Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Lemon Chick Cookies

The kids wanted to make something tonight, but we didn't have a lot of time before bedtime. So, we pulled out a yellow cake mix and looked at a picture on Pinterest to come up with these. 

We mixed a yellow cake mix, 2 eggs, and 1/2 cup oil with the hand mixer. I added 1-2 drops of lemon essential oil and mixed it together. 

Then we placed two different sizes of cookie dough balls on a greased baking pan. Make sure the little ball touches the larger ball. Bake for about 12 minutes at 350 degrees. (I got 11 cookies out of this.) 

Put the cookies on a cooling rack. Immediately place two mini chocolate chips in the warm cookie for the eyes. I cut orange chocolate disks into triangles for the beaks. 

Then I piped on some orange frosting feet. 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Dog-shaped Homemade Hot Dog Buns

A friend posted these on my Facebook wall a few weeks ago. We used our own bread dough recipe and gave them a try today. They were a huge hit! 

I started with my white bread recipe. It makes two loaves of bread, so I made one loaf of bread and turned the other half of the dough into the hot dog buns. 

Ingredients for the bread: 
2 cups warm water
1/3 cup honey
1 1/2 Tbsp yeast
2 tsp salt
6 3/4 cup flour

I let the dough double after I had it mixed. Then I divided it in half. I let half of it rise in a loaf pan. I made nine dough balls with the remaining bread dough. I placed them on a baking stone and covered them with wet paper towels for about 15 minutes. 

Then I shaped the dough balls into ovals. I cut two slits in each oval with a knife and let the dough rise (covered with a towel). I let it rise for about 20 minutes. 

Then I cut little slits in the dough and placed a black bean in the slit for the eyes and nose. 

I baked them for 12 minutes on 350 degrees. 

Then I cut a slit with a serrated knife and placed a cooked hot dog in the "mouth". 

Strawberry Muffins

I saw this recipe on Facebook today and thought it sounded really good. These muffins are delicious! David said they are his new favorite muffins. 

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups chopped strawberries
3 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp cinnamon

Cream the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl. Add the egg. 
In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Add the flour mixture and the milk alternately to the creamed mixture. It took me four separate additions. 

Then add the vanilla. 

Fold in the strawberries. 

Grease a muffin pan and divide the dough into the 12 spots. 

Mix the cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle it over the muffins. 

Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. Let muffins cool on a cooling rack.

Bunny Pancakes

We have seen lot of pictures of the "bunny butt" pancakes, so we decided to try them today. It was very easy. We just did a large circle and two small ovals. Then we added a sliced strawberry for the paws and a dollop of Redi-whip. 

Friday, March 27, 2015

Cookies for the Movie Home

The boys' elementary school went to see the new movie Home today to wrap up their month of reading activities. I saw cookies like these on this website ( http://www.fandango.com/movie-news/make-oh-so-awesome-cookies-from-home-749023), so I decided to try our own version.

 I had leftover fondant from the calculator cake I made earlier in the week, so all I had to do was make purple sugar cookies. I started with my basic sugar cookie recipe: http://workingmomwonders.blogspot.com/2013/10/sugar-cookies.html
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt

After creaming the butter, sugar, egg, sour cream, and vanilla, I added some purple food gel. If I had to do it again, I would add more color because they were a little dull in color after they baked. 

Mix all the dry ingredients together and slowly add it to the creamed mixture. Let it sit in the freezer for a couple of hours. 

When it is chilled, roll some of the dough on a lightly floured surface. I rolled them pretty thick (about 3/4 inch). Using a heart cookie cutter, I cut out the dough. Then I trimmed off the bottom of each heart. I placed a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet and baked 9-10 cookies at a time at 350 degrees for 8 minutes. (Don't overbake them.) Immediately move the cookies to a cooling rack after they bake.  I got 30 large cookies from this batch. 

While the cookies were cooling, I rolled out my fondant and cut the eyes. I used regular frosting behind each eye to get them to stick. 

Then I used the blue food gel in the corner of the picture below to add some color to the eyes. 

The next step was to add some black frosting. I just use Wilton black decorating icing that comes in a tube. I attach a tip to the top of the tube. I added a dot in the middle of the eye and drew on a mouth. I then rolled some shapes from the fondant to be used as teeth. 

I colored my remaining fondant purple and placed two circle blobs on the side of the face for the ears. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Easter Canvas Painting

"Painting with a Twist", "Lushes with Brushes", and various other companies are popping up around our area. The idea is that adults get together and paint a picture by following an instructor's lead (and drinking a little wine). 

