Around the World in 12 Dishes: India

Welcome to “Around The World in 12 Dishes”. As we travel around the world we’re going to learn about 12 different countries as we eat 12 different dishes. 
Adventures In Mommydom, Creative Family Fun, Glittering Muffins, Juggling with Kids, Kitchen Counter Chronicles, Make, Do & Friends, Mermaids’ Makings, Mom 2 Posh Little Divas, Mummymummymum, Rainy Day Mum, Red Ted Art and The Educators’ Spin On It have come together to help you on your food journey and will each cook a dish with our children and post about it – to help inspire you to have a go! Then go out there, cook, blog, and join in the linky fun!


I’m gonna start this off by saying I’m not a big fan of Indian food.  Mainly because I don’t like curry.  So my personal mission was to find something that didn’t involve curry.  And I did.

But to make it I needed tandori paste.  So, we went to our local Indian grocery.
We explored the differences between our grocery store and what they have.  It’s a fun experience.  They have many of the same things, but have a few interesting additions.  Namely spices, and specialty items.  I highly encourage you to go check out the different cultural grocery stores.  I know my area has Mexican, Asian, and Indian.  I look forward to seeing what others we have.  We’ve now gone to the Asian and Indian markets.

But, we got the items we needed: tandori paste, and I got some more sesame oil.  I love to use that for cooking.  It’s got a great flavor.

INGREDIENTS: chicken breasts, tandori paste, cucumbers, onion, yogurt


1.  Pound the chicken to about 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch thickness.  Princess quite happily helped me pound it flat.

Side note, this is a good time to trim off the fat, it wasn’t included in the directions.


2.  Measure out 1/4 cup of tandroi paste.  Pour into galon sized ziploc bag.  Measure out 1 cup of plain yogurt.

3.  Smush it all together.  This was quite popular with Princess.

4.  Mince 1/2 onion.  Add into the sauce.  Then put in chicken breasts and let marinate for several hours.

5.  While it’s marinating take about 1 cup of plain yogurt, the cucumber peeled and diced, and 1/4 cup of minced onion together for the sauce.

6.  Cook the chicken.  You can grill it or cook in oven at 375 for 10 minutes or so.

Serve with pita bread or rice.  I was lucky and had a friend make fresh pitas for me (SCORE!).

END RESULT: While they kids enjoyed cooking it, after I tried it, and discovered it was almost too spicy for me.  I did not serve it to the kids.  I knew that would be a horrible idea.  Horrible, horrible idea.  So, I can’t give you their opinion.  I knew they would not like it.
Have you ever had a recipe you were sure was going to work go so horribly wrong?

Around the World in 12 Dishes
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Maine: Wakame Gatherers

I probalby wouldn’t have classified this as a Maine book because it takes place mainly in Japan, but I was VERY short on books about Maine.


VERY short.


But, it does do a comparison of Japan and Maine, and it’s an incredibly cute story.  CRAZY CUTE!



The Wakame Gatherers is a story about a girl from two cultures.  One of her parents is from Japan and one is from the United States.  She spends time with both grandmothers.


This particular time, the grandmother from Maine is visiting Japan and learning about how to harvest seaweed and the many different types and how it is used.


And there was my tie in……


In the book they compare different ways sea weed is used in the two countries.  The main thing my kids remember.  Sea weed is used in Miso soup and in ice cream.




After reading everyone drew/wrote 4 different ways sea weed is used by people.  Then they colored their favorite ways with their favorite color.  The boys expanded on this to also color their least favorite way with their least favorite color……  Hence the purple/pink monstrosity up above.


Most common favorite thing: ice cream.


There wasn’t a common least favorite.  My boys were all in favor of miso soup, another kid loved sushi.  It was a fun discussion.



Dragons, dragons, dragons

I saw this on a blog, and I’m sorry but I didn’t clip it to remember where.  I know I followed a link from Crafty Crow.

Supplies: egg carton, construction paper, paint, yarn, hole punch


1.  Sorry, this picture is from a later step, but this lets you see what you need.  Cut your egg carton off  with 4 of the egg holes.  Also cut off 2 of the segments to make the eyes.
Now cut apart the top and bottom of the carton.  This lets you use it as a puppet.


2.  Paint your egg cartons.  Of course this requires insanely large amounts of paint and colors.
If you’re trying for an Asian inspired dragon then use lots and lots of bright colors!


