Bright Beginnings Preschool

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Simple, fun snacktivity ideas for parents and children to make together.

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Yummy Pound Cake

2 cups margarine; softened; 3 cups granulated sugar; 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract; 1 1/2 tsp almond extract; 1 1/2 tsp butter flavoring; 6 eggs; 4 cups all-purpose flour; 3/4 cup milk.

Preheat oven to 325.  In a large bowl, cream margarine, gradually adding sugar.  Mix in the extracts and the butter flavoring.  Add each egg one at a time, beating after each egg is added.  Alternate adding flour, then milk, until all of the flour is mixed in.  Spoon the mixture into ten greased mini loaf pans.  Bake for 35 - 45 min.

Mmm-Pizza Muffins

Preheat oven to 400.  Spray muffin pan with non-stick spray.  Wash hands and have your child place refrigerated biscuit dough in the muffin tin section.  Have your child place one teaspoon pizza sauce over the dough and top with a circle of pepperoni (optional) and a spoonfull of shredded mozzarella cheese.  Bake for 10-15 minutes.  

Happle Bagel Sandwich

Slice apples so that you make a round apple slice.  Put the cheese slice on top of the bagel half, put the apple slice on top of that, and sprinkle some cinnamon on top.  Put in the overn at 350 degrees for 5-10 minutes.  Watch to make sure you don't burn it.  It's done when the cheese starts to melt.

Stars and Stripes Toast

An adult should put a piece of sandwich bread into a toaster or toaster oven.  Toast the bread.  Put it on a plate to cool for a few minutes.  Cut off the bread crusts.  Make the cuts straight across so that you end up with a rectangle of toast.  Spread the toast evenly with about 1 tablespoon of cream cheese.  Rinse about 6 fresh blueberries and dry them on a paper towel.  Turn the bread on the plate so that when it is facing you, the long sides of the rectangle are the top and bottom and the short sides are the right and left.  Put 3 blueberries (stars) in a row in the upper lefthand corner of the toast.  Leave a little space between the berries.  Put 3 more berries in a row underneath the first row.  To make the stripes, put a small about of jam on a teaspoon.  It should be about the same as the amount of toothpaste you would put on a toothbrush.  Gently lay the jam in a line along the top edge of the bread beginning right next to the blueberries.  Repeat until you reach the end of the bread.  This will be 1 of the shorter stripes on the flag.   Leave space below the line of jam for a white stripe.  Then make another short red stripe.  Leave room for another white stripe.  Now begin the long stipes.  Start on the left edge of the toast and lay down a stripe of jam gonig across the toast.  Leave a white stripe and make another red one.  If you have room make l more red stripe.  You will probably have room to make 4 or 5 red stripes altogether.  When you have made all your stirpes, the flag is done. 

Tuna Cones

A tuna snadwich without the bread, mixed with an ice cream cone without the ice cream.

Open 1 can 6 1/2 oz chunk light tuna.  Drain off liquid.  Put tuna into bowl and add 1/4 cup mayonnaise.  Chop up one small dill pickle and put in bowl too.  Stir it all up.  Fill an ice cream cone (flat bottomed) with scoops of your tuna mixture and top with some black olives (without pits).  Delicious!

Carrot-Raisin Salad

Peel two carrots with a peeling knife.  Use a grater to shred the carrots (watch the knuckles.) Mix the shredded-up carrots with 1/2 cup raisins and4 tablespoons mayonnaise in a big enough bowl.  Serve and eat!

A Berry Good Banana Smoothie

Peel and slice two bananas.  Wash and cut off the tops of 2 cups strawberries (frozen are OK too).  Put into the blender with 1 cup milk and 1 cup plain yogurt and whirl away. 

   Apple Advantage:  Instead of the yogurt and milk, add 1/2 cup apple juice, 1 cup crushed ice and 1 tablespoon  honey.

Apple Gobbler

Thanksgiving turkey that doesn't hatch out of an egg.  Will look great for your Thanksgiving Day table.

