Sweet Bunny and Chick Round Up!

Okay, okay, it’s more than just bunnies and chicks.  But it’s a fun Easter themed round up, and it’s got some really cute ideas.

I really wanted to so a collection with a few things I think would be excellent for carting off to the school party.  It’s tough, being the class mom, but some ideas don’t need to be complicated to be impressive.

All of these are super cute, and I can see them turning you into a rockstar.

Bunny and Chick Cup Cones

Bunny and Chick Cup Cones

Candy Corn Flowers

Candy Corn Flowers

Caramel Easter Egg Filled Chocolate Cupcakes

Caramel Easter Egg Filled Chocolate Cupcakes

Chocolate Sandwich Bunny Cookies

Chocolate Sandwich Bunny Cookies with Marshmallow Buttercream

Easter Chick Nest Carrot Cake Cookies

Easter Chick Nest Carrot Cake Cookies

Easter Chick Strawberry Cupcakes

Easter Chick Strawberry Cupcakes

 

Seriously now, aren’t all of those adorable??

Yes.

Now you have no excuse not to be the hit of the Easter party.

Have a great one!

St. Patrick’s Day Potato Candy with Salted Caramel and Chocolate Filling

Who’s ready to get their leprechaun on?

Strange, isn’t it?  The way we jump on holidays from other countries, like Ireland, Mexico, China.  I think we just love a good holiday, and a reason to eat and drink crazy concoctions.  On Monday, you’ll see green beer, Irish Car Bombs, Irish Crème will ooze from your pores.  It will be an invasion of shamrocks and potatoes.

Speaking of potatoes – let’s talk potato candy.

My aunts all make the peanut butter version at Christmas.  We call them Peanut Butter Pinwheels.  But alas, no potatoes appear in their recipes.  They use cream cheese!  It’s all good to me, though! (It IS candy, after all!)

For this particular twist (ha ha!) on the classic peanut butter candy, I changed mine up with chocolate and salted caramel.  You could make everything from scratch if you like, including the caramel, but let’s be honest here – no one needs to reinvent the wheel.  We just want to EAT! So, grab some caramel sundae topping from the ice cream section of the grocery store, and get to twirling.  It’s every bit as good.

Hopefully you’ll find yourself in a field of four-leaf clovers and rainbows.  If not, you’ll at least have some incredible candy to munch on until all of the green beer is gone.

irish-potato-candy-vert

Salted Caramel and Chocolate Potato Candy

  • Makes 36 small pinwheels
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours

Ingredients

  • · ¼ cup cooked potatoes, mashed
  • · 3 tablespoons milk
  • · 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
  • · Pinch of salt
  • · 1 pound Dixie Crystals Confectioner’s Sugar
  • · ¼ cup Chocolate Ganache (recipe below)
  • · 3 tablespoons caramel ice cream topping
  • · Pinch sea salt flake

Instructions

1. In a large bowl, combine mashed potatoes, milk, vanilla extract and salt. Stir until uniform.

2. Slowly add confectioners’ sugar into potato mixture until a doughy consistency Cover and place in refrigerator to chill, at least one hour.

3. Roll dough into a large rectangular on a piece of wax or parchment paper.

4. Carefully spread chocolate ganache evenly over the rectangle of dough. Drizzle caramel topping over the chocolate, then sprinkle with sea salt flakes.

5. Roll dough into the shape of a jelly roll and refrigerate, covered, for 1 hour. Slice the dough into pinwheels to serve. Keep chilled.

To make Chocolate Ganache:  Bring ¼ cup heavy cream to a simmer over low heat. Remove from heat; add ¼ cup chocolate chips (any flavor – dark, milk, or semi-sweet). Allow to melt for 30 seconds, then stir until smooth. Allow to cool before using. Refrigerate any leftovers for later use.

irish-potato-candy-chocolate

St. Patrick’s Day Sweet Round Up

Need some more sweet treats for all of your little leprechauns?  Here’s a few I think look great!  Green, Irish Crème, Mint…it’s all here:

Mini Mojito Cheesecakes

Chocolate Dipped Mint Meringue Kisses

Dark Chocolate Glazed Crème de Menthe Shortbread

Leprechaun S’mores

St. Patrick’s Day Brownies

St. Patrick’s Day White Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut Cookies


Oh hey!  One more thing!  There’s still time to get in on the Dixie Crystals The Sweetest Spring Contest!  You have until tomorrow, March 15th to be one of 20 winners who will receive $50 gift cards!  Just pin a spring-inspired recipe to one of your Pinterest boards, and fill out the entry form with the Pinterest URL – it’s that simple!   Here’s how to enter!

