Sunday, March 4, 2018

Academy Award Party

We decided to throw our own party for the Academy Awards tonight. (Complete with our own red carpet!) 
I made this Oscar statue photo board out of a cardboard box. The base of the statue is a piece of black foam board that I cut up and hot glued together. 

Along with our cheese bread, burgers, red rope Twizzlers, and onion rings, we will feast on these red velvet carpet cake rolls. 

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Homemade McGriddles

1/2 cup maple syrup
1 1/3 cup flour
1 1/4 cup milk
2 Tbsp sugar
1 egg
1 Tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt

Start by lining a sheet cake pan with a silpat liner or with parchment paper. 

Pour the maple syrup in a pan and boil over medium-high heat. Keep stirring constantly when it starts to boil. 

You need to boil it for 2-3 minutes. If you have a thermometer, it should reach 265 degrees. It will darken as it boils. 

Pour on the liner. Let the syrup cool. I put it in the refrigerator to speed up the process. It only took about 15 minutes. 

When it is cool, the syrup will break apart into crystals. 

Whisk the remaining ingredients (flour, milk, sugar, egg, salt, baking powder) in a bowl. This is the pancake mixture. Make two small pancakes. Place the maple sugar crystals on top of the pancake batter. Flip the pancake and continue cooking. 

Put whatever you want on the inside...sausage patty; bacon, egg, and cheese; sausage, egg, and cheese; etc. 

Monday, February 19, 2018

Frozen Photo Board

Big Baller Brand Cheese Bread

Dough Ingredients:
1 cup warm water
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 tablespoon honey 
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
3 cups flour {give or take 1/2 cup)

In a stand mixer, stir yeast and honey into warm water. Sit for 5-10 minutes or until bubbles form and mixture starts to foam. Pour in salt, oil and half the flour and mix with a wooden spoon. Once that flour is incorporated, start adding flour in bit by bit until you get the pizza dough to the consistency you want: slightly tacky, but when you touch it it doesn't stick to your hands. Once you reach this stage, turn the mixer on high to knead for 6 minutes. Lightly grease the bowl & the dough so it doesn't dry out, cover with a towel and let it rise 1 hour. (I turn my oven on 170 degrees for about 30 seconds and then place the bowl in warm oven) 

After the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and shape...We do a lot of different shapes of bread for different holidays. I just rolled out the dough and used a pizza cutter to get the dough to resemble the BBB logo. Place the dough on a pan greased with cooking spray and cornmeal. 
Spread 2-3 tablespoons of butter on top of the dough. Drizzle a little olive oil over that. 
Chop up 3 cloves of garlic and spread on the top. If you don't have fresh garlic, sprinkle with garlic salt. Top with about 1/4 cup parmasean cheese and 1-2 cups of mozzarella cheese. Bake at 425 degrees for about 12 minutes. 
The boys thought this was a perfect All Star Weekend Treat! 

Stuffed Animal Bean Bag Cover

I wanted to make a bean bag for the kids' rooms, but wasn't sure how I wanted to stuff them. While looking around on Pinterest, I saw some people were buying bean bag covers and filling them with stuffed animals. We have a major stuffed animal problem, so I thought this was an idea worth trying!

I cut 6 squares, each measuring 20"x 20". For this bean bag cover, I used three different colors of fabric. I put 4 of the squares on the ground and pinned the sides together. I then sewed the pieces together. 
I added the 5th square of fabric to the sides (this will be the bottom of the bean bag).

Sew the other two side panels to the bottom panel. 

Then sew on the top panel. 

I added a piece of velcro to the bottom panel.

The other side of the velco was sewn to a side panel. This is where you will add your stuffed animals.

I then sewed the rest of the cube together. I reinforced the corners by sewing diagonally through them. 

Then flip your fabric right-side out and stuff with your stuffed animals. Close the velcro and you have a new seat! (and no clutter!) 

All of these animals fit inside this 20x20 cover. You could make the bean bag cover any size you want. 

Here is the finished product. I ended up putting an old blanket in first so it was smooth on the top. 

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Valentine's Day Scavenger Hunt #6

It's hard to believe our scavenger hunts started in 2013! Here is the 6th annual Valentine's Day Scavenger Hunt! (Thanks to Steve for writing the clues, yet again!) 

Gather round the table and read your 1st clue.
The hunt begins at the start.
To continue on you’ll want to head
To the place with little hearts.

