A PLACE TO COOK, CRAFT, CREATE, REMAKE AND PLAN SOME FUN PARTIES FOR MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Family Fun Times Valentines....

I went to a Valentines Dinner Party the other night and I tried the most delicious dip! It was with fresh cranberries and cilantro with a little jalapeno, lemon juice, sugar and cumin. It sounded so easy. I hung out by this dip the ENTIRE night!  It is embarrasing when I find something I love I just can't stop eating it!  That's my downfall! FOOD!  go figure.....
Oh YUMMY is this stuff heavenly!  I could stand here and eat it all day!  

Cranberry Salsa Dip with Cream Cheese
INGREDIENTS:
12 ounces or about 3 cups fresh cranberries chopped in blender or chopper
1 green onion, VERY finely minced (I used mostly the green ends)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded, cored,  and finely diced (cut it in half if you don't like some HEAT)
3/4 cup sugar (you can add a whole cup but it is very syrupy and sweet...I'd knock it down to 3/4 cup)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from about 1 large lemon)
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 (8 ounces each) packages cream cheese, light or regular, softened
Wheat Thin Crackers, for serving or Tortilla Chips
Chop about 3/4 cup at a time in your blender on "pulse"...or use a food processor for speed....

You can freeze fresh cranberries in the bag to use all year...did you know that?  Yeah,
the cranberry salsa keeps in the freezer too....so I put half of it away in a tupperware for another party!  

It looks like a lot of cilantro when you are done...so you could go less on it if you wanted....
The sugar is really sweet....It would taste okay to use less if you are watching sugar intake....

My hubs bought the jalapeno and it was large so I only used about half of it
and saved the other half for chili I made the next day....

I didn't have a lemon so I used lime juice....It was okay but I think lemon tastes much better...
but lime will do in a pinch for sure! 
DIRECTIONS:
Pick over the cranberries looking for smashed or bruised ones. Then use your blender for the cranberries or a  food processor and  coarsely chop about 3/4 of a cup at a time.  Put into a bowl and add the sugar. Then chop the green onions, cilantro, jalapeno and add them in and mix up. Then add cumin, lemon juice and salt and mix. Transfer the mixture to a covered bowl or tupperware and refrigerate for 4 hours (or up to overnight) so cranberries lose  their tartness.
When ready to serve, put the block of cream cheese on a really pretty plate.  Top with the cranberry mixture.  Surround the plate with wheat thins crackers.  So very Yummy! 
I really like it with Wheat Thins because chips fall apart when you try to push them
into the cream cheese....it may be better with soft whipped cream cheese...but it wouldn't look as pretty on the plate.....

You could line the pie plate with cream cheese and pour the cranberries over it...
but I think the block looks so elegant and pretty spread with the cranberry salsa.....

I wonder if it would be good on a fresh turkey sandwich...hmmm....I've got a
turkey in the freezer too...I think I'll have to experiement on that!!  
My friend Debbie shared the recipe with me at the Valentine party.  It's a great appetizer for any get together. The thing is we have to stock up on those cranberries when they are out in the produce section.  I happened to have a bag I had stashed away in the freezer. So lucky day for us!


Valentines Dinner party....for the fam....

My Valentine Dinner table...so cute, right?  I love the hanging heart ornaments hangin
from the chandelier....

Here's my granddaughters at their little Valentine kiddie table with the heart plates....aren't they sweet?  
This was my valentine this year....delivered to my classroom by Mr. Moss! 

The hubs got me some Valentines flowers....I forgot to take a close up pic
till the little baby roses were kinda wilted....oh well...it's still a fun memory...

I love that guy still after 30something years....

Texas Sheet Cake for dessert.....done by cute Caitlin and Devin...the newleyweds...
See that little piece missing?  I did that.....no will power at all....sigh....

And yummy German Chocolate brownies...done by my daughter Tiffany....

And cute Valentines Strawberry cupcakes....the kids loved these....

And we played this very fun game....check it out sometime!  

  It's a great Valentines Day dip for a fun party or for anytime! 


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Glass Blowing at Thanksgiving Point Art Institute

We were over at Thanksgiving Point last Saturday.  This activity is really fun if you have half a day and $25.00. You can make a glass blown flower for a bud vase in any color you want.  We enjoyed watching the glass experts teaching the students how it is done.  After hanging out at the Petting Zoo at Thanksgiving Point we walked over to the Glass Blower's Shop and Art Gallery and watched them making glass art.
I loved the blue vase in the middle.....It was only $100 bucks...So much better to make your own!
Marisa picked up this flower and wanted to go show it to her mom.....I just about peed my pants!
Grabbing it gently away from her as I felt my stomach full of butterflies....These things are so fragile! 

Beautiful Glass Blown Art everywhere...it's quite a sight! They have it lighted so beautifully.....
Caitlin and Devin at the Thanksgiving Point Glass Blower's Shop....
This trree had lights on the top and bottom glowing through the glass blown  tree disks....
That middle one looks kinda like a fried egg....LOL...
He was blowing up a ball of glass....very cool to watch...  
These beauties were all over $200 each....very striking in person!  I think these are just pure works of art. 



