Archive for July 2016

Peanut Butter Cup Smores Campfire Cones

July 27, 2016
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Wet Ones® hand wipes.  The opinions and texts are all mine. 

Peanut Butter Cup Smores Campfire Cones recipe with miniature peanut butter cups and marshmallows and roasted over a fire inside sugar cones - this is the perfect camping treat!

Peanut Butter Cup Smores Campfire Cones recipe with reeses peanut butter cups

I'm completely aware that little kids, especially little boys, are inherently dirty. I frequently babysat and nannied young children in high school and college. I worked in a preschool during student teaching. I also taught 2nd grade and then reading and math to elementary school kids for almost 10 years. All of this prior to having my own munchkins.

I don't want to brag or anything, but I think I hit the jackpot of gross kids with this lot!

Peanut Butter Cup Smores Campfire Cones recipe in a sugar cone

We just recently finished moving, and between roaming houses, basements, moving trucks, and driveways, their feet and hands were COATED in dirt! I used to have a couch and loveseat with white slipcovers, they are now a lovely shade of brownish gray in splotches. It certainly didn't help that the hot water in our new house was not working for the first 2 days - I kept following them around yelling, "DON'T TOUCH OR WALK ON THAT!!"

Luckily, as soon as the hot water was fixed they got washed up nice with long showers. And then promptly ran out in the backyard to find "wormies" (AKA slugs). Why do I even try??

Peanut Butter Cup Smores Campfire Cones cleaning up kids messy hands outside

Honestly though, the summer is the best time for them to have fun and get messy - which is when I really try and break out the messy foods. These Peanut Butter Cup Smores Campfire Cones are the perfect, messy treat to enjoy outdoors with your family!

Peanut Butter Cup Smores Campfire Cones

  • 8 oz unwrapped miniature peanut butter cups
  • 10 oz miniature marshmallows
  • 11 oz peanut butter and chocolate baking chips
  • 12 sugar ice cream cones
  • foil
Cooking Directions
  1. In a mixing bowl, combine peanut butter cups, marshmallows, and peanut butter & chocolate baking chips. Fill sugar cones evenly.
  2. Wrap cones tightly with foil. Place directly in campfire for 3-5 minutes (or bake at 350 degrees for 5-8 minutes).
  3. Allow foil to cool to the touch before opening and eating. Be careful of steam!

Peanut Butter Cup Smores in ice cream cones over the campfire

These are insanely good - you need to try these on your next family camping trip, YUM!

With this messy snack, don't forget to bring along the Wet Ones® Hand Wipes! With my kids, they really come in handy for freshening up before eating, after using the restroom, and yes, of course, playing around in the dirt. I honestly keep the Wet Ones® Fresh Scent Antibacterial Hand Wipes in my purse, the diaper bag, and in both of our cars. I also stash them in our amusement park bag just in case! They're really convenient for me to always have on hand and readily available at my local Walmart. 

Peanut Butter Cup Smores Campfire Cones with Wet Ones wipes for messy kids camping

It's really no surprise to me that Wet Ones® Hand Wipes are America's #1 Hand Wipe (based on scan data for 52 weeks ending 1/23/16). I like that they are a 2-in-1 way to wipe out dirt and messes and kill 99.99% of germs - but with aloe in each wipe to moisturize skin. They clean even better than hand sanitizers!

Peanut Butter Cup S mores on the grill

What messy snack are you planning on making this summer? Leave your answer in the comment section below, I'd love some more ideas for my kiddos!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Wet Ones® Hand Wipes.  The opinions and texts are all mine.


Layered Mexican Salad

July 25, 2016
This Layered Mexican Salad is the perfect potluck side dish recipe! Layers of romaine lettuce, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, avocado, cheddar cheese, and crushed tortilla chips in a homemade taco dip dressing - get your family eating those veggies again!

Mexican Layered Salad recipe with seven layers

We've been eating a lot of meat around here lately since we bought our new grill. Don't get me wrong, we're still going to use the heck out of that thing! Last week though, I thought I'd switch our menu up a bit and make a salad. The only problem? 

My children despise salads.

And I'm going to be honest here - I could get them to eat the "green parts" of this salad. Lovely, aren't they?

