How to dye eggs without staining your hands!

For the past few years I have learned many things through trial and error.  Dying eggs is so much fun, yet it is so hard to get the dye off of everyone’s hands right?

I purchased small disposable gloves in the supermarket, and the kids love wearing them, pretending they are scientists seeing what colors the eggs will turn!

Also laying newspaper, and taping it down to the table helps with a quick clean up too, which is key.

Enjoy!

Danielle

Cutest Easter/Spring centerpiece for kids to make!

On the “Today Show” on Ch 4 New York this morning, they featured adorable things for kids to make for Easter/Spring.  I am taking one idea to a different level.

You will need 1 terracotta flower-pot preferably (or a plastic pot),  pack of wooden skewers, edible grass in green, or cellophane grass in green, 2-3 bags of jelly beans (depending on the size pot you get), Peep bunnies & chicks in orange, pink, blue, green, yellow, (or just the colors your kids like), 1 piece of decorative ribbon & 2 pieces of tape.

Easter/Spring Flower Pot Centerpieces:

1.) Tape the hole on the bottom of the flower-pot, then have the children fill the pot with jellybeans.

2.) Next have the kids gently push the pointy side of the skewer through the body of the bunnies & chicks.

3.) As they finish each one, have them stick them in the pot.

4.) For the finishing touch, have the children add the edible grass.

5.) Tie the ribbon at the middle of the pot, and what an adorable centerpiece for the kids table, or a dessert table.

Enjoy!

Danielle

Cool blocks for babies & kids, that talk!

I was on a website looking for a gift and saw these blocks called, “Smarcks Smart Blocks”.  They are for ages 1+ and have ABC, Shape & Counting box, Nursery Rhyme Blocks, Music and Dancing Lights blocks, Math Blocks, as well as a variety of colored sets.

Go to www.talkingbuildingblocks.com/products, or Google Smarcks Smart Blocks.

FYI they won the Dr. Toy Award, and watch the clip on their website, for they are really cool for babies & kids!

Enjoy!

Danielle

What to make on Valentine’s Day, hmmm…

With only a few days away I have a few fun ideas for all to enjoy…

(Willams Sonoma and Micheal’s Craft Store have a heart cut out set that has at least six different size hearts in the container to use for recipes listed below.)

Breakfast:

For those on the go:

1.) Bagels with strawberry cream cheese (store-bought strawberry Philadelphia cream cheese) or homemade (take a tub of cream cheese with 6 fresh strawberries and mix in either a blender, or Cuisinart.  To make it sweeter add 1 tablespoon of Agave nectar.)

2.) Waffles (either homemade or frozen minis) with strawberry or raspberry syrup. (Prepare the waffles then slice a few strawberries, or raspberries or both, and place them in a pan with maple syrup on medium heat until it bubbles.  Remove from the heat and check the temperature until it is warm, then serve over waffles.

3.) Heart shaped eggs made using Egg heart rings (See Williams Sonoma’s website, or go their store). Serve with turkey, or regular bacon and toast.

4.) Strawberry or Vanilla yogurt with sliced strawberries on top (about 3 per person).

Leisure breakfast:

1.) Heart shaped pancakes with regular or strawberry/raspberry syrup (see above recipe) Follow the directions from the mix, and add my secret ingredient is the zest of 1 orange, to add when you are mixing all of the ingredients together.  It gives such an amazing flavor which everyone loves!  Next, ladle the mix like you are making a V which turns out to look like a heart-shaped pancake!

2.) Heart fruit salad: seedless water melon, cantaloupe or honeydew (or both), strawberries, and the juice of one orange.  With a small heart cookie cutter slice all melon in rounds, then cut out heart shapes and add to a mixing bowl.  (If you do not have one then you could cut out hearts freehand.)  Next, cut a V on top of the stem to remove (which makes a heart) then make slices and add to the melon mixture. Then cut an orange in half and squeeze the orange over your hand so that any pits wont make it into the fruit salad.

