2/29/2008

Rainbow Cupcakes

You can find the recipe here at Family Fun for these cute Rainbow Cupcakes, perfect for St. Patrick's Day!
St. Patty's Cupcakes
Grocery List:
cooled cupcakes
Grass-green frosting
Several flavors of Airheads candies
A pot’s worth of gold coins

How to make it:
1. First, top a cooled cupcake with grass-green frosting.
2. For the rainbow, use a large, heavy knife (parents only) to cut a long, narrow strips from each of several flavors of Airheads candies (this is sticky stuff, so work on waxed paper). Lay the strips side by side, press them together, then cut the ribbon of strips in half to make two rainbows.
3. Curve each one into an arch and trim the ends as shown. Set one rainbow upright on the cupcake and add a pot’s worth of gold coins at one end. If necessary, place a gold coin behind the rainbow for support.

2/28/2008

Pizza Monkey Bread

PIZZA MONKEY BREAD


My wonderful friend Jean gave me some mixes from Lollipop Tree for my birthday. The Parmesean Pizza Monkey Bread was a total hit at our house, so I decided we need to make our own recipe. They are super easy and quick to make (especially when you can throw everything into the bread machine). If you really want to cheat, just buy some Rhodes frozen bread dough or pre-made pizza dough (in the deli) and mix in a few spices! Thanks, Gourmet-Grandpa-on-the-go for sharing your secret dough recipe.:)


Ingredients:

DOUGH:
1 pkg. dry yeast (that's 2 1/4 tsp.)
1/3 c. warm water
1 tsp. sugar
1 C. cold water
1 1/2 Tbsp. oil
1 Tbsp. sugar or honey
1/2 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. garlic salt (optional)
¼ tsp. dry oregano (optional)
¼ tsp. dry basil (optional)
1 T. finely-chopped sundried tomatoes (optional)
3 1/4 c. flour
olive oil (for drizzling before baking)

TOPPING:
1 C. powdered parmesean cheese
2 T. flour
add together and mix well.



Directions:
Sprinkle yeast over warm water; add sugar. Let stand 5 to 6 minutes in a roomy bowl. In large mixing bowl, combine cold water, oil, sugar, salt, garlic salt, and oregano until well blended. Stir in 1/2 C. flour, yeast mixture, and remaining flour a little at a time until you have a soft dough. (If you have a mixer with a bread hook, it works perfectly). Knead until no longer sticky. Cover & Let rise till doubled in size (about 45 minutes).







Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 8" round or 9" square pan. Punch down dough and let the kids pinch off enough to roll into golf ball-sized balls. Roll each in Parmesean Mixture and drop into pan. Drizzle with olive oil (about 3 T.). Bake for 30 minutes or until bread is lightly browned.





Serve with your favorite dips and dipping veggies & it's a party! (I used pizza sauce, ranch, and made a cheddar dip). The kids had a great time pulling off pieces of the bread and dipping veggies. Yum!

Three Pigs Snack

I was inspired yesterday to start a new category, "Book and a Snack". We all know know how fun it is to read with your kids, so I'll feature a book and a snack to go with it each week. That way, you can discuss the book or have some imaginative play with the snack. It's a great way to spend some quality time together or you can use it for part of a school lesson. If you have a great book you'd like a snack for, please let me know!


This week's Book:

The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by A. Wolf
by John Scieszka



This is a hilarious adaptation of the traditional story, told from the wolf's point of view. He was an innocent victim just trying to borrow a cup of sugar! The witty humor is really for a little older kids (6 and up) but my younger girls still thought it was funny.












THREE PIGS SNACK from Family Fun Magazine

1 C. potato sticks
1 C. pretzel sticks
1 C. chocolate chunks (buy them or just chop up a chocolate bar)

Mix all and serve. Eat them before they blow away!:)

2/26/2008

Hot Chocolate Foaming Milk Bath

For some special time with your kiddos, read to them (or watch) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory then make your own “Chocolate River” in the tub! Fun with the kids and chocolate…..works for me!!:)
This also makes a great and inexpensive gift for a friend or teacher. I made some cute gift tags for this that you can download here. Enjoy!

Hot Chocolate Foaming Milk Bath
Ingredients:
1/2 C. Powdered Milk
1/2 C. Baking Soda
1 Tbs. Cream of Tartar
1/2 C. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 Tbs. Cornstarch
1 Tbs. Ground Cinnamon

Directions:
Let kids pour all ingredients in large Ziploc bag. Let everyone have a turn shaking it up well. Or, you can just use a bowl and mix it but it’s not as fun;). Store in tightly sealed glass jar or container.


To use: Put approx. ½ C. hot water in a mug. Add 3 tablespoons Milk mixture. Pour mixture to bathwater while tub is filling and enjoy the bubbling chocolate extravaganza!

