Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Homemade Play Dough

Making your own play dough is an excellent opportunity to keep the kiddos busy and have fun with them at the same time. Its easy, affordable, and fun!!

I have 2 different recipes for you, one with cream of tartar and one without. Cream of tartar is supposed to help with the elasticity  and longer shelf life, but I have made both recipes (with and without) with great results. Cream of Tartar can be expensive, at the supermarket it was almost $5 for a 2 ounce jar, but, that will give you enough for 4 recipes.

Here are the recipes.

Homemade Play Dough (with cream of tartar)

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 tablespoon cream of tartar
  • Food coloring
  • Saucepan
  • 1 cup flour
  • Gloves

  • Directions
    Combine flour, oil, salt, cream of tartar in a saucepan.
    Add water and mix. Cook under medium heat stirring constantly.

    You will see that the dough starts to form.

     Keep stirring until the dough forms a ball without sticking to the sides of the saucepan.

    Almost There!
    Nice tidy ball, clean sides!

    Transfer to a bowl to cool. 

    Once is cool enough to handle, divide in 3 pieces. Flatten them out a bit and add a few drops of food coloring. I used gel food coloring. With the gloves on, knead until color is uniform. 
    When ever we are working with a potential mess, I put some paper and  plastic wrap to help clean up.

    Store this dough in an airtight container or a Ziploc freezer bag.

    Add some glitter for some fun!

    To make without the cream of tartar, substitute the cream of tartar with baking soda and follow the same cooking instructions. When cooking make sure to remove from heat and immediately transfer to a bowl. This is important to avoid overcooking it, if you leave it on the hot saucepan, the residual heat will continue to cook it. Do this as soon as the dough cleans itself from the saucepan as you stir it.

    Now have fun with the kiddos!!


    Tuesday, May 28, 2013

    Homemade Slime Recipe Tutorial ( With Borax)

    Great tutorials to make with the kiddos!!

    If you can't find Borax don't worry,  I will be making soon a version without it.
    If your kiddos have sensitive skin or if you don't want them handling Borax, you can still get them involved by helping you set everything up and making the glue mix while you (or any adult ) handle the Borax mix. 

    Here is what you will need.

    1 tablespoon of Borax
    1 1/2 cups of water
    1/2 of white glue (like Elmer's Glue )
    2 or 3 bowls (if you use only 2, make sure one can hold over 2 cups of liquid)
    Food coloring of your choice

    First on one bowl, mix the glue with half a cup of water. If you wish to color your slime, now is the time. Keep in mind food coloring is concentrated (a little goes a long way) and that you will be adding more liquid to the mix which could lighten the color a bit.

    On the second bowl mix one cup of water with the tablespoon of borax. Make sure is completely diluted.

    Pour the two mixtures together and stir, stir, stir!

    Stir quickly, it sets fast!

    Now separate the slime from remaining liquid, there will always be left over liquid. Squeeze all the water out and knead for a while. 

    There is my little helper! ;-)

    To store it use a zip bag or airtight container.

    Make sure to not let your kids mix the slime with play dough, or it will became a watery mess. Learned it the hard way.




    Crochet Wrap Bracelet Tutorial

    Our first DIY project!!!

    Its super easy to do, with endless possibilities. There are many combinations of beading cords (waxed cotton cord, nylon cord, silk thread, beading wire, etc.), and beads (glass, wood, crystals, semi precious, etc.). We used a white waxed cotton cord, but you can use any color. You should ask yourself  two things when selecting the thread, first, Is it strong enough for daily wear? and second, Will it fit comfortably through the bead hole?

    What you will need.
    Cord (2 yards should be enough for a 2 wrap bracelet. You can adjust it to a single wrap or triple wrap. Just keep in mind one yard will equal one wrap. This is giving more than enough material for the ends to secure your closure.) If your cord is on a spool don't cut it!!! If it isn't on a spool find a pill bottle or something similar to wrap it around. It will be easier to handle that way.
    Beads (42)
    Clear Glue or Clear Nail Polish
    A big bead, button or charm for closure.
    Crochet Needle I/5.50

    First step is to thread all the beads. You may want to stiffen the tip of your cord by applying clear nail polish to the last half inch of the tip. Let air dry before adding your beads and cut off once you are done. This will make it easy for you to thread the beads.
    Keep in mind that if you want a longer or shorter bracelet you should adjust the amount of beads. It is always better to have more beads than you need strung, you could always just leave them, you can control that. It will however, be complicated to add more beads once you start your project, specially if your cord is on a spool.

    Once all your beads are threaded, we need to make a slip knot, making sure we leave a tail long enough to make our closure loop or to add the end bead ( about 4 to 5  inches)
    From the slip knot we start making the bracelet. Its made just as if you where making a chain. If you have never done crochet, on this video you can see how to start, and you just repeat the process until desired length.

    Here your chain is done with all the beads.

    Now we are going to make the end loop. Before making the loop, we need to secure the crochet work, take the tail and thread it through the end loop, then pull to tighten. 

