Marshmallow Popcorn Balls

October is finally here which means I can now lift my ban on pumpkin recipes, dust off the Halloween decor, and finally purchase my first bag of Halloween candy. Candy is better in miniatures, right?! The grocery stores have had Halloween things out since August but I make myself wait until October until I even think about it.

Marshmallow Popcorn Balls

Companies sure know my type –the type that buys holiday themed sprinkles and cookie cutters for every holiday. Instead of rolling out cookie dough and decorating Halloween themed cookies I decided to use these fun sprinkles in a quicker and easier recipe. One that can be mixed up quickly, still allows the kiddos to participate, and can be done in less than 30 minutes. Popcorn balls are the answer!

Marshmallow Popcorn Balls

Popcorn balls are a total throwback to my younger days. I can remember them being dyed orange to look like little pumpkins. The kiddos wanted to help roll the popcorn balls so I skipped the orange dye and went with festive Halloween themed sprinkles instead. You could also stir in 1 cup of M&M’s or Reeces Pieces, nuts, dried fruit, etc. the options are limitless.

Wearing rubber gloves helps protect little hands from the heat of the marshmallow mixture. An adult should mix the butter and marshmallows together. An adult or older child can stir the popcorn and marshmallow mixture together and children of all ages can form the popcorn balls once it has cooled slightly.

Easy Popcorn Balls

Tonight I am guest posting over at The Good Life Moms. For those of you that don’t know Nebraska’s state slogan used to be Nebraska: The Good Life. Since I have been a resident in this great state I would have to agree. Head over to The Good Life Moms to get the recipe!

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Rosemary Garlic Roasted Potatoes

Sometimes simple sides are super satisfying. Roasted root vegetables. Glazed in garlic. Refined with rosemary. An addicting accompaniment.

Oh how I wish I could have gone on with the alliteration but I really felt like I was grasping for straws. So these potatoes aren’t really anything fancy. What they lack in looks they make up for in taste.

Rosemary Garlic Roasted Potatoes

These potatoes were inspired by the ridiculous Sweet Potato Fries from Smashburger. Their fries are coated in a garlicky, rosemary butter (or oil?) that makes them outrageously good. I know they are a burger restaurant but I would go their just for their sweet potato fries.

Since I didn’t have many sweet potato fries on hand I substituted a few red potatoes from my parents’ garden. Speaking of gardens… I stole, err borrowed?, err got permission to take, some rosemary from my neighbor’s plant. Note to self: plant rosemary next year because it is your new favorite herb. The rosemary, the garlic, the potatoes combine to make the best darn “fries” ever.

They go particularly well with grilled food. Serve with burgers, chicken, or grilled fish for a complete dinner.

Rosemary Garlic Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Cook Time: 1 hour
3 large Sweet Potatoes
1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon Rosemary
salt to taste

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
2. Wash and dry sweet potatoes, cut into small wedges or fry shapes.
3. In microwave safe dish combine butter, oil, and garlic. Microwave for 15 seconds to melt butter and make garlic fragrant.
4. Toss potatoes with garlic oil and rosemary. Spread in even layer on baking sheet.
5. Bake for 1 hour turning potatoes after 30 minutes. Sprinkle with salt before serving.

Rosemary Garlic Roasted Potatoes


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Cornbread Breakfast Muffins

Hello! Happy Monday! One of my favorite things about weekends is breakfast. Weekend breakfast is special because the six of us get to sit at the breakfast table together. We aren’t rushing around trying to get out the door. Weekend breakfast means sitting around the table in our pajamas with the kiddos just in their undies :) Hey, it is the weekend, anything goes.

Cornbread Breakfast Muffins

Last weekend my neighbor stopped by with a couple of these Cornbread Breakfast Muffins (yeah, my neighbors are pretty awesome) which my kiddos gobbled up quickly. I didn’t get to try them. So when Saturday rolled around I knew exactly what I was making for breakfast. They. Were. Awesome.

