Friday, August 31, 2012

Back to School Party - PB&J Cake

The food for our Back to School Party was all 'lunch box' themed. To keep with the theme I made a Peanut Butter & Jelly Cake.

A while back I ordered this Cakewich silicone pan on a whim and I've only used it a couple times since. I love that the recipe for the PB&J Cakewich is printed on the back of the box.

Here's what you need for the cake:

2 cups all-purpose flour (spoon flour into dry-measure cup and level off)
1 1/2 TSP baking powder
1/4 TSP salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 TSP vanilla extract
6 large egg whites
3/4 cup milk

1. Set rack at the middle level and preheat oven to 315 degrees.

2. Grease and flour the inner bottom surface of your cake pan (I assume you could use a square pan to get a similar shape)

3. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl, mixing well with a whisk.

4. Whisk together the egg whites and milk by hand in a medium mixing bowl until just combined.

5. In a heavy-duty mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add vanilla and beat vigoursly.

6. Reduce speed to low and add one-quarter of the flour, then one-third of the milk mixture, mixing until just combined, scraping down the bowl and beater after each addition.

7. Scrape the bowl well with a large rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the pan and smooth the top.

8. Bake for about 60 to 70 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center emerges clean.

9. Cool the cake in the pan on a cooling rack for one hour, then unmold it to finish cooling right side up.

10. Once it's cooled usea serrated bread knife and slice off the 'dome' on top then slice the cakewich in half in the center to make two even "slices" of bread cake.

This is what it will look like once it's cool. (After you slice off the cake "dome")

The next step is to prepare the peanut butter frosting, yum! Here's what you need:

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
heaping 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
3/4 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 TSP vanilla extract

1. Place the butter and peanut butter into a mixing bowl, and beat with an electric mixer for several minutes until combined.

2. Gradually mix in the sugar until combined.

3. Add vanilla and beat for 3 minutes until fluffy.

Now I know it says fluffy, but the few times I've made it it has never come out fluffy. It's more of the consistancy of the inside of a Reese and still tastes awesome!

The next step says to add 1/2 cup fruit jelly, slightly warmed to the peanut butter, but I don't measure it. It kind of like making a ral PB&J sandwich you go off of how it looks. 

Here's a side view of the awesome PB&J Cakewich. Looks just like the real thing and tastes just as good.

Here's the cakewich in all it's glory. Hope you try it and let me know how you like it!

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Back to School Party - Treat Bags

As you can see in my post here we recently has a back to school party. Each of the kids (even those not big enough to school) received one of these treat bags.

The bags were fun to put together and really inexpensive. I used brown lunch sacks to stick with the theme. I found the foam puzzle pieces and letter stickers at the dollar spot at Target. I just folded over the top and stapled them to the bags to keep them closed.

Each bag had a snacks/treat that you would normally find in a lunch box and some basic school supplies. They had:
 - GoGo Squeeze cinnamon applesauce pouches
 - Fruit snacks
 - Skittles or Starburst
 - a box of crayons
 - a #2 pencil
 - a pink eraser
The treat bags were a hit and with all the great back to school deals going on right now they were only about $1 a piece to put together.
Come back later this week for more details from the back to school party.

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

First Day of School

Yesterday was my oldest daughter's first day of Kindergarten. She's going to the same school that she attended Pre-K at but there is something about the sweet little uniform that makes this seem so grown.

Here's the closeup of the sign. I've seen this idea all over facebook and the web and I think it's a very cute way to document your child year after year. Maddie's new career choice is to be a Farmer. She says that unlike a Vet, Farmers get to keep their animals. :)

 I don't know what's with my girls, but they love to pose.

Before I dropped her off for her first day of Kindergarten we stopped at Tim Hortons for a special breakfast.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Back to School Party

This weekend we threw a back to school party for my girls and my sister's boys. Between the two of us we have 3 Kindergarteners this year.

Each kiddo was given a 'report card' to see if they were ready for the upcoming school year. We separated it into 5 different subjects.

After thet completed each station they received a sticker on their 'report card'.

When it was all full they were able to turn it in for a treat bag full of school supplies and lunch box goodies.

After all that brain work these little ones were hungry. Our meal had a "lunch box" these to it with classics that you would back in a school lunch.

Our meal was hot dogs, Capri Suns, Fruit Snacks and bags of chips. It seemed to be a hit.

Dessert was even a giant peanut butter & jelly sandwich cake

The party was a lot of fun to plan and I can't wait to see how I can make it even more fun next year.

 I'll be posting more details about the party this week including a how to on the sandwich cake so be on the lookout for that.

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Monday, August 27, 2012

Upward Soccer

My oldest, Madeline, just started playing soccer. Her first game was this past Saturday. I'm not really much for sports and I never really played them growing up so I was hoping that she would inherit Daddy's sports skills.

Thankfully she did pretty well for her first game and seemed to catch on very fast. Glad the Mister has a camera awesome enough to catch action shots because my point and shoot just couldn't handle how fast these kiddos are.

Her team didn't exactly 'win' but they seemed to have a blast and learned to have good sportsmanship.

Hope she continues to love it for the rest of the season.

How about you all? Do you have little ones that play fall sports?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Fresh Apple Cake with Caramel Drizzle

A couple weeks ago I shared this recipe over at Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom. Since fall is almost here and it's almost apple picking season (YAY!!!) I though I would share it with you awesome folks too.

