Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup : Part 1

This is Lollipop the Elf. I am the Elf on the Shelf in this house. I have so much fun here!! I try to be as silly as possible just to see the smiling faces on those little girls each morning.
As you can see I can be a rather mischievous elf.   Here are some of my past antics...

All my effort has been worth it. Yet, tonight the joke is on Momma! I have been watching this Funny Mom lady and I secretly learned all her passwords (I have since changed them all!!)
Now I have taken over this blog.
It is time to start including the 4 main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup. So, I am devoting this entire post, and several to follow, to all things sugary and magical.
I am going to start with the all-time favorite of Santa and all the elves at the North Pole: Cookies! Those gingerbread man cookies are fine and all, but you HAVE to top them with candy, candy canes and candy corn. I challenge you to push those gingerbread men aside and bring in the Elf cookies.

This Elf cookie looks good enough to eat (just make sure you are biting into the cookie and not me.)

With all this sugary goodness I would happily eat all these cookies... gingerbread men and all!!

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


You haven't heard of this long lost princess?! She was been locked away in a leaning tower in Italy for many years before a prince rescued her. All she had to eat were bowls and bowls of spaghetti. She ate so much of it that her hair turned into spaghetti! She was the most delicious princess to ever live. The story goes something like that... I still cannot believe Disney has not made a movie about her.

Seriously though, if you cannot have fun with spaghetti then there is no hope for humanity.

What you need:

For Meatballs:
- 1/2 onion diced fine
- 2 gloves garlic crushed and minced
- 2 tbs butter
- 1lb ground beef
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
- 1/4 c parmesan cheese

Box of angel hair pasta
1 Jar of Spaghetti sauce
Frozen peas and carrots
Cherry tomatoes


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Sauté onion and garlic in butter for 3- 4 minutes. Let cool.
  • Meanwhile, mix together meat, eggs, salt, pepper, bread crumbs and parmesan cheese. Add in onion mixture.

    • Once everything is mixed together start to make your meatballs. These meatballs are going to be on the bigger side so that there is space to create your face and hairdo. I made 4 large meatballs (but feel free to make how many you want.) Cook for 30-35 minutes.

    • While the meatballs are cooking bring a pot of water to boil and cook pasta per the package.
    • Throw in a handful of frozen peas and carrots into the boiling water to cook them up.
    • Once pasta is ready mix it in the pasta sauce. Be sure to reserve some sauce to cover the 'body.'
    Time to create Spaghetti-locks:
    • Cut a meatball in half and display on a plate.
    • Use various veggies and sauce to create the face, body, jewelery and clothes
    • Scoop out some spaghetti and place on either side of the meatball. Using a fork twirl the ends of the spaghetti into curls.
    • Presto...Spaghetti-locks lives!

    Wednesday, October 30, 2013

    Trick or Treat: Eye Balls

    "I'm Watching You" Meatballs

    Halloween themed food is everywhere right now. As an FYI, it is this themed food concept that originally gave me the idea for this blog. This food idea is so much fun that I don't understand why it isn't such a big deal all year, not just Halloween (I'll get started on my Christmas ideas right away!)
    I recently came by this meatball recipe from a friend and it is dee-lish! All it needed was some spooky thinking and, boo, here are my eyeballs. Add in a bit of ketchup for that nice, bloody touch. I made these over the weekend and all of them were devoured.

    What you need:

    - 1/2 onion diced fine
    - 2 gloves garlic crushed and minced
    - 2 tbs butter
    - 1lb ground beef
    - 2 large eggs
    - 1/2 tsp salt
    - 1/4 tsp pepper
    - 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
    - 1/4 c parmesan cheese
    - string cheese, cut in thirds
    - black olives, sliced- Ketchup
    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    • Sauté onion and garlic in butter for 3- 4 minutes. Let cool.
    • Meanwhile, mix together meat, eggs, salt, pepper, bread crumbs and parmesan cheese. Add in onion mixture.

     Once all ingredients are mixed together begin to roll out your meatballs. I made 16 meatballs.
    •  Once rolled out poke a hole with your finger into each ball. And place your string cheese part inside.

    • Cook in oven for 20-25 minutes. Once cooked place an olive slice in teh middle of the cheese and drizzle with ketchup.


