Tuesday, July 31

Applesauce Drop Doughnuts

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Tonight we tried a recipe from our family cookbook. I was making banana bread for tomorrow morning’s day care snack and saw this recipe on the page above, again, so I decided it was time to try it.

It’s my cousin’s wife’s recipe & it’s a keeper!

Applesauce Drop Doughnuts

  • 3T butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 1/2 cups flour
  • 3 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2-3/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 c milk
  • oil for frying
  • additional sugar

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in applesauce and vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg; add to the creamed mixture alternately with milk (the batter will be thick). In an electric skillet or deep-fat fryer, heat oil to 375. Drop teaspoonsful of batter a few at a time into hot oil. Turn with a slotted spoon and fry until golden, about 1 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels. Roll in sugar while warm.

Makes about 5 dozen.

My comments: Very easy recipe & it made for a fun family night! I used a deep fryer so I think the oil was hotter than 375 and ours browned quickly. At first we made the spoonfuls of batter too large. They increase in size while frying so start small so they can fry all the way through.

This recipe makes a lot of doughnuts! We couldn’t eat them all if we tried. We shared some with the neighbor guy and put the rest in a sealed container for tomorrow. Sharla said:  IF we have any left over I just put them in a Ziploc baggie, but there usually isn't many left over with 3 teenagers in the house :)

Stacy

Monday, July 30

Diaper Changing Area Supply Bin {Question}

I have had numerous questions regarding the supply bin over my day care changing table and requests for closer up pictures. When I started child care, I needed somewhere to put my spray bottles for cleaning the changing surface. This was my solution to keep cleaners out of the reach of children. Our quality improvement program wants us to use a locking cabinet, but so far, I haven’t gone that direction.
supply bin over changing table
I purchased the blue bin at TJ Maxx, I believe, nearly 10 years ago. I’m sure similar items can be found at Home Goods, Target, TJ Maxx or similar places. It DID NOT come with the paper towel holder. I bought that at Walmart and attached it to the bottom.
The bin measures approximately:  15 3/4” w x 5” H x 6” D.
Changing area for family day care
Things change at my house all the time, but I may store these things in the supply bin:
  • Clorox Wipes: In WI, we can use Clorox wipes in place of soapy water/ bleach water solutions to meet the cleaning requirements of changing table surfaces for WI child care regulations. Sometimes I prefer to use wipes (if I don’t get the sprays remixed every day like required!)
  • Latex gloves: I use Walgreens brand or pick some up at our grocery store. Many times I’ve been asked about when I use gloves.  I mostly use gloves when changing messy diapers, applying creams or if attending to a sick child.   I did not use gloves when my son was an infant but since I have a day care, it is helpful in reducing the spread of bacteria and keeping myself healthy. Also, since I am the only care provider who is also responsible for making meals and meeting all other needs, it’s necessary.
  • Kleenex
  • Odoban spray or Lysol spray
  • Children’s ointments – labeled with each child’s name
  • Soapy water / bleach water sprays
  • paper towel for drying bleach solution (if it doesn’t air dry in between changings)
diaper changing supplies
I store plastic bags for dirty diapers and trash can bags in the basket on the bottom of the changing table. I always bag dirty diapers before putting them in the diaper pail to reduce orders instead of running to the garage to throw it out each time (because licensing doesn’t like that due to the possible spread of germs & time is limited). 
I hope this answers lots of questions regarding my diaper changing supply bin!Stacy

See You Later, Alligator Printable {Question}

I often get comments and questions on my blog and I’m since I’m seeing some of the same ones over & over, I thought I’d reply to some of them here.

Amanda asked,
Saw a sign in your pix that LOVE.  It's in the cubby area and it has different goodbye sayings.  Do you have a printable of that?  By the way, You are my daycare inspiration!

First of all, thank you! I was so pleased by your compliment. Just ask my husband whose ear I screeched in while he was driving…  I’ve been inspired by so many others, so I’m glad to inspire others.
This is the printable Amanda is referring to:
closet
See you later alligator printable poster
Printable from Sweet Blessings

The printable seen in my day care closet, isn’t mine. I thought it was adorable too! It was created by Shannon at Sweet Blessings.  She has lots of great printables.  I printed mine on cardstock and laminated it. I thought about framing it but decided it’s fine as is.
Sweet Blessings

Here’s the direct link for her downloadable printable for the “See You Later Alligator” poster:  http://www.technologyrocksseriously.com/p/school-signs.html

Thanks for asking!

Stacy

Sunday, July 29

Stormy, Thunder & Boomer

I have such nice little bunnies….

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and then I have this really naughty but adorable cat! 20120728_214326Stacy

Summer Weekend|Steak Fry & Lobster Boil

Saturday night we “crashed” Dad’s 40th class reunion at a local steak fry/lobster boil fundraiser for the Lions club. It’s a public event but the reunion had a tent. It was a fun summer night! Beautiful by the lake too.Lobster Boilf1f4f3f5f7Stacy

Fair Week

We had a fun fair week! I can’t believe it’s over already. Here’s some pictures from this week.

