Hanukkah Sugar Cookie Decorating Party for Toddlers

For a recent play date my friend and I decided to make sugar cookies and let the kids decorate them. Neither one of us have made sugar cookies before, so through trial and error we were able to figure out a recipe that worked. Our first attempt at dough came out too crumbly. Once we got the dry and wet ingredient ratio worked out we had a buttery, smooth cookie dough.

Recipe for Sugar Cookies:

Ingredients

2 1/3 c. flour, sifted

1 tbsp. vanilla pudding mix

1 c. white sugar

1 large egg

2 sticks of butter-room temperature

Directions:

First we combined dry ingredients and then added the wet using a stand alone mixer on medium. We mixed them together for 10 minutes, scraping down the sides.

Once the ingredients were combined we kneaded with our hands for five minutes and then rolled it to 1/4″ thickness using a rolling pin. We used metal dreidel shaped cookie cutter to cut out our shapes.

The cookies baked in a 350 degree oven for 9 minutes on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Once cooled we could begin adding our colorful royal icing.

Recipe for Royal Icing:

Ingredients:

1 c. confectioner’s sugar

4 tbsp. milk

Directions:

Pour sugar into a medium sized mixing bowl, add milk. Whisk together until smooth. Spoon into 3 small bowls, add one drop of food coloring and mix to create blue and gold.

We laid out a easy wipe tablecloth with a festive print, a paper plate for each child, small bowls with the royal icing, one bowl with Star of David sprinkles, and tiny spoons for decorating.  The children decorated each cookie one by one, spooning one the icing and creating a marble effect.

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This activity was a hit!  The kids were involved with each step of the baking and decorating process.  They loved decorating the cookies the most-each child decorated 10 cookies!  We had so much fun and will definitely be doing more cookie and baking activities with our kids for future holidays!

My Favorite Vegetarian Pins for Thanksgiving

Roasted Sweet Potato Rounds with Goat Cheese, Cranberries and Balsamic Glaze

 

Yes, there will be no turkey in my house, if you don’t count a gingerbread cookie turkey made from a Trader Joe’s kit.  I will be making my second vegetarian Thanksgiving feast this year and I can’t wait!  Some recipes are tried and true like the sweet potato rounds and pecan pie, others are new like the Pumpkin Dump Cake and butternut squash risotto.

If you are looking for some vegetarian ideas to accompany your turkey this year or are actually going meatless you can check out my pins that I’m sharing here.  Simply click the link and they will take you to the actual pin on Pinterest or follow me on Pinterest at: https://www.pinterest.com/lizaamor/pins/.

scg-butternut-squash-risotto-longpin

Brown Butter Garlic Honey Roasted Carrots – the best roasted carrots ever with lots of garlic, brown butter and honey. SO good | rasamalaysia.com

Sparkling Apple Cider Sangria Recipe. This is a great idea for party punches this fall and winter. Try this crowd pleaser, easy, pitcher drinks or pitcher cocktail for a crowd at one of your holiday (hello, Halloween and Thanksgiving) parties this year! You'll need, apples (it's a great way to use them up), cognac, cider, cava, and pomegranate seeds or arils. This contains alcohol, but we've got an alternate recipe to make it non-alcoholic too.

Creamy, comforting green bean casserole made completely from scratch! Easy Thanksgiving side dish. Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Pumpkin Dump Cake | The First Year

Easy Pecan Pie! (Made without Corn Syrup) - Spend With Pennies

If you are looking for some unique DIY Fall projects for your Thanksgiving check out these two pins I created:

Blog – My Petite Picassos

Fall Handprint Plate Keepsake

and

Fall Craft -Lazy Susan DIY Thanksgiving

Fall DIY Lazy Susan 

 

 

My Favorite Fall Pins

Fall LeavesYes fall is here, at least in my heart.  Why the rush?  We’re going to Israel for the High Holidays so I miss a chunk of my favorite season and it’s American traditions: apple picking, pumpkin spice everything, and Halloween for a month.  This year we’ll be coming back two weeks before Halloween so I’ll get to feel the holiday a little more.  It is my favorite holiday and the memories of my children these past few years celebrating with me are so precious.

