Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Birthday Party – The Cake

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For my daughters Charlie and the Chocolate Factory birthday party I searched the internet for cake ideas. I found one that I really liked and wanted to make my own version of it.

The cake was chocolate, I used my go to chocolate cake recipe from the cookbook Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey: Desserts for the Serious Sweet Tooth. The cake is always moist and turns out perfectly.

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I iced the cake with a chocolate buttercream. To get the green icing to look like grass I used icing tip 233. I really liked the way it turned out.

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The decorations on the cake included multi coloured gum balls and lollipops. I made the chocolate pool at the bottom from a fudge coloured fondant. The toadstools, candy canes and her name were made from fondant as well. I had planned to use my Zing cutter to cut the fondant letters out, but I had a difficult time getting it to cut properly, (it was my first and probably only attempt to use it to cut fondant LOL). Instead I used the Zing to cut the letters out of box board and used the boxboard letters as a stencil and cut the fondant with a knife. It was very easy and not very time consuming to do, I would use this method again versus trying to use the Zing.

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Usually for Georgia’s birthday I make a cake for her party with her friends and a second smaller cake for her family birthday dinner with her grandparents.  I really enjoyed making this cake as well.

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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Birthday Party – The Invitations

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The party invitations for my daughter’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory birthday party were made to resemble the golden tickets from the story.

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The tickets were tricky to make. I had difficulty finding just the right type of paper, gold with a shimmer but could also be used in an inkjet printer. Originally I was going to print them at Staples, but they didn’t have any paper that looked the way I wanted. The paper I used was found at an online paper company, Paper Garden. The two sided printing also took a bit of work to line up correctly, but in the end I was happy with the results.

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I used Caramilk bars with the gold foil wrapper to hide the golden tickets in.

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The wrappers for the chocolate bars were made in Adobe Illustrator. I used the original wrapper from the chocolate bar to get the measurements for the size I needed. I sent the file Staples to print the sheets and used my Zing to cut them out.

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The invitations turned out better than expected. All but one of the golden tickets made it home with the kids. One of her friends was more excited about the chocolate bar. He gobbled it down and threw out the golden ticket LOL!

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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Birthday Party – The Party Favours

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My daughter has been enjoying reading books written by Roald Dahl. One of her favourites is the classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Her 8th birthday was approaching so we decided to do a party based on the book. For the party favours we included a copy of the book, and treats inspired by the book.

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I created labels with Make the Cut, sent them to be printed at Staples, and cut them out with my Klic N Kut Zing.

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We also added labels to dollar store bubbles to create Fizzy Lifting Bubbles from the Willie Wonka movie.

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All the goodies were put into a bag with each child’s name and were ready to hand out.

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Snug-A-Bug Blankets Becomes Raspberry Soufflé

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Over the past year or so I have been shifting my focus from baby blankets to pop culture items. The shop name Snug-a-Bug Blankets no longer fit, so I changed to Raspberry Soufflé. I hope to feature recipes, travel, and pop culture posts. I also hope to post more ;).

The change in items in the shop came about from  trip we had planned on a Disney Cruise. There are groups of people on the cruises that participate in a gift exchange, know as a Fish Extender group. The people in the group give little gifts to other members in the group, so you get surprises when you return to your cabin. It is lots of fun.

The gifts we made for our Fish Extender group led me to begin working with shrinky dink paper and bottle cap magnets. I enjoyed using the materials so much so I started selling them in my shop. I hope you enjoy the changes.

CommunityMagnets

Community 8 Bit Magnets



Dining at Disneyworld Part Four: California Grill

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We had eaten at the California Grill last September and enjoyed our meal, but it was not my favourite this time it was my number one. I originally had California booked later in the week but because we added the dessert party I moved it to different night and was happy to get a reservation just before 6PM. Last year I had hoped to get a window seat overlooking Magic Kingdom. I was disappointed when we walked pass all the window seats and were seated in a quiet room in the back. As it turned out the wine room was a wonderful place to sit. Very quite and peaceful compared to the rest of restaurant, and it has a beautiful view of Bay Lake. This time when we arrived to check in we requested to sit in the wine room and happily our request was granted.

