Friday, February 25, 2011

Snow - Again!!!

Yes another snow day from school, yes another interruption for the to do list for this morning, yes another inconvenience, yes more snow to shovel, etc....  But my how pretty it is!!!!

"My mouth is filled with your praise, declaring your splendor all day long."  Psalm 71:8

This is definitely a spring snow.  It's heavy, perfect for building a snow man, and you can hear the icicles melting from the gutters all around.  It's heavy on the trees, but looks beautiful. 

Just last week our snow was almost gone, it actually topped at 65 degrees.  My husband and son made this cute little snowman, who melted I think within an hour. 

Have a happy day, spring is almost here!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Maple Syrup Time

Here in NY the sap is running.  When I was a girl my sister and I would take our hand drill, our spickets, and any container that would hold sap and tap a few trees in the woods.  We would strain it through old bandannas and cook it on the wood stove.  Yum Yum Yum!!!!!  These days I just buy it when I can.  I recently bought a gallon of Grade A Medium Amber - a bit too dark for my taste so I have been baking with it too.  I made these yummy tarts for my family over the weekend. 
Some of these are apple and the others are Maple Syrup pecan tarts.  They are similar to pecan pie but with a maple twist. 

Maple Syrup Tarts
12 unbaked pie crust tarts (I made mine in muffin tins and only got 11)
1 egg
1 cup real maple syrup
1 TB. melted butter
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 TB. lemon juice
1/2 c. nuts

Mix all together pour into tarts 2/3 full.  Bake 375 for 20-25 mins.  I let them cool a bit and then placed them into muffin papers.   Enjoy.  We all loved these.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Samaritan's Purse Update

As some of you know I absolutely love Samaritan's Purse, a Christian relief program that helps people not only all over the world but in our country as well.  I love this ministry so much that I sell finger puppets so I can give more to them.  I started my etsy shop last year because I was so moved by the devastation in Haiti and I had no money to help.  So I thought I would make slippers and sell them, well, the slippers never amounted to much but finger puppets have been slowing growing in sales and I am able to help a bit more. 
Let me tell you what Samaritan's purse has been doing there in Haiti over the past year or so:
*10,500 families have had sturdy shelters built for them
*56,000 patients have been cared for
*345,000 people fed

*tons of rubble removed
*clean water and safe sanitation provided for dozens of communities

*250,000 Operation Christmas child boxed delivered

*Orphans being helped
Here is an amazing story of one Haitian man who is helping orphans and how Samaritan's Purse is assisting.
Roseann Dennery reports from Haiti.
What does sacrifice look like?

There are people who give, and there are others who give beyond themselves until there is nothing left. Then they start all over again.

Esaie is one of these people.
Please watch!

That is just a bit of what they are doing. 
Every bit that can be given will make an amazing impact in these peoples lives.

Friday, February 18, 2011

A Valentine's Treat that is delicious anytime

Check out these peanut butter cookies that my mom made us for Valentine's Day.  She wrapped them in a beautiful red box with a cupid on the front.  I wish I had enough energy and a working computer to show you these before, but they were beautiful and yummy.

You make a simple peanut butter cookie dough, roll in balls, flatten them with a cup dipped in sugar, press your thumb two ways in the center to make a heart, and fill with jam.  Yumm, Yumm, Yumm!!!!  My daughter and I made a batch to take to Bible study but we didn't go because I wasn't feeling well and we munched them up.  We made a few without jam and put three chocolate chips in at the end and then swirled with a toothpick.  I also made a few with just a small heart cookie cutter pressed part way in in the center for my son who wanted some without anything.  All great and yummy.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Heart Cookies
1 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1c. peanut butter
1 egg

Cream the butter and sugars, add egg, then dry ingredients.  Roll into balls, flatten with a cup dipped in sugar, impress a heart using your thumb or finger tip (criss cross them).  Bake 350 for about 10 mins, pull out fill heart with jam or jelly bake for about another 5 mins or until firm.  We had to press the heart bake down a bit before we put in the jelly.

The recipe is from Martha Stewart.

