The Weekend Gourmet F

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

No-Stress Football Food: Cabot Creamery Fall Cheddar Cheese Board

For this month’s no-stress Football Food feature, I’m partnering with my friends at Cabot, Applegate, and Walkers to share simple tips for assembling a Fall-inspired cheddar cheese board that your guests will love. This cheddar cheese board takes just minutes to assemble, and it features the perfect blend of flavors and textures. The best part is that this appetizer can be assembled the morning of the big game. Simply cover it with a bit of plastic wrap, then place it in the fridge. Remember that most cheeses taste best at room temperature, so make sure to take the cheddar cheese board out of the fridge about 30 minutes before serving. The first step to a successful cheddar cheese board is choosing a variety of flavorful cheeses. Cabot sent me a selection of their new Farmers' Legacy Collection, which served as the foundation of my cheddar cheese board.
Assemble your cheeses – three in this case – on a sturdy wooden board from the mildest to the most sharp. The three cheddars in Cabot's Farmers' Legacy Collection each have distinctively different flavors. Alpine Cheddar is creamy and nutty, with hints of Swiss and Parmesan. White Oak Cheddar is inspired by Cabot's award-winning Clothbound Cheddar, and has a sweet undertone and hints of oak. The Farmhouse Reserve is bold, creamy, and extra sharp. I loved all three of these cheeses, but the Farmhouse Reserve is my personal favorite. It's fun and educational to try each of the three cheddars side by side and compare their flavors and textures. I like to make printed cards with each cheese’s name and flavor profile and place them in front of each cheese. That allows my guests to select the cheddar that most appeals to their palate.
Now that the cheddar cheese is laid out, it’s time to add some flavorful accompaniments. Since it’s Fall, I decided to pair the Cabot cheddar with seasonal fruits and some hearty Italian meats. I added thinly sliced Applegate uncured Natural Soppressata and Organic Genoa Salami to my cheddar board. Their bold, spicy flavors paired very nicely with the flavorful Cabot cheddar trio. Applegate’s line of uncured Italian meats contain no nitrates or preservatives -- and they are robustly flavored. Other seasonal Fall items I added to my cheddar cheese board included salty Marcona almonds, plump dried apricots, and chunky apricot preserves. Finally, I wanted to serve a really special cracker to accompany my cheddar cheese board. I wanted something flavorful, with a texture that could stand up to the other components of my cheddar cheese board.
I found just what I was looking for with Duchy Original Oaten Biscuits. These organic English biscuits are part of the Walkers shortbread family, and they're made from wheat and oats grown on farms in the UK. The addition of oatmeal gives these biscuits an earthy, slightly nutty flavor. These cookie-like crackers are crunchy and have a lightly sweet taste. This makes them a perfect partner for the cheddar, spicy Italian meats, and apricot preserves. For my guests who prefer more traditional flavors, I also served buttery round crackers in a lined basket – along with a squeeze bottle of spicy mustard. That way, all of my guests could enjoy their favorite flavor profiles. Cheese boards are excellent for prompting mingling. As your guests gather around the cheese board, they'll inevitably compare tasting notes! My favorite pairing was to place a slice of salami on one of the oaten biscuits, then top with a slice of the Alpine Cheddar and a bit of the apricot jam.
The final step is to select the perfect wine and/or beer pairings to enhance your cheddar cheese board. If you're like me and find selecting the best pairings a bit challenging, check out Cabot's handy online pairings chartWith my cheddar cheese board tips, you’re ready to assemble a fun and flavorful cheese board for your next football-watching party!  

Disclosure: Cabot, Applegate, and Walkers provided me with products to facilitate inclusion in this article. All opinions expressed are my own.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Wendy's Favorite Things for September!

For this month's edition of Wendy's Favorite Things, I'm sharing some of the best food and kitchen items that I've discovered over the past few weeks. I'm sharing a trio of great on-the-go snack options for you -- along with a fabulous condiment, low-sugar beverage, gourmet jams, and a pair of fabulous kitchen helpers. So...let's get started!!

