Archive for March, 2007

Please eat your vegetables!

March 27, 2007

My friend, Shelly, made cute carrots like these years ago and I have never forgotten them. Such a simple treat. The bag is a disposable cake decorating bag. Not all brands of these bags are created equal so make sure you are buying clear ones. Fill the bag with cheese curls, puffs or balls and then tie with green ribbon.

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I am off for a few days with my husband. See you next week!

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Chalkboard Easter Eggs

March 23, 2007

I was totally inspired to see Martha make her own chalkboard paint. This could be the start to limitless crafts. I already loved chalkboard paint, but to have colors—wow. I think these chalkboard painted eggs would be unique place-cards for Easter dinner or just fun for kids to decorate over and over again with chalk. I used wooden eggs but you could also use blown-out real ones. They might be fragile when decorating, so I would probably fill them with plaster to make them more sturdy.

You will need:

Eggs, Acrylic or Latex Paint, Primer, Non-Sanded White Grout, 220-150 Sandpaper, Foam Paint Brushes and something to mix the paint in.

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I first gave my eggs a coat of primer

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I then mixed 1/4 cup of acrylic paint with 1 1/2 teaspoons of non-sanded grout. Mix well. Paint two generous coats of paint, allowing each layer to dry before adding the next. Once the two layers are dry, LIGHTLY sand the entire egg. Wipe away dust with a damp cloth. I repeated this process until I had 6 coats of paint.

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Once the egg was completely dry I was able to draw on the egg with chalk. Most colors rubbed away easily, however a few needed a damp cloth to be removed. Plain black store bought chalkboard paint would also make for dramatic eggs.

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I used a miniature grapevine wreath (sold in a bundle at the craft store) and a little bit of wooden green grass to display the eggs.

Dishtowel Aprons

March 20, 2007

Randi from i have to say has a great dishtowel apron tutorial. I wanted to make mine for my niece who is 3 (It also fit my friend’s little girl who is 4 nicely with room for growth). I followed Randi’s tutorial instructions but changed the measurements to make the apron smaller. I first cut off 6 inches from one end of my Martha Stewart 18×28 towel. I used part of what I cut off the end to make a front pocket. From the top of the towel I measured over 6 inches from the side edge and then from the top down the side 7 inches and cut this triangle away from each side. I was unsure of size so instead of leaving 15 inches of bias tape for the neck hole I allowed a15 inch piece on each side to it can be tied. I used a 1 inch bias tape maker and made my own bias tape so I could have a print on the bias tape.

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I also made one for my two year old daughter.

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For her size I cut off 10 inches from one end of the towel and then used my same measurements —-over 6 inches along the top of the towel and down the side 7 inches on each side. I used purchased double fold extra wide bias tape and allowed 18 inches for the ties and 15 inches for the neck hole.

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I also gave my niece some felt cookies and carrots to go along with her apron. I could become addicted to making felt food. Thanks Katie for giving me the idea! My little girl loves playing with ours.

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day

March 17, 2007

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Missy’s Sugar Cookies

1 cup butter

2 cups sugar

3 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

3 ½ Cups flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

Cream butter and sugar together. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt. Divide dough into 4-5 portions, flatten each into a round disc and wrap well. Chill in the refrigerator a couple of hours or overnight (dough can be frozen). Roll dough out about ¼ inch thick on a floured surface in desired shapes. Bake at 325°F for 12-14 minutes on ungreased cookies sheet. Edges should be just slightly golden. Cool completely and then frost with your favorite frosting. I used this one for the shamrock cookies.  I did have to double the milk and corn syrup as mentioned in the reviews.  I also substituted creme bouquet for the almond extract.

Toll House Pie

March 16, 2007

This is the pie I sent to my son’s school for Pi day, March 14th. The middle school was having a celebration and my son requested this pie. It is delicious. It is a recipe from my dear friend, Martha. Martha taught me how to tie my shoes and how to make fancy chocolate dipped candies. She took me peach picking and fishing——so many good memories!
It is as wonderful and sweet as she was! I hope you enjoy!

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Martha Wareheim’s Toll House Pie

½ Cup butter (melted)

2 eggs

½ Cup flour

½ Cup sugar

½ Cup brown sugar

1 Cup chocolate chips

1 regular pie crust- not deep dish

Preheat oven to 325°. Melt butter then set aside. Beat two eggs in a mixing bowl until foamy(I beat with a whisk just well enough to see a few bubbles). Mix in sugars and flour. Slowly stir in butter and then chocolate chips. Pour mixture into unbaked pie shell. Bake for about 1 hour. This pie freezes beautifully. Serve warm with ice cream. YUMMY! This is such a simple pie and I am always asked for the recipe.

Egg Shaped Sidewalk Chalk

March 12, 2007

Just in time for Spring—-egg shaped chalk. 

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These were so easy to make.  You will need:

  • Plaster of Paris
  • Tempera Paint
  • Petroleum Jelly
  • plastic Easter eggs
  • disposable cups
  • disposable spoons or wooden craft sticks
  • egg carton

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Take petroleum jelly and liberally coat the insides of the eggs and then place in the egg carton.  Mix 1/2 cup Plaster of Paris with 1/4 cup water and stir well.  Mix in enough liquid tempera paint to get your desired color.  We added about a teaspoon or so.  You can also use powdered tempera paint (start with about 1 tablespoon and go from there). We mixed up a blue batch, poured it into the eggs then immediatley mixed up a pink batch.

