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Seaweed Art Cards
  • You won’t need a special heart-shaped muffin tin to make these muffins.

    Materials:
    Your favorite muffin recipe
    Muffin tins
    Muffin or cupcake liners
    Marbles or marble-sized rolled up balls of foil.

    Line the muffin tins with the liners and prepare your favorite muffin or cupcake recipe. Fill the liners with the batters.  Place the marble or foil between the liner and the edge of the muffin tin. Bake as usual. As the muffin bakes the batter will pull away from the sides and form a heart shape.

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  • Pretzels are fun snack to make with your children. Why not fashion them into heart shapes as a healthy alternative to the traditional Valentine chocolates?

    Ingredients:
    1 cup warm water
    2 T sugar
    2 pkgs. fast acting yeast
    1 egg
    3 1/2 to 4 cups flour
    Kosher salt

    Stir the yeast, water and sugar together in a large bowl until the yeast is dissolved. Set aside for about 15 minutes or until the yeast gets foamy. This is called “proofing”. Afterward, stir in the flour a little at a time until the dough is stiff.  Remove dough from bowl and knead on a floured surface for five minutes. Shape dough into a large ball and place in a buttered bowl. Cover with a dish towel and set in a warm place to rise until it is doubled in size. Once the dough has risen, punch it down. On a lightly floured surface, roll it out into a rectangle. Cut fat strips and shape into heart shaped pretzels and place on a baking sheet. Beat the egg with a fork and brush onto the pretzels. Sprinkle on some kosher salt and bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.

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  • cookies before they go into the oven

    cookies before they go into the oven

    I made a lot of labor intensive elaborate cookies over the holidays that were almost too pretty to eat. This one was by far the easiest to make and the kids’ favorite. Make a double batch. They won’t last long. The recipe comes from my late mother-in-law who had a real sweet tooth. By the way, there are no actual peanuts in this recipe since it calls for walnuts, but I suppose you could use peanuts.

    Ingredients:
    unsalted Saltine crackers
    1/2 cup of sugar
    1/2 cup of brown sugar
    1 cup of melted butter
    12 oz bag of mini chocolate chips
    1 cup of finely chopped walnuts

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line bottom of 11 x 13 cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Layer the crackers side by side to cover the cookie sheet. Mix sugar, brown sugar and butter and pour over the top of the crackers. Spread evenly using the back of a spoon. Bake for 15 minutes. While still hot and bubbly sprinkle on the chocolate chips and nuts. When cooled off, separate from foil and break into “brittle” pieces.

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  • fudgeThis is super easy, and  fun homemade fudge that your kids will love to make and eat.

    Ingredients:
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    2/3 cup evaporated milk
    2 T butter
    1/4 tsp. salt
    2 cups mini marshmallows (a must)
    1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
    1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

    1 tsp. vanilla extract

    Line 8-inch square baking pan with foil. Combine sugar, evaporated milk, butter and salt in medium heavy sauce pan. Bring to full rolling boil over medium heat, stirring constantly for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in marshmallows, chips, nuts and vanilla extract. Stir vigorously for one minute or until marshmallows are melted. Pour into prepared baking pan and refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm. Lift from pan, remove foil and cut into pieces.

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  • Ingredients:
    1 cup plain canned pumpkin
    1/4 cup sugar
    1/4 tsp. cinnamon
    1/4 tsp. ginger
    1 quart vanilla ice cream
    1 store bought graham cracker pie crust

    In a medium sized bowl, mix the pumpkin, sugar and spices together. In a large bowl, soften the ice-cream. Add the pumpkin mixture and stir until well blended. Use a mixer if necessary. Spoon the mixture into the pie crust, smoothing the top. Place in a freezer for several hours, until firm.

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  • You will need:
    Graham crackers
    Chocolate frosting
    Round, fudge-striped cookies
    Almond Joy candy bars
    Gel frosting in a tube

    Break a graham cracker in half so you have a square. Place a dollop of chocolate frosting on top of the graham cracker and press the Almond Joy candy bar onto it in an upright position to look like the turkey’s body. Add gel frosting for eyes and a striped cookie behind it for the tail feathers.

