Archives for the month of: September, 2011

Have you’ve been waiting for Starbucks to announce the arrival of Fall with their Pumpkin Spice Latte? Well now, we have found a Pumpkin Latte Playdough for your little ones that just may become a new autumn classic at your house. Dinosaurs and Octopuses has the recipe for fun this week.

Here it is:

1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1 cup water
2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp cream of tartar
1/3 of the jar of pumpkin pie spice (the tiny jar)
maple extract
vanilla extract
food coloring

Combine the dry ingredients and the oil. Slowly add the water. Add a few dashes of each of the extracts and a few drops of red and yellow food coloring. Cook over medium heat, stirring until stiff. As it mixes you can see if you’ll need more food dye. Adding a little at a time until the desired color is  achieved. Turn out onto wax paper. The pumpkin pie spice was too spicy by itself, for my liking. The extracts make it smell sweeter, just like a pumpkin pie. Sniff the dough. Does it smell too spicy? Add a little bit more extract and knead it all together. If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour. If it’s too dry, add a few drops of water.

Betsy, you must give this a try for Oliver.

Anyone looking for a copycat Starbucks Pumpkin Latte recipe? Give this one from the Kitchn a try!

Pumpkin Spice Latte
makes 1-2 servings

2 cups milk
2 tablespoons canned pumpkin or 1 teaspoon of Torani Pumpkin Spice Syrup (your choice)
2 tablespoons sugar or sugar substitute – you can halve this amount
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1-2 shots espresso (about 1/4 cup of espresso or 1/2 cup of strong brewed coffee if you don’t have an espresso machine.)

In a saucepan combine milk, pumpkin and sugar and cook on medium heat, stirring, until steaming. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and spice, transfer to a blender and process for 15 seconds until foamy. If you don’t have a blender, don’t worry about it – just whisk the mixture really well with a wire whisk.

Pour into a large mug or two mugs. Add the espresso on top.

Optional: Top with whipped cream and sprinkle pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, or cinnamon on top.

We wish all of our Jewish friends near and far a very Happy New Year!

Rosh Hashanah means ‘Head of the Year’ in Hebrew. It is the beginning of ten days when Jewish people think very carefully about their behavior during the past year remembering what they have done, asking and praying to be forgiven for any bad deeds and promise to be better next year.

One of the rituals for Rosh Hashanah is the blowing of the Shofar, a ram’s horn trumpet. A hundred notes are sounded in a special rhythm. The sound of the shofar starts a ten-day period known as the ‘Days of Awe’, which ends with the solemn festival of Yom Kippur.

Rosh Hashanah foods are sweet with flavor symbolizing the sweetness and good fortune of the new year ahead. Other foods flavored with honey, apples and carrots are commonly served. The traditional Rosh Hasanah meal begins with apple and challah dipped in honey. Instead of the traditional braided loaf, the Rosh Hashanah challah is round which symbolizes the cycle of the new year. The design of ladders or birds are often times added to the holiday challah commemorating the prayers rising to Heaven.
Children can celebrate year round with this classic wooden set consisting of a shofar, kiddush cup, honey dish, two candlesticks with candles, an apple with velcro for slicing, two round raisin challahs and a challah cover.

Social media, are you addicted, affected or connected? The back fence at one time was the pipeline and lifeline for neighbors. Where are we today?








Some old timers remember when good conversation took place around the dinner table. There were homes that only had one telephone (land line) and it was not answered during dinner.

Johnny Appleseed Day for Kids

Johnny Appleseed Day honors one of America’s great legend., Johnny Appleseed was a real person named John Chapman who traveled west and he planted and sold apple trees along the way to settlers. With every apple tree that was planted, the legend grew.                                                  Bake up some fun with this pretend apple pie.

A Little About the Legend:

  • John Chapman (aka Johnny Appleseed) was born on September 26, 1774.
  • He was a nurseryman who started out planting trees in western New York and Pennsylvania.
  • During the life of John Chapman, the “West” was places like Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois.
  • John Chapman was a deeply religious person and was known to preach during his travels.
  • According to legend, Johny Appleseed led a simple life and wanted little. He rarely accepted money and often donated any money he received.
  • It is believed that he died on March 11, 1845, from what was referred to as the “winter plague”. The actual date of his death has been disputed.

Celebrate today with an apple rich menu. Include fresh apples for snacks, and some applesauce or apple pie for dessert. And, make plans to plant an apple tree.

Easy Peasy Apple Pie uses a refrigerated crust.

Or, bake an apple pie in an apple – bet you’ve never tried this one!

This year there is caramel apple pie on a stick for you to try.

Look what we are making today! Glow stick ghosts…

Erin M., Erin L. and Bobbie will be surprised to find this fun project waiting for them. We plan on hanging one outside our front door each night now until Halloween.

To create this ghostly creatures, all you need is:

White Balloons
Glow sticks
Black Marker

Activate your glow stick first.
We will be using glow bracelets.

  • Place the glow stick in the balloon.
  • Inflate and knot the balloon.
  • Position the knot at the top of the balloon.
  • Draw a face on the balloon.
  • Drape the cheesecloth over the balloon,
  • Cut a small hole and push the knot through.
  • Secure with a string and hang so they can blow in the wind.

The test tonight is learning how long the glow sticks last.

Build a candy double helix. All you will need is licorice, tooth picks and mini marshmallows.

The double helix is the most recognizable structure for deoxyribonucleic acid, also known as DNA. Double helix is the name for the structure formed by double-stranded molecules of nucleic acids. In short, it the the shape of the molecule where all the genetic information is stored for all organisms.

Inside every cell of each living thing, both plant or animal, there are sets of instructions called genes. The genes provide the instructions on what is the plant or animal, what it looks like, how it is to survive, and how it will interact with its surrounding environment. The genes are strung together in long stands of material called deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and these long strands are called chromosomes. Most living things have pairs of chromosomes (one from each parent), though they may have a different number of chromosomes from another living thing. For example, humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes and the fruit fly has 4 pairs.

Each gene is made up of long combinations of four different nucleotide bases. It is the various combinations of the nucleotide bases that determine everything about a living creature.

Science Saturday adjourned. Now, with any left over min-marshmallows, get out your marshmallow shooter, load it up and have some fun.

Ralph, you do not have to send Alice to the moon to have this incredibly fun Moon Sand.

Did you know how easy it is to make Moon Sand, (the sand that you can mold) at home? Even with this recipe it is amazing moldable, holdable, squishable, squashable, sand that never dries out!

Now that you know there’s not need for a trip to the moon or the store, here is the recipe for DIY Moon Sand:

  • 6 cups of play sand (really fine sand) found at Home Depot or Lowes
  • 3 cups of cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups of cold water
  1. Mix the water and cornstarch together thoroughly, this will take a few minutes to get it nice and smooth.
  2. Gradually mix in the sand, one cup at a time. You’ll need to really work it in with your fingers. Little fingers especially like assisting with this task.
  3. Play with it!
  4. Once mixed, store it in an airtight container.
  5. When you next play with it, you may need to revive it with 2-3 tablespoons of water. Just sprinkle it over and work it in.

Play sand comes in different colors, so buy different colored bags if you wish.


If it’s really a trip to the moon that you were looking forward to, here is the rocketship to get you there!

Blast off and have fun!













Does anyone remember these?