Notes:
For you non-dairy families, pick up some soy or vegetable-based baby formula at the store (or you can use almond meal, but it's too expensive to use for a bath!). It's a great sub for the powdered milk and makes your skin soft.:)

For easy cleanup, sprinkle some baking soda around the tub after the water has gone out. Let the kiddos wipe it around then rinse out. Fun bath, clean tub, two thumbs up!:)

2/23/2008

Recipe Index

If you are looking for a specific recipe or idea or ingredient (birds, dinosaurs, chocolate, etc...), you can do a search on upper right-hand side of the homepage.
Recipes by Holiday and Category:

2/21/2008

Shamrock Shake...shhh, it's healthy!!




Thanks to Shannon who shared this awesome green shake recipe (or "Shrek Shake") as she calls it. It's packed full of good stuff! The best part? Your kids will love it! Her blog is here. I made a batch for dinner this evening and the girls drank all of theirs and ours as before I even had all the food on the table. I added a splash of Splenda so it was super-sweet and they thought they were pulling a fast on on me.:) This will definitely be a staple in our diet.

So, serve up some frosty servings for St. Patricks Day and you're sure to be kissed in thanks! In fact, serve them up any day you need a quick, healthy snack.






Shamrock Shake/Shrek Shake

Ingredients: (wash hands first!)

*handful of ice cubes
*handful or two of fresh spinach (don’t see why you couldn’t use frozen, but fresh sure is pretty)
*handful of frozen peach slices or other yellow or green frozen fruit
*1-2 frozen bananas
*1-2 cups of pineapple juice
*1 apple, cubed (golden delicious is great, or granny smith)


Directions:
Throw all ingredients in a blender and blend. Enjoy.


Note:
I tried adding some tofu for protein and it made a great, quick Breakfast.

Keep in mind
1) you can throw in whatever you want, but if you start mixing in red/dark fruits, the color gets muddled and less-appetizing-looking;
2) enjoy responsibly: 5 days in a row can cause problems in the poop/diaper department, especially if your kids aren’t used to quite that much fresh goodness.

2/19/2008

Best "Cake-Mix" fix EVER!

(Baby H just had her 1st birthday today! We didn't use this recipe, but I just had to post the cute ice cream cake I made and want to wish her a Happy, Happy Birthday!!:))



We were sent this wonderful cake recipe--it seems so easy but it is incredibly good!! This friend makes these for weddings all the time. Here's her secret:



Ingredients:
1 pkg. Duncan Heinz cake mix---chocolate or yellow works best but you can use whatever.
¼ c. flour (for high altitudes only)
1 can mandarin oranges (about 11 oz.)
3 eggs
1/3 c. oil



Instructions:
Put oranges (juice and all) in blender and mix. Combine blended oranges and all other ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Bake at 350 F for ~30 minutes (check cake mix box for baking times depending on what size pan you are using). Frost with your favorite icing.
....speaking of icing, besides basic buttercream, this is my favorite quick icing.
Ingredients:
1 tub cool whip (8 oz)
1 package instant vanilla pudding mix
1 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla
Mix pudding mix, milk, and vanilla until smooth. Fold in cool whip. You can also add some crushed berries or a can of drained crushed pineapple (whatever flavors you're going for). Frost cake or eat directly out of bowl.:)

2/17/2008

"L" is for Lego Cookies



I saw these while leafing through one of my random cookbooks, and I though "Perfect for Preschool!" These are super-easy to make and fun to stack up and eat. You could also use graham crackers instead of cookie dough if you're in a rush.


(click image to enlarge and get recipe)


2/12/2008

"Q" is for Queen of Hearts Tarts

(we cheated and made these with whipped cream for our lunch dessert. Fast, easy, YUM!:))


Thanks to Christine for the fun idea to make "Queen of Hearts Tarts". Great for Valentines Day or that ever-tricky "Q" snack for preschool. These are easy for the kids to make and so cute! Let the kiddos do all the layering, but you may want to make the embellishments yourself, you can download my template here. Just print it out, lay some wax paper on top, and trace it with your white chocolate. When dry, add to the "tarts" and you have a gorgeous gourmet-looking treat!

Queen of Hearts Tarts
Ingredients:
Box of vanilla wafers
2 boxes of vanilla instant pudding
Milk
Cherry pie filling
½ c. white chocolate chips (or white candy melts)

Directions:
1. Let each child place a vanilla wafer in the bottom of a cupcake liner.
2. Make the pudding according to directions.
3. Pour pudding over vanilla wafer to cover.
4. Chill until set.
5. Just before serving let them spoon a tablespoon of cherries over the pudding. Add white chocolate garnishes and serve.

TO MAKE GARNISHES:Melt chocolate chips in bowl for 1 minute in microwave. Stir, cook additional 10 second intervals until melted. Spoon into Ziploc baggie. Snip a small piece off the corner of baggie and draw heart shapes on wax paper. When dry, peel off and set on top of tarts.
You can draw your own hearts or download a template of hearts and doodles here.

