Friday, November 28, 2014

Mini Butterfinger Cheesecakes

Mini Butterfinger Cheesecakes by Cheng and 3 Kids

I think I've mentioned this before, but I am a chocoholic. So it's no surprise that I would always have some chocolate bars stashed somewhere.

But sometimes just the chocolate bars by themselves are not enough to satisfy my sweet cravings.

So I decided to make some mini cheesecakes with chopped Butterfinger bars in it.

And I'm so glad I did. (^_^)

Mini Butterfinger Cheesecakes by Cheng and 3 Kids

These Mini Butterfinger Cheesecakes are not only yummy, but the recipe is absolutely foolproof. Perfect for a newbie baker like me.

I adapted this cheesecake recipe from kraftrecipes.com (you can click here to check it out). The ganache recipe is from the Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book.

I hope you guys like it just as much as I did. (^_^)


MINI  BUTTERFINGER
CHEESECAKES

Ingredients for Cheesecakes:
1 cup crushed Oreo cookies
3 tablespoons melted butter
3/4 cup sugar
3 package (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
3/4 cup chopped Butterfinger candy bars

Ingredients for Ganache:
1 cup whipping cream
12 ounces semisweet chocolate morsels

Heat oven to 325 degrees F. Mix crushed Oreo cookies and butter, then press onto bottoms of paper-lined muffin cups. Beat cream cheese, vanilla and sugar with mixer. On low speed, beat in chopped Butterfinger bars just until blended. Spoon approximately 3 tablespoons of cream cheese mixture over crusts. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until centers are almost set. Cool completely. Refrigerate 2 hours.

In a medium saucepan, bring whipping cream just to boiling over medium-high heat. Remove from heat. Add semisweet chocolate morsels (do not stir). Let stand 5 minutes. Stir until smooth. Cool 15 minutes.

Spoon ganache over cheesecakes. Sprinkle some chopped Butterfinger bars on top.

Enjoy! (^_^)


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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Halloween Teacher Gift {Disinfecting Wipes}

Halloween Teacher Gift - Disinfecting Wipes - perfect for the flu season! by chengand3kids.blogspot.com

This Halloween, we're giving my little boy's teacher her very own GERM SLAYER.

What's a germ slayer, you ask?

Well, it's just a fancy term for disinfecting wipes... because they slay germs.

Get it? (wink wink)

And I swear it has nothing to do with the fact that I'm a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan. LOL

September up to December is what we call the Ber Months in the Philippines, and people would start gearing up for the Christmas season.

Here in the U.S. people are making plans for the upcoming holidays - Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year - but unfortunately, it's also the start of the flu season.

The teachers need all the help they can get.

So I think these disinfecting wipes would be very useful in the classroom.


Halloween Teacher Gift - Disinfecting Wipes - perfect for the flu season! by chengand3kids.blogspot.com

Of course, we can just give it as is, maybe with a little note saying Happy Halloween.

But where's the fun in that?

So I decided to make my own label using Adobe Photoshop and a free digital scrapbooking kit.

The kit is called Trick or Treat and is made by eyeinspire (you can check it out here).

I printed it out, then adhered it to the canister with double sided tape.


Halloween Teacher Gift - Disinfecting Wipes - perfect for the flu season! by chengand3kids.blogspot.com

Then I applied a coat of Mod Podge to give it a little bit of protection.

It also created a cool looking texture, as you can see on the picture above.

Although I must admit, even strokes with the foam brush would have made it look better.

Oh well, I sure hope Mrs. Jarrett won't mind. (^_^)

I linked this post to these wonderful parties:

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Halloween Brownies

Halloween Brownies -- Frankenstein Brownie, Mummy Brownie, and Spider Brownie by chengand3kids.blogspot.com

My kids and I LOVE Halloween.

What's not to love, right?

You get to wear costumes, people's houses are decorated with spooky stuff, and there's all that free candy!

And... it's also an excuse to play with our food. How fun is that?

These brownies are the perfect treat for a Halloween party. The kids will also enjoy making their own monster faces or creepy crawlies!

I made these brownies using a brownie mix, but you can use your favorite brownie recipe if you prefer making it from scratch.

So all I did was bake the brownies according to the instructions on the box.

Once it was baked and cooled, I started making the butter cream frosting (click here for the recipe), and placed the frosting in separate bowls so that I could tint them with liquid food colors.


