Category - Recipes

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40+ Ideas for School Halloween Treats
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St. Patrick’s Day: Fun at Home or Around Town
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Twin Cities Family Valentine’s Day Events
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10 Things To Do in New Ulm for Oktoberfest
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Lynn’s Cake and Candy Supply, Monster Bash Sponsor
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22 Ways to a Meaningful and Easy Earth Day
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Recipe Wednesday: Thanksgiving Pumpkin Rice + 7 Ways to Give Back as a Family
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Recipe Wednesday: Strawberry Rhubarb Applesauce + Twin Cities Apple Orchard Picks
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Recipe Wednesday: Crock Pot Chicken Strips + 10 Free Air Conditioned Outings
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Recipe Wednesday: Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches + 5 St Paul Ice Cream Shops

40+ Ideas for School Halloween Treats

A few years ago, the members of a parenting group I belong to were discussing a letter sent home regarding school Halloween treats. This particular school was concerned with fat count and all treats had to be within certain fat guidelines. Other schools have allergy restrictions or limits on sugar. Some schools require only pre-packaged food for insurance reasons. This feels like another parenting hoop to jump through; but with so many treat-filled holidays, it is understandable.

That year, I and most of the parents in my group were leaning toward Clementine Jack-o’lanterns. However, I wondered,

“What if everyone brought Clementines as their treat?”

That’s a LOT of sticky clementines. So, I searched the web and found some alternate ideas for school Halloween treats. Not every one of these ideas is going to fit every dietary demand and some will be less expensive than others. Hopefully this round up will give us some ideas.

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St. Patrick’s Day: Fun at Home or Around Town

It’s the luck of the Irish that makes St. Patrick’s Day fall on a Friday, so we can party all weekend.  There is a lot of fun happening around town including two parades and some celebrations.

Also, if you would rather stay in, we have included some ideas for you to use at home.
St. Patrick's Day

 


March 17St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations around theTwin Cities

St. Paul’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade (Friday, March 17.  Noon. Rice Park. FREE)

St. Patrick’s Day Irish Celebration (Friday, March 17. 10 am-5 pm. Landmark Center. $5-$7)

St. Patrick's Day at The Landmark Center

Image courtesy of the Landmark Center


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St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner. I don’t know about you, but I love this “holiday.” It’s a fun one for me because there are no expectations. If we forget it, it’s okay–nobody is worse for the wear. If we celebrate it, EVERYONE in the family has fun.


St. Patrick’s Day Fun at Home

 

Lucky Rainbow Chain for St. Patrick’s Day from Crafty Morning

Clover Sun Catcher from Pink Stripey Socks
St. Patricks DayShamrock Shake Copycat Recipe from Babble

One suggestion I would make for the shake is start with 1/8 tsp of peppermint extract and then add to taste!


 

Twin Cities Family Valentine’s Day Events

Spend a lovely weekend with your favorite sweethearts taking advantage of all the Valentine's Day activities in the Twin Cities - many of them FREE. Here are 10 ideas to get you started

Spend some time with your favorite sweethearts taking advantage of all the Valentine’s Day activities in the Twin Cities – many of them FREE or low-cost. Here are 10 ideas to get you started, including (if you stick with us til the end) a super simple cookie recipe and inspiration for crafty gifts:

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10 Things To Do in New Ulm for Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest

photo courtesy of New Ulm CVB

We in Minnesota have a rich German heritage.  While it may not be the same depth of heritage as in Wisconsin, many Minnesotans have a proud ancestry. If you want to have a fun German experience in the fall with your family, you don’t need to go any further than New Ulm, Minnesota.

New Ulm’s Oktoberfest

October 7-9 and 14-16 Read More

Lynn’s Cake and Candy Supply, Monster Bash Sponsor

Lynn’s Cake & Candy Supplies has been open for over 30 years. When the current owner, Lynn, acquired the business, she ran it from inside her home. Holding business hours in your home can be difficult, and soon it was time to move. The store has been in 4 different locations since the decision to move. Currently, Lynn’s is located at the corner of University Avenue and Mississippi in Fridley, Minnesota. It’s approximately a mile and a half north of 694.

sponsor

 

We are so thrilled to have this one of a kind business support our Monster Bash. Let me show you what Lynn’s offers. It’s my favorite birthday party go-to store.

 

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22 Ways to a Meaningful and Easy Earth Day

Easy Earth Day ActivitiesEarth Day is almost here. April 22 for those of us who need a reminder.  We’ve combed through the internet to find 22 of the easiest but meaningful activities to do with your kids.

I solemnly swear: None of them include milk cartons.

Activities include books to read, printables to color, projects that don’t take too much preparation, outdoor activities, and songs to sing. 

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Recipe Wednesday: Thanksgiving Pumpkin Rice + 7 Ways to Give Back as a Family

 

Pairing Twin Cities Outings with Recipes at Home

Pumpkin-Rice-with-Fruit-1024x680[1]Sick of pumpkins yet? Ready to move on? Or perhaps you’ve stockpiled a stash of seeds from all those jack-o-lanterns you carved last week and are wondering what to do with them. Well, Dining With Alice has a great idea for you. Her pumpkin rice recipe could make a great alternative to Thanksgiving stuffing, or it could work well as a tasty fall side dish. Plus, after the recipe, since we’ve already got you in a giving thanks mood, we present 7 Ways to Give Back as a Family, part of FFTC’s We Can Give Back Month.