This is a family recipe from my mom's side that everyone makes and LOVES. This is a fresh apple cake with caramel drizzle and it is to die for. This cake is awesome hot, but it is just as good once it's cooled down. This is a favorite at family functions and potlucks and it's a great way to use all those apples we pick at the local you-pick farm near our house.

Apple Cake
3 cups flour, sifted
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon
3 eggs
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups vegatable oil
3 cups apples, chopped
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 tsp vanilla

1. Sift dry ingredients. Set aside.

2. Beat eggs. Add sugar and oil. Beat for 3 minutes.

3. Slowly stir in dry ingredients. At this point, it will have a consistancy similar to bread dough.

4. Fold in apples, nuts and vanilla. Pour into a 10 inch greased and floured tube pan (I use a bunt pan) Instead of chunks of apples, I prefer to have slices. I think it gives a better consistency and makes the apples cook better, but it really is a personal preference. When you add the apples the mixture will be mostly apples and not look anything like your standard cake batter. Trust me, it will bake awesome!

5. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

Caramel Drizzle

1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup or 1 stick margarine

1. Put all ingredients together in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.

2. Boil for 3 minutes and then pour over the cake while the cake is still hot.

This cake is awesome hot, but it is just as good once it's cooled down. This is a favorite at family functions and potlucks and it's a great way to use all those apples we pick at the local you-pick farm near our house.

If you like this recipe and want to see more that I've posted feel free to go to the top and click on my Recipes tab. Thanks!

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Monday, August 20, 2012

Whimsy Couture Dolman Top - Pattern Review

I recently had the opportunity to review a shirt pattern from Whimsy Couture. The pattern I reviewed is called the Dolman Top. 

This was my first time sewing with Knit and it turned out better than I thought it would. I love that the pattern is for infants/toddlers and girls. I hate when I find a cute pattern and it can only be used for one of my girls.

 My Abby is such a silly girl. She always comes up with poses of her own when I go to take pictures of her. Here she is watching a rolly polly wiggle across the ground.  

Friday, August 17, 2012

Life Size Ruler

It's back to school time again and we are still in the middle of planning our back to school party. This is just our next giant school supply for the party.

This was really easy to make. I stopped by Lowe's and picked up a 1" x 12" x 6' board.
The dash marks are made with black electrical tape. I started by placing the marks at the foot marks then every 6 inches then every 3. I was trying to make it look like 6 inch ruler, only bigger. :)

The 'back to school' was cut our using my Cricut and Mod Podged onto the board. For the numbers I cut out the numbers with the Cricut and then taped then on the board and painted black inside the outline of the numbers.

I can't believe my little Kindergardener is almost 4 feet tall!

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Pool Noodle Pencil (that writes!)

I am still in the process of planning a back to school party for my girls and my sister's boys. We are going to take beginning of the school year pictures with the kiddos and I have been making a couple of giant school supply props for the pictures.

This giant pencil was super easy to make and the best part is that it actually writes.

I couldn't find any pool noodles in the stores this time of summer, so I snagged a couple from my parents house. (They have a pool) The main part if the pencil is a full yellow round noodle and the "eraser" is about 6 inches cut off of a pink hexagon noodle. The 2 pieces are stuck together with duck tape.

The "lead" side of the pencil was easy too. I created the shape with a searated knife then I stuck a grey crayola sidewalk chalk into the hole in the noodle. I like the crayola brand ones because they are already pointed on one end. The best part is that the chalk fits perfectly in the center of the noodle and can be swapped out when it is used up.

Love and Laundry

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Scrabble Wall Art

I love playing board games. The girls already have quite a collection. The mister on the other hand, doesn't like games as much. The only games I can get him to play are Risk, Monopoly and Scrabble. Since scrabble is one of my favorite games, this works for us.
I thought that it would fun to use a Scrabble board to create wall art in our Master bedroom. I was excited to find a brand new Scrabble game at Goodwill for $1.99. 

It took a bit of menuvering, but I was determined to use every one of the letter and I succeeded. I didn't just want randon words. We decided that words that were meaningful throughout our lives and our girls would be really fun on the wall.

Because I'm the sap that I am, I thought it would be cute to have our names intersect and reworked words around the board until I could make that happen.  

I also made sure to work our girls' name into the board as well.

Some day, I will do a full reveal of the Master Bedroom but for now you get it piece by piece. 

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Friday, August 10, 2012

Fun Hair Friday #3

Here we are at week 3 of Fun Hair Friday. I'm switching up hair models on you and showing you a style that I started using on my oldest before her baby hairs in the front were long enough for a french braid.

This is a great summer or sporty hair style. I call it the "french" ponytail.

I'll be using the same awesome ponytails that I showed you last week. See below. :)

Step 1: Divide the hair in half down the middle from the forehead to the neck. Secure one side with a ponytail to keep it from getting mixed in and then gather a small amout of hair at the top and secure it with a ponytail.

Step 2: Gather another small amount of hair below the first and secure that with a ponytail as well. I like to use 2 different colors to coordinate with outfits, but it really isn't necessary.

Step 3: Continue gathering small sections of hair all the way to the bottom in the same way. I like to put ponytails down the hair that is hanging down as well because my girls have such long hair, but it really isn't necessary.

Once you have one side down, start back at step 1 and do the other side. It it very easy and it always gets a lot of compliments. :)

If you try this style, I would love for you to send a picture of how it turned out.

Happy Friday!!!