My Top 12 Recipes of 2013

I did a lot of cooking and baking in 2013, and now that the year is over, I thought I’d show you what my favorites were.

My Top 12 2013

A few days ago, I showed you my reader’s favorites from 2013, but I wanted to choose a few of my own.  And then I realized that choosing was really, really hard!  I did it, though. ;-)

1. These Quick Cinnamon Buns are one of the Tall Boy’s most requested breakfast items.  They really are so quick and easy!

These quick cinnamon rolls go from kitchen to table in 45 minutes--no yeast required! Don't wait for a special occasion--dripping with a lovely buttermilk icing and filled with layer upon layer of cinnamon and cloves, this roll is a sweet treat you'll definitely want on your weekend rotation! #recipe #breakfast from @KitchenMeetsGir www.kitchenmeetsgirl.com

2. I’m a sucker for breakfast breads, but I’m not a fan of eating high calorie foods in the mornings.  With these Guilt-Free Blueberry Muffins, I can have my muffin, and eat it, too. ;-)

Guilt Free Blueberry Muffin from www.kitchenmeetsgirl.com - bursting with blueberries and a cinnamon struesel topping, these muffins are just 6 WW points+ each!

3. This Cinnamon Roll French Toast Bake is definitely a breakfast made for a special occasion!  Bonus?  It’s super easy!

Cinnamon Roll French Toast Bake at kitchenmeetsgirl.com - made with Pillsbury Cinnabon cinnamon rolls, this special breakfast dish comes together in a flash!  #recipes #breakfast

4.  With a 6-year old, we eat a lot of sloppy joes.  This Tex-Mex version is adult approved!

Tex-Mex Sloppy Joes at www.kitchenmeetsgirl.com - if you like bacon, jalapenos, and the smoky flavors of chili powder, cumin and coriander, this version is for you!  #recipes #dinner

5.  And who wouldn’t go for lasagna in just 30-minutes?  The Tall Boy flipped over this dinner!

You don't have to spend hours making lasagna anymore with this 30-Minute Stovetop version! Get the recipe at www.kitchenmeetsgirl.com #recipes #lasagna
6.  This Firecracker Chicken is my favorite dinner, ever.  Period.

This Firecracker Chicken is the perfect mix of spicy and sweet and beats take-out hands down! #recipe #chicken #rice
7. You know I love my Mexican food.  This Easy as Tamale Pie was a fun twist.

Put your leftover shredded pork or chicken to good use by making this Easy as Tamale Pie from www.kitchenmeetsgirl.com #recipe #casserole
8.  This easy, flavorful Southwest Chicken Chili uses only a handful of ingredients and comes together in about 15 minutes – making it the perfect weeknight dinner!

This easy, flavorful Southwest Chicken Chili uses only a handful of ingredients and comes together in about 15 minutes - making it the perfect weeknight dinner! #recipe #soup

9. Strawberries and Cream Dessert Pizza combines all of my favorites in one decadent treat!

This strawberries and cream dessert pizza comes together in a flash and is a perfect summer treat! #recipe #strawberries #pizza
10.  This Black Cherry Fudge Ripple Ice Cream doesn’t require an ice cream maker.  Score.

Black Cherry Fudge Ripple Ice Cream - no ice cream maker needed! www.kitchenmeetsgirl.com #recipe #ice cream
11. White chocolate, cream cheese, and pie filling are the perfect combination in these easy to make Apple Cranberry Cheesecake Bars.

White chocolate, cream cheese, and pie filling are the perfect combination in these easy to make Apple Cranberry Cheesecake Bars.
12. Perfectly light and creamy cherry cheesecake – you’ll never guess the secret ingredient in this recipe! (Pssst…it’s cottage cheese).

Perfectly light and creamy cherry cheesecake - you'll never guess the secret ingredient in this recipe!  #recipe #dessert #cheesecake

Thanks for reading, everyone, and have a wonderful New Year!

XO, Ashley

 

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75+ Fun and Festive Holiday Drinks

Over 75 Fun and Festive Holiday Drinks at www.kitchenmeetsgirl.com
Please allow a moment for the links to load.  Happy New Year, everyone, and if you’re drinking, please do so responsibly!


XO, Ashley

 

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Top 15 Recipes of 2013

Hi everyone!  Today I’m sharing my top viewed 15 posts from 2013.  Before I get started, I just want to say a huge thank you to all of you who have viewed, shared, and made recipes from my little old blog.  I never in my wildest dreams expected a fun little hobby to turn into such an obsession.

