My Top Ten Lessons Learned from Hosting an Alt Summit Mini Party

Alt Summit Mini Party|Frankly Entertaining

In January I was fortunate to get to co-host an Alt Summit mini party with Anne Cropper and Erica Nielsen. You can read all of Anne’s details of the party here, and my post from Handmade Mood  here, but I thought I’d share my top ten lessons learned just in case you’re thinking of applying to host a party next year!

Marshmallow Mingle |Frankly Entertaining

1. Find Amazing Co-Hosts: This will be the best indicator of you party’s success. Does your group get along? Do you make each other laugh? Do you all share the work? It sounds like an application for a dating site, but you’ll be spending a lot of time with these people, so pick the right ones.

Alt Summit Mini Party Hosts|Frankly Entertaining

2. Work Within Your Budget: Alt Mini Parties come with a budget; ours was $1000. You think it will last forever, but it will not! This is like budgeting for your wedding: pick the most important things and do those first. Also, keep track of what you’re spending; it adds up faster than you think.

3. Reach Out to Other Companies: At the party we could only have signage from our official sponsor (thank you Maurice’s!), but there were lots of companies that were willing to work with us. Pepperidge Farm supplied the cookies for our S’mores kits, and Birch-Logs.com  and Blank Extreme Entertainment gave us reduced rates. While we were at the conference, Hayneedle was a huge help! Don’t plan on a free ride, but every penny counts, and it never hurts to ask. Just have a plan.

Marshmallow Mingle at Alt Summit|Frankly Entertaining

4. Come Up With a Plan: Since the three of us all live in different cities, we emailed back and forth a lot. We also wrote everything down, and tried to keep track of what we were spending. Anne’s husband also was a lifesaver in the design arena. He created our floor plan, which made set up very smooth. It’s okay for the plans to evolve; the important thing is to keep track so that everyone is on the same page.

5. Enlist Your Friends to Help: Since all three of us were from out of town, we were very grateful for friends who did everything from receive all of our packages and  making Ikea runs, to helping us put together and disassemble marshmallow chandeliers!

6. Don’t Plan on Getting Much Sleep: Even with all of our extra help, we still had late nights setting up and taking down. If you want to have time to meet people and attend classes, most of the set up work will have to take place during the conference downtime, which is when everyone else is resting!

7. Take Your Vitamins: Combining cross country travel and roommate life with lack of sleep and hundreds of people means lots of germs and increased likelihood of illness. I made sure to pack vitamins and hand sanitizer, and all was well!

8. Don’t Be Rigid About Your Conference Class Attendance: One of the perks of being a party host is a ticket to Alt, but that comes with the expectation that you do your best work. For me, that meant that I couldn’t spend all day in classes, workshops and sponsor suites. I had to pick and choose the most important things to do so that I was leaving enough time for party prep. If I had gone into the conference thinking I was going to attend every session I might have been disappointed, but being prepared

9. Eat: You will be happier and healthier if you stay fed. No one wants a grumpy hostess. The great thing about being at The Grand America was that there were plenty of food options. I also made sure to sneak in an online order for my beloved Café Rio!

10. Leave Yourself Time to Get Ready: This is the thing that’s hardest for me whenever I throw a party. I feel like I’m always prepping right up until the last minute. For something like this, where there are a lot of people taking pictures, and you’re chatting up potential sponsors and trying to make a good impression all around, you want to make sure you’re feeling like you look your best. Set an alarm on your phone so that you have a physical reminder to go get ready. There will be time for last minute room touch ups after you’re prepped.

Alt Summit Food|Frankly Entertaining

 

It’s been so fun to look back and reminisce about Alt Summit. Hosting a party was an amazing learning experience. It’s a little like childbirth. You may not want to do it again right away, but once time gives you a little perspective, you know you’d do it again in a heartbeat!

All images are courtesy of Alt Summit.

Airplane Necessities For Traveling with Kids … or Husbands

I was hired by The Women Bloggers to participate in this #GerberLilBeanies campaign led by Kendal King Group on behalf of Nestlé Lil’ Beanies.

