Sous Chef Sunday: BOO-NANAS

These sweet little treats are too cute to be truly spooky, but they sure are fun. They’re also perfect for little hands, both to make and to enjoy.

BOO-nanas

And what’s not to enjoy? White chocolate covered bananas? Move over chocolate covered strawberries. Chocolate covered bananas rolled in shredded coconut? Yes, please. A delightfully adorable spooky snack (or dessert) served on a stick (because everything’s better served on a stick, am I right?), hand them over.

Boo-nanas 3

And then there’s the fact that they’re a much healthier alternative to candy or other sugary, although festive, option for your little ghosts or goblins.

BOO-nanas 

BOO-nanas 2

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BOO-nanas

These bananas on a stick are covered in smooth white chocolate and then rolled in sweet coconut flakes for a festive treat that will appeal to both kids & adults alike.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 4 bananas peeled and cut in half
  • 8-12 oz white chocolate
  • 1 cup shredded coconut flakes sweetened or unsweetened
  • mini chocolate chips
  • popsicle sticks or wooden skewers

Instructions

  • Melt the chocolate using a double boiler, stirring frequently until melted and smooth.
  • Gently insert the sticks or skewers into the center of the banana through the cut end. Carefully dip the bananas into the melted chocolate, turning to evenly coat before removing from the chocolate.
  • Quickly transfer the coated fruit to a plate of shredded coconut, again turning to coat. Place the banana onto a sheet of wax paper. Place two chocolate chips onto the fruit, and gently press them into the coated fruit for eyes.
  • Repeat the steps, as needed, until all the bananas are done. Leave them resting on the wax paper until the chocolate coating has hardened.

Sous Chef Sunday: Monster Tongues (Marshmallow Pinwheels)

These may look gross, especially when you consider they’re called ‘tongues’, but they taste great and the kids (especially little boys- hey snails and puppy dog tails, right?) get a huge kick out of them. They’re perfect for a spooky Halloween treat, or even as a crafty snack to accompany one of our boys favorite children’s stories, I Need My Monster. Also, a great read when you’re gearing up for Halloween with its perfect mixture of scare and flair.

Monster Tongues

But, back to our tongue in cheek treat, perfect for any little monsters you may know. I haven’t met a kid yet who didn’t love these fun treats, even the ones who squealed with equal parts disgust and delight.

And they’re e a s y, a mixture of marshmallows melted and stirred into flavored gelatin, and then is chilled in a pan before being rolled up and sliced into wiggly, giggly little pinwheels, err tongues.

Monster Tongues (Marshmallow Pinwheels)

Monster Tongues 2

1, 3 oz, package flavored jello gelatin (NOT pudding), any flavor
1/2 cup warm water
1-1/2 cups miniature marshmallows

Directions

  1. Whisk the gelatin mix and warm water together in medium microwaveable bowl. Microwave on high for about 1-1/2 minutes, then whisk again until the gelatin is completely dissolved into the water.
    2. Stir in the marshmallows. Microwave everything on high again for another minute, or until the  marshmallows are partially melted. Remove the bowl from the microwave and whisk again, this time until the marshmallows are completely melted and stirred into the gelatin mixture. Pour the gelatin mix into an 8-inch square pan sprayed with cooking spray.
    3. Refrigerate for about 45 minutes, or until set. Run a sharp knife around edges of pan to loosen the gelatin from the pan. Starting at 1 edge, roll up the layered gelatin tightly, like a jelly roll. Cut the roll into 1/2-inch slices. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve.

recipe adapted from Kraft

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Birthday Party

The youngest son turned 6 a few weeks ago. And gone are the days of Mommy’s-pic, cute, cuddly party themes. We’ve finally graduated into picking our own, from last year’s Minecraft Party to this year’s choice of The TMNT.

Ninja Turtle Party 8Ninja Turtle Party 10

Cowabunga Dudes (and Dude-ettes) !

Let’s take a look at our totally radical Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Birthday Party theme.

First, the cornerstone of any good party: The Cake.

Ninja Turtle Party

We opted for an actual turtle to grace our cake, and the sons favorite it had to be. I thought our little Mikey (Michelangelo) turned out pretty well.

Ninja Turtle Party 3

I frosted it completely with green, left it in the freezer for a couple of hours, then used a toothpick to lightly draw the outlines of the face into the frosting. I recommend starting with the nose line. If you get that right, everything else is *ahem* a piece of cake. Then we piped in frosting of various colors to fill in the lines, and used a spatula to gently smooth them out. We finished it off by piping a line of orange rosettes around the bottom edge.

