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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Cover the Safety Railing

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When we took down my son's crib and upgraded him to a toddler bed, we would often go in and check on him after he had fallen asleep.  A lot of the time we would find him rolled over to the side with his head leaning ON the little safety railing.  The bed is made of metal, sounds comfortable, I know...
My husband mentioned that we should put something over it, immediately I knew what I should do...
I went to the dollar store and got a pool noodle.  I let my son pick out whatever color he wanted.  He felt like such a helper :).  I brought the noodle home and put it up against the bar, and cut it to the right length.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Leftover Chicken Broth?

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When I am making a recipe that calls for chicken broth, I have noticed I don't always use the whole can.  I decided to try a little experiment and see if it can be frozen...guess what, it can be!  Yay!!  The only thing I had on hand was an ice cube tray, so I poured the leftover broth into that and put it in the freezer.  Once the broth was frozen I popped them out of the ice tray and put the cubes in a ziplock bag, and just kept them in the freezer.  Each cube is 2 Tbsp. of broth.   
Another 'experiment' I wanted to try was to see what would be the best way to use the cubes.  I was making a sauce in a skillet on the stove, and I needed just a little bit of broth.  I grabbed two cubes from the freezer and threw them in the pan.  They just melted, and it worked perfectly!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Baked Chicken Taquitos

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These taquitos are SO good!  The tortilla is perfectly crispy, while the filling is creamy and flavorful, mmmmm...
Chicken Taquitos
Makes 12 Taquitos (about 6 servings)
  • 3ounces cream cheese
  • 1/4 c. green salsa (I got a good sized bottle from Wal-mart for $1.68)
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 (large) clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp chopped green onions
  • 1 c. shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 12 soft taco sized tortillas
  • 2 c. cooked shredded chicken*

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Spout Extender

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My son is ALL about having things 'his size'.  I think all kids feel the same way.  It makes them feel important.  
Well, a couple of things were on my mind when we created this next craft
  1. My son was getting too big for me to hold up to the kitchen sink when he needed to wash his hands, and,
  2. I felt bad holding him up to the sink because I always feel like the edge of the counter is pressing into his little tummy
So, we had just finished this bottle of Mountain Dew, and I thought we should put it to some good use!  Yay for reusing!!
 I first cut off the top of the bottle, 

Friday, June 22, 2012

No-sew Super Why Cape, Mask, and Why Writer

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For a while my son started really getting into a show called Super Why.  It's all about teaching kids how to read, I believe it's on PBS.  His favorite character on the show is the main one, Super Why.
Super Why image was found through Google.

I thought it would be so fun to turn my little guy into Super Why, he LOVED the idea as well.
So, I took an old shirt that didn't really fit anymore, turned it inside out (so I could see the seams), 

I cut along the inside of the inseams from the bottom all the way up and around the neck.  Don't cut the neck.  Voila!  Instant cape.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Marbled Fondant

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This was my second attempt ever at using fondant, and I thought I would try something new, again.  One of my brother's was having a birthday/Sunday dinner at my parent's house, so I figured was a good excuse to bust out a new cake.  

I made the fondant a light almost mint green color using regular liquid food coloring.  It was also my first attempt at a two-layer cake.  Yay!  

Yay's for me:  I didn't roll the fondant out as thin this time.  Also, the bottom part of the cake looks much cleaner and almost perfectly flat/straight edged  all the way around, and pretty dang good if I do say so myself :)

Boo's for me:  I probably should have finished off the top somehow, maybe even written 'Happy Birthday' or something, but to be honest, we were running a little late, (I didn't quite give myself loads of time to finish this...)

After covering the cake in the green fondant I had some left over and thought I should experiment with it.  I wanted to do a design and change the color, so I grabbed some liquid blue food coloring and started to mix it into the fondant with my hands.  

The result: this cool blue marbled looking fondant.  I cut it into strips and laid the strips around the two layers.  (They kind of look like strips of gum huh?)  

A helpful hint: to get the fondant to stick, moisten the side that will be placed on the cake with a tiny amount of water.

Much better than my last attempt!  Practice makes perfect!  Endless possibilities here, don't be afraid to try something new!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Mini Fruit Tarts

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These are by far my favorite dessert!  I was so happy when I found a recipe for them, they are SO easy!  Don't they look heavenly? :)

Mini Fruit Tarts
  • Tart Crust:
  • 1-1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup superfine sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), chilled
  • 1 egg yolk, broken with a fork

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Fondant Roses

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I know I'm no where close to be a pro at cakes or fondant.  This was my first time making it and using it.  Setting my sights high, I know!  I searched Google for a tutorial on how to make fondant roses, and I found this video.  (I didn't have a sheet protector, so I actually just put it on the counter with plastic wrap.  I also don't have the color paste, so I just used regular food coloring, and it wasn't sticky.  I also didn't have the gum stuff she mentions, and the roses held up on their own.  Wow, you'd think if I was missing so many components I would have failed...I defeated the odds ha ha:)).  I was super excited because it looked so easy, and it really was!

