Tag Archives: Valentines Day

Easy Pink Dough Valentines for Preschoolers

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An easy way for toddlers and preschoolers to celebrate Valentine’s Day!  Pink dough to play with!  Mix up a quick batch of pink colored dough and break out the heart cookie cutters!  The recipe I used is at the end of the post.  Here’s my nostalgic look back at my babies busy at work on their “Valentines”Pink Dough for Preschool Valentines by dennasideas.com - Page 008We’re going to make something!Pink Dough for Preschool Valentines by dennasideas.com - Page 007Pink Dough for Preschool Valentines by dennasideas.com - Page 005Squish that pinkness!Pink Dough for Preschool Valentines by dennasideas.com - Page 004The idea was to get them to make a Valentine on the table, then I would photograph it as their “valentines” for Daddy and Grandma and Grandpa.Pink Dough for Preschool Valentines by dennasideas.com - Page 006And that’s what we did.Pink Dough for Preschool Valentines by dennasideas.com - Page 002Pink Dough for Preschool Valentines by dennasideas.com - Page 001It was a lot of very pink fun!  I had to play a bit, too….Pink Dough for Preschool Valentines by dennasideas.com - Page 003Here’s the recipe I use for play dough:

2 and 1/2 cups of white all purpose flour   (I’ve tried it with whole wheat flour, and let’s just say…No!)

1 cup of salt  (fine, not coarse)

2 small packages of Kool Aid  (the ones without real sugar)  this is optional. if you don’t have Kool Aid, then add food coloring

3 tsp. vegetable oil  (canola oil is good)

2 cups of boiling water

Mix all the dry ingredients together, then add the boiling water.  Stir it all together very well and turn out onto a surface where you can knead it a bit.  It will be hot, so let it cool a bit before kneading.  Then knead away until it becomes smooth.  When it’s cool enough, the kids can start playing.  As soon as it’s cool enough, either play with it or seal it in plastic bags so it doesn’t start drying out.  This will last for quite awhile in a sealed bag.   Note:  the Kool Aid is just for easy color and aroma!  We used cherry for Valentine’s day.  If the kids love the smell so much that they taste it, it won’t hurt them at all, just a little salty.  If there’s worry about the flour, then I’d say don’t add the Kool Aid and then it won’t smell appetizing enough for little ones to put into their mouths!

Fun for the kids to make, and the photos are easy to send to everyone online, no mess, no snail mail! 😉  Just digital cuteness from the kids!  Happy ❤ weekend!

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3D Cookies for Valentine’s Day

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3D Cookies for Valentine’s Day

How do you say Happy Valentine’s Day to those you love?  Flowers, candy, cards, or some even bigger display?  Or do you prefer to do something special together?  Or is it one of those days that just slips by?  I saw a funny “quote” the other day.  It was a photo from Star Wars and the caption was “I’ll be celebrating Valentine’s Day Han’s style….Solo!”  Maybe that’s more you 🙂

We don’t make a super big hoohaw about Valentine’s Day, a few special things, like maybe chocolate or sometimes flowers.  I’m usually in favor of homemade or home-printed Valentines.  (OK, I admit sometimes I put way too much work into the “homemade” Valentines that the kids take to school.  But this year, I put in 10 minutes of work on a printable, and then they are on their own, I’m just too tired,with a been there, done that  kind of feeling).  Anwyays, I came up with a brilliant idea that I think will make a memorable Valentine’s Day for us this year:  The kids are in charge of making and serving supper for my husband and I.  Sounds a tad dangerous, but I intend to enjoy it!  We’ll see how it goes…3D Valentines cookies by dennasideas.com - Page 003

After having said that, I admit I did make a few Valentine’s cookies.  I had the dough in the fridge and a few more M&Ms from the last couple of posts! 🙂  And I had these cute letter cookie cutters to try out!  (A fun gift from a friend)  So here goes a little tutorial for some fairly easy, but attention-getting cookies.

