AllRecipes.com Food Art Squash Bird

I Met #SquashBird ! – Thank You @AllRecipes

By: Ashley

clip_image002Do you know who Squash Bird is? I guess that all really depends on when you ask. You see, Squash Bird can be many different characters. I’ve seen flying Squash Bird, hippie Squash Bird, Picasso Squash Bird, Squash Bird playing, Squash Bird flirting… you name it, I’ve seen it. I’ve come to really love Squash Bird. I even invited Squash Bird to my house to celebrate the 4th of July!

So how did Squash Bird come about? How did this cute little veggie bird begin gracing tables across the country? And how did he even get his own sign??? Thanks to AllRecipes.com and the amazing Chef John from Food Wishes, I got to hear the whole thing first hand. The story is just about as hilarious as the bird itself… and I know I can’t even begin to do it justice… Good thing Chef John has the whole, mostly true Squash Bird story on Food Wishes.

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AllRecipes.com is an AMAZING resource for recipes, cooking tips… you name it. While attending BlogHer Food in Seattle, I was SO excited to receive an invite to their party following the conference. We had a tour of the AllRecipe’s headquarters, sampled some DELICIOUS baked goods from some of Seattle’s hot spots, and best of all, got to make our own Squash Birds! II was pretty impressed by the offices at AllRecipes. Did you know that AllRecipes is a WORLDWIDE service? Right now they’ve got hubs on 5 of the 7 continents? I had no idea! One other cool AllRecipes fact – Chicken is almost ALWAYS the #1 searched ingredient/recipe on the site. Good thing it’s not yellow squash! Then we might have a Squash Bird shortage!

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I never thought I would be doing food art… and DEFINITELY never thought I would be using my own food art to decorate my table for a holiday. The 4th of July was just the beginning… I’m gearing up for a Squash Bird Themed Thanksgiving! Thanks AllRecipes and Chef John. I loved it!

For more on Squash Bird, check out Chef John’s recap of the BlogHer Food event.

Meet Ashley (Managing Editor at MomStart): Ashley is a mom, wife, sister, daughter, friend, and former teacher working to navigate through the mysterious world of Mommyia. Read more about her adventures at Momicles and follow her @Momicles2010 .

Tasty Treat: All Recipes.com Beth’s Spicy Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Recipe

Sometime you just need an “old reliable” so today I’m giving you the top-rated cookie recipe from allrecipes.com. I simply typed cookies into their search tool and selected top rated and the winner of this title is …. Beth’s Spicy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies by Beth Sigworth.

With a little experimenting, I came up with these chewy, spicy, oatmeal raisin cookies. They make your kitchen smell wonderful while they are baking. They almost remind me of Christmas because the spices smell so good. ~Beth Sigworth

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When I’m writing this the rating is 5 stars with 3,200 reviews. There are 173 photos for you to look at if you wish.

All Recipes.com Beth’s Spicy Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Recipe

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter, softened
½ cup butter flavored shortening
1 cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon salt
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup raisins

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350oF.

2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, shortening, sugars, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt; stir into the sugar mixture. Stir in the oats and raisins.

3. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 12 minutes until golden. Do not over bake. Let cool for 2 minites before removing from cookie sheet to cool completely. Store in airtight container. Make sure you get some, because they don’t last long!

So I have a hard time leaving recipes alone even my first time around. I thought about messing with the sugar but didn’t. In my opinion, too much sugar is used in most sweets. I did use double the butter and no shortening. I also love to mess around with flour, but I played “light” this time and only fuddled the recipe by using 1 cup all-purpose and ½ cup whole wheat. I’d also love to add some walnuts! Lastly, I’m a one bowl kind of girl; I added everything into my Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer in this order: sugars, butter, vanilla, baking soda, sinnamon, cloves, salt, eggs, flour, raisins, oats.

My thoughts: “Yum! Could I eat this for breakfast and call it good?”
My DH: “Hum … I think there’s something wrong; I’ll eat these, you make another batch!”

