Thursday, January 18, 2007

What to do on a snowed- or iced-in day...

UPDATED to add: Y'all -- this post at Rocks In My Dryer is what motivated me to do my own post today ... and if you haven't been there to share where you live, then you MUST go and help her children's goal of 675 comments become a reality. She currently has 638 (as of this update at 3:15 pm, EST) ... and Shannon actually GULPED at her kid's goal! Pwha!!! You go, girl!

First of all ... blogger is having some serious problems. Again. I'm feeling just a wee bit annoyed, because I'm also feeling creative, but I'm UNABLE TO LOAD pictures as quickly as I'd like.

Next ... I love cold weather ... snow, ice ... bring it. Sadly, we've only had like 5 ... count them ... 5 ... cold days so far this year. Normally, January temps finds us hitting 30's and 40's (F), but lately, we've been experiencing the mid 50's to mid 60's! So, I was quite pleased when I went out the other morning, and it was 23 degrees! Aaah. Love it.

On the other hand ... some of you are experiencing deep, deep freezes. You're iced in, snowed in, and basically ... going stir crazy. So, I started to brainstorm and come up with some ideas that you can try out for that special occasion when you've been trapped in the house ... with the kids ... for an entire week ... and you just.can'

These ideas take little to no special preparation, tools, ingredients, or skills ... so pick one and try it out!

Ice Collage / Videos

Send the kids out with the digital camera and have them take pictures of various things covered in ice. When they come back in, they can create a collage on the computer and send it to WalMart to print!

Or ... they can record their own icy-appropriate music videos! They can dance, lip-synch, jump up and down, build a snowman in slow-mo, etc.


Flavored Snow

Yup -- you read right! Send the kids out to find some CLEAN snow (best right after a fresh snow-fall). Pack it tightly into a container, and pour flavoring over it. Eat with a spoon.

Things you can use to flavor your snow: Chocolate syrup; lemonaide; maraschino cherry juice; grenadine syrup; honey; pancake syrup; sweet juices or kool-aid; sweet tea; root beer, grape or orange soda


Granitas -- YUM! These are easy, fun, and deeeelish!

1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup lemon (or other fruit) juice or Grenadine Syrup

Boil 1/2 cup sugar in 1 cup water for about 5 minutes to make a simple syrup. Let cool, than mix in 1/2 cup lemon juice. Pour into a small baking pan and put it into the freezer to harden. (or you can use really sweet tea, kool-aid, flavored sodas, etc.)

Every hour or so the kids should check the mixture and scrape it up with a fork to spread the icy granules around. The granita is done when it is just solid around the edges and still a little mushy in the middle--about three to five hours, depending on your freezer.

Before serving, leave the granita out to soften before scooping it. Scrape it up with a fork, and scoop it into cute cups.


Easy Snowflakes made from dried Pasta

Shaped pastas (wagon wheels, bow ties, elbows, etc.)
wax paper

On waxed paper, arrange wagon wheels, bow ties and other dried pastas into different snowflake patterns. Use a toothpick dipped in glue to stick together the pieces of pasta into one snowflake shape. Let the glue dry completely. Peel away the waxed paper and hang your snowflakes from a window frame or ceiling with piece ribbon. Optional: You can glue glitter onto the snowflakes by drizzling glue onto the pasta with a toothpick, and sprinkling with glitter.


Icy Lights (freeze outside)

Large metal bowl
Plastic yogurt container
Cupful of small stones or coins

1) Pour a couple inches of water into the large bowl and place it outside to freeze. 2) Once frozen, fill the yogurt container with the stones or pennies, then center it on the ice in the bowl. Pour more water into the bowl, so that it nearly reaches the rim of the smaller container. Put it back outside and let it freeze solid. 3) To remove the lantern from its mold, run warm water on the outside of the bowl and the ice should slip out. Next, dump out the contents of the inner container and pour in warm water to loosen it. Remove the container and place a votive candle in the opening. Place your Frozen Light onto a plate and light the candle... very COOL!



Last weekend, we had a function at church that had a cho-cho-choc-olate fou-fou-foun-tain ... ahhh! Sheer delight. Which, of course, is what inspired this idea...