Ingredients:  chocolate cookie dough and candy melts (I use Wilton brand) and letter cookie cutters (or just freehand it) and small heart cutters.3D Valentines cookies by dennasideas.com - Page 015Amor= love in Spanish 😉  Galletas=Cookies!   Cut out letters and a bunch of small or medium hearts for bases.3D Valentines cookies by dennasideas.com - Page 014Bake and let cool…..cool!3D Valentines cookies by dennasideas.com - Page 013Melt up some red and white candy melts and get ready to pipe them out of baggies with only a tiny corner snipped off…3D Valentines cookies by dennasideas.com - Page 012Squeeze strings of candy melt out while moving back and forth over all the letters.  Repeat with next color.3D Valentines cookies by dennasideas.com - Page 011Then pick up each letter and break off the extra bits of candy melt off the sides, this is really easy and works well.3D Valentines cookies by dennasideas.com - Page 0103D Valentines cookies by dennasideas.com - Page 009Line up the letters and the bases, some letters need two hearts for their bases.3D Valentines cookies by dennasideas.com - Page 008Use some more candy melt to attach the bases, I used dark cocoa candy melts (only took 3 melts)3D Valentines cookies by dennasideas.com - Page 0073D Valentines cookies by dennasideas.com - Page 006Holding the letters in place for about 5 seconds was mostly enough to balance the letters, but if necessary, prop them up for a bit…3D Valentines cookies by dennasideas.com - Page 005The candy melts set up quite quickly.  Here’s the bird’s eye view:3D Valentines cookies by dennasideas.com - Page 004And there you go!  The letters are quite sturdy and just so fun looking!  Great for a Valentine’s Day centerpiece.3D Valentines cookies by dennasideas.com - Page 002Oh wait!  Since you have the cookie dough out, and maybe a few extra cookies baked, go ahead and decorate some more for your centerpiece.  Here’s how I did it with Nutella and M&Ms using the same idea from the other day’s post:pixel Valentines cookies by dennasideas.com - Page 020 pixel Valentines cookies by dennasideas.com - Page 019 pixel Valentines cookies by dennasideas.com - Page 018 pixel Valentines cookies by dennasideas.com - Page 017 pixel Valentines cookies by dennasideas.com - Page 016 candy valentingecookies by dennasideas.com - Page 019The kids wanted to cut out some Os and Xs for hugs and kisses, so I used up the last of the red M&Ms on these:candy valentingecookies by dennasideas.com - Page 016And here’s one for you from me (sorry it’s not edible but I’m all about digital stuff)happy valentines day from dennasideas.com

I’d love to hear from you if you try out some of my little cookie techniques! 🙂

Upcycling those old Valentines

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Upcycling those old Valentines

Now that the “thrill” of Valentine’s Day is over….what do you do with all the sweetness that came home from school?  The candy is all eaten, of course, and now to deal with the 3 bags of cute little cards and pencils, etc.  I feel bad chucking the bags into the recycling bin, like I usually do, so decided to actually take the time to sit down with some scotch tape and (quickly) save this little reminder, not only of the kids’ friends, but also the popular characters and fads of the moment.  Someday that will be interesting to see.  It’s like a time-capsule.  I always have to smile when I see valentines with the same characters that were around when I was young….Cabbage Patch Kids, and uh, um, that’s all I can remember.  Maybe Transformers?  And a few Disney things.   Anyways, all I did was grab some page protectors, then I laid the valentines out, face up on a sheet of paper for the measurement.  I didn’t want to glue them to the paper, because I thought it would be nice to see the backs, to see which little friend sent which little card.  So I taped the cards to each other, then flipped them over and taped a few places where they met, so I could just slip it into the page protector and now see both sides of the little valentines!  I didn’t worry about using acid free tape or anything, just did it to get it done!  It took longer for me to write this paragraph than it did to tape the valentines together!

And what about the Upcycling you ask?  We found a cute idea on Pinterest to make with some of the envelopes and Valentines that we didn’t want to save.  We are calling them Edge Biters or Corner Munchers….they are cool and different BOOKMARKS! Here’s the link where I found it: http://nheilke.com/blog/2011/02/corner-page-bookmarks-3/, I didn’t check it out right before we made ours, so ours are a little simpler and less professional looking.  Gather up some old valentines, punches, scissors, glue stick and some envelopes (ours were from the Valentines that Grandma mailed to us, definitely our most-looked-forward to tradition of V-day).  First, cut off the corners of the envelopes for the muncher’s heads.

Punch out circles from valentines, or white and black paper for the eyes.  For the teeth you can freehand it, or use a heart punch and use the points of them for the teeth.  After a few trials, what I did was cut a corner from a white envelope, making it larger than the colored ones, and then cut the teeth out, and slipped it inside, that was a lot easier.

These cute little guys just slip onto the corner of your page, to keep your place!!

Valentines cards for kids

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I mentioned that I usually stay up late working on kids’ valentines for school, but this year had an idea that was a little easier and faster to make (the moustaches and lips!) …here are some photos from years past and from this year:

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Here are the moustaches (for the boys) and lips (for the girls), I saw them on Pinterest…. 🙂

What to do with a pink grapefruit…?

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All of a sudden, we had a big bag of grapefruits.  The kids love them, but I’m not so sure about them…they make my tongue sting…we juiced a few and added them to sprite for punch one night, but I still wanted to try and find another use for them (the punch gave me heartburn) so after searching around on Allrecipes.com I found one recipe for grapefruit cookies, but didn’t like the “cakey” sound of them.  The idea wouldn’t go away, so I made up my own recipe (altered an old one I had) for grapefruit cookies.

