Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloweenies!

Happy Halloween everyone!

If you are like us, your children can hardly wait until school is over so they can go trick or treating! Our kids want a quick dinner that they can quickly eat so they can get out and start collecting all that CANDY!!!

We got this cute idea from Pillsbury a few years ago - halloweenies! Hot dogs wrapped in crescent roll dough to look like mummies! (We also like to call them mummy dogs.) The boys all love them! They request them all year long, but are a must for Halloween. They are cute, festive and fast! You can grab one and eat it on your way to your first trick-or -treat stop.

Pillsbury suggest using mini cocktail weenies, but we like using full sized hot dogs.

All you need is a tube of crescent roll dough, a package of hot dogs and ketchup or mustard.

Preheat your oven to 375°. Unroll the dough on a cutting board.Press the seems together to make a seem less sheet. If you can find it, you can also use Pillsbury Crescent Recipe Creations - which is a seem less sheet of crescent roll dough.

Cut strips about a half inch wide. We find a pizza wheel works great for this!

Now pat dry your hot dogs on a paper towel. Wrap a strip of dough in a mummy like fashion. leave room for your mummy's face to peek out. Place them on an ungreased cookie sheet.

We only wanted to make 5 dogs, so we decided to sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on the rest of the strips. We rolled them up like cinnamon rolls and also placed them on the cookie sheet.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until they start to turn golden brown.

Use the ketchup or mustard to make 2 glowing eyes!

We wanted to take more pictures of the finished dogs, but the kids couldn't wait to eat them! Ben didn't even wait for them to cool before chowing down. Ouch! But sooo good!

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Blood...And Chocolate??

Halloween is fast approaching, and around here the kids (not to mention a few grown-ups) are getting VERY excited! And with costume choices being finalized some of the boys have decided that they need some fake blood to complete their spooky looks. So while we could have just run off to the nearest costume shop or drug store, we decided to poke around and see if we could make our own! We were pleasantly surprised to find a recipe for a simple and edible yet VERY realistic fake blood using chocolate! (Because what mother doesn't like whipping up a batch of blood for her kids? :P)

What You Need:
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 4 Tbsp. corn syrup
  • 1 Tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. red food coloring

First, mix the warm water and cocoa very well. Then add the rest of our ingredients. Let it sit for awhile, skimming off any bubbles that appear (we didn't have any bubbles when we made this). Admire your bloody creation!

Then apply to your favorite little vampire and get ready for some Halloween fun!

While it was fun to wear the chocolaty blood, Jack thought it would be more fun to try dipping pretzels in it!
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Monday, October 24, 2011

Time to Make the Donuts!

This week, one of our homemade papas, Keith, got the urge to make homemade donuts! The Mamas are rubbing off! We should also say that none of us have ever made homemade donuts! He went out and found three recipes online to try. With three new recipes we expected at least one to be a dud. To our surprise all three were fantastic and very easy to make!!! It was an awesome way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

We made these three recipes: apple fritters, glazed donuts (these taste just like Krispy Kremes!) and cake donuts with cinnamon sugar! Give these recipes a try! You may never want to buy store bought donuts again!

We were so impressed. Keith (who is NOT a baker at all) did most of the cooking!

We finally finished up the last of our apples with these apple fritters!
We don't do a lot of frying, but we found it was super easy. We used one big tub of vegetable Crisco for all three batches!

The glazed donuts are soooo light and fluffy!

We now have more donuts than we know what to do with!

I'm sure we'll think of something!

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Dad's Birthday ROCKS!

Maggie's husband is an avid rock collector and has passed on his love of geology to their sons. So when his birthday rolled around this week, we knew we had to include rocks somehow. We always try to make some sort of homemade gift on birthdays and holidays, but how do you and the kids do homemade when it comes to rocks? Make Treasure Rocks, of course! These fun, homemade rocks contain small trinkets and surprises that will delight the recipient when the rocks are cracked open! So easy and fun for the whole family!

What You Need:
  • 1/2 cup coffee grounds (used or instant)
  • 1/2 cup sand
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup water

First, find small, non-plastic objects that you want as treasure for inside your rocks. We let the kids go around the house and pick out what "treasures" they thought Dad would like: glass marbles, a jingle bell, "gold" buttons, coins, and fake diamonds were what caught their eye! They even decided at the last minute to put leprechaun gold in one!

