I’m a bit late with my New Year’s Greetings, but that’s nothing new! 🙂 (At least it’s still January) Here’s Snoopy, apparently fast asleep atop his doghouse, but in reality he’s thinking deep thoughts about the new year, and wishing the best for you and yours in 2014.We did a gingerbread decorating day with my sister and all of our kids, and after the frosting stopped flying, and the kids rumbled off to their next activity, I assembled this gingerbread doghouse for cookie Snoopy. I used the birdhouse pattern that I printed from the instructions here, and just trimmed in the roof sections a bit and cut out the doorway. Then decorated with royal icing and nonpareil snowflakes. Snoopy is such a comforting image from my childhood! Here’s Snoopy’s doghouse with some Christmas lights that I swiped from my nephew…..They didn’t stay on too long when my nephew finally noticed them….! I just love gingerbread!! YUM! I usually end up making some in February, too, not just for Christmas! Anyways, have a great New Year!
I love Snoopy and Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang! I remember looking forward to watching their specials on TV when we were young. (I also love pumpkins) so it was easy to come up with the perfect theme for a fall birthday party for my son. I haven’t watched “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!” for years, but I remember how Linus made me laugh, trying to wait all night in a pumpkin patch. So this party started with a little pumpkin patch. I had made some fondant pumpkins for cupcake toppers, and so there were still some just sitting around, waiting to form a pumpkin patch for Linus.Add in a “great pumpkin” and some more chipboard Peanuts characters (from last year’s kids’ Thanksgiving table)…..I had found some little packets of tissues with Snoopy on them, so they were a bit of a favor at each place….There were some other cute and fairly easy pumpkin ideas that were fast enough to put together for this party. My sister told me about using mandarin oranges as little pumpkins….Just peel them and add “stems” from celery, or in this case, stems from spinach leaves! And a bit of cilantro for leaves around the pumpkins. And then a jelly bean favor for each kid, this idea I found here on Parenting.com. I happened to have some red tulle (no orange!), so wrapped the orange jelly beans in it, then added pipe cleaner for a stem (and to hold the bag together) and some green curled ribbon for the tendrils. Didn’t take long to put together.The orange tablecloth and birthday banner I had saved from last year’s Garfield party…My preschool nephews were visiting, so I was trying to think of ideas that they could help out with for this party….baking!! Let’s make some birthday brownies!! (from a box!!)You could always add a pumpkin puree swirl into the chocolate brownies, that would be finger lickin’ good! (or pumpkin and cream cheese!! ahhhh!) Another idea that turned out great to do with the little kids was to make a birthday poster. First I drew a picture of Snoopy with a Sharpee marker on posterboard, then covered it up with white paper and painter’s tape. Then let the kids at it with paint daubers (bingo dabbers?)A fun idea even the youngest can help with!After painting is dry, peel off the tape to reveal….Snoopy!Then an older kid colored the words in with black marker so they’d stand out a bit. Posters, bday banner, favors, centerpiece, check!!….bring on the food and the party!
A happy pumpkin with a jack-o-lantern face from Papa Murphy’s pizza…..it’s the season for those, and they were just right for our pumpkin theme. We love Papa Murphy’s pick up and bake at home pizzas!Time for pizza!Pumpkins! (oops, that’s from something else!)Linus’s pumpkin patch moves over to the birthday brownies….Make a wish….Happy birthday! Check out some more pumpkin ideas…Here are some more pumpkin food ideas that I’ve worked on in the last few days, and they’d be perfect for a Charlie Brown pumpkin theme. My mom told me about some cute pumpkin cheese-balls that she saw, so I tried them out….How to: mix up softened cream cheese with spices (garlic, onion, paprika, pepper, season salt, or whatever you like) and some grated cheddar or mozzarella cheese. I also added chopped sun dried tomatoes. Let sit for a few moments in the refrigerator to harden a bit, then pull it out, divide into two chunks, cover with plastic wrap and shape into 2 balls. On top of the plastic wrap, mark the lines on the pumpkin with a back of a knife. Return to fridge. Later, before serving, take off the plastic and roll the cheese-balls in crushed nacho cheese tortilla chips (Doritos!) and add the stems from some bell peppers.The stems were easy to cut out….cut out from the pepper, along with the seeds, then cut right at the base of the stem, it kind of just popped off….crushed Doritos…I added paprika, but don’t do that, it dulled the color….When you press in the stem, it helps squash it into a pumpkin shape…I took a knife and re-made some of the indentations on the sides….Such cute, tasty little guys!And one last pumpkin idea….we just loved this one! I found a video on how to make these adorable pumpkin buns, by Hani, from Haniela’s. She has all sorts of great how-to videos for lots of yummy eats! She made these in just an hour. My first time to try took close to an hour and a half, but the next time was faster….and really, 35 minutes of that time is letting the buns rise, so really they’re pretty quick to make! And so adorably pumpkiny!! (Click on the link above for her video and recipe! you can do it!) You can make large ones for hamburger buns, how fun is that??Make the dough and cut….Let rise, add egg wash and sesame seeds, Bake for about 12 minutes…Add a stem and there you go!! I didn’t have the big pretzel sticks, so used several small skinny ones. I’ve also seen photos with pecans as stems!I just love those pumpkins!! All pumpkins, I guess. We had a lovely day out at a pumpkin (and everything else) farm and I had such a great time! Love photographing pumpkins!Hope you got some ideas for your next fall party…oh, I just saw that It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown is on TV tonight….pumpkin memories!! 😉
Who else grew up watching the Charlie Brown specials on TV? And I’m sure some of you even watched them in Spanish, like we did! This year I really wanted to do some sort of Snoopy theme….for something. There’s just something so fun and comforting about those old cartoons (and when I say old, I mean even before I was born! That makes me feel good, and young). The Peanuts gang just brings back warm and fuzzy memories! And in fall especially! I guess it’s because they had so many fall specials…the Thanksgiving special, the Great Pumpkin special and the one about the origins of Thanksgiving.
