Recipe: Six Marinades to See You Through Summer

Mrs. Fields Secrets Summer Marinades
It’s time to break out the grill and get ready for a season of great backyard meals. Say goodbye to dry, flavorless meat with these six simple marinades that will see you through the entire summer. Marinating your meat before grilling allows it to absorb rich flavors and retain moisture, which gives you robust flavors and juicy meat every time. Try them all for a summer your taste buds will remember forever!

HINT: The magic minimum marinating time is 30 minutes, but 3-4 hours is even better.

HINT: To speed the process of infusing the flavors into your meats or veggies, place everything in a plastic bag and squeeze out all of the air before sealing.

HINT: Use a food processor or blender to fully emulsify your marinade. This will allow all the ingredients to evenly flavor the meat.

Italian Dressing Marinade
Straight from a bottle or made from a dry mix, Italian salad dressing is an excellent marinade, especially when you are in a pinch for time. Try it with chicken, fish and vegetables for a tangy, flavorful bite.

Balsamic Herb Marinade
Mix 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, 1/4 cup oil, 2 minced garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons basil, 2 tablespoons oregano, 1 teaspoon marjoram, 2 teaspoons salt and two teaspoons pepper. Works great with chicken, beef, pork, and vegetables.

Mango Jalapeño Marinade
Blend 1 very ripe mango with 2 tablespoons lime juice, 1/4 cup oil, 1 shallot, 1 small jalapeño pepper (use or discard seeds, depending on your preferred spice level), 1 tablespoon honey and 2 teaspoons of salt and pepper.

Caribbean Jerk Marinade
Mix 1 small onion (chopped), 1 chili or jalapeño pepper (use or discard seeds depending on your preferred spice level), 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 3 tablespoons oil, 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, 2 teaspoons thyme, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, and 2 teaspoons of salt and pepper.

Mayonnaise Marinade
Your simple, full-fat jar of mayonnaise is perfect for marinating chicken that you want to use in salads or sandwiches. Generously coat the chicken with mayonnaise and allow to sit for 30-60 minutes before grilling. Add a little bit of salt and pepper while grilling and you’ll have juicy meat every time.

Classic BBQ Marinade
Mix 1 1/2 cups steak sauce with 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1/3 cup Italian salad dressing, 1/3 cup honey, 1 minced garlic clove and 1 teaspoon of black pepper.

Mother’s Day Gifts That Make Memories

For so many of us, memories of mom include freshly baked goodies and kitchen conversations that covered everything from the mundane to the most meaningful. That’s why we’ve gathered this group of Mother’s Day gift ideas that pair our delicious gourmet goodies with our new bakeware for gifts that wow now and then keeps on giving!

Mrs. Fields Cool Bake Pan

Our Cool Bake Pan is one of our most popular gifts. It arrives with two dozen of our original cookies, baked to perfection, along with our Cool Bake Pan that works as a baking pan and cookie rack all in one. You get even baking and immediate no-mess, no-hassle cooling as soon as the cookies come out of the oven (the secret to a perfectly baked cookie). Mom will love this, especially if you join her to make the next batch!

Mrs. Fields Baker’s Sto-N-Go

The smart design of our Baker’s Sto-N-Go makes it an ideal gift for the mom who never fails to show up to a party or potluck with her famous treats.  With adjustable shelves inside, it can carry everything from frosted cupcakes to cookies and brownies, even a small cake. The gift arrives with our famous treats, a collection of our bite-sized best or original cookies.

Mrs. Fields Brookie Pan

Here’s a riddle for Mother’s Day: What do you call a cookie baked inside of a brownie? A Brookie, of course. And how do you make one? With our exclusive Brookie Pan! And if you were trying to solve the riddle of what to get mom for Mother’s Day, we just solved it for you!

Mrs. Fields Half and Half Muffin Pan

And finally, this clever gift is perfect for the indecisive mom. She won’t ever have to choose between vanilla and chocolate cupcakes, or blueberry or banana muffins! The Half and Half Muffin Pan is designed to evenly divide cupcake or muffin batter for amazing duos that invite ultimate creativity in the kitchen!