Now you are ready to make your rocks! Preheat your oven to 250 and mix your dry ingredients together.

Then add the water a little bit at a time until you get a play dough-like consistency.

Once your dough is just right, divide it up depending on how many rocks you want. Then flatten the divided parts...

...and place your "treasures" inside.

Then fold the dough around the "treasures" sealing them up. Mold your dough into the shape of rocks.

Place your rocks on a cookie sheet, pop them in the oven, and bake for 15 minutes. Once the time is up, leave your rocks in overnight to finish drying. We found that ours were still a little underdone on the bottoms, so we flipped them over and popped them back in for some more cooking time. And there you have it: Homemade Treasure Rocks! Do they look real or what??

Now the fun part: breaking them! Dad had a great time breaking open the Treasure Rocks with the boys and seeing what wonderful things they had hidden! No, a rock hammer is not necessary, just more fun!

This was a fun project for the whole family, as kids of all ages could help make (and break!) them!
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Monday, October 17, 2011

An Apple A Day Keeps the Acne Away!

Rebecca still has a refrigerator full of apples (12 lbs of apples takes a lot longer to eat than expected). She is putting apples in everything! She decided to look for other uses for apples. She found this recipe on several sites and decided to give it a try. It is supposed to be great at getting rid of acne when used regularly.

The Recipe:

  • 1 medium apple

  • 5 Tbl honey

Peel the apple. Coarsely chop the apple and place in a blender. Add honey and puree. Wash your face with warm water to help open your pores. Rub mask onto your face. leave for 15-20 minutes. Rinse well with warm water.

Super simple right! The natural fruit acids help remove dead skin cells, plus apples are loaded with vitamins! Another great reason to love this recipe is that both ingredients are available all year round! .

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Spooktacular Halloween Wreath

With Halloween around the corner and all the "Halloweenifying" we've been doing around here, it seems like the only thing we were missing was a great wreath for the front door! We were looking for something not only perfect for the season, but also perfect for the budget. When we came across this idea for a Halloween Stick Wreath, we knew we had a winner! Not only is it cute and free, but it is a great way to add some creativity to a walk on a warm fall day!

What You Need:
  • Sticks...all shapes and sizes
  • Cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Black acrylic paint
  • Glue Gun
Draw a circle for the base of your wreath on your cardboard. We traced a mixing bowl and a saucer to get the sizes we wanted. Then cut them out!

Next, paint your cardboard circle black. This will help it blend in later.
Now start laying out your sticks around the circle, breaking them to be the right length as you go. They don't have to be perfect - the more rough and scraggly-looking the better!.

Then hot glue them into place! You can add smaller sticks to fill in any large gaps as you go along as well.

Once the hot glue dries completely, it's time to paint your wreath! This is a perfect time for the little ones to get involved! Spray paint would also work well - we just didn't happen to have any on hand.

When your wreath is dry you can start thinking about decorations. We wanted to keep ours simple, but you can get as ornate and creative as you'd like. Once it done, tie a festive ribbon on and you are ready to hang it up!
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Monday, October 10, 2011

Homemade Halloweenification!

Now that the days are getting cooler and the leaves are starting to fall, our boys thoughts have turned to ghost and goblins, Our homes have been decorated since October !st (we had to force them to wait that long). Today they all went to Nana's house and decided they had to "Halloweenify" her condo. Nana was a great sport and gave the boys free reign over decorating - and a pile of construction paper, glue and scissors! Those boys are so creative! Who needs store bought decorations when you have creative kids around! We gave them the supplies and they came up with so many cute ideas. Sorry the pics. aren't so great. It was an spontaneous craft day and all we had was our phone's camera.

Bat mobile - (ha ha) Ok mom helped a little with this one.

Bats, ghost and window markers!

Blood dripping down the windows (Oh, what must the neighbors think!)

Spiders in the windows make great silhouettes!

Ben made this spooky spiderweb by cutting paper like you would paper snowflakes.

Jacks "bloody" hand prints decorate Nana's fire[lace.

Ben made these scary trees using brown, rolled up paper and a hole punch for eyes.

We weren't planning on having a crafty afternoon. In fact we had another project all set to post. We were so inspired by the boys creativity today that we wanted to share their ideas with you. Kids are so structured today. They reminded us that it is so important to give them time to create and express themselves freely. They will surprise you every time!

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