Monday, March 30, 2009

April Fools Day Ideas

So, rather than appear foolish afterward, I renounce seeming clever now. - William of Baskerville in 'The Name of the Rose'

It’s almost here and what better way to usher in spring than with a few little crazy shenanigans.

Pranking the food should be at the top 0f anyone’s list of things to try.

I’m considering replacing raw eggs with Hard Boiled Eggs since the hubby always cooks himself an egg for breakfast. (Hopefully he won’t be reading this post).

Stay at Home Parents recommends a faux fried egg by scooping whipped cream onto the breakfast plate and placing a canned apricot or peach half (cut side down) in the middle of your cream. For more of their fun food ideas click HERE.

Some of our family favorite April Fool kid fun & recipes can be found at Family Fun dot com. Be sure and check them out. We love doing the Faux Grilled cheese sandwiches (pound cake and colored frosting) – Instructions HERE.

faux grilled cheese

My favorite has to be the Meatloaf and Mashed Potato Cupcake. Instructions HERE.

meatloaf cupcake

This year I’m going to try their Fauxberry Pie (shepherds Pie and more mashed potatoes) - Instructions HERE.

fauxberry pie

And I’m definitely going to throw some surprises into the kiddo’s sack lunches. See what they did HERE.

gag lunch

Elsewhere on the web. And although I’m too chicken to try this next one it may be up your alley. The Kitty Litter Cake by All recipes dot com. Click HERE to see how they made this nauseous-looking masterpiece.

kitty litter cake

Only a fool could eat that.

And see some of their other Fool recipes HERE.

And don’t forget to check out The Fools Day dot com.

April Fools Day Banner

It is packed with quotes, practical and impractical pranks, food ideas and more fun than you can ever hope to fit in one crazy day.

So have a little Tomfoolery and Smile. It’s only happens once a year – Thank goodness.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Crown Tutorials Galore!

I forgot to include all the other adorable links to crown making on my last post and I don’t want you to miss this creative smorgasbord so here are some of the fun ones I found in blog land.

baby birthday crown

The Refugee Crafter  made this darling birthday felt crown for a charming one year old.  She even includes a PFD downloaded pattern.  Click HERE for her tutorial.

And don’t forget Jessica from Juicy Bit’s fabulous Felt Crown. 

juicy bits crown 1

Click here for her tutorial.

If you drink a lot of soda then this here gem might be right up your alley.  Tiffany of The Art of Can Tabistry made this here one of a kind crown.

can tab crown

Click HERE to see how to make a crown from can tabs.  This lady is amazing.  She makes shoes, corsets, hats, and much more just from soda cans. 

Bitter Betty Blog has an equally alluring gold lace crown tutorial HERE.

gold lace crown

Activity TV has a video showing you how to make a fresh or artificial flower crown.  Click Here to see.  An added bonus would be to make a fresh flower crown out of flowers that dry well.  Then it will last longer.

fresh flower crown

This one is perfect for medieval fair goers. I’m definitely planning on making these for my girls for our local Renaissance Festival.

Mia of One Hour Craft talks you through the steps of making this very similar enchanting, blue flower crown HERE.

blue flower crown

Want a cheaper version.  I Made something similar for my girls last May Day.

 May Day Crown

Use Pipe cleaners and flowers, and in this one, even a Hawaiian Lei from the Dollar Store.  Click Here to see how I did it.  

Your only limited by your imagination. 

Happy Crafting.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

How to Make Fairy Tale Crowns

"All women are princesses, it is our right."

~Maya, A Little Princess

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Your girls will love you if you help them make some enchanting fairy tale crowns.  My inspiration for these came out of desperation last fall when I was trying to figure out Glenda the Good Witch’s crown for my daughter’s Halloween Costume. 

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Who would have thought that the flexible chopping mats that you can buy at the dollar store could be so versatile?   

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They can be taped together or even sewn.  I thought I’d show you how to make these adjustable (fits any size head) crowns.

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Materials Needed:

Flexible Chopping Mat (I found mine at the Dollar Tree, 2 per package)

Paper for a pattern

Scissors

Exacto Knife

Ribbon

Extra’s: Flowers (thank you dollar store), trim, paint, sharpie (the fun colored ones),  a really good craft glue or gel super glue, and anything that you’d love to decorate your crown with.

Directions:

Take a regular piece of paper and fold it in half.  Draw half your desired crown shape  and cut it out.  That way when you unfold the paper your crown is symmetrical.  Using the paper trace the design onto your flexible cutting mat.  You can fit 1-3 crowns per sheet depending on the size you want.

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Then using scissors cut the crowns out.

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I then marked little rectangular sections evenly around the crown and scored those with an exacto knife. 

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After they were scored I lifted up the crown and punched the holes out with a little more help from the craft knife.

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These are perfect for threading your ribbon through the crown. 

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You can use the ribbon that fit’s the dimensions of the rectangular hole or a slightly larger ribbon that will looked bunched when threaded through.

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Make sure that you leave plenty of ribbon to tie the crown onto your head.

