Tuesday, November 25, 2014

It's Ime-tay Oo-tay Eak-Spay Ig-pay Atin-lay

     I'm in trouble.  I discovered that I can no longer get away with spelling things in my house when I don't want Monkey to know what I'm talking about.  I should have seen this coming.  I mean, she's known several small words for a while now, but she has come to that point where she is sounding words out and actively reading, so she's gotten even better at deciphering J's and my secret code.  Sunday we decided we would surprise her by taking her to see Big Hero 6, and when I asked J what time the m-o-v-i-e started, she perked up and said, "I wanna watch a movie!"  I guess it's time to break out the Pig Latin...

     Speaking of Monkey, I know it's only Tuesday, but I have never appreciated Kindergarten so much as I did yesterday afternoon by about 12:30.  I love my daughter, and I have been looking forward to spending extra time with her for weeks, but I forgot how much work it is to keep her busy all day.  I commend all you stay-at-home moms out there.  It's a full time job.  As I mentioned in my last post, we're working on a few projects to learn about properties of water, and yesterday we focused on reversible change, or more simply put, freezing and melting.  After breakfast, I let her watch this episode of Sid the Science Kid while I set up our experimenting station (aka while I cleared off the table).  After the show was over we talked about how water can change to ice and back to water again, and that's why it's called a reversible change.  Then we pulled out our frozen "Sink or Float" experiment, and she recorded her findings.  Next I asked her how she thought she could get her toys out of the ice, and she came up with some excellent ideas ranging from lighting a fire under them, to using the microwave, to sticking the whole thing in the oven to melt the water.  I gently steered her towards using hot water to melt the ice, after all it seemed the safest route.  

     After this experiment she decided clothes were over rated, declared it Pajama Day, and then came back downstairs for more experiments.  I was ready for her.  The night before I had filled three balloons with water.  I made them different sizes, one small, one medium, and one large.  I took them out and instructed Monkey to peel the balloon off and use the frozen balls to create a snowman.  Of course, I had to start singing "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?" while she worked.

     I had Monkey sprinkle a bit of salt between each ball to help them hold together.

     Next, she decorated her snowman using some construction paper cut-outs and salt to help them stick.

     With the snowman finally assembled, I asked Monkey to hypothesize how long she thought it would take our snowman to melt.  She said until the next next, so I had her record her hypothesis of 24 hours and draw the experiment.  I set an alarm to sound every hour so we could record the progress, and every hour Monkey drew a picture of what was going on with our science snowman.  Her hypothesis was incorrect; it only took 7 hours and 26 minutes for our snowman to melt completely.  She recorded these results too before helping me clean him up.

    Now, this experiment was loosely based off of this experiment I found on Pinterest, but I just looked at the picture without reading the instructions (shame on me) so I didn't realize they made two snowmen, putting one outside and one inside to see which would melt faster.  I froze six more water-filled balloons so that we could do that version of the experiment today.  

    I realize that lately most of my blogs focus on kid crafts or kid lunches, and some of you are only here for the recipes (I'm onto you), so it's only fair that I give you what you came for, right?  Well here you go!  This is my favorite hamburger recipe from Paula Deen, and believe or not, no butter was harmed in the making of these burgers. ;-)

Paula Deen's Loaded Juicy Beef Burgers
3 lbs ground beef
1 (8 oz) package baby bella mushrooms, finely chopped
2 TBS prepared horseradish
2 TBS Worcestershire sauce
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients.  Gently shape into 10 patties.  Spray grill rack with nonstick nonflammable cooking spray.  Preheat grill to medium-high heat (350-400 degrees).  Grill burgers, covered with grill lid, for 5-6 minutes per side or until thermometer inserted into the thickest portion reads 165 degrees.  Serve with homemade buns (recipe to follow), pickles, sliced tomatoes, slice onions, lettuce, ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, cheddar cheese, or any of your favorite hamburger toppings.

Homemade Hamburger Buns
from Taste of Home
2 TBS active dry yeast
1 cup plus 2 TBS warm water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp salt
3 to 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

In a large bowl dissolve yeast in water.  Add oil and sugar.  Let stand for 5 minutes.  Add egg, salt and flour to form a soft dough.  Turn out onto a floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 3-5 minutes.  Do not let rise; immediately divide into 12 pieces (for bigger rolls, divide into fewer pieces).  Shape each piece into a ball.  Place 3 inches apart on a greased baking sheet.  Cover and let rise for 10 minutes.  Bake at 425 for 8-12 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from oven and cool on wire racks.


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