30 November 2008

French Toast

WEEKEND BREAKFASTS



For the Maple Butter:
2 T. Butter
2 T. Maple Syrup



For the Toast:
3 Eggs
1/3 C. yogurt plain, full fat
2 T. Maple Syrup
1/2 t. cinnamon
Butter for the frying pan
6 slices of whole grain bread
Fruit slices [we had frozen blackberries from Nana's garden]
Icing sugar for dusting



Combine eggs, yogurt, maple syrup and cinnamon. Dip each slice of bread in egg mixture. Fry on each side for 2 to 3 minutes, keeping an eye on how brown they are getting on the underside. Plate with maple butter blob, sliced fruit and icing sugar [snow!].

29 November 2008

Rainy Day in the City

So we played hockey in our parking garage.





"Car!"

27 November 2008

Photo Friday #2

PEGGY'S COVE, NOVA SCOTIA | TRAVELS WITH KID
Blatantly picturesque fishing village in Atlantic Canada ...


... boasting one of Nova Scotia's more photographed lighthouses ...



... beautiful coastline ...



And cliffs so crazy, it makes a mama's heart stop.



You'll find other links to travel pics at my favourite family travel site Delicious Baby. Or go there to share your travel photos on Fridays too.

22 November 2008

A Bit of a Collection

NOSTALGIA AT MEALTIME | PUTTING THE BUNNIKINS TO USE



This is hubs' bowl from when he was wee.


This is Hubs' dad's pitcher from when HE was wee which we just recently acquired.


And my bowl from when I was wee. I remember wanting to eat all of my soup so that I could see the picture on the bottom of my bowl. And the bunnies running around the edge always intrigued me.



It's so tempting to squirrel these away to keep them safe ... I don't know why ... so future generations can put them away in their cupboards? Silliness. When I let go of the tendency to be precious about them, I get great joy watching our little guy enjoying them at mealtime.







21 November 2008

Photo Friday #1

CUBA | TRAVELS WITH KID



From the gorgeous little colonial town of Trinidad to the white sand beaches of Cayo Coco was a long 4 hour drive on Cuban roads. This warranted a little "juice" break for everyone at a local cafe along the way.

You'll find other links to travel pics at Delicious Baby.

15 November 2008

Ice Cream Sandwiches

WHITE CHOCOLATE OATMEAL COOKIES | VANILLA ICE CREAM


First we made the cookies.
3/4 C. brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 C. rolled oats
3/4 C. brown flour
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 C. sliced almonds
3/4 C. white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F. Cream butter and sugar together. Add egg and beat well. Add oats, flour, baking powder, almonds, and chocolate and combine. Spoon on to prepared cookie sheet with parchment paper and press down slightly to flatten. Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden brown.



And this is the genius part, as found on flip flops and applesauce, we sandwiched a blob of vanilla ice cream between two of the cookies. Next we wrapped them in plastic wrap and put them back the freezer for a bit until the ice cream was hard. So yummy!

And next time, I might try adding a little caramel sauce to the inside of the cookie before adding the ice cream. That would go nicely with the white chocolate and vanilla I think.

And if you are in a hurry, go out and buy the cookies! The kids will think it's just as special and it's even easier.

10 November 2008

Cutie-Patootie Sandwiches

And what do you do with those leftover cutouts from your Bird in a Nest? We saved a few to make mini, triple-decker sandwiches for lunch.

Heart-shaped Cherry Tomato, Cheese and Mayo sandwich:



Round Almond Butter and Blackberry Jam sandwich:

09 November 2008

I Heart You

NOSTALGIA AT MEALTIME | A BIRD IN A NEST FOR BREAKFAST
Hubs fondly remembers this classic for breaky. Spud was right on board from the beginning and has had it two mornings in a row now.



INGREDIENTS
Bread [and cookie cutter]
Egg
Butter

METHOD
Cookie cutter out the centre with whatever shape you fancy. With a bit of butter in the pan, toast up one side of the bread for a minute or two.



Flip the bread over and crack one egg into the whole. Cook for another minute or two depending on how hard or soft your wee one likes it.



If you toast up the cutout piece too, serve it as a yolk dipper. Or save them for cutie-patootie sandwiches later.



It turns out my mom was raised on this as well; my Grandma made it for her in the leftover bacon fat and called in 'Toad in the Hole'. I think it must be a North American variation on the English version which I believe is a sausage in a Yorkshire pudding. I plan on researching that one, and testing it, soon.

08 November 2008

Egg Cups

NOSTALIA AT MEALTIME | EGG AND SOLDIERS
I had completely forgotten about eggs and soldiers, one of my comfort foods as a child. How is it, that my boy is 4 and half years old and he's never seen a soft boiled egg? This breakfast took a little convincing. Even though he's best friends with the hard boiled egg he looked at me incredulously when I suggested he try it. But we caught him on a good day and he quickly became a big fan.



Soft Boiled Eggs
Place them in a pot of cold water. Bring to the boil and cook for 1 1/2 minutes. Take one out to double check that it's the right softness for you, by lopping off the top. If it needs more time pop the top back on and let stand to continue cooking from its own heat. If it's ready, quickly put all the eggs in cold water to stop them from cooking any further.

Soldiers
Toast
Butter
Slice into strips

I also added octopus wieners for a little extra fun and worked it into a story about Navy soldiers at sea etc etc.



