Piñata Cake

Piñata Cake

www.cobornsblog.com The art of Cakes with Amanda
Amanda

 

Like a Piñata this cake is colorful and likes to make appearances at special occasions. Unlike a Piñata you don’t have to resort to getting out the sweet treats inside with sticks and a blindfold. The best part? Instead of a pile of paper and cardboard you get cake to eat along with your candy!

This cake is great for any candy lover or to reveal a special message. You could fill it with pink or blue candies to make an announcement at a baby shower. Maybe put a big candy ring inside to pop the question! Fill it with colorful candies and watch the kids at the party ooo and ahh when, “Surprise!”, their cake spills a rainbow of fun.
Any small candies will work to use, it works best to choose items with a  candy shell to prevent them from sticking to each other inside the cake. You could also do sprinkles, chocolate chips, maybe cookies pieces or even roly poly fruit like blueberries.
Check out this video for step by step instructions on creating your own Piñata Cake at home.

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Pink Polka Dot Cake

Pink Polka Dot Cake #DIY - www.cobornsblog.com

www.cobornsblog.com - Practical Party Planning with Holly
Holly

Well, my oldest daughter is now a three year old. Of course, as a Mom, I want to give her whatever she wants and this year, for her birthday, she wanted to have a pink bowling party. So we went bowling and ordered pizzas, pretty simple. But, I couldn’t just let it end with that. So we went back to our house and had cake, ice cream and presents!

Pink Party

Pink Party Ideas - www.cobornsblog.com

Practical Party Planning with Holly - www.cobornsblog.comWhen I asked Grace what kind of party she wanted, because if you know me you know there must be a theme, she said “pink”. Well we did PINK! For decoration we had pink tissue paper balls, pink balloons, pink crepe paper streamers, pink plates, pink polka dot treat bags, pink polka dot napkins, pink cups and pink polka dot straws. I served pink lemonade, pink ice cream and pink cake with pink icing. It was pretty cute and Grace loved it all. Planning any kind of get together can get really stressful, but as I was icing the cake and Grace looked and me and said “I really like my pink cake Mom!” it made all the fuss worth it.

With all of my pink decorations and white polka dots on the napkins, straws and crepe paper, I decided to make a polka dot cake to match. It turned out super cute and was really easy. So I want to share with you how I made it so you can do it too!

Pink Polka Dot Cake #DIY - www.cobornsblog.comIcing the Cake and Cupcakes

First off, I made two 9” round cakes and 24 cupcakes with two strawberry box cake mixes. After they cooled I began to ice the cakes. We love the buttercream icing from the Coborn’s Bakery, so I went over to the bakery and got the “Good Stuff”. They sell it in the cases by the cupcakes and they typically have white and a couple other random colors to choose from. I bought two and a half pounds, but I should have just bought three because I ran out before all 24 cupcakes were iced.  I put A LOT of icing on the cake. So you may be able to get away with only two pounds. I colored the icing myself at home to make the best color match, however if you wanted a certain color, I would think the nice people in the bakery would dye some for you. Long story short, I iced my two round cakes together to make a higher cake with an icing layer in the middle. I did that with just a butter knife. I then did a simple icing of the cupcakes with a pastry bag and round tip. Click here for more ways to ice a cupcake.

Decorating the cakes

Pink Polka Dot Cupcakes #DIY - www.cobornsblog.comThe next steps are really easy. I bought Over The Top Party Pink Sanding Sugar from the cake aisle along with Over The Top White Sugar Beads.  I simply sprinkled the top of the cake with the Sanding Sugar. Then I took the White Sugar Beads and created a polka dot pattern on the top of the cake to match the décor. I used the rest of the beads to make a border against the plate and the bottom of the cake and voila, the cake is now decorated. For the cupcakes, I sprinkled the Party Pink Sanding Sugar on half of the cupcakes and did one White Sugar Bead on the top of the other half of cupcakes, this way they all coordinated with the cake, but were a little different.

Making the Cake Topper

Now on to the cake topper. I had purchased polka dot pink straws from the party store when I purchased my tableware, but who really uses a straw? So I knew I would have leftovers to use for my cake. I took three straws to use for my cake topper. Next I took three pink paper plates to cut out circles for my saying. My Mom has a Cricut™ cutting machine that we used to cut out white vinyl letters to write out “Grace is three”.   I then placed the vinyl on the round circles. Next I simply hot glued the straws to the back of the circles. The last thing I had to do was to arrange the straws and stick them into the cake. I also placed a pink number three candle and my cake was complete.

Free Happy Birthday Printables #DIY - www.cobornsblog.comMaking the Cake Topper at home

I realize that you may not all have a Cricut™ cutting machine at home, so I made Free Printables for you so you can make these at home. Obviously I do not know the name of the person for whom you are making the cake, so the printables read “Happy 3rd Birthday”. Each printable has four sheets. Sheet one has the Happy, Birthday and 1st – 5th circles. Sheet two has 6th – 14th circles, sheet 3 has 15th – 21st circles and the fourth sheet has 30th – 100th, by decade. Click the links below for different colors. I made a pink version, green version, blue version and one white version with just black text so you can print on whatever color you wish. I would just suggest using a heavy/thick card stock so that the circle stand up nicely against the straws, if you do not have a heavy/thick card stock, you can just glue the circle a little farther down the straw to add a little stability.

 

This cake and these cupcakes are cute and fun for any birthday party. I hope you can use some of the ideas I gave you here to make your own!