Here are a couple pictures of the view.

I had a bottle of Evain and Jay had San Pellegrino, and Georgia had apple juice to drink.

For starters I had so sushi. It was a crab roll with thinly sliced beef on the outside. I believe it was called Oscar roll. It was delicious I would highly recommend it.

Jay had Crispy Asian Rock Shrimp Salad, it was also very good and he enjoyed it thoroughly.

Georgia didn’t like any of her picks for an appetizer and our waiter asked if she would like some fruit. I expected a plate with some strawberries and pineapple, but he brought out this which she devoured. It was also very cute.

For our entrees I had the Salmon with Spring Pea Risotto, I seemed to eat a lot of salmon and fish on this trip. This dish was divine, the salmon was cooked perfectly and risotto complimented the salmon.

Jay had a pork dish. I believe it came with goat cheese polenta and beets in a wine reduction. It also was very tasty and he enjoyed it very much.

Georgia had the whole wheat cheese pizza that she enjoyed. It was fire grilled.

Both Jay and I had a glass of wine that complemented the entrees nicely.

For dessert I had Bananas and Caramel. You will also notice that many of my deserts are some form of bananas and caramel a perfect combination in my opinion.

Jay had Florida “Strawberry Shortcake, also very good. I was impressed with the liitle white chocolate cup that ice cream in it.

Georgia had the dessert sushi which she loved. It is very cute. It came with a marshmallow wasabi, I don’t think we had a chance to photograph it, rice crispy and gummy rolls, gummy fish, ginger which I believe was a taffy, and chocolate sauce to dip. It looks like something you could easily make at home.

It was a fantastic meal. I absolutely recommend California Grill.

Up next Chef Mickeys

 


Dining at Disneyworld Part Three: Kona Cafe

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I made an early 7:30am reservation for Kona Cafe. My plan was to walk over from the Grand Floridian, have breakfast at Koan then walk over to the TTC and catch the monorail over to Epcot hopefully for rope drop. The walk over was easy the path wasn’t to busy and it only took about 5-10 minutes to make over there. We checked in a couple minutes late and had to wait a few minutes to be seated. Our server while friendly was not fantastic. He took a long time to make it over to our table and made the comment that he had been given two tables to look after. It didn’t fill me with confidence.

I ordered a pineapple juice and Jay and I would “split” a Kona coffee French press pot. I don’t drink coffee so it was all his. Jay also ordered a glass of pineapple juice but was brought orange juice. It he decided it wasn’t worth the hassle of getting the waiter to correct the drink. Georgia also had pineapple juice.

 

 

For food I had to order Tonga Toast which I did enjoy with the strawberry sauce.

 

 

I talked Jay into the Big Kahuna he thought it was all right but wished he had ordered something else more interesting. He original was going to order Tonga Toast, but I talked him into the Big Kahuna so I felt bad he didn’t love his meal.

 

 

Georgia had the Mickey Pancakes. She is not a morning person and did not eat much of her breakfast.

I did enjoy my breakfast, but I don’t know if I would go out of my way just to have breakfast at Kona. The food was good but the service was lacking. It took a long time to get our bill and then pay it so we were a little late for rope drop.

Cost not including tip $44.25.

Stay tuned for the California Grill next time.

 


New Embroidery Design: Mod Flowers

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I have created a new embroidery design to use with your embroidery machine. It is a modern flower design inspired by mid century style. It is available at Snug-A-Bug Blankets in 3 sizes; small 99.3×67.1mm (3.91×2.64inch), medium 152.4×102.6mm (6.0×4.04inches) and large 226.3×152.3mm (8.91×6.0 inches), and a number of formats including PES, HUS, and DST. I think it would great on a throw pillow.


