Shark Week Cookie Cake

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{I’m still here! I know it’s been 70 days since I last posted (who’s counting?!), but I’m still here. And my little, loyal blog was here, waiting for me, all along. And I hope you were, too. I hope to get back into feeling good, and feeling inspired, and delivering better-than-subpar blog posts and recipes.}

Do YOU know what week it is? SHARK WEEK! We just love Shark Week in our house! My boys just love sharks and we get a kick out of having a whole week devoted to them. I always like to make a fun treat. This year, I made a cookie cake!

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It is an enormous chocolate chip cookie, “choc” full of chips.

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It is covered in creamy, vanilla frosting ocean water, its frothy waves lapping up to shore, meeting the gold, glittery beach.

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Let’s hope that the owner of the surfboard went for a walk! Yikes! Those waters are super shark infested!

Shark Week Cookie Cake

Serves:  A lot of hungry dudes and dudettes

Recipe adapted from: Doughmestic Housewife

1 C softened butter

1 C sugar

1 C brown sugar

2 eggs

1 t baking soda

3 C flour

2 C chocolate chips

Mix the first 5  ingredients. Then add the flour. Fold in the chocolate chips. Press into a greased cookie/pizza pan. Bake 18 – 25m at 350F.

Frosting:

4 C powdered sugar

1 C shortening

4 T milk (plus more, if you need to thin it out)

1 t vanilla extract

Food coloring

Mix together until you have the right consistency (spreadable, not too runny). Split the frosting into two parts. Color half of it blue (I used both green and blue to make a turquoise-y color).

Extra materials:

Graham cracker crumbs

Gold and blue sugar sprinkles

Fish and dolphin sprinkles

gummy sharks

Plastic palm trees, surf board, umbrella

After the cookie caked has been baked and cooled, frost half of it with the white frosting. Cover most of it with the graham cracker crumbs and gold sprinkles. Leave a little bit of white frosting showing, for the waves. Next, add the blue water. Then add the sharks and sea animal sprinkles, blue sugar sprinkles, palm trees, surf board, and umbrella.

And there you go, little surfers!

Hang then! Don’t let the sharks bite you!

Kristin

Kindergarten & 3’s Pizza School Lunch

Last Friday was my first Co-op Helper Parent day in my 3 year old’s class. We had such a great time and it was a real hoot to see him in his classroom environment. We got to sick on kid-sized chairs and each lunch together, too.

Here was my lunch:

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I packed pizza (I LOVE cold pizza), kiwi, blueberries, carrots, and broccoli.

And for my boys:

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Pizza, snap pea crisps, apples (with blueberries for my Bigs), a chocolate chip cookie, and a few chocolate covered sunflower seeds. I meant to add an organic yogurt squeeze for Bigs too, but forgot about it in the freezer…and boy, did I hear about it later!

Kristin

Mickey Mouse Kindergarten and 3’s School Lunches

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Do you remember your English teachers using the phrase, “KISS”? It stands for “Keep it Simple, Students.” And that’s just what I am doing, keeping it simple, easing myself back into this lunch game.

I packed almost the same lunch for my Bigs and Smalls, who has his first day of the 3’s class tomorrow. For Bigs, I made a sunbutter and strawberry jelly sandwich and I used peanut butter for my Smalls. I used a Mickey Mouse cutter to make the shape and added some red sprinkles to the hole (they stick to the jelly quite well). I also packed champagne grapes (so sweet for little hands!), some Horizon Organic cheddar sandwich crackers, and a homemade chocolate chip cookie. I also packed a piece of colby jack cheese for my Bigs. He eats more. My Smalls is going to have raisins and a squeezy fruit for snack.

Oh Toodles!

Kristin

First Day of Kindergarten School Lunch

Tomorrow, my “baby” Bigs starts Kindergarten. He’s smart as a whip, he’s super observant (an ol’ eagle eye, just like his Mama), he’s clever, he’s hilarious. He’s great at so many things (building stuff, writing sweet letters and cards, swimming, karate, doing dishes, keeping me company, feeling empathy, etc.). I could go on for days. He is SO so special. He’s going to do GREAT in Kindergarten. He has a really wonderful teacher and I am so excited to see where this year takes him.

For his first lunch, I went easy [on myself]. It’s been since May, that I’ve done a “special” lunch. And, boy, do I feel it. I am so dang rusty.

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I chose to do a heart because because I wanted to let my Bigs know that I love him and am thinking of him, even when we are not together. I made a sunbutter and strawberry jelly sandwich, and used my Food Writers to add some details. This year, there is a sweet friend in his class with a terribly dangerous peanut allergy, and our entire Kindergarten is tree nut and peanut free. Thankfully, my boys like sunbutter and it is a great alternative to peanut butter. I also packed Horizon Organic cheddar sandwich crackers, cotton candy grapes, colby jack cheese, blueberries, and a homemade chocolate chip cookie.

