Halloween is drawing near and along with all of the costume fun comes many opportunities to share treats at school and fun parties. Today I wanted to show you a fun and easy way to dress up a cupcake with your very own personalized photo pick. This craft could not be easier or more cute for dressing up a homemade cupcake or a store-bought one (Shhh…I’ll never tell!)
Begin by going through your Halloween pictures and selecting a favorite one of your children. You could also get a jumpstart on Halloween pictures and have your children dress up in costume and take a picture in their new costume. If your children are anything like mine, they will be more than happy to oblige and get the opportunity to wear their costumes just one more time.
This is a favorite picture of mine from last year of my two goblins. We decided to stage a Ninja attack on our little princess for some hilarious photos opportunities for Halloween. This picture still makes me laugh!
Head on over to the Walmart photo site and upload your favorite Halloween photo to your photo account (you can create a new one if you don’t have one). Next just click here to create your own photo sticker sheet. Select CUSTOMIZE, select your album & then your picture, click the MORE tab, and then click MORE STYLES. Under that you will see all of the cute Halloween backgrounds to customize your photo sticker. You can leave them plain or you can add a cute font and message with your sticker.
Once you have created your sticker, you can have them shipped directly to you or pick them up at your store in 2-3 business days.
To create a cupcake photo pick, you will just need your sheet of photo stickers and a package of popsicle sticks (available in the craft supplies at Walmart)
Grab one popsicle stick.
Peel one sticker from your sticker sheet and stick it to your popsicle stick, carefully centering it.
Peel another sticker off your sticker sheet and stick it to the flipside of your popsicle stick, lining the sticker up carefully with the other sticker.
Stick your photo pick into the top of your cupcake.
Aren’t these so cute? I love that this is a craft that anyone can do and that can add a very special and personal touch to your Halloween treats this year.
Happy Halloween, friends!
I am a part of the Walmart Moms program, and Walmart has provided me with compensation for these posts. My participation is voluntary and opinions are always my own.
This week you will find me over at the Snackpicks site sharing about a food that I am sure we are all passionate about…ice cream. Visit this article for tips and strategies for throwing your very own ice cream party. I am sharing everything from shortcuts to make the party process easier to creating your very own ice cream sundae topping bar.
It has become a birthday tradition in our family to let the birthday girl or boy select their own cake from my modest cookbook collection. When my son spied this Chocolate Almond Cake, he begged for me to make it for his special day. I will be honest and say that Chocolate Almond Cake would have been last on my list of culinary delights at the age of ten, so it surprised me a lot he would select it. Chocolate Almond Cake seemed a rather sophisticated birthday cake choice, but it made me happy to hear that this was the special cake that he wanted and proud of his smart little palate.
Chocolate and almond do make the perfect pairing and the flavors are laced not only through the entire richly moist cake, but it is also throughout the delicate chocolate cream cheese frosting that it is topped with. This cake was a huge hit at our party especially among the chocolate lovers in the group. The cake itself is rich, but the lighter chocolate frosting really pulls the cake together.
I decided to make two of these cakes so we had enough cake for all of our guests and ended up using three of the layers (shown here) for a fuller cake for our family. The last layer that I made was tucked into the freezer for my son & his friends who are coming this week for a birthday get together.
I prefer to make my cakes in a two day process and the best part about this cake is that the flavors seem to meld better if they are allowed a day to set. I went ahead and wrapped the cooled cake layers in plastic wrap and then covered them in foil. When the cake is frozen it is much easier to decorate and I have a lot less crumbs to have to work around. That little tip came courtesy of a Michael’s cake decorating course I took and has served me well over the years of making and decorating special occasion cakes.
I am looking forward to sharing more about his birthday party in the upcoming weeks and hope these ideas will offer some party planning inspiration for your family!
My son and I have been happily reading away at the Harry Potter books for a couple of years now. Although we have been reading the books, we have yet to dive into the movies and a recent dreary day seemed the perfect movie day excuse. To really round out the movie though, we wanted to try the infamous Butterbeer that Harry and his friends seem to enjoy so much in the books.
I had the kids help me in the kitchen to create these together. They loved helping with the scooping, measuring, and stirring. It only took a few minutes to create this easy and delicious afternoon treat.
The Butterbeer Lattes were absolutely out of this world and the kids said that they think they love this as much as our favorite homemade cocoa and chai tea recipe. These tasted a lot like butterscotch and a little bit like a cookie.
Want to create your own Butterbeer Latte. Snag the recipe over here!
