Pumpkin Dessert

Today we made a pumpkin bundt cake modified from my mom’s pumpkin bar recipe.

We started by mixing the dry ingredients into a large bowl and in the large measuring cup we added the wet ingredients; pumpkin, eggs and oil.

My youngest daughter was my helper today. She loved helping me make the cake. She was my mixer.

I’ve made a few cakes lately that didn’t release from the cake pan, so we tried buttering the pan then dusting it with flour. After adding the cake mixture, we baked the cake at 350 degrees for 38 minutes.

While I was cracking some eggs by the sink, my daughter helped herself to some flour. You don’t see the flour on the floor in this picture but it was everywhere. She was so happy. How can you be mad at that.

The cake was so good. Before we eat it, we will make some cream cheese frosting, which is the prefect topping for pumpkin.

My mom’s pumpkin bars are so delicious and now we made it into a bundt cake. Yum!!

Ingredients:

2 cups of flour

2 cups of sugar

1 tablespoon of baking soda

2 teaspoons of baking powder

2 teaspoons of cinnamon

1 cup of pumpkin

1 cup of oil

4 eggs

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix dry ingredients
  3. Mix wet ingredients; pumpkin, eggs and oil
  4. Grease and flour the cake pan then add cake mixture
  5. Bake for 38 minutes

Art – Making Soup

A warm cup of soup sounds so good on this cold and rainy day in the Puget Sound. Plus eating soup wrapped up in a blanket feels like fall.

Isn’t this a cute picture!! I couldn’t resist.

Today I’m making a soup I received from my Sun Basket Box call golden potato curry with squash and whole grain naan.

If you are interested in checking out Sun Basket for yourself, click here.

This soup includes:

  • Organic potatoes
  • Organic carrots
  • Organic zucchini
  • Chickpeas
  • Lemon for garnish
  • Curry spice blend
  • Peas
  • Coconut curry base

Plus whole grain naan bread on the side.
For this recipe, my daughter washed all the vegetables and measured the ingredients. I’m always worried about the kids around an open flame. They loved the naan bread and they thought the soup was ok. I liked the soup because of its good flavor. I made a side of chicken for the kids.

Chemistry – Bath Bombs

Review

Just 2 days left of the 4H photo challenge. Today’s challenge is to create a bath bomb and give it to someone.

Check back this weekend for the last 2 days of challenges. For the whole calendar, check out my original post here.

The Activity

For a birthday gift, my daughter received this bath bomb kit, ALEX Spa DIY Bath Bomb available on Amazon. Thank you, Helen, she is super excited to make a bath bomb.

She starts by mixing the dry ingredients together. Add baking soda, cornstarch and epson salt to a large bowl.

Next, the mixture needs some water, essential oils and vegetable oil to hold it together.

Once the mixture was smooth, she added succinic acid before dividing the powder into bowls and adding food coloring.

Lastly, she added the dyed mixtures to a mold to dry. Jillian made a bath bomb for her kindergarten teacher as a thank you for everything she goes.

Art – Crayon Candles

Review

The 27th daily challenge of the 4H photo contest is making crayon candles. Which we are excited to try. I did not purchase wicks so we will try and make those too. Click here for more info about the contest.

The Activity

How to make a wick? Interesting question and after doing some research, I’m surprised how long it takes to make a wick. Some websites say 12 hours. Not time that I have but I found a blogger whom uses a popsicle stick to make a wick. Very interesting. Let’s see if it works.

First, we need to eat a popsicle. Yum!!

Look at the mean mug from my almost 2 year old. Once the treat was eaten, we made a metal base out of paper clips by folding up one end.

Then we began a process of removing the crayons’ wrappers.

While unwrapping the crayons, we boiled water in a pot. Just enough water to cover the full jar except about an inch of the top of the old jelly jars. Lastly, we filled the jars with crayons and bits of old wax from other candles.

It takes about 30 minutes to melt the wax.

Did you know? Wax’s boiling point is >370 °C (698 °F).

Then I removed the jar with canning tongs.

The final product. Let’s see if we can light it tomorrow. Check back.

Art n Chemistry – Cooking and Meal Planning

Review

4H’s daily challenge is to plan, shop and prepare a meal plan. My daughter loves to help in the kitchen and is very interested in cooking.

If you have missed the other 21 daily challenges, check out my earlier post that includes a link to each post as well as more information about the $10,000 scholarship offered by 4H.

The Activity

So last week we tried Sun Basket because I was feeling overwhelmed with going back to school and our youngest daughter was given the recommendation to eat dairy-free (which dairy is staple in our household).

I found a offer for 60% off your first basket which is smart because once you try it you are hooked. I love how easily it is to identify if a meal is paleo or dairy-free or soy-free. It encourages us to try new recipes, like this week we are trying shrimp on glass noodles and cabbage.

Why is it great for kids? Each recipe has a portion that kids can assist with you.

The kids portion include pretty easy steps of the recipe but still a great way to get the kiddos involved. Lastly, some recipes include ingredient IQ which can explain the chemistry behind the cooking or food facts. This is a great educational addition that make my experience with Sun Basket that much better. Definitely 2 thumbs up!!

If you are interested in checking it out, click here.

Chemistry – Sour Milk

Review

This summer we hosted a play date with sciences experiment activities and today being 4H’s day to be inspire to do chemistry; I thought I would reflect on those chemistry experiments.

As I feel I say in every post, you can find the 4H 30 day challenge in one of my earlier post about the 30 day ‘inspire to do’ activities. 4H suggests a chemistry experiment called Fizzy Foam or you can try Sour Milk below.

