Friday, September 30, 2011

Duck Tape Purses

My mom and I are the Activity Days leaders at our church.  It is like a youth group for girls ages 8-11.  We decided for this past activity to make purses out of Duck tape.  The girls had a blast -but we were sure glad we asked some of the parents to stay and help us out, or it would have been CRAZY!

Here is the one I made for my daughter out of some of the left overs.

Cute, eh?  I love that there is no sewing and they are pretty easy.  Want to learn how to make your own? Great!

We found this great tutorial at All Things Thrifty with instructions (and pictures!) that we used.  We decided to skip the rope and gromets, and just use more tape like they did at Second Chances By Susan in this post.

 (image from link above)

I would love to know how they did those cool flowers too! So cute!

Here are some more pictures.  And thanks for remaining so patient with me.. I know I have been busy (read: lazy) for awhile in my posting.  I do have a few projects in the works, but haven't been able to finish one of them, it seems... guess I will have a bunch of posts coming up once they are all done!  

Foodie Friday #8

It started to get a bit chilly in my neck of the woods, so now I am so pumped for fall and winter.  Christmas is my favorite time of year... so I figured I might as well put my excitement for Christmas to good use and.... make sugar cookies?  Not like I need to eat Christmas baking from now until Christmas, but what can I say?  I have a major weakness....

I was a bit lazy though, so instead of making sugar cookies with the cookie cutters and then decorating them, I just chose the easy way out and made my sister-in-law's Drop Sugar Cookies.

2 1/2  c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 c butter or margarine (room temperature)
1 1/2 c sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c sour cream

Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.  Set aside.  Cream butter, sugar, egg, vanilla in a bowl.  Add 1/2 the flour mixture.  Mix.  Add sour cream.  Mix.  Add remaining flour mixture.  Mix just until smooth.  Drop mounds of dough onto cookie sheets (I line my sheets with parchment paper).  I usually flatten my mounds a bit with my fingers.  Sprinkle with sugar.  Bake until tops are BARELY beginning to brown.  Check after 12-15 minutes.  DO NOT over bake!  You can rotate cookie sheets in the oven so bottoms don't burn, depending on your oven.

Note: The recipe originally used 2 c flour and 1/4 c sour cream but my sister-in-law adjusted it because of the altitude where she lived.  Her version seems to work better for me too.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Foodie Friday #7

 Yet again, I am late... I don't know how the weeks seem to disappear so fast.  I will try to do better -I really will.

Hello, Fall, my old friend.  And you know what comes with fall? PUMPKINS!  So today I am sharing my recipe for delicious Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins!  Here is a photo of the mini muffins I made (Little Man loved these for preschool snacks).

(I apologize for the poor quality photo)

One batch calls for a 14 oz can of pumpkin, but since I always buy the 28oz cans (they are cheaper!) I almost always double (or quadruple...) this recipe.

4 eggs
2 c sugar
1 1/2 c oil
14 oz can pumpkin
3 c flour
1 tbsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
chocolate chips (as many as you like)

Just mix it all together well, put into muffin tins (either greased or in muffin cups) and then bake at 350 F for 18 minutes.  Quick, easy, and sooooo yummy! 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Foodie Friday #6 (sorry it's a day late) -Cinnamon Rolls

Ok, ok.  I know it is NOT Friday, but somehow this week got away from me.  Between my 4-year-old starting preschool, and my baby's 3 different kinds of doctor's appointments this week, I was just too busy (and tired).

This week, I wanted to share my cinnamon bun recipe with you.  I didn't make them this week, but made them a few weeks back for a girl's night I hosted.

First, of course, you need to make the dough.  

Combine 4 Tbsp yeast and 1-2 tsp sugar in 2 c. warm water.  Set aside.

Beat the following, then add yeast mixture.
4 egss
1 c. sugar
1 c. oil
2 Tbsp salt
2 c. warm water
4 c. flour

Add 6 more cups of flour (or enough to just barely knead).  Cover with a clean dry towel and let rise twice (I usually do about 30-40 mins first and then 20-30 mins the next time... but it is not going to hurt to go a bit longer or shorter).