Gain some summer inspiration on our Pinterest 100 days of summer (’12) edition where you can get another amazing round-up of 100 ideas to inspire your summer bucket list.
This list has everything from making homemade butterbeer drinks for those Harry Potter enthusiasts, to making homemade shrinky dinks, to getting back to the basics with great dinner discussions with great family conversation starters.
There is something for everyone on here- boys and girls of all ages and craft levels. The best part is that they are ALL budget-friendly and will cost you very little in supplies.
If you are on Instagram, you can join in on the fun by taking pictures and sharing all of your summer adventures through there. Let’s use the hashtag #100summerdays. My username is momadvice and I am happy to have you follow our adventures and follow along with yours!
By tagging your photos, it will make it easy to find each other in the group and share the projects we are tackling together. You can add the tags to your caption or you can add them as a comment later. In either scenario, the tag will pull it into our summer group.
If you have been a reader to this blog for awhile, you know that there is nothing I love more than sweet and salty combined together. If you put the words chocolate and sea salt in a recipe together, you can guarantee that I will love and worship the recipe.
For Father’s Day, I wanted to make a fun new treat for the dad’s in my life and knew that these Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Sea Salt cookies would make an incredible treat. These offer the perfect balance in flavors. There is a lot of heartiness from the old-fashioned oatmeal in these, sweetness from tiny bits of mini chocolate chips sprinkled throughout and then a modest sprinkling of salt on the top of each of these cookies, brings all the flavors to a delicious sweet & salty finish.
I will admit that I am no pro when it comes to cookie making. I have found the two key things needed for me to succeed with cookies though is to always line my cookie sheets with parchment paper and to use a cookie scoop to get cookies that cook evenly and that are uniform.
I am always rushed when it comes to activities surrounding the holidays so I went ahead and baked these up this week for Father’s Day and placed them in my freezer for the big day. Simply follow the instructions and bake these cookies and allow them to cool completely on a cooling rack. Layer them in a freezer-safe container between sheets of waxed paper, and place them in the freezer until the night before.
Last summer I got an ice cream maker for $20 at our local ALDI store. I was excited to try making homemade ice cream, but wasn’t willing to make an investment into my dream Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker until I figured out if ice cream making was something we would actually enjoy doing together. I am happy to say our little $20 purchase paid for itself over and over again since we enjoyed several fun varieties of ice cream.
Last week we had a new reason to break out our ice cream maker. We finally turned in the manuscript for, “The Good Life for Less,” to my Editor. My day has felt so divided between all of my client’s projects, my children and all of their school projects/activities, the book, and the blog. We all agreed that a party would be in order for this momentous family occasion. It is bringing a small fraction of my day back to me.
This cake batter ice cream is, by far, my favorite recipe for ice cream. There is no cooking of ingredients required, I usually have all of the ingredients on hand in my refrigerator, and the cake mix can be your own favorite variety or a cake mix that you need to use up in your cupboard. It is so rich and creamy and tastes just like your favorite ice cream shop, without the hefty price tag!
Top this ice cream with a few of your favorite sprinkles and find a reason to celebrate something in your family. Perhaps, it is the beginning of summer, a great report card, or just celebrating how awesome and amazing your child is. Party hats are optional, but sprinkles are not!
Choose any variety of cake mix or even a brownie mix to add to this deliciously rich ice cream. Top with your favorite toppings for a fun sundae party at home!
1 cup skim milk, well chilled
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 cups heavy cream, well chilled
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
⅔ cup cake mix (you can use any variety of cake mix or brownie mix)
Place freezer bowl of ice cream maker into the freezer. Chill the freezer bowl for a minimum of 24 hours.
In a medium bowl, whisk the milk and granulated sugar until the sugar is dissolved.
Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla.
Whisk in cake mix, making sure there are no lumps.
Pour mixture into the freezer bowl and let mix until it has thickened (about 25-30 minutes). Remove ice cream from freezer bowl and place into a separate freezer-safe container.
Place freezer bowl and the ice cream into the freezer to further harden (at least three hours).
Serve with your favorite sundae toppings.
Here are a few pictures of our Manuscript Done, Party for Four….
My hubby ran to the grocery store and picked up some party hats for us. My best friend contributed a bottle of bubbly grape juice for our little party. For our celebration dinner, I made my favorite Chicken Lo Mein, baked brown rice, steamed edamame, and this delicious ice cream. We finished our party, as all good parties should, with a little karaoke on our Craigslist-purchased Xbox. It was the perfect party with the perfect people!
