Monday, September 14, 2009

Tootsie Pop Santa/Reindeer/Ghosts

  • cardboard square (approx. 2 in x2 in)
  • scissors
  • hot glue gun
  • felt (red and white)
  • small pom pom (white)
  • Sharpie
  • wooden bead (1 in.)
  • light pink acrylic paint
  • Tootsie pops
  • pipe cleaners (black and gold)
  • glitter
1. Paint the wooden bead light pink. When it's dry, slide onto stick of Tootsie Pop.

2. Hat: Cut a triangle (1.25" wide x 1.75" high) out of red felt. For the trim, cut thin strip (approx. 2" long) out of white felt. Glue 'trim 'to 'hat' leaving a little over hang on both sides of 'hat'. Glue the pompom onto tip of hat.

Wrap the hat around bead 'head'. Put glue on ends of trim and attach to the head. Draw eyes on the head with a sharpie.

3. Beard: Cut a triangle (1.5" wide x 1.5" long) out of the white felt. Cut a "U" shape out of the top of the triangle. Fold triangle (lengthwise) and snip a small triangle out the 'beard' for his 'mouth'.

Glue to the sides of the head.

4. Belt: Cut a piece of black pipe cleaner long enough to wrap around the Tootsie pop. Cut a small piece of gold pipe cleaner and wrap it around the center of black pipe cleaner to make the belt 'buckle'. Twist the ends of the 'belt' together to secure it to the pop.

5. Arms: Cut two two "L" shaped pieces of red felt. Cut two small pieces of white felt and glue to the ends of the 'arms' to make the 'cuffs'.

Glue to the sides of the Tootsie pop.

6. Glue the Tootsie pop to the piece of cardboard and use as table decoration or place settings. Or you can attach a ribbon and make these into ornaments. Optional- Paint cardboard white and sprinkle glitter onto the wet paint! Can also cover the cardboard in festive wrapping paper.

If you don't glue any parts of the Santa to the Tootsie Pop stick, they can all be easily removed before eating.

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Courtesy of **********************************************************These are cutest with brown tootsie pops. I pick mine out of the bulk candy at Maceys (Nobody else buys the browns anyways! :) ) but you can use any color.

To create the antlers use brown pipe cleaners. Cut a 7 inch piece for each pop. Fold it in half so it forms a "V" shape. Cut two 1.25 inch pieces of pipe cleaner for each pop and set aside. Glue the "V" shape to the base of the pop (where wrapper meets stick). Bend the pipe cleaners to follow the shape of the pop and glue them again near the top. Wrap one 1.25 inch piece to each antler, about 1 inch down from the ends.

Thread a 1/2 inch bell onto a 3 inch piece of gold pipe cleaner and wrap around the "neck" and antler base several times. (Make sure the bell is at the front)

Glue on some googley eyes (1/4 inch) and a red pom pom nose with a hot glue gun.

Optional: If you add some ribbon to the back of the head, these make cute ornaments.

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I better not forget the ghost version. Did anyone NOT make these in elementary school? All you do is wrap the pops in a square of white cloth (or Kleenex), draw on a face, and tie with ribbon. These are especially cute as a decoration or centerpiece. Find a "tree-like" branch, glue it to a base (candy corn in a glass pot works well), and hang the ghosts from the branches. Or give away as favors.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Edible Snowflakes

A yummy alternative to paper snowflakes!
-6 flour tortillas
-melted butter or margarine
-cinnamon sugar/confectioners sugar (edible glitter may also be used)

Heat oven to 400 F. Warm tortillas in the microwave for about 15 seconds. Fold tortillas in half several times until you have a thick wedge. (Just as you would with a piece of paper). Using clean scissors cut patters into the tortilla (stay away from the "rind" or you'll cut your snowflake in half!) Unfold, lightly brush with melted butter or margarine, and place on cookie sheet. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar (if using confectioners sugar or glitter, sprinkle on after they come out of the oven). Bake until light brown, about 4 minutes. Serve with hot cocoa!

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Doughnut Snowmen

I think these are such an adorable idea for winter. Couldn't resist.

-mini powdered sugar donuts
-powdered sugar donut holes
-black/orange decorators gel or mini chocolate chips
-Haviland thin mint
-mini Reeses pb cups

Use a toothpick to attach two donut holes, and set atop a single donut ring. Use gel or miniature chocolate chips to create face and buttons. Optional: Use pretzel sticks for arms.

To create a shorter snowman set one donut hole atop a single donut ring. Create face. Thread a peanut butter cup and Haviland mint onto a toothpick and secure into donut hole to create a hat.

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Sailboat Sandwiches

-rolls, split down the middle
-cheddar cheese
-tuna salad/chicken salad/sandwich filling

Hollow out each roll and fill with salad. Slice cheese into rectangles, and then cut diagonally to create triangles. Use toothpicks to secure them as "sails" to the bread.

