Monday, October 29, 2012

Homemade kind of day

With all of the festivities this weekend I'm surprised I had the energy to make all that I did in a 3 day period! 
First up was making a Mummy cheese spread and some strawberry filled pumpkin cupcakes on Friday.
This little guy was super easy to make, using Tastefully Simple's Smokey Cheese Ball Mix I shaped it into a person and then with 2 raisins, about 4oz of softened cream cheese and a Ziploc baggie I wrapped him up.  And have to laugh that Gavin calls it an astronaut every time he sees it!
Then that evening was our 1st time driving Go Karts as a family, sooo much fun!!!  Expensive, so a thanks to Plum District for offering the coupon, but fun nonetheless!
Then the boys had their last Soccer games Saturday morning, so sad as they were both getting to be so good and enjoying every moment!  I can't say enough good things about the Upward division, the Christian values that were taught is something I hope the boys remember just as much as all the fun they had!

Next we were off to a dear friends home for some Halloween fun with homemade games we created earlier in the week!
And it looks like we might be missing out on trick-or-treating at the Grandparents on the 31st with hurricane Sandy on the way.  Glad we did our neighborhood festivities last week!


Then while spending hours in the kitchen on Sunday after Church (while Mike and kids cleaned-up outside before hurricane Sandy arrived) I had time to contemplate, how in the world did Mom's have time to spend with their children when there was no such thing as prepared foods or microwaves back in the day?  Prepping, cooking and cleaning the aftermath took me hours on end, at least we had the meal to talk and have quality time together but then it was off to clean the dishes and start on canning our apples, which took more hours out of the day.  At least Mike got to spend 1 on 1 time with the boys, but him being home is rare so I know I wouldn't have been able to cook anything if he wasn't home!

My 1st from-scratch Chicken Pot Pie turned out amazing!  It wasn't too hard to fix and was well worth it, sorry Marie Callendar, you're pies are good too but there's nothing better than enjoying the love and fresh ingredients that goes into the meal instead of knowing it came from a factory!

A great tip I found somewhere said you can shred warm chicken in the mixer, so true and much easier than doing it by hand!  Thanks to Safeway's $5 Friday pre-cooked chicken- this saved me so much time!

Simmer chopped onion in a sick of butter, add flour, chicken broth, bag of frozen veggies (or fresh as I had some corn and carrots on hand) and shredded chicken... so simple!  You don't even need to measure ingredients, just eyeball it and it'll still taste good, take my word!

Then while the pie was cooling I remembered there were lemons that needed to be picked from our lemon tree.  This will give the boys something else fun to do, and teach Daddy as he's never done it with us before!

6 lemons rolled to perfection, water and sugar to taste... Mmmm!
Then while the kiddos were getting ready for bed, with Daddy -which never happens either so maybe my cooking day was a good thing for everyone, I had to cook-up the apples we picked at the farm a few weeks ago before the hurricane takes our power and they all go bad.

And couldn't go wrong using the Apple Pie Filling recipe I've used the past!  But somehow I ended up with 2 more jars than last time, bonus!  Guess the apples we picked were a bit larger this year!

Hope your Autumn has been just as busy, and yummy, as ours!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Crock Pot Applesauce

This time last year I was busy in the kitchen making apple pie filling with all the apples the boys picked at Larriland, well, this year is no different!  Though, I have decided to split up the apples and make both filling and applesauce this year.
Crock Pot Applesauce (a no fail recipe!)
8-10 cooking apples (10 if you have little helpers in the kitchen who like to help, aka: taste test ;)
About 1/3 cup apple juice (or water)
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
You can make and adjust to your own taste by adding different spices (nutmeg, or even a dash of cyenne for those adventours folks) or by using white sugar instead of brown or eliminating sugar all together if you're looking for a healthier version.
Turn the crock pot on Low and add the juice, sugar, and cinnamon. 
Cut, core, peel and dice the apples. 
Add the cut apples to crock pot and stir.
Cook on High for 4hrs or Low for 7hrs.
You can leave it chunky or mash them for a finer consistency.
You can preseve them by canning method or freezing in containers, even in ziplocks.
What to do with the apple peels is up to you, we fed the wildlife in our woods but would be great for a compost pile.
With one that was dropped on the floor we decided to do an apple pattern project while the apples were cooking.

Using the apple seeds to decorate was great, but we had to make the rest out of construction paper.


Happy Fall Ya'll!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Easy Number Sequencing

As early as the autumn of 1862, I was made very happy by being sent to school.
-John Sergeant Wise
With my Kindergartner learing numbers in school I decided to reinforce the concept at home by coming up with a project that will teach numbers and sequencing.
I love the fact that my 4yr old is home on Tuesdays and Thursdays to help test out ideas so I made one for him to try out.


 (Feel free to print this project out for your own use)
Just print out, have them cut on the lines and put back together in number order, super easy!
For a fun puzzle project you can cut out and laminate (or use contact sheets) this yourself and save to re-use again and again- (like before dinner!).
This is seriously so easy that you can even use a sheet from a coloring book if you want!
But I had to put an art touch to it and have my little learner draw a picture and we made it into our own puzzle.


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Halloween Glue Ghosts

Just the other day I was noticing how much I truly stocked up on some of my kids school supplies in the summer, how could anyone pass up the .25 glue bottles!
So here's a project that's great for Halloween and used about half a bottle.
You'll need:
Cookie tray lined with wax paper
White yarn
Elmers Glue
Construction paper or a black permanent marker for eyes and mouth

Just have your child lay out the yarn on the tray in the shapes of their ghosts.

Then fill with glue, making sure to trace the inner edge of the yarn so it adherers while drying.  This step was a little tough for my 4yr old so you may need to help squeeze :)

I then gave him a popsicle stick to move the glue around and fill in any air bubbles or holes

The next step is up to you, I thought my little one would like to drop the oval mouths and small eyes on so I cut some out of construction paper.  But after drying they bled a little, if that bothers you skip this step and draw on the face with the permanent marker when it's dry.


Here they are all filled in. Just sit the tray(s) aside where they won't get touched or bumped for a day or two and let them dry.

I threaded the tops with a needle so I could hang them, of course with festive pumpkins so they weren't too scary

Happy Decorating!