Halloween Food to DIE For!

i love to eat, but i really love when you can have fun with your food!  halloween is a scream when you make a creepy concoction for dinner, dessert or just something to BITE INTO!

instead of posting one main dish recipe this week, i figured you’d rather have a coffin full!  taste of home is one of my favorites sites for food because they have recipes AND pictures.   happy hunting……for some devilishly good halloween bites!

http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Holiday—Celebration-Recipes/Halloween-Recipes

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Creeeepy Crafts for Halloween

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it’s so close to halloween it’s scaaaarrry!!!!    i love halloween crafts because you can spend time making something spooky…..that’s edible!   i hate real spiders but love making and eating spider pops, cookies and cupcakes!   hopefully the following ‘tricks n treats’ will bring a smile to your little monsters faces.

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witch hat cookies are my STAPLE treat at halloween.   buy the keebler fudge striped cookies, hershey’s kisses, pre made frosting in the tub, food coloring and ziploc bags.   you can buy the plain hershey’s kisses or you can buy the festive candy corn kisses to add some color.  hershey’s hugs are a fun striped option also.

i premix the frosting with purple or green food coloring and put it in the ziploc bags. then cut a tiny corner off so the kids can squeeze out a ring of frosting around the opening of the cookie, then drop a kiss on top.  if they are older you can have them even put a bow with the frosting or a dollop on top of the kiss!

these also make cute sombreros for cinco de mayo with some bright red or green frosting!

candy corn crepe paper candy corn craft! (say that 5 times fast!)

What you’ll need:

  • 1 sheet black construction paper with a candy corn triangle drawn on it with white crayon
  • Tissue paper – white, yellow, orange, cut or torn into ½” squares
  • White craft glue
  • Scissors
  • Pencil with eraser
  • have kids put one piece of tissue paper on the end of their pencil over the eraser and twist so it’s wrapped around the top. while holding onto the tissue paper, they now dip the tissue paper in the glue and stick the paper on the candy corn inside the pattern or on the outside line of the candy corn.   once the tissue paper is on the black they can lift the pencil out of the paper and the tissue will stand up by itself.  you end up with a 3d craft that is popping off the page!    you can make any design for this to work and use whatever color tissue paper you would like.  (spiders, pumpkins, witch hat, etc.  it also works great for other holiday parties.  just make easy patterns that the kids can fill)

windsock_ghostghost windsock-using white paper, string, cut up trash bags or white crepe paper streamers, you can create windsocks.  kids color a big piece of construction paper.  (i had 3 colors-white for ghost or mummy, orange for pumpkin and green for monster)  kids get to color their own faces, draw what they want on them then tape the streamers on the inside of the bottom half of the tube.   connect paper in the back with staples, poke holes for string and you have a creepy windsock.

Midnight Mosaic— Tear orange or white construction paper into small squares (less than 1/2 inch). Paste torn bits of paper onto black construction paper to create a Halloween picture. Simple designs include a jack-o-lantern (create mouth, nose, and eyes by allowing black construction paper to show through), a witch’s hat, a haunted house, or a ghost.

handprint_bat handprint bat- kids can trace their hands onto a paper or if you are adventurous they can paint their hand and put smash it on a paper.  you can have the body part drawn up and copied or have the kids draw and cut out their own bat depending on how old the kids are.  this craft works for spiders too.  no thumbs for the spiders.   using kids feet make adorable ghosts! (more for a friend not school party)

halloween spider craftsfootprintghost

spiders yarn spiders
Take two pipe cleaners.  Cut them in half.  Stack the pipe cleaners together.
Cut a long piece of yarn.  Tie the pipe cleaners together leaving a six inch tail
on one end of the yarn.  Take the opposite end of the yarn and start
wrapping it around the pipe cleaners.  Make sure you don’t completely
cover the six inch tail.  When the spider is as fat as you would like, stop
wrapping and tie the ends of the yarn and trim the yarn ends off.  Glue
two wiggly eyes onto the spider and bend the legs to make it stand.

for lots of easy edible halloween treats check out the following blogs:

http://familyfun.go.com/halloween/halloween-recipes/

http://www.celebrations.com/halloween-treats

http://www.brightideas.com/  (this is where you find the adorable spider cupcakes)

happy halloween!

