Tag: gingerbread

Fairy Bread Kindergarten & 3’s School Lunches

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Have you ever heard of Fairy Bread? It’s this magical dish served at parties in Australia and NZ, where slices of white bread are slathered with butter and liberally covered with nonpareils (or hundreds and thousands, as they’re known as there), and cut into triangles. This is my take on it. I made sunbutter and strawberry jam kebabs and turned them into Fairy Bread kebabs. It’s Friday. It’s time to celebrate. It’s the end of the week. We made it!! I also packed orange flavored dried cranberries, oyster crackers, red grapes, gingerbread muffins, and peas and carrot mallow candies…because PEAS AND CARROTS CANDY!!! They were one of my favorite candies growing up. I’d spend my allowance on those things at the mall candy store. Along with sour peach gummy rings, sour gummy belts, Jelly Bellies, licorice, Warheads, gummy sharks, gummy colas, and pretty much anything else I could get my hands on. I digress.

Fairy Bread.

Happy Friday!

Kristin

Gingerbread Boy Kindergarten & 3’s School Lunches

Gingerbread is my absolute FAVORITE. I could eat it errday. Forrealz.

In honor of that, here’s my boys’ lunches for tomorrow:

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I made gingerbread boy shaped apple butter sandwiches. I added details with Food Writers and chocolate covered sunflower seeds (which I also threw in the lunchbox, as well). I also packed snap pea crisps, red grapes, carrots (Smalls), corn (Bigs), yogurt with gingerbread boy sprinkles, and Trader Joe’s gingerbread boy cookies.

Gingerbread 4 life.

Kristin

Fluffernutter Friday

For as many Fluffernutter sandwiches I’ve eaten, my sons have never tried them. And, I was reminded of that today, when a recipe for Fluffernutters appeared in my FB newsfeed. So, to rectify this horrible tragedy, I made one for my Bigs’ school lunch for tomorrow. I mean, I had to. I’d have been completely remiss not to. And I am a responsible adult and parent.

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I hardly think a recipe for the Great Fluffernutter is even necessary, but should you be in the dark about this, like my poor boys, here you go (and you’re welcome):

Take bread. Put PB (you can use crunchy too!) on bread. Put marshmallow fluff on top of that, liberally. Put slices together. Slice in half to view the beautiful cross section. Eat. Repeat. Several times over, if necessary.

*Helpful Hint: Take spoon, dip in PB and then again in marshmallow fluff. Eat directly off of spoon.

I also made one for my Smalls, lest you think I forgot about him.

Back to my Bigs’ lunch – I also packed a mandarin orange, with two grapes in the middle (I realize it looks boob-ish, but he doesn’t know), and some honey wheat pretzels.

Get on it.

And Happy Friday.

Kristin

Candy & Gingerbread & Sprinkles, oh my!

Sounds like the stuff my dreams are made of!

I’m not even remotely kidding.

This has been such a sweet week – literally! I made some candy yesterday and baked a cake today, all of which I’ll be sharing with you. And I’ve made some really sweet lunches for my Bigs.

In appreciation of my sons’ school’s staff (most of whom have become lovely friends to me), I made candy. Crack Candy, to be specific. Have you tried this stuff?! It’s SO good, that it’s addictive, like, you know, crack. Eeeek. It could also refer to the ingredients, which include crackers. That seems like a safer name. Anyways, I Christmas-ized this Crack Candy.

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I mean, really. Crunchy, crispy, salty crackers, enrobed in a homemade caramel sauce, baked until it’s soaked all the way through, and then covered in bittersweet chocolate. I can’t even. I mean, I can. But I resisted. Not that I wanted to. But I did. These are SO easy to make and they make such an impact. At least I hope they do. I doubled the recipe and added Christmas colored sprinkles.

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Christmas Crack CandyCooking spray
35 to 40 saltine crackers, or however many cover the bottom of your sheet pan evenly
1 C butter (2 sticks)
1 cup brown sugar
About 2 C bittersweet chocolate chips

