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4th of July Celebration


This is the page is all for kids.  There are recipes, simple party ideas and even a few crafts might be thrown in.


Playing It Safe with Kids in the Kitchen

Uncover cooked foods away from you to keep your face away from the steam. Always use thick, dry pot holders to avoid burns; don't use thin or wet ones. Ask an adult to help you put pans into and take pans out of the oven. Ask an adult to help when checking if a recipe is done. Be careful where you put hot pans. Put them only on a surface that is dry and can take the heat.

Baking With Kids In The Kitchen

Getting Started (for Kids)

Here are just a few of the quick and easy treats you could bake with your kids!
Chocolate Cookie Pizza
Sugar Cookie Tarts
Disappearing Act Ice-Cream Sandwiches
Lollipop Cookies

Before Starting

Check with an adult to make sure it's a good time to bake. Also, always let an adult know when your recipe uses the range (stove top).

If your hair is long, tie it back so it won't get in the way.

Wash your hands, and wear an apron.

Read the recipe all the way through before starting to bake. Ask an adult about anything you don't understand.

Gather all the ingredients and utensils before starting to make sure that you have everything. Measure all the ingredients carefully. Put everything you need on a tray. When the tray is empty, you'll know you haven't left anything out!

Many baked recipes use baking soda or baking powder, or some of each, as a leavening to make a recipe rise. Pay close attention when reading your recipes so you don't mix up these ingredients.

Read the recipe again to make sure you haven't left anything out.

While You Bake

Clean up as you bake--there'll be less work at the end! As you finish using a utensil (except for sharp knives), put it in warm, soapy water to soak. Wash sharp knives separately, and be careful of the sharp blades.

Finishing Up

Wash and dry all the utensils you have used, and put them away. Wash the counters, and leave the kitchen neat and clean.

Check the range, oven and any other appliances to be sure that you have turned them off. Put away any appliances you have used.

Leaving the kitchen clean will make everyone glad to have you bake again. Now, enjoy what you've made!




Bug Fun Dough

Make this easy and colorful dough for hours of playtime fun. Kids love it!

1 1/4 cups Original Bisquick® mix

1/4 cup salt

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 cup water

1 teaspoon food color

1. Stir Bisquick, salt and cream of tartar in 4- cup microwavable measuring cup until mixed; set aside. Mix water and food color in liquid measuring cup.

2. Stir a small amount of colored water at a time into dry mixture until all water is added. Microwave uncovered on High 1 minute. Scrape mixture from side of cup and stir.

3. Microwave uncovered 2 to 3 minutes longer, stirring every minute, until mixture almost forms a ball. Let dough stand uncovered about 3 minutes.

4. Remove dough from measuring cup, using spoon. Knead dough in your hands or on the counter about 1 minute or until smooth. (If dough is sticky, add 1 to 2 tablespoons Bisquick.) Cool about 15 minutes. Use dough to make shapes and designs. Store in tightly covered container in refrigerator.


Play doh Recipe

1 cup flour

1 TBSP oil

1 cup water

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp cream of tarter

Mix dry ingredients in a pan

Add wet ingredients and mix together

Cook over a low to medium heat

Stir constantly until mixture forms a ball no more than five minutes. Make sure you don't dry it out too much.

I add the food color while I am cooking it. You can add paste color, fluid color, or koolaid.



Bread Clay

Instructions for making clay out of slices of bread.

Materials Needed:

7 Pieces of White Bread

7 Tsp School Glue

1/2 Tsp Water

1/2 Tsp Dish soap

Cut the crusts off the pieces of bread. Break the bread into small pieces and put them a medium sized bowl. Add the glue and mix thoroughly. Add the water and dish soap and mix until you get a nice clay consistancy. If you mixture is too dry, add a bit more water. You can make shapes and let air dry, which takes about 24 hours.

Materials Needed:

2 Cups Flour

1 Cup Salt

2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil

3/4 - 1 Cup Water


Sawdust Clay

Materials Needed:

2 Cup Sawdust

1 Cup Dry Wallpaper Paste


Blend the sawdust and the dry wallpaper paste together. Slowly add the water and stir until your mixture is a clay consistantly. Once you have your clay made you can make shapes, designs, creatures - whatever you want! Let your creations dry atleast 24 hours. Once they are dry you can sand them and paint them!



Salt Dough (like play-dough)

Note: As in all recipes, results can vary depending on humidity, conditions, etc. Please try any recipe out before attempting in a group setting.

This project is rated EASY to do.

What You Need

1 Large bowl

1 Cookie sheet

1 Rolling pin

1 cup Salt

1 1/4 cups Warm water

1 Mixing spoon or mixer

3 cups Flour

1 plastic bag

1 refrigerator

painting supplies

How To Make It


Pour 1 cup salt into large bowl.

Add 1 1/4 cups warm water, mix well.

Add 3 cups flour, mix well some more.

Knead into ball, seal in plastic bag and refrigerate.


Take out.

Mold into anything you want!

Set aside.

DAY THREE (if not hard yet, put in oven for awhile)

Paint, if you wish. You may wish to put on cardboard first.

Set aside.




Bread Clay

Materials Needed:

7 Pieces of White Bread

7 Tsp School Glue

1/2 Tsp Water

1/2 Tsp Dish soap

Cut the crusts off the pieces of bread. Break the bread into small pieces and put them a medium sized bowl. Add the glue and mix thoroughly. Add the water and dish soap and mix until you get a nice clay consistancy. If you mixture is too dry, add a bit more water. You can make shapes and let air dry, which takes about 24 hours



Kids' Night to Cook!

Kids' Meal Ideas

There's no better way to make mealtime family time than to create kid-pleasing foods with the help of your junior chefs. These no-nonsense favorites give you plenty of what you really want: more time together!


Microwave Ravioli Casserole

Quick! This four-ingredient Italian main dish goes together in under 20 minutes. Add some steamed broccoli and a loaf of garlic bread, and dinner is on the table in no time.

1 pound lean ground beef

1 small onion, chopped (1/4 cup)

2 cans (15 ounces each) beef ravioli

1 cup shredded mozzarella or Cheddar cheese (4 ounces)

1. Crumble beef into 2-quart microwavable casserole. Add onion. Cover loosely and microwave on High 5 to 6 minutes, stirring after 3 minutes, until beef is no longer pink; drain.

2. Stir in ravioli. Cover tightly and microwave 5 to 7 minutes, stirring after 3 minutes, until hot. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover and let stand until cheese is melted.


Pizza Party

Every night is party night when the food is this fun!


Pizza Turnovers

Turn over a new way to eat pizza! Your family will love it!

1 can (10 ounces) refrigerated pizza crust dough

1/4 cup pizza sauce

24 pepperoni slices

1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

2 slices mozzarella cheese, (1 1/2 ounces), cut in half

1. Heat oven to 400ºF. Roll pizza crust dough on lightly floured surface into 12-inch square. Cut dough into four 6-inch squares.

2. Spread 1 tablespoon pizza sauce on each square to within 1/2 inch of edges. Top with carrot, pepperoni and cheeses. Fold each square in half over filling; press edges to seal. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.

3. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until light golden brown. Serve warm.






Fishin' Fun Birthday Party


Kids will fall for this party hook, line and sinker! You've landed a big catch with the Make It Special! ideas and easy Preparation Guide. The food, decorations and activities swirl around water, fish and fun! Let's go fishin'!

Make It Special!

Create an Ocean of Fun

Create an "ocean" for party guests to "swim" through as they enter the front door. Tape long pieces of green and blue streamers to the ceiling or door frame, and attach balloons to the streamers.

