Thanksgiving kids' table

Rice Krispy Treat Turkey | Me & The Moose. Make your kids table a little more festive with a rice krispy treat turkey with white chocolate, pretzel, and marshmallow bones. #meandthemoose #kidsfod #kidstable #ricekrispytreatturkey #candyturkey

As a sleep deprived and clueless new parent, I read a lot of parenting books. Mostly about sleep, but some more general ones including Bringing up Bebe, which is about the difference in parenting cultures between the US and France. The author, Pamela Druckerman, starts the book by illustrating the awfulness of American children's table manners, as opposed to French children who sit patiently and quietly through meals and eat everything on their plates. I'm happy to report that, so far, M is pretty good at eating with us in public (though I've probably just jinxed us by writing that). But ALL kids (including French ones, I would assume), need a little entertainment to sit at the table while the adults argue about politics and blunt their rage with wine.

Rice Krispy Treat Turkey | Me & The Moose. Make your kids table a little more festive with a rice krispy treat turkey with white chocolate, pretzel, and marshmallow bones. #meandthemoose #kidsfod #kidstable #ricekrispytreatturkey #candyturkey

Here's what I included on this table:
Butcher paper tablecloth
Crayons
Twine/burlap (really any string or tape would work to hold the crayons together)
Plastic utensils
Paper cups (I used real plates, but paper plates also mean no breakage whatsoever)
IKEA cloth napkins
Rice krispie treat turkey with paper feathers
Leftover spices in small vases (rosemary, thyme, sage, etc)
LED flameless candles

Rice Krispy Treat Turkey | Me & The Moose. Make your kids table a little more festive with a rice krispy treat turkey with white chocolate, pretzel, and marshmallow bones. #meandthemoose #kidsfod #kidstable #ricekrispytreatturkey #candyturkey

This rice krispie treat turkey might have to become a Thanksgiving tradition in our house. It's   easy to make and a fun, edible centerpiece for littles who would ignore an artfully arranged gourd, fruit, and flower centerpiece. Here's a tutorial for the drumsticks and the rest of the turkey i just eyeballed from this photo. I made the feathers here, but older kids could easily get in on the action with some kid scissors, bamboo skewers, and tape. 

Turkey | Me & The Moose. LED candles mean no Thanksgivings spent in the ER. At least, not because someone lit themselves on fire. #meandthemoose #kidsfod #kidstable #ricekrispytreatturkey #candyturkey
Rice Krispy Treat Turkey | Me & The Moose. Make your kids table a little more festive with a rice krispy treat turkey with white chocolate, pretzel, and marshmallow bones. #meandthemoose #kidsfod #kidstable #ricekrispytreatturkey #candyturkey
Rice Krispy Treat Turkey | Me & The Moose. Make your kids table a little more festive with a rice krispy treat turkey with white chocolate, pretzel, and marshmallow bones. #meandthemoose #kidsfod #kidstable #ricekrispytreatturkey #candyturkey

Spooky seed butter graveyards!

Seed butter graveyards | Me & The Moose. This spooky take on worms and dirt have chocolate candy skeletons, graves, and various types of dirt for your Halloween treats. #meandthemoose #halloween #veganoption #glutenfreeoption #dairyfreeoption #nutfreeoption #graveyards #wormsanddirt

Speaking of scary: I count myself so incredibly lucky that M doesn't have any food allergies. He's outgrown the tomato sensitivity he had early on, but that was an annoyance, not a life-threatening emergency. I can't even imagine worrying that a farmer, factory-worker, chef, teacher, babysitter, or other parent somehow mislabeled something or included an ingredient that could really hurt my kid. Especially from mid-October to January, there are treats everywhere!

In that vein, these Halloween goodies are nut-free and egg-free and can easily be made gluten- and dairy-free as well. The chocolate is all store-bought, so use your go-to brands to be safe. ALSO- and most importantly- these treats are SOOOOOOOO GGGGOOOOOOODDDDD and relatively healthy!

Spooky seed butter graveyards

Chocolate skeletons
1 oz milk or dark chocolate
Wilton skull and bones sprinkles

Seed butter graveyards | Me & The Moose. #meandthemoose #halloween #veganoption #glutenfreeoption #dairyfreeoption #nutfreeoption #graveyards #wormsanddirt

Heat the chocolate in the microwave, 10 seconds at a time, until melted. On a plastic wrap covered plate, make nickle-sized circles or ovals of melted chocolate. Carefully place the skull and bone sprinkles into the chocolate. Refrigerate until set.
 

