We have a guest post on the blog today, authored by Ashley Whipple over at Cute As A Fox. We’re so excited for her recent success in publishing a wonderful cookbook – congratulations and take it away, Ashley!

I am so thrilled to be posting on The Motherhood blog. The Motherhood is the very first blogger network I joined back in 2011. In fact, it was The Motherhood that helped ignite my love for food art, which set me on the path to publishing my first cookbook, Super Cute Crispy Treats. The book releases today, 7/28/15, and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than by sharing here on The Motherhood blog.

Super Cute Crispy Treats

As a mother and a food, craft, and party blogger, the amount of pressure I put on myself to throw the perfect birthday party can be intense. Frankly, it’s also excessive. I know that when my Type A takes over, I get stressed and sometimes the true purpose of the party is lost. Shouldn’t it be about celebrating and making lasting family memories? I have found the best way to tame the perfectionist mom-beast is to get the kids involved in all aspects of the party. Today I want to share my top 3 tips for planning a party with the kids, and not for the kids.

  1. Theme: Let them pick the theme. Give the kids some ownership right from the get-go. I think you’ll be surprised by how many fun details you can imagine for almost any theme. I once heard of someone throwing a Green Bay Packers My Little Pony party for their little girl. It was what she wanted and they made it work. Whether or not you let them have full control or rein it in a little is up to you. Half the fun is in planning the details.
  2. Decorations: Let the kids make the decorations. It may not end up looking like it came out of a magazine, but your kids are going to be so excited to show off the streamers they hung or the wall decorations they made. It’s also a great way to spend time together and make memories while you are making the decorations. You don’t have to leave all the decorations to the kids, either. Put them in charge of one area and you can take care of the rest.
  3. Food: I’m starting to feel like a broken record, but let the kids help with the food too. The food is my favorite part of a party. I am not a cake decorator, though. That’s one of the many reasons I wrote Super Cute Crispy Treats. It’s full of great treats ideas that would be perfect to make with the kids.

Let me show you what I mean. I’m sharing with you one of the 100 recipes in Super Cute Crispy Treats, Birthday Hat Treats. These are great for the kids to help make and they can definitely decorate them. These treats are so easy to customize to any party theme, just change up the treat colors and the decorations.

Birthday Hat Treats

Excerpted from Super Cute Crispy Treats by Ashley Whipple

Yield: 20 to 24 treats

Time: 1 hour
Difficulty level: Intermediate

3 tbsp margarine
1 10-ounce (280 g) bag mini marshmallows
6 cups (150 g) crisp rice cereal
8 ounces (225 g) white almond bark or candy melts
Sanding sugar, optional
24 Sixlets or gumballs
Jumbo quins

1 Melt margarine over low heat in a 5-quart or larger saucepan. Add marshmallows, and stir. Let marshmallows melt completely, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Pour in crisp rice cereal and stir until completely incorporated.

2 Coat your hands and a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Take some cereal mixture and form a cone shape approximately 2 inches (5 cm) high. Repeat until all of mixture has been used. Let cones cool completely.

3 Using a microwave-safe dish, heat almond bark in microwave in 30-second increments until completely melted, stirring between each heating. (I recommend using High power level for first heating and switching to 50 percent power for subsequent heatings.) Dip the bottom of a birthday hat in almond bark and gently shake off any excess. Immediately dip bottom of hat into sanding sugar (if using) to create a colorful rim. Place on a greased baking sheet until set. Repeat for all hats.

4 Press a candy ball on the top of each hat, using melted almond bark to adhere ball to treat. Add polka dots to hats by affixing jumbo quins with almond bark. Let almond bark harden. Store in an airtight container on countertop and serve within 24 hours.

BirthdayHatTreats

The Birthday Hat Treats are just one of 100 no-bake crispy treats that can be found in Super Cute Crispy Treats. Today’s the big launch day so you can head over and order your copy now. Thanks so much to The Motherhood for having me on the blog today!

Ashley Fox Whipple is the creator of the blog Cute As a Fox. Her recipe and craft creations have been featured on Parade, Rice Krispies Facebook page, Michaels.com, Food Gawker, Craft Gawker, Tastespotting, Edible Crafts on Craft Gossip, as well as many blogs.

Ashley lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her husband and two children. You can find her standing under the nearest air conditioning vent sipping a Diet Coke.