Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I went in with Treats and Left with a New Title ...

I went to a PTF meeting last night for school and I made treats for the parents.  I wanted to make something very yummy but I couldn't decide between two cupcakes so I made them both!  Heck why not right?  I had a few left over when I left but thankfully there were kids outside that ate them.  I still haven't found that perfect recipe that everyone likes, we'll see what I find next month!

First off I found this S'More Cupcakes on this awesome blog Toni Spilsbury. I tweaked mine a bit and added 4 to 5 mini marshmallow's in the middle before I cooked them!

Ingredients:

  1. flour- 1 1/4 cup
  2. cocoa powder- 1/2 cup, like Hershey’s Cocoa
  3. baking powder- 1 tspn
  4. sugar- 1 cup
  5. butter- 1 stick
  6. milk or dark chocolate- 4 oz., melted in microwave
  7. egg whites- 3
  8. milk- 1 cup
  9. vanilla- 1 tspn
  10. honey graham crackers- quartered, like Honey Maid Honey Grahams
  11. jumbo marshmallows- like Jet-Puffed Marshmallows

Directions:

  1. mix together flour, cocoa powder and baking powder
  2. In standing mixer, cream together butter and sugar
  3. add melted chocolate, egg whites, milk and vanilla; mix together until creamy
  4. slowly add flour mixture until batter forms
  5. bake until toothpick pulls out clean
  6. set timer about five minutes before baking is complete, at 15 minutes
  7. add one graham slice on top of each cupcake then top with a marshmallow
  8. continue baking another 5 minutes until marshmallow is toasted and toothpick comes out clean


Next on my list was to use up some banana's and why not do a Cocoa Banana Cupcakes on Taste of Home's Website.  I had to whip up the frosting towards an end so I didn't have time to pip it all pretty but hey it still was yummy :).

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup baking cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon each baking soda and salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-1/4 cups fat-free milk
  • 1 cup mashed ripe banana (2 to 3 medium)
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • FROSTING:
  • 4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 3 tablespoons fat-free milk
  • 2 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/3 cup baking cocoa

Directions

  • In a bowl, combine dry ingredients. In another bowl, combine eggs, milk, banana, oil and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.
  • Coat muffin cups with cooking spray or line with paper liners. Fill three-fourths full. Bake at 375° for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
  • Beat cream cheese, milk, chocolate and vanilla until smooth. Combine confectioners' sugar and cocoa; gradually beat into cream cheese mixture. Frost cupcakes. Yield: 1-1/2 dozen.

Cupcake Stage
 Frosting Stage

And since I can't seem to stop wanting to do and helping I some how volunteered to be PTF Secretary!  OH yes I stepped right into that one, our current president is planning on being president for 2 more years and guess who she wants to step in after ... lol.  Yup I don't just half do anything!  

Monday, July 30, 2012

A little Mission Help

I'm still feeling a bit under the weather so I quick post.  The boys attended a GREAT VBS last week at a local Baptist church were the them was "Amazing Wonders Aviation".  So of the boys where thrilled they love all things about planes.  It was a GREAT 4 hours instead of the normal 3 hours and they just loved it.  One of the things the VBS was doing was collecting  school smilepacks as their mission project.  They asked that people bring one item but I wanted the boys to be able to pick out the whole kit with the money they have been earning to help out someone else.  They were very excited to be able to build the kits and take them to the class.  I'm sure the party they got if they got 20 had nothing to do with it, I'll just go with the helping others.

Our Kits cost about $10 Each but well worth it.



Friday, July 27, 2012

Sick and Forgot My Anniversary

Well I called it when I said I was feeling run down.  I ended up coming down with a horrible cough on Wednesday, finally forcing me to leave work early and then by Thursday AM I wasn't able to get out of bed with out the room spinning.  I spent a WHOLE day in bed, thank God the boys were in a VBS down the road that was 4 hours long so I had a quiet house.  I almost forgot about what was so special about the day!  

9 year ago yesterday Rick and I got married!  It has been 9 years of many ups and downs, like most marriages and I can't say enough about the persons we have become over these years.  I've been blessed to have a house and 2 kids that may drive me nuts some days but they are the noises in my life that keep me going.  Marriage is so different then the fair tales but I think that is what makes us who we are and I am so proud of that and our family.  To many years to come.  Happy 9th Year Anniversary (+1 day)!!