With my early fall celebrations I’ve started pinning crafts, decorations, DIY projects, and recipes to enjoy when we get back.  Here are some of my favorites:

  1. Popsicle stick monster craft.

Craft Stick Monsters - Kid Craft More

2. Metallic foiled pumpkins

Painted Metallic Foiled Pumpkins. It makes your pumpkins stand out and brings a new decoration to the home!

3. Acorn Donut Holes

This acorn donut hole recipe is a fun way to celebrate the end of summer and the beginning of fall!

4.  Speaking of donuts, Maple Glazed Donuts!

Baked Maple Donuts Recipe with Maple Glaze

5. Bronze Pumpkin Stack

You won't waste your $1 buckets on candy when you see her porch trick

6.  For the High Holidays there are so many edible Torahs and Sukkahs!

Design Megillah: Edible Torahs for Children

I have linked all of the images back to the pin so you can explore these ideas.  Please be sure to follow My Petite Picassos on Pinterest for more autumnal awesomeness!

 

 

Baked Chocolate Milk Doughnuts with Nutella Frosting

Chocolate milk is something I should  think about getting stock in.  Ben loves his organic, whole, with vitamin D.  I know it has added sugar, but the good outweighs the bad right now so I let him enjoy his favorite drink.

Another thing he has recently discovered is Nutella.  He loves Nutella on challah bread sandwiches for lunch at camp.  He also likes plain peanut butter sandwiches, but no jelly!

Since starting camp 7 weeks ago he has had so much fun making friends, learning, and he loves his teacher!  He gets so excited for camp everyday!  I love watching  this little learner grow and develope!

Even though he loves camp he has had separation anxiety and when he’s home he wants “momma!” Last weekend he was really dealing with some rough anxiety and was right next to me all weekend.  I thought this would be the perfect time to do a project.  He loves doughnuts and so we made doughnuts!

I have a 6 doughnut pan and this recipe makes 6 baked chocolate doughnuts with Nutella frosting.  I made the batter thin with chocolate milk so I could pipe it into the pan using a gallon sized Ziploc bag.  This is my first attempt at making doughnuts and I must say I was pleased at how they turned out!

donuts

One of the nice things about making doughnuts is that the ingredients are in small amounts-so if you’re being frugal they will stretch into several batches!

This was the first time Ben helped me cook.  Even Adam got into it.  They used spatulas to stir and dumped in the pre-measured dry ingredients.  We counted how many tablespoons of this and scoops of that.  I showed Ben what “half” means using my measuring cups.  Baking is wonderful for math and science.  We also talked about powder, solid, and liquid ingredients.  I really believe that moments like this where I take a little time out of my day to teach makes a big difference!

Ingredients for doughnuts:

Dry

1c. all purpose white flour

1/2t. baking soda

1/2t. baking powder

2tbsp.  baking cocoa

1/4c + 2t. granulated sugar
Wet

2 eggs

2t. melted coconut oil

2/3c. chocolate milk

Set oven to 325 degrees F.  Combine dry ingredients first in a mixing bowl.  Then add wet ingredients until a batter is formed.  Spoon into gallon size Ziploc bag or piping bag and pipe into a sprayed doughnut baking pan.  Bake for 12 minutes.  Tip:  Do not over fill the doughnut pan with batter, these doughnuts will rise in the pan and you want them to keep their shape.  Allow to cool before frosting.

Frosting:

3 tbsp. Nutella

1c. confectioner’s sugar

1t. Vanilla essence

Mix together, and spoon into a a Ziploc bag or piping bag to pipe onto the doughnuts.

I am not expert piper, so I just went around my doughnuts twice with the icing.  Then I added sprinkles and edible pearls.  You can add cut fruit like bananas or strawberries, crushed Oreos would be heavenly!  Enjoy with a nice tall glass of chocolate milk!

