27 July 2011

Makes Me Happy: Toast on the Fire


Nothing better than some warm, smokey toast in the morning. Really. And here's a nod to DL, our toastmaster.

22 July 2011

Photo Friday #46

SCIENCENTER, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA   |   TRAVELS WITH KID

After a hardcore run at Disneyland the day before we were up for some milder adventure ... Venice Beach in the morning and a science museum in the afternoon. Ahhh. The life of a tourist.





As you would expect, there were loads of interactive displays that kept Spud busy and happy. The structures/architecture section was his favourite handsdown. Hubs liked the space area. And I was fond of the new aquarium installation.



Join in on the Photo Friday fun at Delicious Baby.

21 July 2011

DIY Button Toy

OUTDOOR / CAMPING ACTIVITY TO DO WITH THE KIDS


For the camping version of the button toy, Hubs made the button out of piece of our firewood. It was a biggie too! And the string is glow in the dark.




Hubs actually ended up making a few of these because they split pretty easily when he drilled the holes into them.


Finally, here it is in action. Similar to the yoyo, it takes practice for the little guys to find the right rhythm of pulling the string. Eventually, with the right pulling technique, you can really get it going.




Bonus: upper arm workout.

20 July 2011

Makes Me Happy: A Dutch Oven Tower


A Sausage and Veggies concoction are baking in the bottom and Mandarin Peach Cake for dessert in the top.

17 July 2011

Drilling and Threading Glow-in-the-Dark String

OUTDOOR / CAMPING ACTIVITY TO DO WITH THE KIDS





Check out this hand drill Hubs borrowed to bring on our last camping trip. Spud took to it right away and spent much of his time drilling holes into scrap wood and threading designs with this cool glow-in-the-dark string.








It didn't take long before Spud was directing his dad to saw shapes out of the scrap pieces of wood. He had big ideas of creating an entire village; turns out 5 days of camping wasn't long enough. We'll be taking these simple supplies with us on our next trip.

16 July 2011

Pound Cake Grilled Cheese Sandwich

That's right. You heard me. Grilled cheese sandwiches made with pound cake! The sweet/savoury combination inside makes it quite a sophisticated brunch idea, especially if it's while camping (I mean glamping).


INGREDIENTS
· Pound cake
· Fig jam
· Brie
· Butter
· Rosemary, fresh, chopped

METHOD
First we set up a frying pan and an upside down lid from one of our dutch ovens. Then melted butter and sautéed the rosemary.


Next we took 2 slices of pound cake (for each sandwich), spread fig jam over one side, sliced brie cheese onto the other and placed them face up in the butter.




Once they are golden and toasty underneath flip one side onto the other. The cheese will continue to melt.


These are very rich and wonderful. Fresh fruit is an excellent accompaniment. Thanks to Grilled Cheese Social for the idea!

15 July 2011

Photo Friday #45: Venice Beach

VENICE BEACH, CALIFORNIA  |  TRAVELS WITH KID

Venice Beach is not the first place you think of when you think of travelling with kids. But we were in the neighbourhood, so to speak, and took a couple of hours to wander along the boardwalk and beach. Spud was oblivious to most of the, say, questionable aspects of the area and had a good time taking in the street performers, general people watching, and window shopping the various vendors. Hey, it even has a decent playground on the beach!



One of the highlights for all of us was the graffiti ("Psst. Spud. Don't look behind you." Maybe this explains the nightmares.)




And watching the artists in action was pretty cool.



Muscle beach is crazy! Watching beefy men, in skimpy outfits, pumping iron on the beach was, well, an awkward, oddly voyeuristic experience ... that I wouldn't miss! I wouldn't dare take photos of them, but the building, with its concrete dumbbells is cool.


Ending with some quality playground time.


Next stop, the California ScienCentre.


Check out our other California adventures.

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.

14 July 2011

Dutch Oven Mac and Cheese

We like to make really simple meals on our first day of camping, I mean, there is already enough to do with putting up the tent etc. This last trip we made our inaugural dinner Mac and Cheese, Spud's all time favourite meal. Their are 2 keys to making this recipe dead easy for the campsite: one is to boil the pasta at home and bring it in a zip lock and two is to choose creamy cheeses that make a sauce naturally without having to make a roux before you even get started.


INGREDIENTS
4 C. macaroni, pre-cooked
3/4 – 1 C. milk
6 T. butter
1 C. cream cheese
1 C. Cheddar, shredded
1 C. fresh mozzarella
s + p

METHOD
Put 10 – 12 burning briquettes under the dutch oven. Melt the butter. Add the cheeses and stir as they melt and incorporate. Add milk to get the right creamy texture. Add macaroni. Cover. Cook for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.


Now to take full advantage of the "oven" part of the dutch oven, one could make a topping or crust of bread crumbs or crushed potato chips and add 8 or so coals to the lid to brown the top. You might have to give it longer than 10 minutes too. This idea just may be slated for day one of our next camping trip.

13 July 2011

Makes Me Happy: A Pretty Stack of Wood


There is something indescribably satisfying about having a wood reserve to help stave off those chilly mornings while camping. Oh, and to make camp coffee ... see last week's Makes Me Happy.

12 July 2011

Bucket, Rope, and Pulley

OUTDOOR / CAMPING ACTIVITY TO DO WITH THE KIDS




We got this idea from some of our camping buddies last year. I posted about it briefly on ohdeedoh



This year's pulley made its way up to the rooftop tent down to our spare picnic table, which turned out to be endless amounts of fun. Spud had a blast receiving surprises in the bucket, anything from found items around the campsite or little trinkets from his toy bin. Even more fun, though, was him sending down snacks down to his fellow campers (I wish I had a picture of that!).



The parts that I really like about this activity is how compact it is ... we had the rope anyway for tying down stuff on the car. It's inexpensive (just a few bucks for the pulley itself). And it's amazing to watch Spud learn and experiment and get frustrated but push through it as he set up the pulley system (with parental assistance of course).

Instead of just setting it up for him or telling him how it should be done based on our experience, we let him come up with ideas, test them (and moaned with him when it didn't work), and tried again. Repeatedly. I mean you are camping ... what's the hurry? These are life lessons in a nutshell. And when it's all said and done he is so proud of what he made. Then, of course, there are hours of fun eating delivered marshmallows for days to come. So what's better than that?


Tips: in Spud's experimenting he found that adding weight to the pulley made it go faster which is why that stick is attached at the top of the bucket. The other good thing is to attached a string to the bucket, tying the other end to the place you want to retrieve it from.

Note: Hubs bought this pulley strong enough to hold, I don't know, adult weight, so there might be a DIY zip line in our future. I hope!

11 July 2011

Lunch: Walking the Dog


· Egg salad sanny
· Blusher tomatoes (oh sooooo sweet)
· Cucumber doggies
· Carrots
· Chocolate chips in the centre


Spud is always up for a story. And for some reason it makes him eat his veg: so today the one-eyed tomato-man is walking his Scottie dogs.

10 July 2011

Setting Up Our Roof Top Tent

So easy to put up a kid can do it. Almost.


 First, you attach the ladder ...


... which helps give you leverage to open up the "clamshell".


It's getting there.



No time like the present to actually go up in the tent! Take your shoes off!


Leave the parent to put up the awning.


No eating in the tent so this must be snack time.


Check out my previous post on our roof top tent to see some of its different configurations and to find out where we got it. Happy Camping!
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