Thursday, June 30, 2011

Watermelon Pops


Watermelon Pops

1 cup sugar, divided
1 package (3 ounces) lime flavor gelatin
2 cups boiling water, divided
Ice cubes
1 cup cold water, divided
1 package (3 ounces) strawberry flavor gelatin
3 tablespoons miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 package (4 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1-1/2 cups thawed whipped topping

Mix 1/3 cup sugar and lime gelatin mix in medium bowl. Add 1 cup boiling water; stir 2 minutes until completely dissolved. Add enough ice to 1/2 cup cold water to measure 3/4 cup. Add to lime gelatin; stir until ice is completely melted. Refrigerate 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, repeat previous step using strawberry gelatin mix and omitting the refrigeration step. Pour into 16 (3 ounce) paper cups. Freeze 20 minutes. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon chocolate chips into gelatin in each cup.

Beat cream cheese and remaining sugar with mixer in medium bowl until well blended. Stir in whipped topping, spread over gelatin in cups.

Pour lime gelatin over cream cheese mixture. Insert wooden pop stick or plastic spoon into gelatin in center of each cup. Freeze 3 hours or until firm. Remove pops from cups just before serving by dipping cups in warm water for 15 seconds. Peel off cups. (Do not twist or pull on handle.)

Recipe and picture from KraftFoods.com

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Firecracker Cupcakes


Firecracker Cupcakes

1-1/2 cups flake coconut, divided
4 drops each: blue and red food colorings
24 yellow cupcakes
2 cups thawed whipped topping
24 red string licorice pieces (4 inch)

Place 1/2 cup of the coconut in each of two separate resealable plastic bags; set remaining 1/2 cup coconut aside. Add blue food coloring to coconut in one bag and red food coloring to coconut in second bag. Seal bags; shake until coconut is evenly tinted.

Spread tops of cupcakes with whipped topping. Sprinkle with red, white (uncolored) and blue coconut as desired; press coconut gently into whipped topping to secure.

Insert licorice piece.

Recipe and picture from KraftFoods.com

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Star Spangled Dessert


Star Spangled Dessert

Strawberries
Whipped cream cheese
Sugar (optional)
Blueberries

Clean and hull five strawberries, then add dollops of whipped cream cheese to the top of each one. Sprinkle sugar on the cream cheese (optional), then top each strawberry with a blueberry and arrange them as shown.

Recipe and picture from FamilyFun.go.com

Monday, June 27, 2011

Edible Eagle


Edible Eagle

1/4 cup white chocolate chips
6 large marshmallows
Finely shredded coconut
Chocolate-covered oreo
6 cashews
Black decorators' gel

Melt 1/4 cup white chocolate chips according to the package directions.

For each bird, drop a large marshmallow into the melted chocolate, using a spatula to coat it well.

Remove the marshmallow from the chocolate and roll it in finely shredded coconut, leaving one end uncovered.

Immediately set the marshmallow, coconut free end down, atop a chocolate sandwich cookie.

Let the chocolate set a bit, then use a toothpick to make a hole in the side of the marshmallow and insert a cashew for a beak.

Finally, add black decorators' gel eyes.

Recipe and picture from FamilyFun.go.com

Friday, June 24, 2011

Uncle Sam Ice Cream Cones


Uncle Sam Ice Cream Cones

1 wafer ice cream cone
White frosting
Blue fruit leather
Red and blue decorating gels
Red and blue M&Ms
Canister of ready-made whipped cream

Place a scoop of vanilla ice cream on a plate and return it to the freezer to harden. Meanwhile, construct an Uncle Sam hat out of a wafer ice cream cone.

Use frosting to attach a blue band of fruit leather around the bottom of the cone. Squirt vertical stripes of red decorating gel down the sides and blue gel on the top. *Hold the cone from the inside.*

Using a star tip, squirt on white frosting stars around the blue fruit leather, if desired. Remove the ice-cream scoop "head" from the freezer and top with the Uncle Sam hat. Working quickly so the ice cream doesn't melt, add blue M&Ms eyes and a red M&Ms nose. Finally, add a whipped cream beard. Serve immediately.

Recipe and picture from FamilyFun.go.com

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Patriotic Taco Salad


Patriotic Taco Salad

1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1-1/2 cups water
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
1 envelope taco seasoning
6 cups tortilla or corn chips
4-5 cups shredded lettuce
9-10 pitted large olives, sliced lengthwise
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the water, tomato paste and taco seasoning. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

Place chips in an ungreased 13x9-inch dish.* Spread beef mixture evenly over the top. Cover with lettuce. For each star, arrange five olive slices together in the upper left corner. To form stripes, add cheese and tomatoes in alternating rows. Serve immediately.


Tip
*If preparing the salad in advance, omit the layer of chips and serve them with the salad.

