Candy at holidays could easily get me on a soap box. I am not anti-chocolate, but it is all just a little much these days. It seems like holiday after holiday includes bags full of candy. I have to admit that my deeply rooted dislike of candy at holidays started with jealousy. When my youngest children began getting their sweets as gifts from other people I missed being the one to give them something special. I felt like I couldn’t ever buy them a treat because everyone else was over feeding them sugar.
So how to be a “fun Mom” and still celebrate this holiday with the children? That has been my mission. I’m not sure I have succeeded fully, but my kids seem happy and we have fun. I hope we are making good food memories that will last a lifetime. I also hope to be the Grandma who makes really fun real food for the Grandkids someday. 🙂
None of these ideas are strictly from my imagination I assure you. However, I can’t give real credit because they are things I have collected over the years in my mind and actually tried. Enjoy!
PS If you need to special order basil or other herbs give us an e-mail a few days prior to your order. We can usually get quite a variety of herbs year round but only stock a couple each week due to their short shelf life. www.brownboxorganics.com
- Fresh mozzarella
- Fresh basil
- Heart-shaped cookie cutter
- Good quality extra virgin olive oil
- Good quality balsamic vinegar
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Have your child cut the mozzarella into 1/4” thick slices. Use a cookie cutter to cut out heart shapes from each slice. Wrap and refrigerate the scraps of cheese for snacking on later.
- Slice the tomatoes into 1/4” thick slices. Try to use tomatoes that are about the same size around as the mozzarella for a more attractive presentation.
- Ask your child to layer the mozzarella, tomato, and basil on a platter.
- Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
- Sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Enjoy!
All ingredients can be found on our web site normally. www.brownboxorganics.com
- Basic Pizza Dough (recipe below) – I make a lot and freeze.
- Tomato Sauce or Pizza Sauce
- Favorite toppings (We like sliced olives, mushrooms, pepperoni, spinach, onion)
- Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
Directions: Roll pizza dough into large or small heart shapes. Top with sauce, toppings and cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes and enjoy!
Basic Pizza Dough Recipe
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
- 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting (I like white whole wheat)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Whisk 1 1/3 cups warm water (105 degrees F) and the sugar in a bowl; sprinkle the yeast on top. Set aside until foamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in the olive oil.
Whisk the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the yeast mixture. Gradually stir with a wooden spoon to make a rough dough.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes, dusting with more flour if necessary. Form into 2 balls. Brush 2 large bowls with olive oil, add a ball of dough to each and turn to coat with the oil. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1 hour, 30 minutes. Roll out and top as desired, or wrap in plastic wrap and freeze up to 1 month.
– Heart shaped pancakes served with red berry syrup.
- – Cut a heart out of whole wheat bread. Cook an egg in the heart opening for heart shaped eggs in a basket. (see photo)
- – Banana with red hearts drawn around and the message “I’m bananas for you!”
- – Serve veggie tray type selection in cute Valentine’s Day or red paper cup cake wrappers.
- – Make your favorite granola bar/snack bar/protein ball or bar recipe using a heart shaped cookie cutter.
- – Cut slices of deli meats/cheeses into hear shapes.
- – Slice apples cross ways and remove the core with a heart shaped cookie cutter. Serve plain or with nut butter.
- – Raspberry Oat bars cut into heart shapes
- – Berry smoothies with cute straws.