Chocolate mug cakes
Adapted from this recipe

6 Tbsp whole wheat flour (or gluten-free flour mix)
3 Tbsp + 1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1/4 cup maple syrup
4 tsp olive oil
6 Tbsp milk (I used dairy milk, but almond, cashew, or soy would also work)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to remove lumps. Add the wet ingredients and stir to combine. Pour equal amounts into two ungreased mugs. With one mug at a time, microwave on high for 1 minute, check for doneness, and cook for 30 more seconds. (Note: we have a very weak microwave, so if you have a stronger one, check after 30 seconds. I usually tip the cup around to see if anything is moving.) When cakes are cooked, use a fork to remove them from the mugs and let them cool on a plate. Don’t worry about removing them cleanly, as they’ll be broken up for the “dirt” in the graveyards. Let cool.

Seed butter graveyards | Me & The Moose. Chocolate mug cakes are the easy and surprisingly healthy. #meandthemoose #halloween #veganoption #glutenfreeoption #dairyfreeoption #nutfreeoption #graveyards #wormsanddirt

Sunflower-seed butter chocolate avocado pudding
Adapted from this recipe

¾ large ripe avocado (mine was about 7.5 oz with pit and peel)
½ large ripe banana (mine was 7 oz with peel)
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup Spiced seed butter
2 Tbsp milk (I used dairy, but almond, cashew, or soy would also work)

Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. If making the Spiced Seed Butter specifically for these graveyards, be sure to read the directions and follow them exactly. You won't be sorry; this seed butter is GREAT. Makes about 1.25 cups of pudding.

Seed butter graveyards | Me & The Moose. Chocolate mug cake, avocado chocolate pudding, and some store-bought candies make an easy, festive Halloween treat. #meandthemoose #halloween #veganoption #glutenfreeoption #dairyfreeoption #nutfreeoption #graveyards #wormsanddirt

Assembling the graveyards

Remove the chocolate skeletons from the fridge to warm up. Pour a few chocolate rocks on the bottom of your graveyard container(s). (Possible substitutions include chocolate-covered raisins, chocolate chips, carob chips, or you could skip this part entirely.) Nestle your chocolate skeleton(s) on the side of the glass container, pressing gently to try and mold the chocolate to your container (or skip this step too for allergen sensitivity, if needed).

Crumble the chocolate cake completely and gently add a layer of cake crumbles, pressing down lightly. Be sure to keep the cake crumbles behind your chocolate skeletons, if using.

Add a pudding layer and press gently to remove air bubbles. Clean up the sides of the glass container. Cover with more cake crumbles.

For the graves: Roll out a small amount of gray or white fondant using powdered sugar to prevent sticking. (I bought a tiny container of Wilton gray fondant at Michael's and threw away the box before checking the ingredients and can't find the information online. If fondant isn't an option, gluten-, dairy-, and/or egg-free cookies or marshmallows also make good "graves.") Cut out a very small square and tap with your fingers to round the corners. With an edible pen, melted chocolate, or gel frosting, write RIP on the grave and nestle into the cake crumbs. Place a crumb or two behind the grave to prop it up.

Yield: 4 medium graveyards or 6 small graveyards

Seed butter graveyards | Me & The Moose. Chocolate mug cake, chocolate avocado pudding, and some store-bought candies make an easy and festive Halloween treat. #meandthemoose #halloween #veganoption #glutenfreeoption #dairyfreeoption #nutfreeoption #graveyards #wormsanddirt
Seed butter graveyards | Me & The Moose. Chocolate mug cake, chocolate avocado pudding, and some store-bought candies make an easy and festive Halloween treat. #meandthemoose #halloween #veganoption #glutenfreeoption #dairyfreeoption #nutfreeoption #graveyards #wormsanddirt

Candy sushi!

Candy sushi | Me & The Moose. Rice krispy treats, candy, fruit rollups, and sanding sugar are all you need for a sweet surprise. #meandthemoose #candysushi #sweetsushi

You will certainly find more professional-looking candy sushi out there, but who cares?! I was pretty pleased with how easily this came together. I made it for a 1st birthday pool party because pool party=swimming=fish=sushi? It made sense to me. Also, I was looking for something fun and egg-free (just make sure to check your labels to ensure that the gummy stuff is clear of eggs).

Unfortunately, I had grand plans for a time-lapse video to help with the how-to, but I CAN'T KEEP CANDY IN MY HOUSE. Lesson learned. I took photos of the ingredients and immediately ate them.

Candy sushi is made for summer birthdays. Candy sushi | Me & The Moose. #meandthemoose #candysushi #sweetsushi

The difficulty of self-control around candy notwithstanding, I highly recommend making these for your next kids' party. It's easy, cheap, and a serious show stopper.

How to turn candy sharks into candy sushi | Me & The Moose. #meandthemoose #candysushi #sweetsushi

You'll need:

3 Tbsp butter
6 cups Rice Krispies
10 oz large marshmallows or 4 cups mini marshmallows

Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the marshmallows and melt, stirring frequently. When the marshmallows have mostly lost their shape, add Rice Krispies and stir to coat. Let cool until the mixture can be handled.


