Saturday, December 20, 2014

Fortune Cookies

Last year I wanted to try a new type of cookie. Of course we still made gingerbread men and sugar cookies, but we also made fortune cookies! The boys loved them, although they were a little time consuming to make. We tried a couple different recipes before we finally found this one and it worked great! (I can't remember where I found it, but it is a pretty good recipe.)


Ingredients:
  • 8 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 large egg whites
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 teaspoons water
  • Fortunes written on paper to fit in the cookies (make these before you make the cookies!)
  • Cookie sheets
  • Food coloring, optional
  • Icing or melted white chocolate, sprinkles, optional

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Grease cookie sheets.
  2. In a small/medium bowl, lightly beat the egg white, almond extract, vanilla extract, and vegetable oil until frothy (but not stiff).
  3. Sift the flour, cornstarch, sugar and salt together into another bowl.
  4. Add water to the flour mix and stir together.
  5. Add flour mixture to egg mixture and combine well.
  6. Add food coloring (optional).
  7. Scoop a tablespoon of batter and place on cookie sheet. I did two at a time, maybe three at most. Gently tilt the cookie sheet around to spread the batter out to form about a 4 inch diameter circle.
  8. Bake about 14-15 minutes, until outer edge is golden brown.
  9. Remove from oven and work quickly to form a fortune cookie!
    1. Place cookie in your hand and place fortune in the middle.
    2. Fold cookie in half and pull edges over the rim of a glass. I used a paper towel to handle the cookies so I wouldn't get burned.
    3. You can place the cookie inside a muffin tin to help keep the shape.


For Christmas, I dipped the middle of the cookie in white chocolate and added on Christmas sprinkles.

Eugene, the Elf Day 14

Eugene wanted to keep the kids busy this morning, so he hid mini candy canes throughout the house for them to find.

Friday, December 19, 2014

My Holiday Posts Links

Christmas is next week and if you need ideas, I have a few!

GIFT IDEAS:


FUN/ACTIVITIES/CRAFTS:


    Eugene, the Elf: Day 13

    Higgins was hoping Eugene would come to his room too. Now that he has a clean bill of health, it looks like he got his wish!

    Thursday, December 18, 2014

    Wednesday, December 17, 2014

    Eugene, the Elf: Day 11

    Eugene decided to hide out in Bernardo's room. After seeing Higgins up all night with a stomach bug, Eugene was too tired to be creative. He did startle a yell out of Bernardo when he saw him though!

    Tuesday, December 16, 2014

    Eugene, the Elf: Day 10

    Sorry for the late post! My morning got away from me.

    Eugene didn't want the kids sneaking downstairs early this morning, I guess.

    Monday, December 15, 2014

    Sunday, December 14, 2014

    Christmas Present Ideas

    I can't believe Christmas is in a week and a half! I still have plenty of shopping, wrapping, and cookies to bake. In case you are like me and still need to do some shopping, here are some of my gift ideas. I've added some new ones (my favorite new ones are the whiskey balls and glasses Hubby got last year!).


    Eugene, the Elf: Day 8

    Eugene left the popcorn snowman cups for the kids to find.




    Saturday, December 13, 2014

    Popcorn Snowman Cups

    I feel like Christmas is sneaking up on me way too quickly and I'm not getting anything done that I wanted too. I normally make fun snacks and crafts with the kids, and haven't done any of that yet this year. I made these cute snowman cups for snacks. I am going to fill with popcorn (like little snowballs) but it could be used for anything.
    I drew on the eyes, mouth, buttons with a Sharpie. I cut out a triangle from orange construction paper, and taped it on (if you had an orange Sharpie that would be easier). I had ribbon out from wrapping a present and used it to make the scarves.

    While I made these today, I think Eugene is going to leave them as a surprise for tomorrow.

    Eugene, the Elf, Day 7

    Eugene apparently had poker night last night. It looks like they found the kids drink shaped bottles of flavored jelly beans (7-Up and Dr. Pepper) and the jelly beans I got for Hubby too. Crazy toys. It looks like Eugene is winning though.

    Friday, December 12, 2014

    Reindeer Food

    Higgins came home with this from school the other day and it is super cute! It's really easy to make too.
    You will need:


    Directions:
    1. Mix together oats and glitter to create the filling/reindeer food.
    2. Fill bag 1/2 to 3/4 full. Make sure to leave room to twist tie the bag shut with the pipe cleaners.
    3. Wrap pipe cleaners around top of bag to close and create the antlers.
    4. Attach eyes and nose.

    Eugene, the Elf, Day 6


    Eugene was very daring this morning as he zip-lined from the ceiling fan to the Christmas tree. He wasn't very safe about either; I don't see a safety harness or anything! 


