Saturday, October 26, 2013

Jack-O-Lantern Lunch Ideas

I love to make my girls' lunches fun to go with the holidays and themes of the season. My oldest Ari loves to show off her lunch at school to all her friends. So here are some "Jack-O-Lantern" ideas I have made for Ari and Bri for their lunches.

Jack-o-Lantern Grilled Cheese Sandwich

To make this all you need is a pumpkin shape cookie cuter and a sharp knife. Cut two slices of bread and a slice of cheese into a pumpkin shape. Cut a Jack-o-Lantern face out of one of them with the sharp knife.

 Then cook your grilled cheese like you usual would.

That is it!

PB & J / Turkey & Cheese Sandwich

Make your kiddos their favorite sandwich and use pumpkin cookie cutter to cut out the pumpkin shape. Then decorate the sandwich with your child's favorite candy skittles, M&M's, chocolate chips etc.

Jack-o-Lantern Cuties

Decorate a cutie (which are smalls oranges) with a sharpie/black marker creating a Jack-o-Lantern face.

Jack-O-Lantern Fruit Cups

Draw a Jack-O-Lantern face on a peach or orange fruit cups with a sharpie/black marker.

You can also do these ideas for Halloween Parties as well.

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Musical Pumpkins

This learning activity was inspired by a post I read on titled Musical Alphabet Game. In the post the mom create a game for her little girl by writing the alphabet on index cards and setting them up like a "Musical Chair" game. I thought this idea was a great way to teach Bri the alphabet and so I wanted to try it but with a "Pumpkin Theme" twist on it since I could use my pumpkin foam cutouts that I already had from the Alphabet Pumpkin Hunt game that I create for Bri.

Materials you need:

  • Pumpkin Foam cutouts
  • Sharpie/ Black marker
  • Music
Write the alphabet and numbers on the pumpkins

Put the Pumpkins in a circle.

Start the music and have your child walk on the Pumpkins

When the music stops have your child tell you the letter/number and the sound of the letter they stop on. Bri is still learning her letters/numbers so if she didn't know the letter I would tell her.

Bri enjoyed the game more when there were only a few pumpkins left so she could jump from pumpkin to pumpkin.

Keep going until there is no more pumpkins left.

With this game your child learns letter recognition, letter sounds, number recognition, and also practices their gross motor skills.

You can do this game with numbers, shapes, or even site words.

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Friday, October 25, 2013

Jack-o-Lantern Pizza

This recipe is easy and cheap to make and the kiddos can help make it! This is a "Pumpkin Themed" twist on a favorite pizza recipe that I grew up eating. My dad was in the army and my mom was a stay at home mom to three kids so she had to be creative on how to stretch the money in the household. Back in the day it wasn't so easy as it is now to save on food so my mom had to get creative with leftovers and what we had on hand to make meals. Just like other kids me and my siblings LOVED pizza but of course pizza wasn't so cheap to buy for a family of five so my mom would create her own "Pizza" with the things we had at home. Here is how to make it.


  • Sliced bread
  • Left over spaghetti sauce
  • sliced cheese
  • Turkey/Ham lunch meat

 First cut the bread into a pumpkin shape using a cookie cutter and put the spaghetti sauce on the bread.

Then cut the slice cheese into a pumpkin shape with the cookie cutter and put it on top of the spaghetti sauce. Chop the ham/turkey lunch meat into pieces and then use the lunch meat to create your Jack-o-Lantern face.

Put the pizza into the oven @350 until the pizza is toasted and cheese is melted about 5-7 minutes.
That is it!! So easy and cheap to make!
This pizza recipe was a favorite for my siblings and I growing up. Both my girls ate all of their pizza and wanted more. Even Bri (who doesn't like pizza) loved this recipe. You could also add any other topping you want to this pizza and make it to your own liking.

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Jack O Lantern Cheese Quesadilla

This recipe is easy and fun to make for you and your kiddos.


  • Flour Tortilla
  • Olive Oil Spray
  • Mexican Mix Shredded cheese
  • Edible Color Markers (you can find this in the cake decorating sections)

Have your child make a Jack o Lantern face on one tortilla with the edible marker. If you have little ones you can do this step yourself or just help them. I helped Bri make her shapes on her face.

While you are cutting out the face (that the children drew) have them add the cheese to the other tortilla.

Then have the children put the face tortilla on the tortilla that has cheese on it.

Put it in the oven @350 for 5-7 minutes on the bottom rack and then 5-7 minutes on the top rack to toast it on both side. All oven are different so keep an eye on the tortilla because some might bake faster than other.

Bri's tortilla is on the left and Ari's tortilla is on the right.

The girls really like being able to make their own food.

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Easy to make Salsa (Pico de Gallo)

This recipe is so easy to make because the blender/food processor does the work for you. This recipe actually came about because I was trying to duplicate a salsa recipe that an old coworker of mine used to make. When she moved I had to try to make the salsa myself because I liked it so much. To be honest the first couple of times I tried to make it, it did not come out right. But after a couple of tries I final came up with a recipe that now my family (especially my niece Krystal) always ask me to make. I don't know if this is how my coworker made it but this is the way I came up with.


