Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Chocolate Chip Cookies

This month, we have had a lot of winter storms. A LOT of winter storms. In between storms, it has been bitter cold, so we have been stuck inside most of this past month. So what are two girls to do but bake! This past week, we made chocolate chip cookies, a very simple recipe that I have been making for years. I originally got the recipe from a Kraft What's Cooking magazine, but you can get the recipe HERE

Once again, I premeasured the ingredients,. She got a little antsy and tried to dump everything in at once, so I had to hold her back until the butter and sugars were creamed. Here she is pouring the eggs in.


In go the chocolate chips. We just used up a spare half package, there were a bit to many, some cookies were packed full.


Scooping. I set my spoon down to take the picture, and she had to fill it and pass it back to me.


More scooping, she really got into it. 


Cookies, deliciously baked. Mr Picky came in the door just as they were being pulled from the oven, perfect timing on this stormy day! We ended up getting 25 cm when they were only calling for about 10. We are glad he decided to come home early and be safe, and help eat the cookies!


Finally, the best part, eating the cookies. They are really good fresh from the oven. The batch didn't last long!


So, if you ever find yourself stuck inside on a stormy day and in need of a treat, whip up this recipe. It is quick (only takes about 2 minutes in the mixer once you get everything measured out), Yum.

And we are hoping for no more snow!!

Have a good day, everyone!

~Natasha.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Homemade Butter

This one is being posted a little late, we did this activity on pancake day, February 17th. I decided for dinner I was going to make buttermilk pancakes. They were a super flop, so I am not going to post that recipe. I found this quick recipe in a Chatelaine magazine a few years ago, it said to use a blender but my blender didn't work; after whipping the cream it just spun and spun doing nothing else. So, at the time I threw the half completed concoction into my mixer and made quick work of it. 


This is an easy recipe, you need one ingredient and one tool: whipping cream and a mixer. Pour the cream into the mixer with the whisk attachment and turn it on. 


I started it on slow until it thickened up some, just for the mess factor Once it became cream, I turned it up to full speed.


Above, it is cream. About 2-3 minutes into the process. By this time Miss Salean became bored and wandered off. 


About 6-7 minutes in, it looks like cream still but turning yellow. Starting to curdle. Best to put a towel over it now, because the change is coming shortly. 


Suddenly, after about 10 minutes, it separates into butter and buttermilk!  By this time she wandered back, but still did not have much interest in it. 


And finally, the butter is fished out of the buttermilk and squeezed to get all the excess out I put some on a cracker, but she refused to try it. She did, however, enjoy poking it with a knife!

Later in the day, we used our buttermilk and butter for our pancakes. They tasted good, but looked horrible and didn't raise very well.

I am sure someday this will make a great science experiment to teach with, but for now it just looks cool, and is actually a little cheaper than buying butter in the store.

Have a good week, everyone!

~Natasha.


Saturday, February 28, 2015

Zucchini Tots

In my never ending quest to get my toddler to eat a veggie, I decided to buy a small zucchini that was on sale last week. I bought the zucchini before I found the recipe, but I thought this would be something she might possibly eat. Maybe? Hopefully? 

Of course, once again I turned to Pintrest, and you can get the recipe HERE.


Sorry, only one picture. It was a busy night! I got both girls in bed before 7, had oodles of energy and made 2 batches of cookies, sugar and oatmeal, and then I made these while the rest baked.

I had the zucchini shredded and realized I didn't have any bread crumbs. But I did have croutons! So I took about a dozen and crushed them with my marble rolling pin.  I also skipped the onions because I didn't have one.

So the next day, I warmed one up and gave it to Little Miss for lunch...and she spit it out. I offered another later in the day, she tried it again with the same result. Another veggie failure.

Onto the next recipe!

~Natasha.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Tea Biscuit Pizzas

Last Friday was an insane day, we spent half the morning at a library program and the afternoon was crazy with a colicky baby and a cranky toddler. Dinner had to be quick and easy, and since nothing had been thawed, with stuff from the refrigerator. I was craving pizza but didn't have dough, and the last time I made it was a flop. I jumped on Pintrest to see my options, and found several recipes using store bough biscuits. Going to the store was not an option, so I made my own using my Mom's recipe, found Here.


I keep a bag of cooked hamburger in the freezer for pizzas and pulled out some leftover pepperoni, it thawed in the time it took to make the biscuits. The biscuit recipe, using a larger cutter than I usually do, made 17 mini pizzas.


Miss Salean ate one with me, and another later when Daddy came home. I ate four! And Mr Man ate 4 as well. The remaining I wrapped and threw back into the freezer for quick lunches later.

So long as they reheat for lunches well, I will be making these again to keep in stock. Cheaper than buying them in the deli at the grocery store and easier to restock!

Have a good day, everyone!

~Natasha,

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Tot School: B is for Balls and the Colour Blue

Our second unit of tot school went over quite well. Miss Salean really enjoyed the activities we did, and loves to see her artwork hanging in her play area. Once again, all printables are courtesy 1+1+1=1, Thank you! 