This year, I’ve had amazing opportunities to work with fabulous brands and companies, bake in the Pillsbury Test Kitchen (!!), and watch my Facebook page explode.  Even better, I’ve formed some great relationships with readers and with other bloggers, which is definitely the icing on the cake to this whole blogging thing.

So thank you, thank you, thank you!

Top 15 Readers Favorites of 2013 from www.kitchenmeetsgirl.com

I had so much fun looking to see what you all enjoyed looking at this year – and maybe not so surprising…my top viewed post this year was also my highest viewed post last year.  I’m especially proud of this post, because I feel like it was around this time that I started to get a handle on what this blogging thing was all about. ;-)  Also, it’s one of our favorite family dinners, and I’m glad it’s one of yours, too!

Tell me: what recipes would you most like to see in the new year?

Jalapeno Popper dip - perfect for snacking or entertaining!  #recipe #dip #gamedayfood www.kitchenmeetsgirl.

15.  Jalapeno Popper Dip

This blueberry cheesecake galette is super simple, yet elegant - a perfect recipe for even a novice chef! #recipe #blueberries #pie

14.  Blueberry Cheesecake Galette

You don't have to spend hours making lasagna anymore with this 30-Minute Stovetop version! Get the recipe at www.kitchenmeetsgirl.com #recipes #lasagna

13.  30-Minute Stovetop Lasagna

This marshmallow pumpkin pie is light, and fluffy, and tastes like pumpkin pie and whipped cream all in one.  Get the recipe at www.kitchenmeetsgirl.com #pumpkin pie #marshmallows

12.  Marshmallow Pumpkin Pie

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11.  20 Awesome Dips for Superbowl

Pina Colada Poke Cake from www.kitchenmeetsgirl.com - so SIMPLE to make and absolutely DELICIOUS! #recipe #cake #pineapple #coconut

10.  Pina Colada Poke Cake

This Firecracker Chicken is the perfect mix of spicy and sweet and beats take-out hands down! #recipe #chicken #rice

9.  Firecracker Chicken

Pina Colada Icebox Pie on www.kitchenmeetsgirl.com - a three-layer pineapple, coconut, and cream pie!  So good!  #recipe #pie

8.  Pina Colada Icebox Pie

This cheesy chicken Doritos casserole comes together fast and easy, and will please even the pickiest of eaters! #recipe #dinner #Mexican

7.  Cheesy Chicken Doritos Casserole

cheesecake popsicles from www.kitchenmeetsgirl.com

6.  Cheesecake Popsicles

This dark chocolate peanut butter banana bread is the ultimate in decadence! www.kitchenmeetsgirl.com | #recipe #banana bread

5.  Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bread

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4.  Honey Sesame Crock Pot Chicken

Copycat King's Hawaiian Rolls from www.kitchenmeetsgirl.com - these taste just as good as the store bought version, and are so easy to make: even for the novice bread maker like me! #recipes #bread

3.  Copycat Hawaiian Rolls

These easy sopapillas need only three ingredients and 15 minutes in the oven.  Perfect for Cinco de Mayo!  #recipes #cincodemayo

2.  So Easy Sopapillas

chicken skewers title

1.  Honey Lime Chicken Skewers

 

 

 

XO, Ashley

 

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Peppermint Sprinkle Cookies

Thank you, Pillsbury, for inspiring me to bake these Peppermint Sprinkle Cookies just in time for the holiday season!

peppermint-spinkle-title

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, then you know that last week I had the opportunity to travel to General Mills headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I’d ever get invited to bake in the Pillsbury Test Kitchen(!!!) – and even better, I got to do it with some of the coolest bloggers ever.

Pillsbury_Holiday_Bloggers

Thanks to Tonia @ The Gunny Sack for sharing her photo!

I had the absolute BEST time spending the day with Trish, Joan, Heather, Julie, Emily, Jocelyn, Kate, Zainab, Tonia, Cheryl, Shawn, Gerry, Jocelyn, and Dana.  I can honestly say that one of the best parts of this trip was getting to meet and spend time with these bloggers – they were seriously an amazing group of people, and I am so honored that I got to share this opportunity with them.

Pillsbury treated us to a whirlwind adventure, starting with a group dinner on Thursday.  After breakfast on Friday, we split into two groups: my group had the opportunity to bake in the test kitchen in the morning, and the Pillsbury staff treated us to a food-styling lesson and photography lesson in the afternoon.

