from pin to project: glow in the dark tubby time.

My Pin: Glowstick Fun from Teaching Tots
Glowsticks in the tub

My Project: Glow In The Dark Tubby Time
Glowstick in bathtub

I Tried This: January 2014

My Alterations: We just happened to have a chem light (read: Army glow stick) lying around from Andrew’s last trip to the field, so that’s what we tossed into the bathtub.

My Thoughts: There was no way this wasn’t going to be cool. Crack a glow stick, toss in the tub and turn out the lights? It’s like an instant party! At first, Madeline was a little confused. 18 months, and NOW we switch up tubby time? But after the briefest of hesitations, she was totally into it. She waved the stick around underwater, waved it in the air and held it under the running faucet. This was a great little stunt for prolonging an early tubby before bed.

I imagine as she gets older, the fun will increase as will the TSIT (time spent in tub). Next time, I’ll pick up some colorful dollar store glow sticks. And for added fun, I think I’ll try adding some bubble bath, too!

from pin to project: sweet chile-pineapple glazed stir fry.

My Pin: Spoon With Me’s Sweet Chile-Pineapple Glazed Tofu with Mixed Veggie Stir Fry

Spoon With Me's Sweet Chile-Pineapple Glazed Tofu with Mixed Veggie Stir Fry

Spoon With Me’s Stir Fry

My Project: Sweet Chile-Pineapple Glazed Stir Fry

Sweet Chile-Pineapple Glazed Stir Fry

I tried this: December 2013

Alterations:  For the glaze, I didn’t have chili garlic sauce, so I used a generous squirt (about 1 or 2 tbs) of sriracha. For the tofu, I didn’t have cornmeal, so I didn’t fry it as suggested. First I let the block of tofu rest between paper towels for about ten minutes, to eliminate excess water. Then I just cubed, salted and sauteed it in canola oil. I prepared the tofu first, then set aside on a paper towel, wiped out the wok with a wet paper towel and then sauteed the veggies. I used green beans and carrots, because that’s what I had in the fridge. I served the stir fry over white rice.

Thoughts: The glaze was awesome! The spiciness of the sriracha cooked off into a really pleasant sweet heat. I ended up having a little too much glaze leftover, because I didn’t use as many vegetables and didn’t want it to turn into a soup.

When cooking the tofu, I’d recommend using a non-stick pan/wok, even if you’re using oil, because otherwise it will stick/won’t sear as well.

You could substitute chicken or beef for tofu and add really any veggie you’d like to this dish.

This stir fry was yummy, plain and simple. Madeline enjoyed it without the glaze- the sesame oil and soy sauce made the tofu and veggies smokey and salty, just how she liked it. I enjoyed it with the glaze- it easily surpassed the flavors of take-out Chinese food. Andrew didn’t enjoy it at all, because he “hates” tofu and wouldn’t take a single bite. Oh well, more for me.

The only negative? This recipe takes some time (upwards of 30-40 minutes, including prep), especially if your time is not your own. Having a rice cooker helped, since I didn’t have to babysit that piece of the meal. You could probably prepare parts of this ahead or at least get some of the chopping done earlier in the day.

from pin to project: homemade frozen smoothies.

My Pin: Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures’ Homemade Smoothie Mix

Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures’ Homemade Smoothie Mix

My Project: Homemade Frozen Smoothies

I tried this: November 2013

Alterations: Instead of freezing my yogurt into cubes, I just used fresh yogurt with frozen berries.

Thoughts: I used a 32oz container of vanilla yogurt, pre-packaged frozen fruits and milk to make my smoothies. My method was to add to my blender one cup of yogurt, then two cups of frozen fruit and then to fill the blender with milk until the berries were just about covered with liquid. Then I blended until completely pureed and voila! Homemade smoothies to rival Jamba Juice! This method yielded 12 half pint mason jars full of smoothie, leaving about half and inch of room at the top of each jar (in case they expand when frozen). I popped them all in my freezer, and we’ll move them to the fridge the night before we want one for breakfast. Quick and easy!

I made two different recipes this time: strawberry/peach/mango and mixed berry/banana. Both are delicious! For my next batch, I’m going to keep the base the same (vanilla yogurt and milk), but I’ll add banana/peanut butter/ovaltine (chocolate) powder for a protein and vitamin-rich breakfast.

What are your favorite smoothie recipes?