Saturday, June 21, 2014

Tot School Update and an Announcement.

It has been a few weeks since I have posted anything about our Tot School adventures. We haven't quit, but it has sort of been shuffled to the back burner for now. The summer comes with lots of outdoor fun, we are seldom home. This summer is no exception, it seems. On top of that, we are moving in about a month and a half and things are changing in little Miss Salean's world. 

Come December, our little Jellybean will be joined by another. Yes, she is going to be a big sister. She really does not understand, but I have been trying my best to talk about babies and sharing. I borrowed a couple books on babies and being a big sister from the library; we will keep them a few weeks and then get some more in November. We got her a baby doll, and she was just given a Cabbage Patch doll. As well, she will have a new baby cousin any day now. Hopefully we will be able to teach her about being gentle with babies and she will be ready by the time baby is ready.

As for after Christmas, her second birthday and after baby comes, I have a new plan. I was given the opportunity to purchase a preschool curriculum called Before Five in a Row, one that comes highly recommended. It is aimed at 2 to 4 year olds, so come January we will dive into it. It will be Salean and Mommy time set aside each day. I have been reading through the curriculum and feel we are really going to enjoy it, there is so much packed into it that we can pick and chose from. I don't feel she is ready for it now, at almost 18 months, because she does not have the attention span and focus to sit through a whole book daily. Some days she can, others we get through a few pages and she is off. 

So, for now, there may not be any more Tot School posts. Once January comes and we start Before Five in a Row, hopefully I will have lots to share on the subject! 

Here we go on the first day of summer! Happy weekend, everyone!


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Produce Pack: Week 2

We were not supposed to get a produce pack this week, but last week a few rainy days were followed by a couple really nice ones, so things grew and we were told there would be enough for a pack this week.

Look at all the wonderful things!! It is hard to see it all, but I will try my best.

Top along the back: bok choy, leaf lettuce, Honey Oatmeal bread, spinach.
Bottom: broccoli, swiss chard, 2 Lb parsnips, tomato, microgreens, 2 Lb beets, mizuna, an herb.
Not in picture: A dozen free run eggs.

Instead of the tomato, I could have chosen a cucumber, there were 3 different herbs or radishes to choose from, and instead of the beets I could have taken more Jerusalem artichokes, but I have yet to use last week's batch.

Left over from last week I have half a cucumber, some mizuna, the beets, a parsnip, a few potatoes, half a container of hummus, the celeric and the Jeruslem artichokes, both which I hope to use today. Sadly, I had to toss the fiddleheads, some of the lettuce and microgreens, and half the loaf of bread because we just didn't get to them before they went bad.  I used up the rhubarb, all the eggs (mostly in our baby shower baking) and tomato, and most of the potato and parsnip in a stew.

I hate to have to throw out food, especially such delicious things! But, I am thinking I may have gotten in over my head. I am going to give it one more week and if I am wasting to much, I will cancel. This will give someone on the waiting list a chance to have a Produce Pack; they only accept 100 people each spring and have a long waiting list. If I do cancel, I will get a 100 dollar gift card from the store that started the packs, which I will use by going to their store and creating my own produce pack once a week. This way, I will be able to get less and customize it more towards my weekly needs.

So that is week two, hopefully I do not end up cancelling and there will be a week three, four and more.

Have a good day, everyone!


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Buttery Bread Machine Rolls

I've always wanted a bread machine. So, last Christmas when I was gifted some cash, I went out and bought one. It sits on the counter taking up space and looking forlorn; I use it about once a month. A couple weeks ago, a complaint was put in about that fact. My problem with homemade bread is that I have a hard time slicing it, it is so thick that it won't fit in the toaster and then it gets forgotten for store bought bread. I was mentioning this to a friend last week and they said "well, why don't you make rolls?" Huh. I honesty didn't think of that, after all the machine has a dough setting on it. So, that night I did another recipe search, and came up with THIS. I decided they would be perfect to make Friday to go with a rainy day stew.

