My 3 Monsters: 2017

Recent Posts

12.28.2017

DIY || Super Easy Farmhouse Frame Tutorial -- no fancy tools required!

I've cracked the code, y'all!  Make your own rustic farmhouse frames with some simple 1x3 pine and a staple gun.  It's so simple you'll kick yourself for not thinking of it first!


I cracked the code y'all!  Make your own rustic farmhouse frames, even if you don't have any fancy tools.  Find out how at my3monsters.com
Hi guys!!  I’m back.  It’s been a while. As recently as a week ago I honestly didn’t know if I would ever start blogging again.   I didn’t ever plan to take a break, but here we are 8 months later, so . . . I guess I took a break.  Life happens, situations change, and we all just do our best to adapt.  We recently sent our daughter – our oldest and first to leave home – on an 18 month mission for our church in Tallahassee, Florida.  Our second child is a senior in high school this year and will likely be leaving on his own church mission next summer. I work as a school nurse all day, err’ day. My husband and I work with the 10 and 11 year old children at church, and my house is a disaster, like all the time.  I struggled for over a year to balance a full-time job, three teenage kids, my happy marriage, my faith, and the blog.  Something had to give to save my sanity and the choice was obvious. 

But I missed blogging.  I missed it so much!  I’ve continued to create things for my home. I’ll admit it has been nice to not stop and take step-by-step photos for tutorials, but still, a little bit of me always missed it.  I’ve even kept a list of project ideas I wanted to share with y’all. Plus, I couldn't stand looking at those chocolate creme crepes on my home page for one more minute. So, I guess I’m back. But seriously, the turning point was when I completed one of my most recent projects and it turned out so good.  Like, seriously, SO GOOD!  And when I looked on Pinterest I didn’t really see anything else exactly like it, so I knew I HAD to share.  It was a sign – literally and figuratively!!


I cracked the code y'all!  Make your own rustic farmhouse frames, even if you don't have any fancy tools.  Find out how at my3monsters.com
I’ve been slowly updating our home to add some touches of my current obsession with quaint, modern farmhouse style, a la the iconic Joanna Gaines.  I know, I know.  Everyone is doing it right now.  I don’t even care.  I’m doing it, too, with my own little flavor added in.  When I stripped and refinished my dining room furniture and hung new curtains this summer, I knew I needed new artwork to finish it off.  I LOVED my old Living Christ and Family Proclamation printables, but they just weren’t quite working for me anymore.


I cracked the code y'all!  Make your own rustic farmhouse frames, even if you don't have any fancy tools.  Find out how at my3monsters.com
I’m obsessed with old barn wood signs and chunky weathered wood frames.  I have been wanting to try making my own for a while now, but it seemed overwhelming.  I don’t own any fancy tools or have any woodworking skills.  I am, however, naïve enough to think that I could “figure it out” with what I had on hand – a staple gun.  And I’m happy to report that I did!!  I knew I wanted something bigger and more substantial than the pictures I had hung before, so I designed new Family Proclamation and Living Christ printables in 16x20 size and bought canvases to match.  (You can use any size you want, though.  My example in the tutorial photos below is just a little 8x10 frame for a family portrait I drew.  It will work the same way no matter what size you choose.)  With just a few inexpensive materials and a simple $10 staple gun, I made my own chunky wood farmhouse framed signs and YOU CAN, TOO!!!


I cracked the code y'all!  Make your own rustic farmhouse frames, even if you don't have any fancy tools.  Find out how at my3monsters.com



Easy Farmhouse Frame Tutorial

You will need:

a staple gun and staples
a framed canvas in the desired size
Mod Podge or double stick tape
1x3 pine boards (enough to cover the perimeter of your canvas plus several inches)
paint or stain
construction adhesive
printable art work (Get my 16x20 Living Christ and Family Proclamation printable here.)

Using Mod Podge or strong double stick tape, mount your printable to the canvas.  Allow time to dry if you use Mod Podge. Also, if you use Mod Podge, I recommend using the matte finish as it is a little more rustic and natural looking than gloss finish.

Paint or stain your 1x3 pine boards to your desired color and allow to dry.

Cut 2 pieces of 1x3 pine board to fit the longer sides of your canvas.  For my 8x10 example I cut 2 pieces, each 10” long.  I used a miter saw, but I did not miter the corners.  Just cut them straight.  You could use a miter box and a hand saw or have your wood cut in the store when you buy it.


