I have always loved the layered jars of cookies or brownies. So when we needed Valentine’s gifts for 4 awesome preschool teachers, we decided to give it a try. To add some San Francisco flair, we made Ghirardelli brownies in a jar. (Disclaimer: Those beautiful layered jars that you see on Pinterest were most definitely not made by a 3 year old. These were.)
You will need:
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/3 cup Ghirardelli cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup Ghirardelli semi sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips
And a bunch of upcycled jars, with the labels removed. If you are anything like me, you have tons of empty jars on hand. But if not, ask your friends, family or neighbors. If all else fails, you could buy some empty mason jars. Empty pasta sauce jars are the perfect size.Add each ingredient to the jar, one at a time, pressing down the ingredients with a spoon in between layers. If you do this very carefully, you will end up with nice clean layers. If you let your 3 year old do it, you will have a lot of the ingredients that don’t quite make it into the jar, and some semi-clean layers.
I kind of like the not-so-perfect look. And it was more important to me that she be a part of this gift.
Now gather some wrapping materials and write the instructions onto a card to include with the jars.
The instructions for the jar:
- Empty the contents of the jar into a large bowl.
- Whisk in 1 tsp vanilla, 2 large eggs, and 6 TBS of melted butter.
- Pour batter into a greased 8×8 baking pan.
- Bake at 350° for approximately 15 minutes.
Wrap your recipe around the jar and tie with twine, and you have an inexpensive, easy, homemade gift that anyone would love to receive.
Happy Valentines Day!
Wow, nothing like waiting until the last minute, as usual.
We had quite a crafty afternoon today, between making valentines and teacher gifts, but it was so worth it because I love these little Valentines. After last year’s Dora Valentines, I really wanted to make something myself this year. But, of course, I was running low on time. A quick trip to target and about an hour of time and I came up with these. And I couldn’t be happier with them.
I walked into Target having absolutely no idea what I was going to make. Avery and I walked down the party favor aisle looking for inspiration. (I stayed out of the Valentines aisle specifically so that she wouldn’t be allured by Dora, Elmo and the Princesses with fancy matching candy). She absolutely loves bubbles, so when we found these cute little bubbles with heart wands, she was sold. The bubbles came in a pack of 24 for only $3. Since there are 20 kids in her preschool class, this whole project only cost me $3. I quickly designed a little card and printed them out, and grabbed some twine that we already had.
Putting them together was as easy as punching a few holes in the card, and tying the bubbles to the card using twine. Super easy and so cute.
How about you all? Have you had your Valentines ready for weeks or were you doing some last minute crafting today, like me?
Update: These cards are now available to download from my Facebook page.
Forget flowers and chocolates, give me some pink biscuits with fresh juice and berries and I am happy!
A few weeks ago I started trying to make pink biscuits. The first few batches were complete failures. They still tasted good, but were far from the rosy pink biscuits that I was imagining. Strawberries didn’t have enough color, beets were too difficult. Food coloring was out of the question. (I have read too much about the terrible effects of artificial food coloring, especially red – so I knew my pink biscuits couldn’t have any food coloring added.) It took a lot of trial and error, but I finally figured out what would make the most perfect pink biscuits.
Add in some juicy red berries and some fresh squeezed blood orange juice and you have the best Valentines breakfast ever.
- 2 1/4 cups flour
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup cold butter (1 stick)
- 1/2 cup cold milk
- 1 Tbsp vinegar
- 1 cup rasberries
- 6-8 ripe blood oranges
- fresh, seasonal berries
- Pour 1 cup of fresh or frozen rasberries into a small saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until rasberries break down and form a thick sauce.
- Pour the berry sauce into a cup measure. Add enough milk to the berries to make 1 cup.
- Add the vinegar to the berries and milk and stir. Set aside in the refrigerator to chill.
- In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.
- Cut in the stick of butter until it is combined. This can be done in a food processor, with a fork, or with your hands. This is a great job for kids to help with, since they love having their hands in the food.
- Add the liquid mixture to the bowl and stir to combine.
- Dump the dough onto a lightly floured surface. If the dough is too sticky add a bit more flour.
- Roll out the dough to about 1/2 inch thickness.
- Use a heart cookie cutter (or any other shape you like) to cut out your biscuits, and place them on a lined cookie sheet.
- Bake at 425° for approximately 10 minutes.
- Juice the blood oranges and chill until serving.
Enjoy your perfectly fresh, pink Valentines breakfast!
I love looking at the awesome collections of photos that some photographers are able to capture of their children, like this or this. It always inspires me to want to start something like that myself.
But then I remember that my daughter hates having her picture taken. The camera comes out and she instantly covers her face. No pictures, Mommy! No pictures! For Christmas I found the most perfect shirt for her, and it is her new favorite. Every time she wears it, she reminds me of what it says. Got it, thanks.
I so wish I had a willing photo subject in my house. If I don’t have a lollipop or something equally as desirable, I can’t take a picture. (Don’t judge, everyone bribes every once in a while!) I have tried hiding, but she has super-sonic hearing and can hear the slightest shutter click. I have tried distracting, but she can think of nothing else but the camera. I have tried explaining that I want photos so that we can have fun photo books for her to look through. She loves looking at pictures of herself, but still doesn’t want them taken.
We even gave her one of our old digital cameras, so that she could take her own pictures and then maybe be a little more cooperative with others wanting to take pictures of her. She loves taking pictures of everything and everyone. But it still didn’t convince her to let me take more photos of her.
So I am looking for suggestions. How do you get your little ones to let you take their picture? Is there some secret strategy that I am missing? Please share your ideas, my family photo albums thank you in advance.