3.) Omelette with red pepper & zucchini hearts:  Using a small cookie cutter (the size of a Silver Dollar) cut out small hearts from 1 red pepper and 1 large zucchini.  Whisk 6 eggs in a bowl and add salt/pepper and set aside.  Take 1 teaspoon on Canola or Olive Oil and heat in a frying pan on medium heat, and lightly cook peppers and zucchini until semi soft for about 5 minutes.  Next add eggs into the pan and cook to your liking.  Serve hot with toast, and put out butter, strawberry or raspberry jelly.

4.) (Adults only beverage) Mimosa garnished with strawberries: Pour orange juice in a champagne flute halfway.  Next fill the flute to the top with champagne and garnish with a sliced strawberry.

Lunch For Kids:

1.) Sandwich’s cut out with cookie cutters: Make your child his/her favorite sandwich and cut them out with a large cookie cutter.  If not cut out a heart by hand after the sandwich is prepared.  Add, “Terra” brand, “Beet Chips” as a surprise, they are delicious!

Lunch For Adults:

1.) Panini with fresh mozzarella & roasted peppers 2.) Panini with fresh tomatoes, basil and fresh mozzarella 3.) Panini with imported prosciutto, mozzarella and fresh basil:  Purchase good brick oven bread and slice in half.  Add the combination of your choice and put aside.  Heat either a Panini maker (spay with cooking spray) or heat a large frying pan and add 1 tsp of Olive Oil.  Add sandwich and cook according to the Panini grill light indicator, or if using a frying pan press a spatula really hard, and check until golden brown, then flip and do the same.  Cut in half and serve with the beet chips, or a small salad.

Dinner: For Kids

1.) Penne or ravioli with red sauce (Pastosa ravioli in Staten Island (they have 3 locations) sells heart-shaped ravioli which are delicious, or contact a local pasta shop in your area.

2.) Chicken cutlets cut out into a large heart.  Prepare the chicken as you would then cut it into a large heart.

3.) Pizza (Some pizzerias make a heart-shaped pizza just for Valentine’s Day, call you local pizzeria to check it out!

Kids drinks: 1.) Seltzer with cranberry juice frozen hearts (Go to www.kitchencrafts.com for heart ice-cube tray) 2.) Pink lemonade (Newman’s Own, great tasting!), 3.) Water with sliced strawberries

Dinner: For Adults Check out, www.Epicurious.com for recipes listed below.  A good friend of mine turned me onto this amazing website that rates recipes on levels, and gives you a variety of one recipe.

1.) Penne arrabiatta

2.)  Store bought Lobster ravioli with Vodka sauce

3.) Fillet mignon with truffled mashed potatoes, or truffled mac and cheese, accompanied by string beans almondine

4.) Shrimp oreganata over linguine

5.) Chicken Marsala with either rice or roasted potatoes, accompanied by string beans almondine

6.) Glazed Pork tenderloin

7.) Lobster bisque

8.) Paella

9.) Chicken Parmesan and serve over linguine

10.) Eggplant Parmesan and serve over pasta

11.) Salad with balsamic vinaigrette

12.) Sushi is fun from your local Japanese restaurants too:)

*Epicurious is so easy to use, and is affiliated with Bon Appetit Magazine, love it!  For example, you could type in for example chicken and if will list every possible recipe. Or type in the ingredients you have at home and it will list all of the recipes! Amazing right?

Desserts ideas: Chocolate souffle’, chocolate lava cakes, chocolate covered strawberries, chocolate fondue with sled fruit and pound cake, red velvet cupcakes, heart-shaped linzer tarts,  vanilla ice cream with melted Nutella, strawberry ice-cream with sliced strawberries, raspberry or strawberry sorbet with chocolate sauce, or fruit salad (see above in the breakfast idea section).

There are also so many beautiful store-bought desserts from local bakeries, or chocolate shops, as well as store bought items, which all will love, so don’t stress!

Enjoy!

Danielle