Sunday, June 24, 2012

Summer fun

 Jared and I made these for a church social today. I wanted to do something summer-y. I found a few ideas on google and combined them all.
 My favorite was the beach chairs.  We folded fruit stripe gum into chairs. The sand is crushed graham crackers. Beach balls=bubble gum.
 More chairs...
 I tried to make swim shorts but it wasn't very cute.
 Can you tell that the corner one is a shark and the bear next to it got attacked?
 Ethan thought I needed blood to make it look more realistic.
*I used a fruit slice for the shark fin.

The beach swim rings are the collision gummy life savers.

Happy Summer!!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Jared's piece of heaven!

 Jared's birthday isn't for another week but we will be out of town.  The kids and I wanted to surprise him at school with these yummy cupcakes to enjoy with his buddies.
Jared's 2 favorite treats are Oreo's and Reese's peanut butter cups so when I found these on The Sweet Life I knew it was the perfect birthday treat for him.

 I changed a couple things from her recipe just to simplify.  I used this cake mix recipe(new favorite chocolate cake recipe) instead of doing homemade.
Chocolate Buttermilk cake
1 box devil's food cake mix (I prefer Duncan Hines)
3 TBSP cocoa powder
1 1/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup oil
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Combine and mix for 2 minutes.
Put about 1 TBSP of cake batter to the bottom of a cupcake liner. The original recipe says to place the cookie on the bottom with no batter but my first batch burnt the cookie so adding the batter really helped.  Add 1 Oreo cookie on top of the batter. Then add a mini Reese's peanut butter cup on top of the cookie.  Add enough batter to cover the PB cup which should be 2/3 full. Bake 325 for about 17 minutes or until cake is done.
  • Oreo Peanut Butter Buttercream
    • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
    • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
    • 1/4 cup peanut butter
    • 2-3 cups confectioner’s sugar
    • 2-3 tablespoons milk
    • pinch of salt
    • 3 tablespoons oreo cookie crumbs
    1. Separate ~8 oreo cookies and discard the cream filling.  In a food processor or plastic bag, crush the cookies into fine crumbs.
    2. In a large bowl, beat butter and shortening on high until fully combined.  Beat in peanut butter.
    3. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add 2 cups of the confectioner’s sugar, 2 tablespoons milk, and a pinch of salt.  Start the mixer on slow, then eventually crank it up to high and beat for 2 minutes.  Add more confectioner’s sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, until you reach your desired consistency (more sugar = thicker buttercream).
    4. Add the cookie crumbs and beat on high for 2 minutes.
I had to pry this out of my son's hand to get a pic, hope this doesn't gross you out.
* Sorry for the bad pics.  I almost forgot to take them, thank goodness for phones these days!!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Under the Sea Adventure

 Ethan and some of his friends from church are doing a little summer camp. This week I got to be the host and Ethan chose under the sea for our theme.  Of course I had to find a fun treat to do and this is what I found that was easy. I got the idea from Family Fun.

 I was so excited to find these cookies for the clam. They were the perfect clam shape.  And I found them at Wal-Mart!
 I had some left over lemon frosting in the freezer that I tinted pink.  I frosted the bottom of one cookie pink, used the yogurt covered raisin for the pearl, placed another cookie on top, then piped on frosting eyes. Super easy and the kids loved them!
 I debated whether to post these because they didn't turn out as cute as I hoped.  I needed more jello but at 11:00 at night it wasn't worth it. Good thing the kids didn't notice that the octopus was suppose to be under the water.  A couple kids thought it was coral reef.  Why didn't I think of that??? I did use swedish fish and ocean fruit snacks (Dollar Tree) inside the jello.
What a fun under the sea adventure we had today!! Thanks Ethan!

Patriotic strawberries

I saw these on Pinterest and had to give them a try.  I already had the blue sprinkles so it was super easy.
I thought I would also try some raspberries.  If you haven't tried milk chocolate covered raspberries you must, they are so delicious.  They don't look as pretty as the strawberries but they taste better.

I put some of the berries in these little buckets (from the Target dollar spot) for the ladies I visit teach.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


 Mindi, Courtney and I made these for all the Dad's at church.  Popcorn boxes filled with yummy popcorn.
Popcorn #1 Chocolate peanut butter.
Found this on Our Best Bites.

2 bags of Simply Salted (or similar) popcorn (or about 20 cups of popped popcorn)
2 c. honey roasted peanuts
3 c. peanut butter chips (I used 2 1/2 cups pb chips and 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips)
2/3 c. chocolate chips (I used half semi-sweet)
1 Tbsp. vegetable shortening or oil
* If you want more chocolatey flavor in your popcorn, substitute 1 c. of the peanut butter chips with 1 c. of chocolate chips and then still drizzle the chocolate over the popcorn at the end.
Place the peanuts, popped popcorn in a very large bowl. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the peanut butter chips and vegetable oil or shortening and heat for 2-2 1/2 minutes or until smooth, stirring every 30 seconds. Drizzle the melted peanut butter chips over the popcorn and peanuts and toss to combine.
Spread the popcorn onto a wax paper-lined baking sheet. In a Ziploc bag, heat the semi-sweet chocolate chips until just melted and smooth (about 1-1 1/2 minutes, mashing the bag every 20-30 seconds). Cut a small corner in the Ziploc bag and drizzle the chocolate over the popcorn. Allow to stand long enough to become solid (you can transfer the pan to the fridge or freezer to hurry this step along). When done, break the popcorn into small pieces and enjoy!
 Popcorn #2 White chocolate cake.  Found this on Pinterest.