Frankenstein Brownie for Halloween by chengand3kids.blogspot.com

For this Frankenstein Brownie, I used green frosting, chocolate sprinkles for the hair, candy eyeballs, and melted chocolate for the eyebrows, mouth and scar. But if you have black gel (they come in small tubes like these), then you can use that too.


Mummy Brownie for Halloween by chengand3kids.blogspot.com

This Mummy Brownie is made with white frosting, and red M&M candy for the eyes. To create the mummy wrap effect, I used the Wilton #103 frosting tip.

Spider Brownie for Halloween by chengand3kids.blogspot.com

The Spider Brownie is made with green and white frosting, brown M&M candy and melted chocolate for the legs. I used glitter gel for the eyes. I made the spider web like they did in this video.



Want to know what my favorite part is?

Getting to watch my little boy decorate his own brownie.




And of course I had to take not one, but several pictures of him.

Doesn't he look so cute with that intent expression on  his face?

(^_^)

I linked this post to these wonderful parties:

Friday, August 29, 2014

Bea's 18th Birthday

Turning 18 years old is a big deal in the Philippines. We call it a debut, and is usually a grand celebration, similar to a quinceanera.

Parents would rent a restaurant or some other nice venue. The celebrant would be wearing a gown, there would be a cotillion dance, 18 roses dance, the 18 candles, and everything is so formal and elegant.

You know how little girls dream of being a princess? Well, this is kind of like being a princess for a day.

And all that is wonderful.

IF you can afford it.

And since we fall into the category of "parents that can't afford it," I had to be a little creative to make my daughter's birthday a little special.


18th Birthday Party by chengand3kids.blogspot.com


Instead of  renting a fancy venue, we celebrated it in our humble home.


18th Birthday Party by chengand3kids.blogspot.com


Instead of ordering an expensive tiered cake, I gathered my baking supplies and made her a chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting, and poured some ganache on top of it.


Paper Flower Party Decoration by chengand3kids.blogspot.com


Instead of  buying party decorations, I put my cutting machine to work and made paper flowers for the wall and also for the table. (If you don't have a cutting machine, you can also use scissors just like they did here.)

Was her party grand?

Absolutely not.

But it didn't make it any less special though. (^_^)


I linked this post to these wonderful parties:


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting ( and pecan nuts ) by chengand3kids.blogspot.com

If you're looking for an easy and foolproof banana cake recipe then you'll love this. I made this cake for my stepfather's birthday and we LOVED it. Even my picky 7-year-old couldn't get enough of it.

Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting ( and pecan nuts ) by chengand3kids.blogspot.com

I found the banana cake recipe on cooks.com, and I'm so glad I tried it. It was so moist and delicious, and you'd never guess it wasn't made from scratch.

The cream cheese frosting recipe is from one of my favorite bloggers, I am baker. She used this frosting for her zucchini cupcakes and she was absolutely right, this is the best cream cheese frosting I've ever had. But I did use less sugar though. Maybe next time I'll try not to chicken out and use the exact amount of sugar on her recipe. :)

And since I like A LOT of frosting on my cakes I doubled the cream cheese frosting recipe. Now I know, I couldn't use all of that frosting on the cake, but here's what I did. You know how you get rid of the cake dome by cutting off the top part of the cake? I slathered my leftover frosting on that and sprinkled some toasted pecan nuts. Waste not, want not. :)

So without further ado, here's how I made this Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. I hope you guys love it just like my family and I did. :)

BANANA CAKE

Ingredients:
1 package yellow cake mix ( I used Betty Crocker)
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup butter, softened
3 eggs
2-3 medium size ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup chopped pecan nuts

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour cake pans ( I used two 8 inch rounds ). Stir 1/8 teaspoon baking soda into the cake mix. Beat cake mix, water, butter and eggs on low speed for 30 seconds, then on medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in the mashed bananas and nuts. Pour into the cake pans. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan. Cool completely before frosting.

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

Ingredients:
1 package cream cheese ( 8 oz. ), softened
1 stick butter ( 8 tablespoons ), softened
4 cups confectioner's sugar ( I used 3 cups, but next time I'll try 4 )
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place room temperature butter, cream cheese, and vanilla into mixer and blend for 1-2 minutes on medium until fully incorporated. Add confectioner's sugar one cup at a time, until frosting is light and creamy.

If you're a newbie at making cakes like me, you might want to watch this video on how to assemble and frost cakes. You can also decorate the sides of the cake with chopped pecan nuts. Not only does it hide imperfections, but I also love the taste of toasted nuts.

