Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Together Tuesday: I'm a Perky Turkey

“I’m A Perky Turkey” (sung to “I’m a Little Tea Pot”)
I’m a perky turkey, yes in deed
Eating corn and grains and seed
I waddle when I walk
And I gobble when I talk
But when Thanksgiving comes, I run away!

from Earth*School, We're Thankful for Thanksgiving
Copyright 2004 - 2010, Earth*School

Monday, November 22, 2010

Monday Munchies: Rustic Herbed Cheese Bread

It's no secret that I love bread. Love it. There are a lot of bread recipes on here if you go through the archives. And most of them start with the same recipe/method, the no-knead method. This bread is no exception, but the taste is absolutely exceptional! This is a great dinner bread, but I recently served it hollowed out with an herbed sour cream dip as an appetizer and it was phenomenal!


Rustic Herbed Cheese Bread

3 cups flour
1 5/8 cups water
1 1/2 tablespoons oil
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon yeast
Garlic powder
Sesame seeds
Onion powder
4 ounces sharpest provolone, shredded
Corn meal and additional flour for dusting/shaping

Mix all ingredients but cheese in a large bowl, just until combined. I didn't add the measurements for the spices because I don't measure. I like my breads strongly spiced, so I used approximately half of a small container of sesame seeds, and generous amounts (1 1/2 - 2 1/2 T) of garlic and onion powder.

There is no need to knead or over mix this dough. Simply combine the ingredients and that's it. Cover the bowl (this dough will double in size so make sure your bowl is big enough) and let sit overnight. I let mine sit for at least 12 hours, but have let it sit for 48 hours and the bread still comes out amazing.

After it has sat, place a dishtowel or paper towels in a warm place (I put mine on the stovetop with the oven on) and sprinkle generously with cornmeal. Using only enough flour so that the dough doesn't stick to your hands, ball the dough and place it on the prepared towels. Dust with more cornmeal or flour and cover with another cloth/paper towel. Let rise 1 - 3 more hours, until doubled again in size.

For the last half an hour, place a baking dish (it needs to have a cover) in the oven at 450 degrees to heat up. Turn dough out into the preheated baking dish, cover and bake for approximately 25 - 30 minutes. Remove cover and bake another 15 - 20 minutes until the bread is browned and sounds hollowed when you thump it.

Herbed Sour Cream Dip

Into 16 ounces of sour cream, mix 2T Healing Pixie's bread and cheese herb mix, 1T garlic powder, 1T onion powder and 1T garlic salt. Chill for at least an hour to allow hers to soften and flavors to meld.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday Funny: How to Cook a Turkey

1. Go buy a turkey
2. Take a drink of whisky
3. Put turkey in the oven
4. Take another 2 drinks of whisky
5. Set the degree at 375 ovens
6. Take 3 more whiskys of drink
7. Turk the bastey
8. Whisky another bottle of get
9. Ponder the meat thermometer
10. Glass yourself a pour of whisky
11. Bake the whisky for 4 hours
12. Take the oven out of the turkey
13. Floor the turkey up off of the pick
14. Turk the carvey
15. Get yourself another scottle of botch
16. Tet the sable and pour yourself a glass of turkey
17. Bless the dinner and pass out


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Together Tuesday: Turkeys!

Foot and hand print turkey
Here’s another twist on that traditional handprint turkey, one that will elicit lots more giggles! You will need a large sturdy paper, paints, a brush and your child’s hand and foot.
Paint the bottom of your child’s foot brown and his/her toes orange (this will take a while … be prepared for tons of giggling!) and stamp onto a paper (hold the paper lengthwise and stamp at the bottom) with the toes facing down. This is the turkey body (brown) and feet (orange). Now paint your child’s hand and stamp all around the body in a fan shape to create the feathers. Add as many feathers/colors as desired. We always make one turkey per family member each year. They make a cute gaggle of turkeys to display!

from Earth*School, We're Thankful for Thanksgiving
Copyright 2004 - 2010, Earth*School

Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday Munchies: Apple Spice Cupcakes

There is nothing I like better in the kitchen than baking with fresh ingredients. When A's parents brought over a ton of fresh apples from a local farm, I knew I had to whip up something sweet with them, but didn't want to go with the same old recipes, so I came up with this recipe for apple cupcakes with spiced brown cugar buttercream frosting. We had these at our Halloween party this year (along with vanilla and chocolate cupcakes with dark chocolate and peanut buttercream frostings) and they were the most talked about item that day!


