A bird on the plate is worth two in the fridge….

Birds are a huge source of entertainment in this household.  The boys and I recently added a large birdfeeder outside our dining room window so we could keep better tabs on the neighborhood bird drama.  We live on the water and have feathered friends of all kind; from small sparrows to geese.  We even have one “city pigeon” that comes in every afternoon for his regular fly-by snack.  Our freezer always maintains extra bread for duck feedings and we have even had to start purchasing our bird seed from Sam’s to keep up with the high demands of our beaked buddies.
To say that the boys were excited to do a bird themed snack would be an understatement.  I knew we were going to have to provide some pretty incredible meals for my two bird-loving boys.  Thankfully, there was no shortage of ideas out there.  Since, we couldn’t choose between a few of them, we planned a whole day of bird themed meals.

BIRD’S NEST BREAKFAST

I found the idea for this on Pinterest and its just incredibly easy for a fast but adorable birdie breakfast for your babies.
All you’ll need is:
  • Bread (toasted according to your little one’s preference)
  • Hard boiled egg (we made this really easy by buying them right from the store)
  • Teensy tiniest bit of a carrot
  • Edible marker (thought you could easily use a small piece of raisin for her little eyes)
Simply cut your toast into strips.  Levi likes his with a little butter so we buttered it first.  Arrange your bread pieces in a nest shape.
Cut a small triangle shape from the end of a carrot for the birds beak and position on the egg.  With your edible marker, add two eyes.  Levi decided our bird was a girl (or “grill” as he pronounces it) so we gave her pretty little eyelashes.
Nestle her into her little warm and “toast”-y nest and serve to your overly enthusiastic little one.

FOR SNACKTIME:

Another very easy idea for a quick snack.
What you’ll need:
  • Pretzel sticks
  • Grapes
  • Carrot
  • Edible Marker

I snapped the pretzel sticks into smaller “twigs” and just tossed them into a small bowl.  Dot little eyes on grapes and set them in their “nest”.  Cut small triangles from carrots and place on the birds and you’re done!

FOR DINNER:

And finally for dinner, spaghetti noodles with bird meatballs on a celery branch.
What you’ll need:
  • Center stalk of celery (with the leaves on the end to look branch-like)
  • Cooked spaghetti
  • Meatballs or like we used, mini-hamburgers
  • Mozarella Cheese
  • Carrot
  • Edible Marker

Place celery branch across plate, use a fork and twirl a large section of spaghetti into a nest shape.  Place noodle nest on its side.  Tuck in two meatballs or mini hamburgers into the nest.  For the eyes, I cut slices of a cheese stick and used a piping tip to make a smaller circle cut out.  You could most certainly use the entire slice though.  Add a black dot in the center of the cheese slice with an edible marker or you could use a caper, piece of black olive or a piece of raisin.  Whatever you happen to have laying around in the pantry.  Position the eyes on the meatball/ hamburger.  Cut a small triangle out of a carrot and place under eyes to form the beak.

The boys loved this idea so much that we had a version of it for dinner the next night as well.  The second night, I made a nest of rice and tucked their meat into it.  Just as easy and just as entertaining for the little ones in your life.
Contributing author: Rachel Skvaril
Sugar Artist

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

The boys and I have been doing a mini unit study on the letter “B” which of course, includes baseball!  For a craft we opted to do the one below.

B is for Baseball
&
Baseball Bat Craft

Things you’ll need:

  • White construction paper
  • Brown construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Sharpie or other permanent marker
  • Pencil
  • Red paint
  • Red crayon

On the brown piece of construction paper, draw the outlines of a baseball bat with a sharpie and on the white paper, draw out a circle.  The kids will cut these out in the first step.

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My 6-year old doesn’t really need much practice with his scissors these day but this part was a perfect way for my 3-year old to get some additional practice cutting.

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You can see that he was quite proud of his cut out bat and ball.

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On the white construction paper circle, use a pencil to create the lines on a baseball if your little one needs some extra help.

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Then, have them trace over the lines with a red crayon.

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Have your child dip his finger into the red paint and gently add the threads on the baseball lines.

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When they are all finished you should have a baseball with red fingerprint threading.

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After the baseball has had a chance to dry, glue it to the bottom of the bat forming a “b”.  For our little 3-year old, his “B is for Baseball” craft was just the perfect way to help him remember his letter of the week.

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Baseball Popcorn Balls

All that crafting will certainly work up an appetite so in keeping to the theme of baseball, the boys and I whipped up some popcorn balls.

We followed a recipe found on Allrecipes.com
http://allrecipes.com/recipe/best-ever-popcorn-balls/

Basically all you’ll need is:

  • light corn syrup
  • margarine
  • water

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  • Popcorn

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  • Powdered sugar
  • Marshmallows

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Have your master chef (with a lot of adult supervision) heat all the ingredients minus the popcorn till it comes to a boil on the stovetop.

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How cute is he??

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Coat popcorn with mixture until the mixture is evenly coating all of the popcorn kernels.

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Heavily grease your hands with shortening, shape into balls and set aside on some wax paper while they set up a bit.

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Grab some Twizzlers and add the baseball lines to the popcorn balls.

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And there you have it!  A snack just perfect for the little sluggers in your household.

