5 Fun and Inexpensive Things to do in the Snow

After our awesome trip we just took to McCall, ID for the winter carnival and with all the snow our area has received lately, I thought it would be fun to share some fun and inexpensive things that my kids and let’s be honest, the adults love to do with all that white powdery stuff.  Let me start with . . .

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Snow Caves

This activity does require quite a bit of snow, but if you have enough, this is an activity that will keep the kiddos occupied for hours! They can have a contest, my kids like to do boys against girls, to see who can create the best cave. This particular cave even included a mailbox!

 

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Sledding

Who doesn’t love sledding! My kids LOVE sledding and mom and dad had a pretty great time with it too! And bonus, with all the trudging back up the hill, you can burn some serious calories. Win, win!

 

 

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Snowball Fights

Snowball fights are my sons favorite! Unless of course, those snowballs have ice in them, so be careful! On one of his more recent conquests to take over the above-mentioned girls snow cave, there was a little too much ice and not enough snow in the snowball and got a little bit of a black eye. He was a trooper though and stayed strong to follow through with the battle.

 

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Snow Ice Cream

After all of these activities,  the kids are probably going to be hungry! You could, of course,  go for the hot cocoa and cider, but why not use that snow to keep the fun going and make your snack with all that fluffy white stuff mother nature has given you? Snow ice cream is super delicious and super simple! It only takes a couple of ingredients and it’s so simple that the kids can make it on their own. You can find my kids favorite recipe right here.

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Snow Cones

This last activity is even simpler, but oh so yummy! You just need a couple things for a tasty treat that will please just about anyone. Check it out right here!

 

 

 

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3 Delicious & Easy Snow Treats

We have been on an AMAZING trip as a family to an absolute winter wonderland! I have felt like we are in a magical snow globe! We don’t get a lot of snow back home, so I thought it would be fun to try a couple of treats that we can’t do without snow and I wanted to share those recipes with you. What I love about these, as long as you have snow, you probably have most of the ingredients on hand! Isn’t that great?!

We looked up several recipe variations, tried out a few and then altered the ones we loved the most to make it perfect. So without further adieu, here are the treats.

 

Vanilla Snow Ice Cream

This one was a fan favorite for everyone who tried it! And the fact that it only requires 3 ingredients (one of those being snow) make this a mom fave too.

  • 6 cups of CLEAN snow
  • 1 – 14 oz. can of sweet and condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Have the kids collect clean snow, add in the can of milk and vanilla and mix well! Sprinkle with your favorite toppings and ENJOY!

 

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Chocolate Snow Ice Cream

For all my chocolate lovers, here’s another fun snow ice cream to try!

  • 8 cups of CLEAN snow
  • 1 – 14 oz. can of sweet and condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 5 tablespoons cocoa powder

Mix well. Sprinkle with your favorite toppings and ENJOY! We added the little mini marshmallows to make more of a Rocky Road(esque)  Chocolate Ice Cream.

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Snow Cones

Who doesn’t love Hawaiian Shave Ice? This “shaved” ice comes straight from Mother Nature herself and let me just say, she is good.

Fill a cup with clean snow.

Drizzle with your favorite Torani Syrup flavor or flavors. ENJOY!

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That’s it!! Three fun recipes, all only needing a few simple ingredients. So simple, but SO good!! The kiddos LOVED each of these and the adults thought they were pretty darn good too!

 

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Healthy Hot Chocolate

I don’t know about you but the weather around here has definitely turned very cold! We LOVE hot cocoa at our house this time of year, but I HATE all of the nasty ingredients in store bought cocoa mix. Plus, there can be a lot of sugar in those mixes which is no bueno for the waist line. So how do we warm up with our favorite drink without taking in all the crud? We make our own mix! It’s super simple, sugar free and tasty!img_6851

Ingredients

  • 6 tbs Unsweetened cocoa powder (I use a high quality dutch processed cocoa)
  • 1/2 cup Dry nonfat milk powder
  • 1 tsp Cornstarch
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 3/4 cup Baking stevia (we buy ours at Costco) 

Mix all the ingredients well and store in a sealed container. To enjoy hot chocolate, mix 1 tbs dry mix with 1 cup hot almond milk, skim milk, or water. Stir until hot chocolate mix is completely dissolved and well combined. We like to add vanilla and peppermint flavor to ours to make it more gourmet, but it tastes fine on it’s own. Enjoy!

*recipe found on https://dashingdish.com

 

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Pot Pie Hand Pies

With Thanksgiving in our rear view mirror, I’ve been trying to use up the rest of our left over turkey. And we have A LOT of left over turkey. Even after turkey sandwiches and turkey soup, there is SO much turkey!!! I was racking my brain over what to do with all this turkey besides throwing it in a bag, shoving it in the freezer and forgetting about it…Until next Thanksgiving when I go to make room for the turkey and end up finding a nasty bag of freezer burned, unidentifiable meat and throwing it away. Please tell me I’m not the only one who’s done this!

