Sea Glass Rock Candy

Sea Glass Rock Candy ~ A pretty favor gift for showers and weddings and a cute idea for kid's birthday parties! ~ The Way to His Heart #kids

When I was looking for ideas for Caroline’s Mermaid birthday party I found a slew of great sweet treat ideas. I wanted to work smarter and not harder this year since a lot has been going on around these parts. While I’ve gotten better at making large batches of cupcakes, cake pops, and decorated sugar cookies, I wanted to do something different. Now that the kids are older and can handle a little bit more sugar I decided that making straight candy would be okay. Everything in moderation, right? When I happened upon this adorable sea glass rock candy I knew I wanted to make it for the girls favor bags. I asked Caroline and got her stamp of approval! The best part is since its candy it can be made in advance and have one less thing out of the way for the days leading up to the party. I love having favor bags basically assembled and practically done at least a week before the party.

Sea Glass Rock Candy ~ A pretty favor gift for showers and weddings and a cute idea for kid's birthday parties! ~ The Way to His Heart #kids

This candy was so easy to make and a lot of fun. While it’s difficult to mess up and even if you did, you’re going to smash it anyways so looks aren’t everything here. You can use any flavor you want to and any color so you can really mix it up and personalize it. Toss it in a cellophane bag, add an adorable favor tag and ribbon, and you’re done! I saw some where people put brown sugar as sand on the bottom before placing the candy inside but since I was making these for kids I figured I’d save the parents sanity of not having brown sugar go all over the place! I think they are adorable just the way they are. Since I made some cute seashell chocolate candies for the cake I decided to throw the extras in the favor bag for a little extra.

Sea Glass Rock Candy ~ A pretty favor gift for showers and weddings and a cute idea for kid's birthday parties! ~ The Way to His Heart #kids

Sea Glass Rock Candy

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 or 2 drops food coloring (I used teal and blue)
  • 1/4 tsp candy flavoring (I used cotton candy)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar for coating

Lightly spray a 9×13″ baking sheet with cooking spray.

Add sugar, corn syrup, and water to a saucepan. Bring up to a boil, while stirring to dissolve sugar. Once boiling, stop stirring and let it bubble away until it reaches 300F on a candy thermometer. As it gets close to 300F, add in the drops of food coloring, but don’t stir, it will mix itself in.

When it reaches 300F remove from heat immediately. Stir in candy flavoring and immediately pour out onto the baking sheet. Allow to cool and harden.

Flip baking sheet over and remove the candy. Using a hammer, or something sturdy, break the candy into desired sized pieces.

Working in batches, place the candy pieces into the powdered sugar and coat well. Using a dish cloth, rub the powdered sugar off of the candy, which will leave you with a dulled, sea glass look.

Store the candy in an airtight container.

Source: The View From Great Island, Mermaid Favor Bag Tags by Rachael’s Craft Shack

 

Thank you Stonyfield for sponsoring this post. As a member of the Clean Plate Club, I’m excited to review their new Grassfed and Whole Milk yogurts. As always, the opinions expressed here are solely my own.

Stonyfield Grassfed & Whole Milk Greek Yogurt Review ~ Why This Mom Loves Their Yogurt! ~ The Way to His Heart #review #Stonyfield #yogurt

Throughout the years I’ve always tried to keep up with what foods and products I consume. Is it healthy? What are the ingredients? Is it sustainable and ethically farmed? When I became a mother those thoughts became concerns. What would I provide for my children to ensure that they grew up as healthy as they could. Providing good ingredients that would help their development and also to educate them on how to go about picking and choosing for themselves. Being a mother to two children who have had food allergies, well that just added to my daily homework. As those of you who suffer from food allergies know, reading labels is key to a happy and safe life. You, as others know, that labels with less ingredients can also be trusted more!

About two years ago my daughter, Caroline, outgrew her allergy to peanuts and eggs. I thought we were home free, but recently my son, George, has been exhibiting food allergy symptoms. What this meant was eliminating certain foods to figure out what was going on. Lots of label reading and lots of crying from him as we removed some of his favorite foods from his diet. Thankfully, we were quickly able to bring back dairy and re-introduce his favorite snack, yogurt. I’ve been a Stonyfield fan for years and recently became a member of their Clean Plate Club. Not only can I stand behind their products as a label-reading, food conscious mother, but they are also absolutely delicious.

