Red Velvet Cupcakes with Truvia® Baking Blend Recipe

image

I’m a Truvia Ambassador and compensated for sharing recipes.

These cupcakes are moist and silky with a rich cocoa flavor. Made with Truvia® Baking Blend, this cupcake has 40% fewer calories and 65% less sugar* than a full fat version made with sugar.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Truvia® Baking Blend

Makes: 24

Ingredients:

Cupcakes

3 ½ cups cake flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa
2 tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp salt
1 cup canola oil
1 cup applesauce
1 ⅛ cup Truvia® Baking Blend
3 eggs
⅛ cup red food coloring*
1 ½ tsp vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
2 ½ tsp vinegar
* or 3 Tbsp beet powder

Frosting

16 oz. reduced fat cream cheese
⅓ cup Truvia® Baking Blend
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp milk (optional)

Instructions:

Cupcakes

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in large bowl.

3. Combine oil, applesauce and Truvia® Baking Blend in a separate large mixing bowl. Blend in eggs. Carefully add red food coloring and vanilla while mixing at low speed.

4. Combine the buttermilk and vinegar. Then add half of the flour mixture and half of the buttermilk mixture to the oil mixture at a time and mix just until combined.

5. Fill paper lined or greased cups ¾ full with batter.

6. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cupcakes comes out clean.

Frosting

1. Mix cream cheese and Truvia® Baking Blend at low speed for 1 minute. Add the vanilla and mix for another minute at low to medium speed or until creamy and smooth. Add 1 teaspoon of milk, if desired, for thinner spreading consistency.

2. Frost the cooled cupcakes.


* This cupcake has 220 calories, 13 grams fat and 8 grams of sugar per serving compared to a full fat cupcake made with all sugar that has 370 calories, 22 grams fat and 26 grams of sugar per serving

Baking With Kids: Springtime Rice Krispies’ Treat Creation Recipe #EasyToMake

We received samples & Compensation to re-create this recipe our opinions and experiences are our own.

I was asked to recreate a very simple recipe with my daughter using Rice Krispies’ Pinterest page and to document the experience on my blog and social channels using the #easytomake hashtag to share our experience.

DSC00259

We just got back from vacation and we had nothing in our pantries to eat except all the stuff I received from Kellogg’s Rice Krispies and it’s a good thing because it’s Easter Weekend. My son and husband went upstairs to fix a light fixture while my daughter and I started cleaning downstairs and baking. But the baking took us only about five minutes because Rice Krispies’ Treats are EASY TO MAKE.

DSC00246

My goal was to re-create these cute cake balls.

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/272538214924710704/
 
 

But we decided to do more than that. We made pops, bunnies and eggs. Check out our process.

DSC00247

DSC00249

My son even donated his blue dog for our photo shoot.

DSC00262

 

Rice Krispies’ Treats

Ingredients:

1/4 cup of butter
10 ounce bag of marshmallows
6 cups of Rice Krispies Cereal
1 bag of pastel M&M’s

Some other hard candy for eyes and noses

Directions:

melt the butter and marshmallows

Then add cereal and M&M’s

Quickly place into molds and when it cools enough squish into balls.

DSC00261

After that, let your kids devour! DSC00265

DSC00272

 

I loved the whole process of making these with my daughter. We had so much fun.

DSC00271

I look forward to trying out more of the recipes on the Rice Krispies’ Pinterest page. I had no idea there were so many different options. You know, last year we made Hidden Surprise Eggs

image

And for Halloween we made chocolate hidden surprise bats. Get inspired with new Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Treat recipes and decorating ideas on RiceKrispies.com or share your own creation on Rice Krispies’ Pinterest page.

Check Out The Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return Trailer #LegendsoofOz

One name gets me excited and it’s Patrick Stewart; he’s in the upcoming movie. The

upcoming animated film, Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return, featuring a star-studded cast including Lea Michele, Hugh Dancy, Jim Belushi, Martin Short, Dan Aykroyd, Kelsey Grammer, Oliver Platt, Bernadette Peters and Patrick Stewart comes out April 28th.

