Wednesday, February 27, 2013

How to Make Candied Violets

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Old fashioned candied violets are elegant looking, easy to make, and a sign of Springtime. Also, they make a great excuse to get out of the house and take a long walk.

1. Wash the violets (leave the stems on, it will make them easier to handle).

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2. Dry the flowers on a paper towel, placed over a wire rack for good air circulation.
While the flowers are drying, set out a bowl with one egg white in it. The egg white needs to come to room temperature.

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3. "Paint" egg whites on the flower petals, both the tops and bottoms.

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4. Dust the flowers with super fine sugar. Make sure to sprinkle the sugar on both the top and bottom sides of the petals. After they are well coated, snip off the stems. Let dry for 24 hours before using.

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We used ours to decorate miniature lemon cupcakes.

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Monday, February 25, 2013

Blaze's Airship Pirate Video

Ever since Blaze became a member of the DIY website for children, he has been very excited about earning virtual badges for the things he makes. He has decided that he wants to earn every badge they offer (the one that is all about snowy, winter activities may be a little hard to accomplish here in Florida, but I haven't pointed that out to him yet). He chose "make a dance video" as the final activity that will earn a "Dance" badge. For the music, he picked a long time favorite, "Airship Pirate" by Abney Park.

Blaze's Video for the song "Airship Pirate":

The Bloopers:

Bonus feature:
Blaze and Steambaby bouncing on the bed

Blaze's account on DIY:

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Winter Palace Promenade

Project: Illustrious, is an organization which hosts formal social events at conventions and

elsewhere in the Southeastern United States. Saturday night, they hosted The Winter

Palace Promenade, an event based on the 100th year anniversary of a ball held by the Romanov family in  St. Petersburg, Russia. The original ball was held in celebration of 300 years of Romanov rule. The ball, held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on Saturday night, was far more accessible to the common people. The tickets were only $15 per person and included a truly amazing meal, formal dance cards, and an excellent sound system playing both Waltzes and swing dance music.
It was a "black tie" event, but attendees were told that they could wear formalwear from any era. 

DH and Blaze getting ready at the hotel before the promenade:
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 photo DSCF2011-4.jpg The videos of the dancing are a little grainy, but you can tell how much fun everyone is having:

 Blaze and I trying to Waltz:

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  The picture Blaze took of me sitting at the grand piano in the hotel, after the ball:  photo 55c5a525-12a3-46f9-9e31-eee45f9694a8.jpg

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Civil War Battle Re-Enactment at Olustee, FL.

It's been a very eventful weekend. Last night, we were at a black tie event in Jacksonville. Today we went to a Civil War battle re-enactment in Olustee.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Child-Friendly Recipes for Chinese New Year


This year's lunar new year begin Feb. 10, so here are some recipes to help you celebrate. These are all foods that are easy enough that children can help make them and include foods that most Western children are willing to eat.



Birthday Noodles with Peanut Sauce

2 Tablespoons of smooth natural peanut butter
1/4 cup of hot water
3 tablespoons of soy sauce
1 teaspoon of honey
4 cups of cooked spaghetti
2 green onions, thinly sliced
chopped peanuts for garnish

In a small mixing bowl, stir together the peanut butter, water, honey, and soy sauce.
Stir mixture into cold, cooked noodles and sprinkle each serving with the green onions and clopped peanuts.
Eat with chopsticks.

The recipe for Dragon Eggs from Jan Brett's website:


Cucumber Salad with Spicy Dressing

1 tsp. soy sauce

1 T. white vinegar

1 T. sugar

2 tsp. sesame-seed oil

1/4 tsp. Tabasco

1/2 tsp. salt

2 large cucumbers, peeled and sliced thin

Combine soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, oil, Tabasco, and salt. Mix well. Add the cucumbers and stir until they are well coated with dressing. Chill until you are ready to serve.

The following step-by-step photos of how to make wontons, were made for Blaze's display board about China for the Homeschool Social Studies Fair:


1 pound cooked, crumbed, ground chicken

2 Tablespoons sugar

2 Tablespoons soy sauce

2 Tablespoons water

2 Tablespoons sliced, green onions

vegetable oil

one package of wonton wrappers (sold in the produce section of most grocery stores)

1. Mix

2. Fill

3. Fold and seal (a little water works like glue to seal the edges of the wonton wrapper)

4. Pinch

5. Fry

6. Enjoy

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Personal-size Octo-Pizza

I kept seeing the picture of a large, unbaked, octopus shaped pizza on facebook.  The last time I saw it was Monday night, after I had already made pizza dough and was waiting for it to rise. The pizza picture I had seen, had pepperoni as the eyes and the suckers on the tentacles, but the little girl I was babysitting Monday is a vegetarian. This is the little vegetarian octopus that she had for dinner that night:


Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Hoggetowne Medieval Faire 2013

Yesterday, we drove down to Gainesville for the Hoggetowne Medieval Faire. The parking situation was much better this year, but there were long lines for tickets. Once inside the Faire, I think it was the most crowded I've ever seen it.


DH and I had both arranged to meet up with friends there, plus we ran into other people we knew. Blaze was especially excited about getting to see one of his best friends from Trilogy School again.


The boys' favorite thing was the Living Chessboard:






We also watched a mock battle preformed by armored knights.


I always enjoy watching the artisans at work and the various characters wandering around the faire.














One of my biggest motivations to go to the faire every year, though, is the shopping.
Blaze came home with a bow and 3 arrows this year.


He really wanted this, but we couldn't afford it on this trip:


I came home with my annual bag of leather scraps, a fan box that fits on a belt, a leather box that fits on a belt (to hold my cellphone), and an octopus pin.


Crafty Crow