Offer Fish Candy Necklaces for the children to wear and munch on. Using a needle, alternately thread assorted gummy fish candies and ring-shaped hard candies on a one-yard length of dental floss. Tie ends together to secure necklace.

Make Big Catch party favors. Cut 8-inch squares of netting (available at fabric stores). Empty packets of Betty Crocker Shark Bites fruit snacks and gummy worm candies onto the center of each square; tie with a colorful ribbon.

Make Ocean Edibles

Create Whale o' Fun Drumsticks in a Vegetable Ocean:

Cut and curl green onions to create whale spouts. Cut off the root from each onion, then cut off most of the green top to make a 3-inch piece. Make several cuts into one end to about 1 inch from the other end to make thin strips (onion will look like a broom). Place in cold water for about 1 hour so strips will curl. Arrange 1/4 cup shredded lettuce on lower half of each plate to resemble an ocean; place 1 Crunchy Garlic Drumstick above the "ocean" on each plate. Place 1 olive slice on drumstick for whale's eye; place 1 curled green onion piece above each drumstick to look like water spouting from the whale's blowhole.

Play Some Fishin' Fun Games

Place 1/4 cup tiny fish-shaped crackers, 3 pretzel sticks and 1 tablespoon peanut butter on a small plate for each child. To catch the "fish," kids dip each pretzel stick "fishing rod" into the peanut butter "bait," and then try to catch a cracker "fish." Everyone's a winner!

Tape a number to the bottoms of plastic fish (available at toy or discount stores). Place the fish in a kiddie pool or plastic tub filled with water. Kids try to "catch" a fish with a net or long-handled strainer (with adult supervision) to win a prize matching the number on the fish.


The Day Before

Make and decorate Goin' Fishin' Cupcakes

About 1 Hour Before Party Begins

Assemble ingredients for Crunchy Garlic Drumsticks

About 1 Hour Before Eating

Make Crunchy Garlic Drumsticks.

Just Before Serving

Make Double-Fruit Shakes

Fishin' Fun Birthday Party Menu

Crunchy Garlic Drumsticks

Baby carrots*
Goin' Fishin' Cupcakes

Double Fruit Shakes




Kids' Firehouse Birthday Party

Host a kid's party with four-alarm excitement and doggone fun food! Whether you take your little firefighters to a fire station and experience the real thing or have your own fun at home, this is a party that will always be spotted as a good time for all!

Make It Special!


Four-Alarm Invitations

Photocopy simple fire engine graphics from a coloring book or storybook, and fill in the date, time and place of party. Send them out four-alarm fast! Or help your kids create them on your computer using dalmatian (a firefighter's favorite pal) and fire engine clipart.

Four-Alarm Decorations

For Room Decorations

Hang fire-engine red balloons, or draw black spots on white balloons with a permanent marker.

For the Dining Table

Place a new (or cleaned-up) toy fire engine on the center of the table. Attach a bouquet of helium balloons to the truck, and surround it with curly ribbons.

Make place cards by attaching names on card stock to toy fire hydrants, small toy fire engines or plastic spotted dogs. (Purchase them at party or toy stores, and give to party goers to take home.)

Make place mats using the same fire engine graphics as the invitations. Kids can color as they wait for the food to be served.

Bright red paper goods are easy to find. You can also look for fire engine paper goods at large party stores.

Four-Alarm Activities

Hand out toy firefighter hats to kids before the activities begin. (Hats can be part of their take-home loot.) Purchase inexpensive ones at toy or party stores, and personalize with a permanent marker if you like.

Experience the "Real" Thing
Arrange a visit to a fire station, or arrange with a fire station to have a fire engine and firefighters come to your party. Some fire stations will do this with a donation made to their designated fund. Allow time after these activities for kids to write thank-you notes to the firefighters in appreciation.

Create At-Home Fun
"Rescue the Animal" Relay
Divide kids into two teams, and have them line up. The first child in each line must put on a coat, pair of boots and a firefighter hat (coat and boots should be slightly oversized to fit all kids), walk across the room and pick up a stuffed animal (completing the animal rescue), and then carry the animal back to the line where he passes the coat, boots and hat to the next child. Rescues continue until everyone has rescued an animal. The first team to finish wins, or everyone can be a winner and keep his or her rescued animal.

Four-Alarm Food Fun

Enlarge fire engine graphics to a large tray size, or place red paper on a large piece of cardboard. Serve cupcakes and ice cream on paper-covered tray or cardboard.

Preparation Guide

The Day Before (The birthday child can help with these activities.)

Make Dalmatian Cupcakes

Scoop ice cream into cupcake liners; freeze covered.

Make Friendly Dog Salads; store covered in refrigerator.

The Morning Of

Make Hot Dog Casserole up to the point of baking; cover and store in refrigerator.

About 40 Minutes Before Serving Guests

Bake Hot Dog Casserole.

About 15 Minutes Before Serving Cake and Ice Cream

Move ice cream from freezer to refrigerator to make softer and easier for little ones to handle.

Kids' Firehouse Birthday Party Menu

Hot Dog Casserole

Friendly Dog Salads

Carrot sticks*
Dalmation Cupcakes

Chocolate chip ice cream*
Milk or lemonade*




Pet Lovers' Birthday Party

Kids will have spots before their eyes and wiggles in their bodies when they party with their furry friends. If you want a less frisky event or are limited to an indoor party, consider making your event "stuffies only" and ask each child to bring a favorite stuffed critter. Or ask the kids to dress up as their favorite dog or cat, spots and all. Whether celebrating a child's birthday or a pet's birthday, you're sure to have a romping-good time

Make It Special!

"Alley Cat" (and Dog) Activities

Organize a backyard or neighborhood pet parade (be sure to have plenty of adult supervision). Award prizes to the pets, such as biggest, smallest, curliest, one with the most spots, making sure each pet gets a prize. Prizes can be animal stickers, miniature plastic animals or animal coloring books.

Guess how many dog biscuits or cat treats are in a huge plastic jar. The closest guess gets to lead the parade.

Play "pin a spot on the dog or cat" (tailor your game after "pin the tail on the donkey").

Creating furry friends is a good indoor as well as outdoor activity. Start with paper plates for heads and add trimmings such as paper, feathers, fake fur, plastic eyes, fabric fringe and pipe cleaners.

"Poor Pussycat" is a favorite children's game. The child that is "it" pretends he is the cat and sits in front of another child and meows. The other child has to pet the "child-cat" and say "poor pussycat" three times without laughing. If the child doesn't laugh, the cat moves on; if the child laughs, he or she becomes the new cat. You can play "Poor Puppy Dog" or "Poor Woof-Woof" to feature dogs.

Capture the event with plenty of film. Because there's bound to be lots of playful activity, consider using a video camera as well as taking still shots.

Send kids home with a doggie bag full of pet-themed treats.

Pooch and Feline Fun Decorations

Check party stores to spot a colorful selection of party plates and tableware.

Use a rubber stamp of a giant paw print and washable paint to mark the path to the party activities (it may be to the backyard or front door).

Animal-shaped piñatas filled with candy make an exciting addition to a party; they can be hung from a tree outside. Purchase them at party stores, or make your own using balloons and papier-mâché.

Top a picnic table with white butcher paper and "spot" it with black markers, or use a rubber stamp of a dog or cat paw print.

Make place markers by creating animals using a miniature Slinky toy for the animal body, paper for the head and a pipe cleaner for the tail. Write the child's and pet's names on card stock, and insert in the Slinky portion.

