Archives for category: party

Flourless Chocolate Torte - springform cake pan recipe

Happy Valentine’s Day! Or as I like to call it, almost my birthday, haha. Here’s a flourless chocolate torte I adapted from Epicurious; a decadent concoction called La Bete Noire (“The Black Beast”). Instead of topping the torte with a ganache I used whipping cream and cocoa powder.

This can be made a couple of days ahead of time; just keep it covered in the fridge.

Flourless Chocolate Torte Recipe - made in a springform cake pan

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1 c. water
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 9 Tbs (1 stick + 1 Tbs) unsalted butter, diced
  • 18 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 c. whipping cream, whipped
  • 1/2 c. confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbs unsweetened cocoa
  • 10-in diameter springform pan
  • parchment paper
  • heavy-duty foil
  • large roasting pan

For cake:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter springform pan. Line bottom of pan with a circle of parchment paper; butter parchment.

Wrap 3 layers of heavy-duty foil around outside of pan, bringing foil to top of rim.

In a small sauce pan, combine 1 c. water and 3/4 c. sugar. Bring to boil over med heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Simmer 5 mins then remove from heat.

In a large saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add chocolate and whisk until smooth. Whisk sugar syrup into chocolate; cool slightly. Add eggs to chocolate mixture and whisk until well blended.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Place cake pan in roasting pan then add hot water until water comdes halfway up sides of cake pan.

Bake cake 50 minutes, or until firm (center should no longer move when pan is gently shaken).

Remove from water bath; transfer to rack. Cool completely in pan.

For frosting:

Beat cream until slightly thickened. Gradually add sugar, vanilla and cocoa. Beat until stiff peaks form. Spread on top of cake.

Refrigerate cake in pan until serving. Run knife around pan sides to loosen cake then release sides. Slice and serve.

No Flour Chocolate Torte Recipe - baked in a springform cake pan

Here’s a craft the kids and I worked on for Valentine’s Day: glass jar candle holders. You can customize these with any colors or patterns of tissue paper to match any holiday or décor. They would make perfect gifts for holidays or teacher appreciation. Many of the supplies can also be found at the dollar store – woo hoo!

DIY Upcycled Jar Candle Holders - just tissue paper and Mod Podge - customize for any theme, colors, or decor.

WHAT YOU NEED:

WHAT YOU DO:

Tear pieces of tissue paper to use as your first layer, and stick to the outside of the jar using Mod Podge.

Add a second layer with shapes (trace shapes onto tissue paper using cookie cutters then cut out – or freehand cut out your shapes).

After your candle holder has its final design, coat all tissue paper with a layer of Mod Podge and let dry.

Place a flameless tea light inside the jar, and enjoy!

DIY Jar Candle Holders - tissue paper and ModPodge - easy kids craft!

DIY Jar Candle Holders - tissue paper and ModPodge - easy kids craft - use different colors and patterns of tissue paper for your theme.

 

 

DIY Jar Candle Holders - tissue paper and ModPodge -  use different colors and patterns of tissue paper for your theme.

 

Turn plain old jars into candle holders with just tissue paper and Mod Podge - DIY Tutorial

Turn old jars into candle holders with just tissue paper and Mod Podge - DIY Tutorial

flameless tea lights

Our little guy used the tissue paper shapes to make his own Valentine’s Day artwork by gluing hearts on paper…

Tissue Paper Valentines Day Craft - Toddler Art

 

 

Skinny Mini Confetti Cupcakes

Using just 2 ingredients, you can enjoy a sweet mini-cupcake snack, even when you’re eating light! Each cupcake has just 40 calories and less than 1 gram of fat.

Skinny Mini Confetti Cupcakes - just diet soda and cake mix from a box! Only 40 calories each and less than 1 gram of fat.

