Getting Ready For Some Thanksgiving Delights

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Jungle Themed Cakes and Cake Pops

Lately there have been a TON of requests for jungle themed cakes and cake pops… I have to say, they are some of my most favorite pieces to do!  Each animal takes on it’s own character.  They’re perfect for every occasion.  Here are just a few recent ones I’ve done.  All cake pops (perfect for favors) and cake toppers can be purchased and shipped by emailing me directly at cakepopmyheart@yahoo.com

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Saturday Soiree – Minnie Mouse First Birthday

For my daughters first birthday I decided to do Minnie Mouse!  I love anything Disney.  This is so girly and perfect for my little girl! 

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Party Hats!!!

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Banner and DecorImageImageImage

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Food

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Party Favors

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Caramel Apple Gifts

It’s teacher appreciation week!  So to show our appreciation to our teachers, we decided to put a twist on the usual apple!  I saw something similar on pinintrest so I decided to make my own.  We have five teachers so I needed enough for each of them.  It was less than $20.00 for all five gifts.

What you need:

Jars: I got them at Hobby Lobby.  They were $3.99 but lucky for me it was 50% off all glass ware!

Apples:  One for each gift.  Granny Smiths are personally my favorite for caramel apples.

Caramel:  One jar seemed to be the perfect amount for two gifts.  I made two jars stretch for 5 gifts.

Pralene Crunch:  I wanted to add a little extra something… so I got these to put on top of the caramel.  You can usually find them near the caramel by the ice cream section of the store.

Gift Bags:  I used the large pleated bags on the candy making isle in Hobby Lobby

Raffia & Ribbon: For the bows

Tags:  You can usually google free printables and find some you like.  I used these ones from Dimpleprints http://www.scribd.com/doc/53890816/TeacherTags-courtesyofwww-dimpleprints

Begin by washing and drying the jars completely.  Then begin filling the jars with the caramel.  I filled them about 3/4 of the way up the jar.

Then add the pralenes on top of the caramel.

Then put the lid on tight and then place them in their bags.

Then clean and dry the apples and place them on top of the jars inside the bag.  The bags aren’t long enough to just tie the top so I taped them down.

Next make the bows and tags.

Last tape or glue the bows to the top and you’re done!!!

Then Taaadaaaa!!!!! Done!

SATURDAY SOIREE – Once Upon A Baby Shower

We threw a double baby shower for some friends of ours.  One was having a girl and one was having a boy!  So fun.  Both of them went back to their home towns for family baby showers and got most everything they needed, but we still wanted to do something fun to honor the two mommies to be.  So it was decided to throw a shower that will help them to stock up on diapers and as an added bonus we thought starting a book collection of favorite childhood books would be fun too!  We decided a brunch would be nice.  We served French Toast Souffle, homemade cinnamon rolls, scones, fruit salad, eggs, and hash browns. I hope you enjoy the pictures!!!  The invite read like this:

Come celebrate these beautiful mommies-to-be

With a shower over brunch and maybe some tea

Lets PAMPERS and HUGGIES them with diapers and care

Also a favorite children’s book for each baby we’ll share

Please bring one of your favorite children’s book and some diapers for each mommy.

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I for one am not one for games… I do find them fun, but I find that most guests don’t enjoy playing them, so we thought this one game would be something sweet for everyone.  Not to mention it took up some time and actually was fun and a new  game for everyone there.

So the game was called Baby Memory!  It’s basically the Memory Game with all things relating to baby.  Prizes correspond with the words.  Here are the pictures of the game board.  For each match the person who won that match gets a candy bar that goes along with words that were matched. Below the pictures is the Key.

Key:

Words:                               Candy Bar:

Sleep the first Year         Take 5

Triplets                              3 Musketeers Bar

Conception                       Skor Bar

Epidural                            Life Savors

Umbilicalcord                 Gummy Worms

Contractions                    Woppers

Hospital Bill                     100 Grand

Baby Giggles                     Snickers Bar

Nurses and Staff               Smarties

Baby Lulliby                       Symphony Bar

Anesthesiologist               Mr. Good Bar

Chubby Baby                      Rolos

Deciding On Names        Whatchamacolit

Obstetrician                       Butterfinger Bar

Baby Poop                           Tootsie Rolls

Post Baby Belly                   Jelly Bellies

Twins                                    Mike & Ikes

Breast Feeding                    Mild Duds

there are so many more ideas for this came.  Get creative and make it your own!

Old Fashioned Strawberry Shortcake

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My husband isn’t much a sweets person, which makes it hard to try out recipes in my home.  He’s always honest on his opinion but will only take a bite or two.  But when it comes to anything with strawberries, he’ll eat the whole thing.  This recipe is a favorite in our house.  

Ingredients

  • 3 pints fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 cups whipped heavy cream
 

Directions

  1. Slice the strawberries and toss them with 1/2 cup of white sugar. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Grease and flour one 8 inch round cake pan.
  3. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, 2 tablespoons white sugar and the salt. With a pastry blender cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center and add the beaten egg and milk. Stir until just combined.
  4. Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 425 degrees F (220 degrees C) for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool partially in pan on wire rack.
  5. Slice partially cooled cake in half, making two layers. Place half of the strawberries on one layer and top with the other layer. Top with remaining strawberries and cover with the whipped cream

Cheescake Bars

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I came across this recipe when I was searching for something else!  I HAD to try it!!! It was simply AMAZING!!!!!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup ground walnuts
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar blend
  • 1/4 cup cold butter
  • FILLING:
  • 4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 4 ounces fat-free cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup egg substitute
  • 2 tablespoons fat-free milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  • In a small bowl, combine the flour, walnuts and brown sugar blend; cut in butter until crumbly. Set aside 2/3 cup for topping; press remaining crumb mixture into an 8-in. square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 9-11 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl, beat the cream cheeses, sugar and flour until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg substitute, milk, lemon juice and vanilla just until blended. Pour over crust; sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes or until filling is set. Cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Cut into bars. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 9 servings.

