Friday, October 28, 2011

Frankenstein Friday

Frankenstein Friday is celebrated every year on the last Friday in October. It was created by actor/comedian Ron MacCloskey in 1997 to honor and celebrate the birth of Dr. Frankenstein and his infamous monster from Mary Shelley's 1818 classic novel, Frankenstein.

Here are some fun ideas for you and your children for Frankenstein Friday.

Coloring Pages 
#1  #2   #3  #4  #5



Sunday, October 9, 2011

Printable Halloween Fun

Almost at the very moment that September passes the baton to October my heart leaps in anticipation of all that the fall season will bring; cool, crisp air, the orange and gold hues of changing leaves, the spicy, musky smell in the air, and of course, the commencement of the holiday season beginning with Halloween which beckons forth it's joyful brothers - Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The next three months are filled with lots of holidays and events to celebrate. I hope that each of you will be able to wring out every drop of enjoyment to be had and that the holidays will be peaceful, joyful, and loads of fun for you and your families!

Today, I'd like to share with you some of my favorite Halloween printable "finds" from around the web that you might like to utilize as you decorate your homes for Halloween. Much to my brood of sons dismay, I was more of a Halloween "cutsie" lover than a Halloween scary lover and I think that will show in my choices here.

From Family Fun:
Dracula Decoration
There's also:
& Frankenstein's Monster

Halloween Countdown Calendar
from Family Fun  (countdown starts on Oct. 19)                                    

Halloween Countdown Calendar
from Disney Family  (countdown starts on Oct. 19)

Mickey Vampire Candy Box
from Disney Family

Bat Boxes
from Mr. Printables

Halloween Paper Dolls
from Babalisme via ohdeedoh

Halloween Banner ~ Bag Topper ~ Party Invitation ~
Cupcake Toppers from partyplanningcenter.blogspot


Monday, August 29, 2011

National Marshmallow Toasting Day

National Marshmallow Toasting Day is celebrated every year on August 30th. The creator and origin of this observance are unknown.

By now, most kids are back in school or soon will be. Summer is winding down and so are the summertime activities, so if you haven't toasted marshmallows yet this season, now is the day to squeeze it in before summer dwindles away.

To read the history of marshmallows and to see how marshmallows are made visit Lisa loves Holidays.

Image: Roasted Marshmallows by StephanieSzebenyi

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Million Minute Family Challenge

Do you love to play board and card games? Our family sure does! We love to get together, play games, nibble on treats, and laugh our heads off!

Each year, Patch Products Co. sponsors an event which runs from September 1st to December 31st. Over that four month period, families are encouraged to build a bond of friendship and friends are encouraged to make their friendships stronger by making time to play games together. The Million Minute Family Challenge is an endeavor to get groups of families and friends to engage in a million minutes of game playing time by December 31st.

If you're interested in joining the challenge, it costs no money, and all you need to do is go to the Million Minute Family Challenge website, sign up, play your little hearts out, and then return to their site to record your minutes. Oh, and every time you log your minutes you're entered into a monthly drawing to win a prize pack. Woo hoo!

Are you up to the challenge? I know I am! I just signed up today, and can't wait to get started!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

National Cherry Popsicle Day

National Cherry Popsicle Day is celebrated every year on August 26th.

I can't tell you who invented National Cherry Popsicle Day, but I can tell you who invented the Popsicle. His name was Frank Epperson and he was just a lad of 11 years old when he stumbled upon this sweet frozen treat.

Francis William Epperson was born in 1894 and was raised in San Francisco, California. One evening, in 1905, young Frank was mixing up a concoction of soda drink powder and water, a popular drink of the time, and whether it was on purpose or by accident, Frank left the glass of sweetened liquid on the porch over night (one source suggested that Frank liked to experiment and wondered what the drink would taste like frozen). That night was unusually cold for San Francisco and when he awoke the next morning, Frank discovered his drink concoction frozen solid in the glass, with the stirring stick embedded within. He wriggled the frozen drink out, gave it a lick, and decided it was pretty good! Frank ran and showed the frozen treat to his family and friends, but soon after, it became just a memory.

