Arm & Hammer…Did You Know? (and a Giveaway!)

Baking SodaOkay, for the past few months I have been working closely with Arm & Hammer, reviewing a few of their products, sampling a few goodies, and of course, using their famous baking soda in my baked goods.

Sure, I also have a box sitting in my fridge, absorbing odors.  Everyone knows you should so this.  Sure, I know that Arm & Hammer added to my toothbrush helps kill more germs, helps me have a brighter smile.  Sure, I know you can add a bit to the mop water for cleaning the floors.

But here’s what I DID NOT KNOW.

 

In the Dishwasher

– You can sprinkle a bit in the bottom of the dishwasher to get rid of that nasty “old food” smell.  You know the smell.  Yuck.  Nice to know!

Gross Pots & Pans

– Don’t scrub!  Just shake on some Arm & Hammer, add some detergent and hot water, wait 15 minutes, and then just wash.  You won’t believe how great of a job it does!

Watercolors for Painting

 watercolors– Kids will LOVE this!  To make your own watercolors, just stir together 2 tablespoons of Arm & Hammer, 2 tablespoons of flour, 2 teaspoons of sugar, 2 tablespoons of water and 1 packet of dry, unsweetened drink mix (like Kool-Aid) until the fizzing stops, and voila!  Instant paints!  Seven is a painting freak (okay, maybe he gets that from me, I did go to art school, after all)  but wow – I love how easy this is to whip up.  Faster than going to the store for sure!

 

Freshen Carpets

– Sprinkle Arm & Hammer on your carpets (we have pets, so – gross).  Wait 15 minutes, then vacuum to eliminate odors.  Yes!!

Play Clay

 play_clay– Okay, I LOVE this idea!  Homemade modeling clay!  2 cups of baking soda, 1 cup of cornstarch, and 1 1/4 cups of cold water (and some food coloring, if you so choose) are all it takes to whip up hours of fun!  Simply stir the dry ingredients together, then add the water and coloring.  Cook over medium heat for about 10-15 minutes, or until it looks kind of like mashed potatoes. Stir constantly!  Remove from heat and cover with a damp cloth until the clay is cool to the touch – then create!!  You can leave the creations out to dry for 8 hours to harden, or, place in a preheated (but turned off) oven for 10 to 15 minutes to dry.  Hours of fun!  Check out Seven’s Snowman!

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So…don’t say I never taught you anything!  Now you have lots of things to keep yourself and the kiddos busy during this (oh my gosh!) long Holiday Break!

 

You can find TONS of great uses for Arm & Hammer on their site – plus, you can add your own cool uses as well.  Go check it out – I think you’ll be surprised how many things you can do with this versatile product!

The Giveaway

• One ARM & HAMMER Seasonal Savings Gift Pack which includes a $100 Visa Gift Card for purchasing more ARM & HAMMER

• Two to Three (2-3) ARM & HAMMER products ** 2-3 products featured in the giveaway picture will be provided to winner based on product availability. Featured products include: ARM & HAMMER™ Sensitive toothpaste, from the makers of Orajel™, Spinbrush: ProClean Sonic, Tooth Tunes™, ARM & HAMMER™ Ultra Power 4X Liquid Laundry Detergent, ARM & HAMMER™ Baking Soda, ARM & HAMMER™ Simply Saline™ Nasal Relief, ARM & HAMMER™ Double Duty Clumping Litter

ARM & HAMMER Seasonal Giveaway Image 2

So how do you win?  You Comment!  Let me know in a comment that you’d like to win, and you are entered!  If you’;; tweet or share a link to this post on Twitter or Facebook, then return here and leave me a separate comment letting me know you did, you gain a second entry!  Good luck!

