Browsing Tag

baking

turkey handprint craft

Fall Fun

We have been having so much fun celebrating the fall season. In past years, we have kind of gone straight from Halloween to Christmas and skipped over fall, so we are really enjoying all the fall activities this year. Here are some of the fun things we have done:

Turkey Playdoh

turkey playdoh invitation to play

Supplies:

– Play doh in brown, red, orange, and yellow

– Feathers (you could also collect leaves to use as the turkey’s feathers)

– Orange Pipe Cleaner cut into small pieces

– Googly eyes

turkey playdoh activity

Fall Leaves Playdoh Mat

fall leaves playdoh mat is a fun fall activity

I also printed out and laminated a fall playdoh mat from Tot Schooling. We had a lot of fun making leaves for our tree. We even made a game out of it by each selecting a play doh color and seeing who could make and place the most leaves on the tree. This site had tons of other fun playdoh mats so we will definitely be making more next fall. Plus since they are laminated, they are something we can use year after year.

Turkey Counting and Color Matching Activities

turkey counting playdoh activity

color sorting turkey feathers

I used printables from A Little Pinch of Perfect to set up a few different, fun activities for the boys. We used the turkey feathers for some color matching. We also used some playdoh and did some counting activities while making turkeys. The kids had a lot of fun with these educational printables.

Handprint Turkeys

turkey handprint craft

turkey handprint art

I am a sucker for handprint art, so I really wanted to make handprint turkeys with the boys. I found so many options on Pinterest, but the handprint feather one was my favorite. I made a few changes and love how it turned out. While we had the paint out, I couldn’t help but make the single hand turkeys as well. I made these with the boys on each of their first Thanksgivings and thought it would be so fun to compare the size of their hands now to the baby handprints.

Feed the Turkey

feed the turkey is a fun activity that helps with counting and fine motor skills

feed the turkey is a fun activity that helps with counting and fine motor skills

feed the turkey is a fun activity that helps with counting and fine motor skills

My boys loved this activity from Busy Toddler. I used a milk jar from the dollar section of target, some construction paper and googly eyes to make my turkey. Then placed a bag of pom poms into a bowl. We used our handy helper tongs I bought at Walmart and borrowed a spinner from a board game (you could also use dice). The boys took turns spinning the spinner, picking up that number of pom poms and placing them into the turkey. They both had so much fun with this activity!

Turkey Thankful For You Cards

thankful turkey craft

thankful turkey craft

thankful turkey craft

thankful turkey craft

thankful turkey craft

Luc begs to water color and color every single day, so when Ashley from The Littles and Me posted this project I knew I wanted to do it. The boys had so much fun using watercolors and kwikstix to paint and color their turkeys and feathers. Hudson even cut his feathers out and both boys glued the feathers to the turkeys. These will make the perfect gift for Luc’s Grandma and Nonna on Thanksgiving.

Fall Leaf Banner

DIY Fall Leaf Garland - inexpensive and easy to make - perfect to add a touch of fall to your decor

This was the perfect activity for my water color loving little boy. For all the details, check out this post.

Thankful Tree

thankful tree - paint leaves then each member of the family writes what they are thankful for

We had so much painting our leaves to make fall banners that we had a few leaves left over. I used the extra leaves and our black Halloween tree to make a thankful tree. We have spent a few evenings talking about what we are thankful for and writing those things on our leaves. It has been a lot of fun to hear what the kids are thankful for (things like snacks and toys, hehe). I can’t wait to add the leaves to my scrapbook after we are done admiring our tree.

Mini Pumpkin Pies

mini pumpkin pies - so cute, perfect Thanksgiving dessert and a fun baking activity with kids

It wouldn’t be fall without some baking. For all the details on these fun, mini pumpkin pies, check out this post.

Fall Shelfie

best books for fall and a cute way to display them

We have had so much fun reading books about Autumn, being thankful, turkeys and Thanksgiving. For all the details on our fall shelfie, check out this post.

Playing in the Leaves

playing in the leaves is the perfect fall activity

Since we live in Southern California, we don’t really get the full fall experience like most people do, but we do have a few trees near our house that change colors and lose their leaves. We have taken a few walks to play in the leaves and it is so fun. Even I wanted to pick up a pile and throw them in the air. There is just something about playing in leaves that truly makes it feel like fall.

