How to Make Homemade Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup from Scratch

homemade hershey's chocolate syrup recipeYum
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Have you seen the price of Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup lately? At my two favorite grocery stores, the price was nearly $5 for a 24-ounce bottle! Time to learn how to make homemade Hershey’s chocolate syrup!
Homemade Hershey's chocolate syrup recipeWhile I was trying to decide if I really needed to add the Hershey’s Syrup to my cart, I took a minute to flip over the bottle and read the ingredients: high fructose corn syrup, salt,  monoglycerides, diglycerides, polysorbate 60, artificial flavors… Yes, cocoa and water were also included, but I decided I wasn’t going to spend $5 to buy all those chemicals.

Haiden and Piper like to have chocolate milk with their vitamins at breakfast, and I wanted an easy way to keep giving it to them. Plus my husband enjoys a little chocolate syrup on his ice cream, and it’s an easy way to dress up a dessert.

If you like this article please check out how to make homemade Pedialyte

So, I wanted to share my new recipe for how to make homemade Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup. You’re not going to believe how easy and delicious it is!

Homemade Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup Recipe

Makes about 16 ounces (2 cups)

Ingredients:

Directions:

  • Use a big saucepan – at least 2 quarts. This will expand when boiling, and overflows will make a big mess on your stovetop! (I use this 3-quart saucepan that was part of a bigger set I received as a gift. It’s my favorite for making anything sweet because the heavy bottom keeps it from heating up too fast.)
  • Combine the cocoa powder, water, sugar and salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Mix with a whisk until smooth.
  • Stir constantly with a whisk or a wooden spoon until it boils.
  • Allow it to boil for 1-2 minutes.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Add vanilla.
  • Syrup will be very thin/watery. Allow to cool completely and it will thicken to about the same consistency as Hershey’s syrup.

Store the syrup in a mason jar or any other container. It will keep for several weeks in the fridge. If you want to be really sneaky, pour the cooled syrup into an empty or almost-empty Hershey’s syrup container and see if anyone notices the difference!

homemade chocolate syrup

Note: I only use about 1/2 – 1 teaspoon of the homemade chocolate syrup in a cup of milk to make chocolate milk for Haiden and Piper (Their milk just has to have a hint of brown for them to consider it “chocolate milk”).  My husband likes to add closer to a tablespoon per cup of milk to make himself chocolate milk. As with the brand-name chocolate syrup, you can experiment with the proportions to get the taste you’re looking for.

Homemade Hershey's Chocolate Syrup

Homemade Hershey's Chocolate Syrup

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 Dash salt

Instructions

  1. Use a big saucepan - at least 2 quarts. This will expand when boiling, and overflows will make a big mess on your stovetop! (I use this 3-quart saucepan that was part of a bigger set I received as a gift. It's my favorite for making anything sweet because the heavy bottom keeps it from heating up too fast.)
  2. Combine the cocoa powder, water, sugar and salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Mix with a whisk until smooth.
  3. Stir constantly with a whisk or a wooden spoon until it boils.
  4. Allow it to boil for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat.
  6. Add vanilla.
  7. Syrup will be very thin/watery. Allow to cool completely and it will thicken to about the same consistency as Hershey's syrup.
http://www.babysavers.com/how-to-make-homemade-hersheys-chocolate-syrup-from-scratch/

Homemade Hersheys Syrup Recipe

homemade microwave popcornDon’t miss the absolute easiest way to make homemade microwave popcorn!

Image Credit: JMackinnell

The Asian Chicken Burger Recipe That Will Change Your Summer Cookout

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Stop & Shop for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

Asian chicken burgers recipe

When I entertain I like to serve food that will blow my company away. My menu doesn’t have to be fancy or complicated, but it must be one thing: delicious.

Serving good food makes my guests happy, which makes me happy. But I give myself an extra pat on the back if I can also make my party food affordable and easy to prepare.

Delicious, easy to prepare and affordable are all things that make this  Asian Chicken Burger a life-changing meal. I made one last night to try out the recipe and I had a hard time finding just the right words to describe how amazing it was to my husband.

Did you read that? I made one burger. The recipe below serves four, but I was on my own for supper last night and it was so easy to make just a quarter recipe.

I’ve never made just one single burger before and it turns out that making a solo burger is easy if you have all fresh ingredients!

