Archive | kids & food

TEA party girl

tea party girlMy sweet Paige loves TEA parties. For about a year or so she has begged me to have one. So I finally put a small little afternoon party together. She invited three friends and I included their mommies {so we could have  some yummy food and a play date too}! Paige made the invites, favors for their little goody bags, place mats, decorations and even helped me come up with the menu. I had to let go of my perfect decor ideas and let her take part with her creative flair. Luckily it was a few days after Valentine’s day, so a theme presented itself easily and Paige loved gathering pretty things from around the house to make it all pretty. We decorated the night before and I made the food while she was at school. The girls came right after school in their party dresses and while Paige had come up with a few games, they were so excited to play in her room {when they weren’t eating} we never even got to games or crafts. Fun was had by all!

Here are a few more details. Hope it inspires you to throw a little TEA party for no particular reason! It sure was fun for us!

::The Menu::

Strawberry Smoothies

Nutella Sandwich’s {cut into hearts}

Cucumber & Cream Cheese Sandwich’s {cut into triangles}

Cheddar Bunny Snack Mix

Cherry Tomatoes

Cookies & Strawberries {thanks to a few girl scouts}

Tea & Hot Chocolate {I ended up only making hot chocolate}

::The Menu for the Mommies::

Strawberry Salad*

Parmesan Toasts {cut into hearts}

::The Favors::

hand-made Pictures, Bracelets & Candy for the Goody Bags {made by Paige}

Small Craft Kits {American Girl Doll accessory-making Kit purchased at Micheal’s}

small Lip-Gloss Rings {hung on each straw}

::The Decor::

black & white Chevron Straws, Bags & Table Runner {purchased online from the Plaid Barn & Pick your Plum}

valentine Decor {from around the house}

hand-made Placemats

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onion-roasted potatoes

Don’t you just love those onion soup packs that Lipton makes? My favorite recipe is to add them to sour cream for onion dip. But luckily the box comes with two packs…so my second favorite recipe is the onion-roasted potatoes! They are great at home or for camping {and the kids can help shake the bag} so go check out the recipe HERE or on the box! And feel free to toss in other veggies if you want to mix things up a bit!
 For camping we just stick them in foil and roast them over the fire {but be sure to check often and give yourself plenty of time so that they cook all the way through}! YUM!

making your own {SHIRLEY TEMPLE DRINK}

favortieTHINGS Friday
::The Gorman Sister’s Shirley Temple Drink::
What you need:
Gingerale Soda (I prefer Canada Dry)
Maraschino Cherries
Add ice to a small cup. Add a splash of Grenadine (less than one shot) and a few cherries. Pour chilled Gingerale over the top and stir. Sip to make sure the ratio seems right and add more soda if it is too sweet or more Grenadine if it is not sweet enough! Enjoy!
We simply LOVE to drink Shirley Temple drinks around here. They are sweet, non-alcoholic and pretty this time of year (any time really)!
When I was a little girl there were 3 little old ladies who lived down the street from us named Margaret, Helen and Genevieve Gorman.  They were sisters who had grown up in the same home their whole lives and never gotten married or moved away.  They were like sweet Grandma’s to us when we lived in Colorado and all of our relatives were so far away (mostly in California)! They played dress-up & beauty shop with us and taught us to do puzzles and play poker! They showed us how to do many practical things like sewing {we made our own mini aprons with them} along with gardening and baking! Occasionally they would host a movie night with “tickets” and popcorn…we would watch old slides from their trips to places like Hawaii. Their love of music introduced us to Elvis and Bing Crosby (on the record player of course) and we often played their piano or dance all over their beautiful home to whatever was playing! When they would host our family for dinner they were very traditional about it.  First we had “cocktail hour” and they truly made my parents cocktails while we sat around the “sitting room” and ate peanuts and snacks! During this magical little hour they would let my sister and I help in the small butler’s pantry off their tiny kitchen {a special honor for two little girls}. We got to mix the drinks, add olive picks {that they had collected during their travels} to cherries and serve the guests their cocktails of choice. For the kids they always made Shirley Temples drinks and this is the way they taught us to make them! Restaurants usually use Sprite or 7up (and they are just not the same)! Hope you try these out and love them as much as we do!
The Gorman Sisters are no longer with us and I miss them often!  I’m thankful for all their lessons…but mostly for the gift of abundant LOVE that they lavished upon me and my family! I hope you teach someone you love how to make the Gorman Sister’s Shirley Temple Drink this holiday season or for just about any special occasion!


