Back to Fresh: Collard Quiche

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Wow, I can’t begin to tell you how amazing these smelled yesterday afternoon! And better yet how easy they were to whip up! If you’ve been following along lately you know I’m on the hunt for great ways to plug in greens to our daily menu. The kick off of a new school year seemed like the perfect time to get into good habits!

Enter these gorgeous greens! So beautiful and so good for us too! However, my crew can be picky- like most toddlers and preschoolers so I got creative and enlisted the help of Nature’s Greens super simple, ready to use Fresh Greens. I L-O-V-E the simplicity of just opening the bag and having ready to use veggies at the drop of a hat!

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This week I tried my hand at mini homemade quiches. Little people love little things don’t they?! They eat them right up! (no pun intended- haha!) This recipe only requires a couple ingredients and to make life easier- because moms are all about keeping it simple- I used a pre- made pastry sheet for the crust.

This recipe is also perfect for inviting your little ones to join you in the kitchen. Some of our sweetest memories have been made around the kitchen table or up at the kitchen counter. You’ll use a cup/glass slightly larger than your muffin tin opening to cut out circles. Then very gently press them into the muffin tin cups. Next you’ll layer in the ingredients, pour over the egg mixture, and top with a little extra cheese.

They only need to bake for about 20-22 minutes but in that brief passage of time your house will fill with the most delicious aroma. Awakening the senses and hunger in your littles! They’ll be so excited to try this yummy treat they won’t give a second thought to those sometimes challenging greens!

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AND they store well so you can easily double the recipe and toss a few in the fridge or freezer for busy mornings on the go! I’ve even caught my husband grabbing a quiche or two on his way out the door too! :) They’re really irresistible!

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To top it off I’m sharing another set of free printables along with this week’s recipe card! Click the button below to get the recipe, a sweet game, AND lunch box riddles to brighten your little’s day!

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Back to Fresh: Collards, Mac & Cheese

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I think we’re on to something with plugging in green veggies to some of our favorites. I know my crew is more willing to try something new when it’s paired with a trusted favorite. While my little fella is dairy free, both my girls LOVE macaroni with cheese. I’m not talking the kind out of the blue box either. It’s shockingly easy to prepare fresh, homemade macaroni with cheese. This week I decided to test the waters with collards again and I’m happy to report it was another success!

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Macie Jane has a well check up this week and among the number of questions I get asked is the age old, “Is she eating a balanced diet?” Of my crew she typically eats the best but still I’m not satisfied with the amount of vegetables she eats. And my other two? I straight up answer no. They do not eat a balanced diet- not because it’s not provided but because you can not force feed toddlers. If they don’t want it there’s little to no reasoning with them. I can get a few veggies plugged in here or there but the majority of the time it has to be hidden in a fruit squeeze, smoothie, or tucked into quesadilla- even then they catch on to me.

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Needless to say I was thrilled when I discovered how easy it is to grab a bag of Nature’s Greens fresh ready to eat/cook greens. I can zip open the bag, toss them into a pan to sauté or a blender for a smoothie. I’ve been inspired to try them in more of our recipes that I hadn’t before.

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This week’s attempt was in their favorite lunch time meal- Macaroni with Cheese! I love this one because it’s not only awesome on the first day but it’s excellent to reheat for lunch the second day too! On our Bible study days I typically make Macaroni with Cheese the night before so it’s ready to go when we hurry home to squeeze in lunch before naps! I sautéed a cup of chopped collards and mixed it right in with the macaroni- SO GOOD! Y’all, game changer. I’m not sure we’ll ever have plain Macaroni and Cheese again!

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You ready for the recipe? It’s crazy easy and kid tested + approved! Just 5 simple ingredients and I’m willing to bet you have most if not all of them sitting in your kitchen right now! Click the button below to get your set of FREE printables including the recipe!

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How to Dye Pasta Noodles

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I've written about dying rice (y'all know I love rainbow rice!) but I wanted to share about noodles too! Back in the Fall we made noodle necklaces to practice patterns and it was so much fun. Just as simple as dying rice and maybe even a little easier. Here's what you'll need

  • noodles (the bigger the better- rotelle, rigatoni, & elbow are our favorite)
  • vinegar
  • food coloring
  • ziplock bags

Divide the noodles into ziplock bags, add a few drops of food color (the more you use the darker the color), and 1 teaspoon of vinegar. If the color isn't spreading as much as you'd prefer add more vinegar 1 teaspoon at a time- less is more so smoosh your bag of noodles around before adding more food color or vinegar to see if that helps first.)

Pour your noodles out on wax paper to dry (I usually leave mine over night but they don't really need that much time to dry) and voila! You have colorful fun noodles that work great as manipulatives, crafts, or anything your imagination desires! :) 

Sight Word Work
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An introduction to to sight word work for older preschoolers/kindergarteners. 25 weeks of activity pages (one word per week.) Each week a new word is introduced along with an interactive work page. Littles will color, find, cut, and paste the sight word of the week. 

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Ten Red Apples: Apple Counting Book

This morning we reread our story Ten Red Apples by Pat Hutchinson. Reading research shows that reading and rereading texts helps improve a child's development as a reader. During this week we will read and reread our theme story each day. 

Today we made an apple shaped counting book to correspond with our story. I made a printable for this activity for you to use if you want to too! Supplies you will need are: apple shapes cut out and stapled with 10 blank pages inside, red paint, clothes pin, and pom pom. You'll pinch the pom pom between the clothes pin to make an apple dot stamp. 

We started with one apple dot on the first page and each page we stamped one more apple dot counting up to ten on the last page. (I helped a little more as we got closer to 10. It's hard for those little hands to stamp that many dots on small pages)

As the stamping progresses it does get a little more difficult to differentiate the apples from one another so adding a few little details does help. After her book was made and dried we went through it counting the apples. Each page I would have her touch each stamped apple dot as she counted. She loved the book and was so proud of her creation!

The skills we practiced today were: concepts of print, literacy, numeracy, one-to-one correspondence. 

Ten Red Apples: Homemade Applesauce

One of my most favorite places to teach my littles is in our kitchen. This morning after we read our story Ten Red Apples by Pat Hutchinson we counted out 10 red apples on the kitchen counter and placed each one through our apple peeler/corer/slicer.

We followed Pioneer Woman's super simple homemade applesauce recipe. All you'll need is a bunch of apples, apple juice, a lemon, brown sugar, and cinnamon. 

Before I turned the burner on I put the pot on the stove and MJ climbed up on a chair beside me. She counted the handfuls of apples as she dumped them in. Then she felt so big pouring the apple juice into the pot as well. 

 

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I turned the burner on medium heat and 20 minutes later not only did our home smell deliciously wonderful but the apples were ready to be blended up. The applesauce turned out perfect and was baby bug approved!

The skills we practiced today were: concepts of print, literacy, numeracy, measuring, life skills, kitchen safety

Hello September

And just like that August 2016 is in the books. What sweet month! Looking ahead September promises to be just as much if not even more exciting! Don't you just love the beginning of a new month? The fresh start to anything is always exciting. I love making new goals, new plans, and starting afresh with ideas that maybe waned in the previous month. 

I put together a simple little calendar to keep track of our family activities, appointments, etc. I thought maybe you might enjoy it too. I put the free printable on my resource page or you can click on the picture get the download. Enjoy!