Strawberry Nutella Sundae Funday Ice Cream Dessert Crepes

Sundae Crepes - Politics to PlayDoh

When I was in college, we had a Crepe Man at our student union who would make the most delicious crepes you’ve ever imagined.

Sweet or savory, he would load each one with all the fixin’s, and leave your mouth watering before you even got your hands on them.

I seriously still dream about those crepes.

I’ve heard he’s since been replaced with a Sweet Green salad shop (Although this Yelp page suggests otherwise, to the benefit of current students!)

Goes to show you what almost ten years of #health and #priorities will do to a place. [Sad face]

Anyway, I’ve never found a place that could replicate his dessert crepes.

That is, until my hubby and I went to Cancun last month.

We were there for a wedding at the all-inclusive Beach Palace, and on our first day we decided to scope out the venue.

As we walked outside, I glanced to the right and saw my two favorite words: Sweet & Coffee.

Sundae Crepes - Politics to PlayDoh

Yes please! I don’t know what you’re serving, friends, but sign me up!

I climbed the stairs to the little shack and discovered my favorite ever destination: A gelato, crepe, and coffee shop, all in one.

And the angels sang Alleluia.

Mystifying to me, no one else seemed to have discovered this little gem. There was never a line, if there were even other people there in the first place.

No skin off my nose, though! (Other than the stuff that peeled because of the sun. Different storyline.) More treats for me!

I made it a point to visit the Sweet & Coffee shop every day we were there.

I partook in their delicious Café du Monde-esque frappaccinos each morning, and urged the wedding party and friends to visit for delectable summer treats.

Sundae Crepes - Politics to PlayDoh

On the second day, I had a realization: This place had crepes and gelato. Together, you guys. Together.

Do you know what that means? Ice cream dessert crepes, just like the Crepe Man made!

It’s moments like these that make me glad I went to college.

To the barista’s bewilderment, and in super broken 8th grade-level Spanish, I eagerly helped assemble what would become the week’s go-to treat: Strawberry Nutella crepes with coconut gelato and caramel sauce.

You know how they say you gain 5-10 pounds when you go on a cruise or to an all-inclusive resort?

Well, because of these things, that estimate was low. Way low.

But so worth it, guys.

When I got back to Utah after the gorgeous wedding, I obviously went into withdrawal.

I mean, I had rekindled a flame that had been fizzling out for nearly a decade, right??

And then it hit me: I can make my own gelato dessert crepes!

Hashtag life changer.

And so I did. I give you…

Strawberry Nutella Sundae Funday Ice Cream Dessert Crepes

These things are so super easy to make. (Duh. I don’t do difficult.)

First, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Sundae Crepes - Politics to PlayDoh

2 eggs

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 cups flour

2 cups milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon salt

A ton of Nutella

Vanilla Talenti gelato (Or any ice cream you prefer. We did coconut and coffee in Cancun!)

Large plastic cup (The larger the better, amiright?)

Griddle or stovetop pan

 

Optional:

Strawberries

Bananas

Caramel sauce

Shredded coconut flakes

Crushed pistachio nuts

Mini chocolate chips

(Any other dessert decorations you like – The possibilities are endless!)

 

Now, you’ll want to make your crepes.

I’ve made crepes for my husband since we first started dating almost 6 years ago, so I was lucky I had this recipe in the bag.

Since the ingredients are so simple (you really only need eggs, milk, and flour…), I switch things up every time I make them — And they always come out delicious!

First, mix the dry ingredients together, followed by the wet ingredients, and then combine the two and mix again.

Sundae Crepes - Politics to PlayDoh

 

Then, pour your crepe mixture onto the griddle and smooth it into a circle using a regular or icing knife.

Sundae Crepes - Politics to PlayDoh

Once your crepes are cooked through on the griddle or pan, spread Nutella on them. And don’t skimp. Nobody puts Nutella in a corner.

Sundae Crepes - Politics to PlayDoh

Now, fold each crepe in half until the Nutella is hidden, and then fold them in half again.

Sundae Crepes - Politics to PlayDoh

(If you prefer the more traditional crepe look, you’ll want to fold them in half and then into thirds so they form one triangle. Either way works!)

Once you’ve folded your crepe, you can insert it into your cup, and let the layering begin!

To add a dash of flair, you can prep your cup by lining it with caramel sauce.

Do this by tipping it sideways and drizzling the sauce into any pattern you like as you twist the cup in a full circle. (This is also a stellar technique for milkshake glasses).

I opted for two Nutella crepes, layered with strawberries, but you do you, my friend. You do you.

At some point in your decorating, though, you’ll definitely want to make sure you add your Talenti vanilla gelato.

Wouldn’t be an ice cream dessert crepe without the ice cream!

Sundae Crepes - Politics to PlayDoh

Add just a dollop or half the pint. No one’s judging you here.

Sundae Crepes - Politics to PlayDoh

The contrast of the warm crepe and melty Nutella with the ice cold gelato will have you singing That’s Amore with every bite.

(And if you black out in bliss and wake up to find the gelato’s disappeared, go ahead and add more. You deserve it.)

Sundae Crepes - Politics to PlayDoh

Sundae Crepes - Politics to PlayDoh

And that, my friends, is how you do Sundae Funday, Crepe Man style!

What do you like to add to your dessert crepes?? Are you on Team Talenti or Team Halo Top? (i.e. Protein or Pleasure?) 😉

 

Xoxo

 

Cara

Easy Almond Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies

Easy Almond Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies - Politics to PlayDoh

 

Sometimes I’m an impulse shopper.

Unless you ask my husband. In which case “sometimes” turns into “always”.

[Shrug.]

We were in Costco the other week, and I decided I needed the 48 oz. tub of cream cheese in the dairy aisle.

Easy Almond Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies - Politics to PlayDoh

Had we bought bagels? No.