"C" is for Edible Crayons

Yummy! Crayons!
These are simple to make and are sooo fun to eat. My kids thought it was so funny that they got to eat "crayons" (something we're constantly telling the baby NOT to do!).
In addition, they got to break things, dip things, and use tape. What snack could be more fun to make??!:)
You can put several in a Ziploc baggie with a handmade note saying "You Color my World" for an easy class valentine treat. I'd make a few different colors (red, white, etc) but the girls had too much fun with pink so we just went with it.:) These would also be a great "C" snack for preschool or a great "back to school treat". Have fun!
INGREDIENTS:
Pretzel Rods
Candy Melts (or white chocolate chips with a little of your favorite food coloring added)
Paper Labels (make them yourself or download mine here. Print on colored paper of your choice)

INSTRUCTIONS:
Break or cut pretzel rods in half. Melt candy melts or chocoalte chips in microwave on medium heat for 1 minute. Stir and continue cooking at 15 second intervals until melted. Add a few drops food coloring if desired.
Dip ends of pretzels in melted candy.
Place on wax paper or aluminum foil to dry.
When dry, wrap with crayon label and secure with tape.
You can download the labels I made here.

2/07/2008

About Me

Welcome to our kitchen!

My name is Mandy, I'm a busy mom of three and I love to cook with my kiddos. I mostly put up the fun and whimsical food we make but I really enjoy gourmet cooking as well. Hopefully this site will inspire you to get into the kitchen with your kids and make some fun memories.

You can contact me via email here.


We also have a craft and family fun page that you can view here.

You can read our website disclosure statement here.

I'm a member of
the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Days Saints and love meeting friends from kitchens all over the world!

2/05/2008

"T" is for Turtle Cookies

"T" is for Turtle Cookies
another Family Fun Magazine favorite





We've made these multiple times and they're always a hit. The kids have so much fun decorating them! We used Hershey Swoops for the shells (you could actually use Pringles, too, I'm sure the kids wouldn't mind), green marshmallows (a whole one for the head, one cut into fourths for the legs, and a tiny pinch for a tail), blue frosting, and crushed graham crackers for "sand" on the cookie (they used toffee bits in the picture).

2/04/2008

"A" is for Acorn Treats

Acorn Treats from Family Fun Magazine



Can you tell we're on an alphabet kick? I'm starting a new category of "Alphabet Snacks" for you moms looking for a preschool snack or just a fun way to teach your kids letters. Letter theme days are a great way to have fun with your kids in the kitchen. A lot of these snacks are also great ways to garnish a buffet plate. Hopefully within the next month or so, we'll have a snack for every letter of the alphabet! Feel free to post your ideas, too!!


Ingredients:

Plain or glazed doughnut holes
Chocolate frosting (or peanut butter)
Toffee bits (in the baking aisle by the chocolate chips)
Pretzels


Directions:

Frost 1/3 of the doughnut hole with chocolate frosting or peanut butter. Roll in toffee bits. Add a small piece of pretzel for the stem.

2/03/2008

"P" is for Penguin Snacks

"P" is for Penguin Snacks



Qtpies7 was nice enough to email me some pictures of her "penguin snack" idea and they were so cute, I thought they deserved their own post! For all you Veggie Tales fans, you can get details on their Christmas video. A great snack and a Veggie Tales fan....you go girl!:)

Here are her instructions:
Take two Jumbo black olives and a slice of raw carrot. Cut a V out the the carrot and use the V for a nose in one piece of Olive and slice down the other olive and fill with veggie dip. slip a toothpick through the two olives and into the carrot slice making a Penguin!!! Super cute!

"O" is for Orange Owl Cookies!

Hoot! Hoot! We're in charge of the preschool snack tomorrow, something that starts with "O". I wanted something fun but simple enough for the girls to make themselves. So, we came up with these fun
Orange Owl Cookies




Start with frosting, orange sprinkles, your favorite sugar cookie recipe, an assortment of candy, and some ready hands!

You can pick your own candies, but we used Gummy Life Savers/Skittles for eyes, and hard Life Savers for beaks (cut them in half). Frost with orange frosting, roll edges in sprinkles, and decorate as shown. Makes sure to hoot while you're decorating!! Happy Baking!

We all seeem to have a favorite sugar cookie recipe that we swear is the best, here is mine. It's the best!! Really!......:) It's super easy and so yummy!

Patty’s Sugar Cookies
1 c. butter, softened
3 eggs
1 ½ c. sugar
2 t. vanilla
1 c. sour cream
5 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
1 t. soda
¼ tsp. salt


Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs. Add vanilla, sour cream, baking powder, soda, and salt. Add flour. Mix well. Roll out to ½” thick. Cut into shapes & bake @ 350 degrees for 10 minutes.