Apple Spice Cupcakes
(makes 2 dozen)

2 sticks butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 whole eggs
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 fresh apples (I used Spencer apples), peeled and chopped into chunks
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional, but they really make these cupcakes!)
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (to taste)
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Disolve baking soda in buttermilk.

Alternately add flour and buttermilk, mixing well after each addition. Mix in vanilla and spices. I use my kitchen aid for this and let the batter whip for a minute or two to make it light and fluffy. Add apples and walnuts and mix to incorporate.

Bake in preheated 400 degree oven until toothpick comes out clean.

Spiced Brown Sugar Buttercream Frosting

Cream 1 stick of butter with 1/2 cup brown sugar. Add 2 1/2T cinnamon and 2 cups powdered sugar. Mix until the consistency of frosting (you may need to add 1-2 T milk to reach a good consistency). This frosting will be slightly grainy due to the brown sugar. Pipe onto cupcakes using a large star tip or spread over tops with a knife. This keeps very well in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Just let stand at room temperature and re-whip before frosting.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Together Tuesday: Harvest Time is Here!

It's November, the harvest is in and there is a cornucopia of bounty in your local produce section or farm store!

“Harvest Time Is Here” (sung to “The Farmer in the Dell”)
Harvest time is here!
Harvest time is here!
Harvest time is lots of fun.
Harvest time is here!

(Child’s name) picks the apples.
(Child’s name) picks the apples.
Apples are fun, but the harvest’s not done!
What else do we have here?

(Child’s name) picks the pears.
(Child’s name) picks the pears.
Pears are fun, but the harvest’s not done!
What else do we have here?

Repeat with corn, Indian corn, pumpkins, peaches and anything else you harvest in your area.

* This is a perfect song for a movement activity. Give each child a basket and collect silk in colors to represent the harvest time foods (or if you have the actual foods or toy foods, even better. We use our wool foods for the harvest song. Have your child play at picking the type of fruit/veggie in the song. How does picking a pumpkin look different from picking an apple?)

from Earth*School, Happy Harvest
Copyright 2004 - 2010, Earth*School

Monday, November 8, 2010

Monday Munchies: Grown Up Apple Cider

The leaves are falling, the air is crisp and cool ... it's the perfect time for hot mulled apple cider. Every October, A and I go to a fall festival in Rhode Island; last year while we were there for the weekend we had dinner at The Black Pearl in Newport and had the most fabulous mulled apple cider. This is my rendition of it to make at home. Make up a couple of mugs, put the kids to bed and snuggle on the couch with a roaring fire ... well, at least that's what we will be doing!


Place mulling spices (either prepurchased or make your own by combining cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger) in tea bag/muslin bag or a tea ball. Add to a large saucepan with 16 ounces of apple cider. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer. The longer you simmer, the more concentrated/strong it will become. You can also do this by the gallon in a crock pot and slow mull it all day. Remove from heat and pour into two mugs. Add 1-2 shots of rum to each glass and stir with a cinnamon stick.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Friday Favorite: Monkey Milk

Peanut butter and chocolate is my favorite flavor combination, so when I saw this new Spipping chocolat from Katherine of Love Abounds I had to try it! it not only has peanut butter and chocolate, but banana as well! How can you go wrong?


It is rich and warm and delicious - all the flavors meld together well, nothing too overpowering. Really a perfect cold winter's night treat for the kids!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Together Tuesday: Indian Corn Art

* Indian Corn
This is a fun activity for little hands. You will need an elongated oval cut out of cardboard (the back of a cereal box works well), glue and all of those tissue paper scraps. We always start this activity by looking at a bunch of ears of Indian corn, talking about the various colors, the texture, etc., so if you have some Indian corn around the house, that’s a great place to start.
Spread glue on the cardboard corn ear shape. Then you use the tissue paper to create your very own ear of Indian corn. This activity can be done in a variety of ways – crumpling up small pieces of tissue paper and sticking them on, laying squares or random shapes of tissue paper on to the ear, and if you have the type of tissue paper that bleeds, you can omit the glue and spread water with a little vinegar on the ear and lay the tissue paper pieces on. Once that dries, brush off the tissue paper and the colors will be left behind (you will want to use white construction paper for this).