Room Mom STAPLE Game Ideas

if you’ve read this blog at all you know how much i love to party!   over the years i’ve planned classroom parties where the games went really well and planned parties where the games went not so well……..but i prefer to remember the HAPPY TIMES in my life, so i only filed the FUN games.  now when i go through my files i only see the games that are guaranteed to bring a smile to the students and perfection to the party.    below i’ve listed my favorite games that are always a hit!.  no matter what the grade, holiday or class size, i guarantee there is a game on this list for you!   when reading through the games keep in mind you can switch them up to match any holiday, class theme or grade level.  sometimes what works in a lower grade will work in an upper grade if you add one level of difficulty to the game. 😉

i call these my STAPLE games because the students love them!  i use them over and over and over again and the kids still jump up and down when i say what we’re playing.

if YOU have game ideas you’d like to share, please list them as a ‘comment’ so we can share them with everyone!!!    THANKS FOR PLAYIN’

man, woman, bear-this plays like rock, paper scissors but you start standing back to back in couples.  count 1,2,3 and flip around each making your characters actions.  whichever character loses goes and sits down then everyone pairs up again back to back.  play continues until you get down to two people and have one winner!    i write the characters on the board with who beats who, so the kids can easily see which person wins.    man gets bear, bear gets woman and………as true to life…….woman, gets the man!  he he he   actions to be each character:   man is two hands out like you are holding two guns.  bear is two hands up high fingers clawed, roaring face.  woman has one hand on mouth “oh” and second hand on hip.  (i love when the boys do the woman action.  so funny!)     from 1st to 6th the students love this game!!!!!

4 corners-this plays better in 3rd grade and under.   clearly divide the room into four corners with invisible lines.  name those corners using words to match your party theme.  if it was halloween, i’d name them candy, monster, ghost and pumpkin.  1child stands in the front of the room and closes their eyes.  (i hold my hands up to the side of the childs eyes to avoid them be tempted to cheat)   we count to 10 loudly while the other students quietly sneak around the room.  when we get to 8 all the students need to be IN a corner and stay in that corner.   then the child at the chalkboard picks a corner.  everyone in that corner is now out and sits in the middle of the room.  one of those students gets to be the student at the chalkboard now.  play continues until you get down to just a few kids.   i have pictures of the 4 corners names on the chalkboard so the child picking a corner has something to pick from.  otherwise you end up naming the 4corners over and over and over again.  if you prefer, you can choose to NOT let the kids get out after picking their corner and just let everyone have a turn being ‘it’ while everyone just plays over and over again.

blanket name game-bring a large dark blanket that the kids can’t see through.   divide the kids into two teams on either side of the blanket.  two moms hold the blanket up so neither team can see anyone on the other team.  one mom points to a student on team A and the other mom points to a student on team B.  those students come up to the blanket and stand in the center.  1,2,3 drop the blanket!  the two students try to be the first one to say the other students name.  sounds easy, but it’s harder than it sounds.  pull the blanket up and pick two more students.  this is a good time filler game at the end of the party.

dividing into teams-however many teams you need pick animals.   4 teams could be (cows, sheep, pig, turkey)  if you have 20students then you’d have 5 kids per team so you would need 5 strips of paper with each animal on it.  put all the strips in to a bowl and let the kids pick one out.  kids dont’ show one another their strip.  on ‘go’ the kids are only allowed to get on their hands and knees, close their eyes and make their animal sound.   they continue making their animal sound until they find the other animals that are the same as them.  this is a loud game but if all the other classes in your grade are having a holiday party at the same time it shouldn’t matter 😉  it’s an hilarious game to watch play out.  once all the animals have found their ‘families’ you can send them to their different stations easily.

here kitty kitty-students stand in a circle with one in the middle being ‘it’.  ‘it’ goes up to one person in the circle and in their best silly voice and cutesy face they say, “here kitty, kitty” the student in the circle needs to keep a straight face.  if they laugh, the two trade places.  this game can get you laughing pretty hard.

