Summer 2020 is different to say the least. I know each of us parents are trying our very best to make the most of a difficult situation. Finding small things to look forward to has made a big difference in morale around my house. As always, everything we do has an aspect of food to it.
One of my favorite things to do since I was a little girl (and still to this day) is book to screen adaptations. That means reading a book, then watching its counterpart on screen. Be that a movie, mini series or television show. This is now something I have passed on to my daughters. Up first this summer for our book to screen viewing party is The Baby-Sitters Club. What a classic. As an 80’s baby myself I remember reading (and loving) these books as a child. I also remember the very 90’s movie based off these same books. It was one of my first book to screen experiences, and I loved it! How cool is it to get the experience again through my own kids with the same book to screen stories in an all new modernized format!
My eldest daughter has loved these new graphic novel style Baby-Sitters Club books for years, counting down until the next book releases. She can tell you off the top of her head the exact date for when book 8 comes out, who the story is about and how much money she needs to save to buy it. Now her little sister has started reading them just in time for the show to premier. The 10 episode first season premiers on Netflix July 3, 2020 and for all the other 90’s mamas out there, Cher Horowitz (Clueless, Alicia Silverstone) plays Kristy’s mom! I’ll link the trailer below for your viewing pleasure.
Now let’s get to the part we’re all really here for, the food!! Or better yet, the snacks! Taking cues from the books, we’ll be making different things the Baby-Sitters Club eats throughout the series. From the book one party we’ll make pizza and salad (like Stacey, who is diabetic.) Lots of sneaky snacks like Claudia: Life Savers, chips and popcorn. However you should know these books are chock full of food references. Everything from Twinkies to fondue, Chinese food and fried chicken. Pick and choose what works best for you and your little ones when planning your own viewing party.
New recipes included below for our family’s viewing party are mini donut cookies, creamsicle Chex mix and rainbow fruit wands. All are tried and true recipes I’ve made before for various birthday parties or get-togethers. Bonus! None require any cooking, the most you need to do is zap some almond bark in the microwave!
Mini Donut Cookies
1 box Nilla Wafers cookies
Vanilla flavored almond bark
The most difficult part of these cookies is punching the “donut” hole in the middle. Now you are going to crush some cookies, I had about a 60% success rate. What I found works best to poke your hole is a sturdy hard plastic kids or baby straw. Hold the cookie steady on either side, then push the straw into the middle. If the hole doesn’t come out a clean circle no worries, once decorated you won’t be able to tell.
Up next it’s time to top your donut cookies. Melt your vanilla flavored almond bark in the microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring in between until smooth and melted. Now either drizzle or dip your cookies into the almond bark and decorate with sprinkles. Let the toppings harden and cool then enjoy the cutest little cookies you ever did see!
Creamsicle Chex Mix
5-6 cups Rice Chex cereal
1 navel orange (zest only)
8oz vanilla almond bark (I use Candiquik)
1/2- 1 cup powdered sugar
First up zest your orange and put aside. Next pour your cereal into a large bowl and melt your almond bark. Once fully melted, pour the almond bark over the cereal, dump in the orange zest and stir VERY gently until fully coated. Move your Chex mix into a large Tupperware container with a lid or work in batches in a gallon size zip top bag. Add in the powdered sugar and shake gently coating all of the Chex mix. This may require a little more or a little less powdered sugar. The consistency you’re going for is dry, not sticky but doesn’t leave too much powder residue on your hands.
WARNING: THIS CHEX MIX IS HIGHLY ADDICTIVE AND DELICIOUS!
Rainbow Fruit Wands
Rainbow colored fruit:
Red: strawberries, watermelon or raspberries
Orange: cantaloupe, peaches or mandarin oranges
Yellow: pineapple or mango
Green: grapes, kiwi or honeydew
Blue: blueberries or blackberries
Additional supplies needed:
Now you get the gist here right? You layer pieces of fruit on wooden skewers in rainbow order. Then refrigerate until ready to eat. That’s it. This is a perfect recipe task to give the kids. It’s patterns, fine motor and a healthy snack all in one!
So there you have it, all the makings for a Baby-Sitters Club viewing party. Read the books with your kids, maybe get some graphic novel style and some not. Have them spot differences between the show and books, a good lesson in compare and contrast. In the trailer alone my daughter picked up on that Mary-Ann in the show has glasses but Mary-Ann in the book does not.
Let the kids help plan the menu, my girls loved looking in the books for food inspiration. Don’t feel like you have to make special new treats, just throw together whatever you like. It’s more about the time together, the shared interest in something both nostalgic to you and relevant to them. The point is just to have fun and get the kids reading, while planning a fun snack filled viewing party to look forward to!