Tag Archives: Little Hands in the Kitchen

Celebrating Easter

26 Mar

Celebrating Easter

I’ve spent some time searching for ideas of how to celebrate Christ’s resurrection with kids and been a bit disappointed with what I’ve found, or rather, not found.  There is always the classic resurrection roll, but I wanted to add a little more than that this year.

Finally, one day I had some inspiration as Empty Tomb Obstacle CourseI was pulling into my garage and saw my son’s empty sandbox.  The idea struck me that I could use the sandbox as an empty tomb!  I had already considered putting together an obstacle course in our basement for our Easter party, but now we had a goal to race towards!  How fun for the kids to pretend they are disciples racing to see if what they had heard was true!

I also found this food craft at CatholicIcing.com, which I am happy to pass on to you!  It is very simple, I’m guessing kids as young as three or four years old could do it themselves.  My only regret is that is not a healthy snack for your kids.  Next year, I promise to improve in that area!

Empty Tomb Snacks

  • Chocolate covered doughnuts
  • Graham crackers squares
  • Oreo cookies (or Mini Oreos, depending on the size of your doughnuts)
  • Green Icing

Start the assembly by cutting off the bottom of the doughnut to make a flat surface.  Next, spread icing on graham cracker square to be the grass.  Place doughnut on the icing, then place the Oreo cookie to the side of the doughnut to look like the stone that was rolled away.  All that’s left is for the kids to consume this sweet reminder of the Easter story!

Empty Tomb Snack

 

Sugar Cookie Simplicity

16 Feb

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Of course, I realize that Valentine’s Day has past, but I want to take the opportunity to share a classic tried and true recipe.

Traditionally, most people think of making and decorating sugar cookies at Christmas time.  But personally, I prefer other times of year. Christmas cookies are complicated!  You need so many colors and different shapes.  I feel so much less expectation when it’s not Christmas.  For Valentine’s day, all you need are hearts, maybe an x and an o if you’re feeling ambitious. Or for St. Patrick’s day, a shamrock cutter and green icing and you’re good to go!

Sugar Cookies

  • 6 ½ cups Flour, Sifted
  • 2 teaspoons Baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 ½ cups Butter, Softened
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 4 Eggs
  • 2 teaspoons Almond extract

First of all, get your flour sifted.  This is a great job for preschoolers that really want to help in the kitchen!  Add baking powder and salt.  Beat together butter, sugar, eggs, and almond extract.  Add flour mixture in two to four increments, mixing between each. Preheat oven to 350°.

Sugar Cookie Dough- FamilyKitchenBlog.com

When batter is ready, clear a large space on your counter top.  Sprinkle with a good layer of flour.  With clean hands, form about half the dough into a large ball.  Take care to not “over work” the dough. In other words, don’t knead any more than necessary!

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Use a rolling pin to spread the dough until it is about 1/4″ thick.  Cut out cookies in whatever shape you desire.  Place on cookie sheet and bake for 7-9 minutes.  Be sure to set a timer, as it is easy to lose track of time while cutting out the next batch of cookies!  When you run out of space to cut more cookies, re-form the leftover dough into a new ball.  You could add in fresh dough if you want a larger cutting area.  Sprinkle fresh flour on counter top before rolling it out. Repeat this process until all dough is cut into shapes!

Allow cookies to cool on cooling rack or wax paper before decorating.  Follow this link to my buttercream icing recipe!

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Valentine Snack Mix

6 Feb

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Just in case you’re not aware, Valentine’s Day is exactly eight days away!  In honor of the holiday, today I’m sharing a snack that would be fun to send your kids (or spouse) in their lunch.  Or to snack on while watching a romantic movie???

Valentine Snack Mix
from chex.com

  • 9 Cups Chex® Rice or Corn cereal (I used 6 cups rice chex and 3 cups chocolate chex – yum!)
  • 1 Cup White baking chips
  • 1/2 Cup Peanut Butter
  • 1/4 Cup Butter
  • 3/4 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Red, Pink, and White M&M’s
  • 1/4 Cup Red or Pink Jimmy Sprinkles (I found heart shaped sprinkles!)

Measure cereal into a large mixing bowl.  Melt baking chips, peanut butter, and butter together.  Pour over cereal and stir until cereal is evenly coated.

Spoon into gallon size zippered bag and coat with powered sugar by shaking ingredients together (A great task for little hands).  Stir in candy and sprinkles.

If mixture is warm, spread out on wax paper to cool.  Once cool, pack into snack size bags for your loved ones to enjoy!

 

Valentine Snack Mix

 

 

Pretzel Pumpkin Patch

29 Oct

Pretzel Pumpkin Patch

Okay, so this recipe doesn’t actually have any pumpkin flavor, but they sure are a cute and easy fall food activity for kids!  Or for any age- I made these with my son and my grandmother.  I think the pictures speak for themselves, so I’ll jump right to the directions.  My thanks to Jessica at butterwithasideofbread.com for the idea.

  • 1 Bag Orange Candy Melts (available at crafts stores such as Michaels or JoAnns)
  • 1/2 bag (approx) Pretzels- regular shape, not pretzel sticks
  • Green M&M’s  (You’ll need to purchase one Large (19.2oz) bag of M&M’s to get enough green ones for this project)
  • Wax paper

First, have kids sort the green M&M’s from the other colors in the bag.  Next, melt the candy melts in microwave in a glass bowl, according to directions on bag.  If the melted candy seems too thick, you can add a teaspoon or two of shortening to thin it out.

