This Easter Sunday weekend make sure you stay safe hunting for Easter eggs by bringing along this awesome and easy to make 10 rubber bands pencil shooter. You never know when an Easter bunny or a giant Peep might attack. I’ll show you how to make a single and a double shooter as well. Pow-pow!!
According to pencils.com, the pencil came into popular use with a large graphite deposit found in 1564 in England. I have personally been using pencils since forever. And when it comes to computer or pencil, I prefer the good old-fashioned tool to write with. I’m very visual and I like to see projects that I can hold onto.
1. Secure clothespin towards the eraser end of the pencil using 2 rubber bands. When looping the rubber bands on, make sure to twist each time.
2. Open the mouth of the clothespin and secure 1 rubber band to the tip of the pencil.
Double Rubber Band Shooter
You will Need:
3 rubber bands
1. Use 2 rubber bands to secure 2 clothespins on the pencil. The clothespin should be opposite of each other on the pencil.
2. Attach rubber bands as bullet and shoot. Remember to shoot the rubber band that you loaded last first.
10 plus Bonus Rubber Band Shooter/ Gun
a bunch of pencils (29 plus 20)
a bunch of clothespin (10)
a bunch of rubber bands
1. Tie 27-29 pencils together using 2 rubber bands to secure.
2. Make 10 single shooters with 2 pencils as the base (versus 1 in the single shooter).
3. Use rubber bands to secure the single shooters onto the bunch of pencils. The rubber bands should be higher on the pencil bunch. The pencil bunch is designed to be held when shooting off the clothespin.
4. Load your rubber band bullets and have fun shooting.
*If you watch the video above, you’ll know that the bonus was an added clothespin which resulted in 11 total bullets!
Remember, play nice and don’t shoot people or real animals. Rubber bands hurt!
Don’t forget: follow me on YouTube, Facebook, tofugami.com, and more!
Yesterday night, (my new bestie), Janee, invited me over for some southern gumbo. She made it from scratch. Regardless of what she will tell you, it was the perfect marriage of rice and seafood comfort. And of course it has to be, because Janee is that cool chic who’s always busy hanging out with someone.
Tonight, maybe driven by the awareness that I need to wake up by 5AM, I decided to make my own gumbo (shown above). I used what I had, so hence the Asian flare.
According to Southern Food Ways, gumbo originated from the west African word for orka. The more famous and common gumbo is the seafood combo that also encompasses chicken and sausages.
Janee felt her gumbo need a little more cooking time to blend the flavors together. I cooked mine in a Tiger double-wall nonelectric slow cooker. Of course, I didn’t pay $238 for mine. I’m a bargain beast and I got it for under $10 and it’s worth every money saving penny!
After using a stepping stool, I discovered in the very top and back of my seasoning shelves, an possibly ancient bottle of creole seasoning. I poured some to taste. Very salty and herbie. Score!
I also used some classic Italian seasoning. For that Asian flare and my secret sauce for seafood dishes, I put in a healthy, long drizzle of fish sauce. Janee used file powder, made from sassafras trees to thicken her sauce but since it was my first time learning about this new ingredient, I will have to try it another time.
In Asian dishes, cornstarch is a staple for thickening sauce. My dad used to mix a spoonful with a little bit of water. he would stire out the chunks to a creamy smooth paste before dumping in the wok.
Gumbo roux is a basic mix of flour and water cooked and stirred to a brown thickener for the gumbo base. My roux came out terribly white. I panic at the sight of my flour caking the bottom of my steel pan as I kept stirring it with a metal whisk. I pulled it before it had the opportunity to brown. My mistake as Janee would text to tell later that night. It probably needed 5 more minutes.
I had fishballs for my seafood. My husband loves these in pho (rice noodle soup) but I usually eat around those big floating balls. I cut them into thin slices.
I hopped at the opportunity to use the frozen frog legs from Ranch 99. Sausages came my lunch leftovers. Grilled chicken came premade and frozen. I chopped it to mimic the shredded chicken breasts Janee had used her in gumbo.
When Janee was speaking about the holy trinity. I smiled because superstar Emerald Lagasse from Food Network taught me that was the soul of southern comfort foods was the holy trinity: bell peppers, celery, and onions. I’m embarrassed to say I had the celery but was missing onions and bell peppers. A ton of powder made up for the coarse chopped onions. I used carrots for the bell peppers. Emerald has a version of gumbo here.