(1) Not Ketchup. I first tasted Not Ketchup at the Food & Wine Conference in July. I went nuts for Erika Kerekes' line of fruit-based dipping sauces that contain no processed sugar, no artificial flavors or colors, and no preservatives. Not Ketchup is a tangy gourmet dipping sauce made with ripe seasonal fruit instead of tomatoes. Not Ketchup isn't sweet, though. Thanks to the addition of cider vinegar and savory spices, Not Ketchup is tangy like ketchup -- with a fruity twist. This versatile sauce comes in four flavors: Cherry Chipotle, Blueberry White Pepper, Smoky Date, and Spiced Fig. I love using the Spiced Fig to dress up simple grilled chicken sandwiches. I brush some of the Not Ketchup on the chicken as it grills, then spread more on the bun before serving. I'm not the only one who's gone nuts for Erika's sauces -- Not Ketchup is a finalist in the Martha Stewart 2014 American Made Awards!! Not Ketchup can be ordered via their online store. It can also be found at select retail locations.

(2) Strong & KIND Bars. The makers of KIND Bars recently introduced Strong & KIND, a line of savory bars to their lineup of fruit-based bars. These savory and spicy bars feature bold flavors, as well as 1o grams of protein. Check out these flavors: Hickory Smoked, Thai Sweet Chili, Honey Smoked BBQ, Honey Mustard, and Roasted Jalapeño. Strong & KIND bars are 22% protein and contain a combination of nuts, legumes, and seeds. These tasty and healthy ingredients include almonds, pumpkin and hemp seeds, pea crisps, and bold spices. I love to keep one of these bars in my bag for an after-work snack that keeps me going until dinner. The bold flavors make these bars guy-friendly too! All of the flavors are great, but I especially love the Roasted Jalapeño -- it's not overly spicy, but it packs a big flavor punch. To find Strong & KIND Bars near you, check out their convenient Store Locator. If no stores near you carry these bars, they can also be ordered online.

(3) Twistos Baked Snack Bites. With football season here, I'm always on the lookout for new game day snacks. I recently discovered Frito-Lay's new Twistos Baked Snack Bites, and they were a big hit with everyone who tasted them! They come in three flavorful varieties: Parmesan & Garlic, Bruschetta, and Asiago. Unlike chips, Twistos are baked until they're light and crispy -- and they're not at all greasy. I served two kinds of Twistos with paired dippers, and they were a big hit. I served the Asiago flavor with garlic hummus, and I paired the Parmesan & Garlic with a store-boght soft garlic & herb spreadable cheese. The Twistos were sturdy enough for dipping, and they are a perfect bite-sized treat. I also love to use the Bruschetta flavor as a crouton in my Caesar salads!


(4) The Royal Gourmet Jams, Marmalade, and Preserves. This line of small-batch artisan jams is made in Florida, and they offer a wide variety of creative flavors based on seasonal Florida-grown fruits. The Royal Gourmet's all-natural products feature intense fruit flavors -- and they don't contain corn syrup, additives, preservatives, or artificial colorings and flavors. What I especially love is that they offer unique flavors that I don't normally see, including Brandied Blueberry Jam and Balsamic Strawberry Jam. My personal favorite is the sweetly tart, smooth Guava Marmalade. I first tasted guava a couple of years ago and quickly fell for its intensely tart flavor. This marmalade is a great balance of sweet and tart. I especially love to toast a bagel, then top it with cream cheese and some of this Guava Marmalade -- so indulgent! The Royal Gourmet products can be ordered online at the company's website.

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Most Sophisticated, Versatile of Gift Ideas? Wine It Is!

Today, I'm sharing a guest post that offers helpful information about gift-giving for wine lovers. With the holidays right around the corner, this handy gift guide will help you discover unique ideas for the wine lovers on your shopping list! 

"In vino verities," goes the famous Latin proverb – and the truth in wine will definitely reveal just how much thought and time you invested into choosing an appropriate oenological gift for the people in your life with an appreciation for viticulture and its aromatic products. The good news is that wine gifts are an endlessly creative category, and -- while certainly limited by budget and local availability -- a unique, tailor-made gift can be curated with good planning and strategic wine shop research. Depending on the occasion, a single bottle of the right wine can be a gift on its own. Be sure to do your homework, and make the recipient feel special by telling them the story behind the particular wine you selected. The eventual tasting will be immensely more appreciated once everyone involved knows how special or exclusive that precious liquid is.

A nice recommendation would be to think outside of the wine box, and look for importers and distributors of the more exotic wine regions. You'll definitely impress a wine-loving friend if you produce a bottle coming all the way from Georgia, the oldest wine growing location in the world. Tell the story of the 7000-year long oenology tradition and the unique ancient fermenting technology in quevri -- huge clay jars buried in the ground for temperature control. Georgians even invented the word gvino being the etymological source of wine. Wines from this stunningly beautiful country are made in an artisanal, natural way and are consequently among the purest wines in the world. You can't go wrong with semi-sweet gems, like Khvanchkara or the popular Kindzmarauli.

