Thursday, July 21, 2011

Play With Your Food!

It's been a fun food kinda month!  First I decided I had to do something with a GIANT watermelon sitting on my counter.  After much searching, I decided on this:
I call it Shark!  Sorry about the low quality pictures.  My Camera battery was dead and I only got pictures with my phone.  I really didn't know that this guy would turn out as well as he did, and it was after I filled him with fruit and took him to Ladies Night at church that I thought I would blog him. 
Filled with fruit for a fun twist on fruit salad!
There are so many images online for Watermelon Shark, that I just copied what they had done.  There was no real tutorial to follow.  Maybe, I can do it again and make up a tutorial for you....maybe.

Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich on bagel rounds + marshmallow and craisin eyes + strawberry nose and hair + orange mouth with fruit strip lips = Sandwich Clown

ahhhhh....impressing my kids with simple food fun!  J thinks my creations are sooo awesome!  I might be a cool mom one day :)

My Fun Food inpiration?
Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons 
My clowns don't even come close to comparing with hers!  She does beautiful food and all for fun!

Fast forward a few days, and we made these guys for lunch!

Mr. Popper's Penguins: Summer Reading Ch 5 & 6

Have you made it to Chapter 5 yet?  Mr. Popper and Captain Cook are settling in and figuring each other out!  I think I am a little more excited to get through the book than J is!  Even more excited to go see the movie!  But I really want to make it through the book before we see the movie....

Meanwhile, you can find us playing some Popper inspired games at FunBrain and Nick!

Here is your lessons for
Chapter 5 & 6!If you have younger aged children learning about Penguins too, here is a color match Penguin activity from Home School Share you can download. There are so many activities you could do with these adorable penguins!

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Mr. Popper's Penguins: Summer Reading Ch 3 & 4

I am humbled by those that love my lesson plan for Mr. Popper's Penguins.  I must post more chapters huh?  We are currently working on our Penguin Cards from chapter 2, and while J cuts I am posting here, for you.  I must give credit where credit is due.  My lessons started from a lesson plan I found on HomeSchool Share.  I modified it to suit our learning style.   Now on with the Lesson!

To keep Lil Bug busy while her brother works on his summer reading, I made her a felt board with a felt Penguin and felt fish.  She loves taking the fish off and putting them back on, over and over.  We work on counting and colors with the fish...and of course the penguin eats the fish. 

The board is an old cork board that I glued a large piece of felt to. 

To make the penguin I used a template I found at Homemade by Jill.  The fish pattern I got at Craftstylish.  You can look through Google images for penguin and fish patterns as well, finding the one you like the best.     

Armed with my Hot Glue gun, and my felt pieces...we created a nice looking penguin!

I should also mention that in Chapter 2 of the summer reading camp lesson, I had J put together a puzzle. 

Found it!  I wasn't sure I would find in online, as we've had it awhile.  But this is it!  It took him a good 30 min. to put together, and then he spent another 30 min. exploring.  I'd say it was worth it and we will use it again!

Linking up:

Friday, July 8, 2011

Target Back to School Deals

I did some shopping at Target today and I wanted to share my deals with you now!  These are great deals for stocking up on school supplies!
Click the link to print a coupon for the lowest possible price!

Papermate Eagle Pens (10 count) –  $0.99
FREE after coupon

Papermate Crystal Pens (10 count) – $1.02
 $0.02 each after coupon

BIC Crystal Easy Glide Pens (10 count) -  $0.99
 $0.49 each when you buy 2 after coupon

**Look for the ones with coupons in the inside cover!

 Get a head start this weekend on you school supplies!! new Invitation only sale site!

I think I just found a new addiction ... well I already had the addiction to daily and flash sales sites.  BUT this one looks promising!  Not to say that my other favorite sites, haven't fulfilled their promises to me.  You just have to wander around the house a bit to see, I've made some purchases from them!  You can read my post on Flash Sales if you are not familiar with what they are. 

The newest kid on the block is now looking to pump up their membership by offering you cash for referring your friends! features daily design inspirations and sales at up to 70% off retail!  I see some great deals on Modular Storage Cubes!  Too bad I just discovered them, the color I want is sold out already!

Here's you invite to get started! 

