Christmas Kids Craft: Grinch Ornaments

Christmas Kids Craft: Grinch Ornaments

When it comes to Christmas classics, the hands-down favorite in our house is The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, and after watching the newest version of the holiday film, my boys wanted to create some Grinch Christmas ornaments for our tree.

We started by gathering up some of our favorite craft supplies including feathers, pom poms, pipe cleaners, pony beads, glitter, and more…BUT, the real beauty of this craft project is that it can be customized to use whatever your favorite craft supplies are (as long as they will fit inside of a clear ornament!).

Carefully remove the top of the ornament and check to ensure that there are no sharp edges on the glass or plastic.

Fill the ornament with your craft supplies of choice.

Replace the ornament top and add a glittery heart sticker to represent the Grinch’s heart (which grew three sizes after his escapades!).

My boys ended up using pony beads, pom poms, and feathers for their ornaments, and I love the way that they all turned out!

Finish off the ornaments with a bow, and they’re ready for hanging!

These Grinch ornaments looks so cute hanging up on our Christmas tree!

How to Make Candy Cane Reindeer

How to Make Candy Cane Reindeer

Do you remember making these sugar cane reindeer at school? Isn’t it interesting? How could it be so simple, but we have forgotten it for years? Then it pops up on Pinterest and you are like “Oh yes! Those are great!” And you will find yourself going to Michael’s house late at night after the kids go to bed, because earlier in the day when you ran errands, the dollar store and Wal-Mart does not have any brown pipe cleaners. Then you have to buy 100 brown pipe cleaners because the sizeable 25 pipe cleaner packages are out of stock. Do not? Is it only me? (What the hell am I going to do with 100 brown pipe cleaners!?)

I think the purchase process for this item was not smooth, but I finally found everything. The holidays are still early, so the Christmas shops are not fully stocked yet. The dollar store doesn’t even have candy canes. All the Christmas boxes are stacked in the aisle, but the packaging is not opened. Although I wanted to pull out the keys and tear the tape on those boxes, I resisted (although it is difficult…considering it, I must stare at the boxes for at least a minute… ). But don’t worry, candy cane is the first thing I see when I walk into Wal-Mart. It was those damn brown pipe cleaners that I had to spend more time.

I haven’t seen these for a long time, they are a perfect craft for kids! Maybe I’m just a big kid, but it’s so fun to make these! I like my three-year-old kid to help me, I like these are almost foolproof!

 

Candy Cane Reindeer

You’ll need:

  • Googly eyes
  • Small red pom poms
  • Brown pipe cleaners
  • Candy canes
  • Hot glue gun

Do you remember making these candy cane reindeer when you were a kid?! They're so cute and SO EASY! What a great holiday craft to do with the kids!
You’ll definitely want to pull out your trusty glue gun for this. I’m pretty sure nothing else is going to stick to the plastic. The glue gun was perfect though.  I placed one of the eyes badly and tried to rip it off and it ended up pulling off part of the candy cane plastic underneath it. So if you are worried about eyes and noses falling off, don’t be, because they’re not going anywhere.

Do you remember making these candy cane reindeer when you were a kid?! They're so cute and SO EASY! What a great holiday craft to do with the kids!

I tried a few different sizes of pom poms, but the small ones seemed to work the best. It was a toss up between these and the super mini ones, but the minis were just too small.

Do you remember making these candy cane reindeer when you were a kid?! They're so cute and SO EASY! What a great holiday craft to do with the kids!

I’ve seen these made both with tiny googly eyes and the size that I chose here. If you do a quick search on Pinterest, you’ll find lots of other examples of these candy cane reindeer with different sizes of eyes and differently shaped antlers… and some other cute ideas too!

Do you remember making these candy cane reindeer when you were a kid?! They're so cute and SO EASY! What a great holiday craft to do with the kids!

I tried out a few different antler shapes, but ultimately the spiral ones were the easiest, so that’s what I went with.

Do you remember making these candy cane reindeer when you were a kid?! They're so cute and SO EASY! What a great holiday craft to do with the kids!

Wrap the pipe cleaner around your finger and then bend them into shape.

Do you remember making these candy cane reindeer when you were a kid?! They're so cute and SO EASY! What a great holiday craft to do with the kids!

I got to “borrow” my three year old’s finger to bend a bunch of the pipe cleaners. She was thrilled to help!

Do you remember making these candy cane reindeer when you were a kid?! They're so cute and SO EASY! What a great holiday craft to do with the kids!
She found the dollar store Santa hats that I bought for our Christmas card photo (Eek… I can’t believe it’s already time to start planning the Christmas card photo! No candy canes, but they had Santa hats…). She couldn’t do any gluing since we were using the hot glue, but she loved passing me all the pom poms and googly eyes. Those googly eyes are a pain to pick up off the table! Plus, it was festive just having her around in her Santa hat.

DSC_9125

And then, just for fun, we finished them off with little red and white bows. I used 50 cent ribbon I picked up from Walmart. Not that it needed it, but it just added some extra cuteness!

Do you remember making these Rudolph candy canes when you were a kid?! They're so cute and SO EASY! What a great holiday craft to do with the kids!
These guys are so fun, and so easy to make!

Do you remember making these Rudolph candy canes when you were a kid?! They're so cute and SO EASY! What a great holiday craft to do with the kids!
They’d make great little Christmas ornaments for the tree!

Do you remember making these candy cane Rudophs when you were a kid?! They're so cute and SO EASY! What a great holiday craft to do with the kids!

Or you can give them out as party favours or classroom gifts.

Do you remember making these Rudolph candy canes when you were a kid?! They're so cute and SO EASY! What a great holiday craft to do with the kids!

Or, if you’re like us, you can just do them as a fun craft with the kids. My five year old was at school when we made them this afternoon, and when she sees them, she’s going to be so sad she wasn’t here to help!

These candy cane reindeer are so easy to make! All you need are a simple craft materials and you’ll be all set! Make them for the Christmas tree, or as treats to send to school, or just as a fun craft with the kids. They’re really simple, and next to impossible to mess up!

 

Festive Feasting Ideas For 2021

Festive Feasting Ideas For 2021

Drawing nearer to the end of the year, we all have some time to reflect on the year that was while laying down our plans for 2022, and all around the country, we’ll be exchanging thoughts, celebrating victories, and yes, mourning losses too.

The sticky gluey stuff that’s going to keep it all together? Food. Certainly in the United States, we’re a nation of hearty eaters that covers the entire culinary world of experiences.

But we also know that bringing it all together requires more than just great food – it requires a party. A fest if you like, and to that end, we’re going to give you just a few ideas to get you inspired to create one of your very own.

FIRST, ORGANIZE YOUR DATES

If you’re only planning one party this season, or you fancy yourself the host with the most you’re going to save yourself endless drama by taking a look at your calendar and getting a few dates (or just the one) locked and loaded. This will allow you to plan your catering and entertainment accordingly, taking care not to repeat anything and keeping all of your ideas in one strategic place.

PLAN YOUR MENUS

Now that you have your dates down, you can start planning your menus. Exciting, experimental, traditional, fusion – whatever you’re planning on as a theme for your party, your menu should reflect some of it, or be a combination of a couple of different styles. Be cautious not to design an overstimulated menu. Too many rich, starchy dishes are not going to score you any points at all, while an entire menu comprised of the ubiquitous rabbit food is the other end of the extreme and your next RSVP should probably turn out a little thin as a result.

Festive fare doesn’t have to be waistline busting, you can prepare healthy and hearty meals too, just like this homemade cream of chicken soup recipe.

DESIGN SIGNATURE COCKTAILS

Libation is an essential element of a good party and when enjoyed responsibly can be something of a highlight in and of itself. Try out this take on the Moscow Mule.

Any cocktail that you can make with alcohol, you can make without so don’t feel pressured to create boozy menus if you’re not a drinker or if your guests are not either.

IF MUSIC BE THE FOOD OF LOVE

As you’re working through your holiday schedule and planning your parties, remember to plan your music too. It’s not a party without music and investing some time into creating themed playlists that start more chilled and relaxed and build-up to more appropriate party music is a great way to set (and manage) the tone of the evening.

Remember that responsible entertaining is not just the right thing to do as the host of the party, but it is also the legally required thing to do, and if your guests have enjoyed a little too much of the party then be the host that takes the lead and have a taxi service on standby or the guest room with fresh towels.

However, you celebrate this season, be well, blessed, happy, and safe.

Footprint And Handprint Thanksgiving Turkey Craft

Footprint And Handprint Thanksgiving Turkey Craft

This Thanksgiving craft project will involve mixing paint with little feet and hands to make a super cute little turkey.

It can be added to your decorations quickly and easily, and your children can have all the freedom they like when choosing the color of the turkey feather (handprint). This will ensure a high level of participation from the start.

Projects like this will also serve as snapshots of those little feet and hands that you can keep for years.

 

Prepare Your Craft Area

As much as the kids get excited, I’ll bet you are already cringing at the mess! So prepare your space with a nice big mat or plastic sheet so that you can relax and not worry about any stray paint.

You can then set out your materials freely without having to worry about paint getting knocked over.

Just look out for painted feet walking off onto your carpet!!

Hand and Footprint Turkey Craft Materials

Foot And Handprint Turkey Craft Video Demo

Before you get started, check out this time-lapse video that will show you the whole process from start to finish.

This should make it easier for you to follow the step by step instructions below to create your own foot and handprint turkey decorations.

Materials

  • Bond Paper
  • Acrylic Paint

Tools

  • Scissors
  • Paint Brush

Instructions

Stage 1: Prepare your Hand and Foot Prints

  1. Step 1 – Choose your favorite colored paint, and brush over the surface of your palm.Step 1
  2. Step 2 – Once completely covered, stamp it to the bond paper.Step 2
  3. Step 3 – Repeat several times with different colors to give your turkey feathers some brightness.Step 3
  4. Step 4 – Repeat the above step, but with the sole of your foot. Use brown colored paint to on the sole of your foot, and a lighter red or orange color on the toes – this will give the turkey it’s body.Step 4
  5. Step 5 – When you stamp the foot on the bond paper you will see the contrasting colors.Step 5a

Stage 2: Cut the Features of Turkey

  1. Step 6 – Using a marker draw the pupil of the eyes o and cut a small triangle for the nose of the turkey.Step 6
  2. Step 7 – Cut a big teardrop shape this will serve as the snood of the turkey.Step 7
  3. Step 8 – Cut the different color handprints.Step 8
  4. Step 9 – Cut the footprints.Step 9

Stage 3: Assemble the Foot and Handprints Into a Turkey

  1. Step 10 – Paste with the glue the face features of the turkey in the foot.Step 10
  2. Step 11 – Arrange the handprints like a sided feather of the footprint turkey then paste it.Step 11
  3. Step 12 – Find somewhere to hang up your new decorations!!

Why Make Foot And Handprint Turkey Craft

You can hang these up all over the house on Thanksgiving, and because they are flat they can easily be stored away for next year.

It may tickle some nostalgia in future years when you pull them out and remember how small those hands and feet actually were all those years back.

Don’t forget to take pictures with your kids looking all messy and covered in paint! You will remember this more than the cleanup job ahead…

Other Christmas Traditions From Around The World

Other Christmas Traditions From Around The World

Every family has delightful and unique Christmas traditions. Indeed, our traditions evolve and respond to our everyday needs. A small family, for instance, will tend to focus on extravagant dishes and decorations. On the other hand, a large family prefers to keep things practical, manageable, and fun for everyone. That’s why many big families choose a Christmas brunch buffet display so everybody can find their favorite snack and treat easily. Less hassle means there’s more time to enjoy our togetherness. Yet, that doesn’t mean you can’t try anything new. After all, after over a year of pandemic staycation, it would be fun to turn your Christmas feast into an excuse for travel. 

An Italian Christmas

Christmas is deeply engrained into Italian culture. Indeed, as Italy is one of the countries with the most beautifully designed and decorated churches in the world, it makes sense that the population would know how to make the Christian celebration truly magical. Yet, an Italian Christmas is all about celebratory dishes that are accessible to everyone. Recipes are neither difficult nor do they require luxury ingredients. On the contrary, if you try this recipe for deep fried baccala fish, you’ll soon realize that the Italian Christmas emphasizes simple and social togetherness using everyday ingredients. 

Beef and kimchi in Seoul

In Asian countries such as South Korea, Christmas has taken a new meaning. Korean culture turns the holiday into a romantic celebration where couples spend the day and evening together. The typical Christmas dinner in Seoul includes a nutritious beef dish, noodles, and spicy fermented cabbage (kimchi). More importantly, it is a celebration of love which means you spend the day with your significant other rather than inviting your distant family. Single friends get together around chicken and beer for the evening, while couples share a meal with delicious side dishes. 

A West-African stew for Christmas

Contrary to common belief, Christianism also exists in African countries, especially West African regions, as a result of European colonies. African dishes are an integral part of the Christmas dinner, including a spicy chicken stew, a goat curry, a carrot pineapple raisin salad, and deep-fried dough balls. Unlike the South-Korean culture that encourages romantic parties, West-African Christmas dinners are made with sharing in mind. They offer a unique opportunity to invite the whole family and even lonely neighbors around the table. The African culture loves large buffets that can feed a large community. 

Surprise everyone with an Icelandic Christmas

We tend to associate Icelandic cuisine with rotten fish, but people in Reykjavik also know how to make Christmas magical. Truth be told, you will find fermented skate, which is a type of fish. But you can skip on this tradition to try your hand at some of the most exciting baking recipes, leaf bread. Leaf bread is a thin and crispy flatbread that is typically decorated with leaf or other designs. You can also add Christmas cookies, such as ginger snaps, jam preserves cookies, and spiced dough with white frosting. 

This year, why not travel the world through your Christmas dinner? Whether you opt for a traditional Italian recipe or an exciting West-African one, welcome these new flavors into your Christmas tradition.

Spanish Rolls

Spanish Rolls

My favorite Spanish Bread. Soft, fluffy, filled with butter and sugar then rolled in breadcrumbs. Make it at home and eat it warm fresh out of the oven.

Soft, fluffy Spanish Bread filled with butter and sugar then laid in breadcrumbs. A bread like no other and definitely every Filipinos favorite merienda.

Spanish bread was the bread of my childhood in the Philippines. My siblings and I call it ‘potpot’ bread.

Every afternoon, we await the loud horn sound of the bread vendor. He goes around the neighborhood carrying a huge basket of warm and freshly baked Spanish bread at the back of his bicycle. It was so good! I still wish I had a chance to ask for his secret recipe. Alas, I was busy with play and friends back then. I just eat and never cared to cook nor bake. Hahaha…

The recipe we’re making today is not from the bread vendor. It is, however, the recipe I’ve been using for years. I’ve worked on this for a long time and I’m finally excited to share it with all of you bread lovers out there!

 

Filipino Spanish Bread Ingredients

  • Bread flour and All-purpose flour: Mixing these two kinds of flour allows us to control the protein content of the bread. Which just means that it will give the bread a soft and delicately chewy texture.
  • Egg yolks: No egg whites. This is the secret to a really soft and fluffy dough.
  • Pure unsalted butter: I love using butter when making bread. It makes my kitchen smell so good!
  • Sugar: We Filipinos love our buns sweet. We need this for the dough and for the butter filling.
  • Milk and Water: These will serve as the base liquid for the dough. The water is combined with the yeast to activate.
  • Active Dry Yeast or Instant Dry Yeast: Both can be used interchangeably. Activate in lukewarm water until foamy.
  • Bread crumbs: You can use Plain bread crumbs or Panko. If you are using the former, place it in a thick plastic bag and pound it to make it finer.

 

Bread making tips for beginners

  • Make sure the water is lukewarm before putting in the yeast. If it’s too hot the yeast will die. If it’s cold, it will not activate. To make sure that the water is at the right temperature, use a kitchen thermometer. The water should be between 30c/86f to 40c/104f.
  • Add a teaspoon of sugar to the water before stirring in the yeast. This will help easily activate it.
  • Activate the yeast in a bowl even if it’s instant yeast. This ensures that the yeast is fresh and alive.
  • Do not let the dough rise for too long if proving in a warm place. The maximum should be at least 1 hour. Otherwise, the bread will end up having a yeasty taste. The trick is (according to professional bakers) is to let it rise until it doubles in size and volume.
  • Knead dough until smooth and elastic, it should spring back when poked. Add more flour only when the dough is too wet and clings heavily to the sides of the bowl.

 

Spanish Bread recipe notes

Can I substitute bread flour with all-purpose flour?

Yes, you can substitute with all-purpose flour if bread flour is not available.  Replaced in the same amount as mentioned in the recipe. Bread will just be less chewy with all-purpose flour. 

How can I prove the dough during colder months?

For colder months, I use the oven to prove the dough. Place a glass baking dish on the bottom rack of the oven and fill it with boiling water. Put the dough in the middle or top rack and shut the door. The steam and heat from the boiling water will create a warm environment to help raise the dough.

Make-ahead tips

  • Make the dough ahead of time then place it in the fridge. The dough will slowly rise and double in size overnight. On the day of baking, remove from the refrigerator 30-40 mins before you’re going to shape them into rolls.
  • Another option is to make the dough and finish the first rise on the same day. Shape them into rolls then do the second or final rise in the fridge. Bake them the next day and you’re done! Bake them the next day and you’re done! Note: Once the shaped dough rolls have proved, you can’t remove or touch it in the pan. Otherwise, it will lose its shape.

Storage and re-heating

  • Store in an air-tight container in the fridge. Spanish bread is best eaten within 2 to 3 days.
  • Re-heat in a mini-oven toaster for 1 to 2 minutes over low heat.

I love having this with Chicken Sopas. How about you?

 

Prep Time: 1 hour                  Cook Time:  18 minutes

 

Equipment

  • Stand Mixer
  • Kitchen Scale
  • Parchment Paper
 

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 teaspoon yeast (mixed with 1 teaspoon sugar)
  • 1/2 cup water (lukewarm)
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (i used wholemeal flour)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup fresh milk (lukewarm, evap can also be use)
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup butter (softened)
  • oil for the bowl

Butter Filling

  • 1/2 cup / 113.4g butter (softened)
  • 3/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 teaspoon milk

Breading

  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar (optional)
 

Instructions

For the Dough

  • In a medium-size bowl, combine lukewarm water, 1 teaspoon of sugar, and yeast. Stir until completely dissolved. Let it stand for 5 to 10mins until yeast begins to foam.
  • Meanwhile, in the bowl of your stand mixer, combine flour, sugar, and salt. Mix thoroughly.
  • Add warm milk, yeast mixture, egg yolks, and butter to the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined. Attach the dough hook and turn the mixer on to the lowest speed and mix until flour is incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  • Increase the speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes. Add additional flour as necessary, start with 2 tablespoons and go from there. Continue beating for 5 to 6 minutes until the dough is slightly sticky and elastic, and pulling away from the edge of the bowl. Be careful not to add too much flour.

Rise # 1 Warm rise or cold rise

  • Wipe or spray oil on the sides of the bowl then form dough into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm spot for 1 hour until it doubles in size. To make ahead, do a cold rise by placing the dough in the refrigerator. The dough will slowly double in size the next day. See the notes for more information.

Spanish Bread Filling

  • Combine all the ingredients of the filling in a small bowl. Make this just before the dough finishes rising.

Rise #2 Shape the rolls

  • Remove the plastic wrap and punch the dough down. Transfer onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 20 to 24 portions. (see video). For an evenly sized dough, use a kitchen scale. Mine was about 50g each. Adjust based on your preference.
  • Using a rolling pin, flatten each portion into an oval shape. Spread 1 tablespoon of the filling, then roll it into a log (see video). Lay it in the bread crumbs. Shake off excess then place inside the baking tray greased or lined with a parchment paper. Repeat with all the other portions. Make sure that the dough is arranged two inches apart. Cover with a towel or cloth and let it rise for 40mins to 1 hour.

Baking

  • Preheat oven at 180c/356f, 15 minutes before the dough rolls finishes rising. Bake the Spanish bread for 18 to 20 minutes until the top turns light brown.

 Recipe Notes and Tips:

  • Bread flour – substitute with all-purpose flour if bread flour is not available.  Replaced in the same amount as mentioned in the recipe. Bread will just be less chewy with all-purpose flour.
  • Proving dough in colder months: For colder months, I use the oven to prove the dough. Place a glass baking dish on the bottom rack of the oven and fill it with boiling water. Put the dough in the middle or top rack and shut the door. The steam and heat from the boiling water will create a warm environment to help raise the dough.
  • Spanish Bread Filling – double the recipe if you prefer a thicker filling.
  • Make-ahead: Make the dough ahead of time then place it in the fridge. The dough will slowly rise and double in size overnight. On the day of baking, remove from the refrigerator 30-40 mins before you’re going to shape them into rolls.
  • Baking tip: If you’re using two racks, switch the trays after 12 minutes so all the rolls will brown evenly. Applicable only to 60cm/23 ovens and aboveBake in two separate batches if using compact ovens.
  • Storage and re-heating: Store in an air-tight container. Re-heat in a mini-oven toaster for 1 to 2 minutes over low heat.
 
 
Course : Snack
Cuisine : Filipino
Keyword : filipino bread, spanish bread recipe

Spanish Rolls
Print Recipe
My favorite Spanish Bread. Soft, fluffy, filled with butter and sugar then rolled in breadcrumbs. Make it at home and eat it warm fresh out of the oven.
Prep Time
1 hour
Cook Time
18 minutes
Prep Time
1 hour
Cook Time
18 minutes
Spanish Rolls
Print Recipe
My favorite Spanish Bread. Soft, fluffy, filled with butter and sugar then rolled in breadcrumbs. Make it at home and eat it warm fresh out of the oven.
Prep Time
1 hour
Cook Time
18 minutes
Prep Time
1 hour
Cook Time
18 minutes
Ingredients
Servings:
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