Thursday, June 30, 2011

Homemade Playdough

It's been a manic summer.
Seems like it has been either in the 70's and rainy or 103!
Either way we are stuck inside, so we have found some fun indoor activities to keep us busy from
Skip to My Lou's site.

One has been making homemade playdough. It turned out really well and has kept well wrapped in a baggie.
I doubled her recipe and it made the right amount for us to split between 3 kids.
Give it a try!

Homemade Playdough
from homemade by Jill

Ingredients needed:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tarter
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • food coloring

  1. Combine all ingredients (except food coloring) in a medium-sized saucepan.
  2. Stir over medium heat until smooth.
  3. Stir continuously until the dough balls (about 1-2 minutes). Remove from heat.

  1. When dough is cool enough to handle, knead until smooth.
  2. Form into a ball.
  3. Divide into as many colors as you'd like to make. A single batch makes a good amount for four colors.

  1. Add food coloring to the divided dough. Gel food coloring works quite well. I have not tried liquid food coloring.
  2. Knead the food coloring into the dough. To protect your counter top, knead over wax paper. To protect your hands, wear plastic or rubber gloves, if you have them (you could also put the dough and food coloring inside a ziplock bag and have the kids squish it around inside).
  3. When the dough is a consistent color, ball and set aside.

  1. Repeat with the rest of your colors.
  2. Put the dough in separate containers. Toddler-sized snack containers are a good size, and I have also wrapped the colors individually in wax paper and stored in zip-lock baggies.
  3. Store in an airtight container until ready to use. It will stay soft for several weeks if stored airtight.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Fabric Flowers

I was given a free bag at a food show and decided to dress it up and make it more usable by adding some fabric flowers.

Here's how to make them:

I made two different sized flowers. The large ones started with a 8x8 square of fabric and ended up being around 3 1/2 inches round. The smaller ones were made from a 6x6 square and ended up forming a 2 1/2 inch flower.

If you make some, I'd love to hear what you use these for!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Bloomin' Onion Bread

This is a tasty and fun appetizer or side dish to any meal. Can't go wrong with buttery, cheesy, onion bread!

Bloomin' Onion Bread
from The Girl Who Ate Everything

1 unsliced loaf sourdough bread
12-16 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, thinly sliced
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup finely diced green onion
2 teaspoons poppy seeds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut the bread lengthwise and widthwise without cutting through the bottom crust. This can be a little tricky going the second way but the bread is very forgiving.

Place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Insert cheese slices between cuts. Combine butter, onion, and poppy seeds. Drizzle over bread. Wrap in foil; place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
Unwrap the bread and bake 10 more minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Summer Shortcake

This recipe comes from Martha and was quite easy to prepare, yet looks like you spent a lot of time! It is basically a sweet biscuit dough shaped into two large circles that you bake and layer with whipped cream and berries.
Give it a try!

Summer Shortcake
from Martha Stewart

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 8 ounces cold cream cheese, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, plus more for brushing
  • Raw sugar or fine sanding sugar, for sprinkling
  • 2 pints blueberries
  • 2 pints strawberries, hulled (small berries left whole, large berries halved lengthwise)
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 cups (1 pint) heavy cream
  1. Make the biscuits: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a food processor, pulse flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until combined. Add butter, and pulse until largest pieces are the size of peas. Add cream cheese, and pulse again until largest pieces are the size of peas. Add buttermilk, and pulse until dough comes together. Transfer to a bowl, and gently knead into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rest in the refrigerator at least 1 hour (or overnight).

  2. Divide dough in half. Working with one portion at a time on a lightly floured work surface, pat into a disk, then roll into a 10-inch round. Transfer to baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

  3. Brush biscuits with buttermilk. Generously sprinkle raw or sanding sugar over tops and sides. Brush off sugar from parchment. Bake until dough has risen slightly and is golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes (if bottoms brown too quickly, reduce temperature to 400 degrees). Leave biscuits on sheets. Using a 2 1/2-inch star cutter, cut out (but do not remove) 7 stars from one biscuit while it is still warm. Let cool.

  4. Using a paring knife, carefully remove star shapes. Reserve for snacking or another use. (Biscuits can be made up to 8 hours ahead; store on wire racks, and cover loosely with plastic wrap.)

  5. Make the filling: Combine blueberries, strawberries, and 2 tablespoons sugar, and let macerate until juicy, 10 minutes.

  6. Just before serving, beat cream to medium peaks with remaining tablespoon sugar and the vanilla.

  7. Assemble the cake: Place uncut biscuit on a large plate. Spoon half the berries and their juices on top of biscuit, then spread the whipped cream over berries. Top with all but about 1/2 cup berries. (Make sure surface is even; it will support the top biscuit and prevent it from breaking.) Carefully place cutout biscuit on top. Fill star cutouts with reserved berries. Serve immediately, or refrigerate, uncovered, up to 3 hours.