Pink Wings

Ghostbusters Candy Bar Tartlets

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BTSSpirit #CollectiveBias

Okay, so who has seen Ghostbusters?? I've been dying to see it! And that is saying something, because I don't often get excited for movies, but I just love every single one of those funny ladies. Hubby just got home today finally, so tomorrow may be my chance!

You know, the one good thing about hubby being gone so often is the welcome home celebrations. I love the excitement of prepping the house and putting together a welcome home meal for my hubby's return. The special treat I made this time around was these Ghostbusters candy bar tartlets. They make me happy because they are two things that I love most: easy and delicious. They make a perfect welcome-home treat or even after-school treat because they are quick. Imagine coming home from school to these tartlets and then celebrating a week of hard work with a trip to the see the movie. That's the kind of cool mom I want to be. For now, hopefully I'm a cool wife.

For this recipe the MARS Mixed Mini Variety Pack worked best. The cute tartlets are quite small, so the mini candies fit perfectly. And in the photos you'll see I used a green whipped cream for the bottom of the ghosts, but in retrospect decided it wasn't necessary, so I left it out of the recipe. I like things simple. While at Walmart I also grabbed the MARS mixed chocolate fun sized variety pack, those will work great for this recipe as well. And my hubby's favorite, M&M's® Peanut Butter. I meant to use them for a couple tartlets but ended up just munching on them, oops. Also look for the M&M's® Milk Chocolate bottles at Walmart, they will have Ghostbusters themed ones along with coupons for 75 cents off.

If you've seen the movie, tell me what you thought of it below (but no spoilers)! If not, grab some candy, bake these tartlets, and make a night of it like me.

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Ghostbusters Candy Bar Tartlets
Makes 12 tartlets

  • 12 mini pie crusts (2 packages)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 12 oz. milk chocolate, chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • Mars Mixed Mini variety pack candy bars, sliced
  • fresh whipped cream
  • black gel food coloring

Directions:

Preheat oven to 250F.

In a saucepan, combine the heavy cream and milk. Bring to a boil. Turn off heat and add the chopped chocolate. Let sit for 5 minutes, then whisk gently until completely smooth.

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and egg yolk. While still whisking, gradually pour in about 1/2 cup of the chocolate cream. Then pour the egg mixture into the chocolate and whisk until combined.

Place the tartlet crusts on a baking pan and fill each with a sliced candy bar. Cover with the chocolate cream. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the edges are set and the middle is jiggly. Let cool on a rack for about 10 minutes, then place in the fridge until ready to serve.

Just before serving, top with whipped cream: place a few generous spoonfuls of the cream into a small bowl and mix with black gel food coloring. Pipe your white whipped cream onto your tartlets using a large round pastry tip. Then use a small (such as #2 or #3) round tip to pipe the black cream, making ghost faces. Enjoy!


Filling recipe adapted from HERE



Backpacking Food Essentials, Tips + Sweepstakes

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #KingOfFlavor #CollectiveBias

If you follow me on Instagram you may have noticed that the hubs and I have been pretty obsessed with camping and backpacking lately. They're hobbies that are here to stay, so over the past few months we've gradually invested in all the equipment we need, and have been enjoying the outdoors every chance we get. Hubby has vast experience with backpacking and all things outdoors, but me not so much. So he teaches me a few things here and there, and we learn along the way together.

For example, on our first backpacking trip as we were eating dinner, we commented on it being a tad bland and lamented not thinking to bring hot sauce. On our second trip we remembered, and packed some in small (tiny, really) sauce containers meant for bentos, but of course it wasn't nearly enough. Soooo...on this last trip we finally got it right! We brought along perfect little portable bottles of El Yucateco® hot sauce and were never wanting for flavor. I was especially glad to have them this trip because we visited Point Reyes National Seashore just north of San Francisco, and the area is famous for oysters. We decided to start our trip with a lunch of fresh oysters, and our hot sauces came in very handy. Hubby jokes that "true oyster connoisseurs" can enjoy the flavor and texture of an un-garnished oyster, but...I am definitely no oyster expert and I need to douse those things in sauce to fully enjoy them.

