Yummies: Cream Cheese Mints

As far back as I can remember cream cheese mints have always been a part of weddings, graduations, baby showers, any sort of celebration. It wasn’t until recently that I was shocked (and slightly horrified) to find out that a few of my co-workers didn’t know what such things were! Who doesn’t know what these delectable creamy pieces of perfection are?! Man, they are missing out. Are they just a regional item – the verdict is still out on this but many say these are a Midwest thing.

With only a few ingredients (cream cheese, powdered sugar, granulated sugar, mint or other flavoring, food coloring)* cream cheese mints are easy to prep that’s for sure but they can be a tad time consuming if you choose to use a rubber mold for a special shape. I liken them to making cut-out cookies – they seem like a great idea at the beginning, in the middle of making them you wonder what they heck you were thinking, and at the end you are rewarded for your hard work with a yummy & beautiful treat.

photo via Skip To My Lou

This may be why I have only made them twice in my life. The first time was for my high school graduation – I begged my mom to make them to which she kindly (or not so kindly) said “yeah right – if you want them ask grandma.” My grandma agreed as long as I made them with her. We were successful and if I remember correctly had a couple of ice cream buckets full of the classic rose shaped mints – yum! This past spring I helped host a baby shower and again thought CREAM CHEESE MINTS! This time I was on my own. An owl themed shower had to have owl shaped mints right? I did a simple search, ordered my mold which was here in no time and I was set. I won’t go into details but I don’t have grandma’s touch and the mints weren’t going as planned – I ditched the idea of owl mints and opted to roll the mints into balls and flatten them with a fork similar to peanut butter cookies. I think they actually looked more classy. Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of the finished product – but be assured they were cute & yummy.

A nice little addition to any celebration really, colors & shapes are endless and you can choose a different flavor than mint if you like – totally customizable! Just be sure to give yourself some time – these mints are totally okay going into the freezer or refrigerator for a bit if you choose to make them a couple of weeks ahead of time (I actually like them when they are cold & firm). Enjoy and eat one for me!

 

*the recipe is very simple, I looked at a couple of recipes and used them as guidelines but didn’t follow any exactly.

 

Birthdays: Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

Two years ago my son came into this world and changed my life forever. I love him more than I ever thought possible. One of my (many) goals as a mother is to make sure that he has an enjoyable birthday (whether he remembers it or not). I spent quite a bit of time planning his first birthday but this September was much busier and I didn’t have quite as much free time to prepare AND we decided not to do a big birthday party but instead would celebrate as a small family and would help B celebrate at daycare as well.

We decided that the perfect treat for those at his small daycare would be ice cream cone cupcakes. I vaguely remember having these as a child either at my own party or someone else’s. They are super easy to make, would be something we could make a couple of days beforehand and they were also easy enough for a 2 year old to help with. B enjoyed dumping in the ingredients as well as licking the spoon and what little kid doesn’t like dumping sprinkles onto a cake?!

Thinking about the steps in making these cupcakes there are a couple of challenges to work around. We opted for the standard size of ice cream cones and thought B would enjoy a funfetti cake mix. We filled the cones 2/3 full of cake batter and then placed the cones on a mini muffin tin – they fit perfectly. CAREFULLY I put the pan into the oven and let them bake for about 20 minutes. Taking them out of the oven was almost more of a challenge than putting them in – but the made it out safely. After cooling I frosted them and let little B put sprinkles on each one.

And you are done! OH WAIT! How am I going to transport these?!?! Not an easy thing if you think about it.  A simple Google search will result in a plethora of ideas told by those that have braved these ice cream cone cupcakes in the past. We chose to transport these via a tin foil lasagna pan which was the perfect size for 12 cupcakes. Originally I had planned on cutting circles out of the bottom of the pan the size of the bottoms of the cones but that proved to be more difficult that I wanted it to be. So instead I cut a simple “X” for each cone and folded back the tabs – super easy. The cones fit in there great without wiggling around. The kids at daycare gave them rave reviews and somehow none of the extras made it home.

These were definitely fun & quick to make for a busy mom like myself. They didn’t take too much time and too much planning and you could definitely decorate them as simple or extravagant as you like – oh and did I mention how fun they are to eat?! Enjoy!

Components:

  • Ice cream cones
  • Cake mix
  • Frosting
  • Sprinkles
  • Mini muffin tin
  • Tin foil lasagna pan

 

Directions:

  • Mix up your cake batter.
  • Spoon batter into the cones until they are 2/3 full.
  • Bake at 350 for approximately 20 minutes.
  • Cool completely before decorating.

Wedding: Steampunk & Handfasting

I love hearing about how people met and their journey to a lifetime of togetherness. Recently a co-worker of mine got married in a reverse elopement of sorts. Instead of running off to get married they each invited their parents & siblings to their house to participate in the intimate wedding ceremony in their back yard. I loved hearing of the small details that would make this day so special and memorable for them. Every little detail was carefully thought out and had a special meaning to the Happy Couple from the attire to the rings to the ceremony itself.

One part of the ceremony that was a bit unique to me (maybe not others depending on your heritage) – was the handfasting. You can read more about it here. I love how this ceremony incorporated those that the couple holds very dear. Such a neat idea and a great alternative if you are looking for incorporating  something other than a unity candle or sand ceremony.

Handfasting ceremony

Wedding rings are also something that are becoming a little more unique – people are getting more comfortable with the idea of customizing them more. Check out the Happy Couple’s steampunk inspired rings!

Steampunk rings

Go here to read more about this intimate ceremony. These details are just a reminder how you can taylor your wedding to fit your style – it’s your special day, let your style shine!

Featured Product: Photo Napkins

As I am constantly on the lookout for new products to use as décor in my home or for the perfect accessory for an event that will make people think “wow, that’s neat” I am reminded at how creative and clever people have gotten. A short search will reveal that people do what they can to personalize their home or party and even workplace – whether it be with a monogram, a photo, or a favorite color.

 In a previous post I featured the fabulous custom printed napkins that our very own Balloons Tomorrow can create. Well, did you know that they can also put photos on napkins?! It’s true – how neat does that sound –  photo napkins, the ultimate in personalization!

Think about the possibilities: birthdays, weddings, graduations, baby showers, engagements, sweet 16 – any milestone really. Or what about putting a picture of your new house on them and using them at a house warming party? Or a picture of your work place for a customer appreciation event or an anniversary celebration?

The napkins come in a huge variety of colors – I am very confident that you will find a color that will go great with your event and they come in 2 different sizes. Printing is done in either black or white and can either be printed square or slanted. You must check them out for your next gathering!