FROZEN YOGURT BITES

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FROZEN YOGURT BITES

I think as moms we all switch into survival mode when we go grocery shopping. Or to get gas. Or buy new shoes. Or church. Let’s face it-anywhere-when we are toting kiddos along. Every time we prep to leave the house I spend a good twenty minutes packing our bag for whatever small excursion we are about to embark upon.

Packing my bag is a beast of a task. I need water bottles with names printed on Etsy stickers. Change of clothes made from SPF and moisture-wicking material. Baby wipes. Toy wipes. Boogie wipes. Snack containers made from BPA-free recycled milk jugs. Rattles (also BPA-free). Sunscreen with organic zinc and 150+ SPF. I mean at this point I’d rather just stay home. I realize I might be a crazy person. But, I'm willing to bet half of those things are in your diaper bag too. The one thing that saves us every time?

Snacks.

One of our favorites?

Yogurt bites.

How do we fly through bags and bags of yogurt bites? I mean it’s basically astronaut food. They look super delish but I want to gag each time I try one. Oh well. If a bag of these teeny morsels keeps us from a tantrum at the store then fine by me.

As always, we look for super easy kid-friendly recipes for #wecookwednesday. Today is actually National S’mores Day, so if you feel like celebrating check out our S’mores Bars.

Frozen yogurt bites might be our easiest recipe to date. Two ingredients. TWO. The hardest part of this recipe is the waiting. Mr. Mischief, like any three-year-old, does not like waiting.

I recommend buying Greek yogurt for these because the consistency is much thicker than normal yogurt and easier to handle. In fact, you really only need the yogurt for this recipe. The second ingredient is food coloring. So, depending on your flavor of choice you don’t even need the food coloring. I used good old vanilla yogurt because we already had it in the fridge. He chose blue food coloring. Go figure. He normally chooses anything that resembles a certain cheeky engine from the Island of Sodor.

 Frozen Yogurt Bites Steps 1-4

Frozen Yogurt Bites Steps 1-4

  • Mischief poured the yogurt into a bowl and picked out his blue color.
  • He squeezed in the food coloring and began to mix the yogurt.
  • We talked about the change in colors as they swirled in the bowl.
  • Next, I trimmed a Ziploc bag and spooned the yogurt into the bag.
  • Then, on a cookie sheet he squeezed little drops of yogurt.
  • We filled up the cookie sheet and then placed in the freezer for 4-6 hours.
  • Eat them quick! They melt!!
 Mr. Mischief's Frozen Yogurt Bites

Mr. Mischief's Frozen Yogurt Bites

 

Early Childhood Lessons:

Descriptive Words

Colors

-Reading

Cause and Effect

-Science

 

Ingredients:

1-8 ounce Greek yogurt

 

Supplies:

Food coloring | your choice

Cookie sheet

Ziploc bag

 

Yield: 20 bites

Steps:

1.     Mix food coloring into yogurt container.

2.     Stir.

3.     Spoon into Ziploc bag,

4.     Cut* corner of Ziploc bag.

5.     Squeeze nickel size dots on to cookie sheet and place in freezer.

* Make sure to do a couple test runs. I cut the hole WAY too big on the first bag and we had one giant yogurt blob.

 Lollipops and Honey Frozen Yogurt Bites

Lollipops and Honey Frozen Yogurt Bites

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OLYMPIC SUGAR COOKIES

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OLYMPIC SUGAR COOKIES

I’m not really sure where my Olympics obsession began. Somewhere between the Cool Runnings VHS release and Shannon Miller’s balance beam gold medal. True story-Shannon and I went to the same gymnastics gym. At some point in my short-lived gymnastics life, we both happened to be at the gym on the same night. You know, both working on our talent. Unfortunately, mine was mediocre at best and that’s a really generous adjective. I was on the balance beam working on pike jumps and she was off doing something awesome. Like signing autographs or running towards the vault at 100 mph. I thought I’d try to really show off for her. I stood on the middle of the beam and jumped as high as I could whilst pointing my toes. This is no easy feat people. I landed pretty solid and was ready to throw my hands out to show balance is nothing. I got this Shannon! Magnificent Eight comin’ in hot! Then in my overeager novice skills, lost my footing, fell off the beam, landed on my chest and got the wind knocked right outta me. Real cool guys. I enrolled in ballet pretty soon after that and didn’t look back.

I wait and wait for the Olympics. Mr. Mischief is finally big enough to catch a swim meet or two so this is technically his “first” games. I have been telling him for weeks that the Olympics are nearing. “What is the Olympics mommy?” Just you wait buddy. I’m certain he will love swimming, diving and running. And I’m going to live vicariously through Simone Biles. For the most part, he has no idea what the Olympics mean but maybe after the opening ceremonies it will start to make sense. In true Lollipops and Honey teacher fashion, #wecookwednesday to the rescue!