Recipe and picture from TasteOfHome.com

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Lady Liberty Cupcakes


Lady Liberty Cupcakes

Cake mix
Flat-bottom ice cream cones
Yellow or orange frosting
Sugar wafers
Orange and red decorators' gel

To make a batch, prepare your favorite cake mix according to the package directions and spoon it into flat-bottomed ice cream cones (a regular-size box of cake mix will make enough for about 24), filling the cones no more than halfway.

Set the cones upright in a baking pan, supporting them with crumpled aluminum foil. Bake according to the cake mix directions, following the time recommended for cupcakes. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely, then frost each one with yellow or orange frosting.

To make each torch's flame, cut 2 sugar wafers in half at an angle and stick them into the cupcake. Add orange and red frosting or decorators' gel.

Recipe and picture from FamilyFun.go.com

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Watermelon Pop Stars


Watermelon Pop Stars

Use a cookie cutter to cut juicy star shapes from 1-inch-thick slices of seedless watermelon.

Insert a popsicle stick into each star, then set the pops on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet.

Cover the stars with another sheet of foil and freeze for 1 hour or until firm.

Recipe and picture from FamilyFun.go.com

Monday, June 20, 2011

Firecracker Bites


Firecracker Bites

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 cup cold milk
1 package (3.4 ounces) vanilla flavor instant pudding
1-1/2 cups thawed whipped topping, divided
1 package (12 ounces) vanilla wafers
1/2 cup mixed red, white and blue sprinkles
42 pieces red string licorice (1 inch)

Beat cream cheese in large bowl with mixer until creamy. Gradually beat in milk. Add dry pudding mix; beat 2 minutes. Whisk in 1 cup whipped topping.

Spoon about 1-1/2 tablespoons pudding mixture onto each of half the wafers; cover with remaining wafers to make sandwiches. Freeze 2 hours or until filling is firm.

Spread tops of wafer sandwiches with remaining whipped topping. Dip in sprinkles. Insert licorice piece in top of each for the fuse. Freeze until ready to serve.

*These are especially fun to make, but on a hot day will thaw quickly. However, they usually go fast so that is not a problem. Just make sure you have plenty of freezer space available since they take up alot of room.

Recipe and picture from KraftFoods.com

Friday, June 17, 2011

A Grate Gift for Dad


A Grate Gift for Dad

Brownie batter
Black food coloring
White frosting
Orange sugar
Caramel creams
Red, yellow and green candy fruit slices
Hot Tamales candies

To make a batch of 12, place liners in a muffin pan, oil them, and fill them two thirds full of your favorite brownie batter, then bake according to the recipe directions. Let the brownies cool.

In a small bowl, mix one or two drops of black food coloring with 1/4 cup white frosting. Transfer the frosting to a ziplock bag and snip a small section from the corner. Pipe grate lines onto each brownie and let them set for 20 minutes. Add embers with a sprinkle of orange sugar.

Prepare the grill food as instructed below and press it in place atop each brownie.

Kebabs: a caramel cream and red, yellow, and green candy fruit slices, cut into small pieces + toothpick skewers

Pork chop: two thirds of a caramel cream, molded with fingers + black food coloring, applied with a toothpick

Hot dogs: hot tamales candies +black food coloring, applied with a toothpick

Recipe and picture from Familyfun.go.com

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Hot Rod Dog


Hot Rod Dog

1 beef frank
1 hot dog bun, split
1 little wiener
1 tablespoon cheese dip
1 cherry tomato
9 small pretzel sticks
1/2 of a tomato slice
1 single cheese slice
2 teaspoons ketchup
2 stuffed green olives
4 dill sandwich slices
1 round cracker
2 green onion slices
1 pitted black olive slice

Heat frank as directed on package or grill until heated through. Place frank in bun to form the lower part of the "driver's body." Place little wiener upright at one end of the frank to form the upper part of the driver's body, using cheese dip to secure pieces. Attach cherry tomato to top of the little wiener with pretzel stick to form the "driver's head."

Place tomato slice upright at one end of sandwich, in front of the driver, to resemble the windshield, attaching to frank with a dab of cheese dip. Place single cheese slice over the frank, in front of the windshield, to form the "hood." Decorate with ketchup.

Add green olives to front of hood for the "headlights," using 2 of the pretzel sticks, then attach pickle slices with 4 of the pretzel sticks to both sides of the bun for "wheels." Add the cracker for the "steering wheel."

Attach the white parts of the green onion to the driver's head with a dab of cheese dip to resemble the goggles. Attach ripe olive slice, cut in half, to driver's head, using dab of cheese spread, to form "smile." Cut remaining half of olive slice crosswise in half for the "eyebrows." Attach remaining 2 pretzel sticks to both sides of little wiener for the "arms."