    Thursday, December 11, 2014

    Eugene, the Elf, Day 5

    It looks like Eugene recovered, only to be attacked by zombies! Good thing he found some plants to help out and extra peas to throw...


    Wednesday, December 10, 2014

    Tuesday, December 9, 2014

    Eugene, the Elf, Day 3

    Eugene was apparently feeling a little peckish and made himself a snack in the pantry...now I feel like eating a s'more!


    Monday, December 8, 2014

    Sunday, December 7, 2014

    Eugene is Back!

    Eugene came back on St. Nick's Day. This time he was sliding down the tree!



    The sled was made from 2 graham crackers "glued" onto two candy canes with icing. A ribbon was tied around the curved part of the candy canes to create a handle. And finally, the snow was a piece of batting!

    Friday, December 5, 2014

    Eugene's (Our Elf) Past Experiences

    We've had Eugene, our Elf On The Shelf, for a few years now. I was trying to find another cheap "doll only" so that both boys would have one when they have their own kids. (I didn't have any luck since all I could find was the plush type.)

    I then realized I had no plans for Eugene this year and he's supposed to come out tomorrow on St. Nick's Day. He's had some pretty fun adventures in the past, but I had no ideas yet for this year. Granted, most days he just moved from ceiling fan to hanging onto a cupboard knob. Some days he didn't move at all. However, Higgins had been asking about him. I went through old adventures to try and come up with new ones.

    Here are some of Eugene's more exciting times:
    Seriously, I thought I had a few more exciting ones in the bunch! I don't plan on having crazy things everyday (especially if it involves lots of clean up), but I think I should come up with 1 or 2 more.

    Wednesday, December 3, 2014

    Don't Forget Saturday Is St. Nick's Day!

    Do you celebrate St. Nick's Day? Every year on December 6th, I remember waking up looking for my stocking full of goodies. Not everyone celebrates St. Nick's Day; it's popular in European countries and in German and Dutch communities. I grew up in a city with strong German roots and St. Nick's Day was always celebrated. My mom had never heard of it until she came here for college. When they told her to put a shoe outside her door at night, I think she thought they were nuts!

    Who Was St. Nick?
    St. Nicholas was basically the model for the jolly man himself (Santa Claus). St. Nicholas was from a wealthy family and would secretly give out gifts to people. The story I remember hearing was about a father who had three daughters. He was poor and could not afford dowries for the girls. Without the dowry the girls would probably become...night workers. Nicholas threw a bag of gold coins for each daughter into the house through a window at night. (Some accounts have it over 1 night, 3 nights, or even 3 years.)

    How To Celebrate:
    Growing up, we each had our own stocking that we put out the night before St. Nick's Day. My husband would put his Christmas List in his stocking for Santa to pick up. However, other people put out shoes instead of stockings. The night of December 5th, place a stocking or shoe outside the children's door(s) and fill it with goodies. In the morning (on December 6th), open the stockings!

    This year's stocking stuffers: Candy Cane Tootsie Pops,
    Crayon Rings, Etch A Sketch, Coloring Books, Candy

    Stocking Stuffer Ideas:
    • "Gold" $1 coins in honor of the bags of gold coins St. Nicholas gave
    • Candy (I just picked up cute soda flavored jelly beans in a small soda shaped bottle at Target.)
    • Small games
    • Books or Comic Books
    • Small stuffed animals
    • Coins/Money
    • Barrettes
    • Hot chocolate mix
    • Lego's (Bernardo is into Ninjago right now, while Higgins does better with a box of Lego's he can create his own inventions with.). Lego also has Ornaments: There are several to choose from. Kids build the Lego figure and place them inside a clear round ornament to hang on the tree. The boys each got one last year and loved them!
    • Small toys
    • Special ornament (We get each kid an ornament every year. It has their name and the year on it. We try to make it special for that year. Examples include an apple/desk/pencil if they started school, a horse for their first horse ride, an ornament from vacation, a train if they took a train ride, etc.)
    • Pez Dispensers (I loved getting these every year. I used to have a small collection, but now I have no idea where it is. They come in so many varieties you are sure to find one for boys or girls.) They have Christmas, Star Wars, Avengers, Scooby Doo set, even Presidents, etc.
    • Flashlight (Higgins got his own flashlight last year and it has outlived the previous one. Luckily it seems he learned his lesson that you can't put a flashlight in the toilet and expect it to still work.)
    • Crayons/Colored Pencils/Markers
    • Stickers
    • Toothbrush
    • Temporary tattoos
    • For older kids: gift cards to a movie theater, laser tag, their favorite store, iTunes, Amazon
    • New earbuds for the computer, i-pod, etc.
    • Chapstick (or lip gloss)
    • Chocolate coins
    • Hot Wheels/Matchbox Cars
    • Small fruit (clementines, apples)
    • Hexbugs
    • Gum
    • Compass
    • Small Nerf Guns
    • Mighty Beanz
    • DVD: Target's $5 shelf is great for these. The boys sometimes get a joint St. Nick gift of a DVD.
    • Elf On The Shelf. Eugene orginally came to us on St. Nick's Day.


