Thursday, August 30, 2012

It's Over, Summer Time Fun Pictures

He is smiling now, but just mention school and he gets mad.
  So it's over, the summer is done.  And I feel like I got nothing done at all.  Really I had such plans.  They all fell through.  The one thing I did get to do was spend time with Hubby and Pork Chop, so you cannot really complain.

  Thought I would post some pictures to show you the fun we had.  We did a few day trips, because everything cost so much, we tried to just pic a few big ones.  So here are some fun pictures.

  And just so you know I hate taking pictures, a lot.  I never like how I look. So just pretend I am a super hot, it will make looking at these a little easier.

  So we went to the Zoo with my Aunt, she is awesome, she knows all the short cuts and she even will get down and crawl around with Pork Chop.  Although she wouldn't do this, I don't know why I did.

Yeah, so basically it is a ropes course.  And that means heights, I hate heights. Oh and you are basically comparing yourself to a gorilla, double crappy situation. 

And the funny thing is this is as high as we got, we went up one level and Pork Chop and I climbed back and forth across the easiest thing like 4 times.  I kept telling him it was fine we could get down, but he was all "no I like this" when I totally could see he was scared.  So after a few trips across and such we got off.  I will point out there are no pictures of me hugging the post behind me there, well none that I will post.  It was high!

Then another day we went to Canada's Wonderland.  It has been here for as long as I can remember and every year there is a new ride.  Hubby took Pork Chop a few years back, but he was too little for any real rides. Well this year, he was allowed on almost all of them.  And so we rode rides from the minute it opened, until the minute it closed. This is the big waterfall where they had divers, we saw them and Pork Chop was all "let's go, more rides!"
That is Pork Chop and I in the front of this kids size coaster.  I swear he would ride them all day , every day if he could.

And we got to go swimming at my parents a few times.  Pork Chop is big enough  to stand up in the pool but wears his life jacket to be "brave"  And I hate the pool now, not sure why, I would spend all day in it as a kid.  Anyway I spent the time listening to "Daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy look at me!"  And then he would jump in.

And of coarse Hubby had to take pictures under water.  I will not post the self portraits he took, those are just for me.  Also Grandpa will always do a canon ball, Pork Chop thinks it's the coolest.  He has done that since I was a kid.

My little Pork Chop, he is getting so big.

And he had to wear these goggles, and jump in holding his nose.  So cute.

  Then this past week we went to the annual exhibition.  We had planned to go to the Fan Expo, you know the thing I was making my steam punk outfit for?  Well since a little Pork Chop is due for some serious dental work in the near future we had to pick one thing to go to.  And I figure a trip as a family is better.  And considering the outfit I started for Hubby ended up being a complete mess, this was good.  Also they had a food truck weekend, so really it was for me to eat lots of food.

I only wanted pictures with the two treat trucks.  This pink one looked good! I have no idea who that guy is but he must be getting a treat, so I will allow him to be in my picture.

And here is Pork Chop and I and the Cupcake truck.  I was "scream cupcake!" Can Pork Chop yelled "No!"  So there you  go.   Notice the owner giving me the look?  Well you know, I am used to that by now.  Poor Pork Chop was not feeling the best, so I carried him "piggy back" for a while.

It was only 10:30 am but I felt bad because I wanted to try a cupcake.  I did and only took two bites, then tossed it.  Way too sweet first thing in the morning.  But I bet it would have rocked later on.  So sad.

We usually only get ride passes for Pork Chop and one of us, they are costly.  We lucked out that my brother in law won two and hooked us up, but I was the lucky one to go on the rides.  Can you tell that I am loving it?

I am trying to give Hubby the stink eye, as I got really wet and he was all nice and dry. Jerk.

And it was so hot we had to sit in a building to try to cool off.  So Pork Chop make himself a craft, and picked out a stuffy for his new cousin, who is "the cutest baby ever!" as he says.  I think he is obsessed with her, he is always asking about her.  And me and her mom hope they get married one day, we are not related really so it's all good.

And here is my guy in his cool guy shades, eating a plain snow cone.  He loves shaved ice, and he was not drinking enough so I figured it would get some water into him.  But the lady at the stand gave me a weird look when I said no flavor please, and people were sort of eyeing him as they passed by.  I choose to believe it is because he is cute, not because they probably feel sorry for him having the mother that will not allow him to have a real snow cone.
  So that is about it, we didn't do as much as we usually do, as this is the first summer I am working my second job.  I actually miss spending as much time with the boys as I used to.  But then give me an hour with them and I am ready to go to work.  Just saying.

  Hope you are all ready for back to school, because it's going to be a while until next summer.

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Monday, August 27, 2012

Cake Mix Review, and Cupcakes in a Jar

How can you beat a cake mix that looks that good?

  So it's about that time again.  The time to make a box mix cake, and review it so it makes me feel better about using box mix.  You know, I love a box mix, but some people don't.  I really like finding new ones so I can try something different out without the hassle of a real recipe.  So here you go, and I promise you will love it.

  I found this at the larger grocery store last week, we usually do our groceries at Walmart, but we were there for something else so I got it.  I have no control, I see it, I want it.  Now this mix cost almost $5, but it was all chocolate so it was worth the gamble.

This is the fudgy filling, I was very good and didn't lick the bowl.