The Best Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

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My go to recipe for chocolate chip cookies comes from Martha Stewart. The cookies are chewy and moist and the recipe makes a big batch. I usually half the recipe unless I need them to feed a crowd. The recipe says it will make 3 dozen but usually get 4 dozen when I make the whole recipe.

Ingredients

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 cup packed light-brown sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 large eggs

2 cups (about 12 ounces) semisweet and/or milk chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda; set aside.

 

 

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter with both sugars; beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.

 

Reduce speed to low; add the salt, vanilla, and eggs. Beat until well mixed, about 1 minute. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

 

 

 

Drop heaping tablespoon-size balls of dough about 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

 

 

Bake until cookies are golden around the edges, but still soft in the center, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool on baking sheet 1 to 2 minutes.

 

Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.

 

 

I like to add 1/2 to 1 cup of pecans to the recipe, I was sad when I looked in the fridge and found out we were out. Oh well I will just have to suffer through these ones;)

 

 

 


Dining at Disneyworld Part Two: The Flying Fish

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We spent the afternoon at Animal Kingdom and saw some shows we missed last time, The Lion King and Flights of Wonder, and discovered our daughter had easily made the 40inch mark and would be able to ride more things than last time.

Since we were staying at Grand Floridian we decided to valet park the rental. It was convenient when we were dining at other hotels especially when we were tight for time. No hunting for a parking spot and than rushing through the parking lot to the restaurant. We returned to the hotel and found that our room was ready. I had requested an upper floor near the pool and both requests were fulfilled. I thought I would throw in some pictures of our room and view. The view was nice when wishes was on.

 

 

We changed and headed to the Boardwalk for dinner at the Flying Fish. We had eaten at the Flying Fish last time. I liked it a lot my DH was more on the fence about eating there.

We checked in for our 6:05 ADR on time and were seated within 5 minutes. We were celebrating our anniversary on the trip and were presented with personalized menus and offered complimentary champagne.

 

 

For our appetizers I had the Tuna Tartare and Crispy Tempura and Vegetable Sushi roll. It was good. Sorry the picture is a little blurry.

 

 

Jay had the Crispy Sesame and Togarashi scented Calamari. The last time we were here I had the Calamari and loved it, but I wanted to try something different. I think I would pick the Calamari as my favourite I love the flavour of the Asian dipping sauce.

 

 

Georgia had the fruit skewers with honey yogurt I don’t have a picture of them. She ate the strawberries and left the melon.

For our mains I had the Flying Fish Signature dish Potato Wrapped Red Snapper with Leek Fondue. I was not thrilled with this dish the red snapper was bland and the sauce was good but very rick and there were too many leeks. I had debated between this and the special of the day Tilapia and wished I had chosen it instead.

 

 

Jay had the Smokey Citrus and Fragrant Pepper-spiced Yellowfin Tuna. It was delicious, he definitely had the better entree.

 

Georgia had the Mickey Pasta with Olive oil. She ate much of this on our last trip and enjoyed it again.

 

Both Jay and I had a glass of the recommended entree wine with our meal.

For dessert I had the Banana Napoleon it was very good.

 

Jay had a trio of peach desserts that included a cobbler, a creme brulee, and a cake. Neither of us a creme brulee fans but it was very good and enjoyed the other desserts with the cake as the least favourite.

 

Georgia had a Mickey Puzzle that she enjoyed playing with I don’t think she ate much of it but it kept her busy.

 

Overall we enjoyed our meal at the Flying Fish, it wasn’t as good as last year and would not be top pick, but if I could fit it into a schedule I would go back, (but I wouldn’t get the signature dish again).

The cost not including wine or tip was $167.39.

 

 

 

 

After diner we walked on the boardwalk and stopped at the Boardwalk Bakery were I picked up a little Mickey head cake and G picked a muffin. I used a snack credit for both. The Mickey head sat it the fridge for a couple days before we ate it and it was moist and very good I would definitely recommend.