Despicable Me ‘Minion’ Pumpkin Tutorial

The sons have always enjoyed the Despicable Me movies, and the Minions’ antics have kept them in stitches throughout all three films. The boys even made me download the game ‘Minion Rush’ onto my tablet so they can play it whenever the mood strikes. (Just don’t tell, since the older ones might get a tad embarrassed to have their secret outed, you know since they’re supposed to be to old for cartoons and all) They have a legit talking Dave and the teenagers still can’t help but pick up and play with the fart gun (remember our families four tenets? No judging please).

Minion Pumpkin 1

So when my little bit asked me to help him make a Minion ‘punkin’ for Halloween, I couldn’t say no. Never even crossed my mind. But after I’d automatically said yes, I had that ‘oh shit’ moment all Moms occasionally have at the thought of a commitment they’ve made where they’ve bitten off more than they know they can chew. I can fake it til I make it most of the time but, even on my best day, my pumpkin carving skills aren’t anywhere near up the the standard of precision required for any of the stencils and templates I googled.

But even on my worst day, I can paint. So we kicked all thought of carving to the curb, and painted ourselves a pumpkin shaped Minion. And he was adorable. But nowhere near as adorable as the youngest son’s face when he first saw our finished pumpkin.

DIY Minion Pumpkin

minion pumpkin tutorial

Pumpkin (real or fake)
Canning jar lids
Long nails
Wooden skewer, optional
Hot glue gun and glue stick
Yellow spray paint
Blue spray paint
black and brown paint, or Sharpie markers
Black pipe cleaners

Directions

  1. Paint the top half of the pumpkin with yellow paint and let dry. It’s ok if it takes more than one coat to get the desired effect. On the pumpkin pictured we used acrylic paint and did multiple coats.
    2. Paint the bottom of the pumpkin with blue paint and then allow it to dry completely. Once dry, add a second coat if desired.
  2. Minion Pumpkin 4
    3. Take a canning jar lid and pierce a hole in the center with the tip of the nail. Tap gently with a hammer if need be, to pierce.
    5. Flip the lid so that the white part is showing and insert the nail through the hole in the center, and apply a bit of hot glue to secure the head of the nail to the lid.
    6. Apply a ring of hot glue all around the inside of the silver ring and press the flipped lid firmly to it, hold for a second to seal and then set aside to completely dry.
    7. Use a skewer, or an extra nail, to pierce a hole where you would like the center of the canning lid ‘eye’ to be, keeping in mind that the eyes form the center of the face.
  3. Minion Pumpkin 3
    8. Gently push the nailed lid into the hole, being careful not to push any of the attached bits apart.
  4. 9. Paint the black straps of the goggles on both sides of the eyes.
    10. With paint or Sharpies, color in the details of the eyes (the screw will be camouflaged by the paint).
  5. Minion Pumpkin 1
    11. For the hair, use the skewer, or extra nail, to pierce holes at the top of the head and insert the pipe cleaners into the holes.
    12. Finish your pumpkin off by drawing on a mouth.

Sous Chef Sunday: Monster Tongues (Marshmallow Pinwheels)

These may look gross, especially when you consider they’re called ‘tongues’, but they taste great and the kids (especially little boys- hey snails and puppy dog tails, right?) get a huge kick out of them. They’re perfect for a spooky Halloween treat, or even as a crafty snack to accompany one of our boys favorite children’s stories, I Need My Monster. Also, a great read when you’re gearing up for Halloween with its perfect mixture of scare and flair.

Monster Tongues

But, back to our tongue in cheek treat, perfect for any little monsters you may know. I haven’t met a kid yet who didn’t love these fun treats, even the ones who squealed with equal parts disgust and delight.

And they’re e a s y, a mixture of marshmallows melted and stirred into flavored gelatin, and then is chilled in a pan before being rolled up and sliced into wiggly, giggly little pinwheels, err tongues.

