Thursday, February 5, 2015

Birthday Celebrations and Other Randoms

It just so happens, that yesterday was Mike's birthday.

Seeing as it is freezing outside, it was a Wednesday, and that we have two kids, the day didn't involve anything too crazy, but I'm a firm believer that on your birthday you should feel particularly special and well taken care of.

So, when my now 33 year old husband requested ice cream cone cupcakes, I was happy to oblige, knowing full well, that a certain toddler would be over the moon about 2 of his favorite things coming together as one. 

These treats are super easy and fun to make.  

We picked up a boxed cake mix (funfetti, duh!), some icing, and some cup style ice cream cones.  I followed the directions on the box for baking the cake, and placed 12 cones into each compartment of a regular sized muffin pan.  I then filled each cone a little more than half way, and baked them following the directions for cupcakes.  You will definitely have leftover batter, so feel free to make mini cupcakes, like we did... because we obviously needed more sugar.  When the cakes are done baking, allow them to cool, then frost and decorate.

*** I did not follow these instructions, but I am linking a Pinterest pin for Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes, due to my lack of photos of the baking process, so you get a better idea.

We also picked Mike up from work and took him out to lunch during the day, which was a nice treat.  Max surprised him with a Thomas birthday balloon, and insisted upon repeatedly telling our waiter that it was in fact, "Daddy's Birthday".

In the morning I had been attempting to teach him how to sing "Happy Birthday", thinking there was no chance that I would get him to sing it to Mike, but low and behold, he sang that song for the rest of the day.  In the checkout line at the grocery store, at the restaurant, in the car, etc... so, mission accomplished.

Mike is Purdue alumni, and avidly follows their Men's Basketball program, so he was thrilled when he realized they would be playing on his birthday.  While he relaxed and enjoyed the game, I got to preparing his requested birthday dinner, Spring Rolls.

I promised some lovely ladies that I would share my recipe/instructions/what I did to prepare them, but as I have said before, recipe writing isn't one of my strengths, so bear with me.

I didn't follow an actual recipe for these either, so I'm going to provide you guys with some helpful links and recipes on this one too.

Essentially, here's what you'll need:

Rice Paper Wrappers
Rice Vermicelli Noodles
Shredded Carrots
Leafy Lettuce (I used Bibb Lettuce)
Your choice of meat or seafood (I used cooked chicken, but you could use shrimp)

I first prepared the rice noodles as directed on the package, and got all of my other ingredients organized into a sort of assembly line.  You'll want to fill a large dish with luke warm water (for softening the rice paper), and lay down a damp tea towl/dish towel to use as your rolling surface.

When the noodles were ready, I drained them and chopped them up, and added them to my "assembly line"

You start by soaking one rice paper at a time in the luke warm water.  Soak for about 15 seconds, they may not feel soft/pliable enough when you take them out of the water, but trust me, they will be.

Lay the rice paper down on your damp towel.

Place your choice of fillings in the center of the wrapper.  Then fold in both sides and then roll from the bottom.

That's it! These are super easy to make, super fresh, and super tasty.  We enjoyed ours with a store-bought Thai peanut dipping sauce.

***Here are a few links with photos of how to roll them, and different filling options:  Prawn Spring Rolls with Mango, How to Roll Fresh Spring Rolls, Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce.

In 100% unrelated news, you guys know how much I love sharing my new finds/faves with you all, so I just wanted to show you some of my latest favorites.

I am obsessed with these Baby Lips Dr Rescue lip balms.  I need more chapsticks like I need a hole in my head, but I love the slight hint of color these give, and they literally cured my chapped winter lips in like a day!

And... we are HUGE Boom Chicka Pop fans in this house, so when we found these mini bags in Target's Valentine's Day section, we snapped them up immediately!  If you're looking for a healthier alternative to candy, these are perfect for your kids to hand out to their friends... or if you're like us, to hoard and keep all to yourself to eat!

That's about it for now.  We're busy preparing for Ella's Baptism this coming weekend, so there's lots to do around here!  Hope you're all having a great week!

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