Sunday, June 29, 2014

For the Soul Sundays

Truth Dieter F.  Uchtdorf quote

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Giant Homemade Bubbles

Are you having a good summer?
We sure are! We have been having fun in our pool, enjoying "homemade" water parks and are excited to go see the Green Bay area and northern Michigan in a couple of weeks! We have been doing our experiments and science activities and we have a whole bunch to show you. My kids love this. We recently tried a version of the ginormous bubbles and they worked! This is how we did it.
First you are going to need dowels. I purchased the stuff for this at Hobby Lobby. Then you are going to need rope. We used some from the home improvement store, the white kind. Cut two pieces of the rope, one longer than the other. Tie the longer piece at the end of each dowel. Then, tie the smaller piece at the top of those two, kind of making a "circle" with the rope and the dowels on the side. It is very important that is has the shape of a circle, or a "U with a lid" like my kids said, and that the top one is smaller than the other if you want big sized bubbles!
Now for the bubble solution. You will need:
  • 6 cups of distilled water
  • 1/2 cup of Dawn ultra
  • 1/2 cup of cornstarch
  • 1 TBSP of baking powder
  • 1 1/2 TBSP of glycerin 
Mix all the ingredients into a bowl. Let sit for 15 minutes or so. Dip the rope into the solution and have fun! My kids loved loved loved this especially my little girl, she was so good at it!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Easy Doughnut Snacks AKA "Poppos"

My oldest son is taking "cooking classes" this summer from me. Not that I am a super chef or anything, he simply asked me if I could teach him how to cook some of his favorites and to know the basics, such as how to proof yeast. He had the treat for family home evening yesterday (a weekly meeting we have with our family, that includes a topic of discussion, we discuss family concerns and things for the week, and we also enjoy a treat and a game). He told me "mom, I want to make doughnuts." So I assisted him very little, especially with the frying part, and he did the rest by himself. This is a recipe we got a white ago and I do not know from where, but I have tweaked it to make it my own. I prefer cake doughnuts, these are more like fried scones, but they are still good.

Isn't he so HANDSOME! great guy, good looking AND he can out girls!

Here you have another little "peak" of my kitchen. I should show you guys the reveal I just need to finish some other things for the pictures. Love the subway tile!!! 
Ok, back to the recipe.
This recipe yields about 15 small doughnuts or a whole bunch of snacks. My son calls his recipe POPPOS. I do not know why but he does.
  • 3/4 cup of warm milk
  • 3 tsp of active dry yeast
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp butter, softened
  • canola oil for frying
  • cinnamon sugar
In the bowl of the mixer, put the warm milk and the yeast. let proof for 5 minutes. Then add all the rest of the ingredients, flour being the last ingredient. Using the dough hook, mix and knead for a little. cover and let rise for about 45 minutes. Flour the counter, take the dough out of the bowl and cut in half. Roll out (not too thin) and cut using a little round cookie cutter, or any shape really. It would be so much fun to do this for the holidays with Christmas shapes! Heat the oil up to 350 degrees, fry the Poppos until they are golden (not dark brown) and they cook very quickly. In a lunch bag, put the cinnamon sugar. As soon as the Poppos are cooked, let them rest for a minute on paper towels and then put them in the sugar bag, close it and shake so they can be coated with he sugar mixture (only a few at a time).


Saturday, June 14, 2014

Changes in the Family Room

We are in the process of updating our little house. My husband lets me do the decor, since he does not really care that much except he won't let me do anything too "crazy." I had a plan in Olioboard about how I wanted it to be but my taste changed. Since we moved into our house we have been changing, and that is because we were really young and really did not know what we liked. Now we (or better said, I) know. My style is definitely "french coastal cottage," but I also like some modern touches here and there. I do not like everything white and I like neutral colors, inspired by the beach that I so love! First it looked like this:

And now it is more like this:

This defines my style even more. I already have all the pieces of furniture, I have to repaint some of them and get some of the accents (Goodwill, here I come!) The walls will be one of my absolutely favorite: Benjamin Moore Silver Satin

Silver Satin / BM OC-26

I am thinking on doing an accent wall where the T.V is going to be, some sort of board and batten treatment. I still do not know if I want it all the way to the ceiling or not..we'll see. I still have a lot of leftover MDF and wood from previous projects I could use them in here. For now, I am thinking something like this:


Our family room is nicely sized and it also has another wall where the piano goes and there is a bookcase there. For now it will stay like that. We already updated our floor. If you want to see the before ugliness to the after you can see it HERE.

