabbing a spoon and digging right into!

Beautiful layers of sweetened graham cracker and cinnamon mingle with plentiful dollops of Yoplait Apple Crisp Yogurt, a sprinkling of Granny Smith Apples and a drizzling of warm caramel to create the ultimate heavenly experience for the taste buds!

What I may love most about this dessert is that I can make just one (in a pretty Mason jar) when I most need it and don't want to be tempted with two dozen cookies staring me in the face all day.
Meet the star of today's recipe...Yoplait Apple Crisp Yogurt!  It's absolutely scrumptious!  I cleaned off Walmart's shelves when I saw it.  Sorry (but not sorry) other shoppers!  

My husband got home from work, saw them in the refrigerator and immediately grabbed a spoon, popped the top and dug in.  A plethora of "Wow!"s and "Oh my!"s ensued.

I would seriously buy a year's supply of this seasonal delight if I could preserve them. 

You need to make this dessert.  TODAY!  Sorry, I don't meant to yell, but I'm pretty passionate about this.  :)
This is the good stuff!  I want to run and make another one right now!

This will make enough for two small Mason jars, (the 8 oz. jelly jars), in case you're feeling in a sharing mood :)

For the crust layer:
3 graham crackers, crushed
1/2 Tbsp. sugar
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 Tbsp. pecans, finely chopped

Stir together graham crackers, sugar, cinnamon and pecans.  Pour melted butter over and toss to coat.

2 Yoplait Apple Crisp containers (6 oz. each)

For the caramel layer:
1/4 c. plus 2 Tbps. caramel bits
4 tsp. heavy cream

Add both to a microwave safe bowl and melt, stirring together afterwards.  Wait for this step until you've prepared the other layers, because the caramel will set quickly.

1 Granny Smith Apple, diced (I like the contrast of its tartness with the sweetness of the other layers)

To put each parfait together, place a few tablespoons of the graham cracker mixture on the bottom of your Mason jar.  Add a bunch of apple chunks and top with a nice drizzle of caramel.  Add half of a container of Yoplait Apple Crisp.  Layer with a few more tablespoons graham cracker mixture, then a bunch more diced apples and the other half of your yogurt container.  Sprinkle with a little more crust mixture for a pretty topping. 

Think of it as a special pie, just for you, that you don't have to share with anyone.  Unless you love them a lot.  :)

Enjoy this wonderful fall season and this delectable, creamy fall treat!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of General Mills. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Chumpkin the Pumpkin Cupcakes

These pumpkin cupcakes are a sweet treat with a surprise inside that bring the storybook character Chumpkin to life!

Every year my kids school brings in an author for them to spend time with. The author reads one of their books and does a question and answer time for the students. The authors also do a book signing at the very end.

Last year's author shared one of her books about a pumpkin named Chumpkin. As the story goes Chumpkin is growing in a patch that is visited by kids who are on a school field trip. 
Chumpkin is so worried that he will not be chosen because he is big and he thinks that he is not good enough. Sure enough, he is passed by and never chosen by the kids who come. Why? 
Because he was specially tagged as a surprise for the farmer's son who was so excited to be given this pumpkin!

The farmer's son like him just the way he was created! These Chumpkin the pumpkin cupcakes were created after this lovable storybook character!
Chumpkin displayed several faces of emotions during the book and we created the cupcakes to match those faces!
These Chumpkin the pumpkin cupcakes are moist yellow cake with a sweet surprise Oreo truffle in the center, and topped with orange frosting, and yummy candies!!

Chumpkin the Pumpkin Cupcakes
  • 15.25 ounce box of yellow cake mix + ingredients to make the cupcakes
  • 24 cupcake liners
  • 1-10.7 ounce special edition pumpkin spice oreo cookies
  • 4 ounce cream cheese-softened
  • 1 tub of candy corn frosting-sprinkles included on top
  • 48 googley eyes
  • 12 green sour punch straws-cut into 24 pieces
Preheat oven to 350F
Line cupcake tin with liners
Stir together the cake mix and the ingredients to make the cake.
Set aside.
Finely chop the Oreos. I used my ninja to get the job done.
Stir in the cream cheese.
Take a teaspoon of oreo mix and roll into a ball. Makes 24 truffles.
Place a Tablespoon of cake mix on the bottom of each liner.
Place a truffle on top.
Add another Tablespoon of batter on top of each truffle.
Bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes until golden on top.
Allow to cool completely.
Frost each cupcake.
Decorate with the sprinkles, googley eyes, and sour punch straws!*
Enjoy! :-)
*If you have trouble finding the sour punch straws you can replace with green twizzlers, or for a brown stem use a mini tootsie roll!

