Sunday, August 30, 2015

Game Day Chocolate Chip Cake Mix Cookies

Being that football season is upon us now and tailgating parties are on the rise, I thought I'd let you in on my husband's brilliant idea for some Game Day Cookies to accompany all that delicious party food you will be serving!

First off, a little history.. how did this idea come about?? Well years ago, when the cake mix cookie idea first became popular, my sister & I set out to bake some delicious chocolate cookies. Typically chocolate cookies are made with white chocolate chips, but all we had were normal ones. So we threw those in & renamed the cookies "Black Panther Cookies." Why that name? Who knows.. we were young and thought we were being creative ;)

Now fast forward to this past Valentine's Day. I wanted to make my husband some pink cookies (like I saw on Pinterest) but all the recipes were for strawberry cookies, hence the pink color. Since strawberry cookies just didn't sound very appetizing to me, I opted for white cake mix cookies & added some food coloring to get the pink color and voila, the "Pink Panther Cookies" were born!

Pink Panther Cookies- pink cake mix cookies


Well I made some Black Panther Cookies today & my husband devoured them. He then looked at me and said that I should make them for the BYU v Nebraska game on Saturday.

He got all excited talking about how I could make the colors match the team & I could do gold & green for the Packers game, etc.  Since Scott's usually right about most things food related, I figured it couldn't hurt to try ;)


Simple & Easy white cake mix cookies for game day-- add food coloring to match your favorite team's colors!


Ingredients:



  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 4 egg whites
  • chocolate chips or M&M's in your team's color
  • food coloring

Directions:


  1. Mix cake mix, oil, & egg whites in a medium sized bowl
  2. Add 10 drops of food coloring (mix well & add more if color isn't vibrant enough)
  3. Stir in colored chips or M&M's 
  4. Bake at 350* for 6 minutes 
Serving size:  1 cookie, makes 24 cookies
Macros per serving: 9 g fat, 21.2 g carbs, 2.1 g protein (calculated using 1 cup of chocolate chips)


* Make sure to get white cake mix, not yellow. This will help you achieve purest color.
** You can shop for candy by color at most party supply stores.
*** They have food coloring packs like this one Gel Paste Food Color, 12 Pack Kit that give you practically every color already made, but in case you don't have enough time to order in advance here's a little cheat sheet:

color chart for making team colored cake mix cookies


Have fun! I hope your team wins! (Unless they're playing my team ;) lol jk)

Merry Monday Link Party #69

Welcome to the Merry Monday Link Party #69


I am excited to be co-hosting this week! I hope you check out this week's features & enjoy the party!

We've updated the party rules :-) Please read the new updated rules to see if your post(s) fits the new party rules. We would like to keep the party focused on crafts, DIY projects, and helpful tips (beauty, home, cooking, sewing, etc).

Announcements:

  • Party Theme Features:
    • Stash buster craft features! We want to challenge you to recreate/reinvent an old fall decor item or fall craft item into a new fall decor item! Share your creations on the Merry Monday Link Party #70 (Sept 6th) for a chance to be featured on Merry Monday #71 (featured Sept. 13th).
    • Dollar Store craft challenge! Share your Dollar Store crafts on the September 13th party for a chance to be featured on the September 20th party.
    • Fall Outdoor Decor. Share your outdoor decor ideas on September 20th for a chance to be featured on the September 27th party.
    • Fall side dishes & desserts. Share on September 27th to be featured on October 4th party.
    • More themes to be announced!
  • TWO new guest host for the next two weeks!
  • Holiday Ornament Exchange is now open! Sign-up HERE.
Ornament Exchange (1)


  Merry Monday Link Party

Meet the hosts of Merry MondayMerry Monday Hosts

Welcome our Co-Host

Meet April at Uncookie Cutter, one of our new Co-Host for the next two weeks.
April at Uncookie Cutter
Hi all! I April, a recent Oklahoman by way of Virginia. My husband and I moved here in January with our 2 kids and 3 dogs in tow and we are trying to embrace and redo this crazy old house we bought. I blog about our adventures here, mostly DIY decor and furniture building. I'd love for you to join us on our journey!

Meet Lexi at Lexi Michelle Blog, our second co-host for the next two weeks!
Lexi Michelle Blog
Hello! I'm Alexis, part-time blogger & full-time mommy to the greatest little boy ever. As a mother we tend to wear a lot of different hats. I am the house keeper, the family chef, the nurse, and the nanny all rolled into one. On top of that I also love anything DIY, fitness, & party related. Lexi Michelle Blog is where all those passions intersect.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Fall Bucket List


August is coming to a close & kids are going back to school which means that Fall is almost officially here! 

