Archive for the ‘dessert’ Category

“Cookies for Santa” {with Speech Snacks for /k/}


One of my fondest childhood holiday memories centers around the cooking and baking that took place in my home during the weeks leading up to Christmas and the New Year.  Christmas Eve was always the most anticipated meal of the year as we celebrated “La Vigilia” (The Feast of the Seven Fishes).  My mother spent days making her shopping list and preparing the amazing menu of fishes and side dishes.  And somehow, she was also able to magically squeeze in Christmas cookie baking!!  (While caring for her  four children and working a full time job!)  As we got older, we all started to pitch in and help with the baking.  There were always at least eight different types of cookies that were prepared.  We gave them out as gifts to our teachers and our neighbors and had plenty more for all the company that came visiting during Christmas week and up until New Year’s Day.   As the oldest of four children, the tradition of making the large variety of cookies was handed down to me and every year I now bring the “cookie tray” to mom’s house.  I have continued to make many of the same wonderful favorites that we made growing up and have added a few new varieties of my own.  And although I generally throw my health-conscious rules out the window during the holidays, I usually try to sneak in a recipe or two that has some health benefits.  This year I added a delicious cookie that is the perfect substitute for the old oatmeal or chocolate chip stand-by that many of us make over and over every year.  I love how this recipe utilizes yogurt in place of lots of butter and substitutes wheat germ for all that white flour. I think this has become one of my new favorites and it will surely be back on my cookie list next year!   Don’t forget to put a few out for Santa too—I think he will approve!! Continue reading ““Cookies for Santa” {with Speech Snacks for /k/}” »

The Wonderful Pumpkin Whoopie Pie–{with “SpeechSnacks” for /w/ and /p/}


Rumor has it that the first Whoopie Pie was made in the State of Maine in the 1920s. Amish women would bake these desserts and put them in farmers’ lunch-boxes. The farmers would excitedly shout “Whoopie!” when they discovered one of these sweet treats in their lunch box.   Every time we visit Amish country, I find many different varieties of Whoopie Pies in the farmers markets—picking just one is always a hard decision!  During our last visit, I was inspired by all the wonderfully delicious comfort foods I tasted and decided to bake up some Amish Whoopie Pies myself. This recipe has a great fall harvest flavor. It contains many of the spices found in pumpkin pie as well as pureed pumpkin, which is high in beta carotene–another great reason to make some for your kids. They will never even know (or care) that you sneaked in something healthy—they will be too busy shouting “Whoopie”!!! Continue reading “The Wonderful Pumpkin Whoopie Pie–{with “SpeechSnacks” for /w/ and /p/}” »

Cinnamon-Sugar Tortilla Chips with Cream Cheese-Walnut Dip—{with Speech Snacks for /s/ and /s/ blends}


Once again, I am using the very versatile tortilla to create another recipe.  Previously I have used them to make Tortilla Pizza’s and a Turkey Tortilla Wrap.  The tortilla is back to make another appearance–this time as a sweet snack.   I have found similar snack products on the shelves of my grocery store, however  I like knowing that the foods I am eating and feeding my family were made with just a few ingredients and made at home by me, whenever possible–and often times, it’s much more economical and fun to do so!   This treat is a great substitute for potato chips, crackers or cookies. They are a crunchy, sweet treat to add to your kid’s lunch boxes too!   Check out the video demonstration that will show you ways to incorporate the /s/ sound while making the chips!!  Continue reading “Cinnamon-Sugar Tortilla Chips with Cream Cheese-Walnut Dip—{with Speech Snacks for /s/ and /s/ blends}” »

Fantastic Fig Bars–{with Speech Snacks for /f/}


This recipe was inspired by the great figs that grew on my tree this summer—and my ancestors who grew them previous to me. They are quick,easy and a great substitute for other snacks and desserts that are high in refined sugar and artificial ingredients. Enjoy them and let me know what you think!


Crust– 1/2 cup butter, softened 1/2 cup granulated sugar (I used raw turbinado sugar)

1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour






1/4 cup sugar
1 cup boiling water

1 bag (9 oz) dried mission figs, chopped (1 cup)








1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons cold butter
1/4 cup rolled oat

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Heat oven to 350 F. Spray 9 inch pan with cooking spray. In a small bowl beat butter, sugar and vanilla on medium speed until well blended. Add 1 cup flour and beat on low-speed until a soft dough forms. Press into bottom of pan and bake for 10-15 minutes.






Meanwhile, in a 2 qt sauce pan cook filling ingredients over med-high heat for 5-10 min. Stir frequently until figs are tender and liquid is absorbed. spread
over crust.

In a small bowl mix flour, brown sugar, and butter using a fork. Stir in oats and walnuts. Sprinkle over filling.

Bake 15-20 min or until topping is light golden brown. Cool about 1 hour and cut into bars. ( I like to put it in the fridge to cool completely–it will make it easier to cut into bars)

Makes 16 bars

Did you and your kids like this recipe?? Let me know how it turned out for you! We love feedback from viewers!

Fig Bar Recipe part I

FigBarRecipe Part II


Here’s Your “Speech Snacks”:


The /f/ sound is a very visual sound, which makes it easy for you to model for your kids, and even easier for you to see if they are producing it correctly!
Cue your child to “Place your top teeth on your bottom lip and blow out air.” This sound is typically produced between ages 3 1/2 -4 years.

Place your hand in front of your child’s face to feel the airflow. Have them do the same by placing their own hand in front of their mouth/face. Also–practice the proper placement in front of a mirror with your child for visual reinforcement.

Another way to cue proper placement involves placing a dab of peanut or almond butter, cake frosting, marshmallow fluff (or some other favorite that will adhere) to the spot between the lower lip and chin. Ask your child to try and reach for it with his upper teeth and scrape it off (or essentially pull it into the mouth with the upper teeth) . This exercise will help reinforce the correct position that you are attempting to stabilize.


While making the Fig Bars, practice counting figs…one fig, two figs, three figs, four figs, five figs.

Model short phrases and sentences using /f/: “soft figs”, “sweet figs”, “mission figs”, “fig bars”"fresh figs”. “Figs are soft.” “Figs are full of fiber.” “Figs are sweet.” “A fig is a fruit.”

Read the “FIG FACTS in part one of this blog (see Food For Thought page “A Fruitful Experience”or click here) to address comprehension and their ability to provide detail and descriptions of the information you have read to them (auditory recall).

Ask “WH” questions. Where do figs grow? What do figs look like? How do figs taste? How do figs feel? What shape are figs?

Cut a fig open and describe what you see.

Compare/contrast a fresh fig vs a dry fig.

Story Time: (stories to read along with your children that contain the /f/ sound)

Practice the sound at the syllable level by reading Jack and the Beanstalk and having your child practice saying “fe-fi-fo-fum.” The Three Little Pigs is also great for practicing final /f/ position words “huff” and “puff”.

Storytime for /f/:
Jack and the Beanstalk by Steven Kellogg
The Foot Book by Dr. Seuss
There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly by Simms Taback


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