Sunday, July 3, 2011

Pizza Bites

Super yummy and super easy.  Got the recipe from (via Pinterest) and adapted it for my own nefarious purposes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

combine in one bowl:
3/4 C flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 TBS Italian seasoning
dash of salt
3/4 C milk
1 egg
1 C grated cheese  (original recipe calls for an additional 1/4 C parmesan but I rarely have that on hand so I just do an overflowing cup of whatever - mozzarella or colby jack, etc.)

Spray mini muffin pan.  I found my silicone pan to be the perfect size because it uses all of the dough exactly.  Scoop the dough (it's very wet) into the pan.  I end up filling them most of the way.  The recipe also said to wait 10 minutes before baking (I assume to let the baking powder start to work), but I use that time to cut up the pepperoni.  I've done the pepperoni in full-size slices, but I like it better cut up.  Put them in how you like and as much as you like.

Bake for 20 minutes.  Dip in pizza-type sauce if you like.  My kids adore these!

Homemade Wire Baskets

Someone online was creative enough to make their own wire mesh baskets using this stuff.  It's called Hardware Cloth and it's found in the gardening section of stores like The Home Depot and Lowe's.  I got my roll for like $13 and in this picture I've used a bunch already.  It started out like 10 feet long by 2 feet wide.  There are different sizes.

Considering that purchasing a basket costs anywhere from $8 to $30, I think this is a deal!
 I didn't take any pics of the cut out shapes, but basically I used a bunch of the wire just figuring out what I wanted.  My husband requested something (3 of them actually) he could hang on the side of his desk.  I cut it using wire cutters (gave myself a blister - it's work cutting so many pieces of wire!) and there was a lot of trial and error.  I did make a basket that was the same size at the top as at the bottom, but I thought it would be too difficult to put your hands in. 
 Also, since the edges were newly-cut wire, I needed something to make them less poky.  I was going to make a liner, but duct tape was a whole lot less effort.

 I "sewed" the raw edges together with 18-gauge crafting wire that I had just hanging around.  Yeah, I have lots of supplies like that hanging around, but if I didn't, it would cost something like $2 for a roll that makes 2 or 3 baskets.
 One of the final products.  I made 3 of them that match.  I think they turned out quite nice and I still have plenty of wire to make more baskets.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Bottle Monsters

Sorry I don't have pics of the whole process.

Materials and Supplies List:
* Two bottles that match (any size).
* Zipper to fit around (2-liter bottles take a 12-inch zipper, I think the skinny bottles in the pic were 20-ounces and took a 9-inch zipper - you can use a bigger zipper and cut it down but that's more complicated).
* Garnishments (googly eyes, pipe cleaners, scrap fabric, fake fur, etc.).
* Hot glue gun and glue.
* Craft scissors (to cut plastic and stuff).
* Imagination!

 Step 1: Pinch your bottle on the side (not tight - you don't want the crease to stay) and cut.  You only need enough cut to stick your scissors in the hole.  Cut around the bottle to the size you want.  The green monsters in front are just the bottom parts of regular 2-liter bottles (there's a nice line there to use as a guide).  I like the tops to be short, but I like the bottoms to be different sizes.  Make the cut as even and smooth as you can.

Step 2: Install the zipper.  This is by far the most complicated part of the process.  It looks best if the zipper is on the inside, and it's easiest if your zipper starts at the right size (you can cut it down if you have to - hot glue the end so your kid can't unzip it completely or it's a beast to get back in).

I used a process of trial and error for the zipper install, but I discovered that if your glue gun is high heat, it will melt the plastic of the bottle if you put it directly there (put it on the zipper first and wait a couple seconds and it'll be fine).

I also discovered that you have to leave a small margin between the plastic of the bottle and the plastic (or metal) of the zipper or it's impossible to zip.

Step 3: Embellish.  My sis-in-law got really creative with the yarn hair and fabric scraps, and the kids had a lot of fun with the fake fur.

My 4-year-old filled his bottle with water (the one with the orange ears) and dumped it out saying it was monster throw up.  Fun times.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Baby Cereal Cookies

*Updated!* I have lots of it.  I found a link online to someone who had made cake from left-over baby food and I was inspired to look for a recipe for left-over baby cereal too.  I did have to tweak it, but they turned out so darn yummy that I've already had requests for the recipe (since it was on a generic site with nobody credited for the recipe and I had to tweak it, I'm not providing the original link).

So here it is:

Oatmeal Baby Cereal Cookies

2 C flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 1/2 C baby oatmeal cereal
2 eggs
1 C white sugar
1 C brown sugar
1/2 C oil
1 tsp vanilla

1/2 C milk

The dough should be firm enough to hold a ball shape, but not dry.  The wetter the dough, the flatter the cookies will fall when baked.  You can adjust the milk and the cereal as needed.

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 12 minutes.  Get your cold milk ready.  These soft and chewy treats will be a big hit for you too.

I often use other cereals, and I like adding cinnamon too.  My favorite so far is an oatmeal/mixed grain combination with about 1 TBS cinnamon.  I haven't found a combination that doesn't work and they always get gobbled down.