Each morning, we put a sticker on our calendar page. It took a few days to get used to only having one sticker a day, but after a couple weeks she is looking forward to it and pointing to her calendar each morning. I have to show her where to put the sticker every time, and once she gets it on there, I count the numbers that have been done already. 


We started our adventure into B with a colouring page of a ball, with a blue crayon. I am trying to get her to make the letter sound and say the word. We were successful with Apple last unit, but not the A sound. This time it was opposite, she easily made the B sound but would not say Ball.


As I mentioned before, I wanted to start doing a baking session weekly. The first week, we made muffins. Week two was a little more busy, so we didn't have a chance to get into the kitchen.


Another activity we tried was a sequence puzzle. She really didn't get it, even after several explanations. She played with the squares for a few minutes and then I substituted with another colouring page. We will go back to the puzzles later.


Again, when I gave her the colouring page with a blue crayon, I got her to make the B sound and attempted to get her to say Ball and Blue.


Another colouring page, this time I gave her a visual along with the page, This came out of a basket of a couple dozen different balls that I had put out this week. Usually, with the toy rotation I put out about six, this time I put out all of them in a big basket.


Another day, we played with blue play dough. She loved it, and it distracted her for about 45 minutes. After a while she started tossing it around the room, so it went away.


At the end of the week, I tacked on a mini Valentine's unit. Friday, we went to a library program, they did a puppet show and story time then passed out Valentine's cards and chocolates. I continued the fun Saturday with breakfast, pancakes with homemade apple jelly and a sliced apple cut like a heart. Lunch was a grilled cheese made with bread that I cut with a giant heart shaped cookie cutter, 

We had some store bought Valentine's that she grabbed off the shelf one day while we perused the dollar store. She doesn't ask for much, so I got them. I labeled them for everyone and let her colour the backs with pink and reds.


I packaged them up with some homemade sugar cookies, I made them using This Recipe that I found a few years ago.


Books we used this week:
My Many Colored Days by Dr Seuss
How do Dinosaurs Learn Their Colours? by Jane Yolen
Little Critters ABCs by Mercer Mayer
Treasure Hunt: Counting Colours by Priddy Books.

So that is it for our B unit! Next week we are into the letter C for Cat. I haven't picked a colour to go with it yet, since there are none that I can think of that start with the letter C. 
Have a good week, everyone!! 

~Natasha. 


We are linked up to:


Saturday, February 14, 2015

Spaghetti Squash Pizza Casserole

Last weekend, I went to a local-ish Winter Market and bought some new veggies. Well, new to the family, not new to me. The first was spaghetti squash, it's been a couple of years since I have had it, but it is delicious! To help the fussies ease into something new, I decided to attempt cooking it into something somewhat recognizable.  I found THIS recipe on my go-to recipe search engine: Pintrest. 


I didn't have any onions, so I used green peppers; and instead of sausage I used some leftover hamburger from the night before. I have to tell you, it looked really nasty stirring it up, bit it cooked nicely.


I gave Miss a small portion, with a small salad and half a bread stick that I also got at the Market. I only give her a half portion of bread because she loves it so much that she will fill up on it.

The verdict? I liked it, Miss tasted it and made her blah noise, it was returned to me. Mr Picky wouldn't touch it. So, that means remaking is not an option. I guess the next time I get a spaghetti squash, I will find another recipe.

Have a good weekend, everyone!

~Natasha.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Carrot and Apple Oat Muffins

As I said last week, I am going to try to start baking once a week with Miss Salean. I decided muffins are an easy place to start. We almost didn't get them done because baby sister decided not to take a nap today, but we put her in the bouncy seat beside us and went at it. I had some extra carrots, so I decided a carrot muffin would be a good idea. I found THIS recipe on Pintrest, of course.

 I premeasured all the ingredients while she was eating lunch. Eggs, apple, oil, milk, spices, brown sugar, flour and oatmeal. All lined up and ready to go.

The last time we baked, Miss just wanted to watch, this time she was very interested in dumping the ingredients into the mixer. In goes the oatmeal!


The dry ingredients, apple and carrot are in the mixer, giving the wet ingredients a stir (after some help breaking up the egg yolks and blending a bit).


The batter complete. It was thick and very easily scooped out without drips, something I love in a batter.


Lining the muffin cups, she took this job very seriously. We counted the liners as we put them in.


After we scooped them and I rechecked the baking time, I closed the laptop and saw this behind it...oops. So, these are sugar free muffins!


A little blurry, but we got exactly a dozen muffins. We had a bit of a temper tantrum because we had to wait for them to cool before eating.


But finally, the best part! She picked apart this one and one more later in the day. She liked them but I don't think she loved them. I really like them but can taste the oil, so maybe with the sugar added they would be better.


Our first real baking adventure was a success, we both really enjoyed the kitchen time. Hopefully little sister does not have any more napless days and we will be able to bake often! We have to do something to pass the time, we have been housebound because we keep getting massive blizzards!

Have a good week, everyone!

~Natasha.