Monthly Archives: October 2012

Healthy Fiesta Stuffed Red Peppers

I normally call these “stuffed peppers” when I’m making them, but I figured they needed a better name if I was going to post the recipe.  So, I let my son come up with the name, and he came up with the “fiesta” part.  These peppers are protein packed and full of healthy nutrients, and I know you will love them!

This is a wonderful and healthy meal to make for your family, and it will make everyone happy too!  You will use ground turkey breasts instead of other ground meats.  Please make sure you get the “ground breast.”  Don’t get just ground turkey.  If you don’t get the breast you are just getting meat that is just as fatty as regular ground beef.

On a side note, sometimes I have a bit of “stuffing” left over from stuffing the peppers.  I will use it to make lettuce wraps for a healthy packed lunch.


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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground turkey breast
  • 4 red or yellow peppers, halved and cleaned out
  • taco/fajita seasoning mix
  • 2/3 c water
  • 1 15 oz can of black beans
  • 2/3 c frozen corn
  • 1 c fresh salsa (jarred can work here too)
  • 1 1/2 c cooked rice
  • shredded cheese of your choice

Directions:

Cook the ground turkey breast over medium heat until thoroughly cooked.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. While the meat is cooking, halve and clean the peppers for stuffing.  Once the meat is done cooking combine the taco/fajita seasoning with 2/3 c water.  Add the seasoning and water mixture to the cooked meat. Reduce heat and let simmer until there really isn’t any liquid left in the pan.  In a large bowl add the cooked turkey, corn, beans, rice, and salsa. Gently mix to combine.  Stuff the peppers with the mixture. Add 1 cup of water to the baking dish. This will help to soften the pepper and keep them from sticking to the baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 45-50 minutes. About 10 minutes before the peppers are done, remove them from the oven, add the cheese to the tops and place back in the oven uncovered until the cheese melts.  I like to garnish my peppers with scallions and fat free sour cream. Enjoy!!

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  While the meat is cooking, halve and clean the peppers for stuffing.

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Once the meat is done cooking combine the taco/fajita seasoning with 2/3 c water.

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Add the seasoning and water mixture to the cooked meat.  Reduce heat and let simmer until there really isn’t any liquid left in the pan.

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In a large bowl add the cooked turkey, corn, beans, rice, and salsa.  Gently mix to combine.

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Stuff the peppers with the mixture.  Add 1 cup of water to the baking dish.  This will help to soften the pepper and keep them from sticking to the baking dish.  Cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 45-50 minutes.  About 10 minutes before the peppers are done, remove them from the oven, add the cheese to the tops and place back in the oven uncovered.


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I like to garnish my peppers with scallions and fat free sour cream.  Enjoy!!

Pre-Halloween Workout

I’m so excited for today!!!!  This morning I taught my Pre-Halloween Spinning class at the Y.  I love Halloween, and everything that goes with it!  This year my class does not fall on the day of Halloween…will that stop me from getting my Halloween cycle party on?  I think not!!  So, we did a Pre-Halloween ride instead.  I put together a fun ride and a ton of goodies to go along with it.  Did I mention that everyone got glow-in-the-dark bracelets and necklaces!?!  Oh…and there were door prizes too!

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I broke out my LED light up tutu for the class too!!  By the way…That skeleton really wanted a kiss!

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The door prizes were a bit on the unhealthy side, but it is Halloween.  Sometimes you just gotta let go!  However, there were some door prizes that did not involve sugar to choose from tooSmile.

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We had a great ride too!  It was a bit different.  I used theme songs from Halloween type sitcoms for our recoveries.  Everyone was singing along before long!

Breast Cancer Awareness Month and a Free Giveaway!!!

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Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a special month for me for personal reasons.  Back in 2007 I had to have a mastectomy at the age of 27.  When it was all said and done, they discovered I had 31 tumors many of which were precancerous.  The doctor told me that if they had not caught it when they did things would have been way worse and I may have been looking at more than just a full mastectomy.

Instead of talking about “awareness” and the whole detailed story of my mastectomy, I would like to talk about the support and awareness of friends.

Like all breast cancer stories, I was completely floored when the doctor told me I had to have a mastectomy.  What to do next?  This was my biggest question.  I didn’t know anyone personally who had gone through a mastectomy, so I really didn’t know what the whole process entailed (my surgeon was awesome, and he gave me a ton of info and talked to me about everything, but I needed more personal info and info from someone who had been through it), and I refused to get on the internet, because I knew that would have a bad outcome.  Instead, I just went on with my daily business.

