Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Key Lime Pie Muddy Graham Bites

These are a little explosion in your mouth and will liven up any party.  Super simple to create.  I found what I had been looking for in the grocers the other day... miniature graham bites!  They are a new item from Keebler.  Little squares of graham about an inch in diameter.  Perfect for snacking and perfect to create little key lime bites to pop in your mouth :)

What Ya Need:
3 cups miniature graham cracker bites
1 cup white chocolate morsels
1 packet of Duncan Hines Frosting Creations (Key Lime)
1 cup of powdered sugar

What Ya Do: 

1)  Melt the white chocolate chips in the microwave on 45 second increments. 
2)  While they are melting, place the packet of frosting creations with the powdered sugar in a large plastic zipper bag.  Shake to create a lime colored (flavored) sugar mixture. 
3)  Stir the melting chocolate chips to make sure all are melted. 
4)  Measure 4 cups of the graham cracker bites in a large bowl and stir the melted chocolate into bowl.  Mix the cereal until all is well coated. 
5)  Directly transfer the coated graham bites into the zipper bag and shake.  These do stick together a bit,,, so periodically, open the bag and pull apart the sticky cereals.  Continue to shake until all are separated and coated. 
6)  When they are all coated, open the bag and take hand-fulls out of the bag and sift with hands, to release remaining sugar mixture from the graham bites. 
7)  Place into a bowl or serving dish.  I added chocolate chips to the mix to give a taste of chocolate covered key lime pie.  This is optional. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

You Totally RoCk: Valentine

Such a cute Valentine: 
Keebryn and I worked on this and they turned out totally "Rockin" ;) 

They are fairly cheap to create and I have created a template for you, so that you can simply right click and save to your computer to paste into a blank doc.  The image of the heart with wings was found by doing a Google search.  The heart image is not mine, however, I designed the remainder of the Valentine. 

What Ya Need: 

Packs of Pop Rocks
Template for the Valentine
Stapler
Clear treat bags

What Ya Do:

OK... it's fairly simple. 

1) Make sure you have your supplies and have enough for each kido you will be donating these to.
2)  I would print off the template first... It is the image below.  What you do is right click and download the picture.  Then open a new blank document and place this into the page, twice.  Only two will fit onto a page.  I suggest that you print just one and practice the folding (below) before printing all needed.  Practice the folding to ensure they are measured correctly. 

 

3) As they are printing, let your kido write their Valentine's name and their name on the "To" and "From" lines. 
4) Then it's folding time.  As you cut these out, cut very close to the line on all sides, EXCEPT the top.  Leave about 1/3 of an inch on the top.  This will help line up the writing in the center as you fold.  After they have written on the card, fold it by meeting the two ends and make a fold.  Check to make sure it folds. 
5) Now allow your kido to stuff a packet of rock candy into one of the clear bags. 
6) Fold down the top until the top reaches almost the top of the rock candy.
7) Now place the folded card stradeling the bag and staple on both sides.

Super simple!




 


Chocolate Marshmallow Valentine Brownies

 
These are goodies and cutties. 
Instructions are below.
 
What Ya Need:
 
1 jar marshmallow cream
2 packets of chocolate brownie mix
All ingredients called for in the mix
1 bag of round chocolate coated candies (I used "Sixlets")
 
What Ya Do:
 
1)  Mix your brownie mix according to directions and place in a greased or sprayed pan. 
2)  Bake for apx. 10 minutes LESS than directed. 
3) When timer goes off,  use a piping bag or plastic sandwich bag to spread the marshmallow cream in a swirl (back and forth) pattern on top of the brownies. 
4) Bake in oven for additional 10 minutes. 
5) When the brownies are pulled from the oven, sprinkle with the round chocolate coated candies. 
 
The colors make it perfect for Valentines, but these candies can also be found in pastels for Easter or other fun colors just to add some fun to your brownies.  They do taste delish and they are super cute when cut into squares. 



Monday, February 11, 2013

Chocolate Heart Pomegranate Cups

Are you looking for a heart-healthy treat that serves the purpose of also knocking out a craving for chocolate?  This is it... these are simply delish!!  These little chocolate cups are homemade and filled with pomegranate seeds and honey.  Let's get started! Oh yeah... the kidos enjoy this thouroughly!

What Ya Need!

* 1 heart shaped cupcake or muffin pan (silicone)
* 1 bag of dark chocolate chips     for melting
* 1 pomegranate
* Drizzles of honey

What Ya Do! 

This is an elegant and simple snack.  The most time consuming part is making the cups. 



1)  Melt about half the bag of chocolate chips in the microwave in 40 second intervals.  I would use the darkest chocolate possible for the sake of heart health :)  When the chips are melted...

