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Thursday, November 14, 2013

NYC Big Bold Lip Gloss

In my Varsity Vox Box that I received complimentary from Influenster; I received some lip gloss. Plumping Lip Gloss to be exact. Ok, Ok I'll be really exact some

NYC Big Bold Lip Gloss


 I don't really go for that plump lip look, but I figured I'll try it so I can review it here.

I applied it to my lips and found it to be sticky, not that big of a deal, wasn't more sticky than some of the other lip glosses I had tried. But, Oh, the tingling, and not in a good way. I found it to be uncomfortable. I don't know if this is natural for plumping lip glosses or not. It wasn't uncomfortable in a painful way, it was more annoying and bothersome. The color was a very nice light tint. Did it plump up my lips? I think it did. I will say that I removed it after a few minutes as I was too uncomfortable wearing it. It made me feel so strange. So there you have it, my honest review of NYC Big Bold Lip Gloss.


I received this complimentary from Influenster.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Gem Explosion


my flier

Hi,

I am taking a break from regular programming to let you know about something new in my life.


Big news!  I've started an online jewelry boutique called Gem Explosion. Each week you'll see my hand selected collection of fabulous, hard to find, styles at up to 60% off. For exclusive access, click below.

https://gemexplosion.kitsylane.com/join/DRKHrS5

My flash sales go live on Wednesdays. We carry all sorts of accessories from scarves to barrettes in addition to our fine jewelry.

Happy shopping!







Thursday, October 17, 2013

Healthy Dish: Sweet Potato and Chickpeas








I often heat up sweet potatoes for my lunch. They take no more than 5 minutes in my microwave, so it's fast and easy. One day, I decided to take my sweet potato and make it more nutritious by adding chickpeas. There's a local store that makes really good chickpeas and we often have them in the house. I also never usually add spices because I felt that sweet potatoes were good on their own, but I was doing healthy and there are many benefits associated with spices, so I decided to add them in this time. The result was amazing, and perfect for a chilly day, the spices warm you up and totally transform the sweet potato. Perfect for a chilly fall day. The picture does show a lot of chickpeas, you don't need to add that much, it may have actually been a little too much. You can serve this for dinner, or as a side as well.


Sweet Potato with Chickpeas
1 medium sweet potato-washed and scrubbed
store bought chickpeas (prepared)
Spices to taste if you don't like any of these just leave it out-Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Fennel Seed, Cumin

1. Cut an X in your sweet potato. Bake your sweet potato, this can be done in 5 minutes in your microwave. If you don't mind waiting longer, this can be done at 350 in your oven for an hour.
2. Peel and Cube Sweet Potatoes, you can leave the peel on if you'd like.
3. Spice to taste
4. Stir in generous amount of pre-seasoned store bought chickpeas.*

Other ideas for add-ins include baby spinach leaves, raw or lightly sauteed. You can also add other sweet squashes. It's very open-ended, so play around have fun.

*Please note that if using a canned chickpeas recipe make sure to rinse them and let them dry on a paper towel, as well as removing loose skins. You can always use your own chickpea recipe and/or use chickpeas you have sitting in the fridge.

Here is a recipe that may be somewhat similar to the prepared chickpeas that I use:
Chickpea Recipe-if you make this recipe, leave out the olives, tomatoes, scallions and parsley/cilantro for use in the above dish.

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Must be a 'fall' related post.

Visit one or more of the link ups below and leave a meaningful comment.

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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Connect Four


Remember my hijara game board?
I created a flat connect 4 game board and you can use the pieces from your Hijara game for this.

Connect Four Template: Open in new tab and print. Cover with packing tape on both sides to make a sturdier game board.




Monday, October 7, 2013

Imagination Box







I used to love making tents out of chairs, flat bedsheets, blankets, and binder clips (clothespins weren't strong enough).  We used booster seats as shelves, and really enjoyed playing in our "tents." We made "tents" pretty often, they were never the same, although we usually had to dismantle the tent, so people can sit on the chairs.

 Young children have the greatest imaginations. Cardboard boxes become trains, boats, and houses. Under tables becomes the secret headquarters. Underneath blankets becomes tents.
Imagination is how inventions, ideas and concepts happen and society moves forward. I believe imagination should be encouraged and developed. I believe that we should let kids remove the couch cushions and build forts. I believe in playing along, foster creativity and imagination.



