Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Wii Remote Birthday Cake

I knew when I pinned this cake that at least one of my boys was going to want it for their birthday... I was right! As soon as I showed it to my 9 year old, he jumped at the chance to have it for his friend party! I love the way that it turned out and it was super easy to put together. It did require buying a variety of candies though...

Wii Remote Birthday Cake
(idea found on pinterest via parenting.com)

1 (13x9 inch) cake
1 can (16 ounces) vanilla frosting or I made my own cream cheese frosting
black food coloring
4 pieces white hard-shelled Orbit gum
7 white Mentos (I couldn't find these, so I used mini marshmallows)
3 brown, 2 blue and 1 red M&M's Minis
1 large marshmallow
1 blue licorice twist (Twizzler rainbow)

Trim the top of the cake to make level. Cut a 2 inch strip down one long edge of cake and discard. (or eat, whatever is your preference...) Round corners of cake with a small knife. Transfer cake, cut side down, on a serving platter. Add a small amount of black food coloring to 1/4 cup of the frosting to tint it gray. Spoon the gray frosting into a resealable bag. Tint 1 tablespoon of the vanilla frosting black with more food coloring. Spoon the black frosting into a resealable bag. Spread the remaining vanilla frosting on top and sides of cake and make smooth. Snip a very small corner from the bag of gray frosting and the bag of black frosting. Pipe a thin line of the gray frosting about 1/2 inch in from outer edge of cake, as pictured. Press the M&M's Minis, Mentos and Orbit gum into the top of the cake as pictured for the controller's buttons. With the black frosting, pipe 6 rows of 3 black dots. Cut the blue licorice twist in half, leaving 2 inches at one end. Press the uncut end into the flat side of a marshmallow and press the licorice twist into the side base of cake. Press the cut ends of the licorice twist together to make the hand strap.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Spinach and Artichoke Rigatoni

Mmmm... spinach and artichoke! Love that combo! This recipe was amazingly easy to throw together and I love that you only have to cook it for a few minutes to finish it off. I had it ready to throw in the oven when the hubs got home from work and by the time he walked in the door it was out of the oven already! :) Hot and ready to eat... We paired this with a side of fresh pineapple and called it good - worked wonders for our first night of eating on the deck! I love when the weather is nice enough to eat outside and the bugs aren't super annoying, gotta take advantage of that when you can!

Spinach and Artichoke Rigatoni
(recipe found in Taste of Home)

3 cups rigatoni, cooked according to directions
1 package (10 ounces) frozen creamed spinach, cooked according to directions
1 can (14 ounces) water packed artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained and quartered
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Preheat broiler. Combine pasta, artichokes, 1/2 cup mozzarella, parmesan, salt, pepper and spinach. Transfer to a greased 2 quart broiler safe baking dish; top with remaining mozzarella. Broil 4-6 inches from heat 2 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Weekly Line Up - 7/18-7/24

So, summer in Minnesota seems like the best time ever for our Arizona family to come and visit... They get to beat the heat and enjoy the Minnesota summer weather and not deal with our nasty winters! :) So, Josh's mom just left and now his stepdad is coming in for a few days. Combine company with finishing cleaning out our freezer and we are game for some tasty meals this weekend that mostly involve beef products! :) New cow coming in so we have to make room for the fresh stuff... Yum!! I also need to get going on the cookies that I provide for National Night Out and our Cub Scout food booth. I haven't been baking quite as much this summer, so I am slacking on filling up my freezer with cookies like I did last year! Only a few weeks to get those hammered out! :)

Friday - *Sirloin Casserole
Saturday - Root Beer Pulled Pork/Corn on the Cob
Sunday - Egg Brunch Casserole/Fruit, Steaks on the Grill/Honey Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Monday - *Easy Garlic Chicken
Tuesday - Pick Your Own
Wednesday - Spaghetti
Thursday - Tacos

Extras: Chocolate Sugar Cookies, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Big Dipper Oatmeal Cookies and *Chocolate Chip Almond Butter Muffins

* = New Recipes

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Cranberry and Chocolate Chip Scones

I've been on a bit of a scone kick lately! I'm not sure why - I think part of it is how easy they are to make. You would think that they are this fancy schmancy pastry that you get at a coffee shop and that they would be a lot more involved. They really aren't! I love that you can just whip up the dough, throw it down, push it into a circle and bake it. How easy is that?? Plus they are so yummy!! These scones aren't as sweet as the ones that I have been making and this is a not necessarily a bad thing. They taste delish and if you wanted to up the sweetness factor, you could brush some milk over the top and sprinkle with some additional sugar. That would be a great addition as well... But, from the way the kids and I chowed them down, I don't think they were lacking anything at all!

