Archive for May, 2013

30 Blogs with the Best Cake Pop Recipes

May 21st, 2013 by admin

The latest culinary craze to sweep the world, cake pops are delectably delicious treats that you can create in no time. You can get creative in the kitchen with fancy cake pops, or keep them simple to produce a quick snack that everyone can enjoy. Any kind of cake can, with a little ingenuity, become a portable bite of sweet, convenient goodness. The recipes and ideas in these 30 blogs will get you on your way and, if you’re feeling adventurous, inspire you to create your very own cake pop recipes, too.

Cake Pop Utensils and Tutorials

Baking is a precise art. You need the right tools and know-how to create a masterpiece, so make sure you’re equipped for the task. When making cake pops, there’s the easy way and the hard way. With the guides in these five blogs, you can bypass trial-and-error and get right down to producing perfect cake pops.

Easy Cake Pops

Cake pops, at first glance, give the impression of being incredibly easy to create. Still, great things come to those who wait, so don’t get ahead of yourself. By starting off with basic cake pop recipes, you will get the chance to experiment with simple, cheap ingredients. Once you have mastered the basics, you can tackle more complicated baking methods and decoration techniques. These five blogs contain simple and easy to make cake pop recipes that you can cut your teeth on.

Chocolate Cake Pops

Chocolate cake pop recipes are among the most popular, which is no surprise, given that almost everyone seems to love chocolate. From the simple to the sublime, chocolate cake pops are melt-in-your-mouth delicious. If you feel the need to tantalize your sweet tooth, you will love the recipes that these five bloggers have created especially for your tasting pleasure.

Fancy Cake Pops

If you want to impress your family and friends with your cake pop delights, then it’s time to get a little more creative with your recipes. Not everyone can create ostentatious cake pops, however, so you will need a little help from the experts. The five bloggers in this list have spent countless hours in the kitchen perfecting recipes that will wow and amaze your guests.

Novelty Cake Pops

For those special occasions when even the fanciest of cake pops doesn’t quite make the grade, you need to introduce some novel ideas. Whether it’s for Christmas, Valentine’s Day or the birthday celebration of someone very special, novelty cake pops are a real game changer. Kids love them, adults adore them and they are extremely fun to make. There are thousands of themes that you can incorporate into your novelty cake pops, so let your imagination run wild. In these five blogs, you will find a number of recipes for novelty cake pops, as well as hints and tips on how to make your own recipe ideas a reality.

Low-Fat Cake Pops

As delicious as cake pops are, they are still cakes, and potentially full of fattening, unhealthy ingredients. Even if you are watching what you eat or concerned about health, you needn’t worry. There are plenty of healthy cake pop recipes available; you just need to know where to look. With that in mind, you can start off by creating and sampling these low-fat, healthy cake pop recipes, brought to you by the five expert bloggers on this list.

25 of the Best Blogs Showing You How to Plan an End of School Year Party

May 13th, 2013 by admin

Soon the pencils and notebooks will be put away and the computers will be turned off, signaling that another school year has come to an end. The kids have worked hard and should celebrate all that they have learned and achieved over the last nine months.  To kick off the party planning take a look at these 25 blog entries to discover creative ideas for throwing the best end of year party ever.

Theme

Picking the right theme for the party will make the party planning go a lot easier.  Details will fall into place like decorations, food and activities.  If the party will be held at school you will want to involve the teacher in the planning to make sure that all of the rules are being followed, if not then the sky is the limit.  Pool parties are common end of year gatherings because the venue can accommodate a lot of students.  These five blog posts will present some theme ideas to help during the planning stages.

Decorations

Set a budget for the decorations because it is easy to go overboard if you have a theme that lends itself easily to lots of decorations.  Determine a color scheme and buy the paper goods in those colors.  Taking the theme into consideration create an atmosphere that makes the theme clear to everyone who attends the party.  For ideas on simple party decorations check out these five blog entries.

Food

It wouldn’t be a party without food, but make sure that the food is kid-friendly so that everyone can find something to eat at the party.  Try to stick with the theme if possible or just go with standard party food like pizza and cupcakes.  Little tricks like toppers and party picks can tie any food into the theme.  For food tips and tricks take a look at these five blog articles.