Brazilian Cherry 7 mm Thick x 7-11/16 in. Wide x 50-5/8 in. Length Laminate Flooring (24.33 sq. ft./case)
Traffic master Brazilian Cherry laminate, Home Depot

Keep in touch you guys! I'll let you know of any changes. We are doing this very slowly since we have baseball games and SUMMER FUN to do too!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

One Hour Focaccia Bread

We are big time bread eaters in our home. I bake all the time. I just enjoy doing it. I do not like treats very much but I do like bread. In Uruguay, bread is delicious. You can almost be walking anywhere in the country and the smell of fresh baked goods will get you from a bakery nearby ar from your neighbor's home.
Focaccia bread is one of my favorites, it is so easy and versatile. It is the BEST "bread base" for homemade breadsticks as well! Usually, I make focaccia bread using a "sourdough starter" in which you put some flour, yeast and water in the fridge overnight and this very sticky and soft dough forms. The bread is phenomenal but it takes time. This other method works as long as you do it as the instructions say. You'll be left with a crunchy bread on the outside and soft on the inside. The infusion of fresh herbs, cheese an olive oil makes this out of this world!

Ingredients for two loaves:

  • 1/1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3 tsp SAF yeast
  • 4 TBSP olive oil plus more for oiling the pan
  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 TBSP grated parmesan cheese (or Asiago)
  • Fresh thyme or rosemary
Place warm water, sugar and yeast in the mixer bowl, mix and let stand about 15 minutes. Add the salt and the olive oil, mix. Add the flour, one cup at a time and mix well. Knead using dough hooks. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 170 degrees, when it is done TURN IT OFF. Put 1 tsp olive oil in two cake pans (I use round ones) and put them in the oven as it warms up. Put the dough on a floured surface, cut in half and roll until it is the size of your pan. Cast iron skillets work wonderful too! put the dough in the hot pans, cover with towel and put them in the oven, for about 15 to 20 minutes or until it looks puffy. Take them out of the oven and preheat now to 425 degrees. Make indentations on the dough using your fingers. Brush olive oil and sprinkle the cheese and thyme on top. Bake for 20-25 minutes. 

If you try it let me know what you think!

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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Yummy Orange Cake

This is my mom's orange cake. It is so so good. In Uruguay we have the tradition of drinking an herbal tea called "mate", usually in the morning and afternoon. Ok, more like all day sometimes. My mom used to prepare yummy treats to eat while we were enjoying our mate. This cake was baked sometimes weekly in my home and it is super simple. Fool proof even. There is no way to mess it up except if you mix up the batter too much (just like when we over beat muffins batter). And this is a no frost cake (I absolutely hate frosting and "too much sugar and butter" things, I think it is the Dental Hygienist in me). You can however sprinkle a little powder sugar and garnish with slices of orange and mint.
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup oil ( I use Canola)
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • juice of one orange
  • 1 orange peeled and cut
  • grated peel of one orange
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
Put all liquid ingredients in a blender and blend really good. In another bowl put the flour and the baking powder and mix. Pour the liquid into the flour and mix until moistened. Grease a baking pan (the bigger the pan the thinner the cake, and viceversa) pour the batter and bake in a preheated 375 oven for about 25 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean. Once cooled sprinkle powder sugar. Serve and enjoy!

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The 36th Avenue  Blogger's Digest  Not Just a Housewife  Ladybug Blessings A Bowl Full of Lemons

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Easiest Way to Make Silhouettes

Today I will show you how I make my silhouettes for the family "tell a story" picture wall. The gallery starts with when my husband and I started dating up until now. I wanted to include some vintage-y touch to it since I ADORE everything cottage and vintage. This is the easiest way to make them, I know there are other people that use Photoshop but I still do not have that program, so I did it the "homemade" way.
First, I took a picture of my son against a window. The picture was already very dark. Then using Picasa I edited the picture using the "pencil sketch." Using a chisel sharpie I traced the contour of the face and then filled in the rest.

I let it dry and cut around it. Then I glued in on vintage music paper and put it on the frame.

I did the same for my other son and daughter.
How easy is that!

And this is how it looks now, with a new wall color. We switched from SW "Maison Blanche" to Behr "Silver Drop." Perfect greige, so airy and awesome.

Yes, there is one silhouette from my hubby and I ;-) And we believe true love never ends!
 I still have more things to add to the gallery, but it is good for now.

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The Blogger's Digest A Bowl Full Of Lemons
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