10 Minute Witch Fingers

20131024-223639.jpg

If you live near a Trader Joes or Fresh and Easy you can have which fingers in 10 minutes! They are whole wheat, they have no sugar, dye or other bad stuff, and they are super fun for kids to create and eat. The only downfall is they really need to be made the same day, so you’ll need to carve our 10 minutes plus the time to clean up and plate, but I took these to a friends house and the kids devoured them! My 5 year old enjoyed making them with me and then proudly served them to her friends.

What You’ll Need

Trader Joe’s Whole Wheat Pizza Dough (or pizza dough from Fresh and Easy)
One egg white
Course salt, kosher or sea salt
Almond slivers
Pizza Sauce for dipping (Trader Joe’s is good, be careful of some store bought varieties that may contain artificial sweeteners)
Olive oil for the pan
Flour to keep dough from sticking to your hands

Prep – Place dough on counter to come to room temp. Preheat oven to 425.

Step 1 – pinch off small balls of dough with your fingers. Using flour so the dough doesn’t stick roll the dough into a finger shape with your hands and place on oiled cookie sheet.

20131024-224725.jpg

Step 2 – add almond slivers for the fingernails

Step 3 – brush with egg white. Sprinkle generously with salt.

Step 4 – bake at 425 for 5-8 minutes until just starting to brown slightly.

Step 5 – put plastic right rings on the fingers if you wish and serve with pizza sauce for dipping.

Halloween mock-tails pt. 3

Vampire Punch

20131024-221228.jpg

What You Need
Silicone Cupcake Molds
Plastic Bugs (I used glow in the dark ones) MAKE SURE THEY ARE MORE THAN 1.5 INCHES WIDE.
Trader Joes Sparkling Pomegranate Juice
White grape juice
Grape or cherry juice

An important note on this is that the bugs need to be big enough to not be a choking hazard and I’d recommend this only for bigger kids.

Step 1 – place the bugs in the molds
Step 2 – fill molds with white grape juice
Step 3 – freeze
Step 4 – combine equal parts juice
Step 5 – add the ice cubes at the last minute before serving.

Superfood Prickly Pear Recipes

Superfood Prickly Pear Recipes

imgresPrickly Pear Cactus is now being called a superfood for it’s cholesterol lowering and antioxident properties.  Here’s a link to some fantastic sounding recipes I’ll be trying soon.  Great news is that Prickly Pear is so sweet you can use it to sweeten things without sugar, plus it’s a really fun neon pink color.  You will find it in latin markets and in some parts of the country you find it in the grocery store when in season.  Here is an online source for some prickly pear products http://www.arizonacactusranch.com/order-our-products.html

Spooktacular Halloween Mock-tails Pt. 2

20131018-160538.jpg

Witch’s Brew with Spider Ice Cubes

What You Need:

Silicone mini muffin molds

Spider Rings

White Grape Juice

Pineapple Juice (or whatever other juice you’ve got around)

Sparkling Apple Cider

Step 1 Put the muffin mold on a cookie sheet or plate that will fit in your freezer.

IMG_3508

Step 2 Place Spider rings inside muffin molds face down.  Squish them down a bit because they will want to float.

Step 3 Pour white grape juice into the molds.

Step 4 Freeze for at least an hour, but can be made weeks in advance.

Step 5 Combine equal parts fruit juice and sparkling apple cider.  If you can’t find good sparkling apple cider in your area you can use a bit of club soda or sparkling water.

Step 6 Just before serving add the ice cubes.

Spooktacular Sugar-Free Mock-Tails PT 1

Image

Want all the fun and none of the sugar?  Here is the first of 3 great Halloween sugar-free drinks that will delight kids and adults alike.  Hint, just add rum for the grown-up version.