What is your favorite thing about Fall? For me, I think it's the start of the holiday season that I love and the brisk Fall days that make sipping hot apple cider even more delicious. Warm comfort foods are a staple during this season--think chili and soups, and stews! For some reason I also ALWAYS have a strong desire to consume anything with pumpkin in it! 

There are so many great things about Fall. And now that David is getting a little older (and we are expecting another) it's time for us to start thinking of the different family traditions we are going to have. 

Looking back at my childhood, it's hard to think of any REAL traditions we had as a family. Occasionally, we'd go to a pumpkin patch to search for the ideal pumpkin, but as we got older that tradition faded away. 

I really hope we can keep our family traditions alive for 20+ years so that David and future baby will be able to look back and remember all the fun times we had as a family.

Here are some Fall Bucket List traditions I have thought up to get us started!



Fall Bucket List- family traditions

What traditions do you guys have?

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Chocolate Cool Whip Pie- 3 ingredients!

Sorry I've been a little MIA lately but my sister had her baby yesterday after being in labor forever!! He weighs 7 pounds 14 ounces & is 19 inches long. His name is Isaac and he is a cutie.  My David was sooo excited to meet his new cousin.

David meets cousing- 3 ingredient chocolate cool whip pie

What a great day! My sister did really well during the delivery, no stitches or anything! Now we're onto the recovery period. Hopefully my postpartum recovery gift will help her out. 

Since we've been extra busy lately with visiting the new baby & seeing my mom who's in town for the next week--it has really left us little time to get things done. 

Even though we have been busy, I am still pregnant and still want to have dessert whenever I feel ;) Sooo I decided to make this Quick & Easy (3 ingredient) Cool Whip Chocolate Pie.

This is literally beyond easy to make!
- 3 ingredient chocolate cool whip pie

Ingredients:

  • Oreo pie crust
  • 1 tub Cool Whip
  • 1 "giant" size bar of chocolate

Directions:

  1. If your store doesn't have the Oreo pie crust (like mine) you can make it. You just need about 30 Oreos (scoop out filling) and 5 tbs butter. Crush the Oreos with either a food processor or by pressing down on cookies with a cup. Mix with melted butter and place in fridge for 30 minutes (or bake at 350* for 8 mins for a firmer crust)
  2. Melt chocolate bar and mix with softened Cool Whip
  3. Fill pie crust with Cool Whip mixture
  4. Place in freezer for 1 hour or until firm
Serving size: 1 slice, makes 8
Macros per serving: 19.5 g fat, 35.2 g carbs, 3.2 g protein 

Oreo crust - 3 ingredient chocolate cool whip pie

chocolate pie filling - 3 ingredient chocolate cool whip pie

- 3 ingredient chocolate cool whip pie


- 3 ingredient chocolate cool whip pie

- 3 ingredient chocolate cool whip pie


Thursday, August 20, 2015

FIVE things pregnant women can't do

If you were able to read my last post about how to predict your baby's gender, then you know that our cute little family of three will soon become a family of four!

This is sooo crazy to me. Suddenly we don't feel like newlyweds with a baby; we are an established family. The idea of expanding our family just feels so exciting, so unreal, and really just so grown up.

This new baby will be the third grandchild (the 2nd will be here any day--my sister is having contractions as we speak!) and if those gender prediction tests are at all accurate, this baby will be the first grand-daughter!

When we decided to start trying for baby #2, I really thought it would take longer. The timing must have been just right because we got pregnant right away! Unfortunately, that made it so that I wasn't really able to complete my pre-pregnancy bucket list since most of the items are on the "don't" list.

Here are 5 things you shouldn't do once your pregnant:


5 things you can't do while pregnant- that you wouldn't expect


1. Anything that will raise your body temp too high

  • This means Hot Tubs! Tanning! and Steam Rooms! Honestly I am so beyond bummed about this one. Soaking in a hot tub is one of my favorite things. I vowed to go after David was born, but we don't have a hot tub in our apartment complex and the ones at the gym are kind of gross, soo it looks like I'll have to wait another 9-10 months..

2.  Sleep on your stomach

  • I am enjoying being able to do this while I still can, but I know my days are numbered...

3. Amusement park rides

  • Of course there still are rides you can go on, but roller coasters, large water slides at the water park, and bumper cars are on the "don't" list. Bummer! I literally JUST renewed my season pass at the water park! I guess it's kiddie land & wave pools for me..

4. Have high levels of caffeine

  • Caffeine isn't terrible during your pregnancy as long as you aren't going overboard. I personally try to stay away from sodas and energy drinks. But really, not only do these drinks have caffeine, but they're typically pretty high in calories & I don't want to gain any more weight than necessary this time around.

5. Anything not well done

  • This means raw fish (which is fine with me), under cooked meat & under cooked/ over easy eggs. I'm not a huge rare meat fan, so this one is the easiest rule to follow, but really, I'm just sick of having so many rules!

So if I were you (and you aren't pregnant yet) this would be my pre-pregnancy bucket list:



pre-pregnancy bucket list- things to do before you become pregnant

Other posts you may like:

Top Tips for Avoiding Stretch Marks During Pregnancy
Dear New Mom you're doing it all wrong
Pregnancy Countdown Chain
Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting



Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Boy or Girl? Methods for finding out baby gender!

Probably the most exciting thing next to finding out you are pregnant is finding out the sex of the baby. It just makes everything so much more real.

I still remember when I found out that my son was a boy. I was just 14 weeks along and we were accompanying a friend to an ultrasound for her son. My husband jokingly asked the Ultrasound technician to show us our baby's gender and he went for it! He said he wasn't technically allowed to, but he could have his student/intern do it and it'd be considered a "teaching" moment. And just like that we were able to find out 6 weeks early (and for free!) that we were having a little boy!

This time around (Yes, you heard me right! We are expecting!) I don't think we'll get so lucky. Typically they don't do an ultrasound until 20 weeks unless you are willing to pay extra for one sooner.

Being the impatient people we are, we are trying all sorts of methods to see if we can predict our baby's gender sooner.
11 ways to predict baby gender



Here are the methods we have tried:

1. The Ring Test

wedding ring baby gender test
The rules of the test are simple: take your wedding ring, tie it to a string, and hang it over your belly. If it swings in a circle, it's a boy. If it goes back and forth, it's a girl.

Result: Girl!


2. The Chinese Calendar


chinese gender calendar
The thing that I hate about the Chinese Gender Calendar is that there are soo many versions out there! This is the one that was right with my son, but it was wrong for my sister so who really knows.. However, because my ovulation week was half in July & half in August and there's no real way to tell the exact day we conceived, so it really could be either..

Results: Boy or girl, depending on conception date


3. Heart Rate per Minute Test


heart rate to determine baby gender
According to this test, if the babies heart rate is <140 bpm then it's a boy, if it's >140 bpm it is a girl. I actually do not remember what David's heart rate was and I will not know this baby's until our doctor's appointment. So I will keep you posted.

Results: To be determined


4. Urine Color Test


urine test for predicting gender

This one seems a bit gross, but why not? If your pee is a bright yellow color it is a boy. If it is more dull, you're having a girl. Supposedly you can also add a Tbs of Drano to the cup & if your urine turns green it's a girl, while blue is a boy.

Results: Girl!


5. The Linea Negra


linea negra gender prediction test


This is the line that forms on your belly. An old wive's tale states that if the line goes past your belly button it is a boy. If it doesn't you are having a girl. This was correct for both me & my sister. Unfortunately, the line still hasn't faded completely after baby #1, so I can't really say one way or another.

Results: Inconclusive.


6. Your skin


woman with beautiful skin gender prediction test

I've heard so many things about skin and pregnancy. If you're having a girl, you tend to break out because she is "stealing her mother's beauty," but I just learned a new one that I thought was interesting. Boys give you dry skin and girls give you soft skin! I love it! I had dry skin with David, and my skin is not at all dry now. 

Results: Girl!


7.  The Pillow Test


pillow test for gender

I'm not sure how much this actually has to do with the baby, but a pillow facing South predicts a girl, a pillow facing North is a boy, and East or West is inconclusive. I feel like maybe knowing the direction of the pillow while the baby was being conceived might be a better clue, but either way this one's a little out there..

Results: Boy!


8. The Eye Test


whether or not your pupils dilate can determine your baby's gender

Look in the mirror for 1 minute. If your pupils are dilating then you are having a boy. Mine dilated initially, but then the next second they immediately returned to normal and stayed that way for the remaining 58 seconds, so I think that means it's a girl?

Results: Girl!


9. The Baking Soda Test


use baking soda to predict baby gender

Add baking soda to a cup of your urine (Gross!). If it fizzles, it's a boy, if not, it's a girl!

