National Ice Cream Day

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice-cream…when I was growing up, that was a popular ditty.

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated the third Sunday in July as National Ice Cream Day. For more information and some special today-only offers, click on this link: National Ice Cream Day

For me, every day is an ice-cream day.  I’ve always loved ice-cream.

When I was a little girl, I remember going to the park across the street with my best friend, Jane.  Each of us would clutch a precious nickel in a little hand and eagerly await the Good Humor Man who would pedal by with the large freezer box attached to the front of his bike.  My favorite was a toasted almond bar!

Years later, on summer evenings, we would sit outside, listening for the calliope sound of the ice-cream truck.  You would hear children shouting, “Mommy, mommy, I need a quarter…the ice cream man is here!”  My dad, who also loved ice cream, would ask me and my sister what we wanted and he would run out into the street as soon as the truck stopped so that he would be the first to give in his order. 

These days, my husband lovingly provides me with a wonderful variety of exotic flavors…double fudge brownie, French silk, coffee with almonds and chocolate morsels…and I treat myself to a small dish of ice cream topped with a spoonful of whipped cream and seven almonds every evening…my reward at the end of a busy day.

Do you like ice cream?  What are your ice cream memories?

Among the 100 simple healthful child-friendly recipes in Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking you will find several for ice pops, sorbet and ice cream treats.  You can buy a copy NOW for 50% off the cover price!  Don’t let the summer pass you by without SCOOPING UP this incredible guide of fun-filled activities and picture book recommendations.  Did you know there is a money-back guarantee?

Three Cheers for the Red, White and Blue: A 4th of July Dessert

Flag of the United States

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 Happy Birthday, America…and Happy July 4th to all!

Whether you are on the road or close to home, enjoy the day and stay safe!

I looked through Show Me How! and found the perfect dessert to serve on this auspicious day…it’s quick, easy, healthy and…RED, WHITE and BLUE!

CHILD-FRIENDLY RAINBOW FRUIT AND RICE PUDDING PARFAITS

Color does lift one’s mood…help your child create a multi-colored dessert for the entire family to enjoy…when everyone compliments this delicious and beautiful treat, your child’s self-esteem will be lifted also.

You will need: 1½ cups cooked white rice (you can use brown rice for more nutrition another time…we want the white for the red, white and blue), ¼ cup honey, ½ cup coconut flakes, ½ cup sliced strawberries, ½ cup blueberries, 1 sliced banana, 1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt, a large bowl and 4 parfait glasses.

1.     Mix the rice, honey, yogurt and coconut in a large bowl.

2.     Drop a spoonful of this mixture into each parfait glass.

3.     Now spoon in some sliced bananas and cover with another spoonful of the rice mixture.

4.     Add a spoonful of sliced strawberries and cover with the remaining rice mixture.

5.     Top with blueberries.

6.     Makes 4 servings…refrigerate any leftovers.

7.     Creative tip: you can substitute other fruits and or yogurt flavors.

 If this is the type of recipe you enjoy preparing, treat yourself to a copy of my award-winning book, Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking.  There are 100 simple child-friendly healthful cooking activities AND 100 easy eco-friendly craft projects.  And that’s not all…you’ll find picture book summaries of the 100 books every young child should hear!  You deserve a hassle-free summer with your kids…be good to yourself and them and grab a copy at 50% off the cover price and you will have fresh ideas and activities for the entire summer and beyond!  Click on this link.

Wrap It Up For Easy Summer Dining: Make-A-Meal Monday

Skewers for eating corn on the cob.

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Want a delicious lunch or dinner idea that’s easy to make and fun to eat?

Fill a whole wheat tortilla wrap!

Use shrimp, tuna or chicken salad and add lettuce, tomato, sprouts, mashed avocado to increase the nutritional benefits.

Do you have creative ideas for filling the tortilla wrap?

You can pair the wrap with corn on the cob or oven fries and your family will think that summer is already here.

Young children love to participate in the kitchen.  Why not invite them to mix the salad ingredients and sprinkle on the sprouts?  Talk about which foods grow and which foods come from animal sources.  While you take care of the corn or oven fries, your children can be creating colorful placemats using construction paper and crayons.

Looking for more healthy child-friendly cooking activities to keep your little ones happy and busy this summer.  Check out my book, now on sale for 50% off the cover price.  Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking is an Indie Excellence Awards Finalist and provides hundreds of easy fun-filled educational craft and cooking activities for young children.

What are your plans for this summer?  If you stop by tomorrow, I’ll have a craft idea that your children will love that is educational and fun to do.



Make-A-Meal Mondays: Child-Friendly Traveling Trail Mix

Flatirons with Spring flowers

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Green buds are opening up on our Clematis vine.

Iris shoots are about 10 inches tall already.

The wild cacophony of birdsong woke me at 5:30 this morning.

SPRING IS REALLY HERE!!!

Although we may get a little more funky weather here in Colorado – yesterday was Easter Sunday and a dusting of snow covered the grass when I looked out the window in the morning – the signs of spring are evident.

The school year is winding down and families will be planning outings and trips.  Some of them may have to be local…gas prices are on the rise again and it is quite costly to drive long distances.