For More Information on Arm & Hammer

o Share and connect on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/armandhammer

o Visit ARM & HAMMER’s website to explore ARM & HAMMER products, tips and hints, FAQs, and consumer reviews: http://www.armandhammer.com/

o Where to buy ARM & HAMMER products: http://www.armandhammer.com/Products/WhereToBuy.aspx

o Sign Up for the ARM & HAMMER Savings Center (coupons, etc.): http://www.armandhammer.com/Resources/

Disclaimer – This post and giveaway are sponsored by Arm & Hammer.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  Contest open to US Addresses only.  Entries welcome until January 6, 2014 at 11:59pm EST.  Winner will be notified via email address provided.

After School Snack with Go-GURT

I remember clearly, my days in elementary school.

Every day my cousin and I would ride the bus to my grandmothers house, where we would race each other to the living room, each of us vying for the best seat in the house…the couch.  Well, I always wanted the couch – he always wanted her chair.  So, umm, I’m not really sire what the race was for.  But there you have it.

After we’d secured our prime TV viewing locations, we’d turn the tube on to Scooby Doo, followed by Andy Griffith.  There was an ongoing change in programming, but not because there were a variety of stations.  We had 4 stations back then.  Count ‘em – 4.  ABC. NBC. CBS. PBS.  We used to LOVE the Sid and Nancy Krofft shows, especially the Bugaloos and Land of the Lost, but alas, those only lasted about a year, then some random stupid show came on instead.  That’s about the time we picked up Andy Griffith and we pretty much got trapped there in Mayberry.

But I digress.

My grandmother always has an after-school snack for us.  It changed every day, but there were only a few changes.  Bologna and Cheese Sandwiches, Potato Soup (Oh, Lord, how I miss that), cheap cheese pizzas, macaroni and cheese, or macaroni without cheese.

I remember being STARVED by 4pm, and I can’t even tell you why.  These days, I can go without breakfast, without lunch, and not eat anything until 8pm.  This happens more than I care to admit.  But Seven?  He’s famished come 3:30 when we get home from school. Famished.  If I don’t have some kind of prepared snack, contained on a plate, that child will pilfer and plunder and eat NON-STOP until dinner time.  Non-STOP.

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So, I’ve taken to making a snack plate during the day, and having it ready for him.  I keep it on a fun colored tray, with a variety of tasty goodies.  He loves eating sandwiches that are cut into shapes, so I try to include those along with fresh veggies and fruits.  He’s also a HUGE yogurt fan.  HUGE.

He is particularly fond of Go-GURT, from Yoplait, and I am fortunate to be working closely with them.  Have you bought these?  There are so many flavors, and beyond that, they are so versatile!  (Yes, I know I just said yogurt was versatile, but hold on.  It’s true.

First off, they are in squeeze tubes.  Kids love things they can squeeze and eat.  Great for a snack, or breakfast.  He eats them for breakfast on the way to school…because his mother is not a morning person and frying eggs or pancakes every single day is just not in my vocabulary.  But here’s a cool idea (pun intended) – put a few in the freezer!  Frozen Yogurt Pops!  Not only are they great frozen, but you can place a frozen tube o’ yogurt in your kids lunchbox and it will help keep everything cold until lunch.  Snazzy!

Another versatile feature?  So.Many.Flavors.  Look!

Banana Split, Berry Blue Blast, Burstin’ Melon Berry, Chill Out Cherry, Cool Cotton Candy, Phineas & Ferb Perry Berry, Phineas & Ferb Summer Punch, Sponge Bob Sponge Berry, Sponge Bob Strawberry Riptide, Strawberry Banana Burst, Strawberry Kiwi Kick, Strawberry Milkshake, Strawberry Splash, Twisted Screaming Green Apple, Twisted Strawberry Mango Tango, Victorious Poppin’ Punch, Victorious Smashin’ Berry, and Watermelon Meltdown. 

Seven has tried just about ALL of them, but he adores Phineas and Ferb.  Secretly, I do too.

In case you were wondering – Go-GURT has no HFC, and I know that’s important to a lot of you.  It’s a healthy snack and a much better source of nutrition in a world where kids just want chips and candy.  I’d rather give him yogurt!!

