Kid Friendly and Fun Foods
Being the mother of two children with a seven year age difference can be a challenge, especially when cooking. My oldest (referred to as Boy) was adventurous and would try anything, he had been told to try it at least once before telling me he didn't like it enough times. My youngest (referred to as Girl) would eat chicken fingers and macaroni and cheese for every meal if I let her. I always got THAT FACE when I put anything new in front of her. You know the one, wrinkled nose, pursed lips, she looked like a 89 year old woman who had sucked on a lemon. But I didn't give in, I accepted her challenge. And sometimes it was simple, lemon pepper chicken with rice and green beans, Boy's favorite meal. But that gets old after a while, not to mention Husband's reaction "Agaaaaiiiinnnn?" What is a mother to do I asked myself? Talk to other mothers? I did. Read cookbooks and try anything that looks appealing? Done. Buy a huge amount of grocery store check out line magazines? Done done and done. Armed with all this knowledge I felt prepared to rock Girl's culinary world.
Boring weekday turns into epic fun day
Armed with a few satisfactory meals under my belt I decide to have fun with a dessert. But I didn't want to wait until after dinner, I wanted immediate results, so dessert became an after school snack. I had been searching the web for fun dessert ideas and came across the Kitty Litter Cake. Looks gross but sounds DELICIOUS. I mean what's not to like, cake, pudding, cookies and tootsie rolls. I won't bore you with the recipe, everyone can find or has their own recipe. I'll just tell you what I did.
Step 1: Grocery shopping
I bought 2 white cake mixes, I could have made my own cake but remember the instant results remark from above? Yeah, so I bought the cake mix. 2 boxes of vanilla pudding mix, lemon would work but we are not lemon people. 1 package vanilla sandwich cookies, oh what the heck, let's get 2, they won't go to waste. CANDY AISLE for tootsie rolls. I also spy something else. Chick-a-flicka's, you know those old fashioned kinda hard candies that look like old hard cat poo, yeah, I got some of those. Now to buy a litter scoop and my shopping list is complete.
Step 2: Hurry home
I went straight home, no other errands for me. I had to get this cake made before school was out and the clock was ticking. Since Boy and Girl went to different schools I knew I was running out of time, Boy gets home an hour before Girl. If all else fails Boy can help, he's cool like that.
Step 3: Let's bake
I mix up the cake mixes and get them in the oven. Doesn't matter if they are in 4 different sized cake pans, they are getting crumbled up anyway. While they cook I mix up the pudding and get it in the frig to chill. How to crush up the cookies? I opt for old school, since I didn't have a food processor, and put them in a gallon size zip lock bag and beat them with the flat side of a meat tenderizer. Effective and a little stress relieving. Once they are at optimal kitty litter size I had a few drops of yellow food coloring and a few drops of blue food coloring (should have checked on the food coloring status before shopping) and give the bag a few shakes until I feel they are coated to my liking.
Step 4: Wait
Yawn! Wait for the cake to cool. Luckily I can cut and crumble up the pieces so wait time is cut in half.
Step 5: Construction
With the cake cooled I add the chilled pudding, but not all at once, start with a few spoon fulls and add more until I feel it is nice and moist. Remember I'm going to cover it with the "litter". Spread it in the litter pan, or in this case a blue plastic tub I had bought to aid in cleaning but hadn't yet used. And then I knew I had lost my race with the clock, stupid waiting time! "Mom, I'm home! Whatcha doin'?" Boy was home, so I enlist his help. "I'm making a cake, wanna help?" "Kinda looks like throw up, can I try some?" That's my kid! I get him to unwrap some tootsie rolls. I worked like this, 2 for him and 1 for the cake. But whatever. I sprinkle 3/4 of the cookie mixture on the cake as evenly as possible. Then I take my share of the unwrapped tootsie rolls and put a few in the microwave oven for a few seconds, I can always heat them more if they aren't soft enough. 5 seconds worked well. I shape them into poo shapes and stick them in the litter, draped one over the side for affect. Add the Chick-a-flickas and dust with the remaining cookie mixture. It looks awesome! And just in time too! I need to pick up Girl from school. I put the cake in the floor of the kitchen in a corner and threaten Boy with no TV for a week if he touches it.
Step 6: The unveiling
Girl is home. Asks for an afternoon snack. "But of course, let's go in the kitchen and see what we have for you to snack on" he he he he Boy peeks around the corner as we walk into the kitchen. Girl stops dead in her tracks and looks around her. With awe in her voice she asks "Did we get a kitten?". And then my first child does something that makes me a happy mom. He walks past Girl, picks up a tootsie roll poo and pops it in his mouth. Girl screams and threatens to throw up!
The Aftermath (or Licking the Pan Clean)
Once we had calmed down Girl and assured her that,no, we did not get a kitten and, no, her brother did not eat cat poo we thought we would try our creation. Husband arrives home just in time to help "cut the cake". But Girl refuses to try it. Says she wants to puke every time she looks at it. We are disgusting people. Can she have a peanut butter sandwich. So make her a sandwich and set her in front of the TV, which is a treat to get the TV all to herself. Boy, Husband and I dig into the cake. It's, dare I say, FANTASTIC. It's moist, tasty, the tootsie rolls add that certain je ne sais quoi. So while I did not tempt Girl with a new culinary treat I did make an awesome dessert (that did not last until dessert) and created a family memory that will be retold over and over.
© 2015 Carrie Djondric