1,2,3 up-students stand in a circle and look down at their feet.  they count out loud, 1,2,3 and then look up.  if they are looking at someone and that person is looking back at them, they are out and sit down.   if they are looking at someone and that person is looking at someone else, they are safe.  as long as you don’t make eye contact with someone you are safe.  you usually have to remind the kids of integrity and being honest.  if you are looking at someone and they are looking back you sit down. 😉   then everyone looks down at their feet again and you count to 3 then look up.  play continues until you are down to the last 3 people.  this is also a fun game to pick up the pace on.

last word-students pair up.  on “go” give them a subject and they just go back and forth for 30seconds.  when time is up you see who got the last word in.  example:  fast food restaurants….go!   they just go back and forth naming fast food restaurants.  you can’t repeat the same ones.  you just keep going until you hit 30seconds.   you can choose to stay with the same teams and do the best out of 3 games with 3 different subjects or you can have them switch pairs each time to mix things up.  your ‘subjects’ can be anything you want:   disney movies, characters, tv shows, girls names, teachers names, cartoons, song titles, bands, etc.

fruit bastket upset-this is a great game to use at any grade level or match to any theme.  kids sit in a circle on chairs facing in, minus one chair.  the child who is without a chair is ‘it’.   to make the game easy to explain i always make 4 or 5 different pictures to separate the kids.   halloween example: i would go buy stickers or print out small picts and tape them onto the kids shirts of a mummy, werewolf, dracula, ghost and witch. i stack them so there is one of each on top of each other in a pile.  then i just walk around the circle and the students can take the top sticker and put it on.  now you should have close to an even number of kids that are ‘werewolves’, ‘vampires’, ‘witches’, etc.  (if the kids take a sticker and want to trade with the person next to them that’s fine. you just need to have as close to the same amount of each character as possible)

for other holiday you could do colored stickers, or picts of items that match your theme.  spring i do colored plastic eggs.  cinco de mayo i just do colored circle stickers, holiday i do stocking, present, candy cane……you get the idea.      then i tape one of each of the items on the floor in the center of the circle.  you have to do this so the’it’ has something to choose from, otherwise they end up picking the same item over and over again because they forget the other ones.     to start the game ‘it’ stands in the middle and calls one of the items.  if it was dracula, then all the kids that have the dracula sticker have to quickly move to another seat while ‘it’ tries to steal one of their seats.  whoever is left in the middle is now ‘it’ and gets to pick the next item.    to really MIX things up have a word that they say where everyone is required to get up and move!  halloween i have them say: trick or treat!    holiday: ho, ho, ho    cinco de mayo:  ole!………once again you get the idea.

this game you’ll find a lot of kids that SEE an open seat but avoid it and look frantic because they WANT to be IT.  so you’ll have two kids standing in the middle looking crazy when there is a seat wide open.  to avoid this i tell the kids we want to see who can AVOID being in the middle the entire game.  i have a prize for anyone who can do it.   (i end up giving a prize to everyone because it’s fun, but this helps the game going at a better pace)    also tell ‘it’ they only have 5seconds to choose.  sometimes kids will stare at their 5 options and not know what to say.

bumpety bump, bump, bump-this game rocks!!!! (or should i say bumps!)  this is best for 4th grade and up.   let’s say you have 24 kids.  you would have 4 teams of 6.  this game requires even teams so moms or teacher may need to join in the fun.   to explain this game it’s best to ‘draw’ it out.  first draw a square on a piece of paper.  on each side of the square you would line up 6 chairs all facing inward and centered in the middle of the line so you have a bit of room in each corner of the square.   draw a circle in the middle of the square, this is where one chair will go.   when sitting in the ‘team’ chairs the chair to the far left of each team is the ‘captain’ chair.  so you should have 4 captains. one on each team at the far left.   the captains need to like chocolate…..a lot!    each team captain holds a squishy ball.  on go all the team captains jump up and run towards the chair in the middle, around the chair and to the other end of their ‘team’ of chairs.  (the opposite end where they were sitting)  if you draw it on the paper it should be a triangle from the captain chair to the last one on the team.   while the captain is ‘running’ the entire team scoots or BUMPS down one seat so the last seat is open for the captain to sit down.  hence the bumpety, bump, bump, bump comes in.  as soon as the captain is sittin in the chair he can pass the ball to the person next to him and they pass it down the entire team with each person holding the ball.  you can’t toss the ball to the new captain chair or skip people along the way.  each team member must pass the ball past them to the next person.  when it gets to the person who is now sitting in the captain chair on the end they jump up and run around the chair in the middle to the seat on the end, making sure the team all bumps down one seat to leave the end open for him.  he then passes the ball and the game continues.  the goal is to get your team ‘captain’ back to his chair the fastest.  once the captain is back to his chair he grabs the hershey’s chocolate bar under his chair and has to eat the entire thing!  you see which team can complete this first.  if you wanted you could have a little treat under everyone’s chair and see which team can finish all their treats!  this game is my favorite because it’s loud, crazy fun!