We open this door for Franklin, our dog.
He goes outside to play and go potty.
Your next clue is going to be found
Where Matt builds the muscles on his body.

Matt likes to lift and do exercises
It inspires the entire Carlson crew.
Our new family bike might be helpful
To get more of us on a fitness breakthrough.

This bike doesn’t move but it gets plugged in.
The electricity helps it to hum.
Your upcoming clue is in another room,
Where Mom makes us say “Yum”!

Your final clue awaits with gifts for you all.
You just gotta find where to go.
Need a hint, here you are,

Look for something that makes the snow blow.

Arrow Bean Bag Game

I wanted to create a game for our Valentine's Day fun, so I went to Pinterest for some help. I found an arrow template on this website:
I traced the arrows on fabric and cut them out. 

I sewed two of the arrows together, leaving the top of the arrow open. 

Fill 3/4 of the arrow with stuffing. 

Then add poly pellets (beads that are used for weighted blankets) to the top of the arrow. Sew the top of the arrow up. 

I put some tape on the floor for the kids to throw the arrows at. 

Winter Olympic Crafts

These cardboard skis were a favorite! We just used duct tape to secure a pair of sandals to a piece of cardboard. The kids decorated their skis with markers. 

Monday, February 5, 2018

Blueberry Banana Bread

The bread is delicious and is pretty healthy! 

3 bananas, mashed
2 eggs
1/2 cup Greek yogurt (I used vanilla Greek because that was what I had)
1/3 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups wheat flour
1 cup blueberries

Mix the bananas, eggs, yogurt, honey, and vanilla. Add the flour and baking soda. 
Mix until combined. Fold in the blueberries. 

Pour into a greased 9x5 inch bread pan.Bake for about 50 minutes at 350 degrees. 

Let cool on a wire rack. 

Soft Pretzels

I found this recipe when I was trying to find a quick way to make homemade soft pretzels. These pretzels are delicious (and very quick)! This is the link to the original recipe:

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 Tbsp yeast (or a small packet)
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
4 cups flour
1/2 cup baking soda
1 egg
pretzel salt

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Add the salt and sugar. With a wooden spoon, stir in flour, one cup at a time. 

Using the hook attachment, knead the dough for about 4 minutes. 

Break the dough up into six equal portions. (You could make them smaller or larger depending on your preference. I found that 6 was a pretty good number.)
Line a pan with parchment paper. Roll each dough section out and shape into the pretzel. 
(To shape: roll out into a long rope. Pull the ends together like you are making a circle. Twist the ends together and pull toward you, shaping the pretzel.) 

Meanwhile, boil 9 cups of water and 1/2 cup baking soda. Using a slotted spoon, drop a pretzel into the boiling water. Cook for about 20 seconds (it will float). Drain excess water and place on the parchment paper lined baking sheet. Do the same for the other 5 pretzels. 

Beat an egg in a bowl. Brush the pretzel (both sides) with the egg wash and sprinkle salt on top. (For a couple of them, I put pepperoni and some mozzarella cheese on top.) Bake for 10 minutes at 425 degrees. Then, turn the oven to broil and keep in there for about 5 minutes. Make sure they don't brown too much.

Altoid Tin Pot of Gold Game

David has been looking for things to do with old Altoid tins. we created a pot of gold from cardboard, felt, and a pipe cleaner. We also made a paper clip launcher. The little gold pellets are launched from a K'Nex piece that is glued to the paper clip.

14 Things We Love About You...

Every day from Feb. 1st through the 14th, we will clip up another heart with a message proclaiming something we love about the kids. This is Rachel's door. Matt and David each have a string on their door. 

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Groundhog Day Treats

For Rachel's snack day treat this week, we decided to make Groundhog Day Treats. I found the idea from this website:

2 cups sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
3 cups quick cooking oats
Fudge Stripe Cookies
black frosting
white frosting
white sprinkles
Tootsie Roll candy chews

I started by cutting some smoothie straws that would create the hole in the no-bake cookies. Line your table with wax paper. 

In a saucepan, heat the sugar, cocoa, butter, and milk on high heat. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat. 

Add the peanut butter, vanilla, and oatmeal. Stir until all incorporated. 

Scoop the mixture around the plastic straw. Let them cool completely. 

Meanwhile, shape your Tootsie Roll chew so it has ears. I used white frosting for the eyes, black frosting for the nose, and white sprinkles for the teeth. 

Using frosting, secure your fudge strip to the cookie mound. You can now push the tootsie roll groundhog up and down the no-bake mound.