Chocolate Cake Day

One of my favorite days of the year! But due to New Year’s Resolutions and our relatively wheat-free diet, I thought I’d post this Friday Flashback… this bean recipe truly rocks!
My son has an intolerance to wheat which usually meant spending the big bucks for a wheatless cake mix or baking mix UNTIL I found a recipe for Black Bean Cake!! I am not joking. The recipe makes it into cupcakes but we made sheetcake and used Nutella as the frosting.

Imagine, black beans instead of flour. And… the kids had no idea! I thought the appeal would wear off once they knew what they were eating, but… not so!

Turns out there are even recipes out there for white bean cake! The brain is churning on this one…. maybe a chocolate/vanilla black bean/white bean layer cake?!

Art Inspiration

Google just announced their latest doodle contest for kids. I think this would be a blast to do as a fun family night. I know parents can’t submit, so why do I think this would be fun?
Because kids have more fun doing art with others!

Case in point: I spotted this paint by numbers kit. It was on clearance. And it looked so fun, so I… I bought it for myself!
It’s great for stress relief – fun and creative without having to use much brain power!  Obviously I’m not even close to being done (that baby chick can’t be left orange!), but a funny thing happened when I got out my paints.  My children decided to get out theirs and start playing:

I love what their ‘just playing’ art looks like.

So, back to my suggestion:

Google Doodle.  Check it out.  Have fun!


Invention Inspiration

Yesterday was Compliment Day.  I told my husband that I just wasn’t sure what to do with that except the obvious.

“Whatever you do will be great,” he said.  “You always have the best ideas.”

“Aw, thanks, sweetie” I replied.  It was then that I noticed his smug grin.

Well played, honey.  Well played.

For those of you who asked for an update, our adventure/exploration into the martial arts is still going fantastically.  As instructed by my husband, I am to act as if I’m Cato when hubby (I suppose this makes him Clouseau) comes home from work.  Never boring here.  Never boring.

And finally – the point of this post- For what we’re watching Wednesday, I’m still finishing up an article on encouraging the inventor in your child.  It so happens Rube Goldberg inventions encourage my son. . . especially this ENORMOUS one put together by the music video crew for OK Go. Enjoy!


DIY Fortune Cookies!

Happy Chinese New Year!  In honor of said day, and just for fun, we made some fortune cookies.  It really isn’t hard!  If you want to join in the fun, feel free to download my DIY Fortune Cookies.  There are plenty of blank spaces to insert whatever fortune you want!  Sometimes we go for serious, mostly we go for funny!

So the recipe is super simple.  Use the back of the spoon to round out the dough – it has to be big enough for your fortune, but they do spread in the oven.

The hard part is the assembly.  The recipe makes 12-15 cookies.  Make about 3 at a time to start, but since I’m experienced (a.k.a impatient), I did 6 sloppy cookies at a time.

While the cookies bake for the brief 5 minutes, get out the gear:  spatula, muffin tin, pre-cut fortunes, and a coffee mug.

The cookies then come out…

Flip them over fast! Throw the fortune in the middle, fold it over and…

Quickly throw the crimped cookie into the awaiting muffin tin. It just serves to hold the cookie’s shape.  Now, move onto the next cookie!  Speed is of the essence!

They will be chewier than your average fortune cookie – we think they taste like Nilla wafer copycats, and thus much yummier than the cookies in the restaurants.

A perfect after school snack or dessert!