Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Times Between - Part 1: Funcakes & Lunches

Just a quickie post with some of the fun stuff we did before I started this blog, and some little stuff I missed in between other posts. There's even more in-between stuff, but it's late, so this is all you get.

5/29/10 - I started my journey with fun foods by attempting to make pancakes into shapes by pouring the batter into cookie cutters. Results: mixed. I should have greased the cookie cutters first, since I had a hard time getting it to come out to flip the pancakes over. But Little Z was thrilled and entranced by the idea of it, so I soldiered on. At the time, I had a limited number of metal cutters. A crown, a bee or something, a hippo, plus my mini Christmas ones. So I tried the larger three. Bee - failure. The wings broke off right away. Not that she cared. Down the hatch!
Hippo - turned out okayish. I hadn't thought to take pictures of these, so I have no visuals. But the crown... Well. I poured in too much batter, to start. It filled the entire cutter, up to the top after it puffed up! The lack of greasing made it very hard to get out. And it took forever to cook. While it was finishing, I decided I was done wrestling with the cutters and used a spoon to dribble out batter into crummier shapes. (I couldn't find the turkey baster I had bought for the specific purpose of making pancake shapes easily!) I started with a Mickey Mouse, since that was a favorite from my childhood when my dad would make them. And a paw, that may have been intended as something else originally, but became a paw either through an attempt to fix an error or else random luck.

They turned out well, and I noticed when I flipped it over that the initial blobs darkened differently based on when I placed them, so I got cocky and decided to try an Elmo. Newp. I didn't let the facial feature blobs cook long enough before adding the head. Oh well. The fish I tried was kind of weak too. Oh well.

At this point I was done. The Princess was thrilled, even if I was disappointed by my mediocre results. The crown ended up being around an inch thick, and was very spongy, like a less-sweet cake.
          (Eating Mickey)        (My crowning achievement! Har har.)

6/7/10 - Spent much time prepping for her birthday party the next day. Made a fun lunch with shaped cheese and turkey (and apples.) You can see a cheese bee, using the same cutter as I attempted with my pancakes.

That night, I scrambled to try and finish my custom crayons for the goodie bags. My sister had recently used silicone ice cube trays to make fun crayons using all the broken bits she's been saving, and I thought it would be fun. She neglected to tell me that it effectively ruins the tray. I used a flower-shaped tray for the girls' party favors, and fish for the boys' (I think both were from Ikea.) The flowers turned out well, but the fish were a disaster. Only 1 survivor out of 6 or 7 molds. All the rest broke at the tail. And now my tray is useless. Maybe if I use an oil spray it won't leave colored wax residue all over. Her tips were to keep the oven on low (around 250 degrees.) I forget how long you cook them for.. Maybe 10-15 minutes? But keep a close eye on them. If they cook too much, a layer of paraffin forms on the top. Once removed from the oven, place in an ice bath (I used a rectangular cake pan filled with ice and water.) The down side was all this sloshing around from oven to ice bath, and shifting the cubes around so it would lay flat, splattered wax all over the top. Bleah. What a mess! I tried running hot water over them while scrubbing, but with very little result. I ran them on the bottom drawer of the dishwasher, to be closer to the hot water jets, and got minimal results. Maybe if I wash them a bajillion more times... I didn't get enough crayons to give as party favors, so now I'm stuck with them. Yay.

Some fun random lunches:

7/6/10 - A GoGurt (they were on sale and I had a coupon so I thought we'd try them out. She LOVED the 'green' flavor (watermelon.) Puzzle shaped cheese rejects and scraps from the 4th of July attempt, mixed berries. and I discovered we had no bread when I went to make a sandwich, so I tried a 'sandwich roll-up' for the first time. It was a big hit. I had to make 3 tortillas' worth, since she ate most of the first one as I was cutting them. I think this one was PB and honey, since the honey isn't as bulky and globby as the grape jelly we had in the fridge. This lunch was whipped together because she woke up stupid early, like 5am, and so I had plenty of time to get ready for our 10am MOMS Club meeting. We even had time to walk there, and since I figured I'd be stopping at the park on the way home, I packed a lunch. As it turns out, a bunch of other MOMS came too, so it was a lot of fun. Lunch box is from EasyLunchboxes, which I am enjoying. It comes with 4 boxes and 4 lids for $14 plus shipping (but I went in with another mom to hit the $50 for free shipping,) and they have an insulated bag that fits at least 2 of the boxes at once for $8. 

7/12/10 - Trying an idea I read on Another Lunch's blog's comments, I used my brand new tiny star cutter to punch the seeds out of a cross-sliced apple. This one was cut vertically, but I had better results on a later attempt cutting horizontally (the star wasn't hitting where I had to cut out the stem and whatever the green stuff at the bottom is called.) I also read about using apple juice instead of lemon to reduce browning, if you are planning on saving cut apples for later. (They both have vitamin C, which is the acid that helps prevent browning.)

7/14/10 - Caspar Babypants concert in the park! The lead singer from The Presidents of the United States now does kindie rock." It was an awesome show. It was noon to 1, so we packed a lunch. Apples (from the McD Happy Meal baggie,) more leftover cheese and rejects from 4th of July, and pocket sandwiches , and smaller ones I call sandwich fingers, but Z calls 'sandich stickth', made with my Krustbuster. They were a big hit. I had to make an extra sandwich to bring, since she ate a whole one, one stick at a time, while I was making them.

7/21/10 - Roberto the Magnificent, a comedy/jugging act in the park. I brought more McD apple slices, but did a compartment of peanut butter to dip them in (yum!) broken up raw carrots, and Ranch dip (in a Tupperware Smidget - it has a lid, not shown. They were hostess gifts, and are now discontinued, but I found some on Amazon and at a booth at the Kent Cornucopia Days fair.) A GoGurt (I froze them, and put it into the cooler bag frozen. It's soft by the time we get to it, but on the chance it isn't, frozen yogurt is still yummy!) string cheese and more pocket/stick sandwiches. In the little rectangular box with a green lining around the top (from Citizen Pip,) I have hummus, as an alternate dip for the carrots, and I brought the last of my tortillas from the 6/15 kids cooking class (not shown.)



  1. For a really good site about making cool pancakes, check out

    I have been following this one

  2. Cool thanks! Found some good ideas there to try!


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