Cold day fun

It’s the end of January and the high for today is 15 degrees. With it being so cold, I don’t want to take the kids anywhere if I don’t have to. So what to do? I decided to make these cotton ball smashes’ (that’s not the technical name of them, that’s just what I called it) that I found on pinterest. I asked Tyler if he wanted to make them and he said sure, okay! So this is what we did:

First we put some flour, I did 2 tablespoons, in 3 bowls. I wasn’t sure how this was going to be that’s why I decided on 3 bowls. You can do however many you want. Then you are supposed to add equal parts water and flour. So I just added some water and food coloring until I could stir the mixture well and it was kinda thick but not too runny. Tyler decided on the colors. He wanted green, white and red. At first he said he wanted black, but I wasn’t about to do black and have black food coloring everywhere, so I asked him to pick another color.

Once everything was mixed up I let Tyler roll the cotton balls  around in the mixture until they were coated. We placed them on a baking sheet. If you are going to do this project I would recommend putting parchment paper on the sheet. I did not and the ball were hard to remove after baking. I preheated my oven to 170 degrees, that is as low as it goes, and baked for 45 minutes.

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These are before going into the oven

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In the blog it said they were supposed to be hard, so I turned the balls over, which was difficult since they stuck to the baking sheet. Once they were turned I baked them for 10 more minutes and then removed them. I gave each child a play hammer and let them smash the balls. Ariana wasn’t really into it, but that is okay. Tyler loved smashing them down flat. We only made about 18 balls. It was a fun activity for a cold day. Plus it wasn’t too messy either. There were some crumbs from the smashed balls but nothing too extreme.

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They didn’t really turn out how I expected but Tyler and Ariana had fun. I love Pinterest because it has so many great ideas for just about everything. I have tried somethings off of Pinterest, mostly recipes, I would like to try out more activities and crafts for the kids. Who knows maybe there will be more to come….

Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving is in two weeks. I can’t believe it! Thanksgiving is a time for family, giving thanks to the people in our lives and eating. For most people it will be eating too much! Turkey will be the main food consumed along with sweet potatoes, dressing, cranberries and pumpkin pie! Our Thanksgiving consists of turkey, mashed potatoes, dressing, corn, cranberries, sweet potato casserole, rolls, pumpkin pie and Hershey chocolate pie. My family has two Thanksgivings, one on my side and one on my husband’s side, on the weekend after Thanksgiving. It is nice to have them spaced apart so we aren’t eating two huge meals in one day, which many families do end up doing. Football is another Thanksgiving tradition. I personally don’t care for NFL football, but others do and will watch the game after eating. Some people may fall asleep while watching the game. As many people know turkey contains tryptophan which is an amino acid needed for growth and nitrogen balance. The body uses it make niacin and serotonin. Serotonin helps to promote healthy sleep and stable mood. So that is why many people fall asleep after eating large quantities of turkey.

Some helpful tips for not overeating on Thanksgiving :
1. Eat breakfast, don’t starve yourself all day so you can overeat at meal time.
2. Drink plenty of water. Drink a glass before your meal and drink in between bites.
3. Only have one serving of each, DON’T go back for seconds.
4. Fill your plate with half fruits and vegetables, 1/3 meat and 1/3 grain.
5. If you have dessert have a small serving, skip the whip cream on the pumpkin pie.
6. Go for a walk after your meal or before to help burn some calories! ( it may also help you from falling asleep after eating turkey!)

These are just some tips to help overeating. They are good for most meals also. Don’t think that just because it is a holiday you need to stuff yourself full. Moderation and portion control is the key! Maybe my next post should be on portion control!

Fiber

Wheat.

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My husband will sometime complain about why we always have to have whole wheat bread and pasta etc. I don’t think he knows the importance of a high fiber diet. He has gotten used to pretty much everything whole wheat in our house though. What fiber does is add bulk and speed the passage of food through the intestine. It helps to prevent constipation, hemorrhoids and diverticulitis. The fiber in fruits, vegetables, beans and oatmeal help to lowe cholesterol. Most adults need 30-35 grams of fiber per day. How do you know if a product is high in fiber? If you look on the food label where it says fiber and it says 5 grams or more that is considered high fiber, if it is 3-4 then it is a good source of fiber. When buying whole wheat products make sure to look at the ingredients to make sure whole wheat is number one. Many bread say wheat bread but if you look at the food label under ingredients enriched flour is the main ingredient and therefore is not high in fiber. If you are not used to wheat products it may take some getting used to.

Here is a good high fiber recipe that I got off of Giant Eagle noodle package. I used whole wheat noodles.

1 (12oz) package wide noodles

1/2 lb sliced much mushrooms

1 1/2-2 cups broccoli florets

1 cup sliced zucchini

1/2 cup red bell pepper, Julienne

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 tsp dried oregano

1/4 tsp garlic powder

2 T butter (I didn’t use butter, only cooking spray)

1lb of turkey sausage

8-10 cherry tomatoes (I omitted)

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Cook noodles. Meanwhile in a large skillet saute vegetables, oregano and garlic powder for 4-5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add sausage and cover. Cook over medium heat for 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and half of cheese. Add noodles to sausage mixture and mix. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.