Painting with Crayons & Water Colors

Painting with Crayons and Water Colors 1

This was one of those super-simple craft projects that’s nearly free.  You may already have all of the supplies on hand, but this changes things up from a normal painting or coloring project because it mixes the mediums.

It’s also a lot of fun.

What we did was create a drawing with crayons, and then color it in with watercolor paints.  We did some regular pictures (butterflies and flowers) and some that were patterns of lines and shapes.

And don’t mind the ancient crayon box full of mixed crayon types…. this is a “rediscovered” conglomerate of art supplies from my own youth. We use what we can here… it’s part of what makes this craft free, or nearly-free (the water colors are new).   We keep a craft drawer of leftover supplies from other projects, too, and sometimes we have a free-for-all craft with whatever we can find.

The kids love it.

Painting with Crayons and Water Colors 2

We discovered that the crayon looks much better if you draw thicker lines to help it stand out against the paint.  It also creates a neat, smooth texture.

And we experimented with the paint as well.

My older daughter tried painting with her fingers, instead of the brush, and she also would tilt the paper in different directions to see what happened when the excess paint dripped across her picture.

Painting with Crayons and Water Colors 3

My youngest daughter tried different things, like using multiple paintbrushes at one time.  This project gave them both the freedom to be creative in their own ways.

This project was cheap (free if you already have the crayons, paint, and paper) and easy to set up.  It gave them a creative outlet, and it kept them busy for a long time.  It had a lot of benefits on top of the fun-factor.

Plus, I had some beautiful fridge-worthy artwork at the end of it.

Here are a few of the finished products, including one of mine:

Painting with Crayons and Water Colors 4

Happy Crafting!

Roaming Rosie Signature

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Strawberry Butter

Strawberry Butter 1

I made some Strawberry Butter with my kids for a fun sweet treat, so I wanted to share it with you.

It was super simple to make (just 3 ingredients), and it made for a fun snack or breakfast dish.

It’s the type of dish you could make when you wake up in the morning for a fresh homemade breakfast with very little effort.

Strawberry Butter 2

The first time we made it, my oldest daughter said it was actually too sweet, so we adjusted it for less sugar the next time, which is what you’ll find in the printable recipe below.

It was also a nice way to use up some extra strawberries, since my girls prefer to eat strawberries only when they’re fresh and crisp.  Once they start to get soft, I have to incorporate them into a recipe.  They won’t eat “mushy” berries.

But mushy or crisp strawberries both work for this.

You could use the butter to top any kind of bagel or English muffin or pancakes, but we like it in the King’s Hawaiian Sweet Rolls, which is what you see in my photos.

Make sure your butter is completely room temperature when you start, to make it a quick and simple process.  If you’re going to make it in the morning, leave the butter out overnight.

You can refrigerate this Strawberry Butter if you don’t use it all right away, but allow it to come to room temperature before serving.  Or at least don’t use it right out of the fridge, because it will be too stiff.

Strawberry Butter

Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup diced strawberries, fresh or frozen

In a small bowl, beat the butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy.  Stir in the strawberries and mix well by hand.

Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator.  Bring to room temperature before serving for best results.  Best if used within three days.

Note:  You can use salted or unsalted butter for this.  The salted butter will balance out the sweetness.  And you can use fresh or frozen strawberries, but keep in mind the frozen strawberries may add more juice to the butter, and be sure to thaw them fully first.

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And click below for the printable PDF version:

Strawberry Butter

Happy Eating!

Roaming Rosie Signature

Graveyard Brownie Halloween Cupcakes

Graveyard Brownie Halloween Cupcakes

These Graveyard Brownie Cupcakes are SO MUCH FUN to make (and eat!) and very, very rich.

If you’re a chocolate lover, then you need to try these!

To make them a little less decadent, you could make regular cupcakes in place of the brownie base, and even try a milder flavor like yellow cake dyed orange.

But I was in need of some heavy-duty chocolate.  This hit the spot.

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The first thing I did was make some of my Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Pumpkins with my girls.  We made them the day before.

Then we melted some white candy melts to make the chocolate bones using this skeleton mold from Wilton.

We crushed up a handful of Oreo cookies in a plastic bag for our graveyard “dirt,” and we baked up some box brownies according to the package directions.