3.  From the construction paper cut out and glue on flames, or whatever cool shape you want.


4.  Glue on the eyes.  I used markers to draw eyes in the middle.  I think the boys did more paint.

Hmmm, I have no clue how Superman got the injury on his chin.

005  5.  Punch a hole about an inch in on both sides on the top and bottom.
Cut a piece of string about six inches long, and feed it through both holes.  Then tie it off.  This will let your kids use it as a puppet when it’s all dried off.


6.  Cut a piece of tissue paper in half, and then glue it around the top of this.  This step is rather tricky and is a “Mommy step,” unless your kids are much older and more careful than mine.

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Then have an awesome dragon flight.

Asian studies, but in reality China



Here we go, my library had a lot of books, I’ve got most of the ones we read recorded here, and pretty much only included the ones they actually enjoyed.  Lon Po Po is the only one they were lukewarm on, but I wanted to make sure to include the Chinese Red Riding Hood because it amuses me to see “our fairy tales” in different cultures.


And here’s the nonfiction books, I just noticed that half of these are about pandas.  That’s really kind of funny.  Here ya go::


All right, now I have everything saved, so I can safely return these to the library and not get anymore fines……  Not that I was getting fines, oh wait I was getting a lot of fines, or was about to.


I had been wanting to wait and put this up until we were all done with the lapbook, but since I”m putting continents on indefinite hold, I might as well let you know the great books we found, and the activities we did.  Who knows, it may spark an idea for someone else.




We learned how tea is made, and figured out it is best made in hot water.








We went to the Asian market and learned about making noodles.






And, I almost forgot (because it’s not tagged Asia).  We learned about making explosives in honor of China inventing gun powder.  And, I learned not to approach the homemade rocket for a long time after it’s supposed to of exploded.  Ouch……..




And, I apparently still need to write a post about this, so I’ll do that later today, hopefully.  Or maybe not because I’m supposed to be helping pack a friend’s house.



Other ideas that we didn’t do, or they didn’t work out:  making paper, making a kite (I had found an excellent tutorial, but it just so did not work for us).  Maybe later when I’m not feeling vaguely sick I’ll look up all the links I had found to share with you.


Now, head on over to Jule this week at Just Playin’ Around to see other geography and history posts.


There, I finally got this out of my drafts to be finished……..

Science Sunday: How is tea made?


As you may recall Batman asked a few weeks ago how tea is made, but at the time I wanted to blow something up.  That and I wanted to look it up to make sure I would be able to explain it well.  I was thinking it was something to do with diffusion.
I found this site, it’s a PDF with an experiment, that does a good job explaining it all, but it wasn’t really making tea, but it gave me a general concept to work around.
And by the way, when I googled tea diffusion I came up with all sorts of things that weren’t even remotely close to what I wanted, but were a bunch of high school chemistry stuff.  We’re so not there.
001Supplies needed: water (boiling hot, room temperature, and ice water), tea bags, clear cups to be able to see the change or measuring cups.  And excuse the messy counter.
First we all predicted which would make tea fastest, general co census (didn’t know that was two words) is the cold water according to their predictions.  I think Princess might have said hot.  I was doing this super quick before leaving to get last minute things for the wedding yesterday, so I didn’t really follow “scientific procedure,” more of we had fun and got it done, and then they drank very sweet tea.
Then the kids had lots of fun stirring around the different teas and putting their fingers in.  I did figure out if we do this again to always make sure to use the same teas in every one of them.  The two colder ones were chocolate chai, and it looked darker faster because they were a darker tea than the mint tea I used in the hot water.

The kids also noticed it became tea faster as they moved the tea bags.  They also discovered they didn’t like it when they broke open the tea bags and dropped the tea leaves all over their tea.

Afterwards they had lots of fun drinking their different teas with two lumps of sugar (special treat of extra sugar).

Scientific mumbo jumbo: Because the molecules in warm water move faster the tea forms faster in the hot water.  I also learned that tea is not made through diffusion, but through osmosis because the water is moving through the tea bag, not the tea moving out into the water.  Interesting, no?

Now, it’s your turn, what have you done this week?

