Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Another Double Post- At Least this One is Tasty

Like I said yesterday, I am trying to catch up on all the Pinterest things I have done in the last few weeks so I am doubling up my posts.

Post 1- St. Patrick's Day Cupcakes: My first one is pretty simple though. Kathryn's school allows parents to bring in homemade items for parties and birthdays and what not so I have had a habit of trying out my Pinterest creations on unsuspecting 4 year olds. Her birthday was on the 13th so I decided I would make some St. Patrick's Day inspired cupcake for her classmates. I had seen ones on Pinterest that used the marshmallows from a box of Lucky Charms to decorate the green colored icing and thought I would give that a shot.

I didn't take a picture of the ingredients but all I used was a box of Betty Crocker yellow cake mix (and all of the ingredients that requires), green Wilton brand gel coloring that comes in the small screw top containers (I got my set of eight colors from Michael's), and a tub and a half of Betty Crocker White frosting (I was pretty liberal with the icing), and one smaller box of Lucky Charms. I followed all the normal cake instructions, adding in the gel icing into the batter with a toothpick (a little went a long way). While that was going on I separated the marshmallows from the cereal. This was probably the most annoying part of the whole process and you need to be sure you have absolutely dry hands.
So if you ever wondered what the marshmallow to cereal ratio is in Lucky Charms, your question has now been answered. Then I colored the icing green with the same gel coloring and used a piping bag and a star tip to make the icing swirls. I thought I could just sprinkle the marshmallows on the top but they didn't stick so I ended up just placing 6-7 marshmallows on each cupcake and then sprinkled on a little green decorative sugar I had left over from Christmas cookies.
Taste wise, these were delicious. The icing and the marshmallows complimented each other and just made the whole cupcake taste awesome. Since her birthday was during Spring Break, the class size was a bit smaller and we came home with some cupcakes. On the second day the marshmallows had gotten soft and started to look a little sad. They tasted fine but had definitely lost their eye appeal. I would make these again but I would wait to put the marshmallows on until right before I served them to keep them from getting all soft. I ended up making 30 cupcakes and only had a very small amount of marshmallows left over (which my husband so graciously offered to eat).

Post 2- Cheese Tortellini (Soup)

As soon as I saw the pin for this one, I was excited to give it a try. I had most of the ingredients and got lucky and got the refrigerated cheese tortellini on sale at Target.
The original recipe can be found here, http://littlefellows.blogspot.com/2011/11/best-crockpot-meal-ive-tried-yet.html. I changed a few things based on what I had around the house and my attempt to make this a meatless meal (I'll get to that in a minute). You start by throwing in the tortellini, one full box of chicken broth, as much baby spinach as you think looks good (I probably did two decent handfuls), 3/4 a jar of pasta sauce (whatever flavor you have lying around), 1 can of Italian tomatoes (which I didn't have so I used stewed tomatoes and sprinkled on some oregano and garlic flakes to the top), and one box of cream cheese cut into cubes.

Put on the lid and and cook on low for 4-6 hours. I stirred about once every hour to help melt the cream cheese. I usually use crockpot liners but I ran out and the picture below shows why I am such a fan of crockpot liners. It was no crockpot chili in terms of cleanup but I would have much rather had the bag in there than had to scrub the pot.

Now I had intended this to be a no meat meal for a Friday during Lent. I thought I was being an awesome wife of a Catholic and trying something outside our typical Friday Lenten meals. It didn't dawn on me until the tortellini was almost done that I had used CHICKEN stock as a base. I fessed up to the hubs and told him of my meatly accident. We decided to save this for dinner on Saturday and we ended up having fish sticks and french fries for dinner that night.

It turned out super tasty, and might have even tasted better eating in the next day. It was not soupy though, I guess I could have added more broth but honestly this worked just as well as a saucy tortellini meal and I probably won't worry about making it soupy the next time I make it. We ended up eating off of this for a few days and I even put a good sized portion in the freezer to save for a meal later. The original recipe calls for sausage and next time I'll probably make it with meat to try it that way, but it didn't need meat to make it taste good. This is really good and worth adding into any dinner rotation, especially if you can get the tortellini at a good price.

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