From Earth*School, Happy Harvest
Copyright 2004 - 2010, Earth*School

Monday, November 1, 2010

Monday Munchies: Peanut Butter Cups

Don't raid the kids Halloween candy - make your own! They are far better and you can control the sweetness!

Mommy's Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups


Melt dark chocolate (I use 85% dark or above, either Scharffenberger or Lindt) over a double boiler or similar (I use a small sauce pan of water with a pottery bowl placed in it, with the chocolate in the bowl), stirring until smooth. Use whatever chocolate you prefer - semisweet, milk, dark to whatever degree you prefer - semi sweet and milk will melt differently and you can do this directly in a saucepan on the stovetop over low-medium heat.

Mix 1/3 c natural peanut butter with a spoon until smooth. If you have a sweet tooth, add a little powdered sugar to the peanut butter, mixing til smooth and the desired sweetness/taste is achieved.

Spoon a small amount of into a mold. Add a small amount of peanut butter/powered sugar mixture. Top with another drop of chocolate. Tap molds on tabletop/counter top repeatedly to release air bubbles; refrigerate until firm. If you do not have chocolate molds, you can use mini paper cupcake liners, a mini cupcake tin (greased lightly with butter) or you can make large peanut butte cups in standard size cupcake tins/liners.

Dark chocolate versions need to be kept in the refrigerator as the dark chocolate softens quite a bit at room temperature. But these are much better than the sweet ones! Milk and semi-sweet cups are generally shelf stable for a few days (if they last that long!)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010



Our cow needs a new name ... something gender neutral. Something starting with a "C". Got an idea for a name? Leave it in a comment below (and make sure there is a way for me to get in touch with you) to be entered to win a $10 coupon! You may enter as many times as you wish - just leave each name in a separate comment. Winner will be chosen Friday, October 15th at noon est.

*Officially closed for entries - Our cow's new name is Clover!*

Monday, September 6, 2010

Monday Munchies: Chicken Corden Bleu

I love food.

Correction: I love GOOD food.

Clarification: I especially love good food that can be made quickly. I will spend hours and hours in the kitchen baking/decorating, but as far as dinners go, I love good food, homemade food, made from scratch food that does not take a long time to prepare.

Kenna's favorite dish ever is chicken cordon bleu. I refuse to buy the prepackaged/frozen version, so this is my quick, easy and delicious take on it. She ges very happy whenever I make this :) And it makes me happy too because it takes about 5 minutes.

Chicken Cordon Bleu


Place chicken breast on plate. Place slice of ham on top, hanging over the side of the chicken. Add cheese (I used mozzarella for Kenna, provolone for me) on top of ham, then fold the other half of the slice of ham over. Fold/roll up the chicken breast. Secure with toothpick. Dip in egg wash then in seasoned bread crumbs. Bake at 400 degrees for about 15-20 minutes, til chicken is cooked through and cheese is bubbly.

This is also especially good with spinach in place of the ham and feta in place of the mozzarella.


Friday, September 3, 2010

Friday Funny - Baby Discussing Some Serious Topics

My sister in law posted a link to this on facebook last night - check it out if you need a laugh!


Monday, August 30, 2010

Monday Munchies: Greek Yogurt

This is so easy - you have to try it!

Greek Yogurt with Pineapple (recipe adapted from Tasty Kitchen)

Heat 2 quarts (8 cups) milk to 180 degrees (I guessed - I don't have a candy thermometer) stirring frequently. It took about 15 minutes. Cover and cool to about 116 degrees (I cooled it til I could stick my finger in it and not scream, lol).

Remove 2 cups of milk to a bowl and whisk in 4T plain yogurt. Whisk that back into the rest of the milk. Put in container and cover tightly; let sit in a warm place for 6-8 hours (I sit mine out overnight) to thicken. Once thickened, place in refrigerator for 4 hours. Remove and strain - mine sat in the fridge straining, fine cloth over a colander sitting over a large bowl - 5 hours to overnight, until desired consistency.