So I decided to do a Thanksgiving kids’ table with Snoopy and the gang. It was kind of a last minute thing, and it was inspired by this box of chipboard embellishments that I bought a few years ago with my 50% off coupon at Michaels….I had been saving them for something special.I ran downstairs to the basement to look for something yellow to use as a tablecloth….I knew I had a length of yellow fabric, wait, that was 14 years ago, maybe I’m not going to find it…..so the black and white striped sheet would have to do! (I have an old stash of colorful sheets that have been handy for everything, especially tablecloths…but no bright yellow one!)Next I added my recent IKEA purchase of cork placemats…they were too cute to resist and perfect for fall. I set the Charlie Brown chipboard characters on them and they looked…perfect.Now I pulled out a recent gift from my thoughtful Mom….mason jars!! I had been saving them for something special. They are the small ones that are all the rage for serving juice or milk at children’s parties (online at least!) You unscrew the top, and take out the flat metal lid, then turn a cupcake liner paper upsidedown over the top of the jar and re-screw only the outer rim of the lid back on. Punch a hole and add a straw and it’s good to go! I used yellow cupcake papers and added a cardstock cutout of that classic Charlie Brown signature chevron to the jar. It’s a little hard to see in the photo, but looked great with lemonade!For a centerpiece I used a cornucopia basket filled with balls of yarn. That was a “craft” we worked on another day. I just plopped it on the table and added a few chipboard embellishments. (I don’t know why it says BONK.)I had fun putting the table together, and it was pretty quick…except the next part. We have so many Snoopy comics around, I figured I just had to incorporate them in some way or another, so I scanned in a page from a book, played around with them on my computer, and changed the text. Then I printed the comics out to make into little placecards.The next part was the best idea of all….genius, I’d call it. It happened in one of those spur-of-the-moment flashes that sometimes happen when I’m crafting with the available supplies. I was winding a ball of yellow yarn to add to the centerpiece, when I thought that the yarn would make a good napkin holder. I had tried to fold the napkins into paper airplanes, but they weren’t holding together (even with tape). As I was wrapping the yarn around a folded serviette, I had the brainwave: the kids could unwind the yarn while they said what they are grateful for. Like a real THANKSGIVING GAME! So that’s what they did. Each kid took a turn to slowly unwind their yarn napkin-holder while they listed things that they are grateful for. There was everything from food and friends and family, to Benjamin Franklin and Charles Schultz (the creator of Peanuts) on their lists!! They also listed their parents and siblings in their “grateful lists” and for that I am truly grateful!There are other things that would have been fun to do at a Snoopy and Charlie Brown themed party…like a Snoopy-drawing contest, or a football-holding-and-pulling-away contest!! I had wanted to make Charlie Brown parfaits, with yellow pudding and oreo crumbs, yum, but ran out of time. If you don’t have an IKEA store handy, you could get cork at the dollar store or hardware store for placemats, or how about just cardstock or construction paper? My sister did a Snoopy party and photocopied Peanuts comics and pasted them onto large sheets of cardstock for the placemats and they looked great!!This meal wasn’t our actual Thanksgiving meal, it was the day after, we just didn’t have time to squeeze everything into one day!! It was so fun, though! And after supper, we watched the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving specials together and ate cookies and milk. For sure it was a warm and fuzzy memory-making time for the kids, and for the biggest kid of all……me! 🙂Hope this helps out with some ideas for a Snoopy themed party or for your (USA) Thanksgiving Kids’ Table (since it’s already come and gone in Canada)!
(my youngest said she wants her next birthday party to be Snoopy, heh heh!)