Friday, June 17, 2011

Rescuing Sock Orphans from the Laundry

Is there anyone who doesn't have some sort of creature living in their laundry machines who furiously eats socks? But only ONE of the pair?? Surely someone besides me can't get over how many sock orphans come through the wash. A couple of years ago we started this system to address the problem. It doesn't take care of it completely, but it has helped a TON!
Each room has a bag like this filled with plastic laundry pins. I hang it from something near the laundry basket.
Each person is responsible for clipping their socks together before the pair is put in the basket. The kids are now finally in the habit--it took a while!
A word of caution: the clips do sometimes break or come apart. If you want a heavier duty clip, try these.
Sock monster destroyed! :)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Renegade Rolls (Scrumptious Cinnamon Buns)

On my daughter's first day of summer, we celebrated by making homemade cinnamon rolls (her choice). We made fun pineapple drinks, like the ones we had in Costa Rica, and sipped on those while cooking.
My nieces joined us after a while to help us with the process.
I originally got this recipe from a Lancaster County Amish cookbook and I've adapted it over the years. The smell of these alone will send the family running wild-eyed to the kitchen.
When our last child was born, I told my husband and family by baking dozens of these babies, and at the bottom of the plate I hid a laminated little sign that said, "Here's to one last bun in the oven!"

2 pkgs. yeast
1 c. lukewarm water
1 tsp. sugar
1 cup milk, scalded and cooled
1/2 c. butter
3/4 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
7 c. flour

Pour yeast into a container with the lukewarm water. Add the tsp. of sugar and let stand 5 min. Scald the milk and let cool to lukewarm.
Cream together butter and the 3/4 c. sugar and salt. Slowly add the eggs, one at a time. Add the yeast mixture and milk. Gradually add the flour.
Let rise until double the size. Roll out the dough and brush with melted butter. Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon.

Roll the dough, starting with the furthest edge out, toward you. Keep the roll as tight as possible. Cut the pieces and place in a pan. Let rise again.

Bake at 375 degrees for 15 min. If not done, check every 5 min. more.

2 lbs. powdered sugar
1/2 c. + 1 tbsp. milk
3/4 stick butter, warm and softened
1/4-1/2 c. brewed coffee (depending on how strong you like the coffee flavor)
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. cinnamon
sprinkle of sea or kosher salt

Wisk together the powdered sugar, milk, butter, coffee, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt until smooth.

Pour onto the rolls while still warm, saving a little. After the rolls have absorbed some of the icing, pour on the rest (or I like to do this to each on the individual plates).

Friday, June 10, 2011

Dresser Re-Do: All That Glitters....

More glitter. I know..... it's a problem. You'd think I would have outgrown it by 8th grade. Not so -- I just can't shake it. I had to re-paint my daughters dresser and mirror because she got a new bed that was a different color. We decided to put a little sass into the project by adding some SPARKLE & SHINE.... with what else? GLITTER I SAY!
Here's what we did:
Step 1: We spray painted the mirror. I found this one at Ross. It had a horrible yellow/brown finish, and it's no wonder no one wanted to buy it. It had the right price tag, and I could see its potential through my spray paint lens (love that stuff).
Step 2: After the spray paint dried, working in sections, we used spray glue and then poured glitter on top of it.
Step 3: We repeated step 2 until it was covered well. Sprinkle thoroughly with several coats or until you run out (which is what happened to us).
Step 4: Using Modge Podge, I painted the middle section of each drawer of the dresser, and sprinkled some glitter onto that also. I thought it would pull the two pieces together.
Step 5: Repeat step 4 until well covered.Here is the final product! It looks really cute in her room. One thing to be sure, a little glitter goes a long way..... just like in 8th grade. :)