Monday, March 8, 2010

MONDAY MORNING AFTERMATH

Hi there everybody. How are you doing today? I’m recovering from a rather hectic Sunday. We grilled lots of food, had company over yesterday, and was running around trashing spoiled foods, etc. from my fridge which died. I lost all the soups and such in my freezer and a ton of things from my fridge. We heard clicking, then saw a pretty blue green flash from underneath and that was all she wrote. Needless to say I was kind of happy I had not got a chance to marathon cook this weekend, but very upset because all the freezer cooking I had was wasted. I think I lost around 30 or so helpings of soup and 10-12 TV dinners. And then the landlord and his cousin broke my big Agave plant bringing in the fridge! So now, my house is an utter disaster because of the hectic chaos around here and I have to see if I can save this plant!

OK, let’s answer some reader comments… Jean asked how big is my raised garden? My planter is 5 foot long by 3 foot wide and 12 inches high. It holds over 500 pounds of soil. The plants are at different stages of their “life” and some will not be there as long as others. They will be “weeded” or “thinned” out. Other plants that grow up are close to plants that stay low, another space saver (my mom taught me that trick). For example, my okra will grow up tall and so under it I can plant something low-lying like broccoli, carrots, or other root vegetables. Once the plants are finished producing, they will be replaced with new seedlings… so I can keep the garden going all year long. I also have other plants in separate containers to help with space issues as well. Like my Peas will get their own container with a center pole for them to grow up on and they will not choke out my other veggies. Jean also asked why am I swollen? Honestly I don’t know why hun… I get swelling sometimes to where I have to take prescription water pills. But it’s been bad lately and I haven’t got to go to the doctor for it. I’m not sure if this is a remaining reaction to those stupid pills or what. But I can’t wear my rings and I can’t get my pants over my swollen legs. It’s actually very painful. My knees and legs have been very cold and you can press on my feet and legs and it stays indented for a small time. And the last 2 days I have had an intense migraine making my head hurt to the point of tears and nausea that even my medicines are not helping. I have to try to call my doctor’s office and see if there is anyway I can be seen.

OK ladies and germs… its time to make some more Easter crafts. Let’s focus on baskets. Baskets can be a very versatile thing. You can use them to hold food, eggs, etc., they can be decorations, or they can be temporary décor that turns into gifts for your company. Filled with treats, etc. children wait to see what the “Easter Bunny” has brought them. Here are some cute basket ideas I thought you might enjoy!

Craft Idea of the Day: Easter baskets



Picket Fence Easter Basket
Supplies:

Wood plant label sticks (garden centres, craft shops)
Scrap ribbon
Hot glue (tacky glue for children)
Styrofoam container lid or plastic container lid
Paper twist (chenille stems can also be used)
White paint

Instructions:

For this project, I used the lid of a Styrofoam soup container (take out food), but you can use any sort of container lid or the bottom of a small box. The only requirement is that it has a slight rim, so that you can glue your sticks to it. The sticks that I used are small plant label sticks (I like the picket fence look), but you can use regular craft sticks for this project.

Paint your sticks white and paint your container. Allow the paint to dry. You can paint the sticks after applying them to the base, but it's a little more difficult to get between the sticks, once they are assembled. When I painted my sticks, I painted half the stick, then stuck it in a piece of floral foam to dry before painting the other half.

Glue a small piece of ribbon around the outside of the container lid. Glue your sticks against the inside rim of the container. It's a good idea to place your sticks first to make sure you have enough and you'll be able to decide how much of a gap to leave between the sticks, in order that they be placed evenly around the lid. Allow the glue to dry completely before continuing. You will be tugging a little at the sticks for the next step and you don't want them to start popping out.

Weave ribbon scraps in and out of the sticks, as shown in our sample basket. Glue the two ends of the ribbon together on the inside of the basket to secure. Continue weaving ribbons until you reach just below the top of the basket, securing each of the ribbon ends together.

For the handle, I used a piece of paper twist and wrapped it with a pink ribbon. It isn't necessary to wrap the handle, but it adds a little to the finished basket.

To wrap the handle, glue your ribbon at one end of the paper twist, wind your ribbon around the entire length of the twist and secure at the other end with glue. Glue your handle in place on the inside bottom of the basket and extending the twist up the sides (securing the sides with glue as well). Hot glue is recommended for securing the handle, as you want this handle to be strong enough to hold all of your goodies. Pipe cleaners (chenille stems) can also be used for this, but be sure to secure them well.

