Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Help!


I have to be snack mom on Thursday.

And not just snack mom...Halloween snack mom. I mean, it wasn't like they made me do it or anything, no pre-school teachers with guns or anything, but I heard myself volunteer and speaking in slow motion as if my voice had gone all loopy and distorted and I were having an out-of-body experience and couldn't stop myself from giving away the secret code or something.

And then, Lucy got all excited because the teacher asked Edie and I to stay in the classroom and do pumpkin carving with them, which is like a big snack queen honor, and Lucy was saying things like, "The best part will be when you first come to see me and I'll give you a big, big hug..."

Oh God. No going back now. The fate of my child's psychic health rests on this snack thing.

This all reminds me of my cyber-friend Matthew Amster-Burton who is like the king (only hipper and without the crown) of writing about cooking and kids at his blog Roots and Grubs. I've been stalking him since before I started blogging. He also writes for Gourmet.com which gives him this unapproachable allure that makes him seem even more God-like.

Anyway, Matthew has a book coming out next year called Hungry Monkey: A Food-Loving Father's Quest to Raise an Adventurous Eater and Matthew let me read a chapter a few months ago - because I am really a stalker and he probably just wanted to keep me from e-mailing him - and the chapter was called, "The Only Snack Dad in Pre-School" and in it, he goes through this protracted, neurotic and really hilarious search for the perfect pre-school snack and all the pressures of being a foodie parent and having to come up with a healthy, original, fun snack that meets our food sensibilities, pleases our kid and appeals to the finickiest, most allergy-infested group of people on the planet.

Matthew made home-made pretzels. I think he was sucking up to the teacher.

So, here's a question...WHAT THE HELL DO I MAKE FOR SNACK?????

I need your help. Please send me ideas, recipes, your creative vision. Whatever. God! Anything! It has to taste good, be fun, easy enough to make and relatively healthy. It also has to be worked into a Halloween theme, so keep that in mind. And it has to be something a food lover would be proud of serving. I mean, I could send Lucy to school with a package of Kraft slices and some Go-Gurt, but I have a reputation to consider, so do me proud.

Yes, yes..you'll get all the credit. If I use your snack, I'll post it and link to you.

Seriously people, I'm a little terrified of being booed out of the classroom.

xo YM

And a special thanks to Culinary School Guide who honored me by putting this blog on their list of the "Top 100 Blogs for Foodies". Really, I am thrilled and amazed to even be included with such amazing bloggers. Thanks guys!

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17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Crackers and cheese. And carrot sticks. I'm serious. Call them something spooky like "Witch squares with pumpkin guts and a broom stick" and the kids will eat it up, literally. Don't get all "het up" about it. Your daughter will just be happy you're there and proud that her mommy brought a snack.

If you really wanted to show off, you could bake your own crackers (pretty easy and you could make them whole wheat-I haven't done it in years but I did long ago and it's straight forward) or cut the cheese into something resembling a pumpkin shape (maybe use a really mild orange cheddar--because it's not crumbly--which you cut into slices and then use a cookie cutter or something) and, if you really want to score points, decorate the cheese to look jack-o-lantern-y.

But really, don't stress. The fate of your daughter's psyche is NOT at stake. YOURS maybe, but not hers.

signed, a lurker whose kids are now teens and who knows this stress too well and wants to save another mom from it

Anonymous said...

Can you make homeade cheetos - as a preschool teacher I promise nothing makes kids happier than cheetos~!

Anonymous said...

Would carrot cake cupcakes with orange icing be too sugary? Maybe for AFTER the cheese and crackers only?

Krysta said...

oh god, do i hate snacks. even though i bring them... they totally stress me out. i figured out as long as the kids get fed they are normally pretty happy. i like carrot cupcakes. also martha had a good recipe for fingers...they were cookies that looked like finger bones. just forget the red fingernail she does.

avra said...