Asian Chicken Burger Recipe

asian chicken burgers recipe

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Asian Chicken Burger Ingredients:

6 sprigs fresh mint leaves (about 1/4 oz.)
3 green onions
1/2 head iceberg lettuce
1 cucumber
6 radishes
2 Tbsp sesame seeds
1 lime
8 sprigs fresh cilantro (about 1/2 oz.)
1 lb ground chicken, ground turkey, or a combination
1 Tbsp cornstarch
3 Tbsp mayonnaise
4 crusty sandwich rolls

Asian Chicken Burger Instructions

  1. Remove the leaves from the mint.
  2. Slice the green onions into rings and the tear the lettuce into strips.
  3. Slice the the cucumber and radishes.
  4. Toast the sesame seeds in a dry frying pan for 3 minutes until golden. Let cool on a plate.
  5. Zest and juice the lime.
  6. Chop half the cilantro and half the mint. Set aside the rest for garnish. M
  7. ix the ground meat with the sesame seeds, mint, cilantro, cornstarch, lime zest and half the green onions. Add salt and pepper.
  8. Form the ground meat mixture into 4 patties with wet hands.
  9. Mix the mayonnaise with the remaining green onions. Add lime juice, salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Heat a grill pan over medium heat.
  11. Halve the buns and place cut side down in the pan for 30 seconds.
  12. Grill the chicken burgers for 6 to 8 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  13. Pile chopped lettuce on bottom half of bun. Top with a burger, cucumber, radish, lime mayonnaise and remaining herbs.

Even though I made a single Asian Chicken Burger yesterday, I can guarantee that I’ll be at least doubling this recipe and making these burgers for a crowd sometime soon.

I love that the Stop & Shop Savory Recipe Center gives me all the recipes I need to make planning any summer gathering easy. In addition to burgers and other entree recipes, you can also find easy and affordable ideas for salads, sides and desserts!

Now that I know how fast and delicious the Asian Chicken Burger recipe is, I’m sure I won’t be disappointed by the West Coast Burger, the New York Pizza Burger, the Grilled Corn Salad and the Summer Berry Tiramisu!

Be sure to find the best recipes at the Stop & Shop Savory Recipe Center and shop at Stop & Shop for all your summer cookout needs!

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How to Make Super Strong Bubbles

How to make super strong bubbles

Learning how to make super strong bubbles has been on our list of summer things to do for way too long! I love this post showing how to make bubbles and this one for how to make bubble solution for huge bubbles.

We’ve made all sorts of different kinds of bubbles while taking advantage of Minnesota’s warm summers, but somehow we’ve missed super strong bubbles!

[Read more…]

4th of July Snack Mix Recipe – A Great Red, White and Blue Party Food

4th of July snack mix recipe
Yum

My family celebrates any and every holiday with food. Of course we get together to talk and have fun. We let the kids play, we drink sodas and coffee and drink boxes. But the party gets started when the food is served!

Related: The Best Fourth of July recipes and party food!

We always have a picnic on the 4th of July, and this 4th of July snack mix recipe is the perfect food for an indoor or outdoor party.

Related: The Asian chicken Burger recipe that will change your summer cookout!

If you like your M&Ms to get a little melty, the snack mix can even sit in the sun. If you’d prefer to keep everything in the mix in solid form, make sure you keep it in the shade!

Note: the recipe calls for red white and blue Peanut M&Ms. If it’s not June or July, these are hard to find! I recommend getting a big bag of standard Peanut M&Ms and only using the red and blue ones.

4th of July snack mix

Also, you can use any candy you want here, so feel free to be creative with your color combinations and flavors!

4th of July Snack Mix

Ingredients for the 4th of July Snack Mix

captain america snack mix recipe

1 cup milk chocolate chips
4 cups Rice Chex cereal
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
Peanut M&M’s in red, white, and blue
1 cup Whoppers malted milk candy

Directions for the 4th of July snack mix

1. Line a large baking sheet (I like this one) with wax paper or parchment. Put your 4 cups of cereal in a large mixing bowl. Set both aside.

2. Put the milk chocolate chips into a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir. Repeat in 30 second intervals until the chocolate is fully melted.

captain america snack mix muddy buddies

3. Use a large spoon to drizzle the melted chocolate over the cereal. Gently mix as you drizzle, making sure to coat the cereal evenly.

4. Place the powdered sugar in a 1 gallon zip-top bag.

5. Carefully scoop the chocolate-coated cereal into the bag with the powdered sugar. Seal the bag and shake it to cover the cereal with the powdered sugar.

captain america snack mix recipe

6. Let sit for 1-2 minutes, then spread it out onto the prepared baking sheet. let dry for 1 hour.

7. Put your cereal back in the large bowl and gently mix in the Whoppers and M&Ms.

Find and print the 4th of July Snack Mix recipe below.