Frank grew up, became a husband, a father, and a Real Estate agent, and then one day, he decided to re-invent his childhood discovery. He made up some "ice on a stick" and served them at a fireman's ball in 1922, at which they met with great approval. In 1923, eighteen years after that frigid San Francisco night, Frank applied for and was soon after granted a patent on the "Epsicle Ice Pop", a name which he eventually changed when his children began to call them "Pop's sicle's".

Sadly, Frank's invention did not meet with instant success. Production and marketing of the "Popsicle" proved to be costly and not as profitable as anticipated. Frank was forced to sell all of his assets in order for he and his family to survive. He sold the patent for the "Popsicle" to the Joe Lowe Corporation in 1925, a decision he regretted for the rest of his life.

Today, "Popsicles" are owned by Good Humor. The favorite flavor is said to be orange. I myself prefer root beer or banana, but we're not here today to talk about any other flavor but cherry, which is pretty darn yummy itself!  

For the occasion, you may enjoy whipping up some nutritional, homemade cherry popsicles for your family.

Here are two recipes that sound extra yummy to me:

(with a recipe for making chocolate shell)
from Zoku Blog

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Princess and Dinosaur Birthday Party Cake Demos

Here are two great videos from and Betty Crocker Kitchens showing us how to make a princess birthday cake for the little princess in your life, and a dinosaur birthday cake for the little dinosaur lover in your life. Liv Hansen, from Betty Crocker Kitchens, almost makes it look easy!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

National Watermelon Day

National Watermelon Day is celebrated every year on August 3rd.

Kids love watermelon! It's cool, delicious, and fun! Watermelon is a sweet, nutritious fruit that can be available year round, but is more accessible and flavorful in the summer months. Because of it's high water content (92%), it is a natural thirst quencher. What's better than a crisp, juicy piece of watermelon on a hot summer's day?

Here is some watermelon fun:
Heart Fruit Kabobs

Watermelon Pops

Watermelon Pops

Watermelon Cake

Watermelon Pinata

Watermelon Coloring Page

Friday, July 29, 2011

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Play and Freeze Ice Cream Ball

The Play and Freeze Ice Cream Maker is a new-fangled version of the homemade ice cream in a can method. It is a hard plastic ball with an open cylinder down the middle, which is where the ice cream ingredients are poured, and a hollow space around the cylinder, which is where you place rock salt and ice. The two compartments are sealed shut and the ball is shaken, tossed, rolled, and kicked for about twenty minutes until finally, delicious ice cream is made. This would be lots of fun for kids and as a family activity. You can buy the Play and Freeze Ice Cream Maker online. The quart size ball is around $40.00, and the pint size ball is about $25.00.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Dondurma ~ aka Turkish Ice Cream

Dondurma is the Turkish word for ice cream. Turkish dondurma though, is different from the ice cream we eat here in America due to special ingredients that make the ice cream "chewy" and more resistant to melting. Dondurma is made from milk (usually goats milk), sugar, and two added ingredients which create it's unique texture and flavor: salep flour, made from the the dried tubers of wild Orchids, and mastic, a resin obtained from the Mastic tree. As this special ice cream mixture is frozen and churned by hand or machine, it develops into a dense, elastic mass similar to the way bread dough is kneaded to develop it's gluten and form an elastic dough. The final product is so firm that it is served with a specialized paddle and is often eaten with a knife and fork. If you click on this link, you'll see some amazing pictures of this unique ice cream. (It takes a minute to load, but don't give up, the pictures are worth the wait.)

The most popular dondurma is the maras dondurma from the Kahramanmaras region which is said to contain more salep than usual. Vanilla dondurma is said to be the favored flavor, although it is also said to not really taste that much like vanilla.

Controversy surrounds the production of salep dondurma as the wild Orchids from which the salep flour is made are being used up faster than they can grow. Export of salep flour from Turkey has been banned and the flour is used exclusively within Turkey other than that which is smuggled out.

