Thursday, August 19, 2010

... Cub Scouts LOVE a raingutter regatta!

So, I'm a little late in posting this, but Preston finished 1st place in his cub scout raingutter regatta, and earned 7 pins (merit badges? I don't know what they're called), but he had a blast! He and his dad spent hours working on that boat, and Travis had him working out all the math to determine the dimensions, etc.  Didn't look like much fun to me, but Preston loved it!

...putting extra effort into a cupcake is worth it!

I decided to make s'more cupcakes!  I thought it was a brilliant, original idea, and then I found recipes for them! I did end up doing my own version though.  Here it is...

S'More Cupcakes

1 sleeve graham crackers, crushed
1/2 stick butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar

Place 24 paper cupcake liners in cupcake tin.  Put a rounded tablespoon of crust in each cup, and press onto bottom of liner.  I used a glass that fit in the tin to press it down.

Fill with devil's food cake batter (I used duncan hines prepared per box directions), leaving about 1/4 inch space at top of liner.  Bake per box instructions, and let cool.

1 bag semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar

Pour chocolate chips into medium sized bowl.  In a small saucepan, heat whipping cream over medium heat until just boiling, stirring constantly to prevent scorching.  Pour hot cream over chocolate chips, add vanilla and stir until chocolate is melted, and it's well mixed.  Refrigerate (or freeze) until mixture is very cold.  Put mixture into bowl of kitchenaid (or use hand beater with whisk attachment) and whisk until lighter brown and somewhat fluffy. 

Cut a small hole in top center of each cupcake, not going all the way through the bottom of the cupcake.  Put filling in a gallon sized zip top bag, cut corner, and pipe filling into center of each cupcake.

"Marshmallow" Frosting

1 cup white sugar
1/3 cup water
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a saucepan, stir together the sugar, water, and cream of tartar. Cook over medium-high heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is bubbly.
In a medium mixing bowl, whip the egg whites and vanilla to soft peaks. Slowly drizzle the hot sugar mixture into the egg whites while whipping constantly until stiff peaks form, about 7 minutes.

Fill gallon sized ziploc with frosting, cut corner, and pipe onto cupcakes. 

Use a butane torch to toast tops of cupcakes, and top with graham cracker piece.

Monday, August 09, 2010

...everyone looks forward to the first day of school.

We had a big day today! Ty's first day of kindergarten, Conner's first day of junior high, as well as Preston going into 4th grade, and Madison starting her sophomore year in HS.   The day started out well.
Ty was so excited to get on the bus that he let out a little shriek of excitement when he sat down.  The bus driver whipped her head around, afraid he was getting upset, and said "Oh! That was a happy sound!"
Then I drove to the school to meet the bus, and get him settled, and he had fun playing on the playground.  Then... the teacher said "Okay boys and girls, it's time to wave goodbye to your moms and dads!"  Ty wasn't thrilled.

  6 hours later, he reported that he had a good day "but it wasn't THAT fun."
Conner enjoyed his first day at junior high, and said it wasn't as hard to find his way around as he thought it would be.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

...every teacher loves a gift.

So tomorrow is the first day of school for 4 of my kids, including Ty's first day of kindergarten, and Conner's first day of junior high! I wanted to make teachers gifts for the elementary school teachers (junior high and high school have TOO MANY teachers!).  I found the cutest idea on !  Here's how mine turned out!