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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Jersey Shore Fudge - #NJStrong

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of New Jersey’s Division of Travel & Tourism for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

A classic stove top fudge recipe loaded with chopped walnuts. One of my favorite treats to enjoy while at the Jersey Shore!

Growing up in Philadelphia, every single one of my friends went down the New Jersey Shore for vacation in the summer. Honestly, it wasn't a matter of "if" you were going down the shore, but when and to what beach! Our favorite Jersey beach as a kid was always Wildwood. The boardwalk was enormous and a lot of the hotels had a real fun retro feel. I was really into dance school as a kid, and we would actually perform our routines on the Wildwood boardwalk. I used to half complain that we had to "work" while we were on vacation, but I was seriously having the time of my life!

Now as an adult, and a complete foodie, our favorite beach is Ocean City. It's quiet and perfect for families with young children, and the seafood - oh my word, the seafood! New Jersey is known for their amazing produce, but seriously the seafood restaurants down the shore are just amazing. We have our favorites in Ocean City and Cape May, but with 130 miles of beaches in New Jersey I'm sure there are many more to discover. I just learned that there are over 46 wineries along six wine trails throughout New Jersey, so that is definitely on my to do list this summer!

It really is not summer vacation down the shore without salt water taffy and, of course, FUDGE! I remember always hitting our favorite fudge shop on the boardwalk as our last activity before heading home. Usually someone in our family back home wanted us to pick up some fudge for them! Usually, the workers stand outside the shops and you can sample the different flavors before you buy. This fudge recipe is the closest I can get to replicating that amazing fudge taste from down the Jersey Shore!

Jersey Shore Fudge

12 oz semi sweet chocolate chips
12 oz milk chocolate chips
14 oz marshmallow creme (two 7 oz jars)
4 1/2 cups sugar
12 oz can evaporated milk
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups chopped walnuts

In a large mixing bowl, combine both chocolate chips. Empty marshmallow cream over top of the chips, and set aside. In a large pot (I use my pasta pot), stir together sugar, milk, butter, and salt. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally. Continue boiling 7 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and pour mixture over chocolate and marshmallow creme in mixing bowl. Beat with a hand mixer until chocolate is completely melted and marshmallow creme is well mixed. Gently fold in walnuts. Spread fudge into a 9 x 13 baking dish lined with wax paper. I like thick fudge, so I use a 9 x 9 dish and a loaf pan. Allow fudge to cool completely on the counter, then slice into squares. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

I would LOVE for you to discover New Jersey this year and fall in love with the shore as my family has - the Jersey Shore is Going Strong! It's time to start making your summer plans now and I'd love to know, which Jershey Shore beach is your family's favorite?

Be sure to sign up for e-news at njgoingstrong.com to learn more about this year's calendar of events. Follow The Shore on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and Tumblr for more updates!

Visit NJ - Sweep on White photo 67361bcd-cfeb-4de5-823f-b5191dea8806_zps26a5f19c.jpg

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Monday, April 21, 2014

Menu Plan Monday 4/21

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter celebration with your families yesterday! We started the day with a little egg hunt in our living room (yearly tradition) and then of course off to Sunday School and church. The music at our service was just beautiful, I look forward to it every year. We spent the rest of the day at my parent's house and after dinner, the boys had a big egg hunt on their front lawn. They had a blast and it was so fun watching them!

I was told by my doctor last fall that we live in the worst area of the country for allergy sufferers. They kicked in full swing for me yesterday, ugh! Of course I denied the problem and spent a lot of time outside anyway with the kids. And I woke up this morning unable to breathe. Real fun! :/

I also completely cheated on my diet with Easter dinner, so this week is back on plan! I've been semi - following Trim Healthy Mama (affiliate link) and it was really working for me, 6 lbs lost in two weeks with a few trips to the gym as well. I've been able to cut out most sugar and I have to admit, I've really been feeling great! Most of the meals I have listed will be modified for me (no rolls or different condiments), but I do like that I can pretty much make the same meals. Anyway, here's the plan for the week:

Mozzarella Mushroom Burgers

Crockpot Chicken Spaghetti

Roasted Vegetable Chili

Pesto Pita Bread Pizzas

Avocado Egg Salad

Empty the Fridge Breakfast Bake


Have a blessed week! Don't miss another Mostly Homemade Mom recipe! Click here to have recipes delivered by email. Or, you can follow along via FacebookPinterestTwitterInstagram, or Google+ - I'd love to connect with you!

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Friday, April 18, 2014

Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies

Carrot cake cookies (from a cake mix) with sweet cream cheese frosting and rolled in toasted coconut!

Easter is two days away and I am SO behind this year! I usually fill the boys' baskets with some candy (usually chocolate) and little toys from Target and Dollar Tree. I actually went to both this week and found nothing, ugh! 

When I was a kid, my mom always went to some authentic candy place in Philadelphia to get our candy. We always had one of those sugar eggs in our baskets. How did she have the time?! My boys get Reese's eggs, Hershey kisses, and usually a chocolate cross - all found at CVS, haha! 

It's all good, though. It's not what Easter's all about and I'm proud to say my kids know that, too. Silas has been learning all about the events of Jesus' death and ressurrection at preschool this year and I'm so proud of him. I've talked with him about it several times this week, and when get to the part of Jesus in the tomb, his face always lights up and he say, "But he didn't stay dead! He's alive right now!" My heart melts. :)

These Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies are the perfect treat for Easter, but I have to say, I'm a carrot cake fan year-round! Probably has to do with there always being cream cheese frosting with it, but regardless... :)

Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies
makes 1 dozen sandwich cookies

1 box carrot cake mix
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs, beaten

Cream cheese frosting:

1/2 cup butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sweetened coconut

In a large bowl, stir together cake mix, raisins, oil, and eggs. Drop tablespoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets and bake at 350 degrees for 6-8 minutes, keep a close eye that they don't burn. Cool completely. Meanwhile, in a stand mixer, beat butter and cream cheese. Gradually add powdered sugar and vanilla until completely mixed. Cover bowl and refrigerate while preparing the coconut. Spread coconut in a thin layer on a cookie sheet. Bake for 2-6 minutes until golden brown. To assemble cookies, spread frosting on one cookie, top with a second cookie, and roll in toasted coconut. Keep cookies refrigerated, but allow them to come to room temperature before serving.

So what are you planning on putting in your kids' baskets this year? Anything out of the ordinary? Do you do presents or just candy?

Here are some more of my Easter favorites:

Rainbow Swirled Easter Egg Cookies

Pineapple Pecan Carrot Cake

Toasted Coconut Pudding Pie

Don't miss another Mostly Homemade Mom recipe! Click here to have recipes delivered by email. Or, you can follow along via FacebookPinterestTwitterInstagram, or Google+ - I'd love to connect with you!
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