Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Easy Mounds Fudge Made in the Microwave

Everyone is doing a lot of baking during this quarantine.  I feel like every week Scarlett and I are in the kitchen baking something tasty.  It's hard for me to resist any chocolate or sweet treat, especially fudge.  Fudge is a great end of year gift for your child's teacher too! There's nothing like a satisfying treat to make your tummy happy.

Many people don't realize that fudge isn't a complicated process to make.  You don't need candy thermometers or anything fancy to make it, and I bet you have all of the ingredients already in your kitchen pantry.  What I love about fudge is how versatile it is. You can do a plain fudge flavor like chocolate or peanut butter, or you can mix it up and make it your own in a creative way like with crushed pretzels.  However you choose to make it, I'm sure it'll be fabulous and tasty.

Since I'm a big lover of coconut and chocolate together, I chose to make Mounds fudge.  To make this yummy treat, all you need is a 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk, a bag of chocolate chips, and a bag of flaked coconut. Oh, and don't forget a microwave too! :) 

This is probably the easiest and fastest dessert to make.  You'll be amazed at how you can have it ready to go in just a few minutes!

If you're a fan of Mounds candy bars, you'll go absolutely nuts for this out of this world fudge.  There's nothing like the sweet taste of chocolate mixed with coconut.  The flavor is truly unbeatable.

The fudge makes a perfect holiday gift for Christmas as well when put in a pretty holiday themed tin or even wrapped in a clear cello bag that's tied with a green or red ribbon.  Anyone with a sweet tooth would love to receive fudge any time of the year.

You'll be left with delicious fudge that your friends and family will gobble up in no time.  I can guarantee you'll be asked to make it time and time again.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Jack is 9 Months Old!

Jack turned 9 months old on May 8th! Here's what's going on with him lately:

Jack still has no teeth.  He's able to eat soft foods well since babies have very strong gums.  He loves salmon and had salmon, diced strawberries, and mac and cheese for dinner the other night.  He's able to eat everything well and is a good eater.  On Mother's Day I made rosemary chicken, crispy oven potatoes, and roasted carrots for dinner.  

My tiny boy absolutely went nuts for the chicken and the potatoes and just kept shoveling everything in.  I think he ate solidly for about 45 minutes! I was shocked at how long he was eating! He's a fan of mom's cooking, I think! He does a mix of puree's and table food still.  As long as you give him something soft and easy to eat, he'll eat it.  I haven't seen him refuse any food so far.  Jack also loves Ritz crackers for a snack and his eyes get big if you show him the crackers, which is funny to watch.

I'm sad to admit that Jack's favorite person is not me.  He is wild for my husband Jay and if he sees him, his whole face lights up.  I wish I was his favorite person! Even Lynnie loves Jay more than me.  What is it about Jay that is so amazing!? Ha ha.  Jack always gives him a big smile and loves for his dad to hold him.

Since the weather has been warmer, we've been outside a lot more.  Jack loves to be pushed in his swing and will happily be pushed for up to half an hour before saying that's enough.  He enjoys sitting in his bumbo on the grass watching Scarlett play as he takes the world in. Jack is also a fan of his Step 2 blue car which I push him around the neighborhood in.  He's very quiet and rides silently, just loving life.

Jack is still not crawling yet.  Scarlett crawled at 7 months, and he's already 9 months.  I know all babies do things on their own terms, but I do want to bring this up to the pediatrician next week when we go for his appt.  He gets into the crawling position and then one of his legs seems to always get stuck underneath him and he gets frustrated.  I will say that he's a champ at sitting up himself when he's laying down.

I'm actively trying to read to him more, play nursery rhyme songs, and just generally speak to him to build his vocabulary.  Since he's the second child, he's not going to have that one-on-one for learning like Scarlett did.  I'm trying my best to have him know everything he should know!

He loves to babble to himself and has a lot of groans and grunts which I call "dinosaur noises", because he truly sounds like a dinosaur when he does it.  I think it's funny, although Scarlett is not interested! Ha ha!

He is a pretty good sleeper.  He usually wakes up around 6:30 for the day and takes a morning nap by 8:15-8:30.  He wakes up around 10:30 and then has an afternoon nap around 12:30-1.  Then there's a final mini nap around 4, right before dinner.  Jack goes to sleep for the night at 7 pm.  He has a bottle that he wakes up for around 11, and then sleeps through the night after that.  I do wish that we could cut out the 11 pm bottle, but it's still so much better than when he used to wake up at 4.  If we didn't have the quarantine going on, I would have never been able to put him on a schedule.  So I'm looking on the bright side of things and am thankful for that.  

Jack is curious and will roll himself towards an object to touch it.  We have to be careful not to have small toys or pieces around that could be choking hazards.  Scarlett plays with her Polly Pockets which are tiny when he's napping, so he's not awake to try to grab them and put them in his mouth. He is also interested in wires too.  Oh boy.

His helmet is coming off later today which is exciting! Those 10.5 weeks went by fast.

I do wish I was able to socialize Jack more, but I can't because of the virus.  Right before the virus hit we were going to baby playdates and library story-times every week.  Unfortunately, we can't continue that right now.  It would be nice if he was around other babies though.

Jack is still wearing 6-9 month clothes and I'm not sure what he weighs at the moment.  He was 17 lbs at his 6 month appt so I'm sure he's over 20 lbs at this point.

His first birthday is in August and we're hoping to have his fire truck themed party, but only time will tell if we'll be able to.

Can't wait to see what the coming months bring! 

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Teaching Children About Cooking is Essential

As I was putting Jack to bed tonight, I heard Scarlett asking the Echo Show how to make homemade ice cream.  Although we weren't going to make ice cream, it made me smile because I knew that seeing the video recipe would pique her interest.  

I started having Scarlett help me in the kitchen at around 3 1/2 years old.  She would mix or stir something I was cooking and it was a great way for her to feel involved.  We graduated to kid-safe knives later on that Scarlett enjoyed using to help me cut potatoes or raw peppers with.  

As my prep chef helped me, I explained to her along the way what exactly we were making and what ingredients were needed for the dish.  For example, if we were making roasted potatoes I would show and tell her how exactly to cut the potatoes, what seasoning was needed, and how long to cook them in the oven for.  Even though some of my teaching would go over her head, I knew teaching her to cook at a young age would be beneficial. Cooking is a life-skill that everyone needs to know.  I definitely want Scarlett to have the basic knowledge of how to boil water for pasta, as well as how to make easy dishes for herself, like scrambled eggs.  

Scarlett's favorite thing is helping me bake sweet treats though.  It makes my heart happy to know that she knows the basic ingredients of baking are flour, sugar, and eggs.  She also knows that you grease baking pans so the baked goods don't stick.  I have a passion for cooking and baking, so of course I'm thrilled to pass my love for it on to her.  Scarlett helps me measure, pour, and stir and the measuring helps to teach her math.  What can be better than making something tasty while gaining valuable math skills at the same time? 

Lately, I have been supervising her as she cooks ground beef or chicken with the stove burners on.  Scarlett knows that once the meat is no longer red or pink, it's done. She's excited to cook and it gives her a feeling of accomplishment which is mandatory for self-confidence.

As she gets older, I will teach her more and more and answer any questions she has.  I hope we can cook together for many years in the kitchen and her love for cooking deepens over time.  Maybe eventually she'll teach me some recipes I've never made.