Tie a bow at the top of the basket around each side of the handle and you are all done.



Easter Berry Basket

by Jane Lake

Save those ordinary plastic mesh berry boxes that are used to store and display strawberries, blackberries or raspberries in the grocery store. They look lovely when you decorate them with yarn, ribbon or lace for Easter or any other special occasion.

Plastic Mesh Easter Basket

Supplies:

plastic mesh berry basket
pregathered lace to fit around the rim of the basket
scissors and glue
strip of cereal box cardboard to use as a handle
paint or ribbon to cover the handle
Easter grass to line the basket
strips of material to weave into the mesh; paper or fabric strips, ribbon, yarn, string, twine, lengths of raffia, or even long lengths of Easter grass

Instructions:

1. Cut a length of weaving material long enough to go all around the box, with an inch or two to spare. Start weaving from one bottom corner, going from left to right, and weaving the material under and over the mesh spines of the box.

If desired, you can vary the weaving pattern - try going under one spine, and over two, or the reverse.

Continue weaving until you get back to the starting point. Make sure the material begins and ends on the inside of the box. Cut off any excess material. Apply a little glue to the back of the material and press into the corner to secure.

2. Following the directions above, weave as many rows as needed to completely cover the sides of the basket.

3. Cut a narrow strip of cereal box cardboard, or similar cardboard, to make a handle for the basket. Decorate the handle with paint or cover it with ribbon. Apply a generous amount of glue to each outside end of the handle, then curve the handle to fit across the middle of the basket. The pressure of the curve should press the ends against the top inside of the basket until the glue dries.

4. Cut a length of pregathered lace to fit around the basket rim. Apply glue to the rim then press the top hem of the lace into place, beginning in one corner and proceeding all the way around. Overlap and glue down the ribbon ends to finish.

Suggestions:

-- Make the handle from a length of wire-edged ribbon for a softer effect, or chenille stems braided together.
-- Embellish with craft foam cut-outs or fabric paint.
-- Line the basket with crumpled tissue paper, quilt batting or shredded paper instead of Easter grass.



Pringle Can Bunny

An Easter craft for children, showing how to make an Easter bunny from a small Pringles potato can. The finished bunny can be used as a basket for some Easter treats.
Copyright © 1999-2008 Susan Spatone
Published with permission from CraftAtHome.com

Supplies:

Small Potato Chip can (Pringles)
Construction Paper
Novelty eyes
3 pompoms for nose
2 pipe cleaners (chenille stems)
Craft Glue
Scissors

Pattern Instructions:

Here is a quick and easy little basket that the kids can make. The required supplies are few and the cost minimal.

For small children you will need to cut the paper for them, but older kids should be able to manage on their own. Cut a piece of paper to fit the outside of the can you are using. Cut two ear shapes and two bunny feet, all from the same color. Using another color of paper, cut out the centers of the bunny's ears.

Glue the paper around the can, as shown in our sample photo, to cover any markings on the can. Glue the ears to front, feet to the bottom, ear centers and eyes to the face area.

Glue two pompoms side by side for the nose, with a third smaller pompom to center bottom of the first two pompoms.

The handle is made using two chenille stems (one blue and one white), twisted together. To attach the handle, punch a hole through the sides of the can and twist the ends of the stems to secure.

Unique Easter Basket Ideas
Copyright (c) 2007 Brenda Prevost

With the Easter holiday coming soon most parents are thinking about what to put in their children's Easter baskets. Here are some great ideas to add some Easter fun to your child's Easter basket and spare the extra dentist's visit.

Although jelly beans and chocolate eggs are always popular with the kids, parents may want to include some not so sugary alternatives. Think of their Easter basket as sort of an "Easter stocking" instead. Use your imagination!

There are a multitude of different things to include in an Easter basket that are just as enjoyable as traditional Easter basket ideas. Your local dollar store can be a treasure trove of affordable but unique ideas. Games, books and movies are just a few things that you can consider.

TOYS:
Toys are always a hit with kids. From Yo-Yo's and "Slinkies" to popular action figures, toys make a unique Easter basket idea that is sure to delight your child. You can also go with plush toys like fuzzy Easter chicks or soft and cuddly Easter bunnies. Keep your child's age and gender in mind as you consider what to include, as every toy is not suitable for every child.

BOOKS:
It has been said that reading to your child brings many benefits to your child's development. An Easter themed story book is not only a more healthy Easter basket idea, but you now have a great chance to spend some quality time with your child as you both settle down and enjoy a good story book.

