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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Salt Dough Charms


Snow, snow and more snow. How much snow have you had lately? We had around 7 or 8 inches last week where I live. We are finally thawing out now and have had beautiful spring like weather all week! My kids were tired of playing in the snow this last round, so we spent some time crafting. I saw the cutest salt dough necklaces over at Smile Monsters and had to give them a try. We make salt dough ornaments at our house every Christmas so we are familiar with salt dough. It’s a cheap and easy mix with ingredients you always have on hand. Next time your kids are bored, let them make some up and see what kind of creations you can come up with. Yeah, I know, we have play dough too, but for some reason salt dough is always more fun. Check out the recipe on my salt dough Christmas ornament post here.



I loved the idea of necklaces or charms so here’s what we made. I baked them for about an hour on 200 degrees and then let them dry out for a couple more days. We painted with acrylic paints, metallic paint and glitter, some India ink, then sealed with acrylic gloss varnish and used a thin leather cording. I used a small stamp for the lettering.

The cupcake is my favorite, what’s yours?






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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Easy, delicious, non rising cinnamon rolls


Yummy Cinnamon Rolls (recipe without yeast)


Try fixing these easy cinnamon rolls for your kids as an afternoon snack. I got this recipe from www.momswhothink.com and tried it out. Believe me when I say it was sooo simple. . . I don't bake much, especially from scratch, but these will now be a regular at my house. I didn't have buttermilk on hand, so I used regular milk and mine turned out fine. So yummy!


Ingredients

Rolls:

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for the counter
2 Tablespoons white granulated sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


Cinnamon Filling:

3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup white granulated sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, melted


Cream Cheese Frosting:

8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups confectioner's sugar
1 Tablespoon milk
**To make frosting, mix all ingredients until smooth.

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 425°. Generously coat a 9 inch round cake pan and a wire cooling rack with vegetable oil spray.

2. Make the filling: combine together the brown sugar, 1/4 cup granulated white sugar, cinnamon, salt, and the 1 Tablespoon melted butter until the mixture resembles wet sand.

3. Make the dough: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour; 2 Tablespoons white granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk the buttermilk and 2 Tablespoons of the melted butter together.

5. Stir the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture with a wooden spoon until absorbed, about 30 seconds. The dough will look shaggy.

6. Turn the dough out onto a generously floured counter and knead until smooth, about 1 minute.

7. Press the dough out into a 9 by 12 inch rectangle using your hands.

8. Brush the dough with 2 Tablespoons melted butter. Sprinkle the dough evenly with the filling, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Press the filling firmly into the dough.

9. Loosen the dough from the counter using a bench scraper or a metal spatula.

10. Starting at a long side, roll the dough, pressing lightly, to form a tight log.

11. Pinch the seam to seal. Slice the dough into 8 even pieces.

12. Place the slices in the greased pan.

13. Brush with the remaining 2 Tablespoons melted butter. Bake until the edges are golden brown, 20-25 minutes.

14. Use a knife to loosen the buns from the pan. Flip the buns out onto the prepared wire rack, then turn buns upright and let cool for 10 minutes before frosting with cream cheese icing. Prepare the icing while rolls are cooling.

www.momswhothink.com



Friday, February 4, 2011

Valentine Box


We had another snow day today. Funny thing is, school was cancelled at 7:30 this morning when there was zero snow on the ground, and it didn't start snowing until around 10 a.m. So...what's a better way than to spend the day than crafting with my kiddos. My youngest wanted to make her Valentine's box for her school party. Normally, we forget to make one until the night before, so I give them a shoebox, some papers and a sheet of stickers, and let them create what they want. They usually end up with something like this.


Not that this isn't adorable.... but my little bit wanted a Valentine kitten. We started out with a cereal box, (love to recycle), decoupaged it with newspaper... took a break to peel the Mod Podge off our fingers...and slapped on a coat of paint.


Then we had some fun decorating our kitten.




Put a slot in the top for cards, and access in back so you can get to your goodies.

Of course, little bit got tired of crafting after the painting step and wanted to "go play." I was appalled when she said, "This is not playing, mom!" I was having a great time!

Tots and Me


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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Valentine Fortune Tellers


I love the simple things in life. I love the bonding time with my kids when we can craft, color, or draw, and we don't have to make a special trip to the store to buy something to entertain ourselves. I had a great time the other day making Valentine Fortune Tellers with my little ones. You should already have everything you need to make these: paper, scissors, markers and crayons. I made these all the time as a child, and my kids are still entertained by them today.


How about a quick refresher in folding a Chinese Fortune Teller


Remember, you have to start out with a perfectly square piece of paper.
I used butcher paper here.


Then fold in in half both ways to make creases.
Fold corners into the center and leave folded. Flip over and fold corners into center again.


Now fold in half and put your pointer finger and thumbs into flaps and squeeze toward the center.


Now to decorate: We like to do numbers on the outside flaps....

Colors on the inside flaps....


And Bible verses or funny sayings on the inside.


Or you can leave them blank so they can be filled in by friends.


Then we unfolded them and ran through our color copier...cut off the end and refolded.
Now we have Valentine Chinese Fortune Tellers to give to our special friends.



Do you remember how to play? First you choose a number and count it out. Then you choose a color and spell it out. Then pick another color and open the flap. Happy Valentines Day!

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