Thursday, January 26, 2012


I've been trying to come up with activities for my boys that do not involve: The Freshbeat Band, dumping the garbage down the stairs, destroying furniture, or conducting toilet-water parties in the bathroom. I saw a recipe for this slime on pinterest, and thought we could give it a try as a special science experiment-and they LOVED it. 
Here's what you need:

If you want opaque slime, use the white school glue. We happened to have the clear, and I thought it turned out cool. Borax is a laundry booster, and I found it with the laundry detergent at the grocery store for $5. You'll also need some water and some food coloring.

First, make two solutions:
Borax Solution: Mix 1 tsp. borax in 1 cup of hot water. Mix until borax stops dissolving. (The mixture will still be a little grainy at the bottom)
Glue solution: Mix 4 oz. container glue with 1 cup hot water. Add your food coloring (for our "radioactive" slime I mixed green and yellow food coloring)
Start adding the Borax Solution to the Glue Solution in small amounts. It will immediately start to gel. Mix with your hands as you add to get the desired texture. I used the entire Borax Solution, and our slime got quite thick.

Obviously, the slime is quite messy- but since it is made of washable glue and laundry detergent, it's an easy clean-up.

You can store the slime in a zip-lock bag, where it will stay nice and slimy for up to a week. I would not technically know this, since as soon as Josh came home from work he requested that it please be thrown directly into the garbage. (This may have due to the fact that I let Owen take the bag of slime to Dylan's room to "show her", and by the time Josh got home there were green particles in every room and surface of the house. Probably don't allow your children to do this.)

A pretty serious bath was required after our experiment, but a bubble bath is better than cleaning old soup off the basement stairs any day.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Cream Cheese Snickerdoodles

We went to church yesterday. While it's important to us to go to church every week,  I would say there are places more "fun" to take small children. Children such as Little Carson David, age 22 months. I have included an account of a matter regarding Carson and church below the recipe, for those who would like to feel better about their own children. 

I made these for the church class I teach-a group of 8 11-year-olds, who are super fun because they are at an age when they appreciate treats. We get along very well, since I highly enjoy making treats for appreciative people.
The cream cheese made these super soft with a melt in your mouth texture that I just love in a snickerdoodle.

Cream Cheese Snickerdoodles
Makes 2 dozen cookies

1/4 cup butter, softened
1 8oz. package cream cheese, softened
1 egg yolk
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1 package yellow cake mix
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
With electric mixer, cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add the egg yolk and vanilla. Add the cake mix gradually.
In a small bowl, mix the sugar and cinnamon.
Form dough into 2 inch balls and roll in the cinnamon sugar to coat.
Place on an ungreased baking sheet, (I placed mine on the sheet as balls, and they stayed pretty round-if you want flatter cookies, press them down a little now) and bake 8-10 minutes.

An Account of the Joys of Bringing My Son Carson to Church:
Carson is different than my other children in that he does not hesitate to defend himself-even from children much larger than himself. If a child larger than Dylan or Owen were to snatch a toy from them, they would look hurt for a second or two, then find another toy. Carson will not only snatch the toy back, he will proceed to use the toy to beat the offender-thereby teaching them an important lesson about snatching toys. 

Carson is also the type of person who, upon seeing a baby with cute chunky cheeks-like many of us, gets the urge to just pinch those cheeks! And they're just so cute you want to eat them! Unfortunately, Carson takes these urges literally-with his fingernails and teeth. 

These three behaviors are not "ideal" behaviors for Carson's church class-a nursery of small children ages 18 months to 3 years. Since I teach a class of 11 year old's, Josh is thrilled to have the opportunity to police Carson in the nursery for 2 hours. Luckily, there was a big celebrity awards show-his FAVORITE thing- on TV last night, so he was able to relax and enjoy all the fashion and completely natural cleverly scripted celebrity banter with me.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Peanut Butter and Jelly Pie Bars

I've been debating whether or not to post this recipe, because the number of steps are a little high-maintenance, and might be a deterrent for many of my busy friends and family. But I am here to tell you, friends and neighbors-it's completely worth it. I've made Ina Garten's peanut butter and jelly bars, and while they are quite delicious-these are a completely different level. And I can tell you that as an expert, because I have hidden them from my family and eaten the entire pan myself. The crust is a basic pie crust, pressed into the pan; you will be severely tempted to eat the peanut butter filling with a spoon; and the streusel on top has a perfect taste of cinnamon. 

Peanut Butter and Jelly Pie Bars
Makes 12 large bars, or 1 very large bar eaten with a fork from the pan over 3 days.
Source:, who got it from the second Baked Cookbook

For the Pastry Dough:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
1 egg
For the Peanut Butter Filling:
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup chunky peanut butter
1¾ cups powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Crumb Topping:
¾ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup dark brown sugar (I used light brown sugar and have so far not been struck down)
2/3 cup traditional rolled oats
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
For Assembly:
2 cups jelly or preserves
1. Make the Pastry Dough: Butter the sides and bottom of a glass or light-colored metal 9×13-inch pan.  Put the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse until combined. Add the butter and pulse until sandy (about 6 to 10 quick pulses). In a small bowl, whisk the egg and pour into the food processor. Pulse just until the dough begins to hold together.
2. Dump the dough mixture into the prepared pan. Using your fingers, press the mixture into the bottom of the pan and up the sides just a little (maybe a half inch). Place the pan in the freezer for 30 minutes.
3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
4. Remove the pan from the freezer, line it with aluminum foil, and fill it three-quarters full with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the foil and weights and bake for another 10 minutes, or until the crust is lightly browned. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool.
5. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
6. Make the Peanut Butter Filling: In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until it is completely smooth. Add the peanut butter and beat until combined. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat again. Turn the mixture out onto the cooled crust and, using an offset spatula, spread it into an even layer. Put the pan in the refrigerator to chill while you prepare the crumb topping.
7. Make the Crumb Topping: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add the brown sugar and use your hands to rub it in until the mixture is uniform in color. Stir in the oats.
8. Place the dry mix in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and beat on low speed until loose crumbs form. (I did this step with a pastry cutter since I didn't want to wash my mixing bowl due to extreme laziness; you could probably also use your fingers to rub and mix the butter in)
9. Assemble the Bars: Spread the jelly in an even layer over the peanut butter filling. Sprinkle on the crumb topping, covering the jelly.
10. Bake the bars for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, or until the top is brown.
11. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely, then cut the bars and serve.

A few things going on at our house:
  • Owen is, at long last, A Pet Owner

We have had a ton of fun with "Guinea" the guinea pig, and she has proved to be quite resilient by surviving more than a couple near-death encounters with Little Carson David.
  • Last night I had a for-real Dream Within a Dream where it was Incepted into my mind that if I did not renew my van registration (which may have been due in September), I was going to get a ticket for $500. I decided to go ahead and renew it today.

  • And here are a few of my favorite photos from my sister's wedding last month:

Coming out of the Draper, UT LDS Temple

My Baby Sister

My own Baby Girl...
Who will be The Bride before I know it...

And who will be getting her own Baby Sister
(Me in my hugeness at only halfway)

The Kidlets