Author Archives: Nicole Landfield

Spooky After-School Snack


Halloween season is in full swing and we are getting in the spirit with a super-easy, super fun, super-spooky after school snack.


After-School Mummy Dogs

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: approximately 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8 Mummy Dogs


1 package hot dogs

1 package dough

(optional) Ketchup & Mustard


Cutting Board


Baking Pan

Non-Stick Spray



Step 1: Start by cutting the hot dogs ‘arms’ & ‘legs’


Step 2: Roll out dough


Step 3: Cut dough in to small strips. One package of dough should yield approximately 40 strips


Step 4: Wrap ‘limbs’ of hot dogs with strips of dough. Make small dough balls for ‘eyes.’ Place on cookie sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick spray.  


Step 5: Bake at 350 for approximately 12-15 minutes, until dough is golden brown.


Step 6: Serve warm with optional dipping sauces. Enjoy!

What is your favorite dish to get in the Halloween spirit? Share with us in the comments below!

Student-Friendly Pumpkin Flan


We love any excuse to whip up a delicious treat, but since this month it’s finally fall, we couldn’t think of anything more fitting than Flan de Calabaza – AKA Pumpkin Flan.

We know half of you reading this immediately laughed thinking, “I can’t cook!” Luckily for you, this recipe is pretty easy. You will just need a little bit of patience, the right ingredients and tools, and an open mind – you might surprise yourself with what you can accomplish!


Flan de Calabaza (Pumpkin Flan)

  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: approximately 60 minutes
  • Chill Time: 4+ hours
  • Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients to Make the Caramel 

1/2 cup of granulated sugar

1/4 cup of water

Ingredients to Make the Custard Filling 

1.5 cups of whole milk

1 cup of pumpkin puree

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 cup of granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 large eggs

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Small sauce pan

Medium sauce pan

Oven-safe bowl OR mold of choice


Step 1: Start by mixing the spices into the pumpkin puree

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Step 2: Make the caramel

Heat the water and granulated sugar in a saucepan (stainless steel works best) over a medium heat. Once it starts to bubble and change color, give the pan a shake or a quick stir. Let it cook and turn golden brown, but be careful it doesn’t turn dark brown and burn.


Step 3: Pour the caramel in to baking pan

Once golden brown, quickly pour into a 4.5 cup baking mold (it can be one that is specifically for flan, or any baking dish with that capacity).

Quickly make sure that the caramel coats the bottom and sides of the mold, by swirling around to drag the caramel around the sides of the mold before it hardens.

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Step 4: Prepare the custard

To prepare the custard, put the milk, sugar, pumpkin and vanilla into a saucepan and heat over a medium heat until simmering. Cook until all of the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is evenly heated. Remove the mixture from the heat and let it cool for about 10 minutes, stirring every minute or two.


Step 5: Preheat the over to 325°F 

Step 6: Lightly beat the eggs in a large bowl


Step 7: Temper the egg mixture in to the custard

Making sure that the milk and pumpkin mixture is sufficiently cool (so that it won’t scramble the eggs), whisk in this mixture little by little, until all is incorporated. This process is called ‘tempering’ and basically means to slowly bring up the temperature of the eggs without scrambling them. If you just combine the two mixtures, you’ll end up with cooked eggs in your mixture. We started the process by pouring the custard mixture in to the whisked eggs in 1/4 cup batches.



Step 8: Pour the custard mixture over the caramel


Step 9: Bake the flan for about one hour in a preheated oven at 325°F 

Place the flan mold/pan into a large baking pan. Boil enough water to fill the baking pan halfway. This method of cooking is called ‘bain marie’ and means a container holding hot water into which a pan is placed for slow cooking.


Step 10: Let the flan chill

Remove the mold from the pan of water and allow it to cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap and let chill in the fridge overnight (or for at least 4 hours).


Step 11: Chow down

When ready to serve the flan, run a knife around the edges of the mold to loosen the flan. Then place the serving dish on top, and quickly flip the flan over. Lift off the mold and the flan should slide right out, covered in a golden caramel sauce. We thought it looked nice garnished with some cinnamon sticks and pumpkin decor pieces.


We’re serious, this is good stuff. Keep all eight servings for yourself or be generous and bring this along to your next family gathering. Either way, we don’t judge. 🙂

What is your favorite dish to get in the fall spirit? Share with us in the comments below!

  • **This recipe first appeared on ‘About Food‘, published by Spanish Food Expert, Lauren Aloise


Confucius Says


Celebrated every September 29, Confucius Day honors one of the world’s greatest philosophers hailing from ancient China. Check out some of our favorite facts about Confucius below!

Who is Confucius?

Born in China on October 18, 551 B.C., Confucius is one of the earliest, arguably the first great philosopher. He was also a teacher, a scholar, and a politician. He gave the world many teachings and famous sayings, though many of the quotes that follow a ‘Confucius Says’ joke in popular culture are not direct quotes from the philosopher.


Confucian philosophy has received renewed attention as a model for ethical living in a global community. Many teachings, like “Do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself,” are recorded in dialogs called The Analects. Confucius’s praise of civil service led to the creation of a civil service exam during Han dynasty around 200 BC to select government officials through testing. Mao Zedong’s regime embraced this practice during the Great Leap Forward, beginning in 1958. Civil service exams continue in China and have been adopted in many countries, including the United States.

According to most records, Confucius was born under the Chinese zodiac of the dog. Biographer Sima Qian credits this for Confucius having a sad dog face and often appearing rough, like a stray dog.


According to most records, Confucius was born under the Chinese zodiac of the dog. Biographer Sima Qian credits this for Confucius having a sad dog face and often appearing rough, like a stray dog.

Quotes Confucius Actually DID Say

  • “The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential… these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.”
  • “The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential… these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.”
  • “Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.”
  • “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”
  • “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”
  • “Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.”

Chinese Philosopher | Teacher | Politician

Below is a Bio Card you’ll find within our Social Studies course. Click the card for a fun educational experience to keep your new knowledge of Confucius front of mind.