Frisky Food Fun

Scoop ice cream into cupcake liners and decorate with candies to resemble cats and dogs. Make ears from broken candy bars. Candy-coated chocolate candies are good for noses and eyes. Add details with tubes of decorating frostings and gels.

Pets are important, too. Keep them happy with a handy supply of water and treats. If guests' pets have special diets, ask the guests' to bring their own treats.

Preparation Guide

Up to 3 Weeks Before

Make Dalmatian Cupcakes and/or Kitty Cat Brownies , but do not frost; wrap tightly and freeze.

The Day Before

Make Sweet and Crunchy Snack Mix; store tightly covered.

Make the fruit cubes for the Strawberry Coolers

Make cupcakes and/or brownies if not already made.

Frost and decorate cupcakes and/or brownies.

Scoop ice cream into cupcake liners and refreeze.

The Morning Of

Cut watermelon into small wedges.

Place snack mix in doggie bags or small paper cups.

When the "Furries" Arrive

Serve Strawberry Coolers and the snack mix to the kids.

               Grill the Pluto Pizza Dogs

Just Before Asking the Kids to Come to the Table

Place watermelon wedges and hot dogs on each plate.

Pet Lovers' Birthday Party Menu

Strawberry Coolers

Sweet and Crunchy Snack Mix

Pluto Pizza Dogs

Watermelon wedges*
Dalmatian Cupcakes

Kitty Cat Brownies

Chocolate chip "spotted" ice cream*




"Be-witching" Kids' Halloween

With ghostly festivities for kids of any age, here's a thrilling party for a Halloween get-together or birthday celebration. No matter "witch" reason you choose, the little critters will be "goblin" up the fun!

Make It Special!

Bewitching Decorations

Replace any light bulbs in the party room with red, orange or black bulbs to give the room an eerie glow.

Make the Spooky Halloween Tree for a centerpiece. Let the tree "leaves" double as take-home treats.

Monster Blob Activity

Make Balloon Blobs one week before the party, but save the decorating and stretching into silly shapes for the kids as a party activity. (Note: If children will be using permanent markers for drawing on the balloons, you may want to gather up some old large shirts they can wear over their party clothes when drawing on the balloons.)

To make the balloons, you'll need ordinary inexpensive balloons, all-purpose flour and markers. To make the blobs:

Blow up a balloon and keep it inflated for at least 1 minute. Do not tie a knot in the end. After 1 minute, let all the air out.

Fit a funnel into the open end of the balloon. Carefully spoon flour into the funnel, tapping and shaking the funnel to get the flour into the balloon. Put as much flour in the balloon as you can.

Remove the funnel. Tie a knot in the end of the balloon.

Wash and dry the balloon blob. Repeat to make as many blobs as needed. The blobs are ready for decorating with markers.

At the party:

Set up a table with markers, and let the kids decorate their own balloon monsters. Kids can push, pull and stretch the blobs into different monstrous shapes.

Buckets of Fun

Purchase inexpensive plastic buckets for each child at the party. Decorate them with paint pens (available at craft stores) or Halloween stickers.

For a fun party game, hide stickers and/or small wrapped candies around the room and have the kids take their buckets on a "haunted treasure hunt." The buckets also serve as party favors for the kids to take home and then use for trick-or-treating.

Preparation Guide

The Day Before

Make Spooky Halloween Tree

Cut the carrots; store in refrigerator. Wash grapes; store in refrigerator.

Make the Witches' Hats and Witches' Brooms

30 Minutes Before Meal

Make Extra-Easy Pizza .

Make Warm Cinnamon-Orange Cider

"Be-witching" Kids' Halloween Menu

Extra-Easy Pizza

"Sticks and Stones" (Carrot sticks and grapes*)
Witches' Hats

Witches' Brooms

Warm Cinnamon-Orange Cider

Spooky Halloween Tree





Kitchen Chemistry for Kids Birthday Party

Gather a bunch of curious kids (ages 8 to 10 are best suited for this party), and let them discover science fun with common kitchen ingredients, simple measuring utensils and, best of all, yummy food! Concoct a fabulous kids' birthday party with kitchen chemistry. Kids can mix different foods and watch the reaction or results. Guess what? The kids do all the cooking and baking, even the birthday cake!

Make It Special!

Mystery Invitations from the Kitchen

Using cotton swabs and lemon juice, write invitations on white paper; let dry before sending. It's best to use 8 1/2x11-inch paper, because letters written with juice become large. Attach a note written in ink or markers giving directions to hold the invitations up to light for the secret party details.

Dress the Part

Follow a child's costume pattern for a doctor's lab coat for each child, if you are "sew" inclined. Bargain-basement white sheets provide ample yardage. If you are sewing challenged, purchase inexpensive aprons at a party or craft store. Make "Dr." name tags with sticky paper and attach to the lab coats. Include a pair of lensless plastic glasses with cord (for kids to hang around their necks if they don't want to wear them or if they have their own glasses) to complete the scientist look.

Take-Home Treasures

Include all the recipes, experiments and list of scientific terms (see Super Science Words) in miniature cookbooks. Tie with cord or shoelaces, and attach a child-size wooden spoon or colorful measuring spoon to each.

Use a computer to create Doctorate of Kitchen Chemistry certificates decorated with clip art, or hand-letter them and add fun stickers. Present one to each child in a ceremony before they leave.

Package a spoonful of homemade butter (see Shake-It-Up Butter) to be enjoyed at a later time. Include directions for refrigerating.

Easy "Incr-Edible" Experiments

Scrub-a-dub-dub! Washing Hands Is an Emulsion!

Super Science - Squirt a drop of oil on each child's hands, and ask them to wash it off. When it won't wash off, add a squirt of soap (an emulsifier); it surrounds the oil, forming an emulsion, and can wash down the drain. While kids are washing, have them wash a marble to be used later in an experiment. Kids now have clean hands and are ready to cook!

Dancing Drinks
Gather kids around a table, and pass out clear plastic glasses filled with lemon-lime soda pop and small paper cups filled with a handful of raisins. (We tried dried cranberries with a lot less motion.) Tell kids to drop the raisins into their beverage and watch the action.
Super Science - Soda pop is filled with carbon dioxide bubbles that cling to the raisins and lift them to the surface. When the bubbles burst, the raisins sink to the bottom where new bubbles collect on the fruit, and the dance goes on!

Magic Cake?
Kids can make the Cookies 'n Cream Cake. If you have an oven with a window, invite the kids to watch the baking.
Super Science - As the batter gets warmer, tiny bubbles of gas form in the mixture and grow larger. The batter surrounding these bubbles becomes permanently set as the protein from milk and eggs coagulates with heat. The combination of leavening agents and acid forms carbon dioxide, causing the cake to rise. Flour power strengthens the walls of these bubbles so the cake doesn't collapse when removed from the oven. If kids are curious, have them add a teaspoon of baking soda and then baking powder to various liquids or sour cream and observe the results.

Smooth Saucery
Start this activity when there is about 15 minutes bake time left for the cake. Kids can make the cheese sauce for the Ham and Cheese Ziti. Adult supervision is needed near the cooktop and hot pans.
Super Science - Melting the butter and mixing it with the flour coats the fat, making it possible for the milk to be added and stirred into a smooth sauce. Kids can complete making the main dish and--with help--putting it in the oven. If the cake is not finished baking, let the casserole stand just a few minutes at room temperature.