We started off in the kitchen by making some appetizers and cookies, and I was paired up with my good friend, Trish.  We baked up some Chipotle Meatball Appetizers {more on that in a later post} and Gingerbread-Turtle Thumbprint Cookies, and simply had a blast.  The Pillsbury test kitchen is amazing, ya’ll.  I’m still thinking about their dishwasher that washes a load of dishes in 5 minutes. ;-)

trish-and-me

Thanks to Trish for sharing her photo with me!

Okay, but let’s get back to these Peppermint Sprinkle Cookies.  I fell in love with Pillsbury’s peppermint cookie dough – this stuff smelled amazing right out of the package, and I knew I had to use it to make a fun holiday cookie.  While it’s plenty yummy enough on its own, I jazzed up the dough rolling it in sprinkles and adding a Candy Cane Kiss on top.

peppermint-sprinkle-1

You can’t have too much peppermint during the holiday season.  That’s my motto.

If you can’t find the peppermint dough in your market, don’t worry.  Just use 2 regular sized rolls of Pillsbury Sugar Cookie dough (16.5 ounces each) and add in 2/3 cup of crushed candy canes.  But if you can find it, grab the peppermint dough – you won’t be sorry.  Doodle kept eating the dough while I was rolling out the cookies…his words: “I love this stuff.”

Me too, dude.

peppermint-sprinkle-2

Peppermint Sprinkle Cookies

makes approximately 40 cookies

Peppermint Sprinkle Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 roll (30-ounce) Pillsbury Peppermint Cookie Dough
  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • sprinkles (approximately 1/2 cup)
  • 40 Candy Cane Hershey's Kisses, unwrapped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line your baking sheets with a Silpat or parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cookie dough and 2/3 cup flour until completely combined. Form into 1-inch balls and then roll in the sprinkles.
  3. Place cookies approximately 2-inches apart on your prepared baking sheet. Bake for 12-14 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately press a Candy Cane Kiss in the center. Cool on a wire rack.
  4. Store in an airtight container for up to one week.
http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/peppermint-sprinkle-cookies/

Do you like peppermint? Here are a few other recipes you might enjoy {click on the picture for the recipe}:

 his easy white chocolate peppermint swirled fudge only takes a few minutes to make – and no candy thermometer!

Peppermint Blondies with White Chocolate Peppermint Frosting from Kitchen Meets Girl #recipes #blondies

XO, Ashley

 

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Disclosure:  Pillsbury paid for my travel and accommodations to the General Mills Headquarters as part of a Holiday Bloggers event.  However, all opinions in this post, as always, are 100% my own.

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

These Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas are a breeze to make, and don’t require canned cream of anything. What do they require? Lots of cheese, and I’m 100% down with that. ;-)

These Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas are a breeze to make, and don’t require canned cream of anything.  What do they require?  Lots of cheese, and I’m 100% down with that.

We’re in the last throes of frantic holiday prep around my house…and I’m totally in stress-out mode. In the next three days, we have a karate tournament, three family parties {one we’re hosting and another that requires handmade gifts for five families}, and a brunch. And at some point before Tuesday night, I’ve got to find time to bake cookies for Santa and get a stock pile of condiments to go along with a hot dog roller.

So yeah, easy weeknight meals are calling my name.

Bonus points for comfort food so I can drown my stress in melty cheese.

These Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas are a breeze to make, and don’t require canned cream of anything.  What do they require?  Lots of cheese, and I’m 100% down with that.

These Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas definitely fit the bill for easy, cheesy comfort food. Both filled with – and topped with – a total of 3 cups of Kraft Mexican Four Cheese Blend, these enchiladas are not for the skinny jeans. But hey, it’s the holiday season, and I’m okay with living it up right now.

And, if you give yourself a little help in the kitchen by using a deli chicken, these enchiladas come together in a snap. Not only that, but to make things even easier during the holiday season, you can get your Kraft Cheese at Target with some coupons! Click HERE for the awesome Target coupons for Kraft products for up to $20 in savings.

