Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Make Bake Create Party: Easy Fruity Party Petit Fours

What's more dainty at a tea party than a sweetly decorated petit four? My recipe is super easy and so delicious. Don't they look good? Make them for your friends and they'll make you look good too!

Notice I don't dip them and level them perfectly. I think it adds to the uniqueness and homemade look. Ok, honestly, they look like this because I ran out of oil to add to the melted candy coating. It's important. Don't forget. So why am I not taking the time to redo them so they'll be absolutely perfect for my photos? Because I am human and you are too and I want you to feel comfortable making these---even if they don't look like they belong on a magazine cover. I'm giving myself permission to be imperfect. That's important too. Don't forget.

My husband made the little flowers with gum paste, luster dust, and little pearly candies. He's always making cute flowers for me out of gum paste. I came home from my last blogging conference and told him I'm recruiting him onto my creative team. He felt sort of honored until he found out my creative team now consisted of two members.

These tasty treats are a spin on my Fruity Brownie recipe. They're rich, tangy, and fairly dense, so you'll be fine cutting them small. One batch makes approximately 75 squares. For a taller petit four, fill with frosting, chocolate, jam, or whatever you please!

Fruity Petit Fours
16 oz. boxed pound cake mix
1/2 c. butter or margarine
2 eggs
2/3 c. water
(2) .15 oz. envelopes flavored drink mix
colored candy coating

Heat oven to 350ยบ. Grease a 15x9 jelly roll pan (or line with parchment paper). Mix all ingredients on low for 30 seconds and then on high for 2 minutes. Bake for about 20 minutes or until done through. Cool completely, then cut into squares. Melt candy coating completely and then add in oil, 1 teaspoon at a time, until it's reached your desired dipping consistency. Dip cakes and let cool on a cooling rack until set. If you want to top them with sprinkles or something similar, make sure you do that right away after dipping, as the coating will set fast.

I'd love to know if you give these a try!

Welcome to the Make Bake Create Party! 5 blogs-1 party-lots of fun!

My Little Pony Inspired Tie-Dyed T-Shirts

 This campaign has been compensated by Blueprint Social and it's client. All opinions are honest and are my own.
Our move to Arkansas has already brought our family many blessings---most importantly are our new friends and church family. Lynzie and Aaliyah (check out her mom's blog: City Girl, Country Life) have become fast friends and have so many things in common. One big way they've hit it off is with their mutual love for My Little Pony. When I was invited to work on the Tie Dye Your Summer campaign with Tulip, Lynzie had the perfect idea in mind: My Little Pony Inspired Tie-Dyed T-Shirts!

Tulip sent me a very generous package of supplies. In addition to all of this dye, they also sent a huge bag of white T-shirts to play with! Lynzie had played around with America's favorite tie-dye before, so she was definitely the expert on this one. 

The girls wanted to make T-shirts based on their favorite pony characters. I thought that was a super creative idea and they really did a great job. Tie-dye is a great project for friends and family fun and no two projects are ever the same. Here are their shirts inspired by Nightmare Moon and Twilight Sparkle. 

Dyeing the shirts was super easy. Because the dyed shirts needed to sit for 24 hours before washing, drying, and wearing, the girls planned two work days. On the first day, they started by wetting down the shirts thoroughly and then wringing them out. 

They filled the dye bottles with water and grabbed some plastic gloves to protect their hands from being tie-dyed too! These one-step dye bottles make mixing so easy as they already contain the dye---you just add the water. The dye is color fast and permanent so it won't fade out in the wash.

Then they spread out some plastic on the driveway for a work surface. After reading through the directions and getting some inspiration from the photo ideas, they were ready to start coloring.

To make a pattern on the shirts, they twisted them in different ways. Once they were twisted, they secured their designs with rubber bands.

Next, they picked their dye colors and saturated the shirts with dye. I was surprised by how quickly they were able to complete three shirts each.

In a matter of minutes, their shirts were ready to sit for 24 hours. They packed them each into their own plastic sack and set them on the counter for a little T-shirt sleepover.

After the 24 hours were up, Lynzie rinsed out each shirt and we washed them individually. When they were all done, Aaliyah came back over for a photo shoot. Here are the shirts inspired by Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy.

This photo is my favorite. Here we've got Apple Jack on the left and Rainbow Dash on the right. These are two of the original ponies from when the series was first made popular in the 1980s. I had both of these ponies and have special memories of enjoying them just like these girls do now.

For more creative tie-dye projects, visit Tulip online at the following sites:

You can also find more inspiration from other bloggers on this campaign by checking out the links below:

Monday, July 28, 2014

After School Snacks for Kids with Delimex and Bagel Bites

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.
One thing that my older kids really looked forward to when they were younger was the day they'd be old enough to make their own food in the kitchen. It's such a symbol of status around our house to be able to open up the fridge, freezer, or pantry, grab something to fix, and cook it all by themselves! Friday afternoon, the five older kids cooked up some Delimex Chicken Taquitos and Bagel Bites for a fun snack while they played a favorite card game. They did it all by themselves and I went in to take a nap with the baby!

Earlier in the week, I'd picked up some Bagel Bites in the freezer aisle at Walmart. They've got a special section just for party food. Look for the big purple signs that say, "Parties & Gatherings."

Right around the corner, in the floor coolers near the meat section, I found the chicken taquitos. These are always a favorite around our place and I never buy enough!

The boys arranged the frozen snacks on one of my large stoneware bar pans and popped it in the oven to bake. In the time it took them to set up their game and get drinks ready, the food was just about done. Both snacks are also microwavable.

Cainan served everyone initially, then set the platter in the middle of the table for easy reach of seconds. I love it that they like to spend their after school time with one another. Some of my favorite memories with my little brother were our after school times when we talked about all we'd done that day and the things we'd learned.

The kids were especially excited about the Bagel Bites as they'd seen them in the store but had not yet tried them. They said the homemade sauce was great and they liked that there was real cheese on top! I like it that they've got zero grams of trans fat. They also loved the white meat taquitos---even though I forgot to grab the white cheese dip we like to go with them. Oops!

This plate was empty in 30 minutes and five happy kids had a great afternoon together. For product info, ideas, and more, checkout the websites for Bagel Bites and Delimex.

What after school routines do you have in your home? Let me know in the comments below. Before you go, make sure to check out what Elisha does when he's stumped on a homework problem.