Saturday, August 30, 2014

How to Make Easy Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Cupcakes

Once I discovered the trick to making Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle apples, the basic idea for Ben's birthday party cake fell into place.  Who needs a TMNT cake when you can make TMNT cupcakes?

Prior to this, I saw tons of adorable cupcakes online, but I am not a cake decorator, I do not play one on tv, and I am not adept at working with fondant at all.  I don't even pretend I know how to do that.  But these cupcakes?  These are easy, even for those who eschew cake decorating.  With a bit of help from Immaculate Baking (see this post for more details), I had a plan!

What you need:
Cupcakes (we made chocolate ones with Immaculate Baking)
Green icing, Betty Crocker brand, in a can that comes with decorating tips
Fruit by the Foot Flavor Mixers
Candy eyeballs

How to make:
  • Bake your cupcakes, let cool, preferably overnight.
  • Using the star tip that comes with your can of icing, neatly swirl a layer of icing over the cupcake.  I start from the middle and keep turning circles till I cover most of the top.
  • Cut strips of Fruit by the Foot to act as the mask for each cupcake, peel each in half to separate the colors.
  • Layer a mask strip on top of the icing.
  • Put some icing on a plate and using a toothpick, spread a dot of icing on the back of each candy eyeball.
  • Stick the eyeballs to the mask, the icing will help hold them in place.
And you've got Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle cupcakes!

Make a bunch, stack them on a cupcake tree and it's a birthday centerpiece and cake!

For Ben's birthday party, the top cupcake is iced but without the turtle decorations so we were able to put the candles into it and have 4 of each turtle on the cupcake tree.

In case you were curious, Ben wanted a Donatello one!  Stay tuned for the rest of his birthday posts (decorations and favors), and check out our Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Apples for a healthier snack!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Lunchbox Tuna Puffs - Bumble Bee Recipe Challenge #bumblebee101

We're always up for a new recipe challenge, this time it's from Bumble Bee Seafood to share a perfect lunchbox recipe.  F&B love these tuna puffs, they are a lunchbox staple for my two.

I've mentioned them on the blog as far back as 2010, but I've never shared the recipe before.  We're always making tweaks with it and I'm loving the current version.  It's got tasty tuna, crunchy cheesy crackers, seasonings, and just yum!

Lunchbox Tuna Puffs:
2 eggs
1/4 cup mayo
2 tbsp butter (melted)
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1 can of Bumble Bee Tuna, drained and broken up with a fork
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 cup of crumbled cheese cracker bits (not breadcrumbs, just crumbled by hand) ***

***You can change these out for other yummy crackers--butter, veggie, whole grain, etc.

Combine eggs, mayo, butter, lemon juice, onion and garlic powder and mix well.
Add tuna, continue to mix.
Add cracker crumbs and mix well till blended, but not to break up the crackers.
Using a melon baller, scoop balls of batter into a oiled mini muffin pan.
Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes, remove from oven, cool and serve!

What do we like with our tuna puffs?

This bento has 6 of the tuna puffs, along with ranch to dip them in and cucumber slices from our garden.  To the side, we added a few honey wheat pretzels and cantaloupe and raspberries for fruit.  A nice yummy lunch all packed in our EasyLunchboxes and ready to serve.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by BumbleBee Seafoods.  I received product as well as a gift card to purchase materials to create this recipe.  All opinions are my own.

How to Make Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Apples (And a Bento!)

Ben is just a little obsessed with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and was quite thrilled to discover that, as part of my Gogurt Blogger project, he was going to get TMNT Gogurts and the collection of Gogurt holders with the turtles on them!  I was even happier when the team asked if we could create a TMNT themed bento to go with the yogurt and Ben was more than happy to help.

Besides the TMNT Gogurt, we opted for a homemade pocket sandwich (cream cheese and jelly) and apples, both dressed up like turtles as well.  He also had a few strawberries, some string cheese, and the remainder of the goodies I used for the turtle masks.

Want to make your own Ninja Turtles apples?

All you need is a green apple, a piece of Fruit by the Foot Flavor Mixers (this will give you two colors to work with), and candy eyeballs.
  • Cut your apple in half, brush the open side with a bit of lemon juice or Sprite to prevent it from browning.
  • Open up your Fruit by the Foot and cut a piece that is a couple of inches longer than the width of the apple.
  • Carefully peel the Fruit by the Foot in half to separate the colors (it actually pulls apart easily).
  • Wrap each piece around an apple half, tucking the ends together underneath.
  • Place your candy eyeballs on top of the Fruit by the Foot and press them down, they will stick!
  • Put your TMNT apple in your lunchbox and add some other goodies, we wrapped our sandwich the same way!
Stay tuned for Ben's birthday cupcakes, also TMNT themed!

