Archive | June, 2012

Lego Ninjago Cake

27 Jun

Big A just turned 7 (sniffle) and we went to Legoland for his birthday.  He is totally into Legos, building them, buying them and playing with them.  They take over a large section of the playroom.  I’m pretty sure I have several Lego shaped scars on the bottoms of my feet from stepping on the little buggers in the middle of the night.  So it was really no surprise when I asked Big A what kind of cake he wanted and his reply was a Lego Ninjago cake.  And it had to be the green ninja.

I’m not a cake decorator by trade.  I would say that is the one artistic medium I really suck at.  Don’t get me wrong, I TRY really hard to make the characters my kids request.  But you should have seen the cake train . . .Oy!  That thing had so many toothpicks holding it together I had to stick a disclaimer over it before it could be cut!

The Ninjago Ninja is a pretty simple dude, especially when you are only drawing his face, which is what I was doing.  He’s basically eyes.

I drew his face on a piece of paper and thought, oh yeah, I can totally do this!  Even with my less than stellar cake decorating skills, I can handle eyes.  Right?

I gathered my supplies and set to work to make the best possible green Ninjago cake I could muster.

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, I cheated and bought the canned frosting with the decorating tips included.  I don’t own fancy cake tools, alright people?!?! I had my 8 inch cake and my canned frosting (hey it tastes just as good as the home made frosting!)  my Ninjago drawing and I was ready to get to work!

If you have the right tools-decorating tips and a steady hand-your cake can actually turn out half way decent!  I was pretty impressed with my novice Ninjago!

I make the yellow band across for his face by just mixing a little white frosting with yellow food coloring and then spreading it on with a baby spoon.  The green for his sheath or whatever you want to call it, I used the star tip and just did a good million little green stars like a normal pro-cake decorator would do.

For the eyes I used M&Ms, and the eyebrows I used a tiny squirt of white frosting mixed with black food coloring.

I was pretty impressed with my first ever attempt to use actual cake decorating tools!

Big A totally loved his green Ninja, even if it didn’t look exactly like the picture or like it came from a professional bakery.  Maybe next time I will even try using real decorating tools, and not just the ones that come with the can of frosting!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy 7th Birthday Buddy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dummie’s Own Chili

27 Jun

I LOVE chili, and not that canned shlop they call chili . . .I mean good ol’ fashioned home cooked chili.  Over the years I have perfected my own chili recipe down to a fine science.  Yes, some can build, others are good at math . . .me?  I make kick ass chili!

What you need:

  • 2 cans of chili beans-I use use mild but if you like it HOT go for it
  • 1 can of kidney beans
  • 3 cans of tomatoes- I like to mix it up and do one sliced stewed, one diced seasoned and one diced stewed
  • 1 large green pepper
  • 1 large Vadalia onion
  • 1 can of water
  • an array of seasonings-I use oregano, garlic powder, basil, chili powder and a little season salt
  • 1 pack of chili seasoning
  • 1 pound of ground hamburger
  • extra virgin olive oil

Brown the hamburger and drain, then dump the seasoning in and stir.  Set hamburger aside

Dice the onion, chop the pepper and put in about a tablespoon of olive oil into a large pot.  I use what I refer to as “my chili pot.”  Simmer in the oil about 10 minutes on medium heat.

Stir in meat, tomatoes and beans.  Add one can of water and simmer about 20 minutes on medium heat.

Add seasonings to taste, I never do measurements for seasonings, just shake til it tastes good!

Serve topped with cheese or over a lovely piece of fresh corn bread and enjoy!

A Little Rant

24 Jun

I ordered a really cool shirt for my dad for Father’s Day from Personal Creations.  It was SUPPOSED to say “Grandpa/My Grandkids Walk All Over Me/  and then have footprints with each of his 7 grandkids’ names.  Well . . . it arrived with no miss spellings, but it says My Grandpa Walk All Over Me.  Does that make any damn sense?  No?  I didn’t think so either!  I sent an email to their customer service department and they replied with a “Gee lady, we are sorry you wasted $30 on this item you cannot give to your dad, but we are a**holes and refuse to give you a refund or replace your item.  Please shop again!”

Jerks!  I sent them 3 emails and they just kept saying the same darn garbage.  So my dear friends, I wanted to let you all know that you should not shop at Personal Creations because if they mess up your order, they don’t care!

***UPDATE***Mere hours after this post went live, I received a comment from Personal Creations corporate office apologizing for their error.  I have since received 2 emails from them, and they are in fact correcting their error at no cost to me.  Just goes to show what a little negative press can do!  All 3 of the emails I sent to them got me no where, but one blog post spoke volumes!

*****UPDATE***** I received my corrected order today, and am pleased that they have printed it the way I ordered in the first place.  I still advise caution when ordering from PC, being that they were reluctant to fix their error until I posted their ugly mistake on my blog!

