Foodie Friday: Re-Usable Squeeze Pouches

I’ve had two things on my mind lately that I’ve been wanting to do something about.

1. My three little boys eat SO MUCH FOOD. It’s great that they have hearty appetites, but “snacks” have been costing us a lot of money.

2. Try as I may, my boys are extremely selective about eating vegetables. My twins did great when they were infants eating whatever baby food I made for them, but now that they are almost 18 months, they are putting up much more of a stink. They just won’t eat them.

So, I’ve been trying to find a happy medium between quick snacks and healthy snacks. I found that my kids were eating mostly fruits and processed carbs, so I’ve been really wanting to find a way to get vegetables back into their diets.

I have always loved how simple and healthy all of the fruit and vegetable squeeze packs are; like the Go-Go Squeeze packs if that helps you put a picture to my description. However, they are on the more expensive side and it always kind of bugged me that each pack only gave me one use.

I ended up buying my own re-usable pouches that I can put my own fruit/vegetable concoctions in. They can hold more than some of the other disposable ones on the market, and you get to choose what kinds of fruits and vegetables go in them. Plus, it’s cheaper.

True, you have to put in the time to fill them and make the stuff, but it has been a good fit for our family.

I got these ones, but there are loads of options out there. Just look them up on Amazon and use the reviews to see which brand you want.

IMG_5137 I’m not gonna lie, it was a little annoying getting the sauces into the pouches. I just used a spoon so it got kind of messy, but I think I’m going to try to find a wide funnel next time. Or maybe the top of a 2L soda bottle? I’m sure there are easier ways.

I made a recipe that I used to make when they were just starting solids with broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, and milk, but it was far too strong for them at this stage. So, I had to tone it down by mixing it with applesauce, which they gobbled up.IMG_5138

Here is the finished product. Lots of yummy pouches.

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I went ahead and included a picture of my favorite baby food recipe book, Baby Love: Healthy, Easy, Delicious Meals for Your Baby and Toddler by Sarah O’Donnell and Geoff Tracy. I’ve used it for three kids now and I just love it. It has great recipes and tips in it if you’re looking for something like that.

Happy snacking, Mom!

Please share your tips and tricks with me for getting your toddlers to eat vegetables!

Toddler Thursday: Biting

When the twins were about 15 or 16 months old, I started noticing what looked like bite marks on Baby Boy’s hands. It was an anomaly, as no one had observed him biting himself or being bitten. For a bit I actually thought they were self-inflicted in a temper tantrum, or maybe it was an experiment to leave marks on himself. It wasn’t until I saw a mark at the wrong angle to be self-inflicted that I began to suspect Baby Girl of biting her brother.

Strangely, it wasn’t for another while before we actually caught them in the act. And then Baby Girl began to get these markings too. They were really good about doing it quickly when no one was watching though.

But by now, 5 or 6 months later, we’ve had the chance to see them at it many times. They’re still pretty stealthy about it, but we now know what to watch for: a certain prolonged guttural screech, usually coming from both parties in a fight over something, and then a quick lean-over by one, a pause of silence while the pain registers, and finally the extended agonizing cry of the other.

The problem is when they play in close proximity. And of course that’s how they almost always play. If they are confined in the same room for a while, that’s when the conflicts arise. They get cranky and will start fighting over toys and space. Big Sis actually got caught up in it for the first time this past weekend. We can’t really be sure what happened, but according to her she was trying to play with her brother when sister came and bit her, hard enough to leave a bruise. We think Baby Girl was trying to play with brother. There wasn’t much warning, and they did all this while both myself and their dad were in the same room!

Now I really don’t think my kids are malicious. I’ve watched them bite and get bitten and then go back to playing alongside each other like nothing happened. In fact, after Baby Girl noticed her sister crying after being bitten, she went to comfort her by rubbing her arm and giving her a hug and kiss. (Big Sis was just as loving, forgiving immediately and defending her little sister from our scoldings.) They just get caught in the moment and that is their only form of communication when screaming doesn’t work.

However, the bites are getting more vicious, and they’re no longer on the hands but on the upper arms. And now they’ve bitten someone other than themselves.

Should I be concerned? Is this something that they will grow out of? Is this a twin thing? I certainly wouldn’t want them to be that kid in preschool, the one who bites. We’re at a loss as to what to do, but they seem to be getting over the bites very easily. It doesn’t even faze them that their arms are all bruised up for days, but we are really just baffled at and bothered by this behavior.

