Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Aquarium Cups

Aquarium Cups
3/4 cup boiling water
1 package (3 ounces) berry blue flavor gelatin
Ice cubes
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 cup chopped strawberries
4 bite-size fish shaped chewy fruit snacks
Add boiling water to gelatin mix in medium bowl; stir 2 minutes until completely dissolved. Add enough ice cubes to cold water to measure 1-1/4 cups. Add to gelatin; stir until slightly thickened. Remove any unmelted ice. If gelatin is still thin, refrigerate until slightly thickened.
Place berries in 4 clear plastic cups; cover with gelatin. Press fruit snacks into gelatin until completely submerged.
Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm.
Recipe and picture from

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Cookie Fish

Cookie Fish
1 miniature pretzel twist
1 oreo cookie
1/4 teaspoon ready-to-spread vanilla frosting
1 5-inch square piece chewy fruit snack roll, cut diagonally in half
1 candy coated chocolate piece
Attach pretzel, with wide part of pretzel facing outward, to bottom edge of cookie with some of the frosting for the fish's mouth. Fold 1 of the snack roll pieces to resemble a fan; place on opposite edge of cookie for the fish's tail, securing with some of the remaining frosting.
Place, pretzel side down, on plate.
Attach remaining snack roll piece to top of cookie with some of the remaining frosting for the fish's fins. Use remaining frosting to attach candy to the cookie for the fish's eye. Let stand until frosting is firm.
Recipe and picture from

Monday, August 29, 2011

Banana Octopus

Banana Octopus
2 black-eyed peas
Cut the stem off the banana. Then peel it halfway down from the top, in 4 sections.
Discard (or eat) the top half of the banana. Leave the bottom half of the banana in its peel.
To create 8 arms, use a knife to split each of the 4 sections of the peel in half.
For the face, choose the flattest side of the banana. Make the eyes by pushing a toothpick into the skin and wiggling it around to create 2 hold, then insert a black-eyed pea into each hole.
Recipe and picture from

Friday, August 26, 2011

Crab Cracker Critter

Crab Cracker Critter
1 cheese slice, quartered
4 round cheese crackers
20 show mein noodles
4 slices stuffed green olives
Place 2 cheese pieces on each of 2 crackers; cover each with second cracker.
Arrange 5 noodles on opposite sides of each stack of crackers to form the "crab's claws." Add olive slices for the "eyes."
Recipe and picture from

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Pool Party Cake

Pool Party Cake
1/2 gallon ice cream (any flavor)
1-1/3 8.5 ounce packages fudge sticks (chocolate or peanut butter)
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Blue food coloring
Gummy rings
Decorators' frosting
Begin by making the ice cream base of the pool cake. Let the ice cream soften at room temperature for 15-20 minutes, then spoon it into an 8 inch round springform pan, soufflé dish, or plastic container. Pack the ice cream into the mold and smooth out the top. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight.
After the ice cream has frozen solid, unfold it by dipping the container quickly into a pan of hot water; if necessary, you can also loosen the edges of the ice cream with a knife. Invert the mold onto a large plate and carefully lift off the pan to reveal the ice cream cake.
Carefully place the fudge sticks (alternate plain and chocolate-peanut butter) along the sides of the ice cream pool cake, the cookies will resemble the panels of an aboveground pool. Return the cake to the freezer while you prepare the whipped cream.
To make the blue whipped cream waves, pour the cold heavy cream into a bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until the cream begins to thicken and soft peaks form. Add the sugar and vanilla extract and beat until stiff. Mix in several drops of blue food coloring. Frost the top of the frozen cake with the blue whipped cream, then return it to the freezer for 15-30 minutes or until set.
Next, turn the cake into a bustling pool with gummy ring inner tubes, Gobstopper beach balls, paper umbrellas, and plastic swimmers. Add a licorice ladder with licorice rungs (use decorators' frosting to glue it together).
For best results, serve pool cake immediately and do not let it stand at room temperature for long. Store leftovers in the freezer.
Recipe and picture from

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Cookie Octopus

Cookie Octopus
1/4 teaspoon ready to spread vanilla frosting
1 oreo cookie
2 worm shaped chewy fruit snacks, cut into quarters
2 candy coated chocolate pieces
Spread some of the frosting onto bottom of cookie. Press fruit snack pieces into frosting around edge of cookie for the octopus' legs.
Place, leg sides down, on plate.
Use remaining frosting to attach candies to top of cookie for the eyes. Let stand until frosting is firm.
Recipe and picture from