When the Kids are Away . . .

21 Jun

You know the old saying, “when the cats are away, the mice play”.  My kids are out of town camping with the majority of my family, but I had to stay behind for the beginning of the trip because I to work.  While they were away, I decided to have a little fun with some of their favorite toys and make it look like their toys were playing while they were gone!  I took photos documenting all the fun their toys had while they were gone so that when I headed up to meet them I could show them what goes on when they aren’t home.

Don’t be too disappointed by my poor quality photos, Handy Hubby took both my cameras with him (don’t ask me why, he’s a man) so I had to take the photos with my phone, and even though it’s a smart phone, the quality is pretty sad.

 

First we head to Big A’s room, where a Lego Stormtrooper alarm clock is reading a bedtime story to 2 of Big A’s favorite beanie babies.  Those stormtroopers sure know how to get a turkey to quiet down and go to sleep!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next we meet Big Big Bear and Spot playing trains, and giving 2 of their little puppy pals rides on the choo choos.  Big Big Bear is even sporting Big A’s favorite engineer’s hat!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now we head into Little C’s room, where Big Penguin and Giant Dog (my kids are soooo original with their guys names!) Are building block towers . . . and it looks like they even have a message for Little C!  Who knew stuffed animals could spell?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brobee is selling Muno some delicious pizza.  The pizza is headed to the party in Muno’s tummy!  (if you don’t have children under the age of 3, or have never seen Yo Gabba Gabba, you have no idea what it means to go to a party in your tummy.  You are missing out.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since the boys are camping,their Lego mini figures decided to camp out too.  The pirate in the the sunglasses is enjoying roasted marshmallows, The baldy in the back is eating a nice juicy chicken leg, and the lady on the lawn chair is enjoying a good book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No camping trip is complete without a little lake action!  Baldy is just about to dive in for a swim (notice the flipper?  Legos are soo much more detailed than when I was a kid!)  And Princess Leia has just caught a fish for her supper!

 

I had a lot of fun playing with my boys’ toys and I know they will enjoy seeing what their toys were up to while they were away!

Chicken Enchiladas . . .It’s what’s for Dinner!

19 Jun

Handy Hubby LOVES Mexican food, but I’m not a huge fan of spicy.  His mo always made what he claims were “the best enchiladas ever”.  Well, I beg to differ!  Being a slightly (ok, extremely) competitive person, I sought out to make a better enchilada.

And here they are!

What you need:

1 can (10 3/4 ounces)  Cream of Chicken Soup

1/3 cup water

1 can (4.5 ounces) chopped green chiles, drained

1 teaspoon chili powder

2 cups shredded cooked chicken

1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend (about 2 ounces)

6 flour tortillas (6-inch), warmed

1/2 finely chopped onion

sour cream

  1. Heat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Stir the soup, water, chiles, onion and chili powder in a medium bowl.
  3. Stir 1 cup soup mixture, chicken and 1/4 cup cheese in a medium bowl.
  4. Divide the chicken mixture among the tortillas. Roll up the tortillas and place seam-side down in a 2-quart shallow baking dish. Pour the remaining soup mixture over the filled tortillas. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Cover the baking dish.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes or until the enchiladas are hot and bubbling.
  6. For a creamier version, reduce the water to 1/4 cup and stir 1/4 cup sour cream into the soup mixture.
  7. Top with sour cream and salsa . . .Ole’

Mural Monday!

18 Jun

Well kids, it’s my last mural Monday until I find “the lost files” from the great computer virus of 2009!  Really crappy to lose YEARS worth of photos just because I was trying to download new furniture for my Sims games!  Doh!

So here is Big A’s favorite mural . . .Darth Vader!  This was a very difficult one for me, Darth is quite detailed and all black, so figuring out how to make him look multidimensional and not like a giant ink blot was a little bit tricky!  In the end, Big A loved it, Handy Hubby was reduced to geeky tears of joy, and I refused to do the Death Star as was previously promised.  Happy Monday everyone!

 

Mmmmmmm Garlic Chicken

12 Jun

I get bored with chicken.  Chicken, lets face it, gets old night after night, week after week.  I need exciting chicken.  I need chicken that is so good it wants to eat itself!  Well folks, this is THAT chicken recipe!

Not only is it super moist and juicy, but it is totally yum!  Even my picky boys asked for 2nds, and 3rds!  Move over chicken nuggets, this is the NEW favorite in our house!

What you need:

  • 2 teaspoons crushed garlic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halve

Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Warm the garlic and olive oil to blend the flavors. In a separate dish, combine the bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Dip the chicken breasts in the olive oil and garlic mixture, then into the bread crumb mixture. Place in a baking dish.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until no longer pink and juices run clear.

Serve it with mashed potatoes (yum) or rice and a crisp veggie . . .we liked it with green beans.

Enjoy!