3 bags Simply Salted popcorn
1 brick of white almond bark
1 white cake mix
mini M&M's or Reese's
3-5 Tablespoons of Crisco

Put popped popcorn in large bowl. Melt almond bark with crisco in a microwavable bowl then add the cake mix.  It will get really thick.  Pour the chocolate into the popcorn bowl and stir it really well.  Then pour the popcorn onto a baking sheet lined with wax paper.  Pour M&M's or Reese's onto the top before it sets up.
Thanks girls for all your help.  Happy Father's Day!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

My kids and I put this together for their dad for Father's Day. Found the idea on Pinterest.  We had fun walking through the store looking for anything with the word POP in it.
 I found this tag here:
 We included:
POPcorn, POP tarts, tootsie POPS, Ring POPS, Party POPpers, soda POP, POP rocks, ice POP bubbles, and cake POPS.

 I made his favorite cake POP flavor, chocolate peanut butter.  Devils food cake mixed with peanut butter.  Dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with mini Reese's.
I hope these last in the fridge until Sunday.  They are hidden but unfortunately not from me.

Happy Father's Day to the best dad ever!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

It's a girl!

This was for Kristin's baby shower.  She has twin boys and now she's going to have a girl.  So fun!

This is the same cake stand I used for the Damask baby shower.  It was fun to see it in a new color scheme, but yet still get to use the tutu.  Michelle picked out this cute paper and I like how it looked on the tiers.  This is going to be my new cake stand.  This time around was so much easier because I didn't add the ribbon.
 I decided to try a new cupcake that was inspired by my sweet friend Anna.
I made lemon cupcakes.  I love the new Duncan Hines Supreme cakes line, this one is called Lemon Supreme I believe. I love this because the lemon is very subtle and the flavor doesn't seem as artificial as some of the other brands. I used my favorite lemon frosting.
Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 tsp. finely shredded lemon peel
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter softened
1 tsp. lemon juice
4 1/2 to 4 3/4 cups powdered sugar

Finely shred 1 tsp of lemon peel; set aside. In a medium mixing bowl combine cream cheese and lemon juice. Beat with mixer on low to medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually add 2 cups powdered sugar, beating well. Gradually beat in additional powdered sugar to make frosting that is easy to spread. (Add more powdered sugar if you will be piping) Stir in lemon peel.
And the new part was adding the raspberry filling.  I thought it tasted yummy together.  You should try it!
Raspberry filling
16 oz. frozen raspberries thawed
1/3 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
Drain raspberries, reserving liquid. Add enough water to liquid to equal 1 1/4 cups. In large saucepan, combine liquid, sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice; mix well. Heat and stir until mixtures boils and thickens. Cool completely. Stir thawed raspberries into cool mixture.
 The other flavor was strawberry:

Strawberry cake (this is Kay Dawn's recipe)
1 box white cake mix (Duncan Hines)
1 small box strawberry jello
1/2 boiling water
3/4 cup oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup fresh mashed strawberries
Boil water in microwave. Add jello. Stir until dissolved. Add rest of ingredients. Mix few minutes on medium. Bake 350 for approx. 16 min.
Strawberry frosting 
1 stick butter
16 oz. powdered sugar
1/4 cup mashed strawberries
6 ounces of cream cheese
1 tsp. of vanilla.

Since polka dots was part of the decor that's how I decorated the cupcakes.  I had some hot pink chocolate left over so I made a few sprinkles with it.

 I decided last minute that we needed a topper so I made the ribbon flower super fast with hot glue and the tags you might have noticed them from another baby shower.  I'm glad I keep stuff like this, you never know when you'll need it again.

Thanks Michelle for letting me do this for your pretty table.

*I have something I need to say: I learned an important lesson tonight. My children are more important than this blog! I have been trying to get updated this week and it has been a little crazy.  It's been consuming my thoughts.  And what makes it worse is when I look at other dessert blogs and it intimidates me. As I sit at night blogging I think of their pictures and wonder how they always seem to be in natural lighting or how they always seem to get that perfect angle. So I've been trying to edit my pictures(some seem to have no hope no matter how hard I try) on my husbands computer that I only have access to for a couple hours a day and then forward back to my computer so I can blog about them later. Well this has taken forever it seems. It has taken time away from me doing more important things. I realized this tonight as I was trying to rush my 8 year old to bed so I could get daddy's computer out and edit while it's here.  Something told me to stop and just listen to him talk about his day, like the Scooby Doo episode that he thought was cool or how he wished he had his lizard now or even (my favorite) how he really wants to be nice to Wyatt but he's 3 and that makes it so hard.  Anyway I realized that moment was much more important than editing a bunch of pictures of pink cupcakes.  I was creating memories with my boy.  We don't talk much because all day I'm dealing with 2 other crazy children and don't make the time like I should to be with him.  So I just decided that I don't care if my photos are edited anymore.  I don't care that my blog isn't like the professionals. I don't care that I don't have the time or energy to write every step or link everything. I do care about my 8 year old looking back at his life and realizing he had a mom who wasn't consumed with cupcakes every waking minute.  I want to take the time for my 3 kids.  One day I will have the time to get better but I won't get this time with my children again. So until then please enjoy my unedited creations with very little writing (you thought I was bad before) 
Thanks for listening to me.  It felt so good to finally get it out.  I've had these thoughts for so long but I finally came to terms with it tonight.