Sunday, August 31, 2014

Minnie Mouse Wreath

The last craft I have to share with you about Carson' Minnie Mouse birthday party is an adorable and completely pink wreath. We made it out of crepe paper and a Styrofoam wrath from Michaels.


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It was a group project. (You would not believe how long it takes to cut out all of those pieces of tissue paper and glue them into little holes.) Make sure you have quite a few sheets of tissue paper because it takes a lot.
 
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First, cut up the paper into 4" squares. Pinch the center down and twirl the bottom a little to create something like what Syd is holding.
 
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Make a bunch of little holes all in your Styrofoam wreath. Space them less than an inch apart so there are no gaps.
 
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 Dab a little hot glue into each hole.
 
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Firmly press the bottom of each tissue paper piece into the hole.
 
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Make sure it is securely attached to the wreath.
 
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Once there are no more empty spaces or holes, your wreath is complete. Attach a decal if you want to, and hang it up for all to see!
 
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Saturday, August 30, 2014

A Chilean Pastel

Chile is stretched more than 2,670 miles down the coast of South America. You would think that it was massive based off of this, but it's widest part is only 217 miles wide, making it similar in square mileage to Turkey and Zambia. It's length yields to a vast array of terrain ranging from the copper rich desert in the north to southern forests, volcanoes, and waterways. The central part hosts the Andes mountains where the Quechua people who invented tonight's recipe reside.


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Pastel refers to many different types of dishes cooked in Latin countries. This pastel happens to be the national dish of Chile: Pastel de Choclo. Choclo means tender corn in the native Quechua language, and it is the staple ingredient of this yummy meal. Other additions are up to you. The meat is typically chicken or ground beef with boiled eggs, raisins, olives, or a combination of the three used as filling. I went down the chicken, raisin, and egg route with amazing results. A little broiling at the end lends to a crispy crust that is divine.

 

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Pastel de Choclo
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 tbsp oil
1 ½ onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chicken broth (reserved from cooking chicken)
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp ground cumin
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbsp sugar
½ cup milk
6 cups corn kernels (about 4 large cobs)
4 hardboiled eggs, crumbled up
¼ cup raisins
 
Put the chicken in a small crockpot and cover with water. Cook on low for 4-5 hours. Once the chicken is done, shred it and set aside.
 
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Heat a pan over medium heat with the oil in it. Add the onion and garlic, and cook for about 8 minutes until the onion is translucent. Stir in the reserved chicken broth, shredded chicken, paprika, oregano, cumin, salt, and pepper. Heat until boiling, and then remove your pan from the stove.
 
Put the corn kernels into a food processor along with the milk. Process until the kernels have been broken down into a chunky puree. Heat the mixture in a large pan over medium high heat until simmering. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover, and cook for 12 minutes, stirring often. Remove the cover and cook for another 5 minutes.
 
Put the chicken mixture into the bottom of a baking pan. Scatter the raisins and eggs evenly over the top. Spread on the corn mixture evenly. Sprinkle the sugar over top. Bake for 40 minutes, broiling for an additional minute or two if you desire a browner top.
 
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I really liked Chile's Pastel de Choclo. You might think it is a bit strange to use sugar, corn, raisins, and chicken all in the same dish, but it came together well. My only complaint was the amount of time I had to wait smelling the delicious aromas coming from the oven before it was done.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Party Food

Even the food we served at Carson's birthday party was Minnie Mouse themed. She didn't care, but everyone else thought it was super cute. We bought a Minnie Mouse cookie cutter, and went crazy with it.

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There were Minnie Mouse watermelon cut outs,
 
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Minnie Mouse sandwich bread,
 
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Minnie Mouse lunch meat,
 
 
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and even Minnie Mouse cheese!
 
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We rounded out our spread with some condiments, a fruit bowl, goldfish, chips, and dip. It was all super cute especially on top of our Minnie Mouse plates.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Minnie Skirts

These are not your typical mini skirts, they are Minnie skirts. Sydney and my mom wanted Carson to have a special outfit for her party.

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They worked their magic with some tulle cut into strips and tied around some elastic. This is the cute skirt that was the result. We got her a matching Minnie shirt to go with it.
 

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She is just too cute. :)

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Harper wanted a skirt too, of course. (Carson cannot have anything that she does not have.) Harper's was made the same way, just with longer tulle.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Minnie Mouse Cupcakes

Here are the cute cupcakes we made for Carson's Minnie Mouse birthday party. They are Minnie Mouse of course, and everyone loved them. One of our guests just came for the cupcake and then left. :) Yeah, they were that good. (She actually wanted to come for the party, but had a busy schedule. We were glad that she was able to drop by at all.) Scroll down to find out how we made them!
 

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We used a plain vanilla cupcake that we baked the night before as the base. White icing came next topped by an Oreo for the head and two mini Oreos for the ears. Harper made the little bows using a mold out of fondant.
 
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You can get some use out of those Minnie Mouse plates by making a build-your-own cupcake center. Just place a cupcake, some icing, a bow, and the Oreos on a plate. Give each kid a knife and let them have at it!
 
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Super cute!
 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Olaf for Breakfast

Here's a post in honor of my beautiful, funny, and Frozen obsessed little sister Harper. While I was still home for summer break, Harper and I got creative in the kitchen one morning for breakfast. We did not have enough time to make something complicated like poptarts, we had already had pancakes that week, and cereal just was not calling her name. In a creative spur, we decided to recreate one of her favorite characters in breakfast form.

It's Olaf, and he likes warm butter. :)

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To make Olaf, use two Eggo Waffles for the body, two large marshmallows for the feet/ legs, and a pretzel rod broken in half for the arms. Chocolate chips make great buttons as well as tufts of hair. We used mini chocolate chips stuck on with butter for the mouth and large chocolate chips on top of pats of butter for the eyes. The nose could be an orange m&m, but we  used a veggie chip. (My mom does not keep our house well stocked with candy.)
 
Now don't you want to build an edible snowman.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Minnie Mouse Plates

I made these cute plates for the birthday lunch we served at Carson's party. (Stay tuned to find out how to throw your own Minnie themed feast.) They are just two black cardstock circles glued on to a black paper plate. To make the bow, I just cut out two hears and a circle. Put the bottom of the hearts together and then glue the circle on top. Viola! You have a Minnie Mouse plate

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