Pumpkin Rice (courtesy Alice Seuffert, Dining With Alice)

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups rice of choice
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 3 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup Italian parsley chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh thyme
  • 1 cup salted & roasted pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup yellow raisins
  • 1 cup dried currants
  • 1 cup dried cherries

Directions:

If you own a rice cooker, combine rice, chicken broth and water. Once cooked, add the sesame oil, pumpkin pie spice, parsley, thyme, pumpkin seeds, yellow raisins, currants and cherries. If you don’t have a rice cooker, cook the rice as you normally would, then add ingredients. Makes 10 cups.


The Great Give Back Challenge

I love Gianna’s 7 Ways To Give Back as a Family post because it can be difficult to figure out how to introduce and participate in volunteering when you’re factoring in small children. Here are her 7 highlights to give you some inspiration, then follow the link for the details!

  • Learn about a different culture (learn the stories of our neighbors & community members)
  • Give (food shelves, shelters, Salvation Army, Toys for Tots, neighbors in crisis)
  • Foster (Animal Humane Society)
  • Serve (bring a meal to a busy family, pick up trash in the neighborhood)
  • Pray
  • Care (slow down and help teach kids to think of others’ needs, show empathy)
  • Buy responsibly (try locally & ethically)

Recipe Wednesday: Strawberry Rhubarb Applesauce + Twin Cities Apple Orchard Picks

Pairing Twin Cities Outings with Recipes at Home

This week’s installment of Recipe Wednesday hopes that you’ve been able to make it out to one of the wonderful Twin Cities-area apple orchards (and if you haven’t, we’ve got a list of a few to try at the end of the recipe bit). I know garden-fresh strawberries and rhubarb aren’t easy to come by this time of year, but this simple applesauce recipe from the local blog Dining With Alice looked so tasty I just had to share.

Crock-Pot-Strawberry-Rhubarb-Apple-Sauce[1]Strawberry Rhubarb Applesauce (courtesy Alice Seuffert, Dining With Alice)
Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Strawberries (stems removed, halved)
  • 2 lbs apples cored (skin on and quartered)
  • ½ cup Apple Juice or Cider
  • 2 cups Rhubarb (chopped)
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon

Directions:

  1.  Combine ingredients and cook on low in a slow cooker for 8 hours.
  2.  Once cooked, use an immersion blender (or regular blender) to get your desired consistency of the  apple sauce.
  3.  Alice recommends the sauce over vanilla ice cream with caramel sauce.

But first order of business, where to find these apples for the sauce? Family Fun Twin Cities has got you covered. (And as a bonus, several of these orchards also offer pumpkin patches and other fall activities.)

PicMonkey Collage apple orchard - Copy


Recipe Wednesday: Crock Pot Chicken Strips + 10 Free Air Conditioned Outings

Pairing Twin Cities Outings with Recipes at Home
In September, when the temp spikes again and you find yourself tempted to switch the AC back on, it’s nice to be reminded that crock pot recipes need not be reserved for comfort food in the dead of winter. I chose to share this recipe for crock pot chicken strips from Dining with Alice for three reasons — it’s simple, very kid-friendly, and it doesn’t require me to heat up the house during summer’s last days.
Following the recipe, we’ll share 10 FREE & air-conditioned outing ideas in the Twin Cities.
tm crock pot chickenCrock Pot Chicken Strips (courtesy Alice Seuffert, Dining with Alice)
Ingredients:
  • 6 (6 ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 5 red potatoes (medium)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 Tb Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning if desired
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 stick butter (melted)
  • salt

Directions:
Defrost chicken breasts, cut each piece in half and set aside.  Quarter the red potatoes and place in large oval crock pot.

In a gallon Ziploc bag combine flour, panko, Lawry’s, Italian seasoning and cinnamon. Put two pieces of chicken in the bag and shake vigorously.  Place breaded chicken on top of potatoes in one layer.  Repeat until all chicken has been breaded.

Drizzle melted butter on top of the chicken and sprinkle a ¼ cup of remaining flour mixture on chicken.

Cook on low for 8 hours.  Allow to cool before serving to allow breading crust to firm up.  Season with salt to desired taste.  Serve with the cooked potatoes.


 

fan[1]The following is a truncated version of our original article of 10 Free & Air-Conditioned Indoor Family Outings. Stay cool and check out the links for more details.

1. Local libraries with Play & Learn spaces – this list was published in the Star Tribune last year.
2. Indoor mall play areas – MinneMama Adventures details her Top 6 Indoor Mall Play Areas.
3. Free indoor movies for kids – KTIS put together this list of places to catch a free flick.
4. Ikea – an hour of free childcare, food specials and occasional kids activities.
5. Minneapolis Institute of Arts – MIA has an expanded family center stocked with books and toys.
6. Landmark Center exhibits – include the hands-on Schubert Club Museum & Gallery of Wood Art.
7. Minneapolis & St. Paul Public Parks and Rec buildings – don’t miss drop-in Tot Times in St. Paul.
8. Preschool storytimes at local bookshops – 2 weeks worth of preschool storytimes at local shops!
9. University of Minnesota’s free museums – Bell Museum of Natural History free every Sunday.
10. Grocery shopping – take along this printable toddler grocery list.


Recipe Wednesday: Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches + 5 St Paul Ice Cream Shops

Pairing Twin Cities Outings with Recipes at HomeWhile our agenda here at FFTC has typically been — and will continue to be — lending inspiration for family outings around the Twin Cities, we also recognize the value in simply spending quality time at home together. “Family fun” doesn’t always have to mean “on the run”, right? This is the goal behind our new special Wednesday series. And in keeping with the original mission of FFTC to promote local, we’re partnering with businesses and personalities to provide ideas on how you can spend this time at home. Read More

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