Dr. Dickson, MOM Magazine's Healthy MOM, shares this great NPR
story on vaccinations. If you wonder how vaccines really work,
check out this article.
Vaccines For Our Aging Immune Systems
Thanks for sharing, Dr. Dickson!
Mia started planning her "Dora the Explorer" party to celebrate
her 4th birthday a few days after her 3rd birthday party. We
planned a big outdoor party, but at the last minute had to switch
to indoors due to rain.
We made an "adventure" the kids had to go on to find the
party (through the dark cave, through lollipop field, and finally
to treasure island)
We kept the decorations and food bright and colorful "Dora"
colors. We made chocolate dipped pretzel rods with colorful
We also made flowers and stuck little Dora character punchouts
in the middle, then taped them to tooth picks for the cupcake
Our Swiper the Fox was the ingenious creation by my husband. He
put a picture of Swiper on an overhead projector, and traced it
onto a piece of cardboard, then colored it in.
We filled a round jello mold with water and fruit slices and
froze it for the ice ring.
We made a colorful bunting with fabric scraps to hang up - a
tutorial can be found in the Feb/Mar issue of MOM Magazine.
Dollar store telescopes made perfect favors and decorations!
by Krista Klinkhammer
A birthday without Wacky Cake is just another ordinary day. This
is an old family recipe, and I've requested Wacky Cake on my
special day for as long as I can remember. For my aunt's birthday
this year, we had a virtual birthday party for her since she lives
in Massachusetts. I videotaped my kids making this cake for her-I
measured out the ingredients and let the kids go at it while I sat
back and captured every lick of the spoon in between every stir.
After it was done baking, we sang happy birthday, sliced the cake
and ate it in honor of Auntie Lynn. We then burned all the footage
to a DVD and sent it to her. It was hilarious…or should I say
Directions: Place all dry ingredients in sifter - directly into
ungreased 8x8 pan. Make 3 holes in mix. Pour oil in one hole,
vinegar in 2nd hole and vanilla in 3rd hole. Pour cold water over
all and stir with fork until evenly blended. Bake at 350 degrees
for 35 to 40 minutes. Invert to cool and remove from pan. Or frost
it right in the pan. (That's what I do.)
Vanilla butter frosting
Directions: Blend butter and sugar, stir in vanilla and milk;
beat until frosting is smooth and of spreading consistency.
We had a blast at Mason's seventh birthday party! Golf City 9-hole Miniature Golf in Corvallis
was the perfect place for a birthday party.
Bright colors, green grass and sunshine. And Danielle Anthony Photography captured every
silly smile. The ups, the downs. The ins, the outs - literally.
We played a mean game of miniature golf. The kids were at ease
and just had fun, from toddler-age to tweeners. And so did the
adults (might be the pub right next door that kept aunts and uncles
in such a good mood!)
Golf City Pub made a platter of sliders and
hot dogs, with a side of ketchup, mustard and lots of pickles - the
Birthday Boy's favorites.
We topped it off with the most amazing cupcakes from Rocket Queen
Cupcakes. The kids loved the chocolate cakes, each with a golf
ball lying in the green of frosted grass. Parents were dying over
the "Smore of this!" cupcakes - indescribable. You'll just have to
try them for yourself.
Mini-golf was just a great way to celebrate a birthday party.
Check out your lcoal miniature golf course for more ideas.
Mid-Valley = Golf City in Corvallis
Eugene = Putter's Pizza on Hwy 99
Make decadent chocolates for your special valentine, and for yourself. Create simple, elegant balls or prepare fun shapes in chocolate molds. You can find molds for shapes like hearts and kisses at the local craft store. I'm not patient enough to wait, so I roll the filling into balls, coat in chocolate and then pop in the freezer to harden quickly.
1 cup coconut
1/2 cup light syrup
Mix coconut and syrup until coated.
Form into balls, dip in melted chocolate and set until hardened.
Peanut butter balls
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup Ritz crackers, crumbled
1 cup powdered sugar
Use a rolling pin to crumble crackers in the sleeve. Mix with peanut butter and sugar. Form into balls, dip in melted chocolate and set until hardened.
This is the closest combination I’ve found to resemble Reeses brand candies. The crackers give the filling a bit of unexpected crunch that is addicting. I recommend refrigerating the filling until firm, making it easy to form into balls and dip. Better make a double batch - they don't last long!
MOM Magazine, January/February 2009.
After great reviews from readers, we're sharing these recipes online too!
We're working on the Feb/Mar 2010 issue = Birthday Party
For those of us busy moms with no time to make cakes, I stumbled
upon the greatest bakery EVER in Albany. She made a cake that
looked exactly like this one (I took her the photo) and it was
amazing! Check out Sweet Things Bakery for their cakes, cupcakes
In the meantime, need more ideas from you to finish up the cake
section for the magazine. A while back we asked MOM Blog readers,
"Do you make your own birthday cakes?" Here's what some of them had
to say. Add your own note in the comments section
raeann--I used to make my own b-day cakes.
Now Dairy Queen makes them for me. She rocks!
madisynlynae0--YES! My hubby and I
make them together. The biggest hit so far has been our castle
cakes. My daughter requests this every year. So far we've done it
momofEs--Yes I do, I figure it's my
one time a year to make something special and different, especially
now that my oldest can give me input. I like being creative.
my favorite is cupcakes made into a cake! (last year it was a big
flower) Easy to hand out and fun to frost with my daughter. (and to
eat of course!!)
Half the time I make them and about half I buy them! Costco,
Basket and Robbins, or New Morning Bakery.
do! In fact, my son is turning two next week and
is totally into trains. I got a train cake mold (the one from
Willams Sonoma, have you seen it?) and can't wait to make
have done both~
Sometimes depending on how much time I have. I often add toys
to the top of home made or store bought cakes.
course, can't decide a favorite between a train with 10 cars or the
pile of "dirt" with bugs, etc. crawling on it!!!
oddbirdd-- My twin girls are only 10
weeks old so no cake for them yet! My mom always made our cakes
growing up and I plan to make b-day cakes for my girls too!
I guess I should say I have made the cakes and I have bought
them too. Making them every year would be giving me too much
cream cakes are the only way to go.
Kassie-- I have
tried and failed at many cakes. They all look better in my head
than in reality. My youngest turns three on Sunday, and Costco will
do the baking.
laninamialegria-- Not always but when
I make them I try to do my own creations with m & m's, little
kisses, white chocolate figures or lollipops.
adc397-- My mom has
a great recipe for an ice cream cake that my son just loves!
latest for me is doing the Cold Stone Creamery cakes! Like them
better than DQ…or i sometimes go with homemade Cupcakes(with
cherries in the middle of course)
Yes I do make my own birthday cakes, sometimes my cake making
mom makes them for us, and my sister has even made a cake for our
family birthday parties….this last party we had it at the bowling
alley and I made bowling pin cupcakes and bowling ball
sabrina-- I usually make the birthday
dhoover-- I have
made birthday cakes since I was 9 years old, I am now 50. I just
have always liked making cakes.
have 10 kids and 1 grandson. We have nearly one birthday a month so
sometimes I will make them, sometimes my mother will make them,
sometimes my 2nd & 3rd oldest will make cakes….but lately most
often it seems that we have been SOOO busy with sports that we have
just been buying them from Costco and adding out own special
touches to them! We also do those nice little cupcake cakes from
Wal-Mart. They are adorable! My answer would be a bit of both
depending on how busy with sports, etc., we are!
kids love homemade cupcakes. Brownies are also a big hit. I enjoy
baking for them and with them so it is always a treat.
you kidding me? What Mom has that kind of time? I don't! Although I
do seem to have the hour or so to get in the car, go to the store,
reserve the right cupcake/cakes, drive home, go back to the store
on the birthday party day to pick up the cupcakes/cake, drive home,
etc….LOL…PERHAPS I do have the time… Although, it doesn't help that
I am not very creative, either!
make them sometimes, or Dairy Queen makes them. We really like
those ice cream cakes. This year my 14 year old son wanted a
homemade cake…so that's what we had!! :o)
jbrobidart-- When my oldest was very young I would buy
the Wilton character cake pans like bunnies, Big Bird and the very
favorite was a bear pan that was sitting upright and you baked the
cake upside down in the oven. Then, you would take the pan off (it
was in two peices and it had clamps to hold it together while
baking) and sit it up and decorate it. If you were having a baby
shower, you could cut the ears off and decorate the face and skin
color like a baby. We loved that cake pan!! I did this until my
youngest of four was born and I didn't have time to cook a cake.
Walmart Bakereis are wonderful things!!
MOM Magazine reader Karen Mockler recently started her
almost-3-year-old son, Shane, in Lil' Kickers at Corvallis Sports
Park. According to Karen, Shane just ran and ran, and had an
absolute blast. Karen also added,"The coach was awesome! And I really
was impressed by the way the class was set up. He incorporated a
lot of learning through very creative ways."
Looking for something to do with your child this winter? The
Corvallis Sports Park Winter 2 session starts February 2nd-6th.
Parents can sign up anytime before that for kids ages 18 months -
12 years old. Classes are open enrollment and the session is only 9
weeks long for parents' convenience. Learn more here!
The Timber Ridge Elementary 4th grade music class put on quite a rocking concert. Our 9-year-old daughter has been raving about the music teacher, Mr. Von. I don't know about you, but our 4th grade music class involved sticks and recorders and things that really didn't inspire us. We wanted to listen to Another One Bites the Dust (Queen) and I Love Rock and Roll (Joan Jet). The only thing biting the dust was our enthusiasm for music.
