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Out of desperation for some quick spaghetti sauce, I managed to make some based on 2 main ingredients: a can of each tomato paste and crushed tomatoes, and whatever I had in my spice cupboard. Surprisingly it worked. Here’s what I put:
1 can tomato paste
1 can crushed tomatoes
3/4 cup hot water
2-3 tablespoons sugar
tablespoon crushed oregano
teaspoon Italian seasoning
Vegeta or chicken bullion
All seasoning spice with salt
a small can of mushrooms
It tasted different. I can’t say if it was good or bad; well, definitely not bad. IM liked it and I thought it was pretty good.
I LOVE Fisher-Price doll houses. Growing up, we had the 1970′s “Play Family House” with the yellow roof and yellow stair case. This is what it looks like:
I was thinking about buying one on Ebay some years ago, even before I was married, but then one day about 5 years ago I was walking past the toy section in Target and I saw the cutest doll house. It was called “Sweet Streets Family House”.
I loved it immediately and bought it. And then after I took it out of its box, I kept it in my closet. If friends came over that had little kids I let them play with it but mostly it stayed in my closet. I still have it in a closet but it’s on top of V’s dresser where I see it every time I go to grab some new clothes for her.
V has actually gotten a glimpse a couple of times. She knows it’s up there on top of the dresser and when she walks into her room she goes to the dresser and looks up, waiting for me to pick her up to have a look. Mostly we open and close the front door or take the puppy from its puppy door and look at it. When she gets a little older I’ll let her play with it. Right now at 11 months she wont appreciate it.
The only thing I don’t like are the people.
They look a little silly to me. Maybe I’m just used to the vintage Fisher Price people.
I’ve decided that I’m going to make my own people. I’ve already made a few for my niece E and I have plenty of wooden people just waiting to be painted. These are the people I painted for my niece. I have something similar in mind for my doll house.
Now, if I only can find the time… .
V’s got her pointer finger out and ready, pointing at everything now. She started about 2 weeks ago with pointing. The day before yesterday when she was about to start eating, I asked her “where’s the milk?” and she pointed at her bottle.
I have the strong feeling that her vocabulary is going to jump really quickly now.
V pooped in her potty this morning! 11-months-old. So proud!!
I looked in V’s mouth yesterday morning when she yawned after waking from her nap, and I saw the beginnings of two molars on both bottom sides.
I guess that means I will have to keep putting bibs on V for a little while longer to catch all her drooling. We had stopped with bibs for a little while and I thought she had grown out of that stage. That’s alright, I guess.
I wanted to write down the recipe for one of V’s favorite foods – lentil curry. She’s eaten this pretty well from the first time I made it for her at 9 months. Some might think, “Feed curry to a baby? Isn’t that too spicy?” Actually, it’s not. Curry is a spice but it is not a hot spice. This recipe calls for about a teaspoon of curry powder, but I put a little less, about 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon.
You can make this very quickly, in about 20 minutes. Make a double recipe and you’ll have plenty for a bowl for yourself. It’s really delicious and filling.
1 15oz can chicken or vegetable broth or 1 3/4 cup broth
1/3 cup red lentils picked over and rinsed
2 carrots chopped
1 rib celery
1/4 cup onion
1 medium potato
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
salt to taste
A few cubes of tofu (optional)
Bring the broth to a boil and add the lentils, onions, celery and curry powder. Let the lentils soften at a simmer for 10 minutes. Add the carrots and potatoes and let simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes until everything is pretty soft. Add salt to taste.
When completely cooled, blend or mash and freeze. I freeze foods for V in ice cube trays. I usually give V 2 to 3 cubes per meal. Sometimes I mix up the serving, giving her one cube of this stew along with one cube of butternut squash, potato, or sweet potato.
My friend H from Sweden is traveling to California for a work project. He asked me to recommend some books for his 2 1/2 year-old child. After much thought and many searches through Amazon, I’ve come up with what I think is a pretty good list of books for toddlers to pre-schoolers.
1. If You’re Happy and You Know It
When the familiar song lyrics follow (“If you’re happy and you know it, clap you hands”), eight members of the animal kingdom-fancifully rendered in buoyantly improbable colors and patterns-respond with his or her own version.
2. Sheep in a Jeep
When five foolish sheep cram into one jeep, their high spirits and occasional lack of foresight (like forgetting to steer) combine to make a riotous, if ill-fated, road trip.
3. Two Little Trains
Two trains are heading west. One is streamlined, the other small and old. On their parallel journeys, the trains encounter rivers, hills, snow, and dust storms, but neither is thwarted. But look closer and see that these two trains, though similar in many ways, have a surprising difference: one is the real thing, traversing the countryside, and the other is a toy, making its way across rug fringe “tracks,” along the edge of a bathtub, through a tunnel made from a book, and past a broom and dust pan.
