Jan 31

Heart Melts

by Hannah Holt »

Comments Off on Heart Melts

Tuna melts with cookie-cutter cheese shapes

What you’ll need:

  • Bread
  • Tuna salad
  • Cheese slices

Step 1: Preheat the oven’s broiler.

Step 2: Place bread slices on a cookie sheet and top with tuna salad.

Step 3: Take a large (not necessarily thick) slice of cheese and cut out shapes with a cookie cutter. Arrange shapes on top of the tuna.

Step 4: Place the open face sandwiches under the broiler for about one minute or until the cheese melts. Watch them carefully to make sure they don’t burn. Serve warm.

Other ideas: Use pepperoni and vegetables to make faces.

Jan 17

Hearts A-flame Cake

by Hannah Holt »


This cake makes a dazzling impression at any children’s party.

What you’ll need:

  • chocolate cake
  • white butter frosting
  • orange butter frosting
  • red butter frosting
  • two Ziplock sandwich bags
  • 4-6 egg shell halves (saved from cake baking)
  • 4-6 Brach’s candy conversation hearts
  • lemon extract (pure, not imitation)

Step 1: If you need a recipe for chocolate cake, this links to my favorite. Also here is the recipe I use for butter frosting. Of course, ready-made frosting, and cake mix works as well.

Step 2: Frost the entire cake white.

Step 3: Spoon the orange and red frosting into two different sandwich bags. Snip a small corner off each bag (about 1/4 inch) and use the bags to pipe flames around the cake.

Let the kids get involved, and have fun with it.

Step 4: Carefully rinse and dry the egg shells. Arrange them on the top of the cake, like this…

Step 5: Place one candy heart in each egg shell and pour 1/4 tsp of lemon extract over each heart. It must be lemon extract (not vanilla or any other flavoring) because of the high alcohol content in lemon extract. (You won’t want to eat the hearts afterwards. It’s only for the effect.)

Step 6: Turn out the lights and have an adult light the hearts on fire. They will burn for a while. Blow them out when you are ready to eat cake.


Other Ideas:

For a dinosaur, dragon, or volcano themed birthday party when candy hearts might not be available, just substitute sugar cubes for the candy hearts.

Jan 02

Veggie House on the Prairie

by Hannah Holt »


A house you can eat is always a treat.

What you’ll need:

  • twelve carrot sticks (square not round)
  • four celery sticks
  • a few broccoli trees
  • a few cucumber slices
  • half a cup of chopped lettuce


Step 1: Stack the carrot sticks log cabin style (each side of the house will be three sticks high).

Step 2: Lay the celery sticks over the top of the house for a roof.


Step 3: Cut an edge off of a cucumber round and use if for the door.

Step 4: Add broccoli trees, lettuce grass, and cucumber stepping stones/chimney.

Of course, you’ll need to do a little demolition afterwards…

Store leftovers in the fridge for healthy snacks-to-go another day.

Nov 28

Bejeweled Stars and Moons Snack

by Hannah Holt »


Instead of the traditional orange in your stocking, ask Santa to bring you these tropical treats this year.

What you’ll need:

  • Star Fruit (also called Carambola)
  • Persimmon
  • Pomegranate

(These fruits are usually found next to the Pineapples and other fresh tropical fruits in the produce section.)

Step 1) Gently wash all the fruits.

Step 2) To prepare the star fruit remove ends, thinly slice off the star’s points, and cut crosswise.

Step 3) To prepare the persimmon slice crosswise and remove the skin. (The skin is edible, but it’s a little chewy.)

Step 4) To prepare the pomegranate remove the ends (note: pomegranates will stain wooden cutting boards, so place a paper towel down first).

Score the pomegranate four times along the outer edges.

Place the pomegranate in a bowl of water and break into four pieces, using the score marks as guides.

Separate the pomegranate pulp from the juicy seeds under the water. (This helps eliminate staining from juice squirts and aids separation. The seeds will sink and the pulp will float.)

Drain the seeds and discard pulp.

Step 5) Decorate a plate with stars (star fruit), moons (persimmons), and jewels (pomegranate seeds).

I hope you enjoy this celestial snack!

Nov 01

Scarecrow Spaghetti

by Hannah Holt »

Comments Off on Scarecrow Spaghetti

Get into the harvest mood with this healthy lunch idea.

Print these directions.

What you’ll need (serves 6 buckaroos):

  • 1/2 lb whole-wheat spaghetti (cooked and cooled)
  • 1 celery stalk sliced
  • 1 carrot sliced
  • 6 small cheese wedges (1/2 inch)
  • 1 cup baby lettuce leaves
  • ranch dressing (optional)

Step 1: Scoop half-a-cup of spaghetti onto your plate. Push the spaghetti into a ball.

Step 2: Place on piece of lettuce above the spaghetti (for a hat) and one underneath (for a shirt).

Step 3: Place a cheese wedge in the middle of the spaghetti for a nose. Then add carrot eyes and a celery smile.

Step 4: (optional) Drizzle one teaspoon of ranch dressing over the scarecrow.