Friday, September 10, 2010

Learning Our Days of the Week

Mary Catherine is 3 now and Jake is 2 so they can both sing the "Days of the Week Song."  They love to sing it, but it became obvious that they did not quite grasp the concept of the seven weekdays.  Mary Catherine is extremely curious and she is always asking me, "Mommy, what are we going to do today?"  I found that it was really helpful for her to know what was coming up in the week so we decided to make a picture calendar of our typical week together.  I didn't want to turn this into a work of art that took 3 hours so I simply cut a rectangle out of poster board and divided it into 7 sections.  From there we looked through magazines and used markers to draw pictures of what activity we do on each weekday.  Here's how it turned out...
We hung it on her closet door so she can see it when we wake up each day.  As you can see Saturday and Sunday have happy faces because my kids refer to the two days Daddy is home all day as "Super Happy Fun Day."  Monday, Wednesday, and Friday are school days.  Tuesday is ballet and Thursday we go to the Fun Zone (an indoor jumpy place if you hadn't already figured that out).  Like I said it is not exactly a masterpiece, but it fits the bill.  She loves looking forward to the next day and she is really getting the concept of the seven weekdays.  Have fun with it!

Avocado Pound Cake

Okay before you make an ugly face, hear me out...  What you may not know is that avocado has been used as a butter substitute for some time.  It is rich and high in healthy fats and it really works well in sweet recipes.

Not long ago my husband and I used to live in Nashville (oh, how I miss it there- but that's another story).  I used to take my kids to a park there that had the most incredible homemade popsicle place almost across the street.  The place is called Las Paletas and if you live in Nashville or ever pass through you MUST stop there.  They make everything from scratch and they have the most unusual gourmet flavors (hibiscus, oatmeal raisin, and creamy lime just to name a few).  I think my all-time favorite was their avocado popsicle though.  It was then that I learned how well avocados could slip into my sweet recipes and thus began my quest to bake with them.

This recipe comes from another of my favorite foodie blogs Joy The Baker- check it out!

You will need:
  • 2 9x4x3 inch loaf pans
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter (at room temp)
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tsp good vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 heaping cup of avocado mashed (1 1/2 to 2 avocados)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour two loaf pans.  Set aside.
  2. In medium bowl sift together flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.  Set aside.  
  3. In another bowl beat butter on medium speed until soft and pliable.  Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 4 min).  
  4. Add the avocado and beat another minute to incorporate.  Scrape down the side of the bowl.  
  5. Add the eggs one at a time, beating 1 minute after the addition of each egg.  Beat in vanilla extract.
  6. Reduce mixer speed to low and add half of the flour mixture, all of the buttermilk, and then the rest of the flour.  Beat just until combined.  
  7. Divide dough between the 2 pans and place in the oven.  Reduce heat to 325 degrees.  Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack to cool completely.  (My cakes ended up needing an extra 10 minutes added to the baking time)