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How to ripen a green tomato

19 Sep

Do you have tomatoes that haven’t ripened yet {and might not at this point in the season}?

Wondering what to do with them?

Watch as Silas shows you what we do with our green {and half-red} tomatoes.

Want to learn more about what makes tomatoes ripen?

Mature green tomatoes give off a gas, called ethylene, which aids in the ripening process.  This gas normally blows around in the wind while the tomatoes are outside growing on the plant, thereby causing the ripening time to be drawn out.  If you are running out of time in the season, and are worried your tomatoes wont ripen before the frost sets in, you can place the green {or even partially-red} tomatoes in a paper bag on your counter. The paper bag will hold in the ethylene gas, allowing those green tomatoes to ripen more quickly.


Growing Potatoes

14 Sep

Did you know that potatoes grow underground?  That there is an green leafy plant above ground, but the potato itself is down under in the dirt?

We grew potatoes this year, and today we harvested some of them.

Have your kids check out this video, where they will see Silas talking to them about growing potatoes…..

Want to know more about growing potatoes?

They are easy {and fun} and can be grown in a container or in a garden.



Cooking Class in NYC

9 Sep


Thanks to all those who voted for us in the Clorox Cooking Up A Mess contest a few months ago.

This past weekend we went on our grand prize trip to NYC. The days were filled with adventure, food, and lots of sight-seeing.

One of the parts of the prize was a cooking class for the kids.



We had our class at Taste Buds, a company that caters to child chefs with a full equipped child-sized kitchen.

With a moto of “Learn, Laugh, Cook”, I knew this would be a good place for us.



The class was 2 hrs long, at which the Nicole taught the kids how to make sushi, a soba noodle salad and fortune cookies.

The fortune cookies were a BIG hit with my kids.



Taste Buds offers story times, weekly classes, individual classes, camps, parties {and even adult classes}.



This is a great place to check out if you are in the NYC area.  The staff are friendly and great with kids. The cooking area is open, airy, and speckled with jars of sprinkles, colorful mixing bowls and miniature wisks.

Your kids are bound to have a fantastic time, just like we did.

Thanks Taste Buds!

Pick Your Own

29 Aug

I love picking fruits and veggies. It might be my all-time favorite thing to do.

So, it seems only nature that I would bring my kids along in this adventure.

Sitting in the sunshine, picking food, then eating it, what is not to like?

Getting to know the farmers, knowing where your food comes from, learning about how food is grown, this is all very important in sustaining good food-growing practices.  My kids have learned a lot about farming and vegetables this summer.

I encourage you, in the weeks left of this summer growing season, to find a local farm and pick some fruits or vegetables with your children.

My daughter {age 3} lost interest in picking beans after a while, so she brought her books into the row to sit and read while we picked.

Supporting your local farmers is important.  Showing kids how green beans grow, and then letting them eat said beans off the bush…..that is also important.  Its not just a teachable moment about nature. It is a moment to encourage an interest in good food, while exposing them to the reality of how food is created.



Hiking Scavenger Hunt

22 Aug

A walk through the woods {or your backyard/neighborhood} can take on a fun new twist when you turn it a scavenger hunt.

Here is the list we use:

The kids each had a bag, and searched for items that matched the description on the list.

When we were all done, we emptied the bags out and matched the items the kids had found to the list.

This is a fun way to get outside with your kids, while teaching them about wildlife and nature.

And here’s some proof:

This is Sydney, making silly faces about the object she had just found. Hahaha!




Birthday Celebrations and a Space Shuttle Cake

16 Aug

We recently had a birthday in our house:

Silas turned 6!

Each year I let the kids decide what they want their birthday cake to look like. Yes, look like. As in, come up with whatever you want and I will try to make it.

Last year, just a few days after Silas’ 5th birthday{at which he requested a Feller Buncher cake}, he told me what cake he wanted for his 6th birthday cake: A Space Shuttle cake.

No worries, I thought, he will change his mind.

Low and behold, 12 months later, he still wanted a Space Shuttle birthday cake {and space shuttle toys, and an astronaut suit, and to go to Mars…}

It actually seemed very fitting, in honor of NASA’s 2011 retirement of the Space Shuttles, to make a space shuttle cake.

Since we couldn’t go see the real shuttle, we took pictures of our own.

We didn’t just eat cake for the birthday celebrations,  although we did manage to eat lots and lots of cake.

We also went to a local amusement park and rode the rides.



Here’s to another year filled with fun adventures and lots of love and laughter.


Farmer’s Market: Shelling Peas

19 Jul

{Silas took this picture}

I love going to the Farmer’s Market and browsing all the fresh veggies.  We have taken to riding our bikes and wandering the stands together as a family.

My kids really enjoy going to the farmer’s market, especially when I let them help pick out what we are going to buy {and buy them snacks..but that is another story}.

The other day we brought home a large bag of shelling peas.

I sat at the counter and started shelling them while my kids ate lunch.

They asked if they could help. Honestly, I was shocked.  It hadn’t crossed my mind that they might want to help shell peas. But they were fascinated that cute little peas were nestled inside each pod.

We sat at their small table together and shelled peas…for half an hour. THEY LOVED IT!


Consider taking your kids to your own local farmer’s market and let them pick out some veggies or fruits.

Not only is it a great way to support local farmers, but it gets your kids interested in wonderfully delicious food, and helps them learn more about where their food comes from.

Case in point: this week my son saw a dried-up corn on the cob at one of the venders, and learned that it was actually popcorn. He couldn’t believe that popcorn grew on a cob {and not in a plastic container on the grocery store shelf, hahaha!}


Summer Fun

13 Jul

Summer is short lived in the Northeast, and more-so this year than others.  After a long winter, spring was not the sunny flower filled time that many hoped it would be.  It was cold and wet. Summer happened upon us finally sometime in late June (or dare I say it waited until July?).  I love summertime and want to soak up all the minutes of sunshine and bare feet that I possibly can.

I don’t post as often in the summer because we are often busy splashing in the kiddie pool, picking berries at our local Pick-Your-Own Farm, and in our garden hunting for green beans.  Its not that I don’t want to, it is just that I am desperate to enjoy every drop of summer before it is gone.

If you are wondering where we are and what we are up to, check out our Facebook page to keep up to date!


Happy Summer.

Strawberry Picking

23 Jun

I took the kids strawberry picking last week {and again this week, but who’s counting}.


Silas is a natural born berry-picker. He works hard, finds great berries, and doesn’t mind being hot.


Sydney, on the other hand isn’t a fan of the actual berry picking process, but she is loving the berry eating process.


I am lucky that my kids humor me and keep coming out to the berry fields with me.


Last week we made Strawberry Jam with some of the berries we picked. Let me just say, the jam is AMAZING. Bright red, flavorful and delicious.

If you are on the fence about making jam, then DO IT.  Its great.




Want to know what is great with strawberry jam? Homemade peanut butter, check out our post on making your own!

{Side commercial for making your own Peanut Butter: It is easier than you can imagine. It tastes 1 million times better than the stuff from the store, AND you can make it with simply 3 ingredients: peanuts, oil and salt.  End Commercial}.


Hope you are enjoying some summer berries as well.

I would love to see what you are making with your berries this summer!

LINK to your berry posts in the comments section or leave a note with your recipe!


Cornstarch Bead Jewelry

9 Jun


Today I am guest posting over Moms By Heart.

We are making Cornstarch Bead Jewelry…stop by and say Hello, and find out more!

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