Tuesday, March 22, 2011

How to Make a Tangled Rapunzel Cake!

My turning-6-year-old daughter decided to have a Tangled (Disney's animated Rapunzel movie) themed birthday party.  As usual, we went to buy a shaped cake pan to decorate, only to discover one didn't exist!  So, we had to get creative.  Using an image of the Rapunzel tower from the movie, we crafted our own Tangled Cake.

 This top part is enough cake batter for two layers in a large glass bowl, topped with an ice cream cone.

The middle portion is 2 9-inch round cake layers.

The bottom portion was the fun part!  It is three batches of Rice Krispie Treats (one batch at a time) pressed into a medium size (about 6 inch) spring form pan.  After the batch cools (I used the refrigerator to speed things up) remove the sides and bottom and stack.
 Here you can see the "inside" after we took the top off to eat it.  We used a plate upside-down for the base.

To decorate, we tinted the base with a light gray and the top part with lavender.  Using black icing and a narrow tip, we drew on bricks.  The flower tip was used to make the green ivy, and a few red flowers. Her hair was vermicelli pasta. Thin pretzel sticks were used to simulate the wood work and create the window for her hair.  I have a feeling the mini chocolate chips and yellow chicks were last minute additions by my daughter.

When decorating, my husband found it easier to decorate the base BEFORE adding all the top layers.

Good luck and enjoy!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Freezer Meal Friday: Low Saturated Fat Hot Dog Corn Muffins

Happy Friday everyone!  This recipe is an adaptation of a recipe created by the author of Heavenly Homemakers.  You can view the original recipe there.

Who doesn't like hot dogs and corn muffins?  And combining the two seems like a novel idea!  I decided to give it a try.  The original recipe called for buttermilk and butter, so being that we try to eat low saturated fat now, I had to adapt it.  Here's the adaptation I made:


Fat Free Hot Dogs (or lowfat dog of your choice)
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 Tablespoons honey
1/4 cup of light olive oil (the light oil has less flavor)
3/4 cup skim milk
2 Tablespoons white vinegar

Combine milk and vinegar and let sit for 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, cut hot dogs into thirds.  Combine dry ingredients, and then add wet ingredients.  Do not overmix.

 Be sure to either grease, spray, or use muffin cups so the muffins don't stick.  Put one hotdog piece into each muffin hole.  Then pour batter over, so its 2/3 full.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

To freeze:  Put cooled muffins on a cookie sheet and flash freeze.  Then transfer to a freezer bag for storage.  To cook, simply remove and bake at 400 for 10 minutes or until the center is hot.

I've got to confess though, I was the only one who really liked these!  Both of my kids just ate the hot dogs out the middle. My husband and youngest daughter never really liked cornbread to begin with.  I do have friends who enjoy them though!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Bento Box Lunch Ideas!

I was thrilled to be able to buy my daughter a cool Bento Box from Laptop Lunches this year.  I like that the four boxes encourage me to "think outside the box" from the usual sandwich, bag of chips, sweet treat and maybe fruit...and that there is usually zero trash. Although I'm not as creative as others...here are a few of my daughter's lunches:

Pineapple rings, cheese, star-shaped PBJ, "smore" for dessert (nutella, marshmallow, graham cracker)
English Muffin with butter on one half/almond butter on other half, orange & grapes, cheese triangles with pepperoni, watermelon
Example of a lunch without my special box. Used a Lock & Lock container.  PBJ sandwich cut into a heart, rice cakes and cocoa roasted almonds. Fruit in separate container.

cheese, almonds, raspberries, cantalope, sausage over bread, and for dessert plain yogurt sweetened with chocolate syrup, mini choc chips and marshmallows

Friday, March 11, 2011

Low Fat Bacon Wrapped Chicken (with Proscuitti!)

Many of you have probably tried my Bacon Wrapped Cream Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breast. Unfortunately, it has saturated fat, and after a high cholesterol diagnosis for my dear husband, we had to cut back on the stuff.  So, I created a Lower Fat version.


Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast
Fat Free Cream Cheese
Garlic, minced
Basil (dried)
Sliced Proscuitti

Soften cream cheese, and mix with 1tbsp minced garlic and 2 tsp dried basil. Cut chicken into tenders, spreading the cream cheese mixture over one tender and topping with another (like a sandwich).  Then, wrap in proscuitti.  Freeze on a cookie sheet, then transfer to freezer bag.

To serve:  Thaw, place in a baking dish, and bake covered for 45 minutes at 250 (or until chicken is cooked through).

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Sanity Saver: Fill A Box

Similar to my 5 things post, for an added dent in the clutter fill a box!  Just now I went down to our cluttered basement to fill a box, and filled 4.  I made quite a dent! (Although we still have a lot more to go).

Reasons why its good to get rid of the clutter:
  1. Clutter takes time away you could be spending with your family
  2. The clutter could be useful to someone else
  3. It makes more cleaning!
  4. Clutter adds stress
Happy de-cluttering!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Freezer Cooking: There are 28 Meals in my Freezer!

A few weeks ago I went a little crazy with the freezer cooking.  Like I was preparing for something--Lazyness, perhaps?  I counted up 28 meals in my freezer, all ready to heat and eat!  I'm now eating down my stash, and thinking about some new recipes to add to my repertoire so I can build it up again!

Here's what was in my freezer:

Taco Soup (from my exchange)
Pulled Pork (from my exchange)
Tex Mex Chicken Soup (3)
Parmigiana Ricotta Chicken Bowls (2)
Italian Chicken (1)
Sweet & Sour Chicken (3)
Horseradish Pizza
Marinaded London Broil
Stuffed Chicken Breast (2)
Marinated Pork Tenderloin
Hot Sauce Chicken (2)
Broccoli Cheese Soup (2) from my exchange
Stovetop Chicken Casserole
Chicken Fingers (3)
Turkey Enchiladas (4)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Time Saver: Lists

I'm a list person.  Not everyone is, but it works for me!  Breaking up a task into do-able portions, and setting a time limit to complete them REALLY helps me.  After a whirlwind play-date followed by a church event last night, I was just too tired to clean up.  So, I'm left with the daunting task of my normal morning routine, plus my evening routine, PLUS the added mess from the playdate, which a deadline of a morning visitor.  What do I do?  Make a list.  Simple things like: clean up playdoh, sweep floor, pick up living room, clean counter tops, and assign a time next to each task to complete it by.  If I'm behind, I know I have to do the next task super fast to meet my goal.  (I'm VERY goal-oriented).  I still have 30 minutes to my deadline, and so far so good!