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Monday, September 30, 2013

Cannoli Dip




We celebrated my baby boys first birthday day this past weekend. I can't even believe a whole year has gone by...I am beginning to believe that once you have kids time seems to speed up!!It was a wonderful day filled with a lot of family and good friends as we celebrated the awesomeness that is my little babes!

It was also filled with good thing to eat.

Like this dip...like it's no joke!

Cannoli Dip.


If you like the taste of Cannoli's then this is perfect for you. I found the recipe online but had to tweak it a bit to make it the way I like it!!!

This is what you need......

  • 2 Cups Ricotta Cheese
  • 8 oz. Softened Cream Cheese
  • 1 1/2 Cups Confectioners sugar (Powdered Sugar)
  • 1 cup miniature chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 tsp. Almond Extract
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Cinnamon
Before I ever began mixing anything, I drained the ricotta cheese a bit to remove some of the moisture. Ths can be achieved by lining a colander with some coffee filters and pouring the ricotta cheese into it. Let it drain in the fridge for a few hours. If you don't have time for that it, fine but just note that the final dip may be a bit looser..still delicious, but looser :)

In a bowl combine Ricotta cheese and cream cheese and mix well. Add in vanilla extract, almond extract and ground cinnamon until fully combined. At this point you can now add in the confectioners sugar until it is all mixed and then add in the mini chocolate chips.

I used regular sized chips, because that is what I had on hand. But next time I would use the mini chips as I'm sure they mix in better.


Now taste it.....and now resist the urge to jut eat the whole bowl. You can serve this with sugar cookies, animal crackers or even graham crackers. I used miniature chocolate sugar cookie shaped like airplanes, because that was the theme of my baby's first birthday!! You could also use broken pieces of sugar cones like I used for a colorful version of this dip here!


This dip was a total success and everyone loved it! I've been on a bit of a dip kick lately since it's such a fun way to bring something a bit different to dessert!!

Hope you enjoy!!




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Friday, September 27, 2013

Go Bo! Bake Sale




Last year around this time I was introduced to a story of a young boy. He was like any other fun loving pre-teen kid for once exception.

He was dying.

His name was Bo Johnson and at the age of 12 he was diagnosed with a rare form of Leukemia, EM/AML. You can find more information about his life  here.  Tommorow Sept. 28th is the year anniversary since his passing last year.




I know that there are hundreds if not thousands of children and young adults that are in the midst of a life and death battle with one form of cancer or another. My heart breaks for each and every one of them, but for some reason Bo's story caught my attention. 

I believe in my heart of hearts that we are all in someway shape or form  connected to one another. That we are all  strands of colorful experiences weaved through a grand tapestry we call life. Some strands touch, some do not and others connect us to strands we would not ordinarily ever be crossed with.

That is what happened with learning about Bo's story. He was halfway across the country, living a life I had no connection to and then one day a connection was made.

And his message was delivered to me....


"Love each other, help each other, have your neighbor's back. If you see someone in need- even a stranger- reach out and help. The world can be a  better place if we care and help each other."
The simplicity of this message touched me somewhere deep inside and something in me felt drawn and 
compelled to follow his journey which ended last September 28, 2012. The person that originally was the "strand" that connect my life to his reached out to cookie decorators across the web, asking if people wanted to get involved in a bake sale of sorts to help contribute to the GoBo! Foundation whose mission is...


The GO BO Foundation brings hope to children with life-threatening medical conditions by funding research, supporting treatment, and helping their families during times of financial need.
Last year I wasn't able to contribute the way that I wanted. I was at the end of my pregnancy and suffered from terrible carpal tunnel syndrome. I was not able to decorate cookies at that time. But wanting to donate and be a part of something bigger than myself, I choose to go back to my candy making roots and made up a few batched of delicious butter crunch that I wrapped in pretty packaging and sent it on its way to the bake sale.

This year I was able to do more, so I did. These are the cookies I made to help and I hope they do.
These are some funky cats I made, which I love. I used a stencil for the background and I think it made them pop!


These are more cats but a more close up version of them!


I also made Frankenstein...


And some cute ghosts..


I think they look so fun next to each other!!


And finally I made some pumpkins in a patch, these were my least favorites of the bunch. I tried some new techniques with them so they aren't as "perfect" as I would like them to be!


Thank you for reading along and I do hope you will take the time to read more about Bo's story. If you would like to make a donation to help support you can do that through the fondations website which can be found HERE

And here are some more links to his story....

https://www.facebook.com/GoBoFoundation?fref=ts

http://www.gobofoundation.org/

 http://www.ppulse.com/Articles-Features-c-2012-09-05-103945.114136-Bo-Johnson-Teaching-Us-How-to-Live.html






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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Easy Mummy Cupcakes for Halloween




I know, I know I'm killing you all with the pre-Halloween posts, but blogging about fun foods and treats does that to you. You start anticipating holidays as early if not more than Walmart! My brain is now just accustomed to working that way now.

