Aug 262014
 
 August 26, 2014  recipes, Summer Comments Off on Easy Strawberry Cheesecake Pops

Easy Strawberry Cheesecake Pops - Alldonemonkey.com

It was my turn recently to take snacks for the virtues class I help put on for Monkey and his friends.  I was inspired by my friend Frances’ recipe for Puerto Rican limber (an alternative to ice cream).  She was kind enough to chat with me about it, and soon the idea came together for a treat taking advantage of the last of the wonderful ripe summer strawberries: strawberry cheesecake pops!

They were easy to make, and the kids and moms all enjoyed them.  I should add that it also tastes good without freezing, as a sort of milkshake.  Here’s how you can make your own!

Easy Strawberry Cheesecake Pops - Alldonemonkey.com

Easy Strawberry Cheesecake Pops

Ingredients

1 lb cleaned and sliced strawberries

3/4 small can of sweetened condensed milk

6 – 7 crushed animal crackers (could also use 3-4 graham crackers)

 

Put all ingredients in a blender and mix until well blended.  Adjust to taste.  Keep in mind that you should make it slightly sweeter than you normally like, as freezing tends to dull the sweetness.

Pour into small Dixie cups and freeze overnight.  Enjoy!

Aug 122014
 

Though many families are preparing for the start of the school year, we are still enjoying warm, sunny weather here.  One of our favorite ways to savor these last, lazy summer days is by enjoying a cool, frozen treat.  Monkey and Baby both love ice cream, but this is only part of the tale.  There are so many other wonderful icy delights you can enjoy – here is a just sampling:

Beyond Ice Cream: Frozen Treats Around the World

Piraguas - Discovering the World Through My Son's Eyes

Many of us here in the United States grew up with sno cones.  Frances from Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes introduces us to a different version of sweetened shaved ice from Puerto Rico – piraguas!  She tells us that you can find carts selling this popular treat in every park and neighborhood!

Paletas, Mexican Popsicles - Kid World Citizen

And who can forget yummy paletas, the Mexican popsicles?  Kid World Citizen shares a recipe for this refreshing treat!

the piri-piri lexicon - Fruit Popsicles

A wonderful fruit popsicle recipe comes to us from the piri-piri lexicon, a French expat living in Germany.  She notes popsicles = happy kids.  So true!

Pomegranate Popsicles and Pistachio "Ice Cream" - Persian-Inspired Summer Treats - Alldonemonkey.com

Earlier this summer we tried some Persian-inspired summer treats, including pomegranate popsicles and pistachio non-dairy “ice cream.”  Yum!

15+ Favorite Popsicle Ideas - Alldonemonkey.com

For even more popsicle ideas, check out our popsicle roundup from last summer!

Sweet Tea Slushies - Alldonemonkey.com

As a nod to my Southern roots, last summer we also made sweet tea slushies, a delicious way to beat the heat!

Limber - summer treat from Puerto Rico - Discovering the World Through My Son's EyesAnother yummy summer treat from Puerto Rico is limber, which you can easily make yourself.  Frances at Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes tells us how, including a version with Oreos!

Snowman Ice Cream - La Cite des Vents

And if you are going to have ice cream, make it into art, like this adorable ice cream snowman that Eolia of La Cité des Vents enjoyed at an ice cream shop in Germany!

Kenyan Mango Ice Cream - Around the World in 12 Dishes - Alldonemonkey.com

You can also try a new version of ice cream – from Kenya!  We made ours with frozen mango, simple but delicious!

InCultureParent - Egypt

One of my favorite posts comes from InCultureParent, who put together this amazing slideshow of ice cream around the world – “from cart to mouth”!  (The photo above is from Egypt).

If you are in Chicago, be sure to check out these global sweet treats recommended by Raising World Citizens!  The Italian ices remind me of growing up in New Jersey!

And finally, don’t miss these 10 brain-freezing treats from around the world, courtesy of Mashable.com!

What are your favorite frozen treats?

May 052014
 
 May 5, 2014  family, food, recipes, Summer 9 Responses »

Homemade Blackberry Pie {Backyard Barbecue Blog Hop} - Alldonemonkey.com

This post is part of the Backyard Barbecue Blog Hop.  For details and to link up your own posts, see details below.

Homemade Blackberry Pie {Backyard Barbecue Blog Hop} - Alldonemonkey.comFew things evoke childhood summers for me like berry picking.  As kids we picked blackberries in the hills behind our house in rural North Carolina , and years later we found them by the side of the road by our grandparents’ cottage in West Virginia.

