Archives for the month of: December, 2011

Brillant German know how, but not yet available to the US market. The Rocky crib is piece of furniture with long term usability, as it adapts to the growth and needs of an active child. At first it is both a cradle for baby, and a rocking-chair for parents, combined into one. As the child grows the cradle can be rotated 180° and later has the capability if turning into a child’s bed. Using the bedrail there is a boundary for even greater safety.

We find so many wonderful products around the world, but importing them is often difficult as they do not always meet US standards.

Next September is another opportunity for us to discover great new products for kids at the Kind + Jugend 2012 show in Cologne, Germany.

For more German Know How, you can know how to bake up these traditional German Kipferil cookies in your own kitchen.


Ingredients


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup vanilla-infused granulated sugar
Instructions
  1. Using a food processor, pulse together flour, almonds, 1/4 cup of vanilla-infused sugar, and the salt. Add butter and vanilla extract and pulse just until the mixture comes together like bread crumbs, about 30 seconds. Turn out and press dough into a ball. Refrigerate for about 1 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Shape 1 tbsp worth of dough into crescent shape, tapering ends slightly.
  3. Place on parchment-lined baking sheets and bake about 12 to 15 minutes. Allow to cool on racks for about 10 minutes.
  4. Place remaining vanilla sugar in shallow dish. Turn crescents in the sugar to coat. Allow to cool completely on racks.

Makes about 50 cookies.

There are few little people on our list who will be getting our weekend  DIY project this Christmas. It  is an idea from Natalme and looks oh so easy to create.

We have a couple of jigsaw puzzles of the United Staates that will be perfect. Next step is attaching pieces of magnetic tape to each state. That’s it, back in the puzzle box and what fun they’ll have putting the states on their fridges.

The United States has a vast variety in the traditions, however, most comes in the taste of the Christmas feast:

  • New England has Lumberjack Pie ( a mashed potato crust, filled with meats, onion and cinnamon.)
  • Pennsylvania Dutch serve Sand Tarts (thing, crisp sugar cookies)
  • North Carolina features Moravian Love-Feast Buns (faintly sweet bread of flour and mashed potatoes.)
  • Baltimore serves Sauerkraut with their Turkey (which includes apples, onions and carrots.)
  • Virginia gives us oyster and ham pie.
  • Southern states have Hominy Grits Soufflé and Whiskey Cake (with one cup of 100-proof whiskey.)
  • Louisiana’s treat is Creole Gumbo. It can include ham, veal, chicken, shrimp, oysters and crabmeat.
  • New Mexico has the Empanaditas–little beef pies with applesauce pine nuts and raisins.
  • Hawaii blesses us with Turkey Teriyaki marinated and cooked over an outdoor pit.   What is your favorite Christmas meal? Is it a traditional meal that you grew up with?


While you’re out doing your last minute shopping, try this time saving Crock Pot Baked Potato idea from Skip to My Lou.

How simple is this? Just wrap the potatoes in aluminum foil,  place in a crock-pot set on  low for about 8 hours.

Load them up with your favorite toppings, serve with a big salad and you have dinner.

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One Potato – Two Potato have fun playing musical Hot Potato! It’s a fun game for all ages to play together. Toss the tater back and forth, up high, down low, around and around! Don’t get caught holding the spud when the music stops!

Once upon a time there was a little old woman and a little old man. The little old woman thought she’d make a gingerbread man. She rolled out the dough, and cut out the shape, and she put raisins for his eyes, and peppermints for his teeth, and put icing on his head for the hair. Then she put him in the oven, and when it smelled good, she opened up the door to take a peek and out jumped the gingerbread man.

Today’s Recipe for Fun is Gingerbread Crayons.

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Start by removing all the paper from the crayons and chop them into small bits. Fill your mould with the crayon pieces and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes until wax is melted. You can add more bits of crayon through the melting process so the moulds are completely full. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Then push out the crayons and they are ready to use.  Caution, don’t let them get away until you are ready to surprise some special kids.

“Run, run, as fast as you can,

You can’t catch me, I’m the gingerbread man!”

This Recipe for Fun is from Torie Jayne.

How to disguise Gingerbread Men. Turn them upside down and look at the cute Reindeer cookies.

For a change of pace, how about baking up some Nijabread Men?

These Nijabread Men cookie cutters have been a hot item this season. Can you see them also as a Recipe for Fun?

Angela really wants Christmas cookies for our office party on Thursday and here I am cooking up Christmas soap,  a recipe from  It’s Gravy Baby.

The “recipe” calls for items that you may already have around the  house, plus the process is  easy peasy.

