Tag Archives: snacks

Brains… Fingers… and Guts! Oh My!

8 Oct

Brains… Fingers… and Guts!  Oh My!

While the title may lead you to believe this is a Halloween post, it is actually in celebration of the Season 4 premier of The Walking Dead this Sunday!! Although, feel free to use these ideas however you wish.  In our house, we’re not so much into Halloween, but are hopeless addicted to this drama on AMC.  And while I have claimed over and over “It’s not about the zombies; they are just the backdrop of the story,”  I couldn’t resist having a little fun with food for our viewing party. The results are these two simple zombie snacks.

You will need: Candy Melts

  • Popped popcorn
  • Candy Melts (I used red, pink, brown, and white)
  • Pretzel rods
  • Shortening

The “brains” are just popcorn covered in red and pink candy melts.  Melt the candy in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring each time.  Once fully melted, add a tablespoon of shortening to the candy melts to help the candy spread more easily.  If I could do it over, I would use more pink than red.

Candy Melts

The “fingers” are pretzel rods dipped in candy melts (brown, pink, and white) with an almond slice fingernail.   Pictured here is the mix of colors I used, but feel free to adjust the colors to achieve whatever skin tone you desire.  Melt the candy in 30 second increments in the microwave until melted and smooth, stirring between each 30 seconds.  And again, add a tablespoon of shortening to thin the candy a bit.  After dipping each rod,while the candy is still soft, place an almond slice at the end of the rod.  Later, once the candy has hardened, use a toothpick to scratch knuckle lines into the fingers.  I was thrilled (and a bit grossed out) at how realistic they turned out!

Pretzel Fingers - FamilyKitchenBlog.com

Brains and Fingers - familykitchenblog.com

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

 

Valentine Snack Mix

6 Feb

IMG_5846

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

 

 

A Popcorn Treat

14 Nov

Butterscotch Popcorn- FamilyKitchenBlog.com

Q: What do you get when you cross a popcorn lover with a sweet tooth?

A: Candy-covered popcorn!

Seriously, there are a ton of chocolate-covered-popcorn-type ideas out there.  And for good reason.  It tastes amazing and is easy to make.  It’s the perfect thing for those times when you want something a little special but don’t want to put much time and effort into it, such as family movie night, a kids slumber party, or- in my case- girls scrapbooking night.

I went to my pantry planning to make white chocolate popcorn, but as it turned out all I had were butterscotch chips.  Which worked amazingly well! Thanks to eatgood4life.blogspot.com for the idea.

Butterscotch Popcorn

  • 1 Cup Unpopped kernels
  • 1- 11oz Bag of Butterscotch chips
  • 1 or 2 Teaspoons Shortening

Pop kernels according to these directions, a half cup at a time.  Melt chips in microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring between each and stopping as soon as it is completely smooth.  Stir shortening into melted chips while still hot.  Add one teaspoon at a time and check consistency.  The shortening is just to thin out the chocolate or butterscotch, helping it spread more easily.  Use hands to toss and coat the popcorn (this is the only short-lived messy part).  Sprinkle with salt if desired (for a more sweet and salty taste).  Let it cool long enough for the chocolate to harden before serving (approx 30-60 minutes).

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!

Note to Self

23 Oct

Note to Self

I have a little story to tell:

Back in September, it was yet another day of getting moved into our new house, when our friendly little Boy Scout neighbor caught my unsuspecting husband with a convincing sales pitch.  For some unfortunate reason, I (who normally handles ALL neighbor kid sales) was no where to be found and consequently an ungodly amount of popcorn was purchased.  To be fair, I’m all in favor of supporting Boy Scouts and the popcorn was indeed yummy.  But I’m the only one in our family who eats it.  And once it was in our possession, I certainly couldn’t let it go to waste.

Here is the problem.  The large bag of Butter Toffee Caramel Corn states that it contains 19- 110 calories servings.  Nineteen!?  I’ll just admit it-  I ate it in THREE.  I don’t even want to think about the calories involved here.  But I thought that if I can’t remember my own advice regarding snacking (see previous Snack Attack post), maybe it’s worth repeating to spare someone else from falling into the same pit I did!

So here it is: When faced with a large content of snacking material, divide it up into single serving portions from the get-go to avoid mindless over-eating.  Had I divided the humongous bag into even 12 smaller ones, I would have done myself a huge favor.  Not only calorie wise, but it also would have given me more mileage (i.e. number of snacks per money spent) out of the purchase.  For whatever reason, it’s mentally so much easier to stop eating when you reach the end of the single serving bag, than to stop in the middle of a large portion.

So follow my words, not my example :(  Hopefully this “note to self” will stick a little better this time around.

Batter Up!

20 Aug

Batter Up!

Before football completely takes over, I want to give a little shout out to baseball.  My son played for the first time this spring and loved it so much he’s playing again this fall!

If you’ve had kids on sports teams, you know the highlight of each game is the snack afterwards.  So as my turn approached, I naturally turned to pinterest to find a specifically baseball-themed snack to bring.  An obvious choice is cake pops decorated like baseballs.  But if you’ve been reading this blog lately, you’ll understand why I hurried past this option!

A simpler, more appealing, option in my opinion were baseball candy-covered Oreos.  You dip the cookie in the candy coating, draw the red stitching lines and you’re done!  Or if you want to go all out like my friend, Jennifer, you can include a box of cracker jacks and some peanuts along with your edible baseballs in a bag that says “Take me out to the ball game.”  She is amazing like that.

These ideas are not only for game snacks, but would be fun at an upcoming World Series party or any baseball themed event.  Or the Oreos could easily be decorated for another sport (soccer, basketball, etc).

You will need:

  • Regular Oreos (store brand are fine!)
  • White chocolate or almond bark for melting
  • Red edible marker
  • Cookie sheet lined with wax paper

Heat chocolate/almond bark in small crock pot or double boiler. Add a spoonful of shortening if seems too thick or lumpy.  Dip cookies with a fork, letting excess coating drip off for a second or two.  Place coated cookie on cookie sheet lined with wax paper.

Cool in fridge until coating is hard, maybe an hour or two?

Then draw red stitching lines with an edible marker (I found them at Walmart near their cake decorating/party supplies section).  Let dry before packaging for snacks.

 

 

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

IMG_4683

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°.

 

A New Way to Pop

19 Apr

popcorn

One of the latest bad boys in the world of nutrition is microwave popcorn.  Supposedly, the vapors released just after cooking can be toxic to humans.  And even though the main culprit- diacetyl- has been removed by most manufacturers, some say the replacement isn’t much better.  Another story is that, when heated, the chemicals in the lining of the bag produce a carcinogen, known as PFOA.  This is bad news for me.  I like popcorn, but not enough to go through any trouble to make it.

Even if you don’t buy into these alarmist stories, there’s another good reason to leave the bagged stuff behind: your wallet.  For a fraction of the cost of microwave popcorn bags, you can microwave your own kernels in a simple brown paper bag!  It is just as convenient, but more natural and less expensive.  It’s a win-win situation in my book.  You may be skeptical, as I was, thinking it’s too good to be true.  So, I will tell you up front there is some trial and error in learning how to season your own popcorn if you’ve never done it before.  But, that’s why I’m here to help!

Microwave Popcorn
from SquawkFox.com

  • 1 Brown Paper bag
  • 1/2 Cup Popcorn Kernels
  • Seasoning

Measuring kernels and place in paper bag.  Fold top over loosely.  Many suggested taping the bag shut, but I found that the popcorn burst through the bottom of the bag if it didn’t have room to go up.  My microwave is just tall enough to contain the popping corn without sealing the bag.  Definitely do not staple the bag when using the microwave!  Set microwave to heat for several minutes, but stay close and stop as soon as the popping begins to slow down to avoid burning the popcorn.

My preferred method of seasoning is to first drizzle one tablespoon of melted butter and then add “Spritzer” butter (available in the popcorn aisle) to help other seasonings stick to the popcorn.  You may want more butter, like 2-3 tablespoons.  Sometimes I season with salt, other times I’m in the mood for cinnamon sugar.  There are all kinds of flavors available at any grocery store, if you desire more exotic tasting popcorn!

Try it, I dare you!  And let me know how you like it!