Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Every Day Activities...

Today, I got down on the floor with Nathaniel and we looked around. We talked about how tall things were like the kitchen cabinets and how the table used to be so tall and now he can reach it. I crawled around the house and we looked for things to talk about.  Then I pulled out the laundry basked and Nathaniel crawled into it. We pretended that the basked was a boat and that we were in the ocean. The seas got a little rough since it was raining outside and I gently bounced the basket up and down. We talk about the seagulls in the air and the dolphins and whales in the ocean. We also talked about the rain outside. I used a little wooden spoon as a paddle and pretended to paddle in the ocean and then Nathaniel wanted to give it a try. We had so much fun. You don’t need to buy a lot of expensive toys to have fun just look around and think creatively.
Art for today:
Warm Cornstarch Fingerpaint – from First Art by Mary Ann Kohl.
Dissolve 1  cup cornstarch into ½ cut cold water set aside. Boil three cuts water in saucepan on stove. Remove the pan add the cornstarch mixture to the hot water. Stir constantly. Place pan back on stove and boil for about 1 min, until clear and thick. Add ½ teaspoon food coloring. Be sure the cornstarch is dissolved before adding the food coloring. Allow paint to cool down and then paint together with the warm paint. Not hot. Talk about how it feels warm and soft. Talk about the different textures you can feel. Most important…. Have Fun!!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

How to get the dishes done with a 14 month old

Ok. Getting the dishes done can be a challenge. Nathaniel has his own drawer for dishes. When I am doing dishes he takes his plastic dishes out and puts them in an oatmeal box and then when all his plastics are in the oatmeal box he works on putting them back into this drawer. This keeps him busy and allows me some time unload and reload the dishwasher.

Every Day Activities:

Finding activities that work well for children around 15 months can be a challenge. Nathaniel and I tried sponge painting the other day and it worked really well. I first taped a large paper that I pulled from our Art Easel. I then poured yellow, blue, and red paint on it. I cut the sponges into square shapes and had Nathaniel sit in his booster seat. I showed him how to dip the sponges into the paint and then move them around the paper. He had a great time. Other quick activities we did that day… we read Mother Goose Rhymes, this is great for gaining phonemic awareness and a wonderful activity to promote early reading.
I also found an old box and three golf tee’s. I taped the old box together and showed Nathaniel how to hammer the golf tee’s into the box. At this age he was more interested in just hammering onto the box, however with my help he did hit a few tee’s. I was very careful to put the golf tee’s away at this age they should not do this type of activity unsupervised unless it is just the box with a plastic hammer. Oh, by the way we used a plastic hammer.
The last activity we did that day was collecting about nine balls that go to various toys and we bounced them into my cupcake pan. I also set out a paper bag and when we were done bouncing and rolling the balls we put them into the paper bag and pulled them out. 
By: Angela Albertson  

Crunchy Parmesan Chicken Tenders

Hi everyone. I got this recipe from Giada De Laurentiis on the Food Network.

Crunchy Parmesan Chicken Tenders

4 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders
1 1/4 cups freshly grated Parmesan
3/4 cup Italian-style seasoned bread crumbs

1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.
2. Brush 1 tablespoon of olive oil over each of 2 heavy lined large baking sheets. Place the buttermilk in a large bowl. Add the chicken tenders and stir to coat. Let stand at least 15 minutes and up to 30 minutes.
3. Stir the Parmesan and bread crumbs in a pie dish. Remove the chicken tenders from the buttermilk and dredge them in the bread crumb mixture to coat completely, pressing to adhere. Arrange the coated chicken tenders on the prepared baking sheets, spacing evenly. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the chicken tenders and bake until they are cooked through and golden brown, about 12 minutes.

By: Janine

Meat Loaf Sandwich

Meat Loaf Sandwich

I am not normally a fan of meat loaf but I tried this recipe and loved it.
5 sandwich rolls - I used buttermilk biscuits.
1 egg
1 can of stewed tomates
2 tb of fresh asil
1 lb of ground beef
4 oz of cheddar cheese
1 cup of fresh spinach leaves.
I added some extra veggies see below:

Combine bread crumbs, egg, tomatoes and basil with your ground beef. ( I actually used ground turkey) I then puréed 1 clove of garlic, added 1 cut of cooked puréed summer squash, carrots, and green pepper. I first steamed all the above and then blended it and added it to the meat. Mixed and then cooked at around 400 for about 40 min. I then cooked up buttermilk biscuits.

Presentation and it looks nice:
Sliced the buttermilk biscuit put a slice of meatloaf on top added the spinach and stewed tomatoes and then we ate. Nathaniel sometimes doesn't seem to eat chicken and taco meat by themselves but he absolutely loved the meat loaf. I think the summer squash gave it a touch of sweetness. We all enjoyed this dish.

Modified from Better Homes and Gardens March 2011 issue.
by Angela A.

Great Meal Ideas

This is something really easy that both Claire and Eric like!

I put chicken in the crock pot (can be any cut - I like legs and thighs).
I pour cooking sherry over the meat and season with seasoning salt, dried onion, pepper, garlic, etc. Really anything you like.
The I leave it in all day.

At night it's ready and I serve it with rice and some kind of veggie. I like to spoon some of the chicken juice over the chicken and rice on the plate.

This is so easy and can be changed based on what your family likes!
by Christina Z.