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Friday, April 18, 2014

Crescent Rolls

These crescent rolls are a crowd favorite! They turn out so well every time, and are worth the time it takes to make them.

1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon sugar 
1 egg
1 Tablespoon salt
2 Tablespoons yeast
2 cups warm water
9-10 cups flour
1 cup butter

Start by placing 1 1/2 cups milk, 3/4 cup sugar, and 1/2 cup butter (cubed) in a microwavable bowl. Heat in the microwave for 2 minutes. Stir and let cool for about 5 minutes. 

Meanwhile, place 2 Tablespoons of yeast and 1 Tablespoon of sugar in 2 cups of warm water. Stir and proof the yeast. (It will get foamy on the top. This tells you the yeast is alive.)

Place 2 cups of flour in a large mixing bowl. Add the milk mixture. Stir. Add one egg and 1 Tablespoon of salt. Stir. Then add the proofed yeast. 

Add the remaining flour 2 cups at a time, stirring after each addition. (I usually add a 7 1/2 more cups of flour to the 2 cups I added to cool the milk down. A total of 9 1/2 cups of flour in this dough.) 

Cover the bowl with a towel and let the dough rise for about 1 hour, or until doubled. 

Place dough on a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into four separate balls. 

Roll each ball out into a large circle. Spread 1 1/2 tablespoons of softened butter on the rolled out dough. 

Using a pizza cutter, I cut the dough into four quarters. Then cut each quarter into three triangles. 

Starting with the larger end, roll up each crescent roll. 

Place on a greased baking sheet. (24 rolls on each sheet.) This recipe makes 48 rolls.
Cover the pan and let rise for about 20 minutes. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown. Spread butter over the tops as soon as they come out of the oven. Then take the rolls off the pan and place on a cooling rack. (This step is very important --the rolls will become soggy on the bottom if you don't let them cool on a cooling rack.) 

Hot Cross Buns

2 cups milk
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon yeast--(or 1 package)
4 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
1/2 teaspoon ginger (optional) 
1/2 teaspoon cloves (optional)
1/2 cup raisins (optional--I didn't use them because my kids don't like them)
1 1/2 Tablespoons softened butter (optional)
1 egg white
splash of milk

1 cup powdered sugar
2-3 Tablespoons milk

Stir 2 cups of milk, 1/2 cup canola oil, and 1/2 cup sugar in a microwavable bowl. Heat for about 2 minutes. Let cool for a couple of minutes. Add the yeast to the bowl. Stir. Let sit for another couple of minutes. 
Place 4 cups of flour and milk mixture in a large mixing bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon until a sticky dough forms. 
Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place for about an hour. 

When doubled, add 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 heaping teaspoon of baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 2 teaspoons salt. Stir until combined. 

Meanwhile, mix 1/4 cup sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. I added ginger, nutmeg, and cloves as well. 

Lightly flour your counter-top. Place the dough on the floured surface and flatten out with your hand. (When I make these again, I think I will spread about 1/2 Tablespoon of softened butter on the dough before I add the cinnamon and sugar.)  Sprinkle some of the cinnamon sugar mixture on top. Add 1/3 of the raisins here if you are using them. 

Fold the dough in half. Flatten out again. (Add butter if you choose to do so.) Then add more cinnamon sugar and raisins. Fold in half again. Add another batch of butter, cinnamon/sugar, and raisins. Fold for the last time. 
Divide the dough in half. Then in half again. (You will have four balls of dough) Make each ball into four rolls. (16 total rolls) Flour your hands for this step. Tuck the bottoms of each roll under so the rolls are smooth on the top.

Place on a greased cookie sheet. 

Cover the cookie sheet with a towel and let rise for about 30 minutes. (The first time I made these, I made 12 rolls, but they were a little large. I suggest making 16 instead of 12.)

Mix 1 egg white and a splash of milk together with a fork. Brush the mixture on the rolls. Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown. 

When done, place rolls on a cooling rack. 

Meanwhile, mix about 1 cup of powdered sugar and 2-3 tablespoons of milk in a bowl. Place the glaze in a plastic baggie and cut the tip off. 

Squeeze the glaze over the cooled rolls to form a cross. 

This recipe is adapted from "The Pioneer Woman". 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Play-Doh Carrots

Instead of taking candy treats to daycare today for the kids' friends, we made these play-doh carrots for all the kids. 

I started by making microwave play dough. Put 2 cups of flour, 2 Tablespoons of oil, 1 cup of salt, 2 cups of water, and 1 Tablespoon of cream of tartar. Mix that in a microwavable bowl with a whisk.

Next, add the food coloring. (It takes about 50 drops of yellow and 15 drops of red to make this orange.)

Next, place it in the microwave for 1 minute. Pull it out and stir with a spoon. Place back in for another minute. Continue this until the mixture becomes a dough. It took mine 4 minutes. Let it cool for a couple of minutes. When you pull the dough from the bowl, it becomes very soft and pliable. Knead it until it is soft. 

I made two batches of dough to get 7 carrots. I filled each of the bags with play-doh. I took a piece of green curling ribbon and tied the bag shut. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Cheesy Potatoes

1 bag of frozen hash brown potatoes (30 oz)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream
1/8 cup milk
3/4 cup butter
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 8 oz package shredded cheddar cheese
potato chips to crumble on top

Grease a 9x13in pan.  Mix the soup, sour cream, milk, melted butter, garlic salt, salt, pepper, and half of the cheese in a separate bowl. Add the potatoes. Mix well. Pour in the greased pan. Top with remaining cheese and crushed potato chips. Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Easter Cake

I started this cake with two 9 in round cakes stacked on top of each other. 
I covered the outside of the cake with frosting and stuck Kit Kats to the cake. (It took 44 single Kit Kats)
I covered the top of the cake with green frosting using a grass cake decorating tip. 

