Friday, August 31, 2012

BLT Dip...Sooooo good!

I love me a good dip.  Give me warm, gooey cheese or a cool, creamy chip topper, and I'm a happy Mama.  I'm not particularly picky about what I dip either...chips, crackers, melba's all good.  Oh, and vegetables.  They are good, too.  (I said that for my Mama.  I prefer chips.  Who are we kidding?)

 Recently we were headed to a family birthday gathering and I didn't want to go empty handed, so I whipped up a batch of this goodness.  And I mean, really, BACON?  You can't go wrong.  I served it with melba toast, but they had tortilla chips and potato chips on hand, and I'm not above dipping those in it, too.


BLT Dip:

1/2 lb of bacon, cooked and crumbled into small pieces (or more..I'm sure I used more.  BACON!)
1 cup of mayonnaise
1 cup of sour cream
1 medium tomato, diced into small pieces (Some people seed their tomatoes here.  Not me!)
2 TBSP dry ranch dressing mix (I'm sure you could use liquid ranch dressing if you didn't have the powdered stuff.  Go nuts here.)
2 green onions, diced

Mix all your ingredients together.  I did mine the night before, and boy, oh boy, did those flavors marry well!  The bacon made it so nice and smoky and bacony!  You could probably serve it right away if you needed to, as I can attest it was mighty tasty right away.

Here's the tricky part.  I didn't have any lettuce, so this is more of a BT dip without the L, but you could serve it up on some lettuce leaves if you were fancy like that.  I was doing pretty good to get it in tupperware with a matching lid.  At least it wasn't in a Country Crock bowl.  Not that there's anything wrong with that.

You can pretty it up with some green onions and crumbled bacon sprinkled on top.  They won't stay there long, though.

I am adding this recipe to Boomama's Diptacular post.  If you happen over there, check out the rest of her blog.  I love her posts, even if she is a Mississippi State fan.  :)She's also very funny and sometimes seems like she's living in my head.  It's a little scary.

Have a great weekend!  Roll Tide!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

"Angry Birds" Cake Pop Tutorial

Yes, I am strolling in here and typing up a blog post like it hasn't been over two years since I've added ANYTHING.  I'm  flaky like that.

So, yeah.  Umm...Let's move past the awkwardness right into the post, shall we?

My son, Luke, requested that I make him "Angry Birds" cake pops for his birthday.  He loved the Elmo pops I made for my two-year old daughter's birthday.  (Hello, reason why I haven't posted in over two years.)

So, I started scouring the internet for ideas for how to make the "Angry Birds" pops.  On the plus side, there were TONS of pics of "Angry Bird" cake pops everywhere, especially Pinterest.  Unfortunately, NO ONE had much of a step by step explaining how to do them, nor were there pictures of the process.  So, I jumped in head-first into this project.  Please forgive the pitiful iphone pictures.

First, you make a cake from a mix, according to package directions.  (I used a Funfetti mix.)  Let it cool completely.  When cooled, crumble it into a large bowl.  Next, add 3/4 of a can of frosting.  (I used a vanilla frosting.)  I have made these using the whole can, but it just seems to be too soft and sticky that way.  3/4 was just the right consistency.  Refrigerate for at least one hour.  I went overnight, just because...see aforementioned 2 year old.

The next day, I started forming my scoops of cakey goodness into the familiar shapes of  my favorite iphone time-wasters.  It was mostly a matter of size--large for green pigs, small for blue birds, medium size for red birds and bomb birds.  For the yellow birds, I made more of a cone/triangle type shape.  For the white (egg bomb, as my son calls them) birds, I made more of an oval shape.  After making into desired shapes, place into the freezer.  Again, I left them overnight, but have I told you about my two year old?

(Luke told me he didn't want his birds to be on sticks, but to sit on a cake, so I didn't put them on sticks as I normally would've at this point.  If you want them on sticks, you should dip your stick in candy melt and insert it into the bottom of the birds (ouch) at this point and let them hang out in the freezer for 10 or so minutes before decorating further.)

The next day, I started dipping the birdies-to-be into the appropriate colors of candy melts.  I bought most of the colors at Hobby Lobby, but a few needed tweaking.  I bought some special food coloring that is designed to be used with candy melts.  I learned the hard way that regular or even some gel food coloring will cause your melted chocolate to seize right up, which STINKS right out loud.  I made my own yellow color and brightened up the red a bit.  I could not find black candy melts, so I used dark chocolate candy melts and added tons of the black special candy coloring.  It turned out great--messy, but perfect.  The blue was spot-on perfect!

You can see in the above pic, I had a candy mold that I used to make beaks.  I made up some orange melted bark and just kind of painted it on with a toothpick.  The mold was for squares, so I only used the corners to make triangular beaks.  I made eyebrows with the black melts, just painted onto the plastic.  I made the eyes out of flat-rolled fondant that I cut with a tiny circle cutter, which was actually an attachment for some squeezable frosting.  I made the iris of the eye...or is it the pupil...whatever...out of edible magic marker on the fondant.
Next, I added the eyes to the already-dipped bodies.  I painted on a little of the color-appropriate melts and just slapped those eyeballs on.  It dries quickly!  I used some specially bought candy paintbrushes from Hobby Lobby, but I can't tell any difference between those and ones you get with kid's paint.
I attached the beaks and blue licorice feathers in the same way.  Paint and stick!

Details:  For the birds with white bellies, I used the fondant again, just with a larger size cutter.  I painted on the black feathers with toothpicks.  I used some red licorice, sliced thin for the yellow birds' eyebrows.  I used that same red licorice for the red birds' wings.  For the bomb birds' fuses, I put a drop of the black melt on its head and then just stuck a yellow sprinkle into it.  I dripped green melts into little circles on wax paper to make the green pigs' ears.  Their noses are just unmelted green candy melts that I carved two little "snout holes" on.  I think I just made up the phrase "snout holes."  Feel free to use it in conversation.

I won't lie:  this was a time consuming project to get all the little details right.  It is like an art project and a baking endeavor all rolled up into one!  There was a lot of heating and reheating of colors because I would realize I forgot to add feathers or whatever.  It was so completely worth it, though, when Luke saw all of them for the first time.  He was over the moon with excitement!  He wanted some of his birds to sit on a cake( that I made...woot!  Did I mention I don't bake cakes?  I totally don't!  Also, I have a two year old!) with their eggs, which were shiny sixlets that I found in the wedding section at Hobby Lobby.  You could also use Easter candy or jelly beans if you have know, hidden from your children. the drawer that they don't know about.  Maybe that's just me.

Anyway, the "Angry Bird" cake pops were a huge hit!  They were all eaten in a flash.  I hope this tutorial helps you make your own "Angry Birds!"  Let me know if you try it or if you have any questions!