Monday, November 17, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
C and M wanted to come to the party, too, and Liz graciously extended invitations to them, as well. Where ever C goes, he finds the best things to make something. Here he's making a crossbow and arrow from a found long balloon, string and a couple of sticks.
For Christmas, I'm planning on making him a pocketed craft curtain to hold all kinds of recycling treasures with which he can make something. Things like string, toilet paper rolls, bits of metal, rubber bands, etc. I got the idea from Soulemama. It will be just perfect for him - I can't wait to see his excited smile when he sees it!
And, just to show you a small glimpse of the beautiful redwood trees....
And, as promised, here is the playdough recipe (it uses kool-aid):
1 C Flour
1 Tbsp Veg. Oil
1 Pckg unsweetened Kool-Aid (won't stain hands & smells good, too)
1/4 C Salt
2 Tbsp Cream of Tartar
1 C Water
Mix Flour, salt, cream of tartar & kool-aid in a medium pot. Add water & oil and stir over medium heat 3 to 5 minutes. When mixture forms a ball in pot, remove. Knead until smooth. Put in a plastic bag or container & refrigerate. (This recipe easily doubles for double the fun.) Here's a link for some other playdough recipes (pretty similar, but a couple of differences).
Liz's came out in lovely colors - green, red and a sugar-cookie dough color (using lemonade kool-aid). I've been wanting to make homemade play dough for as long as C has been interested - has it really been 7 years that I wanted and hadn't made it? Well, I'm off to the market to get the Kool-Aid so I can make it the next time the urge strikes! (Liz was kind enough to send the children home with homemade play-dough favors, so I'm set for awhile!).
And, boy, these photos look so flat and washed out. I need a new camera in the worst way! Any recommendations, anyone?
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Here's a little gnome I was making to hang on the Christmas Tree inside a paper mache pine cone for R to find on Christmas morning. Unfortunately, I was discovered just as the finishing touches were put on the gnome. The smile and excitement from R were as irresistable as they would be on Christmas morning, so I surrendered him to waiting hands and he was immediately carried and played with before finding his precious spot on our new (as of today) nature shelf.
I can't wait to see what other treasures will find their way over to this little corner. And, now, I guess I'll have to make this little gnome a little friend to take his place in the pine cone. Darn!
We wanted to go to the horse races this morning (well at least, I did). The racetrack was having a umbrella give-away promotion, and since our move this summer, our umbrellas have not surfaced from storage. We need those free umbrellas! So we got there when the gates opened at 10:00. I mistakenly thought we could go see the horses in the barn areas to kill some time before the first race, but that was not allowed. So we hung around, saw some horses in training walked to the paddock area and then we left (as there was still 2 hours before the first race). Off to a nearby children's museum, where the fun commenced...
Playing Astronauts for an hour.
M just finished her rainbow
R just desecrating the rainbow and gleefully showing sister.
And, on to more serious work.
Thank goodness for Children's Museums! And, for the little reasons to go to them!
Friday, November 14, 2008
Luckily, so you can see exactly how wonderful this dish looks, check this out. Kate's pie-in-the-sky blog is fun to peruse. Here's her picture of how it looks. Go check out her site for more lovely tidbits - I spent a happy half hour looking! Her flickr slideshow makes me dream of our next meal!
To round out the meal I made smashed yukon potatoes, french string beans, salad with dried cherries and blue cheese, and a quick apple slices sauteed with cranberries, maple syrup and a squeeze of lemon.
For Dessert: I was short on time and ingredients, so I decided to do meringue cookie kisses with chocolate bits. OOOhhh. My children clamored for more! This recipe was incredibly easy - just one egg white and the results were tremendous! I had halved the recipe, but I recommend you make the full batch, so you won't be caught short. I'll be making these again tomorrow, as I had to promise the little ones that there would be more, and soon! Here's the very easy recipe (I left out the walnuts for my non-nut lovers). You could also add 1 tbsp cocoa powder, put an M&M on the top, sprinkles, whatever you'd like. Here's a photo (taken with my less-than-inspiring camera, but you get the idea....)
2 large egg whites
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cup granulated sugar or a bit less - cookies are sweet!
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup good-quality chocolate chopped into small pieces (can also use semisweet chocolate chips)
1/4 cup walnut halves, toasted and finely chopped
Preheat oven to 275°F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or use silpat.
1. In a medium, clean, grease-free bowl with an electric mixer on high speed, whip egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar and whip until soft peaks form. Add sugar gradually, whipping until peaks are stiff but not dry. Beat in vanilla. Fold in chocolate chips and walnuts (if using). Drop by generously rounded teaspoon 2 inches apart on cookie sheets.
2. Bake until completely firm and dry, but still white, about 25 minutes; you should be able to lift cookies from pan. Slide parchment onto racks to cool cookies completely.
Hope you try one of these!
1 Cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
Almost 1 Cup unsifted bleached all-purpose flour
Almost 1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
3/4 t salt
1 big ole mashed banana
3/4 cup Nutella
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup buttermilk (or I use regular milk)
1/2 cup veg. oil - or use 1/2 c (1 stick) melted butter
1 t pure vanilla extract
PREHEAT place an oven rack in the lower third of oven and preheat oven
to 325 degrees. Grease and flour or spray with cooking spray four 3 by 5 1/2 inch mini
loaf pans (I sometimes just use one big loaf pan), or you can use muffin pans or mini muffin pans.
COMBINE the mashed bananas, eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together right on top of banana mixture. Stir as briefly as possible (so the gluten doesn't develop making the muffins have a dry texture) until no dry flour bits show.
Divide batter evenly between baking pans.
slightly touched in the center, or when a wooden toothpick inserted in the center
Cool for a bit (if you can wait) and Enjoy!
Rory loves lining these acorns up and, lest you think we might be an only-natural materials family, puts his lego Storm Troopers in there. When I next see him put his guys in the "jungle" I'll snap a pic and post it here.
Right now, I'm working on our Christmas card photo. Unfortunately, I lost my small digital camera this summer during our Alaskan Cruise, and my lovely Sony decided to have a bad card and doesn't work anymore (costs as much to fix as to buy a new one). So, I'm looking for a new camera - any suggestions for one that you love that takes great photos with not much delay between click and capture?
More on Christmas to come (after Thanksgiving, anyway - now I'm just busy finishing the lists). Hope you enjoy your Friday and weekend!
My hopes and dreams for this blog: taking more photos, enjoying greater creativity more often, loving the comments (good and bad), and chronicling these years that are flying by.
To the journey beginning.....
A photo of my children on Halloween with our Flying Crank Ghost that we made ourselves - with help from Grandpa! (thanks, Grandpa!) The ghost looks even spookier in the dark (as do the children - well the little one looks adorably cute any time of day).