    LINKS
    St. Nicholas, Wiki
    http://www.stnicksday.com/

    Friday, November 21, 2014

    Thanksgiving Word Hunt

    It's hard to believe that Thanksgiving is next week. I have no idea where November went. The kids are super excited because they love turkey (and the two days off of school don't hurt either!). I thought I would try a Thanksgiving themed Word Hunt with Bernardo this year.

    I have some of the words we came up with at the bottom, but I'm sure there are plenty more! I also let him add an 's' to the end of words to come up with new ones, as well as names.

    To Print:  Right click on image, Save As/Save to Computer. Open or Right click, Print.


    HINTS: Break the words down and put the letters in alphabetical order. Use rhyming to help come up with more words!

    Possible Words:
    Ihahehi
    atasahansiit
    isiniffaehthe
    tantagtattiatietin
    teatenhathashaghit
    henateantAnnAnaash
    askageaveAvaaftnat
    nitnetkitkinKenkeg
    shesatsansagskisit
    sinsissetseagasgag
    gingiggetgenitsIan
    inkvatvanviavievet
    fatfanfitfinfigfie
    eateggEvathanthaithat
    thentanktanstangtaketags
    tinetinttiketiesteakteas
    tenstentTesstesthatsHank
    hanghavehafthitshinthike
    hisshivehiesheathefthens
    antsantianteankhAnnAnne
    akinasksagesAsia
    Nate
    NashnagsNitabaitniteNike
    nighNinaninenetsneatnest
    Kateknitkithkitskiteking
    kisskievkentkegsStanstag
    shinsatesheasanksangsane
    sanssakisakesagesagasags
    savesafesashsnagsnitskit
    skinskissitesitssinksing
    sinesinssighsignsiftseth
    setsseatsSeanseassentsega
    gateganggashgaitgaingave
    gnatGinagistgivegigsgift
    getsgentinksIvanisisIkea
    vatsvansvanevastvasevain
    vinevisavisevetsventvest
    veinfatsfatefansfangfake
    fastfitsFiatfinsfinefist
    fishfigsfivefetafeatfest
    fatseatseasteggsEvanthank
    thinkthinsthingthinethieftheft
    tankstangstakentakestaskstaste
    tainttingetinestintstikestight
    tithetitanteakstenthtentstests
    hangshasteHaitihavenhintshinge
    hikeshivesheatshennaheisthefts
    antesangstashenAngieAnitaashes
    assetagingagentagateagainavian
    avastnaivenavesnitesnightNisan
    ninthninesnestsneighknaveKatie
    knitknitsknifekiteskingsKieth
    Kevinstankstakestagestagsstain
    stavestashstatestatsstinksting
    stintsteaksteinshakeshaveShane
    shaftshineshinsshiftshiessheaf
    sheiksatinsatesSantasangssages
    saintsavessafessnakesnagssnits
    sneakskateskitsskinsskiessites
    sinkssingessingssightsighssigns
    siftsseatsgatesgasesgaitsgains
    gnatsgnashgiantgivengivesgifts
    geniigentsinsetinanevanesvast
    vasesvinesvistavisitviesvents
    vestsveganveinsfatesfangsfakes
    faithfaintfinesfistsfightfives
    featsfeastfestsfeintfeigneight
    Ethan
    thefts
    knight
    Tahiti
    thanks
    taking
    things
    tastes
    thinks
    tinges
    thesis
    tights

    tithes
    hasten
    Athens
    afghan

    Titans
    havens
    Athena
    native
    tenant
    hastes
    asking
    Viking
    tennis
    having
    assign

    tenths
    hinges
    assent

    hankie
    hiking
    aghast

    Friday, November 7, 2014

    Identify This: Part 71

    Do you know what it is?



















    ANSWER:
    Brussels Sprout plant! We tried growing two plants this year since hubby and Higgins love my grilled brussels sprouts recipe. We got a decent yield, but it took forever for them to grow. Next year, I think we'll just buy them at the store.





    Thursday, October 30, 2014

    Halloween Coloring Page

    To Print:  Right click on image, Save As/Save to Computer. Open or Right click, Print.

    Wednesday, October 29, 2014

    Halloween Links

    It's getting closer to Halloween! We carved our pumpkin last night and roasted the seeds (so yummy!). If you need any last minute Halloween ideas, here are some ideas :) 
    ACTIVITIES:

    FOOD:

    CRAFT:

    TIPS: