Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Candy Graduation Caps

My sister graduated from high school the other day! But this recipe can be used for any type of graduation. High school, college, preschool, what have you. Our high school colors were blue and silver (they were navy blue and cyan when I was a freshman, though, so I like to say that our colors are blue and blue), but this can be done with any school color. In a few years, I see myself making this with purple (the color for University of Portland).
Making these candies is a lot simpler than it looks. It does, however, require two shopping trips: one trip to any craft supplies store, and one to your regular grocery store.

12 chilled but not frozen Reese's Cups
12 chocolate squares
12 M&M's of your school's color
1 colored licorice rope of your school's color
12 candy sticks (the kind used for lollipops)
Candy Melts (chocolate is probably the best idea. I used Vanilla, but mistakes show very easily with this one).

First, cut the colored licorice into about two inch sections. Then, either pull the licorice apart or cut it apart so that you have a thin two inch rope, which will look like a tassel.
Next, melt the candy melts. Follow the instructions on the package, but generally this is done by melting in the microwave, on defrost or half power. You won't need the whole package. Just a handful should do. If the candy melts harden while you're working, just microwave it again. That's the best part. You can always go back and reuse. It's not really that time sensitive.
While you melt the candy melts, unwrap your chocolates and Reese's cups.
Once you've done that, take one candy stick and dip the end into the melted candy melts. Take this end and insert it into an upside down Reese's cup.
After the candy melt has hardened so that the sticks are firm in the cups, coat the top of your Reese's cup with melted candy melts and place a chocolate square on top. Let this harden, too, so that it looks like a graduation cap and is firm in its shape.
Next, stick the "tassel" (licorice rope) on the top using melted candy melts as glue. I used the tip of a sharp knife as my paint brush. Be sure to make the line as thin as possible (or even better, paint half of the licorice rope and then place it firmly on the top of the cap.
Then, paint the "M" half of the M&M with melted candy melts. Place this in the center of the top of your cap.
And now you're done. You have candy graduation caps that, once the candy melts have hardened, will stay together and be enjoyed by all your graduation party guests. Do be sure to clean up your mess as quickly as possible. If your candy melts have hardened in your mug, melt them again before you clean, which will make it significantly easier to clean.

These candies were a hit at my sister's graduation party. They'll be a hit at yours too. They're a lot more personal than candies you might find at the grocery store, but a lot easier than other graduation-themed treats that you might make for your party. I found a similar candy on Pinterest but it didn't come with a recipe. So, I used ideas from this How To. There are several different ways to make this candy, but this is, by far, the easiest. And it can be done in a dorm kitchen. All you need is a mug and a microwave, as well as all the ingredients.
Happy graduation to all the graduates out there!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Scat on a Log

I don't remember who in my family decided to name this snack. It was probably my sister. Anyway, Scat on a Log doesn't actually taste like scat. Or logs. But it does kind of look like scat on a snowy log, I guess. Based on Ants on a Log (or Bran on a Log like I made back in August), Scat on a Log is simple to make.

You will need:
Cream Cheese
Sliced Black Olives

First, wash your celery. You may want to rinse the black olives, too, since canned olives tend to have unnecessary salt added to them.
Then, cut the celery into lengths about the length of your index finger.
Next, spread cream cheese along the pieces of celery. Place slices of olives firmly in the cream cheese, along the length of each piece of celery.
Finally, eat, enjoy, and clean up the mess. The cream cheese will start to smell if you leave your dishes unwashed for too long.

This tasted pretty good. The cream cheese is rich, the olives are salty, and the celery is healthy. What's not to love with this snack?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Topped Ramen: Number 3

In the last Topped Ramen post, I tried the Oriental Flavor Top Ramen. I didn't really like the flavor. However, I had another package of the flavor leftover. So, I decided to try something new: making Ramen without the flavor packet. Essentially, this Topped Ramen involves Ramen stir fry.

To make this, I first chopped vegetables. I used baby carrots and regular celery, slicing in 1/4 inch pieces.
While I chopped the vegetables, I soaked the ramen noodles in boiling water.
After all the veggies were chopped and the ramen was soft, I mixed them with two tablespoons of teriyaki sauce. Then, I let it sit in the fridge for a couple of hours.
After a couple hours, I put the mixture onto a hot frying pan with just enough oil to keep it from sticking. I stirred constantly while it cooked, until the noodles darkened.
Finally, I put I ate, enjoyed, and cleaned up the mess.

It ended up tasting really good this way. I'd never made stir fry before, and I have a lot to learn, but for an experiment, this recipe turned out pretty well. I would recommend trying this recipe. The only change I might make to it is possibly steaming the veggies first, as the carrots, especially, were a bit too crunchy.

Dorm Food

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