Sunday, June 30, 2013

Craft Time: Mickey & Donald's Patriotic Pinwheel

Download Mickey and Donald's Patriotic Pinwheel Template

How to make it

  1. Print the pinwheel on regular paper. Fold the paper in half, with the design on the outside, so that the two sides of the pinwheel line up. Cut out the pinwheel and cut along the marked slits.
  2. Decide which side you want to display on the outside of the pinwheel and place your pinwheel on a flat surface with that side down.
  3. Curl every other point towards the center of the pinwheel and secure them into place with a straight pin.
  4. Place the sharp end of the straight pin into a pencil-top eraser and your pinwheel is finished!
  5. Please watch children while they play with these pinwheels to make sure they do not pull the straight pin out of the eraser.


Giveaway: Win a Sasaki Time Shirt!

Select one of these Lil Oishi's to appear on your shirt! It will be a white shirt and a size XL!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

And The Winner of the Cars Land Toy Prize Pack Is...


Congrats! You have 48 hours to email me to claim your prize!

Red, White and Blue Cheesecake With Chocolate Cookie Crust Recipe!


For the crust

28 chocolate wafers, ground fine
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

For the filling

4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon orange zest, freshly grated
1 teaspoon lemon zest, freshly grated
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups raspberries
1 1/2 cups blueberries


1 Make the crust:.
2 In a bowl stir together the cookie crumbs and the butter until the mixture is combined well and pat the mixture onto the bottom and 1/2 inch up the side of a 9 1/2-inch spring form pan. Chill the crust for 30 minutes.
3 Make the filling:.
4 Preheat the oven to 325°F In a bowl with an electric mixer beat the cream cheese until it is light and fluffy, add the sugar gradually, beating, and beat the mixture until it is combined well. Beat in the flour, add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, and beat in the sour cream, the zests, the salt, and the vanilla, beating the filling until it is combined well.
5 Pour the filling into the crust and bake the cheesecake in a foil-lined shallow baking pan in the middle of the oven for 1 hour and 10 minutes. (The cheesecake will not be completely set; it will set as it cools.) Turn the oven off and let the cheesecake stand in the oven with the oven door propped open about 6 inches until it is cooled completely and remove the side of the pan.
6 Arrange the raspberries on top of the cheesecake in a star shape and arrange the blueberries around the star to cover the top of the cheesecake.


Craft Time: Mickey's Fourth of July Hat

Download Mickey's Fourth of July Hat Template 

How to make it

  1. Print the hat on regular paper or cardstock and cut out the pieces.
  2. Use glue or double-sided tape to secure the A tab on the front piece to the left-hand side of the back piece. Close the top of the hat by securing the B tab to the left-hand side of the front piece.
  3. Tuck the C tabs on the top piece into the top of the hat and secure with glue or double-sided tape.
  4. Tuck the D tabs on the brim into the bottom of the hat and secure with glue or double-sided tape. Line the brim up with the top piece so that the two dashed lines on the brim are on the left and right sides -- this is where you will attach Mickey's ears.
  5. Fold each ear piece in half and secure so the design is two-sided. Line the ears up with the dotted lines on the brim; secure the red tabs to the brim and the blue tabs to the side of the hat.
  6. Fold the "Happy Birthday America" piece in half and secure it so the design is two-sided. Use the tabs to attach this piece to the top of the hat.
  7. Attach the star pieces to the front and back sides of the brim -- the red tab should face the edge of the brim and the white tab should face the hat.


Saturday, June 29, 2013

Red, White, and Blue Jello Recipe!

Makes 24 servings

2 (3 1/2 ounce) packages berry blue gelatin mix
1 (3 1/2 ounce) package lemon Jell-O gelatin
8 ounces cream cheese
8 ounces whipped topping (Cool Whip)
2 (3 1/2 ounce) packages raspberry Jell-O gelatin (or and other red jello)


1 Prepare berry blue jello according to directions on box. Pour into 13x9 baking dish and place in the refrigerator. Allow to chill until firm, about 1 hour.
2 Prepare lemon flavored gelatin using 1 cup of boiling water. Beat cream cheese slightly and then add the lemon gelatin mixture. Beat gelatin and cream cheese until smooth. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature.
3 Once the cream cheese mixture has cooled, fold in the whipped topping until mixed thoroughly. Pour this mixture over the firmly set bottom layer. Return to the refrigerator and chill until firm, about 1 hour.
4 Prepare raspberry jello according to directions on box. Cool this mixture until room temperature and then pour over the middle cream cheese layer.
5 Return the 3 layers to the refrigerator and chill until top layer is firm.
6 Cut into squares to serve.
7 Top with a little whipped topping and a couple of blueberries, if desired.

