October is here already — wow! — and this pandemic is still a thing that we have to make allowances for in our daily lives. The safety of ourselves and our families is a consideration for any type of activity planning, and Halloween is fast approaching. We need to keep kids safe, but their social and emotional wellness can also be affected by being unable able to participate in festivities that create so much happiness and sense of connection.
How can we celebrate Halloween in the Covid life, you may ask? While door-to-do trick or treating may be off the table, we have a few suggestions for keeping the Halloween spirit alive. Parenting expert, guidance counselor, licensed educational psychologist, and board-certified behavior analyst, Reena B. Patel (LEP, BCBA) has compiled a list of practical tips addressing fun and creative ways to accommodate a traditional Halloween during this pandemic. Let’s get to it!
Everyone probably has a memory of brownies baked at home: helping Mom with the mixing and getting to lick the spoon, then enjoying the tempting chocolate aroma filling the kitchen as they baked, waiting impatiently for them to be done and – at last – biting into that still warm chewy chocolate brownie. Ahh, you know you can almost taste them now.
If you enjoy eating fresh baked goods but really need to keep the bake-at-home preparation simple, then you are going to love Krusteaz brand Gluten Free Double Chocolate Brownie Mix, which will be in stores in late August/ early September! Krusteaz sent us over a box for review and I baked them this past weekend. It was so easy and the results were beyond my expectations.
This is all you will need to have on hand:
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup water
The instructions are so simple a child could do it. Seriously, it is impossible to mess it up.
Baking times suggest 48 – 52 minutes for a metal pan and five minutes longer for a glass pan. My oven is ancient and runs a little hot, so I opted for 48 minutes and they still got a little “brown” around the edges. I just cut that part off. No harm, no foul.
Take a look at the finished product: moist, chewy, and super chocolaty with tons of real chocolate chips in the mix! You would never know this is a Gluten Free Brownie because it lacks for nothing with regard to taste and texture. With Krusteaz you can have delicious home-baked Brownies in about an hour.
For more information on Krusteaz Baking Mixes and to find a store near you that sells them, visit Krusteaz Dot Com.
Do you like cake? I sure do. Just recently, I was introduced to two fantastic new cake mixes from Duncan Hines® – a brand you know and trust – Blue Velvet and Pink Velvet, both of which I had the opportunity taste at Winter Food Fete. These mixes really elevate the quality of desserts that you can make conveniently at home.
Pink Velvet Cake (With Cake Balls) is Introduced at Winter Food Fete in February 2014
Just in time for Easter, Duncan Hines® has introduced Limited Edition Spring Velvets™ Cake Mix as a part of their new velvets line; the first in the baking aisle to extend velvet cake beyond the traditional red velvet. As you can see by these beautiful and tempting photos, Spring Velvets™ provides a uniquely colorful way to brighten up any spring time occasion!
Duncan Hines® Spring Velvets™ Cake Mix will be available at limited retailers nationwide only until May 2014, and has a suggested retail price of $1.99. Check out these two recipes for inspiring, lovely and delicious cakes you can make in time for Easter!
You know how Cupcakes are so trending right now. Cupcake stores are popping up everywhere you look, just like Starbucks. I mean, they even have cupcake baking “Wars” on TV and everything. Cupcakes! If you are going to be baking any cupcakes of your own, or buying them in fancy cupcake stores but serving them in your home, you probably want a fancy plate for this. Here is one I really like.
Cupcake Stand Features:
Show off your cupcakes in style
Complete with dangling cupcake charms
Comes in decorative gift box
Size: 16″ x 5″
Also, you can put a full-size cake on it. Versatility! I sense that you are attracted to this Cupcake Stand. And guess what? You can own it for just $39.95. It is available at This Link right now!
When you’ve watched as many cake baking competition shows as I have, you know how hard it is to deliberately make a cake that looks like it’s falling apart, but really isn’t. Check out a screen grab from the original Disney film Sleeping Beauty and you can see that whoever made this cake did a pretty amazing job! Just look at those candles!