Saturday, December 17, 2011

Cinnamon Clay Holiday Ornament

A Christmas tradition I started with Mason on his very first Christmas was making a homemade holiday ornament.  I just love looking back over the last two years of ornaments that are decorating our tree! Plus, these ornaments make adorable gifts to aunts, uncles, and grandparents from their favorite little one.  Yesterday, Mason and I continued this tradition by making Cinnamon Clay Ornaments.

Cinnamon Clay You Can Make - Perfect for Ornaments!
Yields: About 24 ornaments, depending on how thick you roll the dough

  • 1 /4 cup white glue
  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 3 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup water

  1. Mix ingredients together until dough forms a ball.
  2. Knead for a few minutes, adding flour as needed.

     3.   Make into desired shapes or roll out and cut with cookie cutters.
     4.   Poke a hole at the top of the ornaments with a toothpick so you can
           hang them later.

     5.   Bake at 300 degrees for 7-10 minutes.

These ornaments turned out great.  They were so easy and nicely kept their shape while baking.  They also smell amazing!  I think you could substitute some cloves or nutmeg for some of the cinnamon to suit the fragrance you want to create. 

After I baked some on the cookie sheet, I decided to make a few more and let them air dry.  From the pictures below, you can see the difference between the baked and air-dried ornaments.  The baking process brought out the flour on the ornament.  The air-dried ornament retained more of a brownish color.  I think either option look great, depending on the look you are trying to achieve.

I am going to let the ornaments for for an additional day or two, then make a little glue-water mixture to coat the ornaments and then sprinkle them with some iridescent glitter to a different effect.  There are so many possibilities for these ornaments, from painting to glitter.  Experiment and have fun!

Friday, December 16, 2011

No Bake Chicken Bacon Pizza

I love to make this appetizer for parties.  I can't think of a time that there was more than one or two pieces, if any, left by the end of the party.  As you can see from the picture, I also make a vegetable version of this appetizer, so I will include those ingredients as well.  Choose and vary the toppings to suit your desires.

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese
  • minced garlic (optional)
  • 1 (10-14oz) pizza crust
  • 1/2 cup real bacon bits
  • 10 oz cooked chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
  • pepper, cut into bite sized pieces
  • onion, cut into bite sized pieces
  • broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces
  • cherry tomatoes, cut into bite sized pieces

  • Cook pizza crust according to package directions.
  • In a bowl, combine cream cheese and sour cream until well blended.  I add a little taste of fresh, minced garlic to this step.  (Be sure to only use a little if you do, it goes a long way.)
  • Spread mixture over cooled pizza crust. 
  • Top with pizza toppings of your choice - vegetables, chicken, bacon, etc.

  • Enjoy!!!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Mega Bloks Tub Town: Farm Review

If you are looking for a gift that will be an instant hit with the 1 and up crowd, look no further than the Mega Bloks Tub Town Farm Set. We have been hugh Mega Bloks fans for a while now and each set just keeps getting better and better! And, Mason LOVES playing with these blocks. As he gets older, he is playing with each set more and can even builds his own creations now.

Like the other Mega Bloks sets, the Tub Town Farm Set is compatible with other Mega Bloks sets. This makes for hours and hours of fun! And, with the endless possibilities, there is always something new to create too.

This particulat set comes complete in its own, big, yellow plastic tub. The farm set included does not take up all the room in the tub, so I know exactly where we will be storing the rest of Mason's Mega Bloks collection! This not only makes for easy storage, but makes clean up a breeze. Mason loves throwing all the blocks into the big tub. We make a game out of it, so it is a win-win for everyone!

I also love that the lid makes for its own base for building. The blocks don't necessarily stay in place on the bumps on the lid, but it is good starting point to build just about anything.

What's included in this set? There are 95 pieces for everything you need to build a whole farm. It is complete with a farmer, tractor, and adorable barnyard animals like a cow, sheep and chicken. You also get a sticker sheet so you can decorate the blocks to complete your farm.

If you are looking for a great gift to partner with the Mega Bloks Tub Town Farm, check out the review we did on the Mega Bloks Play N Go Musical Train.  We will be playing with these toys hand in hand!

Mega Bloks provided me with the item above in order to facilitate this review.  All opinions are 100% mine.