ipinnedit

My blog details all the fantastic "pins" I've actually made! Enjoy!

Ice Cube Tray to Freeze Cookie Dough November 12, 2012

I love to bake cookies!  There is nothing better than a freshly baked warm chocolate chip cookie with a glass of milk.  The problem I have with making homemade cookies is that the recipe yields dozens of cookies that I don’t really want to eat up in just a few days.  I’m not a huge fan of cookies that are a few days old.  They just don’t have the same fresh flavor!

 

I found a way to make a batch of homemade cookies last much longer!  I saw a pin on Pinterest that gave me the idea to freeze cookie dough in an ice cube tray.  I baked a few sheets of cookies and then spooned the rest of the cookie dough into an ice cube tray or two.  I let the dough freeze for a few hours and then placed the frozen cubes in a ziploc bag.  I stored the bag of cookie dough in the freezer.  Now, when my family is craving cookies, I already have the dough ready to go.  I just added a minute or two to the baking time since the dough was frozen.  I’m very pleased with the results of this experiment!

 

 

 

Apple Cream Cheese Bundt Cake with Caramel Pecan Frosting November 5, 2012

This was probably the BEST cake I’ve ever made.  I will make this again and again and again.  Growing up, my mom made spice cake often.  It was a family favorite.  Well, this cake reminded me of souped up spice cake!  Don’t skip the pecan topping, it really made the cake!  This would be the perfect dessert for Thanksgiving.  It was great with a cup of coffee for breakfast, too!  🙂

 

Recipe http://www.jamhands.net/2012/09/apple-and-cream-cheese-bundt-cake-with.html

Time:  It took half the day to complete this cake.  As far as prep work, dicing up the apples was the most time-consuming part.  Other than that, the baking and cooling times were long, too.  It was worth it though!

Substitutions:  I baked mine for one hour.  The recipe says to let the cake cool for 15 minutes and then remove the cake from the pan.  I had to wait much longer (an hour) and I still ended up losing some of the cake.  Ugh!  Also, the recipe shows a thick white icing on top of the cake.  The icing actually attracted me to the recipe; however, my icing was more of a glaze.  It didn’t matter because it was so delicious!!!

 

Batter poured into pan. The white you see around the edge, is the “Bake Easy” spray I used to coat the pan.

I added the cream cheese mixture. As you can see, I couldn’t keep it an inch away from the sides as instructed in the recipe.

I added the remaining apple batter.

Baked!

Finished cake!

Ready to eat!

 

Rainbow Cupcakes August 26, 2012

I’ve been wanting to try these cupcakes for a long time.  Aren’t they adorable?  I want to make these rainbow cupcakes for my daughter’s Candyland birthday party, but I wasn’t sure if the rainbow airhead would actually stay in an arch once placed on the cupcake.  The candy is very flimsy, so I wasn’t sure how they would turn out.  To my surprise, these worked out great.  I made a box of yellow cake and divided it into four bowls.  I added food coloring to each bowl and scooped one spoonful of each color to make each cupcake.  The colored batter was a fun surprise for the kids, very rainbowesque (yes, I’m making up words).  I’m definitely going to make these for the party.  Oh, and I was lucky enough to find some Funfetti canned icing that was already blue.  It saved me some time!

 

 

Pinterest Pinhttp://pinterest.com/pin/40391727879048318/

Sourcehttp://monicajoy.tumblr.com/post/1264292112/late-post-but-i-finally-made-rainbow-cupcakes

Substitutions:  I used marshmallows for the clouds instead of icing.

 

 

Apple Theme Birthday Party August 23, 2012

My daughter turned two last week!  To celebrate, we rented a lake house in Wisconsin for the weekend.  We invited our family to join in the celebration.  Molly loves apples, so I thought an apple themed birthday party would be cute and amazing.  She LOVED LOVED LOVED it!  I felt enormous amounts of joy each and every time she would point out an “apple” at the party.  I opted to soften up the colors of the party by replacing “red” with “pink”.

 

Each guest had a sign on their bedroom door welcoming them to the lake house.

 

I used the letters “TWO” as a centerpiece on the mantle.  I hung pink and green balloons and covered the mantle with streamers.  This was one of my favorite decorations of all!

 

 

I hung streamers from the light fixture – not the best picture, sorry!

 

 

I purchased paper lanterns and made them into apples.  I scattered them throughout the house.  Another one of my favorite decorations!  This idea was inspired by an “apple of our eye party” I found on Pinterest.  You should check out the link, the apple of our eye party was amazing!

 

 

Here is the drink station.

 

The drink station included mason jars with chalkboard contact paper stickers.  I placed a piece of chalk next to the jars for our guests to label their glasses.  I lined the top of the mason jars with scrapbook paper to match the theme.

 

Duct tape comes in so many colorful and fun patterns these days.  Pinterest inspired my duct tape embellished water bottles.  I’ve always wanted to decorate my water bottles with the adorable paper printables you can purchase on Etsy, etc.  I never pulled the trigger because I figured once the water bottles were placed in a cooler with ice, the wrapper would get ruined.  The great thing about using duct tape is that it can get wet and still look cute!

 

Check out the apple jack garland!  My five year old helped me put this together.  We used pipe cleaners to string the apple jacks (much easier than yarn or string).  We tied the pipe cleaners together to make a long garland!

 

I filled clear vases with green apples, tied ribbon around the vase, and added some white flowers to the top.  I found this idea on Pinterest.

 

I covered the tables with white tableclothes.  I used 12 x 12 pieces of pink checker scrapbook paper for the place mats.  I completed the place setting with a green paper plate and green napkins filled with pink plasticware secured by a polka dot ribbon.

