Neopolitan Cupcakes – So Easy, So Good!

I was rather taken with the photo of the Neapolitan Cupcake I saw in a magazine.  Unfortunately – the cupcake itself, although nicely flavored, was just too dense.  Which is saying something because I tend to like rich, heavy things.  However, the frosting was absolutely divine.  A definitely ‘must have’ in my frosting repertoire, although of course I tinkered and altered it completely from the original:)

As for the cupcake itself – which boasted a chocolate base under a vanilla top – it was deceptively easy to do.   My recommendation?  Just buy a vanilla cake mix, divide it into two as described below and flavor one half as chocolate and then, once baked,  top with the heavenly strawberry frosting.  And you’ve got yourself a rather spectacular, yet easy-as-can-be, Neapolitan dessert!

Diva Entertains is your source for fabulous party favors including wonderful Cookie Favors.

Fab FREE Friday – Lovely Spring Carnation Printable Tags

It’s that time of year… spring… sunshine… flowers!

And baby showers, and bridal showers, and birthday parties abound!

TODAY, I have a free Friday printable tag for you that could work for any of those occasions. I designed it with spring carnations, in pretty pinks, AND I kept the message generic enough that you COULD use it for more than one kind of party!

These free printable tags are 2 inches round, and come 20 to a sheet.  The download is in a PDF format file.  Just download, print, and then cut.  (We recommend a circle punch, like THIS ONE, but scissors work too!  Punches are lost cost and once you have one you’ll find zillions of reasons to use it)

You can punch a hole and add tags to your party favors with string or ribbon… or use the design as a cupcake topper.  If you decide to print them on STICKER paper, these will make great seals for favor bags or boxes.

Download the Spring Carnation Printable Tags HERE

Happy Fab Friday!

Spring Flower Cookies

I realized last night that my daughter and I haven’t made any spring COOKIES lately.  You know I had to google and pinterest search for some fun ideas! Here are the results of my search for the perfect Spring Cookie!

From BHG, a very easy sugar cookie idea:  Roll a dough ball in colored sugar. Snip it in half with scissors, then snip each half into three petals. Gently spread the petals apart and lay flat.

Also from BHG, another sugar cookie recipe… for Springtime Flowers:

From Sweet Tooth, a great tutorial for making Flower Pot Cookies:

And finally, from my favorite cookie maker, Sweet Adventures of SugarBelle… gorgeous poppies:

Are you doing any spring baking?  Share your recipes and ideas with us!

 

Hello Kitty Birthday Ideas

Are you a Hello Kitty fan?  My five year old daughter is totally enthralled with everything Kitty… and even though her “Fairy Princess Ballerina” birthday party was just a couple of weeks ago, she is ALREADY planning NEXT year’s birthday party… Hello Kitty style.  Here are a few fun Hello Kitty birthday ideas and favors I found when I did a quick search.

Easy to make Hello Kitty cupcakes, from Annie’s Eats.  The recipe calls for fondant which is way easier than you think.  Click here for a fabulous, easy and delicious Marshmallow Fondant:
Super cute Hello Kitty name tags (and other cute ideas too!), from House of Kitty blog:.
I love, love, LOVE the styling on this Hello Kitty party, on Catch My Party.  There are tons of great photos in the album, but this one is my favorite.  But make through you scroll through all 32 Hello Kitty party pictures – it will spark great ideas for YOUR party!:
The colors and designs from this party on The Cake Blog are so fun… and I especially love the brown craft boxes with Hello Kitty faces:
Yes, I think we’ll be able to find PLENTY of fun ideas for Martha’s next party… 11 months from now!

How to Prepare an Artichoke

how to trim an artichoke

Although I love artichokes, I have always been intimidated by them. Mainly how to prepare (trim) them.  So I decided to find a video to show exactly that – quickly yet thoroughly!  I settled on this How To Trim Artichoke Video from Ocean Mist Farms. If you’ve never done so before – I hope this post inspires you to do so.

Make sure you check out their other artichoke videos (they are to the left of the video we are featuring) including How To Steam Artichokes, How To Grill Artichokes and a host of other great videos!

More Free Easter Printables!

I have one last Easter-y post for you today.  And since it’s Friday, that means Fab Friday Free Printables!

BUT…. since I’m on Spring Break with my kids?  I’m just LINKING to printables, instead of making any fun new ones for you. (I know, it’s cheating, but I’m BUSY napping.. which I may have mentioned once or three times this week already).

So, first up, hershey kiss printables from AndersRuff, these are absolutely adorable!:

And check out these adorable Easter / Woodland Creature printables from Moo.com.au! The collection includes free printable Easter cards!

And finally, get these a whole party-full of free Easter printables from CatchMyParty.com – you’ll love these!:

Cinna-bunnies! And more Easter baking…

Popping in again today with two quick FUN Easter ideas for you.

Today, we’re in the kitchen playing with flour and sugar decorating sugar cookies, and I am determined that we will also make some of these adorable Easter Egg Cookies, from Pillsbury:

I’m 99.9% sure our cookies won’t look as good as the ones in the photo, but that’s because I have messy little birdies kiddos.  The good news is that they will still TASTE good, even if the nests are a bit off-kilter.

We are not stopping with cookies, oh-no-we-are-not!  The kids saw the picture of the “Cinnabunnies” (from Betty Crocker) when I was browsing Pinterest, and insisted we make some of our own:

How could we NOT make these??

Are you baking this week?  If so, what are you making?

Easter Crafts with Kids (or not:)

In case you missed it, yesterday I mentioned that we are on “spring break” around here, and every SO busy with fun things like bike rides in the park and NAPS.  We are also making several easy Easter crafts.

One of the cutest crafts I found this year was this Hanging Egg Door Decoration.  It is easy enough to do WITH the kids… yet   elegant enough to do on your own and take ALL the credit.  When you click through to the site below make sure you scroll through all the crafts featured (19 pages to scroll through) because there are other Easter egg crafts as well as other fun Easter arts and crafts. 

Get all the quick and easy details from BHG.com:

Fruit Salad in a Watermelon Boat Extraordinaire!

And I’m busy, busy sleeping IN, going to the park, hanging out in the sunshine, making fun crafts, and taking naps with my kids.  Because of that, posts will be a bit shorter this week, BUT they will all be devoted to ideas for all YOUR last minute Easter fun!

Today’s quick link?  A super fab Flower Watermelon Basket Garden, from babble.com:

How are YOU keeping busy during Spring Break this year?

Blackened Fish with Homemade Blackened Seasoning

My husband and I love blackened fish, however, the store bought versions of blackened seasoning leave a lot to be desired.  So the hubby began to tinker with seasonings and  in time developed this stellar recipe.  Unlike purchased versions that have way too much salt, or salt-free versions that have too little flavor, this recipe is wonderfully balanced and fully flavored.  This recipe makes enough for 2 to 3 meals; just keep stored in an air-tight bag or container. Fish that are particularly good blackened include tilapia, grouper,  and red snapper as a start.

Keys to success: 1) You’ll want to get your pan very hot so that the fish is seared and a good crust develops.  We always cook ours in a caste iron skillet but any pan that can get really hot can be used (I don’t recommend non-stick because the non-stick finish could be damaged at high heat).  If you aren’ using caste iron then you may want to spray the pan with non-stick cooking spray prior to heating.  2)  Tilapia, grouper and snapper are typically thin and at high heat they don’t take long to cook, just 2 – 3  minutes per side.  A quick test to see if the fish flakes when cut into will let you now when it’s done.

Diva Entertains is your source for fabulous party favors including Birthday Favors!