Ghoulish Ghost Juice

What You Need:

Silicone half dome molds.  CLICK HERE

Pineapple Juice

Concorde Grape Juice

Coconut Milk

(Optional but nice) Squeeze bottle CLICK HERE

(Optional but nice) Turkey baster, or large eye dropper

Image

Put a small amount of grape juice in the bottom of the silicone mold.  This will become the dark part of the eye, so don’t make it too large.  I used one of those eye dropper type medicine measures I had in the cabinet.  Place in the freezer until solid.  Then put the coconut milk into a squeeze bottle.  I use the squeeze bottle because if you try and pour from the can it will end up all over the place.  If you don’t have a squeeze bottle you could use a small pitcher or anything with a pour spout, or even use a turkey baster.  Now freeze for at least an hour but you can leave these in the freezer for a week.

In a pitcher mix one part coconut milk to 2 parts pineapple juice.  Chill very well in the fridge.  Pour in glasses and add your eyeball ice cubes just before serving.  Serve them with a spoon so the guests can fish out the eyeballs and watch them transform into bloodshot eyes.

COMING NEXT:  Witches Brew with Spider Ice

Image

Avoiding Scary Sweets this Halloween

IMG_2111Halloween used to be my favorite time of year.  My daughter loves it and always has, but last year we she really went trick or treating for real and for the first time actually ate the candy.  Yikes talk about things that go bump in the night!  We didn’t realize it at the time but all those artificial sweeteners and food dyes put her over the moon (and not in a good way).  It wasn’t until we started connecting the dots on her behavior that we realized hyperactive aggression spiked after a big sugar fest holiday like that.

What’s wrong with a little candy? I had it when I was a kid and I’m fine.  Two main things wrong with the candy that your neighbors will probably pass out this Halloween are HFCS and Food Dye or Artificial Coloring.

Why is food dye so bad?  Well here are just a few things that concern me:

#1 It is linked to health problems including cancer

#2 In the UK they are required to have a warning label on any food product containing food dye

#3 It is derived from petroleum

#4 It has been shown to increase hyperactivity in children

But these are just a few of the big reasons, there are so many more.  There is a wonderful article in 101 Days of Real Food/ that will give you shivers. The Huffington Post did a great article on halloween candy ingredients.

So what is a parent of a child who has issues with hyperactivity, allergies or sensitivity to food dye suppose to do?  

STARTING AT HOME
I’m starting by not passing out candy this year.  Partly because I want to practice what I preach and partly because if the candy is never in our house that’s one step ahead.  Instead I’m passing out glow in the dark spider rings, stickers and tattoos that I ordered on Amazon.  I think I ended up spending less on these than I have on candy in the past!

Here are several great non candy options.

Glow-in-the-Dark Spider Rings
Glow Bracelets
Halloween Stickers
Glow-in-the-Dark Halloween Tattoos
Glow-In-The-Dark Bugs

THE BIG TRADE IN THE BIG NIGHT
Halloween is right up there with Christmas in my book of amazing childhood memories. I’m not about to deprive my daughter of all that fantastic trick or tart stuff. My goal is simply to make sure she doesn’t turn into a monster by midnight! I have been talking to my daughter about her issues and we’ve come up with a plan.  I ordered halloween candy without artificial sweeteners or food dye from the Natural Candy Store and I will trade her for each thing in her halloween basket.  I know there will be some struggles and some upset feelings but I have stacked the deck with some really big treats I know she will love like cotton candy.  I will go ahead and let her have sugar, as long as it’s natural sugar and there are no food dyes.  I was able to take her to Disneyland (previously not the happiest place on earth for us) this past year without incident by taking my own cotton candy.  I know what you’re thinking sugar is sugar right?  Well what I can tell you is the difference I saw in her behavior.  When she gets processed sugar and artificial sweeteners she almost immediately starts begging for more and more and she craves sweets and carbs.  When I gave her the natural cotton candy, even though it was made from organic sugar, she didn’t do any of those things.  She was quite happy with the cotton candy and the freeze dried mango I had for her and we didn’t have a single tantrum all day.

Here are some alternatives to give your little angles that will keep the ghouls at bay.

Pretzels in fun Halloween packaging (it’s really all about the packaging!)
Surf Sweets gummy spiders, bears and worms
Yummy Earth fruit sweetened lollypops and candy