parenting · Recipes · Tutorial · Uncategorized

Recipe for Holiday Success: How to Safely Teach Your Children the Joys of Cooking and Baking

I love baking with the kids. Sister enjoys measuring and mixing the ingredients, brother loves taste testing! It’s never a tidy activity but we always have fun with it. So when Daniel Sherwin, from Dadsolo, reached out to me about writing a post as a guest blogger on safely teaching your kids the joys of cooking and baking I could say no?!

Photo courtesy of Pixabay by laterjay

Those of us who enjoy cooking or baking know it’s a creative form of self-expression, relaxation, and joy, and the holiday season is a perfect time to partake in your favorite pastime even more and possibly pass on the love to your kids. As it turns out, your favorite pastime might actually be good for your mental, physical, and emotional well-being, too. That’s right; science says cooking and baking reduce stress and associated physical, mental, and emotional conditions.

If you’re looking to limit your child’s screen time, cooking or baking with your children can be an excellent alternative to computers and Minecraft, especially during long winter breaks from school or snow days. By spending time together in the kitchen, you’ll prepare your kids for a lifetime of healthier, happier choices. Just like hobbies such as painting or playing guitar, cooking and baking provide children (and adults) with an outlet for creative expression, as well as a way to communicate our love for others and spread the spirit of the season.

Start by choosing easy, age-appropriate recipes. Delegate tasks to your child that can be performed safely. Cooking and baking also provide an excellent opportunity to teach your child about germ control and food safety. If your child has long hair, teach him or her to pull it back prior to making food. Remind your children to keep their hands clean, and to wash frequently to avoid cross-contamination of foods.

Never give knives to young children. When you feel your child is ready to start cooking with knives, start with a plastic knife or butter knife and teach them how to safely hold and use the knife.

As your child gets older and more confident in the kitchen, you may begin teaching more independent tasks, such as using the can opener or microwave. Children above the age of twelve are often capable of much more complex recipes; however, you should still supervise your child at all times while cooking or baking.

Fire prevention is another important consideration. Kitchen fires do happen, and are a common occurrence what with all the cooking for holiday parties and gatherings, so never gamble when it comes to the safety of your family or your home. Here are some expert tips on how to prevent fires and handle unanticipated emergencies:

1. Test your smoke detector. Testing your smoke detector regularly is one of the most important things you can do to protect your home from a fire. Because three out of five house fires involve homes without working smoke detectors, having a working smoke detector with good batteries can spell the difference between life or death.

To keep your family and your home out of harm’s way, you can add a recurring monthly reminder to your smartphone or calendar to test your smoke detector. Experts also recommend adding a reminder to change your smoke detector’s batteries once every six months. Even if your home breaks out in a fire, the results can be much less severe if your smoke detector is in good condition with working batteries.

2. Never leave children unattended. Keep watch over your child in the kitchen, especially if you have young children or kids (and teens) who are new to cooking or baking. It is important to never leave your child in the kitchen unsupervised. You might also teach your children a house rule: that they only cook or bake when an adult is in the room to supervise.

3. Plan for emergencies. Just in case of an emergency, make sure there is a fire extinguisher in your home… and learn how to use it. Teach your children how to safely evacuate the home in case of a house fire. Tell your children how to contact 9-1-1 in the event of an accident, fire, or other unexpected emergency. Hopefully, you’ll never have to do any of these things but just in case, it’s important the entire family is educated on what to do.

Cooking or baking together as a family is a fun way to bond while teaching confidence, self reliance, healthy food choices, and other life skills. Your children will have a lifelong creative outlet, which will benefit their mental, emotional, and physical health. By adding kitchen safety to the mix, you’ll be helping them create a delicious recipe for continued success for years to come, and pass on a holiday tradition you can enjoy together for years to come.

Daniel is a single dad raising two children. At, he aims to provide other single dads with information and resources to help them better equip themselves on the journey that is parenthood.

Mommy Lessons · Recipes · Uncategorized

Edible Play-dough


My daughter LOVES play-dough. She loves squishing, chopping, rolling, plopping, mixing and creating. Her brother? Well he likes to eat it. Therein lies the problem. It can make for a difficult and not so enjoyable time if I spend most of it retrieving bites of soggy, spit covered dough from brothers mouth. Aside from that, sister tends to become hysterical when she noticed that her play-dough pile is depleting. While the colorful poo-poo make changing his diapers entertaining, I do worry about brother actually consuming play-dough.

So, why not only let sister play with it? Well, play-dough is an excellent sensory and fine motor activity! I believe in therapy through play and like finding any opportunity I can for both of my children to participate. Play-dough can be rolled between fingers, squeezed in hands, rolled into balls, cut with butter knife, used with cookie cutters, the options are endless. It also provides an excellent opportunity for brother and sister to play together and interact with each other but maintain a sense of individuality. Simply put, I love play-dough and so do my kids.

