Dishin' up with Diane

cookie_barDiane's Ooeey Gooey Cookie Bars

It's summer so go ahead and splurge! This is a very sweet treat. It’s a cross between a brownie and a cookie.

If you're packing up a picnic these are perfect, or if you're bringing desert to pass around the campfire, make a double batch because they will be gone in a jiffy!

Ingredients for a single batch:

  • 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup any of the following: semi-sweet chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, butterscotch morsels, M & M’s, or Reese’s Pieces

Friends have added the following because they are nutty over nuts. If you are too, you can add ½ cup any of the following: walnuts, pecans, almonds, or peanuts.

Hopefully you will enjoy this “Gotta have another one!” dessert!


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).

2. Measure 1 cup sifted flour. Add baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Sift again. Add 1/2 cup chopped nuts. (If you are going to put them in.) Mix well and set aside.

3. Melt 1/3 cup butter. Add 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar and mix well. If shortening is used, add 1 tablespoon hot water. Cool slightly.

4. Add egg (beaten) and vanilla. Blend well. Add flour mixture, a little at a time, mixing well.

5.  Mix the chocolate chips or whatever.

6.  Spray pan heavily so that these won’t stick.

7. Spread in 9x13 inch pan. (double recipe.) Smaller pan for single recipe.

8.  Bake for 35 minutes (for doubled recipe.) Will be crispy outside chewy inside. (25 minutes for a single recipe, but ovens vary so check doneness with a toothpick.)

9. Let cool and then cut into bars.

10. Can serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top as the perfect end for a super summer meal. 


firecrackers, cooking with kids in JulyCrunchy Firecrackers:

For a fun snack to make with your little ones try this sweet & salty treat.


  •  a bag of fat pretzel rods
  • 1 cup of white chocolate morsels 
  • 1tablespoon of Crisco
  •  red sugar or red Jell-O


  1. Melt chocolate and Crisco in a double pot.
  2. Dip pretzel rods half way into the chocolate and swirl them around so that they get covered.
  3. Hold in the air so that they dry a bit.
  4. Dip the tips into red sugar or red Jell-O
  5. Lay on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper.
  6. Allow to sit for 10 minutes then "Happy 4th of July!" Crunch-Munch-Crunch


fried_ice_cream, cooking with kids, summer recipes for kids, kids in the kitchen FRIED ICE CREAM:

I was surfing the net to see if I could find something on the extraordinary side that I could post a link to, and this fit the bill. 

So if you're into doing something amazing to wow your children with, try making a weird recipe, like frying something that melts!

Click on the link to view the video to see how easy this Japanese restaurant makes Tempura Fried Ice Cream look, then see if you want to give it a whirl.  I haven't had time, but it's on my list of things to do before summer's over! Let me know if you had fun!

watermelon shark carving, cooking with kids, summer recipeswatermelon shark, carving watermelons, birthday party ideas, summer birthday party idea, cooking with kids, recipes for kids, summer fun ideasMy final woo-hoo is a shark watermelon carving. Click on the link to see the National Watermelon Promotional carvings.  I thought they were pretty awesome!

I will be making the shark for my grandson's 6th birthday next week. (Next week's note: See photos of my grand accomplishment!)

I also loved the turtle and teapot, but he's a boy and I just thought a shark would be "way cool!" I'll let you know. 

There's some awesome "rosette" carved watermelons at this link.  Amazing what people can do with a watermelon.

If you want some tips on how to carve a watermelon shark or hedgehogAny Time Fun has a "how to" video. I sure hope I can make mine as quick as this guy does!

He sure makes it look easy! Click on the link to view it!


Well Nana did it.  She carved her 1st watermelon!  It's lucky I did this on Friday night as there would have been no time to whip this together on Saturday morning before the birthday party. 

Plan on an hour to do this project and buy TWO watermelons.  If your watermelon "guts" look anything like mine when you reach into the cavity of your shark and start "scooping" things out, you will NOT want to be serving those to guests!

summer birthday party ideas, summer birthday party center pieces, cooking with kids, recipes for kids, summer recipes for kids, watermelon carving, shark watermelonI had to run out Saturday morning to get another melon and cut those pieces into nice square chunks.  If you are nuts about using a melon baller go for it.  I'm into quick and easy after carving a shark. 

Doing the teeth was my favorite part.  The insides of the first watermelon did not go to waste.  I plopped them into a bowl and my husband, puppy and I will be enjoying those. 