Have an adult help cut the orange.  Leave the peel on it.  Cut it in half crosswise so that you slice through the center of all the sections.  Then cut a 1/2 inch slice off one of the cut sides.  Now cut the slice in half so that you have 2 semicircles.  You need 1 semicircle for this recipe.  Set the orange aside.  Wash and dry a carrot or celery stalk.  An adult should help cut a piece about 3 inches long and about 3/4 inch wide by 3/4 inch deep.  Set the piece aside.  Wash and dry a round apple.  An adult should help make all the cuts in the apple.  Put it on a cutting board with the stem pointing up.  Cut a thin slice off of one side of the apple.  Set the apple down on the cutting board on its cut side.  Turn it so that the stem is pointing toward you.  Cut a cube (about 1/2 inch to a side) out of the apple just above the stem.  Fit the carrot or celery stick into the opening you have cut.  If the vegetable stick is too thick, trim it a little and try again.  The vegetable stick should fit firmly into the opening.  This is the turkey's neck.  Now turn the apple around so tht you are looking at the other end of the apple (the part that is on the bottom when the stem is on top).  This is the back end of the turkey.  You are going to make 2 cuts in the apple, at right angles to each other.  Hold the knife as if you were going to slice off the end of the apple.  Cut into the apple, but stop cutting when you go about 1 inch down.  Then make a cut at a right angle to the first cut, also about 1 inch deep.  Remove the piece of apple that you have cut out.  You have made a little shelf in the apple where the turkey's tail feathers will sit.  Use 1 of the half orange slices as the tail feathers.  Place the orange slice on the shelf that you cut into the apple so that it looks like a fan of feathers.  Fit a maraschino cherry or an olive onto the top of the celery or carrot stick to make the turkey's head.  Put your Apple Gobbler on a plate.  Makes 1.  Make more and put an apple gobbler next to each person's plate at your Thanksgiving dinner.

Black Cat Punch

This drink looks creepy! It's perfect for a Halloween party.  Will you dare taste it?

Open a small can (6 oz) 100% frozen apple juice.  Empty the juice into a large punch bowl.  Use a spoon to get all the frozen juice out.  Use the empty can to measure 3 juice cans (18 ounces) club soda or seltzer.  Stir well until the juice is mixed with the soda.  Stir gently.  The soda will fizz and bubble up when it is mixed with the juice.  Add 6 drops red food coloring and 6 drops of blue food coloring.  Stir to mix.  The punch will be a muddy purplish black.  An adult should cut an orange (unpeeled) into 5 or 6 slices.  Foat the orange slices in the punch and serve.  Makes 6 to 8 servings. If you serve this at a party tie a black licorice lace around each cup.

Fruit Boats

Adult opens a small can of pineapple chunks. Pour pinapple chunks into a strainer over a mixing bowl to catch the juice.  Will need later.  Stir the fruit around to let the juice drain off.  Let the pineapple drain for a few minutes.  Then put the pineapple chunks in another bowl.  Peel 2 large bananas.  Cut each one in half crosswise so that you have two shorter pieces of banana.  Then cut each half in half again lengthwise.  Put the pieces into the pineapple juice and turn them so they get coated with juice.  Then lift them out and set them on a plate.  Rinse 12-20 seedless grapes and dry them on a paper towel.  You are now ready to build your boats.  Put a piece of banana on a serving plate.  The long cut side should be facing up.  Stick a grape onto a toothpick and push down so that it is in the middle of the toothpick.  Then put a pineapple chunk on the top of the toothpick.  Stick the bottom of the toothpick into your banana boat.  Make up 1 or 2 more toothpicks with fruit on them and stick them in the boat, too.  The toothpicks are the masts for the boat.  The pineapple and grapes are the sails.  Stick raisins along the sides of the boat for decorations, using soft cream cheese (peanut butter if not allergic) as "glue".  That makes one finished boat.  Repeat to make more boats.  Use your imagination.  What other fruits, vegetables, nuts or seeds could you use to build a boat?

Creamy Apple Slush

Put 1/3 cup vanilla ice cream into a small mixing bowl.  Mash it around with a spoon until it is soft.  Add 1/2 cup applesauce.  Stir until well mixed.  Add 1/4 cup milk.  Then add 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract and 2 or 3 dashes each of cinnamon, giner, and nutmeg.  Stir it all up.  Pour into a glass or mug and serve.  Makes 1 creamy apple slush.   You can freeze this mixtue until it just begins to get hard and you've got a frosty slush that you can eat with a spoon.

Peachy Flying Saucer

Have an adult open a can of peach halves and take one out.  Save the rest to eat another time.  Put the peach half on a paper towel to dry.  Put 1/4 cup cottage cheese in a small mixing bowl.  An adult should open a can of frozen orange juice concentrate and take out 1 tsp.  Add the teaspoon of concerntrate to the cottage cheese.  (You can use the rest to make a batch of orange juice.)  Stir the cottage cheese and juice to mix well.  Add  1 tablespoon raisins to the cheese mixture.  Wash 1 large lettuce leaf and dry it on a paper towel.  Put the leaf on a plate. Pile the cottage cheese mixture in the middle of the lettuce leaf.  Put the peach half on top of the cottage cheese with the open side down.  Press down gently.  The cottage cheese will ooze out all around the peach half. Cut the top third off a marshmellow and put it on top of the peach.  This is the part of the flying saucer where the space visitors sit.  Stick 10 to 12 cloves into the peach around the bottom edge to look like lights going around the saucer.  Serve.  (Take out the cloves before you eat.)  Makes 1 peachy flying saucer.

