Play With Your Food – Christmas Tree Food Art

Post by Selena of How About Cookie

Play With Your Food - Christmas Tree Food ArtThe holidays are magical; the dreary weather, not so much. It’s been overcast for several days here, and keeping my kids entertained is no easy feat. When I laid eyes on this adorable plush Christmas tree, though, I had a light bulb moment. Sometimes a fun snack inspired by your kids’ toys is all it takes to make the day a little merrier and brighter.

For this fun food art plate, you’ll need:

  1. honeydew
  2. two banana slices
  3. two blueberries
  4. fruit leather

First, cut three thick wedges of honeydew of different lengths; the smallest wedge should be a triangle to be the treetop. Feel free to leave the skin on: it makes munching on them later a lot easier! Use the rim of a large mug to smooth and shape the top of each wedge so that they stack snugly in the shape of a Christmas tree.

land of nod christmas tree step 1Next, cut two slices of banana and lay them on the bottom wedge. Take the two biggest blueberries of the bunch and place them on top of the banana slices for the eyes.

land of nod christmas three step 2Cut a couple inches of fruit leather and place just under the bottom of the tree. For the mouth, use a measuring tablespoon to cut a semicircle from the remaining fruit leather. Use kitchen scissors to cut a thin smile, using the curve of the semicircle as a guide.

land of nod christmas tree placematAnd you’re done! Have fun guessing with your kids what the tree is looking at, or maybe Plush Christmas Tree and Honeydew Christmas Tree might fancy a friendly conversation. My three-year-old called them “mommy and baby twees” saying “what do you wanna eat” to each other. They keep it real!

land of nod christmas tree step 3Keep those adorable googly-eyed toys coming, Land of Nod!

Take a peek at Selena’s food art on her blog, How About Cookie, and follow her creations, crafts, and—once in a while—actual cooking on Instagram.

DIY Holiday Syrups

Post by Rae Ann of Rae Ann Kelly.com DIY Holiday Gift: Homemade SyrupsWith the holiday season in full swing, we’ve been indulging in everything warm and cozy. Snuggly blankets, homemade soup and flavored steamers to name a few. Below are recipes for three of our favorite syrups to get you feeling warm and festive! Simply add a tablespoon or two to warmed milk or coffee for a yummy treat. To make it extra special top with whip cream and sprinkles, cinnamon or shimmer sugar. As a fun bonus, I’ve included cute drink syrup labels so you can package them up and give to friends!

DIY Holiday Gift: Homemade Syrups 2Recipes & how-to’s are below.

White Chocolate Syrup – also delicious as a topping on ice cream and other desserts.

You’ll Need:

  • 1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
  • 12 oz. white chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract

Here’s How:

  1. Stirring occasionally, heat milk in a small saucepan over medium heat. When hot add white chocolate. Remove from heat and stir until chocolate has melted. Stir in vanilla.
  2. Allow syrup to cool and then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

Cinnamon Dolce Syrup 

You’ll Need:

  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Here’s How:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisking frequently, heat through until sugar has dissolved (about 5-10 minutes). Remove from heat.
  2. Allow syrup to cool and then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several months. Stir before using!

Vanilla Syrup

You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 vanilla bean, sliced lengthwise and seeds scraped (optional, but delicious)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Here’s How:

  1. Combine sugar, water, vanilla seeds and pod in a small saucepan. Heat over medium, stirring frequently until sugar has dissolved. Let simmer, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Discard vanilla bean pod. Remove seeds using a strainer if desired.
  2. Allow syrup to cool and then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several months. Stir before using!

Print out the drink syrup labels, cut & add to mason jars for an easy gift! Hope you indulge, enjoy and share!

DIY Holiday Gift: Homemade Syrups 3DIY Holiday Gift: Homemade Syrups 5DIY Holiday Gift: Homemade Syrups 6{Images by Stacy Jacobsen}

Rae Ann blogs at Rae Ann Kelly and is a kid wrangler, graphic designer, food & craft nut. Her blog features little tidbits about her day to day life & design projects, tutorials for DIY’s, free downloads, yummy recipes, lots of kid friendly ideas and outfit inspiration. 