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sailboat Sandwiches

Sailboat Sandwiches
Crescent dinner rolls
Tuna salad
Cheddar cheese
Slice the tops off the rolls and hollow them out. Fill the rolls with the tuna salad or any other filling. Slice the cheese into rectangles about 1/8 inch thick. Cut the rectangles on the diagonal to make triangles. Insert a toothpick into each triangle to make little sails.
Recipe and picture from

Monday, August 22, 2011

Bears at the Beach

Bears at the Beach
1 package (2 layer size) white cake mix
2-1/4 cups thawed whipped topping, divided
6 drops blue food coloring
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
48 teddy graham snacks
24 miniature marshmallows
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.
Remove 1-1/4 cups whipped topping; set aside. Tint remaining whipped topping with food coloring. Spread top of each cupcake with some of each color whipped topping to resemble the ocean and its beach. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon graham crumbs over white whipped topping on each cupcake for sand.
Insert 1 small cocktail umbrella into beach area on each cupcake for the beach umbrella. Decorate cupcakes with remaining ingredients. Keep refrigerated.
Recipe and picture from

Friday, August 19, 2011

Cookie Oyster

Cookie Oyster
2 peanut butter chips
1 oreo cookie
1/4 teaspoon ready to spread vanilla frosting
1 chocolate malted milk ball
Attach peanut butter chips to top of cookie with some of the frosting for the oyster's eyes.
Pull cookie halves almost all the way apart, leaving cream filling on bottom half of cookie. Spread "hinged" edge with remaining frosting to secure.
Press malted milk ball gently into creme filling for the oyster's pearl. Place on plate. Let stand until frosting is firm.
Recipe and picture from

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Homemade Sand Castles

Homemade Sand Castles
8 inch round yellow cake
9 inch square yellow cake
2 (12 ounce) cans whipped vanilla frosting
Vanilla wafers, 12 ounce box
4 jumbo ice cream cups
2 small ice cream cups
6 sugar cones
Graham cracker sticks
Candy seashells and rocks
Use a long serrated knife to trim the top of the round cake flat, if needed. cut a 5-1/2 inch and a 3-1/2 inch circle from the square cake, then stack all three pieces, spreading vanilla frosting between the layers. Frost the stack.
Use a rolling pin or food processor to crumble the wafers. With your hands, press the crumbs into the frosting, completely coating the cake. Spread frosting on the bottom of each ice cream cup, then set them around the cake. With a serrated knife, carefully trim 1-1/2 inches from the top of 2 of the sugar cones. Set all 6 cones into the cups to complete the turrets, spreading a bit of frosting around the rims to hold them if needed.
Press 2 graham cracker stick doors into the middle cake layer and rim the rest of the cake with graham cracker stick halves. Sprinkle the remaining crumbs around the base and add a scattering of candy seashells and rocks.
Recipe and picture from

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Dive In Cake

Dive In Cake
1 package (2-layer size) yellow cake mix
2 cups boiling water
2 package (3 ounces each) berry blue flavor gelatin
1 cup cold water
1 tub (8 ounces) whipped topping, thawed
56 mini oreo bite size cookies
6 teddy graham snacks
5 ring shaped chewy fruit snacks
4 bite size fish shaped chewy fruit snacks
Prepare cake batter and bake in 13x9 inch pan as directed on package. Cool completely. Invert cake onto platter; remove pan. Use serrated knife to cut and scoop out shallow rectangle from center of cake, leaving 2-inch border of cake on all sides and thin layer on bottom. Reserve removed cake for snacking or other use.
Add boiling water to gelatin mixes in large bowl; stir 2 minutes until completely dissolved. Stir in cold water. Refrigerate 1-1/4 hours or until slightly thickened. Pour into center of cake. Refrigerate 3 hours or until gelatin is firm.
Frost borders of cake with whipped topping. Decorate with remaining ingredients as desired to resemble a swimming pool. Keep cake refrigerated.
Recipe and picture from

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Garden Octopus

Garden Octopus
2 bell peppers
Dip or hummus
Black olives
For the octopus's body, remove the pepper's stem end and scoop out the white ribs and seeds. For the arms, slice a second pepper into strips.
Place some dip or hummus in a shallow bowl, and arrange the octopus as shown. Use a bit of dip and sliced black olives to give your creature eyes.
Serve with extra veggies, such as carrot sticks, fresh green beans, lightly steamed broccoli spears, sliced cucumber, and jicama sticks.
Recipe and picture from

