Muffin Tin Monday - Trees, Leaves, and Harvest Theme

Welcome to Muffin Tin Monday, the weekly blog link up that combines muffin tins, yummy food and hungry kids Every Monday, here at Muffin Tin Mom, we celebrate the Muffin Tin Meal: which simply put is a meal served in a muffin tin. We get creative every now and again with themes. And this is one of those weeks. To read more on MTM, be sure to visit our FAQ page.

This week's theme: Trees, Leaves and Harvest

Apple Tree, (inspiration from Melissa's Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Muffin Tin Meal)
Fresh spinach leaves 
Salami on tree top food picks
Cheese leaf cut outs
PB and wheat bread tree stumps

Now it's your turn! You know what to do: add your link by clicking on the blue "add your link: button!

No Need For The Sunday Paper

Happy Halloween!

This week's links:

One Pretty Thing: Pumpkin Carving Ideas/ Round Up via OPT

5 Orange Potatoes (via The Crafty Crow): Love, love, love this fall leaf mask I resolved to make a "jesse tree" for our family this year. Simple Mom talks more on this and if you google it, you find thousands of options out there.

**don't forget tomorrow is Muffin Tin Monday and the theme is "trees, leaves, and harvest"


Psalm 1

Blessed is the man
       who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
       or stand in the way of sinners
       or sit in the seat of mockers.
 But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
       and on his law he meditates day and night.

 He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
       which yields its fruit in season
       and whose leaf does not wither.
       Whatever he does prospers.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes

A different way to eat PB and J, these cupcakes are sure to hit the spot for any lover of America's classic sandwich. It's also a great solution if you don't have any cupcake frosting in your cupboard. The recipe is easy. Seriously in cupcake mix easy. 

You'll need:
  •  cupcake mix - white cake
  • Peanut Butter
  • Jelly, Jam or Preserves


  • Bake cupcakes directed on the package. 
  • Let cool slightly.
  • Fill a plastic baggie with jam, snip off a corner of the bottom 
  • Using end of wooden spoon, poke hole in cupcake and "pipe" jam into the hole (see below).
  • Spread top with peanut butter (we love creamy PB).

These are great warm too. just pop in micro for a few seconds and enjoy!

Muffin Tin Meals - So much fruit, it's scary!

Cantaloupe, Watermelon, Honey Dew, Bananas, Diced Grilled Chicken, and Mozzarella Cheese Circles.

Dice your food up really small and it's perfect for that picky toddler and 2 year old!

Or make up the Muffin Tin Meal and cover with Glad Press n' Seal and save it in the fridge for after Preschool or Grade School!

Happy Muffin Tinning! 

Easy Afternoon Snack: Bananas, Caramel, and Chocolate Chips

This is half a banana, with drizzles of caramel sauce and sprinkled with chocolate chips. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. The muffin tin kids inhaled it. Also works for dessert.

*This easy snack idea was inspired by one of my favorite bloggers: Flipflops and Applesauce

Muffin Tin Monday - Halloween Theme

It's time for Muffin Tin Monday, Halloween Edition. I hope you enjoy this week's submissions. This week, we were so excited to share the incredibly cute ceramic muffin pan that my dear friend Alicia was able to find for me...It's a 12 cup-er, but I was only able to come up with food for 9 cups. :) I didn't get too super involved this week and just kept it simple with a few fun food items for an afternoon snack.

I was able to make some fun jack-o-lantern faces with orange slices, a knife, a circle shaped fondant cutter and fruit leather.

A fun surprise awaited the kids as they ate. When they finished what was in the cup, they were greeted by some fun images like this one:

Now it's your turn! I can't wait to see all of your submissions. To find out more about Muffin TIn Monday, be sure to visit the MTM FAQ page and to join in this week's fun, click on the blue "add your link" button below, to add the url of your blog post or photo hosted on another page. Happy clicking!

**side note: I may not be able to comment on everyone's posts each week, but please know I click through and check them all out and I enjoy each and every one. :)

No Need For The Sunday Paper

Here are this weeks wonderful links, a little late, but still good:

Hawaii Kawaii: No Carve Hello Kitty Pumpkins. I definitely mosty likely almost surely will be doing this!

Good Housekeeping: Another no carve pumpkin option with mini pumpkins and ribbon!

Little Wonder Days: I just felt like snuggling up with a  warm cup of tea after reading this post on sick day tips.