MICE!!!!! Good or Bad

Normally I hate mice in my house.  They make me yelp and jump and go running for my husband to get rid of them.  One time I was in the basement doing the laundry and there on the floor in front of my stackable was a dead mouse.  I ran up the stairs and demanded that my husband get it.  My hero went down the stairs and came up snickering.  What?  My mouse was no mouse, it was lint.  Aughhhh!!!!!  So occassionally I get a little jab about my lint mouse.  Again, I do not like mice, but these ones who consumed my life for a day and a half, I liked.

  A lovely lady in Texas ordered these for her Kindermusic class.  Thanks!  It also gave me the opportunity to revamp my old, ugly mouse (who was more like a rat), into this cute little mouse.
Isn't this one much cuter?  I guess if you are into rats the other would do.  But I prefer cute!

Check out my other items at

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Itty Bitty Crafty Thing - #4 Snake Slippers

With the computer down over the weekend and me having some type of bobble head, sick to my stomach weirdo thing I was able to crochet a bit.  We have a little friend who has admired my son's snake slippers and wanted a  pair of his own.  This pattern was adapted from a bootie pattern from Lion brand yarn, then I added eyes and a tongue.  Viola, snakes!  You could add eyes and tongues to socks or any pair of slippers that you have or would make.  Fun and pretty easy.

I'm Back and What I'm Thankful For

My husband!  Look there he is making his famous chicken parm for Valentine's Day.  My husband makes delicious chicken parm, doesn't something made by someone else always taste better.  Besides making a fabulous meal, he set the table, washed the dishes, and has been holding down the fort with his wife not feeling well.  I think my head is not so dizzy this morning, but I have been so thankful for my husband who has been entertaining our son, making sure our daughter gets off to school, and giving me opportunities to rest.  Thank you honey! 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Monday, February 7, 2011

Homemade hamburger buns? Why, when they are so cheap?

Because they are delicious, easy, and inexpensive to make.  Once you try them you will never, ever want to go back to those soft squishy things.  In my opinion, yucky!!!!
These are made in the bread machine, the recipe is so easy, it makes 12-16 depending how big you like your burgers.  I have also made them into dinner rolls for soup (about 24), we use these for sausages, sloppy joe, any kind of sandwich, including pbj for the little guy (no crust to worry about), scrambled egg sandwiches, anything.  I love them and it is hard to resist a fresh one out of the oven.  If I want them for dinner that night I start it around 3pm and we have fresh rolls for dinner at 5:30 - 6:00.

Hamburger Buns
Makes 12 - 16

1 1/4 c. milk or water ( I use warm water - water makes a lighter roll)
1 large egg
1/3 c. oil
3 Tb. sugar/honey
4 c. bread flour ( I use 1 1/2 c. whole wheat and the rest bread flour)
2 tsp. salt (I use a bit less)
2 1/2 tsp. yeast

Place all ingredients in bread machine according to manufacturers directions.  In mine I place them in the order I listed.  Set machine to dough.  When done, divide dough into 12 - 16 pieces.  Form into a ball and place on cookie sheet about 1-2 inches apart so they grow together a bit.  I then go back and flatten the balls with my hand to make them a bit wider and thinner.  Cover and let rise in a warm place for 30 mins.  Bake 375 for 15 to 20 mins, or until lightly browned. 

Enjoy!  I usually pop a few in the freezer to have later.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Friday Finger Puppet of the Week

Here they are: Goldilocks and the Three Bears.  Check out these new cuties in my etsy shop.  Next week, when my printer, scanner is back up and running I hope to show you how to make a bear of your own, along with free pattern.  Stay tuned.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Itty Bitty Crafty Thing #3 - Crystally Painted Hearts

I found this idea in our favorite magazine: Family Fun. 
Simply use
card stock, glue, salt, and food coloring.  

I layed the card stock in a plastic shoe box, I let the little man squeeze glue around and around with my help, sprinkle on salt (or dump it all over like Joshua) and try to shake and knock it around to get into the glue, then with droppers and different colors of diluted food coloring let them drip the colors all over the paper.  Now looking back I would use the little food coloring dropper bottles like I did with the snow in the last post.  It is a bit challenging for a little one to really grasp the concept of a dropper. 
Let this crazy paper dry and knock off the extra salt.  I loved the look of the paper, but what to do with it?  So I cut out a heart, glued it on red paper, punched a hole,  don't forget to let your little one put the string through the hole (Joshua was excited about that), and hung it up. 
Joshua wanted it on the door, but I later moved it to the window.  I love cheery Valentine's Day!

