Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Captivating Caterpillar Cupcakes

Today we have another cute spring baking activity, courtesy of Duncan Hines. For more recipe ideas, visit the Duncan Hines website.

For some togetherness, get the kids to help create the candy creatures that sit atop these yummy Captivating Caterpillar Cupcakes, made with Duncan Hines Classic White Cake Mix.


• 1 pkg Duncan Hines® Moist Deluxe® Classic White Cake Mix
• 3 large egg whites
• 1 1/3 cups water
• 2 tbsp vegetable oil
• 1/2 cup star decors
• 1 tub Duncan Hines® Creamy Home-Style Classic Vanilla Frosting
• green food coloring
• 10 to 12 chocolate wafer cookies, crushed
• 1/2 cup candy-coated chocolate pieces
• 1/3 cup assorted jelly beans
• assorted nonpareil decors

Baking Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 ºF. Grease muffin pans or line with paper baking cups.

2. Combine cake mix, egg whites, water and oil in large bowl. Beat at low speed with electric mixer until moistened. Beat at medium speed 2 minutes. Fold in 1/3 cup star decors. Fill muffin cups about 2/3 full.

3. Bake at 350 ºF. 18 to 23 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool in pans 5 minutes. Remove to cooling racks. Cool completely.

4. Tint vanilla frosting with green food coloring. Frost one cupcake. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon chocolate cookie crumbs on frosting. Arrange 4 candy-coated chocolate pieces to form caterpillar body. Place jelly bean at one end to form head. Attach remaining star and nonpareil decors with dots of frosting to form eyes. Repeat with remaining cupcakes.

Permission to print from FamilyFun.


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Hello Cupcake! Easter Egg Cupcakes

Duncan Hines® helps you create delicious family moments with decadent recipes even the tiniest pair of hands in your family can help make. Baking at home with family creates unforgettable moments and fills the holidays with that priceless feeling of togetherness.

Created by the authors of the popular cupcake decorating book Hello Cupcake!™. This is a fun Easter project to make with the kids or with your baking friends. All it takes are easy-to-find ingredients, fun food dye colors and delicious frosting. Easter Egg Cupcakes aren't hard to make -- but they’re sure to impress as gifts, or to decorate your holiday table.


• 12 unfrosted Moist Deluxe Devil’s Food Cake Mix cupcakes baked in white paper liners
• 12 honey graham crackers
• 2 cans (16 ounces) Creamy Homestyle Classic Vanilla Frosting
• Green, yellow, orange, blue, purple, and pink food coloring
• 2 tablespoons each mini and regular white, pink, green, and blue decorations

Baking Instructions:

1. Tint 2 cups of the frosting light green. Spoon 1 1/2 cups of the light green frosting into a zippered plastic bag. Tint 1/2 cup each of vanilla frosting pink, light blue, light purple, orange, and yellow. Spoon 2 tablespoons each into zippered plastic bags. Press out the excess air in each of the bags, seal, and set aside.

2. Using a serrated knife, trim the graham crackers into an egg shape 3 1/2 inches long and 2 1/2 inches wide. Snip a small corner (1/4 inch) from the bag with the 1 1/2 cups of green frosting and pipe a small dollop on top of each cupcake and place a graham cracker on top, pressing down to secure. The cracker will hang over the edge of the cupcake. Freeze the cupcakes for 10 to 15 minutes to set.

3. Place the remaining 1/2 cup of each tinted frosting into a separate microwavable bowl. Working with one color at a time, microwave the frosting, stirring frequently, until it is the texture of lightly whipped cream, 20 to 30 seconds. Holding a chilled cupcake by the paper liner dip the graham cracker into the melted frosting to coat, turn right side up and let stand. Continue with all of the cupcakes and graham crackers making two eggs of each color.

4. Snip very small corners (1/8 inch) from the bags with the 2 tablespoons of frosting. Pipe decorative dots, lines, and dashes on top of the frosting-coated crackers. Using the bag with the 1 1/2 cups of light green frosting, pipe dots of frosting around base of each egg always pulling the peak away from the egg (be sure to cover any exposed cupcake).

5. While the frosting is still wet add candy decors to create decorative patterns.

For more recipes, visit Duncan Hines.

image and recipe courtesy of Duncan Hines


Monday, March 22, 2010

Here Comes Peter Cottontail Review and Giveaway

Here Comes Peter Cottontail, hopping down the bunny trail. Hippity, hoppity, Easter's on its way . . .

Remember that song?

Now you can own the original tv classic Here Comes Peter Cottontail on dvd.

Peter Cottontail wants to be the #1 Chief Easter Bunny and everyone in April
Valley agrees . . . except for his archrival, evil Irontail. Hop along with
Peter and his friends as they race through time celebrating all of your favorite
holidays to deliver the most eggs . . . and save Easter for children everywhere!

It's exciting to see these old classic movies on dvd so that our children can enjoy them like we did as children. Since this movie came in the mail last week, my kids have been asking repeatedly to watch it.

The suggested retail price of this dvd is $9.93 and it can also be purchased on iTunes for $7.99.

I have some super cute coloring pages that you can print out. Just click on the image to enlarge it for printing.

And now for the giveaway . . .

I have TWO copies of Here Comes Peter Cottontail for two of our readers.

To enter, you can leave a comment. You can also earn additional entries by tweeting this giveaway, following me on twitter, blogging about this contest, etc. You can use this shortened url when tweeting the article, Just please leave a comment for each additional thing that you do. It just makes it easier to count entries.

