Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The BEST Rice Krispie Treat Recipe EVER

So to some, rice krispie treats may seem pretty simple, a basic thing to make.  Well not me.  Rice krispie treats can be bland, dry, too hard. But this should not be an issue for anyone who reads this blog…..so all three of you!!

I have perfected the rice krispie treat.


It is a pretty big statement for sure, but I can say with confidence that this is the truth.

They are delicious.  Amazing really.  Some people out there may not be able to handle them, as they can be more decadent, but if you are a rice krispie treat fan….well you will never go back.

I figured all this out from trial and error and feel these are perfect.

The secrets: (full recipe below)

1. Use 6 tablespoons of butter, rather than 3 tablespoons 
(This may seem like way too much and I am not trying to be all Paula Dean with butter.  The first day you eat them, you may think they seem like there is too much butter on account that they glisten!  But they will taste amazing.  And on day 2 or 3, you will be happy that the extra butter is in there because the rice krispie treats will seem as fresh as day 1.)

2. Use the 16oz bag of marshmallows.  Yes, the ENTIRE bag. 
(you will thank me later.)

3. Use a smaller pan (I suggest something around a 13 x 7.5) rather than a 11 x 17 
(I think we can all agree a thicker rice krispie treat is better than a thin one any day….can I get a hell yes?!)

4. Add stuff to your rice krispie treats, plain treats are out.  Ideas below.

5. Use a nonstick baking spray (the one specifically for baking) on the bottom of the pan, and also on the metal spoon you will use to press the treats down into the pan.

And the biggest secret of all:

6. Only melt ¾ of the 16 oz bag of marshmallow, save the rest to MIX in after the rice krispies have been mixed together.  This gives you semi-melted chunks of marshmallow in your rice krispie treat!


Your mind should have been blown.

And with that, I would suggest adding toppings or other “mix ins”!

In this case we used blue sprinkles because I made them for a frozen movie night!!

But I have made others, here are some:
(Note: if they have a crust, I do use a larger 11 x 17 pan as otherwise they are almost too big!)

- Sweet and Salty: I made a crushed pretzel crust* and baked that for 6-10 minutes at 400 until set and let cool and then add the rice krispies on top of that.  Then I drizzled melted chocolate over top. I mean, come on.

- Smores: Graham cracker crust, rice krispie treats and chocolate on top. *Or a layer of fudge that has harden inbetween the graham cracker crust and rice krispie treat.

- The Turtle: Drizzled Carmel, chocolate and then nuts on top of the rice krispie treat.

- Oreos – crush and mix in oreos into the rice krispies

- Your favs – Just mix in or add on top you and your kids favorites!  Sprinkles, mini (any candy), chocolate chips….whatever!

If you try this, let me know what you think! 


6 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
16 oz bag mini-marshmallows
6 cups of Rice Krispies
13 x 7.5 (ish) size pan
Non-stick Baking Spray
Whatever Mix In’s you want!

- Melt 6 tablespoons of butter (in chunks) in a microwave safe container with ¾ of the marshmallows.  (melt in 30 second intervals, stirring in between each interval so not to over cook everything.)

- Once melted, mix in all the rice krispies.  Stir and coat thoroughly and work quickly. (rice krispies covered with a perfect marshmallow blanket!)

- While still warm, stir in the remainder of the marshmallows. (I had to work fast here, so no time for more pictures!)

- Use the baking spray to spray the bottom of the pan.

- Put the rice krispie treats into the pan.

- Spray the back of a large metal spoon with cooking spray and push firmly down the treats until they are nice and firm. (you could use plastic wrap too, but we never seem to have that.)

- Don’t forget your toppings!!

- Let sit out for a bit to come together, then enjoy!

 You are welcome.

*Pretzel Crust:
- 1 ½ C. crumbled pretzels
- 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

- 2 Tbsp. packed dark brown sugar
- Bake at 400 for 6-10 minutes

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

I am a Member of the National Consumer Panel….My Purchasing Data Will Shape the Consumer Future!!!!