This popped into my head:

Baked pita triangles. Take a few pita pockets, spread some butter w/ crushed garlic on them (like a garlic bread), slice them into chip-sized triangles, and then bake them @250F until they are crunchy and golden like chips. Serve them with a dip - I made a cheesy mustard dip for veggies and chicken fingers yesterday that my boys loved (thank you, Rachel Ray), but you could probably serve sour cream or yogurt dip with taco type seasonings in it too.

I agree with the first poster that you have to keep it simple. Dress it up with a hallowe'en themed names or serve with orange and black napkins.

I've had the finger bone cookies Krysta mentions as well - they taste pretty good, and look pretty spooky with the fingernails, which, when my busy-mom-of-two friend made them, were just sliced almonds.

Beth said...

How about making dirt cups. Get plastic cups,(clear) fill w/crumbled chocolate cake, add gummy worms. Very easy. Maybe add some frosting that is tinted green for the grass. The girls would have fun making these w/you.

Whatever you make will be great and the kid will love it I'm sure.

Good luck,

Beth

Mommy said...

How about little sandwiches cut into shapes with cookie cutters? You can control the bread - healthy grain, you can control the filling - and it would be halloween-themed.

serve with milk, perhaps tinted with some jam. My mom always put jelly or jam into milk instead of chocolate.

Nurit from "1 Family. Friendly. Food." said...

oh, this sounds familiar. I found myself volunteering to make pumpkin muffin for both my son's school and my baby's school.
And... today my mouth told the teacher I'll help with the fall festival. Oh, dear.
Anyway, I am planning to make these, if that helps:
http://www.gourmet.com/recipes/2000s/2008/11/pumpkin-muffins
Good luck!

Nurit from "1 Family. Friendly. Food." said...

... because everyone gets excited about home made baked good. seems like nobody bakes anymore... that mkaes US unique.

Smashley said...

I think you should buy a huge pumpkin, hollow it out and clean it. Line it with foil or wrap or something. Then, fill it full of goodies, like finger sandwiches, veggies, or whatever the hell you want. The giant pumpkin makes it halloween without having to make food that is halloween themed. And I think when I was little, grabbing my snack out of a giant pumpkin would be awesome.

Jennifer said...

Hmmm. That's tough, being the Halloween snack mom.
What about pumpkin dip and fruit slices? The recipe is here http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=549850. I've made this before and it's good. Preschool-friendly but good enough to be respected by a foodie. You could serve it out of something cool, like a few little carved-out pumpkins.
Good luck!

ntsc said...

Oh dear, I don't think that anything I could suggest would be considered healthy by most pre-schools for pre-schoolers.

We are more in grandparent mode (great aunt/uncle really as we don't have grandchildren of our own) and believe it is our duty to spoil them rotten with all the stuff their mothers won't serve them.

Anonymous said...

Don't stress too much about it, kids are surprisingly easy to please most of the time. Truth is, when your kids are older they won't even remember what you made that day, but the memory of having Mommy there with them will last forever. Nevertheless, you could ask your kids what they think you should make. You may be surprised, chances are they have some great ideas. Out of the mouth of babes....

Maris said...

Pillsbury has a Halloween Funfetti cake that you can make into cookies...the kids could even frost their own and add sprinkles!

Sweet Pea Chef said...

I usually do healthy snacks, but I throw in the towel for holidays. I just posted about our preschool halloween treats yesterday. I sort of struggled in the same way, although my narrative wasn't nearly as well written. :)

These were a *huge* hit:

http://sweetpeasandpumpkins.blogspot.com/2008/10/pumpkin-cookies.html

Sweet Pea Chef said...

PS: If you feel like you must be healthy, both my boys inhaled this dip:

http://sweetpeasandpumpkins.blogspot.com/2008/10/weekend-treat-pumpkin-dip.html

We served it with apples, pretzels and those Trader Joe's Alphabet Cookies (double bonus: health(ier) and educational!).

Izzy's Mama said...

I wish I had seen this before! I can't wait to see what you conjured up! I'm sure it was a hit, whatever it was!