If I would make an imagination box, here's some items I think it should include:



Basic-Imagination Box
Flat bed sheets
Cardboard
Binder Clips
Newspapers/Magazines

Regular Craft Items
Glue
Tape
Scissors
Crayons

An imagination box can include a number of things:
foam, felt, toothpicks, balloons, silver foil, bottle caps anything can be a craft item.



How about giving your kids an imagination box and seeing what they come up with.

What imaginative things have children in your life done?
If you gave your kids an imagination box-tell us what you put in and what they came up with?

Include some MakeDos which can be found in my amazon store.


Thursday, October 3, 2013

Help! I'm Trapped In the Library!

via Google Images




I was in the library the other day. That place is entrapping and takes you on journeys to lands you've never seen, or you're like a fly on someone's wall or shoulder. I really went into to pick up one book, I knew I would come out with more that just that one, but I didn't really expect to be as long as I was.

I read all types of books. I browse through the young adult, the young adult, children's, how-to's, and the DVD collection-I actually found an interesting one there that I liked, but that's for another post.

The way our library is set up is that the young adults and adult books are downstairs and the children's books are upstairs. Downstairs is where you check out the books.

So on that hot day, I go in to pick up my book that I had reserved and I find it on the shelf. I pick it up and tuck it under my arm and continue walking further into the library. I am now near the DVD section, there is a modest selection to choose from. I found a few that seemed interesting but being that DVD late fine is $1 and you only have them for a week. I only took 2. I then came upon the area where they have their selected books. Read the backs of a few and found one that seemed maybe interesting. I picked it up, put it back, picked it up and finally added it to my collection. I then went to the new books selection and picked up one or 2 that seemed interesting. Then on to the adults to check out if authors I'm interested in. I didn't luck out on that one, but I found some interesting titles that I picked up. I think I even got a bit absorbed in one while I was deciding whether to add this one to my growing collection of books. At this point I added the book in and placed my books and the DVDs in the bag I brought along. I went to check for one more of my favorite authors and mused about how we're always taught to never judge a book by its cover, but we still do that. Especially since the covers as well as the titles are what attracts our attention in the first place. I pay my fines at the kiosk before heading upstairs. I now made my way to the children's section. The set-up is a little different from what I remember. I found some authors that I loved when I was younger, but books I didn't read and added that to my collection. I now had a quite heavy bag and full arms. But I am trapped in that place, and I need to go check out the craft and DIY books in the children's section of course. Interesting over there, it got me really wanting to try a new hobby. I'm keeping the hobby I want to try a secret for now. I did place those books back on the shelf. I decide to take the elevator downstairs and get complimented on my necklace. It made me feel really good.

At the checkout machine I start checking out my books, there is no room in my bag for more books, I wonder how I am going to get them all home. I then notice a big plastic empty shopping bag on the floor near me. It doesn't seem to belong to anyone and it's got some holes. I decide it will do the job. Then on to my trek home.

I noticed all the private school kids in the library while I was there, so I figured it was around 4 o clock, maybe getting close to 5 o clock. I was shocked when I got home and realized I had been in the library for 3 hours!

On that note: You can check out my books I recommend page to help you start building a library of your own.

via Google Images

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Chicken in the Crock Pot




Crockpot via Google Images

Do you have some fast and easy meals that you like to make when you're in a hurry? Do you have a favorite crock-pot meal?

This is delicious and extremely easy to throw together. Almost everyone enjoyed it immensely. There's always that one person who doesn't care for it, strange enough he came back for doubles and some people even came back for triples. Brown rice holds up better than white rice for long cooking times and is more nutritionally valuable and adds great flavor.


Chicken in the Crock-Pot
1 whole chicken frozen
2 cups brown rice
1 can mushrooms-rinsed
1 -14.5 oz diced tomatoes with basil and oregano
1 -14.5 oz diced tomatoes with garlic and rosemary
1 Bag of Baby Carrots
4 garlic cloves-peeled
vegetable broth approx 2 cups (you can use all water, but broth adds a nice flavor)
2 cups water
4-5 Bay Leaves

Dump all ingredients in the crockpot.Cook on high for 6-7 hours. If using non-frozen chicken, I would probably cook on low for less time.* I used some portobello mushrooms in addition to the can of mushrooms, you can probably also throw in other ingredients maybe spinach, sweet potato or chickpeas.**You don't want to use all broth because it will be too salty.