 Mr. Mischief's Olympic Sugar Cookies

Mr. Mischief's Olympic Sugar Cookies

The hard part? Trying to find the Olympics logo without scouring news coverage. The Olympics committee keeps those rings on lockdown. I went to two bookstores and couldn’t find a decent logo for our activities. The logo is copyrighted so high up I think it only exists in the lower right corner of our television while I watch KLG & Hoda. If it is printed-it’s in black. Woof. I needed all five of those ring colors. I ended up printing the Olympics logo and hung it on the fridge at his eye level. This was a great way to spark some interest in him and get him talking about the new picture. We did a new craft each day incorporating the Olympics logo and colors. Check out our handy work on Instagram.

One thing we really love to bake (and eat) is a cookie. We love cookies and sprinkles around here. Surely we could win a gold medal in cookie decorating? We’ve enjoyed many treats this summer. Like S’mores Bars and Frosted Apple Donuts. But, nothing beats a sugar cookie. Now, I love made-from-scratch cookies as much as the next girl. But, I just didn’t have it in me. It’s too hot for the oven! It’s Oklahoma in August. We live in an oven right now. I bought pre-made sugar cookies at the grocery store. You can buy pre-made cookies; make yours from scratch, whatever you want. It’s the decorating that we were interested in and that meant-sprinkles.

Blue, black, red, yellow, and green. We needed all the sprinkles. Taste the rainbow. We put the printed Olympics logo on the counter next to our supplies and got to work. We used a biscuit cutter and cut holes in the middle of the cookies to make them into “rings”. We also used pre-made royal icing. Gasp! Children don’t wait for icing to set. I found all our baking supplies at our nearest craft store.

 Olympic Sugar Cookies Steps 1-4

Olympic Sugar Cookies Steps 1-4

Mischief and I talked about the colors and the placement of each ring. I introduced some math vocabulary this week. We used positional words-left, right, top, bottom, over and under. First grade math lesson? Check! Next, we placed five bare cookies in the same order as the rings. He pointed to each ring on the paper and the corresponding cookie on the baking sheet. I was delightfully surprised and proud at how quick he picked up on the color placement. He squeezed the royal icing over the tops of his cookies. I tried to help here because my OCD was rising like the heat wave outside. He shut me down real quick. “I do it!” Next, color-by-color sprinkled the tops of his cookies. To be honest, the blue ring took a major hit as we learned the holes in the lid are LARGE. We decorated the rest of the cookies. He did not want to fix the blue cookie. What can I say?  I didn’t either.

Happy Summer Olympics 2016 and GO TEAM USA!!

 

Early Childhood Lessons:

Descriptive Words

Colors

-Reading

Positional Words

-Math

 

Ingredients:

5 sugar cookies

Royal icing (white)

Sprinkles (blue, black, red, yellow, green)

 

Biscuit cutter

 

Yield: 5 cookies

Steps:

Use biscuit cutter and cut holes* in all 5-sugar cookies. Cover the “rings” of the cookies with royal icing. Sprinkle each cookie with a different color.

I recommend having some extra cookies on hand. It takes a few practice rounds to figure out the best way to cut the holes in the cookies without them breaking. However, it’s fun to eat the rejects!

 Lollipops and Honey Olympic Sugar Cookies

Lollipops and Honey Olympic Sugar Cookies

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PUP-KIN POPS

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PUP-KIN POPS

It’s important for children to understand that not all treats are for them. Yes, we all want them. Treats=life. I want all the treats. I’ll be the first to admit it. If I see a macaron? MINE. Salted caramel anything? MINE. I’ll box you out in line to get there first. That’s just me being honest. Also honest? I worry-what if Mr. Mischief catches onto this game I’m playing by myself? So, I decided it was high time we baked for someone else for a change.

We spent the 4th of July in Crested Butte, Colorado and seriously had a glorious time. Oklahoma was a ripe old 100 degrees so we high-tailed it outta there. We had a blissful week with crisp temps, homemade donuts, and mountain sunsets. One of the downfalls of being away from home over my favorite holiday? Missing my puppies’ birthday. Eight years ago we found our labbie girls on the 4th of July when they were six weeks old. We think. They were little fluff balls, so we just guess-timated. Either way they were stupid cute. Postcard pups. Each year I bake them a cake with dog biscuits adorned across the top. One for each year they’ve been a part of our family (and hogging the bed). Since we missed the cake making this year I knew I had to make up for their missed birthday. I love making puppy cakes and they are super easy however, I didn’t want to deal with ovens and a three-year-old. No bake energy pops seemed like just the ticket. I ran this idea by my main man and he thought it sounded, “Oh my! That’d be cool mom!” Win.

