27 September 2009

Play Dough for Dessert?


Knead the following ingredients until combined.

4 T. Cocoa powder
2 C. Powdered sugar
1/2 C. Flour
1/4 C. Honey
1/4 C. Butter
1/2 t. Vanilla

24 September 2009

Snack + Lunch = Tiffin

There's something nice about having one receptacle for both snack AND lunch. So what if I wasted one whole layer on popcorn today. Um, there's plenty of time to make up for that ... nutritionally speaking ... right?

Bottom Lunch Layer
· Chicken wrap
· Sugar snap peas
· Grape tomatoes

Middle Snack Layer
· half a kiwi cut in fours
· mini bell cheese
· half hard boiled egg
· smattering of grapes
· plum wedges

Top Popcorn Layer
· I know, I know

22 September 2009

Breakfast for Lunch

· Strawberry jam sandwich made with leftover pancakes
· Orange slices and skewered pineapple
· Heart-shaped hard boiled egg
· Sausages

21 September 2009

Maple Leaf Cookie Cutter

· Grapes
· Crackers
· Maple leaf Mozza cheese
· Maple leaf zucchini

The shape of the maple leaf did not make him want to eat the zucchini. "I tried one of the leaves and I didn't like it", he said when we got home. OK. Fair enough. I tried.

19 September 2009

Pigeon Follies #1

Spud's kindergarten doesn't have a class pet like a hamster or guinea pig. It has a pigeon.

Each day the assigned "Busy Bee" child [eg teacher helper] takes home the Pigeon Backpack. The pack includes Pigeon, of course, and 4 Pigeon books. [if you don't know these books ... you need to. They are great.] and a journal where each kid documents their time with the Pidge.

Spud was the Busy Bee on Friday so we are lucky enough to have it all weekend! Our first adventure with Pigeon follows:

1. Spud said yesterday that he wanted to go Venice. Off to the library to find some books about Venice.

2. Pigeon rides the rail down to the childrens' section.

3. Look Pigeon, they use boats instead of cars.

4. And look! There are pigeons in Venice too!

5. Off we go!

It's late now and Spud is off to sleep. Tomorrow we'll put this together in the journal along with his drawing of the two of them sleeping together and some words too. Can't wait.

17 September 2009

Apples and Love

Yesterday morning's snack.

· Grandee's homemade apple sauce from the apple tree in her backyard and made with love
· Carrots
· Pretzels
· Sausage/Cucumber skewers

16 September 2009

Keeping it Simple: Pineapple Maple Yogurt

I'm trying to stay away from those pre-mini-prepackaged-all-jacked-up-on-sugar-and-gelatin-type yogurts. I've had some success feeding Spud yogurt lately, when I add fruit and honey or maple syrup to a regular fat content yogurt. My latest concoction was a hit.

I whizzed up a handful of pineapple chunks with a glug of maple syrup. Then added it to some high quality, organic, plain yogurt and we had it for dessert ... and snack time the next day. Sure, it's still sugary, but at least I know what's in it; I can read all the ingredients. Who needs so much guargum in their lives anyway? Blech.

And with handy little containers like these, it's easy to pack them in bentos with mini spoons ... just as much fun to eat.

15 September 2009

Dutch Oven Cherry Chocolate Magic

So, we got rained out on our last camping trip and we didn't get a chance to make this Dutch oven recipe. We decided to do it on our deck ... placing the oven and briquettes in the BBQ. Sounds little nuts but it worked out great.

1 chocolate cake mix; prepared as directed
1 can cherry pie filling
3 T. sugar
1 brick cream cheese (8 oz.)
1 t. vanilla

Pour prepared cake batter onto a pie tin in a 10" Dutch oven. Spoon cherry pie filling over cake batter. In a small mixing bowl cream together cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth and drop on top.

Replace lid. Bake with 8 briquettes under the oven and 12 briquettes on the lid for about 50 minutes or until cake is springy and done.

And like magic, the goodies you put on top of the cake, magically become a part of the centre of the cake. Magic.

