Diary of a Worm and Click Clack Moo

In my quest for fun science books I found this one by the authors of one of our favorite read-aloud books for E, Doreen Cronin.  She wrote “Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type.”

“Diary of a Worm” (amazon affiliate link) by Doreen Cronin and illustrated by Harry Bliss is the first in a series of “Diary of…” books.  I decided to get this for a friend’s little boy’s birthday because I know it is important to encourage boys as well as girls with books and they tend to like things that skew more to the non-fiction side.  Real information about worms is mixed in with some cute gags.  The worm gets in trouble for eating his own homework and he makes macaroni necklaces at school which the family then eats (the necklaces are just single pieces of macaroni that the worms stick their heads through – adorable!).  Worm has a friend, spider, and that is who the second book is about but I have yet to check it out.  E likes this and the next book a lot.

“Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type”  (amazon affiliate link) is by Doreen Cronin with pictures by Betsey Lewin.  The cows decide to type demands to the farmer and in the process go on a milk strike.  One of the best lines states that “Duck was a neutral party” as he waddles over to give the farmer the cow’s proposal that they will trade the typewriters for electric blankets because they are cold.  I am sure my Labor Law professor would like this one!

Tomatoes and Their Roots

The other day I was pruning our tomato plant and my mother in law suggested putting some of the trimmings in a glass with water to grow new roots.  What a great chance to illustrate roots to E, I thought.  Here are some pictures of how they have thrived.  I know that you can sprout beans, I remember doing it in school, but this is kind of neat because it ties to our particular garden outside.

Plus, they look really cool!

We picked one of our first tomatoes from the garden around May 12th, I say one of them since the very first one was an early ripened one that had some bottom rot.  No problem with that for this one and we all enjoyed some slices with a little salt.

Tomato, pre-devouring sharing.

(I shared this post on No Time for Flashcard’s Link & Learn – it is an awesome site by the way with great ideas for learning activities even for the littlest kids!)

Baked Potato Salad Recipe

I am a bit of a potato salad fiend, I have been known in my vegetarian days to eat large quantities of deli potato salad so I have missed it for a while now.  My mother in law took some leftover baked potatoes one day and whipped up a version using ingredients in our fridge that E doesn’t react to and this recipe is a takeoff from her approach.  I think using the russets that have been baked and cooled gives the potatoes the firmness they need for salad but at the same time russets give it a creamy texture that you’ll like.  It does the trick for me when I crave potato salad but feel free to adjust any of the ingredients for the taste you are looking for.  My mom makes an awesome German potato salad that I’ll have to adapt and write out but this is more like what you’ll find at the deli counter of a grocery store.  In the pictures I doubled the recipe using 6 potatoes but I wrote it down for 3 since you may not want to make a ton of it if it is more of a side dish than a main meal.

We love Bubbies‘ products, you can find them at Sunflower Market or Whole Foods in the refrigerated area.  Annie’s Honey Mustard (amazon affiliate link, it is on subscribe and save which means you get 15% off for subscribing to a recurring shipment but you can always cancel and they remind you when it is about to ship anyway so you can check to see if the price is still good) is in both those stores as well.  We can’t use Dijon because of E’s grape allergy and so a lot of gluten free mustards are out also because they usually have corn vinegar.  I posted photos of the labels of both items here along with other recipe photos since sometimes it can be hard to hunt down ingredient lists online.

Supplies

Large Bowl (amazon affiliate link to Pyrex bowls with lids)

Knife, Cutting Board

Ingredients

3 large baked russet potatoes, cooled and stored in the fridge at least overnight, then peeled (E likes to help peel them) and cubed(see here for my baked potato recipe)

3 Kosher dill pickles, diced (we use Bubbies, they don’t use vinegar, just water and spices so they have been safe for us)

3 stalks of celery, minced

1/2 a large white or yellow onion, minced (my husband doesn’t like red onions)

3 tablespoons of fresh packed parsley, chopped

1/4 cup of Honey Mustard

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Directions

Combine all chopped ingredients in the bowl, add liquid ingredients, seasoning (I like things a bit salty so maybe start with half the salt and work your way up), and potatoes.  Mix well, cover and chill in the fridge before serving.  After letting it rest an hour or two, taste and adjust flavors as you like (more crunch needed?  add pickles, etc.).  In the photos I put a little bit of fresh dill from the garden but that can be hard to find and the recipe is fine without it.

