Tuesday, August 19, 2014

a little extra fun...

It's the middle of the week and the school year is already off and running for many kids (meaning I'm busier than ever with my REAL job).  It's an adjustment to be back at work again now that things are busy, so we need a little mid-week pick me up.

What better than a super fun and easy recipe that is just plain delicious? 

We made this a few weeks ago to celebrate my cute little niece and her big birthday #3.  It was our first go at homemade funfetti and we'll never go back to the box.  It was so tasty I knew we'd make it again soon.
 So here goes!

Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes
  • 1 and 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 6oz. greek yogurt  (we used vanilla)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup sprinkles (must use jimmies - NOT non-pariels)
And to perfectly top 'em off...
Vanilla Buttercream
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • a splash of milk, heavy cream or half + half
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • a pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 350F degrees. 
In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Whisk sugars and melted butter until it's lump free. Whisk in egg, yogurt, milk, and vanilla extract until combined. Slowly mix in dry ingredients until relatively smooth.  Gently stir in sprinkles, being careful not to overmix.
Spoon batter into greased cupcake (or cake) pan. Bake for approx. 13 minutes.  Allow to cool.

To make the buttercream, beat butter with mixer until smooth and creamy (2-3 minutes). Add powdered sugar, cream, and vanilla extract with the mixer running. Increase to high speed and beat for 3 minutes.

When cupcakes have cooled frost away and top with sprinkles!
 Oh, so tasty!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

a pretty little mess

I'm not one to shy away from a little mess (if you are this might not be the thing for you) so bring on the rainbow rice!

This is a pretty popular activity that most teachers are very familiar with (my Kindergarten class LOVED this activity), but I thought I'd write about it because it's just so darn fun....and cheap...and easy.

If you have a toddler and you haven't tried this - go for it.  You won't be disappointed.  It'll keep your little one occupied, but you might just end up playing in it right beside them.  It's fun!  Provided you own a broom - I think you'll love it!
Here's what you need (you may have it all in the pantry)!
White rice ~ we went big and got a 20lb bag
Food Coloring ~ we love this gel variety but I'm sure anything works
Large ziploc bags ~ or small depending upon the amount you're making

All you have to do is:
Measure 4 cups of rice into each bag
mix 1/4 cup vinegar with a nice blob of food coloring to reach desired color
add colored vinegar to your rice and shake, shake, shake
It takes about 4 hours to dry in the open ziploc bags BUT if you're impatient like we are, it only takes 15 minutes in a 225 degree oven.

preferably on a hard wood floor,

The bonus here - it's edible - though definitely not tasty.  Pickled rice anyone?