Tag Archives: simple

Sticky Caramel Rolls

Last weekend we made caramels…ooey, gooey delicious caramels!  Maybe it’s the allure of caramel apples and the Halloween season  but I was seriously in need of caramel. While the caramels set up I moved on to these caramel sticky buns.
What I love about these is the dough is so easy and doesn’t take much time at all. The sauce is also simple and the final result is not overwhelmingly sweet but rather rich and well, delicious. I finished the weekend with a little less roominess in my jeans as I am sure I have some caramel hanging out waiting for me to burn it off at the gym!

caramel sauce

dough

filling

Directions:

1. Sprinkle brown sugar in greased 9×13-inch pan. Pour over whipping cream, set aside
2. In large bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Add water, egg, and melted butter; beat at low speed until moistened.
3. By hand, stir in 1 1/2- 2 cups flour. Knead 3 minutes; let rest 10 minutes
4. Roll dough to a 7×15-inch rectangle. Spread with butter; sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Roll up tightly and seal edges. Cut into 1-inch rolls.
5. Place in prepared pan. Cover and let rise until doubled.
6. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes.
7. Let sit for 5 mintues then invert onto serving plate (I used a large cookie sheet)

Originally found at http://baking.food.com/recipe/nanas-caramel-cinnamon-rolls-241325

Advertisements

Halloween Fabric Garland

I think Halloween just might be our families favorite holiday. Maybe it stems from the years I spent as a teenager helping my mom in her costume shop. I loved seeing the enthusiasm customers brought to finding the right costume for 1 night of the year. It’s a chance to pretend to be something else good, pretty, scary, strong. It’s a holiday that even lets adults pretend to be a kid!

This Halloween garland is so easy and the kids loved to help. Ripping the fabric was productive destruction and with my boys guided destruction is usually best!

Time: 45 minutes
Level: EASY peezy

Materials:
1/2 yard of 4 different Halloween fabrics (makes 4 1/2-5 ft of garland)
7-9 ft of jute string
scissors

1. Fold 1/2 yard matching up selvage edges. Make small cut through both layers of fabric every 1″.


2. Rip fabric strips by grabbing fabric on each side of small cut.  You may be able to rip both layers at the same time. This was what the boys loved most!


3. Tie jute string between two posts, chairs, something to give you a taut string.
4. Fold strip in half to make a “loop”. Place fabric loop behind string. Reach from behind through the loop and grab the lower section (tails) of loop, pulling them through the loop. Pull tight .


5. Repeat step 4 for the remaining strips of fabric until you reach the desired length of garland.
6. String you garland where all will enjoy. Ours is currently on the front porch entrance. You may place yours inside on the mantel, hallway entrance, above a doorway, etc!

Delicious Hot Cocoa

It’s the first week of October and we are already thick into the “snow”!  Yes for the past 3 days we’ve had freezing temps and snowy conditions making us all just a little uneasy about the length of winter ahead.  However, this is MT and we could see 70’s again next week (not likely but possible).

One of the boys favorite treat after playing in the snow is a warm cup of hot cocoa. For the longest time #1 would request a cup of “warm cocoa” because a hot cup would burn his mouth, so smart! Since this cold spell hit us at the end of a beautifully warm September, I am all out of hot cocoa mix (usually Ovaltine since in my mother’s mind it must be a little healthier since it has all those vitamins in it, right?)  What is a mom to do? Two boys, cold from their snow fort building on the lawn begging for a warm cup of cocoa…hmmm?

Well once a long time before all our prepackaged foods, powdered mixes and sliced bread, moms must have served their little ones something that was probably so much more delicious! And they did, home-made hot cocoa. This is super easy and fun for the kids to help!

Both boys proclaimed this to be so much better than hot cocoa mix in a can – their words not mine. This then lead to a short chanting of “home-made hot cocoa, home-made hot cocoa).

Ingredients:
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp cocoa powder
Dash of salt
2 cups warm/hot milk
1/4 tsp vanilla

1. I used a pint mason jar, one for each boy. Add sugar, cocoa and salt.
2. Pour in warm milk and vanilla.
3. Put mason jar lid on securely. Let the little ones shake.
4. Remove lid and serve…in the jar! So fun!

Enjoy with some fresh baked chocolate chocolate chip cookies.  I think you could even put this mix in jars and take it with you or have it prepared for sledding parties. Hopefully we don’t have enough snow for one of those for a few more months, crossing fingers and toes, please!

Banana Crumb Muffins

In high school (many many years ago) my nickname was Betty Crocker. I was always cooking and baking and bringing the goodies to school to share. One might have thought I’d go on to write cookbooks or be a famous chef. Well almost…I did minor in Family Consumer Sciences in college and thoroughly enjoy spending time in the kitchen creating. But alas, that is as far as it goes. Thankfully I married a man with an infinite appetite who is also not too picky about the food on the plate.

I may be passing this love for cooking along to my youngest son, my super “maker” as he is always asking to help “make” with me in the kitchen. He loves adding the ingredients and stirring, mixing, and of course tasting.

The big man is at school today and we have a trio of very over-ripe bananas that are begging to be utilized. Our freezer is literally packed with loaves of sweet breads, banana and zucchini.  So we made muffins. They are easy for breakfasts, snacks and lunch boxes. Nothing like home-made goodness in a school lunch to make you feel loved, right?

