Archive for October, 2012

Halloween Bean Bag Toss

Posted: October 12, 2012 in DYI


This year I was recruited to be my kindergartner’s school’s first ever Room Dad. About two days after volunteering I was pushed right into the biggest fundraiser of the year, the Fall Festival.

Okay, you may be thinking “big deal, an elementary school Fall Festival.” Well friends allow me to tell you this is no ordinary Fall Festival; these people are serious about some fundraising. Here are some of the highlights.

  • First the PTO expects to net over $40,000 (this thing only runs from 9am-3pm.)
  • Over 4,000 are expected in attendance.
  • Carnival concessions, games, rides, and prizes.
  • Live and Silent Auction

I am a “type A” kind of guy, so I hit the ground running. I thought a bean bag toss, and the idea was confirmed by another room mom. Rather than spend $15-30 I thought about my scrap wood pile, and dumpster diving (as I do many times a day.) My reasoning for not buying something is the same as it always is; I can do it bigger, better, and cheaper, and as an added benefit I intend to use these as decorations for this Halloween.

If you want to build a Halloween Bean Bag toss for a Fall Festival, party, or for whatever this is how I did mine.

Here is what you’ll need:

  1. Some paint for your design, I like Beher Premium Plus. It seems to hold up to the abuse of the munchkins that live in my house as well as, or better than the more expensive professional brands.
  2. A drill, drill bit big enough for the jig saw blade, and #2 Phillips bit
  3. Jigsaw
  4. 2″ coarse threaded screws
  5. (2) 2×4 sheet of wood
  6. material to make 4 feet


I’d rate this project easy. You don’t need to be a master with a jigsaw. I have never seen a pumpkin, or ghost without a crooked mouth.

How I did mine:

This first thing I did was drag out a scap piece of MDF (2×8) left over from our old house’s kitchen remodel. I knew I’d need it one day, so I stashed it in my mom’s detached garage who lived just down the street, unbeknownced to my mom of course, she never goes in there anyway. Next, I simply cut the board in half to make (2) 2×4 pieces.

My board happened to be primed already; I tested a paint sample, and it didn’t stick. Out came the belt sander, which I saved from a dumpster years ago; it only needed a new cord!


Next was to get my beautiful artist wife to sketch a pumpkin, and a ghost. After that it was time to cut out some holes for the toss. First thing first, you will need to drill a hole to fit the jigsaw blade into. After you drill some holes, cut out the shapes with the jigsaw, and file or sand down any rough cuts.


First up was the ghost. I cut him out then painted the body black, and then mixed black and white paint together to get grey, and a black back ground. This was recommnded by Lori to give him a translucent look.


Next was the pumpkin. He’s pretty straight forward. I game him some coats of “pumpkin patch orange” and a black background.

After painting I needed a way to stand my creations upright. I dug through my scrap pile on the lumber rack. As I was coming down from the ladder I spotted some 7″ triangles (7″ rise x 7″ run = 9 7/8″ hypotenuse, if you want legs of different measurements use Pythagorean theorem)  left over from building some stairs which Lori had rescued from the bonfire pile. “Those would be perfect! Oh man! I can’t have those, Lori is going to do something with them. Did I burn the others last weekend? I better go check.” I thought to myself. I frantically hurried off to the lumber pile where, SCORE!

Attaching the feet was easy. I made sure the 2″ coarse threaded screws wouldn’t puncture the front of the bean bag toss. Pre-drilled the holes at the determined angle, to prevent cracking the feet, and sunk the screws. I then painted the feet black as well.


What is cool abut the triangle feet is you can lay it down like corn hole, or stand it up for a baseball pitch.


The only thing left is the bean bags. Lori, isn’t sewing in your department? ….

— Nate


Radiccio & Roquefort Pasta

Posted: October 10, 2012 in Pasta


If you are looking to carb and fat load for that long endurance event, or if you are looking for a dish to give you warm fuzzies on these fall evenings this is the dish for you!! The salty and aged flavor of Roquefort Cheese combines with the bitter tenderness of grilled vegetables to make an earthy, rustic dish for the cool fall evenings.


1/2 cup Walnut Pieces
3 heads Belgian endive
1 head radicchio
1/2 lb of Roquefort or some other type of blue cheese
3 tbsp of walnut oil
2 tbsp of red wine vinegar
1 lb of ribbon pasta (such has fettuccine)
1/4 cup freshly chopped flat leaf parsley

In a pan over medium heat toast the walnuts.
Cut the vegetables in half lengthwise, brush with oil and grill over indirect heat until they just begin to char. Remove from grill and chop into ribbons.
Combine the cheese, oil, and vinegar mashing to combine. Add the edvine, raddicio, and walnut stir in gently as to not tear the delicate ribbons.
Cook pasta to manufacture’s directions for al dente. Drain, then add cheese mixture, and gently toss to cover being careful not to tear the ribbons.
Season with salt and pepper to taste at table.
     Servers 7.

KCAL  616
Protein  18g

Carbs  87g
Fat  22g

Serve with a sweet wine. Goes well with rotisserie or grilled chicken.