Delayed Gratification


Look what I the kids got for Christmas!  I’ve waited a long time to get for the kids to be old enough to get an Easy Bake Oven!  I remember how much I loved mine as a little girl, foisting impossibly tiny cakes on my parents.

Now that I’m the Mommy, I realize just how awful those little cakes really taste when you aren’t bursting with that I-made-it-myself pride.

I scream, you scream, we all scream for SNOW CREAM!

2008-01-17 first snow039The Floridian in me never ceases to be amazed when it snows enough to actually stick to the ground. I just love looking at the whole world being draped with a nice, white blanket of snow.  And of course, the JavaKids and I have to find a way to turn it into a way to make something in the kitchen!

I’m linking you to a post from earlier this year for snow cream and snow candy — both delicious and easy to make!  I was going to add photos, but to be honest, unless  you a professional food photographer, snow candy while still in the snow does not look much different than — uh– yellow snow from a dog — and once you lift if out of the snow, it is in a child’s (or Mommy’s) mouth so fast, you can’t get a photo of it!  Snow cream doesn’t look like much more than white mush in a photo!

You can also mix up a little food coloring and water and get out there and do a little snow painting.  Or just go out and roll around in the white, fluffy stuff!  Just have FUN!

When you come in, mix up a huge batch of my favorite hot chocolate, read a good book, indulge in a bit of Robert Frost, and relax!  (Until it’s time to deal with those sopping wet jackets, snow pants, boots, mittens and so on….)

A Few Thanksgiving Classics

It’s been a little rough in the JavaFamily household this week… JavaDad has had the flu and a kidney infection and when JavaDad is sick, no one is happy! It is clear how much we function as an entire unit — when one of us is out of commission, it throws the household out of whack.

So pardon the absence of posts of late, but I thought some of my readers might enjoy a couple from this time last year:

Happy Thanksgiving to you, and among my many blessings are YOU — the readers of Caffeine and a Prayer, which is now ONE YEAR OLD!

Spider Cupcakes

2009-10-29 spider cupcakes-editedIt’s been a while since I’ve posted a fun treat.  Here’s my “oh my goodness, I need to make 42 cupcakes” solution for some Halloween fun.  I did not invent these, in fact a friend described to me that she was making spider cupcakes and I did a quick search on Google and found tons of variations. 

Sadly, my digital camera decided to die a sad Error 18 death this week, so this grainy photo from my phone will have to do.  Note that these are not up to Martha Stewart’s standards as my children insist on helping (can you imagine?!) and I have long ago decided that family fun far outweighs aesthetics.  Oh, and my son was quick to point out that spiders have eight legs, but as many people mentioned in their instructions, eight legs get a big cumbersome on a cupcake.  My son said spiders also have multiple eyes, but I informed him we were sticking to just two.

What you’ll need:

  • cupcakes (we made Devil’s Food — I recommend some form of chocolate so you don’t have to do a perfect job of frosting them)
  • chocolate icing of some sort (we used a chocolate fudge icing)
  • something for legs — if you can find shoestring licorice, great, we couldn’t find that so we used pull apart cherry Twizzlers.
  • something for eyes — we used M&Ms

Make the cupcakes and allow to cool.  Recommendations online varied about doing legs before or after frosting, but we chose to do them before, poking them into the cupcakes themselves.  I recommend putting them as close to the edge as possible and poking them downward (instead of at an angle) and then trimming so that the bottom hits the same point as the bottom of the cupcake.  You can cut with kitchen scissors.

After that, smooth on icing with a knife or small icing spatula.  You can just roll it right over the tops of the legs and don’t worry about icing underneath the legs (see the beauty of having chocolate cupcakes with chocolate icing?)  It does NOT have to be perfect — kids will eat these in a nanosecond.  Plop on two eyes and you are done.  I personally prefer that the Ms of the M&Ms are hidden, JavaGirl insists that they are face-up.

Some people like to add candy corn fangs to the front.

Other suggestions for legs are: pretzel rods, fat black licorce (these would be fat legs that stick straight out), and pipe cleaners (non-edible, of course).

The whole family was able to get involved – JavaDad attached legs, I frosted, and the kids added the eyes.  JavaGirl was thrilled to take them to school today and JavaBoy can’t wait to take them to his class tomorrow. Seeing the pride in their eyes makes me glad I didn’t succumb to the temptation to just buy store-bought cupcakes.


Fall Fun Guide Is Here!

2008 10 17_Great Country Farms peanuts and pumpkins_0025Fall began yesterday and the Fall Gun Guide is now officially up!  Just like its Summer companion, the Fall Fun Guide is filled with classes and events for kids and families.  Some are free, some are not, but somewhere in the guide there should be something for everyone.  I am always looking for new things to add to the guide, so please contact me if you know of something that you think should be on there.  And please check the guide frequently.  The Fall Fun Guide is “younger” than the Summer Fun Guide, so it is still maturing and is not quite as far-reaching yet — it has lots of room to grow!

It includes a list of children’s consignment sales (coming up – My Child’s Closet and Catholic Consignments), pumpkin patches and corn mazes, a list of activities by dates, classes and events, day and weekend trips, and so much more!

Go check it out and then tell all your friends about it!

Oh — and start letting me know about events you think should be included in the HOLIDAY FUN GUIDE!!