You can always follow our family through Instagram! It is a fun little photo app for your iPhone or Droid. I am momadvice and would love to be friends with you on there!
Have you made homemade ice cream before? Have any recipes, techniques, or tools you use to make your family’s favorite summer treat?
Coffee cake is one of my favorite things to make when I am entertaining. This super rich Honey Bun cake was a new creation in my kitchen and was fittingly named after the sticky cinnamon roll that is covered in a thin sugar glaze known as the, “honey bun.” I knew that this sweet and decadent treat would make a fun addition to our family’s Easter brunch and would be a great way to end our celebration.
The combination of sour cream, canola oil, and the addition of poured honey over the cake creates a moist cake with a dense crumb that begs to be paired with a big glass of milk. Once pulled from the oven, a final decadent layer of a sugar glaze is drizzled on top, which hardens to create a thin sugar glaze over the top of the cake.
Our family absolutely loved this cake and I would highly recommend it for a fun way to end any brunch or paired with a little decaf coffee for a great way to end an evening when entertaining.
The kids indulged in Kool-Aid Egg Dying again this year and we loved the rich, vibrant shades of colors we were able to achieve.
I prefer to keep entertaining informal so the food was buffet style for our get together. I served our Ham & Vegetable Strata, a Sausage & Cheese Egg Casserole, fresh fruit layered in a trifle bowl, my Bacon & Ranch Cheese Ball, the Honey Bun Cake (above), and orange juice or coffee for our guests. Everything was made the day before, except the cake, and it made entertaining on a busy Sunday morning very easy.
I had a rainy day with nothing to do on the horizon. I put on a little Ella Fitzgerald on my laptop and headed into kitchen to spend the morning baking and thinking. I always do my best thinking in the kitchen, don’t you? There is something about the mindless concentration of measuring, scooping, leveling, and mixing that appeals to me. With ripe bananas sitting on the counter, I knew these Banana Crumb Muffins would be the ideal treat for a sweet snack for my kids. Everyone has a favorite recipe for bananas and these Banana Crumb Muffins happen to be my favorite for putting those bananas to good use.
If you are looking for a bakery-worthy recipe, these muffins would be right at home in any bakery. The cinnamon and sugar streusel topping is really what makes these rather ordinary banana muffins stand out. The crunch from the topping with the moist cake makes these a winner in our family.
I love to double the crumb topping on these and keep this in my freezer. It is a fun addition to any of your favorite muffin recipes and makes the process of creating these just a little bit easier the second time around. When you want to use the crumb topping, just use a fork to break the topping up a bit and add as you normally would to your muffins.
Serve these delicious muffins with big glasses of ice cold milk for an easy and satisfying snack.
Baked donuts have become our family’s new way of celebrating all of the special occasions in our life and I couldn’t wait to share with you my snickerdoodle donut creation I made this week. These baked snickerdoodle donuts are a fun & frugal family treat that are easy to create with a simple nonstick donut pan ( we have two of these Norpro 6-count Nonstick Donut Pans) and pantry ingredients.
My husband celebrated his birthday this past weekend and I wanted to create something special for his birthday morning. Every year I try to find a snickerdoodle treat for him since it is his favorite cookie in the whole world. We have enjoyed everything from the cookies to snickerdoodle cupcakes to snickerdoodle biscotti in our house. It seems no matter what version of snickerdoodles we are creating, we love them no matter what. Who could resist that cinnamon flavor?
I will admit the first batch of these was a giant fail, although they photographed beautifully. I played with different leavening agents that yielded gummy and heavy donuts. I ended up baking a second round later in the week using cake flour and it helped to yield a much lighter donut and more the consistency I was after. It is proof that sometimes it takes a couple of tries before you get it right when baking.
Each donut was dipped in butter and then dipped in a bowl filled with sugar and cinnamon. The coating adds that crunch and more cinnamon flavor that remind me so much of our favorite snickerdoodle cookie. We all agreed, that these donuts were heavenly and there was not a single one left once I perfected the batch.
If there is anything more fun than eating a rainbow in a jar than I don’t know what is. I have seen so many variations of this Rainbow Cake in a Jar floating around, but I was on a mission to make my own version of these to share with you all today for St. Patrick’s Day.
I was looking to create a version of this Rainbow Cake in a Jar combined with this Rainbow Cake in a Jar, but I wanted my jars to be small and I wanted a lighter frosting combination than a heavy and rich buttercream on top. The rainbow cakes that I had seen recipes for were traditionally in a quart or pint jar. While I am sure I could indulge in a quart of cake, these smaller versions are the perfect size for a fun treat to celebrate the holiday.