Shake-It-Up Butter
Place 1/2 pint whipping (heavy) cream and a freshly washed marble in a plastic pint-size jar with a tight-fitting lid. One filled jar for every two kids is appropriate. Shake the jars vigorously in a figure-eight pattern; call time or stop the music every 30 seconds as a signal to pass the jar to the other child to shake. When you can't hear the clank of the marble, you'll know the cream has thickened into whipped cream. But keep shaking until you hear a clank again; this means butter has formed and separated from the liquid. Drain off the liquid (buttermilk) and dish up the butter for serving with the rolls; store in refrigerator.
Super Science - Fat droplets from a suspension coalesce to form a solid, the butter.

Scientific Salad Dressing
Kids can make the Orange Dressing for the Orange-Strawberry Salad by shaking it in a plastic jar. Pass the jar around so all the kids have a turn at shaking.
Super Science - A mixed salad dressing is a liquid suspended in a liquid, or a temporary emulsion. When you mix fruit juice and oil, they don't dissolve; shaking or mixing vigorously causes the big oil droplets to break up into smaller and smaller droplets that suspend in the citrus juice liquid. Kids can observe how the liquids will separate again when the dressing stands. Kids can repeat the shaking, taking turns, and note how long it takes for the juice and oil to separate.

Extra Experiments to Do While Foods Are Baking or for Speedy Scientists

Slick Trick - Give each child a flat plastic plate and 6 square ice cubes, and ask them to stack as many ice cubes on the plate as they can. Immediately start passing salt shakers (one for each child is ideal), and tell the kids to sprinkle their ice cubes. Award a prize to the child who gets the most ice cubes to stick.
Super Science - Salt lowers the freezing point of water. The ice melts and the salt dissolves, forming an uneven surface. The water refreezes, making it possible for the cubes to stick together.

Liquid Layers Art - Give each child a plastic jar for filling with liquids. Have premeasured in plastic cups 1/4 cupfuls of corn syrup, water colored with food color and vegetable oil. Let kids place one of each liquid in their jar. Pass out one plastic button, one plastic animal figure and one paper clip for each child to drop into a jar. Tape lids securely so kids can take their jars home.
Super Science - Liquids have different densities. Kids can observe whether objects float or sink.

Preparation Guide

Because this party is designed for kids to do all of the cooking, consider asking one or two other adults to help; they'll have fun, too! Depending on the age of the kids, you may want to eliminate an experiment or two or have the kids do less cooking. Although measuring the ingredients is a learning step, it also is time consuming. Doing most of it the day before with the help of the birthday child will save time.

Cookies 'n Cream Cake

Ham and Cheese Ziti

Homemade butter

Orange-Strawberry Salad

The Day Before

Set up trays, cookie sheets or cardboard boxes to hold recipes, premeasured items and notes for what's needed to complete each experiment.

For the Orange-Strawberry Salad:

Measure the Orange Dressing ingredients; cover and store separately. Prepare the fruits; store separately in refrigerator.For the Cookies 'n Cream Cake:

Measure the ingredients except the leavenings; store covered. Store sour cream and butter in the fridge.For the Ham and Cheese Ziti:

Shred the cheese if it wasn't purchased preshredded; refrigerate. Cut the ham; store covered in the fridge.Measure the liquids for the Liquid Layers Art experiment. Using small clear plastic cups covered with plastic wrap makes it easy to see what's inside.

Just Before Eating

Place fruits on plates.

Place a basket of rolls on table.

Pour milk.

Super Science Words

Acid - a substance that can react with a base to form a salt. Lemon juice and vinegar are common acids found in the kitchen; there also are acids that are dangerous and cannot be consumed.

Baking - a dry-heat method of cooking.

Base - also known as alkalies, are bitter-tasting, soapy-feeling substances that dissolve in water and neutralize acids to form salts. Baking soda is an example.

Carbon dioxide - a colorless gas that is made by adding an acid to a carbonate. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is found in the atmosphere.

Carbonate - a chemical that reacts with an acid to make carbon dioxide.

Coalesce - to grow together; to merge.

Density - the amount of mass that a substance has for its size.

Emulsion - a suspension of two immiscible liquids that does not separate when standing.

Immiscible - a liquid that cannot be mixed or blended with another liquid.

Reaction - the result of two substances mixing with each other. When two substances react, they change into another substance and may change temperature.

Solution - a liquid containing a dissolved substance. When no more of the substance will dissolve, the solution is saturated.

Kitchen Chemistry for Kids Birthday Party Menu

Dancing drinks*
(Lemon-lime soda pop)
Ham and Cheese Ziti

(with Shake-It-Up Butter*)

Orange-Strawberry Salad

Cookies 'n Cream Cake

Ice cream*





Teens' Community Project and Slumberless Slumber Party

Keep the teens busy having fun! There's a volunteer opportunity to help others (while learning and feeling good about themselves), a wacky scavenger hunt and lots of good food all bundled up into one awesome slumber party!

Make It Special!

Community Service Project

Begin the party in the afternoon with the teens doing a community service project. Here are a few ideas:

Stock shelves at a local food shelf. Play games and chat with nursing home residents. Help prepare a meal at a shelter. .

Wacky Scavenger Hunt

After dinner, teens can go on a wacky scavenger hunt in the neighborhood! Have the teens break up into teams of two. Depending on the age of your group, you may want to have adult escorts join the teams. Give each team the same list of items to collect from neighbors, perhaps things such as a button, a store receipt or a pen cap. Allow only one item from each house. Give them a time limit, requiring them to return at an appointed time.

For an added twist, supply each team with a disposable camera. Have some of the items on the list be photos of the team members (for example, posed standing near a particular mailbox or monument or wearing a silly hat they have scavenged from a neighbor). You can have the pictures developed at a one-hour photo shop when the hunters return, and let the party goers keep them as fun reminders of the party!

Video Time

Pick up some age-appropriate videos from your local video rental store or library for the teens to watch while relaxing after their exciting events.

Help-Yourself Breakfast

For an easy breakfast for the sleepy-eyed group, set out individual-serving-size boxes of cereals, containers of Yoplait® yogurt, a platter of cut-up fresh fruit and a pitcher of orange juice. As they slowly awaken, they can help themselves to breakfast before gathering their things to take home.

Preparation Guide

The Morning Of

Make Cookies and Candy Pizza

Wash and prepare veggies.

About 45 Minutes Before Dinner

Make Sassy Sloppy Joes

Make Curly Fries with Savory Sour Cream

About 10 Minutes Before Dinner

Make Malt Smoothies

As Video Begins

Make microwave popcorn and serve with beverages.

Teens' Community Project and Slumberless Slumber Party Menu

Sassy Sloppy Joes

Curly Fries with Savory Sour Cream

Dill pickle spears*

Fresh veggies*

Malt Smoothies

Cookies and Candy Pizza




Winter-Fun Kids' Birthday Party

Create an avalanche of fun for a kid's winter birthday!

Skating, skiing, sledding, making snow angels and building snow people--that's the fun stuff winter parties are made of! Pick one or more activity that suits the ages of the guests and weather conditions. If it's very cold, be sure to plan the party for the warmest part of the day, and ask guests to come dressed for outdoor play.

No snow? Create a sweet option by letting kids make and decorate Poppy the Penguin and decorate the Snowman Cake or Skate Cake.

Make It Special!

Invite with Mittens

Create mitten invitations using card stock. Trace around a child's mitten or a mitten cookie cutter. Cut out the shape, and add the party details.

Make Jack Frost Edibles

Frosty Grapes: Wash clusters of grapes, but do not dry. Dip the wet grapes into sugar to coat them. Set the clusters on a plate, and freeze until serving time.

