Fun do (fondue)

This past week was march break and I wanted to make it special for the girls, especially since my daycare was closed so I could be with just them.  On the first day I let them over do it a bit on candy but I still wanted to have a fun dessert and this made me remember something my sister and I did as children.  We would melt down our extra Easter bunnies and make fondue.  Of course at the time we didn’t know about fondue, we thought we were genius using our extra bounty in such a way.

As a surprise I made the same for my girls.  We don’t have Easter bunnies to use yet but I do have chocolate chips.  As a child we would just microwave our chocolate, now I don’t own one so I heated water in a pot and put a bowl of chocolate on top.   No you don’t need a fancy fondue pot, at least not for this idea.

WP_20140314_001

 

Cut up a variety of fruit to dip and anything else which may taste great wrapped in chocolate.  Now sit back and enjoy!

WP_20140314_003

 

The girls were thrilled and I got to share a fun memory from when I was a little younger.

Advertisements

Happy Valentine’s

I don’t over do the holidays around here but it is fun to do a little something.  We’ve worked on a few activities and will be having a special pink meal for dinner, and since I’m done work early we will likely fit in some skating at our local park, nice and simple.

Valentine’s Sensory Experience/Pretend Sundaes

So for this activity you’ll need a deep container, shaving cream, jello powder (or food colouring) and any left over sprinkles you can find.  A few hours/night before fill your container with the shaving cream and jello powder- mix and freeze.  The mixture will look like ice cream and smell fruity.  I set out a few little dishes of left over sprinkles and candy hearts and gave each child a dessert bowl and spoon.  Then let them scoop and create, mix, smell and possibly feel.  The kids had a blast mixing their concoctions and cheersing each other.

WP_20140212_001 WP_20140213_001 WP_20140213_003

Eyedropper Art

Cut some coffee filters into a heart shape, colour all over with markers and then use an eye dropper and water to create the effect shown below.  It’s fun to see the colours mix and bleed together and if you hang them in the window they make beautiful sun catchers.  It is also a great fine motor activity for the little ones.

WP_20140211_006WP_20140211_007WP_20140211_008

 

Easy Beaded Necklace

For a quick quiet time activity I set up a little necklace making station.  I cut some length of wool and knotted one side and taped the other to make it easier for stringing, put out a little pile of beads and then let the kids get to work.  It made a really cute gift for mom and they got to work on their patterning and fine motor skills.

WP_20140212_002

 

Pink Valentines Meal

I made this for yesterday’s daycare lunch and it was a hit and so I will be repeating it for my own girls tonight.  I made pink apple sauce, pancakes and yogurt- and no its not food colouring.

To make the apple sauce peel and core about 6 apples (use a variety) and cut into chunks- then heat on med with just enough water to cover them till they are soft.  Next add a handful of berries- I used frozen but I imagine fresh would be ok too.  Let the mixture sit long enough for the berries to thaw then strain off the excess water and mash.

For the pancakes I just replaced some of the liquids from my favourite recipe with shredded beet (about 1 med beet for a double batch of pancakes).  Unfortunately after they have cooked the colour seems to fade, but the inside is still pretty pink.

Lastly for the yoghurt I mixed some frozen berries with plain yoghurt.  To serve it I layered the three items as shown below.

The picture doesn’t do the meal justice- it really was a pretty pink sight and tasty too!

WP_20140213_010 WP_20140213_013

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

 

Cereal Buffet

Cereal Buffet

There are some nights that I just don’t have the energy to cook or I haven’t planned anything and so am at a loss.  On one of these nights I decided to try a Cereal Buffet.  If you choose good cereals and healthy sides this can be a quick and healthy meal not to mention fun…who doesn’t like breakfast for dinner?

I try to buy cereals that are high fibre and low sugar, or a good balance of the two.  I’ve tried many of the ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ types and my girls just don’t like them so cheerios, brown rice krispies and shreddies are common in my home.  I on the other hand do like the other varieties.  For my buffet I put out a few choices of cereals, a store bought granola, a variety of nuts, seeds, and dried fruits, fruit, milk and plain yoghurt.

