Scrumptious, FAIL and FUN!

5 Jan

Tonight, again, I chose a menu that the kids would like to ease them into this new food experience.  On the menu…homemade mozzerella sticks and baked oven fries.  Sounds yummy, right?  Weeelll, half right.  The oven fries were apparently THE BEST FRIES EVER!  (Again, I didn’t get to try any of it – still juice dieting 😦  )  But the cheese sticks were kind of an epic fail.  Jerry said they weren’t bad, but the kids were not big fans (except for my baby, sweet Kinlee ate both of them all up!). 


Kole, being the diplomatic child that he is, said that it was not my cooking, that is was the recipe’s fault.

So, each of them earned a whopping 1 point tonight.  Which reminds me, here is the point scale that we are using:

Trying every thing made = 1 point

Trying something made that has green stuff (you know, veggies) =2 points

Eating every thing on your plate = 5 points

When they accumulate 50 points, they can choose to have a playdate or a toy!  This went over huge!  They are both already plotting what they are going to do with their points and have asked if they can bank points to have two friends come over for a playdate.  At this rate, it’s going to take them two months to even get one, so I am not too worried.

So, on to the recipes… ( I have added my modifications in blue)

Oven Baked Fries (from


  • 3 russet potatoes (about 24 oz. total), peeled and cut lengthwise into even sized wedges (I actually only used one large potato and it made plenty for Jerry, Kole, Kennedy and Kinlee.  I also cut them more to look like fries because I knew it was going to be hard enough to get the kids to try them after seeing me cut the potato, if they were wedges they probably would have thrown them at me )
  • 5 tbsp. vegetable, canola or peanut oil, divided
  • ¾ tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste


  • Preheat the oven to 475˚ F. Place the potato wedges in a large mixing bowl. Cover with hot water; soak for 10-30 minutes. Put 4 tablespoons of the oil onto a heavy, rimmed baking sheet. Tilt the sheet side to side to evenly coat the pan with oil (a pastry brush can also help with this). Sprinkle the pan evenly with the salt and pepper. Set aside.
  • Drain the potatoes. Spread the wedges out on layers of paper towels or on clean kitchen towels. Pat dry with additional towels. Wipe out the now empty bowl so it is dry. Return the potatoes to the bowl and toss with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Arrange the potato wedges on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 5 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake until the bottoms of the potatoes are spotty golden brown, 15-20 minutes, rotating the baking sheet after 10 minutes. Using a metal spatula and tongs, flip each potato wedge keeping them in a single layer. Continue baking until the fries are golden and crisp, 5 -15 minutes. Rotate the pan as needed to ensure even browning. (I baked them for 5 minutes with the foil.  Baked for another 10 minutes, flipped the potatoes and baked for another 10.  They were perfect.)
  • When the fries are finished baking, transfer to a paper-towel lined plate to drain some of the grease. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.
Homemade Mozzerella Sticks (from
  • 12 pieces string cheese
  • 12 egg roll wrappers
  • Oil for deep-fat frying
  • Marinara or spaghetti sauce


  • Place a piece of string cheese near the bottom corner of one egg roll wrapper (keep remaining wrappers covered with a damp paper towel until ready to use). Fold bottom corner over cheese. Roll up halfway; fold sides toward center over cheese. Moisten remaining corner with water; roll up tightly to seal. Repeat with remaining wrappers and cheese.
  • In an electric skillet, heat 1/2 in. of oil to 375°.
  • Fry sticks, a few at a time, for 30-60 seconds on each side or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve with marinara sauce. Yield: 1 dozen

Okay, here was my big blunder.  I tried to make them healthier, instead of frying them, I brushed them with oil and baked them.  Soooo, the egg roll wrappers did not have much flavor and I think that is why the kids didn’t like them. 

Positives – Kole told me the fries looked horrible, but smelled and tasted delicious and the kids ate them all up!

Negative – Mozzerella sticks were an epic fail 😦

Craft Time!!!

After, Kennedy pretended to go and gag herself from the cheese sticks, we made some playdough!!  I can’t believe that I have never done this with the kids before now.  I am guessing with my lack of craftiness and really any desire to learn to do crafts, my kids have missed out a bit in the creativity department.  But, thanks to my new obsession with Pinterest making me feel inadequate in this department, they are going to learn to make everything under the sun!  We will spend the next year making messes and having fun and probably screwing up every project that has more than 5 steps!

So the playdough was wayyy easier than the crayons, which I didn’t think was possible.  All you need is:

2 cups flour

1/2 cup salt

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cup boiling water

While, the water was boiling, I let each kid pour one cup of flour into the bowl.  Kole poured the salt into the measuring cup and Kennedy poured it into the bowl (God forbid the amount of pours not be even).  I poured in the oil and the boiling water and began mixing the dough.  The boiling water made it pretty hot, so I kneaded for a while until it was cool enough and then they took over.  We split the dough in two.  We added red and blue food coloring to Kole’s and red and green food coloring to Kennedy’s and they each have some fabulous tie-dyed dough!  They were having such a blast with it (for the 3 minutes they got to play with it before I made them go to bed, since it was past their bed times).  Next time, I will add the food coloring BEFORE mixing the dough or add a kool aid packet.  But we learned, had fun and stained my hands red, blue, and green.  Kole looked at my hands and asked. “Are you going to get fired from your work tomorrow because your hands are different colors?”  Great Family Fun!  Over all, my Picky Pack’s Pinterest Party #2 was a success!


PS  Don’t forget to store your playdough in plastic bags!


2 Responses to “Scrumptious, FAIL and FUN!”

  1. Jen A January 5, 2012 at 9:51 pm #

    Jen, Your blog is so cute! And don’t worry, with time you’ll start to add more and more detail. Heck, I’m almost to my blogaversary and I’m still adding stuff. Awesome job and you have such a wide variety of topics you can cover if you don’t want to do meals for a night. Pinterest offers so many products, people, and books (hint hint) you can review.

    Way to go. You’ve take the first step. Now run with it.

  2. andrea January 6, 2012 at 4:47 pm #

    Jen – love this blog so much! I am so stealing your point system and using it on Alex!

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