I also used a small open bag of frozen corn, carrots, and peas mix. I typically use it for fried rice.
Since okra is not a stable in my household, I substituted shredded cabbage. I was hoping it would somehow thicken the sauce. I probably should have used more because it got cooked out.
The Last Ingredient:
I actually had some rice earlier that day, which mind you is rare for our household as we don’t eat it old-school style (meaning I used to eat it 3 square meals 365 days a year). We are a mixed household and I can definitely tell you, my husband and my son could not survive on eating rice for more than 2 meals tops.
After I undercooked the roux, I dumped everything into my thermal cooker pot. I waited for it to boil a sweat with the lid on top and transferred the pot into the outer pot shell. I took a pic to send to Janee as I knew she would be proud. She called it stew! My patience pushed 30 minutes when my not hungry belly was won over by my hypnotically, hungry nose.
The gumbo was so divine over white rice! Hot enough to tickle the root of my mouth and so salty. Yum! I snapped a picture of it but, I realized it looked a lot like jambalaya. Janee had explained the difference was that jambalaya held less liquid and didn’t have all the seafood goodness that gumbo did.
By morning, after several hours, it looked like below. I could taste the fish sauce and the gumbo was definitely thick. The frog legs was tender and falling off the bone. I actually ate the fishballs at all.
I did miss the shrimp. And maybe next time, I might add a little less tomato sauce and some bacon drippings. (Janee has used vegetable oil.) Plus the holy trinity must come into play. I’ll let you know how the updated version out next time.
So, what do you think? Did this work as Asian gumbo with fish sauce? Or was it as Janee puts it, just a stew?
This project has such an easy list of MATERIALS NEEDED: CLOTHESPINS AND STRONG WOOD GLUE. I used Gorilla wood glue and it’s perfect.
I think the hardest part about this clothespin rocking chair is just waiting for the glue to dry. Remember to allow glue to dry between each step before continuing. I kept the glue on its side rather than standing throughout the project to make it easy to pour out. You can pretty much figure out how to make this by looking at the pictures but I’ll give you the steps anyways.
1. Disassemble the clothes pin by pulling out the metal piece. Be careful with your fingers as you could get caught.
2. Build the seat with 6 wooden pieces, glued side-by-side.
3. Turn the seat to the back and glue 2 supports down crosswise as shown.
4. Glue two wooden pieces flat against each other to make the legs. You need 4 of these.
5. Glue the legs to the seat. I found that gluing 2 fronts, then 2 back helped in in ensuring that the leg would be even. The legs are probably the hardest part to glue. I tried to hold them to keep them stable while they dry.
6. Glue an additional side supports to each 2 pair of legs (one front, one back).
7. Glue 2 wooden pieces to the back of the seat on the top.
8. Glue a wooden piece across the bottom of 4 pieces. This is going to be the back to the chair. Attach the back to the chair.
9. Add the armrest to the top of the chair legs.
10. Glue across a wooden piece to support the back top.
11. To make the chair rock create 2 pieces. 2 pieces are butted together and glued on top of the flat portion of a wooden piece. Connect the top pieces at the cut out groove of the bottom piece.
12. Attach the legs to the 2 rocking pieces and you got yourself a pretty cool mini rocking chair. I used a Beanie Baby on mine but it should fit Barbie size dolls too.
And I bet, like my mom, your mom would love it too.
(This is an update of my DIY from instructables.com.)
Happy Halloween!! This would make a great accessary wear for your Halloween costume.
I don’t know about you but this rubber band bracelet is the only way I would get close to any spider. This Spider rubber band bracelet is so cool, it could literally make you start flinging web.
What I love is that while this bracelet uses Rainbow Loom rubber bands; you do not even need a loom/ hook or even clips. Make yourself stand out by wearing one of these. They are also perfect for Halloween and cosplay.
For my spider I choose the following colors:
Purple (head and body) You will need the most of this color.
Pink (eyes) Only need 2.
Black (body base and legs)
If you like another color combo, get creative and go for it. I know that next time I build this one, I’d want to try out the glow in the dark ones.
*A quick note, I am sensitive to latex and Rainbow Loom rubber bands are latex free. Also these rubber bands do not break like the cheap ones you find in bulk for a few dollars less.
Building the Skeleton:
The body and the head needs to be built first. I coined the term, “skeleton” for when rubber bands are attached together, end to end by tying them to each other.
1. For the body you will need a bit more rubber bands in the skeleton than the head. I just start rolling one end of the skeleton into a ball and the every last rubber band, I used to loop 2 times around the whole thing to secure it. I did the same for the purple head.
2. These bases are not perfect and as you can see, there are always lumps and loops. Don’t worry about these. The loops actually are useful because you will need to find 2 of them to pull out, 1 in the head and 1 in the body, to attach to each other.
3. Add more purple to stabilize and contour the head and body.
1. For the legs you will need to make 8 spider legs. Each leg create a small skeleton of 1 black tied to 1 white.
2. Loops the black pieces in alternating sides to the neck of the spider.
3. To create the thicker leg it’s time to “bead.” A bead is very easy to make. To bead grab a black rubber band and twist it several times around the black skeleton leg of the spider. I used 4 black rubber bands to create beads along each leg.
4. When all the legs are done, the spider will look almost right. You can fatten it up by adding more purple rubber bands throughout the head and body. Make sure when looping the bands to ensure that the legs are also included so that they will appear easy when spread out instead of in a cluster.
Note that in the last picture I use the loom only so I can show you spread out how the spider legs look. Again, no loom needed.
1. Tie a skeleton of 3 purple rubber bands. Bead 2 pink onto the middle purple rubber band. Make sure to space the pink appropriately as eyes for your spider.
2. Secure the eyes by looping of the right and left of the middle rubber band to the top legs. Then loop the 2 other sides appropriately to the body.
3. Add more purple to the head and body to secure the eyes.
Yay, the spider is now complete and finishing the web is next.
To make the web took a bit of figuring out. Thankfully long nails helped me in untying the mistakes I kept making as this bracelet was a learning process. The good news is I have figured out how many rubber bands you need to make a nice fitting web.
1. The web for under the head will be created first. Build 2 skeletons of 1 white with 1 purple. Use the purple to attach the white to the bottom side of the spider.
2. The top set of legs need another white each. There are a total of 3 whites to the second set of legs which was then tied with 1 white extra..
3. Next are the very bottom legs. They need 2 white rubber bands attached to each and then tied and spaced with 1 white. The attached white will need 1 white on each side.
4. Transition to the 3rd set of legs by making the web 2 whites long each. Each of the end white should meet with the end white of the 4th/ bottom legs and be tied together with another white rubber band. Add 2 more whites to each side and then tie them together in a double knot.
5. Secure the 2nd and 3rd legs together using a skeleton of 2 whites.
How to Wear:
This Spider Rubber Band Bracelet is easiest to wear by:
1. Place the spider on top of your hand, right side up.
2. Look for the double-knot loop and bring that bracelet piece under your wrist.
3. Look for the open single knot loop and bring that bracelet piece under your hand.
4. Place the 4 open white rubber bands appropriately on each finger. I like to do the ones that come under the eyes first.
As you can see, this bracelet can be worn left or right handed and even the spider can rest against your palm.
*For a better fit on the fingers, I think it would be best to use thin, white metal rings that are sized more appropriately for your fingers instead of the rubber bands. These Rainbow Loom bands can constrict the blood flow to your fingers if they are too tight. You can also switch the finger white webs with larger size rubber bands too.
Although it won’t look as cool, you can also opt to forgo the finger bands and tie the 2 webs pairs as loops with more white skeletons. Just secure it between the fingers instead of on each one.
This Stuffed Chicken Quarters is a tribute to my grandmother. We were so lucky to have my grandmother in our household growing up because we got to eat good when we were kids. Too bad I was spoiled and didn’t learn how to cook from her. My grandmother’s fear that we might burn ourselves kept me away from the kitchen when I was growing up.
Anyways, I remember quite fondly of this particular chicken dish my grandmother made where she deboned the whole chicken and stuffed it. It was so delicious, the skin was crispy and the stuffing was melt-in-my-mouth good. Just heavenly, except that my grandmother only made this dish one time. But that one time was enough to make me still drool a little while I think about it some 20 years later.