2)  Use a small, clean paint brush to dip into the chocolate and coat the bottom and sides in smooth strokes, of the heart shapes.  Make an even layer.



3)  Place them into the freezer for about 5-10 minutes and remove... they should be hardened.

4)  Now add another layer of chocolate.  This layer will harden quickly because the chocolate is cold in the mold... Make sure your chocolate is melted well in your bowl and carefully make smooth strokes to cover the heart again.  Use upward and full strokes on the sides especially, to make the top smooth instead of crumply.  (Uh, is that a real word?)

5)  Place them in the fridge for a short time, until they are hardened again. This is for the final time :)

6)  While they are hardening... work on your pomegranate.  Get the seeds out of your pomegranate and place them on a towel to drain.  You want them to be fairly dry because chocolate and liquid do not mix well. 

7)  Now, easily peel your heart cups out of their cases.  They should come out easily by just folding the silicone back. 




8)  Fill each heart with enough seeds and drizzle a small amount of honey over the top.







9)  You-re FINISHED!

I'm tellin' ya, I did not expect to enjoy these as much as I did.  They are a great flavor combo and if you are heart health conscience, you will feel great munching on these for a snack or serving to a friend. 




Thursday, February 7, 2013

You're DyNaMiTe: Valentine!



For Keebryn's Valentines Day party last year, we decided to make Homemade Dynamite Valentines! They turned out totally cute. We created a template for a rectangular shaped card with "You're Dynamite" typed on front, and printed them off the computer. 
This is a great project to get the Kidos involved!



 What Ya Need!!

*Coin Rollers (size nickle or quarter)
*Red spray paint
*Black yarn
*Black electrical paint
*Hot glue gun
*Taffy Candy (or some other type that will fit)
*Homemade Valentine card

What Ya Do!!

1)  To make the dynamite...
Roll out newspaper to cover ground outisde.  Use a glove, because you will have to hold the dynamite to spray paint.  Find the designated amout of coin holders all the same size (the nickle holders worked best, but quarter ones will work also) and hold one by the side.  Spray as you rotate with your gloved index in the coin holder.  When it is fully covered with a coat of spray paint, stand it on it's end.  You will repeat this for all coin holders.  Let them dry apx. 5 minutes and spray again... You want to cover all coin detail with red. 

2) When those completely dry, prepare your strings of black yarn.  Cut each piece apx. 3 inches in length and glue with a hot glue gun, to the inside flap of the crunchable end.  Now cut a small piece of electrical tape near the bottom, apx. 1/2 inch from botton, all the way around the coin roller. It's starting to look like a little dynamite :)

3) Now comes the good part... CANDY! We stuffed each with a strip of taffy candy, but whatever fits and works for your child will do great.  After they are stuffed, fold the tip down on all sides, leaving the black yarn to hang.


4) Then, simply glue the finished dynamite stick to your homemade Valentine card! Your Valentine needs to have space on the top or side to place your dynamite and it should read "YOU"RE DYNAMITE"!  Create a line for the child's name and a line for the name of the child donating the valentine. 

 Check out the video of Keebryn helping to make his valentine.... Super Duper Cuter!  Hope you enjoy making these with your kidos!


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Cinnamon-Hots White Chocolate Bark

Again, another super simple treat! That makes for a cute Valentines Day treat or gift. 
What Ya Need!

1 Bag of White Chocolate Chips
1 Bag of Cinnamon Hots
*Wax Paper
*Zipper Bag
*Hammer :)

Uh.... yeah, that's it!

What Ya Do!

1) Prepare your Cinnamon Hots Candy by placing about half the bag in a small sandwich or freezer bag and grab the hammer.  I used a small hammer because I thought it not best to destroy my kitchen island top :)  Bust the candies into small pieces.  Simple eh?!

2) Roll out a medium size piece of wax paper and tape it to a baking pan. 

3) Now melt about half the bag of White Chocolate Chips in a microwave safe dish in the microwave for about 45 seconds and stir. Most of the chips should melt as you stir. 

4) Pour your melted chocolate onto the paper and spread with back and forth strokes, until it's about 1.5 cm thick.  Immediately sprinkle your crushed Cinnamon Hots candy over the chocolate and press lightly with your hand. 



5) Place the pan in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes until hard. 

6) To bust the chocolate into pieces, pull up the wax paper and hold 6 inches or so, above a flat surface and drop the paper with candy.  It will break into pieces beautifully. 

Eat up or wrap up and send to a friend.  Happy Hot Valentines Day :)



Thursday, January 31, 2013

Flavor Boost Cake Trick


 This is a simple trick that I use on some of my cakes and even cupcakes.  It can add a burst of flavor and surprise to any cake. 