John 20:24-29

24Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord!"
      But he said to them, "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it."
 26A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!" 27Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe."
 28Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!"
 29Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."

Cookies From Cake Mix

Cookies From Cake Mix

I get requests for this simple cookie recipe all the time and when you taste them, I know you will just love how good they are. There are a lot of variations of this particular recipe, but this one is the most simple and tastiest that I have made. I would love to hear how you like them too!


  • 1 box any variety, any flavor cake mix (I like Betty Crocker yellow cake, chocolate (pictured), or spice cake)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup vegtable oil (canola works fine too)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Mix together in a bowl until dough forms
  • Scoop spoonfuls into bowl of granulated sugar
  • Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
  • Remove and let stand for a few minutes

*Tips- I cover my baking sheet with foil or parchment paper to reduce clean up,
I role my my spoonfuls of dough in sugar, but that is an optional step (it makes them look pretty too!)
And I find that if I remove them from the oven right at the 10 minute mark, they are softer and more chewy.

*This post was previously published on September 13, 2008 on this blog and is reprinted with permission.

Muffin Tin Meal - Fruit Kebabs

Muffin Tin Meals make fantastic and creative after school snacks. Even if your kids are in school all day, they can still come home to a little treat every now and then. Prep ahead of time and throw it together last minute. I tried to sneak a few bites of this and my sweet daughter would have none of it. inhaled the whole thing in a matter of minutes.

In this tin: Blueberry yogurt with sprinkles, crackers, cantaloupe and pineapple fruit kebabs, cheddar cheese squares, chocolate cookie, grapes and strawberry fruit kebabs

Join in the fun every Monday here at Muffin Tin Mom

Pumpkin Paper Plate Craft For Kids

Today I am so pleased to welcome Katie as a guest blogger on Muffin Tin Mom. She is so creative and a joy to know and connect with. While this pumpkin craft is geared for the classroom, it's also fantastic to do at home, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. 

Pumpkin Paper Plate Mask 

This cute paper plate pumpkin mask is the perfect seasonal photo prop. It's fun to make and a great classroom craft. A set of class pictures with students holding up their masks look great on a bulletin board with the title "Welcome to Our Pumpkin Patch". They are also good to use with a group to reenact popular songs like "Five Little Pumpkins".
paper plate
orange paint
empty toilet paper roll
green pipe cleaner
silk leaves or green craft foam to make leaves
tongue depressor or yarn

foam brush
stapler & staples
glue gun & glue sticks or hole punch & yarn

Step 1: Paint paper plate orange. Make sure you get the edges real good! Let dry and carefully cut the center out. You might want to have an adult help you. (If making these with a group, I suggest cutting all the centers out beforehand.) Step 2: Cut approximately three inches off of an empty toilet paper roll. Very carefully staple to one end of the plate. (You can also cut lengths off an empty wrapping paper roll for a group project)

Step 3: Twist a green pipe cleaner around pencil and carefully slide off. Position your "vine" and staple onto plate near toilet paper roll "stem". Position and staple on silk leaves or use green craft foam to make some and attach.

Step 4: Have an adult hot glue a tongue depressor to finished pumpkin mask. We used a Popsicle stick but it really needs to be bigger to support the mask in place. You can also punch a hole on the left and right side and use yarn to tie your mask onto your face.

Step 5: Hold up your mask and give the camera your biggest smile!

I hope you make one to! If you do, I'd love to see your little pumpkin face☺

Katie is the creative blogger behind Katie's Nesting Spot and the co-founder of ABC/123: A Learning Cooperative. Katie was one of my very first "blogging friends" and I look forward to maybe meeting her in person one day. 

Tissue Paper Fall Tree Craft

I am honored and delighted to have Erica of Confessions of Homeschooler guest post today on Muffin Tin Mom! I know you will love this fall craft for kids as much as I do.

I was so thrilled to do a guest post for Muffin Tin Mom this month! Michelle asked me to come up with a fun fall craft that was simple and easy. We decided to make these cute tissue paper fall trees, they’re so easy you can literally pull the supplies together and get to work right now!
  • Black  &  Blue cardstock (or construction paper)
  • Fall colored tissue paper squares ( I happen to have a box of multi-colored tissue paper squares but it’s super easy to cut and since you crumple them they don’t have to be exact!)
  • Glue
  • Pencil & Scissors
Trace your students hand including part of their arm on the black cardstock and cut out.

