Saturday, April 19, 2014

HOW TO DECORATE AN EASY EASTER BASKET CAKE.

Easter is tomorrow!

Still looking for an easy, yet fun, awesome way to decorate your cake for your family's  Easter dinner?
Don't worry!  I got you covered!! ;)





WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

YOUR FAVORITE CAKE RECIPE.  ( from scratch is preferred)
3 GEL COLORS ( I used pink, lemonade yellow and teal from Wilton)
YOUR FAVORITE FROSTING RECIPE.
1 BAG OF MINI MARSHMALLOWS (FRUITY FLAVORS which are pastel colors)
1 BOX OF LARGE PEEPS. 
1 BAG OF EGG SHAPED MARSHMALLOWS.
EDIBLE EASTER GRASS.
A COUPLE WOODEN SKEWERS   (thin)
A COUPLE OF TOOTHPICKS

TOOLS YOU WILL NEED:

STAND MIXER
SPATULA
ICING SPATULA









START BY MAKING YOUR FAVORITE CAKE BATTER



DIVIDE THE BATTER IN THREE EQUAL PARTS. 
(Doesn't have to be exact. Just try to get it as close as possible.)

USE YOUR FOOD COLORING TO DYE EACH BATTER.







BAKE EACH BATTER SEPARATELY.
I recommend putting your cakes in the fridge for at least two hours.  Just make sure to cover them well.
This helps bring out the moisture in the cake. 

NEXT:  STACK THE CAKES AND TRIM THEM.

I like to trim off the top of the cake as well as the edges.  Just use a knife and carefully remove a thin layer from the top and edges.

It should look like this:



NEXT STEP IS TO WORK ON THE FROSTING.



ONCE YOUR FROSTING IS DONE.  GRAB YOUR FROSTING SPATULA AND ITS FROSTING TIME! :)


NOW THAT YOUR CAKE IS FROSTED, IT'S TIME TO ADD THE MINI MARSHMALLOWS
  

FILL A ZIPLOC BAG WITH FROSTING, CLIP OFF THE TIP AND PIPE A THIN LINE UPWARDS TO GLUE THE MARSHMALLOWS TO THE CAKE.
NEXT FEW PICTURES WILL SHOW YOU HOW.




GO AROUND THE CAKE UNTIL ITS ALL COVERED.  DON'T DO ANYTHING TO THE TOP OF THE CAKE YET.



AFTER YOU ARE DONE PLACING THE MARSHMALLOWS, GRAB ABOUT 10 STRINGS OF  GRASS AND SHAPE IT LIKE A BASKET'S HANDLE. 
This takes a little working around it.  Just take your time.  Push the grass in the cake so it doesn't come off.


 IT SHOULD LOOK LIKE THIS WHEN YOU ARE DONE.


THE GRASS CAME WITH A FEW TINY BUNNIES. I PLACED A BUNNY ON EACH END AS AN EXTRA TOUCH.

NEXT:  USE THE TOOTHPICKS TO PLACE THE PEEPS AND THE EGGS INTO PLACE, ON THE CAKE.





THIS IS HOW I PLACED MINE.  
YOU CAN DO WHATEVER ARRANGEMENT YOU WANT.

NEXT GRAB YOUR WOODEN SKEWERS.  MAKE A ROW OF MARSHMALLOWS WITH IT.

(As you can see I quickly realized that I needed some powdered sugar to rub on the skewer in between placing the marshmallows.  Otherwise they curl up like shown on the next picture.)


POWDERED SUGAR TO THE RESCUE!!
 

DO THE SAME WITH THE TOOTHPICKS.  ADD ABOUT FOUR MARSHMALLOWS PER TOOTHPICK.

ONCE YOU ARE DONE,  PLACE THEM ON THE CAKE. 
Again, wherever you want.  I chose the back of the cake for the tall ones and the front of the cake for the short ones.


I ALSO ADDED A FEW MORE OF THE SMALL BUNNIES AND SOME SMALL PIECES OF GRASS.



