Tobins' Tastes: 2018

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Birthday Party

A Not So Scary Party for an October birthday. We combined his love of Disney & Halloween for the perfect spooktacular celebration. Scroll down for links to mentioned items.

I cannot believe my big boy is three! The past few months Easton has taken his love of all things Halloween and Disney to a new level (which might have something to do with him seeing the Halloween decorations up at Magic Kingdom while it was still August). So when I asked him what kind of party he wanted for his third birthday he told me a "Spooky Mickey Party". While it might seem random to some, Easton has been watching the Haunted Monster Musical episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on repeat since June so I wasn't surprised in the least bit.

I've always been a sucker for a good theme and I may or may not have gone a little bit overboard when it came to planning his party. I had to talk myself off the Amazon ledge a few times to keep myself from ordering 10 foot tall Mickey Halloween inflatables.

We went with an afternoon party and served light finger foods including Mickey Chicken Nuggets, Spooky Spinach Dip, Peanut Butter & Jelly Bones and a haunted cheese platter. I used my Sharpie skills to turn mandarin orange cups into pumpkins which served as both a snack for the kids and a great table decoration.

I decided to go with the traditional Not So Scary colorway using black, orange, neon green and purple for most of our decorations and tableware. There is a real lack Disney branded Halloween party supplies so I mostly stuck with solid colors or basic seasonal decor with small Mickey accents where I could. I used a black plastic table cloth to cover up our usual dining room canvas to create the perfect backdrop for additional party decorations.

For Easton's cake, I did go all out and ordered a custom sprinkle mix made to match the Magic Kingdom's Not So Scary Halloween Party theme and I'm pretty sure it was the best $8 I've spent in a long time. His cupcakes were from Sam's Club and I just had them made with the solid colored icing and added my own Wilton sprinkle mix when I picked them up.

I wanted something simple looking for the boys' outfits so I ordered them solid black shirts off Amazon and then ironed on Mickey pumpkin patches and paired them with shorts from our favorite- June & January.

I set out some basic Halloween crafts for the kids to do on the back porch and had a color your own "Club Candy Corn" cardboard haunted play house for them as well. These cardboard play houses have become a bit of a tradition at our parties and the kids never seem to tire of playing with them. For favors I was able to find the perfect Disney Halloween sticker books at Micheal's for each kid to take home with them.

A huge thank you to my aunt, Maria, for making Easton's birthday banner and name sign. And to Justin for putting up with my party insanity and not asking questions when I gave him a list of things I wanted to do for the party.

Boys' Outfits:
Wasabi shorts: June & January (get 20% off your first order!)
Iron on patches: Ebay

Custom sprinkle mix on the cake: Sweet Treat Stencils

Decorations & Tableware
Glitter pumpkin stack
Halloween sectional party trays
Halloween Napkins
Table coverings
Solid colored tableware
Beverage tub: Target past season

Mickey Chicken Nuggets: Sam's Club
Cupcakes: Sam's Club
Halloween food picks
Bone cookie cutter

Playhouse and crafts: Micheal's in store only

Some of the above may be affiliate links. Nothing in the contents of this post was sponsored. All opinions and ideas are always my own. 

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Cookies

 These Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Cookies are the perfect thing to ease you into Thanksgiving overload. Light, fluffy, sweet and just a hint of pumpkin- it's just enough fall to get you through until October rolls around. 

Do you have pumpkin whiplash yet? I know I do. I can barely open my laptop or turn on my iPad without being smacked in the face with pumpkin overload. Pumpkin Spice Lattes, Pumpkin Cupcakes, Pumpkin Candles: I have even seen Pumpkin Twinkies on Pinterest.

Whatever happen to easing into the holidays? It's still 85 degrees out. We plan on going in the pool this weekend. I can't start eating pumpkin pie right now. I want to get into the seasonal spirit but I can't justify opening a can of pumpkin puree just yet. So I made you a pumpkin spice fill in the blank dessert with just a hint of the good stuff.

When I saw this Limited Edition Philadelphia Pumpkin Cream Cheese I knew exactly what I would be making with it. Seriously, stock up on this stuff. It is like crack. I want to spread it on everything, no really, everything. And now that I have tried it, I have visions of frostings, bagels, donuts, breakfast foods and more. I am pretty sure I will be buying this about 957 times between now and late November.

It has a distinct pumpkin taste on its own but once you add it to chocolate chip cookie recipe you have a heavenly cloud of subtle pumpkin goodness. These cookies are just what the doctor ordered when it comes to curing your holiday themed food hangover.