 

kid tested and approved fun fall activities. Tons of Pinterest' best activities and art projects for fall and Thanksgiving

These activities were all pretty easy and lots of fun. I hope they inspire you to have some fall fun with your family.

mini pumpkin pies - so cute, perfect Thanksgiving dessert and a fun baking activity with kids

Mini Pumpkin Pies

The kids and I made mini pumpkin pies the other day. It was so much fun and they turned out really cute. For some reason, things always seem cuter in bite sized form, don’t they? Whenever I make pie, I always use pie cutters to make decorative toppings, which makes them extra fun. Plus, cutting them out of the dough is sort of like playing with play doh so of course the boys love it! I really enjoy our time together in the kitchen and hope that they will look back on these special memories fondly.

mini pumpkin pies - so cute, perfect Thanksgiving dessert and a fun baking activity with kids

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mini pumpkin pies - so cute, perfect Thanksgiving dessert and a fun baking activity with kids

mini pumpkin pies - so cute, perfect Thanksgiving dessert and a fun baking activity with kids

mini pumpkin pies - so cute, perfect Thanksgiving dessert and a fun baking activity with kids

Mini Pumpkin Pies

My favorite Pumpkin Pie Recipe made in mini form.


Copycatable Rating: 🐱🐱🐱🐱🐱
Credit: Pumpkin Pie Recipe is from Parents Magazine November 2004

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 can (15 oz.) pure pumpkin
  • 1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk
  • 1 package (comes with 2 sheets) Pillsbury refrigerated pie dough
  • 4 inch round cookie or biscuit cutter (I used the pie cutter from my Breville electric pie maker, but I am going to buy the cutter set I linked for future baking)
  • Pie crust cutters (mine are from Williams Sonoma a few years ago, but they usually offer a variation of them every year. I also found these similar ones on Amazon)
  • whipped cream

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, combine sugar, pumpkin pie spice, salt and pepper.
  3. Whisk in eggs, vanilla, pumpkin and evaporated milk.
  4. Slightly roll out pie crust dough.
  5. Use round cutter to cut circles from the two sheets of dough. I was able to make 12 mini pies with re-rolling and had leftovers to make the decorative toppings.
  6. Gently, push the dough into the muffin pan. I used the finger pinching technique to crimp the edges (with the thumb and index finger of one hand pinch the outside edge of the crust while pressing from the inside with the index finger on the other hand).
  7. Pour pumpkin mixture into pie crusts (I had leftover pie filling – so if you want to buy more of the dough you could easily make more pies)
  8. Bake for 15 minutes.
  9. Reduce heat to 350 degrees then bake an additional 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  10. Let cool on a wire rack for 2 hours.
  11. Refrigerate if serving the next day.
  12. Serve at room temperature with whipped cream.
  13. For decorative pie toppings:

  14. Roll out dough and use pie cutters for decorative toppings.
  15. Place all cutouts on a silpat lined cookie sheet
  16. Put a little egg wash on them (one egg lightly beaten with 2 teaspoons of water)
  17. Bake them in a 375 degree oven until golden brown, about 10-15 minutes. (keep an eye on them because mine always cook quickly).
  18. Once cool, place on top of cooled mini pumpkin pies.

For another fun pumpkin pie idea, check out this post.

fancy pumpkin pie using cookie and pie crust cutters

If you enjoyed this post, be sure to pin it to Pinterest. 🙂 Happy Baking!mini pumpkin pies - so cute, perfect Thanksgiving dessert and a fun baking activity with kids

Green velvet cupcakes with white chocolate mint cream cheese frosting - perfect for St. Patrick's Day

Green Velvet Mint Cupcakes

Green Velvet Mint Cupcakes

  • Servings: 18-24 cupcakes
  • Print

A fun twist on our favorite cupcakes from the Cake Mix Doctor that are perfect for St. Patrick's Day


Copycatable Rating:?????

Ingredients

  • 24 paper liners for cupcake pans
  • 1 package plain German chocolate cake mix
  • 1 package vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 bottle (1 ounce) green food coloring *I only use enough to reach desired green color, about 1/4-1/2 the bottle*
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup Andes creme de menthe baking chips
  • For White Chocolate Mint Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 6 ounces Ghiradelli white chocolate chips
  • 4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon mint extract
  • 2 to 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350F. Line 24 cupcakes with paper liners.
  2. Blend cake mix, pudding mix, sour cream, water, oil, food coloring and eggs in large mixing bowl for 30 seconds using an electric mixer on low-speed. Increase mixer speed and beat 2 minutes more, scraping down the sides as needed. Fold in the Andes baking chips. Scoop into lined cupcake cups, filling each three-quarters of the way full. Place in oven.
  3. Bake 18 to 20 minutes, until cupcakes spring back when lightly pressed with your finger. Remove from oven and set on wire rack to cool for 5 minutes.
  4. To make frosting, place the white chocolate chips in a small glass bowl in the microwave oven. Cook on 50% power for 30 seconds, then add 15 seconds more if needed. Stir until smooth.
  5. Beat cream cheese and butter in large mixing bowl on low-speed until well combined, about 30 seconds. Add melted white chocolate and blend until just combined, about 30 seconds. Add the mint extract and 2 cups of confectioners’ sugar and blend on low until the sugar is incorporated, 30 seconds more. Increase the mixer and beat until the frosting is fluffy, about 1 minute more, adding up to 1/2 cup more sugar if needed to make a spreadable consistency.
  6. Place a heaping tablespoon of frosting on each cupcake and swirl to spread using a short metal spatula.
  7. Store the cupcakes in the refrigerator.

