Rolo Monkey Bread

“If you can lean, you can clean”

Back when I was a college freshman, working retail, I had a boss who would say that. If he caught anyone leaning against a wall or the column next to the register zoning out he would say that so that they got back to work. And if he caught you, he usually made you clean.

I feel that is my life now.

But I am catching myself and I then mentally freak the fuck out and then try to do 10 things to make up for that ‘clacking off’. I never feel like I can just sit and relax. Even if I am on FB, it’s generally to do something related to the blog account, some side hustle stuff, or the account for the dogs I am trying to figure out how I am going to build.

Or if I am on instagram, I am scrolling through and engaging with people that are niche related and I am

The trifecta of getting ‘ish done is when I am pumping, while sitting at the computer so I can write a blog post and search using a specific platform, earning me extra spending money. Extra points if I am listening to a pod cast and I remembered to plug my phone into the fast charger at the desk.

Life just never feels like it ever slows down.

And, in someways, we aren’t doing that much either. Autumn goes to gymnastics 1x a week and that’s it, but the general life maintenance makes things chaotic. From prepping clothes and bottles for the next day, laundry, walking dogs, cooking dinner and dishes, the week night quickly speeds by and before we know it, it’s time for bed and another day of madness until the weekend comes when we try to tackle bigger projects, hang with friends and family, and maybe even get in a nap.

It just feels that I need a month of no distractions and crap to get really caught up on life, with the things I need to do and just want to do.

But that’s why I am always looking for short cuts for things.

I certainly like to make monkey bread or pies or pizza by scratch, but there are times when it’s just easier to grab some biscuits or a pre-made crust or order take out.

And when you add some chocolate candy to the dough… dessert perfection!!!

I love that the Rolo candy, hidden inside the dough ball, gets all melty and gooey. The cinnamon glaze that envelopes each dough ball is perfect with that sweet caramel and chocolate filling too.

Serve this with some ice cream and you are in for a great dessert treat.

Some people might just think that monkey bread is for breakfast,but I think that you will convince them pretty quickly that it’s great for dessert as well when you serve up this sticky sweet caramel and chocolate treat!!

Rolo Monkey Bread

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 rolls of biscuit dough, 16.3 ounces each (8 biscuits per roll)
  • 32 Rolos
  • 2/3 Cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 Cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 Cup butter, melted

Process

  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray a bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Cut each biscuit into 2 equal pieces.Stretch each biscuit out
  3. Combine the sugars and cinnamon in a bowl.
  4. Dip each dough ball into the melted butter, then into the sugar mixture.
  5. Place each coated dough ball into the bundt pan. Pour any remaining butter over the dough balls.
  6. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until golden brown and the top pieces are firm.
  7. Let cool for 5 minute before inverting on a serving plate.

 

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How To Make Adorable and Affordable Mini Easter Baskets

Mini Easter Baskets

I really love the daycare that Autumn goes to. The teachers and kids are the best. Plus, it’s about a minute’s walk from our house.

It’s an family daycare so it’s a nice small group of kids that love to be around each other. They play hard and love hard. When we bring Autumn the kids greet her loudly. And when she goes they say “BYE AUTUMN!!!!!”. Everything is loud and filled with the best kind of enthusiasm. I love it.

I also love baking up special treats for the kids. It’s fun to give them sweet treats every now and then. And if it’s something that is too rich or tart, like the Meyer Lemon Pudding Cake I recently made, I share with the 2 teachers there.

I have some super cute Easter cupcakes planned for this week but I wanted to give the kids little Easter baskets too.

My goal was so make something that was unisex, functional, tasty, healthy, fun, and affordable. Thankfully, I found everything I needed at a recent trip to Target. I needed to make 9 baskets for 3-4 year olds so I hit up their Dollar Spot section as it’s the bees knees.

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I grabbed 5 packs of mini storage bins. I thought they were cute and functional as they could have a life after being an Easter basket. 2 for $1 (I could have put in some grass but I figured the parents would kill me when it got all over their cars on the way home!)

I saw card games that were age appropriate for the kids so I grabbed them. $1 each

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Kids love crafts so I grabbed some pens for their baskets as well. 4 pens $1

And what’s a basket without some treats?!? So I moved on to the grocery section and found a box of yummy strawberry fruit rope. $2.99 for 10 treats.

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As well, Rice Krispie treats are kid favorites. $4.19 for 16 treats.