Using a fork, dip pretzels one at a time into melted candy.  Fully coat pretzel before removing.  Tap on side of bowl to allow excess candy to drip off.  Place on wax paper and immediately place green M&M in the top crevice.  The candy will set fairly quickly (maybe an hour total) at room temperature, but you can refrigerate or freeze them to speed up the process.

Once the candy is hardened, gently break off any remaining excess candy around the pretzels.  Then place pumpkins on a platter to create your very own edible pumpkin patch!

Apple Cider Muffins

14 Oct

Apple Cider Muffins

This recipe has lots of fall flavor without using pumpkin (for all you pumpkin haters that didn’t vote in my poll, but I still know exist).  A single batch makes over 50 mini muffins, but we still managed to polish them off in only a few short days.  My son particularly enjoyed the last step of rolling the muffins in cinnamon sugar, so bring the kids into the kitchen and let ‘em help!

The secret ingredient- I was lucky enough to have some local-made from the farmer’s market.

Apple Cider Muffins
from Feastie.com

  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon Baking powder
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon Baking soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Teaspoons Cinnamon
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 2/3 Cup Brown sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Apple butter
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • 1/3 Cup Honey
  • 1/3 Cup Apple cider
  • 1/3 Cup Plain yogurt
  • 2 Tablespoons Canola oil
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400° and spray a mini muffin pan with cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

In another large bowl, whisk together the egg, brown sugar, apple butter, vanilla extract, honey, apple cider, yogurt, and canola oil. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredient mixture and whisk until just incorporated. Don’t over-mix – a few lumps are okay.

Using a tablespoon, fill a 24-hole mini muffin pan with the batter; fill each hole only 3/4 of the way, or you’ll end up with huge mini muffins. Bake for approximately 10-12 minutes and cool on a wire rack.

While muffins are still a little warm, combine cinnamon and sugar in another dish. Roll each muffin in the cinnamon sugar to coat the sides and top. If muffins are too hot the cinnamon sugar will dissolve into the muffin.  If they are too cool it won’t stick.  If you need it, a little melted butter brushed onto the muffins will help the cinnamon sugar stick.  Makes approximately 48 mini muffins.

 

An Olympic Snack

26 Jul

An Olympic Snack

As I’m sure you’re aware, the Summer Olympic Opening Ceremonies are tomorrow!  Our family is excited, so we made a simple snack in honor of the occasion.  I’m sure any little ones in your family would enjoy making and eating them too!

Go Team USA!!!

Olympic Ring Crackers

You will need:

  • Ritz (or other round) crackers
  • Cream Cheese (or sub with peanut butter)
  • Blue, brown, red, yellow, and green M&M’s

Spread cream cheese on crackers.  Top with M&M’s in a circle.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Homemade Soft Pretzels

11 Jun

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Summer is here!  If you’ve got kids home all day, baking pretzels would be a fun way to spend an afternoon.  Especially if you have to be indoors because of rain or extreme heat.  I got this recipe from my son’s preschool teacher.  His class made pretzels in the shape of their initial, so of course, they were a bit hit!  As the 4th of July approaches, you may want to make “USA” shaped pretzels.  Or if you just visited an aquarium, make them into fish shapes.  Let your imagination run wild with all the possibilities!

  • 1 Package Yeast, softened in 1.5 cups warm water
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 3 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 4 Cups Flour (I used whole wheat)

Add salt, sugar, and flour to yeast and water.  Knead by hand.  Bend dough into desired shapes.  Place of greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with coarse salt.  Bake 12-15 minutes at 350°.

 

The Teddy Graham 500

23 May

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Here in Indianapolis life is all about the car racing right now.  In just a few short days people will be pouring into our town to witness the Indy 500.  In honor of the event, I have a race car food craft to share.  I found these teddy graham racers from planningwithkids.com irresistibly cute and easy for kids to assemble. But if you’d like a healthier race snack, visit my Edible Crafts board on Pinterest.  There are cars made from strawberries, eggplant, cucumbers, and apples!

You will need:

  • Mini Teddy Grahams
  • Mini candy bars (snickers, milky way, etc)
  • M&M’s
  • Peanut Butter (or other nut butter)

Push Teddy Grahams into center of candy bars.  Use peanut butter to “glue” the m&m’s to the side of the candy bar.  And that’s it- you’re ready for the checkered flag!

No-Bake Energy Bites

8 Mar

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What can I say about this amazing snack?  It’s got everything going for it: taste, texture, nutrition, naturally gluten-free, easy to make, can be frozen, and the ingredient substitutions are endless (although we loved them exactly as is).  If that doesn’t peak your interest, I don’t know what will!  This is yet another recipe worthy of a double or triple batch!

No-Bake Energy Bites
from smashedpeasandcarrots.blogspot.com

  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (or other nut butter)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 cup coconut flakes (sweetened or unsweetened, optional)
  • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed (or wheat germ)
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (or other add-ins, such as raisins)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Mix everything above in a medium bowl until thoroughly incorporated.  Let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour.  Once chilled, roll into balls, and enjoy for a yummy snack or healthy dessert!  Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to one week (or frozen for several months).  For more substitution ideas, see the original recipe website.

Red Light, Green Light

16 Feb

Red Light, Green Light

Ever have one of those days where the kids need a little direction in their play?  Here’s a mini theme to help pass the time.  Play Red Light, Green Light followed by this yummy snack that kids can assemble themselves:

Stop Light Crackers

You will need:

  • Graham Crackers
  • Red, yellow, and green M&Ms
  • Peanut butter or Nutella

Break crackers into small rectangles.  Spread peanut butter or Nutella on crackers.  Place candies on cracker with red on top, yellow in the middle, and green on the bottom.  All that’s left is to enjoy munching on your stoplights (and maybe sweeping up the crumbs they make)!