Snowy Ice-Cream Cones: Mix 1 cup powdered sugar with about 1 tablespoon water, adding water 1 teaspoon at a time, until mixture is just a little thinner than peanut butter. Dip the top edge of flat-bottomed ice-cream cones into the powdered sugar frosting, then immediately sprinkle with edible glitter (available at cake-decorating supply stores and gourmet cooking stores) or colorful sprinkles; let dry. Serve the Sweet and Crunchy Snack Mix in the edible snowdrifts!

Snowdrifts on Cocoa: When serving Alpine Mint Hot Chocolate, refer to the topping as "snowdrifts" and let the kids add the snowdrifts to their cups of hot chocolate. (Be sure you've made plenty!)

Preparation Guide

Up to 2 Months Before

Bake cake for Snowman Cake or Skate Cake tightly wrap unfrosted cake and store in freezer.

Up to 2 Days Before

Make Poppy the Penguin(unless the kids are making it at the party).

Make Frosty Grapes (see Make It Special!); freeze.

Make Snowy Ice-Cream Cones (see Make It Special!); store covered at room temperature.

The Day Before

Make Sweet and Crunchy Snack Mix

Frost and decorate the cake (unless the kids are decorating it at the party). If making Skate Cake, follow the Variation for decorating as an ice skate.

The Morning Of

Cook chicken for Chicken Quesadilla Sandwiches shred and mix with cilantro mixture. Cover and refrigerate.

Make Ski Poles cover and refrigerate.

Make Mint Cream Topping for Alpine Mint Hot Chocolate cover and refrigerate.

Fill Snowy Ice-Cream Cones with Sweet and Crunchy Snack Mix.

As Party Guests Come Inside

Make and serve hot chocolate.

Serve cones filled with snack mix.

About 15 Minutes Before Meal

Assemble and cook quesadillas.

Winter-Fun Kids' Birthday Party Menu

Alpine Mint Hot Chocolate

Sweet and Crunchy Snack Mix

Chicken Quesadilla Sandwiches

Grape clusters*
Ski Poles

Snowman Cake

Skate Cake


Poppy the Penguin




Critter Crunch

Great-tasting, fun-to-eat Critter Crunch is easy enough for kids to make.

1 cup animal crackers

1 cup teddy bear-shaped chocolate or honey-flavored graham cracker

1 cup small pretzel twists

1 cup yogurt-covered raisins

1 cup candy-coated chocolate candies

10 colorful ice-cream cones , if desired

1. Mix all ingredients except ice-cream cones. Serve snack in cones.

2. Store in covered container.


Crazy Critter Bagel Sandwiches

Kids will love making these single-serve pizzas. You set out all the toppings, and they let their imaginations run wild while creating critter designs from the toppings.

1 cup pizza sauce

8 bagels, split,


8 English muffin halves, toasted

2 cups shredded mozzarella or Cheddar cheese (8 ounces)

Assorted Toppings (See Below)

1. Heat oven to 425ºF. Spread 1 tablespoon pizza sauce over each bagel half. Sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon of the cheese.

2. Arrange toppings on sandwiches to look like desired critters. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

3. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 5 to 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Assorted Toppings

Sliced pepperoni

Canadian-style bacon

Sliced mushrooms

Sliced ripe olives

Chopped zucchini

Chopped bell pepper


Bug Juice Smoothies

This yogurt-based blender drink gets its crazy color from the assortment of fruits that you use.

4 cups vanilla fat-free yogurt

4 medium bananas, cut into chunks

2 cups frozen strawberries

2 cups orange juice

1. Place half of each ingredient in blender. Cover and blend on high speed about 30 seconds or until smooth. Pour into 4 glasses.

2. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Pour into remaining 4 glasses. Serve immediately


Inchworm Cake

Inch your way into a fun celebration with an easy-to-make and fun-to-eat cake!

1 package cake mix (any flavor)

Water, oil and eggs called for on cake mix package

8 drops green food color

1 1/2 tubs Betty Crocker® Rich & Creamy vanilla ready-to-spread frosting

Tray or cardboard, 19x14 inches, covered

5 candy-coated chocolate candies

2 vanilla wafer cookies

2 small pretzel sticks

24 gumdrops


1. Heat oven to 350ºF. Grease 12- cup bundt cake pan. Make cake mix as directed on package, using water, oil and eggs. Pour into pan.

2. Bake as directed on package or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

3. Cut cake as shown in diagram A. Freeze pieces uncovered 1 hour for easier frosting. Stir food color into frosting. Arrange cake pieces on tray to form inchworm as shown in diagram B. Frost cake, attaching pieces with frosting.

4. Attach 1 chocolate candy to each vanilla wafer with frosting; attach to end of cake for eyes. Press 3 candies into frosting for mouth. Gently push 1 pretzel stick into flat end of gumdrop; repeat. Insert pretzels stick into cake for antennae. Arrange remaining gumdrops along edge for feet.


"Just Bugging You" cupcake Cones

Someone bugging you to make a great birthday cake? Make these cupcake cones. They’re the buggiest!

1 package cake mix (any non-swirl flavor)

Water, oil and eggs called for on cake mix package

30 to 36 flat-bottom ice-cream cones

1 tub Betty Crocker® Whipped ready-to-spread frosting (any flavor)

Assorted candies and cookies, if desired

1. Heat oven to 350ºF. Make cake mix as directed on package, using water, oil and eggs.

2. Fill each cone about half full of batter. Stand cones in muffin pan.

3. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick carefully inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

4. Spread with frosting. Decorate with candies and cookies to create bugs and butterflies. Use small cookies or licorice candies for bodies, mini candy-coated chocolate candies for eyes and small pieces of licorice for legs and antennae. Store cones loosely covered.


Crunchy Garlic Drumsticks

These herb-coated drummies are positively addicting!

2 cups Corn Flakes cereal

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1/2 teaspoon paprika

3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

1 tablespoon milk

1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives or parsley

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

8 chicken drumsticks (2 pounds)

Cooking spray

1. Heat oven to 425ºF. Spray rectangular pan, 13x9x2 inches, with cooking spray.

2. Crush cereal. Mix cereal, parsley and paprika. Mix butter, milk, chives, salt and garlic powder. Dip chicken into butter mixture, then coat lightly and evenly with cereal mixture. Place in pan. Spray chicken with cooking spray.

3. Bake uncovered 35 to 50 minutes or until juice of chicken is no longer pink when centers of thickest pieces are cut.


Goin' Fishin' Cupcakes

These cute-as-a-button cupcakes are sure to put a smile on your son’s or daughter’s (or husband’s or niece’s) face!

1 package Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® devil's food cake mix

1 1/3 cups water

1/2 cup vegetable oil

3 eggs

1 tub Betty Crocker® Rich & Creamy vanilla or butter cream ready-to-spread frosting

Blue food color

Fishing Poles (See Below)

1. Heat oven to 350ºF. Place paper baking cups in 24 regular-size muffin cups.

2. Beat cake mix (dry), water, oil and eggs on low speed 1 minute. Fill muffin cups about two-thirds full with batter.

3. Bake 21 to 26 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Immediately remove from pan; cool.

4. Mix frosting and 2 or 3 drops food color. Frost cupcakes with blue frosting; pull up on frosting, using metal spatula, so frosting looks like waves. Decorate with Fishing Poles.

Fishing Poles

24 cocktail straws

24 pieces dental floss

24 Betty Crocker® Shark Bites® chewy fruit snacks (2 to 3 pouches)

Cut each straw to make one 3-inch piece. Cut dental floss into 3 1/2 inch lengths. Attach piece of dental floss to end of each straw, using needle, to resemble fish line. Attach 1 fruit snack to end of each piece of dental floss.

