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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

{ Magic The Gathering Party }

This year Bean's party was a bit of a challenge for me. I've played exactly 1 game of Magic The Gathering ever, so I didn't have a lot to go on here. I've picked up a fair bit just by him talking to me about it. Only child has no one else to tell about these things, lol. The internet has precious little ideas for a MTG party.

So, between what I've soaked in from Bean's chatter and his suggestions, I present to you, a Magic The Gathering party.

Everyone who came to the party was a player, for one thing. They all have their own decks. Each person has a favorite deck, of course. I told them to dress in the colors of their deck. Bean's favorite deck, which he named The Good Church (it's full of clerics and angels), is made up of green and white cards.

So, everyone came dressed in their deck colors.

I had the idea to make custom cards. Bean knew of a generator that did just that, so it was super easy!
You can find it at MTGCardsmith

You can see them here, in the goblets I decorated. He designed the cards, I printed and cut them out, and he sleeved them.

I have a Silhouette Portrait cutter, so I was able to cut the symbols with it. You will see I used it for many things for this party, but most things you could do without one. You wouldn't want to invest in one for JUST a party. For these I used goblets that I purchased in a 4 pack at Walmart for $5. I cut the logo in contact paper, then used a product called Etchall etching cream to etch the designs on the goblets. The symbols on each glass coordinated with that person's deck. Above, you can see Alex, who requested a poison counter card as his personalized card. His deck is green and black, so I etched his glass with the green and black symbols.

These were the glasses everyone drank from at the party. They got to take them (and their personalized cards) home as party favors.

With my Silhouette, I also cut out a pennant banner and this sign below. I covered a canvas that always hangs in my dining room with white wrapping paper, then I added the words I'd cut with my Silhouette.

While this pennant banner obviously has the symbols cut out with my cutter, the banner would be just as nice with solid pennants.

Bean named all of the rooms in Plane names, which I made signs for.

For the eats/drinks, we started, of course, with Mana.

You can't tell in the photo, except for the green, but I also etched these vases with the symbols. The vases were purchased at the Dollar Tree for $1 each. They seemed to fit the theme much better than a bunch of pitchers. For the mana, I used Kool Aid. These vases fit only 1 quart at a time, so I mixed up 1/2 a pouch with 1/2 the sugar. For the colors we have: Green- Lemon Lime, Red- Cherry, Black- 1/2 Black Cherry- 1/2 Grape, Blue- Mixed Berry. The White is actually Glacier Cherry Gatorade. You could also use milk for the white.

They really isn't mention of much food in Magic The Gathering, so Bean just came up with some terms for most of it.

Elven Fare for the veggies, because elves, as we all know, are vegetarian.

Faerie Flakes & Faerie Butter for chips and dip

Dragon Scales & Dragon's Breath for Chips and Salsa

Being just a few days after Eater, I picked up these marshmallow eggs for 50 cents a dozen to be Dragon Eggs.

Sloppy Joe Sliders were Gobin Gook

Colorless Mana in MTG is gray. Bean had the idea to use my Grey Stuff for this. Instead of making it all with heavy cream though, I used french vanilla pudding mix and crushed Oreos instead. It was a lot of fun to see the guests faces go from "EW" upon looking at it to "OOH!!" when they found out it was pudding and Oreos.

In MTG, Multicolor Mana is also known as Gold Mana. I did a display of this

Marshmallows dipped in candy melts, pretzel rods drizzled with candy melts, and cupcakes were done in this style- Dr. Seuss Cupcakes.

I made all the food signs in photoshop, easy peasy.

For the rest of the party, they just did a Magic The Gathering Tournament bracket. The winner won a stein I etched (again, forgot photo) that had all the MTG symbols and ARCHMAGE on it, along with some packs of cards.

It was a good night, and Bean had a great 18th birthday party!

I hope this inspires someone to throw their own Magic The Gathering party.

What party ideas would you like to see? Let me know in comments.


Thursday, April 9, 2015

{ Reese's Cake }

Today is my Bean's 18th birthday. As ridiculous as that sounds, it is, in fact, true.

Last week I was reading the book Hyperbole and a Half  (so funny. SO. FUNNY. Also, a little sad, but mostly FUNNY. You should totally read it.) by Allie Brosh from the blog of the same name. One of the chapters was called God of Cake, and it seemed only fitting to talk about today.

You see, Bean loves cake.

Here is a peek at God of Cake:

drawings property of Hyperbole and a Half

God of Cake is actually a post she has online too. For the love of all that is good and holy GO READ IT NOW. DO IT. I'll wait here.

Ok, now that you are back, let me share this.

Instead of being his grandpa's cake, like in Allie's story, it was his dad's. Instead of being 4 like Allie, he was 3.

I caught him in his playroom with the entire cake, fork in hand. Yeah, that happened.

See the chocolate up on his forehead? #Cakeprobs. Major ones.

Since he's making a silly smooshy face, I have to show you a couple more adorable photos from the same age, then I'll get to the Reese's Cake at hand.

I mean, look at that. LOOK AT THAT FACE. Could I stay mad? Definitely not.

The boy loves cake, big time. He also loves Reese's. All things Reese's.

This cake involves most all things Reese's!