Patriotic Drink (For Kids) Recipe!

Makes 1 drink

3 ounces cranberry juice or 3 ounces fruit punch
3 ounces Gatorade sports drink (blue)
3 ounces sugar free 7-Up or 3 ounces Sprite
ice cube, fill glass to the top with cubes


1 Place the ice cubes in the bottom 3rd of a tall 12 ounce clear glass. Pour the cranberry juice or fruit punch in to fill the bottom 3rd.
2 Place a few more cubes in to the middle and pour in the blue Gatorade to fill the glass 2/3 full.
3 Place the final 3rd of ice in the glass. Pour in the diet 7up or diet Sprite.

Craft Time: Monsters, Inc. Hide & Go Shriek!

Download Hide & Go Shriek Template 

What you'll need

  • scissors
  • glue

  • For Mike
  • 1- to 2-inch light green craft pom-pom
  • 1 large googly eye
  • Light green craft foam for feet
  • Beige or cream colored cardstock* for horns
  • Black cardstock* for mouth

  • For Sulley
  • 1- to 2-inch teal "sparkle" or "glitter" pom-pom
  • 2 medium sized googly eyes
  • Dark teal cardstock* for eyebrows and nose
  • Black cardstock* for mouth
  • Tan cardstock* for the horns

  • *Alternatively you can print the template on white cardstock and color in the appropriate colors with corresponding markers or colored pencils.

How to make it

  1. Print the Hide & Go Shriek template and cut out the desired size and style of monster you want to create.
  2. For Mike: trace the cut-out feet template onto the light green craft foam and cut out the foam feet shape with scissors. Then use glue to affix the light green pom-pom to base of the feet.  Glue one large googly eye on the face of the light green pom-pom.  Trace the horns on beige cardstock and the mouth on black cardstock and glue them in place as seen in the picture.
  3. For Sulley: Trace the eyebrows and nose on dark teal cardstock, the mouth on black cardstock, and the horns on tan cardstock and glue them in place as seen in the picture. Place two medium-sized googly eyes just under the eyebrows and above the nose.
  4. Use left over pom-poms, googly eyes, foam and paper to make your own monstrous creations!


Caramel Apple Pie Cupcakes Recipe!

Makes 24 cupcakes

3/4 cup butter
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups milk


2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 tablespoons sugar
3 apples, peeled, cored and diced
1 pinch salt
caramel topping, to taste
whipped cream, for topping


1 Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2 Make the cupcake batter. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time. Stir in the vanilla and baking powder.
3 Add the flour and milk in batches, starting with flour and ending with flour. Stir until the batter is smooth and silky.
4 Fill paper-lined muffin tins with the batter 3/4 full.
5 Bake for 18 to 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely before decorating.
6 While the cupcakes are cooling, make the apple pie filling. Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar. Cook until the mixture begins to bubble, about 1 minute.
7 Lower the heat to medium. Stir in the apples and salt. Cook and stir occasionally until the apples are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool.
8 Assemble the cupcakes. Using a paring knife, cut out the middle of each cupcake using the coning method.
9 Spoon the apple mixture into each cupcake and drizzle caramel over all.
10 Top with whipped cream and decorate.

Frosty Fireworks (Flavored Ice) Recipe!

One way to make a splash this Fourth of July is by treating your kids to tall glasses of Patriot's Punch. Simply fill an ice cube tray with a red or blue fruit-flavored beverage (such as Powerade, Gatorade, or Kool-Aid) and let the cubes freeze solid. Then drop three or four colored cubes into each glass, pour in flavored seltzer water or clear soda, and watch the special effects. As the cubes melt, colored bubbles will swirl through the seltzer.

What you'll need

  • Red or blue fruit-flavored beverage
  • Seltzer (flavored or plain)

Friday, June 28, 2013

Vehicle Review: 2013 Mazda 3 i Grand Touring

Hello car fans! I am back with another vehicle review for you! This time it is my first Mazda review! Let's learn more about the 2013 Mazda 3 i Grand Touring and take a look at what this SkyActiv technology is all about!
This is a good looking four door car!
The front is very aggressive and really screams that it is meant for speed! Mazda has a long racing tradition and takes their learning lessons and puts them into their street legal vehicles! After all their motto isn't, "Zoom, zoom!" for nothing!

