Friday, November 27, 2015

Featured on Great Idea Thursdays 122

One of my favorites growing up that I made for the kids was featured on Great Idea Thursdays 122. A big thank you for Joy Bee for featuring my Pumpkin Marshmallow Pillows.


Joybee, What's for Dinner?



Have a great weekend!

I'm in Boston this next week for work. I'll see you in the following week!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookies

Caden's school was having a feast for Thanksgiving and his grade was assigned the desserts. So we went for a hunt on Pinterest and found Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookies on Center Cut Cook. Caden said he liked them so I set out to make them for the kids. All and all it was a pretty easy cookie to make and I liked that they didn't spread so you could bake a lot at one time, especially since I was doubling the recipe.


INGREDIENTS:
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature 
1/2 cup butter, room temperature 
1/2 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix) 
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar 
1 teaspoon vanilla 2 cups flour 
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs 
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice 
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs (for rolling the cookies) 
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (optional)

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat the oven to 350° and line 2 sheet trays with parchment paper. 
In a large bowl, stir together cream cheese, butter, and pumpkin until completely smooth. 
Add in the sugar and vanilla and stir until combined. 
Add the flour, 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon. 
Carefully mix until it is completely mixed and smooth. Scoop into balls and roll in the remaining graham cracker crumbs (with the pumpkin pie spice mixed in if desired). 
Place on the tray and bake for 15 minutes. 
Remove and slightly press down so they are flat. 
Bake for 3 more minutes. 
Repeat with remaining dough. 
Let cool and store in the fridge. These are best served cold, just like regular cheesecake.
ALEXIS NOTES: I used the pumpkin puree that I made previously this week (click for post on how to roast full pumpkin and make puree). I ended up having a box of graham cracker crumbs that I bought for a project I was asked to make then they didn't end up go threw with the order (found at Target).
 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanks for Stopping by!
Don't forget to see the parties I link up to HERE.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Super Hero Box Gift

A few months back I saw the coolest gift for a Super Hero Box on Alpha Mom now it was for a father's day gift but I knew it would be perfect for a gift for a boys birthday. I had the chance to build the box this weekend for our neighbor boy. This is a perfect gift for a dad but I made it for a boy and it worked perfect, I added some toys and a movie to make it kid friendly.


What you Need:
Soda (Root Beer or Fav drink)
Jerky
Mints
Nuts / Trail Mix
Large Candy Bar
Candy (I used Skittles)
Chips
Box (Wood or Photo like I used)
Label Sheet
Cellophane Bags (Craft Store / Dollar Tree 25pk $1)
ALEXIS ADD ON'S FOR KID GIFT
Super Hero DVD (Target $5 Bin)
Super Hero Themed Blow ups (Dollar Bin or Dollar Tree)

Step 1. We used Orange Soda, Jerky, a King-Sized candy bar, and various munchies that we transferred to baggies.
Step 2. Using our Downloadable Templates (on her website click link above to take you to page w/ templates), print the labels onto adhesive label paper or print it out on regular paper and use Elmer’s Spray Mount.
Step 3. Cut out the label shapes.
Step 4. Transfer the some of the treats to the Cellophane bags, and some I just left in their bags due to time constraints. Adhere labels to each item.
Step 5. Tuck them all in the wood box (I used a photo box I picked up at Hobby Lobby), put on the address label.

Thanks for Stopping by!
Don't forget to see the parties I link up to HERE.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Hand Print "Turkey Cookies" - Made with Gingerbread Cookie Dough

A lady I made cookies for before asked if I could make cookies for her students. She sent over a very cool picture of a hand print turned into a Turkey. I ordered the largest hand print cookie cutter I could find and set out to make these adorable cookies. My cutter was smaller so I couldn't put as many details for the feathers. I was still pretty pleased how mine turned out. 

I found this idea on Some What Simple for Turkey's and started with a Gingerbread cookie base I found on Simplee Thrifty. For the royal icing I used the one I used for the Graduation Caps, I found this to be an easy recipe that works perfect.