Blue Valentine Mojito

Don’t be sad.

A Blue Valentine can be a great thing.

Not like the movie Blue Valentine, which I still haven’t decided if I love or hate.  It pains me to see Ryan Gosling looking like, well, a normal man, with a receding hairline and glasses.  I can see THAT at Walmart.  I want the Ryan Gosling who does the lift scene from Crazy. Stupid. Love.

I’m allowed.  I pay good money to go see movies that show incredible abs.  It’s ALLOWED.

But I digress.

This is a Blue Valentine Mojito, and ab-licious or not, it’s certainly delicious.  And YOU have time to create one for a special dinner tonight, or tomorrow.  Or Sunday.  Heck, celebrate ALL weekend, kids.  Valentines is as fun as you make it.  This mojito will certainly add some fun.

As an ambassador for Captain Morgan, I got first dibs on their new White Rum, so I of course used it in this fanciful mojito.  Muddled blueberries, a little mint, some lime juice – all in here.  And, just because I can, I added a tiny bit of vanilla.

Do it.

Drink one with your Valentine, or your Galentine, or whosoever you choose.  And skip Blue Valentine.  It’s sad and not a love story at all.  It ends on a sour note and hello?  Nobody needs that.  We’ve all been cooped up for days thanks to this winter weather, so I suggest Love, Actually.  Or Say Anything.  Or the Goonies.  Yes, the Goonies has a better love story than Blue Valentine.

But I’m not the boss of you, so whatever you do, have fun, be loved, give love, and avoid the Walmart.

Hugs!

blueberry-mojito

Blue Valentine Mojito

makes 2

Ingredients

 

  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 12 fresh mint leaves
  • 3 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup Captain Morgan’s White Rum
  • 3/4 cup club soda
  • ice

Instructions

 

  1. Muddle the blueberries with the mint leaves and sugar in a cocktail shaker.  Top with lime juice, vanilla, and rum; shake vigorously.
  2. Place ice into two glasses.  Pour blueberry mixture evenly into each glass, top with rum and club soda.  Garnish with a skewer of fresh berries and more mint, if desired.

 

Disclaimer:  This post is a part of Captain Morgan’s Captain’s Table.  I was supplied rum for my recipe creation.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Sweet Valentines!

Need some lovely inspiration for Lover’s Day?

Look no more.  Here are a few that I think will really float your boat.  Sweet, rich, delicious…how we like our mates, right?

There are oodles and oodles here, on the Dixie Crystals Valentine Round Up, and these are my favorites.  Which would YOU make?

Chocolate Mousse with Raspberry Topping

Chocolate Heart Cookies with Raspberry Cream Cheese Filling

Red Velvet Cookies

Strawberry Beignets

Have a great weekend with your love!

Red Velvet Mug Cake

I bet you couldn’t guess it’s February, could you?

I mean, look around the internet.  Can you blink without seeing a new Red Velvet concoction?  I know I can’t.  And, just like that new Miley song on the radio that you hate at first, the more you hear it, the more it grows on you, until one day, you’re in the kitchen belting your red velvet hiney off to Wrecking Ball.

Red Velvet.

Red Velvet.

I’ve made Red Velvet Waffles, muffins, cupcakes, doughnuts, popovers, and cake, all in the past few weeks.  And now – Red Velvet Mug Cakes.

These were a request from my friends over at Bisquick, who specifically asked for Red Velvet Mug Cakes, using their product.  Believe it or not, Mug Cakes were not something I had made in the past, but really…why not?  They are everywhere, they’re easy, and honestly, they’re cute.  Plus, everyone gets their very own serving, so no sharing required.

These little beauties are ideal for Valentine’s Day, which as you are aware, is just around the corner.  So stop with the wondering, the worrying, the anticipating what to whip up for your sweetheart dessert.  This could be it.  Heck, throw a few tawdry conversation hearts on top and who knows what kind of trouble you’ll find yourself in.

