I tried to be wordless. However, it’s just not going to happen. This winter has been pretty weird. We’ve gotten massive dumps of snow (around two feet), followed by a warm spell that allows the heaps of snow to turn into ice, then rain to make the conditions even worse… and right after the mess is all cleaned up, we get another massive snow dump. While I was shoveling, I took the kids out to play so that they can get some of their energy out. [Read more…]
It’s been a while since I’ve done Train Track Tuesday. The reasons why are for another post, but now that it’s done, you can see that Norton and Eudora are having a great time playing together! Our trains are a mixture of elements, but all of them are the wooden track that work together so well.
Elements used (aff. links):
Chuggington Wooden Railway Double-Decker Roundhouse
Chuggington Wooden Railway Koko & Hodge’s Clock Tower Set
Thomas Wooden Railway Flynn & Water Tower Figure 8 Railroad Track Set 21 Piece
Thomas And Friends Wooden Railway – Early Engineers Round About Station
Thomas And Friends Wooden Railway – Early Engineers Busy Day on Sodor Set
Orbrium Toys Large Wooden Train Tunnel for Wooden Railway Fits Thomas Brio Chuggington Melissa Doug Imaginarium
Who doesn’t love a puppy? A puppy is cute, sweet, boundless energy. Puppies are cuddly. And, really, there is nothing in the world quite as sweet and wonderful as puppy breath. I’m a dog person. I’ve had my Winston the Wonder Chihuahua for seven years now, and I still thank my husband for giving him to me.
But you know what else a puppy is?
I firmly believe that a Rice Krispies treat is one of the best desserts in the world. A Rice Krispies treat can be simple: just mix them up, slap them in a pan, cut, and devour. Or a Rice Krispies treat can be fancied up with icing dye, candies, pretzels, or anything else you desire. You can even sculpt your Rice Krispies treat into a cool thing.
Last year, I made Rice Krispies treat Christmas trees. This year I wanted to go three dimensional. And that was how the Rice Krispy treat snowman was born.
To make your Rice Krispies treat Snowmen, double your basic Rice Krispies treat recipe:
1/2 cup of butter, melted
8 cups of mini-marshmallows (or 80 large ones)
12 cups of Rice Krispies cereal
That’s it. Melt the butter, melt the marshmallows in the butter (stirring of course), and then stir in the cereal. Because of working with such a large amount, I find that I get better results by slowly mixing in the cereal for the first bit, then just dumping the whole mess on a prep area of parchment paper and finishing the mix up by hand.
Warning: when mixing it with your hands, it’s hot and sticky. Spray Pam cooking spray on your hands to keep your hands from getting too coated and be prepared to rinse in cold water when you come across a hot spot. Don’t let your kids help with that part because it hurts.
Once you’ve got your goo mixed, start pressing them into balls. The largest one should be about the size of a softball for your base layer. Your middle layer should be about the size of a tennis ball or baseball. Your top layer should be smaller, of course, but still to scale. You may end up needing to reshape the balls as they harden, otherwise your snowman will end up listing to port.
Decorate your snowman before he gets too hard. The more the treat goo has time to set, the more difficult it is to jam in those little eyes, nose, mouth, and buttons. In fact, ours was too hard to give a mouth. We used raisins for the eyes, nose, and buttons… but probably could have painted one on with decorative icing gel.
For the arms, we used toothpicks, but you can always use something like pretzel sticks. We skipped the hat, but a chocolate dipped marshmallow would be a great choice! A sprinkling of shredded coconut will make a nice bed of snow.
Even better? The Rice Krispies treat snowman is something that your littles can help with, too (once the goo is cool enough, of course.)
I love the holidays. My Christmases growing up were excessive, and I loved it. My daddy went absolutely bonkers over Christmas. The tree was overdecorated, the presents were overflowing, the music was too loud, and the leftovers lasted for a week. Since I moved up here, though, the husband’s family traditions are kind of dominating. Even the family in Florida doesn’t do Christmas the way we used to since a lot of that Christmas spirit died with my father. But I am bound and determined to do amazing things with Norton and Eudora. That brings me to my 2013 Christmas Bucket List. [Read more…]
I fail at wordless Wednesday being completely wordless. I admit that. Here’s our Halloween pictures… As hard as I tried, I absolutely could not get two happy children in the same shot. Sometimes it was hard to get two happy children at all. 😛 I’m considering using the last one as our Christmas card picture.
Rice Krispy Treats is my favorite snack food in the world. Okay, maybe not 100%, but it’s something that I can eat bucket loads of. I have never gotten tired of them. What makes them even more fun is you can actually do stuff with the pile of cereal and marshmallow goo. This time around, we did Rice Krispy Goblins.