But there is so much to do and see…even walking to a local park and having a simple picnic can be a wonderful experience for young children.  On Wednesday, I’ll review a classic story by Miriam Cohen about two young girls whose parents provide them with an exceptional vacation…just steps away from their home.

Whether you drive or walk, here is a great recipe for a child-friendly trail mix that will keep little hands and mouths occupied.

CHILD-FRIENDLY TRAVELING TRAIL MIX

 

Great to have on hand – keep several zip-lock bagsful to grab when you have to run out to the store with your child – it’s a much healthier alternative to candy bars and chips!

You will need: 2 cups Corn Chex, 2 cups Wheat Chex, 2 cups Rice Chex, 2 cups pretzels (thin sticks or mini), 1½ cups mixed nuts or peanuts (optional), 1 Tb margarine (use the healthier non-hydrogenated kind or substitute butter), 2 tsp Braggs Aminos or soy sauce and a 13x9x2 inch microwave-safe baking dish.

1.    Melt the margarine (you can do this in the microwave…just make sure you cover the dish), mix with Braggs Aminos or soy sauce and pour into the baking dish.

2.    Add the cereals, pretzels and nuts and mix thoroughly to coat.

3.    Microwave on high for three minutes.

4.    Stir and continue to heat in the microwave, one minute at a time, until evenly toasted.

5.    Makes about 2½ quarts.  Store in an airtight container.

6.    You can substitute the crispy or chex-type cereals you have on hand and eliminate the nuts if your child is too young or has nut allergies.

I often see young children in a shopping cart, fussy and hungry, mother frantically trying to grab the items she needs from the supermarket shelves.  Just think how much happier everyone would be if the child had a little zip-lock bag of this trail mix. 🙂

This is the last day to enter the Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Blog Hop and Giveaway.  One lucky winner will receive a copy of SHOW ME HOW! BUILD YOUR CHILD’S SELF-ESTEEM THROUGH READING, CRAFTING AND COOKING.  The Traveling Trail Mix recipe is only one of 100 child-friendly cooking activities you’ll find in this great resource for parents and teachers.  Just click on the Hoppy Easter link above, follow my blog, and you might be the winner!  And you can also check out the over 250 other blogs that are participating and offering prizes and giveaways!

Make-A-Meal Monday: Holiday Treats for Easter and Passover

The Last Supper

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Right now, we are in the middle of two important week-long religious celebrations…for Christians, there is  Easter which is next Sunday, but the entire week has significance as yesterday was Palm Sunday and Thursday is Maundy Thursday and Friday is Good Friday.  For those of the Jewish faith, there is Passover, which starts tonight with the first Seder and continues for an entire week.  For more detailed information about either of these holidays, you can go to http://www.infoplease.com/spot/easter.html.

I thought it would be fun to see if I could find a recipe from my book for parents of preschoolers that would be appropriate for each of these important celebrations.  When you invite your child to help with food preparation, you help build their self-esteem.  It is also a wonderful way to teach young children about holidays and traditions that are important for your family.

CHILD-FRIENDLY NOODLE APPLE CASSEROLE

Here is a really simple recipe that is similar to Noodle Kugel, a delicious treat enjoyed by many during Passover week.

You will need: 4 cups cooked wide noodles, 2 eggs, ¼ cup honey, ½ tsp cinnamon, 1 cup grated apple, ½ cup  raisins, 1 Tb margarine or butter, a large bowl and a 2-quart greased casserole dish.

1.     In a large bowl, combine eggs, honey and cinnamon and beat well.

2.     Stir in apples, raisins, noodles and butter.

3.     Pour into a greased casserole dish, cover with aluminum foil and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.

4.     Be careful when you pull away the aluminum foil…there may be a lot of steam!

5.     Makes 4 lunch-size servings or many more side dish, snack or dessert servings.

 

CHILD-FRIENDLY HOT CROSS BUNS

This simple recipe forgoes yeast and uses muffin tins…so easy and delicious; you’ll want to enjoy it all during the year, not just at Easter.

You will need: For the buns: ½ cup orange juice, ¾ cup seedless golden raisins, 2 cups flour, 1 Tb baking powder, 2/3 cup granulated sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, ½ cup milk, 1/3 cup canola oil, 2 eggs, 2 tsp vanilla extract, zest of 1 orange, 3 mixing bowls and a 12-cup greased muffin tin.  For the icing: 1 cup confectioner’s sugar, 1 Tb orange juice.

1.     Combine orange juice and raisins in a micro-wave safe bowl and micro-wave on high for 1 minute.

2.     In another bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and cinnamon.

3.     In a smaller bowl, whisk together milk, oil, eggs, vanilla and orange zest.

4.     Add the milk mixture and the raisin mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just moistened.

5.     Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups and bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean and dry.

6.     Remove the muffin tin from the oven and cool for 5 minutes before placing the muffins on a rack to cool completely.

7.     When the muffins are completely cool, prepare the icing (in a small bowl, mix confectioner’s sugar and 1 Tb orange juice until smooth) and drizzle on top of each muffin to form a cross.

