Friday, April 22, 2011

Food Day Friday: Strawberry PB Smoothies

Did you know that peanut butter and jelly milkshakes were a huge fad in the 1930's? Can you say "Calories!!!"? During my 4th grade homeschooling stint, my mom and I studied the 1930's. For a little fun diversion, we set up a family movie night one Friday evening. We checked out an old fashioned projector and several reels of film from the library. We whipped up some popcorn and dimmed the living room lights. Charlie Chaplin and Fred Astaire lit up the blank living room wall in black and white. The slapstick comedy was totally funny to my elementary brain. Some of the moving pictures even had sound! And then there were the peanut butter and jelly milkshakes... We enjoyed those shakes, and I've often thought of them since. This morning, since we are out of eggs and I didn't plan ahead to soak any grains, it was a smoothie breakfast. It is also a swimming lessons day, so we need protein! No eggs to throw in? Enter peanut butter!
We all really enjoyed this recipe, and I think it would make a fantastic after school snack. Or maybe it would do well frozen as Popsicles for a hot summer afternoon.
Strawberry PB Smoothies

1 c. raw whole milk

1 c. plain kefir

1/2 c. natural smooth peanut butter

1 T. ground flax seeds

16 frozen strawberries

1/2 t. vanilla extract

optional sweetener to taste (stevia, raw honey, maple syrup, sucanat - I used stevia)

Throw it all in a blender, mix it up, and enjoy! This recipe seems like it would survive lots of different substitutions, so have fun and try something new :). Serves 4.

(frozen strawberries and flax meal)

I like this as a nourishing breakfast because, among other things, it supplies lots of the following: fiber, Omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, vitamin D, probiotics, and protein. Happy Healthy Eating!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Young Diego(a) Rivera

Eva LOVES art, and creating "murals" on our kitchen appliances, windows, and mirrors has been an entertaining winter activity. Eva's cousin Elysa gifted her with these neato window crayons at Christmas and they have been thoroughly put to the test. They are much easier to clean than I anticipated and are lasting a long time. I endorse this product.

Randomly, one of the most commonly drawn murals has been the solar system. It is never quite the same each time, varying in spelling, size, and alignment. At this age, precision matters little to me. I just love to see curiosity being expressed by our little girls trying to wrap their minds around this big world! Translation: the Sun, Jupiter, the Moon, Saturn, the Earth, Venus, and Mars. Considering she spends her whole day learning formal spelling in Spanish, I am very pleased with her attempts at English spelling! Watching kids create: yet another reason I LOVE MY JOB!!!

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Spring Daybook

Today marked our first day of playing outside for the majority of the day. My eyes are sun scorched as I write this, stinging and watery, as if I'd played one too many rounds of "Marco Polo" on the chlorinated pool floor. It's all good though, reminds me that summer is coming, when almost every day will be a sunshiny, eye scorching. Vitamin D filled adventure.

The girls burst into the backyard with heightened senses and well rested imaginations. Hope is mastering our fleet of tricycles, and Eva was slightly ashamed to find out that all of the other neighborhood kindergartners already ride 2-wheelers. Hallelujah- She is asking to learn to ride her bike! Esther is mastering nothing but her one finger walking skills. Although she walks on her own regularly now, she still insists on travelling any distance with a firm grip on one of our fingers. I am impatient and cannot savour this crawling stage any longer (going on 10 mths). Get up and run already, kid!

Hope's preschool co-op met at our house this morning, and we spent a lovely hour nature walking. Perfect weather, well behaved children, lots to see and explore. I LOVE the curiosity of preschoolers. After pasting pine needles, dried leaves, yarn, bark, and other treasures into little construction paper books, there were still several full bags of pine cones, leaves, rocks, etc. left for play. Esther spent a good 45 minutes of the afternoon on the picnic table, managing her own little science experiment. How many of these objects will fit through the umbrella hole? That's too big- that's too small- wow, that rock falls fast! The small mountain of organic matter under the picnic table speaks to a well spent afternoon of inquiry.

The older girls moved to Hawaii, where bikinis are essential. They rolled up their pants and shirts to their chests while Eva sang a little song about a bikini in Spanish. Their Hawaiian homes were constructed of cardboard boxes (left from our bulk food order yesterday) and pine boughs (yes, left from our Christmas tree). Eva was especially pleased with her thatch (pine) roof. Later the cardboard boxes transformed into sailing vessels and they made their maiden voyages to China, Florida, New Mexico, and Guatemala. Hope's British accent gave the whole adventure a very dignified edge, especially when she shouted again and again, "Oh Mother, there is a shark in the water!" Another afternoon well spent. And as Shakespeare said, "All the world's a stage..."

I'm thinking garden... a few tulips and daffodils have poked through the mulched leaves. I'll probably pull back their covers tomorrow and hope for the best. No more snow, right!?! We ate strawberry spinach salads with leftover pork two nights in a row. Salad feels gloriously like summer.

Girls fell asleep the moment their heads hit the pillow tonight, and I am ready for the same.

Welcome back sunshine!