Roaming Rosie Reads “The Dog Who Loved Red” by Anitha Balachandran

Roaming Rosie Reads

The Dog Who Loved Red by Anitha Balachandran is one of my favorite Kane Miller picture books.

The illustrations are a bright and fun celebration of color.

The dog’s name is Raja and Raja loves red.  He even has “red radar.”  He chews on Mrs. Lal’s red shawl and Mr. Lal’s gray and red socks, but Raja’s favorite red thing to chew is the old red ball that he and his friend Champ play with.

The Dog Who Loved Red

But the red ball is lost.  Champ is sad.

Then Raja uses his red radar to locate their red ball in the neighbor’s backyard.  The neighbor, Mr. Mehta, doesn’t like dogs.  But Raja braves Mr. Mehta and his blue hose to retrieve the ball.

He’s quite the colorful mess at the end, which results in a bath for him and lots of laughs from your audience.

Kids love the adventurous story and there are a ton of colors mentioned for your Little Ones to find.

In the video below, you can watch me reading the book:

I’m sorry to announce that The Dog Who Loved Red is no longer available to purchase new from Usborne Books & More/Kane Miller, and but you can find many other wonderful picture books at my Usborne site, Books With Rosie.

HOWEVER, you can still buy The Dog Who Loved Red as a used book on Amazon.

You can also watch other videos of me reading story books in my Roaming Rosie Reads posts.

A few more picture books that I love:

Bears Don't Read One Night in the Zoo Acorns and Stew, Too The Children Who Loved Books

Happy Reading!

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Valentine’s Day Lunch Snack Ideas for Kids

Valentine's Day Lunch Snack Ideas For Kids at RoamingRosie.com

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I’ve already started adding fun Valentines-themed snacks to my kid’s lunches.

The top picture is of heart-shaped strawberries.

Okay, okay… they’re not obviously hearts upon first glance, so I did mention to my girls ahead of time that they were getting strawberry hearts in their lunch bags.  Just in case my artfulness didn’t shine through right away.

Anyway, to make quick strawberry treats that vaguely resemble hearts, follow these steps:

  • Wash strawberry.
  • Cut top off of strawberry.
  • Cut berry in half.
  • Cut a triangle out of the top center of the berry.
  • Cut off the edges of the top at an angle.
  • Ensure children they’re getting lovingly carved hearts and not mangled fruit pieces.

You can also toss those extra strawberry pieces into a bowl of cereal or oatmeal, by the way.

And onto the next photo…. I used a tiny {about 1-inch} cookie cutter to cut hearts out of American cheese slices and flour tortillas.

I cut out about twice as many tortilla hearts as cheese ones because my oldest likes to assemble her own cheese sandwiches out of the pieces.

The last photo doesn’t have anything heart-shaped, but instead includes something red.

I tossed a few red M&Ms {leftover from Christmas} into a container of nuts.  Cashews, specifically, since I think they taste better than peanuts, and there are kids in my daughters’ classes with peanut allergies.

My girls will eat the nuts without any extra incentive, but I felt the dash of red color just added a little fun.

And if you’re wondering about the containers I had the cashews in, these are the ones I use:

Kotobuki Children's Bub a Buu Snack Container, Triangular Onigiri Animals, Set of 3

My girls love getting snacks in these little triangle containers.  They’re technically condiment containers, but they’re easy to open {even for my 2yo} and they hold plenty of food.

Not a LOT of food, mind you, but a handful of nuts or raisins or goldfish or about 5 or 6 grapes.  Enough for a snack.

Oh, and I also cut apple slices and used the same heart shaped cookie cutter to remove the seeds, thus putting a heart in the middle of the circle slice.  But I forgot to photograph those.  I’ll try to remember next time.  :)

Please share any fun Valentine’s snacks you’ve made for your own kiddos!

**********EDIT:  Aug 2015**********

Aaaaaand….. now that I’ve been making heart strawberries in a way that’s SO much easier for a while now, I should probably update this post!  ;)

Anyway, after I wrote this, I discovered that it was way easier to just cut the strawberry in half and use a small heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut out the heart.  Takes two seconds and looks amazing!  Plus – the cuteness factor means my kids eat more fruit!  (Even at school!!!)

