Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Leader Enterprise - June 2010

Summer's here-It seems to come and go so quickly. The kids are home from school and we'll all be spending more time outside, so I thought I would give you a little help to smooth your days and soothe your family this busy time of year.

I hope you'll give boredom busters a try to help keep the kids busy,and help keep you sane. I trust these things will help inspire you to make the most of time with your kids this summer.

Take the kids to the library. There are a myriad of subjects for them to enjoy. Our local libraries have summer reading programs where a child can interact with a story-teller and earn a reward for reading over the summer months. Don't forget to check out books to bring home. Spending time cuddled up reading together will make memories cherished for a lifetime. We often celebrate our childrens "firsts", but we just never know when our children will outgrow some of their childhood habits, so make every day memorable.

Set up a lemonade stand. This is a great way for kids to learn lessons about being an entrepreneur. You could loan them a few dollars for supplies, or they could use their own allowance to purchase cups, lemons,and ice. It is important for an adult to supervise this project. Invite neighbor kids, and their parents, to take part in this fun activity too.

Plan to take in a matinee once a month. Prices are lower, and it gives you all something to look forward to and plan together.

Build a fort in the living or dining room. If you can't find huge boxes to use,throw a sheet over a table. This certainly was one of my most favorite childhood pastimes. Kids can read, hide from family members or pretend they are camping. If they want to do this outside, set some chairs in a circle and throw a sheet over the top for a hideout.

Give each child a "King or Queen for a Day" honor. Allow them to choose their favorite meal for dinnertime. Give them something small in their favorite color. Maybe their siblings could make them a card and write a sentence about a quality in them that they appreciate. Make it a day about them and they'll treasure it always.

Have them make handmade cards. Whether it's a thank you, or a Father's Day card, it teaches kids to reach out beyond themselves and think of others. Homemade cards can be treasures for many years.

Have a sprinkler day. The family can don their bathing suits and cool off by running through the water sprinkler in your yard. Check out this blog post for instructions to make cute, inexpensive water sponge toys, and get some ideas for fun kid-friendly recipes too.

Last, but not least, spend time in the kitchen with your kids. It's a great way for them to learn about measurements and fractions. There are plenty of teachable moments and you can have fun making special memories while you're making dishes to eat too. Have the kids make simple things to have a picnic outside. They'll love eating their own creations. Just for fun, cut sandwiches into 1/3's or 1/4's, or use a cookie cutter for an unusual shape.

Thinking of picnics, we often have to endure little critters when we're feasting outside. Here are a few ideas for you to toss around to try to get rid of the little summer pesties. These aren't guaranteed, but they are frugal and have worked for me in times past.

If you lay fabric softener dryer sheets near any ants, it will chase them away.

I keep dryer sheets in my pockets when the mosquitoes are bad. Sometimes, I rub in on my arms and legs for an extra "power punch" to repel the pesks. Keep some sheets handy in the car and you'll freshen the car too.

Have stinky tennis shoes laying around the house? Stick a dryer sheet in each shoe overnight and in the morning they will smell much better. For some busy people, this might need to become a habit.

June is an extra busy month for me. I am elated because I was able to send in my cookbook last week for printing. I plan to have it in my hands about Labor Day. I'm also in Relay for Life. We've been busy with fundraisers-the actual walk happens in late June. Please support this awesome program to help many who have been affected by cancer. Our family is honored that our grandson, Caden Baker, has been chosen as Youth Survivor of the Year. Enjoy each day of summer as fall will be here before we know it.

I want to share a couple of easy and frugal recipes for the kids this month. I do hope they'll have fun with them.


1-8 oz.pkg.crescent rolls
1-1# dogs

Unroll crescent rolls one at a time;lay hot dog across the wide end. Roll hot dog in crescent roll and place on baking sheet.

Bake according to package directions.Dip in mustard or ketchup and enjoy.
Easy picnic dish or snack.

