Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy 4th of July!




Wishing you a wonderful and relaxing Fourth of July celebration!





One of my favorite things to for the holidays is baking,
and I love having a pretty platter of sweets.  Here is a delicious dessert
menu that is fun and easy to bake with the kids.
Strawberry Napoleons, blueberry cheesecake, chocolate mousse bites,
Jello jigglers, peach cobbler, and raspberry chocolate mousse cups.






The recipes are simple to prepare.  Serve them in individual parfait
glasses for an attractive dessert platter.
Pepperidge Farm® Strawberry Napoleon Recipe
William Sonoma® Chocolate Mousse Recipe
(fill the mousse into chocolate cups and glass dishes) 
Martha Stewart® Peach Crumble Recipe
(garnish with whip cream)





Cheesecake Bites
1 (8 oz.) package of cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups of cold milk
1 (3.4 oz) package of vanilla pudding
1 1/2 cups of whipped cream
Beat the cream cheese in a mixer and gradually mix in the milk.
Add dry pudding mix and mix well.  Fold in the whipping cream.

Graham cracker crust:
1 1/2 cups of finely ground graham crackers
5 tbl melted butter
1/4 cup sugar and a dash of salt
Combine all ingredients and press 2 tbls of mixture into cupcake molds.
Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown (about 6-10 minutes).
Remove crust from pan and pipe the cheesecake mixture
onto the cooled graham cracker crusts.





4th of July Jello™  Jigglers
Step 1: Prepare the red layer and combine two 6 oz boxes of red jello
with two and a half cups of boiling water.  Stir until dissolved and pour
into greased 9x13 dish.  I sprayed the dish with a light layer of PAM oil.
Place the jello in the refrigerator until it sets, about 20 minutes.

Step 2: To make the white layer, dissolve two envelopes of unflavored
gelatin with a quarter cup of boiling water.  Set aside.  In a separate bowl,
mix a can of condensed milk with a cup of boiling water.  
Add the gelatin mixture into the creamy mixture, and stir in another 
half a cup of boiling water.  Pour the white jello mixture onto the
set blue layer, and allow the jello to completely set in the refrigerator. 

Repeat Step 1 with blue jello mix to prepare the blue layer,
and allow the jello to completely chill before cutting.

Enjoy!




Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Away We Go! to Support the Asthma Dance-a-Thon



 
I had the pleasure of participating in a fundraiser event to support asthma.  
It was fun putting together this cheery and colorful arts and crafts
wagon for the auction.  There are some creative ideas here for school baskets
and kids with big imaginations.  I filled it with Model Magic, Floam
sidewalk chalk, Playdoh and tools, water color, markers, colored pencils, 
art paper, stencils, craft scissors, and a big sweet lollipop.




The children's energy were great.  We made Away We Go! themed crafts -
candy airplanes, floating rafts and personalized shape key chains.




I wish I could spend everyday doing arts and crafts with kids!
Theirs smiles are contagious.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!


Happy Saint Patrick's Day friends!
I love holiday celebrations, also because it's an opportunity 
for me bake in spirit.  With some Rolo™, 
Airheads Xtreme Bites™, and green sugar sprinkles, 
these rainbow leprechaun cupcakes are fun and festive!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

A Leprechaun's Treat Bag



It's almost Saint Patrick's Day and my youngest is working on a trap
to catch the little green guy.  In the meantime, we are putting 
together colorful treats to celebrate this festive day.
To make the lucky Leprechaun goodies, 
fill cellophane bags with Twizzlers Rainbow Twists™
small marshmallows for clouds, Rolos for gold pots,
and colorful M&M™candies for rainbow dust.  Have fun and enjoy!


Friday, March 7, 2014

Away We Go! Book Trailer



I'm delighted to present this awesome book trailer for Away We Go!
My talented friend, Dave Swain with Cream Studio did a shapetastic job
on this fun and playful animation.  Please share with your little ones.
Like me, I think they'll be tickled silly!



Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A Wintry Valentine's Celebration

To kick off Valentine's week, 
we celebrated the holiday of love with sweet friends, 
sweet treats, and a sweet book and craft.




Penguin in Love by Salina Yoon is a charming story and one of our 
favorite books this season.  Penguin is loveable, and the girls enjoyed
having him at our Valentine's celebration.  After a chatty lunch, 
we read the book and each made our own Penguin.




How adorable are these back-pack clips?  The kids did a great job!
I love playing with Crayola Model Magic.
It air dries nicely and is easy for the kids to work with.  


To make Penguin, you need:
Black Model Magic for the body.
Orange Model Magic for the scarf.
White Model Magic for the belly and nose.
Two black beads for the eyes
Yellow pipe cleaners for the feet.
Back pack clips

After molding Penguin with model magic, fold a six inch pipe cleaner 
in half and string it through the ring of a back-pack clip, with the folded
part centered in the ring.  Pierce both ends of the pipe cleaner through the top 
of Penguin's head and out the bottom.  There will be two ends sticking out.
Bend each end in half to form the feet; this will secure Penguin to the clip.




 While our Penguins were left to dry, we celebrated with wintry treats.
I'm still practicing my chocolate piping skills.  
The girls were tickled with the Penguin and bill cozy cupcakes. 
You'll have to read the book to learn what a bill cozy is. :)




 The iceberg jigglers were a big hit.  Kids love these silly, jiggly treats.
To make the blue icy water layer, combine two 6 oz boxes of blue jello with
two and a half cups of boiling water.  Stir until dissolved and pour 
into a greased 9 x 13 dish.  I sprayed the dish with a light layer of PAM oil.
Place the jello in the refrigerator until it sets, about 20 minutes.

To make the creamy snow layer, dissolve two envelopes of unflavored gelatin 
with a quarter cup of boiling water.  Set aside.  In a separate bowl, mix
a can of condensed milk with a cup of boiling water.  Add the gelatin mixture 
into the creamy mixture, and stir in another half a cup of boiling water.  
Pour the white jello mixture onto the set blue layer, 
and allow the jello to completely chill in the refrigerator before cutting.




These snow ball goodies are powdered donut holes.




The girls enjoyed drinking milk from the frosted icicle glasses.
Okay, sugar sprinkles. :)




Author/Illustrator Salina Yoon offers these wonderful free 
Valentine's printables on Penguin's Face Book page.
The children were happy to take home Penguin in Love Valentines.



I'm so happy the kids got a chance to get together this weekend.
They had a lot of fun hanging out and celebrating Valentine's.




Before bedtime, I helped my daughter clip her new friend
onto her back-pack.  She is all set for school.  Happy Valentine's week!


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Snowmen Smores

It's so cold outside, and I'm ready to start thinking about Valentine's crafts.
Although, last week we had three snow days off from school, 
so in the spirit of winter, the snowmen will stick around a bit longer.


 
When my kids come in from the cold, they crave hot chocolate and smores.
These snowmen smores are really fun and simple to make. 

You need:
Marshmallows for the head
Fruit roll-ups for the scarf
White chocolate wafers for the melted snow
Assorted candies and chocolate chips for the eyes and buttons.
Hershey chocolate bars
Graham crackers

Assembling the smores is easy.  Start with a graham cracker square 
and place some chocolate bars on top of it.  
Melt the white chocolate and spoon some over the milk chocolate.
Quickly attach the marshmallow on top of the white chocolate 
before it cools.  Dip the eyes, nose, and buttons in some melted white 
chocolate and decorate the snowmen.
The melted chocolate will harden and keep the candies in place.
Add the scarf to the base of the marshmallow and
 you have the cutest smores ever.  Enjoy!