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Disclaimer: As mentioned in the post, I work closely with Yoplait and Go-GURT, who sponsored this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Spooky Delicious…Spiderweb Pancakes

Halloween.

It’s upon us, folks.  Before you know it, the kiddos will be dressed as ghosts and goblins (what’s a goblin even LOOK like?), zombies, witches, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  A few days later, we’ll set the clocks back and then it will snow and we’ll all go buy Christmas presents and champagne for the New Year.

But I digress.

Before that all goes down, let’s focus on the holiday at hand…Halloween.

I created these spooktacular Spiderweb Pancakes for Dixie Crystals this month, and despite looking complicated, I assure you, they are not.  Even Mike, my chef Partner-In-Crime-Who-Can-Not-Make-Pancakes had these under complete control.

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A bottle with a tip worked really well for us, or, a piping bag fitted with a small round tip would work as well, maybe even better.  Just be sure to use SOMETHING, as you’ll be hard-pressed to do it without one of these tools.

As you can see, we made some black, and left some un-colored. The choice is yours, and I think your little trick-or-treaters will love them either way.  Maybe whip up a batch before heading out to collect candy from strangers?

It only seems rational.

You can grab the recipe here.

Happy Halloween!!

Decorating Halloween Cupcakes…on Daytime Blue Ridge

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I’ve stepped way outside of my comfort zone lately, kids.

Like, way, way outside.

Me?  I like to hang out in my kitchen, barefoot, communicating via Facebook, text, and Twitter.  I am perfectly content to do so – I don’t really like leaving the house.

So what am I doing?

I’ve started appearing on Daytime Blue Ridge, doing cooking demos just about once a week.

That’s TV.  An NBC regional show.  Me.  On the TV.

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It makes no sense at all.

Luckily, the host, Heather Hutzler, is so sweet, and her co-host Natalie Founce is just as lovely.  They keep me calm, they laugh, they play along, so it all works out.

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Last Friday we jazzed up your ordinary cupcakes for Halloween, by adding things you can find at any Walmart, Food Lion or other store that sells Halloween candy.  Not a baker?  Use a box mix.  Not into making icing?  Use canned.  What Halloween Cupcakes are about is the kiddos, and they LOVE sweets.

You’ve got this.

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What I am going to teach you how to do is make them look like a pro made them.

But, if you want to watch the silly segment where I teach these two  lovely ladies how to do it…here you go.  We had fun!

WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

How To Decorate Cupcakes Like a Boss:

I prefer “double icing” my cupcakes.  What I mean by this is I like to put one flavor or color of icing in a piping bag with a large tip, and use another color to spread the initial icing on top of the cupcake.

Remember how mom ices the cupcakes?  Just use a knife to spread a dollop of icing across the cupcake.  Now comes the fun part.

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Dunk that sucker in in sprinkles, glitter, jimmies, or sanding sugar.  Whatever your using is great, just dunk it.  I know you think “Oh, that’s going to get icing everywhere and make a mess.”  But you’d be wrong.  The sprinkles will just stick to the icing.  Promise.

Now that you’ve got that going on, take the piping bag with the other icing in it and pipe it right on top.  Make it fancy, or just whip it on there – the choice is yours.

From there, go to town with that candy.

At Halloween, you’ll find all kinds of great spooky candies in the candy aisle.  I found mummies, pumpkins, vampires, witches – all without even trying very hard.  No need to reinvent the wheel and make fancy toppers, the store already has them!  Just choose your favorite and plop it onto the cupcake.  So cute, right?

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Another fun thing I found was the eyeballs, but come on now, you can’t just throw an eyeball on the cupcake.  You need BLOOD!  I used a spoon full of cherry ice cream topping for my “blood”, and THEN I put an eyeball on it.  Voila!

The most important thing to remember is to have FUN.  Get the kids involved!  Use several paper plates and load them down with a variety of sprinkles and sugars.  Have bowls full of topping candies at the ready.  Show them how to dip the cupcakes, then you can pipe for them, and let them do the toppings of their choice.  They’ll love it!

