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Tex-Mex Cheese Ball

This cute post The Perfect Fall Cheese Ball – Family Fresh Meals caught my eye and I pinned it on Pinterest.  Unfortunately I didn’t get around to making it until December and no longer was a pumpkin cheese ball necessary.  I am more than glad I made this Tex-Mex Cheese Ball.  It was a huge hit for my birthday and all my company enjoyed it.

I made the cheese ball the day before to save some time the next day at the party.  I even crushed my Doritos and kept them in a sealed bag to just roll and go the next day.  As I was making it we had a few extra friends visiting us and helping me with the cooking.  One of the little girls told me it was going to be “the hit of the party” it was so good.

Making half the recipe next time would probably work.  Even with my large crowd we ended up with a bunch of leftovers.  Although we ate it for snack the next few days.  We also used the leftovers to spread inside some chicken quesadillas which turned out great.

Tex-Mex Cheese Ball:

  • 16 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cup shredded cheese (I used mexican blend)
  • 3 Tbs onions, minced
  • 3 Tbs salsa, your favorite kind
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 1/2 cup nacho cheese chips, crushed

In a stand mixer combine all ingredients but the chips.  Mix until creamy and combined.

Lay a large piece of plastic wrap on the counter and scoop the mixture into a mound in the center.

Wrap up the ball tightly and chill at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.

When ready to serve roll in the crushed chips.

We served ours with tortilla chips and wheat crackers.  Celery and carrots would also be very good.


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Brownie Batter Dip

Brownie Batter DipI live on a dead-end road a few miles long in a wonderful neighborhood.  My neighborhood is so great I can’t seem to get away.  I grew up on the road in my parents house, Mr.Picky moved in across the street in high school, and we have now lived just a few doors down in a rental house.  I used to be able to tell you every neighbors name and story.  Over the last few years we have had a lot of new families come to the street.  I try to introduce myself but I honestly think I am the only one.  No one knows each other besides their direct neighbor.  So I set out to host a neighbor ladies night in.  One of our neighbors sells jewelry and decided to have her do a show and invite all the neighbor ladies.

With the promise of dessert, jewelry, and meeting the neighbors we had a great night.  This of course gave me a great excuse to try some new and favorite dessert recipes out.  I had come across Brownie Batter Dip – Crumbs and Chaos which was a chocolate dream.  Being fall I had picked some more fall flavored desserts and was need of at least one chocolate treat.  This recipe was perfect.

I served my dip with pretzels and vanilla wafers.  Strawberries would have been tasty if they were in season.

Brownie Batter Dip:Brownie Batter Dip

  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar
  • 5 Tbs flour
  • 5-7 Tbs cocoa powder
  • 3-4 Tbs milk
  • 2 Tbs brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Whip together cream cheese and butter in a stand mixer.

Add in 2 cups powdered sugar and 1 Tbs milk, until combined.

Next add flour, cocoa powder, brown sugar, vanilla, and another Tbs of milk.

Beat until mixture is smooth.

Add remaining powdered sugar and milk if needed for desired consistency.


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Luscious Slush Punch

This will be my fifth year as a birthday party throwing mom, and I love to host.  I found this recipe Luscious Slush Punch Recipe – Allrecipes.com five years ago and use this punch every year for the kid’s party.  It helps that we have summer birthdays, so it is hot and a nice slushy punch tastes amazing.

Not only does this punch taste great, but you can make it ahead.  Anyone who has hosted anything knows that make ahead is the key to a smooth party.  Plus the punch is frozen so there is no need to worry about buying ice, or melting of ice.

Of course I can never leave anything alone, but I did find the original recipe is a bit sweet.  You are basically adding sugar to a bunch or sugar, and then pouring a bottle of sugar on it.  So I reduced the sugar and all is well.  I have also substituted the orange juice before for apricot nectar because that is what I had.  Improvise if you need to, just keep the quantities the same or you won’t fit it in the bags.