Was I making cream cheese icing? No.

Was there literally any reason for me to buy a vat of creamed cheese? Nope.

But there I was, an hour later, standing in my kitchen wondering what the heck I was doing with a military supply of dairy.

I needed a way to get rid of at least, say, half of this thing – and fast.

Immediately, I remembered my Christmas cookie fiasco where I’d accidentally used a cookie swap book to make “some” peanut butter cookies, and ended up with 300 PB treats covering my kitchen counters.

Cookies.

I shall make cookies.

So I got to work cobbling together whatever ingredients I had hanging around that also needed getting rid of.

I found the basic ingredients from a recipe online, but expanded upon and modified it to use up the list of pantry items I needed to do away with. What I came up with were delectable and Easy Almond Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies.

I then decided that our Fourth of July neighborhood parade and potluck would be the perfect excuse to make a boatload of them, so I tripled the ingredients.

This recipe will yield you about 20 cookies, but if you triple it like I did, you’ll get around 40-60 cookies, depending on how small you make them. I ended up with about 40 (after my husband and son pecked away at them).

Easy Almond Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies

First off, you’ll need your ingredients:

Easy Almond Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies - Politics to PlayDoh

4 oz cream cheese 

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter (Room temperature)

1 egg

1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 3/4 Almond flour (You can use All-Purpose if you don’t want the almond taste)

1/2 tsp Vanilla extract

3 cups granulated or cane sugar

Parchment paper

*Don’t preheat your oven yet, because once you’ve combined your ingredients, you’ll need to let the dough chill in the fridge for a bit.

 

1. Combine the butter and cream cheese until smooth

2. Add the egg, and mix until smooth

3. Fold in confectioners sugar, baking powder, and vanilla extract until mixed

4. Add flour until mixed

5. Cover and put your mixture into the fridge for 15 minutes to an hour (I’ve done both, and either works. You just want to be able to manipulate the dough without it sticking to your fingers.)

6. Preheat your oven to 375°

7. Once your dough is chilled, remove it from the fridge

8. Roll 1-inch pieces of dough in your hands until spherical in shape

9. Then, roll each ball into the granulated or cane sugar on a small plate until completely coated

Easy Almond Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies - Politics to PlayDoh

(This is also helpful if your dough begins to melt and you need to keep it from sticking to your fingers as you roll. If you coat it in sugar, it will form a barrier between the dough and your fingers.)

Easy Almond Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies - Politics to PlayDoh

10. Next, place the dough balls onto a parchment paper-lined pan, roughly 1 inch apart

 

Easy Almond Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies - Politics to PlayDoh

11. Once the pan is covered in dough balls, use a spoon to press the balls into flattened circles, creating a dip in the top upon which to layer sprinkles

Easy Almond Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies - Politics to PlayDoh

 

Easy Almond Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies - Politics to PlayDoh

12. Sprinkle granulated or cane sugar onto the tops of the dough

13. Then, add sprinkles to the impressions in the dough

Easy Almond Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies - Politics to PlayDoh

Easy Almond Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies - Politics to PlayDoh

Easy Almond Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies - Politics to PlayDoh

Easy Almond Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies - Politics to PlayDoh

Easy Almond Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies - Politics to PlayDoh

 

Easy Almond Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies - Politics to PlayDoh

14. Bake for roughly 15 minutes, or until a slight brown begins to appear on the undersides of the cookies

15. Finally, remove the cookies from the oven, let cool on the pan, and enjoy!

Easy Almond Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies - Politics to PlayDoh

Easy Almond Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies - Politics to PlayDoh

Easy Almond Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies - Politics to PlayDoh

Easy Almond Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies - Politics to PlayDoh

A fun variation I also discovered was to add your sprinkles to the dough itself before you form it into balls. This adds a pop of color to your cookie!

 

Easy Almond Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies - Politics to PlayDoh

Easy Almond Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies - Politics to PlayDoh

Easy Almond Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies - Politics to PlayDoh

What fun uses have you found for cream cheese? Also, is Costco dangerous or what??

 

xoxo

Cara

 

 

4th of July Star-Spangled Jell-O Sparkler Treats

4th of July Jell-O Sparkler Treats - Politics to PlayDoh

Post contains affiliate links.

 

How many Fourth of July BBQs have you been invited to this year? Does it seem like you scramble every year for a dessert that will wow guests with its patriotic pizzazz?

Well, have I got a surprise for you.

Remember that one time we made Red White & Blue July Fourth Jell-O Bites together?

I’m back to show you how to make those even more patriotic: Your basic Jell-O recipe, but with a star-spangled twist!

 

 

4th of July Jell-O Sparkler Treats - Politics to PlayDoh

4th of July Jell-O Sparkler Treats - Politics to PlayDoh

4th of July Jell-O Sparkler Treats - Politics to PlayDoh

If you’re really into festive Jell-O, but you like your desserts to match your décor (I’m with ya there), then 4th of July Star-Spangled Jell-O Sparkler Treats are the dessert for you!

 

4th of July Star-Spangled Jell-O Sparkler Treats

What’s great about this dessert is that it’s the exact same thing as the Red White & Blue July Fourth Jell-O Bites recipe, but you replace the cold water with cold Sprite. (Or ginger ale. Anything that sparkles!)

4th of July Jell-O Sparkler Treats - Politics to PlayDoh

 

You’ll prep and layer everything the same way.

And you’ll use the exact same ingredients (plus the ‘sparkle’), but add a small star cookie cutter to the equation. (Sometimes a simple addition can make all the difference, amiright?)

4th of July Jell-O Sparkler Treats - Politics to PlayDoh

4th of July Jell-O Sparkler Treats - Politics to PlayDoh

The steps? You guessed it! The same as the Red White & Blue Jell-O Bites recipe, too!

