Archives for category: food
Monster Bowling

Only 68 days until spring if I am counting correctly. We seem to be experiencing endless days trapped indoors escaping the bitter cold generously provided by Old Man Winter. Thanks mister.

Monsters to the rescue….

Our Monster Bowling will bring a warm fuzzy feeling to indoor play.

Monster Sandwiches

After working up an appetite from bowling, it’s time for Monster Sandwiches. Caroline at Chocolate and Carrots featured these frightfully delicious sandwiches at Halloween, but we are adding them to Monsters to the Rescue.

monster brownies

Miserably cold Minnesota winters must have some chocolate, and in the form of Monster Brownies today would be most fitting.

Monster clips

While in a monster mood, Mr. Printables has the 123 for making colorful  Monster Bites utilizing wooden clothes pins.

Monster Puppets at Totally Kids

If you haven’t gotten your fill of Monsters by now, why not try your hand at making your very own loveable one? (for 3 years and older)

Any other monstrously fun boredom buster ideas to share? Please send them on over,  we would love to include you in a post.

Birdseed House

This time of year we always like to think of our fine feathered friends living out in the cold.

Mary, at Home Is Where the Boat Is, inspired our plans for National Bird Day on Sunday, January 5th, 2020. Our bird neighbors will be getting this Gingerbread House built especially for them to celebrate the new year in style. Pop on over to her blog for the blueprints.

Mary is also the architect of bird cottages. Pop on over and get the plans including the edible glue, the essenntial ingredient for sturdy construction.

Bird Food

A few years back we surprised the birds with these easy to create treats. Join us Celebrate Celebrate with Your Fine Feathered Friends

Learn more about National Bird Day and what you can do to help!


We made it through another Christmas, now today, let’s celebrate Boxing Day 2019.

No, Boxing Day is not really a day for returning unwanted Christmas gifts. Boxing Day is traditionally celebrated in Great Britain on December 26th, a day when civil servants and tradesmen would receive gifts from their superiors.

This custom is linked to an older English tradition since they would have to wait on their masters on Christmas Day, the servants of the wealthy were allowed the next day to visit their families. (Downton Abbey-esque)
The employers would give each servant abox to take home containing gift andbonuses, and sometimes leftover food. In general term, it’s a gift sharing day.

We are American, so today go ahead and begin the gift returning/exchanging tradition. Happy Boxing Day!

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 5780: sunset December 22, 2019 – nightfall December 30, 2019 (first candle: night of 12/22 last candle: night of 12/30)

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

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Martha Stewart shows you how to make marshmallow dreidels.

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

Goody goody gumdrops, it’s time for gumdrop trees!

This might bring back fond memories for some.

If you need a teacher gift or one for your friends and neighbors, give this a try?

This is a sweet classic Christmas project for kids of all ages and A Charming Project Blog wil show you just how easy it is in a few easy steps.

Gather the kiddos, and have some fun with this great recipe for fun.

With so many school closings due to the snow that we’re experiencing from coast to coast, whatcha gonna do? You might venture outside and build a big snowman. Or, we might suggest that you stay safe and warm indoors. Here is a yummy idea for you and the kiddos!

How to Build an Indoor Frosty The Snowman.

Ingredients

  • Small powdered doughnut
  • Powdered doughnut hole
  • Decorators’ gel
  • Pretzel or potato stick
  • Haviland Thin Mint
  • Reese’s peanut butter cup miniature

Instructions

  1. Set a powdered doughnut hole atop a mini powdered doughnut. (For a taller version, use a pretzel stick or a potato stick to secure a second doughnut hole atop the first.)
  2. Use decorators’ gel to add a face, buttons, and a carrot nose. (If the gel won’t stick, try smoothing the powder with a dab of water first.)
  3. To add a top hat to a shorter snowman, stick a small piece of a pretzel or potato stick through a Thin Mint and into a Reese’s peanut butter cup miniature, then secure the hat in place on the snowman.

Serve up Mummy’s Favorite Pizza a great way to get the kids to eat something good before they eat all that candy!  It’s also a good cook together recipe for fun eats.

Ingredients
English muffin bread
Pizza sauce
Black olives
Scallions
Red or green pepper
Cheese sticks or slices

Instructions
1. Heat the oven to 350º F. For each mummy, spread a tablespoon of pizza sauce onto half of an English muffin (toast it first, if you like).
2. Set olive slices in place for eyes and add round slices of green onion or bits of red or green pepper for pupils.
3. Lay strips of  pulled-apart cheese sticks across the muffin for the mummy?s wrappings.
4. Bake for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the muffin is toasty.

Bone Appetit! Ha ha ha ha…

“For children, play is serious learning,” Fred Rogers said. “Play is really the work of childhood.”

 Pretend play provides an outlet for children to practice coping strategies for stressful encounters. Imaginary play emerges around 3-5 years of age. It is important to encourage and allow opportunities for pretend play at home.

Here are some ways that pretend play impacts a child’s development:

  • increases use of language and vocabulary
  • expressing positive and negative feelings
  • increases self-regulation
  • helps in expressing empathy
  • encourages problem solving
  • allows for new communication
  • teaches cognitive flexibility
  • creativity in general
  • teaches organizational skills

Start by cooking up some good pretend fun with a colorful kitchen.

Add a pretend waffle maker and you can enjoy delicious pretend waffles all day long.

It is that time of year to begin planning holiday cookie baking.

There are so many options each day to help your children with the importance of pretend play.

It all begins with imagination, both yours and theirs.

Albert Einstein once said: “Logic will take you from A to B, imagination will take you everywhere.”

FINGER FOOD

PREP TIME: Requires 30 minutes chilling
COOK TIME: 25 minutes
YIELD: About 30 Cookies

INGREDIENTS
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon Amaretto
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 cup sliced almonds
3 tablespoons strawberry jelly
1 teaspoon water

NEXT:

1.  Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

2.  In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, egg, Amaretto, and vanilla extract.  In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the dry ingredients.  Working in batches, add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing until fully incorporated.  Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.

3.  Meanwhile, combine the strawberry jelly with 1 teaspoon water in a small saucepan.  Over low heat, melt the jelly.

4.  Working with one quarter of the dough at a time and keeping remainder refrigerated, roll a scant tablespoon full of dough into a thin log shape, about 4″ long for each cookie. Squeeze the dough around the center and close to one end to create knuckle shapes.  Keep the logs somewhat skinny, as they tend to expand in the oven.

5.  Make a small indentation at one end of the dough.  Drop a small bit of jelly onto the indentation, and press an almond slice firmly into the end of the cookie for a nail.  With a paring knife, make three slashes at the knuckle.

6.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Bake at 325 degrees for about 25 minutes, or until pale golden.  Allow the fingers to cool on a cooling rack.

Serve if you dare!

Have you visited the pumpkin patch yet this fall?

If you have  picked the perfect pumpkin and it’s not yet carved, thought there may be a little inspiration to be found here. Smashing pumpkins, aren’t they?

After the guts are removed and your Jack-O-Lantern has been wiped clean inside and out, use silica gel packets to keep pumpkins from molding.

Another tried and true method for preservation is mixing a solution of 1 tablespoon of bleach per quart of water in a spray bottle. Spray the pumpkin inside and on all cut areas of the pumpkin with the solution.  Wait about 20 minutes, then rub all of the carved surfaces with petroleum jelly. This will help reduce bacteria and molds growth, as well as lessens the dehydration.

One more hint is keeping it out of direct sunlight. Erin, our marketing manager, even kept her pre-carved pumpkins in her refrigerator.

What to do with the guts?

Roasted Seeds recipe from Southern Food

Ingredients:

2- cups pumpkin seeds, rinsed and drained

2- T Canola oil

1-1/2 t salt

Preparation:

Let the pumpkin seeds dry on paper towels. Toss cleaned pumpkin seeds with oil and salt; spread out on a cookie sheet. Bake in a 250° oven for about 1 hour, or until the pumpkin seeds are dry, stirring occasionally.Categories