Preschool Corner: North Carolina and more


Well, last week was one of those not so productive weeks, but wait until you see the upcoming week.  I’m presenting at our local mops group, and so I wanted lots of examples to share.
014So as per usual we’ve been reading lots and lots of books.  This is a picture of 5 or so of them so I would remember them for my WMCIR post.  We’ve taken to grabbing about 4 books at a time and just sitting and reading all of them in a marathon streak.  By we, I really mean me.  But, they’ve been enjoying this, and I get several requests to read some of the books again.
The boys are continuing to move along in their reading skills.  They’re pretty good at sounding out/have memorized the books they can read, but they’re still struggling with some of the sight words, so I need to work on some games or their cards.  Princess is at the point I’m thinking I’ll actually start working on her reading.  Right now I’ve been making a sound and having her find that sound in the books her brothers’ are reading.  She’s been enjoying that.

068So, the kids are moving on in math.  We’ve started doing representational addition.  And I’m thinking I’ll probably start trying to do at least a couple of these a morning.  They also desperately want to buy everything, but most of their money is in coins.  So I made the printable below for them to figure out how many dollars they had.  Now if I can just keep the boys from mixing their money, all would be well.  And, I just want to complain that Microsoft has no good clip art of coins.  Really, these were the best I could find and I really wanted to have both heads and tails (and I will not get started on my rant of how hard it is to train kids about coins when the government keeps changing them).  Oh well, maybe later I’ll get out my coin stamps from my teaching days and use those.
Money Match Up


005We attempted to fly paper airplanes and make predictions about which would go furthest, that didn’t work out so well.  Oh well.  If you want to see more go here, and I got a lot of great suggestions of how to fix the experiment.  So, I really want to blow something up this week in honor of China having discovered black gunpowder, but I’m scared to look it up on Google or something in case I get tagged for looking up explosives.  So, I need to get some serious looking down between now (on Tuesday) and Friday.  Batman has decided our experiment this week is finding out how tea is made.  So, we may go with that less exciting, but not likely to get me on a government watch list idea.


022 We learned about North Carolina, and as usual my lapbook is not put together, nor is the one about California.  The only hands on activity we did was the flying airplanes for science, but we read a fair number of books, but nothing that really went “OH, this would make a great activity!”
Now China!  That I’m swimming in ideas, and I don’t know quite how we’ll put it all together, but then Asia is the first continent I’ve been able to come up with something besides animals.  Our library had nothing that was age appropriate for South America or Australia to read, but I’m thinking I’ll swing back to those two later to do some more crafts, besides I’ve got all the goodies from Elise at Inspiration Surrounds, Creativity Abounds to add in now, and my kids would love them.



They continue to create “art” out of whatever they find.  Here Superman is adding stickers to a page he cut out of a coloring book.  He then delivers these to whomever.  I don’t have a picture of it, but his brother drew a masterpiece on a wipe.  Inspired his sister took it a step further and used a Kleenex.  Don’t ask me how.

When we went out to lunch the other day a very nice older gentleman asked if he could give our kids this dump truck, and we said yes.  So the kids happily took turns pushing it around the outside of Olive Garden while we waited for our table to be called. 

The boys continue to play Jump Start as often as they can.  Really, I have to pry them off of it.  Not that I really set that great of an example.  They’ve also added Lego Batman on the PS3 into their obsession rotation.  That’s slightly frustrating because they can’t quite play it on their own, and need help fairly often.

Princess and I went out to get the last of the clothes we need for my Mom’s wedding (except my boots, which I forgot to get, I need to check if the ones I have that aren’t cowboy are okay), and she spent most of the night telling her friends on her “phone” what we were doing “We’re going to the little room to dress Mommy now, okay I need to go potty!”  What is it about a young child that they need to go potty as soon as you’re undressed and not able to take them?  Really?  I mean we went 4 times in less than an hour.

Don’t forget to enter my CSN giveaway, it’s ending soon, but you still have a few more days to enter.

And, finally head on over to Homeschool Creations for more great preschool and kinder ideas.

stART: The Story of Noodles

Hmmmm…….  It got mad at me when I tried to put in the button today.  Maybe I’ll try to add it at the bottom


So, we read this series of books last week, and it’s a fun set of stories.  It’s about 3 brothers who are trying to solve different problems.  They were popular enough I think we’ve read them a couple of times.  Well, this inspired us to try and make noodles.


We used the recipe found here.  And as happens all too often when I try a new recipe I discovered a few details I had neglected to notice when deciding we were going to do this, mainly that after you mix you’re supposed to let it sit for two hours.  Well, that was so not going to happen.