You might want to make a half batch -this makes a LOT.  If I make a full batch I usually make buns and cinnamon rolls.

Roll out some dough into a rectangle (about 1/2 inch thick) on a floured surface.  Then either brush with some softened or melted margarine (or butter) or spread it on with a butter knife.  Make sure to leave about 1/2 inch with no butter on ONE long edge.  Sprinkle generously with cinnamon and brown sugar wherever there is butter.  Then roll it, starting with the long edge that has toppings (easiest if this is the edge closest to you).  Make sure to roll it up sort of tight -if it's too loose, they kind of fall apart.  Slice into 1-inch slices.

Now you will need to make the "goop" (topping).  For 1 8-inch square pan you make one batch.  I usually make about 15 rolls (in my 12 by 18 inch pan, so I triple it).

Heat slowly in a saucepan until melted and blended (not grainy)
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. margarine
1 Tbsp corn syrup

Pour into your pan.  Spread it around, if necessary, to cover the bottom of pan.  Place your cinnamon roll slices in the "goop", leaving about 1 inch (maybe a bit less) in between.  Cover with towel again and let rise (about 15-30 minutes -until they are big and growing close together).  Then bake 20 minutes at 375 F.  Cool for a few minutes (3-4) then flip pan upside down onto waxed paper.  DO NOT scrape the extra "goop" out of the pan -it gets hard and yucky.  This is the tricky part... go FAST!  So they don't fall in a big heap. 

Wow, that seems like a long post... I would say sorry, but these are super good -it will be worth it!

This post linked up to:
Fall Crawl @ The Artsy Girl Connection

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Paper Plate Masks

My kids are getting excited for Halloween -already!  We have their costumes and they always want to try them on.  A little while ago, Carter thought we should make masks.  So we used some large paper plates, cut eye holes and tied them on with yarn.  We decorated them with crayons, construction paper and glue.  I had to do most of Chloe's lion (the mane at least) by myself since she is pretty young still. But for Carter I just cut out nose, ears and stripes and he glued them on himself.

Yes, we are sadly still in our PJ's... don't judge. haha.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Foodie Friday #5 - Oatmeal Carmelitas

I am already excited for Christmas, so I thought I would post one of my family's favorite Christmas time recipes.  These are called Oatmeal Carmelitas and my mom always makes them in December -but they taste just as good in September (or anytime, for that matter)

mix and combine following (until combined and crumbs appear):
1 c flour
1 c oats
3/4 c brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 c melted margarine

Put half of crumb mixture into a 9 inch round pan (pack down).  Bake at 350 F for 10 minutes.
Top with:
1 c chocolate chips
1/2 c pecan pieces
3/4 c caramel ice cream topping mixed with 3 tbsp flour
 Remaining crumb mixture.

Bake an additional 15-20 minutes.  Chill 1-2 hours (or put in freezer if you can't wait that long for your sweets fix!) covered with foil.

I made these on Monday and they were all gone by Thursday night... yikes!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Foodie Friday #4

Welcome to another Foodie Friday!  And sorry I have been such a slacker and not posted a lot.  It seems like I have had a lot more time for having fun in the kitchen lately than for crafting.  I promise some more posts soon.

Remember my Cinco de Mayo post?  Well, I had quite a bit of extra mexican shredded pork from the enchiladas I made, so I froze it.  This week I decided to use it up.  We had wraps one day and still had leftovers so I just threw it in a casserole dish with some cooked pasta, a can of diced tomatoes (smashed up a bit) and a can of corn.  Then sprinkled shredded cheese on top and baked it at 375 F for about 20-30 minutes.  Wasn't sure how it would turn out, since I just made it up -but it was actually pretty tasty!  In case you are wondering, the recipe for the pork is from Our Best Bites cookbook.