{holiday} Happy Valentine’s Day

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*NOTE* This is NOT a sponsored post.  I bought this little gadget because I wanted it…it was not given to me to try or blog about.

 

Last night seemed to be the perfect time to try out my new little gadget, the babycakes cake pop maker.  The perfect time because, first, I wait until the last minute to do stuff, and second, because I needed to make treats for the teacher luncheon at school today.  Ok, so I mixed up a regular chocolate cake mix and poured it into a big squeeze bottle I have.  *I think the squeeze bottle made it ten times easier*  I heated up the babycakes and filled each little pocket almost to the top.  It works kinda like a waffle iron.  If you get it too full it just runs out of the sides.  Trust me, I did this a few times and it didn’t seem to alter the cake pop in any way.  After about four and a half minutes cook time, I opened the machine to find 12 cute little perfectly baked chocolate cake balls.  Which, by the way, really do taste like chocolate cake.  Honestly I was afraid they might taste like Easy Bake Oven food…you know?  I popped them out and set them to cool on the handy dandy little pop tray that’s included.

Traditionally, I guess cake pops stand up on a stick with the pop at the top.  Cute, yes, but I would have had to find some sort of display to hold them and I was running out of time and energy…I decided to go with sitting pops.  I’ve had a set of 25 red and white paper straws from Hey YoYo for a while now.  I figured they would work as little handles for the pops.  Since I was serving to a large crowd, the handles also work well so that everyone is not touching all the food, kwim? I cut the straws in half (good straws, by the way) and dipped the ends in some melted chocolate wafers before I speared the cake pop.

I dipped the whole pop in the melted chocolate wafers and sprinkled them some cute mini hearts.  I added flags to just a few.

The teachers loved them and I spared a few for our dessert tonight.  Happy Valentine’s Day!

{valentine’s, freebie} can you handle s’more Valentine printables?

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Remember these?  I’m guessing you probably do.  It’s been, by far, my most popular post.  Thanks again to Jeni for suggesting it.  I recently had a comment on that post from  Jen, suggesting a Valentine themed s’mores printable.  I thought it was a great idea.  I tweaked the design a little…and just happened to find white and pink marshmallow hearts at Walmart!  Perfect!  Pink toppers with little white and red hearts on them…too cute!  But I have a son.  The printable is pushing it for him, period.  A pink printable with pink marshmallow hearts would put him over the edge.  So I made one in blue too.  I used the pink marshmallows with the pink printable and white marshmallows with the blue printable.  The front says ‘I need s’more friends like you’ and on the back are the directions on how to make a quick microwave s’more treat. I added a little space to write a ‘to’ and ‘from’ also.

 

The download is a two page pdf file.  When you click the link, it will pop up on your screen.  You can either print it right there (print both pages or just the one you need) or save it.  I printed mine on white cardstock that I bought at Walmart. Cut out the toppers, score them down the middle and fold over a clear cello bag.  I used a 4×9 inch clear Wilton treat bag that I also found at Walmart (can you tell which store is closest to my house?).  Staple the folded topper over the folded cello bag.  You can grab the download here.

 

Enjoy!

p.s. I already sent them to Jeni and Jen…they got first dibs on the new printable for their awesome ideas!

p.p.s. I love when you guys leave comments on the post saying that you downloaded :)  It gives me an idea if they are really usable…and cute.

p.p.p.s Just a little reminder that these are for personal use only.  I design them so that I can share with you.  You may make them for others, but please don’t share the file (just send them over, they can download for free, too!) or sell it.
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{Teacher Appreciation} Day 5…S’more Fun

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Wow!  This week really got away from me.  How is it Thursday already?  The teachers have been loving their goodies this week.  And I think I’ve taken the PTA position for Teacher Appreciation next year :)  At least I have an arsenal of good things to use!  Speaking of good teacher appreciation ideas…if you like my style, you will love Leigh.  Leigh one of my ‘in the computer’ friends.  She’s funny, sweet, and has just about the exact same likes and style that I do.  She’s been sharing her teacher appreciation ideas, too, over on her blog, It’s All Small Stuff.  Please go check it out, leave her some love, and tell her I sent you.  She has no idea I’m writing this, so it’ll be a surprise.  It’ll make her day.  Oh, did I mention she teaches?  She knows what teachers like :)

 

Ok, back to business.  Day 5 is a classic.  It is probably the absolute most popular thing on this little bloggy.  S’mores!

And it has a free printable!  Go check out the post from last year.

Frozen Hot Chocolate

We are a Texas family living in Maryland.  Brrr.  Add to the fact that Maryland actually gets cold.  Really cold.  And snowy.  Real snow.  So far, the kids have had at least 6 snow days and several delayed days.  I’m getting used to the 5:30 am automated phone call from the school district…and running out of fun ideas to keep the kids in check.  So, I came up with frozen hot chocolate.  I’m sure it’s been done before.  This is our version.  I’m not out to reinvent the wheel, just pt my spin on it!

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I made hot chocolate in mugs using mix we had in the pantry.  {This was before we got our Keurig machine…would have totally used it!}  Once mixed, wait for the hot chocolate to cool completely.  When it’s cooled, stir again (the chocolate will settle).  Then, pour into a freezable container. I used a silicone brownie pop mold I found at the craft store in the baking section.  I filled the mold and put it in the freezer.

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After two hours or so, I brought the mold out and inserted sticks for holding.  I used lollipop/cookie sticks I picked up at the craft store, but popsicle sticks and even straws would work just as well.  Place the mold back in the freezer overnight. The hardest part of this fun treat is waiting for the hot chocolate to freeze!  When you are ready to eat the pops, dip just the bottom of the mold in a sink of hot water for just a second or two.  The hot chocolate should pop right out!

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Fun variations to try…

Use plastic popsicle makers, a silicone muffin pan, or an ice tray to make your pops

Use the hot chocolate ice cubes to cool down hot cocoa

Add crushed peppermint or mini marshmallows to the mix for a fun surprise

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