4. Blueberries for Sal
Kuplink, kuplank, kuplunk go the blueberries into the pail of a little girl named Sal who–try as she might–just can’t seem to pick as fast as she eats.
5. Unstoppable Me
A book that teaches children how to hold on to the no-limit thinking, rather than just trying to “fit in.” In doing so, they can learn to truly enjoy life and become unstoppable as they strive to attain their dreams.
6. Bunny School
Welcome to the first day at Cottontail School, where dressed bunnies quickly adjust to their new routine: show-and-tell, learning time, music time, recess, snack time, science, field trip to a fire station, art time, play time, cleanup, and stories.
7. Bear Snores On
On a cold windy night, an itty-bitty mouse “pitter-pat, tip-toe, creep-crawls” into a sleeping bear’s cozy lair, looking for relief from the bitter winter weather. Soon he is joined by a veritable menagerie of woodland animals, and the party begins.
8. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt
A father and his four children–a toddler, a preschool boy and two older girls–go on the traditional bear hunt.
9. The Lion and the Little Red Bird
When the bird notices the lion’s bushy green tail, it piques her curiosity. The appendage, in fact, changes color daily, a phenomenon that exasperates the bird until she becomes privy to the secret: the lion has painted a sweeping mural inside his cave, using his tail as a brush.
10. Is Your Mama a Llama?
An enchanting animal guessing game for preschoolers. Lloyd, a baby llama, asks each of his friends, “Is your mama a llama?,” and all respond in turn with a rhyming description of their mother that is answered on the following page.
I’m sure that others have recommendations based on your own experiences. Please make suggestions for others to note.
My husband likes to make crepes pretty often, probably once every 2 weeks or so. Since it’s a popular food in our house, we made a few changes to a traditional Slovak recipe for palacinky (the Slovak version of crepes) by changing out some of the flour to whole wheat flour. Here’s the recipe:
- 2 ½ cups of milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- ¾ cup all purpose flour
- 2 level tablespoons sugar
- a pinch of salt
Beat the eggs and add the milk, sugar and salt. Add the flour last, adding a bit more milk if the batter is too thick. The batter should be much thinner than typical pancake batter. After the batter is mixed, let it sit for 15 minutes.
Using a ladle, pour the batter onto a hot, buttered, non-stick pan or griddle. Slightly tilt the pan to spread the batter thinly over a larger area. Let it cook for a few minutes before turning it over. The crepe should brown slightly.
Possible filling ideas:
- Fruit such as banana, strawberries, or raspberries
- Various jams such as strawberry or blueberry
- Whipped cream
The pan is important. Of course a non-sick pan works the best. We use pans with concentric circles at the base so that it is easy to unstick whatever is cooking.
This can be important when making crepes because they tend to be fragile and can tear easily. The other option is to coat the pan with so much butter that the crepe is practically floating, but that’s not a good alternative.
We make crepes on 2 or 3 pans at once, in 3 sizes of pans. That can be nice too. I’ve noticed that people can be choosy over what size they want. Of course for little kids the smaller ones are better.
I call it a shopping bag because it’s sturdy and you can put a lot of groceries in it, but I guess it could be any kind of bag. It’s made of mainly mesh material as a base and then cloth material is used for pockets and decoration. It took me a little more than 4 hours to make this last night. It’s nice but I really have to get the total work time down.
I can buy the mesh at my local sewing store (have I mentioned that the sewing store is 2 blocks away?) and I took a class on making a bag like this. I start with cutting the mesh. In class I made a very large bag for carrying my sewing machine so I knew I wanted to make my next bag smaller. This bag has a 6 x 12 inch base.
It’s hard to see in the picture but I drew lines on the mesh, marking where is the center and then 3 inches above and below. From there I began sewing on the strip of material, one for the front and one for the back.
I wanted pockets inside also so I added a piece of blue material.
My seems are not so great on the sides. We learned something called a “French seem” but I forgot how to do it correctly and it came out backwards. That means I will have to rip it out and fix it but I’m too lazy at the moment and may just leave it as is. It doesn’t look too bad, but it looks unfinished, to me anyway.
Once I put on the webbing for the handles it looks pretty good. I definitely like how the pockets came out on front.
My friend W gave me the material. It was a small piece but it worked beautifully for a small bag. And the material was a nice thick canvas. That, along with the fact that that there are lots of straight lines in the pattern, means that it was super easy to sew on.