For today's post, I documented some of our backpacking experience(s) and am sharing my backpacking food essentials and tips. Obviously the key with backpacking is to make your bag as light as possible. You definitely don't want to short yourself on food - you need plenty of energy for the hiking - so you need to find a good balance. One of my favorite tips is what I mentioned above: hot sauce. At a minimum, just one portable bottle of hot sauce is key to bring flavor to all of your meals. We use freeze-dried meals, so all you have to do is add water and hot sauce, and voila: meal's ready. Super easy meal, and it makes things real easy on your back too. Check out the rest of my tips and backpacking essentials below.

These El Yucateco® sauces are yum and have a great flavor to them. I used the Red Habanero Hot Sauce, Green Habanero Hot Sauce, and Black Label Reserve Hot Sauce. El Yucateco® is the #1 consumer choice. It is a fun flavorful brand that people love and make a part of their every day life. I carry mine in my backpack when camping but you can throw them in your purse as they're great to bring to a friends BBQ or favorite restaurant, the options are endless. The El Yucateco® Red Habanero Hot Sauce is made with fresh red habanero peppers, tomato, and select spices and seasonings. It is the perfect "all purpose" sauce. And the El Yucateco® Green Habanero Hot Sauce has fresh green habanero peppers, garlic, select spices and seasonings. Another thing that sticks out about these is that they use significantly less vinegar than other sauces, which lets you enjoy the flavor of the pepper better. They sell them all over, but I grabbed mine at Walmart in the Mexican section. You really can't go wrong with these; they are especially great for outdoor adventures because of their small, portable size and versatility.

What are your guys' favorite outdoor activities? You can check out some great outdoor recipes and more ways El Yucateco® fits into your adventures HERE. And check out their sweepstakes just below! They're giving you a chance to win one-of-a-kind custom designed surfboard, camping packages, and more! Definitely don't forget to enter:


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Our Backpacking Essentials:

1. Apple Cinnamon Rice Crackers: they are light, and so good with peanut butter.
2. Peanut Butter Packets: high in protein, and makes everything taste better. We love them with the rice crackers, apple chips, and sandwich cookies.
3. Dried Mangoes: sweet snacks that give you nutrition and energy. I recommend getting unsweetened ones.

4. Banana Chips: these make the best munchies. Look for ones that are not fried in oil.
5. El Yucateco® hot sauces: these are portable all-purpose taste-improvers. They're a necessity for every meal.
6. Brownie Chips: we like to bring these or sandwich cookies for a sweet treat at the end of the day.

7+8. Freeze-dried meals: you won't find a lighter, more convenient meal for backpacking. Just add boiling water and hot sauce.

TIPS:
*Bring a water bottle that has measuring lines on the side. That way when it comes time to make your freeze-dried meal you can pour the right amount! We normally bring one camel back for our main water source, one water bottle, and a water purifier to refill them the next day.
*Keep an all-purpose knife on hand and use it to cut the tops off of your freeze-dried meal packets after they're cooked. They'll be easier to eat because you won't be reaching your whole arm in to get to the bottom.
*Bring hand wipes and sanitizer for easy cleanups.


Strawberry Shortcake Brownies

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and it's advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #mixinmoments #CollectiveBias

A funny fact about hubby and me: in all of our married life (almost 5 years) our shelves have never once been devoid of brownie mixes. We just love them. I've never made a from-scratch brownie recipe that I loved as much as boxed ones. They're so good, and they seem to keep getting better.

For this post I tried out one of Nestle Toll House's new premium baking mixes and it is bomb-diggity guys. No artificial colors or flavors, and just the way I like my brownies: dense, moist, and suuuuper chocolate-y. As soon as I saw how thick the batter was I knew it was gonna be good.

