Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Mini Fruit Tarts

Good morning everyone! If you watched the Royals game last night you may be groggy, pissed, and very irritable. That's okay, remember it was only the first game. 

I'm going to share another recipe with you that we made for our engagement party. It would be a perfect addition to any game party you might be having and a sure way to get that frown turned upside down. 

Mini Fruit Tarts
Tart Crust:
1-1/2 cups of flour
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 egg
1 teaspoon heavy cream

Cream Filling:
2-3/4 cups milk
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

(You can substitute eggs for just egg yolks, but I'm not that good of a cook so I used the whole egg...don't judge me.)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

2. Combine flour, sugar, and salt into mixing bowl or KitchenAid mixer. Mix together. Cut butter into 8 slices and add to flour mixture. Add eggs and cream. Mix well until blended together. If dough is too dry, add more cream. 

3. Spray the outside of a muffin pan. This is what you will be using to make your bowl shape. 

4. Alright, now sprinkle a layer of flour on your work space and roll out your dough. Make sure to flour your rolling pin too, the dough is very sticky (if it's too sticky you can refrigerate it for thirty minutes). 


This is what we used to cut out our tarts, it's a pastry cutter. You could very easily use a round cookie cutter though. I just used this because it gave me a very pretty tart outline.

5. Now, take a tart and fold it over your muffin tin, push down slightly but be careful not to tear your tart. Continue process until every muffin tin has a tart circle or you run out of dough. 

6. Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees. Ours took a little while longer to cook than 10 minutes, so after the 10 minutes check your dough. If it hasn't browned continue cooking in 2 minute intervals.  

Cream Filling:
1. Add milk, sugar, cornstarch, salt, eggs, butter, and vanilla into a mixing bowl or KitchenAid mixer. Mix well until blended together. 

2. Pour mixture into a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 3 minutes. Whisk the mixture to get out any lumps, continue microwaving for another 2 minutes. Whisk mixture again and microwave for a final 2 minutes. Mixture should be think, but not lumpy. 

1. Fill each tart crust with cream filling. Then refrigerate for at least thirty minute. Before serving, top with your favorite fruit. Makes 13-14 tarts.

These were delicious and I can't wait to make them again. I hope you enjoy them too. While you are devouring your mini tarts you can play this Royals Bingo Game. My buddy Jimmy, from 8701 Productions (our photographers), came up with this game and let me share it with all of you. Enjoy!

Rebecca Havener, My Little Devils With Wings

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Poofy Ribbon Wreath

It's Tuesday and I have to say that although I know it's Tuesday, it feels like a Monday. So far this morning I have dropped my change at the gas station no less than three times, the coffee I purchased was nothing but water and foam, and I wiped off something I thought was icing from my cheese danish and licked it off my wasn't icing. If this morning is a precursor to what the rest of the day is going to be like, then I'm going back to bed.

However, I have a feeling that the rest of the day is going to be AWESOME! The Royals play in the World Series tonight. I'm so excited! Being raised near Kansas City means I was a Royals fan before it was cool. Nothing beats sitting in Kauffman Stadium cheering on your team. Although I won't be sitting there tonight, my family and I will be watching from the comforts of our living room. Let's go Royals!

That's not exactly why I started writing this post, but I thought you all would like to hear about my morning and about my hometown team. The reason for this post is...IT'S CRAFT TUESDAY!!! Woohoo! This craft isn't exactly kid friendly, it's more of an adult-grade craft. My soon to be mother-in-law, sisters-in-law, and myself got together on Saturday for a craft day. While the kids played, we got to work making Fall wreaths for our front doors.

To start out you're going to need a wire wreath and pipe cleaners.

Twist tie two pipe cleaners for each section of the wreath. One on the first two rings and one on the bottom two rings.

Continue this process until each section has two pipe cleaners in it. Now you want to take tape and mark off a place on your working table that is 16 inches in length.

Now you need your mesh ribbon. You are going to measure from one end of the table to the other with your ribbon. NO CUTTING! You take one end and twist it onto the pipe cleaner, then do the same with the other end of ribbon tying it onto the other pipe cleaner in that section.

You want it to bunch up and be puffy. Now, continue this process all the way around your wreath. Then cut off the end of your ribbon (I give you permission to use your scissors).

Now is the fun part, decorating your wreath! I used more ribbon, glitter leaves, sunflowers, and a "Harvest Blessing" sign. Your pipe cleaners should still be pointing upward. To add more ribbon and make it extra puffy, just follow the same process as before.

(I also made a bow with two different colored ribbons and hot glued a sunflower in the middle.)

Once you have added all your decorations, turn your wreath over. Now you can either twist the ends of your pipe cleaners onto the wire wreath (this part makes the ribbon bunch up even more, which I liked) or you can just cut off the ends. I kept mine, because I also wanted to be able to add more ribbon someday.

All done! Super fun and easy once you get the hang of it. Our wreath is so puffy that we can't close the storm door all the way. I feel like I've accomplished my bunchy poofy puffy goal.

Rebecca Havener, My Little Devils With Wings

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Three Cheese Balls

For one of our engagement party dishes, we made three different cheese balls. All three were extremely delicious, but everyone seemed to favor the bacon jalapeno one. It was completely devoured at the party. We didn't even get to have leftovers (sigh). Since I'm not a huge spicy food consumer my favorite was the artichoke and spinach one. I even took it to work, so I could munch on it during the week. Pure bliss. The last one we made was a cranberry and chopped nut. It was sweet and a little salty and oh-so-very-tasty!

Now that I've given you my commentary, here are the recipes.

