Monday, April 24, 2006

Back with... "Tickled Pink" Sprinkle Cookies

Birthdays are the best! While it was a very busy week, it was so much fun getting ready for my daughter's birthday. We had a small family party, and in addition to the party we of course also celebrated the day of her birthday. So, with all of that there was a lot of fun, commotion, overtired kidlets (overtired mom and dad - ha!), and of course a whole lotta' cooking! So, let's get to it...

Where else can I start but with a sweet! I've been testing these "Tickled Pink" Sprinkle Cookies for my new cookbook. I put them to the "real test" the day of my daughter's party. This is always unnerving. Putting a new recipe out to see how it will be received. In this case, I was interested in whether the kids would be drawn to them, because they love "fun" food... and what could be more fun than pink cookies with sprinkles, right??!

Well, they loved them! Easy for them to pick up and munch on, and not too sugary!! Plus, I felt good knowing that they were naturally colored (a touch of beet powder to make them pink... but don't tell the kids that!) Even the sprinkles were colored naturally. I used Let's Do... Sprinkelz.

They worked beautifully, but man, these were expensive decorations. A small box had two even smaller packages inside. I figure about 2 tbsp to each package. I paid about $3.50 Cdn for them! That's insane! I think they were overpriced where I bought them, but still, it irks me so much that the junky, dye-laden stuff is so cheap. Sure, your kids may have a bizarro reaction to red and blue dye #"whatever" in the 'regular' sprinkles, but they are so bloody cheap of course people buy them.

My apologies for the sarcasm, but kids are just bombarded with the worst food. When you try to give them equivalent treats using natural, healthier ingredients, you pay the price. Well, I prefer to pay the price with my wallet than with my kids' health, thank you very much!

Well, enough of the rant. Back to the cookies. Here they are ready to be baked, after putting on the mucho-pricey sprinkles... and then another pic of these playful, sweetsie cookies!


Anonymous said...

Dreena. I'm so glad you're back. I've missed you! I've been lurking around your blog for about a month...fantastic.

These cookies look amazing. I can see how the price of the sprinkles would be a deterant. We need to figure out how to make these things from scratch...can't be too hard!

Julie said...

I too have missed you, Dreena! I am glad you got to spend time w/ your family though, especially your little birthday girl! :)

These cookies are so pretty...heck, I would love to have them for MY birthday!

I know what you mean about the sprinkles...I was going to buy some for the cupcakes I am going to make (from The Triple Layer Chocolate Cake recipe in TEV)...but, I was outraged by the price!

Harmonia said...

Pretty nifty looking cookies! Glad the birthday was a blast!

Melissa said...

Welcome back...those are such pretty cookies! LOL Can we preorder your book :P I can't wait for that recipe!

Michelle said...

wow! that is insane. i agree though, i'd much rather go the healthier route with the kids.

now, if i could only seem to do that with *myself* grrr.. so hard to kick the sugar habit after growing up on that white evil stuff :(

Sweet Pea said...

Nice to have you back.

The cookies look delightful.

I have a question for friend brought her daughter over for a playdate and was feeding her bits of chicken from her sandwich. Of course children are curious and always want to eat whatever an adult is eating (even though they have no interest in the food when it's on their plate :-) ). So my daughter was eyeing the piece of chicken and my friend offered it to her. I said no thank you. My question is how do you deal with the comments like: "She was watching me eat so-and-so", "Just a bit won't hurt", etc? Or what about parties when there are treats that are not vegetarian (Rice Krispies, etc)? Sorry for going on about this.

Dreena said...

Hi Megan! Aww, that's so kind, thank you. Yeah, I really stood there looking at them for a few minutes trying to decide whether I'd actually spend that much on them - but then, I'm testing and I want to try new things... and I knew they kids would love them, so I caved. :)

Hi Julie! Thanks, you're super sweet... it *was* quite nice to take a break and focus on some family stuff and just have that bit of downtime - well, as much downtime as you can have planning for a birthday with two energetic kidlets running about!!! Hey, I hope you like the cupcakes... you could always process some choc chips a little just to make them crumbly and use that to sprinkle on top - just an idea (cheaper than the sprinkles!)

Hi Harmonia... good to hear from you again. I know it must be tough getting back to day to day stuff... take it easy.

