Miscellaneous: Apple Pies and Apple Crisps in Jars

20120930-141551.jpgHow much fun is apple picking in the fall? At least the picking part of it is! Then there is the large quantity of apples to deal with once you get home… All that washing and peeling if you decide to make something with them!

20120930-141732.jpgThis year I decided to try out an idea that has been floating around Pinterest–apple pies in mason jars. Single serving treats that can go from the freezer to the oven to the table. And let me tell ya, I love these! Although I found it to be a lot of work for the pies–putting the pie crust in the jars (I could only find the narrow half pint mason jars, so they weren’t as easy to work with.). So I decided that I should move to apple crisps in jars–even easier!

20120930-142053.jpgI started out by washing, peeling, and cubing all our apples–there were a lot more than I thought once I finished this! I divided them up, setting aside the ones for the crisp (I tried to keep them in water so they wouldn’t brown while I was making the pies). I then mixed up the pie filling: I did 9 cups of apples mixed with 9 Tbsp flour, 9 Tbsp sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg to taste. I set that aside, and set to putting pie crusts into the jars. I admit I cheated here and used pre-made crusts, but I think it would be just as easy and better tasting to do homemade since it just involves pressing pieces of crusts against the sides of the jars. I did cut out the tops before I started, using the jar ring to cut circles and using a tiny cookie cutter to cut a shaped vent in the lid.

20120930-143024.jpgOnce the crusts were in, I filled the jars as much as possible, pressing the filling mix in, drizzled a tiny bit of melted butter on them, then added the top and sealed the edges–then I just popped the tops on and put them in the freezer!

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My apple crisps were even easier–I just mixed up a large batch of crumble (1 cup oats, 1 cup packed brown sugar, 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup melted butter, and cinnamon to taste–I had to double this) and set to packing. I fill there jars halfway with cubed apples, added some crumble, filled them almost to the top with apples, then topped it off with more crumble.

20120930-143442.jpgSuper duper easy!
I cooked up one of each kind for us to try out–both tasted fantastic! So much so that I forgot to take a picture of the end product before we ate them all up!
I did add all the lids and put them in the freezer to keep. I cooked the thawed version at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes–until the pie crusts and the crumbles were browned. I read that you can put the jars straight from freezer to oven–just stick them in the cold oven and let them warm up with it. I will try that next time!

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Kalliope Kids: Bouncy Balls, Never Again!

Yesterday Meeska and I attempted to make bouncy balls. I found the idea on Pinterest (have I mentioned that I’m a Pinterest addict?), and was soooo excited since Meeska loves balls so much! I’m not so excited anymore.

20120927-090119.jpg I started with all the ingredients they told me to. I even made a special trip to the store to buy some. I mixed and mixed, and…. Goop. Yep, they made goop. So I tried again, a little differently. Again, goop. A little more solid this time, but still goop. So I mixed a different way, adding the ingredients in a different order. Again, goop.

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It looks like a ball, but leave it for a few minutes and it melts. Flattens. Squishes?

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Here are my different versions. Some are definitely better than others, but none achieved that bouncy-ball-ness that I wanted.
My solution? Oriental Trading has bouncy balls for about 10 cents a ball. I think I will go there next time! This was a good experiment for teaching some science to the kids (and I actually did that with Bug when she got home, just to show her) but next time I try it I am going to make it runny and call it silly putty. No disappointments with that.

Kalliope Kids: Aprons!

For those of you following this blog by email… I’m sorry if you received multiple new post emails! The new iPad is fun but I haven’t worked everything out yet as far as how to post and upload images.
I went to start making apple pies this morning (after picking this weekend, we have a plethora of apples!) and realized that I had a couple very cute little aprons that I had am for the kidlets back when there were only two! So I thought I should post them here. The one for Bug is very girly, and I added a couple pleats to make it more so. . And of course, they are both reversible! The better to match whatever outfit we happen to be wearing!
K-Dogg’s is pirate themed- very boy. His is also reversible, with skulls on one side and stripes on the other. I designed his to be much more masculine in shape (no pleats or ruffles here!). Yes, I created the design on these–I have a hard time paying money for patterns when I can just as easily create one myself and know that it is exactly what I want!.

Enjoy!

Kalliope Kids: More Tutu Hairbow Holders!

I know you all are terribly worried by the delay in posts… 🙂  I have been busy, busy, busy crafting, but I haven’t managed to actually FINISH very much this week!  Most of my crafting has been all about the boy’s room, since I really, really, REALLY want it to be finished.  But that post will be for a later day.  And it will be a big post–I know you can’t wait!

