Mint Chocolate M&M’s Cookies Recipe

When I was a kid, I wasn’t a big fan of St. Patrick’s Day. I didn’t dislike it, I just didn’t think it was anything special. Sure, I’m a wee bit Irish, but I always forgot to wear green & would usually spend the day telling people my underwear was green since they couldn’t prove it wasn’t {otherwise, I’d spend the whole day getting pinched!}.

Now, however, it’s moved up my radar a bit. Justin is also a wee bit Irish, which means my kids are, too, so it’s fun teaching them about their family history. Green also happens to be Shane’s favorite color, so he loves St. Patrick’s Day decorations and treats! Kids just make everything more fun, don’t they?

In the spirit of the holiday, we’ll be making these Mint Chocolate M&M’s Cookies! They are homemade and delicious- and green! Well, the M&M’s are, anyway.

Mint M&M's Cookies- homemade and delicious! Perfect for St. Patrick's Day!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Mint Chocolate M&M's Cookies
Serves: 24 cookies
 
Ingredients
  • 1 C. butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ C. sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • ⅔ C. cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 C. flour
  • 1 C. of Mint Chocolate M&M's
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line your baking sheets with parchment paper or foil
  2. Combine the softened butter, eggs, vanilla, cocoa powder and sugar, mixing well.
  3. Slowly fold in the dry ingredients – the flour, baking soda and salt.
  4. Add in the Mint M&M's, mixing into the dough.
  5. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto the baking sheets about 2-3” a part. Add a few Mint M&M's on top of the cookies if desired.
  6. Bake 8-10 minutes. Do not over bake.

Mint Chocolate M&M's Cookies

Do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

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Easy Appetizer Recipes: Olive & Vinegar Bruschetta and Three Minute Olive Spread

I love going to parties. Catching up with friends and family, getting all dressed up, and eating lots of good food- what’s not to like? I even like hosting small get-togethers and I can’t wait until we get a bigger house, solely so that I can entertain more often!

Party food is definitely some of the best food. I’m particularly a huge fan of appetizers! I have a tendency to fill up on them before dinner is even served, but it’s hard to resist food that is typically bite-sized and delicious. The same old choices get kind of tired, though, so I recently came up with two new appetizer recipes that I can’t wait to debut at my next party! {Bonus: one of them requires about three minutes to make. Three minutes. It’s the perfect option for drop-in guests any night of the week, too!}

Olive and Vinegar Bruschetta- a quick and easy appetizer recipe featuring olives, balsamic vinegar, and red wine vinaigrette as the not-so-secret ingredient!

Olive & Vinegar Bruschetta

Ingredients:

1 cup black olives, sliced
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1 & 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp red wine vinaigrette salad dressing
Cilantro to taste & for garnish
Optional: Feta to taste
French bread baguette {sliced and toasted}

Directions:

1. Prepare and mix olives and vegetables in a medium-sized bowl.

2. In a small prep bowl, mix the oil, vinegar and vinaigrette. Pour over olives and vegetables and mix.

3. Toast slices of bread either in a toaster oven or under oven’s broiler.

4. Top toasted bread with vegetable mix.

5. If desired, top with cilantro and/or feta.

Three Minute Olive Spread- the perfect last minute, easy appetizer for parties or drop in guests!!!

Three Minute Olive Spread

Ingredients:

2 cups pitted black olives

2 cups pitted green olives

1 tsp minced garlic {or more to taste}

3 tbsp balsamic vinegar

3 tbsp olive oil

Optional: Feta to taste

Directions:

1. Place all ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth. Spread over sliced French bread {toasted in a toaster oven or broiled in the oven}. Optionally top with feta.

You may have noticed that both recipes contain olives and with good reason- they make for a great appetizer! They are a healthy choice, too- olives are a naturally sugar-free food and contain monounsaturated fats, which can improve cholesterol levels in the blood and reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke. One serving of olives- about 7 large ones- contains about 35 calories and 2.5 grams of monounsaturated {“healthy”} fat.

Olives from spain

Not all olives are created equal, though! Spain is the world leader in production and exports of table olives- did you know that most of the olives eaten here in the U.S. are from Spain? Spain’s sunny weather and rich, fertile soil produce the best olives, which are hand-picked one by one to avoid damaging the fruit. {Yes, olives are fruits!} Make sure that when you’re at the grocery store you turn over that tin to look for the Olives from Spain logo.

This month, Olives from Spain will head to Miami for the country’s premiere food festival. If you are lucky enough to attend the renowned South Beach Wine and Food Festival, be sure to stop by the Olives from Spain station to sample some tasty bites. The event is expecting approximately 18,000 attendees.

What’s your favorite way to enjoy olives?

Disclaimer: Compensation was provided by Olives from Spain via MomTrends. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of Olives from Spain or Momtrends.

Valentine’s Day Snack Ideas for Kids from Family Fun Magazine

There are just a few more days until Valentine’s Day! Shane has been looking forward to this since the day after Christmas, so he’s all ready to go. His cards have been signed and he’s in the process of drawing pictures for each kid in his class. He doesn’t have school on Friday, so we will be doing some fun & festive activities that day.

