Monday

How to make an Easter Egg Cookie Pop Nest Basket

 Easter Egg Cookie Pop Nest Basket




Add this bright, colorful Easter centerpiece to your Easter table this year. It's a fun Easter baking and crafting project that you can do with your family. It features the adorable M&M'S® Brand Chocolate Candies Bunny Mix on Easter Egg Cookie Pops, displayed in a nest, and guarded by a fierce little bird.

We're getting to the super fun time of year at my house when we make Cascarones, Mexican Easter Eggs filled with confetti that the boys hide, find, and crack over each other's heads. This Easter Egg Nest Centerpiece is now on the "We want to make this every year, mom" list too. It'll make our dining room table so festive.

Taste of Home Magazine asked me to make an Easter Centerpiece for them. I wanted to come up with my own twist on their Easter Egg Garden Basket. This past week I was at the thrift store with my friend Elysa and ran across a $1.28 basket. It was the perfect inspiration for me to make this nest centerpiece. You'll easily find very cheap baskets at your local thrift store this time of year to make your kid an Easter basket, or this centerpiece.

I then hunted down almost everything I needed at my local grocery store including all the different MARS chocolates and candies I wanted to use, and found the rest at Michael's Craft Store. I used this week's Michael's coupon to get a deal on my purchases there.

Easter Egg Cookie Pops Recipe

This super fun Easter Cookie Pop recipe is my adaptation of a recipe from Taste Of Home Magazine's MARS Easter Sweets Cookie Garden recipe. Instead of the garden that they made (which you could easily do with flower, egg, and bunny pops) I made my Easter basket into a nest and used eggs only. I added a tiny bird that sits atop the basket guarding his eggs.

Get creative, have fun making an Easter centerpiece like this one with your family!



Prep Time: 15 min.
Bake Time: 10-12 min.
Decoration Time: 30 min.
Difficulty: Moderate
Yield: Makes 16 cookies

Ingredients:
1 Roll (18 oz.) refrigerated sugar cookie dough
1 Cup prepared white frosting
Assorted food coloring
1 1/2 Cups assortment STARBURST® Brand Jellybeans, M&M'S® Brand Milk or Dark Chocolate Candies Bunny Mix, M&M'S® Brand Chocolate Speckled Eggs and DOVE® Chocolate Eggs
12 Lollipop sticks (available at arts and crafts stores like Michael's)
Medium size cookie cutters in Easter shapes (I used an egg shape)

Materials for Basket Display:
Small basket (I found one at the thrift store)
Styrofoam or green floral oasis (I got mine at Michael's)
Easter grass (I used brown for my "nest")
Sticks gathered from outside and hot glue
Tiny bird, optional



Directions:
1. According to the directions on the cookie dough package, roll the dough to 1/4-inch thickness.
2. Using your favorite cookie cutters, press out cookies from each shape.
3. Press the lollipop sticks into the bottom half of the cookie cutout.
4. Bake for 10-12 minutes in a preheated 350°F oven.
5. Cool the cookies. (Tip: If your cookie dough spreads when it bakes out of shape, you can use a fine cheese grater to shave the edges and sculpt your cookie to a perfect egg shape once it's cooled)
6. Color the frosting with a variety of food coloring. Frost the cookies and press on assorted STARBURST® Jellybeans and M&M'S® Brand Chocolate Candies Bunny Mix.

Making your Nest Easter Basket Centerpiece:


1. Set the styrofoam in the basket and cover with Easter grass.
2. Arrange the cookie pops by pressing the sticks into the styrofoam.
3. Decorate the grass with a sprinkling of M&M'S® Speckled Chocolate Eggs and DOVE® Chocolate Eggs.
4. Clip or glue your tiny bird on top of the handle of the basket to guard the eggs!

Nutrition Information (Provided by MARS):
Calories per serving 228
Total Fat 10 g
Saturated Fat 3 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 10 mg
Sodium 177 mg
Carbohydrates 33 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sugars 19 g
Protein 2 g
Vitamin A 0%DV
Vitamin C 0%DV
Calcium 0%DV
Iron 0%DV

About MARS Recipes
You can find this and other inspirational and creative MARS chocolate recipes on the M&M'S® Facebook page at bakingwithmms.com. You'll find even more ideas for the upcoming holiday on my Easter Pinterest Board, including crafts for kids, recipes, printables, and more.

