Food

Summer Break Brunches

I think the only adults who look forward to summer break more than children are the teachers. Yes, teachers begin to “check out” mentally around Cinco de Mayo. Children who are home, like mine, all summer often enjoy sleeping until the afternoon. They don’t wake for breakfast; they tend to eat brunch. At our home, summer brunches feature a lot of waffles, eggs, potatoes, bacon, lunch meat, fruit, oatmeal, and green smoothies. However, today I featured a new recipe pin I found on Food.com: Disney French Toast. 

The basic ingredients were simple and in my pantry. I did have to buy a loaf of Texas toast, which my teenage boy ate half of before I started the brunch. I ended up making a half batch. The other ingredients include milk, eggs, baking powder, flour, salt, cinnamon, vanilla extract, vegetable oil, and sugar. I made two substitutions I used half milk and half heavy cream and brown sugar. 


The batter was thicker than I’m used to working with; it reminded me of waffle mix. I dipped the first two pieces and fried them blending vegetable oil shortening and a tablespoon of coconut oil in a pan. They fried to a beautiful golden brown. I then dipped them into the sugar cinnamon topping. I planned to top with whipped cream and strawberries, but those were also eaten the night before. I should start a food gone missing series called ” While I was Sleeping.” 

Here is how the French Toast turned out:


My daughter, the one true princess of the house, asked for French toast sticks. I barely got this picture because she took the plate and began eating before I could get the camera on. 

These were fabulous brunch stars! My kids ate them without syrup! I got one stick and thought the batter lended itself better to the sticks; my husband and son liked the full version better. We’ve never eaten the actual Disney French Toast but we thought this recipe was a great feature in out Weekday summer brunch. Here is the link to the original recipe. If you have leftover brown sugar topping, add a heaping tablespoon to steel cut oatmeal along with pecans and strawberries, this is my copycatt version of Panera Bread’s oatmeal. 

What is your favorite brunch star? Link a recipe in the comments. Thanks for reading. 

Food

Cupcakes in a Jar

Have you ever been faced with the challenge of giving a good teacher gift? As a high school teacher I generally get a lot of food. Two of my children are of the age where they love personalized gifts for their teachers. Recently, we found two pins on Pinterest that gave us two different methods for creating cupcakes in a jar. 

Walmart had these two cake mixes on clearance. I snatched them up with glee. I made the Tie-Die Cake as instructed in the directions using two 9 inch pans. The Thin Mints batter we made and baked in 12 oz canning jars.

–Side note, Do you love my potholders? I made them from leftover fabric and quilting batting. 

Okay back on topic. Here is the Tie-Die Batter Before and after. It makes six colors in total. 
When the cake was cooled, I used a round cookie cutter to make the layers. I then allowed the children to layer cake circles and frosting.


We filled each lightly sprayed jars about halfway with the prepared Thin Mint batter. We baked at 350 for about 35 minutes. After all of our labor was done here is our teacher gifts:

I added fun cupcake liners as decorations. After adding the chocolate gnoch I sprinkled white chocolate shavings on top. Both of the cake batters are very good! The thin mint cupcakes baked up lovely and surprisingly taste spot on to the cookies! Another great Pinterest find! These were a really big hit among my family and the teachers who received them.  
What gifts have you enjoyed making for your children’s teachers? Have you tried cupcakes in a jar? 

Crafts and DIY

Pinterest Sensory Bottles

When you live in the South, there are sweet things that go hand in hand with Southern culture that are easy to get used to: sweet tea, red velvet cake, biscuits, and crispy fried chicken. The hardest thing to get used to for a girl from PA is the consecutive days of 90 degree weather—Sticky humid hot 90 degree weather. School is out, and kids are indoors a lot. I turned to Pinterest for a quick craft yesterday. 

We found a DIY for sensory bottles. It linked back to this blog by Little Bins for Little Hands. It was super simple and I convinced my kids to drink a lot of water before we could start. All you need is a water bottle, some glitter glue, food color (optional), and glow sticks. I  bought my glitter glue and glow sticks at AC Moore. I used Core water bottles:

 

I filled two bottles 2/3 of the way with hot tap water. Each of my kids was then charged to dump their own glitter glue in the water. The glitter glue we used was this:

My daughter’s glitter glue was fluorescent and cream, my son’s was red. I added a few drops of red food coloring to her water to get a pink color. I added blue to get my son’s to a dark purple; he’s really into the Dark Side of Star Wars. We filled the water bottles slightly below the fill line, capped them, and they shook the bottles until the glue dissolved.  They then snapped a few glow sticks and dropped them in the bottles. We didn’t glue the lids because were going to add more glitter but look how neat they look. 

This Dark One really looks good at night. This was another fun pinterest project. We’ve also made slime although I didn’t post that. However, you can check out my pins here. What pinterest projects have you tried with your children?  

Furniture and Decor

Creating Closet Space with Closet Maid

Have you ever wondered why bedroom closets in kids rooms are so small? I mean who has more stuff than little kids? When we bought our house two years ago, I knew that storage was pretty high on the list. We have three children and a dog. When allotting the kids rooms, I knew that at least one closet would need an organizer to maximize space.

I asked my husband to remove the existing single shelf that was in the bedroom closet. I then decided I wanted the small closet to to be something unexpected. I decided to paint the closet red. It took three coats, but I finally managed to get it to shade and depth of red where I wanted it. The paint I chose was by Glidden. The color red I chose is called Old Glory. I thought it was very fitting for a Captain America themed bedroom.  Honestly, there was no way I was going to paint the entire room red, as requested. So this was my compromise. The paint was fairly easy to roll on, but it took a full gallon to paint this one small closet.

redcloset

After the paint was dry, my DH set up the Closet Maid Organizer I purchased from Home Depot. I was very pleased with the system’s versatility, but was dissatisfied with the lack of drawer options for the shelving system. So for now, our son still uses a small dresser. What have you completed around the house in order to increase storage capacity?

Furniture and Decor

Hello Kitty Dresser: How it all started.

I guess the there are several things that contributed to mydresser1 need for a creative outlet: After teaching high school students for ten months, a teacher needs a mental break. My first piece was requested by my daughter, who wanted a Hello Kitty Dresser. After combing the internet, I quickly discovered that a Hello Kitty anything was going to cost a small fortune.  Small fortune and teacher salary are polar opposites. Ha! I would set out to create my own version. I picked up this vintage dresser at the local Goodwill.

After a good cleaning and a quick prime. I spray painted the base with Rustoleum Berry Pink Gloss. The top was spray painted with Black Gloss, also by Rustoleum. Using a a sample of the Black Gloss paint by Rustoleum, I used a small brush to blacken the beveled details of the dresser. I decoupaged the drawers with scrapbook paper, finishing them off with a clear gloss. The front of the drawers were spray painted with a metallic chrome paint, which was the nightmare of the entire process!

Once, the paint was dry, I added a Hello Kitty Decal to the top.  centered it, and I sealed it with a clear poly. I added two removable decals, one on each side of the dresser as well. I figured if she ever outgrows this, removing the two can appear to be a more “big girl” look.

decals.jpg

Here is the finished product all dressed up and in her home. What do you think?

Hellokittydone