  Just like the other two I have tried out, there were two pouches in this mix.  I did not read the box, like usual, and did not realize that there was no icing glaze.  The mix was cupcake mix then a fudgy middle, so you know not all bad.  I even had one tub of icing left over, so I was all good.

  So to start I wanted to make cupcakes, but wanted something a little different.  My friends at work have not had my cupcakes in a jar, I don't think.  I cannot remember, really my life is one big blur.  So I got out the canning jars I have and washed them.  Then I got to baking.

  I mixed up the first pouch, which was the fudge filling.  It was not too hard to do.  Then I mixed the cupcake mix.  It said you can bake it in a 9x13, but I ended up with about 16 cupcakes.  I wanted them a bit bigger as I was only going to put one in each jar.

See I hardly slopped any on the muffin pan.

 Firstly I filled my cupcake liners with the cake mix.  I always use liners so it is easier to get the cupcakes out, and it saves you lots of time in cleaning.   Once that was done, I went back and put a TBSP full of the filling in the middle.

The fudge didn't really sink into the cupcake.

  The box did not have directions for making cupcakes, which is fine.  I just did my own thing, but the box said to swirl the filling into the cake batter.  So I did, but it was so sticky it really didn't do much.

But it did when I tried to swirl it all together.

 They baked in a 350 oven for about 13 minutes, then I let them sit to cool in the pans for a while.  I took then out and let them finish cooling.

At this point, they look gross.  This is the real reason we use frosting, to cover the ugly cupcakes.

  I wanted this to be like chocolate over load, like sex in a jar.  If there is such a thing, and if there is, I so don't want to know.  Anyway, when I was thinking about icing, I needed enough to do a nice swirl in each jar, but I only had one tub of icing.  So I mixed it with a cup or so of Nutella and a bit of icing sugar to thicken it up.  I put a bit too much icing sugar as it was way too hard to pipe, but it turned out to be like a nice thick ganache.  Yummy!

The cupcake tops sort of pulled a bit going into the jar, but I didn't care, I had frosting.

  I also wanted to add some texture, so I used three types of chocolate covered rice crispy pearls.  I have a huge bag of milk chocolate ones and a little bag of vanilla and dark.  So I just took the wrapper off the cupcakes, pushed the cupcake into the jar. Then put a big swirl of icing.  And then covered it with chocolate pearls.  If the cake was not so rich and did not have filling I would have layered another half cupcake on top.  But as it was, this was plenty.
I managed to frost all but one before my stupid plastic pipping bag exploded.  Lesson learned, less sugar, or just use an ice cream scoop and the back of a spoon to spread it around.  Oh and sprinkles, lots of sprinkles.

 I think this mix was well worth the cost, although I would have liked the picture on the box to not have shown the cake with the chocolate glace.  Because I bet most people like me won't read it until they are home.

See, all those chocolate pearls and you cannot even tell I did a nice swirl.
  So to take them to work I just got some plastic forks, because I was out of spoons, and tied them on.  Pork Chop even got in on the action and tied one on.  And no I don't mean he "tied one on"  he tied a fork on the jar.  I may be a bad parent, but I am not that bad.

Getting ready to "Tie one on"  

  So the verdict at work was good.  The few people that I know that don't like sweet things just avoided them.  The girl who hates chocolate actually liked it, and one guy told me that "that cake in a can was good."  And there you have it people, cake in a can.


All done, and no need to put it in the fridge, as they keep great and were moist for a few days after.  Well so I would think,they really didn't last that long.

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

S'more Bark

These marshmallows really are so cute, I could look at them all day.

 Well this is going to be a short and sweet post.  Sorry couldn't help myself, sweet, get it?

 Okay never mind, I just need to fill up space here people.

  So this is another one of those, I had left over stuff, and it was easier to make something then clean it all up.  So after my Cheesecake pops and my S'more cookies I had some left over melted chocolate, graham cracker crumbs and marshmallow bits.  I mean seriously if I didn't know how to put that together, I should not be allowed to eat chocolate ever again.

And this right here, this is where I make left overs tasty again.
This is all you need, the chocolate was already in the microwave when I realized I forgot to take a picture.

I know a little dramatic, but you know, I have to pump myself up somehow.

At this point I worried the stuff would not mix together well.

S'more Bark
By me, but I am sure it has been done before

-graham cracker crumbs
-melted candy melts or chocolate
-baby marshmallows

But it did, just perfectly.
  Mix your crumbs and chocolate until all smooth, then add about half of your marshmallows.  Mix again.  Then you can either spread it out on parchment on a cookie sheet or as I do, because I like things to be all the same shape, put it in a piping bag without a tip and fill whatever mold you want to.  Then before it sets sprinkle on the rest of your marshmallows.
I used a piping bag to try and not be too messy.  The word it "tried"I never said it worked.
  That's it people.  I did not give measurements as it was just left overs, but you want enough of the crumbs in the chocolate so you can actually taste it and it also depends on how much you want.  I used a silicone mold and just put it in the freezer, when they were set I popped them out, easy peasy.  I used the little left over I had and put it on parchment on a plate.  I like the look of bark but hate the different sizes, I may be a little OCD on that, but whatever, it's my bark.
And I always have a bit left over, so I just put it on a plate.  I hate breaking it up, I like uniform things.
 So there you go, how to be amazing and not have to clean up as much all in one post!
And see how easy that was?

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