I’d thought about making the brownies in a big pan to construct a large graveyard scene, but then switched to the cupcake idea.

I was going to use regular cupcake lines and write RIP in icing on some Milano cookies for the gravestones, but then I found these cute graveyard cupcake liners that come with their own paper gravestones on toothpicks.  I happened upon them at Walmart, but there are similar products online and at other stores, too.

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We let the brownies cool completely, then iced them with chocolate icing.

We pressed in the graveyard picks and some pumpkins and bones into the icing, before sprinkling over a little of the Oreo dirt.  (If you sprinkle the cookie crumbs first, the chocolate pieces won’t stick into the icing.)

Then we savored the festively decedent chocolate culinary celebrations.

I recommend you share them, and not attempt to eat 18 thick piles of chocolate all by yourself.  Because:  wow.  ;)

Graveyard Brownie Halloween Cupcakes

Happy Halloween Baking!

Roaming Rosie Signature

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Spider Web Peppermint Patties

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I am enchanted by these Spider Web Peppermint Patties!

Seriously easy and super cute Halloween treats are my favorite.  Like my Vampire Donuts or Oreo Ghosts or Jack O’ Lantern Cinnamon Buns.

And these are in that vein.  (Is that a Halloween pun??)

Candy plus icing, and done.

I used peppermint extract to flavor the icing, which was nice with the peppermint candy, but you could also use vanilla.

Spider Web Halloween Peppermint Patties

I made icing with a scoop of powdered sugar, a sprinkle of meringue powder, a dash of peppermint extract, and a splash of water.

(You can see the actual recipe on my Chocolate Almond Mummy Cookies, but here I used peppermint extract instead of almond.)

I put the icing in a baggy, snipped off the end, and drew the webs with the icing on top of the York Peppermint Patties.  I drew an asterisk, then made a swishy circle in the shape of a spider web.

I lost the plastic spider-shaped rings I thought I had, which would have looked cute in the photos, but the candy still looked good.  And the kids were super happy!

Happy Halloween Snacking!

Roaming Rosie Signature

Ginger Cookie Truffles

Ginger Cookie Truffles 1

So the other day I was sitting there thinking:  if people make Oreo Truffles all the time, can I make truffles out of other cookies too?

The answer is OH VERY YES.

And the more specific answer would be DUDE IF YOU LIKE SPICE COOKIES/CAKE AT ALL YOU TOTALLY HAVE TO TRY THESE RIGHT NOW.

I chose these ingredients because I’m a big fan of spice cakes and gingerbread cookies and things like that.  My mom can practically live off of ginger snaps.  And fall is on its way.  (Or maybe it’s already here.  I’m not sure:  I live in Florida.)

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Anyway, these truffles are basically a combination of cookie crumbs and cream cheese smushed together and dipped into white chocolate.

Then, for a fun touch, drizzled with a little cinnamon chocolate.  Just ’cause.

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It took me a little bit of forever to crush up all the cookies because my food processor broke, but it wasn’t difficult.

I like these ginger thins because they’re pretty crispy, which made for great crumbs.

I’m sure you could substitute a different cookie, but you might have to adjust your amounts, and – you know – these ginger thin cookies are incredible so why would you??

Unless you come up with something better – then please let me know.  Food is my favorite type of experiment.  ;)

Oh, and if you’re wondering, I picked up all of my ingredients at Walmart.  But you can also get them online if you can’t find these things locally.  I totally swear by those Ghirardelli wafers.  They seriously rock both in the ease-of-use and taste categories.

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The end result?

A silky smooth creamy center exploding with spice and encased in a mildly sweet chocolate that’s decorated with just a hint of cinnamon.

They look good and taste even better.

Ginger Cookie Truffles 5

Ginger Cookie Truffles

Ingredients:

10.5 oz. (2 boxes) Anna’s Swedish Thins or other ginger cookies
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
10 oz. white chocolate (I used Ghirardelli White Melting Wafers)
1-2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (optional)

Crumble the ginger cookies in a food processor or by hand until finely ground.

Mix the cream cheese into the cookie crumbs until well combined and smooth.

