This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of The J.M. Smucker Company. The opinions and text are all mine.
On any given weekday, you can find my kids getting home from school and doing exactly the same thing. They run in the door, say a quick hi to Mom, grab something to eat and then turn on the TV or another screen to have some down time. I totally get that they need a break after being in class all day, and I’m okay with it. But I’ve been thinking more about the quality time we spend together as they are getting older. At the end of the day I often wish I had specifically set aside more distraction-free moments with my kids where they get my complete attention. One of the easiest ways to get that time is to let them help in the kitchen. Whether it’s dinner or a special treat, it’s a special time when we can learn, laugh and talk together!
With Halloween coming up, it’s a great time to make some treats together with your kids! We love to Mix Up a Moment together using something that’s both easy and fun to make. My kids love to make treats and share them with friends and neighbors, but this time we decided to use Pillsbury™ Funfetti® Halloween Cake Mix to make treats for their teachers! They work so hard and make such a difference in my kids’ lives, we thought it would be a fun surprise to leave a Halloween cupcake on their desks in the morning before school.
My older kids love to help in the kitchen, and I love spending time with them. I have three goals when we are cooking together.
First, is to teach them one little cooking tip or safety rule. We talked about letting the cupcakes cool so the frosting wouldn’t melt off, and that cooling them on the counter would be quicker than leaving them in the muffin tin on the stovetop. My mom always snuck in little cooking lessons like that when I was a kid and I loved that! It helps kids feel more responsible and grown-up when they get to cook like mom.
Next, I have to constantly remind myself to be patient with them. I let both my kids choose the pattern of cupcake liner they wanted and put it in the muffin tin, but it took them several minutes to decide. I could have filled it up in probably 20 seconds, but they wouldn’t have been involved or had fun choosing. That brings me to my 3rd goal. HAVE FUN! It’s the most important part of our time spent together.
After the cupcakes cooled, we used the fun orange-colored Pillsbury™ Funfetti® Halloween Vanilla Flavored Frosting to decorate them. My kids are kind of obsessed with sprinkles, so they thought it was awesome that Halloween sprinkles were included in the lid! You can also dress the cupcakes up with additional Pillsbury™ colored frosting.
For decoration we added some black and orange chocolate-covered pretzels. The bat and pumpkin shapes are so fun and they were easy to color with candy melting chocolate! For more decorating ideas check out the Pillsbury™ Mix Up A Moment Pinterest page!
Here’s my new favorite way to package individual cupcakes for gifting to someone special. Place one cupcake inside a short plastic cup, add to a plastic treat bag and tie with fun ribbon or twine! My kids added their teacher’s names and I felt like the cupcakes were a little more protected since they had to survive a bumpy bus ride to school!
Now that my oldest two are in school for at least part of the day, I usually do my errands in the morning with my toddler. She’s a good little helper, but our trips need to be quick and efficient for her stay that way 😉 I picked up everything while we were doing our grocery shopping at Walmart in the easy-to-find Bake Center. Ours is near the baking aisle and it had everything we needed to make a fun Halloween treat! You can also find the other flavors and varieties of Pillsbury™ products in the regular Bake Aisle. We stocked up so we would be prepared – you never know when you’ll need to bring a classroom treat or dessert for a neighborhood party!
Because I taught school for a few years, I feel like I have a special appreciation for teachers and the work they put in every day for our kids. I know how hard that job is! I’m so grateful for the teachers my kids have had – and truly believe they have shaped and taught my children in a way I couldn’t have myself. I hope they enjoy a small token of our appreciation! #MixUpAMoment
I was recently asked by The J.M Smucker Company to create some unique tips for using this product and I wanted to share them with you.