We LOVE taco dip in this house, particularly seven layer taco dips. You know, with layers of refried beans, taco meat, sour cream, cream cheese... and a little bit of veggies thrown in there. I wanted to create a lighter version though, one that was fit for a meal. Layered Mexican Salad it is!

Seven layer taco salad recipe

I actually could get them to eat the cucumbers, avocado, cheese, dressing and tortilla chips. I tried with the cherry tomatoes, but, as Wesley put it, "You know we don't like potatoes, Mom." That kid cracks me up!

Mexican Layered Salad


A layered salad with romaine, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, cheese, avocado, crushed tortilla chips and a homemade taco dip dressing.

Prep time: , Cook time: , Total time:
Yield: 10 servings

1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
4 oz can chopped green chiles
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 heads romaine lettuce, chopped
1 cucumber, peeled, halved and sliced
16 oz cherry tomaotes, halved
3 avocadoes, halved, pitted, and diced
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup tortilla chips, crushed
  • Whisk together mayo, green chiles (undrained), and spices in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate.
  • Meanwhile, prepare your vegetables.
  • Add the vegetable layers into a clear glass bowl or trifle dish in this order: half of the romaine, cucumber, tomatoes, avocadoes, and cheese. Repeat layers with remaining half of all ingredients.
  • Top salad with prepared dressing.
  • Sprinkle crushed tortilla chips and additional shredded cheese (if desired) over top just before serving.
  • Refrigerate leftovers.

  • Mexican seven layered salad recipe

    You could use a trifle dish like this one, but I just used a clear plastic bowl from the dollar store. That's a great way to bring this salad to a cookout or party because you can just leave the dish there for the host to keep!

    Layered Mexican Salad with taco dip dressing recipe

    Here are more of my favorite salad recipes:

    Chicken Bacon Club Salad

    Corn Chip Taco Salad

    This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy here.

    Chocolate Chip Brownie Ice Cream Pie

    July 19, 2016
    This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #mixinmoments #CollectiveBias

    This Chocolate Chip Brownie Ice Cream Pie is the perfect dessert! Chocolate chip brownie mix baked in a pie shell and topped with scoops of vanilla ice cream, caramel ice cream topping, and a cherry - this an amazing recipe!

    July is National Ice Cream month, did you know? I had no idea! There's all sorts of fun national food holidays, I wish I could remember to celebrate them all. I have a hard time remembering everything I have scheduled for the coming week, let alone food holidays, too. 

    Celebrating ice cream, though? Now THAT'S something I can find time to do, haha! I usually go for something with chocolate and caramel. Wesley is so cute, his favorite flavor is "Napoleon" which is Neapolitan in 4 year old language. And Paul and Silas are always predictable with chocolate and peanut butter ice cream. Guaranteed to make them happy every time!

    Add chocolate chip brownies to the mix? AND PIE?! Oh my word, I can't even describe to you what a winning combination this dessert is! Seriously, my three favorite desserts all rolled into one right here. Plus, I really love how simple this recipe is to put together. It's really perfect for a party or a potluck, too - just bring along the ice cream and set it out next to the pie with a scoop and let guests top their pie slices as they wish!

    Chocolate Chip Brownie Ice Cream Pie


    Chocolate chip brownies baked into a pie shell and topped with scoops of vanilla ice cream, caramel ice cream topping, and maraschino cherries.

    Prep time: , Cook time: , Total time:
    Yield: 8 servings

    9 inch pie crust, unbaked
    NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Brownies & More Brownie Baking Mix with Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
    1 egg, beaten
    1/2 cup oil
    3 tablespoons water
    vanilla ice cream
    caramel ice cream topping
    maraschino cherries

  • Place pie crust into deep dish pie plate.
  • In a bowl, stir together baking mix, beaten egg, oil, and water until well combined. Stir in 2/3 cup semi sweet chocolate morsels from brownie package.
  • Spread evenly into pie crust.
  • Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes. Sprinkle remaining chocolate chips over pie and bake an additional 20 - 25 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out mostly clean.
  • Cool completely and serve slices topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, caramel syrup, and cherries.

  • If you or anyone in your family is a chocolate or ice cream addict, this recipe is a MUST TRY for you!