This is a 3 tier (6") chocolate cake. Between the layers is not only peanut butter buttercream, but a hardy sprinkling of Reese's Pieces. The outside is coated in more peanut butter buttercream, a deep chocolate glaze, and topped with Reese's Pieces and chopped up Reese's Cups.

I made the 18 out of one Reese's Stick & two Reese's Cups with the centers cut out which I put together with a bit of melted chocolate. It wasn't super neat and I fussed over it a lot, but didn't have time to fix it, so- there it is.

We celebrated his birthday with family on Easter. This cake was wildly popular!

Stay tuned, I'll be posting his birthday party (which takes place Saturday) sometime in the next week or so.

For now, I'll leave you with this, my adult child.

Quit it. No really, stop it now. Sigh.



Happy Birthday, Bean. You'll always be my baby. Momma loves ya ten thousand tons.


Reese's Cake
by Tina @ Sugar Bean Bakers

For the cake, I used this recipe:

Chocolate Cupcakes

I used the above recipe from Bakingdom
I used three 6" pans, but you can also use two 8" pans instead.

Peanut Butter Buttercream

2 sticks (1 cup) butter (softened, but still cold, not room temp)
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 Cup to 3/4 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
pinch of salt

Whip the softened butter in the mixer until fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, salt. Add milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you reach a nice consistency. I normally use about 4. Beat until smooth. Start by adding 1/2 cup peanut butter- add more to taste. 

Chocolate Glaze

4 Tablespoons of Butter
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Cup Confectioners Sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-3 Tablespoons HOT water

Melt the butter
Whisk in the cocoa, sugar and vanilla.
Add 2 tablespoons water. If it’s not enough, add the 3rd.
This should be runny, but thick enough to fully coat your spoon.

To Assemble:

Spread peanut butter buttercream between layers, sprinkle with Reese's Pieces

Frost outside of cake with peanut butter buttercream. After this, I place my cake in the fridge to chill for about 30 minutes.

Make chocolate glaze. After cake is chilled, glaze over cake. Top with chopped Reese's Cups and Reese's Pieces. Garnish with Reese's Pieces. Return to refrigerator.

Allow to sit out at least 30 minutes prior to serving.

Cake decor inspired by Make Bake Celebrate.

Friday, April 3, 2015

{ Disney World Inspired Recipe: The Grey Stuff }

"Ma chère mademoiselle. It is with deepest pride and greatest pleasure that we welcome you tonight. And now, we invite to relax, let us pull up a chair, as the dining room proudly presents... your dinner."  -Lumière

As I mentioned in my last post, one of my favorite things we did at Magic Kingdom was take in dessert at Be Our Guest restaurant. It is situated under the Beast's castle and is just so much fun.

We all (except Bean) chose a Master's Cupcake for our desserts. During lunch hours you can only get The Grey Stuff on top of a cupcake. If you go to dinner you can order just The Grey Stuff. It comes on a plate proclaiming, "Try the Grey Stuff!". The Master's Cupcake, however, is lovely. Not only does The Grey Stuff top it, the center is filled with it too. That's a GOOD thing. It's pretty delicious, right, Lumière?

It's a creamy, whipped, cookies and cream panna cotta, and it is divine! It's light and airy. Not too sweet, it's just delish.

Here's what the cupcake looked like.

The serving at night looks the same, sans the cupcake. Just a swirl of grey on your plate.

I'd of been perfectly happy without the cupcake, personally!

I've seen a lot of recipes for The Grey Stuff using pudding mix and Cool Whip. This is a true Panna Cotta recipe & I think you will be very surprised just how easy it is.

Making this should take you under 10 minutes not including chill time.

While quick and oh, so easy, Panna Cotta is a very decadent dessert consisting of nearly all heavy cream (so you know it's got to be good!). Give it a try. You won't need to ask the dishes either!

This is easily thick enough to top a cupcake. I did make this twice, once with half heavy cream and half 1/2 and 1/2. While I actually liked this flavor a little better, it wasn't thick enough to pipe. If you are going to serve it in a dish (and not try to unmold it like you would a panna cotta), it it great!

If you want to pipe it or unmold it, I suggest using all heavy cream.

As I'm sure Lumière would say- "C'est Magnifique!"

Ta for now,

To find out more about Be Our Guest and New Fantasyland, see my post here: New Fantasyland & Festival of Fantasy Parade.

The Grey Stuff
by Tina @ Sugar Bean Bakers

2 cups heavy cream*
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 packet unflavored gelatin
3 Tablespoons cold water
1 cup chocolate sandwich cookies (re: Oreos)- finely crushed
Sugar Pearls, optional.

Place 3 Tablespoons water in a large bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over and allow to 'bloom' for 5-10 minutes.

In a heavy saucepan, add 1/4 cup sugar to 2 cups heavy cream. Allow to heat until sugar is dissolved, but do not boil.

Once sugar has dissolved, remove from heat and add vanilla extract.

Pour the warm mixture over the gelatin and stir until dissolved.

Add crushed cookies to mixture and stir well.

Chill for at least 4 hours.

The cookies will fall to the bottom and create a sort of crust. You will need to stir the panna cotta create The Grey Stuff look. I used a whisk for a couple minutes. Return to fridge for 30 minutes. Pipe onto plates just before serving and garnish with sugar pearls.

*for a looser set (not for piping), use 1 cup Half and Half and 1 cup heavy cream. Serve in bowls.

Adapted from David Lebovitz


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