Of course, there are dozens of other brilliant gifts to browse for Mother’s Day on our website, so take time now to find the perfect treat that lets mom know how much you care. Remember, you can order now and choose exactly when you want your gift delivered. And to sweeten things, please enjoy 10% off your order placed before 5/2/14. Simply use code 14EHJ at checkout (or use the link above to have the discount automatically applied).

Happy Mother’s Day shopping to you!

25 Great Ideas for a Date Night In

Having a great date night with your significant other doesn’t have to mean a night out on the town. Here are 25 great ideas to have a great time right at home by adding a little creativity to make things special.

  1. Grab the laptop and plan out a fantasy vacation. Money is no object, so explore where you would stay, what you would eat, tours you would take, what you would wear, and souvenirs you would bring home. It’s almost as fun as the real thing, and much more affordable!
  2. Give each other a “Chopped” challenge by putting a handful of random ingredients in a shopping bag and exchange them. One of you creates dinner with your ingredients and the other creates a dessert.
  3. Recreate your first date, but at home. Cook the same meal you first ate together, find that old movie to watch together, or set up a bowling lane in your hallway. Whatever it was, rekindle those first flames with a creative repeat.
  4. Read to each other from a favorite book or a sexy novel.
  5. No need to embarrass yourself in front of a class. Learn to dance together by finding instructional videos online and then trying them out together.
  6. You like Chinese food, but he prefers pizza. So why not do a little of both? Order your favorite take out from different places and enjoy your own food festival.
  7. Get in your pajamas and make breakfast for dinner and eat by candlelight. Try one of our favorite breakfast menus for inspiration.
  8. Learn some birding basics and go birdwatching in your backyard. You’ll discover a whole new world right outside your door.
  9. Build a fire in the fireplace and spread out a soft blanket with some pillows. Add a cheese plate and a bottle of wine and you’re set for hours of romantic relaxation.
  10. Have your own karaoke night alone or with friends. Borrow a karaoke machine or sing into a hairbrush, but whatever you do, belt out a love song for your date.
  11. Get out your favorite board game, but add some “naughty” twists to the rules. (Wink, wink.)
  12. Do you know your significant other’s lifelong dreams and wishes? Write out your bucket lists together and then post them somewhere in the house as a reminder.
  13. Pack a picnic and head to the backyard for a private, romantic, eat-with-your-hands meal. Bring a blanket big enough to sprawl on, some good music, and a book of poetry to read.
  14. Prepare a deluxe bubble bath to take together. Splurge on some fancy soaps and loofahs, light some candles, and bring a plate of chilled berries and drinks.
  15. Give the opera a try without the expensive ticket and uncomfortable seats. Watch famous opera arias online, or rent a popular opera and watch it together. (Subtitles help, so look for one that has them.)
  16. Give each other massages. All you need is a bottle of massage oil, a new age music playlist on Pandora, and some simple tips and tricks to get started.
  17. Buy an exotic food at the grocery store and learn how to cook it together. Ask your grocer for tips and ideas, and even recommendations. You may discover a favorite new food!
  18. Learn the night sky and do some stargazing together after dark. Get a map and look for the naked eye constellations, or use a telescope to explore more hard-to-find clusters.
  19. Take a long, lingering walk around your area. Hold hands, walk slow, take time to stop and smell the roses.
  20. Have a wine tasting together. Choose 3-5 bottles of a specific type of wine, ranging in price and have a tasting together.
  21. Do your best Barbara Walters and interview each other. Use these questions for inspiration or jot down your own probing questions to learn even more about each other.
  22. Have a pretend power outage. Turn off the power to the house and shut down all those handheld devices. Enjoy the quiet and the candlelight and get creative to entertain yourselves.
  23. Use your best sound system and create a concert of your favorite songs, or look up your favorite artists in concert and enjoy the best seats in the house.
  24. Get a new perspective and climb up on the roof together. (But be safe!) Enjoy the view, the quiet, and a chance to reconnect.
  25. Have a cookie bake off where each of you choose a favorite cookie recipe and put your baking skills to the test. (Search our Recipe Index for some Mrs. Fields favorites!)