I cracked the code y'all!  Make your own rustic farmhouse frames, even if you don't have any fancy tools.  Find out how at my3monsters.com
Attach the wood pieces to the canvas by applying a bead of construction adhesive down the side of the canvas, butting the wood right up against it, and securing with several staples in the back as shown.  It won’t feel very secure at this point, but trust me!!


I cracked the code y'all!  Make your own rustic farmhouse frames, even if you don't have any fancy tools.  Find out how at my3monsters.com
Place your canvas on top of a book or something solid that is just thick enough to make the back of the wood canvas frame sit flush with the 1x3 wood piece while you staple.


I cracked the code y'all!  Make your own rustic farmhouse frames, even if you don't have any fancy tools.  Find out how at my3monsters.com
Next measure across the top of your picture from outside edge of the wood piece to outside edge of the opposite wood piece.  (Measure more carefully than I am in the picture -- it's hard to take a picture with one hand and measure with the other!) Cut 2 pieces of 1x3 pine to this measurement. Paint or stain the cut edges of the pine board to match the rest of the frame and allow to dry.


I cracked the code y'all!  Make your own rustic farmhouse frames, even if you don't have any fancy tools.  Find out how at my3monsters.com
Attach the top and bottom frame pieces in the same manner as you did the side pieces.


I cracked the code y'all!  Make your own rustic farmhouse frames, even if you don't have any fancy tools.  Find out how at my3monsters.com
To firm everything up, add a couple of staples at each corner as shown above.

Allow the adhesive to dry and you’re finished!


I cracked the code y'all!  Make your own rustic farmhouse frames, even if you don't have any fancy tools.  Find out how at my3monsters.com
It’s rustic with the exposed staples on the corners, but I kind of like that.  It’s farmhouse-y.  If the staples bother you, I think you could remove them once the adhesive has set up, but don’t quote me on that – I haven’t tried it.  Now that I’ve “cracked the code” to making simple rustic farmhouse-y frames, I’m afraid my walls are going to be covered in them.


I cracked the code y'all!  Make your own rustic farmhouse frames, even if you don't have any fancy tools.  Find out how at my3monsters.com
This little sign is one I made using a scrap piece of wood I had in my garage instead of a canvas.  I also stenciled my design onto the wood instead of using a printable, but the framing was done in the same way as I showed you above.


I cracked the code y'all!  Make your own rustic farmhouse frames, even if you don't have any fancy tools.  Find out how at my3monsters.com
Once you have it figured out, there is no end to what you can create with this technique.  I already have a couple other signs in the works to share later – you’ll see!!  What will you create with some 1x3’s and a staple gun??

4.04.2017

FOOD || Chocolate Crème Crepes featuring Edwards Hershey Crème Pie



This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SameTasteNewLook #CollectiveBias

Hi guys! Can I just expound for a moment on a favorite subject of mine?  Pie.  If you follow me on Instagram or check out my Recipes page, you will see that I am a big fan of pie!  For at least the last 20 years -- since I married my husband – we have celebrated my birthday with a delicious chocolate pie.  He’s not much of a baker.  I mean, he can bake, it’s just not something he enjoys as much as I do and I’m OK with that because it means he always buys me a heavenly Edwards Hershey Crème Pie.  Some of our friends {and children} think it’s a little weird to have pie for your birthday instead of cake, but I never hear anyone complaining when they are scarfing down my delicious pie!  I tend to think of pie as a “special occasion dessert”, reserved for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and my birthday.  The truth is, Edwards pies are so simple and delicious you can eat them to celebrate most any occasion, including surviving a long, hard week of work {can I get an Amen?!}, or a simple hankering for creamy chocolate dessert!

This past week I was experiencing both of the aforementioned "occasions", so when I stopped at Walmart on my way home from work on Friday to stock up on groceries for the weekend, I threw a couple of Edwards pies into the cart along with the milk, eggs, and cereal on my list.  I love the new design of the packaging – like a party in a box.  Rest assured, they may have a new look, but you’ll get the same amazing flavor as always!   

I was feeling a little creative, so with a tiny little bit of effort I transformed my favorite Edwards Hershey Crème Pie into Chocolate Crème Crepes and blew my family away!   You’ll have to deconstruct the pie, which feels like a bit of a sacrilege, but you’ll get over it when you see {and taste} the end result, trust me.  Here’s how:

You’ll start by removing the whipped cream from around the top edge of the pie.  I thawed my pie first, but I think it would be easier, and the cream would hold its shape better, if you removed it while it was still frozen.  I used a frosting spreader and carefully lifted the whipped cream off the pie and onto a plate.  Put the plate of whipped cream dollops back into the refrigerator until ready to serve.