Enjoy it.

bisquick-mug-cake

Red Velvet Mug Cakes

Makes 2

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup Bisquick
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Red food coloring, as needed
  • Cream Cheese Frosting or Sweetened Whipped Cream, if desired

Instructions

Beat all ingredients in a medium sized bowl until well combined. Divide equally into two large coffee mugs. One at a time, place each mug into the microwave and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Repeat with remaining mug. Serve warm or cool, with frosting or whipped cream, if desired.

Notes

Like any cake, these mug cakes will rise and expand. Therefore, choose your mug wisely!Leave plenty of room for expansion, and only fill each mug roughly 2/3 full.

 

Disclaimer:  This post was sponsored by Bisquick.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  And yes, I really do like Wrecking Ball.  I can’t help it.  I tried not to, I did.

Macadamia and White Chocolate Chip Cookies for a Cookie Exchange…and A Giveaway!

Have you even done a search for holiday cookies recently?

macadamia nut cookies

Don’t.  Just, don’t.  It’s overwhelming, and you’ll likely find yourself immersed in sugary concoctions on Pinterest, which will start with gingerbread cookies, then ginger recipes, then red hair shades, then you’ll drive 3 hours to have colorful stripes put into your hair because Pinterest thought it was a good idea.

But you wanted to look up cookie recipes.  I know, I know.  There are so many to choose from, but if you are like me, you want a huge variety.  I get it.  Time is short though, kids, and it’s time to get smart.

Have a cookie exchange.

Just convince a few other friends to bake some cookies – their favorites – and you bake a few dozen of a couple of your favorites as well.  Bake today and then open some wine tomorrow afternoon, tell the husbands you have some important things to tend to, and swap those cookies over a glass or four of moscato.

Now you have several dozen cookies in like 10 different flavors, and my, was it ever easy.

http://thehappyhousewife.com/cooking/files/2013/12/CC_Cookie_Xchange_460x300.jpg

Country Crock has some great printables and recipes on their Holiday Cookie Exchange page, with plenty of ideas on how to make the most of your cookie exchange.  They were kind enough to sponsor this post, so I hope you’ll check out that info.  Yes, it’s great for Christmas, but honestly, why not at other times during the year?  Valentines would be fun, too.  Or Easter.  Or Mardi Gras?  Arbor Day?  Is there a bad time to have a boat load of cookies? (Boat load equals a great theme for Columbus Day which is ideal for eating cookies…you’re welcome.)

To encourage you just a little more, here is a cookie from the Country Crock site that I had to make.  Of course, I had to change it up, because well, you know me – I can’t leave anything alone.  It’s delicious, and is great for a cookie exchange!  It was a simple and ever-so-easy base cookie recipe, so I turned it into Macadamia & White Chocolate Chip Cookies instead of Zebra Chocolate Chip Cookies. My way or the original way, you can’t go wrong!

In the background there, you can see the Peanut Butter Honey and Oat Cookies from the Country Crock site – also delish!  (and divine if you sub in Biscoff Spread for the peanut butter, ahem, were you so inclined, hehe!)  Scroll down for the recipe!

Now – those Macadamia Nut Cookies.  Yesssss.

macadamia nut cookies 2

Macadamia and White Chocolate Chip Cookies

(adapted from Country Crock)

Makes 4 dozen

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup Country Crock® Spread
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup macadamia nuts

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Grease baking sheets; set aside.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in medium bowl; set aside.
  3. Beat Country Crock® Spread with sugars until light and fluffy in large bowl with electric mixer, about 5 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla, scraping sides occasionally. Gradually beat in flour mixture until blended. Stir in 1 cup white chocolate chips and nuts. Drop dough by heaping tablespoonfuls, 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets.
  4. Bake 10 minutes or until golden. Let stand 2 minutes on wire rack; remove from sheets and cool completely.

 


Peanut Butter Honey and Oatmeal Cookies

Peanut Butter Honey 'N Oatmeal Cookies


The Giveaway

There’s still time to get your best girlfriends (and baking guy friends) together for a last minute cookie exchange, so get on it!  Plus to encourage you just a little, how about a Holiday Cookie Giveaway from Country Crock?