Scoop out large teaspoonfuls of the cookie mix and shape into balls.  Place the balls on a tray lined with parchment paper or tin foil.  Freeze for 10 to 15 minutes.

Melt the white chocolate according to the package directions, stirring until smooth.  Take out the cookie balls and dip them into the chocolate using a fork, one at a time, until fully coated.  Shake the fork to allow excess chocolate to drip back into the bowl.  Set the truffles on a sheet of parchment or waxed paper until chocolate hardens, using the side of a second fork to push the truffle off the first fork.

When all the truffles are done, sprinkle a teaspoon or two of cinnamon into the remaining chocolate, depending on how much chocolate is left, and stir to combine. Then use a clean fork to drizzle the cinnamon chocolate over the truffles.

Allow to fully set, then store in the refrigerator.

Makes about 2 dozen.

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Click here to print the free PDF of the recipe:

Ginger Cookie Truffles

Happy Eating!

Roaming Rosie Signature

Shredded Spicy BBQ Chicken Crock Pot Freezer Meal

Shredded Spicy BBQ Chicken Crock Pot Freezer Meal

I haven’t made this recipe in a while, and I really don’t know why.

This Spicy Shredded BBQ Chicken is great.  And it’s a Freezer Crock Pot meal, so you store them in the freezer, and then on the day you want to eat it, you just pull the bag out of the freezer and dump it into the crock pot.

A bit of work to shred it, but after that, you’re done!

And there’s leftovers, too.  Can’t beat that!

This recipe makes two bags, but you easily can double or triple it and fill up your freezer.

But remember, it IS spicy.  If you’re looking for a more mild version, go easy on the chili powder and consider using fewer green chilies per bag (the recipe calls for 2 oz) or splitting the 4 oz can between 4 bags instead of 2.

Shredded Spicy BBQ Chicken Crock Pot Freezer Meal

Here’s what I love about this (besides the ease of cooking and the leftovers):  you just dump all the ingredients in a bag.

That’s it.

The prep is literally this:  dump everything in the bag.

Sweeeeeeeet.

Shredded Spicy BBQ Chicken Crock Pot Freezer Meal

Make sure you write your instructions on your freezer bags first, before you fill them.

Then prop up the bags on the counter by folding the edges over themselves to keep it open.

Shredded Spicy BBQ Chicken Crock Pot Freezer Meal

Okay, okay…. there is ONE step before the dumping.

You do have to dice up the onions and garlic.

I use a garlic press and squeeze those babies right in the bag.

Shredded Spicy BBQ Chicken Crock Pot Freezer Meal

See?

Chicken in the bottom and everything else piled in on top.  You may have to cut one chicken thigh in half if you have an uneven amount in your package.

And I guess you could – theoretically – measure out everything, but when it comes to the tomato sauce and chilies, I just go ahead and dump or scoop what looks like half the can into each bag.  It’s close enough.

After that, the easiest way to mix it up is to massage the bag gently with your fingers for a minute.

Then you’ll want to squeeze out as much air as possible and seal the bag.

Lay each bag flat in the freezer on a tray or large box or anything that will allow it to freeze flat.  Smooth flat any lumpy sections that might be sticking up.

Check after a couple of hours.  Once frozen solid, the bags can be stacked or arranged on a shelf in an upright position.

Shredded Spicy BBQ Chicken Crock Pot Freezer Meal

When you take the bag out of the freezer, run it under the cold water in the sink for one minute to break up any large chunks – making sure the bag is still sealed and no water gets inside.

Then dump it in the crock pot.  Cover and cook.

Shredded Spicy BBQ Chicken Crock Pot Freezer Meal

You can flip the chicken over a few times and stir it, if you like.

Or you can just leave it and let it cook.  It doesn’t need stirring.  But I compulsively check on crock pot stuff if I’m home when it’s cooking.  Especially if it smells good.  ;)

Shredded Spicy BBQ Chicken Crock Pot Freezer Meal

Once it’s cooked, remove the chicken to a bowl or plate and shred it with two forks.

As you work, add the shredded chicken back to the pot.

It should shred easily, and it’s best to have it shredded finely so that the sauce can cling to all the tiny moist pieces, but even if you’re in a super hurry, you can still mush it up pretty quickly.