 

First, make your blue layer.

Boil 1 cup of water and mix it with your Jell-O contents.

Once all of the powder is dissolved, add 1 packet of Knox unflavored gelatin.

Stir until completely dissolved. (See No. 1 below).

Add 2 cups cold water to the mixture and stir until completely dissolved.

Pour into pan and refrigerate for an hour.

 

Once the first layer is set, begin making the white layer.

Combine one 14 oz. can of unsweetened condensed milk with 1 cup boiling water, and stir until smooth.

Mix the Knox gelatin with 1 cup boiling water until dissolved.

Pour cold mixture into hot mixture and stir until combined.

Allow the mixture to cool for a few minutes.

Pour white mixture onto solid blue mixture in refrigerated pan.

Refrigerate for an hour.

 

For your red layer, follow the same instructions you used for the blue layer, but use red Jell-O mix instead.

 

After your Jell-O has refrigerated for an hour or two (check it with your finger to see if it bounces back at your touch), remove it from the fridge.

Cut out star-shaped pieces using a star cookie cutter. (I use a small one because it makes for an easier and less floppy bite!)

4th of July Jell-O Sparkler Treats - Politics to PlayDoh

4th of July Jell-O Sparkler Treats - Politics to PlayDoh

Add these firecrackers to your holiday this year, and see friends and family giggle and wiggle with a little Jell-O jiggle.

After all, isn’t that what America is all about?

#America

 

xoxo

 

Cara

 

 

 

Red White & Blue July Fourth Jell-O Bites

Red White and Blue Jell-O - Politics to PlayDoh

Post contains affiliate links.

 

Jell-O Say Can You See

By the Frigidaire light

What so wiggly they dance

As they move toward my belly

 

Okay, so my word smithing isn’t what it used to be. That doesn’t mean I can’t make a mean Jell-O treat!

And you can thank your lucky stars (pun!) that I’ve got the perfect fix for your 4th of July sweet tooth.

That’s right, Red White & Blue July Fourth Jell-O Bites!

Red White and Blue 4th of July Jell-O - Politics to PlayDoh

Red White & Blue July Fourth Jell-O Bites

These little guys are super cute and festive, but even better? They look fancy as a firework, but they’re incredibly simple to make!

Begin with your ingredients:

 

1 box blue Jell-O (I use Berry Blue)

1 box red Jell-O (I use Cherry)

1 box/4 packets unflavored gelatin (I use Knox – This stuff is MAGIC)

1 can/14 oz. unsweetened condensed milk

6 cups cold water

3 cups boiling water

 

And now the easy part!

First, line your pan with plastic wrap to make removal easier at the end.

 

Then, make your blue layer.

Boil 1 cup of water and mix it with your Jell-O contents.

Once all of the powder is dissolved, add 1 packet of Knox unflavored gelatin.

Stir until completely dissolved. (See No. 1 below).

Add 2 cups cold water to the mixture and stir until completely dissolved.

Pour into pan and refrigerate for an hour.

 

Once the first layer is set, begin making the white layer.

Combine one 14 oz. can of unsweetened condensed milk with 1 cup boiling water, and stir until smooth.

Mix the Knox gelatin with 1 cup boiling water until dissolved.

Pour cold mixture into hot mixture and stir until combined.

Allow the mixture to cool for a few minutes.

Pour white mixture onto solid blue mixture in refrigerated pan.

Refrigerate for an hour.

 

For your red layer, follow the same instructions you used for the blue layer, but use red Jell-O mix instead.

 

After your Jell-O has refrigerated for an hour or two (check it with your finger to see if it bounces back at your touch), remove it from the fridge.

Slice the tray longways and shortways, and then use a spatula to remove the pieces.

And voila! You’ve got super fun (and easy) Red White and Blue 4th of July Jell-O Bites!

Red White and Blue Jell-O - Politics to PlayDoh

Red White and Blue Jell-O - Politics to PlayDoh

Red White and Blue Jell-O - Politics to PlayDoh

They also make super cute holiday gift for that 4th of July host or hostess. Just pack ’em in a mason jar and tie a patriotic ribbon around it. #Amurica

Red White and Blue Jell-O - Politics to PlayDoh

Red White and Blue Jell-O - Politics to PlayDoh

 

I’ve seen this treat made over the years, and I’ve learned the following important tips to help make your Jell-O bites come out perfect and sturdy:

  1. Make sure the Knox gelatin is completely dissolved before adding the cold water. If you add the cold water too soon, the gelatin powder will clump and you’ll end up with rock hard pieces in your smooth and wiggly Jell-O. Ain’t nobody got time for crunchy Jell-O!
  2. Add the Knox gelatin to every layer. I made this once and forgot to add it to the blue (bottom) layer, and when I lifted the squares out of the pan, the runny blue layer just melted away and I was left with a treat more appropriate for Valentine’s Day than the 4th of July.
  3. Put your pan in the fridge before you pour your liquid Jell-O into it. I don’t have to say much more to give you a visual of what it looked like with my hubby and I doing a tightrope circus routine trying to carrying a shallow pan full of scalding hot liquid gelatin Red Dye #40 across the kitchen. Red Jell-O and white rugs should never meet. Pour each layer straight into the pan as it sits on your fridge shelf. You’ll thank me, and so will your floors.
  4. Let each mixture cool a bit before you pour it onto the next layer of the pan. If you pour boiling hot liquid Jell-O onto a set layer of Jell-O, it has the potential to melt the layer underneath, resulting in disrupted lines in the final product.
  5. You can use plastic wrap on the pan or not. I tried it because I love the Ruby Technique (Great British Baking Show reference!) of pulling your dessert straight out of the pan and working from there, but it’s totally not necessary. I’d probably line the pan with some oil, though, just to keep your Jell-O from sticking.

And that’s all she wrote! America!