The engine is a bit loud but provides all the power you need and more to get up to highway speeds or passing cars. The engine did not struggle at anytime during my review. It was meant to eat up Los Angeles traffic! It handled great in the curves and the brakes are solid!
Check out the cockpit with leather bucket seats, and a dashboard that looks like a fighter plane instead of a cars!
Sorry the photo didn't come as clear as I would have liked but I love the blind spot signal in the side mirrors. All vehicles should come standard with this great safety feature!
An incredible sound system by Bose came with my review car! The Bose speakers are crystal clear and powerful!
The dashboard is sleek and sports car like!
Sasaki Time mascot Lil Oishi is ready for a drive!
Even the center console screams speed! A minor complaint here. The Mazda 3 i Grand Touring came equipped with another favorite feature of mine, push to start but I don't like keeping my keys in my pocket and did not really have a great place to keep my keys.
The navigation system is by TomTom and is simple to use.
Lil Oishi is a little bigger than the Mazda key fob.
There are two cup holders in the center console.
I really loved the storage unit in the center console. I found this the best place to keep my keys or place my cell phone while I kept it charged.
Inside the center storage area is this set of plugs. I was able to sue my HTC One cable to plug into the USB/AUX plug. Such a great convenience!
You can run the cable outside of the central storage area to keep your phone out if you would like.
I love the luminated floor at night.
The rear seats are pretty comfortable for average sized adults. My friends that are fairly tall (close to 6 feet tall) did not have a lot of leg room in the back.
Quite a bit of room in the trunk!

Lots of room for luggage or groceries!
Lil Oishi loves Skyactiv. From stronger and lighter body structures to changes in ways the engine runs to increase efficiency and at the same time decrease emissions, Skyactive is more than just a marketing buzzword. It helps the Mazda 3 get an impressive 40 mpg on the highway and 33 overall. Great gas mileage in a fun to drive car! Zoom, zoom!

The total for the car I reviewed came in at $26,420! A great value for all that comes with the car!

2013 Mazda 3 i Grand Touring 4-Door

Base Price: $24,445

As-Tested Price: $26,420

Fuel Economy (EPA City/Highway/Combined): 28/40/33 mpg

Options: Technology package including auto on/off bixenon headlights, adaptive front-lighting system, fog lights, LED rear combination lights, body-color heated power mirrors w/turn signal lamps, Sirius satellite radio w/4 month subscription, alarm system, rain-sensing windshield wipers, rear deck-lip spoiler ($1,500); mirror compass Homelink w/rain sensor ($275); interior lighting kit ($200)

Monsters University: Hidden Gems - Luxo Ball!

Luxo – The Pixar Luxo ball is in graffiti on the wall behind Claire Wheeler and Brock Pearson during their introduction to the Scare Games’ first challenge. Pixar Animation Studio’s groundbreaking short film “Luxo Jr.” was the first computer animated short film released by Pixar during its first year as a studio in 1986.

Follow Monsters University on Twitter: 
Tweet the official hashtag: #MonstersU
Visit the website:

MONSTERS UNIVERSITY is in theaters now!

Homemade Ice Cream in a Bag Recipe!

What you'll need

  • Ice cubes (enough to fill each gallon-size bag about half full)
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1/2 cup salt (The bigger the granules, the better. Kosher or rock salt works best, but table salt is fine.)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pint-size ziplock bag
  • 1 gallon-size ziplock bag
  • Your favorite mixins such as chocolate chips, cereal pieces, or fresh fruit.
Notes: Serves 1

How to make it

  1. Combine the sugar, half and half, and vanilla extract in the pint-size bag and seal it tightly.
  2. Place the salt and ice in the gallon-size bag, then place the sealed smaller bag inside as well. Seal the larger bag. Now shake the bags until the mixture hardens (about 5 minutes). Feel the small bag to determine when it's done.
  3. Take the smaller bag out of the larger one, add mix-ins, and eat the ice cream right out of the bag. Easy cleanup too!


Monsters University: Hidden Gems - Pizza Planet Truck!

Pizza Planet – The Pizza Planet truck is in the driveway of the JOX fraternity house when Mike is riding Archie the Scare Pig down Greek Row. The Pizza Planet truck, which first made an appearance in "Toy Story," has made a cameo in nearly every Pixar feature film.

