Popcorn Party

Hi friends! One of the items on our Winter List is a "popcorn party." We experimented by making a bunch of different flavors of popcorn, and took the winning batch over to share with some friends. The flavors we made were: cinnamon, cookies & cream, spicy buffalo, and mint-chocolate.

Cookies + cream won by a landslide. Bonus: It's the easiest to make, too!

Popcorn

I don't usually make up my own recipes, but this one just kind of fell together. Popcorn + chocolate + cookies…pretty foolproof.

INGREDIENTS:
2 bags un-buttered microwave popcorn
1 bag white chocolate chips
2 tsp vegetable oil
1 pkg double stuff oreos

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Pop the popcorn according to package directions; dump it in a huge bowl.
2. While the popcorn is popping, put all the Oreos in a ziploc bag, and crush with a rolling pin.
3. Mix the chocolate chips + vegetable oil, and melt in microwave; stirring every 30 seconds until smooth. (About 3 30-second go-rounds will do the trick).
4. Pour the melted chocolate chips and the crushed Oreos in with the popcorn and mix well.
5. Spread the popcorn on waxed paper until the chocolate sets up.

A couple notes:
Finding un-buttered popcorn can be kind of a challenge. There's usually some in the organic section; and I believe Orville Redenbacher makes a "Simply Salted" variety. That'll work just fine.

While I'm sure regular Oreos would be sufficient, the extra filling in the double-stuffs kind of mixes with the white chocolate creating a more authentic "cookies & cream" experience. As far as I'm concerned when it comes to Oreos, the more filling the better.

ENJOY!

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Post by Christina Williams : justcallmechris.blogspot.com

Design Your Own Dishes

Dish01

I’ve been seeing all sorts of hand-drawn dishes popping up on Pinterest lately. Using no more than Sharpie markers and plain dinnerware, it seems you can create gorgeous designs.  I love the look of these – and the idea of my daughter designing her own set of dishes – but was a little skeptical about how well the markers would work. We tried it out this weekend, and the results are pretty awesome.

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We started with a few of our plates, Sharpie oil markers in silver and gold, and a black porcelain marker.

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We each drew our our designs on the plates. For me, it was a little intimidating to get started. I don’t draw very well and there’s little possibility for correction with the markers. I tried to wipe off an area that I wanted to redo, but the color didn’t budge. It seemed to dry immediately. I later discovered that the color doesn’t hold up very well in the dishwasher, so if you end up with a design you don’t like, just wash the dish in the dishwasher instead of baking it in the oven and it will likely come off entirely.

Once we were finished with our drawings, we baked the dishes in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes and let everything cool in the oven before removing.

This was a ton of fun and the markers worked really well. I’m not sure if they’re supposed to hold up in the dishwasher. I tried washing them in the dishwasher and the design of one plate was perfectly intact, while another disappeared entirely. For now, I’ll probably hand-wash them.

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I think our designs are pretty adorable and would work great as teacher gifts and Valentine’s Day gifts. This craft would also be a fun children’s activity during a birthday or dinner party.

Post by Julee Dyer : Warm Hot Chocolate

“Better Shape Up” Playdough Valentine

Continuing with our weeks worth of printable Valentine freebies, we created two girly and two boyish designs. Plus every one of our printable Class Valentine features a non-edible treat that will delight the kiddos while still being kind to all the parents, teachers and dentists out there!

Ladies first, right?

BetterShapeUpPlaydoughValentinesTH

My four year old specifically requested a playdough Valentine, but Aimée and I drew a blank on a clever Valentines-ish verse to go with playdough. It took us hours, and I mean LONG, slap-happy hours tossing out ideas that were either too stupid or too suggestive, before we finally came up with “Better Shape Up.” Inspired, of course, by Olivia Newton John’s performance in Grease. (It’s been FOREVER since I’ve seen that oldie but goodie. Anyone up for a movie night?)

TO MAKE: Download our freebie printable Playdough Valentine template, which includes full instructions. Print as many as you need and cut out. Buy the mini Play-doh cans or make your own. You’ll also need clear plastic baggies (like these).

Do you love it?

Reposted with permission by Aimée Lowry & Bettijo B. Hirschi from PagingSupermom.com