Thursday, September 1, 2011

Back to snack ... and play, too

Well, we survived Hurricane Irene (did you see Hayden's pre-hurricane serenade? Britney Spears won a VMA this weekend for that song, so Hayden must have been on to something), but due to power outages and such, schools in our area have been closed for the past three days (they just started last week, too; I didn't get to meet his teacher though, as the earthquake happened during the meet-and-greet).

Anyway, Jacob went back to school again today, and we already miss him. Hayden and I decided to surprise him with some creative after-school snacks, inspired by some raw vegan treats he made with me when he was much younger.

You may remember when Jacob and I posted about our raw vegan edible play dough on this site a few years ago (wasn't he so cute? I still think he is). It was made out of various dried fruit and nuts, which I combined into a dough using my old school mini food processor. We had so much fun making shapes and molding color-blocked treats that I thought Hayden would enjoy it, as well (especially if she knew she was making them for her big brother).

To save time (and money, as we already had a stash of these pre-made bars on-hand, leftover from our trip), we decided to rip open some Larabars (a popular snack in this house; don't forget to enter Chocolate-Covered Katie's Larabar giveaway) and use them to play with.

Unfortunately, the colors aren't quite as vibrant/distinct as when I made my own play dough (goji berries, golden raisins, dried dragon fruit, etc., really made my colors pop), and the texture could have been smoother. However, we still had a good time molding, shaping, flattening and cutting them.

We made the majority of our creations prior to turning on the camera (yes, I turned it on and off myself, as my usual videographer was at school), so Hayden was just ready to eat them by that point (what else is new?). Here's a look at some of what we made:

Hayden got a Hello Kitty Cupcake play dough set for her birthday, so of course, we had to utilize it to make some edible creations (yes, we thoroughly cleaned everything first).

We stuck some dried cranberries in the Hello Kitty face molds, where the bow would go. Then, we kneaded up some Larabars and pressed them in place. If you look closely, you may be able to identify the familiar feline above.

We also formed some mini cupcakes with the molds, as you can see a bit more clearly. The first one has a banana bread Larabar rectangular base with a fresh banana swirl (the rectangle cupcake mold had a swirl, as it's topper, which we pressed the fresh banana into) and a banana chip on top.

Behind it is a blueberry muffin Larabar, molded into a more traditional round cupcake. It has a fresh blueberry and pistachio garnish to add some interest (It helps to have mommy involved in the process; I had fun playing, too).

Here's a closer look at the blueberry cupcake. I think it's my favorite :-)

It's a good thing that I snapped these pics before the video. As soon as the camera went off, Hayden ate all the garnishes and moved right on to the duck we made onscreen.

She played with it first, running around with it and saying, "quack, quack, quack," although sometimes it sounds a little like a word that starts with "cr" and ends with an "app"(minus the extra "p," so not to be confused with those apps on your phone; have you checked out Kristen's food combining one?).

Here's her untouched duck.

Now she's got a grip on it.

Before I knew it, it was gone, and she was back to making more creations. Although I had already cleaned up our "play dough," she found some snacks and used her imagination :-)