Tag Archives: Pinterest inspired

Sandwich “Sushi Rolls”

16 Sep

I’ve been admiring pictures of school lunch bentos for a while now.  My girls aren’t in a full day program that would require a lunch of some kind yet.  However, I do try to be creative with some of their meals I make at home.  We have a dinosaur sandwich cutter that we use on occasion, but I recently came across a new idea –  sandwich “sushi rolls”.  I know that really it’s only sushi if it includes rice, so maybe these would be more like pinwheels.  But, my kids love sushi and since this resembles sushi, that’s what we call it.

I got the original idea on allrecipes.com here: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/peanut-butter-and-jelly-sushi-rolls/detail.aspx.  You start by cutting the crusts off the bread, then use a rolling pin to roll the bread out.  Then, you decide what you want the filling, peanut butter and jelly, turkey and cheese, turkey and lettuce, lots of possibilities.  So far, we have done peanut butter and jelly and chicken lunch meat.

Rolled out bread, peanut butter and jelly spread on

Rolled out bread with chicken lunch meat

Next, you roll it up, then cut into 3 or 4 pieces.  The bread I am using here is on the small side, it is the organic multi grain bread from Bountiful Baskets, so I cut mine into 3 sections.  I do this twice for each of my kids, so they get 6 rolls each.  I like to arrange the 6 rolls into a flower for my girls.

This does require a little more effort than just a regular sandwich, but my girls get so excited to see something a little different on the plate.  Plus, I’ve found that they will finish off all the rolls, but as a sandwich, they normally don’t finish it all.  I had shared the peanut butter and jelly rolls with my Facebook friends a while back, and one of my friends told me the other day her son wasn’t finishing his sandwich at lunch, so she tried this out and he thought it was great and ate all the rolls.  In fact, some of the other kids wanted the rolls too!

Frikadellen and Oven Baked Parmesan Sweet Potato Fries

13 Sep

A dear friend of mine (we used to be next door neighbors) introduced me to the Maggi Hackbraten mix packets when we used to trade off nights making dinner.  The packets are really easy, add 1/2 cup water and 1 lb ground beef.  Add 1 Tbsp oil to a skillet, form small patties, and cook until no longer pink in the middle. She would serve them with gravy, with mashed potatoes as a side.  Tonight, I learned from another friend that although the packet shows the patties and says hackbraten, they actually call the patties frikadellen.

I haven’t made these for a while, so I decided it was what we would have for dinner.  We had mashed potatoes recently and I had sweet potatoes from 9/10 Bountiful Baskets, so I decided to make sweet potato fries as a side.  I have a recipe that I have used a couple of times to make these, but decided to try something new tonight.  I had recently seen a recipe for oven baked Parmesan fries, so I decided to try something similar with my sweet potatoes.  Here is how I made them.

Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries

2 lbs sweet potatoes, washed, peeled
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp Italian blend seasoning
4 Tbsp Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Mix together the Italian blend seasoning and Parmesan cheese, set aside.  Cut sweet potatoes into 1/2″ strips, making them all as close to the same size as possible.  Add to a separate bowl.  Pour olive oil over sweet potatoes and toss to coat.  Pour the seasoning mix over the potatoes and again toss to coat.  Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray or olive oil.  Pour sweet potatoes into a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.  Cook for 30-45 minutes, turning halfway through, until fries are crispy on the outside (as shown below).

Coin Sorting Activity

12 Sep

This is another activity that was inspired by something from Pinterest.  It was a picture of a coin sorting activity using a snack divider tray.  K was bored after dinner one night and we had a ton of change that I needed to count and put in rolls.  I don’t have the snack divider tray shown in the picture, but I do have a 4 section glass plate that I believe was a wedding gift.  I put a coin in each section to show her what coin goes in that section.  Then, she started sorting the coins.

We didn’t get very far that night, K was tired from her day at school, but we picked it up the next morning.  We finished the sorting, then she started counting it into stacks of 10 so I could wrap it.  We worked on it a few times throughout the day, I think all the counting was wearing her out!

We ended having $52 in coins!  We will take it to the bank this week to deposit into savings for the girls.

Fun with Pipe Cleaners!

6 Sep

While I was at the dollar store last week getting the supplies for the Popcorn Sight Words game, I saw pipe cleaners and decided to grab 2 packs.  Now, I say pipe cleaners, but you may also call them chenille sticks or stems, which is how they are sometimes labeled at at the store.  I wasn’t really sure what I was going to do with them yet, but I know that there are plenty of fun things to do with them, plus they are great for working on fine motor skills.

First, we made some shape, circle, triangle, square, rectangle, heart.  Then we started making some letters, B, b, R, J, L.  Lots more possibilities there!

Then, I remembered  an idea I had seen on Pinterest, and got out my colanders.  Mine do not have circles, just lines, but it still worked well.  The girls had a blast with this!  We decided we were making rainbows!

Next time I am at the dollar store, I will look for some beads to use for stringing on the pipe cleaners.  I also might make up a box with holes and colors around the holes to do color matching along with putting the pipe cleaners in holes.  What kinds of activities do you do with pipe cleaners?

Popcorn Sight Words

4 Sep

I really don’t remember learning sight words and I don’t remember ever hearing of them until recently when I started doing research on how to help my oldest learn to read (K is 4, almost 5).  We have the first 3 collections of BOB books, thanks to a generous friend who gave them to us since her boys were done with them.  K is doing great reading the first collection, and along with that reading, I wanted to start practicing sight words.  My first thought was flash cards, but I know those can be rather boring.  Then, in the Scholastic Book Club flyer we got at school last week, there was a POP for Sight Words game.  It didn’t really explain what the “game” part of it was, but I was considering purchasing it.  Then, browsing on Pinterest, a new fun way I kill time, I came across this Popcorn Word Activities, and remembered seeing that popcorn tub at Dollar Tree a couple weeks earlier.  So, I decided that we would make it ourselves!

– 1 large popcorn tub, $1
– 2 small popcorn tubs, $1 each
– 1 yellow posterboard, $.50
– 2 sheets yellow construction paper (used up all the posterboard), had on hand
– Sharpie marker, had on hand
– Scissors, had on hand

Since K wanted to help me make it, we decided it would be best to make the “popcorn” be rectangles, because she’s “not very good at cutting circles, but is very good at cutting rectangles.”  So, I measured out the posterboard into 2″ x 4″ rectangles.  Since it was 22″ x 28″, I got 77 rectangles total.  I cut the first 7, then K went to work on the rest.

K cutting the popcorn rectangles

She did a phenomenal job cutting all of them.  Yes, the lines weren’t cut perfectly straight, but honestly, the jagged edges give it a more popcorn feel.  Then I went to work adding the sight words in the best handwriting I could.  I used these Dolch word lists, the pre-primer and primer lists.

The finished product

I’m still working on what games we will play using these, probably at first use them like flashcards.  I found some sight word bingo cards that I can print off and we can draw words out of the bucket to play bingo.  I”m sure K will come up with some games of her own.

I also wasn’t sure what I would do with the 2 smaller popcorn tubs, but decided they would be used to hold the different sets of popcorn inside the bigger tub for storage.  I’m sure we’ll find a way to incorporate them into a game as well.

Smaller tubs labeled for storing the 2 sets of sight words

So, I took a $9 game, made it for $2.50, plus K got some cutting practice and it was a fun way to spend a couple hours on a Sunday morning.

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