How to make edible Minecraft dirt and grass blocks

Hello, friends! Recently, I threw a Minecraft birthday party for my son, featuring dirt and grass blocks made from crispy cereal. Here is the recipe for those treats, which were delicious, and which scored highly on the Minecraft cred scale with the kids. Enjoy!

Minecraft treat ingredients

Minecraft treat ingredients

Ingredients

1/2 stick margarine

Large box of chocolate Rice Krispies or Cocoa Pebbles (about 8 cups, I think)

2 regular-sized bags of small marshmallows

1/4 cup corn syrup

1/2 cup chocolate chips

green icing in a can

green sugar sprinkles

chocolate sprinkles

Pam or other cooking oil spray

13 x 9 inch cake pan

Dirt blocks without frosting.

Dirt blocks without frosting.

Instructions

In a large nonstick pot, melt the margarine and marshmallows over medium-low heat, stirring so the marshmallows don’t burn. Mix in the corn syrup and keep stirring. Once the mixture is smooth, turn off the heat and stir in the chocolate chips until they’re completely melted and combined.

Add most of the cereal and fold it into the marshmallow mixture. I think I used about 8-10 cups of the cereal, which ended up being the whole box. You want the treats to be chewy, but not so squishy that they won’t hold a cube shape.

Grease the cake pan by rubbing the margarine wrapper all over the inside of the pan, or spray with Pam. Then pour the cereal mixture into the pan and spread it out evenly. It might help to spray some Pam onto your spoon or spatula, and use that to pack the mixture down into the pan. You want to press it down pretty well so there aren’t any big air pockets.

Allow the “cake” to cool to room temperature.

One Minecraft dirt and grass block.

One Minecraft dirt and grass block.

Decorating the treats

Place a cutting board over the top of the cake pan. Hold it in place and flip the whole thing over. Set it on the counter and tap on the bottom of the pan until the whole thing falls out onto the cutting board. Remove the cake pan and use a knife to cut the treats into squares/cubes.

Use your fingers to squeeze the treats into cube shapes and then roll the sides into the chocolate sprinkles. Don’t put sprinkles on the top of the cubes, because we’re going to put frosting on that part.

Use the green icing with the serrated tip (it looks like zig-zags) to make pointy tufts of frosting on top, to look like grass. Sprinkle some of the green sugar on top of the frosting for a little extra sparkle.

Arrange the finished blocks on a plate or tray, and add Creeper face picks if you want to (get free Creeper printables here).

I hope you enjoy these treats. I posted the recipe the way I made them, which was without a recipe, so that’s why the measurements are approximations. Cheers!

Minecraft Birthday Party

Minecraft partyMy middle son just turned twelve, and we had a Minecraft birthday party for him. He chose the theme, and set up the LAN game for his friends. My part in the celebration was to provide Minecraft decorations and treats. Challenge accepted!

First of all, let me admit that I’m not a super-crafty “Pinterest” mom who does this kind of thing very often. But since this boy didn’t get a birthday party last year, I felt like making a bit more effort for him this time. The project ended up being really fun, and he was excited about the results.

Since I had to search and gather the elements for these crafts, I figured I’d put them together to share. If anybody else wants to use them, go right ahead. I hope you enjoy these free Minecraft printables.

Minecraft Birthday Invitations

Here is the invitation I made: Blank Minecraft Printable Invitation. I found a Minecraft dirt and grass background, put a text box on top of it, and then just printed it out. I downloaded a free Minecraft font to use for the text.

Minecraft Potion Bottle Labels

minecraft-potions

These cute bottles of punch are just perfect for little Minecraft potion labels. The kids thought they were amazing! It was quite easy to make them. I found images of the different Minecraft potions, put them into rows on a page, printed it, cut it into strips, wrapped them around the bottles, and taped them together in the back.

Blue Minecraft Potion Labels
Green Minecraft Potion Labels
Purple Minecraft Potion Labels
Red Minecraft Potion Labels

Minecraft Creeper Face Cupcake Picks

Print this page of Creeper faces onto cardstock, cut the faces apart, and tape them onto toothpicks. Then poke the picks into your cupcakes or other treats.

