Our New Thanksgiving Family Tradition

Have you ever intentionally created a family tradition? I haven’t, until now!

My family and I grew up watching the Charlie Brown/Peanuts holiday specials around this time every year with our parents; they all have a special place in my heart, but none more than It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, and A Charlie Brown Christmas!

Continuing on with these good feelings and memories, embellishing it to make it our own, here is our new Thanksgiving tradition:

The Friday before Thanksgiving we will gather and/or create buttered toast, popcorn, pretzels and jelly beans, all the food the kid’s feast on in Thanksgiving Charlie Brown. We will snack on these treats while we watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving!

It’s simple, yet fun and heartfelt like any family tradition should be! Create happy feelings and the happy memories will follow! Feel free to use this idea for your own family tradition, or take it and change it to make it your own!

Tiana’s Beignet Recipe (The Princess and the Frog)

Tiana's Beignet Recipe
INTRODUCTION

Welcome back friends! This week we’ll be frying up Tiana’s Beignets from Disney’s The Princess and the Frog.

Tiana's Beignet Recipe
Tiana's Beignet Recipe

This recipe is featured several times as it is one of Tiana’s specialties, but the most memorable is when she’s preparing them in Duke’s Cafe. She is seen dusting a large batch with powdered sugar, then lightly drizzling them with honey. They look so good!

These Beignets are fluffy and delicious! The dusting of powdered sugar and drizzle of honey give a nice sweetness, without overload. I added nutmeg to the recipe because it was mentioned as Tiana’s secret ingredient in one of my daughter’s books!

Tiana's Beignet Recipe
TIANA’S BEIGNETS
  • 3 cups of flour, plus more for dusting
  • 3/4 teaspoons of kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar, divided
  • 1 cup of warm whole milk
  • 1 packet of active dry yeast
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons of butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 to 2 quarts of vegetable oil
  • 2 cups of powdered sugar
  • Honey
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Combine the flour, salt, nutmeg and 2 tablespoons of the sugar in a large bowl.
  2. In a separate medium bowl, combine the warm milk, 1 tablespoon of sugar and the yeast, then allow it to sit for about 5 minutes or until foamy.
  3. Beat the egg into the foamy mixture, then add it to the bowl of dry ingredients. 
  4. Mix by hand until until the dough comes together, then add the melted butter and keep mixing and kneading with your hand until well incorporated (the dough will be smooth and slightly tacky to the touch).
  5. Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a greased bowl.
  6. Cover the bowl with plastic and allow it rise until doubled in size (this could be 1 to 2 hours depending on the temperature of the room).
  7. Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a floured surface and roll it out into a rectangular shape about 1/4 inch thick. Cut the dough into 12 rectangles, then cover them with a flour dusted towel to rest while you heat the oil.
  8. In a large heavy bottomed sauce pot (I use my dutch oven), slowly heat the oil to about 325F as read on a candy or deep fry thermometer.
  9. Place a cooling rack over a baking sheet next to the pot of oil and have tongs or a spider ready.
  10. Scoop the powdered sugar (about 1/3 cup at a time) into a sifter and set it next to the rack and the sheet pan. 
  11. Fry the beignets for about 90 seconds on each side, or until golden.
  12. Use your tongs or spider to lift the beignets out of the frying oil and place them on the cooling rack for at least a minute.
  13. While they are still hot sift powdered sugar over both sides, top and bottom, then drizzle with honey.
  14. Enjoy!
Tiana's Beignet Recipe
Tiana's Beignet Recipe

Our New Halloween Family Tradition

Halloween Tradition

Have you ever intentionally created a family tradition? I haven’t, until now!

My family and I grew up watching the Charlie Brown/Peanuts holiday specials around this time every year with our parents; they all have a special place in my heart, but none more than It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, and A Charlie Brown Christmas!

Continuing on with these good feelings and memories, embellishing it to make it our own, here is our new Halloween tradition:

The night before Halloween (or a few nights before), we will carve our pumpkins and light them for the first time. After, we’ll sip on cold or warm apple cider (depending on the weather) and watch It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!

It’s simple, yet fun and heartfelt like any family tradition should be! Create happy feelings and the happy memories will follow! Feel free to use this idea for your own family tradition, or take it and change it to make it your own!

