Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Home made Graham Crackers

We've been trying to take out processed foods from our diet for awhile now but it very trying with young kids. It is so easy to reach for those bags of fun shaped fishy crackers or fruit snacks as you run out the door. But have you ever stopped and looked at the ingredients in those things. Most of them are unrecognizable.

My brother came for a visit last week and pointed out that the fruit snacks that I was giving my toddlers were closer to gasoline and plastic than something edible. I made the mistake of looking the ingredients up online to see what they real were, he was right.

Luckily, I have a vault full of kid friendly recipes that I have been collecting for years. most of them I have never gotten around to testing.

This recipe for homemade graham crackers has been on the top of the stack for months now. I love recipes like this because it is easy enough that my 2 and 4 year old can help with in the kitchen and I can teach it to my teens to lock away in their memory banks.

All you need is:
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1.2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup honey
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Mix all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Melt the butter in a 1 cup microwavable measuring cup, once melted add your honey and mix together well. Add your wet ingredients to your dry ingredients and combine completely.

Drop the dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet, one with sides is best rather than a flat one. Using a rolling pin, smooth glass, or even just the palms of your hands roll the dough out filling the pan evenly. It might feel really thin but don't worry, they do rise int he oven.

Bake for 9 to 12 minutes depending on how crispy you like them. My daughter prefers her chewy and soft while my son likes his super crispy so we usually have to make two batches.

Once your cookies are out of the oven cut them immediately and remove them from the pan onto a cooling rack.

Once cooled the cookies will crisp up a bit so don't over bake. Once dry these make awesome smores! Microwave a marshmallow for 20 seconds and sandwich it with a bit of chocolate for a super yummy and quick indoor treat.

***Want a little more pizazz? Add a little bit of vanilla extract to your wet ingredients before combining or mix a tsp of sugar and 1/2 tsp of cinnamon together to sprinkler on top of the dough right before it goes into the oven.

***Instead of a cookie sheet press down a small amount into the bottom of a cupcake pan and decrease you baking time to 5 to 8 minutes. These create perfect little circles which you can top with fresh fruit and homemade whipped cream or a dollop of ice cream.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Mountain Dew Jelly. Perfect for Father's Day

Looking for an AWESOME Father’s Day gift? Why not Mountain Dew Jelly? Yeah, you read that correctly. Slather his morning toast with Mountain Dew Jelly. This activity is a little too much for the little ones. In fact, my 14 year old and I made this together this morning for my husband’s birthday and we are slightly lucky we didn’t burn our kitchen down.

What you need:
3 ¼ Cups Mountain Dew
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
4 ½ Cups sugar
1 package Sure-Jell or Certo pectin
Lidded canning jars, 3 large or 6 small

***Have your ingredients measured out, you jars cleaned and ready, and read all directions on both this and your pectin package beforehand because things move rapidly***
Pour the Dew and lemon juice together in a large pot. A good size spaghetti pot will be best to make sure you don’t boil over.
Over medium high heat bring this mixture to a boil and boil for 3 minutes while actively stirring.
Let mixture cool slightly, just a few minutes.
At this point you want to follow the directions on your pectin package. The run down is that over medium high heat you will gradually mix the sugar into the Dew mixture while CONSTANTLY stirring. You want to make sure that they sugar is completely dissolved before moving on. You will need to boil your mixture for 1 minute before adding the pectin in. Again, follow the directions on your pectin package for best results.
When the mixture is complete quickly pour it into your already cleaned and ready to go jars and screw the lids on.
Let the closed jars sit on the counter overnight then store them in your fridge.
For those of you who are canning pros you can soak your lidded jars in your boiling water bath for 10 minutes and when done properly your jelly can last for a year in a cool dark cabinet.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Easy Air Dry Clay

What you need:
·         2 Cups Baking Soda
·         1 Cup Cornstarch
·         1 ½ cups water
·         Small pot
·         Wooden spoon
·         Rolling pin (optional)
·         Cookie cutters (optional)
·         Paint, crayons, glitter glue, other decorations

This recipe is super easy and so versatile! The final product air dries overnight so it can be used to make last minute gifts, Christmas ornaments, or doll house items. It is also great party activity. You can create shapes beforehand and have party goers decorate them or for a sleep over party, have the kids make their shapes when they arrive, dry them over night and decorate them before they leave the next day.

To make the dough combine the baking soda and cornstarch in the pot with no heat. Add the water and mix together. Turn the heat on medium and continually stir the mixture. You will notice after a few minutes that it will start to clump together and eventually will become a solid mass, the texture of play dough. At this point take it off the heat and let it sit for a few minutes until the mixture is cool enough to handle.

