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Gardens, playdough, alphabet soup, and berry smoothies–Oh, the simple pleasures of childhood!

What a cold morning!  We spent a few moments outside, all bundled up, and eventually returned to the warmth of the house as our fingers felt icy.  We did, however, stay outside long enough to enjoy the cold burst of a cherry tomato straight from the vine.  Our garden looks very good, without much tending as of late.  The cabbages have grown fuller, and our broccoli plants have really taken off–it is hard to believe that we started them from bitty seeds!  Of course, the herb garden looks lush, if not a bit overgrown.  I’d like to sit by the garden soon, just to inhale all of the lovely rosemary and thyme perfume… yum! 

Once inside and cozy again, we had the most fun playing with some homemade play dough that I put together yesterday morning.  I found a recipe online.  The ingredients are as simple as all purpose flour, salt, cream of tartar, hot water, and oil.  I used turmeric to dye the whole thing yellow, though it turned out much lighter than I intended.  Next time I will have to add quite a bit more to see if that gets me any closer to the deep golden hue I was looking for.  Anyway, the texture is amazing — so wonderfully squishy!  I brought out a cookie cutter and we pressed heart shapes out of the dough together.  Then we experimented with stamping shapes into the dough using chunky wooden puzzle pieces.  We just had so much fun.

Now I’ve just folded our laundry and I have some alphabet soup cooking.  I used up a turnip and parsnip that were sitting in the fridge for a while, awaiting their fate.  I found this recipe from a pamphlet handed out at Veg Fest, a really nice resource for vegetarian and vegan parents.  I’ve made the soup several times already.  What I love about it is that it incorporates beans and greens, making the dish even healthier and a bit more complex.  I’m also planning on making some mashed potatoes, because Piper really enjoyed them yesterday and Will came home with a handful of pretty red potatoes from work. 

I’m also pleased to report that I’ve found a great smoothie recipe that my little girl actually enjoys!  I was perusing Daphne Oz’s website the other afternoon and saw a video of her and her parents concocting this breakfast smoothie that sounded so good that I went on to make it right away.  I did modify it a little bit to suit our needs.  Ultimately, I included coconut yogurt (I used blueberry at first but have since been using plain and enjoying it even more), thawed organic frozen mixed berries, about a tablespoon of hemp oil, a good dose of chia seeds and just a splash of almond milk.  I really never knew how good a smoothie tastes that has been made with yogurt!  I love how thick and creamy the drink turns out.  I was so happy to see that our daughter enjoyed it, as I’m always trying to find ways to get her to eat good fats.  This drink has plenty of the stuff, what with the coconut yogurt and the chia seeds and the hemp oil.  As I have mentioned before, I am always trying something new because sometimes feeding a toddler can be a tricky scenario.  For example, I made her for breakfast some warm whole wheat toast with avocado sandwiched between and cut them into little squares.  I also had some fresh blueberries and banana slices on the plate.  Also, because I know she loves pickles, I added a few spears to her little smorgasboard.  She went straight for the pickles, and hardly touched anything else!! Now, she has eaten bowlfuls of blueberries at other times, and can devour a whole banana by herself.  The other night she gobbled up some garlic toast that Will had made to snack on in the evening.  I suppose she just must be in the mood to eat a certain food — I certainly know how that is!  However, I am always reassured when I can add another recipe to my bag of tricks, because that way I’m bound to eventually offer her something she wants. 

Well, I am certain that I have now spent too much time writing and it is time for me to add the pasta to the soup and finish my chores.  Enjoy your day!

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4 thoughts on “Gardens, playdough, alphabet soup, and berry smoothies–Oh, the simple pleasures of childhood!

  1. Oh, how I miss the days of alphabet soup! Perhaps you can use it to introduce reading/spelling, when the time is right. Love the idea of making your own play-dough, too. You are creating such wonderful memories with your daughter.

    1. Thank you, Amy! Yes, that’s a great idea. We also have these foam bath letters that stick on the bathroom walls that I will begin using to teach her simple spelling / words when she’s in the bath. We miss you so much over here but are so glad that you are doing well, and having plenty of adventures! If you are ever in town, let us know and the three of us girls can get together (of course I mean Kim when I say us). Lots of love! Xoxo.

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