    There are so many art projects I could add to this post. Spooky handprint spiders, or footprint ghosts. Turning toilet paper holders into Frankenstein's monster. I decided on a fun game that is toddler friendly.

    What you need:
    • 6 paper towel rolls (you could use more but this is all I had!)
    • black construction paper
    • scissors
    • small pumpkin
    Cut out various shapes to create your ghost faces and tape them to the paper towel roll. Stack them up. Then using a small pumpkin have your kiddo roll the pumpkin to knock over the tower.

    Tuesday, October 29, 2013

    Trick or Treat: Bones

    I love Halloween!  I didnt think much about how absolutely frightening it all is though until I brought my 3 year old into a Halloween superstore. She FREAKED out! After a bit of explaining about how she gets to dress as a princess and get candy she decided it is the greatest holiday ever!  She has been in a princess costume ever since. 

    Halloween needs some toddler friendly treats.  So bones are on the menu tonight! They are fresh and warm and covered in blood!! Well, not really.

    What you need:

    breadstick dough (in the refrigeration section at the market)
    one egg
    parmesean cheese
    marinara sauce


    Pull the breadsticks apart and, one by one, roll them into long skinny sticks. Then carefully tie a knot in the end of each stick.

     Once all the bones are prepared line them up on a baking sheet and brush each one with the egg wash and sprinkle with the cheese.

    Bake as directed on the packaging (probably 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.) Pour some marinara sauce into a bowl for dipping. Enjoy!

    Thursday, October 24, 2013

    Alphabet Pies

    It is Fall and I feel compelled, no, pressured, to make whatever I can with pumpkin. I cannot get away from pumpkin. They are displayed all over the market both in can form and in the standard $7.99 gourd. Pinterest is even overwhelmed by that magical orange gift of the gods.There is even that compulsary Fall event of taking the kiddos to the pumpkin patch. This year we didnt even venture out in the Arizona sun to the actual patch to go picking; it is hot and dirty and generally a miserable experience. But there were pony rides and a jumpy thingy and playground. Unfortunately it did not feel like Fall as we walked around in our tank tops eating frozen icees. 
    The pumpkin hype is overrated (and yes, as I type this I have some pumpkin bread baking in the oven. Don`t judge me!)  Persoanlly I think the hysteria stems from the proliferation of the Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks (which is yummy if it were only cold enough to drink a hot beverage.) So in order to maintain a bit of sanity I have diverged from the pumpkin bandwagon and have rediscovered the sweet potato. Enjoy your new favorite Fall treat!

     What you need:
    • 2 cup of canned sweet potato
    • 1 cup of white sugar
    • 1/2 stick of butter, room temperature
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp cinammon
    • 1/4 tsp ginger
    • 1 cup milk
    • 3 premade pie crust doughs
    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    • Combine potatos, sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla, salt , cinnamon and ginger and mix. Once combined add milk.
    • The mixture will be runny.Set aside to make the mini pie crusts.
    • Be sure to have defrosted the pie crust!
    • Unroll 2 pie crusts and using a 2 1/2 inch round cutter create your 24 mini pie crusts.

    • Fill the pis crusts with the sweet potato filling (I used a mini ice cream scooper to ensure each were the same. )
    • Bake for 20-25 minutes (until a toothpick comes out clean.)
    • While the pies are baking unroll another pie dough and use alphabet cut outs to create your letters (I understand that many of you might not have these in your kitchen arsenal and all I can tell you is GET SOME! They are great with play doh and cookies and stamping. Until then you could always use your steady hand and cut out letters.)
    • Bake the dough according to instructions. Probably something like 350 degrees for 10ish minutes.
    Once pies are done and letters are done put them together.
    Please note: What I really wanted to do was smother the pies in whipped cream and place the letters on top but I didn`t have any on hand and I was too darn tired to go to the market.