    I'm really in love with the new NESTLE® TOLL HOUSE® Baking Mixes I found during my last trip through the baking aisle at Walmart. I used the NESTLE® TOLL HOUSE® Brownies & More with chocolate morsels, but they also have available Brownies & More with Butterfingers, Cookies & More with chocolate morsels, and Cookies & More with Butterfingers. 

    I honestly want to try them all! I really love this idea of one mix, but many possibilities. They include a full cup of morsels or baking bits to unlock all sorts of chocolate baking desserts that you can create in your own home. Nestle® Toll House® has always been my favorite for chocolate morsels in baking and with over 75 years of baking experience, they are a favorite of many, I'm sure of that! Visit them on the Social Hub and the Very Best Baking site for more recipe inspiration. And of course, be sure to follow them on social media for the latest products: Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

    What is your favorite recipe using a brownie mix? Leave your idea in the comment section below, I'd love to get new inspiration!


    BBQ Grilled Pork & Vegetable Rice Bowls

    July 18, 2016
    This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Sargento. The opinions and text are all mine.

    These BBQ Grilled Pork & Vegetable Rice Bowls are the perfect summer dinner! Cubed pork tenderloin, broccoli, and tomato with BBQ sauce and cheddar cheese, served over brown rice - you need this recipe!

    This is my first summer with three children and I have one word to sum it up: exhausted!

    I would definitely add fun to that description, but it's mainly exhausted! Silas and Wesley spend the mornings out back riding bikes, using sidewalk chalk or bubbles before the heat really kicks in. Then they proceed to bring all that boy energy in the house, which involves running around, building forts, and eating snacks. Lots and lots and lots of snacks.

    Add in 9 month old Reuben, who is perpetually teething and getting himself into everything, and you can see why I'm super tired this summer! We've had an awesome summer so far with various activities, day trips, and visiting family. I find myself barely able to think ahead to dinner most days! 

    Smaller, quick meals are better for us during these busy summer days. We fire up the grill several times each week because it's just so easy and of course the flavor is amazing! These BBQ Grilled Pork & Vegetable Rice Bowls are the perfect summer weeknight meal!

    BBQ Grilled Pork & Vegetable Rice Bowls


    Cubed pork tenderloin marinaded in BBQ sauce, grilled with broccoli and tomato, and served over brown rice topped with shredded cheese.

    Prep time: , Cook time: , Total time:
    Yield: 4 servings

    2 lb boneless pork tenderloin, cubed
    16 oz bottle BBQ sauce, divided
    20 fresh broccoli florets
    20 grape tomatoes
    1 cup Sargento® Chef Blends 4 State Cheddar shredded cheese
    2 cups cooked brown rice

  • Place cubed pork tenderloin and 1 cup BBQ sauce in a bowl. Cover and marinade 2 hours.
  • Remove pork from marinade and discard marinade.
  • Add pork, broccoli, and tomatoes to a grill basket and grill for 10 - 15 minutes or until pork is cooked through to 160 degrees internal temperature, broccoli is tender, and grape tomatoes have popped.
  • Sprinkle cheese over pork and vegetable and grill an additional 2 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  • Evenly divide rice among bowls and top with pork & vegetables. Serve with additional warmed BBQ sauce, if desired.

  • This is one of those meals where the family will be asking for more! Silas loved the BBQ pork, Wesley loved the grilled broccoli, and we all loved the cheddar cheese on top!

    I'm so excited to be a part of the Sargento Chopped at Home Challenge, grilling edition! I love being creative with recipes (but you already knew that). Sargento shredded cheese is by far my favorite and with over 30 versatile varieties, unique blends, and distinct cuts it's not hard to find a favorite! Plus, Sargento cheese is always cut from blocks of 100% real, natural cheese. Be sure to submit your recipe to for the chance to win $5,000 and a trip to New York City to compete in a televised Chopped cooking challenge and a $10,000 grand prize! For more recipe inspiration, check out Sargento's website and Pinterest page.

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


    Chocolate Orange Zucchini Cake

    July 12, 2016
    Make this amazing Chocolate Orange Zucchini Cake with your garden grown zucchini! Along with a chocolate orange fudge frosting, this is a great zucchini cake recipe to have on hand!

    Chocolate Orange Zucchini Cake recipe

    I had never heard of zucchini cakes growing up and I had certainly never tasted one. My dad had a pretty good garden where we lived in Philadelphia, but zucchini was never something my parents grew so I had actually never had it before we moved out into the country. When I first heard about using zucchini in baked goods, you could imagine my reaction.