3-4 Twizzlers or Red Vines per "roll"
4 Red Mike 'n Ikes per "hand roll"
1 Large Swedish Fish per piece
1 Gummy Sharks per piece
Orange sanding sugar
Joray green apple fruit rolls

Candy sushi | Me & The Moose. Rice krispy treats, candy, fruit rollups, and sanding sugar are all you need for a sweet surprise. #meandthemoose #candysushi #sweetsushi

Tools:

Pizza cutter
Water
Coconut oil spray
Plastic wrap

To assemble:

For the rolls: Lay a square of plastic wrap on a clean countertop and spray with coconut oil. Wet your hands and place a handful of the rice krispy/marshmallow/butter mixture on the plastic, patting it down into a thin layer. Unwrap and place a fruit roll onto the cereal layer (reverse these steps for an inside-out roll). Lay three Twizzlers or Red Vines in the middle and using the plastic wrap and wet hands, make a roll out of the three layers, really squishing the ingredients together. Using a very sharp knife, cut the roll into five pieces, reshaping as needed. For the "inside out" pieces, roll the cut pieces in 2-3 Tbsp of orange sanding sugar.

Candy sushi | Me & The Moose. Rice krispy treats, candy, fruit rollups, and sanding sugar are all you need for a sweet surprise. #meandthemoose #candysushi #sweetsushi

For the hand rolls: Lay a square of plastic wrap on a clean countertop and spray with coconut oil. Unwrap and place a fruit roll on the plastic. With wet hands, shape a large handful of the cereal mixture into a log and place in the middle of the fruit roll (these particular fruit roll-ups are round when unrolled, which is easier than the square variety). Wrap the fruit roll over the log of cereal mixture and side of fruit roll together with some water. Cut the entire thing in half shape with wet hands, as needed. Add red Mike n' Ikes.

For the pieces: Unroll a fruit roll and cut into 1/2 inch strips with the pizza cutter. With wet hands, roll a small handful cereal mixture into a ball and squish into more of a rectangle. Wrap a strip of fruit roll around the whole Swedish fish/cereal combo and secure the ends of the fruit roll strip with a few drops of water.

Candy sushi | Me & The Moose. Rice krispy treats, candy, fruit rollups, and sanding sugar are all you need for a sweet surprise. #meandthemoose #candysushi #sweetsushi

For the roe pieces: Unroll a fruit roll and cut into slightly thicker strips with the pizza cutter. With wet hands, roll a small handful cereal mixture into a ball and squish into more of a rectangle. Wrap a strip of fruit roll around the outside of the cereal mixture and secure the ends of the strip with a few drips of water. Let dry for a few minutes. Pick up the entire piece and dip the top into 2-3 Tbsp of orange sanding sugar.

Candy sushi | Me & The Moose. Rice krispy treats, candy, fruit rollups, and sanding sugar are all you need for a sweet surprise. #meandthemoose #candysushi #sweetsushi

For the "sashimi": Using your sharpest knife, slice one of the gummy sharks into 5-6 pieces. Place on top of a log of the cereal mixture.

And voila! Candy sushi. I can't wait to do this with M when he gets older.

For more candy sushi inspiration: Super professional candy sushi / Candy sushi birthday party / Molded fish candy sushi

Modern Dino 1st birthday

A first birthday is really for the parents. I mean, keeping a tiny creature alive (especially when it's your first time at the rodeo), while also staying married and not completely ghosting on friends and family, is something to celebrate. In that vein, I went crafting and baking crazy (link below for DIYs and inspiration photos) because crafting and baking are my favorite things. If this party had actually been for Max, the theme would have been "cheese, books, and remote controls" because those are his favorite things. That actually might have been a decent party...

Plastic dinosaur toys from Amazon; spray-painted white; hot-glued on tiny party hats made from paper and poms from Michaels. #Moderdino #dinosaurs #firstbirthday #dinobirthdayparty #kidsbirthday #meandthemoose
Roooooaaaaarrrrr. #Moderdino #dinosaurs #firstbirthday #dinobirthdayparty #kidsbirthday #meandthemoose
Paper fan wall! All paper and tissue paper bought at Michaels. #Moderdino #dinosaurs #firstbirthday #dinobirthdayparty #kidsbirthday #meandthemoose
Paper fan wall! All paper and tissue paper bought at Michaels. #Moderdino #dinosaurs #firstbirthday #dinobirthdayparty #kidsbirthday #meandthemoose
Paper shape garlands. #Moderdino #dinosaurs #firstbirthday #dinobirthdayparty #kidsbirthday #meandthemoose
Paper shape garlands. #Moderdino #dinosaurs #firstbirthday #dinobirthdayparty #kidsbirthday #meandthemoose
Cake! Don’t forget the chocolate rocks underneath. #Moderdino #dinosaurs #firstbirthday #dinobirthdayparty #kidsbirthday #meandthemoose
Smash cake! #Moderdino #dinosaurs #firstbirthday #dinobirthdayparty #kidsbirthday #meandthemoose