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups cooked and shredded chicken (I used a deli chicken)
  • 2 tablespoons homemade taco seasoning
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 4-ounce can diced jalapenos (totally optional, but we like our food spicy)
  • 3 cups Kraft Mexican Four Cheese Blend shredded cheese, divided
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 4-ounce can diced green chilies
  • 10 small flour tortillas

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Combine shredded chicken, taco seasoning, 1 cup shredded cheese and the cilantro. Fill tortillas with chicken mixture, roll up, and place in a 9x13 pan.
  3. In a medium saucepan, melt the 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Stir in 3 tablespoons flour and whisk for 1 minute. Add broth and whisk until smooth. Cook until the mixture bubbles up and starts to thicken.
  4. Remove pan from heat and stir in the sour cream and green chilies. Allow the mixture to cool just slightly prior to adding the sour cream so that the cream does not curdle.
  5. Pour the mixture over the assembled enchiladas and top with remaining 2 cups cheese.
  6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. If desired, broil for an additional 2-3 minutes to brown the cheese.
http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/sour-cream-chicken-enchiladas/

From shopping for gifts to planning family dinners, it’s hard to keep up with all your holiday to-do’s. This year, Kraft is helping out with great weeknight meals and entertaining ideas to make the season a little bit easier. Plus, Kraft is offering up to $20 in coupons, redeemable exclusively at Target, to make food shopping easier and to help you have a happy holiday season.

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

XO, Ashley

 

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Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce

This slow cooker spaghetti sauce is the perfect solution for busy nights.  Filled with lean beef and lots of Italian flavors, this sauce just screams comfort food!

This slow cooker spaghetti sauce is the perfect solution for busy nights.  Filled with lean beef and lots of Italian flavors, this sauce just screams comfort food!
The secret to a great sauce is allowing it to cook and simmer for quite awhile, so that the flavors meld and deepen.  But let’s get real – how many of us have time during the workweek to wait around for hours while your sauce cooks?  Not me, that’s for sure!

I typically use a lean ground beef in mine, but I think this would be fabulous with a combination of beef and Italian sausage, or even ground turkey.  What’s fantastic about this sauce is that after you brown your meat, you just dump the rest of the ingredients in your slow cooker, and you’re good to go!

This slow cooker spaghetti sauce is the perfect solution for busy nights.  Filled with lean beef and lots of Italian flavors, this sauce just screams comfort food!

This recipe makes a lot of sauce – enough for my family of three to enjoy over multiple meals.  It freezes great, too, so this is perfect for making and storing ahead.

Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce

Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 14-ounce cans diced Italian tomatoes, with juice
  • 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Instructions

  1. Brown meat and onion in saucepan; drain. Transfer mixture to slow cooker.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and cook on low heat for 7 hours. If your sauce appears too runny, remove lid and allow to cook uncovered during the last hour.
http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/slow-cooker-spaghetti-sauce/

XO, Ashley

 

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Wake Up Wednesdays

Welcome to Wake Up Wednesdays {Week 17}!

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PLEASE NOTE: We won’t be having our weekly link party December 24th or 31st as we are sure that you will be spending that time doing special things with your families. Please join us when our party is back on January 7th. See you in the new year!

Before we get on to the features and the party this week, I wanted to make sure you knew about the giveaway going on at Wine & Glue this week! TWO WINNERS are going to be picked on Friday and they are each going to win $250 from Amazon! My head is swimming with all the different things I would buy if I won. So be sure to enter!

Last Minute Christmas Shopping Giveaway Square

On to the party! We love sharing all of your brilliant crafts, DIY projects, delicious desserts, and amazing meals on our social media channels, so be sure to follow along!

We’re also pinning features to our Wake Up Wednesdays Pinterest board, so make sure you follow there.

Now the features! There were so many amazing things linked up last week that it was so hard to pick, as always. Here are just a couple that caught my eye.

Tell me these Red Velvet Cupcakes from Dieter’s Downfall are not the most gorgeous cupcakes ever

1-dd-Red-Velvet-Cupcakes-5

This Silly Girl’s Life had me at cookie dough. I will take 20. Thanks!

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This Christmas Pasta from Sweet Caroline’s Corner looks easy and super delicious!

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I am on a HUGE eggnog kick, so I am loving these Eggnog Cheesecake Truffles from The Sweet Chick

Eggnog-Cheesecake-Truffles.

These Peppermint Bark Ritz Bites from Couponing & Cooking just scream Christmas!

peppermint bark ritz bark 5769

When I first saw this awesome Piñata Cake from I Should Be Mopping the Floor, I immediately thought gender reveal cake! Can you tell what’s on my mind, lol

pinata cake with m&ms #shop

If you were featured be sure to grab a button!