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Here’s hoping you have a great Halloween!  Me, I’ll be trailing behind my Zombie Thriller Michael Jackson as we Trick or Treat….

Wish me luck.

Product Review: Culturelle: Let’s Avoid Sick Days…

Okay, sit down.

Breathe.

I am not the World’s Best Mom.

There…I said it.

I try to be good, though. I try. I make sure Seven eats. That he’s clean. That his clothes aren’t terribly un-matchy. He can read and write and is great with numbers. He (finally) ties his own shoes and wipes his own butt. He’s a whiz with a computer. He’s a pretty hip kid, I have to say.

But he has a mohawk. He often sings Fall Out Boy and No Diggity, which are maybe borderline inappropriate. I also allow him to sleep late on school days and shove a pop-tart in him as we drive to class just in time to beat the bell. I let him eat fast food.

I’m THAT mom.

I want him to be healthy, though. So, when the folks at Culturelle asked if I’d be willing to try out their Culturelle Kids Chewables – I didn’t hesitate.

https://platform-remix-production.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/89c73a76-fdfd-11e2-bfe1-22000afa0bbb/0cae7eba-ffe1-11e2-94fe-22000afa0bbb.jpgDoes it work? Well, according to doctors and other people with degrees that took longer to earn than I have been alive: Yes. That seems to be a pretty good indicator.

Culturelle is the #1 Pediatrician recommended probiotic brand.

Here’s what THEY say: 70% of your immune system is in your digestive tract so a healthy and balanced digestive system plays a vital role in strengthening your child’s overall health and well-being. So, in steps Culturelle Kids Chewables, which:

  • Help reduce occasional digestive upset
  • Help boost digestion and overall digestive health
  • Provide ongoing maintenance for a healthy digestive tract
  • Boost digestive health, which in turn has a positive impact on overall health and immunity
  • Support their natural defenses

Overall, the Probiotics combat bad bacteria with good bacteria, keeping my kid healthier and IN SCHOOL, so that I can take long naps and eat pie for lunch if I want.

Did I just say that out loud? No.

What I can tell you for sure is that I feel better about myself giving him these chewables, as I know it’s a step in the right direction. I don’t give him the chewables EVERY day – somedays he has yogurt for breakfast, so I don’t want to over do it on the probiotic front. Let’s see, what else? Oh, they must taste great as he has no issue wanting them. There’s nothing worse than having to get a kid to swallow something he doesn’t like. Also good for all of us moms? They are 100% sugar, dairy and gluten free.

Score one for mom.

For more information on Culturelle Kids Chewables:

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

Product Review: The Kid’s Tasters Box from Goodies Co.

I don’t know about you, but I am a huge mail junkie.  I can’t help it…I get excited every time there is a “real” piece of mail (you know, handwritten envelope from some far away land), a magazine (oh Lord, giddy), and if it’s a box?  Well, hold me back.  As a blogger, I fortunately get a lot of packages throughout the week, but I adore getting monthly subscriptions.  Like Birchbox or StitchFix…and now, there’s a new one.

The Goodies Kid’s Tasters Box.

[Read more...]

Life Aboard a Fun Ship Cruise…the Carnival Dream

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post from the pool deck of the Carnival Dream.  You may remember this post, or, you may be new here and didn’t know I am a spoiled brat.  You see, I was hosted by Carnival to experience the Dream with my family, and what an experience it was.

We had a ball.

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Now, I’ve been on plenty of cruises, on several cruise lines, Carnival being one of them.  But not before this trip did I ever cruise with my child.

I want to ONLY travel on cruises with him from here on out.  In fact, he’s decided it’s so great, that we need to go every 3 months.  I’m pretty much okay with that.

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You might think – well – there’s nothing for the kids to do.  I’ll have to watch them all the time, and where’s the fun in that?  They won’t want to eat the fancy dinners.  They’ll be bored and I’ll be miserable.

You’d be wrong.

