Sunday, September 15, 2013

Vacation Bible School snacks

Mostly for my records and memory.  If I ever do this again.  I did not take a picture of everything.  Serving 250 kids everyday takes a lot more work than I was expecting.  Mostly because the big groups are really large.

Monday: Family Boats
These were shredded wheat boats with teddy grahams for each member of the kids' family.  The boat went into blue milk for the first group.  We decided that was too messy so the rest of the groups just ate their boats with teddies and drank their milk without mixing the two.
The boats were a lot of work to make and probably not worth it since we did not end up using them as boats.  If I were to do this again, I would just do "flat" boats.

Tuesday: Friend Faces
These were pretty simple to put together.  We put all of the stuff on a plate for the kids to makes faces with, and spooned out sauce to those that would take it.  We just had a juice for them to drink.  It is actually a lot of work to put together the place and drinks, and then put them out for the kids before they come into the room.  I did not realize what that would take.

Wednesday: Rocky Road & Green Guzzler Drink
We put together plates and took off the tops of the pudding cups.  The drinks involved scooping out sherbet and adding lemonade and sprinkles on top. 
I would split these two up next time.  The drink would have been great to go with the butterfly which was put together at the house prior to.  Scooping took longer than I expected

Thursday: Butterflies, made of fruit and cheese
These were actually a lot of work, but the work was done at the house so the day of serving was easy.  The cheese was bought as a block and the grapes and strawberries needed to be sliced as well.  It was probably more work making sure there were some for each kind of allergy present.

Friday: Cross Dippers and S'more Cups
I did not catch a picture of either of these.  The crosses were made of the refrigerated bread and we had some dipping sauce for them.  The bread had to be sliced in half and then the cross was made and baked in the oven.  It was probably hardest to get the oven to work.  After that it went fast, just kept someone in the kitchen cooking the whole time since we were slow to get the oven working.
The s'more cups were just golden graham type cereal, mini marshmallows, and chocolate chips mixed together and put into a bowl.  Easy, but would have been better to mix and put into a snack bag while at the house since we had the bread cross cooking in the kitchen.

Melted Crayon Art

I had this idea in my mind for a while now.  I finally had an occasion to do it and it turned out well.  I have read and seen how not everyone's ended up as nice as all those others.  I'm glad that was not the case for me.  I used a very small travel hair dryer since that is all I have.  The heat was enough and all I had to do was make the wax go down.  Not all of the crayons melted well, but they still turned out working just fine. 
I did it all after the kids went to bed and I was done cleaning the day away.  I don't stay up too late so it probably took somewhere between 30 minutes to an hour for everything, including cutting and tearing the crayon paper off.
I wanted a picture of the man and woman to be in the crayon wax so I cut out what I wanted and glued that down before melting the crayons.  Then most of the wax went around the image and I was able to easily glue a clean image on top for the look I was going for.  It took a bit more hot glue than I thought to keep all of the crayons in place.  I also only used half crayons above the silhouette because I wanted to minimize the amount of wax in that area.  As you can see later it didn't really seem to matter much.
I put the canvas in a paper bag when melting the wax.  I just wasn't sure how messy it would be.  It did end up going over the sides and bottom so I was glad I put the whole thing in a bag since I was working inside.  I am sure that keeping the blow dryer aimed straight down the whole time would have kept it from going over the sides as much.
This is what I looked like when I finally stopped heating it up.  I could have melted a lot more of the wax but was happy with the look at that point.
Then I put a white cutout of the silhouette over the green so it would really look how I wanted it to.  All in all I was happy with my first go of it.  If I ever do it again I will probably make sure to melt all of the crayons more because it would probably be a better finished look.

From Wedding to Baptism: Using a wedding dress

So way back when I was planning the wedding, I read one of those bride magazines.  It was really the only one that I read because I am not the sort to read that stuff.  Anyway, I read the idea of using your wedding dress as your child's baptism (christening) outfit.  I decided at that point that if we were blessed with a child, this is what I would be doing with my dress.  Of course I did not really think it would happen, so I went ahead and did the antiquing thing with the dress.  Now, five years later, we have three kiddos and each of them had a special outfit for their special day.

This is my wedding dress, although mine was champagne instead of green.

My mom made the outfits for me.  I am still not a seamstress with talent for more than simple stitches.  I picked out the pattern I liked, and she started cutting up the dress for a boy and a girl outfit (we did not find out the sex with the first). 

