For the Littles in our Lives...

Every day I am trying to do at least something little with the boys that builds up to our little family Christmas that we always celebrate together - just us - before we head out to spend some days with both sides of our extended families and things get really crazy.  This little celebration is my most favorite.  It's simple.  It's sweet.  It's not over the top.  And it's just the five of us hanging out as a family and doing things that we love.

And speaking of that day...that's just a little under two weeks away for us.  So, it's time we got cracking, and crafting, and cooking.  So, that's just what we did today, and right now my kitchen is in a hot mess of pain.  This morning, we made a double batch of candy cane playdough to give out to all of the littles in our lives.

I got this idea off of Pinterest, and it comes from this website.  Here's the direct link to this specific playdough tutorial.  I tell you what - this lady is crazy creative.  And her stuff is usually pretty simple and easy to make, as well.  So, this was our project for today.  I'll write down everything that we did, but if you hop over to her site, she gives you a colorful, pictorial, step by step instruction that is way prettier to look at than mine.

Anyhow, in typical Amy fashion, I got the idea into my head this morning, proceeded to ransack my cupboards to see if I had all needed ingredients, realized I didn't, and figured we'd just make do with what we have.  And as my new motto in life states:  "It is what it is."  If no-one has the original to compare to, they will be none the wiser.

However.  If you were to have a hankering to make this same said recipe, I would highly recommend the glitter and the peppermint essential oils.  It just takes everything to the next level of fun and "special."  Mine is just sort of fun.  And sort of special.  But, at least it's created.  In all of its glory.  Amen and joy to the world.

I would also say right up front, that a single batch divided is more than enough if you were just wishing to share with a handful of people.  We got ourselves two whole stew pots of playdough - which was super fun for the boys, but...really...not overly necessary.
If your kids are old enough to help, ask them to stir constantly but GENTLY.  Just sayin'.

So, now that you've learned from my mistakes, here we go:
Ingredients for a single batch:
*  5 cups water
*  5 cups flour
*  1 1/2 cups salt
*  3 Tablespoons cream of tartar
*  10 Tablespoons vegetable oil
*  Red food coloring
*  glitter
*  peppermint essential oil

Mix water, salt, cream of tartar, and food coloring.  (If you're not going to do a double batch, mix half of these ingredients into two bowls, and only put red food coloring into one of the pots).  Cook on medium-low heat, stirring regularly until mixture is hot.  Add oil.  Stir in flour a cup at a time, stirring in between each addition.  Mix until playdough pulls away from pan and isn't overly sticky.  Mine was still pretty sticky, but it gets increasingly less as it cools.  Dump dough on counter, let cool a bit, then knead.
I would also recommend a whisk else it shall get lumpy as said example to the left shows oh so clearly.
Add some extra sha-zam to your playdough.....or kneading some glitter and some peppermint essential oil right into your dough for the yummy candy smell.

Then, do the candy cane twist!  Roll out each color into a long snake and cut into even pieces.
Take one piece of each, roll into a snake, and twist one red and one white together like a candy cane.

Place each twist into a jar, add some fun fabric or tissue paper, your lids, and labels if desired.

And Voila!
Sweet, simple gifts for the Little People in our lives...
Like this one.
Mr. Delicious.

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