Aug 192014
 

We ate dog food at Camp Grandma today. I would never ask the grandsons to taste test doggie treats, unless we made them ourselves.


Why did we make dog food? We have grand-dogs that need spoiling. Our grandsons love making cookie cutter shaped cookies, thus Camp Grandma was all about making doggie treat cookies for the grand-dogs.


I looked for the healthiest doggie snack ingredients, and this is what I found….pumpkin puree is bursting with vitamins, beta carotene and fiber. Besides being low in calories, it will help a tummy-aching dog settle its stomach. Eggs are a protein that keeps their fur coats looking shiny and molasses has vitamins, minerals and helps relieve stiffness from arthritis.
Camp Grandma Dog Treat #cookie #treat

The grandsons tasted the doggie treats and declared them rather bland and needing some frosting!

To make this cookie baking venture successful, a batch of sugar cookie dough came to the rescue.

The boys went to work and rolled, cut, baked and then snacked on frosted cookie treats made just for them.


As you can see, Copper loves attention and doggie treats. The grandson’s research proved it was a hands (or paws) down decision….the homemade treats were his new favorite. Their research may be a bit faulty though, since Copper also loves smelly socks.

 

5.0 from 10 reviews
Treats for Dogs
 
Author:
Recipe type: Snack or Treat
Serves: 30-40
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
A healthy doggie treat with no preservatives or added sugar, but lots of vitamins and minerals for your pet.
Ingredients
  • ½ Cup Pumpkin Puree (not pie filling)
  • 2 Tablespoons Molasses
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 3 Tablespoons Water
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2½ Cups Flour (all-purpose or whole wheat)
  • 3 Tablespoons Dry Milk
  • ½ Teaspoon Baking Soda
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, add pumpkin puree, molasses, oil, water and eggs and mix well.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix flour, dry milk, and baking soda.
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix into dough.
  5. Add more water to the dough if needed, but dough should be dry and stiff, not sticky.
  6. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to ¼ inch thick.
  7. Cut with a cookie cutter.
  8. Place cookies on non-stick cookie sheet about 1 inch apart.
  9. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
  10. Let cool on cooling racks.
  11. Makes 30-40 cookies.
Apr 162014
 

It’s time for Easter decorating at Camp Grandma with the grandkids. Peeps 7 Family
Peeps 1 familyPeeps 3 familyThey have been learning to skateboard at the park, now that the snow is melting.

This was their chance to create Skateboarding Peeps and other funny bunnies on candy wheels.

I showed them some cute and clever Peep pictures from the Sweet Simple Stuff blog for ideas.  Be sure to visit and enjoy her creative ideas too.

Now the grandkids were on their own, to show how creative they could get with the Peeps, Lifesavers, Starbursts, cookies and candy melts.

They put Peeps on snow shoes, Peeps on a couch, Peeps in cars, as well as skateboards.

They discussed wanting to do something nice for a neighborhood family.

So they chose which ones they wanted to put in their Easter baskets.

Then off they went to share the rest of the Peep creations with a local family.

They were thrilled and thought these were the best Easter treats ever.

It was heartwarming to know that Camp Grandma brought some smiles to another family as well.

For your Peep Easter treats, start with some Candy Melts for the frosting glue.  Then add some frosting to the Life Saver Wheels and Nutter Butter cookies.  Let them dry upside down. Carefully cut wedges from the Starburst candy for carrots and frost/glue a green sparkle candy for the leaves.  Add frosting glue to the Peeps to stick them on the cookies.

SkateBoard and Peeps ingredients

SkateBoard and Peeps ingredients

SkateBoard wheels glued with Candy Melts

SkateBoard wheels glued with Candy Melts

Attach Peeps, Starburst Carrots on SkateBoards

Attach Peeps, Starburst Carrots on Skate Boards

 

 

 

 

Peeps 6 FamilyPeeps 9 Family

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sending Easter Holiday wishes from Camp Grandma.
Please share how you’re enjoying this holiday time, I love getting new ideas from you.

Apr 042014
 

My grandson loves to play Pokémon and requested this theme for his birthday cake.

Pokémon Black and White Versions- Isshu Region Pokémon (complete)

He agreed to narrow down the choices of his favorite characters to three for his cake.