Add desired fruit/whatever to it - I used a few tablespoons of crushed pineapple in juice (not syrup - I have a massive sweet tooth but I don't like sugary things). The only thing I will do differently next time is to drain the pineapple a bit first, it thinned out the yogurt a bit because I didn't. It is also delicious with cut up, slightly overripe peaches, or blueberries ... or just about any other fruit. Try granola on top too!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Together Tuesday: Forever Sand Castles

As the summer season draws to a close, fashion some forever sand castles to keep a bit of summer all year round.

Mix up a batch of sand dough … you will need a good amount of playground sand or beach sand and some white glue. Mix the white glue into a bowl of sand, only a tablespoon at a time, until you get a moldable consistency. You can add a little flour to the mixture if it is still too sticky. Work on waxed paper for ease of drying and moving your sculptures later on. Work the sand mixture into sand castle shapes and allow them to dry thoroughly. Add small shells and/or other accents before the sand mixture dries for added fun.

(From Earth*School: Under the Sea, all rights reserved. Copyright Earth*School/Bonnie Vontz 2004 - 2010)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Monday Munchies: Strawberry Lime Sorbet

No ice cream maker needed!

Strawberry Lime Sorbet in Dark Chocolate Bowls (recipe adapted from Tasty Kitchen)


In a food processor, puree one 16 ounce bag of frozen strawberries (partially thawed) and 4T limeade concentrate. (Adjust the limeade to your taste - ours was TART!). Put in a container with lid and freeze for a few hours.

To make chocolate bowls, melt chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet - I would usually use dark, but because I used no sugar in the sorbet, I used semi-sweet to offset the tartness). Coat the bottom and sides of either a chocolate bowl mold or a paper cupcake liner (sprayed with cooking spray). Quick and easy way to do this is to pour melted chocolate in the molds/liners, let set for a couple of minutes on the counter, then pour out excess chocolate. Refrigerate to set.

To serve, unmold or remove paper from chocolate bowl and scoop in two scoops of sorbet.

Once the chocolate bowls were gone, I semi-defrosted the sorbet, added some semi-sweet chocolate chips, mixed and refroze.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Together Tuesday: Magic Mud

Magic mud is another favorite activity here – but very messy!! Pour a box of corn starch into a large Tupperware or similar bowl. Add 1 cup of water. Mix it up with your hands – it will be at the same time a liquid and a solid. When you try to pick it up it will act as a solid but once you get it in your hands it will run out of your fingers like a liquid. On one side of the container, add a few drops of blue food coloring or kool aid mix and mix. On the other side, add a few drops of yellow food coloring or kool aid mix and mix. Then play with the magic mud (also called oobleck) and watch it slowly turn to green. Play with colors by using different colors of kool aid or food coloring.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Monday Munchies: Homemade Soft Cheese

I've been on a dairy product kick this summer - homemade soft cheese, cheese spread, creme fraiche, Greek yogurt, mascarpone ... it is all amazingly easy to make at home!

Soft Cheese (recipe from Tasty Kitchen)


* 8 cups Whole Milk
* 1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
* ½ teaspoons Salt
* 3 Tablespoons Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice (or lemon juice, vinegar ... whatever acid you prefer)

Prepare a sieve lined with fine mesh cheesecloth and place it over a large bowl; set aside. Into a large stockpot, add milk, cream and salt and bring to a rolling boil, stirring constantly. When it has reached a rolling boil, add lime juice, reduce heat and stir until mixture curdles. Pour the mixture into the sieve and allow it to sit approximately 1 hour to drain and cool.

Discard liquid in the bottom bowl. Place sieve into the refrigerator to chill for a minimum of two hours. Once chilled, transfer cheese to an airtight container and keep refrigerated.

Pic is plain cheese - which is really yummy. I am adding herbs to half of it to eat on crackers

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Together Tuesday: Lemon Ice Dough

This sparkling lemon ice dough is sure to please any play dough enthusiast! It has diamond dust to make it sparkle like ice, as well as a pleasing lemon scent and color. A great way to spice up a hot summer afternoon!

Ingredients: 3 c flour 3 c water
1 ½ c salt 2 T oil
1 T cream of tarter 2 packets lemonade Kool Aid
Yellow food coloring for more color, if desired
Diamond dust (sparkly iridescent glitter)

1. Mix the kool aid into the water.
2. Mix all ingredients together in a saucepan over medium-low to medium heat until the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the pan and becomes hard to stir.
3. Remove from heat and knead (let cool enough to touch) on a floured surface until the dough is a nice consistency.
4. Store in an airtight container.

