Tag Archives: cooking

How to Make Football Cake Pops

 

We’ve caught the Cake Pop bug! They’re not only delicious, but also cute and fun to make. Plus, it’s a chance to unleash your creativity: the shape, color and design possibilities are endless. Since we’re thinking about the Superbowl, we decided to make Football-themed cakes. Follow along to learn how to make them–but of course, feel free to personalize them to make them your very own!

Here’s what you’ll need:

Football Pops

1 box of chocolate cake mix (makes about 48 pops)

1 container of chocolate cake frosting

Almond bark (aka candy coating)

1 bar of white chocolate

Candy sticks

Parchment Paper

1 small sandwich bag

Football Field Base

1 half-circle-shaped piece of craft foam

1 bowl that fits the craft foam

foil

vanilla frosting and green food coloring

white chocolate, leftover from the pops

Here’s what you do:

First, make cake mix according to the directions on the box. Once it’s baked and cooled, crumble cake in a bowl. Mix in the container of cake frosting.


Refrigerate or freeze your cake/frosting mix until firm. Once it can be shaped easily with your fingers, remove from refrigerator/freezer and roll into balls shaped like footballs (or anything you like).

Now it’s time to insert the candy sticks into the cake. We recommend dipping the ends of the sticks in some melted almond bark–it prevents the pops from falling off the sticks.

Melt a small amount of the almond bark, dip ends of candy sticks into it and insert into cake pops. Then, place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and freeze until firm.

Once they’re hard, they’re ready to dip in chocolate! Take them out of the freezer, cover your work surface with parchment paper and melt enough almond bark that you can easily dip the pops. Then, dip each pop into the melted almond bark and place it on the parchment paper to harden.

Now, to make them really look like footballs, they need white chocolate laces! Melt a small amount of white chocolate and place in small sandwich bag. Cut a small part of the corner off of the bag as if you were piping a cake. Then, draw your laces on with the white chocolate.

Now they’re ready to eat and enjoy!

We wanted to give them a decorative base, and we thought it would look really cute to have them on something that looked like a football field. Here’s how we did it:

Get a piece of craft foam in the shape of a half circle. Find a mixing bowl that it fits into. Wrap the foam in tinfoil and place it in the bowl.
Cover tinfoil with something green. We used white frosting colored green, but you can use Easter grass, tissue paper, etc. We drew some lines with leftover melted white chocolate.

Place end of candy stick in mixing bowl, and admire your work…then eat one (or two). Delicious!

Have you made Cake Pops before? Let us know what YOU made!

Bacon Wrapped Sausages at the Ginny’s House

We love new recipes, and we especially love trying recipes from our friends and customers! Heidi, our Creative Director, wanted to make something new for the game on Sunday, so she asked our Facebook fans for their best appetizer recipes. We picked our favorite–Lil’ Smokies and Bacon, from Lori–and whipped up a batch on camera to show you just how easy it is to make! It was a nice way to end a week of hard work putting together the fall catalog. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look as we cook up this tasty treat.

To see the full video, click here! The recipe is at the bottom of the page.

Heidi, our Creative Director, jots down a rough script.
Are we rolling?These Lil’ Smokies are ready to go!
Lights, Camera, Action!
Heidi takes the finished Smokies out of the oven…mmm, smell that bacon!
Yuuuummy! Chris, one of our copywriters, helps us sample the finished product.

They were delicious! No matter who wins this Sunday, we definitely found a winner in this recipe! Thanks for sharing it with us, Lori!

Lori’s Lil’ Smokies

1 package of bacon

2 packages of Little Smokies

brown sugar (about 1/2 c)

toothpicks

1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with foil.

2. Cut the slices of bacon into thirds.

3. Wrap each piece of bacon around a smokie, then put a toothpick through it to hold it all together. Place the smokies on the foil-lined baking sheet.

4. Sprinkle brown sugar over the smokies. Don’t worry if it gets all over the pan–it will all caramelize.

5. Bake at 350 degrees until crisp–about 45 minutes.

6. Allow to cool before eating. Enjoy!

Pumpkins, roadside stands & soup

On my drive to work every day, I pass by a lot of farms. Several of these farms have roadside stands, selling fresh produce like tomatoes, zucchini and corn during the summer. Now, they’re overflowing with gorgeous pumpkins and squash.