The Activity

As part of our Amazon STEM subscription, we received this science kit with great basic science information and tools to slightly more advance chemistry experiments.

Photo provided by Kids First Science Laboratory Kit

One fun experiment is making ‘sour milk’. When we first did the experiment, we used 1% milk causing the liquid not to separate like the picture. Thus we recommend using whole or cream.

Warning the milk smell awful when it is mixed with vinegar. The liquid begins to kirtle and you can see the chunks in it. Not very appetizing.

Did you know? When the protein in the milk meets the acid in the vinegar the liquid begins to separate. Casein is the protein in milk and cheese.

Chemistry- Pressing flowers

Review

Pressing flowers is today’s 4H challenge. It specifically says to press wildflowers in a book to log and preserve them but we’ll see how it goes. For the whole list and an update on all my 4H challenges, check out my earlier post about the 30 day ‘inspire to do’ activities.

The Activity

This time of year Washington state doesn’t have many perennials still blooming. We found hydrangeas in our yard but otherwise we had some annual flowers that we just planted for the fall in bloom. Neither being ‘wildflowers ‘ but the hydrangeas in my yard are very meaningful to me being that they were in my wedding.

So we picked the hydrangeas removing as much of the stems as possible and layered them down on a paper towel. Trying to make an even layer.

Lastly we payed another paper towel on top followed by some heavy books.

Did you know? Paper is essential pressed plants together. Sort of like this project.

Update:

After a day under a book, we removed the presses flowers and leaves. Then we researched some project to use the flowers with. This is what we found:

Craft 1

We decided to place them in between 2 pieces of glass. Then using a glass permanent marker we wrote ‘love’ on top.

Craft 2

Check out this craft at my newer post – Art – Card Making.

4H 30 Day Challenge

Thanks to Facebook, I stumbled onto the 4H “Inspire To Do” challenge for the month of September. Each day 4H challenges you and your kids to a fun and ‘simple’ activity to develop knowledge and skills about the world around us. 4H is having a photo contest for everyone practicing in the challenges with a price of $10,000. Pretty cool!! Download the list here.

Some of the challenges are a little intense; for example #6 “raise butterflies and track their stages of life.” Since we raised butterflies last summer (check out that activity here), I know it isn’t a day project. The process is at least 2 weeks. I may modify that day to making a butterfly feeder. Or visiting the butterflies at the zoo. Or maybe both. We’ll see.

Overall, I think these challenges are great and hope to do them all. Check back for updates on our progress.

What do you think will be most challenging activity to accomplish in a day?

Daily Updates:

  1. Bird Feeder
  2. Plant a garden
  3. Visit the farm
  4. Zoo Excursion
  5. Nature Walk
  6. Raising Butterflies
  7. Mason Jar Garden
  8. Pressed Flowers
  9. Card Making
  10. Chemistry
  11. Egg Drop
  12. Boat Races
  13. Lemonade Stand
  14. Lemon Battery
  15. Volunteering with Animals
  16. Thank You Letter
  17. Homeless Care Package
  18. Helping Senior Citizens
  19. Cooking New Foods
  20. Kids Yoga
  21. Gratitude Journal
  22. Meal Planning
  23. Food Drive
  24. Trash Pickup
  25. Art in the Park
  26. Campfire
  27. Crayon Candles
  28. Bath Bombs
  29. Robotic Hand
  30. Coding Your Name

Chemistry- Blueberry Plum Jam

So a few days ago we went to the blueberry patch, check out our adventure here, and today we are processing our blueberries. We washed all the blueberries and laid them onto cookie sheets covered with paper towels to dry. Half of the blueberries we froze and the other half will be divided to make jam, muffins and just to eat (in my belly).

Making jam is a great experience for kids to see how solid can turn into liquid then back into solid just by changing the temperature. I remember making strawberry jam with my mom as a kid and would love for my kids to have the same fond memory.

Fun Facts:

Did you know? The boiling point of sugar is 320 degree Fahrenheit and water is 212 degrees Fahrenheit.

Since this is only the second time I’ve made jam without my mother, I needed to follow a recipe. I don’t store pectin at my house so I found a recipe for plum and blueberries because plums and apple jams don’t require pectin. To learn more about pectin and where it came from, check out this website. It has an article about Science and Magic of Jam Making.

I loosely followed a recipe by TallCloverFarm. Check out her recipe here. I say loosely because she recommends using 2 limes and I only had lemons. Plus I didn’t follow her instructions.

Before you get started, I recommend bringing out another activity that the kids can do while they wait for the jam to solidify. It takes almost a hour of stirring constantly so be prepared to hang in the kitchen a while.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds of plum (about 4 cups)
  • 2 pounds of blueberries (about 6 cups)
  • 3 cups of sugar
  • 1 large lemon
  • I asked Alexa how many cups were in a pound.
  • Alexa responded that she is unable to help me because pounds is measured in mass and cups in measured in volume.

  • Then I thought what a great example for the kids. We have a small scale that allowed the kids see the weight of plums is different than the weight of blueberries. Then we tried sugar and lemons too. Fun little side experiment.
  • Start by combining plums, sugar and blueberries in a large pot on low heat. I crush the plums with my spoon as I stir it around. Once it is combined, I squeeze a lemon into my mixture.

    You will notice the berries starting to disappear into the liquid.

    Once all the blueberries have dissolved into the jam you are ready to remove it from the heat and let it cool. After about 30 minutes, we made peanut butter and jam sandwiches with our new plum-blueberry jam and everyone enjoyed them.

    Tall Clover Farm had a picture of jam scrambled into the shape of a heart. I thought I’d try and pay tribute to her.

    Powered by WordPress.com.

    Up ↑