(From Earth*School: Rainbow of Colors, all rights reserved. Copyright Earth*School/Bonnie Vontz 2004 - 2010)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Monday Munchies: Fluer de Sel Cupcakes

If you like dark chocolate ... caramel ... or sweet and salty combinations, make these today. Right now. Go on ... I mean it!


Chocolate cupcake recipe (cupcake and chocolate frosting recipes are from Tasty Kitchen)
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Cream 2 sticks butter and 1 1/4 c sugar. Add 2 eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition.

Dissolve 2t baking soda in 1 cup buttermilk. Alternate additions of flour (2 1/ cups) and buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour.

Add 2t vanilla. Melt the 2 ounces dark chocolate, cool and stir into the batter. Before you add the chocolate, eat some of the batter - it is the best batter I have ever had. I am a huge chocoholic, but I considered stopping before adding the chocolate and just making them this way. I have made then without the chocolate several times now as well, and they are to die for!

Pour into cupcake wrappers and bake at 400 F for 20 minutes. Makes about 2 dozen cupcakes

Chocolate buttercream frosting:
Cream 1 stick butter. Add 4 cups powdered sugar, 1/4t salt, 1t vanilla, 1 cup cocoa and about 1/2 cup milk. put in pastry bag fitted with a large star tip.

Caramel filling:
The original recipe I used called for a caramel sauce recipe which I made and hated and promptly threw away and made my own, lol. This is my favorite caramel recipe:

In a heavy saucepan, melt 2 sticks butter. Add 1 can sweetened condensed milk, 1 cup corn syrup, 4c + 4T dark brown sugar and mix thoroughly. Heat to boiling, then stir constantly, heating to soft ball stage. I heated this to just under so that it would not harden as much in the cupcakes.

Remove from heat and add 1T vanilla. Cool til you can handle it without getting burned, then fill a pastry bag with large tip with it.

Fill each cupcake with caramel by inserting the tip into the top of the cupcake and giving a generous squeeze. Frost cupcakes with chocolate buttercream. Garnish with a small sprinkle of sea salt on top.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Together Tuesday: Jellyfish Flyers

Jellyfish flyers

For this activity you will need 2 circles of clear contact paper, some string, a hole punch and various colors of tissue paper. Cut some of the tissue paper into strips to use as the jelly fish tentacles; tear the rest into small pieces to decorate the jelly fish body. Remove the backing from one of the contact paper circles. Attach the tentacles to the bottom half of the circle. Use the torn tissue paper pieces to decorate the rest of the jelly fish’s body. Cover with the other tissue paper circle. Punch a hole in the top and thread the string though, tying tightly. Bring your jelly fish flyer outside or out to the beach to fly like a kite!

(From Earth*School: Under the Sea, all rights reserved. Copyright Earth*School/Bonnie Vontz 2004 - 2010)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Monday Munchies: Stuffed Pretzels

Cheddar Stuffed Pretzels - way easier than you think!


Sprinkle 1T yeast in 1/2c warm water. Let sit 5 minutes til frothy. Add 1/2c milk, 2T packed brown sugar, 2T butter (softened), 1/2t salt, 3 1/4c flour and mix to form dough ball. Knead 10 minutes til satiny/tacky (I stick it in the kitchen aid and go do something else)

Put dough in a greased bowl and let rise at least 1 hour, til doubled in size.

At this point, make your pretzels. You can make traditional pretzel shapes, pretzel sticks, etc. I always go for pretzel bites. Roll little balls of dough - super easy. Cut small blocks of cheese (I used seriously sharp cheddar; asiago is my personal favorite but we were out). Press your thumb in each dough ball and insert cheese. Cover cheese with dough.

Put on greased baking sheet and let sit 15 minutes.

Heat up water with about 1/4c baking soda. Dip pretzels for about a minute on each side and remove to the greased baking sheet. Be sure not to leave these in the baking soda bath too long or the cheese will start to melt. Brush with an egg wash and sprinkle on sea salt. Bake at 400 for about 12-15 minutes.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Together Tuesday: Camping Day!

Is summer boredom setting in? Shake things up with an informal camping day!

