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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Parfaits and Pantry

Ems here:

Here are a couple random Gabe-isms (newly age 3):

Psycho Gabe:

Gabe to Tad:  "STOP kicking me! I'm gonna cut you in half!!"
Me, slightly horrified:  "Gabe! That's not nice!"
Gabe, in a lowered voice:  ".....with scissors...."

Sweet Gabe:

Gabe: "Mom, I true love you. You so sparkly. Like a princess!"

Let's all shoot up a prayer that Sweet Gabe prevails... 

In other news, we did the cutest dessert the other night that was so simple and fun!

Mason Jar Pudding Parfaits

2 boxes of instant pudding (we used vanilla)
Cool Whip
Chocolate chips
Graham cracker crumbs
Mason Jars (or other glassware)

Just make the pudding, put the toppings in bowls, demonstrate a proper parfait (layering, etc.) and let the kids go to town! They had a blast.

Whenever I go to the store, there are certain staples (other than the basic milk, bread, flour, etc.) that I buy nearly every time because they have many surprising uses and just make things more fun around the home. Most things on the parfait ingredient list are examples of this!

1. Cool Whip:  I love this stuff. Oh, I know, that commercial "Oil? or Cream?" is pretty darn effective. But I still love the fluffiness and smoothness that comes in that blue tub. The Aldi version is always under a buck, so I buy two usually. Belgian waffles, sundaes, hot cocoa, pudding pie--you can see why this is a freezer essential.

2. Chocolate Chips: This is pretty self-explanatory, right? Who doesn't keep 4 or 5 bags of these in their pantry at all times? Hello...chocolate chip pancakes, chocolate chip waffles, chocolate chip cookies, granola bars, toppings, sauces...! Yay, chocolate!

3. Graham Crackers: In this particular case, I had a box of actual graham cracker crumbs on hand. When I was at the Dollar Tree I checked the food aisle (don't cringe! just check brand name and expiration date!) and scored Keebler crumbs for a dollar. Usually, though, I just buy boxes of the crackers. I use them for snacks and for  pie crusts.

4. Marshmallows: Another fun and multi-use pantry item is the 'shmellow. Whether to award children when a spelling word is correct; to quiet a fussy toddler pulling at my pant legs; to top hot chocolate in the morning (I'm not a coffee drinker); or to whip up a delectable batch of Krispie treats--the secret is a bit more butter and a little less Krispie--it is clear that the marshmallow is a one of nature's perfect foods. Like the blueberry, really.  Or maybe more like spinach.

5. Pudding and Jell-O: Affordable little boxes of wonder. Pick up a couple as you stroll the grocery aisles. When you have sick child or need a quick dessert, you will be happy you dropped the dollar.

Easy Rule #15562:  Staples don't always have to be boring; infuse your pantry with flexible and fun items too! Your kids will thank you.

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