Airplane Travel Kit | Frankly Entertaining

I can vividly remember the first flight my husband and I took with our oldest child. He was six weeks old, and were flying across the country for Christmas. I began to nurse the baby as we were taking off in an attempt to keep him from screaming. For some reason this greatly offended the lady sitting next to me, which she didn’t mind letting me know. At the end of the flight the baby spit up all over this woman’s scarf (which was draped over our shared armrest). This was just the first of three flights and many delays. I was glad I had packed an extra shirt, but other than that, I was very unprepared!

Flying with kids| Frankly Entertaining

As time has gone on and the number of children in my has family increased, I have picked up a few travel tricks. Trust me when I tell you, most people freak out a little bit on the inside when they see a family of 8 headed their direction on a cramped plane. A family our size can’t all fit in one row, or even two, so our older kids need to sit by themselves. We have had many discussions on how to behave when we travel, but we also make sure that we have some go to items to keep everyone busy.  I will also say, that this list also works perfectly for road trips. The same ideas apply. You’re cramped, you can’t really move around, and kids will complain about their siblings invading their personal space!

Nestle Lil' Beanies| Frankly Entertaining

The most important thing is to keep little minds occupied. The second most important thing is to not annoy everyone in the surrounding area (including mom and dad). Whether you’re about to go on your first plane ride with a toddler, or you 10th with your family of 6,  these tips will come in handy.

Airplane Necessities for kids| Frankly Entertaining

 

Things to pack in a child’s carryon:

  • Backpack: This needs to be something your child can carry by themselves. The less you have to carry, the better. You will at some point have to carry a sleeping child through a terminal, so don’t weigh yourself down too much in the beginning!
  • Healthy Snacks: Finger foods, like Nestlé Lil’ Beanies, with extra protein and fiber mean that kids will fill up  without a sugar high that will have them running the aisles! As a bonus, even toddlers can feed themselves these snacks, and they won’t leave little fingers an unnatural shade of orange! These snacks are designed for toddlers, but all of my kids, and even my husband, eats them. They’re a healthy alternative, when you want a crunchy snack. Make sure to avoid any liquid that comes in a squeezable pouch (yogurt, apple sauce). The change in pressure will guarantee you squeeze pouch eruption.
  • Quiet Toys: finger puppets, travel sized cars, or even random Lego blocks in a baggie, will be entertaining. Don’t let 10 year olds fool you. They will make up stories with finger puppets to “entertain their little brothers and sisters!”
  • Books and Magazines: I like to have one book for each child. Board books for little kids and chapter books for older ones. You’ll be surprised how many times the Pigeon books can be read on one flight! I also love interesting fact books. My kids will read these over and over.
  • Notebooks and crayons: Paper is full of potential for kids. They can play games, write stories, or draw pictures. I like to pack crayons and pencils. Pens and markers can get over hands, clothes, and airplane seats!
  • Gum and suckers: I keep these for takeoff and landing. Chewing gum and sucking on lollipops will help pop ears. It’s horrible for little kids to have that pressure build up, but not understand how to fix it.
  • Devices and Earphones: We try to limit devices, but they come in very handy. We will download a movie that all the kids can watch, so that it doesn’t matter which kids are sitting together. We also have headphones, because not everyone on the plane wants to listen to Big Hero 6! If your device comes with a camera, it’s perfect for taking pictures out the window. Everyone loves to do that!
  • Change of Clothes: If you don’t want to put a whole outfit, at least put in a shirt. Drinks get spilled, and depending on the age of your kids, all sorts of other messes can occur (that first flight was not the only time one of my children puked on a plane!). You’ll definitely appreciate this if you get stranded somewhere overnight without your luggage!
  • Disposable Sippy cups: I use these on plane (and trains and automobiles) until my kids are 5 or 6. Planes move around a lot, and so I always transfer my kids’ drink into the sippy cups.
  • Plastic Bags: I pack the contents of the carryon inside a plastic bad that can seal shut. This protects against any mishaps, but it also provides a place to put dirty clothes.

Airplane Essentials for families| Frankly Entertaining

*If you want to try Nestlé Lil’ Beanies, they’re available now at Walmart. All our kids were raised on Lil’ Crunchies, and the new Lil’ Beanies are just as delicious, and they’re made from beans and rice flour, with no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. I am also completely impressed by the fact that the Nestlé hotline is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!

