Tuesday, June 28, 2011

You've GOT to try this! {From my kitchen} Strawberry Dessert Nachos

Ever so often, we look to make a dessert for our family to enjoy. This one was absolutely perfect for us! We were able to regulate the sugar, and we even used whole wheat tortillas and fresh strawberries.
 We simply melted some butter and "painted" it onto the whole wheat tortillas. 
Then, we sprinkled them generously with cinnamon and a little bit of sugar.
 Elle cut them up into triangles using the pizza cutter.
 Big Daddy helped by chopping up the strawberries:) Yes, he is Mr. Wonderful--we love  him dearly:)
 Then, we just popped them in the oven at 350 degrees for 5-6 mins just so they start to brown up a bit and get a little crunchy.
 Oh, my----doesn't that look tasty? It is!! We just topped the nachos with the strawberries and some whipped cream we bought at Trader Joe's.
 The girls were too excited about their dessert nachos!
 Especially Em--she goes through phases where she says ice cream is "too cold" so she would rather eat whipped cream anyway, lol.
For Mommy and Daddy, we tried it with the chocolate sauce, but neither of us are big chocolate fans, so we actually preferred it without the chocolate sauce. But, for all of your chocolate lovers out there-try it!! You will probably love it! It was like chocolate-covered strawberries with a cinnamon twist--very good!
Here is the link to the recipe.

What fun summer desserts do you enjoy making? We may just have to make some smores this summer! It just really wouldn't be summer without them, huh?
Blessings,
Aria:)

Messy Mondays!! {Summer Fun} 2

Here is a short poem I found on on a great blog. I found it really fitting to us starting to do the Messy Monday Funday!

MY MESSY CHILD


As I sit and watch him play
I'm fully there in every way
A pour, a stir, a splish, a splash
I'm witnessing a joyful bash
Mistakes are made, and even praised 

He problem solves, my child’s amazed
Through play he learns of his self-worth
Something I’ve instilled since birth
No shame, no correction, just free to discover
The wonders of this world he will uncover
The day is done, his hands are red
There’s sand and shaving cream on his head
A passerby stares in dismay
“Oh Dear, why does he look that way?”
I smile with pride, and the comfort of knowing
That all this “mess” is helping his growing
From blue toenails to purple knees
I smile at my child.....who is so PLEASED.


AK


Here is our 2nd Messy Monday Fun Day wrap-up! We are really, really enjoying the Messy Monday lessons and, the girls have totally surprised me in how daring they can be:)
 




This week, we made Flubber!! Have you ever made it before? Oh, you should! It is so fun, inexpensive to make and kept our girls happily occupied for a long time!
Here is the simple recipe we used:

We also took a nature walk and went "creeking." Now, let me tell you. Our girls are normally *very* skittish with getting dirty, or wet or messy----and, maybe that is because I tend to be more of a neat freak and need to let them explore more. So, I decided to pray for a calm spirit in encouraging the girls to try new things and that it would be totally OK for them to get messy:)
 We always love picking the beautiful flowers on our walks.
 We had to walk across the wet rocks to get to the dry part to collect our rocks.
Elle was nervous at first, but prayed for courage and walked across. She had a few stumbles, but just kept going. Her confidence was built in this lesson for sure!
 In the creek in our neighborhood's walking trail. 
The girls had so much fun collecting rocks!

 Oh, boy--what have I done??? Now, they are interested in climbing! {stay calm, mama}.

We brought our rocks and flowers home and, Elle created this beautiful centerpiece!
 We put together a really cute bucket of cleaning supplies-spray bottles of water, sponges, dish soap and watering cans. The girls had so much FUN washing their rocks in the water table!!

 Then, they decided to wash the windows on the doors---hey, who am I to stop their little creative hearts, ha, ha!!
 Ce Ce LOVES water, so this was perfect for her!
 Em was so happy to be able to make a complete wet, soapy mess of herself!