If you child is reading on their own, don't you think they'd love a brand new book to enjoy? Let them read to you so they can show you how good a reader they are!

DVD's and CD's:
Imagine your child's surprise when they see that the Easter bunny even gives out movies! They don't necessarily have to be an Easter theme. Think how excited your child will be when they see a DVD of their favorite character in their Easter basket. Including a favorite CD for them to enjoy is equally pleasing. They can sing along to their favorite songs as they enjoy their new toy or hunt for Easter eggs.

CRAYONS AND COLORING BOOKS:
A timeless but ever so popular choice, a brand new box of crayons with a fresh Easter coloring book is always a hit. Coloring is a great way to let a child's creative skills grow as well as an excellent way to get your child to relax after an exciting day of Easter egg hunting.

HEALTHIER SWEET TREATS:
There are other sweet snacks that make great Easter basket treats. Most kids love fruit roll ups which, depending on the brand, are much healthier than candy. How about raisins? Even if you choose chocolate covered raisins, there is still a health benefit to your child snacking on a handful of fruit instead of a handful of sugar loaded candy.

Make some Easter cookies. Mom always says homemade is best! Yes, cookies contain sugar, but if you've made them yourself they won't be loaded with preservatives and dyes like store bought cookies are. Of course, since they're homemade they'll taste better too!

MONEY:
Depending on your child's age, money is a great Easter basket idea. This idea is best for older children (coins are a choking hazard for young children). Get some of the new dollar coins that are now being circulated. Their shiny appeal will bring a wide smile to your child's face. Giving them a few dollars to spend is a great opportunity to start teaching them how to manage money wisely; life long habits start early!

Give your child healthy alternatives to conventional Easter basket candy and keep them just as happy without the worry of too much sugar. A great book, movie or CD gives you a wonderful chance to spend quality time with your child. Some bright and shiny dollar coins are your opportunity to teach your child all about managing money wisely. Toys, crayons and coloring books are a great choice for unique Easter basket ideas. Your child will have long lasting Easter basket goodies and you won't have to worry about all that sugar they're eating.

Brenda Prevost is owner and founder of AllHolidayTreasures.com which sells decorations, lights and costumes for Christmas, Halloween, Easter, St. Patrick's Day and other holidays.

Okie dokie… now lets talk about food! We grilled yesterday and had an incredible feast of 8 sausage, 3 large ribeye and Tbone steaks, 5 half pound hamburgers, 10 cheddar brats, 3 lamb chops, and 10 sausage and shrimp kabobs… OMG! Serious YUM factor going on here! I slapped those meats with a side of roasted Rosemary and herb potatoes and some corn and you got a Texan’s delight right there! “We likes us some BBQ!” LMAO… If you aren’t able to do some BBQin’ yet, then how about some inside BBQ for dinner? Check this out… if you have a stovetop grill (one of those cast iron ones that sits on the burners) or something like a George Foreman grill, then maybe you could try this inside for a rainy day delight!



Honey Chicken Kabobs
(great on Shrimp and other meats too!)

Ingredients

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
8 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into 1 inch cubes
2 cloves garlic
5 small onions, cut into 2 inch pieces
2 red bell peppers, cut into 2 inch pieces
skewers

Directions

In a large bowl, whisk together oil, honey, soy sauce, and pepper. Before adding chicken, reserve a small amount of marinade to brush onto kabobs while cooking.

Place the chicken, garlic, onions and peppers in the bowl, and marinate in the refrigerator at least 2 hours (the longer the better).
Preheat the grill for high heat.

Drain marinade from the chicken and vegetables, and discard marinade. Thread chicken and vegetables alternately onto the skewers.

Lightly oil the grill grate. Place the skewers on the grill. Cook for 12 to 15 minutes, until chicken juices run clear. Turn and brush with reserved marinade frequently.

OK gang, I’m gonna go lay down until I can try to get rid of this headache and get ahold of the doctor. I will talk to you tomorrow… HUGS!

2 comments:

  1. Debbie "MOM" DonahueMarch 8, 2010 at 8:22 AM

    Oh No! Not the agave! I think the only thing you can do if it broke off is to let it regrow from the broken base. I think it would be too hard to get it to reroot if its broken. Might have to do some research to check.

    ReplyDelete
  2. did you buy the agave from a plant form or how do you buy? i hear that its the BEST sweetener out there and if it is....well let's try it out!

    ReplyDelete