It's taking all I can not to start Christmas food crafts..just kidding...slightly  :)

You'll thank me when your looking for a last minute Halloween treat idea that is easy and fun. Sort of like these easy mummy cupcakes!!


They are super easy to make and can make an ordinary cupcake a whole lot more Halloween like!!

This is what you will need....
  • Cupcakes
  • White Frosting
  • Decorating bag
  • Tip # 47 (basket weave tip)
  • Some spooky eyes.

This is how you make them! Fill your decorating bag with your white frosting and attach the basket weave tip. Pipe two lines across the center of the cupcake.


Now add the eyes. This will ensure that the cupcake doesn't show.


Now pipe lines all across the remaining top of the cupcake and finish by piping a line vertically between the eyes. 


Now pipe over those edges so, it give the frosting a layered look..you now sort of like a mummy :)



Easy and a fun way to add a little something to a Halloween celebration!!


Enjoy!









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Monday, September 23, 2013

Easy Baked Eggs in Ham Cups.




I love being in the kitchen and when it comes to baked goods I am a super fast whiz. I can get things done, easy , effortlessly and more importantly fast. But when it comes to making breakfast on the weekends, I feel as though I get sucked into some time warp as I lose hours....HOURS people making breakfast for the family.

I attribute it to everyone liking something different and my nurturing instinct kicking in because I would rather have them nourished and well fed than picking at a plate of food they don't particularly like as they whine LOUDLY about their dislike!

I saw these lovely little egg cups baked in ham slices over at Parade and thought I would give them  try. I cannot believe I haven't tied this before, not only were they super easy and super fast...they were good!


This is how you make them.....

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Spray cupcake tins with oil or just coat the tins with oil.

Line each cup with a slice of ham, they will overlap a bit and that is fine. Just tuck them in as neatly as you can.

Options.....-Crack a whole egg into cup for a whole egg yolk experience.
-Just add egg whites.
-Scramble eggs with cheese and add to cups.
-Make up your own option 


Bake for about 20 minutes or until the whites are cooked ( not slimy as I so eloquently say) They will still cook as you remove them from the oven so keep that in mind, if you like a softer yolk!!
After you take them out you can top with additional cheese if you like.

You can have them with yolk...




Without the yolk.




Scrambled with cheese..



Serve and enjoy! My kids literally gobble them up and asked for more. These are a great convenient way to do eggs in a few different ways on a busy school day morning ( because I hate giving them cereal!)


I cannot believe I haven't tied this before, not only were they super easy and super fast...they were good! Hope you enjoy!!





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Monday, September 16, 2013

Sweet Pumpkin Delight Dip




My two older children started pre-school last week, which means I have actually have had the opportunity to hear my thoughts uninterrupted. It has also allowed me to know that there is an end in sight, since I have been knee deep in diapers and babies over the past few years.

Every day I have been piling the both of them and the babes into our monster triple stroller and walking them to school. I have found it  a great way to get myself centered for the day, a way to get my exercise in and an easy way to have some fun conversation as we leave the hub-bub of the seemingly chaotic distraction of the early morning rush behind us.

It's been a great experience for us all, especially me since I put the babes on the top seat on the way home to avoid him falling asleep. As soon as we walk in the door he is already sleepy eyed and ready to take his morning snooze, I put him right down for his nap and them I sit and listen to the sound of nothing.

Yes, the sound of nothing!

It has taken me a little over four years to get to hear that again and it is a glorious un-sound. It also is a space in time that allows me to once again play a bit in the kitchen. Which since it is pumpkin season made me think of a dessert I made a while back that I was pretty much convinced would make a fabulous dip.

Sweet Pumpkin Delight Dip.


Think, pumpkin pie or in easier terms ah ma gawd more please and yes, what I am trying to convey to you all is this is insanely delish.  I've been playing with dips lately, because I like the spin it puts on dessert. Usually everyone looks at me all like where are the chocolate peanut butter cupcakes, cake, cake pops, cookies and lately I'm all like "Oh, no, no.....I've got something better!"

No one really believes me until they take a taste and I think you will believe me if you taste too :)


This is what you will need....

  • 1/2 Cup Pumpkin Puree/Filling
  • 4 oz. Cream Cheese (softened to room temp.)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 2 Cups Confectioners Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Cup Butter
  • 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla.
  • 1/2 Cup white chocolate chips (optional)


Before I begin to tell you how to make it, please know this makes a LARGE amount (around 2 cups) so if you want to cut the recipe in half it still makes a very nice amount. But more is always better, especially if you have company :)

Begin by creaming together the cream cheese, pumpkin and sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Add in the confectioners sugar and the flour and mix well,  finally add in the cinnamon. Here's a side note, personally I only like cinnamon, I am not a fan of nutmeg for some reason, so I don't add it to many recipes, even if it calls for it. But if you would like to pump up the flavor even more feel free to add it in to your taste preference.