    Chocolate Orange Zucchini Cake with homemade chocolate buttercream frosting

    I mean, it's a green vegetable that is usually shredded and then baked in cakes, breads, or brownies. That just sounded so strange to me! Wouldn't it taste vegetable-y? I was sure the coloring would be really off putting. And what about the odd texture? I was certain you'd take a bite and have strings of green veggies pulling away with every bite. 

    Chocolate Orange Zucchini Cake dessert recipe

    No, no, and no on all three assumptions - ha!

    Zucchini is incredibly versatile and in a lot of cases, you would never even know there was healthy, vegetable goodness in these amazing desserts. Certainly my kids had no idea! Of course I absolutely love the combination of chocolate and orange together, and this cake pairs them wonderfully. 

    Chocolate Orange Zucchini Cake


    Chocolate Bundt cake with orange zest and shredded zucchini with orange fudge frosting.

    Prep time: , Cook time: , Total time:
    Yield: 12

    1/2 cup butter, softened
    2 cups sugar
    3 eggs
    1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    zest and juice of 1 orange, divided
    1/2 cup milk
    3 tablespoons oil
    9 tablespoons baking cocoa
    2 1/2 cups flour
    2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    3 cups peeled, shredded zucchini
    2 3/4 cups powdered sugar
    6 tablespoons butter
    6 tablespoons baking cocoa

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar until creamy. Add in eggs, vanilla, and orange zest beating well after each addition.
  • Add in milk, oil, and baking cocoa.
  • In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add flour to cocoa mixture gradually, beating well after each addition.
  • Gently fold in zucchini. Spread batter into a well greased Bundt pan.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  • For frosting, beat powdered sugar, butter, and cocoa. Drizzle 1/2 tablespoons of orange juice and milk, alternately, until spreadable frosting consistency is achieved. Spread over cooled cake.

  • Chocolate Orange Zucchini chocolate cake recipe

    I used my AMAZING food processor to shred the zucchini. I used to stand there and break my arm grating zucchini and other veggies for recipes over a bowl with my heavy-duty grater. But seriously, using a food processor is MUCH easier and quicker - plus the size of the shreds are more consistent and you keep a lot more of the moisture from the zucchini, which is better in this cake!

    Chocolate Orange Zucchini Cake dessert recipe with chocolate buttercream frosting

    Here are some more of my favorite zucchini recipes:

    Carrot Cake Zucchini Bread

    Blueberry Streusel Zucchini Bread

    This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy here.

    Toasted Coconut Marshmallow Fruity Pebbles Treats

    July 11, 2016
    This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CerealAnytime #CollectiveBias

    These amazing Toasted Coconut Marshmallow Fruity Pebbles treats are filled with toasted coconut and coconut pudding mix! A great treat recipe that's perfect for the lunchbox!

    July is already almost half over and I'm wondering how in the world summer went by so quickly! Don't get me wrong, I'm not a huge fan of the hazy, hot, and humid summer days, but I do enjoy late nights with the boys watching movies and spontaneous day trips here and there.

    We're in a bit of a heat wave here in Central PA, which I'm sure some of you in hotter parts of the world would scoff at my complaining! Pushing 90 degrees with high humidity and full sun with no breeze - that's too hot for me! Hot days like these are made for the beach, and since we have no beach plans this summer, I'm ready for cooler weather. 

    I think what makes it more exhausting is having a 9 month old this season. I should clarify: a crawling, scooting, teething, biting 9 month old who lasts MAYBE 20 minutes in the stroller before he needs to be held the entire rest of our time whenever we're out together. He's such a happy baby most of the time, but the stroller is definitely not his favorite thing in the world!

    I'm excited to enjoy the rest of the summer with my family, but I'm also very much looking forward to fall. These Toasted Coconut Marshmallow Fruity Pebbles treats are so colorful and fun, with a tropical coconut flavor, but they're also perfect to pack inside a lunch box!

    Toasted Coconut Marshmallow Fruity Pebbles Treats


    Marshmallow cereal treats made with Marshmallow Fruity Pebbles, coconut instant pudding, and toasted coconut.