I arranged "Wild-Berry" blue Jell-O jiggler squares (the ocean) that I  sprinkled with red Sweedish fish on the front of the glass tray and then heaped on fresh cut strawberries sprinkled with blue berries on the back of the tray.  I even hung a Sweedish fish from "Sharkie's" tooth!  It looked adorable and was a huge hit at the party.

Jeremiah's guests loved the look AND the ingredients!  The shark also went with the pool party swim theme he had going on in their front yard. All that was missing was the Jaws music. 

Until next time...bon appetit!

ice_cream_sandwich, cooking with kids, fun recipes for summer

Ice Cream Sandwiches:

In this crisis-time economy and to try and make better nutritious snacks than the packaged kind offers, have fun making ice cream sandwiches with your kids. 

This is an especially cool activity for June. {Pun intended :-) }  

Oatmeal cookies work well, but you can pick a large sugar cookie too, and if your kids really love peanut butter go with peanut butter cookies.

Sam's Club also sells a nice variety of M&M "monster" cookies, chocolate chip, oatmeal  and peanut butter cookies together if you want to make an assortment. 


  • 1 cup vanilla frozen yogurt (Lowfat if you want to be heart-healthy).
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 8 large round cookies
  1. Soften the yogurt and mix with the peanut butter.
  2. Freeze until firm.
  3. Spread on 4 of the cookies.
  4. Put other 4 cookies on the top to make a sandwich.
  5. Put each one into a Ziploc freezer Baggie.


cantaloupe, frozen fruit pops, fun recipes for the summer, cooking with kidsFrozen Fruit Pops:

Quench your kids thirst in a fruity fun way by giving them chunks of frozen fruit on mini-Popsicle sticks.  You can buy a package of 100 at most craft and Dollar Stores.

Buy a watermelon, honeydew melon and/or cantaloupe and cut up nice size chunks of fruit.  Insert a mini-Popsicle stick.

Lay the fruit on a sheet of wax paper that's been put on a paper plate. Cover with freezer wrap and pop into the freezer. Freeze 'til firm; a frozen fruity - sweet treat so good for them to eat!

banana_blast, cooking with kids, fun recipes for kids for the summerBanana Blast:


  • 6 bananas
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • 1 drop of vanilla extract


  1. Peel bananas
  2. Wrap in freezer wrap and freeze until firm.
  3. Cut in half and put in blender.
  4. Add milk and vanilla and blend until creamy.
  5. Serve in ice cream dishes, custard cups or small bowls with spoons.


shrimp_salad, cooking with kids, fun recipes for the summer, Diane's Shrimp Salad:

I just finished whipping some together this week.  My husband and I love eating this salad during the spring and summer months.  

It's great for a quick lunch as an entire meal and fun to take to a pot luck or picnic.

This one is copyrighted so if you use it please give or Diane Henderson credit


  • 1bag of medium sized frozen cooked shrimp (30-40 in a bag).
  • 1 pkg of celery
  • 2 tbs parsley flakes
  • 2 tbs dried Ranch Dressing
  • 1/8th teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1/8th teaspoon dill
  • 1 tbs caraway seeds
  • 2-3 tbs Helman's real mayo ( You can add more if you like it creamier.  We are trying to cut calories. )
  • 1/2 teaspoon creamed horseradish if you like some kick.
  • 1 can of large black pitted olives
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/4 sunflower seeds


  1. Wash hands.
  2. Wash and thaw out the shrimp.
  3. Cut the shrimp into 1/3rds.
  4. Put in a large bowl.
  5. Sprinkle the dry Ranch dressing on the shrimp and blend with your fingers.
  6. Add the celery seed, caraway seeds, dill and parsley flakes.
  7. Add the mayo and horseradish. 
  8. Add the sunflower seeds. 
  9. Wash and dice up the stalks of celery.  ( I like to cut a stalk length wise and then dice so that the pieces are smaller.)
  10. Add to the bowl. 
  11. Drain olives. 
  12. Slice into 1/3rds. 
  13. Add to the bowl.
  14. Add the carrots
  15. Stir 'til blended well. 
  16. Chill in fridge.
  17. Serve in small bowls.
I usually make a double batch and use two bags of shrimp.  We LOVE LOVE LOVE eating this all summer.  Adjust seasonings and mayo to your taste buds.  Enjoy!

beach party for end of the school year, fun school snacks for the end of the year, cooking with kids, fun recipes for kids for the summerIf you're eating this as a meal it's nice to have some Rye Crisp crackers with it. Yummy!

