One Lovely Blog Award

It was so sweet of Diane at dwittopinions to nominate me for the One Lovely Blog Award!

She posts lots of great recipes that I hope to try sometime soon…go check out her blog!

The guidelines for accepting this award are as follows:
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their blog in your post.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Nominate about 15 other blogs that you enjoy.
4. Let the nominees know that you chose them.

You can find out some things about me in the About Me section and also in my post accepting the Kreativ Blogger Award. I’ll try and think of 7 more things, though it might be hard!

1. I love lists. It’s the only way I can remember anything!
2. I was still gutting and remodeling our previous home when I was 8 mos. pregnant.
3. I wish more people would go to shelters and adopt pets rather than buying them from stores and breeders.
4. I love having dance parties in the kitchen while cleaning up.
5. One of my favorite movies is “Catch Me If You Can” with Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio
6. I never understood why the response to “How do you spell ___?” was “Look it up in the dictionary.” Made no sense.
7. I have a ton of things in my purse for those “just in case” moments. Ask and I probably have it in there!

And here’s the list of bloggers that I nominate for the One Lovely Blog Award:

1. Go Bake Yourself
2. The Thing About Joan…
3. Tabkhet el yom
4. College Saving Dolls
5. LadyRomp
6. hippie itch
7. Ode to Inspiration
8. dwittopinions
9. maggiesonebuttkitchen
10. Danny’s Kitchen
11. Tales and Travels of the Tinman
12. miki’s kitchen
13. make me cake me
14. Texana’s Kitchen
15. Sweet Southern Comfort

Thank you all for sharing what you love and keeping it interesting! Thank you, Diane, for thinking of me…

Mini Chili Pepper Piñatas ~ A craft for Cinco de Mayo!

As Cinco de Mayo approaches, I thought I’d show you how to make these fun little piñatas that look like chili peppers. The kids (8 & up) can help you because they are easy peasy. They are perfect for a party and can be filled with whatever your guests like. I filled some of mine with candy and some with pumpkin seeds (to resemble the pepper seeds). The kids just rip open the “pepper” and enjoy the treats inside! This would also be fun to make for the whole class (but get those kids to help!).

This is how big they are when finished:

Aren’t they neat? I found this idea in a Family Fun magazine years ago and I think this is the first year I remembered to make them before Cinco de Mayo came and went!

Here are the supplies you need:

  • Empty toilet paper tube
  • 9 inch x 9 inch square piece of green tissue paper – one square for each pepper (check the dollar store)
  • 45 inch length of red crepe paper/streamer – for each pepper (check the dollar store)
  • Scissors
  • Scotch tape
  • Glue stick
  • Treats to fill the piñata, like M&M’s, Skittles, pumpkin seeds, etc.

Start by making a cut along the length of the toilet paper tube. Roll it into a cone shape and tape it closed.

Take your 9″x9″ piece of green tissue paper and lay it flat. Lay the toilet paper cone on top of it, down near the corner. Roll the tissue into a cone shape as well, keeping the point closed and secure.

Secure the tissue cone with tape in a few spots and remove the toilet paper cone from inside. (You will use the same toilet paper cone for all the ones you make.)

Fill the tissue cone with candy or other small treats, about 5 inches up from the bottom. You need to leave some room for the pepper “stem”. After it’s about 5 inches full, tightly twist the top closed to make a stem. If it’s too long you can snip it a little. If it’s not staying twisted, just stick a little piece of tape on the stem to keep it in place.

Cut a 45 inch piece of red crepe paper, and fold it accordian style every 5 inches. (Fold it one way and then back the other way). Take your scissors and make 1/4″ slits, but leave about 1/4″ at the top. Do not cut all the way up – you will need this 1/4″ of uncut paper to glue to the pepper.

Unfold the red crepe paper and lay flat. Take your filled tissue chili pepper and place it on the red paper as shown (with the pepper’s point at one end of the fringe):

Using a glue stick, put some glue on the uncut top edge of the red crepe paper fringe. I did this a section at a time so the glue didn’t get everywhere on my work surface. Slowly wrap the fringe around the pepper in a tight upward spiral, sticking the glue down as you go. You want to make sure you cover the green paper as best as you can, and wind it in a spiral fashion.

Wrap all the way to the stem and trim off any excess fringe. If there are any strays sticking out in your fringe, you can cut them when you are finished…and/or bend the pepper into a curved shape.

When the glue is dry, the piñatas can be ripped open by bending them with a little pressure!

And that’s it! The more you make, faster this will go. If you are making a bunch, cut your green tissue squares and your red crepe paper lengths ahead of time.

