Sugar Swings! Serve Some

Friday, August 26, 2016

Watermelon Angel Food Bundt Cake Plus more Bundts!


Is it really almost the end of summer??? I've been seeing lots of back to school pics on my Facebook feed so it must be that time again.  But as usual I'm not ready.  I've been crazy busy at my regular day job and feel like I haven't even started summer yet.  

And on top of that my oldest kiddo just turned 12 this month.  12!!! And my twins (the babies) are now 9.  9!!!!! Nine is big kid territory so I'm trying to really just enjoy time with them as much as possible (which usually means trying to pry them away from their electronic devices - although its been so hot its really hard to do anything outside these days).

Anyhoo, I'm finally back into baking again.  I took some time off this summer because I was just not into it, but I think I'm finally getting back into a groove.  

Since it feels like summer just got here, I thought something watermelony was needed.  This recipe is super simple and uses an angel food box cake to start it off.  A little dark green icing gives great contrast and a watermelon like look!


It's a light and airy cake with watermelon flavor - perfect for these hot August days.  

Well hot if you are in this area!

See more details here at sheknows

And if you like bundt cakes (like me!) here are some others that you may like!






Halloween Bundt Cake (also made with natural food colors)





Thanks for swinging by! Have an AWESOME WEEKEND!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Brioche Ice Cream Sandwich Sliders


Hey all! In the east coast we're still in the middle of a heat wave with 90+ temps for the past couple of weeks.  I don't mind the heat and humidity but the rest of my clan seem to be melting so I thought they could use a nice cold treat.  

And since ice cream sandwiches are one of my favorite ice cream treats of all time I thought I'd try a twist on them.  Ice cream on brioche or as I'm calling them:

ICE CREAM SLIDERS!


And did you know Breyers Ice Cream turns 150 this year??  150?? It's amazing they've been around so long but I guess it makes sense since I can remember my mom buying Breyers when my sister and I were little.  She always said they had the best vanilla ice cream because you can see the little vanilla specks in it.  She's right.  Breyers is always my go to brand.  

The super cool folks that work with Breyers were able to provide me with some ice cream to re-create a recipe they have on the Breyers site.  There are fun recipes for every month developed by Chef Curtis Stone and Lindsay Price Stone.  

I just *had* to make the Italian Ice Cream Sandwiches - well not exactly the same recipe but made with these flavors: black raspberry chocolate, vanilla caramel gelato, and french vanilla.

All delish!


And see, you can see the vanilla flecks in the french vanilla!


These sliders come together really quickly.  Warm and slice your brioche buns. Remove some of the interior bread. (Try to resist shoving the extra warm brioche bread directly into your mouth as to not waste it!).  

Find some fun extras to chop up and roll the sides in like almonds, pistachios, and freeze dried raspberries.


Spread your favorite ice cream onto one side of the bun.  Make your ice cream layer about 1 to 1 and 1/2 inches or so in thickness.  This gave the perfect ice cream to brioche ratio.


Mix and match your favorite flavors! You really can't go wrong.


And I know you are probably thinking "ice cream on bread? what the heck, that sounds odd" - well in Italy they have been doing this for years - maybe eons - ok maybe not eons but for a long long time. 

 The sweet brioche matches so nicely with creamy ice cream and you know the Italians don't mess around with their food so trust me on this one.  The warm brioche makes this one of my current fav desserts!

You can find the recipe here out the other fun Breyers recipes too.  Hope you are enjoying August because very soon we'll be all up to our necks in pumpkin spice'd things!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Pokemon Go Sweet & Salty Snack Mix - with Pikachu and Mini Pokeballs


Are you into the Pokemon craze like we are? The kids and I have such a fun time playing it.  What's not to love - super cute Pokemon characters, augmented reality, gamification and exercise!


We walk around catching Pokemon, hitting Pokestops, and battling in gyms - and bonus - we talk to each other about neat topics while doing all this.  It's actually a great way to do something fun with the kids (and something they like just as much).  

If you have kiddos all into Pokemon Go, then this cereal snack mix will be a hit.  It's sweet and salty and seriously addicting.

The Pokeballs are made from yogurt covered pretzel balls.  


Dip half into melted red candy wafers 


Add the rest of the detail with melted black candy wafers and use a round white sprinkle as the center


The tiny Pikachu heads are made with Corn Pops cereal, red and black sprinkles.  Yellow melted candy wafer was used to attach everything together and black edible marker for ear, nose, and mouth.


And because regular Pokeballs were not enough - I also made Great Pokeballs. 

You know just in case you have a really tough Pokemon to catch!


You can throw it all into a bowl and let everyone dive in....


OR serve in individual cups!


This sweet and salty cereal mix would make a great addition to any Pokemon party or if you need to restore your energy after a long afternoon of pokemoning!

