Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Construction Birthday Cake

Well Howdy y'all!  With two birthdays in the family last week, it has been a little crazy busy around the casa!  I realized I needed to create a birthday cake and fast for my little 4 year old.  He loves cars, airplanes, trucks, cranes, tractors, pretty much anything that moves!  I found some ideas online to get the brain started and then created this.  It was fast, simple, and easy, and he loved it!!! 

I made it the night before his birthday, and he couldn't stop staring at it.  He was begging to play with it!
Look at that little guy!  He makes me laugh every day!  After we sang and blew out candles, he got his wish...to go crazy with the cake!

I guess they all went a little crazy with the cake!  They had so much fun with it, and that to me was really worth it.  And I will be honest...I couldn't stop eating it.  Something about the crunch the little rock candies added to the moist cake was just like a mini birthday party in my mouth.  And I gotta be honest, if there is food in front of my face, there is a 90 % chance I will eat it. 

The aftermath in the construction zone!  
Construction Birthday Cake
Chocolate Cake
1 box chocolate cake mix
1 small box of instant chocolate pudding
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup oil
4 eggs
Mix all ingredients together until well blended.  Pour into two 8- or 9-inch cake pans.  Bake according to the directions on the cake box.  Be sure to check with a toothpick to ensure that the cake is cooked through.  Cool cakes.  When cool, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze.
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
1 lb. powdered sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup (1 cube) butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup milk (adjust to get the right consistency)
Mix all ingredients until light and fluffy. 
Frosting the Cake:
Unwrap the frozen cakes from the plastic wrap.  Put a layer of frosting on top of one of the cakes, then stack the other cake on top.  Frost the entire cake.  This cake is so forgiving, just spread away!  After frosting, take a chunk out of the top layer of the cake.  Put that below the area it was removed as dirt.  Then use Oreo crumbs to create additional piles of dirt on and around the cake.  Put piles of  Chocolate Rock Candy around the bottom of the cake and a single layer around the top of the cake for a border.  Place any type of construction trucks around the cake.  (I bought a 5 pack at Wal-Mart for $4.99.)  And you're done!!!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Menu Plan for the Week

At church, I work with the girls ages 12-18.  One of the things we are learning to do this month is menu plan.  I can't believe I have never put a menu plan on my blog.  I menu plan EVERY week!  Really!  I could walk around the grocery store for 3 hours grabbing food and come home without the ingredients to make a single meal if I don't have a plan.  Now with a plan, I am on top of the world.  I can adapt and totally change the plan if I need to, but this gal needs a plan!!! 

I actually menu plan breakfast and dinner.  I make breakfast for my kids almost every morning.  My mom did this growing up and I loved it!  So I have carried on the tradition with my kids.  We also have the stipulation that with every meal we have to eat some sort of a fruit or vegetable.  My kids are pretty used to it.  We have been trying to have our kids learn how to make good food choices and to eat balanced meals.  This is one thing that has helped us.  Now don't get me wrong, we still love sugar and sweets around here, but they are definitely more limited. 

So here's the menu plan for this week, and ya know what?  It just so happens that this week we have two birthdays in the house.  Par-tay!!!

Monday - Breakfast - Crockpot Oatmeal (We eat this every Monday morning!)
                 Dinner - Hamburger Stroganoff and Salad

Tuesday - Breakfast - Buttermilk Pancakes, Sausage, Fruit
                 Dinner - Cajun Chicken Pasta (I need to post this recipe!  It is so good, and it is light!)

Wednesday - Breakfast - Omelettes (for hubby's birthday)
                      Dinner - Butterfly Chicken, Green Bean Casserole
                      Dessert - Rice Krispies Ice Cream Dessert

Thursday - Breakfast - Yogurt Parfaits
                   Dinner - Mexican Lasagna

Friday - Breakfast - Cereal and Fruit
              Dinner - Left Overs

Saturday - Breakfast - Birthday Cake Pancakes (my 4 year old's birthday breakfast)
                 Dinner - Out for birthdays

Sunday - Breakfast - Baked Donuts and Fruit
               Dinner - Honey Walnut Shrimp and Rice (This is a new recipe we are trying.)

Hope y'all have a great week!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Easy Homemade Oreo Cookies

These are a favorite quick and easy dessert for guests or just when you get a hankerin' for something sweet!  They just happen to be a favorite of the hubby!  He loves all things "Oreo"!  I swear to y'all it is really hard to eat just one!  The best thing about the recipe is that the cookie has only 3 ingredients and the frosting only has 4.  How could it get any better than that?!

Easy Homemade Oreo Cookies

Cookie Ingredients:
2 packages Devil's Food Cake Mix
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs

Filling Ingredients:
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a mixing bowl, combine cake mixes, oil, and eggs; mix well.  Roll into 1 inch balls.  Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.  Do not flatten.  Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes or until set.  Cool for 5 minutes before removing to wire racks (cookies will flatten as they cool).  In a small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and butter.  Add sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth.  Spread on the bottom half of the cookies; top with remaining cookies.  Store in fridge or freezer. 

Recipe Source:  Shalae Barney (my SIL)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Some of my Favorite Food Storage Items!

For the past 4 months, I have slowly been trying to organize my pantry.  It is a work in progress y'all!  But I do have to say that my favorite things in my pantry are these gals!  Allow me to introduce you!  These babies hold all my flour and sugar and have made cooking just a tad bit cleaner.  Let's face it...I am in the kitchen a lot.  I am cooking for 3 kids and my guy.  If I need some flour or sugar, I just roll one of these babies out, pop the lid open, and start a scoopin'! 
Here's my sugar baby!  Doesn't she look good all full o' sugar!  Oh yes, she does!

Here's the flour girl!  I couldn't let her be left out.  I do make sure these empty completely each time before I refill them.

I loved sugar baby and flour girl so much that I bought a 3rd one for all my other sugars (brown, powdered) and a few other things like coconut. 

I found these little babies at The Container Store. I read tons of reviews and they are air tight. They really work like a charm.  I love them!!!  They have helped to tidy up the pantry like nobody's business!

Anyone have any more tips on things to help organize the pantry??  What is your favorite storage item??


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