Saturday, March 26, 2011

Muffin Tin Monday - Pink-Z-licious!

I had planned on doing a Pinkalicious MTM weeks ago, but we were all out of cheese, and my husband was out of town, so I just let her make her own. Then I did the ill-fated Seuss one, for his birthday, and saw a Pinkalicious MTM by Cookie Cutter Lunch! Nuts! So I didn't want to do mine so soon after hers. So then I did a St. Patrick's one, and then forgot last week (but had done an extra one with my nieces.) So this week, I wanted to do it for sure!
So naturally we couldn't find the book anywhere in the house. We found Goldilicious. We found PurpliciousPinkalicious and the Pink Drink and Tickled Pink. Even the brand-new Silverlicious. But our copy of Pinkalicious? No. *sigh*
Cream cheese and jelly roll "cupcakes," pink grapefruit, PB flowers;
marshmallow, PB/pretzel star wand, Pinkalicious fairy bread, green broccoli
Basically, in the story, Pinkalicious eats too many pink cupcakes and turns pink! The doctor diagnoses her with Pinkititis, and says that she has to eat only green foods to turn back. Well, she loves the color pink, and wants to stay that way. But then, at the park, her friends can't see her when she's standing next to some pink flowers, and bees start landing on her. But she still sneaks one more cupcake after bedtime, and turns red! So then she eats her greens and turns normal.
I like this story, and refer to it when I need a "too much of a good thing" lesson example. I think Purplicious is about staying true to yourself, instead of trying to follow the crowd, and Silverlicious is about being gracious, even when disappointed. I'm not really sure what the moral of Goldilicious is supposed to be though. Be nice to your jerky little brother even though you hate him?

Pink-and-Greenalicious: At a recent trip to the store, Little Z chose a pre-packaged cuppie of pink grapefruit near the produce section. I'd been saving it just for this meal! She was super eager to try it out, so I let her have a little as I was putting some into the silicone liner. Not a fan. She was about to spit it back out, into the rest of the grapefruit, until I reminded her that she could spit food into the garbage can. I tried adding sugar sprinkles to it, and she seemed to like that okay. So we're a go!
And the broccoli should be obvious. It's green. To turn Pink-Z-licious back into just Z.

Flowerlicious: I just slapped together some peanut butter flower sandwiches using a sandwich cutter and stamp (came with a yellow bear and pink bunny head too.) I used a "medium" tiny flower cutter and accosted a Peeps pink bunny to make the little sugar marshmallow flower. [The cutter is from a Bella Bistro Mini Cookie Cutter set from Toysmith, which seems to no longer be readily available. I'm so glad I got it. Super cute, super tiny cutters. I use this one a lot!]

Fairylicious: Pinkalicious runs around in a fairy costume and crown, so I had planned all along to make a crown of some kind. But after seeing the wand from Cookie Cutter Lunch's MTM, I was inspired. [I haven't actually read the book, or seen all the pictures, which is why I hadn't thought of doing a wand initially. My husband reads to her at bedtime, and so I've only overheard parts of the story, and seen some of the pics. And the cover. Obviously. She picks different books for me to read to her. Weird.]
I used a Wilton crown cutter on Swiss cheese (because it was white, and already sliced. I did the crown last, so was starting to get a little lazy.) I tried to pipe on some pink cream cheese, but it wouldn't stick, so I just shmeared it onto spots and called it good.
For the wand, I used a mini star sandwich stamp cutter (looks like allthingsforsale doesn't currently have them. It came with a bunny and a bear. They just have the vehicle ones right now.) I had a package of Chio Stickletti (extra long, extra skinny pretzel sticks) and stuck one in the PB between the bread slices before pressing. Ta-da! Sandwich pops! I put a little PB on the center star design and then hand applied some pink sugar sprinkles.