The next day at the gym my friends asked me how my appointment with the doctor went, and I told them the outcome.  Well, after getting a bunch of hugs they all went into overdrive researching and helping in any way they could.  That same day, one of my trainers and friends, Hal and Sam (husband and wife), introduced me to one of their friends who worked out at our gym.  Her name is Kathy, and she is an angel.

Kathy was the woman who made it possible for me to get through my mastectomy.  She 41490_1423880202_673_nis just an amazing, generous, and caring person.  She allowed me (a total stranger at the time) to ask her a ton of questions for over an hour about her mastectomy, experience, and recovery.  And let me tell you, I was asking some pretty detailed and slightly embarrassing questions too.  Not once did Kathy hesitate to answer any of my questions or brush a single one off.  She took her time and gave me all the details she had to give, which included details about the 3 surgeries I would have to go through, and my recovery for all of them.  Then, she and I continued to talk up and through my surgeries about everything.  Honestly, she was my mental life saver going into those surgeries.  I know I would have been a wreck if it hadn’t been for her.

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After my surgery not only did I have Kathy there for me, I had a whole group of friends and trainers there for myself and my family to help us get through everything.  I couldn’t be more thankful for all the meals, phone calls, Kim coming over to do laundry (a butt load of other chores) and wash my hair, Teresa and Cheryl for your support and helping out so much with our son, Skip and Walt for helping my husband through everything, and an overall outpouring of love and prayers from all of my friends.  From our home/neighborhood to the gym, (Hal and Jessica helping me get through my physical recovery and everyone elses support there) everyone was just beyond supportive and helpful, and I know I would have never made it through the whole ordeal without them.

With their help I was able to go through with my surgeries with my head held high and a smile on my face and a positive outlook.  Thankfully I’m young and had a quick recovery…Plus my boobs will never sag!  Below are pictures of some of the wonderful people in my life who were there for me through all of my surgeries and recoveries.

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I honestly hope there are a ton of “Kathys” out there, and I’m sure there are!  All of us women who have been through this need to help anyone who may have to go through any breast surgeries or are going through them. If you need someone to give you details, email me. I will be there for you and answer all your questions that I can.

Which brings me to the Giveaway!!!!  The giveaway is 2 necklaces!  One necklace is for you, and the other necklace is for a friend in your life who has been there for you.

This charm necklace, Sterling Silver with 14k Rose Gold Plated “Be, Kind, Free, True, Brave, Strong, Happy, Thankful, Compassionate” Two Charm Graffiti Necklace, 18″, is for you.  I want you to always feel these things throughout your life!

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The second necklace, for your friend, is two sided and has a wonderful quote about friends: “A Friend May Well Be Reckoned The Masterpiece Of Nature – Ralph Waldo Emerson”

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This giveaway is for you and a friend!  All you have to do are two things:

1.  “Like” From Florida to North Dakota on Facebook.

2.  Leave a comment on this blog post about the friend you would like to give the “friend” necklace to, and how that friend has been there for you.  Even the little things they do can mean so much!

It is that simple!  The giveaway will last from Oct 28th to Oct 31st.  I will post the winner on my blog, fromfltond,  and the From Florida to North Dakota Facebook page on Nov 1st!!

Stability Ball Workout #2

Today is another wonderfully chilly day in North Dakota with snow still on the ground from yesterday; however, it is nowhere near as bad as it was 2 years ago when we moved here.  See the picture below?  That was Oct 27, 2010.  Need I say more?  And, those are not Christmas lights on the deck, they are Halloween lights!!

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Thankfully I’m not staring at that this morning!

Today I wanted to work on some more exercises on the stability ball.  I love the way I can work my core during the whole workout and these are some of my favorite moves that I’ve been doing for years.  Below is the workout I did.  I ended up doing 4 sets of each circuit…I also had 3 cups of coffee this morning.  In case you are unsure of how to do an exercise, I have included links (below) to examples of each exercise.  After my workout, I pulled out one of my trusty yoga videos.  My muscles are pretty tight from this week, and I need to get a really good stretch in.

The scorpion is a favorite.  We did it in our first circuit with Best Body Bootcamp, and I just had to share it with ya!  I haven’t done the scorpion in quite a few years, so it was “fun” to get back into that exercise againWinking smile.  Remember to stretch when your finished!!


