Little Grass House

Not sure if this should be called a science project or an art project?  Whichever, or maybe both, it is definitely a fun way to entertain the kids this summer. You too can make a little grass house using sponges and grass seed. The clever folks at the Spoonful will show you what you need and instructions of how to build one of your one.

What does your garden grow?  Try a Little Grass House for Science Saturday.

Your next question of course would be: how do you cut all of that grass? May we suggest a Rice Krispie’s lawn mower!  If this works for you, Cute Food for Kids will show you how to make a lawn mower. Good luck getting the kids to mow!

Rice Krispie Lawn Mowers

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It’s Memorial Day weekend, why not whip up some cookies that everyone will remember?

If you’re after the popular sweet and salty combo, you are bound to get hooked on these.

Memorial Day Cookies aka cookies to remember
Makes 24 cookies

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. of salt
  • 1/4 tsp. of baking soda
  • 1/2 cup of butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup of tightly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter chips
  • 1/2 cup broken up pretzel pieces
  •  Sea Salt

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a larger bowl, beat the butter and sugars together on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). On low speed, slowly add the beaten egg and vanilla extract. Beat to combine, scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  3. Add the flour mixture and beat just until there are no more streaks of flour. Stir in the chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, and pretzels. Cover and refrigerate for an hour.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop out well rounded tablespoonfuls of the dough, flatten slightly then sprinkle with sea salt. Leave about 2 inches between each cookie. Bake for 10 minutes. If you prefer crispier cookies increase the baking time by 1-2 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before removing.

This week’s Recipe for Fun as well as yummy eating is from Sugar Cooking.  You can find many other delicious and unusual recipes that you may like to try on her blog. She also tells us that if you have a favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe you could use it for the base instead.

Thanks Sarah for this memorable recipe.

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Have you ever experienced cookie failure? The dough is so good and definitely worth eating, but somehow when you pull the cookies out of the oven they are way spread out and flat.

The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie blog has this helpful chart to help correct cookie flops. As the name implies, it is your go to source for you know what, everything chocolate chip cookies.

Problems

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Do any of these cookies look familiar? I have seen number 4 several times and now I know why! Silly me, I never knew the dough could be over mixed – hello number 5.

There are many variables in baking.  Pictured are cookies with various problems using the same dough (with flour adjustments in numbers 3 &4).
1.  This cookie is done just right. It is pictured to compare with the rest.
2.  This dough was not refrigerated.  It is still good but a little flatter than it should be.
3.  This dough contained too much flour and did not spread much at all. It is interesting to note that the dough looked identical to the correct dough, but was much stiffer and drier.
4.  This dough had too little flour.  It spread too much and didn’t bake evenly.
5.  This dough was over-mixed.  It had a poor color, baked flat and had a strange consistency.
6.  This dough was formed too small.  It was overcooked at eight minutes. It is fine to make smaller cookies, just bake them for less time.
7.  This dough was formed too large.  The outsides were done while the middle was too high and underdone.
8.  This dough was baked in an oven 25 degrees too hot.  The outside was overdone and the inside was slightly underdone.
9.  This dough was baked in an oven 25 degrees too cool.  It fell flat and became too crisp without much of an inside.
10.  This dough was frozen when baked.  It took longer to bake and didn’t cook as evenly.  To use frozen dough, set on cookie sheet at room temperature while oven is preheating, 15-20 minutes.  It takes the frost off and bakes perfectly.

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Red Retro Kitchen large

Totally Kids fun furniture & toys has many pretend kitchens for beginning bakers. Stop by or visit us online!

No more teachers…..

For many families it is already that time of year when school ends a summer vacation begins. We have a couple of weeks left here in Minnesota which is just as well since summer has not found us yet.


It is also the time of year for Teacher Appreciation Gifts.  The idea room has this simple, sweet, and inexpensive way to say thank you with water bottles plus shows you how you too can make them.

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What teacher would not smile when receiving this bouquet of flowers in a adorable pencil vase. Happy Clippings has the 411 if you would like to make one.

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Hats off to the grads with these chocolatey topped delicious looking cupcakes made by From Apples to Zucchini.

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to you! It may only come around once a year, which may be too often for some of us.  However you look at it, we thought that you might like this list of Birthday Freebies to help celebrate your special day.

Baskin Robbins – FREE ice cream
Ben & Jerry’s – FREE ice cream treat
Burger King – FREE kids hamburger on their birthday (requires a signup)
Chuck E. Cheese’s – FREE tokens (12 & younger)
Cold Stone Creamery FREE ice cream
Dairy Queen join blizzard fan club get a birthday deal
Denny’s – FREE grand slam
Krispy Kreme FREE dozen when you buy one
McDonalds FREE happy meal kids 5-12 time (need to fill out a form in advance)
Papa Murphy’s – FREE cookie dough on birthday (need to fill out a form in advance)
Panera– FREE bakery item (need to sign up for email list in advance)
Qdoba Mexican Grill – FREE burrito w/entree purchase
Quizno’s – FREE cookie
Red Robin – FREE burger
Starbucks – FREE drink for registered Starbucks Card holder
Subway  FREE treat on birthday
Taco Time FREE kids meal

Please, if you know of other Birthday Freebies, let us know and we will add them to the list.