After researching more about Pokémon, I found that some of the main images in the game are water, leaf, and fire.

Fortunately, these symbols were easy to make out of fondant.

Pokemon birthday cake

For the two chocolate cakes, I used a 9 x 13 inch pan.  Then half of the second batter was poured into a small metal bowl and the rest poured into a round cake pan.  The large cake was cut in half to make two rectangle shaped pieces.  The round cake was trimmed for the middle section.  Now the round bowl piece was set in the center of the three sections for the Poké Ball.

I love the Savory Sweet Life blog’s Buttercream Frosting recipe and one thin layer was spread on the cake shapes.  The cake was then put in the freezer, while I made the fondant.

Rice Krispie treats work great for molding the character shapes.  Since fondant is expensive and can sometimes be hard as a rock, I found the perfect recipe.  Marshmallow Fondant is great to work with and the How She Does It website gives a detailed step by step tutorial for a “no-fail’ recipe.Pokemon Cake 1

His friends are all Pokémon lovers and they enjoyed choosing which parts of the cake they wanted to eat.

Was it a labor of love?  Absolutely.

But this grandma works for hugs and birthday boy smiles.

What is the most unusual birthday cake you’ve ever seen?

Mar 192014
 

Minecraft is my grandson’s favorite computer game. Minecraft bug
What is Minecraft?  Kids use creative thinking, geometry, and some geology as they learn to build imaginative block structures.

Steve, Enderman, Diamond Axes, and grass were the characters and items requested for his birthday cake.

MineCraft Birthday Cake

Steve and Enderman were molded with Rice Krispie treats and covered with fondant.  The TNT is mini red Twizzlers.  Pretzels covered with chocolate pieces created the Diamond Axes.  Toasted coconut filled in the area and Kit Kat wafers added the bridges.  A Fruit Rollup had his name written with the Wilton edible writing pen.

I started with two chocolate cakes baked in 9 x 13 inch pans for the blocks.  Crushed Oreo cookies mixed with graham crackers were added to the frosted sides to look like dirt.  Green buttercreme frosting with a Wilton Grass tip, gave the blocks that grassy look.

Inspiration and helpful ideas came from this Coolest Birthday Cake website.  I’d love to hear about your clever cake ideas, since there will be more grandkid birthdays coming soon.

Mar 152014
 

There are statues and frescos dedicated to the legend of Saint Patrick driving the snakes out of Ireland.
Saint Patrick with SnakesStudio 5 ksl bubble-blow-craft So is a legend something to be believed as a true story?  A legend is any popular or larger than life story that is handed down from one generation to another.

So this explains why naturalists emphatically state that Ireland never had any snakes that needed driving into the Irish Sea.

Other history buffs say that the legend or story got its start because pagans had tattoos of snakes.  Saint Patrick got rid of the pagans by teaching Christianity. This theoretically explains how he drove  the snakes out of Ireland.

Well, I never did and never will like to handle real snakes.

Playing with snakes made out of green bubbles, is my kind of fun.

How to make cork boats, blow green bubble snakes, and create an erupting volcano are shown in this KSL Studio 5 video.  Brooke Walker, the host of Salt Lake City’s ‘Studio 5,’ and I had a blast playing with these science projects.

Camp Grandma is all about crafts and learning the scientific reason why bubbles grow so huge.

This recipe makes long lasting bubbles that stay firm and won’t break.

The “snakes” will keep growing as long as you keep blowing.

What craft is your kids’ favorite?

Mar 052014
 

Poppy Patrols have described the poppy flower as an Elephant in the Flower Bed.
Breadseed poppies-arrangementbreadseed-poppy flowerBread Seed poppy-seedheads 1Poppy Seed Torte RecipeCan drying seedpods for a floral arrangement or sprinkling the poppy seeds on a muffin be a federal violation?

Seed producers became worried about being arrested for selling these flowers with the name, Opium Poppies.

So renaming them Breadseed Poppies made them sound safer from being questioned by the Poppy Patrols.

Eating a poppy seed dessert could possibly cause a drug test to be positive for opium.

I love the Seinfeld episode when Elaine eats some poppy seed muffins.  She needs a physical for a pending trip with her boss.  Her test comes back with a positive result for opium and her boss fires her.  This was one of seven episodes that happened in real life.

