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wednesday links: fun food and craft finds AND the National Zoo

clockwise: nothing swimming in the tank today, riding the carousel, at the small mammal house

clockwise: nothing swimming in the tank today, riding the carousel, at the small mammal house

This week, on a day not sweltering and in the afternoon when the camp crowds were leaving (though summer still brings in lots of crowds), we headed to the National Zoo. We’re lucky to live a short drive from the zoo, and with free admission (and with our membership, free parking), we go there so often we don’t even need to face the trek from the top of the hill to the bottom to see every animal. We can pick and choose the spots we like to hit. The pandas are the biggest draw, of course, but my kids hit the opposite end of the zoo. The petting farm, the sea animals, the elephant walk, the year-old carousel, that wading fountain thing that is impossible to get them out of (note my younger has two outfits in one day)…  If you come to DC, please go to the zoo. And bring spare outfits for the kids.

 

Here are your links:

The perfect fruit for this: Spider-Man strawberries.

I’m ten years past my wedding, but I’d love these Dino wedding cake toppers. If I was into dinosaurs.

I want to make a pom pom table runner.

Anyone can make wood slice coasters.

A great roundup of 10 no-bake desserts.

Make granola bar poppers in an ice cube tray.

Portion control? Here’s a recipe for just two chocolate chip cookies.

Recently, I went to Republic in Takoma Park, MD. They had peach gazpacho on the menu. Now I want to try and make it.

Feel free to share (nicely)! While my blog's photographs and text are protected by copyright, I do allow (and encourage) you to share ONE photograph with credit to "the decorated cookie" and link to this blog post. PLEASE don't reprint any part of the blog post and PLEASE don't post a photo without credit. Thank you!

early finger foods for baby at Cheerios

early baby feeding

As many of you know, I have two (miracle of science) daughters. The whole feeding thing has been a huge struggle, and not just because my job surrounds me with sugary foods babies can’t eat. My first is the universe’s most picky eater. Seriously. Think you know a picky eater? Let her be the challenge. I don’t understand picky, since I ate anything you put in front of me as a kid. My second daughter is more like me. She’ll try anything. Only she’ll eat two bites then run off and destroy something. All this talk is to share with you my post over at Cheerios, which, incidentally, both my kids eat indiscriminately. I collected 9 pairs of early finger foods that help babies with new flavors and flavor combinations.

For the full post of early finger food pairings, click HERE to go to Cheerios.

babyfood_collage

Feel free to share (nicely)! While my blog's photographs and text are protected by copyright, I do allow (and encourage) you to share ONE photograph with credit to "the decorated cookie" and link to this blog post. PLEASE don't reprint any part of the blog post and PLEASE don't post a photo without credit. Thank you!

drunken rainbow marshmallow pops (as in, vodka-dipped)

vodka marshmallow pops

OK, super cool party people and anyone in the DC area who may come to my house for a happy hour in the near future, I have something I think you’ll like. Vodka dipped rainbow marshmallow pops. It’s a colorful cocktail and dessert in one, and on a stick no less. And sparkly. And rainbow. Perfect for a grown-up My Little Pony party.

vodka marshmallow pops

I did fancy myself brilliant when the bizarre train of thought in my head stopped at these. Though truthfully, I don’t know what happens to the alcohol in vodka when it dries. So I got to test them out in the middle of the day to make sure they still tasted alcohol-y after a few hours. They do. I even tried them the next morning. (Vodka for breakfast!) They still work. I don’t know how many you’d have to consume to make a dent in your sobriety though.

But I still call them “drunken.”

vodka marshmallow pops

 

Or maybe this is what “drunken” rainbow marshmallow pops look like:

vodka marshmallow pops

 

I used the same method of creating sparkle marshmallow pops I’ve used for years, starting HERE. Then HERE. Then HERE (with video!). And don’t forget those rainbow marshmallow kebobs. Only this time I replaced the water with vodka. So easy and drunk-like. And if you have kids around, you can of course make some the old-fashioned way, with water instead of vodka. But they look exactly alike, so pleeeeeease label them well so I don’t have angry parents writing me angry emails.

Next time, I’m trying these with gin.

vodka marshmallow pops

 

how to make drunken rainbow marshmallow pops

 

you will need:*

vodka
8-ounce mason jar
marshmallows
lollipop sticks
sprinkles
Styrofoam block

 

*Find the Styrofoam block, lollipop sticks and sprinkles in every color at the craft store.

Pour vodka in a cup. I used a small, 8-ounce mason jar as that minimized vodka waste because it’s so narrow. You need only pour in about 2-ounces. Skewer a marshmallow with a lollipop stick. Submerge the marshmallow in the vodka, remove and tap the stick on the edge of the jar to shake any excess vodka from the marshmallow. Hold the marshmallow over an empty bowl. Shake sprinkles over the wet marshmallow to generously coat the marshmallow.

vodka marshmallow pops

Prop the marshmallow in the Styrofoam block to dry. Repeat with any desired colors.

vodka marshmallow pops

 

SUPPLIES:

Feel free to share (nicely)! While my blog's photographs and text are protected by copyright, I do allow (and encourage) you to share ONE photograph with credit to "the decorated cookie" and link to this blog post. PLEASE don't reprint any part of the blog post and PLEASE don't post a photo without credit. Thank you!

The Mystery of the Monkey and Banana Decorated Cookies

monkey banana cookies

So I was going through my (completely overwhelming, folders and folders) of photos on my computer and I found these cookies. I recognize them as mine and I sort of remember cutting these out by hand and decorating. But… why? For whom? For what purpose? A birthday? A baby shower? A friend’s request? I have zero recollection. None. Zippo. Zilch.

monkey banana cookies

Do you know me? Did you ever request banana and monkey cookies? Perhaps this is a sign of age that I forget.  I am 41 after all. And I have two kids, so that makes me stupider. But I do sudoku and crossword puzzles aaaalllll the time to keep my brain sharp. And I read tons and tons of teen fantasy and adventure books, which must keep the brain juice flowing. So I have no explanation for forgetting these guys.

 

monkey banana cookies

Feel free to share (nicely)! While my blog's photographs and text are protected by copyright, I do allow (and encourage) you to share ONE photograph with credit to "the decorated cookie" and link to this blog post. PLEASE don't reprint any part of the blog post and PLEASE don't post a photo without credit. Thank you!

Just for Kix: Painted planet sandwiches

2014_7_food_recipe_planet_sandwich (3)

Have you ever tried painting bread with milk and food coloring? It’s so easy, and such a wonderful food craft to keep kids busy for at least a little while. I made some painted planet sandwiches, but you can paint anything.

Find the how-tos for painted planet sandwiches HERE at Kix.

2014_7_food_recipe_planet_sandwich (1)

Feel free to share (nicely)! While my blog's photographs and text are protected by copyright, I do allow (and encourage) you to share ONE photograph with credit to "the decorated cookie" and link to this blog post. PLEASE don't reprint any part of the blog post and PLEASE don't post a photo without credit. Thank you!


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