When the pie is completely thawed according to package directions, carefully scoop all the filling out of the crust and into a mixing bowl.  Try not to get any crust in the bowl.  It’s OK if you get a little, so don’t stress about it!

Whip the filling with your mixer, or blend it by hand with a spoon, until it looks like fluffy, yummy chocolate mousse.  Refrigerate the filling until ready to serve.

Crumble the chocolate pie crust and set aside.  You will use this as a crunchy topping for your crepes.

Next you will need 8-10 crepes.  My husband makes amazing crepes from scratch using this simple Basic Crepes recipe. I didn’t do it this time, but decided while eating them that it would be super-yummy if you replaced ¼ cup of flour in the crepe recipe with ½ cup of crumbled cookie crust.  If you’ve never made crepes from scratch before, don’t be intimidated!  It’s not at all difficult, but you could also buy refrigerated store-bought crepes if you prefer.  

Fill each crepe with a couple of spoonfuls of chocolate filling and roll up.  Place crepes seam-side down on a serving plate.  Top with crumbled cookie crust and a few whipped cream dollops.  For over-the-top decadence, drizzle some hot fudge or chocolate sauce on top and sprinkle on a few slivered almonds.  {I plan to do that next time!} 

These crepes were a huge hit with my boys.  You could do the same thing with any of the delicious Edwards pies – I mean, how yummy would Key Lime Crepes be for an Easter dessert?  Or Reese's Peanut Butter Crème Crepes for a night with your girlfriends?  I had planned to make Turtle Crème Crepes using that second pie, but it didn't survive my teenage boys and their friends on Friday night.  I can't blame them -- it really is irresistible. Use your imagination and go crazy with it next time you’re celebrating something big – or small!! 

Happy Spring, y'all!!

Amy


3.02.2017

My Jenny Craig Journey: Two Months In


Thank you Jenny Craig for sponsoring this post. -- Get serious about losing weight with Jenny Craig!

Hi guys!  I’ve been anxious to write this post today.  As you know, I decided back in January to make 2017 the Year of Me – the year I finally made myself and my health a priority in my life.  Apprehensively, I began my Jenny Craig journey on January 2ndand shared my reasons and motivations here with y’all.  That was scary.  I wasn’t sharing a fun project or something I was good at doing.  I was admitting to being bad at something that’s pretty important.  Like, really bad.  I was afraid to say out loud that I was fat (even though I knew everyone could see it) because that made it real and then I would have to do something about it.  I was afraid to start on a journey to get healthy because, what if I failed?  What if I couldn’t do it?  What if I was the one person in the world who wouldn’t lose weight on a reduced-calorie eating plan?  After writing the first post, my anxiety kicked in because I knew I was going to eventually write this one – the “after” post.

Ever wondered if Jenny Craig actually works?  I'm sharing my two-month experience and the cold hard truth at my3monsters.com
This was my "Before".  I’m so happy (and relieved, if I’m being completely honest) to be able to report that I was able to meet my goal for these past 8 weeks!  I wanted to lose 20 pounds and at my last consultation I had lost 21.4!! (*Results not typical. Members following the Jenny Craig program, on average, lose 1-2 lbs. per week. I received promotional consideration.)  You guys!  That was huge for me!!  My weight has been about the same for the past 5 years at least.  If the scale changed at all it was to creep UP a pound or two, never to go DOWN.  Since I started with Jenny Craig my weight has gone steadily down. Every. Single. Week.  Some weeks more than others, but always down.  It was thrilling.  All the new pants I got at Christmas time are literally falling off me.  My old waistband is now too big for my hips.  For my hips, guys!  For real!! 

{"After" photos are coming as soon as I can get my stupid phone to send them to my computer . . . sometimes I really hate technology!!)

The very best part was when I went to my doctor about 3 weeks into the program for a check-up and he was impressed that I had been losing weight.  When I went back a month later for my follow-up, he was downright floored by how much more weight I had lost*.   And my lab results shocked him even more.  My triglycerides, which had been “off the charts” last time were now only “slightly elevated”, without medication.  Everything else was right where he wanted it to be.  The proof is in the numbers, my friends! (*Results not typical. Members following the Jenny Craig program, on average, lose 1-2 lbs. per week. I received promotional consideration.)

