Saturday, November 18, 2006

Chocolate Peanut Butter

Protein is important for growing bodies but it can be a struggle to get small children to eat meat or cheese. You can try hiding the cheese by mixing it with macaroni or grilling it in a sandwich, but kids are bright and they’ll probably realize what you’re up to. An easier approach to getting your children eating protein is serving chocolate peanut butter to them. Most kids love peanut butter and chocolate so when they get to eat them together, they’re probably going to ask for seconds.
When most people think of peanut butter and chocolate they associate it with a candy. Granted those candies are delicious but with all the added sugar, they certainly can’t be viewed as a regular staple in anyone’s diet. However, actual chocolate peanut butter can be made from organic ingredients and sweetened without sugar.
Most grocery stores aren’t going to be selling this product. The main reason is that it’s viewed as a specialty item and the demand just isn’t there. It does have quite a different taste than traditional peanut butter does, but for children, especially, it can be very appealing. A good rule of thumb is to purchase a small jar of chocolate peanut butter to test on your children’s taste buds.
If jelly is a regular part of their lunch time sandwiches try to choose one that will complement the taste of the chocolate peanut butter. Strawberry goes very well, as does raspberry jam. Peach or apricot jam may not be the best choice, but again it’s really a matter of personal taste and your children may think it’s a delicious combination.
Some industrious individuals do their own canning and may decide they want to try this as well. The most important thing is to find a good recipe for chocolate peanut butter. Just making peanut butter and adding melted chocolate isn’t going to give you the same results. Again, it’s advisable that you make a small amount of the peanut butter with chocolate so your family can taste it. If it’s not a hit, you won’t have wasted money or time making more than anyone will ever eat.
It’s a great gift for the holidays as well. Most people welcome homemade gifts because of the extra thought and time that goes into them. You can purchase small jars along with colorful, festive ribbons. Fill the jars with the chocolate peanut butter and produce a label on your computer for it. Then tie the ribbon around the rim and you’ve got an original and delicious gift for almost everyone on your list.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Cat Christmas Ornaments

There are a few approaches you can take to a cat Christmas ornament. There are holiday decorations designed to delight feline lovers and there are decorations to delight the cats as well. Following are some great ideas for cats and cat-lovers who would appreciate a unique cat Christmas ornament this year.

I found a great hand-painted cat Christmas ornament. The cat’s face is painted right on the glass bulb. Two soft ears are glued on to the top of the bulb. This adorable item comes in many different styles and each kitty has a cute expression. None are identical so this cat Christmas ornament is truly one of a kind.

I figured that I could make this project on my own so I bought some glass paint and some felt for the ears. After collecting the bulbs I went right to work on my first cat Christmas ornament. I have to admit that the process seems easier than it is. Painting on glass is difficult to begin with. Painting on rounded glass objects is a real challenge.

My first project wound up as fodder for something else entirely. I just haven’t figured out what exactly that something else is besides decorating the inside of my garbage can. I wasn’t about to give up on the cat Christmas ornament, though. My second attempt would turn out better.

Better does not always mean good. “Better” can sometimes mean really creepy looking. My kitty looked a little more like a Halloween production than anything associated with Christmas. At least I knew what I was going to do with the second cat Christmas ornament.

The third and final attempt made me realize that some things should be left to the professionals. The third cat Christmas ornament looked more like a reindeer than a feline. Don’t ask how. It just did. I guess that I can still use this one; maybe as an accent piece to the first ornament that is going to decorate the trash can.

Reason had led me to the simple decision that there would be no fourth attempt, at least not this year anyway. I decided to just purchase the cat Christmas ornament that originally caught my eye. This adorable addition to my tree is my pride and joy. After all, I had already told everyone about my project. I really don’t need to mention where my cat Christmas ornaments are.