Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thanksgiving Preschool Snack

 I'm so glad I can make fun snacks for William's school.  Here's an easy kids snack:
Body - Cantaloupe (bottom flattened for stability)
Head - Pear 
Beak - Pineapple
Eyes - Blueberries
Wattle "dangly thing" - Apple Slice
Feathers - Mixed Fruit on a Skewer
I attached all the pieces of the head by toothpicks and used more toothpicks to attach the head to the body.  I considered cheese cubes on a stick for feathers, but fruit was more colorful.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Recipe of the Month

Cheesy Garlic Pull Apart Bread

This is a good one.  I also appreciate any excuse to my bundt pan.  It's a great appetizer, side dish or entree (that is, if you're like me and love a good side dish for dinner).  Make sure everyone has some gum handy because this recipe can some major dragon breath!

Start out with:

2 tsp dry active yeast
1 1/3 cup of warm water

Mix these two together and let them sit for 5 minutes or so.  While that's going on, throw the next few ingredients in a mixer with the bread hook attached.

2 Tbs olive oil
2 tsp salt
3 1/2 cups flour

Mix these all together and add the yeast.  Mix the dough until it's a big ball.  You might need to stop and scrape the sides a few times.  Stop when it gets all stretchy and bread dough-y, about 5 minutes or so.  Then get a large mixing bowl and spray it with cooking spray.  Put the dough in and cover with a clean dish towel.  Let it rise about 2 hours or until it doubles in size.  Punch it down and get the following ready:

1/4 cup (half a stick) butter, melted
1 Tb Italian seasoning
2 cloves of minced garlic

Blend these to make a delicious butter garlic sauce.  Take a bundt pan and spray it with cooking spray.  Then tear off a piece of dough and make a ball about 1 inch in diameter.  Dip the ball in the butter and place it in the bundt.  When you have a single layer, cover it with grated Parmesan.  I only had shredded Three Cheese Italian, which worked okay but I'd used grated next time.  The shredded cheese melted out to the edges instead of inside the dough.  Make another layer and cover with cheese.  Repeat until all the dough is used. 

Cover with the dish towel and let it rise again about 20-30 minutes.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.  Invert onto a plate and dig in!  Make sure you have plenty of marinara for dipping, or Ranch (for William).  So good when it's warm from the oven!  I can't tell you how it is reheated because it doesn't last that long around here!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Painted Leaves Kids Craft

 I've been surfing the web for cute ideas for kids crafts only to find stuff that's fun to make, but not really worth keeping.  I've always loved the idea of framing kid art but William is not out of his "abstract" phase (ie. globs and squiggles with no picture in mind).  I found a frame on sale and an idea hit.  This frame holds three 4x6 photos.  I cut out 4x6 rectangles of white cardstock and traced a circle in pencil on each of them about 2/3 the way up.  

Then I had William use a Q-tip to make colorful Fall "leaves" (dots) with paint.  The circle helped him keep the dots in the right place.

I had them dry overnight.  Then I framed them.
 Then I got out my trusty Cricut and cut out a bare tree shape.  I used Stretch Your Imagination "Tree."  I originally was going to glue the trees directly on the leaves, maybe use some pop dots for dimension, but it just didn't look right.  Then I thought about cutting out vinyl and adhering that to the glass.  Much better!

Then I added a title and voila!  Cute kid art worthy of any wall.  The best part is, I can peel the title off and change the "leaves" and make one for each season.  Love this!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Halloween was awesome this year!  We went to pumpkin farms, got dressed up, had special Halloween treats, went Trick-or-Treating, and topped off the holiday with an awesome Halloween party.  

A couple of weeks ago we went down to Virginia to watch my sister's kids for a few days.  We went to a fall festival at Merrifield Garden Center in Gainesville.  They had a fantastic set up.  There was a bounce house and inflatable slide in the front.  They had a hay ride around the lot.  There was a hay bale maze in the back and a large sandbox filled with corn to play in.  The kids also got to paint a pumpkin and get face painting if they wanted.  A fabulous set up at a local garden center.

The next day we went to Cox Farm.  A family tradition for my sister.  It's definitely one of the best pumpkin farms out there.  They have tons of giant slides, lots of farm animals, a corn maze, free apples and cider, play grounds and a very entertaining hay ride.

Back home, William had his preschool Halloween party and costume parade.  It was crummy weather so we had the parade in the gym.

Then it was time to get ready for Trick or Treat night.  In our township, they have Trick or Treat night the Thursday before October 31st.  Silly, I know, but that's how it is out here for whatever reasons.  Grandpa came to join in the fun and later Robyn's family came to double dip in the Trick or Treating.

After Trick or Treat night is over, you get the feeling that Halloween is over.  I am totally against this!  This year I had a Halloween party to celebrate the actual holiday.  I invited a few families over and had treats and snacks and did it up proper.  I had the most fun planning this party!  I'm pretty sure it was a success even though we ended with one of William's friends throwing up.  I wish I would have taken more pictures, but I was caught up in the party fun.

Good times this Halloween season.  Now for the frenzy of putting Halloween away to make room for Christmas!