                                                    photo sipinterest_zps2a456e5d.png photo sitwitter_zps79638760.png photo sigoogleplus_zpsd4e87b23.png photo sistumbleupon_zps74bdbc3a1_zpsda15056c.png photo sibloglovin_zps3a7a163f.png photo siinstagram_zpsbadb65c5.png

How adorable are these cupcakes?  I love that there's a fun story to go with them!  Thanks SO much for being our guest today, Cathy!

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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Easy Homegating Ideas Plus a Tortellini Salad with Balsamic Dressing

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

Make game day get-togethers a cinch with these easy homegating ideas!
I can't think of a time when pizza didn't sound good for dinner.  I'm going to go out on a limb and say that everyone loves pizza.  

Especially while watching football.   Pizza and football were meant to go together.

So I put together a really simple setup with even easier foods that's perfect for a busy night when you've invited friends over to watch the big game!
I'm not much of a tailgater.  I'd rather be warm and cozy inside my house during the game.  I know that homegating came about just for me. :)

And because I'm a simple type of gal, especially when there are so many other things to think about, such as the kids' homework, music practice, reading assignments and so forth, I always opt to pop a few Freschetta Frozen Pizzas in the oven and serve them with a simple side salad.  It works every time and no one complains at all!
So that's just what I did.  I grabbed a Freschetta® Naturally Rising 4-Cheese Medley Pizza and an Edwards Pie and the fixings for a Tortellini Salad at Walmart.

Select Freschetta products include a "Tailgate At Your Place" promo.  Simply enter the code via THIS LINK to see if you won one of 5 Grand prizes or an Instant Win Prize.

Grand prizes include: A check valued at $8,000, $2,000 Electronics Store shopping spree and 6 months of pizza for the football season!  Instant Win Prizes include gift cards valued from $25 to $100 and a Pizza Prize Pack!

Join in the fun for your chance to win one of the awesome prizes!
A trip down the frozen food aisles was all it took to prepare for my game day celebration.

I'm not going to lie...I mainly like football season for the food.

Is that bad?
My family goes crazy for Freschetta pizza.  The crust tastes like fresh-baked bread and it's topped with premium ingredients, including a real tomato sauce and real cheese.  Combined, they make for an incredible pizza that's unlike any other.

I'm pretty sure that my family could eat pizza every night of the week and never tire of it.  :)

I like to pair it with a salad for a well-rounded meal that makes our tummies very happy!

This time, I threw together a scrumptious Tortellini Salad with toasted pecans, cranberries, cherry tomatoes, feta, and tossed with a homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing.  Easy peasy, yummy, and so impressive!


1 pkg. (10 oz.) Romaine Spring Mix
1/4 c. Feta, crumbled
1/4 c. Dried Cranberries
1/4 c. Toasted Pecans, chopped
1/2 c. Cherry Tomatoes
9 oz. Refrigerated Cheese Tortellini

Balsamic Vinaigrette:
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette
1 tsp. honey
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

Prepare the vinaigrette by whisking together all ingredients and storing in the refrigerator until ready to use.

For the salad, cook tortellinis according to package directions, then drain and let cool.  Toss together Romaine mix, feta, dried cranberries, pecans and cherry tomatoes. 

Add the tortellinis and toss the salad with as much of the vinaigrette as desired just before serving. 
An Edwards HERSHEYS Creme Pie was a perfect way to end the meal!

I used THIS "GO TEAM" free printable banner for a fun and simple backdrop.
Talk about delicious!  This meal is proof that game day foods can be super simple and still taste fantastic!
Which football team are you rooting for?  What are your favorite game day foods?  I'd love to hear in the comments section below!