 

xoxo

 

Cara

DIY Golden Chic IKEA Shoe Rack

DIY Gold Chic IKEA Shoe Rack - Politics to PlayDoh

Post contains affiliate links.

You guys, this has to be one of the simplest DIY projects I’ve done to date, and it’s made one of the biggest impacts on my home’s look.

Our mudroom came with custom built-in entryway storage, but, I mean, have you seen how many shoes I have? Even though we have tons more space out here than we did in DC or Annapolis, it still somehow wasn’t enough.

So my husband and I decided to install shoe racks.

(And when I say “install,” I mean it in the loosest sense of the word possible. We wanted to place them, really.)

So we went to the first place any young couple goes when they’re looking for cheap, easy storage: IKEA!

Yes, IKEA is another one of my anti-drugs.

I mean, that place has everything. And if it doesn’t have everything, it has enough that you can DIY the rest of it.

Enter the DIY Golden Chic IKEA Shoe Rack

 

DIY Golden Chic IKEA Shoe Rack

IKEA has a number of options for shoe racks. Some are more expensive than others, and others are classier than the rest.

These days, we always err on the side of cheap.

We chose these white Bissa racks because 1. They fit up to 18 (!!) pairs of shoes, 2. They’re vertical and slim so they don’t take up a ton of room, and 3. They have that little vent at the top so our shoes aren’t marinating in their own odor.

DIY Gold Chic IKEA Shoe Rack - Politics to PlayDoh

Plus, they’re only $39.99!

As the cheapest option, these beauties are surprisingly lovely and super sturdy.

That said, I didn’t want to just plunk these guys down in my mudroom and let them gather dust. (I have a hard time being surrounded by anything that isn’t pretty… It’s a real problem. I’m working on it, but not actually.)

DIY Gold Chic IKEA Shoe Rack - Politics to PlayDoh

DIY Gold Chic IKEA Shoe Rack - Politics to PlayDoh

DIY Gold Chic IKEA Shoe Rack - Politics to PlayDoh

 

So I did what any overscheduled young mom would do: I DIYed it to my liking!

Now, this project was seriously almost too easy for words.

I literally bought these beautiful drawer pulls off of Amazon (I’d actually bought them for my kitchen, but that’s a whole other saga), and just affixed them to the front of the rack.

DIY Gold Chic IKEA Shoe Rack - Politics to PlayDoh

DIY Gold Chic IKEA Shoe Rack - Politics to PlayDoh

No lie, that’s the extent of it.

You just measure and mark equal distances on each rack, drill a hole through each mark, and then screw the pulls in with the accompanying screws.

DIY Gold Chic IKEA Shoe Rack - Politics to PlayDoh

DIY Gold Chic IKEA Shoe Rack - Politics to PlayDoh

Easy peasy, but oh so lovely!

I feel like this one tiny detail transformed the whole feel of not only just the racks, but the whole mudroom!

It feels so much classier now.

DIY Gold Chic IKEA Shoe Rack - Politics to PlayDoh

DIY Gold Chic IKEA Shoe Rack - Politics to PlayDoh

DIY Gold Chic IKEA Shoe Rack - Politics to PlayDoh

 

Are you an IKEA DIYer? (Shall we call this DIkeaY?) What’s your favorite IKEA transformation?

 

xoxo

Cara

 

Peanut Butter Maple Bacon Waffles

PB Maple Baco Waffles - Politics to PlayDoh

Post contains affiliate links.

 

Father’s Day just passed, and I don’t know about you, but holidays tend to revolve around one thing in this household: Food. 

For Father’s Day this year, I wanted to make my hubby something super manly so he’d know how much I appreciate all he does to provide for our family.

Naturally, I chose waffles.

 

But not just any waffles.

I needed something with pizzazz. With oomph. With machismo.

I needed peanut butter maple bacon waffles.

 

Peanut Butter Maple Bacon Waffles

I’m not gonna lie to you, I got the inspiration for these bad boys from none other than my favorite restaurant, Ted’s Bulletin, which offers a Peanut Butter Bacon Burger — a customer favorite, Ted’s Bulletin classic, and the manliest item on the menu.

These little guys are not only super manly, but they’re also delicious and almost too easy to make!

To whip these little men up, you’ll need the following ingredients:

PB Maple Baco Waffles - Politics to PlayDoh

 

(Clockwise in photo from left)

2 eggs

1 package of bacon

2 cups flour

1/2 cup oil (vegetable or canola)

1 tablespoon sugar

4 teaspoons baking powder

Pinch of cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Maple syrup (My favorite is Skinny Sticks)

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups milk

1 cup peanut butter

Dash waffle maker

 

Once you’ve assembled your ingredients, it’s time to get things heated up in the kitchen.

Since it takes approximately 2 minutes for each waffle to cook in the Dash waffle maker, you’ll want to get your bacon started first.

You can either cook your bacon in a pan on the stovetop like I grew up doing or you can do it like my hubby and his family do and nuke it in the microwave.

To nuke bacon, simply line a microwaveable plate with a paper towel, lay bacon strips on top, and cover with a second paper towel. Microwave for 5-6 minutes, and voila! Perfectly cooked bacon!

If you or your hubby prefer your bacon a bit more crispy, stick to the frying pan.

Either way, you’ll want to get your bacon started before you begin mixing ingredients.

Once your bacon’s cooking, combine the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, baking powder) in one bowl and your wet ingredients (eggs, vanilla, milk, oil) in another. Mix both and then pour the wet contents into the dry bowl. Mix again until all lumps have dissolved. Add a pinch or two of cinnamon for flavor.

(If you or your hubby really like peanut butter, now’s a good time to throw a bit into the batter. It’ll give your waffles an extra peanut buttery taste.)

Once your contents are mixed, you can begin pouring into your waffle maker.

