The Sprouts

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Educational section including tips for food-related activities, books, & gardening.

The Sprouts: Miso Soup, Yummy Yakitori and Dabbling with Gyotaku


We’ve continued to enjoy our trip to Japan this week. The book, I Live in Tokyo by Mari Takabayashi inspired our Sunday night meal. The kids decided #5 on Mimiko’s Top Ten Favorite Meals is pretty YUMMY! They gobbled up the Yakitori chicken on skewers. We’re not sure if it was the fascination of the skewers, the amazing taste or both that captivated the kids. It definitely was a hit!! Miso soup, rice and Asian-style coleslaw made the meal complete. O declared…. “Mom, send it in my lunch tomorrow and be sure to add EXTRA fish sauce on my coleslaw!!”

The Sprouts: A Journey Around the World… Starting with Japan


We eat a wide variety of foods including different ethnic cuisines. It has sparked lots of discussions, explorations, and will hopefully serve as a pathway to future travels. While it is just a natural part of our life, I thought it would be fun to take a more intentional trip around the world stopping along the way to read, eat, create and enjoy whatever else comes our way.

The Sprouts - Giant Blueberry Muffins


Books nourish our souls and feed our hunger. This weekend we read a favorite in our house, Irving and Muktuk: Two Bad Bears (Irving & Muktuk Story) by Daniel Pinkwater. It is a humorous tale about two polar bears who will do anything to get their hands on blueberry muffins.

The Sprouts: Pumpkin Seeds


We have an abundance of pumpkins around here ⎯ the Boo Ball at Skoogie’s preschool will feature pumpkins designed by the kids and O’s Halloween class party has a pumpkin theme. In other words, we have lots of seeds to go around!!! Skoogie and O are anticipating toasted pumpkin seeds for pre-Halloween snacks (we all know what the preferred post-Halloween snack is!) As you carve your pumpkin this year, here are some simple steps to enjoy the seeds inside.

The Sprouts: Rainbow Food


During the last week we’ve seen a lot of rainbows at our house! Skoogie has croup. It started out last Thursday with what seemed to be one of her chest colds, intensified by allergies. Over the weekend she rallied and seemed to be getting better then started a fever. When she isn’t feeling well and is having a hard time breathing, she says “Do the rainbow mom.” We snuggle together in her rocking chair and close our eyes. It starts… “Relax and imagine the beautiful colors of the rainbow.” As we see each color, I talk her through a scene using the various colors of the rainbow. It is a relaxation technique I used during labor with both kids. Having delivered both within two and half hours of labor, I’d say it is a magical relaxation technique, just like a rainbow! Hannah heard the script even prior to being born since I listened to a relaxation CD as I drifted off to sleep most nights during the end of my pregnancies. Her body responds well to it and her spastic coughs typically are calmed.

The Sprouts: Artistic Kale


Who says, you need paper and a paintbrush to create a fabulous painting!! We have been having a fabulous Fall in Duluth. This weekend on one of our hikes we discovered shaved pieces of bark from a birch tree. Unfortunately there had been larger sheets earlier in the day, but we decided to leave them until the end of our hike. The bark must have caught someone else’s eye. So we ended up with smaller pieces, but the kids still thought they’d be fun to paint. Later that day, while collecting kale from the garden, I cut a few extra wondering if they might make a fun paintbrush.

The Sprouts - Hungry for some Bee-bim Bop!

Sprouting Our Beans


We are sprouting our beans today. Stop back Wednesday for more menu ideas.

The Sprouts - Apppppplessssss


During the last two weeks, I’ve noticed when I send apples in O’s lunch they aren’t eaten. Initially I cut them. But of course they turned brown. Then I tried sending a whole apple but it got sent back two times. I asked him if he was just full or didn’t want apples. He said, “I like it better cut up. But I don’t like them brown.”

The scenario reminded me of a Sid The Science Kid episode. Recently O’s interest in Sid re-emerged and on his first day of school he wanted us to call up the stairs…. Breakfast Time, as he ran down with a microphone emulating Sid’s famous….BREAKFAST TIIIIIIIIME (you know what I mean, if you’ve seen the PBS show http://pbskids.org/sid/videoplayer.html). Since there is lots of interest in experiments around here, I decided to pose the question⎯ “Why does a cut apple turn brown?”

The Sprouts - Eggplant Extravaganza


I’ve found a new book to add to our collection. It is called Food For Thought by Saxton Freymann and Joost Elffers. It is a food-filled book of shapes, colors, numbers, letters and opposites. We’ve renewed it from the library several times; Skoogie just does not want to see it go. It has all of the food art ideas that you read about but just never get around to doing…number one – the time; number two - it just becomes too overwhelming and the creative juices are zapped even just thinking about trying to get all of the supplies needed; number three - usually it’s enough to get food on the table and eaten let alone make art projects out of it! The book does it for you!! The photographs are brilliant with bright filled colors and lots of texture. It is the perfect kind of book for Skoogie!

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