Fun Food

Recipe: “Hot Wing” Salad

Photo2

Britt, a good friend of mine and blogger at BlondeNerd.com, just had her first salad last night. I know, I don’t believe it either. She refuses to go near lettuce and has avoided salads all her life. I told her that one day I would convert her by taking her favorite meal, Hot Wings, and turning it into a healthy, leafy dish.

Yesterday was that day. With the help of Whole Foods and their Whole Kids Foundation, I created a recipe to encourage more people to eat salads. And if I can get Britt to eat more veggies, I can get ANYONE to. According to Whole Foods, “replacing one meal a day for a salad could translate into the reduction of 100 calories per day. That’s 10 pounds in one year!  ” So my thinking is: Let’s take some of our favorite unhealthy foods and turn them into slightly-less-unhealthy salads. We still get the flavors we crave while also getting our daily veggie requirements and filling up on less fattening ingredients. Guess my next challenge is to create a cupcake salad…

Anyway, back to the recipe! Behold: A salad even Britt will eat.

“Hot Wing” Salad (serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 2 Boneless, Skinless, Chicken Breasts
  • Canola Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Paprika
  • 1/2 cup Hot Sauce (I used Bella’s Hot Wing Sauce)
  • 3 Romaine Hearts
  • 1/2 cup Shredded Carrots
  • 3 stalks Celery
  • 1/4 cup Blue Cheese Dressing
  • 1/4 cup crumbled Blue Cheese
  • 2 Green Onion stalks

Photo3

Directions:

Slice the raw chicken breasts in half horizontally to make four thin breasts. Season both sides with a bit of salt, pepper, and paprika.

Pour some canola oil into a frying pan (a little more than you would normally use) and let heat up on medium-high heat.

Place the chicken breasts in the pan and let cook for a few minutes on both sites (until inside is not pink and outside is browned).

Place the cooked breasts in a dish, and cover with hot sauce. Flip the breasts over and make sure both sides are fully coated. Place aside.

Chop the romaine hearts and celery and place into a large bowl. Add the shredded carrots.

Add 1/4 cup of Blue Cheese Dressing (or more or less as your tastes prefer) to the salad and toss until evenly coated.

Place the salad evenly onto four plates.

Sprinkle crumbled blue cheese on top of the salads.

Slice the chicken breasts and place one on top of the crumbled blue cheese. Garnish with green onions.

Serve with additional dressing and hot sauce as tastes prefer.

Enjoy!

Measurements are all able to be messed with: If you like more or less of something in your salad, go for it!

The beer expert at my local Whole Foods recommended the following beers to be paired with the salad:

  • Laurelwood Brewing Co: Organic Free Range Red Ale
  • Double Mountain Vaporizer (dry-hopped pale ale)

What do you think? Would you eat a “hot wing” salad? What other unhealthy dishes should I try to convert into a salad?

If you feel inspired to help kids eat more salads, visit wholekidsfoundation.org or make a donation next time you’re at Whole Foods!

Whole Foods provided me with a gift certificate to create this salad as well as information about their Whole Kids Foundation. Thank you, Whole Foods!

Trophy Cupcakes and Parties Book Launch

Trophy Book Launch

I attended the media event for the new Trophy Cupcakes and Parties book yesterday, and holy cow. I am blown away. I own my fair share of cookbooks, cupcake books, and party books, but this is my new go-to.

First off, it’s written by the amazing Jennifer Shea. Not only is she the founder of Trophy Cupcakes, but she’s also a beautiful, sweet, charismatic person with an amazing sense of style–she’s the type of person everyone either wants to be or befriend. I had a fantastic time meeting her when we worked on the Hunger Games Cupcake video and I always look forward to seeing what new beautiful cupcake or project she’ll announce.

Second, the book is just BEAUTIFUL. Rina Jordan did a fantastic job with the photography and the styling of the photos and the book as a whole makes you feel like you’re at a charming and whimsical party and leaves you inspired to create one yourself.

Third, the book holds so much great information. Not only does it include tons of recipes for popular Trophy cupcakes (and fantastic tips and tricks on how to frost cupcakes like the pros!), but it also includes decoration, craft and activity ideas as well as other recipes, all broken up in adorable party theme ideas. There are parties for adults, kids, babies, and everyone in between. I love the Andy Warhol-inspired Pop Art Party, the “Superhero Training Camp” Party and the Life Aquatic Party meant for a baby’s First Birthday.