Follow Monsters University on Twitter: 
Tweet the official hashtag: #MonstersU
Visit the website:

MONSTERS UNIVERSITY is in theaters now!

Crispy Creamy Ice-cream Sandwiches Recipe!

What you'll need

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 bag of marshmallows (10 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 cups crisped rice cereal
  • 1/2 cup decorating sprinkles or mini candies
  • 1 quart ice cream or frozen yogurt

How to make it

  1. Coat a 9- by 13-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set the pan aside. Coat a medium saucepan with nonstick cooking spray and melt the butter and marshmallows in it over medium-low heat, stirring continuously. Stir in the vanilla extract. Add the cereal.
  2. Remove the pan from the heat and stir the mixture until it forms a large ball. Add the sprinkles or candies, if desired. Spoon and press the mixture into the 9- by 13-inch pan. Chill the pan for 10 minutes. Then cut the crisped rice treats into twelve 2-inch squares.
  3. Peel the container away from the ice cream. Working on a waxed-paper covered surface, slice the ice cream into six 2- by 2- by 1-inch blocks with a warm knife (a parent's job). Sandwich each one between 2 crispy squares and lightly press the layers together. Makes 6 sandwiches.

Monsters University: Hidden Gems - A113!

A113 – The School of Scaring classroom number is A113, which refers to the former classroom of John Lasseter, Brad Bird, Pete Docter and Andrew Stanton at CalArts. The number makes an appearance in every Pixar feature film.

Follow Monsters University on Twitter: 
Tweet the official hashtag: #MonstersU
Visit the website:

MONSTERS UNIVERSITY is in theaters now!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

"Something's Different About American" featuring Disney's Planes

Meet Tripp and learn more about Disney's collaboration with the new American Airlines now at

Disney's Planes is in theatres in 3D August 9!

Like Planes on Facebook:
Follow Disney Pictures on Twitter:
Official Site:

From above the world of "Cars" comes "Disney's Planes," an action-packed 3D animated comedy adventure featuring Dusty (voice of Dane Cook), a plane with dreams of competing as a high-flying air racer. But Dusty's not exactly built for racing—and he happens to be afraid of heights. So he turns to a seasoned naval aviator who helps Dusty qualify to take the defending champ of the race circuit. Dusty's courage is put to the ultimate test as he aims to reach heights he never dreamed possible, giving a spellbound world the inspiration to soar. "Disney's Planes" takes off in theaters in 3D on Aug. 9, 2013, and will be presented in Disney Digital 3D™ in select theaters.

Crock Pot Chili Dogs Recipe!

Makes 10 chili dogs

10 hot dogs
2 (15 ounce) cans chili without beans
1 (10 3/4 ounce) can condensed cheddar cheese soup, undiluted
10 hot dog buns, split
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese


1 Place hot dogs in crock pot.
2 In a bowl, combine the chili and soup and pour over hot dogs.
3 Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours.
4 Serve hot dogs in buns. Top with chili mixture, onion and cheese.


Banana Split Ice Cream Cake Recipe!

 What you'll need

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted, plus 1/4 cup butter
  • 4 to 5 medium bananas, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
  • 1-1/2 quarts strawberry ice cream, softened
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (8-ounce) container nondairy whipped topping

How to make it

  1. In a small bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs and the melted butter. Set aside 1/2 cup of the mixture, then press the remainder into the bottom of a 9- by 13-inch pan.
  2. Place the bananas in a single layer over the crust. Spread the softened ice cream on top and smooth. Sprinkle the nuts on the ice cream, then cover with plastic wrap and freeze until firm, about 1 hour.
  3. In a large saucepan, melt the chocolate chips and the remaining 1/4 cup butter and stir until smooth. Add the confectioners' sugar and evaporated milk. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until slightly thickened and smooth, about 8 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Cool the mixture, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour the mixture over the ice cream and freeze until firm, about 45 minutes.
  4. Spread the whipped topping over the chocolate layer and sprinkle with the reserved crumbs. Freeze for at least 3-1/2 hours. Remove the dish from the freezer 10 to 20 minutes before slicing. Serves 18.


Firecracker Foot-Longs Recipe!

