Monday, October 28, 2013

Baking Chocolate Cookies

(44 Months)

My Aunt Geri sent down an adorable care package for the kidabunks.  Thank you so much!  As soon as they saw their new pumpkin aprons they asked to bake "something", then they pulled out a cute set of Sesame Street bakeware: cookie cutters, muffin liners and character picks, and a pull-apart cake tin.  I knew that even though we just made two batches of banana nut muffins yesterday, we were going to bake "something" today.

While Little Miss napped in her big girl room (they just moved into their own bedrooms- la sigh, wipe tear), Wild One kept asking me when are we going to bake "something".  I started searching for a healthy-ish recipe for a sugar cookie, but what I found was something so much better.

I went onto Weelicious and typed sugar cookie into her search engine, after a quick browse of the resulting recipes I chose her Chocolate Graham Crackers.  I read the ingredients and became instantly intrigued: a mix of all-purpose and whole wheat flours, unsweetened cocoa powder, honey and brown sugar, oh and of course butter.  I quickly assembled the list of ten ingredients and called the kiddos over.

This recipe is very kid-friendly.  Wild One, I mean Chef Wild One, went straight to work leveling cups of flour with the back of a butter knife and adding them to the food processor.  He poured dry and wet ingredients, while remembering to take care to work slowly and not drop or dump the ingredients, but carefully pour the ingredients into the processor.

He tried rolling out the dough, but it was a little hard to do. You need to push down quite a bit as you roll the pin.  He kept trying though.

I eventually took over that part of the recipe.  Then Little Miss came running over when she heard it was time to use the cookie cutters.  The two of them took turns pressing the cookie cutter into the dough.  This part was a bit time-consuming.  It took a little over a half-hour to press and place the cookies.

This easily makes two trays of cookies.  Which works out well, because these are soooo good.  They taste like a slightly less-sweet Oreo cookie (the outside part).  I know!

Little Miss kept saying that she ate one of Cookie Monsters eyes.  She thought that was hilarious.

Weelicious is one of my favorite recipe sites.  I began visiting Weelicious when the kids started eating solid foods.  Catherine has a lot of wonderfully delicious and healthy (or healthy-ish) recipes.  Some of our favorites that we have made, countless times over the past two and half years, are her Red Beet Pancakes, Red Beet Cupcakes, Spinach Cake Muffins (I know what you are thinking, you have to try these - they really are spectacular), Pumpkin Apple Muffins, Chocolate Zucchini Muffins, Gingerbread Pancakes and Spinach Ricotta Bites.

Thank you again Aunt Geri for the adorable care package, as you can see the kidabunks loved it!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Less Messy Way to Dye Eggs

(44 Months)

We dye eggs throughout the year.  Why have pretty colored eggs just for Easter?  We normally use food dye, vinegar and warm water to dye the eggs.  Sometimes we add stickers, or draw on them with markers.  Today, we decided to use Q-tips to paint the dye onto the eggs.

The setup was very quick.  We put two drops of liquid food dye into each paint compartment.  Next, I gently squeezed a little less than two mLs of white vinegar onto the food dye (we used an old medicine syringe).  Then, it was paint time!  We dipped a Q-tip into each of the color compartments and started painting our eggs.

This is another fun way to strengthen their fine motor skills to help prepare them for the intricacies of learning how to write and use scissors.  It takes a lot of control to hold the egg with one hand while painting with the other.  I loved watching their faces deep in concentration.

The end product was quite pretty.  I love the swirls of color.

A little extra bonus, we now can add some sliced eggs to a quick salad, have egg salad sandwiches, or a quick hardboiled egg as a pre-breakfast snack.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Mummy Friends

(44 Months)

We have been doing a lot of the same lately: reading our BOB books, practicing tracing and cutting, calendar time, play dough, Cheerios math, playing dress up and putting on plays, making our annual footprint ghosts, blocks, tennis, soccer, dance, play ground...  Our days, like yours, are always filled.  Even still, I've been feeling a bit guilty that we haven't made or done anything new.

We found the inspiration for our mummies from Happy Hooligans.  Thank you again Jackie!   I always love it when there is a quick and easy project that doesn't mean we have to run to the store.  We save our empty rolls of toilet paper for crafts, there are so many on Pinterest to choose from.  I pulled out two empty rolls, and gave Wild One and Little Miss an almost empty roll of toilet paper (there was about 1/3 left on each roll, and it was plenty).

I started each mummy roll for them, so they could learn how to twist the paper around the empty roll.  We tucked our ends underneath the bottom of the roll, instead of using glue or white yarn to secure it.

Next came those fun googly eyes.  I thought we were done, Little Miss asked if we could add a nose and mouth.  I was about to say no, then I stopped myself - it's not my project, it's their project.  If they want a nose and mouth, then that's fine.  Out came the scissors, crayons and paper.

This project only takes about five minutes and the result is so adorable.

Meet Slinkin and Frankin -where do they come up with these names?

Friday, October 11, 2013

Farm Field Trip

(43 Months)

We had so much fun on the farm!  This was our first trip to a farm and they enjoyed every part of it!  Field trips are so much fun!  We love homeschool preschool, especially when Buddy and My Jeanine comes to visit.

Introducing the Round Up Gang: Grandma and Buddy; My sister and Wild One; and Me with Little Miss.

 Buddy was so excited about petting the bunnies.  Isn't he a cutie?

Wild One loved how soft the rabbits were.  I think it was her cousin's and brother's laughter that finally convinced Little Miss to pet the bunnies.

No trip to a farm would be complete without a hay ride.

Have you ever caught a chicken?

 Grandpa did!

 So, of course Grandpa's Little Mini Me had to as well.

 It's time to milk the cows.  Any volunteers?  Look at Buddy raising his hand and walking forward!

Thank you Buddy and My Jeanine for flying down for the weekend.  We had so much fun.  We love you and miss you so much.