Tag Archives: Halloween

3 Tips for a Happier Halloween with Kids

This conversation has been brought to you by MrCostumes.com.

This will be my fourth Halloween as a mom! Gone are the days of those adult Halloween parties with friends (you know the ones…) These days, it’s all about classroom cupcakes and trying to talk my son into wearing a coat with his Spiderman outfit. (We settled on layering underneath.) So, after a few years at this business, I’ve adopted a few rules that will help us get through the spooky season more smoothly.  Continue reading

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Halloween Costumes: Finding the right balance of “eco-” and easy

I will admit that one of my struggles as a mom is never feeling like I’m as “Pinteresting” as I’d like to be. I always thought I’d be that mom…you know, the one who always made everything by hand, sending handmade goodies into school all the time, creating showstopping birthday cakes and stitching up totally Pinteresting Halloween costumes that put the storebought ones to shame.

I used to be her. I was a cookie-baking, crafty machine. But yeah…uh, not so much anymore.

To be honest, I still do pretty well with some of those things (like the daycare snacks), but when it comes to things like making Halloween costumes, I just can’t pull it off. I buy premade costumes. Continue reading

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Filed under Green Living, Parenting & Family, Product & Service Reviews, The Everyday

2-Ingredient Pumpkin Muffins

Imagine it:

You come home from a long, tiring day at work, not feeling well and desperate for sleep. You have to cook dinner, get your toddler bathed and tucked into bed, and get everything ready for the next early morning. Then you remember with horror: you signed up to bring muffins to school tomorrow.

It happened to me, the night before my son’s first Halloween party. Why, oh why, didn’t I just sign up to bring juice boxes!? (This is my first child, so I’m still learning…)

I knew they had to be pumpkin, and they had to be cute. So I sat down to do some quick Googling and find something I could pull off by morning. That’s when I found it: the 2-ingredient pumpkin muffin recipe (visit Sweet Verbena for the post I found.)

Is it possible that I’m the last person in the world to know about this fabulous recipe? If so, color me humbled. If not, I hope you love it as much as I do!

Here’s what you do:

2-Ingredient Pumpkin Muffins

  • 1 cake mix (white, yellow, spice or carrot)
  • 1 15-oz. can of pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix both ingredients in a large mixing bowl until well blended (batter will be thick).

Line muffin pan with paper liners; fill liners 2/3 full with batter. Bake 20–25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Makes about 18 muffins.

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That’s right – no eggs, no oil, nothing. You don’t add anything to the mix but the pumpkin. It’s ingenious, and it’s delicious. The perfect cross between a moist, dense muffin and a yummy cupcake – and you’ll still get to bed on time. ;)

I knew I had to decorate these, and lately I’ve struggled with how to make things fun for kids without using tons of awful, yucky dyes. I’ve come up with a solution that seems like a good compromise to me (at least until I find affordable, natural dyes that actually work.)

I whipped up a quick batch of cream cheese icing with real ingredients (butter, 10x sugar, almond milk, cream cheese and pure vanilla.) I piped a small rosette on the top of each cupcake, then topped each with a mini Nutter Butter/Hershey’s Kiss acorn. (Thanks to the hubby for running to the store!) …and voila! A perfect little fall accent that can be eaten or popped off, depending on dietary preferences.

 

They received a resounding thumbs up from my coworkers (who affectionately nicknamed them “muffcakes” and the kids at school loved them. The director even texted me for the recipe! Now I just have to decide if I really want her to know how easy they were… ;)

A few side notes:

  • This recipe is a great way to add a healthy dose of nutrient-rich pumpkin to a fun treat, AND it’s easy enough that your toddler can help with the mixing!
  • Depending on the price of the cake mix and pumpkin you find, these cupcakes are very affordable. (Mine were organic and worked out to .16 each before decorating.)
  • It’s the perfect time of year to cook up some fresh pumpkin to store in the freezer. Just premeasure into 15 oz containers, and you’ll have a nice stash to whip up easy muffins all year long. (This is our plan, since we try to avoid cans whenever possible.)
  • This also works with chocolate cake mix, although I haven’t tried that one yet. I hear it’s heavenly, though!
  • These are especially good for folks like me, who use few eggs and little dairy and often don’t have them on hand.
  • If you prefer to use an organic cake mix, you may have trouble finding a spice-flavored variety. If you choose to use white or yellow, add 1 Tbsp cinnamon and 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice so you don’t miss out on that yummy, spicy pumpkin flavor.

Have you ever made 2-ingredient muffins?

 

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Filed under Parenting & Family, Recipes & Food