Well, most of the time, kids aren't invited to these types of establishments. But, my kids love to paint, so I decided to try the concept (minus the drinks) with my kids at home tonight. 

We decided to paint an Easter picture with a sunset and a cross. 

I got a package of 10 small canvases from Joann Fabrics a few months ago when they were half off. 

I gave the kids blue, purple, red, orange, yellow, white, and pink acrylic paint. They each had a cup of water and a towel to dry their brush. 

We started by brushing on lines of different colors.

Then we blended the lines together. We left a little bit of the bottom unpainted. Then we let them dry for about 10 minutes. 

Next, I added some black acrylic paint to their tray. They painted on a hill with the black paint. Then they added a cross. They decided they only wanted one cross on theirs. They did a great job, and were really happy with their results. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Flower Cupcake Cake

It has definitely been a week of birthday celebrations. A good friend of mine had a birthday today. This is the cake we came up with for her... 

I started by arranging 20 cupcakes on a large baking pan covered with tinfoil. 

Then I did a swirl design with purple frosting for the flower petals. Her favorite color is purple, so we did the flowers in purple. Then I swirled chocolate frosting for the center of each flower. I cut up little pieces of white chocolate for the middle as well. Then we added green frosting for the stem and leaves. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Carrot Footprints

I saw a picture of these on Pinterest, so we decided to give it a try for our first Easter craft of the season. I painted Rachel's foot and she painted the boys' feet orange. Then they put their footprint on a piece of white cardstock. We cut out the footprint and glued on some shreds of green cardstock. Then the kids wrote their names and 2015 on the carrot.

Basketball Rice Krispie Treats

For David's snack day this week, we made these "March Madness" basketball Rice Krispie treats. 

I made a double batch of Rice Krispie treats. (Melt 6 Tablespoons of butter in a large pan. Add 12 cups of mini marshmallows. Stir until melted. Add some orange food gel to the melted marshmallows. Then stir in 12 cups of Rice Krispie cereal.)

Spray your hands with cooking spray. Pull out a handful of the mixture and mold it into a circle. Place the circles on wax paper. You may have to respray your hands with cooking spray a few times. Cover each ball with Saran wrap. Then draw lines on the Saran wrap with a black Sharpie. 

Calculator Cake

I made this cake for a family friend yesterday. He is also a math teacher at our school. I borrowed one of the calculators he uses with his classes and made this replica.  

I started by making the fondant: Melt one 16 oz bag of mini marshmallows with 2 Tablespoons water in a large bowl. Melt on 30 second intervals, stirring after each round of 30 seconds...about 1 1/2 minutes total.

Add 3 cups of powdered sugar. Stir until smooth. Put Crisco on the counter. Knead in about 3 more cups of powdered sugar. (There were about 2 cups of powdered sugar left in the 2 lb. bag.) I had a lot of fondant left, so you could probably cut this recipe in half. 

Put Crisco around the ball of dough. Cover with Saran wrap. Place in an air-tight container until ready to work with it. 

I divided the fondant and made black, gray, yellow, a little green, and a little blue. I also left some white. 

I covered the cake with regular frosting. Then I rolled out the fondant and placed it on the cake. I cut the buttons out of the rolled fondant. I wrote the numbers and words on the buttons with a fine writing tip. 

The equation on the screen equals his age. 

Teal and Purple Birthday Cake

We came up with this cake for my sister's birthday. It took less than a batch of fondant and two cake mixes. I did two 9-inch circle pans and a heart pan. 

I covered the cakes with homemade frosting (1/2 cup Crisco, 2 cups powdered sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla, 2 Tablespoons milk) right before I added the fondant. This helps it stick to the cake. 

To make the fondant, melt one 16 oz bag of mini marshmallows with 2 Tablespoons water in a large bowl. Melt on 30 second intervals, stirring after each round of 30 seconds...about 1 1/2 minutes total.

Add 3 cups of powdered sugar. Stir until smooth. Put Crisco on the counter. Knead in about 3 more cups of powdered sugar. (There were about 2 cups of powdered sugar left in the 2 lb. bag.) 

Put Crisco around the ball of dough. Cover with Saran wrap. Place in an air-tight container until ready to work with it. 

I split the fondant into three piles. I colored one purple, one blue (a little bit of blue food gel turned it the teal color), and left the other pile white. 