    Monday, September 30, 2013

    Waffle Eggs

    If you are like me then you got that much needed waffle maker as a wedding gift and it has been sitting at the back of your cupboard ever since. You probably had big dreams of eating waffles every Sunday with your betrothed. But after the 'I Dos' and a kid or two later you have settled for those frozen disks as a poor substitute to the warm, fluffy yumminess of fresh waffles. Reality is there is something daunting about that waffle maker; like using it is some huge committment that requires thought and energy that you just dont have to give. Or maybe it is the waffle itself that holds us back. I decided that it was time to give that waffle maker its day in the sun.
    I recently came across a recipe that used the waffle maker to cook cornbread. Clever, I thought. If cornbread can be used then cookie dough, cake mix and cinnamon rolls were possible as well. And then inspiration struck...EGGS.  My daughter already eats her eggs with syrup and she loves waffles. It was perfect. They cook up so fast and interestingly enough the eggs tasted superb.
    Break out that waffle maker and give it a try!
    What you need:
    • Waffle maker
    • Cooking spray
    • 4 eggs
    • salt and pepper
    Wipe away the dust from the top of the waffle maker. Then turn it on. While it is heating up scramble the eggs in a bowl adding salt and pepper.
    Once the waffle maker is heated up spray it generously with cooking spray.
    Slowly pour the egg mixture onto the waffle maker. It takes about one egg per waffle square, so measure it out accordingly.

    this is using 2 large eggs.
    Close the lid for about 30 seconds and finish the cooking. It really doesn't take very long so keep an eye on it.

    Getting it out is a little tricky. Just go slowly and keep it as intact as possible.

     I drizzled some syrup on it for my little one and she ate this up. It was very tasty!

    Tuesday, September 17, 2013

    Painted Bread

    Art is everywhere... even on your bread. That fluffy square of yeasty goodness is now your little ones canvas. With some "paint" and a healthy imagination they can color it any way they choose. I like to think of it as 'Bread Expressionism.' This is the perfect idea to make toast more interesting or a boring sandwich super fun!

     What you need:

    • white bread
    • milk
    • food coloring
    • paint brushes


    Fill 4 cups with 1/4 cup of milk each. Then add 5 drops of a different food coloring to each cup. Now you have your 'paint.'

    With a paint brush in hand have your kiddo 'paint' their bread. As an aside, if too much of the 'paint' is used the bread will get a bit soggy.

    There are plenty of things you can now do with your new paintings:

    Toast with colored scrambled eggs or a colorful sandwich. Maybe even wall art for the day.

    beyond green eggs and ham
    awesome sandwich
    Wall art!

    Friday, September 13, 2013

    P is for Pancake

    At some point during our own socialization process we are indoctrinated to believe that pancakes have to be round. So what I am about to tell you is going to blow your mind. Are you ready for it? Pancakes DO NOT have to be round.  They can be shaped like a square or triangle, a star or a swirl, or better yet the ABCs. You can spell out your kiddos name, say 'thanks, ' 'I love you' or even better 'Happy Birthday.' The possibilities are endless here.
    What you need:
    • pancake mix (yes, you can make your pancakes from scratch but I am all about simple here)
    • butter
    • plastic bag
    • scissors
    • syrup
    Prepare the mix as directed on the box or based on great grandma's special secret family recipe.
    Try not to make the mix too runny because it just makes a big mess.
    Heat up your skillet on medium heat and add a tablespoon or 2 of butter.
    Meanwhile, fill a plastic bag with the mix. And then snip off a small piece of the corner of the bag.
    Now you can easily spell out your letters. Make sure that each of the lines in the letter are thick enough or they can easily break when you flip them over.
    Have them cook until you see little bubbles forming on the top, usually about 2 minutes. Flip them over and cook the other side for a minute. 

    Breakfast and a lesson on the ABCs are served. Drizzle with syrup and enjoy!
    My daughter decided that her favorite letter is 'C' which is perfect as her name starts with 'C.'

    FOOD PLAY:   

    Learning Your Letters

    Kids all learn at different rates. Some are barely 3 and know all of their letters, how to play a piano and are star tennis players. Most kids are still grappling with the idea of the ABCs and are just happy to sing the song. Kids will learn what they learn when they are ready to learn it. Until then let's just have fun with our kiddos. Here is a fun matching game using letters.
    My kiddo is still learning what the letters look like so I just used capital letters listed on a sheet of paper and then the same capital letters on little cut outs. If your child is older think about using capitals on one sheet and lower case letters on another.
    If I had time and laminating paper I would have laminated these to ensure longevity. For now I put them in a large ziploc bag and bring it out at restaurants to keep my child entertained. Even if it is for 2 minutes that is 2 minutes of peaceful dining...just kidding, why the heck would I choose to go to a retaurant with a 1 and 3 year old!? That is just insanity!

    Here is a swirly pancake just for fun!