Rose Water Meringues

Rose Water Meringues | Frankly Entertaining

When I had the Favorite Things party, I wanted the food to be simple and delicious. It was all finger food so that I didn’t need utensils. Plus, with all the goodies being passed around, I didn’t want the food to get in the way. I made some raspberry chocolate meringue kisses for Valentines Day over at Handmade Mood, and someone mentioned something about rose flavoring. I was totally inspired, and I couldn’t get the idea out of my head. What is more feminine and girl for a ladies night than rose?

I actually had rosewater and rose sugar crystals in my pantry for a rose marshmallow experiment that still hasn’t happened, so I didn’t even need to go shopping for this recipe!

Rose Water Meringue Ingredients|Frankly Entertaining

Meringues look intimidating, but they’re actually pretty simple. The most important thing is having the eggs at room temperature, and then not over beating the whites. The rose water adds a delicate flavor to the meringue which is accentuated by the rose sugar crystals. This would also be the perfect thing to serve at a baby shower or a girls’ afternoon tea birthday party.

The Ultimate Ladies Night Dessert | Frankly Entertaining

A little tip for dipping the meringues: the tops are super delicate and would break off when I dipped the bottoms in chocolate. It worked a lot better to dip the sides or the tops.

Sources:

Rose Water Meringues||Frankly Entertaining

Rose Water Meringues

Ingredients:

  • 2 egg whites
  • pinch of cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp Rose Water
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • 1/4 c. white chocolate chips, melted
  • Rose Sugar Crystals

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, vanilla, rose water and cream of tartar with an electric mixer until soft peaks form.
  2. Add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time and continue beating until stiff peaks form.
  3. Using a star tip pipe out 1″ cookies.
  4. Bake in a 300º oven for 20 minutes.
  5. Let the meringues cool and then dip the bottoms in melted chocolate and dip in sugar crystals. I found dipping the top and sides worked better than dipping the bottoms.

Alaska One Year Anniversary

Alaska

Today marks one year since we arrived in Alaska. To say this year has flown by is an understatement. My kids think the time goes faster because the days are shorter, but I think we’re just trying to squeeze every ounce of adventure that we can out of this experience. I’ll write a separate post with my top ten favorite Alaska things, and maybe one about things I miss from the Lower 48 (since I’m using the term “Lower 48” you can tell I’m practically completely Alaskan!). There’s also a whole post that I want to write about the best companies for getting things shipped to Alaska.

Alaska

We were ready to leave Texas when we did, but I don’t know that you’re every fully prepared for life in Alaska. We didn’t come here to get off the grid, so the isolation can be a little hard (and we live in town). People here are very kind in a tell it like they see it kind of way, which is great, because I never wonder where I stand with people!

Northern Lights

 

By far, the best part of this experience has been how it has affected my kids. I was worried about how they would do away from their friends and all the things they knew and loved (Krispy Kreme and Takis). One  the reasons we wanted to come to Alaska was because my husband lived here as a kid, and he loved it. He felt pretty strongly that all kids should have an Alaska experience.  My kids still miss their friends in Texas, but they are loving it here. We live in a town of about 5000 people, and small town life comes with its own set of opportunities.  We have attended parades and entered gingerbread house contests, and we can get opening night tickets to Star Wars the night before! They’ve also had ice fishing adventures and glacier hikes. There may even be a puppy in our future!

Alaska

As for me, I’m trying to get the most out of this adventure as well. Even though I don’t like being away from friends and family, I am trying to learn as much as I can while I’m here. I’m out of my comfort zone, but that’s when all the magic happens, right?!

Alaska

 

I was reading on Humans of NY today, and this quote struck me:

“Time off is a space where you allow things to happen other than the known.”

I don’t consider this a sabbatical, but we’re definitely experiencing the unknown, and I can’t wait to see what this next year has in store!

29 Shopping Deals for Leap Day

Deal of the Week|Frankly Entertaining

This week’s Deal of the Week is 29 deals at various shops.  If there’s something you’ve had your eye on, today is a great day to pick it up. What I’ve learned from going through a million and a half deals is that if you’re not sure if a site is offering a secret deal just try the codes LEAPYEAR or LEAPDAY; it might work!