Now that it is all mixed , just push it of to the side for minute as you get the rest of the yumminess together. In a small saucepan add in your butter and melt it on a medium heat. Once it has melted add in your brown sugar. Whisk it up so it comes together as it melts. You will see that it starts to look like a toffee as it pulls together in the heat, Just keep whisking it until it is all melted, then take it off the heat and add in the vanilla and whisk that in. Don't let it get so hot that it starts t burn, that is not what you want!


While it is still hot and please be careful as hot sugar burns!!! Add it to the pumpkin mix and whip it up good. The brown sugar butter mixture adds a bit of toffee sweetness to the pumpkin dip. It may seem a little loose at this point, but don't worry as it will set up wonderfully in the fridge. If you want to add in even a bit more flavor and texture, you can add in your white chocolate chips and mix it well. Let it set up in the fridge at least an hour before serving. When the time is right it will be perfectly scoopable!!


Serve with pretzels if you love that sweet/salty combo, animal crackers or even sliced apples!!!



Any which way you serve it, I do hope you enjoy!!!






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Sunday, September 8, 2013

White Chocolate Mummy Candy Apples




This Halloween season (Yes I know it seems early but it's not, the craft stores already have Christmas stuff out so I'm allowed!) I am all about Mummy's, I'm not really sure as to why. But it seems that everything that pops in my mind relates to some sort of fun Halloween inspired Mummy craft.

Like these... White Chocolate Mummy Candy Apples.


I think it was when I spotted these little gems a few weeks back that started the whole obsession, because once I purchased them all I had were mummy's with bloodshot eyes running around my mind dancing about in my creative thoughts!


I have never been one for the regular candy apples so popular this time of year or for there caramel coated buddy either. Visually I'm all like "Oh yeah I wanna eat THAT!" But three bites in and I'm done. I personally like chocolate with apples so this just works out perfectly!!

This is what you will need...
  • Apples (Use whatever kind you like.)
  • Lolly Sticks or candy apple sticks
  • White Chocolate Candy Melts
  • Candy Eyeballs
First de-stem your apples, which means take out the stems and then insert the sticks into the apples. This might take a bit of muscle, but I am confident that you can do it!


After all the sticks have been inserted melt your white chocolate candy melts. I do it in the microwave in 
30 second bursts. Keep in mind the trick to having it melt so that is flows easily ad smoothly from the spoon is melting it slowly. One it starts to melt just mix it and let it sit, giving it a stir now and again to mix it all up.


Holding the apple by the stick drizzle the chocolate over it so it lays like ribbon over the apple. Give it a first coat then put it aside and do the next apple.


After the first coat, add a layer so you can add in the eyes, then put aside to set. You can put them in the fridge to set them up faster if you prefer!


After they have set, just keep adding layers and allowing them to set in between to build up the mummy's outer shell. Add as much as you like!!


I would suggest cutting them up to eat them, as the chcolate may just crack and fall. But it's entirely up to you!!



Enjoy!!




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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Snow White Royal Princess Party




I love making printables for parties and this recent one was no exception. It was based off of an earlier design of mine, but now with the addition of new colors and new printables as well.

Snow White Royal Party Pack.


It's a basic party pack which includes Invitations, Cupcake Wrappers, Round Cupcake Toppers, Square Cupcake Toppers, Drink Labels, Miniature Candy Bar Wrappers, Green Leaf Thank You Tags, and Flag Bunting. They can be purchase in package as a whole or as separate items. 

Let's take a closer look....

This is the invitation it is available in two sizes 4x6 or 5x7. It is available as a blank invitation that can be filled in by hand at home or as a personalized invitation, in which you would receive it with the information already on it




The invitation is based off of another design and the dimensional aspect of the cutout bow is part of what makes it so unique.


The cupcake wrappers also includes a cut out version of the upper portion of Snow Whites head and over sized bow an is accented by the blue edge.


The cupcake toppers are available in 2 inch circles that can be cut out with the use of a circle punch. They are also available in 2 inch squares for those that do not have a circle punch!


Drink labels with the image of Snow White and measure 2x9, they can be trimmed to size if needed. They fit most water bottle and drink containers.


The miniature candy bar wrappers are available in an assorted variety of patterns and colors and make great little accents or treats.


The green apple leaf tags with thank you are a great way to dress up a cupcake. Just attach with a little green ribbon and your guests have an edible favor to take home!


And there is the Flag bunting...which completes the party decor! They are available with character and without.


Lastly I made cookies to coordinate with the theme, because I can and I love to do it. Plus it was a nice addition to the party decor!!


I made the character of snow white in large and small cookies, bluebirds with red bows to match Snow White and little apples.


I do hope you enjoyed this! If you are interested in purchasing any of these items for your own Snow White Royal Princess Party, please visit my Etsy.com store for more information!!



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