(re)capturing the fun & wonder

Tag: kids (page 1 of 6)

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:


Bjørn’s new pillow

Bjørn's pillow
While Maggie was busy at work on her mouse, Bjørn came up to me to ask if he could make something as well. Like I would say no?!

He very carefully chose his colored felt (black and teal) and embroidery thread (red), and just before starting to sew, he asked if he could also decorate his pillow. Of course! So I handed him the fabric markers.

When he was all done he gave me this huge smile and announced that sewing was a lot easier now that he was older. He remembered struggling over a sewing project in school when he was a kinder, and was very relieved that it wasn’t as difficult as back then. I have to say, I’m quite impressed with how even his stitching is!

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.

Tomas’ art school (at home)

While I was out at a meeting one night last week, Tomas and the kids decided that they wanted to have an Art School at home. This was their first assignment:

Tomas' Pen
M's Pen
B's Pen

Tomas put one of his pens in the middle of the table and had the kids just draw what they saw, not think about what it should look like. Just the shapes, and shadows. I can’t tell you how excited and proud they were to show me their drawings when I got home. Miss M even gave me a mini lecture on negative space, proving that they really do absorb everything we tell them.

When they were done he asked them if they would like to have art class on an on-going basis. They said yes, and the discussion and debate around how often and how long ensued. B wanted art class every day of the week. The settled on twice a week — Tuesdays and Thursdays after dinner.

What I love about this is that his assignments are simple and clear, and we have time as a family to chat and catch up while we work on our pieces. We also all get to benefit from that BFA Tomas earned oh so many years ago ;-)