Cranberry and Chocolate Chip Scones
(recipe found at vanderbiltwife.com)

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup cranberries
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg

Add flours, baking powder, baking soda and sugar to a mixer and blend together. Add cold butter and mix in with a pastry cutter or two forks. Add cranberries and chocolate chips and mix in. In a small bowl, stir egg, yogurt and vanilla together. Pour into flour mixture. Mix until just combined. Press together to form a ball of dough and then place on greased baking sheet. Spread dough out into a circle about 1/2 inch thick. Cut into 12 wedges. Bake at 400 for 12-14 minutes, or until tops are slightly browned and scones are cooked through.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Parmesan Baked Pork Chops

I can't personally attest for these pork chops because I ended up not eating them the night that I made them... What?? Yeah you read that right - I was jazzed to try these pork chops... you all know how much I love pork chops in the first place and my sister-in-law raved about them! So, I knew that I wanted to try them and they were on the schedule the night that my second son made his goal that we had set from his behavior chart from school.

SIDE NOTE: We have been really working hard with him to make better choices and keep his impulses in check in the classroom. So, trying to go for the positive reinforcement method, I made a chart for him to achieve "supper with mommy" once he had so many good days. I tried like crazy to talk him into breakfast the next day, but that wasn't happening! :)

Back to the recipe - so, the hubs and the rest of the kids got to have these pork chops. I figured that I would be able to try a bite when we got home - I mean I made 8 chops and there were only 4 of them eating... My 8 year old and my 5 year old both had 2 1/2 chops EACH!! What the heck?? Obviously they were super excited about this recipe and I am definitely going to have to make these again since I didn't even get the chance to try even a little bit!!

Parmesan Baked Pork Chops
(recipe found on pinterest via justapinch.com)

4 boneless pork chops, 1/2" thick
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup italian bread crumbs
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder

On a plate combine the last 4 ingredients. Rub the pork chops with olive oil and then coat each one in the cheese mixture. Press the mixture over the pork chops to make sure they are well covered in it. Line a pan with tin foil and spray with cooking spray. Place the pork chops on the pan and bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Raspberry Banana Refrigerator Oatmeal

This is the last refrigerator oatmeal that I made up in my first batch of oatmeal making! :) I promise there will be something new tomorrow!! This started out as a strawberry banana refrigerator oatmeal, but I prefer the taste of raspberries and so that is usually what is in my house. So, obviously you can mix it up as much as you want and add whatever flavors you prefer to the oatmeal. I found this recipe to be to big for my pint jar, so I just split it into 2 pint jars and it worked perfectly for adding your mix ins the next morning! The kids were also happy with this one, although they did add a LOT of mix ins as they continued to eat it lower! :)

Raspberry Banana Refrigerator Oatmeal
(recipe found on pinterest via pepperlynn.com)

1/2 cup old fashioned oatmeal
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
2/3 cup almond milk
1 tablespoon chia seeds
2 tablespoons raspberry jam
1 small banana, chopped

Combine the oatmeal, yogurt, milk and chia seeds in a small bowl or 2 pint jars, cover and allow the mixture to sit in the refrigerator overnight.
In the morning, stir in the desired mix-ins and enjoy!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Pumpkin Pie Refrigerator Oatmeal

I wasn't sure if I was going to post this version of refrigerator oatmeal or not... I wasn't a big fan of the flavor (even though I LOVE pumpkin) and if I don't care for it a lot, I usually don't post about it. But, my 3 year old got a hold of the half full jar of this oatmeal that his siblings had left on the table when they ran out the door for school and WOULD NOT PUT IT DOWN!! Seriously - he finished off his brother's jar and then went to the fridge and got the other jar that was in there and ate that one too!! It was crazy... he sat at the table and ate breakfast for about an hour - like he was SAVORING every bite! He never sits still for that long! :) So, I had to post this flavor in his honor... should have taken a picture of his pumpkin filled face, but that's a whole 'nother story!

Pumpkin Pie Refrigerator Oatmeal
(recipe found on pinterest via willcookforfriends.com)

1/2 cup old fashioned oatmeal
1/2 cup almond milk
3-4 tablespoons pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

In a pint jar or small bowl, combine all ingredients. Top with nuts if desired. Put a lid on the jar and refrigerate overnight.