Birthday Cake

Here is a fun way for your little ones to have a birthday party every day. Go ahead, have your cake and (pretend) eat it too.

 

Just when you thought that the last of the well – actually very well hidden Easter Eggs had been found…but they magically keep appearing.

Rather than packing them away we like to Egg Pops, a “cool” idea from Kailo Chic reusing our plastic eggs and just plain healthy fruit juice.

Eggsicles

Fruit juice
Plastic Easter eggs
Sucker sticks
A large nail and thumbtack
Small funnel or piping tip to fill the eggs

First tip the eggs upside down and poke three holes in the bottom. Two of these holes are for letting the air escape when filling the egg, the third one should be in the center of the bottom. Make this center hole bigger using the large nail. You will need it to be as big as the popsicle/sucker stick.

Once that is done, and you have your egg carton full of eggs, use the piping tip to fill each one until almost full.

Then poke in the popsicle stick and place in the freezer until firm.

We think this will be a refreshing Recipe for Fun for kids of all ages.

What do you do with your left over plastic Easter Eggs?

genetics

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We wish all of our friends near and far away a very Happy Easter!

Bunny Butt Cookies

Some-Bunny Loves You

Butt, butt…everyone will love you when you surprise them with these adorable Bunny Butt Cookies which are this week’s recipe for fun.  They take about 60 minutes from start to finish and the recipe yields 22 cookies.

Ingredients

1- roll (16.5 oz) Pillsbury™ refrigerated sugar cookies

1/3-cup all-purpose flour
1-container (12 oz) fluffy white whipped ready-to-spread frosting
   Pink gel food color, if desired
22-miniature marshmallows
     Assorted size candy sprinkles
Directions:
  • 1.  Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, knead cookie dough and flour with hands until well mixed.
  • 2.  Reshape dough into 9×1 1/2-inch log.
  • 3.  Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate 30 minutes. Remove plastic wrap. Cut cookie dough into 33 slices. Cut 11 slices into  equal wedges; shape each wedge into ovals for bunny feet. Place cookie dough slices and bunny feet on ungreased cookie sheet.
  • 4.  Bake 8 to 12 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 15 minutes.
  • 5.  In medium microwavable bowl, stir frosting and 1 to 3 drops pink food color until well blended. Microwave uncovered on High 10 to 15 seconds or until soft but not translucent.
  • 6.  To make bunny butt, frost 1 whole cookie slice and 2 bunny feet with frosting. Place bunny feet on bottom of cookie as shown in photo. Place 1 marshmallow in center of each cookie for tail. Decorate bunny paws with candy sprinkles. Repeat with remaining cookie slices and bunny feet.

Hope that you and your kiddos will have as much fun with this make together recipe as we did.

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Bunny Money

How about some Bunny Money for your honey?  Crafty Journal will show you this alternative to candy for Easter gifting.

I’m not talking about your second cousin twice removed’s wedding, but hip hip hooray, let’s celebrate National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day! Who doesn’t enjoy a good old grilled cheese? There are many variations, and methods of grilling/cooking this comfort food.

My all time favorite is the Johnny Depp method. Wearing a ric rack trimmed apron in the1993 movie Benny and Joon, Sam cooks a stack of grilled cheese using a hot iron and ironing board. Have you, or do you even know anyone who has tried this method? Whenever I’m thinking  grilled cheese, there is never an iron and ironing board handy. Besides, it sort seems like a “only in the movies” thing anyway.

With peaked curiosity look what I found? Real life people cooking the Johnny Depp way. Grilled Cheese Social has a step by step pictorial for those wishing to perfect this method.

Jamie Oliver tips his toaster on its side for a revolutionary unconventional method of preparing a grilled (toatsed) cheese sandwich.  I see an I hate Jamie Oliver cheesy mess of a toaster here.

The cooking method is up to you. Totally Kids fun furniture & toys has the equipment for cooking up some super good pretend grilled cheese sandwiches.

We have the iron and ironing board.

We have the toaster, bread and butter. You add the cheese.

We have the traditional kitchen.

We even have a deluxe stainless steel frying pan.

Grab a can of tomato soup and have a Cheesy Celebration!

It’s that time of year again and if you hear your kids begging for a cuddly little  bunny, think twice.

Quite possibly Hans Wagner gave in to his kids, and just look at what he has now!  A weally, weally big Wabbit weighing in at 22 pounds!

 

Could this be the Easter Bunny’s daughter? She surely looks like a little princess bunny.

If your kids are still talking rabbits, give making these napkin rings a try.

Hop over to Creativity for Kids and learn how with one white pipe cleaner, a couple of googly eyes, and a pink pom pom nose, you can twist, bend, and glue your way to a sweet little bunny napkin ring.

 

 

 

Another wabbit trick you can learn from Martha. Bunny napkin folds it’s a good thing.

P.S. If you think the giant wabbit is a fake – it’s a nope from snopes.