The Thankful Turkey

The Thankful Turkey

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My oldest son is now 2 and a half.  Every year I see people on Facebook posting something they are thankful for every day from November 1st until Thanksgiving Day.  I decided to start something similar with my son to help him think about what he’s thankful for…and because I really want to know what he’s going to come up with  🙂

I cut out a simple turkey body from construction paper.  I added legs, a beak, and eyes.  We hung it on the refrigerator.

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We started by reading a book called The Thankful Book by Todd Parr.  We’ve read the book before, but this time we really talked about the things highlighted in the book (friends, family, pets, hugs, etc).  I don’t think he understands the word thankful yet but I know he can definitely tell me about things that he likes.

I cut out some feathers from construction paper and each day I’ll ask him what he’s thankful for and write it on a feather to add to the turkey.  Without any prompting, I asked him what he’s thankful for.  The first thing he said is what I wrote down: Elmo!  Of course, who isn’t thankful for that furry red monster?!

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Now, every day until Thanksgiving, I’ll ask him and write his response and add a feather.  By Thanksgiving our turkey will be full of feathers!  Don’t worry if your feathers aren’t nicely shaped.  All the feathers together by the end will be great!  We hung this on the refrigerator so we can see it.

I plan to do this every year and to save what he says so someday we can look back and laugh and the great things he is thankful for!

I also saw a similar idea by putting bare twigs in a vase and then adding a leaf cutout each day with what you’re thankful for.  I decided this was more toddler-friendly and no breakable vase or pokey sticks involved.

Eggplant “Meat”balls

Eggplant “Meat”balls

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Ingredients:

1 T olive oil

2 small eggplants, unpeeled, finely chopped into tiny pieces

1/4 C water

1/4 t salt

1/4 t pepper

1 T garlic powder

2 T chopped basil

1 T parsley

1 1/2 C Italian seasoned breadcrumbs

1 large egg

1 C mozzarella cheese, shredded

1 jar (about 2 cups) of your favorite tomato sauce

 

Directions:

  1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Heat olive oil in skillet on medium heat.
  3. Once oil is hot, add eggplant and water.
  4. Season eggplant with salt, pepper, garlic, basil, and parsley.
  5. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until well mixed and tender.

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6. In a medium mixing bowl, mix breadcrumbs, egg, and mozzarella cheese.

7.  Add eggplant mixture to breadcrumb mixture and stir until breadcrumbs become moist.

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8.  Use a spoon (or your hands!) to form 2 inch balls.  Place on greased baking sheet.

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9.  Bake in oven for 15 minutes, or until golden.

10.  Mix in with your favorite tomato sauce.  I used my own homemade sauce.

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11.  Serve with pasta and enjoy!  Don’t forget a little parmesan cheese to top it off.

*Note:  The eggplant meatballs soaked up a lot of the sauce.  You may wish to add more sauce if you prefer.

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I used a Chop Wizard to slice up my eggplant.

Vidalia Chop Wizard (Kitchen)


List Price: $25.95 USD
New From: $19.24 USD In Stock
Used from: $15.99 USD In Stock

Easy Spaghetti Squash

Easy Spaghetti Squash

I like to cook squash but I am not strong enough to cut through it!  There is no way I could cut a spaghetti squash in half to bake in the oven.  Luckily, you can make spaghetti squash in your crock pot and no muscle is required!!

1.  Thoroughly wash your squash.

2.  Pierce the squash 5-6 times with a sharp knife.

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3.  Place in crock pot with 1.5 cups of water.  Cook on low for 6 hours.

4.  Carefully remove squash from crock pot and let cool for 30 minutes before handling.

5.  Slice spaghetti squash in half (much easier now that it’s been cooked!).

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6.  Scoop out the seeds and pulp with a spoon.

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7.  Use a fork to separate “noodles.”

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8.  Serve with your favorite spaghetti sauce!

