Monthly Archives: September 2009

Marshmallow Art with Grandchildren

It never ceases to amaze me at how creative people are!  Marshmallow art flowers and marshmallow Halloween ghosts!  Who would have thought.

These projects require gourmet writer pens.  A set of 10 two-sided pens costs $15.  Or, you can get them in sets of two colors for $4.59.

Having these pens could be great fun.  Just think of the things you can draw on:  crunchy homemade sugar cookies, shortbread cookies, animal crackers, crackers in general, peanuts, jelly beans, hot dog and hamburger buns, sandwiches, hard boiled eggs.

Get a set, grab a grandchild, draw a Monet on a marshmallow, and let it melt in your mouth . . .

Making Leaf Prints

Today was such a beautiful fall day!  I love the color of the leaves — the oranges, the reds, the yellows.  So, when I saw the directions on making a leaf-print napkin, I thought that I would share them here because this could be a fun activity to do with your grandchildren.

For this activity, you are supposed to sew your own napkins.  If you are not ‘into’ sewing, buy your napkins instead.  Even better, make leaf prints on plain white paper napkins.  They are lots cheaper and, if little grandchildren are helping you, mistakes wouldn’t be a big deal.

The directions call for a brayer.  I’ve never heard of that tool before (which isn’t saying much since I’m not very crafty).  If you don’t have one, I bet you could simply use a rolling pin.  You might want to put some waxed paper over your leaves so that you don’t get paint on your rolling pin.  (Your Thanksgiving pies will thank you.)

Ideas From Grandma Denise

The grocery store is to the working woman what the water cooler is to the business office.

This morning as I grocery shopped, I ran into a friend that I hadn’t seen in a long time and hadn’t talked to in forever.  We talked. And talked.  My frozen whipped topping thawed.  My raw pink pot roast browned with age. We talked.  It felt good.  When we bid each other good-bye, it seemed as if we had only spent mere moments in conversation.

Part of our conversation dealt with grandchildren.  (Does a conversation ever go by that a grandmother doesn’t somehow bring up her wonderful grandchildren?)

Denise mentioned two things that she did to connect to her grandchildren who lived out of state.  She said that she bought lots of yellow envelopes.  Bright lemon yellow ones.  She uses them when she sends letters or cards to her grandchildren.  That way, her grandchildren can easily see when they have mail and they know immediately that it is from Grandma Denise.  I really liked that idea.  And not just because my favorite color is yellow.

Denise also said that she uses perfume to help make a connection with her grandchildren.  She wears the same kind when they visit so they connect that smell with her.  Then, when she sends a birthday box, she makes sure the scent of her perfume is in the box.  She didn’t say exactly what she did.  Maybe she adds a spritz to the inside of the box or to the wrapping paper. (You could do the same thing with the yellow envelopes so their cards and letters would smell lovely, too.)

I think that is an absolutely great idea!!  And it is such an easy thing to do.  Everyone knows that smells trigger recollections of experiences — and what a wonderful thing it is to have a (good) smell remind a grandchild of a loving grandmother!

Hungry Caterpiller Cupcakes Party Train

Ever eaten a caterpillar before? Me neither. But if it is as cute as this one and as yummy, sign me up.

Coco Cake Cupcakes has developed this cute idea.  While the site doesn’t provide a recipe for the fondant for the legs, antenna, and the eyes, I think I could find a recipe online.  (Isn’t that what Google is all about?  Finding stuff??)  Or, I think I could even use candy like licorice for those body parts.

You might want to take some time to scroll through the Coco Cake Cupcake site to see some of their fun ideas.  Coco Cake Cupcakes is a catering business in Vancouver, Canada, that specializes in cup cakes.  How fun! has a tempting Hot Cocoa Cupcake with Cream Cheese Frosting recipe. Sounds divine.  And you have just GOT to take a look at CakeSpy’s one year anniversay celebration.  I’ve never seen such cute pigs.  And their Blonde Blondies. . .

Well!  You’d think that I’m hungry or something.  Which I’m not.  Really.  Not even.  Well.  Maybe I just have the munchies for something sweet.  Maybe.

You know, you might want to spend an afternoon or evening in the kitchen with a grandchild baking cupcakes and decorating them.  And of course eating them afterward.   This is an activity that grandchildren of all ages can enjoy doing with grandma.  A fun way for grandchildren to express their culinary creativity.

You could even do a ‘make it and take it’ activity where you make and decorate the cupcakes and then select someone to take your creation to.  Just make sure you have enough that you can eat — and to send home with your grandchild!

Bon appétit!

Reach for the Sky with Your Grandchildren

My family jokes that I am the Jell-O queen because I seem to make so many Jell-O dishes.  In self-defense I say to that, “So?  And your problem is?”

My favorite Jell-O mold is of a brain. It looks so real. But somehow when I made the accompanying recipe, it wasn’t too tasty. Can’t imagine why.

I do not view Jell-O as being anything important to a person’s nutritional intake.  Except for the sugar. You definitely get several days worth of sugar intake when you make a recipe using Jell-O.  (Our family particularly likes Cookie Salad.  How can something containing cookies be considered a salad, you ask?  I don’t know.  I didn’t name the recipe.  I just make it.  Lots.)

I DO view Jell-O as a whimsical play-thing for who can be serious when making something out of Jell-O?  Especially Sky Jell-O.

I discovered Sky Jell-O on the Huber Hof Academy blog.  Here is a link to the directions on how to make it.  (Warning:  if you view this site in Firefox on a Mac, the pictures won’t show.)  I haven’t made it (yet) but it sure looks easy to do.  And fun!

So, before the turquoise blue skies of summer turn into the gray days of winter, invite your grandchildren over to make and enjoy Sky Jell-O.  Yum!