You can also print this onto plain paper and cut strips of faces to wrap around water bottles or other drinks. The kids love “Creeper Juice.”

Minecraft Creeper Face Page

 

Those are all of the printables I made for this Minecraft party. I’ll do a separate post on how I made the dirt and grass blocks. They were cute and delicious (and gluten-free, if you’re concerned with that kind of thing). [UPDATE] Here is the recipe for the Minecraft dirt and grass treats!

Enhanced by Zemanta

Alternatives to iGoogle

igoogleI’ve been using iGoogle as my browser start page for years. It’s not that I love Google. Rather, I have something of a love/hate relationship with Google.

But iGoogle has served me well as a starting point for my browser activities. I like the combination of widgets, which allow me to see my mail, news headlines, recent Facebook updates, and local weather at a glance.

Ever since Google announced the retirement of iGoogle (effective November 1, 2013), I’ve been procrastinating the task of finding a replacement. However, since the deadline is now less than 2 months away, I’m actively searching for a new solution.

What will take the place of my iGoogle start page?

netvibesOne possibility is Netvibes. This is a customizable page with similar widgets to those available in iGoogle. Netvibes is catering to iGoogle refugees with a “simple” migration process, which involves telling you how to export your settings from iGoogle and import them into Netvibes.

Connecting to Facebook and the popular e-mail services is easy with Netvibes. Once you create your account, you can populate several dashboards to follow topics you like.

protopageThe next candidate is Protopage.com. It is another widgetized start page, but I don’t think it’s quite as user-friendly as Netvibes. For example, the social network widgets aren’t as easy to find and set up. Since I’m a social media junkie, not having Facebook immediately available as a default widget is a bit of a drawback for me.

If you don’t care about seeing your Facebook and Twitter activity on your start page, and just want to read news headlines, Protopage will probably work just fine for you.

The third possibility for me is igHome. After a quick sign-up and test drive, I think igHome is the most like iGoogle. If you’re the kind of user who doesn’t like change, you will probably like igHome.

Out of the box, it has a look and feel very similar to the familiar iGoogle default. Facebook and Twitter are included as default widgets, and it’s easy to connect to your accounts. One thing I noticed about the Twitter widget is that it contains ads. I’m not crazy about that, and may remove that widget and just use my Twitter feed manager instead.

ighomeAnother iGoogle-friendly feature is that igHome includes the familiar link bar that iGoogle has, with links to Gmail, Drive, Calendar, and other Google products. If you’re accustomed to navigating from your home page to those Google resources, you will feel right at home accessing those links from within your igHome page.

I’ll probably go with igHome for a while, since it seems the closest to what I already have with iGoogle. I’m interested in hearing what you think about the alternatives. If you have tried any other browser startpage services, please let me know.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Stress Free App Review

As a mother of three kids, my life is extremely busy these days. Now that school is back in session, I have one child in high school, one in middle school, and one in elementary school. Yes. Three kids in three different schools.

Meditation and Relaxation AppTo help me relax and sleep better, I’ve tried a few relaxation apps on my iPhone. The one I’m reviewing today is called, “Stress Free,” by Andrew Johnson.

The app is easy to use. After installation, just open it up and check on the settings. You can adjust the length of the program according to your needs. Choose whether to include the audio instructions, short or long relaxation program, how many times to repeat the program, and how to end (sleep or wake up).

Johnson has a pleasant voice, and the background sounds are soothing. I listen with headphones on when I go to bed.

The program itself consists of Andrew Johnson talking you through a relaxation progression, followed by some suggestions on how to deal with stress. Honestly, I don’t remember exactly what Johnson says during the second half of the program, because I usually fall asleep before it’s finished.

“Stress Free” is available in the Apple Store for $2.99. I’m not convinced it’s making me “stress free,” but it is helping me fall asleep peacefully, and that’s worth $2.99 to me!