Saturday, June 30, 2012

Kids Craft - Paper Plate Butterflies

Warm weather and sunny days are here again! HOORAY!!!

We like to spend lots of time outside when the weather is good but rainy days put and end to outside fun pretty fast. At least until the rain goes away.

We were feeling crafty while we were watching the rain come down outside and decided to make some bright butterflies to cheer us up until the sun came back out.

They were really easy to make and we used things we had on hand so there was no shopping for any extra bits and bobs.

Materials Required:
Paper Plate (we used white but coloured plates would work too)
Pipe Cleaners
Bingo Dabbers
Glitter Glue
Markers/ Crayons

1. The first thing we did was figure out how to make the butterfly wings. We made 4 triangles on the plates. 2 small ones on each side and 2 larger ones on the top and bottom. Draw them on with a crayon and cut out the triangles. This will give your butterfly wings.

2. Once your butterflies are cut out it is time to decorate!

We used Bingo dabbers to decorate yours but the possibilities are endless. Use crayons, markers, paint, glitter glue, ribbons, sequins, feathers, stickers, anything your heart desires.

3. Once the decorating is finished it is time to add the antennae. Take a pipe cleaner, fold it in half; curling each end around your finger to make them round and staple it to the centre of the butterfly. You can also add a string here if you want to hang your butterfly from anywhere. We stuck ours on the fridge with some clip magnets so did not add any strings.

These were lots of fun for us to make on a rainy Spring day and they really made the kitchen brighter!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Ground Beef Burgers

Finally, summer BBQ season is here.

We love to fire up the BBQ on a hot summer evening and have supper on the deck or a picnic on the lawn. It stays cooler in the house if we do not turn on the oven and cook supper and it's fun too! We play in the backyard until dinner is ready and then have our supper with our toes in the grass and the sun on our face.

It is wonderful!

I watch for ground beef on sale so I can make burgers for BBQ season. I try to buy extra if there is room in our budget and then I make up a whole bunch of burgers and freeze them so we can just grab some out of the freezer when we want to BBQ.

I guess that it could be called freezer cooking - but technically I do not cook the burgers before freezing them. I just prep them so we can throw them on the BBQ when we want to.

We have found that making the burgers ourselves is much less expensive than buying pre-made frozen burgers from the store and they taste much better. We know exactly what ingredients go into them, which is great too. If you do not eat beef, you can substitute another type of ground meat; turkey, pork, chicken or whatever your preference.

I make my own breadcrumbs in the food processor with the leftover ends from loaves of bread and sometimes include leftover cereal or cracker crumbs. I like to use the pasta sauce spices from Epicure in our burgers for something a little different but salt and pepper work just fine too. We get the spices from a vendor at the farmer's marker in the summer.

Our recipe changes based on what is in the cupboard and what we feel like. The basic recipe is below, but feel free to change it up and make it your own.I use my KitchenAid mixer to do the mixing for me - do not mix the meat mixture too long or you will have tough burgers. You can mix everything by hand as well. All measurements are approximate.

2 pounds (0.90Kg) Ground Beef (1 package)
2 cups fine bread crumbs
1 single serving size applesauce
1 Egg
Spices to taste

1. Make the bread crumbs in the food processor. Add spices and mix for another few seconds to mix them in well.
2. Put ground beef, applesauce and egg in a bowl.
3. Add breadcrumbs and mix well.
4. Form into burgers and place on baking sheet. I put a layer of wax paper on the baking sheet, burgers on top, a layer of wax paper, then a piece of cardboard, then wax paper, then burgers, you get the idea. The pieces of cardboard in between keep the burgers from smooshing down into a big blob.

5. Place in freezer until frozen. Once frozen, remove the burgers from the baking sheet and store in a resealable bag until ready to use them.

Cook them on the BBQ, on the stove or in the oven - however you like them.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Project of the Month - June 2012

Summer is coming and at the request of my daughter, my project this month is an addition to her summer wardrobe.

I had some "board short" material that I got on clearance for about $4/ metre last fall and have been saving it for a fun summer project. It is bright purple with a fun leaf and floral print.

I let my daughter go through my collection of patterns and pick her favourite. She picked out Butterick 3832, a really cute summer skort set with a ruffled tank. I did make the shirt a little longer so that her belly would not stick out when she was playing.

It took about 2 hours to make from start to finish (including cutting time) and she is thrilled. She can wear it together on it's own, as a bathing suit coverup or use the pieces separately with other things in her closet.

I though it was a lot of fun to make and the best part of this project is how happy it made my daughter.