 

Nutritious Pancakes With Fruit and Oats

Nutritious pancakes
Pancakes are Ben’s favorite breakfast.  He won’t eat anything but pancakes in the morning!  Some mornings he’ll have some apple and carrot sauce or down a bottle of chocolate milk for added nutrients.  Usually I give him Organic Silver Dollar Pancakes from Trader Joe’s which I just heat up in the microwave or in a pan on the stove. On lazy mornings when we’re not rushing out the door I like to make him these nutritious homemade pancakes.

img_9062

Adding the oat flour to the egg/fruit mixture

Ingredients:

1/2 cup oat flour (I grind rolled oats in the blender first)

3 eggs

5 oz. applesauce

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 banana

1 apple (cored, skinned, and sliced)

2/3 c. flour

Directions:

Grind up rolled oats in a blender and pour into a bowl.  In the blender add apple, banana, eggs, and applesauce.  Blend.  In a bowl or using a stand alone mixer mix oat flour, flour, and baking powder. Pour in and mix egg and fruit mixture to form a batter.

Using a tablespoon spoon the batter into a warm pan with coconut oil or butter and fry until golden.  Flip over and fry on the other side.  Serve with honey or fruit.

What I really like about this recipe is that you can add a variety of fruits and veggies in.  Zucchini, bananas, crushed pineapple, pumpkin puree, pureed beans, and carrot sauce can all be mixed in and give nutrition to a simple breakfast food!

Garbanzo Bean Chocolate Chip Cookies 

garbanzo bean cookies

I have not been quiet about the fact that my Ben is a picky eater.  He’s a total carbaholic, he eats tofu, and that’s about it.  Getting fruits and veggies into him can be a struggle.  One way I do manage to get veggies in him is baked goods.  I have tried black bean brownie, garbanzo bean cupcakes, and pumpkin loaf made from scratch with shredded carrots.  I find myself baking him healthy treats each week and he seems to love them!

This past week it was Garbanzo Bean Chocolate Chip Cookies. They come out soft, and I do refrigerate them to be on the safe side because they have a lot of egg.  When I need one or two I pop them in the oven or microwave quickly.

These cookies are high in protein as they have 3 sources of protein: eggs, peanut butter, and garbanzo beans.  They’re actually a healthy indulgence for me as I’m trying to lose the last bit of baby weight.

Ingredients:

1 can of garbanzo beans rinsed

3 eggs

1 cup of flour

1 cup of coconut sugar

2 tbs. creamy peanut butter

1/2 tsp. baking powder
Directions:

Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and blend.  Using a tablespoon spoon not a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Place in a 350 oven for 10 minutes.  Cool after you take them out and enjoy!

I’ll share some pins below of tried and tested hidden veggie recipes.  It’s amazing how much like the real thing they taste and it’s reassuring that my boys are getting some good nutrition with their treats!

Easy homemade banana zucchini bread, perfect for freezing! Toast a slice and add a pat of butter for an amazing after school snack.:

 

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Banana Muffins - a perfect use for overripe bananas and a great way to sneak some veggies into your child's diet. They're picky toddler approved too!:

These delicious dark chocolate flourless brownie muffins will satisfy your sweet tooth without sabotaging your diet. And they're gluten-free! Click through to get the recipe and find out what the secret ingredient is. // desserts // healthy recipes // cheat clean // gluten free // Beachbody // http://BeachbodyBlog.com:

Bananas Foster Protein Shake with Trader Joe’s Bourbon Vanilla 

bananas foster
I’ve gotten really into lifting heavy weights lately. I’m finding that it’s making the most difference in shedding my baby weight.  Of course any weightlifting routine means an increase in protein, which can be problematic if you’re a vegetarian like myself. This shake is not only high in protein and vegan.  It’s the perfect pre-workout shake!

Recipe:

In a blender combine:

1.5 tsp. Trader Joe’s Pure Bourbon Vanilla Extract

Ice

1 c. unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1 scoop Trader Joe’s Vanilla Protein Powder

2 bananas


Blend it up and enjoy either before or after a hard workout!  I added a packet of Stevia to my shake because I have a sweet tooth, but it’s not necessary.  The Bourbon Vanilla tastes amazing in cookies and I used it in Adam’s Birthday cake icing.  It’s good stuff!

Delicious and Nutritious Israeli Tahini Smoothie

tahini shake

If you follow my Instagram, which I post on daily, you know I love smoothies!  My husband and I drink them daily.  Since it’s been a while since I shared a recipe with you I decided this smoothie has to be my next recipe for the blog.  It’s officially amazing and so good for you!

