Jul 10

Party Treat Pockets

by Steph Hung

I’m heading to San Francisco next week to compete in the “Lau Olympics” which is like our family olympics. It’s going to be a showdown of physical challenges like a hula hoop discus, watermelon eating contest, and suitcase relay.  My cousin Sandy asked for help with party favours so I’m planning to make treat pockets. These pockets are a cinch to make and you can put anything in them.  They make tidy snack packs and are a great alternative to the candy bowl that invariably gets mauled by lots of muddy little hands (at least in my family).

Materials you will need:  vellum or parchment paper, double stick tape, 1/2″ coloured tape (trim if wider), scissors, and your choice of fillings – I used candy necklaces, salt water taffy, and candy blocks.

Step 1:  Cut strips of paper:  3.5″x8″ for small, 4″x9″ for medium, and 4.5″x10″ for large.

Step 2:  Place double stick tape along one short end and stick to the other end to form a loop.

Step 3:  Pinch one end and close the opening with a strip of coloured tape.

Step 4:  Fill the pocket.

Step 5:  Pinch the opening in the opposite direction as before and close with coloured tape.

 

May 24

Cupcake Flower Lights

By Steph Hung

May flowers have arrived!   These lights were inspired by all the beautiful blooms I’ve been seeing around town.  I wanted to bring the summer indoors, but they could make for some colourful outdoor lighting too:

Making these floral garlands couldn’t be faster – all you need are cupcake papers and string lights, and you’re on your way to some simple summer lighting.

Materials you will need:  cupcake papers (large and small), string lights, scissors, and an exacto knife.

Step 1:  To make leaves – fold a small cupcake paper in half 2 times, and with the folded point at the bottom cut a leaf shape.

Step 2: To make an 8-petal flower – fold a small cupcake paper in half 3 times, and with the folded point at the bottom cut around the top.

Step 3:  To make a 16-petal flower – fold a large cupcake paper in half 4 times, and with the folded point at the bottom cut around the top.

Step 4:  Cut a small X in the center of each paper.

Step 5:  Layer cupcake papers onto each lightbulb to make flowers.

Mar 27

Easter Fools

By Steph Hung

On April 1st treat your loved ones to a simple homemade breakfast.  There is nothing like a soft-boiled egg with a few pieces of bread to dip in the yolk.

Only this time there’s something a little special about the eggs:

Looks like the Easter Bunny decided to make an early delivery.

Materials you will need:  Eggs, powdered gelatin, egg cups (look for opaque cups or else the gig may be up), spoon, bowls, and a measuring cup.

Step 1:  Use the spoon to crack the bottom of the egg.

Step 2:  Carefully remove a small part of the shell, and empty contents into a bowl*.  Place the shell immediately into a bowl of hot soapy water.   After all the eggs are empty, thoroughly rinse the shells.

Step 3:  Prepare the gelatin – Mix each 85g box with just 1/2 cup of boiling water so the jelly will hold up when the eggshells are peeled.  Each box will fill 3-4 extra large eggs.

Step 4:  Allow jelly to set in the fridge for a few hours.  Take eggs out 20 minutes before serving so the temperature doesn’t give them away.

(*Make a quiche with the leftover eggs and you’ll REALLY impress your guests)

Happy April Fools Day!

Feb 13

Teatime Valentines

By Steph Hung

A valentine is my favourite way to tell someone I’m thinking of them:  a sweet gesture in a little note.  This year my cards were inspired by tea parties – of the Indian variety.

Stamped with a traditional wood block and packaged with the ingredients to make a unique brew, this valentine celebrates the moments shared with a loved one.

Materials you will need:  notecards, envelopes, wood block stamp (I bought mine here), printing ink, brayer, and scissors.

Step 1:  Spread ink with the brayer and roll onto the wood block.

Step 2:  Place an envelope onto scrap paper, with a cloth or dishtowel laid underneath as padding.

Step 3:  Stamp the wood block onto the envelope with firm and even pressure.

Step 4:  Cut notecards into elephant shapes.  Poke holes for the eyes and cut around the ears.

Materials you will need to fill the valentines:  individual black tea bags, cinnamon sticks, cloves, cardamom pods, peppercorns, and allspice berries.

Step 5:  In each envelope include a notecard, tea bag, cinnamon stick, and a few pieces of each spice.

Step 6:  Seal the valentines and hand out to your sweethearts.

To drink:  steep the tea ingredients in boiling water for 3-5 minutes.  Remove all the bits, add milk (if you like), and enjoy.  Nothing warms the heart and conjures fond memories like a cup of tea with hints of spice.

Jan 24

Fortune Balloon Garland

by Steph Hung

Wondering what the new year will bring?  Look to the balloons! Monday marked the beginning of Chinese New Year, and I always love seeing the strings of lanterns that line the streets of Chinatown.  The holiday is surrounded by myths about luck and prosperity, so I wanted to make something that might inspire good fortunes too.

Just pop a balloon to see what the future has in store:

Advice, encouragement, warnings, and recommendations – let the balloons give their two cents’ worth.

Materials you will need:  water balloons, pump, string, paper, pen, and scissors.

Step 1:  Cut paper into 1/4″ wide strips and write your fortunes.

Step 2:  Roll up fortunes and slip one in each balloon.  Blow up balloon and tie with a knot.

Step 3:  Tie balloons onto a length of string.  If you cinch the string tightly below the knot (i.e. between the knot and the balloon), this will help prevent air from leaking out.

Step 4:  Hang your garland and let the divining begin.