  1. Ebates: There are lots of stores offering double cash back, so make sure to check here before you before you buy
  2. SWOOZIES: 20% off the entire site with code: SOCIAL20
  3. Silhouette: 50% off all designs in the Design Store
  4. Mom’s Stuff Salve: 29% off the 1.5oz jar with code: LEAPYEAR
  5. Target: If you have Cartwheel and you should!), there are 29 deals for 29% off.
  6. Pars Caeli: Almost the entire site is on sale! The Kindness is the New Black shirt is one of my favorites!
  7. Restaurant.com: Use code LEAP to get $25 gift certificates for $4.
  8. PicsAppeal: 29% off the entire website with code LEAPYEAR2016
  9. Krispy Kreme Donuts: Buy any dozen donuts and get a second dozen glazed for $2.29
  10. Old Navy: 29% off your order with code: LEAPYEAR
  11. Frankly Planner: Free Shipping with a $29 order with code: LEAPDAY
  12. Graceline Art: 29% off using code: leapday
  13. Pendleton: 15% off everything using code: LEAPYEAR
  14. May Designs: 50% off sitewide excluding gift cards and cards
  15. Lulu & Georgia: 20% off a $100 purchase (so sad they don’t ship to Alaska) with code: EXTRADAY
  16. Mrs. Jones’ Soapbox: Free Shipping on the Eco Kit
  17. Planner Studio: 29% off the store with code: LEAPYEAR29
  18. Barn Owl Primitives: 29% off with code: LEAPYEAR
  19. Teavana: 29% off with code: LEAP
  20. Aveda: Free shipping and free travel size hand or foot relief
  21. CreativeLive: 29% off all classes
  22. West Elm: Free Shipping with code: LEAPFORJOY
  23. Learning Express Toys: At participating stores 29% storewide (in store only)
  24. Pottery Barn: 29 items at $29 each, plus free shipping with code: LEAPDAY
  25. Natalie Chang Studio:  20%  off with code: LEAPDAY
  26. Aeropostale: 29% off with the code: LEAP29
  27. Shutterfly: 4 free photo magnets or address labels with code: LEAPDAY
  28. Neiman Marcus: $50 off a $200 order with code: LEAPYEAR
  29. Project Life: This isn’t really a deal, but if you’ve been waiting for the Project Life App for Android, today is the day!

 

Christina’s Giant Deal of the Week: 2/22/16

Deal of the Week|Frankly Entertaining

Christina has recently gotten into couponing and deal finding in a big way, and we thought it might be fun to share her best deal with every week. In Alaska the deals at the grocery store aren’t quite as good as they are in DC, but I love hearing about her weekly finds. We thought our first deal post would be an easy one. No circular coupons required!

Giant Deal

If you have a Giant store near you, head over there ASAP for this:

  • 5 Frozen Pizzas (reg. $5.49 each)
  • 2 Friendly’s Ice Cream (reg. $3.99 each)
  • $10 Total

Giant Circular

That is a savings of over $25 from the regular price. For $10 you have the makings for a great Friday pizza night with dessert! As someone who pays $5 for ice cream … when it’s on sale, I’m very jealous of this one!

This is good until Thursday night.

What are the best deals you’ve found this week?

 

Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookies

Skillet Cookies|Frankly Entertaining

Back when we first started the blog I published my mom’s recipe for chocolate chip cookies along  with a little essay on why I love to cook and bake. It’s been five years since I first wrote about the cookies, so I figured it was time to revisit it. These are my favorite chocolate chip cookies. I’m not a lover of the cakey cookie, and these are the perfect chewy and gooey bites of awesome! I like to underbake these just a bit, and even though these are amazing in my kids’ lunch boxes, my preferred way to eat them is just out of the oven! I always triple this recipe and portion it out and freeze the dough so that we always have cookies ready to bake.

Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookies|Frankly Entertaining

I’d been thinking about a different way to serve the cookies, and I thought  about trying to do something similar to a Pizookie from BJ’s restaurant. These are more of an individual size, and we made them in mini cast iron skillets
instead of the personal pizza pans that they use in the restaurant version. I used a large cookie scoop to put the dough in the pans, so they end up being a double serving of cookie. I bake the cookies for ten minutes, but you might want to add a couple of minutes if you don’t like them gooey! The perfect finishing touch: a scoop of your favorite ice cream! The other great thing about skillet cookies: your baking dish is your serving dish, so less clean up!

Cookies and Ice Cream|Frankly Entertaining

Sylvia’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Cream sugars, shortening & vanilla
  2. Add egg; mix well
  3. Sift flour, salt and baking soda into mixing bowl
  4. Mix in chocolate chips
  5. Use a large cookie scoop or a tablespoon and place a scoop of dough in to each mini skillet.
  6. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 min
  7. Let cookies cool for ten minutes and then serve with a scoop of ice cream

 

 

 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookie
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Sylvia ’ s Chocolate Chip Cookies
Ingredients
  • ½ cup shortening
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Cream sugars, shortening & vanilla
  2. Add egg; mix well
  3. Sift flour, salt and baking soda into mixing bowl
  4. Mix in chocolate chips
  5. Use a large cookie scoop or a tablespoon and place a scoop of dough in to each mini skillet.
  6. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 min
  7. Let cookies cool for ten minutes and then serve with a scoop of ice cream

Simple and Delicious Tuna Chowder


 

Tuna Chowder|Frankly Entertaining

I’m going to let you in on a little secret about living in one of the seafood capitals of the world. Even though world class salmon, shrimp, halibut and crab are literally down the street, it is not any cheaper to buy that seafood in our local grocery store! You would think that since the fish only has to go from the boat to the store that you would be able to find a deal, but that is not the case. Obviously, if we fish ourselves then it’s free, but that’s only after we’ve bought all the gear and the licenses and taken the time to do it. We do fish, but we’re not experts yet, and we’ve come nowhere near catching our quota, which for our family is about 80 salmon.

Tuna Chowder Ingredients| Frankly Entertaining

I grew up on the east coast and I am a seafood lover, but with a family my size it’s a pretty expensive option. Seafood is delicious and it’s healthy (hello protein!), and the earlier you can get your kids eating it the more open they’ll be to seafood later.

Tuna is a delicious and economical option when you’re looking for a seafood recipe, and it doesn’t just have to be a tuna sandwich or tuna casserole. Fish tacos are great with tuna, and if you love crab cakes but don’t want to shell out half a mortgage payment, then try a tuna version.

Tasty Tuna Chowder

Today we’re going to do a tuna only version of seafood chowder. I love chowder. I grew up eating it a lot. My dad was a master chowder maker, plus it was a staple at a couple of the restaurants. Chowder as I knew it was cream based with a huge variety of seafood. It included lobster, haddock, shrimp and scallops. It is delicious, but it’s also a special occasion kind of expense. This tuna chowder gives you the same luxury base, but with a lot less of the expense, which means this can be an easy Friday night dinner. The great thing about the Bumble Bee® Solid White Albacore Tuna is that it’s hearty. It’s not like flaked tuna that might run the risk of getting lost in the chowder. This tuna is the main ingredient, but the flavor isn’t overpowering.

For this recipe (which fed all 8 of us for dinner) we used 4 cans of Bumble Bee® Solid White Albacore Tuna. This gives you chunky tuna in every bite along with a great flavor. We also included a lot of veggies and we topped it with some shredded cheese and cooked bacon. Serve this alongside a crusty loaf of bread and no one will leave the table hungry! This chowder was plenty thick for my tastes, but if you like really thick chowder you can add some flour to the cream and that will thicken it.  Just to let you know, all my kids loved this, and my 12 year old wanted to eat the leftovers for the next two nights!

Chowder Ingredients|Frankly Entertaining

Helpful Hints:

  • Use cubed frozen hashbrown potatoes. It saves a lot of time in the peeling and chopping department!
  • Don’t add the cream until the very end. If you add it too soon it will separate. It will still taste delicious, but it won’t look the same.

