|Image from here|
|This is how it is SUPPOSED to look...image from here|
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Arrange the unwrapped mints on wax paper or parchment paper in the pattern of your choice.
3. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
4. Remove from oven and let cool for five minutes or so.
Here was how my first attempt turned out:
For reasons unknown to me, the green candies did not seem to have the same melting point as the red ones, so the red ones melted much faster while the green ones stayed solid. Also, the wax paper was clearly inferior to parchment paper--as I discovered too late--by burning up in the stove and setting off our smoke alarm many times. The wax paper also did not peel off of the bottom very easily, leaving some strips of wax paper behind on the bottom of the plate. Thankfully for me, helpful hubby was willing to make an "emergency" run to Fred Meyer to buy some parchment paper. I tried a few more times and I will report that while none of my attempts look nearly as polished as the ones on the Tutto Bella blog, they did look quite a bit less derpy than the one pictured above. And the truly good news is that both Ruby and London thought all of them were super-awesome and delish.
|Not pictured: voluminous smoke billows from wax paper burning up.|
The other project idea came from a library book called "Simply Homemade Food Gifts," and it seemed like it would be right up a preschooler's alley: Snowmen cookies. The "snowmen" are actually just Nutter Butters (or "peanut butter flavored sandwich cookies" if you're trying not to use brand names) dipped into a simple icing (1 c. powdered sugar plus 1/4 tsp vanilla plus enough milk to make it into the appropriate consistency) and then decorated to look like snowmen. Here again the bulk bins at Winco came in very handy. I got some gumdrops, some sour strawberry fruit leather strips, and some candy coated sunflower seeds. London got way more into decorating than Ruby did. Well, I guess you could say Ruby got into it...by way of eating most of the decorations long before they ended up on the snowmen cookies. All in all it was a cute and easy cookie to do. I think I might take all the leftovers to the Christmas program at the German club meeting tomorrow.
|Ruby has a hard time using the candy as decoration rather than snack|
|Max discovers that icing is tasty|
The girls had a great time and played nicely together. London is a year older than Ruby and there are some definite differences between three and four year old girls. For instance, London has the dexterity to color inside the lines on a coloring sheet, whereas Ruby does not yet have proper "pencil" grip and does more scribbling. But they both did a lot of imagination games, which must have been a nice change for Ruby to have a playmate who gets how to do that (unlike Max). They had tea parties for Ruby's dolls and animals, and then put several of the animals to bed and took an injured doll to the doctor. Also at one point Ruby introduced the idea of something going to jail! I think she got the idea from hearing the Bible story of Joseph being put in jail unfairly (it's in one of her little kid Bibles). We also sometimes call the pack 'n' play "Baby Jail" when Max gets put in there after he's done something naughty. And Curious George goes to jail in his first book for calling the fire department unnecessarily. Still, if London's mom wonders what on earth the kids were playing at Ruby's house...well, those are my guesses as to how Ruby decided one of her animals was going to jail.