Using a Dash mini waffle maker, I can’t tell you how easy it is to pull off the perfect pint-sized waffle.

Simply pour four spoonfuls of batter onto the maker, close the lid, and in 1-2 minutes you have a perfect, fluffy, bite-sized waffle!

PB Maple Baco Waffles - Politics to PlayDoh

PB Maple Baco Waffles - Politics to PlayDoh

Continue making waffles until all of the batter is gone. This recipe should yield approximately 13 mini waffles, which is the perfect amount for your special man and his littles. (Or, if you’re my family, it’s the perfect size for you…and maybe you’ll share one with the man of honor. But also maybe not.)

PB Maple Baco Waffles - Politics to PlayDoh

While I’m stacking my waffles, I like to add a special surprise between some of the layers. Plus, peanut butter helps affix the waffles to each other, and keeps them from toppling. Win win!

PB Maple Baco Waffles - Politics to PlayDoh

When all of your waffles are ready, add one more dollop of peanut butter to the top, drizzle with maple syrup, and lay a few pieces of bacon on the top for texture and kick. (You can also layer bacon strips between the waffle layers if you wanna get real adventurous!)

PB Maple Baco Waffles - Politics to PlayDoh

 

You can obviously use any waffle you’d like, but I think these Dash waffle makers give you the best waffles. Plus, who doesn’t like pint-sized anything?? They’re also easy to store and they come in a bunch of adorable colors! Follow my Instagram account @Politics_to_PlayDoh, where I’ll be giving away a brand new Dash waffle maker to a lucky follower!

PB Maple Baco Waffles - Politics to PlayDoh

PB Maple Baco Waffles - Politics to PlayDoh

PB Maple Baco Waffles - Politics to PlayDoh

PB Maple Baco Waffles - Politics to PlayDoh

What’s your favorite kind of waffle? (Mine is strawberries and whipped cream, always. But I’ll throw some sprinkles on there to keep it colorful.) Have you ever tried peanut butter and bacon together on anything else?

xoxo

Cara

Bacon-Wrapped Bleu Cheese-Stuffed Date Appetizers

Bacon Bleu Cheese Stuffed Dates Appetizer - Politics to PlayDoh

Post contains affiliate links

 

When I first moved to DC in 2010, I wasn’t exactly politically savvy. In fact, I didn’t even know with which party my views aligned until I had a conversation with my roommate’s friend and the lightbulb went off.

When you live in DC and you’re not a wonk, you tend to feel a little out of place. (And you then take an accelerated course in Wonkiness to catch up…and survive).

Needless to say, I remember my first wonky soiree pretty vividly.

My coworker at Ted’s Bulletin (the greatest restaurant in DC – more on that later) invited me to come with him to a little get-together with friends.

I only found out later that in DC “friends” usually means “network” and “network” tends to include some pretty fancy, often famous, people.

This was one of those parties.

It was going to be low-key by DC standards, but we were still going to need to be a little upscale in our potluck appetizer.

I had no idea what we could make that would be as easy as pigs-in-a-blanket, but not as…uncouth.

Well, turns out I didn’t need to worry. My friend had it covered.

I give you…

Bacon-Wrapped Bleu Cheese-Stuffed Date Appetizers

In the seven years since I discovered these things, they have graced my table at every event I’ve hosted.

They’re so easy, so unique, and so dang delicious.

Take a look at these ingredients:

Bacon Bleu Cheese Stuffed Dates Appetizer - Politics to PlayDoh

Bacon Bleu Cheese Stuffed Dates Appetizer - Politics to PlayDoh

 

1 carton Medjool dates (You can find these at any grocery store)

Bleu cheese crumbles (Or block of bleu cheese, crumbled)

1 package of bacon

Toothpicks

 

(The amount of ingredients doesn’t really matter — I usually just buy a container of dates and keep stuffing and wrapping until something runs out lol.)

 

1. Preheat your oven to 400°

This is the perfect temperature to cook bacon in the oven and get that nice little crisp before the chew.

 

2. Line a baking pan with aluminum foil

 

3. Slice the top off each date so you’re left with only a smooth exterior

Bacon Bleu Cheese Stuffed Dates Appetizer - Politics to PlayDoh

Bacon Bleu Cheese Stuffed Dates Appetizer - Politics to PlayDoh

 

4. Peel open each date to reveal the pit

Bacon Bleu Cheese Stuffed Dates Appetizer - Politics to PlayDoh

 

5. Remove said pit and open the date

Bacon Bleu Cheese Stuffed Dates Appetizer - Politics to PlayDoh

 

6. Using a spoon, stuff a little (or a lot, who’s judging?) Bleu cheese into each sliced date

 

Bacon Bleu Cheese Stuffed Dates Appetizer - Politics to PlayDoh

Bacon Bleu Cheese Stuffed Dates Appetizer - Politics to PlayDoh

 

7. Place each date on a slice of bacon, and roll it until the bacon is completely surrounding the date

If you’re trying to preserve bacon because you have a ton of dates (or you’re just not really a fan of bacon, in which case WHY??), halve each slice of bacon before rolling.

Bacon Bleu Cheese Stuffed Dates Appetizer - Politics to PlayDoh

Bacon Bleu Cheese Stuffed Dates Appetizer - Politics to PlayDoh

Bacon Bleu Cheese Stuffed Dates Appetizer - Politics to PlayDoh

 

8. Stick a toothpick through the center of each wrapped date, holding the bacon in place

Bacon Bleu Cheese Stuffed Dates Appetizer - Politics to PlayDoh

Bacon Bleu Cheese Stuffed Dates Appetizer - Politics to PlayDoh

 

9. Repeat until all dates are stuffed and wrapped

Bacon Bleu Cheese Stuffed Dates Appetizer - Politics to PlayDoh

Bacon Bleu Cheese Stuffed Dates Appetizer - Politics to PlayDoh

Bacon Bleu Cheese Stuffed Dates Appetizer - Politics to PlayDoh

Bacon Bleu Cheese Stuffed Dates Appetizer - Politics to PlayDoh

Bacon Bleu Cheese Stuffed Dates Appetizer - Politics to PlayDoh

Bacon Bleu Cheese Stuffed Dates Appetizer - Politics to PlayDoh

10. Place in the oven and let bake for 15 minutes

(Or until the bacon is crisped to your liking)

Bacon Bleu Cheese Stuffed Dates Appetizer - Politics to PlayDoh

 

11. Voila! Beautiful, delicious bacon-wrapped Bleu cheese-stuffed date appetizers!

Even politicians can agree these things are scruptious!