One lucky reader will win a Country Crock Holiday Cookie gift pack (ARV: $40) that includes:

  • Premium rolling pin
  • 30-piece cookie cutter set
  • Three full value Country Crock spread coupons

To enter, just leave a comment sharing your favorite cookie, or a link to your favorite recipe. For an additional entry tweet your favorite cookie using the hashtag #CountryCrockCookies. So easy!

For more information on Country Crock:

Disclaimer: This post and giveaway was sponsored by Country Crock.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Rum Eggnog Cheesecake

More eggnog.

More dessert.

More rum.

Welcome to the holidays.

There are a lot of desserts that have already been eaten, and plenty of desserts yet to be consumed.

This Rum Eggnog Cheesecake should be one of those things.

Yes, you can make this in a standard springform pan, as the recipe is written, but it’s very easy to adapt into a square pan.  An 8×8 works really well, and you can see the results in my photos.  After unmolding the cheesecake from the pan, we cut it into squares, and then triangles.  It makes a bit of a smaller portion, and great for sharing at potlucks, holiday parties, and for shoving multiple pieces into your mouth while watching It’s a Wonderful Life.

Because isn’t it?  It is.

It’s a wonderful life.

Enjoy!

rum-eggnog-cheesecake

Rum Eggnog Cheesecake

Makes one 9 inch cheesecake

For the Crust

  • 10 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
  • 2/3 cup Dixie Crystals Granulated Sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 cup pulverized Gingersnap Cookies

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar.  Add the egg and beat until combined.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  2. Add dry ingredients and mix on low until combined.
  3. Chill for 30 minutes, then roll half of dough between two floured pieces of parchment paper.  Press into springform pan. Freeze any remaining dough for later use.

For the Cheesecake

  • 3- 80z bricks of cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup Dixie Crystals Granulated Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Dixie Crystals Light Brown Sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup Captain Morgan’s Rum
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 3 large eggs (I prefer Safest Choice™ Eggs)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup prepared eggnog

 

Instructions

    1. Preheat the oven to 325 F and grease or butter a 9-inch springform pan. Wrap the pan in heavy duty aluminum foil so that it is waterproof. Press crust into prepared pan
    2. Place one 8-ounce package of the cream cheese, 1/2 cup of the sugar, and the cornstarch in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until creamy, about 3 minutes, then beat in the remaining packages of cream cheese.
    3. Increase the mixer speed to high and beat in the remaining sugar, then beat in the salt, vanilla, and rum. Blend in the eggs one at a time, beating only until completely blended. Mix in the eggnog and heavy cream. Be careful not to overmix the batter.
    4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Place the springform pan in a large shallow pan containing hot water that comes about halfway up the sides of the pan. Bake the cheesecake until the top is lightly browned, about 1 hour and 30 minutes.  Allow to cool in the oven with the door propped open. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight before serving. Sprinkle with nutmeg after plating, if desired.

 

Note: I made mine in a square pan and cut the pieces into triangles for smaller servings.

rum-eggnog-cheesecake-2


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Captain Morgan’s Coquitos…Rum Eggnog

This post is rum and holiday overload.  That’s in part thanks to Captain Morgan, who sponsored this post as part of the Captain’s Table.  I’m enjoying being at THIS table, let me assure you.

There are plenty of holiday parties to go around still, so load up on the rum and get to celebrating…I guarantee there is no party that will turn its nose up at you bringing this fine concoction.

If they do, I’m totally available over here, in case you need my address.

I am not really an eggnog drinker, but I believe MOST folks use bourbon in it.  That’s fine, do that, but this is my post, and I want to use rum.  Besides, rum is good and it tastes more tropical and that’s just that.  Be different.  Be brave.  Be a Captain.

(See what I did there?)

The official name of such a drink is called a Coquito, and I felt that me offering you this information is a holiday gift of its own.  However, it is the recipe that is the true gift.

It’s incredibly delicious.