Now, I am continuing that tradition with my own family, driving up to the foothills of Northern California to a small, family-owned farm to find juicy blackberries waiting for us on row upon row of towering bushes.

Part of that tradition, of course, is devouring as many fresh berries as your stomach can hold, but we also manage to save quite a few to make one of the most anticipated treats of the summer: homemade blackberry pie.

Over the years I have tinkered with recipes I have found online in order to craft the one shared below.  It is sweet, but not to the point of overwhelming the real star of the show: the blackberries themselves.

So whether you find your berries growing wild, or at the Farmer’s Market, or in your grocery store, I hope you enjoy making them into this delicious pie.

 

Homemade Blackberry Pie

(Adapted principally from an Old-Fashioned Strawberry Pie recipe from Allrecipes)

Ingredients

2 (9 inch) unbaked pie crusts

3/4 c sugar

1/3 c flour

1/2 t cinnamon

6-7 c fresh blackberries

Lemon juice

2 T butter or margarine

 

Instructions

1. Preheat over to 425 degrees.

2. Mix together sugar, flour, and cinnamon.  Stir gently into the berries, adding lemon juice as you stir.

3. Pour filling into one pie crust.  Dot with butter or margarine.  Cover with top crust.  Make slits in the top to let steam escape, and seal the edges.

4. Back for 30 minutes, or until crust is slightly browned.

Homemade Blackberry Pie {Backyard Barbecue Blog Hop} - Alldonemonkey.com

 

Now it’s time to share how you are getting ready for warmer weather!

 

Backyard Barbecue Blog Hop 2014

Welcome to our Second Annual Backyard Barbecue Blog Hop!  I am so excited to be joining with my blogger friends to create a collection of fabulous ideas for family fun this summer.

Be sure to visit all of our co-hosts to see their amazing posts and be sure to share yours at the end!

Co-hosts

All Done Monkey
The Squishable Baby
Creative World of Varya
Discovering The World Through My Son’s Eyes
Twin Falls Mommy
In The Playroom
Slow Family
Adventures of Adam
Adventure in a Box
Planet Smarty Pants

Now your turn:


Apr 102014
 

Hand Print Volcano Card - Alldonemonkey.com

As many of you know, we just returned from a wonderful trip to visit family in Costa Rica.  While we were there, we were able to take our little volcano lover to visit two of the active volcanoes in that country, Poás and Irazú.

As a result, I thought this would be a good time to share a fun volcano craft we did a few months ago.  The Monkeys and I actually did it for my husband’s birthday, but it would also work perfectly for Mother’s Day or Father’s Day.  It’s easy to do with one child but also makes a great keepsake for siblings, as shown here.

Hand Print Volcano Card - Alldonemonkey.com

We used red and yellow paint for the lava.  Red had the best effect, although yellow turned out okay on the white paper.  If you are doing two or more kids, be aware that the yellow will not show up very well on top of the red, so it is better to either separate the hand prints a bit or do both in red.

Hand Print Volcano Card - Alldonemonkey.com

While Baby was napping, Monkey and I sat down to do step one.  I painted his hand red then made his hand print in the upper half of the paper.  (We did two versions just in case, since this was an experiment!)

Later in the day I painted Baby’s little hand and did my best to do a hand print with them.  He really had fun with the paints!

Hand Print Volcano Card - Alldonemonkey.com

Finally, I added the mountain below so that the hand prints look like lava exploding out of the volcano.  An older child could also do this step.  (Monkey was “too busy working” with his legos at this point so suggested that I do it).

Hand Print Volcano Card - Alldonemonkey.com

Hand Print Volcano Card - Alldonemonkey.com

I was the only one who thought my humor was funny, but since I had the pen it didn’t really matter lol 😉

Have an explosive day and always remember that we lava you!

 

 

 

Jul 312013
 

Global Kids Beat the Heat - World Citizen Wednesdays on Alldonemonkey.comWelcome to World Citizen Wednesday!

Each week we pose a question to members of the fabulous Multicultural Kid Blogs group and share their answers here.

To find out more about these amazing bloggers, check out the Multicultural Kid Blogs Facebook page and our new Multicultural Kid Blogs website!

This week we ask…

What are your family’s favorite ways to stay cool in hot weather?

Stephen of The Head of the Heard: Open all the windows and strip down to the essentials. And we got a little paddling pool on the balcony for our son.

