Category Archives: Fun/Kids

Smooth Play Dough

This was my children’s favourite play dough.  I like it because one doesn’t end up with salty, crusty hands when using it, and it doesn’t need a stovetop to cook it on.

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbsp alum (from bulk store)
  • 1 cup + 2 Tbsp boiling water
  • Food colouring, if desired
  1. In a medium sized bowl, mix the dry ingredients together and make a well in the center; add food colouring to water.
  2. Pour the boiling (coloured) water into the well, and mix thoroughly until all the flour is moistened.
  3. When cool enough to handle, knead the dough until it is smooth.
  4. Store in the fridge.


  • to add interest, mix in with the dry ingredients: glitter, strongly scented spices, cake sprinkles, etc
  • use koolaid powder to colour the water, or add it to the dry ingredients prior to adding the water

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Filed under Fun/Kids, non-food

Grandma Ruth’s Peanut Butter Marshmallow Squares

This is a real retro/60’s recipe, but still requested by the kids in the family!  There is nothing nutritious, or the least bit redeemable about it…

  • 1 package peanut butter chips
  • 1/2 bag coloured or white baby marshmallows
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter

Butter an 8″ x 8″ pan .  Line with parchment paper with overhangs if desired, just to make the squares easier to remove.

In a heavy pot over low heat, blend chips, peanut butter, and butter until smooth.

There are two ways of “mixing” this:

  1. Scatter the marshmallows evenly over the bottom of the pan.  Pour the smooth, melted peanut butter mixture over the marshmallows in the pan. OR
  2. Gently fold the marshmallows into the peanut butter mixture, and quickly pour into the buttered pan before they get a chance to melt.

Refrigerate until very firm.  Keep refrigerated!

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Filed under "Sweets"/Cakes/Etc, food, Fun/Kids

Cooked Playdough

This playdough is very smooth in texture, and will not leave a salty, or oily residue on one’s hands.

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 2 Tablespoons cream of tartar
  • 1 cup cool water
  • 1 Tablespoon cooking oil
  • Food colouring (optional)

Put flour, salt, and cream of tartar into a heavy-bottomed saucepan, and whisk to combine.

In a separate bowl, combine the liquid ingredients together.

Add the liquid ingredients to the pot, stirring constantly.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens and forms a sticky ball in the centre of the pot, about 3 to 5 minutes after mixture has warmed.

Let cool, and knead till smooth.

Store covered in fridge.

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Filed under Fun/Kids, non-food

Mud Pie (Niall’s birthday cake)

for Akilah 🙂



  • ½ cup butter
  • 2 cups chocolate wafer crumbs (other cookie crumbs will work, too, or one could use a pre-made chocolate cookie crust)


  • Good quality ice cream of your favourite flavour (vanilla is very good for this)


  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder, not sweetened
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  • 1 cup Slivered almonds, toasted (more if you really like them)

For Serving

  • Whipped cream
  • Shaved chocolate curls



Melt butter in a medium saucepan.  Stir in crumbs.  Press into bottom and sides of a 9” pie plate.  Bake in 350F oven for 10 minutes.  COOL.


When crust is completely cool, spoon softened ice cream into the shell, spreading carefully and leaving about ¼” space at the top for the topping sauce and the nuts.  Place in freezer until firm.


When the ice cream filling is firm, make topping.  Put all five ingredients into saucepan.  Heat and stir over medium heat until boiling.  Remove from heat.  Cool for about 10 minutes, then smooth carefully over ice cream filling.  Sprinkle with toasted almonds, and very gently press them down.  Return to freezer until very firm; the topping will remain slightly gooey.  This can take several hours, or even over night, depending on your freezer!


To serve, either top entire Mud Pie with whipped cream and sprinkle with shaved chocolate, or serve each individual piece with a dollop of whipped cream and a garnish of shaved chocolate  (use a potato peeler to shave the chocolate from a square or bar of chocolate).   The Mud Pie can be cut up into individual slices and then popped back into the freezer to take out and enjoy whenever one feels like having a treat!

