Where does our food come from?

We received a gorgeous shiny new map and decided to put it to use immediately!

Where does our food come from?

Here we are; continent, country and city located.

We located the other continents and familiar countries, then talked about the characteristics of the map:

  • Colour used to show a countries border
  • Grids
  • Symbols
  • Legend/Key

The concept of the whole world being illustrated on a 40′ x 28″ map is a difficult thing to explain to a six year old. I kept the language simple. This map is part of a two map package: “Laminated Canada/World Rolled Map“, a great set for teaching many geographical concepts.

We have been collecting labels from fruit and vegetables for quite a while (thanks for the idea Glenna) and sticking them on the kitchen cupboard:

Where does our food come from?

At this time of year we rarely buy fruit and vegetables anywhere but locally, or BC for apples and cherries!

During the winter we do treat ourselves to fruit from further afield.

The map is laminated and huge, giving us lots of room to add information.

Where does our food come from?

Locating the country the fruit or vegetable came from, took a little while in some cases (my central American geography is sketchy).  Not all the stickers had the produce listed so I recommend adding stickers at time of washing or eating fruit/vegetables.

This activity could easily be used in the classroom to develop map reading skills and global awareness. Would your children be willing to bring in produce stickers from home?

Octopus Spaghetti

This is one of the weirdest food adventures I have tried.

I am not a huge hot dog fan but my kids are. We started with cut veggie dogs (yes I am a rabbit) and whole wheat spaghetti.

I demonstrated how to stab the cut veggie dogs and push the raw spaghetti through the veggie dog. This required reasonable fine motor skills and patience. Daisy got to work making her octopi?

Rose helped (she ate veggie dogs and crunched spaghetti).

Here is our pre-assembled pile.

Here you have it; octopus spaghetti and chick pea sauce.

This was a success for the kids but my husband and I were a wee bit grossed out. It just seemed a little weird. Have you tried this?

Cupcakes Pancake

Just a quick post today to tell you about a great recipe we tried yesterday.

There is only one photo.. we were too busy eating!

The recipe for Cupcake Pancakes from Mama B is so simple. It may be a good option for kids and dads to make on Sunday.

I made only two changes;

I used 5 duck eggs as they tend to be a wee bit bigger than hen eggs, but much richer.

Our cupcake pancakes needed 17 minutes in our regular oven (not convection).

Here is the recipe just in case you don’t want to click through to Mama B’s blog (her photos are lovely).

What you need:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 6 eggs (or 5 duck eggs)
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • pinch of salt
  • a little bit of Vanilla extract
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease your muffin tins (I sprayed with veg. oil)

1. Mix all of your ingredients together. A blender works fabulously.

2. Pour the batter into greased muffin tins. Fill only about halfway.

3. Bake them for 17 minutes at 400 degrees, or until they are golden brown and puffy. Run a knife around the inside of the tin and let the cupcake pancakes cool for a few minutes.

4. Top them with whatever you fancy. We used thawed frozen berries and vanilla yogurt.

I am building up quite a wealth of ideas here on Pinterest.

Can I suggest printing this recipe out for your husband and/or kids. It is much better than cold half buttered toast!

April Fools Egg Cupcakes

We made these last year and they did a great job of fooling people:

The inspiration is from “What’s New Cupcake?”, Karen Tack and Alan Richardson.

To make the eggs shells:

  1. Melt white candy wafers.
  2. Lightly oil a paper towel and rub the inside of the plastic eggs to coat with a thin layer of oil.
  3. Using a small teaspoon, coat the inside of the plastic egg with melted chocolate.
  4. Place shells upside down, on cookie sheet, in fridge for 5 minutes.
  5. Check and touch up any that need a second coat.
  6. When set (10 minutes) remove from fridge and carefully remove from plastic shells. You need broken shells too so don’t panic when some break.

To make cupcakes:

  1. Follow your favourite recipe for vanilla cupcakes (mine is now the recipe from this book).
  2. Tint lemon curd with 1 drop of red and 5 drops of yellow food colouring by placing in a zip lock bag and squishing (Daisy loved this part)
  3. Spread vanilla frosting over the cupcakes and smooth.
  4. For the yolk, pipe lemon curd straight from the zip lock bag, just cut off the corner.
  5. Arrange the white chocolate shells on top of the cupcakes so you have whole eggs and broken.
  6. Place in an egg cup or carton.

Daisy was very pleased with our efforts.

Not sure what we will try this year yet. We are planning!!!

Making Birds Nests

It may be a while until Easter is here but we are feeling spring like and decided to make a spring treat, birds nests. Yum!

You need:

  • Shredded wheat (this is the only reason we buy it)
  • Chocolate mini eggs
  • Bun cases
  • Chocolate

Break up the shredded wheat, as much as you want birds nests.

Melt the chocolate. I use the microwave or you can use a bain-marie. Add the chocolate to the shredded wheat and mix well ensuring chocolate coats everything.

Scoop the mix into bun cases.

The two spoon scoop is a great fine motor skills exercise.

Licking the spoons and scraping bowls is always a favourite bakers job!

Squish two eggs into the shredded wheat to complete the nest.

Now the difficult bit … wait until the chocolate cools and hardens! Enjoy.

Heart Shortbread

We love baking! Our prep. for Valentines Day and basically any special day, involves making shortbread. I use an old recipe from home that everyone raves about. It is very complicated… it only has four ingredients!

  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup cornstarch
  1. Cream butter and sugar until soft.
  2. Beat in sieved flour and cornstarch.
  3. Kneed well and cut into fingers or shapes.
  4. Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes depending on thickness.

What better sensory play than fresh shortbread dough? Although quite a bit gets eaten before it makes it to the oven! We did add a wee bit of red food colouring for Valentines day.

Pretty hearts all in a row.

Happy Valentines Day!