Sophie decided recently she really wanted a smoothie. Never missing an opportunity to get fruit into this kid, I didn’t hesitate to take her up on this opportunity. She also really wanted to make the smoothie herself. I thought this would be a great chance to try a recipe from a new cookbook, Young Chefs: Cooking Skills and Recipes for Kids by Christina Dymock. Lo and behold, we found the perfect recipe for … Pink Smoothies!
Sophie couldn’t wait to get started. She gathered all of her supplies.
(Don’t you love the special cameo from Romeo in the background?)
She measured out her ingredients.
And then started blending!
And voila … Pink Smoothie!
Young Chefs is a great cookbook for teaching kids how to cook. It is full of easy recipes, colorful pictures and easy-to-follow pages. Christina has lots of fun facts and tips throughout the book. I highly recommend it as a starting place if you want to start cooking with your little ones in the kitchen.
Sophie had so much fun making the smoothie that she insisted on me taking a video of her recreating the experience. (There’s Romeo again!)
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of Young Chefs to review for this blog post. All opinions are my own and I only endorse books that I am proud to recommend to others.
I don’t know what my problem was, but for several months I was really uninspired to cook like I used to do. Don’t get me wrong, I still made our meals nearly every night. But my dinners were more like a constant stream of old stand-by concoctions rather than new and exciting treasures. For some reason, I just didn’t feel as inspired to plan meals like I used to do.
So I was intrigued when a friend told me about The Fresh 20 concept. And all I can say is it has changed the way I cook dinners!
Seriously people, you are going to love this! The idea behind The Fresh 20 is that every week, The Fresh 20 sends you five recipes that require only 20 fresh ingredients. That’s it — all you have to shop for is 20 ingredients (and I tend to have a lot of them already)! The elves at Fresh 20 organize the shopping list for you and give you a handy prep sheet. The meals are simple, creative, healthy, and really delicious. And it’s all for only $5 a month. They also offer a vegetarian and gluten free Fresh 20 option (we use the classic plan).
By the way, this is not a sponsored post. I’m not getting any payment or free meals for endorsing The Fresh 20. I’m telling you about it because it’s helped revolutionize my meal planning and I want you to benefit from my knowledge.
Here are a few amazing things I cooked from Fresh 20 recipes that I never would have made otherwise.
Veggie Tostadas (even Bryan loved these and he always wants a meat option):
Chicken Tortilla Soup:
I’m telling you … If you’re stuck for dinner ideas and are unmotivated to cook or shop, go right now and check out The Fresh 20! You can even download a sample menu of three dinners and try it out.
What do you do to help with your dinner planning? How do you deal with dinner idea ruts? Do you have dinner ideas (by all means, please share)?
Lately in motherhood, I …
Made countless chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese dinners.
Read The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes to Sophie even though I was tired and didn’t want to read a “long” book before bed.
Went on a nature walk with Sophie and Bryan, and watched while Sophie bravely crawled across a fallen tree.
Pushed Sophie on the swings at the park and helped her cross the monkey bars.
Read Cinderella to Sophie during our visit to the local library.
Managed to break Sophie of the habit of coming in to sleep in our bed in the middle of the night (but admit that I kind of miss her there too).
Gave Sophie $1 so she could by hummus from the Farmer’s Market vendor.
Lost my cool and told Sophie I may stuff her mouth with cotton balls if she didn’t stop screaming so much (after which I regretted the remark when she cried and said she wouldn’t be able to breathe).
Let Sophie apply eye make-up to my forehead, paint my nails and “style” my hair.
Cried as I was presented with a beautiful drawing of the Sophie and me, a tote bag with our portraits, and a “My Mommy” book at Sophie’s school’s Mother’s Day .
As I celebrated my sixth Mother’s Day yesterday, I thought a lot about how motherhood is such a crazy, amazing, beautiful, frustrating, scary, and happy thing. There are still times that I feel pure joy one minute and utter frustration the next. One day I feel like I’m doing okay being a mom, and the next day I worry I’m not doing the best I should for my daughter. But I think the secret to it all is not getting caught up in those moments of despair and really living in the joy and happiness (which, thankfully for me, are more than the feelings of despair).
I look at Sophie and I am so proud of the little person she is becoming. She amazes me each and every day. I’m in awe of her strength, bravery, sense of curiosity, and love of learning. And yet she can also be the most sensitive and empathetic person (and pretty damn funny). I am so blessed and grateful that she brings such happiness and love to my life every day. She has taught me so much more than I ever expected to learn.
Thank you to Erin at Such Small Steps for inspiring the “Lately in Motherhood” post idea. She wrote “Motherhood Lately,” which was so good I had to borrow the concept. Check out her blog — it’s one of my favorites!
Sophie’s preschool class has been learning about famous artists this year. They started with Pablo Picasso, worked their way through Henri Matisse and Vincent van Gogh, and are now in the midst of Claude Monet. This particular artist unit led the class on a field trip to San Diego’s Balboa Park and to the Park’s Lily Pond. The historic site bears a striking resemblance to Monet’s famous water lily pond painting, which the kids have been studying.
Armed with painting paper, water colors and French baguettes, the teachers and kids (and a few parents, me included) spent the morning at the Balboa Park Lily Pond observing the water lilies. After a French-inspired snack, the kids carefully sketched their vision with exquisite detail. Next they used water colors to paint their masterpieces.
Sophie was so excited to see the lily pond and channel her inner-Monet. It was amazing to watch the concentration these kids had and how all their pieces of art were so different, and so full of wonder and personality.
By the way, this field trip idea would be a great homeschool lesson plan too.
The water lilies …
French baguettes …
Ready for color …
There are so many good books out there these days and, of course, so many of them are sitting on my nightstand. I feel like I’ve been devouring books like food lately. Which I guess is better than actually devouring food.
I recently finished the following three books that were all so good I read each of them in a matter of days.
Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler was SO good and I appreciated her original story idea. The Affair by Colette Freedman was a fascinating look at the surprisingly sympathetic three triangle perspectives of an affair. And Amy Hatvany’s Heart Like Mine left me in tears throughout the entire book. I love Amy’s books, but this one was a tearjerker. But oh so good!
I’ve been lucky to get to know Amy through Twitter book chats and Facebook. But meeting her in person on her recent book tour visit to San Diego this month was an especially nice treat!
After three intense fiction books, I’ve switched gears and am now knee-deep into My Berlin Kitchen by Luisa Weiss. I’m loving her memoir, but biographies mixed with food and recipes are always tough for me to read before bed because they make me so hungry. Her stories of growing up in Berlin are fascinating though.
Here’s what’s currently on my nightstand to be read next (Amazon cart and wish list filled with books not included).