And, I just this weekend posted some Easter Egg Doodle Art Coloring Pages that I drew for Kid's Activities Blog, that you can download and color.






®/TM/© Mars Inc. 2014

Disclosure: This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of MARS. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Friday

Belk's New Flagship Store at Dallas Galleria



This week Belk opened it's first flagship store in the state of Texas. At the Dallas Galleria. They're a department store known throughout the south for their Modern Southern Style and their commitment to community charities. I attended a lovely grand opening party with, gosh, what seemed like every stylish southern belle in the city.

Seeing my three favorite clothing designers all in one place was a plus for me. And I also loved the beautiful white, bright design of the store and all the artwork displayed. You'll especially love the Fossil Art Tile Wall that is next to the Fossil Handbag display.

As a Savings.com Deal Pro, I have an exclusive $10 off $30 Belk printable coupon for you to use when you go visit this, or any, Belk store. My Belk wish list is quite extensive, and getting longer every day.

The Three Brands I Most Adore Are All at Belk:
Nanette Lepore
Betsey Johnson
Eileen Fisher



Other designer brands I was excited find at Belk: 
• Michael Kors
• Kensie
• Kate Spade
• Free People
• Vince Camuto
• French Connection
• Cynthia Rowley



Belk Galleria Dallas Events
There's an amazing list of upcoming events at this new Belk store at the Dallas Galleria, including the Beauty Live Event this weekend, and an upcoming Girls Night Out Event next week!

Beauty Live
April 12 – 13
Expert Beauty Panel (11 a.m.): A panel of experts will share their insider beauty secrets and their ‘can’t live without’ beauty products! InStyle Magazine Style Ambassador, Tai Beauchamp, joins the panel and will share what great designer products you can find at Belk. Details.

Belk Presents Modern. Southern. Beauty. 
With InStyle Ambassador, Tai Beauchamp (3 p.m., Belk Level 1):
Discover the latest beauty trends. Learn the secrets of Southern beauty. Meet our expert guests and win fabulous beauty prizes! Details and Tickets.

Engagement Party
Sunday, April 13 from 1 – 3 p.m. (Level 3 – Home Department)
Belk offers an extensive wedding registry including products from Lenox, Tumi, Vietri, KitchenAid and more.
There will be giveaways, prizes and special offers!

Girls’ Night Out
Thursday, April 17 from 5 – 8:30 p.m. (Level 2 – Women’s Clothes)
An evening of fun, fashion and special offers for the fashion lover. Special appearances by designer Cynthia Rowley, fashion bloggers A Piece of Toast and Eleventh Gorgeous, Lucky Magazine Lucky Market Editor Laurel Pantin and more. The fashion show is at 7 p.m. More details.

About Belk
Charlotte, N.C.-based Belk, Inc. is the nation's largest family owned and operated department store company with 299 Belk stores located in 16 Southern states and a growing digital presence. Founded in 1888 by William Henry Belk in Monroe, N.C., the company is in the third generation of Belk family leadership and has been committed to community involvement since its inception. Each year, Belk gives a portion of its pretax income back to the communities it serves. In fiscal year ending Jan. 31, 2013, the company and its associates, customers and vendors, donated more than $19 million to those communities.

Belk offers a wide assortment of national brands and private label fashion apparel, shoes and accessories for the entire family along with top name cosmetics, a wedding registry and a large selection of quality merchandise for the home.


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Tuesday

13 Unexpected Meatloaf Recipes for Sunday Dinner






When I was 11, I got my first cookbook for my birthday. It was the Betty Crocker's Cookbook for Boys & Girls. I wanted to learn how to cook actual, for-real food, that humans would eat.

The very first recipe I ever made from this cookbook was Meatloaf. I sure thought it was exciting to make meatloaf when I was 11. Squishing the hamburger with my hands, tearing up pieces of Wonder Bread just so, cracking eggs without getting shells in the meat, an artistic splash of ketchup. All very tricky business as a novice chef.

