Holiday Popcorn (AKA Christmas Crack!)

Looking for a yummy holiday popcorn recipe? This popcorn is loaded with YUM like M&Ms, pretzels and more. It's so addicting we call it Christmas Crack!

We do a lot of holiday gatherings this time of year, and even though we are always cooking and feeding the masses, the kids are always “hungry.” I can make this popcorn in about 10 minutes, and kids and adults alike love it. Beware! This holiday popcorn (we also call it Christmas Crack…others call it white trash popcorn) is addicting. Make a double batch because it goes quick!

Holiday Popcorn (AKA Christmas Crack!)

Christmas Crack!
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Ingredients

  • 1 bag of buttered microwave popcorn
  • 2 cups dry roasted peanuts
  • 2 cups rice chex cereal
  • 2 cups of pretzels
  • 1 package of vanilla flavored Candiquik (you can find it on the bakery aisle of the grocery store)
  • M&Ms or any other candy you want to throw in there
  • 18 Ghirardelli Melting Wafers (or a bar of melted chocolate)
  • Sprinkles or colored sugar if you want to get really festive

Instructions

  1. Pop the popcorn as directed on the package.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the nuts, cereal, pretzels, candy, and popcorn.
  3. Prepare the Candiquik as directed on the package. Pour the melted candy coating on top of the other ingredients and mix until all of the pieces have the candy coating on them.
  4. Transfer to a piece of wax paper.
  5. Melt the chocolate as directed on the package. Drizzle over the top of the popcorn mixture.
  6. Shake sprinkles over the top of the popcorn.
  7. Let cool for about 10 minutes. Break apart and serve.
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Looking for a yummy holiday popcorn recipe? This popcorn is loaded with YUM like M&Ms, pretzels and more. It's so addicting we call it Christmas Crack!

The great thing about this holiday popcorn recipe is that it’s versatile. Leave the nuts out or add your favorites. Use Reese’s Pieces instead of M&Ms. Use different cereal. Add in other things that your family loves. The sky’s the limit!

This is a favorite holiday recipe, but I have lots others too! Like these Champagne Jello Shots, these Amaretto Truffles, and my Perfectly Imperfect Peppermint Truffles.

I’ve also got lots of other tips and tricks for keeping Santa alive and making your holidays easy to get through! Here are some of my favorites:

The Elf On The Shelf Warning Note All Parents Need

ABC Family’s 25 Days Of Christmas 2015

How To Make Candy Cane Vodka

Silly Christmas Decorations: The Story Of The Christmas Pickle

5 Holiday Cleaning Tips (For When You Don’t Have Time To Clean)

The Sparkle Box: A Must Read Christmas Story For Your Family

Tracking Santa: 5 Ways To Get In Touch With Santa Claus

How To Get A Letter From Santa Postmarked From The North Pole!

You can also check out my All Things Christmas and Elf on the Shelf Ideas boards on Pinterest.

Chicken Pesto Pizza (Loaded With YUM!)

Pizza. Pesto. Cheese. Bacon. These are a few of my favorite things. So when I found this pin for Garlicky Kale and Chicken Pizza, I knew we had to try it.

We tried it, and it was good, but it was kinda blah.

If you love pizza, why not make your own at home?! This Chicken pesto pizza is loaded with YUM...bacon, kale, garlic, mushrooms, and alfredo sauce. Kids love it!

So I took everybody’s advice for what would make it better – maybe some alfredo sauce, bacon, mushrooms….less chicken, more kale and pesto – and re-created the pizza again. This chicken pesto pizza is really delicious. It’s also very simple to make!

Chicken Pesto Pizza

If you’re all kinds of fancy, you can make your own pizza dough as instructed here. If you take shortcuts and save yourself time when you can, do what I do and stop at Trader Joe’s and get ready made dough. Often times, your local pizza parlor will sell you dough too! If you love pizza, why not make your own at home?! This Chicken pesto pizza is loaded with YUM...bacon, kale, garlic, mushrooms, and alfredo sauce. Kids love it!

Follow the instructions on the package, and while the dough is resting, you’re going to saute your garlic and mushrooms with your bacon and a little bit of olive oil  for a few minutes. Then add in the kale and cook until it wilts. After that, throw in the chicken and some alfredo sauce and mix it all up. It can rest there until you’re ready for it.

If you love pizza, why not make your own at home?! This Chicken pesto pizza is loaded with YUM...bacon, kale, garlic, mushrooms, and alfredo sauce. Kids love it!

Next, roll out the dough and put it on a pizza stone in the oven or directly on your outside grill. Cook it until it starts to get brown, about 8 minutes or so.

If you love pizza, why not make your own at home?! This Chicken pesto pizza is loaded with YUM...bacon, kale, garlic, mushrooms, and alfredo sauce. Kids love it!

Take it off, and let it rest for about 5 minutes. Add a bunch of pesto to the crust. According to my family, you can never over-pesto anything. Then add all of your chicken mixture to the top of the pizza and top with mozzarella cheese.

If you love pizza, why not make your own at home?! This Chicken pesto pizza is loaded with YUM...bacon, kale, garlic, mushrooms, and alfredo sauce. Kids love it!

