Sunday, July 31, 2011

Photo Recap July 31, 2011

We are finishing up our last day in Detroit Lakes, MN. The girls have had so much fun playing with their grandparents and enjoying the weather. While we did not get in the kitchen as much as usual (who wants to be in the kitchen in 80 degree lake weather?) we did find some time to enjoy a few fun kitchen activities.

Learning to peel hard boiled eggs.

Picnic in the front yard.

The salad that started it all.

Many yogurts, banana and banana bread
Check out this fabulous photo swap to see what is going on this week.

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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Local Edition, Becker County Fair

Do you visit your county fair? We usually don't in Lawrence but I do love to go back to my hometown for the state fair. When Maurene was born we decided to stay with the girl's grandparents for a few weeks while their father was working. During our stay we made our first visit to the Becker County Fair. Somewhere I have a picture of Audrey petting a cow. She loved it!

This year our visit again corresponded with the county fair and we decided to go. 

Audrey has wanted to milk a cow for several months now. I think she read about it in a book and decided it sounded like fun. If only farmers milked cows by hand anymore. I looked at the fair events and found the dairy show time. We went. Audrey fell in love with a three-year-old cow named Cocoa. And she got to watch the farmers milk a cow. Cross that off our bucket list.

Her highness on her horse

Mo got on a horse!

The sheep were friendly

Audrey and Cocoa

Next farm girl

Mamma's milk

We took two days to enjoy all that was offered at the Becker County Fair. I left out the pictures of Audrey riding the Ferris Wheel and Maurene on the little Flying Bees. I did want to share some interesting bits of information I learned:
  1.  The University of Minnesota has an extension office for canning, cleaning, and food safety questions: 800-854-1678
  2. 4H is an amazing organization that connects children to learning in such creative ways
  3. Minnesota Milk tastes good and is only .50 with a free refill at the fair!
I wish we had more time to spend getting to know the farmers and the crops and animals. It was truly an educational experience.

The first day the girls wore their Tea Collection dresses. I am glad they wash well because they played hard!

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Friday, July 29, 2011

How To Say No

Audrey has been bombarded with choices recently. We have been traveling to see her father, my family, and my in-laws. With every trip comes a new dinner routine. She has learned how her daddy eats away from home and how each set of grandparents eat. With my in-laws she tried a number of new meals. In order to keep her from being completely upset for every dinner I decided to let her make her favorite, Pineapple Not-Upside-Down Muffins.

But she had to take a bite of egg salad sandwich in order to be able to have muffins. She was not interested in trying the egg salad sandwich. She loves eggs. I had to say no. No, she could not make muffins. It was hard for me to do because I enjoy baking with my girls. She finally decided to try the egg salad sandwich.

She liked the sandwich. I should add that this method only works some of the time. But I am happy when it does.

Audrey's muffin.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Ten Tips for More Veggie Consumption

Are vegetables a problem at your dinner table? Do your children promptly remove or push them aside? When was the last time your prompt of, "Eat your vegetables!" worked on your youngsters? I understand, we have the same problem. Audrey is getting old enough now that we can have conversations about nutritious, healthy foods and why it is good to eat them.

Here are some tips that might help you get a few vegetables into the children in your life. In no particular order...
  1. Plant a garden. Audrey loves to run out to the garden and pick lettuce for the evening meal. She even exclaims with delight that she grew the lettuce herself, as she is nibbling on it.
  2. Take a trip to the Farmer's Market. Children are naturally curious and they want to see what is so exciting on those tables.
  3. Cook together. It really is amazing how much more likely children are to try something if they help cook it. 
  4. Pick it yourself. Head to your local -pick-your-own farm and gather up some in-season vegetables. If children taste how fresh food can be they will be more likely learn to enjoy it.
  5. Make it funny. Audrey, Maurene and I love to make silly pizza faces or other objects with fruits and vegetables. They laugh and then nosh on their creations.
  6. Grocery shop together. This gives your little one input into food selection. Audrey loves to tell me which sweet peppers to select or pick the purple cauliflower over the white one.
  7. Presentation is everything. Check out some other blogs such as and Muffin Tin Mom for cute ideas on how to plate foods to make them look appealing.
  8. Curl up with a good book. A good cookbook, that is. Select one with a lot of pictures so your child can see how appealing the dish will end up.
  9. Read food books. We have, I Will Never, Not Ever Eat a Tomato and Too Much Junk Food. Both are excellent. 
  10. Talk about food in a positive way. The question I dislike most is, "Does Audrey like this food?" Why would I answer no? This will surely set her up to dislike the food. I always tell her that she has not learned to appreciate the food yet.
These are just a few of the examples of tips and tricks we have used to encourage our children to eat healthier and consume more vegetables. You will not notice a change overnight, but keep after it!

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Peas and Thank You blogging program for a gift card worth $30. For more information on how you can participate, click here.” 

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What's For Lunch Wednesday, Parsley?

With all of the great fresh foods available and Audrey's near constant request for Rainbow Meals I have taken to just putting out a selection of foods and allowing the girls to make choices. 

This week we have parsley as well. Why parsley, you ask? Because it was in the garden. And because we have a parsley loving caterpillar. What is good for the caterpillar is good for the toddlers, right? Too many questions.

