Sugar Swings! Serve Some: January 2013

Sunday, January 27, 2013

lego ninjago pretzel sticks

So I decided to take a little break from Valentines Day treats and do some fun Lego treats for the kids.  And if you don't follow Lego at all, Lego Ninjago is one of the Lego series of building sets AND they also have a Cartoon Network Show Ninjago Masters of Spinjitzu.

I've said it before but man those Lego guys are marketing geniuses! Really who can go wrong with Lego and Ninjas? Both super popular and Lego has a method too, come out with series 1, then modify modify modify and make the kids want ALL of the different versions of their minifigs and sets.  The method definitely works on my kids.  For instance the Ninjagos started out with plain ninjas, then upgraded to DX versions, then Kendo, then ZX, then NRG AND now with these new elemental robes.  And for Lego collectors, they need 'em all! Geniuses.

These Lego Ninjago treats (which I was hoping would be a hit around here as they are so unimpressed these days with cupcakes these days, go figure!) are made with pretzel rods and candy melt/wafers, and a little time and patience.

A summary can be found here if you are really interested in the plot but basically it's a good versus evil story--and actually done pretty well.

The original 4 ninjas: Zane (the white ninja, ice power, also a robot - a NINDROID!), Cole (the black ninja, earth power), Jay (the blue ninja, lightening power), and Kai (the red ninja, fire power)

And then the Green Ninja came along aka, Lloyd who is the Lord Garmadon's (the bad guy!) son.

Really to make these, I just put some candy melt into a zip lock bag, snipped off an end and piped the candy onto the pretzel rod in stages while looking pictures of the ninja dudes.

And the eyes are done with edible candy writer.  I have candy melt in a bunch of different colors but to make colors like grey, just add a little black to white candy melt.  If you wanted to tint with food coloring, make sure you use the coloring specifically for candy (not regular food coloring).

Oh and the ninjas are led by Sensei Wu (who is also the bad guy's brother) and Nya (who is Kai's sister and also Samurai X--she and Kai also have a thing, scandalous!)

And of course the Green Ninja becomes the Gold Ninja, the Ultimate Spinjitzu Master (I know WAY too much info about this series!)

And you get some fun Lego Ninjas on a stick!

The kids pretty much loved these and I felt like a rock star for few minutes while they admired them. But then they just went back to begging for more Ipad time as usual a few minutes later, but it was good while it lasted!  

Hope you like the ninja treats and remember the best way to defeat an enemy is to become their friend (so says Sensei Wu!)

Tidy Mom's I'm Loving It

Thursday, January 24, 2013

heart shaped and homemade hostess cupcakes

So it's the season for all things heart shaped! Valentines day is just around the corner so of course there is a need for some heart shaped goodies to make everyone smile a little more.

Last year I did these flying heart cupcakes to celebrate my little one's heart day (if you missed this years celebration, you can find it here!) and they are one of my most popular blog posts ever (thanks to a lot of pinterest sharing! Thank you to anyone that has shared, liked or linked back to the post!)

The heart shaped cupcake is made by baking them with a marble in between the pan and cupcake liner.  I first saw this on Pinterest shared by Muses of Megret.  Neat right? And I used this recipe for the homemade hostess cupcakes.   

I am a big fan of the Hostess cake line (especially Sno Balls hence this post and this one!) so I hope they figure out a way to keep the brand going.  But if not, these homemade versions really did come out very tasty (probably better than the originals) and the heart shape kinda gives them an extra Valentines Day kick!

Or you could forget Valentines Day all together and make them just for the heck of it.  These were made for a good friend's birthday celebration (Sorry I missed the show Ray, I was there in spirit.  Happy Birthday Old Man!)

Thanks as always for stopping by and have a great great super great weekend!

Tidy Mom's I'm Loving It

Friday, January 18, 2013

Reverse Rainbow Cake for a Very Important Celebration!

So doing a rainbow cake has been on my "to do" list forever! But I kinda feel like they've been done ad nauseum by now (although I still love seeing every single one, they always look so pretty!!).  And most rainbow cakes really look like a bit of work since you need to tint every layer of the cake prior to baking, bake each layer separately, and hope you get them to come out with an even thickness (or cut them to even thickness-not my specialty!).

And since I am simplifying much more this year, I decided to do a rainbow cake but in reverse, with the icing layers in rainbow colors and without icing the outside of the cake.  Many have done the no icing cake look like here and here, and I really think it looks pretty cool.

I needed this mid week, so I just used a doctored chocolate cake mix (add an extra egg, 1 cup of buttermilk for the liquid and use the same amount of oil).  It's also a 6 inch cake so much smaller than a regular sized cake.  Once baked in your 6 inch pans (I used 2), freeze the cakes so you can then slice them in half so you get 4 kinda even layers.  The icing is homemade buttercream as I always seem to have buttercream around (it freezes nicely and you can then de-frost to use whenever you need it).  I use this recipe because it comes out great every time.  I did use orange extract in place of the vanilla for this batch of buttercream.

Then add some buttercream to 4 bowls, and tint with food gels with the rainbow colors you like and then add between your cake layers.  So simple and easy!

