Nutella Chocolate Birds Nests

Nutella Chocolate Birds Nests Recipe

We’ve made Chocolate Birds Nests in the past, but this year we changed it up…. by adding Nutella!

These Nutella Chocolate Birds Nests were a lot of fun to make with my girls.  It gets them in the kitchen with a combination of cooking and crafting.

And we also picked up a little Edible Grass this time around.  It’s easy to snip into bite-sized pieces with kitchen shears and adds a nice visual touch, but it isn’t necessary if you’re having a tough time finding it.  (And I picked mine up for half off after Easter – since these can be a fun treat all season long.)

Nutella Chocolate Birds Nests 2

All our ingredients gathered and ready to go….

Since there is no actually baking involved, it’s mostly mixing and shaping and decorating, once the chocolate chips are melted.

Nutella Chocolate Birds Nests 3

Melt the chocolate at half power, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth.

Then stir in the Nutella.

(And, yes, my kids are wearing superhero costumes while we cook.  That’s how we roll at our place.)

Nutella Chocolate Birds Nests 4

I slowly poured in the noodles while they stirred.

Make sure all the noodles get covered in the chocolate mixture, because that is the glue that holds everything together.

Nutella Chocolate Birds Nests 5

Spray some nonstick baking spray in the muffin tins and scoop in some of the chocolate noodles.

You want to be able to shape them into nests with your fingers, so with a small indention in the center, or at least flat as opposed to hill-shaped.  If it’s too bumpy and you’re having trouble flattening it, just take some out.

Nutella Chocolate Birds Nests 6

Put three eggs in the center of the nest and sprinkle a little edible grass over top, if you like.

You can see that my kids also added a few of the confetti-like bunnies that came with the edible grass.

This recipe makes 24 nests, but if that’s just too much for you, you could half the recipe.  Or share with all the neighbors.

When you first make them, the nests will be gooey and will fall apart if you try to pick them up.  They are still okay to eat, especially for anxious kids who want to try their creations, but they’re much easier to eat if you let the chocolate set first.

Put the pans in the fridge for an hour or so to help the chocolate set (because if you live in a humid place like me, that would take forever at room temperature), and then scoop them out with a spoon.  Preferably a plastic spoon so you don’t scratch the metal.

Store them in covered containers, using waxed paper to separate stacked layers.

Nutella Chocolate Birds Nests 7

Chocolate Nutella Birds Nests

Ingredients:

1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup Nutella
12 oz. chow mein noodles
72 candy-coated malted milk chocolate eggs (I used Whoppers Robin Eggs)
Edible Grass, cut into 1-inch pieces (optional)

Melt the chocolate chips in a large microwave-safe bowl at half power, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth.  Stir in the Nutella.

Pour the noodles into the chocolate mixture and stir gently until they are all fully coated.

Spray 24 muffin tins with nonstick baking spray and scoop a spoonful of the noodle mix into each tin.  Move the noodles with a spoon or your fingers so that they are shaped like a nest.

Place 3 chocolate eggs in the center of your nest while the chocolate is still slightly melted.  Sprinkle a little edible grass over the top, if desired.

Put the nests in the refrigerator for at least an hour to allow the chocolate to set.  Remove from the muffin tins with the help of a spoon.

Store in a closed container in the fridge, using waxed or parchment paper to separate stacked layers.

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And here’s the free printable PDF of the recipe:

Nutella Chocolate Birds Nests

Happy Eating!

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July 4th Fireworks Painting and Cookies

July 4th Fireworks Painting Activity and Iced Cookies with Roaming Rosie

Happy Fourth of July!

This year, my kids and I did a painting activity and a cookie project that mimicked fireworks.  First, we stamped fireworks with toilet paper rolls, and then we baked some chocolate cookies and iced them in patterns to represent bursts of color.

Both of these things were done on dark backgrounds to make it look like our paint and sugar fireworks were exploding against a nighttime sky.

Even threw in some glitter (edible and not-so-much) for a little extra spark!

Fireworks Painting with Toilet Paper Rolls and Glitter 1

First up:  the painting project.

We reused some toilet paper rolls by transforming them into stamps.