What are some of your fast and easy meals or what are some of your favorite meals to make in the crock-pot?

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Create Your Own Hijara Game


What's your family's favorite game? 
Do you play any homemade, original or unique games?




Here's a fun game you can make. My family has played it countless times since I've made it and that's saying something since it hasn't even been a week yet. If you're the type who gives homemade gifts this game would be great. It's definitely for older children. On the box if you see it in the store, it's recommended for ages 10 and up.




There's a few options to making the game board:

You can use thin cardboard see here and here.

You can also use a checkerboard. and just draw the borders and write the numbers in. My little brother gets credit for that idea.
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Or you can make it the way I did. For that you'll need:
1 template of board or make your own. Mine (below) is pretty stark, but I think it's less distracting when playing the game. You can make it as colorful as you like though.
Sharpie
Scrap Paper
Packing Tape
Decorative Vase Fillers-2 bags in different colors. You will need 32 pieces of each color.
Optional: Drawstring Bags or Ziploc Bags, Box to Store it the pieces.
 



Right Click and Choose Open-Link in a New Tab on your desired game board (with lines connecting the boxes or without lines) to open in a new tab and print it. You will need to print 2 copies.

First one has lines connecting the boxes, the second one doesn't. You will need to add lines to connect the middle boxes if you print the first one.

________________________________________________________________________________



_____________________________________________________________________
Skip this if you're just going to use one of my templates:

To make your own template:
If you want you can make your own template-using Word or a similar program on your computer. You make 8 squares using the square tool of equal sizes.  4 on the top and 4 on the bottom.

Then create a text box for the score, type in increments of 5. So it should read 5, 10, 15 all the way up to 65. Make sure your text isn't crowding and it's a size you like.

Add lines to the boxes, so each box is split into 4. You can also add connecting lines if you'd like. See this image for a sample Hijara board.

Save your template.

Print 2 copies.

Continue Here:

Write in the numbers 1-4 in each box using a sharpie-see below. Remember to place paper underneath so the sharpie bleeds through onto that. I used a plain black sharpie. You may also want to use a stencil to get a crisper more professional look. You can see that I just wrote it in though.

Now if you have a paper cutter this is a good time to use it, if not scissors will do just fine. You want to trim one of the printouts of some of the white space on the side opposite the numbers. This will be the middle of your board.

Overlap both printouts so the papers are symmetrical and the scores are on opposite sides. Tape together using Packing Tape on both sides. I wanted to make my game board fold, so I folded it at this point trying to line up the edges the best that I could.

Cover both sides of the game board with packing tape using long strips. If there's extra you want to fold it to the back of the game board. Do this slowly, so that the tape doesn't bunch, or crease. Cover the back of the game board. The tape also makes the game board more sturdy.
game board ready to play
If you're cynical like some other people I know in real life
and want to tell me there's a box holding it down in the corner.
That box is not necessary to hold the board down.
We actually played all of the games without anything holding it down.

Now you can apportion 32 stones for game play +1 for keeping score totaling 3 stones per person.

The game rules are here. Also since you are not playing on the computer, it would be a good idea to add in that any point not accounted for are forfeited. We play that the person has until the next person puts down their piece to claim their points. If someone gets more than 65 points, they just start their marble at the 5 again. Of course they don't lose their points they are just added to the points they originally had. so if someone has 65 points and gains 15. They would just move their marble to the 15 point marker and have 80 points. Although the rules use blue and yellow pieces you can play with any 2 colors you choose and even pick who goes first.

The following are samples of how it might look during game play, but there was no actual game happening at the times of these pictures.
Sample of how it might look during game play

Whoa! Someone got a bit distracted
and let someone get 20 points. See the marble on the 20 point mark.

We are currently using a gift box like the one you put baby clothes in for gift-giving. I don't know how sturdy it is, or how long it will last. It doesn't seem to sturdy, but it's working for us right now. Don't forget to decorate it so everyone knows what game is inside. I recommend decorating the box while flat.