i sit-this game is better 4th grade and up (maybe 3rd)   the kids just need to learn the following lines:   i sit…….in the grass…….with my friend (name a friend)……..the entire class sits on chairs in a circle with one extra chair that is empty.   the person that has the empty chair to their left starts the game by jumping into the seat and saying “i sit”  leaving their seat open for the person next to them to scoot over into their chair and say “in the grass” and finally the person sitting next to the open chair scoots over one chair and says “with my friend…..and names someone in the class.”    the person who’s name is called jumps up and runs over to the empty seat and sits down.  now the person who has the new empty seat to their left scoots over to it and says “i sit” the next person that has the empty chair to their left scoots and says “in the grass” the third person scoots into the empty chair and says “with my friend…..say a name”  that person runs over and sits down.  game continues until you get used to everyone knowing where to scoot, what to say and how to play.  when they get the hang of it, the competition comes in.   everything stays the same except……when the person who’s name is called gets up to run to the empty seat…….instead of the person to the left being the only one to scoot over to the empty seat, you now tell the students the person on either side of the empty chair can jump in the empty seat.  if the person on the rigth jumps in the empty chair and says, “i sit” the person that was next to them scoots over and continues the game, while the person who missed out scoot themselves and their chair out of the circle.  now you have your circle getting smaller each time you have someone get up and run when their name is called.  play continues until you get down to 4 kids. that’s as small as you can play.

four on a couch or row-This is the best game I have ever played. I love it. a bit difficult to explain and i’d only play 5th grade and up.  The explanation is very long and involved, but DEFINITELY worth it.  This is essentially a memory game. The object of this game is to get 4 members of your team on the designated “couch” (or just a section of 4 chairs). To start, have everyone sit down in a circle (incuding the 4 “couch” seats at the front of the room) alternating boy/girl/boy/girl. (usually i just use those color circle stickers and just have them be a blue or red team instead of boy girl. it’s rare you have them even.) This means that two of the 4 designated seats on the couch belong to your team and two belong to the other.  (so you have 2 red and 2 blue stickers on the 4 front chairs) Remember the objective is to get the other team out of those seats and your members on.  So, how do you do that? First, you write everyone’s name on a card and have everyone pull a name out of a hat. Everyone has a different name in their hand (it doesn’t matter if it is their own name). Once everyone is seated and has a name card you can start the game.  There should be one empty chair/place in the circle. Whoever is to the right of that empty place has the opportunity to ask someone to come sit next to him. The first couple people will just guess a name because they do not yet know who holds what name cards. Say the empty seat is next to you and you call the name Jeff… the person with the name Jeff on their card gets up… NOT the person whose name is actually Jeff. Once this “so-called Jeff” comes and sits next to you, you switch name papers. Now YOU have become Jeff and the person who sat next to you has the name you had (which only you know because no one has seen it but you).

Now everyone knows that You are Jeff. There is an empty space where the guy who just sat next to you used to sit. So the person to the right of the empty seat calls another name (Sarah). The person with that name on their card moves to that spot and switches cards with the caller. You now know that the caller’s name is Sarah. You just keep doing this until eventually you call the name (on the card) of someone on the couch and they have to vacate their coveted position.

If the person to the right of the empty spot is on the couch, they will want call someone from their team up to join them. (they will have had to remember from before).

People in the circle will want to remember the name of an opposing team member on the couch, so that in case an empty seat opens up next to them, they can call someone off the couch. A person on the couch will want to remember their own team members’ names so they can call someone on the couch.

Keep in mind however, that YOU may be called onto the couch and be required to remember your own team members’ names as well since it will be up to you to call team members onto the couch.

The only rule of the game is that you can’t call the same name twice in a row. Another note to remember if you are playing boy against girl is that it is the actual gender of the person HOLDING the card that counts, not the gender of the person whose name is on the card.   same as color.  Sarah may be called “Jeff” but she still counts for the girl’s team on the couch. when playing colors, you just want all your color in the 4 front chairs.

when playing this game in elementary school i don’t have the students trade the names when they get up and move.  i have them draw the different names to start the game, but then they keep that same name the entire time because it still requires everyone to remember who is what color and what name.