Banana Tree 

Place a lettuce leaf on a salad plate.  Place a pinapple ring on the lettuce leaf.  Peel the banana and cut it in half.  Stand the cut end of the banana half in the center of the pinapple to resemble a tree trunk.  Place a toothpick through a selected piece of fruit.  Stick the other end of the toothpick into the top area of the banana.  Each toothpick with a piece of fruit will represent a branch on the banana tree.  Fill the tree with as many fruit branches as desired.  It may be necessary to hold the banana with one hand so it does not tip over when first beginning the work.  The banana trees can be served as fruit salad to be eaten with the fingers. 

Trees  In  Snow 

Spread 1/2 cup of cottage cheese in a thick layer in a small dish.  Arrange broccoli florets, precooked, steamed lightly or raw, so they stand in the cottage cheese, resembling trees in the snow.  Drizzle a little Italin dressing over the broccoli florets to flavor the salad.  Serve the Trees in Snow with a fork as a healthy, tasty salad.

Abacus Waffles

Place the berries (use fresh assorted berries, such as blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries) in a serving bowl.  Set aside.  Heat the frozen waffles in the toaster according to package directions.  Remove waffles and place them on plate.  Look at the rows of holes or compartments in the waffles.  Place one berry in the first square in the first row.  Place  two berries in the first two squares of the second row. (Create your own pattern by using different types of berries or alternating the berries and colors.)  Place three berries in the first three squares of the third row.  Continue adding the blueberries according to the numbers until all the rows have some berries.  Make as many waffles per person as desired.  Pour syrup onwaffles before eating.

Snow White Snowflakes

 Fold a tortilla in half and then half again.  Cut out shapes and designs from the folded edges of the tortilla with the kitchen scissors.  Cut through all of the layers, trying not to tear the tortilla.  Open the tortilla and place flat on a baking sheet.  It should resemble a snowflake design.  Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella cheese onthe snowflake tortilla.  Try to keep the cheese away from the holes.  Place the baking sheet and snowflake under the broiler or toaster oven just until the cheese bubbles - only takes a minute.  While waiting, sprinkle a little cheese on a white plate.  With a spatula, remove the tortilla snowflake from the baking sheet.  To serve, place the tortilla on a white plate.  Sprinkle with a little more cheese, if desired.

Lemon Lights

Fill each compartment of the ice cube tray with 100% grape juice and place them in the freezer.  Let them freeze overnight.  The next day, prepare the lemonade in a pitcher.  Remove the ice cubes from the freezer.  Take the ice cubes out of the tray.  Place several ice cubes in each glass.  Pour lemonade over the ice cubes.  While drinking, watch what happens to the colors in the lemonade.

Totem Poles

Push a skewer through pieces of fruit (1/4 cup worth) and 3 to 4 marshmallows.  To hold the totem pole upright, carefully stick the wooden skewer into a halved apple.  Use food coloring and clean paintbrushes to paint faces on the marshmallows.  Let the food coloring dry.  If using apples or nectarines, brush the cut surface of fruit with lemon juice to keep from turning brown.

Cinderella's Pumpkin Bread

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.  Beat together 2 eggs, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1 cup canned pumpkin, and 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup white sugar.  Sift together the dry ingredients- 2 cups unbleached flour, 1 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp each nutmeg and cinnamon.  Stir in 1/2 cup water and mix gently.  Pour into a greased and floured loaf pan.  Bake 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean.  Wait 10 minutes before cooling on rack.  Yield 1 loaf (24 small servings).

Snowballs

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Put 1/2 cup butter and 2 T honey in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer.  Add 1 tsp vanilla, 1 cup all purpose flour, 1 cup pecan pieces.  Mix well with mixing spoon.  Using your hands shape small 1-inch balls with the dough and place them 1 inch apart on a cookie sheet.  Set timer and bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until set and just beginning to brown.  When done, remove from the oven and let cool slightly.  Put 1/4 confectioner's sugar in a plastic bag and shake the cookies gently to coat them.  Makes 2 doz.

Pumpkin Pecan Bites

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Cream 1 stick butter and 1/2 cup sugar together in a medium bowl.  Add 1 egg, 1/2 cup cooked pumpkin, and 1/2 tsp vanilla.  Sift 1 cup all purpose flour, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp baking soda, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground cloves and add to the bowl.  Stir in chopped pecans.  Drop by heaping tablespoons onto a greased cookie sheet.  Bake for about 15 minutes, or until lightly browned.  makes about 30 cookies.