Easter Fun

Easter and Spring are such fun when it comes to crafts and baking. I love bright spring colors of greens, blues, yellows, pinks and lavenders after the dark colors of winter like reds, blacks, navy and grays.

Even though Doug is 15 he still likes to craft (once in a while) so I bring out the pot and we make homemade play dough. Ever make it yourself? It’s super easy and inexpensive. Really…I wouldn’t lie to ya.

Here’s the recipe:

1 Cup All Purpose Flour

1/4 Cup Salt

2 Tbsp Cream of Tartar

1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil

1 Cup Water

Food Coloring

Mix the flour, salt, and cream of tartar together in a medium sized saucepan to combine. Add water, oil and food coloring to it. Turn on the heat to medium and stir. It will get harder to stir and it will act like it is sticking to the bottom of the pot. Just keep stirring and scraping until the liquid is all gone and what’s left is a sticky mass of dough. It will not be neat but dump the ball out onto a floured surface and knead it a few times to get the remainder of any wetness out. It will be HOT so knead carefully not to burn your hands. You will have to soak the pan for a few minutes to clean it but it will be so worth it!

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Repeat as much as you like to get as many colors as you want. It makes a pound of play dough each batch (yes I weighed it) which is about 4 times what you get in those little plastic containers of the real stuff. Plus who knows what goes into the stuff you buy at the store.

Doug and I played with our homemade dough for 2 hours on Saturday night. We had a blast!

Store the dough in the fridge. It will last a few months or until the point where you get sick of it rolling around in there and you finally throw it out. ­čÖé

We also love to color eggs. Hey it’s not just for little guys ya know!

One thing I don’t do is boil them first. That may seem weird but as long as the eggs are not cracked I die them raw. I love to dye dozens of eggs but I can’t eat 5 dozen hard boiled eggs in a week. I like eggs, but not THAT much.

If we dye them raw I can have the pleasure of using the eggs for a month long and enjoy the pretty colors each time I bake something. See what I mean?

The eggs in the photo below are dyed brown eggs. You can use the same egg dying kits that you typically use for white eggs for brown eggs too. I like the rich colors better with the brown eggs.

eggs

I make cutout cookies for Easter, which are almost as fun as Christmas cutouts but without the added stress Christmas and the holidays bring. See, aren’t they super cute?

easter cutouts

Now that I have a teenager I don’t have a need for fun paper crafts and cotton ball bunny tails but maybe grand kids some day right?

What kinds of crafts do you do for Easter?  Have a wonderful and blessed week and Easter Holiday. -MM

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How to Decorate Christmas Cutouts

For almost a decade I have been decorating Christmas cutouts with colorful glazes and a piping bag.

Traditionally, cutouts are decorated using royal icing and a technique known as “flooding”. Flooding is time consuming, tedious and very tiring on your poor fingers and hands.

I decorate hundreds of dozens of Christmas cutouts every year and instead of using royal icing I find that making a glaze of confectioner’s sugar, milk and a flavoring like vanilla or almond extract works almost as well and is much less time consuming.

To finish the cutouts and bring out fine details, I use a pastry bag and pipe on buttercream frosting which I think makes for a very tasty and beautiful cookie.christmas-cookies

In the You Tube links below I show you how I decorate my cookies and also how to package them so they don’t crush. Hope you enjoy these videos. Happy decorating! -MM

Christmas Cookie Decorating Part 1

Christmas Cookie Decorating Part 2

Christmas Cookie Decorating Part 3

Christmas Cookie Decorating Part 4

Packaging Christmas Cookies