If you are not familiar with tahini it’s sesame paste that is used in several Middle Eastern dishes.  It comes very thick in the jar and can be thinned out with water or lemon juice.  It’s one of the main ingredients in hummus and is amazing as a dressing.  When we were in Israel last fall they were pouring it over their ice cream.  You can find tahini in most large supermarkets, I love the Organic Tahini from Trader Joe’s-it’s the best I’ve ever tasted.

This recipe calls for half a cup of Taster’s Choice coffee in the hazelnut flavor.  In the Middle East Nescafe and instant coffee are very popular.  My husband likes Taster’s Choice and for a change he’s been trying the hazelnut flavor.  I pre-brewed the coffee.  When making a smoothie start with the liquid ingredients first and then add the solid ingredients.  I make my smoothies in a Ninja every morning, but a blender works fine too.

The recipe for this is to simply blend:

ice

1 c. of unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1/2 c. of hazelnut Taster’s Choice coffee

1 tbsn. of tahini

2 bananas

2 packets of Stevia or a tbsn. of honey (agave or maple syrup would work too)

It’s a really great way to wake up in the morning.  You have a caffeine kick from the coffee, potassium from the banana, healthy fats from the tahini, and calcium from the almond milk.  It has a deeper taste than a traditional peanut butter and banana smoothie.  The hazelnut coffee mixes with the sesame flavor beautifully.  I hope you enjoy this recipe.  I’ll be sure to share more recipes soon!

Tip:  To make the smoothie vegan omit the honey.

Matboucha Tutorial and Recipe Suggestions

About a month ago I shared with you my Matboucha recipe.  It’s a spicy, cooked salad from Morocco. It’s a staple in my household.  I make it every Friday for our Sabbath meal as my husband is of Moroccan decent.  I am including a video tutorial on how to prepare it as it is a little tricky for beginner chefs and recipe suggestions on how to use this delicious salad will be posted below.

 

 


Recipe Suggestions:

1.  Eat with charred pita and hummus.  It’s delicious either hot or cold.

2.  Incorporate it into a sandwich like grilled cheese or as a burger topping.

3.  Top off a seared salmon filet with a spoonful of Matboucha.
5.  Use it in a quiche. Spoon a generous helping into a store bought pie-crust.  Beat 4 eggs with salt and pepper, pour them into the pie shell.  Add smoked provolone on top and bake for 50 minutes at 350F.

6. Start an omelet with olive oil and Matboucha.  Then add your beaten eggs and cheese once the moisture has evaporated.

7.  Top of rice or quinoa with Matboucha and a chopped hard boiled egg.

Truly the options are limitless!

Easy and Beautiful Gluten-free, Vegan, and Kosher Gift Basket

For the holidays I struggled with the idea of what to get my parents this year. In years past when I was making a salary I could purchase them anything I wanted but this year was different as I’m a stay at home mom.   I figured DIY would be the way to go this year.  My dad just recently switched to a gluten-free diet. In my home we keep kosher and vegetarian. So as my parents were visiting I figured it would be a lovely hostess type presentation to give my dad a gluten- free gift basket that he could snack from while staying with me.

 

I started with this tin basket that I found at Michael’s. I got it for 40% off with my coupon which turned out to be a great deal. Then I went on to find some cute snowflake tin containers that I could put different food items and as well as snowflake treat bags.

I filled the gift tins and treat bags with nuts and a dried fruit. I included a bag of gluten-free pretzels and a bag of gluten-free granola. I found all of these items at Trader Joe’s.  If you go to their customer service they will print you out a list of all of their gluten-free items which is so incredibly helpful.

This turned out to be a really easy and useful gift for my dad. He didn’t have to go searching in my pantry for something to eat. He had plenty to eat while he was at my house despite all of the very different diets that we have in my home. This would make a great gift to anybody who’s visiting or staying with you. Also this would be a great teacher gift as it was fairly inexpensive and only took about 30 minutes to put together!  For shipping: I would recommend wrapping cellophane around it and tying some ribbon on top before putting it into the box so everything will stay pretty well in tact during the shipping. I also would recommend going with a lighter box, maybe even a wooden crate which they have plenty of at Michael’s and with that 40% off coupon it would be very inexpensive. You could also paint the crates different colors and match them with your tins!