Monday, June 14, 2010

Dinner with the twins....

How do you handle taking your multiples out to restaurants?
  • How often do you take your children out to eat, and how old are they? 
My girls are 14 months old. We go out to eat a few times a month, mostly on the weekends.
  • Do you have any tricks for keeping them entertained? 
Lots of toys, snacks and sippy cups. If they're being really fussy, letting them play with a straw usually does the trick. They're fascinated with straws. They love to chew on them and poke things with them. *go figure*
  • Which restaurants do you find are the most family-friendly?  
We've been pretty lucky and so far and haven't found any places that are not kid friendly. Occasionally we visit a place with dirty high chairs with broken safety straps, or rude waiters and we make a point to not visit again, but for the most part the places around here have been excellent. The girls even have their favorite waitress at the local Indian buffet and love to chatter with her when we go out to eat.  
  • How do you handle tantrums in restaurants? 
  Again, we've been lucky with this one, no tantrums (yet) *knock on wood*
  • Do you ever venture out to restaurants without having extra adults to help out?  
Not yet.
  • Do you think it's better to take your kids out to restaurants, and get them used to the experience, or refrain from eating out until they are old enough to understand the right way to behave? 
 Take them out now! The more accustomed they are to new places and new experiences, the better!
  • Be honest- do you pick up the cheerios?
(unless some have rolled under other tables/out of reach...) 
Especially if the waiter has been polite to us, I go out of my way to make sure the girls don't make a mess. It's not the waiter's job to clean up *my* cheerios, they were nice enough to let us bring in outside snacks for the babies, it's the least I can do.  It's one of my pet peeves when parents leave a huge mess behind them. You brought it in, you clean it up! 

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Monday, June 7, 2010

Strawberry Jam makes babies happy!

What do you do when you purchase an entire flat of strawberries at the Farmer's market and *gasp* you can't devour them before they go all mushy and gross???

Make Jam!
More exactly... freezer jam. It's so easy and the results are amazing. And since I had a pint of blueberries in the fridge that needed to be eaten, I added them to the jam, too! (if you prefer all strawberry, just omit the blueberries and add an extra cup of mushed strawberries.)
Easy, right?

What You Need:

1 cup crushed strawberries
1 cup crushed blueberries 
4 cups  sugar, measured into separate bowl
2 Tbsp of fresh lemon juice
1 pouch CERTO Fruit Pectin (usually on the baking isle at your grocery store)
5 8oz jelly jars
Remove stems, wash and dry fruit and mash away (not too much, I like a couple chunks in mine). 
In a separate bowl, mix 1 pouch CERTO Fruit Pectin and 2 Tbsp. lemon juice in bowl.
Stir together the fruit mush and sugar until sugar is mostly dissolved. Slowly add fruit pectin to the mush and stir together for about 3 minutes. 
Finally, fill all containers to within 1/2 inch of tops and cover with lids  Let stand at room temperature 24 hours until set. Jam is now ready to use, woohoo!
This will store in your refrigerator for up to 3 weeks or in your freezer for up to 1 year. 
We use it on *everything* (well almost). It's delicious on toast, ice cream, mixed in with plain yogurt or even in milkshakes (yummy)! I also use it in my baking, just be sure to modify your sugar in your baking recipes because this stuff is very sweet. 

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

From the Kitchen: Strawberry Yogurt Cake

My girls LOVE strawberries almost as much as they love homemade yogurt, combine the 2 and they're in heaven- turn it into a cake and they'll love you forever.
I wanted to include some pictures of this "cake", but my photography skills are very lacking and none of them looked appetizing. The recipe creates a light, fluffy textured cake that is just barely sweet. I topped it with sliced fresh strawberries and it was devoured by two very happy babies.

Strawberry Yogurt Cake

1 1/2 cups full-fat yogurt (I used homemade greek yogurt)
2/3 cup olive oil
1 1/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup mashed strawberries
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch springform pan lightly with baking spray.
Whisk together the yogurt, olive oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Add the flour, baking powder, soda, salt, and berries right into the liquids and stir just until no lumps remain.
Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake for 50 to 60 minutes.
Let it cool for 10 minutes before removing it from the pan.