Archive for March, 2010

Making Peanut Butter Eggs

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

Forget that the house isn’t decorated, and we haven’t dyed a single egg yet…and then there’s the girls Easter dresses that I havne’t even started, and yes Easter is only a week away…

…Rather than do any of that, we decided to try something new and make candy eggs yesterday.

This is a simple project, but definitely not quick.  In fact, we actually only got about one-third of the eggs completely finished yesterday.  There’s about 70 more left to dip in chocolate today.  But it is alot of fun for the kids, and the eggs are very tasty and much much cheaper than store bought candy eggs.

To start, you only need a few simple ingredients.

1/2 cup (1 stick) Butter

1 8oz. package of Cream Cheese

1 1/2 cups of Creamy Peanut Butter (about 1container)

2 pounds of Powdered Sugar (yes 2 whole pounds…it is candy after all)

1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract

1/2 tsp. Salt

24 oz Milk Chocolate or Semi Sweet Chocolate (for dark chocolate eggs) Chips

Mix the softened butter and cream cheese together in a large bowl.   Add about half of the confectionary sugar one cup at a time then add the peanut butter, vanilla and salt.  Mix well and then with a wooden spoon (and then your hands), mix in the rest of the powdered sugar one cup at a time.

Place the mixture in the refrigerator or freezer to harden the dough.

Form the peanut butter mixture into egg shapes (the dough is very easy to work with and not sticky) and place on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.  Then refrigerate again for at least an hour.

Melt the chocolate in the microwave, adding a bit of shortening if it needs to be thinned.  Dip the eggs about two thirds into the chocolate then spread the chocolate over the rest of the egg with a knife so that the chocolate coating is not too thick. 

Place the finished eggs back on the wax paper till the chocolate has hardened.

Store in an airtight container and try not to eat too many at once.

NOTES:

The kids really enjoyed making these, and were thrilled to find out they could make their own candy.  They’re even more thrilled that there are now about 100 peanut butter eggs in the house for consumption. 

For cute (and inexpensive/green) packaging wrap each of 12 eggs in a small piece of plastic wrap and place them in an egg carton.  Tie the egg carton with a big bow.

Sunday Scripture

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

And of the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the passover lamb, his disciples said to him, “Where will you have us go and prepare for you to eat the passover?”

And he sent two of his disciples, and said to them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you;  follow him, and wherever he enters, say to the householder, ‘The Teacher says, Where is my guest room, where I am to eat the passover with my disciples?’

And he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready;  there prepare for us.

Mark 14:12-15

Thru My Eyes. Getting Strong.

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

I was hanging out in the basement the other day thinking about how I’m going to be three soon, and  I got to figuring that its about time to build up a little muscle for defending myself against my brother.

He’s eight, and pretty big, and although he can be lots of fun to play with, he bugs me alot too.  Up until now, the screaming thing has worked as a pretty good defense.  For example: Jarod bugs me then I scream at the top of my lungs and mom or dad comes to my rescue and he gets in trouble.  It’s been a great system for over 2 1/2 years…but unfortunately it hasn’t been working as well lately.   Sometimes I actually get in trouble for making a big fuss. 

Imagine that.  Me.  The baby, getting scolded.  Hmph!

So anyway, that’s why I’ve decided to start using the bowflex to ‘bulk up’….and the best part is bro bro is not allowed to use it.  OK, technically, I’m not allowed to use the bowflex either, but let’s remember, I am still the baby, and I can get away with alot more than him.  Plus, I’m pretty sneaky, so when mom’s not paying attention I quickly get a little work out in.

I’ll let you know my progress sometime, and maybe I’ll even post a photo of my muscles in a few weeks. 

Bye.

Easy Painted Eggs

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

Ok, so truth be told, I planned on making newspaper Easter Eggs for us to paint this year.  Newspaper eggs like these newspaper beads we made a few months ago.

But, alas, I can guarantee we won’t get around to doing that this year, so I opted for the easy way out. 

We purchased some wood eggs and some brown paper eggs at the craft store and painted those with our stash of acrylic paints.

I think they turned out pretty cute.  Coming up with designs is always the hard part….and we still have more to do.

And in case you’re wondering, the speckled eggs were done using a dry toothbrush with some paint and then pull back on the bristles with your thumb and let go.  The paint will splatter finely like you see on the photos.

