Tobins' Tastes: March 2014

Monday, March 31, 2014

Theme Park Health & Wellness Kit {Staying Pain & Allergy Free On Vacation}

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This content has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for #CollectiveBias and its client #WellAtWalgreens . All health related suggestions and opinions expressed in this post are all my own. 

Last week we spent part of my Spring Break at Disney World. We took advantage of the Florida Residents' Three Day Pass and to make sure we got the most out of our money, we pretty much spent 12+ hours a day in each park. Since we didn't plan on leaving the parks during the day, I wanted to make sure that we had everything we needed on hand to relieve pain and allergy issues so we didn't get stuck without necessities and so we also didn't end up having to pay high theme park prices for health and wellness items.

The week before our trip, I got a list together and headed to Walgreens to put together a Health & Wellness Kit to keep in our backpack for our days in the parks. During the month of March, Well at Walgreens products are buy one get one 50% off which was nice because between the promotion and my Balance Rewards card I was able to get what I needed without spending too much. I also love that from February 1, 2011 through December 31, 2014, 1¢ from the purchase of every Walgreens Brand Health & Wellness product, up to $3 million a year, will go towards bringing preventative wellness services to local communities through the Walgreens Way to Well Commitment®.

My Walgreens had a huge selection of Well at Walgreens products as well as tons of other things that I would consider a "necessity" for surviving three full days of theme parks.

Here is what I included in our Theme Park Health & Wellness Survival Kit:
  • Walgreens Pain Reliever Extra Strength Quick Gels 100 ct: Whether it's for a headache or backache from standing in line for hours, pain reliever was a must for us. It was nice to have it on hand for the day but we really ended up needed it at night after a full day of walking and standing. 
  • Sunscreen: Even though it was nice and cool during our days in the parks, the Florida sun can burn you even on a cloudy day. It was nice to have a travel sized face sunscreen to reapply as needed throughout the day. 
  • Wal-Dryl Allergy Relief: Not only is this great for possible bug bites and general allergies, but I also have some pretty serious food allergies. I always keep this on me when we travel and when eating in new restaurants it is imperative that I have this just in case I accidentally try something without knowing what is in it. 
  • Hand Sanitizer: Thousands of people in the same place touching everything. Clearly this was very needed. We were very happy to have it when we grabbed a Mickey pretzel from a kiosk after hanging on for dear life to the dirty handrail on Splash Mountain. 
  • Walgreens Acid Controller Complete: Disney in general has some great food and dining options and that can sometimes lead to a little bit of overindulging. These were great to have on hand especially after our day at Epcot where we spent a few hours sampling small plates from around the world. 
  • Large Fabric Bandages: Theme parks mean tons of walking. These were the perfect size for the backs of our heels to keep our shoes from rubbing and creating blisters. 
  • Chapstick: Sun, wind and fast paced theme park rides meant we were constantly looking for lip balm for our chapped lips. 
  • Hairties: Many people may not consider these a necessity but when you have as much hair as I do, I consider it an emergency to be without something to keep my hair back.
  • Gum: Because who wants to have bad breath when meeting a Disney princess? 

To be honest, I was actually surprised how many times we reached for this kit over the course of three days. Justin actually started to tease me because everytime he would ask for something I would respond with "its in the kit". What do you keep in your travel kit? Anything you can't live without that I should add for next time?

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Blueberry Cheesecake Cookies {With Philadelphia Blueberry Cream Cheese}

 I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for #CollectiveBias and its advertiser. #SpreadTheFlavor

I think it is safe to say that Spring has officially sprung here in South Florida. The sun is shining, the breeze is blowing and fresh flowers and fruit are everywhere. With all the amazing spring produce in stores, I was inspired to whip up some amazing Blueberry Cheesecake Cookies made with fresh blueberries and Philadelphia Blueberry Cream Cheese.

These cookies are the spring time version of a family favorite: my Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Cookies that I usually make in the fall. When I saw Philadelphia's Blueberry Cream Cheese made with more real fruit at Walmart this past week, I knew it was time for those cookies to be reborn with a fresher take.