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Have you noticed that kids will eat anything off a stick? It's a fast, fun, way to get toddlers to eat. Here are some variations:

-Stack apples, bananas, and marshmallows on a skewer (optional- add peanut butter between each layer)
- Create a "sandwich on a stick" by stacking chunks of cheese, meat, and bread on a skewer
-Stack grilled chicken, and grilled vegetables for a dinner kebab

-Create taffy kebabs for any event or holiday by using specific colors. The Neapolitan (pink/brown/white) ones are cute for a baby or bridal shower, cinnamon and mint for Christmas, orange cream, and licorice for Halloween, etc. They can double as table decor if you stick each skewer into a foam ball and use as a centerpiece.
-You can also make candy kebabs for any event using seasonal candy. Mellowcreme pumpkins and ghost mallows are especially cute for Halloween. Gumdrops and peppermint ribbon candy is great for Christmas.

I have seen everything from mini-cupcake kebabs, to S'more kebabs. Pretty much anything you can slide on a stick is fair game. Be creative!

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Strawberry Mice

-mini chocolate chips
-black decorators icing
-almond slivers
-red lace licorice
-cheese wedge

Slice a thin section off of one side of each strawberry to get them to sit flat. Use icing to secure a chocolate chip nose to the tip of each berry. Use icing to make little eyes, and secure almonds for ears. Use the toothpick to make a hole at the back of each strawberry. Slide the licorice into the hole for a tail. Serve with a wedge of cheese.

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Carrot Patches

Can you believe those are edibles? Unless you have a garden party I can't think of a good reason to make these... but I had to post them because I thought they were darling.


-3 oz plastic cups
-baby carrots
-curly parsley
-terra cotta pots (optional)

Fill each cup with 3 tbsp hummus (could use a ranch or garden vegetable dip too). Use a toothpick to poke a hole in the top of each baby carrot. Place a small sprig of parsley in each hole, and "plant" the carrots in the dip. You can place each cup in a small terra cotta pot if desired.

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Stacked Fruit

Directions: Use two piece of fruit, relatively the same size. Slice them horizontally, and stack them together, alternating colors.

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Two-Tone Sandwiches

-2 slices of bread (one white, one wheat)
-cookie cutters (one small enough to fit inside the other)

Cut out the centers of each slice of bread, with both the cookie cutters (one inside the other). Swap the large cutouts so each side is two-toned. Make sandwich as usual.

You can also use just one cutter on both slices of bread and swap those.

Or, just cut the whole sandwich into a fun shape with a cookie cutter.

This is great for holidays, seasons, initials, etc. At Bed, Bath & Beyond you can buy 100 cookie cutters for $10 and that includes all letters and numbers, and 5 or 6 cutters for each major holiday. We use ours constantly.

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Mini Caramel Apples

This probably belongs on our food blog... I'm posting it here anyways! What a cute fall treat, no?

-several Granny Smith apples, washed and peeled
-caramel (melt Kraft caramels with a tbsp of milk; or use premade caramel apple dip)
-melon baller
-lemon juice
-lolipop sticks (& candy papers if desired)
-cookie sheet covered in waxed paper
-nuts, sprinkles, or other toppings if desired

Wash and peel the apples. Use a melon baller to extract scoops (each apple will yield about 6 full scoops). Place in a bowl, sprinkle with lemon juice and move to a paper towel to dry out. (If balls are dipped before they are dry the caramel won't stick). Insert sticks in balls. Dip each ball into caramel, and place on cookie sheet.

Put cookie sheet in refrigerator until balls are set (about 3o minutes). Place in candy papers if desired. Serve immediately. (Store in refrigerator- Unpeeled apple will spoil much faster than a regular caramel apple).

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Christmas Train Ornaments

My mom always used to get these in church around Christmas-time. I was so jealous and usually she let me eat hers. Someday I will do these with my own kids... They are a cute favor or table decoration, but you can also make them into ornaments to give away or put on your tree.

These are easy because you can substitute any candy for another; or play around with your shapes to make something unique. The directions are simple- glue everything together as shown.

-hot glue gun (double sided tape will work too)
-1 roll of Lifesavers
-1 small package of gum
-4 round peppermint candies
-1 Hershey's kiss
-1 large caramel
-1 mini chocolate bar
-ribbon if you want to do ornaments

Instructions: Glue the Lifesavers roll and the gum package together lengthwise. Glue one peppermint candy to each edge of the gum package, to look like wheels. Glue the caramel on to one end for the "cab". Glue the Hershey's kiss, upside down, on the opposite end. Finally, glue the chocolate bar on top of the "cab" for a roof. If using as an ornament, glue a piece of ribbon to the middle of the Lifesaver body to form a loop. Wait until dry to hang.

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Rock Candy

-1 cup water
-2 cups granulated sugar
-Flavoring (optional)
-Food Coloring (optional)

-tall glass jar (pint or quart sized)
-candy thermometer

Tie a piece of string around the middle of a pencil. Make sure it hangs higher than the bottom of your glass jar. Moisten the string with water and roll it in sugar. Put a weight (paperclip works well) on the end of the string to help it hang straight down. Place the pencil horizontally over the glass jar so that the string hangs down inside the jar (but not touching the bottom).