Stability Ball Workout 2

A Beach Workout

Well, it is winter here in North Dakota.  This morning it is a whopping 23 degrees.  It has already snowed here a few times, and thankfully all of it melted.  However, the freezing cold weather is here to stay (no matter how much I beg and plead …okay maybe overly curse mother nature).  I know most of us want to hibernate once the cold weather hits, and this causes us to pack on the pounds.   Make this the year that you don’t hibernate and gain that winter weight!  Make it your goal to stay fit and healthy.  I know this will be my goal for the winter, and I know it is going to be hard.  There will come times when I will start pacing the kitchen (while hiding inside from the snow and –50 degree wind chills) craving something warm, gooey, and sweet.  I will fight it!!!  We all must or the winter weight gain will win again!!!  I will not let white, ugly, fluffy stuff that falls from the sky be the reason I gain weight and you mustn’t either!

So, we all must continue working-out throughout the horrible winter weather!  The added bonus is that by continuing your workouts or starting to workout you will have that beach body for next year!!  If you are just beginning, make sure you are incorporating cardio and weights into your weekly workout routine.  This will keep you toned and burning calories throughout the winter.

Right now I’m missing my beaches and warm weather in Florida a bunch.  Therefore, I pulled out this old workout I did a lot in Florida. You can do it on the beach or dreaming you’re at the beach .Hot smile

Also, stay tuned for a free give-away that will be announced this weekend!


Beach Workout 2

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

This is my favorite soup of all time, always has been and always will be.  There is nothing like having a big bowl of this anytime of year.  However, after living in the coldest place on earth, I have an all new love for any heartwarming foods…especially this soup.

I make a ton of this soup every year and freeze it, and it freezes perfectly!  This way I can pull it out anytime and have a wonderfully warm meal ready in no time!  Sometimes I add shredded chicken breasts to my soup to add an extra healthy protein.

Usually I use the fresh roma tomatoes from our garden, but this year nothing grew right (except for our apple trees) due to our wonderful drought.  We had a sunny and hot summer up here, and I loved it.  While the locals swore about the heat, I was outside living it up like the Floridian that I am!  Anyway, I digress…In this recipe I use canned San Marzano tomatoes.  Please feel free to use fresh tomatoes if you like.  If you do, you may want to run everything through a food mill instead of a food processor or immersion blender.  This will keep the tomato seeds and skin from getting into the end product.


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Ingredients

  • 3 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 Carrots diced/chopped
  • 1 Large Red onion diced (or 2 small onions)
  • 3 Garlic cloves minced or shredded
  • 1 T Tomato paste
  • 1 T Sugar
  • 1/2 c Chopped Basil
  • 3 28 oz. cans of San Marzano Tomatoes
  • 1 quart of Chicken Broth
  • 1-2 Rinds of Parmesan Cheese (optional)
  • 1 c Heavy Whipping Cream
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions:

In a large pot over medium heat, add the diced onion and carrots. Sautee until soft…about 10 minutes.  Once the veggies have softened, add the garlic cloves. Sautee the garlic for a few minutes. I use a shredder (just like Rachel Ray) to mince my garlic. It is so much easier.  Then, stir in the tomato paste.  Once the tomato paste is sticking to all the veggies, add the cans of tomatoes, basil, sugar, salt, and pepper.  Next, add the chicken broth and stir to combine all the ingredients.  Now for the secret ingredient….Parmesan Cheese rinds. I always save the rinds from my parmesan cheese in a bag in the freezer for soups and stews. They “make” the soup. This is a little trick I learned while in Italy one time. If you don’t have any don’t worry, but if you do…add two of these little guys to the pot of soup. After you add the rinds, bring the soup to a boil. Then, reduce the heat and simmer for about 40 minutes.  Either use a food processor, immersion blender, or food mill to puree the soup to the consistency you like. Don’t forget to remove and throw away the Parmesan cheese rinds first!!!!  Place the soup back in the large pot and add the heavy whipping cream. Add any extra salt and pepper to taste at this point.  Serve in large bowls (trust me you will want a lot of this) and garnish with basil and shredded Parmesan cheese. Make sure you have some crusty bread for dipping too!!

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In a large pot over medium heat, add the diced onion and carrots.  Sautee until soft…about 10 minutes.

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Once the veggies have softened, add the garlic cloves.  Sautee the garlic for a few minutes.  I use a shredder (just like Rachel Ray) to mince my garlic.  It is so much easier.

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Then, stir in the tomato paste.

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Once the tomato paste is sticking to all the veggies, add the cans of tomatoes, basil, sugar, salt, and pepper.

