Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Pancake Art

We LOOOOOOVE pancakes at our house. They can be so simple to make too. Sometimes it is nice to dress them up a little bit differently. Here are some of the pancakes that we have been making lately.

Here is our sun/flower pancake. Boys don't mind eating a sun... but they aren't so keen on eating a flower. Fruit and pancake... perfect breakfast.

How about a teddy bear for breakfast.... one very large pancake for the head, one medium to small pancake for the nose/snout, and two small pancakes for the ears. Use two chocolate chips for those dark brown bear eyes and then chocolate syrup to draw on the mouth.

Best part here... It's the syrup and it looks like he is covered in honey! CUTE!

Here's a monkey pancake... Once again almost like the bear: one very large pancake for the head, one medium to small pancake for the nose/snout, and two small pancakes for the ears... It is just about how you put them together on the plate. Also for the monkey we mixed in about 1 Tablespoon of cocoa powder into the pancake batter to make the other parts darker. Add two regular chocolate chips for eyes, and then we used mini chocolate chips to make a mouth. Serve with a banana and breakfast is ready!

Another fun and easy pancake... Mickey Mouse! On the griddle or pan where you are making your pancakes.... start with a medium to large circle pancake and then add two more small scoops right on top to create the ears. You want them to attach so it becomes one pancake. (Also we like to make Minnie Mouse pancakes too, you know for the girls....Make sure you put the ears far enough apart and then using a spoon put two triangles in the middle of the ears, attached to the head to look like a bow.)

One is a regular pancake and the other is a chocolate chip pancakes. Make your pancake batter and then while the first side is baking sprinkle mini chocolate chips onto the pancake. Flip and allow them to finish cooking. Serve with syrup.

There's lots of other pancakes that we've made, but don't have pictures of them all. It's fun to play with your food!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Banana Bread Pancakes

{{Banana Bread Pancakes}}

(printer friendly version)

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

2/3 to 1 cup milk

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

3 large ripe bananas, mashed

2 tablespoons butter, melted

mini chocolate chips, optional

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Measure out the milk and add the vanilla extract to it. Whisk together the dry ingredients and add in 2/3 cup milk and vanilla, stirring to combine. The mixture will still be dry. Add in mashed bananas and mix. Add in melted butter and stir until batter is somewhat smooth (add the additional 1/3 cup of milk here as needed to make the batter a smoother consistency).

Heat a skillet or grill on medium heat. Using a 1/3 cup measure, spoon batter into rounds and cook until bubbles form on top – about 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook for a minute or two more. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve hot with butter and syrup.... Mmmmm....Or to make it even better yet.....sprinkle with mini chocolate chips... sprinkle to your little hearts content.

Another fun way to serve the pancakes... turn them into a monkey! I pulled out about 1 cup of batter and added 1/2 tablespoon of cocoa powder to make darker pancakes. Grill up a large monkey head, a medium sized mouth and two smaller ears. Decorate with 2 regular sized chocolate chip eyes and mini chocolate chips for the mouth. Accessorize the monkey with the monkey's favorite treat... a banana!

Mmmmmm.... I love breakfast! Don't you?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Buttery Biscuits... only 4 ingredients needed!

Easy, Easy, Easy, Easy and very buttery and delicious! These are the melt in your mouth kind of biscuits...

{{Buttery Biscuits}}

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup 7-up

1/4 cup melted butter

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Cut sour cream into biscuit mix using a pastry blender, or two forks.

Add 7-Up. Makes a very soft dough.

Sprinkle additional biscuit mix on board or table and pat dough out. Using a circle biscuit cutter, cut the biscuits.

Melt 1/4 cup butter in a 9 inch square pan in the preheated oven. Place cut biscuits in pan and bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.

**Short-cut... Instead of rolling out and cutting biscuits, just drop biscuit dough into the buttered pan and bake. Voila... done! See... what did I tell you... easy, easy, easy, easy!

This is what the dough looked like after mixing the ingredients together.

And here is their golden goodness after they have baked in the hot oven! Mmmmm... Mmmmm... Mmmmmm....
Serve with butter, jelly, or with gravy.... so many possibilities.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Church Quiet Book... ready in 5 minutes!

This was a quick and easy quiet book that I made in about 5 minutes.....

I actually made it right before church.... Using 4 simple items...

1- plastic badge holders (this particular set was purchased at Office Max, 10 for $4.99, but you can buy them cheaper at Wal-mart for around $1.69, however the plastic is lighter-weight).

2- Circle Binder Clips (Purchased a variety pack of 8 silver rings at Target for around $2)

3- Ribbon... any size, color, texture, etc.

