June 15, 2016

Mandy Loves Minted!

Hi again! It’s me, Mandy from Mandy’s Meals and More. I’ve been in hiding for a couple months but I’ve emerged.

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Not sure if you are aware but in Canada we are lucky enough to have a year of maternity leave. Sadly that time is coming to an end for me.

Dylan my daughter is headed to day care in August so when I got the email informing me that Minted is now doing gorgeous name labels for clothes, lunch boxes, etc.. I was beyond stoked!

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As with all categories on minted, there are millions of options, sizes, colors and shapes. And the quality is unreal.

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I am seriously planning on sticking these things on everything!

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As sad as I am for this amazing year to ‎come to a close, I am so grateful to spend each day watching Dylan grow into the amazing tiny human she has become.

xx, Mandy
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June 6, 2016

DIY with LMP: Memories with DAD

Father’s Day will be here before you know it, and let’s be honest here, Dads can be really hard to shop for. This year, instead of adding the 499th tie to Dad’s collection, we decided to do something that will really make him smile. And what can make a dad smile more than a glass of whiskey, some sugared donuts, and pictures of his favorite people ever (his kids, DUH).

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We’re going to show you just how easy it is to make this perfect centerpiece for your Father’s Day celebrations. The supplies are simple:

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-Cardboard letters from Michael’s or another craft store (we chose to write DAD, but his name could be just as fun!)

-Gold (or color of your choice) spray paint

-Pictures printed on regular paper

-Mod podge

-Foam paint brushes

-The Simply Green + Blue Party in a Box!

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1. Start by covering the plain cardboard letters with your spray paint. This will give the empty spaces some extra color.

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2. Print your favorite photos of Dad, the kids and your family on regular printer paper, and cut down to whatever size you would like. Keep in mind to size them small enough so they will be visible on the surface area of your letters.

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3. Get out that Mod Podge! Use the foam brushes to paste the photos onto the letters. It will appear white at first, but it will dry perfectly clear!

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4. Cover the letters as much as you can. Remember to really let that Mod Podge soak through the paper so the edges don’t come off once they’re pasted down.

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5. Voila. You’re ready to set the table!

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We love how the letters work as a centerpiece, and we know he will too! Now all you need are some donuts….

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That’s better.

Celebrate Dad this year, and give him all the memories he deserves!

 

xx, Maggie
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  1. party props online at MPS

    Thanks for sharing this info!

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May 30, 2016

DIY with LMP: Fruity Ice Cubes

It’s finally the season of sunny weather and fruity drinks and we’re ready to make the most of it. When it comes to beverage choices at all your summer gatherings, it’s super important to keep every guest satisfied with multiple options. We always seem to go overboard on pretty cocktail and wine options, but end up totally forgetting about boring, old water. Here at LMP, we’ve decided to find a way to make sure our pitcher of water is beautiful and appealing to our guests so we can stay hydrated in the hot sunshine.

supplies

You will need:

  • ice tray(s)
  • fruits of choice based on taste/color
  • water

Yeah, that’s really it. We promise, this is the easiest party trick you will ever find.

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Step 1: Make sure your fruit pieces fit into the ice tray spots. Cut them down, if you need to! Their beautiful color and flavor will still come through the same.

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Step 2: Pour water over the fruit, making sure to cover them entirely. We want the fruit to be completely engulfed by the ice.

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Step 3: FREEZE! See? We told you it would be that easy.

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Step 4: Admire these beautiful, frozen pieces of bliss.

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Step 5: Remove the cubes and prepare your pitcher for the table.

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Step 6: Fill your pitcher with water and top with your new ice cubes. By the time your guests arrive, the water will be subtly infused with fruity taste they can’t resist

Remember to stay hydrated between sips of your favorite cocktail!

Until next week…!

xx, Maggie
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May 5, 2016

A Kulinary Kids NYC Dinner for Mom

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A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of (finally!) meeting Daniela of Kulinary Kids NYC. Daniela has come highly recommended to me by a friend for kids cooking classes.

I wanted to work with Daniela immediately so I asked her if we could arrange a class for my boys and their friends to learn how to cook a special dinner for Mother’s Day. She said YES and I said YAY! I mean…Daniela works with the kids in the LMP studio while I remain in my apartment…drinking wine with my friend Ilana? Pretty sweet if I do say so myself.

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I do have a bad case of FOMO (fear of missing out) so I:

a. Had Diane of Diane Hu Photography here to capture every special moment.

b. Got a recap from Daniela on exactly how it all went down.

Here’s what Daniela told us…

We had a great time with your children today making Parmesan Garlic Twists, Lasagna Roll-Ups and Caesar Salad.

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Before preparing our meal, we made some beautiful spin art flowers using paper plates, paint and a salad spinner. The kids loved it!

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Then we began cooking.

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First, we made our Parmesan Garlic Twists. We melted butter and then added garlic powder and Parmesan cheese and mixed to form a spread. The children each had a chance to spread the buttery mixture on to a triangular crescent roll dough. They twisted the dough and had fun shaping it. Some said that it reminded them of playing with playdough. “Gary the Grater” helped with the Parmesan Cheese which we used to make our twists cheesy.

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Once the twists were in the oven, we worked on the filling for our Lasagna Roll-Ups. The children all had a chance to taste the three cheeses that we use for the filling. We mixed Parmesan, Mozzarella and Ricotta together in a bowl. Each child was given two cooked lasagna noodles on a cutting board. They put some of the cheese filling on to the noodle and rolled it tight. Then they set the roll-ups in a  baking dish that had Marinara sauce on the bottom. The roll-ups were topped with some more Marinara and then the children used their “pinching fingers” to sprinkle a bit more Parmesan and Mozzarella on the top.

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The twists came out of the oven to cool and the Lasagna Roll-ups were put in to bake.

Lastly, we prepared our dressing for the Caesar Salad. The children pulled apart Romaine Lettuce and put it in the salad spinner to dry. (They loved using a salad spinner for two completely different purposes during the class.) Then we made our dressing. We measure, mixed, squeezed and poured all of the ingredients into “Charlie the Chopper” and he helped to combine the flavors. We dressed the lettuce, tossed it well and topped it with some more Parmesan Cheese that we had left over from our other dishes.

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While our meal was being plated, we read Can I Eat That by Joshua David Stein.

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The dinner was a hit!!!

Needless to say, Ilana and I were pretty floored when we walked back into the studio and the table was set (with a Little Miss Party in a Box) with dinner, the kids were jumping up and down with joy over their creations and then got to enjoy this meal all together. What a treat!

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Thank you for coming in to work with our kids, Daniela and Dana! We can’t wait to have you back.

Happy Mother’s Day!

→Daniela said she is happy to share the recipes for the dishes we made for this Mother’s Day Meal. If you’d like to get your hands on these, email us here.←

xx, Seri
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  1. atalia

    This was so nice to see the kids at this age interested in food and how to make it for their test on their own .Reed a story learn to cook and bake .really beautiful .

  2. Marissa Ellis

    What an awesome idea! The kids looked so focused!

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April 21, 2016

A Passover Project Playdate

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Passover has got to be one of my favorite holidays. It might sound strange…but I LOVE Matzo! Matzo bri, matzo with cream cheese and jam, matzo pizza….YUM!! Seriously, it’s my fave. I also love Passover because I’m always the one who gets to host one or two seders. And I think you all know just how much I love to entertain!

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The only issue I sometimes run into is how will I entertain the kids (aka keep them out of my hair) while I prepare for dinner?

This year I asked my friend Deanna of Imagination Lane NYC what she suggests for a fun craft for the kids and she said DIY Afikoman bags. I thought….well isn’t that genius since my kids have been yapping about hiding the matzo (and the prizes they will get if they find it) for weeks now!

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Deanna sells craft sets that require no prep on your end at all. So if you’re strapped for time like me then click on over to her site to shop. IF you want to DIY this Afikoman craft yourself then you’re in luck because Deanna is sharing the how-to steps for us today! Check it out…

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DIY Afikoman Bags:

Supplies:
-3-4 pieces of felt (we used blue for the bags and white for the stars)
-Fabric fusion glue (to prep the bags for the kids to decorate)
-Fabric glue (for the kids to work with)
-Wax paper
-Puffy Paints (we used white, blue and yellow)
-Assortment of jewels and sequins (find at your local craft store)

Adults to prepare the Afikoman Bags:
1. Cut 1 piece of felt into a 9”x9” square (to fit Matzo), and one piece of felt into 9”x12” rectangle.
2. Using Fabric Fusion glue, glue them together by the bottom and 2 sides of the sheets felt, leaving the longest side as an open flap at the top.

