Thursday, August 25, 2011

Fruit Rainbow--Fun Snack for Kids

I saw something fun on Pinterest the other day and wanted to recreate. My kids do NOT eat enough fruit, so I thought I'd give this ago. The original idea pinned was for St. Patrick's day, a fruit rainbow with a pot o' gold (bananas) but it's neither March, nor do we celebrate St. Patrick's Day in our house.

So today I decided on a whim, at the grocery store, to grab the required fruits to make this little cutie.

Want to make your own?
Grab fruits in all shades of the rainbow and some whipped cream. Cut them as needed and arrange on a tray lined with wax paper (for easy cleanup!). I also grabbed some cream cheese dip for the grownups! :) I added some whipped cream clouds too.

Get some toothpicks and enjoy!
Our friend's kids were over and enjoyed the rainbow with us!

Happy eating!~~mama

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Gluten Free Oreo Cheesecake Cupcakes read right! I am slowly working my way through my "to cook/bake" category over on my Pinterest.
This week I tried the Cookies and Cream Cheesecake Cupcakes found here.

Since I'm gluten free, these kind of recipes would have previously depressed me.....I would have chalked it up to yet another recipe I couldn't eat because it wasn't gluten free. But, AHA! They DO make Gluten Free Oreo style cookies! Both Kinninnick and Glutino companies make them!

So I took the above recipe and tried it with the GF oreos! Viola....

DELISH!!! Sooooooooo good. Unless you have a large group to feed, I highly suggest cutting the recipe in half or you may suffer death by cupcakes. Seriously...I need restraints to keep me away from these things.
Go for it....enjoy!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Handmade Life....

It's no secret, I love handmade, homemade, heartmade, whatever you want to call it. If it can be made with your brain, heart, and two hands (and sometimes feet!) I like love it. So I've declared war. War against mass manufactured items.
Obviously, not EVERYTHING in life can be handmade, at least not cost effeicently. But, for this upcoming school year (2011-2012, I measure my life in school years! LOL) I declare it, The Year of Handmade.

Handmade is not new to me, nor you if you have read this blog for any length of time. It is, indeed, my livelihood, and how I make a few pennies to spend here and there. But there are a lot of things in life I take the shortcut with. And I think it's time to stop.

It will be baby steps, I'm sure. But I will let you know how things go along the way!

First Mission:
Use up all store bought laundry soap, dish soap, and cleaning supplies. This is hard since I am also a couponer and have amassed quite a stock in cleaning supplies. But I vow to use it all up and make my own healthier, cleaner, cheaper versions! It's really not THAT hard. I keep recipes and ideas organized on my Pinterest boards. I've made many of them before, but just didn't keep it up. Well, now is the time!

Second Mission:
Bake/Cook More, including stocking up the freezer with ready to go meals. Now, we only eat out maybe 1x a week. So we don't have a problem eating IN....but *I* have a problem with loving cooking. You can read about it in my latest Real Housewives of NOLA post.

So those are my first two missions for the coming months....I hope to slowly add more and share my progress. Do you have any ways you choose homemade over mass-made?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

2011-2012 Reading List

I've decided that while my children are in school, it's a great time to get more reading in! So I am making my 2011-2012 Reading List. On it will be books I can choose from to read, at least one per month. If I go through them faster, awesome, but at least one per month for the school year (9 months.)
So here we go!

In no particular order:

Tomatoland: How modern industrial agriculture destroyed our most alluring fruit.

Better Off.

The World According to Monsanto

The 4 Hour Workweek

I am Number Six

Possible Side Effects

Sophie's Choice

In Defense of Food

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

The Backyard Homestead

 Eat, Pray, Love

The Hangman's Daughter

Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter

The Happiness Project


The Handmade Marketplace


Born on a Blue Day

Sarah's Key

As you can see, most my choices are non-fiction, but that's just the place I am right now. And it's obviously more than 9, because I want to follow my mood, not a list! :)

What's on your reading list??

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Summer Fun--Rad Rainbow Rice

School is literally  just around the corner, but I thought I'd make my boys some rainbow rice I've been seeing all over Pinterest. Not that I'm new to rice therapy bins, sensory boxes, or whatever you want to call them. I used them as a preschool teacher and with my second child as part of his autism therapy.

But I'd never bothered to color it. (So I was lazy, yeah.)
You can find more tutorials on the net but basically, I did this:

Put parchment paper or aluminum foil on cookie sheets and set the oven to 175 degrees.

Take rubbing alcohol or vinegar and put 1-2 tablespoons of it with desired amount of food coloring in a glass jar. (I used mason jars). Pour 1.5-2.5 cups of white uncooked rice in the jar. (how much you add depends on size of your jar). Shake vigorously. This is a great activity for kids, just take care with the jar....dropping the jar could be a not so fun experience.

Add more food coloring if you need. Pour the colored rice on the covered cookie sheet. Spread it around with a spoon to get a thin layer (which will dry faster.) Put the sheet of rice in the over for about 15 minutes to dry. Check it and put it back in for 5-10 minutes if need be until the rice is dry.

Once the rice is dried and cooled, I spooned some of it into smaller mason jars for safe keeping because I know I will vacuum up most of the rice soon.

Repeat this for every color you want.

My fave color:

I put the rest in a plastic tub for the boys to play with. Add in spoons, cups, siphons, animals, trucks, cars, bugs, and more for some fun sensory time! Encourage your child to fill cups, measure, level off, pour, hide animals, and more!




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