PURIM OF THE ARTS!


Yes! I am waaaaayyyyy behind schedule and trying to keep my head above the piles of hamantashen, costumes and purim paraphernalia!

So, this year we are making a super creative Purim Party with a theme of ART!

The inspiration for this event is from my father a”h, who’s love for this Yom Tov was clearly evident by the beautiful, fun and incredibly creative touch he put into it.

So, in his memory, I have created a theme that in all honesty, has so much room to improvise.

Keep it in mind for next year, because there’s just so much you can do with it!

As of now, here are the details for the Mishloach Manos:

Labels are from evermine.com (the label I custom made with the hamantashen is actually from a photo of a painting my father made many years ago.)

I made some Mishloach Manos with that label but mostly with the simpler circle ones, pictured above.

The Paint Cans were from Oriental Trading.

I filled the cans with some crinkle paper at the bottom and the candy, hamantashen and Rugelach….simple and colorful.

One thing done. Check!

Soft, Sparkly Playdough. Happy Rainy Day.

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It’s a rainy day here in Mill Valley and seemingly I needed some creative back ups with the two year old!

I stumbled upon this recipe and what I love MOST about it, is that you don’t need to make this on the stove. My two year old poured everything into the bowl and I simply added the hot water and mixed!

I did not use any dye or food coloring (as the recipe suggests) but rather mixed in a packet of crystal light pink lemonade powder! I also added some glitter for a ‘girly’ finish to a fun rainy day activity!

And when we were trying to make rings for our fingers, we added some rhinestones as well! No doubt they were a hit!

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE THE BEST PLAYDOUGH RECIPE:

  • 2 Cups of Flour
  • 2 Tbsp of Oil (any oil will do, coconut oil, vegetable oil, even olive oil)
  • 1/2 Cup of Salt
  • 2 Tbsp Cream of Tartar
  • 1 1/2 Cup Boiling Water

The secret to brilliant colors in your playdough is using gel food coloring – you can find the in the cake decorating sections of craft/hobby stores, or on the baking aisle in the grocery store. 

HOW TO MAKE THE BEST PLAYDOUGH:

  1. Pour 2 cups of  flour into a bowl.
  2. Add 1/2 cup of salt.
  3. Mix in 2 tbsp Cream of Tartar. (You can find this in the spice section of just about any grocery store.)
  4. Add 2 tbsp of oil. For this recipe I used vegetable oil, but you can use any oil, and as long as it’s a kitchen oil, your playdough will be non-toxic and safe if a little one takes a tiny taste.  The sodium level is very high, so we don’t encourage this to double as a snack.
  5. Pour in the boiling water. Be VERY careful because this makes the dough HOT!
  6. Mix all the ingredients together until they form the dough. At this point, if you don’t want to add any food dye to your playdough, you’re finished!
  7. After it’s cooled, to make several different colors of playdough, separate the dough into equal parts and roll it up into balls.
  8. Now, punch out the middle of the ball to leave a little bowl for you to pour your gel food dye into.
  9. Drip your gel dye into the bowls. This is a great time to mix dye colors if you want to make another color.
  10. Knead the dough until the dye is thoroughly mixed. This is VERY messy! If you don’t want to stain your hands, use gloves, and make sure to put something down so you don’t stain your counter.

 

The VERY BEST Oatmeal Cookies!

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Wow! It’s been so long since my last post and while I have some fun creative ideas brewing I see that it’s going to take time to share them but don’t worry, Purim is on my mind and up next!

In the meantime, we hosted an event here last night called ‘Emotional Sobriety’ with guest speaker Rabbi Shais Taub. He was incredible and his message was OH SO APROPOS! ….I mean how many of us truly wish we could ‘let go’….and I mean, really ‘let go’ and live and be in the moment and truly show up for own life even in the ‘in-between’ moments and in the challenging ones especially.

So of course dessert was on the menu and I stumbled across this oatmeal cookie that is literally the most delicious oatmeal cookie I have ever tasted! It is worth the added step of toasting the oats and pecans so don’t skip this if you want that perfect cookie!

Enjoy!

OATMEAL RAISIN COOKIES (from bon appetite.com)

MAKES 24 COOKIES

  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature (I used earth balance margarine)
  • ¾ cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or paste
  • 1 cup raisins, dried sour cherries, and/or dried cranberries (I omitted all these as I like my oatmeal cookies plain:)

Preheat oven to 425°.

