Archive for July, 2010

Safety First


Originally uploaded by Wandering Eyre

Always wear the proper safety gear when playing full contact sports.


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Originally uploaded by eprahs

Gideon has been helping me cook since he could climb the step stool to reach the counter. He is proficient at stirring, measuring salt, and stealing food from the prep pile.

My friend Paul, who has left Texas for Missouri, snapped this as we made enchiladas a couple weeks ago. We can be found in these exact places almost every night as we cook dinner before Ries gets home. We both wear aprons. Gideon’s apron is dino camouflage.

I highly recommend this activity if you have kids. Here are a few rules we have for cooking and safety, some of which, we figured out the hard way. Not following the rules means not helping:

1. No crying, pouting, jumping, or shenanigans on the step stool.
2. Do not eat anything unless Mommy gives it to you or tells you it is safe. (This rule was added after I caught Gideon sticking his finger in the juice of a thawing pork loin and licking it. GROSS!)
3. Never grab things off the cutting board.
4. No touching anything Mommy does not give to you.
5. All workers must wash hands before cooking.
6. When we open the oven, stand on the other side of the kitchen on the rug until Mommy says you can move.

I always have to guard the chopped vegetables and olives from Gideon, who would happily eat everything before it has a chance to be cooked!

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Recipe: Broccoli Bread

In the south we make something called Corn Casserole which is basically corn bread with cream corn in it. Delicious! This is a similar side dish in consistency, but uses broccoli and a few additions. The added cottage cheese, sour cream, and broccoli means that this dish has some added calcium and the broccoli also provides vitamins A, K, and C. Like the corn casserole, it is less like bread and more like a casserole. It makes a great side to chicken, BBQ, and chili.

Broccoli Bread
originally from Cooking Light

    1 c. egg substitute or 4 eggs
    3/4 c. cottage cheese
    1/2 c. sour cream
    2 tbls. butter, melted
    1/4 tsp. salt
    1 1/2 finely chopped onion
    1 10 oz package chopped broccoli, thawed and drained
    1 package corn muffin mix

Preheat oven to 400. (If using a glass pan, reduce the temperature by 25 degrees.)

Combine the first 5 ingredients in a large bowl.

Add the onion, broccoli, and muffin mix to the bowl and stir until combined.

Pour mixture into a greased 13×9 baking pan.

Bake at 400 (or 375) for 27 minutes or until set.

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Originally uploaded by Wandering Eyre

We did indeed play with sparklers over the Fourth of July. Gideon soon realized that the more dangerous your actions while holding flaming things, the more hilarious life is… and EXCITING!

The lovely lady in the video spelling is my Mom, Gideon’s Oma.

It only took a couple sparklers for him to figure out how to do a full arm pumping run while clutching his sparkler tightly. He fell a couple times and landed with his face right next to the flame in his hand.

After I got him to stop running, he would wave the sparkler wildly, often missing his head, eyes, and hair by a breath of wind.

Gideon enjoyed watching the fireworks all across the lake as well. His favorite part of the fireworks though was when my Dad and our friend Brian would light the fireworks and then run away. Gideon would scream. “They run away!” at the top of his lungs and that is the part of the story he repeats when I ask him about fireworks.

All in all, it was a successful venture with fire. No one got hurt and we had a great time.

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This picture features Gideon in his new Big Boy Boxer Briefs with a green Skittle in his mouth. That’s right folks. No more diapers!

We spent last week in Potty Training Bootcamp. We basically used the Three Day Potty training method which involves a lot of nakedness and who does not love a little naked toddler running around the house?

Here is our experience with this method.

Overall, it worked great. I say worked because after 1 week, Gideon is potty trained. No more diapers (except at night) and he is now wearing real underwear!

You spend three days giving your child lots of water and juice to increase urination and then whisking them to the potty when they start to go. We also asked Gideon often if he had to go to the potty.

With a couple of exceptions, you are mostly homebound for three days. We used a combination of praise and Skitttles. The first day was very successful because both Ries and I were home to keep an eye on him. The second day, Gideon had two accidents and it happened both times because I turned my back for a second. They say you have to watch them like a hawk and you really do. You literally can do nothing but pay very close attention to your kid for three days. It was the worst thing about this method. I was exhausted by the end of the day, even after taking a nap with Gideon.

We started on Tuesday and by Friday, Gideon was telling us when he needed to go, holding it during errands out of the house, and waking dry from naps. I still need to ask him often if he has to go potty, just so he thinks about it. I heard that kids will often say no when they mean yes, but Gideon says yes when he does have to go.

Gideon is doing great. He does have an accident every once in awhile, but he goes whole days without an accident. He even did pretty well during church yesterday, though he was out of his normal environment. If you have been dreading potty training or are sick of diapers, I highly recommend this method.

Hallelujah, no more diapers!

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My Aunt Brenda brought this to a recent family gathering and I thought that there might be some fisticuffs over who got to lick the pan. It was that good. Even better is the fact that this desert is ridiculously easy to make.

For those of you not familiar with TexMex or Mexican food, a sopapilla is a fried puff pastry that you eat with powdered sugar or honey. Mmmmm. They are delicious.

Sopapilla Cheesecake

    2 packages of crescent rolls or 2 packages of crescent roll sheets
    2 8 oz. packages of cream cheese, room temperature
    2 sticks of butter, divided, room temperature
    2 tsp. vanilla
    1 1/2 c. sugar
    1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350.

Spray 9×13 pan with cooking oil.

Roll out one package of crescent rolls until they are large enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Place the sheet in the pan.

Beat cream cheese, 1 stick of butter, 1 c. of sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Spread the mixture over the crescent rolls in the pan.

Roll out the second package of crescent rolls and place them over the cream cheese mixture.

Melt the last stick of butter and pour it over the crescent rolls. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 c. of sugar and the cinnamon.

Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature before serving. Refrigerate leftovers.

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I decided Gideon is old enough this Fourth of July for sparklers. I love sparklers. I am going to get the kind with the wooden handles because they are a little safer than the metal ones. And by little, I mean barely at all.

Here is some great parenting at work:

Me: I think I am going to get Gideon some sparklers for the lake.
Ries: (laughing) sparklers are not safe. They are actually pretty dangerous.
Me: Uh, Dangerous and awesome!
Ries: (rolls his eyes)

Part of the fun of sprinklers is learning how not to burn yourself, anyone else, or any buildings down as you twirl them in the air. It is a life lesson. Good times.

Happy Fourth of July! We will be drinking good beer and playing with fire. A winning combination in any season.

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