Makes 4

1 (5 ounce) bottle Tabasco sauce
1/3 cup chopped red onion
1 teaspoon oregano
4 hot dogs (footlong or bun length)
4 hot dog buns


1 In a resealable bag, combine the Tabasco, onion, and oregano. Add the hot dogs and seal the bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for 2 to 24 hours, turning occasionally.
2 Drain the hot dogs, reserving the marinade. Grill the hot dogs over medium heat for 5-7 minutes, turning several times. Toast the buns during the last minute of grilling time.
3 While hot dogs are cooking, put the reserved marinade in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
4 Serve hot dogs in buns, topped with some of the reserved marinade and onions or relish if desired.



LOS ANGELES – Today American Airlines and the Walt Disney Studios announced a strategic collaboration on the upcoming “Disney’s Planes” movie, including a cameo appearance by Tripp -- inspired in part by American’s Boeing 777-300ER, the newest addition to American’s fleet.
Tripp dons the airline’s new look, complete with the company’s newly developed flight symbol and stripes on his tail for a special cameo appearance in the film. 
“Disney is a global family brand and working with them gives us a fun opportunity to connect with families who know and love the iconic American Airlines brand,” said Rob Friedman, American’s Vice President – Marketing.  “Through this collaboration, we have a lot of great things planned for this summer, including exciting trip promotions and in-airport activities, so I encourage everyone to stay tuned.”
To kick off the excitement, American and Disney this morning surprised customers traveling through Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) with gate celebrations and giveaways, including special guest appearances by the film’s director Klay Hall and actor Carlos Alazraqui, who provides the voice of passionate racer El Chupacabra (El Chu) in the film. 
In addition, American and Disney today premiered a special version of the “Disney’s Planes” trailer for LAX customers, as well as American’s new custom animated commercial directed by Hall, and developed in conjunction with McCann Worldgroup. In the spot, characters from the movie, including Dusty, El Chu and Tripp, highlight American’s fleet modernization efforts with a comedic flare. American also held the inflight debut of the trailer and commercial spot onboard Flight #2442 from LAX to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). The trailer, ad spot and images of Tripp are available for viewing starting today at
“I’m a lifelong aviation fan and ‘Disney’s Planes’ has allowed me to explore so many facets of flying,” said Hall. “I think the addition of Tripp to our lineup really adds to the fun, particularly for aviation buffs like me.”
“Disney’s Planes” and Tripp soar into theaters nationwide beginning Aug. 9, 2013.  Leading up to the film’s release, the companies plan to roll out an integrated marketing effort, including collaborated advertising, promotions and inflight entertainment. American will also feature an inflight version of the movie in October, one month earlier than other airlines, as part of American’s continuing effort to provide customers with the latest and most exclusive content.
For more information on American’s 777-300ER and other fleet renewal plans, visit, and for more information about American’s collaboration with “Disney’s Planes,” please visit

“Disney’s Planes” is an action-packed 3D animated comedy adventure featuring Dusty (voice of Dane Cook), a plane with dreams of competing as a high-flying air racer. But Dusty’s not exactly built for racing—and he happens to be afraid of heights. So he turns to a seasoned naval aviator who helps Dusty qualify to take on the defending champ of the race circuit. Dusty’s courage is put to the ultimate test as he aims to reach heights he never dreamed possible, giving a spellbound world the inspiration to soar. “Disney’s Planes” takes off in theaters on Aug. 9, 2013. For more information, check out, like us on Facebook: and follow us on Twitter:
About American Airlines
American Airlines focuses on providing an exceptional travel experience across the globe, serving more than 260 airports in more than 50 countries and territories. American’s fleet of nearly 900 aircraft fly more than 3,500 daily flights worldwide from hubs in Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami and New York. American flies to nearly 100 international locations including important markets such as London, Madrid, Sao Paulo and Tokyo. With more than 500 new planes scheduled to join the fleet, including continued deliveries of the Boeing 737 family of aircraft and new additions such as the Boeing 777-300ER and the Airbus A320 family of aircraft, American is building toward the youngest and most modern fleet among major U.S. carriers. American's website,®, provides customers with easy access to check and book fares, and personalized news, information and travel offers. American's AAdvantage® program, voted Program of the Year at the 2013 Freddie Awards, lets members earn miles for travel and everyday purchases and redeem miles for flights to almost 950 destinations worldwide, as well as flight upgrades, vacation packages, car rentals, hotel stays and other retail products. The airline also offers nearly 40 Admirals Club® locations worldwide providing comfort, convenience, and an environment with a full range of services making it easy for customers to stay productive without interruption. American is a founding member of the oneworld® alliance, which brings together some of the best and biggest airlines in the world, including global brands like British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Iberia Airlines, Japan Airlines, LAN and Qantas. Together, its members serve more than 840 destinations served by some 9,000 daily flights to nearly 160 countries and territories. Connect with American on Twitter @AmericanAir or American Airlines, Inc. and American Eagle Airlines, Inc. are subsidiaries of AMR Corporation. AMR Corporation common stock trades under the symbol “AAMRQ” on the OTCQB marketplace, operated by OTC Markets Group.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Tie-dye Ice Cream Recipe!