Monday, August 15, 2011

Sailboat Sundaes

Sailboat Sundaes
1 packages (4 serving size) vanilla flavor instant pudding
1 can (15 ounces) sliced peaches, drained
2 plastic straws, cut in half
Prepare pudding as directed on package; spoon evenly into 4 serving dishes. Refrigerate 5 minutes or until ready to serve.
Top each with a peach slice for the "boat" and a "sail" made from a straw half and piece of paper.
Recipe and picture from

Friday, August 12, 2011

Wiggly Watermelon Parfait

Wiggly Watermelon Parfait

1 cup thawed whipped topping
3 drops green food coloring
1 cup boiling water
1 package (4-serving size) watermelon flavor gelatin
2 cups ice cubes
1 square semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

Mix whipped topping and food coloring; spoon evenly into 4 dessert dishes to resemble the rind of a watermelon. Place in freezer while preparing gelatin.

Stir boiling water into dry gelatin in large bowl at least 2 minutes until completely dissolved. Add ice cubes. Stir 5 minutes or until gelatin is slightly thickened. Remove any unmelted ice.

Spoon gelatin evenly over whipped topping. Insert chocolate pieces into gelatin to resemble watermelon seeds. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until gelatin is firm.

Recipe and picture from

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Flying Fish

Flying Fish

Snow peas
Yellow pepper
Cream Cheese
Green olives

Begin with a snow-pea body, then add triangular fins cut from a yellow pepper (use a pair of clean scissors or a paring knife to do the job).

For a tail, cut a second pea pod into a "V." Use the green-olive as the "eye," glued in place with cream cheese.

Recipe and picture from

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Turtle Cracker Critter

Turtle Cracker Critter

1 cheese slice, quartered
2 cheese crackers
1 cherry tomato half
5 small carrot or celery pieces
1 stuffed green olive slice

Stack cheese pieces on 1 of the crackers; cover with remaining crackers to make sandwich. Top with tomato half, cut side down.

Arrange carrots around crackers to form 4 "legs" and a "tail." Add olive slice for the "head."

Recipe and picture from

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Waves of Fun

Waves of Fun

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 container (12 ounce) fluffy white frosting
1 tube (0.68 ounces) blue decorating gel
1 piece red pull-apart licorice
1 fruit snack roll (from 4.5 ounce package)
About 4 gummy rings candy
About 2 sticks striped gum
2 creme filled wafer cookies
8 teddy bear shaped graham snacks
About 4 small gum balls, if desired
Gummy sharks or fish candy, if desired

Heat oven to 375 degrees. In large bowl, beat sugar, butter, vanilla and egg with spoon until smooth. Stir in flour. Pat dough in ungreased 12-inch pizza pan.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set and edge is light golden brown. Cool completely in pan or wire rack, about 45 minutes.

Spread frosting on cookie. Squeeze decorating gel randomly in about 16 spots on frosting. Pull fork through gel to make wave designs. Place licorice on waves for "rope." Cut fruit roll into triangles; place by licorice for "flags." Place gummy rings candy on waves for inner tubes. Roll up end of gum sticks for "inflatable floats;" place on waves. Place cookies on waves for "rafts." Add graham snacks for "people." Add gum balls for "beach balls." Add gummy sharks candy.

Recipe and picture from

Monday, August 8, 2011

Mini Octopus Mac n Cheese

Mini Octopus Mac n Cheese

4 hot dogs
1 package (7-1/4 ounce) mac n cheese dinner

Cut hot dog lengthwise in half, starting each cut about 1 inch from 1 end of each hot dog. Roll each hot dog one-quarter turn and cut a second lengthwise cut, again starting about 1 inch from uncut end. (This will form the 4 legs of each octopus.) Use sharp knife or kitchen shears to cut each leg lengthwise in half, about 1 inch from uncut end, creating a total of 8 legs on each hot dog. Poke 2 holes into the uncut portion of each hot dog for the eyes.

Prepare dinner as directed on package. Meanwhile, add hot dogs to separate saucepan of boiling water; cook as directed on package, watching each hot dog turn into an octopus right before your eyes.

Spoon dinner into 4 small bowls; top each with a hot dog octopus.

Recipe and picture from

Friday, August 5, 2011

Deviled Egg Boats

Deviled Egg Boats

Peel the eggs, then slice each one in half to make boats. Place the yolks in a medium-sized bowl and mash them with a fork. Add the mustard and the vinegar, then add the mayonnaise, stirring until the consistency is smooth but not soupy.

Next, make the sails. To do this, cut each pepper into 1-inch-wide strips, then cut the strips into 1-inch squares and slice each square in half diagonally.

Fill the egg-white halves with the yolk mixture. Stick the sail upright into the filling and sprinkle with paprika.