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  • Perfect gift for all the foodies on  your holiday shopping list.

    Ingredients:
    3 1/2 oz. brown or black mustard seeds
    1/2 cup white wine vinegar
    1/2 lb. yellow mustard seeds
    Pinch of ground white pepper
    1 tsp. ground turmeric
    1 3/4 cups of water
    Salt
    1/4 cups good quality pure honey
    Pinch of dried thyme or chili powder

    Also need: sterilized glass jars with tight fitting lids (Mason jars work well.)

    Soak brown/black mustard seeds over night in vinegar. Then grind with a mortar and pestle. Grind yellow seeds in a spice grinder or mini food processor until medium fine. Pour into large bowl. Add the brown seeds, pepper and turmeric to the yellow seed mixture and mix well. Boil the water, add a dash of salt. Slowly pour the water into the bowl with the mustard seeds. Mix well. Gradually add the honey while stirring with a wooden spoon. Season with vinegar, pepper and salt to taste. Add the thyme or chili powder. While mustard is hot, pour into clean jars and seal right away. Let stand 2 weeks. Store in refrigerator for up to 2 months.

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  • I don’t usually describe food as fun, but recently I tried Bear Naked granola and I loved it. ( I would just like to interject here that I am not a paid endorser of the product, and I didn’t get freebies to try it either. I just liked it and want to share it with you.)  My kids were asking me to make them yogurt, fruit and  granola parfaits so I picked up some Bear Naked granola and some Stonyfield yogurt and on the inside lid of the yogurt I found this recipe for granola cupcakes. I have made them twice. The first time with The Heavenly Chocolate granola and the second time with The Vanilla Almond Crunch granola.  The added granola makes for a very interesting and fun texture. My family loved them.

    Ingredients:
    1/2 cup butter
    1 cup sugar
    2 eggs
    1 T plus 1 tsp. vanilla extract (Can omit or use less if using vanilla yogurt.)
    1 3/4 cup plain or vanilla yogurt
    2 cups of all purpose flour
    1 tsp. baking soda
    1 tsp. baking powder
    2 cups of Bear Naked granola

    In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla extract. Beat until light and fluffy, scraping bowl constantly. Add yogurt and mix well.

    In a separate bowl sift all the dry ingredients except for granola. Add to butter mixture until well blended. Fold in the granola.

    Pour into lined muffin tins and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Serve warm or cooled. Frost if desired.

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  • This makes a great teacher gift when packaged in a holiday mug with some hot cocoa mix. Small children will enjoy rolling the marshmallows in the powdered sugar. Read the rest of this entry »

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  • There are lots and lots of variations on the traditional Play-Doh recipe. Here are just a few.

    Traditional

    Ingredients:
    1 cup flour
    1 cup water
    1/2 cup salt
    1 T cream of tartar
    1 T oil
    food coloring

    Directions: Heat all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. When dough gets to the consistency you want, remove from heat and let cool. Make lots of batches in different colors. Store in a zip-lock bag or plastic container.

    Variation: Substitute cake decorating food coloring pastes for richer, darker colors.
    Another variation: Add some glitter.

    Koolaid Play-Doh

    Ingredients:
    1 cup flour
    1/2 cup water
    1/2 cup salt
    3 T of oil
    1 package of Koolaid powder

    Directions: Mix all ingredients together and cook over medium heat stirring constancy until reaching desired consistency. Remove from heat and cool. Keep in airtight container and store in the refrigerator.

    Uncooked Play-Doh

    Ingredients:
    3 cups boiling water
    3 cups flour
    1 1/2 cups of salt
    1 1/2 T oil
    3 tsp. cream of tartar

    Directions: Mix all ingredients except the flour in a large bowl. Mix well and then add the flour. Stir until dough scrapes off the sides of the bowl. Transfer to floured surface and knead to mix completely. Store in airtight container and refrigerate.

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