 Pup-kin Pops Steps 1-4

Pup-kin Pops Steps 1-4

So we set off on our pup-kin pop adventure. I always use pumpkin when making puppy treats. It helps to soothe upset tummies. I use peanut butter because they LOVE it. There are a lot of little steps for these balls but I promise and cross my heart they’re wicked easy to make. You can use any generic ingredients for these but I stepped up my A game and went the organic route. They are pampered pups after all. You’ll need a mixer this week. Mischief thought this was awesome! Something new and different if you will. He spooned 1 cup of pumpkin into the mixing bowl. Followed by ¼ cup of milk and ¼ cup of peanut butter. I showed him how to turn on the mixer and we set the timer for 2 minutes. I had to keep an eye on him at this point as he quickly moved the lever forward to HIGH speed and pumpkin batter started flying. Did he care? Duh, no. Next, we spooned 3 cups of oats into the bowl and mixed again until combined. I showed him how to use the ice cream disher and he started scooping. I had high hopes he would roll the dough to make the pops but he got very antsy about getting his hands covered in pumpkin. Mom to the rescue! At this point, he took over and directed me on my job. He scooped (or shoveled) as he called it. He shoveled, then handed me the dough to roll. Two bakers are better than one after all. He also got severely sidetracked by eating the peanut butter straight from the jar. Man after my own heart. After I rolled the dough into balls, I placed them into a bowl to coat with more oats.

 Pup-kin Pops Steps 5-8

Pup-kin Pops Steps 5-8

We placed the pops in the fridge for about 15 minutes to set. Then, we had a puppy party. We all put on party hats and sang happy birthday to our birthday girls (one week late). They were less than impressed to be subjected to hats but they LOVED their treats. Loved loved loved. I have to admit, given the ingredients-I might have to try them for myself. 

 Happy Birthday girls!!

Happy Birthday girls!!

Early Childhood Lessons:

Descriptive Words

-Reading

Measuring

-Math

Cause and Effect

-Science

Ingredients:

3 cups steel oats + extra to coat

1 cup pumpkin puree

¼ cup milk

¼ cup peanut butter

Yield: 1 and ½ dozen pops

Steps:

Pour 1 cup of pumpkin puree into mixing bowl. Add ¼ cup of milk and ¼ cup of peanut butter. Mix on low speed for 2 minutes using the paddle attachment until smooth. Mix in 3 cups of oats till combined. Use 1-inch size ice cream disher to scoop dough. Roll into balls and cover with oats. Set in fridge to sit for 15 minutes. 

 Pup-kin Pops

Pup-kin Pops

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FRUIT FLAGS

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FRUIT FLAGS

 Independence Day Ingredients

Independence Day Ingredients

I have a few favorite things. Baby bonnets. Skittles. Starbucks pink drinks. Cute pups on walks. The Bachelorette + Bach in Paradise. Home décor. Mainly decorating my house for any holiday. With each passing holiday, I’m always getting psyched up for the next.

I have two favorite holidays. Christmas because duh. And the 4th of July. I love flag gear, fireworks, the lake, and patriotic foods. I mean there’s just something about red, white, and blue. Also, the 4th of July happens to be the day I found my labbie girls. We rescued 7 little angel pups in the middle of nowhere, Oklahoma. I don’t know their real birthday so we celebrate our patriotic pups every year on the 4th of July!

I love to make my pups their own homemade birthday treats. (Coming soon.) But, since we’re on the verge of our nation’s bday I thought we’d throw a little ‘Merica love at #wecookwednesday. We made Fruit Flags and oh my gosh were they cute. I loved our Frosted Apple Donuts with sprinkles but these are my new favorite. If you’re looking for a fun way to begin incorporating a little patriotic pride into your kiddo’s routine, then keep on reading friends.

I tend to go Independence Day décor crazy. We have a lot of flags in our front porch flowerpots. Before we started cooking, Mr. Mischief and I went outside. We looked at the flags and talked about the colors. We counted the lines and the stars. We ate Bomb Pop popsicles. YUM. They were for him not for me. Promise…. He picked out a flag to bring inside for our cooking lesson. I put the flag next to the ingredients for him to use as inspiration.

 Fruit Flags Steps 1-4

Fruit Flags Steps 1-4

Mischief and I started with graham crackers and cream cheese. I recommend buying the pre-whipped cream cheese. It’s smooth texture is just like whipping cream-perfect for tiny tots! He struggled with standard cream cheese (+thawing) and this was So. Much. Easier. He spread the cream cheese across the crackers. We used a cake-decorating spatula instead of a regular kitchen knife. Works just as well and much safer!

One thing to remember when cooking  - and PLAYING - with kids is to avoid limiting their choices. Yes, the flags will be red, white, and blue. But, they don’t have to be red, white, and blue. Kids have their own choices and ideas. You can use bananas, kiwis, grapes, whatever they want! The more fruits you let them choose the more likely they are to participate. We had four choices to start. He chose strawberries, blueberries and blackberries. We had raspberries too but I kid you not he ate them all during our prep time. The whole pint! So we were left with one red choice and two blues. I tried to facilitate where the blue “should go”. He had none of that. In true Mischief form, he stuck a blackberry smack in the middle of his flag.