 

Summer Fun: Week of August 3

Summer Fun: Week of August 3

I can’t believe it’s August already!  This summer is flying by.

Make It Monday:  We’re going to make bracelets, or whatever we come up with, using pipe cleaners and pasta.  This will be great fine motor skill work lacing the pasta onto the pipe cleaners.  It should be fun!

Tasty Tuesday:  I have a recipe for pasta primavera that I make all the time.  It’s definitely a family favorite.  I’ve just started harvesting my spaghetti squash and I want to try the recipe with substituting the squash for the pasta.  I’ll try it out and let you know.  I’ll also be sharing the easiest way I’ve found to cook a spaghetti squash.  Stay tuned!

Wet Wednesday:  The weather on Wednesday is supposed to be sunny and close to 90!  We’re going to play with ice cubes.  I have a big tray of ice cubes in the freezer that we’ll pull out and play with them outside and watch them melt.

Think About It Thursday:  Here’s an Nature Scavenger Hunt that I created.  I used clip art on Word to make this page.  We’ll take a trip outside and look for these items around the house.  As we find everything, we’ll mark it off with a crayon.

Fantastic Friday:  Friday we’re taking a 4 hour road trip to visit friends!  I’ll be searching for ideas this week to entertain a toddler and a baby in the car.  We’ll test some ideas out and I’ll let you know how it goes.

This should be a busy and fun week!

3 Ingredient Pancakes

3 Ingredient Pancakes

My 6 month old son seems to be having issues with wheat or gluten.  I’ve been doing an elimination diet with him by cutting out his oatmeal and baby puffs for the last week.  It has made a huge difference!  Now, I need to go gluten/wheat free as well since I am breastfeeding so his little tummy feels completely better.

In my search for things that I can eat, I came across a recipe for 3-ingredient pancakes.  They’re very simple to make!  My only complaint is that I took a bite expecting them to taste like pancakes and they did not.  They tasted more like banana french toast.  My 2-year-old loved them!!

Here’s how to make them:

1.  Mash 1 ripe banana with a fork.

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2.  Add 2 eggs.

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3.  Add cinnamon.

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4.  Fry in a pan like a pancake!

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Make sure you grease your pan…but, seriously, I am the WORST pancake maker ever!  Even my regular pancakes come out in a giant glob.  At least they taste good 🙂

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We added a little syrup.  Like I said before, my toddler told me they were yummy, but I’m not sold because I was really craving something that actually tasted like pancake.  Give them a try and let me know what you think!!

Puffy Paint

Puffy Paint

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This is by far the best thing we have tried yet!!  The paint is taste safe, it’s washable, and it is so fun!  My son is not usually open to trying new craft projects.  He doesn’t like to touch new things (finger paint, play dough, etc.) but he loved this!  I finally found a great way for him to be creative without being uncomfortable.

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You just need a few ingredients:

1/2 cup flour

2 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoon salt

food coloring

enough water to make a paste

 

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I divided my flour mixture into 3 small containers and added 10 drops of food coloring in each little container.  I then mixed a little water until I got to a thick paint consistency.  I put the paint in snack size ziploc bags so there was no mess.  To paint, I just snipped the corner of each bag.

 

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Since this paint is really thick, you will need to put it on something sturdy.  I cut out these sheets from old cardboard boxes.

 

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Paint until your heart is content!  This would probably work with a paint brush too for older kids.

When you’re all done you put it in the microwave for 30-40 seconds.  This dries the paint and makes it puff up.  When my husband got home from work, our son told him how we put his paintings in the microwave and he thought we were crazy until we showed him how awesome they were!

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The top picture has been microwaved, the bottom picture is still wet.

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We will definitely be doing this again and again!  So easy, cheap, quick, and fun!!

Summer Fun: Week of July 27

Summer Fun: Week of July 27

Okay, sorry, I missed posting last week.  This summer has been so busy and is flying by!  Let’s get back on track this week 🙂

Make it Monday:  I came across a great recipe for homemade puffy paint that you put in the microwave when you’re finished to make it puff up.  I definitely want to try this.  We’ll try it out and I’ll let you know if it really works.  I found the recipe at Mommy-Labs.