For a few more fun ideas be sure and check out the cute Beach Party snacks that Katja from the Netherlands sent in that were posted on the main blog! Click on the link to go there.

Whatever you're whipping up with your wee ones this June I hope it is summer-super cool!

As always, I'd enjoy hearing from you!  and if you use our recipes please be considerate and link to our page. Thanks!

garden gate pretzel munchies, snacks for kids, Mother's Day treats, May recipes, cooking with kidsCrunchy Garden Gates: I wanted to name these something May-like, so when I looked at the pretzels I thought that would work.  I whipped these up over Easter as I had all of my kids and grandchildren over and I wanted them to taste test and let me know which ones they liked the best. 

It was a tie between the teddy bears and the double pretzels, so I guess you'll have to make a variety too and let your little ones have a choice.  Anyway, they were fun and easy to make and tasted yummy. 

I love the taste of something salty and sweet together and the textures of creamy marshmallow, gooey caramel along with smooth chocolate with a crunchy pretzel are a real treat for your mouth.  I hope you enjoy making and eating them as much as I did!


  • a bag of square pretzels
  • 5-10 rolls of Rollo chocolate-caramel candies (You can buy them by the box at Sams Club if you're a member.)
  • a bag of small marshmallows,
  • a small bag of whole roasted almonds,
  • a box of honey Teddy Grahams
  • large cookie sheet
  • waxed paper



  1. pre-heat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. put as many pretzels on your cookie sheet as you can, or that you have Rollo's for.
  3. cut just a tiny bit of marshmallow off one end so that it will stick to the Rollo.  You may have better luck, but when I simply placed them on top of the Rollo's and popped them in the oven, some of them fell off!  I guess you could also insert a toothpick, but then you'd have the tricky job of trying to get those off.
  4. Pop in the oven for just 3 minutes.
  5. Set timer.
  6. Carefully remove pan with potholders and gently place on a pretzel, teddy graham or almond so that you squish down the marshmallow-Rollo.  The Rollo is not that "melty" so that it won't spill over, but will pat down nicely into a blob of chocolate and the puffy marshmallow will deflate.
  7. Set aside to cool and then put on a square of waxed paper and serve. Yummy yummy for your tum-tummy.
  8. Children can make these with daddy and put them in a box for a sweet treat for mommy for Mother's Day!


chocolate_cherry_miceNursery Rhyme Time: Chocolate Mice

I like to do Nursery Rhymes as a theme during May. If you do that too, why not make up a batch of these chocolate mice as a fun surprise treat for your students.   After their snack teach them the nursery rhymes Hickory Dickory Dock and Three Blind Mice!  This treat is also fun for Halloween, just call them chocolate rats, and make them out of white chocolate.  (Eek!)


  • 1 bag of Hershey chocolate kisses
  • 2 jars of Marishino cherries with stems ON.
  • paper towel
  • frosting in a tube (for eyes).
  • toothpick
  • waxed paper
  • cookie sheet
  • microwave-safe bowl
  • spoon
  • 1 tbs. Crisco
  • 2 cups Nestles milk chocolate morsels
  • Ears: Cocoa puff cereal, Wheat nuts, (You could also use Rice Krispies or slivered almonds.)


  1. Drain juice from the cherries and rinse cherries. 
  2. Lay on paper towel to dry completely. 
  3. Lay a sheet of waxed paper on a cookie sheet. 
  4. Spill some cereal/wheat nuts on a paper plate so that everything is handy for you to use.
  5. Unwrap as many kisses as you want to have mice heads for.  
  6. Melt chocolate morsels and Crisco in bowl in the microwave.
  7. Hold on to the stem of the cherry and dip into the melted chocolate 2-3 times.
  8. Press on a Hershey kiss to the front of the cherry.
  9. Lay the mouse on the waxed paper.
  10. Press 2 ears between the head and cherry for the ears. I used Cocoa puff cereal in the left picture, and wheat nuts on the right.  The wheat nuts gave the candy a salty crunchy taste.
  11. Because the melted chocolate will start to harden in the bowl, it's nice to have a helper to put the ears on, while you continue to dip cherries.  The helper could also press on the heads.
  12. Continue 'til you have made as many mice as you want.
  13. Let harden and then squirt some colored frosting onto a paper plate and apply dots for eyes.  I had yellow handy, but pink or red would look cute too.