 

 

 

Dorothy’s only just returned home from her first incredible journey to Oz, but she’s already being called back for another adventure! After waking to post-tornado Kansas, Dorothy (Lea Michele) and Toto are whisked to Oz on a magical rainbow mover sent by their old friends the Scarecrow (Dan Aykroyd), the Lion (Jim Belushi) and the Tin Man (Kelsey Grammer). Time in Oz has passed much faster than back in Kansas, and Dorothy discovers that the Jester (Martin Short) – the devious brother of the Wicked Witch of the West – is taking Oz over one region at a time, holding their leaders captive and casting a pall of darkness over the beloved land. Even Glinda (Bernadette Peters) is unable to combat the Jester’s evil powers, making Dorothy their only hope.clip_image001
When she arrives in Oz, Dorothy’s plan is to travel to the Emerald City to reunite with her old friends and join forces with them to stop the Jester. However, the yellow brick road isn’t quite as easy to follow this time around, especially with the Jester planting tricky detours to lead her astray, so she enlists the help of Wiser the owl (Oliver Platt), Marshal Mallow (Hugh Dancy), China Princess (Megan Hilty) and Tugg the tugboat (Patrick Stewart) to help find her way.

LEGENDS OF OZ: DOROTHY’S RETURN – in theaters May 9!

Visit the official website

Like Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return on Facebook

Follow @LegendsofOz on Twitter

Follow on Google+, Tumblr & Pinterest

Subscribe on YouTube

#LegendsofOz

Bake Like Darth Vader with R2-D2 Measuring Cups #StarWars

Oh man I’m geeking out because in a little over a year another Star Wars movie is going to come out and it’s almost Star Wars day. On May the Fourth you should make sure you have the right baking gear so you can bake like Darth Vader.

Darth Vader does all of his baking with R2-D2 in the palm of his hands. Check out this really cook R2-D2 Measuring kit. His legs are the Tablespoons and Teaspoons. LOVE IT!

Exclusive Star Wars R2-D2 Measuring Cup Set

  • Set of measuring cups that look like R2-D2
  • Officially-licensed Lucasfilm merchandise
  • A ThinkGeek creation and exclusive!
  • Body built from 4 measuring cups: 1/4, 1/3, 1/2, and 1 cup
  • Detachable utility arms turn into nested measuring spoons: 1/4, 1/2, 1 tsp, and 1/3 tbsp (bakers will see wut we did there)
  • Dome is both 1/2 cup and 1 tbsp
  • Materials: Food-grade ABS plastic (BPA-free)
  • Dimensions: 6 1/2" tall x 5" across x 3 3/4" deep
  • Do not microwave
  • Not dishwasher-safe
  • $19.99

A Last Minute Easter Basket Fit For A Boy Giveaway

We received samples to create our own take on a fun Easter Basket for a young boy.

Courtesy of Moose Toys’ most popular boy brand, The Trash Pack. Since 2011, the gross gang from the garbage has been a favorite among boys across the country, and this spring, children will be egg-cited to learn more about the new Series 6 collection and they fit perfectly into any Easter Basket theme!

DSC00237

clip_image001Series 6 features over 100 new Trashies, including ‘Eggstinct Trash’ characters that are housed in bright purple eggs, which ties in perfectly for the upcoming spring holiday and is a great addition to any Easter Basket come April 20.

 

MOOSE TOYS - The Trash Pack Series 6 5-Pack

In our basket we also put some Angry Bird candies, DOTS candies and some Movie theater Goobers. YUM! Of course there was still some room in our Easter Basket so we included some other items.

DSC00239

We included the Marvel Captain America Super Soldier Recon Rangefinder Accessory.

In the battle against evil, Captain America needs every advantage he can get. That’s why he armed himself with an incredible array of interlocking weapons and gear. No matter the mission, Captain America makes sure he’s prepared for whatever battle throws at him. Packing the right tool for every job, there’s no challenge too tough for the First Avenger!
Includes Recon Rangefinder, 3 mini-shield projectiles, and instructions.

Miles ran all over Disneyland with his pretending to be the Cap protecting his family.

DSC00240

We also included some Play-Doh and technically it’s always a fun favorite for a boy or a girl. The Play-Doh Makeables are great for travel, or creative time with your kids.

Each Play-Doh Color Sticks Makeables themed set includes everything needed to make Play-Doh pies, pets, fish and more fun creations. Each set includes cards with simple steps that show how to use the 6 colors of Play-Doh modeling compound to make fabulous creations!
Pack includes 6 individually packaged Play-Doh Color Sticks Makeables Sets:
• Pets Theme (x2)
• Bakery Theme (x2)
• Ocean Theme (x2)
Ages 3 and up

Enter to Win:

product from Series 5 and 6, valued at over $50. It’s the ultimate giveaway for any young Trash Pack fan!

