Sunday, May 31, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
It means so much to me when I am able to participate in school activities so I can see him interact with his classmates and get to know his teachers, classmates and the classmates parents. I have never wished more to be a SAHM so I could take every opportunity to volunteer at his school. Being a parent to a school age child is really a completely new journey filled with so much joy, amazement and opportunities for personal growth.
The end of the year celebration for Kyle's class was wonderful. The class sang several songs (videos of two below), the Principal handed out completion certificates and then there was a breakfast. I cried through most of it! I can't believe how much he has changed this last year and that soon he will be in Kindergarten.
Monday, May 25, 2009
(I used a bread machine but ingredients could be mixed in a bowl and left to rise in a warm place for one hour.)
Add dry ingredients to bread machine sifting to combine. Add wet ingredients. Set bread machine to dough setting. My machine is set for an hour and a half but I removed after an hour. It will be more like a batter so it's not necessary to roll out and cut dough. Preheat oven to 350 degress. Grease a muffin pan and use a spoon to drop 3 tsp. (about 3/4 full) for each roll. Bake for 15-18 minutes. Use a tablespoon to loosen sides and slide under roll - they should pop right out.
Yields 12 rolls.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Cajun Night Before Christmas
Thursday, May 14, 2009
I was looking for an excuse to make Bakerella's Cupcake Bites and Cake Pops, so I made some for a birthday at work. Michael's was out of the candy mold that Bakerella used but I improvised just using some foil candy cups in a mini cupcake pan to pour the chocolate. The cupcake bites when complete are the same size in diameter as a mini Reese's peanut butter cup and the cake balls used to make the cake pops are about the double the size.
I'd rather not divulge how long this took me as to avoid discouraging anyone else but even so I will say that it was well worth the time. The taste is divine. I really didn't imagine they could be this good. The texture is like a perfect creamy truffle.
Cupcake Bites Process:
1.) Prepare one box of red velvet cake mix as directed. Bake as directed for 13 X 9 cake.
2.) Use mixer on medium setting for one minute to mix softened cream cheese with 1/2 jar of vanilla frosting. I'm okay with using boxed cake mixes but I generally have an aversion to store bought frosting however I had purchased some vanilla frosting specifically for cake pops and the like in order to have the precise ratio so I just mixed it with some cream cheese. It wasn't as sweet as just vanilla frosting or homemade cream cheese frosting but with all the chocolate I think that is actually preferable.
3.) Once cake is done baking and cooled, crumble cake into a large bowl. Mix cake crumbles and frosting thoroughly. I started out with a spatula but then just gave in and used my hands.
4.) Roll mixture into quarter sized balls. I found it helped to keep the cake moist by patting down the mixture regularly. I started off using a melon baller to get cake balls about the same size but it really didn't help too much. Once I had made 48 of them this way I decided to make larger cake balls to finish more quickly - this is what I used for the cake pops which I will list the procedure for next.
5.) Chill the cake balls in the freezer for a few minutes until they are slightly firm, but not frozen.
6.) Place foil candy cups in mini cupcake pan. Technically the baking pan is not necessary since you won't be doing any more baking but it did help hold the cups in place so if you have one or something similar I do suggest using it for this step.
7.) Melt cocoa candy melts per directions on package. Pour chocolate into candy cups - approximately 1.5 tsp. Each dozen took about 50 chocolates. Yes, I counted. Allow chocolate to firm up for about 2 minutes so it creates a base at the bottom of each candy cup.
8.) Gently push cake balls in center of chocolate so that chocolate flows up the sides to the top of the edge without overflowing. Only melt a few pieces of melts at a time because they starts to thicken as they cool. Place tray in freezer for about 3 minutes to firm up. Remove from tray and place on wax paper.
9.) Melt lavender candy melts per directions on package. Hold the bottom of the cupcake and either dip the top or use a spoon to swirl on candy melts. I used a spoon but next time I try I want to get it smoother. If using sprinkles stop every third one to sprinkle before chocolate hardens.
10.) Store in an airtight container and enjoy!
Cake Pops Process:
***See above steps 1-5***
Now about that teddy bear nose... Once I gave up on the melon baller I rummaged through my cookie cutter and selected a piece of the stackable set indicated below. I found that once I patted down the mixture one teddy bear nose was the perfect size for the cupcake bites. For the cake pops I pressed down a second time letting some of the mixture come out the top and then rolling it into the shape of a ball.
- Melt lavender candy melts per directions on package.
- Dip the tip of your lollipop stick in a little of the melted candy coating and insert about half way into the cake balls.
- Bakerella suggests placing the cake ball into the candy melts by holding the lollipop stick and rotating until covered. I was quite tired at this point so I just rested the tip in the melts and used a spoon to cover the rest of it. Tap lightly and rotate until the excess chocolate falls off.
- Add sprinkles or otherwise decorate as desired and then place in a styrofoam block to dry.
- Store in an airtight container and enjoy!
Cupcake Bites and Cake Pops Ingredients List:
1 box Duncan Hines red velvet cake mix
1/2 can Duncan Hines classic vanilla frosting (8 oz.)
1 block cream cheese (8 oz.)
2 14 oz. bags Wilton Candy Melts in light cocoa (recipe will use 200 melts for cupcake bites)
2 14 oz. bags Wilton Candy Melts in lavender (recipe will use 100 melts for cupcake bites and roughly 150 for cake pops)
1 package Wilton silver tone foil candy cups (1 inch diameter)
672 sprinkles (just kidding - I didn't count exactly)
Optional - Mini cupcake pan/s
Optional - 1 small nose cutter from Wilton Stackable Teddy Bear cookie cutter set
Serving size: 1 cake pop or 2 cupcake bites
Makes 48 cupcake bites and 24 cake pops for a total of 48 servings
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
Kyle got to see two aircrafts like the ones his Grandpa (Kris' Dad) was in during his time in the Special Forces. The first was a C-130 that he jumped from. There was a miniature model of it and a full size one. They also had a similar helicopter - a twin Huey which is the newer model that the Marines use. He was a door gunner on a UH-1 Iroquois (Huey). Kris took pics with the 35mm of Kyle next to those two aircrafts as well as most of the good shots of the planes in the air. I have a few shots from my digital that came out okay.
Picture 1 - Cessna