Terrible picture, I know.

Throw it back in the oven or on the grill another five to ten minutes, and boom! You’ve got the best Chicken Pesto Pizza you’ve ever tasted.

If you love pizza, why not make your own at home?! This Chicken pesto pizza is loaded with YUM...bacon, kale, garlic, mushrooms, and alfredo sauce. Kids love it!

Now if you’re like me and want the actual recipe, here’s the recipe for my Chicken Pesto Pizza.

Chicken Pesto Pizza (Loaded With Kale, Bacon, Garlic and More!)
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Ingredients

  • Premade pizza dough (or you can make your own - get the recipe here )
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 ounces bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 2 cups kale, chopped
  • 8 ounces of mushrooms
  • 2 cooked chicken breasts, cubed or shredded
  • 1 cup Alfredo sauce
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 small jar of pesto (or make your own!)
  • 2-1/2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Instructions

  1. Let the dough rest as instructed on the dough package. Lightly flour your work area and knead the dough for no longer than 5 minutes.
  2. Line a baking sheet or a pizza pan with foil and spray it with cooking spray. Spread pizza dough onto the pan, using the palm of your hands and fingers to stretch it out to about a 1-inch thickness. It totally doesn't have to be perfect.
  3. Bake in a 400 F oven or on the grill for 8 minutes; remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes.
  4. While the dough is cooking, prepare the chicken mixture. Heat olive oil in a nonstick skillet; add garlic and bacon and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
  5. Add the kale and mushrooms to the skillet and cook for 2 minutes, or until wilted. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Add the chicken and Alfredo sauce and stir until mixture is coated.
  7. Brush the pesto on to pizza dough. Add the chicken/kale mixture to the top, and top with the mozzarella cheese.
  8. Bake until cheese is bubbly and dough is thoroughly baked (about another 10-15 minutes.)
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We’ve tried to cook it both ways: on the grill and in the oven, and it’s delicious no matter how you do it. Our newest favorite thing to do though is to grill pizzas, and we’ve been getting pretty creative! So if you have any more fun ideas, please send them my way.

You could also cut this into squares and serve it as a tasty appetizer. It won’t last though so you might want to make 2!

If you love pizza, why not make your own at home?! This Chicken pesto pizza is loaded with YUM...bacon, kale, garlic, mushrooms, and alfredo sauce. Kids love it!

If you have a pizza recipe that your family loves that you’d like to have featured on Mommy of a Monster, find out how here.

Kid-Approved Crispy Kale Chips

Summer’s on its way, which means my annual diet is too. I’m always looking for healthy recipes that don’t taste like “diet food”, and this one for Crispy Kale Chips is definitely a keeper!

Jess and Sonia, head foodies over at Damn Delish, shared this recipe with me. I had some kale sitting in the fridge that I needed to use, so I thought I’d try the recipe out myself! It literally takes a minute to throw together and in ten minutes you have a yummy snack that will make you forget about potato chips and french fries…well, almost make you forget about them.

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Yum

Crispy Kale Chips

 

Crispy Kale Chips
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Ingredients

  • 1 bunch of fresh kale (remove leaves from the stalk and cut in to bit sized pieces)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp course sea salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Toss kale in olive oil until fully covered, and spread out on a cookie sheet.
  3. Sprinkle with sea salt and garlic.
  4. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until edges of the leaves are brown.

Notes

Other add on ideas: lemon (freshly squeezed or maybe lemon powder), red pepper flakes, and salt and vinegar.

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  This recipe for Crispy Kale Chips is kid approved! Ethan actually suggested adding lemon to it, so next time we make Crispy Kale Chips (tomorrow), we’ll be adding some lemon salt, too!

Looking for a healthy snack that the kids will love and ask for more of? This crispy kale chips recipe definitely fits the bill, and only takes 10 minutes or so to make!
Yum

For more healthy recipes that taste good, visit my Healthy Eats and Drinks Pinterest board.

Now head over and visit Jess and Sonia at Damn Delish and make sure to follow them on Pinterest, too!

Trying to get ready for summer and bathing suits? These crispy kale chips will satisfy your craving for potato chips (or other salty snacks) and makes a great snack. It only takes three ingredients and 10 minutes to make! Bonus: It's kid-approved!


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Cream Cheese Fruit Dip Recipe

Yes, I know I’m a day early, but I was excited to share this recipe! Over the weekend, we celebrated Easter at my brother and sister-in-law’s place. Because there are so many of us, we always do our get togethers potluck style. I usually bring an appetizer or dessert. I found this recipe on Kraft’s website for a creamy coconut dip and thought it would be yummy with apples or graham crackers. It was yummy, but I thought it needed a little bit of a flavor boost, so I added a couple more ingredients and I can now claim this a new family favorite: Cream Cheese Fruit Dip.

Looking for a quick and easy cream cheese fruit dip recipe? This one is perfect! It's just 5 ingredients and can be served as an appetizer or as a dessert! Yum

It’s smooth and creamy and super easy to make! The kids are eating some with apples as I’m writing this! It’s also versatile because you can serve this as an appetizer or as a dessert.