To Enter:

Tell me your kids love to play with most.

Extra Entries:

Use the rafflecopter and leave a way to verify it

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Savor the Flavors of Spring at Arcade Lights Tasting Festival at Pike Place Market #ArcadeLights

arcade lights pike place market

Pike Place Market is famous for its veritable feast of restaurants, bakeries and takeout counters. But on Friday, April 25, 2014, the Arcade Lights tasting festival will nearly double the culinary offerings of the Market with local and regional vendors of artisan sweet and savory foods, craft beer and wine.

Arcade Lights, an annual one-night, after-hours event, features more than 60 local purveyors – from one of Seattle’s most popular breweries, to the newest food artisan selling their handcrafted bites exclusively at farmers markets. As a longtime starting ground for small, local businesses with big ideas, including Starbucks, Rachel’s Ginger Beer, Mt. Townsend Creamery and Delve Kitchen, Arcade Lights gathers the best and the brightest purveyors under one roof for one night only. The challenge is what to taste first!

Here’s more information about this delectable event:

What:

Arcade Lights, a one-night celebration of local food and drink

When:

Friday, April 25, 7 to 10 p.m.
(6:30 p.m. for advance ticketholders)

Where:

Pike Place Market’s North Arcade
Pike Place at Pine Street

Tickets:

$33 advance, $40 at the door: arcadelights.com/brownpapertickets.com

Details:

More than 60 local food and drink artisans will be showcased at Arcade Lights, including Whidbey Island Winery, 7 Seas Brewing Company, Fremont Brewing Company, Hood Canal Brewery, Simple & Crisp, Seductive Specialty Foods and Sunset Café.

Each ticketholder will receive 10 tokens redeemable for food and drinks (additional tokens are available for purchase), as well as a keepsake glass. To stay up to date on social media, post or search the #ArcadeLights hashtag.

Proceeds from Arcade Lights benefit the Pike Place Market Foundation, a non-profit organization supporting the following human service agencies at the Pike Place Market: Pike Market Child Care and Preschool, Pike Market Medical Clinic, Pike Market Senior Center and Downtown Food Bank. For more information, visit: www.pikeplacemarketfoundation.org.

Off To Spend Next Weekend in Tennessee With Westgate #WGLorettaLynn #WGEvents

I haven’t been to Tennessee since I was in college. My roommate in college and her best friend quickly became my best friends and for one of our Spring break vacations we went off to Tennessee. Of course we did the Memphis stuff but her grandmother lived in the Smokey Mountains and it was so beautiful I can’t wait to get back there. I’ll tell you a huge secret (THERE IS NOTHING LIKE SOUTHERN FOOD)

image

Through some new friendships I’m part of 6 bloggers headed to Smokey Mountains and Gatlinburg for a fun Westgate Event. From April 25-27 we will be staying at the Beautiful Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort & Spa . This is just one of the properties owned by Westgate and look at how amazing it looks. I can’t wait to get there!

imageWestgate Smoky Mountain Resort & Spa is an incredibly themed mountainside resort with world class accommodations and amenities. Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort & Spa sits on approximately 255 acres, with 55 acres developed, adjacent to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the largest national park East of the Rockies.

I don’t know much about the itinerary yet I’m just so excited to be hanging out with friends, learning about the location location in Tennessee. Our contributor Ashley stayed at the Westgate Vacation Villas in Florida a year ago. Westgate is really good at also providing you with entertainment options and we’re going to be seeing the iconic American country music singer-songwriter Loretta Lynn perform. So good food, a great place to stay, and entertainment. I’m so there!

Follow along:

@WestgateEvents on twitter# with hashtags WGLorettaLynn #WGEvents

Facebook: facebook.com/WestgateEvents

Instagram: #WGLorettaLynn #WestgateResorts.

Three Kids Movies For Family Movie Night Basket Giveaway

We received samples.

