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.

DSC_0129


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
There were Minnie Mouse watermelon cut outs,
 
DSC_0130
 
Minnie Mouse sandwich bread,
 
DSC_0133
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Minnie Mouse lunch meat,
 
 
DSC_0131
 
and even Minnie Mouse cheese!
 
DSC_0136
 
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.

DSC_0124
 
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.
 

DSC_0122
She is just too cute. :)

DSC_0119
 
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!
 

DSC_0105
 
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.
 
DSC_0128
 
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!
 
DSC_0159
 
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. :)

DSC_0026

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

DSC_0101
 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Staples of Nepal

It's time for another international dinner! I did not want to start making them even though I am back at college. Instead of making a huge feast, I am going to tone it down a bit. I don't want my lack of space, money, and time to ruin my project, though. I'll just save the more elaborate countries for Christmas break.

DSC_0046[1]

Tonight's dinner is from Nepal. The inspiration for this simple meal came from a book called Little Princes by Conor Grennan. The book is an account of his life while volunteering at an orphanage in Nepal. He said that their typical meal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week was rice (bhat) and lentils (dhal). This filling and simple dish is great comfort food. I am not sure if I could eat it every meal for the rest of my life, but it was delicious for dinner in between church, homework, and catching up with friends.

Known for being the home of Mount Everest, Nepal is small but not forgotten. They just finished a civil war where the Maoists overthrew the previous Kingdom of Nepal. The weather can be stifling hot in some areas and bitter cold in others. If you like the heat, I don't suggest climbing Mount Everest.

Nepali cuisine gets a lot of influence from neighboring India. Basmati rice, curries, and flavorful spices come to play in many of their dishes. Other things are uniquely Nepali like momo dumplings. I chose to stick with the every day peasant food that most of the population survives on.  I understand why it is a go-to meal. It's cheap, filling, and would be a great combat to the bitter Nepalese winters.


DSC_0042[1]
Dhal (Lentils)
serves 1
1/4 cup brown lentils
1/4 cup diced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1/8 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp turmeric
1 tsp oil
1 cup water
 
Heat the oil in a small pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook until golden, about 8 minutes. Pour in the water, lentils, and spices. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover, and cook for 20 minutes. Serve atop a bed of bhat (recipe follows).
 
 
 
Bhat (Rice)
serves 1
1/4 cup basmati rice
1/2 -2/3 cup water
pinch of salt
 
Bring the water, rice, and salt to a boil in a small pot with a lid on it. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for 40 minutes. (Add a little more water if it all evaporates ahead of time.) Allow the rice to sit for 10 minutes before topping with the lentils.
 
 
 
 
DSC_0051[1]
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I really liked my dhal bhat. It came out to be the perfect portion for one, but feel free to multiply the recipe to serve more. (It would not be too difficult.) I enjoyed my Nepali food. Next time I will pay more attention and start the rice a little early. It takes quite some time to cook.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

With a Cherry on Top

Cherries are one of those summer fruits that I just cannot get enough of. As a child, I would eat them until I got sick, and the only reason I don't now is because I would never want to waste them. These pancakes definitely do not waste the delicious (and surprisingly expensive) produce.

DSC_0051
 
 
Coconut compliments cherries perfectly, and chocolate makes anything better. It's not hard to see why these pancakes are so good.
 
 
DSC_0048
 
 All this cherry talk takes me back to Europe where we perused through a market eating fresh cherries that were picked off of the trees surrounding us. Oh Europe, how I miss you.... On a different note, aren't these pancakes beautiful?
 
DSC_0052

Cherry Banana Pancakes with Chocolate Coconut Syrup
makes 18
For the pancakes:
1 cup rolled oats
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ tbsp. baking powder
3 tbsp sugar
¼ tsp salt
2 ripe bananas
2 eggs
1 cup coconut milk
1 tbsp melted coconut oil (optional)
1 cup chopped cherries

For the syrup:
¼ cup maple syrup
¾ cup coconut milk
¼ cup cocoa powder
¼ cup sugar
cherries, chocolate chips, and coconut flakes to top

To make the pancakes, blend the oats into a flour. Combine the oat flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder into a mixing bowl. Mix well. Blend the bananas, eggs, coconut oil, and milk together. Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Whisk until there are no more lumps. Let the batter sit for 15 minutes to thicken. Preheat a large nonstick pancake pan over medium heat until water droplets sizzle when dropped on it. At the last minute, stir the chopped cherries into the batter. Drop a few tablespoons of the batter at a time onto the pan. Cook each side of the pancakes for a couple of minutes until golden.

To make the syrup, whisk together all the ingredients. Heat for 45 seconds in the microwave, careful not to let the mixture boil over. Cool slightly and serve drizzled over your pancakes. For a thicker syrup, reduce the amount of coconut milk.

Top your pancakes with the syrup, chocolate chips, coconut flakes, and cherries. Serve immediately.