Tasty Tuesday:  Blueberry Angel Food Cake.  I ran across this recipe when searching for something new to try for my husband’s birthday.  I ended up making him something different, but this week I want to try this.  This cake only has 2 ingredients!  I should be able to find time to throw this together with 2 kids that keep me busy!  🙂  I can’t wait to try it!

Wet Wednesday:  I realized the other day that my 2-year-old hasn’t ever played with water balloons.  We’re definitely heading to the back yard with a bucket full of balloons!!

Think About it Thursday:  Thursday we’re going to do some mirror dancing.  To mirror dance, have your child stand in front of a full-length mirror and have them make different parts of their body dance (ex. make your hair dance, wiggle your ears, shake your legs, nod your head, shrug your shoulders, etc.).  We’ll play some fun music and dance while reviewing names of different parts of our body!

Fantastic Friday:  Friday we have a play date at the park planned!  This one will be fun for mommy too!

Summer Fun: Week of July 13

Summer Fun: Week of July 13

My oldest son’s cast is coming off on Monday!  Yippy!  Hopefully we’ll get to all of our plans this week depending on how quickly he bounces back.

Make it Monday:  I don’t think my 2 year old is going to feel like doing any crafts after his early morning appointment and cast removal.  So, I’m going to do an art project with my 5 month old.  We’ve done this before and had a lot of fun.  Now that he’s even more mobile, I think he’ll really enjoy it.  We’re going to do tummy time finger painting.

Tasty Tuesday:  I found a great recipe for Blueberry Pie Oatmeal and I can’t wait to try it!

Wet Wednesday:  I’m not sure if we’ll be able to get out and play water games or not this week.  Hopefully my son’s leg will be less stiff by Wednesday and we can play in the pool.  We might end up just playing in the tub to get his leg loosened up.

Think about it Thursday:  I think we’ll talk about textures this week.  We’ll look for things around the house that are hard, soft, smooth, bumpy, rough, etc.

Fantastic Friday:  It’s been a long 4 weeks in the cast so I think we need a trip out to get some Italian Ice!

 

Roasted Broccoli with Garlic and Parmesan

Roasted Broccoli with Garlic and Parmesan

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This was our Tasty Tuesday recipe for the week and it was delicious!  I had some fresh-picked broccoli from our garden and wanted to try something new.  I usually just steam it in the microwave and I don’t really like broccoli raw.

You can find the recipe from Damn Delicious.

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The recipe was great!  It was so easy to make.  The broccoli had a whole new taste and was still crisp and crunchy.  It was the perfect addition to a chicken breast and baked potato (and a dinner roll).

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Summer Fun: Week of July 6

Summer Fun: Week of July 6

Hopefully everyone enjoyed their 4th of July weekend!

Last Thursday we got some great news, my son just has to wear his cast for 1 more week!  Yes!  So, this will be the last week without a water game on Wednesday.

Make it Monday:  Toilet paper tube octopus.  We watched Finding Nemo over the weekend and now we’re hooked!

Tasty Tuesday:  Garlic Parmesan Roasted Broccoli.  I just harvested some broccoli from our garden so I want to try something new.  I showed my son the broccoli fresh from the garden and he said, “Broccoli, no, don’t like it!”  Hopefully this will change his mind about broccoli!

Wet Wednesday:  Since we can’t play in the water, I think we’ll just break out the watercolors and paint!

Think about it Thursday:  My 2 year old has just learned most of his letters and loves to point them out on books and the tv.  He has a set of magnetic alphabet letters.  I’m going to try this Cookie Sheet Challenge activity on a magnetic cookie sheet.

Fantastic Friday:  It’s supposed to rain on Friday.  I saw a Curious George movie in Redbox over the weekend so I think Friday will be a movie day!