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Don't go shopping...stay home instead and celebrate President's Day!

Skip the shopping and celebrate President's Day with these crafts, recipes and drinks.
Skip the shopping and celebrate President's Day with these crafts, recipes and drinks.
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President's Day is just around the corner and although it may be just another day for many people to have an extended weekend or to take advantage of some great deals it's actually a day to celebrate our past and present US presidents. Originally established in 1885 in the name of George Washington's birthday it was changed to President's Day in 1971. This President's Day do something different and celebrate the day with your children with some fun and creative ways and save your money instead!

Consider throwing a presidential costume party. Most commonly recognized on President's Day are George Washington and Abraham Lincoln so why not have your guests don on white wigs and stove top hats? Make the day more interesting and set up a photo booth and have your guests recreate presidential poses! Just check out how one high school student recreated presidential poses and posted them on Instagram here for ideas. Other fun activities for your guest to partake in could also be making patriotic parade sticks and ribbon bracelets, creating Uncle Sam out of paper plates and puppet, president puppets (and throw a play!) or even making a replica of the White House or a log cabin out of popsicle sticks.

You can't have a party without food and what's more American than apple pie unless of course it's cherry pie in honor of George Washington! Of course, if you want to serve foods that are less on the sweet side you can always serve some of foods that are associated with different presidents. For example, you can serve hot tamales in honor of President Dwight D. Eisenhower who sold hot tamales as a young child, mac and cheese in honor of Ronald Reagan, milk was a favorite of President Andrew Jackson, President Jimmy Carter loved peanuts and President Thomas Jefferson loved Virginian ham and sweet potatoes. Other favorite foods to consider; jelly beans, chocolate cake, ice cream, chicken, baked beans, cornbread and hot dogs. For an all American red white and blue drink for the kids serve up red white and blue vanilla milkshakes and for the adults, Charles Joly of Chicago, IL has created a special drink using Basil Hayden's called the Presidential Cherry Spice just for this occasion.

How are you planning on spending President's Day? Will you be doing something special with your friends and family or will you just spend the day shopping? Leave a comment and let's discuss!

For recipes and directions for the crafts mentioned and more just click through the list!

Your comments are greatly appreciated! Leave one below or email me at chrism.photography@ymail.com. You can also follow me on Twitter @christiasfotos, Facebook www.facebook.com/christiafashionexaminer or my personal page on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/christia.torres where you can read my personal notes on Lupus or my blog at XOXO, Christia.

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All written work and pictures unless otherwise stated are property of Christia M. Torres and may not be used without permission.

Chef John's Easy Apple Pie
Chef John's Easy Apple Pie http://allrecipes.com/recipe/chef-johns-easy-apple-pie/

Chef John's Easy Apple Pie

Chef John's Easy Apple Pie

Ingredients:

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 pinch salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 cup water

1 (15 ounce) package double crust ready-to-use pie crust (such as Pillsbury®)

4 large red apples, cored and thinly sliced

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
2. Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Stir in white sugar, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and water. Bring the syrup to a boil, stirring constantly to dissolve sugar, then remove from heat.
3. Unroll pie crusts, press one into a 9-inch pie dish, and place the apples into the crust. Unroll the second crust on a work surface, and cut into about 8 1-inch wide strips. Criss-cross the strips over the apples, or weave into a lattice crust. Crimp the bottom crust over the lattice strips with your fingers. Spoon caramel sauce over pie, covering lattice portion of top crust; let remaining sauce drizzle through the crust.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), and bake until the crust is golden brown, the caramel on the top crust is set, and the apple filling is bubbling, 35 to 40 more minutes. Allow to cool completely before slicing.

Abraham Lincoln's Log Cabin
Abraham Lincoln's Log Cabin http://www.enchantedlearning.com/crafts/lincolnlogcabin/

Abraham Lincoln's Log Cabin

Abraham Lincoln's Log Cabin

Supplies:

Construction paper (white and at least one other color)
White glue or a glue stick
Scissors
Craft sticks (popsicle sticks) or strips of brown paper (grocery bag paper or constuction paper)
Crayons
A shiny penny

Directions:

Cut a triangular roof for the cabin and glue it to the paper. Cut a rectangular door and square window; the window should be bigger than a penny. Glue the door and window to the cabin. Glue a penny, Lincoln side up, to the window.
Draw a door knob and a background. You may want to add a chimney, trees, and other details that the children think of. Label the picture, Abraham Lincoln's Log Cabin.