Day 7 – Camping Day
* We’re Going on a Campout! (spoken, in the tradition of "Going on a Bear Hunt")
We’re going on a campout in the middle of the woods
Hiking high, hiking low, off on our camp out – here we go!

First we pitch our tent.
Put up the stakes, zip the flaps, adjust the rain cover –

We’re going on a campout in the middle of the woods
Hiking high, hiking low, off on our camp out – here we go!

Next we gather some wood.
Little twigs for tinder,
Big dry logs for the fire.
Carry the heavy load to the fire pit!

It’s time to light the fire.
Make a frame with the tinder, light the match,
Blow it gently …
Watch the flames go!
Add some logs –

Supper time!
Wrap some potatoes in foil and put them in the fire.
Make some shish kabobs!
Yummy – let’s eat!
Time for s’mores!
Find some sticks.
Put on your marshmallows and toast them just right!
Make a sandwich with graham crackers and chocolate – yum!

*Yawn* Time for bed now.
Unzip your sleeping bag.
Curl up inside.
Mommy and daddy zip you up tight and warm.
Sweet dreams!

* Pitch a tent! – In your backyard, if the weather is nice, or in your living room, if it not! If you don’t have a camping tent to pitch, use a child’s pop up playhouse as a tent or create your own tent by stringing a piece of rope between two trees or from one wall or piece of furniture to another across the room, draping a sheet over and securing the ends down at an angle with rocks or other heavy objects. Add your sleeping bags or blankets and pillows and you have a great retreat for the day!

* Make a camp fire – If you are pitching your tent outside, collect some large rocks to make a fire ring and add some sticks and logs and light your own personal camp fire. If you are camping indoors, make a faux fire with real sticks and logs from outside, sticking construction paper flames or bunches of wool roving in between to resemble a camp fire.

* Ghost stories – No camp out is complete without telling ghost stories with a flashlight! (If you are indoors, dim the lights and) Take turns passing the flashlight around to family members to create a silly ghost story. Choose one person to begin and hand him/her the flashlight. Only the person with the flashlight may talk. This person will start the ghost story, then pass off the flashlight to someone else at a pivotal moment … continue until everyone has had at least one turn and/or the story comes to a conclusion.

* Camping eats – When we have Camping Day, we spend the entire day outside, eating only foods we have brought out in our cooler/backpacks and that we can prepare on our camp fire. Shish kabobs (hot dogs for those who eat them), turkey burgers, corn on the cob, baked potatoes for dinner; grilled cheese or pb&j for lunch; for breakfast we once toasted organic pop tarts over the fire! And of course, our two favorite camping foods, s’mores and watermelon!

* Sit-upons – Do you remember these from Girl Scouts? I always loved making a sit-upon when we went girl scout camping! Essentially, it is a pillow to sit upon on the ground outside. You can make your own a variety of ways. We use a layer of PUL as the bottom and a soft organic cotton for the top layer, then stuff it with all of my fabric scraps. You can use nylon or fleece for the bottom if you want something water resistant; if being water resistant is not a concern, consider any heavy duty fabric for the bottom … corduroy, denim, etc. A cute print for the top will personalize the sit-upon for your child. Lay the two squares or rectangles (depending on your size/shape preference) of fabric right sides together and pin. Sew three sides and half of the fourth side. Unpin and turn. Stuff, then sew down the opening. This is a great first sewing machine project for children since it only involves straight lines and is easily fixed if there is a boo-boo!

Book List:
* Toasting Marshmallows: Camping Poems
by Kristine O'Connell
* Three Days on a River in a Red Canoe
by Vera B. Williams
* When We Go Camping
by Margriet Ruurs

(From Earth*School: One Day Fun Days, all rights reserved. Copyright Earth*School/Bonnie Vontz 2004 - 2010)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Monday Munchies: Paella

Super quick paella (it took me 40 minutes from start to finish!)


Cook 2 cups of your favorite rice according to directions. I used jasmine rice. Under cook it slightly and remove from heat when done.

Heat 1/2c olive oil in large pan (I used my wok). Add two chicken breasts and sear over medium-high heat. After browned, add 1T paprika, 2t oregano, salt and pepper to taste. Cover and continue to cook on medium heat.