How about giving a bottle of the wine that was served to the Austro-Hungarian empress and her Vienna court entourage, but also found in the wreckage of the Titanic? Track a local wine dealer who can procure Bermet, the spice and herb-infused dessert wine produced in no more than 20k bottles a year in Sremski, Karlovci, and the surrounding monasteries of Fruska Gora mountain in the northern region of Serbia. Bermet's aphrodisiac properties make it a very special Valentine's gift! 



Speaking of sweet wines, they are traditionally considered a feminine drink, but it's also worth knowing what foods to pair them with to make an irresistible gift set. Pair a bottle of sweet wine with a nice selection of blue and harder cheeses. Sweet oxidative wines like Andalusian Pedro Ximinez or Muscatel -- as well as Sauternes, Port, vintage champagne, and sweet Riesling -- will balance the saltiness of parmigiano reggiano, pecorino, cheshire, stilton, roquefort, and gorgonzola in your gift-packed cheese selection plate. Add fruit and nuts not only for their decorative value, but for bringing the best flavor from the cheese and wine tasting experience. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Creamy Apple-cot Parfait...Featuring Stonyfield Petite Crème and Bonne Maman Preserves

I’m excited to announce that The Weekend Gourmet recently became a member of Stonyfield’s Clean Plate Club. This group of food bloggers partners with Stonyfield to create and share recipes featuring their delicious organic yogurt. This is my first time participating -- and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect! Stonyfield recently introduced their new Petite Crème, which is best described as a French cousin to Greek yogurt. What I especially love about Petite Crème is that it has all of the protein of Greek yogurt, without the strong tanginess that I can sometimes find a bit overpowering. Petite Crème is mild, silky smooth, and creamy -- and it's also low in fat. Each 5.3-ounce container averages 2.5 grams of fat and 10 grams of protein. I received a sampler of all seven varieties of Petite Crème – along with two jars of delicious, all-natural Bonne Maman preserves. Bonne Maman is produced in France and contains no artificial coloring, no high- fructose corn syrup, and no preservatives. 

I used these two items to create my Creamy Apple-cot Parfait. This comforting fruit-and-cream creation starts with a warm layer of apples cooked in a caramel-like brown sugar-butter sauce...with a bit of Bonne Maman apricot preserves added for an extra layer of flavor. The apple layer is topped with a cool and creamy top layer containing Vive la Vanilla Petite Crème, vanilla beans, and a bit more of the apricot preserves. For a bit of crunch, I sprinkled honey-glazed sliced almonds on top just before serving. If you’re really pressed for time, the apple mixture can easily be made up to a day ahead and kept refrigerated in an airtight container. Simply microwave the apples for about 30 seconds when you’re ready to assemble the parfaits. Think of this parfait as a crustless deconstructed apple pie a la mode...and grab a spoon!

Monday, September 22, 2014

A Food Lover's Weekend In Ohio Part II...Three Days in Cleveland!

