Friday, July 31, 2009

Aloha Friday - Lime in the coconut?

"In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day that we take it easy and look forward to the weekend. So I thought that on Fridays I would take it easy on posting, too. Therefore, I’ll ask a simple question for you to answer. Nothing that requires a lengthy response."

So head over to her site, An Island Life and answer her question but while you are here you might as well answer mine:

I have a tree full of persian what? Any suggestions for lime based recipes?
I can only make so much limeade (I don't even drink sweet stuff) and my Lime Basil Talapia is good but not too often. I will freeze some at the end of the season but what should I do with it now?

Thanks! Enjoy your weekend~

Kid Friendly Friday - Make Your Own Cupcake Stand

Welcome to Kid Friendly Friday where each week we link up our posts that showcase kid friendly things such as recipes, book reviews, fun things to do, crafts, etc. You will get some great ideas from my very talented participants! Linking to one of your old posts is fine - good ideas never get old :)

We are having Little Bit's first birthday party tomorrow. I love entertaining and do understand it's more for myself than the 1 year old that has no clue that a party is even warranted. I decided on cupcakes (with a huge cupcake for her smash cake - pictures to follow next week). I needed a cupcake stand but wanted something that would be more versatile than the wire ones you see at craft stores. I bought cake boards and cake forms (thick Styrofoam disks) at my bakery supply store. The cake boards I use for all of my cakes so having a few more sizes is great for me.

Supplies needed:
cake boards (or anything sturdy enough to hold cupcakes, foam board would work but you might want a few thicknesses for each layer)
cake forms (or anything with height that would be stable enough in between layers, think along the lines of peanut butter jars)
wrapping paper (or any paper large enough to cover cake boards and forms)
hot glue

Total cost for mine was under $20. With items from around the house you could do one for next to nothing.

Trace the cake boards onto the wrapping paper, cut out, and use very little hot glue to secure the paper to the board. A little glue holds just fine and is much easier to take apart when done. Hot glue ribbon around the edges (again, go easy on the glue).

The forms are covered with white paper that I cut and hot glued only the end of the paper together (didn't get any glue on the Styrofoam form so the paper would slip right off when done).
That's it! Stack, use, un-decorate and pile up for easy storing. No need to glue the layers together. Gravity works :) HERE is the tower with a giant smash cupcakes and cupcakes on it.
And thanks to The Clark Clan who posted their slime reicpe on KFF. We had so much fun playing with the slime we used your idea for our party gift bags....
Play along! Link up to MckLinky below!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Happy 1st Birthday Little Bit!!

Wordless Wednesday -

Pants on the head.....tons of fun!
Check out more Wordless Wednesday posts HERE , HERE or HERE.

Works For Me! Maternity Top Turned Kid Dress

Before you get rid of all of your cute maternity tops check to see if any will work for kids clothes! I wore four of these summer tops almost all last summer in my last few months of pregnancy. It was hot and I loved them. They were even my post-pragnancy go-to shirts for a few weeks. I was going through things for Goodwill last night and didn't want to part with these (knowing I'm not having other babies I don't know why I still had them after a year post pregnancy). Daughter walked by....light bulb popped on....and it looked like a perfect size for a dress. And it was. No tailoring needed. My older daughter even said she would wear them with leggings when they got too short. The shirt that keeps on giving. Now THAT is a thing of beauty! Works for me!

Check out We Are THAT Family for more Works For Me Wednesday ideas!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Take Me Back - Uno

Welcome to Take Me Back Tuesday! You can participate and/or check out other Take Me Back Tuesday posts at A Giveaway Addicted Mommy.

Tomorrow is Little Bit's first birthday (sniff, sniff). She's our last so it's a little sad...and a lot of happy! In honor of the big day, I am posting a picture of me at age one. I can across it yesterday. So fun!

Tempt My Tummy -Spinach and Artichoke

This dip is so versatile. You can use it as a dip or roll it up in a tortilla for a meal. Good as a sandwich topper, smothering a baked potato. Or just eaten by the spoonful :) Enjoy!

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

10 ounce box, frozen, chopped spinach, chopped – squeeze dry
14 ounce can artichoke, chopped into ½ inch pieces
1 cup sour cream
1 cup grated Swiss cheese
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
4 ounces crumbles feta

Mix thoroughly. This keeps well in the refrigerator until you want to use it (or use it a little bit at a time). Microwave until heated or put in an oven safe dish and bake at 350 until warmed. Excellent with tortilla chips, pita chips, as a sandwich or wrap topping, served in a warm tortilla, serve cold with bread cubes…endless possibilities.

