2013
Jun 03

Father’s Day Fingerprint Art

by Hannah Holt »

18 comments


Dad’s big day is coming up. Here are a few simple cards that little fingers can put together.

For the scientific dad, use paint and fingertips to create an atom:

science dad

For the gaming dad:

controller dad

For the musical dad:

Dad Day music card2

For the sporty dad:

football

baseball

Note: To set up these cards I printed the text from a Word Doc. Then I sketched out the fill areas with a ball point pen. Finally, I used finger paint to add color to the cards.

Happy Father’s Day to all the men out there making a positive difference in the life of children!

A powerful man


2013
Jan 02

Printable Thank Yous (with Toys)

by Hannah Holt »

6 comments


This year I wanted to do something special for my Christmas thank you cards.

After Christmas I took pictures of the gifts we received and fashioned them into cards like this:

You can click on the pictures for a larger image.

I should perhaps explain the nails. This year for Christmas my mother gifted us a few family heirlooms. Among the collection of antiques and nostalgic items were four square nails. This type of nail was common in construction in the early 1800’s. Nails with round heads and shafts weren’t developed until the late 1800’s. So there you have it– four printable thank you cards and a bit of nail trivia for your next cocktail party.

Also, if you are looking for more crafts to do this New Year, I’m running the Twelve Days of Craft-mas on my Facebook Page. Come on over and check out some of the festive crafts we’re doing, including pudding portraits:


2012
Dec 12

Parties, Persimmons, and Ginger Squares

by Hannah Holt »

38 comments


Today is one of those fun dates: 12/12/12. It’s even more special for me because I recently turned a score and a dozen years old.

I love birthdays. Well, mostly I love cake. This week I ate plenty of cake, and now I’m in a plenty good mood. Here are some of the highlights from my week:

  • I finished Julie Hedlunds 12×12 challenge.
  • Just over a week ago, I finished Tara Lazar’s PiBoIdMo challenge.
  • The persimmon tree in my backyard is starting to come into season.
  • Six happy little persimmons were turned into this recipe for cake by Emiko Davies.
  • My cute husband also turned another year older, and later this week we will celebrate our nine year anniversary.
  • My oldest turned seven. I have a seven-year-old!
  • I found my first grey hair, but let’s call it silver.

December is in full swing and that means it’s time to make one of my favorite snacks of the year– ginger squares. It’s basically a recipe for gingerbread people but cut it into squares (and I use whole-wheat flour to feel less guilty about eating them by the fistful).

Ginger Squares

  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp cloves (optional)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ tsp baking soda
  • 3 cups wheat flour, plus more for dusting work surface
  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.

  2. Beat butter and sugar together for two minutes

  3. Add the molasses and eggs, and beat until well combined (it will look a little grainy; that’s okay).

  4. Add the spices to the wet mixture, then the baking soda, and finally the flour. You don’t need to combine the dry ingredients together first. Just add them one at a time to the wet mixture. (I almost never use two bowls when making cookies.)

  5. Mix until combined, and then wrap the dough in plastic wrap and set in the fridge for one hour. The dough will be too sticky to handle if you don’t chill it first.

  6. Roll the dough out on a cutting board until it’s about the thickness of two nickles.

  7. Slice the dough into one-inch squares using a pizza cutter (or sharp knife).

  8. Place the squares at least ¼ inch apart on a greased cookie sheet and bake in the oven for 6-9 minutes. Six minutes will yield a very soft square, while 9 minutes will result in a crunchier cookie. Actual oven temperatures vary. Adjust the time as needed for desired texture.

 


2012
Nov 19

Bread Rolls for Beginners

by Hannah Holt »

4 comments


If you’re new to baking, making rolls can seem intimidating. How many times should the dough rise? How long do I mix it? What the heck is yeast?

Today, I’m going to break roll baking down into little bite size steps. Plus, I’m going to give you a recipe that will knock the socks of your mother-in-law (even if she’s the nylon wearing kind). So buckle up. Here we go!

First, let’s tame the yeast beast by giving it a name. There are a million different kinds of yeast. The good news is you only need one kind for this recipe: FLEISCHMANN’s ACTIVE DRY YEAST. It comes in a brown bottle or in packets. Either will work. You just need at least 1 Tablespoon’s worth (just over one packet). Now there are other brands of yeast that will work, but I promised you bite-sized steps. Get Fleischmann’s. (Note: Don’t accidentally grab the “RapidRise.”)

Next, you’ll need to “wake up” the yeast. You do this by placing the yeast in a small bowl with half a cup of lukewarm water. Give it a stir. Placing the yeast in the water softens it and gets it ready to rise.

The rest of the written instructions and the recipe are listed near the end of this post, but you can watch the entire process of making roll dough here:

After you let the dough rise for 40-60 minutes, it’s time to shape them. Here are a few ways you can shape the dough:

After rising the second time, the rolls are ready to bake. Place them in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes or until the tops turn golden brown.

Yummy, yummy! Take them out of the oven and let them cool on a wire rack. Make sure the rolls are fully cooled before storing or they will sweat inside their container. You don’t want sweaty rolls. Yuck.

Fresh rolls are best when served within 12-24 hours (or freeze them for later).

And here’s the recipe:

White Bread Rolls

  • ½ cups luke warm water
  • 1 Tbsp yeast
  • 2 cups warm milk
  • ½ cups unsalted butter (melted)
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • ½ cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 8 cups all-purpose flour
  1. Put yeast in ½ c. lukewarm water, stir, and set aside.

  2. Mix 2 cups warm milk, butter, salt and sugar. Stir. Add beaten eggs and softened yeast. Stir.

  3. Add flour cup by cup to liquid mixture. The dough will become too thick to mix with a spoon after six cups of flour. Knead another 1.5 cups in by hand (or with a bread hook). You will probably not use the full eight cups of flour. (I like to have the extra half cup of flour to keep my kneading surface covered with flour.) Knead the dough for two minutes. The dough will be soft and sticky.

  4. Turn the dough into a large greased bowl (1/4 cup vegetable oil swirled around will grease it) and let rise until double (about 1 hour).

  5. Turn out on lightly floured surface and shape as desired. Cover and let shaped rolls rise another 50 minutes.

  6. Bake on greased baking sheet or in greased muffin pans in 350° oven for 15-20 minutes.

If you’re feeling up to an extra challenge, try splitting the recipe and make half white/half whole wheat molasses (molasses instead of sugar). Then I twisted the two roll doughs into kaiser rolls, like this:

Roll dough is like play-doh for adults. Happy roll making!


2012
Nov 14

Turkey Craft

by Hannah Holt »

10 comments


My kids and I experimented yesterday to see if we could turn a few common items into a turkey craft. These were our favorites.

The tissue roll turkey:

The roadside gravel painted rock turkey:

The fallen leaf turkeys:

What else can you turn into a turkey?

It’s almost Thanksgiving in the United States. Here are a few other activities to keep your little ones busy this holiday season.

The Thanksgiving Activity Book I put together last year was quite popular. Here it is for anyone who missed it or would like it again:

Also here are nine easy Thanksgiving crafts.

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!