Multiples in the Kitchen: Marshmallow Peeps Necklaces

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The girls and I are getting ready for Easter, starting with these Marshmallow Peeps Necklaces!

Peeps Necklaces on Multiples in the Kitchen

It seems that Peeps peep’ed out of store shelves earlier this year, so I started gathering as many colors as I could. I also picked up some donut-shaped gummy candies as additional “beads”. We also used baker’s twine, straws, scissors and toothpicks.

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Start by poking a hole into the peep, in between the ears and head. In other words, perform a lobunnomy.

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Once the straw appears on the other side, trim off the excess with scissors.

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Then thread the twine through the straw, using a toothpick to help poke it through to the other side. Once the peep is centered on the twine, remove the straw carefully.

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Yay! You can stop here…

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…or you can keep adding on more candies and more Peeps.

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Here’s a close-up of poking the twine through the straw with the help of a toothpick.

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Peeps Statement Necklaces. Tres Chic.

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You can also package the individual ones in narrow cellophane bags for gift giving, and add a gift tag. You can download the printable gift tags here on my blog.

Peeps Necklaces and Printable

Wishing you all a Hoppy Easter!

-Steph-

The Silly Pearl

Multiples in the Kitchen: Heart Shaped Fried Wontons

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Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year (which is celebrated for two weeks) often overlap, as is happening this year! So I thought the girls and I could make something I used to make with my mom for Chinese New Year but would also be festive for Valentine’s Day – Heart Shaped Fried Won Tons.

Heart Shaped Fried Wontons on Multiples in the Kitchen by The Silly Pearl

Before I called my girls over to help, I finely diced all the vegetables – carrots, mushrooms and cabbage. And they could have helped with this part but I also prepped the ground pork with sesame oil and soy sauce.

HeartShapedFriedWontons - Ingredients

You can find wonton skins at the supermarket in the produce section, near the tofu. They come in squares and rounds, and usually you would use square for wontons and round for pot stickers. I used round because that’s all they had the day I shopped, but they worked just fine for these wontons.

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The girls cut the green onions with their little food scissors. It was easy to just let the green onions fall onto the chopping board.

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They then added the onions and the other diced vegetables to the ground pork (note: remind your kiddos often not to put their hands in their mouths or touch their faces when their hands have touched the ground pork). HeartShapedFriedWontons4a

Now to cut the wonton skins into hearts. We used a few different cookie cutters. And we also tried using scissors. This part took quite a bit of time. Next time I will probably cut most of them and let them cut just a few, because it was starting to get closer and closer to dinner time.

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Usually, you would make a fried wonton with one skin folded in half with the meat inside. But since we’re making hearts, we are going to use two skins for each wonton. So center a little spoonful of the meat mixture in the middle of one heart, apply some water to the edges, and layer the other heart. Press down the edges, keeping the meat mixture in the middle.

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Sophie: “Voila! I made a heart! Um Mama, what does ‘Voila’ mean?”

Sarah (before I could answer): “It means TADAAAAAA!”

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Ok, all done. We’re ready to get fryin’.

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I admit this is the first time I am deep frying something without my mom next to me! I first tested to see if the oil was hot enough by putting a scrap of wonton skin into the oil. If it sizzles and turns golden brown quickly, then it’s ready. My moms technique, though, is to put a chopstick into the oil and if it bubbles, then it’s ready. So when the oil was ready, I put in three wontons at a time. When the edges started to turn brown, I flipped it over. So each one takes a few minutes total.

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Place them on a paper towel to soak up the oil. My first batch was a little too brown, but I started to get the hang of it.

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Crunch crunch crunch.

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Here’s the middle. We could have gotten away with putting more meat in the middle it seems, because for the ones that we really stuffed, the meat didn’t escape.

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Serve with my mom’s sweet and sour sauce (recipe below). Sweet and Sour Sauce

This brought back so many memories of making fried wontons and other yummy dumplings with my mom.

So tell me, what dishes did you used to make with your family as a kid?

Heart Shaped Fried Wontons - Multiples in the Kitchen by The Silly Pearl

Here are my mom’s recipes for Fried Wontons and Sweet and Sour Sauce. I modified my ingredients a bit to use what I had on hand. And this is also to make triangular-shaped fried wontons using one square skin, which you can modify to make heart-shaped ones using two skins as I did above.

