Thursday, September 20, 2012

Around the World in 12 Dishes: French Polynesia: Tahitian Fruit Pudding

The kids and I magically traveled to the beautiful French Polynesian islands this month and explored the tastes of Tahitian fruit pudding.  Tahitian fruit pudding or Po'e  is a popular dessert which is normally eaten after Tahitian tamara’a barbecues.  Normally it is wrapped in banana leaves and baked in the fire pit, but luckily for us we found a modern kitchen recipe.  Po'e can be made from fresh fruit such as pumpkin, papaya, bananas, and yuca.  We decided to start easy and make a banana po'e.

-6-8 ripe bananas (the recipe calls for 4 cups of puree).  I think our bananas were small because we ended up using nine bananas.
-1/2 cup of brown sugar
-1 cup of cornstarch or arrowroot
-2 teaspoons of vanilla
-1 cup of coconut cream (coconut cream is the think coconut milk that rises to the top of a can of coconut milk.  If you don't shake the can before opening, you can skim it right off the top.  (We didn't use 1 cup...more like 1/2 cup)


Preheat oven to 375°F.  Then have your kids peel 6-8 bananas.

Then slice them up into small pieces.

Place the bananas into a food processor.

Puree the bananas in a blender or food processor. There should be enough puree to make 4 cups.

Mix together the brown sugar and arrowroot or cornstarch with the pureed bananas.  I had my kids sift the cornstarch to get all the lumps out.

Add the vanilla to the bananas and mix well. There should not be any lumps of starch. Adjust sugar to taste.

Butter a 2-quart baking dish and pour in the puree. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the pudding is firm and bubbling. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled.

Cut into cubes and place into a large serving bowl or in individual bowls. Top with a dollop of coconut cream, a little more brown sugar and serve.

The kids loved this dish and even asked for seconds!  I wasn't sure if they would like it or not, especially since I kept telling them we were making a banana pudding, yet the consistency of this pudding is not the same as what we normally eat her in the U.S.

Around the World in 12 Dishes
<a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" alt="Around the world in 12 Dishes" width="125" height="125" /></a>

Please link up your French Polynesian dish and/or craft in our linky below, we would love to see it!

Around the World in 12 Dishes: French Polynesia

Welcome to "Around The World in 12 Dishes". We will be taking you on a journey around the world, (loosely) following in Phileas Fogg's footsteps, exploring 12 different countries with our children, by cooking 12 dishes with them. One for each country visited.

The world is such a wonderfully diverse and colorful place. Our children see maps, flags and books. They see postcards and maybe they see films about the world.. but let's really bring it to life through food! Taste and smell don't often get explored, we think this would be wonderfully fun and interesting for you and your children.

Not only is it an exciting and different way to learn about cultures, but cooking with children brings a host of benefits - from numeracy to science. How can you beat that?

Adventures In Mommydom, Creative Family Fun, Domestic Goddesque, Glittering Muffins, Here Come The Girls, Juggling with Kids, Kitchen Counter Chronicles, Mermaids' Makings, Montessori Tidbits, Mummymummymum, The Educators' Spin On It and The Usual Mayhem have come together to help you on your food journey and will each cook a dish with our children and post about it - to help inspire you to have a go! Then go out there, cook, blog, and join in the linky fun! Check out the other great posts as well!

Around the World in 12 Dishes

We had started our journey the same way Phileas Fogg did in London, UK, and Stockholm, Sweden continued on to Moscow in Russia. Now our next stop is New Delhi, capital of the exotic sub-continent of India!

How to join the fun!