Anyways… I remembered a few years ago I made turkey pot pie hand pies and they were delicious! So it was decided!! Turkey pot pie in a scrumptious, ever so convenient pick-up-able pocket. Are you drooling yet??

You start with the holy trinity in the food world. A mirepoix if you will.

i.e. Carrots, onion and celery.

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After you cook them till they are soft and heavenly and your kitchen smells AMAZING, you add some more awesomeness. You create a flour and butter paste called a roux. After cooking the roux for a couple minutes you add chicken stock at which point the mixture will thicken into a gravy. Then you add cooked potatoes, chicken stock, chicken bouillon and then of course, TURKEY. If you are like me and you have LOTS of turkey you may find that you underestimated the size of pan you might need and have to transfer it to another pot.

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Look at that pot of awesomeness! At this point you make a crust and either put your filling in a casserole dish and cover it with your crust or you can make super cute hand pies or as the English call them, “pasties”. Whatever you call them, they are fantastic.

Now I have a mother-in-law that is on the health conscience side of things and suggested that I try making these with “wonder flour”, a mixture of ground barley, brown rice and spelt. I can honestly tell you it’s not worth it. Sometimes one just needs to indulge in an all butter, white flour crust and just be ok with that. The “healthier” crust was super crumbly, dry and not super tasty. It wasn’t horrible, but not what I wanted…AT ALL! And they weren’t cute! I wanted cute!

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See…not the right color at all. Did it stop me from eating one? Not at all! They tasted ok, but not the same as the regular, gluten and butter filled pocket of deliciousness.

So after the healthier attempt I made another batch of dough with regular white flour and here was the finished product.

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So much better. So so much!!! This one is waiting for me to devour it at lunch time tomorrow. Or maybe breakfast. I don’t know if I can wait that long.

turkey hand pies or turkey pasties

adapted from sophistimom.com

*I didn’t put an exact amount of carrots and celery. I just cut up enough till I have the same amount of carrots and celery to equal the amount of onion that I cut. And this will make a LOT of filling so be prepared to make several batches of dough.

1 bag of frozen southern style hashbrowns
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, finely diced
several stalks of celery, finely diced
a bunch of carrots, chopped
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1 32 ounce carton low sodium chicken stock
4 bouillon cube (I actually prefer Better than Bouillon–just use a tablespoon)
salt and pepper to taste
leftover turkey, finely chopped or shredded
pastry dough (recipe follows)
1 egg, plus a teaspoon of water, beaten

1. Place potatoes in a medium saucepan, and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until potatoes are tender to the point of a knife. Drain and set aside. While the potatoes cook, set a large skillet over medium low heat and add in the olive oil, onion, celery, and carrots. Cook until onions are very tender, about 12-15 minutes.

2. Melt butter into the mixture and stir in flour. Let cook for 2 minutes or so, just to let the flour taste cook out. Pour in about half of the can of chicken stock. Add the bouillon and potatoes. Let simmer a few minutes and taste for flavor. Add salt and pepper if needed. Add in chicken and simmer until cooked through. The mixture should be thick, but not too dry. Add more chicken stock until you achieve the desired consistency (I used the whole can). Store mixture in refrigerator until ready to use (the pies are easier to make if the filling is cold).

3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees (220 degrees celsius). Place a piece of parchment paper in a baking sheet and set aside. Roll out the pastry dough on a floured board into an 18×22 inch rectangle (don’t measure! just guess). Cut in half, and then cut each half in thirds, to make 6 equal smaller rectangles.

4. Spoon 1/4 cup (about 4 tablespoons) of the chicken mixture onto one of the rectangles of dough, placing it slightly off center. Wet the edges of the dough with a pastry brush and water, and fold the longer end of the pastry up and over the filling. Press the dough down to seal it, and then crimp with the edges of a fork. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Make two incisions in the top of the pastry with a sharp knife, and brush with the beaten egg and water. Repeat with remaining 5 pastries. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

5. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown and puffed.

pastry dough

2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
1 stick (112g) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/3 cup ice cold water

1. In a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, pulse together the flour, salt, and sugar. Add in the butter, and pulse a few times until the mixture is crumbly and resembles coarse meal. Combine the egg and water in a container (remove all ice pieces). While the processor is running, pour the water/egg mixture in and pulse until mixture just comes together.

2. Pour mixture out onto a floured board and knead a few times to bring all the ingredients together. Dough can be rolled out immediately, or it can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 2 days.

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