High Altitude (3500-6500 ft) Make cake mix following high altitude directions on package for cupcakes. Makes 30 cupcakes.


Double-Fruit Shakes

The original smoothie! This blend of yogurt and fruit will get your day off to a great start.

4 cups vanilla fat-free yogurt

2 packages (10 ounces each) frozen sweetened strawberries or Raspberries, partially thawed

2 medium bananas, sliced (2 cups)

1. Place all ingredients in blender container.

2. Cover and blend about 30 seconds or until smooth.


Hot Dog Casserole

Potatoes create a base for this classic combination of hot dogs and condiments.

1 1/3 cups water

1/3 cup milk

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/3 cups Betty Crocker® Potato Buds® mashed potatoes (dry)

1/4 cup sweet pickle relish

2 tablespoons mayonnaise or salad dressing

1 tablespoon instant minced onion

2 teaspoons yellow mustard

4 to 6 hot dogs

1. Heat oven to 350ºF. Heat water, milk, butter and salt to boiling in 2-quart saucepan. Remove from heat. Stir in dry potatoes just until moist. Let stand about 30 seconds or until liquid is absorbed. Whip with fork until as fluffy as you'd like. Stir in relish, mayonnaise, onion and mustard. Spread in ungreased 1-quart casserole.

2. Cut each hot dog lengthwise in half, then crosswise in half. Arrange hot dog pieces around edge of mashed potatoes.

3. Bake uncovered 25 to 30 minutes or until center is hot.


Friendly Dog Salads

A kid’s best friend is a doggone fun fruit salad. They can make it themselves!

4 lettuce leaves

4 canned pear halves

2 canned prunes or plums

2 maraschino cherries

4 raisins

8 canned mandarin orange segments

1. Place 1 lettuce leaf on each of 4 salad plates. Place 1 pear half, cut side down, on each lettuce leaf. Cut prunes lengthwise in half with scissors and remove pits. Place 1 prune half on large end of each pear half for dog ear.

2. Cut cherries in half with scissors. Place 1 cherry half on narrow end of each pear half for dog nose. Scoop out tiny hole in each pear half for dog eye. Place raisin in each hole. Add 2 orange segments to each salad for a collar.


Dalmatian Cupcakes

Yes, these cupcakes look like those famous spotted dogs. The chocolate cake has a hidden creamy filling and chocolate chip "spots." Kids love them!

2 packages (3 ounces each) cream cheese, softened

1/3 cup sugar

1 egg

1 1/2 cups miniature or regular semisweet chocolate chips

1 package Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® devil's food cake mix

1 1/3 cups water

1/3 cup vegetable oil

3 eggs

1 tub Betty Crocker® Rich & Creamy or Whipped vanilla ready-to-spread frosting

1. Heat oven to 350ºF. Place paper baking cup in each of 24 regular-size muffin cups.

2. Beat cream cheese, sugar and 1 egg in medium bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Stir in 1 cup of the chocolate chips; set aside.

3. Beat cake mix, water, oil and 3 eggs in large bowl on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes.

4. Divide batter among muffin cups (1/4 cup in each). Top each with 1 tablespoon cream cheese mixture.

5. Bake 21 to 26 minutes or until tops spring back when touched lightly. Cool 10 minutes in pan. Remove from pan; cool completely, about 30 minutes.

6. Frost tops with frosting. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips.

High Altitude (3500-6500 ft) Heat oven to 375ºF. Stir 1/4 cup Gold Medal® all-purpose flour into dry cake mix. Use 1 1/2 cups water and 1 tablespoon oil.


Strawberry Coolers

Use strawberry or your kid's favorite flavor of soft drink mix to cool off with these fun and fruity ice cubes.

1 envelope (2-quart size) strawberry-flavored soft drink mix

2/3 cup sugar

3 cups water

1 pint (2 cups) strawberry, stems removed

2 bottles (1 liter each) lemon-lime soda pop

1. Mix soft drink mix, sugar and water. Pour into divided ice-cube tray. Place 1 whole strawberry in each cube. Freeze at least 4 hours or overnight.

2. To serve, place frozen fruit cubes in glasses. Fill glasses with soda pop.


Sweet and Crunchy Snack Mix

This one-of-a-kind munching mix is loaded with your favorite snack foods!

3 cups small pretzel twists

1 cup honey-roasted peanuts

1 cup Frosted Cheerios® cereal

1 cup dried banana chips

1 cup candy-coated chocolate candies

1. Stir together all ingredients.

2. Store in airtight container


Pluto Pizza Dogs

Kids really go for these grilled hot dogs with all the pizza trimmings.

8 hot dogs

1/2 cup pizza sauce

8 hot dog buns, split

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (4 ounces)

4 medium green onions, sliced (1/4 cup), if desired

1. Heat coals or gas grill. Cut crosswise diagonal slashes 1/2 inch apart and 1/4 inch deep in each hot dog. Heat pizza sauce until hot; keep warm.

2. Grill hot dogs uncovered 4 to 6 inches from medium heat 10 to 15 minutes, turning frequently, until hot and slashes begin to open.

3. Serve hot dogs on buns. Top with pizza sauce, cheese and onions.


Kitty Cat Brownies

Kitty Cat Brownies are the "purr-fect" treat for a child’s birthday party, and decorating the cat can be a "purr-fectly" fun activity for party-goers.

1 package Betty Crocker® Supreme brownie mix, any flavor


Vegetable oil


1 tub Betty Crocker® Rich & Creamy dark chocolate, chocolate or milk chocolate ready-to-spread frosting

2 large yellow gumdrops

1 large green gumdrop

1 small black gumdrop

Black shoestring licorice

6 candy corn

1. Heat oven to 350ºF. Line two 9- or 8-inch round pans with aluminum foil, leaving edge of foil above rim of pan; grease bottom only of foil.

2. Stir brownie mix, chocolate syrup (if using Original or Dark Chocolate browine mix), water, oil and eggs in medium bowl until well blended. Divide mixture evenly between pans; spread to edges.

3. Bake as directed on package for 13x9-inch pan or until toothpick inserted 2 inches from side of pan comes out clean or almost clean. Cool completely.

4. Lift out foil and uncut brownies. Carefully remove foil. Cut 1 round as shown in diagram. Arrange uncut round and the pieces, top sides down, on large tray or aluminum foil-covered cardboard, 18x12 inches, to form cat. Frost cat, attaching pieces with small amount of frosting.

5. Cut thin slice from bottom of each yellow gumdrop; use slices for eyes. Cut thin slice from green gumdrop; use to make pupils. Use black gumdrop for nose and shoestring licorice for whiskers, mouth and from paws. Attach 3 candy corn on each paw for claws. Store loosely covered.


Extra-Easy Pizza

Pizza is always a possibility when you have Bisquick® mix on the shelf! Making a crust has never been so quick and easy.

1 1/2 cups Original Bisquick® mix

1/3 cup very hot water

1 can (8 ounces) pizza sauce

1 package (3 1/2 ounces) sliced pepperoni

1/2 cup sliced fresh mushroom

1/2 cup chopped bell pepper

1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (6 ounces)

1. Heat oven to 450ºF. Grease 12-inch pizza pan. Stir together Bisquick mix and very hot water; beat 20 strokes until soft dough forms.

2. Press dough in pizza pan. Spread pizza sauce over dough. Top with remaining ingredients.

3. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbly


Witches' Hats

Make this "spook-tacularly" easy cookie for Halloween parties or treats!