You can eat these by themselves or you can sandwich some Cool Whip mixed with fresh blueberries in between them for a fun and refreshing treat after a day outside enjoying the warmer weather. I love that I could incorporate some fruit into a cookie recipe because I always feel a dessert with fruit in it is a little bit better for you than one without.

Blueberry Cheesecake Cookies
  • 10 tablespoons of butter
  • 8oz. of Philadelphia Blueberry Cream Cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup of fresh blueberries
  • Optional: Lite Cool Whip and additional berries
1.) Beat together butter, cream cheese, egg, sugar and vanilla until smooth.

2.) Mix together the rest of the dry ingredients (except blueberries).

3.) Slowly add and beat in dry ingredients mixing only until fully incorporated. 

4.) Stir in cup of blueberries.

5.) Using a rounded cookie scoop, place scoops of dough onto a lined cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

6.) For a fun twist, spread Lite Cool Whip mixed with fresh blueberries between to cookies. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

20+ Easter Desserts

Easter is only three weeks away! Here are over 20 delicious Easter desserts to help you and your family celebrate in the weeks to come!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Greek Yogurt Chicken Alfredo Pasta {A Lightened Up Weeknight Dinner Recipe}

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

Pin It

Even with all the cooking I do, I still struggle with weeknight dinner recipes. I am always faced with the dilemma of choosing between something easy (and usually not so healthy) and something that is better for me but usually requires a little more work. This Chicken Alfredo pasta is the perfect compromise.

It tastes like something sinful but it has no cream, no butter and no cream cheese. It tastes like something you would be cheating with but only takes minutes to make. In my opinion that makes it the ideal Tuesday night dinner option. I love feeling like I am indulging myself without having to go crazy in the kitchen or feel like I am. The Greek yogurt gives it that creamy taste without all the fat and made it super filling too.

One of the key's to making this recipe taste so buttery without using actual butter is that I used Star Butter Flavored Olive Oil to saute my garlic and start my sauce. I could really taste the butter flavor throughout the whole dish even though I only used a tablespoon for the whole recipe. I always make sure that I grab a bottle when I am in Walmart since you can only find this flavor of Star Oil there.

I love that you can prep parts of this recipe ahead of time as well. I baked up my chicken right when I got home and then sliced it up and stuck it in the fridge. You can also boil your pasta ahead of time and toss it in a little Star Oil to keep it from sticking while you make your sauce. You could easily switch this recipe up by adding bacon or instead of chicken. I am not ashamed to admit that I ate it for dinner on Monday and for lunch the next day too.

I was happy to see that Chicken was on sale at Publix this week so I grabbed some fresh boneless, skinless chicken breasts on my way home from work on Monday as well as a few other things I need for the recipe. I also grabbed a can of bread stick dough so I could make a batch of these Quick & Easy Garlic Knots to pair with our pasta. We added a side salad to our pasta and knots and it felt like we were eating dinner at an Italian restaurant instead of at our kitchen table with House  Hunters on in the background.

Greek Yogurt Chicken Alfredo Pasta
  • 1 tablespoon Star Butter Flavored Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons of cornstarch
  • 1 pinch of nutmeg (can be adjust to personal tastes)
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup frozen peas and carrots
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (you can use reduced fat if you prefer)
  • 1 cup of fat free Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 pound of linguine pasta
  • 1 pound of chicken
1.) Before starting your sauce, cook your pasta as directed on the package, strain, toss in a little bit of oil to keep from sticking and set aside. 

2.) While the pasta is cooking, bake or grill your chicken in whatever way you prefer. I found that having it cooked and sliced ahead of time was easiest. 

3.) In a large sauce pan, heat Star Butter Flavored Olive Oil and saute garlic in it for about 2 minutes. 

4.) Stir in corn starch and nutmeg to make a rue. 

5.) On medium heat, whisk in chicken broth and bring to a simmer. 

6.) Stir in frozen peas and carrots and bring sauce back up to a simmer.

