Sunday, October 20, 2013

Applesauce Adventures

Tait has always loved helping in the kitchen.  Now he's coordinated enough that he makes a mess less often.  This makes it much more enjoyable to have him help and it's so fun to see the pride on his face as he pours things into the bowl or helps to stir.  Costco had several varieties of apples yesterday, so we grabbed a couple packs and headed home to make applesauce - one of Tait's many favorite foods.

On a side note, I think this is one of those things that feels overwhelming to do until you have done it the first time.  Another example is chicken stock.  I had no idea how to make it or how easy it really was despite my friends reminding me over and over that it was.  I was still skeptical.  Now I think it'll become much more of a staple around our house.  Making applesauce really isn't that hard either!  I followed The Pioneer Woman's recipe and it was super easy.  

First we chopped the apples and Tait put them carefully in the pot.  

Then we let it cook for a while.  When Tait tried to help stir cinnamon and brown sugar went flying.  Oops, isn't that grin just mischievous?

Next step was to scoop it into the food processor and then get it ready to put in jars.

Tait got to help scoop the applesauce into the jars.  I still can't believe he's big enough to be able to do so much! (Oh, and he did miss the jar once and spilled a bit on the counter, but a little mess is worth seeing his smile!)

After seeing how easy this all was, I think I'll be making more.  You'll notice we left the peels on.  I figured that the food processor would break them down enough and then we'd still get all the nutrients that are in the peel.  We sampled applesauce all evening and I was quite pleased that it tasted great and I barely noticed the peels.  I don't mind the extra texture and neither do the guys in my family.  

Hopefully I can inspire someone else to give it a try even if they have a busy lifestyle.  It isn't necessarily cheaper, but you can control how much sugar is added and you don't lose nutrients to processing.  You can also add cinnamon or other spices to your heart's liking <3!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Sick Day Adventures

Tait ended up catching hand foot and mouth disease at the end of September.  He is so rarely sick, but for some reason we caught this a second time.  I was disappointed he would miss school, but I knew from a newsletter that they were reading The Five Little Monkeys.  I set out on Pinterest to find activities related to this story so he would not be behind and he'd get to enjoy the story when he went back to school the next week.  I love Pinterest.  I am almost never disappointed and found a plethora of ideas.  The hardest part was narrowing it down to activities that were best for a 3 year old preschooler.
I stumbled across a blog called 1plus1plus1equals1 where I found "Tot Books."  She had a printable pack of activities that related to the book and were just right for him to enjoy and also to give him a little challenge!

5 Little Monkeys Tot Pack (if you're interested in checking it out)

Tait was super excited to go get things off the printer and was excited about each activity.  By the way, I loved that each activity was either a book or had a little pouch to store the pieces in.  Here are some pictures of us having fun; I love how he can't stay still long enough for a photo (and please ignore mess that occurs over the weekend when I spend time with family instead of cleaning):
Sorting Monkeys by size

He did great when I asked which is the littlest and then which one is bigger.

Which one is the biggest?

Which one is smallest?

Reading and counting!

After having fun we made an obstacle course to practice some of his gross motor skills.  He had fun jumping off the couch, crawling through the 'cave,' and climbing his mountain of stuffed animals :).  I had fun watching him enjoy these activities and can't wait to do more!