Check it out:

Heart Shaped Strawberries and Sandwiches for Kids Lunches

And you can see that I used one of the larger heart-shaped cutters for the sandwiches.  Since peanut butter and (strawberry) jelly can get a little messy, I sometimes cut out the bread first and then fill them instead of making the sandwich ahead of time and then cutting out the heart.

Happy Eating!  (Or happy school-lunch making!)

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Spritz Butter Cookies

Spritz Butter Cookies with FREE Printable Recipe at RoamingRosie.com

I looooove Spritz cookies!

Of course, I usually just refer to them as “butter cookies” since I’ve found there are a lot of people who have never heard of “spritz.”

Which is a shame, really.

These cookies are almost entirely made of butter and sugar.

There isn’t much in life that’s better than that.

And one of the reasons I made sure to share this recipe is that I recently did a search for spritz and every recipe I found was different than the one I use.  I LOVE these cookies!  The thought of not sharing them with the world was just too terribly depressing.

Spritz Butter Cookies with FREE Printable Recipe at RoamingRosie.com

These are totally a favorite of mine at Christmas.  I may make them a few times a year, but they’re definitely always part of my Christmas baking.

And my favorite way to make these little guys around Christmastime is by dying the dough green and making little Christmas trees.  It’s easy but super cute.

I also tend to make some red and leave some plain, too, which you’ll see in the pictures.

The easiest way to add the food coloring is to add it into the butter mixture, before you add in the flour.  I usually toss it in with the egg.

But if you’re not planning to dye the entire batch one color {you can see some plain dough in these photos – I did it half plain and half red}, then you can just massage some color into the finished dough with a gentle hand kneading.

Spritz Butter Cookies with FREE Printable Recipe at RoamingRosie.com

There are a lot of cookie presses out there.

I’ve tried quite a few.

I’ve attempted the electronic version and tackled the pump handle ones, too… but they’re all just plastic pieces of crap, in my opinion.

There’s nothing like my mom’s old copper cookie press.

That said, if you don’t have one, the closest I can come to making a recommendation is the OXO Good Grips one,and only because it has a lot of positive reviews on Amazon.  But you’ll have to judge for yourself.

And please – PLEASE – if you know of a good cookie press, please tell me!!!

The good news?  You don’t actually need a cookie press to make these butter cookies.  Sometimes I just roll the dough into 1-inch balls and dip them in nonpareils.  You could also roll them out and cut them out with a fancy roller, kind of a la my easy cut out cookies.

But I usually use my press because they’re just so darned adorable.

Spritz Butter Cookies with FREE Printable Recipe at RoamingRosie.com

Another fun option for these little cookies are making cherry wreaths.

These are another big hit and look lovely on cookie platters.

You simply cut a maraschino cherry in half and add it to a wreath-shaped cookie before baking.

If you didn’t dye the dough, you can also add some green sugar sprinkles.  Or some nonpareils for decoration.

Spritz Butter Cookies with FREE Printable Recipe at RoamingRosie.com

I like the little swirl-looking cookies in red because they remind me of poinsettias.  :)

The sprinkles on those are the white sugar pearls.

Spritz Butter Cookies with FREE Printable Recipe at RoamingRosie.com

And here they are baked.

Look almost the same as before they were baked, don’t they?

They’re just so pretty … which, if you didn’t know, also makes them taste better.  :)

Spritz Butter Cookies with FREE Printable Recipe at RoamingRosie.com

And the trees again.  These are totally my favorites – so cute!

You could also take the time to add a little star to the tops of the trees, if you like.  Sometimes I use daisy sprinkles for stuff like that.

Spritz Butter Cookies with FREE Printable Recipe at RoamingRosie.com

When you cook the spritz with cherries on them, you’ll notice a slight darkening of the dough around the cherry.

That’s from the cherry juice.

It’s part of what makes those particular cookies so good, but it also will make them soft.

This is awesome if you like soft cookies – but you need to keep it in mind.  These cookies get REALLY soft over time, so if you’re planning to serve them more than a couple of days past making them, then go ahead and freeze them the day you make them.  Then pull them out the day you’re going to serve them.  I also store these cookies separate from the other spritz that don’t have cherries.