For more St. Patrick’s Day fun check out this post. 🙂

red velvet cupid cupcakes with peppermint cream cheese frosting recipe and link to Bakerella cupid cupcake printable

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting

These are my all-time favorite cupcakes. My best friend shared the recipe with me years ago and I have been making them ever since. I make them every year for Christmas, but we love them so much I decided they should be part of our Valentine baking too. At Christmastime, I sprinkle them with crushed candy cane, but for Valentine’s Day, I used little heart sprinkles and an adorable printable from Bakerella to make them cupid cupcakes. They turned out so cute and now we have an excuse to make these more than once a year. 😉

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Servings: 18-24 cupcakes
  • Print

Our favorite cupcakes that are perfect for Christmas, Valentine's Day or any time you feel like treating yourself

Copycatable Rating:????? Credit:The Cake Mix Doctor

Ingredients

  • 24 paper liners for cupcake pans
  • 1 package plain German chocolate cake mix
  • 1 package vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 bottle (1 ounce) red food coloring *I only use enough to make it red, about 1/4-1/2 the bottle*
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
  • For White Chocolate Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 6 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped *I use Ghiradelli chips*
  • 4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 2 to 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350F. Line 24 cupcakes with paper liners.
  2. Blend cake mix, pudding mix, sour cream, water, oil, food coloring and eggs in large mixing bowl for 30 seconds using an electric mixer on low-speed. Increase mixer speed and beat 2 minutes more, scraping down the sides as needed. Fold in the chocolate chips. Scoop into lined cupcake cups, filling each three-quarters of the way full. Place in oven.
  3. Bake 18 to 20 minutes, until cupcakes spring back when lightly pressed with your finger. Remove from oven and set on wire rack to cool for 5 minutes.
  4. To make frosting, place the white chocolate chips in a small glass bowl in the microwave oven. *Original recipe says to cook on high power for 1 minute, but my chocolate burns if I do this. Instead I cook it at 50% power for 30 seconds then add 15 seconds more if needed* Stir until smooth
  5. Beat cream cheese and butter in large mixing bowl on low-speed until well combined, about 30 seconds. Add melted white chocolate and blend until just combined, about 30 seconds. Add the peppermint extract and 2 cups of confectioners’ sugar and blend on low until the sugar is incorporated, 30 seconds more. Increase the mixer and beat until the frosting is fluffy, about 1 minute more, adding up to 1/2 cup more sugar if needed to make a spreadable consistency.
  6. Place a heaping tablespoon of frosting on each cupcake and swirl to spread using a short metal spatula.
  7. Store the cupcakes in the refrigerator.

planes birthday party - free printable for propeller cake pops and tons of fun ideas

Planes Birthday Party

planes birthday party - free printable for propeller cake pops and tons of fun ideas

One day while we were driving in the car, I asked Hudson if he knew what theme he wanted for his upcoming birthday party. I threw out a few options and out of the blue he said Planes. I thought it was kind of funny, because while he does love planes, that wasn’t one of his favorite movies. I waited a few days, asked again and got the same answer. By about the 5th time, I decided to commit and dove into planning his 3rd birthday party. It ended up being a really fun theme with a cute color scheme of blue, orange and some red. We had the party at My Gym which made things much easier (set start and end time and they did all the entertaining). This was great because Luc’s 1st birthday party was only a few weeks later so I had a lot on my plate. I also had to keep in mind the fact that everything would need to be transported to the event location and we only had a limited amount of time for set-up, which forced me to minimize decorations and keep the food on the easier side. All in all, it was a pretty simple, low-key party that everyone had a blast at. The only real downside was that it went by so fast, we didn’t really get great pictures of everything.

planes birthday party family picture

Since the party was in the morning, I went the breakfast route. We served donuts “spare tires” which were literally just packaged chocolate and powdered sugar donuts on a platter with a few racing flags.