This contest will end on Monday, March 29, 2010. The winners will be chosen using the random number generator and will be contacted by email. Winners will have 72 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

Good luck!

image: Classic Media
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this dvd for review purposes.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

VeggieTales CDs Included in Chick-Fil-A Kids Meals

Chick-Fil-A is partnering with VeggieTales for it's upcoming Kids Meal. From March 13 to April 17, Chick-Fil-A Kids Meals will feature a VeggieTales CD.

VeggieTales CDs focus on a different aspect of building healthy self-confidence. CD topics include:

  1. "You are a Friend!"
  2. "You are Special!"
  3. "You are Unique!"
  4. "You are Important!"
  5. "You are Loved!"

In addition, each CD includes:

  1. Music that can be played in the car or on a home computer
  2. Fun activities and print-outs
  3. Videos with lessons from VeggieTales characters
  4. Information for parents
  5. Special promotions
A new CD will be available each week. Children who receive the same CD twice can exchange the duplicate for another CD during the five-week promotion. After the promotion, parents can order CDs online as long as supplies last.



Friday, March 12, 2010

St. Patrick's Day Ideas from FamilyFun Magazine

St. Patrick's Day isn't far away and as always, Disney's FamilyFun Magazine has loads of cute ideas to make your holiday a success.

Crafts and Games

Wee Leprechaun: Make-your-own leprechaun!
Make a Festive Bowl-er: Create leprechaun hats by painting and embellishing paper bowls. (p. 34)
St. Patrick’s Day Scavenger Hunt: Follow fun all the way to a faux pot of gold.
To Catch A Leprechaun: Three clever traps for taking a stand against St. Patrick's Day mischief: Leprechaun Hat Pit Trap, Rainbow Cage Drop, Tricky Trapdoor
Green Stamp: Spread the luck o' the Irish this St. Patrick's Day with a homemade shamrock stamp. Use it to decorate paper place mats, coasters, tablecloths, or anything else your little leprechauns wish to dress in green.


St. Patty’s Day Platter: Use a colorful variety of fruits for a rainbow platter. Marshmallows can act as the cloud at the end of the rainbow, and bananas for the pot of gold! (p. 29)
Clover Cookies: For St. Patrick's Day (March 17), or any day you feel like you need a little extra luck, bake up a batch of these cheerful green shamrock cookies. Give some to your friends and classmates, so they will be lucky, too.
Taste a Rainbow Cupcakes: Here's what little leprechauns look forward to on St. Patrick's Day: a magical snack that can add color to the grayest March afternoon. Pot of gold not included.
Luck of the Irish Cupcakes: It's not far to the gold at the end of this rainbow-topped Emerald Isle cupcake, just the thing for your lads and lasses on St. Patrick's Day.
Shamrock Cupcakes: It doesn't take the luck of the Irish to make these St. Patty's Day treats look so sweet -- just a clever baking technique.
St. Patrick’s Pot of Gold: Surprise your favorite little people on March 17th with these wee emerald pots filled with sweet, edible gold.

Enjoy the ideas!

Permission to print from FamilyFun.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Slime Recipe

My friend is a teacher. She made this slime with her kids and it was a hit so she passed the recipe along to me. I hope you enjoy it!

1 cup glue
1 cup water
16 drops of green food coloring

Stir these three ingredients together. Set aside.

Mix 1 heaping teaspoon of borax into 1/2 cup of water. Stir and mix well.

Combine glue mixture with borax mixture until lumps stop forming.

Remove slime from liquid. Lift out. Knead to dry and mix.

Solids break. Liquids pour. It does both.


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

VeggieTales Pistachio: The Little Boy That Woodn't

VeggieTales have been a positive influence in our home for years. So I jumped at the chance to review the new VeggieTales Pistachio: The Little Boy That Woodn't. This movie promptly arrived on Friday and we used it for our family night. As expected, I was not disappointed.

With this title, Big Idea Entertainment continues to follow its unique tradition
of retelling timeless adventures. Pistachio is a creative parody of the beloved
story of Pinocchio, and teaches a timely lesson on listening to parents and the
importance of family. Pistachio stars Larry the Cucumber as a toymaker named
Gelato, the assistant Cricket, Junior Asparagus as Pistachio and many other
Veggie favorites. The video is filled with fun music, including a new silly song
called “Where Have All The Staplers Gone?” Pistachio is available in early
March, just in time for the spring season and Easter.

For years, I've had some of the VeggieTales silly songs running through my mind and sometimes you'll hear me singing them out loud. Some of my favorites are the hairbrush, bellybutton, and boogie man songs. "Where Have All the Staplers Gone?" is now one that you can hear around my house. I guess I need to learn the words though so I don't sing the same few lines over and over again. ;)

My kids seem to have some issues lately with listening and following instructions, so I know I'll encourage them to watch this VeggieTales video. This would also make a nice Easter gift for your child.

Big Idea is offering a special on a combo pack that includes the Pistachio video. For only $25 you get Pistachio: The Little Boy That Woodn't DVD, Silly Thing Called Love DVD, God Made You Special CD, and Christian Hit Music CD which includes free shipping. This is a savings of over 50%. For more information, visit the Big Idea website.

Big Ideas has online games, activities, downloads, ecards, and more. I will need lots of activities to keep my three kids busy this summer so I will bookmark this site for unexpected crazy days.

Have you watched the new VeggieTales Pistachio movie?

Disclaimer: I did receive a copy of this dvd to review, but did not receive any monetary compensation. I strive to provide honest reviews on products we use.