Ninja Turtle Party 4

The Turtles, Mikey especially, have a thing for pizza– so naturally we had to have some at the party. We picked up a few pizzas from Little Caesar’s for ‘eats’ and had pizza, and more pizza for dessert with these cute cookies. They’re sugar cookies I frosted red. The ‘cheese’ is finely grated white chocolate, with red M & M ‘pepperonis’. SOn # 2 works at a local pizzeria and snagged me a few pizza boxes for presentation, but I’m sure most local Mom & Pop joints wouldn’t mind giving you one or two upon request.

Ninja Party 5

We had Oreo cookie ‘Sewer Lids’ to munch on too. And in a nod to our anthropomorphic friends radio-active origins, we had some Toxic ‘Ooze’ to wash it all down with.

Ninja Turtle Party 6

We tend to keep the deocrations simple, using things we already have on hand. In this case? Nunchucks on the table (another nod to our beloved Mike) and talking turtle figurines. We used plastic bowls that happened to coordinate and red solo cups for untensil holders. I did splurge on coordinating plates and napkins ( each about $1 at Walmart) and a table cloth to keep clean up easy.

Ninja Turtle Party 7

Another thing we don’t do? Goody bags. You get cake and ice cream. Copious amounts of sugar are my gift/ thank you to you. On the other hand, we all know how much I love a good diy, or any kind of imaginitive play the keeps them away from outlets and batteries. When I saw an idea to make your own wearable turtle shells? Every kid was gonna get one! And they were adorable 🙂 I’ll have a how-to up next week so you can out fit your own Ninja Turtles in proper DIY-couture.

Ninja Turtle Party 9

And here’s my gorgeous sister so kindly modeling a shell for the birthday boy, and also using some of the photo props from a kit we found on clearance (again at Walmart) in the party planning section.

Simple. Straightforward. And the birthday boy and his friends thought it was all totally gnarly. Even the one boy who looked at my like I’d grown two heads when I asked him to eat over a plate as he was on his third bite of pizz-ookie, sprinkling my carpet with ‘cheese’.

Macaroni & Cheese Egg Rolls With Ham or Bacon

If you think egg rolls are only to be found on Chinese take-out menus, or in the Asian section of the frozen food aisle, it’s time to think again.

If you’re an egg roll purist who firmly believes this American-iced version of the traditional spring roll should only be hiding a blend of pork, cabbage, maybe a few other veggies, and a bevy of seasoning that’s cool, we have the perfect easy egg roll recipe for you.

cut open fried mac and cheese egg rolls showing a cheesy pasta center studded with ham on a brown cutting board

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S’mores Dip

S’mores Dip, you wouldn’t think it’d be a big deal- but it really is. This recipe combines all things chocolatey, creamy marshmallow, and makes them dippable. With a side of graham crackers for scooping, or even a bit of fruit, you can’t beat this recipe for an appetizer or a dessert.

S'mores Dip

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Gummy Bear Popsicles

Anybody who has little ones knows there’s something mesmerizing about any candy or treat that’s ‘gummy’. In this case, gummy bears. What little guy or gal, or big, or even the young at heart, wouldn’t love a special Popsicle made just for them with gummy bears hidden inside?

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These sweet treats are ice cold with a sweet, sticky surprise inside. They’re perfect pool side or as post-meal treat on any hot day. Whip em out at your next bbq, and you’ll instantly rise in ranks to the ‘hostess with the mostest’. Even better? They’re healthier than baked goods and they’re ice. cold.

Gummy Bear Popsicles

Are you sitting there thinking, damn those look refreshing, and fun, but I can’t make those because I’ve already broken through (at last estimate) 284 cheap Popsicle molds, and refuse to invest in another ( because let’s face it, even at a dollar a pop from the $ store, it adds up )? Well if you are, then you probably haven’t heard of Zoku’s Popsicle molds.

Gummy Bear Popsicles 2

These little things are awesome. The green part is just a base, and everything is designed for easy removal. Designed for easy cleaning and use, this classic mold design features 6 removable molds and 6 sticks with drip guards. When your pops are ready, you simply lift the individual molds from the base by pulling on the pop stick and run the mold under under warm water for just a few seconds to release the Popsicle within. It’s fool-proof.

Gummy Bear Popsicles

Popsicle mold
Popsicle sticks
Gummy Bears
Sprite

Directions

1. Fill molds about 3/4 of the way full.
2. Drop in gummy bears.
3. Place popsicle stick into mold.
4. Freeze until frozen all the way through.

