Two days to Halloween! I hope you’re ready! I bought a second round of candy this weekend – this time I got the Tootsie Roll pack with Dots, that way I’m not tempted because Dots? Are disgusting. And I kind of feel bad for handing them out to the neighborhood kids but you know.

I’ve got two more Halloween recipes to get through before the big day. This one is a fun little snack mix that’s kind of like my favorite Christmas mix but this one has popcorn, pumpkin seeds and candy corn! Mmm! My kids went nuts over it, for obvious reasons.

I have been avoiding the popcorn trend because I thought for sure that covering popcorn with something would make it soggy but that wasn’t the case with this. The popcorn was the most fought over part!

Monster Munch
adapted from Betty Crocker
Ingredients
  • 4 cups Chex cereal
  • 4 cups popped microwave popcorn
  • 1 cup honey-roasted peanuts
  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 6 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup harvest mix or candy corn
Instructions
  1. In a large microwavable bowl, mix cereal, popcorn, peanuts and pumpkin seeds; set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup on high over medium-low heat until mixture is boiling, stirring occasionally; stir in vanilla pumpkin pie spice. Pour over cereal mixture, stirring until evenly coated.
  3. Microwave 5 to 6 minutes, stirring and scraping bowl after every minute. Spread on waxed paper to cool, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to break up.
  4. Stir in harvest mix. Store in airtight container.
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I wanted ice cream so bad the other night. SO BAD. The problem was that I’d already showered so my hair was a hot mess, my eyebrows weren’t done, and I had yoga pants on. I know what you’re thinking: “Why didn’t you just cruise through the Dairy Queen drive-thru, Amanda?!” and I will tell you why.

I am cursed.

No. Seriously.

We live on Fort Carson which  means whenever I leave the post, I have to go through an ID check to get back on. And they do random searches. And I am randomly chosen every time I leave the house looking like a disaster. Can’t even be chosen when I look cute and actually have my hair brushed. And let me tell you, there is nothing more embarrassing than having to stand out in the cold in your husband’s workout shorts while your 12 Target bags (when you only went for diapers of course) are poked through by military police. Cursed, I tell you.

So I have a new rule that I only leave post when I have my hair at least straightened.

Back to the original problem: I needed ice cream in my life but I couldn’t leave.

I had all the ingredients for this dip and while it wasn’t ice cream, it was cool and creamy and the little crunchy toffee bits mixed in made it almost feel like a B&Js flavor. My kids dug it and even though it’s not healthy at all, both kids ate their weight in apples over the next few days.

One year ago: Honey Chipotle Chicken Crispers
Two years ago:
Sausage and Bean Casserole
Three years ago: Chicken Mushroom Quesadillas

Creamy Caramel Apple Dip
adapted from Taste of Home
Ingredients
  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup Heath Bits 'O Brickle Toffee
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together cream cheese, brown sugar, and powdered sugar until combined. Beat in vanilla. Remove from mixer; use a rubber spatula to fold in the toffee bits.
  2. Serve with apple slices.

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Back in our childless days I opened a Starbucks every morning which means I was usually off work hours before my husband came home. He used to joke that he knew everyday he’d come home to find me either asleep on the couch or on our back porch with my computer on my lap and a giant bag of apple chips in my hand.

Apple chips were a real addiction of mine but I haven’t really given them much thought since those days until I saw Tracey make some a few weeks back. And just like everything else Tracey makes, I couldn’t get them out of my head. I made them as an afterschool snack for my kiddos last week and they were eating them as fast as they came out of the oven. I think we went through 4 apples!

It’s really simple and you’ll see that it’s the world’s shortest ingredient list – just 3 things! And one ingredient is water! The apple is sliced really thin and then boiled in a simple syrup before being baked. It only took about 30 minutes from start to finish.

Candied Apple Chips
Ingredients
  • 1 small apple
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Place a wire rack inside of a rimmed baking sheet and spray lightly with a nonstick spray.
  2. Use a mandoline to make really thin slices of apple. There is no need to core and peel the apple but make sure you remove any seeds.
  3. Bring the sugar and water to a boil in a saucepan. Add the apple slices and cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes or until the slices are translucent. Use tongs to remove the slices from the syrup and place them on the wire rack in a single layer. (You can discard the syrup or save it - it's amazing apple-flavored simple syrup!)
  4. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until they're golden.The chips may not be crisp at this point but they will crisp up almost as soon as you pull them out of the oven. Transfer the chips to a sheet of wax paper and let them cool completely.
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I am the worst blogger in the history of blogging. I’m aware of it.

I am just… ugh. So busy! I swear I spent all of last week going from store to store to store to post office sending my husband’s last package only to have him get online THAT night to tell me he needed one more thing. So store to store to store to post office again. Between that and our regular day to day stuff, things have been cah-razy around here. I swore that I was going to spend the weekend getting some posts together but I’m sure you guys could guess that I spent the weekend watching an America’s Next Top Model marathon and taking naps on the couch.

Today was the big due date for Secret Recipe Club so I had to at least get this done! (I switched SRC groups again in case you were wondering. I have commitment issues.) This month I was assigned to Smells Like Brownies which was super exciting because she has a ton of fun recipes on her blog.

I actually made these Trail Mix Cookies first but y’all, I don’t know if it’s me or my oven or what but the past few times I’ve made cookies they have just spread like crazy. Even after I refrigerate the dough for 24 hours! So yeah, they were delicious but just not photogenic. Luckily I had bookmarked her Butter Buddies as something I wanted to make for the upcoming holiays.

These are like muddy buddies but instead of chocolate, you use butterscotch chips. I have never been a huge fan of the regular muddy buddies but I knew I would love this. And I did! I only made half the recipe because I wasn’t sure if the kids would eat it and lord knows the last thing I need is to eat an entire box of powdered sugar-coated cereal. So anyway, the kids gobbled it up and then asked me to make it again the next day! It was definitely a hit and I’ll be making it again for Christmas!

One year ago: Crimson Tide Mojito
Two years ago: Bacon Mac
Three years ago:  Wheat Oat Bread

Butter Buddies
Ingredients
  • 9 cups Chex corn or rice
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. Pour cereal into a large bowl; set aside.
  2. Put butterscotch chips, peanut butter, and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute, then stir until smooth. If it's still really lumpy, microwave for another 30 seconds and stir again. Once the mixture is completely smooth, stir in the vanilla.
  3. Pour the butterscotch mixture over the Chex. Stir gently until all the Chex is coated.
  4. Put the powdered sugar in a very large zip top bag. Scoop the candy-coated Chex into the bag and zip it shut. Shake until all the cereal is coated in powdered sugar.

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Want the truth?

Deployment isn’t that bad. I know I talk like it’s the worst thing ever but really, I’m okay for the 23 hours a day that I’m not whining on my blog. Sure, I have my bad days (like last week when my husband was all “Remember how I said I was coming home early?! APRIL FOOLS!”) but for the most part, I really can’t complain.

I not-so-secretly love those few hours after the kids are in bed when I can do whatever I want. These days I’m loving that my kids don’t know how to tell time yet so I can put them in bed an hour early and they can’t argue! An extra hour of no one talking to me is just necessary sometimes.

What do I do with that extra hour? I take a forever long shower and then make these s’mores.

I’ll walk you through the steps.

… slap another graham on top, stuff it in your face, and bask in your awesomeness. Then go make another.

You’re welcome.

(This was day 2 of S’mores week in case you forgot! Nicole made truffles!)

One year ago: Cappuccino Cheesecake
Two years ago:  Breakfast Pizza

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