Sunday, April 28, 2013

Hands On Museum

Last Saturday we took Emmett to the Ann Arbor Hands On Museum. He had a blast! First we hit up the 4 and under room. There is this giant ball maze in there that he was absolutely fascinated with. We spent a lot of our time at the museum at that ball maze.

He learned he had to be quick to grab them!

Trying to figure out where all of the balls are going

The water tables were another favorite! They had fishing polls, which he has been obsessed with since he got the fishing bath toy.

We spent quite awhile at the gear table too

He also got in the giant bubble thing with Daddy

They didn't get the bubble all the way up because Emmett kept kicking it when it got to his feet!

Magnetic circus. He was oddly fascinated with this and I don't think he even knew what it really did

Mildly interested in this light globe thing

We headed back down to the toddler room where he played in the water tables some more

 Playing in the foam bricks

Back to the ball maze!

He cried when we had to leave. We will definitely be back, but probably on a less busy day. The museum is pretty packed on a Saturday and the 4 and under room can get pretty overwhelming with all the little ones running around!

Friday, April 26, 2013

S'mores Bars

I love s'mores. Who doesn't?! I saw these on Pinterest and decided to try them. They were pretty easy, and tasted like really, really delicious s'mores.

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 king-sized milk chocolate bars (e.g. Hershey’s)
1 1/2 cups marshmallow creme/fluff (not melted marshmallows)

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in egg and vanilla. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix at a low speed until combined.
  3. Divide dough in half and press half of dough into an even layer on the bottom of the prepared pan. Place chocolate bars over dough. 2 king-sized Hershey’s bars should fit perfectly side by side, but break the chocolate (if necessary) to get it to fit in a single layer no more than 1/4 inch thick. Spread chocolate with marshmallow creme or fluff. Place remaining dough in a single layer on top of the fluff (most easily achieved by flattening the dough into small shingles and laying them together).
  4. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool completely before cutting into bars.
Source: Sugar Cooking

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Peas, Ham and Creamy Noodles

This was really easy comfort food. It took almost no time to make, and Emmett even liked it!

2 tablespoons butter
2 cups onion, diced
8 ounces egg noodles
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup half and half
1 pound cooked ham, diced
1 cup frozen peas
1 tablespoon lemon juice
salt and pepper

1. Melt the butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Cook onions until golden brown, about 5 mins.

2. Add broth, half-and-half, and noodles to skillet and bring to a boil. Add diced ham, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until noodles are tender, about 8-10 minutes.

3. If your cream sauce is not thick enough, stir together 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and 3 tablespoons of cold water. Pour into skillet. Season with plenty of salt and pepper, then stir to combine. Sauce should thicken immediately. Add peas and lemon juice to skillet and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes.

Source: Kevin & Amanda

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Spicy Sausage Pasta

We have made this a couple times now, and it is delicious. It definitely has a little kick, but Emmett chows down it. Apparently he likes a little spice! I skip the part of putting it under the broiler to melt the cheese and just let it melt right on the stove top.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 14-ounce package smoked turkey sausage, sliced into rounds 
1 1/2 cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 10-ounce can Ro-Tel Tomatoes and Green Chiles, Original Style
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 ounces uncooked penne pasta (about 2 1/2 cups)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
Thinly sliced scallions
Salt, to taste

Heat oil over medium-high heat in a cast iron skillet(or other oven-safe skillet) until smoking. Add the sausage and onion, and cook until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add in the garlic, and cook for 30 seconds. Add the broth, Ro-Tel, heavy cream, uncooked pasta, and pepper, and give the mixture a good stir. Bring to a boil, cover the skillet, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until the pasta is tender, about 15 minutes, stirring once or twice while cooking. Preheat the broiler while the pasta is cooking. Remove the skillet from the heat, and stir in 1 cup of the cheese. Taste, and add salt as needed. Top with the scallions and remaining cheese. Broil until the cheese is melted and lightly browned - about 3 minutes.

Source: A Bitchin' Kitchen

Photo Dump

This is kind of a photo dump from the past couple weeks. :)

We got a new car! It's a 2013 Traverse. I am in love with it! It's the first brand new car I have ever had.

Emmett called shotgun!

Emmett also got this awesome new sandbox.

Every day that there has been decent weather, he has played with it. He really, really likes it. He throws a fit when we put the cover back on before coming inside.

The big bump/bruise he got from running in to the wood post is finally gone! He had this nasty bruise in that spot for almost a week.

He's loving the foam bath letters/numbers from his Easter basket. They are currently his favorite bath toys.

Alphabet soup!

 "E" for Emmett!

He also broke out his bubble wand a couple times.

Trying to touch the bubbles...

 I love how he is pointing at the bubble as he chased it.

He's actually figured out how to make bubbles himself and loves doing it!

We also took advantage of discounted admission at the zoo and went for a mini visit. The weather wasn't bad, but a little on the chilly side. Emmett has a huge fascination with birds right now. He was more interested in the random geese that crossed in front of us than he was with any of the zoo animals. 

Still pointing...

 Annnd, still pointing.

He really liked the arctic tunnel. Especially when this seal swam right up and over him.

Touching the ice wall

Mr. Independant didn't want to sit in the stroller or be carried. He insisted on walking himself and going in the opposite direction we wanted him to go.

He loved the carousel when we were at the zoo last year, but he wasn't so enthused about it this time. I think he was actually more interested in watching some birds fly by.