I lost the first few games whether against real life opponents or the computer. So I'm pretty proud of this.





in the box.


Play Instructions Can Be Found here and here. The first link has diagrams which can be helpful to see how you can score points. We have also added on that you cannot claim points later in the game. Points need to be claimed before the next person makes their move.

Have Fun!

Update: I received the following email from Martin, the creator of the game, I linked his site. Who knew he had another game.:

Hello,

As designer and owner of all rights to the game Hijara, I was interested to see your Create Your Own Hijara Game.

The site you linked it to is owned by a Russian who knocked off my Hijara and Rhumb Line games.

For the genuine Hijara, see : http://www.gamesaboveboard.n.nu/hijara

Martin 




What's your family's favorite game?

Do you play any homemade, original or unique games?




Monday, August 5, 2013

Glazed Vanilla Rugelach



Rugelach are yummy and not hard to make. I especially love the vanilla ones.  I'm not going to lie to you, it is a bit time consuming to roll them all out. I have a tip for you on how to make them in a less time consuming manner, they just won't look like the traditional rugelach, but will taste just as good. This recipe is a pareve, non dairy version. If you don't mind them being dairy, try butter in place of the margarine. If any of you try this recipe with oil instead of the margarine, please let me know how it turns out. This recipe make a lot of rugelach, if I remember correctly I got around 6 dozen. I would recommend working  with parts of the dough at a time and keeping the rest in the refrigerator until ready to work with. Many rugelach have fillings, this recipe doesn't.


Rolling out Methods:

For Traditional Rugelach:
Roll the dough into a circle, spread filling if using and then cut it into pie shapes or triangles. Roll up the dough starting from the wide end.

Easy Method:
Roll out dough into a rectangle, spread filling if using and then roll it into a log. You can then just slice it. If you want it to look prettier, just slice it an angle and keep switching the angle. So your first cut should be like this / and your second cut like this \ and then like this / . Keep repeating the pattern until the log is finished.

Direction of Cuts:

 / \ / \ / \ / \ / \ / 

Unique Heart Tip: You can also use this Melon Slicer and cut a whole bunch of rugelach at a time.



 So here's the recipe:

RUGELACH
  • 8 Cups Flour
  • 1 1/2 oz yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 sticks margarine
  • 1 cup sugar
GLAZE
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 T vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

After rugelach are cooled, dip or brush on glaze.

NOTES

I used 1 Tbsp+1/2 tsp+1/4 tsp dry yeast. I dipped the rugelach




Unglazed, one family member couldn't wait
and just kept eating them like this-said he preferred it to the glazed ones
I wonder if he was just too impatient?


also with glaze

Monday, July 29, 2013

Iced Cappuccino Drink

Iced Coffee drinks are quite popular and I find are the first beverage to be gone at parties. Iced Coffee and water are 2 drinks you want to have plenty of. I've been trying out different variations of iced coffee. Some didn't make the cut. This one has a light coffee flavor, but it's still delicious. 

Single Serve Iced Coffee

When I make an iced coffee drink for myself, I usually just put in a tsp of instant coffee and 2 tsp sugar. Add hot water-just enough to dissolve the coffee and sugar granules. Stir it. Add milk. Now I usually put it in the freezer for a few minutes, so it gets nice and cold. I don't add ice because that would water down the drink.



iced cappuccino

  • 2 Tbsp coffee
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp chocolate syrup
  • 1 Tbsp chocolate liquor or coffee liquor
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla sugar mix all with
  • 1/4 cup boiling water and add to an almost full bottle of milk and shake.

* I used coffee liquor because that was what I had in the house. 



I picked up that BPA Free Beverage Container you see above in a local store, and now carry it in my amazon store, and placed my iced cappuccino in there. So much more elegant than using the original milk bottle and it's a great size.

Tie Dye Without a Kit




Have you ever wanted to do tie-dye, but didn't have a kit. You don't need one, unless you want something more permanent. It's easy. The picture below show a bounty napkin. I used leftover solution from the firework paintings



All you need is some food coloring
water
white cotton bandanas (you can find white cotton bandanas in my amazon store) 
rubber bands
latex gloves so you don't dye your hands, 
containers for dipping your garment.



