Around the World in 12 Dishes: Sweden

April 23, 2012

When I came across the Around the World in 12 Dishes project and knew it was for us!  Each month the hosts are picking a country to explore with the little ones through food and crafts.  Fun fun!  This month the spotlight is on Sweden.  We were just hosting family from Sweden, so this should be extra enjoyable for my guy! 

We had a hard time narrowing down our food options, but we ended up going with Swedish rye cookies.  Rye cookies are often made around Christmas in Sweden.  They can be hung on the Christmas tree or served as a treat.  

We followed an updated recipe at 101 Cookbooks that substitutes whole-wheat pastry flour for white and included cream cheese for a little extra something.  The dough is nice and heavy, perfect for a 2 year old wielding a cookie cutter.  Taste wise I like a more decadent cookie, but they were a huge hit with my little one.  They aren’t too sweet and would make a good base for a snack bar. 
For our art project we did Swedish flag inspired sponge painting.  I cut two sponges, one blue and one yellow, to make the respective shapes of the flag.  We got out the yellow and blue paint and headed to the art table.  

 I had thought we would end up with lots deconstructed flags, but instead it turned into a game—I would make a flag and he wanted me to say “I ONLY want a yellow and blue flag on my page, NO GREEN ALLOWED.” Then he would quickly squish and squiggle his hands through the flag mixing the colors to make green, laughing hysterically the whole time.  We did this about 30 times!

We are looking forward to having our passports stamped again next month!

First Art

Favorite quote from MaryAnn F. Kohl's, First Art: Art Experience for Toddlers and Twos: "Whatever the the resulting artwork--whether it is a bright, sticky glob or a gallery-worthy masterpiece--to a toddler or two-year-old, it is only the result of 'doing art', not the reason for doing art."  

Painting Egg Carton Ice Cubes

April 16, 2012

Every other month Rachelle at Tinkerlab challenges her readers to incorporate a new item into their art making. We can always use a little inspiration, so I am jumping onboard!  This month's challenge: the egg carton.

I never know what is going to strike my little guy at a given moment, but an ice/paint combo seemed like a great place to start.    We pretty regularly paint with ice cubes, but I thought it might be a fun to paint on ice cubes.   Our egg cartons are plastic so I filled one with water and stuck it in the freezer.  I taped a piece of white fabric down to the table, thinking he might like seeing the water patterns form as the ice cubes melted.  And, I put out a plate of paints.  

He came to the table and we popped out some of the ice cubes.  He spent a long time painting the cubes on the table and those still in the carton (and, of course, painting himself!). We noted the thinner coats of paint freezing on the ice and then turning into swirly puddles as the cubes melted. There was a lot of moving the cubes around and pretending they were ice rinks.  There was stacking and dropping.  He ended by putting all the cubes back in the carton.  He handed them to me saying they were cupcakes for Mother Elephant to take to a party.   A fantastic first challenge!  Thanks for a great art time, Tinkerlab!


April 10, 2012

We had a festive and delicious Easter!  The bunny always brings a new bolga basket with treats inside for the little ones.  The baskets have made great toy storage.  This year our guy got a magnifying glass, a wooden kazoo, a set of tropical colored markers, a few chocolate treats and And Then It's Spring by Julie Fogliano.  In the Little Miss’ basket was an extra large wooden egg, two floating fish for the bath and Plip-Plop Pond by Kaaren Pixton. Everyone was pleased!

We hosted a few friends for brunch.  We served a goat cheese quiche with a hash-brown crust (thank you Martha Stewart!), roasted asparagus, arugula salad and crusty bread.    This year’s lamb cake was the tastiest yet.  It was a devil’s food cake covered in a thin coat of chocolate frosting, topped with butter cream.  Yum.

Easter Treats

April 6, 2012

Cookies for Easter!

Bunny Action Poem

Once there was a bunny
 (make fist with bunny with ears)
And a green, green cabbage head.
(make fist with other hand)
"I think I'll have some breakfast," the little bunny said.  
(Move bunny toward cabbage)
So he nibbled and he nibbled
 (wiggle bunny ears)
Then he turned around to say, 
(turn bunny forward) 
 " I am so full of cabbage now, I'll be hopping on my way!" 
 (Make hopping movements with bunny)

Easter Cards

Easter snuck up on me this year!   We just got our Easter cards in the mail yesterday.   Here are a couple photos of them in process.

Painting on Fabric

April 3, 2012

The Noodle made a painting for Colleen for her birthday.  I taped down a piece of heavy cotton fabric and he went to town.  Fabric can hold a lot of paint and still dry flat. Above are a couple action pics!

Burnt-Butter Brown-Sugar Cupcakes

For Colleen's birthday we made Nigella Lawson's Burnt-Butter Brown-Sugar Cupcakes from How to be a Domestic Goddess.  So good.  Like maybe the best cupcakes ever.