Because really, it's not even October yet. And if Pinterest keeps it up with the pumpkin madness, I highly doubt anyone in my family will feel like a pumpkin spice anything by the time we finally make it to Thanksgiving dinner. So make these cookies and give your taste buds (and your can opener) a little break.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Cookies
  • 10 tablespoons of butter
  • 8oz. of Philadelphia Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup of chocolate chips
1.) Beat together butter, cream cheese, egg, sugar and vanilla until smooth.

2.) Mix together the rest of the dry ingredients (except chocolate chips).

3.) Slowly add and beat in dry ingredients mixing only until fully incorporated. 

4.) Stir in chocolate chips.

5.) Using a rounded cookie scoop, place scoops of dough onto a lined cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. 


Need more pumpkin in your life? Check our my Pumpkin Desserts Round Up for 40+ more recipes!

Friday, September 7, 2018

Snickers Bar Fudge

Easy three ingredient Snickers Bar Fudge- the perfect game day treat!

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Football season is a big deal in our family. With college football gearing up, we are already planning where we will be watching Notre Dame games this year. To say my family is a bunch of avid Notre Dame fans would be an understatement. 

We are third generation, brainwashed from birth, came home from the hospital in a leprechaun outfit, not allowed to get married during football season obsessed. As a kid we knew that football Saturdays were sacred and now as adults, our family members each pick a game to host a game watch for and the entire family plus friends we force to watch have converted make Notre Dame games the highlight of our Saturdays.

Something almost as important to my family as Notre Dame football would be dessert. It is not a game watch without a least a few different types of desserts. We usually all eat during halftime with dessert served after the meal, but in our family people have been known to sneak into the kitchen and steal desserts well before meal time. 

And when the game is over, my family also likes to fight over politely discuss who gets to take home the leftover desserts. And with 10-25 people in attendance at every game watch, we need a lot of desserts. 

With the happiness and mental stability of multiple family members on the line (especially when the game gets stressful or goes badly, which with Notre Dame is always a very real possibility), I try to plan ahead an provide plenty of dessert options when it's our turn to host. With as much dessert as we make in this house, those will be gone faster than you think. 

When it comes to game day desserts, I need recipes that can be made ahead of time and eaten while standing around the tv screaming at the refs. I am always looking for treats that are easy to make and easy to clean up after, especially since I have a few family members who tend to get a little heated during a game (here's looking at you Dad).  These two recipes more than fit the bill. 

This Snickers Bar Fudge is the perfect hand held dessert. I make it the night before and the morning of the game I cut it into squares and leave it already arranged on a plate in the fridge to pull out at half time. It needs no utensils and guests don't even need a plate (although if they used a napkin that would be nice). The chopped pieces of Snickers Bar sort of melt into the fudge when they are first mixed together so every bite has a little bit of gooey caramel and creamy nougat. The peanuts add a little crunch and with only three total ingredients, you can't find a much easier recipe to make. 

Have a family member who's not that into chocolate (that doesn't exist in my family but maybe yours is different)? Candy Bar Trifles are just the thing. I let my guests "do it themselves" on these. I just put out plastic cups, cake pieces, whipped cream and candy pieces and them them make their own.These can be eaten anywhere and with a plastic cup and plastic utensils, people can just throw them away when they are done which means no extra dishes for me. 

The only thing I will have to worry about with these desserts is if I made enough for everyone to not only eat during the game but to take home with them afterwards too. Unless my aunt decides to do one of her cheerleading jumps with a dessert in her hand, then I might need to worry about my carpet too. What your family doesn't randomly recreate cheerleading scenes from 1979 in your living room during intense plays? No? Just us? Maybe if you focus on the dessert photos you will be able to forget I said that. All family weirdness aside, here's hoping for a successful and not so stressful football season with plenty of desserts. GO IRISH! 

Snickers Bar Fudge
  • 3 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups of chopped Snickers Bars

1.) In a saucepan or in a double boiler combine the chocolate chips and the condensed milk. 

2.) Stir on medium heat until chocolate chips are completely melted and combined. 

3.) Turn off the heat and pour half of the mixture into a 9x9 pan lined with tin foil. Scatter the about a cup of the chopped Snickers Bar over the first layer of fudge.

4.) Top with the second cup of chopped Snickers. You may need to press them down into the fudge so that they stick. 

5.) Refrigerate overnight or for at least 8 hours. 

6.) Pull the foil edges up and use the foil to remove the fudge from the pan. Cut into squares to serve. Be sure to store leftover fudge in the fridge so it doesn't get melty. 

Candy Bar Trifles
  • 1 inch pieces of cake, I used yellow cake but you can use any type you like
  • Whipped Cream
  • variety of chopped candies, I used Milky Ways, Snickers, 3 Musketeers, Twix and M&M's
1.) In a small cup, layer cake pieces, whipped cream, candy and more cake pieces. Top with more whipped cream and crushed candy. Enjoy!

Happy Game Day!
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