4- Pictures (I used a variety pack of pictures that measured 3x4 inches)

I inserted the picture into the badge holder (the picture was the exact size of the badge holder and since there was a saying on the back, I didn't mount the picture or add any embellishments. I simply slipped the picture in).

Next I put the pictures onto the binder ring and closed it.

I tied on a bunch of ribbons to embellish the quiet book and VOILA!!! It was done!

Quick... easy... and the kids enjoyed looking at the pictures and the older kids enjoyed reading the sayings.

5 minutes... done!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Frozen Butterbeer Drink

Harry Potter... we love Harry Potter! The last movie just came out and while we haven't seen it yet, we are excited to have the chance.

To celebrate... I found some recipes for Butterbeer, that delicious drink they always drink in the book. When they created "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" in Universal Studios, I was ready to go as soon as it opened. I was so bummed when I found out it was in Florida and not California. If it had been over in Hollywood, I would have been there either on opening day or soon thereafter, but being that it is in Orlando created a bit more of a problem. Oh well... I will go one of these days.

I've heard that at the amusement park they serve Butterbeer... Mmmmm.. Two kinds of Butterbeer... one frozen, and the other not frozen. I found two recipes, modified them a bit so they are non-alcoholic and we tried them both.

Here is the first recipe... It is a warmer version of butterbeer....

{{Warm Butterbeer}}

(printer friendly version)

It warms you up and tastes great! From the Three Broomsticks!

1 cup (8 oz) cream soda (or club soda)
1/2 cup (4 oz) butterscotch syrup (ice cream topping)
1/2 tablespoon butter

Step 1: Measure butterscotch and butter into a 2 cup (16 oz) glass. Microwave on high for 60 to 90 seconds, or until syrup is bubbly and butter is completely incorporated.

Step 2: Stir and cool for 30 seconds, then slowly mix in cream soda. Mixture will fizz quite a bit.

Step 3: Serve in two mugs or small glasses.

A Perfectly Warm Hogwarts Treat for Two!

Here's the second recipe.... The Frozen Butterbeer recipe... this was by far our favorite. We liked this one the best! So if you are only going to try one... try this one first!

{{Frozen Butterbeer}}

(printer friendly version)

For the Butterbeer:
1 1/2 cups cream soda (we used IBC cream soda)
6 tablespoons butterscotch syrup (ice cream topping)
2 cups ice

For the foamy topping:
6 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1 tablespoon butterscotch syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine cream soda, syrup, and ice in a blender and blend until it is slushy.

Pour into a glass or mug.

In a small bowl, combine heavy cream, powdered sugar, syrup and vanilla. Using an electric mixer, whisk together until almost whipped. You want the cream mixture to be slightly loose, not as stiff as whipped cream. Top the frozen Butterbeer with the foamy topping and serve immediately.

Serves 2.

Possible change for our second attempt at this... (but it will require more planning to make it). I think if we freeze the cream soda in ice cube trays and then replace them with the regular ice cubes, it will help the drink from becoming watered down as it melts in the mug.

If you don't let it sit in your glass for very long, then this won't be an issue, but extra flavor is always a plus!

Brownie Cookies

The yummi-ness of a brownie, in the convenience of a cookie. Less mess! More joy! Brownies are a favorite dessert of mine... their chewy, chocolatey-ness is amazing!

{{Brownie Cookies}}

(printer friendly version)

1/2 cup butter
4 (1 oz) squares unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3 cups (18 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips, divided
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Combine butter, unsweetened chocolate, and 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips in a heavy saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until butter and chocolate melt; let cool.

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl, set aside.

Beat eggs, sugar and vanilla at medium speed with an electric mixer. Gradually add dry ingredients to egg mixture, beating well. Then add the chocolate mixture and beat well. Stir in remaining 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips.

Cover a baking sheet with foil and then scoop dough onto the baking sheet using an ice cream scoop. Place dough about 1 inch apart. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Cool slightly on baking sheets; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Makes about 4 1/2 dozen cookies.

After you mix up the batter, and scoop it onto the cookie sheet it will look like this.....

The first batch I made, I put them directly on the cookie sheet and they seemed to stick a little bit and it was difficult to get them off. So I covered the baking sheet with a variety of products to see if I could find a good way to remove the cookies more easily. I used parchment paper and aluminum foil. I think the foil worked the best (not pictured) but definitely makes for easier removable and cleanup after you bake the cookies.

This is what the cookies look like right after they come out of the oven. They are puffy and looking ready to eat... but beware- they are HOT and gooey and VERY messy. I only know this, because I did try one at this stage. You definitely need to get a glass of milk ready to drink if you are going to attempt to try them at this point. Better to let them sit on the cookie sheet for a few minutes to cool off.

