If spring break is seeming as endless at your house as it is in ours, you’re likely looking for some inspiration to keep the kiddos occupied.
The kitchen is always a great spot for enthusiastic little people, with lots of opportunities for mixing ingredients, getting a little messy, and watching their efforts materialize while sitting cross-legged in front of the oven window.
The big kids, however, might show slightly less enthusiasm for these simple tasks, and need a little bit more of a challenge in the kitchen to keep them interested in seeing a culinary project through.
Enter the Cream Cheese Penguins.
With an arts & crafts style assembly, these cute little animal snacks have limitless creative potential (3-headed penguin, anyone?), and the makings of more than a few moments of quiet with kids at the table, focusing those fine motor skills on creating the perfect penguin snacks.
Also great for a birthday party snack or family potluck, these treats are not only cute, but full of Iron, Calcium, and Vitamin A. Add red pepper penguin accessories for a hit of Vitamins C and B6, and these guys have a lot more going for them than the average plate of cheese and crackers.
Cream Cheese Penguins (courtesy of Allrecipes.com)
- 18 jumbo black olives, pitted
- 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened. (Robin here: we use soft goat cheese as a dairy replacement)
- 18 small black olives
- 1 carrot
- 1 red pepper (optional)
1. Cut a slit from top to bottom, lengthwise, into the side of each jumbo olive. Carefully insert about 1 teaspoon of cream cheese into each olive. Slice the carrot into eighteen 1/4 inch thick rounds; cut a small notch out of each carrot slice to form feet. Save the cut out piece and press into center of small olive to form the beak. If necessary cut a small slit into each olive before inserting the beak.
2. Set a big olive, large hole side down, onto a carrot slice. Then, set a small olive onto the large olive, adjusting so that the beak, cream cheese chest and notch in the carrot slice line up. Secure with a toothpick. Experiment with adding accessories such as scarves using slices of red pepper, or other colourful vegetables that strike your fancy.