Making Rice Krispy Goblins is a pretty simple thing… and someone who is more artistic than I could make something pretty fierce and amazing.
Rice Krispy Goblins:
1/4 cup of butter
40 large marshmallows or 5 cups of mini marshmallows
6 cups of cereal
As per usual, melt butter, add marshmallows, and stir until marshmallows are smooth and creamy. Add in some green icing dye or food color (I prefer icing dye, hands down) and mix until you have a bit darker than the desired color. Stir in cereal. Dump on the counter to make shapes.
I’ve found (through sheer accident; I had to wait a bit for Norton to finish washing his hands) that the shapes set better when it’s had a little to start to settle. It also sticks less to your hands. (Usually, I end up having to spray my hands with copious amounts of Pam as I make the shapes. The Rice Krispy pumpkins were especially sticky.) On the downside, though, the finished product tastes a little less gooey, too. Or maybe it’s because I used large marshamallows… and I should have used more to get the same results of 5 cups of mini marshmallows.
Once the balls are rolled, I dipped the top of my Rice Krispy Goblins in chocolate frosting and then rolled the top in toffee chips. I used mini M&Ms, also dipped in chocolate frosting, to give my Rice Krispy Goblins eyes and a mouth. Candy corn would have been another awesome alternative… but I didn’t have any, so I used what I had.
And Norton and Eudora really seemed to enjoy it.
What’s your favorite Rice Krispy food art?
I love making Rice Krispy treats. Making holiday ones are even more fun. Yesterday, I made a different spin on my favorite Rice Krispy treats: Rice Krispy bats!
I used the basic Rice Krispy recipe to start:
As always, you melt the butter in your heavy sauce pan. Next you add your marshmallows and stir to melting. The one thing that I do differently to make my bats is add some black icing dye gel. (Warning: that stuff is extremely concentrated. It doesn’t take much. I added a bit too much and we ended up with blue-black lips and tongues.) Stir in your cereal to coat it, and then dump into a non-stick coated pan.
Put a layer of parchment paper over your delightfully black and sticky gooey Rice Krispy treat mixture, and then press into the pan. Once it’s cooled and hardened, pull out your nifty little bat shaped cookie cutter and cut out some cute little Rice Krispy bats!
If your children are patient enough, you can do fun things with your cut out Rice Krispy bats like use candy corn to give fangs or paint on the bat’s face with white or grey frosting. Norton, however, is not that patient, so our bats were devoured promptly.
There’s more fun to come with making Halloween treats this year! We’ve got the ingredients to make more treats, so we’ll probably do Rice Krispy pumpkins this weekend. Even better? Eudora will be big enough to help this year.
What Halloween treats will you be making with your littles?
Add your Halloween fun posts to the linky below!
There’s a reason why it says “Beautiful British Columbia” on our license plates. We’ve got places like Helmcken Falls. Then, of course, there’s the every day beauty that’s within an hour of my house. Salmon Valley is one of those places. My in-laws have been spending weekends out at a little place in Salmon Valley for several years. Sometimes we go out to visit them, spending our afternoons on the porch and watching the kids play.
One of the big draws of Salmon Valley is the Salmon River. Like its name suggests, it’s a salmon habitat, so there’s a fair amount of environmental protection that goes on. In the winter and early spring, the river freezes and becomes a raging monster that will drag things away. By the end of summer and the beginning of the fall, the river waters are low and the current is gentle.
On one of these gorgeous days, we spent the afternoon visiting the in-laws at their little hideaway. The kids were able to play in the river.
Norton had a wonderful time. He was able to throw small rocks into the river and watch them splash. Next year, maybe his daddy or his grumpy will teach him about skipping rocks. The big thing that was emphasized was safety: small rocks, not near his baby sister.
Eudora was having the time of her life. She had a small cache of toys to play with and took great delight in filling her bucket with mud. We built up a little cove of rocks around her to keep her toys from floating off in the gentle current.
Eudora’s grandma was sitting beside her in the water. They had a special bonding moment when Grandma filled her hand with mud so that Eudora could add it to her bucket. (Eudora is clearly not afraid of getting dirty.)
Have you ever toured British Columbia?
Safety notice: No, my children are not wearing life jackets. There are a few reasons for that. 1.) The water where they were playing was extremely shallow. I went the furthest in so that I could get better pictures, and still never went more than mid-way up my shin. 2.) There were three adults to supervise two children, so none of them were more than a couple of feet away. 3.) I was more concerned about my children getting brave and attempting to float with a life jacket on… and thus floating down the river… than I was with them drowning on the shallow banks.