Saturday, February 15, 2014

Foam and Balsa Gliders





My eight year old son has discovered the wonders of the hot glue gun.  He made himself a biplane out of tongue depressors.  It wasn’t quite airworthy so we decided to make an airplane that would really soar.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Raised Garden Beds




With some reluctance I’m trying raised bed gardening this year.  I like the flexibility of traditional gardening where I can change the configuration and location of my plants each year.  However, I have been mulching with grass clippings.  This works great as long as I have enough clippings to smother out the weeds.  Unfortunately, I don’t and the grass composts into the soil faster than I can cover the whole garden.  When I put grass clippings in the garden, I’ve been adding weed seeds and cuttings that just make more weeds.  I’m on a never ending weed treadmill.  So I’m going to reduce the area I mulch with grass until it matches the amount of clippings I can produce.  I am planning on making my own raised beds and filling them with a sifted soil/compost mix that I’ll sterilize with the method from the University of Guam.

Since I’m just trying out raised bed gardening, I don’t want to put in a lot of time or money making beds.  So I decided to make my beds out of scrap wood.  The most easily available scrap wood is old packing pallets.  However, I have spent way too many hours of my life busting apart pallets and removing the nails.  It’s not worth my time!  I came up with a way to use pallets by sawing them instead of pulling them apart. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Campfire Cake

I made a campfire cake for our seven year old's campfire birthday party!

The "rocks" for the campfire are chocolate raisins and Jelly Belly "Belly Flops" Irregular Jelly Beans from Dollar Tree.  The campfire "wood" is honey wheat pretzels.  For the fire, I happened to have some largish orange Hanukkah candles I'd bought on clearance a while back.  I frosted sugar cones for the trees.  I think the fire will look great when it's lit!   I tried to elevate one of the cones with a pretzel rod for the tree trunk, but the frosted cone was so heavy that we had a couple of "Timberrrr!!!" incidents, so I gave up on raising it up.  For the tree to the right of the tent I did break off the cone a little to make it smaller, for variety.  I frosted "grass" around the edges of the cake and used green sprinkles and nonpareils to make the grass on top more interesting.  The tent is made from two chocolate Pop Tarts.

Update:
Here's my happy seven year old with his blazing campfire!  This little redhead makes me happy every day!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Graduation Cupcakes

My cousin Joey is graduating, so our girls (ages 9 & 11) made some graduation cupcakes to celebrate! We got our inspiration from What's New, Cupcake? by Karen Tack & Alan Richardson.

First, we frosted a batch of cupcakes in Joey's school colors.  My go-to cupcake recipe is Starlight Yellow Cake from Betty Crocker (1991).  To make a graduation hat cupcake topper, just invert a small peanut butter cup, and affix a chocolate square with a dollop of frosting.  You could also use chocolate dipped cookies, but the ones I found at the store were too rectangular, so the chocolate squares worked better for us.  We snipped up some Fruit by the Foot for the tassel.  We melted a bit of chocolate to stick the tassels to the mortarboards. 


Happy Graduation, Joey!!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Homemade Popsicles


Our 9 year old wanted to make clownfish popsicles using the instructions from PBSKids. However, she decided to use red Kool Aid instead of orange juice. So they are very dark red clownfish.
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