If you enjoy making cupcakes or throwing parties, you NEED this book. You can get it on Amazon, Trophy’s Website, or in Trophy’s stores.

Or, if you’re in the Seattle area this weekend, you can pick up your book at the Trophy Book Launch Celebration. Cupcakes, champagne, an amazing book, a dance floor, and me? You know you want to. You can get your tickets here. If you decide to attend, let me know so I can say “Hi” in between bites of cupcake!

Now I’m off to practice my piping skills and study up on methods of cupcake-making.

Recipe: Butterbeer Mug Cake

IMG_9523

It’s getting chilly, which means it’s perfect time to cozy up with a hot cup of mug cake. And with the announcement of new movies being made in the Harry Potter ‘verse, it only made sense to figure out how to make a Butterbeer Mug Cake. All you need on a crisp fall day is this and a good book.

I teamed up with Kristina Horner (the resident Harry Potter expert) to film a video on how to make the cake, and then we sat down for a nice discussion/speculation session on the new “Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them” movie(s). Check out both videos below! And keep reading for the recipe. As long as you have some basic ingredients, a mug, and 90 seconds, you can have Butterbeer Mug Cake.

Butterbeer Mug Cake

Ingredients:

  • 4 TBS Flour
  • 2 TBS Brown Sugar (I used light brown)
  • 2 TBS White Sugar
  • 2 TBS Vegetable Oil
  • 2 TBS Cream Soda
  • A pinch of Salt
  • A dash of Imitation Butter Flavor (optional)
  • Whipped Cream

Directions:

Place all ingredients except for the whipped cream into a microwave-safe mug and mix.

Microwave the mug for 90 seconds.

Carefully remove and let cool for a few seconds.

Top with whipped cream.

Enjoy!

The mug cake is best enjoyed soon after baking while it’s still warm and gooey.

Easy, huh? Let me know what you think of the mug cake in the comments!

Bake with Doctor Who

The other day, Kristen Hackett from On Wednesdays We Wear Pink introduced me to Dalek Cupcake toppers. I had a bit of a freak out moment. Why aren’t these in my life, and how quickly can I get them? Who makes these? Do they make other things? Why is it only available on Amazon UK?

I did some sleuthing, and came across the company that makes them. Guess what: They’ve made a full set of amazing Doctor Who baking and party supplies. Be still my beating heart. Unfortunately for me, the company is based in the UK, and shipping to the US starts at around $40. I may have to love these all from afar for the moment, but hopefully some of you are able to get them!

Here are some of my favorite pieces from their collection:

TARDIS Cupcake Kit

TARDIS Cupcake Kit Two different patterns of cupcake wrappers, 4 different types of toppers, and it call comes packaged in a mini TARDIS? Yep. Need it. £9.99.

Dalek Cake Stand

Dalek Cake Stand This cake stand would make the coolest centerpiece for a Doctor Who party, or a great way to display cupcakes for a Whovian’s birthday. £7.99.

TARDIS Chocolate Mold

TARDIS Chocolate Mold This chocolate mold features 6 different Doctor Who designs. These would make super cute gifts or party favors! £4.99.

Doctor Who Dusting Set

Doctor Who Dusting Set This set allows you to dust powdered sugar, cocoa, or other fun ingredients over cupcakes, cakes, the foam on your coffee, and whatever else we can think of. This is super classy looking! £3.49.

Dalek Cake Mold

Dalek Cake EXTERMINATE the cupcakes and go for one large cake with this fantastic Dalek Cake Mold. I mean, just look at it! £16.99.

See the entire Doctor Who collection from Lakeland at Lakeland.co.uk.

Which of these Doctor Who items are you wishing will appear in your kitchen?

Wood For Sheep: The Unauthorized Settlers Cookbook

Untitled

You all know I love theming my food and drinks with my game nights, but I never realized how easy (or tasty) it could be for Settlers of Catan until I read this cookbook. Chris-Rachael Oseland (who also wrote the Doctor Who cookbook I love) put together an assortment of delicious recipes that can team up to form various Settlers maps, using these hexagonal containers. The best part of her maps? Every set has something that someone can eat. If they can’t, she provides options to make them more friendly to dairy free, gluten free, meat free, or other dietary restrictors.