 

Party On,
Holly
Coborn’s, Inc. Consumer Content Manager

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Grilling Veggies

www.cobornsblog.com - Produce Philosophy with Mike
Mike P.

Now that the snow has finally melted away from the grill on my deck, it is great to get outside and start grilling again. I like grilling so I can leave much of the cooking mess outside. I used to only grill meat, and cooked the veggies inside on the stove or in the oven, until we discovered we could cook it all at the same time outside on the grill. A potato choice is usually on the list of grilling for us, unless we choose kabobs for more of a variety of vegetables. There are also many more ways to grill veggies; at times we will use a grilling bowl, or place vegetables like corn or asparagus directly on the grill, but below are two easy favorite vegetable combos of mine on the grill.

 

Potatoes

Grilling Potatoes - www.cobornsblog.com

I have two favorites but one is overtaking the other, and that is sweet potatoes. There is a debate over which one is healthier, but the sweets appear to be winning with a NuVal Score of 100 and your traditional Russet scores a 99. My wife and I prefer the sweets, but my kids still like the standard white flesh potatoes. Using the tin foil method works great and also works with cooking most other vegetables on the grill. I have used with carrots, mushrooms, beans, asparagus, etc.  Sealing the tops and keeping that steam inside is the key to keeping vegetables moist.

Grilling Potatoes
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • Gas grill
  • Small bottle of olive oil
  • Can of cooking spray
  • 1 good size sweet potato per person, or 2 potatoes if using Yukon or reds
  • 1 medium to large sweet yellow onion
Instructions
  1. Start to heat the grill; turn on high with as many burners as you plan to cook on.
  2. Tear off a piece of tin foil about 12 to 15 inches, depending on how many potatoes or sweet potatoes you’re using.
  3. Spray with cooking spray inside of tin foil so potatoes don't stick.
  4. Peel skin off sweet potatoes with a small, sharp knife.
  5. Chunk or slice into quarter size pieces and place in the tin foil.
  6. Peel and slice the onion and add over the top of the potatoes (optional but adds a great sweet flavor to the potatoes).
  7. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil on top.
  8. Seal tin foil and you are ready to place on grill.
  9. I usually place potatoes on the grill first before adding the meat, with grill cover down.
  10. I will leave potatoes on five minutes or so, then flip to the other side. That is when you would place meat on the grill.
  11. Keep flipping potatoes as often as you flip meat to keep from burning.
  12. Potatoes should be fully cooked when your meat is done, being soft and moist.
  13. Open tin foil slowly to let steam out and add to serving bowl or plate.
  14. The only thing left to do is ENJOY!!!
Notes
If using red or Yukon potatoes, peeling is optional. I usually just cut butts off ends.

Kabobs

Grilling Kabobs - www.cobornsblog.com

Another favorite of mine is vegetables together on a stick which are called kabobs. Everyone has vegetables they like and dislike, so it is up to you to decide what you want on your kabobs. I like to pick items that will all cook about the same so that they are all done when you take them off the grill. I prefer to use metal skewers, as the ones I found tend to be longer than the wooden ones, so I can put more vegetables on one skewer. I can also just wash and reuse the skewers. Some people will also skew the meat and vegetables together. One of the things I like most is the different flavor that comes from grilling vegetables. Tomatoes just melt in your mouth, onions become very sweet, and peppers are soft, with that roasted flavor.  When preparing kabobs on the skewer, it may look like a lot of vegetables, but after being cooked they do not look the same, so you could probably figure most adults would probably eat two kabobs.

Grilling Veggie Kabobs
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • Sweet yellow onion
  • Whole mushrooms, your choice brown or white
  • Bell pepper- your choice of color. Red, yellow, or orange tend to be much sweeter than green.
  • Cherry or grape tomatoes
  • Zucchini or yellow soft shell squash
  • Cooking spray
Instructions
  1. Start to heat grill.
  2. Rinse off mushrooms, grape or cherry tomatoes, squash and peppers, and pat dry.
  3. Peel the outer skin off onions.
  4. Mushrooms and tomatoes are ready to skew, no need to cut in half.
  5. Slice squash into thick round pieces.
  6. Cut pepper in half, spoon out seeds, then cut those into bigger chunks as well.
  7. Cut onions in half, then quarters, then again.
  8. You are now ready to start skewing them on.
  9. Make them pretty, using color rotation.
  10. Tomatoes and mushrooms can go on the skewer the long way, onions need to be skewed through each layer so they stay on the skewer.
  11. Once you have as many skewers as needed, spray both sides of kabob with cooking spray and you are ready to grill.
  12. If you are grilling meat you will want to place it on the grill ahead of time as vegetables will not require nearly as much time as the meat.
  13. After rotating meat the second time it would be a good time to put the kabobs on the grill.
  14. Keep checking and turning every five minutes or so till they are soft and tender.
  15. They will get a little charred look to them, which is okay.
  16. Make sure to use an oven mitt when turning and taking kabobs off the grill, as skewers will be very hot.
  17. Veggies will come off the stick easily, and you are now ready to eat.
Notes
You want to leave vegetables in bigger chunks as they are pretty much water, and will shrivel up once on the grill. You also need them to be bigger to get them to stay on the skewer so they don't fall off when cooking.

 

So, if you are looking to do some grilling, try grilling your veggies. I hope you will enjoy them as much as I do.

Mike P.
Coborn’s Produce Merchandier

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