7.) Lower the heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese until melted. 

8.) Right before serving, stir in the Greek yogurt and then toss the pasta and cooked chicken into the sauce. 

9.) Best served right warm right after mixing in the yogurt. You can store left overs in the fridge and use a little oil or a little chicken broth to thin it out when reheating. Enjoy! 

Check out my Quick & Easy Garlic Knots recipe using Star Butter Flavored Olive Oil:

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Saved 84% at Publix- Spent $15 for $96 Worth

Pin It

I had an amazing trip to Publix earlier this week. It was the first time in a long time that I have felt like I got alot of great deals for a wide variety of things. I even got really cheap produce. I was very excited to hear that my Publix now will NOT require me to separate my transactions to use multiple $X/$XX coupons so I was able to do one big transaction and use two $5/$50 Winn Dixie coupons

I also had a $25 from working with General Mills and Platefull Co-Op, so I didn't spend a dime out of pocket this week. We will probably spend about $10 at the local produce stand but that still gives us plenty of extra grocery cash to save towards our upcoming Spring Break trip to Disney.

Breakdown of Saturday's Publix trip:
Total retail value: $95.72
Total after sales, coupons and cashback: $15.59
Total saved: $80.13
Percent saved: 84%

What I got with sale/coupon match ups:
  • 1 pint of Strawberries, retails for $5.09, on sale for $1.67
    • Used a $1 off fresh fruit Target home mailer coupon
    • Earned .50 cents cash back from Checkout 51
    • Made them .17 cents!
  • 2 bags of Halls Cough Drops, retails for $1.99 a bag, on sale BOGO (.99 cents a bag)
    • Used two .55 cents off peelie coupons found on product
    • Earned $1 back from Checkout 51
    • Made them FREE plus an .11 cents moneymaker
  • 1 bag of Publix baby carrots, retails for $1.79, on sale for $1.25
    • Used a $1 off fresh veggies coupon from a Target home mailer
    • Made them .25 cents!
  • 2 Suave Natural Infusions Products, retails for $3.49 each
  • 1 Colgate Optics Toothpaste, retails for $4.39, on sale for $3.00
  • 1 half gallon of Almond Breeze Almond Milk, retails for $3.35, on sale for $2.50
  • 6 Pillsbury products, retails for $1.79- $1.59, on sale for $1 each
    • Used a .40/3 coupon from the 1/26 SS
    • Used a .50/3 Publix digital man. coupon
    • Used two .$1/3 Publix in store display coupons
    • Made them .51 cents each
  • 2 Pop Secret Popcorns, retails for $5.45 each, on sale BOGO ($2.72 each)
  • 1 can of Planters Peanuts, retails for $3.51, on sale for $2.00
  • 5 Yoplait Greek Yogurts, retails for $1.20 each, on sale for $1
    • Used two FREE Blended Green Yogurt WYB Yoplait Greek 100 Publix coupon, (-$2)
    • Used a $1/5 Publix digital coupon
    • Made them .40 cents each
  • 2 Hawaiian Tropics Sunscreen Sprays, retails for $7.99 each, on sale for $3.99 each
  • 2 Speed Stick Deodorants, retails for $2.79 each, on sale BOGO ($1.39 each)
    • Used two $1 off coupons from the 3/9 SS
    • Made them .39 cents each
  • 2 boxes of Lance Crackers, retails for $3.19, on sale for $2.00 each
  • 2 packages of Mission tortillas, retails for $2.79, on sale BOGO made them $1.40 each 
  • 1 bag of Publix salad, retails for $3.09, on sale for $2.50
  • 1 dozen Publix eggs, retails for $2.29
    • Used a .50 cents off eggs coupon from a Target home mailer
    • Made them $1.79

Also this week at Publix make sure to grab a copy of the weekly sale ad (in stores through Wednesday) and take advantage of some of the amazing coupons. These March Savings coupons make for some pretty cheap meal options. Here is what you will find:

Look for coupons and details in the Publix® weekly ad, 3/12/14 – 3/19/14 (in-store start dates may vary in certain markets). Coupons valid 3/12 – 3/26.
  • Save $1 on Publix® Deli Chicken with the purchase of Betty Crocker® Potatoes (3.7 – 6.6oz)
  • Save $2 on Publix® Fresh Fruit with the purchase of one box of Oatmeal Crisp® Raisin, Oatmeal Crisp® Almond, or Basic 4® (16-18oz)
  • Save $2 on Publix® Ground Meat (any size package) with the purchase of two (2) LAY’S® Kettle Cooked Original Potato Chips (7-8.5oz)
  • 2 for $6 Propel items (6pk 500 ml)
  • 2 for $4 Betty Crocker® Helper® Ultimate Skillet Dinner
  • Save $3 on Publix® Fresh Fruit with the purchase of two Quaker® Instant Oatmeal
  • Save $2 on a Publix® Bakery item with the purchase of any Breyers® product (48oz)
  • Save $3 on Publix® Shrimp or Chicken with the purchase of three Knorr® Sides
  • Save $1 on Publix® Produce Potatoes with the purchase of one Lipton® Recipe Secrets®
I am loving the coupon for $3 off fruit when you buy Quaker Oatmeal and the one for $2 off meat when you buy Lays Kettle Chips. What coupons are you most excited about?

Disclosure: The information and prize pack have been provided by General Mills through Platefull Co-Op.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Carrot Cake M&M Cookies With Cheesecake Filling

Sweet and spicy cookies with carrot cake M&M's filled with a whipped cheesecake filling!

 I love almost all desserts with the exception of a few specific things. I have a couple of major dessert pet peeves. Things that get me every time. So here they are in no specific order.

Dessert Pet Peeve #1: Fruit hidden in chocolate cakes: my grandparents' Beach Club always serves this gorgeous, rich, flour less looking chocolate cake at Easter brunch each year. And every year, without fail, I reach for that cake only to get back to my table to find that it has raspberry in between every layer. I am not completely against fruit and chocolate; just don't blindside me when I think I am getting a bite of pure chocolate cake. 

Dessert Pet Peeve #2: Whipped topping instead of buttercream icing/frosting: Why do people and bakeries do this? It's a trick and I fall for it every time. It's to the point where I ask people before I cut a piece of cake or grab a cupcake, "Is that whipped topping or real frosting?" People who know me have gotten use to it and started to pre-warn me. Moral of the story is: whipped topping has a place in the dessert world and on top of cupcakes isn't it. 

Dessert Pet Peeve #3: Raisins don't belong in cookies. I know I am going to get some flack for this one but raisins are chocolate chips are not interchangeable. They don't belong in cookies. It's an unforgivable deception. Personally, I think the only dessert raisins actually belong in might be bread pudding. Go ahead and judge me.

Dessert Pet Peeve #4: If it has a vegetable in it, it's not a cake. And that includes carrot cake. Pretty much the only reason I even attempt to eat carrot cake is for the cream cheese icing. I don't hate all carrot cakes but usually it would be one of the last things I go for on a dessert table.

But I have to admit, I am in love with these Carrot Cake M&M Cookies. Like they might be the best thing I have made in weeks (and that says a lot for me). They are good all on their own but when you spread Cheesecake Filling in between two of them they are heavenly.

These were inspired by a trip to Walmart where I stumbled upon White Chocolate Carrot Cake M&M's. I was already planning on making a carrot cake version of my Easter M&M Cake Mix Cookie Sandwiches from last year and these M&M's were the push I needed to take them over the edge. They are so good I think that they might have cured my carrot cake phobia for good. Just what the doctor ordered. 

Carrot Cake M&M Cookies with Cheesecake Filling
  • 1 box of carrot cake mix
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 cup Carrot Cake M&M's
  • 1 tub of Cool Whip
  • 1 small package of cheesecake pudding mix (I used sugar free)
1.) Mix together the cake mix, eggs, baking powder, and oil until completely combined. Stir in M&M's.