Someone had commented on the recipe that they had divided the dough and baked half of it off a few days later, so I decided to make the dough one night and bake it the next morning. I pulled it out of the bread machine and carefully wrapped it in plastic wrap. Into the fridge it went, and the next morning I was greeted with this:

I guess I missed a spot! Expanding dough will always find a way out!

The recipe states it makes 24, I mis-divided and managed 32 mini rolls. I had to put them in two pans. I will have to be more careful with my math the next time, as some are just a little to small. In my defence, it was 6 AM. I couldn't sleep so I got up to get ahead start on the days baking (for Saturday's baby shower). 

I let them sit and raise almost 2 hours, while I baked cookies and got ready for the day. They baked off in 15 minutes and, as bread always does, smelled absolutely delicious coming out of the oven at 8 AM. To bad little Miss was sleeping and Mr Picky was working, there was no one to share the yummy smell. I brushed them with a bit of butter, something my Mom taught me to do when she made bread; she told me it keeps the crust soft. I managed to wait 10 minutes before diving in!

This recipe is extremely easy and delicious, and again, smells divine! So long as the masses agree, I will be making them again! Even if they don't agree, I might :-)  
Have a good day, everyone!


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Diaper Cake

Happy Father's Day, everyone!

Yesterday afternoon, I helped throw a baby shower for my sister. She is expecting her third boy, and is soon going to be vastly outnumbered! Last time, I made a diaper cake that was well received, so I decided to do a repeat performance for this baby.

Layer one is about half a box of Kirkland diapers. I used a cheap bottle as a centre to give it a bit more support. I rolled each diaper individually and tied them with elastics. For each of the 4 layers of rolls, I put a larger elastic around the previous set of rolls and tucked diapers into it.

The second layer is made up of cloth diapers. I use cloth and she is thinking of using them for the newbie. In the middle I stuffed a small wet bag for a spacer, and then I used another large elastic to secure the diapers around the top of the bottle. I ended up stuffing a diaper in the centre as well.

The top layer is made of baby leggings to match the diapers. Again, I rolled each and secured with an elastic and then put them altogether with an elastic. I covered all the elastics on all three layers with some blue ribbon.

Finally, I topped it off with a cute onesie I found in Calais, Maine when I was visiting there before Easter. I thought it would go with it nicely.

The finished slightly floppy cake, I decorated it with a few baby toys, two soothers and some sample sized shampoos and baby supplies.

The baby shower was a success, Mom is happy and due in two short weeks!

Once again, hope everyone has a great Father's Day!!


Friday, June 13, 2014

Rhubarb Crisp

Tuesday, I wrote about the Produce Pack we started receiving through a local fruit & veggie 'stand'. One of the goodies I received was 2 Lb of rhubarb; I'v never cooked with it before, so after cruising the realms of the internet, I came up with THIS recipe.

I used a bit more rhubarb than what the recipe called for. By the time I had measured out 4 cups, I only had a stalk and a half left, so I just chopped them into it.

Rhubarb prepped and in the pan, sugar, flour and cinnamon added.

Adding the topping. I cut back on both the brown and white sugars. The recipe calls for 1 cup of each, I only added 3/4.

Out of the oven, baked and smelling delicious! Even though I cut back on the sugars, I still found this recipe to be overly sweet I could not taste the bitterness of the rhubarb at all. I gave a bit to Salean and she loved it! Mr Picky wouldn't try it. To many memories of rhubarb in his teens. I think if I receive more rhubarb I might make it again, but cut back on the sugar even more and maybe add some strawberries.

It's Friday the 13th, I am not really superstitious, but I hope the day goes well! I have lots to do before a baby shower tomorrow!

Have a good weekend, everyone!