Pilgrim Hat Thanksgiving Cupcakes

Written by Corri McFadden of Glitter & Bubbles

Pilgrim Hat Thanksgiving CupcakesIt’s time to gather up the family and embrace the season and spirit of Thanksgiving! I’m capturing the essence of the season by creating these charming Pilgrim Hat Thanksgiving Cupcakes. You’ll need cake mix in your favorite flavor (and the ingredients listed on the box), white frosting , orange and yellow sprinkles, mini Reese’s peanut butter cups, and fudge stripes.

Pilgrim Hat Thanksgiving Cupcakes SuppliesFirst, prepare the cake mix according to the directions on the box. Line the cupcake tins with liners of your choice, festive or simple! Fill each liner about 2/3 full and bake according to the directions on your cake mix box. After the cupcakes have finished baking, let them cool for 10-15 minutes.

Pilgrim Hat Thanksgiving Cupcakes 2While the cupcakes cool, use frosting to “glue” a mini Reese’s peanut butter cup to the center of the bottom of a fudge stripe. Create your own frosting bag by using a plastic baggie and scooping a small amount of the white frosting into the bag, then snip small section off of the corner. Squeeze the frosting out of the hole and pipe around the base of the mini Reese’s cup to add the finishing touch on the hat.

Pilgrim Hat Thanksgiving Cupcakes 3After the cupcakes have completely cooled, frost each and add sprinkles to the tops. Place the pilgrim hat on the cupcake to your liking (we angled ours on the side!) With a season meant for being thankful, your friends and family will definitely be thankful for these delicious and festive treats!

Pilgrim Hat Thanksgiving Cupcakes 4Corri McFadden is the owner and founder of eDrop-Off Luxury Consignment.  As a Style Expert and successful blogger, she hosts a weekly fashion segment on Chicago’s “You and Me This Morning”, and features “Style Recipes”, videos and Fashion “Must Haves” on her self-titled lifestyle website Corri McFadden.  Most recently, she launched Glitter and Bubbles, a modern day moms guide for those looking for inspiration through fashion, food and décor.

Quick & Fun Halloween Snacks

Written by Corri McFadden of Glitter & Bubbles

Trick or Treat I have something good to eat! Halloween is one of my favorite times of year and in celebration of this spooky month long holiday, I have included some simple and delicious Halloween snacks for you and your family to enjoy.

Ghost Bananas & Clementine Pumpkins

Check out these festive ideas to create ghost bananas and clementine pumpkins and marshmallow monster guts. Not only are they absolutely darling but also are yummy snacks that will have your family screaming for more.

To get started you will need bananas, clementine, celery, regular and mini chocolate chips.

Halloween Snacks: Ghost Bananas & Clementine Pumpkins SuppliesFirst, remove the skin from the clementine and cut a small hole to stick in your celery stem.

Next, for the ghosts, cut a banana in half and place two mini chocolate chips at the top for eyes and a regular chocolate chip for the mouth. Place them on a tray and serve as a great after-school snack!

Halloween Snacks: Ghost Bananas & Clementine PumpkinsMonster Guts Cup Recipe

I have also included step-by-step instructions for my Halloween snacks monster guts cup recipe. Its one of the easiest desserts I’ve come across and it’s to die for!

You will need Oreos, Cool- Whip, marshmallows, gummy worms, gel icing, sprinkles and green food dye.

Halloween Snacks: Monster Guts Cup Ingredients First, crush the Oreos and mix the pieces with Cool-Whip and marshmallows. Add the green food dye to the marshmallow blend; this will give your monster guts some ghoulish color!

Halloween Snacks: Monster Guts Cup RecipeNext, take your cups and rim them with gel icing. Dip the icing side into any desired sprinkles.

Halloween Snacks: Monster Guts Cup Recipe 2Spoon your monster gut into the cups and add gummy worms for the finishing touch. Enjoy! Halloween Snacks: Monster Guts Cup Recipe 3Corri McFadden is the owner and founder of eDrop-Off Luxury Consignment.  As a Style Expert and successful blogger, she hosts a weekly fashion segment on Chicago’s “You and Me This Morning”, and features “Style Recipes”, videos and Fashion “Must Haves” on her self-titled lifestyle website Corri McFadden.  Most recently, she launched Glitter and Bubbles, a modern day moms guide for those looking for inspiration through fashion, food and décor.