This post was featured at :


Posed Perfection


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Monday, May 12, 2014

Mother's Day Gift Bag

Mother's Day Gift Bag by chengand3kids.blogspot.com #mothersday #paperbag #giftbag

I just love personalizing gift bags. So for Mother's Day this year, I transformed a humble brown paper bag into this cute gift bag, just like I saw here.

I know it looks like I wrote on it with a Sharpie, but I actually ran it through the printer. I wasn't successful at first (the paper bag got stuck inside the printer a few times), but after making sure that the printer setting is on envelope and I adjusted the size to 6.127 inches x 12.377 inches - just like Mickey of Thirty Handmade Days recommended - it came out great!

Next, I used my Fiskars border punch to punch the upper edge, to give it that pretty scallop design. Then I folded it and punched two holes with my Crop-A-Dile for the ribbons.

I was planning on making a banana cake with cream cheese frosting for my mom, but she's not really a big fan of frosting. So I ended up making these Chocolate Chip Banana Nut Muffins instead (click here for the recipe).

Chocolate Chip Banana Nut Muffins by chengand3kids.blogspot.com

After the muffins were cooled, I placed them in a Ziploc bag first before putting them inside the gift bag, to avoid getting grease spots on it.

Mother's Day Gift Bag by chengand3kids.blogspot.com

Pretty cute, right? :)

And being a mom myself, I got pampered by my kids as well. My day started out with this breakfast that my two girls made.

Mother's Day 2014 by chengand3kids.blogspot.com

Bacon, eggs, and pancake with maple syrup - my kids know me so well. :)

And this one's from my little boy. He painted the flowerpot in school and it says I love you mama. So sweet!

Mother's Day 2014 by chengand3kids.blogspot.com

Did you do anything special for Mother's Day? Share with me!

I linked this post to these wonderful parties:




Friday, May 9, 2014

M&M's Teacher Gift

M&M's Teacher Gift by chengand3kids.blogspot.com #teachergift #teacherappreciationday #giftidea

Today is the last day of Teacher Appreciation Week. And of course I couldn't let the week go by without giving my little boy's teachers a little something to let them know how much we appreciate all their hard work.

I've always believed that gifts don't have to be expensive for them to be special. These M&M's don't cost a lot, but the wrappers/holders are made with love.

I saw the "teachers plant seeds that grow forever" quote on the internet and I loved it instantly! My little boy is blessed to have wonderful teachers. And I know that this is one of the reasons why he is doing well in school.

And for that, I really am thankful.

I made this with my Silhouette Cameo. I used the love grows stronger tree shape (Design ID #38741). The font is called A Little Pot (you can find it here). And the paper is from the Sakura 2009 digital kit by Akizo Designs.

This post was featured at:



I linked this post to these wonderful parties:
Bewitch Me & Titi Link Party : Titi Crafty  |  Freedom Fridays with All My Bloggy Friends : Love Bakes Good Cakes  |  Friday Flash Blog : The Jenny Evolution  |  Friday Link Party : The Pin Junkie  |  Inspire Me Monday : Create with Joy  |  Say G'Day Saturday Linky Party : Natasha in Oz  |  Share Your Stuff Tuesdays : Table for Seven  |  The Wednesday Roundup: Crafty Wife  |  Whimsy Wednesdays : The NY Melrose Family

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Yellow Cake with Chocolate Whipped Cream Frosting

Yellow Cake with Chocolate Whipped Cream Frosting by chengand3kids.blogspot.com

Making layered cakes have always scared the heck out of me. I was so sure that I would mess it up somehow.

But for my mom's birthday last month, I decided to confront this fear once and for all. 


Yellow Cake with Chocolate Whipped Cream Frosting by chengand3kids.blogspot.com


And boy am I glad I did, because now I am totally hooked on making them!


Yellow Cake with Chocolate Whipped Cream Frosting by chengand3kids.blogspot.com


My mom doesn't have a sweet tooth like I do. So I knew that buttercream frosting is out of question.

 I decided to use a chocolate whipped cream frosting recipe that I found at Baking with Nadia. And we LOVED it! It was soft, fluffy and not too sweet. Just perfect!

And you know what else I loved about Nadia's site? The video tutorials! She makes them look so easy and her instructions are so simple to follow. Extremely helpful for a newbie like me.

Here's how I made it.