Then, em wanted to clean out their outdoor play house, but it started to rain, so we have to save that for another day:) 

What a FUN Messy Monday Fun Day!! 
What are you doing that is messy this summer??
I would love to hear about it:)
Blessings,
Aria:)

VBS Week {Weekly Wrap-Up}

Our oldest daughter, Elle (age 5) has been going to a local Vacation Bible School for the past 3 summers and has always LOVED going! This year, our middle daughter, Em (almost 3) got accepted to go as well.  So, our homeschooling was focused on building on the VBS daily lessons and songs our girls learned. They had so much fun riding in the car with Daddy (he dropped them off on his way to work) and Ce Ce and I had 2 hours to get things accomplished and spend some quality one-on-one time together. 

I had so many grand plans for the week! I just *knew* I would get so many things checked off of my ever-growing long and looming "to-do" list. HA! First of all, Ce Ce MISSED her sisters! She kept calling their names and looking for them around the house. She was pretty upset about it the first day and only marginally improved throughout the week. Needless to say, I didn't get much done (besides holding and playing with the baby), but it was still nice to have the house a bit quieter and run errands with only 1 child to entertain and keep track of!

 Ce Ce was SO happy to see her sisters!!!


 The girls came home and wanted to practice the moves to their VBS songs nightly, to practice for their grand finale performance on Friday night!

 They did a great job and were so excited that their Grandma came to see them perform!



 This is a little girl we have known since she and Elle were babies. We always saw them at the library story time and they had fun hanging out with her at VBS, too!
 After the Grand Finale performance, the church sponsored a little reception and party for the families. The girls had so much fun playing outside!
Overall, it was a fantastic week for the girls! I am so glad they enjoyed learning more about God and how much Jesus loves them! It is such a blessing to hear them quoting Bible Scriptures and singing songs they learned at VBS. They are already talking about going next summer, but I think it is all of the "junk" food they got to eat there that they are most enamored with, lol:)
Blessings,
Aria:)

Friday, June 24, 2011

You've GOT to try this! {From my kitchen}

  Our family LOVES bagels, but it is very hard to find any "healthy" options out there. Even if we can find them at the health food stores, they usually go bad very quickly and we end up wasting a lot of money!
So, we decided to try to make our own bagels. Now, I am NOT much of a baker. A cooker, yes. A baker, not so much. I wasn't sure how this was even going to turn out, but I figured I would only have time and a few ingredients to lose.

 I always buy Organic Rice Milk, and wasn't sure how it would work for the bagels.


 Kneading the dough. My little photographer, Elle, gets credit for this photo:)
 Now, we just have to wait for the dough to double in size. {insert Jeopardy music here}

 I formed the bagels and put them on a flour-dusted pan to rest. Covered them with a towel so they didn't dry out.
 Dropped them into a pot of boiling water. Once they floated to the top, they are ready to be baked.
 We decided to make a few variations. Some with cinnamon/sugar sprinkled on top, some with raisins and some just plain old whole wheat.
 Baked them in the oven and put them on wire racks to cool down a bit.
 Oh, my.................they were sooooooo good!! I will never buy bagels again!! Well, I will, but they will never taste like my very own. These were a bit time-consuming to me, but well worth it!
Let me know if you try these! You won't be sorry:)

This is how they looked toasted the next morning.
Seriously, you have GOT to try this!

Here's the recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 1/4 cups warm milk (110 to 115 degrees F)
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

Directions:

In a mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk. Add the butter, sugar, salt and egg yolk; mix well. Stir in enough flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. *I put mine in the microwave where I had melted the butter and it was perfect!* Punch dough down. Shape into 12 balls. Push thumb through centers to form a 1-in. hole. Place on a floured surface. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes; flatten. In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil. Drop bagels, one at a time, into boiling water. When bagels float to the surface, remove with a slotted spoon and place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets. *I also lightly dusted my pan with corn meal so they wouldn't stick on the bottom.* Bake at 400 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.

Blessings, 
Aria:)

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