After our visit to Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater in Pennsylvania, The Weekend Gourmet headed to Cleveland for the second half of our Ohio vacation. Our stay included dining at a pair of Cleveland’s best restaurants, as well as a two-part visit to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. We arrived in Cleveland for our three-night stay at The Ritz-Carlton Cleveland and were warmly greeted by the friendly valet. This luxury hotel's convenient downtown location is within walking distance of several of Cleveland’s most popular attractions. We checked in and were very happy with the spacious layout of our room. We believe that the extra touches really help a property stand out – and Ritz-Carlton does too! We were delighted to find this fun – and tasty – chocolate display welcoming us to Cleveland when we first entered our room. 
We settled in our room and freshened up a bit. We were feeling a bit hungry so we decided to grab a few appetizers from the Lounge on the Club Level of the hotel. Guests staying on the Ritz-Carlton's Club Level receive a number of exclusive amenities and upgrades. These include daily food offerings, access to the Club Lounge Concierge, relaxing sitting areas, and gorgeous city views. In addition to several daily hot and cold food offerings, the Club Lounge provides Club guests a 24-hour beverage station and a fun sweets display. Anytime we felt like having coffee/tea, sodas, or a glass of wine -- or just a little sweet treat -- it was right there waiting for us. Talk about luxury...and convenience!
Our first evening in town, we attended the popular Chef Jam at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. This annual event features live music, after-hours admission to the Hall of Fame, and delicious food and cocktails from some of Cleveland’s best restaurants. If you're wondering why the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is located in Cleveland, I can shed some light on that. Cleveland disc jockey Alan Freed coined the term "rock and roll" starting in 1951. That makes Cleveland the official birthplace of rock 'n roll! We had a great time walking around the Rock Hall, stopping to sample bites of amazing food, sipping cocktails, and looking at the eye-popping displays in the museum’s vast collection. For music fans like us, it was a fabulous experience. We saw several exhibits that evening, including a Les Paul exhibit about the history of the electric guitar. We're huge U2 fans, so we loved seeing some of the stage props from the  Zoo TV tour on display.
After Chef Jam was over, we headed back to our relaxing room at the Ritz-Carlton and settled in for the evening. We spent the next day catching up on some much-needed rest. We also explored the area surrounding the hotel. For sports fans, the Ritz-Carlton is literally around the corner from both Progressive Field (where the Indians play baseball) and Quicken Loans Arena (home to LeBron James’ Cavaliers). Located directly adjacent to the Ritz-Carlton is Horseshoe Casino and Tower City Center's shopping and restaurants. Of course, an afternoon visit to the Club Lounge Sweets Bar for a freshly baked cookie was part of my itinerary too!
Before we knew it, it was time to get ready for dinner at Dante, Chef Dante Bocuzzi’s namesake New American restaurant. Our dining experience at his dba in Akron the previous weekend was amazing, so we were eagerly anticipating this dining experience as well. Dante is located in the Tremont neighborhood of Cleveland – about a 10-minute drive from the Ritz-Carlton. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Fabulous Fall Foods #SundaySupper...Featuring Streamlined Weeknight Shepherd's Pie

This week, our #SundaySupper group is sharing Fabulous Fall Foods. Our host for this week's event is Coleen of The Redhead Baker, with help from co-host Conni of The Foodie Army Wife. While Fall has already arrived in many parts of the country, Texas hasn't quite gotten the memo. After a brief respite from the Summer-like heat last weekend, we've been in the 90s most of the past week. My hope was that by making a comforting Fall-inspired dinner -- maybe I could hasten Fall's arrival here just a bit! To me, Fall means cooler weather and a return to comfort classics. I've always wanted to make shepherd's pie, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity. What's not to like about a hearty beef and veggie base topped with creamy mashed potatoes? 

I wanted to make a streamlined version of shepherd's pie that could be whipped up on busy weeknights. My Streamlined Weeknight Shepherd's Pie tastes like it's been cooking for hours, but it's ready in about 45 minutes -- most of which is hands-off time! I used pre-chopped veggies and refrigerated ready-cooked mashed potatoes from the grocery store. If you prefer, you can also use leftover mashed potatoes -- or even good-quality instant mashed potatoes. Since shepherd's pie reminds me a bit of a pot pie, I cooked my shepherd's pies in four individual 2-cup ramekins. However, you can also layer everything in a 2-quart casserole or 9x9 square baker instead.

