Sunday, December 26, 2010

Salt Dough Ornaments

Snowy day here - schools were actually closed yesterday and 223 more today!  Decided we needed to make a little Christmas.  Broke out a recipe for salt dough and went to town.

The kids found the dough quite hard to work with - it's a very stiff dough especially when cold.  Once we kneaded it well, it rolled well and was decently easy to work with.  I got out the 100 piece cookie cutter set and we made a nice big mess.  (I think we still have some dough to pick up off the floor.)

The one thing we had trouble with is the dough drying out enough.  The recipe we used said to bake for 20-25 mins at 300.  That was not nearly enough.  Even after 35 mins some of the ornaments were not yet "cooked".  So they're back in the oven for another 5-10 to continue the drying process.

Here's the salt dough recipe we used.  Found in several places on the internet...

4 cups AP flour
1 cup salt
1 1/2 cups water

Kneed until smooth and easy to work with (takes a while!!!!).

Roll out and cut into shapes, use cookie cutters, make hand prints, etc.

Bake 300 for 20+ minutes

Cool and paint with acrylic paints.  Spray with varnish to water protect and make them shiny.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy Christmas!

Happy Christmas to everyone!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Dinner Tonight: Quick Stir Fry

I don't usually like stir fry, but I've finally happened upon a recipe that I enjoy making, and eating.  It's quick, it's easy and adaptable.


1-2 chicken breast sliced thin (or beef, or pork, or whatever protein you choose)
2-3 small zucchini sliced in moons
2-3 carrots sliced in circles/moons
2-3 ribs of celery
garlic powder
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2-3/4 cup water
1 Tbsp cornstarch

Optional ingredients:
chopped garlic
spinach, chard, collards or other greens

Slice and chop all ingredients so they're ready to go.  Brown chicken until nearly cooked through.  Add in chopped garlic, onions, (if using) and cook until soft.  Add in the rest of the chopped vegetables and the cornstarch, soy sauce and water (mixed into a slurry).  Cook until vegetables are soft, or leave them a bit crunchy.  Season with pepper and garlic powder to taste.

Serve over rice or rice noodles.  Or just eat alone - it's all good.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Bandana Pants Tutorial

My girls were in need of some new pants and shorts for summer - so I started in making Bandana Pants.  They're cool, they're comfortable and definitely fashionable!  My girls love them - and enjoy choosing their colors of bandana for their new duds.

Pants and shorts are both easy - I'll include a quick tutorial for each.

For Pants:
2 bandanas
sewing machine

Line the bandanas up so that they are square with each other.  My bandanas are 22 inches square - ish.  Sometimes they're not quite square, depending on what brand/how expensive, etc.  I tend toward the cheaper ones if possible.  But for bottoms you want thicker bandanas.

Fold the lined up bandanas in half lengthwise (hot dog style for you school teachers).  Measure 1 inch in from the side edge (NOT THE FOLD) and about 10-12 inches down depending on your child's crotch measurement.  For a 1-3 yo I'd use 10"-11", 11"-12" for 4 and up.  I make a small cut with my scissors at each spot then connect the two with a J shaped cut.

Unfold the pants and sew up both Js using your machine.  Zig zag or surge over the edge if desired to finish it off inside.

Fold the pants now so that the bottoms of each leg of the pants line up (each bandana is 1 leg).  Sew from the bottom of 1 leg to the bottom of the other all the way around the crotch of the pants.  Now they're starting to look like pants!

Roll down the top of the pants approximately 3/4 of an inch and stitch leaving a 1-2" space unstitched to tread in the elastic for the waistband.  Thread the 1/2 inch elastic through the casing and stitch ends together.  Stitch opening closed.

For Shorts:

1 Bandana needed
sewing machine

Start by cutting the bandana in half so that you have two identical rectangles, cut edges will form the waist band of the shorts.

Follow directions for pants above.  The crotch/inside leg seam will only be 1-2 inches long as to leave enough room for the bottom in the shorts.

No need to hem the bottom of the pants, they've already got that great rolled edge from the edge of the bandana.

Now go try these on your little one and let them get their groove on!