After they have rested and cooled, they will flatten out and look like this:Then you can remove them from the cookie sheet with a thin metal spatula, and transfer them to a cooling rack to fully cool off. You don't want to let them cool completely on the cookie sheet.
I think these cookies tasted best the first day and pretty good on the second day. Store in an airtight container.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Peacock Feather Headband

Peacock feathers, or any feathers really... they are so chic and so popular right now! I wanted to make a headband for my darling daughter to wear (and it might find its way to my head one of these days...)

I went to the store and picked up this already assembled peacock feather pad at JoAnn's for around $4, and a black satin head band there as well for $2. I already had the black felt and I cut out two rectangles. Finally, I got a diamond as the accent for the headband... It took about 3 minutes to make this headband. The longest part was waiting for the hot glue gun to heat up!
The peacock feathers were already put together and attached to the felt pad. So all I had to do was attach it to the headband. You could use fabric glue and attach it directly to the headband. However, I didn't want to glue it directly onto the headband for two reasons...
  1. Since the feathers are so big, they will inevitably get smashed when the headband is placed on its side for storage, so I wanted to have the feathers removable... the feathers can be stored flat. Perfect!
  2. Plus, if the feathers are removable then the feathers can be attached to multiple headbands in a variety of colors and you don't need to have as many headbands in the same color. Love it!

Using the hot glue gun, I attached the two rectangle pieces of black felt. One at the bottom and one at the top of the pad. When I only had one rectangle piece of felt, it caused the feathers to poke up in a funny way on top of my daughters head so I attached a second one.
Here you can see both pieces of felt attached to the feathers.

I only put glue on the ends of the felt to create a pocket where the headband could pass through and be held onto the headband, but easily be slid off when you were done with it.
Here it is on the front side. I added a diamond at the bottom as an accent.
Here are some other feather pads that I picked up at JoAnn's. These were each around $3. Now she will have 3 fashionable headbands for only around $15. Nice!
Would also make a great gift for only $5-$6.

See how nicely they all stack on top of each other, which helps keep them straight and organized.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Chocolate Covered Fruit

Anything is better with chocolate! At least that's my philosophy. I like chocolate. A lot!

I had a bunch of leftover melted chocolate and fresh fruit in the fridge that needed to be eaten... so naturally I put the two together! Naturally! I made chocolate covered blueberries, grapes and kiwi.

For the blueberries... I lined a mini muffin pan with paper liners and then dropped 4-5 blueberries (that had been washed and thoroughly dried) into the liners.
Using a fork, load it up with melted chocolate, and just drizzle it over the top of the blueberries in no particular way. Leave the blueberries slightly exposed so you can see their pretty blue color. Add as much chocolate or as little chocolate as you would like.
You can use a fine drizzle from a fork and it will leave a design on the top of the chocolate. After you have covered them with the chocolate, let the chocolate set in a cool place or in the refrigerator. Best if served within a day of making them.

Chocolate covered grapes... Who knew right? For mother's day, my husband and kids got me some treats from a chocolate sweet shop. There were several sweet things that they brought me and among the treats included some chocolate covered grapes. I was a bit skeptical, but they are delicious. So I decided to make some myself.

Wash and dry your grapes. You want to make sure they are very dry because water and chocolate don't like each other very much! The water will cause the chocolate to seize up. Mmmmm... yummy red grapes!
Next, taking one grape at a time, drop it into the chocolate and using a fork, cover it will chocolate. Then pick up the grape on the fork and let the excess chocolate drip off. Then place the grape on a wax paper covered cookie sheet, until the chocolate is set.
Pick them up off of the wax paper and start popping them in your mouth. As the warm chocolate cools, it seems to shrink and condense on the grape so that when you bite into them, the grape bursts forth its juicy goodness. Sweet and crunchy and yummy! A great way to eat some dessert and fruit too!

Great as a gift too! Drop them into a bag, tie a ribbon on top and share with a friend.
Another fun treat. Trim the skin off of a kiwi... I cut them straight so that they were shaped octagonal, but you can make them circular if you want... or even in the shape of a star. After you have cut them about 1/2 inch to one inch thick, stick a popsicle stick inside them and push it up past the center of the kiwi so that it helps them to become more stable. (At this point you can proceed to the next step or you can freeze the fruit and dip in chocolate after.)
Then dip them in chocolate. A very important thing that I learned while making these... dab the kiwi on a paper towel first before you dip them in chocolate because they are very juicy. This helps to remove any liquid on the fruit, because as stated above, chocolate doesn't like water and as you can tell in the picture... the chocolate started to seize up and get clumpy on some of them.

Let the chocolate set up in the refrigerator and then take a bite. My kids enjoyed these... (I think kids enjoy anything on a stick!). Store in refrigerator and use within a day (unless you froze them and they will last longer).


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...