DIY Classics: Creative Ideas for Your Jack-o-Lantern

Halloween captures the imagination of people who just love to turn fright night into a fun night with family and friends. People often fill their homes with spooky decorations, such as ghosts, goblins, wraiths, and witches for an evening of terror and laughter! The most popular of these characters is the classic Jack-o-Lantern. But the often grisly yet comical pumpkin head deserves a new face on old Hallow’s Eve.

In this edition of DIY Classics, we give you four simple ways to highlight your home with the all-time favorite Jack-o-Lantern.

Pumpkins with a Message

Welcome guests into your haunted mansion by transforming the favorite Jack-o-Lantern into the ideal Halloween greeting. Carve out a special message or a creepy warning on pumpkins and gourds to turn them into unique and personalized holiday décor.

Ideas for carving out a message on your Jack-o-Lantern
Photo from mauricesvay via flickr. CC BY 2.0

Pumpkin Luminaries

Accent tables with these adorable pumpkin luminaries. With this simple and artistic re-imagining of the timeless lantern, these baby pumpkins will highlight the spooky corners of your home with an otherworldly luminescence.

Small Halloween Lanterns
Photo from MarchieCTID via flickr. CC BY 2.0

Pumpkin Topiary

If you’re an avid gardener, you can create your own garden of fright by shaping wire into large spheres with that mean old goblin face. You can also stack a few pumpkins on top of each other to produce a ghostly topiary of Jacks. These towering creepers not only add character to your garden but also help illuminate your walkways.

Halloween Pumpkin Topiary
Photo from Free Flower via flickr. CC BY 2.0

Pumpkins as Canvases

Express your creative side by using pumpkins as your canvas! Aside from the traditional Jack-o-Lantern face, you can also carve out other timeless Halloween characters. Create your own unique patterns or check out some easy-to-follow designs.

Carved Halloween Pumpkins
Photo from anonymous to you via flickr. CC BY 2.0

This Halloween, give old Jack a face lift! Try our easy, spooky, and silly ideas for your Jack-o-Lantern!

DIY Classics: Halloween Costumes for the Family

The best thing about Halloween – apart from all the treats, of course – is the chance to dress up the whole family in fun costumes. Yes, that includes everybody in the household. But always purchasing such fancy outfits year after year for everyone can be a problem. Most coordinated outfits that are available in the market are expensive. On top of that, it’s also quite challenging to find a themed costume for the whole household. Luckily, with a few simple items, parents can whip up outfits for everyone in a jiffy. Here are some of our favorite Halloween costumes you can make at home:

one way to celebrate Halloween is to dress up in fun costumes

Classic Flintstones Costumes

Hitting the streets as one of America’s most beloved family is always a marvelous idea. With this cool and amusing DIY Flintstones Outfit from Coolest Homemade Costumes, the whole family can create a suit straight out of the Stone Age using a few pieces of fabric and some leftover school supplies. Turn heads and give fellow trick-or-treaters a smile on their faces by dressing up as Fred, Wilma, and Pebbles.

Neverland Gang Costumes

with the right tools, your family can dress up as the various characters from Peter Pan

What better way to celebrate Halloween than by dressing up as the immortal characters from JM Barrie’s unforgettable novel, Peter Pan. Courtesy of Dessert Chica Ramblings, this DIY idea is perfect for large families. Recreate some of the book’s famous scenes in your backyard. Hunt for treasure and gold chocolate coins when you go out. Kids and grown-ups alike will have a delightful and exciting time with these quirky costumes.

Phineas and Ferb Family Costumes

this Phineas and Ferb costumes will be loved by your children

Take inspiration from Me and My Insanity’s simple and easy DIY project and dress up as the cast of the animated series, ‘Phineas and Ferb’. Have your kids re-enact their favorite episodes. Tell them to be in character when they go trick-or-treating. Make sure to take photos and capture some video. This will be one Halloween your kids won’t ever forget.