1 t vanilla, optional
Sprinkles, optional (for me, it’s not optional!)
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Line 1 large sheet pans with aluminum foil and liberally spray with nonstick spray. Place the Saltines in a single layer on the pan. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together and bring to a boil. Reduce and simmer for about 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat. This is when you would add your vanilla.
Pour over your Saltines and place the pan(s) in the oven for 3-5 minutes. The caramel will be bubbling. Remove from the oven and pour on your chocolate chips. I placed it back into the oven for a few minutes to fully melt the chips, but you can just wait. Use a knife (or an offset spatula) to spread the chocolate. Add sprinkles, if desired.
Let the chocolate set up. You can place these pans in the freezer or fridge to expedite the process. Once fully cooled, break up the pieces. Store in an airtight container.
These make excellent gifts!
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I also made a sweet little lunch for my Bigs – gingerbread themed! Sadly, I didn’t have any actual gingerbread for him to eat. A true crime!
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Despite this little gingerbread man’s HUGE face, I think he turned out alright. Bigs won’t notice his wonkiness. It is peanut butter and Jif chocolate s’mores peanut butter (that’s how my family rolls – peanut butter on peanut butter sandwiches!) and I used my gold food-safe spray and Food Writers to add details. I did the same to make two little Christmas trees. I also packed pretzels, raisins, dried dates, apple slices, mandarin orange slices, and yogurt for dessert. I added a teeny bit of the homemade chocolate frosting (recipe upcoming), from the cake I made today, to the yogurt for some lovely cocoa flavor and added some gingerbread and holly berry sprinkles.
Blessings!
Kristin

Happy (almost) Halloween 2014!

Tomorrow is Halloween. My boys can’t wait. I asked my Bigs what his favorite part about Halloween was going to be and he said that it was the dressing up, “alllll the caaaannnndyyyy”, and being with us. Bless. It’s going to be a fun night.

Here is his school lunch for tomorrow:

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I made a PB&J ghost and used my black Food Writer and candy eyeballs for decoration. I also packed a few veggie chips, some seasoned corn, two pitted dates (or cockroaches, as my kids call them – perfect for Halloween!), cantaloupe and pineapple, a blueberry yogurt squeezy thing, and a few Halloween candies for dessert (a mini Kit Kat, orange and black chocolate covered sunflower seeds, candy corn). I used cupcake picks and plastic spiders to decorate it all.

And tonight, for dinner, I actually cooked something yummy. Everyone liked it. It’s a recipe I used to make all the time. It’s so easy. And cheesy. And trashy. And naughty. And a little embarrassing.

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I could have eaten the whole pot (almost did, waiting on everyone to get to the dinner table!).

Cheeseburger Pasta:

Serves 1 (HAHA just kidding [sort of])

Pasta of any kind (we used GF)

Ground beef

Ketchup

Mustard

Cheddar Cheese

Pickles

Make. Mix. Eat out of pot. By yourself. In the kitchen.

I told you it was a bit embarrassing.

On a classier note…

I also made a treat for my boys’ teachers for tomorrow. It’s more Christmassy than Halloweeny, but I went with it. I found a recipe for copycat Jason’s Deli gingerbread muffins, after a recent dinner there with my kids. I am ob-sessed with those muffins (and all things gingerbread). These came out just like those! For the teachers, I baked loaves.

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It’s moist, tender, but dense, fragrant, spicy, and sweet. I love it. I’ll be making it a thousand more times.

http://www.thedomesticcurator.com/2013/11/jasons-delis-gingerbread-mini-muffins.html?m=1

I hope you all have a very BLESSED weekend!

Kristin

What a Hassle!

Since I’ve been on my gingerbread kick (which really isn’t so much of a “kick” as it is a “lifestyle” for me right now), I made Bigs’ lunch with a gingerbread theme.

Gingerbread Themed Preschool Lunch

His class also enjoyed the giant gingerbread cookie I made for them the day before. I think most everyone liked it! I was able to bring Smalls in with me and we enjoyed it with the class. Then Bigs’ sweet teacher told them the story of the Gingerbread Man. It was adorable. For this lunch, I cut out gingerbread boy shaped PB&J and used my Food Writers to draw on some faces and buttons. I gave him an applesauce squeezy fruit, some dried cranberries, some holiday shaped Goldfish crackers and a gingerbread boy Peep. And can I tell you how gingerbread-y that Peep tasted? I had to try one, natch. So good!

And our trusty scout elf, Duncan, came again. This time, he got himself into quite the pickle when playing with Bigs’ army men.

Elf on a Shelf Day 5

Who even knows (Pinterest??!) what he’ll be up to next!!

I made Hasselback Potatoes for dinner last night. They looked nothing like the picture on the recipe website. Typical of my cooking.

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Whyyyy are they so blackey burned in some spots and not browned enough where it should be?

Hassel Potatoes

Once I brushed off most of the blackened bread crumb mixture, they looked better….so…they looked just okay.

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What a hassel

All in all, I’m okay with serving semi-burned food to my family. It isn’t so bad. I served those potatoes (which were more of a HASSLE than a Hassel) with some roasted red pepper & asiago chicken sausage and some fresh fruit.

Whatever. I can bake much better than cook. And if you’re interested in this Hasselback potato recipe, which if you are solely going based on these photos, you should have no interest AT ALL, here is that recipe.

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/hasselback-potatoes/

Better luck to you.