2.) Using a cookie scoop, place rounded scoops of dough on a lined cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

3.) Let cookies cool completely.

4.) While cookies are cooling, stir the cheesecake pudding mix into the tub of Cool Whip and mix completely.

5.) Spread a generous amount of the Cool Whip filling in between two cookies, sandwich together and enjoy! Make sure to keep any cookies with filling in them in the fridge.

Friday, March 14, 2014

15 Decadent Ice Cream Pies

It's Pi Day! While many of you may be thinking of traditional favorites like pumpkin, pecan and apple flavors, here is South Florida it's warm and sunny. Pie season has past us by and we are heading straight towards summer. And what goes better with warmer weather than ice cream? So in honor of Pi Day and the arrival of warmer weather, I bring you 15 Ice Cream Pie recipes to help you celebrate both!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Reese's Pieces Egg Fudge

Creamy chocolate and crunchy Reese's Pieces Eggs join together to make the perfect fudge!

I know what you're thinking, 2 and half years without a single fudge recipe on this blog and now I am posting two in a row? I get it, it's strange. I have only made fudge once in my life before this past week and now I have made it two times in 7 days. And that is because I am obsessed with this basic fudge recipe.

I got the idea from Lisa at Wine & Glue she makes delicious looking fudge like it is her business (and I guess it kinda is...) and she usually uses a base of some type of chocolate or butterscotch chips melted with sweetened condensed milk. I tried it for the first time with my Mint M&M Fudge for St. Patrick's Day and now I want to make it one million different ways.

First up, this Reese's Pieces Egg Fudge. Talk about way too easy to taste this good. I can't think of a better combination that peanut butter and chocolate except for maybe Reese's peanut butter and chocolate. Personally one of the best things about Easter is the arrival of Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs on grocery store shelves. And for what ever reason, this is the first year I have seen the Reese's Pieces Eggs.

How did I miss this? Someone tell me they are new this year because if not I have seriously been missing out. I consider myself somewhat of a seasonal candy connoisseur and I don't know these never made it into my Target shopping cart.

And so the moral of the story is, I have a lot of making up to do in the kitchen. I have a feeling that my life is going to be full of nothing but fudge recipes and Reese's Pieces Eggs recipes over the next few weeks.

Reese's Pieces Egg Fudge
  • 3 cups of milk chocolate chips
  • 1 can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 20 Reese's Pieces Eggs
  • 1 cup crushed Reese's Pieces Eggs
1.) In a saucepan or in a double boiler combine the chocolate chips and the condensed milk. 

2.) Stir on medium heat until chocolate chips are completely melted and combined. 

3.) Turn off the heat and pour half of the mixture into a 9x9 pan lined with tin foil. Scatter the 20 whole Reese's Pieces Eggs over the first layer of fudge.

4.) Top 1 cup of crushed Reese's Pieces Eggs. You may need to press them down into the fudge so that they stick. 

5.) Refrigerate overnight or for at least 8 hours. 

6.) Pull the foil edges up and use the foil to remove the fudge from the pan. Cut into squares to serve. Be sure to store leftover fudge in the fridge so it doesn't get melty. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

A Peak In{stagram} My Life: Warm Weather, Valentine's Day Love, Bangles, MacBooks and More

Pin It

It's no secret to those who know me that I love instagram. I probably abuse use it way more than I should but I just can't help it. I love seeing snapshots of other people's lives and I love how it lets me share snippets of my life with those who follow me. 

As a way to share a peak into the non couponing and cooking aspects of my life (and despite what this blog may imply there are lots), I am going to be doing occasional posts with images from my instagram account to let you all in on what I have been up to. 

Side note: My instagram account is set to private which means you do have to request to follow me. This is only because I am a high school teacher who cannot have any students following me on social media. Since this is my personal instagram account I just have to keep myself protected. So as long as you aren't a high school student, feel free to request to follow me and I will gladly approve you!