  • 2 cans of Stewed tomatoes (Mexican Recipe)
  • 2 Limes
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 Jalapeno
  • 1/4 cup cilantro (leaves only)

Drain all the juice out of the cans of stewed tomatoes and then put the tomatoes in the blender/food processor. Before you add the jalapeno remove the seeds inside it because that is where the heat and spice lives in the pepper. So if you don't like things REALLY  hot/spice remove the seeds.

Peel the onion and chop it, the jalapeno, and cilantro into big pieces and add it to the blender/food processor. Blend everything up. Once everything is blending squeeze the juice of the limes into the salsa and mixed together.

This salsa is good to eat by itself with some chips but sometimes I add cooked shrimp to it and eat it with the chips as well for lunch.

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Pumpkin Patch Dinner (Meatloaf and Potatoes)

Pumpkin Patch Dinner

(Meatloaf and Potatoes)

I got two little girls who are very picking eaters so I have to be creative with dinner so they will eat it. The idea for this meal came to me after I saw a post on titled Meat Hand and in this post this lady made meatloaf in the shape of a hand surround by mashed potatoes for Halloween. She used a  hand gelatin mold to shape the meatloaf and put ketchup on it to look like a bloody hand for Halloween. I thought that was very creative and I wanted to try something like that but not as scary because I have two little girls. (Check out the post though because it is very creative)  So since we are focusing on pumpkins this week I decided that I would use my pumpkin cookie cutter and try to make a 'Pumpkin Patch Dinner' inspired by the Meat Hand and this is what I came up with.

To start this dinner mix together your favorite meatloaf recipe. I used Paula Deen's Bacon Cheeseburger Meatloaf recipe for this because it is a family favorite but you can use whatever meatloaf recipe you want. (To get the recipe just click on the title). The only thing I changed in this recipe was I used half of the cheese in the meatloaf mixture that the recipe called for because I was going to add a slice of cheese to the top of the meatloaf . Also I didn't use the French fried onions.

 Line a baking pan with foil and spray oil spray on it. Spray your pumpkin cookie cutter with oil spray as well.

 NOTE: You want to have a pumpkin cookie cutter that is 1 inch or 1 and 1/2 inch thick to shape the meatloaf. The one I have is the Wilton one and I got it at Wal-Mart.

Put your pumpkin cookie cutter on the baking pan and start pushing your meatloaf mixture inside the cookie cutter.

Then slowly pull your cookie cutter up to remove it from the meat. Then you will have your meatloaf pumpkin shape.

Repeat this step until you have shaped all your meatloaf mixture.

Top the meatloaf with whatever sauce your recipe calls for and then put it in the oven. While the meatloaf is cooking make your mashed potatoes. Color it green (for the pumpkin patch) with food coloring.

Right before you take the meatloaf out the oven put some ketchup in a squeeze bottle.

Cut slice cheddar cheese into pumpkin shapes.

As soon as you take the meatloaf out the oven put the pumpkin shape slice cheese on top of it while it is hot to melt the cheese.

Next put the mashed potatoes (the patch) on the plate.

Then put the meatloaf (pumpkin) on top of the mashed potatoes (the patch).

And you have a "Pumpkin Patch Dinner".
Now it is time to take the ketchup and decorate your pumpkin. You can have your kiddos draw a face or you can.

 I enjoyed making this for my girls! Both my girls ate all their "Pumpkin Patch Dinner" so that made me really happy!!

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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Easy Pumpkin Spice Play-doh

So this week is all about Pumpkins at my house so I wanted to make a Play-doh recipe to go with the Pumpkin theme. At first of course I looked on Pinterest for some Pumpkin play-doh recipes and I did find some good ones but a lot of them were edible ones that used pumpkin puree and other things and I really didn't feel like going out and buying ingredients to make a play-doh recipes. So I decide I would just use what I have at home and make a recipe. I always have the ingredients to make Homemade Play-doh so I decide I would just make that color it orange and add Pumpkin Pie Spice to the dry ingredients because I had that on hand.


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup Salt
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tarter (found this in the spice isle)
  • 2 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice (or you can just mix cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger together)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon oil
  •  Orange food coloring (or mix yellow and red food coloring together)

 Bri is always excited when she gets to help cook!

The children can help with the first steps. Mix together the first four ingredients (dry ingredients) in the pan. (With the stove off)

Mix the last three ingredients (wet ingredients) in a separate bowl together. When adding the food coloring add two drops at first and if you want the color darker then add one more drop at a time until you reach the color you want. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix it well until smooth. (I poured the wet ingredients in while Bri mix it all together)

 Next remove your child away from the stove and  cook the mixture over medium heat. (An Adult should do this part).  While cooking keep stirring the play-doh until it forms into a ball.( I used a wooden spoon to stir because the mixture gets thick and the wooden spoons holds up to the mixing).

 Once it has formed into a ball take the play-doh off the heat and knead the doh until smooth( it will be hot so be careful and let it cool down for a while).

 Now it is time to Play. Set the materials out for your child to play. I also put out the letter C and number 3 cookie cutter out because we are also focusing on those two letter and number this week.

Bri couldn't stop smelling the play-doh! LOL

This was a fun Sensory project that is easy to make and bring out anytime!

 To keep the play-doh just store it in a zip-lock baggy or food storage container. This play-doh last a long time and is easy for the children to play with than store bought play-doh.

 Hope you enjoyed this post. Don't forget to share or pin this post if you liked it. Also leave me a comment and let me know what you think of the post!