I just rolled out the fondant and cut strips and circles for the outside decorations. I rolled balls out of the fondant for the bottom and cut out the letters by hand. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

St. Patrick's Day Dinner

As a quick St. Patrick's Day dinner, I boiled some ravioli and placed it on the plate in a shamrock design. We covered it with pesto. Then we added some more green to the plate with sauteed asparagus. Even though it isn't green, the kids love homemade garlic bread. I just toast a piece of bread, spread butter over the toast, and sprinkle on a little garlic salt. 

For dessert, I put out a variety of things the kids could make trifles with. We had brownies, pistachio pudding, mint Oreos,Redi-whip, and green gummy bears. 

Monday, March 16, 2015

St. Patrick's Day Scavenger Hunt #3

Here is our 3rd Annual St. Patrick's Day Scavenger Hunt. I still have shamrocks left from the first year we did this. I found them at a teacher store. The little black pots, along with the gold chocolate coins, came from Party City. The kids will find a pot of gold and a clue in each location. I have a large green pot with more goodies in it for the final clue.

For our past clues, click on these links:

This year's clues:
#1: On St. Patrick's Day, make sure you were green, not pink. But first find your next clue under the bathroom ____________________ (sink)

#2: Later we will have some trifles with Oreos and toffee. But right now your clue is in the drawer for our ______________________ (coffee).

#3: You kids are so smart and you have got some good looks. Your next clue can be found on a shelf for your ________________ (books).

#4: You're so hot you could be on fire. We take clothes out of the washer and put them in the _______________ (dryer)

#5. The leprachaun is loose. Be quiet as a mouse...You might find him in the Barbie _____________ (house).

Pot of Gold Craft

To get ready for St. Patrick's Day tomorrow, we made a pot of gold craft tonight. I cut a pot out of black cardstock and glued it to a piece of white cardstock. 

Then the kids glued little pieces of colored paper to the white cardstock. They added stickers to decorate their pot. 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Pi Day Food

 This year marks a very special Pi Day because of the extra 15 that can be added. So, we decided to celebrate. David likes math, so this was a really neat opportunity to introduce him to the symbol. We made Pi cheese bread and Pi strawberry pie. 

I rolled out my cheese bread dough and cut it in the shape of the pi symbol. (I used a pizza cutter for this step.) My cheese bread recipe can be found here: http://workingmomwonders.blogspot.com/2014/01/snowman-cheese-bread.html

I made my strawberry pie recipe ( http://workingmomwonders.blogspot.com/2014/05/strawberry-pie.html) I made half of the filling this recipe calls for, but all of the pie crust. I used the extra pie crust to cut out the pi symbol and the numbers 3.1415.  

I put the pie together and added the crust shapes and numbers. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

I'm Lucky Shamrock Activity

This craft didn't take a lot of time, and it helped remind the kids of how many things they have to be thankful for. 

I started by drawing a four-leaf clover (or my best attempt at a freehand one!) on a piece of green cardstock. Then I traced the top of the clover on a piece of white cardstock. The kids and I cut out the shapes. 
Then I took a fastener and attached the green four-leaf clover to the white cut-out. We pulled back each piece of the clover and wrote something they decided they were lucky to have. 

Then we decorated the top of the shamrock with some St. Patrick's Day stickers we found at the dollar store. 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Reading Month Popcorn Treat Bag

For David's snack day tomorrow, we decided to continue the "March is Reading Month" theme. We cut strips from colored cardstock and wrote "Pop open a good book!" in the middle. Then we glued pieces of popcorn scrapbook paper on the ends of the cardstock. I staped the strips to a plastic bag and filled it with Skinny Pop popcorn.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Dr. Seuss Treats

Today is Dr. Seuss's birthday. David had snack day, so we made some treats that matched a couple of his books. We made green eggs and ham with two pretzel sticks, a little bit of white chocolate melted on the sticks. Then I added a green sixlet candy to the chocolate. 
The Lorax guys are made from a Nutter Butter cookie. I added candy eyes (to make them stick, I used some of the melted white chocolate leftovers from the pretzels.) Then I added a yellow frosting mustache. 

For dinner, we had pancakes that were turned into the Cat in the Hat hat. I used Redi-whip and strawberries to add the accents to the pancake. 
Basic pancake recipe: 
1 1/3 cup flour
1 1/4 cup milk
1 egg
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons softened or melted butter. 
Whisk together and pour in a heated skillet. 

Only one of the kids wanted to have the green eggs. I just scambled some eggs with a little green food gel.