Here are the steps, and the recipe is at the end:

Zest up some grapefruit peel and squeeze some juice!  That’s pink grapefruit remember…

Beat the butter and sugar, of course!

Add the zest (finely grated grapefruit peel, the pink part only , not the white stuff) and some of the juice,

Mix the dry ingredients separately,  (non-exciting photo)

Make the dough, then roll it into a log shape on wax paper.

All of a sudden, because of Valentine’s day,  I had the idea of shaping the log a bit so it would look heart shaped.  I pushed down on one side, to make the point of the heart, then flipped it over and pushed on the opposite side (still for the point)…(excuse the freakish hand)..then……….(pls. a lot of my ideas happen “suddenly” and “last minute/second” that’s the way I work..)

Then I used the handle of a spatula to make an indent in the opposite side, to divide the top of the heart.

Refridgerate the dough, usually for a couple of hours (or freeze for a bit) so it’s stiff enough to slice thinly.

Prepare some pink and orange decorator’s sugar in a shallow dish or plate, and mix it together.

Press each sliced cookie into the sugar so that one side is coated with sugar, then place sugar side up on baking trays (cookie sheets) lined with parchment paper (or just greased, I guess 🙂  I actually worked up some patience and let the kids help me with this part:

Bake and let cool on racks.  Now mix up some icing with the remaining grapefruit juice and  pipe out a line around the edge, then 3 lines crossing the inside of the heart, to look like grapefruit sections.  Add 2 or 3 little “seeds”!  The icing is a bit “blobby”, not super stiff, so it spreads out a bit…but what a taste!

I was surprised how yummy they turned out!  But they still made my tongue sting a bit!  The rest of the family gave them a big 2 thumbs up: 

The Pink Grapfruit Butter Cookie Recipe

This is a smaller recipe, using one grapefruit, doubling or tripling works out great.

From one pink grapefruit~ 1 Tbsp. juice and 2 tsp. zest (finely grated peel)  (Put aside an extra 2 Tbsp. of juice for the icing)

Combine the dry ingredients~

1 cup flour

1/8 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. baking soda

1 Tbsp. cornstarch

Beat together:

1/4 cup icing sugar

1/3 cup butter

1/4 cup sugar

At low speed, beat in grapefruit peel and juice and 1/2 tsp. vanilla until mixed.  Gradually beat in flour mixture just until blended.   Roll dough into a log (about 2 inches wide and about 8 inches long), wrap in wax paper or plastic and refridgerate for a few hours until firm.  Slice into about 1/4 inch slices.  Push one side of each slice into sugar and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes.  Let cool then ice with the following icing~

Icing~

melt 1/2 Tbsp butter

whisk in 1 cup of icing  sugar and

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 to 2 Tbsp. grapefruit juice

The Night before Valentine’s Day

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I was just sitting here, downloading photos from my camera, then typed “valentine” into my photo search tags, to see what came up.  It was interesting to see what we’ve done for Valentine’s day over the years.  There are several photos, taken late late at night, of the kids’ valentines sitting on the table, ready to be carried to and distributed at school in the morning, after Mommy stayed up late finishing them up because she had this “really cute” idea for homemade valentines and at this point is ripping her hair out and wondering “why, why do I do this to myself??!”  And it’s amazing how many of those photos I have, and I’m just downloading (or is that uploading?) the ones from tonight.  But tonight I didn’t go crazy!!  Just a simple little idea, and lots of lollypops.  And now the 2 older kids are just taking the plain candy….aparently in Jr. High things aren’t as cute and fun….sigh.  Ha ha, but I know that even Jr Highers would get a kick out of this cute little idea!!

I know, I’m obsessed!! But I admit, I was realistic last year, and bought Cheap Storebought Valentines.  They were beautiful, Phineas and Ferb and The Penguins of Madagascar and Dora the Explorer.  I loved them….and they were so easy.  So why this obsession for homemade?  I really really don’t know.  Oh, yes, I guess I do….it’s called Procrastination, and “leaving everything to the Very Last Minute”, so there is no time to run out and buy shiny Disney, Nick Jr. or whatever, valentines…..the only thing left to do is pull out the Craft Supplies and get crackin’!!  Does anyone else do this?

So I’ll post the “home-made valentines” tomorrow, after I get a good shot of the kids with them 🙂

This was just my little rant for tonight, and to wonder what everyone else is doing right now, the Night Before Valentine’s Day.  Let me know, as long as it’s Appropriate. 😉  Ok, I just want to know if you are “crafting” or “obsessing” nothing else!