29 March 2008

Baked Veggie Crab Wontons


1 envelope of dry vegetable soup mix
20 oz ricotta cheese
8 oz crabmeat or chopped shrimp
1/4 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. onion powder
1/8 t. ground black pepper
A few splashes of Worcestershire sauce
wonton wrappers
1 T. oil or non-stick cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350° and spray cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Combine soup mix, ricotta, crab, garlic and onion powder and pepper in a bowl. Mix well. Place 1 tablespoon of mixture in center of each wrapper. Dip finger in water and run the edges of the wrapper [kids can help with this]. Fold each corner to center and press to seal. Place on cookie sheet and brush with oil. Bake for 10 minutes on one side, then flip and do 10 – 15 minutes on the other side until they are crisp and golden brown. 350 degrees for 25 minutes, turning once, or until crisp and golden brown.

Thankfully these freeze well because my kid won't try them yet. I'm pretty sure he'll like them because he likes all the ingredients, but he's not been into trying new things lately. I thought these little packages would be great for his bento lunch but I'll have to try them on him a few more times, in one of his more adventurous moods.

28 March 2008

Playdoh Cupcakes

Delicious Baby gave me the idea of using silicone cups for Playdoh to make mini cupcakes. And given my recent quest for fine motor skills activities that Spud can get into, this sounded perfect. He loves cupcakes after all.

27 March 2008

Lace a Snake

And continuing my quest for fine motor based activities that my kid actually likes doing... this one worked.

·scrap cardboard
·hole punch

The little guy likes snakes quite a bit so he and I made a snake maze for him to lace up. He's usually pretty shy about projects like this one but he really warmed up to the snake, naming it even. Next time I will try a car.

25 March 2008

Pancake Sandwiches


I throw them in the freezer, between layers of wax paper. To thaw, I simply throw them in the toaster. Next I make a sandwich out of them. This past weekend I used maple butter and apple slices.

Spud also loves good old PB + J this way and sometimes I put in some banana slices too. I slice it into quarters so it can fit in his bento box.

24 March 2008

Easter Basket

I know, I know, Easter baskets are old news. Bear with me while I document some of the fun we had this past weekend ... I will enjoy reviewing it next year.

So this was my second year decorating a basket. My goal is always to try to do it with stuff I find around the house. I realized this year that I have some pretty crazy stuff around the house. Okay, and I did cheat with a couple of items I found at the dollar store last Thursday.

First, my husband added a coat hanger handle to an existing IKEA basket we borrowed from Spud's shelf.

Here is some of the stuff I collected to use for the project:
·Felt dirt for the sides of the basket. I wanted it to look like the eggs and creatures were growing from the soil, like in a garden.
·Felt Easter creatures double-sided taped to the end of bendy straws. Spud and I also decorated some paper eggs and taped them to the end of straws too.
·Large paper blades of grass for decorating and some reusable shredded plastic for making a bed of grass for the coloured eggs.
·A micro string of lights, IKEA [yes, we did just have it around ... which is a little embarrassing]

And then some dirt-coloured ribbon and a wire-o-leafy-garland-thingy for the handle.

Et voilà.

Last year's bunny basket was also made up of stuff around the house. We had the googlie eyes, the construction paper, chenille wires, cotton balls and a 4 litre milk jug. As far as I'm concerned, it only has to last the weekend, and then I cannibalize it for next year, or other crafty projects.

18 March 2008

Space Centre


The 'menu' of what's going on in this establishment can be quite overwhelming. It's best to march right up to the ticket booth, look a little stunned, and they'll map out your day for you. In 2 hours you can easily fit in a Planetarium show, 2 stage shows, and a motion simulator ride. In between show times, the highly interactive Cosmic Courtyard has loads to offer ... like touching a real meteorite.

Stars for Starters and Harold's Solar System are just 2 of the shows they have in a day.

They call this thing Harold. It's a 360 degree projector that simulates the night sky overhead in a large theatre.

Rocket Lab and A Day in Space are two of their live stage shows. We took our 3-year old Spud to the show on rockets. At some point he asked "why is she talking so much?" and then declared "this is boring!". At least I'M now up to speed on Newton's 3 laws of motion. She really had his attention when she made a rocket though. It was well worth the wait. And the 6 to 8 year old crowd were well engaged all along.

Virtual Voyages
Mars Motion Simulator Ride. More details here.

The famous Siegels Bagels is on the way [1883 Cornwall Avenue at Cypress]. Considered by most to be the most authentic Montreal-style bagel shop in the city, first kettle boiled and then baked. Try ordering what's just coming out of the large wood burning oven ... warm and oh so good.

17 March 2008

Mad Scientist Bath


Tonight's bath included a few drops of food colouring, some baking soda and some vinegar. A little of this and a little of that and our wee one is making purple and asking questions about the mighty frothy bubble. Spud didn't want it to stop. "What other sorts of experiments can we do?".

Next: The Delights of Density
Will it Float? [sung like Paul Schaffer]
I'll collect various items from around the house in a container and ask the little guy to make predictions before tossing each item into the drink. This will be my first batch: a cotton swab, a coin, small toy dinosaur, a sponge, 2 bottles — one filled with water and one not, and a straw. That should be a good start.

And After That: Conservation of Liquid
Having fun with the idea that a quantity remains the same despite its change in appearance. For example, fill a tall thin container with bath water and tell your wee one that you are going to pour it into another [short, fat] container. Ask if it is the same amount of water. Famous French Child Psychologist, Jean Piaget, says kids typically don't get the concept that the amount of water doesn't change, until age 6 or 7 but hey, you can have fun with it in the meantime.

15 March 2008

Making Magic Mud

My wee guy refused to put his fingers in this delightful goo. But he helped stir and I glooped and glopped while showing him how playfully the substance goes from a solid to a liquid and vice versa.

5 T. cornstarch
3 T. water
a few of drops of food colouring

07 March 2008

Mashed Cauliflower

The lighter cousin to the mash potato and another way to get vegetables into the kids.

1 large cauliflower
1/2 C. goat cheese
1/4 C. yogurt
2 T. parmesan, grated
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
2 T. fresh chives or parsley, chopped

Cut cauliflower into bite-size florets; steam about 10 minutes. Purée or mash cauliflower until almost texture of mashed potatoes. Add cheese, yogurt, salt and pepper and combine. Stir in chives.

01 March 2008

Bentolicious II

Here are some pictures of last week's bentos. Also see Bentolicious I.

Clockwise from the top left:
Dried apple rings
Lima bean skewers
Cheese stars
Turkey sausage [leftovers]
Ritz crackers, wholewheat
White chocolate chips + craisins
Kiwi balls
Cucumber fish

Olives stuffed with feta cheese
Strawberry tomato bacon skewers
Red pepper, baby corn + cucumber
Berry mix [from the freezer]
·Veggie sausage patties
Red tortilla chips [in separate container]

Cuke + cherry tomato
Peach slices + mango cube [from freezer]
Flower-shaped cheese slices
Almond butter + jelly sandwich strips [sprouted grain bread]
Apple sauce

Lemon white fish + shrimp + aspargus [leftovers]
Baby carrots
Lima bean bacon skewers
Poppy seed crackers
·Nut butter balls [coated with ground shreddies]

·Nut butter balls [coated with ground almonds] [hiding behind the cute carrot and pepper separator]
Strawberry tomatoes, red pepper strips
Mashed potato balls [leftovers]
Feta stuffed olives
Turkey meat balls [from the freezer]
Apple sauce [in container]
Orange slices
Cuke slice

New Skewers
Anything on a Skewer
Bentolicious I
Bentolicious III
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