Welcome. This is where I share everything that we make and do so that you can do it, too! Each post in this section usually has a video that was made for it, as well. Just click in the post where you see the word “video” to check it out. Have fun & enjoy!
—Your New Friend, Gray
Recently, my new friend, Isabella, and I made double chocolate snowball cookies, which are inspired by Mexican Wedding Cookies and Russian Tea Cakes. We liked these easy-to-make cookies so much that we made them twice. Once for a holiday party and once for the picnic you see in this post. These yummy cookies are filled with chocolate chips and cocoa powder, and dusted with powdered sugar on top, giving them a “snowball” effect. Keep reading to find the recipe, created by the blogger of Crazy For Crust, and you’ll find the how-to video as well…make sure to check that out!
Spring has begun, and these lollipops are a celebration of the colorful season. Simple, pretty, and super fun, Jollypops are the perfect treats to make with friends! I first made these delicious pops with my pals Parker, Darcey, and Lou, who have all been in past Wondermint episodes. We made super colorful lollipops, snuck a few Jolly Ranchers while we worked away on creating our beautiful pop, and took some of the pictures you will see below. Parker & I have also made shamrocks made with melted Jolly Ranchers for St. Patrick’s Day (see photos at bottom of post). They were a big hit in our classroom! You can find out how to make your own Jollypops below. Have fun!
These magnets are super easy to make. Use scraps of thick art paper or magazine paper, cut to the size of glass stones or pebbles. Use Scotch scrapbooking glue to glue the paper to the pebble (place the glue on the side of the paper that you want to show up and through the glass pebble). Watch the HOW-TO VIDEO.READ MORE…
These wood blocks are fun and easy to make. All you need are some scrap pieces of wood. If you don’t have any lying around then you can buy some at the hardware store. They can even cut them to the size you want there. In this post you’ll see some blocks my friend, Darcey, and I made to decorate our rooms. And, don’t forget to check out the How-To-Video.
All photos except the one of us together taken by Darcey and myself. READ MORE…
The rosemary & wood block make great party favors.
In my family, I’m the one in charge of making name cards (some people call them “name plates”) for dinner parties. This year, I went with some super easy, quick ideas. These are great for Thanksgiving, winter holidays or even New Year’s Eve parties.
Family friends Su Sazama, co-founder of the modern design site fitzsu, and interior designer Tracy Sonka Stultz of Sonka Stultz Designs, stopped by to teach me and my friend Darcey how to create a modern Hot Cocoa Station for the holidays.
Excitement is in the air
Here’s what you’ll need: a heat-proof pitcher to hold the warm milk and a bowl for your cocoa powder (we used a coffee serving set made by Arne Jacobsen for Stelton). It’s nice to have fun mugs for your guests. We used Hakusan Fancy Tea Cups designed by Masahiro Mori, which are also made for the sight-impaired. Each cup has a unique shape which makes it easy to recognize by touch and easy to grip. These tea cups are also made of thin porcelain, which is a common practice in Japan, and acts as a safety device. If the cup is too hot to pick up then the liquid inside is too hot for delicate lips to drink.
We used organic Silly Cow cocoa powder made in Vermont, warm organic milk and almond milk, plus these ingredients to flavor: cinnamon sticks, crushed cardamom, homemade peppermint simple syrup, fresh whipped cream and marshmallows (we used an adorable slanted John Pawson bowl to hold our marshmallows).
Flavoring with homemade peppermint simple syrup
#spoonies not #selfies
These whimsical heart-shaped spoons were designed by Miriam Mirri for Alessi. They are sure to put a smile on your friends’ faces and, as you can see, they also make great photo opps, too.
If you have not realized this already, I am a big fan of all things French and I am especially fond of French desserts. This Pear Clafouti is one of my favorite non-chocolate desserts and I love to make it for holidays. Today, my friend Tahlia came over to help me and she ended up loving it, too. The recipe is a classic one from Ina Garten, also known as The Barefoot Contessa. I just happen to change up a few things in the recipe: I reduce the amount of sugar she uses; sprinkle a pinch or two of crushed up cardamom in the batter because that flavor goes so well with pear; and I put an extra teaspoon of vanilla extract instead of the pear brandy she recommends because we don’t usually have pear brandy on hand!