1. Funnel cake treat  2. Rides!  3. Visiting the cowsFair Collage

1. Ferris wheel 2. Carousel

Fair Collage 2

1. Carrot Face 2. Ducky Game 3. Our 4-H club planter – blue ribbon!3 Fair Pictures

1. Brett’s Chocolate Chip Cookie entry – 2nd place     2. Brett’s brownie entry 3rd place.Foods

1. Cat project display

Cat Project Collage

Animals at the fair

Fair Animals

1. Rocketry face-to-face judging. 3rd place. Lots we didn’t know!  2. Photography judging. It went well!

Judging

Photography project entries – 3 blues!PhotographyStacy

Friday, July 27

Summer in a vase

Summer in a vaseStacy

Photocard Creations Giveaway Winner

Gina H. is the winner of 25 custom cards from Photocard Creations! Congratulations! Please email me to receive your prize.

photo card creations

She said:  “I like the Joy - Horizontal Christmas card.”

 

Thank you to all who entered my giveaway. I will be posting a new one soon!

Stacy

Wednesday, July 18

Cooking Swiss Chard

As you previously read, we were at the farmers market last weekend and decided to buy Swiss Chard.  Chard isn’t something I’ve had much but the few times I have, it’s appealed to me. I’m not sure why. It’s wilty and not the most appealing looking by the time you get to eat it and I never had it at home. In fact, I’m sure it never would have made it to our dinner table.

chard at the farmers market

I can just hear my Dad (was a farmer) say “It’s a weed that grows in the pasture and the cows won’t even eat it.”  Word for word, I can just hear it.  Winking smile

I am trying (and forcing my guys to) different greens though, and we love spinach. Collard greens – not so much. Anyway, since I’m a very visual person, it is probably the beautiful colors of the stems that appeal to me. Well, I can’t say this is my most favorite thing I’ve ever eaten, but we tried it and we’ll eat it again. Actually Damon really likes this type of thing. 

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It is healthy, it’s interesting and it’s different. Not that I’m an expert cook or anything, but I find this a beneficial way to learn about it so I’ll share my experience.

From Wikipedia:

Chard (Beta vulgaris subsp. cicla),[1] is a leafy green vegetable often used in Mediterranean cooking. While the leaves are always green, chard stalks vary in color. [3]Chard has been bred to have highly nutritious leaves at the expense of the root (which is not as nutritious as the leaves). [4] Chard is, in fact, considered to be one of the healthiest vegetables available and a valuable addition to a healthy diet (not unlike other green leafy vegetables). [5] Chard has been around for centuries, however because of its similarity to beets is difficult to determine the exact evolution of the different varieties of chard. [6]

The word "Swiss" was used to distinguish chard from French spinach varieties by 19th century seed catalog publishers. The chard is very popular among Mediterranean cooks. The first varieties have been traced back to Sicily.

This person at Pen & Fork calls it:  “spinach on steroids.”

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After washing, separate the stems and leaves. Chop the stems and cook them first since they are harder. Before adding the leaves, spin them in the salad spinner.

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Sautéed Swiss Chard |Food Network

Ingredients

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 pounds Swiss chard
  • 4 teaspoons melted butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice

Directions

Rinse chard; separate stems from leaves. Cut stems into 2-inch pieces; cut leaves crosswise into 1-inch strips. To a saucepan add 2 teaspoons melted butter. Add stems to pan; sauté about 5 minutes. Add leaves; cook another 5 minutes. Add remaining 2 teaspoons butter and pepper. Mound in center of serving plate and drizzle with vinegar or lemon juice.

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Sautéed Swiss Chard with Parmesan Cheese |All Recipes

Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, stems and center ribs cut out and chopped together, leaves coarsely chopped separately
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt to taste (optional)
Directions
  1. Melt butter and olive oil together in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the garlic and onion, and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the chard stems and the white wine. Simmer until the stems begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chard leaves, and cook until wilted. Finally, stir in lemon juice and Parmesan cheese; season to taste with salt if needed.

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The first time I made it, I used a combination of the two recipes above. We skipped the parmesan and added bacon. While the flavor was good,  I felt it was overcooked & and used too much oil.c12

The next time I made it, I put some lemon juice on it. You can also use vinegar.

I prefer it like this – not cooked to oblivion:

chard

Give it a try. You might like it!Stacy

Brett Said (Did)

  • Brett: “Mom…, I just tried to feed Stormy a blueberry but he didn’t like it.”
  • He used the word “unbeknownst” in conversation.
  • Insists he’s having cold toast for breakfast AKA:  bread.

Before going to Grandpa and Grandma’s recently, I asked him to pack 4 outfits and his necessities.  This is what he showed me. I was so impressed that he organized his things so well! He didn’t forget anything. : )

clothes

This week I decided not only did he need more to do, he needs to start helping with his laundry. These towels happened to be in the dryer and he folded them. Not as nice as I would have done & certainly not as perfect as his Daddy does things! BUT I was quite pleased with this effort (and no complaints).  He asked how to fold them and I hastily said “rectangular or square or whatever”.  We’ll continue to work on this.

towelsStacy