Something to Celebrate

Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Lion

Hannah requested a lion for her lunch today and since I had all the supplies for a lion, I agreed.  She even suggested a Cutie for the lion’s hair/mane so apparently she is getting pretty good at this creative lunch thing.

Here’s a fun tip: To get the face pieces (cheese and carrots) to stay put on the bread, use a little mayo.  It goes with the sandwich anyway since there are little rolls of ham underneath the bread.

Hannah’s lunch container came back completely empty today so the lion is a winner 🙂

If you’d like to see all of the creative lunches I’ve made thus far you can visit my Lunchbox Creations board on pinterest.

Happy lunch making!

*Linked up at New Nostalgia

Today was all about getting treats made for Hannah’s preschool party tomorrow and making Valentine’s goodies to those we want to say “I love you’ to tomorrow.

First up, Red Velvet Whoopie Pies for Hannah and her classmates.  I used the same recipe from this post but I made them heart shaped for extra Valentine’s Day spirit.  Here is a photo of the completed pies:
005Hannah made some old fashioned valentines for her teachers.  I basically just cut her a heart out of red foam and let her go crazy with the glitter glue and silver hearts.  Then, Hannah & I decided some good tea would be fun to attach to the hearts since her teachers will probably be bombarded with sweets tomorrow.  Here is the finished product:
011What can I say, we love puns around here.  Our final project was chocolate covered strawberries and cake balls.

I had some of the cream cheese frosting I used for the whoopie pies left over so I mixed that with a homemade chocolate cake.  I bought this huge chunk of Ghiradelli dipping chocolate from Sam’s for only about $3.  It was perfect to coat the berries and cake balls and tastes delicious. I just melted it in a bowl set over a pan of boiling water.  This ensures your chocolate doesn’t burn.  Hannah thought pink and red sprinkles would be fabulous on both products and we also did coconut and sliced almonds on the berries.
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And, since I don’t have a picture of Leia on here…
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Happy Valentine’s Day!

MuffinsIn an effort to get a little more fiber in our lives, Hannah and I made Raisin Bran Muffins today. They are deliciously amazing & healthy. Bonus: I got to get rid of the rest of the Raisin Bran I had in my pantry that I was tired of eating for breakfast.

I created my own recipe after being inspired by this one.  I was trying to use what I had at home plus add in the flavors we really like.  I think they turned out great so try this recipe or use it as inspiration for your own!

Raisin Bran Muffins–Holly & Hannah style

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup prune puree’
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 Omega 3 brand eggs
  • 1 c. buttermilk (I never have buttermilk on hand so I make my own by putting 1 T. white vinegar in a measuring cup and then filling with milk to make 1 cup)
  • 1 1/2 c. Raisin Bran cereal
  • 1/2 c. Rice Krispies cereal
  • 1/4 c. raisins
  • 1 c. white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Instructions:
Mix in order and bake in muffin tin at 400 degrees for 12 – 15 minutes (mine took 12).  Let cool for 10 minutes then pop out of pan and enjoy with a little butter!  A little butter never hurt anyone, right?  This recipe made 12 muffins for me.  I filled the muffin cups 3/4 of the way full.

*This post linked up at New Nostalgia*

Whoopie PiesI made these (adapted from this recipe) for New Year’s Eve & they were a huge hit with my family.  I think they would be perfect for Valentine’s Day too because of their color!

I’ve never made whoopie pies of any sort before but these were way easy and sooooooo good!  I think the cream cheese filling with just a hint of lemon is what takes these to a most delicious level.  I may or may not have eaten some of the filling with a spoon, just saying.  So here’s the recipe!

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

Cake rounds:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 2/3 cup well-shaken buttermilk
  • 1 (1-ounce) bottle red food coloring (2 tablespoons)  *I didn’t have an entire bottle so I just used what I had which was about 1 Tablespooon–I still thought they were red enough*

Filling:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Make cake rounds:
Preheat oven to 350°F with racks in upper and lower third. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.

Beat butter, oil, and sugar with an electric mixer until combined well, about 2 minutes. Beat in egg, vanilla, and vinegar.

Reduce speed to low and alternately mix in flour and buttermilk in batches, beginning and ending with the flour until combined.

Add the red food coloring and mix on low speed until thoroughly combined.

Spoon 2 tablespoon mounds of batter 2-inches apart on lined baking sheets.

Bake, switching positions of baking sheets halfway through baking, until rounds are puffed and set, 8 to 10 minutes.

Slide parchment with rounds onto wire racks to cool completely.

Make filling:
Beat together cream cheese, butter, lemon juice, vanilla, salt, and sugar until creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Spread about 2 tablespoons of filling on flat-side of half the rounds; top with remaining rounds, flat side down, to form whoopie pies.

I think we’re definitely making these again for Valentine’s Day treats!

Hannah (with the assistance of her sous chef, yours truly) made this really neat snack mix idea we found on pinterest of course.  We put it in cute bags so she could give it to her teachers at preschool today since today was her last day of school before Thanksgiving break.  The snack mix is super easy to make (great for your 4 year old chef) and you can modify the ingredients to your liking but here is what we included in ours:

  • Bugles (we used the caramel variety which are super good and super addictive)
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Dried cherries (could also use craisins or raisins)
  • Candy Corn (Hannah’s favorite)
  • Classic Knot Mini Pretzels

We poured the snack mix into Wilton’s clear plastic icing bags and secured the top with a pipe cleaner and a sparkly brown ribbon.  We used the free printable from this site and attached that to the pipe cleaner.  I used some craft paper I had in my stash to glue the printable to.  The printable includes a description of what each item in the mix stands for regarding Thanksgiving.  Here is a photo of our snack mix label:

Of course, Hannah and I had to “test” the mix after we made it to make sure it was safe for her teachers.  We proclaimed it very safe 🙂  This also would be fun to have out for your Thanksgiving guests to snack on!

Linked up at: New Nostalgia and Women Living Well

Today I made two “pinterest projects”.  One is edible and one is not but both are equally cool.

1.  Moose Munch–Have you ever had this stuff from Harry & David?  I can polish off an entire huge bag by myself.  It is THAT good but this version I made is even better!  It is so easy to make and would be perfect for holiday gifts.  I put some in a cute jar to be given as a door prize at my family reunion this weekend.

On the baking sheet just out of the oven..I sprinkled some chocolate chips on top.

Gifted up for my family reunion

2.  Halloween Soap–I saw this pin and knew this would be the perfect gift for Hannah’s teachers at preschool. It would be a great gift for anyone though!  I made the tag using a template I found here.  I bought a 4 pack of nice soap from Sam’s Club for $6.98 so this makes an affordable gift as well.  The soap looks just like what you’d get from Bath and Body Works only a lot cheaper!  Here is my final product:

Confession: Tonight I had a glass of pinot grigio and a bowl of Moose Munch.  Yep, it has been that kind of week 🙂

*Linked up at New Nostalgia*

Well, Hannah got a plain (gasp!) sandwich on Tuesday because we’ve been having issues with her behaving at dinner time and Monday night was the final straw.  I wanted to find some way to get through to her and let her know I was serious about her attitude/behavior.  So, I decided to take away something that she REALLY likes, the “creative lunch” as she calls it.  It worked.

Since then she has done much better at mealtimes and with her attitude at home so tomorrow, fun lunch is back.  They are studying the letter “E” this week so in honor of that:

As a parent of a very “spirited” 4 year old, you have to get creative not just with lunch but with discipline too sometimes.  Between Hannah and my 6 month old not sleeping well this week, I am worn out.  They are only young once (thank God).  Goodnight!