This post brought to you by World Market. All opinions are 100% mine.
Father's Day is coming soon! Do you have your Father’s Day Gifts yet? In our family, we are big on making sure the gift recipient will love their gift. Often times that means that the recipient goes shopping too.
As a family we headed out to Cost Plus World Market to see what great items we could find for Dad. We found a ton of great gift ideas like:
- Fancy sodas
- Dad's rootbeer
- A musical tie
- Smoothie Express Smoother Maker
- Tons of grilling accessories
- An electric bug zapper
- plus tons more
Dad ended up picking a grill pan for vegetables, a pizza stone, and a cast iron grill/griddle for the stovetop. I also picked up some fun skewers for the grill. Even though we were shopping for Dad, I was not going to pass up a great sale!
We don't get too many dates out, so we decided it would be fun to have a little mini grill date. We fed the kids a little early and then we grilled up some chicken and squash with onions on the new grill pan and enjoyed our nice meal together.
The squash was so delicious and easy to do! You simply slice some zucchini, yellow crookneck squash, and onions. Drizzle on olive oil and toss to coat. Then cook it out on the grill in the Non-stick grilling skillet. It went so well with the grilled chicken.
World Market has a great sweepstakes going on right now, called Dad's Day Sweepstakes. Facebook fans of Cost Plus World Market can enter for a chance to win one of 4 Weekly Grand Prize Packages: $1,000 World Market gift card for you and a $1,000 World Market gift card for dad to celebrate his special day!
Participants can earn bonus entries for liking World Market on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram & Tumblr (via World Market's Facebook page) for more chances to win.
So what are you waiting for? Nominate your Dad here!
We have a gamer Dad in our family. In past years, I have made some fun Mario Father's Day cards. Recently, our household has been taken over by Minecraft. Have you heard of it? Minecraft is a game that lets players build a world using 3D building blocks. All the animation in the game looks 8-bit or pixelated. I don't play, but my husband and son are obsessed, so I know a lot about it.
In the game, the player character is referred to as the Player, or some people call him Steve. I thought it would be fun for the kids to make a Father's Day card with a collage of Steve on the front. The best part is, that you can customize your card to look like your own Dad.
The inside of the card reads, "You're no Creeper! You are the best Dad in the whole Overworld!" The inside of the card features a Creeper, which is a bad guy that sneaks up behind you and explodes. The Overworld is the name of the main land you are playing in.
Okay, now let's make one of these cards for the Minecrafter in your life.
- Card Printout PDF: Minecraft Father's Day Card Template
- Steve Color Guide (See below)
- Paper cut into 1/2" squares for the collage.
- Elmer's Naturals glue
- Print out the Minecraft Father's Day card on cardstock. You will need to print page 1, then reinsert the paper to print page 2 on the back. You may need to experiment with how your printer feeds, to get it right.
- Print out the Steve color guide, or at least keep it handy for reference. I didn't list it, but cut out two white square for the whites of the eyes.
- I put a 4"x4" box on the card to use a guide for the collage. It is very helpful in keeping the lines straight. Using Elmer's Naturals glue work line by line to place the appropriate colored squares. To look a little more authentic, try using different hues of the same color. For example, my daughter used three different brown papers for the hair, and two different for the skin tone. You can see the process in the collage below.
My daughter loves to craft and would do activities like this all day long. My son however, is not that interested in art projects and he never has been. That all changed when I showed him it was a Minecraft project, he was so excited.
We got to try out the new Elmer's Naturals glue for this project and we really enjoyed it. Elmer's Naturals Glue is made from plants and is just as safe and non-toxic as Elmer’s School Glue. In addition, the glue stick containers are made from 25% post-industrial recycled plastic. What's most important to me is that it worked. It was nice and sticky, and it cleaned up easily.
Elmer's is currently having a pin to win sweepstakes. All the directions can be found below. It's easy to enter, just pin your favorite upcycled creations and you could win an Elmer's Naturals prize back and a $100 gift card. You can connect with Elmer's on Facebook for more information too.
This post brought to you by Private Selection. All opinions are 100% mine.
May 12 was National Nutty Fudge Day and May 15 is Chocolate Chip Day. It is no wonder that I have desserts on the brain. I am really excited that I have the opportunity to tell you about the new Upside Down Cakes from Private Selection.
The Private Selection brand is a premium private label brand carried exclusively at the Kroger Family of Stores and affiliated stores including: Baker’s, City Market, Dillons, Fry’s, Gerbes, Pay Less, QFC, JayC, King Soopers, Owen’s, Ralphs, Smith’s and Fred Meyer.
I have tried many different Private Selection products in the past, and I concur that they are premium quality without the premium price. I have not yet tried the Upside Down Cakes, but I plan on doing so. They have three different flavors, so there is cake for any taste. They taste like homemade, because they use only the best ingredients.
I do a fair bit of dinner entertaining in the summer months, and I really hate turning on the oven. That means I usually skip dessert, or we go with a store bought or semi-homemade option. The Private Selection cakes can be heated in the microwave which is very appealing to me.
The Private Selection Upside Down Cakes are easy to prepare. You only need to warm, flip, and serve. The flavor choices include:
- German Chocolate Fudge – with the classically irresistible combination of gooey caramel, pecans and coconut
- Double Chocolate Molten – prepared with real butter, eggs, milk, and the finest semi-sweet chocolate
- Amber Honey Apple Spice – topped with apple slices drenched in a sweet amber honey glaze.