These recipes are absolutely perfect for game night: Most can be set up before folks come over, and people can help themselves throughout the night. No fuss from you when you want to be playing games, and the recipes are all healthier than the standard pizza run.

You can find the book at Amazon for $13.64. Even if you’re not the biggest Settlers fan, I promise, this will be a fantastic base for any gathering of geeks.

3D Space Cookie Cutters

3D Space Cookie Cutters

Suck UK has added another genre to its line of 3D cookies, and this time they’re conquering the final frontier. The cookie cutters come with the pieces to make either a rocket, shuttle, star fighter, or space buggy. It looks like you can’t choose which one you get and have to pay a lot of shipping to get them to the US at the moment, but give them time and they should pop up on Amazon/in local stores. Find them now for $12 each at Suck.uk.com!

CONTEST: Win an Inkedibles Edible Airbrush Ink System!

 Inkedibles Airbrush

Do you enjoy baking? How about painting? Model building? Why not incorporate all of your loves into something amazing (and edible)? This edible airbrush kit will allow you to airbrush food-safe ink onto items of your choice (preferably ones you plan to eat). Use it to paint an accurate rendition of a nebula on a cookie, get the perfect shading on your cake shaped like Hogwarts, or just let your artistic side take over on a white fondant-covered cake.

What would you do with an edible airbrush system?

I told Inkedibles that my readers are great cooks/entertainers and are crafty, and that they like unique and interesting things to use while cooking/crafting. They offered up one of these amazing airbrush sets in return. Enter to win below and you could win the Edible Airbrush AND the pack of 17 edible inks to go with it! You lucky folks, you.

Too impatient to see if you win the contest? You can grab your own airbrush system now from Inkedibles.com.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I have more plans with Inkedibles in the future, and they’re going to be a lot of fun! Keep an eye out!

Healthy Snacks for Game Nights

Healthy Snacks

My friends and I have a lot of impromptu game nights, and I make an effort to make sure everyone is well fed if they step into my house. And as much as my friends love cupcakes and junk food, I’ve found that as we get older, we’re all steering towards healthier options. Some basics I’ve started keeping on hand are things like veggies and hummus and stove popped popcorn. They’re easy to prep and everyone seems to enjoy them. But there’s one unhealthy thing I haven’t been able to fully shake: chips. I’ll bring them out with other healthy options, and my friends and I will tear through a bag like wild animals. So when Green Giant wanted me to try their “Veggie Snacks”, I got excited about the possibility of finding a new healthy item to bring to the table.

Green Giant Veggie Chips Key Visual 1

They sent me Multigrain Sweet Potato Chips in Barbecue and Roasted Veggie Tortilla Chips in Garden Ranch. If you’re a sweet potato lover, you’ll like the sweet potato chips. I was hoping for a bit more of a “barbecue potato chip” feel and taste, so I didn’t love them. But the veggie tortilla chips–oh man. They taste exactly like Cool Ranch Doritos. Next step is to bring some to Taco Bell and see if they’ll turn it into a taco for me.

Next time friends pop on over, I’m psyched that I’ll have these in the pantry ready to go. And if I’m crafty enough, I may try to see if they even notice a difference between regular chips and these healthier, veggie-filled versions.

Find more info (including nutritional information and a coupon) on Green Giant’s Facebook page.

What are your go-to healthy snacks for impromptu game nights?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

DIY Push-Up Pops

Push Up Pop Pic

Remember Push-Up Pops? Now remember the “Pebble” Push-Up Pops with nerds inside? I grew up on these things. It wasn’t summer if these weren’t in the freezer. I started getting a hankering for them over the last couple weeks, and realized how ridiculously easy it would be to make them myself. Presenting: DIY Push-Up Pops!

Ingredients:

  • Push Pop Containers (Around $1 a piece from Amazon. They’re reusable and can be used for all sorts of cool projects!)
  • Sherbet in the flavors of your choice (I used orange and lime)
  • Rainbow Nerds (often found in the “movie candy” section of the stores)

Directions:

  • Allow the sherbet to thaw slightly so it can be mixed.
  • Mix (by hand or on a slow setting in a mixer) the Rainbow Nerds and sherbet in a large bowl.
  • Spoon the mixture into the push pop container, and place the lid on.
  • Return the push-up pops to the freezer and let chill for at least an hour.
  • Enjoy!

See? So easy. So delicious. But be careful, they melt quickly! Better eat them all now.

What was your favorite summer treat when growing up?