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Next, add the chicken broth and stir to combine all the ingredients.

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Now for the secret ingredient….Parmesan Cheese rinds.  I always save the rinds from my parmesan cheese in a bag in the freezer for soups and stews.  They “make” the soup.  This is a little trick I learned while in Italy one time.  If you don’t have any don’t worry, but if you do…add two of these little guys to the pot of soup.  After you add the rinds, bring the soup to a boil.  Then, reduce the heat and simmer for about 40 minutes.

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Either use a food processor, immersion blender, or food mill to puree the soup to the consistency you like.  Don’t forget to remove and throw away the Parmesan cheese rinds!!!!

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Place the soup back in the large pot and add the heavy whipping cream.  Add any extra salt and pepper to taste at this point.


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Serve in large bowls (trust me you will want a lot of this) and garnish with basil and shredded Parmesan cheese.  Make sure you have some crusty bread for dipping too!!

A Speedy 20 Minute Treadmill Interval and Halloween Preparations

How is it already pretty much the end of October?  Where in the world did summer go?  Heck, I think I totally missed fall somewhere in there!  Today I just realized that Halloween is next week, and we don’t even have anything set up for trick-or-treaters!  I’m seriously lacking on my Halloween “pimpin’.”

I’m really going to have to get my butt in gear this weekend in order to have everything together that I want to do and bake/cook for Halloween.  I haven’t even bought pumpkins to carve yet!!  What kind of mother am I?  Plus, I found a ton of great stuff on Pinterest and I’m determined to do each and every one of them.

The main new project I’m looking forward to doing for Halloween (baring a blizzard…they do happen here this time of year) is making the “floating glow balls”.  All you do is fill a large balloon with water and a glow stick.  You then place the balloon in a nylon stocking and hang it from a tree.  How cool is that!?!  The trees that line our front yard are perfect for this!

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In the mean time I continue with my daily workouts and goals.  I’ve been really good about sticking to my goals.  This morning my husband made scrambled eggs, and I reheated some of the left over overnight pumpkin pie steel cut oats to go with it.  I’m going to need all the energy I can get from this breakfast, because I’m subbing gym class at my son’s elementary school today.

This evening I’m lifting weights with the Best Body Bootcamp program and doing a quick 20 minute treadmill interval workout (seen below) that I came up with.  If you are looking for a good full body workout try the Freakishly Good Workout today.  It will really tone and tighten those muscles!


20 Minute Treadmill Intervals

Overnight Crock Pot/Slow Cooker Pumpkin Pie Steel Cut Oats

Last night I actually succeeded in going to bed by 10 pm.  Can you believe it!?!  This is the first time I have gotten to bed this early in quite a while, and it was so much easier to get up this morning when my alarm went off.  Although, I still had the urge to throw said alarm across the room when it went off.  I really don’t think I’ll ever get over hating alarm clocks.

This morning had to be a super quick protein packed breakfast since I had to head out the door quickly after getting my son ready for school and on the bus.  Therefore, I planned ahead and made my overnight slow cooker pumpkin pie steel cut oats.  Trust me, it is as good as it sounds, and this morning it is freezing out and there was snow on the ground, so it warmed me right up.  I also added a scoop of protein powder to my oatmeal to add some extra protein.


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Ingredients:

  • 2 c steel cut oats
  • 1 15 oz can of pureed pumpkin
  • 5-6 c water
  • 2 c milk (you can use almond milk too)
  • 2-3 T ground flax seeds (optional but they are really good for you:)
  • 1 T pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 c maple syrup, brown sugar, or honey (optional)

Directions:

Mix all ingredients in crock pot/slow cooker.  I spray down the sides of my crock pot.  Set on low for 5-6 hours or on warm for 8-10 hours.  Stir the oats the next morning and serve!!!  One night I accidentally set the crock pot on warm instead of low and discovered you can cook the oats on warm and have an easier clean up after (less scraping the sides/soaking time)…I have also forgotten to plug in the crock pot after turning it on…That did now work out as well.  The sweeteners are optional.  I usually cook the oats with 1/4 c of maple syrup and then add a bit of brown sugar to my own bowl in the morning with some raw sliced almonds or shredded coconut.

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Mix all ingredients in crock pot/slow cooker. I spray down the sides of my crock pot. Set on low for 5-6 hours or on warm for 8-10 hours.


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Yum!!!