    Now we start the loop. When making this loop you want to make sure it will be just big enough for the bead to go through without it being to loose that the bead could slip out easily. Once you have the loop at the correct size, secure with knots and clear glue or nail polish.

    To finish, lets secure the bead you will use for your closure. Make some knots and apply your glue or nail polish to secure.

    Trim the ends and let the glue dry.

    Congrats.....we are done!!!



    Friday, May 24, 2013

    Bread Pudding with Whiskey sauce

    Here is my favorite recipe for bread pudding. The actual recipe is for a Bread Pudding Souffle, (you can find it here) but instead of using the meringue for the souffle, I used it as topping.

    Bread Pudding:
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
    • 3 medium eggs
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (use a high-quality extract, not an imitation)
    • 5 cups day-old French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (see Note)
    • 1/3 cup raisins

    Whiskey Sauce:
    • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
    • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
    • 2 tablespoons cold water
    • 1/3 cup sugar
    • 1/3 cup bourbon

    • 3 large egg whites
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan.
    To make the bread pudding, combine the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Beat in the eggs until smooth, then work in the heavy cream. Add the vanilla, then the bread cubes. Allow the bread to soak up the custard. Scatter the raisins in the greased pan, and top with the egg mixture, which will prevent the raisins from burning. Bake for approximately 25 to 30 minutes or until the pudding has a golden color and is firm to the touch. If a toothpick inserted in the pudding comes out clean, it is done. It should be moist, not runny or dry. Let cool to room temperature.

    To make the sauce, bring the cream to a boil, combine the cornstarch and water, and add the mixture to the boiling cream, stirring constantly. Return to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds, being careful not to burn the mixture. Add the sugar and bourbon, and stir. Let cool to room temperature.
    Preheat the oven to 350°F, and butter six 6-ounce ceramic ramekins.

    To make the meringue, be certain that you use a bowl and whisk that are clean and that the egg whites are completely free of yolk. This dish needs a good, stiff meringue, and the egg whites will whip better if the chill is off them. In a large bowl or mixer, whip the egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy. Gradually add the sugar, and continue whipping until shiny and thick. Test with a clean spoon. If the whites stand up stiff, like shaving cream, when you pull out the spoon, the meringue is ready. Do not overwhip, or the whites will break down and the soufflé will not work.

    Top off the bread pudding with the meringue, to about 1 1/2 inches over the top edge of the ramekin. With a spoon, smooth and shape the tops into a dome over the ramekin rim.

    Bake immediately for approximately 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately. Add sauce at table.



    Thursday, May 23, 2013


    I love this song!

    Ever wonder about what he's doingHow it all turned to liesSometimes I think that it's betterto never ask why
    Where there is desireThere is gonna be a flameWhere there is a flameSomeone's bound to get burnedBut just because it burnsDoesn't mean you're gonna dieYou gotta get up and try and try and tryYou gotta get up and try and try and tryYou gotta get up and try and try and try
    Funny how the heart can be deceivingMore than just a couple timesWhy do we fall in love so easyEven when it's not right
    Where there is desireThere is gonna be a flameWhere there is a flameSomeone's bound to get burnedBut just because it burns
    Doesn't mean you're gonna dieYou gotta get up and try and try and tryYou gotta get up and try and try and tryYou gotta get up and try and try and try
    Ever worried that it might be ruined
    And does it make you wanna cry?When you're out there doing what you're doingAre you just getting by?Tell me are you just getting by by by
     written by Busbee and Ben WestPerformed by Pink

    I think this can be applied to anything in life, not just relationships.
    Starting anything new can be scary, but  you will never know how far you can go or how great you can be until you try!
    Let your fears go, you could make something wonderful ;-)


    When life gives you lemons....

    We all go through times in which you hear yourself (or others) saying these words. They are true after all. Whether they are mildly sour or scrunch your face sour, whether they bring a little ray of sunshine or a thunder storm, best you can do is breathe deep and make the best damned lemonade you have ever made.   

    It won't be easy, and more likely you will need to make it more than once but at the end,  it will be perfect. 

    We are working on our lemonade... Working hard every day.

    Looking for that job that will bring us closer to our home. A job that seems to be hiding from us. We still work hard and wait for that breakthrough. Unfortunately our 
            time hasn't arrived yet. It can be frustrating, unnerving and most of all scary. But we are together,  and there is nothing more important than that. 
        Let me tell you about us.
    I was lucky enough to marry My best friend, someone who complements me, supports me and brings out the best in me (and I really hope I do the same for him). We have been together for 8 years, 6 of them happily married.  We have been blessed with  a beautiful boy and a gorgeous fur baby Girl. And all that's is what we are focusing on, the beautiful family we have. Granted, we still need a home, but we know when the time is right we will have it. In the meantime,  We are still squeezing lemons ;-)

    Are you working on your lemonade too? I would love to hear about it!