3 part charades-for 5th and 6th grade.  divide into two teams.   each person writes a name on a strip of paper and folds it up in the bowl.  the name can be someone in the class, from tv, movies, books, cartoons, history, etc.  you can write anyone from spongebob to caesar on the slip.  i’m assuming if the kids all write the names they will all know who the people are?   they don’t tell who they wrote, they just write the name and drop it in the bowl in the center of the room.   divide the kids into two teams. round 1–starting with team A they have one person at a time run to the bowl, and by doing actions, rhyming words, descriptive words, etc they try to get their team to guess this person.  they can do everything but say the actual name of the person.  once the team guesses the name, they have another person run up and pull a name out.  team A continues guessing names until 1minute is up.  they leave the names they guessed just to the side of the bowl.  now team B does the same thing for 1min. pulling names out of the bowl and having their team guess each name.

you go back and forth with each team taking turns for 1min. until you’ve gone through all the names.  if a team runs out of names before the 1min is up they can grab a paper from the side of the bowl and see if their team can guess it.   round 2–once all the names have been guessed and both teams had equal turns, you put all the names back in the bowl and play the exact same way going back and forth……….except this time the teams can’t say anything!  you can only do actions this round, no talking.   round 3–you put all the names back in the bowl.  seeing as you’ve already guessed the names twice the third round you don’t get to do any actions.  you only get to say one word.  that’s it!  you pull a name from the bowl and you get to say ONE WORD!  if your team doesn’t guess what you are saying it’s tough because you only can say the same one word over and over again.  you may raise or lower your voice, but you have to say only that word.

play bounces back and forth between each team for the minutes until you’ve pulled all the names from the bowl.  each time a team guesses a name right they get 1point. you keep p0ints through all three rounds.

halloween games : pumpkin bowling with plastic pumpkins.   stack the plastic pumpkin candy holders into a triangle then the kids roll a big ball to knock them over.  you don’t place them like normal bowling, you stack them up high 3,2,1.

scary sounds: go in before the day of the party and pull the kids out of the room one at a time. they get to record making any sound they want two times in a row.  (cackle, cackle, woof, woof, booooo, booooo etc)  write down the order of the names the kids record in.  at the party play back the kids and see if they can guess who is who.  for older kids you can record different sounds (shutting car door, creaking stair, phone ringing, etc)  they can see if they can guess the sounds

witches brew- die cut several different halloween themed items from cardstock. (lizard, frog, white circles for eyes, snakes, etc)  have two bowls or black cauldrons at the end of the table.  each time lines up down their side of the table with straws.  (each person has there own straw)   all the witches brew ‘ingredients’ are at one end of the table with the cauldron at the other.  first child puts their straw over the first paper ingredient and sucks up!  lifting the paper item off the desk and holds it up until it gets to the next person, then they drop it.   the next child does the same thing and they move the ingredients down the table by sukcing them up with a straw and lifting them to the next child. the last child on each team sucks up the items and drops them in the cauldron. you see which team can make their witches brew first!   the first child doesn’t have to wait until the first ingredient is in the cauldron, they can drop the first one and start on the next one immediately so the game moves fast.

candy corn chaos:  candy corn are cheap so i like to use them alot.  one game has a child with a bowl of candy corns and their partner has a plastic pumpkin.  as a team they toss and try to catch the candy corns in the pumpkin working together.  they see how many candy corns they can catch in a certain amount of time.  you can have them trade so they each get a turn to toss or catch.  obviously the further away they stand the harder the game.    second game idea:  kids use chop sticks to try and pick up as many candy corns as they can and put them in a bowl or pumpkin.  you could have several kids do this at once since most don’t know how to use chopsticks and need a few minutes to learn. then you can set a time to let them try to go fast.

awesome website where you can print really cool halloween puzzles, trivia and games for an entire class.  they cost a bit of money but are cheap if you print a lot.  maybe get together with another room mom and print some for several classes.     http://www.halloweengamesatoz.com/default.html

i think that’s enough for now.  watch for more game, craft and room mom ideas being posted soon!  GAME ON!!!!