S’mores Costumes

these s'mores costumes can be made with the simplest materials

This adorable S’mores costume from Cheerios’ and Lattes is inspired by the timeless snack. What’s particularly great is that you can use everyday items, such as boxes, pillows, and tape. To make the event sweeter, hand out packets of S’mores to trick-or-treaters. Kids will love this awesome and funny twist.

Wizard of Oz Costume

Bring Frank Baum’s Emerald City to this special holiday by dressing up as Dorothy and her friends, the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Lion. These Wizard of Oz-inspired costumes from Baby Dickey can be made in no time and are perfect for your cute and cuddly toddlers.

Have a fun time this Halloween with these amazing and practical DIY costume recommendations from Tree Classics.

Photo Credits

[1] Photo by Tom Grill via flickr. CC-BY-NC-ND-2.0

[2] Dessert Chica Ramblings

[3] Me and My Insanity

[4] Cheerios and Lattes

Tree Classics Favorite Recipes: A New Take on the Chocolate Cupcake

Chocolate cupcakes are a favorite of sweet lovers and chocolate addicts all over the world. It’s the perfect end to a hearty meal, a source of relief and comfort during times of stress, and a snack anytime of the day. This delightful culinary creation is so well loved that bakers have constantly tried to reinvent it in a variety of ways. Here are several recipes that chocolate cupcake aficionados will find irresistible:

a delicious spread of chocolate cupcakes

Death by Chocolate Cupcakes

chocolate cupcakes topped with dark chocolate frosting and chocolate chips

Chocolate cupcakes are typically frosted with vanilla icing. These ‘Death by Chocolate Cupcakes’ from Sally’s Baking Addiction is topped with a tasty dark chocolate frosting with semi-sweet chocolate chips. Delicious, fudgy, and moist, this recipe will satisfy any chocolate lover’s craving.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

fluffy cookie dough cupcakes with thick white frosting

This tasty Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcake recipe from Carla’s Confections combines the luscious and mouth-watering taste of chocolates with the sweet and filling flavor of cookies. Trying out this creamy and fluffy baked wonder will make your children’s heart soar. Make sure to serve these cupcakes with a glass of cold milk.

Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes

chocolate cupcake with a vanilla frosting infused with peppermint

A steaming mug of hot chocolate with a sprinkle of peppermint is a holiday treat that everyone looks forward to. With Glorious Treats’ Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes, anyone can turn their favorite Christmas drink into a fun snack all year long. Make sure to add a big dollop of peppermint frosting to give this treat an extra kick.

Double Chocolate Bacon Cupcakes

delicious chocolate cupcakes topped with candied bacon

A fascinating confectionary marvel these days is surprisingly candied bacons. Snixy Kitchen’s Double Chocolate Bacon Cupcakes elevate the classic dessert to palatable new heights by combining chocolate ganache and bacon.  Not only does it have the savory and salty goodness of everyone’s favorite breakfast; it also has a cocoa taste that people can’t get enough of.

White Chocolate Cupcakes

white chocolate cupcakes with thick buttercream frosting

White chocolate is mostly ignored by dessert lovers because it doesn’t have the depth of flavor that its darker counterpart possesses. With the right recipes, this unsung ingredient can shine. Leite’s Culinaria White Chocolate Cupcakes take advantage of white chocolate’s subtle sweetness by using it as a superb alternative to vanilla.

Spicy Mexican Chocolate Cupcakes

delicious spicy chocolate mexican cupcakes with frosting

These Spicy Mexican Chocolate Cupcakes from Gotta Get Baked are made for the adventurous foodie. A dash of chili gives dessert lovers a sweet and spicy delight, an interesting combination everyone will want to try again and again.  

Follow these delectable recipe recommendations from Tree Classics and munch away to your heart’s content.

Photo credits

[1] Photo by PetitPlay Stephanie Kilgast via flickr. CC-BY-NC-ND-2.0.

[2] Sally’s Baking Addiction

[3] Glorious Treats

[4] Snixy Kitchen

[5] Photo by Joey’s Dream Garden via flickr. CC-BY-NC-ND-2.0.