What Ya Do... Is Totally Simple:

1) Pick out any flavor of jelly from your local grocers... In this picture, I used raspberry.  The possibilities are infinite; well at least limited to as many fruit preserves your grocer holds!  You could use Strawberry, Grape, Blackberry, Blueberry, Peach.... ETC!!  What ever kind you choose should work with your cake and buttercream flavor combination. This cake was a lemon cake with white chocolate buttercream and raspberry filling.  
 
2)  Pour the jar of preserves into a bowl and whisk until all lumps have disappeared.
 
 
3) Now use a condiment bottle.  ( I believe mine was a buck at a dollar store.)  Make sure it is a bottle that has a pointed tip like this one.  Pour the whisked jelly into the bottle. 
 
 
Have your cakes cooked and cooled.  Level your cake and place it on your cake board or server. 
 4) Use the bottle tip to poke a hole into the cake and squeeze.  Hold and pull up as you squeeze, to insure that the entire hole made from the tip... is filled with yummy filling.  Go in a circle, in inch increments around the cake and repeat on the next row until you reach the center.  Of course, if it is a square cake, go in rows, in inch increments. 
 
 
5) Your cake should have dollops of jelly filling about every inch so that each slice will have a couple of tasty surprises. 
 
 
6) If you have a double layered cake, ice the top of the jelly filling.  Then level the next layer and flip upside down, to place it on top of the first layer.  Now repeat with the same method to add flavor to the second layer.    When all is finished... Ice the cake as normal! 
What flavor combo will you try??!
 
 
 
 
 

Monday, January 28, 2013

FloWeR PoLiSh BouQuet

VISIT my new BLOG:
bloomingbygrace.blogspot.com

So Super excited about this cute little bouquet.  This came to mind, simply because I was pushed for time and resources to purchase a gift for a young lady's birthday party.  It's amazing what your mind will create in a lack of resources :)  Gotta say that God really pulled this together... because I seriously prayed that it would work.  I had never tried this before and I didn't have room for error.
The Birthday Gal loved it and my son was proud to be the donor of this gift :)  You can get the kidos involved by allowing them to cut out the flowers, picking the fingernail polishes, or gluing the flowers to the stems.  So let's get started on the "How-To"!

Project approximate cost: 
     $17-$20 depending on the resources you may already have.

What Ya Need:

*10       Bottles of fingernail polish (dollar store works perfect)
*1         Bucket or pail
*1         Package of fringe stuffing (blue is what I used here)
*1         Sheet of foam (flower bouquet white foam)
*1         Package of Kabob Skewers
*1-1.5  Cups of sand (I used decorators sand)
*Green Floral Tape
*Colorful sheets of poster board (I used three different colors: it's up to you and your color scheme)
*Hot Glue Gun
*Flower pattern (I used a cookie cutter and traced it bigger that original.  You can find templates
                          via a search engine)

Purchase and organize all of your materials.  It's important to color coordinate with the young lady's interests and the colors you choose in polishes, pail, fringe stuffing and poster board for flowers.  Delegate your color scheme and then shop for the items. 

Once you have downloaded a flower template or made your own, trace and cut out 10 flowers from your poster board.  With your hot glue gun, fill in the bottom of one polish and use the glue to fill any gap on the bottom of the bottle, so that it is as flat as possible.  Now push the glue filled polish bottom to a flower.  Do this for all flowers and polishes. 




Now work on stabilizing and preparing the pail.  Measure the foam board by turning the pail upside down and tracing. Cut out the circle on the inside of your trace line, because it has to be placed farther down in the pail than measured.  Continue to trim the circle foam until it can be pushed about half way down into the pail.  When it is a good fit, remove it and pour your sand in the pail.  For a small pail, fill the bottom with a cup of sand and level the sand.  For a large container, you will need more.  The purpose of the sand is to stabilize and prevent the weight from the polishes from tipping the container.  Now push your foam to it's snuggest position and reinforce with hot glue. 






 Now you are ready to create the flowers and position them.  To make the stems, you need your floral tape and kabob skewers.  Each stem needs three skewers.  Place the kabob ends in a triangle position so that all three are touching.  Make cuts to each set of skewers, between 4.5 and 6 inches long.  Each stem should fit between these measurements.  Some tall, some short stems will create the flower bouquet look.  Now hold a set of three skewers and wrap the floral tape around the set of three skewers, tightly until you reach about an inch prior to the tip (pointy tip).  Now you have one stem created.  Create 9 more to have one for each polish flower. 


 The next step is gluing the stems to the flowers.  Place a large dot of glue with the glue gun, on the bottom of a flower and hold the stem end (not sharp end) to the glue.  You will have to hold the stem to the flower for at least 30 seconds.  It has to totally harden before you let go of the stem.  To keep the polish and flowers standing, so they do not lay and crumple, use the remainder of the sponge board and stick them into the remainder of the foam board, standing.  Make sure the board is stable and weighted and will not tip over with the flowers.  Placing them in the board will also help as you choose sizes to arrange in the bouquet. 