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Camp Carnival is about the best invention EVER, and whoever thought of it needs to be made queen of America.  Male or female, makes no difference. Queen.  Located on the 11th deck, just above the Breakfast/Lunch Dining Area, Camp Carnival is a playground for kids of all ages.  Seven is 5, and his group housed 2-5 year olds.  There is a camp for older kids, too, full of Wii and computers and all sorts of rambunctiousness that kids that age enjoy.  But Seven’s group – PLAYLAND.

We could drop him off at any time of the day, morning til night (til 10pm!) for FREE. FREE, I say.  Every hour or so they would switch up activates, say, bingo one hour, movies the next, Wii the next.  Crafts and story time, dancing, you name it.  Fun mascots would show up sometimes with gifts, there was face painting, and later in the evenings – Night Owls.

We loved Night Owl parties as well as Camp Carnival, as it gave us some adult time after 10pm.  Only $6.75 per hour, and the kids could stay until 3am.  Not that we did that, but we could have.  Seven came home with goodie bags galore from those parties – cute stuff! – and a mouth that wouldn’t shut up about how much fun he had had.

That’s worth every penny. 

A vacation that the whole family can enjoy, with built in babysitting?  Come on now.  That’s good stuff.  And you know what else?  He LOVED those fancy dinners.

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One evening while Sev was dining and playing with the Camp kids, Jon and I were invited to experience the Chef’s Art Restaurant.  This restaurant is the upscale, additional fee restaurant onboard, where fancier cuts of meats and finer dining takes place.  It’s only $35 per person to upgrade to this wonderful meal, and worth so much more than that.

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A bevy of waitstaff handled us, beginning with a wine server, followed by a young lady who introduced us to every cut of meat on the menu…and let me tell you, those folks aren’t playing around with the meat.  HUGE portions. Ridiculous, almost.  18 ounce cuts were a plenty.  There was no way to eat an entire meal after a steak like that.

But we tried.

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I had an incredible shrimp cocktail (maybe the best I’ve ever eaten), while Jon ha, a mushroom cappuccino soup, one of those giant steaks, and of course, dessert.

Cheesecake.  It was as big as my face.  And man, was it ever delicious.

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After dinner we picked up Seven from the camp and headed to the theater for a show.  We saw two while on board, and we all three loved both of them.  I think I may have preferred the country music show the best, but again, both were so well done.  Full of sparkle and glitz, great singing and dancing.  Seven loved it, and despite the shows not ending until midnight, he was so entranced that he never fell asleep.

Not until we got back to the room, that is.

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We wore ourselves out every day touring the port towns, playing on the beaches, shopping, and then lounging by the pool.  The waterslides were a huge favorite for both Jon and Seven, and keeping them off the slide deck was near to impossible – so I finally caved and just pulled up a lounger there.  It was a great spot!

IMG_7130When not on deck, we were taking in the spa – we bought a week package to visit and take advantage as often as we wanted.  Steam rooms, saunas, water therapy – it was all there to enjoy, and did we ever enjoy it.  I also booked  a hair appointment, and my girl did a great job with both the cut and the color. I’m rarely pleased with a haircut, but she did a great job!

All in all, for the value, I can’t consider NOT taking another Carnival cruise.  We had amazing staff (Seven had two girlfriends, both from the Philippines), wonderful food, relaxing days, fun, exciting evenings, plenty of shopping, and plenty of quality time both as a couple as well as a family.  Perfect in every way.

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Thanks so much to Carnival for hosting this amazing trip – I won’t forget it!  And of course, though the cruise was complimentary, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Kid Friendly Homemade Pasta Sauce–with Tomatoes, Herbs and Onions

Well, it’s almost Mother’s Day.

I don’t think any child fully realizes the meaning of Mother’s Day until they actually PRODUCE a child.

Kid’s ain’t no joke.

They are always needing something.  Snot wiped.  Teeth brushed.  A ride.  A bath.  A swingset, a pony, a ball glove, a swimming pool shaped like a turtle.  It’s exhausting.