Spooooooky Stories

hey all, it’s that time of year to dust off the cobwebs, crack the spine and slice open the halloween books!  (how was THAT for creepy?!)

if you are planning a class party with a storybook station, this blog is for you!  here are some of my favorite picture books to read around halloween

obviously we must start with where the wild things are by maurice sendak-it’s always good to show kids that a lot of movies come from books but the books are way better

you read to me, i’ll read to you (halloween version) by mary ann hoberman-better one on one but you could just read an entire story by yourself

inside a house that is haunted by ted arnold–this is my favorite. builds up items on each page and the kids will be able to say it all at the end

green wilma by ted arnold-an adorable story about a little girl that is green…….or IS she a little girl?

sipping spiders through a straw by kelly dipucchio-similar to silly songs in the bathtub but halloween style.  they kids will LOVE singing along to these creepy songs

the night the scary beasties popped out of my head by daniel and david kamish-creative story about a boy who draws a beastie and the beastie comes alive off the page

one halloween night by mark teague-what happens when halloween night goes wrong?

little mouse’s big book of fears by emily gravett-it’s about a mouse who chews his way through a self help book on all the phobias out there

stellaluna by janell canon-sweet story of a bat who falls into a birds nest and thinks she’s a bird

the spider and the fly by mary howitt-i think everyone should read this book as a family! makes for a great discussion on stranger danger, not everyone who uses flattering words is nice.  i love how it reads like a black and white movie.

skippyjon jones in mummy trouble by judy schauner-if you have a good spanish accent the kids EAT THIS BOOK UP! skippyjon is a siamese cat who thinks he’s a chiahuha

the hallo-weiner by dave pilkey-cute story of a weiner dog on halloween.

pumpkintown bykatie mcky-a little family that grows pumpkins by accident over an entire town!

halloween pie by michael tunnel-just a retelling of the little red hen

tell me a scary story but not too scary by carl reiner-a story about an old man that lives in a haunted house…..or is it?    teaches a bit about stranger danger.

t-rex trick or treats by lois grahambling-t rex can’t decide what costume to wear to scare people, then realizes he is pretty scary in his own skin.

i have one more story i thought was adorable but i can’t remember the title.   😦  it’s a story about a little witch who goes to her first day of school but she seems to be different than all the other witches………her mom sent her to fairy school by mistake!  the fairies are so kind and understanding of her being different it’s just adorable.  the last page shows a picture of a fairy at the witch school!    i know mrs. deaver has this book, so i will try to find out the title.

hope this helped!  i will post some craft, game and goodies ideas tomorrow!!!!!   thanks again for all you do.

Reflections Due this Friday

PTA Reflections Program

This year’s theme:  Beauty Is…

Please encourage your children to enter the Reflections Program this year!  There are many categories to choose from including:  Literature, 3-D Art, Musical Composition, Photography, Visual Arts, Choreography/Dance, Film/Video, and Theater.    Official entry forms and requirements for each category are in the front office or visit the website to print them:  http://www.ptareflections.org/cs/about_reflections

There are specific requirements for each category so be sure to follow the rules!  Entries not meeting the requirements will not be eligible to advance.

This year all children who participate will be invited to the recognition night which will be held on Tuesday November 10, at 6PM.  This will be a chance for parents and students to walk through the gallery of entries created by Manila Students and for every student to be recognized for their entry.  We are allowed to advance a maximum of 5 students per category to go on to the council level.  All entries are judged by professionals in these fields to determine who advances.  These students will be announced at the recognition night as well.

Random prize drawings will be held everyday October 19th through 23rd and all children who enter will be eligible.

Deadline for all entries to be turned in to the main office is Friday October 23rd.

If you have any questions about the program please feel free to contact Marilynn Koehler, 796-7956 or koehlerfamily6@comcast.net.

Bow Tie Alfredo

if you like olive gardens creamy alfredo sauce, you’ll love this recipe.    it’s easy and stores well if you have leftover sauce.  happy eating!