“No, mommy! I do it.”

They were his flags after all! Who was I to be bossy?

He loved the flag “cookies”, the fruit, and his new special flag. Now, he has started spotting flags everywhere we go! He doesn’t miss one. Patriotic pride starts early. Happy Independence Day friends and stay safe!

 Fruit Flags

Fruit Flags

 

Early Childhood Lessons:

Colors

Descriptive Words

-Reading

Counting

-Math

 

Ingredients:

Graham Crackers

1 tub cream cheese

Strawberries

Raspberries

Blackberries

Blueberries

 

Yield: 2 servings

Steps:

Spread cream cheese on whole graham cracker.

Place fruit on cream cheese to resemble American flag. *

 

*Note: Your child will likely place fruit out of order on her/his flag. Please, allow for this and do not direct them to decorate in a “traditional” way. They are learning and decorating their flags as they SEE them to be. 

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FROSTED APPLE DONUTS

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FROSTED APPLE DONUTS

It’s a running joke in my family that when I was a little girl I loved powdered donuts. One of those-want what you can’t have type of things. We ate very healthy at home and to this day I still don’t know if I’m allowed to have caffeinated drinks or not. Hey, I don’t make the rules. My mom does. But at the lake?

Free. For. All.

In the summers, we’d go to the lake for the weekend and everyone would unload junk food galore out of his or her cars. Chips. Dips. Suncreen. Boats. And powdered donuts. I’m sure it drove my mom crazy that I would emerge from other boats with my face covered in powdered sugar and surely on some sort of insanity-bound sugar high. Oh well. It was the 90’s. No one worried about artificial colors and if donuts were a “clean food” or not. These days, the "cool" moms would be judging for sure as they unloaded their organic juice pouches and cheddar bunnies.

I still love the lake. I love snacking at the lake. I love bulk-size cheese puffs, which are best, served at the lake. Some things never go out of style. If anything, donuts are making a comeback. We don’t have to rely on basic old flavors anymore either. In an effort to avoid the powdered sugar face on Mr. Mischief, I thought we’d mix it up a bit.

Frosted Apple Donuts.

Healthy, colorful, and cuz they’re for kids: sprinkles. Okay okay. The sprinkles are mostly for me. If it has sprinkles I’m down.

 Frosted Apple Donuts Steps 1-4

Frosted Apple Donuts Steps 1-4

This recipe requires a little bit of set-up sans kiddos. I don’t like using the big kitchen knife with Mischief standing next to me and grabbing ingredients. We started with one apple. I presliced and cored the apple. I did this the night before so they were all ready to go. He also inherited his Daddy’s impatience gene and they don’t like waiting on me. Sometimes I move pretty slowly. I’ll admit it. Easier if I’m one step ahead. We mixed the food coloring with the cream cheese. I chose original flavor cream cheese for our apples however, there are tons of yummy flavors now. You can also add in honey, sugar, or marshmallow fluff to sweeten it up if you like. He chose pink and green for our “frosting” colors. We talked about the changes in color from the addition of the food coloring. Instead of a kitchen knife (to spread),  we used one of my cake decorating spatulas. They aren’t sharp at all and perfect for digging into a frosting cup.

When we made s'mores bars he blew my mind and used sign language to describe one of the ingredients. I thought it’d be fun to build on this and introduced some Spanish vocabulary into #wecookwednesday this week.

Knife=Cuchillo (coo-chee-yo)

He used the cuchillo and spread the frosting on top of the apple. I made sure to emphasize this word and used it over and over.

“Wow, you’re spreading the frosting with the cuchillo.”
“Look at you using the cuchillo in the pink and green colors.”

You get the idea. Use the word at dinner tonight. And tomorrow. They’ll like it.

I facilitated a bit and helped to spread the frosting all over the apples. It could’ve sat at room temp for a little longer I think. Then, the sprinkles started. Sprinkles galore. Love me some sprinkles. I had three different kinds and he mixed and matched all over his apple masterpieces. This recipe was definitely our easiest to date. Frosted apple donuts are so fun and you can get creative as heck with these. Don’t like cream cheese? Peanut butter or Nutella it is! Don’t want sprinkles? Raisins, white chocolate chips, or almonds! Possibilities are endless. If only, we’d had these at the lake when I was a kid. Maybe I wouldn’t have left little white handprints everywhere I went.

 Project-based. Kid-friendly.

Project-based. Kid-friendly.

Early Childhood Lessons:

Spanish vocabulary

-Language Development/Reading

Cause and Effect

-Science

 

Ingredients:

1 apple

1 tub cream cheese

 

Food coloring

Sprinkles 

 

Yield: 6 servings

To Prep:

Slice and core apple to desired size.

 

  • Mix food coloring and cream cheese.
  • Spread cream cheeses onto apple slices.
  • Cover with sprinkles.