Lastly, I filled some plastic eggs with some M&M’s to finish it off. $.89 for 12 eggs and $2.89 for the bag of M&M’s

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And that’s how I made 9 adorable Mini Easter Baskets for the kids at Autumn’s daycare for just $2.61 each. I only spent about $28 for everything and I have some extra goodies leftover to incorporate into the Easter Basket I’m making for Autumn. Woohoo!

Hop over to Target or your favorite stores to make some great Easter baskets for the kiddos in your life. xoxo

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What are your favorite things to include in Easter Baskets?

Twix Bar Cheesecake Pie

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**HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!!!**

I’ve had such a productive week. It feels so damn good to get things done and handled. My to do list is never ending so this week has taken a nice chunk off my shoulders. Check this out.

I’ve had a broken DSLR for about 2 years. I hit the screen with something and it stopped working. Nice big smashed up pixeled smash there. But it still took photos so I just dealt with it. But then it just stopped taking photos. Crap. (notice the crapy photos lately? hey point and shoot…) Well, I treated myself to a new Nikon D5200 on Saturday. I’ve only just starting to play around with it but I’m already so happy with it. Ahhh bliss.

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Then just because I was spending lots of money already I threw a Fitbit Flex Wireless Activity + Sleep Wristband in the mix on Saturday. Ugh. but I seriously love it. For Saturday and Sunday I made no changes to my routine to see where I would fall with hitting the 10,000 step daily goal. Ooph! Not so good, so this has really helped me get up and moving. Yesterday I hit 16,874 steps. 🙂

We haven’t done much wedding planning stuff but now that it’s less than a year away we figure we should get our act together and cross things off the list. We started to look into wedding photographers and were getting quotes that we jsut couldn’t afford (hello, Berkshires wedding!). But things all fell into place and we ‘found’ a great photographer and scooped her up for the wedding weekend. How could I forget about my fellow BAC and Avalon Building warrior turned photographer?! Duh! We are going to be in such good hands with Danielle shooting our wedding!

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Lastly, I called Royal Caribbean about the cruise we are planning for my 30th birthday in January. The representative was super helpful with all the questions I had (can we book a large family ocean view room- no, not enough people. do you provide pack and plays- yes, for no extra charge) so we’re going to book our cruise this weekend. Can’t wait!!!!

Now I can focus on some fun things like pies. Bring on my candy themed pie month!!!

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I picked Twix candy bars to use in my first candy pie. I love Twix bars. Plus, they come with 2 in a package. Even better.

This is a simple pie to make. Just make an Oreo cookie crust and a quick candy filled cheesecake filling that you bake. Once it’s all cooled, you top off with a brunch of goodies. But Nicole, what if I don’t have have a food processor or time? Then just grab a premade Oreo cookie crust. I won’t judge. You just need to make this pie- no matter what!

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This is such a fun pie. It combines an Oreo crust with a creamy cheesecake filling that is studded with chopped up pieces of Twix Bars. But no, it doesnt stop there. It’s then topped off with more chopped up Twix bars and a caramel and chocolate sauce drizzle. Grab a fork and a slice.

And brace yourself for next week. I’m so bringing it!

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Twix Bar Cheesecake Pie

Makes a 9″ pie

Ingredients

For the Crust:

  • 20 Oreo cookies (with creme filling)
  • 3 Tablespoons melted butter

For the Filling:

  • 2 (8-ounce) packages of cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 16 chopped Twix Mini Candy Bars (2 cups total)

For the Topping:

  • chocolate syrup
  • caramel syrup
  • 6 chopped Twix Mini Candy Bars

Process

  1. Prepare the crust, place the Oreos in the bowl of a food processor (or carefully crush in a double bagged zippered plastic bag while using a rolling in).  Combine the crushed Oreos with the butter. Using your fingers, press the cookie crust into the 9-inch pie dish. Let chill in the freezer for about 30 minutes, or until firm.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  3. Using a stand mixer or a handheld electric mixer, beat the cream cheese with the sugar and eggs until mixture is smooth. Stir in chopped Twix bars. Pour into the frozen pie crust.
  4. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the middle is set. Let the pie completely cool.
  5. When pie has completely cooled, drizzle with the chocolate syrup and the caramel syrup and garnish with more chopped Twix bars. Chill until firm.

Sourced from Recipe Boy

Copy Cat Almond Joy’s- SRC

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Yay! Today is Memorial Day!

We are sticking home today to hang out, cross some things off the to do list, and grill. We made steak last night so I think some hot dogs for lunch and chicken for dinner. Autumn even had her own piece of steak (not seasoned, well done) that she sucked on and then dropped for the dog. I swear I try to grab what she is about to do but she is sneaky. And when she isn’t dropping him food she hangs a hand over the edge for him to lick. Those two are going to be trouble as she grows up. It’s going to be too cute! And a bit awful!!