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Pour mixture into egg halves.  This amount makes about 1 1/2 eggs.  We used the 1/2 to make  two colored eggs. DO NOT pour extra plaster down your sink drain –I tell you this is a no no. Throw it in the trash!

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Allow this mixture to set about 5 minutes—just until thick enough to put the egg halves together.  Once together, hold tightly and carefully  give egg a good shake and a firm tap on a hard surface  to allow plaster to form to the egg and the halves to come together.

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Allow eggs to harden overnight.  We couldn’t wait (patience issues) and rushed ours  allowing only about 3 hours (this is overnight in child time isn’t it?) to dry.  To remove them from the plastic an adult must use a knife to work the halves apart. I would like to make a few of these to put back into plastic eggs once first removed and dry to hide on our egg hunt.  I think gray ones would make cute favors for a dinosaur party.

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Chalk On!!

Blarney Blessing Biscuits

March 8, 2007

 

These biscuits are filled with little blessings.

 

 

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I took little green strips of paper, wrote a blessing and then laminated them. My basketball loving, jersey-wearing son received one that said, “May you shoot for the stars and make it.” My other son had one that said, “May you always have friends to greet you.” My husband’s said, “May your hard work be rewarded. And of course one that said, “May your sippy cup never run empty,” for our two year old.

I baked these blessings in garlicky cheese biscuits. They taste similar to the ones at Red Lobster when fresh out of the oven. I feel a little bit like Paula Deen even suggesting that someone use this much butter, but they are tasty!

Blarney Blessing Biscuits

They received their name because my friend Missy kept saying that there should be Blarney biscuits you could make for St. Patrick’s Day.

So here it goes………

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt (3/4 tsp if using Kosher salt)
4 tsp baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup butter, divided
2/3 cup milk
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 to 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp of salt

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Stir together the flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar in a bowl. Cut in 1/2-cup cold butter with a pastry cutter until the mixture looks like peas. Stir in the milk and mix just until the dough clears the sides of the bowl. Stir in the shredded cheese. I make these totally in my food processor.

Melt remaining 1/2-cup butter and add the garlic powder and salt. Form dough into balls (about 2 tablespoons in size, makes about 18 or so biscuits). Dip each ball in butter mixture and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Place your strips of laminated paper in the middle of each biscuit. If I weren’t trying to show there was a blessing in each biscuit in the photo I probably would have folded the strips so they were hidden. Bake 10-12 minutes until golden. Drizzle any remaining butter on top and serve immediately. Since they are best served straight from the oven I made them early in the day and kept them in the refrigerator until they were ready to be baked. If you don’t have access to a laminator you could always enclose your papers in aluminum foil.

Blessings!

Blarney Treasure Stones

March 6, 2007

Tradition says if you kiss the Blarney Stone you will be given the gift of gab. You will be able to talk eloquently and convincingly. I don’t think these girls need any help with the gift of gab, but we still thought we would make these Blarney Stones. A treasure can be found in the middle of each stone.

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Mix up:

  • 1 cup used coffee grounds (or used dry espresso grounds–what we had)  If they are too wet I am sure it would change the color of the mixture
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup sand
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup water
  • (I think it would be very easy to tint this mixture with tempera paint—they might be dull colors when dry)

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Mix together dry ingredients and then slowly add enough of the water to make a stiff dough—you might not need all off the water, so add slowly.

Knead the mixture on a floured surface until fairly smooth.

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Break the dough into desired sizes. We divided it into 4 equal pieces.  Hide your trinkets (super balls, small plastic toys, etc.) or money in the center of each ball of dough.

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Bake at 150F degrees for 2 hours (I turned them over half way through)  and then air dry 2-3 days (or longer).  If you make smaller rocks I would dry one hour in the oven and then air dry 2 days or more.  The size of rock and the amount of humidity in your home will affect the drying time.  They will look and feel like rocks when dry.

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I had hoped to paint them with green and white paint for fun and wait to open them on St Patrick’s Day, but nobody was willing to wait to crack them open with a hammer— let alone wait for paint to dry. 

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I think we might make some egg shaped ones for Easter.  These would make great favors for a Dinosaur birthday party!

Happy Birthday Dear Dr. Seuss!

March 2, 2007

We dined on green eggs and bacon (oops all out of ham) for breakfast.

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You can find some simple instructions to make your own hat here.

Oh the places you will go…..

March 2, 2007

making oobleck to celebrate Dr. Seuss’s Birthday today.

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This stuff is amazing. My boys (okay and me too) were totally taken with this goo. Oobleck defies Newton’s third law of motion–for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. If you quickly smack oobleck with your hand it immediately turns into a solid, instead of splashing or moving. If you slowly move oobleck it reacts like a liquid. Needless to say our oobleck took a lot of fist smacking! Our kitchen was filled with lots of “Wow,” “Cool,” wide eyes of amazement and much laughter!”

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To make your own mix 2 cups of cornstarch and 1 cup water in a bowl. If you want to color your oobleck like we did, add a few drops of food coloring to the water before adding to the cornstarch. It took some effort to mix the water and cornstarch. Try it out (hit it with your fist and pour it off a spoon to see if it works) before you give into the urge to add more water to make it easier to mix. When the kids weren’t playing with it I covered it with plastic wrap.

Too Cool! Really, you must give it a try!