May 1, 2009

Beach Date

by Ellen Wilson

Where's the beach? It's summer and when we're tired of hiking Mount Timpanogos, it's common to start craving a day in the sand and sun. For your next date, recreate childhood and treat your date to a day of castle building.

Purchase sand from a local quarry or a store such as Lowe's. While you're out, get some cheap buckets, molds, shovels, mini umbrellas, and colorful sunglasses. Other items you might want for decorating are rocks, leaves, colored toothpicks and any other small item you could add as embellishment. For your castle building, you'll want to put your sand in a low, wide bin or just create a square of wood to keep the sand in one place. Be sure to have access to water so that you can wet the sand and mold it into your castle. Work together on one large castle or have competitions for the coolest castle. For lunch, lemonade, sandwiches and popsicles are the classic beach picnic. After you're finished with your castles and lunch, stick to the theme and play Frisbee or bury your date with all the sand.

Silicon Pastry Brush

By Ellen Wilson

Silicon Pastry Brush

When baking a pastry, a pastry brush is needed for glazing or brushing the top with things like egg whites, melted butter, or milk. The brush helps to spread these liquids evenly over pastries or other baked goods that call for a glossy finish. With a silicon brush, the brush bristles will not lose their shape and the colors will not fade. It is also stain proof so you won't end up with a pink brush after using your brush with cherry syrup. A silicon brush is also more sanitary because it can easily be put through the dishwasher. Another benefit is that you can use your pastry brush as a basting brush as well. With the ability to wash silicon, it's not necessary to have two separate brushes for pastries and basting because the flavors will not be contaminated. For basting, the brush is used to spread juices over the meat during the cooking process for a crisper skin. A few other uses for your silicon brush are oiling or buttering waffle irons, griddles, or cleaning out a spice mill. Silicon brushes are available in many colors and sizes at any kitchen supply store.