Any MoM’s out there who can help us out?

lunchldyd is mom to 21mo biting b/g twins, and their 4yo sister who never bit.

Mommy (and Daddy?) Milestones

I’ve written numerous times about “Mommy Milestones”…those experiences that mark some kind of turning of the tide…often something I have to work up the courage to do with my twin girls (now 5 1/2).

There were lots of Mommy Milestones when the girls were smaller.  There was the first time I spent the day with the girls by myself, and the first time I took them out of the house by myself…there was the first time I took them to the pediatrician by myself, and the first time I took them to the park, outside the confines of their stroller.

These days, at 5 1/2, my girls are so grown up, and my Mommy Milestones are few and far between.  Sure, there was their first day of Kindergarten a few weeks ago, but I count that more as a family milestone (although I am **terribly** proud of myself for not crying in front of them…that definitely counts for something in my book!).

Today, though, something is happening at our house, some turning of the tide.  I can’t quite decide if it is to be classified as a Mommy Milestone, but like my No [Public] Crying Award for the first day of Kindergarten, there’s gotta be something written down.

Haircut

Baby A’s first haircut, at just shy of 9 months old!

Since the girls were tiny (and Baby A had freakishly long hair), I’ve taken the girls for their haircuts.  I’ve gotten a trim, and then they’ve each sat in my lap for their turn.

Now, with me working full-time and my baby girls in school, things are changing.  I went last week for a haircut (and glorious alone-time with my hairdresser…that hasn’t happened in YEARS!!!).  Today, Daddy is carrying the girls after school for their haircuts…without me.

Truth be told, I may be a little more nervous for Daddy than for the girls.  I know they’ll do fine.  I don’t know if Hubby has a Milestone tally…but if he does…I imagine he’ll count this one.

I post this today as a reminder to us all to celebrate those little milestones.  You can bet I’ll be enjoying a cookie in honor of today!  ;)

What’s your latest milestone?

MandyE is mom to 5 1/2-year old fraternal twin girls.  She blogs about their adventures, and her journey through motherhood, at Twin Trials and Triumphs.

Twinfant Tuesday: Car Eating

This post could very easily be a no-brainer for most of you parents out there, but I just thought I’d share the tip anyway! We had a big move in July and this turned out to be a successful way to keep the little munchkins happily snacking during the trip. I think it’s great for car trips both long and short. Again, many of you may find yourselves rolling you eyes thinking, “Come on, give me something new here lady!” but for me it was a stroke of genius.

I went out and got some of those Munchkin Snack Catcher cups and attached them to a bunch of baby rings which I then connected to the seat back of the driver and passenger seats. That way if they dropped the cup I could just feel for the rings and pull it up and hand it to them. No turning around to find something that has fallen, no grabbing for snacks in the seat next to me all the time. For the most part, they ate out of these cups.IMG_4926 IMG_4927

You could also attach a bunch of toys that way. When infants are rear-facing you can attach things like this to the adjustable handle bar of the carrier too. I’ve also had success attaching toys and snacks to my strollers this way for long outings. They are at a stage when throwing stuff around is the cool thing to do, so putting stuff on rings makes things easier for mom and dad.

Hope that helps! Any other easily over-looked tricks out there?

How do you do it? Parenting Link Up #38

Skip to this week’s links | Skip to featured posts | Skip to linkup rules

Welcome to the How Do You Do It? parenting link up party. Here, you have an opportunity to share your posts with other parent bloggers and the followers of How Do You Do It? and What’s up Fagans?.

How do you do it? is a community of mothers of multiples that believes in supporting each other, in sharing our experiences and questions, in friendship, and in encouragement. The link up is open to all of our readers, whether you have multiples or not, where you can share your wisdom, your favorite posts, your insights, with our online community here at HDYDI and What’s up Fagans?.

Each week, we pick some of our favorite posts and feature them the following week on our site! Plus, we pin them on Pinterest, tweet them on Twitter, and share them on Google+ and Facebook! Get some more exposure for your great content, and don’t forget to check out the featured posts from last week’s link up!

Plus, ldskatelyn of What’s up Fagans? is co-hosting our link party on her blog as well. One party on two blogs means double the exposure and community.

Each HDYDI parenting link up party accepts new links from Monday morning through Friday at noon.

