Credit: Faith Kramer
I used to volunteer in my friend's public school classroom during the holidays to make Marshmallow Menorahs with the students! So I was so happy to see the same project going on at the Community Shuk in Oakland, with Oakland Ruach Hadassah leading this activity! Tiny loved sticking and stacking the sweet treats together. And I loved the gumdrop and lollipop innovation! Chef Faith Kramer, of Blog Appetit, has kindly shared her instructions. One for each night, let's share this delight! ~ What sweet and crafty holiday treats do you create with your kids? ~
Paper cupcake cups naturally lend themselves to crafty turkey creations! You can cut little slits all the way around the wrapper, and cut off some "feathers" to make room for the legs. Circle labels can be placed in the middle for the body and head. Or you can cut out circles from construction paper, and glue them on. Then draw or cut out the rest of the turkey details, and you are done! We added initial stickers to make these into place cards for Thanksgiving dinner. I am sure everyone will gobble them right up! ~ What fun Thanksgiving crafts do you create? ~
With cupcakes that look this good, you know a couple of them will disappear before "Happy Birthday" is sung. And that is just what happened at my niece's Halloween Birthday Party! Even her friend, a two-year-old lion, could not resist these tempting frosted cupcakes by Black Jet Baking Co. in San Francisco. As the friendly feline reached for his second mini cake, it was decided that some singing needed to start soon! Luckily my kids wanted one of each, so I got to try them all! There was a dried coconut topping and pink and chocolate frostings, but the almond-filled German chocolate topping was my favorite. Thankfully we have two of those in our fridge this morning! They are the kind of cupcakes you could make at home if you had three recipes for cake and four for frosting, lots of sugared toppers and sprinkles, time, patience and no one pulling on your apron springs, or skinny jeans. They are homemade cupcakes, perfected. ~ Where do you find your special birthday sweets? ~
Credit: Wooden Spoon
We don't like to miss a good birthday party, and we really try to get to them all. But once in a while a vacation or a prior commitment gets in the way. Or a sick kid. One Sunday morning it was a sick Tiny that kept us from a good friend's birthday party. And while we couldn't take part in the music and games, we were so impressed that favors and cupcakes were saved especially for us. I mean our kids! How lucky that we got to try these Minnie Mouse topped cupcakes from the Bay Area's Wooden Spoon. Moist cake and creamy frosting really were the sugar that helped the medicine go down that day. ~ What treats have been known to cheer up your little ones? ~
Traditionally before Passover, you search the house for bread crumbs to discard. Meaning you hide big bread crumbs around the house for your kids to find and feel helpful! I thought a more tasty treat to find would make this exercise more fun, and eating the treats would be a fun way to get rid of them too! I recently received a recipe from my friend Esther for her family's favorite Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins. Tiny and I made them together, and then I hid eight of them in the living room for her. She found six of them right away, and the last two were more of a challenge. All of them were delicious. I am sharing the recipe below. ~ How do you play with your food? ~
Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
3 ripe bananas mashed, mixed with 1 tsp baking soda
1 3/4 cup flour
1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients together in order listed.
Bake for 20 to 30 minutes.
Credit: The S.A.R.F.
You can't live in Austin and not visit the 37th Street Lights during the holidays. And now you can't visit the 37th Street Lights without making a stop at The S.A.R.F. The Stuffed Animal Rescue Foundation is in its second year of making home placements for neglected stuffed animals (SAs). The S.A.R.F. is always on the lookout for those who are plush and down on their luck. If you are in the market for an eccentric elephant or artistic squirrel (also makes great pie) then check out these and other animal profiles. Whether in Austin or not, if you or your child feels a connection with one of the SAs, feel free to fill out an adoption application. It's this time of year when bringing joy to an SA, and a child, is so important. The S.A.R.F. Snowman Intern was not available for comment, but if you have questions, feel free to email him. I have been informed that he is a slow typist, due to a lack of digits, so please bear with him. ~ Parents: What are your children's favorite stuffed animals? ~
I used to volunteer in a friend's third grade classroom during the holidays, teaching kids who may never have heard about Chanukah, a little more about it. By using marshmallows. And graham crackers. And pretzels. I have learned that saying that you're going to be making "marshmallow" anything is a pretty good way to get a kid's attention! Yesterday Tiny and I created one of these edible masterpieces! Directions: spread a whole graham cracker sheet with frosting, cream cheese, peanut butter or any other tasty adhesive. Stick eight marshmallows on the graham cracker and push a pretzel stick through each one. Find a spot next to or on the menorah to stick one or two more marshmallows and a pretzel stick to create the higher "shamash" or helper candle. We decided that the right prayer to say over these "candles" was the Hamotzi, the prayer over bread or a meal! ~ Parents: What edible educational projects have you tried? ~
J is for Jewelry. What better way to ring in the Jewish New Year than with a handmade apple and honey necklace. We eat apples and honey for a sweet new year and now can eat Apple Jacks and Honeycomb together in a sweet new necklace! Our synagogue needed a craft idea for kids at a large Jewish family event, and I came up with this cinnamony sweet treat. The Apple Jacks were easy to string on to the lanyard cords, while the Honeycomb pieces proved to be more challenging, but it was sweet success in the end. ~ Parents: What special things does your family do to celebrate any and all types of new years? ~