It's a rainy, homemade play doh kind of day.
Homemade Play Doh:
2 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 tsp. cream of tartar
2 tbls. oil
2 cups of water
food coloring of choice
Combine ingredients in a saucepan and mix over medium heat. Stir
constantly - it takes a bit - until the dough leaves the side of
the pan. Let it cool completely and then knead it out to get rid of
the bubbles. Store it in plastic bags. Use cookie cutters and
rolling pins and have fun!
It never fails. You succumb to buying a trendy toy and before
the paint starts to fade your child's interest already has.
The item ends up being shuffled through the toy box that is
periodically opened giving the doll or truck the brief sense of
purpose it once had. Children, like goldfish, have short attention
spans, even when it comes to things that are shiny and new. Instead
of tossing out old toys you can use this situation to create a
unique play date with a purpose. Have your kids pick items they're
ready to let go of and meet up with other moms for an exchange of
Kids can draw numbers to see who gets to select the first toy or
they can pick a grab bag that describes the item briefly, such as
'Car for 5+'. Even if your child isn't ready to give up any of
their belongings before the play date, seeing other children
receive new and interesting toys might assuage them to let go. Set
a return date with the group or decide whether the grab bags will
stay with their new families indefinitely. It's a fun way to have a
party where everyone invited gets a present while keeping your
wallet from thinning out.
Inspired by Baja Fresh's pineapple
salsa, we made these Pineapple & Bean enchiladas tonight - they
were delicious! We even heard "it's better than pizza!" The kids
loved it, which is very rare for a new recipe.
Prep Time: 30
Total Time: 1 1/4
If you're one of the 100 million people or so who plan to watch
the Super Bowl tomorrow, chances are you'll have to have a game
plan. For youngsters who don't understand the game a Super Bowl
party can lose its appeal fast.
With a good offense (fun activities) and strong defense (working
together to keep an eye on them), you and your spouse can enjoy
watching the Steelers and Packers and may even get to eat some
great party food. Here are a few ideas that might help ward
off the whining:
Get your kids excited about the game with Team Face
Painting. Have your kids pick different teams to root for
and get to decorating! Have them dress in team colors and add a
logo or stripes on their cheeks with some face paint or makeup.
Keep them updated throughout the game on how their team is doing.
Some competitive siblings might even watch the game hoping to win
Play Guess the Chip. Chances are there will be
plenty to snack on. Blindfold each child and have them taste four
or five chips or snacks and see who can guess the most correctly.
This would be a great pre-game activity and your kids can continue
the game following the kickoff with a new variety of snacks.
Bring an Arsenal of Activities. If you're
traveling to someone else's home, bring toys, books and board games
that will keep your kids entertained. Find out if other guests have
new board games your tweens or teens haven't played and ask if they
would be willing to bring them to the party.
And finally, map out a strategy with your spouse to keep the
younger children from getting stir crazy. Trade off commercials or
quarters with your significant other to check in with the kids to
make sure they're having fun and staying out of trouble.
Have a family huddle before the party and make sure everyone
knows the house rules. With a little planning it could become an
event the entire family looks forward to!
And the recipe we've all been waiting for - Kelly Robinson's
I originally found this recipe at Emerils.com in 2006.
I've made many of my own additions to the recipe (including bacon
and assorted cheeses)
3 cups grated, cooked potato or frozen has brown potatoes, thawed
and squeezed dry in towels (I use frozen and defrost)
1 tablesppon melted butter
1 tablespoon Essence (this is a spice I've purchased at Costco it
is a specialty of Emeril and really makes the crust have good
1/4 cup finely grated parmesan
8 oz hot Italian sausage, removed from casings, crumbled and
4 strips of bacon crumbled and cooked
1 cup thinly sliced onions
1 tablespoon minced garlic
4 ounces green chiles, roasted, skins and seeds removed and
4 ounces jalepenos, roasted and thinly chopped
3 large eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup grated smoked Gouda
1/2 cup grated Chedder
1/2 cup grated fontina cheese (you can use any cheese you like
1/2 red bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, and cut into thin
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
In a bowl, combine the potatoes, melted butter and Essence and
toss to combine. Add the Parmesan cheese and toss to
combine. Press the potato mixture into a 9-inch round greased
glass pan, spreading evenly to cover the bottom and sides. Bake
until the potatoes are golden brown, about 25 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.
Reduce the oven to 350 degrees F.
Cook bacon as indicated on package. In a separate large
skillet, cook the sausage over medium-high heat, stirring with a
spoon to break up the meat, until browned, about 4 minutes. Remove
with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Crumble bacon and
add to sausage mixture. Drain off all but 1 tablespoon of the
sausage fat. To the fat, add the onions and cook, stirring until
caramelized, 10-12 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
Add the chilies and jalapeños and cook, stirring for 1 minute.
Remove from heat and let cool.
In a bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the milk, cream, hot sauce, salt,
and pepper , and wisk until creamy. Add the cheeses and whisk
Spread the sausage and crumbled bacon mixture evenly across the
potato crust. Pour the egg-cheese mixture over the filling.
Arrange the bell pepper rings across the top. Bake
until the custard is set, puffed and golden brown, 25 to 30
minutes. ( I recommend putting the glass pan on a cookie sheet for
cooking just in case the mixture expands over the sides of
Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes before serving.
Cut into even slices and serve.
Yield: 6 servings. ENJOY!
I make 5-6 of these when the team comes over.
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