Sunday, August 27, 2017

Easy Jam Cheese Danishes

After making about 10 different kinds of freezer jam this year, we thought we should try some different recipes. My mom found this one to try. It turned out amazing and was very easy. 

2 packages of crescent roll dough
1 8 oz cream cheese (softened) 
4 Tbsp butter (separated)
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Your choice of jam (about a tablespoon per danish)

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
4 tsp milk

Open the package of crescent rolls, but don't unroll the dough. Use a knife to cut the dough into slices (We did 6 slices per roll.) Lay each slice on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Use your fingers to create a well in each of the slices. 

Melt 2 Tbsp of butter and add the 1/4 cup brown sugar. Stir that together and brush on each of the slices of dough. 

 Combine the cream cheese, 2 Tbsp butter, 1 tsp lemon juice, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1 tsp of vanilla. Place a scoop of the mixture in the dough. 

Then add a dollop of your favorite jam flavors. Here we have peach, raspberry-peach, and blackberry-raspberry-peach. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-17 minutes. 

Mix the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla together to make the glaze. Top the danishes with the glaze after they come out of the oven. These are delicious warm or chilled! 

Monday, August 21, 2017

Solar Eclipse Party

We decided to have a little fun for the solar eclipse (even though we will only see about 80% coverage in our area). 

I went to the Dollar Tree and got all of the decorations. I covered the table with a black tablecloth and the kids covered the tablecloth with star and space stickers. I also found yellow plates at the dollar store. Also on the table is Eclipse gum, Oreos showing the moon phases, and sponges I cut into stars, moons, and suns. (The sponges and the glow in the dark paint will be used to create galaxy paintings and t-shirts) 

Also on the table is a sample of one of the crafts the kids will be making. I taped a circle to a piece of black cardstock and outlined the circle with chalk. Then, using my finger, I spread the chalk around the circle. Remove the taped circle when done. 

Another craft we will do is this...The kids will glue a yellow circle to a piece of black cardstock and decorate the sun's rays in any way they want. Then they will glue a strip of paper to a black circle and attach the moon to the sun sheet with a brass fastener. I decorated the moon circle with chalk. 

We also made some moon dough yesterday. This is just baking soda, water, a little black paint, and some glitter. We formed the dough into balls and let them dry in the sun. Today, we will make the "moon rocks" erupt by squirting vinegar on them. 

We covered all of our windows with glow in the dark shapes I found at the Dollar Tree.

For some eclipse food, I baked these brownies in a circle pan, put a mason jar lid on top of the cooled brownies and sprinkled some powdered sugar on top. Then I spread the powdered sugar around the circle. 

These are sugar cookies with chocolate frosting to show the stages of the eclipse. 
We will also be making our own little pizzas for lunch. 

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Moana Birthday Party

For Rachel's 6th birthday she wanted a Moana theme party. To make a photo area I constructed a boat out of a cardboard box. I made a flag pole out of toilet paper rolls and a piece of fabric. I cut out the red circle design from cardstock and hot glued it to the fabric. The flag pole was hot glued to a cardboard base. The background was two backdrops I found from the dollar store. I also found a decorative net from the dollar store and hung it over the boat. The fish are cut from cardboard. The ceiling was covered with a blue tablecloth from the dollar store. I placed cardboard turtles and fish on top of it and put a light up there to make it stand out more. The paddle is made from toilet paper rolls and a piece of cardboard. I covered it with wood grain masking tape. Maui's hook was made from cardboard as well. I used a Sharpie to draw on the designs. I covered the bottom of the hook with brown yarn. I did use some extra stain we had to make the boat look more realistic. 

The boat was also used as a spot to open the presents. The whole set-up cost under $10. 

We also made a paper mache volcano. I cut the top off a water bottle and glued it to a cardboard base. I wadded up some paper and set it around the bottle.  

Then I mixed one cup of flour and one cup of water together. I dipped strips of paper in the paste mixture and arranged the strips over the wadded paper. I let it dry overnight. 

The next day we painted it brown and added some red, orange, yellow, and copper accent. 

We made it erupt with baking soda and vinegar (colored red with food coloring). 

Close up of the hook.

Close up of the paddle.

Then I made this cake. I found the Moana topper from Amazon. The rest is all fondant. 

Rachel really wanted a pinata, so I found a mermaid pinata at Wal-Mart, and because we were having her party after the parade that day, I collected the kids' parade candy and stuffed the pinata. (It was a win-win for everyone. She got her pinata and I didn't have to buy extra candy we didn't need!)