So tell us: How do you handle conception, pregnancy, prematurity, birth, and postpartum recovery? How do you handle tantrums, diapering bills, stress, and potty training? How do you handle education and special needs? How do you balance the needs of several children with a marriage? How do you manage being a stay-at-home mom, a working mom, or a single parent? And how do you find time for yourself?

How do you do it?!


This week’s featured posts:

Thanks to everyone who is linking up each week! It’s clear that back to school is on our minds as our most clicked link from last week was from Barb of A Life In Balance. She came up with a solution to the neighbor kids asking to play during designated homework time. Do you have a system to politely ask the neighbors when to come over? Barb also shared a great post outlining her “Mom Command Central” for Back to School.No More Knock-knocking during homework time: A Sign for Neighborhood FriendsHere are some Tips for Taking Those Back to School Pictures from Paris of My Big Fat Happy Life. Tips for 1st Day of School Photos #firstdayofschool #phototips | mybigfathappylife.com
Sarah of Me Plus 3 Today may not have kids in school, but she has friends who are teachers. And she has a big heart. She shares 7 Ideas On How to REALLY Help Your Child’s Teacher.

7 Ideas to Help Your Child's Teacher, How to Help Series, Part 1 - Real answers from real teachers that will REALLY make a difference! - www.MePlus3Today.com #quote #TeacherAppreciation #BackToSchool #inspiration #RAKtivistIf you were featured above make sure to grab our featured button and display it proudly on your blog! How Do You Do It? Featured Post

<a href="http://hdydi.com/features/hdydi-parenting-link-party/"><img alt="How Do You Do It? Featured Post" src="http://hdydi.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/hdydi-link-up-featured-badge.jpg" height="125" width="125"></a>

Parenting Link Up PartyRules for the How Do You Do It? Parenting Link Up Party:

  1. Follow and connect with HDYDI on the social media platforms that you use. Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Google+ | Blog Lovin
  2. Follow and connect with What’s up Fagans? on the social media platforms you use: Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Google+ | Blog Lovin’
  3. Follow the How do you do it? Parenting Link Up Board on Pinterest where we pin every link shared!
  4. Link up to 3 great parenting posts below! Please, no recipes posts! Of course, link directly to a post, not your main page. Also, under “name” put the title of your post.
  5. Check out at least 3 other links! This is a party, so mingle!
  6. Leave an awesome comment for those you visit and tell them you found them at the HDYDI link party! And pin them/share the posts that you really like.
  7. Tweet: Add YOUR #parenting #advice to @hdydi's #linkup! Tell everyone #howdoyoudoit! http://ctt.ec/LRfWz+ #motherhood #momwisdomTweet about the link party, pin our link party badge, share it on Facebook, or otherwise promote this party! The more the party grows, the more exposure your posts will receive, the more fun you’ll have, and the more encouragement and ideas we’ll all receive!
  8. HDYDI Parenting Link Up PartyPut How Do You Do It?‘s Parenting Link Up badge on your site! Put it in your side bar, at the bottom of the post you shared, or on a party page!
    <a href="http://hdydi.com/features/hdydi-parenting-link-party/"><img alt="How Do You Do It? Parenting Link Up Party" src="http://hdydi.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/hdydi-link-party-9-.jpg" height="125" width="125"></a>


Toddler Thursday: The Cloak of Oblivion

I published this post on my blog a little more than four years ago, when my girls were 16 months old…and I still think about it from time to time.

I’ve reformed my ways to some degree…I haven’t had a soda in over a year and a half…but there are times I **really** wish I could slip a candy bar in the middle of the day.  I miss my cloak!

***

As a mother, I feel it is a big part of my job to set a good example for my children…to make sure they stand up straight, are kind and courteous to others, respect the environment, eat a balanced diet, read, exercise…the list is long, and actually pretty daunting.

As I loaded up the girls after lunch today for a quick run through the Sonic drive-thru for a 44oz. Diet Coke, I realized that I am operating under a cloak of oblivion. At 16 months old, they are still oblivious to most of the not-so-exemplary things I do…like drinking a 44oz. Diet Coke.

Today I can easily get away with a quick drive-through run. I sing songs along the way and point out interesting sights (“Cows!”), so I figure the 15-minute round trip isn’t totally wasted.

But one day, in the not-so-distant future, I know I won’t be able to make such a run without them wanting something for themselves. I won’t be able to step quietly away from playing in the den to grab a bite-size candy bar from the pantry. (Sometimes Mama just needs a little chocolate.) I won’t be able to indulge in People magazine while I stand in line at the grocery store.