But here's the burning question everyone asks me:

What Does a Day on Jenny Craig Really Look Like?

My biggest fear when I started Jenny Craig was that the food was going to be gross health food and I was going to be hungry, like, all the time.  I have never really loved vegetables – at least not the healthy, non-starchy ones – so I convinced myself this was going to be really hard. That had been my weight loss experience in the past, anyway.  This is what I thought my Jenny Craig daily meal plan was going to look like, only these meals looked waaayy yummier than I had expected:

Ever wondered if Jenny Craig actually works?  I'm sharing my two-month experience and the cold hard truth at my3monsters.com
Three small portions of healthy food  punctuated by hunger and disappointment. But I was willing to sign on for that, if it really worked, so I could reboot my system and retrain my brain on portion control.  Plus, I was thrilled to get cinnamon rolls. You cannot imagine my relief when I found out that THIS is what I ACTUALLY get to eat in a day:

Ever wondered if Jenny Craig actually works?  I'm sharing my two-month experience and the cold hard truth at my3monsters.com
Plus as many more healthy veggies as I want, which I actually really like now.  The food wasn’t bland or gross at all.  There was a huge variety of things that I already loved, like Margherita pizza, mac and cheese (Such good mac and cheese, guys!) , and hamburgers.  There were also some new things I would never have tried on my own – like Butternut Squash Ravioli and lentil crisps. 
 
Ever wondered if Jenny Craig actually works?  I'm sharing my two-month experience and the cold hard truth at my3monsters.com
Anyone who knows my former Taco Bell-loving self will probably not believe that the thing I look forward to most now is my daily spinach salad at lunch. I start with a 50/50 mix of organic Spring Greens and Spinach and then I add different things every day to “doctor” it up – mushrooms one day, mandarin orange slices and red onion another day, a handful of craisins or tomatoes and peppers.  Whatever suits my mood.  I truly do love it.  Plus, that Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich is TO DIE FOR.  No joke.

Ever wondered if Jenny Craig actually works?  I'm sharing my two-month experience and the cold hard truth at my3monsters.com
I rarely feel hungry because I am eating something every few hours all day long.  These “snacks” in between my meals really help with that.  In fact some days, it has been a struggle to eat all of my food.  I feel a ton better now because I’m not constantly running on empty or relying on a caffeinated soda to counteract my sugar crash from the cookies I ate for breakfast.  Yeah, I know…  

Ever wondered if Jenny Craig actually works?  I'm sharing my two-month experience and the cold hard truth at my3monsters.com
I love having a written plan for my eating.  I never realized how much I think about food.  It’s like a constant inner-monologue – “What do we have in the house to eat?  Ooh!  I should go to the store and get more chips and cookies.  What am I going to have for lunch today?  Is it almost lunch time?  How early is too early to eat lunch? I’ll eat something now because I might be busy when it’s lunch time at noon.  How many minutes is it until noon?” Et cetera, et cetera, all day long.  With my Jenny Craig menus, I know what I’m going to eat throughout the day, and when I have reached the bottom of the list, my eating day is over.  My brain just works like that.

So, What's the Secret?!

The biggest key to my success has been my weekly meeting with Kristen, my consultant.  Accountability is HUGE.  I started feeling better almost immediately, but I didn’t stop craving bad food completely. Some days thinking about my next consultation was the only thing standing between me and a big, greasy slice of pizza.  I knew I had a date with the scale every Monday after work and the scale wasn’t going to lie and cover for me if I messed up.  Kristen was an awesome cheerleader and problem solver.  When my husband wanted to go out for Valentine’s Day, she helped me figure out what I should order so I could stay on track with my plan.  I feel much more confident to make those decisions on my own now because of the things she has taught me. In fact, we've eaten out several times in the past two months and I still lost weight without feeling deprived at all.d

Bottom line, Jenny Craig works -- and not just for weight loss, y'all.  After 8 weeks I feel soooo much more confident to make healthy food choices.  I know what a healthy portion size looks like.  I'm no longer addicted to soda.  I know what my eating triggers are -- boredom and stress -- and feel better equipped to make healthier choices going forward.   I still have quite a way to go before I reach my ultimate weight loss goal, but now I have the confidence that I'll get there.  I haven't been able to say that in years and it feels good.