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As you can see, it’s really a rather messy process.  I was very glad for the pasta maker Jeff’s parents had given him at some point, because rolling that out?  No thank you, the only problem was the part that should have cut them into noodles wasn’t working right, so we had to hand slice them, and I figured out afterwards I needed to cut thinner noodles.

I left some out overnight and the next morning Batman had quite a lot of fun shredding them into little bitty pieces.



But really, for something I had no idea what we were doing they turned out pretty yummy.  I also promised Jeff no more deciding to try projects like this on weeknights, especially not if we have plans for other things that night.

My husband is a wise man, I really should not have tried it then, or at least not without learning more beforehand.  Oh well, they were really yummy, and the other part of our excursion was a definite success.


We went to our local Chinese grocery store, now if we were in a bigger town I would say to learn about Asia (and more specifically China) head over to Chinatown, but we don’t have that, we have a shopping mall.  So we head to our local Hong Kong Market and wandered through the stores.



They were absolutely intrigued with the different vegetables they had, and how we have some of the same vegetables at HEB.

But, the big hit of the trip?




The cat fish tank.  At HEB my kids always want to sit and gawk at the lobster tank.  Now imagine this tank going from their eye level up to the ceiling and you’ve got the effect.  They loved it.

Princess is also happy because I got her a new bigger tea pot, I’m happy because I’m not having to refill it as often (so big secret here, if your little girl is a tea party maniac and you’re willing to let her have a ceramic pot, head over to your local Chinese grocery store, and they have great prices on tea pots galore).

Oh, and here’s my favorite photo of the whole trip:


Isn’t that awesome?




So for more great geography ideas head on over to Debbie at Children Grow, Children Explore, Children Learn. And for more great book inspired art (making noodles is a type of art, isn’t it?) head on over to A Mommy’s Adventures.

What did we read this week? Oh, that’s right


I learned something this week.  I can only check out 45 books from the library at a time, they gave me special dispensation to have out 56 just this once, because they might be behind on checking in books.  But, this was said very grudgingly, so all of the books I’m talking about were taken back to the library as soon as they were read, so the librarian wouldn’t glare at me again. 


So, our books went all over, China, North Carolina, and I think Montana.


You know, now that I look at it, I don’t think we actually read that Tiger book, I think it’s another.  Oh well, the tiger book was good, so I’ll have to search it out.


Wee and the Wright Brothers– this was a clever take on the Wright brothers building their plane.  We really enjoyed reading about it, and I didn’t know that they were travelling between their home in Ohio (I think, already returned the book, so I can’t double check) and North Carolina.


Blackbeard’s Last Fight– I would not really recommend this for preschoolers.  The syntax and amount of words are a little long for their interest level, and at the end Blackbeard is beheaded and his body thrown in the water.  My kids then obsessed about his body being eaten by sharks.  Lesson learned, stick to more cartoony pirate books.


The Adventures of Miss Pace– very cute book about a teacher who goes to a dude ranch for the summer to find two of her students have followed her.  It felt to me like this was set more up North, but I have no solid reasoning for it.  The kids really thought this was funny, and the twin boys who kept showing up kept cracking them up.


Animagical Colors– Cute riddle book with colors, and the riddles were not patently obvious, so that was enjoyable.  So many of these books you look at it and know before you read the words what it is.  I think a few of them were a bit of a stretch, but it was fun to read.


The Story of Chopsticks and The Story of Noodles–  These are two books in a series of books about how different things in China were invented, and we really enjoyed the interactions of the three boys.  And, later this week you’ll get to see a funny post about our art project or food project……


Tiger– that’s the link to the actual Tiger book we read (though I think we have checked the other one out, I checked out about 5 of them).  Honestly I don’t know how much they liked this and how much was their just wanting me to keep reading so they could keep drawing and putting stickers everywhere.  I thought it was a bit simple, but they would have loved it a year ago, and it would have been perfect then, hence why I checked it out.   I know we’d read others from this series before and loved them.


Now for more of these great book recommendations, and maybe ones written a little less tongue in cheek, go over to Natalie’s blog over at Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns.   Which, I’ll probably actually link up to tonight, I’m off to a MOPS conference tomorrow, I get to learn how to be a better Creative Activities director.  I’m guessing it’ll be full of important tips like don’t eat the glue.  Seriously, I’m guessing it’ll be a blast, but since I’m leading the discussion, I better have some clue what I’m doing.