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Anyway, we did some crafty stuff for our room yesterday and we’re going to do some stuff for her room today. I have most of the elements together for a gallery wall for her so I am going to put it up while mapping out some place holders for the 2 little canvases I am going to order. I just love to be able to create something new for our house. I only wish we did it more often.

Anyway, May has sped by and it’s now time for this month’s Secret Recipe Club post I was given the blog Sew You Think You Can Cook. Lauren shares recipes on her blog that she makes when she is not busy with quilting scrapbooking, and cross stitch. When she is not cooking and crafting she is an aerospace engineer… hello smarty! Sounds like a cool profession says the person who pulls out a calculator to figure out a tip. ha! 

While I was eyeing a few of her savory recipes, like the Vineyard Chicken, her homemade Almond Joy bars jumped out to me. I hadn’t made candy in the awhile and never a candy bar like this. I was up for the little challenge!

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I really suggest using a stand mixer to make these Almond Joy’s. The mixture is sticky and would require a bit of muscle so I think it’s best to use the stand mixer so you knew you evenly mixed everything together. If you need a workout then be sure to just a greased bowl and a wooden spoon. Assembling the bars is a breeze. The trickest part is the chocolate part. I never have much luck coating candy evenly, and neither did Lauren, so I decided just to coat the tops. If you are a pro at coating candy then feel free to do that instead, you’ll just need more chocolate.

So a big thanks to Lauren for such a wonderful recipe. As well, a very special thanks on this Memorial Day to her and her husband, who is in the Air Force!!!

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Copy Cat Almond Joy’s

Makes 24 candy bars

Ingredients

  • 10 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 1/2 Cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 3 Cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 48 whole salted almonds
  • 8 ounces of milk chocolate

Process

  1. Line an 8″ x 8″ baking pan with aluminum foil. Then spray the lined pan with cooking spray.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, pour the condensed milk and half of the sugar. Using the paddle attachment, beat until combined. Then add the remaining sugar and beat.
  3. Add in the vanilla extract and salt then beat for another minute until really whipped.
  4. In one large batch, add in shredded coconut and beat together until the coconut evenly coated with the condensed milk mixture
  5. Using greased hands, press the coconut mixture into an even layer in the lined baking pan. Score the candy bars by dividing the pan in 3 pieces in one direction. Then rotate the pan and score it into 8 equal pieces in that direction. Place 2 almonds onto each candy bar.
  6. Freeze for at least 30 minutes.
  7. While the bars are still in the pan, completely cut through where you had previously scored the candy bars.
  8. Melt the chocolate and then evenly pour it over the bars. Let cool complete prior to removing the liner from the pan. Gently flip the candy over onto a cutting board. Cut out each candy bar by cutting through the chocolate at each location where you had cut through the candy previously.

Adaped from Sew You Think You Can Cook

 

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Snickers Chocolate Chip Cookies

Snickers Chocolate Chip Cookies

Candy and cookies are pretty cool. But candy inside cookies are ever better.

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Throughout my pregnancy I had a wicked sweet tooth, which is so unlike me. Well, when Halloween came around I went all out and bought tons of candy. I went totally overboard since we don’t get that many trick-or-treaters and as a result had a lot of leftover candy. I had no problem with this but I didn’t feel like just snacking on it. I had an itch to do something with the big bowl of candy staring at me.

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So I dug into the pile of the Snickers and decided to mix them into a batch of chocolate chip cookies. You know, just to take cookies to the next level. THE NEXT LEVEL.

The caramel can spill out of the cookie a bit while baking so you might not get the prettiest cookies but I personally didn’t mind since they were so dang good. They have a great chew to them, as well as the great flavors from chocolate, peanuts, and caramel.

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I swear these cookies are addicting. They are so good that I had Price bring me some of these cookies to the hospital after I had Autumn. Definitely beats hospital sweets. 🙂

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Snickers Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 24 cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped Snickers pieces (10 fun-sized bars cut into 8 pieces each)

Process

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare cookie sheets by spraying with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a small bowl.
  3. Cream together the butter, sugars, and vanilla extract.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time beat well after each egg.
  5. Gradually beat in the flour mixture.
  6. Gently stir in the morsels and Snickers pieces.
  7. Scoop out 24 cookies and roll them into balls prior to placing onto the prepared baking sheets. 
  8. Bake for 9-11 minutes, or until golden brown and just set in the center. Let rest for a few minutes prior to removing and placing on a baking rack to cool.