Mother's Day punch, recipes for Mother's day, punch for kids, cooking with kids, recipes kids can makeZingy Spring Tropical Punch for Mom:  

I wanted to make a pretty looking punch that children would have fun blending together to make their mommies as a special drink to "toast" all they do.  I experimented with my family for Easter and they loved it.  The concoction made a pretty salmon color. Put all of the liquids in the refrigerator to get cold, and then on Mother's day spill into a punch bowl, add your ice ring and sprinkle your pansies on the top.  You can freeze the leftovers and make slushies.


  • 1 liter Rudy-Red Squirt
  • 1 carton of real lemonade
  • 1 carton of pineapple juice
  • 1 carton strawberry-papaya juice
  • 1 bottle sparkling white grape juice
  • 1 jar marishino cherries without stems
  • 10 strawberries sliced up.
  • 1 metal cake ring with hole in the center (for ice ring)
  • real pansies
  • punch bowl
  • Cut the stems off the pansies. (Pansie flowers are edible!)
  • Wash them and dip face down into a plate of sugar.  Set aside to dry.
  • Spill liquids into a punch bowl and stir.
  • Gently add the ice ring and sprinkle in the pansies in and around it so they float face-up on top.


Ice ring:

  • Make ice ring 1 to 2 days before.
  • Pour in the bottle of cherry juice, add the cherries and strawberry slices. (You could also add some pineapple tidbits if you wanted to.)
  • Add any of the above juices to fill up the rest of the ring and then put in the freezer.


flower garden box cookies, Mother's Day recipes, cookies for Mother's Day, recipes for kids, cooking with kids, kids in the kitchenFlower Box Cookies: I was allergic to wheat as a child.  Wafer cookies were the first cookie my mom let my twin sister and I try that we weren't allergic to and they have been a favorite ever since.  I could eat 1/2 the package! 

I wanted to dream up a special treat little ones would have fun making for their moms that would involve some sort of flower.  Originally I thought of using real flowers like violets, as they are edible, and then dusting them with sugar.

I was still wracking my brain going up and down the isles when I went grocery shopping for the ingredients for the recipes on this page, when I came across Honey Comb cereal; thus the Flower Box Cookies were born.

They are a mini-mouthful of the "dirt cake" from April, so I know you'll enjoy the added crunch of the wafers! Don't they look cute? One is definitely satisfying.


  •  1 package vanilla wafer cookies
  • 1 can of chocolate pudding
  • 1 box of  cereal
  • 1 package of Oreo cookies
  • 1 can of vanilla frosting
  • green & orange sprinkles
  • tube of yellow frosting
  • toothpick
  • paper plate
  • waxed paper
  • cookie sheet
  • plastic knife
  • teaspoon
You will have lots of leftovers.  Make as many cookies as you like. You need one crushed up Oreo per cookie.


  1. Lay waxed paper on cookie sheet.
  2. Make garden box by putting vanilla frosting on the edges of one vanilla wafer and pressing a wafer on either side.
  3. Cut another wafer in half and put one 1/2 on each end.
  4. Lay the cookie box on the cookie sheet that's been covered with waxed paper.
  5. Fill with a teaspoon of chocolate pudding.
  6. Crush up an Oreo cookie.
  7. Spoon it into the cookie box.
  8. Spill some cereal onto a paper plate and choose 2 small flowers and one large one.
  9. Put a dollop of frosting on the back of each one.
  10. Place the large flower in the middle and the two smaller ones on either side.
  11. Squirt some yellow frosting onto the paper plate.  Use a toothpick and put a dot in the center of each flower.
  12. Spill out some colored Sprinkles.  Insert an orange "stamen" into the center of each yellow circle.
  13. Sprinkle some green "grass" sprinkles onto the Oreo "ground dirt".
  14. Make as many flower  boxes as you want.
  15. Serve one to mom on her breakfast-in-bed tray, or have a tea party with her and serve these special cookies with a cup of tea. 
Whatever your dreamin' up in the kitchen this merry month of May,
I hope you're doing it with a little munchkin and having many magical moments munching!
As always, if you try my recipes, I'd love to hear your comments!
dirt cake, how to make dirt cake, kids in the kitchen, recipes for kids, April recipes, Easter recipes

how to make dirt cake, dirt cake, kids in the kitchen, fun recipes for children, Easter recipes, cooking with kids, Making Dirt Cake:

April Showers Bring…..Mud!

