Monday, March 29, 2010

Crayon Physics

Joey and I had THE BEST time playing Crayon Physics at The Museum of Life and Science in Durham today. I highly recommend you check out the new Contraptions exhibit, where the computer hosting this game sits, the next time you go to the museum or download the demo or full game at home. I was impressed that Joey, at 7, was willing to try 20-30 times to clear a level. He was very persistent and seemed to really be learning a lot. It's plenty entertaining for adults too! The whole Contraptions exhibit was great fun today as well. More on that later!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Introducing Barley

I didn't watch Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution last week. But what I was reminded of by the print and TV news media is that home cooked meals are important, and the person buying the groceries and preparing the food has a lot of control over what food their kids eat and how healthy their kids are. So.........

We typically do our weekly grocery shopping on Sunday, and when we were in the store today, I was looking for some new fun and healthy things to eat. A box of Quaker Barley came into view. I read the soup recipe on the box, and an idea was born. Why not make the soup for dinner.

Now the boys and I are not strangers to cooking together. As a matter of fact, I've been cooking with the boys since they could pull the stepping stool up to the counter. But, with the pressures of working full time, trying to get through homework, and all the things that seem to take away our time these days, it's been getting less and less. Frozen pizza and lasagna are weekly staples:-(

I told the boys we'd make soup for dinner, showed them the box, explained that barley would be kindof like rice in the soup, and let them help me pick out the rest of the ingredients.

Back at home, Johnny chopped the onion, Joey browned the hamburger, Joey peeled the carrots, I cut the carrots, and Joey rinsed and cut the celery. We added in some bay leafs and basil and a can of diced tomatoes. Oh, and the barley with water and beef boullon. Simmer and wa la!

Now Johnny won't eat chunks of tomato and Joey steered clear of the celery, but mostly they ate their bowl of soup. I sure enjoyed mine. It sure was nice to have a real, hearty meal. And, there's even leftovers for tomorrow!

The recipe is here. Of course I took a few liberties with it, but what I made was close.

If you haven't cooked with or for someone you love lately, maybe this will be inspiring. I make no promises to make as good a meal every night, but I would like to have a goal of adding more home cooked and healthy food choice meals back into our lives.