1. Prepare dye solutions by mixing food coloring and water in your containers or see recipe below. Prepare a few colors. 

2. Prep your garment by twisting it. The design that you see on this page was made by twisting it into a long rope and then I used two rubber bands to divide the garment into 3 parts. Note that it was a napkin so it was already folded before twisting.


3. Dip one rubber banded section into your first color. Repeat with your remaining sections.

4. Let your garment dry.

5. Open up your garment

6. Heat the colors in the dryer.







Here is a recipe you can use for a more permanent stay:
2 tablespoons of color
2 tablespoons white vinegar 
2 cups of hot water.  

When you wash the item for the first time, put one cup of salt (just table salt will work) in your washing machine and use cold water. This will help set the dye. I wouldn't wash with other items

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Microwave Popcorn




Brown Paper Lunch Bag
Popcorn Kernels
Salt or Popcorn Seasoning of your Choice
Optional: Tape

Place popcorn in brown lunch bag and press popcorn setting on your microwave.
I salted mine after popping.

Since not all kernels pop and you can't really re-pop them, I put in about an 1/8 cup of kernels. You can also add 1 tsp oil to the kernels before popping. Some people say the kernels pop better if the bag is placed upright in the microwave. I've been popping them with the bag on it's side. I either tape the bag shut or fold over.

After popping and salting the popcorn, we placed the popcorn in popcorn bags above and taped shut. I then surprised everybody with the popcorn when we went to the Despicable Me 2 Screening*.






*If the theater had rules about bringing in outside food, I wasn't aware of them and we would have been hungry as there was nothing kosher to buy.

Monday, July 22, 2013

No Computer Access

Hi everyone,
I'm going away for a little while. I'm not going to have internet access for around 4 weeks starting on July 22. I'll try to schedule some posts to go up while I'm away, but am quite busy getting ready to go away, so if I do manage to get some posts up, they will be less frequent. Please continue to visit and maybe check out some of the past posts in the archives, or check out the new recommended reads feature.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Fudge Center Cookies





Mine cracked more than I think should be usual, but that might be because my brown sugar was kind of hard and lumpy. I think for the fudge it would work to substitute coconut oil to make it healthier and of course you can sub butter for the margarine. You can probably use any cookie recipe you would like and fill it with fudge. Please note that it does take a while for the fudge to set. Mine took a few hours. One of my siblings was so desperate for the fudge to set, he stuck it in the freezer. He doesn't recommend it, or maybe it just needed to cool down. They are said to freeze well, I personally don't have any experience with freezing them. They didn't last that long or make enough to freeze them.

Fudge Center Cookies: 

14 Tbsp margarine usually 2 sticks
2 tsp vanilla
3.5 oz melted baking chocolate
1 C brown sugar
2 Tbsp orange juice-maybe use lemon juice
3 C flour

Cream together the margarine and sugar. add the rest of the ing. and mix well to form a dough. 
Roll into small balls and press down on the tray using your thumb (to make an indent) 

Bake at 350F for about 15mins (until they can easily be picked off the tray) As soon as they come out the oven, using either your thumb or the back of a teaspoon measurer, indent the middle of the cookie again (to make a proper indent for the filing) 

In a pan melt the following: 
5.25 oz baking chocolate 
1tbsp honey/corn syrup 
1.5 tbsp margarine 
1tbsp vanilla 
1tbsp water. 
Melt until smooth. 

Spoon the filling into the center of the cookies (about 1 teaspoon in each cookie, or less) 

Enjoy!!! 



Recipe in Grams:

200gram Margarine 
2tsp Vanilla 
100 gram Melted Chocolate (baking) 
1 cup brown sugar 
2tbsp orange juice 
3 cup flour 

Cream together the margarine and sugar. add the rest of the ing. and mix well to form a dough. 
Roll into small balls and press down on the tray using your thumb (to make an indent) 

Bake at 350F for about 15mins (until they can easily be picked off the tray) As soon as they come out the oven, using either your thumb or the back of a teaspoon measurer, indent the middle of the cookie again (to make a proper indent for the filing) 

In a pan melt the following: 
150grams baking chocolate 
1tbsp honey/corn syrup 
1.5 tbsp margarine 
1tbsp vanilla 
1tbsp water. 
Melt until smooth. 