This federal offense was once compared to ripping the tags off of pillows and mattresses “under penalty of law.”

My husband’s Wisconsin relatives were one of many families that sold home grown poppy seeds.  The Poppy Patrol put a stop to many of these seed growing businesses.

Now we buy most poppyseeds for baking from foreign countries.

As a new bride, I believed the story about a successful marriage being directly linked to the husband’s contented stomach.

My mother-in-law shared with me, what has become our favorite poppyseed dessert.

Whether this poppyseed torte has contributed to a euphoria of contented married life for 50+ years could be debatable.  What do you think?

5.0 from 2 reviews
Poppyseed Torte
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 12
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
This easy recipe only uses two bowls to mix the ingredients. Filling can be cooked on the stove, but watch carefully. I prefer cooking the filling in the microwave.
Ingredients
  • Crust:
  • 1¼ cup Graham Crackers, crushed
  • ½ cup Butter, melted
  • ¾ cup Flour
  • ½ cup Walnuts, crushed
  • Cooked Filling:
  • 5 Egg Yolks, large
  • 2 tablespoons Cornstarch
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2 cups Milk
  • ¼ cup Poppyseeds
  • ¼ teaspoon Salt
  • Add to Filling:
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 package Unflavored Gelatin softened in ¼ Cup Water
  • 2nd Filling Mixture:
  • 5 Egg Whites
  • ½ teaspoon Cream of Tartar
  • ½ cup Sugar
  • Whipped Cream topping (optional)
Instructions
  1. Crust: Crush graham crackers and walnuts.
  2. Stir in melted butter and flour.
  3. Pat into bottom of 13 x 9 inch pan.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes @ 350 degrees.
  5. Filling: Mix egg yolks, cornstarch, sugar, milk, poppyseeds, salt into large bowl and microwave until thickened, approximately 15 minutes.
  6. Stir filling every 5 minutes.
  7. Cool filling to room temperature.
  8. Then add vanilla and softened gelatin.
  9. Beat egg whites until very stiff.
  10. Then add tartar and sugar.
  11. Fold this into cooked filling.
  12. Chill.
  13. Whipped Cream topping is optional.

Feb 102014
 

Family owned grocery stores can’t be “normal” to survive since Bob and Randy’s grandparents, Jake and Irene Harmon, opened a fruit stand 80 years ago.

Harmons Grocery StoreHarmons Grocery Store Brothers
Harmons Grocery Breads
Harmons Grocery Granola items
Harmons Grocery Baked GranolaNow that huge corporations and big-box stores have taken over the grocery industry, this local independent company has managed to not only survive, but thrive and expand to 16 grocery stores in Utah.

I joined a focus group held at a local Harmon’s store, to find out how they managed to grow and develop their own unique niche in this tough market.

Bob and Randy love to tell people that “they aren’t normal” in serving the needs of their customers.

Some of the things I learned why they “aren’t normal” is that they:
1. Provide fresh, local produce and specialty items.
2. Grind and make their own sausages in-store.
3. Sell only all-natural meat and poultry that’s not plumped with salt water, additives or hormones.
4. Make fresh soups and bakery developed by their own chefs and artisans.

Losing our love handles by Valentine’s Day, has become an annual resolution.  I wanted something healthy to snack on, rather than the usual sugar filled cookies and bars.  One of the gifts for joining their focus group, was a container of fresh almond butter.

This very healthy Almond Butter Granola Bar recipe has no added sugar for sweetening and about 130 calories per bar.  As a bonus, I found them to be very filling.

Without the extra sweet sugar boost, they may seem a little bland.  So other ways to jazz up this recipe would be to drizzle some chocolate on top, mix in more dried fruit or perhaps adding a tablespoon of brown sugar.

Just remember to adjust the amount of calories accordingly (sorry, but no cheating).

What’s your favorite and healthy way to curb the hunger pangs?