Results: Girl!


10. Thick & lustrous or thin & dull?


having dull vs shiny hair can predict baby gender

If your hair is looking dull & thin you could be having a girl. If your hair is looking better than ever, thank those boy genes!

Results: Girl!


11. If you have a baby already, what was their first word?


current baby's first word predicts next baby's gender
(a girl would be great, but it would be a lot of fun to have another one of these running around!)

If you already have a kid, they can help you predict the gender. If their first word was "mama" it is a girl, and if it's "dada" your looking at a boy. 

David said "mama," although... maybe that just means I'm his favorite ;)

Results: Girl!


There you have it! 7 votes for Girl, 3 Unknown, & 1 for Boy. I guess we'll just have to wait and see!

What tests have you guys tried? Were they accurate?

UPDATE: IT'S A GIRL!!!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Best foods for Tailgating Parties

If you read my post on tips for throwing the perfect tailgating party then you know how excited I am for football season to come. My husband is a HUGE football fan! He's been getting me all excited, reminiscing about football & tailgating parties. I'm not a huge football fan (yet) but I am a huge fan of food! So for us, tailgating parties are a must! And honestly, what makes a tailgating party amazing (other than the great company and sports) is the food!

In preparation for football season, I have searched the internet looking for the BEST recipes that not only look delicious, but taste delicious as well.


(Don't forget to click on the pictures to check out the full recipe)

9 best ever foods for tailgating parties

1. Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Mushrooms from snappygourmet.com


buffalo chicken stuffed mushrooms-tailgating food

I love stuffed mushrooms! And the added twist of using buffalo chicken? Genius! What's nice is that these can be made ahead of time giving your guests something to munch on while they wait for those ribs to finish cooking ;)

2. Crispy Wonton Mozzarella Sticks from neighborfoodblog.com


crispy wonton mozzarella sticks-tailgating food

These Wonton Mozzarella Sticks are soo simple, crispy, and delicious. Using only 4 ingredients, this recipe is too easy not to make!

3. Four Ingredient BBQ Smokies from cookandcraftmecrazy.com


BBQ smokies-tailgating food

This was my husband's pic. He has fond memories of eating BBQ Smokies at his tailgate parties growing up. Plus, I'm always a fan of simple and short ingredient lists, so this tasty meal was really a no brainer. 

4. Baked Buffalo Chicken Bites with blue cheese yogurt dip from backtoherroots.com


buffalo chicken bites-tailgating food

I am a huge wings fan, but they can get a little messy. For fear of embarrassing my cute husband in front of all of his friends by being the sloppiest wife in the world, I will be making these. They are conveniently bite sized & boneless, and honestly, after looking at the ingredient list, I anticipate them being (dare I say it) even more delicious than buffalo wings.

5. Slow Cooker Spinach Artichoke Dip from homecookingmemories.com


spinach artichoke dip-tailgating food

Spinach Artichoke Dip is one of those appetizers I love to order at restaurants, but am usually far too intimidated by to attempt making it on my own. Homecookingmemories.com really takes you step by step, making a difficult dish easy. Impress your friends with this home cooked meal & you're sure to have the best party at the football stadium.

6. Homemade Soft Pretzel Bites from twopeasandtheirpod.com


soft pretzel bites-tailgating food

Pretzel Bites. Another appetizer perfect for tailgating and loved by kids. This recipe is made from scratch, so it will take a little extra effort, but it will be worth it! You'll have everyone begging for more!

7. Crock Pot Coca-Cola Baby Back Ribs from passionforsavings.com


                          coca-cola baby back ribs-tailgating food

I have never done ribs marinated in Coca-cola before, but I have done pork shoulder marinated this way & slow cooked til falling of the bone-- it is always a hit! So I imagine this recipe will be the same. I can't wait to try it this fall!

8. Banana Fritters from RACQLiving.com.au


Banana Fritters-tailgating food

These Banana Fritters may need to be made ahead since they are fried, but you could also bring oil and fry them right there over the grill. Imagine drizzling these with caramel and a dash of powdered sugar & cinnamon! Mmmm! Even better if you can top it with some vanilla ice cream!

9. Make Ahead Frozen Daiquiris from theyummylife.com


frozen daiquiris-tailgating food

This idea seemed too cute. Make daiquiris, put them in mason jars, & freeze them! What a great idea and sooo refreshing after you've spent hours in the hot sun.

More recipes to try:


Other posts you may like:



tailgating party tips

how much food to serve at a party