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Chunky Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies
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Visiting Family in Pennsylvania and Gifting Keurig 2.0
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Chocolate Donuts with Peanut Butter Candy Cane Frosting
4
Shanghai Blend Stir Fry Rice Rolls
5
M&M Mini’s Holiday Christmas Cookies
6
Saucy Meatball and Texas Toast Casserole – Easy Weeknight Dinner
7
How to Make Cat Garland for all My Cat Ladies
8
Chocolate Fudge, One of My Favorite Holiday Recipes
9
Party Time Rainbow Breakfast Waffles
10
Gift Guide: Best Cat Bowls for Food
11
What’s Your Wish? Here’s Mine! #WishesDelivered
12
Missing Cats While Away…
13
Gingerbread Pancakes With Frosting Tree – Fun and Festive for the Holidays!
14
I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! Creamy Mashed Potatoes
15
Double Chocolate Mocha Latte Cake
16
Win 5 Free Packages of Tidy Cats Lightweight Litter
17
Farmers Speak: Organic Oats
18
Snowman Peanut Butter Balls – a Fun Holiday Recipe!
19
Cheddar M&M’s Popcorn, perfect movie night popcorn!
20
Slow Cooker Chipotle Leg of Lamb Tacos

Chunky Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies

Ok I admit it, it’s not even Christmas and I already ate too many cookies. Anyone else?
I didn’t really bake many for us this year because I know our familes will send us boxes of cookies.  We got a box last week and I told myself I was going to eat “one or two” but that turned into 21 or 22.  I have such a hard time turning down a nice cookie.. actually I can’t turn down any cookie.

One combination I love is chocolate and peanut butter.  Maybe it’s the sweetness in chocolate.  Maybe it’s how creamy the peanut butter is. But it’s always perfection form. I love it in cake, brownie and ice cream recipes. But what I really love is t in cookies!

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies are the key to my cookie loving heart.  The cookies rise beautifully giving them a chunky style that you can sink your teeth into. There’s chocolate chips melted inside along with the taste of peanut butter in every bite.  

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Visiting Family in Pennsylvania and Gifting Keurig 2.0

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #Keurig400 #CollectiveBias

The last few days I spent in Pennsylvania visiting my dad.  We usually only get to see each other once a year, so it’s always special as he’s so important to me.   So Matthew and I rented a car and drove out to visit him, along with a Keurig 2.0 to gift him, and to have hot chocolate and tea parties with me – of course.  

We did lots of things in our short 2 and a half days visiting.  We saw lots of my family, ate too much food, drove up many hills and on the way back to NYC we stopped off at Christmas Village. If you’ve never visited, Christmas Village is exactly what it sounds like – it’s a tourist attraction due to their village they made with lights and decorations. It’s only open in November and December and it it attracts people from all over.  I used to go there all the time as a kid, so I wanted to share it with Matthew.  Not  much has changed but it’s still always fun (plus hot chocolate and soft pretzels because it’s always freezing!).
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Chocolate Donuts with Peanut Butter Candy Cane Frosting

The time is close… who else is getting excited wrapping presents and smelling pine when they walk in the door?
Who else is sad that no matter how hard you try, your cats will never love the idea of dressing up for Christmas?
Every year I try… every year I fail.

Goblin is thinking “Please someone help me…I’m not a reindeer.”
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And in this one Xanadu is plotting on how to push me off the bed tonight..
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 One of these days I’ll get them in a costume.. maybe while the’re sleeping! :)

I am a donut (or doughnut if you must) lover.  As a kid my mom worked at the donut shop and she would always bring me home my favorite blueberry donut.  At Halloween she’d bring me home little festive munchkins that were decorated like Frankenstein and pumpkins.   Sometimes before school for breakfast on a busy day, I’d run into the gas station and buy a donut.  So what I’m saying is that the donut love has been strong for a long time.

I’ve been craving a good homemade donut but wanted to make them fun for the holidays, so I decided to do a #CandyCaneHacks donut recipe. Say hello to Chocolate Donuts with Peanut Butter Candy Cane Frosting.
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The donuts are chocolate are oh so moist. I only made a batch of 6 because I wanted to play it safe.. and only eat 6. :)
Chocolate Donuts with Peanut Butter Candy Cane Frosting