Mr. Von, however, is a whole other story. Not only are these kids excited to learn about music, they split into rock bands and performed in front of about 50 people. Their excitement, knowledge and confidence was so inspiring! Our daughter had a blast performing Smoke on the Water with her band, The Crazy Tacos. And then she taught her dad how to play it with her.
If music inspires the little rock star in your family, check out our amazing Gift Giveaway. The Grand Prize is a Rock Candy Princess Electric Guitar. And don't miss this issue of MOM Magazine, featuring pop star Savannah and her mom Lisa Outen. Savannah is joining us for a live meet and greet - and you're invited! See here for details.
Rock on MOM! (Click on these links.)
- Enter to win the guitar.
- Meet Savannah in person.
- Read about Savannah.
We headed out to our favorite place to get a Christmas tree yesterday - Sunrise Tree Farm. This place is incredible - it's in the beautiful King's Valley, and the entire experience from start to finish was awesome.
When you first get there, a staff member dressed in yellow greets you and tells you about the different trees and how the process works. They give you a map of the different types of trees and the different sizes, and when you decide what kind/size you want, they take you on a sleigh ride to that area.
It didn't take us very long to find our tree, which was good because that left plenty of time for making ornaments and petting the goats and bunnies.They shake the tree, and then net it and you are all set to take your tree home! Such a fun experience - I'm happy to be featuring Sunrise Tree Farm in the Dec/Jan issue of MOM Magazine.
In addition to our tree hunt fun, you can read about the Fruit Loop garland we made for our tree here: http://klinkthink.blogspot.com/2009/12/christmas-prep.html
Here are some great recipes from the Holiday issue of MOM Magazine. Share your favorites with us in the comments section and you might just be featured in MOM Magazine! My favorite recipe is the date pinwheels. My mom makes them every year and they don't last long.
Russian Tea Cakes
1 cup butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
6 Tbsp. confectioners’ sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar for decoration
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a medium bowl, cream butter and vanilla until smooth. Combine the 6 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar and flour; stir into the butter mixture until just blended. Mix in the chopped walnuts. Roll dough into 1 inch balls, and place them 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes in the preheated oven. When cool, roll in remaining confectioners’ sugar. I also like to roll mine in the sugar a second time.
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup white sugar
3 Tbsp. corn syrup
1/2 cup rum
2 1/2 cups crushed vanilla wafers
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
Place chocolate chips into a microwave-safe medium bowl. Heat in the microwave for 1 minute, stir and then continue to heat at 20 second intervals, stirring between each, until melted and smooth. Stir in sugar and corn syrup. Blend in rum. Add crushed vanilla wafers and chopped nuts. Mix until evenly distributed. Cover and refrigerate until firm. Roll the chilled chocolate mixture into bite-size balls. Roll balls in a mixture of ground nuts and confectioner’s sugar, or just plain confectioner’s sugar. Store in a covered container for a week before serving to blend the flavors.
Date Pinwheel Cookies
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. soda
2 cups flour
Mix all ingredients well. Roll out 1/4 inch thick.
1/2 pound chopped dates
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts
Cook filling into paste and cool. Spread filling onto dough. Roll dough into long roll. Wrap up and refrigerate. Grease cookie sheet (even non-stick sheet pan). Slice pinwheels and bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Put on waxed paper to cool.
Christmas Candy Cane Cookies
1 cup butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
Red paste food coloring
1 candy cane, crushed
2 Tbsp. sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream together the butter and powdered sugar. Add the egg and the extracts. Combine dry ingredients and add to the butter mixture. Divide the dough in half. Add the food coloring to one half and mix well. Roll small pieces of dough (both colors) into 4-inch ropes. Place two strips—one red, one white—side by side; press them together lightly and twist. Place them on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and gently bend them into candy canes. Moisten each cookie with a touch of water and sprinkle with a mixture of crushed candy cane and sugar. Bake until dry looking, about 9-10 minutes. Cool on rack.
Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookies
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
16 oz. mini pretzels, salted (coarsely chop 1 cup for the dough; keep the rest whole)
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
16 oz. milk or dark chocolate
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With a mixer, cream together the butter, peanut butter and both sugars for approximately 1-2 minutes, scraping down the bowl halfway through. Add the egg and vanilla, mix until blended, and scrape the bowl again. Don’t over-mix! Combine the salt, flour, baking soda, and baking powder and add to the batter. Mix on low until just combined. Add the chopped pretzels and mix until just blended. Scoop out 2-inch balls of dough and drop on greased sheet pans. Press one whole pretzel into the center of each ball to flatten. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown. Cool. Melt chocolate in a double boiler. Dip the bottoms of the cooled cookies in the chocolate. Place the cookies upside-down on a parchment-lined tray. When dry, flip the cookies back over and sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar.
Share your favorite recipes in the comments section below. You might just be featured in MOM Magazine!
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