Monday, April 26

Butter Ball

A few days ago I came across a post on Make and Takes about making butter! It looked like fun so I decided to give it a whirl. We started with some heavy whipping cream...
...poured half the carton in a canning jar with a tight lid and started shaking it... and shaking it and shaking it. It thickened up to the consistency of whipped cream pretty quickly. After about 10 minutes it looked like this:
About 5 minutes later it had formed into a ball of butter, floating in buttermilk!
Josh found a website that suggested shaking it up in some ice water, so I drained out the buttermilk, poured about a cup of water with a couple of ice cubes in the jar and shook it up a little longer. This is called washing the butter. When I pulled it out looked like this:
Isn't it beautiful? I made butter!! Woohoo! Throw in some salt, and it is good to go!
Just to follow along with the spirit of the original experiment, I did turn the other half into whipped cream...
Which two little girls found hard to keep their fingers out of! So there you have it... one pint of heavy whipping cream= 3 yummy by-products!
p.s. Josh poured the buttermilk in the grits we were eating for dinner... oh so creamy!

Wednesday, April 21

Thank You!

Just want to say a big thank you to all the people in my neck of the woods who are spring cleaning!
It means that you are leaving things like this:
outside on the curb! Where strangers like me, who've been wanting a kiddie sized picnic table, can pick it up late at night after dropping off the babysitter! After a good hosing down, and a couple of coats of spray paint it looks like this:

And thank you to the people who gave one of our local thrift stores this little shelving unit
it may be a little faded by the sun, but it will hold our shoes, or art supplies, or my growing stash of fabric just fine! Maybe it was the same person who donated this item:

Barbie's Dream Boudoir...
...complete with the sofa that turns into the bed...

...And bathroom!

I'm sure it was hard to get rid of-- but it has a new home! And it will be well loved.

Thank You!!!

Friday, April 16

Rocking Chair Cradle

Rocking Chair Cradle:
A rocking chair and cradle in one. While softly swinging the rocking chair and reading a book or singing a lullaby, the baby falls asleep. When the baby outgrows the cradle, it is possible to reconstruct the rockid into a rocking chair.

Monday, April 12

Birthday Bed

Since she's gone from this:
to this:
I thought it was time she graduated out of the toddler bed. (I know, she hasn't been a toddler for a few years now... but we are dealing with a very small bedroom!)
After a little hunting at some garage sales I finally found a bed complete with head & foot board, mattress & box springs, and a previous owner willing to deliver it to my house!
I sanded it down,
Applied a couple of coats of primer and a few coats of paint,
and ta-dah!!
A birthday surprise for our now 5 year old!
Happy 5th Birthday Suzy-Q!
Good luck getting your sister off your new bed.

Friday, April 9

Old MacDonald Had a Farm

Ever think about raising farm animals? How about chickens? Or maybe a pig? Or maybe not. Perhaps these and these would be a better alternative? They would be so easy to take care of! I love them! I want them! I will never have the patience to make them, but I can dream right?
While you are over there, check out all the other cool stuff Lier at Ikat Bag makes with felt.

Monday, April 5

Spring Clean

I realize that in some parts of the world it is still snowing, but with Easter come and gone, it is officially spring time. Which means it's time for a good Spring Clean! Ready to start? Hop on over to the Money Saving Mom with me- The Clear Out the Clutter Challenge is starting Tuesday April 6th!

Not quite ready to start? Check out these other posts on Spring Cleaning for a little inspiration:

3. For all you sewers out there Spring Clean your Sewing Room by Sew Mama Sew. (In my case it's more like spring clean your sewing room/guest room/storage space.)

4. And finally for all you bloggers out there- who would have thought? Quick Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Blog.

Wow... how many times can you say spring clean in one teeny post? Wish me luck people!

Friday, April 2

World Map Wallpaper

World Map Wallpaper:

World Map Wallpaper - NEW!

"Why give your little ones a books of maps when you can surround them in one?

This is the most amazing wall covering – a whole world map in colour. A really generous size which can be trimmed to your own wall dimensions - it’s so original and is sure to inspire a few young explorers. It will appeal to any age of child or teenager and is a really different, high impact approach for decorating a bedroom or the den.

If you would like the world map to look like the image shown, we made it using four sheets across and 2 sheets high.

Thursday, April 1

The History of Mac n' Cheese

Mac and Cheese is a staple in our house. We've done our time eating the boxed kind, the "instant" kind, and the way my mom always made it, which is to stir some cheese into hot buttered noodles. Then we moved on to recipes with mixed in pureed veggies, like squash, sweet potato or cauliflower (you know, to con the kiddies into eating veggies!).
But then I came across this recipe from the Pioneer Woman. And it is sooooooo good. Here's is my tweeked version of her recipe:

2 Tbs margarine
2 Tbs flour
3/4 C- 1 C of pureed Cauliflower
1 C milk
1 egg
2 C cheddar cheese
salt & pepper
1 package macaroni noodles (about 1 lb)

1. Melt the margarine, and then add the flour. Stir until it becomes a smooth paste.
2. Add pureed cauliflower and mix till smooth.
3. Add the milk, and stir constantly over medium heat till it thickens up. (Speaking from experience here pay attention because it does stick to the bottom of the pan and turn black and although it doesn't really affect the taste, it will make your picky 4 yr old very skeptical about eating it!!)
4. In a separate small bowl, beat one egg. Slowly drizzle about 1/2 C -1 C of the hot milk mixture into the egg, beating the whole time. The Pioneer Woman has a detailed explanation, but basically it's to keep the egg from scrambling in your cheese sauce.
5. Pour egg mix into milk mix, stir it up, and let it bubble for a couple of minutes then add your cheddar cheese, and stir till it's all melted. Salt and pepper to taste.
6. Combine with cooked macaroni.

At this point you can either serve it right away, or you can put it in a 9x13 pan, sprinkle a little extra cheese on top and bake at 350 degrees till its brown and bubbly. The cauliflower and cheese are amazing together, and the egg just makes the whole dish thick and creamy and YUMMY. Make this or this- I promise it's worth the dirty dishes!!!

A note about the cauliflower: I usually buy a whole cauliflower, cut it up and steam it. Then I puree it with a little bit of water till it's smooth. Then I divide up into snack size bags (which will usually hold about 3/4 C) and freeze them. A quick zap in the microwave and I have pureed cauliflower whenever I need it!