Good Things From My Inbox

My inbox has been filling up lately with lots of good ideas of things to do/buy/make and I wanted to share just a few with you.

123 Baltimore: A Cool Counting Book by Puck is a counting board book for the toddler set. It takes little ones on a cool trip through Charm City. And while your little ones may not yet fully understand the significance of pink flamingos or blue crabs, or all things Baltimore, Hon, it's never too soon to start.

I really appreciate the simple san-serif type and clean design.

Here's a great offer from the American Visionary Art Museum for free admission to the museum if you donate clean jars. This offer is good through September 2011. You can email to arrange for your free passes. If you haven't taken your kids to AVAM, it is positively one of my favorite art places to go, and worth every penny. But free is even better. Here is a letter from their Education Assistant, Beka:

I am writing to ask if you could possibly assist us in collecting jars for our Educational programs. In exchange for your readers donating 10 jars, we can give them 2 passes to the museum. We are looking for jars to use in a workshop we currently offer for students coming to the museum on field trips called "Wire Whimsies" ( I have attached a photo !) Any jars with a lid work for this project, including jam jars, baby food jars, salsa jars etc.

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Baltimore International College has some wonderful sounding Food Enthusiast Classes. These are non-credit (in other words, no pressure) continuing education cooking and baking classes that are taught by experienced chefs at the Culinary Arts Center in Little Italy.

You can get gift certificates too, which might make a pretty nice Christmas present, hint, hint.

In the meantime, they sent this delicious looking gingerbread house recipe. I'm slightly terrified that it calls for 13 cups of flour. Am I building a city? I'm tempted to cut it in half, but I might just go for it because I really don't think there is such a thing as too much gingerbread.

Gingerbread House or Cookies

Ingredients:

6 cups Sugar

4 cups Butter (soft)

3/4 cup Molasses

4 Eggs

1/2 cup Milk

13 cups Flour

3 tbsp Baking Soda

2 tsp Salt

3 tbsp Cinnamon

2 tbsp Ginger

2 tsp Allspice

2 tsp Cloves

Procedure:

1. Beat the sugar, butter, and molasses together.

2. Add the eggs and beat until incorporated.

3. Add the milk and continue beating.

4. Mix the dry ingredients together (flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and cloves). Add to the creamed mixture and mix well.

5. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes.

And finally, Faces iMake, an app developed in conjunction with Hancoch Piven. I've been familiar with Hanoch's illustration work for many years, and I think this app is a fantastic adaptation of his playful style.

The app comes with a collection of collage objects that include musical instruments, food, hardware, letters and tools. You can combine them to make just about any face you can imagine. There is a lite version available for free, but for the full collection of 2000+ objects, I would recommend the premium version.