Friday, January 6, 2012
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Friday, December 17, 2010
This may be a shock to those of you who are members of what I call "The Cupcake Brigade," those moms who seem to show up to every event with specially crafted homemade goodies, but I had never made doughnuts before. So, when my precious preschooler informed me that he had told his teachers that I would make doughnuts for the Christmas party, I was a little nervous. "Can't I buy doughnuts?" I asked him. "No, you can make doughnuts. It's super easy." I'm not sure where he got his information, but it turns out he's right!
I did a little online research and found that I could use refrigerated biscuit dough instead of cooking from scratch. Since I needed to drop him off at 9 and then magically appear at 11:30 with three dozen fresh doughnuts, I decided this was the way to go. We stopped at Walmart the day before and purchased the biscuits, as well as the frosting and sprinkles of his choosing. We also picked up some vegetable oil, which was on special. The only problem was the candy thermometers were all sold out, and neither my mom nor I had a thermometer that reached the required 375 degrees F. Luckily, that night my daughter had dance in the next town over, and their Walmart had them in stock. Score!
When I got home from dropping off my adorable, pajama-clad preschooler (they had a pajama party the last day of school), I got all my stuff together. I put a cooling rack over a paper-towel-lined cookie sheet, poured the bottle of oil into my deepest frying pan, and opened the biscuits. I basically just stuck my finger through each one to make it look like a doughnut. The hardest part was waiting patiently for the oil to reach 375 without getting impatient and turning it up too high. Once the oil was ready, I just dropped each poked biscuit in, waited for it to turn golden brown, then flipped it with tongs and browned the other side. These things are truly easy to make. Since we wanted them frosted, I had to wait for them to completely cool. Otherwise, I'd have ended up with a glazed effect. I then sprinkled on the pre-approved green sugar crystals, and I was ready to go! These end up looking so much more impressive than they should! If you're like me, a lazy mom who is not crazy about cooking, this is a surprisingly simple treat to whip up for a party, as long as you have the time to wait for the oil to get really hot. (If the oil is cooler, they will take longer to heat, absorb more oil, and end up greasier.)
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Sunday, August 22, 2010
If there were no schools to take the children away from home part of the time, the insane asylums would be filled with mothers. ~Edgar W. Howe
Anyone out there feel this way? Personally, I love my children being home with me to the point that I'd almost consider homeschooling, but there are those days that I wish there was no one running across the floor so I could get it clean and keep it that way for longer than 10 minutes. Also, there is something to be said for occasional quiet. On a slightly more serious note:
The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet. ~Aristotle
This is one I hope we can all remember tomorrow morning when we're waking up much earlier than we'd like to be waking up. Then we'll need to remember it again each evening as we engage in our nightly battle against homework. So far, the work with the summer math packet has actually been fairly positive, as she's realized that working with mixed fractions is not nearly as difficult as she thought. One day, all this effort will pay off, right? Last but not least:
The simplest schoolboy is now familiar with truths for which Archimedes would have given his life. ~Ernest Renan, Souvenirs d'enfance et de jeunesse, 1883
This quote blows me away when I realize that it was written in 1883, and that all of the knowledge that existed in 1883 is easily obtainable to my children through the wonders of the internet. The vast ocean of knowledge that our children swim in is unprecedented in history. With this great power, of course, comes great responsibility (~Peter Parker). What will my children be able to accomplish with this amazing foundation of knowledge to build upon? It really puts those hours spent correcting math homework in perspective. I don't know about you guys, but I'm really looking forward to the first day of school!
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
The drive down was easy, and this place is a breeze to find. It's located on Cleveland Ave., which is actually just 41, aka Tamiami Trail.
We hadn't been to a Chuck E's in a while, and never at this location, but everything was familiar from our previous experiences dating all the way back to our own Showbiz Pizza days. The only real modernization is the matching UV stamp your family receives at the door, ensuring that your party leaves together.
I had printed out some coupons before we left, but the deals on the menu turned out to be just as good for a small party. We got the Super Savers deal with one pizza, two drinks, and tokens. I forget the price, but it was around $25. The coupon I had included four drinks, which was unnecessary. I did use the coupon for "Buy 60 tokens, get 25 free," so we spent around $40 total for food, drinks and about 100 tokens.
The pizza was adequate. It's not my favorite pizza, by a long shot, but for "fast food pizza," it's pretty flavorful. It is, of course, overpriced for what it is, but that's to be expected at a place like this, I suppose.
DS3 was overjoyed to be at Chuck E. Cheese's. He danced and pranced all around, and generally could barely contain himself. I took him to play a bowling game while we waited for our pizza, and he had fun. After we ate, though, all he wanted to to was play in the tubes. He probably only used 2 or 3 tokens out of all the ones we bought, so Hubby and I took turns watching the tubes while the other went and played some games. I took the baby to the toddler area for a while, but without the ball pit there isn't much he can really do yet. He sat on a few rides, and he seemed to like it, but he'll be able to do more in a few months when he's walking.
After we finally talked DS3 down from his perch, we took our stack of tickets over to the ticket-munching machine. Hubby and I had collected about 600, and DS3 picked out a Toy Story art set, a Tootsie Roll, and a Tootsie Pop. All in all, we had about two and a half hours of fun for about forty bucks, about on par with what we'd spend at a movie. We had a good time, and we're thinking about having a birthday party here next month.