Now I want to hear from y'all!  What were your goals this year and how are they coming along?  Leave me a comment so we can cheer each other on!!

Have a great day, friends!

Amy 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.





2.11.2017

FOOD || Breakfast Night with Monte Cristo Waffles

Products for this post were provided by Krusteaz.  The recipe and all opinions are my own. #Krusteaz #BreakfastNight


Make tonight Breakfast Night with these delicious Monte Cristo Waffles from my3monsters.com !
Hi guys! I’ve had the biggest creative block for the past month, but I am determined to break through it. All I needed was a little inspiration, which came when Krusteaz asked me to share my love of Breakfast for Dinner to celebrate National Hot Breakfast Month in February. There is nothing I love more for breakfast than Krusteaz pancakes and waffles! Years ago when I was in college I couldn’t find their chocolate chip pancake mix at any of my local grocery stores, so my mom sent some to me in a care package. I was in absolute heaven!

I grew up in a family where hot “breakfast” was our favorite dinner and I have kept that tradition of Breakfast Night alive with my own kiddos. When we first moved to Arizona, my husband used to have to work a noon-to-nine shift and I was left to do dinner all by myself with three littles under the age of four. Those nights were ALWAYS Breakfast Nights because the kids loved it and dinner wasn’t a fight! Fifteen years later it continues to be a family favorite because I can feed my two hungry teenage boys without going broke.


Make tonight Breakfast Night with these delicious Monte Cristo Waffles from my3monsters.com !
My ONLY issue with breakfast for dinner – and it’s a minor issue, at that – is trying to get enough protein in. (Who can resist those delicious Belgian waffles and fluffy pancakes even if there are eggs on the table?!) I think I have that problem solved with my family’s new favorite Breakfast Night dish – Monte Cristo Waffles!! It’s kind of like a waffle grilled cheese sandwich with all the flavors of a classic Monte Cristo sandwich. You guys!! I was dying!! It was SUUUUUPER delicious. The men-folk practically inhaled them.


Make tonight Breakfast Night with these delicious Monte Cristo Waffles from my3monsters.com !
I started by making a batch of my favorite Krusteaz Belgian Waffles. I made them a little lighter than I normally would because I’m going to crisp them up in a frying pan later and I didn’t want it to be too crusty. This pale golden color was the perfect done-ness.


Make tonight Breakfast Night with these delicious Monte Cristo Waffles from my3monsters.com !
Butter one side of a waffle and put it buttered side down in a hot frying pan on medium heat.


Make tonight Breakfast Night with these delicious Monte Cristo Waffles from my3monsters.com !
Construct your sandwich by layering Swiss cheese, deli turkey, and deli ham to your heart’s content. Finish off with a final layer of Swiss cheese.


Make tonight Breakfast Night with these delicious Monte Cristo Waffles from my3monsters.com !
Add another waffle and butter the top. When the bottom of your sandwich gets nice and golden and crispy and the cheese starts to melt, flip it over and let the other side cook. I found that my outside got crispy before the center of the sandwich was as warm as I like it. (I put a lot of filling in that bad boy!) No problem – just pop it in the microwave for about a minute and the cheese gets all warm and gooey. If you’re worried about losing the crispness in the microwave, you could construct your sandwich, heat it up first, and then add the butter and grill it in the pan. I didn’t find it was a problem.


Make tonight Breakfast Night with these delicious Monte Cristo Waffles from my3monsters.com !
Give it a nice, heavy dusting of powdered sugar and it’s ready to serve. You can serve it sandwich-style with a side of jam or berry syrup for dipping. My boys really liked it that way, which is more like a traditional Monte Cristo.


Make tonight Breakfast Night with these delicious Monte Cristo Waffles from my3monsters.com !
My husband (and I!) preferred to drizzle the berry syrup over the top and eat it with a fork. I cannot begin to explain how delicious it was. I have a feeling these Monte Cristo Waffles will be making a regular appearance at Breakfast Night now.


Make tonight Breakfast Night with these delicious Monte Cristo Waffles from my3monsters.com !

