Archives for category: cooking with kids

An important message from Higgins the Totally Kids fun furniture & toys shop dog.

Halloween Safety Tips For Your Dogs

1. Avoid chocolate and other candy.  Make sure to keep any candy that you are going to hand out safely hidden from your dog. Notify kids in the house to put their candy bags away. Chocolate is a big no-no for dogs as it contains theobromine, which their bodies cannot properly digest. The darker the chocolate, the worse it can be. Small amounts are typically not lethal, so if he does snag a bite don’t freak out. But also don’t let it happen.

Candy wrappers, tinfoil, and other dangers can be found in candy bags, so keep your dog safe by putting these away.

2. Put your dog in a safe place, either a separate room or his crate, when the trick-or-treaters are coming by. You should not let him be at the door to greet the kids. Costumes, commotion, and loud noises will stress him out and can cause problems ranging from stress to aggression.

3. Don’t leave your dog around kids without supervision. The erratic movements and loud, startling noises can really upset him. Add in a scary costume and you have a formula for disaster.

4. Be careful about placement of electrical cords for decorations. If your puppy or dog chews on these, trouble will follow. Arrange them for safety and use a bitter apple spray on the cord to keep pets at bay.

5. Don’t leave candles unattended. Carved pumpkins look great with a candle burning inside them, but they can be tipped over. They can also be investigated by curious pets which can lead to burns or worse.

6. Make sure that your dog’s costume is the right fit. Don’t put him in a costume that is too small or tight. Also, check for loose ends that could be chewed on and swallowed or cause other problems. If your dog hates having the costume on be a friend to him and take the costume off.

7. Watch out when the door is open. If your dog is not secured in another room or in his crate then he might bolt out the door. With all the activity outside it may be even harder to get him back in.

8. Walk your dog before the festivities begin – all those costumes can be scary.

9. If the noise is bothering him, try adding background sounds (radio, TV) to distract him from the neighborhood hubbub.

10. Be careful when out walking your dog after Halloween – loose candy can be found and he may grab a big piece if he sees it before you do.

11. Think twice about taking him out with your family to trick or treat. There’s a lot of costumes and commotion which can put any dog on edge. He might be happier at home.

12. Tell kids the dangers of the treats and to not feed the dog any.

13. Be firm. Don’t let anybody who wants to greet your dog just to be polite. Be willing to say “no thanks” if your dog is feeling anxious or if the other person (perhaps an excited, sugar filled child) is approaching inappropriately.

14. If you take your dog with you, do not take him up to a stranger’s door – the resident dog may not take kindly to that and it could end up being a bummer. Someone should wait at the end of the driveway with the dog.

15. Do not leave your dog outside. There are plenty of rumors that dogs are taunted and teased, that gates are opened, and that candy is tossed in yards. It’s unlikely that lots of kids are running around causing harm to dogs on Halloween night, but the commotion is enough to unnerve your dog and it is conceivable that a youngster might toss a treat toward your dog with the best of intentions but bad results.

It may seem like a lot, but the truth is that Halloween is a fun time for parents and kids and can easily be fun for dogs too. Many dogs enjoy being the center of attention and will tolerate wearing a costume (which we get a huge kick out of!) to do so. Keep an eye out for the dangers of candy, keep your dog secure in your house, and be ready to ward off over-excited kids and all will be well. Happy Halloween.

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Halloween treats to make your pooch howl! Pop over to She Knows. She really does know how to make these Pumpkin & Peanut Butter Dog Treats and will show you how to too.

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Halloween Treats For People

Pupcakes recipe from Gourmet Mom On the Go.

Now, let’s get cooking!

 

Look at this DIY Halloween Garland idea featured on Forty-Two Roads. We are handing this one over to Josh, our Halloween decorator. Let’s see what he will do with it?

Templates for the cut outs can be found at Paper Crave.

These Spooky Spider Deviled Eggs were a huge hit last year. You might want to try making them with the kiddos for a fun together cooking time.

Deviled Eggs, yes! Always for Halloween, as we do each year, we’re laying (out) our special spider eggs to creep out some friends.

Ingredients

  • 3 slices bacon (3 oz.)
  • 8 hard-cooked large eggs
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • Salt and pepper

Preparation

1. In an 8- to 10-inch frying pan over medium-high heat, cook bacon, turning slices as needed, until browned on both sides and crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain. When cool enough to handle, crumble bacon.
2. Cut each egg in half lengthwise; gently scoop out yolks and place in a bowl. Mash yolks with a fork, then stir in mayonnaise, green onions, mustard, and crumbled bacon until well blended. Add salt and pepper to taste.
3. Spoon about 1 tablespoon yolk mixture into the hollow of each egg-white half. Serve immediately or cover and chill up to 4 hours.

Smile Day at Totally Kids

Happy World Smile Day 2018!

Yes, it is World Smile Day once again, so go ahead and turn that frown upside down.

World Smile Day was created by Harvey Ball of Worcester, Massachusetts, who, in 1963, designed the original smiley face logo. Since 1963 they have taken over. Anybody else now seeing those little faces almost everywhere, every day of the year? I could not begin to count how many I see daily in an email, Facebook and Twitter.

Smiley Face

He thought that we all should devote one day each year to smiles and kind acts throughout the world, regardless of politics, geography, and religion.

World Smile Day® is always the first Friday in October each year, people all around the planet perform acts of kindness and help others smile.

Here is a healthy treat from family go that’s sure to put a “smile” on anyone’s face. Even the youngest kiddos can help create these; an excellent cook together.

This week’s Recipe for Fun: False Teeth aka Apple Smiles.

Ingredients

  • smooth peanut butter
  • 1 red apple, cored and sliced into eighths
  • a squeeze of lemon juice
  • miniature marshmallows

Directions

  1. Spread peanut butter on one side of each apple slice (squeeze a little lemon juice over the apple if not serving immediately).
  2. Place four miniature marshmallows on one apple slice and then lay another apple slice, peanut butter side down, on top.

I think I’ll go eat worms. Would you care to join me?

Ingredients:

100 flexible plastic straws

(The straws with a bendable neck make the most realistic worms by adding ridges to the worm. Place bendable necks of straws at the bottom of the container).

An empty, cleaned 1-quart milk or orange juice carton to hold straws.

(The straws will fill up to the height of the container, the taller the better.)

1 package (6 ounces) raspberry or grape flavor gelatin
3 envelopes unflavored gelatin
3 cups boiling water
3/4 cup whipping cream
12 to 15 drops green food coloring

waxed paper

Instructions: Combine gelatins in a bowl and add boiling water; stir until gelatins completely dissolve. Chill until lukewarm, about 20 min.

Meanwhile, gently pull straws to extend to full length; place in tall container. Wrap together with a loose rubber band to hold straws together.

Blend cream and food coloring with the lukewarm gelatin mixture. Carefully pour into container, filling straws.

Chill until gelatin is firm, at least 8 hours, or cover and chill up to 2 days.

Pull straws from container or, if you’re using a carton, simply tear the carton away from the filled straws. Pull straws apart. Run hot tap water for about 2 seconds over 3 to 4 straws at a time. Starting at the empty ends, push worms from straws with rolling pin, or use your fingers.

Lay worms on waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Cover and chill until ready to use, at least 1 hour or up to 2 days. Worms will hold at room temperature for about 2 hours.  And another grand plan from the IdeaRoom.

Nobody likes me, everybody hates me,
I think I’ll go eat worms!
Big fat juicy ones,
Eensie weensy squeensy ones,
See how they wiggle and squirm!

Down goes the first one, down goes the second one,
Oh how they wiggle and squirm!
Up comes the first one, up comes the second one,
Oh how they wiggle and squirm!

I bite off the heads, and suck out the juice,
And throw the skins away!
Nobody knows how fat I grow,
On worms three times a day!

Nobody likes me, everybody hates me,
I think I’ll go eat worms!
Big fat juicy ones,
Eensie weensy squeensy ones,
See how they wiggle and squirm!

This may be one of our ickiest Recipes for Fun. What do you think?

October 1st is World Vegetarian Day and it can continue all month.

There’s no better time than today to start scaring up some spooky vegetarian Halloween food.

Monster Food –  Eyeball Caprese for brave of appetite.

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Edible Bony Maroney Skeleton and notice please that you’ll find no meat on these bones. Visually dissect the skeleton for a list of ingredients.

Stuffed Roaches anyone?

pumpkin
Puking pumpkin…… What can I say?

If you’ve just gotta have your meat, disguise it in a Mummy Meatloaf and we won’t tell. Mum’s the word.

Now…

What do you get when you divide the circumference of a pumpkin by its diameter? Pumpkin pi.

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Let Your Saturday Adventures Begin! Stop by Totally Kids fun furniture & toys today and take 50% OFF most kids furniture and ALL Toys. Just one mile west of the Mall of America.

 

Signs

Stephanie Lynn will show you how. to make some great signs to help begin your indoor adventure.

fake indoor fire

There are so many DIY inspirations for building a safe indoor firepit for the day. Full Home Living has 10 options for flameless smokeless fires.

smores

Indoor Smores!!! Pop on over to Like Mother Like Daughter where Ellen and Aimee, the mother & daughter duo has the recipe for you.

Let your Saturday adventures begin.

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With the arrival of fall tomorrow and  Starbucks now serving their Pumpkin Spice Latte, are you ready for the season? This recipe for fun may put you and the kids in the mood. We have found a Pumpkin Latte Playdough for your little ones that just may become a new autumn classic at your house. Dinosaurs and Octopuses have the recipe for fun this week.

Here it is:

Ingredients
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1 cup water
2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp cream of tartar
1/3 of the jar of pumpkin pie spice (the tiny jar)
maple extract
vanilla extract
food coloring

Combine the dry ingredients and the oil. Slowly add the water. Add a few dashes of each of the extracts and a few drops of red and yellow food coloring. Cook over medium heat, stirring until stiff. As it mixes you can see if you’ll need more food dye. Adding a little at a time until the desired color is achieved. Turn out onto wax paper. The pumpkin pie spice was too spicy by itself, for my liking. The extracts make it smell sweeter, just like a pumpkin pie. Sniff the dough. Does it smell too spicy? Add a little bit more extract and knead it all together. If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour. If it’s too dry, add a few drops of water.

Betsy, you must give this a try for Katherine.

Anyone looking for a copycat Starbucks Pumpkin Latte recipe? Give this one from the Kitchn a try!

Pumpkin Spice Latte
makes 1-2 servings

Ingredients:
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons canned pumpkin or 1 teaspoon of Torani Pumpkin Spice Syrup (your choice)
2 tablespoons sugar or sugar substitute – you can halve this amount
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1-2 shots espresso (about 1/4 cup of espresso or 1/2 cup of strong brewed coffee if you don’t have an espresso machine.)

Directions:
In a saucepan combine milk, pumpkin, and sugar and cook on medium heat, stirring, until steaming. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and spice, transfer to a blender and process for 15 seconds until foamy. If you don’t have a blender, don’t worry about it – just whisk the mixture really well with a wire whisk.

Pour into a large mug or two mugs. Add the espresso on top.

Optional: Top with whipped cream and sprinkle pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, or cinnamon on top.

Start baking!

Whether it’s for a bake sale or afternoon tea, wow your guests with these
easy slice and bake cookies. Create, bake in one of our ovens, and serve up! The set includes a dozen wooden cookies, a dozen wooden mix and
match decorating pieces, and toy wooden kitchen utensils.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dog Days

This week’s Recipe for Fun features a dog in a dog. The idea is simple and is a fun cook together with young children. You simply bake a hot dog inside a dog shaped portion of dough.

If you’re kinda feeling the Dog Days of Summer, give this a try. Watch the instructions on video that walks you through the recipe.

Dog Biscuits

And…please do not forget your pooch.  Kids will have a grand time preparing these biscuits for their favorite dogs.  Gather round and watch this how to do it video put on by kids having fun at Highlights.

Woof, woof!  Higgins, the Totally Kids Shop Dog approved.

Another year and this time we really 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 are making Egg Pops, a “cool” idea from Kailo Chic using our plastic eggs and just plain 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.

 

What do you do with your left over plastic Easter Eggs? Please share your good ideas.