Foodie Friday ~ Easy Lasagna

lasagdinner

1 pound lean ground beef

1 (32 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce

32 ounces cottage cheese

3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

2 eggs

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 teaspoons dried parsley

salt to taste

ground black pepper to taste

9 lasagna noodles

1/2 cup water

 

In a large skillet over medium heat brown the ground beef. Drain the grease. Add spaghetti sauce and simmer for 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, mix together the cottage cheese, 2 cups of the mozzarella cheese, eggs, half of the grated Parmesan cheese, dried parsley, salt and ground black pepper.

To assemble, in the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish evenly spread 3/4 cup of the sauce mixture. Cover with 3 uncooked lasagna noodles, 1 3/4 cup of the cheese mixture, and 1/4 cup sauce. Repeat layers twice. Top with 3 noodles, remaining sauce, remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Add 1/2 cup water to the edges of the pan. Cover with aluminum foil.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Monday Moments ~ Teaching Children Their ABC’s

learnabc

Most children know the ABC song by the time they’re 3 or 4. However, many children don’t learn to recognize the letters of the alphabet by name until they start school.

Here are some helpful tips as to how and when to teach your child their alphabet.

Remember: Every child is different, thus they develop and learn differently then their peers.

  • Be patient. Some kids learn faster than others. Just remember that they all eventually do learn.
  • Line up the foam letters, or magnetic letters on a refrigerator, and sing the ABC song. Next, remove a few of the letters and sing the song again. Whenever there is a missing letter, clap instead of singing the letter. This is a fun way to have the child focus on the letters she is singing.
  • From time to time mix in some of the letters your child has already learned. If you don’t review, he or she may likely forget them.
  • You can teach your child the sound associated with each letter by simply making the sound whenever you pick up or play with the letter. For example, if you’re playing with the letter s, whenever you move it through the water say, “Here comes the S…!”
  • Try to associate every letter of the alphabet with a word. That way, if your child forgets the letter, he or she may still remember the word. For example, the word for A could be apple because apple starts with an A.
  • Reinforce what your child has learned by pointing out the letters whenever you see them (in books, on billboards, on signs, everywhere).
  • Try not to have too many letters in the tub at once. It may confuse your child.
  • Don’t feel that you have to introduce the letters in order–you don’t.
  • Follow up with a slow, simple ABC song that allows the child to point to letters while singing.
  • You may want to use a calendar as a way to plan or record the letters you introduce each week. Or if you want to keep it simple, get two bins–one for letters to be introduced and the other for those that have been introduced already.

Tuesday Tots ~ Banana Cookie Crumbles

bananacooks

3 ripe bananas

2 cups rolled oats

1 cup dates, pitted and chopped

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, mash the bananas. Stir in oats, dates, oil, and vanilla. Mix well, and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly brown.

Foodie Friday ~ Sweet Potato Burritos

SweetPotatoBurr

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

6 cups canned kidney beans, drained

2 cups water

3 tablespoons chili powder

4 teaspoons prepared mustard

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste

3 tablespoons soy sauce

4 cups mashed cooked sweet potatoes

12 (10 inch) flour tortillas, warmed

8 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat oil in a medium skillet and saute onion and garlic until soft. Mash beans into the onion mixture. Gradually stir in water; heat until warm, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the soy sauce, chili powder, mustard, cumin, and cayenne pepper.

Divide bean mixture and mashed sweet potatoes evenly between the tortillas; top with cheese. Fold tortillas burrito-style around the fillings and place on a baking sheet.

Bake in the preheated oven until warmed through, about 12 minutes

Tuesday Tots ~ Wholesome Ham and Cheese Muffins

Ham&CheeseMuf

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups buttermilk

2 eggs

1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil

2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey

1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

1 cup ham, chopped fine

 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Combine the first 5 dry ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine.

3. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs, oil and maple syrup and stir to combine.

4. Add the buttermilk to the egg mixture and stir.

5. Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour and stir until just combined.

6. Fold in the cheese and ham.

7. Scoop the batter 2/3 of the way up into greased muffin cups and bake for 18-20 minutes (15 minutes if using mini muffin cups instead).

8. Cool and serve.

Tuesday Tots ~ Cheesy Turkey Tortilla

eggtortillaphoto

2 whole grain tortillas

2 eggs

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 cup of thinly diced turkey (cooked)

1 cup steamed broccoli

Wheat germ – sprinkled as desired

Scramble 2 eggs in a frying pan with extra virgin olive oil. Add broccoli and turkey when the eggs are almost cooked. Cook until the eggs are no longer runny and are firm.

Warm tortillas in a toaster oven or in your regular oven.

Place tortilla on a plate and cover with the egg scramble. Sprinkle the cheese over the eggs and then sprinkle wheat germ on top. Roll up the tortilla or fold in half. Serve warm with cottage cheese and diced fruit dices.

Thursday Arts & Crafts ~ Cling Wrap Creative Painting For Toddlers

clingwrappaint

– White paper

– Paint

– Spoons

– Plastic cling wrap

Using a spoon, allow your child to dribble paint onto the paper. Have them use several different colors.

Place a sheet of plastic cling wrap over the paint (make sure the cling wrap covers the entire surface).

Allow them to use their hands to smooth the cling wrap over the paper. After they have done so, carefully peel it off starting from one corner.

Allow the painting to dry.

Monday Moments ~ Spring Break Activities

SpringVacationTime

 

Spring Break season is upon us. Some of the top activities for spring season are:

1) Stay-cation – Enjoy the sights, sounds and activities of your own city or somewhere close by! Visiting museums, parks & playgrounds are at the top.

2) Beach Vacation – Whether you travel across the country, or around the world, visiting the beach with family is a local hotspot for families!

3) Theme Parks – Disney World, Universal Studios, Six Flags & More…theme parks are visited by thousands during the week of Spring Break!

4) Skiing – Finish out the winter season with a ski vacation. Many families flock to the slopes to enjoy the final fun of snow & sun!

5) Home Is Where It’s At – Board games, front yard baseball, family barbecue, and more! Many find the comforts of home just as relaxing as leaving town. Many choose to turn off electronics, and let nature be their guide!

What are you doing for Spring Break this year? Share with us!