Cornbread Breakfast Muffin

Amazingly I had everything on hand to make them. You could make your own cornbread but I just used a premixed boxed version. Sausage patties, cheddar cheese, and farm fresh eggs (yeah, we have awesome friends who raise chickens) made this breakfast sandwich dynamite. The cornbread muffins get slightly crispy on the outside, the egg yolk is hard but not dry, the cheese and sausage just add to the overall flavor. Drizzle on a little maple syrup or a splash of hot sauce and you have yourself a delicious breakfast. I thought these muffins reheated well with a quick zap in the microwave. So even though it isn’t Saturday you could still bake some tonight and reheat tomorrow morning.

Cornbread Breakfast Muffins

Serves: 6
Cook Time: 40 Minutes
1 -12 or 15 ounce box Cornbread Mix (I used Glutino GF Cornbread)
6 sausage patties, browned
6 eggs
10 slices of cheddar cheese
maple syrup, optional
hot sauce, optional

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
2. Grease a 6 cup muffin tin*, crack 1 egg into each prepared cup. Bake for 20 minutes. Once eggs are done baking preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
3. While eggs are baking brown sausage patties and mix cornbread mixture according to package instructions
4. Grease a 6 cup jumbo muffin tin. Pour 1/12 the cornbread mixture into each cup.
5. Top with 1/2 slice of cheese, 1 sausage patty, 1/2 slice of cheese, cooked egg, 1/2 slice of cheese, and 1/6 of remaining cornbread mixture. Repeat with for the rest of the muffin cups.
6. Bake for 20 minutes. Allow to cool 3 minutes in muffin tin before removing and serving.

*If using a 12 cup muffin tin fill the remaining muffin cups half way with water. Be careful when removing from oven because the water will be extremely hot!

Cornbread Breakfast Sandwiches

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Chocolate Chunk Peanut Butter M&M Cookies

What I love about food blogs is all the different experimenting people are doing in their kitchens. What is great is that they then share those experiences with the world via their food blog. They allow us to try something new in our kitchens or remind us of some cooking method, ingredient, or dish that we had forgotten about.

Chocolate Peanut Butter M&M Cookies

This happened to me recently. I was reading my daily blogs and came across this cookie post from Chelsea. It reminded me of the chocolate chip cookie recipe my mom used to make when we were little and it called for cream of tartar. I had forgotten about that ingredient. Chelsea also mentioned two other “secret ingredients” (cornstarch and oat flour) in her cookies. I have been using cornstarch in my cookies for years now in the form of instant pudding and just plain cornstarch. While her recipe called for oat flour I skipped it when mixing up my cookies this time. Oat flour cookies are on my list though!

She explained what cream of tartar does to the cookies. It adds a bit of chewiness and it also helps keeps these jumbo cookies from puffing up too much. Pretty cool!

Chocolate Peanut Butter M&M Cookies

Everyone loves the combination of peanut butter and chocolate. Right? If you don’t, I’m not sure we can be friends. Well I know I love that flavor combo. It is hard for me to believe that this is the first recipe I am sharing with you where I used one of my favorite type of M&M’s. The peanut butter M&M variety is off the hook. Please still say off the hook, right? The first time I used these massive peanut butter stuffed M&M’s in a cookie was when I subbed them in my monster cookies. Try it. You’ll like it!

These are some large and in charge cookies. It is totally big cookie season right now. Impress everyone at the PTA bake sale with these jumbo cookies packed with peanut butter M&M’s AAAAAND chocolate chunks.

Chocolate Peanut Butter M&M's Cookie

6 tablespoons butter, room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
5 tablespoons sugar
2 eggs, separated
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2-1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup chocolate chunks (or chocolate chips)
1 cup peanut butter M&M’s

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment. Set aside
2. In large bowl beat together butter and sugar until light and creamy on medium high.
3. Turn speed down to medium and beat in egg yolks and vanilla.
4. In a small bowl whisk together egg whites and cream of tartar for several minutes until white. Add to butter mixture, mix to combine.
5. In medium size bowl whisk together dry ingredients.
6. Turn the mixer down to low. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix until just combined.
7. Remove bowl from mixer and using a wooden spoon stir in chocolate chunks. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup scoop out cookie dough on to prepared baking sheet.
8. Place M&M’s on top of cookie to give it the professional bakery look. Bake for 1o minutes. Allow to cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Chocolate Peanut Butter M&M Cookies

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