Monday, March 30, 2009

April Fools!

This is what my husband will be waking up to on April Fools Day. He'll swing open the bedroom door in a mad rush to get downstairs and head out the door to work, only to be met by doorway masked with the morning news! He'll have to burst through the newspaper in order to get out. (I hope he thinks this is as funny as I think it is... I could be really evil and leave a gap at the top and pour styrofoam peanuts in between the newspaper and closed door so that they spill all over when he opens the door, hehe!)

(This photo was taken on the outside of the room)

Here are a few other ideas:

"While You Were Out" - Leave a phone message for the victim that says that a “Mr. Lyon” called (or Mr. Behr also works), and wants to be called back. Then list the phone number of the local zoo.

Another idea is to tape magnets to the bottom of an empty coffee cup, and attach it to the top of your car. Laugh at all the people who frantically try to get your attention as you drive by.

Buy a package of “hair extensions” that match the victim’s hair. (Inexpensive ones can usually be found in the hair accessory section of a drug store or grocery store.) Snip some strands about the length of the victim's real hair and spread it around on their pillow while they are asleep. They will wake up to a real fright!

These ideas are from Family Fun Magazine:

* It's easy to get somebody to walk right into this startlingly funny doorway joke. When he does, balloons will go whirling and blurting all over the room.

To plant the prank, blow up three balloons and wind their tails together (don't knot them). Seal the tails in an entryway by placing them over the top of the door and closing it tight. When your target makes his entrance, the balloons will go flying out in front of him.

**On a few squares of toilet paper, write a goofy gag line with permanent marker, then float the paper in the toilet for the next visitor to find.

Tip: For a longer floating time, allow the paper's edges to touch the sides of the bowl.

Other prank messages:
Who goes there?
The joke's on poo!

***Conceal a dollar bill inside your toilet paper roll by unwinding it several turns, then wrapping it back up with the bill inside. Rehang the roll flap-side down as shown. When your target tugs at the tissue, the money will spill out.

****A scoop of vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt makes for convincing mashed potatoes. Set a helping on each plate and top with butterscotch or caramel sauce gravy just before serving.

*****1. Can't Un-Ziplock: Hungry April fools will be trying hard to wrestle the goods out of one of these special sandwich bags. The reason? The opening is discreetly sealed with a thin line of clear adhesive strip. To set up the prank, zip the bag closed and place a length of double-sided scrapbook tape (we used Zips Ultra Thin Clear Adhesive Lines) on one of the flaps just above the closure. Firmly press the flaps together to make them stick.

2. Wormy Apple: The creature wiggling out of this apple will make an April Fools' Day lunch both silly and sweet. Use a plastic ballpoint pen, washed and with the ink cartridge removed, to bore a hole in the fruit, then insert a gummy worm. (Don't make it the night before, or the worm may get mushy.)

3. Snack Switcheroo: The joke in this snack-sized scheme is let out of the bag as soon as your target realizes the contents don't match the label. Make the switch by carefully opening a snack bag along the top seam. Empty out the original contents and fill the bag with another edible item (we filled a cheese puff bag with baby carrots). Add a playful message such as "April Fools!," then use a strip of double-sided tape to reseal the bag along the seam.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Spring Napkin Rings

What you need:

Empty toilet paper cardboard roll
Glue (and frosting, optional)
Dry cereal


To make two napkin rings, cut an empty toilet paper roll in half. Cut out a 2x7-inch strip of colored paper, and glue to ring.

Glue on colorful cereal to complete any design you wish.

Safety note: Don't let children eat cereal that has been glued. An alternative to glue would be to use frosting-- that way if any cereal pieces fall off and are consumed, you'll only have to worry about a sugar high as opposed to glue chemicals. :)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Beer Bread

This can be made with any carbonated beverage instead of beer, but I wouldn't recommend it. It just doesn't have the same yummy taste (and I'm not much of a beer drinker, but I love this bread!). I've made it both with Sprite and Coke and it just didn't compare. Also, this is just as tasty as the box mix that you can buy from Tastefully Simple-- just much more cost effective!


3 cups of all purpose flour
1/3 cup of sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
12 oz of beer (or pop)
2 tbsp butter, melted


Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Gently pour in the beer and mix until just blended. Batter will be thick.

Pour into a greased bread pan and pour melted butter over the top of bread batter. Bake at 375° for 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Remove from pan and let cool on a baking rack.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Black and White Cheescake Squares

This recipe is from Martha Stewart- it's very rich and tasty and the edge pieces are to die for!

Makes 24


Vegetable oil cooking spray
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 ounces (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
21/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Line dish with parchment, leaving a 2-inch overhang on both long sides, then spray parchment.

Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Cream butter and granulated sugar with a mixer until smooth. Add 2 eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla, and beat until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl. Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture. Increase speed to medium; beat until incorporated.

Reserve 1 cup of dough; cover, and refrigerate. Press remaining dough into bottom of prepared dish. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Bake until base is set and edges are puffed, about 25 minutes. Let cool in dish on a wire rack.

Mix cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, and remaining egg and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla in a medium bowl. Spread over cooled base; crumble reserved dough on top. Bake until filling is set, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool in dish on wire rack, then lift out using overhang. Cut into 24 squares. Squares will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 3 days.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Banana Crumb Muffins

My intention was to use up the three over-ripened bananas on my counter while simultaneously making something that was able to be frozen yet easily popped out eaten as a yummy snack for my kiddos. I thought making these muffins would be the perfect solution. I even baked them in mini muffin tins to make them more kid-friendly. That was as about 4pm today-- there are only about 10 remaining from the 48 mini muffins I made and it's only about 10pm. *****D.e.l.i.c.i.o.u.s.*****


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 bananas, mashed
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease 10 muffin cups, or line with muffin papers. (or you can use a mini muffin pan; the recipe will make just about 48 mini muffins)

In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.

In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and cinnamon. Cut in 1 tablespoon butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle topping over muffins.

Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean. Mini muffins bake only 10 minutes.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Glitter Art

This cute idea came from the Kids Craft Weekly newsletter. Use cookie cutters dipped in glue to create shapes on paper. Sprinkle each shape with glitter. You can make glitter art to adorn homemade greeting cards, pictures for Grandma's and Grandpa's, pictures to hang on your refrigerators.... anywhere your little creator's heart desires!

*** A little tip: Save empty spice containers to use as glitter shakers. The plastic insert with the holes makes it nice and neat to work with!***