To make the carrot planters, I used frosting to stick vanilla wafer cookies together.

I used orange Mike and Ike candy for the carrots. I cut little pieces from green apple, pull-apart Twizzlers for the carrot tops. I used frosting to stick the top to the carrot. 

I placed chocolate pudding inside the planter. Then I crumbled an Oreo on top of the pudding. I stuck the carrots inside the pudding. 

To finish the cake, my son placed the planters, rabbit Peeps, chick Peeps, and jelly beans around the top. 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Detroit Tigers Cake

I knew I probably wouldn't be able to draw an Old English D very well freehand on a cake, so I printed one out. I cut it out to make it a stencil. 

I lightly covered a 9x13 inch cake with white frosting. I placed the stencil on the cake. Using a star tip, I outlined the stencil with blue frosting. (I colored the white frosting by using blue food gel and a little bit of black food gel.) 

Then I took the stencil off the cake. 
I continued adding blue stars to the top of the cake. 

Then I added white stars to the "D" part. 

I finished by adding orange stars to the outside. 

Baseball Activity Wall

After a rough winter, everyone is feeling excited for the start of spring, but more importantly, for the start of Baseball! 

For opening day tomorrow, we not only turned our refrigerator into Paws (the Detroit Tigers mascot), but also made a baseball activity wall. 

I drew a field on a large sheet of white butcher paper. Then I painted the grass with green paint. I mixed brown and white paint for the diamond dust. I painted the bases with white paint. Finally, I drew an Old English D with blue glitter paint. 

I cut the field out and taped it to the wall. I then cut circles from white cardstock and drew red baseball lines with a red sharpie. 
Each ball will become a "game ball" or the activity for the day. The baseballs have various baseball, spring, and summer crafts on the back of them. (Most of which I found on Pinterest.) 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Toy Story "Jessie" Costume

I found this idea on Pinterest (, and just adapted it using things I had on hand. 

The pants are a pair of my daughter's jeans with cow print felt safety pinned to it. (The felt sheets came from Joann Fabrics. I just cut the felt to fit her jeans.) You could use fabric for this as well, but the felt was very easy. 

The belt is a piece of black felt. I hot glued a circle cut from a red glitter foam sheet. (I think I bought this at Joann Fabric too.) I safety pinned the belt to her pants. 

The cuffs are pieces of yellow felt. I placed velcro sticky circles on the felt so they could wrap around her arm and stay in place. I hot glued red glitter ribbon to the felt for the accents. I also hot glued some white ribbon to the cuffs. 

The top yellow is cut from a piece of sticky-back yellow felt. (These sheets came from Meijer.) I also hot glued red glitter ribbon to that felt and then just stuck it to the shirt. 

We had a red cowboy hat, so I just taped a piece of white ribbon around the hat. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Detroit Tigers Paws Refrigerator Decoration

We are ready for Opening Day! Go Tigers!

Last year, we made our Paws refrigerator decoration out of construction paper. ( When I pulled it back out this year, it was pretty faded, so I made the arms and legs out of felt pieces. To make it even easier, I hot glued magnets on the back of the felt. 

The hat, buttons, and shirt accents are made from construction paper. The face is a tiger mask I found at the Dollar Tree. I added some cotton balls to the top and some black felt for the mouth and nose. The eyes are google eyes. I cut out a baseball from a piece of scrapbook paper and taped it to one of the paws. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Spring Tulle Wreath

I took down the St. Patrick's Day wreath and made a spring/summer wreath to take its place. 

For detailed instructions on how to make these wreaths out of tulle, check out these step by step instructions:

For this wreath I used pink, blue, and purple tulle. I bought a package of paper butterflies from the dollar store and hung them from the wreath with thread. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Bert and Ernie Fruit Treats

For Big Bird's Birthday party, we also created Bert and Ernie fruit treats. (Yes, I know they need some work, but the kids loved them!)

I cut an orange in half and cut out a slit for the mouth. I cut the tip off a strawberry for Ernie's nose. I used a banana for Bert, and also cut out a slit for his mouth.  I used candy eyes for the eyes. A mini marshmallow would work too. I cut up pieces of orange for the ears on both Bert and Ernie, and also used an orange piece for Bert's nose. I drew on eyebrows and hair with black food gel. Then I placed a slice of strawberry in each of the character's mouths.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Big Bird Fruit Cups

Tomorrow is Big Bird's Birthday! Last year we had quite the celebration ( This year, we also have some activities planned. 

To start, we made Big Bird fruit cups. They are made from cut pineapple and cantaloupe and grapes. 

Look for our other Big Bird Birthday activities tomorrow. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Olaf Cupcake Cake

My kids loved the movie Frozen when we went to see it in theaters. So, they are extremely excited for it to come out on video tomorrow. We are so excited about it, we are throwing a Frozen party after school tomorrow. (Our copy of the movie is supposed to be waiting for us with the mail!)

So I started by creating an Olaf cupcake cake. I used 27 cupcakes to make Olaf's body. Then I swirled on white frosting with a large star decorating tip. I used black food gel to make the mouth, eyes, and eyebrows. I used orange melting chocolate disks to create the nose, and chocolate disks for the buttons. As a finishing touch, I shaped tootsie rolls for the hair and arms. 

I had some extra cupcakes, so I made a few "In Summer" Olaf cupcakes. This is just frosting tinted blue, Vanilla Wafers crushed for the sand, and a large marshmallow cut and shaped into a snowman. I used black food gel to decorate the marshmallows and stuck in a small piece of orange chocolate for the nose.