I used Dark Chocolate Dreams from Peanut Butter & Co for the peanut butter frosting.  The frosting  is ridiculously good.   So much that after I made it, I ate way too  many spoonfuls and then worked out 30 minutes later because of pure guilt.  It was worth it though, that frosting can’t be beat.  Because I love you and want you to get your frosting on, use coupon code YUMSQUADLOVE to get 25% off your entire order at Peanut Butter & Co this December.  What a stocking stuffer that would be….
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The frosting is magical. I’m serious guys. It casts a delicious spell on you when you can’t do anything but eat it.  I went back at least 6 times and took a spoonful of this.  It’s so fluffy and has the perfect peanut butter taste to it.
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You’ll want to crush up your candy cane until it’s almost powder like.  I like when it gets that consistency where is’t not too big you’re going to feel a crunch, instead it’s just like peppermint sugar on top.
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And then donuts are ready to be eaten!
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I know I’ve already told you I eat M&M cookies in bed, but I also want to tell you I ate a donut in bed a few nights ago.  Again, I started with a half, and then went back, grabbed the other half and crawled back into bed.  I just remember falling back asleep with sweet sugary dreams!
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Enjoy these donuts friends!

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Chocolate Donuts with Peanut Butter Candy Cane Frosting
Print
For the donuts
  1. 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  2. 1/2 cup white sugar
  3. 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  4. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  5. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  6. 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  7. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  8. 1/2 cup water
For the frosting
  1. 1/4 cup butter
  2. 1/2 cup chocolate peanut butter
  3. 1 cup confectioners sugar
  4. 2 tablespoons milk
Extra
  1. 1 Candy Cane - crushed up
For the donuts
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray your donut pan with nonstick spray.
  2. Stir together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. Add oil, vanilla and water and continue to stir until smooth.
  4. Pour into donut pan and bake 10-12 minutes. Let donuts cool.
For the frosting
  1. Use softened butter and mix with peanut butter (I use a hand mixer).
  2. Slowly add in confectioners sugar and milk. Continue to mix until frosting is fluffy.
  3. Spread frosting on donuts. Sprinkle crushed up candy cane on each one.
Notes
  1. Makes 6 donuts.
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/

Shanghai Blend Stir Fry Rice Rolls

Do you ever get obsessed with a food and can’t think of anything else?  Sometimes it’s naughty and you’ll want brownies 24 hours a day. Sometimes it’s not naughty at all and you’ll want vegetables all the time.  With the holidays, I’m feeling happy to have that stretch of just wanting a good vegetable Stir Fry, especially when it contains brussels sprouts, bok choy, kale, snow peas and carrots all wrapped up in a rice roll.   Garden fresh vegetables in the Winter.. I love it!

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I was recently introduced to Eat Smart which are gourmet vegetable kits in a range of flavors.  After finishing one bag I quickly hopped on over to their Store Locator so I could buy more immediately.  After dinner I said to Matthew way too many times.. “That stir fry.. wasn’t it amazing”.. “Gosh, that was good, wasn’t it?”.. “We need to get more of that Shangai Blend”… “Matthew, I’m in love with you.. and also these Shanghai Blend Stir Fry Rice Rolls”.

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M&M Mini’s Holiday Christmas Cookies

This post brought to you by Glad & M&M’S®. The content and opinions expressed below are that of http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/.

 

There’s something just perfect about M&M Cookies isn’t there? 
Is it the sweetness? Is it the chocolate?  Is it how the cookie is still moist inside?
Ok, it’s all 3 of those. M&M Cookies win my heart.

I have a few things to admit to these cookies.  I just want to get these things out to clear my conscious. 

Ok, yes I woke up in the middle of the night and on the way back to the bedroom I stopped in the kitchen (in the dark), took half a cookie, climbed back into bed and ate it half asleep.  Ok, and yes while half asleep I realized that cookie was so good that I crawled back out of the bed, sleep walked back into the kitchen to get that other half, went back into bed and devoured it.

And yes, on Wednesday afternoon I told myself I was going to eat 1/2 of a cookie for the entire day.  It lasted about 16 minutes. Suddenly I hate 1/2… and 4 more.  4 and a half.  

M&M Cookies – why are you so good?

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Saucy Meatball and Texas Toast Casserole – Easy Weeknight Dinner

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Mama Mancini’s Original Family Recipes. All opinions are 100% mine.