What do I do about my play-dough muncher? Make my own safe to consume edible play-dough! I found several recipes using kook aid that looked pretty good, and had almost settled on making that and then I stumbled onto the easiest, most delicious recipe (link here) one could imagine. It consists of two ingredients: frosting and powdered sugar.

(You can find complete directions here,

The recipe called for 1 cup of frosting. I scooped out one cup and plunked it in the bowl. I then licked my fingers, and the spoon. (My kids, my germs, same thing). I peered into the can and realized, that it took up most of the can of frosting so I figured I’d just use the rest (more play-dough is better right?). Wrong, very wrong. I underestimated the amount of powdered sugar it would take to “dough-ify” the frosting and didn’t have enough. Even after using the amount it called for and the remaining 1/4 bag of powdered sugar I had, the dough was still pretty sticky.

I took some time to contemplate options and nibble on some dough. Holy sugar high! I shouldn’t have been surprised seeing that the ingredients were frosting and powdered sugar, but wowzers was it sweet. Thinking of a way to thicken it and not add go the sweetness I turned to corn starch. I sprinkled the corn starch onto the counter, separated the dough into smaller balls and kneaded it like bread until the consistency was pliable but not sticky.

I used my favorite frosting colors and kneaded them through the dough. You may want to wear gloves for this, otherwise your hands will look like the inside of a paint mixer. The end result was a lovely smooth textured, cloud like play-dough that both of the kids will love, mom too!


A few recommendations for you:
I love to have my kids help with cooking and creating in the kitchen, I would recommend making this during nap time or bedtime as the powdered sugar or cornstarch can get a little (a lot, I mean a whole lot) messy.

I would not participate in this activity just prior to any special event, as the sugar consumed may increase the activity level of your child. Imagine pinball, but add in screaming, squealing and diapers. This only occurs if the play-dough is consumed, however, it tastes really blasted good, so one should assume that it will be, possibly in large quantities.

You can substitute half of the powdered sugar for cornstarch. The consistency will still be the same, and it’s still suuuuuuper sweet.

Below is the link to the recipe that I used above and two extra ones that are just as amazing!

Edible Play-dough

Chocolate Play-dough

Edible Peanut Butter Play-dough

For those of you who are looking for a healthier alternatives:

“Healthy” Peanut Butter Play-dough 

Gluten Free Edible Play-dough


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Recipes · Uncategorized

Pumpkin No Bake Cookies

The great things about seasons is that they bring about change. The weather cycles through cold to hot and back again. Sweaters and jeans are traded in for articles of clothing that contain much less fabric. Our favorite shows begin and end, the holidays come and go, the plants and animals even join in, in their own way. Walmart transforms its shelves to stay a holiday ahead throughout the year and our favorite treats appear and disappear.

For some the arrival of fall brings with it the joy of everything pumpkin. Pumpkin coffee, pumpkin candy, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin cake; you name it, it can be pumpkin-fied. I personally hate pumpkin, don’t like the way it tastes or smells. I have tried, I really have! I’ve taken “no thank you portions” of delicious looking deserts, sips of pumpkin infused drinks, I have even baked with pumpkin and nothing, until these……

My husband LOVES pumpkin, and being the amazing wife I am, I was looking through Pinterest for recipes that he might enjoy. And I found it, THE recipe; Pumpkin Spice No Bake Cookies. They are made from so much delicious good stuff that I actually didn’t mind the pumpkin. As a matter of fact, I liked it! I liked it soooo much that I made more, a lot more. Aside from the enormous amounts of butter and sugar, the secret that makes these so divine is Pumpkin Spice Pudding!

(Before I share this recipe with you, I need you to know that it may be difficult to find the key ingredient as a woman fitting my description has been seen purchasing multiple boxes of said pudding mix. I will neither confirm nor deny that it was myself)

You can get the full ingredient list and directions for these cookies at Once A Month Meals. Im gonna just break it down, real simple for you here. You take sugar, brown sugar, butter and milk and turn it into soup. If you can refrain from grabbing a ladle and lapping it up, let it boil. Stir in pudding mix, pumpkin spice (the spice) vanilla and quick oats. Spoon blobs onto wax paper and allow to cool. This step may be difficult as you already have a spoon in your hand, you may be tempted to place scoops directly into your mouth instead of on the wax paper. Once cooled enjoy, and share if you wish, or don’t, I won’t judge.

Until you can get there and partake of this gooey goodness yourself here are a few photos to hold you over. Please refrain from licking the computer screen, as it may lead to an awkward conversation between you and those around you.


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