WP_20131120_001 - Copy

 

It’s a fun, quick, healthy last minute dinner idea, why not try it yourself!!

Date Bites

Date Bites

WP_20131105_004

In an attempt to make a nutritious allergen free snack for the kid’s lunch I remembered the equation for raw treats I found last year when researching a raw diet.

**equal parts dried fruits and nuts/seeds, oil, and spices

For this recipe I used …

  • 1/2 cup medjool dates, if dry soak in water for a few hours first and then drain
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds
  • 1/2 tbl olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend till combined to a dough like consistency, scoop out and roll into little balls and refrigerate

WP_20131105_003

 

Another of my favourite snacks is what I call a date nut, open a date/remove pit and add your nut of choice, it’s fast, sweet, delicious and nutritious.

Easy Salsa Dip for Kids

Easy Salsa Dip for Kids

Every once and awhile my daughter will ask for her grandmothers taco dip, unfortunately it’s time consuming and my other daughter doesn’t like it, so for special occasions I will whip it up but on the in between days we make this…

WP_20131110_001

 

It’s very easy and the kids can help, my eldest helps grate the cheese and my youngest helps collect the ingredients and stir,

  • equal parts of plain yoghurt and pre made salsa (any heat you want, for my girls I use medium or mild)
  • enough shredded cheese to cover the top of the bowl  (your choice of cheese)
  • optional add a mashed or diced avocado

I serve this delicious dip with veggie sticks and tortilla chips, it makes a great after school snack or lunch.

WP_20131110_003 WP_20131110_002 WP_20131110_004

 

Happy dipping!!

Pumped up Mac n Cheese

Pumped up Mac n Cheese

WP_20131028_006

I recently purchased some organic whole wheat/flax mac n cheese as a treat for my girls (they love the original Kraft stuff but I don’t feel comfortable feeding it to them) and it was a flop.  Or I should say for my two lovers of processed food (my eldest and my husband) it was a flop, myself and my youngest enjoyed it.  Anyhow we had tons left over and knowing I couldn’t use it for lunches or another dinner I decided to pump it up and share it with my daycare kids who for the most part have not tried many processed foods and so haven’t created aversions to their healthier versions.

Take your left over mac n cheese and add in the following

  • baby spinach (handful which I cut up small with scissors)
  • tomatoes 2 med diced
  • grated marble cheese- about a handful

put it all in a pan and reheat over med heat 

The daycare gang loved it, so much so that they enjoyed multiple helpings.

Quick and easy!!

Pumpkin Banana Muffins

Pumpkin Banana Muffins

WP_20131015_004

The other day my daycare kids and I dug apart two pie pumpkins.  After a quick session of exploration I needed to use up the flesh for something, hence muffins.  Cooking a pumpkin is actually quite easy, I used to feel it must be a lot of work and so I would purchase canned, but its really nice to do it yourself.

Peel and de seed the pumpkin, whichever order is easiest for you.  I usually cut the pumpkin open, remove the seeds, cut it into manageable chunks and then peel.  Put the pumpkin in a steamer and steam till soft, very much like boiling potatoes.  Once soft you can mash them or puree in the blender with a bit of the liquid from the pot.

At this point I usually split it into portions and freeze some for later use.  They add moisture and vitamins to any bread like recipe, my girls love pumpkin pancakes but this time we tried a new muffin.

The recipe is very easy, here it it

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup oats (i usually use whole oats but used 1 minute this time)
  • 2-3 tbl maple syrup
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 olive oil
  • 2 mashed bananas (can use 3/4cup berries instead but may need to add some yogurt)
  • handful of raisins (dates and seeds would be nice too)

mix the dry ingredients together, in another bowl mix the wet and then combine with the wet ingredients

bake at 400 for 20 mins, I usually check on things a few minutes early just in case

WP_20131015_003

The result is a very moist, nutritious muffin.  It doesn’t taste like pumpkin more like banana oatmeal in muffin form.  It makes a great snack or breakfast on the run, enjoy!!