Monday, June 24, 2013

4th of July Cookie Sandwiches...




I'm back with something easy and sweet for your 4th of July BBQ!

You won't believe how simple and cute these cookie sandwiches are......
...... seriously!

The colors are a fun red, white, and blue... perfect for celebrating Independence Day!

I love to use a boxed cake mix... just to make my life easier, especially when entertaining. The cookies can be made a day ahead and stored until you are ready to pipe on the filling and sandwich them a few hours before your guests arrive. A definite time-saver.

Plus, they are a great treat to eat while watching fireworks!


4th of July Cookie Sandwiches

For the Cookies:

  • 1 Box, Red Velvet Cake Mix
  • 2 Eggs, Room Temperature
  • 1/2 Cup (1 Stick) Salted Butter, Softened
  • 1 Tablespoon, Pure Vanilla Extract
For the Filling:

  • 4 Cups Vanilla or Cream Cheese Frosting, Divided
  • Blue Food Coloring Gel
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F). 

In a medium sized mixing bowl, mix the cake mix, eggs, butter, and vanilla until combined. Using a tablespoon, scoop the dough and shape into balls. Place onto parchment lined cookie sheets, 2 inches apart, and bake for 8-10 minutes or until just set, not burning. Remove and cool a few minutes before transferring the cookies to cooling racks. Makes about 2 dozen cookies. 

After dividing the frosting into two separate bowls, use the blue food coloring gel, as desired, to color the frosting in one of the bowls. Using a large disposable piping bag, fit it with a 1M swirl tip and coupler. Then, spoon the white frosting into a small disposable piping bag, filling about half way. Do the same in another small disposable piping bag with the blue frosting. Snip both tips of the piping bags. Enough so that the frosting can easily pipe out.  

Place both small piping bags into the large bag and twist shut. Here is a great tutorial from Our Best Bites on how to pipe swirled frosting. Turn the cookie over so the flat side is up. Then begin piping a large rosette by starting in the center of the  cookie and swirling it outward, covering the entire surface. Top with another cookie to sandwich the frosting in the middle. Makes about 12 cookie sandwiches.

Enjoy!

I'm linking this post up to I'm Lovin' It!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Tropical Breakfast Smoothie...

 


I am on a smoothie kick these days.

They are super simple and healthy, depending on the ingredients, of course. They are great for breakfast, since you can drink them on the go. We are always in a rush in the morning, so it works for us!

I have found frozen fruit to work great in smoothies. You can divide big bags up into plastic snack pack bags for individual servings! Just grab and add the frozen fruit to the blender... such a time saver!

I've also gone crazy for Coconut Oil... you can cook with it AND use it as a beauty product. I have used it on my skin, but haven't tried it in my hair. It keeps my skin soft and it smells wonderful!

I've found that when I use it in smoothies, it keeps me full and satisfied the entire morning until lunch-time... no unhealthy snacking!

Something else I've found and love...... Coconut Water! It's refreshing, low in calories, fat and cholesterol free, and is a fabulous hydrator!

Combine the two, plus a few other healthy ingredients and it makes one delicious, guilt-free smoothie!




Tropical Breakfast Smoothie

  • Tropical Fruit Blend, Frozen
  • 1 Banana
  • 2 Heaping Tablespoons of Plain Non-Fat Greek Yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon, Extra-Virgin Non-Hydrogenated Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Coconut Water
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth. Makes 1 serving. 

Enjoy!

* I just have to note, that I am not a nutritionist or doctor, but have found these ingredients to work for me. This smoothie has coconut ingredients and you may want to substitute those ingredients with others if you have a coconut allergy. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Movie Themed Birthday Party...




I've been pretty busy around here planning two Birthday parties, both within a few weeks of one another.

My youngest wanted to have a party at the Movie Theatre, but there wasn't anything appropriate for kids playing this past weekend, so I decided we should show a movie at our home.

Aren't these tissue paper tassels adorable!?! I hung them, along with strands of "Admit One" tickets from the chandelier above our kitchen table.

(I'll have all the party references listed for you at the bottom of the post.)




It was my first time making "popcorn" cupcakes and I was very pleased with how they turned out! I found these cute popcorn bags at the dollar store and thought they would be great as goodie bags for the kids. I filled them with candy, microwavable popcorn bags, and glow sticks, then used double sided tape to stick an "Admit One" ticket to secure it shut... perfect for our guests to take home and have their own movie night!




I found a roll of paper tickets at Staples and knew they would be perfect for decorating!




To make the "Admit One" ticket skirt, I measured out the length of my buffet and tore strands of the tickets, so that they would cover it all the way down to the bottom. I then used double sided tape and taped them along the boarder. I also made a "Concessions" banner (not shown... the photo was too dark) out of card stock and letters I printed off of my Word program to mount on each piece of card stock. I then punched a few holes in each piece of card stock with a puncher and strung white ribbon through to hang above the buffet.

I provided candy, popped fresh popcorn on the stove for the kids, and had lemonade in disposable plastic cups with lids and stuck an adorable paper straw in the drink. The kids were free to choose their concessions while they watched the movie!



I think it turned out pretty darn well!

Party Supplies

I don't have the invitation I used to show you, but here is a link to Greeting Island, and the exact invitation I was able to customize and print for FREE! 

"Popcorn" Cupcakes How-To

For the "popcorn," take freshly bought mini marshmallows and, using kitchen scissors, snip the tops. For a variety, snip anywhere from 2 to 4 snips in the marshmallows. Working one at a time, I piped buttercream frosting onto chocolate cupcakes, then placed 6-8 snipped marshmallows on each cupcake. I then displayed the cupcakes on a cupcake stand. 

I hope you've enjoyed reading about this Movie Party... I know I had a blast putting it together and I know the kids had a fun time attending! 

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