A Camping Re-Cap & Our Love for Homemade Pizza

This past weekend was our first camping trip with the kids (and with our family friends)! It was rainy and cold-ish (by our Houstonian standards), and one of those no-dry-clothes-left-for-the-kids-so-they-are-forced-to-wear-their-jammies-on-the-second-day kind of experiences. It was awesome!

The rain cleared on the second day and the kids were able to do some fishing.



We had s’mores. We slept in tents. The kids loved playing with their friends. So, a serious win, all around! (Yes, I’m intentionally forgetting the parts where I felt grumpy about the rain. Because the positive parts far outweigh those temporary discomforts. 😉)

For those of you from Houston, we went to Lake Livingston State Park (a mere hour’s drive North of the city). It was so easy to book a campsite online. The bathrooms were nicer than I expected. The park is beautiful and is a welcome change of scenery for us city-dwellers. We only stayed one night (and it was pouring rain the first day, so it was surely less crowded than it would otherwise have been). Our kids (newly-5 and newly-3) really enjoyed it. We hope to go again soon!

We came home with a craving for homemade pizza…Such a fun comfort food.

Here is one of our favorite pizza dough recipes.

From that recipe, we make four discs and freeze the unused discs for later use.

And, we haven’t done this yet, but apparently you can also go ahead and add the toppings, then par-bake and freeze a pizza for a super-speedy meal (a potentially healthier alternative to store-bought frozen pizzas).

pizza collage2This is the kids favorite version (sauce, cheese & tons of black olives). Sure, I try to sneak in healthier fare from time to time, but there’s a simple joy in letting them “decorate” the pizza how they like, even if that means using a mountain of olives (really, we’ve had some pizzas that literally had a mountain of olives on top…still good!). What are some of your family’s favorite pizza toppings? And, does anyone have a favorite Gluten-Free Pizza Dough recipe? We’d love to try that too!

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Scrumptious Scottish Scones | Kids in the Kitchen

Scones1Our daughter received a Princess Cookbook for Christmas the year before last and she loves it. She has been saying fairly consistently for a year now that she wants to be a Baker when she grows up (though every once in a while she wants to be a Mermaid or a Scientist or a Mommy instead of, or maybe in addition to, being a Baker – I’m not certain). Anyway, the Cookbook has been fun for her because the recipes are laid out in a very easy-to-read format. The ingredient lists are relatively short and basic as well. And her passion for helping out in the kitchen has certainly helped spark this little guy’s interest as well…

Untitled-1But, don’t let his sweet little face fool you…He’s mostly just hanging around to get first dibs on the scones. He’s smart like that…Untitled-2

These scones are called “Merida’s Scrumptious Scottish Scones” in the Disney Princess Cookbook (Merida is the Princess in the movie, “Brave”, in case you aren’t quite caught up to speed on all things “Princess”). And you know what? They are actually quite good…and simple, and kind of fool-proof. We’ve made three batches now, each time with the kids helping to pour and mix and roll and slice, meaning that things aren’t being done precisely each time, and yet they are consistently…well, kind of scrumptious.

Untitled-3Since I don’t feel right sharing a recipe from a cookbook, I’ll share this recipe I found online which is nearly identical. Our recipe called for brown sugar in place of white, and raisins in place of currants. But I’m certain this recipe would yield a very similar batch of scones.

I would love to get your suggestions or reviews of Cookbooks you like that are specifically geared towards children. Have any favorites of your own?

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nursing programOctober 3, 2015 - 12:38 am

So cute, thanks for sharing here.

Tammi AndrewsDecember 18, 2017 - 11:49 am

This is really cute and always surprised that how you manage cooking while kids are in the kitchen. I need you to please share college study tips with us. I can’t handle my kids like this as they are very naughty and second I am not that much expert to do two tasks at the same time. Cooking or handling the kids.

Chocolate Orange Avocado Pudding | Kids in the Kitchen

Our little guy had a tummy-bug recently and he had very little appetite as a result.

Now that he’s on the mend, I’m trying to get some healthy fats back into his diet.

Enter: “Chocolate Orange Avocado Pudding” (Recipe: www.fooddoodles.com .)

To me, this is like chocolate mousse, and reminds me of happy childhood memories (My Mom would make mousse in tall ice-cream parlor glasses and I loved the anticipation of waiting for it to set in the fridge!)…

Chocolate Avocado Mousse - web

I absolutely LOVE this recipe! We made it today. We make it often. It is SOOO good.