planes birthday party donut spare tires

A fruit platter of “plane parts” with a cream cheese dip “fluffy cloud dip” To make the dip, I just combined one 8 ounce package of softened cream cheese with one 15 ounce jar of marshmallow cream. It is so easy and so delicious, especially with an assortment of fruit.

planes birthday party fruit plane parts and fluffy cloud dip

We picked up a coffee traveler from Starbucks for our adult “fueling station”. That couldn’t be a more accurate description of coffee for parents, right?

planes birthday party - free printable for propeller cake pops and tons of fun ideas

We had Jamba Juice drinks  and water for the kid friendly “jet fuel”.

planes birthday party fuel up water bottles

The Jamba Juice drinks were perfect because they were dairy free so Hudson could have them and they were just easy for the kids to grab and drink. They were so popular in fact, that I think they may become a party staple.

planes birthday party jet fuel jamba juice smoothies are perfect for young kid's parties

We also had a bunch of “in-flight snacks” like chips and cookies.

planes birthday party chips and cookies for in-flight snacks

For desserts, we had propeller oreo cake pops, cloud rice krispy treats, marshmallow propeller pops, planes cookies and dusty cupcakes.

planes birthday party - free printable for propeller cake pops and tons of fun ideas

I made oreo pops using this recipe from Bakerella, then made little propellers to attach. A link to the free printable is at the end of this post. I just cut them out, punched a hole in the center with a hole punch and slid them on. They were really easy and super cute.

planes birthday party - free printable for propeller cake pops and tons of fun ideas

I used a cloud cookie cutter to cut out the rice krispy treats (I used the dairy free recipe listed here).

planes birthday party cloud rice krispy treats

For the propeller marshmallows, I made the propellers using candy melts on wax paper (I just free-handed the propeller shape), dipped half of the marshmallows into candy melts, then attached the hardened/cooled propellers.

planes birthday party marshmallow propeller pops

I ordered the plane cookies from Dainty Cakes by Andrea on etsy and they were so detailed and a big hit with everyone.

planes birthday party sugar cookies

I absolutely loved the Dusty cupcakes, they turned out so cute and were a huge hit with the kids. Sadly, the company I ordered the cupcake wrappers from is no longer in business, which is a huge bummer because these are brilliant. It is so much easier to hand each kid a cupcake, especially at a party like this, and every kid was ecstatic to get their own Dusty! Hudson’s face when he first saw the cupcakes was priceless and they were pretty easy to make (just took a few nights of cutting and taping). In case you love this idea as much as I do, I did find Planes Fire and Rescue cupcake wrappers by Printamajig on etsy.

planes birthday party dusty cupcakes using cupcake wrappers

I bought the tablecloths, plates, napkins, goody bags and balloons from Party City. I ordered the flags and Hudson’s t-shirt from Amazon. Luc’s wingman t-shirt was from Target. The Planes movie characters were a gift, from the Disney store, that doubled as decorations. I made my own invitations inspired by this design by PartyInnovations09. I used water bottle wrappers and cupcake toppers (for the adult cupcakes) from Homeketeers (I’ve linked to their homepage, but was unable to find the printables so they may no longer be offering them). I made personalized wings for each kid by making a printable, printing the wings on cardstock, cutting them out and attaching pins like these to the back. The kids thought these were really cool.

planes birthday party personalized wing pins

I also made the Happy Birthday Banner (you can find a similar one here),  the food labels, and the gift bag tags. We filled the goody bags with some fun planes themed items from Party City and everyone collected them from Baggage Claim before they left.

planes birthday party thank you for flying by goody bags at baggage claim

That was pretty much it. Like I said, I really kept this one fairly simple (for me, lol).

planes birthday party - free printable for propeller cake pops

To get your own free propeller printable, click here. For more inspiration, check out my Pinterest board.

 

candy stuffed chocolate chip cookies-milky way

Candy Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

I had planned to make these earlier in the week, but Luc wasn’t overly excited about baking with me, so Hudson and I made these cookies this afternoon while Luc napped. Hudson has always loved baking with me and now that he can eat chocolate he was more excited than ever to assist.

candy stuffed chocolate chip cookies baking helper

These cookies are the perfect way to use up leftover Halloween candy, unless you managed to eat it all already. 😉 I always buy a bag really early, feeling accomplished for being on top of things, then it disappears before Halloween night and I have to buy more at the last minute.  I also always end up with tons of leftovers on top of the candy the kids collect, which up until this year, they couldn’t even eat. So after I gather up a large bag to donate to a local dentist’s office who sends the candy to Operation Gratitude, I bake up a batch of Picky Palate’s Candy Bar Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwiches, or as I like to call them Candy Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies. In my opinion, these are the best way to eat candy! 🙂 She uses reeses, kitkats and snickers, but because Hudson could eat the cookies this time I didn’t make any with nuts. Instead we used twix, milky way, and kitkats, but I’m sure any candy would be delicious.

