Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Homemade Playdough

Some of you may know I was a preschool teacher before a stay home mom. I loved teaching the preschool aged little ones and as I did I came across many things I knew I would use with my own kids some day. One of them was this awesome play-dough recipe. I tried many recipes before I landed on this one... it's perfect! Make some with your kids this week and head out to the back deck for some fun finger play time!


3 cups water
3 Tbsp oil
food coloring of choice

Mix this together in stove top pan and bring to boil. Then in a large bowl have the below mixture combined...

3 cups white flour
1 1/2 cup salt
3 Tbsp Alum (spice)

Pour water mixture over flour mixture and stir. Add 1 Tbsp lotion and knead together until forms soft ball. Store in air tight container and use for a few months!

Have fun!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

PB + Kix= happy in my mouth

If you love:
And you love:

Then you will love this easy snack mix! Did I mention it is EASY? This is one of my kids favorites and I also can hardly keep my little hands off of it when my snack box is full of a fresh batch. Throw this together in, seriously, like 15 minutes! A go to snack for my afternoon snackers around here. (and special request from my snacking friend, Emily!! :)

PB & Kix Snack Mix

1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup cooking oil
3 cup Kix cereal
3 cup Rice chex cereal
3 cup wheat chex cereal
1 1/2 cup pretzal sticks
1/2 cups peanuts (optional)

Melt peanut butter with oil over low heat in large roasting pan or large stove top pan. Add cereal and cook 5-10 minutes, stir often. Stir in pretzels and/or nuts. Spread onto cookie sheet to cool or eat warm. Pretty tasty served warm! Store in an airtight container.

*note- I often use a variety of cereals. I usually double the kix and take out the rice or use crispix instead of the rice cereal. Whatever you use, just be sure you use 9 cups cereal of your choice. And like always, Enjoy with your favorite people!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Friday night Pizza!

 For a handful of years our family has used Friday night as a pizza and movie night. I know that the days of having Friday nights at home with all my family members is really not that far off... makes me kind of sad how fast it goes. I wanted to establish some of these family nights sooner rather then later. I know the time will come when we have one kid with a football game and another with a cross country meet and we're all going different directions. It will feel really normal and needed to gather on those few Fridays we have left in between all the games, places, and things that will fill up our Friday nights soon enough. I love having my family home most nights now and making Friday's a special pizza and movie night has been so great. The kids really look forward to it, I don't have to think twice about dinner plans, and I am ready for a good snuggle time around the ole big screen. I love when we all land at the end of the week in our cozy little family room. It's one of my favorite days (and meals) of the week! I say no to many things outside our home on Friday nights, simply because I already have some pretty important plans right here under my own roof. I think it's good to build traditions for your kids and I hope our home will be the place our kids will be bringing their friends for pizza on Friday nights before the big game or after a day at the pool. Until then, I will capture these years with my little clan of Hansen men surrounding me and be ever so thankful for good pizza, good movies, and the best Friday night companions a mom could ask for!!

Now, I won't lie...some nights we splurge and pick up a yummy Papa Murph's pizza, but most the time we make our own. Dough and all! Here is a tried and true pizza dough recipe. Just choose your favorite toppings and enjoy! If you haven't ever made homemade bread, don't let this scare you off. You can totally whip this up!

Mama's Homemade Pizza Dough

I like to use a large ceramic bowl for this. 

1.In your bowl put: 2/1/4 tsp active dry yeast, 1Tbsp brown sugar, 1 1/2 cups warm water. Let this sit for 10 minutes (should be slightly "bubbly").

2. Stir in 1 tsp salt and 2 Tbsp olive oil.

3. Now add 2 1/2 cups flour (sometimes I replace one of those cups with 1 cup whole wheat flour, don't use all whole wheat flour or you will have very heavy dough). This will be a sticky doughy consistency. I prefer a wooden spoon.

4. Here is where it can get tricky. I like to slather up my hands with tubbed margarine, sprinkle flour on my counter, and dump my dough onto this. Sprinkle flour over your dough and start kneading. (you may very well add up to another 1 1/2 cups of flour as you sprinkle more flour and knead). You should knead away until the dough is no longer sticky and you can roll it into a ball.

5. Spray your same big bowl with pan spray and set dough in there. Cover with a tea towel and let raise. Could take anywhere from 1-3 hours...depends on air temp in your kitchen. (really, you can let sit for a short time, but you just won't get a nice light crust and the flavor is better, I think, with complete raising time.) Dough should rise until doubled in size.

6. Punch down your dough and roll it out or push it into your pizza pan.

7. Cover dough with your sauce of choice and toppings. I also like to sprinkle a little garlic salt on dough before I spoon sauce on it.

8. Once pizza is put together, bake at 425 until golden brown cheese appears!

 Get your kids in the kitchen and make it a fun cooking night for all!

 Dough ready to rise
Dough that has risen for about 3 hours

Roll dough out (I prefer to use a stone pan) and cover with toppings. My fave- bbq chicken, my boys fave-pepperoni, my hub's fave- anything meat!
Yum! Cook pizza in preheated oven at 425 for 20-30 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes before cutting. Enjoy!
(oh, and I like to take a stick of butter and brush the crust edges the last couple minutes.....mmmmmmm, so good!)