Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Apple Festival

Autumn always provides new learning experiences - fun ones. Apples, changing leaves, weather changes, time changes, pumpkins, Halloween...
This year, we found a very cool, low-key, apple festival to take Jaymi to.

She got to make her own apple pie, which we took home to bake that evening - yum!

She made an apple tower.

She did an apple toss.

Apple prints.

A fun apple catapult!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Happy Birthday Jaymi!

Jaymi turned 7 a few days ago, and she had a great time. Her birthday was on a Thursday, and it was picture day at school. She was thrilled. Also, it was chapel day, which meant she got to stand up in front of the school and everyone sang happy birthday to her.
We had a celebration for her at home that evening, and gave her her family presents. On Saturday, she had a big birthday party with tons of friends. It was a Rainbow Fairy party...really, an Enchanted Forest theme, with elves and fairies. She loves the Rainbow Fairies book series, as well as all fairies in general.

I made cupcakes for her class at school, on the day of her birthday. I did chocolate cupcakes with gummy turtles on top. This is Jaymi with one of her best friends, who came over on her birthday because she couldn't make it to the party on Saturday.

She really wanted a shopping cart, and we found the coolest one - made of sturdy metal with wheels and a little place for a 'child' (stuffie) to sit in too!

Present table at the party.

Even I decided to be a fairy - a mommy fairy. ;)

My mom made her a fantastic fairy costume to wear, from her favourite pink tutu, a body suit, her fairy wings, and lots of glittery flowers and sequins.

All of the fairies & elves at the party.

Playing a ring toss game.

Doing crafts - they made magic wands, bookmarks, and fairies, of course.

The cake was a big success too.

My 7-yr-old - the day after her birthday, going to ballet with her new leg warmers on.

Rainbow Fairies book.

Big smile :D

One of her favourite birthday presents - Pooky the Webkinz cat.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Baking Cookies

Jaymi made cookies yesterday. Peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. They were very good too.
Okay, we cheated a bit - the dough was already pre-made. But she did everything herself. I mean, everything!
She looked up the temperature to preheat the oven, got a stool to boost herself up to reach the oven controls, and preheated. Then, she put aluminum foil on a cookie sheet, sprayed it with cooking spray, formed the dough into little balls, and flattened the balls on the cookie sheet. She made them however she wanted to - I didn't help her at all. She ended up with huge cookies, and very strange-shaped cookies.
Then, she got oven mitts on, opened the oven and put the cookies in.
She also had to set the timer AND listen for when it beeped. She took the cookies out, and she even got a toothpick and tested the cookies with it! (I didn't tell her to do that - she is used to doing it when we bake loaves.)
Then, of course, we got to eat them. :D

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Breakfast for dinner!

Since we've been trying all of these great new recipes, and finding some that are fantastic, I think I'll keep posting them on my blog, in case anyone wants to hear about it.
I'll try to take more photos of the finished product as well, although it's difficult to think of that at the time. We just want to eat it at that point. ;)

We had breakfast for dinner a couple of nights ago, and I chose to make a healthy version of Eggs Benedict. It was so good! Surprisingly so. I was skeptical, especially when it's one of Mark's favourites. And especially when the sauce was so different than the regular one. But was delicious.

Here is the recipe:

Guilt-Free Eggs Benedict
½ lemon
¼ cup sour cream, light, or low-fat plain yogurt
1 tablespoon shallots, finely chopped
1 ½ teaspoons oil, olive
1 ½ teaspoons water, warm
¼ teaspoon tarragon, dried
1 pinch salt
1 pinch paprika
1 tablespoon vinegar, white or freshly squeezed lemon juice
oil, olive
4 slices peameal bacon
4 eggs
chives, chopped
Squeeze 1/2 tsp. juice from lemon to medium-size bowl. Whisk in sour cream, shallots, oil, water, tarragon, salt and paprika. Taste and add more lemon juice, if needed. If making ahead, cover and refrigerate up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before using.
Meanwhile, fill a wide saucepan with about 2 inches water. Add vinegar and bring to a boil over high heat. To cook bacon, lightly oil a frying pan and set over medium-high heat. Add bacon. Cook until golden-tinged, about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Remove pan from heat.
Once water boils, reduce heat to low so water is barely simmering. Crack 1 egg into a small dish, then slip into water. Repeat with remaining eggs. Simmer, uncovered, until whites are set and yolks are done as you like, 2 to 4 minutes. To serve, place 1 or 2 slices of bacon on each plate. Using a slotted spoon, remove eggs, 1 at a time, and dab whites with paper towels to absorb as much water as possible. Place 1 egg on a slice of bacon. Repeat with remaining eggs. Spoon about 1 1/2 tsp. sauce over each egg. Sprinkle with chives. Delicious with toasted whole wheat English muffins and a spinach salad.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

My "Little" Girl

I can't believe she is almost 7 years old!
I love who she's turning into, but I also miss that she's not little anymore.
I love that she still wants to hold my hand, and enjoys 'mommy-daughter' time.
I love that she knows the capital of Iceland, the set of animal kingdoms and phylums, and her times tables.
I love that she runs around the house in fairy wings and tutus, yet she doesn't mind getting dirty and doing 'boy' things.
I love that she mismatches her socks.
I love that she yells "MUSTANG!" every time she sees one while we're driving.
I love that there is always something kid-like in my pocket, when I least expect it, like a sticker, a plastic frog, or a bouncy ball.
I love that when everyone I know sees anything to do with turtles, they think of her.
I love her thirst for learning.
I love her passion and persistence.
I love that she reminds me to obey the speed limit.
I love that she wants the whole world to recycle, take the bus, and use hybrid vehicles.
I love that she is in love with seals, turtles, and otters.
I love that she loves language.
I love that she doesn't want to grow up too fast.
I love that she likes to eat roasted seaweed.
I love her love for reading.
I love that she wants to be a marine biologist.
I love her uniqueness.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Belated Anniversary Celebration

Jaymi got to spend the weekend at Gramma's, so that we could have a belated anniversary celebration (9 years!). Last night I cooked dinner for us, and tonight Mark cooked dinner.

Here was my dinner:
Rice Noodle Salad with Thai Dressing
3 ½ ounces noodles, thin rice
1 drizzle oil, sesame
200 grams snow peas or sugar snap peas
1 large pepper, sweet red
1 large pepper, sweet yellow or orange
2 onions, green
200 grams shrimp, cooked, peeled
1 handful cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon seeds, sesame,, toasted, to sprinkle
1 shallot, peeled and finely diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely crushed
1 small chile, red, seeded and minced
2-3 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 ½ tablespoons sugar, soft brown
2 tablespoons oil, sesame

Bring the kettle to a boil. Place the rice noodles in a large bowl and pour on boiling water, fully immersing noodles. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let stand for 5 minutes. Drain and immediately toss with a drizzle of sesame oil.
In the meantime, blanch the snow peas in a pan of boiling water for 2 minutes. Refresh in a bowl of iced water, then drain well. Cut snow peas on the diagonal into 2 or 3 pieces. Halve, core, and seed the peppers, then cut into long, thin slices. Trim and finely slice the green onions on the diagonal.
For the dressing, put all ingredients into a bowl and whisk lightly.
Put shrimp, green onions, snow peas, and peppers into large bowl and add noodles, cilantro, and sesame seeds. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well to coat. Eat immediately or chill until ready to serve.

And for dessert, I poured Grand Marnier over 2 bowls of mixed berries (strawberries, blackberries, blueberries), heated them up in a pot, and then poured that over organic vanilla ice-cream. Yum!

And Mark's dinner tonight was an awesome rack of lamb with a delicious red wine reduction (rosemary, shallots, garlic, Cab. Sav.), with garlic mashed potatoes and pan-seared asparagus.

I don't have the recipe because he combined three recipes and sort of, made them his own. It tasted awesome! Especially the red-wine reduction.

I have one more dessert that I want to try tonight. Melted Toblerone, which we will dip cranberry biscotti into.
Mmmmmm :)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

Jaymi has 2 days off of school this week, so we decided to take her to the 3D movie Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. She has the book, so we re-read it before we went.
3D movies are so much fun. And it was great to go to a movie in the afternoon, when no one else was at one.
The movie wasn't entirely like the book, which frustrated Jaymi, and it wasn't really the best kid's movie we've ever seen, but the whole event was fun anyway.