Monte Cristo Waffles

(makes 3 large sandwiches)

6 Krusteaz Belgian Waffles (mix batter according to package directions)
18 slices Swiss cheese
9 oz. thin sliced deli-turkey, divided in thirds
9 oz. thin sliced deli ham, divided in thirds
Butter
Powdered sugar
Jam or Berry syrup

Butter one side of each waffle. Place one waffle buttered-side-down in a hot frying pan over medium heat. Layer 3 slices Swiss cheese, deli turkey, deli ham, and 3 more slices of Swiss cheese. Top with another waffle buttered-side up. When bottom gets golden brown and crispy, flip sandwich over. Continue to cook until bottom is golden and crispy and remove from pan. If center of sandwich filling is not warm enough, microwave on HIGH for approx.. 1 minute. Repeat the grilling process with the remainder of ingredients to make two more sandwiches. Dust with powdered sugar. Serve while hot with jam or berry syrup.



Make tonight Breakfast Night with these delicious Monte Cristo Waffles from my3monsters.com !

Happy Breakfast Night, y’all!

Amy


1.13.2017

ENTERTAINING || Super Snack Showdown Football Party

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #TheNewFanFavorites #CollectiveBias

Hi guys! Tis the season for football, amiright?!  Do y’all have football-crazed family members getting super excited as the season draws to a close, whether their team is still “in it” or not?  Does every conversation in your house seen to turn into a debate about player stats and team records? Are you finding your normally cozy and quiet family room turn into a man cave every Sunday afternoon?  Please say it’s not just me!  We usually end up going to watch the Big Game at a friend’s house, but I know my husband has always wanted to take a turn hosting to party at our house.  Secretly, so have I.  Today I’m sharing some delicious dips and dippers to make your Big Game party a Super Snack Showdown.

Host a Super Snack Showdown at your party for the Big Game with these delicious recipes and decorating ideas from my3monsters.com
Sweet vs. Spicy.  Hot vs. Cool.  Savory vs. Sweet.  Which one will be the MVP of the buffet table?  It’s time to find out!  I’m a sucker for a good dip, so this buffet table is like my dream come true.  Four of my absolute favorite dips along with all the yummiest dippers – ,Snyder’s of Hanover® Pretzels, Snack Factory® Pretzel Crips®,  Late July® Tortilla Chips, and a variety of crunchy Cape Cod® and Kettle Brand® Potato Chips. 

Host a Super Snack Showdown at your party for the Big Game with these delicious recipes and decorating ideas from my3monsters.com
Bonus:  a sweet nutty Pop Secret® Popcorn treat with Emerald® Nuts  to top it all off!  I’ll share all my recipes below. You could ask your guests to bring their favorite football snacking food or dippers as well for even more variety.

Host a Super Snack Showdown at your party for the Big Game with these delicious recipes and decorating ideas from my3monsters.com
This was the “Before” photo. My guys would have been fine if we had just left it at that, but they were OK with me decorating as long as it was not “too cute” or “over the top” – their words.  I feel like we found a happy medium with this stadium-inspired spread.  I found an artificial turf rug online for about $10 and decided it would make the perfect table cover.   

Host a Super Snack Showdown at your party for the Big Game with these delicious recipes and decorating ideas from my3monsters.com
Then I added a couple of risers made from 1x6 pine boards and molding pieces to give the feeling of bleachers.  This gave me some different levels for food display and made it all look a little more interesting!

Host a Super Snack Showdown at your party for the Big Game with these delicious recipes and decorating ideas from my3monsters.com
To really define the area, I hung a sheet of black butcher paper on the wall behind the table and drew a football play diagram on it in chalk.  I wanted to add some color so I chose bright primary colors and made tissue paper tassels to hang along the wall as well.  They look a little bit like pom-poms which is a fun touch.  You could use your favorite team’s colors or even the colors of the two opposing teams on opposite sides of the table.

Host a Super Snack Showdown at your party for the Big Game with these delicious recipes and decorating ideas from my3monsters.com
Instead of plates, I decided to use cardboard take-out boxes as trays. I simply cut off the top flaps since we did not need them to close.  They reminded me of the way food is packaged in a stadium.  I figured our guests could fill up their tray with chips and dips, grab a bottle of rootbeer and take it with them back to the living room to eat.

Host a Super Snack Showdown at your party for the Big Game with these delicious recipes and decorating ideas from my3monsters.com
Since no one wants to be away from the game for too long, I pre-portioned all the dippers into small bags and cups to make them easy to grab-and-go.  The dips are easily spooned into small cups and placed into the trays along with the dippers.

Host a Super Snack Showdown at your party for the Big Game with these delicious recipes and decorating ideas from my3monsters.com
Host a Super Snack Showdown at your party for the Big Game with these delicious recipes and decorating ideas from my3monsters.com
I also placed a tray of extra dippers on the coffee table so guests could refill without getting up.  You know how annoying it is when you need just one more pretzel to finish your dip. Problem solved!