Glue “tree” to blue cardstock. Crumple fall colored tissue paper squares and glue on for leaves.

Display your newly created art as decoration in your school room! Yay!

So that’s it, super easy and fun fall craft, hope you enjoy! Here are some more fun fall crafts for you this season:

Erica is a daughter of Jesus, a wife, a mom, and a homeschooler. She likes to digiscrap and dabbles in graphic design in her “free” time ;o) She authors Confessions of a Homeschooler and would love you to drop by for a visit anytime!

Giving Up Naptime

I am so pleased to welcome Allie of No Time For Flashcards as she opens up about her preschooler's transition away from naptime, the importance of routines and the tools and methods that have helped her along the way.

RIP Nap Time

My son is almost 4 years old and in that time he has probably slept through the night 20 times. I often refer to him being "allergic to sleep" as a way to make light of what took me a long time to accept, he is simply not a sleeper. The only shining silver lining was that he was a great napper. Was. Can you hear me crying? I am so sad he isn't napping anymore. In June, he became a big brother and during my daughter's super sleepy newborn days I could get them both down for wonderful long naps. I admit I was kinda smug about it. I should know by now if you brag, it will jinx you.

The breakdown came when I was trying to get him down for a nap, baby girl was asleep, my workout clothes were on and I was ready to sweat and try to reclaim my not so fat jeans ( my skinny ones are months down the road), and I lost it. He wasn't settling and I hear the hungry cries from the other room.

" I just want to fit into my clothes!"

I started crying harder than my infant , my son looked at me like I had two heads and that was the last day we even tried to take a nap.

Enter Quiet Time.

It's not really quiet and we are still working on making it a full hour but I have learned a few things since starting this new adventure a few months ago.Some kids need structure. Just going into a room with toys and closing the door may lead to disaster and possibly carpet cleaning. Here are some things that have worked for us.

# 1, 2, 3 !

I use little cards I made with the numbers 1-3 on them to choose three activities for my son to do in his room. Today he read a pile of books, used his magna doodle then played post office . After he is done those three activities he can play with anything in his room. This has helped him focus on something instead of simply focusing on opening the door and asking " Can I come out yet?" I switch up the activities daily ( puzzles, Lego, stickers) and try to have a large rotation so he doesn't get bored.

A Clock !

This works marginally well for us ( I haven't given up yet) but I know has worked beautifully for many friends. Give your child a clock and show them where the hands have to be before they may come out of quiet time. I show my son every day but if he is "done" it won't matter. With kids like my son, try an incentive.

Remove anything that might trigger shenanigans.

My son loves music. He loves making music with drums, his keyboard and harmonica. He is not allowed to play with these toys during quiet time. Instead of running upstairs 300 times to tell him no and get into a negative loop with him and attention , I take them out every day and return them once his sister is up from her nap.

Routine and Rituals

Kids crave routine and being able to predict what will happen next. My son knows that quiet time starts at 2pm, it's always in his room and knows that when it's over we have "Today's snack" and chat while his sister naps. Then he may play quietly for another hour , do a craft or learning activity with me, go outside or read. At 4pm he may watch a show if he has been listening. The rules are always the same, the house is peaceful and it's helped get over the insanity of no nap.

Giving up naps has changed us as a family, now my son goes to bed at 7:15 and is asleep before 8pm, which gives my husband and I some extra together time a bonus we hadn't thought about. It has also given my son and I more time together during the day while my daughter is sleeping, which I think has really helped his adjustment too. I don't get as much alone time but as angry as I was getting when he would fight his nap simply wasn't healthy. So like all parts of parenthood you try stuff until it works, I hope some of the things that have worked for us will help you too.

[image credit: Dianna]
Allison McDonald is the wonderful blogger behind No Time For Flash Cards, a website full of activities, crafts and ideas for young children. She is one of my daily blog reads and I count it a privilege to have her guest post here today. Thank you, Allie! For more fantastic ideas about how to promote play, discovery and learning in your child be sure to visit

Muffin Tin Monday: Unique Kids Food Ideas

Today is Muffin Tin Monday and it is the weekly blog carnival that has kids all over the world jumping for joy. I remember the expression my daughter gave me when I first put food in a muffin tin for her. I will never forget that little sparkle that I saw. I still see it every time I serve a Muffin Tin Meal. It's not for every child, but we love it.

