Valentine’s Day Cookies and Cupcakes

February 10, 2009

Valentine’s Day is a day for treats as well as expressions of love. Kids like to get more of the sweets and this is one day they can enjoy delicious creations. Here are some ideas for making cookies and cupcakes that ooze with love and fresh baked goodness.

Let’s start with the cookies. For kids, baking is fun. It is a way for them to help out in the kitchen and learn love cooking. The freezer section of the grocery store has several flavors of cookies. Rolled dough is good to use and eliminates cleanup hassles after the cookies are made.

Take a roll of refrigerated dough and roll it out on a non-stick surface. Add a touch of flour to the rolling pin before you try to roll the dough or it will stick. Younger kids may find it easier to roll the dough out with a plastic rolling pin because they are not as heavy as the wooden ones.

Heart shaped cookie cutters will turn regular sugar, peanut butter, and chocolate chip cookies into creations of love. Kids don’t only like hearts. Let them experiment with other shapes in the cookie cutter arsenal if they want to. They can even design shapes of their own with the dough pieces that are too small to cut.

Cupcakes are much the same way but it takes a bit more preparation. To make it easy, use a box cake mix instead of mixing everything from scratch. Remind your kids that if you are adding egg that they can’t dip a finger in because of the possibility of salmonella poisoning.

The kids can choose to use cupcake cups that are decorated for the holiday or spoon them directly into the muffin pan. Mini muffin pans create bite size cupcakes for the family to enjoy after dinner. If you have a window in the oven, kids will camp out and watch the cupcakes bake just like a television show.

Decorate those cupcakes with creamy icing. White icing can be turned into pink with a bit of red food coloring. Kids will be amazed by this as the white icing changes colors. For an extra special touch, add candy sprinkles or cinnamon red hot candies. It will be hard to keep the kids from eating up all the ingredients as they bake. It may be hard to keep you from sneaking that spoonful of icing when you should be adding it to the cupcakes too so be warned.

Sweets are fun to make and even more fun to eat. Cookies and cupcakes get a nice makeover on Valentine’s Day to help reflect the good feelings of the holiday as well as create great family togetherness.

Labeling Kids – Why You Should Avoid It

September 22, 2008

“Mom, Dad called me stupid!” your child tells you. This type labeling of kids can have long-term effects on the child. Even if it is said at the height of frustration or maybe because the parent is in a bad mood, there is no excuse for the consequence this action can produce. They’re not just words, they really do cause hurt. It is so important to understand why labeling a child in this manner can have terrible effects on the child’s self confidence and behaviors.

Children need our unconditional love, acceptance and respect, all the time. Negative reinforcement will only end up in negative behavior and results acted out through the child. When a child hears this type of labeling often, they can become emotionally damaged by the behavior of the parent. Children look up to their parents; thus, there is no justification, which motivates any parent in belittling a child. Giving the child negative attention in this manner can create many more problems then it will ever even begin to solve. The child may develop low self-esteem; increased erratic behavior; and affect their inter-relationship with siblings and peers.

It is nothing new that a parent can lose their calm and temper but it does not have to be focused on the child. A child may not understand why you are reacting this way and it can produce devastating effects. So many parents by-pass this part but it is imperative that they apologize immediately using phrasing and words that will make the child feel positive and have respect for your ability to be wrong. It is our duty as parents to be sure that our children know how much we love them, even when we are not happy, every day. The fear and disappointment the child feels must be addressed with an apology, and/or an explanation.

Disciplinary action of a child must never be accompanied by harsh words. If necessary, take a break and collect your thoughts. Think before you say anything further. Then have the child take a time out. Later, talk to the child about why the behavior was disciplined; then hug the child in a reassuring way. Let the child know you still love him or her. Words can impact a child’s life; positively and negatively. If you, as a parent, cannot control the emotional abuse; seek help. It is the very least you can do to ensure your child’s psychological state is not compromised in any way.

Additional Resources:
Sleepytime Secrets
Sleepytime Secrets is an easy-to-follow step-by-step guide for learning how to get children to sleep. Put An End To The Stress And Frustration Of Sleepless
Nights For You and Your Child For Good!

Snacks

September 1, 2008

Looking for some great snacks for your kids? Give these treats a try for a fun-filled afternoon.

We recommend Munchkin Menus E-cookbook for hundreds of recipes your kids will love.

Very Berry Smoothie

This simple smoothie combines fruit and dairy in a fun snack or even a breakfast on the go. Throw in some ice before you blend and call it a milk shake. What kid could resist this?

INGREDIENTS:

* 1/2 c. raspberries
* 1/2 c. strawberries
* 1 cup fat-free vanilla yogurt
* 1/3 c. skim milk

DIRECTIONS:
Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend well. Serve.

Apple Dip

* 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
* 1/2 cup brown sugar
* 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, brown sugar and vanilla. Mix well until all of the brown sugar has been blended into the cream cheese and vanilla. If the mixture is too runny for your taste, add a small amount of brown sugar to the mixture. If the mixture is too thick for your taste, add a small amount of vanilla extract.

Pretzel Salad
Submitted by Catherine from www.mommyresources.com

Preheat over to 400

Crust
2 2/3 c crushed pretzels
3/4 c melted butter
3 T sugar

Mix ingredients & spread into 9×13 inch pan. Bake for 8-10 min. Allow to cool.

Cream Cheese Mixture
8 oz. cream cheese
1 c sugar
8 oz. whipped topping

Combine all ingredients and spread over pretzel mixture. Place in refrigerator.

Jello Mixture
2 c boiling water
10 oz. frozen strawberries
6 oz. strawberry jello

Combine all ingredients and chill for 20 min.

Remove both from refrigerator. Pour jello mixture over cream cheese mixture. Chill until firm.

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