Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Punch Pinata Adventures

At most of our parties we have a homemade piñata.  I'll have to post about how to make one of those at some point.  But for Blueberry's first birthday, I decided that a "punch" piñata was a better idea.  I thought that I'd dig up those old pictures to show you!

You'll need:
  • 2-3 sheets of poster board
  • 24+ sheets of tissue paper
  • 24+ brown paper bags
  • candy or small prizes
We took some poster board and cut out circles big enough for a child to stick their hand into a remove a fist full of candy.  We don't want to make any raccoon traps here!  You'll also want to make sure that the edges of the hole will not give kids any paper cuts!  Make sure you are leaving enough space in between the circles to secure the bags. 

Then tape some colorful tissue paper over the holes and lay out candy on top of the tissue paper.

Cut paper bags in half length-wise.  Then cut each edge about 1 inch.  Fold those over and tape them down.

Let the kids go to town!  You might need to make sure everyone only gets 1 or 2.  Otherwise the more aggressive kids will get a lot of prizes and the little kids won't get anything.  Seriously.  It's like feeding time at the zoo with these kids sometimes!

White Fish with Vegetarian Cassolet

We try to have fish at least once a week and with the beans in this dish, it feels heavy enough to fuel us!

Also, of it's six ingredients, four are on my list of foods to eat white TTC (Fish, beans, leafy greens, olive oil).  A Cassolet originates in southern France.  It's a traditional peasant winter food and there are as many variations are there are French grandmothers.   Basically, a cassoulet is a bean based casserole.  That's an oversimplification, but close enough. 

I made this for 4 people, but I only cooked up 3 fish because the boys wouldn't eat a whole fish.

For those of you with larger families: To make for six; cook up 6 fish (or enough fish, if some of your six are little eaters).  Add a diced onion or 16 oz can of mushrooms and put it in with the broccolini and garlic in step 2.  To make for eight: Cook up the number of fish you think your family will eat, follow the instructions for 6 and add another can of white beans

  • White Fish
  • 16 oz can of white beans
  • 2 heirloom tomatoes (or regular tomatoes or 16 oz can petite diced tomatoes)
  • 1 bunch Broccolini (aka Broccoli Rabe) leafy bits and stems chopped in to 1 inch long segments
  • 3 T minced garlic
  • 4 T olive oil  (divided)

1)  Dice up the tomatoes.  Chop the brocolini into 1 inch long sections.

2)  Put the Brocolini, Garlic and 2 T of olive oil in a 12 inch skillet.  Sautee for three minutes over medium-high heat.

3)  Add the beans and tomatoes.  Saute for 3 minutes.

4) Add 1 cup of water.  Turn the heat down to medium and let simmer while you cook the fish.

5)  In another skillet, pour in 2T olive oil.  Place the fish skin side down.  Let simmer at medium heat 2-4 minutes.  Flip the fish and cook another 3-4 minutes.

8)  Dish out the cassolet and serve the fish on top.  I served with a nice crusty bread.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Our Colored Rice Adventure

I made some Kool-Aide dyed rice for a play date we hosted.  Okay, to be fair...this activity was a couple of years ago  when I first had the blog and never posted it.  With the spring weather coming up, I figure it's a great time to post it now!

This was an easter themed play date.

I bought 15 pounds of rice at Kroger on sale.  I put 2.5 pounds of rice in a plastic bag with 1/3 cup of white vinegar and 2-3 packets of Kool-Aid.  Other blogs measured their Kool-Aid but I like to live on the edge.  I shook the bags until the color had gone throughout the rice and then let it dry on cookie sheets overnight.  It smelled amazing and I had to lock the dog away from it because I could see how that would end if I did not.  Let's just say, lots of mess and a very sick dog.  So. we avoided that!

I thought that it looked pretty laid out in bands, in the heading picture.  But of course the rice isn't for looking, it's for playing!  All the kids loved how the rice felt in their hands and the look of the confetti colored rice was super pretty!

I did not take a picture of the mess.  That would scare you off of doing this activity.  They all had fun and the little bit of extra cleaning was worth it to see how much all the toddlers loved playing with the rice!

Though on the subject of mess,  I've heard horror stories of rice breaking vacuum cleaners so I swept most of it up and used the vacuum only for the last bits.  Most of it I used the hose attachment and only rolled up the last pieces. My vacuum is too important to risk!