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!

 

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!

Shakshuka Pizza with a Beer Bread Crust

shakshouka pizza.jpg

One thing about cooking is that I like to use an ingredient or leftovers to make something new. Last week I shared with you my recipe for matbucha.  Which you can find here. You will need to make it in order to complete this recipe-as it becomes the sauce for my pizza.

Shakshuka is basically matbucha with basted eggs on top.  It’s a really popular breakfast food in Israel. Every restaurant has their own version and it’s incredibly delicious along with some pita bread or some Israeli salad.  I saw a video last year on how to make this pizza but they just used tomato paste, onion, and some spices. Tomato paste has such a strong flavor and such a richness that I think it would be overwhelming. I believe using the leftover matbucha makes for more complex flavor.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 c. of flour, plus a little extra for rolling out the dough

1 c. beer

1 tbsp. sugar

1 tbsp. salt

6 tbsp. matbucha

2 c. feta cheese crumbles

4 eggs

Directions:  Pre-heat oven to 350 F.  Mix flour, salt, and sugar together in a large mixing bowl with either a standalone mixer or hand mixer on medium for a minute.  Pour in a cup of beer and mix until a dough is formed on medium, scraping the sides down. Roll out the dough on a floured surface and transfer onto a baking sheet.  Spread the matbucha out over the dough and crack four eggs over different areas of the pizza, nesting the eggs throughout. Then sprinkle your feta crumbles all over.  Bake for 25 minutes and enjoy!!!

Matboucha Recipe

matbouchaMatboucha is a warm tomato and bell pepper salad eaten commonly in Israeli and Moroccan cultures.  It’s one of my husband’s favorite foods.  Typically, in a Moroccan home the first course of a meal has several cooked and raw salads which are followed which a chicken/fish/beef course.  My husband’s grandmothers used to make 12 salads for the sabbath meal every week I’ve been told! That’s a lot of vegetables to chop!  I typically do four or five vegetable dishes for the sabbath dinner and this is one of the regulars.

Ingredients:

8 beefsteak tomatoes

1 c. of water

1 red and 1 green bell pepper

2 red chili peppers

6 cloves of garlic

1 onion

1 beef bouillon cube

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper

1 tbsn. cumin

Rinse all the tomatoes and cut and X into each one of them on the bottom. Fill a large pot with water and place of tomatoes in.

Boil the tomatoes about 30 minutes -you should see them peeled start to shrivel up on the tomatoes. Then place them into a bowl with ice to cold shock them. Once the tomatoes are cool enough to touch peel off the skinfrom the bottom where the x is.  Add 1 tbsp. of olive oil into a pan.  Dice both of the bell peppers. Dice half of the onion. Place the peppers and onion into a large pan and cover with one couple water. Allow the water to soften the peppers on medium high heat, partially covered.


Peel the six cloves of garlic, dice the tomatoes and place them all into the pan along with the peppers and onion. Fill up a coffee cup halfway boiling hot water toss the bouillon cube, the salt and pepper with the cumin in to the cup. Break up the cube of bouillon with a fork, stir and blend the spices with the hot water and pour over the vegetables.  I use a vegetarian beef bouillon cube but you can use the real thing. Rinse  and add the two chili peppers, whole, with the salad. Allow everything to cook on medium heat partially covered. Use a potatoe masher to mash the vegetables down a little as you go.

Stir about every five minutes making sure nothing is burning on the bottom of the pan and then smooth over the mixture with the large spoon to see if there still liquid in the mixture. You’re looking to see that all the liquid evaporates out enjoy left with this sort of soft melange of vegetables and spices. Once all the liquid has evaporated turn the heat off and enjoy with a side of pita bread or challah bread. It’s delicious to make a sandwich with it with hummus or with hard-boiled eggs. I’ll be teaching you how to use it in a pizza in a future post.

Galaxy Salt Dough

galaxy-salt-doughWith the My Petite Picassos Playgroup this last meeting we made salt dough keepsakes. We printed our babies’ handprints and footprints in colored salt dough that we colored with food coloring. As we were coloring with the food coloring we noticed that it created a marbled effect until we blended consistently throughout the salt dough. So the other day when Ben was bored and the weather was terrible outside, I decided that he could make galaxy salt dough.  We used the leftover salt dough from the playgroup and added a drop of blue,  a drop of purple, and a drop of pink food coloring to it.  As the mixed the colors together and created a galaxy a fact. Ben played with it for two hours that morning and the following morning he played with it for two hours.

