My son's 4th birthday is upon us so I thought I better go ahead and post last year's birthday cake. Better late than never, right? He wanted a safari, dinosaur, train birthday party. I baked chocolate cake and my husband assembled and decorated the train with a simple buttercream frosting. We put some clean toy dinosaurs and a zebra on top of one of the train cars to coordinate with the party theme.
My very artistic husband was a natural at cake decorating.
The birthday boy blowing out his candles
A happy birthday boy with Grandpa
This recipe is for basic buttercream frosting. It's really simple and will hold up for basic decorating. It's not stiff enough for something like roses, but will work fine for most kids birthday party cakes. (I made the sweet peas and pea pod in this photo with gum paste.) You can make it a little healthier by substituting the shortening with butter, but it won't hold up as well for decorating.
1/2 C. (1 stick) real butter, slightly softened
1/2 C. vegetable shortening
4 C. sifted powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
Whip all in a mixer until you have a delicious and fluffy frosting. (Start slowly or your powdered sugar will go everywhere.) You can color with icing colors or use as a white frosting.
Frozen raspberries are one of my favorite healthy treats and they are so easy to make.
Since we love frozen raspberries, when I see raspberries on sale, I stock up and freeze extras. Of course, anytime you can get fresh picked berries, they will freeze wonderfully too. Frozen berries are delicious and they work well in recipes too.
Gently wash your raspberries and try to shake or blot off any excess water.
Place the berries in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.
Put in the freezer until berries are frozen. It doesn't take very long. You can easily freeze several pans in a day.
Transfer frozen berries to zipper seal freezer bags, then return them to the freezer.
I took some things in to consign at the local Children's Resale Store on Friday and saw this adorable little kitchen. I looked it over and wondered if this would be a nice toy kitchen for the boys.
I have been on the lookout for one for a couple of years and have never seen a used one that was in good condition. I'll admit, I have been very picky. I wanted it to be sturdy and have the cuteness factor. Also, it couldn't look too girly since I have all boys. Check out my Pinterest board, For the Home, and you can see an adorable green kitchen made from a nightstand. I have also been on the lookout for the right nightstand to make my own.
In looking over this kitchen, I noticed the markings on the back and thought it was probably a quality piece.
I was not familiar with this company, but liked that the kitchen was made in the USA.
I never wanted to spend much money so I was excited and surprised to see that this kitchen was priced at $20. I had $10 credit in my store account so I decided to buy this toy kitchen for $10.
When I returned home, I looked up Elves and Angels toy kitchens and discovered that they are in fact handcrafted heirloom quality pieces. Online prices ranged from $100 for a pre-owned kitchen on ebay to $269 for new models. I felt really good about my $10 investment.
The boys have had so much fun playing with the kitchen and I have become a much sought after soup taster trying delicacies such as watermelon, carrot, apple, and bread soup. There has even been the appearance of a super hero cape as the super hero soup maker got to work in the kitchen.
Ground beef and vegetable soup has been a favorite meal in our house for years. The boys love it so much that they literally cheer when they hear we are having it for dinner. With so many busy nights at the pool, we have been having this soup a lot lately. I have been browning the meat with onion and garlic on the stove and then transferring it to my slow cooker and adding the rest of the ingredients so that when we get home from swim there is a hot meal waiting for us.
The origin of our favorite soup: my husband and I ate in a small country restaurant a few years ago and I had the most amazing ground beef and vegetable soup. I was so in love with my new favorite soup that I came home and created this recipe.
This soup is so easy to make and delicious too. You could substitute your favorite vegetables or use whatever you have on hand. Canned corn and green beans work well in this soup as well as fresh vegetables from the garden.
1 lb. ground lean beef or ground venison
1 onion diced
2 cloves garlic minced
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes or 2 cups diced fresh tomatoes (include any juice)
16 oz. frozen mixed vegetables
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. or more creole seasoning
2 bay leaves
1 quart (4 cups) beef or vegetable broth
1 to 2 cups water
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. Brown ground beef, onion, and garlic in a large pot. If you use a leaner beef, you won't have much excess grease. If you need to drain off excess grease, drain before moving on.
2. Add the remaining ingredients.
3. Bring to a low boil, then simmer on low for about 30 minutes.
4. Remove bay leaves before serving.
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Welcome to Home Ec @ Home
Hi, I'm Faith, a former Family and Consumer Science teacher turned food blogger. I love God, my family, and food. You can usually find me in the kitchen preparing family friendly, homemade recipes and taking lots of pictures.
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