You don’t have to put candy in a gift basket, you can put coloring books, eggs with cash in them, crayons, crafts a ton of different activities. We’re working with Lionsgate and they gave us some samples to create our own Easter Basket. (We get to host a giveaway as well for one of you but the candy you see in my basket isn’t included in yours. You will just be winning the following titles)

LaLaloopsy Ponies: The Big Show
The Dog Who Saved Easter
Power Rangers Megaforce: The Great Dragon Spirit

DSC00236

Lalaloopsy Ponies: The Big Show

imageDVD SRP: $14.98

Saddle up for the third magical movie from the creators of Lalaloopsy as Lalaloopsy Ponies: The Big Show arrives in on DVD, Digital HD and Video on Demand April 8 from Lionsgate Home Entertainment. Meet a whole new group of friends as the Lalaloopsy girls discover their new pen pals are talking ponies! Checkers, Peanut’s pen-pal brings her friends Snap Pea, Tangerine, Jamberry and baby ponies Flutterwings and Honeycomb to visit Lalaloopsy Land for a special party. Based on the highly successful Lalaloopsy toy and entertainment brand, the film is timed to the Spring roll out of the all-new Ponies line, and is the newest in the collection of beloved Lalaloopsy films that have sold over 400,000 copies in less than two years. The Lalaloopsy Ponies: The Big Show DVD features bonus material including a “Meet the Ponies” featurette, Lalaloopsy mini adventures and a sing-a-long music video, and will be available for the suggested retail price of $14.98.

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES*

  • “Meet the Ponies” featurette
  • Lalaloopsy Mini Adventures
  • Sing-A-Long Music Video
    The Dog Who Saved Easter

imageDVD SRP: $19.98

Zeus is back and better than ever when The Dog Who Saved Easter arrives on DVD exclusively at Walmart on April 8 from Lionsgate Home Entertainment. The film will be available on Video On Demand and Pay-Per-View everywhere the same day. The Dog Who Saved Easter will be released three weeks earlier on Digital HD on March 18. The latest installment in the hit family franchise is full of excitement and laughter along with an all-star cast including Mario Lopez (TV’s “EXTRA!”), Nicole Eggert (TV’s “Charles In Charge”), Dean Cain (TV’s “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman”), Elisa Donovan (Clueless), Beverly Mitchell (TV’s “7th Heaven”), Patrick Muldoon (Starship Troopers), Catherine Hicks (TV’s “7th Heaven”), Joey “Cocoa” Diaz (Grudge Match) and Mindy Sterling (Austin Powers Franchise). The Dog Who Saved Easter DVD, including all-new bonus features such as director/producer commentary, a stills gallery and behind-the-scenes featurette, will be available for the suggested retail price of $19.98.

It’s Easter and everyone’s favorite K-9 has returned! The Bannisters are heading out on a family cruise and sending Zeus to doggie day care. Everything is going according to plan until the daycare’s crosstown rival hires a trio of crooks to sabotage the fledgling business. Zeus will make some new friends and new enemies as he uses all his tricks to save the daycare and Easter!

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES*

  • Audio Commentary with Director Sean Olson, Producer Peter Sullivan and Executive Producers Barry Barnholtz and Jeffrey Schenck
  • Stills Gallery
  • Behind-the-Scenes Featurette
    Power Rangers Megaforce:

imageThe Great Dragon Spirit

SRP: $14.98

The super-charged Power Rangers Megaforce action continues with an all-new thrilling adventure, Power Rangers Megaforce: The Great Dragon Spirit, arriving on DVD and Digital HD April 8 from Lionsgate Home Entertainment. The hit Nickelodeon series is action-packed with exciting stories about a group of teenage superheroes who must work together to defend the planet from evil. The latest epic saga follows the Power Rangers Megaforce team as they summon the mighty Dragon Spirit to earn new ultra powers! The Power Rangers Megaforce: The Great Dragon Spirit DVD includes four episodes and will be available for the suggested retail price of $14.98.

Troy, Noah, Emma, Gia and Jake must convince the mysterious Robo Knight to work alongside them and battle a collection of enemies with evil powers including Psychotick’s energy-draining abilities, Shadow Serpent’s paralyzing touch, Distractor’s giant army of MegaMonsters and Nojoke’s laughter-stealing traps. Then, when an ancient weapon falls into the wrong hands, the Rangers must summon the mighty Dragon Spirit to gain new ULTRA POWERS! Witness the rise and epic transformation of the Megaforce team in these four ultra-exciting episodes!

