Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Guest Blogger Christal Barton on How to Make Bad Piggies!!

I've said it so many times before....GJOP readers are the BEST!!  Christal is one of my favorite parents *should I really have favorites?* because she is always there to help others with advice.  Love that she wanted to be Guest Blogger!  So, without further ado.....
Christal Barton on How to Make Bad Piggies!!

When I saw this post from Grape Jelly on Pizza, my first thought was “I HAVE to make these for my little angry birds fanatic RIGHT NOW!”


Then I stood up, the room started spinning, and I remembered I’m sick. No bento lunches for us.
THEN came this post. I knew immediately I MUST make this!


Do you see a trend? Apparently nothing turns me into Martha Stewart like a fever.  Being me, it didn’t occur to me to make my own dough—why would I do that when I had perfectly good canned biscuits in the fridge?

So here’s my ingredients:
1 egg
1 can of Grands! Jr biscuits
1 can of store brand biscuits (they tend to be a little smaller than name brand)
Some milk
*something for eyes (I’ll get back to this)

First thing I did was arrange a few Grands! Jr biscuits in a pan. I flattened them a bit with my hand (and in retrospect would have flattened them a tiny bit more). These become the piggy heads.

Next, I flattened one of the store brand biscuits and cut out circles for the noses.
TIP: flatten the biscuit a little more than you want it to be, then wait a few seconds before cutting your circle. The canned dough is very ‘springy’ and will shrink up quickly.
Just like the original poster, I used the very expensive ‘soda bottle cap’ tool to cut my circles. I am partial to the ‘Diet Sunkist’ brand of bottle cap, but feel free to use whatever you have on hand.

I put one circle near the bottom of each biscuit, then used this thing I found in a drawer to make the nostrils.

It came with a nut cracker, so I’m pretty sure it has something to do with nuts Don’t be afraid to push all the way into the biscuit beneath the nose when cutting your nostrils. It just works better.

As I began cutting ears, I realized that the bottle cap was too small to give me the look I wanted, so after searching I finally found this very expensive kitchen device—the lid from a small jar of cream of tartar. Again, feel free to substitute any spice you’d like.

I cut the first few with this lid, then used the left over biscuits to make a ball then flattened the ball into a circle. Works just as well. Once you have your circle, cut it into quarters (each circle makes 4 ears). I was able to make 5 noses from one of the smaller biscuits and all of the ears from a second biscuit + the leftovers from cutting the noses. So 5 Grands Jr + 2 store brand biscuits made 5 piggies.

After putting the ears in place (the canned biscuits were all sticky, so I didn’t ‘glue’ anything, I just sort of smooched it), I brushed my piggies with an egg wash. For those who are as clueless as I was, this is just an egg and some milk or water (I used about 3 tablespoons of milk) beaten with a whisk and then brushed on with a pastry brush. 

Then I went on a search for eyes. The original Bad Piggies used peppercorns for the eyes, but I knew my picky eater would not be happy with a peppercorn. I thought about chocolate chips, but I wanted to serve them with pizza sauce and that did not sound appetizing either. So I was looking through my fridge and found some hamburger from last night’s dinner. Yep, my eyes are just precooked hamburger crumbles.
And that’s it. I baked them in a toaster oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 14 minutes. The instructions for the biscuits said 400 for 8-10 minutes, so they did have a slightly longer bake time, but that may have been because I was using a small toaster oven instead of a full sized oven.

Results: Mixed. I thought they were very adorable. Two of mine didn't eat them any better or worse than ordinary bread. The third . . . I thought he was excited about them. Then I heard him apologize to 'piggy' for 'taking bite'. He had taken a bite before realizing what they were, and refused to take another bite!! He did, however, prop 'piggies' up all around his plate and ate more than twice his usual amount of spaghetti while chattering with the 'piggies'. So I'm calling it a win Next time, I'm going to try stuffing them--maybe pizza ingredients, or cheese and ground beef. Something to make them a bit more savory.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

In His Own Time

On Sunday night at 9:45 I hear, "My homework!  I'll be in trouble!"

What?

"My homework.  I have to do my homework."

This from a boy, who for years, has fought me tooth and nail to complete any type of worksheet.  I have gone as far as to dangle a Hershey Kiss in front of him in order to have him draw a line from 'C' to a 'cow' to complete homework.

During the last IEP meeting, the homework subject was approached.  Not by me but the Director of Special Education.  She asked if he was given any homework and I said no because it was so  difficult for me to get him to do it.  You could tell the educators in the room didn't like that answer so they all devised a dastardly plan on how to make life at home more difficult......I mean, devised a plan on how to get him to want to complete homework. 

They brainstormed.  I listened and thought been there, done that.  Eventually everyone reached an agreement.  Now to try it.

Friday after school, I opened the backpack and there it was.  Homework.  On a Friday?  He flat-out refused.  I put it away.

Back to Sunday night at 9:45.  "My homework.  I have to do my homework."

I took out the worksheets and he said, "Get out mom."

OK.  Nice.  I'll leave.  I sat in the other room and couldn't believe what I heard next.

He read. 

I'll say that again......  HE READ OUT LOUD!!!  He read 2 sentences OUT LOUD!

Then about 5 minutes later he announced that he was 'all done' and went back to his iPad.  I checked his work and it was all correct.  "Good job completing your homework Buddy."

Then he said, "Thanks Mom." 

thought he could read but whenever we approach him, he refused to even look at a book.  His teacher told us he could and now we know he can.  My boy can read!  He can.  He can do anything and he will do everything HE wants to do in his own time. 

I'll keep the Hershey Kisses for myself.  Maybe they will motivate me to get working on this house again........