Friday, September 19, 2014

A Food Lover's Weekend In Ohio, Part I: Akron/Canton and Fallingwater

The Weekend Gourmet enjoyed a fun getaway to Ohio and Pennsylvania this Summer to attend our nephew’s high school graduation. Before and after the ceremony, we enjoyed visits to the Akron/Canton area, Cleveland, and Frank Lloyd Wright’s iconic Fallingwater. We enjoyed cooler temps, excellent food, and some fun attractions. We flew into and out of the smaller Akron-Canton airport via Southwest Airlines, so we began our trip with an overnight visit to Akron and Canton. Both towns are located about an hour south of Cleveland, so a visit to both was very easy. Canton is best known for two things: the Pro Football Hall of Fame and DCI’s popular Bluecoats drum corp. When we found out that the Pro Football Hall of Fame was only a 10-minute drive from the airport, we decided to head straight there after picking up our rental car. Michael and I are huge football fans, so we were really excited to visit the Hall of Fame. It's chock-full of NFL history, but it’s easy to see the entire complex in an afternoon.
Each year, nearly two-hundred thousand football fans visit the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Learning about the history of the game is an amazing and fun learning experience. We first spent some time visiting the Hall of Fame Gallery, which contains bronze busts of all 287 NFL Hall of Fame inductees -- both players and coaches. We immediately looked for a few of our favorite players, and we were very excited to find #34: Texas and Houston Oilers legend Earl “The Tyler Rose” Campbell. 
After spending an hour or so walking through the Hall of Fame Gallery, we decided to spend the rest of our visit checking out some of the exhibits located in the two-level main building. All of the exhibits were educational, and many of them were interactive too. My favorite experience was getting to stand right next to the actual Lombardi Trophy that will be presented to the winner of the 2015 Super Bowl next February! 
Michael had fun creating a computer mockup of a Houston Texans championship ring at one interactive exhibit. A fan can dream…right?!?!? Speaking of the Texans, we were really excited to see a J.J. Watt jersey on display. As you can see, Michael happened to be wearing his favorite J.J. Watt shirt that day. Talk about a perfect photo op! Before leaving, we spent some time in the well-stocked Hall of Fame Store gift shop to pick up a few souvenirs of our visit.
Photograph provided by Sheraton Hotels
From there, we headed to the Sheraton Suites Akron Cuyahoga Falls hotel in nearby Cuyahoga Falls. The picturesque town is located on the scenic Cuyahoga River. In fact, our two-room suite included a lovely view of the river below. The Sheraton Suites also provides a perfect location for travelers – it's right on the river, with easy access to a major freeway. Our suite had a living room, a spacious bedroom, and a large bathroom. The King bed was very comfortable, and the hotel provided free in-room WiFi. We settled in for a bit to relax before our dinner reservation at Dante Bocuzzi Akron -- known as dba -- in nearby Akron. 
For those who don’t know, NBA great LeBron James grew up in Akron -- and he still maintains close ties to his hometown. Akron is also home to the University of Akron, as well as a thriving food scene. Chef Dante Bocuzzi has several restaurants in the Cleveland area, and we had read great things about his Dante Bocuzzi Akron -- known as dba. It's a popular restaurant that also offers a bar and an after-hours ultra lounge. Chef Bocuzzi is also a music lover, which is reflected in dba’s décor and attitude. The restaurant features low lighting, red lighting, and walls that are inscribed with lyrics from famous rock songs. The menu at dba is printed on the back of a vintage LP sleeve, and the bread bowls at each table are handmade by Chef Bocuzzi by melting and reshaping classic vinyl albums -- very fun! 
Chef de Cuisine Ernie Cornelius' dinner menu features creative flavor combinations -- and some of the best food we've eaten in any city this year. We started our memorable meal with a duo of creative cocktail pairings and a shared appetizer. For our starter, we shared the Cola Braised Short Ribs with Asian Slaw and Tempura Shiitake. The ribs were fork tender, and the mushrooms were perfectly fried. The acidity from the slaw worked perfectly with the richness of the beef ribs. So good! 
Our perfectly mixed cocktails were fruity and vibrantly flavored. Michael had a pineapple-based cocktail that came paired with an edible pineapple crisp on top. I opted for the Berry Fizz, which was served with an amuse bouche of panna cotta and dried blueberries. We quickly agreed that our meal was off to a perfect start! After our starter, we shared a Toasted Peanut and Chicken Salad. It was easily one of the best salads we've eaten in ages. It featured perfectly grilled chicken breast, crispy rice noodles, chopped peanuts, and a flavorful spicy peanut dressing. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Red Gold Prize Pack Giveaway...Featuring Slow Cooker Beefy Cilantro-Lime Soup #RGRecipes #SlowCooker

My good friends at Red Gold recently sent me a fun package that contained a variety of their delicious tomatoes -- along with an apron, wooden spoon, and slow cooker recipes. Red Gold is focusing on time-saving slow cooker meals this Fall, encouraging families to have a hot meal ready and waiting when they get back home after a busy day at school or work. They're also hosting a fun promotion starting today -- they're going to give away two slow cookers a day for the next three weeks — that's 44 Crock-Pots in all!! Red Gold also encouraged me to share a fun slow cooker creation featuring one of the tomato products in my prize pack. I love Red Gold Petite Diced Tomatoes with Lime Juice & Cilantro, so I used it as the starting point for a filling soup that's a complete meal in a bowl.
My Slow Cooker Beefy Cilantro-Lime Soup is very adaptable. You can put it on in the morning before you leave and let it cook on Low for 6 hours; simply program your slow cooker to switch to Warm mode the rest of the day. You can also assemble the dish in the late afternoon/early evening and cook it on High for 3 hours. This spicy soup is perfect for cool Fall evenings. It’s flavored with cilantro, lime juice, corn, potatoes, and mild green chiles. To add a bit of heat and smokiness, I added low-sodium taco seasoning and a spoonful of puree from a can of chipotle peppers. Feel free to adjust the heat level to your preference. For serving, I topped each bowl with a dollop of cooling sour cream and shredded cheese. Your kitchen will smell heavenly while this soup is cooking away!

