Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Winter Themed Monthly Crafting Book Club: The Snowman and the Snowdog

In Vancouver, we get winter, but not winter like other parts of Canada.
Our winters typically consist of rain and maybe a day or two of snow that immediately turns into slush.

This year has been the opposite of what we're used to. The second week of December it started snowing and it pretty much just stopped.

We actually had so much snow (for us) that I had to run around with all the other unprepared moms and buy snow boots, snow pants and mittens for the girls.
The first day we even had enough to build a snowman.

This snowy weather was actually quite fitting for this months Winter Themed Monthly Crafting Book Club activity.

Since building, (and destroying) a snowman was fresh in our heads, we read,
"The Snowman and The Snowdog" by Raymond Briggs.

Olivia got this book for her first birthday and it's still a favorite even though she's almost 3 and Lauren is four!

The craft we did was painting snowmen and snowdogs with homemade puffy 'snow' paint.
Puffy snow paint is so simple to make, and you only need 2 ingredients.

Homemade Puffy Snow Paint
We painted snowmen and snowdogs so below are the supplies and instructions to make the puffy paint and snowmen

  • White glue
  • Shaving cream - makes sure it's shaving cream, not gel
  • Glitter - optional 
  • Dog cutouts - we used a wiener dog shape!
  • Snowman cutouts
  • Snowman collage items such as:
    • Small Pom-Poms for buttons
    • Orange construction paper carrot noses
    • Small black construction paper circles for eyes and a mouth
    • A top hat
    • A bow for the hat - my girls request!

Before painting the snowmen, we glued the top hats and bows on. 
  • Mix equal parts of white glue and shaving cream in a large bowl and stir well
This bowl was way too small for the amount that we made!

  • Using hands, apply paint to cutouts
  • Sprinkle, or in my kids case, dump glitter on the snowman 
  • Use pom-poms and construction paper shapes to decorate your snowman

The finished products...

Lauren (on the left) told me I was only allowed
to take one picture, so that one was it!
Oh those sassy 4 year olds...

I wasn't able to get the best pictures, because while I was taking pictures of the girls doing art, my camera fell off the table and the flash broke. 

I wanted to get a close up of the snowmen because the paint actually dries puffy and is really soft like snow.

And of course when the art is done, it's time to play!

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Friday, December 9, 2016

Allergy Friendly Peanut Butter Cups

You know Christmas is coming when I break out the Wowbutter, chocolate chips and icing sugar.

These "Peanut Butter" Cups are by far the most popular Christmas treat I make.
Everybody loves them and when if I get invited to a Christmas get together I usually get asked to bring them.

I call them a Christmas treat because even though they can be enjoyed all year long, I only make them at Christmas.
Why you ask?
Because they're sweet, rich, delicious and SO addicting. And for those reasons, they can only be in the house once a year!

As someone with a nut allergy, I love this version of Peanut Butter Cups because I can actually eat them. When it comes to peanut butter and chocolate, nobody should go without.

People have a really hard time believing they're not made with real peanut butter, and even harder time believing just how easy and how few ingredients are needed!

"Peanut Butter" Cups:
Makes about 36 cups

"Peanut Butter" Filling

  • 1/2 cup smooth WOWBUTTER, or other nut butter
  • 2 tbsp salted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt *see note below
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar

Chocolate Coating
  • 1 bag of semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 bag of milk chocolate chips 
  • 1 tablespoon shortening

  • Line 36 miniature muffin cups with liners. I like to use these foil lined baking cups, because I find that the foil lined ones not only hold up better, it's also easier to remove the peanut butter cup from the liner
  • Place the peanut butter, butter, and salt in a microwaveable bowl
  • Heat in microwave until quite soft for about 30-60 seconds. Check and stir every 20 seconds
  • Stir in icing sugar
  • Melt the chocolate and shortening in a heatproof bowl, placed over a saucepan of simmering water
  • Spoon about one teaspoon of the melted chocolate into each of the baking liners 
  • Tap the pan gently on the counter to smooth out the chocolate. 
  • Spoon about a teaspoon of the peanut butter mixture on top of the chocolate. 
  • Then top with another teaspoon of melted chocolate. 
  • Tap the pan gently on the counter to smooth out the peanut butter cups.
  • Refrigerate about 20 minutes or until set. 
  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.
* I sometimes add a little more salt (a small amount at a time) than my recipe calls for just because the salty, sweet peanut butter and chocolate tastes really good together! 

I hope you enjoy these as much as I do!

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