As you can imagine, over the course of the last five years we've made a LOT of brownies. And a lot of variations on them. Some of our favorite variations are melted mint, chocolate-toffee, and I played around in my kitchen a bit to create a new favorite: strawberry shortcake. My goodness I love easy recipes that dress up well, and these brownies are so versatile. These chocolate monsters are topped with fresh stewed strawberries, crumbly topping, and of course whipped cream for a summer-y bite. I love how they turned out.

I picked up all four of their new baking mixes, so there will be more experimenting going on in my kitchen in the future. You can grab all of them at Walmart: Brownies & More with Chocolate Morsels, Brownies & More with Butterfingers, Cookies & More with Chocolate Morsels, and Cookies & More with Butterfingers. Check out some more blogger recipes HERE, and Nestle's recipes HERE. Do you guys have a favorite way to dress up your baking mixes?


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Strawberry Shortcake Brownies
Makes one 8x8 pan

Brownies:
  • 1 box NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Brownies & More Baking Mix with Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 3 Tbsp water, divided
Strawberries:
  • 1 pint strawberries, hulled and quartered + extra for garnish (opt.)
  • 2-4 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 3 Tbsp water
Topping:
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 5 Tbsp cold butter, chopped 
  • whipped cream

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325F. Grease a brownie pan or 8x8 pan and set aside.

For strawberries:
Place all ingredients into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower to med-low and let cook for 8-10 minutes. As it's cooking, taste the syrup and add more sugar if desired. You should end up with tender, intact strawberries inside of a syrup. 

For the topping:
Place all of your ingredients into a food processor. Pulse until combined. You want a coarse, crumbly texture. 

Make brownie mix according to instructions on the box, but add the chocolate morsels all at once into the batter. Pour the batter into your greased pan. Use a small strainer or slotted spoon to spread your stewed strawberries on top, reserving the syrup. Save any leftover strawberries and syrup for later. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the strawberries. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Let cool slightly. 

When ready to serve, drizzle with leftover strawberry syrup and top with whipped cream and fresh berries.



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Road Trip Mystery Boxes + Sweepstakes

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GetPackin #CollectiveBias

When I came up with my blog name it was while my hubby was in pilot training. What with constantly quizzing my hubs on his materials and holding study sessions with the other student pilots, planes pretty much ruled our lives back then. They still do, that will never change. So with that in mind, and my love for traveling, I came up with Pink Wings. Now that hubby is a full-fledged pilot, he is on the road a LOT. So when he is home, we try our best to take advantage of that time. Mostly that means: road trips!

I don't know what it is with the men in my life, but they have this irrational fear of women driving. They just have to be the ones behind the wheel. Anyone else's significant other like that? I swear I'm a great driver, promise. Lol. But anyways, because of that, hubs does 95% of the driving, which puts me in charge of the entertainment. Sometimes that means impromptu dance parties in the car, sometimes it means keeping quiet and enduring hubby's talk radio. I exhausted the three whole car games I knew a long time ago, so it was time to come up with some new ones, and I am so excited to share these road trip ideas with you!

I am calling these Road Trip Mystery Boxes! The idea is to open one box for each hour you are on the road. Each include: a yummy snack (because that is the only thing that keeps me awake on long trips), a game, and a photo challenge, which will make for a fun post-trip scrapbook! I included the print-outs for the games and photo challenges below, and the snacks are absolutely necessary because they play fun roles in the games! My snacks of choice: TRIDENT unwrapped gum, HONEY MAID TEDDY GRAHAMS, OREO cookies, and SWEDISH FISH. Make sure to look for the coupon booklets at Walmart for discounts on these products! The booklets contain coupons for RITZ Cracker Sandwiches, BELVITA Sandwich Breakfast Biscuits, SWEDISH FISH Soft & Chewy Candy 1.9 lb. bags & TRIDENT Unwrapped Gum. 