Step 1-  Use Royal icing for the outline, feet, gobbler and name should be thicker than the fill icing.
Step 7-  Fill with the thinner frosting.  Just add a touch more water to the thick stuff you made.
Step 8- Pop the bubbles with a toothpick right away when it’s still really wet.
Step 9- Make some feet and gobblers on a piece of parchment.  After they are dry (several hours) they will come right off.
Step 10-  After your fill frosting has set up a tiny bit, add feathers.  
Step 11- With dots of frosting, put the legs on last.  
ALEXIS NOTES: I found that I could draw on feet with a small amount of black royal icing in a snack size ziplock. I added the wattle with a toothpick and some redish royal frosting. I added these after my brown had set up. I used small chocolate candies I found at Hobby Lobby for the feathers. I ordered my hand cookie cutter from Amazon (she traced kids handprints). 

Cookie Base:
Ingredients:
2 cup Flour 1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Ginger
¼ tsp Cinnamon
¼ tsp Nutmeg
¼ tsp Ground Cloves
⅓ cup melted Shortening
⅓ cup Molasses
⅓ cup Brown Sugar
8 tsp Water
1 egg
¼ tsp Vanilla
Directions:
Sift together the flour, baking powder, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon.
Beat together shortening, molasses, water, egg, brown sugar and vanilla until blended.
Slowly stir in the dry mixture until completely absorbed.
Divide dough in half.
Flatten each, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for several hours.
Preheat oven to 350.
Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Flour work surface.
Roll dough out to ¼" thickness.
Cut out cookies and place 1" apart on prepared sheet.
Bake for 10-12 minutes until they look dry.
Move to wire rack to cool.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanks for Stopping by!
Don't forget to see the parties I link up to HERE.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Christmas Card Time

It's that time of year again, time to get our family photo's done and fun Christmas Card ideas. I love doing fun card with pictures of us. I found several fun ideas to do this year and had to share! I found most on pinterest forgive me for not linking all pictures to the source, I'm not claiming any of these as my own.

Ideas:

I'm thinking with Ho Ho since we have only 4 of us!

I would love to do this .. lol

This may happen!

I so LOVE this one! I wonder if she can photo shop this one!

I would love to pull this one off!

Photo bombed the Who's (The Grinch did it .. lol)
 I LOVE this idea!

This yes will be happening!

This is kind of gross but funny!!

HEHE another version of our previous cards!

I saw someone right be funny with eye wholes I agree!

this would be perfect for our kids!

LOL another funny light one

Fun one for the kids and dad!


Perfect for our kids!

LOL or this version!

With out the long johns I love this one!

If our kids were smaller!

Can't wait to see all your fun pictures!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Pizza Rolls (Using Refrigerator Biscuits)

Last week w/ Veteran's day the kids had the day off. Cole stayed home but Caden was invited to a playdate at his Friends house. God Bless that mom, I work from home and 2 kids in the house can be a bit much ..lol (sibling bickering). I wanted to bring over a treat for them for lunch and something that can be made a head and then she can put in oven when time. I also made for Cole at the house so he wasn't left out (explains the two different pizza pans in the pictures below).


I saw on Facebook these Pizza Rolls, then the morning of for the life of me I couldn't find that post so I used Google and found on Food.com the Pizza Roll recipe.

Ingredients

    • 16 1/3 ounces buttermilk biscuits
    • 30 pepperoni slices
    • 8 ounces cheese, cubed
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
    • 1 tablespoon italian seasoning
    • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
    • marinara sauce, for dipping

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Flatten biscuits; layer a pepperoni slice, cheese square and another pepperoni slice on biscuit. Gather edges and pinch closed at top. Place rolls in a small greased pan. Brush tops with egg, sprinkle with Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and parmesan cheese. Bake for 20 minutes. Serve with warmed marinara sauce.
ALEXIS NOTES: I used the mini pepperoni since that is what I found at Target when I was shopping. I also used shredded cheddar instead of cubed cheese. I also added pizza sauce inside the biscuits before baking since I wasn't bring sauce for dipping to their house. I also add Parmesan cheese inside with the Cheddar Cheese. 