  • The only mandatory part is the dish, the rest is all up to you, we just thought it would be fun and more concrete to the kids as to why we are making a unusual dish.
  • Cook a dish from French Polynesia: The goal is to explore this country through FOOD and activities if you wish. Make a typical dish (sweet or savoury) from the country with the kids, take photos and have fun!
  • Typical dishes: Poisson Cru, Poulet (Chicken) Fafa, Po’e, Pork Curry with Tarua (Taro)
  • Print your passport: Click here to download, comes with space for a photo of the child with the dish. Here is a little cover for it if you wish :)
  • Color a placemat: Once colored/painted or whatever other way you want to do this, you can laminate it or put it between clear contact paper to use it over and over. Great conversation piece for you and your kids. Click here to download it.
  • Make a craft: you can make a country related craft with the kids [optional!]
  • Fun fact: Those things that look like mail boxes outside the homes of Tahitian residents are not for mail, but for French bread delivery. Residents get a fresh loaf dropped off twice a day. But they must go to the post office to retrieve their mail!
  • Share with us: Our French Polynesia challenge starts on September 2 and will remain open for a year, so attach a link to your blog to enter the linky party or go to the comment section and post a photo together with what you did together with your child(ren).
  • Pinterest: We will add your photos to a "Around the World in 12 Dishes" Pinterest Boards (one for the dishes, one for the crafts) you will be a great source of inspiration for everyone :)
  • Are you a blogger? Let your fans know about the challenge and grab our cute lil’ button to share it on your blog.

Around the World in 12 Dishes
<a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" alt="Around the world in 12 Dishes" width="125" height="125" /></a>

Please link up your French Polynesian dish and/or craft in our linky below, we would love to see it!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Nature Hunt Pumpkin Craft inspired by Boo To You! {Lois Ehlert Virtual Book Club for Kids}

The kids and I had so much fun with the Summer Virtual Book Club for kids, that we decided we would continue on the journey with our fabulous hosts Toddler Approved, Mommy and Me Book Club, The Educators' Spin On It, and 20+ kid bloggers.  A wonderful list of authors were compiled last month for our book club, and so the journey begins as we continue to spotlight a new author every month.

This month our featured author is Lois Ehlert, who wrote books such as Planting a Rainbow, Eating the Alphabet, Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf, Fish Eyes, Feathers for Lunch, and Nuts to You!

My kids and I sat down and read RRRALPH and Boo to You!  The kids and I enjoyed reading both books, especially RRRALPH, which is about a talking dog (it's so silly it really made them giggle).  But in the end we decided to feature Boo To You! because it put us in the mood for Fall, as we had some sweltering heat here in Southern California this past week.  Temperatures went from the mid 90's to 100's!

Boo to You!  is about a bunch of mice who are getting ready for a harvest party in the garden.   However there is one guest they did not invite, the scary cat.  The mice are on edge as the cat is near, are they successful at scaring the cat away? What's great about this book are that the illustrations have lots of shapes and textures that are fun to look at.  We loved how they used real foods to illustrate the characters.  One pumpkin has a gourd nose and broccoli ears, while another has Indian corn ears, a horse chestnut nose and pumpkin seed teeth.  The kids and I tried to figure out what each character in the book was made out of, and luckily there is a picture list of Harvest items at the end of the book to help guide us.

We were inspired to make our own fun textured pumpkins using items what we found outdoors on a nature hike.

-Orange paper
-Collection from nature (twigs, leaves, flowers, seeds, berries, etc)  I also added some popcorn kernals and farfalle or bow-tie pasta.

At this point, the kids and I had read Boo To You! several times already, so the kids were studying the illustrations on how the pumpkins or each character for that matter were creatively created by various items such as seeds, flowers, vegetables, nuts, gourds, corn, etc.

The kids and I then when on a little nature walk to find our own leaves, flowers, berries, etc.

Unfortunately for us, we don't get very many Fall type colors here, so we used what we could find.

Here's what the kids collected outside.  I added some popcorn kernels and farfalle (bow-tie pasta) to the mix.  If we had some off hand I would have liked to add some walnuts or pumpkin seeds like they had in the book.

Using a plate, I outlined a circle on orange construction paper, and cut them out for our pumpkins.

The kids then happily started creating their nature pumpkins using what they had collected.

I loved listening to my kids discuss with each other what they were going to use as the ears, mouth, nose, etc.

