Mini Caramel Apple Bites

It's Fall, Y'all - Make yourself some Mini Caramel Apple Bites

I think I mention every year that Autumn is my favorite season. It truly is. The Fall colors are breathtaking – hues of orange, yellow and red gracing the scenery. Cool, crisp air kissing your face. Boots and sweaters, pumpkin bread and…

Caramel Apples!

Yes, I’m talking about sour juicy goodness, covered in sweet caramel stickiness. What could be better? (Except for maybe S’mores, but those are a summer treat and we’re talking about Fall, y’all!)

My kiddos would become frustrated when trying to eat a whole caramel apple on a stick. Caramel would stick to their noses while the apple’s juice would run down their chins. While super cute, they didn’t like it much. I would slice their apples and give them a bowl of caramel to dip them in and they would eat it all up. That was the best solution for all of us.

Until now.

Enter Mini Caramel Apple Bites. I honestly couldn’t remember where I got the idea for these little bits of tastiness, but they are a genius way to serve up the tasty combo, without causing any fuss while eating. And, they are super cute!

Mini Caramel Apple Bites

Here’s what you need:
Apples – I love to use Granny Smith for the sour factor.
Melon Baller
Lollipop Sticks (I bought a small bag at Walmart in the craft section.)

Here’s what you do:
1. Take a melon baller and carve out your little bites of apple.
2. Place a lollipop stick in to each of the small bites.
3. Make sure each bite is dry and dip in softened caramel, coating completely.
4. Roll bite in chopped nuts or other toppings, if you’d like.
5. Enjoy!

How to make Mini Caramel Apple Bites

What is your favorite thing about Autumn? Do you have a favorite treat?

As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I’ve received compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Fruity Dessert Pizza

There is nothing quite like enjoying fresh fruit in the heat of summer. Biting in to ice-cold watermelon. Enjoying popsicles made with fresh, juicy strawberries. Tossing raspberries in to a crisp green salad. I could go on and on.

My most favorite fruity dessert to make with my kiddos, though, is Dessert Pizza. It’s super easy, pretty quick to make, and tastes yummy. It satisfies any sugar craving on a hot evening. For all of us.

Fruity Dessert Pizza

What you need:

  • 1 package refrigerated Crescent Rolls
  • 1 small tub of Marshmallow Creme
  • 1 8oz package of Cream Cheese
  • Fresh Fruit, sliced
  • Coconut Flakes (optional)

Fruity Dessert Pizza - what you need

sliced fruit makes great toppings

What to do:

  1. Roll out the crescent rolls and cut in to circle. Bake as directed. Cool completely.
  2. In a bowl, blend together the marshmallow creme and cream cheese. Set aside.
  3. Spread mixture over crescent crust.
  4. Top with fresh sliced fruit. sprinkle with coconut flakes (not shown). I make a special pizza pie for Timmy with just bananas and strawberries… The possibilities are endless!
  5. Slice and serve.

Enjoy your dessert pizza this summer!

Where do you purchase your fresh fruit? I prefer to buy our produce, especially fruit, at Walmart because of their 100% money back guarantee. They purchase their fruits and vegetables directly from growers and leverage their produce experts, distribution centers and trucking systems. They also check their produce weekly in all of their stores, making sure WE purchase the freshest and bestest.

As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I’ve received compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Cheese and Olive Stuffed Chicken {Recipe}

As you may know, Ray loves to cook. He finds being in the kitchen very therapeutic and makes quite the production out of making us all a meal, be it breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner. I, on the other hand, am always looking for ways to cut my time in the kitchen short… unless I am baking.

When I was introduced to Pearl Olives to Go!, I instantly began thinking of ways I could use these cups of yummy goodness to make time in the kitchen a bit easier. They come in a variety of flavors, including Kalamata (my fave for snacking) and even sliced black. All are gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, cholesterol-free, trans-fat-free, GMO-free, vegan and Kosher –  what healthier way to snack on the go? Of course, these individual cups are perfect to throw in the kids lunch, or even my purse, for a quick snack, but they do make using them in salads, main dishes, and more, that much easier.

Find Pearl Olives to Go! at Walmart – in stores only.

 photo Cheese and Olive Stuffed Chicken We recently made a delicious chicken breast stuffed with provolone cheese and black olives. Oh, my! SO GOOD!! Here’s what we did.

Cheese and Olive Stuffed Chicken - step by step photo Cheese and Olive Stuffed Chicken - step by step Gather your ingredients:
1 cup shredded provolone cheese
2 Pearls Olives to Go single serve cups, chopped black (Or you could use the sliced black olives, to make it easy!)
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 large egg white
1 cup seasoned dry breadcrumbs
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

Prepare Cheese Mixture:
Combine shredded provolone, chopped black olives, and pepper. Set aside.

Prepare Chicken Breasts:
Slice each breast horizontally, nearly through.
Add cheese mixture to each sliced chicken breast.
Beat egg white, dip closed chicken breast, and dredge in breadcrumbs.
Heat oil over in a large nonstick skillet medium-high heat.
Add chicken and cook until browned on one side, about 2 minutes.

