April 29, 2012

Homemade Dill Dip

If you have kids you probably have noticed that they love to dip foods.  Even if it is a food that they particularly do not like...throw in some ranch or ketchup to dip it in and the plate is cleaned. 
My kids love dill dip.  In fact the entire family does.  We use it for dipping pretzels, carrots, cucumbers, raw broccoli...if it's dill dipable, we dip it.

April 15, 2012

Colored Cakes

One of the sweet pregnant gals in my Bible study small group was going to find out if she was having a boy or a girl and I thought we would celebrate the news.  So, I made a pink and blue layered cake to enjoy while mooning over her prego belly and diving into our Beth Moore books.
It's very simple to do.
I used a white cake mix so that my colors would turn out just the way I wanted them.
Make the cake batter exactly the way the box directions tell you to for two 9 inch round cake pans.  Before pouring the batter into the prepped cake pans, divide it in half.  Take some red food coloring and add just a few drops to one of the batters and mix-this will make you pink layer.  Take blue food coloring and add just a few drops to the other batter half and mix.  It's always best to add too little at first and mix and then add more coloring.

 Here is the gradual coloring to make pastel pink
After you have your desired color of batter (I wanted pastels so it didn't take much) pour the batter into the prepared cake pans and bake according to box directions. 

When they are fully baked and cooled, put the layered cake together like any other.  I used white icing. 
Here is what it looked like after the reveal.

For my son's 4th birthday he asked for rainbow cupcakes.  I did not take pictures of the process but here is what it turned out looking like.

We all loved them and they were so yummy.  My son definitely enjoyed them. 
To make these lovely rainbow cupcakes all you have to do is prepare the cupcake batter per the box directions.  Then decide what colors you want to use for your 'rainbow'.  Divide the batter equally into bowls that coordinate per color.  For example:  if you want 5 colors in your 'rainbow' cupcakes then you will need 5 bowls, each filled with the same amount of cupcake batter.  Use food coloring to make your desired colors.  Just put a few drops of the preferred color into each bowl of batter and mix.  Once you have your batter prepared to the color that you desire, just fill the cupcake tins.  It works best to use measuring spoons or 1/4 C measuring cup to make sure the colors are around the same amount per cupcake.  Simply layer the different colors in the cupcake tins and bake according to the package. 
Don't worry about colors running and not turning out well.  You can almost not mess this up.  It also helps if after you fill all the tins with the first color of batter, to tap your tins to get the batter to settle evenly.  Do this between each color that you add to the cupcake tins.  I used white icing to top off my son's birthday cupcakes and they looked great!

April 05, 2012

Butcher Paper!

I bought a kids easel at a Yard sale 2 years ago and it has been the best $8 I ever spent.  It came with a HUGE roll of butcher paper.  The other day it was cold, yet again, and we needed a change from the normal art projects that we do.  I had bought some new washable markers for the kids and placed them in makeup bags from the dollar store.  One for my son, and one for my daughter. 
All it took was some tape on either end of the butcher table to secure it to my dining room table and it provided about an hour of table coloring fun.  I was able to cook dinner and effortlessly keep an eye on my artists.  As a mother, it was a dream:)

I hope my roll lasts for a while longer because I don't really know where to go to restock it.  Someone told me that the local newspapers usually have left overs similar to this after printing the paper...a couple of feet on each roll that gets thrown out because it's not enough to print an entire paper on.  I'll have to investigate.
(On a side note, one Christmas I wrapped presents for our family in the butcher paper and let the kids decorate it with Christmas themed stickers and red and green crayons.  The family loved receiving Christmas care packages with the kids artwork as wrapping paper)
Do you know where I can restock my beloved butcher paper roll?

April 01, 2012

Homemade Pizza with the Kids

One of my favorite things to do is have the kids help me cook.  What's that saying...if you let your kids help cook they are more likely to eat it.  Well, not in my kids case.  But, we have a good time preparing the food together anyway. 
Here is how my munchkins make their own personal pan pizza. 
I make the pizza crust dough in my wonderful bread machine that I cannot live without.

Recipe for 1.5 lbs homemade pizza crust in the bread machine:
1/2 tsp salt
3 C all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1 C water
2 Tbsp. olive oil or vegetable oil
Add all lingredients, liquid first, to bread machine per instructions.
Love this recipe b/c you don't have to have bread flour and it takes like 45 minutes to make.

When the pizza dough is done in the bread machine, I grease the bottom of 2 round cake pans and spread out the dough in each.  (One pan with dough for each kid).  I put the mozzarella cheese and pizza sauce in their own kid friendly small bowls and give the kids a spoon and tell them to have at it.

I love how my son sneaks in a spoon of marinara sauce.  Yum!  I can't blame him and the whole point is to have fun and feel creative.

Smiles of delight make it all worth it. 

Bon Appatite!
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