Cook the candy mixture. Boil the water in a saucepan. Add sugar while water boils, stirring constantly. Remove pan from heat when sugar has dissolved, or when thermometer reaches 240 degrees F. If desired, stir in a few drops of color and flavoring. Pour the hot mixture into your jar.

Let jar sit for several days where no one will bother it. Crystals will start to form in a few hours; let them grow for 3 to 10 days +. The longer you let them grow, the larger your crystals will be. When ready to eat, remove the string from the sugar water and break crystals into pieces. Store in a covered container.

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Lifesaver Firecrackers

These make darling favors or table decorations. I've seen them done using fabric on the outside, or even alternating red/white/blue construction paper. I thought these were the cutest though:

-6 packages of Lifesavers candy
-2 sheets of holiday paper
-1 roll of holiday garland

Directions: Take outside wrapper off all Lifesavers and throw away. Wrap the silver packages in holiday paper and tape shut. Poke a hole at the top of one end of each package and tuck some garland in (3 short pieces or so).

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Gingerbread Ornaments

I made these in preschool about 20 years ago, and my parents still have them (and they still smell good!) Use alphabet cookie cutters, trees and stars, or gingerbread men!

Recipe:Add Image
-3 cups applesauce
-3 cups cinnamon
-1 tsp cloves, ginger, or allspice for scent (optional)

Mix ingredients together until it is thick enough to hold a form when cut into cookie cutter shapes. Flatten the mixture on a flat surface and cut into cookie cutter shapes.

Place cookie shapes on a cookie sheet to dry for 3 to 4 days depending on the size and thickness of the cookies. If using as a hanging ornament, make hole with drinking straw before drying.

Paint, or spray with polyurethane if desired. Thread with ribbon.

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Jello Playdough

We have discussed my feelings on edible playdough... Nevertheless, I thought this was another cute alternative to the smelly canned stuff.

-1 cup flour
-1/2 cup salt
-1 cup water
-1 tablespoon oil
-2 teaspoons cream of tartar
-1 (3.5 oz) package unsweetened Jello

Mix all ingredients together in a saucepan. Place on stove over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is the consistency of mashed potatoes. Let dough cool, and knead with floured hands until dry. Store in an airtight container.

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Peanut Butter Playdough

Although edible playdough kind of creeps me out (something about them eating it after their grimy little hands have been handling it for hours...), I did think this was kind of a cute edible alternative to the store-bought brand.

-3 1/2 cups peanut butter
-4 cups confectioner's sugar
-3 1/2 cups honey
-4 cups powdered milk

Cream together the peanut butter and sugar. Beat in honey. Fold in milk powder. Divide into portions and enjoy! Store in refrigerator.

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Scratch- n- Sniff Watercolors

-1 tablespoon Kool-Aid mix
-1 tablespoon warm water

Mix these two ingredients together in a muffin tin. Repeat in a separate compartment until you have all desired colors. After painting, allow to dry overnight before scratching & sniffing!

*Use a smock, and cover your table in newspaper because Kool Aid may stain*

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Treasure Bottles

I made Chase one of these to take on a long car trip and it was a hit. They're also a fun distractor during church.

Save a 20 ounce drink bottle, remove the label, and wash it. (Make sure the plastic is clear, not colored). Fill it halfway with white rice. Add assorted treasures (penny, cheap ring, fake bugs, etc.- craft stores have lots of great things) to the bottle and continue filling with rice. Be sure to leave enough room so that the rice can move around fairly easily. Superglue the top on so your child won't accidentally spill rice everywhere.

Your kids can shake their treasure bottles to "uncover" the things inside. Older children can use them as "I Spy Bottles"- keep a list of objects you added and have them hunt for all of them. The more rice you add the harder it will be (and vice versa).

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Bread Critters

Let your kids form critters and creatures out of bread dough. Then bake, and enjoy! Use your own recipe to make dough in the bread machine; or use the quick and easy one below.

-1 package dry yeast (2 teaspoons)
-1 ½ cups warm water
-4 cups flour (all purpose, bread, whole wheat or any combination there of)
-1 ½ teaspoons sugar
-3/4 teaspoons salt

"Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Mix the other ingredients in a separate bowl. Add the yeast. Knead until smooth.

Divide up among your kids (this dough easily makes enough to keep four kids happy) and let them create. Or roll out and let them use cookie cutters. Place the finished shapes on cookie sheets (it is a good idea to have one sheet for thinner smaller pieces and one for the bigger thicker pieces, since they will cook at slightly different rates). Bake in a 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown and hollow sounding when you tap them.

Serve with butter and jam. And enjoy the fun of trying to identify the shapes as well as getting to eat off heads, arms, and other tasty bits!"

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