This is a headband made with material from the dress as well.
Then the second was another girl so she had to get creative with a second girls dress.  The top and underlining are just a white cotton material.  The sleeves and top layer of the dress are from the wedding dress.

Then we had a boy and she put together the material cut from the first one. 
Now all of the dress has been used, and each child has something that hopefully will be passed down unlike the wedding dress.

Friday, August 02, 2013

Grandpa's Hands

This is what our "kids" gave to their grandfather for Father's Day this year. We call him Pahka in case that wasn't obvious.
Here's the words of the poem:
Grandpa's Hands
When I was just a child and
You would hold my hand
I didn't have to worry,
I didn't understand.
As I grew and
Learned to stand on my own,
Sometimes I was scared and
I felt all alone.
But then there you were standing by my side.
You held my hand again and
Taught me not to hide.
I am older and wiser now.
Now I understand.
The strength that lives within me
Comes from my grandpa's hand.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Daddy's Hands

This is what the "kids" crafted for their daddy this Fathers Day.
Here are the words to the poem I used:
Daddy, take my hand in yours and you will plainly see,
How very much I need you now to love and care for me.
As my little hands grow, I will need you even more.
Everything I do in life, I have never done before.
Teach me to be kind and loving, sharing and forgiving.
Show me through your acts of love the pure joy of living.
The years will pass by quickly and one day I will be grown.
I will pass what you have taught me onto children of my own.
Hold me always in your thoughts and remember when we are a part
The special love between a child and a daddy's heart

Monday, July 08, 2013

Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes and Icing

I just used box cake mixes to save on time.  I did however make some stabilized whipped cream icing (which is at the end).  It was so yummy.  I think cool whip sells some now but we would never be able to find something like that in the stores near us.  The cupcakes were so easy to make.  The cones stand up well all on their own, just be careful when moving the pan in which they are standing.  I filled them anywhere from 2/3 to close to 5/8 full because I wanted to see which turned out best.  I think the 3/4 full cones turned out best, but it is kind of hard to get that close.  And it fills more than I was expecting.  One box of cake mix filled all these plus more than one additional cupcake pan.  But the icing recipe covered this amount of cones.

Stabilized Whipped Cream Icing
1 cup of heavy cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
4 tsp of cold water
1 tsp of unflavored gelatin
1/2 tsp of vanilla (I used the regular stuff without any color issue)
Dissolve gelatin in warm water.  Can do this is microwave in 20 sec intervals if desired.
Whip cream, sugar, and vanilla until slightly thickened. 
Then beat slowly while gradually adding gelatin to whipped cream mixture. 
Whip at high speed until stiff
Makes 2 cups of icing.

Country Picnic Party

Ours was country picnic, I guess it could be any farm theme or just an outdoor party of some sort.  The invites we're barns which had doors open to the invite wording.  We had a petting farm come for entertainment and some water slides, pools, and guns out to play with and in.

Oink, quack, neigh, moo
Look who is turning two!
Come join the fun
on baby's lawn.
We'll have animals to pet,
Games to get you wet.
We served watermelon on a stick and ice cream cone cupcakes.  The meal food and other snack food were all just quick and easy items.
Cut the rind to make it easier to put the stick in.
Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes with Stabilized Whipped Cream Icing and Sprinkles

The favors weren't greatly associated with the theme, but were kid of cute. Popcorn boxes with pinwheels, farm "duckies" and some treats.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Wine and Appetizer Pairing

So we have been having a pairing party once a year to have a few friends get together for something different.  I didn't do a post last year so I added that food to this one.  I just like to keep track for what is brought.
baked brie, cream cheese topped with jalapeno jelly

cheese ball, truffles with cocoa or powdered sugar, bacon with dark chocolate drizzled on it, cracker with a guacamole-type dip


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Teacher Appreciation

For the teacher appreciation gifts this year, I ended up doing the following smaller gifts.  It seemed like due to after school which sort of is during the school day and then several changes during the year, I had several to do so I tried to keep them simple.  Plus I have an upcoming engagement which meant I did not want too much to do in order to prep beforehand.  I must add that the sucker bouquet was the biggest pain to make.  I don't know how most people do it and I don't think mine were the cutest by far.  I had to wrap it with tape to keep them all together and look right.  They still didn't seem to look quite right.  If I had a third hand, I think I could have made them cuter.
Monday: "You are EXTRA special" on some Extra gum, dressed like a gift.
Tuesday: "Ms. Teacher, Student is a sucker for you!" around a sucker bouquet.
Wednesday: "We need some S'MORE teachers like you!" around a bag of the stuff needed to make some.