Candy Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Servings: About 24 large cookies
  • Print

Delicious cookie recipe from Picky-Palate using leftover Halloween candy.

Copycatable Rating:????? Credit: Picky-Palate

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks softened butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla
  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 10 ounce bag of chocolate chips
  • Variety of mini candies

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350F.
  2. In a stand or electric mixer, cream butter and sugars until well combined.
  3. Add eggs and vanilla until well combined.
  4. Place flour, baking soda and salt in a large bowl; mix then slowly add to wet ingredients.
  5. Add chocolate chips to combine.
  6. Using a cookie scoop take one scoop of cookie dough and place on top of snack size candy bar. Take another scoop of dough and place on bottom of candy bar. seal edges together by pressing and cupping in hand until candy is enclosed with dough.
  7. Place onto a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet and bake cookies 9-13 minutes or until cookies are baked to your liking.
  8. Let col for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

pumpkin scones

Pumpkin Scones

These pumpkin scones are perfect for fall. They are quick, easy and only have a few ingredients. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Scones

  • Servings: 12-16
  • Print

Quick and easy scones that are perfect for fall.


Copycatable Rating:?????
Credit: Scone Recipe adapted from www.taste.com.au

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups self-raising flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup Libby’s pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/2 cup sprite
  • 1 tablespoons milk
  • For the Glaze (Optional)
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk
  • For the Spiced Glaze (Optional)
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl
  3. Whisk the pumpkin and cream in a separate bowl until smooth and add to flour
  4. Add sprite and mix with a knife until sticky dough forms
  5. Place onto a lightly floured surface and knead slightly *over kneading will cause scones to be tough
  6. Press dough out with hands until approximately 1 inch thick
  7. Use round 2 3/4″ biscuit cutter dipped in flour to cut rounds from dough
  8. Gently knead the leftovers and cut more rounds
  9. Place the scones, side by side and just touching, on a parchment lined tray.
  10. Lightly brush with milk
  11. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden.
  12. To make the glaze, combine confectioners’ sugar and milk. Whisk until smooth.
  13. To make the spiced glaze, combine confectioners’ sugar, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice and milk. Whisk until smooth.
  14. Once scones have completely cooled, spoon the glaze on each scone.
  15. Place spiced glaze in ziploc bag. Cut tip off and drizzle glaze over scones.
  16. Allow glazes to set before serving.

halloween playdate monster donuts and pumpkin scones

Halloween Playdate

I hosted a playdate today for my Mom’s Club group and did a few little things to make it extra fun for everyone. Most of these were really simple, but made a big impact. First of all, I added vampire teeth and candy eyes to our glazed donuts. I’m sure you have seen this all over pinterest and I am here to tell you it is as easy as it seems and the kids loved it. If you are having trouble with the eyes just put a little corn syrup on the backs so they stick without having to shove them in.

monster donuts

I also set out a few coffee mate creamers including pumpkin spice to add to our coffee along with a bowl of homemade pumpkin whipped cream.

coffee creamer pumpkin whipped cream

I mostly followed the recipe from DIY Foodie and it was so delicious and super easy. It made the coffee drinks seem so decadent, which is so needed when a bunch of little kids are running around, scattering rice from the Halloween sensory bin, I set up for them, all over your yard.

pumpkin whipped cream

I also made some pumpkin scones for the moms to enjoy. I found a starbucks copycat recipe, but it seemed a bit labor intensive for a playdate snack so I scoured the internet for another option. I have an awesome scone recipe myself, but am not super comfortable with creating my own recipes, especially when it comes to things like scones. After scouring the internet, I found one that sounded really similar to my plain scone recipe on taste.com.au – thank you Australia! I tweaked the recipe a little and came up with a  Pumpkin Scone Recipe that is really simple and delicious. Then just for fun, I decided to make the two glazes in the starbucks copy-cat recipe (of course I simplified it because again-the less ingredients I have to buy the better in my book). If you don’t want to trouble with the glaze (I’ll admit, my glaze presentation could use some work) you could always serve them with jam and the delicious pumpkin whipped cream.

pumpkin scones

I also grabbed these fun water bottles from Target. Cute, right?

halloween playdate water bottles

It was a very fun morning for us adults and the kids and even though everything was fairly simple my mom friends were impressed.