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MOV Parent: Mom, will this ever end?

This is the question I am sure that many of your children have already asked you as to when this virus is going to end? As adults we have been asked that question many times but be prepared as to how you reply to your children when they approach you with that question.

I am hearing that question all the time from my grandkids and I suggest you just be honest with them and just tell them: no one really knows, hopefully soon and to just pray that a cure and vaccine will be found in the near future and all will be over with.

If you are a stay home mother or a working mother from home these days and have young children that also need help with their homework, I understand the great stress and difficult it adds to your daily life. This is a huge challenge that many people are facing and hopefully the last and end soon.

This COVID-19 has sure changed the children’s and teenagers’ lifestyle but the important thing is that they obey and follow the safety instructions which is actually the only choice we have.

If I were you, I would keep instructing my child to keep a positive attitude and let’s do something, so show love and care for others.

Below I have some simple recipes just for children that they can bake or cook something for grandparents or neighbors that you can take to them who are also shut in.

I am not sure about you all, but I personally treasure anything that is homemade or handmade. If you need a greeting card, don’t go to the store and buy one, but rather have your children personalize a card using their own creativity and words.

The positive aspect of these days is that it gives you more quality time with your family and children and being also your child’s best friend and listener, plus letting her or him share their thoughts and concerns with you which also give you a chance to give them advice. I feel that as a parent our advice is the most sincere and truthful, regardless if they agree or not.

We must all remember that this is the first time in our lives that we have all spent so much time staying home and actually having no place to go due to the shut down and closures.

Be sure to keep telling your child how much you love them, how important and special they are to you and build confidence in them.

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Coconut M&M Brownies

6 1-ounce squares semi-sweet chocolate

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup butter

2 eggs

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups M&M mini baking bits, divided

Coconut Topping

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease 8x8x2 baking pan; set aside. In small saucepan, combine chocolate, sugar and butter over low heat; stir constantly until chocolate is melted. Remove from heat; let cool slightly. In large bowl, beat eggs, oil and vanilla; stir in chocolate mixture until well blended. In medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt; add to chocolate mixture. Stir in 1 cup M&Ms. Spread batter evenly into prepared pan. Bake 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely on wire rack. Prepare Coconut Topping. Spread over brownies; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup M&Ms. Cut into bars. Store in tightly covered container.

Coconut Topping

1/2 cup butter

1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1/3 cup light corn syrup

1 cup sweetened shredded coconut, toasted

3/4 cup chopped pecans

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; add brown sugar and corn syrup, stirring constatly until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients. (To toast coconut, spread evenly on cookie sheet. Toast in preheated 350 oven 7-8 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally.)

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Cinnamon Apple Chips

2 cups unsweetened apple juice

1 cinnamon stick

2 Washington Red Delicious apples

In large skillet or saucepan, combine apple juice and cinnamon stick; bring to a low boil while preparing apples. With paring knife, slice off 1/2 inch from tops and bottoms of apples and discard. Cut crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick slices, rotating apple as necessary to cut even slices. Drop slices into boiling juice; cook 4-5 minutes or until slices appear translucent and lightly golden. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 250. With slotted spatula, remove apple slices from juice and pat dry. Arrange slices on wire racks, making sure none overlap. Place racks on middle shelf in oven; bake 30-40 minutes until slices are lightly browned and almost dry to touch. Let chips cool on racks completely before storing in airtight container.

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Lemon Float Punch

Juice of 10-12 lemons (2 cups)

3/4 cup sugar

4 cups water

1 2-liter bottle ginger ale, chilled

1 pint lemon sherbet or frozen vanilla yogurt

Lemon half-cartwheel slices and fresh mint leaves for garnish

Combine lemon juice and sugar; stir to dissolve sugar. Add water; chill. To serve, in large punch bowl, combine lemon mixture and ginger ale. Add small scoops of sherbet, lemon slices and mint.

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Kiki Angelos is a food columnist for the Parkersburg News and Sentinel.

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