2016
Dec 15

Two Holiday Playdough Recipes: Peppermint Snow and Gingerbread

by Hannah Holt »

5 comments


peppermint-snow-playdougha

These two sensory rich playdough recipes will keep little fingers and imaginations busy this winter season. Each recipe makes about two cups dough and may be doubled if desired.

Gingerbread Playdough

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 packet unsweetened orange Kool-Aid (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil

Instructions

  1. Combine the dry ingredients in a medium sauce pan.
  2. Add the wet ingredients and mix until a thick batter is formed.
  3. Cook the mixture over low/medium heat until the dough comes away from the edges of the pan and it becomes difficult to move the spoon.
  4. Remove from heat, and let cool until it can be handled.
  5. Place on wax paper and kneed until smooth.
  6. Store in an air tight container.

Peppermint Snow Playdough

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 2 Tbsp blue or silver glitter
  • A few drops of peppermint oil (or 1/8th tsp mint extract)
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water

Instructions

  1. Combine the dry ingredients in a medium sauce pan.
  2. Add the wet ingredients and mix until a thick batter is formed.
  3. Cook the mixture over low/medium heat until the dough comes away from the edges of the pan and it becomes difficult to move the spoon.
  4. Remove from heat, and let cool until it can be handled.
  5. Place on wax paper and kneed until smooth.
  6. Store in an air tight container.

Enjoy! Happy Holidays!


2015
Oct 26

Kitty Litter Cake

by Hannah Holt »

7 comments


This attention grabbing Halloween cake is deceptively delicious. If you’re brave enough to serve yourself a scoop, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Kitty Litter Cake

Kitty Litter Cake

18.5 oz spice cake mix (flavor optional, choose your favorite)

2 5.1 oz packages instant vanilla pudding 

12 oz vanilla wafer cookies, crushed (a blender works well)

6 to 10 Tootsie Rolls

1 kitty litter pan (new!)

1 plastic pooper scooper (new, too!)

green food coloring

  1. Prepare the cake and pudding according to package directions. Add a few drops of green food coloring to 1 cup of the cookie crumbs and set the rest of the cookie crumbs aside.

  2. Crumble half of the baked cake into the kitty litter pan. Spread half of the pudding over this layer.

  3. Add the rest of the cake on top of the pudding and cover with the remaining pudding.

  4. Sprinkle the non-colored cookie crumbs into the pan with the cake/pudding mix.

  5. Soften the Tootsie Rolls by placing in the microwave for 10 seconds on high and shape to resemble cat scat. Arrange the Tootsie Rolls on the cookie-pudding cake mixture.

  6. Sprinkle all with the green cookie crumbs. Serve with pooper scooper.


2015
Sep 28

The Cup of Truth: A Life Lesson From Caramel Corn

by Hannah Holt »

10 comments


caramel corn

Caramel corn is one of our favorite fall snacks. It’s crunchy and oh so delicious! It’s easy to make, too, as long as you have a Cup of Truth nearby.

What’s a Cup of Truth?

It’s simple. I keep a cup of ice water on the counter next to my caramel pot. When I think the caramel is finished I take a small spoonful of syrup and drop it into the ice water (aka: Cup of Truth). The water cools the molten caramel quickly, so I can test to see if it’s reached the perfect hardness.

Removing the caramel from the heat too soon turns it into a sticky mess. This type of caramel corn will dislodge dental fillings!

Removing the caramel too late will burn it. YUCK.

There’s a small window of caramel perfection. Hence the need for a Cup of Truth.

cup of truth

My kids all hang out around the Cup-o-Truth because they like sneaking cool bits of caramel before the full batch is ready. While they linger for sweet snitches, I talk to them about feelings and stuff. I say, feelings can be like a pot of boiling caramel.

Sometimes someone does something so mean it makes you bubble with rage. You might even want to spill your thoughts right then and there.

But friendships can been ruined unnecessarily that way…and dental fillings, too.

How do you know if feelings are truth or just heat-of-the-moment steam?

Put them in the Cup of Truth.

  • take a breath
  • take a walk
  • sleep on it
  • put it on ice

Once feelings have cooled, it’s easier to see what (if anything) needs to be discussed. Then you can speak with confidence, knowing the words will be the right words. (And not a sticky mess.)

Okay, now who’s hungry?

Carmel Popcorn

1 cup butter

2 cups brown sugar

½ cup light corn syrup

1 tsp salt

½ tsp baking soda

1 tsp vanilla

5 quarts popped popcorn

  1. Melt butter in a thick bottomed pot on low heat.

  2. Add the sugar, corn syrup, and salt to the pot. Then increase the heat to medium and stir until boiling.

  3. Boil for about four minutes without stirring. The caramel will resemble the color of a brown paper bag when finished. Check for hard crack readiness by spooning small amounts into a cup of ice water. The caramel should be crunchy (not squishy).

  4. Remove from heat and add the vanilla and soda. Mix well.

  5. Use a spoon to drizzle the popcorn with the hot caramel. Stir the popcorn with a spoon every few minutes until completely cool. This will keep it from clumping together.

  6. Enjoy!

2013
Dec 29

My Christmas Project

by Hannah Holt »

Comments Off on My Christmas Project


This year we did a homemade Christmas. I thought it would simplify  the season and make it more meaningful.

It did make the season more meaningful, but simplify…not so much.

I made a personalized fan art for my nieces and nephews.

The first step was easy. I googled high resolution images of their favorite characters, printed these, and copied the scene using tracing paper and pencil.

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After the initial sketch I went over all the lines heavily with a #2 pencil.

Then using a family photo, I traced in an additional character (or in this case a new face):

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{Here I taped the tracing paper right to my computer screen using masking tape. This made it easy to zoom in and out until the picture was the right size for the picture.}

Once I had all the lines the way I wanted them. I took my tracing and transferred it to 140lb watercolor paper by placing the drawing face down and rubbing the back with pencil.

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This makes a light mirror image copy on the new paper:

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From there on out it just became a a process of coloring in the lines with watercolors:

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Peter pan fan art

So it wasn’t overly difficult, but it was time consuming, especially considering I made five of these this month. But it was fun and it felt good when they finally all went out in the mail.

Happy holidays all!

 

 

 

 


2013
Oct 29

Ginger-Spooks & Pumpkin Puppets

by Hannah Holt »

7 comments


This week I had a hankering for gingerbread. It might be too early for Christmas music and gingerbread men, but it’s the perfect time for ginger-spooks!

ginger skeletons

Boo! I followed this recipe for ginger cookies, and frosted them monster-style with a simple glaze.

{Note: to pipe designs on the cookies, I filled a sandwich bag with frosting and snipped off one of the corners with scissors. No fancy cake decorating supplies needed!)

ginger skeletons2

They were frightfully good!

We also made paper bag pumpkin puppets. I always keep lunch bags around the house. They are cheap and have so many uses. I cut pumpkin faces and features from construction paper and showed the kids how to glue them to the bags.

 

pumpkin puppetpumpkin puppet1

Happy Halloween!

pumpkin puppet2