 THAT'S IT!
EASY PEAS-Y!  YOUR EASTER BASKET- CAKE IS READY.

ENJOY!!


HAPPY  EASTER!!!

Thanks for visiting!!


























Monday, April 14, 2014

HEALTHY MONDAY: THE IMPORTANCE OF KEEPING A HEALTHY MIND AND SOUL.


A DIFFERENT APPROACH TO A HEALTHIER YOU.


Today's Healthy Monday is a little bit different.  Instead of doing a healthy recipe I thought I would write about the importance of keeping ourselves healthy beyond our physical needs.

Let's begin by talking about what would happen if I were to ask someone to describe a healthy person.  They probably would immediately start describing someone who takes care of his/her body, eats healthy, exercise, etc.

These days the new trend is a gluten free diet, Organic everything.  Society is telling us that to become a healthier version of ourselves, we must buy overpriced grocery items.  These healthy labeled items promise a healthier, thinner version of ourselves.  Music to our ears.

Don't get me wrong.  I have seen the effects of a gluten free diet in people's lives and I think it's awesome. 
I'm in when it comes to eating healthier and taking care of our bodies.

However, I am curious to know why the emphasis is made on our diet and not on our minds and souls' health.
In a world where we can see the rapid increase of addictions, violence and disturbing crimes against innocent people.  I believe we should pay more attention to our mind's health and our souls.

I would like to share with you a few things I believe, could help us all become healthier minds and souls.

TAKE TIME TO MEDITATE
I think morning time is best, but really any time of the day you can find some peace and quiet; will work just fine.  Take time for yourself.  Think about the things you want to accomplish that day.  Take the time to be grateful for another day of life.  Reflect on whatever is going on in your life.  If times are hard, name 10 good things happening in your life.

The other day I was thinking about all the things that have gone wrong lately.  Let me tell you, that as soon as I started naming my 10 things, my attitude changed completely.
Just having been given the opportunity to live another day became a very obvious reason to feel grateful.
I was grateful that I was not only alive but healthy.  But wait! My husband and children were also healthy.
We have a roof over our heads.  Not just a roof but a cozy warm house we call home.  The list of things to be grateful for went on and on... forever.

SMELL THE ROSES, NOT THE HORSES.
Take the time to breath in the good things in life.  Realize that while we live in a world that is contaminated with evil and will most likely only get worse.  There is also a world filled with kindness, lovely people to meet and amazing places to see. 
I hold on dearly to that last thought. 

STAY AWAY FROM NEGATIVITY.
This is a big one.  
When people think about staying away from negativity. They often think that this means staying away from people who are constantly complaining or whining about life. 
While this may be the obvious answer, sometimes staying away from negativity; also means staying away from things that affect our life personally.

With so much social media available for us to share part of our lives with others and vice versa,  sometimes we can lose ourselves and the essence of who we are.  We are able to experience at full power the energy of those who surround us in our "virtual" lives.  Many times affecting our every day life in a way that we don't even notice.
Learn to walk away from situations or people that make you feel upset, uncomfortable, small, unappreciated or unloved.  Both in real situations or in the virtual world of social media.

SURROUND YOURSELF WITH INSPIRING PEOPLE YOU ADMIRE.
I recently discovered this one.
I never thought of how much of a difference it would make in my every day life. 
Have you ever heard the phrase: "You become like the five people you spend the most time with, so choose carefully".
Well, it's the same concept.  It applies to people you interact with the most, outside of your home.
Whether it is through social media or face to face.

I have discovered that I am happier and in a better mood when I allow others to inspire me with their creativity and their amazing way of living life.  Most importantly, I start to put it to practice in my own life.

CREATE YOUR OWN HAPPINESS.
A while ago,  I ran into a picture that said...

"People are unhappy for two reasons:  They are living in the past or they are living observing others."