Over the last few weeks I :

Bought this amazing cake shaped like a beer mug for the Super Bowl:

Enjoyed a number of amazing beach days: 

Got some really sweet Valentine's Day presents:

Celebrated Valentine's Day with champagne glasses that belong to my grandparents:

Had a picnic at the beach: 

Admitted I have a bangle problem:

Realized Florida was the only state in the Union without snow on the ground at one point:

Made a pretty big blog investment:

Went to the beach again:

Wore way too much Lilly Pulitzer:

What have you been up to lately?

Friday, March 7, 2014

Weekly Shopping Totals: Saved 70% at Publix

Pin It

Guess what? I finally shopped the new sale cycle on it's first day. I have been meaning to get back in this habit since the new year started but for one reason or another I just never quite make it. But this week I finally did. I always like going on the first day of the sale so that you can see what I got and have time to make your own trip before the sale ends next Wednesday.

This week was a great week for frozen food and dairy products as well as some face wash products. I grabbed a few produce items but we are hoping to hit up the farmers' market this weekend to get a few other things. I wanted to grab the Scott toilet paper deal but my digital coupon didn't seem to work for it so decided not to get them.

Everything I got in this trip that was on sale will stay on sale until at least next Wednesday and some deals are from the Advantage Flyers which will last until at least St. Patrick's Day. As usual I used two $5/$30 Winn Dixie coupons. I also used three separate cash back apps: Shopmium, ibotta and Checkout 51 .
Last week I never made it to the store except to stop by Target and stock up on the 5 for $10 Diet Coke twelve pack deal. I had a $10 gift card to go towards our out of pocket total this week so we should have plenty grocery budget left for the farmers market and next week.

Breakdown of Thursday's Publix trip:
Total retail value: $98.75
Total spent: $29.67 (before $10 gift card)
Total saved: $69.08
Percent saved: 70%

What I got with sale/coupon match ups:

  • 2 Neutrogena face washes, retails for $6.99 each
  • 1 package of Olay Fresh Effects make up wipes, retails for $4.99, on sale for $3.49
    • Used a $1.50 off Publix digital man. coupon
    • Earned $1 cash back from ibotta
    • Made them .99 cents
  • 1 package of Tylenol Sinus, retails for $6.29
    • Used $1.50 cents off printable coupon
    • Stacked with a $1.50 Publix purple Ad. Flyer coupon
    • Made it $3.29
  • 1 package of strawberries, retails for $5.09, on sale for $1.67
  • 4 packets of Starkist Tuna, retails for $1.49 each, on sale for $1 each
  • 2 bags of Ore-Ida Simply frozen potatoes, retails for $3.85 each, on sale for $2.50 each
  • 2 packages of Fruttare Bars, retails for $4.49 each, on sale BOGO ($2.24 each)
  • 2 pints of So Delicious Coconut Milk Dessert ("ice cream"), retails for $5.99 each, on sale BOGO ($2.98 each)
  • 1 bag of Publix baby spinach, retails for $2.49
  • 1 package of Main Street Bistro Scalloped Potatoes, retails for $3.79, on sale for $3
  • 1 box of Post Alphabits Cereal, retails for $3.69
  • 1 package of Sister Shubert rolls, retails for $3.79, on sale for $3
  • 6 Voskos Greek yogurts, retails for $1.25 each, on sale for $1 each
    • Used two $1/3 Publix green Ad. Flyer coupon
    • Stacked with a $2/5 Publix digital manufacturer coupon
    • Made them .33 cents each
  • 1 ten count bag of Laughing Cow Babybell cheeses, retails for $5.19, on sale for $3.49
    • Used a $1 off Publix digital man. coupon
    • Made it $2.49 for the bag
  • 1 bag of Sargento shredded cheese, retails for $4.19, on sale for $3.00 a bag
    • Earned .50 cents cash back from Checkout 51
    • Made it $2.50
  • 1 Chobani Flips Greek yogurt, retails for $1.50, on sale for $1.25
    • Earned .50 cents cash back from Shopmium
    • Earned .50 cents cash back from Checkout 51 (good for any kind of yogurt)
    • Made it .25 cents

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

25 St. Patrick's Day Desserts

St. Patrick's Day has to be my favorite spring holiday. Being a graduate of Notre Dame and coming from a Notre Dame obsessed family, we take our shamrocks and wearing o' the green pretty seriously. Here are 25 of my favorite St. Patrick's Day desserts to help you celebrate.