Tuesday, July 24, 2012

First Dinner with us we Wooo you :)

I'm so excited one of my friends came over to let our kids swim and play in the back yard.  It was a GREAT night we talked, laughed, had some good food and a few cocktails!  The only sad part was I had to work the next morning so we needed to cut it short.  But it was so fun, I can't wait to do it again!  I wanted to make something yummy for us.  I found 3 new recipes  that I tried out on our guest and I'm so excited it was a huge hit with all the kids.

I'm going to put the links to the recipes with each picture so you can click on them to see what was involved and this way not to cut and paste and make a very long post (I'm pooped and time for bed .. lol).

I first started with a fun appetizer that I found on the Weight Watcher website when I started to search for a wonton  wrapper and a cream cheese.  This recipe took it a step further and added in artichokes!!!  This Artichoke Tart is super yummy (click the name for the recipe)!




Next on my list was something fun for dinner!  Of course sticking with my wonton theme I went to my favorite website Emily Bites (again if you haven't gone there you MUST).  She posted these Lasagna Cupcakes that were such a hit with the kids I should have doubled the recipe (again click the name for the recipe).  This was so easy to make that I think I may do it again soon!





And last on my list is from another GREAT site Hungry Girl she does these amazing swaps taking high fat items and making them weight watcher friendly.  I found this super yummy blueberry cheesecake (click name for recipe).  I took blueberries for my parents yard and ran with this, it was so yummy and the kids even liked it!




Enjoy I hope you try these out they were so simple to make and I couldn't get over how much the kids enjoyed it.  My girlfriends daughter had seconds and I'm told she usually won't eat much, I was tinkled!!


Happy Wednesday everyone!!



 And there you have it dinner at my house :).

Running on Empty



You ever feel like your running on empty?  Yup that is me the last few days!  I think today I will enjoy some wine with my friend who is coming to our house.  I figure if she drinks a few glasses then she will not realize that the house is so not perfect.  YUP I had huge plans on making the house spotless then the weekend hit.  I had a ton of work to do, church and kid stuff left me with no cleaning time.  OK I did have a day that Rick took the kids to the air show but I used those few hours to go hang with one of my best friends.  That field up my tank but then the rest of the weekend hit .. lol.


I must say I have been exercising EVERY day and enjoying it but I have noticed that I have been pooped so much.  I think I need to take my vitamins ... Well it's a short and rambling post today ... lol.


Hope you are all enjoying your week, I plan to kick back today and just enjoy it!  I may even go to bed early again ... lol.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Something Sweet but a Surprise Ingredient!

I wanted to bring something sweet with not all the calories to a party a few weeks back.  I went onto the Eating Well Site and found this Double Corn-Blueberry Cobbler.  I was surprised how yummy this was, yes I must admit at first I was a little worried when I saw corn in this recipe.  I did grind up the corn in my ninja so my guest didn't see chunks of corn.  This was a great summer time dish that was loved by all even the men liked it!  My parents have several blueberry bushes in their yard, so I thankfully have a ton in my freezer!



INGREDIENTS

FILLING

  • 4 cups blueberries or blackberries (about 1 1/4 pounds), fresh or frozen
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon white whole-wheat flour (see Note)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

TOPPING

  • 1 cup white whole-wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup cornmeal, preferably medium- or coarse-ground
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels, fresh, frozen (thawed) or canned (well-drained) - This is what I ground up.

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. To prepare filling: Combine berries, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon flour, lemon zest and lemon juice in a large bowl. (If using frozen fruit, let stand for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, to thaw the fruit before transferring to the baking dish.) Transfer to a 9-inch shallow glass or ceramic baking dish.
  3. To prepare topping: Whisk 1 cup whole wheat flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl until well blended. Whisk egg yolk, buttermilk, oil and 3 tablespoons sugar in a small bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to blend. Fold in corn.
  4. Evenly spoon the batter on top of the berry mixture; the fruit will be almost completely covered with batter. Place the baking dish on a baking sheet to catch any drips. Bake until the berries are bubbly, the topping is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the topping comes out clean, 35 to 50 minutes. Let cool for about 20 minutes before serving.

Enjoy it was a real crowd pleasure!


Have a wonderful week!

Friday, July 20, 2012

VBS to the Resue ... No "Calgon take away" but this sure will!!


As most of you know I work from home so the summers get a little hairy, or should I say eye rolling and pulling of hair (and Heck that is just me, we don't want to even go into what the boys are doing).  I wait every summer for VBS season to come around.  I can't believe I missed the last one of June, I really almost cried we missed a week.  I LOVE the boys get to have a fun adventure and that I get to have peace and quiet to make calls.

1st week of July with the 4th meant no VBS sch, so we had to wait for last week for our first week!  It was fab it was really close to the house and the boys loved the VBS being about Aviation this year (each year there is a new theme and most Church's go with it).  This week is a Lutheran church down the road it's a little further but a few of the kids from Cole's school was there since his school is a Lutheran school.  We have 3 more weeks of VBS.  This mom is doing some cartwheels ... ok if I could get my butt up over my head I would!  Thank you to all the wonderful churches that put on these VBS's and I plan to bring in canned goods or donations whatever it is!  Whoo HOO!

Oh and in two weeks Cole will be going to a WHOLE week stay over night with our church.  I'm so freaking excited for him, and maybe a little jealous of not going when I was young.  He is going to have such a blast!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone, I hope to finally clean my house since we have no parties this weekend.  Lord be with me this place is looking scary.  Cinderella has returned to take care of the duties ... lol.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

MY new obsession ... Won-ton Wrappers!

I have been on a HUGE won-ton wrapper recipe kick.  I knew how usual they could be and how they make a simple meal fun and and interesting!  Here are two of my newest recipes I found using won-ton wrappers. 


Here's a peak at what I made:





First off from my favorite site Emily Bites she has TONS of recipes using won-ton wrappers. My newest try of her's is the Cheeseburger "Cupcakes".  It was a simple recipe to make on a family favorite.  I didn't have mustard so I added in a tsp of relish to give it a little kick.  Click on the link for the recipe.  You can do it my way and skip mustard or leave it in!




Next on the list to make was one I've seen over and over but haven't made until tonight.  It was a HUGE hit with Cole and my dinner guest loved it too.  This Chocolate-Banana Wonton was found on the Weight Watcher Website, Click on the link for the recipe.  This was a super simple recipe to make.  I used regular chocolate chips since I didn't have mini's on hand.  I also used banana's that were either be bread or trash.   It was a simple 3 ingredient recipe that was so yummy!



I hope you fall in love with Won-ton Wrappers like I have!  Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Shark Bite Bash ... Is that like the Monster Mash?

Ok I had to go with it, it rhymed and made me laugh!  Yesterday I showed all the treats for the party now to show the party itself.  Our day started with rain and grey skies, I kept prayer for good weather!  I worked the am and then hit the ground running.  I thought I was good packed the car and forgot to make my salad, knowing I couldn't make it at my mom's I ran back in the house and made it.  I of course made a double batch that ended mostly in the garbage (note to self DON'T over do it next year).  I then got on the hwy to remember I forgot all the ingredients for the punch (CRAP).  I pull over and can't find my phone for the life of me.  Then I remember I forgot all the meat too! REALLY!  I drive up to my parents house set up the table and have an hour before the party, of course find my phone (only if I would have found it a 1/2 hour before I could have caught Rick at the house).  So I have to drive the hour (1/2 hour both ways) to my house to get everything I forgot!

Thank God I made it to the party with 5 minutes to spare.  Thankfully the grey skies part and the sun starts to come out.  People showed up and we had a blast laughing and enjoying the day.  It was perfect with great friends.  My homemade bubbles did end up somehow being used to clean the buoys but after a little annoyance I had to just let that one go.  Every party has moments where you want to scream but you have to just put it aside and yell it out later.  All the hard work you put into may not always be appreciated but you know what you did and that is all that matters!  And a party full of kids of all ages may just drive everyone a little cranky too ... hehe.

Here are some great pictures of the day!

Here is the Tables all done up.
ALL Links on how to do in this POST:

Play time for all!

Lot's of fun times! Bubbles & Food!

And Some Dock Time:

The Slide got LOT'S of use!
Poor Caden tried and DIDN'T go down :(

Lot's of Swimming!

Rick took the kids for rides on the Jetski!
He took them all for the same amount, but that of course went over like a lead balloon with some .. lol.  
Poor Rick's patience I think were tested.

Lot's of Sweets!

And lot's of love time!!
And Some S'More time also!!!

It REALLY turned out great and we had so much fun!  The ups and downs and little moment's of wanting to pull my hair out is over and well worth it!


Google Drive with some templates for this party.

Monday, July 16, 2012

I swam with the Fish ... AND the Shark Won!

Well I did it I made it threw the shark birthday party for Caden, with only a few shark bites ... lol!  I am so glad I have a great friend that came over on Friday and helped me make all the last minute items.  

So hold on it's going to be a long one!  NOT to overwhelm this post with tons of recipes and instructions I'm including links so click on the name of the item and it takes you to the site I found the item from (I'll include any notes tweaks I did here).


(Seen in my previous post click name for instructions)

Along with the Beach Themed Napkins
(same post as above for the boxes)

Now onto the new things you haven't seen yet!  Fist we start out with the Shark Cupcakes!  I made Paula Deen's red velvet Cupcakes (I know but you got to love blood color right?).  I then made up some Wilton Cream Cheese Icing I did this one because it's stiff and I knew would hold up since the party was outside.  I wanted a blue like the ocean, I'm using Wilton Icing Colors which are gel not the liquid drops.  I recommend Gel colors over liquid easier to use and they look so much nicer!  I melted Wilton Candy Melts in Black. TRUST me when I say buy these melts instead of melting white chocolate and adding color.  I have wasted more money this way and it become a HUGE glob and not a smooth texture like you need.  I picked up on Amazon a silicone ice mold for the shark fins and just put my chocolate in it.  Let it set up and it popped right out (be careful you don't want to break the tips).  I decorated the red velvet with my piping bag and the blue frosting and topped with  a shark fin!


Shark Fins

Shark Cupcakes

Next on the list was with the rest of my red velvet mix I made some Cake Pops!  My MIL bought me the Cake pop pan so I put the left over batter in there and got to work!  I find if you put them in the freezer they are easier to work with!  I again to the chocolate melts this time in blue, cut off the top off the cake pop and dipped in the chocolate.  We swirled it around and then added a shark fin on top!

Shark Cake Pops

Next on my list was some punch!  I picked on Amazon up this Wilton shark ice mold kit and it came with an easy punch recipe!  

All you Need:
Ginger-ale
Sherbet (Raspberry)
Raspberries
And mold
* I couldn't find Raspberry Sherbet so I subbed with lime and no fresh Raspberries so Frozen.  No one complained! 


Caden loves bubbles so I made up some quick homemade bubbles and found some wands at the dollar store to make a bubble station!  Sadly my bubbles ended up being used to clean things at the dock, but that is a whole different story and I won't dwell on it anymore. So for homemade bubbles who knew the key ingredient was Corn Syrup?  I found a great recipe that was easy with stuff I had in the house on the blog Under the Sycamore.



Next on my list was to make some shark Jelly, I saw on Come Together Kids.  All I could find in the blue jell-0 ws this Berry Blue it was a great blue but was rather dark so you couldn't see the sharks. BUT it was still cute and the kids loved them (heck even the adults did too!). 

I found these amazing lollipops that reminded me of the sea and blue theme I was going for.  I found them at Walmart in the baby section for boys.  I took a pail I found at Walmart (97 cents) added some foam that I found at the dollar store ($2 total) and stuck the lollipops in!


Next was the shark cake for my amazing friend April came over in the nick of time and craved this out for me!  I started with a Red Velvet Pound Cake on Carrie's Sweet Life.  April also let me borrow her Wiltons Cake Release, it sure did help getting the cake out easy!!  The Shark Cake on the Parenting.com site was pretty easy to follow from their diagram on the website.  I made up some Butter Cream frosting and added LITTLE black gel color to make it grey.  We used the left over blue from the cupcakes to make the blue water and added some of the gummy sharks and a few of the chocolate fins that bottoms broke off and couldn't be used.  You can always use store bought but I wanted red (for blood ... I know).  We skipped the fruit leather for the mouth since the cake was red and we just didn't frost around it.



I found some star silicone mold at Walmart for clearance $3, melted some more chocolate melts in blue and done!

Next on my list was the watermelon shark.  My friend April was again amazing and craved this little guy out in like 45 minutes.  I was going to add some Jell-O at the bottom and place some gummy sharks but it didn't set up so it went as is :).


And last we have the Eggs my friend April made.  She added some Sliced bell peppers to look like shark fins coming out of them!  We saw the idea of Sailboat Eggs and made it into our shark them!

Phew I'm pooped!  It was a great party and it seems like the theme was a big with all who showed and we were left with very little to take home!  I'm so excited that it went over so well.


Google Drive with some templates for this party.

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