Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Spring is in the Air (and in the Etsy shop too)

In the shop.

Green and Red Apple Travel Tissue Holders

All this Swine Flu talk has people pretty nervous. I guess the best we can do is common sense.

  • Wash your hands
  • Stay home if you're sick
  • Keep away from congested areas (congested with people that is)
  • If you need to cough or sneeze, do it into your upper arm/shoulder area
  • Stay informed, but don't become glued to CNN and get all paranoid about this (okay?)
  • Don't travel to Mexico

If putting germs on your sleeve seems a bit much, perhaps a facial tissue might be an alternative.

(You knew I was going to segue into that, didn't you?)

The Crafty Dad studio is cranking out travel tissue covers in all sorts of bright, sun-shiny, fun fabrics.

Stay tuned for more updates.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A Busy Easter Weekend

It's early Sunday morning and it's already been a busy day. Crafty Mom supervised the traditional Easter egg hide (the Easter Bunny did all the work, you know). And then it was chop the vegetables (for our lunch guests, NOT the Easter Bunny). I love the smell of fresh cut celery. Something about it.....smells like home. It's a comfort smell (if there is such a thing).

Here's a sampling of what we've done so far.

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The lamb cake turned out nice. This is the first time I've used the star tip to decorate a cake. I should have practiced before I frosted Lamby, but he turned out okay. His jelly bean eyes and nose almost makes him too cute to eat. You can see the two-piece cake mold filled to the rim (yes, it ran over in the oven and made a mess). [NOTE TO SELF: put a cookie sheet under the pan next year to avoid a house filled with burnt cake smoke.]

The boys colored eggs last night after we got back from church. It was a great service. Great music, great music and a good time to celebrate the whole reason there is an "Easter". Upper left-hand corner is a shot of some bunny and egg candies I made. I was going to make lollipops, but didn't have any Springy or Easter-y molds. These turned out just fine.

Enjoy your day!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

An Easter Tradition

Pickled Eggs and Beets

Every Easter my grandmother made pickled eggs and beets. I just found out that one of my co-workers makes them every Easter too. My co-worker is Polish; my grandmother was not. I'm sure this recipe has some ethnic origin, guess I'll have to do some Google research. [Thank goodness for Google he/she is my best friend when it comes to answering questions.]

Here's the very simple recipe if you're interested:

  • 12 hard-boiled eggs (peeled)
  • 2 cans of red beets (liquid included)
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 2 cups of white vinegar
  • 1 big GLASS (no plastic please) container to keep them in

In a large pan or stock pot, add the beets, sugar and vinegar. Boil this concoction for a few minutes stirring pretty often. Be careful! The mixture is prone to boiling over so keep an eye on things.

Put the eggs in a glass container and CAREFULLY ladle or pour the beet mixture over the eggs. Stir gently and allow to come to room temperature before putting the lid on. Stir the mixture every few hours to make sure all parts of the eggs become nice and red.

I make them a day or two ahead to allow time for the red to penetrate the eggs all the way to the yolk. To serve, just slice them in half and sprinkle some salt and pepper on them. Yummy.

As you can see from the photo, I use a very large jar with a screw-on lid. This was my grandmother's jar and I cherish it. You can also use a glass cookie jar or other large glass container. DON'T use plastic as the hot sugar-beet-vinegar mixture gets poured on the eggs.

Okay, gotta get back to work. My wife is working again today (poor thing). April 15th is just around the corner and her office is buried with work right now. So..I'm in charge of housework and de-cluttering this morning. If the clutter was less, the housecleaning would be much easier. I'm sounding like my wife. Yikes. Must be all the vinegar I used in the eggs and beets.
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Friday, April 10, 2009

i Zoom to Lunch

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Indiana Toll Road's Quick Get Away Plan

I'm going to WalMart for some last minute Easter things. I know, I know....nobody likes Wally World.'s the only store in driving distance from my office. So...I gotta do what I gotta do, okay?

We'll just see what jumps into my shopping cart today. Wish me luck!

Happy Easter Weekend

Photo from last year's trip to Toledo Zoo (Butterfly House)

Hey bloggers, just wanted to pop in to wish you a very Happy Easter. It's been awhile since I've posted (which makes me very unhappy). Life has been a bit crazier than 'normal'. I'm never quite sure what 'normal' is these days. But...anyhow there just seems to be too many things to do and not quite enough time to get them done. It's a constant struggle, isn't it? Geez!

We're having a small Easter dinner gathering with my dad, my sister-in-law and her daghter and three grand-kiddos. Dinner will be somewhat atypical (we're not doing ham this year). My boys have decided they no longer like ham. Hmmm, whatever! So..we're having Sloppie Joes, green bean casserole, homemade macaroni and cheese, along with some veggie snicky-snacks. I'm going to make a batch of pickled eggs (my grandma's recipe) and I'll bake the traditional lamb cake. The Wilton cake mold works great. If you haven't tried it, don't be afraid -- go for it. Just make sure you grease and flour the top and bottom pieces. Or you can cheat (like I do) and use Pam or Pam Baking with flour already in it. They work great. There are way too many nooks and crannies in a lamb cake mold for me to brush vegetable shortening all over.

If I get real creative (read: have time) I will dig out my pastry bag and large star tip and make the cake look extra nice. If I'm feeling lazy or don't have the time, I'll just frost the littel guy with my offset spatular and we'll call it 'done'.

My wife and I are going to cut back on the candy we put in the boys' Easter baskets this year. They just don't need all that sugar. My wife (the Tax Accountant) has to work tomorrow, so ... if I wake up early enough (note to self: wake up early tomorrow) I might whip up a pair of boxer/sleep-shorts for the boys. We'll just see how things go. And..I really was planning on cranking out a baby bib for Ava (our niece). I really appreciate my day job, but darn! sometimes it gets in the way of my creative side. By the time I get home each night, my butt is dragging. Sorry for venting on you like that. Does anybody else have that problem? Caffeine only works for so long. If you have the magic answer to get more things done, please share them with me and the blogosphere.

Have a GREAT weekend!