Monday, April 30, 2012

Dinosaur Go Fish Game

My nephew's birthday was this weekend and my son wanted desperately to get him a "really cool" gift.  We don't usually spend a lot of money on gifts between the cousins -actually they have mostly just make cards for each other.  So I didn't want to go shopping and spend a lot, plus Carter informed me that he wanted to get him a present the morning of the birthday supper/party.

So, we broke in my new laminator and made him a special DINOSAUR version of Go Fish.  It was a super quick, easy project -SCORE!  We went on to Google Images and typed in Dinosaur Cartoons.  Then Carter helped me pick out which pictures he liked.  I saved them to my computer and then inserted them into a Word document so I could resize them -and make duplicates of each picture so they had a MATCH.

Then cut out around the dinos and glue them to construction paper that I cut to 3x4 inches.

Lay them out on the laminating pouches, leaving some space in between.

Laminate.... and sit there in awe of my new "toy".  Funny how laminating seems fun now. LOL

And then I made a card stock box to keep them in.


Carter and I played it a couple times to try it out and he loved it.  Hopefully his cousin will like playing it too.
Carter liked it so much that I had to make him his own set a couple days later. Haha.

And then I had to make a PRINCESS version for Chloe too!   This laminator has gotten a lot of use already in its short life!  I've also been working on some things for Sharing Time and Singing Time for Primary at church.  I'll show those later. 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Foodie Friday #33 -Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

 The other day I had three sick kids and a headache on top of that... needless to say, by bedtime I was beat.  And in serious need of some comfort food.  I opted to make oatmeal chocolate chip cookies instead of the regular chocolate chip cookies in a lame attempt to justify eating more of them.  Pathetic, I know. lol.  But there it is....The first step is admitting it, right?

Today is another one of those days where I just want to bundle up in a blanket with some comfort food too.  Why can't our weather make up it's mind?  We have 2 or 3 days or GORGEOUS summer weather and then days of COLD and WINDY.  And today it's RAINY too.  Ick! 

But, why is it that the yummiest of recipes never turn out well in my photos?  I am by no means a great photographer, but these are really crumby photos (and not because the cookies are crumbly either...har har).

But, I will stop my complaining and give you the recipe!  And promptly go sign up for a photography class.... Well, at least pretend to. 

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies:

3/4 c butter, softened
3/4 c lightly packed brown sugar
1/2 c sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 c flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
3 c quick oats
1 c chocolate chips (or 1 1/2 c raisins)

Cream butter, sugars, egg and vanilla.  Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and oats.  Add to the creamed mixture.  drop by tablespoon onto greased cookie sheets.  Bake at 350F for 12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.

Next time I make them I will try to get a better photo... *Sigh*.   Hope you all have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Dr Seuss menu planner

For anyone who missed my guest post at Adventures In Dinner, here is the menu planner tutorial!  Yay!

I keep seeing weekly menu planners all over Pinterest lately and wanted to make my own version. -Dr Seuss style! Because who doesn't love Dr Seuss, right?

Want to make your own? C'mon. First, pick a picture frame -whatever size, shape, style, color you want. I just used one I bought on clearance forever ago and hadn't used yet. Go ahead and take out the mats and insert.  Use the backing piece (the board that holds the picture and mats in place) as your "canvas."  You will paint the part that would normally be inside the frame.

I used a foam brush, so as not to get lots of brush strokes... and painted it all white (a couple of coats).

Then I searched Google images to find the images that I wanted to use.  I saved them to my computer so I could open them in another program to crop them and play with the sizes to get what I wanted.

Then, very carefully, cut around the pictures you want to use.

Arrange them on your background BEFORE you glue them, so you can get the spacing just the way you like it.
Then glue those babies on there -I used a thin layer of Mod Podge all over the backs and it worked great.

Then I drew some eggs on lightly with a pencil.  After that I just started painting the green parts of the eggs.
When that has had time to dry, go back in with a very fine brush and some black paint to add the shadows and outlines.  I found it helped to have a damp brush and water down the paint just a BIT to make it go on smoothly.  Or if you prefer, use a fine tip Sharpie.

Here they are starting to take shape.
I wrote "Would you eat them here or there?" and added some little hands on sticks (yeah... even though that sounds a bit morbid, I don't really know what else to call them,) like Sam-I-Am holds in the book.

Then wrote the days of the week beside each egg.

Then just put it back in your frame like you normally would, and there you go!  You can use a dry erase marker on it and it wipes off easily.

You may like it, you will see... Try it, try it and you may, try it and you may I say.  Sorry, I just couldn't stop myself from adding a little quote in there. haha.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Homemade Bread

Who doesn't love the smell of fresh baked bread? I know I do. Drool.
I have tried several bread recipes before, but a friend gave me this one and I love it to pieces! It's easy and doesn't require any milk or eggs -perfect for a food storage recipe!

 I found this recipe really easy to work with and I never had any trouble substituting some whole wheat flour.  It even cuts fairly well without a TON of crumbs.  Yay!!  Beware, though, the batch makes EIGHT loaves so I usually half it.  Here is the whole recipe:

The Ultimate Bread Recipe:

2 c warm water
2 tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp yeast

20 c. flour (I use 6 c whole wheat, 14 c white)
2 Tbsp salt
1/3 c sugar
3/4 c oil
7 c warm water

Combine the water, sugar and yeast and set aside.  Then add remaining ingredients and knead.  Add more flour as needed.  Let the dough rise twice (approx. 30-45 minutes each time).  Form into loaves and place in greased pans.  Let rise in the pans until they are as "high" as you want.  Then bake at 350F for about 30 minutes.  Let cool.

It's easiest to cut if you put them in bags and wait until the next morning.  Thanks, Heather, for the tip!!  Then I cut all of the loaves, put back into the bags and freeze what I'm not going to use right away.

