Pirate Birthday Party: Treasure Chest Cake

Treasure Chest Cake

I can’t claim this idea from Family Fun, but I can point you to the video tutorial!

A few thoughts: Making this cake was slightly frustrating….but then again, it could’ve just been me. My cake was a little too crumbly and caused me issues when I tried to frost it. Possibly humidity and summer heat?  Putting the cake in the freezer for a little while probably would have helped….but it was too late by the time I realized this, so I marched on through. The top kept sliding off the back and didn’t have the open treasure chest look I was going for (and the original picture showed). But, in the spirit of making things work, I just kept adding gold coins until it looked better. In the end, the birthday boy was happy and that’s the only thing that matters!

Treasure Chest Cake 2

Other Pirate Birthday Party Details: Message-In-A-Bottle Invitations, Shark-Infested Water Jello Treats

Pirate Birthday Party: “Shark-Infested Water” Jello Treats

What’s a Pirate Birthday Party without a little danger & suspense? How about some “Shark-infested Waters” on the high seas?!

Shark-Infested Water Jello Treat

The “Shark-Infested Water” Jello Treats are super easy to make! This was one of Jonah’s favorite parts of his party…probably because he helped make them!

You will need:

  • Blue Jello (This treat takes two steps, so you’ll need atleast 2 packages depending on your desired servings.)
  • Gummy Sharks (I actually found these at the Dollar Tree in the candy section)
  • Clear cups (I used Chinet Cut Crystal 9 oz. cups)

Directions:

  1. Make blue jello according to the package. I used the “quick-set” method since I wanted the first layer of the jello to finish quickly.
  2. Pour jello into clear cups halfway to your desired serving size. Place in the refrigerator and wait until the jello layer is “set”.Blue Jello
  3. Once the first layer of the jello is set, place Gummy Sharks on top. Shark-Infested Water Jello Treat
  4. Prepare second layer of blue jello according to the package. Pour on top of the gummy sharks and first layer of jello. (I guess this part could be optional, but I wanted the sharks to be in the jello. You’ll also notice, I forgot to take a picture of the final outcome. Sorry!)
  5. Refrigerate overnight or until jello is “set”.
  6. Serve to the pirates!

A few tips:

  • A few of my gummy sharks kept wanting to flip over on their backs and float. To fix this, I let the jello start to set halfway and start to get thick. Then, I flipped them  over to their belly. This seemed to do the trick and they finally stayed put.
  • Another thing to try to avoid the gummy sharks from moving too much is place the gummy sharks on top of the first layer of jello before it is completely set and hardened. This might have worked better than my method mentioned above, but I didn’t think about it until after it was too late to fix.

Other Pirate Party Details: Message-In-A-Bottle Invitations

Bake Me A Memory…

To me, Christmas just isn’t complete without doing my traditional baking and candy making. It started way back when I was a little girl. Our small kitchen would be full of melted chocolate, laughter, and my sister belting out Christmas tunes. It was glorious! (Ok, maybe not the incessant singing…but for nostalgia’s sake we’ll go with it :) )

Now as a mother, I still continue the tradition. The key to baking with a 3-year-old is to have something they can do independently. Whether it is spraying non-stick cooking spray on a cookie sheet or handing you ingredients—they NEED a job.

Is is stressful? At times.

Does it take longer? Yes.

Do they love to help? Absolutely!

After finishing all of my Christmas orders and taking them to the post office, I was ready to get down to making memories with Jonah. We made some of our favorites and a few new things based on the ingredients stockpiled in my cabinets from my coupon adventures.

What? Doesn't everyone bake in their Mickey Mouse Ears?

Jonah helped me spread peanut butter on Saltine crackers. I gave him a small spreader from one of my entertaining pieces and a small bowl with a scoop of peanut butter. I also gave him a separate plate for his finished crackers….because he’s not the most sanitary chef. He kept licking his fingers, the bowl, and even the spreader.

After we finished spreading the peanut butter on our Saltine crackers, I dipped them in melted White Chocolate. I placed them on some wax paper and a cookie sheet to cool in the refrigerator. Once the chocolate is hardened and “set”, we packaged some of the goodies up and took them to our neighbors.

Now I know what your thinking…….Peanut Butter crackers dipped in chocolate? Oh, it is sooooo good! Trust me.

**I wish I had a picture of the final project for you, but the lighting has been terrible in my kitchen the past few gloomy days. Luckily, I think you’re pretty smart and can figure it out—just picture a white square :)

Poor Man’s Turtles Tutorial

I have a few goodies I like to make every Christmas. One of these is “Poor Man’s Turtles” My friend Dee taught me how to make these and since she doesn’t blog, I’m sharing it with you. These are super quick to make and are always a hit at gatherings! This recipe is perfect for kids to help with!
You will need:
Pretzel minis or snaps (the pretzel squares pictured)
Caramel Hershey’s Kisses
Pecan Halves
Spread your pretzels on a cookie pan in a single layer.
Unwrap Caramel Hershey’s Kisses and place on top of the pretzels. (This is by far the most tedious part. You could let your kids help with this part if they are able to unwrap the candy.)
Place the pan in a preheated oven for less than a minute. (Mine was preheated to 400 degrees from dinner, so I only had to place my pan in for around 30 seconds.) Watch the chocolate closely. If it looks like it is starting to get soft take the pan out and test it.
Place the pecans onto the Hershey’s Kisses. Don’t push too hard–you don’t want the caramel to squeeze out and make a mess.
Let the turtles cool. Enjoy!
Yum!

Tutorial: Marshmallow Pops

Gather your ingredients:
Marshmallows
Candy Melts/Dipping Chocolate
Lollipop Sticks (found in the cake decorating & candy making section in your local craft store or Walmart)
Your favorite sprinkles or sugar sprinkles
Don’t forget to grab your little “helper”…
  1. Melt the candy melts/chocolate in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time. Stir and reheat for 30 more seconds. Repeat until melted.

     

  2. Place a marshmallow on a lollipop stick.

     

  3. Dip the end of the marsmallow in the candy melts/chocolate. (I only dipped the very tip, but you could cover as much as you want.)

     

  4. Now dip the end of the marhmallow in the sprinkles.

     

  5. Place the marshmallow in a glass until the candy melts/chocolate harden (this only took a few minutes for the candy melts that I used)

     

  6. Rinse, lather, repeat….until you make the desired amount of marsmallow pops.

     

Allow your little helper to do a taste-test…
While your little helper is making a mess performing a taste-test, package them up in treat bags and  tie with a cute piece of ribbon or rick-rack. Give them to friends, new neighbors, as party favors, etc.
Note: if you want to make a cute display for your Marshmallow Pops, place a piece of styrofoam in a cute container or vase. To cover up the styrofoam, I used some of the shredded paper for gift baskets that I had laying around in my craft stash. (If making these for Easter, you could use Easter Grass! Wouldn’t that be cute!?!)
Let your friends “Oooh” & “Aaaah” over them, say thanks for the compliments, and smile to yourself because you knew it was super easy and super fast to make. Enjoy!
Make someone’s day with a Marshmallow Pop!