Wake Up Wednesdays Features
Wake Up Wednesdays

link party info

XO, Ashley

 

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Peppermint Swirled Fudge

This easy white chocolate peppermint swirled fudge only takes a few minutes to make – and no candy thermometer!

This easy white chocolate peppermint swirled fudge only takes a few minutes to make - and no candy thermometer!

I’ve always been something of a fudge purist – maybe that was because growing up, my grandmother made the absolute best chocolate peanut butter fudge – a version that I made myself sick on one Christmas because I ate the entire batch myself and didn’t eat any healthy food to balance things out.

Her recipes, of course, involved a candy thermometer…but were totally worth the extra work.

This peppermint swirled fudge is just about as good.

And even better – this version is super duper simple.  I don’t know about you, but I need E-A-S-Y right now.  With just over a week until Christmas and about a million things left to do, I am all about fast and no-fuss recipes!

This easy white chocolate peppermint swirled fudge only takes a few minutes to make - and no candy thermometer!

For this homemade fudge, you need only four ingredients: white chocolate, sweetened condensed milk, peppermint extract, and Andes Peppermint Crunch Baking Chips {I found mine at Walmart in the baking aisle}.  Trust me – if you like peppermint, you need these! ;-)

Doodle loves tossing some of the peppermint chips into his mug of hot chocolate, and I’ve been known to flavor my coffee with ‘em.  But in this fudge?  It’s just the perfect amount of peppermint flavoring and crunch.

This easy white chocolate peppermint swirled fudge only takes a few minutes to make - and no candy thermometer!

I’d love to know: Do you make fudge using a candy thermometer?  If so, what’s your favorite flavor?

Peppermint Swirled Fudge

Peppermint Swirled Fudge

Ingredients

  • 3 cups white chocolate chips
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 2/3 cup Andes Peppermint Crunch baking chips, plus more for topping

Instructions

  1. Line an 8x8 baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on two sides. Spray lightly with baking spray and set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the white chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk over medium-high heat. Stir constantly, until chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove from heat, and stir in peppermint extract and peppermint chips. The peppermint chips will melt quickly and give your fudge a pretty light pink swirled effect.
  3. Pour mixture into prepared pan, and sprinkle with additional peppermint chips if desired. Chill in the refrigerator for 3 hours, or until set. Keep stored in the refrigerator for one week.
http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/peppermint-swirled-fudge/

XO, Ashley

 

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Reese’s Capped Snowmen Cookies

Need a last minute holiday treat but don’t have a ton of time on your hands?  These Reese’s Capped Snowmen Cookies are super easy to make, and are a great project for little hands to help with in the kitchen!

Need a last minute holiday treat but don't have a ton of time on your hands?  These Reese's Capped Snowmen Cookies are super easy to make, and are a great project for little hands to help with in the kitchen!

You guys.  I’m so crazy excited about this post, because I’ve teamed up with some other seriously talented bloggers to give you some fun ideas for your holiday entertaining.

And let’s just get it out here now: there’s nothing on this list that is skinny jean friendly in any way.  We’re talking Hershey’s Kisses Chocolates and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups here.  Just enjoy the last few weeks of the holiday season and eat those chocolate goodies while you can.  We’ll talk healthier foods in January, mmkay? ;-)

Need a last minute holiday treat but don't have a ton of time on your hands?  These Reese's Capped Snowmen Cookies are super easy to make, and are a great project for little hands to help with in the kitchen!

Seriously.  Someone explain to me how Christmas is next week already.  I’m sort of having a freak out moment because I’ve realized I have not one gift wrapped, still a few to purchase, a party to host on Saturday, and a million other things still left on my to-do list.

Lucky for me making a cute little cookie for a room of first graders is something I’ve actually got checked off and ready to go.

Need a last minute holiday treat but don't have a ton of time on your hands?  These Reese's Capped Snowmen Cookies are super easy to make, and are a great project for little hands to help with in the kitchen!

Doodle had such a fun time helping make {and um, sample} a few of these cute little guys.  Normally, my kiddo is over the sweets after eating just one {a concept I do not understand}, but he’s been asking for one of these festive cookies pretty much every day after school.

Batch number two, here we come.

Need a last minute holiday treat but don't have a ton of time on your hands?  These Reese's Capped Snowmen Cookies are super easy to make, and are a great project for little hands to help with in the kitchen!