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ICE CREAM IN A BAG

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ICE CREAM IN A BAG

We are creatures of habit. Are we not? I am for sure. To the core. I watch Friends every night before I go to sleep. I order the same food at certain restaurants. I don’t sway on a theta burger. Or, classic tart fro-yo with Fruity Pebbles. It’s just the way I am. I like what I like. Mr. Mischief is the same way. He too, likes the same foods at certain meals and restaurants. Part of my reasoning for cooking up #wecookwednesday is to break the chicken nugget and ketchup mold. We have good days and bad days. He’s been super receptive to our last recipes of FudgePops and s’mores bars. This week was a different story. I could lie to you and say he gobbled it up asking, “please mama, I’d like some more”. But alas, this didn’t happen. Far from it. The exact opposite happened. Full-blown meltdown. Refusal to eat our blackberry ice cream. That’s right, blackberry ice cream. Is your mouth watering? Mine sure as heck was when the idea popped into my head. I thought, slam-dunk!! Note: this ice cream was bomb. Really really delish. Which made it that much more frustrating for me! Like I said, he likes what he likes. I’ll tread the waters a little slower next week. To be fair, ice cream is very hit or miss for him. Super cold things are not his forte. He had a great time making it but it was a no-go on tasting this concoction.

Ice cream in a bag is one of favorite recipes from teaching. My teaching partner and I would make this at our end of year party day. That last day when there are no rules, just good old-fashioned first grade anarchy. This recipe is easy. Real easy. Throw some ingredients in a bag and ta da! You’re done. One of the great things about ice cream in a bag is you can make any flavor under the summer sun. Vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, or (the dreaded) blackberry. I probably went too ambitious with this flavor.

Live and learn friends.

You can mix all of this in a Ziploc bag and cut out the need for a bowl (and washing dishes) but I knew that was a recipe for disaster. We mixed everything in a large bowl and then I poured the liquid into a quart-size Ziploc. We poured ½ cup of milk and ½ cup of heavy cream into a bowl. I poured the milk and cream into the measuring cup. He added the measuring cups to the bowl. He added 1 teaspoon of vanilla and gave it a stir. Next, 4 tablespoons of blackberry puree. I pureed fresh blackberries ahead of time but you can include the kiddos in this step. He gets a little unsure about the food processor. It’s LOUD. Our labbies also get scared and run for cover like it’s a thunderstorm. (Maybe we need a different food processor?) We discussed the color changes. The smells. Then, add 4 tablespoons of sugar. You can give or take on this part, depending on your preference of sweetness.

That’s it friends! Ingredients check check check. Told you it was easy. Give that bowl a stir and get ready for the fun part.

Pour the mixture into the quart-size bag. Make sure it is CLOSED. No air and zipped up tight. You’ll also need a gallon-size Ziploc bag. We put 1 cup of rock salt into the bag and then filled about halfway with ice. Mischief pushed the smaller bag in until it was submerged in ice. I sealed the large bag again, pushing out the extra air. He loved this part. You’ll shake, rattle, and roll that bag for 5-10 minutes while it freezes. He even drove trains across the bag. Go Go Thomas! Note-the bag will get cold fast. I took over after a few minutes, wrapped it in a dishtowel, and kept squeezing and shaking.

At this point, I couldn’t wait to try the ice cream and was ready for an instant hit. Balloon popped. Deflated. Call it what you will. Cooking with kids is a learning curve for us all. Some foods they like. Some they don’t. Even if it’s filled with sugary goodness, you can’t win ‘em all. I’m determined to try chocolate and strawberry (maybe combo??) so stay tuned. On the plus side, I got to enjoy some homemade fro-yo during naptime. All by myself. Not the worst thing in the world..

 

Early Childhood Lessons:

Measuring

-Math

Descriptive Words

-Reading

Cause and Effect

-Science

 

Ingredients:

½ cup milk

½ cup heavy cream

1-teaspoon vanilla

4 tablespoons fruit puree (or leave out for vanilla ice cream)

4 tablespoons sugar

 

1 quart-size Ziploc

1gallon-size Ziploc

1-cup rock salt

Ice

 

Yield: 2 servings 

Mix ½ cup milk and ½ cup of cream in a large bowl. Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla and 4 tablespoons of fruit puree. Mix in 4 tablespoons of sugar and stir. Pour mixture into a quart-sized Ziploc bag. Seal. Place 1 cup rock salt and ice into gallon-size Ziploc. Submerge smaller Ziploc into large Ziploc. Seal. Shake for 5-10 minutes or until frozen.

