Sunday, September 22, 2013

Seven is Pretty Sweet

Just ask Bea.

Our baby girl turned seven this weekend. 

Seven years full of smiles and stuffed animals. Seven years of everything purple and pink. And seven years of peace, love and (occasionally) war.

We celebrated all weekend long. 

Oh what fun... to be seven.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Mailbox Burrito

Last year, I made a fake slice of cheesecake and mailed it to my youngest brother, Kurt, for his birthday. It turned out so awesome, I didn't think I could come up with anything nearly as cool for his birthday "card" this year.

But then I remembered how much he loves Chipotle burritos. 

Hummm... could I do it? Could I make a fake Chipotle burrito and mail it?

Yep. Turns out, I can. 

I took it to the post office and they told me it would cost $2.90 to mail, so I put three $1.00 stamps on it. My brother said it arrived "$1.00 Postage Due." Dang. Sorry 'bout that, Kurt. I think one of the stamps must have fallen off in transport.

Here's a list of my "ingredients" and a few step-by-step photos. (I'm not an expert, folks. I'm sure there's probably a better way to make one of these. But for this experiment, it worked fine.) 

Upholstery foam (hot-glued into a burrito shape)
Color printout of a tortilla shell (spray-glued onto the upholstery foam)
Aluminum sheet metal tape (wraps around the burrito to be "tin foil")
Dry black beans
Dry risotto rice (it's whiter than normal, uncooked rice)
Corn nuts (I painted mine yellow to look more like real corn)
Green paint (for the "guacamole")
Tan-colored Model Magic (sculpted to look like pieces of cooked chicken)
Red and orange foam pool noodles (cut up to look like salsa chunks)
Clear silicon (to cover all the ingredients and keep them secured in place)
Roll up a thin sheet of foam.

Hot glue it into a burrito shape and round the corners with scissors.
Print out an image of a flour tortilla shell and spray glue it to the foam.
Cut, shape and gather your dry ingredients.
Hot glue dry ingredients to the top of the burrito. (I used a cup to hold mine upright.)
Seal dry ingredients with clear silicon glue. Let it dry upright for a few days.
Wrap burrito with aluminum sheet metal tape.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Pumpkin Pie Cheese & Crackers

Remember these? I made them for some students at WSU last year and they were a hit. If you need a fun idea for a simple appetizer to bring to your fall gatherings, these are easy as pie. 

I mean, cheese. 

Easy, cheesy and sure to please. You can find the complete tutorial at SheKnows.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Fair Fun

Believe it or not, the Denneler family went to their first Kansas State Fair on Saturday. We saw for ourselves what all the hubbub is about: sun, fun, games, prizes, rides, Pronto Pups, giant watermelons, an entire building full of bunnies, butter sculptures and so much more. Luckily, the weather was perfect. Although, by the time we left it was getting a little toasty.

Now that we've been, I'm sure we'll be back. I wanna catch the pig races next year.

Wood carving of the classic Pronto Pup.

Only the biggest and best make it to the State Fair.

We saw 1000's of rabbits. Every one of them cuter than the next.

Missed the demonstration by 5 minutes. Darn. Have to catch it next year.
View of the midway from the ski lift ride.

Bea was a little nervous on the ski lift ride across the fair grounds.
This butterfly landed on my iPhone and stayed. For. A. Long. Time.

Bea's first carousel ride.

Gus' favorite ride - The Giant Slide. Just a boy, a burlap sack & gravity.

Fun on the midway. And no, we didn't ride that slingshot thingie.

Bea's favorite ride too. A smaller version of The Giant Slide.
She would have slid down this 100 times. (Which would have cost us $300.)

We won a plastic sword, handcuffs and a purple dolphin at the Lucky Ducky.

Look, there's a Bea on that sunflower!

Gus, our Grand Champion kid.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Candy Corn Crepes

I love candy corn. I'm like Buddy the Elf. "We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup."

And who doesn't love crêpes? Warm, soft, delicate, deliciously-filled, heaven-in-your-hands pancakes. I can still remember eating my first, real crêpe in France when I was 18 years old. "Une crêpe au chocolat, s'il vous plaît." I think I said that phrase about 20 times in three weeks.

So why not combine two of my food loves and make candy corn crepes? I used a box of crêpe mix for mine, but a homemade recipe would probably be even better if you have one.

And now that I've made these, I'm thinking it would be pretty easy to make Christmas tree crepes. Or Easter bunny crepes. Or..... watermelon? Hummm. Might have to break out my griddle and keep crêping. Crêping? Is that a verb? Probably not.

Anyway, you can find my complete candy corn crepe tutorial on SheKnows. (Say that three times fast.) 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Indian Corn Cookies

I have the perfect dessert for this Indian summer we're having - Indian Corn Cookies.

Holy smokes, it's been hot around here. The last two weeks have been in the 100's. Feels like fall weather will never arrive. At least, not soon enough. Luckily, these cookies are of the no-bake variety, so you won't have to heat up your kitchen to make them. Just a few simple ingredients: Kix/Reese's/Cocoa Puff cereal, corn syrup, brown sugar and peanut butter. You could probably make them with marshmallows and butter too (like a Rice Krispy treat) but the corn syrup and peanut butter felt more like fall to me. Believe it or not, the most difficult part of this recipe was finding green fruit rollups for the corn husks. I looked EVERYWHERE. I ended up using a blue & yellow fruit rollup, layering the colors over each other to make green. Worked like a charm!

Take these treats to school and the kids will be grinning from from ear to ear. Really easy, and really yummy. I promise. Check out my complete tutorial on SheKnows


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Reveal Treats

Don't you love surprises? Especially sweet ones?

I was pleasantly surprised this week to find two of my desserts featured in's, Rock UR Party 13 Most Awesome Reveal Treats

My Peekaboo Pumpkin Pound Cake is #3 and my Pop-up Punxsutawney Phil Cookies are #6.

Psheesh... that's a lot of P's. :)

Anyway, there so many great ideas. Check them out.

 I just love when a dessert is more than meets the eye. In fact, I seem to have done quite a few "reveal treats" now that I think about it. (pinata cookies, name-inside-of-a-cake, and diaper-duty cookies.) Maybe I'm just a baker-wanna-be-magician.