(Picture is not representative of the instructions.)

Basil Hayden's® Presidential Cherry Spice
Basil Hayden's® Presidential Cherry Spice http://www.basilhayden.com

Basil Hayden's® Presidential Cherry Spice

Basil Hayden's® Presidential Cherry Spice

Created by Charles Joly, Chicago, IL

Ingredients:
2 Parts Basil Hayden’s Bourbon
3/4 parts Heering Cherry Liqueur
1 dash Fee Brothers Old Fashioned Aromatic Bitters
2 parts Milk Stout Beer
Fresh Nutmeg

Directions:
1. Combine Basil Hayden’s Bourbon, cherry liqueur, and bitters in a mixing glass.
2. Add ice and shake.
3. Roll in the milk stout beer.
4. Strain into an old fashioned glass with ice.
5. Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg and cherry on top.

Super Easy Cherry Pie
Super Easy Cherry Pie http://www.pillsbury.com/recipes/super-easy-fruit-pie/fdad0859-2606-4553-a2e4-335818c04bc8

Super Easy Cherry Pie

Super Easy Cherry Pie

Ingredients:

1 box Pillsbury® refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box
2 cans (21 oz each) cherry pie filling
1 teaspoon milk
1 teaspoon sugar

Instructions:

Heat oven to 425°F. Make pie crusts as directed on box for Two-Crust Pie, using 9-inch glass pie plate.

Spoon pie filling into crust-lined plate. Top with second crust; seal edge and flute. Brush top crust with milk; sprinkle with sugar. Cut slits in several places on top crust.

Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until crust is golden brown. After 15 to 20 minutes of baking, cover crust edge with strips of foil to prevent excessive browning. Cool at least 1 hour before serving.

All American Mac & Cheese
All American Mac & Cheese http://www.food.com/recipe/all-american-macaroni-cheese-320217

All American Mac & Cheese

All American Mac & Cheese

Ingredients

1 cup macaroni
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup onion, chopped fine
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
1/2 cup extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup mild cheddar cheese, shredded

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. While making cheese mixture, cook macaroni per package instructions. Drain and set aside.
3. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter.
4. Cook onion and garlic in butter until translucent.
5. Add flour to saucepan and stir to combine, leaving no dry flour bits.
6. Add milk all at once to saucepan along with black pepper. Stir to combine. Stir constantly until mixture begins to thicken.
7. Stir in cheeses one at a time until melted, and mixture is smooth.
8. Place cooked macaroni in a 1-quart casserole dish. Stir in cheese mixture until combined.
9. Bake for 30 minutes or until top is lightly browned.

Paper Plate Lincoln Hat
Paper Plate Lincoln Hat http://spoonful.com/crafts/paper-plate-abe-lincoln-hat

Paper Plate Lincoln Hat

Paper Plate Lincoln Hat

What you'll need

7" paper plate
2 sheets of black construction paper
1 sheet black felt (optional for hat band)
Scissors
White craft glue
Black acrylic paint
Paintbrush
(Many crafts can be simplified for younger children by pre-cutting pattern pieces, using glue sticks instead of liquid glue and using markers in place of small objects that require gluing. For older children a further challenge would be to cut a piece of black construction paper to fit on top of the hat and gluing it in place.)

Directions:

1. Place paper plate right side up on the work surface. Paint with black paint and set aside to dry.

2. Glue two sheets of black construction paper together. Line them up side by side; they should be lying horizontally with the long sides at the bottom. Allow to dry.

3. This step is optional and is great for kids that are a little older, 6 and up. Cut two 2"-wide strips from the black felt.

4. When the paper plate and the glue on the construction paper are both dry, roll the construction paper up so that the two ends touch each other. Roll up enough to where it fits in the top of the plate, leaving enough plate for the hat brim. Glue the rolled paper together to secure and hold for a few minutes until the glue grabs.

5. If you did step 3, continue here. If you skipped step 3, move on to step 6. Take one of your felt strips and glue it along the bottom circumference of your "hat" where the hat band would go. Take the other black felt strip and wrap it around the remaining uncovered part of the circumference. You will have excess felt and will need to trim off what you don’t need before gluing it in place. Once trimmed, go ahead and glue the remaining hat band in place.

6. Place the hat "tube" on top of the plate. Pipe a generous line of glue around the bottom of the hat tube to secure the tube to the plate.

7. Place about 10-15 sheets of construction paper on top of the hat tube to help give it some weight and allow the glue to grab. Allow the glue to dry about 45 minutes.

8. The hat is now ready to use as a table decoration! If you want to make this craft into a wearable hat, poke a hole in the middle of the paper plate and cut out an opening big enough to fit the crown of your child's head. You can also attach a thin piece of elastic to either side of the hat to create a chin strap.

Patriotic Flowing Bracelets
Patriotic Flowing Bracelets http://www.skiptomylou.org/2012/06/01/patriotic-craft-flowing-ribbon-bracelet/

Patriotic Flowing Bracelets

Patriotic Flowing Bracelets

Materials:

1 round bangle bracelet (red, white, or blue)
5 pieces of ribbon in red, white, and/or blue, cut into 36″ lengths
Scissors

Directions:

1. Cut 5 pieces of ribbon in 36″ lengths. When ribbon is knotted, streamers will be approximately 18″ long
2. Fold one piece of ribbon in half, and hold folded loop behind bracelet. Thread ends of ribbon around the bracelet and through the loop. This makes a lark’s head knot
3. Repeat with all ribbons, alternating ribbon colors if desired
Extra Tips:
Group Crafting: To make this craft with group of kids at a party, do a little bit of prep work in advance. Pre-cut lengths of ribbon and assemble craft baggies to hand out to all the participants.
Rhythm Activity: After the bracelets are made, encourage active play with music. Put on some patriotic marches (like “Stars and Stripes Forever” by John Phillips Sousa) and encourage kids to get up and dance, waving their ribbon streamers along to the music.

President's Day puppets
President's Day puppets http://parentclub.ganzworld.com/playtime/presidents-day-puppets/

President's Day puppets

President's Day puppets

Supplies:

▪ Two wooden spoons
▪ Small white pom poms
▪ Google eyes
▪ Small red pom poms
▪ Black craft foam
▪ Black felt
▪ Brown felt
▪ Scissors or pinking shears
▪ Tacky or white glue
▪ Black marker

Directions:

1. Cut a basic shirt shape from each color of felt.

2. Glue the brown shirt shape to one wooden spoon handle just below the round part of the spoon. Repeat this process with the black shirt shape.

3. Locate the wooden spoon with the brown shirt shape. Glue the small white pom poms to the top of the spoon to create George Washington’s hair. Add two google eyes, a red pom pom nose, and draw a mouth with the black marker.

4. Locate the wooden spoon with the black shirt. Create Abe Lincoln’s top hat by cutting a hat shape from the black craft foam. Glue the hat to the top of the wooden spoon. Add google eyes, a red pom pom nose, and draw a mouth shape with the black marker. To create Abe’s beard cut a small triangle from the black craft foam and then cut slits in the triangle. Glue the beard to the wooden spoon just below the mouth.

5. Allow your puppets to dry and then put on a puppet show!

You can create a puppet theatre out of an old box or by hanging a curtain in a doorway. Research facts about Abraham Lincoln and George Washington on the Internet, and have your children role play what they think they would say to each other. This is a fun and interactive way for your children to learn about our country’s history!

Red, White & Blue Milkshakes
Red, White & Blue Milkshakes http://thefashionfoot.com/2013/07/03/stars-and-stripes-inspired-drinks-for-the-perfect-cookout

Red, White & Blue Milkshakes

Red, White & Blue Milkshakes

(Milkshake recipe from Food Network/Paula Deen)

4 cups quality vanilla ice cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
8 tablespoons sugar
2 cups milk, less for thicker milkshakes

Directions:

Using a blender or milkshake machine, blend all ingredients together until smooth. Divide into three equal parts and using food coloring add blue and red food coloring. Pour each color into a tall glass and serve with a straw.

