2nd Day: Baby it’s Cold Outside

Baby it’s Cold Outside (youtube)
  On the second day, we decided to take advantage of some of the freshly fallen snow and try out some new recipes!

  Brad needed to shovel out our driveway and Marshall was eager for the chance to play in it!  He’s never experienced snow so early in the Christmas season before.



Look at that arm! Watch out Royals recruiters!


  While Brad shoveled and Marshall worked on his arm, Violet and I stayed warm and cozy inside.  We decided to partake in her favorite pastime: books!  She is already such a bookworm; if she’s upset, her favorite book ‘Snuggle Puppy’ is sure to calm her.  Today we opted to pull from the Christmas case.
So this Santa guy is going to come and bring me presents?!


  While Violet and I were peacefully reading and looking at pictures of serene Christmas scenes, there was a full on war going on in our front yard with the boys.  Snowballs were being flung mercilessly at each other, there was screaming- both in delight and terror- and then a snowball hit the window.  That drew Violet and I over to see the ridiculously rambunctious rag-tags.
Obviously they are evenly matched


Don’t let the tough guy act fool you . . . he was the one screaming in terror


  The boys played for quite sometime before coming in rosy cheeked and just a few degrees away from frozen.  We love hot cocoa (seriously, who doesn’t though?) but we wanted to jazz it up a bit and do something outside of the norm and add a bit of extra yum factor.  So we made homemade marshmallows and edible stirring spoons for our cocoa with a peppermint plate for serving it on!
  First, we made the peppermint plate since that takes longest to cool.  We just grabbed a spring-bottom cake pan and lined it with parchment paper, then fill the bottom with peppermints!  Bake at 350 for 5-10 mins (watch closely).


Papa helped unwrap the peppermints while Violet supervised


He loved lining the bottom of the pan with the mints
  It’s just that easy!  Next, we moved onto the marshmallows.  We used a corn syrup free recipe- and the easiest we could find- to make light fluffy marshmallows.
Marshall has been included in cooking since he was itty-bitty and always in age AND ability appropriate ways.  Not all four year olds can be trusted to stir boiling sugar water on a hot stove, always exercise caution and don’t push your child’s limits when it comes to using the stove.


Speed mixing the now-cooled marshmallow mixture


  While we were waiting for the marshmallows to set up, we started on our chocolate spoons.  I ordered this Wilton silicon mold back in October, I love making things in chocolate molds and this seemed like it would be even easier since it boasted that I could melt the chocolates right in the mold in the microwave!


  After Marshall filled some molds with Andes mint chocolate chips, I put them in the microwave.  It worked, but not with the ease that was promised so I opted to just pre melt the chocolate first and then pour into the molds.  We used some tonight but the rest are chilling and I plan on jazzing up a bit- be on the look out for those pictures to come.
We used circle cookie cutters to cut the marshmallows to perfectly encompass the top of Mads’ mug
The boys loved the andes mint infused cocoa (thanks to the spoons) and light fluffy marshmallows


   After all the homemade deliciousness we delved into some crafts.  When I taught preschool I loved to make my own paints so that I could avoid any allergens for my students and not have to worry if the paints were ingested by little inquisitive minds.  I used these with Marshall when he was a baby and now I’m glad I can with Violet- it’s so easy too!  1 cup corn starch mixed with 1/2 cup cold water, stir, then mix 1 cup boiling water- you can split the mix up and dye desired colors.  Tonight I just halved the recipe and used green on all of it to make little puffy footprint trees.
Told you four month old Violet would be participating in her own way!


Little footie pine trees (4 yr old and 4 month old)


  Homemade cornstarch paint takes a bit longer to dry so I’ll be sure to post the finished picture of Marshall & Violet’s footprint trees on this post tomorrow.
  Brad grabbed Violet for bathtime and Marshall and I went to do one more craft.  Snow painting!
Cocoa smiles and crafts- nothing better!


Snow paint: equal parts shaving cream and glue (both of which should be in the fridge for at least four hours) and a generous helping of magical glitter!


Stir, stir, stir!


  The snow paint was finished in a flash and Marshall started making his snow man.
He sang “Frosty the Snowman” the whole time he painted with the “snow”


Thoughtfully positioning each little poof-ball


Proud of his snow-paint snowman!


    The second day we cooled down outside and warmed up with cooking up some cocoa goodness.  We did some of the things that our family loves most: cook & crafts!  Violet got to do her very first craft and I’m sure her feet and hands will be used as stampers for more to come.  We had a classic wintery treat our way but tomorrow we will be doing things a bit more classic Minnesotan.  May your cocoa be hot and your marshmallows fluffy!

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