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About Summer:

Summer is very active in our Local MOMS Club chapter, she is the mother of two adorable active boys, and is always thinking of ways to help others. She is a friend, a wife, and always busy as all mommies are. She is very active on Facebook, addicted to Geocaching and very interested in organic and green living while cooking up a storm.

Tasty Treats Thursday S’more Cupcakes Please Recipe

I love to bake! In fact I do it each week for my husband’s team meeting at work. There is a group of about 6 of them, but I usually just bake one batch of whatever the recipes is that I’m making if it makes more than 6 servings. In the past I’ve made Margarita Cupcakes for my Roundabouts cupcake sleeve review and Diane Henderik’s Strawberry Cheesecake using Nature’s Path cereals. So I thought I’d share my love with you with Tasty Treats Thursday. If you need a treat for something this week, or there’s a school or church bake sale coming up then you can WOW them with something fun. Not everything I make is glamorous as I actually bake for me – just for the fun of it.

This week’s goodness is best served warm, but my husband’s colleagues had to deal with fresh made but reheated to desired temperature.

S'more Cupcake

S’more Cupcakes Please!

WARE

double boiler (I don’t have one so I used a bowl balanced on a pot … be careful if you do the same!)
4 – 4oz. ramekins
medium size mixing bowl
wood spoon OR rubber spatula
4 serving dishes
electric handheld mixer
piping equipment
plastic bag
(to crush graham crackers inside or 2 bags if you use a bag instead of piping equipment)
metal spoon
(I used the back to crush graham crackers, and the spoon to place them on the cakes.)

CHOCOLATE – from allrecipes.com is “Chocolate Cakes with Liquid Centers
This recipe makes four cakes. I had to make two batches to serve all 6 people – I’m not a fan of doubling recipes I’ve never tried in the past; so I literally made two batches.

½ cup butter
4 (1 ounce) squares bittersweet chocolate
(I used Kraft’s Baker’s chocolate which is what I had on hand in my pantry)
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
¼ cup white sugar
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour

1. Preheat oven to 450oF (230oC). Butter and flour four 4oz. ramekins or custard cups.

2. In the top half of a double boiler set over simmering water, heat the butter and the chocolate until chocolate is almost completely melted. (I don’t own a double boiler so I microwaved all if it for one minute and stirred, then a second minutes and stirred. Everything was all melted at this point).

3. Beat the eggs, egg yolks and sugar together until light colored and thick.

4. Beat together the melted chocolate and butter. While beating, slowly pour the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture, then quickly beat in the flour and mix until just combined.

5. Divide the batter between the four molds and bake in preheated oven for 7 minutes. The centers of the cakes will still be quite wet. Invert cakes on serving plates and let stand for 15 seconds, then unmold. (Typically you would serve immediately.)

MARSHMALLOW – I got a marshmallow tasting frosting recipes from a MOMS Club friend.

1 3/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
3 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla

1. Put sugar, water, egg whites, and cream of tartar in a heatproof container or on top of a double boiler and beat with electric mixer on high until opaque, white, and foamy, about 1 minute. (As mentioned, I don’t own a double boiler so instead I use a pot with a boil on top. If you too use this method because as it may not be sturdy.)

2. Put the bowl over, but not touching, a saucepan of barely simmering water or the bottom of a double boiler. The top container should sit firmly over the pan of hot water. Beat on high with electric mixer until frosting make stiff peaks that stand straight up when you stop the beaters and lift them out of the mixture, about 12 minutes.

3. Remover the container from the water, add the vanilla and continue to beat for 2 more minutes this frosting will become more firm as it cools on the finished cake.

GRAHAM CRACKER
My graham crackers aren’t homemade. I used La Panzanella Cinnamon Sweet Crisps which I love and buy in bulk from Costco. La Panzanella is local for me as they’re made in Tukwila, WA. I placed about 3 crackers in a Ziploc bag and crush to desired crumb size. I sprinkled them on top of the frosting as well as on the serving plate. I also garnished the top with a ½ La Panzanella Sweet Crisps.