Hi Melissa (very cool new avatar, btw - totally great)! Thanks... well, if I need a tester for these I'll know who to contact! :)

Oh, Michelle, I'm with you! I swear my sweet tooth comes from my bad habits as a kid! If you only knew... shocking how much junk I ate from about the age of 10 to 18 or so - horrid! I think my body is now programmed on a cellular level to enjoy the stuff - groan!

Hi sweet pea! Ugh, what an uncomfortable situation for you, I certainly don't envy that. I have to say that when it comes to meat/chicken/dairy/eggs, I just don't let my daughter have it, and now she is at an age where she comprehends what her food is and where it comes from, so she genuinely is disgusted by the idea of eating meat/eggs, etc. Granted, I was never in many situations like you were to have someone try and tempt her/encourage her... so I guess I lucked out in that sense. I think you handled it well, just politely refusing it for your daughter. Sure, one piece of chicken won't "hurt her" on a health level, but it certainly hurt the chicken! Also, it's just plain rude for someone to try and impose meat or cheese on you or your family. It's like they are trying to "convince" you, maybe because they feel uncomfortable themselves??? In terms of things like rice krispie treats, there have been occasions where my daughter has had a bite or two, and I don't lose my mind over that. I bring my own cupcake to a party for her, or cookie/other treats to a class party, etc, but there have been some times where she has had a taste of things. Interestingly, those times she seemed to be more into wanting to taste it because the other kids were eating it, but then after a bite or two she wasn't all that impressed and went about playing or eating something else. When your daughter is older, she will come to understand the choices you are making for her too, and that will make things SO much simpler for you. She will understand how healthy your diet is, and how compassionate. Whoa, I have gone on and on here, and I'm not sure any of this helped... but that's been my experience anyhow! :)

EatPeacePlease said...

Beautiful! I am super-happy you are back. And I agree with your "junk-rant".

I missed you...

Danielle said...

Ooh, those look fun! I hear you about how expensive the good stuff is and how cheap crappy food is. It's insane. I don't even have kids, and it drives me crazy.

~go veg said...

These look very yummy!! Good idea with the beet powder.

Dreena said...

You are a doll, Leslie, thank you!

Hi Danielle, yeah, it drives me bonkers really! Especially because you CAN find many substitutes for the original or 'real' thing now, but to try them out can be so costly. Same goes for some of the wheat-free products and whole-grain products, and organic vs non-organic.

Thanks go veg... the beet powder is odd to use because it doesn't smell the best. But, if you use just a touch that beet smell/taste doesn't come through at all! (Big congratulations to you, btw!!! Are you feeling okay? Any nausea?)

Sweet Pea said...

Dreena, thanks for answering my questions. Surprinsingly, my family is more understanding and supportive of our decision than friends are. I find some of them are always trying to debate with me or convince me otherwise. It's so not my personality to debate! Fortunately we're all very healthy and full of energy so we set a good example. My husband is omni but very supportive and rarely eats meat these days. Now that he's more conscious of what he puts in his mouth he feels better. Food is medicine.

Vicki said...

These cookies are cute! I'm so looking forward to your new cookbook -- easy, fast foods are what we need w/2 little girls (we're tickled pink!) with little patience for cooking.
I made your quinoa spring salad & molasses baked beans recently...they were a huge hit!

Laine said...

I love your blog, partly because of the tone of everything written. you sound like one of the sweetest cookbook authors ever! sorry I don't comment much.. I'm really not much of a good commenter..

Happy belated birthday to your daughter! :)

I soo agree with so much of the good stuff being overpriced.. :( makes it a lot easier for kids to eat all the junk and become unhealthy, definitely. it's really sad. I was elated to recently find there's this store called Big Lots in my area where things are generally priced low and they have a good selection of some organic/vegan/natural things, primarily cereals, and if you look around you could find other things like cookies (made with organic oat flour), whole wheat organic pasta, blue corn chips, etc. I even saw tahini but the freaky thing about these stores (at least one of the ones I went to) is some things seem to be expired so I was a bit wary of the tahini (in a jar unrefrigerated, didn't to seem to have an exp. date).. it was probably ok though, i'm so paranoid when it comes to these things..

whoops sorry for rambling! told you i'm not a good commenter, :P

those cookies look so cool! i love how they look like junk food cookies but are colored with beet powder :P and how that brand of sprinkles is spelled, haha. so cute.

Harmonia said...

Thanks for your notes...they make the days easier!

Still hoping to get into muffins someday soon!

o/t...any difference between red and regular quinoa other than the color? jw

jess (of Get Sconed!) said...

gorgeous cookies! I really like those sprinkles as well, and welcome back! I dig the previous cake post but I admit I've been checking for more~
I will keep an eye out for beet powder! I had my first experimentation info natural food coloring, from food, with blueberries this past weekend.

Dreena said...

You're welcome, sweet pea (if any of that ranting of mine helped!!) That's great that your family is supportive. I think the people that are trying to 'convince' you otherwise are uncomfortable about it themselves. You may find too that your husband will enjoy vegan foods more and more as well - that certainly was my experience, and my hubby is disgusted by meat so much that he doesn't like the meat analogues at all so I don't experiment with them much - probably a good thing anyhow! :)

Hi Vicki, thanks!! Hey, I was on your blog the other day and tried to leave a comment because I just adored your pic of all the food set out... "mise en place"!! Blogger was impossible that day, so I couldn't get my comment on. Anyhow... so glad you liked those dishes - thanks!!

Hi Laine, my goodness, how lovely are you??!!! Thank you kindly for those incredibly sweet comments - I have to disagree with you, I think you are quite a fabulous commenter!! :) That big lots store sounds like an amazing place to shop - wow, I wish I had one here! Thanks for your feedback and do comment again!

Hey Harmonia, good to know that you are getting through the days okay - bit by bit I'm sure. My understanding about the red quinoa is that it is just a different color of the grain, and that there are other colors available too (like yellow I think, and black), but that the most common is the beige-ish color that we most often see/buy. Danielle has had some pics of red quinoa on her website ( - I think you visit her blog from time to time so pop over and check out her pic from a couple of days ago - the red quinoa is very pretty! :)

Aw, thank you Jess!! The natural food coloring is a little trickier for certain because there are some flavors/odors attached to some of the colors (turmeric for yellow, beet for the pink, etc) Blueberries/blueberry juice is a great one, though - at least the flavor is very in line with desserts!! Your cakes were beautifully colored and decorated, though - just splendid, girl!

Sweet Pea said...

Yes, your "rant" was helpful. It's good to "hang out" with like-minded people even if it's just in cyberspace.

My mom and dad are supportive b/c I'm eating far more beans than ever. Someone has to eat all the beans they grow in their garden. :-)

And I agree with the other's cool that we can have a dialogue with such a great cookbook writer.

~go veg said...

I am doing pretty good....sometimes I get nauseas, but very infrequently. If anything I am going through spirts of excitement and fear. I am fearful for what my life is going to be like after the baby. Major changes just freak me out...I am sure I will okay eventually. I even freaked out when I got married. I wanted an anullment right afterwards because I felt like I was going to be trapped. Of course, it has been wonderful and I have the freedom to do whatever I want. But now... is good to have you guys as support ;-)

Dreena said...

Sweet pea, you are living up to your name... thank you for that! I agree that having a community to discuss/ask questions/exchange ideas... is very helpful - esp for new vegans I would imagine. :)

Hi go veg! Oh dear, that's funny about when you got married. Well, it sounds like you are having all the normal feelings of being pregnant, anyhow! I was very - VERY nauseous with both my pregnancies. The second time it almost stopped me from doing anything. All day long and for about 6 or 8 weeks or so... just brutal. So, that's very good that you aren't *too* nauseous! There's no doubt your life will change - really, more than anyone can imagine. But in ways that you would never dream as well... fulfilling, tender, incredible ways. There is a lot that is challenging and involves hard work, but the payoffs are immeasurable. Ok, I better stop here as I am sounding like a greeting card!! :)

SDGvegan said...

I agree with you on the whole paying with your wallet instead of your children's health. I face this a lot when my kids go to their dad's. His family is a "typical" american family. Lots of processed stuff, lots of sugar, lots of junk. But, luckily my kids are at the age where they really do not want that stuff. So we worked out a comprimise, I send grocery cards for my daughter (a miniature chef!) and vegan care packages because he didn't want to spend his money on it and that if they were to eat vegan, I'd hae to contribute. I also send a book of recipes that I compiled. He said by the end of the summer that the whole family was eating better. It ends up costing me a bit, probably more than if they were here with me. But, it is totally worth it to know that they are getting what they need.

Gauri Radha गौरी राधा said...

Delicious looking cookies!!