Recipe and picture from KraftFoods.com

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Baseball Cupcakes


Baseball Cupcakes

1 package (2-layer size) white cake mix
10 oreo cookies, crushed
2 cups thawed whipped topping
3 tablespoons red decorating gel

Prepare cake batter as directed on package. Stir in cookie crumbs; spoon evenly into 24 paper-lined medium muffin cups.

Bake as directed on package for cupcakes. Cool completely.

Frost cupcakes with the whipped topping. Use decorating gel to draw stitching lines on top of each cupcake to resemble a baseball. Store in refrigerator.

Recipe and picture from KraftFoods.com

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Fruit Sushi


Fruit Sushi

1-1/4 cups rice chex cereal
1 cup white vanilla baking chips
4 rolls fruit roll-ups chewy fruit snack, unwrapped
12 candy worms

Place cereal in resealable food-storage plastic bag; seal bag and crush with fingers to make 3/4 cup.

In medium microwavable bowl, microwave baking chips as directed on package until melted and stirred smooth. Add crushed cereal; stir until well coated.

Unroll fruit snacks rolls. For each sushi roll, spread 1/4 of cereal mixture on snack roll to within 1/2 inch of one short side. Arrange 3 candy worms, side by side, on cereal-covered short side.

Starting with short side topped with candy worms, roll up each snack roll tightly, pressing unfilled short side of roll to seal. Let sushi rolls stand 5-10 minutes or until firm. cut each roll into 4 slices. Store loosely covered.

Recipe and picture from BettyCrocker.com

Monday, June 13, 2011

Cheesy Gift for Dad


Cheesy Gift for Dad

Crackers
American cheese slices
Red or green bell pepper
Pepperoni
Scallions
Yellow mustard

For each shirt, top a cracker with a rectangle of cheese.

Next, cut shirt details, such as a collar, pocket, tie, or button seam, out of cheese, peppers or pepperoni.

Use thinly sliced scallions or dots of yellow mustard for buttons. For a fun presentation, wrap Dad's treat in a small jewelry box lined with waxed paper.

Recipe and picture from FamilyFun.go.com

Friday, June 10, 2011

Diploma Cookies


Diploma Cookies

1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/3 cup shortening
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted

Beat butter, shortening and brown sugar until creamy. Beat in baking powder, salt, vanilla and egg. Stir in flours. Divide dough in half. Cover and refrigerate about 2 hours.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Roll each half of dough into 15x6-inch rectangle on floured surface. Cut lengthwise into three 15x2-inch strips, then cut crosswise into two 7-1/2x2-inch strips. Working quickly, spread about 1 teaspoon melted chocolate over one strip to within 1/4-inch of one long side. Gently roll up, starting at long side with chocolate. Repeat with remaining cookie strips and chocolate. Cut each roll into 2 pieces; roll each cookie slightly to shape. On ungreased cookie sheet, place cookies about 1 inch apart.

Bake 8-10 minutes or until edges are firm. Cool 1 minutes; remove to cooling rack. Cool completely. Place remaining chocolate in plastic bag. Cut hole in corner and squeeze out chocolate to look like ties.


Recipe and picture from BettyCrocker.com

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Graduation Caps


Graduation Caps

24 miniature peanut butter cups
1 tube (6 ounces) decorating frosting, any color
24 After Eight thin mints
24 milk chocolate M&Ms, any color or 24 semisweet chocolate chips

Remove paper lines from peanut butter cups; place upside down on waxed paper. Place a small amount of frosting on each peanut butter cup; center a mint on each. Using frosting, make a loop for each cap's tassel. Place an M&M on top of each loop.

Recipe and picture from TasteOfHome.com

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Diploma Sandwiches


Diploma Sandwiches

1 loaf (16 ounces) thin white sandwich bread, crusts removed
2 cups prepared ham, tuna or chicken salad
Whole chives or green onion tops

Flatten bread slices with a rolling pin. Spread a rounded tablespoonful of ham salad onto each slice of bread. Gently roll up; tie each with a chive.

Recipe and picture from TasteOfHome.com

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Graduation Cap Cupcakes


Graduation Cap Cupcakes

1 package (2-layer size) yellow or devils food cake mix
1 package vanilla or chocolate pudding mix
1 package fudge covered graham cracker cookies
Butter cream icing
Twizzlers, pull and peel (not Redvines)
M&Ms

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare cake batter as directed on package. Blend in pudding mix; spray muffin tins with cooking spray. Place a little less than 1/4 cup of batter into each muffin tin. Bake 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean; cool completely.

Place cupcakes upside-down on plate. Spoon buttercream icing into resealable plastic bag. Snip one corner from bottom of bag; pipe icing inside the cupcakes and onto tops of cupcakes, reserving small amount of icing for later use. Top cupcakes with fudge covered graham cracker cookies, to resemble graduation caps.