HOMEMADE PLAYDOH (Requires some adult supervision)

1 c.all purpose flour
1/2 c.salt
2 tsps.cream of tartar
1 c.water-very hot
1 Tb.oil
few drops of food coloring
1/2 tsp.extract(coconut, peppermint, etc), optional

Mix flour, salt and cream of tartar in glass bowl. In small dish, combine wet ingredients, stir by hand into dry.Blend until smooth. If sticky, place in microwave on high for 30 seconds. Work together until blended. Cool; store in sealed bag or container.

More than 1 million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed every year in the US.Please make sure the kids(& adults)wear sunscreen when outdoors. Even on hazy days,the UV rays still come through.


Oh my goodness!  I'm thrilled out of my head to be the recipient of a free giveaway!

My online friend and cookbook author, Jane Doiron, was having a giveaway at her blog...
MAKE AHEAD MEALS FOR BUSY MOMS and all I had to do was leave a comment. I am already a fan of hers at Facebook. Go check her out!

There were 317 comments, and chose my comment!  I have won this most darling "Sassy Black" apron - pictured above - just adorable!

And believe it or not - just LAST WEEK - I received a 'Saucy Safari' apron - pictured below - that I ordered fromFLIRTY APRONS.  Because I have white hair, I wear a lot of black and white and thought it would be great for me to wear these adorable aprons when I'm doing booksignings for my upcoming cookbook - coming out in early Sept.


A friend told me she recently purchased an apron to give to her daughter, and when her grandson saw it, he said "Oh a cooking dress!"

YES!  A 'COOKING DRESS' that we can feel elegant in!

Be sure to check out Jane's cookbook too - she's done a lot of the 'leg work' for us women, and made life easier for us in the kitchen.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Homemade eclairs are very simple to make...don't let the length of
the recipe intimidate you - you can make these!  I got this

Here's what you do...


1/2 cup butter

1 cup water

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 eggs

1 (5 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix

2 1/2 cups cold milk

1 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup confectioners' sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup confectioners' sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons hot water
(If you want to make things simpler, simply fill with
pudding - made with less milk- and use your favorite
chocolate frosting recipe)

1.Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Grease a cookie sheet.

2.In a medium saucepan, combine 1/2 cup butter and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, stirring until butter melts completely. Reduce heat to low, and add flour and salt. Stir vigorously until mixture leaves the sides of the pan and begins to form a stiff ball. Remove from heat. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well to incorporate completely after each addition. With a spoon or a pastry bag fitted with a No. 10, or larger, tip, spoon or pipe dough onto cookie sheet in 1 1/2 x 4 inch strips.

3.Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven, then reduce heat to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) and bake 20 minutes more, until hollow sounding when lightly tapped on the bottom. Cool completely on a wire rack.

4.For the filling, combine pudding mix and milk in medium bowl according to package directions. In a separate bowl, beat the cream with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Beat in 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Fold whipped cream into pudding. Cut tops off of cooled pastry shells with a sharp knife. Fill shells with pudding mixture and replace tops.

5.For the icing, melt the chocolate and 2 tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Stir in 1 cup confectioners' sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in hot water, one tablespoon at a time, until icing is smooth and has reached desired consistency. Remove from heat, cool slightly, and drizzle over filled eclairs. Refrigerate until serving.

Friday, June 18, 2010


These are from Reader's Digest online...enjoy the giggles and grins!


Dad holds a special place in our hearts, and on Father's Day, he deserves the best! Pass our funniest fatherhood submissions on to a dad in your life and share the priceless gift of laughter!

The Right Choice

My 16-year-old brother, Ryan, was out late with friends one night. Suddenly he realized it was Father's Day and he had neglected to buy a card for our dad. After much searching, Ryan located an open store, but was disappointed to find only two cards left on a picked-over rack. Selecting one, he brought it home and, somewhat sheepishly, presented it to our father.

Upon opening it, Dad read this message: "You've been like a father to me." He looked at Ryan, puzzled.

"Well, Dad," Ryan tried to explain, "it was either that or the card that said, 'Now that I'm a father too!'"

-- Submitted by Anne Carlson

Thanks for the Soda, Pop!

Before I took the old family car to college, my father loaded the trunk with soft-drink bottles filled with oil, coolant and transmission fluid. Sure enough, my car overheated. Scolding myself for not listening to my father's instructions, I looked at the engine and saw how well he knew me. The oil cap was labeled Dr Pepper, the transmission stick, Coke, and the empty coolant container, Diet Pepsi. I finished the trip safely.

-- Submitted by Charlotte G. Alexander

Say What, Dad?

Our Gen-X daughter, Cristie, made my husband a Father's Day card entitled "Things My Dad Would Never Say." Such as:
"Can you turn up that music?"
"Go ahead and take my truck. Here's 50 bucks for gas."
"I LOVE your tattoo. We should both get new ones."
"Here, you take the remote."

-- Submitted by Deanna Schneider

Watch the Wash, Dad...

I decided to make myself useful and do a load of the family laundry. When I took the clothes out of the machine, I discovered -- to my dismay -- that I had also washed the watch my wife had given me while we were dating. "Don't expect me to replace it," she said later with an obvious lack of sympathy. By the time Father's Day rolled around, however, she had relented and gave me a beautiful new watch. Attached was a note with this stipulation: "DRY-CLEAN ONLY!"

-- Submitted by Paul Diblasi

What a Card!

Father's Day was near when I brought my three-year-old son, Tyler, to the card store. Inside, I showed him the cards for dads and told him to pick one.

When I looked back, Tyler was picking up one card after another, opening them up and quickly shoving them back into slots, every which way. "Tyler, what are you doing?" I asked. "Haven't you found a nice card for Daddy yet?"

"No," he replied. "I'm looking for one with money in it."

-- Submitted by Terri Cook

Papa Bear

My husband's cousin married a former Marine who now works for United Parcel Service. They bought their four-year-old son two stuffed bears -- one in a UPS uniform and the other in Marine garb. When the boy seemed confused, his father brought out a picture of himself in full Marine dress. "See, Connor?" he explained, pointing to the photo and then to the bear. "That's Daddy."

Connor's eyes went from one to the other, and then he asked in a puzzled voice, "You used to be a bear?"

-- Submitted by Robin Yedlock

Pop Vs. Pup

While flying from Denver to Kansas City, Kansas, my mother was sitting across the aisle from a woman and her eight-year-old son. Mom couldn't help laughing as they neared their destination and she heard the mother say to the boy, "Now remember -- run to Dad first, then the dog."

-- Submitted by Karla J. Kasper

Paternal Payback

On the day I received my learner's permit, my father agreed to take me out for a driving lesson. With a big grin, he hopped in behind the driver's seat. "Why aren't you sitting up front on the passenger's side?" I asked.

"Kirsten, I've been waiting for this ever since you were a little girl," Dad replied. "Now it's my turn to sit back here and kick the seat."

-- Submitted by Kirsten Wiley

No. 1 on Our List -- Literally!

My father was completely lost in the kitchen and never ate unless someone prepared a meal for him. When Mother was ill, however, he volunteered to go to the supermarket for her. She sent him off with a carefully numbered list of seven items.

Dad returned shortly, very proud of himself, and proceeded to unpack the grocery bags. He had one bag of sugar, two dozen eggs, three hams, four boxes of detergent, five boxes of crackers, six eggplants, and seven green peppers.

-- Submitted by Joan Flood

Friday, June 4, 2010


Our 4 yr old granddaughter, Claira, making cookies with me (Nana)

I love anything kid-friendly - I will have a 'Kid's Corner' in my upcoming cookbook -
Hope the kids enjoy making some of these 'fun' foods as they're home for the summer....


                                     Two-yr. old Granddaughter, Kaity,
                                               rolling cookie dough -
                                          gotta have that tongue out or
                                               it won't 'work'...=)