These meatballs are delicious. D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S. 
What else is delicious? Texas toast.
What else? Cheese.
What if you add them all together for a quick easy weeknight casserole? You’ll love it!
Saucy Meatball and Texas Toast Casserole - Easy Weeknight D_13  

The ingredients for this Saucy Meatball and Texas Toast Casserole are few and simple.  First we’ll need to start out with high quality meatballs, like Mama Mancini’s Meatballs.  Have you heard of them?  They are a family business. In fact at the age of 15, Dan Mancini asked his grandmother, Anna Mancini, to teach him how to make his favorite meal of hers: meatballs and sauce.  Many years later Dan decided to take that recipe and form a business around Italian Old World cooking!    The meatballs are slowcooked so they’re popping with flavor!  They are made from 100%  beef, whole fresh eggs, Romano cheese, onion, parsley, a pinch of salt and pepper and an exact amount of breadcrumbs.  Sounds just like homemade meatballs right?  And the Italian Sauce?  That’s made from Italian plum tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper and a bay leaf.  The sauce is then slowcooked for 3 hours.  What I’m saying is this is as homemade as it gets when buying in the store… and it’s now ready in 20 minutes!  

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How to Make Cat Garland for all My Cat Ladies

Meow.
Hello my lovely cat ladies, you look purrfect today.
Do you have any cat stories to share this holiday season?  Is your cat knocking over your tree? Is your cat catching those lights?  Is your cat cozy sleeping under the tree?  Is your cat knocking over every ornament you have?    Cats love this season….

It’s Goblin’s first Christmas and he treats everyday like it’s the best day ever.  I am pretty sure he thinks every ornament is a toy that we gave him.  He just doesn’t understand when we tell him we can’t knock them down.  I know he’s thinking.. “Give me toys so I can look at? No, Goblin must play!”.  What else does Goblin love.. garland! Hours of entertainment when there’s string involved!  To step up my cat lady game though, I decided this would be the year of cat garland. 
How to Make Cat Garland_4

Garland is so much fun for any day of the year, but especially around the holidays.  It’s great for trees, walls, front door and parties!  The great thing about making your own garland is customizing it to whatever color or pattern you want. 
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Chocolate Fudge, One of My Favorite Holiday Recipes

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HolidayMadeSimple #CollectiveBias

Hold on, there’s a Christmas party? With fudge? And holiday recipes?  And sparkly trees that I can knock down for?  I’m invited right?

Of course you are Goblin…
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Can you smell the holidays in the air?  Can you taste it?  Can you hear it?  I’m smelling Pine Trees, tasting my favorite Chocolate Fudge and blasting Mariah’s classic Christmas tune.  Oh did I mention I’m done shopping?  Yeah, I’m feeling the holidays… but I need to stop eating this fudge!  Fudge is one of my favorite treats, ever.  Which means I’m in pure danger around it.  Have you ever made fudge and only ate one piece? I know, it’s impossible. But this Chocolate Fudge is so good…

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Party Time Rainbow Breakfast Waffles

Is today your birthday? If so, Happy Birthday!
But chances are it probably isn’t, but that doesn’t mean you don’t deserve party time rainbow breakfast waffles to wake up to in the morning, right? YIPPEE! Let the party begin.

I have a real obsession with anything birthday related, from polka dots to sprinkles to cake batter everything (I even have a Birthday Sprinkles board!).  But who wants to wait another year to celebrate birthday style?  Besides, don’t we all deserve a little personal party sometimes for cheering up? I think so.  That’s why I made these rainbow waffles, so we can all start the day off with a smile!

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Gift Guide: Best Cat Bowls for Food

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Triad Retail Media for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.
 

Choosing the right bowl means knowing your cat. It also means making sure the bowl is full of the cat’s favorite food. Because trust me, your cat will let you know. Your cat will also let you know if it’s bowl is moved, the bowl is not the right shape or they want the bowl emptied so they can climb in.

First can we talk food?  If your FiFi Bofinkles you want to talk food all the time.  That girl loves to eat, especially off a plate.  Especially people food.  Especially any type of food. She loves it all.  She takes after her Mama.

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What’s Your Wish? Here’s Mine! #WishesDelivered

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of UPS for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

I hope you guys have submitted your holiday wish to the UPS hub. If you haven’t already, check out my previous post about it.

I have lots of holiday wishes for my loved ones and ones I don’t even know. For Matthew, I want him to get a break.  Matthew works so hard with both our work with Reed + Rader as well as teaching at 2 NYC Universities.  He’s such a hard worker and sometimes I know he just wants two hours to himself to paint some miniatures or play a game.   With the holiday season coming up, I’ll make sure he puts his feet up and relax!  For my Dad, I want good health.  He’s been sick a bit the last few years and I worry about him constantly. My dad is probably reading this right now and knows I nag him all the time about how he’s doing, but I just want to be sure he’s healthy because he means the wold to me.  And for every pet in the world?  I want to give it food, water and a comfortable home.  And plenty of kisses. Ok, lots of kisses. Especially those furry cats. Goodness gracious,  do I want to kiss those cats.  I think of how fortunate our cats are and then I see some kitties on the street and it breaks my heart.  I want to bring every single cat home with me but Matthew says I’m not allowed to.. can you imagine that?