Disclosure: I am a Gogurt Lunchbox Blogger.  This lunchbox was created as part of my relationship with Gogurt and I was compensated for my time and design.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Bake Well with Immaculate Baking #IBBakesWell

Once again, I'm back to baking at high altitudes and once again, I'm back to looking for yummy ideas that work well without a lot of work to make. We were quite happy to test out the new line of Immaculate Baking Dry Mixes, especially with birthdays and blog work and back to school!

Immaculate Baking launched a new line of dry baking mixes, available at Target with the same promises and non-GMO commitment its refrigerated cookie line offers. Use only wholesome, simple, delicious ingredients, and offer baking options ranging from all natural, organic and gluten free!

Using the same ingredients you would use if you were to bake cookies, cakes, and brownies from scratch, Immaculate Baking’s eight new dry baking mix items have 0g trans fat, and does not contain artificial preservatives or high fructose corn syrup.

And the verdict?  They taste awesome!

Ben wanted the chocolate cake for his birthday, which we made into the cutest cupcakes.  They mixed well, baked perfectly (even at 6500 feet) and they were sweet without being overly chocolatey, so an awesome choice for birthday cupcakes.  Ben was very happy with his choice as was I.  Since they baked well, it made them that much easier to decorate. Faith has already requested we save the vanilla mix for her birthday.

Check your Target for Immaculate Baking products, including:
Immaculate Baking is in the Gluten Free coupon book event handed out 7/27 and 8/17. Coupon is for $.75 off one Immaculate Baking Item.
Immaculate Baking is in the Back to School coupon book event handed out on 8/17, 8/24 and 8/25. Coupon is for $.75 off one Immaculate Baking Item.
Disclosure: The information and prize pack have been provided by General Mills through Platefull Co-Op.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

What's for Lunch Wednesday, Week 222

What's for Lunch Wednesday

Thanks so much for joining in last week, if you did, and looking forward to seeing all the fun lunches this week!

Want to join in?

Just choose a bento (please, just one bento or post or link) you've made from the last week you want to share, copy the URL of that post from your blog (you may need to click on the title to get it), and enter it into the linky below.

Click on the "Add Your Link" button to add yours and follow the steps, it's simple, I promise!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Spam Musubi with Hormel

The husband has been craving sushi lately and I absolutely love making it.  It's like all the creative aspects of food rolled into one neat little package, so very therapeutic.  Really, it is!

We've done California rolls, tuna and salmon rolls, and just the other day decided that it was time for some Spam musubi.

What is Spam musubi?  It's sort of a Hawaiian style sushi, made with rice, nori and fried Spam, all pressed into a nice neat block and served.  There are many varieties, including adding items like scrambled egg to it, but I went with just a basic version to keep things simple.

How do you make it?  With a musubi mold.  It's a small rectangular mold that is about the shape of a piece of spam and has a press for flattening your rice and meat.  Besides that rice and meat, the only ingredient left is nori.  I cut my sheets in half width-wise to fit my mold.

Just lay the nori flat on the counter and center your musubi mold on it.  Put a good dollop of rice into the mold and use the press to flatten it.

In the meantime, fry a slice of Spam till the outsides get crispy, flipping it to cook evenly.  Set that on top of the rice in the mold and use your press to flatten even more.

Remove the mold and wrap the nori up and over the rice. Dab your fingers with water and get the nori just a little damp and it will stick together to seal.  Cut and serve!

In case my directions are confusing (and they probably are), check out the much better directions for Spam Musubi on the Spam site from Hormel!

Disclosure: I have received product and information from Hormel Foods in exchange for being a Hormel Foods Extended Family Blogger. All opinions expressed within the post are my own.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Betty Crocker & Hershey's Team Up for Dessert! #NewFromBetty

I've often lamented about baking at 6500 feet.  I have mostly gotten the hang of it, after being here 3 years, but it took awhile.  We spent a lot of time defaulting to mixes with high altitude directions.  And I still grab those when I'm in a hurry, since they are easy and definitely work.

This week, the kids and I made and sampled the new Betty Crocker Hershey Desserts. These mixes come in three yummy classic Hershey varieties--Reese's Peanut Butter cups, Heath toffee, and S'Mores, and are available at Target stores.

We opted to make the S'Mores bars first, since Faith is still not a peanut butter fan.  They really do have chunks of marshmallows in them, which made F&B happy, along with a tasty crust, which made me very happy.  They were also simple to make, no surprise directions or add-ons or steps.

These cookies and dessert bars are sure to be the summertime sweet treat your family will love, we definitely did.  We are looking forward to making the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup variety next, and sharing it with friends.  Who says no to sharing desserts?

Disclosure: The information and prize pack have been provided by General Mills through Platefull Co-Op.

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