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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Avengers Birthday Cake

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This is my new favorite way to decorate cakes, the possibilities are ENDLESS!!
First off, I just want to let you all know how much this cake cost to make...
Just over $5.00!!!  Yes, you read that right!
All I had to pay for was the two boxes of cake mix (on sale for 99 cents each), and two tubs of
frosting, ($1.50 each). 
So, my two previous posts were how to make a Captain America Shield Pinata, and how to make Avengers masks, add this awesome birthday cake, and you've got a super sweet Avengers themed birthday party!!
I was SOOO excited to do this post!
I love to bake and decorate, but I'm still learning, so when I saw this idea on Pinterest, and knew I had to tackle it.  
I picked out a coloring page that had my son's 4 favorite Avengers, Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America.  I didn't know how long this process would take, the party was on a Wednesday, so I started Monday night.  I worked on it for 1 hour, put it in the fridge so it wouldn't get ruined, and then another 1 1/2 on Tuesday night, and that was it!  I had a lot of fun making this cake. 
What you'll need:
the coloring page you want for the final design
wax paper
a piece of glass large enough to tape the paper on to
food coloring
frosting (I just purchased the  Betty Crocker frosting, the one in the small tub)
sandwich bag (I only used 1 sandwich bag!  See how below) or (frosting bag with tips)

Tape your picture underneath the glass so you can see it.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

DIY Avengers Masks

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* I have a GIVEAWAY going on right now for a chance to win some super hero masks of your choice! It's the most recent post on my blog, just click on the header at the top of the blog (or Home) and it will take you there. Make sure to enter!

Ok, here is my second post from my son's Avengers birthday party.  See my previous post on how to make your own Captain America shield pinata if you missed that one, 'cause it's freaking awesome!
I saw these on Pinterest like a month ago and pinned them immediately.  I had this genius idea, instead of doing little goody bags for the kids, (because my son really never plays with the little toys he gets in there, and they would get enough candy and treats from the pinata), so I would make a mask for each of them.  This way they could also run around with the masks at the party and be little super heroes!
I started these a couple of weeks in advance, mostly so I could just work on them at night while my son was sleeping, and also because I didn't know how long it would take to make all 18 of them! 

Supplies you'll need
sheets of felt in the colors you will need Iron Man (red and yellow), Captain America (blue and white), Hulk (green and black), and Thor (a creamish, skin color, and grey).  (They were 29 cents per sheet at Michael;s, I've heard since you can get them at Wal-mart for 23 cents, saving you money folks!)
white stretchy elastic
FREE template of the masks found at Cutesy Crafts (this lady did a great job making these templates!  She also has a few other super heroes, and princess crown templates)

black and see-through thread
*Update, I did have someone email me, she said she didn't have a sewing machine, and was wondering if these could be made with a hot glue gun instead.
I whipped up a mask using ONLY a hot glue gun, and it does work just as well! 
I got 4 sheets of each color to use as the base of the mask, then 1 sheet for the colors which are the details on the masks.
For the base of the mask (the main color), use 2 sheets on top of each other, pin the mask and cut out the shape.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

DIY Captain America Shield Pinata

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I am so so so excited about the next couple of posts coming up!  Follow my blog so you can see what's coming!  (Just a little teaser, they are related to Avengers birthday party ideas!) 
First of all, I am very happy to have my camera back :).  Note to self: do not leave an expensive camera on top of papers on the edge of the table, because when a toddler wants to grab those papers, everything comes crashing down.  Totally my fault.  I am guilty.  
Anyways, my son's birthday isn't until November, but since we are moving in two weeks (AHHHH!!!), we decided to do an early birthday party for him so he could celebrate with friends and family one last time, and the party was yesterday!  I have been SO excited about this party.  I love planning things like this, and I love to be able to use my crafty skills :)  If you've been following my blog, you may remember I did a post about letting your little ones make their own Captain America Shield, well, after making that shield, and playing super heroes, I think it might have just kept the super hero obsession burning bright :), because my son requested an Avengers party!
Warning:  There are lots of pictures ahead!  I really did miss my camera...Also, guess how much it cost me to make this pinata...anyone?  Nothing!  0!  Zilch!  What made me really happy was I had all these supplies at my house already, (except the cardboard box, I had to find that, but it was free!)
Supplies you'll need:
  • cardboard box
  • a thinner box, ex: cereal, pop can, etc.
  • duct tape
  • scissors
  • glue
  • tissue paper
I thought this was going to take forever, so I started it a few days in advance.  It only took like an hour and a half TOTAL, and that was with 'my little helper' helping me.
Ok, here we go:
First cut out 2 identical shapes of what  you want your pinata to be.  (As you can see my box has black paint all over it, that's because I've been redoing furniture, I will post that later!)
 Then cut your thinner box into strips.  This is what will go between the shapes, so cut them as wide as you want.  Don't cut off the flaps on the box, you will need those in a minute.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Grilled Bruschetta Chicken

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This recipe is an end-of-Summer must!  With only 5 ingredients and around 200 calories...yeah...easy and healthy!  I found this on Pinterest a while ago, back when we were living in our old house, and had our veggie garden...I know, I need to get over not having a garden anymore...Anyways, I loved this because when I had first found this recipe my kitchen counter was overrun with fresh tomatoes.  It was a nice way to use some of them up.

