(re)capturing the fun & wonder

Tag: children (page 1 of 3)

Bjørn’s Ratatouille

Bjørn's Ratatouille
Bjørn made his eagerly awaited Ratatouille this evening (folks who are paying attention will note it came a day late). It was delicious! I would never have thought to accompany it with Tzatziki, but they went shockingly well together. We were extra lucky to have a couple impromptu vegetarian guests pop over for dinner so his meal was especially timely.

I’ll admit I was extremely nervous about handing him the knives and vegetable peeler, even with (over-)careful instruction, and I did have to remind him (many, many times) that if he left his fingers in the way they would get chopped right along with his onions.

When I was a kid I made Ratatouille with my mom on many occasions. Today I discovered why she let me make this dish so often — it’s crazy easy, healthy, and it tastes great. Here’s the basic recipe & prep (add more or less of each veggie to taste or availability):

  • Sauté one medium sized onion in butter with a bit of vegetable oil (most recipes call for olive oil, but I find it it a bit bitter, I like my Rat mellow).
  • While that’s simmering, chop one green and one red bell pepper. Toss into the pot when the onions start to turn translucent. Stir gently.
  • Peel and chop into cubes one medium sized eggplant. Toss it in. Stir gently.
  • Chop five medium zucchinis. Toss ’em in. Stir gently.
  • Add some marinara sauce or fresh tomatoes (I use a marinara that’s pretty rustic with large chunks of tomato).
  • Crush several cloves of garlic (to taste).
  • Season with salt, pepper and Herbes de Provence
  • Mix and simmer on medium-low for half an hour.

Serve with warmed up baguette to soak up all the juices.

For desert we had Profiteroles (from Trader Joe’s) drizzled in warm chocolate sauce. YUM!

Bon appétit!

Inspiration: Creative Summer


If you haven’t already stumbled upon it, you’ve got to go visit the Creative Summer pool on Flickr. Really! It was set up by Molly of MommyCoddle a week or so ago and the creative goodness is just pouring in.

Even if you don’t blog, please share pictures of your kids’ summer creations over there. I know I could use all the inspiration I can get as there’s still a month and a half of summer vacation to go and I’m starting to feel a panic setting in :-)

Here are a few of my favorites so far:


Scavenged bow and arrow


I’m always thrilled when the kids take it upon themselves to develop and execute their own creative projects. I’m thinking there must have been and American Indian theme running through our day yesterday, or perhaps my boy’s haircut was inspired by his sister’s Bow and Arrow project.

Miss M spent a good bit of time scrounging for just the right bits of vine and sticks for her creation, bending and knotting until she got it just right.

I have to say I was mightily impressed at how good her aim got with a bit of practice.

A birthday gift


Miss M was so pleased with the snugglies I’d made for her and her brother that she asked if it would be ok for her to make one for her teacher’s daughter who is celebrating her first birthday today.

Of course!

On Wednesday after school we went on a mission to the fabric store. All the way there, we discussed her plans. They were quite elaborate. When we arrived, she headed straight to where we usually look, where you can get pre-cut pieces, and have fun with color and pattern for not a lot of money (’cause Mama’s cheap like that). I cut her off & introduced her to the bolts of fabric that were there to explore  — you’d have through I was the most amazing Mom at the look on her face.

She chose the brightest pink fleece, and a soft cotton in the brightest blue and fuschia.  Her smile was enough to quell my worries that this might be a bit, um… bright for a one-year-old.

Next up, we strolled past the ribbons, and buttons until she saw what she had to have for her blanket. A super soft teddy bear applique — a must have.

My girl also wanted to applique the baby’s name, but I was a bit worried that that would over-complicate what I’d hoped would be a simple project, so I steered her (yet again) to the iron-on letters. Yay me. She was pleased with this solution.

The actual sewing was easy peasy. Deciding where the appliques would go required Dad’s diplomatic intervention. Yay Dad.

Recycled greenhouse


Poor Maggie is home sick with a cold. The worst thing for a kid is being home when they don’t have enough energy to do all the active things they usually like to do. Today was full of “what can I do?” moments. Luckily, my girl spotted the plastic tray our apples had come in this week and asked if she could do something with it. Read more