Monday, October 13, 2008

Easy learning activity, easy meal, easy movin'

Easy learning activity:

Remember growing bean sprouts in preschool or grade school? I saw a really easy way to do it on PBS Kids the other day, so Chickie and I tried it. This has been a HIT!

1. Fold a paper towel in quarters.
2. Put it on a plate.
3. Get it wet.
4. Put some dry beans on the towel.
5. Put the whole thing in a plastic food storage bag, and seal it.
6. Put it in a place where it will get some sunlight.
7. Check out the beans daily (or as often as you think of it) to see them growing!

We started last week--I'm guessing Tuesday or Wednesday-ish. We checked the beans the next day and saw that some of them were starting to swell and split. Then we forgot about it until yesterday, when Chickie brought them to me. Success! Those bean sprouts grow quickly!

Here they are this morning. It's interesting to see which bean sprouts are growing most quickly, since we used three types of beans.

Chickie wanted to play with them, and what better way for her to get to explore growing things? Here she is, pretending one of the sprouts is a helicopter. Later, one sprout was a spider. (When we opened up the bag yesterday it was quite stinky. This morning it wasn't bad, but judging by the way she covered her nose, I guess she figured you can't be too careful.)

This is such a fantastic activity for any family, whether you are a working or stay-at-home parent. It literally took about three minutes to put together, and that was with the "help" of Chickie.

Easy meal:

I'm not great at the whole presentation side of meals, but I thought this one turned out pretty dang cool:

This is cheeseburger soup in a sourdough bread bowl. The recipe comes from The CrockPot Lady's blog, where I've gotten many recipes lately. I made mine on the stovetop, simply because I didn't start it earlier in the day. To make the bread bowls I simply took small sourdough boules, purchased on the half price rack at Wal-Mart Supercenter, and used a knife to cut off the top. Then I used a fork to hollow out the bowl. Easy and impressive!

Now, I'd like to say this recipe is healthy, but it's really just borderline at best. The CrockPot Lady did improve it by reducing the amount of cheese, but it's probably not one you'd want to make frequently if you're going for a generally healthy diet. For an occasional treat, though, it really is great. Chickie wouldn't eat it, but that really surprised me.... I think most kids would gobble it up.

It uses Velveeta...and did you know that Velveeta is not sold in the cheese section? It doesn't have to be refrigerated until after you open it! Personally, I find that a bit frightening. Not that I had any illusions about Velveeta being "natural," but it just seems weird that it's so processed that it can be sold right next to the pasta. I won't be buying Velveeta frequently...but I will use the leftover, mixed with Ro-Tel, to make some yummy queso to eat with chips. I mean, we mustn't waste, right? Mmm.

Easy movin':

My friends, we have a mobile baby on our hands. As proud as I am of my little Zoodle, I was not ready for this. He is scooting and rolling enough that he can end up several feet away from his starting point, and he's on his hands and knees, rocking forward and backward, so he'll be crawling soon. Oh, my goodness, it begins....

Hope you have an easygoing day!


Crockpot Lady said...

hahahahaha on the velveeta being on the shelf. It totally weirds me out.

I'm glad you enjoyed this! The beans look really fun; we're going to try it, too.

Kara said...

Weird! Velveeta is sold with the cheeses at my local grocery store. Maybe they don't want to freak us Northerners out? :-)

I have to try the beans! That looks fun!

beckiwithani said...

Molly didn't even crawl until after 9 months! Wow. I'm impressed your little guy is scooting around so early.

C. Beth said...

Oh, great CrockPot Lady, I am so totally star-struck that you visited my humble blog and even commented! :) Seriously, thanks for coming by! One day maybe I'll have a blog idea as fabulous as yours, but until then I will continue to enjoy yours and to just be in awe of such a great blogger.

Becki--Yeah, the earliness of this has definitely caught me by surprise, esp. considering he isn't even that great at sitting up yet! He can sit up but still has to support himself somewhat with his hands.

C. Beth said...

Oh, and Kara--that is really funny! They're hiding the real truth from you up there....

Our Scoop said...

Sounds super yummy! So cool the crockpot lady stopped by!! That is awesome. I am starstruck too! Your presentation looks awesome :)

WOW! Zoodle! Congrats! You are too little for this :)

C. Beth said...

Thanks, Karen! Maybe I should start putting EVERYTHING in bread bowls, just for the sake of presentation, what do you think? Cereal in a bread bowl? :)

Our Scoop said...

Sounds hmmm...interesting! But I am all for bread bowls! Spinach dip, your queso dip sounded good in a bread bowl, chili, almost anything! Ok, enough bread bowl talk - definitely not Weight Watchers friendly!! Yikes! :)

Anna said...

I read your blog daily and enjoy it immensely. Velveeta and Rotel was always a football season staple in my family growing up, so now I make it for my husband on game day. We serve it wth Fritos and it is de-lish! Blessings to you as "Zoodle" begins crawling. I am sure that my April baby won't be too far behind him (yikes!).

C. Beth said...

Our Scoop--Oh, yeah, spinach dip in a bread bowl. YUUUUUM!!

Anna--Thank you so much for reading!! Maybe you'll be lucky and your April kiddo will wait awhile longer before crawling. :)

Sandi said...

Yum! And that bean sprout idea is great! My kiddos and I will be trying that.

Our Scoop said...

I just had an "aha moment" (yes, I watch Oprah - oh well...). Is that how bean sprouts are really made?? and if so, is that why sometimes they are considered dangerous for harboring salmanilla??? Please CB, enlighten me??

C. Beth said...

Our Scoop--Good question! I actually didn't know about the salmonella/bean sprout thing! But it does make me glad I didn't let Ana try them yesterday when she asked....

Becky said...

1) Love the bean sprout idea! I'm going to try that one with my kids.

2) I love The Crockpot Lady and her website, and I am also starstruck that she stopped by your blog! I couldn't tell you how many of her recipes I have made already. What a great website for busy moms.

3) Awhile back at our local grocery store, they had the Velveeta display right at the end of the natural foods section of the grocery store, so when you walked away from the organic peanut butter and the quinoa, you were staring at a huge wall of processed cheese. I couldn't help but note the irony.

4) Congratulations to Zoodle on his new crawling skillz! And good luck to you...the good thing about the second one when they're fairly close in age, is that you're still mostly childproofed and pretty much "in the mode" from the first one.

And now, my book is done. :-)

C. Beth said...

Becky--Love the Velveeta display story.... Gotta wonder what these people are thinking sometimes.