Monster Tongues (Marshmallow Pinwheels)

Monster Tongues 2

1, 3 oz, package flavored jello gelatin (NOT pudding), any flavor
1/2 cup warm water
1-1/2 cups miniature marshmallows

Directions

  1. Whisk the gelatin mix and warm water together in medium microwaveable bowl. Microwave on high for about 1-1/2 minutes, then whisk again until the gelatin is completely dissolved into the water.
    2. Stir in the marshmallows. Microwave everything on high again for another minute, or until the  marshmallows are partially melted. Remove the bowl from the microwave and whisk again, this time until the marshmallows are completely melted and stirred into the gelatin mixture. Pour the gelatin mix into an 8-inch square pan sprayed with cooking spray.
    3. Refrigerate for about 45 minutes, or until set. Run a sharp knife around edges of pan to loosen the gelatin from the pan. Starting at 1 edge, roll up the layered gelatin tightly, like a jelly roll. Cut the roll into 1/2-inch slices. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve.

recipe adapted from Kraft

Butterfinger Brownie Cookies

When I was a kid, right after trick or treating on Halloween, my sisters and I would sit down in the middle of the living room floors, dump out all of our candy, take inventory, and then get down to completing the very important candy trading. You know… I’ll give you my Milky Way for your Twix Bar? There were a few candy bars that I always wanted to have in my stash, including… Butterfinger. I wanted them all. Crispety, crunchy, peanut buttery goodness covered in chocolate. I love ‘em which is why I decided they belonged in another favorite of mine…. cookies.

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These amazing buttery chock-full-of-Butterfinger cokies are suuuuper yum. Like, beyond yum. Freakishly yum. Yum, yum, yum. Risking life and limb, I had to hoard the last dozen or so just so I could take pictures of them so I could post the recipe. No one knows exactly what happened to those cookies after pictures were taken. Reports are mixed and slightly fuzzy.

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Did your kids manage to scare up way too many sweets this year? Instead of hauling all of that leftover Halloween candy into the office or hiding it in a drawer, turn it into this amazing treat. If they didn’t, or as would be my case, aren’t willing to part with their precious butterfingers, hit up the clearance Halloween candy aisle. And if they’re all out, no worries, they’re in stock through out the whole year. 😉

Butterfinger Brownie Cookies

 Butterfinger Brownie Cookies

recipe originally from Recipe Girl

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
8 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup granulated white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon All Purpose Gold Medal® Flour
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups chopped Butterfinger candy bars (7.8 ounces)- Roughly 12 fun-size bars

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with silpat mats or parchment paper.
2. Put butter and chocolate chips in a glass bowl. Microwave for 2 minutes, stir, then microwave an additional 15 to 20 seconds if needed until the mixture is melted and smooth, or melt in a double boiler.
3. Stir sugar, salt and vanilla extract into the chocolate mixture. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring until they are completely incorporated.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda, then add the flour mixture to the chocolate batter. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon. Give it all you’ve got for a good 2 to 3 minutes of mixing. The batter should be smooth and glossy and thick. If the batter is cooled off, stir in the butterfingers.
5. Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of batter onto your prepared cookie sheets- leaving about 2-inches between cookies as they’ll need space to spread out. Bake 10 to 12 minutes. They’ll spread out and puff up. You want to take them out when they’ve crackled but they’re still soft and gooey. They’ll sink and become more firm as they cool. Wait a few minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Mummy On A Stick

I love making little holiday themed treats for the sons for snack, and today they came home from school to mummies on a stick. They enjoyed the sugar rush, and they couldn’t have been any easier to make. I love how they turned out!

Aren’t these just adorable?! I can’t help but enjoy it even more when the cute treats are made with everyday products. These are made with frosted twinkes. Who doesn’t love a twinkie?! Put it on a stick, add a frosting coating and a few embellishments and BAM … a super cute Halloween treat!

Mummy on a Stick

I can’t get over it. I mean, how fun are these?

Halloween. TWINKIE. MUMMY. POPS?!

mummy on a stick 2

Son # 4 was thrilled. He got even more excited when he found out he’d be making his own.

