Wednesday, February 8, 2012

"I Need A Safe Treat RIGHT NOW!"

In my last post, "Your lips are moving", I talked about how unresponsive my son's schools were. That was over 10 years ago. However, the feedback I've received about the post tells me that, unfortunately, things haven't changed much.

So...I thought it might be helpful for the newbies out there to have a few options in your back pocket for the days when the teacher calls and says "I'm so sorry, but Johnnie brought birthday cupcakes without telling me in advance and the kids have already seen them so I'm going to have to hand them out. Can you run by with something for YOUR child?"

Yes, it sucks that the options are pony up an instant treat...or have our kids left out...but sometimes that's the best we can get out of the world, and for those times I present:

EMERGENCY TREATS 101*

If you have only 5 minutes:

FRUIT TARTS
Clearbrook Farms tart fillings
Keebler Ready Crust mini graham cracker shells

Fill and go!

MINT "GIRL SCOUT" TYPE COOKIES

Town House crackers (or any safe buttery-type cracker)
1 cup powdered sugar
A few drops mint flavoring
Safe chocolate chips (Enjoy Life, Whole Foods 365, whatever you use)

Add mint flavoring and enough water to the sugar to make a thick, but spreadable icing. Melt chocolate in the microwave and either spread or drizzle over the top of the crackers. These taste just like mint Girl Scout cookies! Really! Plus, they will harden in the car as you're driving to the school.

CHOCOLATE PRETZEL RODS

No instructions needed...just reminding you that kids are very happy with a chocolate-dipped pretzel rod, particularly if you roll it in cake sprinkles.

ITALIAN TRIFLE

This is really easy and surprisingly good! I know the Rich Whip is hard to find, but it's worth the effort.

1 carton Rich's Rich Whip 

Whip until creamy, about 5 minutes, If it's frozen, you can microwave it to get it to thaw and it will still whip.

Add while whipping:

1 Tbsp. instant (decaf) coffee, reconstituted with hot water
1/4 cup safe chocolate syrup

Crush and mix in:

Lorna Doone cookies  (we always use the 100 calorie packs - check the larger sizes to make sure they're safe)
Candied cherries (if you like)

Fill muffin cups with the mixture. Yes, there is not much real food in there, but occasionally in an emergency, it's not the worst thing in the world. Or at least that's what I tell myself.

If you have 10 or more minutes:

CHOCOLATE SUNBUTTER BARS

1 cup sugar
1 cup corn syrup
1 1/2 cups Sunbutter (stir before adding)

Bring this to a boil over the stove, or as hot as you can get it in the time you have. When it's hot/boiling, remove from heat and add 5 cups cereal (Product 19 works well but you can use just about any corn- or rice-based cereal).

"Butter" a 9 x 13 pan and spread mixture. Sprinkle safe chocolate chips across the top. Place pan next to you on the passenger-side seat and spread melting chips with a spoon at stop lights.

"ICE CREAM" PIE

This is awesome! My kids ask me to make this all the time.

One sleeve of Oreos (about 20 cookies, I think)
6 Tbsps. safe margarine
1/3 cup sugar

Crush the cookies in a plastic bag. Melt margarine in the microwave in a glass pie pan. Add sugar and cookies and stir. Once mixed, press around the sides of the pie pan. Don't worry about the cookie filling - it just make it better!

Heat a pint-size safe tub of ice cream substitute for 20 seconds. Dump onto crust and spread. (Again, if it's not melted enough, this part can be done at stoplights.) Sprinkle with chocolate chips, chocolate sauce, mini marshmallows...basically the more bling, the better.

For the veterans: what are your go-to emergency (and I use the word loosely) recipes?

*Obviously I can't cover every allergen. These are tailored to my son's major allergens: milk, soy, peanuts, tree nuts (we do not avoid soy oil/lecithin). Most also don't contain egg. CHECK EVERY LABEL!