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Missing Cats While Away…

Hi friends,

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with your friends and family.  Matthew and I surprised his Mother and family by showing up for dinner a few minutes beforehand.  Only his brother knew we were coming back so it was organized well.  Thankfully someone recorded a video of Matthew walking in the front door and it’s the sweetest reaction his mom could make – crying and yelling.  It was really special coming back to Cleveland for a few days to see his (my) family.

We had such a ordeal getting to Cleveland though.  This is how the schedule went:
Wednesday 12:00PM – Say goodbye to our kitties and make them all kiss me.  4 times.
Wednesday- got to airport with plenty of time to spare as everyone says the busiest day at the airport is the day before Thanksgiving. There were no lines. Spent 2 hours waiting watching Tudors.  
Wednesday 2:30PM – supposed to start boarding plane right now.
Wednesday 3:00PM – started to board the plane.
Wednesday 4:00PM – still sitting on the runway. Pilot comes on and tells us the plane is having mechanical issues.
Wednesday 4:30PM – we’re back sitting inside the airport now. They say they are bring in parts from another airport.  This doesn’t seem good. But they say don’t panic, we’ll be fine.
Wednesday 5:00PM – Don’t panic, you’ll be fine, American Airlines says.
Wednesday 6:00PM – Don’t panic, you’ll be fine, American Airlines says.
Wednesday 7:00PM – Don’t panic, you’ll be fine, American Airlines says.
Wednesday 8:30PM – Panic, the flight is cancelled.
Wednesday 8:31PM – Passengers are either angry or crying because they can’t find any other flights for Thursday morning.
Wednesday 9:00PM – America Airlines tells us that they found Matthew and I a flight with another carrier in the morning, we should be ok. They pay for a cab to go back home to sleep for the night.  Cats are confused why we’re back because their party was just beginning.
Wednesday 11:00PM – Call American Airlines because the flight they said we are now on is actually booked and it’s stating online that we are wait-listed.   Other airline confirms the flight is booked.  American Airlines is confused. They have no idea what to do with us.
Wednesday 11:30PM – After 4 calls back and forth, they get us a flight for the morning. We have to fly New York to Chicago to Cleveland with a 2 hour layover, but whatever, we’ll take it!
Thursday 3:00PM – Finally get to Cleveland!

Whew, that was a bit stressful.. but we made it!

Now back to the topic.. missing kitties!
Whenever we travel I miss my little baby dolls so much.  I even travel with a Polaroid of each of them so I can wake up in the morning and see them:
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Gingerbread Pancakes With Frosting Tree – Fun and Festive for the Holidays!

Next week is December,  are you thrilled or worried?

Today we’ll be heading out of town for the holidays and returning on Dec 1.  That week we’ll get the Christmas tree (didn’t get it prior as we don’t trust Goblin to be home with the tree for that long – he’s a crazy man),  decorate the loft, gather our address list for cards and then start shopping.  I really admire those who you can get their holiday shopping done in advance, but I always shop up until the day.   I can’t control myself in the stores.  I’ll see something online on Etsy that reminds me of a friend immediately I’ll have to buy it, even though I bought their present a week ago.   I know the holiday isn’t just about gift giving (it’s also about cookies), but I love nothing more than causing a smile and spoiling the heck out of everyone I love. 

One of my favorite parts of the holidays is Christmas morning.  As a kid my parents had a rule that I had to stay upstairs until they went downstairs first and put on the tree lights.   When Santa came on Christmas Eve came he would decorate our tree, so the first time I would see it all lit up and decorated is Christmas Morning.   Mom and Dad had a good idea here, don’t let the kids involved in tree decorating. Instead, lie to them and tell them they better not decorate because it’s Santa’s job and Santa will be angry if he doesn’t have a tree to decorate.  It’s not like Santa doesn’t have millions of other plans that night, right?

Now we decorate our tree weeks in advance, but Christmas morning is still special.  Why? Because it’s one of the most delicious breakfast meals of the year!  There’s always bacon sizzling, bread toasting, eggs however you want and the big plate of pancakes. Oh yes, would it be a holiday morning without the sweet smell of maple syrup poured over moist and delicious pancakes?

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I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! Creamy Mashed Potatoes


What do you think of when I say the words comfort food?  For me, I think 2 things.  Macaroni and Cheese.  And Mashed Potatoes.   Thankfully this post is about one of these foods.  The holy grail of love and comfort… mashed potatoes!