What a fun and colorful presentation these mini chili pepper piñatas would make sitting in a bowl or on a platter for a fiesta!



Dyeing Easter Eggs ~ 3 Fun Techniques

Originally that 3 was supposed to be a 6. I had planned to give you more. Much more. But you’ll have to settle for the three techniques I’m going to show you because my patience (and hard cooked eggs) ran out. All three are easy and the kidlets will have an egg-citing time.

1. Tie-Dye It

2. Rubber Band It

3. Stick It

You’ll need a bunch of hard boiled or hard cooked eggs. Recently I saw on Pinterest this method for baking your eggs in the oven, right on the racks. I thought I’d give it a try because I can never get them right when I boil them, and there’s always a few that crack in the pot. The method is from Alton Brown’s cookbook, I’m Just Here for the Food — which I actually have, but I must have skipped over that part because I don’t eat hard cooked eggs. Anyway, it’s a great method, especially when you have so many to do for dyeing. Here is the oven method which I’d recommend. I just filled up my rack with about 2 1/2 dozen, baked them and did the cooling thing. Use clean, dry, room temperature eggs for these dyeing methods.

Let’s Tie Dye some eggs! You’ll need about 8-10 hard cooked eggs, food coloring, 1/2 cup vinegar and a colander that won’t stain (coated metal or stainless steel). Place eggs carefully in colander in the kitchen sink and splash the vinegar over them.

Drip some yellow food coloring over the eggs.

Now you want to slowly and gently swirl the colander for a few seconds so the color spreads around. Let the eggs sit for a minute or two.

Take a second color and drop one drop on each egg, then swirl the colander around very gently and only for a few seconds. (If you do this for too long, or you add too much color then the colors start to mix together and the effect won’t be what you want.) Let the second color sit for a minute or two.

You may add a third color, but not more than 3 or else the eggs will just get muddy looking. I tried 3 colors, but did not like the outcome. Mine got muddy after using 3 colors, so I recommend only using 2 colors. You can always do this twice, with 2 different sets of colors each time. Or maybe the 3 colors will work for you!

After your second (or third if you’re feeling lucky) color has set for a couple of minutes, lightly rinse with water. LIGHTLY. You don’t want to wash off the color or let it all mix together. Let them drain in the colander for a few minutes and then air dry on paper towels.

This is what I got:

This one I liked because the outcome looks abstract and you can use a few rubber bands or a lot of rubber bands. You’ll need hard cooked eggs, rubber bands, food coloring, small deep bowls (or mugs) and vinegar. Boil enough water to have 1 cup for each color you want to use. Pour 1 cup boiling water into each bowl. Add 1 tablespoon vinegar to each bowl. Add several drops of food coloring to each bowl. I used about 10 drops each. Stir gently to combine. Time to grab those rubber bands and have fun wrapping your eggs. You can have them going all the same way, or wrap them both across and up and down. It’s hard to get them around the ends, so don’t get frustrated or you’ll crack! Or your egg will. Or both. (See that wiggly rubber band on the egg? That bothered my Virgo fibers.)

Carefully dunk the egg into one of the colors and wait…

Remove it when it has reached the desired shade and let dry. Do a few more and have fun! I did one that has a couple tones because I removed some rubber bands and then put it in another color. When the eggs are dry enough, remove the rubber bands.

Your eggs won’t have those weird spots because your eggs will be nice and dry and at room temperature before you start, right? Don’t make the mistake I did. I baked them one day and stuck them in the fridge. The next day I didn’t have the time to let them come up to room temperature when I dyed them and they had some condensation. Even patting them dry left little spots on my eggs. Booo…

This one is very easy, but it is crucial that your eggs are dry or else your stickers won’t stick. I just grabbed (ok, stole) some stickers from my daughter’s collection and stuck them on some eggs. She had some stars and some alphabet stickers that worked well. One large letter as a monogram would be nice. Some round dots work fine, too, as well as those reinforcements you buy for binders. You can even cut out some designs with masking tape I would guess. Use whatever you have around the house in the sticky department! (I have seen rubber cement used as well.)

After you stick whatever you have found on your eggs, gently dunk them in the colors you have leftover from the rubber band method. (If you have skipped that one, you’ll have to go back up there and get your colors ready.) When the desired color is reached, remove and drain until dry. Remove stickers gently. You may have to scrape off any leftover adhesive residue. And that’s it!

I hope you try one, if not all, of these techniques for dyeing your Easter eggs. Let me know if you have any questions…or better yet share your favorite techniques!

Happy Dunking!