Hen Wen’s Apple Porridge Recipe (The Black Cauldron)

Hen Wen's Apple Porridge Recipe
INTRODUCTION

Welcome back friends! This week we’ll be cooking Hen Wen’s Apple Porridge from Disney’s The Black Cauldron.

The Black Cauldron Movie Poster
Hen Wen's Apple Porridge Recipe

This recipe is featured in the beginning of the film, when Caer Dallben asks Taran to feed Hen Wen the porridge he prepared for her. 

This porridge looks much more appetizing than the one in the film. I couldn’t help myself! I thought to myself, if I wanted to eat porridge with apples, I’d want the apples to be cooked separately to develop their flavor more and I’m sure Hen Wen would approve!

Hen Wen's Apple Porridge Recipe
HEN WEN’S APPLE PORRIDGE

APPLES

  • 2 apples, peeled and cut into slices
  • 1/3 cup of water
  • Cinnamon
  • Brown sugar

PORRIDGE

  • 1 cup of old fashioned oats
  • 1 3/4 cups of whole milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt
  • Cinnamon
  • Brown sugar

INSTRUCTIONS (APPLES)

  1. Peel and cut the apples into slices.
  2. Pour the water into a small sauce pan, then add the apples.
  3. Sprinkle the desired amount of cinnamon and brown sugar onto the apples and stir to distribute.
  4. Cover and cook until tender, stirring occasionally to evenly coat and cook the apples.
  5. Once cooked, remove from the heat and set aside for the porridge (see below).

INSTRUCTIONS (PORRIDGE)

  1. In a medium saucepan, boil the milk with the salt.
  2. Stir in the oats.
  3. Cook the oats for about 5 minutes over medium heat; stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove the porridge from the heat and sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon, then stir to distribute.
  5. Spoon the porridge into two bowls and arrange the cooked apple slices (see above) on top. I arranged mine into the shape of a rose and I believe next time I’ll cover the porridge completely.
  6. Enjoy!
Hen Wen's Apple Porridge Recipe
Hen Wen's Apple Porridge Recipe

Family Friendly Halloween Movies – PG Rated

Family Friendly Halloween PG Rated

Welcome to the spooky month of October my friends!

My family and I have created a list of family friendly Halloween movies and specials for you and yours! Halloween may be celebrated a little differently this year, but that doesn’t mean we can’t kindle a little Halloween spirit!

This year we’ve decided to focus on movies and specials that are rated PG for parental guidance suggested; some material may not be suitable for children. If you are looking for movies and specials that are rated G for general audience and good for all ages, please visit last year’s list – Family Friendly Halloween Movies and Specials Rated G.

Please let us know if we missed or left out any of your family friendly (PG-rated) halloween favorites you feel should be included! We’d love to hear from you!

Organized alphabetically by title:

Family Friendly Halloween Children’s Books – Ages 5 and Under

Family Friendly Halloween Books

Welcome to the boo-tiful month of October my friends!

To inspire you and your little ones into the Halloween mood, I’ve curated a list of Halloween-themed books for ages five and under! These selections are festive, without frights or scares that could upset a younger audience.

There are a handful of books on this list with a reading age that start under the age of five and peak at the age of 7 or 8.

If you have a favorite Halloween book for children ages 5 and under that you do not see here, please let me know! I would love to add it to this list!

DIY Felt Pumpkin

It is Autumn, my favorite season of the year!

I want to begin creating well-made decorations that mean something to us and will last. What better way to start than by something that will go great with Halloween and Thanksgiving, pumpkins! I’ve created a pattern for fabric pumpkins and you’re welcome to use it to create your own! This will work to create either felt or regular fabric pumpkins, I’m excited to create a few different colors and sizes!