Use Twizzlers (pull and peel) to make tassels for caps. Add 1 tassel and M&M to top of each graham cracker cookie, securing each with dab of remaining icing. Keep refrigerated.


Tips
-Do not twist Twizzlers. Simply leave 3 strands hanging straight down from top of cap. Make sure strands are not longer than the cupcake. Trim, if necessary, to be hanging.

-Put enough icing between cupcake and graham cracker to make sure it sticks.

-Do not put too much icing on the top of the hat to keep on Twizzlers and M&M.

*We made these every year for our teen Grad Night. After 3 years, we got it down to a science and the recipe above is what became the easiest. They will look a little different from the picture below.*

Recipe adapted and picture from KraftFoods.com

Monday, June 6, 2011

Cheesy Diplomas

Cheesy Diplomas

Sandwich meat (1 slice per diploma)
Sliced cheese (Swiss or provolone work best)
Scallions

For each diploma, stack a slice of sandwich meat on a slice of cheese.

Roll them up and tie each diploma with a scallion.

Recipe and picture from FamilyFun.go.com

Friday, June 3, 2011

A Colorful Bunch of Balloons

1 package (2-layer) white cake mix
3 cups thawed whipped topping
8 drops food coloring (from each of 4 different colors)

Prepare cake batter and bake as directed on package for 24 cupcakes. Cool in pans 15 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks; cool completely.

Spoon 3/4 cup whipped topping into each of 4 small bowls. Tint each with food coloring. Frost 6 cupcakes with each color whipped topping.

Tape 1 piece of ribbon to bottom of each cupcake liner. Arrange cupcakes on large platter just before serving. Tie loose ends of all ribbons together; place on platter.

Recipe and picture from KraftRecipes.com

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Groovy Jeans Cake

1 box cake mix (any flavor)
Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on cake mix box
2-1/2 cups vanilla frosting
Blue paste food color
1 roll Fruit by the Foot chewy fruit snack
Assorted decorations (licorice pieces, candy decors, yellow shot, candy-coated almonds)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom and sides of 13x9 inch pan and lightly flour, or spray with baking spray with flour. Make cake as directed on box, using water, oil and eggs. Pour into pan. Bake as directed on box. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

Use toothpicks to mark sections of cake to be cut. Use serrated knife to cut cake into sections.


On tray, place largest piece. Place 1-1/2 inch strip of cake along top edge of jeans; cut off excess. Place triangles along outer edges of legs. Cover; freeze 1 hour or until firm.

Tint frosting with blue food color. Remove cake from freezer; frost sides and top of cake. Use fork or decorating comb to create fabric texture.

To decorate cake, cut fruit snack into 8-inch length and 6-inch length. Place fruit snack on top edge of cake, overlapping in center, for belt. Decorate as desired with candies. Store loosely covered at room temperature.

Recipe and picture from Betty Crocker

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Cupcake Pops

9x13-inch chocolate cake
2 cups buttercream frosting
1 package chocolate coating bark
1 package white coating bark or pink candy melts
Sprinkles, for garnish
Candy-coated chocolates, such as M&M's, for garnish

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Trim about 1/2 inch from the perimeter of the cake. Working in batches, crumble cake into the bowl of a food processor; process until fine crumbs form. Transfer to a large bowl and add frosting; blend together using the back of a spoon, until well combined, 5 to 10 minutes.

Roll mixture into 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 inch balls; transfer to prepared baking sheet. Cover with parchment paper lined aluminum foil. Transfer to refrigerator until chilled, about 2 hours or to a freezer for about 10 minutes.

Begin to shape balls into cupcakes by rolling balls first into logs. Fit logs into a 1-1/4 by 3/4 inch flower-shaped cookie cutter. Push cake mixture into the cutter halfway so that some of the cake mixture extends beyond the top of the cutter. Shape extended cake mixture into a cupcake-shaped top. Push cake from cutter to remove. Transfer to a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Transfer to freezer until chilled, 5 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt chocolate in heatproof bowl set over (but not touching) simmering water. Line another baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Remove cupcakes from freezer and dip the bottom of each cupcake into the chocolate; transfer, bottom side up, to prepared baking sheet. To make lollipops, insert a lollipop stick into the bottom of each cupcake. Let chocolate set, 15 to 20 minutes.

Melt white chocolate or pink candy melts in heatproof bowl set over (but not touching) simmering water. Dip the tops of the cupcakes into the chocolate and place right side up on prepared baking sheet or stick lollipops into a Styrofoam square. Place a candy-coated chocolate in the center of each and top with sprinkles. Let dry completely.

Recipe and picture from MarthaStewart.com (Originally from Bakerella.com)