 

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S'MORES BARS

S'MORES BARS

If you’re a 90’s kid like me, you have a few go-to movies. You know the ones. They always make you happy. The ones that take you right back to sleepovers at a friend’s house. Where you played board games and watched “scary” PG-13 movies. I only recently learned, Death Becomes Her, was actually a comedy. Poor old 1993 me thought that was a horror movie for sure. Although, I think Goldie Hawn is looking a lot scarier these days. One of my very very favorite 90’s movies is of course, The Sandlot. I know you all are right there with me. It’s epic. I mean, Wendy Peffercorn is the reason I had to be a lifeguard in high school. Duh. She was the coolest! There are so many legen-wait for it-dary quotes from The Sandlot. My brother and I quote it to this day. That and Independence Day. Also a clutch movie.

Whenever I fondly think of the best movie ever made. One particular snack pops into my head. You guessed it. S’mores.

But, I haven’t had anything yet. So, how can I have s’more of nothing?

You’re killing me, Smalls!

There you have it. Brilliant movie writing folks. Over 20 years later and I still feel like I’m a kid at that campout. Let’s face it. We all love s’mores. What’s not to love? Every kid loves roasting a mallow on a stick and biting into that creamy gooey sticky (burnt if I had it my way) morsel. Did people even eat s’mores before 1993? I’m pretty sure The Sandlot put s’mores on the map. They’re too easy. A summertime staple. And yummy to boot. 3 ingredients and you’re done. As Hamilton “Ham” Porter says, “these are s’more stuff, okay? Pay attention.” Graham crackers, the mallows, and chocolate bars. GET IN MY BELLY. Does anyone else want to raid a summer camp right now? Surely they have s’mores on the reg.

I bet for the most of us-pretending we’re tweens and raiding summer camps just isn’t gonna happen. Have no fear. Lollipops and Honey is here. If you’re unlucky enough to be in a state where you spend your summers on a statewide burning ban, making s’mores can get downright tricky. Dare I say impossible? This week’s #wecookwednesday solves that problem.

We made No Bake S’mores Bars. A few more ingredients than traditional s’mores. But, NO campfire needed. You’ll need butter, graham crackers, powdered sugar, peanut butter, mini marshmallows, and chocolate chips. I’m willing to bet you have most of these in your pantry right now. This recipe is a little different than our previous ones and involves some heating. You don’t need to use the stove. Microwave will work! Mr. Mischief and I worked together for this recipe. I lined the casserole dish with foil and sprayed with cooking spray. If you have older kids, they can definitely take over this job for you. He put 1 stick of butter into a BIG bowl and I placed it in the microwave. Here comes the fun part. You’ll need about 2 sleeves of graham crackers (2 cups). He dropped them into a big Ziploc bag and I secured it, while pushing out the air. If you leave the air in-your bag will pop. We both used our hands and smashed the crackers into crumbs. You can use your fists, elbows, feet (if you feel like jumping) and smash away. I poured the bag into the measuring cup. Avoided a massive spill here-it was a lot of graham cracker. He added the cracker crumbies to the butter mixture.

We had an awesome teachable moment here!! I’ve been teaching Mischief sign language since he was a baby. One of our favorite board books that baby sissy uses now has a picture of: crackers. He said crunchy cracker and signed it to me while poking at the dish. I mean you guys. I almost fell over. Heart burst.

You’ll need to add ¾ cup of peanut butter. I did this part because PB is crazy sticky and it kinda stressed him out. However, he had no problem whatsoever eating the PB right from the jar. He’s the apple to my tree. We measured 1 and ½ cups of powdered sugar then added that in too. Now, to stir. You’ll need to help with this part. It’s thick. Mash mash mash. You’re going to play M.A.S.H. like it’s 1993. Workout for the day done! Woo! We measured 3 cups of marshmallows then added those in as well. He probably ate 1 cup of marshmallows at this point. Could I blame him? More workouts. Keep stirring.  

Mischief poured the chocolate chips into a bowl with a stick of butter (Ree would be proud). Microwave at 30 second intervals with stirring breaks. Note: watch carefully and don’t burn it. That happened to us too! Face palm! The last step of this recipe calls for the melted chocolate to be poured over the graham cracker base. I did this because the bowl was wicked hot and I didn’t want little man to burn his hands. He used a spatula to spread the chocolate to cover. To finish off, he tossed some extra chocolate chips over the top. Place in fridge to cool for at least 2 hours.

smores.jpg

Our recipe did not come out Pinterest picture perfect. But, we had fun and boy did those s’mores taste good. When ready, cut into squares or circles or triangles. Whichever is your favorite way to eat one of the best treats ever invented. You’ll probably need to pull out your VHS copy of The Sandlot to eat these. Okay, okay. Netflix it is. I guess it really isn’t 1993 anymore.

Early Childhood Lessons:

Measuring

-Math

Sign Language

-Language Development /Reading

 

Ingredients:

2 cups crushed graham crackers

2 sticks unsalted butter

¾ cup peanut butter 

1 ½ cups powdered sugar

3 cups mini marshmallows

1 bag chocolate chips

 

Yield: 12 squares

Instructions:

Line a 9x13 casserole dish with aluminum foil. Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Add 2 cups of crushed graham crackers to 1 stick melted butter in a large bowl. Spoon in 3/4 cup peanut butter. Stir in 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar till combined. Fold in 3 cups mini marshmallows.