Remove from the pot and knead on a flat surface for about 5 minutes or until smooth. The mixture will feel slightly sticky but don’t worry, as it cools that stickiness goes away.

At this point, as long as the dough is cool to the touch, it is ready to be used. You can use it right away or put it in an air tight container to use later.

We like to use a rolling pin to flatten the dough and use cookie cutters to cut out shapes. My daughter makes gingerbread girls to use year round in her doll house. If making ornaments be sure to make holes in the tops to add hangers while the dough is still wet.

Let your creations sit out overnight to dry. We found that some of them cracked a bit here and there but felt it added to the handmade feel.

When dry use anything and everything to decorate. My littlest prefers crayons but we have tried temper paints, glitter glue, and even food coloring before. Use whatever you have around the house already.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Foamy Finger Paint

it in about a tablespoon of water before adding it to the foamy mixture. This added great color and didn’t leave a trace in the tub.
Foamy Finger Paint
What you need:
1 bar ivory soap
½ cup water, soap dye, or food coloring
Mixing bowl
Small dishes for separating colors

Grate the soap into the bowl and add the water. Whisk  until it is the texture of shaving cream, about 2 minutes. The longer you mix the smoother the final paint will be.

If you want to make more than one color you need to separate the soap into several dishes at this point.
Add a few drops of your choice of coloring agent to each container and mix well. For something a little different, mix the color only half way to give a marbling effect.

We set out sheets of freezer paper and let the kiddos go at it. When they had painted their little hearts out, clean-up was a cinch, we just had an early bath time. And the best part, they were already pre-soaped.

My teenagers had a great time with this project as well. They discovered that if they painted something then scraped the extra foam off the paper had a rainbowed marble effect which they could then paint something on top.

In addition, we need to give huge props to Ivory soap for really being able to get things clean. We found when color mixing that yellow and blue made green, pink and yellow made orange, but when you mixed all three together for long enough, it turned white again.

The first time we made this paint we wanted to use it as a bath tub paint but were hesitant about using food dye on the tub grout. Instead we took a Crayola tub tint and completely dissolved it in about a tablespoon of water then added it to the foam. This worked wonders.

If you manage to have any foam left over it stores wonderful in any airtight container. And on a final note, although it looks like yummy, sweet, and sugary cotton candy. My little ones tell me it doesn't taste so hot.

We set out sheets of freezer paper in the hallway and let the kids go at it. When the little ones are done painting
 is a cinch, just take the party to the tub, they’re already pre-soaped.
Grate the

Saturday, May 5, 2012


I am always in the market for new and fun ways to entertain my little ones, even better if they are mess free! I came across this little idea a few weeks back and am finally happy that we got to give it a try.   
Here is what you’ll need:

·         Popsicle tray
·         Finger or liquid tempera paint
·         Water
·         Stir sticks to mix with
·         A freeze
·         A whole lot of patience

This is simple as simple can be! Add about a tablespoon of paint to the bottom of each of your popsicle cavities. Use a different color in each one. Fill to the top with water and mix well.

Insert the handles of the popsicles and place in the freezer overnight. Our popsicle tray came with different colored handles so we matched the paint colors that we used to the color of the handle. This was especially important for our littlest one so he could see what color he was getting without having to take them all out.

When you’re ready to paint run warm water on the outside of the popsicle tray until each paintsicle pops out easily. The tray makes a handy spot to place them as well.

Right in the beginning we found the colors weren’t nearly as vibrant as we wanted but as they started warming up and melting the colors really started to pop.

This would be a great activity for a Crayola themed birthday party. Make several sets the night before, lay out large paper table clothes and let your little artists go at it.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Rainbow noodles

I am always interested in trying out new meals for the kids. With two toddlers and two teens it isn’t always easy to find something everyone will enjoy. The little ones eat just about anything, which is a blessing in its own, but the older two are rather picky when it comes to what goes in their tummies. For the most part the older ones don’t eat any veggies at all. Actually, the oldest only eats broccoli and the second oldest, well let’s just say he would rather drink a gallon of spoiled milk, upside down in the rain than have any sort of fruit or veggie cross his path.
Lately my favorite companion in the kitchen has been food coloring. A drop in the mashed potatoes or in the pancake mix can do wonders on whether or not I can get all four kids to eat.  The little ones don’t get bored and it makes dinner time exciting for everyone.
A few weeks ago I was scouring Pinterest and came across something so simple I couldn’t even fathom how I didn’t think of it first.
Rainbow noodles.
Not like spinach and tomato juice dyed noodles, literally rainbow noodles.
And it is so simple! All you have to do is add a few drops of food coloring to the water before it starts boiling. For a large pot I did 10 drops of blue in one pot and 10 drops of red in a separate pot. I would have had two more pots going as well but my mom was occupying them with her homemade mozzarella at the time.
While the noodles were boiling I tossed some frozen chicken tenders, lightly salted, into a 375 degree oven for about 30 minutes. They cooked up nice and golden making a great contrast against the colorful noodles. For the little ones and the adults I also added green peas, then everything was topped with my Mom’s mozzarella.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Piggy Noses

Looking for a last minute party favor for you Barn Yard themed party?
Perhaps just a fun rainy day activity to do with the little ones?
I don’t remember where I came across these for the first time but fell in love with them from the start.

Best of all you can make these little suckers with stuff that you have around the house. All you need is:
·         Empty toilet paper or paper towel rolls
·         Craft knife or scissors
·         2 inch pink circles
·         Strips of pink paper about 1.5 inches by 6 inches
·         Rubber bands
·         Ruler
·         Glue stick
·         Elastic tie or string

Cut mini tubes out of the toilet paper tubes by measuring down about 1.5 inches. I used a rubber band to mark off the distance and cut them using the craft knife.

Add a little glue to the rim of one end of a tube and center the 2 inch circle. Let these dry for a few seconds. I prefer to use a quick dry glue because my toddlers get very antsy when they know there are piggy noses in the making.

Cut little about 20 little snips evenly spaced around the edge of the pink circle making sure they touch the tube on the inside. Run a little bit of glue around right at the bottom of the tube and fold up the little tabs that you just made around the pink circle, pinching them down tightly to make sure they adhere well to the glue.

Attach your rubber bands around the freshly glued part and let dry. I use this time to draw the nostrils on the front of the pink circle. I like to use different colors so each kid knows which piggy nose is there’s.

Remove the rubber bands. Take the strips of paper and evenly cover the backside with a thin layer of glue. Starting at the bottom of the piggy nose (if you’ve already drawn your nostrils on you will be able to tell the bottom by which way the nostrils are facing otherwise it doesn’t really matter where you start) adhere the pink stripe to the nose making sure you line up the edge of the strip with the top of the tube. You will be covering the tabs that you glue down in the step before. Replace the rubber bands and let dry.
After the glue is completely dry poke two holes at the sides of the nose to attach your elastic. Make sure you measure around your future piggy’s head first because nothing is worse than an overly tight piggy nose.  Tie the elastic tightly to the nose in a loop, attach to your piggy, and sit back and enjoy your hard work in action.
You don’t have to constrict yourself to just piggy noses. These make all sorts of great noses just by using different colors. Try leaving the tubes longer to create zebra and horse noses. Draw on different shapes to create kitty, lion, and bunny noses. You can even add whiskers if you’re feeling really crafty.
Enjoy and don’t forget to KEEP LIFE SWEET!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Our doors are opened! Check out www.yourlittlecupcake.com for the latest and greatest as well as website exclusive products.

Did you know that Your Little Cupcake is branching out? That's right, we are opening our own website! www.yourlittlecupcake.com ! Don't worry, you can still find all of our great products in our Etsy shop as well. Stay tuned for more information and our grand opening date.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Did you know Independence Day is only 107 days away? Yeah, I know I've started a mighty countdown but it is one of my favorite holidays. Want to be entered to win a free set of Independence Day cupcake wrappers and toppers?
Go to my facebook page, Your Little Cupcake, and leave a comment on the post about this giveaway.
Leave a comment on the post and you will be automatically entered to win. Don't forget you need to be a fan of the page to comment.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Thank you and Happy Valentines's Day

Not too long ago I moved from Hawaii to Colorado. This was a big move, obviously, and has presented many hardships. We have been temporarily setting up shop in a great little community. This past week I was able to say "Thank You" in the best way I know how, with cupcakes. i made this cute little set up to put into the clubhouse area for everyone to enjoy. I am glad that we landed in here and can't say thank you enough for being so warmly welcomed to Colorado.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Scavenger hunt

Want to play a little scavenger hunt? I created 10 QR codes, each with a unique coupon code for my shop. I've hidden them both in the cyber world and the real world. They range from 5% to 40% off! Find the code and scan it with a QR code reader to find the code then shop your little heart out! 2 of the codes can be used by multiple shoppers but the rest will be able to be used only once so get hunting! Need a QR reader on your phone? try www.reader.kaywa.com.