Transfer chicken to the prepared baking sheet, browned-side up, and bake until it is no longer pink in the center – about 25 minutes.

All of my kiddos loved the cheese and olive stuffed chicken. In fact, we didn’t make enough and ran out! I’d like to make a yummy sauce to top the chicken, or perhaps just add more cheese next time. But, we all agreed – This was a pretty tasty meal!

As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I’ve received compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Great Gift Idea – Incredibly Easy Peppermint Bark

Growing up, between Thanksgiving and Christmas, my Mom would set aside several days amongst the hustle and bustle to bake with my sisters and me. Later, we would get together for a big baking day. We would make pies and cookies, and other sweet treats. I have carried on this tradition with my own children. Cranberry Chocolate Chunk Cookies, Oreo TrufflesRolo Turtles, and Peppermint Bark are among our favorites and we make them every year!

We have made our Peppermint Bark as gifts every year, but making it in cookie cutters adds a special touch. They are super easy little gifts to make and call for just a few simple ingredients – cookie cutters, parchment paper, candy melts, candy canes, goody bags, and ribbon.

We purchased everything at Walmart for about $21 for all 18 gifts. The Wilton holiday cookie cutters were just $8.97 for a box of 18! Of course, you can certainly choose plastic cutters, or even painted ones, but this was a steal for as many gifts as we needed to make. Each was laid out on a sheet of parchment paper.

Peppermint Bark Gift Idea - step 1

Next, we melted two packages of Wilton Milk Chocolate Candy Melts and filled the cookie cutters, some completely and others only half full. We topped the half filled cutters with Wilton White Candy Melts and let them all cool.

Peppermint Bark Gift Idea - Step 2

But, before they cooled completely, we crushed several candy canes and topped the chocolate filled cutters.

Peppermint Bark Gift Idea - Step 3

Voila! Perfect little gifts for anyone on your list who may enjoy a sweet homemade gift!

Peppermint Bark Gift Idea

We placed each cookie cutter filled with Peppermint Bark in a festive goody bag and we tied them up with some ribbon. My kids and I have great fun making these simple little treats each year. This year, they will make a perfect gift for each of their friends in the neighborhood!

Peppermint Bark - gift idea

In addition to all of our favorites listed above, we plan to check out for some new ideas for some fun baking days next week.

As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I’ve received compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Fresh Stone Fruit from Walmart makes great Summer Treats

My kids and I love fresh peaches, nectarines, and plums; the juicy stone fruit doesn’t last long around here. So, when Walmart asked me to highlight their stone fruit and the 100% freshness guarantee, I jumped on the opportunity. I think my kids were just as excited as I was. In fact, I had to fight everyone off while I prepared the ingredients for the sweet compote I wanted to make!

I was pleased to find the fruit at our local Walmart to be quite beautiful and very fresh. I’ve always been leery about which fruit to purchase, mostly because I’ve never been good about identifying which pieces are ripe enough to eat and not just bruised.  The following Tips from the Farm on choosing peaches is incredibly helpful —

Every one of the peaches, nectarines, and plums that I purchased for my compote were just right. If not, however, I would have marched back to Walmart and cashed in on the 100% money-back guarantee. (So glad I didn’t have to do that!)

Stone Fruit Compote recipe

For our Stone Fruit Compote I adapted a recipe for jam that I found in one of my old cookbooks. I didn’t want the sparse chunkiness of jam, but rather I desired it to be really chunky, so the goodness of the fruit could be savored. Julia is trying to eat the compote directly from the jar, as I type this, but I plan to use this deliciousness as a topping for ice cream, on toast, or spooned on to a piece of coffee cake. The possibilities are endless!

This recipe is super easy and pretty quick. The hardest part is cutting up all the fruit, but if you nibble on it as you cut, you forget about the work involved!

I juiced an orange, mixed the juice with 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar in a large saucepan, and brought it to a hard boil on the stove. I placed the chopped fruit of 2 large peaches, 2 nectarines, 5 small plums, and a bit of zest from a lemon into the sugar mixture, stirring until the sugar dissolved and the mixture began to boil again. I then reduced the temperature to low and allowed the fruit to simmer for about 20 minutes, mashing and mixing occasionally.  When done, I poured the mixture in to small jars and placed in the refrigerator to cool.

Stone Fruit Compote

I ended up with quite a few extra peaches after making my compote, so I decided I would make some fresh Peach Lemonade. Timmy helped me juice the lemons, and then we added a bit of water, sugar to taste, and a sliced peach to the carafe. A fresh peach slice was the perfect garnish, but let me just tell you that it disappeared (all that was edible) almost immediately after Julia snapped a few photos for me! It’s the perfect refreshment on a hot summer day.

Fresh Peach Lemon-Ade

Here are some other great ideas to sink your teeth in —

What is your favorite stone fruit? And how do you like it? I’d love to see your favorite recipes!