Another unique characteristic of dondurma is the way it is sold by street vendors. Traditionally, vendors play games and tricks on their customers as they serve the dondurma. The following is a video of a Turkish dondurma vendor having some fun with a customer.

Sources: Wikipedia  New York Times  Turkish Cooking Everyday  Cooking Issues

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Ice Cream Sandwich Grasshopper Bites

Here is a nifty recipe from Blue Bunny Ice Cream for Grasshopper Bites. These are an elegant little ice cream treat that are simple enough for kids to make. I'm gonna give it a try, I hope you will too.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Flash frozen Ice Cream

I'm sure most of you have heard of Dippin' Dots ice cream beads. You see them at most amusement and theme parks, and they are also sold at McDonald's restaurants in the western U.S. I love these little jewels of cold, ice creamy goodness! They are a little costly, but in terms of flavor and fun, are worth the splurge once in awhile.

Dippin' Dots are made by flash freezing a stream of liquid ice cream mix at very low temperatures using liquid nitrogen. This process creates hard little beads of ice cream that contain very little air or ice crystals. They are stored at around 40 degrees below zero (a temperature colder than most home freezers) and served at 20 degrees below zero. They come in many flavors such as: Neapolitan, mint chocolate, banana split, bubblegum, coffee, and sherbet flavors, to name a few.

Dippin' Dots ice cream was created by Curt Jones, a former vocational education teacher turned research microbiologist from Grand Chain, Illinois. In the mid 1980's, Jones worked for Alltech Biotechnology Center, in Lexington, Kentucky, developing a process for making cattle feed by freezing it in pellet-sized chunks at 350 degrees below zero, which better preserved the nutritional content. In 1987, while making homemade ice cream with a friend, Jones conceived of the idea of using the same flash freezing technique to make a frozen ice cream treat, and the rest is history!

Here is a video from Food Network TV which demonstrates how the Dippin' Dots company makes this yummy treat.

And here is a video demonstrating how you could make the flash frozen treat at home. Beware, I'm sure liquid nitrogen contains an element of danger.

Sources: Funding Universe  Wikipedia  30 Second MBA
Image: Orange County City Search

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Mock Fried Ice Cream

I did a post today on Lisa Loves Holidays about fried ice cream. Here is a Mock Fried Ice Cream recipe from Family Fun using granola cereal. It looks and sounds pretty tasty!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Ice Cream Candy

Moderation in all things, meaning: we shouldn't let our children go hog wild on ice cream and candy, but a little sugary treat here and there probably won't hurt too much and, it can add a little to the fun factor of life. Heaven knows we can all use a little fun!

Here are some cute ice cream candies that you and your kids might enjoy.

See more at Lisa Loves Holidays.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

National Gummi Worm Day ~ July 15

Quick Facts:
National Gummi Worm Day is celebrated every year on July 15.
The creator and origin of Gummi Worm Day are unknown.
Gummi is German for rubber. We, in America, spell it Gummy.

The Gummi Worm's Predecessor
To find out where the gummi worm came from, we must first learn about it's predecessor, the gummi bear. I was surprised to learn that the gummi bear, the world's first gummi candy, was created almost 90 years ago in 1922.
When German born Hans Riegel was a young man he trained and worked as a confectioner for a candy making company in Bonn, Germany.  In 1920, at age 27, Hans set out to start his own candy making business. He acquired a house in Kessinech, a district of Bonn, where he began making hard candies. He named his company HARIBO, an acronym for Hans Riegel of Bonn. In 1921, Hans is married to Gertrud, who not only becomes his wife but his first employee, making candy deliveries on her bike.

To boost candy sales, Hans began experimenting to make a soft candy, and in 1922, the first gummi bear was born, it's name was "the Dancing Bear" modeled after the popular real dancing bears of the circus. Hans' company began to grow and become successful until 1939, when World War II began. During the war the availability of raw materials was scarce making candy production difficult. Hans and Gertrud had two sons who were taken as prisoners of war and, in 1945, as the war was coming to an end, Hans Riegel died an untimely death at age 52.

With the end of the war, Hans' sons, Hans (Jr.) and Paul Riegel were releaseded from the prisoner of war camps, and returned to run their father's business. HARIBO continued to grow and expand into other countries. The "Dancing Bears" candy evolved into the "Gold Bear" which they are known today. In 1982, HARIBO opened it's first plant in America introducing us to the Gummi Bear.

The Gummi Worm
HARIBO was the first company to produce gummi candies, but another German candy manufacturer, Trolli, picked up on the popular gummi candy idea and in 1981, introduced the gummi worm. It's funny to me that gummi bears have been around for nearly 90 years, but Americans were first introduced to gummi candy via the fairly recently created gummi worm.

Here's a video from the Discovery/Science Channel which demonstrates how gummy worms are made.

Sources: HARIBO  Wikipedia
Image: Untitled Originally uploaded by Jamie Kim Photography

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Making Ice Cream Out of Snow

Of course there isn't any snow to be found in the middle of July, but here's a video that teaches us how to make ice cream out of snow so when winter does come around again you'll be prepared to run out and capture some fresh, clean snow to make ice cream for the kids. See recipe below.

Snow Ice Cream

1/2 cup half & half or whole milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
4 cups clean snow

Mix half & half, sugar, and vanilla together until sugar is dissolved. Pour half & half mixture over snow. Stir thoroughly until half & half mixture is completely incorporated. Serve and enjoy!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Making Ice Cream in a Can

If you go to you'll find instructions on how to make ice cream in a can, there's also an ice cream cone template available there that you could use to make invitations, cards or your own Ice Cream Cone Behavior Chart

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Ice Cream Sundae Bar

Photo - from Homemaking Fun

An ice cream sundae bar is a great idea for a children's party, baby shower, or ice cream social. Here are a few ideas and tips to help pull an ice cream bar together.
  • Set up a long table covered with pastel paper or a pretty tablecloth.
  • Have a large container ready to fill with ice to place your cartons of ice cream in.
  • Place ice cream scoops next to the large ice cream container.
  • Set out individual bowls. Paper or plastic bowls are great for easy clean up.
  • Put your various candies and sprinkles in fun/decorative containers.
  • Set out various ice cream toppings.
  • Place napkins and spoons at the end of the table for guests to grab after assembling sundaes.
  • Have wet-wipes ready for occasional clean ups.
Suggested ingredients for an ice cream sundae bar
Vanilla Ice Cream
Chocolate Ice Cream
Strawberry Ice Cream
Sorbet (for non-dairy guests)
Waffle Bowls
Toppings (sauces):
Mini Chocolate Chips
Broken Toffee-Bar Pieces
Broken Oreo Pieces
Gummy Bears
Rainbow Nonpareil Sprinkles
Chopped Nuts
Bananas (unpeeled)
Fresh Blueberries
Fresh Raspberries
Fresh Strawberries (sliced)
Maraschino Cherries
Whipping Cream (Squirt Cans)

Don't Forget:
Pastel Paper or Tablecloth
Paper or Plastic Bowls
Plastic Spoons
I love this waffle cone bowl idea for putting toppings in from:

Image: - A "Favorite Things" Party

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Ice Cream Making Toy

What do you think about this?  It is a toy in which children can make real ice cream. It's called, Makin' Real Ice Cream and it's made by Little Tikes. The little ball in the top left-hand corner provides a gyroscope motion for making the ice cream. It comes with recipes, 2 ice cream storage tubs, an ice cream scoop, a serving tray, a spatula, and 3 sprinkle containers. It sells for around $45.00.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Ice Cream Cupcakes

Take a look at these adorable Ice Cream Cupcakes! You'll find the how-to over at My Cake School. Super cute!

Be sure to check out Lisa Loves Holidays each day in July to see more ice cream ideas.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

National Strawberry Sundae Day

National Strawberry Sundae Day is observed every year on July 7th. Traditionally, sundaes consisted of vanilla ice cream, a sauce of some sort (chocolate, cherry, strawberry, etc.) maybe some candy sprinkles and/or chopped nuts, whipped cream, and a cherry on top, but you may use whatever flavor of ice cream you wish, the sundae police aren't going to come and beat you down for not using vanilla (they don't do that anymore). 