Oh – and below you can see most of what I made out of two batches of the recipe.

I also made some dog-shaped cookies out of the plain {non-dyed} dough.  My girls love these.  :)

Spritz Butter Cookies with FREE Printable Recipe at RoamingRosie.com

Spritz Butter Cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Cream together butter and sugar with a mixer. Blend in egg and vanilla. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add to butter mixture.

Put dough into a cookie press and follow manufacturer’s directions for making cookies. Press the cookies out onto ungreased cookie sheets. Decorate with sprinkles or cherries, if desired.

Bake for 6 to 8 minutes or until just starting to brown on the edges.

Transfer cookies to wire racks and cool completely. Store covered. Cookies can be sprinkled with powdered sugar just before serving, if desired.

[Color Option: mix gel or liquid food coloring into the batter for colored cookies. You can do this by adding the color to the butter mixture before adding the flour, or, if you only want to color a portion of the dough, by massaging it into the finished dough.]

**********

And click here to print the free PDF version of the recipe:  Spritz Butter Cookies

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Red & White Chevron Monogrammed Christmas Decorations

Red and White Chevron Monogrammed Christmas Decor

I’ve got holidays on the mind.  We’ve been doing tons of Halloween and Thanksgiving projects, but I’m always thinking ahead to Christmas… even tho it’s not quite Halloween yet.

It’s my favorite time of year.  :)

And with Christmas on my mind, some of the newest products I’ve made for my Joyful Expressions store include these red and white chevron monogrammed Christmas decorations.

The Red & White Chevron Monogram Tree Skirt is 44 inches in diameter and available in brushed polyester, faux linen, or coral fleece.

The Red & White Chevron Monogram Christmas Stocking are available in the same fabrics as the skirt, with your choice of sizes:  9 x 16 inches or 12 x 20 inches.

The Red & White Chevron Monogrammed Pillow come in polyester or cotton, and the sizes range from 16 inch or 20 inch square to a 13 x 21 inch lumbar pillow.

The Red & White Chevron Monogram Dated Photo Ornament has a monogram and personalization on the front, that includes the year, and a photo on the back.

The Red & White Chevron Monogram Ornament is about 2 x 2.5 inches and can be plated in either silver or gold.

Plus, they’re also available in silver:

Silver and White Chevron Monogrammed Christmas Decor

 

The links for the silver and white decorations are

Silver & White Chevron Monogram Tree Skirt

Silver & White Chevron Monogram Christmas Stocking

Silver & White Chevron Monogrammed Pillow

Silver & White Chevron Monogram Dated Photo Ornament

Silver & White Chevron Monogram Ornament

What colors are you decorating with this year?  Do you stick with the traditional reds and greens, or do you have a different favorite?

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Red Velvet Jelly Bean Cupcakes for Valentine’s Day

Red Velvet Jelly Bean Cupcakes for Valentine's Day

Okay, technically we made mini red velvet cupcakes for Grandma’s birthday.

And, as my daughter and I were making the cream cheese icing, Grandma happened to mention something about the jelly beans that she received as a birthday present and how neat they would look on the cupcakes.

Sweet!

So I picked out just the red, pink, and white ones to match the red velvet and topped the mini cupcakes with 5 jelly beans in a circle that kinda looked like a flower.

And the colors just so happened to go with a Valentine’s Day theme.  So we froze some.

Totally ready for Valentine’s Day now!

Dessert=solved.

Lol:  right… as if I’m not going to have the urge to bake cookies and brownies and drape everything in varying layers of chocolate and sugar and pink and red sprinkles come mid-February.  Sure.

Maybe I should just raid the freezer now …

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Nevermore

Nevermore

This polyvore creation indulged my darker side.  My Gothic tendencies.  My love of all things Poe.

There are a few tongue-in-cheek references to Mr. Poe, obviously, but it was largely an experiment with textures and patterns.

Looking at this, however, is dangerous.  It makes me want to run out and adopt a black cat.  And name her Cattarina.

Sigh… I miss having a feline sidekick in my life.