Jennifer of World Moms Blog: Ice pops! We make our own by freezing fruit smoothies, which means, yes, the kids can have them with breakfast!

Leanna of All Done Monkey: We have a kiddie pool in the backyard, plus our son loves to play with the garden hose (supposedly helping water the plants). Splash parks are also really popular here.

MaryAnne of Mama Smiles: Kiddie pool, sprinkler, and homemade popsicles!

Diana of LadydeeLG: We like water table, inflatable pool, sprinklers.

Annabelle of the piri-piri lexicon: Water play: pretend kitchen with plenty of water in jars, pots, pans, etc.

Amanda of Expat Life with a Double Buggy: We have a little pool which the kids play in – they love to use their slide to get in to it. The excitement of splashing & giggling is a real sign that summer is here!

Heidi of 2 Kurious Kids: The Pool for sure! We live close to the beach too:)

Kristen of Toddling in the Fast Lane:  Kiddie pool, splash pad at the park, visits to the aquarium (air conditioned fun!)

World Citizen Wednesdays - Alldonemonkey.com

Thanks to all the bloggers who shared their answers here! You can read answers to earlier questions in our previous installments of World Citizen Wednesday, including tips for traveling with kids!

Find out more about these wonderful bloggers by visiting our new Multicultural Kid Blogs website, liking us on Facebook, subscribing to our Facebook feed, or following us on Twitter and Pinterest!

Jul 172013
 
 July 17, 2013  food, Summer, World Citizen Wednesdays Comments Off on World Citizen Wednesdays #33: Summertime Treats Around the World

Summertime Treats Around the World - World Citizen Wednesdays on Alldonemonkey.comWelcome to World Citizen Wednesday!

Each week we pose a question to members of the fabulous Multicultural Kid Blogs group and share their answers here.

To find out more about these amazing bloggers, check out the Multicultural Kid Blogs Facebook page and our new Multicultural Kid Blogs website!

This week we ask…

What are favorite summertime treats for kids where you are?

Natalie of Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns: Well, now I am also “here”, but back home in Belarus we had a summer drink called kvass. It’s a drink made out of fermented rye bread, and we could buy it from a special stalls that were selling it. I have never tried to make it at home, but looked up a recipe out of curiosity.
The drink is not alcoholic (by Russian standards anyway), and children could buy and drink it anytime.

MaryAnne of Mama Smiles: Watermelon!!! Also juice pops.

Leanna of All Done Monkey: We love ice cream and popsicles.

Annabelle of the piri-piri lexicon: Ice cream, ice pops or any other way you like to call frozen deserts. We now make our own too. Great way to get the kids eating fruits.

Jill of Moms Gone Global: During our long, hot summer days in Florida, we’ve been enjoying frozen grapes! They’re fun to eat, nutritious and quite refreshing!

Ute of expatsincebirth: Watermelon (as much as you can get!), juice pops, ice cream in Italy and ice cream, all sorts of berries (in cakes, juice pops etc.) in Switzerland/Germany.  We did frozen fruit too, and frozen deserts are always a treat!

Sarita of A Hotchpotch Hijabi in Italy: In Italy they’re all about gelato and kinder.

Amanda of Miss Panda Chinese: Here are the traditional and popular iced drinks you will find in Taiwan. Jelly Fig drink- 愛玉 – Ai yu: a transparent light yellow colored jello pieces in sweet water with ice. Maison drink – 仙草 – Xian cao: black jello pieces in sweet water with ice. White Gourd drink – 冬瓜茶 – Dong Gua tea: a yummy sweet drink made from sweet white gourd cubes. We also make our own red beans or green beans pops at home. Yum!

I don’t have the recipes for making the Jelly Fig Jello, Maison Jello, and white gourd cubes because people buy the jellos and cubes in the day market. We cube the fig jello and put them in the sweetened lemon water. We cube the Maison jello and put them in the sweetened water. As to the white gourd cube, we cook it in the boiling water until it dissolves. I make the red beans and green beans pops at home. One cup of red/green beans with 5 to 6 cups of water. Boil until the beans are tender. Add dark brown sugar. Cool and freeze. You can add some condensed milk on the red bean pops when you are ready to eat it.

Jennifer of The Good Long Road: Watermelon and apples are favorites in the summer. Love that my boys want hydrating fruits after playing outside in the heat. We also get icees/slushies in the summer as treats sometimes too!

