Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Giant Bubbles!

So back around 4th of July I wanted to make these giant bubbles.
I had seen it on a blog to do it yourself.
We had one years ago made by Klutz.
I tried to take the easy way out and buy one but they don't make them anymore according to the gal at the store.
Fortunately my friend Heather had a post on how to do it.
And we were off to home depot for supplies. (See Heather's link for how to details)

This took all of 5-10 minutes to put together.
I did hammer tap the screw eyes into the dowels to get them started, than just hand twisted.
Ellie surveying the progress.
Big bubbles here we come!
I have to confess we did not use the glycerine or the distilled water.
I am told the glycerine will help the bubbles stay together better.
But this was entertaining. And almost addictive!
Ellie and will hunt for glycerine today to see if it makes a difference.
We will let you know!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Scones -- Peach, with Toasted Coconut and Pecans

Do you have a go to breakfast baked good?
For me it is scones.

I have a basic recipe I use from a May 2000 issue of Country Home
and I just change out the mix-ins based on my availability.

Today we tried coconut, pecans and peaches.
We toasted the pecans and coconut on a little cookie sheet in the toaster oven.

Watch closely coconut can quickly go from toasted to burnt.

Whisk together dry ingredients, 2 cups flour, 2 Tbsp. baking powder, 2 Tbsp. sugar.

Cut in 1/3 cup butter (use the real stuff...margarine just isn't the same.)

Gently mix-in your coconut, pecans, and peaches, coat with the flour mixture.
Stir in 3/4 cup milk. Your dough will be thick and sticky.
Turn out onto your counter and just form it
into a circle approximately 7 inches and 3/4 inch thick.

Cut into 8 wedges.

Brush with a little additional milk and sprinkle with a little sugar.
Bake at 425 for 12-15 minutes.
I did a little longer with the peaches because they were sort of a wet addition.


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/3 cup butter
1/2 - 1 cup of mix-ins (suggestions below)
3/4 cups milk

Stir together flour, baking powder, sugar. Cut in the butter with pastry blender, or two knives until mixture resembles coarse peas. Add in desired mix-in. Add 3/4 cup milk and stir just until dough clings together. On a lightly floured surface, pat dough into a 7 inch circle 3/4 inch thick. Cut into 6 to 8 wedges. Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Brush with additional milk and sprinkle with sugar if desired. Bake in a 425 oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden.

Other mix-in combos:

Chocolate Chips (kids favorite)
Chocolate Chips, 1Tbsp Orange Zest
Chocolate Chips, Coconut
(do you see a theme?)
Dried Fruit....

You get the idea, use the base recipe and make it your own. You could even go 50/50 on the flour and use 1/2 oats 1/2 flour!!


Friday, July 22, 2011

Summer Crafts

I really enjoy working on craft projects.
I do seem to be better at helping the kids get their projects going!
Madeline is good at once we get the goods for a project she is typically focused at getting it done, unlike her mother.

And if we have a project for Madeline I try to find something for Ellie to do too.

So we have two projects here. One for Ellie.

One small canvas.
A bag of colorful colored buttons. (we chose one's in the shape of flowers)
Glue (We used tacky glue)

I drew a block letter of her first initial.

Spread the glue around a section at a time.
Then glue on the buttons.
I helped her a little with spatial relationship, filling in some spots with the smaller buttons.

Madeline wanted to make two more boards to go with her original "Sandy Toes" Canvases blogged here.

We found clip art on the internet for a volleyball and a palm tree.
We then took the copies to get them enlarged to the desired size.

She placed it on her light table to trace out the individual shapes.
(You could also trace your projects by placing your paper on a window.)

If you pick something without too much detail it is a little easier.
She used the outline of the whole ball with pink, and placed patterned/colored
pieces for the detail.

Mod podge was the glue of choice.
Then she glued the whole ball to a white canvas.
And finished with a top coat of modge podge over the whole board.
The palm tree was clip art.
She did the island and water free hand.

Here is the finished product.
Inexpensive, cute, and something she did herself with just a few suggestions from mom :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

We have had a fun summer....school started today.

In the past few weeks we have been busy.
We made a trip to Virginia Beach to see some good family friends.
We went to Water Country USA (not pictured...water and pictures are a difficult mix.)
The next day Busch Gardens, Williamsburg....

It was very, very hot!
But, the lines were short....the local natives must have stayed home!
Look at Ellie's little cheeks!
No complaints from the kids!
Just riding on rides multiple times!
Then off to the beach!
Cristin and I have been friends for approximately 18 years!
Between us we have 7 kids!
The nice thing is even though they moved away 10 years ago the kids all get along great!
We went to their local cupcake store...one of my favorite pastimes.
We all enjoyed them.
The trip home a little difficult.
We got stranded in the Denver airport due to hail damage.
Our first experience sleeping on the floor....it was a little cold.
But, the kids were troopers even little E....
Home for one day we get ready to go to Palm Springs.
Ben and Madeline are making homemade salsa, and bruchetta from our garden tomatoes!
Our view from our condo.
A perfect view of the 16th hole to heckle my brother, dad, husband and son!
A little Marriott boat ride!
It was a good summer vacation!

Here we are at the first day of school already...
Ben a senior, Madeline a "Freshie"
Weird when they drove off to school together this morning....
And little Ellie....off to one more year of preschool!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Fourth of July!

Our 4th of July was just the girls this year!!
Ben went with friends.
Don worked.
Family friends on vacation.
So here is what the girls and I did......
One decorated bike!
Ellie was sooo excited for this!
We parked and rode to the Coronado Parade!
Then on to the beach!
For a little fun in the sun.
Burying Madeline.
A dip in the water.
Ellie following Madeline down to the shore as she was calling it!
We went home.
Cleaned up.
Barbecued Hamburgers and then off to Seaport Village for Fireworks.

We got there a little early to secure a spot.
Brought bubbles to pass the time which was fun until the
grumpy old man 15 feet away said he didn't like it.
Ellie loved the fireworks this year.
She was not afraid of the noise.
It did take us an extra hour to get home due to traffic.
But, it was worth it!
Hope you had a fun 4th!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Peach Crumble Pie!!

We celebrated a little 4th of July Barbeque a couple of days early.
My husband is an airline pilot and will be working on the 4th.
He loves a good barbeque so the day he left we made a good barbeque dinner.

On the menu:
Mashed Potatoes
Corn on the Cob with Cilantro/Lime Butter
Pan Fried Garlic Brussel Sprouts
Garlic Bread
Peach Crumble Pie

I wanted to share a tip to peel peaches easily.
First Score the Peach with a big X.

Drop in boiling water for about 30 seconds, or until skin starts to pull away from peach.

Remove from water when cool enough to handle pull skin away from peach.
This way you don't waste any of the delicious peach.

The Martha Stewart Recipe is from her Everyday Food Magazine.
We made the whole recipe including the crust.
But you could definitely cut a corner and buy the Pilsbury Crust from the refrigerator section.

The crumble was the best part.
(the photo above is before it was mixed)

MMM Peaches
Top with crumble.
Here it is baked.

The main drawback.
It needs to set for an hour and a half after you bake it so plan your time accordingly.

Here is the clan enjoying the feast.
Happy 4th!