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar 3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour (substitute Pamela’s gluten-free flour if you like) 1 1/2 cups heavy organic cream 3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (1 to 2 lemons) (remember that is just the rind of the lemon) 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 2 to 3 firm but ripe Bartlett pears Confectioners’ (that means “powdered”) sugar
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Butter a 10 x 3 x 1 1/2-inch round baking dish and sprinkle the bottom and sides with 1 tablespoon of the granulated sugar. We have also made this in a cast iron pan and it comes out just as well.
Beat the eggs and the 1/4 cup of granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. On low speed, mix in the flour, cream, vanilla extract, lemon zest, salt. Set aside for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, peel, quarter, core, and slice the pears. Arrange the slices in a single layer, slightly fanned out, in the baking dish.
Pour the batter over the pears and bake until the top is golden brown and the custard is firm, 35 to 40 minutes. Garnish with berries or edible flowers.
Serve warm or at room temperature, sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar.
There are so many neat things to do at LACMA (LA County Museum of Art) that sometimes when we visit we don’t even step inside any of the galleries to see the art. Here are just a few of the free things we love to do there with good friends like Lou in the photos below.
ONE Explore the tar pits. Nowadays you can even see tar bubbling up around the park in unexpected places and some days you can watch archaeologists and scientists extract and clean fossils.
Sometimes you can watch archaeologists removing fossils from the tar!
TWO Interact with the outdoor exhibits, like the ones below!
“Penetrable”, an art installation by Patricia Phelps de Cisneros.
“Urban Light” installation by artist Chris Burden is made up of 202 vintage street lamps
FOUR Craft. Sunday Family Art Days. Volunteer artists teach neat cultural crafts related to the museum art collection. They have crafts for toddlers and older kids.
FIVE Paint. The Boone Kids Gallery in the museum has a free Water Color Studio. This is a quiet room where the museum staff provides water colors, brushes and paper and some “inspirational piece of the day”. You and your friends can paint away. It is super relaxing!
SIX Listen to music. Most of the year there are free jazz concerts on Friday nights, Latin music on Saturday and classical on Sunday. For the Friday concerts, we picnic on the lawn with friends. Sometimes it gets very busy so plan ahead!
SEVEN And, so much more! Climbing trees and rolling down the grassy hillside in the park are always fun activities.
It’s nice to just stroll around with a friend
If you actually go into the museum itself you’ll find some amazing artwork and kids can apply on the spot to get a free NexGen pass which gets them and an adult in for free. Or, you can visit the second Tuesday of every month and on Federal holidays for free. Make sure you check the museum calendar before you visit at www.Lacma.com (the museum is always closed Wednesdays). Do you have a favorite museum in your city? We’d love to hear about it. And, don’t forget to follow us on facebook for fun giveaways, sneak peeks and exclusive content.
Lemon cake decorated with powdered sugar & fresh mint & lavender
In our family, recipes are precious heirlooms that are passed down from generation to generation. My mom also takes notes in our family cookbooks—the date a recipe was made, who we made it for, a little something about the memory. She says that one day I’ll inherit the cookbooks and I can look back and see the things she or my dad made me on my first playdate, on my birthdays or on other holidays.
Sometimes, we are given recipes by other people or we find recipes that we add to a binder of collected recipes that we love. Today’s recipe was given to us by my 88 year old neighbor Harriet Sacks. She’s been making this old-fashioned lemon cake for decades and she says it’s also known as East 62nd Street Lemon Cake and that famous hostesses often served it. We make it if we are not in the mood for chocolate (which is rare!). According to my mom’s notes on the recipe, I first helped make this when I was 16 months old. Her note to me says:
“You sifted and worked the mixer with great enthusiasm and focus. September 1, 2006.” READ MORE…
It’s amazing what kids, big or small, can accomplish. Annie B. is a perfect example of this. I was introduced to Annie by my friends Jess & Sean, fellow animal lovers and co-founders of Kind Traveler. In 2012, after rescuing her dog Teddy from a kill shelter and discovering he suffered from Heartworm disease, Annie (then age 13) was inspired to create her own nonprofit, Wags 4 Hope. Since then she has raised almost $40,000 for animal shelters across the country to help fight Heartworm disease, which is spread through mosquito bites and can be fatal. One of the ways she raises money is to paint portraits of dogs for people. Scroll down to see some great examples.