Choco Cherry Goodness
Dutch Oven Pull Apart Bread
Dutch Oven Dump Cake

14 September 2009

Snack Pack for Lunch

Sausages and 2 meatballs [packed with carrot and sesame seeds]
Cottage cheese
Broccoli + Cauliflower, steamed leftovers
Cucumber stars + raw baby carrots
Flower cookie

End of the day Snack Pack check:
Spud brought back most of the cottage cheese and all of the broccoli. Perhaps he over did the cottage cheese at our last camping stint? And perhaps the days of broccoli being his favourite vegetable have passed ... old news? Hope not.

New Skewers
Anything on a Skewer
Bentolicious I
Friday's Lunch
Snack Pack

13 September 2009

Outdoor Natural Hot Springs


Hot, volcanically-warmed, geothermal magic; all in 3 outdoor natural pools of varying temperatures, by the side of the creek.

And with this view.

What a treat. We finally made the trek yesterday, and boy was it worth it. This has been on our to-do-list for some time. And we'll be going back for sure.

The directions we got were a bit hit-and-miss and so here I document what we learned so we can do better next time. And maybe someone else will find it useful.

In short, you are looking at about a 2 hour drive from Whistler, BC, Canada [which is about 1.5-2 hours from Vancouver, BC]. One hour is on paved road. And the last is on dirt road, some of which is pretty smooth and fine and some is not so great. We drove an all wheel drive but lots of people made it in small sedans and we even saw a little sports car with California plates.

1. From Whistler Village, go north on the Sea to Sky Highway for about 30 minutes.
2. Once you've reached Pemberton, turn left at Portage Road [almost a switchback]. Look for a gas station on the corner on your left. Travel for about 1 minute.
3. At the roundabout, take the Birch Street exit.
4. Continue on Birch Street until Prospect Street. Turn right.
5. Continue on what is now, Pemberton Meadows Road, for about 3 minutes.
6. Turn left to stay on Pemberton Meadows Road and continue for about 35 minutes.
7. Turn right at Lillooet River FSR.

OK, so once you've crossed the bridge, that's it for paved road. Now, it's all dirt road. And you are half way there.

8. Then you reach a fork in the road that isn't well marked at all. Take the low road on the left.

9. Continue keeping an eye out for kilometre markers on your right. At the 37 K marker turn left and cross the bridge.

10. Then go to the man in the trailer. He takes your $5 [each] fee. Our 5 year old was free.

11. 7K more. Drive until you get to the parking lot and then walk across the bridge.

12. Then trundle along the well groomed path for a just a few minutes

And you are there!

· Apparently clothing is optional. We didn't actually see anyone choosing this option but we heard about it
· There is a change room and a toilet
· There are nice floating tables made from logs right in the pools so bring a beverage!
· Bring flip flops for pool hopping
· Read below about possible risks and dangers in the area
· There's some pretty but rustic camping [forestry reserve] on the way, about 8K before the springs

Photo slide show of a cute family taking their wee one on his first camping trip and to the springs.

08 September 2009

Happy First Day of School

Spud's bento on his first day of Kindergarten ... I should pack some tissues too ... for me!


6 yellow M+Ms inside the wee bear


This is the new bento that Hubs found at Whole Foods. Two layers of stainless steel!
Apple cubes
Cherry Tomatoes
Ladybug cookie [I found these at Costco and keep them in the freezer to add as a treat]
Havarti/Corned Beef Sandwich
2 more cookies! It is his first day after all.

Wow. From baby to Kindergarten in a flash. Phew.

05 September 2009

A Week of Camping Fun


The Catch and Release style: inch worm, ladybug, butterfly, caterpillar and an ant or two. It was pretty serious business.

What a perfect place to share an apple with a friend.


One of our gracious hosts handed out the leis.

And another the beverages ... and there were Maui ribs on the BBQ and decorations including inflatable palm trees! We are lucky to have such fun friends.


What freedom my wee apartment-dwelling child must have felt to run wild ... in the field ... in the dark ... with his little friend.

They thought the flashlights were just fun. But they were also tracking devices for us parents.