It took me a second to understand what it meant. But when I did, it hit me hard!
To live in the past means you are living with regret.  Whether you regret your life choices, the things you didn't get to do.  Whatever it may be. A lot of people find themselves unhappy for the things they wish they did or didn't do. 
Realizing that those missed opportunities belong now in the past can be hard.

Make it a life lesson and begin opening yourself to new life experiences and opportunities.
This will keep your mind sharp, healthy and open to new adventures.

Observing others is a big one.
This one is particularly dangerous with the use of so many social media sites.
You must ask yourself two questions.
How much time do you spend observing others? and... How much time are you spending building your own life?

In a world where so many people have exposed their creativity, talents and beautiful enriched lives over the Internet,  it is easy to fall into a surreal place created by our imagination.  It's easy to observe and live through amazing pictures,  pinning things all day that we hope we will get to do some day, absorbing as many things that we want to apply in our own life.

This is all great.  We should strive to be better people with each passing day.
BUT...be careful!  Know when it is time to stop observing and admiring the beautiful things others are creating, and when its time to put it to good use and start creating your own stuff.
That DIY project you pinned the other day isn't going to magically appear in your house. :)

I made this my last subject on purpose.  This is where all the the previous pointers come together.  Taking the time to meditate will help you see what you are doing right and what you are doing wrong.  This really works, as long as you are honest with yourself.
Taking the time to breathe in the good things in life will keep you excited about creating your own happiness.

Staying away from negative thoughts, people or situations that make you unhappy will free up space and energy in your mind that you may be wasting by giving this negativity, undeserved attention.

Surrounding yourself with people who inspire you will help you stay sharp and motivated to work on your own life and your own projects.  Just know when to stop observing and when to start creating. 
Working on becoming a healthier mind and soul will benefit no one but yourself and your family.  Which in return will help you become everything you can be, and a much happier version of yourself.  

HAPPINESS IS THE GOAL!

~

THANKS FOR VISITING! ;)



Sunday, April 13, 2014

RECIPE: ICE CREAM EASTER BUNNIES

ICE CREAM EASTER BUNNIES
*A KID'S ACTIVITY*

Spring break is over!  Now the fun begins putting together Easter activities, we can do with the kiddies.

Isn't that how it always goes? One Holiday, Birthday or Special Occasion prep is done, and you better be ready to jump on the next one. 

Here is a really easy fun activity to do with the kids, in preparation for Easter.


WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

1.-FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVORS  (Choose at least one Easter color)
2.-EASTER CANDY (chose flavors that will go good with the ice cream)
3.- 1 PACK OF OREO COOKIES
4.- ROASTED PEANUTS OR WHATEVER YOUR FAMILY LIKES.
5.- DIPPING CHOCOLATE (Optional but necessary if you want to recreate my presentation)

TOOLS NEEDED:
WILTON BUNNY SHAPED COOKIE CUTTER
 (Found mine at Walmart but also sold at Joann's Fabric Stores and Hobby Lobby.)

FREEZER SAFE DISH
A FEW PREP BOWLS (Refer to pictures)
FOOD PROCESSOR (Refer to pictures for other suggestions.)
PARCHMENT PAPER.





PREP BOWLS TO MIX THE ICE CREAM WITH THE CANDY.  
You'll need as many bowls as Ice Cream flavors or mixtures you want to make.
BOWLS TO SET UP THE CANDY SO THE KIDS CAN PICK WHAT THEY WANT.

SCOOP ICE CREAM IN EACH BOWL (You will need three scoops per bunny) COVER AND PLACE IT BACK IN THE FREEZER.  I suggest doing this and the candy bowls before you invite the kids in. 
It makes it more fun for them to see everything all set up, and of course, less mess for you to clean up ;)
YOU MAY NOTICE I BOUGHT SLOW CHURNED ICE CREAM WHICH IS SOFTER AND WILL NEED MORE TIME TO SET.  
THIS IS OUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM SO WE DIDN'T MIND WAITING THE EXTRA TIME FOR IT TO SET IN BETWEEN PREP.
If you think your kids will want to eat the bunnies right away then I suggest going with a different ice cream. 
One that will set fast and the bunnies will be ready to eat the same day.