The smaller you chop everything, the more flavor you get in each bite but don’t cube the potatoes too small or they’ll fall apart too much.

(Shared today at Cybele Pascal’s Allergy Friendly Friday 05/27/11, check out the other recipes!)

Berenstain Bear Books

I recently started getting some of the Berenstain Bears books from the library to see if E would be interested in them.  I ran into a couple snags.  One was that they were way more preachy than I remembered and the other was that they didn’t really capture E’s attention.   In all fairness she did love when “The Berenstain Bears Go to the Doctor” (amazon affiliate link) and it portrayed getting shots well though the doctor in the book calls the kids from the waiting room to see Sister Bear get her shots and I am thinking to myself “that is a HIPAA violation” because I’m weird like that.  My favorite growing up was “The Berenstain Bears and the Messy Room” (amazon affiliate link), by the way.

Backing up for a minute, the books are about a family of bears.  Most of them include Mama, Papa, Brother, and Sister Bear.  The latest books include another bear, Honey Bear, you can see her in “The Berenstain Bears: All Aboard!” (amazon affiliate link) which, by the way, is random as plots go but E did like the Bears’ train ride to visit their Aunt.  I wonder how big the bear family will be by the time I have grandkids or if they’ll stop with Honey Bear.

It was via my mother in law’s enrollment in Early Moments (E gets three books a month in the mail that are addressed to her, she really loves it) that we were introduced to earlier books in the series before Sister Bear came along.  They turned out to be my favorites!  E’s as well.  They are funny and fast paced.  They do get repetitive so I will share our favorites, the images link to their respective amazon affiliate pages.

The Bears’ Picnic

The Bear family, led by Papa, are looking for the perfect picnic spot but each spot is wrong in some way.  The rhymes make it an easy read and as they keep looking and get hungrier Mama and Small Bear just want to stop but Papa pushes on through some silly situations (including a thunderstorm).  Eventually they find the perfect spot.  Some reviewers online don’t like how Papa Bear seems so foolish but I think kids are in on the joke and don’t see Dads as silly.

Bears in the Night

E loved this one from the get-go.  It starts with a spooky noise, then a bunch of bears that should be asleep in their room climb out the window and go over, under, and through different areas to finally reach the top of “Spook Hill.” When they discover what made the noise they rush over, under, through, etc. to get back to bed. Not one for bed-time because it gets E really excited (not scared, she just has fun making the “whoooooo” sound in the book.

The Big Honey Hunt

This is a lot like the Picnic book, Papa finds the most circuitous way to get honey as opposed to just buying it at the store from the start. Small Bear follows along in the adventures and keeps asking if they have found the honey they are looking for. There are others that follow this pattern, we’ve checked out one with biking, a vacation, and beingdetectives and they’re not as clever as the Picnic or Honey Hunt ones.

Playing Together

The other day we were all together (my husband, myself, R, and E) and E ran off to play in R’s room.  He started scooting down the hall after her, calling out in little yelps as if to say “I’m coming!”  Distracted by the open bathroom door by his room he scooted in there, still calling to E.  She appeared and went in as well, at this point I savored that they were off together but knew I had better get in there fast before he pulled up on the tub.  Sure enough, I came upon them standing over the tub and E was handing him toys to throw in.  After I relocated them to R’s room they played for a good number of minutes together.  My husband and I savored the moment, it was pretty awesome.  E would have never left my side at 9 months, she wouldn’t even let me cook without hanging on my legs when she was almost 2, but there they were playing together.

Yup, pretty awesome.

Blueberry Millet Muffin Photos

Another one from The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook by Cybele Pascal (amazon affiliate link), I love these!  The muffin pan I use is this one from Faberware (amazon affiliate link), it is has the normal size cups (lately a bunch of muffin pans have oversize cups that they don’t mention and then you run out of batter).  I love the batter from these muffins, by the way, it reminds me of cake mix in a very good way.