Luckily, they also need things like monster hugs and pillow fights.  They need you to watch them when they peddle their bike successfully for the first time. They need to tell you they love you, hundreds of times in sleepy little voices.  They need carried from your bed to theirs.

I tell you, the carrying part is just about the best part of my day.

Another thing about having a child of my own is that I enjoy teaching him to cook.  He’s a pasta fiend – I swear, he could eat it for every meal, should I allow it…so I’ve been teaching him to help make it.

Therefore,  when my friends at KitchenAid reached out to me, asking if I would be willing to make a little Mother’s Day inspired dish with one of their pink products, I of course said yes.  I adore KitchenAid and their incredible efforts to support breast cancer research, and loving their wonderful products is just as easy.

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Because I wanted Seven’s help in making a recipe for Mother’s Day – I went with his favorite – fettuccini.  We made our noodles from scratch using the pasta roller attachment for our pink KitchenAid mixer (I’ll do a whole separate post on that, so you can see how fantastically simple THAT is) and we made a homemade red sauce using the pink blender.

Personally, I am in love with the Raspberry Ice colored products, though I know some of you like the baby pink.  But this year they are offering a new Cranberry color as well to support breast cancer research, so you should definitely check that color out!

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Back to that pasta sauce…

It couldn’t be easier.

We use 2 cans of diced tomatoes, but you could certainly use fresh tomatoes if you like.  I just find it’s easier to have cans of tomatoes on hand versus fresh, especially in the months when really good, fresh tomatoes aren’t available.  A sautéed sweet onion, some garlic, a few herbs – then a quick spin in the blender – you have an incredible sauce that both the kids AND mom will appreciate.

So, this year, maybe gather your own kids in the kitchen for a pasta party.  Be their mom.  Enjoy it while you can, while they are eager to be by your side and learning from you.  Or, maybe go cook with your own mom, and finally listen to her.  She has so many things to say, and darn it – you owe her.

We all do.

Happy Mother’s Day!  (I love you, Mom! And Seven!)

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Homemade Pasta Sauce with Garlic, Herbs and Onions

serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 5 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 15 ounce cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon Dixie Crystals granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon wet minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Sautee the onions in 2 tablespoons of butter with a pinch of salt.  Remove from heat once translucent and fragrant.
  2. In a separate pot, combine tomatoes, butter, sugar, garlic, herbs, salt and pepper.  Stir over medium heat.  Once onions are done, add them to the tomato mixture.  Continue to cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool a bit before adding to blender.  Using the Chop setting on the blender, blend the pasta sauce to desired consistency.  Serve with 1 pound of prepared pasta.

A little more than 10 years ago,  KitchenAid released their first pink product in an effort to raise money to support cancer research.  Since that day, more than $9 million has been  raised through its Cook for the Cure® program benefitting Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Wow. Nine Million Dollars.  That’s amazing on a lot of levels.

For the past few years I have been participating with their Cooks for the Cure campaign every July, as well as their Pass the Plate program.

If you’ve not heard of Pass the Plate – you should!  I love that idea.  Aside from bringing a touch of pink into the kitchen, another way to participate in Cook for the Cure is to present a friend or family member with a homemade culinary creation on a serving plate that can be “re-gifted” to further support the cause. The Pass the Plate component of Cook for the Cure generates a $5 donation every time an individually numbered Villeroy & Boch serving plate is passed on and registered at CookfortheCure.com/passtheplate. Using the unique registration code, participants can track the status and travels of their platter by visiting CookfortheCure.com and clicking on the “Pass the Plate” tab on the right. The plate, featuring artwork by PBS cooking show host Jacques Pépin, carries a suggested retail price of $24.95 and is available at Villeroy & Boch stores or by calling the KitchenAid Experience Store at 1-888-886-8318.

