Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Glitter Jar Cool Off

Pinterest is great! I saw a link for making a time out jar there. This is basically just a jar with glitter, glitter glue and water. Glue the lid on and shake it up. The glitter floats around and then settles again but swirls around while on the way down. The great thing about this is that it fascinates children and is hypnotic creating a great way to calm the mind.

I happen to try and use Positive Discipline which tries to find ways to help a child feel better rather than worse when they are getting into trouble. The idea is that there is something they are trying to show they need through their behavior and so if you can figure that out and calm them down in a positive way you can have a conversation they will hear rather than block.

 I think that teaching my children how to find strategies to calm down when angry in a way that will end up with them feeling better about themselves and happy is a win. I think that this fits with that idea well. Another thing to put in the calm down area (time out area with a positive discipline twist).

We have used this cool down jar with great success so far. When my son is getting excited about something in particular. For some reason that seems the most difficult thing for the two of us to deal with together and get him to settle down. This has worked very well in helping him calm down. We even made one that is in a plastic tube (the one the glitter came in) that we can take with us.

We did two containers of glitter glue (they were small but I think we could have used three) and 1/2 a container of glitter for this jar. Then hot water to get the glue to melt. We just filled the jar the rest of the way with water.

One thing I did is put a permanent glue around the threads of the jar lid so that it will not come off.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Rainbow Fruit Salad

So I have been trying to come up with fun ways to add lots of colorful fruits and vegtables to our diet after starting the Eat a Rainbow Challenge. Here is the first one that came to mind and worked wonderfully.

Both of my kids ate this through out the day and got lots of variety and color. It would be great with yogurt. We also put it on top of Coconut Bliss Ice Cream. Yum. Let me know if you come up with any creative ways to use it. :)


1/4 small watermelon in bite size chunks
1 peach
1 red skin plum (yellow inside)
3 kiwi
1 cup blueberries
1/2 cup marionberries (or purple grapes cut in half)

Mix together or serve in clear bowl in layers so you can see the fun colors (inspiration for layering from myblessedlife).

Sunday, July 1, 2012

15 Great Ways to Use Strawberries

1. Strawberry Short Bread/biscuits
2. Strawberry Glace Pie (so good and you can use any berries)
3. Smoothie  (just substitute strawberries for the mixed berries)
4. Strawberry Whole Grain Scones (see below for recipe)
5. Strawberry pancakes with strawberries on top (just add a few chopped strawberries to the batter)
6. Pattern kabobs with strawberries and bananas/blueberries
7. Rainbow Fruit Salad (strawberries, peach, pineapple, kiwi, blueberry, purple grapes)
8. Strawberry and Watermelon refresher
9. Make the filling for a strawberry-rhubarb pie and put it into a freezer bag so it is ready to use during the winter (maybe more than one)
10. Strawberry Spinach Salad
11. Sliced Strawberries on top of yogurt
12. Freeze them for later by washing, de-stemming, and letting them dry for a few hours. Then place them (do not let them touch each other) on a cookie sheet that will fit in your freezer flat. Once frozen place them in to a freezer bag and they are ready to use later. 
13. Place frozen berries with a container of greek yogurt and a bit of honey in a blender to create instant "ice cream"
14. On top of flour-less chocolate cake
15. Strawberry fruit rolls

NOW for the Strawberry Scones Recipe:

Whole Grain Strawberry Scones

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup almond flour/meal
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1/2 cup cleaned/de-stemmed and diced/sliced strawberries
1/2 cup heavy cream

1. Place the oven rack in the center of the oven, preheat to 425 degrees
2. Place the Dry ingredients in a large bowl mix with a whisk. 
3. Cut in the butter using a pastry blender or two knives. 
4. Add the strawberries and mix lightly to distribute through the flour mix.
5. Stir in the cream with a fork or spatula until dough just starts to form 
6. Transfer the contents of the bowl to the counter or a pastry cloth and knead by hand just until the dough comes together. It will be slightly sticky.
7. Divide into two balls and then flatten into two five in circles about 2 inches thick. Cut each round (like a pizza) into 6 wedges.
8. Place each wedge onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. 
9. Bake until the tops are light brown about 12-15 minutes. 
10. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

The BEST Biscuit Recipe I have ever had:

Cream Biscuits: From America's Test Kitchen
2 cups flour (it says unbleached all purpose but I have used everything from whole wheat to flour made from other grains)
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder (fresh!)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Heat oven to 425
Get your baking sheet ready, line it with parchment

1. Whisk together the dry ingredients. Add in 1 1/4 cups of the cream and stir with a wooden spoon until the dough is forming. 
2. Transfer the dough to the counter/pastry cloth leaving the dry bits in the bowl. Add (to the bowl) in 1 tablespoon of cream at a time until the bits in the bowl are moistened. Add the moist bits to the dough and knead until smooth (about 30 seconds). 
3. Roll the dough until about 1 inch thick and then use a biscuit cutter to cut out. Place on the baking sheet and cook right away until golden brown about 15 minutes.