Monday, February 28, 2011

Seuss-inspired Daisy Gear

You've read 'Green Eggs and Ham' and 'The Cat in the Hat', but can you name another even rarer than that?

We are certainly BIG fans of Dr. Seuss in this household,
but we share a special fondness for this little-known work written by Theodor Seuss Geisel: 
Daisy-Head Mayzie was written by Dr. Seuss in the 1960s, yet it was published posthumously. It was made into an animated special for Hanna Barbera cartoons back in 1995, and as I just discovered on Wikipedia, is being made into a Disney/Pixar film in 3D. Wow!

So, how would you like to be just like Mayzie and have your very own daisy sprouting up from your noggin?

It's simple! Gather a sheet of white poster board, some yellow cardstock, a green foam sheet, popsicle sticks, and white daisy-shaped die cuts. (I used a set of daisy paper coasters from the Martha Stewart collection.) Other necessary tools: scissors, scallop paper punch, packing tape, double sided tape, tacky glue, exacto knife, stapler.

1. Start by cutting bands from the narrow end of the poster board, close to 2" tall. This band should be wide enough to encircle the head of any child.

2. Use the scallop punch to cut two yellow card stock centers of the daisy, one for each side of the daisy. Use a thin strip of packing tape to attach the popsicle stick to the daisy base, then use double-sided tape to adhere the centers, with one center covering the top of the popsicle stick.

3. Cut a leaf shape for each daisy from the green foam. Use the exacto knife to cut a slit in the widest part of the leaf. Slide the leaf onto the popsicle.

4. Put a few drops of tacky glue at the base of the popsicle stick and press onto the poster board band. Reinforce with packing tape.

5. When all the daisy "stems" are attached to the bands, the bands can be sized and stapled around the heads of the children you are going to read Daisy-Head Mayzie to. Take a photo of their happy faces, then send it to me!

I hope you have an opportuny to pick up your favorite Dr. Seuss book and participate in Read Across America Day on March 2nd.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sugar Cookie S'mores

Shhhh...don't tell our dentist!
With temperatures in the 70s this weekend, we grilled dinner out, and then of course we needed to roast some marshmallows over the warm coals afterwards.  

Since there seemed to be some leftover Valentine sugar cookies in the kitchen (and let's face it, you know there is never a shortage of chocolate at my house), I figured what better way to use them up than to make Sugar Cookie S'mores? 
Beats a run of the mill graham cracker s'more any day. Well, at least any day that tops 70 in February!
Added bonus: Sloppy melted chocolate smooches, and a five-year-old who uses her marshmallow on a stick as a fairy wand. Introducing my little Marshmallow Fairy. The sugar intake nearly did make her airborne. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Cupid's Peppermint Truffles

Do calories count on Valentine's Day? I sure hope not, because these little beauties are WHOPPERS!

I hosted a children's cookie decorating party at my house last Friday and I wanted to make some special treats for the moms coming as well. I had never made Oreo truffles myself before, but I have savored *a few* at a friend's home.

I came upon a recipe for WHITE CHOCOLATE OREO TRUFFLES on and tweaked it a little. So here goes:
1 pkg. Oreos (or Newman's O's)
1 8 oz. block of cream cheese (Neufchatel or full fat, your choice)
1 12 oz. bag of white chocolate chips
1 Tbsp. canola oil
Wax paper
Sprinkles and toothpick "arrows" are optional.
Start by crushing the Oreos inside of the package. I did this just by using my hands, but you could use a rolling pin or other blunt instrument to help you get the job done if necessary. Next, blend them into the room temperature cream cheese by hand with a spatula. It will look very mushy, but don't worry.

Roll this mixture into 1 inch balls and place on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. All of the handling can make the mixture become warm and difficult to keep its shape, so you may want to chill the mixture in its bowl to make it easier to form into balls. I was able to produce 34 truffle balls.

Place the cookie sheet in the refrigerator for at least a half hour before you begin to chocolate coat them.

When your truffle balls have chilled long enough, get your white chocolate coating ready. Place the 12 oz bag of white chocolate chips in a microwave proof bowl or pyrex measuring cup with the tablespoon of canola oil. Melt in the microwave in 30 second intervals until completely smooth.

Skewer each truffle ball with a frill-top tooth pick (I bought mine at Publix) and dip each one in the melted chocolate, spinning slowly to allow the excess chocolate to drip off.

Finally, sprinkle each truffle ball with a few Valentine hearts (mine came as a topping with a tub of Pillsbury frosting) before the chocolate hardens.

Serve on a fancy plate, and use a paper doily if you have one!

Any math geeks out there (like me) who are wondering about the full calorie count?
Full package of Oreos: 2100 cals
Full block of cream cheese: 560 cals
Full bag of white chocolate chips: 1680 cals
Full tablespoon canola oil: 120 cals
Total calorie count =  4460 calories
Yield: 34 White Chocolate Oreo Truffles,
making each truffle 131 calories each. Not really too bad...if you can manage to cosume only one!

Happy Valentine's Day, and I hope you enjoy somthing a little sweet with someone you love!