Bacon Bleu Cheese Stuffed Dates Appetizer - Politics to PlayDoh

 

The sweet, wrapped in salty and packed with tangy, gives this bite a PUNCH that makes you think, “Dang, that’s rich! …But I need another.” Have you ever combined sweet and salty? What’s your favorite bacon treat?

 

xoxo

Cara

 

Patriotic Fourth of July Firework Bark

Patriotic 4th of July Firework Bark - Politics to PlayDoh

Post contains affiliate links.

Have you guys seen those Limited Edition Fourth of July Firework Oreos they’ve been featuring for several months now?

Patriotic 4th of July Firework Bark - Politics to PlayDoh

You better believe I bought those things. Pop Rocks and Oreos in one bite? Yes, please!

Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but in my opinion they didn’t quite meet expectations… I mean, I was expecting a Pop Rocks explosion, ya know?

I walked away from that experience a little underwhelmed.

But then it inspired an idea.

What if I made my own fireworks this Fourth of July?

And thus was born…

Patriotic 4th of July Firework Bark - Politics to PlayDoh

Patriotic Fourth of July Firework Bark

I’m a peppermint bark fiend. How ’bout you? Do you look forward to the Christmas holiday season just because you know you’ll find peppermint bark of all genres around every corner?

Well, since moving to Utah, I’ve discovered that peppermint isn’t just for the Christmas holiday — and it isn’t just for peppermint, either!

In addition to chocolate-covered Oreos, peppermint bark is one of the easiest treats you can make to celebrate any holiday.

The steps for this season’s Patriotic Fourth of July Firework Bark are simple:

 

1. Gather your ingredients

Patriotic 4th of July Firework Bark - Politics to PlayDoh

You’ll need:

White chocolate

Sprinkles

Pop Rocks

Food Dye (Red and Blue)

Double boiler (or pot + glass bowl)

Parchment-lined pan

 

2. Line shallow pan with parchment paper

 

3. Melt the white chocolate in your double boiler setup (I split my chocolate into three separate servings)

If you’re not sure how to DIY your own double boiler, check out my post on Lemon Sunshine Cookies, where I set it up!

 

4. Then, dye one chocolate serving bright red, and one bright blue (Leave the other plain white)

 

5. Next, spread each layer onto the pan

Patriotic 4th of July Firework Bark - Politics to PlayDoh

 

6. Once all the chocolate is on the pan, spread it lightly with spoon

 

7. Next, draw designs in the chocolate with the edge of a knife

Patriotic 4th of July Firework Bark - Politics to PlayDoh

 

8. Then, sprinkle Pop Rocks onto the chocolate

Patriotic 4th of July Firework Bark - Politics to PlayDoh

Patriotic 4th of July Firework Bark - Politics to PlayDoh

 

9. Add sprinkles (Lots of sprinkles!)

Patriotic 4th of July Firework Bark - Politics to PlayDoh

Patriotic 4th of July Firework Bark - Politics to PlayDoh

 

10. Refrigerate

 

11. After 15+ minutes, remove the pan from the refrigerator and break the chocolate into smaller pieces

 

12. Enjoy!

Patriotic 4th of July Firework Bark - Politics to PlayDoh

Patriotic 4th of July Firework Bark - Politics to PlayDoh

Patriotic 4th of July Firework Bark - Politics to PlayDoh

Patriotic 4th of July Firework Bark - Politics to PlayDoh

 

Patriotic 4th of July Firework Bark - Politics to PlayDoh

Patriotic 4th of July Firework Bark - Politics to PlayDoh

Patriotic 4th of July Firework Bark - Politics to PlayDoh

Patriotic 4th of July Firework Bark - Politics to PlayDoh

Patriotic 4th of July Firework Bark - Politics to PlayDoh

Patriotic 4th of July Firework Bark - Politics to PlayDoh

Patriotic 4th of July Firework Bark - Politics to PlayDoh

Patriotic 4th of July Firework Bark - Politics to PlayDoh

Patriotic 4th of July Firework Bark - Politics to PlayDoh

Patriotic 4th of July Firework Bark - Politics to PlayDoh

And there you have it! A mini explosion in your mouth as you devour this decadent yet patriotic white chocolate firework treat. Add peppermint extract to make it a true peppermint bark, or just let the power of the Pop Rocks move you!

Have you ever used Pop Rocks as an ingredient before? Stay tuned for my patriotic coolers, coming soon!

xoxo

Cara

 

 

 

11 Blockbuster Movie Games for the Cinephile

11 Movie Games for the Cinephile - Politics to PlayDoh

Post contains affiliate links.

 

Remember that one time I mentioned that my husband loves movies?

Well, this year I wanted to give him a gift that would pair nicely with my super fun Father’s Day movie bucket for the cinephile.

Ultimate Father's Day Cinephile Gift - Politics to PlayDoh

Naturally, I went with a gift would love, too: Board games.

love Game Night, you guys. My hubby? Not so much. But he’s warming to it since we started hosting them monthly with my neighbor, Tauni.

This year, I decided it might be fun to add to our board game collection by giving my hubby a movie-related game that he’d be sure to win.