To make the firework-shaped stamps, cut slits around one side of the cardboard roll, making the incisions about a quarter-inch wide (my kids made a few slivers; don’t aim for uniformity here), and then bend back the strips against the palm of your hand to make the pieces stick out.

I put some red, white, and blue (washable) paint into three small paper plates, and we dipped the stamps into the plates and then pressed them into the paper to make our fireworks.

To get a neat effect, overlap your stamps.

Fireworks Painting with Toilet Paper Rolls and Glitter 2

After you’ve covered your paper in fireworks, sprinkle with glitter for a fun sparkly touch!

Allow the paint to dry before shaking off the excess glitter and displaying your art.

Fireworks Chocolate Iced Cookies from Roaming Rosie 1

These cookies were not only fun to make – they were delicious too!

Just like the painting activity, we used the red, white, and blue colors against a dark background (in this case chocolate) to represent the fireworks bursting against a night sky.

We used the recipe that I made for my Chocolate Almond Mummy Cookies, but I made double the batch of icing.

You don’t actually NEED to double the icing – the recipe already makes plenty – but I wanted to make extra, double, totally sure that we’d still have enough icing if my girls ended up squirting most of it onto the counter instead of the cookies.

It turned out, one batch probably would have been more than enough . . . except that one of my containers burst and half of the blue icing spilled out onto a couple of cookies.

But that’s an anomaly.  (Hopefully.)

Fireworks Chocolate Iced Cookies from Roaming Rosie 2

When you make the icing, be sure to stir it well until there are no lumps and it drips easily from the fork or spoon in thin ribbons.

Not watery – just thin.  If it’s too thick or clumpy it will clog your spout.

I used my Wilton Candy Making Decorating Bottles.  Mine are quite old but they usually work fine only sometimes explode.  (But seriously, this is the first time I’ve had a problem.)  I’ve been meaning to pick up some new ones anyway.  They’re pretty easy to clean and my girls just love using them.

But if you don’t have bottles like these, you could just as easily put the icing into three separate plastic baggies and snip off the ends to squeeze out the patterns.

If you’re using the bottles, I poured the white icing into them and then mixed in the food coloring with a wooden skewer, the kind used for making shish kabobs.  You could do the same with the baggies, or, if you’re not lazy like me, you could put the icing into three bowls and add the red and blue food coloring to two of them, and mix them before pouring them into the containers.

I made the icing while the cookies were in the oven.  You could make it much earlier in the day, but the longer it sits, the more likely to thicken and then you’ll have to worry about mixing in more water or stirring it to thin it again.

Fireworks Chocolate Iced Cookies from Roaming Rosie 3

As you can see, we took the easy way out with these “cut out” cookies:  no cookie cutters.  We just sliced them up with a pizza cutter.  Easy Peasy.  Re-roll and slice again.

(If you’re wondering, that’s cocoa powder sprinkled over the counter to keep the dough from sticking, which you can use instead of flour when making chocolate cookies.)

We made the cookies into rectangles or large squares, all slightly different.  Once baked and fully cooled, I spread some waxed paper to catch the drippings and we all drizzled the icing onto the cookies, overlapping the colors, in a bit of a star burst pattern so that they would kind of look like fireworks exploding.

And, before the icing could harden, we added some white sparkling sugar to add a little extra spark to our cookies and to match the glitter on our paintings.

Again, you can find the cookie recipe on my post for Chocolate Almond Mummy Cookies.

Happy Fourth!

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Grobswitchy Cake: a BFG Recipe from Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl's The BFG Grobswitchy Cake

We read The BFG by Roald Dahl recently and my kids LOVED it.

It may have been a bit of a trogglehumper to gobblefunk around with some of those propsposterous words – especially at bedtime when my coffee has long worn off – but it was SO worth it!  It was totally whoopsey-splunkers to see my girls burst into fits of laughter worthy of a big friendly giant.

And then, after reading the novel, we took a look at Roald Dahl’s Even More Revolting Recipes (which is a sequel to Roald Dahl’s Revolting Recipes), and decided to make the Grobswitchy Cake featured in the book, with just a few small changes.

We wound up using walnuts, because my oldest daughter loves them, and we traded out the amber crystals they suggested to use as grobswitches for Cake Mate’s Gold Sugar Cupcake Gems. 

Roald Dahl's The BFG Grobswitchy Cake 2

Now, I don’t know exactly what we did wrong, since baking with two kids can be … distracting … but somehow we had too much batter for our little pan.  I put it in the oven like that anyway, but with some foil below it to catch the drippings.

(And – just FYI – dripped cake is actually kinda fabulous.)

It’s a pretty typical coffee cake recipe, but with a really beautiful sentiment, since it references how the BFG mixes up dreams:

“It is a little bit like mixing a cake,”the BFG said. “If you is putting the right amounts of all the different things into it, you is making the cake come out any way you want, sugary, splongy curranty, Christmassy or grobswitchy. It is the same with dreams.”

And to explore the story a little more, I suggest stopping by Roald Dahl’s official website.

Happy Baking!

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Usborne Fashion Coloring Books Review

Usborne Fashion Coloring Books

So, we love to color in our house. Happens all the time. We will draw and color on just about anything, but high quality (sorry dollar store) coloring books are my fave way to go. And, just so we’re clear, high quality does NOT mean high prices.

Which is why I wanted to share some books with you, all of which feature nice thick pages and beautiful illustrations for around 6 or 7 bucks.  Can’t beat that.

The other reason these books are so amazing is that people of all ages can enjoy them.  I’ve purchased these books for both kids and adults, and my daughters and I often color them together.

Usborne Vintage Fashion Coloring Book

First, I wanted to introduce the Vintage Fashion Coloring Book:

As you can see from the video, this is a pretty awesome book.  It’s great for kids (and adults) interested in fashion design, but also for anyone looking to just relax and have some fun coloring.

You can head over to my website to see the Vintage Fashion Coloring Book.  It has 32 pages of gorgeous illustrations to color, and is suggested for ages 6 and up.

Another similar book we own is the Clothes and Fashion to Color book that I got for my daughter, seen here:

Clothes and Fashion to Color

It also has 32 thick pages and tons of historical fashion to color.  It’s rated for ages 6+ but is, of course, great for any age.  It features different decades on different pages.  Here’s one I was recently working on:

fashion coloring book victorian 1850

Plus, there’s the mini sized Pocket Fashion Drawing Book that we usually keep in the car.  ‘Cause, like I mentioned, my daughter is pretty much always drawing.

Pocket Fashion Drawing Book

Isn’t that just too cute?  We love it.

The pocket book is a smaller size – easier to store in a purse or something, but it has many more pages.  At 128 pages, it’ll keep you entertained for a long time.

Plus, it features mostly modern styles, if that’s your thing.

If you’d prefer something different, here are some examples of different coloring books available on my site:

Patterns to Color Usborne Coloring Books

And they are seriously awesome.  There are more in the series too, which means tons of PATTERNS TO COLOR!  I’ll make some videos for them too, (and some newer fashion coloring books as well!) but if you have any questions about them, please comment or message me anytime!

Happy Coloring!

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Sight Words Ball Toss (Feed the Shark)

Feed the Shark Sight Word Ball Toss

We’ve been working on our Sight Words lately, which we sometimes call Power Words (Power Word Hopscotch and Power Word Heart Pom Pom Toss).

This “Feed the Shark” game was intended to teach my daughter her sight words vocabulary, but can easily be adapted to be used to teach the alphabet to preschoolers, too.

I wanted to try something a little different, but still very tactile and involving movement, so I wrote some of my daughter’s words on ping pong balls that I picked up at our local dollar store.

Feed the Shark Sight Word Ball Toss

I wrote the words with a paint pen.  Not a permanent marker since I’ve found that those sometimes rub off.

Then I put the balls in a little bucket.  We took turns pulling out a ball, saying the words, and then tossing it into the shark’s mouth if we got it right.

My kindergartner helped her younger sister with the words, of course, and even though she wanted to make a rule about only getting a certain number of guesses to read the word, we didn’t worry about missing the shark’s mouth.  We just kept throwing until we got it.

Feed the Shark Sight Word Ball Toss

And I happened to have made that shark (Glut from The Little Mermaid) about two years ago and I have all the photos from the birthday party I threw for my girls for which the shark was one of our featured games and I’ve been meaning to write a blog post about it… but I guess I’m running a little behind.  Oops.  #Momlife.

Anyway, you can obviously throw the balls into anything – it doesn’t HAVE to be a shark’s mouth.  We keep Glut around and play with him from time to time, but you could toss the ping pong balls into any basket, laundry basket, bucket, box, or boots that you happen to have lying around.

If it’s winter, try tossing them into a Christmas wreath lying flat on the floor.  If it’s Halloween, try tossing them into a plastic jack o’ lantern.  If it’s spring, try tossing them into a watering can from the garden.  Or flower pots.  Whatever you have handy.

Have fun!

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Tissue Paper Flower Cut Out Cards (Made with Cookie Cutters!)

 

Tissue Paper Flower Cards

Tissue Paper Flower Cards

This was a neat craft I enjoyed doing with my girls, and the Tissue Paper Cut Out Cards make great presents.

You can give the cards for Mother’s Day, birthday, Thank You cards, or even Thinking Of You cards.

They’re versatile that way, and you can let your kids get hands-on with the crafting.

I cut the tissue paper strips ahead of time by rolling up some colorful sheets of tissue paper into a tube-like shape and snipping off inch-wide pieces with sharp scissors.

Tissue Paper Flower Cards

I did do the cutting myself for these flower shapes because I wanted them to have the detailed shapes cut out of the middle of the paper, which is a little hard for small fingers to do.  But they had plenty of fun with the glue and tissue paper.

I used cookie cutters from a couple of different sets, kind of like this Spring Set and this Nesting Set.  We went with flowers because we made this during the springtime, but you could use any shape you like.

Tissue Paper Flower Cards

Fold a piece of construction or craft paper in half to make your card.

Trace the shape inside the cookie cutter, just like you would use a stencil, onto the front of the card.

Then poke your scissor in the middle of the shape and cut it out of the front of the card.  Or your could open the card and place it flat on some cardboard and use an X-Acto knife to carve out the shape, or let an older kid or teen do it.

Tissue Paper Flower Cards

Take a white sheet of paper and cut it to fit just inside the cards.

Let your kids slather the white paper with glue or glue sticks, and then lay out the tissue paper pieces in stripes that go across and touch each other or slightly overlap.

Tissue Paper Flower Cards

Once the sheet of white paper covered in tissue paper strips is mostly dry, slather the inside of the card where the cut out shapes are.

Lay the white paper carefully against the glue with the tissue paper facing the cut out shapes.

Tissue Paper Flower Cards

Then your colorful tissue paper will show through like this:

Tissue Paper Flower Cards

Isn’t that darling?

The recipients were quite charmed, and the girls enjoyed making them.

Tissue Paper Flower Cards

You could make these cards for other holidays, too.

You could do Christmas shapes and use red and white tissue in a green card, for example.  Or orange and purple tissue paper in a black card cut with Halloween shapes.

Tissue Paper Flower Cards

Follow me on Pinterest for more great crafting and activity ideas!

Have fun!

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Letter J: Free Alphabet Worksheets for Kids

Letter J Alphabet Activities FREE Printable Worksheets from Roaming Rosie

If you’re new here, please read the Introduction to the Alphabet Activities first!

Here are all of the printable PDFs for the Letter J.  They are free for home and classroom use, but please don’t sell or reproduce them.

J is for Jaguar

J is for Jeep

J is for Jelly Bean Counting

J is for Jelly Beans

J is for Jolly Jesters Juggling

J is for Juice

J is for Jupiter

And here is a picture of the two Jelly Bean worksheets:

J is for Jelly Beans FREE printable Alphabet Activity Worksheets from Roaming Rosie

For the first one, I cut out little kidney bean shaped jelly beans from construction paper.  For the second, we used real jelly beans, which are usually pretty easy to find year round.  I tried to stick with the colors that come in most packages.

Don’t forget to check out the rest of our Letter J projects:

Letter J Alphabet Activities

Follow me on Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest to see my latest posts.

Have fun!

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