What you'll need

  • 1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream
  • 4 boxes powdered gelatin (3 ounces each) in different flavors (we used berry blue, strawberry banana, lime, and lemon flavors)

How to make it

  1. Let the ice cream set out at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes to soften.
  2. Next, scatter 3 tablespoons of any flavor of powdered gelatin over the bottom of a sealable, medium-size square or rectangular container. Layer one quarter of the softened ice cream over the gelatin. Don't worry if the layer of ice cream is lumpy - it will look better that way.
  3. Scatter 3 tablespoons of a second flavor of gelatin over the first layer of ice cream. Repeat this process, alternating layers of ice cream and flavors of gelatin, until you've used up the ice cream.
  4. Top it off with a layer of gelatin, cover the container, and return it to the freezer for 2 to 3 hours to harden before serving.
  5. To serve the ice cream, transfer the whole block from the container to a plate. To do this, run warm water over the outside of the container or set it in a sink filled with a few inches of warm water for 1 minute, then turn it upside down onto a plate.
  6. To get a nice spiraled serving, scrape an ice-cream scoop or large spoon along the side of the block. Makes 16 servings.


Ice Cream Pizza Recipe!

What you'll need

  • 1/2 cup walnut or pecan pieces
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3 ounces coarsely chopped unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 gallon ice cream (we like strawberry for pizza color)
  • canned whipped cream
  • various decorative candies

How to make it

  1. Line a large cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Lightly butter the foil and set it aside. Finely chop the nuts and set them aside.
  2. Melt together the butter and chocolate in a double boiler (or in the microwave at half power, stirring every 30 seconds), stirring until smooth. Set aside to cool.
  3. Beat the sugar and eggs on high speed in a large bowl for about 5 minutes. Blend in the melted chocolate and vanilla extract until smooth. Stir in the nuts. Mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add them to the chocolate mixture and stir until evenly blended. Let the dough sit for 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Scrape the dough into the center of the buttered foil. Spread the dough into a more or less level circle 12 inches in diameter. Refrigerate for 10 minutes while you heat the oven to 350º.
  5. Bake the crust on the center oven rack for 13 minutes. Transfer it to a cooling rack and cool it until it is just warm to the touch. Invert the crust onto a second cookie sheet, then gently peel off the foil. Invert it again onto the sheet or a serving tray and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  6. Smooth a layer of slightly softened ice cream 1/2 to 1 inch thick evenly over the crust. Decorate with canned whipped cream and candies (if you're presenting the pizza whole, consider using lines of whipped cream to draw slices). Transfer the pizza to the freezer until you're ready to slice and serve.


Baked Snowballs Recipe!

What you'll need

  • 12 vanilla or chocolate wafer cookies or six 1/2-inch-thick slices of your favorite cake
  • 6 scoops of your favorite ice cream
  • 3 egg whites at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Chocolate syrup, sprinkles, and Maraschino cherries

How to make it

  1. Baked Snowballs - Step 1Break each cookie or slice of cake into several small pieces and divide them evenly among six 3-inch ramekins, pressing them into the bottom of each. Fill each ramekin with ice cream, using the back of a spoon to smooth it level at the top. Place the ramekins on a cookie sheet in the freezer while you prepare the snow (meringue).
  2. Heat the oven to 500º. Place the egg whites in a medium-size bowl and whip them with an electric beater set at medium-high speed until they resemble soap bubbles. Add the cream of tartar and continue beating until soft peaks form (now it will look like shaving cream). While you continue beating, add the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time and then the vanilla extract. Continue beating until shiny, stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes. Now you have your snow!
  3. Remove the ramekins from the freezer and spread the snow meringue over the top of each with a spatula, taking care to completely cover the ice cream. This "blanket of snow" is what insulates the ice cream, keeping it cold in the hot oven. Bake the snowballs on the cookie sheet until the tops are golden brown, about 1 to 3 minutes. Watch them carefully; they brown quickly. Garnish the snowballs with chocolate syrup, sprinkles, and cherries, and serve. Makes 6.