Stonyfield Grassfed & Whole Milk Greek Yogurt Review ~ Why This Mom Loves Their Yogurt! ~ The Way to His Heart #review #Stonyfield #yogurt

When I was asked to review their new Whole Milk Greek Yogurt and Grassfed Yogurts I was excited. I honestly am not a fan of Greek yogurt. I eat it because it’s good for me and to lead by example with the children. What I loved about the Whole Milk Greek Yogurt was that the consistency wasn’t as thick as your normal Greek yogurt, but the whole milk added a richness and creaminess to it. I wasn’t left with that bite at the end. They also come with great little flavor sidecars which I love because I can see the fruit being added to it and add as little or as much as I wanted. Really, we know I’m adding “as much.” The kids loved the yogurt and had a ball with the sidecars.

The Grassfed yogurt was what I was most excited about. We purchase grassfed beef, but I hadn’t heard of grassfed dairy before. There is a good reason for that. Until recently there was no true standard for dairy. Tim Joseph of Maple Hill Creamery, the source of the milk used in Stonyfield’s 100% Grassfed yogurt, worked with Pennsylvania Certified Organic to create and protect the standard. The cows at Maple Hill Creamery are fed all grass all of the time. One of the benefits of grass fed cows is the healthy balance of omega 3 and 6. When cows are left to eat corn and grains, these balances are thrown off. Milk from cows who graze naturally on lush grass gives yogurt a rich and unique flavor. Their pH is off balance as well. So when cows are grassfed, it is healthier for the cows and for those that consume their meat and dairy! So, how did it taste? Besides the fact that it was nice to know it was better for me, we really enjoyed these. It had the consistency of a regular yogurt and the fruit was at the bottom so the kids had fun stirring it and watching the fruit flavor the yogurt and change colors. The taste of the plain yogurt was delicious, which says a lot from me since I’m not a plain yogurt fan unless I am using it for cooking or baking. The blueberry and the strawberry was fought over by the kids, but I had a “taste testing” bite of each and it was easy to tell why the kids loved it so much.

Stonyfield Grassfed & Whole Milk Greek Yogurt Review ~ Why This Mom Loves Their Yogurt! ~ The Way to His Heart #review #Stonyfield #yogurt

Being able to provide the kids with a healthy snack is important to me. Being able to provide them with a ready made snack on busy days is even more so. Nothing beats being able to provide them with something that is good for them and gives them the benefits to grow strong and healthy. All of Stonyfield products are organic, non-GMO and made without the use of artificial hormones.

I love now being a member of the Clean Plate Club since it has already given me the chance to learn so much about their farming practices. If you’re interested, take a look at the links above and read more for yourself. Let me know what you think. Have you tried their new lines yet? Do you love the taste as much as we do?

Stonyfield Grassfed & Whole Milk Greek Yogurt Review ~ Why This Mom Loves Their Yogurt! ~ The Way to His Heart #review #Stonyfield #yogurt

 

Apple Streusel Muffins with Maple Drizzle ~ Flavor packed, healthy and everything you expect in the perfect muffin ~ The Way to His Heart

Move over muffins laded with berries and sugar. I’ve found a new favorite. Don’t move over too much though, I still love you, just not as much. These muffins have been in my queue for a while now. They appeared during the fall for apple picking season and then again for maple syrup season. Then I finally made them, fell in love with them. Besides the overall package, they appealed to me because everyone in my family loved at least one of the key ingredients. I figured if they didn’t go over swimmingly since they were healthier that I could bring these ingredients up as I coerced them to eat them. There was no need. These are gobbled up immediately.

Apple Streusel Muffins with Maple Drizzle ~ Flavor packed, healthy and everything you expect in the perfect muffin ~ The Way to His Heart

Before you’ve noticed, you’ve eaten one and are going back for another. That second one you appreciate all of the flavors and complexity of the muffin. Even eaten at room temperature you have a warmth from the cooked apples and cinnamon. Oh that cinnamon is delicious too, let me tell you. Then you have that lovely brown sugar and oatmeal crunch on top. Yum! All of this is topped off with a lovely maple syrup glaze that isn’t overly sweet and just gives that perfect finishing flavor to everything. These are really the best little muffins. They can totally be considered a dessert since they have that great apple pie taste. When these are in the kitchen, the chant for “muffiiiiiins” is louder and ever more present from the kids, and my belly!