When all 10 flowers are complete, you are ready to assemble them into a bouquet.  Keep in mind the color coordination and the length of each flower as you place them.  The longest should be placed in the middle and they should graduate from longest to shortest being in the front.  Place them firmly into the foam inside your pail/bucket.



 OK... you're on the home stretch! This is a great place to let the kidos get involved!  Once they are all places in the bucket/pail, it's time to stuff the filling so that the stems and foam are not noticeable.  Take small hand fulls of the fringe stuffing and push into place all around the flowers.  I did my bouquet with a front view and kinda wish I would have done all sides.  So stuff your fringe wherever it needs to be placed, depending on whether you have a front bouquet or all around bouquet.   Stuff... stuff... stuff :)
  

  Check out your placement of flowers and adjust as needed.  I had to take out and replace a couple of times until I had the color coordination and length just right.  When you are finished you should have an awesome, fun Flower Polish Bouquet!   





You could add a cute bow or tag to the front of the bouquet.  I added a small, round container of fingernail polish remover to the back with a tap of the glue gun.  I hope you get to make this for a special young lady! ...and share how it goes!  Best of luck with your project!




Friday, January 18, 2013

NuteLLa No-Bake Oatmeal cOOkies

Seriously Good :)  NuteLla No-Bake Oatmeal cOOkies

 


I've been making the same No-Bake Cookie recipe for years... Literally years and years.  It is a favorite treat in my household and truly a Southern traditional cookie.  The recipe I use for the peanut butter / chocolate no-bake cookies is from an old cookbook from a company that is now no longer in business.  I believe the Copyright date is 1978... seriously, the year I was born :)  So the original, unmodified version is pretty much tried and true.  So I simply did some modifying of  the recipe and tried three batches of my Hazelnut (Nutella) cookies until... I finally landed a winner!  I'm totally stoked about this recipe because it finally worked with the Nutella and hazelnuts..  Woo Hoo!!!

What Ya Need!

2     Cups Sugar
2     Tbsp Cocoa
1/2  Cup Milk
1     Stick Butter ( I used unsalted)
2     Tsp Vanilla
2.5  Cups Oatmeal
1     Cup Nutella Spread
1     Small Bag of Hazelnuts (apx. 1 Cup)

What Ya Do!

Place the Sugar, Cocoa, Milk and Butter in a saucepan and stir, bringing to a boil on medium.  Now this is the "Do or Die" part of the recipe cooking.  If the mixture is not boiled for long enough, the cookies will not set and if the mixture is boiled for too long, they will be dry and brittle.  Yuck!  SO, set your timer for 3 minutes exactly and watch for the mixture to begin bubbbling.  When it begins to boil, you will need to turn heat down a small bit, to medium-low.  Stir the mixture as it boils and don't let it boil harshly.  When the three minutes are up, remove the saucepan from the heat and add the vanilla, Nutella Spread (Hazelnut spread)  and the Hazelnuts.  Stir until well combined.  On a sheet of wax paper, drop the mixture by tablespoons about an inch apart.  It will take them about 30 minutes to an hour to set.  They are awesomely delish and I'm so hoping that you get to try them.  I'd love to have comments from anyone who does try it out! 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

RaspBeRRy TruFFle MuDDy BuDDies

I love some RaspBerrY!  It goes well with almost anything... chocolate, lemon, lime, white chocolate and even chex cereal :)  This is an easy recipe that is tasty.  These treats would be great mixed into a mix with other salty/sweet munchies.  Let's get to it...



What Ya Need

30    Raspberry Chocolate Kisses (unwrapped:)
1      Packet of Raspberry Hot Chocolate Powder (these are found in single packets of
                  gourmet hot chocolate in many grocers)
3/4   Cup of Powdered Sugar
2      Cups of Rice Squares Cereal

What Ya Do

Place the Raspberry Kisses in a microwave safe bowl and micro 30 seconds, then stir.  If they are not all melted after stirring, microwave 30 more seconds.  When they are completely melted, stir and add your rice squares cereal.  Mix the cereal squares with the melted kisses with a spatula, until they are well coated.  Now, mix the powdered sugar and hot chocolate powder together and pour half into a large zipper bag.  Pour your coated cereal squares into the bag and pour a bit more sugar mixture on top... you will probably not need all the mixture on the cereal.  Add gradually until you are happy with the amount coated on the cereal.  Shake the contents and roll with your hands, until all cereal is coated.  Pour out into a bowl and eat up  :O