Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Just a little tip

Just a little tip for parents with toddlers. Try making bold letter flashcards of the alphabet on thin or normal paper. Then get a little magnedoddle type board (like five bucks at Walmart). Now show your child that when they trace the letter on the board it appears underneath. It was my son who actually figured this one out when he was two and it works great.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

My Handmade Christmas

Ah, autumn. Orange leaves, cool winds, thunderstorms. Southern Oregon is one of nature’s garden spots. In September you can actually smell the sweet harvest of so many different fields and orchards all at once. You need only to slow down and breath. It’s also the time I get started on handmade Christmas gifts. I know, most people are so annoyed to see red and green on the shelf this early but I prefer it. I want to have all my gifts made and stowed away by the time I’m trimming the tree. That way I have the time to enjoy all the bright eyed child-like wonder of Christmas with my family.

Last year I found myself in a situation where I either had to make toys or Santa got stuck in the chimney. I made a stuffed frog and a striped scarf out of fleece. I painted an ABC block toy box and purchased blank thermal pajamas, ironed on a photo of Thomas the tank engine and drew silver and gold tracks all over them. It was a success. My two-year-old loved it.

Making gifts is a wonderful way to treat your young children and to teach them the value of creativity. But don’t underestimate your older child’s appreciation for your hard work. A handmade gift from Mom or Dad can be cherished for a lifetime. Combining Christmas with handmade skills is a wonderful way to create family heirlooms to last generations. And all the more fun if they get to watch you make it.

This year I plan to make a blue plaid teddy bear, a black and yellow road sign scarf and maybe a stuffed monster. And that’s just for one child. My daughter will get a stuffed toy (like a bunny or a cat) and a new crocheted Christmas dress. I also plan to make scarves and shawls for extended family. Canning is a really fun way to treat your friends. I like to do sweets like jams, syrups, and pie fillings decorated with a piece of festive fabric under the ring.

So have fun, get creative and don’t wait 'till carolers are singing to get started. Make the season last. If you’re looking for patterns or handmade gifts on line, check out my etsy shop. It’s here on the blog. There’s more to come so keep checking. Peace on earth and good will toward men.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Cinnamon Awesome

I don’t know if you have ever seen those little cans of pillsbury rolls, biscuits or cinnamon rolls with just four or five in each tube but if you have a very small family, like me, you may want to try them. Now, if you have, one thing you might have noticed with the cinnamon rolls is the difficulty in finding a pan that five rolls will fit snuggly in to. Oh sure you can bake them on a cookie sheet 2 inches apart like the package directs. If you don’t care for ooie gooie sticky sweet cinnamon rolls. So, through trial and err I came up with this cheaters recipe for the Cinnamon Blossom, or as my three-year-old calls it, the Cinnamon Awesome.
Put 5 pillsbury cinnamon rolls into a round greased 16 oz baking dish in a circle like a pinwheel (see photo 1).

Bake at 325 for 25 minutes or until golden brown ( see photo 2).

Ice and serve ( see photo 3).

So, give it a try. I hope your family likes it as much as mine does. And don’t be afraid to experiment to find something that works for your family. It took me three or four times to get this one right. Good luck and have fun creating something.

Super Easy Yummy Pork

One of my FAVORITE blogs is hosting an awesome giveaway. It’s a contest for the best recipe made with only 6 ingredients or less. The winner gets a $600 American Express gift card, hoorah. So this is my recipe that I’m entering. I just made it up one day when I was trying to figure out dinner. This is my super easy yummy pork recipe.

Super Easy Yummy Pork

You will need:

6-8 boneless porkchops

One large can whole or diced tomatoes(I prefer whole)

One can cream of mushroom soup

Salt to taste

Any preferred herb (I like Basil)

And about 4 cups of cooked rice

Okay so the rice in the picture isn’t cooked yet. You get the idea though.

And here’s how you do it- Season pork with salt and basil. Place pork in baking dish.

Cover with can of tomatoes.

Pour in soup,

mix it a little.

You may want to use a larger baking dish than I did, one that your food will all fit in perhaps.

Bake in 300 degree oven for about an hour to an hour and a half. About halfway through cooking mix it around so the soup and tomatoes come together to make a sauce. That’s it. It’s super easy and super yummy.

I serve the rice on the side covered in the sauce.

This is how my kids eat it.

We had peas with ours.