Spoon the filling into the centre of the cookies (about 1 teaspoon in each cookie, or less) 

Enjoy!!! 


They freeze really well by the way and taste great frozen too.
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*Please note that I have no experience with freezing them and do not know the original source of this recipe.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Magic Milk Pie Cake


Magic Cake

This magic cake is upside down, the cake layer is very thin in this one at the bottom, custard layer,  and top layer.


Funny or non-descriptive names for food appeal to me. I'm the one who's often the first to try a Crazy Chicken Sandwich or a Monster Sandwich versus something with a more typical name. So when I saw Magic Cake, it automatically went onto my to try list. It's been on my to try list a while already. The reactions were varied. Some thought it was okay, others liked it and my mother 's whole face lit up and said, "Ooh milk pie, I love milk pie!" It turns out my grandmother used to make this but called it milk pie and my mother and grandfather used to eat it. My little brother wanted to know the real name of the cake, he thought we were joking when we said Magic Cake. That's what happens when you have an older brother who tells you everything's magic and is teasing. We told him that's what it's really called.
 I'm not sure he liked it because he said it,"It doesn't taste like magic."
I asked him, "What does magic taste like?"
His answer,"Tingly."
I held back my laughter and made a  mental note to include pop rocks the next time I make or call something Magic Cake for this brother.

***We took some to my grandmother and asked her how she liked it and if it tastes like milk pie. She said, "better." So there you have it, it tastes even better than milk pie.

The magic in this cake is that it's one batter that separates into 3 layers. It's not a hard cake to make by any means. I sort of got 3 layers, my cake layer was very thin though.


All this recipe is making it's rounds all over the worldwide web, I wanted to describe my experiences making it.

 I had to leave the eggs out of the fridge to get to room temperature-that took a while, but I went about my business in the meantime.

Then I basically followed the directions. I included some notes based on some research and my experience. You can find them at the end of this recipe.

  • 4 eggs (separate yolks from whites) at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 150 g (3/4 cup) sugar
  • 125 g (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 115 g (4 oz or 3/4 cup) of all purpose flour
  • 500 ml (2 cups) milk lukewarm
  • powdered sugar for dusting cake
Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 325 F degrees. Grease a 8 inch x 8 inch baking dish.
  2. Separate eggs and add the egg whites to a mixer and mix until egg whites are stiff. Place egg whites in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until light. Add butter and vanilla extract and continue beating for another minute or two after which you can add the flour and mix it in until fully incorporated.
  4. Slowly start adding the milk and beat until everything is well mixed together. Add the egg whites, a third at a time and gently fold them in using a spatula, repeat until all egg whites are folded in. Another variation to folding in the egg whites would be to add a third of the egg whites and gently whisk them in to the cake batter, then reverse the process and add a bit of the cake mixture to the egg whites and gently whisk in, repeat until all cake batter has been whisked in.
  5. Pour batter into baking dish and bake for 40 to 70 minutes or until the top is lightly golden. The baking time could vary greatly depending on the oven, so take a peek at around 40 minutes and see how it looks.
  6. Sprinkle some powdered sugar after cake has cooled.

Notes: You may want to add 4 drops of vinegar to the egg whites when beating them and to beat them last so they don't re-liquify. 

Fold the egg whites gently using a whisk, you can use the whisk from the mixer. I used a spatula but videos show using a whisk. Update: I have since started using the whisk to fold the egg whites. I have since been getting bigger cake layers, although they're probably not related.

It is important to place ingredients in the order that the recipe specifies. 

It will look kind of lumpy and curdled, and you will probably not be able to get all of the egg whites in.

Do not worry if it looks like your batter separates while you are pouring it in to the pan. It's just the densities of each layer separating and re-arranging. It's really science-not magic. They will arrange themselves in the pan.

To make a 9x13 pan double the recipe.

Can use powdered sugar instead of regular sugar, might be less sweet.

If cake starts to crack lower your oven to 300 degrees.

I check on mine at the 40 min mark, I usually think it's still too jiggly then, so I leave it in for a little longer, it's usually slightly jiggly, but more set than jiggly. I know this is confusing, it's one of those recipes that are bit hard too explain and you need to experience it yourself to see what I'm talking about.