This week there is 
so you are "on your own" so to speak. :) Here's what we had for snack:

Crinkle Cut Carrots, Diced Apples, Annie's Cheddar Bunnies, Red Licorice Pieces, Colby Jack Cheese Stars, Chocolate Chips

I was graciously given a package of assorted cheeses by Smart and Final (they heard about my obsession with their cupcake mix ;) and am part of the SF Smarties team for Smart and Final. It has been awhile since I had tasted Colby Jack. It is so soft and delicious. Smart and Final would like you to know they are having a promotion on their First Street brand of cheeses right now, so check 'em out if you live in NV, AZ,CA and more.

Now It's your turn. Did you make a Muffin Tin Meal this week? I would love to see it! You can add your blog post, facebook photo (shout out to all the FB fan pagers!), or other photo sharing website by clicking on the blue "add your link" button, just remember to include a link back to somewhere on the page. :) Can't wait!

*Coming up this week on Muffin TIn Mom: Guest Posts by No Time For Flashcards, Confessions of A Homeschooler and Katie's Nesting Spot. SOme serious awesomeness happening this week!

Next week's MTM theme is HALLOWEEN.

No Need For The Sunday Paper

Here are this week's fabulous links:

GLory's Mischief: Get into the Halloween spirit with this great tutorial on window painting faux black cats. It's sure to delight walkers by. She makes it look so easy!

Someday Crafts (Gues Blogger: Crafts By Amanda): DIY Easy Halloween Monster Yard lights? [Image credit above] Seriously, so awesome! Who knew battery operated tea lights could make these happy guys come to life!

Dollar store Crafts: Make Origami Cupcake Liners. Squee! These are so adorable. I could just die!

Hope Studios: Thinking about Christmas yet? I am. :) Make this simple, yet darling baby jesus and nativity using peg dolls, felt, and a toilet paper tube. 

Make and Takes: Create a super fun kids (or adults) Halloween spider hat. I have a TON or googlie eyes, just for this idea. :)

Scripture For Sunday
Phillipians 4:19
God will meet all your needs.

Salami Provolone Cream Cheese Wraps and Other Cheese Recipes

These salami rolls wrapped in sliced provolone cheese make a delicious appetizer for any party or occasion! I was provided with a sampling of cheeses from Smart And Final to try some recipes. Here is one of my favorites! Smart and Final is not just "the other bulk shopping" store but has a wide variety of smaller packaged items like their delicious cheeses that are wonderful for smaller families. You already know how much I love the First Street brand cupcake mix. Their cheese is pretty tasty too!

Here's the recipe:

Salami Wrapped In Provolone With Cream Cheese Filling


  • First Street Brand Provolone Cheese Slices from Smart and Final
  • Sliced Salami
  • 4 oz Softened Cream Cheese
  • Olives & Italian Seasoning or Herbs (Optional)
  • other options: red, green and yellow peppers and fresh garlic
Directions to make 1 wrap:
  • Lay sliced provolone flat
  • Lay 2 slices salami down
  • Mix olives and italian herbs into softened cream cheese.
  • Smother the cream cheese mixture on to the provolone and salami
  • Roll up and secure with food pick
  • Repeat and make as many as desired
  • Serve immediately or chilled
Other Recent Recipe Favorites:

Carrot-Cream Cheese Dip 
(from MTM Facebook page fan Missy)

  • 4 oz. softened cream cheese

  • about 1/2 cup finely shredded carrot

  • 1/2 cup finely shredded cheese (I used colby jack, but any would do)

  • a pinch of garlic powder 

  • *we tried this yesterday for an after school snack. 

    Easy Shredded Beef For Tacos:
    • 3 lb Chuck Roast
    • 1 28 oz. can of Enchilada Sauce
    • Slow Cooker
    • Put Chuck Roast in slow cooker pour entire can of enchilada sauce over the meat.
    • Cook on low for 6-8 hrs
    *serve with First Street Brand Mexican cheese blend, shredded lettuce, tortillas and all the trimmings.

    To see this weeks special and more ways to save visit Smart and Final Online

    *Disclosure: I was provided with a sampling of cheeses to use at my discretion and share my recipes with you . I received these items for free as part of their #SFSmarties Campaign to find out more, you can follow them on twitter and facebook.

    Muffin Tin Monday: Pumpkins!

