Classic Cream Puffs…

cream puff recipe cream puff recipe DSC_2275 DSC_2277 DSC_2294 cream puff recipe cream puff recipe DSC_2320 DSC_2326 DSC_2348 DSC_2361 DSC_2376-2 At least once a week, I bring my kids into the kitchen to cook with me. They alternate turns, because 3 of them at once is just too crazy. Also, I find that I enjoy it more when I can I have one on one time with each of them. They love to cook and I do love teaching them. Not only do they get to sample through out the recipe, but they are practicing they’re reading and math skills. That’s a bonus for this homeschooling mom! 

I’ve always wanted to make cream puffs and if I’d known just how easy it was, I would have done so a long time ago. There are two main characters in a cream puff recipe. The first is a French pastry dough called, pate a choux. Sounds like, “pot uh shoe” and fun to say a million times over. Annie must have said it, just that many times! The second, is creme chantilly. Sounds like, “whipped cream.” Okay, so I did feel a little ridiculous every time I said, “creme chantilly.” But, French is a part of our daily studies, so I kept it legit and went with, “creme chantilly.”

I chose this recipe, because the instructions were clear and the photo of the creme puff showing all that glorious creme chantilly! If I’d thought about it, I would have gotten a picture of ours showing off the cream, but I forgot in the midst of instructing and photographing. You’ll just have to trust me, that our cream puffs were all kinds of jacked up with the creme chantilly. Have I said, “creme chantilly” enough yet?

I’ll admit, when we first put the cream puffs in the oven to bake, I wasn’t sure if they were going to work. For the first few minutes, I was actually sure of it. Then out of no where, they began to puff. As a friend recently said, “they are magical!” The key to a good cream puff is the puff. It’s actually a pocket of air inside the pastry. That’s the housing for all that wonderful creme chantilly! Here I go again, dropping my creme chantilly. I think I’ve creme chantilly-ed this post to death. All hail to the creme chantilly! I wonder, if I go in the bathroom, turn off all the lights, look in the mirror while chanting, “creme chantilly”, if Julia Childs would appear? Ha! I won’t be trying that, but you should definitely try this cream puff recipe!

Handprinted Stationary Kit…

handprinting art for kids DSC_1883 DSC_1891 DSC_1910 handmade kid stationary DSC_1936 handmade stationary for kids handmade stationary for kids handmade stationary for kids handprinting art for kids DSC_1995 DSC_2012 handprinting art for kids My kids love mail!  They especially love cards! My parents, have sent them cards for every birthday and every single holiday since they were born. If it were up to me, they’d be um, purged. However, they are sentimental ones and insist on keeping them. Knowing how much they love getting cards in the mail, I thought we should put together a handmade stationary kit and send off to my parents. They are already excited about receiving their cards back in the mail.

On a recent trip to the library, Savannah stumbled onto this book about handprinting animal art for kids. It provides detailed, step by step instructions on which part of your hand to paint to make the animal come to life. The beginning of the book gives you pointers on handprinting techniques, if you are not sure by just looking at the picture. Also, after each animal, there is a lesson of sorts about that animal. Unfortunately, it’s no longer in print, but I was able to pick up a used copy in great condition. I know this book will get a lot of use in our house!

After playing around making some of the animals, we got serious and started handprinting onto blank stationary cards. The book lists poster paint as the type of paint to use, but I just used acrylic. You will need to work faster if using acrylic, as it does dry quicker than poster paint. I found being slightly generous when applying the paint, helped extend the drying time. After all the cards have dried, then go back and add details with an ink pen.

We did a total of 9 cards. After they were finished, we stacked the cards and envelopes on a piece of cardboard. Then, we tied them all together with some yarn, handmade pom poms, and a “write me” tag. These stationary kits make fun gifts for grandparents, teachers, friends, or pen pals. Ours is headed to Texas, where Papa and Gigi will fill each one with words that will be treasured for many years.

DIY Confetti Blowers…

diy party blowers diy party blowers confetti diy party horns diy party blowers diy party horns diy party blowers
diy party blowers diy party blowers diy party blowers diy party horns DSC_1211 DSC_1370 It’s back to school season and I like to do something fun every year to celebrate it. We homeschool, but we take our summer break, too. It’s nice to have those lazy days of summer for me and for them.

I had some unused party blowers, so I thought now would be the perfect time to make some use of them. You can get them just about anywhere, I think I picked mine up from Target.

Gather your supplies:
Party blowers
Ink pens
Glue stick
Party napkins or tissue paper

First, carefully separate the paper part of the blower from the horn. Try to remove it in intact, as you will use this for your template. Next, trace an outline of the blower onto cardstock. With ink pens, have your kids draw within the template. We do a lot of ink drawings and these pens are a staple in our house. They don’t smudge and are waterproof. After they have completed their drawings, cut out the template.

Next, add a little glue down one long side of your template. Roll and press into place. You’ll need to hold this for a minute, until the glue takes. After the form is set, add a little more glue near the top, then slide the plastic horn piece into position.

Start stuffing your blower with confetti, careful not to pack it in or it will become jammed in the horn and won’t blow properly. We used some of our handmade confetti leftover from the confetti ghosts we made last year. Add a little handwritten message and tuck into the confetti. Finally, seal off your party blower. We cut some small circles from party napkins, but tissue paper would work the same.

Hand them out to friends or have fun with them yourselves. When you’re ready to get your celebration on, just punch trough the seal and blow! They had the best time blowing confetti all over each other.