4th of July Snack Mix

4th of July Snack Mix

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 4 cups Rice Chex cereal
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • Peanut M&M’s in red, white, and blue
  • Whoppers Candy

Instructions

  1. Line a large baking sheet with wax paper or parchment. Put your 4 cups of cereal in a large mixing bowl. Set both aside.
  2. Put the milk chocolate chips into a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir. Repeat in 30 second intervals until the chocolate is fully melted.
  3. Use a large spoon to drizzle the melted chocolate over the cereal. Gently mix as you drizzle, making sure to coat the cereal evenly.
  4. Place the powdered sugar in a 1 gallon zip-top bag.
  5. Carefully scoop the chocolate-coated cereal into the bag with the powdered sugar. Seal the bag and shake it to cover the cereal with the powdered sugar.
  6. Let sit for 1-2 minutes, then spread it out onto the prepared baking sheet. let dry for 1 hour.
  7. Put your cereal back in the large bowl and gently mix in the Whoppers and M&Ms.
http://www.babysavers.com/4th-of-july-snack-mix-recipe/

 

Broccoli Fries: The Best Broccoli Recipe

broccoli fries recipe
Oh broccoli fries. I first heard about roasted broccoli when a friend told me her recipe was “the best broccoli you’ll ever make”.

As a mom who’s always looking for new and delicious ways to prepare vegetables, I couldn’t resist an introduction like that!

I had to make a few changes to use ingredients I had on hand, but Piper took one bite of the roasted broccoli florets and declared them broccoli fries! It made me laugh at first, but after I tasted the crispy, salted pieces again, I had to say that broccoli fries was a great name for the recipe!

Even better, when we started calling the veggies broccoli fries, Haiden was much more willing to eat them. Personally, I’m not a vegetable lover, but I can say that this is absolutely the best broccoli I’ve ever had. It’s so good that I’m sure I’ll be making it weekly!

If you take a look at the recipe below, you’ll see you can use all fresh ingredients. I don’t always have everything like that on hand, and it’s super easy to make adjustments to make the broccoli fries recipe work with what you have in your kitchen.

Broccoli Fries Recipe

Broccoli Fries ingredients:

  • 1-2 pounds fresh broccoli
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and thinly sliced (or 1 teaspoon minced garlic)
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoons salt (Kosher or sea salt, if possible)
  • black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan* cheese

Broccoli Fries directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Cut the broccoli florets from the stalks, leaving about an inch of stalk attached. Throw away the excess stalks. Cut the remaining pieces into bite-size pieces.
  3. Wash the cut broccoli and thoroughly dry them with paper towels.  If there’s moisture, the broccoli will end up steamed and tender, not browned and crisp.
  4. Put the broccoli in a bowl (these bowls have the best reviews!) and toss them with the garlic, salt and pepper and enough olive oil to coat each piece.
  5. Arrange the broccoli on a cookie sheet in a single layer. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until crisp-tender and the tips of some of the florets are browned. If they start to get too brown midway through cooking, flip the broccoli with a spatula to cook them evenly.
  6. Remove from the oven and immediately toss with lemon juice and parmesan cheese.

*I had some romano cheese so I used that. My kids added extra Kraft parmesan “powder” cheese to theirs and it only made it better 🙂

The broccoli is best served hot, but my kids and I ate it cold and still thought it was absolutely delicious!

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Since we need the broccoli to be dry, it’s easiest to use fresh broccoli. I did have about a cup of frozen broccoli in my freezer, so I thawed it in a strainer with a blast of hot water, then I let it drain and blotted it with paper towels until it was dry.

Print the broccoli fries recipe here:

Broccoli Fries

Broccoli Fries

Ingredients

  • 1-2 pounds fresh broccoli
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and thinly sliced (or 1 teaspoon minced garlic)
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoons salt (Kosher or sea salt, if possible)
  • black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan* cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Cut the broccoli florets from the stalks, leaving about an inch of stalk attached. Throw away the excess stalks. Cut the remaining pieces into finger-food size pieces.
  3. Wash the cut broccoli and thoroughly dry them with paper towels. If there’s moisture, the broccoli will end up steamed and tender, not browned and crisp.
  4. Put the florets in a bowl and toss them with the garlic, salt and pepper and enough olive oil to coat each piece.
  5. Arrange the broccoli on a cookie sheet in a single layer. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until crisp-tender and the tips of some of the florets are browned. If they start to get too brown midway through cooking, flip the broccoli with a spatula to cook them evenly.
  6. Remove from the oven and immediately toss with lemon juice and Parmesan cheese.
http://www.babysavers.com/broccoli-fries-the-best-broccoli-recipe-your-kids-will-love-it/

How to Make Captain America Shield Cookies with Recipe and Tutorial

Captain America Shield Cookies

Last week when I shared the Captain America snack mix recipe I said I was torn between the whole #TeamIronMan or #TeamCap thing.