The one I picked was Pass the Popcorn, and boy do we love it! It’s great for the hubster because he has a natural advantage over the rest of us, due to the sheer amount of movie knowledge he retains.

There are a few movie-related games out there, so here are some that we’ve either tried or have wanted to get our hands on.

11 Blockbuster Movie Games for the Cinephile

11 Movie Games for the Cinephile - Politics to PlayDoh

1. Pass the Popcorn

If you like trivia, but prefer to stick to the Entertainment category when playing Trivial Pursuit, then this is the game for you. Perfect for 2-4 players, you can either play the game as written (fun card-collecting and -swapping among players) or you can just sit around quizzing each other off the cards… My husband may or may not enjoy the latter in our down time.

 

 

11 Movie Games for the Cinephile - Politics to PlayDoh

2. Name that Movie

love this game, you guys. Technically a book, it looks beautiful on coffee tables and nightstands, and it’s very difficult for anyone who doesn’t know tiny details about classic motion pictures. My husband even sometimes has a tough time deciphering the clues, and he legit knows everything cinematographic. This means he keeps coming back to it, so it’s not just taking up space in our home.

The pages are laid out with clues like this:

11 Movie Games for the Cinephile - Politics to PlayDoh

11 Movie Games for the Cinephile - Politics to PlayDoh

11 Movie Games for the Cinephile - Politics to PlayDoh

Each set refers to a different movie. And I have literally never guessed one of them correctly. I clearly need to pay more attention when I watch movies. (To start, it might be helpful to actually watch the movie instead of Wikipedia-ing the plot and ending while the movie is playing…)

Definitely get this one for that cinephile in your life! At $8, it’s a steal!

 

 

11 Movie Games for the Cinephile - Politics to PlayDoh

3. Movie Buff

If you’re a fan of Mad Libs or you’re one of those people who’s really good at Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, this is the game for you! According to its description, Movie Buff forges connections between actors, roles, & movie quotes, relying on players’ knowledge and jumping from dramas to horror, from comedy to classics. Each round relies on players’ own movie knowledge, so you never play the same game twice. Finally, a use for all that movie trivia knowledge!

 

 

12 Movie Games for the Cinephile - Politics to PlayDoh

4. Cinelinx

Pretty much the board game version of Six Degrees of Separation, Cinelinx is like dominoes for movie lovers. If you love finding connections between actors + actors, actors + movies, or movies + movies, then this is the game for you! Similar to Movie Buff, this game is never the same twice!

 

 

12 Movie Games for the Cinephile - Politics to PlayDoh

5. Buy the Rights

Have you ever dreamt of writing your own screenplay? Do you constantly come up with clever and intricate movie plots based on familiar situations? Are you a fan of Mad Libs with a flair for the creative? Well, this is the game for you!

According to its description, in Buy the Rights, players create their own movies based on four decks of cards. Each round, one player is the Producer and the other players are Screenwriters. Using the cards as a starting point, Screenwriters pitch their movies to the Producer, who then buys the rights to their favorite ideas. Think of it as Cards Against Humanity, but movie themed and more dignified.

 

 

12 Movie Games for the Cinephile - Politics to PlayDoh

6. Double Feature

Did you know that, depending on how you define the word, it is estimated that nearly half a million movies have been made since the invention of the motion picture? That’s a lot of genres, settings, and themes, my friends!

Well, Double Feature allows you to tap into your movie repertoire and draw connections between well-known feature films. Players choose two cards, each containing one of seven categories: Prop, location, movie character, scene, theme/genre, setting, and production. They then race to come up with a movie that fits both prompts. In Double Feature, you’ll end up shouting out movies you didn’t even know you knew! A great game for beginners and experts alike!

 

 

12 Movie Games for the Cinephile - Politics to PlayDoh

7. The Best of TV & Movies

If you love trivia, but your expertise doesn’t end at movies, the Best of TV & Movies game will be right up your alley! This game combines trivia from both movies and television, bringing in hundreds of the all-time classic shows and films. As a fun bonus, this game also includes a logo identification portion, for those of us who still have the old-school televisions and therefore actually still watch commercials. (Ask me to sing the Goldfish jingle sometime. You won’t be disappointed.)

11 Movie Games for the Cinephile - Politics to PlayDoh

8. Movie Buff Quiz

If you’re like me, you love to watch Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. Such a simple set-up: Give me a question, give me four possible answers, and let me show you what I know.

Well, Movie Buff Quiz is just that, except that the only category in this version is Movies. Sound like a dream? Then get your hands on this fun, classic trivia game and start wowing friends and family with your movie trivia knowledge!

 

11 Movie Games for the Cinephile - Politics to PlayDoh

9. Director’s Cut

According to its description, conversations abound as friends and family recall favorite movie scenes and performances, and race around the film reel vying for the finish. Players will answer questions from 8 fun-filled categories dealing with the big screen from the 1960’s to the present. If you’ve got a competitive streak, then this will reel-y make you wild!

 

11 Movie Games for the Cinephile - Politics to PlayDoh

10. Mad About Movies

Containing thousands of questions from over 700 movies, Mad About Movies stars every generation’s films, and challenges players’ knowledge of actors, movie quotes, characters, and general movie trivia. The game includes questions from four main categories: Who’s Who, Quotes, In the Movies, and Real Knowledge. Test your knowledge of major well-known films with this fun-filled fast-paced game!

11 Movie Games for the Cinephile - Politics to PlayDoh

11. Scene It

Scene It is the first DVD-based board game combining movie trivia with the flash of the small screen — The television screen, that is. The best part? There’s a Disney version! Pop the DVD into the player and let the games begin!

 

 

So there you have it, folks! If you’re looking for ways to make your Father’s Day Movie Bucket a blockbuster hit, add one of these 11 Blockbuster Movie Games for the Cinephile!