Even more St. Patrick's Day inspiration: 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Mint M&M Fudge

This Mint M&M Fudge has only three ingredients and is so easy to make! Creamy, crunchy and minty: it's the perfect St. Patrick's Day treat! 

Pin It

Based on these photos you are probably expecting me to talk about St. Patrick's Day. But I am going to throw your for a loop and skip over the fact that these are the perfect St. Paddy's Day treat and instead I am going to tell you about my Dad.

My Dad is a pretty easy guy to make happy. Aside from having his family and friends around, the things that make him happy are pretty simple.

A Notre Dame football win can have him smiling for 6 straight days until the following Saturday when the next game will fill our house with questions like "Are you nervous yet?" as he gets ready for kickoff. Give him the remote, a beer, some cheesy salsa and a couch full of Notre Dame loving family and friends for a game watch and he is a happy man.

My Dad also loves golf. My mom will say that the only time my Dad doesn't need his alarm clock is when he is going to play golf. He will struggle to get out of bed at 7 for work but a 7am tee time has him awake before 6. He even likes watching golf. I think watching golf is second only to watching Notre Dame sports in his tv viewing preferences.

My Dad also loves movies: new movies, old movies, weird western movies, anything really. In fact, we regularly buy him boxed dvd sets of old movies and tv shows. He also loves knowing random trivia facts about said movies. As long as he is in the theater before the previews withs someone to steal popcorn from, he would be happy watching almost anything.

But when it comes to desserts, well then my Dad decides to get difficult. His favorite dessert can't be Magic Cookie Bars or Gooey Bars or even Sugar Cookies. My Dad is not thrilled by your traditional cupcakes or sheets cakes (although he will gladly eat them). When it comes to sweet treats, my father has to go for the time consuming ones, the involves 18 different steps ones, the you have to make a completely separate trip to the store because you definitely don't have ingredients just laying around in your pantry ones.

No, his favorite desserts are Peanut Butter Buckeyes and Peppermint Pattie Cupcakes. Both of which require things like double boilers and dipping things in chocolate or stuffing and rolling things by hand. So even though I broke down and made him his traditional birthday dessert of Peppermint Pattie Cupcakes, this year I also made him an easy dessert to enjoy as well.

This Mint M&M Fudge only has three ingredients and the recipe really is as simple as combine, melt, stir, pour, eat. It was so easy that I actually made it on a Friday night after a full school week. And since by most Friday nights it is all I can do to put on sweats and watch On Demand, that should tell you something. And my Dad dubbed it "Quite Possibly The Best Thing You Have Ever Made".  So we are going to call it a win on multiple fronts.

So Happy Birthday to the best dad in the world. You are worth every burn I get from that double boiler. Although I guess that next year I can skip the Peppermint Pattie Cupcakes and just make this fudge instead.

Mint M&M Fudge

  • 3 cups of milk chocolate chips
  • 1 can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 1/2 cup crushed Mint M&M's (1 cup for the fudge, 1/2 cup for topping it)
1.) In a saucepan combine the chocolate chips and the condensed milk. 

2.) Stir on medium heat until chocolate chips are completely melted and combined. 

3.) Turn off the heat and stir in 1 cup of crushed Mint M&M's.

4.) Pour mixture into a 9x9 pan lined with tin foil.  Top with leftover 1/2 cup of crushed Mint M&M's. You may need to press the M&M's down into the fudge so that they stick. 

5.) Refrigerate overnight or for at least 8 hours. 

6.) Pull the foil edges up and use the foil to remove the fudge from the pan. Cut into squares to serve. Be sure to store leftover fudge in the fridge so it doesn't get melty.

Want more St. Patrick's Day dessert ideas?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...