Now that the kid is sold on the soft boiled egg ... it's time to find some cutie egg cups. Becky + Lolo

have darling wee egg cups. And of course ebay. And a whole blog dedicated to the wee little holders of warmth and goodness; egg cups. Check out the 'trendy' category; it's bound to fill you up with egg cup envy.

05 November 2008

Sprinkle Milkshakes

A SHOWY MILKSHAKE  |  FUN IN THE KITCHEN



1. Lightly brush simple syrup on the inside of your glasses

To make simple syrup:
Add 2 parts sugar to 1 part boiling water. Stir until dissolved. And set aside to cool. Keep leftovers in the fridge.



2. Pour 1/4 cup of sprinkles into glass



3. Roll the sprinkles around to coat the inside. Repeat with 3 more glasses.



4. Make milkshake in blender:
1 C. frozen peaches and strawberries
6 scoops vanilla ice cream
2 C. milk

5. Blend until smooth and pour into glasses.



6. Serve immediately to avoid the colour of the sprinkles running into the shake. Makes 4 kid-sized shakes.

04 November 2008

Birthday Party: Indiana Jones

An afternoon spent digging for treasure, dodging boulders and poison arrows and romping through the jungle; it doesn't get any better than that for a 5 year-old's birthday party. A couple extremely creative and cool friends of ours [shout out to Elaine and Jason!] put on a super fun Indiana Jones party for their son's 5th birthday a few weeks back and we were invited! Spud had the time of his life.

ACTIVITIES
Obstacle Course
The star of the party led the troops through the course to show them how it worked [he had been practicing all week so there was no stage fright]. The course was active and full of action, suspense, and imagination. It had it all.
1. balance on 2 x 4 into driveway
2. weave in and out of hedge bushes
3. run down drive way, dodging the large boulder [silver exercise ball] flying at you
4. follow a garden hose maze while dodging poison arrows [chopsticks tossed with purposefully bad aim by volunteer parent]
4. run to tree and swing over long rivers of lava [carefully raked leaves]


Treasure Hunt
Jewels in the sandbox could be found easily with sifters and small shovels. Those honing their bigger observation skills were rewarded with shiny, golden skulls [spray painted dollar store items] and small, smooth rocks cleverly hidden in trees, under bushes and on ledges throughout the backyard.


Jungle Trek
Through the back of the flower bed, against the fence, through some bushes, to the creek in the back yard and toward the bog. Not for the faint of heart.


FAVOURS
Canvas sack with small adventurer snack [jelly beans] and a whip [whittled stick and brown ribbon]. Each kid filled the sack with all their findings from the Treasure Hunt. So smart. Spud couldn't wait to take his booty to show-and-tell at school and before long he had the teachers put on a treasure hunt of their own for the students that same afternoon!

ON THE MENU
Barbecue of course. Hot dogs for all. Tropical fruit. Tropical juice. Ants on a log [black ants AND red ants!]


THE CAKE
The Temple of Doom. Made out of chocolate mud icing. And love. Decorated with candy skulls and rock candy. Complete with altar, ramp and large boulder [sucker] for the birthday boy.

03 November 2008

Musical Glasses



All you need is ...
A tub
3 or 4 glasses of varying sizes and shapes
A metal spoon
Some water





I remember this activity fondly when I was a kid. And, it turns out, I still like it today. It kept Spud busy for 20 minutes, tinging and clanging, filling our apartment with some pretty avant garde sounds. Fun for everyone.

02 November 2008

Free Mini Storage Containers

ORDERING IN | CHEAP STORAGE
Finally, a reason to mitigate the guilt of ordering in Chinese food; Friday nights are movie nights and we always order in. We religiously clean out any plastic containers the food comes and toss them in the recycle bin. But it seems like an excessive amount of useless plastic to acquire on a weekly basis.


So I've started using them in my efforts to get Spud's room organized. I find that the best strategy for an organized environment is purging. The second best is containers. These particular ones work great for the little odds and bits ... they stack so nicely ... and they have clear lids so you can see its content without opening it. And they're free! In this stack we have marbles, a small rock collection, and the paper dolls we've been playing with lately. Yay for lazy Friday evenings I say.

01 November 2008

Oh, So Many Cars

This morning was a bit of a purger. It's time to sort out and toss out a whack of Spud's stuff. I was floored to see how many cars he's accumulated. I mean, it's not like we haven't done a 'car purge' before ... at least two times before. I don't even think this is all of them. There's another stash I'm missing ... probably in the back of the closet somewhere.



He was surprisingly open to the idea of "giving some cars you don't like anymore to kids who don't have toys". He embraced the idea of having two boxes; one for keepers and one for giving away and making the call as to which went where. "Let's get rid of the ugly ones. Maybe the other kids won't think they're ugly". His criteria for ugly was pretty funny, apparently black is an ugly colour for cars. Well today anyway. Can he be my kid?

Anyway, in the end, I was pretty proud of him. Of his own free will he parted with a couple of dozen cars. But it's just a drop in the bucket.

I would love to hear others' tips on how to manage the flow and accumulation of toys. Prevent them from entering the door in the first place? Mule out loads of them when your child's asleep and act dumb when they wonder where a specific toy is? Or buy a bigger house. Help.
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