Activities

Plan plenty of games and activities for the party to make sure the kids stay active and involved.  Sometimes one game takes off and is everyone’s favorite, if that happens go with it.  Be flexible with the party schedule and if the kids are having a good time let them keep going.  The same holds true for an activity that falls flat, don’t torture the kids, just move on to the next activity.  To find game ideas for the party read through these five blog posts.

Party Favors

Kids love to have a little something to take home at the end of the party, but it doesn’t have to be a lot and it doesn’t have to break the bank.  Go with something that follows the theme like a jar of cookies for a cookies and milk party or cotton candy for a circus party.  For more cost saving favor ideas look at these five blog entries.

10 Dairy Free Desserts Your Kids Will Love

May 9th, 2013 by admin

There are a variety of reasons why eliminating dairy from your child’s diet may be the right choice for her health, from lactose intolerance to full-blown dairy allergies. Some parents even opt to forgo dairy as part of a chosen dietary plan. Regardless of your motivations behind the switch to a dairy-free diet for your little one, you’ll still need an inventory of quick, easy desserts for the occasional indulgence. With kid classics like ice cream and pudding out of the picture, these 10 recipes come to the rescue.

  1. Fruit Leathers – Instead of reaching for a box of processed fruit snacks, why not set aside a bit of time to make your own fruit leathers? You’ll be able to control the ingredients completely, so you’ll know exactly what they contain before you serve them to your child. With no artificial flavoring or color additives, homemade fruit leathers are a delicious and health-conscious dessert choice.
  2. Trail Mix – Provided that your child doesn’t suffer from nut allergies and none of the pieces are coated with yogurt, trail mix can be both a great snack and a scrumptious dessert. You can usually purchase the ingredients yourself to turn out larger qualities at a comparatively low price, but natural brands that are clearly labeled as such are a fine alternative.
  3. Smoothies – Traditional smoothies may contain yogurt or milk, but you can create a quick, dairy-free alternative by combining frozen fruit and coconut milk or all-natural fruit juice. Coconut milk is higher in fat and calories, but will impart a creaminess that closely mimics that of dairy products.
  4. Homemade Popsicles – You can purchase packaged popsicles that may contain any number of additives, artificial flavorings and preservatives, or you can whip up a batch on your own with fruit puree and popsicle molds. To add a bit of sweetness without using processed sugar, integrate a bit of agave nectar during the blending process.
  5. Sorbet – There’s not much to making a great sorbet, and it can satisfy kids’ cravings for ice cream without exposing them to dairy products. Try to work with berries and naturally sweet fruits when you’re making sorbets for kids, as the tangier tastes of lemon and lime that suit adult palates may not be as attractive to youngsters.
  6. Fruit Kabobs – Few things are as simple or as refreshing as bite-sized pieces of organic fruit on a skewer for easy handling. These desserts are a dairy-free and health conscious choice, but the sharp sticks may not be entirely safe for very young children.
  7. Applesauce Cookies – Most of the dairy products in traditional cookie recipes can be replaced with applesauce, and there are a variety of recipes available that will help you make that switch without difficulty. Applesauce can also be used to replace oils in many recipes, making it a low-fat alternative that still imparts sweetness and moisture.
  8. Gelatin Molds – Few things bring giggles and smiles to little faces like a jiggling helping of gelatin. When you suspend fresh fruit in the mixture, it’s even more exciting. Gelatin may not be suitable for all family diet plans, however, as it does contain animal products that are verboten for vegans and vegetarians.
  9. Peanut-Butter Banana Sticks – Impaling a banana on a popsicle stick and rolling it in peanut or other nut butters, then coating it in chopped nuts or granola makes for a dairy-free snack that satisfies a sweet tooth in a big way. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box when it comes to coatings; sprinkles, carob chips and other ingredients of similar consistency may also be a hit.
  10. Boxed Mixes – As the visibility of dietary restrictions rises, more and more commercially-available dessert mixes offer dairy-free preparation instructions and alternative mixes. Keep your eyes peeled for these items amongst the traditional mixes on the shelves of your local grocery store.