Thursday: "You are SIMPLY the best!" around a "simply" drink, all different.

There is also a swim teacher now that I decided to deserved a gift.  We have gone from not even enjoying time in the bath to working on swimming across the pool in 6 short months so I am just amazed at how they do it at this place.  It is a "fish bowl" which was a small vase filled with Swedish fish.  I put three bags of them in there.  The bowl has written on it, "Mr. Teacher, you are O-fish-ally the best swim teacher!"  The "fish" is a sad picture of a fish, but at least the point can be made ;)


Friday, March 01, 2013

Pizza Monkey Bread

I have made this a few times already.  The first time it was straight from the recipe which is how I roll.  The second time my husband who really loves to cook got involved and added garlic to the butter which was much nicer.  This time he suggested I add basil to the stuffing.  He wasn't around when I put them together or he would have told me to do more in each.  The ones which I did put more, you could taste the basil and it was nice.

Simple recipe which I know I found lots of place, but I tried to make it as easy as I could since cooking isn't really something I love with a passion.  The dough is just the store bought in a can with the biscuits.  Then there is one pepperoni and half a mozzarella ball which were the type in the container with oil and seasonings.  I have tried making the bites a little bigger with two pepperonis and one whole ball.  Those are a little too big for me.  But having the two pepperonis with half a ball might be good as well.  This is two cans of dough, one package of mozzarella and then a package of pepperonis which does not get used up.

dibby up the dough, flatten, add pepperoni, basil, and cheese. fold to close and pitch to make sure it stays that way

melted butter with brush, garlic crushed into it

butter is used to coat each bite, and the bites are randomly

bake as dough can instructs, then let cool to touch, turn over bunt cake pan and put on a platter

Valentine Food

The heart shaped food that I have tried.  Valentine's Day is not really a watermelon time of year, so the heart-shaped watermelon didn't work out as I had hoped.

hot dog cut to make heart with cheese on ends

watermelon heart with oranges on ends.  the orange was from our tree which was still giving us oranges in February but they weren't that easy to cut up...

most of the watermelon did not get arrows since the watermelon was pretty small for the cookie cutters

pretzel with cinnamon hearts on ends

cute, but only a few thought they tasted cute...

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tinkerbell Party aka Fairies and Pirates

 We did a Tinkerbell party for our oldest.  We included pirates as well since there were many boys invited, although one boy did want to dress up with wings.  We had wings and wands for the fairies to use to dress up at the party.  And the pirates got hats and eye patches.  The weather gave way to some pretty muddy conditions, so all of the outdoor activities were a no go.  We planned on doing "boat races" where two or three kiddos were in a cardboard box together and two "boats" would race each other.  We also planned to do "walk the plank" which is just a board raised slightly off the ground.

There was a sign outside that said "Welcome to Neverland.  Hello Fairies, Pirates, and Mainlanders!  Welcome to our daughter's birthday party.  We fairies have been awaiting your arrival!  Fairies, please grab your wings and wand.  All pirates much get their scurvy pirate gear too!"We did decorate some of the inside.  We used streamers and balloons to make "Pixie Hallow" and "Mermaid Lagoon."  The balloons were filled with regular air, which ended up being great because it gave the kids something to do inside.  They also enjoyed playing in the streamers which were hung from the ceiling.  This is make it difficult for any non-little person to actually see anyone else, but the kids enjoyed.

For the food, which was served in the "Fairy Garden," we had "krakens in island worms" which were hot dogs cut to look like squid or octopus set on top of mac'n'cheese which was dyed using blue food coloring to make it green.  The hot dogs were cut and then boiled which made them come out all crazy as desired.

Then we had "garden vegetables" (just veggie tray), "pirate cannonballs" (cheese balls), "fruit kabobs with pixie dust" (just fruit on a stick with a little sugar sprinkled on it), "lost treasure" (cupcakes), and "fairy nectar" (lime sorbet punch with ginger ale).

Although it seemed to be one of my least planned out and most rushed parties, it all turned out fine.  It seems that the parties are getting to be more and more like that these days.  I'm hoping the next one will get more of my attention...