No, they will see me. And they will want some of whatever-it-is I have.

So one day, I’ll either have to alter my ways and set a better example, one I’ll truly want them to follow…or I’ll have to get better at hiding my indiscretions.

Yes, I’ll have to find a better cloak.

***

MandyE is mom to 5 1/2-year old fraternal twin girls.  She blogs about their adventures, and her journey through motherhood, at Twin Trials and Triumphs.

Parenting Link Up #37

Skip to this week’s links | Skip to featured posts | Skip to linkup rules

Welcome to the How Do You Do It? parenting link up party. Here, you have an opportunity to share your posts with other parent bloggers and the followers of How Do You Do It? and What’s up Fagans?.

How do you do it? is a community of mothers of multiples that believes in supporting each other, in sharing our experiences and questions, in friendship, and in encouragement. The link up is open to all of our readers, whether you have multiples or not, where you can share your wisdom, your favorite posts, your insights, with our online community here at HDYDI and What’s up Fagans?.

Each week, we pick some of our favorite posts and feature them the following week on our site! Plus, we pin them on Pinterest, tweet them on Twitter, and share them on Google+ and Facebook! Get some more exposure for your great content, and don’t forget to check out the featured posts from last week’s link up!

Plus, ldskatelyn of What’s up Fagans? is co-hosting our link party on her blog as well. One party on two blogs means double the exposure and community.

Each HDYDI parenting link up party accepts new links from Monday morning through Friday at noon.

So tell us: How do you handle conception, pregnancy, prematurity, birth, and postpartum recovery? How do you handle tantrums, diapering bills, stress, and potty training? How do you handle education and special needs? How do you balance the needs of several children with a marriage? How do you manage being a stay-at-home mom, a working mom, or a single parent? And how do you find time for yourself?

How do you do it?!


This week’s featured posts:

Thanks to everyone who is linking up each week! This week’s most clicked post was from Misty Leask of Beautiful Ashes on being overwhelmed. Apparently a lot of you moms and dads were feeling that way this week too! See how she connects and understands, but encourages you too. overwhelmedThere were some great twin-specific posts linked up last week and I especially liked new linker Jen of Being Confident of This: Grace for the work-in-progress woman. Her b/g twins are now four and she’s sharing 12 Twin Survival Tips, all of which I heartily agree with!twins collageI loved Kimber of Kimber’s Navy Family‘s post this week called “All We Are Saying….” We need to stop with the loaded phrases. We just don’t know what someone else is dealing with. I know I’m guilty of saying dumb things sometimes, too. Great reminder!
If you were featured above make sure to grab our featured button and display it proudly on your blog! How Do You Do It? Featured Post

<a href="http://hdydi.com/features/hdydi-parenting-link-party/"><img alt="How Do You Do It? Featured Post" src="http://hdydi.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/hdydi-link-up-featured-badge.jpg" height="125" width="125"></a>

Parenting Link Up PartyRules for the How Do You Do It? Parenting Link Up Party:

  1. Follow and connect with HDYDI on the social media platforms that you use. Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Google+ | Blog Lovin
  2. Follow and connect with What’s up Fagans? on the social media platforms you use: Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Google+ | Blog Lovin’
  3. Follow the How do you do it? Parenting Link Up Board on Pinterest where we pin every link shared!
  4. Link up to 3 great parenting posts below! Please, no recipes posts! Of course, link directly to a post, not your main page. Also, under “name” put the title of your post.
  5. Check out at least 3 other links! This is a party, so mingle!
  6. Leave an awesome comment for those you visit and tell them you found them at the HDYDI link party! And pin them/share the posts that you really like.
  7. Tweet: Add YOUR #parenting #advice to @hdydi's #linkup! Tell everyone #howdoyoudoit! http://ctt.ec/LRfWz+ #motherhood #momwisdomTweet about the link party, pin our link party badge, share it on Facebook, or otherwise promote this party! The more the party grows, the more exposure your posts will receive, the more fun you’ll have, and the more encouragement and ideas we’ll all receive!
  8. HDYDI Parenting Link Up PartyPut How Do You Do It?‘s Parenting Link Up badge on your site! Put it in your side bar, at the bottom of the post you shared, or on a party page!
    <a href="http://hdydi.com/features/hdydi-parenting-link-party/"><img alt="How Do You Do It? Parenting Link Up Party" src="http://hdydi.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/hdydi-link-party-9-.jpg" height="125" width="125"></a>


Make-It Monday: Photo Birthday Cards for Relatives

Between my side of the family and my husband’s side of the family, we are heading right into big time birthday season. August thru December are birthday after birthday after birthday within our extended family.

I made a goal to be better about remembering birthdays, so this is what I came up with to help me keep on top of it.

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The top and bottom got a little bit cropped off in the printing process, but I just went with it! Having three wee babes has demolished what little bit of perfectionism I had.

Here’s how:

1. Take pictures of your smooshy, gooshy, pinchable cherubs that would look like they were holding something. I had to dangle leaves over my 15-month-olds heads to get them to reach and look up.

2. Crop the pictures and put them side by side and save them as a jpeg image. I was just going to put them together in Word, but then I decided to get a little fancier and use photoshop. If you don’t have photoshop, put them in word and crop them how you want them. You can then probably just print them at home on some photo paper.

3. Make the things you want them to hold. I thought it would be cute to do little hearts made out of their thumb prints. This worked well for my three-year-old, but my twins were done after the first thumb print, so we had to speedily get as many thumb prints onto their papers as we could and hope for the best!

I was going to use paint, but at the last minute I had the brilliant idea to just color their thumbs with marker and get their prints that way. Way less stressful than having to contain the paint!

They each had their own paper so that I wouldn’t mix up thumb prints.

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4. Next is assembling the card. I first used a pin to poke the holes that I needed by their fists, so that I could get the toothpicks in easier.

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Then I put the toothpicks in. I had to snap off the bottom end because they were too long, but it was pretty easy. I then trimmed off any splintery edges and taped the thumb prints onto the toothpicks.

IMG_5121

Ta-da!!

They do bow a bit, so if you can think of something thinner than toothpicks that would probably work slightly better. They still lay flat in the envelopes though, so it’s not a big deal.

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5. My oldest had fun decorating envelopes for us to use too.

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We decided to be really classy and use Wal Mart stickers. We have a plethora of these now because a merciful WM cashier took pity on me when the boys were acting up in the check-out line and cut off a big old chunk of them for the boys.

One of the best parts was sitting at the counter with Cameron and talking. He practiced his cutting on scraps of paper from the thumb prints while I put the cards together. It was worth letting him stay up passed bed time.

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Now we have 10 cards ready to go and it won’t be a huge hassle to make more when we need them. Before I was always scrambling the week of to throw something together and pulling my hair out trying to force the kids to paint on this, or scribble on that. This was nice and easy and we are set for the first couple of months of birthday chaos.

Plus, you can do this type of thing for so many other occasions like Father’s/Mother’s Day, Grandparent’s Day, Valentine’s, get well cards, thank you notes. You can change it up by having them “hold” different things like lollipops, “lightsabers”, chocolates on sticks, flags, whatever works for the occasion.

Happy I’m-all-set-and-ready-for-family-birthday’s, Mom!

 How do you acknowledge the birthdays of your kid’s aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents?

Thoughts on Working Part-time

School started two weeks ago, and I’m ready to reflect on getting back to work part-time.

The first week was a little sketchy. I started getting random headaches, my eyes were irritated and red, and I was still pretty exhausted. I was worried that this part-time decision wasn’t going to help anything. But now that I have another week down, I’m feeling like I’m back in the groove. In fact, I’m extremely happy with my new schedule.

I’m up and in the shower at about 6am, out the door by 6:45, twins dropped off at my mom’s around 7am, and at school by 7:10. Not much different from our summer schedule, except I have to actually get dressed instead of wearing tank tops and shorts, and I don’t do breakfast for the kids. Two classes and three hours later, I pick up the twins, give them their snack in the car, and we go home to nap for two hours. This is when I get some downtime, do some of my own things, or take a nap myself. Big Sis sometimes gets picked up from preschool after lunch (I’ve been trying out continuing with a half-day for her), and we go on an afternoon outing, again no different from our summer schedule.

The BIG difference is that I am not so exhausted that I can’t enjoy being with my kids. It used to be that I was completely drained after a whole day of work, but now I get a little break while the twins nap, so I have time to recharge. I now have the time and patience to listen to 4yo stories, soothe 21mo boo-boos, and generally be present and engaged.