 

I tied the favors to the back of the chairs.  The favor included an apple peck basket filled with apple chips, apple hand soap, apple candy, and an apple cake pop.  This idea was inspired (AGAIN) by the  “apple of our eye party” I found on Pinterest.

 

I served a taco buffet for dinner.  We had beef and chicken tacos, guacamole, rice, etc.  It was delicious.  I even used a Pinterest recipe for crockpot chicken tacos.  They turned out really great.  I can’t wait to make them again!  Notice the tent labels I created for all the food items!

 

The dessert table was the highlight of the party.  I prepared a crazy amount of sweets for this party.  We had apple cupcakes, apple cake pops, apple pie, apple jacks in pails, and apple cookies!

 

We ended the party with gifts!

 

This is by far my favorite party I’ve ever planned.  Now I’m on to planning my other daughter’s Candyland party!  Do I dare top the apple party?  I will try!

 

 

Copycat Portillo’s Chopped Salad – Amazing! August 17, 2012

I love Portillo’s chopped salad.  Portillo’s is a fast food chain in the Chicago area.  If you ever visit Chicago, I highly recommend checking out Portillo’s.  Indulge in a hot dog and fries and go back a second time to try their chopped salad!  I’m pleased to share this copycat recipe with you.  It takes forever to chop up the ingredients, but it’s worth it.  I ended up quartering the recipe and I had enough for 2 HUGE salads.  Save the second salad by placing a paper towel over the salad and covering with plastic wrap.  The paper towel helps absorb the moisture and keeps the salad fresh for the next day.  This tastes just like Portillo’s chopped salad.  Also, I have tried out many salad dressings and the best match I could find was Marzetti’s Sweet Italian dressing.

 

 

RECIPE for COPYCAT PORTILLO’S CHOPPED SALAD

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 head iceberg lettuce
  • 1 – 2 heads Romaine lettuce, depending on size
  • 1 small head red cabbage, minced or 1 bag sliced red cabbage, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, finely minced
  • 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 2  c. ditalini pasta, cooked and cooled
  • 1 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 c. gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
  • Vinaigrette dressing, bottled or homemade (we used a Honey Mustard Vinaigrette)

 

DIRECTIONS

1. Wash and dry the lettuces. Finely chop until the lettuce is in small pieces. Put in a large bowl.

2. Add remaining ingredients, except dressing, and toss to combine well.

3. Serve dressing along side the salad or pour on and combine just before serving.

 

The original Portillo’s Chopped Salad includes diced chicken breast, but we opted to leave that out to make it more picnic and side-dish friendly. I think I’ll be making this for just our family very soon and including the chicken. It would definitely be hearty enough to make a complete meal.

 

SOURCE:  http://stolenmomentscooking.com/homemade-portillos-chopped-salad/

 

 

Substitutions:  I left out the red onion.  Next time I will add chicken!

Time:  It took me close to an hour to chop everything up and clean up, including distractions from the kiddo’s.

Pinterest Pinhttp://pinterest.com/pin/40391727878988426/

Weight Watchers Points:  I calculated 8 WW+ points.  I used 2 T. dressing.

 

 

Homemade Calzone August 6, 2012

Filed under: Baking,Cooking — ipinnedit @ 8:10 pm
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We love pizza and calzones at our house.  Really, we love anything with dough/bread, pizza sauce, and cheese.  I saw this recipe on Pinterest and decided to give it a try!  The calzone’s were very tasty!  I got a little frustrated shaping the dough, but I got there eventually!  We filled our with sauce, cheese, and sausage.  I look forward to making other varieties as well!

 

 

Recipe: http://www.squidoo.com/homemade-calzone

Pinterest Pin: http://pinterest.com/pin/40391727878911525/

Substitutions:  None

Time:  30  minutes bake time, plus 15 minutes prep time (not including the time I spent rolling the dough, which seemed like forever).

 

 

Rainbow Lollipop Cookies

I was attracted to this recipe because I thought these cookies would be perfect for my daughter’s Candyland 5th birthday party.  I thought I could make these cookies and bake them on sticks, so they would look like lollipops.

 

 

I’ve made this recipe two times.  The first time, I followed the recipe exactly.  I used the Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix (in a bag).  I had some issues with my first attempt.  First, the sugar cookie dough turned out too sticky for rolling, shaping, etc.  If you do follow the recipe, you will probably have to add some flour to get a better consistency.  Second, the picture on the recipe shows a beautiful good sized cookie.  If you follow the recipe, you will not have enough dough to yield 3 dozen cookies the size they picture.  Third, the cookies turned out thin.

 
I made these a second time with my go-to sugar cookie recipe.  It’s a recipe I got at a Wilton Cookie Blossom class.  I love this recipe because the dough doesn’t change shape when you bake it, it tastes good, you don’t have to refrigerate, and it is perfect for baking cookie blossoms (cookies on sticks). The dough made a huge difference the second time around.  These cookies turned great!  They would taste better with icing, but then you wouldn’t be able to see the pretty pinwheel shape.  I’m relieved that they turned out because they will be perfect for Sophie’s Candyland party next month!

 

Dough Separated into 5 Equal Sections

Wilton Food Colors – Chosen by the Kiddos

The power of food coloring!

My daughter helped me roll the dough …

Rolled into a log shape.

Ready to bake!

Finished Product! Don’t forget to let them cool!

 

Rainbow Cookie Recipehttp://www.soudersstudios.com/recipes/rainbow-pinwheel-cookies.php

Wilton Sugar Cookie Blossom Recipe http://www.food.com/recipe/wilton-cookie-blossom-sugar-cookies-82681

Pinterest Pin: http://pinterest.com/pin/40391727878911369/

Time:  1 hour+

Substitutions:  I substituted the Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix for homemade sugar cookie dough!