Friday, February 28, 2014

Playdough Project with Jack

We are having three of our grandchildren stay with us this weekend.  Tonight we have Jack and then tomorrow night we will have Jack and his sister and brother.  He has only stayed here alone one or two other times in his whole life, and he is 5 1/2.  When you are the youngest child in the family, you usually have to share grandma and grandpa.  He has been a really good boy.  He went to sleep without any problem.  I think an all day kindergartener gets pretty tired by Friday.  Thinking that his parents might frown on me letting him play on the ipad for hours, I thought we should do something fun.  Recently I saw a new way to make playdough on Facebook.  It was so easy, we decided to try it.

The only ingredients it takes is 2 parts cornstarch to 1 part hair conditioner.  We used 1 cup of cornstarch and 1/2 cup of hair conditioner. Mixing these two ingredients forms into a soft silky dough.

The playdough is soft and not sticky.  It worked up well and smells good.  I don't know if it will remain pliable in a day or two, but Jack had fun with it tonight.  We didn't add any color, but it would have been easy to do.

First thing to do is pour the hair conditioner into the cup of cornstarch.

Mix it together until is starts to form a ball.

It is very soft and holds together quite well.

In a couple minutes it is ready to play with.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

What's a Munzee?

I have written many times about one of our hobbies called geocaching.  We haven't been out for a long time, but when we do we really enjoy it.  It is very difficult to geocache in Wisconsin in the winter.  If it isn't the snow, then it's the cold.  It may be fun for young people but not for us.

This was one of the most popular blogs I have written about a geocache we found.
If you want to read more about different types of caching, just type geocaching in the search box.  It will bring you to a list of other geocache stories I have written.

I mention this because recently our son in law told us of another type of scavenger hunt game.  It is called Munzee.  Munzee uses a smartphone app.  The game is similar to geocaching but it uses QR code technology.  When you find the QR code, instead of logging into a logbook, you scan the code with your phone.  Players place a QR code at a location and others try to find them.  You can find the locations on the Munzee map included in the application.  Every time you find one and scan the code, you get points.  I think it is a fairly new game in our area.  It was created in Texas in 2011.  I noticed it is mostly being used by businesses at this point.  I imagine it is a great way to bring people to your business.  We have tried a few, but so far most of them are in the larger cities.  Just like geocaches, they also have virtual munzee's.  If you are within 300 feet of the landmark, it will record a find.  I will keep you posted on how we like it.  The app isn't quite as user friendly as I would like.

When you download the Munzee app (it's free) and sign up, the app will include the reader you will need for reading Munzee codes from your phones camera.  If you want to read the QR code below or other codes that appear in print or on products you buy, then you will have to download a QRreader app.  The readers are free.  Just go to your app store on your phone and download one. 

This is a QR code.  If you have a QR reader,   see what this is.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

My Mom's Go To Meal...Goulash and Her Special Salad Dressing

It's recipe Tuesday.  I haven't blogged for a few days because frankly everyone in my life is just going through the motions.  Life is kind of in a holding pattern until we get out of this cold winter weather.  I am feeling lazy and need to get my rear in gear.  I started vacuuming cobwebs from the ceilings.  The cobwebs have probably been there for a while, but I just started seeing them.  Dirt and dust from the woodburning stoves settles on the webs.  It's kind of like sprinkling special dust on fingerprints to make them show up.  This happens at this time every winter.

Today's recipe is for a salad dressing that my mom used to make.  We always had it on iceberg lettuce.  Iceberg has very little flavor, but that is what she used.  Mom would cut the lettuce in small pieces and wash and wash and wash under running water.  Then she would drain it very well.  My mom washed all her produce thoroughly.  I mean more than usual.  She didn't worry much about pesticides, but when I asked her why she overwashed food, she said that she was sure all the produce pickers didn't walk all the way back in from the fields just to go to the bathroom.  I had never thought about that, but she was probably right.  Mom always made this salad with what we called goulash.  Her goulash was just browned hamburger, tomato soup or spaghetti sauce and macaroni mixed together.   Any family member who reads this blog will remember.  The sweet of the dressing complemented the tomato, hamburger and macaroni.  I don't have the exact recipe because mom didn't use one.  These are the ingredients for the dressing but the proportions may be off a little.  If it's too thin, add more Miracle Whip and if it's too thick you may have to add more milk.  If anyone has the exact recipe, please send it to me. 

Mom's Salad Dressing

1/2 Cup Miracle Whip
2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Milk (she used evaporated milk)
1-2 Tablespoons white sugar
A little salt and pepper
Small amount of finely diced onion

Whisk together until smooth. 

This next recipe is a variation of moms.  I made a full batch and it keeps very well in the refrigerator.

Creamy Apple Dressing

1    cup  real mayonnaise
2    tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2    tablespoons 100% apple juice
1/2    cup brown sugar

Whisk together the ingredients until smooth.
I used Fat Free Mayo so the total calories per Tablespoon is only 37.