I LOVE Autumn ! I'm a brunette so all burgundy, fall clothes look much better on me than the pastels of summer and I get to spend endless nights snuggled up, next to the fire drinking Hot Chocolate while cocooning in a duvet that I've dragged downstairs from my room. But the main thing I love about autumn is that because the cold weather makes us inclined to stay at home more, I get to spend a lot more time with my family. There are plenty of ways I have fun with my family and friends, and there are tools which can help you manage your money better going into the holidays which would be especially useful in the build up to Christmas !
The first thing that springs to mind when I think about family activities on a budget is something that my mum used to do for me and my sister when we were younger . My mum is a brilliant cook and she'd often help me and my sister bake yummy cupcakes or cookies together ( Okay, I did more licking out the bowl than cooking but that's not the point hehe ) and then we'd decorate them to fit the season. While we were decorating, she'd put together a little picnic which homemade jam sandwiches and other yummy treats that she'd lay out on a blanket next to the fire place where we'd sit and enjoy it whilst cuddling up and watching a Disney film ! So today I thought I'd share a cake pop recipe that is really easy to make with younger members of the family and great fun to decorate at this time of the year especially with little ones and I guarantee they'll love enjoying them with a movie and an indoor picnic.
Ghostly Cake Pops !
All you need to do for the cake mixture is cream 125g of caster sugar with 125g of butter together in a bowl. Then break two eggs into a cup and whisk the with a fork until they're, as my mother would say, " Light and fluffy" ( no, I don't know how a liquid can be fluffy ... but her cakes taste great so we'll go with it hehe ). And the eggs to the sugar and butter mixture, whisking it in a little bit at a time. Now just sift in 125g of self raising flour, stir it all together ( The mixture tastes really good at this point... just saying ) and VOILA ! A Cake mixture, done in about 5/10 minutes ! Making your own cakes doesn't need to be expensive, I always use the cheapest supermarket versions of the ingredients and you wouldn't be able to tell the difference :)
To make them into cake pops I used my cake pop maker which I'll link to here . But you can by silicon cake pop moulds for a few pounds at supermarkets and they do the same job !
Now all you need to do is decorate them ! I was inspired by a cake pop design I saw on a magazine a few weeks ago to make my cake pops look like ghosts. This would be a brilliant design for a Halloween party and will definitely amuse the kids :)
So that the icing will still to the cake pops, you need to dip them in melted chocolate first ( I again used a cheap supermarket brand chocolate because you can't tell ! ). To melt the chocolate I filled a saucepan about one third of the way up with boiling water and then break the chocolate in pieces in a bowl that you can put over the saucepan and stir until it melts :) Now just dip the cake pop stick into the chocolate and then pop a few cake pops into the melted chocolate at a time to cover them before popping them on the cake pop sticks and leaving them in a glass . Roll out some roll out white icing and cut circles from it . Pop the icing over the top of the cake pops and let them fall into the shape of the ghosts :) Now use an edible ink pen to have loads of fun drawing different scary faces over on the icing and it's as easy as that !You have your ghosts :)
They look brilliant and are great fun to make with your kids or little brothers and sisters . Baking with your family gives a great opportunity to have a catch up and find out all the stuff in there lives that you'd miss if you were all out doing different things ( that all probably cost the Earth ) and sometimes you just need to spend some time together reminding each other of how much family means !
All that's left to do now is set them up as part of a yummy family picnic with marshmallows, sandwiches, some cut up carrots with dips and of course your ghost cake pops ! Then just one of your favourite fall movies like Hotel Transylvania, Casper the Friendly Ghost or Hocus Pocus and you're all set to go :)
Let me know in the comments what you love to do in Autumn to have a great time on a budget and be sure to check out Personal Capital for some great advice and help handling your money :)
Stay Strong <3 Stay Smiley :)
Lots of love, Marianne xxx