In a small frying pan, cook one onion, diced, and 4-5 cloves garlic, crushed, in 2T olive oil. Remove and add to chicken. use the same pan to cook 2 thickly sliced sausages (I used chicken sausage, sun dried tomato and garlic, because it is the kids' favorite, but chorizo is good). Remove and add to chicken. In same small frying pan, cook 1/2 pound shrimp and set aside.

To chicken mixture, add 1 can whole tomatoes, a bunch of parsley (chopped) and the rice. Add shrimp. Simmer for a few minutes to let everything mix together.

You can add clams as well, which I will do next time. The kids love them - I just didn't have any on hand!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday Favorite: Red Hot Pottery

Anyone who knows me knows that I have a serious weakness for hand thrown pottery. My entire kitchen is filled with it. The majority of my pieces are from Rising Sun Earthworks, June, a potter in Rhode Island, that I had the pleasure of meeting last fall (after already having amassed quite the collection of her pottery), but I am also in love with Red Hot Pottery.

I have a few pieces from Christine at Red Hot Pottery - 2 gorgeous curvy mugs and a potluck dish. Being an avid bread baker, the potluck dish gets almost constant use - it is the perfect size to make up a gorgeous round loaf of Italian bread.


Which reminds me ... I must go take my bread out of the oven!

Somewhere over the rainbow

K&F is in full color this week! Join us for a special rainbow stocking where everything is anything but ordinary! Stocking today, Friday, July 23, at noon est



Thursday, July 22, 2010


We are celebrating - this afternoon we went just over 500 fans on our facebook fan page!!

To celebrate hitting that milestone, we are having a giveaway! You must be a facebook fan to win (but you can fan the page now - you don't have to have been a fan prior to this) and the winner will be chosen using random.org on Friday, July 30th.

Giveaway is open to anyone, anywhere in the world :)

Just comment on this post to enter ... it's as easy as that!

Oh wait ... you want to know what the prize is, don't you. Okaaaay ...



Your choice of BedBug (night time fitted) or fitted, in your choice of sizes, in our traditional rainbow - perfect for any little boy or girl :)

So go leave a comment to enter!!

(ETA - please make sure you leave me a way to get in touch with you if you are the winner - email addy, website, something!)

ETA - winner has been chosen! Congrats to Nyree, comment #2!
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Three for Thursday

I've been enjoying creating diapers based on stories/books lately.

Up on etsy now is an "I Love You, Stinky Face" inspired DreamScape
I love you, little Greenie. Bon appetite!

But mama, but mama, what if I was a cyclops with one big eye ...

Also, on etsy is a semi-custom Hansel and Gretel

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Together Tuesday: Down in the Orchard

It's peach season here in Connecticut and we have already been picking a few times. Share this peachy song with you littles while peach picking this season ♥

“Down in the Orchard” (sung to “Down by the Station”)
Down in the orchard
In the afternoon
See all the peach trees
Standing all in a row.
Pick the ripe peaches
So sweet and juicy.
Pick, pick,
Bite, bite,
Yum, yum, yum!

(From Earth*School: Summer Harvest Fun, all rights reserved. Copyright Earth*School/Bonnie Vontz 2004 - 2010)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Monday Munchies: Sopapillas

I have vivid memories of long family drives on Sunday afternoons when I was a kid. At some point we would stop for sopapillas because my mom loved them. They are really easy to make at home, and are definitely better than I remember them!


1 3/4 c flour
1T sugar
1t baking soda
1t salt
2t baking powder
2/3 cup milk
Cinnamon and sugar for rolling
Oil for frying

Mix all but last two ingredients and knead to form ball. Let rest 1 hour.

Roll dough and cut into strips. Cut strips into squares, cut squares into triangles. Fry in oil about 1 minute on each side; remove to paper towel covered plate. While still warm, place in a bowl of cinnamon-sugar and coat.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Three for Thusday

Three things I have been working on ...

Kingfisher, a new colorway
Kingfisher - ML OBV Fitted Cloth Diaper

The Lions Play Tonight, a new print

Lion Plays Tonight - ML OBV BedBug Cloth Diaper

Earth, a new vertical stripe

Earth Small OBV BedBug Cloth Diaper

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Together Tuesday: Heigh Ho Blueberry-O!

Make your own Heigh ho Blueberry-O! game. My brother had the game Heigh Ho Cherry-O as a child, and he loved to play that game. You can make your own blueberry version with craft items you probably already have around your house.

