Tag Archives: The Cake Boss

Fun Friday: “The Cowarts take Manhattan” and what was for dinner

5 May

April was incredibly busy, and here is the rest of why!

Last week in my What’s for Dinner Wednesday post, I promised you that I would share more of what had been keeping me from posting recently and I also promised you some weekly meal inspiration with a twist. Today’s Fun Friday post is all of those things wrapped in one.

As you’ll see in this week’s Cranston Herald feature article, we took a whirlwind trip to New York City and the surrounding areas, including Jersey City, Hoboken and Brooklyn, just to name a few. It started out as a college tours trip primarily, but because we had never taken any of the kids to NYC, and because they all wanted to visit so badly, we decided to try to make it a mini family vacation, on the cheap rather than one adult taking one child to New York and everyone else staying home.

Super cheap.

We accomplished that goal by using our camper, although very early in the camping season, and despite the fact that we wouldn’t have a ton of time for prepping for the trip due to work obligations and the Easter weekend. One of the ways that we made it work was by eating many of our meals in and only eating a few special things out, as we visited the city. We had extra money and we could’ve spent it all on eating out, but we didn’t want to. We opted instead to choose a couple of extra-special eating adventures and to choose a couple of extra-special sightseeing adventures too, giving ourselves the best of both worlds.

Our camper has a full kitchen with a microwave, oven and stove as well as a refrigerator, freezer and pantry. Therefore, we could plan meals as extensive or as simple as we wished. We decided to go simple. We knew we’d be out a great deal of the time and the last thing we wanted to do was come home and spend an hour and a half cooking. We also knew that simple meant cheap, and if our meals were inexpensive, that was more money we could throw into our travel budget from our normal grocery budget.

Because the weekend before the trip was Easter (an expensive, busy weekend in itself), we did have some leeway in our meals leading up to the trip and we were not eating at home on Easter Sunday. Therefore, my list of meals starts with Monday, the first night we arrived at Liberty Harbor RV Park and Marina. Here’s what we ate while we were away:


Monday: Quesadillas (extras became lunch the next day) with Spanish rice and corn. We also had chips and salsa for appetizers when we arrived because it had been a five hour ride and we’d eaten lunch in the car earlier in the day.

Tuesday: Chicken burgers and hot dogs, fresh sugar snap peas, sauteed.

Wednesday: Macaroni with Chicken Parmesan, (chicken cooked in the cast iron skillet). Today we also used some of our spending money to have treats at Carlo’s Bakery in Hoboken, the original bake shop featured on the TV show, “Cake Boss.”

Breakfast on Wednesday morning: Carlo’s Bakery sweet treats


Very inexpensive, delicious and a fun end to our trip to NYC!

Thursday: We opted to eat out that night, experiencing NY Style Pizza, $1 a slice, in Times Square at 2 Bros. Pizza. DELICIOUS.

Friday: We were home again by Friday night and we had French Toast for dinner. Breakfast for dinner is fast and easy and a good meal to make when you get home. It was a breakfast option we never used on the trip so we had all the ingredients ready to go.

For the second week of our two week cycle, we tried to choose meals that were still inexpensive and that used some things we had at home already

Saturday: Homemade chicken and rice soup (perfect for what ended up being a cold, rainy, raw day)

Sunday: Pork Chops and homemade applesauce (I brought applesauce to dinner on Easter Sunday, so I made a triple batch that day, freezing one batch for our trip. We never used that meal on the trip, so we had it Sunday night instead.)

Monday: Zucchini shrimp Scampi (recently featured in this blog post)

Tuesday: Taco Bake (recipe here)

Wednesday: Chicken, Broccoli and Pasta

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: Pizza

A February Vacation treat so easy even your kids can make it!

23 Feb
Rice Krispie treat cookie cutter snacks

Caroline has been dying to try making this snack for months apparently!

My kids have definitely inherited my creative bug. They like to craft and bake all the time. They’re constantly looking in their magazines for recipes, crafts and games. I can’t keep up with all of the things they find that they want to make, try or do, in addition to all the things I want to make, try and do. (And, can I just say, it’s a good thing none of my kids are on Pinterest yet. They’d be addicted!)

Apparently way back in the fall Caroline found a snack she wanted to try out and allegedly I gave my standard answer of “We’ll see,” or maybe it was “Yup, but not today,” and forgot all about it.

Alex told me that this day was her favorite day ever because she got to paint AND play Playdoh both on the same day. Both make for good, relaxing vacation day fun!

Saturday she came up to me out of the blue and asked if she could please make this snack for her sisters, who were painting and playing play doh. She reminded me that she’s been asking me since October and that I keep brushing her off for one reason or another. This time I really had no reason to say no. I mean there was already a mess in the dining room, what’s one more activity going on in the kitchen? (And I must say, she didn’t even make a mess, she was very neat.)

Painting, like coloring, is a relaxing and engaging activity for kids of any age.

She went in and didn’t allow anyone else in there the entire time she was working, so I don’t have a ton of details for you. What I do know is that at some point on the TLC show, “Cake Boss,” she saw Buddy, the Cake Boss himself, take Rice Krispie Treats and flatten them out, using cookie cutters to make them into shapes, then frosting them to add to their cake creations. We happened to have a package of individual serving Rice Krispie treats in our snack box for school snacks. Caroline took “a whole bunch of those, there’s not too many left Mom,” and rolled them into balls together. Next, using a pizza dough roller, she rolled them out to a more workable thickness and used a variety of cookie cutters to make them into shapes. She then used several of my frostings, icings and other decorative treats to create cute little snacks for her sisters to eat when they were done with their crafting fun.

Decorated Rice Krispie Treat snacks

I was proud of Caroline for trying out this cute snack for her sisters.

Everyone stayed busy that afternoon, everyone loved the special snack, and Caroline was so proud of herself. I was proud of her, and glad I’d finally said yes, even though I only vaguely remember being asked to begin with!

I can definitely recommend this as a snack that kids can make in the kitchen themselves, with little to no help, depending on their ages. It’s not a particularly healthy snack, but it’s a fun treat and makes for a fun afternoon! If you’re looking for something to keep your kids occupied this February Vacation week, try out Caroline and Buddy’s Rice Krispie Treat snack!