Visit Blessed with Grace for more Tempt My Tummy recipes!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Kid Friendly Friday and Kids in the Kitchen - Playing With Our Food

It's summer and I am combining posts. Double dipping. Slacker? Yes, but with good intent. Edible bread art fits both so well. Cooking - check. Kids - check. Messy - check . Kid Friendly - check. The girls (and mommy)had lots of fun with this. The girls say they look like cookies but without the sweet :( I think they are fantastic. I ate some of it fresh out of the oven with butter....that's the way I roll.

It's like play-dough with a purpose!

Edible Bread Dough

1/4 cup honey (or other liquid sweetener, I used brown rice syrup)
2 1/2 T vegetable oil
1/2 cup hot tap water
1/2 cup cold water
2 cups whole wheat flour - plus extra for counter tops
3/4 cup white flour - divided into 1/2 and 1/4 cup portions
1/4 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
food coloring, cotton swabs, paintbrushes - optional

Preheat the oven to 350.

In a small bowl, mix together honey, oil, and hot water. Stir until mixed.

In a large bowl mix together the wheat flour, baking powder and soda, salt, and 1/2 cup white flour. Mix in the cold water.

Slowly add the honey mixture to the flour mixture.

Lightly cover the clean counter top with wheat flour and turn the dough onto the counter top.

Knead for about 5 minutes until you have stiff dough (or skip this part and put your dough into your stand mixer with a dough hook attachment for a few minutes).

CREATE. Flatten the dough and use cookie cutters are do free form 3D sculptures (as long as the thickness is minimal. the creations can be painted with thinned food coloring at this point.

Bake on a cookie sheet for 10 to 20 minutes, until completely cooked.

Cool the bread on a wire rack and store any uneaten bread in the refrigerator.

Join the Kid Friendly fun with you link in the Mr. Linky window below. We would love to hear what you have been doing with your kids this week. Recipes, crafts, books, outings...anything kid friendly!

Go over to A Little Fun With Me and Lu to check out more Kids in the Kitchen posts!
Have a great weekend~

A Thousand Word Thursday - Baby in the Bath

Cheaper Than Therapy holds A Thousand Word Thursday each week. Go visit to check out other pictures!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tempt My Tummy - Buttermilk Biscuits

I have to share this biscuit recipe as it is the closest I have come to my husband's grandmother's biscuits that were ***HEAVENLY*** I got it from Mommy's Idea Book - which is a great resource for all kinds of things. If you never been, please go check it out! The photo is hers as well. We ate ours too quickly to get out the camera and I can't photograph food for the life of me.

They are super easy to make and are hands down better that anything you'll get at the store. Use you hands to cut in the butter and to mix in the buttermilk. If you don't have buttermilk use regular milk with a tablespoon of lemon juice mixed in (let it sit for 5 minutes). You don't have to roll the dough, just shape it with your hands.

Now I know these are neither heart nor thigh splurge infrequently. You'll be glad you did!

Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits
2 cups White Lily self rising flour (White Lily is best)
1/3 cup shortening
2/3 cup buttermilk
Melted Butter (I don't use this)

Blend the flour and shortening together until the consistency of course bread crumbs.

Add buttermilk and mix and knead for about 1 minute until smooth and elastic.
Pinch off golf ball size chunks of dough, roll into balls and place on a baking sheet (I put mine in a cast iron skillet).

Press each ball down in the center to about 1 inch thick.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes at 450 degrees.
Brush with melted butter when they come out of oven.

Makes about 8 medium sized biscuits.

Visit Blessed with Grace for more Tempt My Tummy recipes!
Did you know you can do this FREE at Smilebox??

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Dolphin Cake

I made a dolphin cake this weekend. It was my first attempt at sculpting with rice crispy treats. After sculpting I figured it could be a dolphin...or the space shuttle. Good thing that it was an OK dolphin when covered with fondant! Go see it HERE!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Kid Friendly Friday - Bible School Craft - Angel Necklace

One of my girls picked up this angel necklace while we were on vacation. We didn't make it but it would be a simple craft for vacation bible school, Sunday school, or such. Not much this week, I know :) Care to share what you have been doing? Link your Kid Friendly Friday ideas below!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Kids in the Kitchen - Instant Oatmeal Muffins

I cannot move my pictures around like I used to in Blogger....any ideas? These are kind of out of order.
My kids go through periods that they will eat something for breakfast for a month and then not again for a few. Last winter was that way with instant oatmeal. They love the peach or strawberry. This was perfect to use up those last few packets. These were a little sweet so I'd tweak next time. Mimi loves to stir...and lick the spoon :)Instant Oatmeal muffins

1 cup Self Rising Flour (add some wheat flour)
3/4 sugar (use a little less)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
1 stick butter (melted)
3 packets instant oatmeal (we used peaches and cream!)
boiling water

In one bowl mix the flour, sugar and baking powder. In another bowl gently whisk the egg and then add in the melted butter. Stir that together. In the third bowl add enough boiling water to the 3 packets of instant oatmeal that it is a thick consistency of oatmeal. Once the oatmeal is mixed well add it to the wet ingredients and stir them until blended. Then add the wet to the dry and mix them well. The batter will be thick.Grease a muffin pan and add the batter. Cook 15-18 minutes on 350. (mine didn't take quite as long) This will make 1 dozen regular sized muffins.