* For a deeper pie, just use a spring form pan and use more ice cream

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Filed under "Sweets"/Cakes/Etc, food, Fun/Kids

Grandma Ruth’s Peanut Butter Cookies

When mixing the dough, follow a basic method for cookie making :

  • 1/2 cup shortening (I like butter)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 oz. white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1+ 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch salt

Roll dough into walnut-sized balls (unshelled walnuts), place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper leaving about an inch or two of space between them. Get a cup of hot water and a fork. Dip the fork into the hot water and shake off the excess, then flatten each cookie ball, leaving lines or criss-cross patterns on each cookie.  Dip the fork into the water again if it starts to stick to the cookies.

Bake at 350F for about 10 minutes, until nicely browned. My mom doubles this recipe, and says that she uses 3/4 cup of white sugar when the recipe is doubled.

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Filed under "Sweets"/Cakes/Etc, food, Fun/Kids

On the Fly (In the Bowl) Salad Dressing

Drizzle once around the salad with:

  • olive oil


  • vinegar of choice, or squeeze a half a lemon

Then sprinkle once around the bowl with a big pinch of each of:

  • salt
  • garlic powder (alternatively, rub a cut clove of garlic around the inside of the bowl before putting salad in)
  • sugar (make this one tiny)
  • dried dill*
  • dried tarragon*
  • dried basil*
  • dried thyme*

Grind a pepper mill several times over top of the salad.

Toss salad, coating all of the leaves with oil, vinegar, and dry ingredients.

Fresh herbs work really well and taste much better, just increase the amounts.  All of the abovementioned herbs are completely optional:  use whatever herbs you like, or whatever you have in the cupboard!

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Filed under food, Fun/Kids, Salad Dressing, Salads, Vegetables, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo)

Alison’s Very Quick Oat Squares

Very sweet, very quick.

  • 50 grams (1/2 cup) jumbo oats
  • 70 grams (3/4 cups) porridge oats
  • 110 grams (6 Tablespoons) extremely soft butter
  • 75 grams (5 Tablespoons) brown sugar

Preheat oven to 375F, grease an 8″x8″ metal pan.

Thoroughly mix  butter and sugar together.  Add oats and combine well.  Pour mixture into buttered pan, and distribute evenly.  Press mixture well; it will be loose, so press it very well and don’t worry!

Place in oven for 15, until golden.  Cut into squares while still hot, and leave in tin until cold.  These are very crisp and quite thin.

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Filed under "Sweets"/Cakes/Etc, food, Fun/Kids

Chocolate Crackles

This is a recipe that I used to make with my childhood friend Shari Hart — it was from Grade 7 Home Economics cooking class.

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 4 cups Corn Flakes (dry cereal)

In a heavy bottomed saucepan or top of double boiler, mix together sugar, cocoa powder, butter, and corn syrup.  Heat over medium heat until boiling; boil for one minute.  Remove from burner.  Stir in cornflakes until well mixed, but try not to break up too much.  Spread out on to buttered cookie sheet into an 8″ x 16″ shape, or drop into cookie-sized pieces.  Cool completely; cut large piece into small squares.  Store in tightly sealed container.

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Filed under "Sweets"/Cakes/Etc, Fun/Kids


Not food…for making wonderful solution for blowing bubbles (way better than store bought)!

  • 1/2 cup Sunlight liquid dish detergent (honestly, this works the best)
  • 2 + 1/2 cups water
  • 1 Tablespoon glycerine (buy at a pharmacy)
  • 1 + 1/2 teaspoons granulated white sugar

Stir all ingredients together until well mixed. Makes about 3 cups.

Make bubble wands out of anything:  pipe cleaners, twist ties, coat hangers, electrical wire, your fingers, string…get creative!

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Filed under Fun/Kids, non-food

Make Ice Cream in 5 Minutes!

You need:

Ice cubes (or smashed icicles and/or snow)

½ cup kosher salt

1 cup half-and-half (or low fat milk)

2 tablespoons sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 resealable heavy sandwich bag

1 gallon-sized resealable freezer bag

Dish towel

What to do:

1. Fill the gallon-size bag half full with ice. Add kosher salt.

2. In the sandwich bag, mix half-and-half, sugar, and vanilla. Seal tightly.

3. Place the small bag inside the large bag. Seal the large bag tightly so it won’t leak.

4. To protect your hands from the cold, wrap the dish towel around the outside of the large bag. Shake for about five minutes, or until the half-and-half mixture turns into ice cream.

5. Wipe the salt off of the outside of the small bag. Then grab a spoon and dig in!

Makes one serving.

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Filed under "Sweets"/Cakes/Etc, food, Fun/Kids, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo)