Compliment Cookies and Cupcakes

I feel like I talk about My Little Ponies a lot. I guess you are getting a little taste of what it is like at our house with pony craze. (Spoiler Alert) My kiddos and I recently watched an episode where Pinkie Pie was teaching her students about compliments with a cupcake exchange. I thought:

‘Wow that is a great idea.’


Girl Scouts Mari Badge Idea


My daisy troop recently earned their Mari ‘Responsible For What I Say and Do’ Badge. We started by reading the story of Mari the marigold. Luckily the story includes cupcakes decorating. Then the girls watched the first minute of My Little Pony Friendship is Magic, Season 8 Episode 12 “Marks for Effort,” where Pinkie Pie explains and shows her students how to pay a compliment for the exchange of a cupcake. Then we reviewed the compliments we saw in the show before decorating a cupcake for our exchange.

Today, we decorated cookies similar to the cupcakes. The frosting, sugar cookie and sprinkles were supplied to my kiddos. They might have eaten just 2 large spoonfuls of frosting before any made it onto the cookie. So yummy!!

I think I would call these cookies Rainbow Bam!! Every variety of rainbow sprinkle made it onto this cookie adding just the right amount of crunch. Enjoy!!

Say CHEESE Pizza Recipe

Today we read a wonderful book about pizza which lead to us eating pizza. It was delicious.


So You Want To Grow A Pizza


Piggy backing on the library trip we took earlier this week. I stumbled onto a book series titled “So You Want To Grow A…” by Bridget Heos. My toddler and I decided to take the So You Want To Grow A Pizza Book home to read. It was a delightful book with step by step instructions on how to grow a pizza or really grow the ingredients to make a pizza. It was like we were reading a cookbook which I guess you kind of are.

While reading the book, I grew an appreciation for pizza because I learned how long it takes to grow all the ingredients needed to make a pizza. Let’s just say if I start a garden today, I’d be lucky to eat a pizza by next year 2020. The last page includes a recipe for pizza sauce which is a nice little bonus.


Easy Pizza Recipe For Kids


The book lead to a delicious pizza dinner which my kids made. They placed pita bread on a cook sheet then brushed both sides with olive oil. I toasted the pita bread in the oven for 1-2 minutes on both sides. I recommend toasting the pitas; otherwise, they get a little soggy.

After removing the pita bread from the oven, my kiddos spread a thin layer of sauce onto the bread as evenly as they can. It won’t hurt to be uneven. It just cooks evenly.

Once the sauce is spread out, let them sprinkle the cheese and add the topping. My girls like cheese pizza like most kids. While my husband and I tried a Denver omelet inspired toppings with green pepper, ham and onions.

Bake for 5-7 minute or until cheese is melted at 425 degrees. Dinner is served… Yummy.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of cheese; shredded cheddar or mozzarella
  • 2-4 Pita breads
  • 1 cup of pizza sauce
  • Toppings; pepperoni, ham, veggies, whatever you want

Easy dinner that the kids enjoyed making and eating. Now who cleans up?

Cookie Exchange

Yummy treats during this festive season should be a part of everyone’s family traditions. We have a tradition of making sugar cookies. A Jenny Cookie recipe; check out her blog and book here. I went to one of her cookie decorating classes almost 10 years ago. These cookies are so delicious and wonderful that my daughter requests them by name. I realized this year that Jenny Cookies are a part of her Christmas traditions.

Besides a small batch of sugar cookies for my daughter, we made stampede brownies and Christmas tree brownies. Check out our earlier post about stampede brownie recipes.

Christmas tree brownies are very decorative and easy to make. They off set the extra work to make the stampede brownies. Betty Crocker has a great recipe for Christmas tree brownies.

Here is an idea of the assortment of cookies from our cookie exchange. I’m so grateful for everyone who participated. Everything from sugar cookies, snickerdoodles, molasses, spritz, snowballs and peanut butter blossom cookies.

Baking Treats

Happy holidays. Part of what makes this season special is the delicious treats. We made two of my husband favorites, stampede brownies and seven layer bars. There are many different seven layer bars and we have tried many different combinations over the years. Belle of the Kitchen has my favorite combo; check it out here.

I like the stampede (caramel) brownies because they are tasty and a great option if you know someone allergic to eggs.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of German chocolate cake mix
  • 2/3 cup of evaporated milk
  • 1 stick of margarine (not butter)
  • 1 package of caramels
  • 1 package of chocolate chips

Direction:

Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Unwrap the caramels without eating too many of them. Then melt the caramels and 1/3 cup of evaporated milk. Stir often so the caramel doesn’t burn.

Photo courtesy of Spring Chef Dough Blender, Top Professional Pastry Cutter with Heavy Duty Stainless Steel Blades available on Amazon.com

While the caramels are melting, mix together with a pastry blender cake mix, margarine and 1/3 cup evaporated milk. It is thick, sticky and hard to mix so beware. Finish mixing with a spoon.

Grease your fingers (and maybe up to your elbows) and pat half of this mixture into a greased and floured 9 x 13″ pan. Bake for 6 minutes.

Remove from the oven then evenly spread the chocolate chips over the bottom half of the brownie. Layer the melted caramel over the chocolate chips. Regrease your fingers and carefully drop small pieces of the remaining cake mixture on top of the caramel. This is pretty hard since the mixture is so sticky.

Grandma’s batch is the top pan and as you can see she did a better job with making small pieces of cake batter on top.

Place the pan back in the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the stampede brownies cool completely. Cut them up and enjoy.

We made a double batch and will be exchanging some of them at our cookie exchange. Check back in a week to see how the cookie exchange went. Happy eating.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

I want to wish you a happy Thanksgiving and hope you are ready for the holiday season.

I love Thanksgiving. Who doesn’t love watching the parade on tv and eating a three course meal of delicious food. Then the next day the leftovers are even better.

Today my kiddos helped me with a veggie tray in the design of a turkey. The idea came from a blog called Eating Richly. Check it out here. This is our fun creation filled with peppers, celery, carrots, snap beans and cucumber. I double plated the ranch bowl. The first plate has crushed ice to keep the ranch dip cold.

We tried to use chocolate chips as eyes but they disappeared quickly so we switched to hard candy dots. I’m so excited that my kids wanted to help today and participate in my joy of thanksgiving.

I began on Monday prepping my table and shopping for the turkey. My daughter added her personal touch with a drawing at the end of the table that everyone could see as they entered the home.

On Tuesday, we brined the turkey which is easy for the kids to help. A lot of measuring ingredients to add to a pot then bringing the pot to a boil. I swear by the pioneer woman brine recipe. Check it out here. It makes the turkey so juicy and flavorful. My mom was worried that the gravy was going to be too salty but I think was prefect.

On Wednesday, I prep all the food so I just have to stick it in the oven or crockpots on Thursday. I had 5 crockpots going today, one for the mashed potatoes (another pioneer woman recipe), sweet potatoes (2 different types), stuffing and ham (for the family members who don’t like turkey). Plus the turkey in the oven. Wake up at 7am put everything in the cooking containers. Run to the store for more butter (I always run out of butter) then sit back and watch the Macy’s day parade at 9am followed by the dog show. My kids loved the dancing and singing in the parade.

Well however you celebrated, hope you had a wonderful day!

Watercolor Cookie

The cookie watercolor painting is a great evening activity for kids. It is entertaining and easy plus you get a treat at the end. What could be better.

It took me a while to find a tutorial on how to create this ‘paint– cookie’ but YouTube did not let me down. Montreal Confections has a great step by step video of how to make a cookie like this.

But if you are looking for completed cookies to enjoy for a birthday party or gathering, Cookies by April sells these cute and artistic desserts.

Each cookie comes with a paintbrush and 6 paint color options. All you need is water to wet each color before your kids paint them. And when you are done, what a delicious dessert. The cookie was actually really good.

They are available for every season and occasion. Check back in November because I hope to try and make this cookie for Christmas and freeze it. Wish me luck.

Pumpkin Dessert

Today we made a pumpkin bundt cake modified from my mom’s pumpkin bar recipe.

We started by mixing the dry ingredients into a large bowl and in the large measuring cup we added the wet ingredients; pumpkin, eggs and oil.

My youngest daughter was my helper today. She loved helping me make the cake. She was my mixer.

I’ve made a few cakes lately that didn’t release from the cake pan, so we tried buttering the pan then dusting it with flour. After adding the cake mixture, we baked the cake at 350 degrees for 38 minutes.

While I was cracking some eggs by the sink, my daughter helped herself to some flour. You don’t see the flour on the floor in this picture but it was everywhere. She was so happy. How can you be mad at that.

The cake was so good. Before we eat it, we will make some cream cheese frosting, which is the prefect topping for pumpkin.

My mom’s pumpkin bars are so delicious and now we made it into a bundt cake. Yum!!

Ingredients:

2 cups of flour

2 cups of sugar

1 tablespoon of baking soda

2 teaspoons of baking powder

2 teaspoons of cinnamon

1 cup of pumpkin

1 cup of oil

4 eggs

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix dry ingredients
  3. Mix wet ingredients; pumpkin, eggs and oil
  4. Grease and flour the cake pan then add cake mixture
  5. Bake for 38 minutes

Caramel Apples

Caramel apples are a delicious autumn themed treat.

If you look on Pinterest to get caramel apple ideas, you may be surprised or impressed by all the different caramel apple styles and flavors. The idea that I was stunned by was these caramel apple look a like cookies by Wilton. The adorable leaf shapes cut out of the middle and filled with caramel. Then the outside is rolled in sprinkles or chocolate. Amazing!!

So my caramel apple was not that fancy but we tried something new. My daughter unwrapped each caramel while I split and hollowed out the apple with a melon scooper.

Now my daughter loves red apples; lives by them. Though I have it say a tart Granny Smith apple is so good with sweet caramel.

Did you know? The Granny Smith originated in Australia in 1868. It was named after Maria Ann (Granny) Smith, who captivated this apple breed.

After the apples are hollowed out and caramels are melted, we combined them. We rested the apples in a muffin tin so they did not run away from us. (My daughter took the picture below. Proud mama moment.) It took about 15 minutes to cool and harden thus ready to eat. So good!! Yummy!

Art – Making Soup

A warm cup of soup sounds so good on this cold and rainy day in the Puget Sound. Plus eating soup wrapped up in a blanket feels like fall.

Isn’t this a cute picture!! I couldn’t resist.

Today I’m making a soup I received from my Sun Basket Box call golden potato curry with squash and whole grain naan.

If you are interested in checking out Sun Basket for yourself, click here.

This soup includes:

  • Organic potatoes
  • Organic carrots
  • Organic zucchini
  • Chickpeas
  • Lemon for garnish
  • Curry spice blend
  • Peas
  • Coconut curry base

Plus whole grain naan bread on the side.
For this recipe, my daughter washed all the vegetables and measured the ingredients. I’m always worried about the kids around an open flame. They loved the naan bread and they thought the soup was ok. I liked the soup because of its good flavor. I made a side of chicken for the kids.

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