Shredded Spicy BBQ Chicken Crock Pot Freezer Meal

Doesn’t that look good?  And it’s not even mixed in yet!

Shredded Spicy BBQ Chicken Crock Pot Freezer Meal

Stir the shredded chicken back into the sauce and set the crock pot to the “stay warm” setting until you’re ready to serve it.

And there are so many ways to serve it.  I sometimes serve it by itself with rice on the side, or you could put it on the rice.  You can put it on a salad, in a taco, on some nachos, or – like in the photo at the top of the page – in a hamburger bun.

If you put it in a bun, you’ll want to toast the inside of the bun to help hold in all the juicy goodness.  Maybe even top it with a little cole slaw.

From one bag, we made a dinner of sloppy joes (in the hamburger bun I mentioned), and then the next day, I constructed some taquitos with the leftovers, pictured below.  I put a little chicken and a little cheese in a 6-inch tortilla, rolled up 15 of them and put them in a 13-by-9-inch dish with some nonstick spray.  Then I baked them at 375°F for about 20 minutes and we dunked them in a little dish of sour cream to eat.  My kids devoured them.

(Oh… and I turned on the broiler for a minute and walked away.  Don’t do that.  Don’t ever walk away from an active broiler… just sayin’)

Shredded Spicy BBQ Chicken Crock Pot Freezer Meal

Here’s the recipe:

Shredded Spicy BBQ Chicken Crock Pot Freezer Meal

Ingredients:

2 to 3 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 sweet onion, diced
3 to 4 garlic gloves, diced or pressed
8 oz. can tomato sauce
4 oz. can diced green chilies, drained
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon sweet or smoked paprika
2 teaspoons dry powdered mustard
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Label two gallon-sized freezer plastic bags with the instructions:  Shredded Spicy BBQ Chicken.  Cook on low 5-6 hours (or high 3-4 hours).  Remove chicken, shred, return to sauce, stir, serve.

Evenly distribute all of the ingredients between both bags; for example half the chicken (even if you have to cut one thigh in half), 4 oz. of tomato sauce, 1 ½ tablespoons cider vinegar, et cetera, in each.

Gently massage the bag to mix the ingredients and press out as much air as you can before sealing.  Lay the bags flat in the freezer, on a box or tray, and allow to freeze solid.  Then you can stack them or store them upright until ready to use.

When ready to eat, dump the contents of the bag into a crock pot.  You can run the closed plastic bag under cool water in the sink for a few minutes to make it easier to break it up.  Put the lid on the crock pot and cook for 5 to 6 hours on low or 3 to 4 hours on high.

Remove the chicken to a plate or bowl and shred it with two forks.  Allow it to cool first, if you need to.  Return the shredded chicken to the crock pot and stir well.  Serve or put on the “keep warm” setting until ready to eat.

Serving suggestions: over rice, inside hamburger buns, inside tacos or burritos, on a salad, or all by itself.

This recipe makes two bags/dinners.  Each bag serves 6 to 8 people.

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To print the PDF version of the recipe, click here:

Shredded Spicy BBQ Chicken Crock Pot Freezer Meal

Happy Eating!

Roaming Rosie Signature

Glitter Glue Pumpkins

Glitter Glue Pumpkins 1

Last Fall, my daughters and I bought a variety of pumpkins and went at them armed with glue, glitter glue, and lots and lots of glitter!

(And one of these years, since it IS spring as I write this, I’ll maybe actually remember to try this with Easter eggs…)

The pumpkins in the background resemble some of our past pumpkin decorating efforts.

But this year I changed it up just a little and decorated a couple of the mini pumpkins with nothing but silver and gold glitter glue.

I started at the center of the top of the pumpkin, slowly pouring out the glitter glue in a tight circle around the stem.  I did a gold circle, then a silver one, then gold, et cetera, keeping the circles tight and touching each other until I had the entire top of the pumpkin covered in a thick layer of glitter glue and it was just barely starting to drip down the sides in the creases.

Glitter Glue Pumpkins 2

That’s it!  Just drew circles with the glue.

And look how pretty!

Please share your pumpkin photos with me on my Facebook page!

Happy Crafting!

Roaming Rosie Signature