It’s not too late to whip up a few for your own little monster(s).

mummy on a stick 3

Twinkies
plain frosting
marshmallows
edible eyes
cake pop, or lollipop, sticks

Directions

1. Place the snack cakes in the freezer for 30 minutes or as long as needed so the snack cake is firm.
2. Stick the wooden craft stick in the the snack cake at the bottom. So the snack cake will be vertical on the stick.
3. Frost the Twinkie by covering the front and sides of the snack cake in icing. If you are doing this for a class activity, give each child a paper plate and plastic knife. Have them cover their own snack cake in frosting. No need to cover the back. Just a light coat of frosting is needed
4. We used a rolling pin to flatten the stackermallows. If need be, use powdered sugar to prevent sticking. Using kitchen scissors cut the flattened marshmallow into strips (three strips per marshmallow). If kids will be making these, cut the strips for them. The marshmallow strips will be used as the “rags” of the mummy.
5. Overlap the marshmallow strips on the frosted snack cake at different angles for a wrapped look. If need be, use the icing to “glue” the marshmallows that overlap each other onto the snack cakes. Place the eyes directly on with the icing. Cover the eyes slightly with the marshmallow strips.

 

Candy Corn Layered Drinks

By this time, I’m pretty sure everybody (well, everybody on Pinterest at least) have seen the 4th of July layered drink recipes floating around the interweb. They’re fun, they’re easy, and the little guys and gals, think you’re a bad-a**, magic wielding Mama when you whip em out at your backyard barbecue. This year, we thought Halloween might want in on a little bit of the action. The drinks couldn’t be any simpler to make and the whole thing revolves around the simplest of scientific terms: density. The more sugar in a liquid, the ‘denser’ it is. By halving the sugar content of layers two and three, we created pretty little (educational) layers. The sons know by now, even if it’s fun, if there’s an opening for any kind of teachable moment, I’m all over it.

Back to the drink though…

Candy corn is a Halloween staple, and though some people love it or hate it, I think everyone can and will enjoy these layered candy corn drinks. The sons got a tickle out of them, especially the younger two. It was also pretty neat to watch the discover each different flavor. Festive and fun? That’s my kind of party.

Aaaand, speaking of parties, layered drinks can be so fun for parties, and there’s no doubt in my mind that these would be perfect for any Halloween party! Serving a crowd? Don’t have time to make multiple individual servings? Follow the same recipe, but make it in a punch jar instead of a glass.

The layers are easily seen up close and personal, but if you really want them to stand out, especially the white top layer, use less yellow and more white.

Candy Corn Layered Drinks

 Candy Corn Layered Drinks

recipe originally from High Heels & Grills

Ice
1/3 part Crush (store brands work as long as the sugar content is just as high) orange soda
1/3 part yellow Gatorade
1/3 part zero calorie lemonade Vitamin Water

Directions

1. Fill your cup/pitcher/whatever you are using up to the very top with ice.
2. Pour the orange soda in first until you’ve filled about 1/3 of your glass.
3. Next, slowly pour the Gatorade directly on top of the ice and let it trickle down on top of the orange soda until it fills 2/3 of your glass*.
4. Finally, slowly pour the lemonade on top of the ice and let it trickle down on top of the Gatorade.

*Do not stir the liquids or this won’t work.

Sous Chef Sunday: Candy Corn Fruit Parfaits

I know, I know, there’s nothing at all healthy about the typical little candy corns I love to over indulge int, but here I can offset all the sugar — a little bit, anyway — with this inspired parfait. The sons have been asking for this all week, for dessert! And any day I can pass off fruit as a delicious dessert, that they actually RE-request, is a great day. And I know there’s those crazies (kidding!) out there who don’t particularly care for candy or sugary sweets. Well, this is a perfect sweet treat for them while still being able to be festive. In all honesty though, candy corn just might be our favorite Halloween treat (well, aside from those fun-size Butterfinger bars) so it makes sense that we’d be all about a candy corn-inspired confection. I mean it’s a fruit parfait that’s every bit as sweet and colorful as the real thing. The best part: they’re super easy to scare up!