    Welcome to another inspiring edition of Muffin Tin Monday, the weekly blog link up that has kids tummies leaping for joy! This week is all about pumpkin themed kid's food - I hope those of you that are still on the fence will consider participating. And in case you missed last week's Muffin Tin Monday vlog, be sure to check it out as I clear up some common misconceptions about MTM.

    This week's theme: 

    We went with an "Orange and White Pumpkins" theme. I used the jack-o-lantern paper muffin cups and picks from the Dollar Tree.
    • Sandwich - white pumpkin
    • Tangerine - orange pumpkin 
    • Orange and white colby jack cheese from Smart and Final w/ jack-o-lantern picks
    • Bananas - white pumpkins 
    • Orange cantaloupe w/ jack-o-lantern picks
    • Mozzarella cheese circle white pumkins

    **all the "stems" shown are made from La Choy brand fried chow mein noodles.

    Now it's your turn! What did you make for this week's Muffin Tin Monday? Click on the blue "add your link" button to add the url of your blog post or web-hosted photo.

    No Need For The Sunday Paper

    Here are this weeks links! Happy Clicking!

    Domestic Days: Do you love aprons? Do you love swaps? Domestic Days is having an apron swap! [Image credit above]. Click over for all the details and the entry deadline.

    Katherine Marie Photography: She makes Frankenstein look adorable! Her creativity is always a pleasure to witness, and this week "frankie" as they call him, makes an appearance. Click over to Katherine Marie Photography for crafts, activities and snacks that are sure to inspire.

    Once Upon A Cupcake: It's no secret that I love cupcakes...I looooove them. And Once Upon made the most adorable owl cupcakes for a twins birthday party. So sweet and unique!

    Scripture For Sunday
    Jeremiah 20:11

    But the Lord is with me like a mighty warrior

    A Few Words About Muffin Tin Monday...

    In response to a few forum posts, emails, comments, etc. about Muffin Tin Monday, here is a video about my feelings about Muffin Tin Monday and Muffin Tin Meals. I hope you will leave your feedback.

    I appreciate every single one of you and without you, this blog link up wouldn't be what it is, thank you for being a part of it, whether by participation or viewing and commenting.
    *RSS feed subscribers and email subscribers, you'll have to click through to view the video, I hope you do, because I would love everyone's feedback.

    Wordless Wednesday: Hands

    For more Wordless Wednesday, head over to Five Minutes For Mom

    Muffin Tin Monday - Theme: Circus!

    Welcome to Muffin Tin Monday, the blog link up that happens right here, every Monday at Muffin Tin Mom. Muffin Tin Mom is the official home of the Muffin Tin Meal, (Muffin Tin Lunch, et al. ) For more on MTM, be sure to visit the FAQ page. :) Let's get to the cute circus food, shall we?

    This week's theme: 
    The Circus!

    here's what we had: 
    lion face - open faced cheese sandwich
    circus candy (just because) - mini m & m's
    broccoli - had to have something green after last week :)
    red/white circus tent stripes on a stick - craisin & moz. cheese 
    clown noses - maraschino cherries
    "peanuts" - mini nutter butters 
    barnum's circus animal crackers
    elephants - cantaloupe

    love my little lion...
     but I was in a hurry as the kids were hungry. will have to do a 2.0 version

    Now it' your turn to share what circus inspired muffin tin meal you made this week! don't forget that the link up will stay open all week and non-themed mtm's are always welcome

    No Need For The Sunday Paper

    I 'll get right to the links, I know that's why you came. :) This week's links:

    Craft Gossip/Indie Crafts: Recycled crayons in the shape of mischievous mustaches! just makes me want to giggle: so cute and clever. Image and idea credit: chase dreams etsy.

    Ginko Papers: I am in LOVE with Japanese Washi Tape. It's like masking tape....only cuter. Be sure to check out Ginko Papers (they area US vendor) and their adorable selection. It's perfect for crafting of muffin tin meals and bento making.

    Under The Table and Dreaming: Stephanie Lynn rocks an amazing blog full of inspiring ideas for home, family, and life. Last year she made a made a Christmas Tree from a recycled magazine. love it!  I am thinking this would be a fun family project or a fun project to do with a  group of friends!


    Proverbs 21:30-31 

        There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan
            that can succeed against the Lord.
        [31] The horse is made ready for the day of battle,
            but victory rests with the Lord. [NIV]