Thursday, April 28, 2011

smelly rainbow dough

 This week, River and I made a batch of homemade playdoh with a special twist: scented dough!  I got the tip from River's preschool teacher, who used cinnamon to enhance her batch a few weeks ago.  When I found a shelf full of awesome extracts at a local market this week, I had just the inspiration I needed.  We tried our best to coordinate color to smell, but in lieu of making brown or white dough, our chocolate scent is purple and vanilla is blue.

River had a fantastic time playing with this stuff and has even made an effort to keep the colors separate (for now).  The downside is that this dough is not as great for my toddler, as it smells so much like food, she immediately wants to taste it.  However, it's made of natural food ingredients, so she's not going to be hurt if she swallows some.

Next time, I'll skip the chocolate - which we liked the least - in favor of cinnamon.  And I'll make sure to include almond.  That would work perfectly with a pink/red ball since almond is the smell I always associate with maraschino cherries.  If you'd like to make your own, see the recipe below.  It's super easy!

Homemade Scented Rainbow Dough

Combine in large saucepan: 
2 cups flour 
1/2 cup salt 
2 tsp. cream of tartar 

Add and whisk until smooth: 
2 cups water 
2 Tbsp oil 
(If you're only doing one color, add 1/2 - 1 tsp. of food coloring now; otherwise, mix it in when dough is cooled) 

Cook over medium heat until playdough is nearly set. 
Remove from heat and let cool. 

Break into 5 balls and put each in a bowl (I used the plastic containers they were going to be stored in to save on dishes).
Add 1/4 tsp. extract to each ball along with 5 - 15 drops of food coloring.
Knead well with spoon until liquids are mostly incorporated, then finish kneading by hand.

Store in Ziploc bag or air tight container.
Will keep for months if refrigerated.

Friday, April 15, 2011

River's 4th Birthday

Earlier this month we celebrated River's 4th birthday with a superhero party for 20 kids.  We might have gone a little over the top...

A little back story: we're usually in Las Vegas sometime during March and end up celebrating the plethora of March birthdays in our clan (Uncle Nelse, Thom, cousin Finn, me, River, among others...) with one or two large family gatherings.  This leaves us back in Cambridge celebrating the actual day with a simple dinner or fun day out. Since we didn't travel in March this year, I realized it was an opportune time to host a party for my boy, and with a few weeks to plan we shot for the stars.

We've also been in the process of re-decorating a few rooms in the house, the last of which was the kids' playroom in the basement.  The party was a good excuse to finish the work on that room, so in addition to sewing capes and baking cupcakes for the party, we out-fitted a tumble room with giant soft blocks and a huge mural.

If I accomplish half as much in as short a time for the rest of the year, I'll count it a win.

See more after the jump

Sunday, April 10, 2011

New Quilt

New post over at Little Sage!  Check it out!