Sweet Potato Biscuits w/ Ham and Honey Butter
Sweet Potato Biscuits w/ Ham and Honey Butter http://www.fatandsassymama.com/2012/11/2054/#sthash.vDDviS2c.dpuf

Sweet Potato Biscuits w/ Ham and Honey Butter

Sweet Potato Biscuits w/ Ham and Honey Butter

Ingredients:

• 3 cups flour

• 2 heaping tablespoons baking powder

• 1 teaspoon salt

• 1 cup vegetable shortening

• 2 cups mashed cooked sweet potatoes

• 1/2 cup sugar

• 1/2 cup buttermilk

• 1 pound of thinly sliced ham

• Honey Butter (see below)

Directions:

Mix together flour, baking powder and salt. Cut in shortening with a fork or your fingers. Small crumbs should form. Combine sweet potatoes and sugar, mixing well. Add buttermilk. Combine sweet potato and flour mixtures. Blend well. Place on floured surface and roll to 1 inch thick. Cut with biscuit cutter but make sure NOT to twist the cutter. This make your biscuits not rise as high! Bake on a parchment lined baking sheet at 400° for 10 minutes or until browned. Brush with melted butter. Split in half and add a slice of ham and some honey butter!

Honey Butter:

Ingredients:

1 stick unsalted butter

3 tablespoons honey

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon vanilla paste

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions:

Combine the butter, honey, cinnamon, vanilla paste and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer. Place onto 2 sheets of wax paper in a log and roll. Twist ends and place in refrigerator to harden.

Uncle Sam Paper Bag Puppet
Uncle Sam Paper Bag Puppet http://www.notimeforflashcards.com/2011/06/uncle-sam-puppet-for-the-4th-of-july.html

Uncle Sam Paper Bag Puppet

Uncle Sam Paper Bag Puppet

Gather your materials, You will need a paper bag ( ours was a blue one so we also use some paper bag for his face), googly eyes, red, white and blue construction paper, glue, a circle, heart and star paper punches and scissors.
Start by cutting out the following shapes. Depending on your child’s age and ability make fewer of these for little guys and for older ones have them cut out their own. We used 2 red triangles for the bow tie, a blue square and red rectangle for his hat, and circle for his face. I made smaller rectangles to make his hat striped but it was too much for my guy.
Punch out the circles and stars from the white paper. My son loves using these punches but if you don’t have one or a child who is giddy to use it try cotton balls! If you are using paper punches if you put down a fabric place mat it helps stop runaway paper from getting loose.
Punch out or cut a heart.
Time to add glue. Make sure you are only gluing on the bottom so you can use the bag as a puppet.
Add the face , hat, eyes and more glue for the beard. He was super fast and didn’t need my help so my step by step pictures are a wee bit garbled! This is the look he gave me when I begged him to pause for a picture.
Use the circles to make the beard. Add the triangles for the bow tie and heart for a mouth.
Add the brim of the hat and the stars!

Paper Plate Uncle Sam
Paper Plate Uncle Sam http://spoonful.com/crafts/paper-plate-uncle-sam

Paper Plate Uncle Sam

Paper Plate Uncle Sam

Supplies:

Paper plate

Construction paper: red, white, blue

50-60 cotton balls

Flesh-toned and pink crayons

2 medium wiggle eyes

1 medium pink pom-pom

Black marker

Scissors

Glue stick

White craft glue

Pattern 1

Pattern 2

Directions:

1. Cut out all hat pieces using patterns 1 and 2. When tracing the hat stripes, it's okay to make them a little longer than the pattern because you will trim the excess after they are glued on. (See photo.)
2. Color the center circle of the paper plate with a flesh-toned crayon. (See photo.)
3. To assemble the hat, use a glue stick. First, glue the red stripes to the white portion of the hat. (See photo.) Following the pattern, glue on the blue hat band. Add the red hat brim, then glue on the white stars to the band. Finally, trim any excess to make the hat even.
4. Using white glue, press cotton balls all around the outside edges of the plate, two layers at the top (hair) and several more for the beard. All that should be visible is peach colored face. (See photo.)
5. Glue on wiggle eyes and the pom-pom nose. Use a pink crayon to color on cheeks. (See photo.)
6. Cut the bowtie from red paper, the center tie circle from blue, and a star from white. Assemble the tie using a glue stick.
7. Use white glue to add the hat and the bowtie.
8. Add eyebrows and a mouth with black marker.