Gather Up:

  • a bar of white soap
  • food coloring
  • water
  • cookie cutters or  candy molds

Directions:

  • Grate your bar of soap.  Find your kitchen grater, you need approximately one cup of grated soap.
  • Divide your grated soap into bowls.  One bowl for each color you want.  About 1/4 cup in each bowl to make 4 colors.
  • Add a bit of hot water to each bowl- a little less than a tablespoon per bowl.  Use a spoon or fork to mash it all together until you reach a good consistency and all of the pieces are incorporated.
  • Add a few drops of food colors, mixing until you reach your desired color.
  • Press soap mixture into cookie cutters or molds and freeze.

Line  a baking pan with waxed paper for easy clean up.  You’ll want to freeze them for at least a few hours or overnight.

Now you have cute stocking stuffers or good clean fun gifts for the little neighbors!

Just in case any of the Christmas Crayons are mistaken for cookies, keep this handy Doctor’s Case close by for an Rx. Wink wink…

Chanukah is probably one of the best known Jewish holidays.  The Jewish festival of rededication, also known as the festival of lights, is an eight day festival beginning on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev, which is the third month of the Jewish calendar, and occurs sometime in December of the Gregorian calendar. The Hanukkah holiday lasts eight successive days during which eight candles are lit, beginning with one on the first night, two on the second night, three on the third night, and so on.

Jewish Year 5772: sunset December 20, 2011 – nightfall December 28, 2011 (first candle: night of 12/20 last candle: night of 12/28)

Celebrate the holidays with our wooden Chanuka set! Kids can role play safely with our wooden menorah and 9 colorful wooden candles, dreidel, coins, potato latkes, spatula, pan and storage bag.

_______________________________This puzzle, many more toys plus other Judica toys are available at Totally Kids fun furniture & toys.

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Martha Stewart shows you how to make marshmallow dreidels.

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Bright Ideas…Menorah Cupcakes would be a special edition to any celebration.

…Goodnight room
Goodnight moon
Good night cow jumping over the moon
Goodnight light
And the red balloon, but before you head to bed be sure to set your alarm.

Tonight it’s not just a red balloon, but a real red moon.

A total lunar eclipse early Saturday morning (Dec. 10) is expected to offer lucky skywatchers stunning views of a bright red, supersized moon. A total lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth passes between the sun and the moon, casting the moon completely in shadow. The eclipse will start at around 7:45 a.m. EST (4:45 a.m. PST, 1245 GMT), when the shadow of the moon inches across the lunar disk.

If you are lucky, you may view the moon  fully engulfed in a glow that could range from light orange to blood red.

For folks farther east, the skywatching website Slooh will be broadcasting a free, real-time feed of the total lunar eclipse from Australia, Asia and Hawaii beginning at 8:00 a.m. EST (5:00 a.m. PST, 1300 GMT). Slooh’s three-hour broadcast will allow interested skywatchers to watch online as the total lunar eclipse unfolds in real time.

“Not only will the moon be beautifully red, it will also be inflated by the moon illusion,” NASA scientists explained. “For reasons not fully understood by astronomers or psychologists, low-hanging moons look unnaturally large when they beam through trees, building and other foreground objects.”

Courtesy of Denise Chow

With Moon In My Room the moon will be close to you in your room every night. The moon is the perfect foray into astronomy. Its phases teach us about the forces of our universe, its features tell us about the origin of our planet, and it’s just plain cool to look at. Moon in My Room brings the beauty and wonder of this celestial body right into your child’s bedroom. This remote controlled, glow-in-the-dark “mini moon” is contoured and textured to feature an authentically detailed lunar moonscape. A built in light-sensor illuminates a room when it gets dark and shows 12 phases of the moon. The phases can be controlled manually or set to rotate on an automatic function to change every five second, so that kids can follow the moon in the sky with the moon in their room. In order to save on batteries, the light shuts off after an hour.

Good night moon!

Look what we are making this weekend for our preschool friends.

It is not your regular red and white Playdough, but a festive peppermint glitter infused variety.  Artful Parent shows you how to make this fun do together for you and the kiddos. She dresses up canning jars and then adds a cute tag ready to share with your little friends.

The glitter and peppermint scent really says Merry Christmas.

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Back in September we made pumpkin latte playdoh that smelled good enough to eat.

Take a look at Sweet Sugar Belle’s recipe for gingerbread playdoh and  how adorable her packaging  is, complete with a Gingerbread Man cookie cutter!

And then………..       A fox asked, “Would you like a ride?”

Click on Secret Sale to see 50% OFF Melissa & Doug toys for all good little girls & boys!