Bubble Snakes (http://www.cometogetherkids.com/2011/04/bubble-snake-maker.html)
The kids were VERY excited to try this one. And it seemed pretty easy. We had everything we needed right there in the house. So it seemed like a perfect project to keep them busy on a Sunday afternoon. We made the bubble blowers out of some empty water bottles and some of Aaron's old socks. Squirted a bunch of dishsoap into a paper bowl. And headed out to make some snakes. The first try seemed very promising... I dipped the blower, blew hard, and bubbles immediately started foaming out the end! So I turned that one over to Haley and started some blowers for the boys. Those worked ok, though not quite as well as Haley's. I'm not sure what the difference was. So everyone had fun for a couple of minutes. And then they just kind of stopped working. I don't know if it was a problem with technique (I had to blow pretty hard to get the bubbles after that first try). Or the socks weren't pulled tight enough. Or if the socks just got so full of dish soap and that was the problem. Or maybe another brand of dish soap works better. But it didn't really work well after that first try. We ended up a little disappointed. But at least we tried it - points for a family project! And now I'll need to buy some more dish soap.
Brownie Cookies (http://www.pureandyummy.com/?p=523)
Don't those look delicious? I thought so. I pinned this recipe because I wanted to try combining two wonderful things, brownies and cookies. Then I went back and looked and the recipe again and realized that it was a lot more complicated than the kind of baking I usually do. And the more I looked at it, the more I realized I was just never going to make that recipe. But looking at it more also helped me realize that there didn't seem to be much difference between that recipe and a traditional brownie recipe. So I decided to go my own way with this one... I guess you could call it another "recipe inspired by Pinterest."
So I bought a brownie mix at the store. I know! Baking purists are shaking their heads in disgust... but hey, I'll have put in around 60 hours of work on just my day job by the end of this week, plus my additional job of being mom to four hungry, messy children. This ensures that not only do I not have time for real baking, but I really need the chocolate fix. :) So yes, I started with a store-bought mix. When I'd mixed it together, I knew that it was too thin to work as cookies - it would just spread all over the baking sheet. So I added some flour to thicken it up. Probably about a cup by the time I was finished adding a little at a time. That thickened it up to more of a cookie dough consistency, so I scooped it out, dropped it on the cookie sheet in little dough balls, and put it in the oven for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.
They came out perfectly! Beautiful big cookies just like the ones in the picture! The texture was great - the edges of the cookie are like getting the edge piece of brownie... just a little bit of crunch. And the center is soft and dense, just like a perfect brownie. And the tops had that little bit of flakiness that you find on a really good brownie. So really, just a perfect brownie, but in cookie form. I guess really it's just a novelty factor - plus you don't have to slice up a pan of brownies. (Not that that's such a huge amount of work or anything.) You might prefer to just make a pan of brownies. But for some reason, I have never had much luck with brownies. I try to cook them, but they somehow always turn out so soft you have to eat them with a spoon, or so hard that you have to knaw your way around the edges looking for a piece you can manage to bite off. So I'll make these cookies again, because it seems I've finally found a way to make a successful brownie!