Easy & Quick Cookie Pops for Valentine’s Day

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This Valentine’s Day we are hosting a little party for the kids at Lucas’ school. To keep it simple and cute, we are making these adorable cookie pops. These are super easy to make and make such a big impact. Plus, kids love them!

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Easy & Quick Cookie Pops for Valentine’s Day

Ingredients:

  • Oreo Cookies
  • 1 Bag White Chocolate Chips
  • 1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • Colorful Sprinkles
  • Plus, you will need lollipop sticks.

Directions: Insert the lollipop sticks into the cream part of the cookies and set aside. Melt the white chocolate chips, add the oil, and stir until smooth.

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Dip each cookie pop into the melted white chocolate making sure to gently shake the excess chocolate off. Carefully dip the cookie pop into the sprinkles. Set on a sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat with all cookie pops and place in the refrigerator for at least one hour to set the chocolate.

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We will be putting all these yummy goodies in a cute, personalized baking pan with lid from Personal Creations and taking it to Lucas’ school. The great thing is that the teacher can keep the pan!

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HUGE Wyndham Resorts Sale – ends today!

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We love to take last-minute weekend getaways as a family or just Mike and me. It helps get us through the dreary winter! Wyndham resorts offered by Wyndham Extra Holidays are your ticket to the perfect vacation. With spacious and comfortable suites plus all the amenities of home, you can be sure 2016 vacations will be everything you’ve dreamed! And now, stay at select resorts for as low as $84 a night this season! The sale ends January 4, 2016 – that’s TODAY so take advantage of this offer fast! For additional information click HERE: http://wy.ndh.am/1NbC4C9

Holiday Recipe: Alfajores with Dulce de Leche + $50 Giveaway

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There is one ingredient that we use throughout the holidays. Milk.

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From making homemade cinnamon pancakes and hot cocoa to our traditional Christmas Eve Tres Leches (milks) Cake and homemade alfajores with dulce de leche, milk is part of almost all of our holiday food traditions.

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Lucas drinking hot cocoa made with milk and topped with whipped cream. His favorite!

Being that every 8oz glass of milk has 8 grams of protein, it’s definitely a very nutritious and wholesome ingredient to add to your holiday cooking. Plus, it tastes pretty darn good too! Even Santa gets milk with his cookies on Christmas Eve!

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Today, I want to share with you one of our favorite Latino holiday recipes that feature milk – Homemade Dulce de Leche Alfajores.

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Alfajores are cake like cookies made with corn starch sandwiched between a heaping tablespoon of dulce de leche. They can then be dipped in chocolate, rolled in coconut, or sprinkled with powdered sugar. Dulce de leche, which translates to “milk caramel” is heaven-sent. I can eat it by the spoonfuls for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack lol. It is easy to make and only requires the simplest of ingredients – milk, baking soda, sugar, and vanilla. However, it requires stirring for about 3-4 hours, which sounds crazy of course. Until you taste it. Then, you understand what all the fuss is about. Since stirring for hours is quite a labor of love, I only make it from scratch once per year. Recipe is below – enjoy!

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Alfajores Cookies

Ingredients:

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions: Using a mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). With the mixer on low, add in the eggs and vanilla. In another bowl, sift the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until the dough just comes together. Do not over mix! Form dough into a disc and wrap with plastic wrap. Allow dough to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes – 1 hour. Roll dough out to 1/4 inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Make sure to lightly flour the rolling pin and top of dough as well. Using a 2 inch round cutter, cut out cookies and place them on parchment or silpat lined cookie sheets about 1 inch a part. Refrigerate cut out cookies for about 15 minutes and then bake in 350 degree pre-heated over for 7-10 minutes. The edges of the cookies should be slightly golden when done. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool before assembling with dulce de leche.

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Dulce de Leche

Ingredients:
8 cups of whole milk
2 ½ cups sugar
1.5 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoon baking soda

Directions: Combine all the ingredients in large pot over medium low heat and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add baking soda. Cook for about 2 hours until the milk is reduced and starts to thicken and turn into a caramel color. During this time, you may need to turn the heat to low to prevent it from boiling over and you will need to stir even 5-10 minutes or so. You will notice that the milk will occasionally foam. Skim the foam off the top as you see it.

Once the color turns to a light caramel color, you will need to continue cooking for another 1-2 hours. At this point, you should have the heat on low and stir almost continually to ensure that the dulce de leche doesn’t burn or stick. It should reach a medium to dark caramel color and have a thick and creamy consistency (it will thicken more as it cools). Sometimes, I stop at a lighter caramel color because I’m tired of stirring. That’s ok too – it’s still delicious!

Assembling the Alfajores: Spread a heaping tablespoon of dulce de leche onto one cookie. Don’t skimp on the dulce de leche! Top with another cookie. Optional: Dip half the alfajores in melted chocolate, roll sides with unsweetened coconut flakes or sprinkle powdered sugar on tops.

