Family Weekend

It's been a while since I posted, things have been pretty busy! With wedding planning, house hunting, and deadlines at work, there hasn't been much extra time for baking and making treats.

It's been a busy and exciting weekend for my family! After a long period of waiting, paperwork, prayers, and more waiting, my sister and family finally got to bring home their little boy Jaxson from China. You can read about their full adoption journey here.  My fiance and I got to go to the airport to welcome home the new family of four.  It was a wonderful experience and one we will remember and cherish all our lives.  I will never forget going to the hospital to see my niece for the first time.  Now I have the memory of going to the airport to see my nephew for the first time!  Here is one of my favorite pics of the happy little boy.  He is adjusting so well and is a joy to be around.  Tyler and I have enjoyed spending time with both Jaxson and his big sister Alexis.

We wanted to make a special treat for them when we met them at the airport.  You can see the Chinese take-out treat box in the picture above.  I looked around online and on Pinterest for different ideas and finally found some Chinese inspired treats that were perfect to take. We made edible dragons and pandas for all our friends and family at the airport.

These snacks were great and easy to make!

Panda cupcakes

Ingredients: Oreos, black icing, York Pieces, and Junior Mints
  1. First step was to dip the Oreos in white chocolate.  We couldn't find any white chocolate dipped Oreos, so we just did it ourselves using Kroger baking white chocolate.  
  2. Once the Oreos had dried, I used black icing to decorate the patch behind the panda eyes as well as the nose and mouth.
  3. I quickly added on the white York Pieces and added dots for the eyes.
  4. The last step was to cut the Junior Mints in half and attach them to the Oreos.
  5. I left the pandas in the fridge overnight since the Junior Mints seem to melt easily.  I actually still ended up having to replace them in the parking garage as they melted in the car ride!

Ingredients: Rice Krispie treats, red M&M's, red jelly beans, York Pieces, and Fruit by the Foot
  1. I covered the Rice Krispie treats with the strawberry Fruit Roll-ups.  At first to save time and Fruit by the Foot, I wasn't going to cover the bottom, but ended up doing so since the Rice Krispies were so sticky on the bottom.  There was no icing or anything required for the Fruit by the Foot to stick since the Rice Krispies were so sticky.
  2. Next I added a dot of icing and stuck on the eyes and nose adding a chocolate dot for the eyes.
  3. The last step was to cut the red jelly beans in half and attach those for the ears.
  4. The idea I found online had a long piece of the Fruit by the Foot to be the body and tail of the dragon.  I didn't include that due to sticking them in the box, but they add a cute look as well.
The weekend at home was full of celebrating as it was also my sister's birthday!  For her birthday, I wanted to make some special cupcakes.  I found these cute flower cupcakes through the Hello Cupcake! book series.  They were fun to make and a big hit! Here are a couple picks of the cupcakes.  

Ingredients for decorating: icing, mini marshmallows, sprinkles
  1. Bake cupcakes and let cool completely.
  2. As cupcakes are baking and cooling, start marshmallow petals.  Begin by pouring sprinkles in bowls to be ready to dip into.
  3. Next begin slicing mini marshmallows in half diagonally.  While it's still sticky, place the marshmallow down in sprinkles.  The marshmallows tend to fold in on the sticky side, so you have to gently pull it apart to get the most sprinkles to stick. It takes around 20 petals for each cupcake.
  4. Ice the cupcakes with a thin layer.  I was not able to pipe this icing with the tips I had, as it would make it too thick.  
  5. Before the icing begins to harden, begin arranging the petals.

To add more excitement to the weekend, I went to our second wedding shower!  We had a great time and were so grateful to friends and family for their generosity and support.  Along with all the other great gifts, I'm excited about the set of 25 cupcake decorating tips.  I can't wait to use them in future cupcake endeavors. Of course I have to include a picture of the cupcakes at the shower. :)

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