Then check out more road trip tutorials, games, and print-ables HERE, and enter the sweepstakes below! It runs through 7/24 and there are weekly prizes and a grand prize! And tell me: what are your favorite road trip traditions??


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What You Need:

1. Boxes
2. Game Printouts (Box 1, Box 2, Box 3, Box 4)
3. Camera
5. Snacks: TRIDENT Unwrapped gum, HONEY MAID TEDDY GRAHAMS, OREO Cookies, SWEDISH FISH 
6. Sticky-notes (for game 4!)



Box 1:

1. Snack: TRIDENT Unwrapped gum
2. Game: Road Trip Mad Libs
3. Photo Challenge: get a shot of everyone blowing a bubble at the same time


Box 2:

1. Snack: HONEY MAID TEDDY GRAHAMS
2. Game: Compatibility Game. Get to know your travel buddies better and start some conversations with this game.
3. Photo Challenge: Have everyone bite one limb off of a HONEY MAID TEDDY GRAHAMS and see who you are sadistically compatible with.



Box 3:

1. Snack: OREO cookies
2. Game: Word Clue Game. Have one person stick an OREO in their mouth and try to sound out a word. The first to guess correctly what they're saying wins and goes next.
3. Photo Challenge: take a photo of the different ways everyone eats their OREO cookies.



Box 4:

1. Snack: SWEDISH FISH
2. Game: Sticky Note Game. Put 10 sticky notes on everyone's head, turn on a fast song, and once it starts, try to shake off the sticky notes without using your hands. The first to finish wins.
3. Photo Challenge: get a photo of everyone playing the game.
**don't forget to pack the sticky-notes!




A Golden Birthday Celebration


Hubby flew home just in time for his birthday last week, which is always exciting because we miss so many holidays and celebrations due to his job. I have mentioned this often when I talk about hubby, but there are three foods that he loves most in this world: meat, yogurt and ice cream. So naturally I had to supply him with ice cream in lieu of a birthday cake!

The thing about hubby is that he has a very open personality. If you're close, you may find him reaching across the table and eating right off your plate. That took me some getting used to until I realized it was just his sharing character. These days we often just have a communal plate and it works well because our food preferences complement each other. I eat meat sparingly, whereas he is a carnivore, and I love veggies, but him not so much. So on any given plate he will eat most of the meat, I will eat most of the veggies, and we are both happy campers. But if there is something we both love...more often that not, he wins.

Do you guys have things that your significant other steals from you? Besides my food, my hubby likes to steal my sunglasses, my cuticle cutters and tweezers (random huh!), and my cash to use at his work's snack bar. Other things we politely "fight" over are his mom's chocolate chip cookies, the camera if we only brought one, and the laptop if we're both on the road at the same time. It's hilarious when you really think about the random things they like to "borrow" from you. Check out the "So Good He Steals It" infograph at the bottom of the post. It gave me a good chuckle because everything is sooo true of me and my hubs. We even use two separate blankets when we sleep because one will inevitably steal from the other haha.

The good thing about hubby's plate-reaching and "borrowing" is that it makes me very aware of what his likes and dislikes are, so when I want to spoil him I know just how to. For his birthday I wanted to supply him with at least one thing he wouldn't have to borrow and could have to his heart's content, so I put together this "ice cream cake." Yummy for hubby, easy for wifey, and enjoyed by all. Skinny Cow seems to be generally accepted as a female ice cream product, but my hubs loves them. They're definitely meant to be enjoyed by all, and their new chocolatey dipped ice cream sandwiches are uh-mazing guys. The perfect trifecta of ice cream, wafer cookies and chocolatey goodness. There are three delish flavors and I recommend trying them all: Vanilla Bean Dream, Ultimate Chocolate, and Creamy Caramel. Find out where to buy them near you HERE. Then check out our little birthday celebration below and tell me: what does your significant other like to steal from you?


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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.