28 June 2011

Ice Cream Sandwiches

Cherry Chocolate cookies with vanilla ice cream. I love you summer.

(Note: while these were rather large, they are definitely looking WAY more mammoth in this photo! Some kind of optical illusion of greatness).

27 June 2011

Team Scavenger Hunt


1. Make a whacky list of things for which to hunt! Include things that encourage imaginative thinking.
2. Split up into teams, each armed with the master list and a camera
3. Later, around the campfire, share your findings with the other teams

26 June 2011

Tub Fun: N'ice Cubes II

I first posted about this activity 3 years ago and guess what? It's still fun!

First I secretly raided some bits from the bottom of the toy chest that wouldn't be harmed by some water and the freezer (e.g. marble, die, plastic animals). Then I plunked each item in an ice cube tray and added water. I got all rainbow on it this time. Last time I added food colouring which is also an option (but heed my warning on previous post).

One by one Spud excavates treasures and saves animals. Which keeps him busy while soaks. So everyone is happy.

24 June 2011

Photo Friday #43


Essaouira — a seaside, walled, and windy little town that was definite highlight of our recent Moroccan adventure. It's so windy that it's a kite boarding haven. And Hubs took full advantage.

There's Hubs heading to the water with his board under arm and kite in the sky. So brave. Or crazy. We'll discuss this later.

Being from a seaside city ourselves we are very use to the presence of gulls. But Essaouira definitely has more gulls than we've ever seen before. This is our rooftop top patio at our riad.

They really are at every turn.

This might look like one of those situations where the gulls show up, say, when the fishers come in at the end of the day or something — but no — you could take this shot at anytime of day, any day of the week and it will always be fluttering with busy gull activity. Can you believe we spent a week here and did not get pooped on? Seriously. None of us. Not once.


So being a seaside town, naturally fish is on the menu. Here are some fishing boats and you can see the old ramparts that surround the city here.

Whatever is freshly grown nearby makes an appearance on carts throughout the medina. Unfortunately, since you can't peel or scrub them, strawberries were on our "no" list of food. A shame.

We definitely ate our share of fish (and of course oranges and dates too) but crepes made an appearance once in awhile — just one of the legacies the French left behind. Merci.

Awww. The boys making a heart. We heart you Essaouira.

Check out other posts about our travels in Morocco.

Thanks to Delicious Baby for hosting Photo Friday each week. Share your travel pics there too or check out some other travel posts from some very talented, travel-savvy participants.

23 June 2011

The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook

Look what Spud found in the library: The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook! I think he's hoping to bake something truly magical like chocolate frogs that hop and jump but in the meantime he chose Dark Chocolate Truffles as his first recipe. And they are good. But we really don't need these in our house! I hope I can send these super rich magical blobs of tastiness off with Hubs to his work tomorrow.

20 June 2011

Cherry Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

This is an old favourite recipe that probably came from epicurious originally via my dear friend, KR. It's been years since I've made these but Spud's upcoming Grade 1 picnic seemed like a great excuse to bust out this recipe again. Last year I brought veggies to the year-end picnic and I would have again but someone already volunteered ... so ... cookies it was. 

Spud and I worked together as a team and had a communication mishap with the measurements. He's still learning fractions and got confused with what 1/2 was ... I have trouble doubling fractions at the best of times ... long story short, we ended up having to triple the recipe! I know! What do you do with all that cookie dough?!

Put it in the freezer, that's what.

1 C. all purpose flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1/2 C. plus 2 T. unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 t. vanilla extract
1/2 t. orange extract
1 C. old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 C. semisweet chocolate chips
1 C. dried tart cherries

Preheat to 325° F.

Sift flour, baking soda and salt into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter, sugar and brown sugar in large bowl until well blended. Mix in egg and both extracts. Beat in flour mixture. Mix in oats, then chocolate chips and cherries.

Bake until cookies are golden, about 15 to 18 minutes.

19 June 2011

Happy Fathers' Day

We know how lucky we are to have you.

15 June 2011

Homemade Ketchup

So, according to this source, store bought ketchup has more sugar in it than ice cream. Which is probably why my kid loves it so much. I can't say I've ever even looked at the ingredients list on ketchup; it's probably one of those things you just don't want to know. But this recipe for making your own ketchup in the slow cooker just looked so easy I had to try it. You'll see near the end I added a couple of steps which make it bit more complicated but I think makes it more kid-friendly at the same time.

So, last night I threw these ingredients in the slow cooker and let it simmer all night on low.