Simple Tuna Chowder

Ingredients:

  • 4 cans Bumble Bee Albacore Tuna
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 green peppers, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 c. hash brown potatoes (cubes)
  • 1 c. sliced mushrooms
  • 1 Tbsp Cajun seasoning
  • 2 c. chicken broth
  • 1 c. water
  • 2 c. heavy cream
  • 3 slices cooked bacon, chopped
  • 1 bunch green onion, chopped
  • grated cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. In a stock pot (5 qt), melt butter and add onions.
  2. Sauté onions over medium heat until translucent.
  3. Add green pepper and celery. Cook for five minutes.
  4. Add mushrooms and cook for one minute.
  5. Add tuna, Cajun seasoning and chicken broth and bring to a boil.
  6. Lower heat and bring to a simmer.
  7. Add water.
  8. Add potatoes and simmer for 15 minutes.
  9. Add cream and heat through.
  10. Garnish with bacon, green onions and cheese.

 

Simple and Delicious Tuna Chowder
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Simple Tuna Chowder
Ingredients
  • 4 cans Bumble Bee Albacore Tuna
  • ½ c. butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 green peppers, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 c. hash brown potatoes (cubes)
  • 1 c. sliced mushrooms
  • 1 Tbsp Cajun seasoning
  • 2 c. chicken broth
  • 1 c. water
  • 2 c. heavy cream
  • 3 slices cooked bacon, chopped
  • 1 bunch green onion, chopped
  • grated cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a stock pot (5 qt), melt butter and add onions.
  2. Sauté onions over medium heat until translucent.
  3. Add green pepper and celery. Cook for five minutes.
  4. Add mushrooms and cook for one minute.
  5. Add tuna, Cajun seasoning and chicken broth and bring to a boil.
  6. Lower heat and bring to a simmer.
  7. Add water.
  8. Add potatoes and simmer for 15 minutes.
  9. Add cream and heat through.
  10. Garnish with bacon, green onions and cheese.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Cheater Beignets (aka Faux-yays)

Cheater Beignets | Frankly Entertaining

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but my husband is from Louisiana (Geaux Tigers!), and as a Louisianian he has certain Mardi Gras season expectations. We always make King Cake, and we do red beans and rice, but one thing we’ve never attempted at home is beignets. Beignets are a Louisiana staple. You can’t go to New Orleans without stopping at Café du Monde. We spent most of our Louisiana trips in Baton Rouge, and so we have made many visits to Coffee Call. It’s a great spot for late night beignets and hot chocolate with the sisters in law! It’s more of a local hangout, so if you’re in Louisiana with a hankering for beignets but don’t want the typical tourist spot, then head to Coffee Call.

Easy Beignets|Frankly Entertaining

Back to my beignets. My husband has an aversion to deep fat frying in the house, so we don’t fry things very often. A couple of weeks ago I remembered a visit to my mother-in-laws where she was making beignets. I figured it was time to give beignets at try. I never got the recipe, so I just worked of what I remembered.

Beignets are fried dough. You could compare them to scones if you’re from Utah or Beavertails if your from Canada, but the thing that truly sets them apart is the sugar. Let’s be honest, a beignet is powdered sugar with a bit of fried dough! If you’re not headed to Louisiana any time soon, or if you just want to get into the Mardi Gras spirit (mardi gras is Tuesday), then I have the simplest beignets ever. These aren’t authentic, but like I told my friend T, they’ll tide you over until you get to New Orleans!

Faux Beignets|Frankly Entertaining

Word to the wise: Don’t eat these cold. It’s like a Krispy Kreme donut, a big part of the joy comes from eating them fresh! Also, buy the regular biscuits, don’t buy the Grands, they won’t cook through before getting too dark. Also, keep an eye on the temperature. If you have a fryer that you can control, that’s probably easier, but if you’re using a pot like I did, you will probably need to adjust the heat, because the oil’s temperature will rise quickly once it gets to 300.