Squash & pumpkins at a roadside stand

I stopped by one of the stands to pick up a few for my family (we love squash…or at least the adults do. The six year old scrunches up her nose when she tastes it). I was amazed by the sheer variety they had for sale–so many different shapes, textures and colors!

Squash & pumpkins at a roadside stand

There are so many ways to enjoy pumpkin: there’s the classic pie, of course, but also soups, stews, casseroles, quick breads and pasta sauce.  Many of us think of pumpkin as something for dessert (probably because pumpkin pie is sooo good!), but it’s equally tasty in savory dishes and main courses like this recipe for pumpkin soup. It might sound odd if you’ve never tried it, but it’s surprisingly yummy. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

This recipe calls for canned pumpkin. If you’re interested in trying it with fresh pumpkin, here’s how to cook it.

Pumpkin Soup

Creamy Pumpkin Soup

  • 1 Tbsp. light stick butter
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 (15-oz.) can unsweetened pumpkin (or 1 3/4 cup mashed cooked pumpkin)
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 cup fat-free half-and-half
  • 1 Tbsp. parsley, chopped (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp. radish, chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg (optional)
  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add onion and cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring constantly.
  3. Add pumpkin and remaining ingredients, stirring well with a whisk.
  4. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.
  5. Purée mixture, in batches, in an electric blender.
  6. Return to saucepan and cook until thoroughly heated.
  7. Garnish with parsley, chopped cilantro, chopped radish or nutmeg (optional).

4 Slow Cookers to Fit Any Budget (Plus a Recipe)

Fall weather is the perfect excuse to whip up a scrumptious meal in your slow cooker. Nothing says “comfort food” like coming home to a hot, ready-to-eat meal! I love my slow cooker–it helps me put healthy, inexpensive and delicious meals on the table no matter how busy I am. Which got me thinking: how in the world did anyone ever get by without one?!

Hay-Boxes and Bean Pots

Before there were slow cookers, there were hay-boxes. These clever devices were just wood boxes filled with hay–nothing fancy. The cook would get a meal boiling on the stove, then remove the pot from the heat and place it directly into the hay box. The hay would retain the heat so that the food could keep cooking until dinnertime. What a great idea!

The first modern slow cooker was introduced in 1970–the “bean pot”. Little did they know that someday, families everywhere would be using slow cookers for so much more than beans!

An old-fashioned Hay Box An old-fashioned hay box

Slow Cookers for Everyone

These days, there are plenty of slow cookers to fit your family’s needs and budget. There are even digital versions like the one below–all you have to do is set the programmable timer and walk away. The cooker selects the right temperature and self-adjusts to warming mode at the end of the cooking time.

Ginny's 6.5 Quart Digital Slow Cooker Ginny’s 6.5 Quart Digital Slow Cooker

Some people prefer to keep it simple with just “Hi” and “Lo” settings…and a pretty pattern to liven up the kitchen!

Ginny's 6.5-qt Decorator Slow Cooker Ginny’s 6.5-qt Decorator Slow Cooker

Or maybe one cooker just isn’t enough for your big family or frequent potlucks.

3-in-1 Slow Cooker 3-in-1 Slow Cooker

Here’s a cooker that has two different inserts, one for roasting and one for slow cooking, doubling the possibilities.

Ginny's Roaster/Slow Cooker Ginny’s Roaster/Slow Cooker

And of course, if you’re taking it to a potluck or family dinner, you’ll want a travel bag to transport it easily with no spillage!

Slow Cooker Travel Bag Slow Cooker Travel Bag

All this talk of slow cookers is making me hungry…how about you? Here’s a mouthwatering recipe from one of our customers. Give it a try and let me know how it turns out!

Slow Cooker Chicken with Dumplings

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts, skinned & cut into small chunks
  • 2 cans condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4-cup onion, finely diced
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • Two 10-oz. packages refrigerated biscuits
  1. Combine all ingredients, except biscuits, in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours.
  2. 30 minutes before serving, tear biscuit dough into 1-inch pieces. Add to your slow cooker, stirring gently.
  3. Cover and cook on HIGH for an additional 30 minutes or until biscuits are fluffed up and cooked through.
  4. Serve and enjoy!