Here is a video showing how to make a basic strawberry sauce that can be used for your strawberry sundae. You can omit the balsamic vinegar or substitute it with a teaspoon of vanilla extract, but add it at the end, after cooking.

Photo: Strawberry Sundae at Saint's Alp
          Originally uploaded by kaikai666

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Behavior Ice Cream Scoops

Emily, from Aggiemania is a clever mom with a sweet idea for encouraging good behavior from her boys. She has come up with this cute Ice Cream Scoop Behavior Chart. Each child has an ice cream cone taped to the refrigerator. The daily goal is to earn 5 ice cream scoops by doing such things as: completing chores before school, doing extra jobs mom asks them to do (without complaining), and going to bed and staying there at night. Scoops can be taken away for noncompliance, and rewards are given if the child earns his five scoops. As the mother of seven sons, I know the power that motivational charts like this can have on children - and this is a super cute one!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Hello Kitty Ice Cream Key Chains

Do you love Hello Kitty? Here is a super cute Hello Kitty Colorful Bunny ice cream cone key chain/pen. The set is made by Sanrio and will be released on July 7, 2011.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Independence Day!

In this video, Matt Damon recites the Declaration of Independence, which was approved on this date in 1776. He gives us his thoughts on the meaning of the Declaration - some good food for thought.

As a side note, did you know that former President Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, who both helped draft the Declaration of Independence, died on the same day, exactly 50 years, to the day, after the Declaration was approved? They both died on July 4, 1826. Interesting!

4th of July Ice Cream Cone

Uncle Sam Ice Cream Cones from Family Fun.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

National Chocolate Wafer Day

Today is National Chocolate Wafer Day. Most traditional ice cream sandwiches are made using some sort of chocolate wafer. Here is a recipe for a cute ice cream sandwich from Better Homes and Gardens. 

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Darling Clown Ice Cream Cones

Here's a link to the Cutest Clown Ice Cream Cones ever! Apparently, they're from Baskin Robbins, but you could totally do this!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Thursday, June 30, 2011

National Ice Cream Month

Celebrated every July, National Ice Cream Month was proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan, through a Presidential Proclomation, on July 9th, 1984. In that same proclamation, President Reagan also established National Ice Cream Day, which is celebrated on the 3rd Sunday of July each year. President Reagan asked all Americans to "observe these events with appropriate ceremonies and activities". 
In the month of July, we have several opportunities to experience and enjoy that wonderful creation called ice cream.
July 1 -  Creative Ice Cream Flavors Day
July 7-   National Strawberry Sundae Day
July 17 - National Ice Cream Day
July 17 - National Peach Ice Cream Day
July 23 - Vanilla Ice Cream Day
July 25 - Hot Fudge Sundae Day 
I am crazy for Ice Cream, it's my favorite treat in the world, so, in honor of National Ice Cream Month I will be posting something that has to do with ice cream every day of the month. Be sure to come back for more ice cream fun!

Image: Ice Cream Van, Covent Garden.
Originally uploaded by Jansos

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Fourth of July Fun

It's time to celebrate the creation of this wonderful nation! On July 2nd, 1776, the Continental Congress voted in favor of America's independence from Great Britain. Subsequently on July 4th, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was adopted and our independence was born.

Hooray for the USA!

Here are some fun July 4th crafts that you and your children may enjoy doing together. For more cute ideas visit Lisa Loves Holidays too.

A Patriotic Crown from:

Let Freedom Ring from:

Patriotic Candy Box from:

Red, White, and Blue Tee from:

DIY Patriotic Beads from:

Patriotic Bracelet from:

Tin Can Windsock from:

Edible Eagles from:

Red, White, and Blue Juice Pops from:

Adorable Rice Krispie Treats from:

Star Spangled Jello from:

Red Vines Bundles from: