Mommy Made From Scratch

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Simple From Scratch Play Dough

My kids love to play with play dough. They're addicted to it like I'm addicted to chocolate, except they don't eat it...well at least not most of the time. Problem is, they tend to play with it for hours so it dries out fairly easily.

One way to make play dough more economical is by making it from scratch at home instead of buying it at the store. When I make my own play dough I suddenly become the coolest mom ever in my kids' eyes. They are so amazed that I can make this stuff by myself and that I can make virtually any color I want to.

So if you want to be as cool a mom as me and save yourself some dough (pun intended), follow this simple recipe and become magical in the eyes of your children.

Play Dough
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 cup salt
1/2 cup water
1/2 Tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
food coloring or icing color

In a saucepan, add the flour, cream of tartar and salt. Stir to evenly mix. Add the water and oil. I used canola oil and it worked perfectly. Vegetable oil will work just as well if you have that instead. Stir until evenly mixed.

Turn stove burner onto medium-low and continue to stir with wooden spoon. Stir until the mixture starts to become more solid. My stove is very slow at heating up so this step took me a few minutes but if you have a stovetop that heats up quickly, it may only take 30 seconds to a minute to complete this step.

At this point, add in some food coloring. I like to use these icing colors from Wilton as they provide bolder, deeper colors than most liquid food colors.

Stir the food coloring in over the hot burner. The mixture will start to really thicken but keep on continually stirring.

Once the mixture begins to pull away from the sides of the pot, forming a ball, remove from heat.

Scoop out the dough onto some waxed paper and let sit until it cools.

Once cooled, knead the dough a bit with your hands to remove any lumps. Store in zippered plastic bags or airtight plastic or glass containers. This recipe will make approximately 2 containers of store bought playdough. I made two batches, one yellow and one violet for this tutorial.

Now I'm officially the coolest mom ever.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Cake Fluff

Remember the post about my daughter's Tangled/Disney princess birthday party? If you don't, check it out here.

When I made her awesome...if I do say so myself...tower cake I had a lot of leftover, partially frosted cupcakes from the tower. Rather than frost them as usual before eating I thought I'd take all of the leftover cupcakes and create another delicious treat instead.

This dessert can be made with leftover cupcakes, cake or you can bake up some cake especially for this purpose. Enjoy!

Cake Fluff
6 chocolate-chocolate chip cupcakes (from Tangled tower cake)
   -or- 6 cupcakes, un-frosted, of your choosing
1- 8 oz container Cool Whip or equivalent of homemade whipped cream

Crumble cake into pieces either by hand or with a fork. If there is frosting on the cakes, that is fine. Just leave it on and it will mix into the finished dessert as well.

In a large bowl, fold crumbled cake into Cool Whip until evenly combined.

It's that simple! Enjoy this easy, delicious treat with your next cake leftovers and I guarantee it will be gone in no time.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Exciting new affiliate opportunity

Being a blogger is fun. One of the great perks about blogging is the opportunities I have to work with companies to share great products with all of you! You may have noticed the gorgeous ad to your right appear over the past week from Shabby Apple. I have been given the opportunity to become a Shabby Apple affiliate! What this means for you is that from time to time I will share with you special discount codes and offers as well as the latest up to date info from Shabby Apple and their beautiful line of clothing.

Dresses from Shabby Apple

Let me start off by telling you a little bit about Shabby Apple.

Shabby Apple was started  "because we saw a need in women’s fashion that was not being met. A need to make women feel feminine and beautiful for what they wear, not what they bare. We offer flirty, stylish dresses a woman can wear just as comfortably in the office, at a family dinner, or on a date. Shabby Apple is a fashion company for women, by women, and of women." (Shabby Apple)

Because Shabby Apple is so devoted to women, they donate 5% of their net sales to helping women around the world work their way out of poverty through their partnership with Accion, a non-profit organization.

Shabby Apple offers a great line of products including dresses, skirts, blouses, maternity, kids and home decor. 

Little Girls Dresses from Shabby Apple

Just recently, Shabby Apple released their top selling dresses so far this year. All six of these dresses can be found by clicking on one of the above photos or the ad on the right sidebar of this blog then search on their website for the title of each dress.

1-  Alice
2-  The Red Queen
3-  I'm Late! I'm Late!
4-  Ingrid
5-  El Capitan
6-  Elizabeth Islands

Now on to the really good part...

Shabby Apple has been so gracious to provide a 10% discount code which can be used for everything on their site! Simply enter the code: favorite10 at checkout. This code is good until 9/14/2012. Click any of the photos in this post to take you to Shabby Apple and begin shopping!

Dresses from Shabby Apple

Thanks again to Shabby Apple! I look forward to continuing in our partnership in the future.

{Disclosure: Shabby Apple has provided a small compensation for each affiliated sale through my blog. All opinions are my own. I will not promote something I don't agree with or believe in.}

Monday, August 20, 2012

Back to School Pencils: Munchkin Mondays

I'm always looking for fun and creative ways to get my kids to eat. They are both fairly picky so I try to make their food fun. My daughter especially loves it when I make her food creatively as she is a very creative girl herself.

I was at Target recently. Since I can't just walk past their dollar section, I entered and found another cute little recipe book similar to the one I found for the Squid Dogs recipe entitled, "Disney Family Fun: Easy Kids' Lunches." You can find a similar recipe book here.

One of the first recipes that caught my eye was this simple and fun recipe using string cheese to make pencil-shaped snacks. Since my daughter will be starting kindergarten in a week (yikes!) I thought this would make a fun back-to-school snack or lunch item for when she gets home. I adapted the recipe to better fit my budget and kids' tastes and came up with what you see below.


Back to School Pencils
string cheese, mozzarella and/or cheddar
green pepper
Bugles corn snacks
bologna, thick or regular

First cut up your green pepper. Find an area on the pepper that is flat and cut out as many small circles as the number of snacks you will be making. I used this small round 5/8 inch cutter from Wilton.

Next, take a slice of thick bologna or cut one slice of regular bologna in half and cut out several small circles using the same circle cutter. I used regular bologna since that is what I had in the house already. It will look nicer with the thick bologna if you have it.

Grab some Bugles snacks and snap the pointy ends off of them.

Take a raisin or more if you're making more than two snacks, and slice it in half. You'll need half a raisin for each snack.

Now to assemble the pencils...

Using a sharp knife, slice a portion of the cheese stick near one end at an angle, removing a triangular shape. Take one Bugle snack and press it gently onto the angled end of the cheese stick. Take half of a raisin and press gently onto the other end of the Bugle for the "lead" of the pencil.

On the other end of the cheese stick, insert a toothpick so that only 1/4-1/2 inch remains sticking out. Take a green pepper circle and skewer it onto the toothpick. Next, do the same with the bologna, forming your eraser.

If you have small children eating this, you can always leave the toothpick out and use mustard, mayonnaise or ketchup to stick each piece together. If you leave the toothpick in, always remember to warn the child that the toothpick is there.

And there you have it! Back to School Pencils. This is one pencil that you're allowed to chew on. Hope everyone has a great school year!



Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Giant Skillet Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookie

With my one year blogiversary coming up and my husband's birthday a few days later, I figured I'd bake a special cake to celebrate both.

My husband wanted a cookie cake, which I've never done before but I wanted to make it a bit fancier by baking it in a skillet. I thought this would be more difficult but as it turned out, it was so much easier AND I was able to use the skillet as a mixing bowl as well. Fewer dishes for me = a much happier blogiversary!

Hope you like it!

Giant Skillet Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookie
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup dark chocolate chunks

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Melt butter in 10-inch cast iron skillet on stove top over medium heat. Stir in sugar, brown sugar and vanilla with a small whisk or fork then remove from the heat. Let the pan rest away from the hot burner until somewhat warm but no longer hot.

Whisk in egg then carefully add flour, baking soda and salt. Stir slowly so as not to spill mixture over the sides of the pan.

Fold in chocolate chunks.

Spread dough with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until it covers entire bottom of pan.

Place skillet into preheated oven and bake for 11-14 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately with a scoop of ice cream for a warm, gooey cookie or wait until cool for a more dense cookie. I drizzled some chocolate ice cream shell coating over the entire cookie for a fun and delicious treat!


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Friday, August 3, 2012

One Year Blogiversary Giveaway!

July 27th was my official one year blogiversary! To celebrate, I have several great prizes available to give away to seven, that's right, SEVEN of my followers!

Julie, an Avon representative, has been nice enough to donate three items to give away. Please take a look at what you can win below, then head over to her website to see what else Avon has to offer:

Dove and Heart Anklet Set- $7.99 value
Plus (1) NAILWEAR PRO+ Nail Enamel in Ruby Slippers (beautiful sparkly red) not pictured-$6.00 value

Foot Works Beautiful Mint & Aloe 3-Piece Pedi Care Collection-$15 value

Secrets to Keep Eau de Toilette Spray-A dreamy blend of fruits and florals. Whispers of sweet apple and juicy strawberry with a passionate heart of jasmine, white musk and warm sandalwood. 1.7 fl. oz. A $16.50 Value!


In addition to the Avon products donated by Julie, Tricia, a representative of Linen World, has graciously donated two more items:

5 Qt. Collapsible Colander with a value of $14.99 which can be found on page 46 of her catalog.

AND this Gourmet Chef Apron with a value of $9.99 in the Olive Oil print. It can be found on page 50 of her catalog.


Did you know that in addition to my food blog and my photography blog, I also have an Etsy shop?! 

It's pretty new so I'm just beginning to stock it with my creations but I would love for you to go take a look. I'll be continuing to stock it up throughout the giveaway so check back often for new items!

Since my Etsy shop, Mama Z Creations is just starting out, I thought I would also donate an item from it as well. Take a look at my shop here. If you're drawn as the winner of the Mama Z Creations
item, you will receive one item of your choice, up to a $10.00 value for free with free shipping -or- you can choose an item or items totaling more than $10.00 and take $10 off of your total purchase. 

Any remaining amount from the $10.00 will be forfeited and cannot be used towards a future purchase or for store credit.


For our last prize, I wanted to give you this little gift set as a way to say thanks for all of your support over the past year. 

If you follow me on facebook, you know how much I love coffee! I wanted to spread the coffee love by offering this 4-count box of Tully's Coffee K-cups assortment, a 4-count Green Mountain Coffee Brew Over Ice Hazelnut Iced Coffee K-cups and a 50-count box of Stevia In The Raw. There are even a few coupons attached or inside of the boxes so you can buy more great coffee goodness!


Whew! That's a lot of stuff to give away! There are many ways to enter so you'll have a lot of chances at winning a prize.

To enter:
Simply fill out the Rafflecopter form below (it might take a few minutes to load so be patient!) by clicking on each entry option and doing the task that it requires. Once done with that task, click Enter and move on to the next entry. You don't have to enter every way but your odds will improve with each entry completed.

When the contest is over, I will draw the winners and notify each by email. Once notified, the winners will have 48 hours to respond or they will forfeit their prize and I will draw another winner. This giveaway will end on Thursday, August 17th at 12:01 a.m. EST. 

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Friday, July 27, 2012

Top Ten Posts Countdown ~ #1 Zucchini Chocolate Chip Brownies

♪ Happy blogiversary to me! Happy blogiversary to me! Happy blogiversary dear Mommy Made From Scratch! Happy blogiversary to me! ♫

Yay! I made it to my one year blogiversary and I get to announce the top blog post on our most popular post countdown.

Let me start off by sincerely thanking each one of you for your support as I began this not always easy journey into cooking outside of the box. I appreciate each and every one of you. Words cannot express my sincere gratitude for your continued support over this past year.

Now on to your #1 most popular recipe...

This recipe is my family's most favorite dessert. It's on the healthier side of the dessert aisle with the addition of zucchini and minus the usual eggs and butter. Even the zucchini hater in your house won't know that there is zucchini in these brownies.

Please enjoy your #1 pick, Zucchini Chocolate Chip Brownies!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Top Ten Posts Countdown ~ #2 Overnight Baked French Toast Casserole

My family adores me for this recipe. Hopefully they have other reasons to like me than just this but it certainly has helped on some mornings and occasionally for dinner too.

This is very inexpensive, quick and easy to assemble. I have been asked for this recipe almost as much as I have been asked for the recipe for the #1 post in our countdown...but you'll just have to wait until tomorrow to find that one out.

Hope you enjoy #2 in the Top Ten Posts Countdown...Overnight Baked French Toast Casserole!