SUPPLIES
  • Pumpkin patterns (see above)
  • Paper scissors
  • Felt fabric
  • Sewing pins
  • Sewing scissors
  • Embroidery floss
  • Sewing needle
  • Stuffing
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Print out the pumpkin patterns I’ve provided, then cut the patterns from the paper.
  2. Pin the patterns on the appropriate colored felt, then use sewing scissors to cut the felt.
  3. Thread orange embroidery floss onto your sewing needle.
  4. Align two of the pumpkin pieces and whip stitch along one side, from one point to the next, concealing the first and ending knot underneath so that the stitching will be exposed.
  5. Repeat step 3 to continue adding pieces of the pumpkin.
  6. Once you’ve stitched the last piece on, join the two ends together with a whip stitch to complete the pumpkin body.
  7. Stuff the pumpkin, then place the circles on the top and bottom of the pumpkin and secure them with sewing pins.
  8. Using a whip stitch, attach the circles to the pumpkin, concealing the first and ending knots underneath. Then remove the sewing pins.
  9. Thread green embroidery floss on your sewing needle and stitch the veins onto one side of each leaf.
  10. Once done with the veins, align the two halves of each leaf (concealing the stitching in between) and whipstitch around the edges of the leaves to make them whole.
  11. Thread brown embroidery floss onto your sewing needle and whipstitch around the outside edges of the stem, leaving the bottom of the stem open. At this point you can leave the stem as it is or turn it around to conceal the stitching.
  12. Stuff the stem, then place it on top of the pumpkin and secure it with sewing pins. 
  13. Using a whip stitch, attach the stem to the body of the pumpkin.
  14. Enjoy!

Trigger’s Blackberry Pie Recipe (Robin Hood)

INTRODUCTION

Welcome back friends! This week we’ll be baking Trigger’s Blackberry Pie from Disney’s Robin Hood!

This recipe is featured when Robin Hood is discovered at Prince John’s archery competition and a fight ensues. One of the Sheriff of Nottingham’s henchmen, Trigger the vulture, is hiding out in a pie booth surrounded by these pies.

Note to self: Blackberries have seeds! This pie is sweet, tart and delicious, but there are seeds from the blackberries that startled me before I expected them! You could strain the seeds out by forcing the blackberries through a sieve. This recipe calls for whole berries, but you can adjust accordingly if the seeds throw off your groove!

TRIGGER’S BLACKBERRY PIE

CRUST

  • 2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 1 cup of unsalted butter, chilled
  • 6-8 tablespoons of water, chilled

FILLING

  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of flour
  • 4-6 cups of fresh blackberries
INSTRUCTIONS (CRUST)
  • Add the flour and salt to a bowl and whisk to combine.
  • Cut the chilled butter into cubes and add the cubes to the bowl of flour and salt. Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour mixture until well combined.
  • Begin adding the tablespoons of chilled water one at a time and stirring well after each addition until the dough forms.
  • Turn the dough out onto a clean flat surface and work it into a ball. Cut this ball in half and plastic wrap each piece, then set inside the refrigerator to chill for at least 1 hour.
  • Bring out the first half of the dough and roll it out until it is about 1/4 inch thick and large enough to fit into your pie pan. 
  • Gently pick up the rolled out dough and place it gently into the bottom of your pie pan, then smooth it in and trim the edges.
INSTRUCTIONS (FILLING)
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 425 F.
  2. Wash the blackberries and add them to a bowl.
  3. Add the sugar and stir until well coated, then add the flour and stir until well coated.
  4. Pour the filling into the prepared pie crust.
  5. Bring out the second half of the dough and roll it out until it is about 1/4 inch thick and large enough to cover your pie.
  6. Gently pick up the rolled out dough and place it gently over the top of the pie, then trim the edges.
  7. Using a fork or your fingers, crimp or pinch the edges.
  8. Add 3 to 4 slits for venting while the pie bakes.
  9. Cover the edges of the pie with a 2 to 3 inch strip of foil to prevent excessive browning.
  10. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and juice begins to bubble through the slits in crust, remove the foil for the last 15 minutes of baking. 
  11. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool on the rack at least 2 hours or more to allow the filling to thicken.
  12. Enjoy!

DIY – Felt Cookies

DIY Felt Cookies

What child (or inner child) doesn’t love preparing toy food in a play kitchen? 

I had a play kitchen when I was a little girl and loved baking cookies for myself, my sister and my parents. Now that I’m grown and have a daughter of my own, I want to make her some handcrafted play food so she can enjoy making meals for everyone during play, or while we cook in the kitchen next to her!

Please feel free to use these patterns to create some play food for you and yours! This pattern will make one circle cookie, one heart cookie, one star cookie, one triangle cookie, one square cookie and one rectangle cookie, each with frosting. I made one extra of each cookie shape so Zoey will have two of each. You can duplicate it as much as you want to make multiple pieces of each food!

SUPPLIES
  • Cookie patterns (see above) 
  • Paper scissors
  • Pale tan felt material
  • Pale blue felt material
  • Pale brown felt material
  • Dark brown felt material
  • Pale pink felt material
  • White felt material
  • Pale yellow felt material
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Embroidery floss (pale tan, pale blue, light brown, dark brown, pale pink, white)
  • Sewing needle
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Print out the cookie pattern I’ve provided, then cut the patterns from the paper.
  2. Pin the patterns on the appropriate colored felt, then use sewing scissors to cut the felt.
  3. Align and pin the pale blue circle of frosting to one half of the circle of pale tan felt, then thread pale blue embroidery floss onto your sewing needle.
  4. Begin sewing around the outer edges of the frosting using a whipstitch, concealing the first and ending knots underneath the layer of cookie.
  5. One at a time, thread three of the other colors of embroidery floss onto your needle and create randomized stitches within the frosting to make sprinkles. Conceal the first and ending knots of each color underneath the layer of cookie.
  6. Thread a sewing needle with pale tan embroidery floss and pin the bottom cookie layer over the stitching on the back of the frosted top half. 
  7. Using a whipstitch, begin sewing around the edges of the circle cookie, concealing the first knot and end knot in between the layers.
  8. Align and pin the pale pink heart of frosting to one half of the heart of pale tan felt, then thread pale pink embroidery floss onto your sewing needle.
  9. Begin sewing around the outer edges of the frosting using a whipstitch, concealing the first and ending knots underneath the layer of cookie.
  10. One at a time, thread three of the other colors of embroidery floss onto your needle and create randomized stitches within the frosting to make sprinkles. Conceal the first and ending knots of each color underneath the layer of cookie.
  11. Thread a sewing needle with pale tan embroidery floss and pin the bottom cookie layer over the stitching on the back of the frosted top half. 
  12. Using a whipstitch, begin sewing around the edges of the heart cookie, concealing the first knot and end knot in between the layers.
  13. Align and pin the pale yellow star of frosting to one half of the star of pale tan felt, then thread pale yellow embroidery floss onto your sewing needle.
  14. Begin sewing around the outer edges of the frosting using a whipstitch, concealing the first and ending knots underneath the layer of cookie.
  15. One at a time, thread three of the other colors of embroidery floss onto your needle and create randomized stitches within the frosting to make sprinkles. Conceal the first and ending knots of each color underneath the layer of cookie.
  16. Thread a sewing needle with pale tan embroidery floss and pin the bottom cookie layer over the stitching on the back of the frosted top half. 
  17. Using a whipstitch, begin sewing around the edges of the star cookie, concealing the first knot and end knot in between the layers.
  18. Align and pin the white triangle of frosting to one half of the triangle of pale tan felt, then thread white embroidery floss onto your sewing needle.
  19. Begin sewing around the outer edges of the frosting using a whipstitch, concealing the first and ending knots underneath the layer of cookie.
  20. One at a time, thread three of the other colors of embroidery floss onto your needle and create randomized stitches within the frosting to make sprinkles. Conceal the first and ending knots of each color underneath the layer of cookie.
  21. Thread a sewing needle with pale tan embroidery floss and pin the bottom cookie layer over the stitching on the back of the frosted top half. 
  22. Using a whipstitch, begin sewing around the edges of the triangle cookie, concealing the first knot and end knot in between the layers.
  23. Align and pin the dark brown square of frosting to one half of the square of pale tan felt, then thread dark brown embroidery floss onto your sewing needle.
  24. Begin sewing around the outer edges of the frosting using a whipstitch, concealing the first and ending knots underneath the layer of cookie.
  25. One at a time, thread three of the other colors of embroidery floss onto your needle and create randomized stitches within the frosting to make sprinkles. Conceal the first and ending knots of each color underneath the layer of cookie.
  26. Thread a sewing needle with pale tan embroidery floss and pin the bottom cookie layer over the stitching on the back of the frosted top half. 
  27. Using a whipstitch, begin sewing around the edges of the square cookie, concealing the first knot and end knot in between the layers.
  28. Align and pin the pale brown rectangle of frosting to one half of the rectangle of pale tan felt, then thread pale brown embroidery floss onto your sewing needle.
  29. Begin sewing around the outer edges of the frosting using a whipstitch, concealing the first and ending knots underneath the layer of cookie.
  30. One at a time, thread three of the other colors of embroidery floss onto your needle and create randomized stitches within the frosting to make sprinkles. Conceal the first and ending knots of each color underneath the layer of cookie.
  31. Thread a sewing needle with pale tan embroidery floss and pin the bottom cookie layer over the stitching on the back of the frosted top half. 
  32. Using a whipstitch, begin sewing around the edges of the rectangle cookie, concealing the first knot and end knot in between the layers.
  33. Enjoy!