Note to self: Monitor the sons when there’s a ratio involved between the fruit portion and the sugary one! They went a little cool-whip happy 😉

Candy Corn Fruit Parfaits

Candy Corn Fruit Parfait

1 cup pineapple chunks in 100% juice (I used 1 Dole fruit cup)
1 cup Mandarin oranges in 100% juice (I used 1 Dole fruit cup)
1 small container of non-fat Cool Whip
2 small bowls or cups to assemble parfaits

Directions

1. Strain the pineapples and Mandarin oranges. Spoon half of the pineapple chunks into the bottom of the dish, creating a solid layer.
2. Spoon half of the Mandarin oranges on top of the pineapples.
3. Top with a dollop (obviously the sons and I need to re-visit that definition), or two, of Cool Whip

Mummy Dogs

I love seeing the look on the littlest son’s face when I make him ‘fun’ food. Holidays provide the ultimate opportunity to surprise him. Still, sometimes I just don’t have the time, or the energy, but these Mummy dogs are so simple and quick. From start to finish it took less than 20 minutes. Add some fun to your Halloween lunch or dinner with this adorable idea.

4 Sons 'R' Us: Mummy Dogs

recipe adapted from Pillsbury

  • 1 can Pillsbury crescent rolls, or homemade crescent roll dough
  • 2 1/2 slices American cheese, quartered (optional)
  • 10 large hot dogs
  • cooking spray
  • mustard or ketchup

Directions

  1. If using Pillsbury crescent roll dough, unroll the dough sheet. Press together at the perforations to seal it into one large rectangle.
  2. Cut the rectangle into ten ‘bandages’. Stretch the bandages a bit to elongate them.
  3. Wrap one bandage around one hot dog and 1 quarter of cheese. Repeat for each hot dog.
  4. About 1/2 inch from one end of each hot dog, separate the ‘bandages’ so that the hot dog shows through for it’s ‘face.’ On an ungreased baking sheet, place wrapped hot dogs (cheese side down).
  5. Spray the dough lightly with cooking spray. Bake at 375 for 13 to 17 minutes or until the dough is light golden brown and the hot dogs are hot.
  6. With mustard, draw features on the ‘face.’

I’ve Got My Eye On You: The Eyeball Pumpkin

After over-seeing the cleaning and carving of the sons’ four huge pumpkins, I didn’t want to see anymore pumpkin guts. It looked like I’d been through a war, like I had personally massacred an entire pumpkin patch. It was a mess! But, we all had a blast, so all the debris was worth it. For my pumpkins, I decided to hit up Pinterest and find something equally creative, but less invasive, to do. When I saw the idea for the eyeball pumpkin, I knew I’d found ‘the one’.

This pumpkin is really easy to make and didn’t require any kind of template. I ‘eyeballed’ the different sections as I painted. All the neighbors have loved the giant ‘eye’, and the sons got a tickle out of it since I’m always reminding them that I do, in fact, have my eye on them!

4 Sons 'R' Us: The Eyeball Pumpkin

  • 1 medium-large pumpkin
  • acrylic paint: black, light blue, white, and red
  • paint brushes
  • paper plate or other flat disposable surface to squirt paint out onto

Directions

  1. Using warm,  soapy water thoroughly wash the outside of your pumpkin gently scrubbing to remove and dirt or mud.
  2. Begin by painting the outside of the pumpkin white. ‘Eyeball’ the top of your pumpkin and stop when you’ve reached the area where you’d like iris to start.
  3. Here is our pumpkin drying after its second coat of white paint. It’s upside down which is why you can’t see the iris/pupil area. I painted the bottom so that when I set it on our porch I could sit it on it’s side.

4 Sons 'R' Us

4. After your pumpkin has completely dried begin painting the blue iris. Again, stop painting when you reach the area where you’d like the pupil to begin. My iris was a little over 2 inches wide. Let dry. If needed apply a second coat and let dry.

5. Paint the remaining circle of unpainted pumpkin black for the pupil, including painting the stem. Allow to dry completely.

4 Sons 'R' Us: The Eyeball Pumpkin

6. Now you’re ready to get to the veins. Eew! But, man does it look cool. Paint red veins along the pumpkins natural segments. You can paint every segment, or alternate if your pumpkin has a ton of them, all close together.

4 Sons 'R' Us: The Eyeball Pumpkin

Voila! You now have a cool, creepy eyeball.