Melt 1 bag chocolate chips with 1 stick butter in microwave. (Tip: melt 1st half of chocolate chips bag with half stick of butter. Then, melt 2nd half of bag with remaining butter to avoid burning.) Pour chocolate mixture over top of graham cracker base. Spread with spatula. Refrigerate to set for minimum of 2 hours.

Photography via.

STRAWBERRY SMOOTHIES

STRAWBERRY SMOOTHIES

Are you ever standing in an elevator alone and get a Buddy the Elf-like urge to push all the buttons? Just to see what happens? You know, take your hands and run them top to bottom as fast as you can. Watch all the lights blink on and wait for that upward lurch. You know no one will ever know. No one will judge you. But what if you break the elevator? What if you get stuck?

What if it’s awesome?

This is the urge my three-year-old had whilst cooking this week for #wecookwednesday. We made smoothies and let me tell you. The blender became his Everest. Waiting and waiting to push the puree button was agony. It was pure torture to not push those shiny black buttons. Don’t get too quick to toot your own horn here people. Lids are a MUST. Turn your head for one second and your trusty blender becomes Old Faithful. Your kitchen will be covered in frothy fruit. Don’t you worry. No matter what surface smoothies are served on-they still taste bomb. Feel free to lick the ceiling, if you can reach it that is. Smoothies are one of my favorite things to make. Breakfast, lunch, snack-they work all day every day. I adored our easy fudgepops we made last week. They were wicked fun and the chocolate was so rich. But, as soon as we polished off our chocolate popsicles, Mr. Mischief started asking about new flavors. His mind was obvi reeling. I let him roll with it. Marmalade (Paddington obsessed up in here), raspberry, and strawberry just to name a few. I love a good Popsicle but momma already needed a mix-up. So I stuck my head in the freezer to scope out what ingredients we had on hand. Lots of frozen fruit.

Done! Smoothies it is brother.

You can’t get too overzealous when cooking with kids. They tend to jump steps and forget all order in the kitchen. My labbies are quickly learning that when Mischief pulls the chair over to the counter to climb up-it’s on like donkey kong. Scraps please! When developing recipes, I aim to pick ingredients that can be used in any order. Kids get creative and make up their own recipes as they go. This is ok! Let them invent and strategize. This can be tough on my type-A brain. Every week I line up the ingredients on the counter in what I “assume” is the most logical order. Enter the three-year-old mind. Chaos. Perfectly thought out brilliant chaos. And, WOW, did he love making these smoothies! My little chef grabbed fruit by the handful and dropped them into the blender. One of the true beauties of smoothie-making is it really doesn't matter what you throw in there. He mixed and rotated between strawberries, mangoes, blackberries, and raspberries. We counted as he let go of each handful. After we had put a considerable amount of fruit in the blender, I was certain this thing would never mix. The top was spilling over with ice-crusted fruit squares.

It was turning into Arendelle in there.

We needed to liquefy stat.

It is key to let kids make choices during cooking. Otherwise, you might lose them to a different activity. They don't want to be bossed around. After another peek into the fridge, we found tons of options to melt this bad boy down. Orange juice, apple juice, regular milk, chocolate milk, and almond milk. Drinks aplenty for sure. Maybe we need to clean out the fridge? Nah. The only thing I like more than drinks are condiments. Don’t get me started on that shelf. Sometimes I’m certain my fridge might explode between the sauces and the milk variety. He chose almond milk because it was “mommy’s milk”. I’m a sucker for almond milk and cereal. My fave. I know I know. Glamorous breakfast is my middle name. He poured the milk into the blender as I pointed to the bottom line. We had a crazy spill here. We got real close to losing the carton altogether. Mom fail. Or, not? He grabbed a dishtowel off the counter and mopped it right up. Holla! Happy dance commence. Feel free to facilitate on these heavier ingredients. In the end, I had to pour some milk into a measuring cup. This was much more feasible for him. Now for the last step. We needed one more thing to top off this tasty treat. One more ingredient to take this creamy, tart, and bright pink mixture to the next level. Yogurt would be just the ticket. Other than a few baby pouches, I didn’t have any on hand. Baby food FTW! We squeezed the yogurt into a bowl and he spooned the yogurt into the blender. Another spill here sent some yogurt over the sides of the container. I grabbed a paper towel and then..the lid fiasco. The second you get those ingredients into the blender, you must cover the top. Must. I didn’t hear his tiny fingers pushing the buttons but boy did I hear that engine rev up faster than a starting line on Fast & Furious. I turned around just in time to see the mixture shoot up like a volcano. Duck! Basically he needed a baby wipe bath and blo-out to get cleaned up after this week’s cooking extravaganza. Oh well. It’s easy to laugh off the mistakes when you can enjoy a smoothie with your little man. Cheers!