 

4.5 from 4 reviews
Almond Butter Granola Bars
 
Author:
Recipe type: snack
Serves: 12
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
Many granola bars are made with honey, syrup or other sweeteners. These bars are tasty, filling and naturally healthy.
Ingredients
  • ½ cup almond butter
  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • ½ cup whole almonds
  • ¼ cup dried apricots
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup dried cherries
  • ¼ cup golden raisins
  • ¼ cup mixed seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, etc.)
  • 1 tablespoons ground flax seed
  • 1 cup Crispy Rice or rolled oats
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 160C/350F.
  2. Line wide loaf tin with parchment paper.
  3. In a small pot, heat almond butter and mashed bananas.
  4. Stir gently until well combined.
  5. Set aside.
  6. In a food processor, coarse chop the almonds, apricots, cranberries, cherries, and raisins.
  7. Transfer to a bowl.
  8. Mix in seeds, rice or oats, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  9. Fold in the almond butter mixture.
  10. Press the batter into prepared loaf tin.
  11. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  12. Let cool before cutting into bars/squares.
  13. Store in airtight container.

More healthy Granola Bar recipes can be found From the Kitchen of Cookin’ Canuck.

Feb 012014
 

Will there be six more weeks of winter or an early spring?  Will Punxsy wake up to his shadow?
Groundhog Club for Punxsy Phil Groundhog Day Puxsny
Groundhog punxsutawney phil in a can The origin of Groundhog Day began with the celebration of Candlemas Day in medieval Europe.
Candles were blessed and handed out on a day that was midpoint between the first day of winter and the first day of spring.

In Germany, the hedgehog was chosen for predicting the weather.

When the German settlers arrived in Pennsylvania, they continued this tradition with a groundhog, since hedgehogs weren’t available.  In 1886, The Punxsutawney Spirit printed the first official observance in its newspaper.

We’ve celebrated Punxsutawney Phil’s debut on Groundhog Day ever since.

This tradition isn’t totally goofy, since animals are sensitive to the thawing of soil and other signs of spring.

If you’re not crazy about a cuddling a rodent on this special day, the “groundhog in a can” souvenir is available at this Punxsutawney website.

 

This is a recipe that allows you to play with your food.
The tootsie roll groundhogs pop up from the cookies with the help of your pinky finger.groundhog cookies recipe
The kids will love biting off the heads of their groundhog/dogs with this meal theme. Hotdog Groundhogs

The hot dog groundhogs can be placed inside cornbread muffins, a snowy mound of mashed potatoes or baked biscuits.

 

What fun ways do you celebrate this day?

There are lots more fun recipes at this website:http://www.sheknows.com
Enjoy many other great trips on the Photo Mondays link

Jan 182014
 

Grandkids love to help with meals.  These rolls are easy to make, cute and delicious.  Although we made these birds for our Thanksgiving meal, they taste too good to wait until November to eat again.

Crescent Roll Baker 1

Preheat oven to 350.  Spray the muffin tin cups with butter-flavored cooking spray.  Drape unrolled crescent rolls over each muffin cup.  Make sure the dough drapes down into the cup and both the triangular tip and the wide end lay flat on top of the cups.  With scissors, cut the wide end of each triangle into feathers.  Eyes can be added in pointed end with toothpick.  Bake, following the crescent roll can directions.

Crescent Roll Birds 1Crescent Roll bird

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What would a turkey say when the rolls are ready to eat? “Gobble me!” What else?

Jan 112014
 

SpongeBob Squarepants has always been my grandson’s favorite cartoon character.  So it wasn’t a surprise that he requested this theme for his birthday party.Spongebob Squarebants cake Spongebob birthday cake Spongebob Squarepants eyeball
Two chocolate cakes (his choice) were baked in 9 x 13 inch pans for the head and body.

Fondant used for the white eyes, teeth, red tongue, with blue fondant eye balls give him that smiling hello to the partying kids.

Mini donuts created his shoes and pant tops. Large pretzel rods were covered in fondant for his legs and arms.

To keep my fingers from looking yellowish red for the next week, I wore disposable gloves while mixing the colors into the fondant.

Fruit rollups created the tie & belt on chocolate frosted pants.  Rice Krispie treats shaped the hands and fingers and covered in fondant. Wilton’s food writer pens gave an edible birthday message on the fruit rollups.

Blue jello jigglers held the candles and gummy bears were added for snacking until the cake was cut.

Here’s looking at you grandma!  Half the fun of eating the cake is picking out what part they want to eat.

My inspiration came from the many great ideas shown on this Coolest Birthday Cake website.  I’d love to hear about your cake creations and any questions or suggestions you may have for shaped cakes.

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