Archive for the ‘Tutorials’ Category

Homemade Chicken Fingers

August 16th, 2011 by zoe No Comments

Somehow my children have caught this horrendous virus,  they now have – PICKY EATERS SYNDROME.

I swear I don’t know how it happened but suddenly they turn their noses up at everything.

Some days I have no idea what they actually eat!

I keep making GOOD HEALTHY food and they keep making those sweet and adorable snide remarks about how YUCKY everything is. You know, the remarks that make you want to move to Italy – BY YOURSELF!

It is an exercise in patience to try, try & try again. One of those small battles in parenthood to establish the fact that all kinds of food are exciting, delicious and GOOD! To establish that they must say Thank You for every meal!!!

This here though….

this dish is their absolute favorite. My sister taught me how to make it, she is a crazy good cook.

I wonder if it will be one of those foods they love all through their lives, when they are giant grown boys coming home from stints out in the world will they want this comfort food from childhood?

Will they always love these chicken fingers?


Picky Kid Chicken Fingers

3/4 Cup Bread Crumbs

1/2 Cup Flour

Pinch of Pepper and Salt

1 Egg

1/3 Cup of Milk

1  1/2 Pounds Chicken Breast

Light cooking Oil (Vegetable, or Canola)

Cut your chicken breasts lengthwise into 1″ strips. Set out three shallow bowls.

Whisk your egg and milk together in one bowl.

Put your flour another shallow bowl, add a pinch of salt and pepper, mix.

Pour your bread crumbs into the third bowl.

Set your three bowls in a row and dunk your chicken strips into each bowl. Douse in flour, then egg, then coat in bread crumbs. Repeat each step on all of your chicken strips. Set a large skillet on the stove under medium heat and add 1/4″ of oil till its sizzling hot. Add as many chicken pieces as you can without letting them touch one another. Fry on both sides until your strips are golden brown. Lay them out to drain on paper towels.  We usually have to do two rounds in the skillet and I prefer to add fresh oil for each batch. The kids eat them with catsup but I really like to whip up a little of my sisters Honey Dijon Sauce.

Special Sauce

1/4 Cup Mayonnaise

1/4 teaspoon Dijon Mustard

2 tsp Honey

Mix ingredients adding more mustard and honey to your liking.

We love them at our house and hope you do too!


Make Marker Cap Finger Puppets

August 13th, 2011 by zoe 8 Comments

Down at the bottom of the art bin we found some old dried up markers. I love creating craft projects and toys from garbage, packaging and containers that would normally go straight to the dump.

These little finger puppet people were made from old dried up marker caps, some yarn, masking tape and glue. Somehow those markers are always getting separated from their caps and drying out!  The boys really like to wiggle their fingers and get their hair flapping, making it pretty hard to photograph!

It’s also pretty fun to start with really long hair and give them hair dews and haircuts!

We used the colored masking tape that we used in this project awhile back but plain old masking tape is just as fun. Oh, and yes, I did hide that fancy pretty washi tape and now can NOT remember where I put it!

To print and save this project for later, click project sheet, save to file and print.

We are working on another variation of this that we cant wait to share next week!


Make a Cool Worm Shirt!

August 8th, 2011 by zoe No Comments

Awhile back I showed you the Baby Dinosaur shirt I stitched up for Oliver. I was supposed to have stitched TWO shirts that night but somehow it just didn’t happen.  It can be challenging to make two of everything!

Thankfully the boys are patient, and sometimes they even share with each other.

This shirt has a surprise, a little bird peeks around the back corner – little birds really do love worms!

This is an easy and fun stitching project, it takes just a few colors of felt & embroidery floss.

I have to say it makes me quite happy every time my boys wear them, I love to see them clad in their mama made wear!


Click the pattern, save to a file and print to make your very own worm shirt.

Make Kids Berry Baskets

August 6th, 2011 by zoe 2 Comments

As a child I always loved the story Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey. I fancied myself as Sal.

Out past the blue gate we have quite a large patch of wild blueberries, high bush and low bush berries grow all over the hillside. Some years the harvest is large and we can freeze enough to eat our very own berries through the winter. This year has been slim but the boys love to take a break from playing and pick a snack right out of the yard.

Yesterday as we headed out to the pasture I was looking for containers for my little guys to collect berries in and I got this quick idea.

It a hands free berry basket made from an orange juice container with a belt made from some braided strips of old t-shirts. Off we went berry picking. Kerplink, kerplunk, kerplop went the berries into their little baskets. Gobble gobble went those berries into their little mouths. And sure enough they clambered up to my basket and tried to scoop them all up. In fact every time I looked over at Oliver he was shoving piles into him mouth – yum!

Pretty simple, we cut the containers with a high back and used a hole punch to make holes to thread our braided rope through. We punched some holes and added a rubber band so we could fold the top over and secure it shut. The boys were pretty happy to be able to use both hands to pick and we spent A LOT more time out in the field because they were tickled by their “berry belts”. Luckily there were no bears to get all mixed up with!

Make a Hen Lacing Toy

July 31st, 2011 by zoe 4 Comments

Summer is whizzing by and our new chicks have grown up fast! We are lucky to have a separate spot in the hen-house for baby chicks.

Chicken wire separates the two areas so the big birds and little birds can slowly get to know each other.  When they grow big enough to venture into the territory of the Big Bossy Hens we put a “small chick” sized door in the chicken wire. The little hens can come out into the main coop but they can also run back into the nursery and hide from the squawking hens.

Watching them figure it out can be quite comical, but that’s life, the young girls and the old girls just gotta learn to work it out!

Maybe one of those big hens will take the little chicks under her wing!

To make your own Hen Lacing Toy click the photo, save to file, then print.

For best results allow your computer to size the image to best fit the page.

Make an Egg Basket from Newspaper

July 25th, 2011 by zoe 2 Comments

We love cooking up our homegrown fresh eggs in morning. The children head out to the hen-house with a basket and collect them, most of them even make it back into the house without getting broken. During the Spring and Summer months our lady’s lay more than we can eat. It’s great fun to be able to share fresh eggs with our friends. Often times it’s hard to find a good container to put them into – it takes dedication to always have traditional egg cartons on hand & I rarely do!

The eggs are so perfect with their smooth shells and oblong shape,beautiful even, somehow piling them into a plastic shopping bag always seems wrong.

I got fascinated my the idea that I would be able to make an origami bundle for them out of newspaper. I spent a good chunk of last night practicing different origami patterns to find a few that would work – here is what I came up with.

The most glamorous is the most difficult (there’s a joke in there somewhere).

This is called a “Fishing Basket”, I made it with three sheets of newspaper.

You can find the video tutorial I used to make it here. It’s a bit advanced, but if your like the challenge of origami I would totally recommend it, super cute for eggs.

Traditionally origami never uses tape but there are 12 eggs in there – the handle needed some tape!

The next one I made is more realistic for whipping up – kind of an egg bowl with an envelope style top

It’s super simple and holds a dozen eggs quite well. This is the most wonderful tutorial done by a 6-year-old

here! Adorable, right?

I did mine just a bit different and used three sheets of paper.

We used masking tape to seal the flaps closed and wrote messages on the tape.

It also helps to pinch the bottom down just bit to make the bowl more stable on the bottom.

Click the instructions and print to make your very own newspaper origami egg basket!