Spread oats on a rimmed baking sheet and toast until lightly golden, about 6 minutes. Add pecans, toss to combine, and continue toasting until pecans are fragrant and oats are deep golden brown, about 6 minutes more. Let cool sightly.hisk flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium bowl; stir in oats and pecans.

Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in a large bowl, scraping down sides of bowl, until light and fluffy, 3–4 minutes. Add egg, syrup, and vanilla and beat until incorporated, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to low; add dry ingredients and raisins and continue to beat, scraping down sides and bottom of bowl, until just combined. Let sit at room temperature at least 1 hour to hydrate oatmeal.

Preheat oven to 350°. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a 2-oz. ice cream scoop, portion cookies and place on sheets, spacing 3″ apart (or measure out mounded scoops with a ¼-cup measuring cup). Do not flatten; cookies will spread as they bake.

Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until edges are golden brown and firm but centers are soft, 15–17 minutes. Let sit on sheets 10 minutes, then transfer to wire racks; let cool.

Do Ahead: Cookie dough can be made 3 days ahead; cover and chill. Let dough come to room temperature before baking.

DIY Car Menorah Craft Project!

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This Chanukah I decided to plan some fun home – projects, crafts and activities for Chanukah! Today we had a really fun time making car menorahs!

From age 2 and up, each of my kids built, painted and decorated their ‘cars’ and then using the clay, they made menorahs and dreidels and stuck them onto the tops of their cars! (looking just like ours in the driveway!)

An instant Chanukah parade:)

Wishing all of you a most beautiful happy Chanukah!

Air drying modeling clay is so easy to use and the colors in this brand were incredible! You can purchase it on amazon. It’s is called:  SySrion Air Dry Clay.

The toy cars were so easy for all ages and were super fun for everyone! You can order them from amazon as well. Search for : “Melissa & Doug Decorate-Your-Own Wooden Race Car Craft Kit”

Chanukah in a Box!

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Have you ever wanted to give someone a whole bunch of Chanukah items and yet couldn’t quite find the right packaging?

Well, after many different styles and attempts and bags and boxes, I finally found a way that you can package a beautiful ‘Chanukah in a box’!

Using a bottle carrier box, you can easily fit a Menorah, chocolate gelt, dreidels, oil for an oil Menorah or for making latkes AND potatoes if you wish! (Accompanied of course with a Chanukah guide and my favorite latke recipe!)

It’s cute, simple, compact and is completely stable to stand on it’s own and to be easily handed off to someone special!

Here’s what you need:

Tags and labels are from evermine.com

The box is from evermine.com (look in packaging)

The oil is from trader joes (scrub the front label and stick on your own in place.)

The oil Menorah can be bought from http://www.judaica-world.com

(And if you wish to insert the tin menorah’s, they do fit (just gently bend at the slightest angle and then re-pack the candles into a cello bag and slide into one of the sections of the box).

(Disclaimer: don’t personalize tags at midnight:(….there shouldn’t be an apostrophe in the word LATKA!)

 

Chanukah Bags!

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It’s almost Chanukah and the excitement and energy is contagious!

This year we decided to pack our Chanukah chocolate gelt and dreidels in cotton bags that were hand stamped with a personalized stamp. (We also added a tag to make it stand out.)

These are perfect to give out at events as well as to easily carry in your purse to give out should the moment arise.

The Details:

The bags are from uline. Click here to order

The stamp is from paper source. Click here to order

The dreidels are from here.

The tags are from evermine.com

The Chocolate Gelt coins can be ordered here.

Wishing everyone a Happy Chanukah!

Laughter and Learning!

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A fun way to package a ‘take along’ gift is to use these bottle carriers.

With four compartments used for drinks, you can easily pack some nosh and water bottles for two!

I used this as a favor to give our at a Melave Malka for a father and son event and it definitely brought smiles!

I personalized the front with a label from evermine.com and then made a matching coaster to hold hot cocoa.

Along with the package went mini bowling erasers to be used at school in keeping with the activity of the evening – bowling!

‘Laughter and Learning’ was a beautiful night with just that…lots of laughing while enjoying ‘father and son’ learning!

*Bottle boxes are from evermine.com (in packaging section)