Miwa of cranes and clovers: Here in Japan we enjoy anmitsu and kakigori. Anmitsu is a dessert with small cubes of jelly made from seaweed served with fruit and sweet red bean paste. Kakigori is basically the same thing as snow cones, but a little bit fluffier. I love kakigori topped with matcha (green tea syrup).

Juliette of The Art of Home Education: (Water)melon, ice cream, popsicles, rainbow fruit -> different colorful fruits on a stick. Netherlands

Carrie of Crafty Moms Share: Ice cream and watermelon

Ana of SpanglishBaby: We’re all about watermelons, peaches and paletas every summer day!

Kim of Mama Mzungu: Well, it’s “summer” all year long here on the equator, but kids these parts love chomping on sugar cane and fresh watermelon as a treat!

Becky of Kid World Citizen: LOTS of batidos/smoothies– milk, fruit, and some sugar!:) WHen we mix in cashews, almonds, or peanuts we call them power smoothies for swim team.

World Citizen Wednesdays - Alldonemonkey.com

Thanks to all the bloggers who shared their answers here! You can read answers to earlier questions in our previous installments of World Citizen Wednesday, including tips for traveling with kids!

Find out more about these wonderful bloggers by visiting our new Multicultural Kid Blogs website, liking us on Facebook, subscribing to our Facebook feed, or following us on Twitter and Pinterest!

Jun 202013
 

Sweet Tea Slushies - Alldonemonkey.comAs many of you already know, I love sweet tea.  The Monkeys and I are hosting a Southern heritage play group for some of their little friends next week, so I’ve been looking for a fun way to introduce the kids to this very Southern beverage.

It is summer, so at first I planned to make popsicles, since we love them in as many flavors as they come.  But I was afraid that in the hands of a bunch of preschoolers it would all be just a sticky mess, so I decided to do something a little different.

First I made a batch of sweet tea (see recipe below).  Then I poured it into a freezer-safe container and put it in the freezer.  After about an hour and a half, I stirred it, making sure to break up all the ice crystals that were forming.  I did this again in another hour and a half, and so on.

Sweet Tea Slushies - Alldonemonkey.com

After a few times, the tea turned into — slush!  And it was the most heavenly, sweet, refreshing slush you can imagine.  What a fabulous frozen treat on a hot summer’s day!

(Just be sure to stir again before serving, as the tea tends to settle at bottom when it has been sitting).

Sweet Tea Slushies - Alldonemonkey.com

Monkey’s assessment: “This tea makes me really frozen!”

Sweet Tea Recipe

I am looking forward to working my way through all of the wonderful sweet tea recipes I collected recently, but to make these slushies I relied on the recipe my mother uses, which is adapted from the Lipton Tea box:

Makes 2 quarts (1/2 gallon)

2 large tea bags (Lipton Iced Tea bags)

4 c. boiling water

4 c. cold water

1 c. sugar

Lemon juice

Put the tea bags in a glass pitcher then add the boiling water.  Make sure the pitcher is made of tempered glass, so it can withstand the heat of the boiling water.

Let steep 3-5 minutes (I used decaf, so I let it steep the full 5 minutes) then remove the tea bags.

Stir in the sugar until it dissolves then add the cold water and lemon juice.

Let sit until it reaches room temperature then chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

 

Monkey and I have been enjoying our batch of sweet tea slushies and can’t wait to share this new dish with our friends next week.

What new creations are you enjoying this summer?

Apr 122013
 
 April 12, 2013  food, recipes, Summer 13 Responses »

15+ Favorite Popsicle Ideas - Alldonemonkey.comNow that the weather is warmer, my Monkey and I are enjoying one of our favorite treats: popsicles!

There is nothing quite as refreshing or just plain fun as sitting outside on a hot summer day and enjoying one of these icy treats.

Often I just throw a bunch of fruit and juice into the blender and see what we come up with, but other times I want something a bit more inspired.

In case you’ve got popsicle fever, too, here are 15+ of my favorite popsicle ideas to get you ready for spring and summer.

**Warning: This post contains lots of cute pictures of kids eating popsicles!**

Recipes

To me part of the point of making your own popsicles is being able to make them as healthy – and still delicious! – as you want.  Why bother with sugar-laden versions when you can try recipes like these?

Picklebums - Berry Bliss

Summer brings tons of fresh berries, so I am looking forward to making these Berry Bliss Pops from Pickle Bums…

Dukes and Duchesses - Blueberry Ice Pops

…and these Blueberry Ice Pops from Dukes & Duchesses.

The Scrap Shoppe - Strawberry Orange Pops

And what about these yummy strawberry orange pops from The Scrap Shoppe?

