Edited: Totally forgot to say that I am feeling lonely over on the Super-Secret Hidden Downton Abbey Spoilers Page. I hope to get my thoughts about episode three (and it was a doozie) up later this evening.
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On the flip side of that for the past week I have been following Leslie Sansone's Walk At Home October challenge and doing pretty well with it. You can follow the challenge even if you don't own any of her videos. She gives you walking suggestions which you can do outside and then weight training suggestions as well. I do own a couple of videos including her newest one Leslie Sansone: Walk It Off in 30 Days which I really like. I can pop it in while the kids watch TV in the other room and move a bit without having to leave the house.
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It's October and that means we have pulled out some favorite fall books. You can see our selections here. It's like old friends are back again. Seriously, it's funny how giddy we are to read these books each night before bed.
- 4 -And speaking of oldies but goodies, my stats tell me the fall rush for Thanksgiving units have started. There are two here on the old blog:
Preschool Thanksgiving Unit
Kindergarten and Early Elementary Unit
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Chelli (she of the yummy parmesan potato wedges -- go click!) requested I post the butternut squash soup recipe, so here is the quick and dirty version. Keep in mind I don't measure things, and I am not a recipe writer. No photo, though, because I ate the soup too fast.
I roasted a 2 lb butternut squash whole. You know the drill -- poke with a fork in a few places, 400 degrees for about an hour or until you could poke it easily with a knife. Cut it in half and discard the seed, then scoop out the flesh while still a bit warm.
2 TBS of butter1 small onion
1/4 cup celery
Cook veggies in butter until soft and translucent.
Add butternut squash and then about 3 cups of chicken broth. I put in four and mine was too liquid-y. I saved it in the end with some cornstarch, but three is probably about right.
salt and pepper to taste
couple dashes of nutmeg
dash of cayenne pepper (you can do more if you like it spicier)
Simmer about 10 minutes and then blend with the hand blender until smooth. I then added 4 oz of cream cheese and blended it in. Totally optional. You could not add it or double it, and I still think it would be good.
- 6 -We are on a scheduled school break, but I decided not to totally turn off this time. On my short list is morning time, read aloud, math game, them read to me, art, and Brain Pop Jr. And lots of outside play since the weather is supposed to be lovely the rest of the week.
- 7 -We made playdough this morning. My favorite homemade playdough recipe is from My Montessori Journey but I can no longer find the blog online. Here is the recipe as copied from that blog:
1 c. flour1/2 cup salt1 T. cooking oil1 T. cream of tartar1 c. waterFood coloring of your choiceAdd-ins of your choice (i.e. spices, extracts, glitter, etc.)
Stir ingredients together well. Just measure them into the saucepan you will be using to cook the dough, but mix them well before heating up the pan. Over medium heat cook the dough, stirring constantly until it forms a ball. (NOTE: When it starts to pull away from the sides somewhat and clump together and most of the "wet-looking" parts look dry, it's ready to remove from the pan.)
Turn dough onto a board (or the countertop) and knead until very smooth. (NOTE: It will be pretty warm to the touch, but try to knead it until it becomes a nice, smooth ball. If it feels sticky, you can work a little more flour into it and it will be fine.) Cool. Store in a covered plastic container OR in a sealed ziploc bag. (ANOTHER NOTE: This dough does seem to always stick in the saucepan somewhat. I have tried spraying the pan first, but I still have a crusty residue on the pan when I'm finished. I am used to this now and just plan on soaking the pan after I make a batch. I just wanted you to know about that though so you wouldn't think you had goofed something up if that happens.)
When I add spices, I usually start with about a teaspoon (though I never actually use a spoon). I just shake a bunch in until I think it's going to produce the desired level of scent. (I like a LOT of scent.) If you are adding an extract like vanilla or peppermint, for example, probably just a teaspoon will be enough, but you can experiment with a little more than that. Also add gradually if you are doing glitter. I would still start with only about a teaspoon and go from there.It is such a good recipe I would hate for it to be lost forever. We added orange food coloring and pumpkin pie spice to ours.