Skinny Mini Confetti Cupcakes

  • Servings: 60 mini cupcakes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1 Box Confetti Cake Mix
  • 12 oz. Sprite Zero (or any diet lemon-lime soda)
  • optional: icing, frosting, or Cool Whip

WHAT YOU DO:

In a mixing bowl, combine cake mix and Sprite Zero, stirring to combine.

Pour batter into lined (or greased) mini cupcake pans.

Bake at 350°F for 15 mins, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.

Let cool (optional: add frosting, icing, or Cool Whip) and serve.

recipebookandmore.wordpress.com

Two Ingredient Cupcakes - just cake mix and diet soda - makes 60 cupcakes and they are only 40 calories each!

Estimated Nutrition Information for 1 unfrosted cupcake:

  • 42 calories
  • 0.8 g fat
  • 8.4 g carbs
  • 0.2 g fiber

Skinny Mini Confetti Cupcakes - just diet soda and cake mix from a box! Only 40 calories per cupcake.

mini cupcake pan

mini cupcake liners

Set up a station before Christmas or Birthday Parties - tools, box cutter, batteries, etc so you're not running all over the place once the kids start unwrapping

Every year on Christmas morning, from a giant pile of wrapping paper and tissue paper, we hear “Mom can you open this?” and “this needs batteries,” and “here’s some trash.” This year we’ll be ready. I set up a little station by the tree with trash bags, a box for recycle, tools like box openers, screwdrivers, and pliers, and mass quantities of batteries (separated into gallon ziplock bags by size). This would also work for birthday parties, or showers — add a pen and paper to record gifts for thank you notes later. Happy Holidays!

Assemble the Minions!!! Here are a couple of DIY ideas for birthday parties: personalized water bottle labels, and healthy Minion bananas.

DIY minion bananas and personalized water bottle labels

DIY personalized water bottles

 

Our daughter celebrated the big #4 with a gymnastics party, and a Despicable Me theme: minions and unicorns. I made some personalized water bottle labels, with just printer paper and packaging tape. And banana minions with printed overalls and goggles. Here’s what I did….

In Microsoft Word I made some rectangles sized to the water bottle labels, and added some images to go with our theme. I printed them out, and attached them to the water bottles with packaging tape.

DIY personalized water bottles

DIY personalized water bottle labels - perfect for parties, picnics, or birthdays - just printer and packaging tape

 

DIY personalized water bottle labels - customize with your theme - birthday parties - picnics - graduation

DIY personalized water bottle labels - perfect for birthdays, graduation, parties, etc

I printed some Minion overalls and goggles, then taped them on to bananas. We ended up with a lot of leftover bananas after the party, so I made some chocolate chip banana bread AND dried some banana slices in our dehydrator.

DIY minion bananas and personalized water bottle labels

Our little guy turned two!

Here’s a quick topping I put on his cake using just waxed paper and sprinkles:

Awesome tip: Use waxed paper and sprinkles for an easy cake topping!

Here’s what I did:

1. Print out a number (I used Microsoft Word), sized to the top of the cake

2. Trace the outline on waxed paper with a Sharpie

3. Using scissors or an x-acto knife, cut out the number, to make a stencil

4. Place waxed paper stencil on frosting

5. Top with sprinkles

6. Remove waxed paper

Make a stencil out of waxed paper for an easy numbered cake topper!

Use waxed paper as a stencil for a numbered cake topper!

Make a numbered cake topper with waxed paper and sprinkles.

Make a numbered cake topper with just waxed paper (as a stencil) and sprinkles!