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Easy Bow Tie Alfredo  (’cause farfalle are way more FANCY than fettucini)

1 cube butter (must be real butter)

2 cups heavy cream

4oz. cream cheese (i put this on a plate and soften it in the microwave for 1min on high)

1/2 tsp garlic powder and 1/4 tsp black pepper  (you can add more of each to taste)

1 1/2 cups real grated parmesan cheese, this is not a recipe i substitute the kind in the green bottle.  use the real stuff, it’s worth it

farfalle pasta (cute little bow ties)  –i think kids prefer these over angel hair or fettucini because of their cute shape

in a saucepan melt butter, then add the very soft cream cheese.  i like to whisk this together to make sure no cream cheese clumps are at the bottom.

pour in heavy cream and stir.  cook on medium heat until it starts to thicken.  (i usually cook this the 12min. while the pasta is boiling)

about 6min minutes before the pasta is done boiling, i toss the parmesan cheese into the sauce and stir.  occasionally stir until the cheese is melted and the sauce is thick.

the sauce will thicken as it sits.

great additions to this meal:

sliced grilled chicken

pinenuts

garlic sauteed mushrooms

sliced red peppers

garlic bread (this is a must to dip in the sauce and wipe up your plate)

**if you want to mix things up a bit,  sprinkle in some nutmeg with the pepper and garlic powder

this really ends up being a fancy meal that is soooo easy to whip up.  you can also easily double this recipe.  just give it more time to simmer and thicken up.   as i said before it reheats really well, so go ahead and make a bunch. 🙂

i like to sprinkle a little parmesan cheese on top for presentation and that little extra bite of cheese.

Chicken Puffs

growing up, chickey puffs were a staple recipe at our home, but i remember them being a lot of work.  my mom would boil a whole chicken in a bunch of seasonings, let it cool, then shred it to pieces so she could roll it all up in her homemade crescent rolls and serve them with a chicken gravy.  they were hot out of the oven, homemade perfection!

as a mother myself i make the exact same recipe…..minus boiling the chicken, making the dough and whipping up a gravy from scratch.   my close personal friends at kirkland, campbell’s and pillsbury have given us brilliant products that save time and give great results without all the fuss.  enjoy!

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Chicken Puffs

2 tubes pillsbury crescent rolls (i use the regular sized ones and love pillsbury.  the other brands don’t stretch as well)

8oz. cream cheese

2 cans costco chicken, drained

salt, pepper, garlic salt, onion powder or onion flakes

optional:  cashews, broccoli, mushrooms, green onions

italian bread crumbs

butter

2 cans cream of chicken soup

to make puffs: unroll crescent rolls and let warm up to room temp so they stretch without tearing

while rolls are getting ready to stretch, put chicken, cream cheese and seasonings in bowl.   (you can add any of the optionals items as well, chopped small)

mix everything with a hand mixer until well blended and chicken is in small pieces

now stretch each triangle shaped roll a little larger and lay on a cookie sheet.   using a small ice cream scoop, put a blob of the chicken mixture on each triangle.  fold the two sides around the blob, then roll it up making sure the sides are pinched close.   i’ve included a step by step photo so you can see exactly how to make each puff….you’re welcome!  🙂

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2 cans of chicken and 1 8oz of cream cheese should fill 16 crescent rolls.  if you end up running out of mixture before rolls, then i just bake those rolls like normal and my kids think it’s a special treat 🙂  just watch them in the oven because they cook faster than the stuffed puffs.

once all the rolls are filled with mixture the fun part starts.  melt 1 cube of butter in a cereal sized bowl.  in a second bowl pour some of the italian bread crumbs.  once again i’ve included another photo……you’re still welcome 😉   dip each puff in the butter, then in the bread crumbs and put them on a cookie sheet.  all 16 should fit on one cookie sheet for baking.   i pat them down just a bit to give them more of a rectangle feel than a big circle.   as you can see by the tiny hands, my kids do this part and love it!  (the rewards of helping are finger lickin good!)

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easy clean up tip:  have both bowls on a cookie sheet to catch all the spills!

once all the puffs are buttered, coated and placed on a cookie sheet you bake them at 350 for 22-25min until they reach golden brown perfection!

while the puffs are cooking heat up 2 cans of cream of chicken soup, with a little milk.  you want it a gravy consistency.  not too runny or too thick.   if you want to dress them up a bit for a party, add a touch of lemon juice and a scoop of sour cream to the soup.

these are great with potatoes or rice because the gravy goes well over everything!   they reheat well, so don’t worry if you have some leftover.

the first time you make these have your kids help.  once they see how easy they are, they will beg to make them for you!  (as long as they get to lick their fingers at the end)

happy cooking!

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