Tips:
A. It’s very important to use enough glue to go through all layers of the felt and then to let it dry thoroughly before use.
B. It’s also helpful to slide a smaller square piece of wax paper between the sheets so that the bag doesn’t close shut where you need to put the matzoh.

 Adults to prepare the Felt Stars:
-Use a 2” Jewish star template (easy to find online) and trace it onto the felt sheets with a marker.
-Cut the stars out and glue them onto the bag.
-Use puffy fabric paint applicator to make the star shape on top.

For the kids to craft:
1. Set out Afikoman bag bases, glue in small paper cups with Q-tips and the felt stars.
2. Using the Q-tips as applicators (you may need to change often), allow the children to begin by gluing on the stars of David.
3. While they dry also set out the assorted jewels and sequins.  They can begin to add these on as well with the glue.
4. When they are done distribute the small bottles of puffy paint and using the fine tips oft the bottles assist them in writing their name and/or “Afikoman bags”
5. Let the bags dry fully before use.  The glue takes several hours and the fabric paint takes about 24 hours to dry completely.  So ideally let it sit for about day before you take out the wax paper.

*NOTE:  The fabric paint is not washable (so it stays nice and secure in the fabric), so extra should be taking in covering up clothing.

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Now of course when I cook I need a little something to sip on. So for a special Passover signature cocktail we whipped up Manischewitz Manhattans. Which ironically for this blog post were made by my not so Jewish friend, Maggie…here’s how…

The Manischewitz Manhattan

Ingredients:
2 oz. rye
1.5 oz. Manischewitz
3 dashes of Aromatic Cocktail Bitters
Orange Slice Garnish (optional)

The Manischewitz Manhattan is a perfect cocktail to spruce up your passover dinner. Plus, it’s super easy. Only 3 ingredients are needed for the beverage. The garnish is totally optional, and can really be any fruit you have around the house to add some color to your cocktail glass. We chose oranges, and it looked AMAZING with the color of the Manischewitz.

Step 1: Fill your glass with ice.
Step 2: Pour the 2 oz. of rye over ice, so it has ample time to chill.
Step 3: add the 1.5 oz. of Manischewitz
Step 4: Carefully add 3 dashes of bitters. Careful not to overdo it, so the taste will not overwhelm the rest of the drink.
Step 5: Garnish with orange slices and your favorite LMP cocktail toppers.

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And last but not least, obviously we need a snack! I was DYING to try Aunt Debi’s Fruit and Nut Matzo crunch after she sent it to me for her blog series this week. And since it looked so easy to make…I asked Harlow and Luke to join me!

Here’s a photo step by step of our cooking session….see the link to full recipe below.

Step 1: break up matzo to fit evenly onto a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and wax paper. The kids snacked on the pieces that didn’t fit.

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Step 2: Cut up 2 sticks of unsalted butter into chunks.

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Step 3: Combine the butter + 1 cup of brown sugar over low heat and bring to a bubbling point. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and sea salt.

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Step 4: Send the kids to watch the Ipad and pour the hot caramel mixture all over the matzo getting an even spread all around. Place in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10-15 minutes.

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Step 5: Once the matzo comes out of the oven, have the kids (carefully) add chocolate chips to the matzo (all over).

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Taste test the chocolate chips as you go.

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Step 6: The chocolate chips will instantly melt, spread them all over the matzo to evenly coat. Then Smile and pose for the next step….

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Step 7: Taste test your toppings. We used dried fruits (cranberries and apricots) plus crushed walnuts and sliced almonds. You can top your matzo with pretty much anything…

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Step 8: Smile and pose with your Best Friend and your beautiful Matzo snack.

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Step 9: Drizzle with melted chocolate and place into the fridge to set for about 20 minutes.

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Step 10: Smile and pose with that gal who’s been behind the lens all day: Maggie Antalek.

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Click on over to our blog post yesterday for Simply Beautiful Eating’s detailed recipe for this delicious Passover treat.

And to see Harlow and Luke cooking live…here’s a little video…

Happy Passover, friends!

xx, Seri
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  1. Aunt Debi @simplybeautifuleating

    This was seriously cute! Loved the crafts and what happen those little Matzah Crunch makers? Beyond amazing. Happy Passover ! Xo

  2. Marissa

    I love Harlow and Luke’s chef hat style!

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