This is my first attempt to recreate this Stuffed Chicken Quarters and I can say I did my grandmother proud because my husband loved it. It is almost as good as how grandmother made it or as how I remembered how it tasted. If you have never debone chicken, I’ve got a video to demonstrate that as well as a bonus of an old school style of how to ground meat.
If you like this dish, please note that I am working on noodle dishes and this is the second one in this collection. Spring Rolls is my first noodles dish. Follow me as more noodle dishes will unfold into some pretty tasty instructables.
3-4 chicken quarters or chicken breast
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
2-3 tablespoon cilantro, minced
2 celery sticks, chopped
1/3 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1/2 package sweet potato noodles or vermicelli style rice noodles
light cooking oil spray
For those who don’t know chicken quarters are chicken pieces that have the thigh and the leg still connected together. I opted for this instead of a whole chicken since I wanted to make this as easy as possible to cook. Having done so, I would suggest that you can cut your prep time by using chicken breast instead of chicken quarters.
Yes, who knew that noodles also can be made from sweet potatoes. I certainly didn’t until I discovered these from a local Asian grocery store. I would say it’s a great alternative to the traditional rice noodles or even spaghetti noodles. The flavor tastes hearty and honestly I couldn’t tell that it was made of potatoes.
Prepping the Chicken and Noodles
1. Debone the chicken by carefully removing the skin and meat from the chicken bone. I have included a video that will make it easier for you if you have never done it before. Don’t worry, this was my first time too.
If you can’t watch the video, you will need to cut off the tail and fat to discard, take the skin off, take the meat off the bone. The video can also be found below or on my youtube channel by clicking here.
Update: I have also embedded it below.
2. Then you will have the fun of slicing the meat into smaller pieces and then chop away. I went old school! I used a Chinese/ Thai Chef knife found online on Amazon but you can use a butcher knife or any other large knife too. Just make sure to sharpen your knife for easier and faster prepping.
Of course if you have a food processor, by all means use that to grind the meat down into ground chicken. It will save you time and a tired hand. Even better if you can use ground turkey or if your local butcher shop sells ground chicken, buy it! I’m all about saving time.
3. Boil hot water and cook the potato noodles in it until it is ready. Remember like spaghetti you need to stir it frequently to make sure it doesn’t stick. The potato noodles took longer to cook than traditional rice noodles.
4. When done, drain the noodles into a colander and wash noodles in cold water to stop it from overcooking.
5. Using kitchen shears, cut the noodles into smaller pieces about 2-4 inches. To speed this up, I just pointed the shears straight down onto the noodles in the colander and cut, move, and cut.
Cooking the Stuffing
1. In a large sauté pan on medium high heat sauté garlic, onions, celery, and carrots until almost tender.
2. Add the ground chicken and cilantro to the pan.
3. Add 2-3 tablespoons of soy sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4. When chicken is almost cooked, add the noodles to the pan and mix well.
5. Turn off stove when chicken is done.
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Lightly spray a baking pan so that it will not stick.
3. Place chicken skin on pan and add the cooked stuffing.
4. Fold the skin so that the stuffing is held completely inside.
5. Continue with stuffing the other skins pieces.
6. Use toothpicks to pierce and support the skin from unrolling if necessary.
7. Drizzle a healthy dose of soy sauce over each of the stuffed chicken pieces. Add salt and pepper if desire.
8. Place pan into oven and cook until skin is nice and crisp. (App. 40-50 minutes.) About 20 minutes in I did double-check the stuffed chicken quarters by adding more soy sauce and also wiggling the pieces to ensure that it was not sticking to the bottom of the pan.
As I said, these Asian Stuffed Chicken Quarters came out delicious. They even tasted great the next day which was actually when I had mine.
Mine differ from the taste of my grandmother’s original because I used sweet potato noodles which is chewier than the white noodles I remember her using. My grandmother also finely chopped/ minced everything. My vegetables, chicken, and noodles were much larger. I think minimal seasoning was used by my grandmother. She didn’t cook much with soy sauce since that’s not a traditional seasoning to Hmong dishes. I cook with soy sauce because I cater to the taste of my husband and because I thought it would give the right amount of moisture to support the skin as it crisped. One thing is for sure, I am 100% positive you can vary the stuffing and it will still come out tasty.
Thank you to all the grandmothers that help to inspire the new generation of good eats.