1 cup chocolate chips
4 tbsp. skim milk

Stuff to Dip: Fruit (my favs are strawberries, apples and BANANAS!!!), marshmallows, brownies, cookies, pieces of cake

Stuff for Toppings: Crushed candy, sprinkles, chopped nuts

Combine the chocolate chips and skim milk, and microwave on High for 1 minute. Stir, then microwave for another 30 seconds. Let the kids dip their treats in the chocolate, then roll them in the crushed candy, sprinkles and/or nuts.


Sandwich Cutout Fun

This is so cute, so fun, so easy, and the kids will love making them. I saw them on a family website, and new I had to save the "recipe!"

For two Sandwiches:

4 slices of bread (two white and two whole wheat, roughly the same size)
Cookie cutters, 1 large and 1 small
Sandwich fixings

Set the slices of bread on a cutting board. Cut out the centers of each with a large cookie cutter. Then, use a smaller cookie cutter to cut out the center of the cut-out. 2. Swap the center cutouts, so the wheat bread has a white bread design and the white has the wheat. "Mirror" the second set of bread, then make your sandwich.


Bird Feeder #1 -- Cute, cute, cute!

1/4 ounce package of unflavored gelatin
2 cups of your favorite wild birdseed
Three 4-inch mini bundt or fluted pans

To make a batch, bring 6 tablespoons of water to a boil. Empty one 1/4-ounce package of unflavored gelatin (Knox) into 2 tablespoons of cold water in a large bowl. Let the gelatin sit for 1 minute, then add the boiling water and stir for 2 to 3 minutes or until the gelatin is dissolved.

Stir 2 cups of birdseed into the gelatin, mixing thoroughly. Let the mixture set for a few minutes, then stir again. Repeat this process a few times, if necessary, allowing the seed to absorb the liquid.

Spoon the seed mixture into three 4-inch mini bundt or fluted pans (or one big one). Place the pans in the refrigerator (or outside!) and let them set for at least 3 hours. Remove the wreath(s) from the molds by inverting the pans and tapping along the bottoms. Allow the wreaths to air-dry overnight.

Finally, tie ribbon around your wreath(s) and hang them outside in a covered/protected spot so they won't melt.

Bird Feeder #2

Stick a piece of bread, a doughnut, or half of an orange, on a twiggy branch of the tree

Bird Feeder #3

Slice of white bread
Cookie cutter
Peanut Butter
Plastic knife to spread peanut butter
Bird seed on a plate

Use a cookie cutter to cut a nice shape out of the white bread. Place the white bread shapes in the oven on warm just to dry them out and get them firm (or toast them before cutting them out). Punch a hole into the bread and thread the yarn through so you can hang it. Spread with peanut butter and then pat bird seed onto the peanut butter. You can put peanut butter and seed on the other side, too, if you wish. Hang outside on a tree for the birds to eat.

Bird Feeder #4

Stale bagel or Pine Cone
Peanut butter
Bird seed

Tie a piece of yarn around the bagel or pine cone to hang. Smear with peanut butter and roll in bird seed. Tie it on and hang your feeder outside.


Anonymous said...

Oh My Goodness! Those were some fun ideas Gibee! You are feeling creative today, aren't you? I think I might try some of those here when it hits the 100's in a couple months. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Wow I'm soooo impressed! Those are fun ideas!

Since I switched to new blogger I haven't had a problem with photos. Here's keeping my fingers crossed!

Anonymous said...

What awesome ideas, and i loved the ice pictures.

Nancy said...

Great ideas! I loved the ice pictures too. Thanks for taking the time to post them all.

Anonymous said...

GiBee, this is wonderful! You are brilliant!

theresa said...

Ditto what Shannon said!

SeaBird said...

Love, love, love these ideas! We live in Miami, but I love them anyway! :)

I'm going to link to this post from my blog later this week.



Anonymous said...

How on earth did I miss this one? Genius. GENIUS, I tell you! I'm printing it off for my files.

Chilihead2 said...

That wasn't anonymous, that was Chilihead. I'm just a complete idiot sometimes.