32 Kisses® milk chocolates, unwrapped

1 package (11 1/2 ounces) fudge-striped shortbread cookies (32)

1 tube (4.25 ounces) orange or red decorating icing

1. Attach 1 chocolate candy to chocolate bottom of each cookie, using decorating icing.

2. Pipe decorating icing around base of chocolate candy.


Witches' Brooms

These sweet-salty bewitchin' cookies are easy to make and fun to eat!

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

2 tablespoons water

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

10 pretzel rods, about 8 1/2 inches long, cut crosswise in half

2 teaspoons shortening

2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Butterscotch-flavored chips, melted

1. Heat oven to 350ºF. Mix brown sugar, butter, water and vanilla in medium bowl. Stir in flour and salt. Shape dough into twenty 1 1/4-inch balls.

2. Place pretzel rod halves on ungreased cookie sheet. Press ball of dough onto cut end of each pretzel rod. Press dough with fork to resemble "bristles" of broom.

3. Bake about 12 minutes or until set but not brown. Remove from cookie sheet. Cool completely on wire rack, about 30 minutes.

4. Cover cookie sheet with waxed paper. Place brooms on waxed paper. Heat shortening and chocolate chips over low heat, stirring occasionally, until melted and smooth; remove from heat. Spoon melted chocolate over brooms, leaving about 1 inch at top of pretzel handle and bottom halves of cookie bristles uncovered. Drizzle with melted butterscotch chips. Let stand until chocolate is set.


Warm Cinnamon-Orange Cider

As if by magic, the cinnamon candies melt, giving this spiced cider a rosy glow.

1/2 bottle (64-ounce size) apple cider

2 cups orange juice

2 tablespoons red cinnamon candies

1 1/2 teaspoons whole allspice

1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons honey

1. Heat apple cider, orange juice, candies and allspice to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 5 minutes.

2. Remove allspice. Stir in honey. Serve warm.


Spooky Halloween Tree

Are you hungry? Munch on the leaves from this easy-to-make Halloween tree!

1 package Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® white or yellow cake mix

1/3 cup shortening

1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg

Liquid or paste orange food color

1. Heat oven to 375ºF. Stir together about half of the cake mix (dry), the shortening, butter, vanilla, egg and food color in large bowl thoroughly, using spoon. Stir in remaining cake mix.

2. Divide dough in half. Roll each 1/4 inch thick on lightly floured cloth-covered board, using cloth-covered rolling pin.

3. Cut into desired shapes with 2 1/2-inch cookie cutters; cutting out eyes, nose, etc., if desired, using sharp knife. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet 6 to 8 minutes or just until set (centers will be soft). Cool 1 minute before removing from cookie sheet. Immediately make hole in tops of some cookies, using end of plastic straw; trim any cut edges with sharp knife to straighten. Cool completely on wire rack.

4. Tie ribbon or yarn through holes to hang. Hang ornaments on tree branches anchored in a pot or on Halloween tree (available at craft stores). Decorate remaining cookies as desired.


Ham and Cheese Ziti

Macaroni-and-cheese lovers, take notice! This one has fun tube-shaped pasta, ham and cheese and is certain to be a favorite.

2 1/2 cups uncooked ziti pasta (9 ounces)

1/4 cup butter or margarine

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups milk

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 cups shredded Colby cheese (8 ounces)

4 ounces sliced cooked deli ham, cut into thin strips

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Heat oven to 350ºF. Cook and drain pasta as directed on package.

2. While pasta is cooking, melt butter in 3-quart saucepan over low heat. Cook garlic in butter 30 seconds, stirring frequently. Stir in flour and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Gradually stir in milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Stir in mustard and Colby cheese. Cook, stirring occasionally, until cheese is melted.

3. Stir pasta and ham into cheese sauce. Pour into ungreased 2-quart casserole. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake uncovered 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly.


Orange-Strawberry Salad

A colorful salad, indeed! Lovely as part of a brunch buffet or terrific as a side to grilled poultry or beef.

Orange Dressing (See Below)

6 oranges, peeled and sliced

1 pint strawberry, sliced (2 cups)

Salad greens

1. Prepare Orange Dressing.

2. Serve oranges and strawberries on salad greens. Serve with dressing.

Orange Dressing

2/3 cup vegetable oil

2 teaspoons grated orange peel

1/2 cup orange juice

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup lemon juice

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 teaspoon ground mustard

1/2 teaspoon salt

Shake all ingredients in tightly covered container.


Cookies 'n Cream Cake

How do you make a moist delicious cake even better? Add cookies!

1 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup sour cream

1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened

1/4 cup water

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 egg

8creme-filled chocolate sandwich cookies, coarsely chopped

Sweetened Whipped Cream (See Below)

1. Heat oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour bottom and side of round pan, 8x1 1/2 or 9x1 1/2 inches.

2. Beat all ingredients except cookies and Sweetened Whipped Cream in large bowl with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on high speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in cookies. Pour into pan.

3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until cake springs back when touched lightly in center. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Frost with Sweetened Whipped Cream, and garnish with additional cookies if desired.

Sweetened Whipped Cream

3/4 cup whipping (heavy) cream

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Beat ingredients in chilled medium bowl with electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form.


Sassy Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes are one of those great American ground beef recipes. Grown-ups have eaten them since childhood, practically making them comfort food. The ketchup and spices that season them are classic.

1 pound lean ground beef

1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)

1/3 cup chopped celery stalk

1/3 cup chopped green bell pepper

1/3 cup ketchup

1/4 cup water

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon red pepper sauce

6 hamburger buns, split and toasted

1. Cook beef and onion in 10-inch skillet over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beef is brown; drain. Stir in remaining ingredients except buns.

2. Cover and cook over low heat 10 to 15 minutes or just until vegetables are tender. Fill buns with mixture.


Curly Fries with Savory Sour Cream

This zesty salsa-sour cream combination is a perfect match for French fries of any shape or size.

Frozen curly-shaped French fries

Old El Paso® Thick 'n Chunky salsa

Sour cream

• Cook French fries as directed on package.

Stir salsa into sour cream (about 1/4 cup salsa to 1/2 cup sour cream).

Serve with fries.


Malt Smoothies

This easy-to-put-together ice-cream drink tastes just like it came from an old-fashioned malt shop!

2 1/4 cups milk

3/4 cup chocolate-flavor syrup or strawberry preserves

3 tablespoons natural- or chocolate-flavor malted milk powder

1 quart vanilla ice cream

1. Place 3/4 cup of the milk, 1/4 cup of the chocolate-flavored syrup and 1 tablespoon malted milk powder in blender. Cover and blend on high speed 2 seconds

.2. Add 3 scoops vanilla ice cream. Cover and blend on low speed about 5 second longer or until smooth. Pour into two glasses.

3. Repeat 2 times with remaining milk, syrup, malted milk powder and ice cream.


Cookies and Candy Pizza (Cookie Mix)

Surprise, it’s dessert pizza! And what’s even sweeter, it comes from a pouch of cookie mix!

1 pouch Betty Crocker® peanut butter cookie mix

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 egg

Toppings, such as candy-coated chocolate candies, candy corn, semisweet chocolate chips, salted or honey-roasted peanuts

1/2 cup shredded or flaked coconut, if desired, tinted orange

1 cup miniature marshmallow

1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted

1. Heat oven to 350°F.

2. Stir cookie mix, oil and egg in medium bowl until soft dough forms. Press dough in ungreased 12-inch pizza pan, forming a narrow rim around edge of pan. Sprinkle choice of toppings on dough; sprinkle coconut over toppings.

