Feb 29

Fresh & Fruity Popsicles

I love to make my own popsicles, and nothing tastes better in the winter than a tropical pop that reminds you that summer is soon to come.


Fresh squeezed fruit juice & vegetable juice

I juiced 1.5 grapefruits, 2 oranges, 3 carrots and chopped up 1 kiwi.

Container to freeze the popsicles in



Squeeze the fruit and vegetable juices into a container and mix them together.  I used an automatic juicer so I could add carrots.  Cut up a kiwi into small chunks and put into the bottom of the Popsicle containers before you add the juice.  Pour juice over the kiwi and put containers into the freezer for 2 hours.  Then once slightly slushy add the sticks so they stay upright.  Put back in the freezer for 4-5 hours or until solid.



Learning Corner:

What about the color of the popsicles reminds you of summer?

How about the smell?

Feb 23

Farmers Cheese

I have always wanted to make my own cheese, so we are going to learn together.  Let’s start with something really simple that we can make without any fancy equipment.  For the original posting go to http://allrecipes.com/recipe/home-made-farmers-cheese/.


  • 1 gallon whole milk
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 large lemon, juiced



In a large pot pour in the entire gal of milk and bring just to boil or medium heat.  Remember to stir the milk constantly to avoid burning.  I found using a whisk is easiest for me.  When small bubbles start to form in the milk on the outside of the pot, turn off the heat, drop in a pinch or two of salt and the lemon juice, stir to combine.  

This will make the milk curdle, wait 10 minutes then pour the milk and curds through a cheese cloth lined colander. What is left in the cheese cloth is the farmer’s cheese.  Squeeze out all the liquid you can from the cheese and place in an air tight plastic container and place in the fridge.   This cheese is great on bagels, toast or even an apple.



Feb 9

Valentines Cupcakes

We are going to make something super simple and super sweet this week.  All you need is to be creative.


1 store bought box red velvet cake mix

                Fallow directions on the box for addition ingredients


Food color if you want to dye the frosting different colors

Heart shaped sprinkles


Mix the cake mix according to the instructions on the box, then pour into cupcake wrappers and bake until a toothpick comes out clean when stuck in the middle.  This time will vary depending on the cake mix you buy.

Let the cupcakes cool, then frost the top with your choice of colored frostings, add heart shaped sprinkles on top and give to someone as a sweet treat.



Learning Corner:

Trying making the frosting to match everyone in your family’s favorite color so they know the cupcake was made special just for them.

Feb 2

Homemade Conversation Hearts

I found this recipe online and thought it might be a fun way for your family to leave each other personal messages.  For the original post and pictures go to http://candy.about.com/od/valentinesdaycandy/r/convo_hearts.htm .


•1 packet (1/4 oz, or 2 tsp) unflavored gelatin

•1/2 cup water

•2 tsp light corn syrup

•2 lbs powdered sugar, plus additional for dusting

•Flavoring extracts anything you like

•Food coloring

•Heart-shaped cutters

•Food safe coloring markers


In a microwave safe bowl add corn syrup, gelatin, and water, stir until everything is dissolved.  Then microwave bowl and liquid for 30 second to make sure the gelatin is totally dissolved.  Either poor mixture into a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or a large bowl if using a hand mixer, then poor in 1 cup powder sugar and mix on low until well incorporated.  Continue to add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time and mix until well incorporated; it will go from liquid to stiff dough. 

Knead the dough on the counter that is dusted with powdered sugar until the dough is no longer sticky.  You will have to continuously add more sugar to avoid the dough sticking to the counter or your hands. 

Here is the fun part, pick out the number of colors and favors you want to make and break the large dough ball into the correct number of smaller balls.  Work in color and flavor until it makes what you are looking for. 

Roll the dough balls out to about ¼ inch thick or less, cut out the different heart shapes and sizes you would like to make.  Air dry the hearts for at least 24 hours on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. 

After 24 hours of dry time, use the food safe markers to write special family messages or jokes.