Mom Endeavors - Fruity Grape Popsicles

I love this idea from Mom Endeavors to cut up fresh fruit to make these Fruity Grape Popsicles.

Clumsy Crafter - Summer Breeze Popsicles

Clumsy Crafter created these easy Summer Breeze Popsicles using strawberries and San Pelligrino sparkling water.

Tamarindo at Costa Rican Farmer's Market - Alldonemonkey.com

How about trying a new fruit in your pops this summer?  Popsicles from the tamarind fruit (shown here at a farmers’ market in Costa Rica) are enjoyed in many parts of Latin America.  Here is a recipe for tamarind pops that I learned in Costa Rica.

Global Table Adventure - Kulfi Pops

I personally am dying to try these rich, creamy kulfi pops from Global Table Adventure.  They sound heavenly!

Zerbert - Favorite Popsicle Ideas on Alldonemonkey.com

Another recipe at the top of my list is for these banana coconut pops from Zerbert.  They can also be eaten like ice cream.  I love all the variations you can do!

Toddling in the Fast Lane - Popsicle Ideas on Alldonemonkey.com

I love this unique recipe from Toddling in the Fast Lane for a juice pop with avocado.  What a great way to give your kids some healthy fats!

Creative Green Living - Blueberry Lemon Pops

For a real sweet treat, try these blueberry lemon pops from Creative Green Living…

Creative Green Living - Pina Colada Pudding Pops

…or her piña colada pudding pops (Creative Green Living).  Can you guess what she is using for her popsicle handles?

 Containers

What Do We Do All Day - Plastic-Free Ice Pops

If you are wanting to go plastic-free, try this cute idea from What Do We Do All Day to use canning jars to make popsicles.

Dukes and Duchesses - Yogurt Pops with Pretzel Handles
And what kid wouldn’t want these fun yogurt popsicles with pretzel handles from Dukes and Duchesses?

Cool Cones - Mama Miss

Mama Miss waxes poetic about fave popsicle mold/ice cream cone

Mama Smiles - Juice Pops

…and Mama Smiles shares some fun and functional popsicle molds they use to make their favorite juice pops.

Crafts

Learn Create Love - Popsicle Craft

I must admit that when I asked my blogger friends for their popsicle ideas, I didn’t have crafts in mind – but only because it never occurred to me!  Check out this adorable popsicle craft from Learn Create Love, and download the free printable!

Still want more??

If you simply can’t get enough of popsicles, then be sure to visit my new favorite Pinterest board (Pop Love) from Clumsy Crafter.

What is your favorite popsicle flavor?

Jun 142012
 

Finished Father's Day Hand Print CraftFather’s Day is almost here!  If you are looking for a way to celebrate the special man in your life (and your child’s life!), here is a unique and memorable gift that you can easily make in time for the big day!

*Note to my husband: Don’t keep reading unless you want to spoil the surprise!  Of course, by now you’ve already seen the picture … Oh well 🙂

My husband is a wonderful father to our little Monkey.  He is attentive and thoughtful and will do anything to put a smile on his little boy’s face.  Such an amazing man deserves something special for his big day, even if he is too humble to expect anything.

I knew my husband would love anything made by his little Monkey, and I love the idea of presents that mark the special moments in our child’s life.  He is growing so quickly that I wanted to capture this precious time when he is still our little boy.

So when I ran across this amazing hand print craft, I knew I had found a winner.  (I also love this similar hand print craft, which I will probably do once we have another little monkey running around the house).

The trickiest part, of course, was getting a good hand print from my active toddler.  He loves to have us “draw” his hands, but he is usually so excited that he wiggles a lot, making our drawings at best estimations.  But by a stroke of luck, one day he was in just the right mood and allowed me to do a fairly accurate outline of his precious little hand.Father's Day Hand Print Craft with Monkey

I cut this out and traced it on the back of some wrapping paper.  (Next time I will probably choose a solid color or a small pattern. The wide stripes of this paper made it difficult to get exactly the look I was going for, although I was happy with the final version).

I then glued this wrapping paper hand print onto a piece of poster board I had already trimmed to fit inside a picture frame.  As for the frame, you can go as fancy or simple as you like.  I opted for the simple – let’s call it “classic” – because I didn’t want anything that would detract from what was inside the frame.

I made sure to mark the hand print with the date and later will add my little Monkey’s name.  See how simple?  Now we’re all ready for Father’s Day!

What do you have planned for this Father’s Day?

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