  • A fun thing to make during spring time is Dirt Cake! A favorite with my own children, this makes a great Girl or Boy Scout snack. My sons Jason and Steven are both Eagle Scouts. 
  • Line terra cotta pots with Saran wrap and put layers of dirt cake inside. Stick Gummi worms around the top and then stick a realistic-looking red silk geranium in the pot. You not only have your table decorations but the snack as well! 
  • When someone asks:  “Where’s the snack?” You can reply:  “It’s on the tables.  We’re eating dirt tonight!” Have a helper scoop out their dessert onto a small paper plate and then plop a worm in the middle. Kids gobble it up with a plastic spoon.

  • When I make it with my Y5’s I use clear plastic cups so that they can see the layers.
  • This recipe will make enough to fill 25 - 9 0z. clear plastic Solo cups ½ full.
  • You don’t want to eat more than that because it’s a sweet treat! Enjoy! 

how to make dirt cake, april recipes, kids in the kitchen, cooking with kids, fun recipes for aprilYou’ll Need:

  • A large plastic bowl + another bowl or empty ice cream bucket to dump “dirt” in as it is made.
  • Masher. (This can be the big wooden kind or a metal potato masher)
  • 2-3 packages of Double-Stuff Oreo Cookies. I like to have that extra package to allow for spillage + sometimes parents come to help and bring siblings. 
  • If I have leftovers, I make extra cups for the principal, secretaries and librarian and include a little thank you note for all they do.  They enjoy this snack as much as the children.
  • 25 -  9 0z CLEAR plastic cups (Solo makes them)
  • 4 cans of ready-made chocolate pudding. (If you can find dark and light pudding that would be awesome to show the various shades in your layers. You need 2 cans of each.)
  • 25 spoons
  • I serve it for snack so the beverage I have is a gallon of white milk.
  • If your students are chocolate milk lovers you can substitute chocolate milk and call it mud puddle drink, but I find that drinking chocolate milk is a bit much with the sweetness of the snack.
  • I ask for a gallon because this is a “thirsty snack” and my students sometimes drink 3 small Dixie cups of milk when they eat dirt cake.  Since this is a special snack and milk is healthy for them I allow refills.
  • Small Dixie cups for the milk
  • Napkins
  • 24 Gummi worms.

I have a different child that provides snack each day so I ask that mom if she can bring milk for the beverage and one package of cookies.

During Open House in the summer parents sign up to volunteer to be called upon to bring in items for special events.

I send a note home explaining Dirt Cake and ask these parents to provide the other items. I ask a week in advance so they have plenty of time to get the things in before Dirt Cake Day.

how to make dirt cake, dirt cake, kids in the kitchen, april recipes, fun recipes for kids, Easter recipesmaking dirt cake, dirt cake, fun recipes for kids, kids in the kitchen, cooking with kids, easter recipes, april recipes for kidsDirections:

  • I call 6 students up at a time to watch and participate. They mash up 2 cookies at a time with the masher in the bowl.
  • Head’s Up: Tell them to go slow and keep the cookies inside the bowl. Things tend to fly if they get a bit wild mashing.
  • You want them to mash them up, but not too fine, so you still have chunks., but look like the consistency of dirt.
  • I empty the bowl into an ice cream bucket as each child mashes their cookies so things don’t fly out of the bowl. The chunks of cookies look just like topsoil.
  • When all of the cookies have been crushed, you are ready to begin layering the cups.
  • You can do this or you can call your students up to do this.
  • Put a layer of dirt in the bottom.
  • Then spoon in a layer of chocolate pudding.
  • Then another layer of dirt.
  • Then a layer of pudding. ( Alternate light and dark chocolate pudding if it was available.)
  • You will have just enough dirt left to sprinkle some on each of the cups.
  • Stick a Gummie worm in the middle and tuck in a spoon.
  • Children take their cups to their desk along with a napkin!
  • I’m not sure how, but quite a few get chocolate on their faces.
  • I pour the milk and bring it to them while they chomp away. Yum Yum!

