It's An Artistic Expression...
Ok, so I am not into candy, like at all. Well, unless it is dark chocolate. And while I don't stop my kids from having an occasional munch, I certainly don't promote it. What I am into is kids doing lots of fun art, expressing themselves and getting lost in the enchantment of their own imagination. Cooking with kids and getting them inspired about food is also big on my list. So when I found out about the gingerbread house making birthday parties offered at a wonderful local cooking school, I had to jump on the chance for my little one's sixth birthday party. She loves to cook and create so I knew this would be a great opportunity for her.
This is not only review of a very fun educational place in Boulder, Colorado, it is also a sharing of a very fun time with lots of great ideas for making your own wonderful gingerbread houses! At the bottom of this post are links to more great ideas for making a healthy gingerbread house. Stir It Up Cooking School offers fun, exciting cooking classes, parties and camps for kids in a homey loving atmosphere. It is a school of great imagination and fun! If you are in the Boulder area and looking for some cooking fun, I highly recommend you look up this great school!
We had her party late in the season last year and I have waited this whole time with oodles of great pictures to share and all the fun of the day as well.
Sue, who was the amazing woman who ran V's party, did a great job keeping the kids busy and engaged that whole time. She started the party by having the kiddos make quesadillas and ice cream from scratch to have as a snack after all their hard work. The kids each learned how to grate cheese and used cookie cutters to create a shape in the top of their quesadilla. Then they quickly whipped up some wonderful ice cream and everyone watch enchanted as Sue filled up the ice cream maker.
Next they were on to making their houses. Sue had baked up some simply lovely gingerbread house pieces which smelled heavenly. The kids took off with painting their roofs.
After the kids finished painting their roofs of course they needed to make Christmas trees to put inside their houses. What do you use for trees? Ice cream cones! Painted green, decorated and placed pointy side up, ice cream cones make the perfect tree.
Next the houses came out which were all pre-assembled on little cake cardboard rounds. Excellent instructions were given to the kids on how to use a pastry bag for decorating. Finally came the candies with many wonderfully creative ideas of how to use them. The frosting made the perfect glue for decorating. I was so impressed by Sue's imagination, she had lots of fun ideas for using the candies.
Pretzel waffley things glued together became cozy chairs for gummy bears seated around the tree. Outside the house two little ducks swim in a pond.
Notice the presents?
V helps Sue put her roof on her house.
The class was so engaging that aside from frosting licked off fingers, no candy eating really happened except a stray piece here and there. And once we were home the houses were just to pretty to eat. So I guess the kids really did create a piece of art work after all. And most important, they had an absolute blast!
Looking for some healthy gingerbread house alternatives to make at home?
Here is what I found so far:
Eat Chic Chicago shows how to make a beautifully decorated house with nuts and dried fruit.
Simply Home Making Another fun house with lots of ideas. Also great pictures with instructions on how to bake the pieces for a house. My favorite part is the popcorn roof with a whiff of popcorn smoke coming from the chimney.
Medomak Family Camp has ideas for a sweet little house and plus more great instructional pics.
Cooking Matters offers lots of fun ideas to use with a graham cracker base.