Go over to A Little Fun With Me and Lu to check out more Kids in the Kitchen posts!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - What Better Than a Box?

Playing at Gramma B's with great imagination!
Check out more Wordless Wednesday posts HERE , HERE or HERE.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What's in a Name?

My parents have each of our first kindergarten paintings framed. I grew up during the first Star Wars era so mine is cluttered with rainbows, houses, people, and the Millennium Falcon (OK, I doubt this is the name of the spacecraft but I tried to it up on line with no luck. I was young and pretty much copies everything my older brother did.). You get the picture. In each frame is a card with our name and it's meaning. It was fun for Emma to see what mommy did at her age.

Emma: "Hey mom, what's this?"
Me: "That is my name and it's meaning."
Emma: "Wow! Your name means princess?" (I'm sure in disbelief)
Me: "Sure does. Everyone's name has a meaning."
Emma: "Do you think my name means talker?"

LOL! So that morning we looked up the meaning of each family member's name. It was fun. She loved it.

In case you are wondering, Emma means universal or entire. I think that means that she is talking the ENTIRE time....

Tempt My Tummy - Gnocchi with Summer Veggies

I got this recipe from my Everyday Food Magazine - you can also find it HERE. It was delicious! Every family member ate it. They loved the gnocchi (which I had never cooked before) and the zucchini. Very fresh. We had it with lemon pepper grilled chicken. Nice summer meal.

Gnocchi with Summer Veggies
Serves 4
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 zucchini or summer squash, or one of each (about 2 pounds total), quartered and sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 package (15 to 16 ounces) frozen gnocchi
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
2 tablespoons grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1 tablespoon butter
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add squash and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until squash is crisp-tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until juicy, about 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook gnocchi according to package instructions. Reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid, drain gnocchi and transfer to skillet. Toss gnocchi, adding enough cooking liquid to create a sauce. Remove from heat and stir in basil, cheese, butter, and lemon juice.
Visit Blessed with Grace for more Tempt My Tummy recipes!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Muscial Monday - Always

I’m posting as a participant of Jori and Diane’s Musical Monday. Stop by their blogs and post your Musical Monday choice!

I just love this song. My husband can't stand to listen to it (too sad) so turns the radio off each time it comes on. It is sad, happy, and so wonderful! Have a happy Monday!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Kid Friendly Friday - Take Me to a FREE Ballgame

We love baseball. Major League games are a bit expensive (and aren't located near us). We do have a summer college league close by that has family friendly FREE games. They even let you bring in free really is free (you know how much stadium food can cost you)...and you don't feel bad for leaving after a couple innings if the kids get bored or it's a rain out.

My husband's friend used to coach one of the teams in the league, the Sanford River Rats. I made shirts and the girls loved going to cheer on their team. The stadium is close to my in-laws house so each time we would pass it somebody would yell out "1-2-3" and we would all reply "Go River Rats!" Great family camaraderie. Well this year he is coaching the Diamond Dawgs and there is a bit of a rivalry in the family. I made new shirts (although I ran out of D's so Scarlett's shirt just tells Kenne, the coach, how much she loves him)...but there's still some lingering love for the Rats. I was going to take a picture with the girls at the game last night but it was rained out. They were super disappointed!

Look around in your area for college league or minor league teams. The minor league games (and some college leagues) aren't free but they are very reasonably priced. If you are traveling this summer it is worth seeing if one is in the area you're headed. We fell in love with the Madison Mallards while in WI and the St. Paul Saints in MN. The games are filled with kids activity before the game and in between innings - dizzy bat contests, the kids running the bases, etc. And lots of game promotions. Even if you don't like baseball it's a fun family affair.

Check out a list of some of the college leagues HERE. Minor league teams HERE.
Please join in Kid Friendly Friday and add your link to the box below. We would love to hear what activities you are doing with your family this summer. Anything goes - crafts, recipes, questions, movie reviews, giveaways.....anything kid friendly!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Kid Friendly Friday Resumes

My Kid Friendly Friday blog carnival is resuming tomorrow. I can't wait to see what you have been coming up with the past few weeks! Crafts? Movie reviews? Recipes? Summer activities? I would love for you to join me - Feel free to link a previous post.