Quite honestly, chocolate and peanut butter is one of the best combinations ever, yes? ;-)

Reese’s Capped Snowmen Cookies

Reese’s Capped Snowmen Cookies

Ingredients

  • 24 Nutter Butter Cookies
  • 12 mini Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, halved
  • 1 package white CandiQuik
  • 48 mini chocolate chips
  • 48 mini M&M's
  • orange jimmies
  • black frosting for piping (I used this)

Instructions

  1. Melt CandiQuik according to package directions. Dip 3 or 4 cookies into melted CandiQuik and place on wax paper to set. Working quickly, place mini Reese's Peanut Butter Cups on for the hat, 2 chocolate chips for the eyes, an orange jimmie for the nose, and 2 mini M&M's for the buttons.
  2. Repeat, until all cookies are dipped and decorated.
  3. Allow to set completely - I chilled mine in the refrigerator to speed the process along. Once set, pipe on a scarf with black frosting. Since I only needed a little bit, I used this ready made kind I purchased in the baking aisle at my grocery store.
http://kitchenmeetsgirl.com/reeses-capped-snowmen-cookies/

What’s your favorite way to eat a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup? We made these snowmen cookies last year using Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and they are still one of our favorites!

Need a last minute holiday treat but don't have a ton of time on your hands?  These Reese's Capped Snowmen Cookies are super easy to make, and are a great project for little hands to help with in the kitchen!

Be sure to check out all of the other awesome ideas, below:

XO, Ashley

 

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Learn to Make a Classic Béchamel Sauce

So you guys. I have a confession.

Growing up, I hated cooking. I wanted nothing to do with being in the kitchen and was pretty much as uninterested in food as a person could get. I realize now I missed out on gathering a lot of great knowledge from my grandmother, who was basically the best cook ever {grandmas are like that, right?}.  So yeah, I was pretty stoked when I discovered Craftsy.

bechamel-sauce

But now that I have a family of my own, the bonding time spent talking and laughing around the dinner table is one of the best parts of my day. Obviously, my cooking knowledge basically comes from trial and error, and not from any formal training. And so I decided to look into some cooking classes here in my town…to build a solid culinary foundation by learning some of the basics and how to manipulate those to make them my own.

And you know what I discovered? Those classes? They’re kind of expensive. Not only that, but they’re a fair distance from my house, they conflict with Doodle’s karate schedule, and I’m left wondering how I’m going to fit that in with the rest of my life. I mean, my “me” time is basically 9:30 pm and later…and last I checked, it’s pretty difficult to find a cooking class that starts at 10 pm.

Well, until now.

I recently discovered Craftsy, which is basically an online classroom that offers crafting classes, taught by world renowned instructors.  Seriously, I just took A Modern Take on the Mother Sauces taught by James Peterson, who has 15 cookbooks and won the James Beard Award 7 times.  Not only that, but I took it at 10 pm in my pajamas.

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Awesome, right??

Not only can you enjoy the classes entirely on your own schedule, but they are available to you anytime you want for as long as you want!  With each course, you’ll get several hours of HD-quality video content.  Plus, you’re able to ask your instructor questions, upload photos, and get personalized responses, and participate in discussions with your classmates.

Believe me when I tell you these classes are worth checking out.  I’ve already signed up for one on pizza making, bread baking, and Italian sauces.  I’m going to be a carb-eating machine.

I tried to compensate by roasting some cauliflower, but then I used my new-fangled culinary skills to turn it into cauliflower gratin, and well…the cream and cheese kind of cancelled out all of the veggies.  But it was worth it. ;-)

cauliflower-gratin

Here’s just a sample list of the types of cooking and baking courses offered by Craftsy:

Perfecting the Pie Crust
Artisan Bread Making
Sweet & Savory Food Gifts
Decadent Chocolate Cakes
Secrets of Slow Cooking: Mastering the Braise
A Modern Take on the Mother Sauces
Homestyle Pan Sauces
Roasting Techniques Every Cook Should Know
…and many more!

I know there is at least one topic on that list that inspires you!  Click here to check out the Craftsy courses (and save up to 25%!).  They make great holiday gifts for all of your foodie or inspiring-foodie friends.

Take your holiday traditions to a whole new level with Craftsy’s holiday gifting and cooking courses. Craftsy is also offering my readers up to 25% off a full-length Craftsy course! Whether you’re a pie perfectionist or gift-giving guru, Craftsy has something for you. Learn more about Craftsy and how to turn your ideas into reality!

Click here to get your special discount on this course!

 

 

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

 

XO, Ashley

 

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