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Weekend Gourmet Dines Out for September...Featuring Galveston's Number 13

While visiting our families in Houston earlier this Summer, Michael and I were invited to come have dinner at Number 13 Prime Steak and Seafood in Galveston. Galveston is well known for its casual seafood restaurants located on the beach...and its equally casual vibe. Until recently fine-dining options on the island were few and far between. Number 13 is the perfect blend of upscale gourmet food and casually elegant hospitality. The restaurant opened last December and is located inside Pelican Rest Marina. Its location is closer to the causeway linking Galveston to the mainland than the more touristy Seawall beach area. Executive Chef Jason Hanin's menu includes innovative appetizers and delicious cocktails, creatively prepared Gulf seafood, prime steak, and mouthwatering desserts. Add it all up, and you have the makings of a romantic tropical date night!

Michael and I started our dinner with a pair of cocktails and a shared appetizer. I opted for the refreshing Strawberry Basil Lemonade cocktail. Michael chose the Bramble, which contained gin, crème de cassis blackberry, and fresh lemon. Both cocktails were expertly prepared -- intensely flavored and just strong enough. For our appetizer, we quickly agreed on the Maine Lobster & Burrata platter. It arrived looking like a colorful work of art and included proscuitto Americano, grapefruit salad, tarragon-verjus vinaigrette.
The platter was almost too pretty to eat...almost! Sweet chunks of lobster combined with salty prosciutto, tart grapefruit, and the herbal vinaigrette. Add in the rich, creamy burrata and we were loving this appetizer. For our entrees, we decided to order one seafood dish and one steak and create an upscale surf 'n turf for two. Michael loves nothing more than a great steak, so he decided to try Number 13's signature in-house 28-day dry aged US Prime New York Strip. It was cooked perfectly to order, and it was melt-in-your-mouth tender and juicy!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

M&M and Mott's Fall Recipes...Featuring Candy Apple Oatmeal Cookies #FlavorofFall #CollectiveBias #shop

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

Fall is in the air -- even here in Texas! Our first cool front of the season blew through last night, dropping temps into the breezy low 60s. Yes, that qualifies as a cool snap in Texas. Cooler weather makes my thoughts turn to fall recipes, so I decided to whip up a batch of oatmeal cookies flavored with seasonal Candy Apple M&Ms, Mott's apple sauce, and Mott's apple juice. Add some chopped dried apples and a delicious apple-cinnamon glaze, and every bite of my Candy Apple Oatmeal Cookies was bursting with the #FlavorofFall! Even better? By using a store-bought oatmeal cookie mix, my first batch of cookies  was in the oven in about 20 minutes. Oatmeal cookies are Michael's favorite, so he happily ate several of these moist chocolate-studded cookies for dessert last night!

My first step to making these cookies was to head to my neighborhood Walmart on behalf of #Collective Bias to gather all my ingredients. The Mott's apple sauce was located on the Canned Fruit aisle. With the first item in my cart, I headed over to the Juice aisle to pick up a container of Mott's apple juice. Both items were easy to find in a matter of minutes. Then, it was off to find the seasonal Candy Apple M&Ms.
After a bit of searching around  the candy aisle, I located a convenient display of seasonal M&M flavors in a special display very near the checkout. I purchased the Candy Apple flavor M&Ms for my cookies, but I couldn't resist picking up a bag of the Candy Corn white chocolate M&Ms too. They are so good...and the festive Fall colors are really fun! You'll find lots of fun Fall-themed recipe and theme party ideas on the Flavor Of Fall tumblr page. You can also download convenient coupons for $1 off any two (2) Mott’s sauce or Mott’s juice drinks and $1.50 off any two (2) M&M’s brand chocolate candies. Both of these printable coupons will help save you money on all your Fall baking!
Mission accomplished...now, I was ready to bake! My original intention was to make a fun cookie pizza, but my finished cookie dough came out pretty wet and sticky...so changed my plans. I decided to make Candy Apple Oatmeal Cookies drizzled with an apple-cinnamon glaze instead. The end result was just what I was looking for...and my cookies received two enthusiastic thumbs up from Michael!

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