Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Quiet Book #30: Bubble Gum Machine

Here's another quick quiet book page for your toddler book.  This bubble gum is for practicing matching skills.  The top of the gumball machine opens and the gumballs are stuffed inside.  They take them out and match them onto the already visible gumballs.

This page is super easy.  Just sew your circles on top of each other.

Make your bottom shape resemble the machine. 

Next, cut out three of each colored gumball you want.  I used 8 total. Make sure to make sure they actually fit inside of your gumball machine before you glue anything!

Then glue together two of the circles of each color.  This thicker one will be the one that gets stuffed inside the pocket.  It will hold up better to being played with.

Then just set out all the gumballs on top of your white circle and use felt glue to glue them on.  Don't sew here! Otherwise, you want have room behind your circle for a pocket to hold the gumballs.

Then sew on your pieces to your page.  Make sure to leave a gap on the top for your opening to store your gumballs!!  I forgot and had to seam rip one of mine...the next two I made I remembered. :)

Happy Crafting and God Bless!

Heather Joy

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Crab Wontons

 This is one of our favorite meals to date.  It takes a bit of time to do all the folding the first few times we made it but once you get in a groove of it, it goes pretty quick and the ingredients are pretty limited.  So, here's how you make these delicious brown nuggets of crab goodness!

Ingredients you'll need:
-1 Package of Imitation Crab (you could use the real thing here if you want)
 -1 Large Bell Pepper
-1 Medium Onion
-Liquid Aminos or Soy Sauce
-1 Package Won Ton Wrappers
-Oil for frying (grapeseed oil preferably, or vegetable oil)
-Sweet Chili Sauce to serve with (while this may be optional for some, this is the necessity at our house if we make these!)

Now that you have all your ingredients, let's get started.

First, you'll need to finely chop up your crab meat.  I tried to use my food processor this time and while I love that it was so quick, it did process it a bit much for my taste. I like to bite in to the wonton and get a little chunk of crab meat.  So, be warned you might want to watch it carefully in the food processor or just go it old school and chop it by hand.

Dice up your bell pepper into small pieces.  (See how I learned my lesson and just cut it myself this time?)

Then chop up your onion.  Onions are great to pulse in the processor but make sure you don't overpulse into mush.  It definitely saves you from the tears though.

Add a couple tablespoons of Liquid Aminos or soy sauce.  If you haven't heard of Liquid Aminos you're really missing out!  It tastes just like soy sauce but doesn't have the sodium content the soy sauce it notorious for.  It also has tons of Aminos added to it for awesome health benefits.  Check it out.  We don't go overboard with it but we just have it as a substitute for soy sauce for stir fry's and such.

Next, you need to get your oil hot and ready.  We use grapeseed oil, which is safer for high temperatures and actually recommended for frying.  Put 1 1/2 - 2 inches of oil in your pot.  

Note: You could use a larger pot, but since it gets really messy and kind of ruins the pan after multiple uses, we have just set aside this small pan just for deep frying.  Can you see the side of it?  It use to be beautifully red.  Also, a large pot allows you to fry a lot more quickly, but on the downside it uses a lot more oil.  One more reason we use the small pan.

Now comes the hardest part.  We are not wonton roller experts.  We have actually tried to wrap them the 'correct' way but we find them a lot harder and they way they fry up makes them harder to eat.  So, I will show you how we wrap these suckers.

Place about a tablespoons worth of the mixture on your wrapper.

Fold over the bottom.

Then while putting pressure on the top push down the fillings just a little bit lower, so you get a nice tight fit.

Roll up the bottom, just once.

Pick it up and start to pinch.  make sure to keep the top flap pressed down in the middle.

Now, you can use egg white here, but we're cheap and lazy so we always just use a little water.  Dab a tiny bit of water on one side.

Then pinch the tops together.  My husband even likes to fold the top just a bit sometimes if he thinks it's not sticking enough.

Here are a few after they are folded and ready to go.  Our system at our house, is my husband folds and places on this cutting board for me to do the frying.
Note: If you notice them tearing at the bottom and the filling coming out it's because you're using too much filling.  

 Test your oil to make sure it's hot.  Some say you can put the bottom of a wooden spoon in and if bubbles start coming off it's ready.  I pretty much know by how long I keep it on the stove when it's ready and hot.  Put in a few at a time.  I only do 3 in my miniature pot.

Note: If you are using a larger pot, don't add too many in at one time because it could bring down the temperature of your oil too rapidly.  Instead try gradually adding a couple more every so often working up to a good number.  Then as one is done put another one in.

We have a regular coil stovetop. I took this picture so you could see where the dial is at while I fry.  I put it hotter to start while it's heating up the oil, but then I turn it down and this seems to be just the right setting for my stove to keep the oil hot but not too hot that it splatters or boils over when I add the wontons.

Note: If your oil starts crackling, it's probably too hot!  Please be careful of having too hot of oil because when you add your wontons the will boil up a bit when added but they will splatter like crazy if the oil is too hot!

While your first few are frying get your toaster oven or regular oven heated up to 150 degrees, so you can keep all of these guys hot while you make the rest.

They should start to look golden brown in a few minutes.  The important thing is to not walk away from frying.  By the time you get back they'll be toast.  Just keep an eye on them.

Put them on a paper towel so all the extra oil and get soaked up.

Once they're all ready get a cup nice and full of some sweet chili dipping sauce, then dip away!!

I hope you have some fun and make it a special family meal when you make your wontons like we do!

God Bless!