Craft Stick White House
Craft Stick White House http://spoonful.com/crafts/craft-stick-white-house

Craft Stick White House

Craft Stick White House

Supplies:

8 jumbo craft sticks
4 regular craft sticks
7 miniature craft sticks
White acrylic paint
Green felt or construction paper
Scissors
White craft glue
1/2 sheet black construction paper

Directions:

1. Cut the rounded ends off of all eight jumbo craft sticks.

2. Lay four jumbo craft sticks touching each other on a table, one below the other. Line the other four jumbo craft sticks in the same fashion alongside the first four. You should have 2 sticks going across (columns) and four sticks going down (rows).

3. Pipe glue onto the edges of the craft sticks, connecting them all together. Smooth the glue with your finger or a paintbrush and gently press them together so that they are all touching. You may want to let the glued craft sticks dry on a piece of wax paper placed on your table. Allow glue to dry completely.

4. From two of the regular craft sticks, cut one rounded end off of each.

5. Center a miniature craft stick directly above the large rectangle you made from the jumbo craft sticks. Place the two regular craft sticks across the top as well, on either side of the mini craft stick. The straight edges should hang over the sides of the large rectangle. Glue in place and let dry.

6. Cut the rounded edge off both sides of a regular craft stick. Center the regular craft stick on top of the row made in step 5 and glue in place. This should make the second row stacked above the jumbo craft stick base.

7. To add the columns on the front of the White House, place a miniature craft stick 1/2" to the left of the center line of the large triangle. Glue another "column" 1/2" to the right of the center line. Glue the third and fourth column to the left and right of the first two columns.

8. Glue a regular craft stick horizontally across the top of the four columns.

9. Position two miniature craft sticks to form a wide upside-down "V" on top of the regular craft stick in step 8. You will see they make the shape of a pointed roof. Glue the pieces into place.

10. After all craft sticks have dried completely, paint the entire thing with white paint. Let dry. You may notice some cracking in the paint due to painting over the glue. If you do, simple add a second coat after the first coat has dried completely.

11. Cut windows and door from black construction paper and glue in place according to photo.

12. Cut an 11" x 1/2" strip of green felt of construction paper. Trim to fit across the base of the White House and glue in place.

Extra tips:

As the glue is drying, occasionally press down gently on the craft stick columns to be sure that they are flush with the house. Place your craft sticks on a piece paper before your start. If the glue sticks to the paper it's no problem, simply leave the paper on the back of the house!

Patriotic Parade Stick
Patriotic Parade Stick http://craftsbyamanda.com/2013/06/patriotic-duck-tape-parade-stick.html

Patriotic Parade Stick

Patriotic Parade Stick

Supplies:

Red duct tape

White duct tape

Blue duct tape

hole puncher

star stickers

sturdy cardboard tube (like the one inside of your aluminum foil)

Directions:

Pull off a strip of white tape about 12 inches long. Fold the tape in half lengthwise onto itself and stick it together, pressing down squeezing the air out. Repeat this until you have 3 of each color.

Patriotic Duck Tape Parade Stick at CraftsbyAmanda.com @amandaformaro

Use scissors to trim off any sticky edges. Starting from the bottom of a strip, cut strip up the middle, stopping about 3 inches from the other end. You now have two separate tassels, cut each of those tassels up the middle making a total of four. Repeat these steps for all of the tape strips.

Cut small bits of tape to attach the strips to the end of the cardboard tube. Overlap each one as you go. Once they are all loosely attached, cut a strip of blue tape and wrap it around the taped tassels to secure it. Repeat with another strip.

Wrap the cardboard tube with strips of white tape. Pull a piece of blue tape, long enough to go around the tube once, but don’t cut it from the roll yet. You can hold the roll in your hand and stick the end of the tape to the table while you work, or have a friend hold the roll for you. Use a hole punch to create some holes in the tape for the stars. (If you prefer, you can skip this step and just apply silver or white star stickers instead.) Secure the hole punched blue tape around the top of the cardboard tube, just below the tassels. Finally, add red strips of tape that have been cut to about 1-1.5″ wide around the stick to add the stripes.