I drizzled the plate with honey, as I typically used honey graham crackers in my s’mores, though this was more esthetic than for flavor.

 

About Summer:

Summer is the President of our Local MOMS Club chapter, she is the mother of two adorable active boys, and is always thinking of ways to help others. She is a friend, a wife, and always busy as all mommies are. She is very active on Facebook, addicted to Geocaching and very interested in organic and green living.

Roundabouts: The Fun Way to Have a Cupcake! Giveaway

By Summer:

I love to bake. Love, Love, Love! I’ve been baking since I was in 8th grade or so; I still remember the rainy day that I found one of my mom’s church cookbooks. I flipped it open to the dessert section and baked the day away … then my mom made me walk some goodies to all the neighbors because I had made 6 different types of dessert that our family of four would never eat before they went bad. Baking has always just been fun for me.

clip_image002Now I bake every Monday night for my husband’s team meetings at work on Tuesdays. I have a fun time finding new recipes and making cool things. But don’t let my love of baking convince you that I’m an expert; I’m always needing help and find most of it through my mom friends who seem to have a plethora of baking knowledge. My last experiment was “Margarita Cupcakes” inspired by Roundabouts® and created with the help of AllRecipes.com and my Facebook mommy baker friends.

clip_image004If you find baking just as fun as I do you should investigate Roundabouts’ themed cupcake sleeves which will add fun to an occasion and prevent you from showing up with just plain, naked cupcakes. Choose from many assorted cupcake sleeve themes and sleeve decorations with over 70 designs to choose from you’re sure to find something for your next event. You’ll also never forget to dress your cupcakes as these sleeves – at 81/2” wide x 13/8” – will fit right inside your drawer next to all your other baking accessories such as candles, liners, and sprinkles.

For my cupcake sleeves I chose their “Sweet Margarita” sleeve. I stayed with the theme so people knew what type of cupcake they were getting before their first bite. I made a batch of Lemon-Lime Cupcakes* (which made more than the promised 24 cupcakes – all over flowing). My frosting was 6 cups powdered sugar, 1 8oz package Neufchatel cheese, ½ cup heavy whipping cream, ½ teaspoon sea salt and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. For the “salt” of the margarita glass I used Bob’s Red Mill unsweetened coconut flakes. The straws are just decoration, but the lime is a gummy from the bulk candy section.

* Personal changes: I usually try not to change recipes until I’ve made them as written at least once, however for my preference I made curtain changes. In the cupcakes we don’t keep soda in the house and I didn’t want to purchase any, but we do have Mike’s Hard Lemonade varieties on hand, so I use Mike’s Hard Limeade as a soda substitute.

How Roundabouts are Green:

Roundabout® Sleeves are also doing their part to be environmental, not just cute. There packaging is recyclable and their sleeves are free of solvents, toxic agents, and bleaching chemicals. To learn more about Roundabouts® check their website or the Roundabouts Facebook page or follow them on Twitter @RoundaboutWraps.

Which party or occasion would you use Roundabout® Sleeves for — the Oscars, a birthday, treat day at school or work, the Super Bowl, book club?

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Enter to Win:

Roundabouts® would like you to give you a chance to dress up 12 of your own cupcakes for FREE in a set of sleeves of your choice.

To Enter:

Give us the skinny; tell us your theme — what kind of cake you’d make, topping you’d use including decorations, and tell us which Roundabouts® you’d wrap around your cakes.

Extra Entries:

Tweet or RT this post and include the link to the post

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This giveaway ends February 7th. I received the above to review for this post.  All rules can be found under giveaway rules.

About Summer:

Summer is the President of our Local MOMS Club chapter, she is the mother of two adorable active boys, and is always thinking of ways to help others. She is a friend, a wife, and always busy as all mommies are. She is very active on Facebook, addicted to Geocaching and very interested in organic and green living.