Cake ingredients:
cake mix ( I used Betty Crocker Butter Recipe Yellow )
1 cup milk
10 tablespoons butter ( softened )
4 eggs

I heated the oven to 325 degrees F. Then I greased and floured my two 8" round pans.

I mixed all the cake ingredients making sure not to overbeat it.

I wanted to make three layers but I only have two 8" pans, and I wasn't brave enough to cut the cake into layers. So I poured equal amounts of the cake batter into the two pans and a third container (for the third layer), so I could bake them in shifts. I covered and refrigerated the batter in the container while the first two layers bake (I hope that makes sense).

Bake for 22- 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Frosting ingredients:
1 quart or 4 cups heavy whipping cream
6-7 tablespoons of sifted powdered sugar
6-9 tablespoons of high quality unsweetened cocoa powder

Click here to see the instructions and video tutorial on making the chocolate whipped cream frosting.

Nadia also has a video tutorial on how to assemble and frost cake layers. You can watch it here.

You can also add some chocolate curls/shavings on top of the cake just like I did.

Enjoy! (^_^)

This post was featured at:

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Easter KitKat Wrappers

Easter KitKat Wrappers by chengand3kids.blogspot.com

Easter is just a few days away, and my little first grader's class is going to have a small Easter Egg exchange.

So I got some KitKat bars - the snack size ones -  from the commissary and started making these candy wrappers.

Easter KitKat Wrappers by chengand3kids.blogspot.com

My kids and I love KitKat. So you can imagine how much we're looking forward to eating the ones that are not gonna be taken to school (I bought 2 bags of KitKat bars even though there's only 23 kids in the little boy's class).

Easter KitKat Wrappers by chengand3kids.blogspot.com

I made these wrappers by using digital papers and elements from Akizo Designs, DigiTee Designs By Sheila, and Shery K Designs.

My little boy is excited to share them tomorrow with his classmates. I really hope the kids enjoy them! (^_^)

I linked this post to these wonderful parties:

Monday, April 14, 2014

Mickey and Minnie Cupcakes

Mickey and Minnie Mouse Cupcakes by chengand3kids.blogspot.com

My oldest daughter Bea is graduating high school in a few weeks. Instead of going to the prom, she wanted to go on their Grad Nite, which simply means she gets to go to Disneyland with other seniors. :)

She and her friends wanted to wear Disney themed hair bows for this special event, so they went on a sleepover and made their own hair bows while watching some Disney movies.

These are her Alice in Wonderland themed hair bows. They turned out real pretty, don't you think?

Alice in Wonderland Hair Bows at chengand3kids.blogspot.com

And to make their sleepover a little bit more memorable, I made some Mickey and Minnie Cupcakes. Everybody thought they were adorable. :)

Mickey and Minnie Mouse Cupcakes at chengand3kids.blogspot.com

Mickey and Minnie Mouse Cupcakes at chengand3kids.blogspot.com

You can get the template and instructions on making the Mickey and Minnie chocolates here.

The cupcake wrappers are free printables by Cupcake Addiction and you can find it here.

I used Cake Mate Glitter Gels for Minnie's hair bow (neon pink).

For the cupcakes, I used Betty Crocker Devil's Food cake mix. I made and baked them as directed on the box.

Here is the recipe for the buttercream frosting. Recipe is courtesy of the Betty Crocker site.

Enjoy!

VANILLA BUTTERCREAM
FROSTING

3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 to 2 tablespoons milk

In a mixing bowl, mix powdered sugar and butter with spoon or electric mixer on low speed. Stir in vanilla and 1 tablespoon of the milk.

Gradually beat in just enough remaining milk to  make frosting smooth and spreadable. If frosting is too thick, beat in more milk, a few drops at a time. If frosting becomes too thin, beat in a small amount of powdered sugar.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Nath's Batman Party

Batman Themed Birthday Party by Cheng and 3 Kids

My little boy is very specific about his birthday parties. When he turned 4 he wanted a Camouflage/Army themed party, his 5th birthday was a Sonic the Hedgehog party, 6th birthday was Avatar: The Last Airbender party. And for his 7th birthday, what he wanted was a Batman themed party.

So what's a mom to do?

Start working on his birthday decorations! :)

Batman and Batgirl Cupcake Toppers by Cheng and 3 Kids


Since his birthday is on a school day, we brought some cupcakes for his class. His school does not allow parents to bring homemade food, so we bought these cupcakes from Vons, and I made the toppers with my Silhouette Cameo. The toppers are pretty much unisex, but I made some Batgirl toppers for the girls, just in case they prefer a female superhero. ;)

Batman Party Decorations by Cheng and 3 Kids

These bats were also made with my Silhouette Cameo. It was really simple but I love how it looked on the wall. Nothing says batcave like a swarm of bats, right?