8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (2 oz)
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 jalapenos, stems and seeds removed, diced
6 pieces cooked bacon, crumbled
Salt to taste

Mix together the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, parsley, garlic, cumin, Worcestershire sauce, half of the dice jalapeno, and half of the crumbled bacon. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking and add salt.

Mix the rest of the jalapeno and bacon together in a bowl. With your hands roll the cheese ball around in the bacon mixture until it's covered.

Chill covered for at least an hour before serving.

Makes 12 servings.

10 oz of chopped spinach
14 oz can of artichoke hearts, packed in water (drained and chopped)
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, mined
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
Dash of hot sauce (optional)

For coating cheese ball
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Place spinach in a clean dish towel and squeeze out as much water as possible, then chop it up. Drain and chop the artichoke hearts.

In a bowl mix the spinach, artichokes, cream cheese, parmesan, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and hot sauce (optional) until fully combined.

Form mixture into a ball, place on a plate, cover, and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Before serving, coat the cheese ball in the shredded parmesan cheese.

Makes 12 servings.

1/2 cup chopped mixed nuts
8 oz package of cream cheese, room temperature
8 oz of shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 cups of dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the chopped nuts in an even layer. Bake for about 5 minutes, then remove from oven.

In a large bowl, mix together cream cheese, shredded cheese, nuts, salt, and Worcestershire sauce until well combined.

Form mixture into a ball, place on a plate, cover, and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Remove the chilled cheese ball. Coat the ball in cranberries. Make sure to push down the cranberries as you go to secure them in place.

Makes 12 servings

Serve each of these cheese balls with your favorite assortment of crackers and enjoy!

Rebecca Havener, My Little Devils With Wings

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

We Have A Mantel

I have wanted a fireplace for my whole adult life! I grew up with one and loved sitting beside it. The smell of burning wood brings back so many memories. Although we wouldn't be able to have a wood burning fireplace in our home now, I still wanted one. I could settle for electric. We have a fire pit in the backyard, so if I ever get the need to smell burning wood I could always go there.

Well, we still don't have a fireplace (sad face), but since we won't be finishing the living room wall anytime soon (drywall dust on electronics and in the fish tank is a no-no), I convinced Jeremy to hang a shelf above the entertainment center.

It gives me a place to decorate for the seasons and holidays. I guess that's all I really ever wanted...maybe (nope, still want a fireplace). However, until we move (in two years) I'll settle for my little "mantel".

(There is nothing sexier than a man at work. 
He always sucks in his bottom lip when he's concentrating on something. 

We've had this shelf for awhile now, so it's a little banged up. It'll work just fine for the time being though.

Doesn't it look good all decorated? I just reused a lot of things we had lying around the house. The spray painted bottles are from this summer. The chalkboard, flowers, and banner from our engagement party. The little bird is from the coffee table decor we had this last spring and a pumpkin that Jeremy's mom made us. Super easy and adorable. (Do you see the red pen mark above the "L" on the pumpkin? That was Luke's contribution to the decor.)

I also got Jeremy to hang up the kids' baby pictures. Can you guess which baby is who?

King Shark and Nemo also got into the Halloween spirit. We cleaned out their tank of all the army men and put in Halloween Legos instead. Now I just need to get a Halloween costume for Leia and the pets will be all set. (That's right, they're still alive. Only house plants die an early death around here.)

So, how are you decorating for Halloween this year?

Rebecca Havener, My Little Devils With Wings

Halloween Handprint Art

Last night was Monday, October 13th. I know it wasn't Friday the 13th, but it was the 13th all the same. So, we kicked off our Halloween movie nights. We'll be watching one Halloween movie a night until the 31st. Last night we watched Beetlejuice and the kids really liked it! Even Luke.

We also made a spooktacular craft! I have really missed our weekly craft nights and am hoping we can get back to doing them. It seems like things have quieted down since the start of school, so we should have more time to do fun things. Without further adieu, here is our Halloween Handprint Art!

What you need:
Paper plates
Assorted craft paints
Canvas or artist drawing paper
Paint brush

We started out by putting paint onto a paper plate. We found that this really helps when finger painting and it keeps messes to a minimum.

Give each child a canvas or piece of artist paper. Luke was really eager to get started, but wouldn't take his eyes off of the movie.

(Still watching the movie.)

Time to get dirty! Stick those cute little hands onto the paper plates. Make sure their whole hand is covered with paint. You could use a paint brush at this point to help spread the paint all over their hands.

Emily and my niece, Nya, wanted to make handprint ghosts. Anything goes when crafting! After they've made their handprints, go ahead and let them wash their hands. The messy part is over. Now it's time to paint the background and scenery. You can use a paint brush for this part too. 

The boys made spiders. Just look at those cute little handprints!

Here's Emily's ghost. She did such a good job. After they went to bed I hung their artwork on the wall and snapped a picture. Soon after, the paint started running. Oops. I guess they weren't quite as dry as I thought they were.

I did get a picture of my niece holding up her artwork, but she didn't have a shirt on. (I made her take it off, so she didn't get paint on it. Her mother would kill me!) So, no naked niece picture for you. Plus her artwork is for her house. The black picture with glitter eyes is Luke's second piece of art. He had so much fun making the first one, that he asked if he could paint another. I didn't give him any guidelines when he painted that one. It looks so cool. He's such a little creative genius (I'm not bias in the least little bit.)

Tonight we will be watching Witches. Have you ever seen that movie? It's about a group of witches and the head witch. They try to turn all the children into mice, by poisoning chocolate. It was one of my favorites growing up. The kids have already seen it, but I'm making them watch it again. It's good to be the parent. 

Rebecca Havener, My Little Devils With Wings
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