Cheat Treat: TMNT Party Ideas (Great for Halloween!)

Yes.  You read that right.  This post is going to be less recipe…and more inspiration!  I have pictures and ideas for you from a party my husband and I threw…just for ourselves.  For date night!!  We both grew up watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (me occasionally, him religiously! ;)).  I know there are some fellow grown up nerds out there rejoicing.  But…maybe you aren’t crazy about cartoons…but maybe your kids are!  Here are some super fun things you can do either for a party with your friends, a great date night idea, or just a fun way to make a week night seem like the best thing ever to your little ones!  Also…feel free to take my ideas for TMNT and customize them to whatever themed party you want to enjoy!

 

Wanna see what we did?  Now…I am not a pastry chef, so don’t laugh at my efforts.  We just wanted to have fun 😉

 

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Obviously most important is that you get a big ole New York style pizza!!  If you have a Cam’s Pizzeria anywhere near you, GO THERE!  That is where I got this beautiful MONSTER!  Ugh…my mouth is watering…definitely going to have to have pizza again for our next cheat day!

 

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Next?  The ninjas of course!!  Make a batch of your favorite cupcakes and frost with green frosting.  (If you can’t find green, grab a tub of white and some green dye!).  Then grab those tubes or can of colored frosting that come with multiple tips…you can get them in the baking section of any grocery store.  You need AT LEAST red, orange, blue, purple, white…and a tube of black for the little details!  Use the flat, wide tip for the bandanas, and a round tip for the white of the eyes, etc…  Aren’t they fun?!

 

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Now, the ninjas need somewhere to hide, so a good idea is to provide…

 

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The sewer!!  I did just a standard sugar cookie.  I used a tub of white frosting, and had the black gel dye (usually they come with instructions on how many drops to use for different shades of gray!)  Feel free to write “sewer” in black to make it look more legit…I just ran out of the black haha!

 

And we can’t forget what started it all…

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Toxic ooze!  Yeah baby!!  Super easy…I got small plastic “mason jars” at Wal*Mart and filled them with lime jello…then made construction paper labels!

 

 

And there you have it!  A super fun, super tasty, super cheat-day themed party!

 

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Yeah baby…talk about wholesome haha!!

 

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What a feast!!  We devoured this while watching the old movies, and ended the night by going to a late showing of the new movie when it was in theater!!  Maybe you can plan to throw one of these parties when it comes out on DVD, and surprise your family and/or friends!!  What’s your favorite theme for parties?!

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Cheesy Jalapeño Bites (Man Night Cheat Treat!)

So I haven’t posted a naughty treat in quite some time!  But the season of parties has arrived, so I thought I would share this little gem!  Perfect for man nights!!  I love man nights!!  My house always gets clean, I get to cook fun food…and before I leave or go hide in the bedroom, I get to enjoy the fact that most men are easily pleased.  So the fact that I can make tacos or chili or jalapeño bites gets me tons of “mmmm’s, “oh my gosh”s, and “Tabby this is so good, you’re amazing”s, haha!  Its a nice feeling.  So here is something to hopefully help you get a similar reaction!!

Cheesy Jalapeño Bites!!  Here’s what you need:

  • 2 Egg Yolks (Psst…secret…I totally forgot these and they STILL WORKED!  Baha!)
  • 8 oz Cream Cheese, softenedd
  • 16 oz Shredded Parmesan Cheese (Yes, it is a lot!  But worth it!)
  • 2 Tbsp Chopped Jalapeños (I used fresh, then found out after I had already mixed it that my mom uses the ones from the can!  But it seemed to still work well, so choose your fancy!)
  • Bread Crumbs

 

And here’s how you do it!

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Mix everything but the bread crumbs together in a bowl.
  3. Form into small bowls and roll in bread crumbs, getting a nice coating.
  4. Bake 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.  THEY WILL FLATTEN OUT, that’s fine!! 🙂

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Yeah buddy!  Golden brown, melty, spicy…perfection!

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Here it is with a big ol’ pot of chili and sweet cornbread!  A perfect feast for  a man night in!!  I hope you enjoy!

Spring Shish Kabobs!

This is a recipe I cooked in defiance.  Defiance to winter.  Defiance to cold and snow.  No, I’m not complaining.  I love where I live.  However.  I am ready for sun.  The day I made these, it was a whopping 39 degrees, and the sound of the snow melting from the roof literally sounded like a waterfall.  I knew that snow was forecasted for the next day.  But in my defiance I declared it the first day of grilling season.  I mean, it IS Spring for goodness sake!  The weather seems to have missed that memo.  And just so you know…we did get like 5-6 inches of snow the next day.  BUT.  Our glimpses of sunshine are coming more often now.  So I think I spoke it into existence.  Grilling season is here, haha!!

These were SO tasty.  My man was really sick and had laid in bed for three days straight slurping on soup from a can (I don’t know why he loves it so, but whenever he is sick, it’s all he wants!) and nibbling on oyster crackers.  He hadn’t eaten “real” food in days.  So I was making them for myself, and for lunches the next day.  However, when he saw them, he decided that trying to eat may not be such a bad idea.  And when I gave him a plate with two of these bad boys on them…and when they had disappeared in a matter of minutes…he gently asked if there was any more.  Hehe!  Good sign!

The funny thing is…I actually made a mistake with these, but it worked out beautifully!  I knew I wanted a somewhat thin cut steak.  I must have been in a hurry at the grocery store, and grabbed the first good looking “thin cut steak” I found that looked about the right thickness.  Well when I went to open it, I noticed that it said “carne asada.”  I LOVE carne asada but was nervous, because I didn’t know if it would grill well.  Then when I took it out of the package, I realized that it was folded in half, and was a lot thinner than I was planning.  I got real nervous then.  But it ended up working PERFECTLY and be so so so so so so tasty!

 

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1 – 1 1/2 lb thin-ish cut steaks (Like I said, I used carne asada), sliced into inch-wide strips
  • 2 Bell Peppers, preferably of different colors, Cut into approximately inch chunks
  • 2 Sm White Onions, Cut into approximately inch chunks
  • 1 Lg Zucchini, sliced into rounds, 1/2 inch thick
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Coconut Aminos
  • 1 Clove Garlic, minced
  • 1/2 Tbsp Sesame Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Mrs. Dash
  • Organic Quinoa for serving
  • Bamboo Skewers, soaked

 

And here’s how you do it!

  1. Place skewers in water an hour before grilling.  This helps keep them from burning up!
  2. Whisk together lemon juice, coconut aminos, sesame oil, garlic, and a glug of olive oil.  Place steak in a Ziploc baggie and dump marinade over.  Put in your fridge and marinate at least half an hour while you prep everything else.
  3. Cut all your veggies and toss in a large bowl.  Dump just enough olive oil over the veggies to coat them.  Toss.  Season generously with salt, pepper, and Mrs. Dash.  This made them SO tasty!
  4. Take your skewers and rotate stabbing on veggies and meat.  Because the meat is in strips, you can skewer one end, then fold it back and skewer again if that makes sense.  You’ll see on the pictures.  😉
  5. Place skewers on a medium heat grill and cook about 10 minutes, turning often…until you get a little char on everything, veggies are tender crisp, and steak is cooked to your liking.  Serve over a nice pile of hot quinoa and enjoy!

 

Peectures:

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Whisk together lemon juice, coconut aminos, sesame oil, garlic, and a glug of olive oil.  Pour over the meat in a Ziploc and marinate while you prepare everything else.

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Chop your veggies…

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Give a nice coating of olive oil, then season generously with Mrs. Dash, Salt, and Pepper (This is before I tossed it…but I did use a good amount!)

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Now you are ready to create your food art!  Skewer the ingredients, alternating meat and veggies…

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Like so!  Yummy!  I’m starving and these pictures aren’t helping!

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Spring is in the aiiiiiiiir!

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Turn your grill on to medium heat…

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Toss on your skewers and cook about 10 minutes, turning often.  Or until meat is done to your liking, everything has a little char, and veggies are tender crisp.

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Throw on top of a hot pile of quinoa…

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And enjoy!  SO good!

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And don’t forget your little “helpers” outside!  These two were SO excited about the sun shine!  Though you can see the blinding white in the yard…which is our pile of snow that is still there.  But Candy seems quite interested in the stream of water flowing from the roof.  Frizz, as always, is more interested in the food, haha!

 

Hope you guys love this recipe!!! What are your favorite shish kabob ingredients?!

 

Cheat Treat! Fireball Apple Cider!

Bam!

This has become a Kirkwood Family Signature.  SUPER simple and easy, but makes you feel like a fancy pants!  Or maybe it just makes me feel like that.  But it’s the closest I have gotten to making a “mixed drink.”  Other than that white wine sangria I made once.  That was the bomb.  But definitely more of a spring/summer drink.  This is a nice, “warm you up and comfort you because you thought spring was here because it was 41 degrees yesterday but there are 6 inches of snow today” drink.  Speaking of…I bet this would be amazing heated up.  I have to try that now.  Man!

So I love this drink not only for the flavor, but also the memory.  When my sweet grandmother passed away, I was on the first plane to Washington and missed her by a few lousy hours.  Though it was definitely a heart-achy reason to be visiting…the memories were beautiful, and through the tears we had so much fun.  It was what grandma would have wanted.  Laughing.  Playing games (I introduced the West Coast to Kan Jam!).  Being together.  Perfect.  And then, they introduced me to this new drink they love.  And I was forever changed 😉

And all you need is two ingredients:

  • Fireball Cinnamon Whisky (1 Shot)
  • Angry Orchard Hard Apple Cider (1 Bottle-ish, any flavor…for this time I used Ginger, because that is what they introduced it to me with.  But I have since heard that they love other flavors just as much, like Crisp Apple!)

And you probably know where to go from here!