Here are a few of my favorite Zucchini recipes before summerYUM officially ends…enjoy!

::Chocolate Zucchini Cake::
  • 1 medium zucchini or 2 small (grated)
  • 1 box of chocolate cake mix (I used gluten-free)
  • muffin cup liners if making cupcakes
1. Grate the zucchini and pat with a towel to get rid of some of the extra moisture.
2. Make cake according to the box directions (adjusting the water slightly so that it’s not too wet; I reduced the water by half) and fold in the zucchini.
3. Scoop the batter into the muffin cup liners (i used a mini muffin tin and a regular size) and bake according to the packaged directions. Enjoy!
*This ended up being a great snack to make with the kids. They filled the muffin cups, helped grate the zucchini and even helped scoop the batter into the mini muffin cups with a melon-baller. I also set out to get the kids into zucchini by helping. I told Paige that she would not be able to taste the zucchini in the chocolate but she was very skeptical.  When she finally tasted them she told me I was right and that she loved the cupcakes…mission accomplished!

::Zucchini Fritters::
  • 1 small zucchini (grated)
  • 1/2 cup flour (or almond meal*)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 green onion (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro (chopped, or parsley)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons oil
1. Mix the zucchini, flour (or almond meal), egg, green onions, cilantro, salt and pepper in a bowl.
2. Heat the oil in a pan.
3. Spoon zucchini mix into pan & cook until golden brown on both sides, about 4 min per side. Enjoy!
*I used the almond meal because I’m trying to explore gluten-free options in our diet. It came out great!

 ::Zucchini, Eggplant & Polenta Towers::
  • 1 medium zucchini (sliced)
  • 1 medium eggplant (sliced)
  • pre-cooked polenta (sliced)
  • marinara sauce of choice
  • salt & pepper
  • canola oil or EVOO
  • basil (optional)
  • parmesan cheese (optional)
1. Slice the zucchini, eggplant and polenta to the same thickness (about 1/4″) and saute in oil until all are cooked. Pat on a paper towel if desired.
2. Meanwhile heat marinara sauce on the stove and keep warm.
3. Layer the cooked zucchini, eggplant and polenta; stacking them one by one. Drizzle marinara over stack and garnish with cheese and basil if desired! Enjoy!
And finally, I wish I could take credit for this amazing Zucchini Bread Recipe, but it’s Paula Deans. There are no words to describe how great it tastes!  Check it out HERE!

roasted red pepper and basil dip

This is great for grown-ups or kids.
Make it fancy or make it simple…JUST MAKE IT!

For this recipe (as with many of my recipes) I do not have exact measurements.  I simply blended basil, roasted red peppers, silken tofu & toasted walnuts.

First I added a generous handful of basil and about a cup of silken tofu to the food processor (you could use sour cream or avocado instead of tofu if it’s not your thing but trust me you will not taste it).

In the meantime I toasted a handful (about 1/2 cup) of raw walnuts (heat at 400 for about 5 to 10 minutes or basically until you can smell them).
Add those babies to the mix!

Don’t forget salt and pepper AND the roasted red peppers (I used the kind from a jar but if you have time to roast them yourself or have leftovers…go for it)! Let the blending begin.  Stop every few rounds to taste and adjust the seasoning. My mouth is watering as I write this!
Garnish with basil if you so choose and enjoy with chips, pita, on sandwiches or as a veggie dip!

P.S. Isn’t this a great container? My mom found it and we have used it for everything from apples & peanut butter to veggies & ranch and pretzels & Nutella. Just thought I’d share! Not sure where this one is from but you can find a similar one HERE or make your own by sticking a small container in the middle of a larger one. Happy dipping!
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