PS In case you are wondering I'm currently Level 15 - 105410 XP and Team Mystic!

Pokemon Go Cereal Snack Mix
Ingredients
  • 5 cups of Crispix cereal
  • 1 cup of Corn Pops cereal
  • 2 cups of pretzels
  • 1 cup of raisins and/or dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup agave syrup
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • For pokeballs: yogurt coated pretzel balls, red, blue, and black candy wafers, round pearl sprinkles
  • For pikachu: Corn pop cereal, red and black round sprinkles, yellow candy wafers, black edible writing marker
Instructions:
  1. Combine 1st 4 ingredients in large bowl.
  2. Combine butter, syrup, brown sugar, salt in bowl and microwave 1 minute until melted.  
  3. Add baking soda and vanilla and microwave another 30 seconds.
  4. Add to bowl with cereal and mix well.  Spread onto backing sheet to dry.
  5. For Pokeballs: Melt some red or blue candy melts in small bowl in microwave in 20 second intervals until candy is just melted.  Insert toothpick into bottom of pretzel ball and dip 1/2 into candy.  Let harden 10 minutes. Melt black candy melt in microwave and add to a freezer bag.  Snip one small corner and pipe the black detail onto ball (use picture of pokeball as guide).  While black candy is still wet attach white ball sprinkle to center.  Do the same for blue great balls except use blue melted candy wafers and add 2 red lines on top of ball with melted red candy wafers.
  6. For Pikachu: Find the right sized Corn pop cereral for the head.  Cut 2 small ears out of the cereal for each head.  Melt yellow candy melt in microwave and add to a freezer bag. Snip one small corner and use it to attach the ears to the head. Let harden.  Use more melted yellow candy to attach red and black sprinkles.  Add mouth, nose, and ear detail with black edible writing marker.
  7. Add pokeballs and pikachus to snack mix before serving.  Store in airtight container.
Prep time: 60Assemble time: Total time: Yield: 8 cups of cereal mix

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Star Trek Fudge Bites


The new Star Trek movie opened this weekend - Star Trek Beyond!  

I'm not a trekkie per se but I do kinda remember watching the old show when I was little and I definitely watched the older movies and really did love the Next Generation series.  That said, I'm going nuts over all the stuff- like I do with other shows/movies/books.
***gestures broadly to Star Wars, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones***


But I do love the latest movies as I think they are done very well, the stories are great and I love seeing some of the beginning stories of the old characters.  So of course treats had to be made for the latest movie.  


And if anything remains consistent, its the shirts with red, blue, and yellow/gold the most common.


So Star Trek shirt fudge had to be made


This was really simple and used only 2 ingredients for the fudge plus the food gels to color.


Cut up the fudge into rectangles and add a little black melted candy wafer to add shirt colors.


Use vanilla candy melt to make little Star Trek insignias - I also colored them silver with some spray food color.


Attach with more melted candy and you have the cutest little edible Star Trek shirts.


And although it's a common belief that if you are a redshirt then you're pretty much dead on arrival on any new world however there is some data that shows yellow shirts are the winners in this category! 

Go figure!


I didn't get to see the movie yet because we are so behind on movies (we just watched Batman Vs. Superman last nite!) but the trailer looks awesome.  And there's new alien characters of course - Idris Elba as Krall so it's got to be good right??

And speaking of trailers did you see the new Wonder Woman and Justice League trailers?!??! 2017 is going to be a great year.  And yeah you can expect way more DC comics treats!

Thanks for coming by - have a great week!

Star Trek Fudge
Ingredients
  • 2 cups of vanilla or white chocolate chips
  • 1 can cream cheese frosting
  • Yellow, red, and blue food gel
  • 1/4 cup black candy wafers
  • 1/4 cup vanilla melting wafers
  • Wilton color mist in silver
Instructions:

  1. Add chips to microwave safe bowl and microwave in 30 second intervals until chips are melted.  Stir in between intervals.
  2. Stir in can of frosting until well combined.
  3. Separate mixture into 3 bowls.  Add 2-3 drops of food color into each bowl (add color until you get the color desired).
  4. Add each color in a long rectangle (like photo) to a lined square baking pan.  Refrigerate for 10 minutes or until fudge sets.
  5. Cut each color into rectangles.
  6. Melt black candy wafers in freezer bag in 10-15 second intervals until just melted.  Snip a small corner of bag and pipe collars onto fudge.
  7. Melt white candy wafers in freezer bag in 10-15 second intervals until just melted.  Snip a small corner of bag and pipe Star Trek insignia logo onto parchment paper.  Let harden 5 minutes.  Spray with silver spray.  Let dry 5 minutes.
  8. Using a small dab of melted candy attach insignia to fudge.  Let harden 5 minutes.