Apple Streusel Muffins with Maple Drizzle ~ Flavor packed, healthy and everything you expect in the perfect muffin ~ The Way to His Heart

Apple Streusel Muffins with Maple Drizzle

Ingredients

For the streusel:

  • 2 Tbsp old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 Tbsp spelt flour
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

For the muffins:

  • 5 oz spelt flour (about 1 cup)
  • 2.5 oz whole-wheat pastry flour (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, diced (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp water

Pre-heat oven to 400 F.

To prepare streusel, combine the first 5 ingredients in a bowl, set aside.

To prepare the muffins, combine flours, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.

Combine buttermilk, brown sugar, oil, butter, and egg in a bowl. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture, stirring until just combined.Fold in apple. Divide batter among 12 paper-lined muffin cups and top evenly with streusel.

Bake for 16 minutes to until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs clinging. Cool in a pan for 5 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely.

Combine the powdered sugar, syrup, and water in a bowl, stir until smooth. Drizzle evenly over muffins.

Serves 12

Source: Cooking Light, Sept 2014

Soft M&M Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies

Soft M&M Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies ~ Ever so soft and delicious, these are going to be your new favorite soft chocolate chip cookie recipe! ~ The Way to His Heart #cookies # holidaytreats

I know what you’re thinking. Why is she posting Valentine’s Day cookies in March? Well, I’m posting them now because I don’t want you to miss out. See past the Valentine’s Day themed M&M’s and think of any holiday themed M&M candies. Or, simply forget about the M&M’s completely and know that these are deliciously soft chocolate chip cookies. See past the fact that I made these on short notice for my daughter’s school party and thankfully had everything on had but had no time to post them before leaving for vacation. Just see the delicious cookies for what they are :)

When I had to make a last minute snack for Caroline’s school party I immediately grabbed the dessert off the potluck sheet because I knew I had something on hand. When I went into my pantry and saw that I had M&M’s, I always have candy because I’m always eating all of the candy, I knew I’d make these cookies. They are so festive and kids love them. They are also super soft and nice and thick so it really ups the wow factor for the kids. It also helps that there aren’t a ton of crumbs to clean up off of the classroom floor as well.

The trick to these cookies is adding instant pudding mix. You heard me. That gives the cookie plenty of thickness, while still keeping it soft and moist, and a lovely buttery and slightly cakey taste. Just trust me on this. If you like those “soft” batched cookies, you’ll love these. So, go ahead and make a batch for that Easter party or because it’s Tuesday. I’m not judging.

 

Soft M&M Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies ~ Ever so soft and delicious, these are going to be your new favorite soft chocolate chip cookie recipe! ~ The Way to His Heart #cookies # holidaytreats

Since George also had to lend his time to help make these class cookies I told him we rightfully earned one each as well. He couldn’t wait to get his hands on these!

Soft M&M Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies ~ Ever so soft and delicious, these are going to be your new favorite soft chocolate chip cookie recipe! ~ The Way to His Heart #cookies # holidaytreats

 

Soft M&M Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup instant vanilla pudding mix (not sugar-free or “cook & serve”) or use 2 tsp cornstarch in place of pudding mix
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt, optional and to taste
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup milk chocolate M&M’s for the dough and 1/2 cup for placing on top of cookie dough mounds

In a large bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, egg, and vanilla on medium-high speed until creamed, about 4 minutes.

Add flour, pudding mix, baking soda, and salt and beat on low speed until just combined, about 1 minute.

Stir in chocolate chips and the 3/4 cup M&M’s.

Using a 2 tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop out 20 cookies and place on a large plate. Flatten slightly and then add remaining M&M’s to the top of each dough ball . Cover the plate with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours or up to 5 days.

Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Line cookie sheet with a silpat or parchment paper.

Place cookies on sheet, about 2 inches apart, and bake for about 9 minutes or until the cookies have just set and are pale, but flossy. You do not want the typical “golden brown” on these cookies. Allow cookies to cool on the cookie sheet placed on a wire rack for about 10 minutes.

Cookies will stay fresh in an airtight container for a week.

Freezing recommendations: If baked or unbaked, it will last in freezer for 6 months.

Yields 20 cookies

Source: Averie Cooks