New Goals with Best Body Bootcamp

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Well, it is time for me to get rid of the 10 pounds I gained since moving to North Dakota (so far I have shed 3).  I wish I could say it was all muscle mass I gained, but I’m nowhere near that lucky.  I got back into a great daily workout routine once I started teaching at the Y last month, but I really need that extra kick in the butt, and to be held accountable.  Plus (as a trainer) I love learning from other trainers.  Oh, and Best Body Bootcamp has a ton of BIG cash prizes!!!

Tina Reale has come up with a great 8 week workout program!  I was lucky enough to have met Tina ages ago, and I can tell you that she is the real deal.  Not only is she an amazing trainer she is also an amazing and caring person, and she wants to see everyone succeed.

bigstock_Fitness_and_health_concept_in__25382894_thumbThis 8 week training program is great, and only costs $25!  Not only do you get 8 weeks worth of amazing workouts you can do at home…you get huge cash prizes!  At the end of the 8 weeks there will be five $1000 cash prizes!  Then each week there will be a $100 cash prize!  The prizes are determined/based on your consistency and commitment to staying active and achieving personal health and fitness goals of your choosing.  This is NOT about who loses the most weight/inches or looks “the best” in progress photos. It IS about staying committed to better choices and habits, challenging yourself, and making a lifestyle change for the better.

Each day with Best Body Bootcamp you have a workout and two goals that you are held accountable for (must complete them in order to be eligible for prizes).  Your goals can change each week, and this is where I had to stop and think.  Of course, I have goals for myself in life, but my daily goals are really something I have never thought about.  Like most other wives, mothers, and women out there my daily goals (more like tasks) are pretty basic…try to eat healthy, exercise, make sure the family is cared for, and get the never ending laundry and dishes done.  Never once have I thought about coming up with 2 daily goals that will better my health.  Sad huh?  Well, I had to sit and think for a bit.  Finally I came up with two goals I really need to have on a daily basis.

First goal:  Eat a protein filled breakfast!  I know I don’t need to lecture all of you on the benefits of eating breakfast.  However, like most Americans I am not a morning person.  I literally have to force a bowl of oatmeal or toast down my throat in the mornings before I head off to teach my classes.  So, now my goal is to eat a protein filled breakfast.  This will give me more energy and keep me fuller throughout the day!

Second goal:  Go to bed by 10 pm!  This one is gonna be a hard one too.  My son is in bed by 8:30 at night, and after that I clean up the kitchen, put things away, and start getting everything ready for the next day.  Then, I take a shower and pick up a book to read.  By this time it is easily 10 pm or later, and once I start reading a good book I can stay up to all hours of the night (and I wonder why I want a nap so badly in the afternoons).  So, it is time for me to finally get the amount of sleep my body needs!  Wish me luck!

So, this all brings me to my question for you….Do you have any daily goals that will make you healthier?

Pumpkin Pie Muddie Buddies!!!

My first Biscoff recipe came off without a hitch, and is a complete hit!  I almost hate myself for making these muddie buddies, because they are so good and addicting!  I have to apologize for not having a picture of all the melted ingredients mixed together.  I was too busy thinking about how I was going to get to lick the bowl and forgot!

These are a perfect addition to any party, or if you just want something sweet to snack on!  Make them today!  You will not regret it.


Ingredients

  • 9 c Chex, Crispix, or like cereal (I use an organic cereal)
  • 2 c powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 c white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 heaping c Biscoff
  • 4 T butter
  • 1 tsp pumpkin spice

Directions

Put cereal in a large bowl.  In a microwave safe bowl combine white chocolate, Biscoff, and butter.  Microwave for 1 minute or until melted.  Remove from microwave and stir together.  Then, stir in pumpkin spice.  Add the mixture to the cereal.  Stir till mixture coats the cereal.  Add the powdered sugar to a large bag.  Place the cereal mixture in the bag.  Seal the bag and shake it until all the individual cereal pieces are coated with the sugar.  Spread the muddie buddies out on wax paper to cool.  Once cooled place in an air tight container or bag.  Try not to eat it all in one day!

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Put cereal in a large bowl. In a microwave safe bowl combine white chocolate, Biscoff, and butter. Microwave for 1 minute or until melted. Remove from microwave and stir together. Then, stir in pumpkin spice. Add the mixture to the cereal. Stir till mixture coats the cereal.

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Place the cereal mixture in the bag. Seal the bag and shake it until all the individual cereal pieces are coated with the sugar.

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Spread the muddie buddies out on wax paper to cool.


Once cooled place in an air tight container or bag. Try not to eat it all in one day!