Luscious  Slush Punch:Luscious Punch

  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 (6 oz.) package strawberry flavored gelatin mix
  • 1 (46 oz.) can pineapple juice
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice
  • 32 oz. or 1 quart orange juice
  • 2 (2 liter) bottle of lemon-lime soda

Bring sugar, water, and jello to a boil in a large pot.  Boil for 3 minutes.

Remove from heat, and stir in the 3 juices.

Divide mixture into 2 gallon size freezer bags.  I use the technique of putting my gallon bag in a pitcher and filling, as shown in the picture.

Freeze the bags of punch until solid, I place my bags in a large bowl in the freezer.  I once laid them flat and had one bag leak, what a mess.

Combine each bag with one 2 liter of soda, mix about 20 minutes before serving for the slush to form.

Zebra Print and Pink Party

For the big number 5 birthday my daughter picked out a zebra print and pink party.  It was kind of fun, so much zebra print ideas out there.  We ended up combining the kids parties to the same day due to Mr.Picky’s days off.  So I split the set up, her side was the drink and dessert table.

Zebra and Pink Cupcakes

 

Zebra and Pink Party

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We found zebra and pink print cupcake liners, and went with a marble cake chocolate and white to stay with the theme.  Just a basic frosting and a bit of pink edible pearls.  At a local craft store we even came across zebra print candles.  I used our favorite lucious punch recipe.  With a few more zebra decor picked up at the grocery store on clearance.

Party Centerpiece

The centerpiece was easy with balloons simple blown up, tissue paper, a painted wrapping paper rolls, and a cup filled with rocks as a base.

 

Puppy Party

Now that birthday season for my family is rolling around, I thought I would share photos from last year.  For my son’s first birthday we picked a dog theme because it was one of him first words and he was obsessed with animals.  I came across an idea for these puppy cupcakes and went from there.  I had to guess what they use but I am happy to share what I used, maybe it will inspire someone else.

Puppy Cupcakes and mini cake

Puppy CupcakesI made a basic cupcake and frosted it with chocolate frosting reserving some frosting in a fine tipped piping bag.

The ears: Nutter butter cookies split and laid frosting side down

Eyes: mini marshmallows cut in half, with a dot of chocolate frosting on them

Mussel: mini vanilla wafer, with chocolate frosting mouth and a dot to hold an m&m on

Baseball Themed Party

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Baseball Themed Party!

Get ready for some party ideas and themes over the next couple months.  Over a seven week stretch we have five birthday parties to throw between my sisters and I.

This was one of my nephews parties we recently went to.  He is in love with baseball, and although he is only 3 he wishes he could be 5 so he can sign up for baseball.  I loved how my sister used the bucket the baseball gum came in, to hold the forks.  The baseball cupcakes were so easy and were a great center piece.

Black and Orange Graduation Party

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My first nephew actually graduated a few weeks ago.  This was a huge deal, and this was the cake table display.  Home of the Tigers, the party was done in orange and black.  The party was great, catching up with friends new and old.  My sister threw the party and I can not take any credit.  I took a few pictures to give others some ideas.

graduation cupcakesIn addition to a sheet cake, she had made some graduation cupcakes and I did make some orange and black tiger brownies to help, recipe is attached.  This recipe would work well for the zebra party I am planing in a few weeks just leaving out the orange coloring.

Orange and Black Tiger Brownies:Tiger Cream Cheese Brownies

  • A box of your favorite brownie mix
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 5 Tbs butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 Tbs flour
  • orange food coloring (optional)

Prepare brownie batter as directed on box, pour half the batter in a greased 9×13″ pan.

In a separate bowl mix cream cheese, butter, and sugar until fluffy.  Add eggs, vanilla and flour mixing until smooth.  If you wish to color add the desired amount of color to the cream cheese mixture.

Spread cream cheese mixture on top of brownie batter in baking pan, drop spoonfuls of remaining brownie batter on top of the cream cheese layer.Tiger Cream Cheese Brownies

Pull a knife through the pan until you reach the desired stripping.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean from center.

Allow to cool completely before slicing, enjoy!

 

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