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Taffy Apple Pizza

 Hi Everyone! It's Jenn from Deliciously Sprinkled and I'm so excited to be back this year to share another delicious recipe for Christine's Halloween Extravaganza! Last year, I shared my super easy Halloween Oreo Popcorn, so I thought this year I would share my famous Taffy Apple Pizza recipe, don't worry it's super simple to make. This Taffy Apple Pizza starts out with a sugar cookie crust topped with a creamy peanut butter mixture, apples, peanuts and drizzled with caramel. It's the perfect fall dessert for all the upcoming holiday parties, especially when you don't have time to make an apple pie from scratch. Enjoy! Taffy Apple Pizza-1     RECIPE: Prep: 10 min Bake: 15 min Serves 10-12 

1 (16.5 oz.) tube refrigerated sugar cookie dough
 1 package cream cheese, softened
 4 Tablespoons brown sugar
 4 Tablespoons creamy peanut butter
 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
 2-3 tart apples, thinly sliced
 2 Tablespoons chopped pecans
 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
 2 Tablespoons caramel topping

 Directions: 1. Press cookie dough onto a 14 in. pizza pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350F for 12-14 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool.
 2. In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, brown sugar, peanut butter and vanilla. Spread over crust. arrange apple slices on top. Sprinkle with pecans and cinnamon; drizzle with caramel topping.

I think I'll have this for lunch today, Jenn!  :)  Seriously, though, this looks AMAZING!  Thanks so much for being our guest today!

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Monday, October 5, 2015

Candy Corn Donuts

 Hi everyone! I'm Cate from Chez CateyLou and I am so excited to be helping Christine celebrate her Halloween Extravaganza! Nothing says Halloween to me more than Candy Corn. The second those festive yellow, orange, and white nuggets hit the store shelves, I know that fall and Halloween are just around the corner! Since candy corn is probably not an appropriate breakfast food, I decided to make some baked donuts that are decorated to look just like candy corn!
  Candy Corn Donuts - the perfect breakfast treat to make for Halloween! |ChezCateyLou.comCandy Corn Donuts - the perfect breakfast treat to make for Halloween! |ChezCateyLou.com
 These are the perfect donuts to make for Halloween breakfast. They are so fun and festive, and your kids will have a blast decorating them! But donuts don't have to be only for breakfast - these would be a great addition to any Halloween party spread. Candy Corn Donuts - the perfect breakfast treat to make for Halloween! |ChezCateyLou.com

Candy Corn Donuts - the perfect breakfast treat to make for Halloween! |ChezCateyLou.com



For the Donuts

1 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
dash nutmeg
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla
!For the Glaze
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2-3 tablespoons heavy cream
dash salt
orange food coloring
yellow food coloring


For the Donuts

Preheat oven to 325 degreesF.  Grease two 6-cavity donut pans with nonstick cooking spray.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar, egg, milk, yogurt, and vanilla until very well combined.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.

Spoon the batter into the donut cavities, filling each one just over half full (this makes about 10 donuts).  Bake the donuts for 8 - 10 minutes.  Allow them to cool in the pan for a minute, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. 

For the Glaze:

Whisk together powdered sugar, butter, cream, salt and 1 T heavy cream. Keep adding heavy cream until desired consistency is reached.  Divide the glaze into three bowls.  Keep one white, color one orange, and color one yellow.

Once the donuts are cooled, spread the icing on the donuts in three stripes - white on the top, orange in the middle, and yellow on the bottom.  Allow the glaze to set, then serve. 

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If you are looking for ideas to use up that leftover Halloween candy, try some of these!
Butterfinger Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies| chezcateylou.com
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Imagination Potion and Our Favorite Halloween Kids' Books

When Halloween time rolls around each year, it presents a perfect opportunity to create spookily-tasty concoctions in the kitchen with the kids, like today's Imagination Potion drink made with SunnyD!  It's fizzy and orange with a cloud of delightful foam on top.  I dare you to take a drink!
As my kids and I made this "brew", we pictured a green-faced, warty-nosed witch stirring her bubbly cauldron of orange, while chanting her spell.  The kids insisted that she was a good witch, however, because she was wanting to bring about positive things with her magic.  :)

This drink should come with a warning, "Poisonous, this drink is not!  Exciting things will happen when sipped."

