Friday, March 4, 2016

Healthy Edible "Candy" Bracelets

Make Your Own Healthy Edible Candy Bracelets!
Healthy edible candy bracelets
A healthy, fun craft for kids!

Spring break is here! I remember my idyllic spring break days fondly. Since it was always raining, my afternoons were spent colouring, reading, staging fantastically melodramatic movies starring Barbie and her crew — it was a time of imagination and creativity. When imagination wore thin, Mom would break out some arts & crafts project that would occupy bored minds for a short time. Eventually, bored kids would drive our Mom to give up and we would embark upon a rare outing to the corner store, meagre allowances in hand. How exciting that was! My sister and I would chatter excitedly about what we would get — Mike & Ike’s, Bottle Caps, Pixy Stix, and Lik-m-aid Fun Dip were usually on our list. But the one we would ALWAYS run for first, was the Candy Necklace.

To this day, I can still see myself unwrapping the necklace from its crinkly cellophane package and jamming the necklace over my head. Usually hair got caught in-between the candies, but I didn’t care. I always tried to make it last forever. I would then go about my day with an elastic cord hanging out of my mouth, pink stains on my lips, until the necklace was gone. Later came other candy jewelry — bracelets and rings. 

Healthy edible candy bracelets
There are endless patterns to create – and better for you than candy!

Candy jewelry is so much fun, but can you imagine how much sugar and food colouring they contain? With people cutting back on sugar and artificial everything these days, why not try a healthy, natural alternative? These Healthy Candy Bracelets are fun to make, and healthy, too! You need very few ingredients and tools. Smaller children may need assistance getting the needle through some of the tougher fruit, or help with scissors, but the delicious result will be worth it!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Sandwich Cookies
Mmmmm peanut butter everything!

Friends, I have a dilemma.

I absolutely LOVE peanut butter cookies. As a kid, my sister and I would make them all the time. They were so easy, required very few ingredients, and our mother would trust us to be able to make them with minimal supervision.

Fast forward sound effects to years later, and I met and married this wonderful dude who is my best friend and husband. He only has one teeny tiny flaw, though. He HATES the aroma of baking peanut butter cookies. I know, right?! Because of this, my enjoyment of peanut butter cookies is limited to those rare occasions when he's not at home.

Like recently! Yay, friends, peanut butter cookies! I didn't want to make the usual, I wanted to make over-the-top-peanut-butter-awesomeness-in-a-cookie. These are oatmeal peanut butter cookies, with chopped, roasted peanuts, peanut butter chips, and sandwiched around the creamiest, peanut-butteriest peanut butter frosting ever. I am dying over these, they are so good. I keep them in the freezer, and that makes them even better, if you can believe it.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Sandwich Cookies
Try one of these Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies – frozen! Wow!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Cheesy Dog Cookies

Cheesy Homemade Dog Cookies
Cheesy homemade dog cookies — great for training or for gifting to your fur friends!

So you've made all these goodies for your family and friends; but what about your fur friends?
We recently welcomed a new addition to our house — a bouncing bundle of fur and teeth who requires A LOT of training. Like, a metric ton of training. And all that training requires a LOT of treats. Like a metric ton of treats!

Bouncy pup likes cheesy dog cookies
Our bouncing bundle of shark puppy — he requires a lot of training!

I was not feeling great about buying treats from the store. I needed so many, and the decently-made cookies were expensive. The cheap ones? Who knows what's in those. Yuck. With these cheesy homemade dog cookies, at least I know exactly what's in them. And I can adjust the recipe slightly if a friend's pooch has any food allergies. And the best part? Dogs LOVE them!

Let me know in the comments if your pup loves them, too!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Rich Chocolate Fudge

Oh chocolate fudge, how I do love you. You are creamy. You are rich. You make me hide batches of you around the house so no one but me knows where you are. I am a squirrel in your presence.

Rich decadent chocolate fudge
No fudge here – move along.

We made fudge a lot when I was a kid. In fact, that original fudge recipe is on this blog, and you can find it here. It doesn't quite taste the same, however, because I think the manufacture of marshmallows has changed since then. When I stumbled upon this variation, I was ecstatic! This tastes exactly how I remember it from childhood! It really is very, very close to the original. I know you will love it, too.

A quick note about marshmallows — do not use old marshmallows, where the bag has been open for awhile. Trust me, freshly opened bags of marshmallows really do make a difference.

Rich Chocolate Fudge
Based on this recipe from Nestlé

3 cups white sugar
1 can evaporated milk
1/4 cup butter
4 cups miniature marshmallows
24 oz chopped bittersweet chocolate
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  1. Line two 8-inch-square baking pans with foil and set aside.
  2. Combine sugar, evaporated milk, and butter in large saucepan. Bring to a full rolling boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil, stirring constantly, for 4 to 5 minutes. Time it! Remove from heat.
  3. Stir  in marshmallows, chopped chocolate, and vanilla extract. Stir vigorously for 1 minute or until marshmallows are melted. Pour into prepared pans. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm. Lift from pan; remove foil. Cut into pieces. Store tightly covered in refrigerator.