 

 

Ultimate Father’s Day Gift for the Cinephile in Your Life

Ultimate Father's Day Cinephile Gift - Politics to PlayDoh

Post contains affiliate links.

 

My husband is a cinephile.

 

cin·e·phile /’sineə,fil/ (noun) a person who is fond of motion pictures

 

We’re not talking any “Oh, I thought Avatar was refreshing and provocative” either.

We’re talking:

“Darling, who won the 1982 Oscar for Best Actor?”

“Henry Fonda for On Golden Pond

Ultimate Father's Day Cinephile Gift - Politics to PlayDoh

 

(This is not a joke. That was a real conversation we had.)

If you ever meet my husband, just extend your hand and throw any random question at him. If it concerns movies, his encyclopedic Memory will have the answer.

 Ultimate Father's Day Cinephile Gift - Politics to PlayDoh

Ultimate Father’s Day Gift for the Cinephile in Your Life

So what do you get for The Man Who Knew Too Much?

I’m glad you asked.

This year, having just moved Cross Country with an 18-month-old, we’ve been a wee bit strapped for disposable income. Naturally, my husband told me not to get him anything for Father’s Day. And naturally, I didn’t listen.

did, however, try to get creative with what I did for him.

Spending next to nothing, I pulled together the ultimate Father’s Day gift for my cinephile husband.

Here’s what I included:

 

1. Popcorn Bucket

Ultimate Father's Day Cinephile - Politics to PlayDoh

I’m not going to lie to you — I’ve been eyeing these things at our local Tai Pan Trading store for months. But, of course, what the heck would I use a giant popcorn bucket for?

The ultimate Father’s Day gift for my cinephile hubby, that’s what!

I love getting an excuse to buy things, don’t you? Call it Confessions of a Shopoholic.

The best part? When I went to pick it up, they were on sale! $1.25? Yes please!

You can use any style bucket you prefer — Square, round, big, or small. They also come in paper or plastic, so you can decide whether you want to toss them or use and reuse them for movie nights over and over again!

Now, what’s the reasonable choice for a popcorn bucket filler, you guys?

That’s right!

 

2. Popcorn

Any popcorn will do. Just pop that stuff and fill ‘er up!

 

3. Movie Theater Candy

Ultimate Father's Day Cinephile - Politics to PlayDoh

On top of the popcorn, I arranged an assortment of classic movie theater candies. I chose the moviegoing staples I grew up with: Raisinets, Milk Duds, Reese’s Pieces, Junior Mints, Dots, and Sour Patch kids. Choose your favorites (or, I guess, his), and have fun mixing it up!

You can find classic movie theater candies at any Walgreens, CVS, grocery store, etc. I got mine for 98 cents each at Walmart, spending under $10 total for all of them. (And since they were so cheap, I could buy a box of Mike and Ike’s all for me!)

Ultimate Father's Day Cinephile Gift - Politics to PlayDoh

 

4. Fandango Gift Card

Ultimate Father's Day Cinephile - Politics to PlayDoh

Since Father’s Day is all about Dad, I guess it’s about time Dad gets to choose his own movie. I added a Fandango gift card to his bucket. The average movie ticket costs $10 (and twice that in bigger cities), so $30-$45 should cover movie and a popcorn for two.

 

5. ADMIT ONE Printable

If you’d rather not go Overboard on this gift, and you want a more cost-effective (and creative!) idea, try a book of these fun coupon printables! Each Ticket gives Dad one free movie of his choice.

Ultimate Father's Day Cinephile - Politics to PlayDoh

I don’t know about you, but my hubby and I have watched all of my favorite shows for years. Sherlock, Law & Order: SVU, Murdoch Mysteries, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt… Come to think of it, I don’t think we have ever watched a show or movie of his choice. #MarriageGoals?

So he definitely needed this ticket.

Download and print these Bad Boys and create a booklet he can Ca$h in any time he’d really prefer not to watch the Princess Diaries for the eighth time….this month.

 

6. Best Dad Oscar Statuette

For flair, I added this little Oscar statuette to the presentation, using a vinyl decal made from the one and only Tauni Everett of @SNAPConf fame. With this little guy on his desk, Dad is sure to feel Almost Famous.

Ultimate Father's Day Cinephile Gift - Politics to PlayDoh

7. Action Board

If you want to add a creative card to your gift, do it on a fun action board using my favorite chalk pens. This keeps the theme going and lets you show your creative side once again! (Plus, you can wipe your note away and use it again for your next Oscar party!)

Ultimate Father's Day Cinephile Gift - Politics to PlayDoh

8. Fun Printable Gift Tag

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed yet, but I really love to sketch. I’ve always done it, but I never knew I could put my sketches to good use!

When I decided I wanted a movie reel gift tag, I searched far and wide for some fun graphic art I could use. When I couldn’t find it, I created it!

Ultimate Father's Day Cinephile Gift - Politics to PlayDoh

I think this printable is so very cute, and it’s versatile enough that you can use it for multiple recipients over and over again! It’s great for the Godfather, brother, aunt, or Uncle Buck in your family that can’t get enough of movies. It also makes the Gift a little more personal, dontcha think?

Plus, it’s punny. And who doesn’t love a pun??

If you like a little more color in your life, you can also opt for this adorable gift tag created by Tauni of SNAP.

I mean, talk about puns, right?? There’s nothing butter than a little good humor, amiright? They just make me melt.

Ultimate Father's Day Cinephile - Politics to PlayDoh

You can find the printable for these Little Darlings on her site.

 

Ultimate Father's Day Cinephile Gift - Politics to PlayDoh

Do you have a cinephile in your family? Well, get going on this fun Ultimate Father’s Day Gift for the Cinephile in Your Life! Ready?

Lights. Camera. Action!

x0x0

Cara