Please stop by tomorrow…and don’t forget that THE HOPPY EASTER EGGSTRAVAGANZA GIVEAWAY BLOG HOP starts here on Wednesday…and at over 200 other blogs.  You will be able to enter to win a copy of Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking and then hop over to the other blogs to enter their giveaways.

Make-A-Meal Mondays: Child-Friendly Veggie-Loaded English Muffin Pizza

Fresh vegetables are important components of a...

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Some things just go together.

Peanut butter and jelly.

Children and buckets of sand to make sand castles.

A good movie and a bowl of popcorn.

A good book and a comfy corner.

When it comes to finding things that children like to eat, you can’t go wrong with PIZZA.

I remember when my children were young, English Muffin Pizza was a hand’s down favorite and it was so simple to make, they were able to help me with the preparation.

Here is a really HEALTHY version of this family favorite.

CHILD-FRIENDLY VEGGIE-LOADED ENGLISH MUFFIN PIZZA

You will need for each serving: 1 English Muffin, 2 Tb fresh diced tomato, 2 Tb fresh diced green pepper, 1 Tb fresh diced onion, 1 Tb small broccoli florets, 1 tsp grated Parmesan cheese, 1 Tb shredded mozzarella cheese and 1 cookie sheet.

1.     Split the muffin and top each half with the veggies and cheeses.

2.     Place the muffins on the cookie sheet and bake about 10 minutes at 350 degrees, until the cheese is melted and the veggies are soft, but not mushy.

3.     Let the muffins cool before serving to young children…be CAREFUL because the veggies under the cheese can be VERY HOT!!!

4.     You can add or substitute other veggies or fruits such as sliced mushrooms, diced zucchini, small cauliflower florets, diced pineapple…use your imagination!!!

This is only one of 100 child-friendly healthful recipes you will find in my book, SHOW ME HOW! BUILD YOUR CHILD’S SELF-ESTEEM THROUGH READING, CRAFTING AND COOKING.  Saturday was the last day of the half-price sale and giveaway of the collection of craft supplies.  The winner is Baxter at http://thebaxterbunny.com/  CONGRATULATIONS!!!

If you visit my website, you can check out this valuable resource that just WON the KIDLUTIONS PREFERRED PRODUCT AWARD.  Hurray!!!!!

I’m also thrilled that I’ll be interviewed on May 24th at 10am by Lisa Hein, Radio Talk Show Host of Everyday Parenting.  Hurray!!!!!

And, last, but certainly not least, tomorrow I will be hosting Max the Dog and Anthony, his partner who are on a 36-day book blog tour.  You can check them out at http://www.readwithmax.blogspot.com  Please stop by here tomorrow and find out all about Leader Dogs for the Blind and an awesome new children’s book!

Make-A-Meal Mondays: CHILD-FRIENDLY NUT BUTTERS

I’m a little sad…my son was visiting from Chicago and I just dropped him off at the airport. What an awesome weekend we had…filled with fly-fishing on a picture-perfect stream, gourmet dinners and lunches…some enjoyed at local eateries and others made with the help of my son who loves to cook (and is pretty darn good at it), long walks and important talks.

Building a healthy relationship with an adult child is an on-going process.  It helps if you begin in early childhood by spending positive time with your young child and providing unconditional love.  The process continues throughout adolescence and early adulthood when you provide emotional support and friendship…but no advice unless it is specifically requested. 🙂

One of the foods my children loved when they were young was peanut butter.  On crackers, with jam or jelly on bread, spread on apple slices or celery sticks…it provides high quality nutrition and a taste most children love. 

 

Why purchase processed peanut butter (or other nut butters like almond or cashew) when you can easily make your own, without adding sugar, salt or preservatives?

You will need: A food processor or blender that can chop nuts, ½ lb peanuts (or other nuts such as almonds, cashews or pecans).

1.     Put the nuts in the food processor or blender.  Cover and process until the nuts are finely ground. 

2.     Add a few drops of canola oil if you want it to spread a little more easily.

3.     Spoon out your nut butter and store in an airtight container.

4.     Spread on bread, crackers, apple slices…be creative!

Looking for other simple child-friendly recipes?  Young children love to help in the kitchen.  When you participate positively with your children…whether you are reading, crafting or cooking…you build their self-esteem, develop pre-literacy skills and create a life-long parent-child bond.  If you visit my website, you can check out my parenting book that contains 100 simple healthful child-friendly cooking activities.

I hope you’ll keep in mind the Book Fair Event at the Covered Treasures Bookstore in Monument, CO on Sunday, April 10th from 12-4pm.  I’ll be there, signing copies of SHOW ME HOW! BUILD YOUR CHILD’S SELF-ESTEEM THROUGH READING, CRAFTING AND COOKING, along with two other local authors.  A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Tri-Lakes Community Preschool Tuition Assistance Program.  If you are in the Denver or Colorado Springs area, please stop by.

Also, please remember the book blog tour for Read with Max the Dog…you can visit the other blogs that are hosting: http://readwithmax.com/blogbooktour.html.  My site will be hosting on April 12th and I hope you will all stop by here for that!