Saturday, May 03, 2014

Saturday's Supper - Strawberry Sensation

Ok, so it's clearly been a bake like a crazy person type of week. If you missed the latest Wellness Wednesday feature about the Blueberry-Orange Muffin Cake you must go back and check it out. The recipe was so easy and worked great for breakfast.

Today I want to share something that's definitely a dessert, though I won't judge you if you decide to have it for breakfast. I actually came across the recipe because I was trying to figure out something to bring for Sunday dinner at my parents house and my mom said the recipe was super easy and yummy. Trust mom... She knows... This recipe was so easy and delish! Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Strawberry Sensation
Hawaii's Best Local Desserts - Jean Watanabe Hee

Cake:
1 box yellow cake mix or white cake mix
1 box instant vanilla pudding (3-oz)
4 eggs
3/4 cup oil
1 cup water

Mix ingredients. Pour into greased and floured 9x13-inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until done. Cool.

Topping:
1 box instant vanilla pudding (3-oz)
1 container frozen strawberries (16-oz)
Liquid from frozen strawberries and milk to make 1 cup
1 package cream cheese (8-oz), softened
1 container Cool Whip (8-oz)

Mix together instant pudding and the 1 cup liquid; add 1/2 of drained strawberries and cream cheese. Mix until smooth. Fold in Cool Whip. Frost cake and decorate with remaining strawberries.

Modifications:
* We used fresh sliced strawberries to decorate the cake instead of using the frozen berries. Frozen would probably work fine, especially if fresh berries aren't in season.
* I am sure this cake would be great with other berries and other pudding/cake flavor combinations. I could see myself using this as a base recipe and changing it up to fit what I've got on hand or what sounds good at the time.

Friday, May 02, 2014

Family Friday - Toddler Class

Hello! I am excited to share something new Russell is doing. Toddler Class at the Kauri Sue Hamilton School! He's been seeing a speech therapist for quite some time now because he was behind in his speech development and because of his birth experience he has qualified for a variety of early intervention services. Russell seems to be doing far better than the worst case scenarios they thought he might face but I am also not one to wait around and see what happens if I can help him have the support he needs to develop on track.

Russell loves to learn and try new things.
As a part of his in home speech visits he qualifies to go for an hour and a half once a week for three weeks in the month to a toddler class. I actually don't even have to drop him off because it happens while I'm still at work but I was totally nervous for him to be all on his own. Since he was born we've never left him with anyone but family and this was going to be a new place, new adults, and new kids he's never seen before... They'd expect him to participate in activities, eat snacks, and interact with the other kids... All while we weren't there!!! (I get it, eventually you have to let your kids go to school and do things on there own but it is a little scary. Moms {and Dads} who cry dropping their kids off at Kindergarten, I feel you!) I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best when my mom and husband dropped him off for the first session and then anxiously waited to find out how things went.

So fun! I have the bottom one on my desk at work. It's shaped like an egg for Easter.
Luckily it sounds like he had a lot off fun and will be learning a lot of great things! The people seem like they are really nice (according to my husband, I still haven't gone out there myself) and they have some good processes in place to ensure that not just anyone can walk into the classroom and take a kid out unless they are the parent or other authorized person.

I would like fresh fruit, cookies, and chocolate pudding. :)
Russell has been twice now and I have noticed that he seems to be recognizing some of the words they are learning in the classroom. Currently the words are all about the weather. Things like cloud, wind, sun, rain, etc. Luckily for us Russell loves being outside so he is picking up on these words pretty well. He can't say them all yet but when it rained the other day I pointed at the clouds and the rain and told him what they were and he was very attentive in looking at what we were talking about. I have also found that he is able to focus on making solid eye contact and looking at my mouth when I'm saying words we want him to learn. I think he'll pick up more and more words and one day I'm sure I'll be on here cursing the fact he won't stop talking. :) For now it will be exciting for him to put together simple sentences and phrases.

When did your kid(s) start talking? Did you have to participate in any sort of early intervention services with your kids? Are there any fun games you've done with your 2-3 year old? I'm always looking for new fun things we can do together at home to support his development.