What are some quick last minute Easter crafts you’re doing?…I’d love to try some and share the links!

Oh… don’t you just love the ladybug fabric.   It has clovers on it so it was considered a ‘St. Patrick’s Day’ design and was half price at Joann’s this week!

Sunday Scripture

Sunday, March 21st, 2010

For He will give His angels charge of you

to guard you in all your ways.

Psalm 91:11

Homemade Cold Frames for Starting Seeds

Friday, March 19th, 2010

Since we’re fully stocked up on seeds after our trip to Burpee Seeds it was time to start planting.

Normally I just start my seeds inside this early, but this year I just couldn’t wait, so we made two cold frames to be able to plant a few crops outside already.  Lettuce, redbeet and radish seeds are happily nestled in the ground next to our house….they better grow!

Since I’ve never made a cold frame before, and was kind of intimatidated by the elaborate seed growing ’structures’ my dad made when I was a kid, I was a bit scared of making one.  But, once I found the door frames the cold frames took shape and were very simple and only took about 30 minutes to make.  Just my kind of project!

First I took the two old wooden screen doors and nailed two by tens on each end for the ‘legs’. 

Next we cut plastic for over the top and down the front and attached it with nail staples. 

Then we set the frames over the seeds right up against the bricks.  That’s it.  

Now we can uncover them on warmer days (by pulling the plastic back) and keep them watered and hopefully before long we’ll see some sprouts.

In retrospect, if I hadn’t found the door frames, it would have been easy enough to nail together similar type top frames with a few pieces of wood (minus the screen), and then  add the side legs and drape the plastic across them.

Homemade Play Doh

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

We have been meaning to make homemade play doh for over a year….and now that I know just how easy it is, and how good it turned out, I wish we’d gotten around to making it sooner. 

There are literally dozens of recipes on the internet and I’m not sure why I chose this particular one (or where I got it), but it turned out fantastic and it is the recipe I’ll stick to.

You’ll need..

2 Cups Flour

1 Cup Salt

2 Cups Water

4 Tbsp. Oil

4 Tbsp. Cream of Tartar (found in the spice aisle)

TIP  Add Peppermint Extract to help preserve the play doh and give it a great scent. 

 Mix all the ingredients together in a large pot.

Cook over medium heat about 5 minutes.  It will start to clump as you can see in the above photo.

Then it almost instantly all clumps together and looks like this.

At this point it is really soft and smooth and can be picked up and put on wax paper and kneaded and split into 3 or 4 balls depending on how many different colors you want to make.

Add several drops of food coloring and let the kids have fun mixing it in.

Then it’s playtime.

 And a picnic…

..and Alexandra is not liking the looks of the play doh hot dog too much.

Sunday Scripture

Sunday, March 14th, 2010

A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches,

and favor is better than silver or gold.

Proverbs 22:1

Crafty ‘To Do’ List

Saturday, March 13th, 2010

I always love a great use for the empty toilet paper rolls that I cannot bear to part with, and this Draft Stopper at Creative Kristi and so useful and cute.

This Toy Organization Tip at Ordinary Miracles of Life is so simple and yet this is not what our toys look like…. Maybe she makes house calls.

These Green Craft Envelopes at Secret Pie Shoppe would be such a pretty and fun way to use up some old magazines and send our letters with style!

I have been wanting to sew some Hanging Dish Towels for quite some time and these at Trey and Lucy made with a pot holder would be super quick to do.

Making Meatballs. Thru My Eyes.

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

Let me start by saying how much I love helping mommy in the kitchen.  In fact anytime I see her near the counter I drag a chair over from the table so I can stand up on it and be of assistance. 

So yesterday when I saw her get out the big shiny bowl and a bunch of stuff, I got very excited and got my chair over there real quick and made mom move out of my way.

The putting in ingredients went well….I helped stir, but then we got to making the meatballs.

I tried…. I really did.  But making those things round is really difficult….and really icky.

My hands got all covered in stuff, and it felt gross.

I decided that making meatballs is not my forte and quit, and washed my hands.

And no, I didn’t feel bad leaving mommy to make all 93 meatballs without me, she had big sissy to help her.  And besides, I’ll help eat them.