Before placing your child on a regimented dietary plan, you should discuss the matter with her doctor to ensure that it’s the right choice to suit her individual needs. Eliminating milk products can also mean the elimination of valuable nutrients like calcium, so it’s best to seek out the opinion of a medical professional before deciding to do so.

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12 Tips for Choosing a Family-Friendly First Pet

May 5th, 2013 by admin

Introducing a pet to your household can provide your kids with a companion that they love and can help them learn about responsibility and compassion as they care for the animal. It’s important for parents to remember, however, that not all pets are created equal when it comes to compatibility with kids. These 12 tips can help you select a first pet that’s suited to living with children.

  1. Consider Your Family Lifestyle – It’s important to take your family’s lifestyle as a whole into consideration when you’re choosing a pet. If the house is empty for most of the day, a puppy that needs to be taken out may not be an ideal choice.
  2. Take the Financial Aspect of Pet Ownership into Account – Any pet will require a financial commitment. After all, food isn’t free. That being said, some pets are more expensive than others. A rescued dog or cat might be a noble and socially responsible choice, but one that comes with preexisting health issues will also bring a slew of vet bills to the table. Think about how much room there is within the family budget, and keep that figure in mind as you consider upkeep costs.
  3. Keep Allergy Issues in Mind – Some pets are more aggravating to allergy sufferers than others, and living with an animal that triggers those allergies can be miserable. For instance, no matter how much your child begs for a kitten, it’s just not a good idea to bring one home if you know that someone in the family has a cat allergy.
  4. Understand Space Constraints – A small, cuddly baby animal might be tempting, but those babies can grow into large, unwieldy pets. An iguana will probably be small when you bring it home, but it will be up to six feet long when it reaches adulthood. A Great Dane puppy might not take up much room, but his fully-grown body will not be an ideal fit in a small apartment.
  5. Realize That Kids are Hands-On Creatures – Your kids will want to handle their new pet, to cuddle him and interact with him. Some animals, like hamsters and iguanas for example, simply do not tolerate a high level of handling well and may be a disappointment to eager kids.
  6. Consider an Animal’s Care Requirements – Every pet will have certain care requirements that are simply non-negotiable. Litter boxes must be cleaned, dogs need to be walked, fish need to be fed and a gerbil’s cage will need to be cleared. If your primary goal for pet ownership is to introduce a level of responsibility for your kids, be sure that the care a particular animal requires isn’t beyond their ability to manage.
  7. Don’t Be Swayed By Cuteness – Just because an animal is cute doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a good fit for your family. It’s easy to get carried away when you’re infatuated with an adorable animal, but it may still be the wrong choice for your household. It’s important that you stick to your guns, and that you don’t allow yourself to be won over by a cute pet that simply won’t do well in your home.
  8. Know the Salmonella Risks of Certain Pets – Some reptiles and most turtles present a very real salmonella risk, a cause for concern since kids aren’t known for their dedication to hand washing.
  9. Don’t Choose a Puppy So He and Your Baby Can “Grow Up Together” – The common misconception that a puppy is an ideal choice when you have very small children because they’ll “grow up together” causes many dogs to end up in shelters. A puppy’s size might increase, but he’ll still be an exuberant, energetic puppy for a few years. That untrained puppy will require a serious time commitment in order to introduce proper training, a commodity that new parents simply don’t have much of.
  10. Never Pick an Impulse Pet – Walking into a pet store or perusing local classified ads is a great way to find some kinds of pets, but it also increases your chances of choosing a pet on impulse. It’s important to think the decision through carefully before selecting a pet, something that’s generally not possible when you’re making an impulse adoption.
  11. Be Realistic About Responsibilities – You may have grand notions about your children’s participation in pet care chores, but it’s wise to be realistic about the animal’s care. The adults in the household often end up shouldering the burden of pet care, so be sure that you’re prepared to take on that responsibility if the kids don’t hold up their end of the bargain.
  12. Do Your Homework – The best way to choose a pet that will mesh well with your family is to simply do your research about any type of pet that you’re considering, and to narrow the options down to only those that are likely to be a good fit with the habits of your household.

When they’re carefully chosen and well looked after, a pet can bring joy and laughter to your home. For a successful introduction to pet ownership, however, taking the time to research and choose carefully is essential.