Cream Cheese Fruit Dip

Looking for a quick and easy cream cheese fruit dip recipe? This one is perfect! It's just 5 ingredients and can be served as an appetizer or as a dessert! Yum

While the Kraft recipe only called for 3 ingredients, I added just a couple more to make it more flavorful.

Cream Cheese Fruit Dip
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Ingredients

  • 1 pkg. (8 oz.) Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 can (15 oz.) cream of coconut
  • 1 tub (16 oz.) Whipped Topping (like Cool Whip), thawed
  • 1 cup Shredded Coconut
  • 1-1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese and cream of coconut with wire whisk or hand mixer until well blended.
  2. Stir in the whipped topping, shredded coconut, and vanilla until well blended.
  3. Cover.
  4. Refrigerate several hours or until chilled.
  5. Serve with apples, pineapple, or your favorite fruits. It's good with graham crackers and pretzels, too!

Notes

RECIPE TIP: Make sure the cream cheese is very soft and that the whipped topping is fully thawed. Otherwise it will not come out creamy.

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And that’s it! This cream cheese fruit dip will have everybody asking you for the recipe. And because it’s so simple to make, it’s easy for anybody to make.

RECIPE TIP: Make sure the cream cheese is very soft and that the whipped topping is fully thawed. Otherwise it will not come out creamy. And I’m thinking that you could actually use this as a base for a fruit salad if you cut the cream cheese in half. That’s my next mission.

INGREDIENT TIP: Cream of coconut is not the same thing as coconut milk. You’ll find cream of coconut at the grocery store where they sell cocktail mixers. This is a sample of one of the most popular ones out there.  Looking for a quick and easy cream cheese fruit dip recipe? This one is perfect! It's just 5 ingredients and can be served as an appetizer or as a dessert!

 

Looking for a quick and easy cream cheese fruit dip recipe? This one is perfect! It's just 5 ingredients and can be served as an appetizer or as a dessert!

Looking for more appetizer or dip recipes? You’ll find them on my Appetizers and Dips board on Pinterest. I’ve got lots of great dessert ideas on my Desserts board, too!

Follow Natalie Hoage – Mommy of a Monster’s board Appetizers & Dips on Pinterest.

 

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2 Minute Guacamole Recipe

I think it’s safe to say that if you’ve been reading Mommy of a Monster for any length of time that you know I’m a sucker for appetizer and dip recipes. They are kinda my thing, and I’m always looking for new ones or spins on classics. And that’s just what Amy from Beloved Atmosphere is sharing today. She’s taking the classic guacamole recipe and making it quick and easy – she’s sharing her 2 minute guacamole recipe.

Want to make guacamole in a flash? Check out this 2 minute guacamole recipe and a video for her to properly pit an avocado. Includes links to other appetizer and dip recipes.

After several years of travelling the world, stumbling through parenthood and being a teacher & personal tutor, Amy’s charitable gift to those wiser than she is saving them from repeating her family’s slip-ups in World Travel, Parenting, Education, Cooking, DIY+more. Her fun-loving, humorous style shines in her stories of adventure and mishaps. Come on over to Beloved Atmosphere and hang awhile. You’re guaranteed a laugh. Hey, you may even learn something new! So I’m going to let Amy tell you how to prepare her 2 minute guacamole recipe.

2 Minute Guacamole Recipe

2 Minute Guacamole Recipe
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Ingredients

  • 1 ripe avocado (hass, bacon or fuerte varieties work well)
  • 2 tablespoons medium chunky salsa (Chi-Chiâ??s, Trader Joeâ??s Autentica or Old El Paso are best)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Goya Adobo spice, to taste (optional)

Instructions

  1. Slice and pit the avocado (see my instructional video below for simple instructions).
  2. Using a spoon, scoop out both halves of the avocado and place the â??meatâ? into a medium-sized mixing bowl.
  3. Using a fork, mash the avocado to the desired consistency for your guacamole.
  4. Add 2 Tablespoons of chunky salsa. Gently incorporate into avocado mixture.
  5. Sprinkle in and incorporate the salt, pepper and Adobo spice (if desired), to taste.
  6. Serve with tortilla chips, fresh cut-up vegetables or anything you love to pair with guacamole!
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Want to make guacamole in a flash? Check out this 2 minute guacamole recipe and a video for her to properly pit an avocado. Includes links to other appetizer and dip recipes.

Yum! Amy’s 2 minute guacamole recipe sounds so good and quick and easy to make…just my style! If you are looking for more appetizer and dip recipes, make sure to check out my board Appetizers & Dips on Pinterest.

Want to make guacamole in a flash? Check out this 2 minute guacamole recipe and a video for her to properly pit an avocado. Includes links to other appetizer and dip recipes.

And Amy’s also included a bonus with her recipe. She shows us how simple it is to properly pit an avocado – watch Amy’s YouTube Video of How to Pit an Avocado.

Now head over and visit Amy at Beloved Atmosphere and make sure to like her Facebook page and follow her on Twitter, too!

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