Snack Attack Strategies

When your toddlers turn up their noses at the usual snack fare it is time to turn up the creativity. I was skeptical but I knew I had to try to get my boys to eat better when they hit a picky streak.

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This is my latest creation. My first endeavor was less ambitious.

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Dexter loves it so much that he gets hungry he asks, “Can I have a man?” He even creates his own when he has seconds.

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Don’t give up if you have picky eaters just get creative with what you have.

Out of the mouths of babes…

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This morning in the car on the way to daycare.

Dexter: How can God make the snow stay?

Me: You can ask Him to make it stay, but it might be time for the snow to go away. If the sun shines and it warms up then the snow will go away.

Dexter: If the sun goes away, and it’s cold the snow will stay.

Me: That’s right, buddy.

Dexter: Is God in our head? I think God is in our head.

Me: He can hear what you’re thinking; you can talk to Him that way.

Dexter: Is he in everybody’s head?

Me: Yes, he listens to everyone.

Dexter: He’s listening to us.

(Drive by a jogger)

Dexter: I think that guy in the red coat is God.

Me: You think so?

Dexter: Yeah.

Uh-oh One-Pot Spaghetti-Fiasco

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According to what I’ve read about this one pot spaghetti technique on Pinterest and various blogs, it is an easy go-to option for those days you’re feeling lazy. Well I’m feeling a bit lazy today so it’s a great time to try something new and possibly more labor intensive. I never attempted to recreate any recipe because the urge struck me on a whim and I didn’t bother to research an actual recipe before starting. Mid way
through my whim I wished I had revisited those sites.
This is what I did…
First I browned a pound of ground chuck, I did not even strain the meat, embracing the laziness. There wasn’t much fat anyway.
Then I added a jar of prepared pasta sauce Prego Roasted Garlic Parmesan. My suspicions begin but I push forward. I added about a cup of water so it would appear to sustain the pasta once added.
I then removed some dry spaghetti from the box and broke the pieces in half and added them to the pot.  I stirred as I added more broken pieces to the pot. I used about 8 ounces of dry spaghetti.  Then I added another cup of water, boiling everything on low heat. Worried I would dilute the sauce flavor, I added Italian seasoning periodically throughout the cooking process. 
It was at this point that I consulted the internet for tips.  I didn’t learn much that would help me at this point because apparently I had already made significant mistakes. 
Increasingly irritated with how long it was taking for the pasta to absorb the sauce, I added another cup of water.
At this point I’m realizing that boiling the pasta in water first would have been much faster.
So I stand over the pot boiling it on low heat for over 20 minutes. Perhaps a recipe would have suggested a higher cooking temperature? Occasionally I would cover the pot in some grand illusion that I was speeding up the process.  Throughout these 20 minutes I would bite test for al dente-ness. When chewing time decreased and tastiness increased I decided it was finished.
It tastes different than my normal spaghetti (sauce on top of buttered noodles). It wasn’t better or worse in my opinion. Just different.
The pasta definitely absorbed the sauce’s flavor. I enjoyed the change although it was not easier and not the lazy choice.
My kids enjoyed second helpings and my husband *gasp* said he liked it better than my normal spaghetti.
I will probably only repeat this on a whim again…or if someone steals all of my pots.

Forgive

I have within me the Patience to forgive and forget.

Rainy Autumn Day

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The leaves are quickly filling up my backyard. They are much more beautiful than the grass. Why am I supposed to rake them?

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I think that this tree is so beautiful. The bark is perfect and the changing leaves stand out amongst the boring neighboring trees who are in denial that Autumn is upon us.

Unexpected Day Home Pizza

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Desmond was sick today so I had to stay  home with him.  Even though he was under the weather we were able to find an activity to hold his interest.  We made Jumbo Flaky Biscuit Pizza.  So easy that a sick one year old can help you make it.

Ingredients:

1 Can of Jumbo Flaky Biscuits (Split for more than 8, I left mine big and flaky)

3 Tablespoons of Pizza Sauce (or make your own with tomato paste and seasonings)

2/3 Cup of Shredded Cheese (I used sharp cheddar)

5 Slices of Deli Sliced Ham Chopped (any toppings of your choice this was what we had on hand)

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F
  2. You can split the biscuits up to make more than 8 because they are so big and they separate easily.
  3. Arrange your biscuits or biscuit halves on an ungreased cookie sheet (I always use aluminum foil)
  4. Top with pizza sauce
  5. Add chopped deli sliced ham
  6. Top each biscuit evenly with shredded cheese
  7. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes

Remove from the oven and make sure that they are not too hot before you let the kiddos eat.  Enjoy!

Ants

Fire ants

Driving in the car to Uncle Joe and Auntie’s.

Me:  “Bubby, Hailey, and Dakota are your cousins.”

Dex: “And Uncle Joe is my cousin?”

Me: “No, Uncle Joe is your uncle.”

Dex: “Oh…Auntie is my cousin?”

Me: “No, Auntie is your Aunt.”

Dex: “Oh, I don’t want ants in my garden…I put up a gate and keep the ants out of my garden…”

Me: “Ants are little, aren’t they?”

Dex: “Yes, they are.  I like ants.  They can come in my garden, I will open the gate.  Ants will march in my garden.”

Me: *laughing*

Dex: “It’s not funny mommy.”

I always want to remember…Dexter quotes.

Stoplights are “elmo gates”

The sky is blue, “I didn’t say it’s green, it’s blue”.

“We don’t eat our family, that’s gross.”

“All our friends are different, but we love them all the same.”

In the car, We can have some candy when we get home…”Well…I have some candy right here.”

After imitating birds chirping, “I am not a bird.  I’m Dexter.”

Dex is playing with a battery. Me:  “That’s not a toy.” Dex: “It’s Daddy’s.” Me:  “Don’t play with it.”  Dex:  “Daddy didn’t say me.”

“Xbox, play next episode.  My video apps!”

“What’s that noise?!!”

“The sun is up.”  “The snow is gone, the rain can come back.”

“I love you more than a mountain!”

 

 

 

Puffed pancake

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I made a puffed pancake today for the first time using a bisquick recipe. I liked it. My husband thought it was “alright”. My 2 year old hated it. I think he has an aversion to cinnamon. He protested that it was hot when his was barely warm.  He decided to eat bananas and cheese for breakfast.  I did have one glowing fan, my 9 month old, he ate every little piece I put in front of him.  It will probably be awhile until I try this recipe again.  Things I learned from this baking adventure: “Generously coat” means use more oil than you think they mean and don’t try to impress a 2 year old with baking.