To make salt dough all you have to do is combine one part flour with one part salt and half a part of water. For a large group like our playgroup I do it in my standalone mixer. After we use it it can be kept in the refrigerator to be used again. We still have leftover from last week that is soft and malleable. For older children who want to make a keepsake or if you want to make a keepsake you can air dry it and bake it in your oven at 200°F for three hours. 

Mama Monday's Pin Party

Eight Posts for Hanukkah-Burlap Hanukkah Card Craft for Kids

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Want an easy and stylish kids craft to do this holiday season?  Burlap is everywhere.  I see it on garlands, tote bags, pillows, you name it!  To make this easy craft you’ll need:

1 piece of burlap 4 1/2″x 3″

1 piece of brown craft paper 4 1/2″x3″

1 chisel tip Sharpie

puffy paint or homemade paint (the recipe is here)

Clear Krazy Glue

Directions:

Glue the piece f brown craft paper inside the burlap.  Once the glue is dry (30 minutes or so), fold the card in half.  Kids often need a lot of help lining up items to glue and folding-plus you’ll have to use the Krazy Glue.  Older kids can draw a menorah or write Happy Hanukkah with the chisel tip Sharpie, younger kids will need an adult to do that.  Then they can decorate with puffy paint or if they’re little like Ben (2 years old) they can use homemade paint and a Q-tip to apply paint. Let it dry. img_6691

 

 

Eight Posts for Hanukkah Bonus-Olive Oil Cake with Doterra Lemon Oil

It’s that time of year-the time we literally pour a gallon of canola oil into our stomachs to celebrate the miracle of the oil lasting eight days.  Hanukkah doesn’t have a lot of healthy recipes.  So here’s a healthier option that results in a light and airy cake with purifying properties thanks to Doterra’s Lemon Essential Oil.


Ingredients:

1 c. all purpose white flour

1 c. coconut sugar

1/4 c. powdered sugar

1/2 t. baking soda

1 t. baking powder

1/2 c. olive oil

2 eggs

3/4 c. water

4 drops Doterra Lemon Essential Oil

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Add flour, coconut sugar, baking soda, baking powder into a bowl. Mix dry ingredients with a  stand alone mixer or using a hand mixer on medium for a minute.  Add olive oil, 2 eggs, water, and Doterra Lemon Essential Oil into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Mix on medium for three minutes. Take out your cake pan and grease it with olive oil. Pour the batter in and bake for 40 minutes. Once the cake is fully baked check with a toothpick and flip over onto a plate.  Sift powdered sugar over the top and enjoy!

Food Safe Homemade Paint

paint-recipe

Adam is officially a little artist.  He was so curious watching Ben paint the last few times, I could tell he was dying to try it out.  Even though I have non toxic paint, I figured the little guy would be putting a lot of it in his mouth, so I wanted to be extra safe.  img_6704

So I scoured the internet for paint recipes, and did a little tweaking to what I found.  My final recipe is:

1/2 c. flour

1 drop of food coloring-to be added later

1/4 c. kosher salt

1 1/4 c. water

I mixed it thoroughly up in a mason jar minus the food coloring with a spoon which I used to spoon the mixture into our palette.  I added one drop of food coloring to each section of my palette and mixed with a Q-tip.img_6687img_6680

A Q-tip is a great way to manage how much paint your little is using or those tiny watercolor brushes that come in kids watercolor palettes.  I would stay away from a medium or larger size brush.  Even with a Q-tip it got messy!

img_6701img_6703img_6705

The experience was overall short, but positive.  I had to show him to dab the paint on the card stock rather than eat it.  He caught on quickly but still took the occasional taste.  This is also a great idea for cheap paint in general.  There are times we can’t afford little things like paint as moms and teachers.  I’ve run art programs on literally nothing for over 1,000 students!  It’s ideas like this that make art accessible to every child no matter what their economic background is.  I kept the leftover mixture in the mason jar over night with a little added water on top.  I made sure the top of the jar was tight.  I want to try making it in soap dispensers and keeping them in the fridge with colors ready to go.  I’ll let you know how that works out in the future.