DIY – Felt Pizza

DIY Felt Pizza

What child (or inner child) doesn’t love preparing toy food in a play kitchen? 

I had a play kitchen when I was a little girl and loved preparing pizza for myself, my sister and my parents. Now that I’m grown and have a daughter of my own, I want to make her some handcrafted play food so she can enjoy making meals for everyone during play, or while we cook in the kitchen next to her!

Please feel free to use these patterns to create some play food for you and yours! This pattern will make four slices of pizza with sauce and cheese. Toppings include 4 slices of bell pepper, 4 slices of mushroom, 12 slices of pepperoni, and 6 slices of olives. You can duplicate it as much as you want to make multiple pieces of each food!

SUPPLIES
  • Pizza patterns (see above) 
  • Paper scissors
  • Light tan felt material
  • Red felt material
  • Dark red felt material
  • White felt material
  • Off-white felt material
  • Green felt material
  • Black felt material
  • Stuffing
  • Sewing pins
  • Sewing scissors
  • Sewing needle
  • Embroidery floss (light tan, red, dark red, white, off-white, green, and black)
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Print out the pizza patterns I’ve provided and cut them from the paper.
  2. Place the patterns on the appropriate colored felt and pin them in place, then use sewing scissors to cut out the felt pieces.
  3. Align and pin the two halves of pizza crust together and thread light tan embroidery floss onto your sewing needle. Then, with a pencil, lightly sketch a curved line along and about 1/2 inch in from the arc of the crust.
  4. Starting to one side of the pizza slice’s point, whipstitch along that edge and the top arc of the crust, stopping at the far end of the arc and setting that thread aside for a moment.
  5. From the open edge of the pizza slice, use a running stitch along the pencil line to seal off the crust, concealing the first and ending knot between the layers, then use a little stuffing to inflate. 
  6. Pick up the previous thread and continue stitching down the remaining side of the pizza slice, concealing the end knot in between the layers.
  7. Repeat steps 3 through 6 to create the three other pizza slices.
  8. Align and pin the two halves of pizza sauce together and thread red embroidery floss onto your sewing needle.
  9. Begin sewing around the edges of your pizza sauce using a whipstitch, concealing the first knot and ending knot in between the layers.
  10. Repeat steps 8 and 9 to create the three other pizza sauces.
  11. Align and pin the two halves of cheese together and thread off-white embroidery floss onto your sewing needle.
  12. Begin sewing around the edges of your cheese using a whipstitch, concealing the first knot and ending knot in between the layers.
  13. Repeat steps 11 and 12 to create the three other cheeses.
  14. Align and pin the two halves of bell pepper together and thread green embroidery floss onto your sewing needle.
  15. Begin sewing around the outer and then inner edges of your bell pepper using a whipstitch, concealing the first knot and ending knot in between the layers.
  16. Repeat steps 14 and 15 to create the rest of the bell pepper pieces.
  17. Align and pin the two halves of mushroom together and thread white embroidery floss onto your sewing needle.
  18. Begin sewing around the edges of your mushroom using a whipstitch, concealing the first knot and ending knot in between the layers.
  19. Repeat steps 17 and 18 to create the rest of the mushroom pieces.
  20. Align and pin the two halves of pepperoni together and thread dark red embroidery floss onto your sewing needle.
  21. Begin sewing around the edges of your pepperoni using a whipstitch, concealing the first knot and ending knot in between the layers.
  22. Repeat steps 20 and 21 to create the rest of the pepperoni pieces.
  23. Align and pin the two halves of olive together and thread black embroidery floss onto your sewing needle.
  24. Begin sewing around the outer and then inner edges of your olive using a whipstitch, concealing the first knot and ending knot in between the layers.
  25. Repeat steps 23 and 24 to create the rest of the olive pieces.
  26. Enjoy!
DIY Felt Pizza
DIY Felt Pizza