Godspeed my little one! I am so proud of who you are, and I love you SO SO much.

Love,

Mommy

(Kristin)

The Last Day of VPK for 2015

Tomorrow is my Bigs’ last day of VPK. I am in denial. He’ll be in Kindergarten next year. That’s like “big boy” status.

Cue ugly crying.

Bigs’ class pet this year was a flamingo, appropriately named “Mingo”. He spent many nights with us, as he did with all the classmates. He was very loved. It was absolutely fitting that the class pet was a flamingo. It’s always been, um, my spirit animal. If there is such a thing. So I really enjoyed the flamingo theme this year. I made a few flamingo lunches this year, as well (here and here). So for his very last VPK school lunch, I felt that Mingo needed his due course.

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I made a “Mingo” shaped PB&J. I also packed a pluot, TJ’s organic PB crackers, red grapes, and yellow watermelon. I didn’t pack a dessert, since we’ll be having an ice cream party tomorrow. I used flamingo cupcake picks and added a palm tree (that I acquired through a bakery cake at some point).

Long live Mingo.

And for my Smalls, who is also having his last day of Mom’s Morning Out…

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…he’ll be in the “3’s” next year. Sniff. I made two little ice cream cone shaped PB&J sandwiches. I added details with my Food Writers. I also packed PB crackers, yellow watermelon, and one homemade chocolate chip/sprinkle/M&M cookie, cut into fourths.

I made those cookies yesterday to deliver to the boys’ school staff, as a thank you. They were really easy to make and used whole wheat flour.

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Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Sprinkle M&M Cookies

Adapted from: Weelicious

1 C AP flour

1¼ C whole wheat flour

1 t baking soda

½ t salt

1 C butter, room temperature

1 C brown sugar, packed

½ C granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 T vanilla

1 C semisweet chocolate chips

1 C M&Ms

1/2 C colored jimmies

Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat and set aside.

Whisk together both flours, baking soda and salt. In another bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer), cream butter and both sugars together for 3 minutes. Add in eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth. Gradually add in dry ingredients. Do not overmix. Stir in chocolate chips, M&Ms, and sprinkles.

Drop dough onto your prepared baking sheet and bake for 7-10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

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Enjoy! Summer is here!!

Kristin

This Week’s Lunches

What a busy, busy week I’ve had! Here is what I packed each day:

Tuesday:

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I make two little PB&J’s on toasts. I also packed pretzels, blueberries, mandarin orange slices, seasoned corn and a homemade chocolate chip sprinkle cookie.

Wednesday:

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I made a PB&J on a hot dog bun. I also packed red grapes, pretzels, strawberries, and a homemade chocolate chip sprinkle cookie.

Thursday was my last Helper Parent day in my Bigs’ class. When he goes to Kindergarten next year, his school doesn’t utilize the Helper Parent system. I will SO miss spending the school day with him. I look forward to starting all over with my Smalls next year! I had to pack three lunches for today:

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Smalls got PB&J on a flat bread, broccoli with ranch for dipping, trail mix, and a homemade chocolate chip sprinkle cookie. For myself, I made a salad, packed ranch for dressing, a little piece of flatbread, two dates, and an apple. And for my Bigs, I packed a PB&J on a flat bread, red grapes, dried ginger, dates, strawberries, and a cookie.

And lastly, for tomorrow, Friday:

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We had pizza tonight for dinner, so I packed a piece for Bigs. I also packed goldfish (cheeseburger flavor – so weird!), strawberries, grapes, and half of a chocolate chip cookie bar.

I hope you have a great weekend!

Kristin

Thursday Lunches – Ocean Themed

Continuing on with Ocean Week for my big boy, here is his lunch from today and for tomorrow:

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The octopus lunch is, by far, my favorite animal themed lunch. I love under-the-sea and in particular, squids and octopi. They are so rad to me. Anyways, I made an octopus shaped PB&J. I spread a little bit of PB on his arms and stuck confetti sprinkles on. I added two all-knowing candy eye balls. I also packed blueberries, raspberries, goldfish crackers, a mandarin orange, and a homemade chocolate chip sprinkle cookie.

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I made a crab shaped PB&J for tomorrow. I used a teeny bit of red food-safe spray and added eyes. I also packed red grapes, blueberries, goldfish crackers, frozen corn (I added salt & pepper, he does not mind eating cold corn at lunch), and a homemade rice krispie treat.

And for my itty bitty:

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I packed half a PB&J (it’s hiding under one of those chocolate chip sprinkle cookies), red grapes, broccoli with ranch, and dat cookie.

Hope you are having a rad week!

Kristin