Cupcakelicious: I brainstormed these little babies while laying awake one night. I wanted to make a Pinkalicious lunch, without giving her a tin full of dessert. So I was trying to think of things that I could make look like cupcakes, without actually including a cupcake! I don't have a cupcake-shaped cutter, or I would have made a sandwich probably. But I like these much better, even though they were kind of a PITA to make. Since I can occasionally always learn from my mistakes, it will be much easier next time.
My initial idea had been to combine cream cheese with strawberry jelly to make a pink frosting, and filling for the tortilla rolls. I have these cool squeeze "decorating bottles" from Pampered Chef, so I figured the easiest way to mix and then transfer the "frosting" would be to squish it in a Ziplok and cut a corner and squirt it into the froster.
Turns out jelly and cream cheese do not mix well.
Gross.
So I decided this would be the filling for the rolls, and I just mixed a drop of pink food coloring with some more cream cheese to be the frosting.
Much better. Looks so much like frosting, I kept being disappointed every time I licked my fingers. Err. I never lick my fingers while preparing food for others. I mean... um. Licked the fork after I was all done. Yeah.
I used a butter knife to transfer it into the bottle, a little bit at a time, to fit it through the opening.
It did not like to be piped. At. All. I had chosen the tip with the largest opening, and as a bonus it had a flowery shape, to make this nice rippled effect on the piped frosting. But it was soooooo hard to push through. I had even let it sit out and get soft while I made the rest of the tin. Maybe adding a little milk or cream would have helped. Although with my luck, I would have just made it all gloopy and runny. *sigh* And then the piped cheese refused to stick to the rolls. I ended up just doing a small circle as near to the roll edge as I could, and used my fingers to make it stay as I pulled the bottle away. Not very professional, but since this is for a kid who sticks her fingers up her nose regularly, I don't think she'll be worried about my lack of food hygiene. I used red Sixlets left over from Christmas as the "cherries" on top! And I put them in mini pink liners from Bake It Pretty, which I think made it all the difference. They look cute, and obviously like cupcakes, rather than the amateurish effort that they really are.

Pinkalicious: I had toyed with the idea of making Pinkalicious' face, versus just chopping up a Pink Lady apple to fill that spot. I wasn't sure how to get her hair to stick, or what to do for facial features. But she's really a bunch of basic shapes and lines, unlike my Skippyjon Jones fairy bread, so I decided to give it a shot. I used a biscuit cutter on a slice of bread for her head, then spread butter all over it. I globbed on some peanut butter, just where her hair was going to be, then broke up some more Sticklettis into strands of "hair" and stuck them on. Success! Finally! Something working as planned! Then I start rooting through a tub of brown chocolate jimmies (from a Halloween sprinkles mix) to find the perfect ones for her eyebrows and nose. And I turn around to see Z using the circle handle of my star sandwich punch to make eyes and a nose on the bread for me. After some yelling and crying I calmed down, I decided to just go with it and put the pink sugar on in the hopes that the circle marks would be covered. I felt kind of bad, since Z was so proud of the face that she had made, but I wanted it to look like the picture in the book. So I decided that just leaving it would let her know that I valued her collaboration, versus chucking it and starting over. But we had a snuggly talk about telling me her ideas first, rather than "helping" without guidance or consent.
She was too upset to put on the sugar, which was the job she'd pretty much been waiting for the whole time she was bothering helping me in the kitchen. So I dumped most of it on, then she came in at the end to help me tamp it down into the butter. And lick her fingers. And the stray sugar off our work surface. And then "accidentally" spill some more onto our work surface. And lick that off her fingers as well.
I used small tubes of black and red frosting left over from Halloween and Christmas decorating kits to make the eyes and mouth. I'm glad I decided to try jimmies for the eyebrows and nose, since the icing was all kinds of terrible to work with. It didn't want to stick, and when I'd pull away, it would just come, bringing sugar with it. Argh. I had to use fingers, fingernails, and swear words to get it looking passable. I had planned on putting the crown in one of the muffin cups, with the wand, but Z insisted that it go on her head. And she kept putting the wand "in her hand" (on the tin next to the head.) I decided that this input was not only welcome, but clever, and I'm glad she got to feel like a part of this project. Since, you know. It's her lunch and all. I feel like such a terrible mommy, saying "Stop eating your food! No! Put that broccoli back! I want to take pictures first!"

