Monday, April 29, 2013

A "Peace" of Toast

New in toaster-land:

A PEACE of Toast!
I'm sorry, this pun is too funny to me.
This awesome toaster has just been listed in my etsy shop>>>>>>>>>>>>>click above on the PamelaMakesStuff  in the Etsy box.





You're probably wondering just WTF will you do with a toaster all covered in tile. Well I'm here to tell you that the potential for use is endless , er, rather bigger than you'd think.

Aside from being the most CLEVER knicknack you'll ever own, you certainly could plant a little sweet succulent or two in it. I saw a great toaster on line with kitchen spoons and napkins in it like this:





Friday, April 26, 2013

How NOT to Waste Paint in the Classroom


A million years ago, (ok, last fall) I was still teaching art. I would have to say Pinterest has been a revolution for seeking out new project ideas. I spent countless hours, pouring over "kids' art" websites and coming up empty handed. So although I am no longer teaching art, here's the best tip I found back in the dinosaur days of my art career:





I read about this in the back of an otherwise dull art book for kids: Dispense paint to your class in ice cube trays. It's neater, easier AND portable. I used to go from class to class. In the old days, I'd pour paint out on plates for kids and have to either trash the left overs or tediously scrape the excess paint back into the bottle. Not easy to do in a 10 min. turn around time between lessons. Well, this is a revolution: you can pour out the paint. Many kids can share. They can mix colors in the empty spaces. There is very little waste, it is neat and clean, no paint can spill, you can stack the trays, slip them into a plastic bag and travel to another classroom, save left over paint from one day to the next OR take the paint home and scrape it back into the bottle at your leisure.

Then, if you have a picking vice (and who doesn't?) you can spend a happy hour or two peeling dried paint out of the little cube spaces if you've used Acrylic paint....or...throw them in the dishwasher if you used Tempera.

I don't know about you, but this little trick made all the difference in teaching painting for me. I imagine it would work beautifully at home too.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Mosaic Toaster and Telephone


NEW and FOR SALE in my etsy shop! (click on the link at right)




Because honestly, you know you want one.

Monday, April 15, 2013

How to make Matzo Toffee


 Once upon a time, on a warm day in early spring, our heroine decided to switch out her winter clothes for her summer clothes. Now you, dear reader, will recognize this immediately as a sure-fire way to bring on more cold weather and I can assure you our poor, sweet (albeit dim) maiden is shivering as you read this passage, but that is not of any consequence. What matters is that as she pulled clothes boxes out from under her away-at-college daughter's bed, there presented itself a forgotten treasure. Twenty-eight Hershey bars had been sequestered away in a box under the bed, no doubt left over from some sort of S'mores making orgy of last summer. Twenty-eight! Goodness Gracious! What to do?


Since it was only ten days after Passover, our protagonist was able to procure three boxes of Matzo on clearance for a mere one dollar a box! Thus the idea to make Saltine Toffee (otherwise known at the manor by its gutter name: "Christmas Crack") with Matzo and pirate-treasure chocolate was born.



Feeling particularly lavish and generous, our champion strew about some slivered almonds into the toffee mixture, but it was all for not. One could hardly even notice the presence of the almonds! She made sure to chronicle that for next time.




Also feeling a bit cautious, as if there might be need for the Hershey bars in the future, (despite being so long forgotten), the chef decided a handful or two of standard chocolate chips added to the recipe wouldn't hurt a thing and allowed her to retain a smug stash of 22 Hershey bars.

Soon the buttery rich fragrance filled the residence. The Lord of the manor wound his way down the staircase to investigate. His chocolate education behooved him to pronounce the Hershey's chocolate inferior! 

However ,it is to be noted that he consumed an astonishing amount of the dish despite his disdain of milk chocolate.


Alas, only twenty four hours later, not much remains of Matzo Toffee. The little Miss and strapping young Master of the house have broken out of the nursery and raided the pantry, leaving precious little left for the Lord and Lady of the house. Perhaps this is for the best, as most of those summer clothes would not grace our fair gentlewoman this season were she to have even one more bite of this delicacy.


Matzo or Saltine Toffee
(When you make it at Christmas, you can call it "Christmas Crack" )


Prep Time: 15 minutes


Ingredients:

  •  saltine crackers (about 60) or matzo (about 8)
  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3 cups chocolate chips or Hershey bars
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt

Preparation:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 13x18"baking sheet  (or two 13x9" sheets) by lining it with baker's parchment paper and spraying the paper with a little nonstick cooking spray.
2. Arrange the crackers in a single layer on the baking sheet so that there are no empty spaces in between them. Take remaining crackers and crush slightly. Place on top to make a bumpy, uneven second layer.
3. Place the butter, white sugar and brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir while the butter melts, and bring the mixture to a rolling boil. Once boiling, carefully pour the sugar-butter mixture over the crackers on the baking sheet in an even layer, trying to cover most of the crackers. If you miss some spots, don’t worry as the toffee will spread in the oven.
4. Bake the toffee crackers at 350 degrees for 7 minutes, until the toffee is bubbling all over. Carefully remove the pan from the oven.
5. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top of the hot toffee, and return it to the oven for 2 minutes to soften and melt. Once softened, use an offset spatula or knife to spread the melted chocolate over the entire surface of the toffee in an even layer. I really push the chocolate down into the crackers. While the chocolate is still sticky, sprinkle the top with the salt.
6. Freeze the pan to set the toffee and chocolate for about 30 minutes. Once set, Turn pan over onto a clean counter. Before you take off the paper, push the crackers/toffee to break it into pieces. Pushing through the paper keeps your hands cleaner. Peel off paper and store in a zip lock bag. We keep ours in the freezer or refrigerator.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Alicia's Maggie Rabbit, Boy-Style

Made a load of these wonderful bunnies for Easter, but wanted to post pics of the Boy Bunny I made for a pal. So fun!


I converted the boots to Converse!!