1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
3 lbs. tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 small can tomato paste
1 C. packed brown sugar
1/2 C. white wine vinegar
1 t. salt
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. paprika

This is what we woke up to ...

Then I gave it a long whirl in the blender. I wanted to make this as Spud-friendly as possible so I added two more steps next. First I strained the blended mixture through a course strainer to get rid of seeds and bits of skin. I didn't want to use our finest strainer because I was afraid it would make it too runny with not enough ketchup-like texture.

Finally, I simmered it on the stove, without a lid, to thicken it up a bit more, for about 30 minutes.

I left out enough to last us a couple of weeks and put the rest in the freezer.

I'm very happy with the result. The true test will be tonight when we have hot dogs for dinner.

14 June 2011

Fathers' Day Card Colouring Sheets



Download the pdf of both these cards here, then print, colour, use red crop marks to trim, and then fold. Oh, and leave a comment if you would ... it'd be nice to hear from you.

11 June 2011

Fishing Preparedness

We are getting ready for a Father's Day outing next weekend ... we are taking our little city boy to a nearby lake for some trout fishing! And as a bonus, we just found out, not only are there some free fishing events happening in various lakes around our province on Father's Day weekend, but there is no fishing license required! This is what we've put together in anticipation:

A picnic basket, a rod with some new line (4 lbs), a utility knife, and a styrofoam cooler which we will fill with ice.

· Marshmallow? Yes! Word is those crazy trout might actually like it.
· Pretend worms! Way less gross than threading a real one (or is it cheating?)
· Bobbers / Floats (red and white doohickeys that will keep the line from sinking too far)
· Wee metal weights (to keep the bait down at fish level)
· A flashy, little whirly thingy that we probably don't need but I thought was cute.
· Two flies, a dull one and a matte one, to test out
· Hooks (#4)
So how did we get to be so 'smart' about what to bring? Well, Hubs fished a bit as a kid, and we found some specific information for rainbow trout here, and finally the staff were mighty helpful at our local outdoorsy shop here.

People who know me would have to ask, fishing? Really? Why?
· A travel substitute: we aren't going far this summer but we can still have adventures.
· There's a real lesson in getting food on the table without going to the supermarket. And I'm never going to get into hunting. Berry picking probably. But never hunting.
· Any excuse to get outside and hang out in nature where we don't have to worry about traffic and other urban annoyances. Oh, there'll be other things to worry about, of course, and won't that be refreshing.
· Hubs has very fond memories of fishing as a boy.
· I may squeal like a girl a lot and that will be somewhat entertaining to the kid.

Can't wait. Wish us luck.

10 June 2011

Lunch Notes — Not Enough Time in the Day

I have fun leaving little notes for Spud to find in his school lunch. Lately I've been getting notes back, like this one I found yesterday on his almost untouched bento.

"Not enuf time!"
So I guess he's just too busy to eat his lunch some days. I know how he feels.

09 June 2011

Photo Friday #42


We were in Laguna Beach around the same time last year. One of my favourite pictures from that time is posted here. Spud humoured me and let me take another one of him at the same spot. I love that tree a lot.

Walking on the beach there is so lovely. We spotted such pretty flora.

The fauna in this case were literally clouds of small black ground bugs that swarmed away as we approached them. While you can't see the bugs here ... it sort of explains the kid's behaviour.

Time for a little footie.

As the sun was setting there was time for some sea gazing.

One of those pesky waves snuck up on Spud and got him wet to his knees.

Time to go back to the hotel and get ready for bed. Tomorrow: sand castles.

For other Photo Friday posts check out Delicious Baby.

03 June 2011

Photo Friday #41


Not the hot air kind. The long-skinny-twisty kind. One of the great things about having kids is that you have a built in excuse to bust out the big kid in you where ever you are. Hubs brought his big kid with us to Morocco, as well as his compact balloon-making kit and his newly acquired skills.

Here he is in the Sahara hard at work experimenting with a new hat design.

Avant Garde I'd say ...

Our guide humoured us and modelled it as well.

En garde!

Sometimes the hats were a lot simpler. This little guy seemed to like his.

And this flower went to his big sister who was at an age where it would be immodest to pose for a photo.

This creation is a fortress (attached to a towel rack) equipped with swords and grenades and other crazy balloon weapons. Look out! It turned out to be a great activity for having some down time in the hotel after a long day of touristing.

Check out other posts about our travels in Morocco.

For other Photo Friday posts check out Delicious Baby.