I served my first meatloaf to my family for Sunday Dinner in 1977. And I felt awesome when they all said how good it tasted and they didn't keel over and die immediately. I did end up flinging a forkful of mashed potatoes at my little brother during that meal, but that's a different story. And he totally deserved it. And my mom told him he totally deserved it.


Check it out – Sunday Dinner in the 70s. 

I wanted to make a collection of different kinds of meatloaf recipes on my blog today in honor of that great American tradition that my family does not currently observe called Sunday Dinner, an ode to all the meatloaves I made as a child. And in Kansas, meatloaf is meat, ketchup, and bread.

This Collection of Meatloaf Recipes was made using Foodie.com, which is a unique recipe collecting platform, kind of like Pinterest. They are sponsoring this post and this collection that I'm sharing with you. You can sign up for Foodie.com and follow me as I build interesting recipe collections. I'll follow you back if you do!



This collection of 13 meatloaf recipes with unexpected ingredients includes:
Meatloaf with Green Chiles: Unexpected ingredient is green chiles. Very southwestern!

Balsamic Glazed Roasted Vegetable Meatloaf: Fancy hide-the-vegetables meatloaf. You all know I love doing that hide-the-vegetables trick.

Gluten Free Parmesan Meatloaf: Wow, this has never occurred to me, but sounds fantastic to use Parmesan instead of your standard cheddar.

Slow Cooker Meatloaf: And we also all know I love set-it-and-forget-it food. Love your crockpot like me? You can make all kinds of crazy things in a crock pot.

Low Calorie Chicken Meatloaf: Chicken meatloaf is genius for my family, who likes chicken more than all the meats combined.

Meatloaf with Hidden Veggies: Again with the hidden veggies. I like these moms who think like I do.

Easy Meatloaf with Sausage: Adding a roll of breakfast sausage to the hamburger will be make meatloaf just *that* much tastier, and it's not too difficult.

Mom's Amazing Carrot Meatloaf: Yay! More veggies! Luka still not touching them in their original form. I would serve these pizza rice balls with hidden vegetables as a side dish and then it's a double whammy on him.

Secret Ingredient Meatloaf: What's the secret ingredient? Stuffing Mix! I know! Crazy!

Bacon-Topped Spinach Mushroom Meatloaf: Bacon. Need I say more?

Mini BBQ Cheddar Meatloaves: In Texas we like a heapin' helpin' of BBQ sauce. I'll add Armadillo Potatoes as a side dish here, and it's a Texas Style Sunday Dinner.

Meatloaf Cupcakes with Mashed Potato Frosting: Meatloaf Cupcakes calls for Macaroni & Cheese Cupcakes on the Side, don't you think?

Tasty Oatmeal Meatloaf: Also sneaky, adding oatmeal to your meatloaf. Not to mention it'll make a little hamburger go further! Great idea.



About Foodie
I hope you have fun with your next meatloaf Sunday Dinner, with one of these interesting recipes. If you've got a cool meatloaf recipe that you love, please leave a link in the comments, so we can all share! Download the Foodie app here, and this month you'll get 40 great recipes for Sunday Dinner (not just meatloaf) this month, collected by the bloggers and editors of Foodie. Fantastic!



Subscribe to Mommy's Wish List by email for other unusual recipes, tips on strategic shopping, creative parenting, being artsy, and other important things like making a lovely dinner when you secretly hate cooking.

Mommy's Wish List Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Foodie.com via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Foodie.com.
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Baskin Robbins Buy One Get One Free Ice Cream



Want to treat a friend {or kid} to an ice cream cone this week? I totally owe Luka an ice cream cone since I made him cry this morning with my April Fool's Day prank. He is still not talking to me. And he is so good at holding a grudge that can even make a mad face at me while he eats the ice cream I just bought him.

Go print this Baskin Robbins coupon here from Baskin Robbins to get your Buy One Get One Free scoop of ice cream, featuring April's Flavor of the Month: Amazing Spideman 2. Coupon good thru April 6th.



Find your nearest Baskin Robbins here. Baskin Robbins has 2700 stores in the US, surely there is one within drooling distance of your house.

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