I think I really want to try the Amber Honey Apple Spice followed by the German Chocolate Fudge. Yum! I have some good news. Private Selection is trying to Spread the Love about their Upside Down Cakes by offering a coupon. You can visit the Private Selection Upside Down Cakes coupon to receive a coupon for $1 off. If you want an even better coupon, you can share the Private Selection Upside Down Cakes on Facebook and receive a $2 off coupon. You can also visit Private Selection Upside Down Cakes on Pinterest. I highly recommend checking out the Decadent Desserts board. There are some very delicious pins on there.
You can use the store locator to find the location nearest you that carries the Private Selection Upside Down Cakes.
What are your quick fix dessert options? I would love to get some inspiration! Please leave me a comment with your best ideas.
Disclaimer: Coupon ends 6/2/13. Official Rules. In order to load these coupons to your card, you will need to sign into your Kroger account or set up a Kroger account and enter your card number. Limit one use per digital coupon. Digital offers are not eligible on Manager's Specials, cannot be combined with manufacturer paper coupons on the purchase of a single item, and do not double. Not all items are available in all stores. A limit of 150 coupons can be loaded per household at one time.
Today's recipe is heavenly. It is the dessert I request every year for my birthday. I am a real sucker for the combination of caramel, chocolate, and nuts.
Caramel German Chocolate Bars
- 1 German Chocolate Cake Mix
- 1 can evaporated milk
- 3/4 cup melted butter
- 1 14 oz package of caramels
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 12 oz package of chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour a 9x13" baking dish and set aside. Unwrap the caramels if necessary.
- Combine the cake mix 1/3 cup evaporated milk, chopped walnuts, and the 3/4 cup melted butter. Hand stir until the dough holds together.
- Add half of the dough mixture to the greased and floured pan and bake for 6 minutes.
- Meanwhile, melt the caramels with 1/3 cup evaporated milk over medium heat. Stir continually, so you don't burn the caramel. Note: You can also melt the caramel and evaporated milk in the microwave. Heat for 30 second intervals stirring in between, until completely melted.
- After the mix has come out of the oven, pour the caramel over the cooked dough. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top of the caramel and spoon on the remaining dough.
Here is what the bars look like before they go back into the oven for final cooking.
- Bake for 18 minutes at 350° F. Cool completely and store in refrigerator.
- To serve: The bars slice best when they are chilled. Slice when cold and let sit a few minutes before serving.
These are so gooey and delicious that it is unbelievable. I also love how it looks. I like that you can see these veins of caramel and chocolate chips running through the dessert. Yum! Is your mouth watering yet?
Note: I varied a little from the written directions. My daughter has nut allergies, so I sprinkled the walnuts on half of the caramel, instead of mixing it into the batter. It is delicious either way!
If you make it, I would love to hear about it! Let me know how you like it in the comments. Be sure and check out the other delicious chocolate recipes that are being shared this week in the linky below.
What does your family have planned for Mother's Day weekend? Our schedule is jam packed with pretty typical things. Our family will be juggling a soccer game, yard sale, two family birthday parties, work, church, and hopefully some time to relax and spend with our Mothers. I think I'm going to need a second weekend to recuperate from my Mother's Day weekend.
Even though things will be busy, I'm looking forward to spending time with both my Mother and my Mother-in-law. We are extremely fortunate to live close to family and we get to spend time with them often. I do find sometimes, that I take it for granted how often we get to see them. I catch myself sometimes browing Pinterest, checking my Instagram, or updating Facebook when I should really be fully engaged with that's happening with the family. I've been in conversation before where the other person is engrossed in their smart phone and not actively listening. It is no fun. I really need to work on that!
MetLife came up with a pretty brilliant concept called the #SocialBlackout movement. The idea is stay off social media on Mother's Day so you can give Mom the time and attention she deserves! MetLife created a Facebook event that you can join here: http://on.fb.me/ZHDxFu . The Facebook event has a really funny tagline. It says, "The only RSVP you don't have to show up for."
I love the idea of disconnecting for the day to focus on family. Just think, if we can spread awareness of this movement, you won't even be missing anything on your social media sites that day.
I know that not everyone will be able to spend the day with their Mother, but I encourage you to participate anyway. You can spend some time honoring your mother in some way, or spend the day focusing on yourself. It's amazing how much calmer and clear headed I feel when I don't have dings and beeps from my devices going off all the time.
So I have I convinced you yet? Are you going to join me in the #SocialBlackout this Mother's Day? You can even change your profile pictures to that cute Snoopy picture to help get the word out. MetLife has a Facebook page set-up so you can get more information: https://www.facebook.com/metlife.
I hope you have a wonderful Mother's Day weekend, no matter how you spend it!
Asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables. I don't remember when I first tried it, but I remember liking it a lot growing up. I will tell you this, please don't buy canned asparagus. Yuck! Fresh is the way to go.
Today I am sharing one of my favorite ways to eat asparagus. It is oven roasted asparagus with Parmesan cheese.
Oven Roasted Parmesan Asparagus
- 1 lb asparagus
- Olive Oil
- shaved or grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 450° F.
- Prepare your asparagus by washing and snapping the rough ends off. The asparagus will naturally snap at the right spot. These ensures you will have nice tender asparagus.
- Lightly drizzle olive oil over the asparagus and toss to coat.
- Sprinkle with pepper and Parmesan cheese.
- Heat in the oven 12-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the asparagus is tender, but still crisp.
- Serve immediately.
I served this with grilled chicken and some pretzel dinner rolls. The whole dinner was so tasty. I hope you check out what some of the other bloggers made with asparagus this week! Oh and May is National Asparagus month, so why not head out to the grocery store and pick up some asparagus to celebrate?