Saturday, October 30, 2010

Fall Fun

I don't really have a good lead into this so... just read and enjoy:

My mom came over today and we did an art project for her church's fall festival. One of the activities for the kiddies is Trunk Or Treating. Each participating family decorates the trunk of their vehicle for the trick or treaters at the festival tomorrow.

Well, mom can't just smack some balloons and garland on her trunk and call it good. (I wouldn't let her if she tried) If she was going to do this thing, she was going to do it right, especially since she asked for my help ;)

She decided, after doing a web search (did ya catch that? Halloween, web... Alright, it was funny to me) to have The Doors of Mystery (Sounds cool right?!)

So, with my dad's help, we went in search of supplies. We found foam board, little wooden signs, a black gauzy background with spider webs, and three different textured "sleeves". Then, after a small side trip to Pier One Imports we wandered back to my house to work on putting it all together.

Here's what we did:
We cut three holes into the foam board, attached our sleeves (a lambs wool sleeve, a scrubby washcloth sleeve, and an oven mitt) then we covered the entire board with the black gauze.

Small doors go over each of the holes marked 1,2, or 3.

Then, the whole thing gets set up in the trunk of the car. Behind the board, there are two boxes for candy. If you choose the hole with the oven mitt you loose (play the "sorry, not a winner" music of your choice in your head at this point) But, not really- if you choose the dead end sleeve, you can pick a prize from the prize bucket. (Did you really think we'd make children cry at a church festival?!)

The wooden signs say: Doors of Mystery and Choose Wisely! They are hung above the sleeves along with some mummy wraps for some atmosphere. Fun huh?! It was a HUGE hit with all the kiddos at the event.

Are you ready to see it?!

It was a fantastic afternoon, but all that work and creativity makes a girl hungry. My mom thought ahead on that though. She and my dad grabbed a rotisserie chicken and the couscous salad she made last night. It was fantastic!

The couscous recipe was originally from Sweet Tomatoes, my favorite buffet restaurant. Seriously, if you every get the chance to eat at a Sweet Tomatoes or Souplantation, GO! (In CA they are called Souplantations for some reason...) She changed it just a little to fit with what she had in her cupboards. Let me tell you, it was stellar! Dad said it's good heated up too.

That's what I am going to share today- Couscous Salad. Here's the original recipe from the Sweet Tomatoes website:

Here's to you and your culinary adventures, friend. Cheers!

Mediterranean Couscous Salad

8 oz dry couscous
1 3/4 cup water
3/4 TBS vegetable or chicken bouillon base

3 TBS lemon juice
1 tsp kosher salt
1 scant tsp black pepper
1/4 cup olive or canola oil

1/2 cup garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup sliced black olives
1/2 cup diced or crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
1/2 cup diced celery (1/4 inch dice)
1/3 cup chopped, toasted pecans
1/4 cup snipped chives

Boil water and bouillon base together. Remove from heat. Immediately add couscous. Stir and cover. Allow to sit 5-10 minutes. Remove the lid. Fluff with a fork and cool.

Whisk together lemon juice, salt, pepper, and oil.

In a medium/large bowl mix couscous with all remaining ingredients. Drizzle with dressing. Toss to coat. Serve well chilled.

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