Light-as-Air Parfait

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Here’s a snack with some science behind it! Travis read that shaking dairy cream rapidly would result in whipped cream, thanks to the addition of air. Could we achieve the same with non-dairy creamer? We had to try two times before we were successful, so read on!

First, we tried a liquid non-dairy creamer, and opted for oat milk. Pour 1/2 cup into a jar with a lid, along with 2 teaspoons sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Shake for a few minutes (take turns so your arms don’t get tired!) and see if it turns from liquid to solid.

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Well, it turned out that the oat milk didn’t work. For a surer bet, we next turned to full-fat coconut cream. Chill a can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight. Scoop off the solid portion of cream; stop scooping when you hit the watery liquid underneath. Repeat with the same process as the oat milk above, adding the sugar and vanilla, and then shaking.

Well, this time the creamer was firm after just moments of shaking! So the answer is yes, it does work if you choose the right non-dairy alternative.

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To enjoy the fruits of our labor, we spooned some of the coconut whipped cream into parfait glasses and topped each serving with fresh berries. The perfect reward.

Can you shake other non-dairy creamers into whipped cream? Please share in the comments if you find a successful method!

Halloween Countdown Day 2: Spider Web Stroll

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Now that our kitchen is nice and spooky, it was time to continue our countdown to Halloween with a hunt for outdoor spookiness!

Veronika has a love-hate relationship with spiders; she’s clearly a little fearful of them, but also drawn to looking at them, particularly one that lives in our kitchen window.

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That tension is probably why spiders are the perfect just-scary-enough Halloween decoration for little kids. There’s a fear factor, but you can also show your child that there’s nothing to really fear. To help, go on a spider web walk!

As we strolled around our neighborhood, we kept our eyes open for pretty webs. You can demystify spiders for your toddler by looking up close, and finding webs that are close to a perfect circle.

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Bonus points for any you find with dew drops or a spider in it! But for all that, Veronika prefers the fake spiders strung up on our bushes, which is just fine too.

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Leaf Stomp

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Here’s a fun way for a toddler to enjoy the experience of stomping through leaves without all the effort of raking a huge pile!

Head to your backyard or a local park and pick a tree with lots of leaves on the ground. Invite your child to help toss leaves into any box with tall sides, ideally about waist high on your child. We found a tree with gorgeous red ones!

Veronika preferred scrunching her feet through the leaves on the ground while I filled our box.

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Once the leaves reached about mid-way up her calf, I set her inside and it was time to stomp and crunch!

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Dump, refill, and repeat this as many times as your child wants to. It’s almost as much fun to toss leaves into the box as it is to stomp on them.

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If you add a few more leaves each time, pretty soon you will have a leaf pile, with hardly any effort!

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