    Prep time: , Cook time: , Total time:
    Yield: 9 servings

    1 cup sweetened coconut
    1/4 cup butter
    10 oz miniature marshmallows
    3.4 oz box coconut cream instant pudding mix (dry)
    5 cups Marshmallow Fruity Pebbles
    1/2 cup powdered sugar
    1 tablespoon milk
  • Spread coconut in an even layer on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 3-6 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Melt butter over medium heat in a large stockpot. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted.
  • Stir in dry pudding mix and toasted coconut (reserve a small bit of coconut for the topping). Stir in cereal until all ingredients are well coated in melted marshmallow.
  • Press into a well greased 9 x 9 square baking dish. Allow to cool completely on counter.
  • Whisk together powdered sugar and milk, 1/2 tablespoon at a time, until drizzling consistency. Drizzle over cooled treats in pan and sprinkle with reserved coconut.

  • This is one of those quick desserts that go great with a glass of ice cold milk! Plus, these would be perfect and colorful for any birthday party you may have coming up. I just love the bright colors in this easy dessert!

    I love how I can pick up a box of Marshmallow Fruity Pebbles during my trip through the cereal aisle at my local Walmart. The kids totally cheered when they say me take it out of the bag when I got home from shopping. Fruity Pebbles has been a family favorite since 1970 and I love being able to share the fun with my kids, too. Pebbles is the brand of sweet treat cereal that delivers energizing awesomeness with every bite, and now with fun marshmallow shapes, too! With 0 grams of trans fat, no high fructose corn syrup, and a good source of vitamin A, it's a great treat for the kiddos.

    Who would you share a treat with? Leave your answer in the comment section below!


    Peanut Butter Cookie Ice Cream Sundae

    July 6, 2016
    Make these easy Peanut Butter Cookie Ice Cream Sundaes with white chocolate, sweetened condensed milk, peanut butter, and crushed peanut butter sandwich cookies. This peanut butter ice cream topping is perfect over vanilla ice cream!

    Peanut Butter Cookie Ice Cream Sundae recipe with peanut butter ice cream topping

    This summer, it's heat waves like this that make me thankful I stocked up on our favorite ice cream flavors a few months ago when I found a good deal at the grocery store! I've been meaning to try and make my own homemade ice cream toppings for a while and I finally got around to accomplishing my mission.

    Have you seen the prices of those jars of ice cream toppings lately at the store? YIKES!

    I mean, of course it's way cheaper to buy ice cream while grocery shopping than at an ice cream parlor, even with all the toppings and fixings. But man, sticker shock! And that's coming from a total hot fudge addict here!

    Peanut Butter Cookie Ice Cream Sundae recipe with peanut butter sauce and Nutter Butters

    Paul and the boys, though, are total peanut butter ice cream aficionados. There's even certain brands they prefer over others. They're so funny! Honestly though, this homemade peanut butter ice cream topping is incredibly simple to make on the stove top and keeps for a while in the fridge. So go nuts and have a fun ice cream party at home this summer to beat this heat!

    Peanut Butter Cookie Ice Cream Sundae


    An easy stove top peanut butter ice cream topping recipe with crushed peanut butter sandwich cookies to serve over vanilla ice cream.

    Prep time: , Cook time: , Total time:
    Yield: 8 servings

    2 squares baker's white chocolate
    14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
    2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
    2 tablespoons milk
    4 peanut butter sandwich cookies, crushed
    vanilla ice cream
  • Heat white chocolate, condensed milk, peanut butter, and milk over low heat in a small saucepan.
  • Cook for about 5 minutes or until chocolate is completely melted and sauce is smooth, stirring occasionally.
  • Allow to cool slightly and drizzle over vanilla ice cream.
  • Sprinkle crushed cookies over sauce. Serve immediately.

  • I would store the leftover sauce in a small mason jar or even a small plastic container with a tight fitting lid and just warm it up for a few seconds in the microwave. 

    Peanut Butter Cookie Ice Cream Sundae dessert with peanut butter ice cream topping

    Those crushed peanut butter sandwich cookies, though - oh MAN do they make these sundaes an incredible dessert!

    Peanut Butter Cookie Ice Cream Sundae with homemade ice cream toppings

    Here are some more of my favorite peanut butter treats:

    Peanut Butter Cup Cool Whip Pie

    Peanut Butter Apple Crisp

    This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy here.