*****

My Mom’s Fried Wonton Recipe

  • 1 lb Wonton Wrappers
  • 1/2 lb shrimp – minced
  • 4 oz ground pork
  • 6 chopped water chestnuts or 2 or 3 tablespoon of carrots
  • 3 T. chopped green onions
  • 1 tsp. chopped ginger root
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce

Mix ground pork and shrimp with all the other ingredients. Take one wonton skin, put 1/2 tsp. of filling in center, fold over in half to form a triangle. Deep-fry wonton until golden brown. Turn wonton constantly when deep-frying. Place fried wonton on dry paper towel to absorb oil.

My Mom’s Simple Sweet and Sour Sauce Recipe

  • 2/3 cup of water
  • 2 T. Vinegar
  • 4 T. Ketchup
  • 6 T. Sugar
  • 1 T. Rice Vinegar

When boiling add 1/3 tsp. salt(Taste a sample to see if it is sweet and sour enough), 1 tsp. cornstarch with 2 T. water to thicken sauce.

*****

Happy Valentine’s Day and Happy Lunar New Year!

 The Silly Pearl

Multiples in the Kitchen: Strawberry Jam Heart Palmiers

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Palmiers filled with strawberry jam and shaped into hearts are a festive treat for Valentine’s Day. They’re also fun for little hands to make.

Strawberry Jam Heart Palmiers on Multiples in the Kitchen

Gather your (very few) ingredients and equipment.

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Use a spatula to spread jam onto a sheet of puff pastry.

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Roll the sides in until they meet in the middle.

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Cheeese! I mean strawberryyyyy! Though you could make these with cheese!

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Roll one side of the rolled edge on top of the other like so, and chill in the fridge for 10 minutes (I just left the rolls on the cutting board and put the whole thing in the fridge).

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Then use a serrated knife to cut them into about 1/2 inch pieces.

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You may need to shape them into a heart by pinching the middle with your fingers.

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Then sprinkle them liberally (and very precisely, it seems!) with sugar and bake until golden brown.

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Cute and a little bit different for Valentine’s Day.

Strawberry Heart Palmier Cookies - Multiples in the Kitchen

Strawberry Jam Heart Palmier Cookies

  • 1 package (2 sheets) puff pastry, thawed
  • 1/2 cup strawberry jam
  • Sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Unfold thawed puff pastry and spread jam in in an even layer. Roll the pastry along the edges until they meet in the middle, then stack the two rolls. Chill for 10 minutes, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Arrange on a lined baking sheet and shape into hearts if necessary. Sprinkle liberally with sugar. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

What treats do you like to make for Valentine’s Day?

-Steph-

The Silly Pearl

Multiples in the Kitchen: Nutella Bread Pudding

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A surprisingly not-too-sweet dessert, Nutella Apple Raisin Bread Pudding is fun to make and is a delicious reward for all their hard work.

Nutella Apple and Raisin Bread Pudding by The Silly Pearl on Multiples in the Kitchen

Nutella? Good. Croissants? Good.

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Gather the rest of your ingredients and do some prep for your kids first, if your they can’t use a knife just yet.

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We started with filling the croissants. First spread on the Nutella.

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Then fill the inside with diced apples and raisins. Feel free to come up with your own filling! I know, we do apples a lot around here…it’s their favorite.

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Cut the croissant sandwich into thirds and fill your baking dish. The girls each wanted to make their own.

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We could totally stop here, right?

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Then we mixed the ingredients to make the custard.

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I divided the custard into two measuring cups for easy pouring into their dishes. One dish got a little bit more custard than needed…

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…as evident here, after baking! Just make sure the custard is set and fully cooked if this happens.

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Have some whipped cream with that. As mentioned, this wasn’t too sweet at all, and not only that, there were many different types of sweet going on (buttery croissant, chocolatey Nutella, tart apple, and sweet raisins) so it was an interesting and fun combination of flavors, yet one didn’t overwhelm the other.

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There’s plenty left if you want to come over!