For the top I wanted to do a heart design so used a Wilton icing tip #47 to add some swirly hearts around the sides and then a big heart in the middle.

This little cake was for a very important celebration, my kiddo just passed the 5 year anniversary of her heart transplant! Woohoo!!! She is 5 now (my twins are almost 6!) and had the transplant when she was 8 months old.  She had a very rare type of cardiomyopathy called non-compaction cardiomyopathy where the heart muscle does not compact and function as it should.  It's amazing to think about that time and how absolutely fantastic she is doing today.   On January 16th every year (like here and here), we celebrate her and our lives and remember her donor family that probably under extremely difficult circumstances decided to give us a gift that we can never say thank you enough.  We try to enjoy every moment we have every single day and *try* not to get caught up and frustrated with things that don't really matter in the end.  We know in our hearts what matters and try to live that everyday.

Please please please consider becoming a donor if you are not already.  There so many people waiting on lists and definitely one case where demand significantly exceeds supply.  Visit the Donate Life site here for more info.

As always, thanks so much for stopping by and have a great week!

Tidy Mom's I'm Loving It

Sunday, January 13, 2013

party hat topped cupcakes....!

So is anyone sick of cupcakes yet?? I mean if you ask those food experts out there the cupcake trend should be way over by now, right? Personally I still think anything cupcake related is still going pretty strong.   And really, who can resist a little cake?

And then topped with a glittered party hat? Even better!

The party hats are made from Bugles (a lot of bloggers have been already been super creative with Bugles as hats like here, and here, here, here, and here!).  I also use them for my little candy people (for gnomes, Sorting Hat from Harry PotterSanta hats).  You could also use candy corn for the hats (they worked better when I did these witches last year).

For these party hats, dip the Bugle in melted candy wafers, then immediately dip into a bowl of rainbow sugar sprinkles and let the candy harden.

After dry, lay hat on its side and pipe some streamers from the top with melted white chocolate or candy wafers/melts.  When that is dry, "pipe"a circle of melted white chocolate and immediately add the hat to the center of the circle.

Then add to your cupcakes.  Since these were for New Years Eve, I added the year to some of the hats as well (in melted white chocolate too).

And you get some really fun and festive cupcakes!  Although I used these for New Years, I think you could do these for any celebration.  For a birthday party you could even add the kid (or adults!) name to the hat.  Wouldn't that be super cute?

Hope you like them and have a very fun and festive week!

I'm really enjoying all the Valentine's Day treats being shared around too.  I may have one or 2 coming up as well!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

a whole bunch of fudge...!

so although i really wanted to start 2013 off with a healthy treat...i haven't gotten to that yet! you get a whole lotta fudge to kick off the year....

this is from the holiday season and made for all the kid's teachers....i think i was making fudge every other nite for all of December!...good thing they were all really simple to make....

cranberry: 1 can (14 ounces) of sweetened condensed milk, heat on stove top and add 1 bag of white chocolate chips (12 ounces), and dried cranberries (add about 1/2 cup of dried cranberries in a food processor and chop nice and fine); add cranberries to fudge while it's still warm, pour into 8X8 baking pan, let harden and cut into shapes.

lemon: super simple, 1 can of store bought lemon frosting added to 1 package of melted white chocolate chips (12 ounces); add to pan and let set and cut

cinnamon: 1 can of store bought vanilla frosting to 1 bag of cinnamon chips

red velvet: 1 can of store bought chocolate frosting, 1 bag of chocolate chips, 2 tablespoonfuls of red coloring gel (ok yeah it's really just chocolate fudge, but i cheated and called it red velvet!)

pumpkin spice: 1 can of sweetened condensed milk (14 ounces), heat and add 1 bag of pumpkin spice hershey's kisses (unwrapping them was the longest part!)

mint chocolate: 1 can of store bought chocolate frosting to 1 bag of mint chocolate chips (added some green tree sprinkles on top for fun!)

green tea: 1 can (14 ounces) of sweetened condensed milk, heat and add 1 bag of white chocolate chips and 3 tablespoonfuls of green tea matcha

fruit loop: 1 can of store bought vanilla frosting to 1 bag of white chocolate chips; add in 1 cup of crushed fruit loop cereal, and some rainbow non pareils on top

...since i made mine ahead of time, i wrapped and froze each large square of fudge and took them all out the day before i was making the treat boxes to cut and divide them up....

.....go get your treat boxes on sale post the holiday season!...the fudge made with frosting is very sweet and my kids loved this kind (surprise surprise!)...the fudge made with sweetened condensed milk is also sweet but also more creamy in kids are mint chocolate fans so that was their fav but if i had to pick one it would probably be the green tea or the cranberry....!

the cranberry would even be great to make for this valentine's day....maybe cut out some cute little hearts...right??

...and you get some super simple to make fudge in a bunch of flavors--for some very special teachers and staff at the kids' school....i can't say enough about how much our teachers do each and every day for our kids, and a little treat here and there to say thank you is the least i can do....

...hope your 2013 is off to a great start! I'm sure all the Valentine's Day stuff will be showing up soon....i think i spotted some candies already in stores, so get ready!

Have an awesome week and thanks for stopping by!

Tidy Mom's I'm Loving It