[6] Gotta Get Baked

Celebrating with Tree Classics: 7 Steps to Organize a Memorable Class Reunion

Class reunions offer everyone a unique opportunity to reconnect with people they grew up and shared memorable moments with. To celebrate such deep and lasting bonds between old schoolmates and the many accomplishments and successes they’ve had since graduation, Tree Classics is sharing a quick and easy guide on how to throw a memorable class reunion:

how to organize a class reunion

1.  Assemble a Reunion Committee

Throwing a reunion party entails a lot of planning and coordination. It’s important to have a group that would handle all the chores and concerns that come with mounting this sort of event. Contact your closest friends from school. Assign them a significant role in the preparations. Make sure that important aspects of the reunion, such as sending out invitations and selecting the food and venue, are covered.

2.  Start Brainstorming

Gather your committee for dinner to have a preliminary discussion on what’s going to happen at the reunion. There are a number of factors to consider, so it’s important that everyone is aware of what they should do months ahead. Outline an initial plan of action.

3.  Decide on a Theme and Setup

an elegant bouquet of flowers

Once you’ve delegated some top-level assignments, it’s time to pick out a theme and setup. Will you be having a brunch party? Luncheon? Sit-down dinner? Or a cocktail party? Go for something sophisticated. An outdoor brunch party is a welcome alternative to that prom-like celebration at your old high school gym, a cliché that most people see in movies and TV shows. Have an elegant all-white décor scheme and a stylish buffet table. Tell everyone to dress in their best Sunday attire.

4.  Pick out a Wonderful Venue

a lovely garden with a gorgeous view

Choose a venue that would best suit the lovely garden party you’re envisioning. A classy country club with a large garden and a scenic view is a wonderful choice. For something more idyllic and rustic, choose a marvelous bed and breakfast in the country. This way, you can also spend more time with friends and sleep in when the celebration gets too late.

5.  Send Invitations and Request for RSVPs

Send out invites to your guests at least three months before the event. This is to ensure that they can make plans to attend the reunion. This is especially important for the attendees who will be traveling from other states. Include relevant details in the invitation, such as the location, attire, and theme of the party. Don’t forget to inform them if there are accommodations so they can pack accordingly.

6.  Set up a Wonderful Dining Spread and Serve Lots of Cocktails

cool fruity drinks for your reunion

Make sure there is excellent food at the celebration. Since the party will be in a country club or a B&B, you don’t have to slave in the kitchen for hours. But do make sure that the menu is splendidly delicious. Also serve sumptuous wines and delicious brews. For a brunch party, mimosas, cold cocktails, and sangrias are great choices.

7.  Plan Fun Activities that Bring Back Great Memories

When selecting a host for the celebration, choose an old schoolmate with a shiny personality that everyone just gravitates to! During the program, recognize the accomplishments of the people who attended and mention the great things they were most known for in school. Play silly games that help everyone reminisce about the good old days. Play music that everybody loves and let everyone enjoy the company of old friends.

Throw a delightful class reunion with these tips from Tree Classics.

Photo Credits

Photo by Canadian Film Centre via flickr. CC BY 2.0. (Image 1&2)

Photo by Rennet Stowe via flickr. CC BY 2.0.

Photo by Joz007 via flickr. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Tree Classics’ Favorite Recipes: 5 Fancy Brunch Ideas with the Neighbors

Autumn is the perfect time to come together with your neighbors, catch up, and plan for the upcoming holiday activities. One splendid way to do this is to throw a fancy brunch party. Here are several wonderful themes to mark the occasion and make the gathering all the more special:

1. A Sweet Syrupy Breakfast Paradise

delicious fluffy pancakes with bananas and bacon

Brunch is popularly regarded as breakfast for anyone who doesn’t have an alarm clock. Hence, serving everyone’s favorite dish after a restful slumber is always a great idea. Pancakes, waffles, and Pink Parsley’s French toast kebobs are a hit with kids and grownups. Serve a variety of syrups and sweet toppings to make dishes more mouthwatering. It’s also smart to prepare an assortment of fresh fruits to include in the feast.