Thursday, February 16, 2012

Valentine Animals from Hearts



  
Here are some samples I found on the web to give us inspiration for a half hour of creative art with our 6th grade buddies last week.

 I think I had about 15 of the  6th graders and about 10 2nd graders in my class for this buddy activity the day before Valentines.  Each of our classes wrote letters to our buddies for Valentines Day and sent them
some candy of some sort.  We gave suckers and licorice.  They gave us chocolate mini candy bars...Mmmm!
Some kids in my class have 2 buddies....because the 6th grade classes are larger than 2nd grade classes....

But everybody really likes who they got for a buddy...no matter if it is one kid or two kids....

Then We made creations just using scraps of construction paper from our recycling bin and heart cut outs from red, pink, purple and white. Look at what fun it was for just 30 minutes the day before Valentines!

We've played kickball with our buddies...we've done multiplication games with our buddies....So we thought,
as teachers...maybe we could do a joint art project with our buddies?
Valentine Creations abounded.....

They also invited us to their production of MacBeth, the Shakesperian play....it was fantastic!  

Here are some close ups of all the "animals" we created.....
And some close ups of the kids who created them....with some buddy help.....

I am not the greatest photog that ever lived as you can see...

I think they were all proud of their creations....
We'll have to do this again next year! 
Valentines Creative Art Projects....


Hope everybody had a Happy Valentines Day!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Thanksgiving Point Petting Zoo


THANKSGIVING POINT....A FUN PLACE TO PLAY WITH YOUR FAMILY..
A day on the Thanksgiving Point Farm.....with my family...Super fun time! 


Gift shop...can we have some of these little farm animals grandma?
"I like the piggy"........"I like the horse".....

Looking around at how they milk the cows and the milk assembly line...

My daughter snapped a pic with me and the grandbabies....I lub them.....


There is a lot to see on the Farm at Thanksgiving Point....And we got pony rides, a hayride, and the petting zoo all
for only $2.50.  Tiff has an annual pass to the farm so she got us in half price...COOL!  Loved THAT! 

Hey, we weigh as much as a little baby lamb!  

Hi grandma!  Look at the cute cows?  They look so soft...

We watched horses getting shod with horse shoes....did you ever see the size of those nails they
pound into the horse's hooves?  Crazy! But they say it doesn't hurt! 

But as you'll notice, they DO have to tie the horse all up.....hmmmm.......



 It was such a fun day at the Petting farm.....mostly because the weather was just so perfect. I think it was 50 degrees in UTAH IN THE WINTER!  wHAt is UP wItH  tHAt?



Giddy UP Partner!  
We couldn't get my granddaughter to go on the horse, and then the nice lady running the ponies just took her
and talked to her about petting the horse, letting it smell her hand and get to know her, and then
just sat her up on one and walked around with her....it was like magic!  


Aww....can you resist that cute face at all? Nope....not me.....

We were so amazed and appreciative....she did something she's never done before!  Woo Hoo! 

She's not too sure she likes it yet.....

Giddy-up! 

OK I'm liking this....

Look at me, look at me!  I'm riding a cute little horsie!  

Aren't these guys  cool?  Really pretty with the horns and all...
here a goat...there a goat....everywhere a goat goat....E-I-E-I-OOOOOOOO  
Uncle Devin teaches how it's done.....what a good uncle he is....

The goats kept fighting each other to get the food from the girls....It's really a Goat eat Goat World
out there isn't it?  Well....out there at the petting zoo that is....

Cool horns on these goats....probably the most fun animals to feed....we had a few
bags of corn and meal to give them....

This goat stood on this rock mountain  the whole time we were there....I guess he wishes he was on a REAL mountain somewhere.....or maybe he is just a mountain goat doin his thang.....I dunno....

Hi Grandma!  Look at this freaky goat!  Baaaa!  

Feeding the goats.....


Can you believe how UGLY this turkey is?  It looks like the face of PREDATOR, THE MOVIE!  

I did like his black and white feathers.....Turkey Turkey.....


 Acting like one of the animals..... Doesn't she look like a turkey?  LOL

A pretty peacock....we couldn't get him to open up his pretty feathers though....we kept squawking
and making honking noises.....he probably gets that a lot.....yeah...we looked dumb doing that...I'll admit it! 

Grandpa ROCKS! 

I love my gramps....

The kids loved seeing all the gentle horses....

Befriending a black beauty horse....

Feeding the ducks at the duck and swan pond....

There were little playhouses too...cute photo op! 
The highlight of the trip for me was the hayride around the farm.....so relaxing....

We're goin on a tractor ride! 

Loved the wagon ride....  

I saw this many ducks at the pond grandma! Count em....one....two.... 

 Hayride truck....without any hay in it!  I enjoyed the ride around Thanksgiving Point so much
I didn't want to get off when it was over.....so peaceful and relaxing! 

Johnny being silly on the kiddie tractor.....I think I could make one of those outta wood!   That would
look really cute at my Bear Lake cabin in the yard!  
Boy was that FUN!  Now let's go EAT LUNCH!  Rumbi here we come! 
We had a great time at the Farm at Thanksgiving Point!  The docents and
guides were all so nice and helpful and sweet to the kids....Loved our day outdoors...




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