My very first rose, I know it's not perfect, but I was so proud!

After making a couple I didn't want to lay them on the counter because the petals would flatten, so I inserted toothpicks in the bottom and stuck them into my dish sponge, and it totally worked!  They stayed like that until I was ready to put them on the cake.

This was the final product.  I kept the toothpicks on the roses and stuck them into the cake.  I learned something while doing this cake, I rolled the fondant our too thin, so you can kind of see the cake through the fondant, so keep that thicker.  Also, I had to put a border of frosting around the bottom because it wasn't nice and even in some parts.

Also, some of the fondant started drying out, and that's where I got the little cracks around the edges of the petals.

I'm so glad I decided to try this.  I'd always wanted to, and I definitely learned some tips for next time!  If you don't try, you'll never know!

Friday, June 15, 2012

DIY Stamps

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After seeing this idea a while ago on Pinterest, I finally got around to trying it out for myself.
I have to say, this makes my crafty little self very happy!
The possibilities are endless!
To get started you will need:
milk or juice lids
hot glue gun
an ink pad or paint
foam sheets (I got a 32 pack for $1 from the Dollar Store)

Now let your imagination run wild!  
All you do is cut out the picture/shape from the foam sheet, glue it onto the milk/juice lid and let it dry. 
Once it's dry, stamp away!  
I love this because the sky is the limit, it was fun asking my son what shapes he wanted and seeing what he came up with.
Over the last couple of months we've gradually collected more lids and just added to our collection.
We started collecting lids from the Simply Orange Juice bottles, those ones are BIG.  We've added a sun, a car, a house, a pumpkin, an arrow, a smiley face, a flower, a lightning bolt, a stick figure 'daddy' and 'big boy', and a stick figure 'mommy'.  I know they look so messy, they've just been used a lot, and as you can see we started using paint on the stamps as well.
Hope you enjoy!

Idea adapted from Vanessa's Values.  

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Angry Birds Cupcakes

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This is my third and final post about Angry Birds!  (Thank heavens).  Not that I don't love all the fun things it's entailed for us, but, it's nice to have finally posted everything.  

In my previous post I talked about how I made and Angry Birds golden egg pinata for my sons' birthday party.  Well, I also made Angry Birds cupcakes.  These were so fun to make!
*Don't judge me by the way that cookie sheet looks, I'm going to have to use a trick I saw on Pinterest to get that back in spectacular shape ;)
So, here's how they were made:

I just used a box of cake mix, and baked the cupcakes accordingly.  Once cooled I divided the frosting into four bowls and added the food coloring.  After frosting each cupcake I then dipped each one into sprinkles of the same color.  (That's another tip from Pinterest, if you pour out the sprinkles into a bowl, plate, etc. and dip the frosted cupcake, it does a perfect even coating of sprinkles, and you don't have to shake off any excess).

For the eyes and eyebrows, I used frosting in a bag with a pointy tip.  The tummy of the red bird is just a marshmallow.  The 'golden eggs' are marshmallows with yellow frosting, and the piggy's snouts are also marshmallows with green frosting.  All the beaks are made from pieces of marshmallow which were dipped in yellow food coloring. 

And that's it!  They were a huge hit at the party!

Golden Egg Pinata

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For my sons' 3rd birthday he decided he wanted an Angry Bird themed party.  He also wanted a pinata.  At first he wanted a green pig, but later changed his mind to a golden egg.  I'm so glad he did!  After searching, I decided they were expensive, and I couldn't even find a golden egg.  I figured it would probably be more fun for him if we made our own, so here it is!

* If you can, try and do this a couple of days in advance so the paper has time to dry/harden.

What you'll need:
  • A balloon blown up
  • Strips of newspaper
  • a mixture of flour and water
  • garbage bag to cover/protect the table
Saturate the strips of newspaper in the flour/water mixture and lay across balloon.  Make sure to smooth it down.  Cover the whole balloon leaving a small opening in the top.
Allow to dry completely, and then repeat process again.  I think we did a total of 4 layers.  Once you have the desired thickness pop the balloon, and remove from inside.  Fill with candy, treats, prizes, etc.  We actually just left the hole in the top, but you can cover it with newspaper.  Since ours was a golden egg we painted it white (so the newspaper writing wouldn't show through), and then painted it a golden yellow.  I forgot to get string, so my husband poked holes in the side and we ended up using measuring tape from my sewing kit.

It was strong enough to stand up to 5 kids hitting it as hard as they could.

Not too shabby I'd say :)
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