Wednesday, March 19, 2014

String Cheese Airplane Snacks

Twice a month I watch our godson and his little sister. Every time they come over, we choose a different subject and do a mini unit-study. Guess what we learned about today?

airplane snacks - The Backyard Farmwife Yup! We learned all about airplanes. Here are some fun facts about airplanes you may not have known:

1. A Boeing 747 is 150 feet long. The Wright Brother’s first flight at Kitty Hawk was only 120 feet.

2. The Concorde flew at over 1300 mph and made the flight from NY to London in 3 hours!

3. Modern 747s have just 365 controls. The first models had 971!

4. Airplane themed snacks are really easy to make! :o)

First we made candy planes. The kind with Smarties, Wintergreen Life Savers and a stick of gum all held together with a rubber band. I hadn’t seen these since I was a kid. It was extra fun because we all shut ourselves into our window-less bathroom and watched the Life Savers spark in our mouths when we bit them. I hadn’t done that since I was a kid either. My poor 17-year-old had never done it or seen it. I think he thought it was cooler than he let on… ;o)

airplane snacks - The Backyard FarmwifeBut for our more healthy snack, we made string cheese airplanes.

airplane snacks - The Backyard FarmwifeAll you need is a piece of string cheese, two carrot slices, a rectangular piece of bread and a slice of pepperoni.

Stick a toothpick through the front of the string cheese and poke one carrot slice on each end. Break a second toothpick in half. Use one half to secure the bread “wing” to the top of the cheese. Fold the slice of pepperoni in half and then use the second half toothpick to secure it to the back of the cheese with the open end opening to the rear of the “plane”.

If you want a fun and educational movie to watch while you enjoy these treats, check out Andy’s Airplanes episode one on YouTube. You can link to it HERE

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Gingersnap Crumb Pie Topping

This crispy gingersnap topping can go atop any of your favorite crumb-topped pie recipes. Just follow your recipe and substitute this for the topping. It is especially good on top of apple or pear pies. For an added ginger-y treat, add 1/4 cup of chopped candied ginger to your pie filling.

For the perfect topping, add brown sugar to your whipping cream instead of white or powdered sugar.

1/2 cup flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup coarsely chopped gingersnaps (the crispy kind)

5 Tablespoons butter, softened

Mix first 4 ingredients in a bowl. Cut in the butter until it forms crumbs.

Sprinkle over the top of your favorite pie recipe and bake according to your recipe.

gingersnap crumb pie topping - The Backyard Farmwife

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Healthier (but not too healthy) Chocolate Chip Cookies

To celebrate (or should I say, commiserate) the fact that I got bifocals yesterday, I baked a batch of chocolate chip cookies using a new recipe that I concocted in hopes that it will be healthier for my not-so-young-anymore body but not so healthy that they taste healthy. You know what I mean, right?

This batch wasn’t super healthy since I stuffed half of them with Rolos or chocolate peanut butter and baked them in mini muffin pans. Hey, I was feeling pretty down about the whole bifocal thing! ;o)

I think this just might do the trick…

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/4 cup coconut oil, softened

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg

2 scant cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.

Cream the butter, coconut oil, sugars and vanilla together with electric mixer. Add egg and mix until well combined.

Stir together dry ingredients in a small bowl. Add to creamed mixture in 3 separate batches, mixing well after each addition.

Stir in chocolate chips with a wooden spoon.

Drop onto ungreased baking sheet. Bake about 10 minutes or until slightly golden and set.

Let cool 5 minutes before removing from baking sheet to cooling rack.

healthier chocolate chip cookies - The Backyard Farmwife