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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Salt Dough Easter Egg Tree

These salt dough Easter eggs were fun and easy to make. My kids had a lot of fun painting them. I found a branch out in the yard and we hung the eggs from it to make our own little Easter egg tree.

Salt Dough Easter Eggs

We actually painted them back in March, but I'm only now getting them hung on our Easter Egg Tree. I guess we can enjoy it this last week before Easter.

Salt Dough Easter Egg Tree

So much has been going on. Does anyone else feel like the end of the school year is an even busier time than the Christmas season? There are so many programs to go to and projects to be completed. We've got two more SUPER busy weeks ahead and then life should be getting a back to the normal busy.

I do have several projects/recipes to share, but I can't guarantee I'll be around here much for a few weeks. But that seems to be the norm lately, anyway. I keep thinking life will slow down and then it doesn't.

Salt Dough Easter Eggs
 These are all of the eggs we did. You can see we have all ranges of artistic ability and creativity. And let me tell you - I am not at the top of the list. I can do polka dots and stripes and that is the limit of my artistic ability.  My oldest loves to draw and she's quite good at it. So she loved this craft.   My youngest two just like to paint, with not much thought of the outcome - which is how it should be for kids. My son is some where in the middle.

Salt Dough Easter Eggs

Do you want to make your own salt dough Easter eggs? 

They are quite simple and you probably have the ingredients on hand. You will have to plan ahead a bit though, since they have to bake for a couple hours.

Printable Version

Salt Dough Recipe

2 c. flour
1 c. salt
1 c. water

In a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, mix together the flour and salt. Add 1/2 c. water and mix. While the dough is mixing, gradually add the remaining water until dough forms a ball and is smooth. You may not need all the water.

Roll out dough and cut out shapes with cookie cutters. Use a straw to make a hole for hanging.

Place on a grease cookie sheet. Bake at 250 for about 2 hours, checking after 1 hour. The time will vary depending on how thick your "cookies" are.

Add cinnamon and/or nutmeg for color or scent. {Think Christmas ornaments}
Add food coloring.
Add glitter.

Paint and decorate as desired.
For a durable finish, coat with an acrylic varnish or clear spray paint. {I still need to do this}

Salt Dough Easter Egg Tree

Once the paint is dry, just cut a piece of ribbon, thread it through the hole and hang. You could also use them to make a garland. We did that with Christmas shaped ornaments.

Here are a few other Easter ideas:

Spring Tree

 Beadboard Easter Eggs

Resurrection Rolls

I hope you all have a great Easter!

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 Linking up at Lady Behind the CurtainTidy MomAll Things With Purpose, Clean & Scentsible, and at these parties

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

How to Make Strawberry Freezer Jam

My favorite jam is Strawberry Freezer Jam. I always watch for strawberries to go on sale this time of year and then make several batches of this freezer jam. Follow along and learn how to make it yourself.  It's SO much easier than canning jam and I like it better too.

Strawberry Freezer Jam

It's spring break here and I'm in full organization mode.  Each day this week, I'm helping one of my kids get their room cleaned and organized. I've let it go too long and I've not been consistent about making them pick up each day. We are going to go through their clothes and put away all the winter or too small clothes too. Then on Friday, we're all going to get the basement living room all picked up. I'm also going to work on the coat closet and the pantry.  So... there won't be much time for projects or blogging. {although I do have several posts waiting to be written}  But I thought that since I just made this freezer jam last week, and I've posted about it before, I'd just do a quick re-post.

I originally showed you how to make Strawberry Freezer Jam two years ago. This is the same tutorial with a few notes about what I did differently this time around.

Strawberry Freezer Jam
I used two different freezer jam pectins. The one on the left you add sugar too and the one on the right has the sugar included.  I can't really tell the difference. I had the one on hand and the other was what the store had. There is a price difference, but if you figure that you don't have to add the sugar, then it probably evens out. {Now the ball pectin comes in a jar.}

I'm not sure that a tutorial is really necessary since it's so easy and the instructions are on the back of the pectin package. But I'll do one anyway.

First step, wash the berries and cut off the stems and any bruises.

Strawberry Freezer Jam

Next chop them up. I'm not sure what this tool is called. My mother-in-law got it at a yard sale, but it works perfectly for this. It chops the berries up super fine without pureeing them like a blender would. {I got a new blender for Christmas and it has a food chop option. It worked wonderfully without pureeing it.}

Strawberry Freezer Jam

Mix in the pectin {make sure to follow the instructions on the package, you may need to mix the sugar into the pectin first}

Strawberry Freezer Jam
Then stir it very well and pour into freezer containers. I've know people who use canning jars. You can  use anything you have. Over the years I've purchased enough of these containers made especially for freezer jam. It's definitely not necessary though. Use what you have. {This year, I used up all of these little jars and then had to use canning jars too.}
Strawberry Freezer Jam

Enjoy right away or freeze. It should last up to a year in the freezer.

Strawberry Freezer Jam

Be sure to check out my canning tab at the top of the page to see all my other canning and preserving posts.

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Monday, March 31, 2014

3 Ingredient Apple Crisp

Have you ever tried something at a pot luck dinner and were just dying to know how to make it. Well that's what happened to me. Several years ago, someone brought an apple crisp to a work party. It was so good and I had always been meaning to ask for the recipe. After a while, it seemed kind of awkward to say "Do you remember 2 years ago when you brought that apple crisp?" And then they moved. So I never asked.

3 Ingredient Apple Crisp
Well, earlier this month we had a chance to visit the town they moved to and they invited us to dinner at their house. And guess what she made for dessert? The very apple crisp I'd been dying to know how to make. And guess what else? It's SO easy! Only 3 ingredients!

3 Ingredient Apple Crisp

Click Here for Printable Recipe

3 Ingredient Apple Crisp Recipe

1 quart apple pie filling {I used my homemade pie filling, but you could use two cans store bought}
1 stick salted butter
1 yellow or white cake mix

Pour apple pie filling in a greased 9x13 pan. Melt butter in the microwave and stir in cake mix. Sprinkle it over the top of the pie filling. Bake at 350 for 25 - 30 minutes or until slightly browned on top.

I'm one of those people who usually substitute margarine for butter - mostly because of the cost. But in this recipe I would recommend using the real thing.

3 Ingredient Apple Crisp

I can't wait to play around with this recipe a little more. You could substitute any other pie filling for a totally different flavor. I also think adding some quick oats to the cake mix would be yummy.

3 Ingredient Apple Crisp

Go ahead and try it! I'm sure you'll love it too!

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Linking up at Lady Behind the CurtainTidy MomAll Things With Purpose, Clean & Scentsible, and at these parties
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