Our new pet

Rainbow choices

Filling their lunch containers

Audrey's lunch

I don't have any other lunches to share this week because we are on vacation and I forgot to find one. Please visit What's For Lunch Wednesday to find your favorite lunch of the week.

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Wordless Wednesday, Snowman

Danya's Snowman

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Rainbow Moms

Audrey, Maurene and I are on a little mini vacation in the great state of Minnesota. We come here for a little bit every summer to spend time with the girl's grandparents. Their grandparents have a nice place right on a lake and we enjoy our trips very much. This year has been exceptionally nice with the weather warm enough to swim in the lake and both girls old enough to play in the sandbox and pool in the front yard. It is the perfect place for two toddlers and a mom to relax. 

Since the girls are so busy playing they have not been in the kitchen as much. So, I decided to bring you a previously written post to share some of our adventures along the road to healthy eating and kids in the kitchen. Today's post was about a Rainbow Party we held to share our love of colorful eating with friends. Enjoy!

When trying to make any change the best thing to do is to tell your friends. They can be there for advice and support when you need it. Audrey and I decided to share our Eating Rainbow challenge with friends at our playgroup this week. It was our turn to bring snacks and we shared healthy, rainbow snacks. Audrey went shopping with me and we purchased a full rainbow of fruits and one of vegetables. At the end of our playgroup the only thing left on either tray was a few eggplant. The eggplant was picked this weekend by Audrey, her sister and I from a local farm.

Beautiful peppers

Yellow and orange carrots
Picking eggplant

A rainbow of food

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Monday, July 25, 2011

Kids Cook Monday, Kale Chips

We have been invited to guest post on This Lil Piglet for Kids Cook Monday. Head over today to see our take on Kale Chips.

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Muffin Tin Monday, Brinner

This Muffin Tin Monday Brinner is sponsored by Audrey's Fresh Blueberries. Get yours today!

Picking blueberries

Her haul

The girls enjoyed scrambled eggs, shredded cheese, fresh blueberries, canned pineapple, homemade yogurt, and leftover sausages. With it was a nice glass of whole milk. This meal is sure to please my toddlers every time. Since we have been traveling and eating poorly I had them help make a favorite meal so they could enjoy something healthy.

This week I only have two other tins to review because I did not have as much time to browse for great meals. As always you can visit the Muffin Tin Monday blog to find your favorite tins.

I just loved the Asian theme for the Muffin Tin From Two Bears Farm last week. I want that for my lunch!

Two Bears Farm
And over at Come Play With Us they had a breakfast Muffin Tin. French toast is a favorite of Audrey.

Come Play With Us

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Photo Recap July 24, 2011

I take a lot of photos. Not all of them make it to the blog. Here are a few from the past week in our kitchen:

Cucumbers from our garden

Rainbow chart, almost full

Maurene learns to crack eggs

A colorful meal

Helping with muffins
I submitted these photos to a photo swap. You should go see the beautiful pictures from other blogs.

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How Very Corny of You

There are so many reasons I started cooking with my toddlers but one of them was my complete incompetence in the kitchen. I don't want my girls to grow up and not know how to cook corn on the cob. Really, how hard can it be? If you have never boiled fresh ears of corn you can easily over cook and ruin their sweet, summer taste. My wonderful mother-in-law (hi Rhonda!) taught me an easy trick for making one of Audrey's favorite side dishes.

You gotta make them work for it

  • Fill a large pot with water. 
  • Add your shucked corn. 
  • Turn the burner on high and cook until the water boils. 
  • Remove from the heat and your ears should be cooked. 

During the summer we cannot get enough of this wonderful vegetable, especially Audrey. She used to call it popcorn and would ask for it at every meal when we visited her grandparents in Minnesota.

yes, I gave my baby a cob to teeth on

We are visiting Audrey's grandparents again in Minnesota and Audrey is averaging 1 1/2 ears per dinner. It is a good thing we are not having it every night and that we are only here for ten days!

The girls are wearing their Tea dresses again! I brought most of them with us on our trip because they are not only beautiful but comfortable. Maurene has worn her green number several times and we have only been here two and a half days. You really should check out the catalog.

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Guest Post, Square Foot Gardening

We have a guest post about Square Foot Gardening over at Sea of Savings. Check it out and let me know what you think!

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Local Edition, Detroit Lakes

Banana bread and veggies for dinner
This week's Farmer's Market comes to you from beautiful Detroit Lakes, MN. We had a nice rain last night so it was a little damp at the market. That did not stop us from wandering around and finding some yummy banana bread and a few vegetables. I took a picture of our haul when we got home but it did not include the decadent donuts we noshed on after the market during our visit to the beach. The best part of the Detroit Lakes Farmer's Market is it's location, 1/2 a block from the beach on Detroit Lake. It was a toddler paradise. The girls could not resist a dip in the lake while their grandparents and I enjoyed a cup of coffee.

Making a selection

A nice dip in the lake

I hope you are able to enjoy a nice market where you are. We always try to find a farmer's market where ever we visit. Please share pictures of your market visits on our Facebook Page.

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