I did, however, make some more tutu hairbow holders this weekend for gifts.  We had a birthday party to go to, and we thought these would make a great present for the girls.  I wish I could say they liked them, but we had to leave before presents were opened and I have no idea!  (I also have no idea if they even know what they are!)

I’m so excited about making these–they are satisfying my need to be girly!  One day I may manage to put some up for sale.  And actually, I sold these to my sister for the whopping price of…the supplies to make them!

Kalliope Kids: Tutu Hairbow Holder

Today I decided not to create, but to re-create. And by that I mean that I saw this tutu hairbow holder when searching through Pinterest and wanted to make one for my (well, Leila’s) very own. (Yes, I am a Pinterest junkie. I rue the day I found out about it, since it is such a time sucker. But I still love it!) They are absolutely A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E!!!

I found the tutorial for this here: http://www.momdot.com/how-to-make-a-tutu-hairbow-holder. I’m not going to spell it out for you, since Trisha at momdot.com does a fantastic job laying out all the instructions. She also has numerous pictures for other colors and embellishment ideas too!

I managed to make this out of materials in my craft closet. Granted, the closet is rather extensive, but I was pretty impressed to be able to pull this off just with materials I had!

Now I just need to organize all of Bug’s hairbows–they all get clipped onto the ribbons that are hanging on the skirt. Hopefully they fit or I will be making another one!

Kalliope Kids: Unicorn Cape

What do you do when a child asks you to make her a unicorn dress?  If you are my sister, you say, “Ask your aunt.”  If you are me you say, “Okay, a dress with a unicorn on it?  Like a poodle skirt?  No Problem!”  To which the answer was, “No, a dress that will make me a unicorn!”  Uhmmmmm….

I convinced her that a unicorn cape would be better than a dress, since she could then wear it over anything and just use it to play and run around in.  So the idea for the unicorn cape was born.

I started with a satin cape, then added rows of chiffon ‘scales’ made of light and dark pink and purple.  I cut all the scales out, then tossed them in a large bowl so I could make the color pattern as random as possible.  I decided to let the edges fray a bit, so didn’t finish them–we shall see how this goes in the long run!

The next step was to add a hood that would hold a unicorn horn.  I decided to do a double layered hood, and sewed in a headband onto the bottom layer to add some stability.  I created a tube to add a ribbon through to tie off the cape when I attached the hood, then made the horn and wings out of gold fabric (unicorns have to have gold horns).

I have to admit that, though I love the cape and its scales/feathers, I am not loving the wings.  I was hoping to one day add this to my etsy shop (which has been set up but hasn’t yet been stocked), but I think I may need to make some tweaks before I try to sell it.  What do you think?

(PS.  This cape, though magical, does not allow the wearer to fly.  My niece would disagree, but I thought I should put the caveat in!)

Kalliope Kids: Padded Scarf Box

Yet another past project that I am posting… but I have an excuse. I had to take my serger in to be serviced today–I was working on Bug’s Unicorn Cape (post to follow!) and jammed my machine so bad that I couldn’t get it to budge. So in to the repair shop it went.

This is a soft fabric scarf box. We go to the local library’s story time, and Meeska loves to play with the scarves when they come out (they use them with music and get to throw them up in the air). I decided he needed his own at home–and something to store them in. So this came about.

I made a bunch of scarves from different fabrics–I wanted different colors and textures for him, so he has a black webbed fabric, velvet, chiffon, sequined fabric, and so on. It gives him the tactile variety when he is pulling them out, and we can practice colors as well. (Just to throw a little learning tool in the creation!)

The scarf box itself is made out of three different fabrics that are on opposing sides of the box. I used music-themed fabric, since this was meant to be used with music time, and I layered it with batting to give it some structure–each panel is two fabric pieces sandwiching a layer of batting. (I therefore cut 12 squares of fabric and 6 of batting of the same size.)

I embroidered a circle on the top and cut the center out first (the embroidery and cut went through all three layers), then got to sewing. I sewed the four sides together in a long row, adding piping between them, and then closed the gap. I then sewed on the top and bottom, right sides in, finished the edges (not that they can be seen, but I am picky that way!) and flipped the entire thing right-side out through the hole on the top (that’s why I embroidered and cut it first!). All that was left was to stuff the box full of the scarves!

Just as a note, when I went to take the pictures this evening, I found the box stuffed with all sorts of other goodies–cars, hair clips, balls…Apparently the box is a good hiding spot for treasures too! I think it would also make a good feeler/discovery box for little ones, since you can’t really see in it. Just put items with different sizes, textures, substances inside, and let them feel around and see if they can tell you what’s in it. I plan to try this with Meeska once he starts talking–it’s hard for him to identify things when he can’t really talk yet!

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