  1. Pour your cider into a chilled glass (if you are drinking it cold.)
  2. Measure out one shot, and dump it in.
  3. Stir.  Sip.  Enjoy!

What you think?!

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Sea Salt Dark Chocolate Oranges

So, even when you’re eating healthy, you need something to make you feel like you are getting a “treat.”  One thing I have learned about a healthy lifestyle is that your “treats” don’t have to be things that will make you feel like death.  Last time I was craving something rich and sweet, I used things laying around my house and created something BEAUTIFUL that I would eat as a treat even before I cared about health!  And health wise, it really isn’t all that bad!!

It all started with this, a Christmas present from my mother in law:

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Anyone who knows me well and loves me truly buys me Orange Dark Chocolate.  I tell you what, I went on a mission trip to Switzerland probably 4-5 years ago with some of my very favorite people, Christopher and Jennifer Hopper and my dear friend Abby.  While there, I discovered the beauty of Swiss chocolate.  And they had many different kinds with orange.  Some even with big chunks of orange rind in them.  Ohhhhhh it was heavenly.  And to this day, whenever one of them sees some form of Orange Chocolate, they bring it to me!!  And now my mother in law has joined in the tradition!!  So I had this beauty at my house.  Notice just HOW dark it is…and that it is 65% cacao instead of cocoa.  Yes, there is a difference, and cacao is supposed to be much better for ya.  🙂

So, back to my “I need a sweet treat” hankering.  I had this bar of chocolate.  But how could I take Orange Dark Chocolate to the next level?!  By melting it and dipping orange slices in it, of course!!  Still, it didn’t seem quite complete to me yet, and being a lover of salty over sweet…but especially salty WITH sweet (can I get a holla for Salted Caramel and Kettle Corn?!)…I got the idea to crack a little fresh Sea Salt over the chocolate before it set.

I’m glad I did.

Heaven.  Dear sweet Jesus, thank you for Orange and chocolate.  Hallelujah.  🙂

 

SO, here’s what you need:

  • 1 Orange, Peeled and as much white removed as possible
  • 1 Quality Chocolate Bar, Preferably Dark Chocolate…even better if organic, cacao…with orange!
  • Few cracks of Sea Salt

 

And here’s how you do it (SO SIMPLE!!)

  1. Break your chocolate up roughly into a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave in 15-30 second intervals, stirring between until just melted.
  2. Separate orange segments and dip half way into the warm chocolate.
  3. Lay out on a plate or wax paper and crack a small amount of Sea Salt onto chocolate portion.
  4. Eat.  Enjoy.  Sharing is optional!  😉

Welp, there you have it folks.  I hope you enjoy this not-so-cheat treat.  I didn’t feel guilty about it one bit, and I don’t think you should either!  I think you should try it, right now!!!  What is your favorite thing to dip in chocolate?!

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A Promised Update: Sweet Potato Cassarole with Brown Sugar Pecan Crumble

So from here on out I wanted to only post healthy recipes…at least for a long time!  Buuuut I had promised you all that I would add pictures of the process to this post, and it is so delicious it is worth it!  I don’t want you to miss this!!  The most heavenly Sweet Potato Cassarole EVER.  So here’s pictures for ya!

So, here’s what you need:

  • 3 C Mashed Yams
  • 3/4 Stick of Butter, Melted
  • 1 C Canned Evaporated Milk
  • 1/4 C Orange Juice Concentrate
  • 1 1/2 C Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Vanilla

For the topping:

  • 3/4 C Butter, melted
  • 1/2 C Brown Sugar
  • 1 C Corn Flakes, Crushed
  • 1/2 C Pecans, Chopped

And here’s how you do it!!

  1. Preheat oven to 425*
  2. Mix together yams, butter, milk, and sugar.  Beat in eggs one at a time.
  3. Add spices and vanilla.
  4. Pour into greased baking dish and slide in oven for 15 minutes.  Reduce heat to 400* and bake 5 more minutes, or until set in the middle.
  5. Add topping and bake until pecans look toasted but NOT BURNT!!  5 – 10 minutes.
  6. Serve warm!!!

I see on the original here that it can even be made the day before…just warm up in the oven, put the topping on, and heat!!  🙂

Pretty easy, huh?!  You gotta try this!!  Let me know what you think!!

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Peel and chop your sweet taters.

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Boil until tender, just like you were making normal mashed potatoes.  It will probably take 20 plus minutes, just because sweet potatoes are more firm.

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Drain…

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And mash!  I use my stand mixer, it makes them uber creamy!

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See?

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Now add the rest of the ingredients…

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Pour into a greased casserole dish…

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Slide in oven for 15 minutes.  Reduce heat to 400* and bake 5 more minutes, or until set in the middle.  (It usually takes mine a bit longer than that.)

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While waiting, combine your topping ingredients.

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Sprinkle on top and bake 5-10 minutes, until it is browned but not burned.

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And there ya go!!  SO DELICIOUS!!

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Yummy yummy yummy!!

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