Red White and Blue Popsicles Recipe!

Makes 6 popsicles

3 cups vanilla yogurt
red food coloring
white food coloring
blue food coloring
wax paper
6 sugar ice cream cones
6 wooden popsicle sticks


1 To make a half dozen pops, tint 1/2 cup of the yogurt with red food coloring and 1 1/2 cups with blue food coloring. Leave the rest plain.
2 Make waxed paper cone liners by folding six 12-inch square sheets into triangles, wrapping each around a sugar cone, and using tape to hold the shape. Then place the paper cones inside the sugar cones.
3 Fill each cone with 1 tablespoon red yogurt, followed by 2 tablespoons white yogurt, then 3 tablespoons blue yogurt. Insert a Popsicle stick and freeze the pops until firm, about 4 hours, using the cone box with six circles cut out to keep them upright.


Cherry Vanilla Smoothie Recipe!

What you'll need

  • 1 cup apple juice or cider
  • 1/2 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen pitted cherries

How to make it

  1. Blend all ingredients together. Serves 2.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Blogger Event: Da Vinci - The Genius Exhibit at the Discovery Science Center!

Hi everyone! Last week I was invited to check out the amazing new Da Vinci - The Genius exhibit at the Discovery Science Center!
There is are wonderful facsimiles of a fascinating collection of codices handwritten by Da Vinci himself.
There are hundreds of reproductions of some of the most famous Da Vinci machine inventions. Most are hands off to read and admire while others are hands on for you to try out for yourself.

Here is Da Vinci's version of what would become the helicopter.
I love this section on the flying machines.
This is one that I was really fascinated with. Da Vinci's idea for the elevator.
There are 75 life-size machine inventions on display here.

Da Vinci's take on the cannon.
No Da Vinci did not come up with the UFO. This is his invention that became the modern military tank.

This is the highlight of the exhibit. An extensive look at arguably the most famous painting in the world. The research was conducted by famed French engineer Pascal Cotte. He was given special permission from the Louvre to remove the Mona Lisa from her protective layer of bulletproof glass and scanned it with a 240-megapixel Multi-spectral Imaging Camera he invented. This gave the world an unprecidented look into the Mona Lisa.
One of the images shown here is this massive enlargement of the painting. Some of the revelations revealed include:
  • Lace on Mona Lisa's dress
  • The transparency of the veil shows da Vinci first painted a landscape and then used transparency techniques to paint the veil atop it.
  • A change in the position of the left index and middle finger.
  • The elbow was repaired from damage due to a rock thrown at the painting in 1956.
  • The blanket covering Mona Lisa's knees also covers her stomach.
  • The left finger was not completely finished.
  • A blotch mark on the corner of the eye and chin are varnish accidents, countering claims that Mona Lisa was sick.
  • And the Mona Lisa was painted on uncut poplar board, contrary to speculations.
This is the most accurate reproduction of the Mona Lisa ever created.
The back of the painting is almost as interesting as the front. But you need to come to the exhibit to read those details.
These enlargements reveal the beauty of the painting as well as the damage that has incurred throughout the years.
It is so amazing to look at a masterpiece in such detail and clarity.
Look at the detail of the landscape behind the Mona Lisa.
The camera uses 13 wavelengths from ultraviolet light to infrared to literally peel away centuries of varnish and other alterations. The results are amazing.

This section on the Mona Lisa is more than worth the price of admission to the exhibit.
There is also a Da Vinci Jr. area where you can build a model city. As you can see I was hard at work or very confused.
We are making progress! After all Rome was not built in a day!
My finished Sasaki Time temple!

This is another fine exhibit here on display at the Discovery Science Center! The blogger event unfortunately did not give me enough time to read and see everything in this exhibit! I will definitely come back to read everything and take more photos. Like I mentioned earlier, the Mona Lisa exhibit is more than worth the price of admission. As my friend Carla, who has been to the Louvre, said to me, "You cannot get this close to the Mona Lisa at the Louvre." An excellent exhibit and I hope you take the time to check it out.

Da Vinci - The Genius is at the Discovery Science Center until September 8, 2013.

Discovery Science Center

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