So what if I used olive oil instead of butter and used the kind of grated Romano cheese that belongs on pizza instead of freshly grated. So what.

Have a wonderful Friday,

Kristin

Alexander the Not-So-Great

Have you ever read the book, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day? I loved that book growing up and still have the same book I owned and read when I was little.

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Today has been a day like Alexander’s. I mean, literally everything I’ve touched has gone terribly awry.

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I woke up before the alarm (and this happens most of the time). Automatic fail. I decided to start laundry early, since I was up. I do that often, but today I left some of the freshly dried piles in the basket. All wrinkled. Husband’s work clothes – totes wrinkled. And I’m not an ironer.  Gah! My little one, Smalls, likes to fight me during diaper changes. He writhes and wiggles and arches his back and tries to leap off of his diaper changing table (which he’s done). Anyways, I was so fed up with not being able to get his new diaper on, I just let him walk around without it, in protest. Big fat joke on me. What was I thinking?! He walked into the bathroom and peed all over it and the hallway. Puddles everywhere. It’s like he was saving it all for that one moment of diaper-freedom.  He also spit his already-been-chewed Raisin Bran breaky all over his highchair and put it on the floor. I also broke my green ceramic plate by dropping it in the sink. Shattered into a bajillion tiny pieces. At least it wasn’t on the floor. The boys played with their slime (a party favor from a birthday recently – made from glue and borax, etc.)…

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Smalls

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Bigs

…and it got all over my Christmas tablecloth and into Smalls’ hair. See that slime?

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I mean…it won’t come out. He’s going to live with slime in his hair forever. He probably doesn’t even care. I love that slime and the boys do too. It is really fun to play with and usually it is contained. But not today. Because nothing is easy today. I decided to make a giant gingerbread cookie for Bigs’ class tomorrow and the dough (used boxed mix) became so sticky that there almost wasn’t enough for the gingerbread pan. Most of it was on my hand because I had to wet them and pat down the dough to coax it to Gingy’s appendages. Appetizing.

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We lost a piece from the hat of Bigs and Smalls’ new nutcracker decoration and for sure my dog will eat it. Or Smalls will. And get sick. She (the dog) and he (the baby) alway finds the lost pieces of things…with her and his mouth. I also had the baby gate up to my room and rushed into there, thinking it wasn’t there and totally took a spill. Like, the hardest spill of my life. I just had to lay there in this awkward position I landed in for a few minutes after falling. I wasn’t even sure what to do with my broken self. It really stunned me. And it was so offensive. That dang gate. My outfit choice today (totally my fault) makes me look like an actual sumo wrestler. I walked out of the room for one teeny second and I came back in to see Smalls standing on the dining room table holding (and about to chuck!) one of my Christmas village houses that I have as a centerpiece.  I folded up my stroller and put it away in my trunk with a piece of pizza in the bottom of it (don’t even ask) and a lady yelled at me and tried to run me over with her motorized cart, while we were out and about. And I made chili and put it in the crock pot this morning and accidentally used the can of tomatoes and spicy green chilis so the entire thing was going to be spicy. The small hope I had that Bigs and Smalls would even eat this meal went right out the window! And not to mention, well, to mention, my husband’s new GI health issues cannot handle spice, as he used to be able to. So. It’s jus’ me and my HUGE pot of chili. Just the two of us. And Bigs has been telling me that ALL he wants for Christmas is a bouncy carrot toy. I have no idea what this is. Quite frankly, HE has no idea what that is. When I ask questions (do they have one of these and school or church or does a friend have one), I get no response. Santa??? Are you there? It’s me, Kristin. Help me help YOU help me!! What is this bouncy carrot? I need it. Today. Or at least before Christmas. But sooner would ease my anxiety.

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Bigs’ letter to Santa, asking for a bouncy carrot.

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Smalls’ letter to Santa, asking for… ?? 🙂

Today is of the hot mess sort. I’m what’s called “done” for today.

I’ll say it – it’s been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Things can only get better.  Right?? Right!!

My day did get better. Naps helped. I watched The Holiday while the boys slept and that ALWAYS puts me in a good mood. And I finished Bigs’ big gingerbread cookie. Here’s how he turned out. I think he’s pretty cute.

Gingerbread Boy Cookie

That is one big cookie! It’s a HUGE pan (larger than the standard cookie sheet). I’d say the gingy is about 12 inches or so. I hope they enjoy their surprise!

And Duncan was here again!

Elf on a Shelf Day 4

The little rascal is sitting in a bowl of mini marshmallows and is decorating my gumdrop tree and stringing up the marshmallows. Sweet-toofed elf.