Cheater Beignets|Frankly Entertaining

 

Cheater Beignets

Ingredients:

  • 1 pckg Pillsbury refrigerated biscuit dough
  • vegetable oil
  • powdered sugar
  • oil thermometer

Instructions:

  1. Heat two inches of oil in a deep, heavy pot to 375º.
  2. While the oil is heating, cut each round of biscuit dough in half.
  3. Using a slotted metal spoon, place 4 biscuit halves in the oil at a time.
  4. Cook for 1 minute, and until both sides are browned (not too dark).
  5. Remove the beignets to a cooling rack placed over a cookie sheet.
  6. Repeat with the remaining dough halves, four at a time.
  7. Cover the cooked beignets with powdered sugar. Do not dust … drench!
  8. Enjoy the beignets while they’re still warm!

 

 

 

Cheater Beignets (aka Faux-yays)
Author: 
Recipe type: Bread
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10
 
Cheater Beignets
Ingredients
  • 1 pckg Pillsbury refrigerated biscuit dough
  • vegetable oil
  • powdered sugar
  • oil thermometer
Instructions
  1. Heat two inches of oil in a deep, heavy pot to 375
  2. º
  3. While the oil is heating, cut each round of biscuit dough in half.
  4. Using a slotted metal spoon, place 4 biscuit halves in the oil at a time.
  5. Cook for 1 minute, and until both sides are browned (not too dark).
  6. Remove the beignets to a cooling rack placed over a cookie sheet.
  7. Repeat with the remaining dough halves, four at a time.
  8. Cover the cooked beignets with powdered sugar. Do not dust ... drench!

Lego Inspired Valentines for the Classroom

Lego Valentines | Frankly Entertaining

Here’s the deal you guys, my kids’ Valentines stress me out every year. Last year I almost had a nervous breakdown because the Valentine class celebration (heaven forbid they call it a party) was our last day at our old school. We were living in a hotel and Doug was already in Alaska. We were moving out of the hotel the next day, and I was feeling slightly overwhelmed. My kids love the Valentines party, so we were obviously going, but we weren’t going to be getting all creative with it! I’m pretty sure we did Fun Dips last year.

Lego Molds|Frankly Entertaining

This year is a totally different story. I came up with what I think is an awesome idea. I’m sure I’m not the originator of this idea seeing as how I found molds on Amazon, but it feels like a total win! Not only that, the kids were actually really helpful with this project!

Lego Valentines|Frankly Entertaining

We decided to go with Lego inspired crayons. Doug is making me include “inspired” because he doesn’t want the Lego people to get offended and yell at me. I don’t think they’ll do that since I’m single handedly responsible for one tenth of the Lego sales in this country!

Here is the best part: we got to use up all our broken crayons! We made over 100 crayons, and I only had to buy 1 box of new crayons. My experience is that it takes about three crayons to make one Lego (inspired) crayon. My kids loved peeling the wrappers off, and they loved mixing colors. We made one brick for each kid and then we made Lego (inspired) people for their teachers. I wasn’t going to do any for my 6th grader, but he ended up doing his own one night because he loved them too.

Lego Crayon Valentines|Frankly Entertaining

We also busted out our new Silhouette Mint and made a stamp for the tags. This way all the kids can stamp and then just sign their name. I’ll write about the Mint more in depth later, but I love it! Have you seen this thing? You can make a stamp out of an image! The longest part of the whole process was figuring out how to get what I designed into the program, but then I watched a YouTube video that told me to Drag and Drop! Leave it to me to make things harder than they need to be!

My favorite things about this project are the Silicone Molds for Lego Lovers. This actually comes in a set of 8 molds for under $15. They would also come in handy for making ice cubes or mini cakes for a Lego birthday party.

Lego Valentines|Frankly Entertaining

So, here’s how you do it:

  • remove the wrapper from all your crayons.
  • break the crayons into smaller pieces (1″-2″)
  • place the pieces in the mold
  • put the molds on a baking sheet
  • bake in a 250º oven for 15 minutes
  • remove from oven and use a toothpick to make sure everything is mixed
  • let cool for fifteen minutes and remove from molds

We put our crayons in plastic bags designed for pretzel sticks and then tied with a string and the stamped tag. I love that these are things that kids will actually use, and that we won’t be sending anyone into a diabetic coma. I am also really happy that the kids were excited to help with this project. We started early so that there would be no rushed tears, and everyone had a chance to participate. With 5 kids in school Valentines can get a bit out of control, but I loved how this turned out, and I really love that the kids are more excited than I am!

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