It's delicious cold too.

This cake should be kept in the refrigerator.





Monday, July 1, 2013

Firework Painting




This is a simple craft that your toddler will enjoy and perhaps even your 12 year old. It really depends on your kid, but the age range that enjoys this craft is quite broad. It's quite appropriate for July 4th or as a rainy day activity. This craft can also be used to teach about color mixing. I only used 3 colors red, blue and yellow. My colors mixed when I was blowing and created purple and green.

You will need:
plain white paper, printer paper works well
food coloring, the simple one, not the gel ones that you use for cake and cookie decorating, although if you only have the gel ones, you can water it down and use those.
A  straight straw (not bendables) for each person-you can cut it down to size if you feel it's too big.
Paper Towels
Plastic Tablecloth-you're working with food dye, there is a potential to get messy.

1. Lay your plastic down to protect your work surface. Place Paper Towel's on top of the plastic, the towels will absorb any dye that is blown off the paper.
2. Give each child a paper and a straw.
3. Place drops of food coloring on paper and let children blow them all over the paper.
4. Let dry and hang up your child's wonderful painting.

*Use Glow In the Dark Mod Podge to make it Glow in the Dark!

* You can try this with watered down paint too, although it's not been tested yet.


Blue. I used the gel food coloring, and watered it down.
But I really recommend the one you find in the baking aisle.

Red watered down

Yellow
Added a drop of red onto paper, I have way too much on my paper,
another reason I recommend the other type of food coloring
Used a straw and blew it all around on the paper
Added blue, I did one color at a time, but you can add all the colors at once
Final Masterpiece.

I used glow in the dark mod podge, but that just makes the paper glow, not the fireworks. I recommend using this paint and watering it down for a glow in the dark firework painting.


*Please note that you can now find my blog on bloglovin due to Google Reader closing.



Thursday, June 27, 2013

Chocolate Larabars

Originally I was going to call these Larabar Brownies. Okay they're not Larabars and they're not brownies. Now you're thinking what a misleading title. They remind me of Larabars in terms of ingredients and looks.  As soon as I taste it, I'll let you know how it fares in the taste department. I like Brownies, never really had a Larabar that I liked, they're just okay.

Raw Brownie or Chocolate Larabars Recipe

So they don't really meet the tastes like Brownies claim, but they're not bad. Picky eaters are likely to hate it, at least that's how it went down in my house. Would I make it again? Yes, but not as a brownie substitute. One kid asked me if it was cake. So in the looks department, I guess it worked, although it doesn't quite look right. Maybe this kid is just used to seeing strange food. He did make a comment later that he didn't care for them. Taste wise not so much. They're good, but they're not a brownie.
My notes on this one are: If you're not used to baking with dates, there are pits that need to be removed. I sopped up extra oil on top probably from the dates with a paper towel.






Monday, June 24, 2013

Homemade Stir Free Peanut Butter

I have an issue with natural peanut butter. That glob of oil on the top, yeah gross. Now try stirring it. It makes a mess whenever I do, and the bottom is really dry. I read about making my own peanut butter over at Averie Cooks. It didn't seem to hard, plus we had peanuts in the house that no one was eating.  The difference between the peanuts I used was that they were dry roasted in the shell peanuts and Averie used honey roasted shelled peanuts. I'm going to describe my experience using the peanuts in the shell, of course if you want you can also use shelled like Averie-will probably be much easier. All the work's in the shelling.

Shell 16 ounces or 2 cups worth of peanuts. I don't have a scale, so I used measuring cups. You want to remove the papery skins from the peanuts too, they usually come right off, but if they give you trouble, jut roll between your palms.
Shells from peanuts


You don't want peanuts that look like this:
Toss these peanuts


Peanuts that look like this are fine:


Peanut Color Palette:
The first 2 are okay, toss peanuts of the last color
Peanuts for the peanut butter



Measuring out the peanuts

2 Cups worth of peanuts


Then place in food processor and scrape down if needed, I didn't have anything to scrape down. I took around 5-7 minutes to become peanut butter. You can add your own flavorings in the last minute of processing. I didn't need to add oil.
in the food processor

Place into glass jar and refrigerate.








I got the same results, mine is a stir-free peanut butter.

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