Ok, perhaps “shaping the consumer future” is a bit dramatic…..but I am giving my input!

So a few months ago I was looking for ways to get free stuff and earn a little extra “fun’ money, as we have none of that, so I joined a few different opinion type groups.  Most, like “Opinion Outpost” and “ShadowShopper” are easy to get in to and you can start right away.  But The National Consumer Panel took a little more time to be a part of.

So what is the NCP, you ask?


The National Consumer Panel is an operational joint venture between the two leading longitudinal consumer insights providers in the United States – IRi and Nielsen.  By recruiting, incenting, and equipping a representative sample of U.S. consumers with handheld scanning devices as well as alternative methods of data collection, the National Consumer Panel provides the highest quality, actionable consumer data to support the needs of both IRi and Nielsen. This consumer data is the raw material that powers the insights and solutions that IRi and Nielsen individually delivers to their respective clients.  

That sounds fun!!  I buy things and I love to scan things….I would be perfect.  So I filled out a survey to become a part of the NCP and waited.  Then a month later I filled out another survey for them and waited.  Then I had another survey to fill out for them to send me my stuff if selected.  A few weeks ago the packaged arrived….I was in!!!

The way it works is I get this scanner and we have to scan in EVERY purchase we make.  Gas, food, clothes, coffee, etc.  To be honest, I am still getting use to scanning every minuscule purchase in.  For each purchase you say who in the household shopped, whether discounts were used, where you shopped, then you scan the barcode and entry quantity.  (if there isn’t a barcode, they have a handy book with barcodes!) 

When you are done you enter the total spent and how you paid.  Then at least once a week or more you transmit the data to the NCP.  Then within a couple days some points appear in your account!!  You get points for weekly transmissions, if you transmit every week during the month, and for survey’s you complete.  You can then use those points for gifts or gift cards.  I have yet to make enough points to get that far, but looking forward to making even a little money for Christmas, by spending no more than normal and doing nothing more tracking my purchases!!

It can be a little time consuming because I don’t carry the scanner with me so I have to write down little things I purchase.  But for grocery trips I just lay out all the groceries, scan everything in, enter my totals, and put things away.  I usually do multiple small trips during the month at different stores to get sales; like Aldi’s once a month to stock up on canned goods, Walmart for weekly basics, Kroger when I have good coupons, and the meat market for all our meat. So scanning this stuff in take no more than 10 minutes each trip plus all those stores are on the list of stores!!  Easy.

I am getting nothing from this post, I just thought it was pretty cool and wanted to share!!

For more information or to join, click HERE.

Side note: A year ago we got selected to be a part of the Neilson TV survey for a week and record what we watch and we got $50!!!  I like to think what we watch shapes the future for TV programming everywhere!  Too dramatic again?!  Eh….

Monday, June 16, 2014

From The Mouth of Babes - Part 2

My son is a chatter box.  This is awesome and hilarious to me as he was such a late talker.  But now, the boy won’t shut up!!  (Which I actually do love)  Plus he says big words, or at least tries to say big words.  He is always surprising us and saying things you wouldn’t think a 2 ½ year old would say!  (Note to self: be careful what you say)

I wrote a post a few months back, HERE, about what he is saying and I am doing it again.  I LOVE keeping track of this stuff because it can be so easily forgotten. 

Some of my favorite things he says right now (Henry is 2 ½).

You not a child. 
“Mom, you no have this toy….you not a child.”

I not a child.
If he doesn’t want to do something you ask, like clean up toys.  “Mom, I can not do XYZ.  I not a child.”

I gots a lot of jobs to do. 
Me: “Henry, help pick up your toys.”
H: “I can’t mom, I gots a lot of jobs to do.”

(Yes, he is a busy child and always looking for ways out of his chores)

Yeah but. OR Ok but.
“Yeah but, I can’t eat that.”  “OK  but, I can’t do that.” “Yeah but, I want to do this.” 

