Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Santa Claudia: Cooking Up a Yummy Holiday

From one favorite vice (books) to another (edible treats)!  In an effort to make the holidays magical for the children in, and around, our lives, we are spending this week exploring favorite gift ideas for kids.  If you tuned in yesterday, you saw my qualifier.  I have a bias toward gifts that foster foster creativity and leave plenty of room for a healthy dose of imagination.  Yesterday I shared favorite holiday book titles and many of you generously chimed in with favorite titles of your own.

Today we will talk about fostering the inner chef of the children we know.  We will do this early in the week also as a way of honoring and recognizing the "can-do" attitude that King Arthur's Flour exhibited this summer. While the Container Store was busy telling me why they couldn't sponsor a Highlowaha activity - thereby giving them great, POSITIVE exposure to all of you- King Arthur's Flour contacted me asking if we would like to try one of their new products for kids.  (For the full story, see post from 10/4 titled, "Just Say Yes)." 

Hard to talk about fostering the creativity in our children without talking about engaging them in the kitchen.  One night of watching the Food Network is all you need to be convinced that cooking and baking are great ways of expressing creativity.  Seems like a perfect match to me and so here we are.

If you haven't finished shopping for the children in your life, consider giving them the gift of time in the kitchen (with you or another adult, like grandma).  King Arthur's makes six kids mixes, ranging from "ABC Twists" to "Rainbow Snack Cakes," to "Chocolate Chipper" muffin mix, "Cowboy Oatmeal" muffin mix, "Snickerdoodle" cookie mix, and "Pizza Crust."  The mixes are only $5.95 per mix.  Packaged with a rolling pin ($1.00 bin at Target), a chef's hat, or an apron, and you have a great gift idea - still for under $20.00.

Last week we mentioned the value in treating a special someone in your life to an ongoing gift.  The idea being that what we don't spend in money, we make up for in sentimentality.  Cookie cutters seem like a great example of this to me.  I can't help but think what fun it would be to present a special child with a new cookie cutter each year - the idea being that we "break it in" together.  Start when the child is young and by the time they are 18, he or she has a nice little collection (not to mention a slew of memories and a well developed skill of cookie decorating).  King Arthur has a nice selection of seasonal cookie cutters.  I'm especially fond of the snowflake (packaged beautifully with the book, Snowflake Bentley).

Today I want to give away the four baking mixes, generously donated to me by King Arthur's flour.  The question is, how?
  • Do I pull from my RAK box?
  • Have you tell who you will share the treats with, so I know they will go to good use?
  • Swap it for a fun Christmas cookie recipe that you post in the comment section?
  • Solicit your funniest holiday kitchen story?
  • Or, maybe I should try to repay King Arthur's Flour in some way.  I could send you to their on-line catalog and have your enter the drawing for kids mixes by reading your review of the item of your choice.
Don't like #1.  Too easy.  Number 2 puts me in the roll of judging one story over another.  I don't like that.  Numbers 3 and 4 are ok and could make for interesting and entertaining reading.  Suggestion #5 feels right too.  Good karma, you know?  Do something nice for our blog community and we will go out of our way to help you.  Yeah, I like #5.

Visit the website at kingarthurflour.com  

Look the on-line catalog and stop at the first thing that catches your eye.  Tell us what it is, why you like it, how much it costs, and anything else about item that you find interesting.  I'll separate the four boxes into two bundles.  I don't want to judge, so I think I'll contact Allison Furbish at King Arthur and see if she will help.  Don't fail me now readers.  Show Allison and King Arthur's what a fun, engaged, and appreciative group we are.  Reviews, reviews, reviews.  We want lots of reviews.

  • Cassie Goes to Santa Claus:  Let's not send her empty handed.  Today or tomorrow are the last two safe days to send Cassie a card that she can bring for an authentic Santa Claus postmark.  All you have to do is fill out your card, address it to the whichever child you've picked to be the recipient. and put a stamp on it.  Then, stick it in an envelope and send it to Cassie Patterson at: 103 Meadow Drive, Sellersburg, IN, 47172.  She'll deliver cards from anyone - frequent commenters and lurkers alike!!!!  First time readers or veteran readers.  Just make sure it gets to her by Saturday.
  • Commit:  Festival of Lights and our Ornament Exchange are this Sunday, December 14 at 8:00.  I'd love to get an idea of who is participating.  Don't be scared to commit.  Participating is easy.  Just submit a picture of you in front of holiday lights (tree, menorah, your house, etc...).  Submit it to Katie by Friday (12/12) at 9:00 at kkolkmeier@gmail.com.  To participate in the ornament exchange just submit a wrapped and unwrapped picture of your ornament to Katie by the same day and time.  We are a community.  This is a fun way to celebrate the holidays together!  Remember, this is a patch yielding event!!!!  Mary Beth, Susan, Kristen, and all you others who have recently received patchwork denim, this is the perfect chance to increase your collection of coveted patches.
Signing off until tomorrow...

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