2. A Scrumptious Breakfast Pizza Fest

spinach and artichoke pizza is a perfect dish for your brunch pizza spread

The great thing about pizza is that you can enjoy it any time of the day. Setting a spread with different kinds of pizzas is one brunch party theme everyone will love. Classic recipes such as pepperoni, margherita, meat lovers, and four cheeses are top choices. For a twist on the timeless delight, serve vegetarian pizzas. How Sweet It Is’ spinach artichoke and cheese, Just A Taste’s shaved asparagus and ricotta, and Beard and Bonnet’s garlicky greens and fried egg are marvelous selections!

3. A Berry Chocolatey Brunch Party

a delectable berry dipped in hot chocolate

Chocolates and berries paired together put a smile on everyone’s faces. Let this combination inspire your brunch. Serve up savory meals that use chocolate and berries, such Casa Veneracion’s fettuccine with chocolate and bacon or Taste of Home’s pork steak cutlets with a blueberry glaze. End the delicious meal with Just a Pinch’s very berry fondue or Baked with Stork’s delicious white chocolate and raspberry brownies.

4. Miniature Brunch Munchies Served in a Big Way

yummy mini-turkey burgers

Miniature versions of fave munchies are a definite crowd pleaser. Fill your guests’ hearts and tummies with a mini feast featuring turkey sliders, Serious Eats’ grilled cheese sandwiches served with tomato soup, chicken fingers, Delish’s fish and chips, frosted cupcakes, mini ice cream cups, and even cake balls. Guests will adore these little pleasures that satisfy a big appetite!

5. Backyard Brunch Picnic

a picnic basket filled with delicious treats

Another nifty suggestion is to combine brunch with the timeless all-American picnic. Prepare Closet Cooking’s delicious Monte Cristo sandwiches with maple syrup and turkey burgers; fix an egg salad or Janna Patterson’s good old chicken Caesar salad with red grapes; mix a delicious and refreshing iced tea and lemonade; lastly, bake some fluffy muffins! Set out a large blanket in your backyard and place your food in classic wicker baskets. The beautiful morning sunshine and heavenly breakfast are a spectacular treat!

Have a wonderful and lovely brunch with your neighbors with these fine ideas from Tree Classics!

Photo Credits

Photo by istargazer via flickr. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Photo by Muy Yum via flickr. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Photo by Denis Derisevic via flickr. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Photo by MarxFoods.com via Flickr. CC-BY-NC-SA-2.0.

Photo by California Baker via flickr. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

How to Throw a Lovely Garden Party on Labor Day

Celebrate Labor Day and say farewell to the summer that was by throwing a pleasant garden party for friends and family. Here are a few tips on how to throw a quaint and marvelous get-together right in your own outdoor space:

A Lovely Location for a Party
Photo by Devonshire via flickr. CC-BY-NC-ND-2.0.

1. Send out Invitations

Make sure to send out personal invitations to friends and family. Almost everyone makes plan for the Labor Day weekend, so it’ll be great if you get confirmations early on. Don’t forget to attract them with delicious dishes and good company.

2. Organize a Great Menu

Juicy and Tangy Ribs
Photo by stevendpolo via flickr. CC BY 2.0.

Food is the star of any gathering, so prepare something truly sumptuous and filling. For starters, prepare this delicious and refreshing watermelon feta salad with mint from The Shiksa in the Kitchen. For the main entrée, go for something smoky and delectable. Fire up the grill and prepare this mouthwatering sweet and tangy barbecue ribs from A Sweet Pea Chef. Everyone will go back for seconds with this juicy and irresistible entrée.

A Yummy Turkey Burger
Photo by isab3l via flickr. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

For a different spin on the classic American burger, try these Hawaiian turkey burgers from Taste of Home. As a side dish, prepare this hefty serving of potato and cheese puree from The Galley Gourmet.