{Image via Getty Images.}

Casserole Series: Cheesy Pineapple Casserole

Mrs. Fields Secrets Cheesy Pineapple Casserole
We’re rounding out our Casserole Series today with a fabulous sweet and savory casserole that is a southern favorite. It’s got the sweet richness of pineapple with the sharp tang of cheddar cheese with a buttery crumble on top. This is ideal for a picnic or potluck since it is just as tasty at room temperature as it is warm out of the oven next to a slice of ham. You could also take it in a spicy direction by adding a pinch of red pepper flakes to the pineapple mixture and a few more to the crumble top. Try it out and make it your own!

Cheesy Pineapple Casserole

1 cup sugar
6 tablespoons flour
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 (20 oz.) cans pineapple chunks, drained but reserve 6 tablespoons of juice
1 1/2 cup crushed Ritz crackers
1/2 cup butter

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a medium-sized casserole dish with the butter, then melt the rest of the stick and set aside. In a large bowl, stir the sugar and flour together, then add the drained pineapple and cheese. Stir until well combined and transfer to the prepared casserole dish. In a separate bowl, stir the crushed crackers, melted butter and reserved pineapple juice together to create a crumble. Spread the crumble evenly over the pineapple and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown on top and bubbly around the sides. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Small Cookies, Big News: Nibblers Cookies Are Coming to a Grocery Store Near You!

NibblerPackaging
What’s bigger than big? Our big news about our Nibblers® Cookies, that’s what! Your favorite snackable, stackable cookies are available in grocery stores nationwide this spring! That’s right, our Nibblers® Cookies, the darlings of our catalogs, website, and stores can now become the darlings of your weekly grocery list. Check them out…

01_MilkChocolate_Vertical

But wait, what’s that we spy? Is that a layer of rich, chocolate fudge on the bottom of each cookie? Yes, yes it is. You may need to sit down for these. Yes, sit down with a tall glass of milk and a fresh package of 15 cookies and contemplate how great your life just became, because all of our packaged Nibblers® Cookies are fudge dipped for ultimate cookie indulgence. And they are so delectably petite, there’s never any harm in indulging. So, pick up a package for your next book club, sleepover, or movie night. Better yet, get two.

Available Nibblers® Cookies flavors:
Milk Chocolate
Peanut Butter
Double Chocolate Fudge

Look for them on the cookie aisle at Kroger and other grocers this spring!

Flash Giveaway: Describe Your Administrative Professional In 3 Words!

Wednesday the 23rd is Administrative Professionals Day and that means it is time for our annual giveaway! To thank your office hero, the one who keeps it all running smoothly, enter to win one of three great prizes to show your gratitude. But you’d better hurry, this giveaway starts and ends today!

Thank You Bites Box

Our Thank You Bites Box brimming with a fresh selection of cookies and brownies.

Many Thanks Tin

Nobody could resist the heart felt thanks in our Many Thanks Tin, especially because it tastes like our delicious bite-sized cookies.

72 Nibbler Basket

And finally, a gift basket filled with our Nibblers® bite-sized cookies is one of our most popular gifts, perfect for that invaluable person on your list!

Here’s how to enter: Leave a comment describing your administrative profession in only three words before midnight Monday, April 21! We’ll choose a winner tomorrow and have your gift delivered with your nomination.

Fine print: Nominees must live in the continental United States. One entry per person, please. Entrants and nominees must be 18 years or older. Entries accepted until midnight, Monday, April 21 PST. Winners will be chosen and notified via email.

Recipe: Bunny Bark

Mrs. Fields Secrets Bunny Bark
We’ve got a bonus recipe for you this week, heading into the holiday weekend. This treat is perfect to prepare and have out all weekend long for your Easter guests. It’s great for snacking or even to soothe your sweet tooth after dinner. Follow our recipe as a guide, but incorporate your own favorite cookies and flavors to make it your own.

