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Monday, March 26, 2012

Froggy Cake Pops

                


Megan's Corner

 So the rice krispie treat cake from my last post was originally supposed to be a fun display for these little diddies, but I loved how it looked with the cupcakes so I had to come up with a new idea for these cake pops. We were at my Mother-in-law's house and she had these candy jars on her cupboard and I just love how the cake pops look in them! These cake pops weren't quite how I imagined them but they were a huge hit. First, I wanted my little frogs to be bright green so I  bought a bag of the dark green candy melt and a bag of yellow candy melt. I started by melting the whole bag of green with half a bag of yellow, but then after adding the whole bag of yellow it still wasn't bright enough. I wish I had started with yellow and slowly added green. Secondly, I pictured the frogs having really cute faces. As you can see, they all have tongues (cut up pieces of red vines) which I stuck in after I dipped the frogs, but they do not have mouths. So unfortunate. I went and bought a few different kinds of edible pens and was so excited to try them out, but here's a nice tip - EDIBLE PENS DON'T WORK ON CAKE POPS. Do not be fooled. Many people claimed that they used edible pens to draw on cake pops, but they do not work...it ruins the pens. I googled it in my frustration and found that I am not the only person with this dilemma. I didn't have time to come up with alternative mouths (I could have just piped them on with melted chocolate) so these frogs remain expressionless.




Saturday, March 24, 2012

Kermit's First Birthday




We have been calling my son Kermit since his first few weeks of life. Why would we refer to him as the green, jumping frog of Sesame Street you ask? Well, firstly because no one in my husband's family can escape without a nick name, but mainly because since he was born he has slept with his legs tucked up under him like a little froggy and he absolutely LOVES to jump. When he was real tiny he would bounce any time you stood him on your lap and then once he was big enough we got him a door jumper which has become his favorite toy. And even now, celebrating his first birthday, he is still hopping all over the place and bouncing on anything and everything. SO, how could I possibly do anything BUT a frog theme for this little man's birthday? It was so expected that I felt like I couldn't disappoint. With that being said, aren't these frog cupcakes cute? I love bright colors and I love this idea for frogs that I found on Pinterest (ok, so I'm not ALWAYS original). I also made him a "frog prince" crown to help him celebrate the big 1, but it got very limited use. :)





To make the frogs you will need:
Fruit slices (the idea I copied just used green, but the first bag I bought only had two green fruit slices in it,    
                   so we went with all colors!)
Spice drops
Candy Eyes (walmart or michaels)
Powdered Sugar (or white chocolate)
water
toothpicks
bubble tape


Stick toothpicks through the fruit slice and through each of the spice drops (you will need two toothpicks per frog). Using either powdered sugar mixed with a tiny bit of water to form a paste or melted white chocolate, stick the candy eyes to the spice drops. Cut strips of bubble tape for the tongue and cut a v-shape in one end. Stick the frog into the cupcake with the toothpicks and stick the tongue between the toothpicks 
underneath the frog.

To display some of these cupcakes I made a rice krispie treat cake! Originally I wanted a 3 tier cake but after the first two tiers took 5 batches of rice krispie treats, my husband said enough is enough :). Which is surprising since this is one of his favorite desserts. I have a set of 3 spring form pans and I molded these two layers out of the largest and smallest pans but you could use cake pans or anything you have in your kitchen. It needed some color so I used ribbon on the top layer, but didn't have another ribbon I loved so the bottom layer is wrapped in a streamer! 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

From Shabby to Chic!



Megan's Corner
There is a common misconception about people who own sewing machines. Just because I own a sewing machine, it does not mean that I sew. I mean, I "sew", but I don't sew. You get me? One misconception that made me laugh is a girlfriend that brought a sweater to me that had a hole in it. Ok, I own a sewing machine...maybe I sew a little bit, but I don't alter clothes and I DEFINITELY don't knit. Well, what does this have to do with this chair you ask? A little while ago, a girlfriend came to me and asked if I could help her recover the cushions on her old rocking chair. My mom did one for me when I had my baby last year that is just fabulous and since my mom can do it so can I right? I mean, I do own a sewing machine. :) I said yes mostly because I was curious to see if I COULD do it. I don't believe my friend realized that she was an experiment, but at least it turned out ok and she was thrilled with the results. And I have to say, so was I!
Before: 

After:
 



And just for fun we made a cute pillow with the leftover fabric!




Monday, March 19, 2012

Apple Cake

Katie's Corner


Putting the Apple Cake Together:

½ cup shortening   
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar   
2 tsp. soda
2 eggs  
2 tsps. cinnamon
½ tsp. salt  
3 cups apples (granny smith) shredded

Cream together shortening and sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add remaining ingredients.
Bake in 9x13 cake pan at350 degrees for 30-40 minutes.  With a knife make small cuts over the whole surface of the cake so that when you pour the topping over the top it seeps through the cake.

Boil: 

1 cup sugar
½ cup butter
1/3 cup milk
2 tsp. vanilla
Pour over hot cake and serve with whipped cream or ice cream.  

