Friday, July 6, 2012

Dinosaur Camp - Day Two

More dinosaur fun to be had!  We read some more from the Magic Treehouse Dinosaurs Before Dark book.  Then, we did some dinosaur activities.  First up, we went to this website where there a step by step instructions on how to draw a number of fun things.  We started with the dinosaur section, where my daughter really enjoyed drawing this guy:

It's a pteranodon, in case you couldn't tell. :)  She drew the dinosaurs, then decided to move on to fruits and fairy tale characters.  Not exactly on topic, but fun for her nonetheless.
She loves to draw and had no art classes at school last year (budget cuts), so I was happy to let her have at the drawing for a while.

We then made a couple of pteranodon crafts inspired by those found on, which is a great resource.  Here's what we ended up with:

A pteranodon cut and assembled from a paper plate.  My daughter tired of coloring quickly. :)

A pteranodon "puppet" from a toilet paper tube.  Cute!

We also found a very cool website which has video replications of dinosaurs and what they might have looked like back in the day.  My daughter spent quite some time going through these short video clips.

Finally, I packed this lunch in honor of dinosaur camp.  We ate at the park and I surprised my daughter with a fun themed lunch.

It's a dino shaped salami sandwich on wheat bread, strawberries, cookies (to share), and a yogurt tube on the side.  Looking forward to our next day of dinosaur camp!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

CSA - Week Two

Here's a picture of our CSA haul this week:

Included are cucumbers, pickling cucumbers, zucchini, yellow squash, green onions, more garlic scapes, tomatoes, and on the cob popcorn.  I just love having a fridge full of fresh veggies, although with the harvest from my own garden, we are nearly buried in zucchini.  I'm cooking it as often as my family will let me get away with, but it seems to be multiplying!  Anyway, not a terrible problem to have, I suppose.  My daughter is excited to pop up the popcorn - should be yummy!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Garlic "Escapes" - CSA Week One

This year we decided to join a CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture.  Essentially, you pay an annual fee upfront to a local farm at the beginning of the growing season which then entitles you to a share of the harvest for the year.  I was so excited to get our first allotment!  The first week we got zucchini, cucumbers, pickling cucumbers, tomatoes, and something I was not familiar with - garlic scapes.  Or, as my daughter keeps calling them, garlic escapes.  They are basically the green shoot which forms above ground as a garlic bulb grows underground.  Mine looked like this:

Crazy, right?  I did some googling and found that these babies have the flavor of garlic, but in a much milder form.  I searched through my Google Reader for inspiration, and came across this recipe which looked like it would fit the bill.  I made a few changes for our tastes, and here's my finished product: 

I did add some grilled chicken on top for my husband because he doesn't really do meatless meals, but I thought it was just perfect without.  Overall, I liked the garlic scape, although I need to work on removing all the woody parts.  Some of them were a bit tough.  But the mild garlic flavor was nice.  Good thing we liked it, because word on the street is that garlic scapes will be making more appearances in our CSA shares.  So, I'm on the lookout for recipes using them..  Here's the pasta recipe as I made it...

Pasta with Garlic Scapes
Adapted from Andrea the Kitchen Witch
Makes 2 servings
8 oz spaghetti
4 garlic scapes
1/2 c frozen corn
1 T butter
1 T olive oil
1/4 c chicken broth
1/4 c heavy cream
1/2 c fresh grated Parmesan cheese

First, cut garlic scapes into 1/2 inch pieces with kitchen shears.  I thought I got rid of all the tough, woody ends, but I did not. I hope to do better next time!

Boil spaghetti noodles according to instructions on box. While pasta cooks prepare sauce.

Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add butter and oil, once butter has melted add the garlic scapes. Toss to coat in fat and cook about 1 minute, until the scapes smell fragrant and are barely brown. Add the frozen corn and cook 1 minute longer, garlic scapes will start to brown.  Here's what mine looked like at this point:

Already looking and smelling yummy!

Add the chicken broth and reduce by half. Add the heavy cream, salt & pepper and Parmesan cheese. Stir to melt and incorporate cheese into sauce. Add cooked and drained pasta, toss with sauce and serve.  As I mentioned, I browned up a couple of chicken tenders seasoned with salt and pepper to put over top of my husband's portion.  He enjoyed this as well, and he's not a huge fan of pasta in general.  Can't wait for next week's share!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Dinosaur Camp - Day 1

As I mentioned, we will be homeschooling my 1st grade daughter next year.  We will not be doing "traditional" homeschooling, but rather using an eschool, or online public school.  The one we have chosen is OHVA (Ohio Virtual Academy), which is powered by the K12 curriculum.  K12 is offering themed camps thoughout the summer for various grade levels.  These are optional, but seemed like fun so we are checking them out starting this week!  The first theme is Dinosaurs, so we've been having lots of prehistoric fun!  As part of the camp, we are reading The Magic Treehouse Dinosaurs Before Dark, which my daughter has been enjoying.

Dinosaurs Before Dark (Magic Tree House, No. 1)

For today's activities, we first made a dinosaur out of pasta.  We were inspired by this project, but we didn't use the printable template.  My daughter went out on her own and created this:

Who knew dinosaurs were so happy?  We used spaghetti, penne, macaroni, and black beans.

Next up, we made good old fashioned salt dough to make imprints, or fossils.  We used 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup salt, and 3/4 cup water.  Here's some pics of the process.

                                                       Carefully measuring ingredients.
                                      The fossil maker and her marginally helpful sous chef.
                                                                Imprinting the fossil.
Finished product.  We made several fossils with handprints and cookie cutters.  Not all of them made it to the oven because of damage by the aforementioned sous chef, but we baked some at 350 for about an hour to harden, but not to brown.  These "fossils" can then be painted, but we haven't gotten that far quite yet.  We had so much fun with the first day of dinosaur fun - can't wait for the second!

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