Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Pumpkin Seed Autumn Handprint Tree

I wasn't in the mood to make pumpkin seeds this year, but I didn't want to toss the pumpkin seeds away.  I decided to color them like I did with the Colorful Noodle Necklaces because the seeds are shaped like leaves and have the kids make a Fall tree.  The kids really enjoyed this craft!

-Pumpkin seeds
-Isopropyl alcohol
-Food coloring (red, yellow)
-Zip lock bags
-Paper towel
-Construction paper
-Brown paint

Wash and rinse the pumpkin seeds.

Add a handful of pumpkin seeds to your zip lock bag.  Add about a tablespoon of isopropyl alcohol to each bag and then add a few drops of food coloring depending on how bright you want the colors to be (we added about 10-15 drops).  We colored our pumpkin seeds yellow, red and orange.  We then closed the bags and shook them to mix the colors around.  We then let the seeds sit for a few hours.

Next we painted our hands and arms brown to create a tree print on paper. We set this aside to dry.

Once the pumpkin seeds obtained the color we wanted from the food coloring, we set them out to dry on the counter.  It's best to do this on top of a paper towel, so it can soak up the liquid.

Once your pumpkin seeds and hand print are dry.  We were ready to make our Autumn trees.

We took some craft glue and began gluing the seeds (leaves) onto our hand print (tree/branches).

My daughter (3 years old) created the tree on the left and my son (6 years old) created the tree on the right.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Ribbon Wreath Plate

As the holidays are just around the corner, many of us bake cookies to give to our friends or family.  I found these cute ribbon wreath plates from Make & Takes and thought it was the cutest way to spruce up an ordinary paper plate.  And the best part is you can customize it to any occasion!  

-Paper plates (any color/size)
-Hole punch
-Baked goodies

First hole punch the plate. If the plate were a compass, we first hole punched a hole in the north, south, east and west end of the plate.  We then hole punched a hole directly in the middle of let's say north and west.  And then we punched holes to the left and right of that last hole. (Hopefully I didn't confuse anybody).

Next we took our ribbon and put a piece of tape at the end of the ribbon to make threading it through the plate easier.

Next, thread the ribbon through the holes.  We went up and down through the holes, but you could also go around and around.

Once the ribbon is through all the holes, tie the ends in a pretty bow.

Then place your yummy treats on top.

I never knew a paper plate could look this pretty!  Happy Holidays!!

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Around the World in 12 Dishes: Brazil

Welcome to "Around The World in 12 Dishes". We will be taking you on a journey around the world, (loosely) following in Phileas Fogg's footsteps, exploring 12 different countries with our children, by cooking 12 dishes with them. One for each country visited.

The world is such a wonderfully diverse and colorful place. Our children see maps, flags and books. They see postcards and maybe they see films about the world.. but let's really bring it to life through food! Taste and smell don't often get explored, we think this would be wonderfully fun and interesting for you and your children.

Not only is it an exciting and different way to learn about cultures, but cooking with children brings a host of benefits - from numeracy to science. How can you beat that?
Adventures In Mommydom, Creative Family Fun, Domestic Goddesque, Glittering Muffins, Here Come The Girls, Juggling with Kids, Kid World Citizen, Kitchen Counter Chronicles, Mermaids' Makings, Montessori Tidbits, Mummymummymum and The Educators' Spin On It have come together to help you on your food journey and will each cook a dish with our children and post about it - to help inspire you to have a go! Then go out there, cook, blog, and join in the linky fun! Check out the other great posts as well!

Around the World in 12 Dishes

We had started our journey the same way Phileas Fogg did in London, UK, and now are arriving in Brasilia, capital of the biggest South American country Brazil.!

How to join the fun!

  • The only mandatory part is the dish, the rest is all up to you, we just thought it would be fun and more concrete to the kids as to why we are making a unusual dish.
  • Cook a dish from Brazil: The goal is to explore this country through FOOD and activities if you wish. Make a typical dish (sweet or savoury) from the country with the kids, take photos and have fun!
  • Typical dishes: Feijoada, BaiĆ£o de dois, Sarapatel, Galinhadaplus Queijadinha, Moqueca de peixe and Bridgardeiros.
  • Print your passport: Click here to download, comes with space for a photo of the child with the dish. Here is a little cover for it if you wish :)
  • Color a placemat: Once colored/painted or whatever other way you want to do this, you can laminate it or put it between clear contact paper to use it over and over. Great conversation piece for you and your kids. Click here to download it.
  • Make a craft: you can make a country related craft with the kids [optional!]
  • Fun fact: Brazil has one of the New 7 Wonders of the World, the Christ Redeemer statue, located in Rio De Janeiro.
  • Share with us: Our Brazil challenge starts on November 4th and will remain open for a year, so attach a link to your blog to enter the linky party or go to the comment section and post a photo together with what you did together with your child(ren).
  • Pinterest: We will add your photos to a "Around the World in 12 Dishes" Pinterest Boards (one for the dishes, one for the crafts) you will be a great source of inspiration for everyone :)
  • Are you a blogger? Let your fans know about the challenge and grab our cute lil’ button to share it on your blog.

Around the World in 12 Dishes
<a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" alt="Around the world in 12 Dishes" width="125" height="125" /></a>

If you do this, we’d LOVE to see a photo of it. Email it to us or post it on our Facebook page. We’d love to do a Facebook album, a Pinterest board and a page of your creations :)
Please link up your Brazilian dish and/or craft in our linky below, we would love to see it!

Around the World in 12 Dishes: Brazil: Brigadeiro

We traveled to Brazil this month for our next country in Around the World in 12 Dishes.  I wrote an email to my Brazilian pen pals, that I've had for 23 years, and asked them for advice on a traditional dish my kids and I could make to represent their country.  There was no hesitation in their answer.  They told me there is a dessert called Brigadeiro, and they think 99% of kids love it.  Well, you can add my children to that statistic also because they kept asking for more. It is traditional to find Brigadeiro at birthday parties, as my pen pals told me "every birthday MUST have Brigadeiro!"  They sent me this recipe from to help us get started.  I did a little research first and read that condensed milk in the U.S. is a bit different from the Brazilian version. It is not as sweet, so it was recommend that I use Nesquik instead of unsweetened cocoa.

-Sweetened condensed milk
-Butter  (we used unsalted)
-Unsweetened cocoa (we used Nesquik)
-Sprinkles, nuts, coconut, nonpareils


In a medium saucepan add 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

Add 1 tablespoon butter (we used unsalted).

Then add 3 tablespoons of Nesquik.

Cook over medium heat and stir continuously...

Cook the mixture until it thickens enough to show the bottom of the pan while stirring.  About 10 minutes.

Pour the mixture into a lightly greased dish and let it cool to room temperature.  My kids and I didn't have a few hours to wait until it cooled, so I actually covered the dish and put it in the refrigerator over night.  I then took it out the next day and let it sit for a few hours before we were ready to roll these into little balls.

Roll them into bite size balls.  I read some tips that you can grease your hands a little bit before rolling them into balls.  We didn't really have a problem with it sticking to our hands so we didn't grease our hands, but I just wanted to give you that tip.

Once you have rolled them into balls, roll them with sprinkles, nuts, coconut or anything you think would taste good.  Crushed up cookies or mini M & M's would be great too!

These would make wonderful treats at any party. You can customize them in whatever color your party theme may be.  We made some red, white and blue brigadeiro in celebration for the U.S. election that was going on.

These were delicious!  It almost tasted like eating milk chocolate caramel....however this was much softer and easier to eat than caramel (at least in my opinion).  My favorite was putting salted peanuts on the brigadeiro as I like the combination of the salty and sweet flavors.  My kids however went for the sprinkles!

We'll hope you'll try these in your own home.  It's relatively easy, takes few ingredients and it's a great way to explore another countries traditions with your children!