Halloween is such an imaginative time of the year, don't you think?!  From clever desserts to dress-ups to making spook alleys, to BOOing your neighbors and carving the perfect pumpkin, the opportunities to "get those wheels turning" are endless! 

And speaking of imagination, my kids and I have a favorite pastime of reading together.  It's incredible the places a good book can take you!
I have a favorite quote by Katrina Mayer that says, "A book is a magical thing that lets you travel to far-away places without ever leaving your chair." 

Who needs to plan and pay for an elaborate, dreamy vacation when you can open a book and have the same experience? :)

 I encourage my kids to read every day, and as a result, they get so excited to unveil the adventures that await on the pages.  I've seen so much growth in their creativity and ability to "think outside the box" as a result.  Books are amazing!

We've already pulled out the Halloween literature, so I wanted to share the titles of a few of our favorites with you.  We tend to wear these books out during the month of October.  The kids can recite them by heart, but we still can't stop reading them!

  • The Little Old Lady Who Wasn't Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams
  • Wee Witches' Halloween by Jerry Smath
  • Olivia and the Haunted Hotel by Jodie Shepherd
  • There Was an old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat! by Lucille Colandro
  • Trick or Treat Marley! by John Grogan
This orange Halloween drink may appear daunting, but it's sure to further spark those creative juices, if getting sucked into a good book doesn't do the job! 

Don't be afraid...give it a go and see what happens. :)

All it takes are a few components to create this spooky, yet intriguing beverage that's perfect for Halloween parties!  At our house we love SunnyD anytime of the day, but it's especially perfect for today's festive refreshment.

 I picked up all the supplies at Walmart and then got busy in "the lab" with my kiddos!

You'll just need some SunnyD in the orange flavor, some orange sherbet, and lemon lime soda.  Be sure to chill the SunnyD and soda in the refrigerator for the yummiest results.  Grab some apothecary jars, print and attach the labels at the end of this post for an enticing, fun Halloween treat that promises to take your mind on an adventure!
I love that SunnyD is encouraging imagination in kids with their Book Spree Program.  Help earn books (up to 20) for your kids' classrooms (ages K-7th grade) by purchasing participating SunnyD products. Even home educators are eligible!  To participate in this program:

  • Step 1: Parents clip and collect eligible SunnyD UPC labels.
  • Step 2: Parents send UPC labels with their child to a participating teacher.
  • Step 3: Teachers collect UPCs, fill out the entry form and mail both to SunnyD. One redemption per teacher.
  • Step 4 - SunnyD sends books to participating classrooms (limit of 20 books/classroom). Don’t Delay - Book Spree ends 11/30/2015.

In a nutshell, just collect SunnyD labels and send to your child’s teacher. Teachers will then send the labels into SunnyD to get free books. For every 20 labels received, SunnyD will donate 20 free books. (expires on 11/30/15 or while supplies last).  

How exciting is that?! I know my kids' teachers will love to add a few new books to their classroom collection.


16 oz. SunnyD orange, chilled
4 cups lemon lime soda, chilled
3 big scoops orange sherbet
Orange slices for garnish, optional

For serving:
Halloween Straws
Apothecary Jars
Potion Labels (print below)

In a large bowl or pitcher, stir together SunnyD and lemon lime soda.  Add sherbet scoops and use a potato masher to completely incorporate it into the mix.  When all the sherbet chunks are melted, use a funnel to pour the drink into mini apothecary jars, attach the potion labels with double sided tape and insert a fun Halloween paper straw.  Then, drink at your own risk pleasure and wait for good things to happen!

Such a fun way to celebrate the spooky day!  All the party guests will want to take a risk and go "bottoms-up" with this drink!  Who knows, afterwards they might start having magical visions about their glorious future.

Download and print your free potion labels HERE.

Drink this potion and then let your imagination take you places while you immerse yourself in a good book!

Happy reading and Happy Halloween!

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and SunnyD, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #keepitsunny http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

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