The Silly Pearl - Nutella Apple Raisin Bread Pudding

Nutella, Apple, and Raisin Bread Pudding

Ingredients

  • 3-5 croissants, preferably a day old
  • 1/2 cup or so Nutella
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 cup cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut the croissants cross-wise down the middle and spread a layer of Nutella onto each slice. Place apple pieces and all but about 2 Tbs raisins on the bottom half of each croissant and place the top half of the croissant on top to form a sandwich. Cut into thirds and place into a baking dish. Set aside.

In a bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients to make the custard. Pour into the baking dish over the croissant sandwich pieces. Press down on the croissants to absorb the custard. Scatter the remaining raisins on top. Cover with foil.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes, until the top is brown and any remaining custard around the sides of the bread has set. Allow to cool and serve with whipped cream.

Note: This should be enough to fill an oval 9×12-inch oval baking dish and serves 8. The 8×8-inch dish used 3.5 croissants (though there was room for more).

Wishing you a sweet holiday season!

-Steph-

The Silly Pearl

Multiples in the Kitchen: Apple Turkeys

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My girls are getting over their sickies this week, and I’m also recovering…from a long week at jury duty! So for this month’s Multiples in the Kitchen post, I’m going to show you an oldie-but-goodie from my blog, inspired by an annual Thanksgiving craft my girls created at preschool – Apple Turkeys!

Apple Turkeys - Multiples in the Kitchen

Here’s how to make them:

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  • Apples
  • Knife (for a grown-up to use if your kiddo’s skills/age aren’t there yet) and a cutting board
  • Lettuce: Use something with narrower leaves with a thick stalk. We found this duo of red and green “artisan” lettuce at TJs. Romaine would work too.
  • Or instead of lettuce, you can use colorful candies that can be poked with a toothpick, such as marshmallows and gumdrops, or you could be healthier and use dried fruit.
  • Toothpicks
  • Scratch paper to make a template for the head.
  • Paper to make the head and hat. Scraps are great.
  • Glue, Scissors

Directions: Cut out the template for the head on scratch paper. Keep in mind the size of your apples and keep it proportionate. I shaped their heads simply, like a butternut squash. I have one facing front, and one facing to the side. Then trace onto your paper and cut two pieces.

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Put glue on each head and sandwich a toothpick in between. appleturkey0c

Cut out the hats in a contrasting color. I just free-handed a pilgrim hat. Ok it looks like a top hat. I also used a small hole punch for the eyes, and a scrap of yellow for the beak.

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You can make the turkey heads ahead of time. Wait til the day of if you’re using lettuce, or the night before if you’re using candy.

Cut your apple along the side, at an angle so the apple doesn’t roll around. appleturkey2

For the lettuce tails, stick a toothpick through the stalk as straight-down as possible and insert into the apple. Kids may find candies easier to work with.

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Poke the head onto the apple towards the front. All done!appleturkeys

Happy Thanksgiving from my little turkeys! We are hosting Thanksgiving this year, so please send don’t-burn-the-turkey-again vibes!

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-Steph-

Multiples in the Kitchen: Baked Cinnamon Raisin Apples

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The fun thing about kindergarten is that even though they get homework these days, most of the homework is fun. They were learning in-depth the letter “Aa” and part of their homework was to make these Baked Cinnamon Raisin Apples.

Baked Cinnamon Raisin Apples on Multiples in the Kitchen

Just a few ingredients needed for this easy dessert.

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First I cut two apples in half, and cut off the ends and the stem. I had the girls try to remove the core with a melon baller. It helped if I started it out for them.

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They then filled the hole with raisins, granola…

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…a teaspoon of frozen apple juice concentrate…

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…and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Okay, maybe more than a sprinkle.

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I cut out four squares of foil and they wrapped them up.

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Then we baked the apples at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes.

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All done.

Multiples in the Kitchen-Baked Cinnamon Raisin Apples

We ate ours with ice cream and another sprinkle of granola. I kid you not, it tasted like apple pie. We just might serve these at Thanksgiving, as this was such a perfect light little serving for after a big turkey dinner. It would be fun to set this up assembly-line style and have all the kids help.

Baked Cinnamon Raisin Apple - Multiples in the Kitchen

Homework was never this yummy when I was a kid.

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This recipe was adapted from Monday Morning Books, 1993.

-Steph-

PS Hope you’ll stop on by my blog for more Fall recipes and crafts!

The Silly Pearl - Fall Crafts and Recipes