By no means is it easy though. The twins are only getting more active each day, and one of my children is a climber. I had never experienced this before (Big Sis is much more low key), so it is completely shocking to me. My boy, at 19m, vaulted his crib rails, landed on his feet, and took off running. He is climbing everything climbable: shelves, beds, TV stands, dollhouses, play kitchens, you name it. We don’t go to the library anymore because he will scale the shelves there. And not only is he interested in the climbing, he also likes to jump on the surfaces on which he’s climbed. So I will come out of the shower to see him balanced on his tiptoes at the edge of the armchair in the playroom, bouncing up and down with a big grin on his face. And when he sees me he’ll say, “Ta-Da!” (Don’t have a clue where he gets that from…) His twin isn’t so much into climbing, but she will find and eat any and all little bits off the floor. I’ve got to keep my eyes on her at all times to make sure she’s not ingesting nasty stuff. These kids sure know how to keep me on my toes. Therefore, I am much more convinced now that my mom would not be capable of entertaining and chasing them all day every day.

Another bonus to this part-time schedule? Surprisingly, I’ve gotten even more efficient. I thought that with three kids I was already very efficient. And I am– consolidated errands, organized outings, great time management skills. I routinely do all 3 baths and bedtimes in 30 minutes. But now that I’m only at work for less than 3 hours a day, I find myself planning even further ahead, making lists and crossing things out right away, not procrastinating on any work stuff. My lessons are prepared days in advance, and I have calendars marked for the entire school year for holidays and days that we’re on a different school schedule. I don’t dread going to work anymore; on the contrary, I think I’ve actually fallen back in love with my profession.

I’ve been feeling happier and more productive. I’ve had interest in reading again, and even planned the kids’ Halloween costumes already. I have energy to think ahead, and I look forward to weekends not just for no work, but to actively plan activities that include Daddy.

Even considering the financial sacrifice we’re making, I don’t see how there could be any better alternative to this. It’s like the other shoe has dropped, after so long of such conflicted emotions about doing this. I’m elated that I made the leap on this decision.

lunchldyd is a part-time teacher and full-time mother to 21mo b/g twins and their 4yo sister.

Foodie Friday: Vanilla-Date Smoothie

This foodie post is centered around a nutritious, filling smoothie recipe that a three year-old can make – and drink – on the porch.

The days I am able to pick up Mister and Missy early from daycare, we try to do something fun. A couple of weeks ago, I decided that we’d make smoothies with the Magic Bullet once we reached home. We’ve done it before, and they love to throw ingredients in the mini-blender which is perfect for little hands, and help to mix it under close supervision.

Well this fine day M&M asked if they could play outside. Not wanting to leave them unattended while I made the smoothies myself, an idea struck. Why not bring the smoothie ingredients, which were already set aside, and the Magic Bullet onto the porch and make it out there? Sure the neighbours may think I was bonkers but then again they may just think the sound of the blender is a lawnmower or something.

So in the time it took M&M to choose their sidewalk chalk colours for drawing on the driveway, I was able to bring out all the ingredients. We were making 2 smoothies today based on ripening fruit in the fridge: one strawberry-vanilla and one vanilla-date using those sweet treats left over from a month of fasting in Ramadan. I combined two recipes for date smoothies from the Internet: Creamy Date Shake and Vanilla-Date Breakfast Smoothie to make this recipe.

Keep in mind the vanilla-date smoothie may need a stronger blender to mix than the Magic Bullet. Since we were on the porch, I used the Bullet for portability. Below is a picture of the ingredients for the date smoothie, which included honey, vanilla, yoghurt, milk and pitted dates. Luckily all the ingredients (minus the dates) were also used in the strawberry vanilla smoothie.

Vanilla-Date Smoothie
½ cup dates (pitted) – I used the big, juicy kind that originate from Iran or Saudi Arabia, found at specialty Middle Eastern supermarkets
½ cup whole-milk yogurt
½ cup whole milk
1 cup crushed ice (use more for desired smoothness)
1 tablespoon honey (optional)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Missy was in charge of the vanilla-date smoothie. Here is how it went down:

Step 1 – Set out all ingredients and plug in blender

Ingredients

Ingredients

Step 2 – Place pitted dates in blender cup

What do we put next?

What do we put next?

Step 3 – Pour milky into blender cup, add honey and other ingredients as per recipe

Pouring milky

Pouring milky

Step 4 – Blend, shake, blend, and enjoy!

Minnie Mixer

Minnie Mixer


Smoothie on the porch

Smoothie on the porch

Tips: With the dates being naturally sweet, you don’t need very much honey. For a low-fat version, substitute whole milk and yoghurt for skim, or use almond milk.