Thanksgiving is just a few days away and then we have the big month of December which is full of festive dinners and parties ahead of us.  One side dish that is always a staple is mashed potatoes.  This weekend we had our annual Friends Thanksgiving dinner and it was fun and delicious. And of course, there were potatoes there!  Is Thanksgiving even possible without mashed potatoes?
Thanksgiving with Friends.  Tons of yum.  Not pictured here, 3 pieces of pie I ate.  #thanksgiving #friends #food #yum #potatoes #stuffing #beans #biscuits #chicken #pie

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Double Chocolate Mocha Latte Cake

This Double Chocolate Mocha Latte Cake recipe created by me was sponsored on behalf of DREAM™.

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Do you dream of chocolate cake at night? Ok, me too.  This Double Chocolate Mocha Latte Cake is double the chocolate and extra moist.   So if you aren’t dreaming of chocolate cake, you will be now!

I don’t make cake very often but when I do I like to go the rich route.  The more chocolate, the better.  This cake here is made up of chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. It’s a double decker of chocolate love and I hope you’ll be asking for a 2nd slice.

But first.. we have to make it!
It’s so hard for me to sometimes get past the batter.   When I see a beater with chocolate batter on it I know they aren’t going in the sink or dishwasher.  They are going straight into my mouth.  Does your family ever fight over who gets to clean the beaters?  As a kid when my dad was on the road, I would sometimes have to cook dinner for myself.  Because I had a love of cake from the beginning, I would just make cake batter and eat it in my room.  In my teenage years,  this somehow seemed like a good idea.  I still think it’s a good idea.. but I’m not sure if I have the perseverance to eat as much batter as I could 15 years ago!

 Double Chocolate Mocha Latte Cake

 

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Win 5 Free Packages of Tidy Cats Lightweight Litter

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Purina for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

Have a cat? Have multiple cats? Well meow to you…

In today’s post I’m giving one winner 5 coupons to go the Dollar General and pick up 5 packages of  Tidy Cats Lightweight Litter!  High 5 happy cats and cat owner!

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Farmers Speak: Organic Oats

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Clif Bar & Company for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

Do you guys like CLIF® Bars? Yeah, me too.   

CLIF® Bar is a great company because they use organic oats. These oats are healthy, nutritious and for a lifestyle that fuels adventure!  Have you ever met a hiker that doesnt like  CLIF® Bars? See, they fuel excitement!  Not only do they use organic oats but they are a essential and key ingredient to all it’s recipes.  I love that they focus on bettering people and the planet while looking towards the future while trying to change it now!

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Snowman Peanut Butter Balls – a Fun Holiday Recipe!

This Snowman Peanut Butter Balls recipe for Family Holiday Ideas has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PBandG #Yippee  #CollectiveBias
 

I’m just rushing into Christmas spirit, there’s no stopping me.   I saw my first tree being sold outside this weekend.  I’ve been listening to The Ronettes sing “Frosty The Snowman” since last week.  I made gingerbread houses.  I made cookies.  I am crafting up paper Christmas trees.  I’m pumped.  Family holiday season is here guys!

I know some people get upset hearing Christmas music in stores in November, but I say get in the spirit! When you hear Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” come on when you are in the store aisles buying cat food, sing your heart out.  Sure, you might not be able to reach that high note, but press on your ear Mariah-esque and pretend you can.  

I’m obsessed with these Snowman  Peanut Butter Balls.    They are delicious.  They are super cute.  Does a holiday treat need to be anything more than that?  Plus they are snowmen!  There’s nothing with a snowman on that I don’t fall in love with.  

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Cheddar M&M’s Popcorn, perfect movie night popcorn!

This Cheddar M&M’s® Popcorn recipe, which is a perfect movie night popcorn, has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MovieNight4Less #CollectiveBias
 

Step on up.. Step on up.. you’re invited to Movie Night!
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Slow Cooker Chipotle Leg of Lamb Tacos

What do you think of when you hear Leg of Lamb?  What recipes come to your mind?

Tacos might not be the first… but I’m here to change that!

These Slow Cooker Chipotle Leg of Lamb Tacos are super delicious as they are slow cooked with a bunch of spices for flavor.  The lamb itself gets to marinade in this sauce for 8 hours making it oh so juicy when you grab a fork and cut it up. Unlike sometimes when you slow cook, the marinade doesn’t always sink down into all the meat, but these tacos have flavor in every single bite you take.

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For more information contact Pamela at pamela@pamelareed.com.