If you’re looking for some cute last-minute snack ideas to make Valentine’s Day special for your little ones, Family Fun magazine has a few great ideas! They’ve given me a few of their ideas to share with you- or to inspire you to come up with your own!

Cookie Wands for Valentine's Day

SAY IT WITH SPARKLES! WAVE A WAND

To make the cookie wands, sandwich white frosting and a lollipop stick between two small cookies, such as Lorna Doones. Freeze them for 10 minutes. Heat candy melts with 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil. Dip the cookies in halfway, then sprinkle on edible glitter (find it, plus the sticks and candy melts, at craft stores). Let them set on waxed paper overnight.

Shiny Shark Candy Cards  for Valentine's Day

RELEASE SOME SHINY SHARKS

These creatures (backed by clothespins for a fully functional Jaws effect) are sure to inspire toothy grins. Start by drawing the shark’s top and bottom halves as shown or tracing our template (get it at familyfunmag.com/printables) on glitter card stock. Cut out the halves, then apply tacky glue along one side of aclothespin and adhere them. Place the shark on waxed paper to dry. When the glue is dry, slightly bend one tail section forward so that when the mouth opens, the tail parts smoothly pass one another. Glue on a sequin eye. Cut a paper heart (we used pinking shears to trim a “bite”), write your message, and glue the heart to a treat.

Cupid Kebabs for Valentine's Day

CUPID KEBABS

Let your kids make these simple tomato and cheese skewers and they just might fall in love with healthy snacking. Start by diagonally trimming away the ends of two grape tomatoes and trimming small pieces of cheese (we used cheddar) for the arrow parts. Then have your kids assemble the pieces on a toothpick as shown.

 What’s your favorite Valentine’s Day themed snack?

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14 Romantic Chocolate Recipes for Valentine’s Day

This post is brought to you by Foodie. All opinions are my own.

They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, but the same could totally be said of most women. In fact, chocolate has been used as an aphrodisiac for centuries! Modern research indicates that it’s all psychological, but it still wouldn’t hurt to indulge in a bit of chocolate on Valentine’s Day.

14 Romantic Chocolate Treats for Valentine's Day- from cookies to cakes, you'll find something for everyone!

With that in mind, I’ve collected 14 of the best chocolate treat recipes for Valentine’s Day! Scroll through the slideshow below for inspiration for next weekend, or just find a new favorite to try for another special occasion. Whatever you make and whenever you make it, don’t forget to save me some!

[Read more...]

Homemade Brownies with Strawberry Frosting

Now that a month has passed since the holidays, I’m getting excited about Valentine’s Day! Shane is pretty into Valentine’s Day so after Zac’s birthday this weekend, we’ll be putting out a few decorations. We’ll probably whip up a few treats, too, like these homemade brownies with strawberry frosting that my friend Brittany made!

I consider myself to be a good cook, but baking is always hit or miss with me. This recipe looks easy enough though- I’m even going to have Shane help me out since he’s on another kick of wanting to be a chef.

Homemade Brownies with Strawberry Frosting for Valentine's Day! A great weekend activity to get your kids in the kitchen- or a nice surprise for an after-school treat

Supplies Needed:

Brownie Mix {recipe below}
Strawberry Frosting
Powdered Sugar
6 Heart Silicone Baking Tray {I recommend this one}
Homemade Heart Brownies with Strawberry Frosting

Brownie Mix:
-1 cup white sugar
-1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
-1/2 cup all-purpose flour
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-1/4 teaspoon baking powder
-1/4 cup water
-1/2 cup vegetable oil
-2 eggs

Directions:

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and start the mixing process.

2. Grab a medium size mixing bowl and pour in all the dry ingredients followed by your water, vegetable oil and eggs and mix it up until all ingredients are blended.

3. As soon as all clumps and powder are gone your mixture is complete.

4. Spray some pan in your heart shaped muffin tin and pour a big spoonful of brownie mix into each heart cut out.

5. Place your brownies into the oven for 20 minutes and once they are done remove them from the oven and let them cool for about 5 minutes.

6. Once they’ve cooled place them on a piece of parchment paper and refill the hearts again and place in the oven until all the mix is gone.

7. Once on the parchment paper take a sharp knife and cut off the top of the brownie to make it a smooth and flat surface.

8. Once all the brownie hearts have been cut and smoothed down it’s time for the frosting.

9. Fill the Strawberry Frosting into a piping bag and pipe the frosting in a heart shape in on the top of your brownies.

10. Now add the other brownie piece onto the top of the brownie and press down. Top the brownies off with some powdered sugar and they’re ready to enjoy!

Homemade Brownies with Strawberry Frosting for Valentine's Day! A great weekend activity to get your kids in the kitchen- or a nice surprise for an after-school treat!

Whether you’re baking for your own special Valentine or having fun with the kids in the kitchen, be sure to give these brownies a try!

What’s your favorite thing about Valentine’s Day?

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