Monday, October 15, 2012

Personalized Ceramic Gifts

What exactly does one give to the grandparent that truly does have it all? I racked my brain trying to think of what the boys should give their grandpa for his birthday this past week. A google search of grandfather gifts offered up the suggestion of a "I'm the Grandpa" shirt, "World's Best Grandpa", and others of the ilk. I though how much more fun and meaningful would it be if I had the boys make their own "Grandpa" shirt.

But then I envisioned poor Grandpa out in public sporting a shirt that looked like it was designed by a 3 and 1 year old, (you know, since it was designed by a 3 and a 1 year old).

I did like the idea of the boys personalizing the gift for Grandpa, so I decided to pursue that line of thinking.  I thought what can I have the boys make that Grandpa can take out from time to time to admire, and would not detract from his style. I thought, how about his very own plate and mug designed by his favorite baby Mondriaans?

You'll need:

Ceramic paint markers - This 4 pack normally costs $15, but using a coupon from the Michael's flyer in the Sunday paper, I was able to get snag them for around $9.
Ceramic dishes            -  Found the plate and mug at the local dollar store. Can't beat that!

The paint is non toxic, but I still felt a bit ify about having lips or food touching the marker, so....

...I taped off the rim of the mug...
...and covered the middle of the plate with newspaper.
Archer painted the mug and Alexander painted the plate. I think the set turned out really  nice!
Bake in the oven at 300 degrees for 30 minutes. I'm not sure if this is dishwasher safe, so I recommend hand washing only.

And of course, this idea is reserved only for the kiddies. You can make your own personalized plates for any occasion. You can design your own wedding shower plates complete with the wedding date painted on the rim; instead of placecards for a dinner party, personalized plates with the guests' names on it; etc. There are a million ways to use this idea!


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Angry Birds Pizza!!

My three year old loves, loves, LOVES Angry Birds. He loves it so much so, that when I asked him last week if he wanted to eat pizza, he replied that he wanted to Angry Birds pizza. So, I rolled up my sleeves and gave it a crack. Archer loved it, and I think your little one will too!

First, roll out your favorite pizza dough and transfer it to your baking sheet.

No need to make the edges pretty!! 
Using a dull knife, sketch out the shape of the red angry bird into the dough. The nice thing with dough is if you make a mistake, it's ok, it's a very forgiving medium. Just be sure not to cut the dough until you're happy with the shape of your angry bird, or you make have to re-roll the dough. Once you have a decent angry bird sketched out, cut it out, and remove the excess dough.

You can see some old sketch marks. That's ok, they'll be covered by the sauce and cheese.
Add sauce and cheese.

Next, add the pepperoni for the birds feathers. You'll have to cut some of the piece to size. Overlap the pepperoni. I find the pepperoni tends to slide towards the edge of the pizza resulting in gaps in the bird's feathers. Overlapping will resolve this problem.

Now it's time to add the bird's features. Use sliced black olives for the bird's eyebrows and pupils. Use mushroom caps for the eyes. For some reason, the grocery store didn't have yellow bell pepper the day I went shopping, so I used yellow squash.

Bake at 425 degrees until the cheese melts and the crust is golden, about 12 min. This pizza does take a little longer to prepare than a normal pizza, but, if your kid loves Angry Birds as much as mine does, it'll be well worth the time.