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Every now and then, I like to ask myself deep questions or share them with friends. I’ve done this before, but here I go again:
-How does available space get filled so fast?
-Why doesn’t healthy food taste like brownies?
-If a tree falls in the forest and we think there’s nobody to hear, did it maybe crush the one person who was out for an early morning stroll?
-How do you keep small children occupied on endless snow days when you’re all trapped together in the house?
I have very few answers, but the last one has to be projects, projects, projects. Keep those little hands busy!
Everyone’s different, and here’s my confession of the day: I am a better mom when I do the job part-time. In other words, I love my kids, but I also need my teaching job, and not just for the big bucks. It keeps me sane. Teenagers are fun to work with. And it also helps me appreciate my time with little sticky-handed people at home more.
On a recent series of snow days, I enlisted the help of my gang to make these flowerpots. Don’t be alarmed: these pots have never been used for anything but food! Don’t use ones you find in your garden shed. Did I need to say that?
I chose springy colors because, well, a girl can wish. After that, the fun begins! The cookies and cream mousse is simplicity itself. You melt chocolate and fold it into Cool Whip.
Once that’s done, you mix it up well and add crushed Oreos. Stirring is the fun part!
And you have to let everyone have a turn.
Once the mousse is done, you begin filling your flowerpots. You can fill them as high as you like. I dolloped out generous helpings, but then again, I had a lot of helpers. Not just my own kids, either. Some other kids showed up at some point. I’m not sure how that happens, but my house is a magnet for crumb-crunchers.
Make sure the mousse in the flowerpot is evened out on top before adding your Oreo “dirt.” It looks just like dirt, by the way. Very appetizing.
Then comes your garnish in the form of gummy worms (many of which were eaten in the process of making these, oops) and some lovely floral cocktail sticks. It’s what I had. You can use the same, or be really ambitious and make edible flowers.
The kids got a little too enthusiastic with their garnishes, by the way. But whatevs.
And when they were done, they were proud. And sugared up. And hyper. And I was a puddle on the floor.
But now, faithful readers, I’m back at work, i.e. the magical place where I can go to the bathroom by myself and even (gasp!) finish a sentence. It’s glorious.
Hey, I don’t have any answers. Life is tough and full of puzzling conundrums. But I do know that doing a project with kids is enough to take down even the best of mothers, so I’m proud to be still standing with cookies and cream mousse in hand. I mean, flowerpot.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips for 2 minutes. Stir until smooth.
- Add the Cool Whip and fold the melted chocolate into the Cool Whip until there are no streaks remaining. Stir in the crushed Oreos. Note: you can crush the Oreos in a food processor or by hand, using a plastic baggie and a rolling pin.
- Spoon the mousse into the flower pots, evening out the top. Sprinkle the rest of the crushed Oreos on top, putting on enough to make the top resemble dirt.
- Garnish with gummy worms and flower cocktail sticks as desired.
- Store in the refrigerator.