Annnnnd, here’s the dumb chili that I’ll be the only one eating for eighty weeks. I browned ground beef with some celery, light salt, pepper, chili powder and onion powder (Out of actual onions…because even though I went to two different stores to get the supplies for this mess since I forgot all the supplies on my first trip, I didn’t get onions. Just because having them would make life too perfect.). I drained the beef and added a packet of no-salt (Hubs watches sodium intake) chili seasoning. I added a can of stewed tomatoes with green chili (unfortunately for my kids), a can of kidney beans and a can of northern beans (all drained). I dumped this all back into the crock pot and kept it on low all day. I served over brown rice. And for 75% of my family, I just served rice, no chili. :/

Chili

I realize my “problems” could be worse. And some days they are. I just needed to get my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day off my chest. Hoping for a much better day tomorrow.

Blessings,

Kristin

Not my Gumdrop Buttons!

Gingerbread House

I have this leeeeettle, teeny obsession fascination with all things gingerbread. I love gingerbread cake, gingerbread cookies, gingerbread cheesecake, gingerbread tea, gingerbread ANYTHING! Once Thanksgiving comes to a close, I tend to leave the pumpkin behind (the horror!!) and move on to be all-consumed with gingerbread.

Candy Land Gingy House

Isn’t that just magical?

I find that my favorite Christmas ornaments and decorations (aside from the sentimental ones) are little gingerbread ones – hanging on the tree, printed on my dishtowels. I just love it. I think it’s iconic to the season. And the actual gingerbread tastes so good to me – spicy, sweet, gingery.

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Supposedly, right now, Twix, Oreo and M&M’s have come out with gingerbread flavored treats. I need to get my hands on those. Yesterday.

(Well – maybe I only need ONE of the above?? See review in link below!)

http://sweets.seriouseats.com/2013/12/supermarket-sweets-gingerbread-twix-m-and-m-review.html?ref=title

Gingy

Last year, I made a little gingerbread house that came out adorably. Not perfect, but just perfect. But the real winner of the season was my Husband and Bigs’ gingerbread house from Home Depot. Did you know Home Depot sells gingerbread house kits? Well, they do. And my big boys’ version came out great. I’d say they nailed it.

Gingerbread House Home Depot

Anyways. Maybe we’ll attempt another house this year. I find that Bigs just mostly squirts icing into his mouth and then throws candy in on top of that.

Gumdrops

I have no idea where he learned this behavior from.

<<Insert totally embarrassing photo of myself squirting Publix icing into my mouth during the cookie decorating portion of a Publix tour playdate. Hey! Don’t judge! Publix buttercream is literally THE BEST icing I’ve ever eaten. Try it. Then we’ll talk. PS – I didn’t eat the WHOLE bag of it!>>

Icing Volcano

And I blurred that picture. You can see enough. And trust me – that’s enough. I can’t bring any more shame to my family (LOL).

Here’s how I want to be remembered from that trip! Take note, real-life friends!

Publix Net

Hairnets are classier than an icing volcano erupting in my mouth by my own hands’ work!

Anyways. Enough of that embarrassing stuff.

Gingerbread. Yes. Just yes.

I’ll be making a soft, ginger cookie as one of my cookie choices for Christmas this year.

And today I made lovely gingerbread cakes.

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When I was mixing up the batter, it smelled so fragrant and spicy.

Cooling Gingerbread

And when the cakes were baking, the entire house was filled with that same delicious scent!

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And when those sweet little cakes were cooling, I just couldn’t even handle it.

It’s a family friend’s 10th birthday and I just wanted to surprise her and her family with a little dessert. I hope they like it! I used little gingerbread men sprinkles to decorate our friends’ cake. Look at all that drippy, yummy icing. Good grief! Yum!

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The link for the recipe is below. The only changes I made were using tangerine zest instead of lemon zest (it was all I had and it came out wonderfully) and I used half and half instead of milk. And for the icing, I made my own (did not use the recipe). I mixed some plain cream cheese with a little bit of icing sugar and frozen orange juice concentrate. I love keeping orange juice concentrate on hand. I use it all the time – for icings, stir fry and for homemade fruit snacks.

http://www.joyofbaking.com/GingerbreadCake.html

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The cakes came out beautifully. For ours, I used some holly sprinkles.

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Yum.

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I, of course, had to taste and take a photo, for the blog’s sake.

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It was really delicious, in case you’re wondering. I hope you were wondering…

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And it was a very easy recipe. The one bowl sort.

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A real looker!

So. Please do try that Joy of Baking recipe, if you are looking for a delicious, but easy, gingerbread cake recipe.

And Duncan, our elf, came again. He was in a stocking. Not so creative! HA! Hey, I am keeping expectations low. Saving the “fun” stuff for the end.

 Elf on a Shelf Day 2

Have a sweet and spicy, gingery sort of day!

Kristin

Not my Gumdrop Buttons