Recipe and picture from

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Chocolate Ginger Bathing Beauties

Chocolate Ginger Bathing Beauties

3-1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons ground ginger
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
1/3 cup (2 ounces) candy-coated chocolates
1/4 cup chocolate chips, melted
2 pints chocolate ice cream

Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium bowl; set aside. Put shortening and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 1 minute.

Mix in egg. Reduce speed to medium. Mix in vinegar and molasses. Reduce speed to low. Gradually mix in flour mixture until soft dough forms. Let stand at room temperature until slightly firm, 10 minutes.

Divide dough into thirds. Roll 1 piece between 2 sheets of parchment paper to just over 1/8 inch thick. Transfer parchment and dough to baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, stacking them on the same baking sheet. Refrigerate until firm, about 3 hours (or chill in freezer 1 hour).

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Transfer 1 sheet of dough on parchment to a lightly floured work surface. Peel off 1 layer of parchment, and then pat it back into place. Flip dough; peel away second sheet of parchment, and discard. Cut out shapes using a 4-inch gingerbread-man cookie cutter, transferring to parchment-lined baking sheets as you work. Roll out scraps; repeat.

Bake cookies until edges are just browned, about 7 minutes. While cookies are warm, poke eyes and noses on half of them using the blunt end of a skewer. Let cool on sheets on wire racks. Repeat with remaining dough and scraps.

Decorate the cookies that have faces with candies, using a small amount of melted chocolate to adhere them. Let ice cream stand at room temperature until slightly softened, about 10 minutes. Spread 1/2-inch thick layer of ice cream onto the underside of an undecorated cookie. Place a decorated cookie on top. Smooth edges using a knife or small spatula. Transfer to a baking sheet in freezer. Repeat with remaining cookies and ice cream. Freeze until set, about 1 hour, before serving.

Recipe and picture from

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Bagel Buoy

Bagel Buoy

1 (8 ounce) package of strawberry cream cheese
Bell peppers
Shredded cheese

Put the strawberry cream cheese into a plastic freezer bag and snip off a small corner.

Pipe the cheese through the hole in the bag to create arms and legs, then hold the tip in place to fill the bagel hole and squeeze out a ball for the head.

Cut out a mask, snorkel, and pair of flippers from bell peppers and pat the pieces with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. Put the snorkel gear in place, top the head with shredded cheese, and set your skin diver afloat!

Recipe and picture from

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Cookie Crab

Cookie Crab

2 chocolate sandwich cookies
1/4 teaspoon ready-to-spread vanilla frosting
2 candy-coated chocolate pieces

Cut 1 of the cookies in half. Use some of the frosting to attach cookie halves, cut-sides facing each other, to bottom of remaining cookie for the crab's claws.

Place on plate.

Use remaining frosting to attach candies to top of whole cookie for the crab's eyes. Let stand until frosting is firm.

Recipe and picture from

Monday, August 1, 2011

Flip Flops Cake

Flip Flops Cake

1 box yellow cake mix
Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on cake mix box
2 containers vanilla frosting
Assorted food colors
About 40 small round candy-coated fruit flavored chewy candies
1 roll fruit snack (4.5 ounce box)
2 edible pansy or silk daisy flowers

Heat oven to 350 degrees (325 degrees for dark or nonstick pans). Grease or spray bottom and sides of 13x9-inch pan. Make and bake cake as directed on box for 13x9-inch pan. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Refrigerate or freeze cake 1 hour or until firm.

In small bowl, mix 1 container frosting with food color to make desired color for sides of flip flops. Reserve 1/3 cup frosting from second container. In small bowl, stir second food color into 1 cup of the remaining frosting to make desired color for top of flip flops.

Using serrated knife, cut rounded top off cake to level surface; place cut side down. Cut cake lengthwise in half. Continue cutting each piece to form flip flop shape as shown in diagram*. Place pieces on tray. Spread a thin layer of frosting for "sides" over each entire flip flop to seal in crumbs. Refrigerate or freeze cake 30 to 60 minutes to set frosting. Frost sides of flip flops with the same remaining frosting. Frost tops of flip flops with second color frosting.

Tint remaining 1/3 cup frosting with food color. To pipe frosting around top edge of flip flops, spoon tinted frosting into small resealable food storage plastic freezer bag and cut small tip off 1 bottom corner of bag. Pipe zigzag design. Place small candies around side edge of each flip flop to look like jewels. Cut two 6-inch pieces from fruit roll; cut pieces lengthwise in half. Arrange on flip flops for straps. Just before serving, top with flowers. Store loosely covered.

Recipe and picture from