Mr. Popper's Penguins: Summer Reading Ch 1 & 2

In an effort to keep reading high on the list of "likeable activities" in our house, I put together a Chapter by Chapter lesson plan for the book, Mr. Popper's Penguins. J has already started and so far its a hit!  Getting him started is a challenge, but once he opens the book he's determined to do all the activities. 

I started with the information I found at Home School Share and went from there.  I tweaked and added and cut to fit with our style and the things J likes to do. 

We have no set schedule, I am taking a "when you are ready" approach.  The only requirement is that he read a chapter and complete the associated activities before moving on to the next chapter. 

Here's a peek at what I've put together for the first 2 chapters!  You are free to use, just don't publish as your own!  If you share please link back to me for credit! 

Mr. Popper's Penguins Ch 1-2

****update**** In these lessons there is a puzzle mentioned. This is the exact puzzle we used and loved it! 

Happy Reading!

Linking up:
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Monday, July 4, 2011

My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Happy Fourth of July!!  In honor of the brave, I thought I'd share an American favorite!

EVERYONE has their favorite cookie recipe...or at least remains on the search for their favorite.  I have only recently become a fan of baking.  And baking cookies was a FAIL time and time again.  Then I stumbled upon a recipe that changed my view of homemade, fresh out of the oven, made from scratch cookies.  Nabisco, I've moved on. 

It all started from a post here on Yesterday on Tuesday. That would be the blog, Yesterday on Tuesday, not a reference to time.  I loved the idea of making my own oat flour and began my adventure into Chocolate Chip recipe perfection. 

I kept trying different things until not only am I able to repeat the recipe again and again (I'm bad about noting what I do when I tweak recipes), but I am confident to share with the world my version.  So, if you think you are not a baker, think again.  This recipe is for you! 

Start with the oats.  Oats + Blender = Oat Flour

Sweet , soft oat flour.  Makes me feel good about eating cookies. 
We all need some fiber don't we?

Add other flour, baking soda & powder, and salt.  Blend.
I love my Blender.  It has found a permanent home on my counter...and that's a good thing.  I don't like a lot of appliances on the counter. 

Cream butter and sugars together.  This is where the good for you ends.
But your family will love you...and that makes it all OK. 

Again, blender comes in handy.  The pouring spout on the blender makes the flour slide in nice and smooth.  No poofs of flour powder everywhere!  Just remember to turn the mixer on low as the flour goes in. 

My Cookie scoop.  I spray my scoop with non stick spray several times throughout the scooping process.  When the dough begins to stick, I wipe out the scoop and spray with non stick cooking spray...and scoop again. 

I also spray my pan each time I take baked cookies off and add new scoops.

My cookie mounds.  Must remind myself every time, the more cookie dough I eat now, the less cookies we have to eat later.  Yes, I know I know...raw eggs, could end badly.  I just can't resist cookie dough! YUM!

Bake at 375 for approx. 12 min.  Some days my oven does this in 12 min.  Some days its 13 min.  The key is to look for the "just turning brown" stage.  The peaks and edges of the cookies will be golden brown, but not the entire cookie.  Bake any longer, and your cookies will be hard. 

Hot, gooey cookies, fresh from the oven.  You must resist the temptation to eat now.  They still have 5 min of baking to do as they rest.  Trust me...I've done it.  Their gooey.  Let them do their thing.  It's good for them, and you learn patience. 

Chocolate Chip Cookies with Oat Flour
Printable Recipe Here

This makes anywhere from 2 - 3 dozen cookies...depending on size of your scoops!

2 ½ cups oats (old fashion)
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups chocolate chips
2 cups chopped walnuts (optional)
non stick cooking spray

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  

Blend oats in  blender or food processor until powder like substance.  You now have oat flour.  
Add white flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Pulse blender few times to mix.  

In bowl of mixer, cream butter.  Add both sugars and mix well.  Add eggs and vanilla, mix well.  Set mixer to low speed, and slowly add flour mixture.  Pick up mixer speed to medium and mix until combined well.  Add chocolate chips and walnuts.  Mix well.

Spray cookie sheets with non stick spray.  Spray cookie scoop with spray.  Scoop dough into mounds on sprayed cookie sheet.  Bake at 375 for 12 min.  (more or less depending on oven and cookie mound size)  When cookies are just turning golden, remove from oven.  Allow to rest on pan for 5 minutes then move to cooling rack.

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