Host a Super Snack Showdown at your party for the Big Game with these delicious recipes and decorating ideas from my3monsters.com
I used the pennants I shared yesterday to label the dips.  Just tape the pennant flag to a straw or bamboo skewer and pop it right into the bowl.  I tried to have a good variety of hot and cold, meat and veggie, etc. – SPICY Chorizo Queso, SWEET Salsa Verde, HOT Parmesan Artichoke Dip, and COOL Shrimp Dip.  I was hoping there would be something everyone would enjoy! You could even throw in a veggie tray with some dill dip.  My guys tend to like the “heartier” choices.

Host a Super Snack Showdown at your party for the Big Game with these delicious recipes and decorating ideas from my3monsters.com
I also felt like we needed a sweet treat for dessert, so I made a batch of toffee popcorn, drizzled with melted white chocolate and sprinkled with Cocoa Roast Almonds, which look like tiny little footballs. My oldest son could not get enough of it!! 

I wanted a wide variety of yummy, high-quality dippers for my dips.  I found them all at my local grocery store – some in the “natural” section and some in the snack aisle.

All you have left to do is make the food, so let’s get cookin’, Good Lookin’!
___________________________________________________

Nutty Toffee Popcorn 


3 bags Pop Secret Home Style popcorn, popped
1/2 C. butter
1/2 C. light corn syrup
1 C. brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 bag white chocolate chips
1 bag Emerald Cocoa Roast Almonds

Host a Super Snack Showdown at your party for the Big Game with these delicious recipes and decorating ideas from my3monsters.com
1. Pop the popcorn and remove all unpopped kernels.  Place in a large bowl.  Heat butter, corn syrup, and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat.  

2. Stir mixture constantly until boiling.

3. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda.  This will make the mixture "frothy" and help it to coat the popcorn more easily.

4. Pour hot toffee mixture over popcorn and stir to coat evenly.  Spread popcorn onto two baking sheets and bake at 250 degrees for 20 minutes, stirring midway.  Remove from oven and spread out on parchment paper to cool.  

Host a Super Snack Showdown at your party for the Big Game with these delicious recipes and decorating ideas from my3monsters.com
5. Melt white chocolate chips in a bowl in the microwave.  Drizzle half of the white chocolate over popcorn.  Sprinkle almonds on top of popcorn and white chocolate, then drizzle again with remaining melted white chocolate.  Allow to cool until white chocolate hardens again.  Break into small clumps and serve.

Host a Super Snack Showdown at your party for the Big Game with these delicious recipes and decorating ideas from my3monsters.com

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Sweet Salsa Verde


1 large can tomatillos (approx. 16 small tomatillos) drained
1 jalapeno, diced
1/2 bunch cilantro
1/2 C. sugar

Host a Super Snack Showdown at your party for the Big Game with these delicious recipes and decorating ideas from my3monsters.com
1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor.

Host a Super Snack Showdown at your party for the Big Game with these delicious recipes and decorating ideas from my3monsters.com
2. Blend until smooth and serve with corn tortilla chips. 

Host a Super Snack Showdown at your party for the Big Game with these delicious recipes and decorating ideas from my3monsters.com

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Hot Parmesan Artichoke Dip


Host a Super Snack Showdown at your party for the Big Game with these delicious recipes and decorating ideas from my3monsters.com

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Cool Shrimp Dip


Host a Super Snack Showdown at your party for the Big Game with these delicious recipes and decorating ideas from my3monsters.com
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Spicy Chorizo Queso


1 lb. loaf of good soft melting cheese, cubed
1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles
1/2 lb. chorizo

In a microwavable bowl, combine cubed cheese and tomatoes with green chiles.  Microwave on HIGH in 45 second increments, stirring in between, until cheese is melted.  Place in a small crock pot on warm setting to keep warm.  

Cook chorizo in a frying pan until cooked through.  Stir into melted cheese and tomato mixture and serve for a spicy twist on the classic queso. 

Host a Super Snack Showdown at your party for the Big Game with these delicious recipes and decorating ideas from my3monsters.com
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Do you usually host the big party or do you watch at a friend's house?  Either way, these recipes are sure to be crowd-pleasers no mater what the final score of the game is.   

Enjoy the end of the football season, friends!!  

Amy


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