To begin, roll a supply of 60+ blueberries from your favorite clay and let them dry. Fashion 4 small basket/cup shapes from the clay as well and let dry. Be sure to make them slightly larger than the size of a hole punched with a hole puncher. To make the board, you will need some markers or crayons, good sturdy cardstock and tape, a paper fastener, scrap cardstock, and a hole punch (you will want either a long handled hole punch or an “anywhere” hole punch, the kind you place and tap with a hammer). Cut a ¼ inch slit in each corner of the cardstock (from the top going into the center of the paper). After the board is complete, you will fold down the tabs you have just created (the sides of the paper) and tape them together at the corners, so that the board is raised up off the playing surface. In each corner of the board, draw and color a blueberry bush. Use your hole punch to punch 15 holes in each bush. In the center of the board, draw a circle and partition it into 5 pieces (like you were cutting a pie). Put the following, one in each section of the circle:
Picture of 1 blueberry
Picture of 2 blueberries
Picture of 3 blueberries
Picture of a basket of spilled blueberries
Picture of an animal of your choice with a blueberry in its mouth

Cut an arrow shape from the scrap cardstock and fasten it to the center of the circle with the paper fastener/brad.

To play, fill up the bushes with the blueberries. Each player sits by one bush and has one basket. Spin the spinner and pick the correct number of blueberries if you spin the picture of 1, 2 or 3 berries, put all your blueberries back in the bush if you spin the spilled basket, or put one berry back in the bush if you spin the picture of the animal carrying off a berry.

(From Earth*School: Summer Harvest Fun, all rights reserved. Copyright Earth*School/Bonnie Vontz 2004 - 2010)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Monday Munchies: Strawberry Shortcake Belgian Waffles

Strawberry Shortcake on Homemade Belgian Waffles - one of the best things about summer. And the very best part? You already have tomorrow's breakfast made!


For the strawberries and cream:
Cut up quart of strawberries and put in fridge. we used freshly picked strawberries, but any will do!

Whip whipping or heavy cream in stand mixer with 1/2t vanilla.

Belgian waffles (adapted from an Emeril recipe)

Preheat waffle iron
Separate 4 eggs - whip whites to soft peaks
Mix yolks in separate bowl with 2T sugar until sugar is dissolved. Add 1/2t vanilla, 2cupca milk, 4T melted and cooled butter and mix. Add 2 cups flour and 2t baking powder, stirring til just combined. Fold into egg whites. Pour in waffle iron and cook.

Add a generous helping or strawberries and a dollop of cream right before serving.

For breakfast the next day, serve Belgian waffles with butter and syrup, or with fresh fruit. These freeze very well - we just reheat in the oven for a quick breakfast!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Fairy Tales can come true ...

It can happen to you .. but only if you're at K&F today at noon est!

We have been busy creating a set of fairy tale designs for you this week: Rapunzel (any size), The Princess & the Pea (M/L), Alice in Wonderland (Toddler), Hansel & Gretel (Medium), Jack & the Beanstalk (M/L) and Little Red Riding Hood (M/L) - all are your choice of fitted or DreamScape!



There are lots of other fairy tale inspired goodies today as well - I am stalking Clear Hills Honey's new fairy shimmer and red velvet cake lip balms!


Be sure to be there at noon!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Together Tuesday: Paper Crafts

Looking for a fun and quick craft for older kids? Check out Paper Toys! This website is full of paper cut out models to print and put together - everything from a paper airplane to the globe Theater! You are sure to find something to interest everyone in the family - or to supplement whatever your child might be studying!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Monday Mmunchies: Summer Sauce

When the weather warms up, I like a lighter sauce on my pasta. Filled with yummy veggies from the farmer's market or CSA! Here is my basic recipe for "Summer Sauce"


Summer Sauce
In a saucepan, heat up 2T olive oil. Toss in 2T minced garlic and half a chopped onion. Saute until onion has become translucent. Add (amount will depend on how many you are feeding) chopped fresh plum tomatoes, and any fresh veggies you choose, also chopped. This particular sauce shown has 1 zucchini, 1 yellow squash and mushrooms. Simmer until tomatoes begin to break down and veggies are to the desired tenderness. Serve with your favorite type of pasta. And some yummy bread!