Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Homemade Granola Bars

I just made this recipe for chewy, healthyish granola bars today for the first time. I had a recipe I was going to try that made crunchy bars, but thought my picky little one might try chewy before crunchy. This looked really simple and, yipee, it was! Of course when you make it with a 4 year old it takes FOREVER, but hopefully she missed some of the frustration in my voice. Or at least can forgive me for it, poor baby.

Our 1 cup of extras included coconut, peanuts, flax seed, chocolate chips, cherries and sunflower seeds. They were super sweet, maybe because of the chocolate chips, although there weren't very many. Well worth trying again. I can only imagine they are much cheaper then store bought. Meanwhile, I have a few snacks in the freezer.

School Days

All my school plans changed at the end of summer when we borrowed Rod and Staff's preschool workbooks. I've kind of struggled with them, they aren't exactly the fun experience I envisioned and so much more rigid in their learning style.

But every time I whine to God (not suggested by the way :), He shows me all the good that is in them and the wisdom of my husband for choosing them. Very quickly, using the books showed me that my daughter does not like to obey or do a good job unless she has decided something is worth doing and fits in her definition of fun. Right away, God showed me how not meek and quiet I am when I do not immediately get the results I expect when I ask for them. Hmm, sound like a family trait?

I also found myself very thankful on many occasions that I can open the book and help her work on it, no planning required. I'm pregnant and I don't have the energy I'd always like to have. But I don't have any quilt for not getting around to school time because it is easy.

Now I'm trying to also include #2 daughter because she needs to learn and because my husband said I need to work with her. Got to be honest, right? Yesterday was the first day I tried and, whew, its hard. Today was even harder. My brain really likes to concentrate on one thing at a time, but little ones want to do things at the same time as their bigger siblings. Meek and quiet, meek and quiet, long suffering and not easily provoked... who is homeschooling for again?

I would like to post what we are doing throughout the week, but we shall see what actually happens, k?

Friday, October 08, 2010

Impromptu Tea Party

On a really crazy day, I think the day before Yom Kippur or something, #1 Daughter wanted a tea party. I was really stressed, making food and getting ready for a sabbath, but didn't want to do my usual "no, not right now."

So I did my best to stall.

I gave her stuff to make invites, and baked cookies.

I had her clean the tea set, and took out the garbage.

She put a table cloth on the coffee table, and I put dishes away.

She set out the dishes and party favors, and I did laundry.

We both worked on cookies and tea throughout the whole process.

Finally, we were ready!

The whole set up. Don't you like our table cloth?!

Harvest cookies, apple slices and passion fruit tea... use what you have on hand, right?

Everything was a bit damp, but all was eaten. Even #2 drank tea!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Rosh Hashanah Food

I have never really been on the ball for any of the festivals, but was really excited this year for Rosh Hashanah. At the very least, I had a meal plan way ahead of time for some fun food. Then I looked at the calendar. It was a night we were supposed to be at my in laws, AND I had agreed to watch my friend's 4 year old daughter during dinner time. Oh, and I had a mom and kids bible study for 2 hours in the morning and swimming lessons after nap time. So, in laws were invited to our house and we did it all anyway. Whew, what a day.

I did my best to prep as much as I could the day before. I have The Children's Jewish Holiday Kitchen cookbook, but had never used it. I found a recipe in it for the main dish, side and dessert: Orange Chicken, Carrot Tsimmes and Baked Apples. The best thing about this book is that it breaks each recipe into what the kids can do and what the adult needs to do.

To make the Carrot Zimmies for example, they had me boil the carrots and let them cool. Then, #1 was able to cut them up! How fun is that? And they were a great texture too, not as soggy as I expected. She also got to measure and put in orange juice, pineapple, sugar, water and prunes. This was like candy folks.

The Carrot Tsimmes
I got this table cloth while in New York and absolutely love it. I'm not much of a woven cornucopia or turkey decorated table kinda girl. And I found cloth napkins to match, 7 of them, at a garage sale for $2! That never happens to me!

My Favorite decided to get back into the swing of baking (yipee!) and made these amazing soft pretzels. They were the hit of the night, for sure. We also made baked apples, and both girls got to put in the butter, sugar, cinnamon and cover it with orange juice. The leftovers, mixed with oatmeal, made the best breakfast ever.

All in all, it was memorable and delicious, at least for me. Even if the chicken took WAY too long to get done!