Am I a Funny Girl?

Inclusive language hurts no one. #AmazonFamilyUS

AmazonFamilyUS-300x300The “Amazon Mom” program is one that saves families money; it gives discounts on some of those things, like diapers and formula, that can put a strain on a family’s budget.
Amazon Mom is a great service. For families.

Signing up for Amazon Mom involves giving them some information, and $99 (after the free trial) and nowhere do they verify that you are a mom. Because they don’t care if you’re a mom. Or a dad. Or a family.

So why is it called Amazon Mom?
This program is available in many countries; in the UK, Canada, Germany, Austria, Frace and Japan. But they call it Amazon Family there.

Why not change it to Amazon Family here as well?

Just to review:

I am a mom. I’m even an Amazon Mom, in that I’m a mom who does lots of online shopping at Amazon. Since Max outgrew diapers and formula, the family-centric benefits don’t apply to me as much as they used to, but I am and have been an Amazon Prime member for years.

Changing the name to Amazon Family impacts me in the following ways:

Oh wait.

It doesn’t.


 

This campaign for the change to Amazon Family was actually started back in 2013, by Oren Miller of A Blogger and a Father. Sadly, Oren passed away last week after a yearlong fight against lung cancer. In his memory, the parent blogger community has picked up this fight for him.

“Please sign that petition. Please. It’s not about a name and it’s not about me personally being offended and it’s not about stupid emails about yoga classes. It’s about a company that looks at the US, then looks at England, and then decides that over there, parent equals mom or dad, while here, well, we’re not ready for that yet.” -Oren Miller

It isn’t much, but it means a lot to so many.

There’s a change.org petition to Jeff Bezos, available here.

You can Tweet to @Amazon, using the hashtag #AmazonFamilyUS and share your thoughts.

Share the petition with your networks.

Because families are more than just moms.

Honey Lemon’s Chem-Ball Meringue Cookies #BigHero6Release #ad

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BigHero6Release #CollectiveBias

Honey Lemon'aChem-Ball Meringue Cookies, inspired by #BigHero6Release #ad

We have two opinions of Disney movies around here… we like them or we love them, and we LOVE Big Hero 6. Because all three of us enjoyed it so much, we were all excited to have the opportunity to celebrate the #BigHero6Release on DVD and Blu Ray last week. I was able to pick up the 2-disc collector’s edition DVD/Blu Ray of the movie at Walmart, and for a limited time, it includes a digital copy as well! Vudu makes it easy to redeem your digital copy: Simply scan your receipt using the Savings Catcher in the Walmart app, then look for a message on your phone or email.

Instore photo - #BigHero6Release#BigHero6Release Collectors Edition

Like I said, I loved Big Hero 6, but I think I loved it for different reasons than Max did… He’s a huge fan of Baymax and Hiro, and I love that the whole movie makes being smart, cool… the geeks save the day and the world, and I’m totally on board with a movie that demonstrates that to my kiddo. But the thing *I* really love? Honey Lemon and Go Go. I love that there are girls on the team, and they’re more than just window dressing or princesses.

Honey Lemon is especially my favorite; she is a girly girl all the way, in her platform heels and cute dresses, but the awesome power she has in her purse? There’s no stopping her! I appreciate that the girls are not only vital members of the team, but they get just as down and dirty as the guys do. It’s important to us that Max see this in movies, because we do want him to understand that girls are just as smart/rough/strong/anything as boys.

I headed to Walmart.com to pick up some Funko Pop figurines of Go Go and Honey Lemon, and Max was thrilled to get them, along with Baymax, all ready for battle against the microbots. I keep checking back to see when more stuff comes in, because I know that Max would love more Big Hero 6 goodies for his birthday coming up next month!

Funko Pop toys - #BigHero6Release

I surprised him with the toys, and a special snack, after school the other day, and then we all watched the movie together as a family. Keep reading to learn how to make your own Honey Lemon-inspired sweet treat!