Snowy Day Fun for the Little One

My son Joshua is 2 1/2 years old  and he has a mind of his own and will not budge from the way he feels everything should go.  Saying that, he will not wear snow pants, snow suit, or even double pants to go outside.  On a mild winter day with a couple of inches on the ground, I just put on heavy sweat pants and we are fine for about 1/2 hour to 1 hour.  With the weather we have had the last two days here in NY, snow, freezing rain, ice, and no school for two days, I wouldn't qualify for Mommy of the Year if I just let him go out with sweat pants.  So I brought the snow to him.  This blue table is a water and sand table I got from Walmart last summer, I threw it in the basement so I could pull it out this winter.  I layed a large towel underneath, my daughter and her friend brought in snow, and Joshua went to town.  I gave him food coloring sqeeze bottles (when these were empty I saved them - just pop the tiny top, add a drop of color, and top off with water). 

He loved making all the colors and then he decided to "cook" in his kitchen (behind him) with his snow and squeeze bottles.  He was occupied for probably a good hour and was fascinated when he came back later and the snow was all melted.  He just had a science lesson and didn't know it.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Cold and Snowy, Make baked Oatmeal

Nothing too exciting to look at, but oh so very yummy.  I am not a fan of cooked oatmeal and neither is my son.  I love granola, but sometimes it is a bit tiresome to chew, so this is what we like.  I bake it very thin, I use my rectangle pizza pan or you could use a jelly roll pan.

 I lift it up with a spatula, crumble in the bowl and pour milk over top, and nut, raisins, whatever.  I don't add any extra sugar.  You could eat it plan but it does crumble a bit.  The original recipe says to bake it in a 9x13 pan, which I am guessing would be easier to cut it and eat it that way.  You can play around with the recipe.  I use half the sugar and instead of butter use half the amount in oil.  Sometimes I put in a banana or applesauce in place of some of the oil.  I did find out that quick oats are better for little ones, the old fashion tend to be too chewy.  Enjoy!!

Baked Oatmeal
3 c. oats
1c. brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp.  baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 c. milk
2 eggs
1/2 c. melted butter
2 tsp. vanilla
dried fruit or nuts optional

Mix together pour into greased 9x13 or pizza pan.  Bake 350 25- 40 mins depending on thickness/ or until it is firm to the touch. 

Itty Bitty Crafty Thing #2 - Kitchen Towels

Well, I was busy over the weekend with some kitchen projects and not puppets.  Nothing amazing but necessary.  Last week my son and I went to our local thrift store and poked around, we like doing that once or twice a month.  He is thrilled with the old phones, coffee pots, toys, and balls.  We look for videos and books, and once in a while find a piece of clothing for him.  This week I found 4 very nice kitchen towels, that looked almost new for .39 a piece.  They were that nice woven Indian cotton.  I brought them home and they sat for a while.  I could use them as is, cut them in half and make napkins (which I need), or sew a topper thing onto it with a button to make one of those cute hanging towel things.  Love my description?  So they sat for a few days and then I got inspired.  I sewed the ends of two towels together so I could drape it over the rod.  I love having a generous towel hanging next to the sink.  I did pin it in the middle with a diaper pin to hold it in place.  Love it.
 Why these pictures turn sideways I do not know.  Can anyone help?

I also got inspired to take a table cloth that I got from the thrift store for $1.49 and cut it into 16 napkins and sat for about an hour sewing around the edges.  I love my new napkins, my old ones are too bad to even be rags. 
Lastly I got inspired to take two smaller hand towels, sew them together and create this sort of whimsical hand towel for Valentines Day.  I love it and won't feel bad when it gets trashed.  So for about $3 and a little change I got 16 "new napkins, 2 double length dish towels, and a creative Valentine hand towel.  Not too bad.  Now that is frugal.