Friday, April 12, 2013

Peter Pan and the Never Land Birthday Party

Welcome to Never Land!

With the sprinkle of pixie dust, and the magic of our inner child we were able to transform our home into Never Land for our daughter's 5th birthday!

We invited our guest to dress as their favorite character using what they already had in their clostes. It was fun guessing what character our friends were dressed up as. The birthday girl was a fan of mermaids at the time, and wanted to be one from the Mermaid Lagoon. Luckily, she was a mermaid the previous Halloween. Her older sister became Wendy and her friend chimed in as Peter Pan. Baby sissy was our magical Tinker Bell. Little did Wendy and Peter Pan know that Tinker Bell's mom was going to use her pixie dust carrier to have them pick-up pizza's. The fun of being a mom!
A flag let our guest know they have found the secret entrance into Never Land
To enter into Never Land, they had to go through the magical waterfall 
  Once through the waterfall, the hint of the treasures left by Captain Hook at the coves entrance let them know they were getting close.
Where they were also greeted by, Tinker Bell
To lead them on the right path, they had to follow the sign
After a long journey, our guest were treated to a fest of Lilly pads, lady bugs, grass sticks in a ranch pond, a bowl of jewels (aka fruit salad), and the catch of the day ( aka fish crackers)

In Never Land, there are treasure to be found! 
All seemed safe, until we spotted Captain Hook's Pirate Ship! Together they all protected 
Never Land!

 At the Mermaid Lagoon, our guest were able to create sand art to take home with them.
In a group of two, we went on a treasure hunt to find the missing treasures around the local islands (aka neighbors). Seeing we had our hands full, we forgot to take a picture.
For the time in-between the guest were able to play at Tinker Bell's house.
Then it was time for cake!

It was time to say good-bye. Before leaving Never Land, our tired guest were able to transform into fairies and pirates as their "goodie bags" to start their journey back to their beds for a much needed nap.
Remember, once in a while we have to let our inner-child come out to play to keep us young at heart! 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Chewy Coffee House Style Cookies!

This recipe bakes around 1 1/2 dozen cookies, that's if you have the strength to resist the temptation of the cookie batter. As a family of 6 with sixty fast fingers, I can scrap out about a dozen or so! 

2         Cups and 2 teaspoons unsifted all purpose flour
1/2      teaspoon salt
1/2      teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2   Sticks butter (12 Tablespoons) melted and cooled till warm
1         Cup brown sugar, I use light
1/2      Cup granulated sugar
1          Large egg, plus the yolk of another egg
2          teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2          Cups goodies of your choice!

Step One: Preheat the oven to 325* degrees

Step Two: Microwave butter until melted

Step Three: Place the first three ingredients into a bowl. Mix together and set aside

Step Four: Place in butter and both sugars into mixing bowl and blend until mixed together

Step Five: Add the large egg and yolk into mixture and give a quick mix

Step Six: Add the 2 teaspoons of vanilla to mixture and blend until mixed together

Your mixture should look a tad fluffy.

Step Seven: Start slowly adding the dry ingredients to the mixture. Add a little at a time allowing the dry and mixture to blend before adding more of the dry ingredients.

Step Eight: Remove mixing bowl from the mixter. Now you have your cookie base. Have fun adding 2 cups of goodies to the cookie base. Mix good and well. Get underneath and dig into the mixture blending the items well into the cookie base. In the picture I used the following: 1 cup of Peanut butter and milk chocolate chips, 1/2 a cup of Health English Toffee Bits, and chocolate chunks.

Step Nine: Scoop out the mixture and place onto a cookie sheet. I used the Pampered Chef medium size scooper. Once scooped, I rolled the rounded part of the scooper on the top of each cookie. This will help make the cookie even during the cooking process.  Bake for about 8-9 minutes. The cookie should stay a light color. The center should be soft and puffy. I tend to check on them around the 6 minute mark. Each oven bakes differently. Once I start to see even the slightest bit of brown edge, I take them out. Enjoy!
I have used the following combos:

Sweet and Salty
1/2 Cup of chopped slated-pretzels
1/2 Cup of  Nuts
A hand full of Caramel Bits
1    Cup of chocolate chips

1/2 Cup Chopped Sinckers Candy Bar
1    Cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1/2 Cup chocolate chunks

1    Cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 Cup of Chunks
1/2 Cup of Walnuts

11/2Cups of white chocolate chips
1/2 Cup chopped macadamia nuts