Here is my daughter's nature pumpkin:

And here is my son's nature pumpkin:

Come follow Juggling With Kids on Facebook and on Pinterest.

Now that we've shared our activities with you, we're excited to see what you came up with! Please add your links to any Lois Ehlert inspired posts to the blog hop linky below.

There are a few rules for this blog hop that we ask you to follow, so make sure to read them: 
-Link up only posts inspired by Lois Ehlert that share children's book inspired crafts, activities, recipes, etc. Any other posts will be deleted.
-Visit other blog posts on the linky and comment on or share the ones you love!

This is a Blog Hop!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Colorful Noodle Necklaces

My daughter loves to play dress up, so I thought it would be fun if we made our own noodle necklaces.  I never realized just how easy it is to make these colored noodles.  My daughter had a great time making her necklaces while practicing her fine motor skills as well.  We followed this recipe from Many Little Blessings.

-Noodles (tube noodles such as macaroni, penne, rigatoni, wheels)
-Yarn or string
-Zip lock bags or any container with a lid
-Paper towel
-Isopropyl alcohol
-Food coloring

First add some noodles to your zip lock bag.  At the time I did this craft, I had thought the coloring would only work best if the noodles were completely covered in alcohol.  However, since then, I am learning that some people only use a few tablespoons of alcohol and shake the bag to get the color distributed onto the noodles.  So I probably should have used less, but the post I read recommended 1/4 cup of alcohol.

Next add some food coloring.   The number of drops will depend on how vibrant you want the color of the noodles to be.  My drops ranged from 10-20 drops.

Some people just shake their bags for 5-10 minutes (the ones who use less alcohol).  I however followed the instructions to let the pasta sit for a few hours.  You will see that the longer you let the pasta sit, the richer and more vibrant the colors become.

Once the pasta is at your desired coloring, drain the alcohol and set them out to dry on a paper towel.  I think the colors turned out beautifully, especially the neon green!

Once the pasta is fully dry, tape one end of some string to the table (it makes it easier for the younger kids, otherwise the noodle will end up sliding off the other end).

She was so focused in making her necklace.

Ta-da!  She loves her noodle necklace!

For other fun dress up ideas, try our pipe cleaner rings and our afternoon tea party hats!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

First Day of School Angry Bird Sign

My kids love angry birds....and so my girlfriend gave me this awesome idea of making a handprint Angry Bird.  I love making handprints for my children as little keepsake reminders of how small they once used to be.  So I decided to kick off their school year with a handprint Angry Bird sign. 

-Paint (I used white, red, gray) 
-Paint brushes
-Paper (blue, brown, orange, black)
-Googly eyes
-Rubber band

First take a plate and add the three colors of paint you are using.  Make sure you have a paintbrush for each color because the paint can dry quickly and you don't have time to clean the brush between paintings.  Take your child's hand and color in the white paint as shown below. 

Next take the red paint and fill in the rest of the hand and the thumb.

Now finish off the rest of the fingers with gray.  (This part shows the bird is "soaring" through the air).  Then very carefully turn your child's hand over and place onto your paper.  I thought that blue was the best color for our paper since blue is the color of the sky.  Plus the white paint won't show up on white paper.  When placing the hand onto the paper, gently push the hand and each individual finger down to make sure the paint gets onto the paper.

Next, print out a sign "Soaring into ___ Grade!" with the date at the bottom.

Cut out the handprint, some black eyebrows, an orange beak, and a brown sling shot (I cut out a "Y" shape) and cut a piece of rubber band to glue on the bottom.  I used regular glue for the sling shot because I wasn't sure if a hot glue gun would melt the rubber band.  But super glue probably would have worked best as it was tricky to get the rubber band to adhere to the paper with regular glue.  I placed a heavy book on top of the sling shot over night to make sure it stayed on...and so far it's stayed on.  Glue the rest of the face onto the bird.  And with a pen draw a curved line through the beak.  Sorry I didn't take a picture of that, but you can see the line in the top photo.

Have your child pose with the sign on the first day of school!