Wednesday, March 16, 2011

St. Patty's Day, Shamrocks, and Luck

We have a few FREE activities for St. Patty's Day that we would like to share with all of you lucky folk who have stumbled upon us!

For the kids, we have a bit of a challenge with a word search and some coloring pages, designed by yours truly. You can have the kids color while some lovely bagpipe music plays in the background... doesn't that sound glorious?! :)  Click below on what your heart desires.

I bundled these up in groups of 2 pages per link, just click and enjoy:

-WORD SEARCH and Celtic Cross (coloring page)
-SHAMROCK (coloring page) and LEPRECHAUN with POT OF GOLD (coloring page)
-POT Of GOLD (coloring page) and Leprechaun (coloring page)
-DIY SHAMROCK PIN (in case you forget to wear something green)

And for the Grown-ups out there, we have put together free cupcake toppers to adorn your party cupcakes!  OR breakfast muffins, in my case.

Click here for the free template---> CUPCAKE TOPPERS 

Also, I found an online Irish dictionary that translates into Gaelic which is very interesting HERE if you are in to that sort of thing.  Or how about some IRISH SLANG... This is even more fun and it's in english.  Try slipping some of the slang into your words with your friends on St. Patrick's Day.

Don't forget to wear green and have a lucky, fun Awesome DAY!

Monday, March 7, 2011

P-Dub & Apple Dumplings

Have you heard of the Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond? I guess a better question is, who hasn't heard of her? The Pioneer Woman is an amazing food blogger who partially inspired the creation of the Sasquatch Willow blog. She's like the Wonder Woman blogger of the Midwest

It's no surprise that when we found out she was having a book signing not so far away, (a bit of an understatement there, it was a four hour drive) we knew we had to go!

So, we began our pilgrimage. We managed to avoid a traffic jam. Saw a dead horse. Cried about the dead horse. Became turned around in the Ohio State medical area. Saw a giant coffee cup. Stopped at Tim Horton's. And watched a kid devour a cupcake

Finally, we met the Pioneer Woman aka P-Dub. 

Let's not look at this like a bad photo. Let's look at it as an artistic expression of P-Dub's Wonder Woman-ness.

After the books were signed and small pleasantries exchanged, we headed off to dinner at a place called The Old Mohawk. 

What did I learn through all of this? 
  1. The Pioneer Woman aka P-Dub aka Ree Drummond is even nicer in person than she seems on her blog.
  2. I'm not very good at the book signing small talk thing. I should probably work on that.
  3. Food places with crazy names are always the best (Stop by The Old Mohawk if you happen to be in the German Village area of Columbus, Ohio.)
This wouldn't be a proper blog post without a recipe of some sort, so I decided to test out P-Dub's recipe for Apple Dumplings. These really couldn't be any easier unless someone else made them for you.

Easy Peasy Apple Dumplings
Yields: 24 Dumplings 

3 Granny Smith Apples
3 cans of crescent roll dough
1 cup (2 sticks) of butter (salted)
1 cup of granulated sugar
2/3 cup of brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon + 3 tablespoons of cinnamon 
1 - 20 ounce bottle of Mountain Dew (not diet)

Preheat your oven to 350*F. Grease a large pan for the dumplings. Peel and core your apples, cutting each of them into 8 slices. Unroll your crescent dough and separate the "triangles". 

Roll up an apple slice in triangle of dough and place into your pan. Make sure to avoid crowding the dumplings in the pan, otherwise they won't be able to expand while baking. 

Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and one teaspoon of cinnamon. Give it a couple of stirs but don't worry about the lumps. Pour mixture over each of the dumplings and into your pan. 

Pour Mountain Dew around the perimeter of the pan until it's about 2/3 of the way up the sides of the pan. I only used about 3/4 (15 ounces) of the bottle. Sprinkle the remaining cinnamon over the top of the dumplings and put your pan in the oven. Bake dumplings for 30-45 minutes, until they are light brown and crispy on the top.

I made a lot of dumplings with this recipe, but you can change it to your liking. Just remember that one apple + one can of crescent rolls equals 8 dumplings. Adjust down the rest of the recipe accordingly.

Also, for lactose tolerant folks out there, serve it with vanilla ice cream. It's ahhhhmazing.

Recipe adapted from the Pioneer Woman.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Mardi-Gras Masked Fun! (FREE Templates!)

Mardi-Gras is a time for Celebration! Let's start the party!!

For this party, you need a mask.  Any mask will do, and you can buy one already made at any costume store or make one yourself.  There are plastic plain masks available at your local craft store to decorate -OR- you can make one out of cardstock, thin cardboard, or plain paper.

It also depends on how elaborate you want your mask to be. Cardstock or cardboard are better to handle heaver items like feathers, beads, and anything else you may be gluing. However, if you are just having fun and don't want to spend a lot of money you can choose to opt for regular paper and decorate with stickers, crayons, markers, etc. As for colors, you can decorate however you wish, but tradition uses Purple (Justice), Gold (Power), and Green (Faith).

Materials needed:
  • Cardstock or Paper printable
  • Newspaper or some sort of sheet for easy clean up
  • Construction Paper
  • Scissors (or x-acto knife)
  • Glue or scotch tape
  • Glitter or Glitter Glue
  • Feathers/Cotton Balls/Craft Pom-Poms
  • Stickers
  • Pencil/Pipe Cleaners/ Popsicle stick (for the handle)
  • Markers/Crayons

I will be making a mask for myself and for my dog Sadie!

I originally wanted to just make a fun sparkly one with feathers and glitter but I seem to have lost my feather stash.  So, if you have feathers feel free to use them. For my mask, I made a simple mask. I cut out the SIMPLE mask template and cut out some random shapes from my construction paper collection to dazzle up my mask. Each piece has some glitter on it.  (NOW as a word of warning, lay out some newspaper or a plastic/paper sheet if you use glitter to make clean up easier). I cut slits in the top to make a feather like appearance out of my paper.

Once you have your mask done, you need a handle. A stick or pencil can be attached to side of the mask by gluing or taping it.  If you are coloring the mask, it will not be as heavy as one with a lot of glue on it and you could use a pipe cleaner as the handle.

For Sadie,  I will be making the Cat mask.  I printed it off on a lavender colored cardstock. This one was colored with markers and jewel stickers applied to it.
It's tough being a model... :)

Free printables are available below as a template for your mask. Click below for the template of your choice.
    Once you have your mask created, dress up in costume and accessorize with beaded necklaces or feathery boas! 
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