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Easy Easter Brunch or Breakfast Ideas - so simple and pretty!
Breakfast, DIY Family Food, DIY Parties & Holidays, DIY Recipes

Easy Easter Brunch Ideas

With Easter approaching, lots of us are scrambling to come up with tasty but simple menu ideas to serve our guests. One of my favourite meals to serve is breakfast or brunch, so this Spring I thought it would be fun to host a beautiful, fresh brunch to celebrate Easter. Let me show you some simple Easter table decor ideas as well as some easy tricks and recipes for the perfect Spring breakfast.Continue reading

DIY Family Food, DIY Recipes

Bake the Flakiest Country Apple Pie

by Christina Dennis

Bake the Flakiest Country Apple Pie by The DIY Mommy

Oh Apple Pie, how I love thee. You are the ultimate combination of all things yummy – crisp fall apples, spicy cinnamon, and a buttery, flaky crust.

This apple pie recipe is a combination of a couple of different cookbook recipes, some of my mom’s baking tips, and some of my own changes I’ve made along the way. This is how I make apple pie, and I swear by this method to get the flakiest crust and the most flavourful filling.

Ingredients:

(Makes 2 pies)

Crust

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup pure lard
  • 1/2 cup cold water

Filling

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 12 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced

Directions:

For Crust

Mix the flour and salt in a medium bowl. Cut in lard, using a pastry blender or criss-crossed knives until you achieve a crumb-like texture (it doesn’t hurt to blend the mixture a lot at this stage). Pour in cold water, one Tbsp at a time, and mix very lightly with a fork until the pastry pulls from the side of the bowl. Don’t over-mix once you’ve added water! This is one of the secrets to a flaky crust. Roll the pastry gently in a ball, cover in plastic wrap, and place in the fridge to chill while you make the filling.

For Filling

Peel and cut the apples into thin slices. In a very large bowl (when I’m in a bind, I just use an ice cream pail) combine the sliced apples, sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt. Mix together and let the mixture sit while you complete the crust.

Finishing the Pie

Preheat the overn to 425 degrees F. Take the pastry dough out of the refrigerator and separate it into four equal portions. On a well-floured surface, roll out one portion to make a thin circle that will fit in your pie plate and over the sides. Place it in the pie plate.  Repeat for the second pie. Divide the apple mixture between the two pies, spooning it over the crust. Roll out the remaining two balls of dough and place them over the pies.

Cut the excess dough around the pie plates, leaving about a 1″ overhang. Fold this excess dough under, pushing the pastry down a little as you go. I like to flute the edges of my pastry with my thumbs (like this).

Cut slits in the tops of the pies with a knife (I do a little star pattern). Optional: Brush milk over the pastry and sprinkle it with a little bit of sugar for a crunchy, sparkly effect.

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes and let cool before cutting.

Bake a Flaky Country Apple Pie by The DIY Mommy

Your apple pie is now ready to enjoy. I love to eat my apple pie with a smidgeon of ice cream. How do you like to eat yours?

 

DIY Family Food, DIY Recipes

9 Favourite DIY Make-at-Home Hot Drinks

by Christina Dennis

I love me my coffee. And my hot chocolate. And my apple cider. I enjoy pretty much any type of warm drink when the weather cools and the autumn leaves begin to fall! I’m one of those moms that needs my coffee (or tea, or hot chocolate) for my “get up and go” some days. When you live a little off of the beaten path like I do, it’s nice to have some DIY recipes on hand to make your own yummy, hot drinks if you can’t zip to the coffee shop. Here are my 9 most favourite DIY make-at-home hot drinks (I’d like one of each right now, actually!):

9 Favourite DIY Hot Drinks by The DIY Mommy - Mochas, Lattes, Hot Chocolates, Cider

  1. London Fog from Just Bella: This luxurious combo of Earl Grey tea and vanilla syrup is definitely a tasty treat.
  2. Homemade Gingerbread Latte from Mom Advice: What a festive, spicy drink (and you’ve got to love the little sprinkles)!
  3. Chai Latte from Fitness Chicks: Here’s another spicy drink that’s such a classic. FYI: the site’s in Dutch, so here are the English ingredients:
    1/2 tsp ginger
    1/2 tsp cardamom
    1 clove
    1 tsp cinnamon
    2 bags of black tea
    1 tbsp sugar
    500 ml water
    500 ml milk
    … and the pictures are easy to follow!
  4. Pumpkin Spice Latte from Pastry Affair: Who doesn’t like one of these at Thanksgiving? Pumpkin + spices + a latte? Nothing better.
  5. Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate from Savory Sweet Life: This would be glorious at the end of a fall/winter day when coffee just won’t do.
  6. Copycat Starbucks Caramel Apple Hot Cider from Favorite Family Recipes: Here’s another great drink for an evening curled up in front of a fire – and it’s so simple!
  7. Salted Caramel Mocha Latte from Mom Advice: Here’s the coffee version of a salted caramel hot chocolate – the savory + sweet combo is delish.
  8. Red Velvet Hot Chocolate by Une Deux Senses: What a unique idea! A rich combo of cream cheese, chocolate and whipped cream make this drink sound absolutely heavenly.
  9. Homemade Peppermint Mocha by Mom Advice: This just screams “holidays” to me. Chocolate and peppermint always go so well together.

Enjoy DIYing your own hot drinks!

DIY Family Food, DIY Recipes

Make Handmade Strawberry Fruit Leather

by Christina Dennis

Homemade Strawberry Fruit Leather by The DIY Mommy

It’s the end of Strawberry season, and strawberries are in abundance at a great price right now! I love fruit so much and so does my family – it’s fun to experiment with new ways to eat it. I totally admit that I’ve purchased the sugary, sticky packaged fruit “roll-up” candy, but here’s a better and healthier alternative that you (and your kiddos) will love! This homemade fruit leather is simple to make and requires no fancy kitchen appliance!

Homemade Fruit Leather

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups fruit (I used strawberries)
  • 1 Tbsp honey (optional)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
  • parchment paper

Directions:

Homemade Strawberry Fruit Leather by The DIY Mommy

Blend the fruit, honey and cinnamon in a blender until completely smooth. I liked the addition of honey with strawberries – you could add a little more than a tablespoon for extra sweetness! Cinnamon is nice with strawberries, but have fun playing with different spice and fruit combinations.

Homemade Strawberry Fruit Leather by The DIY Mommy

Line a cookie sheet with the parchment paper. Pour the blended fruit onto the paper, spreading it out evenly with a spatula. The fruit should be about 1/4″ thick. It does thin a lot as it dries, so don’t pour too little into the pan. Set your oven at the lowest temperature (mine was 150 degrees F) and let the fruit sit in the oven until it is dry and leathery-feeling. My fruit leather took approximately 3 hours, and this time will vary from oven-to-oven. Let the fruit leather cool, peel off the paper, and cut it into strips. You can roll the strips up if you want – my daughter though the little rolls were fun to eat!

Homemade Strawberry Fruit Leather by The DIY Mommy

Christina Dennis is the creator and designer behind Golly Gee Baby, a collection of unique and colourful baby clothing and accessories that are ethically manufactured.

DIY Kids Activities, DIY Recipes

Make Edible Finger Paint

by Christina Dennis

Finger painting is a fantastic toddler activity – and even better if the paint is edible! Adapted from this recipe, I made the following recipe for my 2 1/2 year old daughter to try and she LOVED it! It was the perfect activity to do outdoors on a sunny day.

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 2 cups cold water
  • food colouring
1. Mix together sugar and cornstarch in a small saucepan.
2. Slowly whisk in cold water. Place saucepan over medium heat, continuing to whisk mixture until it thickens to almost as thick as you’d like it. I found the paint thickened quite a bit after cooling, so don’t let it thicken too much (add more water if necessary).
3. Divide mixture into containers – as many colours as you want to make. I used small porcelain mugs, but styrafoam cups cut down would work well.
4. Once the mixture has cooled, stir in food colouring to each one to create colourful paints.
Take the paints outside with a stack of papers and you’ve got a great way for your toddler to spend the afternoon!

Christina Dennis is the creator and designer behind Golly Gee Baby, a collection of unique and colourful baby clothing and accessories that are ethically manufactured.

DIY Recipes

Make Your Own Wipe Solution

By Amy Nogardiaper-change

Wipe solutions are so easy to make and can save you money too! Use them for cleaning sticky hands and messy faces as well as dirty bottoms. Unlike commercial wipes, these recipes don’t contain alcohol or chemicals, and they smell good. Use these recipes on cloth wipes or make your own disposable wipes and save even more money!Continue reading

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