The wand went into her gob before I could turn the camera back on. Luckily the pretzel broke, which made her pause so that I could get a good picture when she tried again.
She licked the "frosting" (and Sixlets, of course) off the "cupcakes," but never even took a nibble out of the roll-ups. She offered me one of her flower sandwiches, but didn't eat the other. The pink grapefruit went untouched, despite the addition of (yet more) pink sugar sprinkles. Well. Maybe she had a small piece. But she had tried several chunks while we were making the lunch, so she did eat some, and tried something new! And tried it again, even though she hadn't liked it 10 seconds before! She ate most of the cheese crown, half the wand star (and pretzel handle,) and over half of the broccoli (without dip!!)
Overall not bad results, considering this meal featured way more sugar than I would normally like. But I didn't put any honey on the sandwiches, and didn't sweeten the "frosting," so maybe it's a wash, as far as actual grams of sugar goes. And I was shocked that she ate any of the broccoli at all, and amazed that she ate so much of it, considering all the yummy pink sweeties to be had in her tin. She tried the marshmallow, but asked to spit it out. No problem, kiddo!
I really enjoyed this tin, despite her grabby hands our misunderstandings, and she was excited about all the elements. (Well. Except the broccoli. It's not very exciting.) She loved waving the wand around until I yelled at her, and was excited to try the pink grapefruit (until she actually tried it. But these were particularly bitter and nasty tasting.) She was thrilled about the crown, and the face. And the sugar sprinkles (and rejected chocolate jimmies that fell onto the table.) And the cupcakes. But especially the frosting, even though it was just pink cream cheese. She wanted to taste both attempts at frosting, before I ever even got out the candies to go on top. And she didn't act like I had cruelly fooled her by not sweetening them. I guess calling it "frosting" instead of "pink cream cheese" made a difference!
She kept saying "I ate all the pink cupcakes, so now I'm pink! Now I ate some broccoli! I'm me again!" Super cute. When she was done, we went and dug through her plushie menagerie and found her Pinkalicious pink doll, which had been a potty prize at some point. Then I played on the computer read her Pinkalicious stories until she decided that she needed a nap after all and fell asleep sitting up.


Check out the other fun Muffin Tin Meals every Monday!
Muffin Tin Monday at Muffintinmom.com

I will also be submitting this to JDaniel4's Mom's Read. Explore. Learn. on Friday!



Shibley Smiles


    

17 comments:

  1. Hee hee... you sound like me... It's so hard to let go of creative control sometimes, isn't it? I decorated cookies with my daughter today, and had to work VERY HARD inside my own head to prevent from "helping" her - even though they weren't for a party or anything, they were just a fun thing for us to do together! Pinkalicious sounds like a cute book, and your tin is gorgeous. Love the "cupcakes"!

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  2. How creative and fun! I love it, great job!!!

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  3. Love this! We are never really able to pull off themes because that would require planning. Most days I am doing well to remember lunch time at all. Good thing the girls are old enough to remind me now!

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  4. I love your fake cupcakes! So clever.

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  5. What a great book extension! I love your food creations!

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  6. Oh how cute! I love Pinkalicious. No pink in our house though.

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  7. Pinkalicious is right there at the top of the reading list in our house along with Fancy Nancy. You did a fantastic job!

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  8. Very pretty tin! Great job!

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  9. Wow!! Super creative! And great theme!

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  10. OH my goodness!!! This is SO stinkin cute! and how creative you were!!! sheesh! Looks like she had a fantastic time eating her lunch - and SO cute about her saying she was her again and then not - super adorable! :) Great job!!!

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  11. Thanks ladies! I just love Muffin Tin Monday and getting to go steal ideas... I mean get inspired each week!
    On another note, I found her book on Monday. Under some of my junk. *sigh* Yet another reason for my husband to give me the stinkeye and say "I told you so" about our messy house.

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  12. What an adorable tin! I love that story and you did such a cute job making the little girl in the story along with your pint sized collaborator. LOL! Love it!

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  13. oh my oh my! i feel so inadequate now! thats just superb! lovely to say hi from the weekend linkup x

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  14. Stopping by from trdc. I love this muffin tin idea! I have never seen anything like. Might have to try it on my picky picky eater!

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  15. Big D is over here squeeling with delite. She LOVES Pinkalicious! Awesome!

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  16. Love the "healthy" cupcakes! So cute! Thanks for linking this up to Bento of the Week at BNN!

    Diana
    Diana Rambles
    Bento Blog Network
    Link Rink

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