Monday, September 26, 2011

Baking Monday - Mint Oreo Cupcakes

I've had this recipe in the hopper for awhile. It's been delayed a few weeks for various reasons, so I was excited to finally make them today!

I used Bakerella's Oreo cupcake recipe, but decided they'd be way more fun with MINT.

... and an Oreo baked into each cupcake! Mmmmm.

The cookies all floated to the top and stayed there!

The only alteration to this recipe (besides using mint Oreos) is adding a tsp of peppermint extract along with the vanilla in the frosting recipe. The original recipe says makes 12 with some batter left over, but I got 24 cupcakes with batter left over (very happy that I opted not to double it!) One package of cookies is the perfect amount for two dozen cupcakes with six cookies remaining to be crushed up and added to the frosting. I also added a drop of food color to make it green.

Definitely a special occasion cupcake! Calorie-wise ... well, they're off the chart. Just skip lunch that day.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Note from a Delinquent Tooth Fairy

Dear Theo,

Hello there! I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to get to your tooth. I was on vacation with some of my fairy friends. We go to fairy camp every year in the summer. We go swimming, play tennis, waterski, and make fairy s’mores (which are just like regular s’mores, but with sprinkles.)

We also went hiking and, guess what? I tripped over a branch, fell, and broke my little fairy wings. So, I’ve been travelling on foot and it takes me a LONG time to get around! I had an extra challenge when I got to your room, because there were so many obstacles in my way! I had to stop and battle Ninjagos, climb over Tinkertoys and watch out for rolling Bakugan. Then, I spent three days lost inside a pair of pirate underpants! But I finally found my way to your toothy hiding spot and left a little extra goodie for you. (You might want to use it to hire a cleaning service!)

Anyhow, thanks for the tooth, and I look forward to seeing you next time. I think my wings should be healed by Halloween. (By the way, guess what I’m dressing up as this year? The Easter Bunny!)

Your friend,
The Tooth Fairy

Monday, September 19, 2011

Baking Monday - Butterbeer Cupcakes

A friend sent me this recipe and I had it tucked away for a special occasion. I made them today to celebrate Theo's birthday.

I didn't have a squeeze bottle for the filling and used a pastry bag instead, which turned out to be difficult and messy, so the cupcakes didn't get as much filling as they could have used. Consequently, there was a lot of ganache left over, which ended up being served as a dip with sliced apples - mmmmm.

The recipe made 20 cupcakes with more than enough frosting. Turned out they weren't Theo's favorite - sad face - but I also made him a batch of Star Wars cookies today for a screening of Empire with Dad and his friends.

These cupcakes are super buttery and sweet - definitely worth trying if you have a Potter fan (or a butterscotch fan) at home.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Tiger Birthday Cookies

I think the tiger faces are becoming my signature cookie!

A friend ordered these for her daughter's school birthday snack. I loved the way the tiger stripe letters turned out.

And she also smartly ordered an apple for the teacher!

*NEW!* My cookie pics now have a home of their own. Like Spotgirl Sweets on Facebook for updates!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fun With Lego

Can you tell what this is?

How about now?

Getting warmer?

Yes, Dora and Theo used fishing line to create a Quiddich game in action with Lego bricks.

Nice, right?

And every game needs an audience.

This is another creation Theo calls: "Move It, Buck-o!"

Love this guy's expression.

And this would be every minifigure head in their collections stacked up together.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Summer Report Card

Wasn't it June just like, two seconds ago? The big kids are back to school this week, and I still haven't wrapped my head around how quickly it's gone by. So, what did we do with our time?

Lazy Days

BOY, did we take it easy this year. No schedule, no structured activities, just enjoying being home and not having much to do. When the kids get up, they go right into play, play, play, which meant that I lounged around in bed until very late in the morning and breakfast was rarely eaten before 10:30. We did have at least one out and around activity for a few hours a day, but many of our hours were spent right here at home. A+


Dora and Theo did one week at church camp and one week at our children's museum. Clark had one week of camp at his preschool. Dora had summer musical and a few gymnastics classes, but that was pretty much it. We had lots of adventures around town - rode all six carousels, went to the splash park, hit each pool at least once, and had lots of park picnic lunches. B


We didn't go to the library as often as we did last summer because the kids were busy tackling books we had at home already - Harry Potter. Dora zipped through all seven in about three weeks, it took Theo almost all summer, but he did it. The big kids logged every book they read this summer, even re-reads. Dora was at 58 and Theo was at 11 (but they were big ones!) Clark can read much more than he lets on. If he is pushed too hard he gets frustrated, but we spent lots of time this summer reading random words on labels and signs. B+

Sibling Harmony

Actually, pretty good. I had a plan in place for making decisions during the day to avoid squabbles and happily, never had to use it once. There was the normal amount of annoyances and we had a bit of a ramp up over the last two weeks, but overall pretty good. B

Ice Cream Consumption

As always ... A+

Monday, September 5, 2011

Lunch Box Notes

I'm only half looking forward to school starting next week. Yay to getting back to our weekly routine and because we're all ready for a little time apart, but boo to getting up early, the daily hustle, and packing lunches.

During Dora's first year of school, I put a note or joke in her lunch box every. Single. Day. Theo's first year of school brought notes about once a week. The last two years, I've been a bit of a slacker. Notes go in about once a month, if I think of it. I wanted to have a little stash printed and ready to go for this year.

I gathered up some of their old notes (yes, I save them if they return home intact), prettied them up, and assembled on two printable sheets.

There are some for everyday (Happy Lunch!) and for special occasions (You lost a tooth!) Not enough to get through the whole year, but a good start.

There are also some for special treat days ... the kids and I established when they started kindergarten that Friday would be the day to buy ice cream with lunch. (Though during Theo's first year, he got chocolate milk instead because he was at the time a ridiculously slow ice cream eater.) They've tried to up that quota over the years by arguing that "Other kids get to buy ice cream EVERY DAY." and you can just guess how well that goes over in our house. (Has any kid ever gotten that argument to work? But yet, they still keep trying.)

Download Lunch Box Notes 1 here.

Download Lunch Box Notes 2 here.

(And, shhh - don't tell anyone - but I've also used the occasional licensed character.)

Here are some other printable lunch box notes floating around out there. Happy Lunch!

Cute full color and fill-out notes from Buttoned Up.
Fruit labels and notes from AlphaMom.
Happy notes from Frog Prince Paperie.
Crazy sweet food art from Paper & Pomegranates.
Corny jokes (the best kind!) from Cap Creations.

*Update* Here is a fantastic lunch box note round-up ... stop by Making Memories With Your Kids for more!