Enter to Win:

The three dvd’s above

To Enter
Tell me what you put in your Easter Basket

Extra Entries:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Interview with Greg Kinnear: Is Heaven for Real? Heaven is For Real #Heavenisforrealmovie

I know it’s hard for many of you that are not believers to get excited as I am about this movie. And for that reason I really want to make it a point to include the interview I had with Greg Kinnear. I’m not entirely sure that Greg Kinnear is a Christian. If he is he’s sort of like me, it’s difficult to just put yourself out there and say yes I’m a Christian and Yes I believe in heaven and yes to those that don’t believe, I just type casted myself so you don’t want to hire me or work with me.

image

Having faith and putting yourself out there is hard to do and it was actually hard for the Burpo family to tell their story. Nothing about the Heaven is for Real story was easy. I mean, Todd and Sonia almost lost their son. And making the decision to tell the story was scary and it’s hard for that small town to be in the spotlight. So I can understand how it’s also hard for Greg to put himself out there like this. But he did it, and he did it well.

image

Someone asked Greg Kinnear about how he prepared for the film

He said that he never met Todd before the film so he called him on the phone and they Skyped each other a lot. It was important to Greg that he portrayed that Todd was more than just a pastor. He was a volunteer firefighter, he volunteered at the school, and he was also a pastor and a father. I felt that Greg did a really great job making Todd f eel like a very complex guy. He was drawn in with the family’s dilemma and how they figured out what to do with this shocking information their son was telling them.  “I liked the way the story is told in a very human, accessible way….It’s the story of a family who experiences something extraordinary. On think Randall is so good at is creating moments of humor, humanity and decency for this family, while also getting at the larger questions.

image

We also asked him about working with Connor, How was that, did he help him a lot?

Greg sort of laughed and said I never knew I was going to be the kid whisperer for this movie, but I did work very well with Connor. We also played a lot together. Then he went on to say that he really understood that relationship between Colton and Todd and the innocence of a four year old boy. “It’s important to point out that Colton was then a four year-old kid, so there was no affection, nothing artificial about what he was saying. It was completely innocence……..And while children at that age can have huge imaginations, they also say things that you know they believe with all their heart. So it’s really interesting to play a father trying to sift through what’s real and what’s not in this kind of event.”

image

In the end, much like Wallace, Kinnear sees the story of Heaven is For Real as being not just about looking towards heaven but also about how to live in the grace of the hear and now. “Whatever your feelings on the afterlife, I think this film captures the beauty that is all around us through the eyes of this little boy and what he is seeing”

image

Heaven is for Real is in theaters now!

Go See Disneynature’s Film Bears #MeetTheCubs #DisneynatureBears

For Earth Day this year Disneynature released the film Bears. Bears follows the adventures of three bears, a mother and her two cubs. She spent the winter nursing them and it’s time to get some food but the salmon are very far away and not all of the bears get along. In fact some of the male bears will not tolerate cubs at all. clip_image001

clip_image001[6]In an epic story of breathtaking scale, Disneynature’s new True Life Adventure “Bears” showcases a year in the life of a bear family as two impressionable young cubs are taught life’s most important lessons. Set against a majestic Alaskan backdrop teeming with life, their journey begins as winter comes to an end and the bears emerge from hibernation to face the bitter cold. The world outside is exciting—but risky—as the cubs’ playful descent down the mountain carries with it a looming threat of avalanches. As the season changes from spring to summer, the brown bears must work hard to find food—ultimately feasting at a plentiful salmon run— while staying safe from rival male bears and predators, including an ever-present wolf. “Bears” captures the fast-moving action and suspense of life in one of the planet’s last great wildernesses—Alaska! Directed by Alastair Fothergill (“Earth,” “African Cats” and “Chimpanzee”) and Keith Scholey (“African Cats”), and narrated by John C. Reilly, “Bears” arrives in theaters April 18, 2014, to celebrate Earth Day.It’s an adorable story and as a parent you may want to know if anything bad happens. The bears live, all of them so when you come to the part where you think one of the cubs is going to die, you can reassure your child that everything will be ok. I have sensitive children so knowing this information helps me.

clip_image001[4]

I find it so amazing at how close the film makers are able to get to the bears. I mean I’m sure they have really good zoom lenses but still they are out there in the wild with the animals following the bears. I imagine it’s difficult to keep up with the bears.

“DODOcase introduces a limited edition collection of iPad Air, iPad Mini and iPhone 5/5S cases featuring a custom BEARS design. 20% of each sale will go directly to the NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION. Visit http://www.dodocase.com/search?q=bears to purchase and learn more.”

clip_image002

“Like” Disneynature on Facebook: Facebook.com/Disneynature

Follow Disneynature on Twitter: Twitter.com/Disneynature

Visit the website: Disney.com/Bears