Monday, August 29, 2011

Noah's Ark Craft

This is such an easy and cute craft for toddlers and younger children.

Print off a picture of an ark.  I made this one when 90 seconds of looking online didn't come up with one I liked.  (Does someone need to sing the Patience Song?  Ha ha!!)  Colour and then cut out.  Parents can help cut if the kids aren't quite at the scissors stage.

Glue onto a dark or stormy colour background.  I had a wonderful blue-grey that was perfect!

Rip tissue paper into long, jagged strips for the waves.  Crunch slightly in your hands and then gently smooth out again for some extra texture.  Using different colours really helps to show depth, so I grabbed bright blue, grey, and black.  Glue starting with the top layer and overlapping as you go.

Place glue dots (use white school glue or hot glue gun, not a gluestick!) in the sky area and attach sequins for the raindrops.  Chalk dots would also look great!

Viola!  Noah's ark in the stormy waves! :)

Linking up with some great parties!

Friday, August 26, 2011

How to Use a Mortar & Pestle

One of my favourite kitchen tools is my mortar & pestle.  You can use it to crush nuts, herbs, cookies, etc., into large chunks or small bits.  I especially like using it for crushing rosemary in the fall.

The mortar is the bowl and the pestle is the crushing implement.  Depending on what brand you purchase, your pestle may look like a small club or baseball bat.

Here is my easy step-by-step:

First, place your ingredient in the middle of the bowl.

Press down into the middle of the bowl to break up large ingredients.  For small ingredients like herbs or nuts, press down several times all over.  (This Oreo has been pressed one time.)

Determine your desired size and crush again as needed.  The Oreo cookie only took 2 or 3 gentle crushes to get it to this point.  If I crushed it any more, it would be crumbs.  For herbs, I like to run the pestle around the bowl, pressing it down hard. 
 Linking up with some great parties!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Butterscotch Squares

This was, and still is, one of my most favourite basic un-chocolate brownie/square recipes of all time.  It is butterscotch perfection just by itself or can be a canvas for more adventurous baking.

My recipe card is splattered with bits and pieces of this recipe, but is thankfully still readable!

1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
2/3 cup chopped pecans (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 350F and spray 8x8 glass pan with Pam.

2. Beat butter and brown sugar together for 1 minute.  

3. Add egg, salt, vanilla and mix thoroughly.  Blend in flour and pecans if using.

4. Spread batter into greased pan and bake in centre of oven until the middle is barely moist (test with toothpick). 

5. Inhale deeply and try to keep your hands out of the pan until cool.

6. Cut into squares and enjoy!!

What else can you do with these?
- blend in chocolate chips or Skor pieces in place of nuts
- drizzle chocolate over plain, baked squares
- crumble over vanilla ice cream and top with fudge sauce and peanuts
- make an ice cream sandwich
- sprinkle with marshmallows and chocolate chips, place under broiler until chocolate is melted and marshmallows are puffed and brown for a butterscotch twist on rocky road brownies

Got any other ideas?

Linking up with some great parties!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Fruit Fly Trap

We brought home a watermelon last week that has since been eaten but left several fruit flies everywhere.  I am starting to wonder if these things can reproduce in a day...

I have tested different types of fruit fly traps over the past few summers, and this is the winner!

Get a glass.  I like to use a goblet so these little pesky guys can die in style.  Ha!


Add some red wine vinegar.  Make sure you swirl it or touch it with your finger to break the skin that can form on the surface.

Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Pokes holes with a dinner fork.  Go slowly and gently.  If the holes are too big, the fruit flies can climb right out again.  Also, a dinner fork tends to have longer and more slender tines than a dessert fork.  Go with the dinner fork if possible.

Wait.  This little guy was on the plastic and inside the glass less than five minutes after I assembled it.

I had a fruit fly block party in about 10-15 minutes!  I can't wait for tomorrow - hopefully none left!!

To dispose:
Leave it out overnight.  Make sure all flies are dead then remove plastic and discard.  Pour liquid down sink.

Repeat if needed.

Just a note:  I have also tested with white wine vinegar and apple cider vinegar.  The red wine vinegar seemed to attract the most fruit flies.

Linking up with some great parties!

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