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Produce Pack: Week 1

It is time for us to start eating more veggies, so I signed up for a local produce pack. Once a week, I pay 40 dollars and I receive a produce pack of fresh, local, organic, chemical free veggies and seasonal fruit; along with a dozen free rage eggs and a loaf of home made artisan bread. It is a lot of veggies, but I am hoping this will get us to try new things and eat healthier. Because of the weather, some veggies are running late this year so they said they may have to skip next week. In lieu of next week's pack, they sent along an extra 10 dollars worth of veggies this week. This is what I got:

Along the top: leaf lettuce, 12 eggs, micro greens, whole wheat sourdough, cucumber. 
The 6 in the middle: 2 Lb beets, celeriac, hummus, 2 Lb parsnip, tomato, 1.5 Lb Jerusalem artichoke. 
Bottom: mizuna, 5 Lb potato, 1 Lb fiddleheads.
Missing from picture: 2 Lb rhubarb.

There are some things I had a choice of, instead of the tomato, I could have taken radishes and instead of the lettuce, I could have taken spinach. 

The bread is already cut in the picture because I gave little miss a couple thin slices with apple jelly on them for her snack. It was a hit! 

So, my first 'recipe' with my produce pack this week, a BLT! 

I have been craving one for a few days, but I didn't buy the ingredients because I knew they were coming. I used turkey bacon and the sourdough bread, along with some of the lettuce and tomato. Delicious!

I have already found a recipe for the rhubarb; and Friday it is supposed to rain so I hope to make a stew with some of the potatoes and parsnip, I just have to get some carrots. I have to find a use for the beets, celeriac and artichokes, although the latter two came with recipes. And I will pass on the fiddleheads. I may open them to take a couple for miss Salean to try, but after eating way to many as a teen, I am kind of over them. 

So, hopefully I will have a few more recipes to share with new veggies in the coming months! 

Have a good week, everyone! 


Sunday, June 1, 2014

Tot School: Playing with Shaving Cream

We are linked up to: Tot School Gathering Place.

It's been a busy two weeks, and it has been a sunny and hot weekend! We had quite a few outings and had lots of outdoor time. We did have a few cold, rainy days, and on one of those days we attempted playing with shaving cream.

We started with just a small cup. The pictures are deceiving; she looks like she is enjoying herself, but each time she got even a little bit on her fingers, she held them up for me to clean.

After a few minutes of play with the cup, I sunk two Weebles in the cream. She tried to pick them up, but gave up quickly.

Coming to me to get her hands wiped off, after trying to wipe them on the chair behind her.

Our Art activity last week was colouring with crayons. I have been looking for 'chubby' crayons everywhere and finally found a set, although they are not as large as I remember them being. I gave her two on her first trial, so she would not be overwhelmed by to many colours. She tried to chew on them a bit, but mostly made lines by tapping the crayons on the paper.

Not exactly an activity, but on one of our outings we were given some new dresses!

They are not the best pictures, she is wiggly and didn't want to show them off. They were made by my friend, her site is HERE, check it out!!

We were also given a hand made sun hat, but little miss has yet to leave it on long enough to get a picture.

Finally, the coup de grace of our week, Daddy took us to the zoo! We visited the Magnetic Hill Zoo in Moncton. Salean loved it, especially the big cats, monkeys and snakes!

This little monkey startled Salean, but she played with it for quite awhile! If she touched the glass, the monkey followed her finger. Daddy played along to, making the little guy jump all around.

Getting close to the tigers. They have a huge enclosure with a few large glass walls. We were lucky one of the tigers was pacing when we were there.

We also got the same experience with a black jaguar, but didn't get any good pictures of her interacting with it.

A lovely peacock. The picture below, she is pointing to the peacock, she started shrieking and was quite surprised when he shrieked back!

I didn't get many pictures at the zoo, I forgot to charge my camera and the back up batteries I brought turned out to be duds, too. The tiger and monkey pictures were taken by cell phone. The pictures we did get are good enough for her scrapbook, and the memories are better!

That was our week in a nutshell! Hope everyone had a great weekend, as well!