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Pumpkin Pretzels

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I ran across the cutest idea for making pumpkins out of mini pretzels on Butter with a Side of Bread.  I found a limited edition of Wilton’s candy melts called “Pumpkin Spice” and thought of those cute pumpkins.  I couldn’t resist!

Jessica made solid pumpkins, covering the holes with the candy coating (see photo below for my attempt at this), but I decided to just keep to a thin coating and leave the holes because it seemed to turn them too sweet to use that much coating.  Also, I think the texture of my coating made it harder to do the way she did hers.  In my experience, adding food coloring (the gel kind used in frosting, like Jessica used) to candy coating changes the texture and makes it thicker, which probably helped her coat her pretzels completely with no holes.  Mine was thinner and it was a lot easier to coat the pretzels thinly – the two I did like Jessica’s actually took more time because the coating kept wanting to fall through the holes.  Whatever you decide to do, these are fun, easy, and tasty! Kids are sure to love them.

I highly recommend the Pumpkin Spice flavored candy melts if you can find them – they are so good!  I found mine at Walmart in the Halloween section where all the Halloween sprinkles and treat-making supplies were located.

They almost looks like spooky jack-o-lanterns!

Pumpkin Pretzels

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

50-75 mini pretzels
1 (10 oz) bag orange colored candy melts (Wilton’s Pumpkin Spice recommended)
Green M&M’s*

Melt the candy melts according to the package directions.  I recommend being even more careful than the package recommends and after doing 1 minute at 50% power in the microwave, doing only 15 second intervals and stirring extremely well between zaps.  These candy melts tend to get very thick if you overheat them at all, so be careful.  Once melted, dip each pretzel in the coating using a fork and tap off the excess chocolate before placing on waxed paper.  Take a green M&M and press into the top (I dipped mine in the coating a little to help them adhere, but it’s probably not necessary) to make a stem.  Continue with remaining pretzels until all the M&M’s are used up, gently reheating the coating as necessary when it becomes too thick or starts to harden.  If you still have coating left when the M&M’s are gone, keep dipping pretzels until it’s used up.  Allow the coating to set completely before removing the pretzels to a bowl to serve.  Keep covered until ready to serve.

Makes about 50 pumpkin pretzels

*I got about 50 green M&M’s from a regular bag, which turned out to be an almost perfect amount. I only had a little bit of candy coating left once I ran out of the M&M’s, and I just coated about a dozen more without stems and mixed them in with the others.

Recipe source: adapted from Butter With a Side of Bread

Easy-Peasy Cheesy Tuna Noodle Bowls

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I haven’t been wanting to cook lately.  And when I do, it’s super simple stuff like this most of the time–a stove top recipe that starts with a box.  While I’ve been making this for over a decade, this is the first time I considered sharing it.  I finally realized there are probably a lot of busy people out there who don’t mind using a convenience food item now and then if it means dinner in 15 minutes. You can easily double or triple this recipe to feed a family, and it still only takes 15 minutes!

My best friend’s Mom used to make this all the time and I thought she was a genius because the addition of tuna and peas really ups the health-factor of boxed macaroni and cheese, while still tasting wonderful.  I gobbled this up alongside her children, so I think it’s safe to say this is kid-approved.  The only change I’ve made is to add in extra cheese to help flavor the added ingredients a little more, and a little mayonnaise to make it extra creamy (the latter is a new addition and the photos show it without – it’s so much more creamy with it!).

So yummy, so easy!  So cheesy! :)

Easy-Peasy Cheesy Tuna Noodle Bowls

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

1 box macaroni and cheese
milk and butter as called for on box (usually 1/4 cup each)
2 ounces (or more) finely shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 can of tuna packed in water, drained very well
1 cup frozen peas, microwaved until hot

Cook pasta according to box directions. Meanwhile, heat peas in the microwave until hot. Drain the macaroni when it has the bite you desire, then stir in the butter until melted and combined. Add the milk , cheese, mayonnaise, and the cheese powder from the box and stir until blended and the cheese is melted. Add the tuna and peas, and stir until combined. Spoon into bowls and serve hot.

Serves 2-3

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