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Next it’s time to decorate.  This is where the kids can put their personal touch and favorite colors onto the crown.  You can use sharpie colored markers.

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Yes, even a three year old can handle this.  I did sneak back when she was finished and put an extra line around the edges.

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Next – glue on your embellishments. They can be anything from buttons,  old broken pieces of play jewelry…

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to petals from flowers that you’ve taken apart…

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to plastic gems…

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and beaded trim.  Let your imagination be your guide.

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I also used gleam or pearl paints by Delta Cream coat, and some glitter paints.  These however do rub off if rubbed to hard.  Still they look great.

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The fun part is that these crowns can fit nearly every size head and can be stored flat when space is limited.

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Not only can you make these for your little princesses…

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But you can also make them for the King and Queen or your home.

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Or even create them to match a favorite pair of fairy wings you happen to have hidden in your closet.

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My three year old wouldn’t take hers off.  She wore it everywhere and so many people were unbelievable sweet and called her princess.  Made her day.  Hum, I wonder what would happen if I wore mine to the store?

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Happy Crafting!   

Sunday, March 15, 2009

St. Patrick’s Day Feast

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Our family loves St. Patrick’s Day dinner. Maybe it’s the Idaho farm girl in me hearkening back to childhood days filled with meat and potatoes. So I thought I’d share a few of our favorite Irish dishes with you.

The Classic Corned Beef recipe we usually follow the recipe given on the package we get from the store. When cooking though I usually place the beef on a rack or if I don’t have one I improvise by placing rolls of tinfoil in the bottom of my deep dish casserole.

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Why? Because this cut of beef is very fatty and I’m still trying to be slightly more healthy. Our recipe called for cooking it covered, 50 minutes at 350 degree’s for every 1 lb of meat. I threw in the red potatoes, carrots and cabbage or B russel sprouts for the last hour of cooking.

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Irish Colcannon Casserole : What’s fun about this traditional Irish winter casserole is some of the fun traditions surrounding it. Normally it is eaten around Halloween, but it’s also known to make an appearance on March the 17th. There’s even songs about it. The Colcannon usually contained a ring that when found, meant marriage within the year for it’s finder. I, however don’t hide a ring in ours because 1st my kids are too young to think about marriage and 2nd, they’d probably choke on it. Still a fun idea.

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I found the most delightful Colcannon recipe by Miss Ann at Recipe Zaar dot com here.

Boxty, Irish Potato Cakes

Boxty on the griddle, boxty in the pan, If you can’t make boxty, you’ll never get your man.

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This dish is kind of a cross between biscuits and hash browns. It happens to taste heavenly smothered with butter when still warm. I know I’m going to need to work out extra hard after this meal. But it’s once a year right?

1 cup raw potato
1 cup mashed potato
2 cups flour ( I used 1 cup wheat and 1 cup white) 1/4 cup butter
1 tsp baking powder 1 cup skim milk
1 tsp salt
large knob of butter, melted

Mix potatoes together then add in dry ingredients. Combine with milk. Melt a little butter in a fry pan over medium heat. When pan is hot and butter is melted then ladle small circles of potato pancakes into the pan.
Brown on both sides and serve warm.

Mint Lime-Ade

Make your favorite Limeade recipe. You can buy fresh like Simply Lime-Ade, Frozen concentrate or make fresh squeezed. Add 1/4 tsp of mint extract for every quart of limeade you make. I love adding ice and a couple leaves of fresh mint to each drink. Love it.

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Shamrock Shakes

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Mix together the following ingredients in a blender until the consistency of a shake.

  • 3 cups low sugar or light vanilla ice cream, slightly thawed
  • 1 and 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 tsp. mint extract or flavoring
  • 12-15 drops green food coloring
  • Light Whipped Cream, green sprinkles and M&M’s (optional)
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Pistachio Mint Mini’s

Yes, I know these are not a traditional Irish Dish. But they are yummy and green and in my book that’s o.k. too.

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1 package chocolate graham crackers, 1 small box of sugar-free pistachio pudding, 1/4 cup butter and Chocolate Mint flavored Ice Cream topping syrup.

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Graham crackers usually come three per package. For this recipe you will only need one entire package of cookies.

Using a heavy-duty zip-lock bag, crush the graham crackers. Mix with 1/4 cup of melted butter or margarine. Press the mixture into the bottom of mini muffin cups. Put in just enough to cover the bottom.

Mix a package of sugar free Pistachio pudding using the Pie directions (less milk) After mixing for 2 minutes, quickly spoon into muffin tins on top of the graham cracker mixture. Then drizzle the chocolate mint topping over the little dessert. Chill.

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Here’s a couple of other recipes I found that are perfect for your St. Patrick’s Day meal.

Elise of Simply Recipes shares her favorite Irish Soda Bread recipe HERE.

irish-soda-bread

and Irene Of Dreams and Sweets shares a yummy Clover Roll recipe HERE.

clover rolls

So ‘Top of the Morning to You’ and may the blessing of the wee folks liven your year. Happy Holidays'!