Don’t Wake the Dinos: Game for Children

Hey guys!

I have the pleasure of watching the cutest little guy ever at least once a week named Max. Max is three and loves surprises. For the past five months that I have been watching him, I have brought in my extremely limited supply of toys and books that I have for children his age (thankfully my mom just finished watching a young boy and so had some great things in stock for me to take!) and now that month six is approaching, there is only so much of transportation puzzle I can handle! 

Thankfully, I had a random epiphany: Do crafts and activities with him!

Unfortunately, I am NOT on the creative side. But I must say, I am rather proud of the work I put into finding and then creating a game I found on Pinterest. It was originally titled something like “Butterfly Garden”, but Max is not one for butterflies so I switched it to “Don’t Wake the Dinos.” 

Basically, cut out an array of dinosaur outlines (I did 15 of them) and lay them out across the floor. You can do rows or just lay them out randomly. On top of the dinos (or butterflies or whatever the child would most likely be interested in) you can place buttons, fuzzy craft balls, thimbles… whatever is useful or handy (I used manchala beads so no judging here haha) and then have the child tiptoe around the paper cut outs and retrieve the item you placed on top.

The goal is to not step on the cut out. If they do, start over. Or at least that’s the rules I ingeniously came up with. 

I’m excited to share this with Max tonight when I go to babysit him! I’m hoping to use this as an incentive as he’s getting ready for bed. I’ll post later whether he enjoyed the game or not!      

ImageHere’s the top of my dino game that’s spread out on my floor currently. (Don’t mind my converse shoes or my dirty floor!) My camera on my computer couldn’t capture all of the dinosaurs that I made, and I’m not that great of a photographer so I was only able to get just the top half of it. I must say, I’m rather happy about how well they turned out, if I do say so myself!

Like I said, I’ll let you all know through a comment or in a different post how well Max liked it!

God bless!

Hannah                                                                  

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Food for Thought

Hello, everyone!

I am on a baking spree! I can’t stop sifting through recipes and trying new things! Maybe its because cabin fever has begun to settle in and I just need to get my hands busy.

So I wanted to share some yummy soup I came across! With  fall coming, I believe soups are a great thing to delve into as the temperatures drop! My mom and I made this particular soup yesterday for lunch and there was enough leftovers for us to have it again this afternoon, and boy am I excited to eat it right after this post!

Also its pretty healthy!

218 calories for a cup and a half, with 35 carbohydrates and 7 grams of fiber!

soup

Bean and Pasta Soup:

Ingredients:

-1 cup uncooked small pasta

-2 celery ribs, thinly sliced (I detest celery so I don’t use them for this recipe)

-2 medium carrots, thinly sliced

-1 medium onion, chopped

-1 garlic clove, minced (I use garlic powder instead)

-1 tablespoon olive oil

-2 cups water

-1 can (14 and 1/2 ounces) tomatoes, undrained

-1 and 1/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth

-1 teaspoon dried basil

-1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed (I don’t even use this and it still tastes extraordinary)

-1/4 teaspoon salt

-1/8 teaspoon pepper

-1 can (15 ounces) white kidney or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

-2 cups shredded fresh spinach (If you don’t have this on hand, you don’ t have to use it to keep the excellent taste)

-1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (you don’t have to have this, either)

Directions:

Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick saucepan, sauté the celery, carrots, onion and garlic in oil for five minutes. Stir in the water, tomatoes, broth, basil, rosemary, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat; cover and simmer for ten minutes or until carrots are tender.

Drain pasta; stir into vegetable mixture. Add the beans; heat through. Stir in the spinach; cook until spinach is wilted, about two minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

If you’re a soup-lover this is definitely a must! The blend of basil and broth and onions… Oh its just perfect !

Time to post this so I can get right to that bowlful of soup that has my name written all over it!

God bless!

Hannah

Chapter 5: Perfection in a Cookie. Recipe for Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hello everyone! I am terribly sorry that I haven’t been on for a long while! My days have been pretty busy the past month and a half but those are stories to tell for another time!

Right now I want to share with you my recipe for the best cookie I’ve ever tasted. If you know me, you’ll know that I adore chocolate chip cookies. ADORE them. So when I found a new, healthier way to make them I was up for the challenge! The cookie? Banana chocolate chip.

They are 66 calories (if you make them the way the directions want you to, they are. But I’m a rebel and make them a little bit bigger and add more chocolate chips so I’m sure mine have a some more calories in them!) and even if you’re not a banana person, no worries. My cousin absolutely hates bananas and yet enjoyed these cookies! You may have all the ingredients in your home already so when you feel the need to eat something sweet, this is the perfect solution!

Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies:

-1/3 cup butter, softened

-1/2 cup suger

-1 egg

-1/2 cup mashed ripe banana (1 medium sized banana should do the trick)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

-1 cup all-purpose flour

-1 teaspoon baking powder

-1/4 teaspoon salt

-1/8 teaspoon baking soda

-1 cup (6 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips *I use between 1 1/4 -1 1/2 cups. Adding a little more not only makes it sweeter but lightens the banana flavor if you don’t want that to overpower your taste buds

In a medium mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, banana and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda; gradually add to creamed mixture. Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop by tablespoonfuls (Like I said, I make them a tad bit bigger… Closer to a large spoonful size) 2 inches apart onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Yield: 3 dozen (unless you make them jumbo-sized like mine, then its about 20 cookies to 2 dozen)

Keep in mind the dough is different than regular chocolate chip cookies. With the banana inImage there, it makes it almost elastic-like. The picture on the left are the cookies I just made about 20 minutes ago before sticking them in the oven!

I popped mine in for about ten minutes considering they are a little larger than what the recipe recommends. After taking them out, you’ll see that the bottom of the cookie looks a little golden brown while the rest of it is almost soft and almost doughy. If you let them cool for a few minutes, that doughy look will harden up a little.

I couldn’t resist waiting for too long before trying one! And like the title says, its perfection in a cookie! The texture is incredibly soft and the taste of both the chocolate chips mixed with the banana is both sweet and satisfying! The two flavors blend and balance each other well and the banana doesn’t throw anything off except that hint of extra taste.

ImageSo the final product, if I do say so myself, was delicious and I’m excited to share these today with my family and friends when we go on our picnic at the park later this afternoon! If you decide to try the recipe, please get back with me and let me know what you think! I truly hope you enjoy them if you feel adventurous enough to give it a go!

Many blessings!

Hannah