 

Also, check out…

DIY Fabric Party Hat with Pom Pom Topper

DIY Paper Pennant Banner

DIY Birthday Photo Shoot

DIY Photo Background

Buffalo Cauliflower “Wings” – I looooooovvvve anything spicy and/or buffalo! Here’s a recipe for baked cauliflower, breaded and coated with wing sauce. They are pretty much wings. Without the wings HA!

buffalo cauliflower wings - baked not fried

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 3/4 c. flour
  • 1 Tbs. garlic powder
  • 1 Tbs. butter
  • 1/2 c. Frank’s Buffalo Sauce
  • Ranch dressing, for dipping

WHAT YOU DO:

Preheat oven to 450F. Trim the cauliflower into bite-sized pieces and set aside. In a bowl mix together milk, flour, and garlic powder. Dip each piece of cauliflower into the batter and let the extra batter drip off. Place on a greased baking sheet. Spray the tops of the cauliflowers with cooking oil. Bake for 18-20 mins.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat and add the buffalo sauce, then stir. Toss cooked cauliflower pieces with the sauce. Place back on cookie sheet and bake for 5-7 additional mins. Serve with a side of dressing.

 recipe adapted from self.com

'no recipe' recipe CHILI

Ok, it’s time for my top secret chili recipe. Just kidding, it’s not much of a secret though it IS different each time I make it since I always switch up the types of beans and tomatoes I use. So it’s more of a “no recipe” recipe. But the basic ingredients are always there: meat, onion, garlic, tomatoes & beans.

I usually throw everything together in the slow cooker in the morning and let it simmer until lunch or dinner. It always tastes even better the next day, I swear! Not sure what it is about chili, but it gets more flavorful a day or two after I make it. Also, you can freeze the extras!

Best Ever 'No Recipe' Recipe Chili - freeze the extras. Perfect for weeknight meals, or give frozen batches to new moms, someone who is having surgery, or a new neighbor.

Part of my SHOP ONCE, MAKE 10 FREEZER RECIPES project.

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1 lb. ground beef OR turkey, browned and drained
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 4 or 5 cans of tomatoes (I use a bunch of different types: stewed, diced, chopped, Italian-style)
  • 3 or 4 cans of your favorite beans (I usually end up with a mix of chili beans, drained black beans, and drained kidney beans)
  • Chili powder, to taste (I probably use 1 or 2 Tbs., depending on the batch)
  • Optional: bread bowl, toppings such as sour cream, crackers, shredded cheese, Fritos

WHAT YOU DO:

Combine meat, onion, garlic, tomatoes, beans, and chili powder in a slow cooker (or a pot on the stove). Heat until it just starts to boil then reduce heat to low, and simmer until you’re ready to eat it. Before serving, top with your favorite toppings.

To freeze: Ladle chili into freezer-safe containers, label, and freeze for up to 3 months.

ALSO… If you have cream cheese and shredded cheese, you could use this chili in an awesome 3-ingredient baked Chili & Cheese dip!

Here is one of the easiest dips on earth! Just in time for the Big Game.

It has only 3 ingredients; cream cheese, chili, and shredded cheese. Bake for 20 minutes and you’re set.

3 Ingredient Chili and Cheese Dip - awesome warm cheesy goodness baked in the oven.

 

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 2 packages cream cheese (8 oz each)
  • 1 can chili (or 1 1/2-2 cups homemade)
  • 1 1/2 c. shredded cheese

WHAT YOU DO:

  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • In an oven-safe baking dish or pie plate, spread the cream cheese out evenly, then layer on the chili, and then top with cheese.
  • Bake uncovered for 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and starts to bubble.
  • Let sit 5-10 minutes, then serve with chips or crackers.

 

easiest dip EVER. cream cheese, chili, shredded cheese. bake for 20 mins.

 

 

Here is an easy salsa: Mango Salsa. You lika tha Mango? 😉

It has just a few fresh simple ingredients, yet still bursts with flavor. I paired it with tortilla chips, but you could also use it as a topping for a main course such as tacos, fish, or chicken.

fresh mango salsa

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 2 mangos, chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 bunch cilantro, stems removed and chopped
  • 1 lime

WHAT YOU DO:

In a bowl, combine mangos, onion, and cilantro. Squeeze the lime juice into the mixture & stir to combine. Chill for one hour to let flavors blend.

recipe adapted from livingwellspendingless.com