Since the introduction of its legendary stand mixer in 1919 and first dishwasher in 1949, KitchenAid has built on the legacy of these icons to create a complete line of products designed for cooks. Today, the KitchenAid brand offers virtually every essential for the well-equipped kitchen with a collection that includes everything from countertop appliances to cookware, ranges to refrigerators, and whisks to wine cellars. To learn why chefs choose KitchenAid for their homes more than any other brand, visit KitchenAid.com or join them on Facebook  and Twitter.

Disclaimer: As I mentioned above, I was offered a pink product from KitchenAid  for use in creating this recipe.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Sparkling Cocoa Mint Truffle Kiss Cookies

The one and only time I’ve made those cookies with Hershey Kisses in them was when I was about 9. True story.  I was a good girl then, always going to church, as good girls do, and our preacher’s wife had a gaggle of us kids over to her house to make Christmas Cookies.

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The woman was either a saint or insane.  I could never imagine doing that.  Children are frightening, for lack of a better word.  They talk a lot.  They ask a million questions.  They’re sticky.  Sure, you may call that endearing,  but I call it a nightmare.

There’s a reason I don’t homeschool.

Don’t get me wrong – I love my kid. I love hearing him sing Old Crow Medicine Show and Panic at the Disco songs from the backseat of the car.  I love that he wants to marry me.  I love that he wants to be a zombie when he dies.  He tells me he loves my cooking, and that’s on nights I boil noodles, add butter, and sprinkle on some parmesan from a can.

He’s a cool kid.

But I don’t need a house full of other people’s kids making 14 kinds of cookies in my clean kitchen to let me know I’d need prescription medication to survive it.

Anyhoo.

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Hershey’s Kiss Cookies.

Honestly, I’m not a big fan of those, mainly because they are typically peanut buttery.  Plus, back in the day, we had ONE kind of Hershey’s Kiss – the milk chocolate variety.  Personally, I find those kind of difficult to eat perched in the center of a cookie.  And… ours were hard.  Maybe they weren’t supposed to be – maybe the preacher’s wife bit off more than she could chew with us, and our batch over baked.  I don’t know.  But – whatever happened, I decided there would not come a day that I would be making those cookies.

Until last week.

But, me being me, I couldn’t do the old school variety.  I wanted softer.  And not peanut buttery.  And I wanted a different flavor.

Cocoa Cookies, rolled in crunchy sugar, spiked with mint, and topped with a super soft Mint Truffle Kiss.

I was just hoping they would turn out and be edible.

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What transpired is quite possible the best cookie I’ve ever eaten, much less baked.  They’re kind of unfair to all other cookies, anywhere.  Minty, chocolaty, ooey gooey from the Kiss.  The crunch from the decorator sugar adds an extra dimension to these soft-for-days cookies.

I can’t seem to get enough.

Neither can Seven, who’s managed to not pack on any holiday pounds despite his 3 to 17 cookie a day habit as of late.

Freaking 5 year old metabolism.

Just another reason I won’t be having the neighborhood kids up for a cookie marathon.  But, if you think you, personally, can stomach the idea, this is a great recipe to use.  The kids love helping roll, dip in the sugar, and top with a Kiss.

Enjoy!!  (and no, I do NOT have any medication I can loan you. You are on your own.)

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Cocoa Mint Truffle Kiss Cookies

makes 50-55

  • 12 Tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon mint extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Decorator Sugar, for rolling
  • 50-55 Mint Truffle Hershey’s Kisses, unwrapped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.  Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or SilPat.  Set aside.
  2. In bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter with the sugar until fluffy and well combined.  Add eggs in one at a time, then add extracts.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together cocoa powder, flour, baking soda and salt.  Add cocoa mixture all at once to creamed butter and sugar.  Mix until just combined.
  4. Roll balls of dough, roughly one inch in diameter.  Dough is quite firm and easily rolled.  Roll dough balls in decorator sugar. Place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet.
  5. Bake cookies for 8 minutes.  Remove from oven and immediately press a Kiss into the center of each cookie.  Allow to cool on pan for 5 minutes; remove to cooling rack.  Repeat with remaining dough.

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By: ifood.tv