Monday, June 24, 2019

S More S'mores, Please



I brought marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate on our last two camping trips intending to make some delicious s'mores.  It would have made our fellow campers very happy, but I completely forgot about the s'mores and returned from our trips and with all the packages unopened.  We had never camped without having a night of roasted marshmallows, melted chocolate and sticky fingers until then.

Luckily, I remembered I had the ingredients to make s'mores when we had Soko's sister and brother-in-law over for a BBQ.  S'mores make a perfect dessert after a dinner of hamburger and hot dogs.  But since we were not camping, we didn't have a fire handy to roast our marshmallows.  The next best thing was to just gather up the ingredients and wrap them all up in foil.  You don't get the char on your marshmallow but you do get a nice smoky tasting treat.



The s'mores we made for our BBQ dessert were delicious but I wondered of we could have a little more fun with them.  I still had everything we needed to make more s'mores and I remembered that I had a chocolate bar the same size as the ones we use for s'mores but this bar had mini candy coated peanut butter chips in them.  Hmm...how would that taste if we substituted it for the plain chocolate bar.  What if I took one of the plain chocolate bars and topped it with toffee chips, which I love.   I invited daughter, Lisa over to sample our new s'mores recipe.  And since I know that Lisa is a fan of mint chocolate, I crushed up peppermint just for her.

The "fun" s'mores were a big hit!




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Foil Wrapped S'mores

Ingredients

Graham crackers
Marshmallows
Chocolate bars
Chocolate bars with peanut butter chips
White chocolate bars with cookie crumbs
Toffee chips
Crushed peppermint candy

Directions to make candy bars

1.  Heat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Take plain chocolate bars and break them in half.  

3.  Cover a cookie sheet with foil and place chocolate bars on.


4.  Bake chocolate in oven until just melted, 1 minute.

5.  Immediately place toffee chips or peppermint candy on top of chocolate and use a spatula or spoon to gently press the candy into the chocolate.



6.  Put chocolate into freezer to harden and leave them in there until ready to use.

Directions for cooking s'mores in outdoor grill 

7.  Cut marshmallows in half.

8.  Place 1/2 of graham cracker on a piece of foil large enough to wrap s'more, top with one halved marshmallow, chocolate, second halved marshmallow, then cover with other 1/2 of graham cracker.

9.  Wrap s'more in the foil.

10.  Place s'mores filled foil packets on grill.



11.  Close grill top and bake s'mores on low heat for 5 minutes, turning packets over halfway through baking time.   (We have a gas grill.  Timing might be different with a charcoal grill.)  

12.  Unwrap your s'mores and enjoy!

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I am sure, if I remember on our next camping trip , that we will have s'mores the traditional way with  roasted marshmallows.   But I will definitely have a few foil wrapped s'mores for baking on the grill when  I need to have a s'mores quicker than someone can get the campfire going! 


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Monday, June 10, 2019

DIY Baby's 1st Birthday Highchair Decoration



We can't believe our grandson is one already!  His parents are having a big first birthday celebration for him and asked for some help with it.  One thing they asked for was a handmade highchair decoration just to have it be a little more special than one they could buy.  We are always excited to be able to help especially because we are snowbird grandparents and can't be there to help on a day to day basis.

But even though we are snowbird grandparents we don't miss out on any of our grandson's special moments.  Our son and daughter-in-law make sure we don't miss a thing.  Thanks to them, videos, photo sharing and FaceTime, we watched him roll over, begin to crawl, heard his first belly laugh, everything.  We also appreciate how our grand baby's parents make sure to plan lots of get-togethers with us, either at our house, their house or meeting on vacation.

We are very happy with how this first year went and even happier to be celebrating our little guy's number one birthday with him.

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Materials

Glue 
Scissors
Edging Scissors
Black Marker
Stapler

Instructions For Characters

1.  Find royalty-free clip art of characters.  (There are a number of places you can find them.)  Copy them on a to blank Word document.

2.  Resize your clip art, if needed, to the size you want.  (About 5 inches in diameter as shown.)

3.  Print your picture (Elmo) in black and white on white card stock.



4.  Staple your print (anywhere but on the character's face) to a piece of black card stock and cut along outline of entire head.  Stapling the pieces of card stock together helps the pieces not to move so that you can have two identical pieces when you are done.  Put black piece to the side for now.



5.  Take the print and cut out the mouth and cut off the nose and eyes.

6.  Trace the face piece onto red card stock and cut out.



7.  Glue this piece over the black cutout.



8.  Cut out the eyeballs of the eye piece, trace this piece onto white card stock then glue in place on top of the black cutout.

9.  Trace the nose onto orange card stock and glue in place.



8.  Outline face and features with black marker.



Follow these instructions for Cookie Monster minus the nose!

Instructions For Number Circle

1.  Print number on card stock and cut out.

2.  Cut out 5 circles, using cups and bowls of varying sizes, with the biggest being about 5" in diameter.


3.  Use scissors or edging scissors to create interesting edges.

4.  Glue number on smallest circle and then glue circles on top of each other.

Instructions For Banner

1.  Cut out six 1" wide strips lengthwise from an orange piece of felt.


2.  Use the fabric adhesive to glue 3 pieces end to end, overlapping about a 1/2 inch.  Repeat with the other 3 pieces to wind up with two 30+ inch strips.

3.  Cut out three 1 1/2" wide strips, the length of the felt piece, of each color: red, yellow, blue, green and orange.

4.  Use the fabric adhesive to glue these strips to one of the long strips.



5.  After all the strips are glued in place, take the second long strip and glue it on top of first strip, hiding the edges of the hanging strips.

6.  Use stick-on velcro to attach character pieces and number circle to banner.  (It makes it easier to transport if the pieces can be removed from the banner.)


7.  Use velcro to attach the banner to the highchair.

This idea can work with any birthday theme.  Just print the characters or pictures that work for your party and coordinate the banner with colors to match.



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