To begin, you will need to make your cake batter. The cake mix batter that you make from a box can be very runny and create muddy layer. Making your cake batter from scratch only takes a few more minutes, is made from ingredients you already have in your pantry, and will yield a thicker batter that is easier to smooth and create the stacking layers you are going for. No matter how you stack it, this batter will create individual colors for the perfect cake
Since this cake batter is thick, it can easily be scooped with an ice cream scoop. Two big scoops in each bowl of this batter and then add as much food coloring as you like for your rainbow layers. I love the Betty Crocker Neon food coloring, but if I am feeling fancy and professional, I love the Wilton food coloring for rich hues.
These 1/2 pint jars do have a more narrow opening than the wide mouthed jars, but I am not much of a perfectionist when it comes to cake. You will want to just make sure the interiors of your glass jars are sprayed lightly with cooking spray and then spoon in each layer of your rainbow colors (as perfectly or imperfectly as you like).
If you want the striping to be even, you can use a Ziploc bag and just cut the tip off of one corner and pipe each layer in to create perfect stripes. I prefer to be lazy and let the colors lie where they may. Either way should create beautiful rich rainbow colors. Be sure not to fill them higher than about halfway in your jar, otherwise your cupcakes will overflow.
Nestle your jars in a 9×13 baking dish with a rim on it. Pour 1/2 cup of water in the bottom of your baking dish to create a little water bath for your jars. Wipe up any spills or drips on the edges of the jars before placing them in the oven.
Bake these at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes.
Here are my rainbow cakes. They are definitely perfectly imperfect with the layers, but I still love them. How could a rainbow cake in a jar not brighten someone’s day?
I topped these sweet treats with my favorite 7 minute frosting. If you have never sampled the infamous 7 minute frosting, it is to die for! I am one of those weird people that prefers the whipped cream frosting over buttercream and I think that is why this recipe is such a favorite of mine. It is light and delicious and tastes like a little bit of marshmallow fluff on top of the cupcake.
The secret ingredient to this perfectly-perfect pantry recipe is just a little bit of boiling water. You stir the water into the egg whites, sugar, vanilla, and cream of tartar, then beat the mixture for seven minutes. With just these few ingredients, something magical happens and you end up with an amazing amount of frosting… four cups to be exact!
The next time you have no ingredients on hand or simply don’t have the energy to make a big batch of frosting, keep this recipe in mind for the most deliciously light and and easy-as-pie frosting you can ever imagine!
This is the perfect “cloud” topper to this vanilla cake. With a few rainbow sprinkles for a finishing touch, you have the perfect snack to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with your family!
Take off the screw caps on the jars. Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
Put butter in mixer and beat at medium speed until somewhat smooth.
Pour in sugar and beat well.
Add 2 eggs.
Add: vanilla, baking powder, salt, flour, and milk.
Beat until it is mixed.
Divide your batter into six separate bowls (approximately two large ice cream scoops of batter into each bowl for even distribution).
Tint your batter the colors of the rainbow- Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, & Violet.
Using a small spoon, carefully spoon in each color of batter into layers or use a Ziploc bag and cut the tip off one corner of the bag to pipe each layer into the jars.
Place jars in a 9x13" baking pan (with rim) and fill with a ½ cup of water to create a water bath for your cake.
Bake for 25-40 minutes or until your cake springs back and a skewer poked in the center comes out clean. (length of time will depend entirely on how tall you stacked your batter!)
This should yield 8-10 rainbow jars.
Allow to cool and begin preparing your Cloud Frosting.
Cloud Frosting: Mix sugar, cream of tartar, vanilla and egg whites. Add boiling water. Beat on high until the mixture forms peaks, which should be just about seven minutes. Spoon cloud frosting on top of the cakes and finish with Rainbow Sprinkles.
All supplies for this month’s fun project can be purchased at your local Walmart store and this project is done in conjunction with the Walmart Moms program.
If you are making rainbows with your kids today, I highly recommend this fabulous tune for teaching them the colors of the rainbows. They Might Be Giants sing about a man named Roy G Biv that I happened to be singing in the kitchen while I made these cakes. You will never forget the order of the colors in the rainbow again!
I am a part of the Walmart Moms program, and Walmart has provided me with compensation for these posts. My participation is voluntary and opinions are always my own.