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As we head into the 2016, many of us will be making resolutions that include better health and nutrition. Milk can help us with those goals! Packed with 9 essential nutrients in each glass, milk is a delicious, easy and affordable way to give your kids and family the protein plus other nutrients they need.

For additional milk recipes and information, make sure to visit FuertesConLeche.com. While you are these, check out Somos Fuertes ambassador, Chef Giorgio Rapicavoli’s recipe videos like the one below!

$50 MILK MONEY GIVEAWAY
a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is part of a sponsored collaboration with MilkPEP and DiMe Media. However, all opinions expressed are my own.

 

Santa is coming to Kmart plus AMAZING deals!

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Ho ho ho! Guess who is coming to Kmart? The jolly old elf himself! Check with your local stores first, but Santa will be visiting with kids at Kmarts throughout the country on December 20th and kids get a free candy cane. How fun is that?

Plus, while you’re there visiting Santa make sure to check out Kmarts last minute-deals on this season’s best gifts for everyone in the family. Kmart is helping customers and Shop Your Way members complete their shopping lists with last-minute gift guides perfect for everyone, from Mr. Fix It to the pet lover and even to the tech-savvy teen.

For even more great finds, the Last Minute Deals Weekend Sale will be happening at Kmart.com on Saturday, Dec. 19 and Sunday, Dec. 20. Whether you shop in-store at Kmart, online or use the Kmart Mobile App – Kmart makes it incredibly easy with convenient shipping options including free standard shipping on orders of $35 or more at Kmart.com, Shop Your Way Maxx Free 2-Day Shipping, Free Anyone, Anywhere Pickup and Free In-Store Shipping.

Shipping orders received by 4 p.m. on Dec. 22 will arrive in time for Christmas by Dec. 24, with expedited options available thereafter.

Just to give you a quick glance into a few of the deals…

50% OFF winter apparel

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60% off air hockey tables

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25% Star Wars figures and toys

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40% off cooking made easy

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Up to 60% off electronics like earphones, bluetooth speakers, TVs and more.

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Shoes – buy one get one 50% off

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50% off clothing for her

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up to 75% off jewelry

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Check out all of the deals and Kmart’s last minute shopping guides at Kmart.com!

Holiday Gift Guide 2015: Personalized Gifts

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Women's Cashmere ScarfShe is Fierce Porcelain Catchall

Bath CaddyLetter

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Sparkle & ShineSleepy Fox Nightgown

FrogHappy Dancer Jewelry Box

MedalJust for Me Backpack

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Mens CatchallCuff Links

Secret Message Collar StaysTri-Fold Hanging Leather Excursion

GrowlerCooler

home

ChalkboardPersonalized Ornaments

Family Movie Night Popcorn TinWine Service2

PicnicPerfect Sip Wine Decanter

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12 Days of Holidays Your Way Photo Challenge #FiestasMyWay

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Join Orgullosa and DiMe Media to celebrate 12 Days of Holidays Your Way with a Photo Challenge!

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How To Enter:

Share your daily photos on Instagram and Twitter following the themes listed above, tag @Orgullosa and include the hashtag #FiestasMyWay for a chance to win one of the prizes listed below!

Prizes:

  • Week 1 Prize: One (1) $250 Target Gift Card plus P&G goodies
  • Week 2 Prize: One (1) $250 Nordstrom Gift Card plus P&G goodies
  • One (1) Grand Prize: $1,000 Visa Gift Card plus P&G goodies

Rules: For the official rules, click HERE.

Educational S.T.E.M. Toys for the Holidays

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This holiday season, give the gift of learning and fun with the new Blaze and the Monster Machines line of toys. These toys are fun and cute, just like the beloved Nickelodeon show! Plus, they teach kids educational STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) concepts like acceleration, sound waves, speed, momentum, and more. Below are three of our favorites!

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  1. Talking Blaze (RV $5.49) brings to life the STEM concept of sound waves! Press the button on the hood and Blaze says different lines from the show and makes sounds.
  2. Blaze Monster Dome Playset (RV $29.99) is a race track that allows kids to create side-by-side races between Blaze and Crusher. The STEM concepts learned via the Blaze Monster Dome, include speed and momentum, which are illustrated by using the two launchers. Kids place the two vehicles on the launchers, push down, and off they go! Two children can race the two vehicles or one child can play on their own. Kids can even take the set apart and piece together their own stunt set.
  3. Super Stunts Blaze (RV $39.99) is full of action – just like on the TV show – and is A LOT of fun. This toy can do some really impressive stunts that will wow kids. Super Stunts Blaze speeds up, does side and back-wheelies, and completes a 360 degree spin on his rear tires. Kids can press Blaze’s side to choose his stunt and push down on the spoiler to give Blaze more and more power Blaze. The Super Stunts Blaze teaches kids all about acceleration.