3. Bake 10 minutes. Sprinkle marshmallows on top. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until marshmallows are lightly browned and cookie is set at edge. Cool completely in pan, about 1 hour. Drizzle melted chocolate over top. Cut into 12 wedges.


Alpine Mint Hot Chocolate

You'll warm right up with this minty white chocolate drink.

Mint Cream Topping (See Below)

6cups milk3cups white baking chips

1/2teaspoon peppermint extract

Candy cane or Crushed hard peppermint candy, if desired

1. Make Mint Cream Topping.

2. Heat milk just to simmering over medium-low heat--do not boil. Reduce heat to low. Add chips; stir constantly with wire whisk until melted and smooth. Stir in peppermint exact.

3. Pour mixture into cups or mugs. Top with Mint Cream Topping. Garnish with candy cane for stirring, or sprinkle with crushed candies.

Mint Cream Topping

1 cup whipping (heavy) cream

2 tablespoons powdered sugar

1 tablespoon baking cocoa

1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract

Beat all ingredients in chilled small bowl with electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Cover and refrigerate until serving.


Chicken Quesadilla Sandwiches

Trendy in restaurants, and now you can make quesadillas at home--and probably better. They’re deliciously fast to make!

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

8 Old El Paso® flour tortillas (8 inches in diameter)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (4 ounces)

1 can (4.5 ounces) Old El Paso® chopped green chiles, drained

Old El Paso® salsa (any variety), if desired

1. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Cook chicken breasts, cilantro and cumin in oil 15 to 20 minutes, turning chicken once and stirring cilantro mixture occasionally, until juice of chicken is no longer pink when centers of thickest pieces are cut. Shred chicken into small pieces; mix chicken and cilantro mixture.

2. Brush 1 side of 1 tortilla with some of the 2 tablespoons oil; place oil side down in same skillet. Layer with one-fourth of the chicken mixture, 1/4 cup of the cheese and one-fourth of the chilies to within 1/2 inch of edge of tortilla. Top with another tortilla; brush top of tortilla with oil. Cook over medium-high heat 4 to 6 minutes, turning after 2 minutes, until light golden brown.

3. Repeat with remaining tortillas, chicken mixture, cheese and chilies. Cut quesadillas into wedges. Serve with salsa. To Grill: Heat coals or gas grill for direct heat. Assemble quesadillas on platter, brushing outer sides of tortillas generously with oil. Carefully slide onto grill. Grill uncovered 4 to 6 inches from medium heat 4 to 6 minutes, turning after 2 minutes, until light golden brown.

Ski Poles

Celery and olives make a creative appetizer that’s perfect for a skating, sledding or skiing party!

Celery stalk

Sliced ripe olives

• Cut celery into 3- and 4-inch long sticks wide enough to poke olives onto without having them slip off. Poke one sliced olive onto one end of each celery stick, leaving about 1/2 inch of the 'pole' showing at the bottom so they look like ski poles.


Snowman Cake

Invite this snowman in from the cold. A cake mix and ready-to-spread frosting make quick work of this clever cake.

1 package Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® cake mix (any flavor)

Water, oil and eggs called for on cake mix package

1 tub Betty Crocker® Whipped fluffy white ready-to-spread frosting

1 cup flaked or shredded coconut

1 large black gumdrop

1 large green gumdrop

3 pieces red shoestring licorice

4 semisweet chocolate chips

2 chocolate wafer cookies

1. Heat oven to 350ºF (metal or glass pan). Grease (or lightly spray with cooking spray) bottoms only of two 8-inch or 9-inch round pans, or one 8-inch and one 9-inch round pan.

2. Make cake mix as directed on package, using water, oil and eggs. Pour into pans.

3. Bake as directed on package or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

4. Arrange cake rounds as pictured on large aluminum foil-covered tray or cutting board. Frost with frosting. Sprinkle with coconut, pressing gently so it sticks.

5. Carefully cut black gumdrop for nose and eyebrows, cut green gumdrop for eyes, use licorice for mouth and mufffler and chocoate chips for buttons. Place cookie on each side of head for earmuffs; attach across top of head with licorice. Store loosely covered.


Skate Cake

Glide through any birthday party with a mix-easy skate cake like this one! Tubs of frosting and candies add final touches.

1 package Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® cake mix (any flavor)

Water, oil and eggs called for on cake mix package

1 1/2 tubs Betty Crocker® Rich & Creamy


Whipped vanilla ready-to-spread frosting

Green food color

Yellow food color

Tray or cardboard, 18x15 inches, covered

1 roll Betty Crocker® Fruit Roll-Ups® strawberry chewy fruit snack rolls

4 fudge-striped cookies with chocolate-covered bottoms

1 tube (0.68 ounce) Betty Crocker® brown or black decorating gel

8 ring-shaped hard candies

1. Heat oven to 350ºF. Grease bottom only of rectangular pan, 13x9x2 inches. Make cake mix as directed on package, using water, oil and eggs. Pour into pan.

2. Bake as directed on package or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

3. Cut cake as shown in diagram. Freeze pieces uncovered about 1 hour for easier frosting if desired. Tint 1/3 cup of the frosting with 3 drops green food color. Arrange pieces on tray to form skate as shown in diagram, trimming pieces to fit. Frost cake with white frosting, attaching pieces with frosting

4. Outline inner throat and tongue of skate with toothpick. Tint 2 tablespoons white frosting with 2 drops yellow food color; frost inner throat. Frost tongue and back of throat with green frosting. Use fruit snack to form brake, strap and back of throat. Make 4 slits in bottom edge of blade and insert cookies for wheels. Outline skate and blade with decorating gel. Use ring candies for eyelets and wheel axles. Cut 1/4-inch-wide strips of fruit snack and use for laces.


Poppy the Penguin

This cute little popcorn penguin can adorn your table or make a great gift!

12 cups popped popcorn

1/4 cup butter or margarine

1 bag (10 1/2 ounces) miniature marshmallow (6 cups)

1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract

2 candy canes

6 ounces vanilla-flavored candy coating (almond bark), melted

4 ounces chocolate-flavored candy coating (almond bark), melted

Betty Crocker® Fruit Roll-Ups® strawberry chewy fruit snack rolls

Assorted candies, if desired

1. Discard unpopped kernels from popped popcorn.

2. Heat butter and marshmallows in Dutch oven over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth; remove from heat. Stir in peppermint extract. Carefully fold in popcorn until evenly coated. Cool slightly.

3. To make penguin, shape popcorn mixture, using well-buttered hands, into a log about 9 inches long and 4 inches in diameter. Shape so one end is narrower, the middle is wider and the other end shaped to a point. Curve the pointed end to make a tail. Shape popcorn to make feet and beak. Place candy canes on lightly buttered serving plate; set penguin upright on candy canes, turning the curved ends of the candy canes upright to resemble skis. Press popcorn mixture firmly onto candy canes.

4. Brush vanilla coating over penguin, coating completely. Refrigerate just until coating is set. Brush on chocolate coating for penguin's coat. Make stocking cap and scarf from fruit rolls; decorate with vanilla coating if desired. Complete penguin by decorating as desired with candies.

Microwave Directions: Place marshmallows in 4-quart microwavable bowl or casserole. Cut butter into 4 pieces; place on marshmallows. Microwave uncovered on High 1 minute; stir. Microwave uncovered 30 seconds to 1 minute 30 seconds longer or just until mixture can be stirred smooth. Stir in peppermint extract. Continue as directed.