Max at table with toys - #BigHero6Release

Honey Lemon’s philosophy in life (and science) is simple. She believes that “the world can be made into a happier, and much brighter place, through the thorough application of nature’s toolbox—chemistry!” So her purse doubles as a lab, which can make “chem-balls” of whatever material she needs in any particular situation.

My personal favorite is the pink goo she uses during the big fight scene in the movie, so we decided to make some meringue cookies to replicate Honey Lemon’s weapon of choice.

Hone Lemon Bkgd cookies up fron - #BigHero6Release

They’re deceptively easy to make, and there’s very little hands-on time involved. One trick that I’ve found is to move quickly when you’re piping them out. The texture changes a bit as it sits, so the faster you move, the better to get consistent shapes/sizes.

Because I wanted the shapes to be as simple as possible, I didn’t use a fancy piping tip, I just cut the corner off a large zip top bag and used that for my piping. The entire batch fit pretty perfectly into a large size bag, so I didn’t have to deal with refilling it or anything. (A pet peeve with trying to do pretty frosting! LOL)

5.0 from 1 reviews
Raspberry Meringue "Chem-Balls"
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 dozen
 
Ingredients
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 c. sugar
  • ½ t. Cream of Tartar
  • 1 box Jell-O (I recommend raspberry for the pink)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to lowest temperature possible. (Mine goes down to 170)
  2. Beat the egg whites in a stand mixer until stiff peaks form.
  3. Add sugar and cream of tartar, mix well.
  4. Add Jell-O powder, a little at a time, until the desired color/flavor is achieved.
  5. (I used about half a box of the 6 oz. size for these)
  6. Pipe meringues onto parchment paper-covered cookie sheet.
  7. (No need to leave space for spreading, but you don't want them to touch, either!)
  8. Bake at 170 for about 3 hours, then turn oven off and leave meringues in oven overnight to continue drying.
  9. Store in airtight container.

Meringue-Piping-#BigHero6Release

These meringues have just the right amount of sweetness for when you’re craving it, and they go great with some salty popcorn while you’re watching the movie at home.

Have you seen Big Hero 6? Which hero is YOUR favorite?

Max with toys 2 - #BigHero6Release

Malted Milk Ball Cupcakes

Whopper Malted Milk Ball Cupcakes

I love Whoppers. The crunch of the center, with just the right amount of chocolate coating. This cupcake is a simple white cake recipe that’s modified with a little kiss of malted milk flavor and the bits of crushed malted milk balls throughout.

Whopper Malted milk ball cupcake on plate

The frosting is a simple buttercream, with cocoa and malted milk powder mixed in to bring more of that delicious flavor. I don’t use a recipe for buttercream, I just use butter and powdered sugar and add flavoring to taste. I do recommend mixing the malted milk powder with a bit of milk to help keep the frosting from getting grainy.

I find that a couple of “movie theater sized” boxes of Whoppers are just the right amount for putting into and on top of the cupcakes, with a few left for sampling while you’re baking.

When it comes to smashing/chopping/shattering the Whoppers, we’ve done a bit of experimenting. The blender makes Whopper dust, a knife means you’re cutting them individually. I recommend using the flat side of a stainless scraper/chopper and the heel of your hand. A couple of good whacks will break those malt balls down the the perfect size.

Whopper malter milk ball box

Malted Milk Ball Cupcakes
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24 cupcakes
 
Ingredients
  • 2½ C. Sifted Cake Flour
  • 4 t. Baking Powder
  • ¾ t. Salt
  • 3 Egg Whites
  • 1 Whole Egg, separated
  • 1½ C. White Sugar
  • ¾ C. Butter
  • 1 C. Milk
  • ½ C. Malted Milk Powder (could use Ovaltine)
  • 1 t. Vanilla Extract
  • 1 t. Almond Extract
  • 1 C. Chopped Malt Balls (Whoppers)
Instructions
  1. Measure sifted flour, baking powder, salt and malted milk; sift together 3 times. Set aside.
  2. Beat all 4 egg whites until foamy, reserve yolk
  3. Add ½ C. sugar gradually until soft peaks form. Set aside.
  4. Cream butter with remaining 1 C. sugar until light and fluffy, add egg yolk.
  5. Add sifted ingredients alternating with milk a little at a time until smooth.
  6. Mix in extracts.
  7. Add meringue and beat thoroughly into batter.
  8. Mix chopped Whoppers into batter.
  9. Fill cupcake liners about ½ full
  10. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes

Focused whopper malted milk ball cupcake

 

Thursday #357

thursday

One year ago today, Jennifer Lynn Kranz died.

52 Thursdays that Libby and Tony should have had with their little girl, 52 Thursdays since she left. We measure a lot of things by number of Thursdays around here, and Jennifer has been gone for 52.

I invite you to take a moment; send a prayer up for Jennifer and her family, give your kids an extra hug and kiss, visit Libby’s blog.

Can you donate? How about $7, for the seven children who will die today from cancer, or $7 for the seven who will die tomorrow. Or $12, for the day Jennifer left. Or $52 for every week she has been gone. Every penny helps, as Libby and her team fight to Unravel the thread of pediatric cancer.

 

Rainbow Jello Shot Cake

Layered Rainbow Jello Shot

Just because your team isn’t playing doesn’t mean that a Super Bowl party isn’t fun! We were invited to a friend’s house for the game, and I wanted to bring something FUN to share.

For many of us, Jello shots are a fun memory from college, but this rainbow Jello shot cake takes it to a whole new level!

It’s suprisingly easy to make; this is actually the first time I’ve ever attempted any sort of layered Jello project, so I’m thrilled with the final product. Because the Niners weren’t playing, I went with a rainbow instead of team colors, but this would easily change to any colors you need to match your celebration.

A tip before I get into the instructions: I recommend buying all sugar free or all regular Jello; each type makes a different amount, so the layer end up uneven if you combine. Looking  at the photo above, you can see that there’s more yellow than other colors, and that’s because it’s non-sugar free. It still looks fine, but isn’t totally even.

rainbow jello shot cake whole

Ingredients & Materials

  • Bundt pan
  • Non-stick spray
  • Small saucepan
  • Whisk
  • Small mixing bowl
  • Sweetened condensed milk
  • Six boxes of Jello (Cherry, orange, lemon, lime, berry blue, grape)
  • Unflavored gelatin (I used about 2 packets total)
  • Clear booze of choice (I used vodka – Put it in the freezer ahead of time so it’s extra cold)

Directions

  1. Spray bundt pan with nonstick spray, then use a paper towel to wipe out the excess
  2. Put 3/4 c. water in saucepan, sprinkle 1 t. unflavored gelatin over it. Let sit 1 minute
  3. Over medium heat, stir until dissolved, about 2 minutes
  4. Add Jello, stir until dissolved, about 5 minutes
  5. Remove from heat, stir in 1/2 c. cold alcohol
  6. Pour 3/4 c. Jello mix into mold, place in fridge for 12-15 minutes
  7. Pour remaining Jello into mixing bowl, add 2 T. sweetened condensed milk for “creamy” layer
  8. Remove mold from fridge when time is up; top should be slightly tacky to the touch
  9. Pour creamy layer carefully over Jello layer. (I spooned it with a large tablespoon)
  10. Place in fridge again for 12-15 minutes
  11. Wash all utensils and repeat with the next color, continue until finished.

rainbow jello shot cake close up

To serve, put the pan into a larger container of warm water, for just a moment, until it pulls away easily from the edges of the pan. (You can see that we let ours sit too long, and the red oozed over the whole thing a little. Didn’t impact the taste at all though!

Turn over into a serving tray, slice and enjoy!

rainbow jello shot cake slice