Here is what I did when I took over to her house.
Wrapped up and put the temp and time on the wrap.

Easy and crowd pleasing!

Thanks for Stopping by!
Don't forget to see the parties I link up to HERE.

Monday, November 16, 2015

How to Roast a Whole Pumpkin - Then turn into Pumpkin Puree

I bought 2 sugar pumpkin's for the boys when we did the photo shoot at the pumpkin patch. They were great decoration and before the squirrel ate them or I threw them away I decided to make some pumpkin puree. Most of you know I love to bake BUT I usually have very little time so I need easy things to make!


I found this perfect and EASY way to roast a WHOLE pumpkin and then turn into puree on Detoxinista. Let me just say this was freaking easy!

What you Need:
Sugar Pumpkin
Sharp Knife
Glass Casserole Dish

How To Roast a Whole Pumpkin
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F.
  2. Rinse off the pumpkin, then use a knife to stab the hard outer shell a few times, to allow for ventilation.
  3. Place the pumpkin in a glass baking dish, and transfer to the oven to roast for 45-60 minutes, depending on the size of your pumpkin.
  4. The pumpkin is ready when the flesh is darker, and the skin can be easily pierced with a fork.
  5. Cut the pumpkin in half, and allow to cool for 20-30 minutes, until cool enough to handle.
  1. Use a large spoon to scrape out the seeds, and reserve them for another use.
  2. The skin should peel off very easily at this point, so remove the skin and transfer chunks of the cooked pumpkin into a food processor. Blend until a smooth puree is formed! You may have to do this in batches, depending on the size of your pumpkin.
  3. Store the pumpkin puree in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week, and use it in your favorite pumpkin recipes! You could also freeze it to extend it’s shelf life indefinitely.

Thanks for Stopping by!
Don't forget to see the parties I link up to HERE.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Homeless Awareness Month .. Homeless Care Packages

This month is Homeless Awareness Month, as many of you know I make cakes for a charity that bring birthday's to homeless kids. I love the smiles I can bring to their days and it got me thinking about other homeless people. I posted on Friday about wanting to start doing this and I'm so happy to say it turned out great. We had 5 adults and many kids show up and pack up bags for the homeless. It was so gratifying to see how many lives we could touch.


My friend sent me a message after they left. They were on their way home when they drove by a restaurant that was closed and two homeless people where living under the awning. Her oldest daughter got out and handed the two care packages to them. With tears in their eyes they thanked her, my friends daughter got back in the car tears streaming also. She was so touched by this project we did. It brought me to tears that I had this whisper that could lead to helping others.


What you Need:
Large Zip-lock
Small Zip-lock (for soaps etc)
Crackers
Fruit Snacks
Tooth Brush
Tooth Paste
Kleenex
Hand Sanitizer
Chap-stick
Hand Soap
Shampoo
Band-aids
Deodorant
Wet Wipes
Raisins
Tuna Salad
Granola Bar
Warm Winter Socks
Warm Hat

You can change it up and add different things if you would like. I hit up Dollar Tree and made up 40 of these for less than $40. I read online that you should put soaps in a small zip-lock so they don't taint the food items. I also read no mouth wash since it has alcohol in it. Also famine products are good to add, this time I didn't but next time I will. Some sites said don't put shampoo because they can find that at shelters, but my thought was if they cleaned up in a bathroom they would have it. 

I put the soaps in the small zip-lock and then put all the rest of the items in the big zip-lock. I found a 6 pack of winter socks at Ross for $5.99 and added those to each bag. Each pack cost around $10.00. My plan is to do a outreach get together each month. Next month I want to make up some PB&J Sandwiches and pass those out with the care packages. 