Batman Birthday Cake by Cheng and 3 Kids

We ordered his cake from our favorite bakery. The topper is actually a toy we got from Walmart. My little guy thought it's the coolest cake ever. :)

Batman Party Decorations by Cheng and 3 Kids

These paper plates are from Party City. As you can see in the photo, we got the Batman themed dessert plates, and solid color dinner plates. I also placed a 12 x 12 cardstock paper underneath which serves as a placemat and it also adds a nice pop of color.

Batman Party by Cheng and 3 Kids

The NATH letters on the tablecloth are also made with my Silhouette Cameo. The print and cut feature is so fun! :)

DIY Batman Gift Wrap by Cheng and 3 Kids

If you've been reading my blog for some time, you'd know that I have a tendency to go a little crazy with gift wrapping ( need proof? click here ). There's just something about a really nice gift wrap that makes me so happy. And my Silhouette cutting machine makes it so easy to make one-of-a-kind gift wraps. Did I mention how much I'm loving the print and cut feature? ;)

DIY Batman Gift Wrap by Cheng and 3 Kids

For this gift tag, I used Adobe Photoshop Elements 9. Then I matted it on a paper that I wrapped in aluminum foil. The foil just gives it a silver metal look that I think looks cool with this particular Batman photo.

Batman Birthday Party by Cheng and 3 Kids

Here's a photo of the birthday boy. I still can't believe he's seven years old. Time flies by so fast... a little too fast if you ask me. (sigh)


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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

DIY Comic Book Valentine

DIY Comic Book Valentine by Cheng and 3 Kids

With Valentine's Day just a few days away, I'm sharing these DIY Valentines I made for my little boy's class.

I love using pictures to personalize gifts, and just to make it a little bit different, I decided to turn his photo into a comic book image. Sounds complicated? That's what I thought at first, until I found this video tutorial on You Tube. All I needed was my photo editing software (Adobe Photoshop Elements 9) and a printer. Trying to learn new tricks to edit photos can be a little intimidating at first, but it's really fun once you get the hang of it. :)

They are actually mini envelopes with M&M's Fun Size Milk Chocolate Candies inside.

DIY Comic Book Valentine by Cheng and 3 Kids

I used these heart stickers I found in my stash to close them. Pretty cute, right? ;)

DIY Comic Book Valentine by Cheng and 3 Kids

I made the starburst background with the help of this tutorial. And the paper is from Shery K Designs and I downloaded it from this site.

I liked my little boy's comic book image so much that I decided to use it for his teachers' gifts.

Valentine Teacher Gift by Cheng and 3 Kids

Valentine Teacher Gift by Cheng and 3 Kids

As you can see, I used the comic book image as a candy wrapper for Kit Kat chocolate bars. I love how they turned out! :)

The fonts I used are Badaboom from Dafont.com and Red State Blue State from Blambot.com.

I'm totally hooked on making these comic book images I think I might use this idea for gifts. Hmmmm... Maybe for Father's Day or Grandparents Day? Or maybe even a party favor? What do you think?

I linked this post to these wonderful parties:
All Things Thursday Blog Hop : Posed Perfection  |  Bewitch Me & Titi Link Party : TitiCrafty by Camila  |  Freedom Fridays with All My Bloggy Friends : Love Bakes Good Cakes  |  Friday Flash Blog Link Party : The Jenny Evolution  |  Friday Link Party : The Pin Junkie  |  Frugal Crafty Home Blog Hop : Carrie This Home  |  Give Me The Goods Monday Link Party : Rain on a Tin Roof  |  Inspiration Monday: I Should Be Mopping The Floor  |  Inspire Me Monday : Create With Joy  |  Ladies Only Blog Share : Mommifried  |  Link Party Tuesday : A to Zebra Celebrations  |  My Favorite Things Saturdays : A Time for Seasons  |  Share Your Stuff Tuesdays : Table for Seven  |  Thriving on Thursdays : Domesblissity  |  Wake Up Wednesday Linky Party : A Peek Into My Paradise  |  Whimsy Wednesdays : The NY Melrose Family  |  Wonderful Wednesday : Ducks 'n a Row