 

Early Childhood Lessons:

Counting

-Math

Adjectives

-Reading

States of Matter (solid, liquid)

-Science

 

Recipe:

Yield- 2 servings

½ c strawberries (you can use frozen or fresh fruit depending on your child's tolerance to cold foods)

½ c blackberries

½ c mangoes

½ raspberries

1 cup almond milk

1-cup yogurt

 

Mix fruit, almond milk, and yogurt into blender. Cover and blend to desired consisteny.

**This recipe is subject to change depending on your preference of thickness.

FUDGEPOPS

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FUDGEPOPS

To be honest, I had never even heard of Nutella until about four years ago. I know, I know. It’s embarrassing right? I mean what did I do? What did I eat? Apparently nothing because once I tried this chocolaty heaven my life has never been the same. The first time I tried Nutella I was in England finishing my practicum for grad school. Three weeks of working in nurseries with tiny British tots. It literally doesn’t get any cuter than that. Did I mention I was there the month Will and Kate got married? Would I really miss my BFF’s wedding? The Olympics were looming. Spring was busting at the seams. Best time ever guys. Best. The accents, the puppy filled parks, churches with red doors, and the hotels. My hotel was nothing short of perfection. Picture this-a quaint hotel off of Notting Hill with the sweetest little breakfast spread every morning. At the start of the line – you guessed it- Nutella. Before I knew it I forgot why I was even in London. Soon I was searching for this chocolate hazelnut spread everywhere we went. Note: Nutella was at every grocery store back home. Guess I had been too busy scoping out peanut butter on the condiments aisle. Ahh peanut butter…what was I talking about again? Oh right, the fact that I had somehow grown up without knowing of Nutella’s existence. It must have been a true deception planned out by my friends and family. Why had they been holding out on me? WHY. You could put this stuff on everything. And that I did. Needless to say, my pants started getting tighter. And tighter. Oh well, when in Rome right? Or England, I guess? It may not come as a shock that I took this obsession home with me. Fast-forward four years and here we are. Spoiler alert. My three-year-old is obsessed too. Projecting much mom? Ain’t no shame in my game.

Thank goodness I’m back stateside where I can buy these jars in bulk. And buy in bulk we do. My little Mr. Mischief has found a way to sneak this ooey-gooey (I’m descriptive right?) mess into his breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Okay, okay, snack time too.  I said I had projected, didn’t I? When I was deciding on our first recipe for #wecookwednesday it was obvious I needed to start with the fewest amount of ingredients possible. Gotta keep it simple folks. I needed familiar foods and since we’re cooking with kids here-easy peasy. We only used two ingredients and somehow still managed to trash the kitchen. The OCD in me went for a wild ride. But hey, that’s life right? Life is sticky, messy, and fun. Just like-Nutella. See what I did there? (Be forewarned, I’m a cheeseball.) We decided to make Fudge-Pops for our first cooking adventure. They are too easy and TOO yummy. Who doesn’t love a chocolate Popsicle?

This recipe is so simple and Mischief was able to measure, mix, pour, and set the popsicles. These fudge-pops are made of Nutella and chocolate milk. You can use regular milk, almond milk, or (gasp!) chocolate almond milk. Exhilarating options no doubt. I went with regular old chocolate milk because we had it on hand. We talked about how to measure (the Nutella) and leveling. He built confidence by pouring the milk into a measuring cup. Then, he mixed both ingredients into a big bowl. I would recommend a BIG bowl here. It’s going to slosh all over the sides and onto the counter. –Enter- my OCD deep breathing skills. A little adult facilitation is helpful here because the Nutella will stick to the whisk. We both held the whisk and talked about how the colors darkened together. A true cause and effect-cooking lesson. The Popsicle mold we used has 6 trays and is perfectly tot-sized. I poured the first two molds to show him how to fill the milk to the line at the top. The bowl will also be heavy and you don’t want to end up with all the Popsicle juice on your kitchen floor. Avoid the toddler tantrum and help a brother out. Lighten the load a bit. He poured the remaining mixture into the molds and into the freezer it goes! Now the hard part. The waiting. Oy, the waiting. Depending on your freezer and the size of the molds, the Popsicles need to set for 4-6 hours. When ready-take them out and enjoy! It’s summer break after all!!

Early Childhood Lessons:

Measuring

-Math

Descriptive Words

-Reading

Cause and Effect

-Science

Ingredients:

½ cup Nutella

1 ½ cup chocolate milk

Yield: 6 servings (depending on Popsicle molds)

Mix ½ cup Nutella with 1 ½ cup chocolate milk. Whisk until fully combined. Pour into Popsicle molds. Freeze 4-6 hours.

 

This post is not sponsored and all opinions are those of Lollipops and Honey.

Photography by thewholesomedish.

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