Here is the original recipe by Food Doodles.

Why We Love It: The kids can enjoy 1/2 an avocado in one child-size serving! This is great for our “picky eater” who doesn’t like avocados by themselves. I love that there are so many great health benefits in the avocado, orange juice, local honey, and even the cacao or cocoa powder too.

YUM! Do you have any other great avocado recipes for kids? We’d love to test out some new recipes!

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Heidi @ Food DoodlesJune 24, 2015 - 1:20 pm

Yum! Thanks so much for linking to me. Yours looks amazing, great shot. So glad you and your little enjoy it as much as we do! And glad he’s feeling better now too :)

A Mom’s Day Gift Your Preschooler Can Help Make

I saw a cute tutorial on Pinterest last week – I quickly glanced in our cabinets and realized we had all of the supplies on hand for this really sweet and simple Mother’s Day Gift (original directions HERE). This Homemade Citrus Sugar Scrub is the perfect Preschool DIY Gift! 

Sugar ScrubThe Sugar Scrub recipe calls for: 1.5C sugar, 1/4C olive oil, 5-6 drops essential oil, 4 (4oz) mason jars . (Note: We used Citrus essential oil, but I think Lavender would be fantastic too!)

Your child can help;

– measure the ingredients

– mix them up in a bowl

– scoop the ingredients into the mason jars

– print and punch out the awesome printable labels (available HERE)

– screw on the mason jar lids (We simply taped the labels to the circular lid and then screwed the ring on.)

Sugar Scrub2I love projects like this that the kids can take ownership of! What kid-made Mother’s Day Gifts are you planning to make this year? 

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wiltanFebruary 16, 2017 - 10:47 pm

beautiful post. Utilizing a little canvas from your neighborhood create store, have every tyke put a unique finger impression in a shading paint and afterward to the canvas. At that point, painstakingly transform each print into a heart. Ensure you date it, so years after the fact she can recollect how little those itty bitty fingers once were. cherish how simple this specialty is to make for children of each age and how it shows them the significance of reusing. Mother will never figure these wonderful and splendid blossoms are produced using tissue rolls!

At the Craft Table | Using Natural Indoor Light in a Tight Space

The other day the kids and I whipped up this super-simple dough recipe: 

1C inexpensive conditioner (use scented for added sensory fun) + 2.5C cornstarch

It was awesome because the three of us could mix it up in one bowl, with our hands, no heaps of dirty dishes required (though Little Brother did manage to get cornstarch all over the bottom of his feet and left little powdery footprints all around the house). We plan to do this again next week as a cupcake invitation to play activity, so stay tuned if  you’re interested!

The point of this post is to share a few thoughts on photographing the kids at their craft table in a tight space, with limited natural light. It was midday and the kids were at a table right next to a West-facing window. I turned off the overhead lights in order to have only one light source, the window….

Play Dough Table with Lighting DiagramIMG_0823-_1IMG_0824-_1Untitled-1

Having one light source from the side (rather than overhead) highlights the texture of the dough and the kids’ features, which I love. Our dining room table is located in the center of the room, further away from the window. So, we often use this small craft table, close to the window light. A small craft table makes for easier clean up too!

Do you love taking photos of your kids engaged in a craft activity? If so, do you ever turn off all indoor lights and take advantage of the natural window lighting instead? I think you’ll love it!

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KelleyMay 26, 2015 - 8:48 am

Love this, Jane! Here’s my question…when I try to just use a little natural light, my photos are blurry. Do you crank your ISO? Or use the white balance button? What tips do you have for settings? Beautiful photos by the way :)

adminMay 26, 2015 - 9:00 am

Hi Kelley,
How are you? Great question! I definitely crank my ISO up all the way when needed. I like the shutter speed to be no lower than 1/125, even in a quiet moment like this, because you never know when you’ll suddenly get an excited expression, etc. So, you could use manual or Av/A mode. I basically start with a wide aperture (small number) and see what shutter speed it gives me. If it is too slow, I keep upping my ISO. If you’re using just window light, I would keep it on AWB (unless you’re setting it manually with Kelvin or a grey card, etc). That’s my opinion anyway!
Let me know if this is useful?
Hope all is well!
All the Best,

KelleyMay 26, 2015 - 9:07 am

Thanks, Jane! I will play more this summer. During the academic year it is so hard to focus on anything other than school. Summer is about to begin for me, so once it does I will be having fun with my camera :) So much to learn! Hope you are doing well…and staying dry! So worried about everyone down there! xoxo