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 😉

 

TMNT 6

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!

 

TMNT 4

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?!

 

TMNT 2

 

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

 

TMNT 3

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…

TMNT 5

 

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!

 

TMNT 1

 

Yeah baby…talk about wholesome haha!!

 

TMNT 7

 

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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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?!

Photo (1)

A Tip On Entertaining: On the 11th Day of Christmas…

…my true blog gave to me a tip to help me not stress when cooking for a party!!

Yes, cause we all know that entertaining and hosting can be stressful. Personally, I LOVE throwing parties! I love making gorgeous food spreads that people ooh and aah over and enjoy to the fullest. However, there are times when I over plan and stress myself out to such a degree that I end up having a panic attack before the party which makes it so hard to enjoy the party itself!! So, here is my thought that can help.

Put out appetizers. Now I know that sounds silly, cause it’s more food to think about. But here’s my thought.

Sure, make an extravagant meal. Something that will make you happy, and your guests. But put out a SUPER simple appetizer. Something crazy easy like the Grinch Kabobs I showed you earlier in my 12 Days of Christmas series, or even…gasp, don’t hate me for saying this…go out and BUY something!!

I know. You never thought I’d say that. I’m all about making stuff. Home made home made home made!!! But I’ll explain.

Timing. Timing is what stresses me out the most. People arrive and I am still frantically trying to prepare things. Or even if it’s just a family holiday with my husband and mother in law, everybody starts getting grumpy cause they’re hungry and can smell the great food but not eat it yet. So…turn on some happy tunes, light a few candles, make a nice atmosphere, and put out a cheap, easy appetizer. Not too much. We’ve done that and been too full to eat dinner. But just a little something for people to snack on while they chat…to keep them busy so they don’t notice that you haven’t served the main course yet…so you’re off the hook and free to not rush your little hiney off!! Want to see our super fancy appetizer this Christmas? Kudos to my husband for plating it and taking artsy fartsy pictures. Here it isssss!!

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Crackers. Special Reserve Extra Sharp Cheddar. And a nice big summer sausage. (By the way…have you ever wondered why summer sausages come out during the winter?!). Not fancy. Not expensive. Not hard to prepare. Everybody loves it and will be pleased snacking on that while you calm down and do what you need to do!! You know what else we do sometimes? A jar of mini dill pickles. They go fast, they’re tasty…all you have to do is dump them in a bowl. You see what I’m saying here? Deviled eggs take a tiny bit of prep, but are still easy and a well loved favorite.

So here’s what I’m saying. Don’t stress. It will all come together. Don’t be ashamed to buy a little something to put out on the table while people gather. And remember the real reason for your party. People. Fellowship. Fun. Best of luck to you!!

Photo (9)

Cranberry Orange Relish. On The Third Day of Christmas…

…my true blog gave to meeeee, a sweet and tangy classic recipe!!

 

Yes, that’s right!! I gave you two fun new recipes to freshen up your Christmas season and bring the “wow” that you probably won’t see anywhere else.  Now I am going to change it up and show you how to make those classic “it’s not Christmas without this” foods!  And make them dang good.  How can I guarantee that?!  Well, because I grew up eating them, they didn’t come from a bag or can…and because I tried them out for our Rodgers family Thanksgiving so I could share them with you for Christmas!!  Yay!! So…our first classic???

CRANBERRY RELISH!

You put down that can of jiggly jelly stuff!!  This will blow your mind!!  And if you are a weirdo like me and am not a huge fan of turkey OR gravy…this is a great way to bring a pop of flavor, texture, and moisture to your turkey! However, at our house, we started eating it with our turkey…and ended eating with a spoon.  Yes it’s that good.

 

And you know what the best part is?  It is 3 ingredients…and they’re all pretty cheap ingredients that you may already have in your house considering the season.  🙂

 

SO….here’s what you need…ever so slightly adapted from oceanspray.com!

  • 1 Orange, NOT PEELED, Cut into eighths (seeds removed if it had them)
  • 12 oz Bag Fresh Cranberries, Rinsed
  • 1/2C- 3/4C Sugar

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Place 4 of the orange slices in a food processor, then dump in half the bag of cranberries.
  2. Process until finely and evenly chopped and dump into a bowl
  3. Repeat with remaining cranberries and orange.
  4. Sprinkle on your sugar and stir in.  Taste and adjust sugar amount.

 

How fantastic is that flavor?!  Citursy…tart but so sweet, somehow refreshing and rich at the same time!!  Just so good!!  Yay!!  ENJOY!!

 

Peectures!

Photo (5)Slice orange with the rind still on!!

Photo (6)Rinse your cranberries….

Photo (8)Place in a food processor, half of each at a time, and whiz until finely and evenly chopped…

Photo (9)And dump into a bowl, stir in sugar, taste, adjust, and enjoy!!! I wish I had a pretty picture of it on our turkey, but I was too excited about eating to think of taking pictures haha!!!