Well, I’ve finally decided which side I stand on for the upcoming Captain America: Civil War movie. While I’m a huge Iron Man fan, I also watch Marvel’s Agents of Shield every week. I get that this fight is about so much more than Captain America’s best friend.

So, it’s decided. I’m officially Team Cap. In honor of my decision and the soon-to-be released Captain America: Civil War I have a fun recipe to share with you!

It’s pretty intimidating to think about using icing to decorate a cookie like Captain America’s shield. Perfect circles and a perfect star are really hard to freehand! Instead, I have an easy method to make Captain America Shield cookies. Keep reading to learn how to do it.

Captain America Shield cookies recipe

How to Make Captain America Shield Cookies

Equipment needed to make Captain America Shield Cookies

Captain America Shield Cookies

4-inch Circle cookie cutter
Rolling pin
Pastry mat
Parchment paper
Wire cooling rack
Gel food coloring (do not use liquid food dye like this. The colors won’t be vibrant enough)
Disposable decorating bags
#2 pastry tips
Wilton couplers
Edible marker in a light color

Captain America Shield Cookies Ingredients

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Captain America Shield Cookies Directions

  1. Cream the softened butter with the sugar on medium speed until fluffy, then add eggs one at a time and vanilla extract.
  2. Continue mixing until well combined. Set mixer to low or use a wooden spoon to mix in the flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. Roll all the dough into one ball, wrap the ball of dough completely in plastic wrap, then refrigerate for at least 6 hours, up to overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  5. Drop the dough onto a floured surface and roll it out to 1/2 inch thick.
  6. Use the circle cookie cutter to cut circles out of the dough.
  7. Place cookies 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets.
  8. Bake at 325 degrees for 8 minutes or until done.
  9. Transfer to a wire cooling rack and let cool for about 10 minutes.

Captain America Shield Cookies Icing Recipe

4 egg whites or equivalent in pasturized egg white powder
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Red and blue gel food coloring

Captain America Shield Cookies Icing Directions

  1. Combine the egg whites, cream of tarter, powdered sugar and vanilla in a bowl and mix on low or medium speed for 5-10 minutes until stiff peaks form.
  2. Divide the icing equally into 3 different bowls. Keep the first bowl white.
  3. Add 3-5 drops of red food coloring to the second bowl and mix in thoroughly. Add more food coloring 1 drop at a time if the icing should be more red.
  4. Repeat step 3 with the third bowl and blue food coloring.
  5. Put each icing color into it’s own decorating bag.

How to Easily Decorate Captain America Shield Cookies

  1. Use an edible marker to draw circles and a star on all the cookies like the below example.how to make captain america shield cookies
  2. Use the white icing to fill in the star and one of the rings on all the cookies like like this example:captain america shield cookies
  3. Wait 10 minutes, then use the red icing to fill in the ring on the outside and the inside of the white ring.
  4. Wait 10 minutes and fill in the area around the star with blue icing.
    easy captain america shield cookies

I know all the steps make it seems like a lot of work, but I swear this method for making Captain America Shield cookies is so much easier than freehanding it!

You can print the recipe for Captain America Shield cookies below, then read on for more about the movie.

4th of July Snack Mix

4th of July Snack Mix

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 4 cups Rice Chex cereal
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • Peanut M&M’s in red, white, and blue
  • Whoppers Candy

Instructions

  1. Line a large baking sheet with wax paper or parchment. Put your 4 cups of cereal in a large mixing bowl. Set both aside.
  2. Put the milk chocolate chips into a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir. Repeat in 30 second intervals until the chocolate is fully melted.
  3. Use a large spoon to drizzle the melted chocolate over the cereal. Gently mix as you drizzle, making sure to coat the cereal evenly.
  4. Place the powdered sugar in a 1 gallon zip-top bag.
  5. Carefully scoop the chocolate-coated cereal into the bag with the powdered sugar. Seal the bag and shake it to cover the cereal with the powdered sugar.
  6. Let sit for 1-2 minutes, then spread it out onto the prepared baking sheet. let dry for 1 hour.
  7. Put your cereal back in the large bowl and gently mix in the Whoppers and M&Ms.
http://www.babysavers.com/how-to-make-captain-america-shield-cookies-recipe/

If you haven’t seen the latest trailer for Captain America: Civil War you need to right now! Check it out here:

Captain America: Civil War opens in theaters everywhere on May 6, 2016! Get your tickets today!