Delcious Sangrias
Photo by divya_ via flickr. CC BY-SA 2.0.

For drinks, these classic sangrias from Smitten Kitchen will perfectly complement the amazing food.

3. Prepare a Charming Dining Space

Set up a couple of tables and comfortable chairs. Make sure to place mats for a more elegant and sophisticated look. For the food, it might be better to prepare a buffet table. This will make it easier for the host to distribute the food and drinks. Make sure to serve a wide selection of drinks, including beer and wine for the adults, and different kinds of sodas and juice boxes for the kids.

A Great Buffet Table
Photo by Cambridge Brewing Co. via flickr. CC-BY-ND-2.0.

At the same time, the guests can easily stand up and enjoy seconds to their heart’s desire. Also, hire someone to put up a tent for the occasion. This might come in handy if it becomes too hot or if it starts to rain.

4. Prepare Games for Children

Some of the kids might get bored while the adults immerse themselves in their lively and engaging conversations. To avoid this, prepare a couple of board games that will occupy their time. Classic ones like Monopoly, Clue, Scrabble, and Sorry are surefire hits. For something a little more challenging, set up a Ping Pong table or volleyball net so that your kids can play a match or two. This is also a great way for the kids to make friends.

5. Enjoy the Company of Friends

After all the preparations have been made, it’s time to sit back and relax. Introduce people to one another. Spark up interesting conversations. Relive the fun memories of summer. Just enjoy! At the end of the day, it’s all about good people coming together.

Throw a wonderful garden party to cap off the summer and celebrate Labor Day with these tips from Tree Classics.

Tree Classics’ Favorite Recipes: Say Cheesecake!

The cheesecake has become one of the world’s most loved desserts. Wonderfully paired with coffee or tea and perfect after a delicious supper, the cheesecake is simply divine with its sweet, creamy, and tangy taste, rich and soft texture, and moist crust. Here are several mouthwatering recipes that will satisfy any cheesecake lovers’ craving:

(cheesecake) Photo by kulinarno via Flickr. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.
Photo by kulinarno via flickr. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

1. Cheesecake Chess Squares

The simple but superb Cheesecake Chess Squares from Six Sisters’ Stuff capture the goodness of the classic cheesecake in just one single bite. This no-fuss recipe only needs ingredients that are readily available in the kitchen and only takes less than an hour. Kids will love this wonderful snack.

2. No-Bake Lime Cheesecake

(lime) Photo by Shaw Girl via Flickr. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).
Photo by Shaw Girl via Flickr. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

The lime cheesecake has always been a summer favorite. Treat yourself to this dessert right before the sunny season ends! The light and zesty flavor is refreshing. This No-Bake Lime Cheesecake from chef-in-training is a simple take on the classic dish.

3. Easy Chocolate Cheesecake

(choc) Photo by Back to the Cutting Board via Flickr. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.
Photo by Back to the Cutting Board via flickr. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

The Easy Chocolate Cheesecake, also from chef-in-training, is a delightful treat for chocolate lovers. Made with only four ingredients, this quick, microwave-made dessert is for anyone who has had a long day and just wants a bite of something sweet to take all their stress away. Make sure to serve this cheesecake chilled for a yummier experience.

4. Miniature Peanut Butter Cheesecake

(peanut) Photo by Sassy Sampler via Flickr. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.
Photo by Sassy Sampler via flickr. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

A must-have snack for the kids, this Miniature Peanut Butter Cheesecake from Taste of Home is better than any peanut butter cup out there. Give your kids this sumptuous treat after a long day of fun and games.

5. Double Decker Cheesecake

If you can’t get enough of that delicious filling, then this Double Decker Cheesecake from I am Baker is for you. This is every cheesecake aficionado’s dream made even more palatable because it has two thick layers of cream cheese.

6. Pumpkin Oreo Cheesecake

Most people would think that these two flavors just wouldn’t get along, but they’re truly a match made in culinary heaven. This marvelous Pumpkin Oreo Cheesecake from Sweet Treats and More is perfect for holidays and special occasions this fall.

7. Layered Lemon Cheesecake with Brown Sugar Almond Crust

A more elegant version of the timeless dish, the Layered Lemon Cheesecake with Brown Sugar Almond Crust from Barefoot in the Kitchen has a magnificent filling and mouthwatering almond crust. Prepare this dish for a dinner party. It will make for the perfect end note to a great evening.

Satisfy your cheesecake cravings all year round with these recipe recommendations from Tree Classics!

Tree Classics’ Summer Reading List

Tree Classics Pride and Prejudice

The slower pace of life in the summer allows you to take time, relax, and delight in a good book. As you make the most of your summer holiday, Tree Classics recommends titles that will help you unwind and pull away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life:

1. The Classics

There are novels that you wish you had read thoroughly back in college. Enjoy some of these old favorites. The classics take you back to the early times, giving you a greater perspective of the way people used to live and the ideas that had once influenced our world. Reading books written decades or even centuries ago not only increases your knowledge of literary references, but exposes your mind to different viewpoints. With some written in old English, and others representing the beginnings of modern English, classic books also improve your vocabulary and reading comprehension.

Tree Classics Recommends: Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen; Les Misérables by Victor Hugo; Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy; and Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell.

2. The Bestsellers

Don’t shy away from the bestseller rack. Reading something popular once in a while allows you to check out mainstream literature. Many bestsellers have, in fact, received good reviews. Whether fiction or non-fiction, these titles can explain much about the present world we live in. They especially give us ideas of the latest trends both in literal and literary terms. Since most are written in modern English, popular books are easy to understand, but this is not to say that you won’t pick up any new words from them.

Tree Classics Recommends: Questions of Travel by Michelle de Kretser; Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld; The Peripatetic Coffin by Ethan Rutherford; and Snow Hunters by Paul Yoon.

3. The Beach Reads

Languorous afternoons on the beach set the stage for light, escapist reading. Let’s face it: no one actually reads something as heavy as The Brothers Karamazov while out in the summer sun! Summer books or beach reads should not be as challenging or heart-wrenching as the classics, but they should be interesting enough to keep you entertained while you’re swinging on a hammock or lounging under a beach umbrella.

Tree Classics Recommends: The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick; Heat Wave by Richard Castle; Summer Sisters by Judy Blume; and Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult.

And the list is complete. Happy summer reading!

Tree Classics Favorite Recipes: Weekend Breakfast Ideas

Tree Classics Weekend Breakfast Ideas
By voraorn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Breakfast need not be the usual fare on Saturday and Sunday morning. With family members enjoying their time off, weekend mornings become an opportunity to nourish your tummies and warm your hearts. Brighten your Saturdays and Sundays by trying out these creative ideas for the most important meal of the day – all while spending quality time with your family.

No Ordinary Pancake

Stop making boring pancakes and start whipping up something you’ll all be excited to see on the breakfast table. The weekend allows you more time to give your breakfast a delightful twist. Add in special ingredients to impress your family. Include berries or chocolate chips into your pancake batter, or cook them in silly shapes. Top with even more fruits, chocolate syrup, and swirls of whipped cream!

Rainbow Parfait

Make a rainbow parfait from fresh fruits and yogurt the way Delia from Delia Creates prepared it with her kids; this is a perfect example of spending quality time in the kitchen with your family. Summer weekend mornings will be brighter when you create this colorful concoction. It’s as easy as slicing your favorite fruits, such as berries, bananas, kiwis, grapes, and pineapples, and layering them in a tall glass to make a nice rainbow mix. Spoon a small dollop of yogurt into the center of the glass, and top with granola or a whole grain, unsweetened cereal for crunch.

Breakfast Pizza

Eggs + pizza = gangbuster delicioso! With her breakfast pizza, Catherine of Weelicious took advantage of her family’s love for pizza and eggs. To make this morning delight, just crack one egg on top of a round mini pizza dough, sprinkle it with salt, cheese, and crumbled bacon or any other toppings you prefer, and bake it in the oven. It’s so simple that you can get your whole family cookin’ with you and piling on their own favorite toppings.

Scrambled Egg Muffins

These heavenly – and oh-so healthy! - scrambled egg muffins are guaranteed to put a smile on everyone’s morning faces. Anne from Fannetastic Food shares the recipe for this easy breakfast that has all the nutritious stuff you need to start the day. How to make them? Whisk eggs. Add in chopped fresh spinach, basil, tomato, skim milk, spelt flour (or whole wheat pastry flour), grated cheddar cheese, sea salt, and black pepper. Pop them in the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. And as Anne says, “Everything is better in muffin form.”

After a long work week, reward yourself and the whole family by whipping up a delightful breakfast on Saturday and Sunday. And while you’re at it, have some early morning fun and get the whole family involved, too!

Tasty and Healthy Spring Snacks for Kids

The warmth of spring usually inspires kids to come out of their homes and enjoy the great outdoors. Days are spent playing at the park, biking along breathtaking trails, taking cool dips in the pool or lake, and camping out underneath the stars. These activities can be tiring, and children will need to get their energy back up with snacks that are both delicious and healthy. Here are several wonderful recipes that will not only make them strong, but also give them the pep they need to play more. 

Bubbly Berries and Grapefruit

grapefruit strawberry anthimeria (CC BY-NC 2.0)Photo by anthimera via Flickr.com. CC BY-NC 2.0.

This delicious snack combines the classic soda fountain and good old fruit salad. Here’s what you need to make this refreshing delight:

  • 1 25 ounce bottle of sparkling cider
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, halved
  • 2 red grapefruits, seeded and sliced
  • 1 pineapple, skinned and sliced
  • Fresh mint leaves
  • Crushed ice

1. Place a thin layer of crushed ice at the bottom of your bowls.

2. Layer the grapefruit, pineapple, and strawberry slices in each bowl.

3. Pour generous amounts of sparkling cider. Make sure it covers all of the fruits.

4. Add several mint leaves on top of the fruits. You can also add fresh milk if you want to give your version of the Bubble Berries and Grapefruit a dairy twist.

Apple and Cinnamon Popcorn

cinnamon popcorn The Purple Foodie (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)Photo by The Purple Foodie via Flickr.com. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Appetizing and addictive, this is a healthy and sweet take on another classic American staple. The best thing about this recipe is that you can pack it in small brown paper bags or plastic containers for your kids to enjoy anywhere. Here’s what you need to make this tasty snack:

  • 1 pack plain popcorn
  • 25 grams unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup dried apples, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon ground or powdered cinnamon

1. Cook the popcorn in a large saucepan or in the microwave. Once all the kernels have popped, pour popcorn into a large bowl.

2. Combine cinnamon and butter in a separate and larger bowl. Whisk the mixture for two minutes.

3. Pour popcorn and apple into the mixture. Toss repeatedly to make sure that the sauce coats each popped kernel.

Vegan Blueberry and Banana Muffins

bookchen (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)Photo by Bookchen via Flickr.com. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

This vegan dish retains the flavors of the classic recipe. This is guaranteed to keep your kids running on full tank. Here’s the recipe for this delectable pastry:

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons egg replacer, dry
  • 2 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup blueberries

1. Preheat your oven to 175⁰ C. Take out your muffin cups and place your muffin liners into the mold.

2. In a large bowl, combine mashed bananas, all-purpose flour, whole wheat pastry flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix the ingredients until the batter is smooth.

3. In a separate bowl, combine water and egg replacer. Pour this blend into the banana mixture and add the blueberries. Mix the ingredients for a few minutes.

4. Spoon the batter evenly into the muffin mold.

5. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Fill your kids’ tummies with these delicious spring treats.