Recently, Annie was featured on ABC News & Good Morning America because she is fighting to pass HB-5422, a bill addressing awareness of heartworm disease, including trying to add that dogs receive Heartworm prevention medication with their dog licenses. READ MORE…
Every month we send kids a free newsletter which includes a note from our kid host, Gray, and delicious recipes, fun crafts, book reviews or other interesting things kids would appreciate. All you have to do is sign-up. We promise to never send any ads or spam.
Do you like ice cream sandwiches? If so, then you’ll probably like these. My friend, Parker, and I made these after seeing a recipe on a Honey Maid graham cracker box. They’re healthier than traditional ice cream sandwiches, but taste just as good. READ MORE…
Q & A WITH THE AUTHOR OF ROSIE REVERE, ENGINEER & IGGY PECK, ARCHITECT
My friends Archer (3rd grader) and Fable (kindergartener) and I interviewed Andrea Beaty, one of our favorite kid book authors. Below, you’ll find our interview plus a fun bonus—she shares some hidden secrets about the illustrations in the book Rosie Revere, Engineer.
Dunkable Tea Bag Cookies. What better cookies to serve with tea? I made these with my mom to prepare for a tea with my friend, Cari. Challenge level? This project is definitely more challenging than most of our recipes. You’ll want some help and it takes some patience.
We used Trader Joe’s Sugar Cookie Workshop Mix. Make the cookie dough batter according to the box directions. If you do not have a Trader Joe’s you can use any sugar cookie dough recipe.
Every year, I invite friends who are part Irish over to make a delicious recipe or craft inspired by Ireland to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Last year, my friends Parker, Roman, Finn, Josy, and Flora came over and we made yummy Sultana (*Sultana means golden raisins in Gaelic) scones and mint and lavender soap for our third grade class, plus we each read a limerick. Here is the scone recipe; it’s from my favorite Irish cookbook, THE COUNTRY COOKING OF IRELAND by Colman Andrews. This book also has amazing bread and stew and salmon recipes!
My mom cut out this recipe in 2007, when I was two years old, from Real Simple Magazine. We finally tried it and discovered that this is a super yummy and very easy recipe for kids to make and it only takes about 10 minutes to prep and 10 minutes to cook! Have fun! (See the recipe below) READ MORE…
Challenge Level: Easy
Did you know that smart phone boxes can waste up to 1 billion square feet of landfill (landfill is a section of earth that has been reserved for trash) every year? But they don’t have to. If everyone reused their boxes, they could help avoid taking up landfill and reduce waste. Here’s how I reused a few iPhone boxes I collected from family and friends. When I take something ordinary and recycle it into something cooler, I call it “upcycling”. Make sure you check out my how-to video, too. And, please share this post or video to encourage others to reuse boxes and packaging.
We were inspired to make these confetti push-pops after seeing Thimble Press’s version on DesignLoveFest.com. They’re actually super easy and simple to make and customize and, as you can see from the VIDEO & photos, they are super fun to use. For this craft, friends and 5th graders, Airis & Francesca, came over to help and Parker (4th grade) directed the episode.
The holidays are the perfect time to make a delicious and pretty drink such as a Guava Berry Mocktail. Mocktails are like the colorful cocktails that adults drink, but with no alcohol (of course!). And, by the way, the cute song, Pretty Girl In The Ring, in my HOW-TO VIDEO is by my friend, Alina Celeste. Find the information for her Kids’ CD on iTunes at the end of this post. Enjoy! READ MORE…
I made these with my friend, Parker (who you’ve seen a lot on Wondermint) and my friend Fiona (this is her first time on Wondermint). I’ve been friends with Fiona since we were 18 months old when we took a drumming class with our dads and an art class with our moms. Now, Fiona and I go to the same school and are in the same class. She is really amazing at soccer and she just co-founded a club at our school with our friend, Isabel. The club is called CAMAC (Club Against Marine Animal Cruelty) and I am the Public Relations Officer/Journalist. One day I’ll write a post about CAMAC. Anyways,for this craft, we decided to create OWLS using recycled paper. Hope you enjoy it!