Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Midweek Moments-Whipped Cream Ghosts

When my girls were small, I always had big plans for Halloween. A yummy holiday themed dinner with no stress or hurry before we headed out Trick or Treating. Reality was much different! Dinner was usually chaos and hurried, and dessert was often half finished or not even started when it was time to head out. I learned to simplify and adjust my expectations. From then on, dinner was often a pumpkin shaped pizza from a local takeout joint and desert became this super easy whipped cream and pudding ghost. The book I chose was "Ten Timid Ghosts", but there are a lot of ghost stories to choose from.

For each ghost you will need:
*a pudding cup or small bowl of pudding
*whipped cream of your choice (about 1/4 cup per ghost) in a zip top bag
*Mini M&Ms, chocolate chips, junior mints or other small candies

Squish all the whipped cream into the corner of the zip top bag. Remove the air as much as possible and zip the bag shut. Cut the corner off of the bag (a little less than a half of an inch from the corner). Open the pudding (or put some pudding in a bowl). Twist the bag close to the whipped cream and squeeze whipped cream onto the pudding. Start by squeezing hard and taper off as you get to the top of your "ghost" (I know, this looks a little like a certain emoji that's popular these days-that's for another day),

Use chocolate chips, M&Ms, or other candies to give the ghost eyes and a mouth (or whatever else you want to add). Done and ready to eat.


Tips and tricks:
*If your ghost tips over when you add the eyes and mouth, just use a spoon to stand it back up.
*These ghost could also be put on cupcakes, a larger cake, or a family sized bowl of pudding. My daughter Zoey just likes whipped cream, so she made hers in an empty bowl!
*As always remember-
                  You are making memories, not masterpieces!

Friday, October 11, 2019

Five Minute Food Art Friday-Mini Pumpkin Pancakes

When my daughter Courtney was little, she loved to eat mini pancakes on her little tea set plates. Ever since then, mini pancakes have been a "thing" at our house. Along with mini pancakes, I loved to make colored pancakes for my girls. A few drops of food coloring can make ordinary pancakes a party! This five minute food art Friday combines these two things. Fun to make and eat, and cooking mini pancakes makes it quick and easy!

The book I chose is "The Runaway Pumpkin" (which is actually about a giant pumpkin, instead of a mini one, but it's one of my pumpkin favorites) but there are hundreds of pumpkin themed books out there.

For each mini pumpkin you will need:

*2-3 T Pancake batter (I used a mix, but you can choose your favorite pancake batter)
*Yellow and red food coloring
*Chocolate chips, cereal, bits of candy, pretzels etc...

Add food coloring to prepared pancake batter. The amount you need will depend on how much pancake batter you have. Add a drop of each at a time until you get the color you like. Heat a non-stick skillet or griddle over medium heat. Using a wooden spoon or a tablespoon measuring spoon, drop batter (2-3 T) onto heated griddle in a "pumpkin shape". Think heart with a rounded bottom. Just like there are no perfect real pumpkins, there are no perfectly shaped pumpkin pancakes either. Don't stress!! You are making memories not masterpieces! When the bubbles in the pancake batter pop and remain popped, flip the pancakes over and cook on the other side. These tiny pancakes are perfect practice for your child to flip pancakes if you think they are ready to try!!

Using chocolate chips, candy pieces, cereal, pretzels (for the stems) decorate the "pumpkins" to make Jack-o-lanterns. Use your imagination! No need for a special grocery run, experiment with things you already have to add fun faces to your pumpkins.

Tips and tricks:
*Thinning your pancake batter a little bit will make it easier to make pumpkins with.
*Want pumpkin flavored pumpkins? Make pumpkin pancake batter and skip the food coloring.
*As always remember-
                  You are making memories, not masterpieces!

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Midweek Moments-Donut Hole Acorns

Fall is my favorite time of year! Changing leaves, cooler air, pumpkins and acorns. Where I live, the acorns are tiny and cute. I remember reading "My Side of the Mountain" when I was younger, wondering how many tiny little acorns it would take to make pancakes. It wasn't until I was older that I realized acorns grew A LOT bigger in other places. Even the tiny little ones make me smile (but I am grateful I don't have to gather enough tiny acorns to feed my family for the Winter).

There are so many fun Fall books The book I chose today is "Fox and Squirrel", a story about friends, not acorns. Fox and Squirrel are friends, even though they are very different from each other. All of us-grownups included need a reminder that we don't need to be the same to be friends. This story is a darling reminder that though we are different, there are many things that make us the same!

Our food art today is donut hole acorns. For each quick and easy acorn you will need:

*A donut hole (I found apple cider donut holes, but any kind will work)
*Peanut butter, Nutella, or frosting of your choice (about a tablespoon)
*Krispie Rice cereal (about 2 tablespoons)
*A pretzel stick

Put a small amount of frosting or nut spread on the top of the donut hole. Have your child spread it around with a knife, the back of a spoon, or even their finger.

Turn the donut hole over and press into the cereal, making sure to cover all of the frosting or nut butter. The Krispie Rice cereal should stick to the frosting or nut butter to make the acorn "cap".

Break a pretzel stick in half (or close to) and insert in the top if the donut hole (this makes the stem of the acorn).

Eat your cute little acorn (and be grateful that these are the ONLY kind of acorns you will have to eat this fall)!

Tips and tricks:
*Spreading on the top of a donut hole can be tricky. It will make it easier for your child if you hold the donut hole while they spread.
*Don't miss the chance to talk to your child about being friends with people who look, act, or believe differently than your family.
*As always remember-
                  You are making memories, not masterpieces!