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breats sliced open to make them thinner (this will give you 4 pieces of chicken)
  • 1/2 c. Italian salad dressing (it originally calls for sun-dried tomato salad dressing, but every time I've made this recipe, I've only had the Italian on hand)
  • 2 tomatoes finely chopped
  • 1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • salt
If you remember, which I never do, sprinkle the chicken with a little salt, then place chicken and salad dressing in a Zip-lock bag and marinate in the fridge for as long as you've got time for.  As you can see in the picture below, I just sprinkle the salt, and then brush on the dressing.
Turn your grill on to medium, and once it's ready put the chicken on.  Leave it until it's cooked about half-way through, and THEN you can turn it over.  Combine the chopped tomatoes, basil, and shredded cheese in a small bowl, and then top the cooked side of the chicken with the mixture.  Finish cooking the chicken on that side...
Then remove from the grill and serve!
This time I cut the recipe in half since my husband was at work, I was only making it for my son and myself, so that's just 1 chicken breast I used...can you tell which one is his and which is mine?  :)
Recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

P.F. Chang's Mongolian Beef Copy-cat Recipe

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We have made this dish at our house multiple times, but this particular post is kind of a sad one for me...not because of the food, the food is AMAZING, but because we are moving in a couple of weeks to California.  We made this last Sunday at my parent's house to celebrate my mom's birthday.  I've always been very close to my mom, I'm the only girl with 4 brothers, so she's always been like a best friend to me, and I feel very blessed because we've lived within 25 minutes of both of our families since basically forever, and we get to do Sunday dinners with my family a lot.  That will be coming to an end soon for us...No tears for now though!  On to this delicious recipe!

  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped garlic
  • 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger root
  • 1/2 c. soy sauce
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 2/3 c. dark brown sugar (I have used regular brown sugar as well, and it works just fine, the sauce will just be a little bit lighter of a color)
  • 1 lb beef flank steak
  • 1/4 c. corn starch
  • 1 c. vegetable oil
  • 1 bunch green onions, cut into 2" lengths
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • Cooked rice
Slice the flank steak 1/4" on the diagonal.  I forgot to take a picture of that part...sorry, I was too excited...  After you have sliced all of the meat, coat it in the corn starch and let it sit for about 10 minutes.  Here we have a picture of my younger brother demonstrating for us...

Monday, August 6, 2012

Grocery Store ABC's

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So, a couple of awesome things about this post;
1. It's educational
2. It keeps your child/children busy and in the shopping cart while you shop, and,
3. it involves stickers, so they'll love it!
Last year, when my son was about 2 1/2, I wanted to find a new way to teach him his ABC's.  Whenever we would go grocery shopping, he would hold onto my list and pretend to 'read' it, and help me shop.  I thought it would be cute for him to have his own 'list'.  My Grocery Store ABC's idea was born!  Each week before we would go shopping I would draw a few pictures of things that started with the letter we were on.  While we were shopping my son would have to point out the items on 'his grocery list' (as he called it), and then he got to pick out a sticker to place by the item he found.  He was also doing pretty well recognizing letters, so I would show him the letter we were looking for, and if he found it in a word on a label, or anywhere else, he got an extra sticker on his paper.  He loved searching for letters, and I was really surprised at how well he was paying attention to words and looking around.
By the way, I am such an awesome artist ;) don't you think?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Fudgy Brownie Dessert

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First of all, the most important thing to tell you, is this brownie batter is made by throwing everything in one pot, that's right ONE.  I love anything that cuts down on dirty dishes!!  
So, my husband requested this delicious dessert Friday night, luckily I was able to use his phone to take pictures...yes, my camera is still getting fixed :(.  At least his phone can take really good photos, so I just had to share it with this dessert with the rest of the world!  IT IS SOOO GOOD!  I've made these brownies for A LONG time, like years, that's how are delicious they are on their own, but one night after I'd made them my husband looked through our fridge to try and take them up a notch.  
This is the glorious masterpiece he came up with.  Now we just make the brownies just to have this...

  • 1/2 c. unsalted butter
  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate (pictured below so you'd know what it looks like)
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2/3 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • vanilla ice cream
  • dulce de leche, or caramel
  • shredded coconut
  • whipped cream
  • we've also added chopped nuts before, there's no right or wrong, let your imagination run wild! :)
In a medium saucepan melt butter and unsweetened chocolate over low heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.  Once it's melted remove from heat.  Stir in the sugar, and then add the eggs, one at a time, and mixing in completely with a wooden spoon after each egg.  Stir in the vanilla.  Then add the flour and baking soda, and mix it all together.
Pour the batter into a greased 9x13 cake pan and bake at 350 for 25 minutes.  Let cool for a few minutes, then assemble the masterpiece.  We spread a layer of dulce de leche, or caramel, on the brownie, then top with the vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, shredded coconut, and on this one I drizzled a little more caramel on top.  Sorry there aren't more pictures of the process, but with just having to throw it all in one pot, I felt there wasn't much I could document...again with the one dish...I know, I know...
Hope you enjoy!

For a printable version of this recipe click here.

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