 Click on the link for my dirt cake letter home.


bunny cupcakes, cooking with kids, kids in the kitchen, fun recipes for kids, april recipes for childrenBunny Head Cupcakes:

Hop on down to the grocery store and buy a box of white cake mix and follow the directions to make cupcakes.  Get a can of white frosting and a package of white coconut.  After you have frosted the cupcakes have your child sprinkle on the coconut.  This will be the bunnies fur.  Cut a black jelly bean in half for the eyes, push in a pink jelly bean for the nose, cut a thin piece of black licorice into 6 small pieces for 3 whiskers on each side, cut a red jelly bean in half for his mouth. 

We painted tiny Popsicle sticks white and inserted those for the bunny ears and then re-used them each year, but if you want your entire cup cake edible you could snip off the side tips of wafer cookies, frost the tops and gently insert them, or for very short ears tuck in two white Good 'n Plenty pieces.  


RAINBOW Play Dough

This recipe helps teach children that primary colors make secondary colors.  I feel “seeing is really believing.” This is a fun way for students to do that.  During April we’re reviewing all of the secondary colors.  Knowing our colors is a report card standard. We study rainbows in March and continue that study through April so this “experiment” also relates to that bit of science.

rainbow play dough, cooking with kids, kids in the kitchen, Easter recipes, fun recipes for kids, April recipes for kidsIngredients:

  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 4 cups of water
  • Red, yellow, and blue food coloring
  • 1 medium sauce pan
  • 1 mixing spoon
  • Sandwich-size Ziploc Baggies


  1. Mix cornstarch, water and sugar in saucepan until thick.
  2. Remove from heat and wait for it to cool
  3. Put the mixture into the Baggies.
  4. Add one drop of each of the primary colors
  5. Have children gently squish the Baggies to make the different colors

You can also use your regular Play dough recipe.  Tell your students to keep the bags closed so that they don’t get the food coloring on their hands. If you add a few drops of alcohol this is supposed to keep the dye transfer down.

Our rainbow song: To the tune of All Around the Mulberry Bush: There’s red and orange and yellow-green and blue and purple too! Look I made a rainbow!

We review that red + yellow makes orange; yellow + blue makes green and that blue + red makes purple.  I write these out as equations (red + yellow = orange) on our white board and follow this up with a change bag magic trick using colored scarves which go in and then I produce the new colored scarf!  They LOVE it! Check out the magic videos by clicking on the link. The color trick is the 8th one down.


tornado in a pop botle, tornado twirler, science projects for kids, cooking with kids, kids in the kitchen, april recipes for kidsTornado Twirler:

We study storms during April.  I have a hand-held "tornado maker" that I bought at a science store. I also bought the gizmo that you attach to two plastic pop bottles so that you can invert the bottles, twirl and swirl and make a tornado. 

With a little bit of experimenting, I've discovered that you can make a pretty good tornado of your own.  You can do this as a science-art extension with your students/children and have everyone bring in a clean clear 16 oz plastic soda bottle with a cap.  The rounder the botter the better the tornado will work. Here's how to make one:

Materials needed:

  • A 16 oz clean clear soda bottle for each student.  Make sure that it has a cap. 
  • CLEAR liquid dish washing soap.
  • Silver glitter
  • Blue food coloring.
  • My city panorama border
  • Glue stick
  • Water
  • Elmer's glue
  • Black permanent marker
  • Write students' names on the bottom of their bottles with a black permanent marker.  
  • Fill up the students' bottles with water 'til they are almost to the top.
  • Leave about 3-4 inches not filled.
  • And 2-3 drops of clear liquid dish soap to each bottle.
  • Add one teaspoon of silver glitter to each bottle.
  • Put Elmer's glue on the cap's threads and screw it to the top of the bottle so that it will be glued shut.
  • Students rub a layer of glue with their glue stick on the bottom of their city skyline and then wrap it around the bottom of their bottle. (You can omit this part if you want.)
  • Students should hold their bottles by the neck and turn them upside down.  Instruct them to rotate their wrist a few times in a CLOCKWISE motion.
  • When they stop rotating (twirling) a tiny tornado should form inside the bottle!