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Author: Rachel Skvaril
Sugar Artist

www.fondantflinger.com

 

In the kitchen, we can build a snowman

Powdered Doughnut Snowmen

Doesn’t this face make you smile?  As soon as I saw this idea on Pinterest,

I knew I needed to make these with my little men.  One look at that little chocolate dotted face and knew that our family needed this snowy man in our life….and that he needed to have rosy cheeks.  If you were standing outside all day long and make of snow, I’m 100 percent positive that YOU would have rosy cheeks as well.

Look at them all clustered together on a pretty pedestal. Personally, I can’t help but giggle when I see them.  On a side note, for that snowman hat in the middle of the pedestal, I used the same chocolate dipped marshmallow on an Oreo idea that I shared in Thanksgiving post, just leave off the buckle for a plain top hat.

The base ingredients for this food project are these little guys:

One bag of powdered doughnuts was more than enough to make my boys their own snowmen and a little igloo (not shown – long story).
Other ingredients you need are:

  • White chocolate
  • Mini chocolate chips
  • Shish kebab sticks
  • An orange candy of some sort.  I used an orange dot on the snowman above just cut one end into a tip and worked the cut end into a smooth point by rubbing it between my fingers.  Master Chef Noah opted to just plop an orange Skittle in there.
  • Optional: Candies for “buttons” (as shown in the above snowmen) and petal dust if you too think that rosy cheeks are a must.
  • A dull knife
 Melt your white chocolate candy coating according to the directions on the package until a smooth consistency is achieved.

Joining us today for our foodie project is my oldest chef, Noah who will be instructing you all today on the fine art of making a powdered sugar doughnut snowman.

As you see, Chef Noah has cleaned his hands and has gathered his ingredients on a sheet of wax paper so any mess will be contained.

The first thing Noah needs to do is pick out the three best powdered sugar doughnuts from the pile.  He doesn’t approve of any cracked doughnuts for this project.

Noah does a trial run of what his snowman will look like by laying them vertically on his workspace.  He wants to be sure that these doughnuts are up to par.

After they have undergone his scrutiny and passed his final testing, Noah then slides each doughnut onto the shish kebab stick.

You will be using the white chocolate candy coating as glue, so get a tiny bit on the end of your dull knife and fill the top doughnut hole with white chocolate.  Before it sets up, place the orange candy into the white chocolate.

Continue adding small amounts of white chocolate where the eyes and mouth will be placed or as Chef Noah has illustrated, just dump a bunch of white chocolate all over the top doughnut.  Place two mini chips for the eyes above the orange nose and form a smile with the mini chips under his nose.

Such concentration displayed by my little chef during this delicate procedure.

Continue to add buttons down the “snowman’s” front, let it set up and there you have it!

Banana Snowman

My little overachiever decided to make up his own snowman project to be included in this month’s post.

The ingredients list:

  • Banana
  • Raisins
  • Pretzel Rods (though sticks would have been easier to use and would have been a better size)

First step:  Peel the banana and immediately start acting like a monkey.

After Mom finally calms you down and gets you back in your seat again, use your dull knife to cut the banana.

Look at these sweet fingers.

Line up three banana slices.

Stick mini chocolate chips in place for his eyes and mouth, raisins for his buttons and rods for his arms.

Two fun recipes for you to share with your little ones this month.
Rachel Skvaril, Sugar Artist
www.fondantflinger.com
And don’t forget to visit Fondant Flinger’s Etsy shop to order your Valentine’s Day cupcake toppers; the perfect addition to your cupcakes for those class parties!

Apple Fondue Fun

Fireflies’ Apron Adventures
Creating family legacy moments in the kitchen…together.

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Oh the joys of Fall!  Pumpkins, hay bales, the crisp, cool air and best of all, its APPLE season!  OK, I know that you can get apples year round but there’s an extra special crunch in the Honeycrisps these autumn months.  So like any good sugar artist, I’m going to take those delicious honeycrisp apples and douse them in sugary goodness!  Our family is pretty big on theme nights with catchy names and thus we named this event “The Fireflies and Fondant Flinger Fall Fondu Family Fun Night”!

First, we melted down some caramel:

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We mixed in a couple of Tablespoons of water and stirred every minute or so until it was nice and smooth.  You could use a small saucepan if you like, however, in the spirit of “The Fireflies and Fondant Flinger Fondu Fall Family Fun Night”, we opted to use our fondu pot:

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Next we cut up our apples.  Some we cut into wedges and for a few we tried to scoop out some little balls with a scooper:

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Next we melted some chocolate flavored candy coating:

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We prepared some fun toppings.  We used an assortment of cookies and cream sprinkles, crunched up chocolate and cream sandwich cookies, bits of crunched up toffee and some candy corn.

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We gathered all our ingredients.

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To keep the mess to a minimum, everyone used a sheet of wax paper as a placemat.

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Though, I will warn you, there was plenty of mess regardless.

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We found that the caramel didn’t like sticking as well to our cut apples.  What we did to remedy this (and to add even more layers of yumminess) was to dip the apple into the candy coating, let it set up and then dunk it back into the caramel.  You could also get fancy like my husband did with his zigzag caramel design.

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Or create some other masterpieces like my little guy, Noah did:

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Or you could use Levi’s approach, which was to basically just get as much chocolate and candy corn as humanly possible on the tiniest piece of apple.

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Don’t forget to share photos of your Apple Fondue Family Fun!  We would love to see them!

Author: Rachel Skvaril
Sugar Artist

www.fondantflinger.com

 

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