Buy It!

All of the toys featured above can be found at Target and other major toy retailers. To see the rest of the Blaze and the Monster Machines line, visit Target.com/Blaze.

Magic Reindeer Food Recipe and Free Printable

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A fun activity to do with the kids this year is to make magic reindeer food that can be sprinkled on the yard on Christmas Eve. The sparkle will draw the reindeer to your house on Christmas Eve.

Reindeer Food

Making it is super easy! Lucas and I made a large batch using Kellogg’s All Bran Flakes so that we could pass them out to all of the cousins before Christmas.

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Magic Reindeer Food Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Kellogg’s All-Bran Flakes, lightly crushed
  • 1/4 cup red or green sugar crystals
  • 1/4 cup Christmas sprinkles

Directions: Place all ingredients in a large zip-top bag and gently shake. Pour into small mason jars and add label with poem.

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Magic Reindeer Poem

Sprinkle on the lawn at night
The moon will make it sparkle bright
Santa’s reindeer fly and roam
This will guide them to your home

 

FREE PRINTABLE

Just right click on the image below, save to your computer and print to whatever size you need.

 

 

Reindeer Food Printable Tag

 

 

 

 

 

Easy No Bake Christmas Cookies: ‘NILLA Holiday Cookie Bites Recipe

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One of my favorite things to do during the holiday season is make cookies! Unfortunately, I (along with every other mom) am also so busy around this time of the year. That’s why I love when I discover an simple treats to serve at holiday parties, take to Lucas’ school events, or give out as yummy gifts to neighbors and teachers. Today I wanted to share with you the recipe for ‘NILLA Holiday Cookie Bites.

NILLA Cookie Bites Recipe

Aren’t they pretty?! I say recipe loosely because there is ZERO baking. These gorgeous treats are made by stacking Nabisco NILLA Wafers, filling with jam, and coating with candy melts. They’d also be amazing filled with a hazelnut spread or whatever kind of filling you like best. These are very festive and make quite the impact! The secret is that they are also very easy to make!

NILLA Cake Bites Recipe

‘NILLA Holiday Cookie Bites Recipe

Ingredients

  • 36 NILLA Wafers
  • 2 Tbsp. orange juice
  • 1/4 cup raspberry jam
  • 8 oz. vanilla candy wafers (melts) (about 1-1/2 cups)
  • 1 Tbsp. oil
  •  Assorted decorations: crushed starlight mints, colored sprinkles, small round candies, coarse sugar and decorating icings 

Instructions

  • BRUSH  flat sides of 24 NILLA Wafers with juice, then spread with jam.
  • PLACE  remaining wafers, rounded sides up, on waxed paper-covered baking sheet; top each with 2 jam-topped wafers, jam sides down. Freeze for a few hours or overnight (like I did).
  • MELT  candy wafers as directed on package; stir in oil until blended. Dip NILLA stacks, 1 at a time, in melted candy wafers, turning to evenly coat stack and reheating candy wafer mixture if needed. I gently inserted a skewer into NILLA stacks to make dipping a little easier. Return to baking sheet. Immediately add decorations to resemble photo.
  • REFRIGERATE 30 min. or until candy coating is firm. Keep refrigerated.

NILLA Cake Bites

Holiday Party Inspiration!

To get some fresh new holiday party inspiration, make sure to visit The Ultimate Party Planner. It features lots of yummy and festive holiday recipes (like the NILLA Cake Bites recipe featured above) tested and tasted by bloggers along with tips on how to host the perfect party this holiday season. Plus, you can print Publix coupons to use for your grocery shopping this holiday season. Visit nabiscopublixpartyplanner.com to get inspired and save!

Easy Christmas Candy: Chocolate Billionaires Recipe

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My favorite candy combination is caramel and nuts. It’s gooey and crunchy. Sweet and salty. So good. That’s why I love these Chocolate Billionaires. Caramel. Pecans. Kellogg’s Rice Krispies cereal. Chocolate. It doesn’t get better than that!

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This is the perfect candy to make for the holidays. It’s no-bake and super easy to make. Hope you enjoy it as much as our family does!

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Chocolate Billionaires Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 (14 ounce) package caramels
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
  • 1 cup coarsely crushed Kellogg’s Rice Krispies cereal
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 cups white chocolate chips

Directions:

Prep baking or cookie sheets with parchment or wax paper.

Melt caramels and water in microwave until you can easily stir; stir until smooth. Mix in pecans and Kellogg’s Rice Krispies cereal. Drop candy by spoonfuls onto wax paper. Put candy in freezer for 1-2 hours. Melt chocolate chips in microwave in 1 minute increments until melted, stirring in between. Using a fork, dip candy into melted chocolate, turning to evenly coat all sides. Place candy on sheets of wax paper on the counter to set.