 My Dad saw this photo and the first thing he notices was the John Deere canisters in the background! Lol.  How very like him.  Anyway, hope you enjoy the recipe -it really is awesome.

Country Momma Cooks

Friday, April 20, 2012

Relay for Life

I don't normally ask people for money, but I will definitely make an exception for this

I am thrilled to be participating in Relay For Life this year with the Canadian Cancer Society!  I would love it if you would check out my personal fundraising page and make a donation if you are willing and able.  I realize that everyone can't donate to EVERYTHING and that you all probably have your own charities that you like to donate to.  I am simply asking that you look into it.  The minimum donation is only $5. 

This one is something very close to my heart.  My 18 month old daughter is a cancer survivor, so I am participating for her.  We have had quite a year this last year and I am always amazed at how strong and brave she is for someone so small.  I am convinced she has angels watching over her.  It has been a rough journey, but one that has helped our family grow.  And I am so honored to be able to do something to show my support for Hailey and others battling cancer, as well as show my gratitude to the doctors, nurses, and others who have helped support us in our time of need.  This really is a great opportunity!

Thanks for listening.  Have a great weekend!

Sincerely, Megan

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Nasty weather

I was so excited to find a pleasant surprise peaking up in our garden. The previous owners left us some beautiful tulips! So I thought, "Yay! Spring must be on it's way!".

Then I woke up to this today! Blimey. Will it ever make up its mind?!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Foodie Friday #32 - Chicken wings

My husband has been so good to me this past week -helping with dishes, playing with the kids so I could get some cleaning done (and, yes, let's be honest, it was mostly nice because it gave me some much needed ALONE time), and letting me stay out super late chatting it up with some girlfriends at a baby shower (we ended up staying until midnight -crazy!), and otherwise just being sweet.  So....I thought I would share one of my husband's favorite recipes this week as a tribute to him.  Aannnnd.... hello, chicken wings!

Hubby LOVES (with a capital L) these sticky wings my Mom makes.  And, who am I kidding? I love them too.  And we are the perfect pair to eat these -his favorite are the drums and I love the wings.  Match made in Heaven, right? hehe.  And I apologize for the lame pictures taken after the leftovers were placed in a container.... we were too busy digging in to remember the pictures.  And by the time I realized it, my hands were too sticky! LOL.

Sticky Chicken Wings:

3 lbs chicken wings
1 egg, beaten
flour for dredging
margarine for frying

3 tsp soy sauce
3 tsp water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 tsp salt

Beat the egg.  Coat the chicken wings in the egg.  Dredge with flour.  And, since I'm lazy, I basically throw the wings in a ziplock bag, pour in some egg, shake, repeat with the flour.  It's been working for me for years.

Melt some margarine in a frying pan over medium heat (you want it about 1/2 to 1 inch deep).  Fry the wings in batches until golden on both sides (a few minutes each side).  Place the wings into a baking pan with sides.

Combine soy sauce, water, sugar, vinegar and salt.  pour over the wings.  Bake at 350 F for 1/2 hour to 1 hour, basting every 15 mins or so.  They start to get gooey and kind of caramelized -SOOOO TASTY!

Enjoy -and you're welcome! ;)

Magnetic Pen Holder

Finally hung my white board up and realized too late how annoying it is to walk across the kitchen to get the markers from the drawer every time I need to write something down.

Solution? Easy! I just glued some fun paper onto a soup can and glued on some magnets. See? Easy peasy. Then just put your markers in the can.

Ultimate Blog Party 2012

Have you heard about this Ultimate Blog Party??  No? Well head on over.  It's a great place to "meet" other bloggers.

Ultimate Blog Party 2012

Anyway, my Party Post is supposed to tell a bit about myself so here goes....

My name is Megan and I'm the brains and brawn behind The Crafty Conundrum.  My blog is mostly crafting/DIY and recipes.  I love to craft and bake/cook but don't have a ton of time to do so with 3 kids under 5 years old running around (Carter 4, Chloe 3, and Hailey 1). 

I usually end up staying up too late, but don't know what I'd do without a fun outlet.  I host a Foodie Friday each week where I feature a recipe I have tried recently.  And I am a Pinterest addict and ice cream connoisseur.

Thanks for stopping by -it's nice to "meet" you! 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Foodie Friday #31 - Caramel Fondue/ Ice Cream Topping

For our most recent "Musical Club" night with the girls I made this Caramel Fondue and some apple slices.  That way at least we feel like we are eating "healthier"... basically we can justify eating the goodies more.  One of the other girls brought a delicious Blueberry Cobbler.  So we got our fruit for the day. LOL. 

This stuff tastes AMAZING on apples, bananas or even as an ice cream topping!  And if you don't use it all (you probably won't -it makes a TON), just freeze it and reheat in the microwave when you need it. 
Are you drooling yet?  Well, here's the recipe!

Melt and stir together in a saucepan:
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup corn syrup
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup margarine
2 tbsp water

Take off heat and add:
1/4 cup Skor bits (or toffee pieces)
1-2 tap vanilla

Linked up to:

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

TP Roll Easter Bunnies

We were pretty laid back for our Easter festivities this year and almost didn't get any crafts done - except coloring Easter eggs and bunnies on paper. We didn't even dye Easter eggs! Shocking, I know. Next year I will do better.  Promise!

The one quick craft we did make were these little toilet paper roll bunnies.

We used hot glue to attach googly eyes, pipe cleaner ears, foam heart feet and paws, and pom pom tails and noses. Annnndd ... Done! That's it, that's all.

They were easy for the kids to help with and they liked each having their own little bunny.

Sorry it's late... Better late than never, right?

 Do my cute assistants make up for it at all?  Aren't they wonderful? (And I'm not biased at all.... haha)