Homemade Fruit Roll Ups, with 3 Ingredients or LESS

Who doesn’t remember eating fruit by the foot as a kid?? They were a snack time favorite. Along with all the wacky, wonky little things you could do with them. You couldn’t tell us not to play with our food. Well, at least not our fruit by the foot. Fast forward twenty years, and now I’m in total Mom mode trying to foist heaping helpings of real fruit on my kids on the daily. But guess what? Now my kids want fruit roll ups for snack. I mean I get it, it’s a lot harder to ‘play’ with mom-approved fruit, other than the infamous banana- turned imaginary gun. Fruit roll ups are fun, sure, but they’re not everyday snack food. They’re just not. Or are they? Look out y’all, it’s a snack time stick up!! Hands up in the air and eyes open for this revolutionary idea. HOMEMADE fruit roll ups! Using as little as ONE ingredient. FRUIT! Fruit that You, Mom, will have a blast saying yes too. It only took me 20 years  to find my way onto this train. Better late than never, right? 🙂

I still can’t believe I never knew how easy these were to make! Now, I just can’t stop. The flavor combinations are endless. You can add in a bit of sugar for flavoring, a bit of lemon juice for color retention or keep it simple with just plain, old fruit.

 Homemade Fruit Roll Ups

We went with two of our favorite flavor combos for these, peach mango and an antioxidant mixed berry blend that included cherries, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and pomegranate arils. The hubs liked them so much, he’s even begun putting in requests. Specifically for apple. And the sons involved in sports? We’ve got banana roll ups waiting on them that are fun and full of potassium!

Homemade Fruit Roll Ups 3

Baking these is a teensy bit of a guessing game. They should be done dehydrating in 3-4 hours, but you’ll want to keep an eye on them regardless. They’re done when they no longer feel sticky, just a bit tacky. I had to feel it a few different times, at a few different stages, but by feel it’s pretty easy to judge. Also, watch out for over baking! Otherwise you’ll have a crispy fruit ‘chip’ on your hands.

Homemade Fruit Rollups, with 3 Ingredients or LESS

Homemade Fruit Roll Ups 2

If you’ve tried this HOMEMADE FRUIT ROLL UPS recipe, or any other recipe on the site, let me know in the comment section how it turned out, we love hearing from our readers! You can also follow along with me on PINTERESTFACEBOOK, and INSTAGRAM to see more amazing recipes and whatever else we’ve got going on!

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Three Ingredient Homemade Fruit Roll Ups

Fruit rolls ups made from scratch are a snack kids & parents can both agree on! Nothing processed, and made from fresh fruits of your choosing- this recipe is simple but so good.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time3 hrs
Total Time3 hrs 30 mins
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8
Calories: 46kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of fruit fresh or frozen, but thawed if frozen
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2-3 tbsp sugar or honey optional

Instructions

  • Place the prepared fruit (i.e. bananas, peeled and sliced, strawberries, washed and hulled, etc) in a blender or food processor and puree until the fruit mixture is smooth without an chunks remaining. Transfer the puree to a saucepan and stir in the lemon juice and sugar. Cook the fruit puree over medium to medium high heat for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking or burning, until the mixture has thickened and the excess moisture cooked out. You’re looking for a jammy consistency.
  • Preheat the oven to 170 degrees, or as low as your oven will go, making sure it’s less than 200 degrees at the highest. Our oven goes from the ‘warm’ setting to 200, and we found setting it in between those two worked out perfectly.
  • Spread the puree/jam into a rectangle shape on a baking pan lined with a silpat or with a sheet of parchment paper. Use a spatula to gently help ‘spread’ the fruit puree as evenly as possible, until the rectangle-ish shape is about 1/8 inch thick. Also, as it cooks/dehydrates bear in mind that it will get even thinner, so just try to make sure that none of the jam is so thin that you can see through it as you spread. If using lighter fruits, like peach and mango ours was still see through in a few spots so we tried more to eye ball the thickness and tried to stick close to the 1/8″ mark.
  • Cook in the oven for 3-4 hours, until the fruit mixture no longer feels sticky, but just a bit tacky. Remove from the oven and let it cool completely. Gently remove the cooked, and now completely cooled, sheet of fruit by peeling it away from the silpat or paper and transfer it to a wax paper lined cutting board. Use a sharp, metal pizza cutter to cut it into long strips. Roll them up into the fruit roll ups, and enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 46kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 3mg | Potassium: 53mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 179IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 1mg

recipe adapted from 15 Spatulas