Seek and Find Jar

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I’ve seen these seek and find jars for sale in a bunch of different places. I’ve always found them a little silly, but the idea has obviously been hanging out in my brain, since I decided to make one!

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The idea started for me when I found an eight pack of these guys. I love the minions! Walmart has several mini-sets available for the release of the movie next weekend. Combining these with my plastic Voss water bottle, I had the makings of my own DIY seek and find!

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I started by filling four sandwich bags with rice. I ended up putting twenty drops of food coloring in each bag, then had the kids help me shake them up.

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The colored rice makes the searching a little more interesting. Looking for colored toys in white rice is a little too easy!

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Chiara was a little mad at me for dropping the toys into the bottom of the bottle.

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She was even more mad when I layered rice over the top!

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I thought about using glue to seal the lid on, but decided that duct tape would be easier to remove if I decided to add more toys later. I just didn’t want to make the seal permanent!

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It takes a lot of shaking to get your toys worked up into the rice. I’m talking arm workout shaking! Prepare your muscles, but it’s really fun to watch the colors mix together.

So far Arthur has played with it a little bit, finding six of the eight before getting bored with it. I think I’ll have to take it to my friend Jenna’s house, her little Ollie will probably really enjoy it!

Shrimp and Crab Étouffée

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This was to die for! I could eat this all week! Even Tony was ready to shove his face into the pan and just scarf it down.
I’m not going to say its simple, but it’s not overly complicated. I did it, you can do it!
You start by melting a stick of butter (1/2 cup if you buy the tub) and then add 1 whole chopped onion, 1 chopped green onion, 2 stalks of diced up celery, 1 minced garlic clove, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper. Cook until the veggies are soft. About this time the smells will start making your mouth water!
Add 2lbs of shrimp and cook until it turns pink. Add 1 1/2 cups of fish stock (I couldn’t find any so I ended up using seafood stock and it was delicious). Dissolve 2tbsp of cornstarch in additional 1/2 cup of fish stock (or seafood stock) then add to your pan. Bring it to a simmer and leave it simmering for about 20 minutes. Try to control your hunger, it will be worth it.
Add 1lb of lump crabmeat and cook 2-3 minutes. I failed to shred my crabmeat before adding it so I was left trying to shred it when it was in the pan. Learn from this, shred before adding!
The recipe said to garnish with scallions, but I ended up dicing my green onions (they’re interchangeable) and adding them to the dish.
Serve it over rice and garnish with a little parsley. It tastes very mild, and it is so delicious!
This is definitely going into the recipe basket!
Original recipe can be found at http://www.strackandvantil.com/Recipes/RecipeFull.aspx?RecipeID=55432&QuickSearch=72&PageNumber=2&Source=search