Thanks for Stopping by!
Don't forget to see the parties I link up to HERE.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Homeless Awareness Month

I got a whisper from the Holy Spirit last week on the way to church and I'm hoping to share with you all. As many of you know I help a charity that brings birthday's to homeless kids. I love to bring smiles to these kids faces. These kids thankfully are in shelters or housing that keeps them warm. But so many are on the streets with the temperatures heading down. 

I've seen ideas on FB for homeless care packages and I told the boys I wanted to do this. They keep asking me when we are going to do this, so when I got the nudge this weekend I knew it was time to act. I starting my first monthly get together at my house this Sunday for us to make a ton of these to keep in our cars. My goal is to do this monthly and every few months head downtown and pass them out and maybe some PB&J sandwiches. I'll work my way there!

Wish me luck I think I have around 10 people showing up on Sunday and bring supplies for us to do an assembly line to make them! I of course have promised cookies for the kids to decorate and take home (my little bribe .. . LOL).

Wish me luck and prayers!

Here are some ideas of what to put in if you want to do this also!


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Baking Humor

It has been a very busy few weeks with work and life, I could use a good laugh. I saw this on facebook and loved it! My kids sign that annoying song and to use it for humor with my baking I love it!

Have a great Thursday!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Movie Themed .... Popcorn Cupcakes

My next cupcake for Birthday Dreams (bringing birthday's to homeless kids) was for a little girl wanting a movie themed party. I searched google for some ideas and saw a ton of Popcorn themed cupcake designs. I found popcorn sleeves on Amazon but I thought would save me a few bucks if I created my own. I found some free printables then I went to hobby lobby and found the carnival section. I found popcorn bags, perfect I can cut these down! I found out I could cut down each bag in thirds!


I found an idea on Drive by Decor how to cut the marshmallows to look like popped kernels. NOW this is time consuming but they turned out so real looking!

What you Need:
Bag of Mini Marshmallows
Wilton Yellow Color Mist
Popcorn Bags (or Popcorn cupcake wraps)
Frosted Cupcakes

For “popcorn”: 
1) About 1/3 of the way from one end of the marshmallow, cut half way through the marshmallow
2) . On the top of the opposite end of the marshmallow, make three cuts that meet in the middle in a peace sign pattern. Fan out the three parts that you just cut. 

I included my picture doing the marshmallows, also stop by her post her photos were very clear showing the steps. Now I got about a half bag done in about an hour and that was with my helper. I had 24 cupcakes to do. I cheated and cut half the bag and mixed with the other uncut ones.  For the color I used Wilton's yellow Color Mist to dye the marshmallows to look like they had butter on them.



Thanks for Stopping by!
Don't forget to see the parties I link up to HERE.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Pumpkin Marshmallow Pillows

When I was younger my mom would make marshmallow pillows. Marshmallows dipped in butter and cinnamon sugar and then wrapped in a crescent roll (also great for Easter to represent the tomb). I had a house full of boys this weekend and wanted to make them for the kids, I had some pumpkin left over from a previous recipe so I added some to my pillows for an extra flavor.


What you Need:
Crescent Rolls
Large Marshmallow
Melted Butter
Cinnamon & Sugar
Pumpkin Spice
Pumpkin Puree

Unroll the crescent rolls, I added a tablespoon of pumpkin puree to each crescent, I just spread with a knife. Take a large marshmallow coat in the melted butter and then roll in cinnamon & sugar. Place the marshmallow on crescent roll. Wrap up around the marshmallow I try to close all openings. Then dip the whole "pillow" into the melted butter. I added a pinch of pumpkin spice on top of each pillow. Place into the oven and follow instructions of the crescent rolls. I found they needed to bake a minute or two longer then what my package said but it depends on your oven.


Thanks for Stopping by!
Don't forget to see the parties I link up to HERE.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Chewy Sugar Cookies

This weekend I had to go to a memorial service of a young 40 y/o man from high school. He was a young man with a very sweet little girl. I didn't have words to say but I have my gift of baking so I made cookies for the service. These Chewy Sugar Cookies from America's Test Kitchen came out perfect to fill bellies. 


Ingredients

cups (11¼ ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
½teaspoon baking soda
1teaspoon baking powder
½teaspoon table salt
cups (10½ ounces) sugar, plus ⅓ cup for rolling
2ounces cream cheese, cut into 8 pieces
6tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter, melted and still warm
cup vegetable oil
1large egg
1tablespoon milk
2teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in medium bowl. Set aside. Place 1½ cups sugar and cream cheese in large bowl. Place remaining ⅓ cup sugar in shallow baking dish or pie plate and set aside. Pour warm butter over sugar and cream cheese and whisk to combine (some small lumps of cream cheese will remain but will smooth out later). Whisk in oil until incorporated. Add egg, milk, and vanilla; continue to whisk until smooth. Add flour mixture and mix with rubber spatula until soft homogeneous dough forms. Divide dough into 24 equal pieces, about 2 tablespoons each (or use #40 portion scoop). Using hands, roll dough into balls. Working in batches, roll balls in reserved sugar to coat and evenly space on prepared baking sheet, 12 dough balls per sheet. Using bottom of drinking glass, flatten dough balls until 2 inches in diameter. Sprinkle tops evenly with 4 teaspoons of sugar remaining in shallow dish (2 teaspoons per tray), discarding any remaining sugar. Bake, 1 tray at a time, until edges are set and just beginning to brown, 11 to 13 minutes, rotating tray after 7 minutes. Cool cookies on baking sheets 5 minutes. Using wide metal spatula, transfer cookies to wire rack and cool to room temperature.

ALEXIS NOTES: I ran out of cream cheese so I used a trick of cottage cheese and milk. I also ran out of oil so I used Olive oil. I found my first batch made cookies that spread and were not the best looking. I made a second batch and added a 1/2 cup of flour, along with putting the batter in fridge for 30 minutes to firm up and bam better!

I sat with a few friends from high school and made them my test subjects and they said they were so most and delicious.



Enjoy I promise these will be a hit!

Thanks for Stopping by!
Don't forget to see the parties I link up to HERE.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Taco Tuesday Meal ... Taco "Cupcakes" Weight Watcher 4 Pts

Since the Cheeseburger Cupcakes where a hit on Monday for dinner, I thought why not spice up Taco Tuesday at the house and make Emily Bites Taco Cupcake's! For those doing weight watcher's these are 4 point per cupcake. I just love it since I know it has the numbers I need to track with myfitness pal so I stay in the limits my trainer gave me. Enjoy!!


INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 ½ teaspoons chili oil (found near the Asian ingredients)
  • ½ lb 95% lean ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
  • ¾ cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 16 wonton wrappers (found in the produce section)
  • 5 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon of queso dip or salsa con queso
  • 1 cup chunky salsa
  • 1 cup reduced fat shredded Mexican cheese

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375. Lightly mist 8 cups in a muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Heat chili oil in a sauté pan or large skillet over medium-high heat, add the ground beef and taco seasoning and brown beef, breaking it up with a spoon. Add black beans and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for a few minutes until warm.
  3. Push a wonton wrapper into the bottom of each of the eight sprayed cups in the muffin tin. Spoon a teaspoon of queso dip into each wonton wrapper and spread across the bottom. Follow by spooning some of the meat/beans mixture into each cup (using about half the total mixture) and then splitting ½ cup of the salsa evenly into each cup. Sprinkle about half the shredded Mexican cheese evenly over the top of each cup. Press another wonton wrapper on top and repeat the layering steps with the remaining ingredients.
  4. Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden brown. Let cool 5 minutes before removing from muffin tin.
WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS PLUS:4 per cupcake (P+ calculated using the recipe builder on weightwatchers.com)
NUTRITION INFORMATION:
164 calories, 12 g carbs, 7 g fat, 12 g protein, 1 g fiber (from myfitnesspal.com)
An Emily Bites Original



Enjoy I promise these will be a hit!

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Don't forget to see the parties I link up to HERE.

Created by MyFitnessPal - Nutrition Facts For Foods

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