Prep time: 30Cook time: Total time: Yield: 12

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Mini Strawberry and Grape Fruit Cookie Cups


Hard to believe its mid July already! I feel like I haven't posted in ages, well maybe because I haven't.  My regular day job is super busy these days so I've been wiped when I come home from work.  And with 3 kids (an almost 12 year old and 9 year old twins) there is no down time anymore.  And when there is down time, like once everyone is in bed (which is later now that school is out) or late on the weekends - I kinda just want to veg and check my social media or watch a random show.  

Plus I haven't had any good food ideas in ages and baking/cooking is just not calling my name right now.  I hear all bloggers go through phases like this and that it comes in waves.  I was posting weekly for a long long time so I guess it caught up with me!

BUT I did make some treats around the 4th of July to bring to a parties including these fun little fruit cups.  Awhile back I made this strawberry and kiwi fruit pizza by Hungry Happenings and loved the way it turned out.  


It's a cookie crust with kiwi and strawberry cut up and arranged to look like watermelon! It was so simple and fun that I tried to make a mini version.


I always like to speed things up so I used store bought sugar cookie dough.  Add a square to a mini bundt pan and spread to cover the bottom of each section. 

(Be sure to spray your pan with non stick spray!)


Bake at 350 degrees for 8 mins or until edges just start to brown.


Frost cups with your favorite frosting.  I used cream cheese frosting.  Cut up strawberries and grapes into small pieces.  I used grapes because I'm allergic to kiwi but you can use either.


Add grapes around edges and strawberries in the center.


I sprinkled with some black sesame seeds (to resemble watermelon seeds) but you could use mini chocolate chips too.


I'm not sure they look like watermelon but they definitely were tasty and a great refreshing dessert for a party! 

What are you doing this summer? Have you caught the Pokemon Go craze? That's the app phenomena thats taking over the world! It combines augmented reality, gamification, and EXERCISE!! No for real exercise because you need to get outside and go find Pokemon characters! It's actually a fun activity that I can do with the kids - especially the older one.  We go for walks with the dog, catch Pokemon and have some really great mom-son conversation.  #winnerwinnerchickendinner!

Pic of our dog wondering what the heck we are doing! (Catching a Nidoran Pokemon of course!)


Mini Strawberry and Grape Fruit Cookie Cups
Ingredients
  • 1 package of sugar cookie dough (ready to bake)
  • 1 can cream cheese frosting
  • 2 cup of cut green grapes
  • 4 cups of cut strawberries (red parts only)
  • black sesame seeds (or mini chocolate chips)
Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Spray mini bundt pan with non stick spray.  
3. Add ready to bake cookie to each section of a mini bundt pan and spread dough slightly to fill bundt section.
4. Bake for 8 minutes or until cookies just start to brown.  Let cool.
5. Spread cookie with frosting.
6. Arrange green grapes slices around edge of cookies.
7. Add sliced strawberries in center of cookies.
8. Sprinkle with black sesame seeds (or mini chocolate chips)

Prep time: 30Cook time: Total time: Yield: 20-24

Friday, June 24, 2016

Harry Potter Butterbeer - 3 ways


After our 2nd trip down to Orlando's Universal Studio's this year I came home dreaming of Butterbeer! So of course I had to make some at home.

There are 2 versions at WWOHP - the regular and the frozen.  I love them both!

I made the regular butterbeer and also a grown up version (made with spiced rum!).  Since I had some leftover I also made a frozen popsicle version.  They should definitely add this to the menu at WWOHP! Awesome on a hot summer day.


In case you haven't been able to make the trip to see Harry Potter land at Universal Studios here are some of my favorites from this trip.

There are now 2 sides to the park.  We had been to the Hogsmeade side before but now you can also take the Hogwarts Express over to the Diagon Alley .  


Me on Hogwarts Express enjoying a fine butter beer!  The experience it pretty cool.  They have some cool scenes from the movies as part of the experience so you feel like you are in one of the cars.  They even have shadows that walk by and talk so it feels like Harry and crew are on the train.


The Knight Bus complete with shrunken head that will ask you questions (or yell at you) 


Diagon Alley - Super cool just to walk around with your mouth wide open in amazement or smiling ear to ear!


Gringotts! The dragon breathes real fire randomly.


Inside Gringotts you can see goblins hard at work while you are waiting for the Escape from Gringott's Ride


And of course enjoying more than one butterbeer!


As you can see the parents may have enjoyed WWOHP more than our kids but it's really so very awesome.  My kiddo *finally* started reading the books a couple weeks ago so I can't wait to go back with him to experience it all again.

And if you like butterbeer too, check out the easy recipes here on sheknows!

You may also like these Harry Potter Butter Beer Cupcakes!