Banana Crumb Muffins
Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 large ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten lightly
1/3 cup butter, melted

Topping
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tbsp flour
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tbsp cold butter
1/4 cup nuts (optional-we did not include these)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
1. In a medium bowl, mix first 4 ingredients. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, mix bananas (I use a potato masher to smash-up the bananas in the bowl I will use to mix all the ingredients-one less bowl to clean!), sugar, egg, melted butter.
3. Stir in the dry mixture until moistened.
4. Grease muffin pan (or use liners). I love Wilton Cake Release for greasing my pans. It’s quick one step and easy clean-up. Grease bottom only of pan. Fill cups 3/4 full.


5. Topping: Combine first 3 ingredients then cut in butter until crumbly.
6. Sprinkle over muffin batter.


7. Bake for 20 minutes until muffins are firm.
8. Cool for 10 minutes then remove from pan.

Enjoy with your little “maker”!
This recipe was originally found http://www.food.com/recipe/crumb-topped-banana-muffins-43509

Leaf Garland Tutorial

About 10 years ago we planted our first Virginia Creeper vine at our previous home. Known for being a fast growing and hardy plant (likely to survived our snowy winters) my husband selected it mostly for its vivid fall color change. We loved it and it grew several feet in the first year!

So when we moved to our new home 6 years ago, we agreed on side of the house needed a good climbing vine to give our “cape-cod, Victorian cottage in the mountains” a little romance. I stopped by the local nursery and selected several vines. Upon my return home, I excitedly planted them and when my hubby returned home was informed that they were NOT what he wanted. They were not Virginia Creepers (I think they were English something or others which in my mind some how correlated with Virginia-yup that is how my brain works-eek!)

So we agreed to see if the new vines survived. I suspect he poured salt on them or something because not one of those vines survived the winter leaving us with no vines the next spring. The new homeowners of our old home agreed we could stop in and take a few slips to replant.  We have successfully transplanted the Virginia Creeper vines which are now thoroughly taking over the one side of the house giving it a charming feel that all “cape-cod Victorian cottages in the mountain” should have. And now that we are into fall, the foliage is changing from green to yellow to red…just beautiful. The hubs was right again! (don’t tell him I said that).

So today my boys ran into the house with handfuls of large red and yellow leaves. They wanted to do something with them. Still in a fog of sickness, I just couldn’t get into any king of major art project. So we made leaf garland….here’s how you can make your own!

Time: 10 minutes-maybe
Materials:
Leaves
Yarn (I think jute string would have been better but was too sick to go rummaging for it!)

1. Cut approximately 3-4′ of string/yarn

2. Begin making a knot (my husband, the master knots-man would know the name of this knot, half-hitch maybe?)

3. Slip stem of leave into open knot.

4. Tighten string around stem.  Repeat a few inches down the string. I would make the knot and then the boys slide the stem in place and tighten the string themselves. They really like doing things for themselves!

5. Continue until you have made a garland to your desired length.

Cool Playdough

With my oldest son off to kindergarten I have more hours alone with my little man who is 3.  I admit it would be easy to get lots more work done with only one in tow, I am trying to be more present with him and enjoy our solo time together…like the early days with my first son.

Today we created play dough!  Here’s an easy and fun recipe I found at http://www.playdoughrecipe.com/

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of salt
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • Food coloring

Directions:

  • Mix the flour, salt, cream of tartar and oil in a pan.
  • Mix the water with the food coloring.
  • Add the water/color-mix to the other ingredients, stir well.  (it will be really runny…that’s where the next step comes in)
  • Cook on medium heat for 4-5 minutes, while constantly stirring.
  • When the mixture becomes “doughy”, remove from heat and start kneading. (the dough will be hot, so mind your hands)
  • When desired texture is achieved, the play dough is finished, enjoy!

When all done we put the playdough in a ziplock bag, pressed out all the air and stored it for later use…maybe when big bro comes home?

Fabric Jewelry – A Composition

For some reason I really love jewelry in the summer. Maybe because more of my arms and neck are visible with a summer wardrobe (it’s snow country here in the winter). Maybe I have more time to think about adding an accessory in the lazy summer mornings? I don’t know. What I do know is I like these easy ideas for accessorizing with your scraps!

Braided Fabric Bracelet from Craftaholics Anonymous– so easy, I’m making oodles of these in all colors…use regular cotton and use fray check on the edge if needed or fold raw edges inward before braiding.

http://www.craftaholicsanonymous.net/easy-fabric-bracelets-and-tutorial

Fabric covered bracelets from Fave Crafts. Use plastic or wood bracelets and cover them with strips of fabric…super easy!

http://www.favecrafts.com/Bracelets/Fabric-Scrap-Bracelets/ct/1

Fabric covered Necklace from Elegant Musings by guest writer Tilly and the Buttons

http://blog.caseybrowndesigns.com/2011/03/springtime-accessories-fabric-necklace-tutorial/

Amy Butler also has a tutorial for a similar necklace here http://www.amybutlerdesign.com/pdfs/FabricNecklace.pdf

Scrap Fabric Necklace from Smaller

This one I can’t wait to try out…small and colorful! Would coordinate nicely with the first bracelet, right?

http://smallmagazine.typepad.com/smaller/2009/06/small-projects-scrap-fabric-necklaces.html

Button Necklaces from Very Purple Person

Super cute, easy, fast and would coordinate with the button earings in the previous post.

http://verypurpleperson.com/2010/04/fabric-button-necklaces.html

Ruffled fabric necklace from Craftaholics Anonymous

Sooo sooo easy!

http://www.craftaholicsanonymous.net/vintage-ruffle-necklace-with-tutorial