Family Fun Fondue

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Could there be a cozier dessert to make on a snowy day than fondue? It was the final recipe in our “Family Date Night” Raddish Kids kid, so Travis and I cooked up two versions of this classic dip to share with the family on a snowed-in day.

Note: Raddish suggested using coconut milk instead of heavy cream to veganize both versions of the fondue. We used plain non-dairy creamer, instead.

For the chocolate fondue, combine 1 cup non-dairy creamer and 1 cup non-dairy chocolate chips in a saucepan. Cook over low heat until the chocolate melts. Travis loved watching our creamer slowly turn from white to brown!

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To pass the time while the mixture slowly heated, we took a moment to read the Fondue Funnies included on the recipe card. Travis’s favorite? “What do squirrels say when they’re in love?” “I’m nuts about you!”

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Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Voila! Your chocolate fondue is ready.

Before we could move on to the caramel version, we had to wash dishes. This was the featured culinary skill to go with our recipe. As grown-ups, we regard it as drudgery, but Travis was amazed I invited him to hte sink with me – this was big boy stuff! He was an expert rinser while I soaped and sponged the dishes.

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And now for the caramel!

In a saucepan, combine 2 tablespoons Earth Balance butter, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup light corn syrup, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, then continue to cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup non-dairy creamer.

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Finally, we prepped the dippers: We sliced red apples, and set out strawberries and pretzel rods. The pretzels were far and away Travis’s favorite, and he preferred the chocolate over the caramel.

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We talked about some of the recipe card’s other suggested dippers, even though I doubt we’ll ever try them all. Ideas like bananas and gingerbread cookies got a yes, but granola bars and banana bread got a nope. Perhaps we’ll have to try the recipes again and see!

Shiny Whale

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Poor Travis had a sick day today, which meant lots of extra snuggles and okay, perhaps a little too much extra-special TV watching. But it’s good to still engage your little one, even when they’re under the weather, with quiet activities like puzzles and coloring. This minimal-effort art project was perfect; it helped distract him for just a bit, and he created something pretty to boot!

First, I traced a whale shape onto cardboard and cut out.

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We’ve done several whale projects lately, but this one got to be extra shiny. Wrap the shape in aluminum foil, folding the foil on the backside so the front stays smooth.

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I gave Travis lots of sharpie markers to decorate his whale, for even shinier effect.

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As I said, simple but pretty, and a good way to distract your kid from that runny nose or sore throat – at least for a few minutes!

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Footprint Plaque

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I’ve already made a beautiful keepsake of Veronika’s footprints with paint, and today we tried a version made with clay! I had leftover air-dry clay from a project with Travis, so it was the perfect opportunity for Veronika to play with this material.

Roll out a large piece of clay with a rolling pin until it is about 1/4-inch thick. Be sure to let your little one watch, even though they are too young to help with the process!

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Use a bowl and knife to cut out a circle large enough for both your baby’s footprints.

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Here’s the hard part: hold your baby carefully and press one foot into the clay at a time. This might be a bit uncomfortable for them, and indeed poor Veronika let out a little cry! So you’ll notice that her prints are not very deep or pronounced, but at least I was able to capture the size and shape.

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Punch two holes in the top using a straw, then lay the plaque flat to dry.

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Once dry, thread a pretty ribbon through the holes, and you’ll have a beautiful plaque to display.

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Don’t forget the name and date!