Friday, December 21, 2012

2012 Christmas Ornaments

Every year the kids get to both make an ornament to gift to family and friends and buy an ornament.  When they are on their own, I'll give them all the ones they picked out to buy plus one of each that they made to decorate their first trees.

In 2011, Jasper made a Golden Snitch Ornament and Risa made a Glitter / Handprint Snowman Ornament.

In 2012, we are still sparkly.  Jasper selected a penguin / snowglobe ornament inspired by a Parent' craft.

You can follow directions for how to make the pipe cleaner penguin on their site... though those instructions aren't perfectly clear.  I may do a step-by-step pictorial of how to make them.  Jasper went with one penguin, a tree and a cupcake pick that says "Merry Christmas".  I couldn't find clear sided cups but Jasper actually likes the looks of the rippled sides better.  I used old Christmas cards to cut out the bottom piece so the ornament is fancy on the bottom too.  And I hot glued the hanger to the top.  I was afraid the cup would break if I tried to poke a hole through it.  

Risa went with a lovely peacock / pine cone ornament inspired by a craft from The Kids Fun Review.  

We used craft foam for the body and Risa added lots of peacock blue glitter paint to the pine cone.  

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Comfort Food on the Fly

This is the time of year for comfort food... in my book anyway. Everyone has a different definition of comfort food but some pretty common ones include meatloaf, chicken-fried steak, fried chicken, beef stew. A common denominator with all of these is TIME. They all take time to prepare... whether it's actual prep time or just hours to cook.

I'm all about 30-minute (or less) meals. When it's cold outside and I'm a bit winter grumpy, I'm also all about comfort food. But how to accomplish both? Hash with Fried Eggs. Yum. Fast, easy, only a few ingredients and warm, yummy, comforting goodness in a bowl.

Hash with Fried Eggs

Olive oil
1.5 pounds Russett potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-1/2 inch cubes
1 medium onion, diced in 1/4 inch pieces
1 green bell pepper, diced in 1/4 inch pieces
1 tsp cumin
Kosher salt & pepper to taste

 Heat oil in skillet. Add potatoes, onion, bell pepper, cumin, salt & pepper. Cook over medium-high heat 10 to 15 minutes until potatoes are tender. Once the hash is close to done, fry up your eggs in another skillet. Serve in a bowl with the egg over the hash. Kids like a touch of ketchup and grownups can add some hot sauce if so inclined.

You can easily adjust for family size. I serve 3 adults, 1 9yo (athletic) boy and 1 5yo (athletic) girl with 1 1/2 pounds of potatoes.  And eggs are easy enough to cook however many you need. My daughter eats one. Everyone else two. I served this last night with a bacon spinach salad.... also a supremely fast and easy thing to throw together.