Friday, May 8, 2015

American Girl library activity, recipes and a glimpse around the yard


Recently we had another opportunity to enjoy an educational American Girl program based on the time period of Samantha. The events are always free and they make crafts, have snacks and more! Really enjoying this library we found! First while we were waiting we had to read one of our favorite books called The Day The Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt. It's quite comical and fits ages 3-8 years, but Kathleen still loves it and even as an adult you can't help but chuckle :-)
We are a family very big on reading and being advocates for reading; so throughout my blog I usually mention books, activities,etc. My long term readers will know this from previous posts as well as crafts and other activities I like to post :-) Now that I'm blogging more frequently again I will be putting more things together for learning and posting it on here soon.



Kathleen happens to have Samantha and the girls are encouraged to bring their dolls with them. It can be any doll they have, not just American Girl. They also have Samantha books, movies and activities on a table for easy check out.


She enjoys crafting a lot so she had a blast making the tea cups and the tea pot. Made new friends in the process :-)


They also raffled off beautiful porcelain dolls. It's a great event for the community, we have to drive a little ways to get there, but it's worth it.


O.k. so I have a Shabby Chic bedspread for Spring and it's one where you put your previous comforter inside the Spring one and then it buttons. Well I was beginning to lose patience with it so Kathleen volunteered to climb inside to sort out the comforter! She had me laughing so hard!


Needless to say we finally got it "somewhat" put together...then noticed the wrinkles... but the thought of ironing it wasn't too appealing for all the work...lol. So it's on the bed, but needs a little tweaking...perhaps another day! ;-) Thanks Kathleen for all your help!


Each week my girl's are given the task to pick at least one recipe and create it by themselves. Kathleen was quite adventurous and picked a homemade peanut butter chocolate cake with homemade icing! So delicious!! This is a recipe I have in my collection and have had for several years.

Peanut Butter Fudge Cake

1 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup cocoa
1 cup water
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 eggs well beaten
2 cups sugar
2 cups unsifted flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a saucepan, combine butter, cocoa, water, buttermilk and eggs. Stir constantly over low heat until mixture bubbles. In a large bowl mix sugar, flour, and baking soda. Stir hot mixture into dry ingredients. Beat until smooth. Stir in vanilla. Spread mixture into a greased and floured 9x13 inch cake pan. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake 30-35 minutes.

Topping:

1 cup peanut butter
1 tablespoon oil
Spread over cooled cake.

Icing:

1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup cocoa
6 tablespoons buttermilk
1 box 10x sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a saucepan heat butter, cocoa, and buttermilk until bubbly. Place 10x sugar in bowl. Beat in hot mixture until smooth.
It will start to thicken, spread over topping on cake and enjoy! So delicious!!


Oops someone lit candles and cut the cake before I could get a picture, lol. No birthdays...Kathleen just thought it would be fun to light a bunch and blow them out ;-) This cake did not last long, it was so moist and delicious!


I also made this delicious mango tortilla, perfect for lunches; yet hardy enough for dinners too.

Start by slicing up a fresh mango


Shred fresh Monterrey jack cheese (Swiss works as well!)


Drain roasted red peppers that were packed in water (or make your own ;) Then chop them up.


Lay out small corn tortillas


Layer cheese, peppers, mangoes, then top with another corn tortilla.



In a large skillet add cooking spray over medium heat. Place 2 in at a time and cook until speckled brown on bottom about 2 minutes. Flip and do the same on other side; cook till speckled and cheese melts. About another minute or so. Transfer to wire rack and cover to keep warm till ready to serve. So yummy!

Another fast, healthy dessert is to take blueberries, dip them in yogurt (use a toothpick pushed through them) and then place on a cookie sheet with parchment paper to freeze at least 2 hours. Then enjoy!


I also made Jerry's favorite cornbread. Serve warm with lots of butter ;-)


Each day I walk around the yard I find so many beautiful things blooming. Last night I was weeding my flower bed and fell down the stairs that leads up to it from the driveway (only 3 brick steps) I still held on to the weeds in my hands, lol! Wasn't hurt badly luckily, because I rolled my ankle and fell on my right side. Think more embarrassed with myself than anything...yet I'm sharing this info with the world... lol.

Loving the tulips, my only wish is that they would last longer!





My magnolia since I have taken this picture is already dropping it's blooms... Open for such a short time, will post more updated pictures soon.


Plum trees blooming in the back.


We have been blessed with an abundance of Asparagus!


I find mason jars work perfectly for storing them in the fridge with a little water in the bottom. Cooking them as fast as I can, but will be freezing them soon.


And Kathleen is working on an economics unit at school and her business is making Rainbow Loom creations. This has been her work space the last few days. :-)


"No kind action ever stops with itself. One kind action leads to another. Good example is followed. A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves" Amelia Earhart

                                                                  Have a great day!!!
                                                                        Blessings,
                                                                              Jill

8 comments:

Billie Jo said...

Always love your posts, Jill!
So much fun visiting with you.
I am printing out that cake recipe now!!!
Thanks for sharing...
And have a wonderful Mother's Day, my friend!

Gina said...

Jill, your post is so chalk full of fun! Your library sounds like a dream. The teapot is adorable! And all those food pictures... oh gosh I think I've gained 5 lbs just reading about it all.

Wendi said...

What a great library! Your yard is looking nice. Tulips are my favorite!

aimee said...

That is a wonderful quote--love it! Had to smile at the duvet cover photo. I have tried all kinds of ways to get comforters in ours--from doing it on my car to turning it inside out. It's always an adventure ;)
Blessings,
Aimee

Carrie B. said...

My daughter would love that educational day at the library! She loves American girl dolls - looks so fun! Love your Spring bedspread (wrinkles & all!).

Those recipes both look delicious too - yum!!

Love all the outdoor photos and your property looks so beautiful.
Blessings for a wonderful Mother's Day Jill! xo

Jessy Gaffen said...

Chocolate and peanut butter is the BEST combination! That cake...YUMMY! (The rest looks great too! LOL) My daughter loved American Girl when she was younger. I had always hoped for a group, but couldn't find one locally...Such a fun idea to bring books alive! Rainbow Looms are awesome! Is it weird I like making bracelets too? LOL Beautiful flowers! We're not there yet, but the flowers are coming up finally in Maine!

Stephanie said...

You have such a lovely family, Jill :) My, that cake sounds delicious! How I would love a piece right now!

May you have a beautiful Mother's Day! Hugs!

~ Noelle said...

What a great post!!!
We love the crayon book (was introduced to it this year )
I want that cornbread in my kitchen... now ;)
Yum