GET ALL THE BOWLS OF CANDY READY.


NEXT, WORK ON PREPPING THE TOPPINGS.

GIVE THE PEANUTS A ROUGH CHOP. 

NOW FOR THE OREOS...
SPLIT THEM UP AND SCRAPE OFF THE CREAM FROM BOTH SIDES OF THE COOKIE.

GRAB YOUR FOOD PROCESSOR. 
(If you have a handy dandy small, like this one; use it.  Easier clean up.)




NO FOOD PROCESSOR? NO PROBLEM!
Nothing a Ziploc bag and a good roller pin can't do ;)
ONCE ALL YOUR PREP IS DONE... IT'S TIME TO BRING IN THE KIDDOS!!!

THESE TWO LOVE CANDY!! <3
GET YOUR ICE CREAM OUT OF THE FREEZER AND LET THE FUN BEGIN!
I SAT THERE WITH MY CHOPPING BOARD AND ASKED THEM WHAT THEY WANTED IN EACH ICE CREAM FLAVOR.
REMEMBER THREE SCOOPS PER BUNNY IF EVERYONE WANTS DIFFERENT THINGS.


HAVE THEM ADD THE CANDY AND HELP MIX EVERYTHING TOGETHER.
THEY WILL LOVE THAT PART :)





PUT EACH BUNNY ON A SEPARATE PLATE IN CASE YOUR ICE CREAM MELTS QUICKLY LIKE MINE DID.

START SCOOPING THE ICE CREAM INTO THE COOKIE CUTTER.
You can have the kids help you with this too.  For the sake of taking pictures, I did this myself.

 CAREFULLY REMOVE TO REVEAL YOUR BUNNY.

TA-DA!!!
 PLACE EACH BUNNY YOU MAKE IN THE FREEZER SO THEY SET.
CHECK THEM AFTER A FEW MINUTES AND IF THEY ARE SET THEN CAREFULLY TRIM THEM AS SHOWN IN THE NEXT FEW PICTURES.



TRANSFER ALL THE BUNNIES INTO A BIGGER FREEZER SAFE DISH THAT HAS BEEN LINED UP WITH THE PARCHMENT PAPER.


HELP THE KIDS ADD THE TOPPINGS TO THEIR BUNNIES AND BACK TO THE FREEZER TO SET UNTIL READY TO BE EATEN.
WANT TO MAKE THESE YOUR EASTER DINNER DESSERT?
NO PROBLEM!
THESE BABIES WILL GO FROM FUN ACTIVITY WITH THE KIDS TO FANCY DESSERT IN NO TIME.
~
MELT ABOUT A TABLESPOON OF THE DIPPING CHOCOLATE IN THE MICROWAVE, 15 SECS AT A TIME.  I LIKE TO USE A SANDWICH ZIPLOC BAG FOR EASY CLEAN UP. 
WHILE THE CHOCOLATE IS MELTING, GRAB A NICE DESSERT PLATE FOR YOUR BUNNY.

ONCE THE CHOCOLATE IS MELTED,  GRAB SOME SCISSORS AND CLIP OFF THE VERY END OF YOUR ZIPLOC BAG.  
 CAREFULLY DRIZZLE SOME OF THE CHOCOLATE ONTO YOUR PLATE. AS SHOWN ON THE NEXT PICTURE.
YOU CAN PUT THE PLATE IN THE FREEZER FOR A MINUTE OR SO TO LET THE CHOCOLATE HARDEN A LITTLE BEFORE PLACING THE BUNNY ON TOP. 
OTHERWISE YOU CAN CAREFULLY DO IT RIGHT AFTER.
I USED THE TOPPINGS TO GARNISH.

That's it!

 ENJOY!!!

THANKS FOR VISITING! ;)