Editor’s Note: This recipe was tested with Splenda brown sugar blend.

Nutritional Facts1 bar equals 219 calories, 11 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 24 mg cholesterol, 191 mg sodium, 25 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 6 g protein.

6570 – Part 1

6570 – Part 1

Our family LOVES our church!  When I say Loves, I mean… L O V E s our church.  Our paster is AMAZING.  It was a big factor in us staying in Texas vs. Moving when my husband retired. Well there is a new series Paster Tim just started and it’s called 6570.  Basically it’s the amount of days you have with your child from the time they are born until they are 18.  Each of those days we , as parents, are responsible for teaching and parenting our child or children.  Those who know me well, know that I am a follower of Christ and I love that this information is all linked back to the bible. Even if you are not a Christ follower, this series is fabulous and so much good information. SO I will be posting the links to watch it live and also the written part as well.  It will be one week behind.  For example, this part I am posting today was actually last weekends service.  This weekends service will be posted next weekend.  Of course if you want to watch it live from the internet campus next weekend (the third part in the series, just go to the icampus web address and watch at the listed times.

All the notes are directly from the New Hope Church Website.

6570 – Part 1

http://vimeo.com/40552811

Series: “6570 Days” (Part 1 of 5)

Open: What do you (or would you) enjoy most about being a parent?

Explore: Read Ephesians 6:1-4. 1. Why is a child’s obedience to his or her parents pleasing to the Lord (vs. 1)? 2. What blessing is promised to children who honor their father and mother (vs. 2-3)? What does it mean to “honor” your parents? 3. How does God want fathers to treat their children (vs. 4)? Why is it easier for children to obey fair and loving parents than unreasonable and demanding parents? 4. The Lord is to be the center of parent-child relationships (vs. 4). How does bringing your children up in the “training and instruction of the Lord” provide guidelines for parents?

Reflect: Review key points from the lesson before answering the questions. Feel free to ask the same question to more than one person. 1. The Bible teaches that God must be the foundation of the home, just as Jesus is to be the head of the church. Why is this so important when it comes to raising a family? How would you describe the spiritual foundation of your home today?

2. In our culture today, parents tend to prioritize their relationship with their children over their relationship with their spouse. List some of the long term effects this can have on the marriage. …on the family. …on the child. What are some steps parents can take to ensure family priorities and values remain balanced and healthy?

3. Our responsibilities as parents include training, protecting, and introducing our children to Christ. Which of these do you think is the easiest to do? Which of these do you think is the hardest? Why? 4. Many parents focus on protecting their child from physical dangers, but Matthew 18:6-7 warns of protection from spiritual danger. What can you do to protect your children from spiritual danger?

5. One way to introduce your children to Jesus is by taking them to church, but it is important for them to be introduced to Jesus in your home as well. In what ways have you tried to (or would you like to try) incorporate Jesus in to your home?

Apply: Next steps. As a group: If you are a parent, share with your group what you will do differently this week in one area of your parental responsibility –train, protect, or introduce. Pray for and encourage each other over the next week as group members take these new steps. If you are not a parent, share what you will do differently this week to make God the foundation of your home.

On your own: If you are married, do something special for your spouse this week to cultivate your relationship. If you are not married, do something special this week to cultivate your relationship with Jesus.

Listening Guide Notes

If you want to be a good parent… 1. Your home’s foundation must be God.

“Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain.”

–Psalm 127:1a (p. 430)

2. Your most important human relationship must be your spouse.

Honor your father and mother.” –Ephesians 6:2a (p. 816)

3. Your responsibilities must be taken seriously.

Your responsibilities….

a. Train.

“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” –Proverbs 22:6 (p. 453)

b. Protect.

[6] “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. [7] Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!” –Matthew 18:6-7 (p. 688)

c. Introduce.

“Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’” –Matthew 19:14 (p. 689)

“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” –Ephesians 6:4 (p. 817)

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”

–3 John 1:4 (p. 859)

Easy Chocolate Fudge Frosting

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Instant Fudge Frosting:

Instant Fudge Frosting
from Sky High (slightly adapted)

Makes about 5 cups

6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

4 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar 

3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 tablespoons half-and-half 
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

I like to use my KitcheAid, but there are many ways to do it.  Start with the butter at room temp. Mix until it is smooth.  Next add the half-and-half and vanilla extract.  Mix until it is smooth. Melt the chocolate and slowly begin adding it in.  Start adding in the powdered sugar a little at a time until it’s all in and it’s nice and smooth consistency.  You can over mix, so keep an eye on it and when it’s where you want it, STOP! 

Tip: I’m in Houston and my kitchen is often hot and humid.  If you work in similar temperatures, watch your frosting carefully and make sure it doesn’t get too soft and melt. If you see it starting to get too soft periodically put the frosting bowl and the cake in the fridge to let it firm up.

Now… Enjoy!