Click on the link to view/print a city skyline strip to make with your soda bottle tornado. I've made two different kinds for your students to choose from.  They'll need 1 1/2 strips to go entirely around their bottle.


butterfly pretzels, cooking with kids, kids in the kitchen, fun recipes for children, april recipes for kids, Easter recipes for kidsButterfly Crunchies:


  • Bag of twisted pretzels
  • Jar of cheddar cheese spread
  • Jar of peanut butter
  • Jar of cream cheese
  • Stalk of celery
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Raisins and/or craisins or dried apricots
  • Thin pretzel sticks
  • Wax paper
  • Plastic knives
  • Paper towel
  • Pitted black olives.
  • Cut celery into 3 inch sticks and wash well.
  • Dry celery on a paper towel.
  • Using a plastic knife have child fill celery to overflowing with their choice of peanut butter, cream cheese or cheddar cheese.
  • It's great to make an assortment of butterflies, because they will all taste and look different.
  • Have them gently squish the celery (thorax) face down on top of the middle of the pretzel (butterfly wings).
  • Using a dollop of whatever "glue" (peanut butter, cream cheese, cheddar cheese) that they want they can decorate their butterflies with raisins, craisins, sunflower seeds, or cut up pieces of apricots.
  • Cut an olive in half. Add some filling to use as "glue" and put the olive (butterfly "head") on top of the celery end. 
  • Use two sunflower seeds dabbed in cream cheese for eyes.
  • Carefully insert two thin pretzel sticks in the head of the butterfly for antennae.
  • As children finish making the butterflies they can lay them on wax paper.
  • These are so yummy they are hard not to eat as you make them.  Snitching the ingredients is also delicious.
Whatever you're cookin' up in the kitchen with your kids this spring, I hope it's delicioso!
As always, I'd love to hear from you!

Do you have picky eaters, but would like to try the traditional “Corned Beef & Cabbage” St. Patty’s Day meal? 

St. Patty's Day recipes for kids, cooking with kids, March recipes for kidsMake it a Pizza! Here’s how:


  • 2 cups of shredded green cabbage
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 purchased pizza crust
  • 1/4 pound thinly sliced corned beef
  • 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese I also sprinkle on some parmesan.


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
  3. In a large skillet, sauté the cabbage in the olive oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and remove from heat.
  5. Place the pizza crust on the baking sheet.
  6. Spoon the sautéed cabbage onto the crust and spread it out evenly within half an inch of the edge.
  7. Arrange the corned beef slices over the cabbage.
  8. Sprinkle the cheese on top of the corned beef.
  9. Bake the pizza for 10 to 15 minutes, until the cheese is thoroughly melted and the pizza is nice and hot.
  10. Cut into wedges and serve immediately. Serves 4-6

Something fun to do with your entire class!

cooking with kids, March recipes for kids, St. Patty's day recipes for kidsLeprechaun Pudding Pouches:


  • 1 Tablespoon instant green pudding
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • Ziploc Baggie
  • Plastic spoons.


  • Write students’ names on Baggies.
  • Put a tablespoon of pudding mix and 1/2 cup of milk into a Ziploc Baggie.
  • Close the Baggies.
  • Have students gently squeeze and shake their Baggie ‘til pudding is nice and thick.
  • Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  • Open Baggie and eat.

cooking with kids, March recipes for kids, St. Patty's Day recipes for kidsA sweet and easy treat for St. Patty’s Day!

Pot O’ Gold Jell-O Cups:


  • Lemon Jell-O
  • Green Dixie Cups
  • Plastic Spoons


  • Follow the directions on the box.
  • Slice the Jell-O into square nuggets and put some in each of the green Dixie Cups.
  • Students eat with their spoon.


potato, cooking with kids. recipes for March, St. Patty's Day recipes for kidsSt. Patty’s Day Potato Candy:


  • 1 large potato
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 to 5 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 5 cups sweetened coconut flakes


  • Peel the potato and boil it in water until soft.
  • In a mixing bowl, mash the cooked potato with the salt and butter.
  • Let it cool completely, or else it will melt the sugar when you add it.
  • Mix in the vanilla extract and 4 cups of sugar.
  • At this point, the mixture should be stiff. If it isn't, add more sugar.
  • Sprinkle half of the coconut onto a waxed-paper-covered surface and turn the potato mixture onto it.
  • Roll the batter until all of the coconut has been mixed in.
  • Shape teaspoonfuls into small balls.
  • Roll the balls individually in the remaining coconut.
  • Chill the finished candies until you're ready to serve them.
  • Makes about 4-dozen.


Click on the links below to check out these other two fun recipes!

Rainbow Cup Cakes

Clover Cookies:

Whatever you’re cookin’ up in the kitchen with your wee ones this March,
I hope it’s better than green eggs and ham!


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