OK, Mom.
Me: “Henry stop climbing on that”
H: “Ok, but no ask me to stop climbing. OK mom.”

Along with this one is…

You no touch this, OK?
Puts down ANYTHING “Mom, you no touch this, Ok?”

Be reasonable.
“Mom, be reasonable.”
(enough said)

Oh Man.
It is not so much the context, but rather how he says it. “Oooooh, maaaaan.”

No, I Heny.
Me: “Henry, you are silly.”
H: “I no silly, I Heny.”

Please. Please. Please. Or Hi. Hi. Hi.
He saw this on some cartoons and so he has to say those things three times.

Huh? What?
THE. BEST. Part of him saying this is the face he makes.    He will ask a question and say “huh” or “what” and snarl his lip a bit and ask a question.  It is super cute!!

What you say?!
Anytime you say something Henry doesn’t understand he says “what you say or why you say that?” with the look mentioned above.

He also thinks it is hilarious to call us Jenn and Terry instead of Mom and Dad. Sigh.

That’s weeeird.

Terry has a hard time understanding Henry.  Henry will keep trying to tell Terry what he is saying before he finally looks at me, with this frustrated face and says “MOM, daddy no get my words, tell daddy what I say.”  I am the translator around the house.

If one of us is getting mad or frustrated:
“Mommy...don't worry. It be OK. Sorry you are frustrated.” Sweet boy. 
(Thank you Daniel Tiger for teaching emotions!)

OR, sometimes he just looks at us and says….

“Hey mom (or dad), just chill.”

So Henry and I were talking about my sister, her boyfriend and their cat (Charlie) before bed and the following conversation happened:

H: why Charlie eat breafkest? (Breakfast)
Me: because he is hungry
H: but why
Me: because he runs around a lot and it makes him hungry
H: but why
Me: for the same reasons daddy and I feed you, Kristen and Josh feed Charlie.
H: yeah but......they no feed Charlie. This no charity.
Think he heard something about charity from caillou, and sure he doesn't know what it means, but hilarious nevertheless!!

He refers to his feet as Stinky Piggies.

When he passes gas we call it “toots”.  Well then I call Henry “Toots Mcgoots”.  He started saying that any time some farts.  Adorable.

Bitch.  Yeah, Terry and I are working on our swearing infront of him.  OOPS.

Along with what he is saying, there are also things I never thought I would say or talk about or do until I had a kid.

Don’t pull your penis like that!

H: “Mommy, my penis itches.”
Me: “Then scratch it.”
H: “No, you scratch it!!”
Me: “Uh, no one scratches your penis but you!!”

Don’t put your finger in your butt!!

Stop rubbing the peaches on your face and eat them.

Don’t sit on Godzilla!

Me: “Henry, don’t drink that bath water, you just peed in it!!” 
H: “Ok but, it is really really deissious!” (delicious)

Point your penis down!!!  (As I grab for it and push it down while he is peeing ALL over the toilet seat.)

Poop.  Fart. Penis.  I am glad I have the humor of a 14 year old boy because when you have a boy…..you have to be prepared for it all!!!

*TwopretzelsI promise I am not trying to copy you, I love writing these down too because they are hilarious!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Time and Loss.

Time is a funny thing.  You always think you will have more of it.  Well, at least I do.

Maybe it is wanting more time during the day to get your work done or spend with your family.

Or perhaps more time to get your chores/errands done.

Maybe more time on the weekends to do all the things that need done vs. those things you want to do.

Or more time to see those that you care about the most.

I am always looking for more time.  But that is what tomorrows are for, right?!  That is what I have always said.  Oh, I didn’t get to XYZ today….I will do it tomorrow…or next week….or next month….

But again, time is a funny thing and sometimes, completely out of the blue when you think there is plenty of time left, the reality smacks you right in the face that there is just no more time left.

I write this post for myself as a memory.  A reminder of just how precious time is.