Give it a go!

coquito-rum-2

Rum Eggnog Coquitos

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Yield: 12 to 16 servings

 

Ingredients

  • 6 large eggs, plus 2 yolks
  • 2/3 cup Dixie Crystals sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup Captain Morgan’s Black Spiced Rum
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup sweetened whipped cream
  • Additional grated nutmeg for garnish
  • Toasted Coconut, for garnish, if desired

Instructions

  1. Combine eggs,  yolks, sugar, and salt in a large pot over medium low heat, whisking until well-combined. Add milk and coconut milk in a slow, steady stream until incorporated. Reduce heat to low. Stir constantly for 20-25 minutes, or until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, or reaches 160 degrees.
  2. Strain mixture into a bowl; add rum and stir to combine.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  3. When ready to serve, pour into toasted coconut rimmed glass (if desired) and top with whipped cream.  Sprinkle with nutmeg.  Enjoy!

coquito-rum

Captain’s Table Challenge

Captain Morgan is teaming up with celebrity chef Hugh Acheson to launch the Captain’s Table Challenge, and we’d love for you to participate! The challenge is based around the brand’s recently launched Captain’s Table program, which encourages consumers 21+ to submit their holiday recipes and entertaining tips via social media properties. For every recipe submitted on Twitter utilizing the #CaptainsTable hashtag through the beginning of February, the brand will submit $1 to charity.

Awesome, right?  Get to tweeting, and let’s raise some money for charity!

Disclaimer:  This post is sponsored by Captain Morgan’s.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

12 Days of Doughmesstic Giveaways…and a Happy Birthday Wish!

Remember when I used to make cake?  Like, all the time?

Yeah, me too.

I kind of miss the days of all day baking, powdered sugar strewn about my kitchen, fondant in every color covering my counters, a sink full of dirty cake pans.

Okay, not all of that is worth missing, but you get what I mean.

I’m just too busy anymore to take on cake orders.  Sad, I know.  I think the last cake I made was Seven’s birthday cake, and that was in August.  An extra tall 2 tiered Nightmare Before Christmas cake for a 6 year old.

IMG_9075IMG_9076IMG_9077

Judge not, lest ye be judged, naysayers.  It’s sort of a cartoon.

Anyway.

Today is December 17, and a birthday for several fine folks I know. One of which is my nephew (Happy Birthday!).  Another is a cake master.  A cake guru.  Nay…the Ace of Cakes.

That’s right, today is Duff Goldman’s birthday, and in honor of that, I want to give one of you kids a BUNCH of Duff goodies.  Duff has been very good to me over the past couple of years (hard to believe it’s been that long!) and I stand behind his line of products.  In fact, they are all I use these days, as I think they are the best on the market.  Friend or not, he’s got the goods.

Let’s get one of YOU the goods, shall we?

 

Do you makes cakes?  Okay, you’ll still want this.  And if you don’t, but want to learn how and need some practice material?

I can help you with that!

I have a ton of Duff’s products up for grabs, and I want to give it to one of you!  Not only that, but I have an Amex Gift Card worth $200 so that you can go snatch up his airbrush and fondant if you want it.  Or, maybe you just want to spend it on a new flat panel TV.  Or 4 feisty push up bras and matching bottoms from Victoria’s Secret.

Whatever.  I’m not the boss of you.

YOU are the boss of YOU.

I just want you to have a lot of fun cake tools and some money. Is that okay?

Good.

Here’s what you’ll win:

  • 3 Sets of Duff Cake Tattoos
  • 3 sets of Duff Cupcake Tattoos
  • 1 Set of Duff Shaping Tools
  • 6 different Duff Food Colors
  • 1 Duff Apron
  • 1 Duff Rolling Pin and…

 

  • The Duff™ Pan Starter Kit

9 inch Round  Anodized Aluminum Pan -1ea
8 inch Weight Anodized Aluminum Pan -1ea
6 inch Weight Anodized Aluminum Pan -1ea
Decorative Wires – 8ea
Seamless Tip Decorating Kit – 15pc
Fondant Smoother – 1ea
Medium Icing Spatula – 1ea
Fondant Cutter Set 12pc

WHOA!!  That’s like, over $250 worth of cake love, plus a $200 Gift Card! 

Now, tell me you want to win it.  There, you are entered to win.  If you want one more chance, go tweet about this giveaway on Twitter, or, share the link on Facebook.  One or the other.  Then come back here and tell me you did it, and boom – there.  Now you are entered twice.

Good LUCK!

(And Happy Birthday, G!!)

Disclaimer – This is NOT a sponsored post.  I have the items, I want you to have them.  US Addresses only, please.  Open now through December 26, 11:59pm EST.  Winner will be notified via email address provided.

By: ifood.tv