Bunny Bark

16 ounces of white chocolate or almond bark
1 1/2 cups crushed Oreo cookies
1 cup pretzels, broken
1 1/2 cups m&m candies (any variety)
1/4 cup sprinkles

Directions
On a parchment-lined baking sheet, spread the cookies and pretzels evenly. Scatter half of the m&m candies over the cookies and pretzels. On a double-boiler or in the microwave, melt the white chocolate or almond bark over low heat until smooth and runny. Remove from heat and pour evenly over the cookie mixture. Use a spatula to smooth the melted chocolate over the entire sheet. Tap the baking sheet on the counter five or six times to remove any air bubbles and allow the chocolate to get in all the crevices. Next, scatter the remaining m&m candies all over the top, followed by the sprinkles. Allow to cool and solidify at room temperature for 5 hours or overnight before cutting into squares or breaking into bite-sized pieces.

Congratulations you’ve found today’s egg! Click the egg below to be entered for a chance to win today’s daily prize and a chance at a $2,500 shopping spree!

BlogEgg

Casserole Series: Broccoli Water Chestnut Bake

Mrs. Fields Secrets Brocolli Casserole Bake
Our casserole series is back today with the perfect side dish for your Easter feast. This is a delicious recipe that you’ll try once and keep in your repertoire forever. Adults love it, kids love it, and you’d better get a big helping to begin with because people are always going back for seconds with this.

Broccoli Water Chestnut Bake
from Susan Stewart Vaughn

4-6 cups broccoli tips
1 cup light mayonnaise
1 cup light sour cream
zest of one lemon
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
2 cups monterey jack cheese, shredded
2 (8 oz) cans sliced water chestnuts, rinsed and drained
2 cups Ritz crackers, crushed
1/2 cup melted butter

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wash broccoli and cut into bite-sized pieces. Steam for a few minutes until broccoli is tender, but bright green and still crisp. Then spread into a 9×13 casserole dish. Top with half of the green onions. Stir mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon zest and pepper together. Spread the mayonnaise and sour cream mixture over the broccoli and top with shredded cheese, then water chestnuts and remaining green onions. Finally, combine the crushed crackers with the melted butter until you have a consistent, moist crumble. Spread the crackers crumble evenly over the entire dish and bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Serve warm.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Earth Day Activity for Kids

Recycled Art
Earth Day is coming up next week and we’ve got a great activity to do with the kids to get them thinking about our waste and how it takes all of us to reduce, reuse and recycle. Before your next garbage day, gather the kids to go through the garbage with you, looking for the following things:

  • How many items are in the regular garbage that should be in the recycling bin?
  • Is there anything that could have been used again before being tossed?
  • Are there items that could have been donated to charity instead of thrown away?
  • Discuss ways you as a family can remember to sort garbage more effectively.
  • Look at the bottom of the packaging for recycling symbols and talk about what they mean.
  • Are there items that could be reused again? Think creatively about new purposes for items you are tossing.

Finally, give the kids a challenge: allow  them to reclaim five items from the garbage or recycling and turn it into an art project or a repurposed useful item. Encourage them to think outside the box and use the materials to create something entirely new. Above are some beautiful examples of recycled art to get the ideas flowing, everything from an office organizer to a colorful lampshade and bouquet of cardboard flowers. More than just a busy exercise, this activity will get everybody in the family thinking about the products we buy, the amount of waste we create, and how we can work together to reduce our impact on the planet one family at a time.

Candy-Filled Yarn Easter Eggs

Mrs. Fields Secrets Candy-Filled Yarn Eggs
Get ready for Easter with some arts and crafts time! These yarn-covered eggs are filled with your favorite wrapped candies and ready to display for springtime, but the real question is: leave the candy inside? Or, try to get it out? We won’t judge either way.

Candy-Filled Yarn Eggs

small balloons
yarn
white glue
water
candy
wax paper

Directions
Blow up balloons into egg shapes in desired sizes. Mix two parts glue to one part water and stir. For each balloon, measure 6-10 feet of yarn per balloon, depending on how dense you want the grid pattern. Soak the yarn in the glue mixture, then string the yarn around the balloon. Set on wax paper to dry 12-24 hours. When yarn is hard and dry, pop the balloon and remove it, then sneak some of the candy inside.

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