Archive for the ‘ Food ’ Category

Sweet and Salty July 4th Pretzel Sticks: FamilyFun Test Drive

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

Ever since I can remember (all 4 years of his life), my son Oliver has loved to cook and bake. When I’m doing anything in the kitchen, he pulls his little red chair over to help, even dropping a piece of bread into the toaster. When I suggested that he help road-test these Sweet & Salty Sparklers from the June/July issue of FamilyFun, I’ve never seen him hop to anything faster. And then when I said they involved chocolate and M&Ms, he nearly fell over. I decided to really let him do each step (brave, I know), so here’s what we got…

As far as ingredients go, it couldn’t be any easier. All you need is red and blue M&Ms, pretzel rods, and white chocolate chips. (You can also add red and blue sprinkles, but I had to draw the line on the sugar.)

1. First, line a tray or cookie sheet with parchment paper.

2. Then, the fun begins. It’s time to sort M&Ms—red in one bowl, blue in the other. Sommer joined in the fun on this step, mostly enjoying the taste of the yellow, orange, green, and brown ones.

3. Next melt the white chocolate until its runny enough to drizzle. (Hint: follow melting instructions on the package.)

4. Drizzle white chocolate on each pretzel rod, one at a time. I must admit that I took over the step because I saw the impending disaster!

5. And lastly, decorate the sticks with the blue and red candies. Put these in the fridge for about 15 minutes until they set.

As per usual, and this is evident from the photo above, both my kids licked these like lollipops, ate off the M&Ms, then asked for the next one.

If you want to see what they should REALLY look like, check out this great photo. These are quick and easy to make—a festive, sweet, and salty snack to celebrate the Fourth of July!

Never have a boring afternoon! Check out our activity finder.

July 4th Confetti Popper
July 4th Confetti Popper
July 4th Confetti Popper

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Tags: , | Categories: DIY, Family, Food, Fun, Holiday

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8 Fabulous (and free!) Father’s Day Printables

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

The Father’s Day rule in my household is simple. Dad gets to choose whatever he wants for that day (and ditto on Mother’s Day). So for example, if Dad wants to lay in the park with a bagel and lox and play catch for 7 minutes then lay in the sun then nap when the kids nap then choose his own restaurant for dinner, then so be it. That’s what he gets. If he decides that he doesn’t want to make any decisions, then Mom and kids take over. It’s our way of relieving the pressure of gift giving—we have birthdays and other holidays for that. But there’s always room for a little bit of surprise, even in a day totally prescribed by Dad. And these adorable printables are sure to bring a smile to his face!

Top: Paper Dad Rocks—Mr. Printables / Sugar cookie fries (we are making these!)—Bakerella (those are sugar cookie fries!) / Gummy bottle labels—Get Creative Juice

Middle: Love you to the moon and back photobooth printables—B Kids / Dad Coupons—The DadaBase

Bottom: Etch-a-Sketch card—Zakka Life (via Cool Mom Picks) / Nuts About Dad—Design Dining Diapers / We Heart Daddy banner—Paging Supermom

Kids Talk about Loving their Daddy
Kids Talk about Loving their Daddy
Kids Talk about Loving their Daddy

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Spark a Love of Good Food in Kids

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

Ask any parent what she struggles with the most and usually, at the top of the list is healthy eating. As my kids get older, I notice that involving them in the cooking process really encourages the exploration into new foods. And that first bite (or sip) is step one. All we can hope for is that one of those first bites will catch and a new flavor, food group, or, dare I say, green will get worked into our kids’ repertoire.

Finding recipes that are easy enough to do with kids as young as 3 is a bit challenging, and then you prop up the iPad, print-out, or laptop on the kitchen counter, sticky fingers create smudges, then excitement grows, and spills ensue.  A kids’ cookbook is a fun idea, for sure, but there’s something a whole lot more exciting about getting a box every month in the mail with a new recipe, a new tool, and a new activity. And that’s what you get with Kidstir, the subscription service that brings easy-to-follow, easy-to-do, and healthy kid-friendly recipes to your door. Every month. No joke.

Here’s how it works…you sign up and for $19.95 a month (you can do 3, 6, or 12 months), Kidstir sends you a box of goodies. You’ll first get the starter kit that comes with this cute, customizable 3-ring recipe binder with dividers, and then each month you’ll get more recipes, more cooking tools, and more fun activities to try with your kids. The pages are smudge-proof, easy-to-read, and adorably designed. Each kit lists the recipe’s ingredients, the kitchen skills that your child will learn, the steps, and notes to grown-up helpers with safety guidelines. And if this isn’t enough, Kidstir also has free printable downloads on their website for Honey Bee Bar Wrappers, a multiple choice breakfast in bed menu, and a cute chart that reminds kids about the importance of eating the rainbow. Again, no joke.

Oliver and I started with the simple orange drink; he loved squeezing the oranges and I’m not sure if he took a breath as he slurped down his homemade refreshment.

When I cook in the kitchen, my kids always drag their chairs over to the counter and rarely am I prepared for their “assistance.” Sommer will grab for a knife and then Oliver will shut his sister’s fingers in a drawer. It’s not a pretty sight. Now we can plan for real kid kitchen time and they can both lend a hand to making something that we all want to eat!

 

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Tags: | Categories: DIY, Everyday Fun, Food, Fun, Gifts, kids

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5 Creative Books Every Teacher Will Love

Sunday, May 18th, 2014

Believe it or not, this is the last week of school for many kids around the country. I think I can hear my nieces’ and nephews’ cheers all the way from Georgia! Instead of a mug with an apple on it or a personalized note pad, give your kids’ teachers something that will enrich them this summer…a beautiful book that inspires creativity. Here are the five DIY books that make me want to drop everything and create right now.

THE PLANT RECIPE BOOK: Baylor Chapman walks you through gorgeous green arrangements that will live and grow in your home all summer long.

PROJECT KID: Ok, another SSP (shameless self-promotion), but it really is a good book for teachers! Maybe they have kids of their own or they can just flip through it to get ideas for the next school year.

WISE CRAFT: Blogger Blair Stocker gives new life to old and often tattered flea-market finds, fabric scraps, and bits of nature. We all have some vintage hankies or rocks laying around that are begging to be crafted into something.

PAPER TO PETAL: Rebecca Thuss and Patrick Farrell have put together one of the most beautiful craft books. Ever. You will be so amazed at how gorgeous these paper flowers are; and grateful that they will never die.

EAT & MAKE: Paul Lowe of Sweet Paul Magazine gives us a food and kitchen craft book that one day will be covered in olive oil stains and paint drips. There’s no more proof of a successful how-to book than that.

 

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Today is Frog Jumping Day!

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

Yes, in case you didn’t know, today is Frog Jumping Day! Here are a few crafts, games and snacks to celebrate this all-important holiday. Hop to it!

Who says a frog as to be green? Love this paper mache frog by MollyMoo found on Curly Birds.

These frog cupcakes are super simple to make and you very well might even have the ingredients on hand.

And while the cupcakes are in the oven and the kids are in the backyard playing leap frog, whip up a few headbands like this one from The Thread House on Etsy (but maybe skip the sewing and just use tape and construction paper!).

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