Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Family-Style Lunch

Thursday, June 24, 2010


A million people have asked me for my guacamole recipe, so here it is!  It is for anyone who loves good guac but can't seem to manage to chop garlic and/or any other veggie while holding one (or more) baby(ies) at the same time!!

It's quick because you can do most of the work ahead of time - even if you have a bunch of kids pulling you in a hundred different directions - AND it really tastes great!

There are two almost equally yummy versions: 1) the there's no way in hell I can chop anything right now version and the 2) I've got just enough time/energy to eek out some minced garlic version. We think it tastes best with all fresh ingredients but, truth be told, you can barely tell the difference if you use dehydrated minced garlic (NOT garlic powder and NOT the minced garlic that's packed in oil). If you're crazy busy, using dehydrated garlic is the way to go.

-- PHASE 1 --
1 quart-sized zip-lock freezer bag
4 medium avocados
2 medium limes (2 tbsp lime juice)

1) Label the freezer bag with contents and today's date.
2) Cut up the avocado and put it in the freezer back with the lime juice.
3) Close the freezer bag (make sure it's tight!) and give to a kid to mash real good (or you can get your angries out by smashing it yourself!).
4) Make sure it's fully smooshed, then stick the bag in the freezer until you're ready for the next step (Great news:  you've got 3-6 months - avocados keep very well in the freezer if you don't forget the lime juice!)
NOTE: You can skip the freezing part if you want to make the whole recipe at once!

-- PHASE 2 --
1) Take the frozen avocados out of the freezer.
2) Put in a pan of cold water and forget about them for at least 20 minutes (or all day, it doesn't really matter!)

-- PHASE 3 --
2 1/2 tsp dehydrated minced garlic OR 4 cloves minced fresh garlic
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons fresh chopped cilantro (optional)

1) If using dehydrated garlic, rehydrate it by adding an equal amount (2 1/2 tsp) of water & letting it stand for at least 10 minutes (again, more time won't hurt)
2) If using fresh garlic, mince it
3) Put the thawed avocados, garlic, salt and optional cilantro in a bowl & stir.
4) That's it!

Enjoy :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Daily Schedule

Since children gain a sense of security from familiar, predictable activities, my daily routine provides big chunks of free time for play anchored by fixed meal and nap times.**

7:30 - 8:30 Arrival & greetings, self-directed play, and general ‘waking up slow’
8:00 - 8:30 Eat-n-go breakfast
8:30 - 9:00 Breakfast clean-up: hand washing, diaper changing, dishes, etc.
9:00 - 10:15 Outdoor play and/or planned curriculum theme activity
10:15 - 10:45 Snack / change diapers & clothes
10:45 - 11:30 Indoor free play
11:30 - 12:00 Family-style lunch
12:00 - 12:30 Lunch clean-up: hand washing, diaper changing, dishes, etc.
12:30 - 3:00 Nap / quiet time
3:15 - 3:45 Afternoon snack (includes wash-ups)
3:45 - 5:00 Indoor/outdoor play and/or planned curriculum theme activity
5:00 - 5:30 Clean-up & getting ready to go home

** Some children are extremely sensitive to interruptions in their daily routine, so I ask  all parents to arrange to drop off / pick up before or after meal & nap times (11:30 - 3:00). This helps me keep the days running as smoothly as possible!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

Because February is Hugs & Kisses month!

Note: This recipe makes three batches of cookies: I bake one and freeze the remaining two (see tip).

1 3/4 cups unbleached white flour
1 3/4 cups freshly ground organic whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup vegetable shortening or butter (I use Earth Balance vegan spread because it tastes great and is heart-healthy)
1 cup good quality peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
I bag Hershey's Kisses

Preheat the oven to 375° Cream shortening or butter and sugars, then fold in remaining ingredients. Shape into balls then place on cookie sheet & flatten the balls with a fork (make a cross-hatch pattern). Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and place a candy kiss in the center of each cookie. Return to oven and bake for 2-5 additional minutes.

Tip: This is another great freezer recipe. Just divide the recipe into three log-shaped rolls. Wrap the ones you want to freeze in waxed paper (separately), then put them in a gallon-sized freezer bag. Put them in the freezer and forget about them until the next time your kids are begging for homemade cookies (but don't forget about them for too long - they are best if used within 3 months of freezing). Thaw in the refridgerator overnight, then slice into cookie-sized slices & bake according to the above directions. That's it! Quick, easy and you know exactly what's in 'em!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Photos of the children in our daycare

I frequently take photos of the children currently in our daycare and put them on Flickr. They are privately available to parents and/or other family members of the children.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Outdoor Play Area

IMG_4066, originally uploaded by Pam's House Family Child Care.

Indoor Play Area

IMG_4064, originally uploaded by Pam's House Family Child Care.