Valentine Treat Ideas

October 2, 2008

Make some of these easy Valentine Treat Ideas this year with your kids. They are perfect Valentine Gifts for the classroom. Your kids will enjoy handing these tasty Valentine Treats out to their friends.

Valentine’s Day Treats for School and Work
By Christine Steendahl

Are you as tired as I am of those little white heart-shaped candies with messages like “I like You” printed on them? Be a little creative this year and come up with some new Valentine’s Day treats to take to school and work. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Valentine’s Day Cookies

Make a batch of Sugar cookies or pick up some refrigerated dough at the grocery store. Cut them out with a heart-shaped cookie cutter and bake. Frost with a glaze of powdered sugar, water and a little red food coloring, or make it really simple and buy a container of pre-made frosting. Use some frosting pens to write messages or draw on the cookies. Add a few sprinkles and you’re set! Don’t forget to invite your kids to get involved in decorating any cookies they are taking to school. They will have a great time preparing these special treats.

Valentine’s Cup Cakes

Purchase a box of devil’s food cake mix (or your favorite flavor) and prepare according to package directions. Line muffin tins with paper liners and pour enough batter in each to fill to about 1/3 full. Top with 1 tbsp of fruit preserves (strawberry works great) then add more batter until the muffin tins are approximately ¾ filled. Bake according to cake mix directions. When they are cool, dust them with powdered sugar, or frost them and sprinkle with red-hot candy hearts.

Valentine’s Day Cake

Bake any flavor cake in a heart shaped cake form. Let cook and cut in half horizontally. Mix a few drops of red food coloring into a container of whipped topping, and spread some on the bottom layer of the cake. Add the top layer and frost the entire outside of the cake. Top with fresh berries.

Chocolate Lollipops

Get some heart-shaped lollipop molds. Melt milk chocolate, dark chocolate or white chocolate (quality chocolate chips work great). Pour the melted chocolate in the mold and add a lollipop stick. Let cool until hardened. Wrap in cellophane and tie with a little bow.
Use leftover chocolate and plastic spoons to create fancy coffee stirrers. Simply dip the plastic spoons in the melted chocolate. Let cool and repeat until you reach the desired thickness,
Both of these can be decorated by drizzling different types of melted chocolate over the finished product.

Have fun this year creating some wonderful Valentine’s Day treats. I’m sure you will come up with a delicious treat that will be a big hit in the office or the classroom.

Christine Steendahl Is The Founder Of Dine Without Whine – The Number One Online Source For Affordable And Family Friendly Weekly Meal Planning. Eliminate Your Dinner Hour Stress And Re-Discover The Pleasure Of The Dinner Hour! For A Free Sample Menu And Grocery List Visit dinewithoutwhine

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Thanksgiving Hostes Gifts

October 2, 2008

Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Prepare one of these cute Thanksgiving Hostes Gifts for every family member this year.

Thanksgiving is always a fun time of celebration and eating with your family. Here are some ways to make Thanksgiving even more fun for your family this year.

Thankful cards – Make a card for each family member that will be your guest for Thanksgiving this year. On each card, tell that person what you love most about them, and why you are thankful for them.

Recipe books – A few months before Thanksgiving, write a list of each family member. Beside their name, make a note of their best dish. Call each member and ask for a copy of that recipe, plus one or two of their own favorites that they’d like to share. When you have all the recipes ready, compile them into a booklet and print them, using your computer and printer. (You can also use professional services, if you wish, to make a longer-lasting recipe book.) After your guests all arrive for your Thanksgiving dinner, give them each a copy of your special recipe book.

Mini family scrapbooks – Gather family pictures, if you don’t have many pictures, take them to a local copier and have extra prints made. Purchase mini scrapbooks at a scrapbook supply store, along with stickers, markers and various scrapbook supplies. Create miniature family scrapbooks, using one picture per page. Write what you are thankful for, in relation to each family member, on their designated pages. On Thanksgiving Day, give a copy of your mini family scrapbooks to each family member as a memento.

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Making Your Own Thanksgiving Cards

October 2, 2008

There are cards available for just about every holiday out there, and Thanksgiving is no exception. But who wouldn’t love receiving a handmade card as a keepsake? With a little creativity, imagination and time, you can create wonderful cards for family and friends. There are quite a few techniques and mediums that can be used to create cards from the heart. Children and adults alike can have fun making the cards.

One of the simplest Thanksgiving cards to create is the standard “hand turkey” that can be cut out and glued to either folded construction paper, card stock or even scrapbook paper. This is a great project to do with younger kids. First, trace your child’s hand on a piece of paper, being sure to have them spread their fingers as far apart as they can. Make it dimensional, by not gluing the finger feathers down. Use a pencil to curl the feathers, so that they stand out off the paper a little.

There are many rubber stamps available in holiday themes, sometimes combined in kits. Different inks, embossing powders and paper can be combined to create unique looks, even when you use the same stamps. Practicing on scrap paper before making your final product can sometimes provide ideas that you might not have thought about, such as overlapping the same stamp a couple times, with different colors, offset a bit. This particular technique provides a shadow effect.

Stencils are also a simple way to make a nice design on your greeting cards. Using either stencil brushes or sponges can give you totally different looks. Playing with different layouts such as overlapping things can allow you to create many different and unique designs.

Stickers can also be used to create simple cards or can be combined with other mediums. There are many kinds of stickers including those with metallic accents. There is enough variety of stickers that make it easy to create a nice scene on the front of the card complete with turkeys, Pilgrims and Indians. There is also a lot of free clip art available in graphics programs and online. Many of which can be printed on sticker paper or on regular paper and glued in place.

By using some scrapbooking techniques, you can create some very artistic looking cards. Layering different kinds of paper together, changing angles, ripping edges, etc. will allow you to create an almost old fashioned look. Accenting it with stickers, paper cutouts or other details will give your card some wonderful finishing touches.

If you know calligraphy, or someone who does, hand lettering can really set off a handmade card nicely. Even if you can’t do calligraphy, there are many nice fonts that can be found on your computer. Print the words out on a nice paper, cut out creatively (scrapbooking edge scissors are great for this) and glue onto your card.

Even if you feel like you have no artistic talent at all, there are many options available to make card making easy and enjoyable. As with most handcrafted items, it doesn’t have to be perfect. That’s what makes it special; they are made with love, not mass-produced in a factory. So try your hand at a handcrafted card this Thanksgiving and let your loved ones know how thankful you are they are in your life.

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