Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Fair Trade

As a member of, I recently became a participant in a bzzcampaign for Green Mountain Coffee's Fair Trade product.  I was reminded the importance of Fair Trade products!

Why choose Fair Trade?

I loved the bzzguide that accompanied my free coffee product. Here's what they say about their Fair Trade Coffee:

  • Helps farmers get a fair price for their beans
  • Improves working conditions
  • Assists in protecting the environment
  • Supports community development with projects resulting in new schools, roads, health clinics and safer drinking water
In the end, all this enables farmers to invest in better quality coffee for – who else? – you! Who knew that by preparing to conquer your day, you'd be helping so many others conquer theirs?
How can you argue with that?  Why wouldn't you choose fair trade?! 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Hotel Transylvania Bash for CrowdTap

Welcome to our home!

All set to color and do activity pages!
Some of the examples of what people colored!

Some of the activity sheets completed by our guests

We took a few screenshots of the games!

Bye!  Thanks for coming!
If you'd like to be able to download some copies of coloring or activity sheets, or play some of the online games, check out this link!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Zucchini Casserole

My mom wasn't a big cook, but what she did make, was really good!  This was one of her recipes we got to eat over and over!  She gave us a binder of our favorite foods when we got older, and this one is probably the one I make the most.

We've always had a garden, and that garden always had zucchini. And while zucchini are super good, you can end up with lots of them, and it's nice to have a few recipes to use them up with!

4 eggs
1 can corn
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
(1/2 cup chopped onion-optional, i never do)

You start out by cutting your zucchini into slices, and line the bottom of a 9x12 plan with them. (add 1/2 cup chopped onion now if you want onion).  You then place plastic wrap over the top, leaving one corner open.  Place in your microwave (turn off the turntable if you have one) on high for 7 minutes.

Drain well. you can see the zucchini cook down quite a bit, so if you want to add more, feel free (or less if you like). Kids may like it if you cut up the zucchini more, so it's more bite size.

In a mixing bowl, mix together 4 eggs, 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (6 oz), 1 can of corn (drained), 1/2 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp pepper. (Use extra seasonings if you like it only makes it better!)

Mix together, and mix in zucchini.

Spray/grease pan.  Pour the mixture in the 9x12 pan and cover with a paper towel. (Tooth pics would be a good idea, so the paper towel doesn't stick)

Microwave at medium heat 8-10 minutes.

Stir and remove paper towel.

Cook at least 10 more minutes at medium and stir.  You may have to cook it longer to cook all the liquid (since it's somewhat raw egg)

Someone was having a hard time waiting!

I find usually 5 more minutes does it.  Then eat and enjoy!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Kool Aid Popcorn

All I can say is yum!  I decided to make a yummy treat today, and I saw some versions of this on Pinterest, and decided to give it a try!  I made some adaptations because of what I had on hand.

6 quarts plain poped popcorn
1 cup light corn syrup
2 packets of Kool Aid mix-any kind, or brand works
2 cups sugar (I only had 3/4 c, so I used 1 1/4 c of Splenda, and it worked fine)
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 c butter

I popped plain popcorn using a paper bag in my microwave.  All you have to do is put 1/4 c popcorn cornels into a paper bag.  You fold over the top once about 1/4 inch, and again another 1/4 inch to create a closed bag. Then you lay it on it's side and microwave it 1 minute, 40 seconds. There will be some unpopped cornels, but just leave those in the bag for the next batch.  I did this until I had 6 quarts of popped popcorn (24 cups).

I then mixed together the butter, light corn syrup, sugar (and splenda) in a saucepan.  I mixed it constantly until boiling, then I continued mixing it at a boiling temperature for 3 minutes.  Then I took it off the stove. 

In a side bowl, I had mixed the packets of Kool Aid and baking soda.  I used Ice Blue lemonade Kool Aid. 

I then added the Kool Aid mixture to the syrup and as I folded it in, it puffed up quite a bit, so I was glad I didn't use too small of a saucepan.  As soon as it was well mixed, I poured it onto the popcorn i had spread out onto a large ungreased cookie pan.

Then I carefully folded the mixture into the popcorn so that it was well mixed.

It then goes into the oven at 225 for a total of 30 minutes.  You need to take it out every 10 minutes and mix it up to make sure the popcorn gets evenly covered by the Kool Aid yumminess!

after 10 mins

after 10 mins

Final Product

Then wait for it to cool, and Enjoy!  So good! You could easily make it into popcorn balls if you want, or leave it like it is, and break it up and put it in a bowl like i did!


Monday, July 16, 2012

Crock Pot Strawberry Jam

I LOVE homemade strawberry jam. I love it!  So since I had some strawberries in the fridge that were past their eating right out of the carton stage, I decided to make some of my own jam.  

The recipe:
2 lbs of strawberries cut into small pieces
4 cups white sugar 
1/4 cup lemon juice 

Cook 2-4 hours on high in a Crock Pot. (it was 2 hours for me)

The problem is, I don't have any lemon juice. After searching online, I found a substitute I had! All you need is a packet of dry unsweetened lemonade drink powder from brands like Kool Aid or Wyler's! Just mix a packet of it in 8 oz. of cold water and store it in the fridge in a lidded jar. Shake the solution before using it each time and use an equal amount of it to replace lemon juice. Crisis averted!

Mixed together my ingredients and set my Crock Pot on high and put an hour on the timer. 

After an hour, I stirred the mixture, I used my new "mix 'n chop" thingy I bought from my awesome Pampered Chef friend/consultant Rachel, to mash it up and put an hour on the timer.

After that (2 hours total), my new chopper/masher thingy again to mash it up and it pretty much broke it all up and liquified, with a few chunks.

I then poured it into containers with a ladle, and then used hot pads and poured the last bit out at the end. Put it in the fridge.  

It will get thicker and set up in a few hours (overnight for me).  It made more than I expected. And that made me happy!  It was hard to wait to try it the next day, but it was very hot!

Gabe was a big fan!


Friday, February 3, 2012

How to make Plarn for knitting or crocheting

So, plarn is basically yarn made from plastic bags! all you need is a scissors and bags to make plarn.  So far I've grouped my "like" bags and put them into balls, but i'll mix colors in the future.  This walk-through uses bags from kroger.

1. Flatten out your clean grocery bag.
2. Fold the bag in half.

3. Fold in half again 2 more times.

4. Cut the bag into strips and discard the handle portion and the bottom seal and when you open up the strips, you have many loops.  You can make the strips whatever width you like to work with. If you make them too thin, they will rip easier. Mine very quite a bit, and i like the affect i get from that.

5. Take 2 loops and lay them over each other.

6. Pull the loops through each other.

7. Pull tight.  The bags will stand up to a bit of force, but will rip if you pull too hard.

8. Continue adding loops to one end until you have a long string (here's a pile I had)

9. Roll it into a ball.

10. Crochet or knit with it!  The "fabric" is very strong, and has an interesting texture.  You can wash it in your machine on gentle, but definitely don't dry it with heat (duh).

The colored words turn into almost specs of color.