Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Have you ever been Boo'd at Halloween?

Tis' the season to "Boo" your family, friends and neighbors! Whenever I say that to people in October, they all ask me, "What does being 'boo'd' mean?" I want to put the question to rest and let everyone know what it means to "Boo" someone.

Being "Boo'd" is basically spreading Halloween cheer to your neighbors, family and friends. You take a little token (whatever you want that to be - you can make it as simple or as elaborate as you want) to your family, friend's and neighbor's homes. You put whatever it is you brought on their doorstep, knock on the door and RUN! You don't want to be caught because they aren't suppose to know who left the treats. If you know what May Day baskets are all about, then this is the same concept, just a different season and holiday!

You can find "Boo Kits" in stores sometimes, but they can be pricey. You can make your own at home for a fraction of the cost! I basically decorate a bag and then put Halloween candy or trinkets in the bag and then type up a note for the outside of the bag. Something like:

"A bag of treats - but what's it mean? That you've been boo'd for Halloween. When all your yummy treats are gone, just fill this bag and pass it on!" (I got this saying from a bag given to us).
Then your family or friends are suppose to fill up the bag with their own treats and pass it on to someone else. This tradition we started a few years ago has caught on to our group of friends we "boo", but I would love to see more and more people get involved each year! It is a lot of fun and it is my kid's favorite thing about Halloween. They would much rather "Boo" our family and friends then go trick-or-treating!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Trash to Treasure

Look what a little paint, hardware and elbow grease can do to something that was doomed for trash! This is my new buffet that I got for free! My mom's neighbor was setting this piece down at the end of the street for garbage and I asked her if I could take it. It had all the hardware with it, but it wasn't pretty. I had a vision for it though. I sanded it down, spray painted the hardware (I got 3 new knobs for the drawers), painted the whole thing in a creamy white color and then I sanded down the edges to give it that "worn" look and WAHLA........ new buffet!
I love pieces that have drawers and doors on it because not only do they look pretty, they are functional too! One of my favorite things to do is finding new uses for things that people are throwing away. It is the best way to recycle and keep things out of our landfill! Instead of going and buying something new, see if you can repurpose something in your house or ask family and friends if they have anything they want to get rid of. With a little creativity and elbow grease, you can come up with very cool, custom pieces for next to nothing!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Apples, Apples, Apples!

Today we took the kids to the Apple Orchard and they got to pick apples! They had a blast and we had an abundance of apples. We came home and I decided to make our Mini Apple Pies. I had the kids help me which of course was a lot of fun for them.
I cut all the skin off the apples and then cut away from the core. Then the kids were in charge of cutting those pieces into little "squares". They use their Pampered Chef child knives. They absolutely love to be able to cook and bake in the kitchen with me. It is a great way to make memories and all kinds of different creations! No matter what you are doing in the kitchen, if you can get the kids involved, do. You'll be glad you did.

Here is our recipe for Mini Apple Pies:

  • Refrigerated Pie Crust
  • 7 Apples (any kind will work really)
  • 2 Tbs. Cinnamon
  • 1/4 c. Brown Sugar
  • 2 tsp. Almond Extract (you can use vanilla extract)
  • 4 Tbs. Butter
  • 1/3 c Water
  • 2 tsp Flour

Take the skin off the apples and then cut the apples into little bite size pieces. Put 4 Tbs. butter into a pan on medium low until melted. Add the flour and stir until flour is dissolved. Add the apples and stir. Add the water and stir until the mixture thickens (about 3-5 minutes). Add the rest of the ingredients and mix together. Once the mixture is thoroughly combined and the apples are soft, you can take it off the heat or leave it on low while you prepare your pie crust.
For the pie crust, I use a pizza cutter to cut them in half. I lay them down on the counter and then I take the apple mixture and fill one side of the crust with the mixture, making sure I leave a "lip" at the edge of the crust. Don't put the mixture all the way to the edge of the crust because then you won't be able to seal it properly. Once the mixture is one, fold the other half of the crust on top of the apple mixture and seal the crust together all the way around so none of the filling oozes out. I use a fork to make a press into the seam to make it look pretty. On the top, I brush on either melted butter or one beaten egg with water. Then I sprinkle the top with sugar. I baked them at 350-375 degrees for about 15-20 minutes or until the crust has browned a little. They are wonderful warm out of the oven with vanilla ice cream or whipped topping! YUMMY! Enjoy!