This cake does not last long.  It is so moist and delicious.  Watch out,  this cake  is  easy to eat the whole pan yourself!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bread

     

Megan's Corner

Now I am sure that I am not the only person to have thought of it, but I just had to make myself some peanut butter and jelly bread. I followed our bread recipe from this post. Where you mix the first set of ingredients:


 Let it rise and get bubbly:


 Add the rest of the ingredients and knead for 10 minutes. Let rise until doubled in a greased bowl:



 Roll out the width of the bread pan and however long you want to roll it. Slather it in peanut butter and jelly and then roll it up and place it in a greased bread pan:



Let rise until it is an inch above the pan. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. 


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookies with a Crunch


 Megan's Corner

I've already told you that I am always hunting for new cookie recipes and this is one that I'm glad I tried out. I must confess, most of the cookie dough didn't make it into the oven...I loved it so much that I just scooped it into balls and threw them in my freezer to munch on when I get a craving. Actually I don't even need a craving...to eat just, um, pretty much whenever I pass by the freezer. Now don't YOU go doing that...for all I know, you're going to end up getting salmonella from eating raw eggs and then you're going to blame me and curse my name forever. But in my house, my husband and I enjoy our frozen cookie dough. These cookies are crunchy so I like to under cook them a little bit and then devour them with milk.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups rice krispies
1 cup chocolate chips

In a small bowl whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla. Beat well. Add flour mixture and mix just until blended. Stir in rice krispies and chocolate chips. Using a big 1/4 cup scoop - scoop and place on a baking sheet.
Bake at 375 for 9-11 minutes.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Double Musky Pie

Megan's Corner

I got a recipe book for my wedding that was from a place called the Double Musk.  I had never heard of it, so I never even opened the cook book. Once moving to my husband's hometown of Anchorage Alaska, I quickly discovered that it is an amazing cajun cuisine and a very popular restaurant among Alaskans. especially those with a lot of time on their hands. This restaurant is 45 minutes from Anchorage with nothing much around it. They are constantly packed and they don't take reservations. On top of that it is typically a long time before your food is cooked to perfection so you don't just go for a quick bite, you go for the experience. By the end of about two hours you are so uncomfortably full but not one bit regretful. After I tried this dessert  once I knew I wanted to learn how to make it. It is a huge hit everywhere I go. By the way, one day I was telling my in-laws that some random person gave me the Double Musky cookbook before I ever even knew what it was and my Mother-in-law pipes up and says "Yeah, that random person, would be me." Whoops! And I'm sure I wrote her a nice long thank-you for it. :)

First of all you are going to need the following ingredients:
First Layer
3 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla
Dash of cream of tartar
1 cup sugar
32 saltines
1 cup chopped roasted pecans (you can roast them by cooking them at 350 degrees on a cookie sheet for 10-15 minutes...watch them so they don't burn!) 
Second Layer
1/2 cup butter
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
2 eggs

whipped topping
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Start the butter and chocolate for the second layer melting in a double boiler. Or if you are nice and creative like me you can use a metal bowl over a simmering pot of water!

First Layer: Beat the egg whites until they become airy and fluffy. Add vanilla and cream of tartar. Slowly add the sugar while still beating the egg whites. Continue beating until the meringue forms stiff, glossy peaks and has the consistency of marshmallow cream.
In a separate bowl, crush the crackers into small pieces and mix in the chopped pecans. Fold meringue into the cracker mixture, mixing it in thoroughly. 


Spread it into a greased 10-inch pie pan. I use a 9 inch spring form pan and it works great. DO NOT USE A 9 INCH PIE PAN. You will regret it....and the mess that you will have to clean out of your oven! Be sure to spread the meringue to the edges and smooth it against the edges. Bake the meringue for 10 minutes. When done, the meringue will be slightly brown around the edges.


Second Layer: When the butter and chocolate have melted, mix in the sugar and flour. Add the eggs and mix them in until fully incorporated. Don't mix any more than necessary or this layer will be too airy.


Starting at the edge of the pan and spiraling to the center in a thin stream, pour the chocolate mixture over the meringue. Replace the pie in the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. When done, the pie will be slightly crusty on top with the center still a little moist.



Replace the pie in the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. When done, the pie will be slightly crusty on top with the center still a little moist. Refrigerate the pie until it is cool and then top it with whipped topping.


Refrigerate until ready to serve.


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Cookie Dough Pops...


Megan's Creations
I know that cake pops are all the rage right now, but have you tried cookie dough pops? Um, to die for! I teach the 10-year-old kids at church and every sunday I pass out a bag of cookies with their assignment for the next week attached to it. It has since become a fun goal for me to never do the same cookie twice, so I am always looking for new recipes. When I came across these cookie dough balls, I just had to try them, and they were well worth it. The recipe doesn't have eggs so it's safe to eat, which my 11-month old greatly appreciates. :). So to join in the soon to be "cookie pop" craze, you will need the following:

1 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/ 3 cup milk
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup mini chocolate chips

If you are an avid or even amateur cookie maker you probably already know the drill - Cream together butter and both sugars in a bowl. Add milk and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Add to butter and sugar mixture until incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips.


 Using a cookie dough scoop, measure out cookie dough and roll into balls. Place cookie dough balls on lined cookie sheet. YOU DO NOT BAKE THESE COOKIES!


 Now at this point you can stick them in the freezer and be done OR if you want to add to the calorie intake, you can stick them in your fridge for an hour and then dip them in melted chocolate. WHich is exactly what I did. You have two options here. You can just dip the balls as they are, or you can stick lollipop sticks in them and make them into "pops". I did both and prefer the way the pops turn out, but they taste the same either way!